Monday, June 30, 2008

Monkey Business Update

So we continue to have constant adventure around our house.

This past weeks monkey business entails:

1-Gabe feeding Ellie his pringles when I wasn't looking...she was choking on pieces when
I finally realized what was happening. No damage was done...Mommy's heart just stopped.

2- Gabe pouring water bottles over Ellie's head like a shower.

3- Ellie is army crawling now.....she gets everywhere!!!!!

4- Ellie has learned how to really make her walker go and she chases Gabe and knocks him down....would have to say it's pretty hilarious ;)

5- Gabe has acquired a fear of bugs and flies as we had so many in our house this weekend and when he would sit in his high chair at mealtimes, they would fly around him and he couldn't get he was pretty much a fly.

We continue to have lotsa fun and are enjoying the summer so much! I'll try to put on pictures soon. Hava great week!

Country at Heart

So my new favorite country song....

What is yours? And for all my friends out there reading this but you NEVER leave a comment because you don't know how ;)......sign in under anonymous then sign your name when you leave the comment. Would love to hear what yours is.

Hava happy Monday!
Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, June 29, 2008


All I can say is....Beautifulness. Is that a word?
Today was beautiful...literally.
My whole family came to church with us for Ellie's dedication including my Aunt Sue, cousin Marci and her 3 girls. We all headed back to our place for lunch and the weather was gorgeous. Low 70s maybe today? (Right now it's actually you need a sweatshirt...and that is what I call beautiful too).
The dedication service was beautiful too. Ellie never takes a morning nap at church because there is too much to look at, but this morning she cuddled with Daddy then fell asleep in his arms at the perfect time. So when Pastor took her and held she woke up and just laid there and looked at him. (which once she is awake she starts moving, so this was a miracle too.) I say it was the presence of the Holy Spirit once again. It's the most powerful thing...ever. Not only can it give you goosebumps, make you smile, make you laugh, make you dance, make you can make an active baby lay in peacefulness. Beautiful...
The sermon was pretty great too. It was about training up our children (well part of it was) and how important of a job it is. And training isn't just yelling, giving orders, is something that takes time and love. And God equips us for every bit of it.
It was also beautiful to have our garage full of family and friends packed in tight....eating, laughing and having a great time together. God is so good to give us these.

Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."

What is not beautiful is how many flies have entered our house today and how many I have killed.....and how many are still left.
What is not beautiful is that I just realized my deodorant quit working a couple hours's time for a shower my friends. Hava great night!

Love n Hugs....Laura

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Jiffy Pioneer Woman

Soooo.......I am pooped.....
We started out the day by sleeping in. Lil Miss Ellie decided to wake up at 12:30 last night
and was wide awake talking and laughing til 3:00!! We have no idea what is up with that....
that was a first for her who has slept all night since she was 5 wks old.

We then headed out to do yard work. It was sooooo hot and we got some more nice tans and sunburns....and pulled the million weeds that keep popping up with all the rain. Jason then took the kids on a walk so i could have some peaceful weeding ;) And then had to take a shower as I was dripping sweat everywhere!

After lunch we put the kids down for naps then I started making all my food for tomorrow. (It's Ellie's dedication at church with a meal to follow at our house.) Sooooooo....I decided to make Jiffy Barbeque thinking it would be quick and easy AND I could have it in the crock pot tomorrow morning while we're at church then it will be ready when we got home. Well, with the amount of people we are having I ended up doing 5 lbs of hamburger and that meant the more celery and green pepper to chop up so it just took forever longer than I thoughtSo much for jiffiness!!! I then whipped up a strawberry jello salad which took some time. Then I made M&M cookie bars, 2 cheesecakes (1 blueberry and 1 cherry) and 1 Bishop Chocolate Creme Pie.......and in the middle of all that making, sweating because of our gas stove, and making supper. I told Jason I felt like a pioneer woman slaving and sweating away all day before everyone comes over the next day.
At 730 tonite I was finishing up the pies and cleaning up the kitchen. Then we gave the kids baths and Mom came over with all the folding chairs and tables so we unloaded them. I still have to do the dusting...yippee ;(

But then I probably am not a pioneer woman as we were sitting and eating supper I happened to look up to the skylight windows in our kitchen and saw a plane flying by way way way up was actually really neat...what are the chances I would look up and see that? Guess I'm not on the prairie being Laura is 2008...but I was still sweating over my stove and working hard!

Another neat thing that happened admist all the business was the Holy Spirit fell in the kitchen. Yup! You heard me....admist all the cooking, I always pray over the food that those who eat it would be blessed...especially when I take meals to others. So I was praying away and dancing and singing to Chris Tomlin CD and all of a sudden I just felt the Holy Spirit and I got huge, ginormous goose bumps. It was I repeated the song and lingered in the Spirit and prayed a little more. God knows exactly when we need those moments of just knowing He is right there beside us and I love Him more every day for that.

Hava great rest of the weekend!
Love n Hugs....Laura

Friday, June 27, 2008

Slow Fade

Heavenly Father, we just come to You today in humbleness. For Who You are and what You have done for us by sending Your only Son, Jesus, to shed His blood...and to take upon Him, our sins....and then to die. Father, we thank You for this everlasting hope of an eternal gift that no one else can give us but You...and You alone.
May we live our lives for You in remembrance of this. And may our hearts drawn nigh unto You in all situations. Father, we ask for new openings in our eyes and ears to our surroundings. That we may walk closer to You on the pathway to Heaven while still here on earth.
May we grasp the depth of sin and it's costs. May we draw closer to You and the church and lean further from the world and it's lures. May we hold our armor tighter to our bodies and may we grip our swords that we may fight this good fight.. that we might win.
We love You and long for the day where we can meet You face to face.
In Jesus' Name...Amen.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Warrior God

Our God is a Warrior because there are certain things in life worth fighting for, must be fought for. He makes man a Warrior in his own image, because he intends for man to join him in the battle. ~ John Eldredge "The Way of the Wild Heart"

"The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name." Exodus 15:3 NIV

"The LORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout
he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies." Isaiah 42:13 NIV

"But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail." Jeremiah 20:11 NIV

"Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle."
Psalm 24:7-8 NIV

Wednesday, June 25, 2008



1. lasting forever; eternal
2. lasting or continuing for an indefinitely long time
3. incessant; constantly recurring
4. eternal duration; eternity:
5. the Everlasting, God.

Genesis 17:7And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

Psalm 90:2Before the mountains were brought forth,Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Psalm 100:5For the LORD is good;His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 118:1[ Praise to God for His Everlasting Mercy ] Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!For His mercy endures forever.

Isaiah 9:6For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

When we are surrounded by people and things that fail us...we cling to the Everlasting.
Our Father...who never fails us, never gives up on us, never quits loving us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beautiful Feet/Cute Shoes

"How beautiful are the feet of those that bring the good news," Romans 10:15.

So I'm just pondering this verse tonite.....Basically I think it justifies we women having LOTSA cute shoes....a pair to go with every outfit. Right? Isn't that what it means???

So then, as long as we are preaching the Word of God, then we shouldn't feel guilty about buying the 200th pair of shoes in our lifespan,eh?


Well....I didn't have time to blog yesterday as Jason was home and we got so much done!
Mom and Dad are on vacation for a couple days so Jase is here with us and we're having so much fun!!! We got the garage cleaned and organized...a HUGE project and soooo glad it's done. We can't believe how beautiful it looks ;)

Then last night he watched the kids so I could go out with my friend Niki for girl's night out. We had an awesome meal at Olive Garden and lotsa fun at the mall and Walmart. Her and her husband are expecting their 3rd child so we had fun in the maternity section at Old Navy. And going to Walmart together and getting ice cream on the way home is a tradition we started way back in high school. We didn't make it home til midnight and what do you know but my dear hubby was still up waiting for me with the lights on ;) What a great way to come home!

Today I spent the afternoon with my brother Jacob and his girlfriend...what a treat. He lives an hour away now so it's awesome to be able to get together...I miss him like crazy.

So yesterday I also made a strawberry rhubarb cake....yum yum yum. Can I say that I LOVE summer with all the fresh fruit, veggies, etc?!?!?!? (So don't tell my hubby there is rhubarb in it until it's all gone. He ate it because he thought it was yummy strawberry cake. What he doesn't know won't hurt him, eh?) And if you want to stop by and try some with cool are more than welcome!

Got this video from a friend today and it really made me think. And now I'm feeling really guilty that I have the means to make and eat a yummy cake.... ;( And someone else out there tonite does not.

Heavenly Father, we just say thank You for all Your provisions for us. Thank You for our homes, clothes, cars, food, drink, running water, money, all the material things. But most of all, thank You for the freedom to serve and worship You. Be with those tonite that don't have what we do. Bless them and surround them with Your love. Show us and teach us the art of appreciation and gratitude. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Be a David

Pastor's sermon a nutshell:

"Be a David. Run towards your giant with your mouth open.
Meaning: Speak and profess God's Word to your giant. Speak with faith what God will do.
Don't say, "Well, maybe God will pick me up and help me out."
Faith is courage in action. Say instead, "God is with me and against the enemy
and there is NOTHING my God cannot do!"

1 Samuel 17:37 -51
"Moreover David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
And this is what I love about this story: The confidence of David in his God. He spoke with faith and believing in his heart that God would fight the battle for him. All he had to do was be a willing vessel.

And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” 38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.
More confidence!! He wears no armor...he believes in God that much!!

40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 41 So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
I do believe that this is a perfect example for us of running towards our giants with our mouths open wide...professing the Word of God AND believing it.

48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

Hava great week! Be blessed....Laura

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Redeeming Love

“Is a man ever made to drink the cup of affliction when no drop of mercy isintermingled? Is he ever visited with calamity which does not in some way contemplate his own temporal or eternal good? Could we see all, we should see that we are never placed in circumstances in which there is not much for which we should thank God. And when, in His dealings, a cloud seems to cover His face,let us remember the good things without number which we have received, and especially remember that we are in the world of redeeming love, and we shall find enough for which to be thankful.”--Albert Barnes

Friday, June 20, 2008

You Are...

CHOSEN“For you are a chosen (woman). You are a royal priest, a holy (daughter). God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

REDEEMED“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1

LOVED“You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you.” Isaiah 43:4

REMEMBERED“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16

SECURELet the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12

ABLEThe Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19

CALLED“You are my witness," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He.” Isaiah 43:10

CONFIDENTFor the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:26

FREE“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD , "and will bring you back from captivity.” Jeremiah 29:13-14a

ANOINTEDThe Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Luke 4:18-19

BLESSEDI pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19

Thursday, June 19, 2008

God's Hands

I couldn't bring myself to blog last emotions were a mess.
The week has been stressful with Gabe being extra trying. He continues to try to get his 2 yr molars in....I honestly think they've been trying to come in for 1/2 year now. He sticks his fingers back there constantly, drools like crazy from time to time, and now he has started grinding his teeth. I'm praying this is the final stage of the molars breaking free.

I'm tired of disciplining, talking, ashamed to say-- yelling at times.....spanking, time-outs, whatever works. I'm really, really hoping it's just the teeth making him more irritable. He has been getting an attitude where when you tell him something he shouldn't do, he will yell at you in return. (since obviously he hasn't figured out how to mouth back, he makes a yell/growl back at you) nice.....He also has been not taking very good naps in the afternoon. (He's sleeping awesome at night thankfully) but during naptime, he cries in his sleep and acts like he is in pain) so this week has been well, you know.....Praise God for my family who gives us breaks and distracts his mind into other things other than rebelling.

I have been doing ALOT of praying....alot of playing praise and worship music very loud in his room. Jason and I have learned first hand the power of the name of Jesus being said over and over in our home. I once heard a very annointed woman say about their ADHD/behavior disorder son: "When there's nothing else you feel you can do....pray and play the praise and worship music. This alone will cast out evil spirits that may have entered their bedrooms, your house, etc...and get in the Word like never before."

So this is where I'm at with Gabriel. I love him so deeply that I want to help him get thru this season of life instead of being frustrated and upset with him all the time. I'm believing that the power of prayer and speaking the name of Jesus over and over into his little ears will bring about a miraculous change. I can do nothing myself as a's only by the grace of God and His love for us that will pull us thru.

Then last night my mom and I were out in the yard pulling weeds. One minute I was looking down and the next I looked up to see Gabe running as fast as he could for the highway (which we live on). A yell came out of me in a voice I didn't recognize as I started running too. I couldn't get there fast enough. At the last second he turned around just as a semi went past. He was laughing and had no idea of the danger he was in or the consequences. The innocence of a child.....will sometimes make a mother's heart soooooo bad that we think we can't go on doing this thing called parenting.

Later on Jason and I were giving the kids baths and Ellie was laying on the bathroom counter as I was drying her off. One minute I was looking up at Jason, talking, the next minute she was rolling off the counter as I barely caught her with my body. As I caught her, my heart started hurting again as I choked back tears. "God, I said....I can't do this anymore! I feel so helpless. I'm so not getting it!!!"

Putting the kids to bed, I held them a little tighter, lingered longer....and kissed them more. And I prayed even harder. And in the stillness of the night, God spoke to my heart again.
"These are mine as are you. I hold you in my hands as I do them. I am yours and You are mine.
Do not not fret....great peace will you have if you keep your mind on Me. I hold you in my hands. I love you and will never leave you or forsake you."

And then later when Jason and I went to bed...I finally cried. I cried because my heart was hurting so bad. Earlier in the day Mom was telling me of the story of the little baby that just died in another town not far from here. It was crawling out of it's crib and got hung up and died.
The story stayed with me all day...went around and around in my head...and when I ran after Gabe towards the highway and couldn't make my feet move quick enough, I thought" I'm not ready to let go of mine yet." But then who is?

These precious gifts of children are God's. They are in His hands as Jason reminded me last night. I sobbed and told him I don't think I could go on living if I lost a child. And as he held me close he said, "But you can...because God's grace is sufficient and His plan is bigger than ours. He is the one who pulls us's not of us but of Him." All that we have is truly His.

So this morning as Gabe and I had our praise and worship time, this song came on and God spoke to me again. I wanted to share it with you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This morning was another beautiful morning and God got me out of bed early to enjoy coffee and some time with Him before the kids got up. As I was sitting in my prayer chair, I watched two birds outside. One bird was gathering leaves, twigs, grass.....all kinds...I'm assuming for a nest. Soon it flew away. Meanwhile, a little bird had been sitting afar off watching the other bird. After big bird flew away, the little bird hopped over to the exact spots and started doing the same process. And this is what God told me:

"When you go about your daily life...others are watching. Whether it be your small children you are raising....a neighbor...a friend....a church member....a coworker....someone is always watching. What is your life reflecting?
What kind of footprints are you leaving for the watchful eyes?"

Lord, may my life reflect You. May all that I say and do be glorifying to You Abba Father. Thank You for Your unfailing love, patience and grace with this child.

Pictures-Summer Fun

I finally got Gabe talked into "driving" the 4wheeler...he has been petrified! The green one
is the one Blake used to ride. The guys just got back from down south where they were sandbagging.
And this here yellow one is Joshua's new's a 2 seater...the seat in the back is folded down...seriously next to the other one it looks like a miniture car. We have great fun with it!

I left the double stroller at home thinking the whole time Gabe would be doing carnival games...but of course no, there came a point where his little legs got we squished them in good and they loved every bit of it.

Daddy and Paw-Paw took a break from roofing and joined us for lunch at Dave's Pigout.
The library and grocery store in town always have their carnival and appreciation day the same time and they block off the streets, have bands playing, great food, cotton candy, balloons, $.25 hot dogs, bbq pork sandwiches, pizza, and all kinds! The weather was once again perfect for the occasion. Thank You Father!!!

Chelsey once again saved the day by helping keep Gabe close by...a full time job.
I love you Chels!!! You are the best!!! Not only are you the greatest sitter ever, but
you are the greatest pal too ;)
My sister in law, Julie's nephew helped corral all the little guys today too..

Aunt Julie (my brother Dan's wife) and little miss having great fun with balloons. Thankfully we had no popping catastrophe's today....I kept having awful visons of them popping in my face (a crazy fear of mine).

The world's greatest 5th grade babysitter you ever saw....and she's mine!!! Gabe absolutely loves and adores Kamryn....we are so blessed to know her. Her mom is one of my long time friends and the big sister I never had. Thank you Kathy for sharing your daughter again today

Kam's little sister Koryn had fun with us today too.

Our nephew Gage exclaiming that his hot dog was running away.

The awesome bounce house slide....I was wishing I was smaller so I could go too!

Halfway thru Gabe heard the loud motors hooked up to the back of the bounce house and freaked out....Kam did great with getting him to keep going and the tears were gone by the time they reached the end.

Having fun in the bounce house....a first time
experience for Gabe.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pictures-Father's Day

1- 1-The boys having tractor & gator fun.

2-My man and I....

3-Mom and Dad....we love you!

4-Gageybear ridin' the horse
5- My brother Joshua

6- Isaac and Chels

7- Ellie and Uncle Doof

8- The cowboy and his cowgirl....we didn't think
they would make it back from down south where she was barrel racing all week. But they did....and we were so happy!!!! I kid you not, every time Jacob comes back home he walks a little bit more bow cracks me up ;)

Daddy's Day Off

Well, Jase had the day off today as my Dad and Joshua went sand bagging down in Taylor, Missouri. So we all slept in, played with Daddy, ate lunch with Grampa Doc....and watched Tiger Woods play some great golf! It was so amazing how well he did and how far he walked after just having a major knee surgery. Jason and I both relaxed some more after putting the kids down for naps. Our plan for the day was to take them swimming but the air was a little chilly for that we decided. It was soooooooooooo beautiful!!! So nice to be able to shut the AC off again and open up being a country girl, I get "stuffy house" feelings real quicklike!

Then this evening Jason headed out to play golf with his brother while the kids and I headed to our nephew's Tball game that my brother also coaches. Spent alot of time making sure Gabe didn't run into the ball diamond and run off into the park. He was playing with our other nephew and those two can create alot of trouble together ;) It got really chilly while we were there.....everyone had on sweatshirts!!! This is amazing and beautiful weather for June in Illinois....thank You Jesus!!!

Gabe said his first real sentence very clear was an exciting moment. It actually sounded really funny coming out his mouth because he sounded so old all of a sudden.
I was asking him where something was and he said, "Ummmmmm, in the car." He actually did the "thinking hard" look while he said the ummm. It was so so cute ;)

And little Miss Ellie had an accomplishment today too. She sat really well all by herself for about 10-15 minutes before she started getting all floppy again. She has been such a laid back and content child....just too lazy to be learning new things. This morning she spent an hour just rolling around on the living room floor playing with her toys and watching a movie....But I won't complain as I know all too soon it will change and Gabe has enough energy for them both! It's so hard to believe that a month from her age now, Gabe was walking! It almost seems crazy as she is hardly sitting. I was telling a friend the other day how amazing it is that each kid can be so different from the other.

Well, hava great night and hope you are getting this beautiful weather too!

Love n Hugs....Laura

Lean Into It

"Chances are there’s a relational confrontation that you’re attempting to avoid right now. Stop hiding from it. Instead, lean into it. You’ll come out on the other side with a stronger relationship (best case), or realizing that the relationship is no longer worth investing in (still a valuable outcome). Either way, relational progress is never achieved by bobbing and weaving.

I’ll also make a wild guess that God may be initiating a transition in an area of your life these days. (Because that’s what He does.) If God is urging you to leave behind a current way of doing things-and this could be something as major as your career path or as seemingly detailed as your daily schedule-don’t fight against Him. When you feel the internal pull to abandon a comfort zone for greener pastures, the worst thing you can do is put on the parking brake.

Ask the children of Israel, who managed to turn a 3 day journey into a 40 year holding pattern.Running away will keep you grounded.Only when you lean into your change can God propel you to a higher place." Pastor Steven Furtick

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Greatest

A Walk Down Memory Lane....When Jason became a Daddy for the first time....
He was amazing....he changed Gabe's first diaper before we even left the know when it's still really scary? The babies are super tiny and Daddy's hands look so big?
Yup, that was our Daddy....doin' it all...and he still does.
Thank you honey for all you do for us.....for all your hard work...for all your babysitting....for all your patience....for all your help around the house.
But most of all...thank you for the example you are for our kids. They will never have to doubt how much their Daddy loves them. And they will never have to wonder what a Godly man looks like...because they have the greatest example ever in you.
We love you and thank God you are ours!
Hugs n Smooches....Gabe n Ellie n Mommy ;)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Take the R.I.S.K.

R- Redeem. Redeem mistakes. What the Enemy meant for evil, believe God can turn it for good. I will act like my failures, mistakes and downfalls can be used by God, redeemed for His good purposes.
I- Invest. I will Invest myself, invest my time, my money wisely. I will be that good steward who went out and invested, not hid, his resources. God loves investors.
S- "See" the possibilities. I will perceive God's hand in the picture, His available resources. I will "see" it and believe it. My eyes are wide open and upon Him.
K- Keep the Faith. That good deposit- keep it, guard it. Live to say at the end of your life, " I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Tim 4:7)

-Lauren Caldwell

The Gabester

Well the Gabester was a fully energized bunny this noon I felt like I had worked a full day already. He was into everything all morning long.....being extra mischievous. And really, if I would have taken the time to think about it, I shoulda figured it was about time again as the last couple days he's being doing really well.

The days usually start by him saying, "Go car." As soon as I enter his room in the morning. He then asks to find Paw-Paw or Daddy and insists on going in the car. He would be fine in skipping getting dressed and no breakfast...he just loves to go in the car. His activities this morning consisted of the following.

1- taking multiple water bottles and dumping them out on the kitchen floor.
2- Dumping baby powder in Ellie's carpet.
3- Following me into the bathroom and sneaking out the baby shampoo and squeezing it
out onto his clothes, his legs, his sandals, the floor......nice!
4- Dumping his leftover lunch on the floor....everywhere (which is a big no-no...he knows better)
and stuffing so much down the sides of his chair and pants that i just picked his high chair up and took him outside and undressed him out there he had made such a mess. He then needed a shower as he had plastered as much chicken and rice to his head and hair that was possible.
5- Took all Daddy's Mountain Dew cans out of fridge and shook them up good ;)
6- Snuck Ellie's pacifier away from her again and was laying quietly under the coffee table.
7- Tried feeding Ellie graham crackers.
8- Knocked down the childproof gate in his bedroom was a first time he had figured out if you run and push it hard enough it just might give, he had the most priceless/guilty look on his face.
AND last but not least....we were getting ready to leave at noon for Mom and Dad's....I had Ellie in her seat, buckeled in and sitting on the floor and went into her room to get the diaper bag, came back out and in those few seconds, he had picked up her VERY heavy carseat and hauled her across the dining room and was getting ready to turn her upside down......I yelled so loudly and moved so quickly it scared the pee right outa him. I'm hopin' the good scare he got means he won't be attempting it again any time soon.

Sooooo......the afternoon was a little bit calmer. I enjoyed my time cleaning for an older's nice to hava break from the kids and make a little money. This evening Jason and I took the kids on a walk and visited with our neighbors. It had even cooled down a bit just like last night. Last night we enjoyed a campfire with Isaac and Chelsea and started brainstorming a camping trip up....sounds like tent camping is the cheapest way to have fun this summer with gas prices and all!!

Hava great weekend! Love n Hugs...Laura

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

For those of you that haven't seen this's awesome.
Take a look.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I stumbled upon this video a couple months ago and was just touched to the core of my heart. I couldn't quit watching it and listening to it for days....then I forgot about it.
Tonite a brother in Christ sent it to me (he had no idea that God had used it months before to speak to me) and God used him to remind me what I had forgotten.

1- To not lose sight of the cross. To stay hidden in it's shadow at all times.
2- That He is my Saviour King and nothing can change that. No one can take Him away from me.
3- He is my all in all...the lover of my soul.
4- That worship isn't only praising our God but it's a lifestyle.
5- That we are raising up a generation for the be mighty warriors.
6- That worship means praising Jesus with heart, soul, body, mind, and emotions...with all of our being. And if someone tells you praise and worship is just an emotional experience then you tell them this: Hymns are rich, deep, and good and we need to hang on to them and sing them often. But praise and worship is just as important too. It's all over in the Psalms how important it is and wasn't David a man after God's own heart???? Yes, my friends....praise and worship can be rich, deep and good too. After all, isn't God the one that created us to have emotions and when we put our all in all into praising Him, it honors Him when we do it with all He created us to be.

I pray that you will take the time to watch and listen to this video all the way thru. It is slow going at first then picks up.....its just so powerful. May God touch you and speak to you thru it as He did to me. And if you have never stood and lifted your arms and hands to praise God before, I pray you will today for the first time know the freedom and joy in doing this. And it's okay if you're not comfortable doing it in front of other people....start out by doing it in your own home...just Jesus and you. Don't worry about what you look like or sound like.....Pour your heart out to Him and lift your voice...He's waiting for you.

Love in Jesus....Laura

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pictures-Best Buddies

We had Bryan and Whitney and their kids: Brenna and Wade over on Sunday night...we had lotsa fun with a cookout and watching the kids play. Brenna is a year older than Gabe and Wade and Ellie are not quite 2 months you can tell from couch pictures...they are already best buddies. As for the older two...they could cause alot of trouble! Here Brenna is trying to teach Gabe how to open the closet door--which he hadn't even attempted yet..thanks alot B!

Dear Mushroom Family

Dear Mushroom Family:

We are sorry to inform you that you will be evicted once and for all out of yer home on Strough Bullivard. No more will you be allowed to have your festivies of meeting and multiplying species.

No longer will you be able to tempt our child that you are yummy to eat. No more will you be able to create havoc on mower machines. No more will you be the cause for no play on green.

You are done...once and for all.

Sincerely...The Jason Strough Family

Sweet Potatoes

So here you see our two kiddos enjoying sweet potatoes!!! We started Ellie on baby food and she's doing so-so. At first she didn't do well but we are about a week into it and she's lovin' her taters. Funny thing is now Gabe wants to eat everything she does....which is fine with me cuz he's going thru the stage where he will NOT eat his veggies anymore much to my dismay. Whatever happened to my little boy who looooooooooooooved his veggies??? From age 1 to 2 he did excellent and now he has taken on little Mr Attitoody. He does love corn and actually asked for it when we put him to bed last night....yeah right, nice try! But a kid can only eat so much corn ya know ;) So if he will eat baby food again that's just fine with me! I will get my blender out again and started making big batches! Yipee!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Terrific Tuesday

Well once again my dear hubby gets the award for BEST EVER husband in the world....
He watched the kids from 10 am to 7:30, what a guy.....that means he fed gabe 2 meals and changed his diaper a couple times and that means he fed Ellie 3 meals AND get this: she had 2 poopy diapers today!!!!! yeah!!!! but seriously....she hasn't done that for months!!! and who of course gets the privalege of 2? SuperDaddy!!! i'm so thankful for regular poos!

Sooooo.....I enjoyed a relaxing coffee this morning while I went to visit a friend then met my Dad and looked at a painting job. I promptly turned him down when I saw that I would have to be painting trim on the ceiling on the top of very very steep stairs...uh no....i am a painter....but not that kind ;) i paint safely as i am a mama of 2 little ones and i'm scared of heights which means i'm not steady on my feet when i get up high. soooooo........i'd like to not break a leg or pass out from fear or anything crazy.

i then met up with mom and we got a girl's day out with no kiddos! this is huge for mom and i as we always take the kids. we love having them but love having our time too and we were waaaaaay overdue! our first stop was at a victorian tea room. the tiny little food particles and desserts were yummy but we are sooooo meat and potato women ;) mom declares as she is eating a cookie that it is a hockey was a very funny moment....i had to laugh very hard. i do so love that woman so very muchly ;)

we then headed to the Music Shoppe, Great Harvest Bread Co (and bought and ate way too many carbs), the mall and found awesome awesome sales on kids clothes at JCPenneys. (i'm sorry for all my misspellage tonite, i seriously ate way too much sugar and carbs today). We also hit Plato's Closet-an upscale resale store and found some good deals too. Walmart is always a must when Mom and I are together and tonite we ended up spending more time than we does that happen? but got some very fun presents for our men on father's day!

well, i'm not a shopper, believe it or not....i usually hate it.....i go shopping like this maybe 4 times a year only so i'm soooooooooooooooooo very tired. but today was a blast. i have 2 of the bestest friends in the whole world. a mom who loves to still have fun and a husband who would do anything for his woman. i love you mom! and are the best of the best. seriously....

love n hugs...laura

"We can do no big things...only small things with great love." Mother Teresa

Monday, June 9, 2008

Being Thankful

Well tonite was my night to do grocery shopping so on my way I stopped at the post office.
My goal was to be home at 7:30....that is when I arrived at PO. An older lady started chatting with me and it soon turned into a half hour. She was telling me how lonely she is as she lost her husband of 55 years almost 4 years ago now. She looked right at me and said this:
"When your spouse dies, it's like someone takes a chainsaw and cuts you in's like a part of you is gone forever." She literally demonstrated with her hand, drawing a line, down my body. It's not as weird as it sounds. She was very soft spoken, so it really just hit home.

We finally made it out to the parking lot and she proceeded to introduce me to her dog sitting in the car. And I about cried again....The dog was panting very hard, is blind and now deaf. It is 16 years old and she told me he is about to die too. She said she is just not ready to let him go because he also has been such a faithful companion.

I honestly cannot imgaine...I go over and over this in my head the last couple months. What would I do if God took someone I dearly love? How would I react and deal with the loss? Could I still praise Him and shine thru it all like others I know? Last week in the grocery store I saw a woman who just recently lost her husband. I gave her a hug and told her I was praying and she just held on and said, "I just miss my husband so very much." I just read a blog last night about one of the singers of Sealah. They just lost their 4th little girl a couple mths ago, but the mother is still chosing to praise God.

When I got home tonite, I just held Jason close and I think this:
Life is so very, very short. We need to make every minute count. Hold our loved ones closer...
spend more time with our kids playing one on one. Forget the material stuff and draw near to the people in our lives. Pray for the widows/widowers and the parents who have lost their child. And most of all....Focus on God.

The Moon and the Sun

When I was a child, I was disappointed to discover that the moon was just a giant rock that didn't even have it's own light. It seemed so large in the dark sky that there had to be more to it than that. It dawned on me tonight that there really might be more to it than that. The moon reflects the sun's light. Perhaps God placed it there in it's reflective capacity to remind us that even in the dark of night the sun is still shining.When that darkness pulls at you look around and see what God has put forth to remind us of hope -- the mood, the new buds on a tree, whatever it is. God gives us daily reminders of his love and care.

~Amy L Brooke

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Believing and Faith

Pastor's sermon today was for me...In a nutshell:

"How are you living your life?
Believing that God loves you for who you are?
That you are good enough?
That Jesus died on the cross for all your sins?
Not part of them...all of them?
Do you believe that God heals?
Do you have the faith to believe it?
Do you believe nothing is impossible for Him?
Which means there is nothing in your life He can't do?
Or are you living life saying, My God is big and He can do all things...
But my faith isn't quite deep enough to believe that He can heal me completley...."

I'm so utterly much of my life I've wasted believing but not having enough faith
to believe completley the true depth of how my Father loves me and adores me. How many
times I've missed the true meaning of...."By His stripes, I AM HEALED."

Heavenly Father...tonite I come before You with tears, bowed head, bent knees, and lifted hands. Thank You that Your love is once again washing me clean....clearing my head...soothing my heart...and speaking directly. Thank You for sending Your only son Jesus to die on the cross for all of my sins and not just some of them. Thank You that I am worthy to be called a daughter of Yours. Father, thank You for all that You have blessed me with...I am so humbled and grateful. May my life song sing to You. In Jesus' Name...Amen.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Now I'm It!

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
1. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
2. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.
3. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

Q. What were you doing 5 years ago today?
1. Living at home with my parents and brothers
2. working at Crossroads Medical Associates.
3.Enjoying single life to it's fullest ;)
4. Hanging out with the pit crew of Unzicker Racing Team and learning parts of the race cars all summer long. Alot of late, fun nights standing up close to the track getting hit by dirt clods and cheering the team on.
5. Doing ALOT of camping and fishing with friends.

Q. 5 things on your to do list today
1- Go to Isaac's basketball tournament
2- Shop for a new swimsuit
3- Drink my coffee
4- Hava quiet time
5- Do some laundry

Q. 5 snacks you enjoy
1- Chocolate covered donuts...ditto Jody!
2- Oatmeal Creme pies
3- popcorn
4- desserts
5- puppy chow

Q. 5 things you would do if you were a billionare
1- Give to more charities, orphanges, etc
2- Pay off debt
3- Adopt kids
4- Build a new house
5- be thankful for it!!!

Q. 5 jobs you have had
1- Marchelloni's Pizza
2- RB Swine
3- Fairbury Medical Associates
4- Crossroads Medical Associates
5- Iroquois Memorial Hospital

Q. 5 people you want to tag
1- Sally
2- Mandy
3- Jennifer
4- Kim
5- Marie

Basketball Fun

We had a long but fun day today at my brother Isaac's basketball tournament.
Here is Gabe with Isaac's girl, Chelsey. Isaac isn't the only one in love with her.
He's getting ready to give her a kiss here.

And here, the mister is holding her hand!!! How do little boys learn to do this so young???
I have never ever seen him do this with anyone...I had to get a picture. Our little boy is growing up so fast and changing every day....seems like faster since he turned 2.

Most all my pictures were dark in the gym...what a bummer...Isaac is in navy blue under the basket.

Here is Isaac seemed alot of the other players were intimidated by him today with his height ;)

I always love to see this...a good team leaning in for wisdom.

Isaac taking a 3 pointer shot.

I didn't have my camera for the shot, but shortly before I captured this one...when the team came up and sat down in between games, Gabe headed over to sit by Uncle Isaac right away. It was so cute, he was so excited to be by all the "big guys." And he loves watching them play ball.
Jason and I are secretly hoping he will love it just as much as the rest of the family does.

He did really well entertaining himself AND others....he got woken up out of a deep sleep this morning at 8 then went all day long until 745 tonite, he konked out cold in the car ride home. This means he had no nap and this kid always takes almost a 3 hour nap every day! I was so proud of him even though he got a little grouchy at the end.

And Little Miss Ellie did amazing too....she was held all day long...she played hard too and took still took naps off and on.

Chelsey...thank you sooooo much for all your help today with the are the best
and I love you oh so very muchly ;) God has been good to give us the gift of you!
Isaac...Great games today...I'm so proud of you for playing hard and stickin' it out even
when you don't get treated fairly. The team is blessed and better because you are on it.
Keep shining, keep smiling, and keep sharing Jesus with them.....they need you more than you'll ever know. We're looking forward to an awesome season with the Hawks!!

"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)
Hava great weekend....Laura