Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Stones

"The stones that had caused me to stumble in life were the very ones that were also building my character and my destiny." ~Tracie Miles, Reinventing Your Rainbow

I'd like to take a moment to honor my mom...again....she is the best ever...Because:
Today she brought me some groceries I needed so that I could stay home and gets lots done for our big weekend coming up AND I didn't have to load up both kids to go to the store.
AND....she brought me the world's bestest Chocolate Bavarian Bismark ever to go with my afternoon coffee and quiet time. She is extra special ;)

Our small town is blessed with the greatest grocery store in the state...Dave's Supermarket.
Why ours is the best of the best:
1- The cleanest you ever saw
2- The friendliest
3- The best prices
4-The awesomest sales
5- The best variety in produce
6-THe yummiest bakery
7-The greatest deli
8-The coolest dine-in eatery
9-The lowest ice cream prices to get in a bowl or dish---50 cents!!!!
10- Run by a Christian family
11- We had blueberries from Michigan this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was my first day home this week and it was crazy still. I made food for this weekend...and lotsa food for a Relay for Life bake sale for Blake's family. I also changed 35 diapers as Gabe has the hershey squirts...Yipee!!! Wow is it ever lovely. I did piles of laundry....made a casserole....fed the kids all their necessary meals...washed lotsa dishes....cleaned up the kitchen mulitple times since baking and cooking makes extra. Played games with the kids...cuddled....wiped runny noses from crying episodes....took out the trash....picked up toys....videotaped Ellie....put them down for naps....sat outside with Gabe and watched the traffic go by....broke up fights between the two....Yes, Gabe is very good at making her cry and taking her toys away. Cleaned up Gabe's cracker messes.....Read him books...had a quiet time.....visited with my brother while he fixed our bathroom day is finally done...Praise the Lord! Can I say this....I do so love my job....but man am I ever tired!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Isaiah 40

" 28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

It was pretty neat to hear God confirming this chapter again today at the funeral.
The preacher used it for his message after God had shown me verses from it a couple days earlier. Communing with God....isn't it amazing what a loving Father He is? He truly does commune with us and speak into our hearts if we sit at His feet and just listen.

Love Story

Okay...I usually like to post devotional stuff...but today was a really crappy day to put it mildly and I really needed a laugh tonite. This was in my inbox, so just wanted to share it with you.
Thanks, Hallie, for giving me the smile I needed!!!! And thanks Kathy, for once again, being the big sis I needed to talk to......and thanks Mom for being the best Mom ever! I love you all!

Love Story
A man and a woman who had never met before but were both married to other people found themselves assigned to the same sleeping compartment on a trans-continental train.

Though initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, they were both very tired and fell asleep quickly -- he in the upper bunk and she in the lower.

At 1 a.m., the man leaned down and gently woke the woman saying, 'Ma'am, I'm sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet and get me a second blanket? I'm awfully cold.'
'I have a better idea,' she replied. 'Just for tonight, let's pretend that we're married.' 'Wow! That's a great idea!' he exclaimed.
'Good,' she replied. 'Get your own Stinkin' blanket.'
After a moment of silence, he farted.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts

A long tired visitation this morning, then noon meal, then public visitation from 2-8....but Jase and I brought the kids home for their naps...then I headed back after that.

Sitting down tonite to eat my late supper of leftover blueberry pancakes from breakfast and Sticky Bun coffee...yum, yum yum.....there are so many thoughts swirling in my head from today. Like:

Life is so short.
We need to be ready at any moment.
Have I loved well today?
Did I shine Jesus bright enough so someone could see Him?
I want my visitation to be a joyful time of celebration....not quiet gloom.
And God, why? Why did you take these 6 kids' Daddy from them so soon? Why?

But in the quiet of the night...I hear this:
8 “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
9 “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “ For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “ For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the LORD for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
~Isaiah 55

Thank you to everyone for prayers for our family. Julia has said many times she has felt them and that what is carrying her thru....sadly, as many said tonite, Her worst days are yet to come. So please keep praying.

Monday, July 28, 2008

One Life

When a stone is dropped into a lake it quickly disappears from sight, but it's impact leaves behind a series of ripples that broaden and reach across the water. In the same way, the impact of one life lived for Christ will leave behind an influence for good that will reach the lives of many others.
~Roy Lessin~

We are Dust

"Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We are all dust...heading home. From the dust we came...and to the dust we will return.
But our souls will forever be with Him if we choose His life...His suffering...His resurrection.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:7-8

"As for man, his days are like grass;As a flower of the field, so he flourishes." Psalm 103:15

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Home with Jesus

My uncle Doug went to be with Jesus tonite.
Please pray for his wife, Julia and their 6 kids.
That the peace of God that passes all understanding would surround them
and hold them up thru the coming days, weeks, and months.

As we sat at Brian's funeral today, God gave me the gift of seeing a babe kick in the womb of the mother. What an amazing sight....and so precious (and awesome feeling!).
And as I saw that, I thought of the song, Blessed Be Your Name....You give and take away....

And it's so true....what a Mighty God we serve. We dont' always understand His ways...but we know that He does hold us in His arms and He knows best.
And can we truly say: "You give and take away....You give and take away....
My heart will choose to say, Lord, Blessed be Your name."

Run on the Road

Friends & Family Remember Fallen Firefighter
By M.K.

FAIRBURY -- Brian J. Munz was the kind of guy who would stop on his way to a New Year’s party to help shovel snow off an elderly woman’s driveway.

At 14, he was the golf ball king, collecting stray balls from Fairbury Country Club and reselling them. In his teens he started his own business, Big B’s Lawn Care, which grew into a lawn mowing service with more than 40 customers.

At his funeral Saturday morning at First United Methodist Church in Fairbury, the Rev. Charles McDonald said going to college was not for Munz, 24, a Fairbury firefighter.“All he wanted to do was get his hands dirty,” McDonald said.

Munz was with brethren from seven fire departments Tuesday night who were called to fight a two-story house fire in Forrest. State fire officials still aren’t sure how the fire started.“Heroic” is how McDonald described Munz’s actions that night. “He made sure two of his fellow firefighters got out first before the floor gave way,” McDonald said.

Munz was lucky, the minister said, because he lived life fully and with valor.“He knew what was right, and he did it. He knew how to live, and he did it. And he knew how to love, and he did it,” McDonald said. “That is why I say he is lucky.”

Family members and firefighters shared stories about the “good guy who was a little mischievous and always wearing a smile” in a sanctuary filled with more than 400 people. Another 100 stood in the church yard, listening to the service broadcast over outside speakers.

A purple firefighter’s flag draped Munz’s coffin. Scott Runyon of the Pontiac Fire Department rang the firefighter’s bell in a funeral tradition to signify the end of Munz’s service as a firefighter.More than 70 police cars, fire engines, rescue trucks and ambulances from departments all over Central Illinois and Indiana lined up in front of the Fairbury fire engine that carried Munz to Graceland Cemetery.

A four-member honor guard of firefighters from suburban departments in Melrose Park, Franklin Park, Hillside and Lisle stood outside the church as the recessional was led by two bagpipers from the Illinois State Police.

McDonald’s homily quoted Ephesians: “Walk, better yet run, on the road God called you to travel.”“As you’ve heard here today, you didn’t see Brian sitting on his hands,” McDonald said. “He lived life at a full run.”


Anyone can make you smile or cry, but it takes someone special to make you smile when you already have tears in your eyes.
~Katie Wenger

Thank You Father, for those people that You place in our lives. We know that You make no mistakes and the weaving of our life tapestry have all the perfect threads knit together just by You...especially for us. Thank You for those brothers and sisters that help us thru the ups and downs....and for those that love us for who we are.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What the Pages Reveal

"I have choices, every second of the day, to serve my Lord. To honor Him with my speech and with my thoughts, with the way I love those around me and the way I worship Him. Every moment, there is another opportunity, and I want to use as many of them as He will allow. In fact, Scripture tells me that one day I will stand before Him, and I will (symbolically) hand the King of all Kings a tattered scrapbook of my days. It is up to me to decide what the pages will reveal."
~Angie Smith

This song was on my heart again tonite...
Love n Hugs...Laura

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Well....vacation is over with....sadly.....we missed the kids but a GREAT time!!!
Thank you Mom for keeping the kids for 3 days!!!! We LOVE you and appreciate you!!!

So I got my toes done....was alot of fun and they look so purty I must yes, my second toe is much longer than the rest on both feet and that means I'm a genious...just in case you didn't know that ;)

We had some awesome sunsets one night on the was amazing!!!

We went golfing one day and we saw the most interesting sight......a paper coyote!
I would suppose he's keeping something away and he's there for a purpose, eh?

Pictured below is my Tiger Woods....very calmly trying not to throw his club ;)

You will notice there are no pictures of me golfing....I'm so not good at this....but my hubby
says I am the best caddy ever. I had alot of fun driving the cart, cheering him on, watching the little guys play (there was a jr league out there that day) and getting a good tan ;)

Thank you, babe, for an awesome vacation.....the days went by way too fast.
Thank you for being my bestest friend ever and for making life so much fun ;)

Vacation entailed:
-Lotsa sleeping in
- Lotsa good food
- Supper at our favorite: Logan's Steakhouse
-awesome movie: Dark Knight at an amazing HUGE theater with rocking chairs!!
-shopping and getting my toes done
-more movies poopy spit up ;)
-Illinois' newst and largest was so great.....hava great sunburn to prove it!
-yummy ice cream from baskin robbins
Vacation is officially over....the weeds overtook our landscaping so we had that to welcome us back ;) we had a beautiful day humidity!!! so the kids and i had great fun pulling them all out.
*Praise Report....we got our Lancer back and lookin' like new and only had to pay half our answered prayer....Thank You Father!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Hero

Today our community is missing one less hero.
My friend Brian died last night at the age of 24...fighting to save a home.

Our friends (and one of my piano students) lost their beautiful 3 story house last night
in a horrible fire. A backdraft type of thing happened and something exploded and Brian
lost his life.

Brian was a special guy. He always, always was smiling and was always there for you if you needed him. He was one of the hardest workin' men I knew and also one of the sweetest.

Sometimes I just ask God why......Why take all these young men so soon from us?

And then I think, He just needs more country boys up there with Him...because so many from our community have died young. I know God has purpose in it all and His timing is more perfect than ours...but's so hard to understand.
So today, I dedicate this song to him.
We love you Brian and we're gonna miss you so very, very much! You died a hero, buddy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Simple Beauty

"If you get simple beauty and naught else, you get about the best thing God invents."

~Robert Browning

Lord, help us to remember to pause in the hurry of life...and notice the small things....the simple things that get hidden by hurried pace. And help us to look for the beauty in it all. And in this, Father, may we become more like Christ. Looking always for beauty and all things.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's Not About Me

It's NOT about me...
"It's about Personal Growth - not Perfection
It's about Experiencing God - not Exposure
It's about Helping - not Hoarding
It's about Obedience - not Opportunity
It's about Calling - not Comfort
It's about God - not Glory"
~ Lysa Terkeurst

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Park Your Mind

This is what you see when you walk down into our basement......walls with WORD.
I got the idea from someone out there in blog world and loved it.
So I took my favorite scriptures and little by little the walls are growing fuller and every
time I make the trip down to do laundry.....I see....I read...and I let it sink deep into my heart.
Because some days...I just need that reminder to park my mind in the right spot.
Hava great weekend! Love n Hugs....laura

Prayer Request

Just wanted to request prayer for my Uncle Doug.
Last night he was found pinned underneath a big, round hay bale....not breathing.
He was airlifted to Peoria and is currently in an induced coma and on a ventilator.
The latest reports were brain damage, spinal breaks and at 11:00 this morning he will
be going into surgery for his neck.

Please pray for his wife and 6 children that they would know God's peace during this time.

In Christ Alone...Laura

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pictures-Fair Days

The last 2 nights of the fair, we had the talent show and demo derby.
Savannah and I were the first to perform in the Jr. Division.....made us nervous, but then we
got to enjoy the rest of the show. There were alot of talented indivuals. We did not place but
we had great fun. I was so proud of Savannah after all our weeks of hard work...her voice has so much potential to be a knockout someday.
2nd and 3rd place went to 2 little kids that played violin--they were amazing!
1st place went to a girl with an incredible voice that sang a Taylor Swift song....she did great.
Last night was the demo derby and we headed out to see my cousin Jay compete. It's always alot of fun watching that car craziness!
Jason took Gabe on the big slide.....he looked scared spitless all the way up and down, and at the end, he told us he was done!!! "I go to car!"
Sadly, the fair is over.....but it will be nice to relax at home now in the evenings!
Our local fair is in August so we will be looking forward to that one too.
Hava Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the Other Side of Doubt

Doubt keeps us from believing things can get better. Doubt convinces us that it's not worth the try. Doubt shouts from the sidelines:

"It's too hard."
"You might as well quit."
"Go ahead and give up. Just walk away. "

I have found that doubt and hope cannot live in my heart at the same time. Without the possibility of hope for something different, the possibility of change - doubt wins every time. But I have also discovered that with Jesus, all things are possible and the most likely place for change - is within me!!!

A journey beyond the shadow of doubt will require faith and hope! So many times we are afraid to hope, afraid to believe, because we don't want to be disappointed. But hope and faith will be required in this journey because "hope looks ahead and keeps desire alive." Doubt on the other hand, looks down and refuses to take a next step forward.

Yet, the God of all hope calls us, beckons us, invites us to live beyond the shadow of doubt.
And He declares:
"Things are about to change - see I am doing a new thing."
"I am working all things together for good, because you love me and are called according to my purpose."
"All things are possible for those who believe."

~Renee Swope

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pictures-Rodeo Time!

Gabe hanging out with the girls ;) (there was one time last night I had to run after him cuz he decided to go follow some pretty cowgirls.....*sigh* it starts all too young with these boys)
Lil Miss Ellie entertaining herself very well...

Sorry these pictures are backwards order but this is Jacob after his ride walking back..SAFE!
I was praying too hard and watching too close to think about getting a picture while he was actually on the bull....oh well....maybe next time ;)

Here he is wearing his helmet(i'm so proud of him not worried about being too proud to wear one) running away from the bull, being protected by 2 clowns and his Heavenly Father

And out of Chute #2 comes.....Jacob Steidinger!!!!! He did great.....not 8 seconds...but he was safe and sound after his ride....and that's what we family care about most....although it will be a pretty amazing and exciting day when he does it in 8!!!

The cowboys all getting was pretty neat to watch them stretch and do all their "stuff they do to ride their ride"

Jacob's girl Randi with my little friend Will that we took with us for the night....He was sooooo nervous about getting his picture with a real cowgirl!!!

My little cowboy.....wanted to spend the whole night by all the big boys ;)
Jacob and Ray-Ray.....

Will with the big bulls in the background

Gabe "talking" to the little calves

The two cutest lil cowboys ever ;)

We had such a great night...even though it was soooooooooooo hot.

I'm a sucker for pictures of cowboys with a beautiful sky in the background

Jacob's nervous smiles beforehand...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pray for the cowboys

We're heading back to the fair in a little bit. The rodeo is tonite and my brother Jacob will be riding bulls. His girlfriend Randi will be barrel racing. So for those of you that read this before
tonite, please pray for safety for all the cowboys and cowgirls tonite!

And pray for my Mom....not sure I could do what she her little boy grow up and do such crazy adventures!

Love n Hugs...Laura


I have a confession...Not long ago someone made the comment to me:

"Well, because you are a Christian you think you are so perfect."

Ummm, no....I am so far from it. When someone makes me angry, or hurts me with words,
I don't always react in love like I should. My mouth is very capable of flinging hurtful words back. I don't always keep my tongue silent when I should. I don't always forgive as quickly as I'm called to. I don't always let the fires of anger die as soon as they spark...sometimes I let it become a blaze of heat. I don't always turn to my Jesus as quickly as I should.

But today...I seek shelter in His arms and just hide there. I cry out my heart to Him and when I open His Word He shows me these Words of life that encourage me to move on and love those around me no matter how hurt I feel.
"And He said this to me, "My grace is SUFFICIENT for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

This means His grace will never run out for me. This means He loves me no matter what....and His strength WILL be made perfect in my weaknesses. I don't ever what to come across to the world that I am a perfect Christian....I am so far from it. I too, am a soul trying to hobble up the road to Heaven. I'm not always dancing and shouting joyfully...I am a human....I stumble and stray off the path at times. But by God's grace...I will make it!

And this promise isn't only for's for you too. Because our Jesus loves us that much.
The more we walk in the shadow of the cross...the more like Him we become.
Father....thank You for Your love that never ends and Your grace that is unbounding.
Thank You for Your promises that are true and speak life to our hurting souls.
Thank You for Your strength that carries us thru. And thank You....thank You for sending
Your only Son to die upon the cross for our sins. I love You more and more.
In Jesus' Name...Amen.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pictures-4H Fair

Mom and I took the kids and headed to our county fair today.
The kids loved the goats.

Gabe's reaction when the baby started jumping and head-butting with it's tiny horns.

Ellie had no fears whatsoever.....a true lil country girl!

My piano student and dear friend Savannah with her cow Fawn that she showed today.

Ellie loved "talking" to LuLu the was adorable.