Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Our children's ministry for 2nd and 3rd grades this week was teaching on Obedience. I love my church! We talked about the difference between obey and obeying all the way. You see we can obey and not obey all the way. You know, you ask the kids to clean up their room. They have a few options.
1. Ignore you and hid out in the room.
2. Shove things in the closet, under the bed or wherever they can to get it out of site.
3. Put things where they belong.
Option 1 complete disobedience. Option 2 they obeyed, the room IS cleaner. Right? Option 3 they did it as asked and the room truly is clean. This would be what our church called obeying all the way. The kids went back to their rooms and acted out different scenarios of how they can obey or obey all the way. Obey may include doing it but grumbling and complaining the whole way only to do it half heartedly and at your own sweet time. I am sure some of you parents can relate to this response.
It was Sunday where I learned one of our new family mantras. The lady teaching large group time shared it with us all. In her family it is, "Obey right away, all the way and with a cheerful heart." Brilliant!
This is now the response in our home. Obey right away. When mom or dad ask. Not 10 minutes from now or after your TV show is over. Obey all the way. Completing the task to mom and/or dads expectation. Obey with a cheerful heart. No grumbling or arguing. No throwing things around. No pouty faces. Cheerful. It is revolutionizing our family time.

Colossians 3:20
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Phillippians 2:14
Do everything without complaining or arguing

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

Colossians 3:20 is our memory verse of the week. I really like it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Peacock Farms

This week we went on a fabulous field trip to Peacock Farm. Our home school co-op had a group of over 100 people come out. When we first got there they let us loose to explore. First stop was the educational tree and corn maze we made our way through learning about different tree and pumpkin facts. Did you know that pumpkins originated in Mexico?

Then we explored their petting farm. Emu, rabbits, pigs, goats, peacocks, turkey, ducks, geese, horses, pony, a mule, a brown lab and reindeer.

Atop of an old tractor.

My boy, my girl and my niece. Wondering why they are so bundled. It was 38 degrees when we left the house. By the afternoon it warmed to the 50's.

Next we headed to the one room school house. Farmer Ed captivated them with tales of the school bell and life for a student 100 years ago. My favorite part was when he explained discipline and my boy looked back at me with huge eyes. And he thought he had it bad. Ha!

Here is little girl writing her name on a slate

The kids put apples in the hopper and then stood back to watch the workers crank out the fresh apple cider. They then got to taste it fresh from the press.

Another station was old fashion rope making. That black contraption on the left has a series of hooks that a single strand is wove through. Then you crank it to twist the rope together making a strong 6 cord rope.

Here is the boys rope that he made.

Then we rode out on a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch. Everyone got to pick their own pumpkin. Here are the girls with their choices. The boy chose the biggest one he could find and wants to make it into pumpkin soup.

Then we got back on the wagon (time machine) and it took us back in time to a pioneer cabin. The kids were fascinated. He then took the group outside to show them how they would wash their clothes. Let's just say I am so thankful we have washing machines these days.

We finished the day with a picnic among friends and played at the park. This is one field trip that was a huge hit.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Proud October Moments

A few highlights of Dear Sons proudest October moments...

At the shooting range with dad.

Receiving His First Grade Bible
Our church hands out bibles to every first grader. We had over 50 first graders at the celebration. To say he was thrilled is a complete understatement. He LOVES his bible!

His very own homemade pizza.

Cutting dad's hair. LOL!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

God in the Midst of Stress

It is evident to me that God is with us in times of stress and turmoil.

You see my dear friend Kelli experienced a house fire a little over a week ago. Her kitchen caught fire while cooking. Unable to contain it, she woke her husband up to see what he could do. Meanwhile she got her three kids and herself out of the house. Oh and the dogs too. Her husband was able to get it out with the fire extinguisher and the fire department came to make sure it was completely under control. Their kitchen was destroyed and soot covered the whole first floor. But Praise God they were all safe.

And here is how God was in their midst. That week was fire safety at her DD1 Preschool. Her DS had gone to a fire department that week. Both knew to stay calm and listen to mom. They calmly followed her out of the house. She was able to grab a blanket for the baby and the leashes for the dog. Everyone was at peace. I don't know if I could say that for myself or my family in that same situation. God has been with them every step, secondary shelter, claims, contractors, the insurance company. They will need to completely remodel their kitchen but this will only take a couple of weeks and they will be back in the house. GOD IS GOOD and has provided for them above and beyond what they ever imagined.

I found myself in a stressful situation this weekend. After months of preparation and meetings we found ourselves wondering if the numbers to continue on with the weekend would come in. Would we cancel or continue on with the weekend? It was a huge question. A certain number had been set by a board of directors and we found ourselves SOO CLOSE to that number but we were still short. After praying about it, I had perfect peace with the decision to cancel. It was a lot of work calling every one that needed to be informed of the cancellation but through it all, I felt like God had a plan, a purpose and it was good. He gave me strength and a joy to make those calls. He was with me.

In my daily life when my son challenges me during school. I know that God is with me. Now if I would remember more often to pray in this situation. It could be less stressful.

Funny the kids bible verse for Sunday school this week.
Psalm 73:23
You are always with me.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dog Whisper Update

Day 2-
The walk.
Today I used the no-pull harness. Hallaluia! This morning I woke up with an extremely sore neck and shoulder blade. I thought to myself, "Wow, we really worked our neck in core class last night." That was until we headed out for our walk. Instantly I knew it was from the pulling straining during yesterday's walk. Goodness. The no-pull harness made the lead a bit longer. To maintain control and keep her behind or at my side, I held the leash with my left hand behind my back as she walked on my right. This worked well. When I needed to correct it was quick and efficiant and I made sure I had her attention.
Other dogs.
She ignored the other dogs today. No barking. Hallaluia! She whimpered as we passed the first one. But no bark, we sat. Commanded quiet. Then continued on.
Completely ignored the cat sitting on the porch. Hallaluia!
Yesterday, we were stopping every other second. Making for an extremely long walk. Today we moved right along with a few corrections. Hallaluia!
The wind chimes.
It is rather windy today. When we came across some wind chimes she went crazy. She was completely anxious. She whimpered and barked. I made her sit, commanded quiet and settled her out before continuing. What is up with that?
Before coming in she sat passively on the porch. Before being fed she sat on command. There are times on the walk that I had to force her to sit but by the end she did so willingly at first request. Deep sigh and Hallaluia!

I keep reminding myself consistency.

I may not be the Dog Whisper but I know I learned a few things from him. YEAH!!!


Many mornings one or both of my children crawl into my bed and snuggle with me. This usually turns into a time of back scratching. Oh, how I love to have my back scratched. I ooh and ahh as I wiggle around to get the perfect spot. My kids love having their backs scratched too. They make up silly names for different moves they make. Like the lemon squeezer, swirlies and hammer. Something about touch. We need it. I am a much happier person because of it.
My cat, she is needy too. She loves to get her daily rub downs. She hop up in my lap and wiggles around to get each and every spot that craves attention. I scratch behind her ears and under her chin. She purrs in delight. DD has learned the art of getting the cat to stay and snuggle with her. She knows all her favorite spots.
My favorite spot, the shoulder blades, blasted bras.

How about you?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dog Whisper, I AM NOT

When our friends were here from California they introduced us to the Dog Whisper. I had seen the show title while channel surfing but never taken the time to watch it. I don't know thoughts of Dr. Doolittle and mind reading. This is so NOT what the show is about. The show is amazing!
We ended up watching 2 hours worth of Cesar (show host) correct the behavior of dogs and their human companions. Aggressive fighters, yippers, lethargic dog, fearful of vet and pulling. These were some of the dog behaviors we saw in those two hours.
I think I have mentioned here before that I am less than thrilled about our dog and her irritating behaviors. While I know she is blatenly stubborn with me, she can obey (mostly dad.) My favorite line of the show was "All this time we thought it was the dogs, but it is US!" Through inconsistency, yelling, our own fears, lack of discipline or lack of authority, we allow these behaviors. And I am guilty as charged.
Cesar is amazing in how quickly he establishes authority and corrects these behaviors. So amazing that is appears he has special powers. Really I think he is a highly observant man . He is extremely knowledgeable. He can train a person without condemning and he gets results. He totally and complete expects these dogs to respond. I think he only prays the humans will respond as well.
He has some philosophies that totally make sense. You can check them out here. He also has some great techniques. The one that I have started using is the sshhh. Distracting for the misbehavior and getting her attention. It works. He also advocates walking your dog. Since we have a back yard where she can run and play, we have not been talking walks with our dog. When we go camping we walk all over that place and she loves it. So I decided I was going to try and walk Kasi on a more regular basis. I started today. One of his biggest points is that as the human we are the pack leader. We must assume this role and let the dog follow our lead. Every time I have ever walked my dog she has led the way and pretty much dragged me to where she wanted to go. Today I took on the challenge of getting her to FOLLOW me. Yikes. It was one very slow walk as she would push ahead I put her back behind. I think I may have a sore wrist tomorrow with all the tugging. We practiced sitting. And I expected her to stay quiet when we passed the dogs in our neighbor. Sitting and distracting with the Sshhh, did work.
I have to say that it is going to be A LOT of work in retraining myself and my dog. It is going to require consistency on my part. And the expectation that she can and will obey.

So I may not be the Dog Whisper but I am trying to learn a few things from him to make our pack a happy pack.

Check out his site to learn more, http://www.cesarmillaninc.com/

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy 4th Birthday, Sweet Girl

Sweet Girl,

How can it be that you are 4?

You never fail to amaze me. This year you learned to ride your bike without training wheels. Not many three year olds can do that. You also climb your brothers firemens pole and you are almost up the tree in the front yard. You can swing all by yourself, pumping those legs until your soaring. You still love underdogs. I love your sweet smile and your giggles when your are on the swing. You are very active. You like to run and play. You did your very first triathlon, just yesterday. Amazing I tell ya.

It seems that you always have a song in your heart. You sing and dance your way through everyday. You can turn the simplest sentence into a song. All this week you have been singing about a beautiful butterfly in the sky. You can dance. You are very selective who you will dance for. But when you let loose, those hips are just a shakin'. I believe the Lord has blessed you with musical abilities and I pray that you will be able to use them for the Lord's glory.

This year in school you are at the table for most of our school time. You love to learn or more accurately, you like to know what brother knows and keep up with him. You know your days of the week, shapes and colors. You can count to 50 without fail. You recognize all numbers to 10 and most of your letters. You spell and write your name. You enjoy puzzles. You LOVE to read, make up silly rhymes and tell stories. Your imagination is the best. Most of your stories start with, "Once upon a time there was a name named ...."

In play you spend a lot of time with your babies. You tend to pick one each day that goes pretty much everywhere with you. Today your new birthday Barbie got to go to your party and you fed her pizza and showed her everything there was to see. You melted my heart when you put her on the Merry-Go-Round on the horse as you stood next to her. You are going to be the best mommy when you get big.

You love to play Webkinz. You have a bunny, pony and a new kitty. The other day you signed yourself into your webkinz and were so proud of yourself. You love that you can dress your animals and cook for them. You know how to do all the daily activities. That's because you are one amazing kid.

I think I tell you everyday how much I love you. I love your kisses and hugs. I love how you scratch my back and tickle me. I love when you pray. I love when you give me your big smile. You fill my life with joy. I love that you love Jesus and made him your Lord. I love you sweet girl.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kids Triathlon

Last week when I was looking through our communities Parks and Rec activities guide, I came across a kids triathlon. I said, "How fun a kids triathlon!" My daughter perked right up and declared that she want to do a triathlon. It was all she could talk about that day. Since I was not sure what our schedule looked like for that day, I tried to encourage without committing. The week passed and she started talking about "her triathlon." I tried calling the parks and rec and got their voice mail. I left a message and did not see their returned message until bedtime last night.
This morning came and I woke her up asking her if she really wanted to do the triathlon. She bolted out of bed. Like the race had already begun and was all for it.
We put on her suit, put sweat pants over it and walked(biked) over to the school. It was at the end of our street. We were able to register. She got her own number and a water bottle. (Pre-registration got bags ands t-shirts as well.) She was happy she was able to race.
The older kids went first. We cheered as they ran around the track and biked. She thought this took a long time.
After all the older kids were finished, it was time for the teddy bear tri. All kids 6 and under.
She lined up on the crack in the sidewalk. The parents were allowed to accompany their kids for the teddy bear. So at go we set off, running together. They did the events in reverse as it was so cold today and they did not want wet heads outside. So off we ran to her bike. A short little course to the door of the school. Then we ran down the hallway to the pool. We quick snapped on her life jacket and off she went swimming. She was so excited, she smiled the whole way down the pool. YEAH!!! We are very proud of her. The day before she turns four and she is our little triathlete.

The run...

The bike...

The swim...

Checking out her cool medal!

Our little triathlete!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

He is With Us in Trouble

Hubby has been a traveling man these last couple weeks. On Thursday he was returning home so I went to move the vehicle making room for the truck and trailer he was pulling. As soon as I got out of the vehicle I saw little girl take a header onto the concrete. She went down hard and stumbled back to her feet. I was to her in an instant, taking her in my arms. She had begun to cry. The SILENT cry, the one where you know they are hurt. No faking. The cry where there is no sound, no tears, no breath. "Breathe baby breathe." "Lord be with her." "Breathe baby breathe." I knew that if she did not breathe she would soon pass out. I held her close expecting it to happen. Moments later she passed out, limp in my arms. Scary moment for a mother. She came to with a gasping breath, still crying hard. She began to convulse in my arms. Her body shook and I began to pray. She body went still and I coaxed her to talk. "Talk to Mommy sweety, I need you to talk to Mommy." All the while I am rushing ever so gently to the house, praying over her and pleading with her to talk. Finally she screams out "MOOOOOMMMMMMMYYYYYY" "Praise God, thank you Lord, be with her. Lord heal every bit of her. Let there be no internal bleeding. Let there be no concussion. Restore her."
I place her on the bed with her head on the pillow. I look her over. Strawberry mark on the upper forehead, Slight swelling. Breathing. Crying. Talking. Complaining (never so happy to hear complaining). Note: Get ice.
I locate the ice and phone and call Dad, "Pray, DD hit her head on the concrete, cried so hard she passed out, convulsed in my arms, is now talking, I am still evaluating. PRAY!" He assured me he would, that he would be home in 30 minutes and to call him if anything changed or we needed to go in.
After the call she calmed considerably. I asked her if her head hurt. If she had a head ache. If she remembered what happened. (She tripped) I asked her if she thought she needed to go to the hospital. To which she replied "No, I'm ok." Now a mother has several choices here. One, go to the hospital. Two, wait and see if the situation really warrants a hospital visit. Third, Pray. I opted for a combination of 2 &3. I made her walk to the living room. Talk to me. I checked her pupils for proper dilation. I comforted her.
At this point she is appearing fine. Her worst complaint, her toes are dirty and hurt. So we go take a bath. After the bath she is happy.
Daddy arrives home and she is so happy to see daddy. You would never know of the whole ordeal that took place a half hour earlier.
The neighbors were out and talking with our family and as I shared with her what happened she marveled at how she looked and was acting. She confirmed that things were going to be good and I did not need to take her in.
Praise God!

Psalm 91

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Thank you Lord!

Note: I did wake her up in the middle of the night as is protocol for head trauma. It took some coaxing but she finally relied with a "Mommy! I love you, I'm sleeping." :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Presidential Candidate

Wonder which candidates carry similar views to your own? Who are you in support of for the presidential race? Take this simple survey to see who is most compatible with your views. You could be surprised. I was NOT surprised Hilary ranked LOW on my list.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Last weekend marked my 10th wedding anniversary. Amazing. 10 years. Married to the same man. Heehee.
In the midst of hubbies travels things have been a bit crazy. With him two weeks in Florida during our anniversary, I flew down to spend our anniversary with him. Not far from our original honeymoon. It was great seeing his home away from home. His favorite restuarants, he has many. We enjoyed walks on the beach. Hanging out on the pier, this was my favorite. We saw dolphins, pelican and tons of fish. We ate and ate and ate. Like I said, he so many places to take me. We had no agenda. So it was very laid back and relaxing. The kids were back in Michigan, cared for by loving relatives. God is so good how he prepared the way for all of it. He worked out every detail and provided in ways I could not have imagined. I am blessed!
Oh and I was able to add the states of Florida and Georgia to my geocaching list. We found 2 in Florida, near locations we were already planning on going and I found a virtual in the Georgia airport. YEAH!