Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Egg-cellente' Concluded


Thunderstorms and tornadoes have marched through our area all evening. Philip is working. The kids are in bed. I am REALLY tired, but just wanted to document what a fun day today was...wacky fun until the deafening destruction and all. Plus also, there are whopper robin eggs in the cabinet, and if I blog, chances are I won't finish them off. When Philip is working a storm, I can't sleep, but have no problem soothing my anxiety with substantial late night snacking.

ok, back to today. The boys spent the morning tearing down the "Sacrifice" set while the girls and I bought groceries and ran errands. Evidently, I returned to the church to retrieve them just before they were to receive their reward: a BURGER. You can't be messin' with a workin' man's BURGER!

I agreed to provide Subway sandwiches to reward their efforts AND keep the kitchen clear for grocery disbursement. After lunch, the dark skies threatened, so we rushed outside to have another plastic egg hunt. Elizabeth enjoyed the game so much over the weekend, we thought it cruel to withhold another round.

Oh wait. I forgot to mention that I put the remnants of last week's eggs in a pot of water to boil, so as to simultaneously make room in fridge for the new box and prepare ingredients for salmon salad.

THEN we all went outside.

Oh, fatigue just clicked up a notch. I'll have to finish this post later. Remind me to show you the awesome baseball photos I took, and to tell you about the eggs. ohhhh, the eggs. The eggs.


Ok, so the eggs were on to boil, and we were hunting dozens of colorful eggs outside.

I took pictures of Elizabeth squatting over opened eggs, with whopper slobber happily oozing from her smile. Since I had the camera, the other kids wanted me to capture some of their athletic finesse on film. Huge fun! Sports Photo-Journalism might be my next big thang:)

I got several shots of Ardyn snagging grounders. I scored by framing Luke mid-air as he caught a fly ball. I snapped several pictures of Ashlin throwing and catching and hitting --the theme of these was "eyes closed". (Philip was less than thrilled and barely believed her defense: "I was squinting because it was bright.")

We must have been out there for almost an hour. I strolled back toward the patio thinking, "Man, this is great. Fun kids, good photos, strong breeze..." Just then, Ardyn, who had gone inside for a drink of water, came screaming out into the yard.

I could not understand what she was saying, but she was completely frantic. (But, honestly, her typical response to normal events can be frantic and exuberant. I assumed my cell phone had rung or something.) I walked past her through the doorway, assuring her I was not in the mood to speak to anyone.

In the next few seconds, the collision of sensory perceptions jarred me from my apathetic opinion of text messages.

I saw smoke. I smelled funk. I heard popping.

As I quizzed myself on who might have authorized a snack, I recognized the pan from my earlier task. The eggs! Evidently, the water had evaporated several minutes earlier. And EVIDENTLY, eggs left near a heat source unattended will pop out of their shells like kernels of corn in hot oil.

Just as I tried to move the pan off the stove, another egg popped, rocketing sharp sulfuric debris into the air. I jumped back instinctively.

Ok, negatory on moving the pan without protective gear.

As I contemplated my next move, another egg exploded.

Ok, negatory on leaving the eggs on the burner.

I grabbed a large pot lid from the sink, and using it as a shield, I advanced toward the stove, slammed the lid down over the pot, flipped off the burner power, and retreated to my earlier point of assessment.

From safe vantage, I realized the pan (and my house) was filled with thick smoke. For some reason, water seemed appropriate to me. Carrying the pan at arms length, I shoved it under running cold water.

Oh, good. A geyser of rotten-egg steam billowed up and saturated the air around the sink...the air around my face.


I took the pan of gym-sock-stew out to the yard. Back indoors, I opened windows, turned on exhaust fans, lit candles, and cleaned the kitchen with industrial strength citrus cleanser. The a/c kicked on, and I let her ride! Thank You, God for central air filtration systems!!

Mari saw the pan and heard the tale, and simply shook her head in pitiful dismay.

She offered to walk out to the WAY back yard and dump the slump. On her way back, the storm system approached from the west, and rain began to fall. We gathered around the picnic table to make sure we had consumed all the candy from the overshadowed egg hunt.

Once we came inside, the horrid stench had downgraded to merely an awful smell.

But wait, don't answer yet...

No one noticed that Oscar-dog sneaked back to the woods to see what all the fuss had been about. Well, no one noticed until he regurgitated the contents of the pan onto the floor in the hall.


And....that was our very exciting day! Luckily we only have photographic evidence of the good stuff. We're all good. However, I have removed all egg-associated meals from the menu until July.

It's just too soon.

Thank You, God, for your mercy- for not allowing our house to burn down. I confess I am NOT good at multi-tasking. My memory is frail, and my attention is distracted and diverted much of the time. Thank You for watching over us. Thank you for my wonderful kids. Thank You for Philip. Did we make You giggle today? Just wondering:)

Grab 'n' Go

This is a holiday reinactment involving compensated actors...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Dresses:)

Elizabeth (22 months)
MariAlice (4)
Ashlin (8)
Ardyn (10)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tea for Two

This afternoon, my girls have some friends over. I am amazed at how easily they begin to chatter and giggle from the first moment they board my car. Given every available pastime, they have chosen to play Dress-Up and Tea Party.

Each lovely maiden is clad in fancy frills. After the fashion show where everyone is a winner, they request pretzels, peanuts and hot tea in "real tea cups". They create a centerpiece for the table, and set it beautifully. While awaiting the whistle, they prance and twirl, forever offering commentary on everything from scholastics and shoes to sisterhood and snacks.


This week I've had two opportunities to plan women's events. With each brainstorm, we are reminded that women ultimately want a reason to put on jewelry, enjoy a change of scenery, and some light refreshment to accompany their inevitable and incessant conversation.

Dress-Up and Tea Party! Once a girl, always a girl:)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weekend Shots

Philip is on the right side of Jesus. He played the part of "Philip, a follower of Christ." (type-casting)

Landen played the blind man who gets healed in the opening scene. His exit was up the aisles of the sanctuary exclaiming, "I can SEE! I can SEE!" He did a fabulous job.

Ardyn and Ashlin with their recital blooms after dancing their hearts out:)

Ash with her buds...they were "In It To Win It!"

Thank You, God...
for everything.
To You be the Glory...
in everything.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 40

He walks with me... I put on my pedometer first thing this morning, then by the time I was getting Liz dressed, I realized it was not on my hip. I couldn't find it anywhere. Strange? It was a terribly busy day complicated by physical and emotional challenges. I never took a big walk, but I was up and around and the day seemed jammed.

He talks with me... God spoke love through friends and family who came out of their way to share our jam-packed day. Gifts and time and kindness and cheer. Love. Love. Love.

He tells me I am His own... "I will like a Shepherd lead you, much you need My tender care. In My pleasant pastures, feed you, I will seek you when you go astray." And so the journey the abundant resurrection life!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 39

He walks with me... 5,346+ steps (After my shower, I forgot to return the pedometer to its accustomed spot on my hip.)

He talks with me... "I am love. I am light. I am the truth, the life & the way."

He tells me I am His own... "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." -Psalm 23:6

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Saturday, April 16, 2011...

Outside my window...the bold bright beauty of a warm spring day

I am remembering...Monday's surprise visit from my Gramma Billie and Aunt Charlsie - two lovely sisters in their eighties, driving from state to state, giggling and bickering and chattering with the most committed devotion imaginable.

I am thankful home. It's not too big that there's too much to clean, not too small that we're right on top of each other.

It's not so fashionable that it constantly needs updating, but not so plain that it lacks charm.

It's not too close to the city, and not too far from the country.

It's tidy enough to indicate people care, but just dusty enough to indicate that we care about other stuff too.

I am creating...oh, I'm in a definite slump. One morning this week I did have the notion to set out the Christmas stocking project, but I thought it best to wait for a lighter week...should one ever make its way into my life:)

I am going... to care for the kids of "Sacrifice" cast members tonight at the church house. Then worship x2, Dance Recital, and Sacrifice again tomorrow.

I am reading..."Made to Crave" and March magazines. (same as 6 weeks ago, but I have finished "1000 Gifts" in the meantime)

I am hoping...that the friends and family heavy on my mind today will feel a Divine outpouring of love and mercy as they face their particular trials .

On my daunting parenthood is. Minute-by-minute challenges and blessings shaping hearts for eternity. oh my.

From the learning rooms...Everyone fell behind at some time or another this year. So we're in various forms of "almost done".

Noticing iris has bloomed in my flower "can" with purple ruffled petals that flirtatiously flutter like skirts in the breeze.

Pondering these words... "Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died..."

From the kitchen...whole wheat pumpkin pancakes with homemade caramel-pecan syrup for breakfast,

talapia with pasta and asparagus for lunch,

subs are ready to grab before we leave tonight.

White beans are soaking for Chicken chili tomorrow, and

Arydn made a big bowl of tuna salad for another meal tomorrow.

Around the house... Liz is napping, boys are working on schoolwork, girls are watching Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan, and Oscar can't decide whether he would prefer to be indoors or out.

One of my favorite things...harmonizing. I have decided that if the chick from Casting Crowns ever comes down with the flu or something, I could have a B.L.A.S.T rolling keyboard chords while belting lyrics in harmony.

From my picture album... Mari Alice proving raw milk is good to the last drop.

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 38

He walks with me... 10,233 steps

He talks with me... "The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." - Zephaniah 3:17

He tells me I am His own... "Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life," -Psalm 23:6

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 37

He walks with me... an undocumented number of steps - left the pedometer on the counter - never had a big walk, so I'm sure the digits would have been small.

He talks with me... I watched the dress rehearsal for "Sacrifice" tonight at church. In the opening scene, Jesus walks through the crowd and different ones approach him and are healed. I wept with joy. So much mercy portrayed. So much powerful grace for which to rejoice. Landen plays the part of the blind man who receives his sight. When Jesus lifts the blind fold, Landen hugs his "fake mom" and then bounds up the aisle through the audience exclaiming, "I can see! I can see!"

He tells me I am His own... "You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." -Psalm 23:5

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 36

He walks with me... 9,306 steps

He talks with me... "Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart feel lonely and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion - a constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

He tells me I am His own... "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." - Psalm 23:5

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 35

He walks with me... 11,748 steps

He talks with me... "He's not finished with me yet:)"

He tells me I am His own... "I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." - Psalm 23:4

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 34

He walks with me... 7,058 steps

He talks with me... Today was hard. Not sure why. I needed Him so badly, but kept running away from Him for whatever reason. I felt like I was at war. With myself? With a couple kids? Expectations? Pride? Fatigue? Perhaps I've known for a while that He's with me in the calm. Today was the storm. He had me, but it was far from romantic...frantic and frazzled. I'm sure that was all me.

He tells me I am His own... "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me;" - Psalm 23:4

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 33

He walks with me... 9,250 steps

He talks with me...
My gracious Master and my God
Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name

So come on and sing out
Let our anthem grow loud
There is one great love Jesus

Jesus, the name that charms our fears
That bids our sorrows cease
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears
‘Tis life and health and peace

There are so few words
That never grow old
There are so few words
That never grow old

He tells me I am His own... "He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake." - Psalm 23:3

Full House

As the fellas play baseball, and the big girls have dance rehearsals, I play with my littlest darlings and wonder how we ever knew happiness without them.

You mean, there was life before Elizabeth?

(April 2008)

Before Mari??

(April 2004)
Why, yes. It was roomier, less exciting...
a more matchy kind of life.

Little ladies, welcome to the life in which Mommy sews less, Daddy dances more, and Easter has never seen so many hand-me-downs. We're so glad you could make it!

Thank, You, God for our rich, comfy-cozy, nearly-crazy, non-coordinated clothing kind of life. Every good gift is from above:)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Day 32

He walks with me... 8,169 steps

He talks with me... There are a few areas of my life where I am experiencing tiny little victories. AND there are many, many aspects of my living that still need SO much work. It would be too much to consider if it were not for grace.

I honestly can't tell if I strive too little or too much.

It takes two seconds for success to turn to pride. And less than that for failure to turn to self-loathing.

I've been accused of "always having an answer". And yet, my quick and resolute responses are either from scripture or they merely represent a few ideas I've mentally settled -even if for the time being - out of the dozens of questions that seem to flood my mind each day. I know nothing.

He tells me I am His own... "He restores my soul." - Psalm 23:3

Gone With the Wind

A strong spring breeze accompanied my walk around the block today. In one direction the wind came at me from behind. It moved me and seemed to carry me farther than my own efforts might have on their own. From the other direction I faced the gusts head on. Every step seemed wearisome and for all the exertion, I was covering little ground.

I began to contemplate the parallels of works and grace. Just then, I realized the path that was so difficult was NOT the uphill bumpy one. It was the straight shot down hill that gave me so much trouble. Sheer momentum and minimal effort should have propelled me along the downhill portion at a sharp pace - but not walking against the powerful blasts of air. Conversely, as I approached the incline, I actually walked faster and easier - thanks to the strong, warm wind pushing me onward.

What a great image of "keeping in step with the Spirit"! If God is calling me to do something...even if it seems difficult or impossible, His Spirit will provide all the power and energy necessary to finish strong. However, If I attempt to accomplish something in my own strength or that is in conflict with how He is moving, I am in for a battle.

"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." -John 3:8

Friday, April 08, 2011

Day 31

He walks with me... 4,439 steps (Busy ALL day long and was on my feet most of the day...just not moving. New day tomorrow:)

He talks with me... He knows what I need. He WANTS to bless me with goodness and mercy. I just need to receive it. No matter what it might look like. Even if there is pain involved. From Him and through Him and in Him are all things. Trust. Trust. Trust.

He tells me I am His own... "He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters," -Psalm 23:2

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Day 30

He walks with me... 8,693 steps

He talks with me... "All we like sheep have gone astray..."

He tells me I am His own... "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want." Psalm 23:1

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Day 29

He walks with me... 10,278 steps

**first week's average was 5,500 steps per day.
**this week's average is 9,000 steps per day. God is good all the time:)

He talks with me... "The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother." - Proverbs 29:15

He tells me I am His own... "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him." - Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Day 28

He walks with me... 3,332 steps (tiny bit embarrassing, but it was a full, fun day of sitting and visiting and reading and writing.)

He talks with me... I am amazed at how this project has changed my perspective. Three weeks ago, I would have been overwhelmed by a feeling of failure by clocking so few steps. But then again, three weeks ago, today's "low" number would have been the norm.

He tells me I am His own... This journey has also reinforced my security in God as my roots confidently reach through the depths of His truth and the richness of His presence. With sure footing, I am free to grow. No inclination to strive...simply a desire to abide and allow Him to bring forth fruit.

Monday, April 04, 2011


Daddy-Daughter Dance

The other night, while I was out of town, Philip escorted his oldest three daughters to a fundraiser dance here in town. I thought it rather bold of him to assume he could coordinate hair and wardrobe for a formal event in my absence. But he passed bold and triumphantly marched two clicks toward incredible.

Before I left, I laid out an appropriately fancy dress for each girl. Ardyn had no shoes. Philip's first act of courage was to take the girls shopping - in a mall. Once everyone was well-equipped, he was able to lavish a bit of pampering and personal care.

All the girls received a Daddy-mani-pedi, and he personally curled the two younger girls' hair. He still had time to don his suit and tie, spritz some "smellin-good", and arrive with punctuality to the affair with three pretty happy little girls.

Evidently, they had a wonderful time. Mari Alice was a finalist in the dance contest. We all agree that if Liz was old enough to attend, she would have been Mari's toughest competition.

I'm so thrilled that my daughters have such a fantastically fun and adventurous dad. He really went above and beyond in his efforts to please them and communicate how special each of them is.

The only photo I have is from my phone and I'm not sure how to zoom or enlarge. They texted me on their way out the door.

You get the idea...
Three beautiful belles.
One pleased Papa.
A night to remember.

Day 27

He walks with me... 9,361 steps

He talks with me... "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things..."

He tells me I am His own... "...For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." - Colossians 3:2-3

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Day 26

He walks with me... 7,665 steps

He talks with me... I've been faithful in listening, excited about all the ways He seems to speak to me, even consistently determined in my literal "walk"...but He reminded me today that I'm NOT interceding as much as I should be. There are specific people I KNOW I should lift up.

I do pray for people each day, but I haven't made it a top priority. I don't chase down the Lord, nag Him about different situations, plead for mercy on their behalf.

In Romans, Paul writes, "I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me." I have friends and family who are struggling. I need to join them by praying.

Praying powerfully. With faith. And hope in God's promises.

He tells me I am His own... "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." - Luke 11:9

Day 25

He walks with me... 11,073 steps (The music at the conference was so loud, that I could walk laps around the exterior of the outdoor arena and listen comfortably while enjoying a brisk, breezy walk.)

He talks with me... "A wise son grings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother." - Proverbs 10:1

Why does the dad get the goods, and the mom suffers most if parenting fails? Is Solomon simply being poetic? I think every day that I parent "young men" in my home, I know a hint of each: possibilities of such joy & potential for such grief.

He tells me I am His own... "The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love." - Psalm 147:11

Day 24

He walks with me... 8,787 steps

He talks with me... I went with Landen and the other high-schoolers to "Acquire the Fire" conference in Dallas. The Lord continued to pour out this truth: "I am Great and Mighty. I can do all things, Cari. Lay down your life. Take up your cross. Follow Me." Plus also: Casting Crowns shared a brief set of songs evidently -though unofficially - entitled, "CDJ's top 6":)

He tells me I am His own... Repeating like a chant for the backdrop of all my thoughts: "If our God is for us, then who can ever stop us? If our God is with us, then who can stand against us?"