Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Farewell Sweet Margaret.

Margaret Holt
November 4, 1944 - February 24, 2010

My sweet friend Heather just called to tell me that her mother passed away unexpectedly this morning. Margaret was a dear lady, like a second mom to me. She shared in my sorrows and rejoiced with me in my joys. Margaret loved. She was kind and sincere. She gave of herself and was quick to help. She loved my kids like grandkids.

I remember talking to Margaret late one night several years ago. We were sharing our sorrows of infertility, and sharing the joy that motherhood had brought to us. We shared also of our faith in God's sovereignty. I told her that night how I wanted another baby, but knew that our days of fertility treatments were over. We simply couldn't afford to have more. Little did I know that during that conversation I was already pregnant with my sweet baby, Izaak! When the next week I told her I was pregnant, I don't think there was anyone who celebrated that precious life more than Margaret. She was a gem.

I grieve for my friend Heather. But I also grieve the loss of a dear friend. I will miss you Margaret and your sweet British accent, your soft caring voice, and your ready smile. I'm glad to know that you are no longer in pain. Rest in the Heavenly Father's peace.


Wordless Wednesday - I'm Swimming in the Snow!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What is Going on with Marriages These Days?

Shell. Shocked.

In the last 6 months I've had 3 friends tell me that they are struggling in their marriages. I'm not talking about hitting a rough patch, I mean the "I'm attracted to someone else" or "I don't want to be married anymore" kind of statements. I've also watched another marriage disintegrate completely. My own marriage has even had some deep struggles.

And it just causes me to wonder what is going on with marriage these days. Is it just my age group that are suddenly hitting this spot in their marriages that they can't/don't want to hold it together anymore? Or, is it that satan is attacking these Christian marriages in ways we never expected to have to face?

I'm blown away.


Monday, February 22, 2010

"Not Me!" Monday.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not, several weeks ago, start a 3 part post only to completely lose my train of thought and completely forget where I was going to go with part 3. Nope, I'm very clear minded and focused and never forget what I was thinking. Not me!

There's no way possible that I suffer from such bad PMS that I would actually be so irrational as to convince myself that my husband doesn't love me mere days after he got up in the middle of the night to help me make Valentine treats for our children without even a single complaint. If that did happen, I wouldn't come to my senses because a friend reminded me of his love and dedication. No way! Not me!

After the non-existent PMS incident, I did not have my sweet husband set a reminder on his Blackberry for the next time I expect PMS to rear it's ugly head, so that he can help me remain rational and fix me herbal tea in hopes of avoiding anymore imaginary incidents. Nope, I'm completely in control of my senses at all times! That was totally not me!

I did not just blog about PMS. Nope, not me!

I did NOT allow a 19 year old boy to throw a pie in my 13 year old daughter's face in exchange for my 4 year old being able to throw a pie in the 19 year old's face. There's no way I would allow something like that. Not ME!

So, what didn't you do this week?


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Is WHAT?!?!

I don't know about you, but I found these signs disturbing. I got a card, a very touching card. And I bought some Valentine stuff for my kids. But I know that's not really what Love is.

Love is my husband getting up in the middle of the night, without complaining, to help make treats for the kids' school parties. Or the night I woke him at 12:30 am to clean up vomit on the living room floor. Love is the rose he cut for me out of the garden several years ago, just because he was thinking of me. Love is his commitment to remain faithful to his wife through the good, the bad and the ugly, especially the ugly.

I love you, Honey!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Can't Get Over It, Can't Get Around It., Must Live Through It. - The Conclusion

Continued from this post.

The next day, after having rested, KAB called a meeting with everyone. He wanted to share with us what had happened to Kiki on the flight to Salt Lake City. We were all very anxious for news.

I don't remember how KAB told us, how can you possibly begin to tell such news? I think he started with a recap of the accident and Kiki's injuries, then the flight to Salt Lake.

You see, on that flight somewhere in the air between Rock Springs, Wyoming and Salt Lake City, Utah something happened. God chose to heal Kiki!

When Kiki arrived at the hospital in Salt Lake City there was nothing wrong with her, other than a few minor scratches and bruises. They were unable to draw any fluid from her lungs, she had no broken bones, no cracked ribs, no injured vertebrae, no head trauma. In fact, shortly after arriving, Kiki had regained consciousness. She recognized her mom without hesitation and was excited to be in Salt Lake because she remembered they had friends there. There was not even a hint of any brain damage. The hospital in Salt Lake ran all the tests again, took all the x-rays and called the hospital in Rock Springs to tell them that they had sent the wrong patient. No, the doctor in Rock Springs argued, he had put her in the helicopter himself!

KAB had known before we left Rock Springs what had happened. He didn't believe it. When we stopped in Salt Lake City at the hospital, it was for him to go see for himself that Kiki was not only alive, but well. It was true!

Our choir tour went on as planned. We had an incredible story to share. Then we headed home. A week after we left, we were back home in our own church doing a homecoming concert. As he had done at every concert, KAB told the story of the accident and the miracle. Only this time, Kiki walked down the aisle and stood on the altar for all to see. She still had scrapes along her arms and her skin was ashen grey from being without oxygen for so long, but she was very much alive. I wept. You see, I had known Kiki and her brother for four years. I babysat them frequently. I loved them. I wept for joy!

I cannot tell you why God chose to heal Kiki. Was it because of the fervent prayer of a 13 year old young Christian girl who needed her faith established in a miracle-working God? Was it because a doctor in Rock Springs, Wyoming needed to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through watching God miraculously heal a patient that he himself had no power to heal? Or any one of the hundreds of lives that were touched by Kiki's story? I simply don't know. But I feel sure that if I were the only one who needed that prayer to be answered, He would have answered it. I doubt that there is one person on that trip, especially those in the van and Bronco, that could forget what happened.

Faith is one of those things that is really simple and extremely complex. It's kind of like Geometry, even if you don't understand it if you just take it at face value it all works out. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." And 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 talks about the spiritual gifts that God gives us.

"4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

It's very clear in this passage that faith is a spiritual gift, from God. I took a "Spiritual Gifts" test a few years ago at the church we attended in the Philippines. I had never known before that test what my spiritual gift was. Honestly, I didn't think I had one. I had low to moderate scores on every gift, save one: Faith. In that, I topped the scale. It makes so much sense now, for just after I became a Christian, God gave me the gift of faith, a deep, unshakable trust in His sovereignty over every situation and certainty of His love for us.

That one event that established my faith so deeply became a stumbling block for every doubt that has ever entered my life since then. And I have had doubts but, when thoughts of doubt come my way, I can't get over what God did that day. One could explain away most other things in my life that I know to be miracles as coincidence, but I can't get around what God did that day. The only thing I can do is LIVE in that faith that God is big enough to do whatever He wills, and I can rest there.


Thursday, February 11, 2010


I knew that I would need to make treats for the kids' Valentine's Day class parties. So when I saw this guest post on MckMama's blog a last week, I knew this was exactly what I wanted to make.

I must be CRAZY!

Piping these hearts was the easy part! Then I rolled out fondant and covered my Oreo Cakesters (the kids and Todd helped me with this part). Then I had to head to work for my 9 pm to 2 am shift.

When I got home, exhausted, I could not for the LIFE of me find the other box of fondant that I had bought, nor the sparkly sugar. Being so tired I could hardly stand and wanting to cry, I did the only thing a girl could do in my situation. I woke my husband! Yes, at 2 am I dragged my husband out of bed to run to the store for the missing fondant and sugar, and THEN I convinced him to help me finish these little monsters. (Huge hugs and kisses to my wonderful hubby, Todd!)

Todd helped cover the rest of the cakesters while I rolled fondant. He rolled the pink ones in the sparkly sugar and applied the hearts. And then came the nightmare! These precious hearts, so deceptively beautiful, shatter with the slightest pressure. And getting them to stand at attention on top of the cakesters at 3 am, well, all I can say is at least there was no swearing, almost.

We discovered that our house is completely devoid of toothpicks, that we wanted to use to prop the hearts up until the frosting set. So we got creative and used wooden matches. Whatever works, right?

So, here's the finished product. Each of the twins took a tray like this to school this morning. What do you think the odds are that those delicate hearts made it to school in the arms of two 11 year old boys? Yeah, that's what I thought. I have one more tray to finish for my daughter's school dance tomorrow. I will have to make more scrolly hearts since we broke way more than I allowed for breakage, but that's the easy part right? It's attaching them that made me crazy.

You know the craziest part of all? It's how CRAZY much I love my kids!

I asked the boys, out of curiosity, if the hearts made it to school intact. The answer was that most did not, though a few did. And it seemed that when one fell it had a domino effect. Oh well. At least I got to take pictures before they crashed! And Letha has agreed that she'd rather not have to deal with the shatter-bent hearts. Perhaps I will just pipe them flat onto the cakesters.


Can't Get Over It, Can't Get Around It., Must Live Through It.

I mentioned in a post last week about my deep, unshakable faith. It crossed my mind when I typed it that my declaration might sound arrogant, that is, unless you knew the source of that faith and the experience from which it grew. So, I've decided to tell you. What you are about to read actually happened, and is 100% true to the best of my knowledge and memory (and I remember it vividly!). I have not changed any names.

I was 13. A new Christian, though I grew up in church, I had just made a decision to give my life to Jesus Christ. It was Spring Break, early April, 1983. Our Jr. High youth group left on a one week singing tour to Idaho. We left after church service on Sunday night, to drive all night to Idaho. I don't remember how many people went, only the vehicles we took; a charter bus, a 15 passenger church van, and a Ford Bronco. I rode in the van with 13 other kids and our choir director, Sheri. The Bronco was driven by our youth pastor, KAB, with him 1 sponsor, Jim, and the 2 children of another sponsor, Kiki (6) and Jimmy (4). Kiki's and Jimmy's mom rode in the bus along with the rest of the kids and sponsors.

It was snowing.

During the night as the roads got more and more treacherous, the bus, having greater traction than the smaller vehicles, went on ahead at a faster pace. The van and the Bronco stuck together making our way much more slowly over the icy roads. Having experienced some carsickness, I was dozing on the floor between the front seats. At about 2 am Sheri shouted, "The Bronco just rolled!"

She pulled the van off the side of the road and backed slowly until we came back to the accident. A couple of semi drivers that had seen the accident also pulled over to offer help and radioed emergency services in Rock Springs, Wyonming about 20 miles away. The Bronco had hit a patch of black ice and lost control, rolling several times until it came to rest upside-down on the far side of the oncoming lanes. Truckers were helping KAB and Jim out of the Bronco. Neither were injured, both were shaken up. Little Jimmy was there, he had several cuts but was awake.

There was no sign of Kiki.

They had not been wearing seat belts (which wasn't uncommon those days) and she'd been ejected from the vehicle. For 20 minutes or longer (it really seemed like an eternity) they searched the highway, median and shoulders on both sides, up and down, using the headlights of trucks and flashlights available. It became increasingly clear that Kiki would most likely be found under the overturned Bronco. The band of truck drivers that had stopped to render aid gathered around that Bronco and somehow lifted it or rolled it enough to get under it. There they found her. Dead.

Someone had a board, they slid her onto it. They took her to a truck where KAB performed CPR and tried to warm her body. The ambulance arrived. Following the ambulance we picked our way carefully along the icy roads to a little hospital in Rock Springs. After a long wait KAB came out to tell us what was going on. It was beyond grim.

Kiki had major head trauma. Her injuries so severe that IF she were to survive she would live in a vegetative state at best. Her arm, several vertebrae, and some ribs were broken. The ribs had punctured her lungs, one of them had collapsed. I makes me nauseous to remember.

For awhile I sat across from KAB in the lobby as we waited for more news. He was in shock. His eyes were glazed over and he stared at nothing. There was blood still in his mustache from when he'd done CPR on Kiki. He kept shaking his head in disbelief that he could be living this nightmare. I'll never forget the look in his eyes. Occasionally he would slip behind the yellow curtain where she was, and emerge a few minutes later looking even worse.

Eventually, the hospital found an empty conference room for us kids to crash in. Most slept. I did not. I prayed. In my youth and naivete, not realizing that sometimes God answers prayer with a "No", I prayed for a miracle. I prayed that God would heal Kiki, completely. That she would live a normal, healthy, conscious life. All night, what was left of it, I prayed.

The next morning, around 8 am. there was still no change in Kiki. The decision was made to "Life Flight" her to Salt Lake City where she could receive better care. The Utah State Patrol had located the charter bus en route to Idaho to inform Kiki's mom of the accident and redirect them to the hospital in Salt Lake. During the night the church had also been notified of the accident and more vehicles were sent to transport the sound and lighting equipment that had been in the back of the Bronco. Little Jimmy had some stitches and was kept overnight for observation. A few of us got to go up to his room to visit him. Later that afternoon, when the extra vehicles arrived we loaded up and headed toward Salt Lake City. KAB was anxious to talk to Kiki's mom. I'm sure he was feeling the weight of what happened.

We went onto Idaho, leaving Kiki and her mom in Salt Lake, to rejoin the rest of our group. The next day, after having rested, KAB called a meeting with everyone. He wanted to share with us what had happened to Kiki on the flight to Salt Lake City. We were all very anxious for news.

to be continued...


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Night Football "Not Me!"

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Two weeks ago I had such a productive day! I was showered and dressed before my children were up, got them dressed the moment they crawled out of bed, fed them breakfast before 9 am, decided to watch the neighbor's baby for the day, ran to the bank, did the grocery shopping at 2 stores, carried in all the groceries and put them away, and all this before lunch. But it could not have been me who ran around my kitchen fixing lunch and putting groceries away while singing to myself, "I can bring home the bacon. Nah na na na. Fry it up in a pan. Nah na na na. And never, never let you forget you're a man, 'cuz I'm a WOMAN!" Nope, not me!

This past week, while at church, I saw a friend wearing a name tag that stated his name and in big bold letters underneath it read *******NUTS*****. I did not stop him to tease him about advertising that he's a little crazy. While he explained that he is allergic to nuts, it was not my 2 year old that ran by and whacked him in the nuts. Nope. That would be way too embarrassing! My daughter and I did not [literally] fall to the floor laughing until we cried. Nope, I would not laugh at someone else's pain. And I certainly would NOT share the story in the mixed company of say, my Sunday School class. Uh-uh, NOT ME!!!

Phew, I'm feeling better already! How about you!?


Friday, February 5, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake......Mix!

This is Izaak. He got dressed this morning, mostly by himself. He was hungry. He got tired of waiting for Mommie to come fix breakfast.

He went to the kitchen and I heard lots of crinkling. I couldn't imagine what he was into. It sounded like chips, but we don't have any in the house right now. I thought it was probably the bag in the cereal box. Cereal is what we normally have for breakfast.

I called Izaak out of the kitchen. He had powdery crumbs on his face. Maybe he was eating coffee cake from Wednesday's Bible study brunch. Did we have any left? Kevin said he was eating CHOCOLATE cake. Hmmm a boy after my own heart, but it's not possible he could be eating chocolate cake because we don't have any.

I took him back into the kitchen and discovered, Kevin knew what he was talking about. Chocolate cake. Mix. I made Izaak climb back up for some pictures. He was confused and not really happy that he'd been found out. He would not eat more while I was watching him. The thrill was gone. Or, he didn't want to invite trouble.

Hmmm. German chocolate. Not what I consider real chocolate, but it's fine as long as you don't put coconut frosting all over it, which you didn't. Good boy! Daddy's favorite, but I won't tell him you ate his cake[mix]. His birthday isn't for another 8 1/2 months, we can get another.

No, Iz[eyes] you're not in trouble. This time.