Friday, April 20, 2012


Life is filled with changes. I don't handle the big ones well. I remember my last piano lesson. It was sad. I cried when I left. I loved my teacher so much and had spent 30 minutes with her virtually every week for several years. It was hard.

I remember going to college. I was only an hour from home, but I was homesick for days and days... I contemplated going home in the middle of the night on that first night.

I remember moving to Michigan, 13 hours from home. It was SO hard.

But the Lord helped through every stage of my life. Every time I've had to transition, He has been there. It's not easy, for we are human and that's our nature.

It's time to transition again.

I remember all four of my grandparents. I'm so glad I got to know them all pretty well! But the one I have always been closest to is my precious Granny Heidel. I remember going to her house after school... as far back as I can remember. We would always go to that brown metal cabinet and get Cheez Whiz and Ritz crackers. She loved to feed us. I remember her red Jello popsicles. Pure yum! I remember how she would always sit at her quilt frames and quilt. She was always quilting. Always! I remember how she always loved Pawpaw, and how she stood by him and was so, so sweet. I remember her always telling me what a special little girl I was. She told me what a precious little man I married and how pretty my boys were.

Life is all changing. That stage of Granny's life is complete. She has Alzheimer's. She's had it for a little while, but has gotten worse lately. Also her balance is bad and she got to where she was falling... a lot. That's not safe. So, she is now in the nursing home. On a good day, she is fine being there. She says they are good to her. But she doesn't understand why she is there. She sometimes thinks she's in a house. Sometimes she thinks she has done something bad to someone and is there because she is in trouble. She still knows us.

I saw her in the nursing home for the first time this week since we are states away. It was so sad. She cried as she hugged me. Throughout the visit, she repeated a couple stories. Mom explained to her again that she is not there because she hurt someone. I cried when I left. It is so sad! She has been such a precious woman all her life and it's hard to see her suffer.

I know God is with her. She will be fine. God will help us all through this transition.

 A reunion is coming in a beautiful City, where she'll remember. :)

Sermon in the Sink

As I was washing dishes... again... I thought of how often I wash dishes. Not a day goes by that dishes don't need to be washed. Now, days go by when I don't wash them, but I could wash at least 1 dish every day! Most days, it's a couple sink loads!

They are dirty. The forks, the spoons, the plates and bowls. They get used. They serve and hold. If they are not washed, they can't be used again...ewww...

You know, I got to thinking with my hands in those suds. We are like dishes. We are used daily for different tasks for our Master. We hold and serve. We have many jobs. But if we are not clean, we cannot be used effectively. I mean, you could eat with a dirty fork, but it wouldn't be sanitary (umm... YUCK!). Can I serve the Lord if I am dirty? Not effectively. I would leave a bad taste in someone's mouth!

How thankful I am that my Master puts me in that sudsy bath and gets rid of all my impurities. He gets rid of the crusted-on meals, the chocolate milk, and everything that is keeping me from being clean, and being used. It's usually not comfortable getting in that hot water, but it's necessary.

Next time God is "washing me," (without complaining, I might add) may I remember the sermon He taught me at the sink!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pre-Easter Pictures

I love them with bed heads! I love them with snot! I love them with dirt and grass stains! I love them with jam all over their mouths! I love them with holes in their clothes!
And I love them all dressed up!

Eva, 8 Months

"Oh, my little Eva! How fast you're growing! How beautiful you are!"

At 8 Months:

  • She wants her mommy! And she says, "Ma ma ma ma" a LOT. Oh, happy sigh. She loves me!
  • Earlier in the month, she was getting on her knees and sitting down again. Now, just yesterday she crawled. She is so cute. I almost wanted to cry because she is just growing so fast!
  • She loves her brothers. But she is starting to fuss at them when they annoy her. Both of them want to hug on her, grab her, kiss her. Sometimes they make her fall if she is on her knees or trying to stand up. She'll scream at them if they bother her! (it's cute!...for a little while longer)
  • She loves music. Sometimes if there is singing, she sings too. Loudly. :)
  • She gives big smiles to people... if I am holding her.
  • She gives big smiles to the camera! We have a ton of smiley pictures. She may be vain.
  • She is putting away the food. She hadn't gained much weight at her last checkup (less than a pound), so he wanted her to have more calories. We hit the puree pretty hard and now she eats about 3 containers of baby food a day. I can tell she's getting fatter. :)
  • She has started pulling off her head bands! I am sad.

Our girl is growing up. The longest pregnancy ever is still so fresh on my mind, her newborn days seem so recent. I cannot believe that she will turn 1 in just a few short months. :) I am so thankful for my little girl.

De-Clutter, Please!

I love my house! I mean, I LOVE it! It is so cute and meets our needs perfectly. I love the hardwood floors. I love the layout. I love my black and white bathroom. I love that we fixed it up ourselves... and it's ours.

One thing our cute little house does not have is great storage. There are a few closets, but they need work. Our bedroom closets only have one rod, and it's not even at a great height. I need closet systems, and new doors. However, we make the best of it and try to cut the clutter.

In the kitchen I have a few pieces to use for storage, a buffet, and a small 12- or 14-inch cabinet. I love these pieces and we've had them since we got married. But they get cluttered! This Spring, I've been trying to de-clutter a small area at a time so I tackled my buffet earlier this week.


Seriously cluttered. Jelly beans from last Easter, cereal boxes with about 1 inch of cereal left, empty oatmeal cans (I guess I was thinking crafts?) Ahh! I finally got to it, and threw away about a trash bag of stuff! Whoa.


Ahh.... peace and harmony, and a useful space, and food that is not expired... and a baby foot. :) I feel better.

Now, I need to do under my bathroom sink! (And our closets, and under our dressers, and... nevermind!)

My Son, the Engineer

Sometimes the boys play so creatively. Yesterday was one of those days. Jackson was playing in the yard and started using some old pipes and guttering that was laying around. (We bought a fixer-upper... and we always are!) He connected it and put bowls or buckets between each piece. It was so cute! So... I let him turn on the water hose for a couple minutes to try it out. Once, he had a pipe going up the ladder on the slide so it could go down the slide and catch another pipe at the bottom. I love it! It never worked like he thought, but it made it almost to the last pipe by the end of the day. He was so excited when it went into the bowl before that last pipe! My son... a genuis 4-year-old! :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Good Enough

This post is especially for my mom/wife friends. Those of us who stay at home have an endless job.

I have a gazillion jobs! I am a cook. It is my responsibility to daily feed my family 3 or more times. I defer to chicken nuggets way too many times!

I am a housekeeper. This one gets my goat! I have OCD and need to see a therapist probably, but I can't stand the clutter! It drives me bananas! A few weeks ago, I was bragging all over facebook about how clean my house was, and it was! It was beautiful for a couple weeks, but when you have children, it's not long before the perfection all comes crashing down. I wasn't bragging like I had it all together. I was bragging that it was clean "right now." I knew it wouldn't last long and it made me happy while it was clean. :)

I am a laundry woman. We won't even go there.

I am a mommy. I need to spend positive time with my kids. Not only do I clean, dress, feed and tuck them in. I kiss boo-boos and open drinks that are too tight, and reach toys that are too high on the shelf. I read to, and explain. Times three.

I am an organizer. Of every member of my family. I find missing, or lazily mislaid objects. I remind. I coordinate our Easter and Christmas outfits. I decide it's time for another family picture. I write "light bulbs" on the shopping list.

I am a wife. I am my husband's greatest encourager and his best friend. It takes my energy to be what he needs me to be.

Then, there are my non-home responsibilities. I have 9 piano students now and I am loving it. But it takes time. Some weeks, it takes preparation. I teach Sunday School. I try to plan my lesson early in the week. I try to make it fun for my kids. I work at it. But sometimes it's Saturday night...

I am the church pianist. That takes time. It is a job I love. But I don't have the time I would really love to put into it.

Sometimes I just want to scream, for I cannot fit all my duties neatly onto a piece of paper. My days don't start at 8:00 and have designated time slots for every job. I don't get a lunch break. I don't have employees under me (although I would take some if anybody wants to volunteer!). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE ALL my jobs! But every woman has a few moments every day when she just needs... a Dr. Pepper!

And guess what? Some days I don't accomplish one thing... and I feel useless. Useless to my husband, my kids, my church, even my God. Some days the children don't get one green vegetable. Some days, my sheets need to be changed. Some days my children are still in their pajamas at supper, I am too, for that matter. Some Sundays, I don't have a fresh new offertory to play. Some weeks go by, and we don't have a family day. And yes, some days go by and I don't read my Bible. I constantly feel "not good enough" in all my jobs.

Some days I want to give up. (Not permanently, just a chocolate break will do!)

It is in those desperate days I am reminded that I cannot do it in my own strength. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I really can't be a good Mom without God. I cannot find time to practice the piano without God. I cannot plan a healthy menu without God's leading. I need Him. He can make me "good enough." For when I live in His strength and do my best, I am "good enough."

And that's good enough for me!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Perfect Porch Mornings

We just got our porch cleaned up. It was piled for winter and has been in need of paint since we moved in almost two years ago. So, we finally got to it this beautiful week in March. The results make me happy!
The porch before, grey, peeling paint...
The swing Jamin built me last year. He did a great job, with no pattern or plan. We used it all last year, but it needed sprucing up! :)
After! Ta-da, as Timothy loves to say! :) It looks SO pretty, and I used saved up piano lesson money to buy these cushions last night. I love the finished product!
So, this morning, a few essentials to my perfect porch morning. A Bible and a KindleFire:
Fresh-from-the-oven Apple Cinnamon Muffins
A cute boy in monkey pajamas and mud boots:
And an adorable boy with sleepy eyes and a spider hat
The simple pleasures of life really are the best. We all voted to have perfect porch mornings more often! :)

The Big Event

We're all smiles today! It's been a whole season since the kick-off of the last big event!

The ramps are in place, the gas cans are filled.
The blades have been sharpened, and bolted back on!
We'll miss Daddy! We have to kiss him because he'll be gone... two hours!
It's time, it's time! It's mowing season!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Lady I Call "Mom!"

My mother...
What can be said about such a constant in my life? Someone I always counted on to be there. Someone I wanted to follow and grow up to be like. How can I begin to count all the ways she has encouraged me and uplifted me? What can be said of all the times I have laughed at her, and all the times she laughed at me? All the times I'm sure I embarrassed her as a toddler, and she embarrassed me as a sensitive teenager? :)
As time marches on, and youth is no longer as much on my side as before, I see more wisdom in my mother. She has such strength! Of all the things I admire about my mother, I think the biggest thing that stands out to me is what a godly wife she is! She has made a life of making her man happy and she has done a tremendous job at it! I have never heard my parents fight in my life. Never! There are so many things she modeled as a sweet, caring wife for my entire life. I learned so much from her.
Thank you, Mom for encouraging me. You never fail to give me a kind word about my daily struggles. You let me know that it's okay to feel overwhelmed with my little ones and my messy house. You tell me that I can do it and it will get better. You tell me to rest when I need to, and sew when I want to... within reason! ;) When something exciting happens, you are the first person I want to call. When I want to do some serious shopping, you are the one I want to go with. You are my best woman friend on this earth! I love you! :)
Happy Birthday, Mom!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Daddy I Love!

Today is a special day, and has been for my entire life! It is the day I share with my Daddy, celebrating our birthdays together! When Mom was expecting me, I was due on his birthday, and Daddy told her they weren't going to the hospital until that day! And good thing it worked out, or Mom would have been miserable!
I want to share a few special things I have learned from my Dad. He is a man of few words, and little emotion. But he is a big man, and in my book, a man after God's own heart. What I have learned from the wonderful man I call "MY DAD":
  • Don't worry about what others think. He has always been a man who did what he thought was right, despite what anyone else thought of him, or how they judged him. He has been the man who was faithful to church when hardly anyone else in his family was. (That has since changed since several others are now :) He kept us in Christian school and home school, despite people telling him we should go to school so we could play ball. There were many times in my high school and college days when I would get worried about what others were thinking or saying. And Daddy would reassure me that I was doing fine and needed to stop worrying about what others think. It was a rock in my life.
  • After Pawpaw Snow died in 1997, we were driving back that night after the funeral. I knew Dad was very sad and I had seen some tears in his eyes throughout the evening. On the way home, he said, "You know, God's grace really is sufficient." And that stuck in my mind. I have never forgotten it. He was sad, absolutely! He would miss his dad. But he was trusting the Lord in His grace, and that spoke volumes!
  • My Daddy taught me that we go to church! It so saddens me in the day we live, that so few children are taken to church. They don't even know how to sit quietly. Many have never even heard the name of "Jesus." But my Daddy took us. We knew when we woke up on Sunday morning... we're going to church! And because of that faithfulness, I'm so glad I have known the Lord practically my whole life. And many struggles have been taken from me because of this. Not that I could never do wrong!! But I'm thankful that the "choice" of church attendance was taken from me. I'm glad they didn't let me make my "own decisions" when I was a child!
  • This one is far less touching... he taught me to drive! Mom and I were joking the other day about how she was horrible to learn to drive with. She has always been a high-strung panicker! So, Daddy was always our choice for the passenger seat when we were learning. He was so calm and quiet. He would gently tell us, "Okay, you need to start slowing down now." :)
  • He also taught me to keep up with things. He took very good care of his personal things. He never threw things around or left something laying out in the yard. If one, just one of his thirty ink pens was missing off his desk, he immediately knew. I will never understand how he knew, but he did!
  • Men should work! My Dad has worked in the same job for about 35 years now. The same job! He doesn't always love it, it is a job after all. But he has always worked! No wonder marriages fall apart. I could not respect a man that didn't work. Daddy taught me that!
  • The importance of your marriage... my parents will be married 39 years this spring. They have a wonderful marriage. He has always taken great care of Mom. He adores her, and laughs at her and calls her cute. He's not too "macho" to hold her hand in a store. Therefore, his wife adores him! Many questions were removed from our early marriage because of the amazing examples I had seen patterned every day of my life. My Daddy taught me how important yoru marriage is, and I'm grateful.

There are SO many things I could post of my Dad. I love him. I recently read a book called Strong Fathers Strong Daughters. It is a tremendous book and I highly recommend it. As I read it, I realized what a rock my dad has always been for me. I knew he was always there. I could count on him. I wasn't afraid of him. I didn't wonder if he would come home drunk at night. And I firmly believe that because of these things, I have trusted God. I believe that parents ARE God to a young child. All my little boys and girl know about God is what I tell them, and what I am. That's what my Daddy did for me... taught me about God. And he taught me with his life, not just his words.

I love you, Daddy! Happy Birthday!

Mom and Dad this summer meeting Eva

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Tomorrow, I will see my friend. My college best friend. We were freshman roomates. We went through SO much together. We stayed close until graduation and still keep in touch! I am so excited to see her!

As I think about how long it has been... 3 1/2 years... I wish I could see her more often. I have had different friends throughout my life. Childhood friends, teen friends, co-worker friends, college friends, and "now" friends. Sometimes I just wish I could blend them all together and glean all the happy moments!

Then there's family. Our wonderful families that we don't live close to. Our sisters we can't go shopping with, our brothers that we can't play basketball with, our parents we can't just invite over for supper! I wish we could all be together!

Someday... we will be all together! One grand reunion will take place in Heaven for those of us who are saved! Thankfully, all our family members and close friends are also in the family of God. We will be together for all eternity... someday! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Have a Dream...

The other day, I was upset about something small. I don't even remember what it was. It seems to be happening more often. I have trouble handling my emotions. So, I decided instead, to dwell on blessings. I thought of all the dreams I've had throughout my life that have come true.
  • The first dream I thought of was being able to play the piano and sing at the same time. :) When I was a teenager, my piano teacher was awesome. I still love and respect her greatly for her influence in my life. She could play so beautifully ... and sing at the same time. I thought, "If I could just sing and play at the same time, I would be so happy!" You see, when you're young, it takes a lot of coordination. It took a long time to develop that. When I was about 14 or 15 years old, I played and sang my first song in church! It was very special day for me. Click here if you're wondering what I sang. :) The Lord put that dream right in the palm of my hand, and has allowed me to sing pretty often, ever since that day.
  • When I started college, I quickly became aware of the college singing groups that traveled and sang every summer. I thought it would be so wonderful to do that! What an opportunity! So as a freshman, I began to dream... and I started praying that if that's what God wanted me to do, that He would open the door for me. During the spring of my sophomore year, I was chosen to represent the college in the Southwest Trio! It was an amazing experience. I got close to those I traveled with. The Lord taught me many things during those 10 weeks! What a fun time, what a dream!
  • When I was 14 years old, I really began to desire God. I often thought I would love to marry a preacher, but I didn't think I was good enough for God to give me that! Little did I realize at that time, that God uses ordinary people! I am just a person... a person married to a preacher! We have been able to serve the Lord in local churches for 6 years now! And we're praying for His will for the day that we will be in the pastorate. God made my dream come true! Not only did I marry a preacher, I married my best friend. I married the man I had pictured as Prince Charming since I was a very little girl, putting sheer curtains over my head for a veil, and carrying plastic flowers. :)
  • There was a time in my late teen years that I started wondering if God would give me children. I didn't think I deserved them, and in the back of my heart I had this horrible feeling that I never would have any. In the early years of our marriage, we did have a hard time having children. We tried for over a year, only to miscarry. Then, it was another whole year before we had a little one on the way. I was terrified for months! I just knew we couldn't have this little one either! But we did, and have had no problems since then! I thank God for my beautiful 3 children! I always dreamed of being a Mommy... with my matted hair baby dolls.
  • Renting is fine, but buying is better. "Can you please give us our own house?" I used to pray. We have been in our cute little house for almost 2 years now. I have painted and planned. I have made curtains and bought pillows. I have arranged furniture and sanded floors... in my own house! It is the Great American Dream, and God made that dream a reality for us. We have our own house that we have made a home!
  • Just in these last couple of years, my musical dreams have grown. I have been playing arranged offertories for church for the last two years. The Lord has REALLY helped me. I make mistakes every Sunday, so there's not too much risk of being lifted up in pride! But this last year, I believe God put in me the desire to arrange some of my own music. So my awesome computer-brother found a great music program for me, and I have written four of my own arrangements. That really was a dream come true! I never thought I could do that, and I'm so thankful the Lord chose to give me that dream!

It's amazing how much the Lord has given me. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when I am sleep-dreaming, I'll be in this imaginary world. I remember one dream in particular. I was shopping and found this amazing ring on the clearance rack. (Of course it was a dream because jewelry isn't on a "rack.") It was marked down SO low and I bought it. It was so pretty and sparkly. I held it up in the light to see it shimmer. I remember how thrilled I was in my dream. I held up my hand to look at it and realized I was awake now, and it wasn't real. There wasn't a sparkly ring on that finger. It wasn't real. But every day, I look at my blessings and those dreams are real! I want to remember to thank God every day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ribbons, and Clips, and Glue! Oh my!

On Pinterest and blogs, I have found some adorable hair bow ideas, so I decided to try a few. I love to doll Eva up! It's SO fun!

The hair bow tutorial I found was SO easy and simple. I used it to make these bows.

I think this green one is my favorite. I just love the ribbon! It is huge, but I love it!! (and I love the model!)
Some of them are as big as her head! I love it!
Then I also found a great fabric flower tutorial and it is even easier! I have big plans for these shabby flowers!
Blogger would not let me link the shabby flower tutorial, so let me know if you would like the website. :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Not Enough!

Bows, and ribbons. Flowers. Headbands, hats. We've got it all. What we don't have is...
enough hair!
Well, we tried. Five months is not a sufficient life span to grow enough hair for pig tails!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Piece to the Puzzle

Jackson got a floor puzzle for Christmas. He loves it! It is 2x3 feet. He is getting pretty good at putting it together. He needs some occasional help, and generally whines a lot during the process. But he's getting better!

Jackson turned 4 on December 28! 4! I can't believe it. He is growing so fast and getting so independent.
  • He's starting to like drawing and cutting.
  • He can write an "A."
  • He can unload the dryer.
  • He can put on all his own clothes, the right way. :)
  • He can put toothpaste on his own tooth brush.
  • He can quote some Bible verses.

He's our big boy and we're thankful for him!

Sweet Leggings

My Eva girl in sweet leggings. I love her. I just love to dress her up. I love her bows and frills. I love her 23 hours a day! There is that one hour in the middle of the night when "like" is a better word than "love." But seriously, I know she is growing so fast, and will soon outgrow her night feedings. Pretty soon, she'll start pulling off her headbands. Pretty soon, she'll be under my feet when I'm busy.
I'm glad she's still little.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Different Saying

"A place for everything and everything in its place."


"A place for everything is a place it can survive."

"If my pottery can survive in the china cabinet... *should* my sunglasses!"


From my kitchen to yours:

Chicken and Dumplings... *drum roll*

Start with Mother-in-law's ready-made turkey soup, fresh out of the can.

Get a couple mixers to make the dumplings. Stir, stir. (Any impurities coming from little stirers' hands will be disinfected in the boiling liquid!)
Boil those dumplins!
Lunch and memories ready-made!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Glimpse of Heaven

It is with a heavy heart that I blog today. I rarely blog about extremely personal events because I don't just want anyone to read them. But today, a college friend is remembering the year anniversary of her baby girl being born beautiful and healthy, taking her home, and holding her while she took her last breath at a precious two days old.
It was a horrible experience, to say the least. I will not even try to write of the depths of sorrow their family endured. I cannot understand. I do not want to be able to understand, for only a first-hand experience could make it hurt like she hurt.
What I do know is that to lose a baby is very heart-breaking. Over the past few years, we have miscarried two precious babies. Those were black, rayless times in my life. But God carried us through them, and proved His grace to us!
My first miscarriage was in May 2006, before I had any children. It was the hardest. I felt like we'd waited to long. I felt like there was a beautiful reward for us...just out of reach.
The second miscarriage was in October 2010. We already had our two boys, so it seemed much easier. We knew we wouldn't be childless. But it was still very heart-rending, and I spent much time in tears. But very soon after that, we found out we were expecting Eva, and God used that to heal me.
Recently, the Duggar family miscarried a baby. They shared a picture of that baby's hand on her hand. There was a lot of controversy about the photograph, and whether or not they should have posted it. But I'm so glad they did!
You see, I have nothing tangible from my babies. My miscarriages were early, within one week of finding out they were on the way. That made it SO much easier. But in a way, I would love to have known if they were boys or girls, or one of each. I would love to give them a name, and seal a place in my heart. I would love to have a picture, and a favorite outfit they wore, something to hold onto. But I know that with that sweetness would also come a much bigger hole in our lives.
I'm so thankful for Heaven where loved ones are quickly moving. Our babies are there. They are with Jesus, and I know we will be all together again.
Is my story sad? Yes, it is sad, but not compared to so many others. But I'm thankful that the story WILL have a happy ending, for Heaven is real.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Oh, to Be Perfect!

As 2012 begins, I am contemplating all the things I want to excel at. They are many!

Today as we came home from church, we could hardly get in the door! It is still a mess from Christmas and traveling.

I told Jamin, "Do you ever feel like every area in your life is a mess?"

He understood where I was coming from. I need to practice piano more, spend more positive time with the kids, get more organized in my menu-planning and housekeeping, read the Bible more, work harder at my teaching, exercise more, get up earlier, be kinder, and on and on the list goes...

I love fresh starts. They feel so good! Valentine's Day is happy, anniversaries are romantic, Christmas is magical. But New Year's... it's fresh! I'm excited to get closer to God this year, and let Him improve me! I'm so glad God doesn't remember all the failures of this past year.

Excited for 2012!