Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Welcome Home to Me!

South Dakota was wonderful! Little Luke is a joy, the girls are so big and so precious, and Mike and Misty are the Hospitality Reigning Monarchs! The weather was exquisite (translate: COLD) and the scenery was lovely (translate: SNOW).

But, seeing as I can't stop coughing, I think a trip to Angelo tomorrow to the base is in order. I am miserable, cough-wise, but the good news is that's the only thing going on. (Hard to tell if you have a fever if you also have hot flashes!) They are great on base, so hopefully I'll get some help. Got some stuff to take care (somewhat) of the symptoms, but I need the real stuff to knock this out. I've been like this for more than 2 weeks.

Sorry we'll miss the nursing home visit tomorrow. Precious folks there, and we haven't seen our pastor in 2 weeks. Get to see his sweet wife, too, who had to go to Germany during the same time.

Our dear Sarah made some awesome jambalaya for our return home yesterday--delicious! It was SO good to see my Early family again. And Miggy liked her Mushabelly (should've gotten Greg one), which is a furry ball that looks like a ladybug and makes a chattering-type sound when you squeeze its belly. It's named Leena.

Spell-Check is saying "should've" isn't a word?! Who knew?

Off to bed so I can call early and get an appointment tomorrow. Love to all! The love must be going somewhere else, as I'm not getting any comments except for my "old faithfuls," who know I am so thankful for them.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

South Dakota Risses

Aren't they precious? Little Luke is in there somewhere. He sleeps a lot, so I haven't been able to have a good photo shoot with him. It's beautiful here, everyone(with the exception of yours truly) is in Minnesota, as I started to get sick (fixing to be in full bloom, probably tonight). They are going for Misty and the children to meet Greg's parents. They've not seen one of their great-grands on Greg's side, and that equals 10. I hope they're having a great time together. Must be, as they won't call me back. I have a car, snow, medicine, and reading material and prayer requests. Should keep me busy. And the computer--yay!

More later, as El Bloggo won't let me post pics each time I try. And I'm only in the mood to try twice.

Miss us! We'll be back next week. I miss my Early Dodsons and the apartment, but it's GOOD to be here! As Miggy says, HOME! HOME!

  • Tuesday, December 04, 2007


    I'm gonna miss almost all of you as we head to South Dakota tomorrow. Please pray for our pastor's wife--her mom is dying in Germany, and she's flying there tomorrow to say good-bye to her. How sad. Pray for the words she needs as she ministers to her mom and her sister, and others in the family. For salvation!

    And please pray for our trip--haven't checked the weather yet, but we ARE going to spend the night with the baby grands and their parents on the way! Yes!

    We're not gonna miss the South Dakota Risses, as we're gonna go see them! A new grandson. If I'm true to form, I will burst out crying when I see him, and Misty and I will have us a good cry together. God is good!

    Love to all. Miss us!

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Jesus Doeth All Things Well

    Oh, the fulness of His love. Heaven on Earth.

    Where do I go from there? My precious Lord has blessed me SO SO much lately. I feel privileged! To belong to Him, to be able to say, I am my Beloved's, and He is mine, is the highest privilege on earth. Thank you, God, for being merciful to me and not leaving me where I was--guilty, dirty, so wretched. You took everything away from me that I held dear, and gave me Yourself. What a glorious Exchange. I have no words, but many tears of thanks.

    It is said that those who are forgiven much, love much. What I have been forgiven! I won't even tell you, but it is MUCH. He continues to forebear, to be longsuffering, to mold me and make me more like Christ. "That I may know HIM, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death" is my life verse (Philippians 3:10).

    Our dear pastor is preaching on The Road to Calvary, and I am learning more and more of His sufferings, and entering, in a small measure, into that fellowship. I read these verses that make me weep:

    As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high preiest after the order of Melchisedec. (Hebrews 5, 6-10.)

    Glory to God in the highest! May my life bring glory to Him alone.

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Happy Birthday to Me!

    And it was a lovely one for the woman who just turned 40-12! Thanks to all who came, and who tried to come, Kevin. Here are the baby grands in attendance:And I got a tripod! Yahooey! AND I can't figure out why I'm underlining everything.

    (Great. Returning got rid of that!) (Weird.)

    Had a great Thanksgiving, too, with our pastor, his wife, and two of our visitors to church. The turkey, which was transported, cooked, to Coleman, came out wonderfully moist (thank you, Kroger generic turkey!), and the banana coconut cream pie requested came out not-too-shabby. We were all very thankful for God's blessings to us. The night before, we met at Jess's house for a Thanksgiving meeting, and it was glorious. Sweet testimonies and many tears shed. God has been so good to us!

    Saturday, November 10, 2007


    Have I gotten to know our phone company these past few days! I actually cried in frustration while trying to straighten our my phone bill, and I almost invited Jerry and Rizul for Thanksgiving dinner, as I spent so much time with them on the phone that we bonded! To their credit, a technician was sent out the same day (!), and he squared away the router so I could get a signal. My ear it permanently soggy now, I fear. The good news is my wireless network is secure. I don't want people driving by and stealing my bike because I was dumb enough to leave it out in the yard! And did I mention that I visibly aged while on the phone? GAK.

    So, enough of that! Our pastor will be preaching on Peter's betrayal tomorrow, so I'm in much prayer about that. Poor Peter, promising early in the day to follow Christ to the death, and THE SAME DAY denying him three times. How we need the grace of our good God to keep us!

    Love y'uns. Have a great weekend. Did anyone notice it's BIRTHMONTH? Ahem.

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Election Day

    Tomorrow is Election Day, and both Greg and I are working. Greg will be the "Spanish-speaker" in Zephyr, and I in Blanket, working with my sweet friends there. I love working elections, as I get to see many people that I usually don't see. Now that we've moved, it will be great to see everyone.

    So what does one do with 13 hours sitting down, and maybe 40 people voting during that time? READ, write, Sudoku (thank you, Ali, for getting me started on that), cryptograms, crochet, copy recipes, visit, try not to fall asleep. It's fun. Lots of time to pray, too. I thoroughly enjoy my election day.

    And tomorrow is Cold Front Day again. Yes! I sure am loving this season, though I've had the air conditioner on every day this month so far. If I could have 3 whole months of fall, let alone winter, I'd be thrilled.

    Egg rolls tonight. Sure came out good! A good time was had by all.

    So I'm off to get ready for tomorrow--fill up my bag with things to do.

    Good night, dear bloggity friends and family. Love to all!

    Monday, October 29, 2007


    1. Characterized by intricate and beautiful design or execution
    2. Of such beauty or delicacy as to arouse intense delight
    3. Excellent; flawless.

    Thus I would describe the following paragraph. It's long, but well worth the read. The context: Suffering in this world--God is holy, God is love. How does all this go together? On John 3:16:

    "And in what circumstances was this love displayed? When the world was in a state of rebellion against him,--when the human character had been totally changed from its pristine innocence, and had become the very reverse of his own,--when, instead of being the object of men's supreme reverence and affecti0n, he was the object of their enmity and dread,--when the holy attributes of his nature, and the moral principles of his government, and the righteous precepts of his law were all alike distasteful to their depraved minds,--when his sole prerogative, as the Governor and Judge of the world, had been carelessly forgotten, or daringly denied,--when the sublime temple of nature, at whose altar they should have worshipped the one living and true God, was filled with the shrines of idolatry, where his supremacy was virtually denied, or divided amongst a multitude of false gods,--and when the more sacred temple of the human heart, where God desired to dwell, and to be ministered unto by a train of holy affections, had become a chamber of imagery, filled with a host of wicked passions--a temple, indeed, of spiritual idolatry, where the best of all homage, that of man's affections, was rendered, if not to idols of gold and silver, yet to the wealth, and honours, and pleasures of the world,--when, in one word, God's character was hated by man, and man's character odious to God,--yet, even then, 'GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD.' Not surely because he could regard the character of men with complacency--far less because their conduct had deserved his favour, for their character was regarded by him with utter abhorrence, and their conduct had exposed them to his righteous judgment. But while he hated and condemned their sin, no malice mingled with that hatred, no revenge dictated that condemnation; on the contrary, he pitied their case, even while he abhorred their guilt, and, in the exercise of a free, generous, and sovereign love, he resolved 'to seek and to save that which was lost.' "

    --Comfort in Affliction, by James Buchanan, 1837

    Total bliss.

    What language shall I borrow

    To thank Thee, dearest Friend;

    For this, Thy dying sorrow

    Thy pity without end?

    O, make me Thine forever,

    And should I fainting be,

    Lord, let me never, never

    Outlive my love to Thee.

    --O Sacred Head Now Wounded


    Sunday, October 21, 2007


    The cold front's coming in tonight--O joy, o delight! My favorite part of the year. I would do well in England: I love gloomy, dreary weather. The Tigger-ness in me is starting to emerge. Bliss.

    Happy Birthday to so many people this month, including CC tomorry and Mary yesterday!

    And we continue to be blessed at our dear little church. Our pastor is a joy. He has helped me, and I venture to say ALL our church, SO much! And I have found my only satisfactory explanation for the term "We preached on...". And you know I love that.

    Happy Week to all my bloggity friends and family. "To comment is to love," and you can go light on the Sonic ice now--time for HOT cocoa and Scrabble!

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Yes, I may consider myself a hero...

    ...because I saved three lives today. I gave blood! Finally! I have been prevented the last few times because of my blood pressure, but now, with medication, I was able to give. AND I have the tee shirt (finally!) to prove it! It even says Super Hero on it. Jody always gets tee shirts and I don't, until today. Yes!

    My fellow Aspiring Amateur Geek, Jake, took some great pics with my NEW camera (don't I trust him?!): Not bad. He definitely has potential. I do the uploading of sermons for our church, and Jake tapes and converts them to whatever and puts them on my flash drive. We aspire.

    Thus ends an exciting day in the life of the Risse!

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    "The Boys"

    We finally got a visit from "the boys" and the oldest granddaughter, and it was great to see them! After Firstborn conquered in pool and arm-wrestling (because, as we all know, where there are two or more Risses, there IS a competition!), we ate and visited. They sure like those cabbage rolls. Those healthy boys. Miss K, in 3rd grade, is almost as tall as I am! Sweet, sweet girl.

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Wasn't THAT Fun?

    (Thanks, Rebekah!)

    Welcome back, friends. All moved in and the baby grands and co. are headed over here tomorrow. YES! (Pardon my joy!)

    I still have so much unpacking to do. Greg refs tonight and tomorrow, so I have some time alone to tackle it all. Sigh. It will be SO nice when it's all done.

    We continue to be SO blessed at church--check out the link and take some time to listen to a good sermon. I recommend all the ones in English, unless you're proficient in German, also. I'm uploading the sermons on Sunday evening and loving it--and hopefully next week I can get back to learning how to work on the web site. Technical difficulties (named Pee Wee, btw). Soon!

    All's well at the Risses'. I started walking up and down the floors of the apartment building every morning--good opportunity to pray for all these dear people. Pray for me as I seek to minister to them and share my precious Lord. God put us in a GOOD place. I am thankful!

    Finished The Anatomy of Secret Sins, now I'm off to Charity and Its Fruits, by Jonathan Edwards. Very good read! (I think our pastor is trying to plug the big holes in my armor!)

    Good night to all. To comment is to love, and remember, if you're in the neighborhood, nothing says "I'm thinking of you" like Sonic ice. (Does anybody read this?)

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007


    "God's servants differ from all servants in the world. Every other servant loses himself by service.... But the only way to find a man's self is to be God's servant. Every other servant loses his liberty by his service; but liberty is then gotten when we become servants to God. As soon as we enter His service, we obtain our freedom. Every other servant in strictness of rule, is below a son, a child; but every servant of God is a son of God, and shall have not gifts as a mere servant may have, but the inheritance which the son who serves his father shall have." --Obadiah Sedgwick, The Anatomy of Secret Sins

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Moved in!

    Whee! We are moved in! I have one bedroom left to unpack. I got a whopper of a cold as soon as we moved in, so, 12 days later, I'm not finished unpacking, which is unheard-of for me! I'm taking my time as I start feeling better. Let's hear it for Puffs Plus with Lotion! The only way to go.

    We are in a RETIREMENT VILLAGE. What's a bigger shock: That I'm married to someone old enough to live here (he IS the baby, as the starting age is 55, and he just turned that in April), or that I live here (at the tender age of 40-11)?! We are big-time the babies here. It's fun! We have a community room, complete with nice tv (we don't have cable here, so we can go up there for free!), a billiards room (and boy, am I out of practice!), and a fitness room (and these cute ladies want ME to head up an exercise class for them! I can't even GO there right now, literally and figuratively!). I went to the meet-and-greet last week--that was fun getting to know the ladies--and to chickenfoot (dominos), which was also fun. I played Skip-Bo with my new neighbor (who makes great potato soup!), and she beat me. She won chickenfoot, too. The silent ones are the violent ones, so I've heard.

    And God continues to bless our church meetings. Wow. Anticipation. God is good!

    And I found a lump. My appointment is this Tuesday. I'll let you know. God is much helping me.

    AND we find out tomorry if Baby D is male or female! Yahooey! There is a pre-game meeting at Dairy Queen, at which we get to guess the sex of the baby and get treated to Happy Hour $1 Blizzards! Does it get any better than that!? Greg and CC are invited--interesting huge group in this little sonogram office. Whee!
    Sarah and I have the best gyn/ob (respectively). He likes powdered donuts, too. Gotta pick him up some before my visit.

    Pics when I can get myself together enough to consider finding the CD to reinstall Kodak Easyshare. Long story.

    My pastor gave me The Anatomy of Secret Sins to read. Gulp.

    More later, dear ones! I love y'uns, whoever you are!

    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    Happy 32nd Anniversary!

    Wow. Today begins our 33rd year (ONE-THIRD of a CENTURY!) together! I cannot think of two more opposite people for God to put together. Ask anyone!

    Thirty-two years ago in San Antonio it was HOT, and HUMID (business as usual, eh?). I was terrified. I had never seen marriage done correctly, let alone Christianly, and I was scared. I didn't want to get married until the divorce (that is a forbidden word in our marriage). All my friends, except Mike and Joyce, were single. I did not want to make a mistake. Going up the aisle on said Mike's arm, I told the Lord, If I'm mistaken about your will, show me NOW, and I will turn around, change, and walk out of here. I was that serious.

    What kind of man did God send me? Let me tell you what I asked for, at the tender age of 18, when the Lord saved me:
    1. Saved--understood.
    2. Preferably never married, no kids.
    3. Taller than me (at 5').
    4. Not in debt.
    5. Soulwinner (obviously these are not prioritized).
    6. Blue eyes (picky, picky, eh?)
    7. Handsome, so our kids would have a chance.
    What did I get?
    1. Saved: Six years later. But I didn't know until after the fact. Wow.
    2. Got it.
    3. Exactly a foot taller!
    4. Got it. He paid off my $450 school bill before we got married, too! Before
    he proposed, even!
    5. Got it. He cares about the underdog and the neglected more than anyone I
    know. What a sensitive heart. In a manly-man.
    6. Semi. His eyes are green, but look blue if he wears certain colors.
    7. Got it and then some. Swoon! He was incredibly handsome when I met
    him, and he's aged beautifully. Better-looking than ever! "Classic good
    looks," is how a student described him. We have VERY nice-looking kids,
    so I've been told, and so I KNOW!
    Yes, I know some of these requests are pretty carnal, but God was good to me in spite of myself. (And thus come all our blessings, right?)

    Miss Coke-drinking, chip-eating-for-supper junk-food-junkie meets Mr. All-Tri-State health-food-nut jock! CRASH! We sure had FUN adjusting to that, said VERY facetiously. My poor baby got asthma shortly after we got married. I recommended a Coke and a Snickers to bomb his system. (Works for me; I'm hardly ever sick.) Mr. Work-out-almost-every-day-since-before-I-met-him (and still!) meets Miss Almost-flunked-PE-because-I-don't-play-softball-in-the-heat-and-won't-do-gang-showers!-so-I'm-not-dressing-out. Double CRASH. We've both come a long way--he more than I, because I still eat junk food and don't do heat or working out--in fact, poor man (he tried to fight!), I've pretty much corrupted him. Sigh. So worth it, though. More peaceful household. A word that our married children have taken to their homes is "treats." Greg's word. (Misty, our precious daughter-in-love, always thought "treats" were for dogs. Hmmm.) I've done my job well.

    More? Mr. I-never-read-a-book-I-wasn't-forced-to meets Miss I'll-read-toothpaste-tubes-if-there's-nothing-else-around! The baby (Greg), spoiled, 2 older sisters meets THE BOSS, Miss I-Don't-Need-Anyone (with which God has made GREAT adjustments in my life since salvation!), 2 younger brothers who were beaten up regularly (or the older younger beat me). Did I mention The Pacifist (in relationships) (as in, "I hate to fight") meets The Provoker, The Sarcastic, Mean, I Am Right. Poor man! Trust me: God has kept us together!

    Before our wedding day, I thought about how my relationship with the Lord would change (and it does when you get married). When I met Greg, the Lord had saved me from a life of wickedness and ungodliness, and taken away EVERYTHING I held dear, so it was only me and the Lord. And He was enough. He was my portion. He was my everything. He was my love, my life, my all. I had a glorious, sweet relationship with the Lord for almost a year and a half when I met Greg. And I was going to marry and be led by a SINNER? (Like, And what was I?) Scary thought. Before, the Lord had led ME. And that was fixin' to change. It was a hard change, but a necessary and a GOOD change! My precious Lord is still my all-in-all, my first love. But it's different than being single. And it's good.

    So. Moving day. Happy Anniversary Day! I get a brand-new apartment for a gift (and I already got a beautiful card yesterday!). (Did I mention Mr. Never-Celebrated-Anything-Or-Given-A-Gift-Voluntarily meets Miss She-Gets-3-Birthday-Cards--at-least--From-Her-Mom-Where-We-Pretty-Much-Celebrate-Birth-MONTH?!) (Talk about adjustments.)

    "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity," in more ways than one! Thank you, Lord, for my precious husband! He still loves me! And I'm CRAZY about him. It only gets better, except when it gets rough for a while, and then is better than ever!

    Monday, August 27, 2007


    Time to Ketchup, folks! Not necessarily in importance-order:

    1. New baby grand! Yahooey! We thank the Lord for little Luke Earnest Risse, born on my little brother's 50th birthday (the 23rd)! Happy Birthday to both!

    2. We're moving in 2 days! GAK! I have made my peace with this move, and I am EXCITED about our NEW (literally--we're the first ones to live in it!) apartment! It's a HUGE change for us. Minus 500 square feet, 5 acres, a donkey, and sheep. Cozy, I predict. But with a community room, a billiards room, and a fitness room, that should be just what we need. (Did I mention it's behind Wal-Mart? Can it get any better?) God is good!

    3. Thank you for praying for me about the wedding. I lived! Except for a major meltdown at the end, when the you-know-whos took their time leaving, and I was shooting pics in 90+ weather with 90+ humidity, and the fact that I couldn't find my husband or my cameras when it was time to leave, I had a BALL and was so in my element! I only took 400 pics (whee!); 100+ with film and almost 300 candid digital (I love candids!). (That's for rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, and the rest.) I wanted to be considerate and not shoot during the vows so as not to detract from the solemn occasion, but everyone else shooting made up for me and then some! (I tried.) So, I missed a few shots afterwards when we posed for the ceremony shots. The good news is I didn't walk out of my sandals when I walked backwards to catch everyone coming down from the front! Seems like during the ceremony everything happened on fast-forward. And I learned you can't take two pics at one time when they're happening in front of and behind you, as in the parents lighting the unity candle as others are coming in. At least I did get the couple lighting it! I do think, all in all, that the bride's parents will still love me when they get the pics. I was pleased with the group shots (and they were a BIG group!); I'd never used a tripod under pressure. It did its job--no blurry shots, but I hated using it. My dream is a camera with image stabilization--no more tripod! AND all the light I had (my bitty little flash on my camera) was ENOUGH! What a mercy! I was so concerned about that, as the light isn't the best there. God was good to me!

    4. Baby Grand #13 is next! We find out the gender on the 10th--and I'm invited to the sonogram! How kind is that, Principessa!

    5. Our pastor's sister-in-law and brother-in-law, their 2 girls, and our pastor's daughter are here from Germany! The daughter, beautiful girl, speaks perfect English with no accent! I am so enjoying her. And the others speak NO English, so it has been really fun getting to know them! They are all dear. I'm luring the girls with mini M&Ms. I think they like me. (Works for my baby grands, anyway.)

    6. Got to go to Olahomika with two dear brothers to pick up a vehicle (yes, it was worth the trip for the car!). We had a blast. And we played spelling games for longer than we should have, I'm sure. My little brain was fried.

    7. We got to talk to our Dan, the red-headed snippet! He was in a car wreck--a hit-and-run by a drunk 19 year-old. He was pedaling his pedicab (kinda like a rickshaw pulled by a bicycle) (yes, he has awesome calf muscles, biking around Austin!) when he got hit. God was so merciful to him! He has a lot of therapy to go through still; no biking, and difficulty walking; we were so relieved to get to FINALLY talk to him. How we continue to pray for our babies' salvation!

    8. I'm about 2/3 done packing. I HATE the piddly stuff that's left at the end! I want to get a gigantic vacuum and just REMOVE it without messing with it! GRRR! But I am thankful for Princi's help, and for CC offering to watch my Miggy while Mommy helped me. The apartments have some GREAT incentives for moving in: free month's rent, rent reduced by $35 for the life of the lease (yippee!), AND free moving! They pay for the truck, and, get this!, you pack your boxes and they come get them, load them, and unload them! Sweet, sweet!

    9. Our first grandson, Beans, started school today! Bittersweet. How I love that child! His mommy was very brave today, I think.

    Sufficiente! (With an accent on the last "e.") I love you, whoever you are, reading my blog! Leave a comment and share the love. Nothing says love like commenting and Sonic ice.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    The Thud Heard Around the World, or It Only Gets Better!

    The guys with the butterfly nets are patiently waiting for me while I finish this post. I took the DELICIOUS pound cake out--it was done--voila! And I set it on the stove (the stove was off--such forethought!). The middle started to sink (my heretofore-unknown-heights cake!), so I had, what I thought was, a brilliant idea. This IS a TUBE pan, after all, in which one makes ANGEL FOOD cake, right? And what do you do to angel food cakes that come out of the oven so they don't sink? CORRECT! With great forethought, again!, I thought: The syrup bottle is not good for this, for it is made out of plastic, and plastic and HOT POUND CAKE do not mix! (Told you it was great forethought!) So I got a hundred-year-old glass bottle of hazelnut syrup (sugar-free, from the old Atkins days) and used that. Give me credit, now, because I did think, as I was turning it over onto the GLASS bottle (I DID think--What if the cap melts?), hey, this IS a POUND cake, not an ANGEL FOOD cake, and, which is heavier? I wonder.... A few moments later, I heard the Thud Heard Around the World. And I did all I could do--I started laughing. When by myself, I only laugh at Paul Harvey's "For What It's Worth" department, but today I made an exception for myself!
    The lesson learned: POUND equals more than ANGEL FOOD! On a side note, if you dust the greased pan with SUGAR instead of flour, it makes a DELICIOUS crust, which is what I'm sure that gal on BooMama's comments ate! And my pic keeps crawling to the end of the blog!

    I hate when Greg's right.

    Oh, Boo, What Should I Do?

    "Boo" is a reference to BooMama, my favorite blogger, next to family. Go to http://boomama.net/ for great entertainment and great recipes.

    For example, this one! It's delicious, which you may be asking me how I know, since the cake isn't finished yet. BooMama did NOT tell me to put a cookie sheet underneath the tube pan--that was a stroke of genius on my part, as I thought IT would rise up to heights-heretofore-unknown and spill out the top! Psych! Wrong end! Anyway, had I known, I would have greased and floured the cookie sheet, too! (It didn't stick at all--must be all that butter and Crisco!) I tried the part that was on the cookie sheet (which is already done). I hesitated to actually LIFT the tube pan to get the scrapings (read: future burned cookie sheet), as I figured I'd start another flood. BUT, dear BooMama, my pound cake has ALREADY risen to heretofore-unknown-heights, which means about an inch above where I started (minus the outflux)! Ain't I proud of me! The only reason it didn't catch fire, dear BooMama, is because I used a fork to stir in the baking powder! (See said sister's blog for more details!)

    Lessons to be learned:
    1. Go ahead and grease and flour the cookie sheet, just in case.
    2. Don't use a tube pan from the thrift store (see comments on Boo's kids' cute sayings).
    3. Don't use a tube pan that has been played with by diverse baby grands, and been through lots of moves.
    4. Don't use a tube pan, use a bundt pan (though I think it would run over the TOP) (how blissful would THAT be!).
    5. See if Dunlap's, with 50-75% off, has any tube pans.
    6. Go ahead and laugh. The first cake I made as a teen that called for "baking soda" got Coke for the soda, because, what other kind of "soda" is there???
    7. Move to a bigger city to get needed help. Greg was right.

    Sunday, August 12, 2007


    Saturday! Timothy and Kyla are getting married in Elmendorf, TX! Guess who is their photographer?

    OK--Timothy is Timothy Shepard, the pastor's son, and Kyla is (not for long!) Kyla White, pastor's daughter in Elemendorf (that part's probably permanent, I'm thinking!). And I am their photographer!

    Send any and all advice and encouragement--am I nervous or WHAT? I AM stoked! Please pray for me; I want to do a good job for the glory of God and for their encouragement.

    Off to San Antonio soon! Love to all. (Look, a sentence with no exclamation point!)

    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Baby Grands!

    Here are two of the 13, headed to Six Flags as we speak. Are they EXCITED! I've got Miss Abby for the day. She's a joy!

    Posted by Picasa

    Monday, July 30, 2007


    Have lots of catching up to do!

    The house. There's a contract on it right now; closing date is the 31st of August. It would be awesome if it came to pass. We are thankful.

    Greg. (Obviously NOT in order of importance!) He's sleeping somewhat better, though he has some bad nights still. He's snoring in a higher pitch; soon he'll be snoring in soprano! He's a dear.

    The peach of a baby grand! S/he is doing well, all nestled in Sarah's womb. More thankfulness! Due on Groundhog Day, Greg's favorite holiday (go figure).

    Little Gregory Gregory, aka Ernest Luke, to be called Luke. He's hanging in there--due to make his appearance around Labor Day (we only have baby grands on holidays). Off to Georgia soon!
    I miss my Georgia family! I have the best daughter-in-love.

    Church! Blessed beyond measure. It's wonderful to see what God is doing. And I'm excited to see what He will do! We are learning to pray. Go to http://sermonaudio.com and look up Audey Shepard--you won't be sorry.

    Cornelia. I have a new friend, a sister in the Lord. She is a joy. Looking forward to great times in the Lord with her.

    Photography. I'm shooting our pastor's son's wedding on the 18th! I'm enjoying the preparations. Sent an order off to mpix.com (quality place). Can't wait to see those.

    Reading. I USED to read a lot. I need to sit down and read books again. I miss my friends.

    (Yawn.... Sorry, guys--I done bored you to death.)

    Until next time--ttfn, as the Pooh would say.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    "Our Father"

    Our new pastor, dear man, has been teaching on the Lord's prayer. These messages are helping me so much!

    I had a thought on the opening of that prayer: Our Father. So many times our prayers tend to be: God, I need this, and I need this, and I want this, etc. And I thought to myself, How can I start to pray, and say OUR Father, and then proceed to recite all the things that I want and need? What about the rest of the family, of which God is OUR Father? This is helping me a lot.

    Samuel, the prophet, says this in 12:23: Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. (That's also verse 24; it was too good to stop at 23!)

    Selah. And I speak to myself also.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    George Mueller

    "According to my judgment the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, the Lord's work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life."

    That is superb.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    It's Working! and Forgiveness

    God has done a wondrous thing. The surgery is working! Greg, my love, slept WELL last night, as he has since he had the surgery. I have wept tears of joy over this. I get a new husband when he gets back from Minnesota! He's RESTED. Glory to God. And, with the scar tissue forming, he will only get better!

    Our wonderful new pastor is preaching through the Lord's Prayer, and he is on the verse about forgiveness. It was pretty quiet as he spoke during Sunday School. I think that's an area with which we've all struggled. Very convicting. And he's going to do a few more weeks on the subject, and we are excited about that.

    I love his burden to teach us about prayer. This is an area where I need all the instruction I can get! His sermons thereon have been excellent. We are working on getting them in mp3 format, so maybe they can be put online. In the meantime, you can hear him at sermonaudio.com, under Audey Shepard. He is a joy.

    Off to enjoy my "mini vacation," with Greg being in Minnesota and I here. T, our pastor's son, is here with me, so it's a little different than being alone. Homemade egg rolls tonight. You're invited. Hurry, but don't speed!

    God is good, even in the hardest thing He has ever sent into our lives. He will "sanctify to thee thy deepest distress." May Jesus Christ be praised!

    Thursday, June 21, 2007


    Good afternoon, bloggity friends!

    My dear husba had surgery yesterday for his sleep apnea. We traveled to Duncanville, where the surgeon inserted four stabilizers, approximately this long: ------ into his soft palate. These will stiffen the tissue there, and, as scar tissue forms, firm it up some more, so it won't fall into his airway as he sleeps. If it works, the best part is no more cessation of breathing at night, many times a night (he's been told 400 at his sleep study!), and did I tell you the best part is NO MORE SNORING? I couldn't decide which one to capitalize! He slept 7 hours straight last night, and, believe me, that hasn't happened in months, maybe a year. The full results will be known in 3 months. Let's see what happens. So far, excellent!

    The bad part is the anesthesia wore off. Greg went golfing after we got home and felt great until afterwards, where the pain hit him. He was almost on his knees. Poor baby. (For those of you who know me as the Founding Mother of the Sisters of Compassion, you know there IS a time to be compassionate! Such times ARE few and far between, however....) He was feeling somewhat better earlier, and he just left for a long walk. CC kindly invited us over for supper. Greg leaves tomorrow for Minnesota; he will meet our Mike at D/FW and drive from there together. I like that plan! They're going to visit Greg's folks for a week. Mike's wife so generously gave him up for that time.

    We're waiting to hear that our buyer's loan got approved. We should know by tomorrow. They have 2/3 of the price down, so it's hard to imagine it not going through. God is good!

    Our pastor and family will be moving here next Thursday! Yippee! I cannot tell you what a joy they've ALL been (all 3 of them)! We love them, and look forward to seeing what God is going to do with His church in Coleman, TX.

    Off to straighten up before going to CC's. In case you, my fans, are so forgetful, Canada Day is coming up. Be prepared!

    Love to all you dear bloggers!

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    The Latest (and it ain't all that)

    Hello, bloggity friends! The latest: Greg has retired for now--he was having periods of uncontrollable I-have-to-go-to-sleep-NOW, which is dangerous for anyone, let alone one who drives people around for a living.

    He finally won two in a row in Scrabble--about time. He was getting squelched!

    And the house inspector has been here--how fun. Period. (Nice guy, for what it's worth....) And the plumber and foundation guy came to give estimates. We're learning more than we want to know about our beautiful home. Sigh. But it's ok.

    And we have a WONDERFUL realtor. I recommend her highly. Let me know if you need one. She's been outstanding. A person who returns calls--imagine. And actually answers her phone if she's there! I may get her autograph before it's all over.

    AND our pastor and family found a HOUSE! Glory to God. And what a house it is! HUGE! I think he'll have to hand out maps at the door so we don't get lost. Nice landscaping and back yard to boot. The Lord answered exceeding abundantly above all I asked or thought. But that's just like Him. Can't wait to get some REAL German food in me!

    And we're having a Bible conference the weekend of the 7th of July. Come one, come all! Forrest Keener and John Sytsma should be preaching. Both of those men are [joys(?), a joy(?)]. Let's rephrase: It's a joy to hear and know both men! (How's that?)

    And I'm still reading II Peter every day, and, for a change, decided to try to read it in Spanish. I can read Spanish because I can read English (never learned Spanish in school). I have to read out loud to understand what it says. Anyway, when I finished Chapter 1, I decided to translate it into English from Spanish--a fun thing to do (my computer did it, lest you think I AM gifted and talented, as some of my friends are)! In Verse 1, it says: ...our Savior, Jesus Christ. In Spanish, it says Senor, which is, obviously, the Spanish word for Savior. But, when you translate it into Spanish (where it says, Salvador Jesucrist0), it translated to OUR MR. JESUS. I love it!

    (Any English teacher would be having FITS with every paragraph starting with AND. Bad Pee Wee.)

    SO (another bad word with which to start a paragraph), off I go to cook supper. Fish sticks and french fries (yes, fried). Come join us. They're even Schwan's, which are REAL. Good night, Bloggity World! God is good.

    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    What's New?

    Good morning, Blog World! It's 4:11 AM and my dear hubby is getting ready for work. He is tired!

    Our house sold the day we put it up for sale, for our asking price! God is good. The folks have a HUGE down payment (more than 2/3!), so it is a pretty sure thing that they will get the loan approved. Our tentative closing date is July 16--hopefully sooner.

    I am getting ready to move (this is a bad word at my house). I'm going through the kitchen and downsizing, as almost any kitchen would be smaller than the one I have now. Now I have 2 sets of sinks, and 50 (yep, I counted!) cabinets and drawers (I counted handles)! It's a real country kitchen, eh?

    In the meantime, God has been blessing me in wonderful ways through the preaching of our new pastor. Superb. We needed him! His family is tops, too. Looking forward to them moving here, and looking for a place for them to live (I accidentally typed "love.") We're praying and looking....

    More later. Back to bed. Lots of work to do today!

    PS Yahooey! Sarah's pregnant! Glory to God!

    Wednesday, May 16, 2007


    Good morning, world! We have a new pastor! God is so faithful. We are looking forward to them moving here, and getting to know them. We are thrilled!

    Got to take some baby-toes pics, and one came out so nice, if I may say so. Hope the mama likes it. My camera was accidentally kidnapped, and I didn't have it for 2 weeks. I was going nuts--Kodak moments flying by. I about kissed it when I got it back Saturday. I've taken a LOT of pics since then! Weeds, toes, roses, flowers, baby grands, more weeds, more baby grands.

    We're so-bittersweetly announcing the sale of our home. The Papa's health is growing very poor, and we need to go somewhere where he can rest. We will use the proceeds to let him take a year-long break, to work on his eating habits, sleep!, and perhaps see about surgery for his apnea. Hopefully he will be a new man after this year, or at least an improved one. So, if you haven't been over lately, head over here before we move! Say when.

    I am thankful to be released from recovery from my hysterectomy. I was allowed to do NOTHING for 6 weeks--no exercise, nothing repetitive, no heavy lifting, no heavy housework. And I am now a slug. I have no strength. I tried to run 1/10 of a mile and about croaked (with proper warm-up and preparation). That's pretty sorry. I am now trying to get back at least to where I was before. Fun times on the exercise ball coming up! GAK.

    Finished up mowing our 5 acres (on the riding mower, for which I am very thankful!), and it's about time to start mowing again! We have had SO much rain! I think we're about 5" over our yearly average, and it's only mid-May. I'm loving it. Soaking myself with mosquito repellant when I'm outside. Vicious critters. They love P*erto Rican blood.

    This entry would make a good case for speed-reading, or maybe even skimming. Sorry, guys.

    The Baby and family are on their way. We're trying to perfect the shortest, non-constructionest way to McKinney and back. I think we have it. It's great if you don't mind toll roads. It takes me a little more than 3 hours. Not too shabby.

    The Firstborn got to talk to a large group of international CEOs recently, and his speech, through Toastm*sters was on eating healthy. He said, You know what was so ironic about it? I said, Let me guess: They were eating steaks while listening! Close. BBQ ribs. "Question and Answer Time" was interesting....

    Off to cook! Good night, all!

    Saturday, April 28, 2007

    Only in Coleman

    (For some reason my Kodak Easy Share won't open today.)

    My sweet friend and I were in the drive-thru at her bank, waiting on a deposit slip, when I happened to notice a bag of doggie treats, opened, by the other teller's intercom. The other teller was absent.

    I contemplated this. First thought: She is pregnant--her tastes are very strange--she couldn't wait until she got home. (She probably has some sweet breath!) Her co-workers probably bark at her when she goes by, just because they're fun that way. [People in Coleman ("the friendliest town in Texas") are really nice.]

    I HAD to ask! Is your co-worker pregnant? Nope. It's for the dogs. She patiently explained that the kids get Dum Dums (little lollipops) and the dogs get treats. And I asked myself, How does she KNOW the dogs want some? Mommy ASKS them when they go to the bank! The conversation goes like this: Would Mama's little Schnookums like a TREAT? The doggie shivers in delight and barks. This is how the teller knows. It all probably begins with: Mommy's going to the BANK! Wanna go get a TREAT?!

    I enjoyed this whole dog-treats-in-the-drive-thru-window WAAYY too much.

    I really should be nice, because my new friend REALLY likes dogs! (Hope she doesn't read this!)

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    Boo Who?

    Boo Hoo, What shall we do?
    We no longer have our little Boo.

    Boo Who? The dog named Boo.
    We went to church; away he flew.

    Who knew that little Boo
    Would leave us as he'd actually do?

    He grew, homemade doggie muffins by the shoe (I'm stretching it here!)
    From a littler to a bigger Boo.

    We knew, you'd think we knew
    He wouldn't last, our little Boo.

    So blue, without our Boo.
    And so we sigh--alas, adieu....

    (I feel like Dr. Seuss, my childhood hero!)

    Saturday, April 14, 2007

    Boo and Pretzels

    Boo! I saw a side of my husba that I've never seen before. We've had a CUTE (but annoying) puppy hanging around the last couple of days. Hubby was going to do what country people do with stray dogs, but didn't have the heart. He came in all sheepish-looking and said, I couldn't do it; it climbed on my lap and looked into my eyes. If you knew my hubby.... He was mush. So now, at least until we move, we have a puppy--an OUTSIDE one. THEN he said, Let's give him a bath! Outside? I asked. No, in OUR TUB! (Too little oxygen to the brain, I think!) THEN came the warning: Pee Wee, they POOP! (Good thing; I thought we might have a defective one [as opposed to a defecating one! {noticed the closeness of the words as I typed "defective"}]). (Is a squiggly [oh, yeah--a BRACE!], a bracket, and a parenthesis in a row a record?)I think he meant to watch out when I walk around in the yard. Cheapie that I am, I thought, Surely there's a recipe online for DOG FOOD. (I mean, how cheap is a bag of generic puppy food, after all?) The result is Doggie Muffins. They are edible (by us, I mean); taste like (chicken! no!) biscuits. I wouldn't want them for a meal. But Boo (did you guess?) sure chowed them down. (Looking at the pic, I'm gonna have to get one after the Papa grows out his beard--they will match!)

    I don't do well trying to post two pics at a time, so let's see where they end up.... Pretzels! Easy recipe--all ingredients shown, except that I brushed them with egg white before putting on the toppings. Quite sabroso!

    Monday, April 09, 2007


    I can hardly believe Sarah and I read the Bible in 90 days! It was a wonderful journey, and one of the hardest things I've ever done as far as reading. I would have thought that, since I was able to stay on target through the Old Testament, reading sometimes 16 chapters a day, the New Testament would be a breeze. Ha! I got SO far behind, from Matthew-II Corinthians. I think because I was so familiar with it (compared to the OT), I was slowed down. It was so hard to read! We made it, finishing on our target date. Amazing!

    What a time! I learned so much, getting so much of the "big picture." I FINALLY understand the story of Balaam! I'd never read the account through at one time, and it made so much sense. I was enriched in my attitude towards the Scriptures, and now I can sit for a long time and read, whereas before I was so hyper and had such a hard time concentrating. I can't say how good this has been for me.

    If anyone's interested, I may start my own Bible in 90 Days e-group at Yahoo in a few months. Please let me know. If you have time to watch TV for an hour, you have time to go throught he Bible in 90 days.

    And, to add to the blessing, I've "met" some neat women through our group. Hopefully some will stay in touch now that we're finished.

    Much love to all, and to all a good night!

    Saturday, April 07, 2007

    What a Difference a Day Makes!

    This pic of Mig was taken yesterday. Note the lack of coat, hat, and mittens. The pic of the car was taken an hour ago today. Welcome to Texas! (Did I mention that it was 90 degrees last week? Today it's 29.)

    Thursday, April 05, 2007


    Sarah and I committed ourselves to reading The Bible in 90 Days. The final day is Monday! For various reasons, both of us got behind, and, wowie, have we been having marathon reading sessions! This has been so good for me! My attitude towards the Scripture has been enhanced (I would say "changed," but that's not the right word, as I had a good attitude before). Before, I found it difficult to read for long stretches at a time; my mind is so hyper, and it's hard for me to concentrate for a long time. But now, I LOVE to sit and READ, for a half hour or more at a time. I can see that when I finish this I will still be sitting down to read for a longer time on a daily basis.

    I was greatly encouraged by a portion by John Piper on memorization, in which he encouraged us to memorize a book at a time. He even gave directions and suggestions. I want to do this after I finish 90 Days on Monday. I think I'm going to do Colossians. I find it very easy to memorize Scripture, for which I am VERY thankful, as I know it's a difficulty for many. I think the time commitment will be about the same as for 90 Days.
    Everyone has been so kind to me as I recover from surgery. God is so good! I believe He has given me this time to come aside and rest, and it has been wonderful. After the 25th, I'm almost back to full speed, with just weight-lifting restrictions, as far as I know.
    Greg has quit dairy products completely in an attempt to help his asthma/apnea. He sees an improvement already in less than a week. I found out he was really chugging those Chugs you get at the convenience store! Gak! I'm thankful for this change. The gal at the health food store said it was a good move for him.
    Well, Risse goes in at 4:15 to pick up 2 in DeLeon who have to be at dialysis in Brownwood @ 6:30 AM, so he's getting up at 3 to work out before he goes in. I'm gonna be juicing some carrots and celery for him for the road--vile stuff--glad I'm not drinking it. He says it's stout, but it's good for him. So happy for you.
    The pic above is not my place, alas. It's my neighbors' beautiful garden. They've invited me over to take pics, but I was surprised that only their irises and whatever-these-things-are were up at the time. I got some great pics from there last year. Neat folks.
    The best to all. "To comment is to love." Selah.

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    The Reluctant Recipient

    Miggy wasn't happy about her corn popper. But I think she was thankful that I thought of her....

    (This is sure turning into a GRANNY blog!)

    First Hummer

    The Papa so kindly took me to our neighbor's house so I could take pics of their awesome garden. I was surprised that only their irises were up. I thought the whole place would be blooming by now. And The Papa noticed my first hummer of the season. I hope to eventually have them at the house, and get an awesome pic of one! They are incredibly beautiful....

    Birthday Girl

    We had a successful launch! A good time was had by all. Mig got a mouthful of cake and spit it out like she was a human pastry bag! Lots of family, fun, and food! I got her a "corn popper," that lovely push-toy that makes a lot of noise (I love her parents), and she did NOT care for it. Maybe it will grow on her....
    We thank the Lord for an awesome first year with our precious girl!

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    My Miggy

    They're all coming to see ME? And I'm having a BIRTHDAY? I thought that happened last year! Oh, an ANNIVERSARY of my birth day....
    Well, Mommy and Daddy, you sure have given me a good first year! I've taught you so many things, haven't I? I've taught you a lot about the heart of God, your Father. And you've taught me lots of things. You have taught me, and I think will continue to teach me all my life, what unconditional love is. I can't believe you love me so much! And you're so nice to me when I'm sick. You get so sad. And you're teaching me what I can and can't do; even though I don't like the word "NO," please don't stop saying it when you need to. And I can't get enough of that "I love you" that you say all the time! Keep teaching me. And Daddy, thank you for reading the Bible to me and teaching me about God. I have so much to learn. Thank you, both, for loving me, for singing to me, for loving each other, and for loving God. I am so happy to be your daughter! God was so good to put me in this family. And you say Grandma and Grandpa are coming soon to love on me?! It doesn't get any better than this.

    One more try

    Here's that sweet Abby!

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Frozen in Time

    This is the most beautiful Baby Abby, our newest baby grand. (We have one more due in September.) She is the family's last baby, and she seems to have frozen in time; her looks haven't changed--she just gains some weight now and then, I think. She is delightful. She has a smile that lasts as long as it takes you to see it, then she shuts 'er down! Miss Soberface. Whatadoll. The pics aren't very focused as I wasn't allowed to lift her, so I put the camera above her and shot downward, whilst I was downward also. Awkward angle, eh?

    I'm feeling pretty good after my complete hysterectomy with major repair. Everyone has been so helpful to me, especially the hubby. He has been so kind, and such a model of loving me as Christ loves the Church. It's been wonderful. I have read 3.5 of 20 books loaned to me. I'm taking notes on them, and I have been blessed. I'm also finishing up my Bible in 90 Days--we're in the New Testament! We should be finished around the 9th of April. Whirlwind, but excellent!
    I am blessed.

    I had Principessa take out ALL my craft bins from the guest closet, and I aim to go through them and get rid of much of it at the yard sale Princi's having in a few weeks. I can do this a little at a time. It's raining now (bliss!), so, if it's dry enough come Tuesday, I will try the riding mower to see if it pulls too much on my abdomen. If not, it should take me a few days (5 acres). If so, Bubs is gonna have to come visit me soon.

    (If this gets any more boring, I'm gonna put myself to sleep!) This morning I listened to the first two messages from Community's Bible conference. Very good. Looking forward to the rest of them. One of our favorite preachers, Dan Cozart, also preached. He is a JOY!

    I put up a little hummingbird feeder, so hopefully the little critters should come around soon. They are absolutely my favorite creatures of all God has made! I've even been known to swat one with a broom in order to get a good look at it! (This is NOT true; SOMEONE "embellished" a story about me....) My goal is to get an outstanding pic of one this season. Here we have the ones that have the beautiful turquoise coloring that looks like peacock feathers. (Ever seen a WHITE peacock? THE BRIDE! Awesome.)

    Off to read some more. I'm taking notes as I read "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ," by John Owen. (What a great title!) You KNOW it's gonna be a good book when the preface, introduction, foreward, dedication, table of contents, and appendices are a blessing! This is going to be THAT kind of book! Thanks, Chad.

    Flash flood watch. Gotta love it. More later. I think I lost Abby's pics....

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Not your Springtime in Alaska

    Aren't these gorgeous? The blossoms are from our apricot (?) tree in the front, and the pansies from Coleman Hospital (get well soon, Sybil!). What a great time to have a camera.

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Books, Books, Books

    What books have changed your life, changed the way you think, the way you believe? Chadwick's post spurred me to these thoughts.

    Of course I would have to say the Bible, first and foremost! It contains ALL we need for life and godliness. It has all the answers we need to our questions. But most of all, it tells us all God wants us to know, and all we need to know, to live lives glorifying to Him.

    That being said, here goes:

    1. The Bible
    2. Knowing God by JI Packer
    3. The Sovereignty of God by AW Pink
    4. Revival by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
    5. Gadsby's Hymns
    6. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by JI Packer
    7. Desiring God by John Piper

    Kinda short, eh? I'll think of others later. What's on your list?

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Happy 33rd Birthday to Me

    Eighteen years old. Rebellious, angry, ungodly, without hope, lost. That would sum me up, 33 years ago. I THOUGHT I was a Christian, but I lived worse than I did when I was "lost." The Lord Jesus so graciously showed me my sin, and showed me Himself. "Draw me, we will run after Thee," it says in Song of Solomon. I ran after Him, and I have been, only by grace, running after Him ever since. He took away EVERYTHING I held dear, and left me only with Himself. And He was ENOUGH. And still is. I am forever grateful. I am so thankful for the things He taught me during this extremely difficult and lonely time. He showed me that He was my portion, and I was able to say, Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee. (Psalm 73:25.) It was a glorious time, and that is an understatement. I bless the Lord for His forgiveness, and for making me a new creature. I want to love and serve Him forever.

    My life verse is Philippians 3:10: That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. We can't know Him and the power of His resurrection without learning the fellowship of His sufferings. This I am still learning, and imagine it will be so until I go to be with the One, whom, having not seen, I love. It is hard, but it is so good, and so good for me. As Peter said (in one of my favorite passages), To whom shall we go? for Thou hast the words of eternal life....

    What a glorious God we serve! To Him be all the glory! Thank you, God, for birthing me into the Kingdom of your dear Son!

    Papa and the Firstborn Among Many Brethren

    Here is our firstborn with the Papa on a windy day--don't let the breeze fool you--he is NOT fat! I like my firstborn, on top of loving him very much. He's a great son, and a great father. I am so thankful for him.
    Under the latest news: I'm having a total hysterectomy a week from today. Wowie. My first "real" surgery, and my first stay in the hospital where I'm not bringing home a little one! Hopefully many repairs will be made and I will be as good as new when it's over. The Papa is taking off for a week to care for his Pee Wee, and he is such a wonderful caregiver (and an outstanding cook!). I do believe they will kick him out of the hospital, as he wants to sleep with me. He is actually quite needy concerning me, which is interesting to see in a man of his strengths. I think the nurses will point out that none of the beds there are full- or queen-size! AND for a reason! He'll probably make me sleep on the cot so he can get a good night's sleep. My sweet Bubby has offered to come take care of me when the Papa goes back to work. Precious dotters I have, as, of course, Principessa has also offered to come help. Whatafamily! Even my "other dotter," CC, has offered to come help me. I LOVE that girl! Can't lift anything over 25 lbs. the rest of my life, or I undo the surgery. Glad they didn't say 10 lbs., or I'd never get to hold Misty's newborns!!! Precious baby grands....
    The Big Birthdays Bash begins shortly! Miggy the 28th, Naomi June 13th, Abs July 22nd ! Start saving now, eh?
    I'm in the middle of Jeremiah currently, reading through the Bible in 90 days. I'm loving it! Dear Jeremiah of the broken heart. What should we glory in? Anything in ourselves? No. We should glory in this, that we know and understand God (see John 17:3). His ways are amazing. I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life getting to know and understand Him.
    I forgot! Happy Birthday to me! More in the next post!

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    Inchoate (in ko' et) (upside-down E)

    I love, love, love words! And I love new words. And here's my new word: inchoate. Found it in a book I was reading. When I find a new word, I say it to myself over and over again, I can't stop thinking about it, I type it in my mind, etc. (Does this count, Chadwick?)

    How about a definition? "Being only partly in existence or operation; esp: imperfectly formed or formulated (misty, inchoate suspicions that all is not well with the nation--JM Perry)." --Webster's

    What do you think? Have you heard or read that word before? I HAVE to drop it into a conversation soon!

    I also love unusual names. IOUSE. (That's an Air Force one.) Pronounced OS way. Ineligible for Scrabble, but it would be outstanding, eh?

    I HAD to do something with my new cool word. Thanks for reading. Sorry.

    Thursday, February 22, 2007

    Bits and Pieces

    Lots has been going on since I wrote last. Our dear daughter miscarried. You can read about it at http://bought-with-a-price.blogspot.com. She and Miggy accompanied me to the doctor in Angelo yesterday, and we had us a good cry on the way home. God is faithful, and it has been such a bittersweet blessing to see her and her precious husband go through this trial. God gets the glory.

    I finally got some medicine so I can feel on top of everything again. Bubby visiting said it felt like I wasn't here. Blah. I feel better already. I've felt like I'm always fixin' to get bronchitis again (misery). Maybe this round of medicine will help.

    The Bible in 90 Days is something I'd encourage everyone to sign up for. It takes a VERY strong commitment, as there is a LOT of reading in one day, manageable in smaller portions a few times a day. Sarah and I are about halfway through. It has been EXCELLENT. It's helped me so much to get the Big Picture, and a lot of the history in the Old Testament. The story of Balaam finally makes sense, too!

    Bubs "loaned" us their deluxe treadmill--it even blows cool air on you! I got a few minutes on it this morning, as I can almost breathe normally today, and I got my most-wonderful Z-COILS! My plantar fasciitis is non-existent when I wear these! What a wonder! I will hopefully add a pic of the most comfortable shoes ever! (And I'm a tad taller, which, at 5', is quite nice for 6' hubby's kisses!)

    I got some awesome pics of Bubby's beautiful tulips. I will add one here. I had a ball taking them. Just put up a black background and have fun!

    Somehow I have Shaunna's pics from her blog scrolling on MY pics on my sidebar! Help!

    Greg's preaching Sunday. We just had Forrest Keener come preach--he is a joy! Pray for us as we seek a pastor. We are blessed with three godly men (and a young man) in our church, and all three of them can preach and teach.

    This entry is like a shotgun--all over the place!
    Beans turned 5 on Monday--our only grandson. I took him to eat at Chili's, and we had a great time. He had $9 burning a hole in his pocket, so we shopped for toys. He is precious--Emmie, tell me what you want and I'll buy it for you! We have a special bond, we do. He promised that when he grew to be a teenager he would still hold my hand in the mall (like we'll still have malls then!).
    The weather! It's in the 80s today, after a low in the 30s, I think. A preview of coming attractions....
    And that's how I get caught up on blogging. Sorry, guys. I love you.

    Friday, February 02, 2007


    A beautiful reality. A few days ago I was listening to "the flag-waver special" on my favorite station, and they played God Bless America. Great song. And I was brought back to my childhood, when I sang God Bless My Underwear. And I wept. What an ungodly fool I was! I now, by grace, KNOW and LOVE this God, and I belong to Him for eternity. He has ONLY been good to me! (I weep now as I write.) And there I was, so lost, taking His beautiful name IN VAIN. I deserve hell. I deserve separation from God. Yet He had mercy on me, and forgave me my foolish ungodliness. He won't hold the one guiltless who takes His name in vain, it says in the Ten Commandments. Christ, my love, the Fairest of the fair, took my punishment.

    What does one do with SUCH love, such forgiveness? Does one continue in the same transgression, trusting there will be forgiveness still? As Paul says, God forbid! "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be FEARED."

    If the forgiveness we believe we have leads us to continue in sin and being perfectly content in that position, we do not have that forgiveness! Christ's forgiveness produces not only cleansing, but holiness. Only God can help us to have a right view of ourselves, and a right view of Him who is Holy. Only a new birth can give us such a heart to desire such things for our lives. May we walk before the Lord and be pleasing to Him. May He guard our mouths and our hearts--how desperately I need Him to!

    Thank you, Lord, for forgiveness, for being CLEAN before you. How did I LIVE before this? I DIDN'T. I was worse than a walking dead person--I was actively wicked, and lived my life contrary to God.

    But what about the person who says, "THAT wasn't me; I've always been a good and a nice person"? One preacher said, "When God saved me, He reached down BELOW the murderer, the child molester, the adulterer, the thief--He reached down to me in MY SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS." The GREATEST commandment is to love the Lord our God with all we have; if we do not do that, we are the GREATEST sinner, no matter how much we try to be and look good and proper. We ALL lived our lives contrary to God before we came to know Him--NO man seeks after God. God doesn't see as Man sees: He looks on the heart.

    How can you LIVE without Him? How can you teach your children right from wrong when they start asking? What example will you give them? Where can you go for help when there is no help? May God show us our desperate need of Himself!

    I thank the Lord for showing me--a proud, stupid, foolish, ungodly punk (this is NOT an exaggerated description!)--His grace and His forgiveness. Glory to God!

    Thursday, February 01, 2007

    Happy February! and my shelves....

    I FINALLY got my shelves! What a great husband I have. And they were just as I pictured them in my mind. I had a great time this morning putting stuff in them.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    There went the title!

    The dragonfly was so pretty, but waaayyy too dark for my taste. So it's off to pink, and I lost half my title. Hum-dee-doo!

    Snow, beautiful snow!

    Obviously, I didn't get to go to McKinney (sorry, Ledbetters! You are so missed!), but I do have beautiful, beautiful snow outside! What do I think of when I see snow? "...Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow...." Seeing a beautiful bright red cardinal outside contrasted against the snow really enforces the image in my mind. I'm trying to upload a snow pic from my kitchen window (the only time I've been glad for no screen there!). What a glorious day!
    I was talking to the cashier at Wal-Mart, and I asked him to please check a price for me. He went on and on about the word, "please," and how wonderful it is to hear. At the end of the conversation, he called it "the most beautiful word." I couldn't leave that alone, so I said, "One of the most beautiful words is FORGIVEN." He agreed, and spoke about how some people's religion is a sham, and I said, "Yes, but for some it is their foundation."
    Maybe I'll get to talk to him again. Nice guy.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Lovin' it!

    Lovely weather, eh? I'm loving it, but it might hinder me going to McKinney tomorrow! Dean's Wal-Mart has its Grand Opening on Thursday, and the kids need a babysitter. I hope to be the one! The weather really is awesome; I can't believe it's staying so cold for so long! I don't think it's been over 32 degrees for the past 4 or 5 days! The water's running in the sinks and outside, and the cabinet doors underneath are all open. Enjoy this wonderful WINTER weather--the AC will be on in the car within a month, I can almost guarantee. I love the cold....

    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Jacob made me cry.

    I'm going through The Bible in 90 Days with a sweet online group of ladies. Yesterday I finished Genesis. First a comment on Jacob.

    Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery, Jacob, the father, thinks he's dead, there's a famine in the land, and now the older brothers come back from Egypt, telling Jacob that the man in charge of the food wants them to return with the youngest brother, after keeping Simeon (another of the brothers). Listen to what Jacob cries: "...Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: ALL THESE THINGS ARE AGAINST ME." (Caps mine.) --Genesis 42:36. In the times I've read this story, I usually cry when Joseph sees his brothers (coming up), they don't recognize him, and he has to leave to cry. But this time, upon reading THIS, I cried. Poor Jacob! I cried because I KNOW THE END OF THE STORY! This appears to be the very WORST thing that could happen to him--he must be ready to give up and die. BUT GOD is working behind the scenes, and all these things are working together for Jacob's good!

    What was last year like for you? For us, we went through THE most difficult trial of our Christian lives. I felt like Jacob--All these things are against me! Against us! BUT GOD knows the end of the story from the beginning, and He IS working behind the scenes, and all these things are working together for OUR good. Linda, take heart! If we could know the end, I'm sure we would laugh with joy and wonder. And cry with amazement. How great is our God! "O for grace to trust Him more."

    The high temperature has not been up to 30 the past three days, and we are iced in. I'm enjoying my Blogfest! AND my husband!


    From our Top 10 Movies comes the song, "Traditon" (Fiddler on the Roof--watch it--even the songs!). One of our traditons is a cold evening, homemade sticky buns, and watching Moby Dick, on GREG'S Top 10 Movies. Sadly, the Ledbetters could not join us, so that left the Blanket Risses and the Early Miggy-and-Family. Captain Ahab "beckoned." A cozy fire on a freezing cold night completed the picture. Wish everyone could've been there. Made-from-scratch hot cocoa, rice, beans, and wocca-wocca (guacamole) were also on the menu, though not in that order! A good time was had by all.

    Growing in Grace

    A perfect evening. A welcoming hostess, door prizes, a wonderful meal--beautifully presented, and a searching Bible study. Our verse was, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."--II Peter 3:18. We discussed what it means to "grow in grace," shared some excellent quotes, talked about what "knowledge" meant, and were encouraged to start a journal of God's workings in our lives this year. I was blessed to see the growth in grace evidenced in my two precious friends. As one challenged us to step out of our "comfort zone" to minister to others, I marveled at how I was seeing that happen right before my eyes! It's wonderful to see how Christ conforms us to His image, while still keeping our personalities. May Jesus Christ be praised!

    Chin-up Queen

    If she looks unsure of herself, it's only because she's only done them once before on my canopy bed! Isn't she dear?

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    ...but can they name the twelve disciples?

    These guys! They can tell you the score to any sport game in the past 30 years, along with other "relevant" stats... A fun reunion after Howard Payne's bb game produced this pic, which I absolutely LOVE:
    (AND he can preach!)

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Some thoughts on David

    Does something in the Scriptures ever catch your eye? In II Samuel 7, the prophet Nathan (the bravest man in Scripture, methinks!) tells King David of God's covenant with him--how God will bless his house and his kingdom. Verse 18 has these interesting words: "Then went king David in, and SAT BEFORE THE LORD (caps mine)...." (I'm smiling as I type.)

    Did he sit in a chair, on the floor, on his throne, on a cushion? We don't know. If the verse had said, "He knelt before the LORD," it wouldn't have captured my attention. He SAT.

    And he had a talk with the Lord, a wonderful session of praise and thanksgiving. Read this: "...and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?" (the rest of verse 18). Imagine a humble KING! He understood his SOURCE--the God of grace! That is precious.

    Then David says this in verse 20: "And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant." It's not surprising that this is the same man who, inspired by the Holy Ghost, wrote Psalm 139, which begins with: "O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me."

    What an excellent time of praise it is that we get to "eavesdrop" on! King David sat and talked to God. And we can do the same. May our New Year be filled with many such days. How worthy is our Lord!