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 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!

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