Sunday, February 27, 2011

grabbed by God

(alternately titled: why we keep our kids in church with us...)

Jeremiah told us this evening 
that he got 'grabbed by God' this morning.

The sermon was on Noah's Ark
well, actually it had more to do with the rainbow
but still the whole story was covered.
Jeremiah said that as he was listening to Paul talk,
he realized that we were all related,
and he believed in God.
He said he felt God grab him.
Tyler asked if it was like a hug
and he answered,
"God just grabbed me all over and now I believe."
When he prayed before dinner this evening
one of the things he said was,
 "...and thank you for bringing me to love You."

Suddenly all the years of fighting with kids in church
missing most of the service due to the training of children
are paying off.

God, just keep grabbin' us!

oh - and the rainbow?
It isn't a reminder for us;
It's a reminder for God.

that's love

She's seen me do it dozens of times,
run my teeth quickly around an apple to peel it.

Lily told Lexi she'd peel her a Cutie.
I reminded her Lex' doesn't care for Cutie's.
So she said she'd fix her an apple instead.
I wasn't quite sure how she was going to 'fix' it
seeing that she can't use a knife
(except for mushrooms)
A few minutes later,
she came walking into the living room 
with her cheeks stuffed w/ apple skin
holding out a half-peeled apple to her precious sis.

Lily prefers her apples without skin, too.

Lily, you are going to make such a fabulous momma someday!!
Thanks for loving Lex' so well!!
Momma sure loves you!


That's how many pieces of pizza
Marcos had for lunch today.
He was going to go for twenty-five,
until he remembered 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

fightin' over laundry

Lexi saw me sorting the whites
and immediately sat down to fold washcloths.

Every time she'd get one folded
(and that girl is getting fast!)
she'd throw her hands up in the air,
"My did it!"

Lily wanted to help fold, too;
there was a pile of kitchen towels
just waiting to be folded.

then Lex' had to have her picture taken 
in exactly the same spot Lily had been....

oddly enough
no one was begging to match up the socks though

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

V. planifolia

Just what is Girlfriend up to now??


I really miss my brain!
was the order deadline for Azure Standard.
I had the order in my cart.
I just plain forgot to actually place the order.
I even had someone e-mail
asking where the pick-up was to be
and still it didn't trigger, "Azure order!"
I called this morning to beg for mercy.
No mercy is available.

To add insult to injury,
I am playing 'Drop Point Coordinator'
for the next pick-up.
Tyler and Tony (and sometimes, Sandy)
have taken care of picking up the orders;
I've never done it.
I figure,
If I'm coordinating the pick-up,
I ought to have at least a clue 
to how it works.
Add to that, 
I told a friend I'd get her order for her,
you know - since I'll already be there anyways...
I'll be at the pick-up point next Tuesday,
I just won't be picking up anything for me.

I hope I remember to show up!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Running water yesterday
flushing toilet today!!

Living in an outhouse got old real fast.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

do the math

We had a leak in our main water line.
Some nice young men came over.
I paid them a lot of money
and they fixed the leak.
The line is leaking again,
more aggressively this time.
Even with the water shut off now
the ground is so saturated
that the toilet will not flush.

There are nine people living in this house.
We eat whole grains.

Friday, February 18, 2011

how's that again?

Marcos got a letter,
addressed to him - using his full name
in care of
our address.
It was from Immigration Court.
They denied his address change request
because his name wasn't on the form.

Think about that for a minute.

welcome to the US legal system

like to read?

I started 'visiting' the Hendricks family
in November, after Heather wrote this post.
Good family!
I love what they are doing in Haiti,
especially Heather, working with the pregnant mommas...
Her boys are doing a Read-a-Thon at school
to raise money for Teach Haiti.
100% of the money raised goes to teaching children to read.
so they can read the Bible.
Some of you may remember that 
that's why Brandon was eager to learn to read well;
he was reading in a Beginners Bible 
and knew he was missing out on a huge portion of the Bible,
so this little fundraiser is close to my heart.
(I have a lot of things close to my heart, huh?)
I was thinking - 
maybe you'd like to sponsor one or all of the boys?
The older one will likely read a couple of hours a day;
the younger two - probably about a half hour...
Even if you don't want to participate in the read-a-thon
you probably want to go visit anyways.

and this concludes today's public service announcement

Thursday, February 17, 2011


We woke up this morning
praying for favor.
Marco's first deportation hearing, 
originally scheduled for early January
was to be today at 9:00 A.M.
The presiding judge is referred to as
'The Axin' Judge'.

Now, before I go any further,
can we clear something up?

He's instructed us, if we truly love Him,
to take care of them.
He feels the same way about aliens and foreigners.

To be perfectly honest,
I could have spent the rest of my life not knowing that.
It's a lot more 'acceptable' in our culture - even among Christians -
to take care of the fatherless.
maybe even the widows.
Take care of the foreigner, though? not so much.

I was there, too.
I even told Tyler through self-righteous tears,
"I want to spend my money to help somebody who would die 
without it. Not to help some criminal."
I may have even spat that last sentence.

I never gave a thought to what would drive someone
to leave everything  - and everyone - they know,
to risk imprisonment,
to go to another country.
a country that does not welcome them.

I now know what drove one person.
And I sure wouldn't wish it on any of my kids!
Immigration Court in Halingen, TX
offers a unique opportunity to first time defendants.
The alien is allowed to represent himself via the telephone
for his 'master hearing'.
(I called the court three different times to confirm this)
Since our government is convinced Marcos is a minor,
Tyler could represent him instead.
I dialed the phone for Tyler at 8:58.
The clerk took our number and told us the judge would call
sometime today. 
Both Tyler and Marcos had to be available when he called.
We already knew that it may be hours before Judge Axin' would call
so Tyler took the day off of work
and the guys worked on the bunkhouse instead.

All day long,
I carried my phone with me.
It was too warm for a jacket today
and I don't do phones in pants' pockets
so I put it in the pocket of a shirt
and tied the shirt around my waist.
A missed call would be the same as 
not showing up for court
and would result in an instantaneous order for deportation.
I prayed, "Lord. Please don't let him call 
while I'm on the pot..." more than once.
The phone rang a few times
but it was never the judge.
I called at 4:50.
It seems that the judge granted our change of venue request
(to a closer court - the closest one being in Memphis)
and cancelled today's hearing.
And Marcos received favor from the LORD.

Let me add -  
Tyler and I do believe that it is wrong to illegally enter the US.
We also believe that we must obey God.
We have been encouraging Marcos to do what is necessary 
to obey the laws of the land.
We believe that God has a plan for Marcos;
and for some reason,
that plan, at least for a time, includes us. 

and I didn't think I'd get to sew today

not that I'm complaining,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

v day recap

It's no secret I'm not into Hallmark Holidays.
somehow I ended up doing heart-y stuff for the kiddos.

would you look at that ~ a heart shaped air bubble in my bread!

In addition to the festive sparkly playdough, 
we had heart shaped sandwiches
and Purple Cows
for lunch
(grape juice concentrate made with milk instead of water)
and dinner was 
heart shaped pizzas.

The element on the oven went out
somewhere between pre-cooking the crusts
and putting the pizzas in to bake.
I was ready to cry
when Tyler suggested using the broiler.
Which worked just fine.
You are a genius, My Love!

This was the first time Marcos made  pizza;

it was almost 2 inches tall before going in the oven
and had to weigh at least 2 lbs!
And he ate every bite.

 Tyler brought home some kitchen goodies for me
and bought the kids all helium balloons.

He was just going to buy them for the little ones
but thought that perhaps Marcos had never had his own balloon before,
so he decided to go ahead and get everyone one.
Had one?
Marcos had never even seen a helium balloon before!
He couldn't figure out how it worked.

Even though I'm not big on 'money holidays,'
I am big on making my kiddos feel special
and if putting some red food coloring in the heart-healthy oatmeal
and glitter in the play dough
and using a cookie cutter for sandwiches
make my kids feel special,
I guess I'm good with that.

Monday, February 14, 2011


cinnamon scented Valentine's playdough
complete with glitter.


perfect playdough

It might surprise you to know
that up until a month ago,
I'd never made playdough.
Reason being - I'm not really a fan of playdough.
But it turns out,
I'm just not a fan of store-bought playdough.

I used the recipe that Jean shared ages ago.
You'l be amazed to hear that I followed the recipe
Except that I may have mis-counted the TBSs of oil.
I was on the phone.
What can I say??

This recipe makes a huge batch.
as in
it almost fills up a gallon bucket!
(For some reason - that really surprised me)
I think the only thing I'll do differently next time
is color it after it's made,
instead of adding food color to the water.

Maybe I'll go make some playdough right now.
We can color it red.
Then I can say I did something Valentiney for the fam.
(I'm also not a fan of Valentine's Day...)

Friday, February 11, 2011

it's Groundhog Day. Again.

Since we missed Groundhog Day last week,
what with Tyler travelling to FL for his dad's funeral
and me stuck home with sick kids
and pipes freezing and all,
we just decided we'd have our own Groundhog Day
this week.
Which, in my opinion,
was completely appropriate
given we had a 100% chance of snow...

Groundhog Day is just my kind of holiday.
All I have to manage gathering 
if I'm really with it - some sort of looking-like-snow food,
(I'm rarely that with it)
the fixin's for our little groundhogs.

...don't forget your booties 'cause it's cold outside...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

in which I let the world know

am an old lady.

It's true.

I was talking on the phone yesterday w/ T
and looking out the living room window at the crepe myrtle.
Or more accurately,
looking at all the birds in the crepe myrtle.

four male cardinals, 1 female
1 blackbird of some sort
and several 
of what I think are 2 different types of finches.

I was telling him that the suet in my feeder
(a fabulous gift from an even more fabulous friend!)
was nearly gone
and I'd intended to get some birdseed 
when I went to Walmart last week, but I somehow forgot.

Brilliant son of mine that he is,
TJ said, "Just throw some wheat out there."

I hate when I'm one of the stupid people.
Not nearly as cheap as birdseed, but it'd get us through....
So I immediately grabbed some grain
 to toss out to my lovely feathered friends.

And then today,
I ventured outside with Wal-mart sacks on my feet
(can you say, "They're hicks, Rita.")
to take pictures of the birds.
one hundred fifty of them.
Not birds....
We have had about a hundred and fifty 
(maybe two hundred) blackbirds in the field lately...
I like watching them, too.

Maybe there is a bit of hope for me, though;
I suppose if I were truly an old lady
I would know exactly what types of birds they were...

I determined that real wildlife photographers
use tripods
and some form of remote clicker thing.

And I'm pretty sure they don't allow cats on photo shoots, either.

Speaking of birds,
my brother has a pretty cool bird story.

He's not old though.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

my good giver

Watching Marcos get ready to go out in the snow (again!)
I was filled with gratitude for Brandon.

While we are slowly collecting some things that are his,
much of what Marcos wears
is borrowed from Tony & Brandon
(although we do have a tiny problem of Marcos thinking
that if the boys loaned him something once,
 it is now his, which we will hopefully straighten out soon)
while still very generous,
has more to share.
He has enough jackets 
to wear a different one every day,
so giving one to Marcos wasn't terribly costly.
- twelve, mind you - 
has given what costs him more.
For starters,
he's given up his bed.
That alone makes me so proud of him!
But he's given so much in little ways too.
Like snow pants - which is what got me started on this....
The snow pants that he 'graduated to' just this year.
I'm pretty sure if I were him,
I'd have had a hard time letting someone wear my snowpants.
(I'm having a hard time giving up my 'right' 
to run to the bathroom in my underwear in the middle of the night...)
I doubt Brandon thought about it twice.
He just gives.
It's who he is.

I'm so proud of you, my boy!
are a good giver!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I think, sometimes, I over-complicate things

Take a broom, for example.

There's a saying that goes something like this:
Have only things in your home that are useful
and that you believe to be beautiful.
I said 'something like this' 
because I know that's not the quote exactly
but you get the point...

I would post a picture of my broom,
but ya'll would all feel so sorry for me,
I'd have brooms arriving in the mail
and via UPS 
left and right.

It's a cheap-o broom to begin with
and it's broken
- in more than one spot -
and duct taped together.
(but only in one spot)
And  it's been re-duct taped.....
It still works
But it certainly isn't what anyone would believe to be beautiful....

And this is where it  gets complicated.

I can afford to buy a nice broom.
A pretty broom, even.
But is it really necessary?
I can, after all, sweep the floor just fine
with my broken to bits broom.
Would I enjoy the feel of a nice bamboo handle while I sweep?
And would the swish of sorghum grass hitting my floor 
make the task more pleasant?
Sure. Most likely.
But does that really matter??
And take jars.

I have this one perfect jar
that TJ found a couple of months ago.
It was buried out by the old building he tore down for us.
I loved it the moment I saw it - still caked in dirt.

Tyler laughed at me yesterday when I told him
I'd be sad when it was empty.
I'd just used the second-to-the-last 1/2 c. of honey left in it.
"Can't you just refill it?" He asked.
Of course I can.
But it seems a little silly 
to pour honey from one perfectly good
- but not perfect -
into another,
simply because the one jar makes my heart sing a bit
 when I see it,
doesn't it??

I think,
I over-complicate things.

Friday, February 4, 2011

sorry, Brandon

I just couldn't help myself.
I know it's your special cup and all
but I just wanted to drink out of it real bad.

Who could blame me??

Thursday, February 3, 2011

fun Momma

I really wish I could find the mom
I used to be.
I don't know where she went 
or quite when I lost her.
3 or 4 kids ago, probably...

Once upon a time,
I was fun.
Never as fun as Dad, mind you, but still fun.
all the fun I could muster 
"Hey, Guys! Let's go buy a new heater!"
Should we go to Yeagers?
Or Wal-mart?"
What's sad
 for a brief moment
I really thought it might be fun.

We decided on Wal-mart
so we could buy some snacks, too.
About 30 seconds after buckling the girls
into one of those impossible to push gigantic carts
I changed my mind about our fun adventure.

note to self:
It has never been
nor will it likely ever be
to go to Walmart
with your 4 youngest children.

What might be fun, though
is eating Doritos with guacamole for dinner
and those color changing Jolly Rancher popsicles we bought
for dessert.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

stinkin' cold

52 degrees.
In my kitchen this morning.
And only slightly warmer (56) in the living and dining rooms.
That's with heaters going full blast.

I think we'll be holing up in my bedroom again.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

poor Lily

About all Lexi can say these days is,
"Poor Lily."
"I love you, Lily."
It just breaks her little heart that her big sister is sick.
Breaks Momma's heart, too.
But it sure is precious to see Lexi 
taking care of Lil'