Sunday, November 30, 2008

Decorating the Tree

Tonight was tree decorating night. Love this night and God blessed us with gorgeous snow for the occaision. Love how it's coming down white and heavy and beautiful.

Well, this night is quite different now that we have all teenagers. Grant and his girlfriend lounged on the couch nearby, reluctantly. Had to drag them in and get them to hang. Grant had Ally put his things on the tree. Ashley was popping in and out, mostly on the computer and then hollaring at me about putting her picture on the internet. Blake was still into it but not near as much as last year. 13 is an odd age. Sometimes acting young, others acting like a full blown teen. Today he's been more young, cuddling me while we watched the Santa Clause and still wanting to decorate. Love that and cherish that, this is my last one! sad, so bittersweet.

Now the four of them are all cuddled up in the living room, next to the lighted tree, and watching Home Alone. I close listening to their laughter....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for I don't even know where to start.

My faith, my family, my friends....God has surely blessed me and I never feel worthy enough for all of it. But I thank Him just the same. We're all healthy, we have jobs to support us and that we both enjoy, my eighteen year old is doing awesome in college and work and coming around out of his pain in the butt status - love him! My thirteen year old is doing so much better in school this year (homeschooling) and working hard at his first job. My daughter is so beautiful and doing awesome in school (except for French 3 right ash?? LOL She says two years should have been enough) and graduating this year. We have a great home over our heads, cars to drive (well, two solid ones and one that loves to keep us guessing - but that's the fun of living right? A little gamble! LOL) We've got family galore (every other day we're with family - or they're spending the night, or we're playing cards, or we're out to dinner) to support us, friends who love to hang with us (card parties in the winter, bonfires in the fall and summer, hunting groups, coffee meet ups) - what more could we ask for?

Thank you Lord for all of it. None of it is becuase of me, all of it is because of You!

I leave you with a pic I took yesterday of three of my blessings....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

On Leadership

Today we talked about leadership at church. Thought I throw down a couple of interesting points about it.

Leadership starts with a servants heart. A good leader will actually serve those around him. This hit me. I mean, think of the kind of people who have been leaders to you: teachers, parents, pastors, bosses - which ones did you like the most? Probalby those who didn't just expect you to do for them but the ones who did things for you stand out to you don't they? I had a 6th grade teacher who was amazing. She stands out to me. I thought about the reason she stands out and it's because she cared about me and did things to help me out when my parents were going through a divorce and I had changed schools several times. She had a servants heart and becuase of this I was more likely to follow her.

Well, as always I apply this to my parenting and wonder how the kids see me. Does my servants heart show through to them? I hope so. I hope they know how much I care about them and want to do things for them. And I hope it makes me a better leader/parent to them.

Thank you Lord for the wonderful Sunday with my family.

Raising Teenagers is like Nailing Jello to a Tree

Teenagers, such a bitter sweet experience raising them, let me tell you people. And Brent and I are in uncharted territory as far as our friends and family go. We're the first to have them and the first to go through what you go through with them. (As we've been with every stage in having children since everyone else waited and we jumped right in LOL). But we're learning all the time what it takes, learning on the job. But isn't that the definition of parenting? Learning on the job?? Do the best you can do, love them, teach them, and pray for them to make it through the teenage years.

The Sweet: Those big kid hugs that are so rare seem so much more precious now when you get them. As babies they "need" the loving like food and water and you just get thier cuddles and kisses all day long. When they are teenagers, even though they actually still need it, they wouldn't admit that if their life depended on. So when you get the hugs, or a hand hold, you know they are doing it becuase they want to. Exactly how I think God feels when you come to him for no other reason than you want to. Not becuase you need anything. Getting that loving from a teenager is special. It is much further and farther between but when you get a little, you know they are doing it for other reasons; for you (maybe realizing a mom needs a hug or loving) or becuase they just want to hug you.

The Bitter Sweet: Today we were all in the car together, as a family. What's the big deal you ask? Well, this doesn't happen much any more now that Grant is graduated and has his own car. And since Ashley got more of her own life going on. Even Sunday's, Grant has met us at church. Today we were all in the same car for the first time in months and I cherished it. I looked around the car at my family and thought, I wonder how long before this happens again?? Or will it ever again? Call me crazy sentimental, I know. I'm the same crazy person that thought about that last time you put your child down and NEVER pick them up again. Here, let me explain. You know how you are always picking up your baby, your toddler, you little kid, shoot, i'm still picking up Blake so 13 isn't unheard of. But....there will come a day when you pick up that big kid, hug him, set his/her feet on the ground and you NEVER pick them up in your arms again, ever. This is such a sad thought to me, especially since it's practically impossible to know when that last time is. On thinking about this today I think I haven't picked up Blake now in a bit and I'll bet I can't any more. He jsut grew like 5 inches and two shoe sizes in the last month. Now, of course, I'll have to try but I'll bet it's over. A month or two ago I picked him up, hugged him, and set him down to never hold my baby in my arms like that again.

Well, teenagers are an interesting species. We are doing our best and praying every day but in the end, this walk of life we each have, it's between ourselves and our God and no one else. Brent and I can be there to guide them and love them and help them, but they have to make the decisions themselves on how they walk the walk. And something I had to learn early on so I wouldn't go crazy, it's not personal to the parents. If you did your best, if you will be proud to stand before God and go over your parenting style with him, then it is not personal if your child turns out to be the black sheep of them family. That is personal between the child and God.

Parenting is personal too....this is what I tell people who want to give me advice, and Brent tells them this too, if you havne't been through what we've been through, and been through it successfully, then do NOT give us advice. We only take advice from parents who have successfully been through the stage that we are at now. Now, I love comparing issues with parents who are IN the same issues we are in. But if you don't have teenagers, don't try to give people advice about their teenagers. You have NO clue what it's like raising and loving one of these interesting creatures.

So yeah, it is like nailing jello to a tree trying to raise these guys, but knowing that I have God, and that I've been raising my children the way God tells me to raise them since day one, then I know I just have to keep trying to nail that Jello up to that tree and hope it starts sticking one day.

Missing My Trip

I have been so bummed for the past two days. Ashley and I were supposed to go to my sister's for our annual visit during hunting week and the weather made us cancel. Living in Michigan can totally suck some times. You just never know what the weather is going to do.

Well, years past we have had a lot of fun. When the kids were all young and I was a stay at home, homeschooling mom, we made an entire week out of it! Each year we took turns at each other's houses. You'd find us going on field trips together, schooling the kids on a project together, doing art/crafts (one year we made duct tape purses, flip flops, and bikini's!), or bible studies. It was always a lot of fun! Those years have gone now and it has shrunk to a weekend and as of last year shrunk to the girls only. Oh well, times are always changing and there's nothing you can do about it . : ( Just wish we could have gone this year.

So, instead of that, my husband said he'd take me out all weekend and make sure I had some fun. Last night we did dinner and a movie. The movie by the way, was extremely dramatic and I left wanting to cry. People behind me were actually crying. It was called "The Boy in the Striped Pajama's" and it was about a concentration camp. The ending was unexpected and definitely not happy. Just awful. A well done movie but the topic just is never going to be anything to smile about obviously. Then this morning he made me breakfast and we got on a long over due honey due list and house cleaning. The kids all pitched in and we got a lot done! Tonight he made us a turkey dinner with the fixings ( I have NO IDEA why he did this so close to our thanksgiving dinners but I didn't push it, LOL) and then we went to hang with Spencer and Caroline (Brent's brother and his wife) to relax and visit (Lonier's came too so the gang was just about all there).

Tomorrow is church and then I'm not sure what yet but I have to do something so I dont' think about missing my sister and our visit.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Verse for This Snowy Sunday

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:6

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Opening Day 2008

What a cool day in history, Freed history that is. This is definitely one for the record books.

Well, Brent and Spencer have been hunting on Spencer new land in Clinton county (just down the road from us). Today, opening day of gun, they were there again and planned to stay all day. They actually gave up a 25 year tradition of being in the UP on this day. (side note - this is the first time in 25 years I've seen Brent on November 15th - weird!) Anyway, about noon Brent calls to me and whispers (which I don't really get???) that Spencer got a nine point so he had to stay out to get one instead of coming in and warming up. I whisper back "Well, have fun babe, I'm going shopping".

Two hours later I get another phone call. I open my cell phone to more whispering "I got one, I got one!" Now, if he got it, why are we whispering??? So he's all excited and tells me he'll call me back to tell me what he got. I was so happy for him. Love seeing him so geeked.

Anyway, I head over there to take pics for the guys and it turns out Brent's is a 10 point! So, Brent and Spencer both got big bucks today, two hours apart, from the same stand, using the same gun! What are the odds of brothers doing that on opening day? I'm so happy for these guys. Well, enough of the girl version of the story, here are the pics. If you want the guy version of the story I'm sure Brent or Spencer will tell you all about it even if you don't ask! LOL

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Kids

Here is Blake thinking he's way too cool ....I just found this picture on my camera. Don't know when he took it but I just bought him that jacket last week. LOL
This is Grant and his girlfriend Ally. Ashley gave me this picture off her MySpace. I thought it was sooooo cute! He probably doesn't even know I have it!

And my one and only girl....this is Ashley's pic from her camera but I just thought it was too cute. Love her happy smile....and don't knwo what is up with two of my kids taking pics of themselves in the mirror.

Just thought I'd throw in some current pics of my kiddos, snapshots. I rarely do the snapshot thing but I know I should more. Brent actually gets after me for always having posed/professional shots. Sheesh, what a problem! Anyway...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Verse for Today

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. - Romans 13:1 (NIV)


Well, all I can say about this election is I'm glad God is in charge. He must have a reason to allow someone like Barrak Obama to come to presidency. Someone who could not even get FBI clearance becuase of all his questionable connections. Someone who believes in allowing people to kill babies. Someone who thinks it's okay to sit on your backside all day long and collect money from the hard working people of America. Someone who's own pastor damn's America. Someone who had Cuban flags in several of his campaign offices (probably becuase of money he recieved from them and had to display them). Someone who is more comfortable running America in a communistic way. The attitude of "we deserve it" is rampant in America. You DON'T deserve free hand out's people. You have to WORK for the American dream and the rich people who did just that deserve it. If you want the "American Dream" but don't work for it you DON'T deserve anything extra. And someone who says gays have everyone is okay that in the future your children and grandchildren will be exposed to gay behavorior right in the streets instead of allowing those people to keep their sin between them and God? Scary. Sinning should not be made legal. I am not judging sinners. I'm a sinner just like everyone else. But I don't flaunt my sin. I'm ashamed of my sin and ask God's forgiveness every day. But some how a lot of America is okay with these things and that scares me for our future unless I think how God is in charge and this is in His grand plan. Thank you Lord.

Well, sorry for getting heated. I'm just bothered, extremely. My children have to grow up in this world, unless God comes back before then and honestly, I think He is coming soon. This place is getting out of hand and He isn't going to tolerate it much longer.

Dear Lord - your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. You are in charge God.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We've had Quincy over for the weekend and I took the opportunity to take some new pictures of her. Here are some of them:

We've just been hanging out and then tonight Brent and I took her and Blake to dinner at Relli's in Dewitt. The last picture above was Quincy's idea. She made me drag that chair outside and then she posed all on her own. Do you think she's grown up with a photographer for an aunt??