Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

It has been such a beautiful Memorial Day, and a beautiful weekend. Before we went to church yesterday, I wanted to get a family picture of us. It was hilarious to see later when I looked at the pictures online because Sierra even got in the picture! See her in the window? If you click on the picture it will enlarge it. She just wanted to be in the picture too!

Yesterday we went to my parents house after church, and we had a great day there. We had a wonderful lunch of burgers on the grill, potato salad, pasta salad, tossed salad and carrot cake for dessert. It was really good. After lunch, Jeff and Evie went outside to go fishing. My parents live on a pond, and usually the fishing is really good. They weren't biting at all when Jeff and Evie fished though. We went out on the paddle boat, and had a lot of fun. We saw the most adorable baby ducks. They were like little fuzzy golf balls waddling around. I wish I could have gotten a picture of them. Here are a few pictures of us on the boat.

After we went on the paddle boat, my dad took us to a field not too far from their house and we flew a kite. It was fun, and we got the kite to go really high. I love that Jeff got a picture of Evie and I in our matching shirts :). Once the kite got up into the air, we all laid down in the grass and watched it. We didn't relax long because the wind died down and the kite started falling fast!

On our way home, we stopped at Dairy Queen and got ice cream cones. We almost never eat ice cream that is the sugary stuff. I make homemade ice cream all the time in my Vita Mix, but it is made with fruit, stevia and honey. It was fun to have a special treat like an ice cream cone. We were able to eat outside because it was so beautiful.
This morning, Jeff put in our ceiling fan in the living room. It looks so nice. He still has to wire it, but it shouldn't take too long. Jeff's parents came for lunch, and we had a great visit. We had burgers on the grill, corn on the cob, potato salad, tossed salad, chips and guacamole, and homemade Vita Mix ice cream for dessert. We sat and visited with Mom and Dad for a few hours outside. It was a fun weekend! I am sad that it is already almost over!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sunny Day

It was such a beautiful day here. The sun was shining and it was in the high 60's. Jeff tried to work on the ceiling fan today in the living room this morning, but wasn't able to do much because it ended up getting so hot in the attic that he could hardly breathe. We do have a lovely hole in the ceiling now where the fan is going to go. Jeff planted the rest of my perennials in the front flower bed, and it looks nice. I was able to plant my garden today too, so all of my planting is done. I had planted seeds (carrots, lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, basil and cilantro) several weeks ago, and that stuff is starting to come up. Today I planted 6 tomato plants, 6 green pepper plants and 6 zucchini plants. I don't have a huge garden, so I had to really cram things in!

Jeff drained our hot tub today and didn't put any chemicals in it so Evie could swim. It warmed up by this afternoon, and Evie went in at around 2:30. She was in there until 5:30! Her hands and feet were so shriveled! Her eyes are bloodshot too from swimming underwater so much. I am amazed she stayed in there as long as she did. Evie tans super easily, and hasn't had a single sunburn in all her 6 1/2 years....until today. She got sunburned on her face after swimming for that long. Normally I am faithful about putting sunscreen on her, but today I didn't do it. She looks cute with her pink cheeks. It brings out those baby blues. I will have to be more careful in the future though.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Planting flowers

My hubby came home from Texas/Oklahoma early this afternoon. Yay! We went to a new authentic Mexican restaurant for lunch. It is a new place only a few miles from us, and the food was awesome. I am learning to split restaurant meals with Evie because there is always way too much food to eat otherwise. We split chicken fajitas, and they were so good. Afterwards we came home for awhile and Jeff took a nap. He had to get up at 3:00 a.m. this morning because he had such an early flight. After he took a nap for about an hour, we went and bought some vegetable plants and a bunch of flowers. Evie helped me plant the flowers in my flower beds after we got home while Jeff worked on laying landscape fabric in one of my other flower beds. I planted petunias and impatients. We bought some perennials for the flower bed Jeff worked on, but we ran out of time to put them in.

We bought some stuff for the house today. We had been going for a rustic theme for our house, but I finally gave up. We live in a subdivision, so the rustic hunting lodge theme just doesn't make much sense. It was starting to feel really redneck. We are going for more of a traditional look now. We have a plant shelf in the living room, and we bought some silk plants for up there. I need a few more things to fill it up. We also bought ceiling fans for the living room and our bedroom. Last year we really needed them because both rooms got so hot in the summer. Hopefully Jeff will be able to put them in easily. He has to do wiring, so that always takes more time. Thankfully my hubby is really handy! I'm so glad to have him home again!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I have been homeschooling Evie since September of last year, so I have almost one year under my belt. I am now only doing it 2-3 days a week since we have so many days in already. I am planning to homeschool at least one day a week during the summer months so she won't forget everything she learned. Lately she has really been fighting me on homeschooling. Today was one of those day. I don't like having to fight with her nonstop with it. It is a pain, and it is stressful. Maybe that is common among homeschool families. I will have to start asking other homeschool moms. Evie is doing so well with homeschooling, despite the fact that she battles me about it. She is writing all of her letters, reading sentences, telling time, learning Bible verses, and lots more. She is very smart, but has her own learning style. She actually learned her numbers (identifying them to 100) when she was standing on her head. No, I am not kidding. She can stand on her head for hours (and does), and so I figured I would just let her while I show her flashcards. Crazy, but it worked. I'm thinking they won't let her do that in a classroom. Reading has been her biggest challenge because she has a very hard time sitting still and focusing. She gets super frustrated and screams at the book. I have had to go back in the book several times to help her catch up because the book advanced too fast. That is one great thing about homeschooling. You can really cater to your child's needs more.

About a year and a half ago, Evie was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, which is on the autism spectrum. Because of the SPD, she has everything from serious hyperactivity to noise sensitivity, chemical and food sensitivities. The poor kid almost always has a rash from something, whether it is from some food, or some chemical. We had her tested for food allergies, and she was allergic to 28 foods. And they weren't weird foods either. She was allergic to wheat, all dairy, soy, all tree nuts but peanuts and walnuts, all grains that have gluten, all citrus fruit and some other major stuff. We have tried to eliminate those foods as much as possible, but she has to eat! I have had to be really creative. Evie loves our hot tub, but the chemicals in it give her a rash from head to toe. Jeff is going to see if he can change the filter to a salt water filter so she can be in it. Evie is 100% energy from sunup to sundown. Some days it is so exhausting for me. We are believing God to heal her body completely from all of this. We know God is a big God! He is a healing God! Some days are really frustrating for me, but God helps me through. I know that God wants me to homeschool her, but some days I wonder if I am cut out for it. I must be doing something right because she is learning! Someone in my online homeschool group sent me this video not too long ago.

The video is only about a minute long, and it is cute. I didn't realize that it was Tim Hawkins in the video until one of the homeschool mom's mentioned it (he is big among many homeschool families because he is funny, clean humored, and he and his wife homeschool their 4 kids). It is a great video, and gave me a much needed laugh for today. By the way, those are not all his kids :).

Jeff left for a business trip to Oklahoma and Texas this morning. He will be gone until Friday. I miss him already. He hasn't had to travel as much lately, so I have been really glad for that.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fun Fair

Our church has a fundraiser every year to raise money to support the school that is associated with our church. They do a Fun Fair, and there are games set up in the gym. They also have horseback riding, basketball, and a rock climbing wall set up outside. You buy tickets, and use the tickets to go on whatever you want. Jeff was going to go with us, but he had the flu since last Thursday. My Dad ended up taking us, and we had a really great time! Evie has never been on a horse before (although she has petted them a million times since Jeff's parents live right next to a horse farm). She wanted to ride the horse at the Fun Fair, and we were only the second person in line when it opened up so she got to have a nice long ride. She loved it!

We then went into the gym, and Evie wanted to win some kind of prize. There was a marshmallow eating contest, so she did that. She ate 4 marshmallows in 30 seconds. Here is a super flattering picture of her with her mouth stuffed with marshmallows. Can't you just see this picture in a slide show on her wedding day? LOL!

I made a cake for the cake walk in the gym, and when my Dad found out, he said he wanted my cake! At the cake walk, you have 3 chances to win for $1.00. Dad didn't win in the first 3 chances, so he handed the people another dollar and won on the very next song :). He picked my cake out of all the very yummy looking, pretty cakes. Isn't that sweet? He also paid for all of our tickets and our food. We had such a fun time!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sierra Update

I was agonizing over the decision yesterday. I was crying and not wanting to do it. I ended up talking on the phone almost the entire day with different people. I had set up a time to drop Sierra off at the woman's house 3 hours south of us. She talked to me quite a bit, and really put things into perspective. She asked me how well Sierra did in a crate, and I told her we didn't crate her. She was a bit shocked by that, and said that anyone who adopts her will probably crate her during the day because they will be at work (since most people work). When she found out that I didn't work, she asked me why I don't just crate or gate her during the day when she is most ornery. I guess I thought it was cruel, but she made it seem like that is what most people do. She made it seem like I was giving Sierra way too much free reign, and because of that she was having behavior issues. She said she wasn't trying to convince me to keep her, but she said that it may be a good idea to try everything I could first. I completely agreed. I love her, and getting rid of her is not something I want to do. I talked to my Dad, who reminded me that our dog we had growing up was gated in our kitchen during the entire day while we were gone to school and my Mom and Dad were at work. So for Sierra to be gated a few hours a day is not cruel. She has plenty of room to walk around (3 rooms to be exact). I tried it yesterday for a few hours during the time when people walk the most, and she only barked once! It was great! I also bought a new bone for her today, which kept her occupied for almost an hour. During that time several people walked by (with their dogs!), and she didn't even notice! I took her for a walk today, and tried a Cesar Milan trick. On one of his videos, he shows a woman how to attach her dog to her bike. It is supposed to tire the dog out more. Boy does it! I tried it, and it worked really well. We went a mile, and by the end Sierra was so tired she was really dragging. It only took about 15 minutes, and it was a breeze for me. It isn't much exercise for me, but it really tires Sierra out, which is what I want. Right now Sierra is crashed on the tile floor in the hall, and she is so tired that I don't have to worry about putting a gate up :). So, I changed my mind again, but that is okay. I would hate to have made a decision that I would have regretted. If at all possible, I want to keep her! We all love her!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hard Day For Me

After almost a year of going back and forth on this, we have decided that we definitely have to get rid of Sierra. Ugh. Such a hard decision. I love her so much, and yet she is destroying our house where we are. We just spent almost $1000 to buy all the screens she ruined last year. I'm so glad we haven't gotten the screens yet (we had to order them) because she would have ruined one today if there had been a screen on the window. She reared up and tore wildly at the window trying to get to a cat outside. Our yard is so small for her, and she has no room to really run. We take her for walks, but it doesn't help stop her from barking nonstop and ripping apart the windows. Yesterday the weather was nice here, so lots of people walked by. Sierra barked almost nonstop the entire day. When it is nice outside, that is usually what happens. Many have suggested crating or gating her so she can't see out at all, but that is no life for a dog. I have spent hours online looking for solutions. I spent hours watching dog training videos. I have talked to countless dog obedience trainers. They all say that the habit she has gotten into with barking nonstop and tearing at the windows is almost impossible to break. If only Cesar Milan (the dog whisperer) lived nearby. I tried his stuff too. We will be driving 3 hours south of where we live to drop Sierra off at a woman's house. This woman works for the Collie rescue division in our state. She said Sierra will be really easy to place, which made me feel better. She said that Sierra's behavior with tearing at the windows and barking like crazy is a very unusual trait for a Collie. We have found that when Sierra is in the country, or when she can't see nonstop activity outside then she is totally fine. She was such a good dog for us when we lived in the country. She stayed at my parents house for almost a week while we were in Florida, and she did great and didn't bark once. They live in a subdivision, but their windows facing the street aren't floor to ceiling like ours so she can't see out. We are going to drop Sierra off either today or tomorrow. I am not looking forward to it at all. I don't want to do it, but I see no choice. I'm having a hard time even petting her today. I'm afraid if I pet her I will change my mind. So far I have changed it about 40 times already today, and it is only 1:20 in the afternoon. I see no other way though. She isn't happy here, and she will be much happier if she has room to run.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Good Dose of Humor For Today

My all-time favorite comedian is a guy named Tim Hawkins. I first saw him on a show called Bananas, and he just cracked me up. He is a Christian, and his stuff is clean and so funny. He is about the only comedian that can get me to laugh hard enough to cry :). I had seen most of his material, but I found this clip on Youtube yesterday that I hadn't seen before. Hope you guys get a good laugh out of it like I did :).

By the way, I checked the verse out in the New King James Version. What Tim says is correct :).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Amazing trip to Florida

Wow, what a week! It was an awesome trip. Awesome probably doesn't even describe it well enough! We got into Lakeland on Wednesday, and Evie had a blast flying in an airplane for the first time. Our flight to Tampa was good, and God helped me so much not to be afraid. Normally I am a white knuckle flyer, but God gave me immense strength.

It was a shock to step off the plane in Tampa and feel heat! When we left, it was pretty cold here. In Tampa and Lakeland it was in the 90's the whole week. We got to our motel by around 3:00 in the afternoon, so we were able to rest a bit before the meeting. God blessed us this whole trip. It was amazing to see. Our motel was so nice. Jeff has a lot of perks from being such a frequent traveler for business, and we were able to stay at a Hilton Garden Inn for a great price. We also had free breakfasts because of his Hilton Honors card, so we had this super fancy, nice breakfast each morning for free. We also got a free tank of gas with our rental car, which is like getting free gold :). Our motel was only 10 minutes from the Lakeland Center, where the Florida Outpouring meetings were held for 2 of the days we were there. It was also right across the street from the Lakeland Linder Airport where the meetings were held for the other 2 days we were there. The meetings were unlike any I have ever been in. We saw so many people saved, and we saw so many people healed. You could literally feel the presence of God as you walked in the building. Everywhere we went it seemed that we would talk to someone about the meetings, and they would share some amazing testimony. One lady talked to Mom when we went out to eat. She believed that the Lord touched her at the meeting, and that she was healed of liver cancer. She said she also believed that God was healing her marriage. She had been divorced, and her husband was text messaging her in the restaurant saying he wanted to go to the meetings with her. She showed Mom the test messages. Mom and the woman ended up praying together right in the middle of the restaurant. We met another couple that got lost on their way back to their motel. They ended up at a strip club parking lot, and revival ended up breaking out in the parking lot and a bunch of people got saved! It was amazing!

Our first night of the meeting, we witnessed a miracle right in front of us in the balcony where we were sitting. A guy was walking to his seat, and tripped and fell really hard and landed on his shoulder. He was screaming in pain, and it almost looked like his shoulder was dislocated. Immediately people surrounded him and started praying for him in our section. Mom and I stretched out our hands and started praying too. A group of paramedics came up to check him out after we had been praying. Within a few minutes of all of us praying, he got up, moved his arm around in a circle and just shouted out a huge "praise the Lord!" He was completely healed! It was so cool! The second night we were at the meeting, it was a very powerful night. The praise and worship was so amazing that I didn't want it to end. We literally praised and worshipped for almost 3 hours, and yet I didn't want it to end! It was like being a part of heaven for a night. In that meeting, I felt the power of God touch my body. I have never felt anything like it before. It was like electricity hit me. I truly believe that God healed my body. I was believing for Him to heal me of almost 6 years of dizziness, chronic fatigue, back pain and stomach problems. I went forward to share what was happening to me, and an Asian woman prayed for me. She prayed for things that there was no way she could have known! It was the Holy Spirit speaking to her. She put her hand on my stomach, and prayed for my stomach because I had told her that I was believing for healing there. As she prayed, she moved her hand to where my uterus was, and started praying for God to heal my womb. She did this, not knowing that I have had 6 miscarriages! She also prayed for things that I was strugging with, and I had never said a word to her. It was the power of God taking over, and telling her what to pray! Then she left me, and I just stood there with my eyes closed as the Lord ministered to me. It was absolutely incredible. I believe I received healing in my body!! I praise God for His healing power!

Friday afternoon, Jeff and Evie went to the Tampa airport and picked up Jeff's Dad. Mom had NO idea at all. She and I stayed in the room and rested. When Jeff and Evie came back, Evie bounded into the room and said, "Guess what Grandma, Grandpa is here!" Mom said, "Yeah right. I wish!" Then she saw dad and literally tripped and fell backwards onto the bed because she was so surprised! It was great :). He came to the meeting on Friday with us, along with Jeff and Evie. Friday was my 36th birthday. I spent my birthday with a rather large party...14,000 people to be exact! Each meeting we went to averaged about 9000-14,000 people. I couldn't get over how many people traveled from far distances to get there. Roy Fields, the worship leader, asked the crowd to raise their hand if they traveled from far distances to get to the meetings, and at least half raised their hands. We met people from all over the world. We were at the airport by our motel for the meeting on Friday, and the meeting was outside. I have never seen so many people before in my life. It was like a Jesus Woodstock :). I stood on my chair, and tried to take pictures of the sea of people. Here are a few pictures...
The pictures just don't do it justice. Literally in every direction you looked, there was people as far as the eye could see. During the worship time, Roy would cut out all the instruments and just have us all singing accapella. Oh my word, it was incredible to hear that many people singing songs to God. So many people got saved that night, and there were 100's in line waiting to give healing testimonies from the night as well. We were there from 6:00 pm until 1:00 am! It was such an amazing service. Being with that many people, praising God, seeing people saved, healed and set free was incredible. It was our last night to be able to go. We weren't able to go the last night we were in Lakeland because our flight was so early the next morning. On Saturday night, we went out onto the roof of our motel where they have an observation deck, and we could hear the worship going on from the meeting. I wanted so badly to be there! We had to get up on Sunday morning at 4:00 am to catch our plane in Tampa on time. We traveled pretty much the whole day, which wasn't exactly the most fun Mother's Day in the world, but it was worth it. We got home at around 4:00 pm and we were really wiped out. Our bodies were shocked to be back in the cold! When we left Tampa at 6 am, it was already in the 80's. When we flew home, and got out of the airport in our shorts and t-shirts, it was 45 degrees! Brrrrr! What a week though! I am so thankful that we were able to go. It was a life changing trip for us all. I felt a hunger for God like never before, and have been praying that the hunger for Him will only get stronger each day. He is such an amazing God. I can't thank Him enough for all that He has done for me!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Going to Florida!

We are going to be leaving for Florida on Wednesday! It was not something we planned at all! There is a huge revival going on in Florida right now, and we have been watching it every night on tv (we have SkyAngel satellite/IPTV). It has been amazing, and so many people have been healed. Jeff, Evie and I are going to go. Also Jeff's mom is going with us. She doesn't know it yet, but Jeff's dad is going to surprise her on Friday by flying into Florida to be with us :). So fun! Evie is so excited about being in a plane for the first time. She can't wait! This all seems pretty surreal right now. We literally planned this yesterday when Jeff's parents came for lunch after we all went to church. We had been watching the revivals, and Jeff thought it would be awesome to be a part of it. My 36th birthday is this Friday, so we will be in Florida for that. Jeff has been asking me for weeks what I want for my birthday. I didn't expect this! Anyways, I probably won't be able to write for the week. Maybe I will get a chance because Jeff is taking his laptop, and I will have my camera. It depends on how busy we are. I'm excited though! I'm believing for God to do huge things!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

God's Amazing Nature

Everything is almost in full bloom here where we live. Our crabapple tree is full of bright pink flowers, and our flowers are starting to bloom. Isn't is awesome how God made such beautiful things for us to look at?