Monday, April 25, 2011

Come shop and help my friends...

Our friends the Leland's are adopting two little boys from Africa. You can read more about their family on their blog Running Towards Love.

To help them raise money toward the fees for the adoption, some friends and I are having a benefit garage sale this Saturday, April 30, in our town--Huxley, IA.  Some come and shop, and help the Leland's bring home their two little boys!  You could be part of this wonderful opportunity to give two dear children a better life!

Friday, April 22, 2011

By His Wounds We are Healed

From the archives...

"He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our sin.
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
by His wounds we are healed."
Isaiah 53: 5

"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.  When they hurled their insults at Him, he did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.  He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
by His wounds you have been healed.
For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."
1 Peter 2: 22-25

It says in the book of Isaiah that He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and that He was silent as He went.
He was despised and rejected, ridiculed and mocked, beaten and spit upon.
He was nailed to a cross
My salvation:  free to me, but so costly to my Lord.
I have been delivered, redeemed, set free.

He came for one purpose: to die on a cross,
and because of that single event, my life is forever changed.
That cross He died on...
a bridge to a new life for all who call on His name.
Call upon Him today.
That's why He died, and He's waiting to hear from you.
Experience what your heart was created for...access to the presence of God.
Put your hope in Him alone.

"My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him."
Psalm 62: 1

The song "By His Wounds" that is playing is from the cd called Glory Revealed.
Click here to see it on 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Genius Organizational Tool

This is Byron's sweet aunt, who we went to visit on our Houston trip:
 She gave me a new use for an old kitchen gadget. I love using tools in non-conventional ways to serve our  organizational needs! Aunt Norma uses these lazy susan's in her bathroom cabinets, as well as the refrigerator. I thought it was a genius idea and bought 3 in the same week! The problem of all the little bottles in the back of the top refrigerator shelf--finally solved!  Thanks to Aunt Norma!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Some days your the window, Some days your the bug

Feeling a little bit like the bug recently. My two younger kids have been fighting a virus lately, and it's getting in the way of life!

I am so glad I have this time of busy days taking care of kids, but it's a little on the crazy side sometimes.

I like capturing a "day-in-the-life" in writing, so that I remember what raising 4 kids really looks like.

I'm thankful that its not usually this hectic!

Here is a look at a recent Monday:
(Because of the kids' illness, we didn't even get normal school work done, and they missed band and art classes.)

8:30 am
--doctors appt. at the medical clinic for Ryan's sore throat
--pharmacy for antibiotic
--sign papers at physical therapist (Brandon had been there while we were at the drs. appt.)
--go back home to get Meggan

--drive Meggan to school for band lesson
--trip to vision clinic regarding Ryan's broken glasses
--back into medical clinic with a question regarding Meggan's symptoms that are still hanging around
--back to school to pick up Meggan

***I'm thankful the medical clinic, vision clinic, pharmacy, and physical therapist are all near each other!

11:30  --spend some time reading history, eating lunch

12:30  --Angie haircut

1:15 --doctors appointment to re-check Meggan (3rd time at the medical clinic today)
--drive to Ames to return Brandon's tux from prom
--drive to copy center regarding graduation invitations
--errands at Target

--arrive home and make a quick supper
--pack blankets, coats, camera, food for track meet

--leave for Brandon's track meet
--stop at pharmacy for Byron's prescription refill (3rd time at the pharmacy today)

10:00 --home from track meet

Friday, April 15, 2011

Five years ago today...

Five years ago today, I looked at this ugliness and brokenness:

My brother Jason and our cousin Tanner died in this fire. You can read about Jason in this post.

The little house that stood in this place went up in flames in a hurry--the fire probably started by a spark from a bonfire with friends during the evening. The house was engulfed in the early morning hours.  A house that had been a home to so many of my relatives over the years and was located about one mile from the home I grew up in.

It was Saturday morning, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
My mom called me at 5 am--we were already in Chillicothe, visiting for the holiday weekend.

"Tanner's house burned," she said. She told me that they weren't sure if Tanner and Jason were in the house and that they were calling all the friends to try to find out where they were. She would call me back when she had more information. I was confused, my mind racing, wide awake. She asked me to start praying.

When we hung up, I heard the voice of God. He didn't speak out loud. He spoke within me. It was a dominating and commanding voice, and it covered all my thoughts.
He said "I am the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow." 

While my mind raced with details of what to do and where to go and who to call... I could not focus!
I could not think, because of the Voice that would not quit speaking to me. Over and over, He kept saying "I am the same yesterday, today and tomorrow." I realized that those words were all I needed to know. While my mind screamed for information about what was happening in a fire a few miles from me, my heart knew that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow" was all I needed. I have never heard from God in that way since, but He knew that I needed His words at that time. He also knew that I would be listening.

We soon found out that Jason and Tanner were in the house. They were gone. Our disbelief and shock played with our minds. We could not see their lifeless bodies to help us accept. We knew what was true, but could not believe. While the world seemed to crash in around us, I kept thinking, "Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow." I will be in the palm of His hand. He will protect me while nothing else can. He will be my Rock, while all else crumbles.

Our world was dark and ugly and broken that day. Our loss seemed more than we could comprehend and more than we could carry.  At some point, I thought of that day, that Saturday we were trying to survive, as the day after Jesus died. It was, after all, the day after Good Friday. What must His family and friends have felt like? The darkness of losing the Savior of the world must have been unbearable. The pain of His mother...did it look like the pain I saw on my own mother's face? Did those who loved Jesus walk around longing to be with Him? Did they expect to see Him, only to remember He was gone?

On that Easter Sunday morning...the day after experiencing devastation...I realized that Jesus lives on. He bled and hurt and died, because of ugliness. Ugliness like the picture above. Ugliness like the feeling I had in my stomach. Brokenness of families who would never be the same. He could not be held down by death.

I realized He lived for me
He lived for me to be able to live on after tragedy.
He died, but lived on, so that I could find hope and go on with all the tomorrows He had planned for me.

Let Him carry you in your pain. Fall at His feet and weep. 
Cry out to Him with your tears and anger.

He makes all things new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

He comforts those who mourn. Matthew 5:4

He brings hope to the hopeless. 1 Peter 1:21

He gave us life to live abundantly. John 10:10

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, 
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

I am so grateful that my Jesus lives. 

I know that I heard His voice that day because of the ugly, broken, painful event beginning to unfold.
I know that I saw His hand at work in my life, as he taught me and changed me 
in the weeks and months after the fire.

I am sad today, because five years ago my loved-ones' lives on this Earth ended.
But I rejoice today, because I heard His voice.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
James 13:8

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Prom 2011

Last weekend was prom for my son Brandon. His final high school dance.

He and his date went with a fun group of kids. They looked so spiffy!
They had an unseasonably warm and sunny day, so the girls didn't have to worry about how to keep warm in their dresses. They had a fun time at the dance and then attended the post-prom event at a pizza and game place in Des Moines. Afterward, some of the group crashed at our house and then had a waffle breakfast together on Sunday morning.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another Car in my Driveway

My daughter Ellyn got a car.
I am enjoying having another driver to help get kids to their events, but...I am also concerned to have another teenage driver to worry about--like when they drive late at night, or in bad weather, or with other kids in the car,...  Oh my, I'd better spend some more time in prayer for them!

Don't worry, be happy! Right?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sports Rules for Parents

In light of the fact that all the spring sports have started, I thought I would print this excerpt from "The Sport Parent's Manual" by Tom Doyle.

Things parents do that their kids really appreciate:

  • Taking time out of your busy schedules to come to games and support what we do.
  • Bringing snacks after a game.
  • Supporting the whole team, not just me.
  • Cheering the team even when losing badly.
  • Telling us we did a good job.
  • Being proud of us even when we didn't win.
  • Being quiet unless cheering with everyone else.
  • Never yelling at a coach or ref.
  • Making friends with the other parents.
  • Telling a "negative" parent to be quiet.

Things parents do that embarrass their kids:

  • Trying to teach me how to do something "correctly" after a game.
  • Coaching during games even though you aren't the coach.
  • Telling me what I was doing wrong after every game.
  • Being asked to leave a field by an official.
  • Going crazy at the refs--because it's not your job. It is the coach's job to question bad calls.
  • Taunting other players, opponents, refs.
  • Yelling things at coaches and getting involved with something that was between coach and me. It was none of your business.
  • Coming to a game drunk or after drinking.
  • Acting disappointed with what I am doing instead of reassuring me I will do better next time.
  • Getting a technical foul against our team.
  • Don't tell me I'm really cute in my uniform.

one of my favorites--Meggan's first year of t-ball
May 2006

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Dad

My dad is celebrating a birthday! He is 66 years old today.
I am putting his age in print, because for a little while today, my parents thought he was 67.
Keeping track of your age seems to get harder every year!

Hope you have a great day, Dad! Wish we were there to sing "Happy Birthday" and share some cake and ice cream.
Nov. 2010

Monday, April 4, 2011

our dog and our van

We sold our van a couple of weeks ago. We sold it to friends of ours, which we were glad about, since we were sort of sad to see it go. We might walk down the street and visit sometime. Mindy said we could.

We made a lot of memories and traveled a lot of miles in our van.

Our dog really loved our van too. She got to go almost everywhere in the van with me. And liked to sniff the fresh air out the window.

The night we cleaned and vacuumed the van, Mandie had to sit in her seat while we cleaned. I could hardly bear to tell her that it would be her last time to sit there.

(Sorry for the blurry picture. It was dark and in the garage. Meggan was vacuuming under the seats. And no, she didn't get glasses--they are fake.)

So if you think you see us in our van, go ahead and wave. 
Mindy and her family are friendly and will wave back. 
But you won't see a cute dog hanging out the window.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eagle Watching

The first eaglet could hatch today!
Many are watching--notice the number of viewers.
Click the link at the bottom of this post.

Below is a link to a live webcam of an eagle's nest in Decorah, Iowa. I think it is amazing that we see eagles on a regular basis in Iowa now. My kids tire of hearing me talk about it--about how I never expected to see an eagle as a kid. About how I didn't see an eagle until I was an adult. About how amazing it is to see an eagle. About how awesome eagles are. The kids like eagles, but they think I'm little obsessed.

They told me it was a lie when I claimed to have a pet eagle. But there is a large eagle who hangs out about 3 miles from our house on a road I drive multiple times a day. I call him Baldy or Pate (short for Patriot). I feel a special attachment to him. He flew really low over the windshield of my car one day, when I scared him up off his road-kill deer. Sorry if that was offensive. I took his picture one day, but only with my phone so it's not that great.

Anyway, take a look at this awesome-ness.
  I wonder if she ever has a strange feeling of being watched...

Click on the link below:
Decorah, Iowa eagle nest-- live stream