Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Amen

So Kid Rock has a new album out with some great songs on it. One of them is "Amen." Rob borrowed the CD from our friend, Evalee and I got to listen to it. He said that some people he knows are really not happy with Kid Rock for writing this song. I've added it to my playlist so it's down there if you want to hear it.

Here are the lyrics, they are quite thought provoking and maybe Kid Rock is on to something...


It's another night in hell
Another child won't live to tell
Can you imagine what it's like to starve to death
And as we sit free and well
Another soldier has to yell
Tell my wife and children I love them in his last breath

C'mon now
amen, amen, amen

Habitual offenders, scumbag lawyers with agendas
I'll tell you sometimes people I don't know what's worse
Natural disasters or these wolves in sheep clothes pastors
Now damn it I'm scared to send my children to church
And how can we seek salvation when our nations race relations
Got me feeling guilty of being white
But faith in human nature, our creator and our savior,
I'm no saint But I believe in what is right

C'mon now amen, amen
I said amen, amen

Stop pointing fingers and take some blame,
Pull your future away from the flame
Open up your mind and start to live
Stop short changing your neighbors
Living off hand outs and favors, and maybe
Give a little bit more than you got to give

Simplify, testify, identify, rectify
And if I get high stop being so uptight
It's only human nature and I am
not a stranger
So baby won't you stay with me tonight

It's a matter of salvation from them patience up above,
So don't give up so damn easy on the one you love, one you love
Somewhere you got a brother, sister, friend, grandmother, niece or nephew
Just dying to be with you
You know there's someone out there who unconditionally, religiously, loves
you
So just hold on 'cause you know it's true
And if you can take the pain
And you can withstand anything, and one day
Stand hand in hand with the truth

I said amen, I said amen
I said amen, I said amen,
Amen-

Double-Header

Last night our softball team had a double header. We played Christ UMC and Main Street. We won both. Softball is bittersweet for me because I love the game and winning but I hate being reminded how out of shape that I am. I really think the distance between the bases does increase with each base ran.

Our tourney's are Saturday and I am contemplating renting an oxygen tank to get me through it. I got a base hit every time I was to bat last night. And twice I was hitting for bases loaded. So my hits actually got us points!! Woo hoo!!!!

I am painting my bedroom today and pulling the weeds in the front yard. Oh and working on finishing our deck out back. Basically, we are keeping busy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I am not crazy...

Jeremiah 15:16 When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.

Just wanted to let all my readers know that this blog is close to 2300 hits. WOW!!!! I would love to know who's reading! Just this once please leave me a comment. It's easy! Just do the anonymous option, type your name and location then the security code and submit. It's that simple.

I am also now on facebook and myspace. You can find me there by searching for my name. I would love to have more friends on my lists!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Friends & Family

Well, after the swingset was built this weekend primarily devote to family & friends.

On Saturday night we had Chelsea (our niece's) graduation party. It was very nice. I can't believe she's already graduated. I feel so old. She works at Olive Garden so she had Olive Garden cater her party. Which was awesome!!!! We spent the evening hanging out with Rob's side of the family.

Today, we had church. Have to tell you that on my way in I spilled coffee on my new Bible, so what did I do? I walked through the parking lot licking my Bible. The greeter, Jerry looked at me like I was crazy. I said, "Somewhere in Jeremiah I think, it says, David ate the Word! I'm just trying to be like David... get a little closer to God!" It was quite funny. And most likely solidified for Jerry my craziness.

After church, Julie & Bro came over for a visit. We had pizza and just hung out. After that Jourdyn went with her friend Katie to Music under the Stars at the zoo and the rest of us headed off to Ed and Evalees. We hadn't seen them in forever. So it was nice to catch up and visit.

She has kittens. And let me tell you Nadine tried her hardest to get her daddy to let her bring one home...she even told him with her biggest puppy dog eyes, "Daddy, Daddy, you're breakin' my heart!"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Completion Day

At about 3:30 pm today, we finally finished the playset. We made several modifications to the set...like adding stairs and a bridge underneath the monkey bars so the little ones can walk across it. So there is still some staining to do but it is entirely erected and the kids have already been playing on it. Well, they've been playing on it all day, even while we were working on it.
video

Friday, July 25, 2008

Under Construction

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The kids have a new swingset for the backyard. The really fun part about it is the construction of it. Rob spent last night cutting the wood. Got up really early and constructed the roof and most of the tower (with my help.) Then he went to work. Dad and I then stained the whole thing...it took forever. When Rob got home we started working on it again. And it's still not done.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Winning Attitude

WOW! Three posts in one day...but this is a good one! So read it.

Jourdyn's attitude, well is the attitude of a pre-teen girl. She has been pretty bad lately. Today, instead of arguing with her or getting mad, I decided to make her read a book that my Pastor gave his leaders to read: The Winning Attitude by John Maxwell. It's only 179 pages and an easy read. I figured a day or two at the most. And when she's done with it she is to write me a book report about what she learned.

I went into her room to check on her and she was writing. I said, "You didn't finish the book already, you are supposed to be reading." She said, "I don't want to read that." I said, "so, read it anyways and then write the report."

It's been a couple of hours and this is what I found on my counter:

"I read the first 5 pages + it is very boring + I wouldn't want to finish
the book, but apparantly that is not a winning attitude, though people can have
their own opinions. The four main questions the author answers in the book are:
Is there actually such a thing as a winning attitude? How do you stop the
feeling of being defeated? How do you stop wanting more than 2nd best? How can
you turn a bad attitude around?"

The questions were pulled directly from the back cover. So now not only am I going to have to discuss with her the fact that she will read the book, but also I need to discuss plagerism with her! Kids! Gotta love 'em!

Finding friends

I always love to go places and see my friends unexpectedly. Today, I took the kids to the park. Rhonda Waal was there with Meke for one of Kailey's softball games. We talked for a bit and then I took my kids and Meke over to the playground to play for a while. They had fun playing. There were a lot of other older kids there so Meke, Nadine and Rowan felt pretty overwhelmed. Nadine loved having a girl her size to play with.

Belly Buttons

Rowan and I today explored belly buttons. First his, then mine, Nadine's and Jourdyn's. He was fascinated with them.

Jourdyn used to have a book called "Do Whales Have Belly Buttons?". I can't find it now, but it's somewhere. All mammals have belly buttons since that's how we were sustained in the womb.

But this leaves me wondering...did Adam and Eve have belly buttons? It's a legit question. Logic says no. But God is all-knowing so He could have created them with one. It would probably shock Eve when her child was born attached to her by a cord that would eventually scar and leave a belly button, especially if she didn't have one. If she had one, then she could say, "well, that's what that's from." But then since she wasn't born that wouldn't explain hers would it.

Anyways, did Adam and Eve have belly buttons? That's a question I am going to have to add to my list of things for God to answer...like did we really make it to the moon, or who really killed JFK or my personal favorite, was the forbidden fruit really chocolate? Of course, by the time I actually see His face I will have forgotten all these silly questions...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hunting

Not Rob...me for a job. I have decided to begin hunting for a job. I applied at one today with YWCA. It's kinda youth intervention. I have a few others sitting on my desk waiting for me to send them out. But nothing is jumping out at me.

I really would love to have a job doing what I know I am supposed to be doing. But I have no clue how to find those jobs. You can't go to cedarcreek.tv and click on employment. Although that would be an awesome link to play with people. You know, you click on it and it's God saying I need disciples or something. That would be cool.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A day of rest

I sang on praise team this morning...I think the last time I sang was at Easter. Maybe one other time since then, but I know it's been forever. It was good. Not necessarily my voice, because I think I forgot what it sounded like but the experience was definitely uplifting!

After church I let the kids go outside and play in the sprinkler, however, they really weren't into getting wet. They were kinda scared of it. And Jourdyn just wanted to watch tv.

A little later though, her friend called and took her to Music Under the Stars at the Toledo Zoo. The theme this evening was Disney. She really enjoyed it.

I also got a nap in today. Charlene, Amy and I were up until around 3:30 am on Saturday and out of bed by 7:30 am. So I was really in desperate need of a nap!

While Jourdyn was away Rob and I walked the two little ones over to the park in their wagon. They absolutely loved it. And afterwards we got slushies from the concession stand.

Click to play Park
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On being a "spiritual" leader: Sandi Patti just wrote a book called "Layers." I haven't read it yet, but at Women of Faith she talked about how in her life of being the Christian mom, the Christian recording artist and the Christian leader and so forth...that somewhere she lost herself, she became what she thought those titles afforded, yet somewhere knew nothing of herself and some how didn't really know who she was. Because she let those things hide the things that she felt, or that she had never dealt with. The book is about how God showed her that and about how He is removing the layers in her life of shame, guilt and many others to show the beautiful butterfly that she is. She is learning about herself in ways that she never thought possible. Because she is doing it with God as her best friend and not worrying about being what she thought was the best Christan mom, or artist or leader. (I have to get the book!)

This touched me and here's why - I see this happening to me. I see myself so being what everyone wants me to be, that I'm really not what I want to be and more importantly I run the danger often of not being what God wants me to be. Because I get caught up in being the perfect Christian mom (which I fail at miserably), and the awe-inspiring perfect Christian leader (which God knows I also fail at), and even the dream of singing (which at one point was a burning ember in my soul and has been diminished to a zippo running low on fluid.)

The greatest part of being in this relationship with Christ has been the changes He has made in me. He is so faithful to me and He has changed my life in ways that I never could have imagined. I love Him more and more each day for those blessings He has poured out.

I just have to learn to distinguish between His changes and the changes that others are demanding of me on His behalf (or so they think!) I am not perfect and I like anyone else need time to just be...be myself...be helped...be alone...be tired...to be human, I guess.

I was called out on something that I have done just recently as not being a good example of a "spiritual" leader. And the only response that came to my mind was that maybe that's not what I am then. I didn't say it...but somehow I think it really made me think about Sandi's story and the layers that she put on to please others, to be all the things that she thought others wanted her to be.

Anyways, maybe you get what I'm saying, maybe you don't. It's late. I just wanted to write some of that down and you got to read it, whether you wanted to or not. I am okay. Just growing...which is sometimes confusing, painful, joyful, well you get the point...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Infinite Grace - Women of Faith

This weekend I had the awesome opportunity to go to Women of Faith with some of my dearest friends...well, a lot of them. The theme was Infinite Grace and we were in Cleveland at the Q. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel, which was connected to the Tower City Center which was connected to the Q.

It was a great weekend. I got to take two great friends with me, Charlene & Amy! These weekends always prove to be fun-filled and educational!

My favorite was well....all of it...it's too hard to pick! There was a lot more music this year and some of my favorites: Ayeisha Woods, Nicole C. Mullen, Natalie Grant, Sandi Patti. It was just awesome! There is always something that really speaks to me every time I go. And this time I felt like I related at some level to every woman on the porch at Women of Faith.

I came home with some goodies. Did I mention there were 26 of us that went? Hold on to your seats, cause I don't want to shock you...but I got a new Bible! It's a Women of Faith Leather bound Message Bible, and I am excited. I have never had a Message Bible. I can't wait to dig into it. Also Charlene, the great bud that she is bought me the New Testament on CD. Now I can listen as I roll down the street in my van. How awesome is that!?!?!

Oh I got a great little book to, by John & Anita Renfroe. It's called "Songs in the Key of Solomon: in the Word...and in the Mood." It's a devotional for married couples. Gary Chapman said this about the book: "These devotionals won't put you to sleep. They may motivate you to do a few 'other things,' but sleep won't be one of them."



Click to play Women of Faith
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More pics

Okay, I have to tell you that we took over 1500 pics on our vacation!!! Don't worry! I'm showing them all to you! Some just aren't good! I am trying to show you the best of the best! Here are some that I will cherish forever!!!!

Click to play Andrew
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Camping Video

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Here is some video I took of the kids in McCall. Rowan was stacking the mattress and climbing on them. The other video is Rowan and Nadine trying to wake Jourdyn up.

Hug-a-bunch

I found this at a thrift shop in Mccall idaho - precious hugs, a hug a bunch- i had one just like her growing up!

Laramie

On our way out and the way back we drove through Laramie, Wyoming. I remember when I first heard the word Laramie. It was when my mom wanted to name one of our foster kids, she had hoped to adopt, Laramie. I also remember the second time I heard it. It was in 1998, when Matthew Shephard was tied to a fence, beaten and left for dead by two hate-filled murderers because he was gay.

Driving through the town left me feeling sick. Rob and I talked about what we could remember of Matthew's story. My stomach turned. What level of person hates so much that they could take a human being and do the things that they did to Matthew? Evil...pure evil...that's all I could think of. And the thought made me ache. It made my heart ache.

Jesus would have never wanted that. God never wanted that when He so wonderfully made us. But even back at the beginning with Cain and Abel, evil presented itself in the form of murder. In the past couple of years, several people that I know and love have announced their homosexuality. It hasn't made me love them any less, in fact I would say it has perhaps made me love them more!

Here's my view on it: First off, Jesus never abandoned anyone. He didn't turn away from the tax c0llector, or run from the adultress, or ex-communicate the prostitutes. He loved them, He reached out to them. Now, the Bible does say that He forgave them of their sins and told them to sin no more.

I believe as Christians we sometimes get caught up in wanting to be so much like Jesus we forget that we aren't. We aren't the judge, He is. Do I think homosexuality is a sin? Yes, I do. The Bible is clear that it is. But so is adultry, so is alcoholism, so is coveting, so is many, many more things that we all are at some level guilty of.

My job as a Christian is to love. It is with Jesus' love for me that I can love others. But I can't condemn because only Jesus pardoned sins. All I can do is my best to love my friends, my family, well everyone. I can pray for them. Pray that God will work His love in their life and help them to be released from the bondage they are in, no matter what it is.

Hate is not Jesus...it is the exact opposite. It is the devil. It is evil. None of us are perfect. God knows that we are trying to be our best for Him and to follow His commandments to love another as we love ourselves and as Christ has loved us.

This is why my heart broke driving through Laramie. Christ gave His life for you, for me, for the world. He gave His life for Matthew Shephard. He gave His life for the boys that committed that atrocity. But we have a choice, He doesn't force us to accept Him. He wants us to love Him because we want to love Him, not because He makes us.

As my heart sank I couldn't help but pray and ask why things like this happen. This October 7th it will be 10 years since this happened. And on the 12th, 10 years since Matthew passed away. I don't know the in-depth answers to why this happened...but I do know that in some way God will use it for His glory. I do know that God used Matthew's story in me as I was driving through...

Home Sweet Home

We arrived home at 8:30 am today (Tuesday). The trip wasn't that bad. The kids did well. There are just a few drawings on my windows in crayon. Nothing unwashable. We stopped on Sunday night in Nebraska and last night in Indiana.

About every couple hours Nadine would ask where we were at. I think she has the states down pretty good. This morning when we crossed into Ohio I told her. She didn't believe me because it didn't look like Ohio. When we rounded the corner at Starr and Wheeling and she saw the Circle K, she yelled out "Mommy, Mommy, we are in Ohio! There's our gas station. I see our gas station! We are in Ohio!!"

Sunday, July 13, 2008

On the Road

It's about 9 am in Idaho, the kids and I are loaded up and heading out for Ohio! Pray for our safety!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Julia Davis Yacht Club

John and Barb had a wedding to go to, so they dropped the boys off. Mom and I took all the kids out to Julia Davis Park to ride the paddle boats! Rowan and Nadine loved it. Rowan especially since he got to "drive." I let him steer the boat. It was a lot of work since I was the only one who could reach the peddles and I could barely do that.

Andrew road with mom and Jourdyn and Nathan rode together.

Farmer's Market

This morning mom, Nadine and I got up and went downtown for the 8th Street Farmer's Market. The city shuts down the whole street for market vendors, arts & crafters, vinters, basically all local stuff. They have folk artists playing on different corners. We were amazed at how many people were there.

My favorite artist there was Miss Courageous pop jewelry & accessories. She took game pieces, like Scrabble, dominoes, and so forth and made really cute and sassy jewelry out of them. Another interesting one was the Diva of Duct Tape.

We also so Dorothy, Glenda the Good Witch, the wicked witch, the cowardly lion, and the scarecrow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pierced



I went today to Devotion Tatto & Piercing in Boise on Broadway. I had their piercer, Josh, pierce my nose. It didn't hurt. It stung like a shot does and it made me cry. But that's a natural reaction to having your nose punctured. I now have a little rhinestone stud in my left nostril.

Play Day

Today the kids and I met mom for lunch at McDonald's. After lunch we went to a bookstore across the street called "Desert Books". Mom thought it was a Christian Bookstore but it was a Mormon Bookstore. They had a lot of things like the Christian Bookstore. It was basically the same set up just all religious books were Mormon. They also sold secular books. It was nice. And interesting as well.

After that, mom went back to work and I took the kids to Ann Morrison Park downtown. The nice thing about Boise is the city parks. They are awesome and beautiful. You've already seen Julia Davis Park.

Rowan and Nadine wore themselves ragged.

Museums



Yesterday, we stayed in the house for the day and watched TV. For dinner we went with Mom, Jim, JOhn, Barb and the boys to Applebee's. We were exhausted after a long day at the water park. So it was nice to relax.

Barb and I took all the kids today to Julia Davis Park to go to the Art Museum and the Discovery Center.

The Art Museum was much like the Zoo...disappointing. They really didn't have any old art. There was a lot of photography, some paintings, lots of lithograph and some sculpture but all of it was basically modern art. The kids played for a while in the kids play room. There are pics of that. However, the security guards were on top of us like flies. It was like they couldn't wait for us to leave, which of course stressed us out.

The Discovery Center was much like COSI. I even think they purchased some of COSI's exhibits when COSI closed. The kids had fun. Rowan and Nadine got to do a lot of make-believe and bubbles. JOurdyn and Andrew basically disappeared into all the different rooms. They all got to do a giant spirograph. There's also pics of that.

Afterwards, we took the kids to eat. We thought we would park downtown and walk to a restuarant. All of them were closed between lunch and dinner. So we piled back into the car and drove to the Olive Garden.

Barb has a wedding to go to this weekend. We already purchased an outfit last week. So we needed to get her shoes for the wedding. The just built a Shoe Carnival near the mall here so I took her there. I have opened her eyes to a new world of shoes!!!! I only purchased two pairs of shoes because there was a 30% everything in the store sale because of the grand opening. And they gave us an additional $5.00 off each pair. So I got a heck of deal!!! Definitely, one of the highlights of my trip! :)


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Roaring Springs

Rob's on his way home

I have tons of pics to add. Yesterday we went to Roaring Springs Water Park. It's ten times better than Soak City. John didn't go. He wasn't feeling well. So it was our family and Barb, Andrew & Nathan. We stayed from about noon to 8 pm.

Nadine was non-stop. We bought her a life-jacket when we first got to Idaho because of all the swimming we would be doing. With it she is now swimming everywhere: all over Grandma and Grandpa's pool, all over the water park. Needless to say she was out like a light as soon as we got in the car last night.

Rowan took a nap at the park for about an hour in the shade. He's not so much into the water. He like the slides and the Endless River but wasn't really caring to be in the water. Except for what he called the "ocean". They have a wave pool. He absolutely loved that.

Jourdyn and the boys were also non-stop. They only time they stopped was to stuff their faces with either ice cream, pizza or nachos. She has some really nice tanlines. They were a little red last night but today are just tan. (She has her daddy's complexion.)

Rob, Jim and I got up at 4:30 this morning to take Rob to the airport. He is on his way home as I write this. The kids and I will be starting home on Sunday sometime.

Oh update on John's four-wheeler: Monday John and Rob spent all day out on the mountainside winching it up. They got it to level ground and now John has to figure out why it isn't moving. It starts but won't move. It is still in a spot that is unreachable by car or truck. So it really has to be able to move to get it to the road. Or he has to find another four-wheeler big enough to tow it. There's still alot of work ahead and a lot damage that has to be fixed.

I'll post the pics in a little bit. So check back.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A day on the Town

Click to play July 6
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I was supposed to get up this morning and go to church at my professor's church. My kids have been up every morning by 7 am (which would be 9 am at home) so I figured they would wake me up! Nope! It was the one morning that they all slept until 8:30 am. We needed to leave by then in order to get down to church in time. So we didn't make it to church today. Instead we went site-seeing.

Mom & Jim kept our kids and let Rob and I went out on the town. We started at Koenig Winery & Distillery, went to Nampa to see my school, then downtown Boise. We visited Tom Grainey's Pub and walked around downtown. (Sorry lots of the pics are vertical pics so you will have to turn your head to see them.)

I think when I get home I am going to make a video of all the pics from the trip. It will take some time but I'll try it.

None of the shops downtown were open because it's Sunday but we did get to walk around and see everything. It's a great town. If I lived here I would want to live close to downtown. It's nothing like Toledo.

We went to Boise State to see the blue and orange football field, however it is torn up. They are replacing it. After that we went to mom & Jim's and swam for a while.

We got back to JOhn and Barb's at about 9 pm. And are just hanging out now!

It was a great day! It's always nice to get out alone for a while!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

ZooBoise & Downtown Tour

This morning we were off to Boise to enjoy the Zoo and a trolley ride through downtown. The zoo is nothing like the Toledo Zoo. It was nice, just small and kinda disappointing after knowing and loving the Toledo Zoo. We are so spoiled back in Toledo. What's said is that the Toledo Zoo is one of the few things that Toledo has going for it.

After the Zoo we went on a trolley ride of Downtown Boise. We learned a lot of history and saw a lot of things we wouldn't normally notice. The kids loved it. We learned about Humphrey Bogart had a mistress in Boise and saw where she lived and he frequented. We learned that Walt Disney visited Boise and got his inspiration for Disneyland in Boise from the Natatorium. Back in the day it was much more than just a pool. Today, only the pool remains. A school sits on the rest of the property.

Click to play July 5th
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Beaver Dam or Damn Beaver...

or at least that's what my brother was saying at about 11 pm this evening! Rob and I were following John and Barb home after the fireworks (which we watched from my mom's house) when he pulled off the side of Hwy 21 because he hit something. Something that hit just after he did, but we were able to swerve and it was already dead. He thought it was a wolverine or bear cub because it was so big...Rob and him walked down the road to find it and it was a BEAVER!!!

A whole part of his grill was ripped off including his wheel wells. It's just not John's week! And the insurance company is going to love him. But the beaver was standing in the road and John was unable to swerve because there was a car in the lane beside him. So it was the beaver or the guy in the car who would end up in the river.

Friday, July 4, 2008

White Water Rafting

Click to play Main Payette River 7/4
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John, Barb, Rob and I went white water rafting today down the Main Payette River. It was an 8 mile trip with three class III rapids. It was nice. Rob and I want to go back and raft the South Fork Payette because it is all III/IV's, which are much more intense. We rafted with Cascade Rafting. They are an outfitter up here in the Horseshoe Bend/Banks area about 30 minutes from Boise.

The couple behind John and Barb were Doug and Dalene Macfarlane they were originally from Utah but live in Middleton, ID now. There friends were Bill & Renee from Phoenix, AZ. Our guide was Miranda, she is from Seattle, WA.

Mom and Jim watched all the kids at their apartment today. We are heading there now to have dinner with them and my cousin Dan. Then we are going to find some place cool to watch the fireworks and hang out.

Happy Independence Day

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Today we are heading out to raft the Payette River. Later this evening we will go watch fireworks in Downtown Boise.

 
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