Tuesday, July 28, 2009

thoughts on prayer

Prayer has been heavy on my heart this last few weeks. This Sunday, God, being God and knowing this.... sent a fill in teacher to our Sunday School class and he chose to speak on prayer. He started by telling us that he was researching in to how Christ prayed and whom he prayed for, then moved into a study on how the apostles prayed and whom they prayed for. He found it very interesting that Christ did not regularly pray for the "lost". He did however, often pray for those whom had been give to him (John 17:9 "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.)
Then he began to talk about how Paul prayed. He noted that he too prayed for his fellow believer. He then gave us examples of how he prayed for them....He started in Ephesians 1:15-21

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,and what [is] the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated [Him] at His right hand in the heavenly [places], far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Paul prayed that those he loved and cared for in Ephesus, would grow! That they would have better understanding of who Christ was, and what His work on the cross did for them.
Later in Chapter 3:14-21 He prays for them again.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what [is] the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen

He prays Christ will dwell with them, that they will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. That they would be rooted and grounded in LOVE.....

I sat in my chair convicted. How many times do I say I will pray for someone and I don't. How many times has my prayer been one of formality and insincerity, instead of falling on my knees in front of God, and truly praying for my fellow believer. And praying these things into their lives..... not just the.... standard out loud prayer of Lord, please heal this sickness or that pain, help Sally find a job..... How often do we do these "safe" prayers to the Lord that follow a format, almost an unwritten etiquette. It is not that I am saying we should not pray for healing or for jobs or any of those things. What I know I have been guilty of, and maybe you have to, is praying to the Lord as if he is some great fix it machine in the sky. How often do we just come to him with needs for others or ourselves. I began to ask myself....... Do I pray for their growth? Do I pray for their wisdom to increase? Do I pray that the Lord would reveal himself to them? Sadly, I must admit that I do not pray that way. Joyfully, I look forward to changing that.

I got to thinking, what would happened if we cried out to God for Him to strengthen other believers? Would we have so much sin in our churches? Would the world be so quick to label us hypocrites? Would our youth be growing up and away from God, instead of closer to him?
Would women be mentoring younger women? Would more men be discipleing other men? Would friends of mine from High School, that were "on fire" for the Lord at one time in their lives, would they still be living on their own with little or no mention of , or daily reliance on God? If I purpose to pray for those who when we were 16 said... "let's hold each other accountable" ...... What could God do with that? How will he change me? How will he grow them?

I don't know the answers to these questions. I do know that with God's help, I intend to radically change the way I pray for people.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Somedays, I wonder how boring life would be without kids. Then there are days I wonder if it would be peaceful..... and quiet..... And then there are days when it is so stinkin funny, I can barely contain my amusement. Today is one of those days.....

Jeremiah was hanging out in the bathroom with Tayler.... she was washing her face, and then cleaning it up from all the mess that happens when you have 7 kids brushing their teeth in front of one mirror...... As he was hanging out, she had opened the cupboard to get out a washcloth to clean up with....... in that same place.... there happend to be some "can-nee"

It was nicely wrapped in pretty colored paper..... here he is coming to show mommy the "can-nee" that he so desperately wants to eat. Can you just see the joy and excitement of his find in his eyes? Here is what he really found.............................

So just to see what he would do........... i handed it back to him................

He enjoyed it so much he went back to get the rest.......... apparently his box of "can-nee" was a variety pack....

You can't make this stuff up..... it is too good. I am just glad Tayler had the presence of mind to grab my phone when she saw what he was doing.... so we could capture these moments for all to see. When we wouldn't let him eat the rest of the candy.... he actually threw a king size temper tantrum........ Who knew?...... you buy them all these toys.... and all they want to do is play with cardboard...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Basque Beans and Rice

I think it was May ( I say I think... because in my line of work... days blend together, children's names get confused and sometimes you forget your own... so bear with me...) Jody and I actually got a chance to get away for a few days. The company that he works for sent him to Boise, Idaho for a Skills Competition. ( I would explain what that is, but you would get bored and stop reading...) While we were away ( which is the point to this story), we ate at this FABULOUS Basque Restaurant. It is the kind of restaurant anyone who has thought about owning a restaurant wants to own. We were greeted at the door by a grand daughter of the actual Eppie. And she was probably in her 60's so this place had been around for a year or two... Now I guess I will get to the point............. THE FOOD!...... it was the BEST and the MOST food I have ever seen in my life! It just kept coming out of the kitchen. Finish a dish... more came.... finished your soup.... you got more....... They made the BEST bean soup!
Now, if you know me, and have seen me lately, you know that I really enjoy food. God gave us these things called taste buds and boy, am I glad that he did. After experiencing this most delicious food, I decided that this was one of those things I could do in my own kitchen, and personalize it with some other things I know my family likes.
I have no idea why I decided to post it on here......... clearly, I had nothing better to do one afternoon, between potty training, teaching and cooking......... than to take pictures of the food I was cooking. Maybe it was boredom, maybe it was too much Food Network the night before... who knows...........

First you brown up about a half a pound of bacon.
When the bacon is brown you add in half an onion and about 6 stalks of celery, chopped.
You want to wilt this a bit.
Then add carrots. I never really have big ones around, only the small ones for snacking, so this is probably 15-20 small carrots chopped.

Then I decided to throw in the rib meat that was left over from last night's dinner. I have added ham at this point, pork, could even put in leftover steak. Be frugal, find a way to use what you have so it doesn't go to waste.

Then you are going to add the beans. I use one package of the small red beans. I quick soak them according to the package directions with the exception that it says to soak them for 1 hour, I usually soak them for 2 at least. Then I always rinse them out, and discard the soak water.
Give it a good stir.
Then cover it with water. 6 cups usually does the trick.
Add some bay leaf, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. I know, you at thinking garlic should have gone in with the onions.... alas I will tell you no. Most cooks have a habit of over sauteeing their garlic, and causing the dish to become bitter. To avoid this add your garlic later in the process, especially when you are doing something that will simmer and cook for a few hours. No one will know you put it in later.... but the will notice if you burn it and make your dish bitter.

Cover and simmer on LOW till dinner time ( 3 hours )

Just before I serve, I cut up a package of these sausages. They are NOT spicy like you would think with them being called Chorizo. They are the Spanish Basque version of this sausage, and they are WONDERFUL!

Add 2 red bell peppers. These and the sausages only need to heat through.

I serve the whole dish over brown rice. I take a couple of Tablespoons of butter and melt it in a pan, then I add my 2 cups of brow rice, I saute the rice in the butter for a few minutes, and this keeps the rice from sticking together as it cooks. I also add 2 Knorr bouillon cubes during this process, as well as a 1/4 tsp of cumin, pepper, and Mrs Dash Chipotle seasoning. THEN I add the 4 cups of water , bring to a boil, and simmer on LOW for 50 minutes.
It really is a great hearty meal, and it is even better the next day. The kids see me bring out a bag of beans in the morning and they start to get excited, and they actually fight over the leftovers.
If you do try it... please come back and post here and let me know if liked it, ( or hated it.... I suppose I can handle the criticizim.......) and if you did how you personalized it for your family.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Listen to your daddy!

When I was sixteen, my dad let me drive my sister Kelly and her friend Kara (the across the street neighbor) to Lake Tahoe. The three of us were going to stay a week with my Aunt Irene.
I thought that this was of course a fabulous idea, after all I was old enough and COMPLETELY capable to drive 4 hours to Tahoe.

Looking back on it now, I don't know if I could have or would have been as gracious as my parents were to let me take that trip. I didn't really realize how tense my dad was about it until he started asking me all these car questions. They were great questions for a dad with 3 daughters that he raised with the ability to mow lawns, and start barbeque's with charcoal from just wadded up paper..... he was making sure I knew where the oil dipstick was, and how to fill the tires with air, where the window cleaner was... those types of things. He made me take $200 cash to hide in my wallet, for just "in case".
Frankly, I was sure that everything was going to be just fine and I thought that he was really over reacting. They he asked me a question that I never forgot.... "What will you do if you have a tire blow out on the freeway?" I was thinking ..... umm dad, that ain't gonna happen.... So I answered " I guess I would step on the brakes and slow down and get off the road." To which I received a very INTENSE response. " NO!! Never ever EVER step on the brakes!!! You just let the car slow down, and ease over to the side of the road!" Seeing that he was very serious, I told him ok.... that is what I would do.
The three of us got into the car, and took off to Tahoe and had a great time..... and everything was fine.

Now it is time to fast forward to a day not long ago, on Hwy 82 in Washington, with a Suburban full of kids, and that same 16 year old girl all grown up.
We were rumbling down the Highway at 70 mph and we had all the windows open, because it is the only "air conditioning" that the beast has. We are on our way home from Selah/Yakima where Tayler had been playing in the State Championships for 14U competitive softball.
When all of the sudden.......... POW!

As soon as I heard the POW!.... and felt the back end of the truck fall, and felt the front end of the truck begin to sway............
The first and only thing that went through my mind was........... " NEVER EVER step on the BRAKE!!!!!!!!!! let the car slow itself down on it's own and ease over to the side!"
Never in my life had I been more grateful for that grilling I got before we left for Tahoe. It all came flooding back.....
So that is what I did.... I just held on and tried to keep the wheel straight and not over correct... and eased the beast over to the side of the road. Then I breathed...

I mean seriously..... tires are not supposed to look like this!!!!

We ended up calling Les Schwab Tires to come out, they have a road repair service, and fix the tire. I called them 10 min before the shop closed, and they still came! It was a blessing, because Jody was drilling in Spokane, and the next nearest relative that could help was well over an hour away. I had NO spare.... and waiting for someone to come could have been quite the road side adventure with 5 kids in the car.

This poor guy was so sweet and full of smiles to calm a frazzled mom that was stranded in 100 degree heat. He had to bang all the tread off the tire by hand... I made sure he got two ice cold waters from the cooler when he was done.
So... the moral to my story is............. LISTEN TO YOUR DADDY! you never know when the things they tell you will save your life............. whether you are 16 or 38.... it pays to pay attention!

Monday, July 13, 2009

out of the mouth of babes

Hunter put me in my place today....

I was sitting on the couch and he was trying to get me to make a muscle with my arm... so he is flexing and contracting my arm and poking my bicep trying to feel the muscle move.... ( like it does on daddy's arm...don't you know....)

After several attempts to feel the muscle.... he says " momma, i can't feel nothing." and still poking adds....." is that blubber? or your bone?"

I just cracked up laughing....

guess it is time to order the P90X system..... so I can get rid of the blubber that is on my bone....

tooo tooo funny that boy is.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Who put the spoon in my pants?

There are things that come out of your mouth when you are a mom, that you never, EVER, thought you would say.
I have had two such experiences in the last week.

It started with.......... "Who put the spoon in my pants?" and just today I can add...... " Let's not use the pliers on people, please."

The pliers on people was one that happened in the nursery in church. There was a toddler that had plastic toy pliers, and she was trying to catch the wispy hairs that were blowing on a baby that was about 6 months old. Better the hair, than an eye or his nose.... but, I am sure that if someone was walking by the window and heard that..... they would wonder what IS it we do at this church!?!?!?!?! ......

The spoon in my pants...., now this one is going to require a bit of back ground....
We are raising a practical joker. He comes by this quite naturally. He finds ways to be sneaky, and executes, flawlessly, his plan........... His name is Hunter, and he may grow up to be a secret agent in the CIA.
He is known for his ability to sneak objects into people's shoes. To him, placing a Lego man or a matchbox car, even a rock in your shoe is a sign of love and affection. Not everyone receives such treatment, only those he loves most. If you find the object in your shoe, and then sneak it back into HIS shoe, you will find it back in your shoe in a day or two.... never a word spoken, just a stealthy game of cat and mouse.....
I am sure you are now wondering what in the world this has to do with a spoon.... hold on to your hat... I am getting there.

Thursday, I was getting ready to take Jody his lunch, and then we were going to go and run some errands.... while I was making lunch, Hunter got a spoon out of the drawer in an attempt to have a scoop of ice cream before we left the house. He was told " No, you haven't even had lunch yet!!" and I went about my business, thinking he had put the spoon away. I walked around the house for about 10 more minutes, loaded Jeremiah and all the lunch and diaper bag, ect., into the truck and climbed in and away we went. We took the lunch to Daddy and then went up to Walmart. As I am climbing out of the truck I hear this strange metal clunk. Thinking, this is odd, I look back to see what I bumped into, finding nothing on the truck, I look to see what is metal on me. This is when I find it.... neatly tucked into my belt loop, was a spoon...... Then I said it...... " Who put the spoon in my pants?" To which I received a small, smug, smirk from my little sneak..... and it was combined, I might add, with an adorable angelic look..... you know the one.... the one that says...." who me?"

I wasn't sure if I should have been more horrified that he did this and I didn't even feel it.....I mean, I SAT on it for at least a half an hour!!! .... or impressed that it was there and never fell out......I guess he meant to teach me a lesson for not letting him have some ice cream..... ohhh Hunter, you are toooooo much some days!

So the next time you come over, or we are over at your house and you find something odd in your shoe, or in your belt loop..... know that you are very loved by a very, very crafty little boy.
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