Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You Just Can't Be Replaced!

  I am sitting here right now, just crying, missing all my wonderful, close, loving family members and friends, the same ones I always squawk about:).  I know, God has called us here, He will take me through.  Somehow, right this moment, it isn't really making things easier.  I think it started this morning when I skyped with my bestie...it just caused reality to set in once again.  Sometimes I just put it out of my mind, the things we are missing, other times I try to stay focused on what God is doing in the big picture and how blessed we are.  Either way, it's just more difficult at certain times than others.  Knowing that my family is going to all be together in a few days and all of the warm fuzzies that Christmas time brings to the heart, just causes my heart sadness.  There are friends here, and I have my favorite family with me(my immediate)--thank the Lord...so, I will get off of here and go muster up some potpourri, put on some carols, and choose to make the most of this season.  The outreach is Saturday and then we need to finish up the rest of our shopping.  Thank you my wonderful online journal for being my ear right now :).  And, to anyone else reading...just give those closest to you extra love this season...believe me, if they weren't around, you would realize what you have.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jolly Jumpbuck in the Tuckerbag!

  I hope you are all having a snuggly, Christmas'y', toasty week.  This is such a wonderful season.  Celebrating Jesus is the best time of year, no doubt!  Yes, it does get busy, but I think planning, is the best way to enjoy the season.  I am writing from halfway around the world, so I don't have as much going on in a culture that doesn't get really down with celebrating, but it is still busy.  
  Please be in prayer about two things.  One, we are having a Christmas party here at our home on the 18th.  We are focusing on the people in our community of Joho that we have had short or long-term relationships with over the past 3-4 years.  Pastor Yawd and his family are going to work with us on this.  We are going to have a simple meal, play a game, share Jesus, and send everyone home with  a gift.  Then, on the morning of Christmas Eve, John has been invited to share the Christmas Story with the students/staff of Ratchasima II. That means anywhere from 2,000-3,000 people (more or less?).  We are very excited about both of these open doors in the community.  If you would please join in prayer with us concerning these events we would greatly appreciate it.  God is ALIVE, working on the hearts of the people everywhere!  Pray that the hearts of the Thai people will be soft, that their ears will be able to understand, and that they will have understanding.  We are expecting great things!! 
  Well, our tree is far from perfect, it is actually quite annoying, but that's not what the season is all about anyway.  I do enjoy that part of it though, and I have had to get really creative with it. There are 11 plugs into our one strip outlet, the lights all do something different.  If I could only get them still :).  Nonetheless, we are thankful and happy.  At least I can get white lights!  I decorated this year with spices and dried fruits.  It is so beautiful to me!  Wish you could see it.  The garland above the kitchen sink is my favorite, by far.  I used some kind of cool-looking twine and strung it with dried bael fruit (the juice around here is one of my faves), sat oranges on it and added some cinnamon down the sides...HA-here's a pic:

So far, we have enjoyed 'Elf' and 'Holiday Inn' during the Christmas time movie nights.  It's been fun.  If you haven't seen Holiday Inn, it's an oldie, and definitely one of our favorites.  There ya go...a little peek of life from around here lately!  

Love you all and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Egyptian Pyramid Replicas

We are trying to do one fun, crafty project per term that goes along with any topic that we have studied.  The children chose Egypt and the pyramids.  I found this on a blog somewhere called affectioknit, I think?  Anyway, tweak it to meet your needs. This is how our project turned out.

Step 1:
  We just did a little math, to make sure everything was going to be even and then traced, cut, and folded.

Step 2: Next we folded the cardboard and used masking tape to connect all sides.

Step 3:

 Using yarn, we glued it around the pyramids. (I let my toddler 'paint' the glue all over the pyramids--that was FUN for him). When the project is finished the yarn helps it look like 'bricks'.

Step 4: Paper Mache...let it dry for a couple of days or longer, unless you live in Thailand, then it will be finished in approx. 24 hours or less :)
**While doing paper mache, be sure to leave two of the sides uncovered where you can easily cut the yarn in order to OPEN your pyramid. 
Step 5:  We painted them brown, let it dry,  painted glue on again, then poured sand all over them.  I think you could probably skip the 'paint them brown' part.

Step 6:  Find a sturdy piece of cardboard to use as your base.  The one I chose was very thin and the pyramids ended up to heavy, especially once you add the tomb on the inside. If you mix a glue with blue food coloring, when the river dries it is shiny and 'fun' looking. We made a couple of boats out of grass to float in the river. 
(Please excuse my sweet potatoes ;)

Step 7: We made salt dough, cut them into triangles to fit inside the pyramids.  They then constructed a burial chamber, the air shafts, the treasure compartment.  You can get as detailed as you want, even down to labeling everything.  We chose NOT to label, mainly because we had already spent 3 weeks working on the project and it was Thanksgiving week, time to bake!

This is the inside of M's pyramid.  I forgot to mention that we looked up their names in hieroglyphics and added that to the inside.  This was by far their favorite part of the project.  Getting to paint everything, wrap the 'body' and just finishing it. 

It was a fun project, a little messy.  I recommend doing it all outside and be sure to have a sturdy base.  Oh, yea, we added capstones as well.  We rigged a pulley system with twine and brass brads in order to open and close the pyramid.  Just play with it and figure out what works best for you. 

Happy Building!

Leave your comments and thoughts please.  They encourage me!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Come On Sandy--Keep the Hat On!!!

Merry Christmas from Thailand!! We are working really hard around here to make it seem like Christmas. It is cooler and windy, but definitely not cold and snowy. I have heard the children on and off, murmuring this or that about the weather and how the season just doesn't seem like Christmas. Then, how no one tells them 'Merry Christmas' around here. We are still practicing our 'kind' hat wearing around the home. Seems as if we are all busy trying to do school, but wanting to be in 'holiday' mode, and that is hard. Who gets excited about working when it's Christmas time? I am just trying to hang on for 3 more weeks, stay focused, and diligent and in the meantime, BE KIND!
Why is it so hard? John and I were discussing this very question just a few days ago. Us being here in Thailand, makes for excessive amounts of time WITH one another. So, we have to practice kindness during 'at home' hours, which are 24/7. This is unlike America, where you have various outings to go to, with OTHER family and friends. We are TOGETHER ALL THE TIME...except our date night, which is 3.5 hours a week.
This is challenging, at the same time I am very thankful for this test. It is teaching and showing all of us our weaknesses. John and I were saying how if we can't be kind and show love in the home, what is the point of trying to spread the love of Jesus to others we don't know. We can't be too hard on ourselves when we fail 5, 10, 25% of the time. God forgives, children forgive, we forgive. The point is, we have to pick up, turn around, and do better the next time. Lord, help me today to continue to walk in kindness and love towards those VERY close to me :).
This is just a little of what is on my heart today, wishing I had time to write more, post pics, etc. The two babies are down and I need to run. Time to go read aloud--Story of the Greeks and Our Island Story to the oldest.
Merry Christmas to you all!!!
Wish you could see all my lights on the tree, or the plug-in, it is such a sight. I have 11 plugs in one strip outlet!!! It is hysterical, but I believe it is safe, just a little red-neck. At least I have lights, right?

...'but the greatest of these is love'. 1 Cor. 13

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gentleness, Kindness, Soft Tones...in the Midst of Storms

   I love to wake up around 5:30 or 6:00 am, the house is calm and quiet...maybe I can get my Bible study in and take a nice walk.  Lately, most mornings around that time, I hear the pitter patter of little toesies, and then a climb into my bed.  On to preparing breakfast, then school, then lunch, then school, then naps, then dinner, and a lot in between :).  In the midst of the spills, the cries for 'mommy', the questions about school, the trying to read aloud to the oldest while the youngest are dropping bombs and flying planes all around us...sometimes my brain feels extremely overstimulated.  To say it nicely, this week I have had to repent over and over for a raw tone of voice, for a lack of patience, for a lack of smiling.  It has made me so sad.  I laid in bed last night, tossing and turning, unable to rest due to my 'rotten' attitude. I love this time of my life, why is it so hard to not get emotionally involved in my chidren's childishness.  Instead, I begin acting childish myself!  And then, wonder where they get it from. I happened to stop by http://flourishingmother.blogspot.com/, just before writing this...and was so blessed by one of her post.  So, I will paste a small section of it.  Hopefully, it will bless you as it has me.  And, Praise the Lord that His mercies are made new everyday!!

 Putting on kindness:
1. Practice kindness.
2. Recognize that whatever comes from my mouth is born in my heart.
3. Allow no corrupt talk, in any form, to come out of my mouth.
4. Learn to love kindness.
5. Recognize the difference between childish immaturity and sin.
Pursuing gentleness:
1. Smile at your children.
2. Demonstrate constant affection toward your children.
3. Never speak in tones of sarcasm.
4. Do not raise your voice.
5. *Practice* speaking gently.
6. Adorn yourself with gentleness and a quiet spirit.
7. Utilize your husband as an accountability partner in helping you grow in gentleness.

Be especially cautious of your words, tone of voice, and countenance as you speak to your husband. Your words should be wholesome and edifying. Your tone of voice should be gentle and calm. Your countenance (a smile or pleasant expression) should show respect even when you disagree with him or he is obviously sinning. God will help you if you turn to Him. He is the "help of your countenance, and your God." (Psalm 42:11)

Be blessed this week and may God be with us all as we strive to always practice kindness in the midst of every storm, no matter how big or how small!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010


Today is Friday, I love Fridays. Mainly, because it we have group day and it is so much fun. We have been working on Egyptian Pyramid replicas all week and today we will add some more finishing touches. Of course, I will have pictures of the whole thing soon :). We have recitation, hymn study, folk song, corrections from math, science tests, and several other things.
( Moriah is sitting here in my lap nursing on and off. I have to admit, some days I think to myself, 'enough already'). I am trying to stay focused and on task today. We have had a busy week. As I am working on our Term 2 schedules, which we begin next week, I have realized that I have not been consistently reading our 'Handbook of Nature Study' on Fridays. I just forgot! So, today-HONS!! I will not forget. And, nature hiking---definitely on the schedule. The weather is wonderful, so we will head out on bicycles soon.
We started "The Ten Commandments" last night, made it to intermission, so we will finish that. And, working on some ornaments, as I can't wait to get the tree up! Needing to plan out Thanksgiving Dinner...yippee!!
Okay, just a quick post to let you hold me accountable to my plans :). Just remember, nothing ever goes as planned, but it is better to have one- a plan :), expect the worst and HOPE for the best!!

Happy Homeschooling Day!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Exciting Times!

There is such a stirring in my spirit...with all of the disasters taking place around the world, one can't help knowing that God is moving among us all. Expectancy is high! I just can't wait for the presence of God to fall so strongly in Thailand, for revival to come...for the lost to come to Him! Devastation is all around, desperation is on every corner...please continue praying. Pray that the hearts and visions of missionaries around the globe and especially in Thailand will stay on fire, filled up, and ready to pour out to the people. Pray for strength that missionaries will not grow weary, complacent, and content but, that we will stay hungry, expectant, prayerful and mindful! Pray that the hearts of the Thai people will be softened and eager to hear the word of the Lord, salvation, grace, and love.
Much love to you all!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Sins Were Red Like Scarlet

LIFE AND MINISTRY: As you all know, this has been a year of testing for our family. We have survived and 'we are singing'!!! Praise the Lord...God is good and faithful! We are moving into the 'winter' season in Thailand and, of course, CHRISTMAS. So, celebrating Jesus, family, friends, cool weather and cozy nights around the fire pit= EXCITEMENT!!
Ministry is going good. God is in control, we are continuing to pray and believe God to shake this nation. Lately, we have had the privilege of going deeper into relationships with friends from all over the world! I finally feel like the whole 'culture' difficulties have lifted and now I am living!!! I have been surviving...now I am LIVING! Yeah God. It has been a trying 3 years and I am thankful to have 3 years behind me :). The children are always full of questions concerning Thai language. If they hear a new word, in English, Gabe says, 'Daddy is that Thai or English?' It is so cute to see Moriah as she 'Y's' the Thai people (that is their greeting). Glad to see everyone still growing in the language.
Please continue to lift up the Thai people in your prayers! The floods that have hit have been devastating to so many...(I will post some pics of flood relief efforts). We were able to help some friends move last week. The water line in their apartments was up to their neck!!! Thank God friends were able to move their things as the water rushed in. Clean-up continues around our city...we even received another care package yesterday. Amazing job the gov't has done!
HOMESCHOOLING: Going absolutely wonderful!! Having a blast! Lots of 'outdoor' school days right now. We have an aquarium full of snails and two fish on the picnic table, we had 3 'sea' snakes at the beginning of the week for 2 days (set them free), and an oversize turtle. Needless to say...everyone is in an outdoor mood. So fun! I love seeing the excitement in my children's eyes as they learn. They are taking in all that is around them and asking a gazillion questions :).

The best for last...
HEALING: Isaiah 44:22 says "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."

Praise God! This has ministered to me so much this week! God redeems us from all of our mess!! I have been carrying with me, STILL, sins from my past...from my childhood on into adulthood. And---NO MORE! God has swept them away like a cloud...they are like the morning mist! Hallelujah!!! I don't have to walk around full of shame, doubt, insecurity, low self-confidence, and all the other mess the enemy likes to see me in. I am a princess of the most HIGH God!! He loves me as I am. So easy for some to wipe the slate and move on, so difficult for others...causing pain, deep- rooted pain, bitterness, and resentment. Let's be free!
God is good- His mercies are new every day-

paraphrase: my sins were red like scarlet, He washed me white in His mercies!!! YAHOO!!!!!

AFFIRMATION: I am forgiven! God thinks I am beautiful! I am strong because Jesus lives in me! I am confident in who I am because I am who God made me to be, I am not walking alone, I am following His every command...so, why lack confidence?

Love you all!!!
coming soon....furlough April-August 2011 :)


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life is so Rich...

Last week we found a frog, dried up, and of course, dead in our vehicle!! Gabe had forgotten his 'pet', and we could smell it for a few days. Moriah...she is the cutest little thing, dancing every time she hears music, with her hands in the air, praising the Lord-- priceless! Madaline, her head always in a book, and when it's not, creating a masterpiece from something. Whether it be food, painting, drawing, or pottery. What life she brings to our home! Lake, cracking jokes non-stop, making everyone laugh. Dancing with his legs out like Napoleon Dynamite and playing his recorder as loud as possible throughout the house! Who could live without the never-ending daily joy that these little history-makers are bringing?
I am very thankful for this season we are in. Sensing the peace, joy, and happiness around our home. Life seems so rich, everyone so happy. The children are learning so well right now and always talking of things that matter, I like that. I don't like 'twaddle' talk, makes me feel as if we are wasting time. I love sitting around the family meal table experiencing food, fun, and fellowship together. When no one gets up because the conversation is so fun and enriching! I pray for more of those meals. They mean so much, to see everyone with big smiles and each child bringing their piece of the conversation to the table.
I miss America at times, and think why are we staying so long before taking a furlough. Right now, though, I realize that us staying here longer is allowing our family to settle more and to make this our home. That is the sense of peace I am feeling. It is just so warm and cozy around here now...something I have missed for three years. Yes, it has taken that long to make our house feel like 'home' again.
Blessings to you all as we move into new seasons! Here we are leaving the rainy season and headed to the winter (semi-cool) season. And, we all know it is fall, or football season in America!

Psalm 18:16- somewhere around 30 (The Message)

'God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways; I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.'

I LOVE THIS! May it bless you like it has me!!

Love to you all!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Flora of Thailand

We have had such a great time on our nature hikes lately. We are studying from Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. It has been so fun and interesting for the children. We are going to put just a few pictures of our flowers along with their scientific names, just for your information :).

This is a beautiful flowering bush/tree that grows all around our little neighborhood, as do the others we photographed. This is one of many of the mangrove plant species recorded in Thailand. There is a total of 87 true species. This is called RED TERUNTUM (Lumnitzera littorea), it grows about 3 metres tall, while the ones that bloom white grow around 6 m. There is no fragrance, so the children have concluded that the bees and butterflies are attracted for the bright red color. Madaline seems to think it could be related to honeysuckle...kind of taste like it. Guess we need to find that out next.

This is FRANGIPANE or PLUMERIA (Nerium oleander). There are many colors, mostly we see white or pink, this is a mix. Is the fragrance from this flower the essence of the Bath and Body 'Plumeria' series, I would bet that it is. The fragrance is wonderful and is stronger at night. This is used mostly in Buddhist temples for worship. The tree can grow up to 8 metres. It is pollinated by the Sphinx moth. The bees, butterflies, etc...definitely come for the fragrance and probably the color as well.
This is called Cassia fistula, The GOLDEN SHOWER TREE, or THAIS, it is the national tree and its flower is the national flower. It blooms in summer. This flower has a subtle fragrance, so the children decided that bees and butterflies come for the color and the fragrance.

A little glimpse into our hiking lately. It has really been a blast and something we look forward to all week.

Hope you all have a blessed week! Happy Learning!!

It's all for HIM!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

'...He Will Uphold the Cause of His Servant...'

A dear friend read the verses of 1 Kings 8:56-61 to me this week as we were skyping, as something that the Lord had given her to encourage her, and then in return shared it with me to encourage and strengthen me. At the time she asked of my thoughts, but, with children ready for bed and the grumpiness that sometimes goes along with that, I was unable to even process the verses at the time. So, here are my thoughts and feelings...

'And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day's need.'
1 Kings 8:59

I have been so encouraged and strengthened with these verses! Then, we went to church today, and the service in Thai, was adding to these verses. The feelings are so good, I can truly tell that people have been praying for me. Thank you all for your prayers! God is so good and I know that the prayers we all have prayed are near to our God day and night!!! He is upholding the cause of this servant and meeting each day's need! Praise the Lord!

Of course, we all have a cause, purpose, and destiny. Some days we may not feel that we are doing anything to fulfill our destinies. Let us have faith for only each day's needs. 'Lord, I need strength today to homeschool my children with a GREAT attitude!! I need strength today, to get out of bed and meditate on Your words. I need strength today to get out of bed...period! I need strength today...you fill in the blank!

Lord, help us to only focus on each day...not to get carried away with our entire situation! We have a cause! We have a destiny!! Let us walk in it with our heads held high, our feet upon the Rock, unwavering, steadfast, joyful, abundant! We will fulfill the destiny the Lord has for us if we only remain in Him!

Thank you Father!

Much Love!!

**this is a painting by Carl Larsson**

'He will uphold the cause of His servant'

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Furlough...when is that again?

Today, I just really need to sit down and write. So, my online journal...here is my world. I have had such a wonderful, happy summer break from homeschooling. Especially after Lake's accident and seeing the progress he has made. God is so good! We have been here, going on three years now, or about four. I have this longing still, is it going to stay here forever? Is it the longing for my family and friends? Yes, I do long to see the Thai people serving our God and loving Him with all that is within them. Is it the longing to feel connected to those around me? I am just not content and when I finally feel like I am about to 'get' it, then, I suddenly feel it again. Life is good here, the family's needs are being met, John and I are doing good, but something just isn't right. I would love to talk to some veteran missionaries, you know, 20-30 years on the field. I think I will when the opportunity arises. In the meantime, does one who moves to a foreign land ever feel REALLY at home? And yes, I know, some have said, 'don't put yourself in a bubble'. I am not! I DON'T speak Thai fluently, nor do I feel like it is my calling at this point--to leave the home and study full-time. I enjoy speaking the language and would love to know every nook and cranny of Thai, down to the humor, but right now I don't and it really isn't an option for me. I have four beautiful children and a house and homeschool to run...so that will have to wait until I am an empty nester.
Honestly, I really, really, miss my close family and friends. The ones that share the same vision as you, the ones that share your heart, the ones that love to sit and talk about the marvelous works of our Creator, the ones that just tug on your heart strings, the ones that challenge you, the ones that encourage you, the ones that will correct you, the ones that will listen, hug, and cry with you. Do you know what I mean? Can you relate to that at all? Can you relate to being tired of feeling like a movie star every where you go? People watching your every move, people watching the salad dressing dripping from the sides of your mouth? People just saying 'Hi' all the time, day in/day out...but, never really getting to KNOW anyone. Okay, well...I am ready for the people to come and know Christ already, where I can have some more friends. I have a handful here and I do thank the Lord for them, they are wonderful and truly a blessing to my life. I hope I don't sound like I am complaining? I don't want to complain, I am a little forlorn today.
Overall, life is sooooo wonderful!!!! My husband is AMAZING and my children are such a blessing to us both!! We are, as a family, so happy!!! Being missionaries on the other side of the world, just isn't easy!


I love you all!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lake's Progress

Hello everyone,
Just a quick update on Lake. He is doing good with his physical therapy. We are all still believing God for the miracle of complete recovery. I have to admit, it broke my heart today to see him unable to grasp the macaroni and move it from one container to the next...his arm hanging limp. On the other hand, I have smiles and joy, knowing that he is alive and well. We went to the park today and he was all smiles...we took his sling off and I encouraged him to try and play with his arm down. He only wants to leave it in a folded position, which, according to the therapists, is not good. He needs to begin using those muscles so that they do not atrophy.
Please continue to pray for him. He is strong and brave and I know that he will regain the strength he needs. In the meantime, I am thinking I should teach him to write with his left hand this year. Then, if he does regain the strength of all fingers we can just pick up where he left off, but we need to prepare...Just my thoughts. As we speak, I am not allowed into the kitchen. The children are icing my bday cake and decorating! What fun! I love having 4 children...they are so thoughtful and full of life!
We have been getting ready for the upcoming school year this week. So far, we have organized our library, decorated our nature notebooks, organized the science notebooks, and purchased the other necessary journals and albums. One of the things I am most excited about is their artist albums! After studying each artist the children will be given their own 4x6 portraits to place in the album, they will then write the name of the artist and the title of the work! I think I need to make my own :)!
I have been soaking up a wonderful blog called 'Higher Up and Further In' and have really come across some wonderful ideas! If you are a homeschooling mother, especially a Charlotte Mason one, I highly recommend this blog. Also, Ambleside Online! These two resources have encouraged me and motivated me! I can't wait to get to school :)! I must give credit to my wonderful BF, Mrs. Ashley Bausch, for her blog-finding abilities! You is supa-fly! Of course, these two blogs don't hold a candle to her, 'Undistracted Devotion'. And, I really mean that! Go check it out!
Okay, so life is super beautiful this week...I have turned 33, and I am not ashamed! Thirty-three, a wonderful husband who loves me, four of my very own children, and great family and friends! Wowsers, Praise the Lord! How blessed I am! The weather around here is phenomenal, there are butterflies everywhere, and yea, it is hot, but who cares...it is still amazing! The wind is blowing and there are so many birds chirping, most of them are sparrows, doves, and pigeons, but the sound is just great. I wish I could invite you over, into my air-conditioned room...that would be fun, but until then...Have a super blessed week!!

A quick poem! (actually, it is not really a poem, just encouraging words...wish I could give credit to someone, but I don't even know where it came from...probably Above Rubies??, it's on the front of my school notebook)


We make our home a...
A house of prayer,
A household of Faith,
A habitation of Love,
A haven of peace,
A happening place of joy and laughter,
A hub of activity,
A home of hospitality,
A home of happiness,
A home of harmony,
A home of holiness,
A home of humility,
A home of hugs,
A home of health and healing, and
A home of hearty food and fellowship, and
A hearthstone where all delight to come
We hedge it about with truth.
We heal broken hearts.
We help one another.
We heap blessings upon one another.
We hold fast the WORD OF LIFE.
We honor the elderly.
We HATE evil and LOVE righteousness.
We encourage hard work.
We provide an atmosphere for hearing the voice of GOD.
We fill it with heavenly praises.
We love and appreciate our husbands.
And of course, we make it a little taste of heaven.

Lots of LOVE!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What is True Freedom?

I read this in the Message today and love the way it is written:

Romans 6
'...I'm using this freedom language because it's easy to picture. You can readily recall, can't you, how at one time you did just what you felt like doing-not caring about others, not caring about God-the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God's freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?
As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn't have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you're proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.
But now that you've found you don't have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God's gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.'

I am really learning a lot about emotions. I know we hear it all the time, not to let your emotions rule you, but my goodness, it can be such test. We have to control our emotions...the good ones, use for encouragement, etc...being sure that we channel those to others around us in order to edify them. Negative ones...control them, don't sin, don't run off at the mouth...just don't say a word. What a challenge for us! If any of you have won this battle, please send me some tips.
I am so thankful to be walking through this right now, it's about time. The passage above can be interpreted to teach us in so many different areas. Today, for me, I am grabbing a hold of, '...not listening to sin tell me what to do.' I may feel angry, frustrated, agitated, etc...those are normal, natural emotions...it is how I handle that. And, I love the part, 'with more and more life on the way'. Amen!! There is more and more life, and life abundantly!!! I will not do what I feel like doing, like complaining or whining...I WILL bother with right thinking and right living--- I want to!! That is TRUE FREEDOM!!!

Oh yea, and guess what...it is not good to be emotionless!!! So, for all of you out there who just sit on it, well...this is for you too. God gave us emotions and they need to be dealt with.

Love you all!

*** Hey---good 'ole fashion Chicken -n- Dumplin's is on the menu tonight!! Come on over :)!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Feeling a Little Crafty

Greetings my Friends!!

We had such a tragic accident recently involving, Lake, our 7 year old. He was playing hide-n-seek and ran through a plate glass door. This was such a serious accident concerning the use of his right hand, because he severed 2 inches of his brachial artery, severed his medial nerve, and damaged his bicep and pectoral muscles. If you would, please continue or begin to lift him up in your prayers. I have so many thoughts right now concerning this accident, the way I have handled it emotionally, etc... but, I do not want to entertain most of them and don't know exactly what to do with the others.
The fact is, my son is going to live, he is doing great, and that brings joy to my life!
Exactly a week later, we celebrated the 31st birthday of my husband and the 11th birthday of my daughter. We had a great party and it was a blessing to celebrate!! They are both wonderful people!! I am blessed!

I have been on a mad hunt for burlap for almost a month now, and what do you know, I can't find any!! I have one more place to check in Bangkok, but, when that will happen, I am unsure. I am wanting to make some cute, little DIY curtains for the kitchen. So, if you know where, in Thailand, I can find burlap, would you please email me :). Check out this cute wreath too, I need burlap!!! http://meandmyscraps.blogspot.com/2010/02/burlap-wreaths-take-one.html

I know people want to hear from me, so I am trying my best to write...but, I really don't know what to say. The Lord has been having me read Ephesians 4-5 over and over for a couple of months now. What I am getting out of it seems so elementary, but I believe that if we will apply it to our lives, it can transform the atmosphere of our homes and our relationships. My Bible is n't beside me and the children are asleep in both rooms where they are, so I will paraphrase.

We should let NO unwholesome talk come out of our mouths! If it doesn't edify or build up, keep you mouth shut. There should be no coarse joking. Our words should always mean something. That means don't ramble on and on about something insignificant. We are wasting time.

I feel like I am such a rambler. I can be in the middle of a conversation with someone and just catch myself telling every detail. What's the point? If someone tells me they like my shirt, I am there saying, 'Oh, it's old, I bought it...here, etc...', instead of just receiving the complement and moving on. Don't you enjoy those few people whom you sit down with and the conversations are so rich, edifying, encouraging, and uplifting? Those are the relationships that are so fulfilling.
Do the words that come out of our mouths edify others always? I feel like I have written something similar to this before, but if so...these are the things the Lord is working in me still. I feel like a child, I still haven't grabbed it and kept it.
I get so frustrated sometimes with 5 voices needing mommy, and then something major, like my son's accident happens, and I feel so strong and able to withstand the pressure. I believe that we should strive, at least I should, to be a quiet, gentle, reserved, but open and honest woman of God. Lord, let every word that falls from my lips land with meaning and purpose. Help me to be quiet. Help me to speak gently, at all times, to those I love the most.

Within these last few days, I believe the Lord is refreshing my memory of how important motherhood is. You know how something is when you have done it for several years, it sort of becomes monotonous, you get used to it. We shouldn't get use to motherhood or being a good wife. These callings need to remain fresh on our minds, we need to continue to feed this calling with the word and the encouragement of other God-fearing women.

Speaking of God-fearing women...a wonderful woman in my life named Cathy Flynn, has a new blog...go check it out http://www.modernorange.com/2010/05/recipe-for-disaster.html

Life is really good with GOD, He is amazing, He brings light and life to my life! He is the source of all true joy, peace, and happiness. He thinks all things are beautiful, no matter where we have been. He forgives continuously...He loves always...and well, He is just the only reason for living.

God Bless You all!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Call Out to You Milanites!!

Hey Everyone!
I have had all of my close friends, friends, acquaintances, old teachers, even the cashiers at Wal-Mart, on my heart for the last 3 weeks. Well, since the death of Chad. I stood at my kitchen sink washing dishes, worshipping with Kim Walker to 'We Cry Out', when I felt the Holy Spirit come down. I began to pray earnestly for my friends in Milan, you that I have many memories with, you that I have only a few memories with, and you that I barely know. I haven't had much free time, so I have been unable to blog...then, there were two more tragedies that occurred affecting the city of Milan. I cannot tell you, nor articulate to you the strength and peace that comes following an INTIMATE relationship with the Lord. I say 'intimate', because that is what HE wants. He doesn't want you to 'talk about Him like He's not in the room', He wants you to 'talk right to Him'! We are a chosen generation...we are special and we are called to reach out to those lost and dying, called to reach out to them before Hell does. Please get up, wake up, pick up your heads...answer the calling of the Lord in your spirits! It will be the greatest decision you will ever make!! Stop being selfish and thinking You can live life without Him!! He is everything!! He IS what life is all about. It is not about the check you bring home each month, the newest movie out, the latest fashion, the latest gossip...stop living the "American Dream". Stop living a soap opera! Get a clue!! The world is falling apart, completely around the globe... IT is way past time to WAKE UP!! GET out of your little bubble!
Now for the love...I do, I love you all so much! I have love in my heart for you I barely even know! No kidding, I can feel the love for the little granny greeting me at Wal-Mart! I miss so many things about our small town, what a connection we all really and truly have. You don't realize how special Milan is until you don't live there. On top of that add living in Thailand with a huge language barrier and people you barely know for 3 years! I love you guys so very much and pray that you understand my heart when reading this!! FREEDOM AND PEACE AND LOVE is YOURS, and HAPPINESS in CHRIST JESUS!! (and He is super cool :) , for any of you out there who might think otherwise) He is the most popular, the fad, the newest, the latest, the BEST!!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Life is Busy Here Too

The weather has been so beautiful here lately. Hot, in the 100's some days (still gorgeous), and today in the 80's and extremely comfortable. We have been running and running for about 4 weeks now, but thankful for the many opportunities the Lord has given us.
We took a retreat with Church of Blessing group, which is the place where John preaches once a month. It was a wonderful time of fun and relaxation for the two older children and John. I spent the 3 days taking care of Gabriel and Moriah who were sick. There has been a sick bug around our home for 11 weeks now, thankfully this is the first few days where everyone has been well. And, I am very grateful! Praise the Lord!! John has travelled to a village church about 5 hours away and really enjoyed seeing the people in love with Jesus there. He begins teaching English at the army base tomorrow. We will also begin a cell group meeting with the church plant on Wednesday.
Moriah turned one on the 24th and we took a day trip to the zoo and the swimming park with 3 of the children's thai friends. Everyone enjoyed themselves! It is so hard for me to believe it has already been a year since Moriah was born. I have been reflecting on the past year this week, because I remember soooo vividly the night that she came into this world. God has truly used her in my life to teach me so much!
Moriah means 'God is my Teacher' and literally, every month of this year I can look back in my journal and tell you the things He has taught me! The moment she was entering into the world He spoke, 'Do not be afraid, I am her teacher and will teach her how to enter into this world'. To hear those words, brought immediate peace. If you are unfamiliar with the birthing story...please email me and I will tell of the miraculous! I am sitting here trying to think of the most profound thing He has taught me, but...it has all been so revelatory and so neccessary for my walk with Him.
Right now, I am feeling the unending, never-failing, love of God. He knows, understands, accepts, and loves who I am. He knows the mistakes I am going to make even before I make them. The short fuse I have with the children, the smart tone of voice, the lack of gentle understanding...and He loves me and is there to encourage me, not discourage me. He sees my heart and is always waiting on me, before I even go to Him. He desires me more than I could possibly desire Him! This leads me to our children.
Shouldn't we always be encouraging to them...even in the midst of difficult circumstances...you know, the time when the milk is spilled all over the floor, the baby has a stinky, the toddler is crying because the wheel broke on the truck, the 7 year old is cleaning the milk with a towel :/, and the oldest is in a deep conversation about the teeth of the baleen whale...and my brain/flesh says, 'AHHHHHH'! And, I feel like yelling it, and I do...too much! The Lord is always there to encourage me and keep me from getting down on myself. Lord, help us to encourage our children during these times and not discourage them by our own responses. They are 'raw' flesh as my friend put it...their minds have not been renewed yet. Help us to treat them as the Lord treats us after we lose our tone or our control! He is there with open arms.
Days and days go by, and I long for the relationships I have with friends and family in America. Some days I cannot believe that I haven't talked to 'so-and-so' in a year...or gone with her to wherever...It is hard to believe somedays, that I LIVE here, I am not going anywhere. And, on those days, that are forever long...I am forced even more to press into God. HE is all I have!! I have learned even more to trust in Him, to lean on Him, to rely on Him! And, if it took me living on the other side of the world, to be so lonely at times that I don't have anyone but Him to turn to...then it is worth it. This is how our love for God, our relationship with Him, is suppose to be! We are to be TOTALLY abandoned to Him!! And, well, sometimes if there are distractions all around you, then you don't always turn to Him.
So, I encourage myself and you, to TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS>>>GET ALONE WITH YOUR PRINCE>>>And find out what He is saying to you. He always brings that perfect peace that we are looking for. And, I am so VERY THANKFUL TO YOU JESUS!! You are truly the greatest love!!
Love you all and miss you dearly!

--That the FIRE of God would remain kindled in our lives
--Strengthening of our marriage
--Our family to continue to thrive here and that JOY would abound in our home!
--Greater burden for the thai people
--John's language and preaching abilities in Thai to sky-rocket
--Church plant and cell group
--Converts to come out of relationships built
--$1,000 more monthly support

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


*If you haven't already, listen to Isa Couvertier(sp), go to iTunes, she's there!!

(These are our friends that we are working together with to start a Thai church and the after-school program. R-L The Lovorn's, The Cocran's, Chad/Nan/Sam, and Pastor Yot/Mo/Yobel)

I am really missing America today. Just wanting to chit-chat with a few friends, take the children to grandma's, things that don't happen around here as much. I think I am in need of a break. I am wanting to watch a really good movie, but, to be honest, don't know any that I feel like is worth my time. Sad :(. Just kind of tired of the same 'ole thing going on. The children are swimming across the street in the lake and Moriah is asleep. So, dinner plans...something tasty, something beneficial...not sure. Wanting something really good. I found a new mushroom curry recipe, thinking of trying that.
John is out of school for the 'summer' here in Thailand. It is really nice to have him around more, although he is still busy. On Saturday he will be preaching in Thai at a village church. So, he is gone working on his sermon and translating it into Thai. Then, of course, all of the errands that needed to be run. He will begin during this summer break with the after-school program, not sure of dates yet.
The weather is beautiful right now, warm/hot, but windy. We did a little school outside today and enjoyed the breeze. Thinking about maybe after dinner running into town, just to get out. Mothering 4 children and homeschooling, plus living in a foreign country equals me not getting out often!


it turned out wonderful!! The children really enjoyed their chocolate mylk shakes and there was no guilt (well, maybe a little because of the 'not-so pure maple syrup' I had to use)

nut milk (about 2-3 cups) any kind will do
handful of ice
3T cocoa
3 T agave nectar
3T maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Whiz, whiz!! Yummy!!

these are wonderful!! Madaline thought I bought them!
1/2 cup Coconut Butter (just bake a cookie sheet full of coconut until turns golden and smells good-then put in blender with a little coconut oil and whiz until butter--keeps in fridge fine)
3 T cocoa
1 cup coconut
3T coconut oil

Process this all in the food processor. Roll out 1/2 inch balls with hand, put on wax paper, and then to freezer until ready to eat.

2 Corinthians 7:1
"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."

IT IS ALL ABOUT HIM!!! I love loving God and I love the way He loves me!! He sees us as beautiful, blooming flowers!! One of my favorite things about living in Thailand is that I am somewhat sheltered from the bad and unholy around me...don't get me wrong, it is here and here heavily. I feel like I don't have to see it or hear it as much as I did when in America. Maybe because I can't understand the language fully, so, that leaves me in somewhat of a bubble. And, quite honestly...I enjoy that!

Be blessed this week and run from the negative, unholy, unrighteous things around you. If it is negative, bad language, ugly, impure, and doesn't edify you or make you feel better---then flee quickly. Then, think about the beauty that God has given to us to enjoy!

I have a hilarious picture I kept trying to post in this spot of John, after a haircut a few weeks back. The beautician 'had a great time' fixing his hair...wish you could see it!

Love you my friends!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Are You a Know it All?

Things are great and happening here in Korat, Thailand. God is and has been soooo faithful and so good to us!! The children are all well, homeschooling is more fun than I ever imagined, and last, but definitely not least, John and I are continuing to grow closer and closer to one another.

Hanging out with my best friend, Jesus, the other day, I began meditating on 1 Cor. 8:2. These are just a few of my thoughts.

1 Cor. 8:2
'The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know."

I began to just ask the Lord to help me to always remain open and teachable. Help us to not think that 'our' way is the only way and the only 'right' way. That our hearts would remain soft and we would be ever ready to hear His voice, and His prodding. Let us not be so content in the ways that we have been 'conditioned' to live by, by society---Let us only be conditioned by the Lord!! Let not the world say 'sit boo-boo sit...good dog' and we--out of habit-- do as society or as tradition says. Let us always be willing and wanting what the Lord says.

Oh my goodness...as I am writing this I am reminded of the scripture He took me to today.

1 Col. 8:2
'See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ'.

How cool is that...it all goes together. What is God teaching? Do we even care? Are we too busy with our own 'Sunday, happy-Christian routine' to step out and ask God for ourselves? Don't always let the preacher teach you how to live...let the preacher encourage you to live as God has quietly instructed you in your private time.
Are we too busy running from our 9-5, to soccer practice, then to the fast food chain? Can we even hear Him? Allow God to be your role model, our private teacher concerning ALL aspects of life. Don't just 'go with the flow, with tradition'. Lord, teach us about marriage, child-rearing, gardening, entertainment, hobbies, etc...be our Teacher. We have given Him our all, you know, 'surrender all', but have we? We try not to sin, try to live a 1 Cor. 13 lifestyle, a Pro. 31 woman is our goal, but have we asked Him to teach us about day to day living. We will go to college and spend thousands of dollars to get our 'degree', but are we studying how to be a good marriage partner, a good mother, a good nuturer for our family? These are careers that NEVER end, and guess what? God wants to teach us the BEST way. Is the way our forefathers handled things the 'best'? There are more broken homes today than ever, more obesity and cancer than ever, more depression than ever, and this list continues.
Let's ask God how He wants us to handle the small things in life and not just the big things.

There you go...now for a recipe

We have had this for breakfast several mornings in the past two weeks and the children like it

Blueberry and Banana Cereal
cut up some bananas
a handful of blueberries
young coconut water and meat (blend this to make the milk and pour over your bananas and blueberries)

We also did this today with mango and it was delicious!!!!

Green Smoothie (or in our house, the 'army' drink, or 'princess' smoothie)
handful of greens (in America--i used spinach, Thailand--well, some 'dee jai' green)
banana or 2
handful of ice
coconut water and/or meat if you like
some honey(optional)

whiz, whiz...and there you go! Your greens for the day, and the children like this too(Gabe and Moriah LOVE it, Madaline and Lake--say pass the carrot juice please)


OKAY, one more picture...this is yummy, yummy tamarind!! So healthy for women, consistency of caramel, grows on a tree...thinking of raw pie crust...do you think it would work? Maybe replacing the dates?? I will let you know.


Sunday, January 17, 2010


I haven't posted since October...it doesn't seem that long ago. Sometimes, I begin going through things that I believe most wouldn't want to hear. So, I know it is sad to say, but as a missionary, I feel that 'ministry' stuff is what a lot of people had rather hear. Ministry is great and especially fun to hear about when God is visibly moving in that area. As a baby on the field, I choose NOT to write when times are difficult. If, in the future, you don't hear from me...email me :).
God has brought us through an extremely difficult season!! I have posted about some of the difficult times in the past, even eluding to the fact that things were better, and, I honestly, at that time, was given a breath of fresh air. Overall, the testing has lasted for more than a year. The lesson that I have learned is to lower your expectations of man and continue to expect the greatest from the Lord. On December 28th, the Lord took me to Deuteronomy 8:2
"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands...to teach you that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."

Wow!! That is so powerful to me!! To know what is in my heart!! Are we going to split and run when the going gets tough? No, just hold on by the strength of the Lord! New Year's Eve was like a breakthrough for us. Since that night the Lord has opened so many doors for ministry and has released us to walk through them!
I will share very soon about these awesome opportunities that have opened for us to minister the gospel with Thailand!!

Right now, the weather is soooo sweet!! It is 'fallish'.

The children are in bed, I have downloaded a free e-book called 'Smooth and Easy Days' with Charlotte Mason(I hope I get to read it soon :)). If any of you are homeschooling and appreciate the works of Charlotte Mason, please visit simplycharlottemason.com, I am sure you will be blessed. This site really helps organize this method.
I am really missing craft time with my children, if any of you out there have any great craft ideas that somehow fit in with your study, please send me a link or an email. When Madaline was small she did so many crafts, now with 4 children, crafts are limited, and I miss experiencing the fun with crafts.

great and easy WHOLE WHEAT BREAD (without a machine, since i fried mine)

Grind your wheat (or buy it already ground)

4 cups warm water
1 1/2- 2 T yeast
1/3 cup honey

Mix and let sit about 10 minutes. Add enough flour to make a sponge (kind of thick, until it slowly pours off wooden spoon). Stir with spoon 200 strokes. Let sit until rises about double.

Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 T salt. Stir.

Add enough flour to knead. My best loaves are a little sticky, but firm enough to bounce back when you poke it. (You can also add a little white bread flour if you want to get some gluten in there, which helps with texture, or all whole wheat and add straight gluten--up to you:)

Then, let it sit until double its size. Break in to two halves. You will be making two loaves.
Forcefully throw onto counter and knead well, to remove all air bubbles. Shape into loaves, put in two, well greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

You can make many different variations. Last week we had one plain whole wheat and one cranberry walnut. Just throw the additives in at the end. Tomorrow I will try cinnamon sugar!! Yummy...I am hungry!!!

Recipe---Special thanks the Carolyn Shafer!!! You and your family are my role models :)

Inspired from A.B.---let's eat more RAW today!! Whew, it sure is a challenge, but so beneficial!!! Lord, help me to benefit myself and my family this week.

Continue to let Jesus rock your world!!! He is the most amazing!! In Paul's troubles he was always encouraged by JOY!!! Let's be full of JOY!!!!

Prophecy from Bethel:

2010 is the year of birthing the vision!!!

2010 if the year of incredible intimacy with the Lord!!!!

This is the year of going into the unknown!!!


love you all