Monday, June 28, 2010

Enough Excitement for One Weekend

What do these things have in common:
1. gophers & yellow labs
2. dump trucks & doctor's office
3. goats in church
4. numb toes & 100 degrees

Give up? Our weekend. Disclaimer: if you are squeamish, beware of the first two stories.

Number one (gophers & yellow labs) occurred Friday afternoon. All the piles of dirt in our backyard were too hard to resist for one furry creature. The pocket gopher. I found his hole and then I found him. Then our dog, Murphy, found him. She pounced and killed and carried the creature around the yard all the while my son, daughter and I are yelling at the dog, running around in shock and awe at what we'd witnessed. I found the plastic kiddie pool and covered the thing to show Steve when he got home. He, of course, thought it hilarious and was happy to praise the dog for her work. He decided to deal with the thing Saturday morning. But Saturday morning when he lifted the pool (held in place with a brick), the gopher was gone. Yes, it had been dead, very dead. Either Murphy somehow got the thing or...I don't even want to know, really.

Sidenote: curbing completed in backyard project. It is awesome.
Now we are putting down weed paper. The next (and last!!!) step is wood chips.

Number two (dump trucks & dr's office) occurred Saturday afternoon. We needed one more dump truck of dirt for the yard which Steve got from his dad on the farm. As he was dumping it, a chain got stuck in the tailgate and he pulled it out. But he wasn't quick enough to get his hand out of the way and the tailgate came crashing down on his finger, crushing it hard enough to blow the skin open near the nail. I took him to the Quick Care doctor, they took x-rays and Praise the Lord, no broken bones. No stitches even. Because of all the swelling they figured it'd tear any stitching. He is doing much better now, just inconvenienced with a finger wrapped up.

Number three (goats & church)- we are studying Hebrews right now at church. Pastor Jim wanted us really "get" what the role of the high priest was in Israelite times. Once a year they celebrated the Day of Atonement, the covering of sins. Part of this was transferring the sins of the people to a goat which was then led out into the wilderness. So, we had a real live goat at church. We tend to forget or get comfortable with grace and what Jesus did for us. But, we are FORGIVEN by what our high priest did once for all (not yearly like the Hebrews). There is so much more to this story and if you have the time, listen to the message at this link here.

Lastly, it got over 100 degrees here Monday *pant*! So we went to a lake where the water had to be about 65 degrees. My feet went numb as I waded. The kids did go under the water, but it was too breath-taking for me. It did cool a body off though. I didn't really think about how hot the air was.

All in all, that was enough excitement for one weekend. Looking forward to a quiet & calm week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Second Day of Summer!!!

Because it's the second day of summer and because I choose to believe it will eventually get hot & stay hot here and because I love dessert...

here's a delicious summer dessert recipe for you to try.

Summer Pie
1 box (0.3oz) sugar-free orange flavor gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
16 oz orange creme flavor light yogurt
8 oz frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1 prepared 9" reduced fat graham cracker pie crust

1. In large heat-resistant bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. With wire whisk, stir in yogurt; with wooden spoon, fold in whipped topping.
2. Transfer mixture to prepared crust; refrigerate at least 2 hours.

How simple is that? And it is so light and delicious. I've also made this recipe with lime jello & yogurt and raspberry jello & yogurt. It's a perfect ending to a hot summer day. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vacation with a Purpose

I've mentioned before that my brother and his family moved to Mexico in December. They are there with One Mission, to build relationships with the poverty-stricken locals. The first step in this process is to build them a house. Groups of 20 or more from the U.S. or Canada pay for the supplies and provide some of the labor. One Mission requires the locals wanting a house to work a minimum of 45 hours building houses for others. A group of 26 from my sister's church (plus me) went this past weekend.

Here's how to build a house in the barrios of Rocky Point, Mexico:

1. Mix cement by hand.

2. Saw lumber for the frame.

3. Smooth cement for floor. The structure you see in the background is the beginning of a kitchen/living area that the family began on their own.

4. The next day, put up frame.

5. Put on roof and plywood for walls.

By the way, no prior building skills are required. Even those with manicured nails can do this.

6. Put on paper. That's my brother on the roof in white and my sister in the pink.

7. Apply stucco (which was also mixed by hand in wheel barrows).

8. Ta-Da! A new house!

9. Celebrate with homeowners! (the family we built for is in front - young Samantha in orange, mom Samantha behind her in brown, dad Sergio beside her on the right).

It was a great weekend. It was good to see my brother, sister-in-law and nieces. To see what God is moving them to do there. The people I met in Rocky Point are awesome, warm, friendly, hard working & genuine. They have next to nothing, most don't have running water or electricity. We had extra money and were able to purchase a bed for the couple and one for young Samantha. (Can you imagine sleeping on the ground? They do.) We also bought them a propane stove. Some of them know the Lord, most of them don't. He has not forgotten them, though. That's why One Mission is there. If you would like to change someone's life, get a group to go to Mexico and build a house. Here's the website: How's that for a shameless plug? :)

Thank you for your prayers and support while I was in Mexico. I felt it. It's good to be home and yet my mind keeps returning to those beautiful faces I met in a place that was far from beautiful. Please pray for the people in the barrios and for the whole team at One Mission, I know they appreciate it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #12

Hola, amigos! I returned from Mexico this afternoon. I will post pictures and blog about the trip later this week. Today I am soaking up my children. I missed my family more than I can express. They missed me, too. The kiddos keep following me from room to room as if I might disappear if they take their eyes off me. Absence did make our hearts grow fonder.

Because I have a mountain of laundry to do and two children to hug, today's post is short. Here is my verse for the second half of June:
Psalm 145:8 NLT - The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.

I hope you've been able to really work on your verses and get them in your brain & heart. Keep going strong! Please leave your verse in the comments.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Upside of all the rain

Spring flowers, which are my absolute favorites, have lasted extra long this year with all the cool, wet temps we've been experiencing. Here's an example:

The dogwood tree is in full bloom.

The peonies are breathtaking.

The columbine so delicate.

And remember when I said the garden was growing like nobody's business? Here's proof.

Peas, over a yard-stick tall.

Red potato plants almost as tall.

We've been eating lettuce and spinach every day and it just keeps growing. Can't get any fresher than that!

We are to have five days of sun and upper 70's. It will be so lovely. I, however, will be experiencing the blistering hot sun of the south. First in Phoenix and then to Mexico. I doubt we'll feel it much, though. We are looking forward to blessing a family with a new house. I can't wait to share it with you next week.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Seriously, could we have any more rain?????

Did you know that in the last 65 days (since April 1) this part of the world has only been above average temps 15 days???? Today we are to get almost an inch of rain. For a so-called desert, that's a lot of water. There is a chance we will all burn our eye balls when/if the sun comes out again.

Today is officially the last day of school. Woot woot! I attended an assembly at my daughter's school where she received two awards, one for 4.0 GPA, the other for her work on National History Day competition (1st place at regionals). She has worked hard this year and we are so proud. Our son was finished yesterday and was very annoyed to get up early to attend his sister's award assembly. He also had straight A's for the whole year. How'd we get such smartical kiddos?? Tell me, do you discuss each siblings grades privately or does everyone know what the others earned? Growing up we didn't discuss it from what I remember. There are quite a few parents who keep this only between them and each child, to prevent a sibling rivalry atmosphere. What are your thoughts on this?

One benefit of the rain, our grass is a beautiful shade of green and the garden is growing like no body's business. I'd show you pictures, but I'm tired of dodging rain drops today. Maybe next week.

How planned is your summer? Do you have lots of activities/camps/etc planned with your children? I know some who have something every week so the kids don't get bored. I'd rather have bored than exhausted. I do have a couple of sport camps spread throughout the summer for both kids.

Are you taking any trips or going camping? We are staying home this summer, mostly because we're spending so much time & money on the back yard but also because we're going to S. Carolina to see Steve's sister in November. I am making a solo trip next week to Mexico to see my brother, sis-in-law, & two nieces who moved there in January. They felt the call of God to help the poverty stricken in the barrios and gave up all comforts of the U.S. I am humbled by their obedience & sacrifice. So I am joining my sister, brother-in-law, their kids and small group from their church and we are going to build a house for a family in Rocky Point, Mexico. We would covet your prayers for traveling mercies and that we can be ministers of God's grace to this family. I ask that you would pray for Scott, Shannon & Ashley as they live every day there. Their oldest daughter, Brittney, is home from college and will be going to Africa soon for a mission trip. Isn't it one of the greatest gifts to be able to go boldly and without shame to the throne of grace for our brothers and sisters in Christ? Thank you, Father, for hearing our prayers.

I've started reading Crazy Love by Frances Chan and I have Louder than Words by Andy Stanley to read next. I'm also reading some fiction: Tamera Alexander, Lori Copeland & Jan Watson. I am always looking for new authors. What or who are you reading now?

Have you heard of the band Fee? We heard them in concert at the Rockin Worship Road Show several months ago. I picked up their latest CD at the concert. I heart their music. It is so worshipful.

My current favorite cookbook is The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond. Seriously delicious food made from every day stuff in my pantry. If you haven't heard of the Pioneer Woman, check out her website (see sidebar for link). I heart PW.

Okay, I believe I rambled enough randomness for today. Have a good weekend & if you live in SW Idaho, stay dry.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #11

Friends, it is June 1st! Can you believe it? Are you counting the days until summer vacation? We have this week yet in school, though a lot of friends and family are already finished. It may be harder to believe it's June here in SW Idaho because of the cool, rainy & often windy weather. I will choose to believe hot, dry, & sunny is coming...hopefully by July.

With the end of school in sight, we are taking a big breath. It feels as if we've been running since Spring break in March. We'll take a few days to relax, to catch up on sleep, to just be. All four of us need to breathe deeply and regroup.

As I struggled to find a verse for today, I realized I need to take a deep breath in this area of my life, too. I am not picking a new verse. I am going to focus on the ones I've already chosen this year. They are not as cemented in my mind or spirit as I'd like them to be. So I give you permission today to take a break from a new verse and to review the ones you've already chosen. Get them planted firmly. If you feel you've been doing good on your memorization, then, by all means, choose another verse! I did not intend for this process to become legalistic. It is to get God's word in our hearts & our minds so we can fight the good fight. You are so loved here and you will not be judged here. Do what the Lord is telling you to do. Maybe you'll need a review time later in the year if not now. But, please do stay in His Word. It is life. (Ps 119:92)

This is my prayer for you this week (from a memory verse last year): I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. Eph 3:17

Keep up the good work, friends. Leave a verse if you have one or a comment if you're also reviewing.