Thursday, December 8, 2011


 Above is the Men's Songbook that we use in Services.  We also sing contemporary songs with our praise band that plays at the beginning of Service.  

We hold our own Chapel service with our Men early Sunday mornings (Wednesday evenings too) and most of the time head over to the Corps (Church) when we're finished, although if other things in our family need attention, we pass after already attending 2 Services in a week, it can quickly become a drudgery for the kids, not matter how you put it ;)  Some of our Men attend there too and a few Alumni. 
It's a GREAT Corps (Church). We have felt most welcomed personally and in ministry partnering too. There are several retired officers that inspire me to keep going no matter what and others in the Corps with a strong Witness. 

We participated in United Divine Service Sunday (aka Youth Sunday) at our new church. 
Moonbeams: Hannah, Mary and Sunbeam: Ann

David played with the band.

Elijah is such a natural behind the pulpit.  He gave the Welcome and Announcements, the very detailed version :)

A young man from the Corps who is 13, I believe, gave the Message.  He asked to give it and he wrote it too.  It was such a blessing to our Corps to hear him.  I was so blessed and reminded that we must really listen to the hearts of our young people.   Too often we forget what they're up against and ask them to face things that are even difficult for mature adults to face.   I pray this young man keeps on pursuing Christ and sharing his Witness because he does it so well! 

A Major and his girls.  It pushes his buttons when we call him "Major Daddy" though!(hee!hee!)

Elijah in his Jr. Soldier uniform.  Ann can't hardly wait to make her promise when she turns 7 in just a few short weeks.  I pray they keep their fervor!

Here we are. 
"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. "
~Deuteronomy 7:9

David put my loops and nametag on. 
He wears it well doesn't he?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Not You, It's Me

I can often find myself in a panic as I look at the world around me. Everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. Itching ears being soothed by almost truths. Sound doctrine, logic, being replaced by deceitful emotions. And yet we have no control over any of it. Influence YES! but not control, that is still God's job.

We can convince ourselves of all sorts of things when we are trying to get our own way or trying to satisfy the crowd. While all the while ignoring/denying the TRUTH and LIGHT that the Word and the Holy Spirit pierces into our lives. Through and through He WILL do it! PRAISE GOD for the reprieve He gives us from the flesh!

We must truly be the change we want to see. It's not "them", it's us! Or more spefically, I. I must be the one to remain in Him and honestly answer when I ask myself...

How am I living?
Am I authentically practicing the answers that I quickly apply to the world around me?
Do I have integrity in dilligently loving God and His Ways?
I am only accountable for myself and will give an answer to how I have managed what He has laid in my path.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22-25)

And so we must have resolve about the way in which we live. Not being pulled this way and that by popular opinion or what we can talk ourselves into at the moment just for the sake of easy. There must be substance and sincerity to our own walk with God or our touch on the world around us will be fleeting and will not last. Jesus said we are the salt of the earth, yet we are of no use if we lose our saltiness.

Protect your Holiness.  Do not continue in situations that you know will be the demise of you and your family.  I would rather lose face than my holiness.  Do what God says.  Continue in it so that you will remember God's Way and be blessed (content, happy).   Seek God above all else.  Recognize the distractions that creep into your life for what they are, detractors from what is really most important for you to be doing. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Potato Bits and More

What do you do with leftover potatos, fries, tots?  No need to make them wait out their doom in the fridge or feed them to the trash can.   

Start a zippy bag in your freezer and add all those little bits of leftovers.  Get a good variety going.  The garlic roasted potatos didn't get finished off?  Toss them in your potato bits bag.  Cook too many tator tots again?  Straight to the potato bits bag.  And those extra-crispy Ore Ida fries that nobody went for?  They can serve their time in the bits bag too.

Next time you cook up a casserole, break out the potato bits bag and give them a good chop.
Mix in some or a little of both of Ranch, mayo, sour cream, buttermilk. Whatever you have on hand.
Add some dried onions or other seasonings like Rosemary or Chili Pepper.  Get creative.  Add cheese too if you'd like. 

Spread it over top of your favorite casserole.

Bake to perfection.
Thank the good Lord and enjoy.

And More....

Mary has been fighting an awful case of impetigo.  She is now taking antibiotics.  Poor thing.  Paul stayed home with her this morning because I still had so much to do for our Employee Christmas Party.  I know he will be playing catch-up, but I'm so glad to have that extra time this morning at the Center.  Our party is going to be fabulous :)  Although I still need to head in super early tomorrow AM to micro-manage and control freak the final set-up. Just doing my DSSing.  Smile :)  

Then I had the most unusual call from David's school that he was sick.  So I picked him up and well... after I dropped him off at home... I had to go get the van cleaned.  Poor thing #2.

Elijah is quite into Geology lately, so as I sit here, he is teaching his sisters from the Rock collection we bought 5 years ago in Sequim, WA. 

I promised the kids a quick walk.  Mary really needs to get out of the house.  David can be sick without me.    

I'm so glad it's Pizza Night. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Atmosphere

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name."
~Psalm  100:4
Front entryway to our home.  After 7 years of hiking up a million stairs to the front door with a crowd of children, groceries, and more, often snow and ice.... I am thankful for a flat, large front porch.  I am still basking in the ease of it. 

On the top left of the door is a decorations that our good friends made us and gave to us when they came over for lunch for the first time.  Fall of 2004.  It is even dated.  We love hanging it up every year, we are thankful for friends!

We have this little ledge/half wall by the front door, but I am noticing the paint is getting chipped. I'm going to cover it with clear contac paper.  I hope it doesn't look to tacky.  If I use doilies or a runner, it will be just another thing that needs straightening a million times a day, like the pillows on the couch that always end up on the floor.  I am thankful for so many little hands who add life, aka mess ;) to the house!

I liked arranging the table runner angled this year. 
See the centerpiece the girls made?  Hannah worked especially hard on it, even sprinkling it with seeds that flew everywhere the first time I blew out the candles. She hasn't noticed yet.  Good thing we got a new vacuum!

Sidetable in dining room. I have used the large leaf platters (under the smaller plates) many times this fall.  I just love them and have matching plates too.   I am thankful I can buy myself treats here and there like the leaf dish set.  So thankful for plenty of nourishing food to eat on them too.

On top of the piano in the front room.  I just love glow candles.  I bought them at Costco this year (with a coupon!).  I am thankful for music, especially the WinterJam concert we went to recently.  We love music and how it ministers to us.

Sofa table, which also functions as my laundry folding table.  I am thankful for all the laundry I do, it means I have a lot of people to love!

We have these openings in the wall that divides the family room with the front room and hallway.  The kids kept hopping through them, I did too (shortcut) but we put an end to it.  We must be somewhat civilized :))  I am thankful for our active, adventorous spirits, the zeal for life so evident in children.

I don't get to turn my garland lights on often.  Everyone says it annoys them when we're watching a movie.  I like it, but I've been outvoted.  I keep it on when I'm feeling onry though. 

On the fireplace mantle. 

This is the dining area of the kitchen.  See my leaf plates in the right corner?  I just love them. Thank you Wal-Mart.  And a pumpkin candle burning.  Smells so good.  Even if the house is a disaster, in my mind, a candle makes it all better. 

We will eat a Thanksgiving Meal at our Center.  I am thankful for our ARC.
My parents are coming down to spend Thanksgiving with us.   We are all looking forward to having Thanksgiving with them.  That will be my most thankful thing I'm sure.

William Bradford,  one of the only known first hand account of the Mayflower voyage, who endured tremendous challenges and pain in his life during the pilgrimage to America wrote this poem at the end of his life:
Faint not, poor soul, in God still trust,
Fear not the things thou suffer must;
For, whom he loves he doth chastise,
And then all tears wipes from their eyes.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Be Blessed!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Little Ones Can Make Centerpieces Too!

While walking around and such, we are always picking up things to bring home. 
We had an abundance of Pinecombs and other interesting things that fall from trees  (I have no idea what they're called!)  Not to mention all the rock, stick, and seed "collections".

I pulled out a tray and lined it with fall looking napkins so we wouldn't scratch the wood. 
Stuck a couple of candles in the middle.

The girls carefully arranged everything. 

Hannah was so proud we found a use for some of her collection.

Isn't that lovely?  They did a great job.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yester Years

 "Take my life, and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee"

Two weekends ago, we finally made the time to clean out the garage.  The garage becomes the dumping ground of all the things we don't want to deal with unpacking.  I scheduled an SA TRUCK pick-up to let my family know that I really meant it when I said we're cleaning out the garage. 

I came across a box that I must not have opened for years.  Old dresses and pictures.  My flower girl dress from when I was in my Aunt Sylvia's wedding at 6 years of age.  My old Sunbeam and Girl Guard uniforms and sashes and more.  

My Sunbeam hat and tie.

I cried opening the box.  I'm just sentimental like that.  I hardly look at old pictures, even of my children, because reminiscing about the past just fills my heart with all kinds of emotion that isn't all that useful for my day to day living!  I'm still in the "onward ho!" phase of my life.  I will reminisce more when I'm old :)  say 90.... or so.

My 6th grade graduation dress!  1988, 12 years old.
Lo and behold it still fit, although its looking a little more hoochy on me now.  lol!

I had Paul take all sorts of pictures of me and my old clothes ;)  He ended up working much harder in the garage than I because I got so sidetracked and crying and happy and everything.  That man is earning extra credit in heaven because of being married to me.  Glad I can play my part.

My 6th grade traffic patrol jacket, of which I was the Captain and got a trophy for being the best one in the District.  The only trophy I ever won was for my bossiness, but I did it well!  I loved leading my squad, organizing the schedules, reporting people, rewarding people, and stopping traffic with my STOP sign and whistle.  Left, left, left, right, left. (ROTFL!!)

My wonderful husband tells me that I still stop traffic (wink, wink.)

This is the dress I wore when I was in my best friend's sister's wedding as the candlelighter.   I believe I was 13 the last time I wore this dress.   Fit beautifully, and still just my taste.  Peach and so feminine.    See my tattoo?    Her Aunt made the dress and the print was my favorite because I later chose the same fabric for my mom to sew my 8th grade graduation dress, except in lilac.

I started working my first paycheck getting job when I was 14 at our 7 Eleven.  Before that I babysat often and also cared for a neighbor lady who was dying of cancer.   I was always uncomfortable having my boss insist that I sit on his lap when he dressed up as Santa every year.  Pervert.    I also Bellrang for my Corps and later on got hired at Marine World Africa USA working in the game booths.  I had a great time getting people to my booth, but felt awful selling games that I myself couldn't even win.  Especially to the children.  That worked itself out when I was sent off on Service Corps then to CFOT. 

               My mom made this dress for my 8th grade graduation pictured below. 
I picked out the pattern and the fabric.  She did a great job. 
6 years and 360 days later I became an Officer, an ordained minister in The Salvation Army.
7 years and 1 day later I became a wife to the only man for me.
9 years later He began to multiply our union with baby David.

I am so blessed by God's GRACE.
I bet you are too.

Although I set out to clean out a garage, God had set out to remind me of His full and overwhelming faithfulness to me over the course of my life.   Words cannot express.   At times I have struggled greatly, but He is always present. Nudging me, holding me, setting me exactly where He wants me, and holding me to the promises I've made.  Praise Him for for His firm and gentle ways.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Backyard Learning

Have you ever done a Bug Battle? 
Catch as many bugs as you can, or snails, worms, etc.
Gather them all together and put them under Mom's glass serving dish.
Watch the battle unfold.

We do practice catch and release.

There actually is never much too it.  They mostly stay away from eachother.  You can tell when the spider is getting mad and the fangs protude and they stand on their hind legs.  The snail takes it easy and hidey-holes in it's shell.  The worm gets all hard. The roley polley curls up and rolls around. 

I enjoy so much pointing out nature to the children.  We are big on stopping and noticing things.  I believe we learn so very much about our Heavenly Father and the ways of the world just by taking in nature.  I am also most content when I am outside. 

Early one morning, Paul caught toads at the base of our fence.

I have a ton of pictures over the years of Paul holding up some sort of wildlife for the children.  I think it's great.  To complete my collection would be Paul holding up a Skunk :)) 

                         Even little Mary gave him a good pet. 

 “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”-Isaiah 6:3

Friday, November 4, 2011


I didn't believe it, so I had to try it for myself.

Stir one box of Cake mix with one 15 ounce can of Pumpkin.

Fill muffin pan holes 2/3 full. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes
~Pumpkin Muffins~

I made mini-muffins so I baked for about 12 minutes.
I also added 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice because I just couldn't imagine using only 2 ingredients.

I can't wait to do this again with a box of carrot cake mix and then I will glaze with powdered sugar icing.  I may even dare a chocolate cake mix. 

I love pumpkin and have already stocked my pantry shelves with 14 cans.  That will last well through the Holiday Season plus more for later.  I even eat it straight from the can and so did all of my babies.  

Soon, I will begin baking Pumpkin Pies of which I follow the recipe on the back of the Libby's can, but I always DOUBLE the amount of spices it calls for.  That is how my mom taught me and I really like all the flavor.

Also Pumpkin Cornbread and Creamy Ginger-Pumpkin Soup will be on the menu this month. 

Once, my grandmother fed her baby so many carrots from the abundance of the garden that her baby turned orange-toned.  I'm curious if that could happen from eating to much pumpkin.  We will soon see :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our October 31st Day!

I am a sucker for tradition.  No matter where we live or what our appointment, there a certain things that must be done on certain days!  I think it makes for stability, routine, and blessed discipline :)
October 31st is one of those days.

The children and I packed 140 treat bags for our Staff and Men.  Mary kept stealing candy so there was a lot of crying on her part until her final lesson stuck with  her.  Everyone else did great.  After years of the older children being expected to help, it is becoming natural for them and they anticipate the special projects with excitement.  The littles catch the excitement too.  I'm glad to see some of my "towing the line" pay off! 

Next year I am recruiting someone to help me tie off the bags with ribbon.  I was tying long after everyone else was done with their tasks.  Woe is me ;)

When you move to a new place, you try to focus on the perks, the upsides.  Like how we were able to carve pumpkins outside!  I was especially glad since I had just mopped the floors. 
Also, our trick or treating was great with no hills or stairs that the children had to climb.  The kids were always falling with all the stairs in The Dalles and it was happening in San Francisco too.
I LOVE trick or treating in a new neighborhood.  It is the only chance we have to knock on the neighbors door and check them out.  Otherwise, I never see anyone.

I think pumpkin carving is my favorite part of all! 

Afterschool we went and handed out the treats at the Center.  The kids were all dressed up and competing to who could give out the most.  There were some tears on Hannah's part that noone was taking hers, but she just couldn't be seen.  She was quite satisfied when we let her hand out to the kitchen crew all by herself.

                      Hannah the Mid-Evil Queen

                              Mary the Little Mermaid

                               Elijah the Spartan

                                    Ann the Barbie Mermaid

David the Banana

David stayed behind this year and handed out the candy while at the same time building a candy catapult with his Kinect set.  He had a blast, but it was different not to bring him.  Life just keeps on a changin'!

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it."
~1 Corinthians 10:26

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