Wednesday, April 30, 2008


A huge thank you to every one for the encouraging words about the hair cuts. I do think it was easier for the girls, but I was surprised how easy it was for me as well. It is much easier to get all that hair cut off knowing that you are helping someone else. Our plans right now are to let our hair grow back out so that we can give again. In fact, Tobi was just asking me this morning when her hair is going to grow back out and I told her it was already starting to grow. I have now discovered I need to go and buy some head bands, hair clips and things for shorter hair. We have all had long hair around here, so all we have our ponytail holders. Dora has been searching through all our stuff looking for cloth headbands to wear. Both little girls are loving the fact they can brush their own hair WITHOUT mommy's

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More Pictures of Short hair

Cari from the back
Dora from the back
Tobi from the back

Locks of Love

My daughters decided to give their hair away to Locks of Love. Dora was needing a hair cut, because her hair is so thick that it is too hot in the summertime to keep it long and Tobi has never really had her hair cut and was just wanting it cut. So, I told them both about Locks of Love and how their hair could be used to make a wig for a child who doesn't have hair. They both decided that is what they wanted to do, but they were a little surprised when I told them just how short they would have to go. Very short indeed! I reminded them that it is just hair and it will grow back for them, and it will be a blessing for who ever gets their hair. They asked me if I was going to do it as well, since I have even more hair to give, but I told them no. Then I thought more about it, and it is just hair, right? So....I decided if my little girls could be so giving, so could I. Anyways, here are the before and after photos of the girls. Our friend Matt, a jack of all trades, was a hair stylist years ago, so he had the honor of cutting all our hair last night.

Tobi before...

Tobi during...
Tobi done...

Dora before...

Dora during...

Dora done...
Now, Sari did not have enough to give away. You need at least 10 inches to give and she is at only about 8 or 9 inches. She really wanted a quick trim and bangs, so Matt gave Sari a really nice look.

Sari during...

Sari done...
Now like I said...I could not just let my girls make this sacrifice and then tell them I would not do the same, so as much as I really like my long hair...I went under the scissors as well.
Cari before...But if you want to see how I look, you will just have to see me in person...

Monday, April 28, 2008

So Close, Yet so far...

We had really hoped to be done with enough stuff to put the house on the market this week. We are close, but it may take a few more days. Dwayne has done a wonderful job on our counter top. I love that we are learning how to do all this home improvement stuff, because I am sure it will come in very handy with the next house. My little girl's room is pretty much packed up and ready for a fresh coat of paint. Brighton's room is getting closer. Sari's room is no where near ready, but in her defense, she had a lot of it cleaned up earlier and I used her room for storage, so a lot of the mess in her room is not even hers. If I work hard during the school days, I should be able to get their rooms all painted this week.

This past weekend was great! Family fun night at the church on Friday was a lot of fun. I must confess, I was not feeling that great on Friday and I even debated on whether to go or not, but I am glad I did. I brought a few extra kiddos with mine, which added to the fun. It was really funny to see the seriousness of the ping pong tournament. A huge congrats to PK for winning the golden paddle. I very much enjoyed chatting with people I don't get to talk with very often. Makes me kind of sad that we are leaving, because I feel like I keep talking with people and I wish I would have gotten to know them better sooner. I loved helping dish out ice cream for everyone and then making my very own banana split. The time was just right too. Two hours was perfect and then I took my kiddos home and put them to bed...Perfect.

Saturday morning Dwayne took us all out for breakfast, which was a nice get away for all of us. Then Sunday was a wonderful day at church. With all this work going on, sometimes it is hard to take the time to go to church. It would be easy to just stay home and work, but Dwayne and I are both very glad we went. The sermon was very good and so was the worship time. It is really nice to belong to a church that feeds you right where you are at.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I am the only one.
LogoThere is
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How about a cage?

With all the moving, new paint, new floors, packing and mess we have in the house, we have had to make some night time changes. Our kitties have had the run of the house at night, but since they are getting into stuff and making messes, plus with our new TV on a tv stand instead of hanging on the wall, we have had to start locking the kitties up at night. We started out just locking them into the bathroom, but Tuesday night they decided to try and shred their way through the bathroom door, not good. So, yesterday we decided to get them a cage. I was worried about how they would react, but they have lived in a cage before when they were at the pet store. Last night was their first night in the cage and they seemed to have done just fine. They were in the bathroom, Dora sleeps in the very next room and she said she never heard them cry, so I think it will all work out in the end. I will be glad when our lives get back to some kind of normal. When and where ever that might be...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fantastic Speaker

Listening to Shaun Groves was just awesome yesterday. His music was really good, but I really enjoyed listening to him speak. What are we saved for? This is something Dwayne and I have been working on figuring out for a long time. We really want to serve God with not just our time, but with our money as well. To listen to Shaun yesterday was just a powerful reminder just how important that is. We have been looking at houses in Texas a little bit and we have been looking at some bigger newer houses, but after yesterday, I think we both felt we better stay simple, older and something that needs a little work. Something that costs a less, so that we can continue to keep our lifestyle at the same level and not move it up any. I had really been looking at some nice homes in a really nice neighborhood, a more fancy area than I have ever lived in, but not now. Through this whole process it has been really amazing to see God answer questions, quiet concerns, and even lead us to better choices through different sources.

I am still very interested to see how the whole house selling thing goes. Last weekend at the Women of Joy weekend, before the 2nd speaker on Saturday morning, I prayed that I really hoped to hear God speak to me through her talk. The verse she choose to start with really spoke to me.
Numbers 13:17-33
17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, "Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees on it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land." (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)

21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Report on the Exploration
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: "We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan."

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it."

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."

This reminds me of going to Texas, we explored, we liked what we saw, but then we came home and started looking at the housing market and it is easy to feel overwhelmed, to feel that it is too big and scary to try and sell our house in this horrible market, it is easier to feel like we can't do it, we can't beat this, than it is to feel that we can. We have to remind ourselves that we can certainly do this. One thing about all this is just loving listening for God to speak to me in all of this.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Getting there...

It is taking us a while, but we are really starting to see some cool results from our work on the house. Dwayne's new floors look awesome, the fact that we have little to no furniture in our house really makes the rooms look huge. Yesterday marked two full weeks of working on this. I am starting to wear down, but God is keeping me strong through this. It is really hard to go from just doing normal house work to doing normal house work AND totally remodeling your house. Dwayne is really working hard to get the counter top done, and I really am excited about that. Today I will be doing more painting, and also fixing some cracks in our ceiling, I actually like doing the ceiling thing. One good thing through all this is that my sister-in-law has found some one else to watch my little 1 year old nephew, so I don't have to try and work around him. While I miss seeing the little guy, it is working out better this way.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ok...a new day...

I think I have finally kicked my grumpy mood. Dwayne has been working hard this week on the finishing touches on the living room and kitchen. He hung some trim yesterday and he also started on the counter top. I really can't wait until the counter top is done, because I want my kitchen sink back. I spent yesterday packing and cleaning my little girls' room. It felt so go to get some of that clutter done with. Today I go back to painting...oh boy...more painting...I can't wait...NOT!

This past weekend I spent at a Women of Joy conference, not necessarily a conference I would normally go to, but my mother-in-law wanted to take me and my 2 sister-in-laws, so I went. The speakers were really good. I really felt like God was answering 2 of my biggest concerns in this whole move thing, which was really good for me. But one thing I found interesting was the fact that 2 of the speakers warned against listening to Oprah. Now the funny thing was that I had just been talking to Mindy last week and she was telling me about a video she had been sent where Oprah was talking about God being a jealous God and that she (Oprah) did not like the fact that God was jealous of her. So, she then went onto discuss a more "new age" type of spirituality. So, after having Mindy mention this to me and then to go away to a conference and hear them even talking about how far off the path Oprah has is really scary. This really reminds of how it will be with the Antichrist...Oprah is highly respected, she has a huge following of people who listen intently to every word she says and she has both Christian and non-Christian listeners. Anyways, here is a link (Oprah video) to her discussing her new religion, but there are many more of these clips on, just put in Oprah and religion.

P.S. I just want to add, I really don't think Oprah is the Antichrist, I think she shows us in just a small way how it will be with the antichrist.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Grumpy, Grumpy and more Grumpy...

Do you ever just have one of those days where you seem to be really grumpy? Well, much to my family's dismay that is how I am today. I spent the weekend at a Women of Joy conference and then woke up this morning with a grumpy attitude. I don't like being grumpy, but I am not able to make myself kick it either. I listened to some really great speakers this weekend and I feel that God really spoke to me about some concerns I have been having. But when it comes to having joy's not happening!

My hubby worked really hard this weekend and finished the new floors in our house. All this work and then we are going to sell. Seriously, if anyone needs a nice big 4 bedroom house, this would be one to look at. We have quiet streets, we aren't far from the park and we have a huge garage. Anyways, today I am cleaning up some of the mess from the weekend, lots of saw dust and such. Dwayne still needs to finish up a counter top for me, he took it out last Thursday and when you take out the counter top, that also means taking out the kitchen sink. It is really hard to wash dishes in the bathroom sink, very hard indeed. I can't get over how nice the new floors make the house look, our living room and kitchen area seems huge at this point. It is really amazing big rooms look when you go really simple with the furniture and not have tons of things out. I may try some of this approach when we move into a new house, maybe...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I am just feeling tired. Do you ever have those days? I spent all day yesterday painting. I primed the kitchen while my friend Matt Clouse put the final coat of paint on the living room and hallway walls, he even made it into some of the kitchen. He was a great help yesterday. I still need to do a little more primer in the kitchen today and then I will be ready for the last coat of paint. On Tuesday I almost had my house back in some kind of usable fashion, but after yesterday we are back to no where to sit, no where to eat, no where to cook and no where to relax. After this weekend we should have just about everything done that we want to get done in the living room and kitchen, then it will be time to move onto the kiddos rooms. Sari and Brighton's rooms will not be too bad, they have already started working on their rooms, but Dora and Tobi's room is so buried in their stuff I am not even sure how to work on that one.

Last night was our growth group. We enjoyed our discussion questions, with the last question being the hardest to answer...How can you begin to stop trying to manipulate God and start cooperating with Him? Wow...exactly how do we do that? Sometimes we are manipulating even when we don't realize it. It is a fine line between giving over our lives to God and doing what it is we think He expects us to do. We all decided it would be really nice if God sent us an email every morning with His agenda for the day and we could just follow I guess this week will be spent remembering our verse for this week: Matthew 4:7 Jesus answered him, "It is written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" I keep comparing all this to Dwayne and I's plan to move to "Are we testing Him?" I keep coming back to the peace we have, the fact that we did not go looking for this, some confirmations we have felt from different sources, and the fact that we are ok either way...moving or not moving. I guess at this point...only time will tell...we will just simply wait.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A very Good weekend.

How in the world is possible to be calm in the middle of such chaos? Our house is a huge chaos zone right now. I was going to post pictures this morning, but I was afraid I would scare everyone. Friday night we all went out to town for a good dinner and to buy the necessary supplies to start our house work on Saturday. We all got up bright and early Saturday morning, packing and moving things out of the living room and kitchen. I had been packing all week, so Dwayne and Brighton, my big strong men, carried those boxes out to the garage. All of Dwayne's beautiful wooden cabinets had to be taken out. It was all very tiring. Then around lunch time our friends the Clouses came over and the painting began. Four girls headed out back and painted trim outside. Dwayne kept checking their progress and was singing their praises on how well they were doing and how quick they were. Inside it was Patty, me and the boys priming my beautiful dark green and tan walls. Not so beautiful when it takes 2 coats of primer to hide that dark green. With their help we got the entire living room primed and part of the kitchen. There is no where to really relax in my house right now. Saturday night I was exhausted. It was a long day and I went to bed before 9pm.

Sunday morning dawned bright and early for me as I headed off to church to try and remember how to run Sunday mornings in the A/V booth. It was different but good. I enjoyed chatting with Dennis and Brian, I enjoyed hearing the sermon, twice. It was a good sermon to hear, because I was able to compare Dwayne and I's attitude about this move to the sermon to see if we were cooperating or manipulating. I really believe...and I did hear it twice, so I thought hard about this...I really believe we are cooperating. It was a really good reality check for me.

Sunday night was a baby shower at youth group for Jamie and Bryan. It was so much fun. I am so glad I got to work on it for her. She did a great job of acting surprised with each package of diapers she unwrapped, the teens seemed to really enjoy it. It was kind of a hard night, because I am seeing so many things I am going to miss when we leave. I am sooooo going to miss hanging out with the teens. I had visitors from 2 of my favorite youth group guys on Sunday afternoon and then just being around all the teens Sunday just makes me sad. Also, hanging out and chatting with all the adults, I am going to miss that as well. I was really looking forward to getting to know Tonya Pinkerton much better, I was just getting to know Keym, and I am so going to miss the great friendship I have with Jamie.

All in all, even with all the mess around me, the stress as I try and get things done, it was really a wonderful weekend. I love this town, this area and my church. Thank you so much to all of you who are being so supportive through this interesting time in our lives!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Psalms...

I am finally in the Psalms in my bible reading. I have never really read through the Psalms, they just seemed way out of my knowledge of understanding. I am reading through them right now and I am seeing tons of the songs we sing today in church that come straight from the Psalms. (I am sure everyone already knows this.) I think I am noticing this more just because I put the songs in the computer for church and I am now even more aware of the words.

Anyways, I was reading on Tuesday night and I needed to to get to Psalm 25 in order to go onto my next day, but for some reason I just got too tired and stopped at Psalm 19. Wednesday we met with our Realtor and I could almost start to worry...thoughts were coming in, I was trying to ward them off, but they kept coming in. That night I started my reading with Psalm 20 and I feel that this was God's way of calming me.

Psalm 20

For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.

3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.

6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

9 O LORD, save the king!
Answer [a] us when we call!

But we trust in the name of the Lord our God, this will be what I keep reminding myself through this time of uncertainty. No matter what happens, I will trust in the name of the Lord my God!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Easy to be discouraged...

Have you ever noticed how easy it can be to be discouraged? We spoke with our Realtor today and we have a lot of work ahead. I so badly want to feel anxious, overwhelmed, discouraged...all that, but something inside keeps telling me no. I am just so scared through all this. There is a lot to be done, I keep wondering is this really the right thing for us...should we really move? But, even through all these feelings, I still feel that we are being called out to move. To trust God has something else in store for us. But what? Dwayne and I are both doing God's work right here in Farmland, we are involved in activities at church, our children are involved as well...why leave? And really, why have no anxious feelings about leaving? I will miss people, but to have such a peace about such a scary thing? What really scares me is the fact that I keep having this excitement about waiting to see what God is going to do. I mean, everything is against us in selling the house, not much is selling, the prices are very low, we need to sell fast and we need at least a certain amount to finish things just here...all against us, but we have God on our side and I just keep thinking He has a great plan in store...He is going to wow us...we will only be able to say that it is through Him that this was done. That is what I am the most excited about, but I also reminded that even if He doesn't do it, we still will follow Him. We still will praise Him...
So easy to be discouraged, but no need to be when in God's hands.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sherman, Texas

What an exciting trip to Sherman we had...first we left the house shortly before 1pm, a pretty good start for us. We were doing really good, making good time until we got to St. Louis, Missouri. We noticed that the car next to us was trying to get our attention and signaling that something was wrong with our van. Since we had a pack on top of the van, we thought that was the problem, so Dwayne pulled over, checked it and it was all just fine. On we went until another car was signaling us, but this guy was much better with his signal, he got through to us that our tire was going flat. We drove to the next gas station, which is farther than you really want to go on an almost flat tire, pulled in and discovered a very flat looking tire. Dwayne filled it up, we could not hear any leaking, so we were thinking we would be ok. We thought since we were already stopped it would be a good time to fill up on gas and have everyone take a potty break. After filling up with gas, both Dwayne and I decide to check the tire again, and we both hear the much dreaded hissing sound. There is a screw in our tire. Do you know how hard it can be to find a tire place sometimes? The first one was already closing when Dwayne went in, but sent him to their next place of business that was open for at least another hour. All this time as we are looking for a tire place to have our tire looked at we are hearing of all the flooding in the area that could possibly block the road we were planning to take out of St. Louis on our way to Oklahoma. We keep looking at the map trying to find another possible route, but they could all take us a lot more time and we are just not sure if they will work, because we are still going over the rivers that are causing the flooding. Finally, after we get our tire patched, ( only needed patched!) the guy at the tire place says we are just better off taking our original route and waiting in traffic if necessary. So, off we go again, after wasting about 2 hours in St. Louis. We are listening to the traffic on the radio as we exit onto the highway we find out the exit we are using opened up only moments before we got there and now the highway we are taking is completely clear with no back ups. What we could have been waiting for 10 miles is totally gone!!! As we are driving down that highway looking on both sides of the highway you can see roads and businesses under water, the flooding was that bad. We saw a semi almost completely covered in water. Talk about God's timing for us, 2 hours working on a tire is much better than 2 hours sitting in going no where traffic.

We finally pull over to spend the night in a hotel at Springfield, Missouri. That gets us just close enough so that we should arrive in Sherman around 3 or 4pm the next day. It is so nice to lay down in a bed instead of trying to sleep in the van. Of course, we always pick hotels with a free breakfast, because if you have seen how my son eats, that almost pays for the room. After a nice filling breakfast, off we go. We are making good time, getting excited, when all of a sudden I hear a horrible sound...puking...a child puking...Tobi is puking all over her new princess pillow. Oh my gosh, it smelled so bad. Dwayne is hurrying as fast as he can to find a gas station. We finally get pulled over and Dwayne has to throw away the pillow because it is just too covered to get cleaned on this trip. Lucky for us, the pillow caught most of it, so she was fairly easy to get cleaned up. We bought some wipes and freshener spray. It takes a lot of spray to try and get rid of that smell, but off we go to finish our trip.

We finally arrive in Sherman around 4pm, check into our hotel, a very nice room, then we head off to find a good place to eat. Now, Dwayne has lived in Texas before and loved it. He is ready to show his family all the cool Tex-Mex food places, but on that first night, I really wanted something familiar, so off to Olive Garden we all go. It is so nice to be somewhere you know. During dinner we get a call from Dwayne's boss and we get to go and check out where Dwayne will be working...a huge place, very nice. The kids loved the open space to run while we were looking around. I think Dora did a dozen or so cartwheels. Then we went off to Target, because when you have been dealing with cold days all winter, it is really hard to remember what 60 and 70 degree sunny days feel like and my son and youngest daughter need new summer shoes, also maybe they will need some shorts for the 80 degree day that will becoming

Sunday was just another chillin' day before Dwayne heads off to work on Monday. We drove around a lot just looking at some possible communities in the area. Dwayne got a lot of feed back from people at work, which ends up narrowing down our search. We will end up looking in either Howe or Van Alstyne, Texas when it comes time to move. Van Alstyne will be our first choice, it has a highly rated school and a nice small town.

The rest of the week is just me dropping Dwayne off at work, the kiddos and I exploring the area and then picking Dwayne up from work. The kiddos and I checked out an aquarium in Dallas, oh my that is one huge city, shopping at Target every day, Chuck E Cheese for lunch, checking out an Pioneer Village, where Tobi picked up a very interesting story about a skull if you ask her about it you will need one of us to explain it to, a beautiful afternoon in a park and swimming...lots of swimming.

We got a little bit of an earlier start on our way home, and we had no problems at all on the way home, so we it only took us 15 hours and 8 minutes to get home. It felt so good to sleep in our own beds, in our own rooms...far away from each I must say it is hard sharing a one room hotel room with 6 people for 6 nights!

Here are a few picts!
Sari, Brighton, Dora and Tobi next to a huge fish at the Aquarium.

Sari, Brighton, Dora and Tobi at the Aquarium.

Cari, Dora, Brighton, Tobi and Sari standing in front of a Jail cart that was used to hold up to 30 prisoners at night along the road they were working on.

Brighton, Sari, Dora and Tobi sitting in front of the one room cabin that housed a guy, his wife and their 14 made us feel better about sharing our bigger hotel room with just 6 of us.

The kiddos enjoying the hot tub.

Check out this huge climbing rock at the playground.

Tobi conquers her fear of this huge slide.