Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Hi, checking in. We're all doing great good well we survived another Christmas! hehe. Have family in town until the first and just spending less time on technology, and more time sleeping and talking; I look forward to catching up on blogs, Christmas and the fun!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nightly Kitchen Clean-up

Typical nightly routine around here, Steve and Justin were at karate.
Christmas stuff to come... enjoy.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!

Happy Birthday Steve!
Wow can you believe we've been together for the last 16 birthdays you've had? Even crazier, I've known you over the last 21.
It's been fun hasn't it. We've celebrated small, like tonight at Chick-fil-A because it's a fundraiser for the boys upcoming trip! We've celebrated BIG- at the beach house for 8 days...
In the early years I never put our tree up until after this day had past, now it's up and your B-day present is the first one opened near it.
You are an amazing husband. You stepped up to the plate when many others would have turned their back. You put up with my late night talks, early morning rants and well, jut put up with me. You are all I could have asked for in a husband and more, you are my greatest advocate and support; you know what to say when and you show me the love of Christ daily. I am so thankful for you.

You are an incredible father. A kid when you had one you blow me away with your fathering skills. You are not only my best friend but best friends and confidants to our boys. Vaughan itches to spend time with his dad and Justin still runs to the door when you walk in it. You've sat on many a sidelines, in many a karate classes, you've dressed up in costumes because you know it was a good time with your boys, and girl. You faithfully drive a bunch of crazy, crazy kids, and adults, around in a trailer for Halloween every year and you never say a peep when we order pizza to feed a half dozen kids who have somehow made it into your house. You have sacrificed for us and we are grateful.
You are patient and loving, kind and generous. You share. That one took a little but you've learned and we know what a sacrifice it can be at times. You wake up early and humble yourself for your family. You go for Sunday drives and request guitar solos at bedtime. You are not afraid to try something new, and something else new, and then again something else new...
You are one of the best listeners I know and truly a great friend.

Thank you for being you. For being a great example for our boys. For being the only one who can make the dog say "I love you". Thank you for loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength. Thank you for those "other" things I thank you for... We love you.
Michelle, Vaughan, Justin and Fluff

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day With the 33oC Girls

This afternoon 2 of the girls from my small group came over to bake cupcakes and cookies. They were hesitant at first, one doesn't consider herself crafty in the kitchen and the other likes to bake but the decorating puzzled her.
We had a good time, here are the pics to prove it!
Decorating our cupcakes (and please check out the string of lights that have gone out on the tree in the background):

What would cookie baking be without these yummy treats?

The three of us hanging our "ornaments" on the tree. Thanks to FC for this great pic idea!
Have I mentioned how much fun these girls are?
Well they are!
Missed you J.F. and O.L.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Raising Independence

One of the hardest parts for me in having teenagers in the independence factor.

I know it's the goal of parenting, at least one of our goals, to raise children who grow to be independent adults, or in an effort not to rush it, young adults.

But it hurts.

If you know me then you know I've been saying for these last few years that childbirth is the easy part. They fool you. Young children are like little bands of rebels I just know it. They plan in the womb through some strange sort of ESP on how they can rule the world one home, one parent, one heart at a time.

So surviving those years is tough, I remember them in crystal clear, blurred vision.
Getting my children to clean up,
sit up,
shape up,
eat good,
get dressed,
play nice,
don't bite,
all those things took every bit out of me on most days; but nothing could have prepared me for hormones and independence.

Oh yes, hormones.

Hormones can take a loving child and in 2 seconds flat turn them into something out of a sci-fi flick. Hormones can cause someone to enter the room and someone different leave it.

What was fine and fun this morning is now stupid and dumb.

Oh yes, in our house hormones have put nice, high quality vocab into my sons brain: stupid and dumb. When bizaro-kid enters the scene he's usually singing his "This is stupid and dumb" theme song.

But that's not what I wanted to write about because hormones can be ignored or looked over, as much as I want to slap the stupid right out of him I find it much more affective to keep my mouth shut and wait for bizaro-kid to leave and the son I birthed to return.

No, what is killing me is independence.

It wasn't all that long ago that children the age of my son were working full-time and preparing to purchase land and build their own home. In studying the Bible we see that the disciples were not much older than mere teenagers and they were found working full-time jobs. So with that said it shouldn't surprise me that my 15-year-old is so independent.

Take for example events in his day/week:
He wakes himself, feeds himself, dresses himself, drives himself to school (with a driver over 21, with a valid FL license sitting in the front passenger seat closest to the driver), completes his homework by himself, on the nights I work I have him prepare dinner, he washes dishes, does his own laundry. He calls his friends and sets up "play dates", he call his grandparents, did I mention he drives? He can walk himself to Wal-mart, the grocery store or fast food place. He applies for jobs, lends a helping hand and puts himself to bed at a decent hour.

When writing these I can't help but think I should be thrilled, reading back over all he does makes me think I should of had more children to maintain this place so i can sit back an eat more bon bons. I am thankful, really I am but each time I'm reminded of his independence a little piece of my heart is torn.

What happened to my baby?

What happened to my little on who would crawl up into my lap and we'd read together for hours. Or where did our park days go and our sandcastles at the beach.

Oh yes, the road to independence.

A good road.

A scary road.

A road he must travel down and I must stand by watching run next to him on the sidewalk, praying fervently the whole time.

See that's the best thing I can do for him. Pray. I can't make decisions for him or put him in the time out chair when he chooses poorly, spankings and early bedtime don't do any good on the road to independence, but prayer does.

So if you think of it today pray for the parents of teenagers you know. Pray as you feel lead but don't for one minute think that this independence their child has makes life easier for them.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sorry You Can't Come on Wednesdays

my group of 11th grade girls!
Wednesdays will never be the same!
I get my girl fix; I so wish you all could meet these
young women...
but then again I'm not ready to share them!
Thanks to the 11th Grade Girls of 33oC- you rock my week and make me smile and talk too much and eat too much and,


Monday, December 08, 2008

Photo to go with last post

This is the life... my own private DJ's and techies... they spoil me... love it!

What's an unexpected benefit of kids for you?

Reason 629

Reason 629 why having a teenager in the house rocks!

They can be your own personal DJ while you cook dinner.

I love it!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Random Pics

Even American cats are spoiled, drinking from the fish bowl...

Changes. Job applications...


Monday, December 01, 2008

He's driving...'s official, at 4:26pm today the state of Florida issued by child a driver's permit.

He then drove me all over town running my errands. To work, the bank, the grocery store, twice. I didn't bother to tell him it was rush hour. I didn't feel nervous, really I didn't, he's good driver.

My driving hours are about to be cut way down.
Keep us in your prayers.


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