Gabriel's Version

So Gabriel loves to dance.

And Gabriel loves to play guitar.

And...now I have evidence of two more of Gabriel's loves:  playing drums and singing.

I mentioned last week how much I loved the songs we sang in worship that Sunday.  Apparently I wasn't the only one who loved "At The Cross".

This is short...but oh so sweet:



So many of my good friends grew up in church and can't remember ever not following Christ.

I - on the other hand - was 26-years old when I surrendered my life to God....and I very much remember how I was B.C. (before Christ).  The memories truly make me shudder.

A wretched sinner, saved purely by His mercy and grace....that is me.

I am overwhelmed at the work He has done in my life.  And I'm so thankful that I don't have to be overwhelmed at the work still left to be done in my life, because He who has begun a good work in me will see it to completion. (Phil. 1:6)

We love music and singing around here.  I don't sing well, so I sing loud to try to cover up that fact. :)  We blast music here in the house.  We blast music in the Silver Bullet.  And I love our worship time at church every Sunday morning.  Singing my heart out to Him, surrounded by my church family, singing their hearts out to Him also!  Love it!    Several of the songs during our worship time this morning really spoke to me...felt as if I wrote the lyrics to these songs myself....

I Am Not the Same Anymore by Unhindered

Never Gonna Let Me Go by Kristian Stanfill

At The Cross by Chris Tomlin


Having My Cake...And Eating It Too

I have been following Stefanie's blog at Ni Hao Y'all for years now.  She and Chris are the real. deal.

They're in the process of adopting for the 8th time...their 12th child.  

And we get to help bring sweet little Clementine home.  

So we just helped this family....

...bring home this sweet girl:

And as a thank you, my girls will be getting these shirts....

...and I'm getting this one....

....and Jas and the boys are getting these:

Helping to bring home a child...and getting shirts that proudly talk about not only human adoption...but our eternal adoption as well!

Now that is a win/win!

Can you help them bring home Clementine?


G's Armor of God

Romans 6:10-17

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."


LK's Endocrinologist Appointment

Lily Kay and Abigail and I headed down to our neighboring state to the south, to have our 4-month visit with the endocrinologist regarding LK’s Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). 

Her numbers from her most recent blood draw look good.  No need for changing the dosages on her two medicines (one she takes three times daily, the other she takes twice a day). 

But that is where the good news ended.


LK hasn’t been growing.  Like…at all.  Her “growth velocity” has been 50% of what it should be for over a year.  And honestly, I’m surprised it is even there, because the dot the doc showed me on the growth chart hasn’t moved in…forever.  The endocrinologist has mentioned briefly at the last few appointments that we may need to think about growth hormones for LK. 

She mentioned growth hormone again at this appointment…but not-so-briefly this time. 

LK came home at almost 4 being much taller than normal for her age.  But the medicine she is on for CAH decreases the body’s own growth hormone.  And in some cases it affects the growth so much that kids with CAH need to take growth hormone.  

LK's lack of growth in NO way indicates that she doesn't eat enough.
She eats more than anyone else in our family...including Jas and I.

Besides being a daily shot (which LK would be sure to just love…or not), the growth hormone has side effects, of course.  Pseudo Tumor Syndrome.  Sounds fun, no?  Brain swelling and headaches that normally would be symptoms of a tumor.  OR – here is another fun one – a problem with the leg/hip bones that can only be corrected with surgery. 

So...we’re not exactly chomping at the bit for LK to start on growth hormones. 

There is a time window where growth hormones can be used/effective.  When the growth plates “close”, the window is gone.  Her growth plates will likely close when LK’s bone age is about 13.  The last time she had a Bone Age study, LK’s bone age was 10 years even (she'd just turned 8 years old).  It will be time for another bone age study at LK’s next appointment in four months. 

The doctor said we could wait and see how things are at LK's next appt in four months.  SO…..we’re praying that LK starts shooting up like a weed before that next appointment!

It is also getting to be time for LK’s subcutaneous implant to be changed out again.  The implant holds her precocious puberty (that started at 4 y.o.) at bay….so, YAY for implants!  She’ll have the surgical procedure to take out the old one and implant a new one pretty soon…likely by the end of the year. 

Lily Kay handles all of this like a champ.  I wish her mama did as well.  I end up on the same page as the Lord about our kiddos’ medical stuff, but honestly, when something new crops up for one of my kiddos…it takes me a while to process.  Hasn’t she dealt with enough?   One more thing…really, Lord?  I handle things for me better than when it is my children having to face them. 

And I’ll get there, where I say, “Lord, your will be done with my baby girl"...but right now I’m still wanting to whine. 


Miscellany Monday: September 8, 2014

Lot of miscellaneous little "stuff" floating around in my head that I need to get down....somewhere.

And here seems good.


We received our first rent check.  We're officially Landlords.  We've had at least 20 or 30 different people ask over the past year and a half (yes, our house has been on the market that long!) if we would rent our house in town.  We didn't want to.

But Missy is here.  And something had to give.  Had to.  Seriously.  And - actually - we'll be better off on a month-to-month basis (cash-flow wise) renting the house out rather than just selling it.

Still...we didn't go into this rental thing lightly.  But we feel like this is what the Lord has for us right now...and maybe this is what He intended for the whole last year and a half, when we kept saying "no!"


The pasture has been sorely neglected the past few weeks.  About 9 weeks, actually.  We haven't had anything going on, so I don't know how we managed to neglect it so.  ; )

But the neglect has led to monster Pigweed.  Pigweed taller than us!

E and D demonstrating how tall the pigweed is

So we've all been spending quality time in the pasture again, pulling the pigweed out by the roots before we mow the pasture down again.

LK hard at work

Even the littlest among us is helping.  Well, not the very littlest (we'll give her another year or so), but the next-to-littlest has been helping....

...although he just thinks we're all having fun.  Shhhhhh! 

We're going to have to do better staying on top of the pasture, because we now don't know when we'll have any animals out there to keep it down for us.


We have the cutest baby girl.  EVER.

And I'd much rather have Missy than a dairy cow any day!


We also have the cutest little guy ever.

And he loves his lil sis.

Be still my heart.


What is better than two sweet girls?

Two sweet girls making TRUFFLES for ME!


On a recent trip to an out-of-state doctor's appointment...LK and A and I passed a (relatively) local egg hatchery (is that what you call it?).

They're expanding. Again.  And I've been wanting to take pictures as I drive by, but haven't been brave enough.

Until this time.


...this is why we want to have our own chickens and eggs.

In this building - in these rows and rows and towers and towers of cages - chickens will sit.  They won't scratch around in the dirt and eat bugs and such, like the Lord intended.  They will never see the light of day once the building is finished and closed in (like the other 5 huge buildings just like this on the property).

This just ain't the way it's supposed to be.  Not good for the chickens...and not good for us.

And amen.



This is the first time in my life I have ever not lived in a neighborhood.  You know, with houses right next door (and in front and behind) that are practically so close you can spit on them.  That's what I've always had....Jas too.

But now we live "out."  We're only on two and a half acres, but we only have one neighbor in eye-shot.  But we live on a road that is 2-3 miles long with plenty of other folks living on their respective pieces of property.  

And we do have "neighbors"...as Saturday so very vividly displayed to us.  

Wow, what an unusual day.  I went to bed that night just shaking my head...and praising the Lord.

It started with all of us doing work outside.  

As we were all shoveling and moving dirt and cleaning up a burn pile we had last weekend, Jas turned around and asked us to be quiet.  He was straining to hear something.  I didn't hear anything.  He asked again for us to be real quiet...and then I heard it too.  Real faint.  "Help......help me......"

We all ran over to the house next door to investigate.  It ended up being our elderly neighbor (70+ years old) who'd had surgery a couple days previous.  She was bleeding, and she'd somehow made it out onto the back porch to call for help.  We called in the cavalry her daughter and granddaughter - a nurse-in-training.  We got Mrs. P back inside and waited with her until they showed up (which was quick!).

Her family was appreciative of our help...and we were just so glad we were outside and working on that side of the property, so that we could hear her!

Fast forward several hours.....

Someone is honking a horn fast and repeatedly in our driveway.  It turns out to be a neighbor from on down the road.  The trees at my dad's farm were on fire!   He couldn't reach my dad, so he drove down to let us know.  

Jas and the two older boys hopped in the truck...along with three long hoses!

What ensued over the next couple of hours was surreal.

Bottom line:  no one was hurt.  Besides some trees, and underbrush, that is.

But wow...was it tense and scary at times.  

I've never seen so many emergency vehicles at one place in our little town.  

From police...

....to a Fire-Break Making Bulldozer....

....to a Dept of Forestry Reconnaissance  Airplane that flew around...and around...

...and of course fire trucks, both at dad's farm and the neighboring property.

As the wire at the bottom of the picture shows, I had to watch from the other side of the fence, out at the roadside

The across-the-street neighbor (different neighbor than the one who let us know) had spotted the trouble and called 911.  And when the first responder didn't have bolt cutters to get into dad's gate, the neighbor got his and let them in!  I heard dad later tell him "Thank you!"

So...what started it?    Dad had a burn pile Saturday morning.  It wasn't a big burn pile...but he still got a burn permit like he was supposed to.  After the fire was "out", he stood there and sprayed it for 15 minutes.

The fire chief later told us that Saturday's at about 2 or 3 p.m., they call the "witching hour"...because that is when alot of burn piles that are "out" and sprayed good, flare back up.

And so dad's did.

It provided entertainment for many folks around these parts.

A different neighbor, Kevin, stopped and was with us for a while.  Well, he was with the girls, and G and I.

The boys and Jas?  They were right in the middle of all the excitement the whole time.  They were on the scene before the fire trucks were....

...but by the time we got there, both sides of the entry dirt road were blazing, and they wouldn't let us in.  I thought LK was going to spit she was so upset she didn't get to be on back there!

Jas and the boys worked hard the whole time, and they put those hoses to work.  The bottom of their shoes are melted.

The shed - the only building on the property right now - was not damaged...although the fire came thisclose to it.

Walking around and surveying damage after it was out...was so eery.

That Fire-Break Making Bulldozer ( I came up with that fancy title)...amazed me.

Everything to the left of its path, burned...everything to the right of its path....

...green and beautiful.

And the trees that were in its path?  Knocked right over.

I was impressed....

...and very thankful for that bulldozer.

When Papa arrived on the scene (after our guys, but before all of us girls) he got to go on in and he jumped on his tractor, changed out the mower attachment for the harrow and helped cut fire breaks on the back side of the fire  (between the fires and his food plots, ha!).

This is AFTER the fire was over, G didn't help during the fire

After the excitement was over, and we all went back there and surveyed damage and took pictures....we went home.  Or, at least I thought we all went home.  Come to find out later, mom and dad stayed at the farm until 1:30 a.m.(!) driving around and putting out little fires that kept flaring up.  Crazy!

So thankful for how all this turned out!

After we left the fire, we raced home (all 1/2 a mile) and got ready for our date that we were now late for.

That neighbor who stopped by the fire and held G?  He and his wonderful wife Shelly had been telling us at church for weeks that they wanted to babysit for us.  Ummmm...twist our arms!!!

The children had a great time!  It was the first time we left Miss A.  We were gone for less than 2 hours.  We grabbed a bite to eat...and returned some things to TJ Maxx.  Exciting date, I know.  But hey, all that mattered was that we were alone....together.  As much as I would agree that couples should have dates frequently...Jas and I have averaged about 2/year for the past oh, 10 years.  We're making a concerted effort to increase that number.  Twice a month?  That would be great, but may be unrealistic. Even once a month would be a great improvement over our current track record!

And our neighbors offering to help?  Was a great way to get started on our new resolution!


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