Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Night Lights

Tonight was Grayson's first football game. He plays for the local high school on the varsity team. Eric and Hayden and I went and it was an awesome game. We won! It was so fun and exciting. I love this town, it is a small town and everyone comes out to see the games. We got to see all our friends again and the Booster club sold hot dogs and hamburgers. Grayson plays corner back and wide receiver and he had an awesome game. Grayson was so cute after the game, he gave me a big hug and he was smiling from ear to ear.

I am thankful to the Lord that no one got hurt and I always pray for God's protection over Grayson and all of the guys on the team. I am trying to soak in all of these moments as I know they are fleeting and I want to really enjoy them. I love football season!

Something cute

When I picked up Hayden at camp, after we hugged and talked and we were walking to the van to head home, he handed me a heart shaped rock. This touched me so much that he found it, saved it for me and then presented it to me.
This has been a little tradition that Hayden and I have had for many years, we try to find heart shaped rocks. We have only found a handful and I have them proudly displayed in the flowerbed right by the front door. These are the things that touch a mother's heart! :0)

Hugs, Sharon

Princess Diana

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death. I am not a celebrity worshiper, but there was something about Diana. I think maybe it was because we were the same age, she got married near the same time I did and we both had babies in September of 1984. I was visiting my sister Kathi when we both heard the news and we were devastated. We couldn't stop talking about it and watching all the stories on TV. She indeed was the people's princess. I think she was a good role model for women. She cared so much for her family and her little boys. Her story really is a tragic one with how her marriage ended up, and of course her tragic death, but I do believe she found her peace. The pictures I love the most of her are the ones with her and her little boys; she was a good mom. I also really like the pictures when she is holding the little children in other countries, she did a lot for humanity.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Meet Cameron

I realized that I had not put any pictures of my second son, Cameron, on this Blog. He is such a wonderful son. I love him dearly. He is 21 and goes to a local Bible college and would like to do some kind of mission work. This summer he has been a co-leader of a college outreach called FLIGHT (Forever Living In God's Hands Together), which his good friend Amy founded. They meet once a week for a study time and to have fun together. It has grown a lot and is really rewarding for him. For the past two years he has been a middle school youth leader at his church.
Right now Cam is working for a utility board as a maintenance/construction guy. He is a very busy guy, we do not see him very much any more, which is sad for a mama, but it is part of life and part of God's plan. He has a great group of friends, whom we love dearly. Cameron and his friend Keith are moving into an apartment to be near his campus in just two weeks! I am sure I will be blogging big time about empty nest syndrome as Mackenzie is moving out roughly the same week! I helped Cameron get furniture for his new digs, we found a table and chairs, a coffee table, two end tables and a box full of kitchen wares for only $25.00 at a garage sale! He painted them black and purchased a faux brown leather fabric to put on the chairs, they look great! He has a great sense of humor and I am going to miss him dearly, but we are so proud of him and so thankful that he has grown to be such a wonderful man of God.
I am so thankful to both Cameron and Mackenzie for being such great older brothers to our younger boys and such great role models. We have had our fair share of problems with our teenage sons, but God has been with us through everything and has shown His grace upon us. I have spent many hours in prayer over my kids, mostly asking for guidance and direction and asking for Godly wisdom with our parenting. In His word He says if we ask for wisdom He will give it to us and I believe that God did give us wisdom. I feel like one of the biggest training tools is teaching them to ask for Godly wisdom and to pray for discernment.
I am so thankful for Cameron and love him so much!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tarzan's Hole

All I can say is FUN, FUN, FUN! Well, the kids had fun, I sat in my chair and watched all of them having fun. We went with some friends and had egg salad sandwiches, BBQ chips and licorice for lunch. Grayson did a lot of swinging on the rope and Hayden did flips off the side of the rocks and looked for crawdads. It was a fun day.

On the way home we stopped at a road side stand and purchased a bunch of corn on the cob and fresh peaches. We had the ham I cooked in the crock pot, corn on the cob and cabbage/Top Ramen salad. Eric loves that salad. The whole family was home and we ate dinner out on the back deck. Brittany was visiting for the evening and ate with us too. Kenzie and Brittany went on a bike ride and later Hayden and I went on one. Cameron had a late softball game, which we did not go to. I will enclose a picture of one of his other games that we went to earlier in the summer later since I have not shown a picture of him yet!

I have to work tomorrow and Friday, so my fun little time off is over. I am thankful that I was able to have a few days off to be with my family and feather my nest.

Busy Morning!

Today was a good, busy morning. Sometimes it all comes together and I accomplish a lot in the morning. I wish I had days like this every day! I always start my day with making my bed, stumbling to the kitchen to get coffee, turning on all my "cozy" lights and then tidying the house. Then I have my devotional time with the Lord. Today after my devotions I put a ham in the crock pot, boiled a dozen eggs for egg salad sandwiches for lunch today and made oatmeal cookies. I took my walk and now I am blogging! It was such a beautiful, sunny morning. Oh yes, I had a neat little surprise from the Lord when I went out on the front porch to read my Bible I found a cute little green tree frog on the side of the house. I quickly grabbed him and put him in Hayden's aquarium (where his lizard used to live until he escaped a week ago and is loose somewhere in my house!).
We have a fun day planned today, I am taking Grayson and Hayden and several of their friends to Tarzan's Hole, a local swimming hole with a rope swing! We are packing a picnic lunch and planning to have lots of fun. I might, emphasize MIGHT try to do the rope swing! I used to do that kind of thing in my younger days, but now it is a different story! I am planning a good ham dinner tonight and I think we might have all four boys plus Brittany for dinner so this will be nice. Thank you Lord for all these blessings!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Dining Room

Here are a few pictures of my dining room. I love having a formal dining room, it is just so fun to have special meals in there. We have had a lot of wonderful meals and conversations in this dining room, as well as played a lot of games in there. I have marvelous memories of good friends for dinner, serious family talks in there, Christmas dinners and breakfasts in there, birthday dinners, big parties such as anniversary parties, Cinco De Mayo, baby showers, special luncheons with friends and much more. I think it is wonderful that families gather to eat good food, love each other and thank our saviour for our many blessings.
My first memory of this dining room was the first night we moved in. The boys were so young, Mackenzie was just 9 years old, Cameron was 7, Grayson 3-1/2 and Hayden was only 9 months old! We had all the carpets cleaned that day and they were still wet, so we couldn't set up our beds yet, so we laid our sleeping bags in the dining room and we all slept in there together! Little did I know that that evening kind of started the whole legacy of wonderful family gathers in that room!
I have a terrible addiction to fancy dishes and frilly things, so I have way too many things around, but they all talk to me! I have several special pieces that I have inherited from my grandmother and Eric's grandmother. Eric's grandmother's china is Johnson Brothers Rose Chintz and she also gave me some Kings Crown ruby crystal glassware. I received the Universal Iris pottery from my grandmother. I really love all of these dishes that I have received from them.

A lot of my treasures were found at garage sales, Goodwill or other thrift stores. I made the wreath with teacups on it several years ago (please ignore dust), it was pretty easy, I just found a huge straw wreath at Wal-mart, hot glued moss on it, then hot glued the teacups, saucers, spoons, roses and beads. I just love it. I copied it from the cover of Victorian magazine several years ago. The cute little lamp next to the stripped chair is a true treasure! I found it at a thrift store for $14.00! It is really old, but has been re-wired. The coolest part about it is the on/off switch, which is a little button you press with your foot! So cool! The crystal lamp was a birthday gift from my mother last year. It was a lamp she had in her room as a little girl and when my grandmother died, my mother received it and she recently decided to pass it on to me. I just love all the crystal hangy-doodles!

Picking Hayden up at Camp

I picked up Hayden from his church camp today. Boy, I missed him! So glad to see my little boy again! Here are some pictures of him and his buddies when I picked them up. The drive home was fun, as the boys were quite hyper and laughing a lot, but before we got home, Hayden was sound asleep! He had lots of fun and met lots of new friends, but more importantly, he learned a lot about the Lord and feels really close to God. I love this camp, all of my sons have gone through it and I really feel that it has been a huge impact on their Christianity and their commitment to Christ.

Happy Birthday Kelli!

Today is my big sister's birthday! Kelli is the sweetest person you will ever know. I am so thankful to have her for my big sissy. Kelli is a true woman of God. She loves to cook and sew and is an excellent wife and mother. She homeschools her three children (actually only two now because her daughter just graduated). Kelli and her husband love to travel with their kids, they have gone on many trips. I hope you have a wonderful birthday today Kelli! I love you!

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Kitchen Windowsill

I love to decorate my kitchen windowsill. It is right above my sink, which is right next to the coffee pot, so obviously I am standing there quite often! :0) I like to have some of my favorite little treasures sitting there to cheer me up. This is my standard window sill decor. I have a small collection of ceramic dogs, a vintage ceramic boy and a cute little topiary tree in a darling little child's teacup. I like to switch out the vignette seasonally. I will be displaying my Back to School vignette in the next few days. I have a little nail in the wood panel that is between two windows and I like to hang a little rose hip mini wreath there. I think I got the idea of changing out my window sill decor seasonally from my good friend Shannon. I will introduce you to Shannon soon. She has been such an inspiration to me and I give her credit for a lot of my homemaking successes.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Tonight I made stuffed Bell peppers for dinner. It was a pretty easy recipe and very tasty. It is a recipe that I found in Taste of Home magazine (which is a great magazine by the way). The family loved it.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
5 to 6 medium green peppers
1-1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large can of spaghetti sauce
1 tsp diced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

Remove tops and seeds from peppers. In a large kettle, bring water to a boil; cook peppers for five minutes. Remove and drain. Cook rice according to package directions. In a skillet, brown beef and onion. Drain. Add spaghetti sauce, garlic, salt and pepper; cook five minutes. Stir in half of the rice. Lay the other half of rice in bottom of shallow baking dish. Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture and place upright on the bed of rice in dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Yield: 5-6 servings.

Fun Day with Grayson

Today I had another fun day with Grayson. He had a doctor appointment where we learned that his lab test was fine today! Praise the Lord! After that we went to the DMV where he took a written test for his drivers license and he failed by one question, which is a bummer, but he is studying tonight and Eric will take him tomorrow for another try. He has his permit and is a very good driver. We got special coffee and I took a joke picture of him pretending to drive while talking on the cell phone, holding his coffee and messing with the radio. In reality, this would never go on as we take driving very serious. Later we went to the park for a picnic and went to a thrift store. We got him home just in time for his football practice. I am so thankful that he is healthy and fine and that his lab work was perfect today!
*Update! Grayson went to the DMV the next day with Eric and passed his written portion of the driving exam! Yea! Next we make an appointment for him to actually do the driving portion of the test. Will keep you posted!

My Devotions Basket

As Martha Stewart would say, this is a Good Thing! My sister, Kathi, gave me this idea. I put everything I need for my morning devotions in a cute little basket that I can carry around to my little nooks where I like to do my studies and then just set it in a corner somewhere in the house and it looks nice.
This is what I currently have in mine:
Prayer journal
Reading glasses and sunglasses (for devotions done in sunshine)
Several pens and pencils
Several highlighters
A small battery operated clock
A calender
A notebook for ideas that come
Way too many women's issue books:
  1. I'm Too Young To Be This Old

  2. If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

  3. The Total Woman

  4. A Mother's Heart

  5. The Mother's Topical Bible

  6. Making Your Husband Feel Loved

  7. Your Husband, Your Friend

  8. Give Them Wings

  9. Shepherding A Child's Heart

  10. Mothers & Sons - Raising Boys To Be Men

  11. Too Big To Spank

  12. Maximized Manhood

  13. The Family Managers Guide for Working Moms

  14. High Wire Mom

  15. Come To The Table - A Celebration Of Family Life

I know, I have a lot of books in my basket and, no, I am not reading all of them at the same time. I have an unusual style of reading, I like to have these resources on hand to read certain chapters based on what I am going through that day or week. Sometimes I am feeling like I am so out of control with balancing my work and home life, so I really get encouragement and inspiration from the working mother books. Sometimes I have a certain issue with one of my sons, so a book on raising boys is really helpful and so on and so on. Most of these books were purchased at Goodwill and garage sales for pennies, but I just love them. They are so helpful to me. I don't care if a book was written in the 70s because if it is scripture based, it is still relevant and has sound advice for me. My plan is to do more in depth book reviews in future Blogs on my absolute favorite books or the books that have had a major impact on my mothering and being a wife.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My mess!

I finally cleaned up my mess I had in the living room. I had been doing some major cleaning out of other rooms and this is what was left over. I had piles of old movies, magazines, papers and books that I organized and put away. It feels so good to have that done! My preferred style of cleaning is first completely emptying the closet or drawer, then making a throw away pile, a give to Goodwill pile, and then different piles for putting back in the same closet or drawer or putting in different parts of the house. There is something rewarding about getting a job like this done. When the kids were little I would help them clean their room and afterwords we would discuss how good it felt. I would relate it to how when we confess our sins to God and how he cleanses our hearts and forgives us and we have that same light, carefree really rewarding feeling in our hearts.

Quiet Sunday

Today we went to church and listened to a wonderful sermon. Our pastor talked about suffering and how we all go through seasons of suffering and how we need to lean on the Lord during these times; that He is always with us during these times. One of the scriptures pastor gave us today was I Corinthians 1:3-5 which says,

"All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ."

I really love this passage. It is neat that it is talking about how God comforts us and that in itself comforts me! I also like that it says that He is the source of EVERY mercy. Our God is a good God who loves us, comforts us and shows mercy upon us.

I am so thankful that we have such a wonderful church and pastor. Every week we learn so much about the Lord and are challenged to do our best to be Christ like. It seems I fail so much, but God is so faithful, loving and forgiving and stays with me through all my shortcomings.

After church we went out to breakfast with some friends from church. Later in the afternoon Eric golfed with a couple of his buddies and I stayed home and did some organizing. Kenzie went to his church and then over to be with Brittany who just had her wisdom teeth pulled. Grayson worked in the morning from 6:30 to 1:30 (he missed church) and then went to the city pool with some friends from church. I had a fun afternoon home alone catching up on things around the house. Eric ordered pizza when he got home, so I didn't have to cook, which was so sweet of him. Cameron called and was at the San Francisco airport. He is flying home tonight at about midnight. I will be glad to see him again. He said he had a great trip. I miss Hayden, but will see him on Tuesday!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Empty Nest

Wow, Eric and I have been all by ourselves a lot lately. Last night all our kids were gone so we rode our bikes down to our local Mexican restaurant for dinner and drinks and had a wonderful evening. Tonight we barbecued hamburgers and onions and we had corn on the cob. I only made three hamburger patties, two BBQ onions and six ears of corn instead of 12 patties, 6 onions and 12 corn. It is a little weird for me to cook for two again.

This time is also fun and exciting because it reminds me of when we were newlyweds. I get waves of sadness when I am out and about running errands all by myself because my kids have all grown older and are busy with their lives. For so many years my identity was, Sharon - mother of four, of course there was much more, but I found my role as wife and mother very satisfying and rewarding. I feel that I am treading in uncharted waters and I definitely need the Lord to be my guide!

Now I am filling my life not only with my husband and family, but with my career, friends, decorating and finding new things that I am interested in, like blogging for example! I am really trying to focus on what God has for me in the next phase of my life. There are lots of things to look forward to and I want to concentrate on those things. Also, it is pretty fun to be more carefree when it is just Eric and I.

Garage Sale Goodies

I was planning on doing some projects around my house today, but all of that came to a screeching halt when Grayson said "do you want to do something today Mom?". I LOVE it when this happens and I realize that these moments are so precious as they get older and get so busy with their own lives, so I really try to take advantage of spending special time with them. There might not be another opportunity for us to go hang out on a summer afternoon. He is 16 and just a wonderful kid, he has been doing daily doubles with football practice and I have hardly seen him all week.

He had to work today at 3:00 so we decided to go to some garage sales and have lunch together. I love doing funny things like this with my kids because we end up having great conversations when we are out and about. We had a fun time. Unfortunately, Gray did not find any treasures, but I did! Here are some of my goodies. I found a milk glass hobnail pitcher for $2.00, a cute burgundy and cream creamer for $1.50, some cute little ceramic farm animals for .25 cents each that I will use in my vignettes, an old Disney movie "So Dear to My Heart" for $2.00, a fun blue plastic puzzle that I thought Hayden would enjoy for .50 cents, A sugar Creek Gang book for free, really cute salad tongs for $1.00, and a cute candle with a squirrel on it that I will use for my fall decorating for .50 cents. It is so fun to go to garage sales, it is a summer tradition with our family!

Saturday Mornings

I love lazy Saturday mornings with my husband. Today we slept in and then had coffee and read the paper. Today it was sunny, so I went out on the front porch and read my Bible and spent some time with the Lord. Mackenzie, my oldest son, is preparing to move out in a matter of weeks. Right now we hardly see him because he is so busy working at two jobs and seeing his sweetie, Brittany. He came downstairs and got his cup of coffee and said, "I have something to show you". He went outside and brought in a new bike that he had purchased last night. He loves to ride his bike for recreation and to work for exercise. We are happy for him because his old bike was stolen a few weeks ago off the back of his truck where it was locked up! Someone used bolt cutters and broke the lock! GRRRRRR! Later Grayson came downstairs and Mackenzie and Grayson had an arm wrestling match, which was interrupted by a telephone call for Grayson. It seems there is never a dull moment around here! I just really enjoy the small things in life that make up our days. Cameron, our second son is on a trip to California and Hayden is at church camp.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Time to Trust

Three of us have had our annual physicals in the last week and we received two phone calls last night about abnormal test results. My human nature wants to panic and freak out, but I am putting my trust in the Lord. Our family is all praying and know that God is in control of everything. I went on the internet and the abnormalities could mean something small or something very serious. I pray that the tests were just inaccurate and there are simple reasons why they were positive. There is power in prayer and a sense of peace and comfort knowing that we are trusting our Father in Heaven and we are giving this all to Him. I pray that Thy will be done. He will be with us through it all.

"Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken" Psalms 55:22
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