Monday, October 25, 2010

Even There...

"Even there your hand will lead me" 
Psalm 139:10

 I was heading home from my first MOPS meeting of the year.  This verse was rolling around in my head.  It was our theme verse for the year.  (Isn't it a GOOD one!!!)

It was a beautiful September Tuesday afternoon.  I kept peeking over my shoulder to see if Little Dude had fallen asleep yet.  It wasn't until we reached our little town that sits along the banks of the Mississippi river that his eyes began to get droopy.  I decided to drive around just a bit longer to make sure he was good and asleep before going home and carrying him in the house.  

As I was driving I had this nudging to "drive by the house" 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

Not my house.  But a house that My Sweetie and I had looked at back in April. 

We had looked at the house several times, taken our parents through and then just dropped the subject. 

We didn't need to move.  But for the past 3 year have been causally looking on and off at houses. 

While visiting with his barber (ehem, who just so happens to also be a realtor!  Small town livin' IS the best!), My Sweetie learned that seller was to desperate to sell.  We knew that they had re-listed the house with a new real estate agency (the same agency that the barber/realtor guy works for, of course.) and had significantly dropped the price since we had looked at it last.  We had driven out to the house Sunday after Church and our interest in this home was perking up a bit.  

"Even there your hand will lead me"

As I turned onto the long, narrow country road that leads to the housing addition that the house was in, I giggled thinking how funny it would be if My Sweetie just happened to have driven out there also.  Perhaps THAT'S why I had such a strong nudging to drive out to the house. 

As I approached the neighborhood I could see the back of the house.  I gasped just a moment and in my head said, "That is MY house!"

"Even there your hand will lead me"

I turned into the neighborhood and then my heart stopped. 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

The sign was GONE! 

The Realtor lock box was GONE!!!! 

My stomach sank and I was ANGRY!!! 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

I attempted to call My Sweetie but only got his voice mail so left a cheery, "HEY!!  How's it going." message. 

Two year ago there were two houses that we were interested in.  We were ready to put an offer in on one and someone else did it before we did and we didn't do anything about it.  We put an offer on a second home and shortly after 2 more people put an offer in our the same home.  Our offer was countered but we chose to keep our offer on the table as it was. 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

So you can imagine how frustrated I was to see a third house that we were interested in to no longer have a sign in front.  A THIRD closed door????  UGH!!! 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

When I got home My Sweetie was on the phone.  Which would explain why I had gotten his voice mail.  After he was off the phone I told him he needed to call the Realtor and see what was going on!!!! 

Apparently the seller had decided to unlist it briefly to refinance the home since the rates were so low and since no one had been interested.  He was preparing to use it as a rental when his contract expired with the real estate agency. 

My Sweetie just so happened to live next door to the guy who lived next door to the house that was for sale and called him.   

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

 He was able to get the sellers personal phone number.  They talked for quite awhile, My Sweetie told him he was interested in the house, and would like to work with him privately. The next day the seller called My Sweetie saying he was going to re-list the house and if we'd like to work with him privately he'd be willing to do so once his contract expired in November. 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

This sounded like a GREAT plan to us!  We had time to prep our current home and could really look hard and close at our finances and be prepared!!!! 

The weight had been lifted. 

I was free to plan BuhBuh's birthday and get back to enjoying life. 

Less than 48 hours after the perfect plan was in place the phone rang. 

It was the seller. 

He had received an offer. 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

OF COURSE he received an offer, because WEEEEE WERE INTERESTED!!!!!  ****sigh**** 

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

He told us if we were interested that he would wait for us to make an offer but we had to do it quickly.  Otherwise he was going to accept the offer that had been made.

"Even there your hand will lead me"

So here we were feeling rushed, overwhelmed and unprepared to make such a huge decision in just a few short hours. 

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

The realtor put together paper work for us and we met him at the house that evening.  We went over the paperwork carefully, asked questions and decided to walk through the house one more time.  Then came the time to sign the offer.   My Sweetie froze.   He was thinking and re-thinking and maybe even over-thinking a wee bit but I was not going to sign or tell him to sign a thing.  He needed to be the one to sign first and to take this first step.  He is and probably always will be the main provider for our family.  The financial burden rests solely on him.  I wanted the house.  Yes.  But I wanted a happy husband more.  I don't want him to feel like he's working to make a house payment.  That is not what he wants and it's not what I want for him or our family.   

He decided that he needed some more time; that he would sign it sometime the next day if the window was still open.  I assured him that it was OK.  

 "Even there your hand will lead me"
The realtor turned off the lights to the house, we walked outside and My Sweetie sat down on the front porch with the boys.  The realtor walked out, locked up the door and stood there for a moment.  He said good bye and started to leave.

Before he could leave, My Sweetie stopped him saying he'd sign the papers.  Back into the house we went, flipped on the lights and signed the papers.  

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

**deep breath**

When we were done My Sweetie asked if we could have some time and lock up when we left.  After the realtor left we went and sat in front of the fireplace (SQUEAL!!!) as a family and My Sweetie just took a deep breath and told the boys that this wasn't something that happened everyday and it was something he wanted them to remember.  We walked through the house one more time before driving away.

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

By 9 a.m. the next morning we had a verbal acceptance from the seller.  Then Monday morning the offer was officially signed. 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

We have been frantically packing, repairing, cleaning, getting appraised and getting finances in order.

  Today we officially closed a new house and this weekend we will move our children from the only home they have ever known into a new home.  

And despite the crazy that has taken over our house in addition to the normal crazy of the fall season I know that.....

"Even there your hand will lead me"

I know that people buy houses all the time.  I know that new home dreams are fulfilled for both people who have a relationship with Jesus and those who don't.  I know that new home dreams are crushed for both people who have a relationship with Jesus and those who don't.  Things either go your way or they don't.  

But I also know that often times people only cry out to God in their time of deep need and forget to give thanks for the blessings that God's hand has lead them too as well.  Believe me, I too have been guilty of this.

I know, with all my heart, that the only way things have turned out the way they have for our family has been by His hand leading us all along; leading us through the dozens of houses we've looked at, leading us though the heartbreak of house offers that didn't work out, leading us through blueprints possibilities for the house we are in now that didn't work out, leading us in ways that we may not have recognized, all so we could be right here with this blessing in our life.  

So I'm recognizing His hand and thanking Him for this blessing.  As we move forward with this move and with trying to sell our current home, I will trust that.

"Even there your hand will lead me"

My challenge to you...Look for the places in your life that God's hand has been leading YOU.  They may be big.  They may be small.  They may seem insignificant.  They may be in the middle of a valley.  His hand has been guiding you all along to this point, can you look back on something and see it now?  We can't appreciate all that God does for us, all the ways that His hand leads us if we don't look. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Car Talk

Little Dude:  OOOHHH NOOOO!!!!!  LOOK!!!  LOOK!!!!  LOOK at 'dat tire!!!  It fell off!!!!!

**he said as we drove behind a jeep with the spare tire attached to the outside of the jeep***

A little further down the road....

Little Dude:  There's the tractor store!

Me:  Yep!  You're right!

Little Dude:  Daddy's been 'dere before.

Me:  He has?

Little Dude:  I been 'dere before too.

Me:  You have???

Little Dude:  Not BuhBuh, Not you.  Just us.

One of those days....

Morning snuggles and giggles with BuhBuh and Little Dude. 

My Sweetie making breakfast.  

Enough time before the bus to read two stories from our Children's Bible (which means more snuggling).  

Little Dude entertaining himself nicely so the Mommy could be productive.  

Pumpkin Farm visit.  



Chickens.  Cows.  Horses.  

Hay Bale Maze.  

 Apple Orchard.  Treats. Llamas, donkeys, more goats, more chickens, more cows.

First 100% on 2nd grade spelling test.  

Play outside.  


Photo Ops.  

The Boy going to fall Dance and last home football game. 

Little Dude falling asleep early.  

Watching a movie with BuhBuh and My Sweetie (more snuggling).  

Bedtime conversation. 

BuhBuh: "This was a GREAT day!!!" 

Me:  "Why is that?" 

BuhBuh:  "Because I got an A on my spelling, you picked me up from the bus stop and I got to watch a movie all by myself with you and daddy." 

I'd have to agree.  
 It was a GREAT day!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Faith of a Child

I lead the children's sermon in church on Sunday.  We talked about prayer.  When, where, how.  Basic stuff. 

I wanted the kids to have a fun way to practice praying at home; different then the way they might pray during dinner or at bedtime. 

I put together little bags of skittles with a card color coded with different ways they can pray for each colored skittle.  I told them that before they could eat a skittle they had to match it to the prayer, pray and THEN eat it. 

As we sat in the pews for the rest of the service I glanced over at BuhBuh.  He was kneeling on the ground, picking up skittles, reading the card, praying and then eating the skittles.  

I couldn't help but smile a proud mama smile.  

It was adorable.

The kids have been enjoying having all of the leftover skittles at home this week.  They have continued to make sure to match the color of the skittle up to the prayer and pray before eating them.

Little Dude asked for a skittle the other day.  

He chose yellow...his favorite color.  

I told him that he needed to pray and tell God he loved him.

He folded his little hands and said, "Dear God, I wuv you sooooo much.  Amen."  

It was precious.  It was sweet.

He threw his hands in the air and proudly declared,  "IIIIII DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!!!!" 

Then we high fived.  

I love teaching kids, especially my kids about God and Jesus and how loved they are by them.  I love to watch their eyes light up.  I love to see their faith in action.  I love that they get it, sometimes even better than I do.  There is something about the innocence of a child that helps them to see better than we adults do the love God has for us.  Sometimes I think they just might grasp the concept better than we do.  

What is it that happens as we get older??  

Why do we loose that child-like faith??  

Why does it get harder and harder to understand and get our heads around God's Grace and love for us.  

My eyes have seen the ugliness; my ears have heard the harsh words; my heart has been broken. 

There is so much sadness, so much tragedy and at times so little hope.  

Satan's work is easy when we allow the way of the world consume us. 

We allow Satan to harden our hearts.

No wonder it's hard to understand.

But then I hear The Boy recite word for word 1 Samuel 3:10 "Speak, for your servant is listening."as I am reading that story to BuhBuh in a different room and I get it.

I see BuhBuh show God's love to neighbors through a simple act and I get it.

I watch Little Dude lead dinner time prayers every night and I get it.

Then I read The Word.

"For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me."  
Matthew 18:2-5 (The Message) 

And I get it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Make it Count

I live about 15-20 minutes away from a full grocery store.  So when I "go into town" to get groceries I really try to make my trips count!  

The other day I was short some ingredients needed for a potluck dish.  

Usually I would send My Sweetie a list and have him do it, but I really didn't have anything else going on and it was a beautiful day.  So, into the car we jumped and into town we drove.  

Little Dude found a cart "just his size" and it was THE BEST shopping trip ever!!! 

He was so adorable and good.  He pushed that cart around like a pro, making sure not to crash and following directions perfectly!  

Usually I push the big mommy sized cart and he helps by putting the groceries in the cart.  

But this day was different.  

He pushed and I put the groceries in the cart and he said, "You be my helper."  


When we were all finished with our list he unloaded the entire cart so we could check out. 

I asked him if he would pay and he seemed confused, so I told him not to worry about it this time.

I was given the total.  

I opened my wallet.  


My one and only card that I use wasn't there!!!!!  


I had no cash.  

I had no check.  

I was embarrassed!  


I guess I wasn't going to be paying afterall. 

Little Dude was very confused as to WHY we weren't getting the groceries that had just shopped for.  

Poor Kid.  

So, despite my EXTREME frustration (at myself because I had left my card in the back pocket of a pair of pants) to make our trip into town count we stopped off at the park to play on our way home. 

Then sent The Daddy a text with the list so he could pick up the things we needed.  

Each day is such a gift from God.  Sometimes they don't go the way we had planed.  But when we don't make each moment count by making the best of the situation we are in, then we might just miss out on something precious that God had planned for us all along. 

If you were a detective....

....and you ran out of chalk on a crime scene WHAT WOULD YOU do????

Here's an idea.....

look around and create an outline with whatever you see laying around.  

Might I suggest blocks and trains???  

 When I walked into my living room and saw this I just started laughing!!!  

I'm not sure what made me laugh more.  
 The fact that Little Dude laid there allowing BuhBuh to do this.  

Or the fact that BuhBuh thought to do this.  

Silly boys!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Good Neighbor

Huffing and puffing up our hill on our way home from the homecoming parade, BuhBuh said, "Mom, we haven't taken anything over to the new neighbors house yet."

He was right.  In the craziness that consumes our lives we forgotten to properly welcome our new neighbor to the neighborhood.

"You know mom, we could take them one of the pumpkin pies you made today," he said.

I had two fresh made pies sitting on our kitchen counter.  We really didn't need two of them, I suppose.

"I could tell them, sorry this was late, and hand them the pie," he said.   

"And don't forget to welcome them to the neighborhood,"  I added.

After we conquered our hill my mind switched gears to the next thing; packing everyone up and heading to the schools to pick up The Boy who had just marched in the parade.

"Mom.  Should we wrap the pie up in foil?"  he asked as I guzzled down a gallon of water.

"Uh, SURE!!"  I had already forgotten about the talk of giving one of our pies to the new neighbor. 

We wrapped up the pie, practiced a couple of times what he would say and I sent him down the street.  

It wasn't long before he came skipping back clearly proud of the good deed he had done.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Last week was homecoming week for our school.  It's a fun week at all 3 schools.  Each school celebrates with Spirit Week with a different theme to each day.  BuhBuh participated.  (No pictures)  The Boy did not.  Kids look forward to the early dismissal from school on Friday so that everyone can head downtown for the parade.

It isn't quite as spectacular as I remember the homecoming parades from when I was younger were.  But it isn't lacking in spirit or in candy!
Since The Boy is in 8th Grade this year he got to march with the high school for band.  I could hear the sound of the drum several blocks away which is always so exciting to hear at a parade; it's when the excitement and anticipation kicks in.  It was even more exciting knowing that The Boy was one helping to set the beat of the parade.  In my excitement, I missed the photo opportunity.....this was the best that I could do.  He's on the far right.

As an 8th grader, The Boy also got to play with the high school during the pre-game out on the field.  They lined up motorcycles, the band and then the cheerleaders for the football players to run through at the opening of the game.  He said that was pretty cool to be a part of but got kind of tired of hitting his drum for the entire team.  HA!!!  Then just before the game the gave us a nice firework show.  

As I sat in the football stadium watching the group of high schoolers cheer from the stands (lookin all 80's)  on their team, the football players making touchdowns and the cheerleaders cheering, I realized that my senior homecoming was 16 years ago!!!  And then I realized that in a year it will be my son's first high school homecoming.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple Orchard

I was away for a weekend in September.  Which just so happened to be the last weekend for picking apples.  So my family did what any apple pickin' lovin' family would do.  They went.  But at least My Sweetie made sure to capture the moments that I missed!!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Car Talk

BuhBuh: Hey Mom! Will you make my bed? If you doooooo....I'll make dinnnnnerrrr.
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Monday, October 04, 2010

8 is GREAT!!!

 Here are some pictures from BuhBuh's birthday a few weeks ago!!!!  I can't believe he's 8.  

Birthday morning.  He woke me up around 5 wondering if it was time to open gifts.

Such a happy birthday boy

Our traditional Birthday morning breakfast.

He got to go on a field trip at school on his birthday!!!  HOW COOL!!!  AND I got to spend the entire day with him.  Bonus!
Sharing his Birthday treat at School

We celebrated again with grandmas, grandpas, aunties and cousins with a dinner that weekend.  

Car Talk

Me:  What do you want to be when you grow up?

BuhBuh:  A police officer.

Me:  Why?? 

BuhBuh:  Because the can drive a little over the speed limit, chase people and they have a dog....and a gun.....and a taser. 

Me:  **BIG SIGH and small smile**  How about YOU Little Dude?  

Little Dude:  A yellow car and a yellow house.