And so it begins…the basement/garage band that seems to be a rite of passage in multi-boy families. I think this is so cute. (thanks to Brooke for video taping this). This is a song the boys wrote with the cousin Sierra called “Life and Breath”. Josh, 10, is on drums; Caleb, 10, is on electric guitar; Israel, 9, on bass. We are grateful for the investment Jason’s parents made in these guys through buying very nice instruments and paying for lessons for J & C last year.
Here’s a yummy recipe for the next time you have overripe bananas! This is one of our favorites for breakfast or snack time.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
- In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
*originally found at allrecipes.com right here
Rain / Snow Showers / Wind
Um, I’m sorry, but would that be a snowflake mixed in there for Tuesday?! Crazy Ohio weather.
One thing I miss about CCC is the staff. Yes, most of them are my family, but I also really miss Marilyn Mangrum and my funny girl friend, Karen Hevesy. I decided to get a little “Karen fix” the other day by going to her now retired blog, Proverbs 17:22. If you ever need a good laugh, just read through Karen’s archives. Last week, I laughed out loud as I read Gentle Sobbing, the story of our adventure to a ladies’ meeting at CLC. The whole story is absolutely true, though, as you will see the names have been changed to protect the innocent. I miss these gals!!!
I finally feel comfortable enough to write this particular post. Partially because I have faced near death, and enough time has passed to finally talk about it. The nightmares have stopped and quite frankly, the therapy has helped. And partially because the person it is about has a broken computer and won’t be able to read it for some time. By the time her computer is fixed I can be 4 states away. It started innocently enough. I was invited to another church to receive an award for a story I had submitted. By the time they got a hold of me to tell me to come, I had about an hour to decide whether I could go. I quickly called my husband, got dinner covered and started calling the other staff wives. They had already planned to go, I just had to catch a ride with them. Even today, it sounds so innocent. I guess in all the excitement, I missed the part about who was actually driving. At the time all I cared about was that the driver was not me. Heading towards D.C. in rush hour traffic was not my idea of fun. The funny thing is the story that won, was the one about me driving on the sidewalk. No one asked me to drive. I’m OK with that. I know my limitations. I am not a risk taker. I am not adventurous. I am not brave. Not even close. As I was leaving my house I grabbed a magazine that had just come in the mail. I thought it would give us something to do in the car on the way there. If traffic was moving we’d still be at least an hour in the car. I thought we could chat about all the helpful hints in the magazine. A nice lighthearted conversation . About lighthearted everyday things. I can’t read that magazine to this day. I can still see the imprint of my fingernails in the cover. The flashbacks are too frequent. And vivid. Breathe deeply, I remind myself. OK, better. I have decided to change the names of the people involved to protect the driver. She knows who she is. And so do the other 3 victims…..I mean ladies. So we get in the car. There’s the driver. Her daughter, riding shotgun. A mother and daughter riding in the middle seat, and me in the back row of the van. Completely oblivious to what was about to happen. I was all happy and excited until we’re pulling out and the daughter, we’ll call her…….Lauri….Laurin. We’ll call her Laurin, turns and says “Hey, have you ever driven with….Mari…..Marilou?” Well, no I haven’t. “You’re in for a treat.” Oh…OK. I was like the dog that doesn’t know he’s going to the vet, he’s like all excited until he turns on the street the vet is on. Hey…this isn’t the park! Things started out smoothly for about oh….2 minutes. That was about the time we hit the highway, going really fast…..and no one else was. The first slamming on the breaks, one inch from the car in front us, really sticks with you. Actually, so does the 450th time. And wakes you up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat….a year later. Fortunately the traffic stayed really slow for a long time. This allowed the driver to completely turn around and talk to me…two rows behind her. While inching along and slamming on the breaks every 3 seconds or so. I was sitting in the middle with just a lap belt on but quickly realized, this was a definite shoulder belt situation. If there had been a child’s booster seat I would have wedged my butt into it. The traffic eventually opened up a little bit. Good I thought, she’ll have to turn around and face the road. Yea, we’re gonna go with a no on that. Apparantly, our conversation was more important than you know, the personal safety of….everyone within a 25 mile radius. Traffic slowed up again. So I’m thinking, Ok, if we’re gonna hit something, and I know we are, at least it will be no faster than 10 MPH. That was when the dodging and weaving started. I am not a fan of the dodge and weave. I am a dedicated supporter of, stay in your lane regardless of who you are behind until you get to your exit. Just a note so you know where I am coming from. I also do not make left turns, without a traffic light. I will go six blocks out of my way to avoid a left turn. Ask Jim. He hates it. I always tell him, if I am driving I’m not doing any “fancy manuevers” and this includes but is not limited to, left turns and or 3 point turns and lengthy driving in reverse. You only have to hit the house so many times to give up on the old reverse manuever. They only put those things on the drivers license test to mess with you. So we’re about halfway through our trip when I realize I’m the only person not in the car with their closest living relative. The mother daughter team in front of me, Laurin and…..Maryl are actually holding hands. They’re both doing that nervous kind half-laugh/ half-cry thing. When they turned to each other and shared “I love yous” true panic set in. I looked at the driver and her daughter in the front seats. They were looking at each other deep in conversation. Yes, looking at EACH OTHER, notice anything strange about that? UH, yea, one of them was DRIVING! I to this day do not know how we got there in one piece but we did. We enjoyed the evening. You ever have something traumatic happen to you and you’ll forget for awhile, but there’s something not quite right in the back of your mind? I actually sort of forgot the trauma of the ride there for a while, until it was time to go home. As we walked to the car, a silence fell over us. Well, not the driver. She wanted to get something to eat. We decided on a drive-thru. Because she didn’t have enough to do you know, driving and talking, she wanted to throw in a cheeseburger and a shake. Can you eat a cheeseburger and drink a shake with one hand while driving with the other? No. But you can eat a cheeseburger with one hand, hold a shake with the other and drive with….your wrists. Oh, and if I wasn’t freaked out enough….she decided to take the scenic route home. At 10:00 at night. With no street lights, fog and those cute bright yellow signs with the deer leaping over your car on them, every 25 feet. Oh, and I swear this really happened. Her defroster didn’t work, so she stuck her head out the side window to see. I felt now was the time to say something. Hey,….Marylou….I’m not a great driver but don’t the yellow lines mean…stay on your own side….I don’t think we’re supposed to be crossing them…..over and over again….she couldn’t hear me. Her head was out the window. I decide to call Jim. I love my friends but at a time like this, you need family. I tried to sound upbeat but couldn’t hide the gentle sobbing from Jim. I was all business. I wanted him to know I loved him and he was the greatest husband and were the kids up? I need to tell them of my love for them……again with the gentle sobbing. Jim’s like, OK…..I’ll see you soon…bye? I had taken care of business. I squeezed the shoulders of my brave friends in front of me….and said my goodbyes….when suddenly the car stopped. I didn’t hear a loud crash and as far as I could tell..there were no flames….is it possible? Are we home….safe? Yes. It was over and we had lived to talk about it. Not frequently though. The driver? Oblivious. My driving scared you? Really? What did I do? You were afraid? Really? Yes. Really.
I am studying the Sermon on the Mount right now (this book has been extremely helpful). One thing I have been enjoying lately is trying to use poetry as a means of slowing down and really meditating on a small passage of scripture. The result isn’t so much a good poem, it is that I have pondered scripture throughout the day more than I usually would.
Matthew 5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
Meditation on Matthew 5:1-2
The all-seeing One
Confines His gaze
To a Hebrew crowd
Gathered that day
Through the dim glass
I strain to see
My face in the crowd
All present One
Confines His path
Climbs the mount
Sits on the grass
And He that spoke
And there was light
His words of life
Words of death
Would they be
Had He not also
Metro Moms: Redemptive Speech. I am really going to go back through this series and read it carefully. It is full of wisdom and grace about a topic I need to revisit often!
If you haven’t discovered it yet, you might try eavesdropping on Covenant Fellowship’s church family blog. If you don’t want to add a daily read to your list, consider going there on Tuesdays when the ladies share godly lady-stuff. All of these ladies offer wisdom, but my favorite is Trish Donahue. Girlfriend can write!!! Here’s a sample of Trish’s writing.
*I originally posted this in 2005, and three years later it still expresses what I am learning more and more…life is zooming by. I want to savor every part of this day with my kiddos rather than reminisce about the past, or wonder about the future.
It was the morning we were to go home after a seven night cruise to Bermuda (celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary). I had one of those early morning dreams that are just beyond the brink of consciousness. In my dream we arrived home but my twins were toddlers again. For five minutes I saw them and felt them and experienced again the essence of their toddler selves. It was so real that when Jason woke me, reality felt more like the dream. It took a minute, but I started to weep. I am even crying now because I know that the dream is the closest I will ever get to having them back again at that age. I want to jump back into it and squeeze those chubby bodies again. I want to hear the crinkling diapers as they do their one-arm moving toddler run. I want to rub my lips on their fuzzy half-haired heads. I want to hear the lisps, and smell their morning cheeks. I want to hold a little padded hand, and slide a chubby foot into a sock with grips. A video simply can’t capture it. The dream came closer. But truly, I can never go back.
It is a bitter sweet reminder of what the gray haired ladies always say in line at the grocery store, “It goes so fast!” Those early days I thought to myself, “Well, it didn’t go fast today, lady!” But I politely nodded and smiled. It is going fast. Too fast. With new resolve I am going to take those hundred-elbow and knee bodies and hold them tight today. I am going to run my fingers through morning hair spikes. I’m going to memorize Izzy’s pre-big teeth face; and Josh’s too big for his face teeth. I’m going to smell their just got out of the shower skin. I’m going to listen to their adventures, and corny jokes, and giggles. I’m going to watch every karate chop and kick, and cheer every football move, and count while they hold their breath under water. I’m going to cherish the hip height hugs on Sunday during worship and the daily prayer to “have a good time today”.
I am grateful for the painful gift of that dream the other morning. As my sister always says, I do wish I could take a few of the everyday experiences of life and put them in a box to open when I am old and then take them out and live them again. It can’t happen, but I can savor my children today, and not miss the opportunity to experience them and enjoy them because I know my only other access to today might be a fleeting five minute dream five years from now.
One of the many blessings of coming to Covenant of Grace Church has been getting to know Marcia Walter. In this dear, Titus 2 woman, I observe so many evidences of God’s grace, but I will limit myself to three qualities I admire in Marcia.
First, Marcia is a woman who lives her life oriented to her husband’s needs and desires. Her husband Jim has had several surgeries over the last two years and Marcia has heroically served him, and nursed him back to health. Though she enjoys meeting with other ladies, shopping, and other outings, for many months Marcia restricted all of her outside activity in order to serve Jim better. She did so joyfully, and with much grace. Her counsel to me many times is to “love your man!”
Second, Marcia is an encourager. Though she prefers not to be in front of large groups, Marcia has a powerful one on one ministry to the younger women in our church. She selflessly acknowledges grace and giftings in other ladies. She is quick to give a compliment or offer a hug. Her prayers are heartfelt, meaningful, and insightful. I know that she has personally encouraged me many times while I am transitioning from Maryland to Ohio.
Third, Marcia excels in hospitality. If you have ever had the privilege of going to the Walter’s house for a meal, you know what I mean. Not only is the food always outstanding (Jim likes to cook as well and they make quite a team), but the atmosphere of the home is warm and soothing. Marcia loves homemaking. So many items making up her decor represent memories and people whom she has loved over the years. It is a joy to learn from her highly organized and inviting home management style.
Happy Birthday, Marcia. I am so grateful for our friendship and look forward to serving our husbands as they labor together for the furtherance of the Gospel.
I received an email the other day requesting ideas for devotionals to use with children. Currently our children’s church program has a feature called “get into the story” where we use a guide based on what the kids did in Sunday school. It has a daily devotional we read each day with the kids. The curriculum is called God’s Story and we are so grateful to God for this God-centered, gospel centered curriculum. A huge thanks to Marty Machowski for writing it. It has been a wonderful means of grace to our family.
We have enjoyed a variety of resources for our children’s spiritual growth and development over the years. Some of our all time favorites are:
The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones
The Gospel for Children by John B. Leuzarder
All of the Seeds Scripture Memory music
As the boys have grown older, we have them read their Bibles and periodically they use a journal and write one sentence about what they learned about man and one sentence about what they learned about God. It was a suggestion we originally read about here.
What about you ladies? What are some of your favorite resources for devotions with the children? Please leave comments or write about it on your blog and let us know when you do!
I know most of you who read this already visit the GirlTalk blog regularly, but I want to draw attention to the following quote by Carolyn Mahaney because I thought it was soooooo helpful.
Faith toward God is the foundation of effective mothering. Did you catch that? Here it is again: Faith toward God is the foundation of effective mothering. Success as a mother doesn’t begin with hard work or sound principles or consistent discipline (as necessary as these are). It begins with God: His character, His faithfulness, His promises, His sovereignty. And as our understanding of these truths increases, so will our faith for mothering. You see, it is relatively easy to implement new practices in parenting. But if our practices (no matter how useful) aren’t motivated by faith, they will be fruitless.
So often I parent by fear rather than faith. It looks like this:
Fear motivation: When I notice a sin pattern emerge in one of my children I fear that if I don’t get it “under control” now they will be derailed for life.
Faith motivation: When I notice a sin pattern emerge in one of my children I am in awe that God would see fit to reveal to me where He is at work in my child’s life, and invite me to be an instrument of change on their behalf.
Fear: I look at the world around me and fear for my boys because the society is so sexually charged; and fear for my daughter because feminism is everywhere!
Faith: I look at the world around me and thank God that He has seen fit to provide outstanding teaching about lust, as well as the roles of biblical manhood and womanhood. By faith I can teach them these things and believe that they will be a light in the darkness.
Fear: I panic that my sins against my children will damage them forever.
Faith: I believe that God is so amazingly redemptive, that somehow He is able to use even my shortcomings in the lives of my children for His glory.
Fear: I read a parenting book and think to myself, “we are all doomed because I will never be able to implement all of this stuff!”
Faith: I read a parenting book and think, “yes, I am weak…but He is strong, and His power is perfected in my weakness!”
God, as I parent these precious children that you have blessed me with, help me to do so by faith in You, and not by faith in my own abilities. If the success of parenting rested on me, there would be much reason to fear. However, Your character, Your promises, Your sovereignty, and Your faithfulness I have seen over and over in Your Word, in my life, and in the lives of each of my children therefore my heart is at peace and full of joyful anticipation for what You are doing and will do in my family.