Category Archives: Thanks

Tornado Clean Up, Day #2

Today, we went back to the Diamond Creek Subdivision.  What was a gorgeous neighborhood filled with nice brick homes, a new elementary school, and beautiful lake now has parts that are trash-laden and literally covered with debris.

Our newest friends, also homeschoolers, joined us for some hours of work.  It was amazing to see just how much had been done in one day.  The community of Forney should be extremely proud of its’ people, volunteers, firemen, policemen, church congregations, businesses, etc.  I am amazed to see how many came from outside of the city.  They pick up trash, rake fields, deliver water and food, encourage each other, and all the while fighting the scorching sun, fire ants, nails, glass, and weeds.

Amidst burning skin, cuts, and sore legs the people still come and work.  And work.  And work.

It’s no easy chore.  Even picking up trash is exponentially difficult due to the small size and type of each item.  It is seriously like a war zone in places.  Fields are littered with debris — roof shingles and plywood that have been reduced to sizes averaging around three or four inches in diameter.

We worked with one crew to fill trash bags for a while, but when the bags were gone, we began scouring the field for larger items to place in one big pile.  Our thinking was that the crews would be able to more easily scoop up the debris if it were in a pile.

There has been so much work done, but there is SO much more to do!  Help is still seriously needed.

Even with clean up being done, I made the comment today that it would be a while before any children could play in the beautiful fields surrounding this neighborhood.  There is so much glass and nails it would be extremely risky.

The elementary school sustained roof, window, and air conditioning damage, but I hear it will be reopened next week.  Still, the children will surely have limited play time as there is no playground equipment anymore.  Even most all the fences that surround the schoolyard have been destroyed.  Again, I can only imagine what may still be in the grass next to the school.

Our little group of six worked until our bodies wouldn’t keep up with our will.  We passed out bottled waters, filled three or four bags of trash, and then made what we thought was a pretty big pile of materials in the field.

Unfortunately, the pile is in a big messy field.  It’s hard to see in these pictures because the grass is tall, but from a distance, the field looks relatively clean.  However, when you begin walking through it, there are huge boards, car pieces, metal pieces, housing materials, fence posts,….more than you can imagine just laying everywhere within that tall grass.  Add to that the millions of smaller roof shingles, insulation, paper, etc and it will be a while before it is all picked up.

All this mess from a very powerful EF-3 tornado, and yet I am still absolutely humbled by the fact that there was not one loss of life.

 A stop at the local ice cream parlor rejuvenated us.  There’s nothing like ice cream to keep a group of silly boys going!

(And going, and going, and going….lol!)


Filed under Blessings, Children, Church, Family, Friends, God, Grace, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Life, Missions, Parenting, Thankful Thursday, Thanks, Trials, Weather

Little Boys

I am so blessed to have two little boys!  They brighten my day when I least expect it, and I thought I would share some of it with you…

The five year old:

“Momma, my sunglasses are too little for my eyelashes.”

“Googley”  (The silly word he picked out as a reminder of when an attitude needs adjusting. 

(Negotiation when Daddy tells him to get off the computer game because he needs to work on his sermon)  “Ok, Dad.  Let’s do this…Whoever touches that black chair is 1st to the computer, ok?  1, 2, 3, go!”  (Dad holds him back and then runs ahead to the chair.)       “Googley! Googley Dad!  You can’t do that!”

(When I didn’t hold a door open for him)  “Why you can’t be a gentleman girl, Mom?”

(When he thought he heard a knock at the front door)  “Mom!  That knockin’ at the door…..actually that was God!”

The seven year old:

(While watching “Fireproof”, the movie, the scene is where Kirk Cameron has been trying so hard to make his marriage work, and then is served divorce papers.  He opens the document, scans it, and then slides down to the floor, absolutely devastated.)  “What is that Momma? … Bills?”

(Passing by road construction in town…)  “Why are all the road workers brown, Mom?”

(While reading in James about orphans and widows…) “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this:  to visit opponents and windows in their distress…”

Today, I’m thankful for my little boys!  I love them!  


Filed under Blessings, Children, Family, Gifts, God, Humor, Joy, Life, Parenting, Thanks




Did you know that the human body has approximately 650 muscles?  I think I used EVERY ONE of them today.  Most certainly, I’ll feel it in the morning, too.  (Along with the open blister on my hand.)

It was a good day — very productive, but very chaotic too.

We started off this morning with “Monster Mommy” declaring that it was WORK DAY!  “Woo hoo!  Hurray!!”, said all four children.  (Well, not really.)

We hauled dirt all day, hoed the garden, added landscape timber edging around it, built a firepit, leveled out the dirt entrance to an outside shed in preparation for cement block covering, picked up trash, organized a shed, washed the dog, and trimmed some limbs. 

Inside, the eldest worked on the house, mopping, scrubbing, providing drinks to the outside workers, and sweeping out the dirt that was continually tracked in by the boys all day.

To celebrate, we spent Family Night outdoors, burning every piece of branch we could find as well as roasting hot dogs and making s’mores.  Yum! 

Highlights of the night….Watching June bugs making their suicidal flight INTO the fire as they burst into flames, stargazing, and the explosion of a soda can that was thrown into the fire.

It took all but about 2 seconds for the youngest to fall asleep, and I’m fading fast, but so appreciate the hard work of everyone at my house today. 

We’re going to try for another outside work day tomorrow to plant the garden, lay the concrete blocks to the entrance of the shed, and maybe even clean out another shed while we’re at it!  —Maybe, lol!

So much to do… little time to do it! 


Filed under Blessings, Children, Family, Life, Thanks

Thankful Thursday

(by Craig)

I’m thankful for…

  1. My family because they take care of me.
  2. Toilet Paper because it’s easy to wipe.
  3. Tea because I love tea.
  4. Video Games because I’m addicted.
  5. My Dad and my Mom because they love me.
  6. Good days because you can have fun outside.
  7. God protecting us so bad guys won’t bust through the windows.
  8. Nintendo because I can play Donkey Kong.
  9. Hunting because I can have meat if we need it.
  10. Applesauce because it tastes very, very good.
  11. Homemade Bread because my Mom made it with love.
  12. Candy because it’s soooooooo good!
  13. Indoor Bathrooms so you don’t have to share other people’s germs.
  14. Chickens because they lay eggs for us.
  15. Rabbits because they are so cudly and cute.
  16. Dogs because they are bred for hunting and some like to cuddle, like Toby.
  17. Cats because they like to sleep so you don’t get scratched all the time.
  18. Mice because if you’re tied up in a rope, they can chew through it to get you loose.
  19. Spiders because they can kill rats.
  20. Bees because they make honey.


Filed under Children, Family, Humor, Life, Love, Thankful Thursday, Thanks

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for:

  1. Last second protection from what could have been a really bad wreck on Tuesday.
  2. The opportunity to teach the boys, without consequence,  the reason for sitting properly in a car with the seatbelt on.
  3. A more organized and productive week.
  4. A daughter and son, who saved me from an asthmatic disaster, by cleaning out the back storage building this week.
  5. The month of March starting on a Sunday.  We have a personalized school calendar where at the beginning of each month the numbers must be moved to create the new month’s calendar.  Since February started on a Sunday, and March starts on a Sunday, all I had to do was add the 29th, 30th, and 31st!  (I know, small to you, but huge to me since I loathe unsticking and resticking all the numbers each month! lol)
  6. Whatever Wednesday — It was really fun last night!
  7.  Blackberry Pomegranate yogurt 🙂
  8. My son’s seizure-free illness this week.
  9. Public libraries.
  10. A freshly mowed yard.
  11. A moment of watching a daughter and both sons jumping on the trampoline WITH the dog!
  12. The duct tape that is holding my daughter’s Infinity together….we might be a red-neck, lol!
  13. A hard working husband who gives to our family beyond all expectation.
  14. Beautiful, sunny and warm weather.
  15. Coupons.
  16. A free field trip to the Ft. Worth Stockyards.
  17. Sight.
  18. The internet.
  19. Watching the boys really get into playing with some of their old toys.
  20. Jesus Christ, who really belongs at the top of this list!


Filed under Blessings, Children, Christ, Family, Gifts, God, Grace, Humor, Jesus, Life, Thankful Thursday, Thanks

Thankful Thursday

For the large AND the small, today I am thankful for:

  1. A husband who loves me despite me.
  2. God, who sustains & reminds me that “it’s all worth it”.
  3. Continual “I love you Mommy”s from my youngest son.
  4. The meatloaf my daughter made this week, her first “real” meal!
  5. The same daughter’s willingness to babysit while I took a girl’s day out with some friends.
  6. Olive Garden bread sticks 😉
  7. Recent “I love you’s” from the eldest daughter.
  8. The ability to homeschool away from home.
  9. My husband’s job and financial provision.
  10. Friends who come to my rescue in chaotic times.
  11. A few days of peace and quiet.
  12. The opportunity for the boys to play outside.
  13. A godly boyfriend for my daughter, and how he really takes good care of her.
  14. Today’s divine and unexplained contact with a long lost sister.
  15. Renewed contact and lunch with my grandmother.
  16. Boys who adore their great-grandmother, despite only seeing her approximately 10-15 times in their whole life.
  17. Hope for renewal in our extended family relationships. 
  18. A tax refund, instead of a tax payment.
  19. Warm and snuggly hugs from my eldest son.
  20. Knowing that spring is just around the corner. 

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Filed under Blessings, Children, Family, Family Relationships, Friends, Gifts, God, Life, Thankful Thursday, Thanks

Resurrection Cookies.

Here we are arriving on the eve of the celebration of the most significant day in history, and I’m realizing that I haven’t even spent time preparing the boys for it!  The six year old has forgotten what Easter is all about, as we found out yesterday.  {{{shame, shame….shaking my head and a big “duh” moment }}}  We’ve discussed it before, and just as I assume that the lesson has sunk in, the next year he forgets.

Wow.  What kind of Christian parent am I?  Do I only talk about the Resurrection in the spring of each year?  Note to self:  I should be audibly focusing on it more throughout the year.

Here I’m homeschooling because of all the anti-Christian things he would have to experience in public school, and I haven’t even placed emphasis on the Resurrection enough for him to remember it from year to year?!  {{hit myself on the head}}

It just serves as a reminder to me that we must constantly focus on our faith being real.  Not just on all the “stories” in the bible, but to show our children that Jesus is living and breathing still today. 

I’m “putting my foot down” with a big stomp…….STOP all the craziness!  Put down the tv remote!  Put away the toys!  Don’t anyone in my family breathe until we’ve visited the importance of this day once again!  Don’t. Even. Blog!!! {{{gasp!!}}}

The Resurrection is the very “meat” of our faith.  Jesus is alive!

We’re making Resurrection Cookies tonight.  The recipe is here

All praise to God, our Father, who presented Himself in the form of man, endured the punishment for our sin on the cross, died and rose again, and Who lives in Heaven even now, loving us in spite of our sin, and making a way for us to be reconciled to Him again.  He is alive!  Thank you Jesus!  You are truly alive!


Filed under Bible, Children, Christ, Easter, Faith, Family, Gifts, God, Grace, Homeschool, Joy, Life, Love, Resurrection, Resurrection Cookies, Thanks, Worship