Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Boo-hoo, had to take Oliver to the pound today. He has gotten out too many times and bothered people walking by. He is just not a good "town" dog. We have known that for awhile but just not faced it. I am praying (God cares for the beasts, too) that Oliver finds a good home with lots of space to roam and other dogs to play with. Please pray for Oliver and for us...he was part of our family.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Jesse and I have found our church home. We have been attending for a year, gave our testimony on Sunday and officially became members. What a wonderful gift that God has given us!

We have been searching for quite some time. We've attended many different churches since leaving the World Wide Church of God in 1997. We have met so many nice people and heard some wonderful messages. We have had some unique experiences like unknowingly attending a "spirit-filled" church once...most of the service was in tongues! We have had good, bad, ups and downs. I am not sure why we have been led down this path, but I'm glad. Those experiences helped to define us and build our character. We can't always see what God has in store for us, but it is always good.


I love this passage by Kay Arthur in her book Lord, I need grace to make it today ,it makes so much sense to me:

"Those who are genuinely saved and who serve the Lord fall into two categories: those who serve out of "knowledge" and duty and those who serve out of a biblical understanding of the awareness of the unfathomable love and grace of God." She goes on to say that those who fall into the first category hold rigidly to the Law and struggle with God's unconditional love and acceptance.

I just can't study and write enough about the Grace of God. There is no end to the depth of His love and acceptance. I was so thirsty for His grace coming from a legalistic church years ago and I can scarcely contain my joy as I fill up and renew my mind, learning about that grace.

Kay says "The grace of God puts us into God's "forever family". Within the family, each member is to serve God according to the grace God gives him." It is all about His grace!!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Today, while watching Jesse shave..."Daddy, are you mowing your face?".

Beautiful sunset tonight...Julia and I took Oliver for a walk. Of course he got loose and had to chase some cats. Tomorrow is the VBS program and Jesse and I will give our testimony in church. Then a picnic after. 3 picnics in a row...Friday, Sat and Sunday.

I was sad to see the "cap and trade" deal go through but not surprised. God has it all in His hands so we need not worry.

Friday, June 26, 2009

VBS over!

Whew! What a week! I am exhausted and so are my kids. Everyone has been very involved this week and I believe it was a great success!! My house is destroyed from being gone all week....a huge pile of clean laundry is in the middle of the living room and my kitchen is a catastrophe, not to mention the bedrooms. I hope to try and get caught up next week.

Tonight we are having a combined birthday party for Thomas and Colton (turns 17 on July 2) at a neat nature preserve nearby. We are expecting about 55 people, so should be fun, if we don't get rained out! For dinner we are having loose meats, chips, watermelon and cup cakes for dessert.

Jesse, Colton and I saw Transformers last night. I wish that I had skipped it. I was tired of the robot battles pretty quick into the movie and was bored long into it. Oh well! I am looking forward to 2012 that will be coming out in the Fall... I love disaster movies.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Small update

VBS is going great! The youth is doing an excellent job with their skits, puppet shows, teaching etc. I have my hands full with the 3-4 year old group, plus Anna, who hates the nursery. On a down note, she seems to have come down with the flu...has a fever and has been vomiting all afternoon. Just lovely! I was hoping summer would give us a break from those darn sicknesses.

It was incredibly hot today with a heat index above 100 degrees. The air felt like water!

The kids have really enjoyed swimming at the local pool. We celebrated my MIL's 71st bday with a small lunch at the house after VBS. Jesse grilled hamburgers and Lori made a cake. Then they all went to the pool with their cousins.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


My youngest boy will celebrate his 3rd birthday on Friday!!! He is such a little dear..our only Florida born child. I can't believe 3 years have gone by already!!! My sister always sends the best birthday packages for the kids and Thomas's was no exception. He received a large box with lots of goodies---Thanks, Cherrie!!!! I didn't give him anything yet except for his "awesome" (his words) spider man card and Spider man tenny shoes. He was shaking with excitement while opening his card and putting on his shoes. He is now carrying the card around and keeps asking me what Spider Man is saying.

Speaking of birthdays, my new friend, Heather at Arrowsprings just welcomed the sweetest little baby boy into her family (her 11th baby). Congratulations, Heather!!!!

Happy Father's Day!!

We had a nice time at the reunion yesterday. It is a reunion of the descendants of Jesse's Great Grandparents...Glenn & Vara Squires. He was a minister and together they had 4 daughters...Dorothy, Helen, Mary Elizabeth and Jesse's Grandma, Ruth. Grandma Ruth has 5 children...her second born, Merriel is my MIL. The reunion took place in Clear Lake, Iowa. It is a beautiful place on a large lake. Lots of cool shops and restaurants downtown and a big Central Park. After the reunion, we went to a great Mexican Restaurant and then headed home....3.5 hours away. It was a long day.

We rested today and did not go to church as we got home around midnight. Jesse and I are hoping to become members of the church we are attending and we both worked on our testimonies that we will present to the congregation.

This afternoon Jesse took off to go see his dad and I dropped Colton, Carlina and Julia off at the church to work on VBS which begins tomorrow!!!! They have the sanctuary decorated like outer space.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Kids will be kids...

Two of my children require supervised play....they can wreak havoc when I do not watch them constantly. They have so much fun together that I just cannot forbid them from playing even though I have to watch them every second. I'm talking about the dog and the bunny of course..(who did you think I was talking about?). They have a merry time chasing each other, chewing on each other's faces (yes, they really do!) and playing hide and seek. I have to make sure the bunny doesn't chew on any electrical cords (he has almost gotten electrocuted twice) and that Oliver doesn't get too rough. They are really fun to watch. The bunny will attack Oliver..jump super high in the air in a crazy ninja offensive rabbit move. Right now he is sitting on Oliver's back..huh?

Also, the boys and Jesse are setting up a huge train track on the table. They are so thrilled to have him home today.

Rainy day...

Woke up to more rain...everything is so green and growing so fast. The kids stayed up too last and barely made it up in time to get to Driver's Ed this morning. The 3 older ones have been working on VBS with other members of the youth group...it should be hilarious. Colton has a huge paper-mache head that he will wear to portray one of the characters....I think it will scare the little ones to death. Speaking of that, Jesse brought home a box turtle and put him in the bathtub...it gave Thomas a terrible fright.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Daily things that I am doing.....

1. Browsing Target, Walmart etc. for a shower curtain that will match our bathroom....what do you think?

2. Learning all of the countries in Africa....(I love geography but my knowledge is severely lacking at times!!)

3. Intently studying Old Earth Creationism and New Earth Creationism sites and becoming quite confused in the process.

4. Closely watching what is going on in Iran.

5. Trying to stay cool--lemonade, fans and grilling.

6. Dishes, laundry and lots of other household stuff:)

7. The kids and I are reviewing putting on the armor of God.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We had a wonderful time at the wedding. Sarah is Jesse's sisters daughter. She was 10 months old when Jesse and I got married and now getting married herself.

We all enjoyed the ceremony (outdoors in a gorgeous state park), a yummy catered meal and a dance. The young kids had a blast playing outside around the reception building...it was perfect weather. Garrett was a "dance floor sensation". He boogied on the floor for a whole hour and was really good!

Also, got some photos of Jesse and his siblings (Debbie, Lori, Joe & Jamey).

Friday, June 12, 2009


My dear Grandmother died today, June 12, 2009. She is no longer suffering, but with the Lord that she loved. Although I never lived close to her, I will miss her. Once a year visits (when I was a child), cards, letters and conversations on the phone were all so special to me.

Grandma was born Helen Aileen Stamp, October 21, 1917 in Illinois. She later changed her name to Eileen and dropped the middle name. She lived on a farm with her mom, dad, 3 older step-brothers (from her mom’s first marriage, which ended when her husband died of pneumonia), 1 older brother, a younger sister and younger twin brothers. She told me stories of riding to school on a horse (4 children on 1 horse!). It was a one room school house. When they got to school, the horse would return home and the kids would have to walk home.

Their family later moved to Pennsylvania. Grandma’s mother, Sarah, had many health problems and some problems were exacerbated when her oldest son, James, died in a coal mining accident. Grandma’s father ran a gas station. Grandma once told me that she had to quit school to take care of her mom, who continued to suffer from declining health. She regretted having to quit school. However, this shows what kind of person my Grandma was…she put other people first.

She met my Grandfather and fell in love. He was very handsome with thick, wavy hair and deep blue eyes. They married and had 3 children. My Grandfather was a steel worker (he died Feb 1997) and my Grandmother stayed home and raised the children. Grandma told me that one of the best days of her life was when she had my mother (Linda). She already had one daughter (Patty) and was so thrilled to have her two little girls. 5 years after my mom, she had her son, Tom. Grandma loved to work outside in her garden and yard. She didn’t have an easy life, as my Grandfather suffered from depression and was an alcoholic. She stayed with him (through many very hard times) and (according to my mom) always treated him very good.

My mom, sister and I would fly out to see Grandma and Grandpa every May, after school let out. We would stay for 2 weeks. I loved their green, hilly yard ringed with gorgeous peony bushes. We had fun playing with cousins, going out to eat, to parks, church and on small road trips. Grandma always had neat gifts for Cherrie and I. The last time I saw her was in 2004 at my cousin’s wedding in Florida. She looked great, seemed to never age.

Grandma took care of her husband when he was going through Parkinson’s disease. She took care of her brother and sister-in-law through their illnesses and helped with the care of another brother. She was a caring, loving person.

Grandma loved God and was a faithful prayer warrior. You could always count on Grandma to pray for you. She attended church every week and had lots of friends. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh (my sister and I were reminiscing about her contagious laugh). She loved board games…yahtzee, scrabble and loved crossword puzzles. She was very stylish and liked to shop for clothes. She could crochet beautiful afghans.

I am so thankful that I know exactly where Grandma is. She is free from pain, fear, hunger, worry and all other things that come as a result of sin. Jesus was her Lord and Savior and she is enjoying heavenly bliss.

Eileen Sarver October 21, 1917-June 12, 2009

A wonderful reason to homeschool...

(I found a link to this post here).......the article is Books and Bairns.

Snakes and spiders...

Summertime brings lots of critters out of hiding. Yesterday, Jesse brought home a mother garter snake and her baby. The baby urped up a giant night crawler and then ate it again (shudder!). We have also seen just about every kind of spider one can imagine in our house. I personally like spiders (except for the dreaded brown recluse), but the kids detest them.

Mom brought over a cute pink harness for the bunny yesterday and we took him for a walk (hop?). It looked kind of ridiculous. The harness has lots of bling on it....looks more suitable for a spoiled little dog. The bunny had fun but was exhausted when we put him back in his cage. All he does is eat and sleep, afterall.

few more pics...

Sink, shower, mirror/medicine cabinet

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bathroom pics

These are rough...we still have painting and finish work to do. This room used to be a tiny bedroom...Garrett and Thomas had bunkbeds in there and a dresser.


The basics are completed except for the finishing touches. Jesse is not totally happy with the job that our contractors did...they were pretty sloppy. We are not going to have them do any more work for us.

Well, this will be short...I need to clean my house. The whole thing is a mess!! We got some business taken care of for Jesse's dad yesterday...will be able to pay his bills and get his mail. That was very time consuming but glad to get it done.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Busy day...busy month!

We bought pretty blue paint for the bathroom today...it's supposed to be done tomorrow evening!!!

Today was cloudy but turned out to be a beautiful day...very sunny yet nice and cool. Jesse and I had a meeting about our insurance this morning and afterwards, drove through McD's. The lady we talked to gushed about Anna the whole time. Kept saying she looked just like a little dolly, which of course, I agree with!! Once home, we moved furniture around. Got rid of our hideous loveseat and put a desk in its place. We grilled chicken legs for dinner with salad, beans and applesauce. Carlina made brownies and we had brownie sundaes for dessert.

Tonight, bible study at the church. On a praise note.....my homeschool supervising teacher said that all the materials that I requested were approved!! Hooray!! That means Rosetta Stone Spanish, which I am thrilled about.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mixed up captions..

The captions didn't work right below...
in case you didn't know-
Oliver is the dog and Colton is the boy, lol!

Random pictures.....

Colton and his "bald" haircut.

Oliver-doesn't he look pitiful?

Thomas-full of glee-when he wants me to pick him up he says "Can I hold you?". I asked him yesterday "How about some lunch?"...and he replied "No, how about some hold you?".

Anna is so happy to grab Kumquat's ear. He is very tolerant. Kumquat is Carlina's kitty.

What will the week hold?

It certainly is a cold morning...53 when I first checked the temp. Colton and Carlina are off to Driver's Ed...or Driver's Dread, as Carlina has phrased it. The workmen are supposed to come and work on the bathroom today...hope to have it finished by tomorrow night! Julia is already obsessing over paint colors...she is so excited to decorate the new bathroom.

Katie is going to get her hair trimmed today, in preparation for the wedding. She wants to grow it out really long (sigh)...so we will just continue to get it trimmed. She has a hard time taking care of it. Carlina, Julia and Katie are all going to wear their Easter dresses to the wedding (Debbie's daughter, Sarah and fiance, Nick). I ordered Alicia a dress from Target and hope it will get here sometime this week. I am going to go pretty casual. Sarah was just a little 10 month old baby when Jesse and I got married...does make one feel old! Sarah and Nick live in Oklahoma on a military base (Nick is in the Air Force). They are both working full-time and going to school at night.

Just heard from Mom, this morning. Grandma had to be transferred to the hospital in the night. Her lungs are filling up with fluid and she is coughing up blood. Please pray for her peace and comfort and that she doesn't have prolonged suffering.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lastest happenings..in no particular order....

***getting ready for VBS-Operation Space theme from AIG. I am going to lead the 3-4 year old class with Julia as my helper.

***Talked to my friend Leah K. (in Texas) who celebrated her bday on Sat. We have been friends for 21 years. Leah-remember the rotten orange???!!!

***Church today. Listened to a couple who are following the Lord's lead by giving up being the music director at a college to move to Mexico to be missionaries. They sold their house and most everything else and will be ministering in the "circle of silence".

***fixed a smorgasbord after church, including chicken nuggets, spaghetti with garlic toast, hotdogs, apples and little debbies:)

Friday, June 5, 2009


I receive excellent devotionals online from Alpha Omega Publishing. This is the one I got today:

New Birth
Friday / June 05, 2009

"And he that winneth souls is wise" (Proverbs 11:30b).

As I tucked my two oldest children into their bunk beds, I felt the pull of my own bed calling me. Our homeschooling family had relocated near our mission organization's headquarters, so my husband and I could receive extensive child evangelism training. Late nights in preparing teaching visuals for our training lessons, studying biblical doctrine in-depth, and maintaining our homeschooling schedule had frazzled us both mentally and physically. Each night we were half asleep before we even laid our heads on the pillow, and tonight was no different. However, as I reached to turn out the light after reading a story to our oldest son and daughter, my daughter asked, "Mom, how can I get to heaven?" Smiling, I realized this was the moment I had been praying for since the day she was born. God was giving me the amazing gift of letting me be the one to guide my child through her second birth. Praying for extra physical strength and God's divine wisdom, I proceeded to share the message of salvation with both my daughter and my son that night. "How fitting," I thought as I rejoiced in their decision to accept Christ. "Christ taught me the Scripture I needed to know during our training in order to lead my own children to Him first."

Soul winners are not just born. They're taught, trained, and motivated by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, when Jesus was here on earth, He took three years to teach and train His disciples the art of soul winning. However, even with all the modern witnessing techniques of today, winning souls is still ineffective without the Holy Spirit's leading and conviction. Only God can illuminate the mind of unbelieving children or adults, convict their hearts of their sinful condition, and move their wills to respond in faith.

Are you prepared to share the hope that lies within you (1 Peter 3:15)? As a Christian homeschooling parent, God says you're part of a witnessing team (Acts 5:32). Yielded and obedient to the Holy Spirit, you have the amazing privilege of leading countless souls to the Savior of the world, starting with your own family. No matter what method you use, be prepared to share the Gospel and enjoy the greatest privilege of being a homeschooling parent-leading your child to Christ.

Father God, leading our children to a saving knowledge of You is one reason we homeschool. Please use me to teach them about You, and to invite them to receive You as Savior and Lord. In Jesus' saving name, Amen.

I'm back

I am so happy to be back...home is good, especially with a very grumpy 2-year old and an 8 month old baby!!

We enjoyed the Henry Doorly Zoo, Adventureland, camping one night at Thomas Mitchell park near Des Moines and staying in a hotel on the way home...we were rained out- unfortunately- our last 2 nights, so we came home a day early. Ollie was soo happy to see us!!

The state park was gorgeous and I wish that we could have spent more time there. Very green with a stream running through and a beautiful hiking trail through the forest. That was the best part of the trip! The kids enjoyed both the zoo and Adventureland and wore Jesse and I out!!!

Our bathroom project is in full swing and things are crazy around here! We are getting ready for our niece's wedding on Saturday (13th) and Driver's Ed begins Monday. June will be a busy month!!!!