Who writes this stuff?

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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Friday, May 25, 2012

My birthday repost

 It has become a theme now for me to repost this every year around my birthday. It was first written in 2009, which, although it was only 3 years ago, seems a lifetime ago. Andy was in Afghanistan. When he is gone, life is different. But...

 In all things, God remains good. The most recent verse I have had written on a note card next to my bed, always within easy sight, is Job 2:10b. "'What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips."

 That is my goal. That "His praise shall continually be in my mouth"(Ps 34:1) rather then sin with my lips.
 There are lots of things I can do with my mouth. I choose to use the time I have to automatically; Pray. Praise. Bless.


 Just like in this story:

A post from the road
We are somewhere in Louisianna, at a Comfort Inn. My parents and children are in the room next door. Two of my sisters and a friend are in the beds behind me. I should be sleeping, and preparing for another day on the road tomorrow.
But right this minute I am just so very full. Full of Joy. Full of Faith. Full of Hope.
I have to let some of it out before I can attempt to sleep.

A few days ago I was reading a devotional about Nehemiah. They basis of the reading was pointing out in the second chapter when the king asks him why he is sad, Nehemiah is terrified but his first reaction is to pray.
My absolute first thought when reading this was, "well duh!"

After reading through the encouraging devotional concerning this subject I was actually in some ways disheartened. I was so saddened by the thought that there are some people, God fearing Christian people who love Jesus with their whole heart, who would not have their first reaction be prayer. What a sad, sad, thing to focus on fear, or any emotion really. How very blessed I am that I was taught from my earliest memories to place absolutely everything at the feet of God.

So, I have been thinking about this scripture, and prayer, and my amazing family a lot over the last couple of days.
After spending a lot of hours in the van with my parents and Kelsey driving to TX, I have had plenty of opportunity to NOT like my family. But none of those little nitpicky things matter. Honestly, it may drive me a little batty the way my dad drives, or they way my mom fusses at the way he drives, but those things don't change what really matters.
We were raised right. That is just a wonderful thing to have!

Now, on the way back to GA, we have Mary and her roommate Lindsay with us, and a second car. The van is loaded down with all the girls stuff, my parents, and my kids. The car has the four of us girls. As we were driving down the road this evening a song came on about God being our healer, and our portion, and something about trust. For some reason I just lost it. I was suddenly tired of being sick, tired of asking for healing. Tired of waiting for my sister to be well, and have a baby. For most of my life my parents have taken me to healing services, had me prayed over by anyone with that gift, asked repeatedly for God to step in.

The answer has always been Not right now.

The healing has always been for my heart, and my attitude, and my ability to cheerfully be diabetic, willingly use my disease as a ministry. I have had plenty of healing, and I wouldn't trade it for physical healing - not for a minute.

But for some reason this new disorder, these blackouts, or atypical migraines, or whatever they are - they are sapping my ability to cheerfully "deal". Added to that my unbelievable hurt for my little sister's physical and emotional pain, and the fact that my hubby is gone and our adoption is still delayed...
I guess I was a walking timebomb full of tears.

But here is the amazing part. Kelsey reached over and grabbed one hand. Mary reached up from the back seat for another hand. And we poured out our tears to our Father. Fears and hurt. Hopes and dreams. Old and new. As a family, automatically.
We were missing one sister, but she was definitely included, and prayed for.

I am so very thankful for my family. I am so glad that our automatic response, to pain or joy, is to take it to Jesus.
Faith. Joy. Hope. Truth. That is what we have, as well as who we are.

 I adore having sisters.
 Obviously, in three years things have changed. But our Savior stays in the center of our hurts, and our praises.

 Kelsey Joy, Emilee Hope, Bethany Ruth, (so I get to be Truth) and Mary Faith
What a combo we make!
 We certainly don't stick inside the frame of what is expected of us! 

 1993? In our Easter finery.
1996 on our way to India.

2012 and a rogue bee.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Green, Greener, Greenest

This year we took on something new.

 We have always dabbled a little, experimented perhaps you would say, in gardening. Cherry tomatoes have been successful several times. We had a few straggling squash one year. Some volunteer potatoes after a science experiment.

 But this year we went all out.

 Found a raised bed at Goodwill. Filled it with organic soil. (definitely the expensive part!) Planted seeds.
 When Dane and Ellen were here in late Feb. we had the help of the masters. Dane is passionate about his garden. He helped the boys get their first few seeds in the ground, and gave me some pointers for scheduling the rest of the planting. 

 Just a few weeks later we had the first showings of peas
and spinach.

We were gone for the wedding at the end of March, but when we got back, it was time for some serious business. And when Andy takes a project on, he does not go half way. 

So we added on. 

And I forgot to take pictures for the entire month of April. 

But things were growing! 
May 10th
 A view of our extended bed - and the "fence" we had to add to keep Daisy out. She thought that cucumbers and orange peppers were very comfortable. Smash.
 An additional bed. Potatoes and herbs. 
With another lovely "fence", and a slight sun shade so the herbs don't get too much sun. 
 Isn't Thyme simply beautiful, however fragile, and perishable, it may be.
Take that as you wish.
 Little green Cherry Tomatoes
 Our first batch of spinach was a flop, but crop number two, planted immediately after the wedding was looking good on May 10th. 
 However, when the boys planted their carrots, the packet of seeds was spilled in unexpected places. 
Off to the left in this picture, in what is supposed to be spinach territory, is a huge patch of carrots. 

I took some more pictures today, just to show what can happen in 10 days - 

 The tomatoes are going crazy, but more importantly, the squash and zucchini are huge! 
The poor little okra look dwarfed. 

 The cucumbers are blooming
 Andy found some onions in the back of the pantry that had started sprouting. He planted them. They keep sprouting. 
 I have had every intention of looking up if there is any point in them being there - but so far that hasn't been high on my priority list. I just let them sit there and sprout. As long as they don't take too many nutrients from my peas and cucumbers they are welcome to stay. 
 My beautiful herbs
 Potatoes pushing through with power.
 But that poor little spinach... It just doesn't seem to make any progress. 
 The carrots in the spinach area? Looking wonderful. 
Slightly haphazard (perhaps because they were spilled?!!) and definitely in need of thinning, but growing strong.
The carrots in their own place? A little slower to grow, but they are trying. 

 Last but not least, our beautiful peas. 
(I always show a picture of this one, partly because it is on the corner and easiest to get to with my camera, but as luck would have it, it seems to be the strongest and healthiest too!)

They gave us our first "crop" of the year. 

Not enough for a meal, but some really good snacking!
(Some sneaky hands that will remain unnamed may have snagged a few before the photographer could get a picture) 

Through it all, my love affair with "weeds" remains strong. 

The things that grow wild, and sneak through the fence from the neighbor's yard. 

 How much more can you ask for? 

These lovely little faces may not provide sustenance for my body, but what they provide for my soul cannot be measured. 
Especially when my boys come and find me with the specific goal of bringing me out to see these beautiful little pieces of sunshine. 

Green, greener, greenest...
Yellow and white too!

 I'll keep you posted on our adventure in organic gardening. I read that fish tank water was fabulous for them. All that natural nastiness was perfect fertilizer. So we gave it a try last night. It was the perfect inspiration to finally clean the frog tank. 
 But then I got to worrying if firebelly toad water was going to be a negative instead of a positive! So far, so good. From last night when we gave the water 'til today when I took the pictures no damage done. 
 Now I will just have to go wondering through the wide world of Google to see if anyone has any ideas about what, or shall I say who, is eating my okra leaves. And how to get them to stop - without poison. 

 What a grand adventure this is! 
 (and we have the peas to prove it!) 

I hope you are having a very green May also!


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

My Birthday Boy

 I will have a nine year old soon.


 Yes, it is the same every year, but seriously, how did he get so old? 

It seems just the other day...
 9lb, 5ounces, 20in
One of our first family pictures
Little chunky butt
Trying not to get in trouble...

Awesome milk mustache

 Amazed by the beach, the sunset, and his daddy. 
This was a last little vacation to the beach before we left CA. Soon after Andy left for a year in Korea and I found out he had left me with a little present growing inside. (Zion!)

 We got Canaan a bike (again) this year. 
2nd birthday
5th birthday
Last year, for his 8th. 
And now, for his 9th. 
After the big wreck of last year, the old one has never recovered. The frame of the front wheel was bent and the chain fell off every five minutes. Truly, I'm barely exaggerating. One afternoon after his usual "put the chain back on" repair, he decided to take the bike apart instead.

 He and Daddy put it back together later on, but we started keeping our eyes open for good deals on a new bike after that! As much as I usually abhor the place, I have to be thankful for Walmart this time.

 We are in the middle of soccer season right now. I have always been the "don't push competition on them" type of mom. Which I am realizing is stupid. In their life some people are going to be first place, and others are going to be last. They have to learn to practice, and work with a team. They have to learn that they cannot always be the best at everything. (even though I tend to let them beat me at Uno or Monopoly if I get the chance) They have to learn to find the enjoyment in what they are doing, even if it is hard work.

 Zion was on the waiting list and didn't get a spot. I waited too long to get him signed up. Luckily, Canaan made it in while there were still openings. Zion usually goes to practice with his brother and plays around with the ball, so he is getting the idea of how to play. Just this week I signed them both up for a one week "summer camp" - continuing their soccer training. I'm not going to make them play soccer forever if they end up not liking it. But we already bought the shin guards and balls. Might as well give it a try this summer, right? In the meantime, look how cute!

 So, my little Soccer player runs and kicks, or guards and protects, or sometimes gets distracted and  stares into lala land until his dad (who stands on the side lines giving direction the entire time) gets his attention and tells him where to stand. And I love it. Go Golden Eagles!!!