welcome friends.....thanks for popping in my world....
I'd love to know you've stopped by, so please note that the comment section is now found at the title of each post.


Hello! I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas and are still feeling the spirit of it all....I have been trying to spend as much time with my family and friends as I can this past week. I wasn't planning on blogging and/or spending time online as much but God placed something on my heart when I heard about the one word theme with Bridget Chumbley and Peter Pollock's carnival this week and decided to join in. Forgive the more than normal run-on sentences and thoughts....I am just typing as my heart leads in these early morning hours. Make sure you pop on over to Bridget's place where many friends are sharing their thoughts on love....and I am sure they are grammatically correct, well versed and put together!

The one word theme is love.

Now we happen to be covering nouns and verbs with N's homeschooling......and if School House Rock serves me correctly.....love is a noun and a verb. (btw, if you need a great blast from the past....go to You Tube and watch some of those classic videos!)

Dictionary.com tells us that

love: [luhv]

-noun 1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. 2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child or friend.

-verb~ 1.to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for 2. to need or require; benefit greatly from

-synonyms: Love, affection, devotion all mean a deep and enduring emotional regard, usually for another person. Love may apply to various kinds of regard: the charity of the Creator, reverent adoration toward God or toward a person, the relation of parent and child, the regard of friends for each other, romantic feelings for another person, etc. Affection is a fondness for others that is enduring and tender, but calm. Devotion is an intense love and steadfast, enduring loyalty to a person;

Sounds good to me. And pretty darn simple. We all pretty much know what the world describes as love. We love our children, family and friends. I know I definitely love God in many ways, especially in the "need, benefit greatly from" department. We can love our church, love our jobs (that is not always the case!), try to love our neighbors (again, try is the key word, especially in the hillbilly boonies)....basically, we all know what love "is" and have it in our lives.

But now let's look at the Ultimate Reference Book......The Bible. Let's see what It has to say about love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Now I might step on some toes with this.....I can tell you mine are downright bruised! I am not always loving my children, husband and family/friends with God's definition of love. Of course I love them, I would do anything for them. But in day to day living, I certainly am not always patient. I have my times where I can be downright snappy. I have a habit of bringing up the past when I am hurt or angry. I have times of doubt and discouragement. I can be selfish and self serving. I will admit it.....I sometimes love conditionally. My love for others is sometimes based when they fulfill a condition I require. Or sometimes it waivers based on feelings and emotions.

So although I "boast" on my love of others.....am I really loving others the way God wants me to? Do I really feel love when my kids show disrespect? Do I really feel love and peace in my heart when I force myself to be kind to people who have hurt me in the past? Do I really feel love in my heart when I am holding that grudge or reminding my husband of his shortcomings? Hmmm.....

How thankful I am that God sticks to His definition of love with me.

God waits patiently for me....when I am off doing my own thing, He never gets irritated or anxious. When I came to Him.....filthy and weak.....He wrapped His loving arms around me, filled with kindness and compassion. He did not and does not point out my wrongdoings (more like trainwrecks). He does not place blame or guilt on me. No, He simply embraces me and washes me clean. He loves me unconditionally. He loves me when I am shining His Light, and also when I am in my own murky darkness. He loves me when I am on fire for Him and surrounded by a body of Believers....and even when I choose to push Him aside and travel solo. He loves me when I am on top of the mountain.....and when I am wallowing in the valleys. He loves me when I am serving others.......and also when I am serving myself. He loves me when I am praising His name....and still loves me when I question His ways. God's love is beyond what I (we) expect or deserve. He lets me (us) do what I (we) want, but rejoices when I (we) choose to love Him in return. Bottom line. His love is unconditional, never failing, unwaivering.....it is amazing.

And guess what? He loves you just the same. He loves us all this way. Not sure who needed to hear this today, but something in my heart (God) wanted me to tell you. He wants us to feel the freedom that His love will bring. His love will tear down any walls that have been built up.....His love will bring you to a supernatural place of peace and joy....

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies ~Psalm 36:5

With 2010 coming soon...I hope and pray that I am able to have more of Christ and His unconditional, unfailing love in me. I encourage you to print this out and insert your name in the spaces. Speak these words over yourself every morning. Ask God to pour His love.....His eyes, His hands, His heart into you.....and just see what happens.

________ is patient,
________ is kind.
________ does not envy, it does not boast,
________ is not proud.
________ is not rude,
________ is not self-seeking,
________ is not easily angered,
________ keeps no record of wrongs.
________ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
________ always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I pray you are blessed with a safe and happy new year.....I have "met" so many beautiful people with my blog this past year. So many of you are doing such great things in the name of Jesus....I can't wait to see what God has in store for me as well!

Peace and love~

From our home to yours......

May all Jesus is......
and all He gives....
bless you this Christmas and

Sharing our annual Christmas letter with you.
Please try not to cringe at my first attempt at poetry,
just pretend that it flows nicely. :)


‘Twas the night before Christmas; It’s that time again?
It’s been a full year of blessings, can we get an Amen?

There’s a roof o’er our heads; and our bellies are full
We all have been healthy; For these we are thankful.

With the kids getting older, things were getting too calm
So we decided to start our very own farm.

We have 25+ chickens and six roosters too;
Our chickens are laying eggs of brown, green and blue

There are bunnies and kitties; Our goats total seven;
A perfect sized farm…. Our own slice of Heaven.

Putting Mufasa in charge was a plan that went south;
We were constantly pulling chicks out of his mouth.

We thought something’s missing; should we examine our heads?
So we’re adding a few more….Our goats have been bred.

So, more mouths to feed; Yes, we’ve gone flipped our lids;
But you know we always said we’d love some more “kids”.

Gunner’s almost six four; Star of his team;
Playing for the Celtics is his ultimate dream.

Hunter’s thing is his camera; His MAC, most would envy;
He is def. on his way to making a movie.

Ezra’s hard work paid off after weeks of thirteen
He’s now an official U.S. Young Marine

Nevaeh’s is the one who is running the farm;
There is always a chicken tucked under her arm.

She shovels the poop; She lugs bales of hay
Not one animal will be without love for the day.

We need to live Christmas every single day;
May peace fill your heart; That’s something we pray

And speaking of praying, one thing we hope for
Saying “PLEASE” less, and the words “THANK YOU” more.

Don’t forget about Jesus; For He is the reason
We are able to celebrate this glorious Season.

So there you have it… An update from us;
We hope you are blessed with a Merry Christmas.

Peace and love~ Josh, Michelle and the gang

The angel said unto them...
For unto you is born this day
in the city of David a Savior,
which is Christ the Lord.
~Luke 2:11

Firstborn Son

Throughout the Bible we read of the importance of being the firstborn son. For in Israel the firstborn son was given twice as much of the inheritance as the rest of the sons. Not so sure how that is gonna hold up here in Connecticut. Not looking so hot in the "inheritance" department lately with this economy.....not to mention.....son #2 and #3 might have a beef with this.
(little sis is likely to throw a tantrum as well if word got out)

This weekend we celebrated Gunner's 18th birthday....yes 18!!! Can you believe that? I cannot. I asked Josh when he got so old to have an 18 year old son.

We were not going to let the 20+ inches of beautiful snow that got dumped our way stop us from celebrating this special day. Gunner bundled up, grabbed the shovel and made a path to the truck. He was determined to pick up his girlfriend so that they could spend the day together. After they made it home safely, we made pizza, baked cookies and stayed in comfy clothes for the majority of the day (church was canceled). Then we shoveled out the truck......again......kicked it into 4 wheel drive and all headed out to the Mall later in the evening. It was just the way Gunner wanted to celebrate, a simple day packed with this favorite things in life....family, food and fun. It was perfect in every way.

In light of recent events, you can imagine that this was another very emotional day for me. I kept it together pretty well and decided to hang onto all the joy I could get my heart and hands on. It just blows my mind to think of how quickly 18 years has flown by.....I can't even wrap my head around it all.

To think.....that May 5, 1991.......the day I found out I was pregnant was the turning point in my life. It was day I stopped thinking about me.....and started thinking about Him. Yes.....Him.....God.

It was then, when I was still so lost......that I made a "deal" with God. A deal that if He gave us a healthy child, I would never touch a drug again. Little did I know that God didn't need me to strike any deals to gain His grace.

It was then, that I started to search. I didn't even know what I was searching for, I just knew that there had to be more in life. Little did I know that God was my Lighthouse, ready to show me the Way...... had I only taken my eyes off of me and looked Up.

It was then, that He gave me the Ultimate gift. A gift that, in the natural......was only the size of a piece of rice....but brought a supernatural amount of love that I have never felt before. It was the love of a becoming a mother. It was the miraculous gift of carrying this life that was given to me.....a precious and ever so perfect gift from Above.

So here he is......in all his goofy glory. I am probably a little bias, but I have to tell you that he is one of the kindest kids you will ever meet. He has struggled with attention/retention issues all his life (unfortunately, he got that from me) but he never gives up. His sense of humor is off the wall (as you can see in this homecoming/senior photo....he is SO not the "thinker" type) His nickname is The Mayor as he is friends with everyone. He will give you (or a stranger) the shirt off his back. He loves sports, is very competitive (something else that he gets from me!)....he loves music.....he loves laughing....and most of all, he loves Jesus.
At the end of our night.....I gave him a big hug and handed him this note. I hope he keeps it tucked away safe and reads it from time to time as he ventures into this new chapter in his life.

Happy Birthday Gunner!

Dear Gunner~

Words cannot express how proud your dad and I are of you. You are now a man…..but will always be my little boy. You have grown into such a beautiful person….on the inside and out.

Your love of Christ makes my heart swell….always continue to follow Him. In fact, I encourage you to chase Him. He will never let you down. When you keep your eyes fixed on Him, everything else will fall into place in your life. Even when the road in life gets bumpy, remember that He is with you always and will never let you go. It is within those rocky times that we learn and grow and come out stronger than before.

I pray that your life is filled with joy, peace and happiness….for these gifts you have constantly shared with us. God gave you the gift of humor….never stop laughing.

We pray that wherever your path leads you……you are happy. Success is not measured by money or materialistic gains. Success follows doing what you want to do. Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person God wants you to be.

And as you receive your gifts for your birthday…..know that it is I who has gotten the most precious gift of all. I had been given the Ultimate gift from God 18 years ago. The gift of motherhood. For it was because of you that I was brought into a place where my heart was no longer just mine. I didn’t know the full meaning of love until you were placed in my arms. It was an instant “I would die for you” kind of love.

Always know…..that no matter how old you are, how big you are…..I will always be your mom and always will be here for whatever you need.

I love you, Gunner…



Thank you for allowing me to share my firstborn son with you.....


ps. Thank you again for the overwhelming outpouring of prayers that were offered and lifted up our name this past weekend. What a blessing to be surrounded by such an awesome circle of friends who share our love and faith in Jesus. We know and believe He is good.....all.the.time.!

Got Emotions?

The Christmas Season always brings me to a very emotional place, as I am sure it does for many of you. I find myself mesmerized, almost paralyzed, with awestruck wonder of God's presence all around me. Then the pressure of shopping, creeps in and robs the joy. I find myself overwhelmed when I think of all the people who are struggling, hungry and cold especially during this Season. But then find comfort knowing that although we cannot take away all the hurt or meet all the needs of everyone, we can bring a smile to one person's face and spread the love of Jesus with a simple act of kindness such as Billy Coffey's Ten Dollar Challenge . Make sure you head over there and be blessed with the amazing stories that many are sharing. (We will be sharing our family's experience with this soon!).

So yeah, the holidays can bring upon such an avalanche of emotions for us all. Kids are anxious and getting a serious case of the "I wants" due to being bombarded with the arsenal of advertising. It can be a time of mourning when those whose presence is missed. Spending time with family and loved ones will bring joy to most....but for others, it can be trying to overlook the quirky members of their family tree. Holidays can be a time of excess....not only with spending too much money, but the over indulgence of eating and drinking. It can bring depression to many who feel they do not have enough, yet joy and peace to those who know they do.

I am finding that the best way to keep Christ in Christmas, is to keep Him in your daily life......keep Him close while you are shopping in the hustle and bustle, even when that lady cuts you off for that parking spot. Keep Him close when wracking your brain for that perfect gift for someone, free yourself and remember there is no perfect gift, only the One that God gave the world......His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ.

Something I was hesitant to share.....but have chosen to do so as this blog is my place to pour out and heal. I know I am surrounded by such a wonderful circle of friends who are always ready, willing and able to share in what is going on in my life. This includes the good.....and not so good.

I am being brought on another bumpy ride on the Emotional Trail with another early pregnancy loss for Josh and I this past week. I was hoping/praying to announce my new name was "Sarah" being pregnant in my old age, but God had different plans for this little blessing and took our little "Isaac" back Home. And although my heart is hurting, I will continue to look to Him for comfort and peace. My bestest friend gently and lovingly reminded me that sometimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.....so although I don't understand, I need to remember and trust that His ways are not our ways and He is good......all.the.time!

So as I gather up all these emotions and sort through them.....I want to share this amazing video and song that is guaranteed to stir up some raw emotions in you. It is probably my favorite Christmas song of all times. Enjoy and be blessed.......

(*remember to pause my music)


"....and they called it.....Puppy Love"

OK, so this is totally dating myself.....now, I won't say that that I remember the original song "Puppy Love" by Paul Anka in 1960....but I certainly remember Donny Osmond's version from the early 70s quite well!

This is about my daughter's first experience with "puppy love" that goes beyond the typical adoring affection of a young one.

Now I am sure you know by now, I am a mushy mama. And when it comes to sentimental Christmas movies.....there is usually no doubt that there will be boogies and tears.

For example, I still sniffle away when the Little Drummer Boy plays for Jesus....and I always get choked up when Linus preaches his message on The Charlie Brown Christmas. It doesn't matter that I have probably seen this movie over 100 times in my lifetime.....I get that lump in my throat every time I watch it!

N is the apple that apparently hasn't fall from the tree. She has been watching all the Christmas classics since mid November. She is all about Christmas.....and all about animals. So when I saw this new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, A Dog Named Christmas being broadcast, I knew I had to record it.

I won't blow the movie for you in case you are going to watch it.....(I think it is going to be re-broadcasted soon) but it is a story about a developmentally challenged boy, Todd (who is played by Noel Fisher). He lives on a farm and adopts a dog temporarily for Christmas. He ends up encouraging others to do the same all while teaching his community about peace on earth and goodwill toward men--and animals.

Well N connected instantly with "Todd". I could see a twinkle in her eye when he first appeared on the screen. After about 15 minutes, she noticed that his speech was a little delayed, so she asked me why he talked a little differently. I told her that he was just special, that's all. Not thinking anything about it, she replied...."He sure is".....and then with the sweetest little grin, she added "He also is cute"

She had her eyes intently fixed on Todd, everything about him...scene by scene. She would curl up in a ball, wrapped in blankets and a smile wouldn't leave her face for the whole 2 hours! At the end of the movie....she told me that she had something to tell me. I thought I had an idea on what is was going to be. But she took me for a loop with this....

She told me "Mom, you know how you told me that God promises to bring the perfect someone in my life to marry? Well I think mine is Todd. No, I know it is Todd. He is perfect for me. I don't care that is he special....that makes it better! I am going to write a letter to him and let him know. Btw, can we watch that movie again?"

My heart swelled looking at her sweet eyes. So sincere. So innocent. So full of a pure love for someone else, based on looking in their heart.....rather than their outward appearance.

I gave her a big hug and we grabbed some paper for that letter.

I was torn on how to handle the reality of her distinguishing between actor and character. I didn't want to be the big mean mother who crashes her dreams, but I also didn't want her to be disappointed if/when she saw him playing some polar opposite role in an another up and coming movie.

So I decided to just ask her if she realized that this was a movie and compared it to the show, iCarly. She knows that actress, Miranda Cosgrove plays Carly. She said that she did understand and we then went to look up Noel Fisher online. We needed to find out if there was a fan club of some sort for her to send her letter. When the image search came up, there were photos of him looking quite different and that was a little upsetting to N. She couldn't understand why he would change his hair when she loved it the way it was. Again, I tried to gently explain that he might have needed to change it for a new movie...

.....because he was an actor.

I was getting a little concerned, until what came next out of her mouth. As she was frantically clicking through the images to find a shot of "Todd", she noticed that in most of his photos, he was wearing a cross....she said. "Oh, I totally know he is the one for me......look! He loves God too!"

It was then, that the fact if she really understood the whole actor/character was not important anymore. I needed to let her go with her heart with this. Why would I crush her spirit or her faith that God would find a way for her dream to happen?

I emailed Hallmark and shared N's story along with the request for an address to mail her letter to. Surprisingly, we got a reply within hours from a very nice woman, Ellen, who thought it was precious and gave us Noel's agent's contact information. She also said that Noel was a really sweet guy and would love to hear from her.

Here is her letter. We included some photos of her with her animals along with her marriage proposal.

Dear Todd,
My name is Nevy. I really loved your movie. We have alot in common. We both love animals, Christmas and God. We would make a good couple. I am 7 so I know will will have to wait to get married. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!
Love, N

She wanted to add that there was a house down the street for sale and that he could move there until she was old enough to marry him, but unfortunately she ran out of room on her paper.

My little girl taught me so much with this.....not only about the beauty of loving people for what is on the inside, but also to have that child-like faith that God will always provide as He promises.

God, I pray that I keep the faith even when my hopes and dreams seem a little far-fetched or unrealistic. Remind me that nothing is impossible with you, Lord.

I hope this finds you with the joy of the Season in your heart.

Peace and love~

Awestruck Wonder

I have been in a state of awestruck wonder these past few days.....

Was it meeting this little one who was only a few hours old? Yes, we were blessed to visit a friend who's mama goat Annie, had three babies.....perfect replicas of their loving mama who was the kindest and most loving animal I've met so far? Yes...the miracle of new life....how can anyone witness that and not give God all the glory?

Or was it this perfect rainbow that I saw later that day? I took that with my cell phone camera. It is almost too perfect to be "real" isn't it?

Maybe I was getting overly sentimental when I came across this photo of my little girl, only months old for her very first Christmas. She just has this look of wonder in her eyes.....little did she know that she was a miraculous gift from above (you can read more about this story over at Josh's blog)

......or was it when I was brought to tears listening to this pastor talk about when Isaac asked Abraham where the sacrifice was.....Abraham replied that God would provide The Sacrifice? When he spoke about the ram caught in the thicket, he described it as wearing a crown of thorns?

I think it is all of the above.

But nothing brings me to my knees in overwhelming emotion, especially during this Season, than the ultimate Gift that God has given us.....given us ALL.

His Son, Jesus Christ.

Miracles surround Christ's birth....Jesus Christ, born of a virgin; He had no earthly father. That miraculous star that led the wise men to worship Him. The band of angels that announced His birth.

.......yes, and the miracles continued throughout His life......all to bear testimony to God's amazing love for us!

I hope you can take the time today to notice even the littlest blessings and gifts from Above in your day. I pray that it might be something you see.....or possibly a thought, that makes you stop in your tracks and stand in awesome wonder of Our Creator.

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare ~Psalm 40:5

Peace and love~

"I've been bamboozled"

Ah yes.....the famous words of the Burgermeister Meisterburger. You know him, the grouchy, fun-loathing mayor of Sombertown from Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. (which btw is one of my favorite classic animated Christmas shows.....first being The Little Drummer Boy)

Well that is who I was last night. I was miserable and ill tempered. I was barking orders at the kids. Every little thing set me off to a Code Red status.

There was nothing in particular, that I can think of, that brought me to this Burgermeister state of being. Maybe it was because my house was upside down and I was getting overwhelmed........maybe it was due to an overly scheduled and hectic week, or was it seeing my checking account got down to $3.96 (not kidding! God sure does have a sense of humor with His accounting)......I could blame it on hormones......perhaps a combination of them all. Regardless......I created my own version of Sombertown and I was the Mayor.

This morning, I looked up the meaning of somber;

-adjective 1. gloomily dark; shadowy; dimly lighted 2. gloomy, depressed, dismal.

Yep. That was me, alright. What grabbed my attention the most with this part of the definition was "dimly lighted"


I had no Light. God's Light was totally missing. And get this.....looking back.....I was totally keeping the shades drawn to purposely keep it out. As I stormed walked around the house, I truly felt validated with how I was acting and treating everyone. I am ashamed to admit (but you know I will lay it all out here) that even while decorating our tree, I felt the need to keep that snappy edge on to get my message across. How sad is that?

So this might be going out on a limb, but it was like the scene from that movie only with my own character substitutions.......(I got this from the Internet Movie Database while searching for a Burgermeister photo and it just seemed perfect!)

Burgermeister Meisterburger Me: You brats are under arrest.

Kris Kringle God: Wait don't arrest those children. It was my fault I gave them the toys. (the gift of peace and joy)

Burgermeister Meisterburger Me: YOU? How dare you! You are obviously a nonconformist and a rebel! (Have you seen the day I have had? How and why would I want to be happy? I feel so out of control.......so at least let me control staying mad, thankyouverymuch!)

Kris Kringle God : Have a yo-yo. (I can bring you peace and joy)

Burgermeister Meisterburger Me: [gasps and chokes] A yoooooo-yoooooooooo? I love yo-yos. (to have peace in my heart) I used to be able to do all kinds of tricks. Ah-wheeeee

(insert me actually starting to have fun with the kids....I think I might have even cracked a smile)


Grimsby my angry spirit/the enemy: Excuse me sir, but you're breaking your own law.

Burgermeister Meisterburger Me: [gasps and chokes] Ooooooouuuuuuu, I've been bamboozled! (I am supposed to be angry, dang it!)

So OK, maybe it's a little quirky of me to represent how God desire to give us peace by referencing a 1970 stop motion TV special......but to me, it was like God was still trying to shine His Light in my dark gloomy world/day by offering the chance to turn it all around with decorating the tree. He did not turn His back on me even as I was turning my back on Him. I should have graciously accepted His gift of grace when I certainly didn't deserve it. But I had been gripped/bound by my own emotions, I was stubborn and continued to stay angry.

And all it did was rob me (and my children) of joy.

So today, I am giving thanks to our God who wipes the slate clean and gives us/me a new day to make things right. A fresh start.....I cannot take away the ugly from yesterday, but I am given the beautiful opportunity to apologize to everyone and start fresh.

My first order of business in asking forgiveness is to God. I feel that it must be such a slap in the face to Him when I was holding onto anger and bitterness. He has blessed my socks off, but yet I found something negative to focus on and gave full authority for it to rule my actions.

So now I pray: Dear Lord, Help me honor You when the battles rage inside me. I don't want to hurt and fight with the people I love. I don't want to disappoint You. I need You to help me with keeping my emotions in check. I need You to help direct my steps/reactions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thankfully.....just like in the movie, there is true Victory in Christ. From Wikipedia's summary:

"As time continues to pass, though, the Burgermeister regime ends, as their forebears begin dying off and falling out of power, at which point the Sombertowners realize how ludicrous the Meisterburger "laws" really were while Kris Kringle "legend" continues to go worldwide"

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger,
brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

~Ephesians 4:31-32

So my friends, if you got this far, without thinking I was too loony or off-the-wall with my thought process (I've been called worse!).....I hope you are blessed with a wonderful weekend filled with Light and Happiness.



Peace to All who Enter.....

.......and God's Grace to those who depart.

(*handmade wreath created by my son Ezra yesterday)

**I know there are some conflicts over the peace sign in Christianity, my son made this on his own with the concept of true peace in his heart.....


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