Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Damage to the Suburban

The driver's side with grass still in it!
passenger side

When Amanda called me to tell me she had wrecked, I turned off the stove and had Bethany bring her brothers in from doing chores. I sent the first boy to me for my shoes. I called a friend and told her in a 9 second phone call to get prayers started while I put on my shoes. I gave quick instructions and a brief explanation before jumping into the suburban to go to Amanda.  I drove fast to the end of the lane and then... could not find the key that is normally kept on the "shifter" to open the gate.

All I could hear in my head was Amanda pleading "Just get here, Mom."

As I backed up the truck to go to the house for a key, I saw the ditch separating my neighbor's place and ours. It's a deep ditch in some places, but this area is shallower. I felt reasonably certain the truck could handle it. I had not put this particular truck in 4WD before. There were buttons, not a stick, so I wasn't sure how to do it. I asked God "Please get me over the ditch, and keep the truck moving. I only need this truck to move until I get to her. After that, I don't care."

I jabbed at the unfamiliar 4WD buttons until the lights lit up, not knowing if I had done it correctly, and then I slowly drove forward at an angle like Clint had taught me with other trucks. The "Sub" took the ditch with no problems. Once I cleared the ditch, I drove through my neighbor's empty lot and out the driveway and then took her out of 4WD while still moving. Somehow the Sub survived my ignorance in how she works with only damage to the running boards!

My children told me every time they see the dents in the running boards they will be reminded that I will do my best to get to them. I can live with that. I told them to also remember their Daddy doesn't see the damage or feel the shimmy in the front tire because that is what he expects me to do for them.

The resale of the suburban has gone down, but my husband and children see value in those dents. I can live with that!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trick Candles


One relighting candle works better to play a prank on someone than a whole bunch of them!
If they all immediately relight, the person usually figures it out. If one relights, they assume, for at least a little while, they have a stubborn candle

Psalm 18:28 You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pictures Taken at Low Tide During Hurricane Sandy


Someone's car washes off the road in our neighborhood every strong storm.
It doesn't matter if they made a bad decision or not. They suffered a loss, and we should have compassion for that. We all make poor choices now and then.

 We leave our gate open and our outside lights on during a strong storm in case someone needs us.


A clever neighbor used cribbing to protect their RV.


a neighbor's yard


The Jeep is in the distance on the left hand side of the road.
This is low tide.

You should avoid flooded roads. If you must drive in an area prone to flooding, know the tide cycles and times. Understand these times are best guesses, not an exact science. Take a vehicle with clearance. Know the roads: we have a creek running under one of ours, and it is DEEP on both sides. Know the power and speed of a current. It only takes a few inches of fast moving water to carry a car off the road. Stay to the highest part of the road. Be patient. Take turns for the high part of the road. Don't create a wake when there are houses with water any where close to it. Your waves send more water into their home! We had a neighbor who flooded not from tide level, but from the waves of vehicles. Don't create a wake. Please be considerate.

A Lincoln Town Car is headed directly towards the water you saw in the picture above it. Water was over the floorboard.

I was missing my old Ford during this storm!

Hurricane Sandy



The road during yesterday's high tide. I did not go out there during today's which was a bit higher.




This shed sits on two cinder blocks. Clint plans to raise it a little higher.

Caleb asked if he could go run his RC boat in the front yard. It wasn't very windy, so we did!

Thank you for the concern! We are doing great with this storm! We had a little flooding, but no critters were harmed or property damaged. The water would have to have been 1.5 to 2 feet higher to get into our home. After Hurricane Isabel flooded our home, we prepare for all storms now with the motto that it is better to sit back and relax knowing we did all we could than to have to watch and worry. So, we've been pretty relaxed with this storm. The tides and wind were much less than originally predicted. At one point, they were telling us to expect 50+ mph sustained wind with gusts up to 80 mph. Thankfully, that didn't happen!

Besides the Great Egret, we also have a wild critter under the house. I only caught a glimpse of it as it shot under the house, so I am not sure what it was...maybe a young groundhog? All I know for sure is that we gave each other a good scare!

Building Your Family Through Text

Text Message:
Ps103:11 For as high as the Heavens r above the earth, so gr8 is His love4those who fear Him! I love u and miss u alrdy!

Every morning for the past year, I have sent Clint, Brandon, and Amanda a "Good Morning" text. I tell them I miss them and love them and share a verse about God's love or one of His promises. They have told me many times they appreciate and enjoy this. I share this here in case someone else wants to encourage their family in the same way. 

1 Peter 4:8  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Homemade Fabric Softener

I have had this recipe for a long while and am not sure where it first came from. It works fairly well. Taking advantage of sales on conditioner can increase your savings. I usually double and sometimes triple the recipe, but you can halve it to make less.

4 cups of hair conditioner (32 oz)
6 cups of distilled white vinegar
12 cups water
2 gallon empty container

Heat the 6 cups of water on the stove in a pot to the point of just boiling. Add the condition and stir until mixed well. Pour into a large container or bucket, add vinegar, and stir well. Pour into recycled bottles. Shake before use. Label clearly.

One good thing I have discovered with this is that it doesn't "gunk up" the fabric softener compartment on my washer like the commercial product did.

When I have not had time to remake this, I have used distilled white vinegar by itself, and it works well. The vinegar smell washes away.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Different Values for Boys and Girls?

Clint was asked by a man how many children he had.


"How many girls?"


The man started complaining about many issues with his daughter's boyfriends including night time attempts to visit.

Another man piped in and said "I am glad I only have two boys."

Clint asked "Why is that?"

"I have boys, so I don't have the same issues he (referring to the first man) does with his girls." 

"Why not? Why do we not hold our boys to the same standards we expect of our girls? With my sons, I expect them to uphold the same standards of behavior as I expect of my daughters. Just as I won't tolerate it from my girls, I won't tolerate my boys being promiscuous. After all, every girl is someone's daughter or sister. Your challenge is to make sure your boys aren't the ones causing grief to other fathers, like (the first man). It's up to you to teach them to respect their bodies and the girls they like." 

If you hold your daughters to a higher standard than your sons, you are sending a message about their value to you. It is saying to your son "I expect her to behave this way because she is more worthy of my protection and guidance." It breeds resentment in the heart of your daughter when you tell her not to come home if she gets pregnant while you encourage your son to take advantage of every girl he can.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

People are concerned for how Hurricane Sandy will affect our family and little farm. Right now, we are not too worried, but because the track keeps changing to less in our favor we are continuing to monitor it. As of 11 o'clock last night, we were expecting sustained winds of 40 mph with 50 and 60 mph gusts. Rain is suppose to be between 4-6". Flooding is expected to be around 6'. That's the part that has us concerned. 

Clint has to work. I can't in good conscience leave a large amount of work waiting on him when he gets home, so I will do the bulk of the storm preparations. At the moment, we don't think we will flood, but preparation is the prudent choice. Most of the time, the preparations are not necessary. When they have been, it was such a blessing to not have to scramble. When we've had to evacuate we did so knowing we did our very best to protect our critters and property.

The river keeps us cool all summer with wonderful breezes. We love being close enough to go swimming and fishing when we want. The sunsets are gorgeous! We can see the July 4th fireworks they set off over the water from our house. The Bald Eagles and Osprey are amazing to watch. It's worth a little trouble now and then.

Update: The tide predictions did not improve overnight. Clint plans on buying cinder blocks and raising a few of our sheds higher tonight. Please pray for him as he does this because there is risk involved. I will be on hand to keep watch over him and help where he directs. With Irene, we had 1-2" of water in one of the new sheds. They say this storm will be similar. If they are off just a bit, a few blocks could make a difference. We are still learning how to prepare for storms without our huge two story barn. It was pretty easy to take everything upstairs and close the doors! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012



 by Anthony Gucciardi

 According to the new research out of the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, the thunder god plant compound led to no signs of tumors after a 40 day period — even after discontinuing the treatment. Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, even the scientists working on the project were stunned by the anti-cancer properties of the compound. Known to contain something known as triptolide, which has been identified as a cancer fighter in previous research, it is thought to be the key component that may be responsible for the anti-tumor capabilities.
Study leader and vice chairman of research at the Cancer Center explained to Bloomberg how he was blown away by the effects of the simple plant:

“This drug is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells,” he said.

And just like with numerous other powerful substances like turmeric and ginger, mainstream science is still slowly confirming what many traditional practitioners have known for their entire lives. This is, of course, due to the fact that there is simply no money for major corporations in researching the healing powers of natural herbs and compounds such as the compound found in the thunder god vine. Turmeric and ginger, for example, have been found to be amazing anti-cancer substances that are virtually free compared to expensive and dangerous cancer drugs.

read more here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Homeschool Freebie: Free Textbooks for Kindle

Many people have shared with me that there are free middle school and high school textbooks available through Amazon's Kindle. You can start your search here. Thank you to the people who shared it on Facebook and those who sent it to with me emails and text messages. 

I like having many resources on hand to draw from because all of my children learn differently. While one explanation or set of diagrams for a concept might work for one child, I might need different graphics or find another way to explain it to their sibling. 

Many Christians homeschooling parents are concerned about things their children can encounter in secular textbooks. I am too. I have an easy solution. You homeschool because you want to be active in your children's education. Pre-read the lessons and use what fits your convictions. You don't have to use all of it. 

Free is free. Have a thankful heart, not a critical one.

Old Photos of Clint


Clint with his daddy.




Clint is wearing the orange shirt,

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Am Blessed


They stopped in the middle of their explorations and lined up to bring me flowers just because they love me.

I was so beat down as a child that by time I was 15, I had given up hope on finding love. I was told I was ugly: "Your teeth look like Bugs Bunny! Your legs are too skinny, and butt too fat! Your eyes are too big! Your hair is too stringy! Why can't you stand up straighter?!" It was almost daily I was shown in some way or another that I didn't measure up. I took those things to heart and believed no one would ever, could ever love me. Broken, I cried out to God, and He heard me. I stand in amazement of what He has done!

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Your Words: Build Up or Tear Down Your Family




While counting my blessings as my boy fished, I told Caleb, "There is no other place on earth I'd rather be right now than HERE watching YOU fish."
He became still, turned around, and said "Thank you, Mom. I love you too."

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Prayer for My Family


This prayer comes from the heart. If you feel led, please intercede before the Throne of Grace for my family. I do not believe this is what God wants and am battling in prayer for His perfect will to reign.


You promise the prayers of the righteous avail much. I am standing before you righteous because of the blood that covers my sins praying for a family that doesn't run in my veins, but runs in my heart. My heart aches for what has happened to Midge's children knowing this is not what any mother desires. More importantly, it is You we are to honor before all others, and we are failing miserably. 

I do not accept that you brought us through so much to accomplish so little. I plead for You to change this family's legacy from one of bitterness into eternal love. Strengthen me to keep praying for this family. After years of praying for this and only seeing it get worse, I am very battle weary. I feel like no one cares…except You! Hear me, Lord! Let Your mercy triumph in this situation! Let us reflect Your image of renewing all things by renewing this relationship through the ministry of reconciliation, the very ministry You called us to when You reconciled us to You.

Forgive us for how we have failed You and each other in our history. Pour Your mercy out on us, and help us lavish it on each other. Soothe away the deep hurts and make the past unimportant. Make us quick to apologize and quicker to forgive. Let us see each other's strengths so clearly that it blinds us to their weaknesses. Let the generosity of love be pervasive in our dealings with each other. Remind us that we should be trembling in awe of Your Holiness and let that motivate us past this disappointment to come together united.

Heal this family and give us a lasting legacy that brings You glory. We withered before we even began, but let us flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon from this point forward. Give us a deep love and sincere interest in each other. Help us to understand each other, and make it very easy for us to mesh our families together for Your glory. Let us be a joyful, integral part of each other's lives. I ask You to weave our lives so closely together that we can never fray. Establish us permanently together through Christ's blood. Show us how to do this, make the way blessedly easy, and give us an iron will to follow through to forge a new heritage for our children and grandchildren. 

Give us an incredible ministry to a hurting world, and let us show others Your power of reconciliation not only to each other, but with Him. Unite our families in serving You together, and let us reap You a bountiful harvest. Let us rejoice in our old age about this painful time in our lives and the good I know You are working through it. Let this story be a blessing to others. Make the Asbell name a powerful testimony for You!

Anyone who hinders this work, please deal heavily with their heart. Chastise them for the sake of this family. Remove the sin that makes them stumble so they can run to obey. Let no one and no thing stand in the way of the unity and fellowship You want for the Asbell family. 

I believe the future generation of Asbells is full of leaders with a powerful ministry. Please undo the harm that has been done in the hearts of our collective children, and give them Your wisdom and understanding of this situation to be taught as a lesson to future generations. Please God, don't let this bitterness extend to them too. Unite them in You, Lord. Let them and the future bloodline always be bound with unfailing love by a desire to serve and please You that increases with each generation.  Lord, let them lead together for Your glory, and let no weapon formed against them prevail!

Father, our time on this earth to serve You is very quickly passing us by. You showed us three weeks ago with Amanda's close call that none of us know how much time we have left. I ask You to move very soon so we can have more opportunity for the Asbell's to build a better testimony and ministry together. Let us get past the hurt to the good things You have in store for us. 

In Jesus' precious Name, Amen.

In the midst of difficulty lies opportunity. --Albert Einstein

Christians in Conflict

TX, I am praying for you and whatever you are going through.

A year ago today an estranged family member came to our home. What followed afterwards was a very disappointing and heartbreaking time for our immediate family. When you have imperfect people trying to relate in an imperfect world conflict will happen. I hope some of the lessons we've drawn up through the well of painful experience will bless you as you deal with conflict in your own life.

In conflicts it's important to remember it's not a battle between each other. It's a spiritual battle against our flesh and a greater enemy and is one of the hardest, but greatest opportunities we have to example Christ. It's very easy to be Christ-like when things are going well, but when we have trouble, people sit up and take notice. It is then we make a choice to example Christ or not.

Conflict can bring you tremendous spiritual growth. God will deal with the offender in His own time, but your job is to focus on what He is doing in you. Seize those opportunities for growth and make the most of them! 

 "Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive ... And then, to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger." -C.S. Lewis

It's so much harder to win that fierce flesh against spirit wrestling match when the Christians who have hurt you are family. If we join forces with that goal first and foremost, we can accomplish incredible things in His name. We can only do that by showing forgiveness to and loving each other. 
Our goal together as Christians should be to shame satan and glorify God. "forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

While sometimes it is right to part ways peacefully, God wants His children united with "one mind." When Christians keep the door open, it doesn't mean the others will walk through it. He will bless the heart that is willing to obey though.

We still pray for reconciliation because we know that is what God wants. Those who know the entire story openly question our sanity. There's a reason why we are willing to forget the hurt, forgive, and move forward in Christ's love. Clint and I don't want fault for failed relationships at our feet. He called us into the ministry of reconciliation when He reconciled us to Him. We want to glorify our Father and show people the good He has to offer.  "...forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

 Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. -C.S. Lewis

"Follow your heart," is a lie. The Bible calls the heart "wicked" and "deceitful." Our feelings are fickle and that makes them unreliable guides. Growth takes us out of our comfort zones, and we naturally resist that. We can't always feel ourselves into obedience, but we can be obedient to God's Word, and let Him lead us into a new way of feeling. Ask yourself what God commands vs what your heart tells you. Then decide whom you will serve.

When we get to Heaven, Clint and I don't want to hear "If you would have tried just a little harder, you would have exampled Christ so clearly that many more would have come to know Me." We want to make sure we do all we can to reflect God's love. There is too much at stake if we fail to do that. 

I Peter 4:17-18 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

Friday, October 19, 2012

Clint Looks Worried


Clint let Hannah and Emily take turns driving the suburban on the vacant roads in the campground.
See his face? And, this was BEFORE Amanda's wreck!
The girls sure are having fun though!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Camping Fun


He lets his beard grow for me. I like it!


Emily Joy with a content Maggie


our view


We have a travel trailer with  full kitchen that helps us save time and money on meal preparation so we can focus more on the activities. The children like the tent though.


Emily and Hannah wanted me to draw something with them on the asphalt.


When I told him he could dangle his feet in the water, he didn't hesitate!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clint Fishing


He grew the beard for me while he was on vacation. I love it! He shaved it when he went back to work.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brothers About Some Serious Business


Caleb has his RC boat in the water, and Joshua is giving him tips.

Be careful with your family. They were given to you to be an asset in this difficult world. If you mistreat them, you will lose them and the blessing they would be to you.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Hebrews 12:14-17 (The Message) Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you'll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God's generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God's lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God's blessing - but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.

Monday, October 15, 2012

More Camping Picts


Joshua with pole, Caleb and Bethany looking on


Clint shut his thumb in the door of the suburban! Ouch! Poor guy drilled the first hole too far down to release the pressure, so he had to drill a second one!




Emily discovered moss and wanted to show me!


This was invisible all day until around sunset. We had no idea we were right beside it.


Clint found a toy like one he had as a child. He bought it and then sat down to show his children and tell them stories. Children love things like this!


Maggie was not happy to be tethered. She wants to be in the middle of it all!


This is a story for family insiders, but if you can make out the word, you can probably figure some of it out.
I said I would post it; I did.
(One of mine made the small letter under the big letters.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Camping Pictures


They wore the dog out!
This is "Baby."


Bethany chillin'


Hannah was a little dizzy after her ride on the swing.
Brandon laughed so hard; he fell to his knees, but he protected her from falling!


Brandon on his bike


When we are camping, they are ravenous!


Emily is swinging for all she's worth!
This pretty much how she does everything...full blast!


Emily and Hannah are fishing for minnows while talking to a couple in their boat.
The lady was so sweet and gracious with my girls many questions.
The man caught a big fish right in front of the girls too!


Hannah caught her first minnow!!!
Emily is telling me how big the fish she saw was.


Hannah Bug!


Emily is tired and dirty from her hard playing, but is planning her next day!