Sunday, September 30, 2012

No Post Wreck Pain

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God has been merciful to Amanda in yet another way. She has had none of the post wreck pain associated with automobile accidents the doctors told her to she would have. They warned Clint and I that she would be extremely sore and worse than anything he or I have ever experienced. She's had none. None. Zip. Nada. The worst pain she has had was a "mild headache" (her words) due to the concussion.

When it didn't set in on day two, we expected it on day three. When it didn't come on day three, we figured maybe day four. It's now day five and she feels fine. The marks that covered her neck, chest, and shoulder due to the seat belt are nearly gone. Places where she was told she would turn black and blue never turned those colors. The bleeding area on her scalp that was the size of an adult's hand was smaller than a quarter four days post accident. It's amazing to witness. God is gracious!

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the prayers you have lifted up for our daughter. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Inquiring Mind and Strong Opinions of a 5 Year Old


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Emily could not understand what has happened this week. Her questions were never ending as she tried to sort it out. I finally gave in and showed her one of the better pictures (above) of the truck. I know she got it then because she took one look and walked to Amanda with hands on hips "Amanda, WHY did you do that to the truck?!!" :0)

God Could Have, but Chose To...

God could have kept Amanda on the road. He could have let the truck smoothly pass over the area where the tire was caught. He could have prevented the accident and let her get to school on time. That way would not have brought Him much glory because people don't notice those things. They take them for granted if they ever give them thought at all.

God could have taken my child home Tuesday. I've already shared that portion of the road is very dangerous, and that there was at least one fatality. Clint and I were the first people to that accident and saw the dead young man and helped his surviving girlfriend out of the burning vehicle. I stared at the memorial from Amanda's crash scene.

God could have put another vehicle in her path and taken two or more people home that morning. Amanda could have been critically injured like a friend's son was two years ago. He could have let her be beat up by the many objects in the cab, but He didn't. She is walking around easily without pain today, three days after the accident. (Update: Four days later, she still has no increased pain. God continues to be merciful to her.)

God chose Amanda to glorify Himself through. He protected her from the heavy objects in the cab as the truck rolled. He kept her from hitting a telephone pole. She went through a horrific accident, but has only minor injuries. He enabled her to keep her head all the way through the crash which amazes her as much as it does everyone else. Then, she got herself out of the truck, made phone calls, and moved her college textbooks away from the damage. She will tell of God's protection in this incredible story for the rest of her life. He is more glorified in keeping her safe in a horrific accident than He would ever have been if He had prevented it from occurring. One way would have never been noticed, and the other is being talked about all over the place.

When she was reseen for her concussion, she had the same people who had seen her immediately after the accident. All of them remarked on how little pain she has. They told her the bruises are healing much quicker than they expected. "You should be black and blue here, but you aren't! The skin on your knuckles is almost grown back!!" The few injuries she does have are healing rapidly.

We hope you see God at work in our family through the many incredible things that have happened to us. Amanda should be injured more than she is. You can give credit to her seat belt or something else, but we give credit to the Lord. We've seen Him at work many times in our lives. Each time, in each situation, He has brought our family through unscathed. This is our appointed time and place to reflect His glory. 

Acts 17: 26b-27 "From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." 

If you drove and arrived somewhere safely today, please take a moment to give God the glory.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Concussion

Amanda cried out for us last night as she walked into our room. Her knees buckled from under her. I rushed to catch her, and Clint rushed to help me. We walked her backwards and laid her on our bed. For just a few seconds, she was non responsive. She said she was dizzy, and her skin was clammy. About two hours previous, I had noted her color was looking off, so I told her to rest. Before this point, she had felt fine and was being her normal happy self.

She told us she was sitting at her computer in the dining room when all of a sudden she felt very weird. She became dizzy, nauseous, and had a "weird feeling." She stood up to come tell us, and it became much worse. She gripped the table and kept trying to get to our room. Once she nearly fainted in front of us, we picked her up, put her in the car, and drove straight to the ER without any delay.

At the hospital, they gave her another assessment and sent her for a CT scan. The CT scan showed no bleeding on the brain. There is a very slight risk of a brain bleed that is too small to pick up, but it is rare. They said her concussion was worse than originally thought. Her BP was a little low, so we are to force fluids. The symptoms she is having can happen for up to 3 weeks, but should become less severe over the course of that time. She can't drive for 3 weeks and has to be carefully watched during the next few days.

I sent messages to many friends asking for prayer support. I apologize for scaring anyone. I did not know what was wrong with my child and know the power of the God who answers prayer. Thank you for being there for us.

I answered texts until the doctors came in. When I got home, I turned my phone off. It is still off. I am exhausted. I need some rest so I can be there to take care of my child. That does not lessen my appreciation of your concern or efforts to reach out to us. 

Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Tire Trips

This was shared with me by an officer: What happened to Amanda is called a "tire trip." "Trips" can happen with curbs, holes, a soft shoulder, etc. Amanda had a deep hole in a soft shoulder on a crumbling road edge. I learned there have been several wrecks in the same spot. Roll overs can happen at 35 mph & sometimes less depending on circumstances. Govt studies have estimated that 95 percent of single vehicle rollovers are not due to steering, but are due to "trips." Vans, trucks, & SUVs are more susceptible to "trips" due to their center of gravity. Tire grip can actually work against you in this situation. (Grip can create a sideways force that builds up excessively and helps the tip.) I have never heard of any of this. I am sharing not to scare you, but to make you aware so you can teach your family. When I asked what could Amanda have done differently, the officer told me nothing except hold on and have a good vehicle with a strong roof rating. He said there are some issues with some vehicles, so check to see how your vehicle's "roof crush" test ranked.

Amanda's back tire went into a deep hole on the edge of the road when the road crumbled. This is the "dip" she felt. This pulled her off the road at 45 mph inside a very heavy object with a high center of gravity. Imagine what it takes to stop a truck at 45 mph once it is off the pavement.

We know for certain Amanda was not speeding because we track her phone through GPS due to the severe sleepwalking. Seeing the results of running off the road at an unbraked 45 mph has shaken me. I don't think I had given it enough thought to realize what would happen at that "safe speed." 

I also erroneously assumed that a back road was safer than a highway. I was informed that the highways have more safety features not present on the back roads. Most roll overs happen on back roads because there aren't guardrails near bad ditches and the roads are narrower so you encounter the "trips" more often.  







Thursday, September 27, 2012

Amanda Says Thank You

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for all of the prayers, emails, and phone calls.

The "wreck pain" has not kicked in yet. She has never been in an accident before, so she has no idea of what is coming. With the crash she had, I can only imagine how she's going to feel. I have Epsom salts, a heating pad, a liniment, and pain reliever ready. She's found a few more tiny cuts, scratches, bumps, and bruises.

She is resting on the couch. It is much quieter in her room, but she wants to be with her family.

I have plenty to do, but all I want to do is watch her sleep.

My daughter is safe. I am blessed!


***

What we have been able to piece together with the help of neighbors is that there is an issue with the road where Amanda wrecked. The neighbor told me she has seen several near wrecks due to it (broken pavement, deep hole, narrow area, weird shape to the road) and has reported it. Clint is going to take pictures and see what we can do to prevent it from happening again. 

Mountain Mist

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Psalms 104:32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: He toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
Psalms 144:5 Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Amanda has been in a bad wreck

The truck rolled. 

Please keep her and our family in your prayers. She seems OK. (phone numbers removed)


We are having some difficulty getting Brandon home to watch the younger children. Please pray the college passes on our message about a family emergency


Update: Thank you very, very much for the prayers and concern. Some of you we haven't ever met, but you have put your love into action and showed your concern. We were touched by your kindness. 

Amanda is OK. She has a concussion, a big, deep scrape on the top of her head from where the truck rolled over, bruises to her chest and shoulder from the seat belt, and a deep tissue bruise on her upper left arm. We are to watch her for the next 48 hours. The truck is...uh, well.... (Remember, she is OK!)


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This is what it looked like yesterday when we brought home the RV from a camping trip.


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This is what I saw when I came up on the scene. I didn't recognize the truck as mine. I thought there had been another accident, and it was going to keep me from getting to Amanda. Then, I recognized the truck and I nearly fell over. I thought "Oh Lord, where is my daughter?!" At exactly that moment, she walked around the truck and waved her arms at me and yelled "I am OK." The man she was with kept telling her to sit down. She told him "No, thank you, when my mom sees this, she will need to see that I am OK!"
(FYI, I did not take pictures until much later.)

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Since we purchased it, Clint and I have jokingly debated over which of us owned the truck.
We want you to know we now call it Amanda's truck. She can have it! :-)

I had several first responders (in different conversations) tell me that if you are going to be in a wreck like that, an old Ford truck is the thing to be driving. They said they hold up better and don't crush down on the roof as bad as other vehicles. They told me some graphic stories I'd rather not even think about again for comparison. I'm sold. I am going to try to find her another one to drive.


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We donated the truck to the fire department so they could do extraction training exercises in it. A fireman told me he would do that for us to give us a free tow and a tax deduction. We only had liability on the truck, so this kept us from having another expense added.
My daughter was in a rollover! Wow! She is safe! Thank You, Lord!

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This was about a mile from our home. I am very thankful to our neighbors who called 911, stayed with Amanda and helped her out of the truck, and kept me calm when they took her away in the ambulance.
I could not go with her because there was no one to stay with the younger children. We were able to get through to Brandon at college, but it took some doing. Clint will have a word with the man who blocked our message and the dean of the college to ensure it does not happen to another family.


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Amanda wanted to clean the blood off before her siblings saw her. She also wanted to let her friends know she was OK. We took her to her school where they used their equipment which helped it not be so painful for her very tender head.

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Amanda asked me if she could have the grill. I asked why. "I hope to never do that again, so I need something to remember it by." She also said "You can push on those brakes all you want while you are upside down, but they don't work in that position! It will not stop the truck!" She said she was pushing the brakes for all she was worth just wanting it to STOP!

Clint and I are filled with overwhelming GRATITUDE to a gracious and loving Father who spared our child's life today. We were told by an officer that if she had been speeding or in a smaller car, she'd have not survived. This was right next to an area of road where Clint and I worked a fatal accident. There is an issue with the road in this area. Roll over accidents account for only 3% of vehicle accidents, but those 3% account for over 20% of fatalities of all crashes. (Some statistics show 1/3 fatalities in rollovers.) We have many reasons to praise, and no reasons at all to complain! We are blessed, blessed, blessed!

Update per request for info: This accident was not due to distracted driving. She was not using her cell phone or text messaging. She was driving and came off the road just a bit and the tire went into a hole. That started a chain of events. We believe she oversteered when she hit the hole and then over corrected. Inexperienced driving contributed.


Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Psalm 91:14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

This Mama Wears Hiking Boots ..and Holds On to Trees

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Clint bought me hiking boots while we were in the mountains. I love hiking, but the trails in our area are fairly easy to hike. The worst trails near our home are easily tackled wearing tennis shoes. Hiking boots are necessary for steep, rocky mountain trails though.

In the house, I go barefoot. When I work in the yard, I wear flip flops in the summer and tennis shoes in the winter unless it is really dirty work and then I put on waders (muck boots). I even weed eat in flip flops! I am use to my feet being cool and light.

It took some "getting use to" wearing those heavy, bulky boots! I was clinging to everything I could as I navigated a very steep trail. Clint kept after me "You aren't trusting your shoes. Trust your shoes, Wendy!" So, I tried to heed his advice. I made myself relax. I tried to walk with more confidence in my shoes, and...

I nearly fell off the steep side of the mountain! A tree saved me! 

I can't wait to go hiking in the mountains again, but I don't think I am going to trust the shoes as much as what I can grip ahold of with my hands!

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Psalms 97:5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Be Still and Know That I am God

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I wanted to update the look in our entryway and found this print which has received many compliments.

Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Throw a Boomerang So It Comes Back

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Throw it hard in the presence of a child who wants to throw it next. :0)

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cause It's What Brothers Do

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They are posing for the camera. 
Clint told them not to dent the bats, or they probably would have been using them as light sabers

Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

This Sums It Up

Lord, help me to lift people up and not add to their burdens. Let me shine Your light in darkness. For the discouraged, give me words to encourage. Where there is pain, let me sense it, and equip me to ease their suffering. Give me understanding when I encounter a hard heart. Help me to keep a servant's heart and to let go of pride. Please keep me from making choices that will shame You and hurt others. Cleanse me of everything that breaks Your heart. Make me so uncomfortable in anything I do that displeases You that I notice and stop immediately. Even when I don't want to, help me to love and forgive everyone because Your love and forgiveness overflows in me. Keep me humble and moldable, Father. You know I am seriously flawed, but You love me just as I am and will bring Your work in me to completion. Thank you for blotting out my sins and not remembering them. Wherever my day takes me, let me be Your voice, hands, and feet. Make me a bright light that shines Your love every where I go and in everything I do. Let my husband find me more valuable than rubies and my children to grow up and call me a blessing because of Your work in me. Please protect and provide for my friends and family, even the estranged ones, and let them know how very much I truly and deeply love them.  In Jesus Name, Amen 

~Wendy

Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Urgent Prayer Request: Friend with Flesh Eating Bacteria

9/19 11 a.m. A family I have known my entire life is asking for prayer. Betty Jo contributed to my spiritual heritage through Calvary Baptist Church and is a lady I admire. She drove my school bus at Suffolk Christian school. These people are very dear to me and many of my friends. 

Scott, her 42 year old son, was in my school and my church. He is battling flesh eating bacteria after popping a pimple on his chest. His life is in danger. He is facing many surgeries in the days ahead. They already operated on him twice Monday, and he has ben cut from his chest to his neck, and over his shoulder. They have him sedated. Please pray for my friend Scott and his family. Please ask the Lord to let this move Scott closer to Him. Thank you so much.


Update 9/19 2pm: A friend just left his side and gave everyone a very heartfelt update. Scott is very weak, on a respirator, a feeding tube, has 8 bags going through his IV, is very sedated, and has had 7 surgeries to date. This is very serious and everyone who loves him covets your prayers. 


From Betty Jo (his mom) around 9 on 9/19:

"Randy and I would like to thank you all for praying for Scott and thank you for sharing his condition with your church family. We know he is in the hands on our Lord and pray that God will use this to turn his life around. His is still in critical condition and we were told today that things can still go either way. The doctors have tried to take him off the venilator today, but were unable to get him to breathe on his own. He is also running extremely high temperatures, due to the infection. The good news today is they have not had to cut any more skin from his body, so God is busy at work. Please continue to keep him in your prayers and thank you each and all and may God bless you."


Update 9/23 (I was camping and could not update until now.) from his mother: We were on our way to Norfolk Sentara this a.m., when I realized I had a voice mail from the hospital on my cell. Terrified of bad news I was so nervous I couldn't dial the number to the ICU nurse. When she answered she said Scott would like a cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake for breakfast. I said you're nuts. She said just wait and see. When we got to his room with his food he was sit
ting up in bed, wide awake and knew who we were. PTL!!!!! A miracle has occurred. We were told the infection has been stablized and we are hoping this is the beginning of his recovery. The surgeon came in to redress the wound said he is doing much, much better, even though he has a long, long way to go. He also said he has been amazed that the bacteria did not overtake more of his skin. Thank you each and all again for your prayers, we appreciate everyone and are so thankful to you all. Talked to an old friend today that said she has 5 churches in Hawaii praying for him. Amazing what the power of prayer can do. THANKS and keep them coming.

Meal Idea: Salmon with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

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One of our favorite meals is Salmon with fresh tomatoes and basil. We buy the bulk packages of salmon from Sam's Club and bake at 350F with fresh tomatoes and basil  down the middle until the meat is flaky. We drizzle a little of Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade down the middle before baking. There is no such thing as leftovers with this dish in our household!

It's a simple, healthy, and quick to prepare meal for large families.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent and Homemade Washing Soda

I've used this for a while now and am not sure where I first saw it. It is widely circulated on the internet. It works very well as a stain treatment also.

You need a 5 gallon bucket.

4  cups hot tap water
1 grated bar of Fels-Naptha soap
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (or a homemade substitute*)
½ cup Borax


Add the grated soap to the hot water and stir until dissolved. Mix in the soda and borax. Pour into a 5 gallon container and fill with warm water. Put a tight lid on and let it set over night. Fill your laundry containers half way with the solution, and then fill the rest of the way with water. Shake before use. I use about 1/2 cup per super-sized load.

I make 10 gallons at a time to save myself the preparation time. 

Any time you are using 5 gallon buckets with liquid in them, you need to be cautious around babies and toddlers due to the drowning risk. Keep a lid on them.

*Homemade Washing Soda

I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to find washing soda near me. You can make your own washing soda at home by heating baking soda in the oven at 400° F for about 45 minutes. Store in a clearly labeled airtight container. When you heat the baking soda, you release the moisture and carbon dioxide which causes the chemical change needed to convert the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) into washing soda (sodium carbonate). I was told it can convert back in humid climates, so the airtight container is necessary.

*Stain Treatment

I remove any solids and blot moisture from the stain. Then I take the homemade laundry detergent and pour that onto the stain. Then I rub with a bar of Fels Naptha soap. Then, I sprinkle with Oxyclean. I let this work for a few minutes, and then I wash it. It works well on those ground in stains. 

One of the most important rules you can follow when making your own products or medicines is LABEL EVERYTHING CLEARLY WITHOUT FAIL. It's a safety thing. Your family is worth that extra few minutes to grab a permanent marker and make a label. I write the recipe right on the bottle too. 


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Princess Wrestles with Two Little Brothers

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They started picking on her, so I grabbed the camera.
She had just thrown Joshua off in this one.

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Brandon observing the boys trying to take Amanda down.

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Brandon lending a hand.

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She's down! Get her!

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Now they all turn on Brandon. It's not a loyalty thing.
It's a "take down the biggest, strongest sibling" thing!

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Going after Brandon didn't work.
I look off to the side and see what looks like Joshua and Caleb plotting.

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Yep, I was right. They were coordinating their attack on Amanda.

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She's down!

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Going for her arms!!

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They managed to get her arms out from under her!

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She's down, and they are talking smack!

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It isn't long before she flips them and yells "Take the picture! (gasp) I got 'em! (gasp) I got 'em!"

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She tosses Caleb and starts to get up. Joshua tries to take her down again.
"Help Caleb! She's getting up!"

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It doesn't work. Amanda has both boys pinned!

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Joshua and Caleb have been wanting to match physical strength with Amanda for years now. Amanda works hard on our farm and has "girded her loins with strength." The boys know that once they take her down, they can go after Brandon! Every year, there have been several wrestling matches on our farm. Earlier this year, there was a "sword fight." Amanda is very good-natured and fun loving and keeps an eye on safety. Even as she was tossing the boys, she was asking if they were OK.

Amanda maintains they did not have her pinned. They maintain they did. I told them to settle it later. If the camera is handy, I'll take pictures! :-)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Two Birthdays!!!

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Bethany has turned into such a camera ham!


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Our two hurricane babies were born on the same day three years apart.

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When I saw Bethany's face, I thought I had surprised them...
until I heard her say "You were right, Joshua!!! They were planning to do it today!!"
That's the FIRST time I failed to surprise one of the children.
That's OK; I'll just whip out my A game next time!
Hannah Bug was pretty surprised too!!

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Bethany likes to decorate with frosting, so we made different types of cupcakes, and let everyone decorate their own.
She loved it!!

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Joshua's cake has Wheatley from Portal on it.

I used the frozen buttercream on wax paper transfer method. I was pleased with my first effort, and it wow'ed my family!

This is an inexpensive and fairly easy way to get a nice looking image on a cake. Next time, I will build up the frosting on the cake more to help the transfer come out more even. I didn't have enough frosting to sink the designed plaque of frosting into.
You can also have images printed on edible sheets from some cake shops or online stores.

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He did not want to sit still for a picture because he was so ready to get into his new Lego set!

I love it when they want Legos because we already have a dedicated storage area for them, and all of the children play with them. Even our adult children will sit down on the floor and play with their younger siblings. Mom and Dad frequently join in too!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Beloved

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Clint offered me this mock pose when I complained I missed a chance to catch him looking thoughtful during a moment while he was having a father son conversation tonight.


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It's not a serious look, but I managed to capture a good shot of him later!
I love this man with all I have and am so thankful God blessed me with him.

Today, I Cried

...tears of joy while my husband shared the gospel with someone who was searching for answers. 


2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.


Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

* * * * *

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Hannah Bug

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My baby is growing up!

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All of the pampering at Amanda's school wore her out!

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"Smile, Hannah!"
The curls we thought were gone forever when Emily hacked them off came back!

Matthew 18:1-3 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.