Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Funeral...Strange, but True

A viewing and a funeral are a strange thing.

My uncle died recently and tonight was the viewing and funeral. It is surreal to be in a commercial, multi-faith use building. The decor was completely non-descript and bland in a boring classy kind of way. Looking at the front of the room, there was cross that was most certainly interchangeable with a symbol of any other faith tradition. Ewwww...

It's odd to see family I hadn't seen in years. I had cousins show up that I hadn't seen in 22 years. Is it acceptable to laugh in a funeral home? Seems wrong and yet it is what it is.

My uncle's body was in an open casket. And just as when you can't stop looking at a train wreck, I felt compelled to see "him". Of course, it looked just like him and nothing like him at the same time. I don't recall him having that grey hue before, but I do remember that fabulous white, thick, wavy head of hair.

I have some nice memories of my uncle, but I hadn't really seen him much in recent years. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's several years ago, and in the last couple of years, the disease had raped him of his mind and capabilities.

There were moments I was overcome with emotion, which was strange since I hadn't seen him in a while. But what was stranger was looking over at some people across the aisle, going through pages on an iPad.

I love my uncle. I love that I went to his funeral. I love that he is no longer trapped in his dwindling body and diminishing mind. I love that he is now in Heaven.

A viewing and a funeral is a strange thing.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Good Eats

Yesterday was a great day for me to cook up a storm! It makes me happy to be in the kitchen cooking for my family and creating things that I think they will like.

On Pinterest, I found a recipe (you can hardly call it a recipe)....but you take canned cinnamon rolls and put four of them in a waffle iron and leave them for 2-3 minutes. They become what I call...cinnaffles. Rawley loved his! Well, they all did and were gone faster than I have seen them eat anything in a long time!

The other recipe I found on Pinterest was for gingerbread cupcakes. They are so good! The gingerbread is not sweet, which is a nice change from so many cupcakes. The sweet comes from the frosting, which has my favorite spices...a bit of cinnamon and allspice. It's a cream cheese based frosting, and oh! so yummy!

I also made a creamy tortellini soup that my family enjoyed as well.

It was a good day, Tater!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I keep demolishing that old saying, "An old dog can't learn new tricks." I am an old dog, but I have been learning some new tricks as of late.

The most recent is learning about and loving PINTEREST! I love seeing the recipes, the ideas, the crafts, the travel pics....I pretty much love everything about this site!

It's fun to do new things. old dog CAN learn new tricks! Keep learning.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Our Recent Journey

In 1996, God called our family to begin raising support to become missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ. We knew that God had called us and that began the most interesting of journeys for us. Though God had called, it didn't mean that it was going to be smooth sailing during the course of support raising.

We certainly had our times of extreme difficulty. There were times that Ben was working so hard on contacting people, asking, doing all the things we were supposed to do....and....nothing. There were moments when we doubted our call. Did we hear God correctly? Are we doing the right thing?

But just when it seemed as though we were about to fall into a bit of despair, God would bring confirmation, in the form of financial support, from somewhere seemingly out of left field. Usually from some area we weren't working. We know that HE did that just so that we knew for sure that it was God who was raising our support, not us.

That was 15 years ago. We have recently been going through something a bit similar. In the last 15 years, God has been very merciful to us with our support. While we have watched as other missionary friends have struggled with their support, we have not. So, it's been especially interesting, and somewhat disconcerting, when in recent days, we have had more supporters informing us of their decision to leave our support team, than in the last 15 years combined....just about.

What is God doing? What are we to do? Well, Ben began the process of raising more support. (this is not something that one does out of joy in the doing!) This is a bit of a chore and takes quite a bit of thought and work. Ben was his normal, hard-working self and just threw himself into the task.

So after a few, short days of despair, God did what HE has always done and provided in big ways for us! We know that HE wants us on this path we are on. It is clear to us that God wants Ben to finish his seminary degree and then to wait for HIS decision on what we do and where we go from there.

There is joy in knowing we are in the middle of God's will. There is peace in seeing HIS hand so clearly in our lives. Ben and I are anxiously awaiting what will be after seminary, but for the moment, we are just thrilled to be here!

Monday, November 7, 2011

RIP Van Doren

Ben heard about the death of the Vans co-founder, Van Doren, the other day. In honor of the genius who began the trend that has captured Ben's heart, he decided to pay homage with a photo of a small selection of his Vans collection. RIP Van Doren and I hope that my Ben's heart heals quickly. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rainey's Party

Rainey turned 8 in September, and losers that we are, just were able to get his party arranged yesterday! But what a fun time the boys had! We had a friend in the military give the boys a tour of the flightline. They got to go in a plane, try on a flight helmet, and learn so much about all the aspects of being a pilot!

Our friend, Matt, was so amazing in taking time out of his day to guide the boys all over. They had such a great time.

Here is Rainey with the helmet on. I think he looks like Top Gun! What do you think?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our Traditions

I was asked to speak at MOPS this morning on the traditions that our family does. It was such a privilege to be asked to do that. Of course, having family traditions is one of my most favorite things, so it was easy to talk about. I thought I would publish the list of traditions that I shared with the group.

Trip to LR to be with friends
Black Friday shopping
Christmas PJ’s
Christmas in July
Cinnamon rolls
Straw manger
12 Days of Christmas
Friends of the kids for Christmas cookie decorating
Operation Christmas Child boxes
New Year’s:
Blessing box
Globes of gratefulness
Valentine’s Day:
Books on the kids’ placemats at breakfast
Longaberger baskets
Barbarian Night
Saturday Night Ice Cream Night
Birthdays: any meals they want
Restaurant of choice for lunch
No chores
No school
½ birthdays
American Idol each week as a family
Animal school
I love you first game
Ben cooking lunch each Sunday after church
Passport 2 Purity weekend
Girls get ears pierced at age 8