Saying goodbye….

On May 24 I got a text message from a very dear friend saying that another dear friend had just gotten the diagnosis of leukemia just a little earlier that day, and was heading to a hospital about an hour away to begin treatment the following day.   Through the next few days, as the doctors came and gave information, and more tests were run, and they knew precisely what they were dealing with, it sounded like she could beat this cancer.  Well, last Thursday, September 8 at 5:18 am , the Lord chose to take my friend Alyce home.   Alyce leaves behind a husband of 25 years, 4 beautiful daughters, and 2 gorgeous and fun grandbabies, parents, brothers, etc, etc, etc…..but what she leaves behind as well is a legacy.   This morning we, as a family, as a church family, as a community, and as business colleagues had the opportunity to celebrate the life of Alyce.    The testimony that I heard from our pastor, from the family, and from our many friends, is that Alyce had a legacy of faith, and she leaves a legacy of faith.   Alyce and I became acquainted almost 6 years ago when we changed churches.   She was one of the youth leaders, and she hosted several events in her home for the girls that year.   THe following year, I got to know her better, and she and I became very bonded through prayer.   We became prayer warriors for one another and for one another’s children and spouses.  

Last week, when I got the text from her oldest daughter that she was in ICU and that they were putting her on a ventilator,  I immediately began praying!   My first prayer wasn’t for her though, my first prayer was for exactly who I know she would have wanted me to be praying for….her husband and her daughters.     Through the next few days I spent hours and hours praying for my precious friend, and her incredibly precious family.   When I got the text at 2:20 am on Thurs morning that she had coded twice and it wasn’t going to be much longer I got my phone out and went back and read the text messages from the past 4 years (well, actually, however long I’ve had an iPhone)…..   Alyce, I am going to miss you!!!!   You were always so loving, so nurturing, and you genuinely cared, and I KNEW you prayed for us when I asked (and even when I didn’t).   

This past week, the tears and the heartache have come at some of the most random times, and I’m always reminded to pray for your precious family, because whatever I’m feeling doesn’t even come CLOSE to what they are feeling, dear friend.  Today I hugged each of your girls and told them that I loved them, and as you would expect me to, I sent food home with your parents….and Alyce, I baked your favorite cookies for them yesterday….yes, the toffee nut ones that you loved.   God even had a hand in that one, dear friend, I asked Hannah what kind of cookie she wanted me to bake (because Clay…her boyfriend….you would love him!!!!…..had chosen the last cookies) and she said toffee nut.  As I was baking them, I remembered that those were your favorite….yes, tears.   

I know that God will bring healing to our hearts, but dear friend, you will forever be missed!!!!   I love you, and I am never going to forget the prayers that you have prayed for us, the hugs that you have given me, and the tears that we have shed together.   I will ALWAYS pray for Jerry and the girls, and I will check in with them often to see how I can help.  

Goodbye dear friend!  See you in the future….. I love you! 

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A moment in God’s Word today….1/13/2016


From today’s My Utmost for His Highest (January 13)….Kind of along with yesterday’s message today’s is about Jesus getting us alone….I know that currently I am in a place in my life where I often “feel alone”….and it’s not that I don’t have friends or family, I do! And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am DEEPLY loved, and even appreciated, that isn’t what I feel when I feel alone. I am currently not involved in a deep and meaningful fellowship with sister (or brothers) in Christ outside of our Sunday morning worship and my friendships with my sisters in Christ and my family, God has closed the door for me for the time being for being involved in a weekly Bible study. I know that the reason for that is that He desires to be my mentor, He wants to be my guide through the Word…..He wants for it to be just He and I so that I can focus SOLELY on Him….not on the food, not on which video series is next, not on the gossip (sometimes disguised as prayer requests). It is sometimes a lonely place to be, but I also know that it is temporary. He has a group of women for me, I know, but He hasn’t led me to them yet. Anyhow, the purpose for this “alone with Jesus” time is perfectly described in today’s lesson from My Utmost for His Highest and quoted below…. 

There are vast areas of stubbornness and ignorance the Holy Spirit has to reveal in each of us, but it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone. Are we alone with Him now? Or are we more concerned with our own ideas, friendships, and cares for our bodies? Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quiet all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him.

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A moment in God’s Word today…1/12/2016


This year I am reading through “My Utmost for His Highest” again, today I wanted to share something from that…. 
Some notes from TODAY’s (January 12) entry in My Utmost for His Highest…. 
“We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We don’t even recognize the envy, laziness, or pride within us when we see it. But Jesus will reveal to us everything we have held within ourselves before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look inwardly with courage?
But as long as there is any doubt that we are unworthy, God will continue to close us in until He gets us alone. Whenever there is any element of pride or conceit remaining, Jesus can’t teach us anything. He will allow us to experience heartbreak or the disappointment we feel when our intellectual pride is wounded. He will reveal numerous misplaced affections or desires—things over which we never thought He would have to get us alone. Many things are shown to us, often without effect. But when God gets us alone over them, they will be clear.”
Sometimes God has to get us alone with Him (not just space wise, but in our hearts and our thought life) in order for us to see our sinful nature, and then to be sanctified. Sometimes those moments in time are long and difficult, other times they are short and sweet….at least in my walk with Him….but I am so thankful that God NEVER gives up on me, and that He is NOT finished with me!!! 

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Facebook “break” or “fast”

Last week, after the terror attacks in Paris while I was skimming my facebook timeline, I grew more and more distressed at all of the ugliness of this world and felt that it was time to take a break from facebook for the weekend.   On Monday morning I realized I hadn’t even really thought about fb (except for responding to the email notifications that I was getting for certain things).  Today I jumped on fb to just skim through posts and realized that it didn’t hold the same interest as it did last week.   For the past 4 days I’ve been reading, I’ve been cooking and baking, and most importantly I’ve been spending time with God and my family!     I can definitely say that I will be continuing my facebook fast/break with the exception of checking in here and there, once or twice a week. 
I have been doing something that I wish I did more of, and that is taking more pictures….so far just of food, but I’ve been taking more pictures and posting more on instagram.  That’s fun, and I’m able to cross post those photos to facebook and twitter which is nice.     And all of this means, that I will be blogging more as well!   

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A moment in God’s word today….11/9/2015

Last week one of my facebook friends (and friends in real life) posted a Scripture Writing plan for the month of November.   I always am able to focus better on scripture while writing it, so I took the challenge.   I did two days and then was hit with a really bad bout of vertigo, so I stopped for a few days.  Today I got up and am feeling GREAT, but I KNOW that if I overdo it, I will be right back where I was last week….in fact, here is what I posted on my fb a few minutes ago….. 

ok, be prepared to giggle at the very beginning of this…..
So, I see and hear my kids and other young people use the quote “The struggle is real”….usually accompanied by a hashtag. Well, I just said it to myself because today, seriously, the struggle is real! I am feeling great today! THANK YOU LORD!!!! And thank you prayer warriors! I quite honestly, haven’t felt this good in a LONG TIME!!!!! SO, I am feeling great! And I have a week’s worth of stuff that I’d LOVE to get caught up on…HOWEVER, I KNOW that if I overdo it, I’m going to be right back where I was with my vertigo. Baby boy is sleeping right now, and I got the salsa verde made, and the green chilis roasted, peeled and deseeded for making green chili and chicken tamales, and was getting ready to roast some pumpkins and butternut squash to get some puree into the freezer, and I realized that I really should take a break before moving onto those projects. Please pray for BALANCE today…. #thestruggleisREALLYreal 🙂


I sat and read for a few minutes, then I got up and got a pumpkin and a butternut squash into the oven to roast and 1/3 of the chicken bones that I collected over the weekend and started a pressure cooker full of chicken bone broth, made myself a cup of tea and sat down at the dining room table to do some scripture writing.   My plan had been to “get caught up”…..until I wrote the first day that I missed…..I think I’m going to marinate on this passage for a while before moving on.   I REALLY needed this passage today!!!!! 

2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (NIV) 

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

All I can say is WOW and AMEN!!!!   So totally appropriate for me right now!  Thank you God for always being so faithful to speak through YOUR living word!!!!! 

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Bad blogger….bad bad blogger!


I have been missing in action from my blog for over 2 years!   This ends today!   I have had so much on my heart to share, but when it comes down to actually documenting, it it just doesn’t happen….mostly because the enemy gets into my head and heart and convinces me that no one cares, no one is interested in what I’m going to say, etc.   Well, I get asked at least a few times a year about my blog.   God and I have been wrestling over this for a while now….and I need to come back….please bear with me, as I find a format that works for me on a daily basis (as far as whether I need to just keep this blog as it’s always been, kind of a hodge podge of everything in my life….my personal thoughts, my time in God’s word, family doing, cooking/recipes, household, crafts, etc. )  I have friends that have separate kitchen blogs from their “personal” blogs, but honestly, my life is a big mish-mash of all of the above!  One moment I may be snuggling on the couch with my honey, or a dog, or a kid….and the very next moment I may have the canner out and be preserving food, and the next have my crochet hook and yarn out and working on something……I MAY just keep my blog the way my life is 🙂    Not quite sure yet, and would LOVE the input of my faithful followers and readers!

Well, on that note, I will close this post with a prayer request….. as many of you know, I live in Central California…..and there are a LOT of wildfires burning right now.  But what is currently the 17th largest fire in CA fire history is burning in the mountains just east of us.  It is called “The Rough Fire”…..currently there have been over 120,000 acres burned or burning, and it is only 30% contained….it was started by lightening strike on July 31….yes, today is September 13!    There are over 2000 firefighters and support personnel on this fire, and have had to evacuate some very precious national treasures as well as thousands from their homes, and mountain cabins.  Please pray for rain for California, please pray for safety of our forestland, and the structures in the path of the fire, please pray for containment, and above all else, plese pray for the firefighters, their families, and the resources necessary to put this fire out!

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Money Saving Tips–Installment #6

money saving


Today’s installment is inspired by the end of summer…..and end of fall….and end of winter.   This is something that we all see, and maybe you even have been guilty of (we have!)… have a fruit tree or two or maybe several  in your yard.  Maybe you planted it thinking that it would be nice to be able to make your own lemonade (so you planted a lemon tree) or you love peach pie so you planted a peach tree.  Within a few years, it has reached full production and you have fruit coming out of your ears and you aren’t quite sure what to do with it!   The fruit sits on the tree and rots and falls to the ground for the flies, ants and birds.  Been there done that!   However, that fruit is money!   Not just for your family but for friends, family, neighbors, church and work friends, etc.   If you have much more fruit than you can possibly handle PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not let it become ant food!   There is SOMEONE that would be beyond blessed to come and pick the bounty of your harvest.

So, after you’ve frozen all of the lemon juice in dixie cups and lemon zest in little packets of plastic wrap, and you’ve made and canned all of the peach preserves and frozen all of the peach slices that you can possibly use in a year your tree is still loaded!   Pick a few more and take to neighbors, friends, the office, church, etc and tell the recipients that if they’d like more they can come pick them.   (Or send your teenagers into the tree to pick for you :))   Others will be blessed by that fruit!

ON the other side of this coin, if you don’t have fruit trees of any sort or not of the varieties that you can preserve or that you eat a lot of or whatever, don’t be afraid to ask friends, relatives, neighbors, heck the stranger that lives down the street that has an orange tree that loses all of it’s fruit to the ground every year and you see the boxes and boxes and boxes of oranges/persimmons/plums/apricots/etc go to waste year after year after year…..knock on some doors and ask!   I have done it and while it’s not easy the first time, they are so frustrated by the loss of fruit and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of fruit that most people are THRILLED to have someone that can use it!   This summer I have gone to a friend’s cousins house to pick apricots and plums, I have gotten plums and apricots from another friend, peaches, nectarines asian pears and lemons and oranges from another friend and nectarines from another, and a bucket full of apples from a friend’s brothers tree…..this is all fruit that they were so thankful that didn’t go to waste!   And it has all be eaten, frozen, canned, and dehydrated for our family for these coming months and this coming year.

I would estimate that I have gotten $200-300 worth of free fruit this year from friends and family members of friends simply because I asked, and because they are so thankful that it won’t go to waste!


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Money Savings Tips–Installment #4

(Sorry that these are out of order, I had this one scheduled to be published months ago and for some reason it never published, and today when I tried publishing it, it wouldn’t work, so I’m starting all over with this post).

money saving


Today we are talking food and food shopping and properly handling those foods.   I have heard it told that in America we throw away an average of 50% of our food….whether we are cooking too much/serving too much/restaurant portion sizes are too large, OR we buy the food and don’t use it and it ends up being tossed in the trash.   That is a LOT OF MONEY that is being wasted by the average American.   I am also guilty of this, but not to this level.   I am definitely one that will make something or buy something and put it in the fridge and forget about it.   Since the last time that I heard this  statistic, I have been more mindful of inspecting the deep dark crevices of both fridges every day…yes EVERY DAY to make sure I haven’t missed anything!

If I have something that is about to turn, I will incorporate it into a meal that day….even if it is something that won’t be eaten right away, I can freeze that dish or eat it within a day or two.  OR if it is a vegetable or herb or something along those lines, I will prep it and get it into the freezer (ie if I find an onion that has an outer layer of skin that is beginning to get soft, I will peel that layer off and shop the onion and get it into the freezer)…..if it is an herb I will either dry it in the sun or in the oven on VERY VERY low heat with the door propped open periodically to keep it from baking, or I’ll make a sauce or pesto with it.   Fruit gets cut up and frozen for desserts, muffins/breads or smoothies.   Leftovers get eaten right away or remade into something else.

Another manner of waste is something that I really deal with in my home….since moving almost 18 months ago, I have noticed that we generally only fill 1 1/2-2 kitchen trash bags per week, and half of that (if not more) is fruit and veggie waste.   If I had a compost pile, we would have virtually no trash, but to be VERY VERY VERY honest, the whole composting thing scares me.   I don’t want (and i know all of the arguments) pests (flies, ants, roaches, etc) and rodents (mice, rats, etc) and smell (I know, I know….if done properly no pests, no rodents, no smell…..BUT it would be MY house that that wouldn’t be the case).     If we had chickens, we would have virtually no trash (our yard is not conducive to chicken, but I also have a dog that I’m afraid would want to play with the chickens and in her overzealousness would kill them….she’s accidentally killed a couple of doves in trying to play with them).  BUT we don’t have compost or chickens and our city doesn’t allow food waste to go into the green waste can with yard clippings, SO we have probably 1 full bag each week of peels, egg shells, tops, bottoms, etc of our produce.    Well, this summer I have tried to remember to save some of those things for making stocks and jellies.   Peach pits and skins, and plum pits, and apple peels and cores (and I’m sure pears too) all can be cooked down with water and strained and made into jelly.   Carrot peels, onion peels, tops and bottoms of onions, carrots, celery, mushroom stems, broccoli stems, herb stems, etc, can all be used for stocks and broths.  SO I have a bag in my freezer for all of my veggie scraps to use in my broth and stock making, as well as a bag of peach and plum peels and pits to make another batch of “mixed fruit” jelly.  Watermelon rinds can be made into watermelon rind pickles, and even if you don’t can, they will be good in the refrigerator for a couple of months.

Meat bones….so many people just toss their bones from all of their meats out without giving it another thought, and if you were to look in their pantry they have boxes and boxes or cans and cans of processed chicken, beef, ham, etc broth.   They could have had FREE broth instead of spending all of that money!   If you don’t have time to put the bones (and the veggie scraps from your freezer….or a carrot, an onion and 2 stalks of celery) with some salt and pepper and cover with water into the crockpot and cook for 12-24 hours, then put the bones into the freezer until you do have time.   if you want an even richer broth and you have bones that were not already roasted with the meat on them, roast them.   Also add a splash of vinegar into the water to help draw the calcium and other nutrients out of the bones.  You can freeze (or if you have a pressure CANNER you can bottle) the broth.

Another sense of food waste is bread items, what do you do with the ends of your loaves of bread?   In our house, they get used in sandwiches by the adults.   But if the kids use the last 2 regular slices and leave an end….what to do with those?  PLEASE do not throw them out!   Let them dry on your counter top or in the oven for a few hours, (or toast them in the toaster or oven until dry) and crush them into bread crumbs.   Or put them into the freezer for later use for fresh bread crumbs or even feeding the ducks the next time you go to the park.   If you have single slices that are too dry for a sandwich, why not cut them into cubes and dress lightly with olive oil, garlic, dried basil and toast to make croutons for salad.

If you have bits and pieces of meals leftover, not enough for a full serving of anything for a single person, SAVE IT.   Some of the VERY VERY best soups that I have ever made were made from a bucket of scraps of leftovers that I had in the freezer.   For a season in my life, I had an ice cream bucket in the freezer that every bit of leftovers (yes, EVERY BIT….pasta with sauce, rice, lasagna, meats, veggies, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, etc, etc, etc….that wasn’t enough for a meal for our family, it went into the freezer).   When the bucket was full, I’d put it into my soup pot, add chicken broth, and let it cook.  I know that it does not sound appetizing, but it IS!   Those soups were DELICIOUS and not anything that could ever be replicated.   One  of the soups that I made from my bucket had macaroni & cheese, spaghetti wtih meat sauce, tri-tip, ham, fried chicken, peas, corn, green beans, cheesy mashed potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach (leftover from a spinach salad with dressing on it), turkey breast, rice pilaf, and few other things that I don’t remember.   I know that it sounds gross, but HONESTLY it was DELICIOUS!

Those are some of my ideas on how to save money by eliminating food waste…..what do you do in your home?

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Money Savings Tips–Installment #5

money saving


This week I’ve been seeing posts by MANY of my facebook friends that their children, husbands, wives, and selves have gone back to college or started college this week.  Not only is college expensive for tuition and fees, but books are INSANELY expensive.   When I was a college student 25+ years ago I  bought as many books as I could in USED condition and was able to save some money, but in that day and age, the only option for purchasing most of your text books were the college bookstore.   If you had prof’s that were using novels or non-fiction biographies, you could sometimes borrow those from the city/county or school library for free, or get them for less money at used book stores, or even stores like Walden’s Books or other bookstores (Sadly, I don’t even remember the name of the bookstore that I frequented the most in high school, college, and in my early married years).   Today though, college students can save SO MUCH MONEY on books, there are so many great options out there.   Here is what I do now for my kids’ college books….

Step #1–get list of books from school website (generally you have to do a search by class and prof through the college bookstore’s website)

Step #2–talk to students that have taken the class from the same instructor, OR email the instructor, OR wait until the first day of school to make sure that that particular instructor uses the books, or if you can get away with only purchasing the online code, or maybe you can share a book with another student?

Step #3–If you find that you DO need the book(s) listed for each class look up the book on the following sites noting how much the book is new, used, as a rental and as an e-book (a spreadsheet comes in VERY HANDY for this process).   The fastest and easiest way to do this is by searching by using the ISBN number.
You will want to check

We have found that with many of the text books we can do rentals, or e-books for MUCH cheaper than even buying used.   However there have been classes that we’ve been able to get a used book for just a couple of bucks.

I do have friends and family that have gotten textbooks from craigslist, and freecycle, but I just struggle with dealing with some of these individuals sometimes….I prefer doing a little more legwork and having them delivered to my home.

OH!  Another great way to get books is by talking to your friends or people that you know that have taken the classes and buying or borrowing from them.   We have been able to get free or just about free books this way.

We have found also that some instructors will give the college book store a “bundle”….which usually means a text book and the online code for homework/labwork, etc.   So far, our experience has been that EVERYONE of these online codes has included an online version of the book, and by only purchasing the online code and not the bundle has saved us an average of $50 per class.   ALSO, some of these codes will work for multiple semesters….for instance, if you are taking 3 semesters of spanish, the code may work for all 3 semesters.  Same with math, and possibly some lab sciences that are in the same science family.

Another “trap” with the bundle deals is that oftentimes a prof will have the bookstore bundle a text with supplementary books that you can either borrow from the library, get for free as e-books (ie kindle/nook….neither of which you have to have a special device for, you can use your mobile device or computer or tablet), or very inexpensively in used bookstores/thriftstores or from amazon.

Don’t feel like you HAVE to have the textbook for taking notes in, etc…..the kindle/nook/electronic versions almost always have the capability of highlighting and note taking and will save you a BUNDLE!

And last but not least, if you are renting textbooks, MAKE SURE YOU RETURN THEM ONTIME!   You will waste the money you saved if you have to pay for a 2nd rental period or if you end up getting charged for the book because you waited WAY too long to return them.    If you find during the semester that it is a book that you actually wish you had purchased instead of rented, all online stores do offer this option to you at anytime during your rental (and they deduct the amount that you have already paid for the rental).

WOuld love to have you add your college money saving tips in the comments! 🙂


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The Caboose to the family train turns 13

This past week has been filled with remembering back to what I was doing during this week 13 years ago…..I was anticipating the arrival of my brand new Bosch Universal Kitchen Center (the heavy duty mixer that can EASILY knead up to 10 pounds of whole grain bread dough (6 loaves) effortlessly, and a few doctor’s appointments, celebrating the birth of our closest friends’ youngest child….also a daughter.   And of course, awaiting (not so very patiently I might add) the birth of the caboose to our family train.

In early January of 2000 I went in for my annual physical and left finding out that I was 7 weeks pregnant.   I had had no idea that I was pregnant until that time!   For the first of my pregnancies I had not had one single symptom!   I hadn’t been sick, I hadn’t been sore, I hadn’t been overly tired….nothing!   If they hadn’t done an ultrasound that day to show me the baby, I don’t think that I would have believed them (I had ALWAYS known before even the pregnancy test could test positive when I was pregnant).   We had just found out about a month earlier that our closest friends were going to be having a baby in August, and now I found out that we also were going to be having a baby that was due on August 15.    (Our friends were due August 11–if I remember correctly).   This was the first time that my friend and I had been pregnant together….we were BEYOND excited!!!!    Well, needless to say, when the nurse told me I was expecting another baby, I was shocked….SO VERY VERY VERY HAPPY, but shocked!!!!   And I could only imagine what my hubby was going to say….so what does any woman in her right mind that just found out that she is 7 weeks pregnant do?   She calls her husband at work, right? 🙂    I still remember what I said too….and his reaction 🙂   “Honey, what are you doing August 15?”   “I DON”T KNOW?????”…….    “Well, how about we have a baby?”    …… silence…..   “Have a what?”…..    Yes, honey, we have been blessed with another baby!    The conversation went on briefly from there, but the nurses were all giggling while I made this call 🙂 (one of the nurses had been a friend from elementary and Jr High…..she was so glad she got to share this moment with me, as was I :)).

SO, fast forward through a not so long and very normal pregnancy (my first by the way….hadn’t realized how much my high blood pressure and borderline high blood pressure with my 3 previous pregnancies had affected all of the other parts of the pregnancy) to August… early August during my pre-natal check up the OB detected a slightly irregular heartbeat in our little baby.   He said that he didn’t believe it was anything to be concerned about, but he wanted me to come in for non-stress tests 3 days a week until the baby was born to keep an eye on the babies heart and heart beat.   So, August 15 rolls around (our due date), and we had an appt that morning, so we go in, hoping to find out that baby would be coming very soon (this precious baby had done something that none of my others had ever done….she had dropped into position and while making my breathing much easier, it necessitating the need to use the restroom much more often).   Nope, no contractions, nothing going on to indicate that this baby would be arriving anytime in the next day or two.   Now here is where I became distressed….our oldest two babes were born on their due dates…..H (our 2nd born daughter, 3rd born baby) was induced  due to complications and was born at 37 weeks.   So I had never gone past that “magical date” before!   Got home and found out that my friend was in labor…..but I wasn’t!     So, our “niece” was born on August 15, 2000 (our baby’s due date)…..we were so very excited for our friends, but had to start the waiting game for our own little bundle.   Several more doctors appointments, and a very tired and worn out and HOT mommy and 7 days later we finally got the doctor to agree to induce labor …..the next day!   So, on Wednesday, August 23rd we were scheduled for induction.   Without sharing the next several hours with you, let’s just say that our little bundle of joy (which we had chosen to keep the identity of his/her gender a surprise for the birth….with our others we knew what they were before they were born) was very happy where she was at, or maybe just wanted to be born on a Thursday like her 2 previous siblings.    But at 1:02 am on Thursday August 24, my husband and I welcomed our daughter, Rachel Elizabeth into the world.  Our 3rd daughter, our 4th child, and the caboose to our family train!

That precious little babe has now officially become a teenager (and last night her siblings stayed up with her….well most of them did…..until after 1:02 am to welcome her into teenagedom and celebrate her birth time with  her….Mom and Dad were WAY asleep :)).   Our little girl is now a young lady, and beautiful inside and out!   She is now officially taller than her mommy and both of her sisters and could possibly pass her daddy up if she continues to grow :).   She has grown to be a Godly young lady, that loves the Lord with all of her heart, all of her mind, and all of her strength.   It brings so much joy to my heart to peak into her room at different times during the day and evening to see what she may be doing and find her reading her Bible.   Last year we bought her a new bible (at the church that we attended for most of her “growing up” years the kids always got a brand new “grown up” bible from the children’s pastor as they graduated from the 6th grade and was heading into the youth department…..well, we had changed churches after our 3rd child had graduated 6th grade, and our new church didn’t do this, so we bought her her “grown up” bible with her name on it….very similar to the bible’s that her older siblings had).   When I asked her a few weeks ago what she wanted for her big birthday she said she wanted a new bible…..”But you have a new bible”.   Well, our church has undergone a couple of changes this past year….the youth pastor that had been there when we came almost 3 years ago had left in May 2012 to go into fulltime missions work with his family, and one of our friends was hired in Feb 2013 as the new youth pastor, AND in October 2012 our church welcomed a new associate pastor of adult ministries.   Both of these new pastors have an influence over our girl (and she adores both of them!) and they both prefer the ESV (English Standard Version)…, she wants a new ESV study bible.   How on earth can you argue with that? 🙂

Anyhow, the caboose to our family train is a blessing to all that meet her.  She has a very tender heart, a warm smile and the biggest warmest hug that you could ever ask for.   She loves the Lord, she loves her family and her friends, and is INCREDIBLY loyal!   She is a great daughter, an awesome (although sometimes pesky) younger sister, a granddaughter that makes her grandparents immensely proud, and a friend that will love you through any disagreement or issue that may arise.
Happy 13th Birthday precious girl!!!!   Mommy loves you and am blessed to have you as the caboose to our family train!


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