Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Scenes Around the Manger

A few years ago we decided to invest in a Nativity Set that the kids could play with. We were hopeful that the interaction would help them to realize the true meaning of Christmas. They really enjoy playing with it, but there are some concerns about the way their imaginations work in regards to Bible times, geographical issues, and so on. As I was cooking supper the other night I couldn't help but hear the conversation going on the other room as they played with the Nativity Set. I heard such things as "It's time for the eagle to fly" and "Baby Jesus is the winner". These statements seemed somewhat strange, but it wasn't until I went and looked at the scene on my coffee table that I fully realized just how strange it was.
I had to ask "What in the world is Hamburglar doing?". The response was "Oh, he looks like a bad guy so we made him Caesar".
It was also very enlightening to see that the Wise Men brought along a couple of giraffes and a parrot. And how refreshing to see Santa there as well.
Speaking of the Wise Men this picture will give you a new vision of what the "three" could have looked like. It is definitely different than anything I have seen before, but hey you never know.
Okay so that was the head Wise Man from the Singing Christmas Tree along with his little page and the prestigious costume designer, but it does make a funny picture.
As most of you know last week was the eleventh year our church has put on the Singing Christmas Tree. It is an event that everyone greatly anticipates. All of the boys had some little part this year. So for those of you who were not here to see them in person I will share just a few pictures. The kids who are in the Academy always do a song, this year they sang "Come and See What's Happening in the Barn". It was definitely a crowd pleaser. They all had to wear their Sunday best, preferably red or green. Ethan and Collin looked so handsome that I had to have my picture made with them.
Dylan was a snow baby during the first song. Tara H carried him around behind the sleigh. He was always mesmerized by the falling "snow" and bright lights. As you can see we are still having tongue issues.
Landon was an elf. He was supposed to wave and blow kisses. Instead he limped around on his red and green cast and looked a little dumbfounded the whole time, but he was still adorable. Here he is with all the other elves receiving their last minute instructions from the costume designer.
My Mom and I went to the mall with the two youngest munchkins. Santa was there luring innocent Moms and Grandmas to buy pictures. This one was definitely a keeper. Dylan felt very "jolly" about sitting on the lap of one who also has an issue with body parts "jiggling like a bowl full of jelly". Landon on the other hand was a bit overwhelmed to be with one who has a "list".

Well it's late and I'm tired, so goodnight for now. More Christmas scenes will be coming in the future.
PS I added the Cajun Caviar recipe on the sidebar. To those of you who have been asking for it, I'm sorry it took me so long.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday Morning Syndrome

Does anyone out there hate Monday mornings as much as I do? I will never understand how the house falls apart every Sunday. The laundry is piled to the ceiling, the dishwasher is full, and there are Christmas ornaments all over the living room. I thought the boys rooms were at least halfway clean, but upon further inspection I find that my "little deceivers" took the shortcut cleaning route. Boy will they be surprised to come home from school and find that Mom is ready to stand at the door and watch the job done right. Over the weekend my two little ones are entertained by their older brothers so come Monday morning Mommy becomes the sole source of entertainment. That of course means that everywhere I step my foot seems to land on some little body part that should not be there. Just thought I'd ask, in case someone else is having the same trials that I am this morning. Rest assured Tuesday is on the way.

If you are tired of my picture posting please bear with me. There are a few who are interested in the goings on of HS. I was thinking the other day that if the house burned down or a hurricane hit and we lost everything all I would have to do is find a computer and there is the record of our existence. So here goes, last weeks events appear for all "wondering eyes".
Tuesday was my Mom's birthday so the I made cupcakes and the boys decorated them. This is what you get when you let little boys loose with decorating supplies. I would have included a picture of her, but she preferred that I not. Happy 69th to her anyway.
That evening was Rochenda's baby shower. It was very special to have a small part in hosting the event. She is one of those mutual friends who saw us through our dating years. Harold tries to claim her as more his friend than mine since he has know her longer. She actually picked out my Christmas present from him one year while we were dating. I think things were a little shaky in our high school relationship at that time and he wanted the perfect present, so he went shopping with Jose and Rochenda. I still have that present.
Anyway the shower was beautiful. Charlene did all the decorating and did a fantastic job. Here she is with her Mom and Angela.
The ladies who helped. Charlene did most of the work and the rest of us helped with the food.
Chenda and me. The next two are a before and after duo, they are mostly for my own amusement so please bear with me.
In a day and age when everyone is upgrading and upsizing there is at least one thing that we have both downsized. I think that this is a positive thing.

Thursday was of course Dylan's first birthday. Here are all four brothers ready for the party.
"Man is this cake good!"
Saturday was the annual HS Christmas Parade. The boys were asked to wear their "military" uniforms on the float. These are actually the lapels from Harold's old flight shirt, his bars, blue ties, and hats from the local souvenir shop, but they seem to move everyone. Here they are ready to go.

Here is the float. Seanna did a really good job with it this year.
Here they come!
For those of you who don't get the joy of seeing the parade every year, here is Anthony H's Port-o-Let on the go. I get highly amused when this "thing" passes" by.

On a more serious note, today marks three years since I stood with my parents by Dawn's bed and watched as the doctors backed off and let her go to be with Jesus. Looking back over the past three years I am so aware of the sustaining hand of God on our lives. It never ceases to amaze that God's grace is sufficient for the things that we could never handle on our own. In his sermon yesterday Pastor Wolfe talked about the Promise of Reunion in one of his points. I'm so glad this morning that one day that WILL become a reality.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


It is hard to believe that a year ago tonight I was in the midst of preparing to be at the hospital at 4:30am. The feeling of anticipation and dread at the same time were overwhelming. Those of you who have had C-sections will understand what I mean. Poor Harold was sick most of the night, so I lay beside him and went through a list of people in my mind that I could possibly call up at 4:00am and say "Hey, would you like to get up and take pictures in an operating room this morning?". Thankfully he revived in time to personally see his fourth and final son make his entrance into the world. He was born at 7:05am a whopping 7lbs. 11oz. He was of course one of the four most beautiful newborns to ever grace this earth. The hospital was so full that they had to keep me in the recovery room until 3:00 that afternoon. My poor parents who were dying to get their hands on him had to wait in the lobby. I on the other hand had him right beside me and was too sick to hold him. I know how frustrating it must be to not be able to see your baby right after he is born, but to have him right there and not be able to pick him up is torture.
People often ask me if I am disappointed that we didn't have a girl. I truthfully can say that it doesn't bother me at all. There were a few hours after we found out that he was a boy that I mourned a little. Once I got used to the idea of four boys I never longed for a girl again. Dylan has been such a joy that I can't even imagine what life would be like if he was a girl.
He is truly the "baby" of the family. I can't leave him in his bed crying for any amount of time before his brothers nearly collapse with sympathy for him. Ethan is his all-time hero, all he has to do is walk in the room and Dylan starts laughing. I absolutely love the interaction at this age, he would give high fives all day if there were someone so accept them. On Veteran's Day at church he was sound asleep on my lap, everyone started clapping, he woke up clapped for about five seconds and immediately zonked back out. There is no food like Cheerios for him, just put him in his high chair with a handful and he is as happy as if he had a slice of cake.
He loves his Maw maw and Paw paw dearly. They have started keeping him at their house sometimes when I work. He thinks he is the "King" getting to sleep between them.
So on November 29 we celebrate his first birthday. Please help us pray that he will grow up to be a man that God can use to do great things through.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Week Pictures and a Broken Ankle

I thought I better get a few pictures up from last week's events before I get overwhelmed with this week's events also.
This will be a brief pictorial account of all of our Thanksgiving celebrations. We started out on Tuesday with the annual "Feast" for the Kindergarten class.
Here's the whole gang including the teachers.
This is now one of my all time favorite pictures. Don't they look like quite the crew.
On Wednesday we had the annual MFI Thanksgiving dinner. It's a great time for all of us to be together and bond.
Here is the gang of MFI kids. As you can see it looks like we breed our own pilots from the number of boys.
The newest recruits, Brian and Terah. He just started as a maintenance specialist.
She is supposed to give her testimony at our ladies cookie exchange next month. She seems like a sweetie so I am excited to get to know her better.
Ray and Tammy were in TN at the same time as us. Their son Micah was born a week after Collin. We both started at MFI within a few months of each other.
Kenny and April are MFI's fun couple. They are always a load of fun to be with .
On Thanksgiving Day we ate at Harold's parents house. It was smaller than normal since Carla's family was out of town, but Wanda put on quite a spread. All I had to make was a pie. After all the other activities I was okay with that.
My Mom and Dad ate with us also. It was their forty-fifth wedding anniversary. You saw a picture of them before, so here they are now. Still looking good.The boys on Thanksgiving

On Friday Harold decided to go ocean fishing. I'm sure there are those of you out there who might be interested in seeing his catch. He was quite proud.
I worked Friday night, so Sat. morning I went of my Mom's house to sleep. For some reason it seems much quieter there. I had just woke up when Harold called and said "you have to come home now, I think Landon broke his ankle". Needless to say I rushed home. Harold had been riding him on the front of his bike when his foot went into the spokes. It stopped the bike with enough force to throw Harold over the handlebars. Landon landed face down with his leg entwined in the spokes. After a few hours he started walking on it some so we thought that it must be a sprain. We went to church Sunday, but it was swollen so much he couldn't wear a shoe. By that afternoon the swelling had increased, and he was favoring it more, so off we went to the hospital. He actually fractured the fibula, it wasn't a major break, but it was in the growth plate. Monday morning we went to a Pediatric Orthopedist. They couldn't put a cast on because of all the scrapes and cuts on his leg, so he is wearing an air cast for a week. We will take him back the beginning of next week to have a regular cast put on. I guess my diet plan for the holidays is to carry a four year old around. We are so thankful that neither of them were injured more seriously. Harold is feeling better, but was pretty sore for a couple of days.

Tonight is Rochenda's baby shower and Thursday is Dylan's birthday so I will have more to post in a few days. Stay tuned for the ongoing saga.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks for Forty-Five Years

This Thanksgiving day marks a special milestone for my parents. On November 22,1962 my parents began their life together. My Dad loves to tease my Mom about eating a drumstick in her wedding dress. She got a little hungry before walking down the aisle, and so she helped herself to some leftover turkey.
There are so many things I could list that I am thankful for, but this year more than any I am aware of the wonderful heritage my parents have given me. They came from backgrounds that were extremely different and yet their love has lasted through all the tests that it has gone through. I have seen them suffer immense loss and yet their faith and their love have never wavered.
They refused to let me throw them a party. I got the usual "you spend that money on those boys" routine. Rest assured though, the day will not go by without some celebration. I pray that God will grant them many more happy years together, and will use them as an example for many others.

Monday, November 19, 2007


On November 20, 2003 we welcomed Landon Keller into our family. Our third son has brought us so much joy that we can't imagine what life would be without him. I was several weeks pregnant with him when I first went to the doctor. After doing a blood test they informed me that I wasn't pregnant and if I would come back in a week they would give me an injection to get me back to normal. Thank God for good intuition, I waited a week and then insisted on another test. That time it came back positive. During the the second ultrasound I remember the tech asking me if I would be okay if she told me that it was another boy. I responded "of course, as long as he's healthy". I'm not exactly sure what she expected me to do, weep and wail I guess.
He has been full of surprises from the moment he was born. The first thing I heard Harold say after delivery was "he's got tons of black hair". Now for those of you who have seen our other newborns, you know how shocking that was for us. We thought we might have to name him Running Deer or Flying Eagle instead of Landon after we saw him. I had to start inquiring about the Indians in Harold's ancestry. Honestly, he was one of the most beautiful newborns I have ever seen, even if I am a little prejudiced.
This past year with his older brothers in school and Dylan being a baby, Landon has become my little helper. I don't think I could make mashed potatoes without him to put them in the pot after I cut them up. He absolutely loves to dust, and I gladly take him up on his offers to "cween the tables" for me. When nap time comes I have to snuggle with him, and he is one good snuggler.
People often ask me who he looks like. It is true that he has a different look than his brothers. I wasn't really sure myself until we pulled out this picture of my Grandfather, my Mom's Dad. Genetics are truly amazing. You can see the straight hair and same facial structure popped back up three generations later. This picture is to prove that he wasn't switched on us.
We had a small party for him tonight even though it was a day early. He requested a farm party, and had to dress the part. The camera wasn't working right so this is a little blurry, but I still had to share it.
The rest of this week is full of activities. I will be eating turkey and stuffing for the next three days, with the kindergarten feast tomorrow and dinner at MFI on Wed, then Thanksgiving day. If anyone sees me and I look a little stuffed myself please be understanding. I'll try to share these events with you as soon as I get the chance. Until then everyone have a very wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mega Bash and Mexico

Does anyone out there remember Country Fun Day? I thought a few of you might. Anyway, it has now been replaced by the Mega Bash, a night of wild jumping fun. The Academy does a fund raiser every year, the kids who sell twelve items or more get to go to the Mega Bash during school hours and then they open it in the evening to anyone who wants to come. My boys look forward to it from the beginning of the school year. Here are a few pictures for those of you who would like to know what you are missing.
Here is the ensemble of jump houses. Exciting huh!
Collin playing Basketball.
Harold and Dylan hanging out. Notice his Bomber jacket my Mom got him. His brothers keep trying to steal it.
Twila, this one is for you. Talitha and Alaina looking pretty. Congratulations to Alaina who won the regional spelling bee for her division and goes to state competition this weekend.

I spent this past weekend without my husband. Do I get any sympathy for that? Every few months Samaritan's Purse asks for special flights to deliver humanitarian supplies to Central America. They requested a special flight into Mexico to deliver water filtration systems to the region that has had the extensive flooding. You can see in the picture below where the river normally runs by the tree line. Everything around is covered.
The systems loaded and ready to go. They had to climb over them to get to the cockpit.
Unloading in Mexico.
Getting ready to come home. It was a privilege for Harold to take our neighbor John who was a missionary in Mexico for many years. Since they spent the night in town where they had no contacts, it was up to him to show them the ropes.
It was nice that SP footed the bill. As you can see from the picture of the hotel they were really suffering affliction on this trip.
The boys and I survived the weekend but we were very happy to have Daddy back on Sunday night. Thanks so much to those of you who keep us in your prayers when Harold is flying. You will never know how much it means to us.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day

On Veteran's Day we traditionally remember those that served in the service of our country, but as I sat in church this morning I couldn't help but think of those who serve for a different cause, the cause of Christ. You see, at the same time all the Veteran's were standing up to be honored my husband was taking off for home from the country of Mexico. No he wasn't there fighting a threat to our American way of life he was there aiding in the cause of the fight for the reason we even have life. Now please don't get me wrong, I am as patriotic as I can be. At the air show we were at yesterday I got chills and tears fill my eyes as I watched our flag being raised into the air. It just concerns me sometimes though that we fail to honor our Christian veterans, those that have gone into the world for the reason of spreading the gospel. They are the ones that have truly "wrestled with the powers of all darkness". I have little boys who are mesmerized with anything to do with the military, they are awed by the power of being a soldier. If my sons should choose to serve their country I will be proud, but I want to get across to them how awesome it is to serve in the "Lord's Army". I want their heroes to be people who live their lives to make it harder for Satan's power to have a hold on the world. Here in HS we are so blessed to have an abundance of these heroes, people who we sometimes don't notice because they aren't the dynamic up front types. They are the ones who have served for many years and are now taking a rest from the front lines, if you listen they all have stories to tell. Stories of how they fought the enemy and won. As we celebrate tomorrow let's not forget to honor All the soldiers who have made our way of life possible.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Casey, Ahem! Harry At the Bat

Friday night was a grand event here in HS, the ACTS VS. the YMFers in a glorious game of softball. Now my dear husband loves to play softball, but it has been quite a few years since has he played and we all know what a few years can do. Bless his heart, he actually considered not playing at all just to save his reputation. Come Friday night though he was out on the field, new glove in hand, ready to hit at whatever was thrown in his direction. Collin had shown a little concern that Daddy might strike out, so that was weighing heavily on his mind as he stepped up to the plate. It must have been fate that there was a detective there to give some advice, we all know how good they are at figuring things out, and this one must have known what it would take for Harry to hit a home run.

So Harry positioned himself perfectly, ready for the pitch.
He swings the bat with all the power he can muster.
The ball flies into the sky and over the fence, Harry runs the bases with the ease of a deer running across the interstate.

Older men stood in awe of what had happened, they talked of it long into the night.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in HS, Oh yes there is, Mighty Harry did not strike out.