Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Since I don't foresee much time for blogging in the next few days I'd like to go ahead and wish anyone who stops by a Merry Christmas! I plan to spend the next few days focusing on the fact that "God has taken form" and helping my boys to realize the absolute wonder of it. Who knows I may not be back until next year, that is unless I have sudden inspiration. With the boys home all day it is a real possibility.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Not So Jolly Diet

BEFORE


Many years have passed since the day that Santa first became aware of his need for a healthier lifestyle. After hundreds of fad diets and starvation techniques he finally found the diet that worked for him. He's able to wear his long johns again without being self conscious of his jiggly belly showing. So this year he is so proud to introduce this new breakthrough diet to so many of you who have bellies that" jiggle like bowls full of jelly". This diet is so easy that even a kid can do it.

Breakfast: 1glass of strawberry milk.

Refuse anything offered by saying, "I don't wike that kind of food".

If that doesn't work simply lie on the couch in your PJ's for so long that you run out
of time and have to eat while running to the car.



Lunch: 1/2 peanut butter & jelly sandwich with the sides cut off, never ever eat the crusts

1 glass strawberry milk



Supper: 2 chicken nuggets, that's all your tummy will hold

1/4 cup pasta

Put some peas on your plate but start convulsing as soon as you taste them.



Snacks: Unlimited amounts of apples, cheese curls, and cookies. The trick is to move
constantly, never stop moving, run, jump, swim, ride bikes, drive your Mom crazy,
just don't stop moving.

If you follow this simple menu and directions you'll be sure to look like this next year.

AFTER

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Two Year Old and The Man

While we were in LA my baby officially hit the Terrible Two's, actually I think he was already there. We had already celebrated in FL on the same night as Landon's birthday, so a huge party was not required. Kimberly suggested a local Mexican restaurant where the birthday boy could where a Sombrero and be sung to in Spanish. A few faithful relatives joined us for the occasion. Unfortunately my camera card was full when he actually had the hat on, but here's a picture of me and Dylan before. As you can see he was very happy about the whole affair.
Later on that evening we had a fish fry with Dylan's cookie cake as the dessert. He had a hard time sharing.

On that same day Harold took Ethan fishing with the "men". My cousin Stevie took Harold, Philip, and Ethan on a grand expedition of a fishing trip.
A few months ago my oldest son had to start wearing deodorant. Very sad, but true. Collin was a little jealous over this milestone in the life of his older brother. I tried to explain to him that it is part of the process of a boy becoming a man. As soon as he heard the word "man" he took of yelling frantically "Ethan, Ethan, you're a man now". Ethan has taken this very seriously, and the fishing trip served to reinforce this notion. On the way home he asked Harold, "So, I'm a man now?". The rest of the evening while the fish were being cleaned and fried he kept telling his poor little brothers, "You have to go inside, I'm only out here cause I'm helping". We're working on bringing his ego down a notch or two. Here he is with one of the many fish he caught that day.

One of the "men". Yes, Harold is barefoot. I guess he was feeling a little Redneck.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Where I Come From

This past week I had the privilege of returning to the "land of my birth". Yes folks, it's true, I'm a Louisiana native. I eat crawfish, gumbo, and shrimp and I am very proud of it. We were there for Thanksgiving and for the 50Th anniversary of the church I grew up in, but I'm getting ahead of myself. The church pictures will come later, this blog will contain the pictures of the first four days. Don't worry Kimberly, I don't plan on posting every picture.
I grew up in the only town I know of that has an alligator in the center of the town. He writes an article every week in the local newspaper. His name is Hardhide. Harold and the boys in front of the cage.

This is for Nellie and Cleo who were amused that my boys took the stuff they found in their yard and made a cannon.
Dylan with his Paw Paw Woodie on Thanksgiving Day.

Stevie carves up the Fried Turkey. Yummy!

Since I have no girls, I enjoyed spending some time with the adorable daughters of my cousins. Me with Kalissa and Katy.
My Mom turned 70 on Thanksgiving Day, so we had two celebrations in one.

On Friday we went into New Orleans for the day. The kids really enjoyed the new Insectarium they just opened. Here's Katy or "Mildred" with the Katydids.
Aunt Kimmy and Collin pose on a giant worm. She's so brave!

Cousins and still the best of friends. Liz, me, and Kimberly.

Ethan's appetite proved to be more hearty than I realized when he ate two worms and eight chocolate covered bugs.
Baby Kyle looks over his Daddy's shoulder with the Mighty Mississippi in the background.
Landon and Katy, two more friendly cousins.

I just realized that I have so many pictures and so little time. Stay tuned cause Sunday's on the way. Dylan's birthday too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

In Time For Christmas!

This economic downturn that we are experiencing has us all doing a bit of soul searching. People are finding new ways to save and creative ways to increase their income. One dear friend even went to far as to ask her friends for a "bailout". We have decided to evaluate the talent of each of our family members and put their particular talent to work. We realize that there are Child Labor Laws out there, but times are hard and we've just got to do what we've got do. With Christmas coming very soon there be some good or service that we can help you out with. Please look this advertisement over carefully and let us know how we can help you.

RED'S RUG RATS CHILDCARE SERVICE

Being the oldest of four children, Ethan has become very proficient at childcare. Don't be alarmed by the bewildered look on his face or the fact that the baby appears to be crying. He does occasionally bop a younger sibling over the head, but no permanent damage has been done up to this time. So if you need a sitter while you go do your Christmas shopping, give him a call.

COLLIN'S COUNSELING


Last week Collin brought home the Student of Week Award, we were just a little surprised to see that the character trait that he was recognized for was Wisdom. When I asked him what he got the award for he said, "For my head, cause I think a lot". Harold's new favorite line whenever anyone has a question about something is, "Maybe Collin could impart some wisdom on this situation". So if anyone is in need of some special counsel to get them through the Holiday Season, just call Collin.

LANDON'S LIMOUSINE SERVICE

Landon has only recently taken up driving as a hobby, but he is very capable of driving just about any vehicle. Here at home he mostly drives his trucks around the house. If you see any of us with bandages on our ankles please don't get upset, it was our fault for not moving out of the way in time. Actually we are getting pretty good at plastering ourselves to the walls when we hear a rumble behind us. So if you need someone to drive you around to the stores this Christmas or maybe someone to shuttle you to your car after the "Singing Christmas Tree" give Landon a call. Nerve medication recommended.


DYLAN'S DEMOLITION

Destruction seems to lie in the path of Dylan. Most days I get nothing done because he comes behind me and undoes everything faster that I can keep up with. The dirty silverware gets put in the drawer as fast as I load it in the dishwasher. The laundry gets unfolded faster than I can fold. Anything left on the table or the counter has to be pushed all the way to the back or it ends up on his head. This is a talent that I'm sure must be of some use to someone, so I was thinking that we could hire him out to tear down Christmas decorations when the festivities come to an end. The only thing to keep in mind is that you won't be able to save anything for next year. So if you have disposable decorations give him a call.


KAYLA'S CARTOON CAKES


On Landon's birthday I decided that it would be economically wise of me to make a cake instead of buying one. So I found one that looked relatively easy and this is what I came up with. No one said, "Oh Kayla, it's so pretty", they all just laughed when they saw it. That's when I came up with the idea for my business. There are so many ways that you could decorate a cake to it look "human", so I am offering to make cartoon cakes. Just bring me a picture of the person you want a cake for and I'll make a cake sure to bring a smile. This is not for sensitive people.


Since Harold is already the "bread winner" in our family we let him get by without offering up something. If the stock market continues to fall we might have to call on him though. He may of offer plane rides as Christmas gifts. How does "Harold's Highs" sound for a name?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lan Tan the Martin Man


Five years ago Harold and I welcomed our third son into this world. On November 20, 2003 Landon was born. We hadn't planned on having another baby for another three years, but surprise, surprise. Now that he is here we can't imagine our lives without him. He can be the sweetest child ever or the orneriest child ever in a matter of two minutes. He started preschool this year and is absolutely loving it. I took cupcakes for his class yesterday, and he was so cute in his excitement and pride that his Mommy was there. Tonight his grandparents and cousins are coming over to eat corn dogs, at his request. I should probably fix some strawberry milk to along with it since that is his favorite beverage. He's growing up so quickly I can hardly stand it. The other day informed us that he doesn't want to be in the military when he grows up, he wants to be in the army. I'm not sure how that will work, I guess we'll wait and see. So as Thanksgiving approaches we are giving thanks to God for sending us our very own little "turkey".

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dinner In The Hangar

Last night MFI held their first banquet in the new hangar. Even though they have been in the new facility for two years, they have continued to hold the annual fund raising banquet in Palm Beach since that is where most of their constituents are. They will continue to have that event every spring, but will now also have one at the hangar every fall. It has long been a dream to be able to host this event where people can see for themselves what MFI is all about. This was mainly to raise awareness in the community from Hobe Sound to Vero Beach. They had hoped for at least 200 to attend and ended up with 350. The dinner was catered by a man who recently started volunteering at MFI and owns a catering business. The Stuffed Pork Chops, Basil Chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans were delicious. The program consisted of music by The New Stetler Trio, a slide presentation, and a special speaker named Caleb Lucien. Harold works very closely with Caleb in hurricane relief and has come to deeply respect him. He was born in Haiti, but educated in the states, then went back to Haiti to serve his people. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him. One thing I didn't realize is that there are still people living on their roofs in tents because the mud is so deep in the houses and there is no way to get it out. Next year, if there is no conflict of interest, I'll be sure to advertise this event for the people who live here locally. Here are a few pictures of the evening for your viewing enjoyment.

The view before everyone arrived.


The moon came up during dinner in the perfect spot. How romantic!


It has been wonderful to have our old "double date buddies" back. Jonathan did the sound for the Stetler Trio since they were representing HS Bible College. Harold and I are loving having Emily and Jonathan back down here to socialize with.

The ladies at our table. We were very flattered to have Uncle George and Aunt Ruthie at our table.


Harold and I. What a good lookin' man!


Outside looking in.


Harold's "home away from home".


We were thrilled this week to have our good friends Todd and Jennifer spend a couple of nights with us. They were some of our best pals when we lived in TN. Harold and Todd went to Moody together and we also went to the Nazarene church together. After graduation they went with Nazarene Missions to Guatemala for four years. Due to lack of funds they had to close their Aviation Dept. When we were out in Idaho two years ago we were driving down the road when Harold starting pointing and quickly pulled off to the side. There walking down the sidewalk were Todd and Jennifer. They were doing all the prep work to go with MAF (Missions Aviation Fellowship) which is located in Nampa. It just so happened that they were to get their assignment that afternoon, it was between somewhere in South America or Haiti, they were quite sure that it would be South America since they both speak Spanish. The next thing we heard was that they were headed to Haiti. So after spending some time getting caught up, we saw them off Thurs. morning. Please keep them in your prayers.



I'll leave you with a little sample of the music from banquet. I know that the "Old Stetler Trio" was the group of their day, but they didn't have much on the "New Stetler Trio". I love to hear the family harmony of Paul, Allysa, and Julia. They did us proud. Sorry that you can't see them very well, at least you can hear them, that's what matters.

video

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Welcoming Evan Philip

Last night I had the privilege of helping to host a Baby Shower for Danielle to welcome Evan Philip into the world. It's always fun to have the baby there for everyone to ooh and aah over, and I think he got plenty of it. We had it at my house which is always a little nerve wracking, but I think it turned out fine. A shower in the fall can be a bit tricky but we were able to incorporate pumpkins into the decor and Lenita did a fantastic job making the refreshments to go with the season. I thought that I had taken a picture of the food, but now can't seem to find it. I'm very disappointed because the view would have made you hungry. Oh well, here are a few pictures from the evening.

Charlene did a wonderful job making the pumpkin cake, actually it was Caramel Pound Cake in the shape of a pumpkin. Isn't that just too cute. She also make the centerpieces to go with them.

I asked Emily to make bows for the tops of these two white pumpkins, and of course she went above and beyond my expectations to create these. Also a big thanks to Jenny H. for writing on the picture frame. Sure wish I was artistic.

I borrowed my Mom's yard decor ,which is actually a crane, but we pretended it was a stork. They don't usually bring the baby in a pumpkin shell, but it went with the decor.

Since my bassinet isn't in use anymore I decided to pull it out for the evening. Of course Evan didn't get to lay in it with all the willing arms, so it held the gifts.

These are all the ladies who made the evening happen. My Mom helped some but was sitting down when we took the picture. That's me, Lenita, Danielle, Evan, Brittany, and Charlene.


Four generations starting with Great Grandma Wanda, Grandma Carla, Mommy Danielle, and Baby Evan.


With an admiring fan club of his Mommy's best friends.


Note: For those of you who noticed my Uppercase Living quote, I have one of the "Tom Sawyer" pictures of the boys ordered to go above it. I will share when it is complete.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Lift Up Your Heads"

In Sunday School this past week our teacher made the point that "this is our day". It's easy to look at past generations and think that they must have had it so easy spiritually. They didn't have to fight all the moral issues that we have to face in our day. Judging from the polls, there's a good chance the election tomorrow may not go our way. This is not to say that I have given up hope, I'll spend my day tomorrow calling out to God to intervene, but if things don't go our way I refuse to throw up my hands in despair. The last few days I've kinda been feeling that "brand new feeling in the air". Could it be that the election of Obama could bring us a step closer to the day of our redemption, when our faith finally becomes sight. As Christians we shouldn't be surprised by all that's happening around us, ever read the Book of Revelation? Even the most sanctified person likes to be proven right every once in awhile. Something in me enjoys the mental picture of the left wing media falling to their knees in admittance that Jesus is King. C'mon people get your heads up, we're gonna be the winners in the end, and it could be closer than we think.

Here are a couple of songs that have been playing in my head today. Hopefully they'll help someone else be able to rejoice and remember that while things may look doom and gloom it's almost our time to "shine".
"Days of Elijah"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43hj_vRexN4
"Redemption Draweth Nigh"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq0DjulA5zQ

On Election Day I'll be attending a Moth Collection or at least that's what I was informed of by my son. I think it's supposed to be Mock Election, but I could be wrong.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Politicoween

The pictures that you are about to view may cause you to think that I have been to a McCain/Palin rally. This is not true, I have been to something much greater. It's the newest campaign strategy, Trick or Treating with the Candidates. Okay, okay not really. In an effort to save money on costumes this year I made my poor kids become political junkies for the evening. Actually they really enjoyed it, one even told me that it was better than Christmas. This year, for the first time, there was an organized event on campus. Thanks so much to Gayle for putting it together. We met in the commons for trunk or treating and then walked around to houses on campus that were participating. We looked like a huge herd coming down the road. I'm hoping we have a lot more participation next year. I plan on making it a yearly event for my kids, it's great to have a controlled environment for them to have fun without all the usual worries of trick or treating. Okay, now for the pictures.
"John McCain"

A brave soldier who sacrificed a tooth in service to his country.
One who puts his life on the line every day to keep us "safe".
"Joe the Plumber"

Imagine our surprise when we drove up and there stood "Sarah Palin".

We may let these two hit the campaign trail.

I didn't get one picture with everyone looking at the camera, but at least I tried.

I was glad that everything washed off. Ethan was very worried about having to go to school with white hair.

Campaigning is proving to be a little too rough for "Joe".

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bible Lessons?

video

While I cleaned house this morning Landon made a valiant effort to teach his little brother from the Word. I got so amused at his frustration with Dylan's inability to keep names straight that I had to grab the camera and capture the memory.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Great Aunt Kayla
















Around 9AM this morning I became a Great Aunt. I'm not saying that I have wonderful auntly attributes, I'm saying that my niece gave birth to her first child. We are so happy to welcome Evan Phillip into the little boy ranks of our family. He was 6lbs 11oz with lots of strawberry blond hair. I just love the way he sucks on his fingers, none of my babies did that.
I still think that Great Aunt Kayla sounds completely ridiculous, so I'm open to suggestions of other things he can call me. My great aunts all seemed very old to me, so it just doesn't seem right that I'm now a great aunt myself. You can say "I remember when Great Uncle Harold used to ............" and it sounds normal, but when you say Great Aunt Kayla it doesn't have the same effect. My name didn't become popular until I was in my twenties, therefore I share a name with many young teenagers. Does anyone remember the "Kayla" Barbie that came out a few years ago. I think she was Barbie's friend and was not the least bit great auntish. Oh well, for a little fellow this precious I can deal with anything. I think I made him sleepy.



















Congratulations to Sean and Danielle. She's looking really good, in my opinion, for a woman who just gave birth.

















Wouldn't you just love to squeeze him?

















With his Grammy Carla.

















I've always loved babies and have been a little depressed that my baby is now a toddler. Now I have my very own Great Nephew to hold when I need a baby fix.