Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Clay's Birthday!

My DU Idea!  
Yummy Cake!
The Table set up!

Blowing out the candles!!!
Clay wanted a bouncy house for the party!
Some of the kids who came! Fun Times!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas Elf

An awesome Christmas Elf dropped these by my house the other day!  These are absolutely the best donuts I've ever had! A local donut shop---Mark's!!! Nothing better.  They even had a "love you guys" note on them!  I have some really awesome people in my life! Love them bunches!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Lane

 I took G to Christmas Lane, an outdoor event that is hosted by a local church.  We took a carriage ride through the neighborhood, had hot cocoa & apple cider and a wonderful time! The funniest thing was when we got into the carriage & I said "put on your seat belt" he sat down quickly & began looking for it.  Then he said...."Stephie!" 

Carriage Ride

G with Santa!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Glass that makes me Smile!

A very sweet elf bought me this glass a few weeks ago. I've been using it every day since.  It just makes me smile. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Let it Snow!

We enjoyed our first snow of the fall/winter months. Beautiful!

Friday, December 9, 2011

B-17 Bomber Adventure!

A B-17 bomber briefly stopped over in our city for a few days so we took a quick tour of the historic aircraft. This bomber is one of only fourteen of these bombers is still flying today.  Pretty neat to look around and actually see this restored aircraft.
 The B-17 & the guys!
 I'm sure this coming toward you would be intimidating!
 The size of the aircraft is visible with the guys standing under it!
 A pose...plus looking at the geese fly over!
 The guns were impressive.
 More guns!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Cows Come Home

Back in October, we purchased a cow. He's being fed out right now, & he will soon find his way into our freezer.  This is a first for us and a new adventure, but hopefully we'll be able to save a little money in the long run.  A friend of mine was telling me about buying a cow and it sounded intriguing so she brought me some of her beef to try.  It was absolutely delicious! Very lean and wonderful.  The ground beef she gave me didn't even have to be drained when I browned it.  I asked around and another friend's father actually buys and sells cows and so the process began.  We made a trip out to choose the cow we wanted.  Clay made the final choice.  A few days after Christmas, we will be picking up a whole lot of beef.  My parents & our freezers will be full since we're splitting the cost!  I'll have to let you know how our purchase tastes.  We're excited about it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


We celebrated Thanksgiving at our house this year with Tom's parents, my parents, the boys, and our friend, Joel.  We had a great relaxing day with great food.  A time to be thankful for what we have and who we have in our life.  Sharing just a few pics of our table and our preparations.  I wish I had taken a photo of all of the food to remember how we feasted & shared! We are all blessed! I love my family & friends!

Our Table!
Chandler's place setting!

Clay's place setting!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Turkey Lurkey

Clay debuted as Turkey Lurkey in the Mystery of Turkey Lurkey in the Thanksgiving Play at our homeschool program.  The kids did a great job!  Fun Times!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Guys!

Son #1 & Son #2 
So proud of our guys! 
Love them so very much! God has blessed us with them!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mismatched Socks

Life is full of so many different things.  The good, the bad, the ugly, the fun, the not-so-fun. But in the whole scheme of things, life is pretty much what we make it.  Are we happy?  Truly have joy?  Happiness is really not about the situations or circumstances in our life, but how we handle them and understand that those things are just temporal and that we can truly be happy even during the times in life that don't bring happiness.  We can have a sense of knowing that all will be well.  We can have a peace that God is going to work things out for our good if we seek Him and serve Him and love Him.

I've gone through a lot of things in my life that weren't so fun or good or lovely and while going through them wasn't all that great, I have been given a peace that passes all comprehensible understanding that God was going to take care of me simply because He is God and He is good and his mercy endures forever.  He allows in His wisdom what He could easily prevent by His power.  He allows things in our life to help us to grow in our Christian walk with Him; if we are wise enough to realize He is trying to help us grow.

We have to understand that even if life gives us mismatched socks, we can look at it one of two ways. Negatively or positively.  First, that woe is me, my socks don't match and one is tall and one is short and what am I going to go. Or we can choose to see the good in the midst of whatever we're facing. And that while my socks don't match and one is tall and one is short, well, at least I have two and they don't have holes in them and they are fulfilling their purpose.

I never discount what someone is going through, but I do want to encourage you to take a good look at your problems and find the good your life and even in your problems, learn what God has for you to learn & be grateful for mismatched socks! You never know where they will take you.............

©Stephanie Thompson

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Nina & The Pinta

 We recently had an exhibit come to town & Clay & I were able to explore it.  Exact replicas of Columbus' caravels, the Nina & the Pinta, moored to the dock on the Arkansas River.  It was absolutely fascinating.  We enjoyed it so much!  I would highly recommend taking the time to see this exhibit if it comes near you!  Such a fun way to explore history! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Renewing the Mind

Renewing the mind is a little like refinishing furniture. It is a two-stage process. It involves taking off the old and replacing it with the new. The old is the lies you have learned to tell or were taught by those around you; it is the attitudes and ideas that have become a part of your thinking but do not reflect reality. The new is the truth. To renew your mind is to involve yourself in the process of allowing God to bring to the surface the lies you have mistakenly accepted and replace them with truth. To the degree that you do this, your behavior will be transformed.
-Charles Stanley

Romans 12:1-2 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanks for the Bad

Thanksgiving is a word of action.  We must not just utter the words, but live by them. We must remember 1 Thes. 5:18, In everything give thanks.  Sometimes this is hard to do, but we must stop, take a look, and know that all things work together for our good.  Regardless of how it appears at the time, God is for us and not against us, and He is working things together for our good.  He wants our lives to be formed into the very image of His Son, Jesus.  This will take a process, a work, and definitely some chiseling of what isn't like Him, if we're brave enough and honest enough to look at ourselves.

As I look back through life, I see how far He has brought me.  Through some painful experiences and circumstances and through it all, He was working it out for me to see my frailties, my shortcomings, my selfishness, and the areas of my life that are not like Him.  To bring me to a place that I can see not just how far I've come but how much farther I need to go.  He is faithful, He is love, and He is very honest with us. His desire is for us is to give us a life, one that we could we couldn't even hope or ask for.  That's not necessarily the materialistic part but the one that is full and blessed and thankful. 

It's very easy to be thankful for the good things, but not so much the bad.  But is it not the bad that teaches us so much?  So today, think of the painful times in your life & think of where they have brought you and where they can take you & be thankful for them.  You are the wonderful person you are because of your experiences; the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So thank God for them......and remember He is worthy of all of our thanks!

Be Blessed!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do You Rank?

Recently has discovered that once you determine where you rank in people's lives....then it makes things much more simple.  The playing field is level.  The expectations of whether they will be there for you or not are identified.  Whether you matter or not can be seen clearly by behaviors.  And regardless of the fact if you'd truly be there for them doesn't really matter.  Because basically you do not rank as truly important in their lives.  Identifying this has been enlightening..........it allows one to see the truth, to be able to be honest about relationships and to know where to focus energy and efforts.

Part of me struggles with the fact that we can care about people who are in our lives really don't care about us. We can try to encourage them, try to be a part of their life, try to be caring and compassionate receiving none of those things in return.  How do we handle those facts?  How do we apply the realities to our life?  Do we determine that life is too short to focus on those with whom you don't matter? Do we continue on being who we are regardless....knowing that we don't "rank"? Do we just continue life as usual? Or do we make changes to adjust our life to those realities, moving them to a place of less importance in ours?

I am not sure of the answer. Perhaps it's a trial and error sort of thing.  Perhaps we continue on...Perhaps it doesn't matter.  I don't know....perhaps I never will. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011


The Kingdom of God reaches us at points and places where we least expect it.  It's ironic that those with nothing give the most.  A giver embraces the heart of the lonely and touches the need of the sinner.  Remember, it was a giver who changed the outcome of our existence and soothed the pain of our greatest need.  
When was the last time you gave away something you felt you were entitled to?  
When have you given your absolute best to those you were convinced deserved it the least?
How can you give of yourself?

Friday, October 7, 2011

The future of any ministry isn't to see a life changed, but to teach someone how to make decisions that will change his life. ~st

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

by the incomparable Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.
I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.
All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Your Own Decision


Many times in life, making decisions is difficult.  Many times "man" won't approve.  Many times people want to influence your decisions based on what they feel is right and what they desire. I've seen this happen so many times, others try to guilt someone into doing something.  It may be nothing that is wrong or bad, but just something that they want to do or "think" you should do.  Perhaps standing on your own decision may be hard. Perhaps others won't approve of your decision.  I think that one of the most freeing things in life is to be able to make a decision based upon what you think is best for your life, and move on with that decision regardless of what others say or think.  

Rudeness, being inconsiderate, or arrogant is not what I'm implying at all.  Just simply having a plan for your life & doing things that fulfill that plan.  Recently one of our boys was faced with an option, one that "everyone" was doing.  It was nothing bad. It was just things that we easily become entrapped with in life because it was "the" thing to do.  Sort of a keeping up with the Joneses thing.  One of the adults discussing the situation gave the comment, well you'd be the only one that didn't participate.  As parents, we don't want our kids to be left out, ostracized or seemingly different or weird so as a sincerely, caring parents, we suggested well maybe you should participate. It wouldn't hurt and maybe you'd learn something.

After discussing, we decided that we would stick with our initial decision to not participate.  Is is the right one? Maybe? Will others judge our decision? Maybe.  Does it matter?  In the whole scheme of things, not really. I think that when we are able to make our own decisions in life based upon not pleasing others & based upon what is True & Right, we can be happy with our decision.  That's not to say that others won't continue to try to make us feel guilty for being our own person, but we can with good conscious know that we are standing up, being our own person, & making our own decisions.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10


Monday, September 26, 2011

If you could be an animal.....

Riding in the car we talk about random things.

Clay came up with, "If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be?"

Chandler immediately said he'd be a bear. Tom said he'd be a sloth, to which we all laughed and agreed that would be good. I said I'd be a cougar or a jaguar. Clay said he'd be a white tiger. Chandler then repeats, he'd be a bear. I asked why would you be a bear, he immediately said because you wouldn't have to deal with anyone or anything for 6 months out of the year.

I gave him a high 5....this, folks, is my child! I love my kids!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Take Responsibility for your Attitude

Wrong attitudes are like dirty garments. They don’t fall off your body; they have to be removed. Get rid of wrong attitudes by the planting of the word of God in your heart and mind. Do you complain about your job and how others treat you, or do you approach your job with enthusiasm and gratitude? Do you blame others when you are faced with adversity or do you take responsibility for your attitude and behavior? You can remove wrong attitudes by changing your mind and attitude toward God. Love the Lord your God with your entire spirit, soul and body and love others even as you love yourself. Determine to lay aside every wrong attitude and run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the race that is set before you(Hebrews 12:1). Your attitude will determine your success in life.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I purpose to have the same attitude, purpose and humble mind as my Lord. He is my example for greatness! As a citizen of Your Kingdom, I am standing firm in united spirit and purpose, contending with a single mind for the faith, pursuing the destiny, which You handcrafted just for me. I will not be intimidated in anything by my opponents and adversaries. You are my light and my salvation. Amen

Scripture Reading Philippians 2:5 Philippians 1:27 Psalm 27:1

~Prayers That Avail Much