Friday, April 29, 2011

Livin' Leviticus

 Wow, thank you so much for all of your kind words and support!   This has been such a journey, painful..yes....but the depth of faith I am reaching wouldn't be possible without it.

Numbers has become such an amazing chapter this week....but before I reveal that, I really need to get my thoughts cleared from Leviticus.

"Leviticus" was actually the translated from the Latin, Liber Leviticus.   But while searching for the meaning of Leviticus (pertaining to the Levites), I found that the Hebrew word wayyiqra' (and He called) was the term the Jews used mostly for the book.   He called...not He dominated...not He smothered everything joyful out of life with so many rules....He called.   Amazingly, He is still calling today, we just have to answer!

Leviticus is a guide book to holy living.   Holiness is mentioned more in this book than any other book of the Bible.   These guidelines and rules, whether for offering sacrifices, clean living, or keeping themselves set apart from the pagan nations that they would encounter,  were given to set them apart as a holy nation, following a holy God.   Just quickly, before this post becomes a book itself, the need for a perfect blemish free sacrifice for atonement mirrors the perfect sacrifice of amazing that these guidelines from the very beginning were set in place for our full and complete redemption!  I am so thankful for that covering!  

The tale of two hearts in Chapter 26 really struck home for me:

The obedient were rewarded with bountiful harvests, peace in the land, favor and fruitfulness, God would keep his covenant and put His dwelling place among them:  I will walk among you and be your God and you will be my people.  Who wouldn't want that?!?  

The disobedient were punished with sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever..You will plant your seed in vain, I will set my face against you, you will be defeated by your enemies...

And still if you won't listen, I will break your stubborn pride....

This keeps going on until enough was enough, if you remain hostile towards me, I will be hostile towards you.  You will be punished, I will cut you down, turn your cities into ruin and you will waste away in the land of your enemies (hello, Babylon?!?).

And favorite part...BUT...if they confess their sins, humble their hearts and pay for their sins, I will remember my covenant.  I will not reject them so much as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them.  I am the Lord their God, for their sake I will remember.

I am so thankful for a God who, although I mess up and harden my heart, remembers...forgives..loves me enough to not give up on me!!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I finished Exodus a few weeks ago...actually I just started Numbers, so I'm a smidge behind in posting my thoughts.

Today though, just feels right for a grumbley complainy Israelite rant. Jim got word that he didn't pass his test...which is ok..remember...I typed those words "in Your timing God"...I typed them so I must have meant them right?!? I laid it down, gave it to God...and promptly picked it back up once things didn't go my way!

The Israelites saw miracles and signs of wonder...yet they still were filled with unbelief. They were passed over, set free, walked on dry ground to safety and had the pillar of cloud to guide them--a Visible sign of God's Presence! They couldn't make a wrong turn, He guided them day and night!!! Yet, they still doubted when it got hard---Why have you brought us to the desert to die?

They could have experienced God face to face on Mt. Sinai, but the were too afraid so they sent Moses up alone. And then, when he didn't come down right away, they made their own version of a god.

It makes me wonder, am I too afraid? Do I say, "my life is yours Lord, use me, mold me, fill me"...but only if it doesn't hurt or get too hard? Do I mold God into what I think He should I think He should act?!? Am I afraid to show God my hidden dark places? Or worse...afraid of what He'd reveal in me! I don't want to waiver, I want to trust.

Even though I want nothing more than to be in NM this very minute, I know that God is directing our path. He is strengthening us, teaching us, shaping us into usable vessels. I see that...I believe that...but I am still So Impatient!!!

Tear off the bandages Lord, heal the quick fixes, glossed over yet so very open. Help me to meet you at the foot of the mountain---I want to know you on a Moses level. Break up this fallow ground Lord, plant in me a beautiful garden that will bear much fruit--fruit for you, that will bring people Your Hope! You are trustworthy, perfect and loving--you deserve my unhindered, full on praise and adoration!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Celebration....Let's Celebrate!

I know that I'm a little late for an Easter post....things have been a bit hectic around here the last few days.

This year, Easter had a different feel for me....yes, I am so very very thankful for Christ taking my punishment, paying my price...bridging my gap......but this year felt so much more celebratory for me.   It has dawned on me how much we have to look forward to, not here, not now....but in heaven!  

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the one comes to the Father except through him!  He has gone to prepare a place for us in his Father's house...a house with many rooms!   

On Easter morning, Corey's favorite song played on the radio---it's a big big house, with lots and lots of rooms..a big big table, with lots and lots of food...a big big yard where we can play football!  

Come and go with me to my Father's house, there's room for all....He has prepared a place for you, the door is open, the Way has been provided!!!!

Thank you Jesus for Loving us so much that even while we were still sinners, you died for us!   And that's not all, not only did he redeem us from slavery, but we've been adopted into His family...sons and daughters to the King!  How awesome is that!!!

Our celebration this year needed a bit of prep work...

First up was trying my hand at making peeps!  Marshmallows taste so much better when they're homemade :)  Instead of dusting the pan with powder sugar/corn starch mixture, I used sanding sugar ( as I did and make your own using sugar and a bit of food dye in a baggie and shake until colored!)  I also used a jelly roll pan instead of 9x13 because I wanted them to be thinner.
Dust the tops with the sanding sugar.

Use little cookie cutters dipped in powdered sugar to cut out your shapes....see that cute little bunny?
Well....he ended up looking more like a dog bone!  Oh well, live and learn...the more simple the shape the better ;)  
Saturday night had me making egg casserole (I'll try and remember to post a recipe later) and Our Best Bites glass block jello.  I didn't get a pic of the batch that I made, but it is really a pretty jello, perfect for celebrating our new life in Christ!

Easter morning, I whipped up these rolls...also from Our Best Bites....hands down the best rolls I've ever made!!!!!
Now onto my Favorite new tradition!!!  Cascarones!   They are confetti filled egg shells that in Hispanic tradition are broke over peoples' heads to bring good luck....but we just shouted Happy Easter or He is Risen!   These were so much fun!  I think we might be making more soon..maybe for Cinco de Mayo or Mother's Day or who knows, but they'll be making an appearance again!

Carefully break the end off of your eggs (and make an egg casserole!).   Wash the shells and let them air dry.   Fill each shell with confetti.
Use tissue paper to cover the holes.
Happy Easter Corey!!!!!
Isn't that the prettiest driveway you've ever seen!?!
Egg hunts followed....there is no lack of candy in our house this week!
The boys had never jumped rope before...this is going to take a bit of practice!
All in all, I think we all had a very good afternoon celebrating!   
Poor Jim had to work....but they had an out of town near by so on their way back, him and his partner for the day grabbed a plate of leftovers :)

We cut the day short so that my parents and grandparents could go help serve dinner at the local homeless shelter (they have an age limit so the boys couldn't help out...otherwise we all would have been there!).   What an amazing way to celebrate the life we have in Christ...picking up the serving towel and helping those in need!

We all hope that you had a wonderful weekend...that you were able to reflect on all that Christ has done for you!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Can't Sleep

I'm a bundle of nerves, wrapped up in a headache, covered in congestion with an ear ache as a bow!

Jim has a super huge test on Friday. Like pass it or you have to take a 4 week refresher course in IA...the test has a huge fail rate...I know Jim is feeling the pressure.

God has it all under control. No matter what the outcome, Your timing is perfect...Your plan is in place. I trust you Lord, I trust you Lord, I Trust You Lord!

I'm trying really hard here to give this all to you, Father...but can I be honest here for a I sit here pondering the outcomes...I think I might be sick!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Fluff

Last weekend we were invited to an Easter egg hunt at our friend's house....of course, the weather was complete garbage...hello, it's late April...Enough with the Snow!!!!!

The boys were pretty excited by the whole thing....well....2 were....the other one, who will remain nameless, was "too big" for it.   sigh....

I've had my eye on these marshmallow catapults for quite some time....and what a perfect little thing to share at an egg hunt!

Jim was such a trooper.....he worked all day , fixed my broken washing machine and at 9 pm he still went out and cut all of these little pieces of wood!!!  (love you babe for putting up with my hairbrained ideas!)
Paint everything up...I used the clothes pins as a holder for the popsicle sticks while painting them....I also painted the bottle caps white because I'm a matchy matchy freak ;)   Now, I don't know how you feel about your kids eating something that had been on acrylic paint (cause who are we kidding, you know those marshmallows will get eaten)....but I figured it's no worse than eating them off the ground!

Take apart the clothes pins and paint away...and be prepared for sore fingers after prying them back together!  Anyone have an easy trick for that?!?

E600 glue is your friend...pretty easy to figure this part out...glue clothes pin...let dry...glue popsicle stick...let dry..and then the bottle cap...let dry....beat kids off with a stick until things are super dry (like the next day!!!).

Of course, I couldn't let well enough alone and had to embelish a bit!   Painted the eggs and wrote Happy Easter on the sides.   I think they turned out pretty cool.   My boys couldn't care less about the decorations.   They shoot pretty far considering what they're made out of....everyone liked them at the party...especially the Dads!

We found a new hideout for our "after church" spot.....Amigos in downtown Freeport.   Yum!

These are my leftover sopas.   Seriously, I got 3 meals from them!!!!  It was so nice to eat fresh food...great pico de gallo, homemade sopas...totally family run.  If you're in the area, give them a try!!!!

Here's my new obsession:  Paper Lilies! (her's are much cuter, but these were just playing around with what I had on hand)

I'm really liking the white one with the colored inside (just folded the paper with the color side in). I really don't know what I'm going to do with these.   An arrangement would be cute...or maybe some sort of garland-swag thing....I don't know!   Any ideas?

So, there ya have it...nothing much, but still fun.   The weather is still total junk...haven't seen a good sunshine moment in days!!!!   My vit. D levels are in the basement!!!!!   Oh well, maybe next week we'll see Mr. Sun......

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Lately,God's just really working things out in my heart and in my head.

Our small group is going through Francis Chan's book Crazy's thought provoking, calling out timidity and demanding a radical faith--one that's full on running toward Jesus.

It makes me think...what does that look like in my life?   How am I living?   Do my neighbors know my faith?  Have they felt the love of Christ...if not from me, then from whom?   What am I so afraid of?!?

My parents are going through the same study with their fact, so is my sister and her husband....but, my Dad leads theirs and recommended this video to me tonight as I wrestled with these questions:

Can I just stop for a sec and say how cool it is that My Dad recommended this!!!   If you don't know me other than from on this screen, you have to understand where I come from.   We are a fist bump family, you know...not super huggy, suck it up, you're ok....   But then my Dad got sick...real sick....and it changed everything.

So, as I'm contemplating these deep questions, all I can see in my head is my Dad and Mom...and their balancing act.   My Mom is a prayer warrior...she wakes up in the middle of the night to pray all of the time...she gives and gives and gives of herself.   Her routine is beautiful, absolutely breathtaking before the King!   Now, I can't even comprehend what heaven sees as my Dad performs his routine!   Imagine, a one legged man...flipping and spinning...landing a perfect dismount!   And the crowd of heaven goes wild!!!!!   Yeaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

Hmmmmm......just makes me think.....

Here's a quick balance beam video....just imagine it as a life played out.... kind of puts a new perspective on safe and comfy.

Just wanted to add one more quick thought here---these girls on the beam fall All of the time---and they get back up, they try it again and they go on to do amazing things!   We'll fall.....we'll get banged up...we'll get hurt, but it doesn't have to stop us from living a spectacular life!  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Man, I Feel Like A Woman

The other day, I decided to start reading the Bible, cover to cover....chapter by chapter....starting at "In the Beginning" through to the last Amen!

Wow, that's a huge I've never attempted....and in the last 3 days, I've been a reading/learning and I can't get enough!   This was supposed to be a 3 chapter a day deal.....but I can't stop!   Everything else seems to pale in comparison to these words saturating my soul :)  Our ladies small group has been going through the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan.   Last week he talked about reading through the Bible like you've never heard any of that it is all fresh...not with the chains of "religion" or denomination....just God's Word speaking to His people.   Wow...I'm not even through Genesis and I already have learned so very much about the heart of God and how He is going to rock my world through this journey!

Genesis 32 is where I stopped today.   Boy, is God kicking me in the pants so far!!!!   Back track here a bit:  Jim and Shelly go to NM, fall in love with the town and all God is showing them there...Jim doesn't get job....Jim and Shelly are crushed.....Shelly has a huge heart to heart with God...begins pushing Jim into keeping going....pushing...pushing....pushing (come on, lets go, lets go, lets go!   God's plan hasn't changed!  Don't give up!   Here's a job, here's a house....I just want to get down there, yesterday was too late in my mind!)    Now, I'm just trying to be a good cheerleader, keep your eyes on the prize....  Yes, I know....I've been terrible.

Anywhoooooo, Genesis 32.....

Have you ever noticed how like Every wife in Genesis pushes her way....and everything gets totally messed up?!?   Of course, we all know how it started with Eve....tempted to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.   But the kicker is that she gets cursed to painful childbirth and to desire her husband...say what!?!?  Desire is a curse?  Well, not the lusty lovey desire.....but a desire to overcome, over throw....control (hello, I'm raising my hand....sending job listing emails to Jim and on and on!)   Then there's Sarah.  She couldn't just wait for God's promise of a child.   She pushed it along when she had Abraham lay with about marital strain!   Then to be the mothers of two fighting nations!   Let's see, up next....Rebekah...oh dear Rebekah!   Helping to trick her husband into giving the blessing to Jacob instead of her son basically run out of town.   Funny thing was that Esau had already given his birthright over to Jacob....all they had to do was wait.  (are you seeing a pattern?   Is it just me or does waiting stink, Big time!).   Does it stop there?   Nope....Jacob marries his sweetheart Rachel, but not before being tricked by their father and had to marry Leah.   Rachel couldn't conceive, but Leah did.....jealous!   So, Rachel pushed it and took a cue from momma Sarah and had Jacob lay with her maid servant.   Then Leah's womb shuts up so she has her maid servant lay with Jacob.....and THEN Leah also gets pregnant...and then Rachel twice!  (momma drama!)  Everybody fighting, whose child is best.....   I haven't gotten much farther into this part of Genesis, but we all know that little Joseph doesn't earn much respect and love from his bro's.

So, what does that whole big whoppin paragraph have to do with me?   I've been pushing.   I've been impatient.   God's timing is never late.   God's timing is never late!   Never matter how much I want it today, His planning is perfect.   I've backed off the push train.   I'm trying not to muck it up by pushing my way into this plan God has laid before us.


Edited to Add----I let go, I stopped pushing..and Jim all of the sudden, on his own picked up the ball and is running with it!!!   We thought that we were going to hit another road block with test date issues (he had to take his national test before the end of the month)....been praying about it for the last 2 days....God, I'm giving it to you.  In Your Perfect timing Lord!   Guess what?!? A few minutes ago, Jim finally got through to the office he's been trying for days to connect's all good!!!  He can take the test, won't need the refresher class in the middle of now where Iowa....God is so good!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sour Grapes

Early spring fruit is always a gamble.

Case in grapes from woodmans



Poor little guy!  He pushed through and ate the entire little cluster.

...and I enjoyed Every Minute!

New Pass Time

baby bald eagles

super cool

addicting watching these fluffy ugly little guys...but soooo cute!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Foolin Around

Thursday night I was up late, waiting for my little lovelies to fall fast fast asleep.....

When they woke up in the morning, they realized that they were covered in spots!   Did you hear about the skittles recall?  Yep, too much dye put in the candy was making kids break out in rainbow pox...only cure.....Vegetable Shakes

Mr. Corey was not

(I think poor Riley was allergic to the markers...poor guy sneezed and sneezed and sneezed!)

And then there is Senior Grumpy Pants!  (takes after his Dad...except for his wonderful ability to prank!...he gets that from his momma!)

(please excuse the horrible state of my sink!!!!!!!....but I love ya enough to show you the real deal!)   I found this little trap right away, but I'm a good actress so I acted completely surprised by the ever growing baggie attatched to the sink!

Earlier Jamie really did it good when he stuck a fake mustache to my phone....I blindly grabbed it, and immediately threw it down when I realized it was hairy!  (oh the laughter at getting mom)

So, my little pranky dears went downstairs and I got ready to take them to the Dr. to get rid of those darn cute spots.....and decided to put on the above mentioned mustache!  HILARIOUS!   They were rolling on the floor....

....Jim....not so much.   Poor baby was up all night saving lives, getting thrown up on and other lovely things.   He was seriously annoyed when I kept the mustache on as I walked out of the house...

..and drove down the major highway....

...and started walking into McD's (oh, dr.  just McD's)

....he grabbed my arm and said "You're seriously NOT wearing that in there Shelly".   (and he stayed put in the car ;)  until..I winked, wiggled my new found stache and said APRIL Fools!

The boys walked into McD's and asked for their veggie shakes....the poor cashier....she was soooo not into our little prank on the boys.   Nope, they don't sell vegetable shakes.  I guess pancakes would have to do....     The manager happens to be the mom of some boys that we went to school with...she thought it was great!  (and gave the boys little bags of cookies!)

Later on that night, Jamie came inside from playing with a fist full of daffodils.   "MOM!  Look at what we found in Jake's yard!!!"   Now, my neighbor has a garden that rivals none other...major BHG going on.   When I saw his hand full of posies, I about died!   "YOU Did NOT!"   Ahahahahahahaaaaa..and he threw the fake plastic flowers at me....which I promptly grabbed, swatting them on his little behind as I chased him through the house!

And now the Piece De Resistance!
while I was waiting for the boys to fall asleep the night before, I whipped up a batch of pb cup eggs....and dipped them in chocolate.   Notice the 4 lighter colored eggs?   Yep butter!   I forgot to take a pic of the finished product, but we all know what peanut butter eggs look like ;)   

Jim was still kind of crabby...and I had about had it when I remembered these little dears in the freezer!   "Darling would you like a peanut butter egg?"   Oh SURE!   "Let me get them for you, O love of my life!" bite was all it took...all 3 boys had the same reaction too!

It was that slack jawed yuck face....trying sooooo hard to figure out What was in their mouth!   

They did get the real ones to was it down...but I've never laughed so hard in my life!

(I had to save one trick for next year...and boy, it's a good one....just as long as I remember!)