Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011


      For Christmas this year, we had ALL of our kids, their spouses for those who are married, and all 7 grandbabies here.  That makes a total of 21 of us!  We had our traditional breakfast, (which we started when I was a child with my dad after my parents were divorced at the age of 7), which consists of Ritz & Club crackers, different kinds of summer sausages, and a myriad of different flavored cheeses and make little sandwiches out of it all.  Then, of course, the traditional eggnog and milk for those who don't want that.  Those of us at home have opened presents first as soon as we all wake up, usually around 7:00 - 7:30, and then once the older children and grandbabies get here around 11:00, which is when we eat our traditional breakfast all together.  Once we have eaten, then we open the remaining presents with the older kids and grandbabies. It is always so fun to watch them open their gifts!!  Then we spend time helping the little ones put together their gifts, play with their new toys, visiting with one another, laughter, and just being together. 

This year we chose a non-traditional Christmas meal together.  I made our 3 meat chili (with no beans), little wieners in BBQ sauce, little smokies wrapped in bacon, and brown sugar covered over them and baked in the oven at 350* for 30 minutes.  And then, Doug's mom's infamous Ham & Cheese Sandwiches that she used to make years ago.  And of course, our yearly fudge, and different pies to choose from.  :+)

Friday, December 23, 2011

MSG Allergies

Monosodium Glutamate

Many people are plagued by symptoms that they can't explain simply by eating or drinking something that they normally eat, but suddenly they are showing significant signs as I did...beginning by my face breaking out into a bright red rash, itching terribly, feeling flushed, having the rash spread down my neck into my chest area.  One minute I will be sweating no matter how cold it is outside and will have a fan blowing on me in the dead of winter, and then suddenly I will be freezing and getting out of bed to put socks on because I am soooooo cold.  Another thing is I get extremely thirsty or have a dry mouth.  I 99% of the time have something  to drink with me.  I commonly have difficulty concentrating and poor memory (which I now know is called "fibro fog.")  I hate that feeling, knowing that I put something somewhere, but cannot for the life of me remember where that was.  UGH!  I also struggle with obesity...a fact that is embarrassing and a daily struggle for me.  It makes me feel weak, or like a failure which I know are "feelings" from Satan, and NOT the Lord.  I also have symptoms like a diarrhea, pain in my joints, muscles and tendons, bloating, horrible cramps especially during "that time of the month," terrible headaches, & my migraine headaches are intensified too.  Some days I walk around with my sunglasses on in the house.  But I have to because the light, any light, makes my head hurt worse.  I have also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about a year or more ago.  It used to be what I called my "Mono Stuff."  Many, if not all of these symptoms, also are much the same as what I have with my Fibromyalgia, BUT they can also be intensified when you learn of an allergic reaction to MSG.   

MSG has has many, many different names that all stand for MSG.  Ones you commonly don't give a second thought to.  Ones like...Soy Protein, Broth, Bouillon, Citric Acid, Milk Powder, Modified Food Starch, Cornstarch, Pectin (used in canning), Corn Syrups, Soy Sauce, Whey Protein, or Whey, Malt Extract, Gelatin, Caramel Flavoring...and so many more.  I have finally printed off a list for myself because there are so many to remember, and laminated it for carrying it in my purse. 

My eating habits have had to change.  It has NOT been easy for me!  I try hard to not have a bad attitude about it, but I do struggle sometimes.  My friend is also allergic to Wheat & Gluten, but I am not, and yet I feel sooooooo limited on what I can eat, that I cannot imagine what I would be like if I could have no breads (especially my homemade breads which consist greatly of wheat flour and gluten), and only eat 99% veggies and fruit.  I already cannot eat some of my favorite things...like Doritos, frozen pizzas or say Pizza Hut (though I can eat homemade pizza with 100% all Natural sauce and no sausage or pepperoni), Taco Bell, regular peanut butters, chip dips, regular Ranch dressings, no more Miracle Whip (only Real Hellman's Mayo), etc. 

This is a poison that is being put in so many foods that we Americans eat and are feeding our children daily.  How many others are out there who have allergies to MSG, or wheat, or gluten, or...things that are making them sick, but there has been no "diagnosis" for.  Think about it.  Spread the news and start asking the right questions! 
Starting to have an MSG reaction, and beginning to get flushed & red faced, and the rash spreading down my neck.  It generally happens within 10 minutes of eating something with MSG.

                                             Patricia, Pat, Me (red-faced), Michelle & Paula -  our AWESOME Connect Group!  :+)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Remodeled Pantry

 Here are two old what our
pantry looked like until a couple
of weeks ago, and after a
makeover, here is the "new"
pantry.  Slowly, but surely, our
house is being "flipped" from
its original look, to a new look. 
One step at a time...

Our 2011-2012 Homeschooled Students

Sheyenne - age 8 (almost)

     This year we are actually down to only having four of our younger kids schooling this year.  5 still in the nest counting our grandbaby, but she is only 6 months old right now.

Noah - age 12


Colten - age 10


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"The Believer's Authority" - Kenneth E. Hagin

     Our church, New Life Fellowship, has started doing small "connect groups" where we get together every other Monday, have dinner, and then study our book.  This is a separate class from our Wednesday night Bible classes, and our Sunday services.  This is probably most enlightening book that I have ever read!!  I don't think that even most Christians truly see and understand the power that Christ has given to US, His body, (as HE is our head), against the devil and all his evil forces.  WE have power over all evilness including the spirits of worry, strife, sickness, bipolarism, stress, cancers, and even the spirit of drama that seems to consume many of our lives! 
     Eph. 1:22 says, "And He hath put all things under HIS feet, and gives head over all things to the CHURCH.  (WE are the church believers!)  Jesus said, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over ALL the power of the enemy: and nothing {nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing} shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19).  The Head is totally dependent on the Body (we believers) for carrying out His plans; that we are seated with Christ in Heavenly places; and that the exercising authority over the power of the air has to be through the Body.  US!!!!  WE are the BODY!  Isn't that an awesome concept to meditate on?!?!


Nevaeh Colleen Benedict

Our beautiful youngest grandbaby is almost 6 months old now (on the 8th).  We have been blessed to be able to help raise her, and have had her living with us full-time since July 16th (the day of Ashley & Perry's wedding).  She is a very happy baby girl, smiles lots, and has lots of slobbery kisses to give!  She just loves talking on the phone with her daddy at nights, and sometimes talks and talks, though we don't know what she's saying yet.  She is a much loved little girl by her Mama, Daddy (Meghan & Zach), Mamaw and Papa, aunts, uncles & cousins!!   

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Perry Martin

On July 16th, our 3rd oldest daughter, Ashley, wed her fiance', Perry Martin.  They met at the hospital when he needed to have his appendix removed, and Ashley was assigned to him as his Nursing Assistant.  It was completely God's handiwork and timing that they met!  Not only that, but we found out we lived only 10 minutes away from us and we never had even heard their names mentioned in the 4 years we have lived here.  :+)  It was a awesomely, Godly ordained ceremony, and a very enjoyable reception with lots of love and laughter.  The heat index was either 107* or 117* that day (we heard both), but which ever one, it was HOT!   That aside, plus them having made everyone fans, and purchased tons of bottles of water which they had ice cold for everyone, it was a truly BEAUTIFUL wedding...a dream come true.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Camping Out in Our Old Van

     Our old van (well Niki and Dustin's old van that we traded them for), is a perfect spot for the kids to play in.  They have taken out the seats, and laid down blankets and pillows, set up a TV and DVD player, movies to watch, and popcorn and lemonade to snack on.  They also got to roast marshmallow's outside too.  :+)  Cheap and entertaining fun!  LOL!!!  When the fun ends, we'll junk the van, but for now, it's a source of fun. 

Grandbaby #7

Our oldest son, Zach, and his wife Meghan, had a beautiful baby girl, Nevaeh Colleen Rain Benedict, born on Mother's Day, May 8th, this year (2011).  We are blessed to be able to see her often and be a part of her life like we have all our grandkids.  We are so blessed that they all live close enough to us that we can see and talk to them whenever we want, or be there to help in times of need! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain

I have been having a fibromyalgia flare up all week this week, worse than I have for a long time. Then to top it off, I slipped down the stairs when my left leg gave way, and hurt my wrist, ankle and elbow. Being in chronic pain and trying to keep up with everything doesn't always work no matter how hard I try. I am determined though to keep claiming God's healing though in Jesus Name!!!

For those of us who have fibromyalgia (or anything else similar), whichever works FOR YOU, complete faith or seeing your doctor, "Thank God for your healing - HOWEVER it comes! - and do NOT let Satan put you under condemnation. It is none of his business!!!" (a quote by Kenneth Copeland)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Precious Lives

     A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:
     'Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together.
So the doctor said: 'Ok and what do you want me to do?'
     She said: 'I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.'
     The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: 'I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.'
     She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.
     Then he continued: 'You see, in order for you not to have to take care 2 babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.
The lady was horrified and said: 'No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!
     'I agree', the doctor replied. 'But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.'
     The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point.
     He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that's still in the womb.
The crime is the same!
     If you agree, please SHARE. Together we can help save precious lives!
     "Love says I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion says I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself..."
     Jesus sacrificed Himself for the good of sinners! That's perfect love!

     By: Sihol Gianito Situmorang..

A Wise Woman

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Mother's Passing

     On this past March 24th, at 8:20 AM, my mom took her last breath and is now in Heaven with the Lord.  I got a call at about 2:00 AM that Monday morning saying she was starting to go, and so I headed out the door to her house.  It was hard because every breath seemed like the last.  However, she hung on till Thursday morning.  Cancer is an awful, horrible, unfair illness that shows no mercy.  It has taken my grandma (my dad's mom), my dad, my uncle (my dad's brother), and now my mother.  I can truly say beyond a shadow of a doubt, I would never wish cancer on even my worst enemy.  We gave her pain meds every 2 hours around the clock and anything else we could give her to make her last days and hours as pain free as possible.  We are thankful for the Hospice nurses that helped us, and whom were there to answer our questions 24/7 any and every time we called.
     To me, it is hard to watch someone die, but especially when it is someone that you care about, but also have built up mixed emotions about from the past.  It leaves you with a quandary of mixed emotions that are now forced to a head before you want or plan to deal with them, and that you have to decide how to deal with.  What does one do with these mixed feelings that you remember like it was yesterday, but are now faced with how to handle it, whether you like it or not.  Death doesn't rear its head at "convenient" times.  No one has "control" over the exact minute that someone is going to die except the Lord Himself.  Not even the Devil himself can decide this.  We get no say whatsoever.  And there is no way that we can make everyone happy about our chose to stay with the one who is dying, or walk away and make it easy to pretend it is not really happening, or can make it happen when we want it to.
     So, this coming Saturday, April 2nd, we will have a memorial service for my mother.  She requested that she be cremated and divided in to 3 for us kids...my brother, sister and I.  This has been done, and now her ashes sit in three cherry wood urns, sitting in our homes.  It's an odd feeling to look over at my china cabinet and know that my mom is in part, sitting there in my living room.  It is still a little hard to grasp this concept for me. 
     Before she left for home Heaven, I believe it was Wednesday when she seemed to rally for a short time, and suddenly wanted to sit up more and started talking.  So I gathered everyone around.  Well she seemed to be wanting to talk to me in particular.  My siblings had long ago made peace with the horrible childhood we had once my parents got divorced.  I was 7 at that time, and my siblings were younger than I was.  After that, well I could write a book on our childhoods!  At any rate, she had allowed me to pray with her, just maybe the week before, so that she was certain she had received Christ as her Savior and would be going to Heaven with our Lord and Savior.  However, she, to what I believe was the best of her ability, tried to make her peace with me, and me with her.  Then, shortly after that short little while, she slipped back in to what was almost a comatose state. I believe that this is the closest I will ever come to an apology, or a "I should have protected you better when you were growing up," or anything else of the sort. So, I am left with the choice, if you will, to decide what God's plan is for me to do with all these mixed emotions I have and how to let go of the pain and the hurt from the past, and move on and use my past as my testimony in a way God would have me to do it.  I don't know what that is yet, and I have not begun to try to decipher what I really feel about everything that has happened these last couple of months since she first broke her hip, had a stroke, then fractured her upper thigh, which left to finding her cancer in her leg as well as her lungs.  It is hard to not be frustrated that the reason she got her cancer was from her smoking (as did my dad and my uncle).  I want to scream and say, "Can't you all see what smoking can do to you?!?!  So what part of it killing people don't you get?!"  BUT, I cannot make someone stop smoking, and I cannot make all those that I love stop smoking.  And I also cannot stop loving them even if they don't.
     So, I am left now to deal with these mixed emotions and feelings I have, and try to sort them out as best as I can.  God will need to pull me by the hand and lead me to what the next step is, because I can't begin to know where to start. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saved and Going To Heaven

Yesterday, while Niki (our oldest daughter) and I were visiting with my mom, I asked her if she felt sh we was right with God before the cancer takes her away.  She said, "Well yes, basically, but there was something she couldn't quite put her finger on."  So I asked her if she wanted me to pray with her.  She said, "yes, she would."  So, I said the sinners prayer with her, as she repeated after me...  

"Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I'm a sinner, and I'm sorry for my sin. Thank You for dying on the Cross for me. Please forgive me of my sin, and accept me as Your child. I desire to live for You, Jesus. Amen." 

Then she promised me that she would hold Samuel (our baby boy who died) for me till I get to Heaven one day, and give him kisses and hugs for me.  It was an answer to a prayer because I really didn't think that there was much chance that I would see her there one day.  Thank you Lord, for the opportunity.   I give the Lord all the praise for opening this door for me, and the courage to take the risk of her saying no, or being ridiculed for "worrying about my OWN salvation and not theirs."  So, God opened the door, and I took the risk for HIM.  :+)  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Amish Friendship Bread

A friend of ours gave us a starter of Amish Friendship Bread.  We havent had it in years, so it was nice to have it again!!!  It's a 10 day process, but oh so good!!!! 


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Love your husband... (Taken from A Wise Woman Builds Her House)

Remember that he is not perfect, he is not you and thinks differently than you do. He is God's gift to you. Love him in spite of his failings, love him wholeheartedly, extend to him the same measure of love, respect and forgiveness in the strength that has been given to you in Christ Jesus. Do something special for him today. A word of praise or encouragement, a massage, a gift, bake his favorite treat. Most men would die for their women, and we need to love them as our heroes (even when they might feel at their lowest). A noble wife rises up to the occasion to bless her husband with all her heart.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Cruelty of Cancer

Back in June (2010), my mother broke her hip.  She ended up having a stroke during the surgery.  This required a lot more time in the hospital and then having to go to a nursing home while she did physical therapy.  Then for about the last 2 months, her right leg had been in pain, but no one seemed to know why.  Finally, several days ago, my brother ended up calling 911 because she was in so much pain, and they took her to the hospital.  They found that her right thigh was fractured from her thigh to her knee.  On top of that, they found a 3" mass on her leg.  While during surgery to put a pin in her leg, they biopsied the mass.  It was found to be cancerous.  Well after numerous tests, several CAT scans, & special blood workups, they found that she has cancer, that started in her lungs, and has moved to to her legs now.  She has Stage 4 cancer & non-small traditional carcinoma.  She also has emphysema and hardening of her arteries.  And obviously, it has traveled through her body from her lungs to her legs.  We will meet with several more specialists tomorrow (Monday).  She has smoked for around 40 years now.  Smoking is what caused my father to have cancer, and my uncle Brian (his brother) to have cancer as well.  Watching my dad lie there dying a little more and a little more each day, bleeding from his nose, his mouth...was very hard on all of us (my Aunt, brother, sister and stepmom.)  My dad was in a hospice center for weeks because he was too sick to take care of at home.  My grandma, my dad's mom, also had cancer (though hers was not caused by smoking.)  Now we are faced with decisions of whether it is better to do chemo and/or radiation.  We have many questions to still ask the doctor.  My relationship with my family is not a normal one.  I am so different.  That is just me.  I am the "oddball of the family" you could say.  But you know, it is okay, because God wants me to be different.  I am who I am, and will never really fit in.  But during this time, I have to accept my differences, and we have to do what we can for my mother's care.  We have to put our differences aside and do what we can.  Only God knows how long someone will or won't live.  Only HE has that control.  The doctors can give us their best "estimated guess," but only God can give life and take life away.  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Capturing An Idea

     What is an idea? Charlotte Mason points out that “an idea is anything which captivates our minds and causes us to think.” Some people are filled to overflowing with ideas. For a moment, think as you imagine a child would. A child can take a simple stick and create a myriad of things with it...an arrow, a toy gun, a wand in which to lead an orchestra, or even a stick for roasting marshmallows over a bonfire. Their minds abound endlessly with ideas.
     As adults, some of us are overflowing with ideas that they can't seem to get down on paper fast enough. Some of us, well, can take someone else's ideas and run with them with a speed of light. God has blessed some people with creative juices flowing to the brim, while others may not be quite so creative, but can put into action what the other person's ideas are. That is the second step of an idea, isn't it? Putting in to action the initial idea?
     As Stephanie Walmsley, author of CMME (Charlotte Mason Made Easy) says, “Ideas can be good or bad, they can reproduce, they can grow. They can have a powerful impact on people and change the way people behave.” Or, perhaps even how we live our every day lives, just from an “idea.”
     Ideas can be a very influential things in the minds of the right hands. Some of the greatest ideas in history have proven to be beneficial still to us today. Think about it...what would we have done if Thomas Alva Edison had never discovered the first light bulb?! Or what if the Wright Brothers had never built the first airplane that actually got off the ground? The world as we know it would be nowhere near the same!
     For more information and knowledge on the “ideas” that Charlotte Mason spoke of, you can go to: http://www.charlottemasonmadeeasy.com/free-CM-biography.html as well as find a 12-week CM course at - http://www.charlottemasonmadeeasy.com/

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Our Twin Grandsons Turn 1

  Our beautiful twin grandsons
                    were born on Jan. 7th, 2010 
during a snowstorm.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

School Shooting in Omaha

This week, on the first day back from Christmas break, a senior at one of our local high schools, brought a gun to school, and shot the Principal, and the Vice Principal.  That school and all the others went down to immediate lock down.  The Vice Principal, a lady who'd been with the school for many year, died that evening.  The principal is still alive, but in critical condition.  The senior, the son of an Omaha Police Officer, then went to a parking lot and shot & killed himself.  This has been a horrible thing to happen.  It is horrible when you read or hear about it at other schools.  It is even worse when it is a school in your area and you know one of not more of the students going there. 

A friend posted this on Facebook, and it speaks volumes...

Boy writes God a letter, "Dear God, why do you let bad things happen in our schools?" God replies, "Dear son, because I'm not allowed in your schools anymore.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Craft times

A couple of time a weeks our two oldest daughters get together, and the kids all do crafts together.  They are also in a program where a preschool teacher comes to their house a couple of times a month to do educational things with the kids.  Yesterday, we happened to be there as well so our younger kids got to join in.