Monthly Archives: May 2007

The People of the Woods

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Today is a special Post.

Can you imagine going through this life without a hope of something better? So many times, I’ve wondered how people who do not know or follow Christ find the strength to even get out of bed in the morning. Can you imagine not having the Word of God to go to, to inspire, strengthen, and motivate you to live a life full of hope in this often cruel world?

A few days ago, Jeff and I received a copy of the Commission magazine, put out by the Southern Baptists. It features missions work being done around the globe. The cover story this issue was about “The People of the Woods” – the Udmurts. (“OOD-merts”). They are an ethnic group in Russia.

Udmurt girls pictured here are dressed for a cultural celebration. The Udmurts live in remote villages, and worship the spirits of the trees and nature. For the most part, they do not know the Creator of those woods, and a full translation of the gospel in their language is yet to be completed.

In Udmurtia, harsh winter covers their villages in heavy snow 6 months out of the year. Unemployment and alcoholism is high, and without the hope found only in Christ, this people group suffers from hopelessness and depression. They have the 2nd highest suicide rate in Russia. In this picture above, a funeral procession carries the coffin of a young Udmurt man who committed suicide – the 3rd this year in this village of only 30 people.

Missions work is being done here, mostly through showings of the JESUS film. The Udmurts are the focus of this year’s Day of Fasting and Prayer for Evangelism on May 27th.

Will you join us in praying for the Udmurts?

You can go to for more information, and to watch a really interesting video about the Udmurts. The Day of Prayer is this Sunday – Don’t forget the People of the Woods!

What’s In YOUR Skillet?

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So, I don’t know about you, but I get awfully tired of trying to come up with a menu for the week. Sometimes I’m just browsing through magazines, trying to be inspired. I think we should create a blog where busy moms / wives / women like me can post what they’re having for dinner – and inspire the rest of us!!

So, here’s what we had last night – wood oven pizza (frozen, organic local brand), with raw veggies on the side (green beans, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes), with ranch for dipping. I love fresh green beans, and I cut up some and cooked them for Maggie to eat with us. She loves thinking she’s eating big-people food.

I also made some instant chocolate pudding with Cool Whip on top for dessert. I felt like it was a low calorie dessert that wasn’t too bad, since I could make it with my 2% organic milk. (I have to drink organic for my allergies.)

When I was a kid, this was one of my favorite desserts – I think because my mom would put it in a nice wide goblet, and it felt extra special. So I always put mine in wine goblets too, and it gives Jeff and me some “date” time after Maggie goes to bed. We sat and talked and ate our desserts together.

SO – what’s in YOUR skillet tonight?

Super Sweet Moments

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Here are more pictures from our trip to North Carolina. This is Maggie with Sam (middle) and Laney (right). They are really sweet babies, and this little photo shoot was fun to watch! This little guy is “Super Sam the Ladies’ Man”, and you can see why.

Both Sam and Laney are really quick to smile for pictures. Maggie’s got a half-smile going on, but usually she mad-dogs the camera. I think her daddy is a little proud of that.

I’m so glad we were able to visit our friends and meet each other’s kids! What a blessing!

Here’s Maggie eating Watermelon on Mother’s Day, at our cookout. Mmmm, can you tell she LOVES it? Basically, she loves anything we’re eating. It must seem so much more appealing than her jarred food.

Of course, a good bite of shoe is always tastey, too.

Here’s Hollie with Laney in her pouch sling. Hollie’s friend made this for her, and I hope to have one made before Lilly gets here.

And finally, this picture is for Teesa (Sam’s mom), who says I don’t post enough pictures of my pregnant belly. Billy (Sam’s dad) took the picture; he is a really good photographer, subject notwithstanding. So now you all know what my current belly looks like. I’m about 5 months along here, and yes, that is my belly button poking out.

Hazleton Vacation

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What a GREAT Mother’s Day weekend! We spent my first “official” Mother’s Day in North Carolina, visiting some great friends of ours. We had some laughs and relaxation with two couples we once lived and worked with. Each of us have had babies since we last saw each other three years ago, so Maggie was able to visit her two little friends, who are both a little younger than her.

Here’s Maggie with Laney. I’ll have to post pics of Sam later, when his mom and dad send me the pics.

This is Maggie and Laney in their matching dresses Sunday morning before Church (we didn’t plan that.) We were about to leave to go see Sam’s Baby Dedication service.

Here are the girls on the car ride to Sam’s house afterwards. We had a cook-out and spent the day with friends.

During our visit, we picked strawberries in a field just about a mile from our friends’ house. I LOVED picking strawberries. Maggie and Jeff were in charge of holding the bucket!

The girls are having a great time!

So, since we flew to North Carolina for our vacation, we TRIED to pack light. (I think we didn’t do too bad for having an 11-month-old with us – we only had 3 checked items, and one of those was a carseat.) SO – Jeff had to leave my mother’s day present at home. This morning, he woke me up with a Starbucks gift bag. He gave me a mug I LOVE- (You can see it on the table in this picture) and a gift card. I think I was just as excited that there were wildflower seeds that came with the gift card. I’m going to plant them and see what comes up!

Then, this evening, the doorbell rang, and I found a box of flowers on the doorstep. It seems Maggie and Lilly sent me some roses and a box of chocolate!!! (Also pictured above on the table.) The card that came with the flowers said “Happy Choosday, Mommy!” (that’s Tuesday) “It’s not Mother’s Day anymore. Daddy told us that you like flowers and choklut – that’s funny, we do to! – Love, Maggie Rae, and Lilly Cate.”

AWE!!!! How amazing are my girls? (Though, I DO think they had a little help!)

What a great Mother’s Day!

We’re Having a……GIRL!

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Here’s a picture of Lilly! Maggie’s going to have a baby sister! We had our long-awaited ultrasound yesterday, and this girl was busy! We watched arms and legs move all over the place. It was so fun to see her little hands and feet. I was excited to see and hear the heartbeat, and make sure everything looked great. After about 5 minutes, though, I was getting anxious. I kept thinking any second now, we will know if we’re having a son or a daughter. Son or a daughter. Son or a daughter. I tilted my head and squinted at the screen, looking for clues. I was sure I’d be able to tell before she told me.

“It’s a girl!”

YAY!!!!!!! There is no way to explain how that feels. We would be elated either way, boy or girl. We just wanted to know so this “baby,” as we’ve referred to her the past several months, could become a more intimate part of our family.

Lilly is due to arrive in just over 4 months. And we are so excited! For more on Maggie, go to our BABY BLOG. You’ve got to see the picture we took of her last night.

Thank you all so much for your prayers – we are still praying for a great pregnancy and delivery, and for a happy, healthy Lilly.

P.S. Don’t you think she looks like Maggie?