Thursday, June 28, 2007

Home again

We picked the girls up at Midway, around 12:00 noon. At 12:01, we kissed goodbye the peace and quiet that we have experienced the last week and a half! I am amazed at the noise level we are now experiencing. All the children feel the need to talk at the same time. When there were just three children, we were pretty quiet. Add two more and we are LOUD!!!! I am sure that I will get used to it again soon, but today I hear every noise. One good thing has come of this, I now understand how and why we overwhelm family when we visit!!!

Here are 4 of the 153 pictures that were taken while they were away.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Today a family camper friend of mine, Leah Hitt, came over to talk and to pray with me. We talked for about two hours. It was so much fun. She is always SOOOO encouraging to me. We prayed for quite a while, until everything you can imagine tried to interrupt us!! (Joel cried out from bed, the phone rang, some children came by for Amy and knocked on the front door, then the back door, a little while later Amy walked in from outside, Daniel followed soon after, they stood and just stared at us, then they walked away and started talking loudly about who needed the bathroom more) I just ended my prayer laughing and saying, "Lord, you know exactly what else I would say if I had the chance." Sometimes it is just better to stop praying!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Good day

Today was a pretty good day, even though it was not our normal Tuesday. Jeff did not have the day off, he had to cook two meals, but he did have supper off. He is taking Thursday off this week instead, because we are going to Chicago to pick up the girls at the airport. I can't believe that they are coming home already. The time away went SO fast!!

Here are two pictures of Joel and Hayden at the beach.

Monday, June 25, 2007

REAL easy breakfast casserole

I am going to give you the recipe for the easiest breakfast casserole I have ever made!! You make this ahead the night before and then bake it in the morning!!

8 frozen hash brown patties
1/2 pound cubed ham
2 cups (or more) shredded chedder cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups milk
1/4 t pepper
1 t ground mustard
4 eggs

Place the frozen hash browns on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle cubed ham and 1 1/2 cups of cheese on top of hash browns (I think it could use more cheese than it calls for). In a seperate bowl blend last five ingredients. Pour over hash browns. Cover and place in the fridge over night. Uncover and bake at 350 for one hour. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted.

It is real easy and it was a hit here at camp! The hash browns swell up and it is a filling meal. Joel loves it !!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tid bits

We passed a church sign tonight on our way home from Granger. Here was the saying......Kneel or no deal. We thought that was neat.
Some of you are probably excited about this, but there will be no pictures posted until the girls get back next Thursday. We allowed them to take my camera to North Carolina. I miss taking pictures and posting them. I feel like I don't have much to say without them.
We talked to the girls tonight. They are having fun away from home. I have been told that they have not been going to bed nights before midnight! They have got to be exhausted!! I asked about their attitudes and I was told that they are doing great. Praise the Lord! Tomorrow they are going shopping. Emily is really looking forward to this, but I doubt that Lauren is.
Jocelyn Mann is spending the night with Amy. I wish that I had my camera. They are so cute together.
I can't believe that another week of camp is almost over! The Boitnots (not sure of spelling) are speaking this week. I told myself and the kids at the begining of summer, that we wouldn't be going to any of the services except for one week and that was last week. I was wrong though. We have already gone to a couple of services this week and I am so glad that we did. Tuesday morning was the usual funny marriage stuff. Today was split sessions. The guys went somewhere else, while we ladies stayed in the Tab. I enjoyed this time so much. After the teaching time, Deborah allowed the ladies to discuss what they had learned and this time was GREAT!! I wish that we could have talked together for many hours. There was such wisdom in this group of ladies. I kept my mouth shut and just listened to all that they had to say.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We went out

A friend of mine offered to keep our three children, so that Jeff and I could go out on a date. We went out for a few hours last night. We really didn't do much of anything, but we had a blast just being together!! (It sure sounds wierd to say, "Our three children")
We took Daniel to the doctors today. He got a mole/wart thingy removed.
My life is pretty boring right now. Sorry for the lack of anything interesting to read.
Oh I just thought of something. There is a couple here for camp this week that Jeff and I traveled with 15 years ago!! It has been SO much fun catching up on their life. Luke and Amanda (Brock) Patterson are their names!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Today I want to honor my dad!

One of my earliest memories I have of my dad was the time he took me riding on his motorcycle. I remember having a blast. I was a real thrill seeker and that ride met that desire. My other memories of Dad, when I was young, include many times of my dad taking me to his favorite hang out with him. (My parents were divorced when I was young, so not many of my memories include times of my parents together.) Those early years of my life were hard.
Life for me got much better when I was 12 and we moved to Florida. My mom and my step dad lived in Naples, FL. I lived with my dad in Bradenton, FL. Dad didn't have a hang out place to go to anymore, so we spent many an hour together at home. I loved those years!! Dad and I were best friends. He took such special care of me. He always had time to listen to my every word. I remember him reading the news paper and always putting it down to listen to me talk. I had his undivided attention whenever I wanted it and I still do!
Another thing that Dad would do for me, was come fill up my car with fuel while I was in school. He would drive his car too my school, park it, and then take my car and fill it up! He was so thoughtful about those kinds of things.
Dad never made me follow any spoken rules. Whenever I wanted permission for something, he would talk me through it. He would give me the pros and cons of both ways and let me decide what I thought was best!! He trusted me. I believe that trust kept me out of most trouble. (I don't advise this kind of training for all children, but it worked for me.)
Dad was very excited for me when I was accepted by Life Action. I was only 18, but he let me leave him to do something greater than just being his daughter. I hated to leave him. We talked constantly on the phone those first couple of years. He used to write me letters too! I felt cherished by him. I was Daddy's little girl. (I sort-of miss those years!)
I mentioned in my last post how I am a tight wad because of my dad. He was the first person to take me garage sale shopping. It is still one of my favorite hobbies!! He taught me how to do it right and I have been very successful ever since! I have even taught my friends how to do it.
Something bad that Dad taught me to dirty every dish in the kitchen before we washed them! NO JOKE!! I have eaten out of some pretty strange things!
Dad taught me how to turn unused lights off. We may have lived like slobs, but we didn't waste electricity!!
He has taught me how to be a giver. He takes care of people. If he has something that you need, he gives it to you. He enjoys meeting needs, but never wants to feel used. (Who does, for that matter?)
Dad is always himself. You either take him like he is or you don't. He doesn't try to impress people. On the phone today, he told me about when he went to a real fancy restaurant wearing his everyday clothes. (holey sneakers, plaid shirt and shorts) He wasn't the least bit embarrassed.
One last thing, my dad has a wonderful smile. That smile always makes me feel loved when I am with him. Thanks Dad for being so special. I love you very much!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

They left today

Lauren and Emily left today around 12:30! Yes, I did cry for a little bit. The van windows were tinted, so I wasn't actually able to see them very well, that fact alone kept me from crying too long! Another fact is that I will see them again in less than two weeks!! I CAN'T WAIT!!

Okay, I have turned into my parents. I knew that this was a possibility, but it still through me for a loop. This morning before the girls left, we wanted to spoil them and spend a little extra time with them. We only had an hour, so we took them to Mc Donald's for some ice cream. We found a parking spot and Jeff was turning off the van when I thought, "Seven people at Mc Donald's is going to cost a small fortune!!" It was at that point that I suggested going to the grocery store and buying a whole box of ice cream sandwiches, for a lot less money! Jeff said, "No, we are here, let's do something special." I (like my dad) am thinking, "Let's get the cheapest thing!" Nope, they decide on a Mc Flurry at $2.10 A PIECE! I (like my dad) was now thinking, "We could buy almost an entire half gallon of ice cream for that much!" I had a bad attitude at this point. It killed me to order 5 Mc Flurries, for a grand total of more than $11.00!! I refused to order Joel and myself one, I just couldn't do it!! So I opted for the FREE ice water. I got the order and took it over to the table where they were all waiting. I got a good look inside of the Mc Flurry cups and realized that they were not more than 2/3 full. I was really upset now. I (like my mom) said, "Let me have those back, I will go complain to the manager." Nope, Jeff said, "Leave it alone. Let's just enjoy what we have." I (like my mom) walked away at that point. I couldn't stand there and watch them waste money like that. I was no fun to be with and wasn't enjoying this SPECIAL time out. It was then that I realized that I had turned into my parents. I remember special times out with my parents, that were no fun for me because of these exact thoughts that I was having. I purposed in my heart to go be with my family and to just enjoy the moment that I was able to have with them. I forgot about the ice cream in the cups and just smiled at the ice cream on their faces!
(I have always known that I was a tight wad like my Dad and an avenger of wrong like my mom. I have just never been both at the same time! I love you, Mom and Dad! You have taught me well.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Our Story

Today is our 15th Wedding Anniversary! I thought that I would tell you our love story.

Jeff and I met here at Life Action Ministries, on August 4th, 1990. My first memory of him is the day I was using a video camera to get footage of the camp and all my friends here. (the video was for my dad.) I was in the lodge taping people. Everyone was very happy to talk on my video, except for one person..... Jeff Herdklotz. I went up to him with the camera rolling and said, "Hi! Would you like to talk to my camera?" He stared right into the camera, no smile and said in a very serious, monotone voice, "Get that thing away from me." I turned the camera off immediately and never tried that again. I still remember to this day how hurt I was. I must have gotten over my hurt real quick though, because we became fast friends after that.
We traveled together on the same road team. He was the Canfield's school teacher and I was the Happiness Teacher during the night services. I remember spending MANY a day in Jeff's school room just hanging out and talking to him. I looked forward to those times with him so much. He was my best friend and I wasn't the least bit interested in him in any other way, until the day that another team girl and I got to talking one night. She mentioned that she liked Jeff and thought that he was cute. I remember sitting there thinking, "Jeff? You like MY Jeff?" I knew that something between us had changed at that very moment. The year somehow managed to go on without our friendship really changing. The last night of that crusade year, my friend Julie took me aside and told me that something had to change between Jeff and I. She said, "You two are too close. You are either going to kill each other or you two will get married." Her words sounded strange too me, but I spent the whole summer thinking about them. Jeff and I were apart for two months. During that summer break, I thought that I was going to go nuts without him around. I couldn't wait to see him again! I realized during that time apart that I certainly was not going to kill him, but I just might marry him, if he asked. Something must have clicked in Jeff's heart too, during our separation. Because when we got back together for the next travel year, he started making sweet, little comments to me. (I will spare you all the details!) Within five months, I was engaged too my best friend!
Jeff proposed too me on Jan. 8th, in the Tabernacle here at camp. I, of course, said, "Yes!!" We had our parent's blessing, but we didn't have our leadership's permission yet. So for three days, I couldn't wear my ring. I carried it around in a box, in my pocket! When Jeff gave it too me, he warned me that if our leadership said, "No." I would have to give it back too him. We met up with our leadership in Texas on Jan. 11. Jeff asked Steve Canfield's permission and then called me on the phone, at my hosts home, to tell me that we were officially engaged!! I ran around their house SO excited that I was engaged. It was a wonderful night. That family actually came all the way up from Texas and was at our wedding in Michigan!! I loved that host family!! Oh yeah, back too our story. Jeff and I were married on, an absolutely gorgeous day, June 13th, 1992!
I love to be open and honest, so I will say that the first several years were TOUGH!!! We were so different. I was a total Miss Dependant and he was 100% Mr. Independent! I wanted to be with him 24/7 and it drove him NUTS!! After 15 years and 5 children, we have worked out most all of the kinks in our marriage. We adore each other and know how to meet each other's needs. Jeff is a wonderful husband and I can't imagine my life without him!! NO ONE can make me as happy as he does! He has really worked hard in these past 15 years to become more dependant on me and less dependant on himself. The biggest change he has made is his smile. I remember when I just wanted him to smile every once and a while, I begged him to smile more, now he smiles all the time! I love that smile of his!! I have worked hard on something too, I grew up a lot in 15 years! The process was difficult, but I am so glad that it happened! Alright, I am done with our story. I will just end with this....Honee, I look so forward to spending the next 15 years with you!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


This is now the front of our house. No more ugly dirt and mess!

Jeff worked SO hard to get the big rocks put in. Then he had to go dig the dirt to put in the rock bed. Last he had to find the mulch to put over the dirt in the rock bed. This would never have happened without Jeff!! (Thank you, Honee!)

The pretty plants were put in by a wonderful Family Camp family.

I DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! Now it is my job to keep everything looking pretty!!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

We said, "Yes!"

Our dear friends, Jimmy and Paige Weeks, have been asking us for years to allow them to keep our children for an extended amount of time. We have finally said, "Yes!" Lauren and Emily will be going home with them and their eight children at the end of this weeks Family camp. The girls will be staying in Rocky Mount, North Carolina for almost TWO WEEKS!! They leave this Saturday and will fly back home on the 28th of June. Jeff is will be going crazy without them here. He really doesn't want them to go, but something happened here at camp last year and we feel that it would be best for them not to be here next week. The timing was perfect, so the girls are leaving us!! I will miss them something awful. I just pray that they have GREAT attitudes the whole time and that they get their sleep!

Friday, June 8, 2007

What to blog about

I am not sure what to blog about today. Life is just happening and it seems pretty boring.

I did take Lauren to the orthodontist's this morning. She is having trouble with her gums. She is doing fantastic at obeying what not to eat, which may be actually causing her some trouble. Her gums are not getting enough stimulation and they are sagging down to her brackets. She breaks food up into small bites and puts it into her mouth. She is so afraid of breaking a wire. Dr. Chad told her that she needs to not be so careful. He told her to just stay away from candy and pop. (which she did without braces) He said she could probably eat rocks carefully if she wanted and not break her brackets off. I think that this put some things into perspective for her. She honestly has been avoiding just about everything. Dr. Chad also wants her to brush her teeth (without toothpaste) whenever she is sitting still in the house and floss her teeth everyday. She is getting VERY discouraged about her teeth and doesn't like her braces at the moment. I hate that this is happening to her, because I never had this problem when I had braces. I want SO much to take all her pain away! Children have NO idea how much their pain truly affects us as their parents.

This next item of news is going to sound very funny after that last sentence! Joel found his shadow yesterday. He was sitting in my lap and the light was behind us. On the wall across from us was Joel's shadow bigger than life. He started waving at it and it scared him! He started crying and I started laughing!! He stopped crying for a moment and then he saw it again, the whole thing started over. He cried and I laughed. I know and I am sorry that his pain didn't affect me much at all. What can I say, sometimes I feel their pain and sometimes I just don't!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Another funny email

Okay, I am real busy and I don't have much to blog about. A friend of mine sent this email to me today and I thought that it would be perfect for today's post. I love you, guys. I will hopefully have something to post about tomorrow.

A man was riding his Harley along a California beach when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, the Lord said, "Because you have TRIED to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish."
The biker pulled over and said, "Thank you, Lord. Please build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want."
The Lord said, "Your request is materialistic. Think of the enormous undertaking; the supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific, and the concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that could possibly help mankind."
The biker thought about it for a long time. Finally, he said, "Lord, I wish that I, and all men, could understand our wives; I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she really means when she says nothing's wrong, and how I can make a woman truly happy."
The Lord replied, "You want two lanes, or four on that bridge?"

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Endless Supply

Here are some endless supplies that I would love to have!

An endless supply of......
1. fresh fruits and vegetables
2. clean, ironed clothes that fit me
3. wisdom to give to others
4. fuel for our van
5. great smelling laundry soap and fabric softener
6. peanut butter (we eat it all the time)
7. my thyroid medicine
8. beautiful, warm (not hot) sunny days
9. laughter

That is my list and I am sticking with it. I am very aware that those of you who know me best are saying to yourself, "Hey, she never mentioned chocolate!" You are right, I didn't. The reason is, because somehow I have managed to already have an endless supply of the stuff! But I would give up every form of chocolate for forever, if I could have all the things on my list!

Monday, June 4, 2007

I know....

(Yes, I know that most of my pictures are of Joel. I can't help it! He is the only one at home with me all day long.) Notice the shoes!! Those are Jeff's shoes that he is wearing. Joel puts them on all the time by himself. In these pictures, Joel is looking and waiting for someone to come home to play with him. He gets so lonely when they are all outside. I do play with him too, but today I was busy cutting out new recipes that I want to try at the lodge.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Quiet Please

Daniel is soooo LOUD in the morning when he wakes up. If he has had enough sleep and can't fall back to sleep, then he wakes everyone else up! For some reason he just gets excited about the day and can't be quiet!! I consider this personality trait VERY annoying to say the least! This morning at 6:45 AM, I found Daniel in his bedroom, with the lights on, holding Joel and talking loudly to him. I took Joel and sent Daniel out of the room. I turned the lights off and put Joel back to bed (which he happily slept in for another hour and a half!). I went back downstairs where I had sent Daniel and Amy was now awake. I left Daniel in the living room on the couch, while Amy and I went to my bed (Jeff was already up getting ready for work.) I was so tired, all I wanted to do was SLEEP!! And I would have, if Daniel could have been quiet! We laid in bed for 30 minutes and listened to Daniel talk to himself, move the kitchen chairs around, sing, and play with his table soccer game. I kept thinking that he would get quiet at any moment, but he just kept going as if no one else was home trying to sleep. In the morning, he is totally oblivious to rest of the world, unless one of us walks by him.... then he just has to talk to us!!

Saturday, June 2, 2007


We had Hayden come over to play for a little while today. Telling them to hug was the only way that I could get them to stay still long enough for a picture! Joel is having the time of his life. They are running all over this house laughing and screaming. I want to remember this moment for forever!!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Garage Sale Day

Today I was taken garage sale shopping by two of my friends, Andrea Griffith and Amy Bearden. We had a lot of fun together. We FILLED an entire van with all our special buys. My favorite deal was four really nice pair of capris for a grand total of $3.50!! Daniel's favorite buy of mine was his table soccer game. I found this really nice portable game for him for only $2.00. It was my payment to him for watching Joel while I was gone. Daniel was VERY excited about this treasure. He keeps hugging me and saying, "Thank you, Mommy!"

Tomorrow we are going to work around the outside of our house. It is our goal to get it looking nice before Monday's Family Camp starts. We have never done anything around the outside, so it won't take much to make it look better than it does now!! I will post some pictures of our progress tomorrow.