Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happy 13th Birthday, Lauren!

This post is dedicated to Lauren Grace Herdklotz!! Her name is a combination of Jeff's name and my name. Loren is Jeff's middle name and Grace is my middle name. I just love that she will always have a part of us both where ever she goes.

The Lord has really blessed Lauren with two great talents. #1. Lauren can sing! I love hearing her sing, and believe me she sings ALL the time!! #2. She understands her father!! Lauren has actually explained Jeff to me on numerous occasions. Jeff loves to work with her in the kitchen, because she thinks like him. She knows what to do, before he asks her to do it! It is neat for me to see them together.

Lauren can make a friend faster than anyone I know. Family campers from all over come and ask for her!! One mother came to camp this year and was very disappointed that Lauren had grown up so much. The age difference between her daughter and Lauren was very evident, and for the first time in years, they didn't spend any time together. Lauren has now made many friends among the summer staff and the road team members. She has really blossomed this year.

Lauren used to be the child that hated to read. Not anymore!! Now reading is her favorite hobby!

When Lauren grows up she wants to either deliver babies or be a writer.

She is very artistic. Singing, writing and drawing are the things she does best.

She does very well at English and math, even though she doesn't like either subject.

Celtic Women is Lauren's favorite music to listen to.

She LOVES to watch movies.

Happy Birthday, Lauren!! I hope that you have a very special day!!

Monday, July 30, 2007


I am finally doing it!! I am painting, what we call, the piano room. I hope to be done by tomorrow night! It really hasn't taken me too long. I hate that I procrastinated for so long to do something that really helps make that room for everything look better! (Was that a run on sentence? HAHA:) Oh well. I used to worry about my grammar on this blog, because my sister-in-law is an English Teacher. I pictured her reading it and critiquing everything I wrote. I don't worry anymore though, I found out recently that she has NEVER even looked at it!!) Back to my painting......it feels so good to get it done before I start school this year with the kids! I did the words today in blue, because that is the color of the room.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I will make it quick

Sorry, that I have not posted in forever! Joel has been sick since Tuesday night and he is just not getting better. He started having a fever Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning he had a cough. Since Friday his nose has not stopped running. Still has the fever and cough too! I hate to see him sick. He is pitiful!

Lauren is away for the weekend. She is in Ohio with some friends.

Emily and I went on a date today! We went out to eat and went to the movies. We saw Ratatouille. The movie was cute, but not very funny. We both liked it though.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I got to thinking

After Daniel got his stitches, I started thinking about something. I realized that Daniel is the child of many firsts.
1. our first son
2. the first to be birthed without hours of pushing
3. our first and only blond
4. our first and only child to actually wear clothes that are smaller than his age.....he will be 10 and wears size 8 (Joel on the other hand is 1 and wears size 3t in some things/ the girls are the same way....big for their age)
5. the first child to have an allergic reaction to something (we had to rush him in to the doctors two years ago, because his face was swelling up after a bee sting/ also allergic to the medicine Bactrim....didn't swell up, but had a rash from head to toe)
6. the first child we ever lost (He wondered away while we were at the beach in Florida.....he was looking for us!)
7. our first child who NEEDS to be outside and busy
8. our first child to do the Life Action Triathlon
9. our first and hopefully our only child to kill a bird......just for the fun of it
10. our first child that Jeff named
11. the first child to adore and prefer to play with smaller children
12. our first and only child to constantly lose his shoes while outside playing in them
13. the first child that built something for me
14. our first and only child that is angry with me one minute and the next minute is hugging all over me and telling me that he loves me!!
15. Daniel is the first boy in my life to have me wrapped around his little finger!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'll always remember

Today is a day I will not soon forget!! It started out with Abby Bearden and Emily making us a pancake breakfast. They were so cute together in the kitchen. Emily is very good at making pancakes and she was having fun teaching Abby how to do it. I think they did a very good job. Everyone enjoyed their meal and went outside to play afterward.

Next on our agenda for the day was swimming. Our children were invited by Amy Bearden to go down to the lake with her family and six other families. The children were all having a great time. I guess they got sick of swimming so they started killing the flying bugs at the beach. In the midst of their swinging broken broom pieces at the bugs, Daniel got hurt. He was brought to me with blood all over his leg. He had a big gash and it needed stitches. I called Jeff and he rushed home. Daniel chose for Jeff to take him to the doctor's office. :) Daniel ended up needing 8 shots and 7 stitches. This was our first time in 13 years of parenting to have to rush our child to the doctors because of an injury. I hope that we get to wait at least another 13 years for the next time.

Read the next post to see what else happened today!

The day continues....

While Jeff and Daniel were at the doctor's office, the road staff children at the camp and our Emily were raising money to pay for the stitches!! They did this without our permission, but they did have their parents permission. Most everyone around here knows that we do not have insurance that would cover this. Therefore this whole thing would be coming out of our pocket. To raise the money, the children had a lemonade stand and I have heard that they just went around to the team members and asked for donations. They apparently didn't miss anyone. I was told that they even went to the camp staff houses and asked for contributions. The more I think about this the more embarrassed I get, but we are VERY grateful for all that was given. I cried so hard when they brought the money to us. I hugged everyone of the children!! I have posted the grand total under the picture of all those sweet children.


You read that right! Two hundred thirty-five dollars and fifty cents! They raised this in about 3 hours! Praise the Lord his stitches are now paid for!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I am posting this picture of the three chalets, so that you can understand what I am writing about. The chalet on the left belongs to Jimmy and Lori (the one that you really can't see in the picture). Next to them is the Sutton's house. Ours is the one on the right side. All three chalets share the same well. The well is on the left side of Jimmy and Lori's house. Our water has a long way to travel before we get any of it. Needless to say our water pressure sometimes is much to be desired. Well, we have noticed something the past couple of days. The Sutton's left for vacation on Friday morning and our water pressure has been WONDERFUL!!! Even the children have noticed the change!! Karen what exactly do you guys do over their when you are home? We are wondering if you leave the water running nonstop! We really do miss you guys, but we will enjoy our water pressure immensely until you get back.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I wonder?

Jeff was hiding the ball in his hand and asking Joel to find which hand it was in. Joel loves to mimic his daddy, so he tried it out on Jeff. He put a ball in one of his hands and held them out to Jeff to see if he could find it. Jeff is a great pretender and acted like he couldn't find it. Joel really enjoyed this new game of daddy's. We thought that you would enjoy it too!

There she blows!

My poor children. I woke up from a nap today and I was mad!! All I could see was the HUGE mess that the house had become. I didn't handle things very well. What I wanted to do was either send the kids away so that I could clean it all without distraction or I wanted them to do it all so that I could leave. Neither of those things happened. I instead worked beside them and barked out orders at them. One of the children kept sneaking out one door or the other as soon as they were done with a job, in great hopes that I would forget about them and they wouldn't have to work anymore. Another child was fussing the whole time. Another child was out with her friend. Another child was angry with me and let me know it! The last child, bless her heart was working and doing everything she could to please her mommy. I wasn't out of control with anger, but my attitude was really wrong. You see, during Family Camps (all 8 weeks), I hardly see the children and they really don't do much work around here. They are free to play with their friends and do all those fun things that they only do during camp. I hate to spoil their fun, so I let them go and I end up doing most of the house work. I choose this option for myself and then I resent them for not helping me. (I have warned you before about my twisted mind!) Well, I let the feelings of "no one helps me around here" fester, until I exploded today. It didn't take me long to see, how wrong I was today to blame them for MY choices!! Somehow I find it so easy to be the victim, instead of taking responsibility for my choices! Well, this Mama is now making some new choices! Tonight I am making a schedule of chores for each of them, and they will be required to do them.....correctly!

It has been an hour or so since I posted this and I have been thinking. The problem is not that I gave my children 8 weeks of freedom. The problem is that they, LIKE ME, don't want to do things they don't want to do! I talked in an early post about my ability to procrastinate so well. Being the mom, I have the choice to procrastinate until later. Heaven knows, my work will be there whenever I choose to do it!! But I do not give my children that option when I abruptly walk into a room and demand that they do something now. Making a schedule will make things a lot easier on all of us. It will give them a little freedom of choice as to the timing and it will keep the work from building up and seeming so overwhelming!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My nickname should be...

Many of my friends call me the Garage Sale Queen. I love to go garage sale shopping and I really do find some GREAT deals, but if I were to give myself a nick name it would be The Queen of Procrastination!! No one can procrastinate better than I can! It really doesn't have to be anything hard or difficult, just something that I don't want to do at that moment. Here are some things that I have put off doing and now they are done. (Not by me mind you, but by my mother-in-law and by my hungry daughter Lauren)
Okay I am sure that you are questioning "the hungry Lauren" part, so I will tell you first what she did to help me. I had a mostly eaten chicken casserole in the fridge for what seemed like a small eternity. I had opened the fridge door and saw that casserole dish probably three or four times a day!! Every time I saw it I would think, "I really should throw that thing out before one of the kids eats it." But I never did it! I would close the fridge door and tell myself to get it next time. Yesterday I was gone for the afternoon with Karen. When I returned home I noticed that the casserole dish was in the sink!! My body got VERY numb. I asked the kids, "Who cleaned the dish out?" I was told that Lauren had eaten it for lunch! I wanted to die. All I could think of was that my procrastination just killed my daughter! I was so scared that she was going to get very sick. I ended up calling the doctor to see how soon she would get sick. They told me within a couple of hours. Praise the Lord!! It had already been several hours and she was fine!! Later that night when I was in bed praying, the Lord reminded me that I had actually made that casserole just ten days ago. Not that ten days is considered safe at our house, but it wasn't weeks like I had feared!! I had put off throwing that thing out so many times that it seemed like it had been in there for weeks! How sad is that!!
My mother-in-law stayed with us for just three nights and two days. In that short time she folded a couple loads of laundry, replaced a broken curtain rod with a new one, bought another rod for a new curtain to hang on, started on making the new curtain for me, and cleaned the room that she stayed in and changed the sheets on the bed. I am so thankful that she does not procrastinate like I do!! Our piano room is also grateful! (that is the room where the rod was replaced and the new curtain will be hung) Because of her hard work, I am now motivated to finish painting that room. I have put off finishing the painting for almost two years! You should see this room, no actually you shouldn't! I am so embarrassed to even tell you about it. The walls which are supposed to be one solid color of blue are actually four different colors! They have been like this for so long that I don't even notice them anymore when I go in there.
I warned you that I am.......The Queen of Procrastination!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Game night

Tonight we had a game night with Grandmother. There wasn't enough room for me to play, so I opted to take pictures. This UNO game was given to Emily for her birthday. It proved to be a lot of fun for everyone!

Uncle Joe, when you come up here next month, will you play UNO with us?

Monday, July 16, 2007


I had a major victory last night and I need to tell you about it. Jeff owed me BIG and I didn't demand payment!! I will explain. I help Jeff in the kitchen down at the lodge whenever I can. He asked me yesterday if I would make a specific casserole for brunch today. I had been sick this week and wasn't sure that I was up to it, but I thought why not. The plan was for me to shop for the ingredients after church and then make it during Joel's nap time. I shopped for the stuff, but my plans were changed about when to make it. You see, during Joel's nap time I had to do something else for Jeff. I had to clean our entire house, because while I was out at Walmart I got a call that his mother was staying with us and she was arriving around suppertime!! I spent the whole afternoon cleaning the house. It really needed it, so I am not complaining that I had to do it, it was just the timing that was bad. This Sunday was Jeff's total day of work. He got to work around 7:45am and never quit until about 7:30 pm. (He had three meals to make, clean up after and make a lot of stuff for the upcoming week.) I tell you this, because since I didn't make the casseroles during Joel's nap time I had no one to watch Joel so that I could get them done. My mother-in-law arrived right on time. The children and I spent the evening with her. My plans to put the children to bed early.......didn't happen! Not only was Grandmother here, but it was soccer night!! Every Sunday night at 7:30, there is a soccer game. Three of my children and their father were up at the soccer game. Jeff was playing, so he still couldn't watch Joel! I finally got everyone to bed around 9:45. At about 10:00 I headed to the kitchen to make 7 casseroles that had to be made the night before the brunch. I must say that my attitude was not great. I knew that I would not get home until midnight now. I spent some much needed time in prayer before I started work. I just confessed my bad attitude, asked the Lord to change it and asked Him to bless my time in the kitchen. Here is where the victory part comes in. I was still kind of wrestling with my attitude toward Jeff, imagine all that I did for him and he still went and played soccer!! I was going to make him feel bad for choosing soccer over helping me, by reminding him of all that I had done for him today. He was going to see how wonderful I was and how selfish he was. (I have a twisted mind!) The Lord so sweetly spared me that action. He gently said, "Do you want My approval and praise or do you want Jeff's?" I realized right then that I wanted God's approval and I knew that I really wasn't going to get either doing things my way. I would bite my tongue and treat Jeff with the utmost love and respect. God is SO good! Not two minutes after I had made that decision, Jeff walked into the kitchen (he still had to mop)! I did exactly as I said I would. I never mentioned a thing and I spoke to him with a smile on my face. It was rather easy to do it, I was actually happy on the inside too! After the mopping was done, Jeff went home to shower and to eat supper and I kept working. At about 11:30, Jeff called me just to check on me and to tell me that he LOVED me. I had WON!! I kept my mouth quiet and I got the approval of BOTH God and Jeff!!! It has never felt better to keep my attitude right and my mouth silent!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookie Smile

Okay, I know what you are thinking. "Great another picture of Joel with food on his face!" I apologize for my obsession with my children looking messy. I just find it funny and I really didn't have anything else to share with you today.This messy face is from eating a fresh baked cookie from Karen Sutton. I wish that I had taken a picture of Hayden Sutton after his cookie eating, so that you could have compared the two faces. Hayden is the neatest boy I have ever seen. He hardly had anything on his face!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's a deal, Amy!!

Amy is the cutest six year old!! We were having a conversation today and she came up with a great plan. If only it could really work like this!!

We were walking hand and hand this morning, talking about life. I mentioned to her that I would like it if she stayed my cute little six year old girl for the rest of her life. Her response was, "Mommy, my birthday is next month. I have to turn seven, but I will be a cute seven year old!" I laughed and said, "I know you will be Honey, but can't you just stay six for me?" She thought for a moment and then replied. " Mommy, I will turn seven and be really cute, then after we have tried it out, if you like me better as a six year old then I will go back to being six for the rest of my life!!" I thought that sounded like quite an excellent idea. We made a deal right then and there!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Seven little girls

Today we celebrated Emily's Birthday with her friends. Emily and six of her friends went bowling and then to Mc Donald's for some ice cream. It was quite a day of fun. The girls get along very well and they like to laugh a lot! Bowling was pretty uneventful, but the ice cream excursion was very eventful. First of all, just imagine the time that it took SEVEN girls to decide what they wanted to order at Mc Donald's!!! We kept having to let people go in front of us. They even opened up another line, just to help with the back up that we created. When we finally figured it all out, three of the girls ordered sundaes. We received these "sundaes" with no hot fudge or nuts. I asked about the missing items. I was told that it would cost me another .30 cents each "sundae" for the toppings!! I was shocked. I had never heard of sundaes without toppings!! I refused to pay extra for the toppings, so the girls had plain ice cream in a cup. Before they had eaten to much of their ice cream, I noticed a friend from church. I went over to see her and told her about our "sundae" experience. I told her never to order one from this place. She was shocked too. She got up and went behind the counter and talked to the manager. (I forgot that she was the district manager for Mc Donald's! OOPS) Well she got it all figured out. We got our toppings for free and got a free sundae for me. The lady that took our order was apparently new, toppings don't cost extra. After everything was eaten we only had one more incident, one of the girls lost her purse in Mc Donald's. We found it quite quickly and we headed home.

This picture of Joel was taken yesterday. He put the blanket around himself and then posed for the picture. He has not been feeling well for almost a week now. He has a runny nose and a cough. His sickness is why he has a binky in his hand. He had that binky in his mouth when I went to take the picture. As soon as I told him to say, "Cheese", he pulled out the binky and said, "Cheese!" He is really starting to try to talk. I love this stage.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Happy 11th Birthday, Emily!!

This post is dedicated to Emily Kay Herdklotz! She is now the sweet age of 11! Emily is quite a little lady, but she can also play with the boys at a drop of a hat! She loves anything camouflage. She enjoys swimming, soccer, riding bikes, playing cowboys and indians, singing and playing with just about anyone. She can usually be found with a smile on her face. She calls me, "Mama". It seems like just yesterday that she had that chubby little face and body that she was born with. Now she is all thinned out and looking very grown up. We took some fun pictures today and I thought I would share them with you all.

This last one is my favorite!! This is how I see her most often. She really is a delightful child to raise. I love you, Emily.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Guardian Angels

This is what Joel looks like after feeding himself pizza and an ice cream sandwich!! He sure looks happy doesn't he? He has no idea how truly happy he should be tonight. While Joel and I went shopping this afternoon we were almost hit by a car. We were walking between two stores and Praise the Lord we didn't get hit by the car that ran up onto the curb. The car missed us by about five seconds. It came speeding up onto the curb, abruptly reversed inches from hitting the concrete wall, and sped away backwards through the parking lot!! We had just passed that exact spot about five seconds earlier. I was putting Joel into a shopping cart only about four or five feet from the car when it happened. When the car left, I just stood there shaking and thanked God for protecting us. From what I could figure out, the driver was not drunk. His car was malfunctioning. As I was entering another store, I spotted him putting some kind of fluid in his car. I pray that he made it home safely. I learned a huge lesson from this experience......don't pray that the Lord would show you that you truly have guardian angels protecting you!!! I prayed that prayer just this morning!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Enough preaching and sharing

Okay, I will stop talking about what God is doing in my life. I know that you can go to church anytime you want to hear a message.

I will post about something funny that was said to me at Granger tonight. I was having a conversation with a new child to my room. He is a six year old boy, named Noah. We are all required to wear a name tag each night. I happened to notice that Noah's name tag said that he was HIGHLY allergic to food and latex (good thing to notice since I am in charge of him for the night). The tag got me thinking, so I asked Noah some questions. Here is how it went.

"Noah, your tag says that you are allergic to food. Do you know what foods you are allergic to and what foods you can have?"

Noah said, "Yes."

I asked him, "What is something that you are not allergic to?"

Noah takes almost a full minute before he responds to me. During that minute he was looking up at the ceiling, licking his lips (he told me thinking makes his lips dry), and he was making great movements with his eyes. You could tell he was concentrating and thinking up an answer. His response was, "Bananas."

Okay I thought, all that for bananas. I will move on to another question. "Noah what can't you eat?"

After the same funny looks and concentration, he looks at me very seriously and answers.


I laughed so hard and loud that the whole class was looking at me. I realized then how fun this new kid Noah is going to be. I look forward to getting to know him better!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


My mom sent me this email and I just had to post it today!! Happy 4th of July!!!

John 8:32 & 36 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…..Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!

July 4th Week, it is hard for me to think of freedom and the enjoyment of our freedom as Americans without also thinking of the freedom we have in Christ. There is no other greater freedom than what American Christians can experience. Political freedom and Spiritual freedom. How sad that people would choose to reject the freedom that Christ offers and continue to be a slave of sin. People around the world do not have the privilege of choosing political freedom, we as Americans today were born with the privilege that was purchased with the blood of those who went before us. No wonder that people around the world want to move to our land, to the land of the free! Freedom comes with a price tag! And that price was paid for by others that we might enjoy our freedom today. And that is true of our spiritual freedom as well. Jesus paid for our salvation, for our freedom with his blood.

This story from the past of our country spoke to my heart about the freedom we have been given.

When the gold mines of California was drawing men from all over the world and especially our own country an Englishman was caught up in the fever. After a year he struck it rich! Sold his mine and was on his way home a rich man. His travel towards the East coast and eventually home brought him to New Orleans. Walking the streets he was drawn to a crowd of people yelling and having a good time. He soon realized it was an auction for slaves. Slavery had been outlawed in England. Curiosity caused him to stay and watch as people sold other people as though they were simply property. A beautiful young black girl was pushed onto the platform. Made to walk around and poked and prodded, her dignity as a human was being destroyed. The gold miner heard the jeers and the remarks of evil all around him. The bidding began. Quickly the bidding went beyond what would have been a typical price. The gold miner watched and as he watched an anger began to rise in him. At the sound of going once! Going twice! He yelled a price twice the going bid. SOLD! He had bought another human being. As the girl stepped down from the platform and the auctioneer motioned for the man to pay for her. He opened the bag of gold and paid in gold! As the girl was led over to him she spit in his face and said “I hate you!” The gold miner wiped his face and without a word took the girl by the hand and walked down the street. Eyes were watching, voices jeering. As he walked along he seemed to be looking for a particular store. Finally he stops, motions for the girl to stay and walks in side a building. The girls curiosity is aroused, she peers through the window and sees the miner arguing, hears the clerk say “It is the Law, you can’t do this!!” but the miner takes out his bag of gold and pours it out on the counter. The clerk takes out some papers, the miner signs them. As he steps out onto the street where the girl is waiting,She turns away from him. He puts the papers in front of her and says “these are your manumission papers, you are free.” The girl doesn’t look at him or the papers. “Take them he says, your free.” “I hate you, why do you make fun of me.” She says. “No, listen, these are your freedom papers. You are a free person.” The girl looked at the papers, then looks at him and at the papers. “You just bought me…and now you are setting me free?” “That is why I bought you, I bought you to set your free.” The beautiful young girl fell to her knees in front of the miner, tears streaming down her face. “You bought me to set me free! You bought me to set me free!” she said over and over. Clutching his boots, the girl looked up at the miner and said, “All I want to do is to serve you, because you bought me to set me free!”
“if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!” Enjoy your freedom today and tell the Lord how much you will serve him because he has set your free!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


While I was down at the beach today, someone asked me if everything was okay. She continued to say that I just didn't seem to be the same Judith that she knows. My heart ached when she asked that question. I denied that anything was wrong, but the truth be told, I am not the same Judith that I was. I have been through a lot this past year and I haven't quite gotten back to my normal self. The fear of man has enslaved me! There is one particular person in my life that doesn't like me and it kills me everyday to see this person. I want to be liked by them SO badly that I dream about them apologizing to me and becoming one of my closest friends. I have prayed more about this one issue than anything else in my life. Even though I want this relationship restored, God showed me this week my lack of love for this person. It is hard to love someone that doesn't like you! PRIDE at its best (or worst depending on how you look at it)! I am not supposed to love someone just because of how they make me feel. I am to love someone just because Christ commands me to!! This fear of man and lack of love have saturated my whole life. So no, I am not the same Judith, but with God's help I hope to be soon!!

(Karen, please keep this to yourself and I shouldn't discuss with you who this person is. I love you, Friend!!)

Monday, July 2, 2007

What is God doing in my life?

God has been real faithful in showing me my sin this week. It all started last Saturday when I was helping the staff clean cabins between Family Camps. I chose to clean the toilets! I was really PROUD of my work when I was done cleaning all ten of them. When I finished I was on cloud nine! (I told you that I don't get out much) Well on Wednesday, Ernie told me the things that I cleaned wrong. I was devastated!!! My pride was so wounded. I went home and vowed never to clean another toilet outside my house. Jeff just laughed and encouraged me to go CONQUER those toilets!! I realized then how easy it is for me to just give up when I don't feel appreciated. I have such a fear of man. I want to please everyone, but according to Galatians 1:10, if I fear man then I am not a servant of Christ!! OUCH! The next Saturday, I went out to clean again with the staff. I chose toilets again, I was determined to conquer them. I went to do my job and things were different this time. My boss had changed and her way of doing things did not match what I thought was best. Within 10 minutes, I had spoken rudely to her twice and I left to go home crying. I was a mess. I prayed and prayed my whole way home and back to my job. God showed me my sin of stubbornness. I can be submissive to my authorities when things are going my way, but watch out if they don't!! I also have great difficulty being flexible when things abruptly change. When I returned to the job, I immediately asked my boss to forgive me for my bad attitude. She forgave me and I went to conquer those toilets. I had a great time hearing from the Lord the rest of the day. I am so needy of His direction and discipline. (Just writing this makes me see in print who my children get their bad attitudes from.....ME!!)