Thursday, January 31, 2008


First Paul and now Liz. You are my real life heroes of the faith. Not even cancer could shake your faith. May we all give God our best each and every day.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FOR KNATOLEE..... my mutant cauliflower

It won't stay together although it is making quite a pretty flower.

Then, I have this purple variety that is also mutant... out of the same packet.

Closeup. I'm scared to eat it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Honor of Paul Martin who went *home* this morning

2 Timothy 4:7-8

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Fanny Crosby's 1891 Hymn,

Saved By Grace,

Someday the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing,
But Oh, the joy when I shall awake
Within the palace of the King!

Some day my earthly house will fall,
I cannot tell how soon "twill be;
But this I know my All in All,
Has now a place in Heav'n for me.

Someday, when fades the golden sun,
Beneath the rosy tinted west.
My Blessed Lord will say, "Well Done!"
And I shall enter into rest.

Someday: till then I'll watch and wait,
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright.
That when my Saviour opes the gate,
My soul to Him may take its flight.

And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story--Saved By Grace,
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story---Saved By Grace.

Song was written according to Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

Monday, January 28, 2008

Aren't they cute? They are on their 14th chapter of Captain Underpants (in 1 sitting). What a cute way to spend lunchtime together.

After lunch yesterday, Simon Peter and I spent hours out in our garden. We removed leafy lettuce, put compost down, trimmed sucker branches, collected cherry toms, short-n-sweet carrots, bunching onions & sweet basil and then put in our 2 wk old seedlings.

(Our harvest on right - Top L Basil, Top R Carrots, Lettuce below cherry tomatoes and bunching onions on bottom.)

(Covered in green)
For basil, I took the nice leaves I wanted to keep. Blanched them 1 min in boiling water, then onto ice water. Dry and vacuum packed. Put into freezer until needed. I also have a great pesto from last harvest.

I still have my big plant, which thanked me for pulling so much off of it, as well as the plants behind it finally getting sun today. I would prefer the whole thing to die and my other cuttings to take off for another garden bed that I'm preparing for herbs. More to come with that.

New iceberg seedlings. I think we put approx 10 heads down, 8" apart.

Spinach in front (8?) and a dozen Yellow Onions in back. The onions ares surrounded by some slow growing cauliflower that I'm leaving in the ground for now. Onions were 4" apart and Spinach 6" apart.

By the finishing of this post, the boys are done with their book.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

MANDLES - Candles for men

Saturday, January 26, 2008



(Well, since I've had kids eleven years ago that is....)


To see my long-lost cousin (good-looking guy in the middle) who just moved down South.... Young ladies, he's available.


to have a slumber party with my sisters........ (way too much fun)

And on the way home, I stopped here to get my kid fix from these guys!!!!!

Oh were they a lot of fun too. I can't imagine what a slumber party at their house looks like.

I love all you guys!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Jack's friend through work received some sad news today. While we wish for a different outcome, we are so glad that he is going HOME with complete peace in his heart. We have been following his progress for months now on the Caring Bridge website. It has been such a rollercoaster ride for him and Lisa.

Please pray with us that he will not be in pain or discomfort.

Paul, you have been a mainstay in our prayers for so long now that it will seem unnatural not to say your name once you are healed in heaven.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

PSALM 63: 1-8

1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,

my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,

I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Why did this strike me so deeply last night? I guess because I was sitting on my bed last night, reading the Bible, remembering his goodness and adoring Him. He has given me so much. It was such a pleasure for me to sing this Sunday in the choir and lift my hands up to him. I met with Him right there in the sanctuary. I suppose it was evident to others as I had some people approach me after service saying I looked like I was having a good time in the loft. Yep, I was.

I was thanking him for bringing water to this thirsty soul. I was singing to my Savior.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


This may be one of the most precious letters I have ever gotten.

(Name withheld for privacy)

Friday, January 18, 2008

by Robin
Iceberg Lettuce Seedlings in 3 days!!

Cauliflower #1

Cauliflower #2 (weird purple things)

Cauliflower #3 (AKA Lazarus)

Cauliflower #4

Cauliflower #5

Brussels getting leafy.

Catepillar experiment gone wrong. We hatched out aphids instead of a butterfly. Ewww.

For fun: Here is a picture of our boxer, Jackson. He was in a fiesty mood this morning so I thought I'd get some nice pics of him.

Of course, he's still having plenty of these moments. He has what we've narrowed down as degenerative myelopathy. He actually stood this way for a while. He has some strange walking, but as long as he's happy, I'm happy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Simon Peter was voted President of his 4H chapter. He is 2nd from the right in black t-shirt.

Congratulations kids!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2Corinthians 9:10

"God who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed."

Yellow Onions, Iceberg Lettuce, Spinach, Big Boy tomatoes, Coriander/Cilantro, Cherry Toms, then holding onto some zinnia packets for spring.

Putting in potting mix (above)
Making flag labels of our seedlings-to-be and then putting in the seeds. Little man is putting in yellow onion seeds.

These labels look like flags to me. We have mini-countries. We ended up making 2 trays.

I'm going to do my best to make baby basil plants from cuttings.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What's in YOUR Wallet?

1 Tim 6:6-11
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

How many of us have ever seen a hearse carrying a U-haul behind it? Not many. Yet, some people seem to store up their treasures as if they are taking them to heaven. Some people aren't content with what they have. Yet Jesus came and died for us so that we may have salvation in heaven and also peace here on earth. He never intended for your treasures to be material things.

I highlighted the words "love of" because they make a big difference in how the Scripture reads. This is one of the most mis-quoted verses of the Bible. Money is not the root of all kinds of evils, loving it too much is. Taking your focus off of Jesus and putting it on money and material things to buy with it can lead you into so many problems.

For example, the average American has $8562 in credit card debt. The average household has 12 credit cards. 20% of those cards are maxed out. Three million people declared bankruptcy last year. One of 2 marriages fail with the #1 reason for divorce being over money issues. #2 reason being adultery.

I'm not saying that it is wrong to buy a new couch or get yourself some clothes from time to time. I'm talking about the extremes. The "wants" vs the "needs". Each January, I do a re-evaluation of our family finances. Last year, we decided to follow the plan of Dave Ramsey. We had our $1000 Emergency fund in place and it saved us many times. We were working on our Debt Snowball. Not counting the purchase of our home, our debt did go down over the course of the year. We are blessed. We managed to avoid many grievances by watching our dollars and pennies.

I know it is not popular to speak of tithing, but I have to admit that you can't outgive God. No matter how much we give Him, He always blesses us back. I heard a wonderful quote this weekend from our preacher. "God can do more with your 90% than you can with your 100%." Our cars seem to be more fuel efficient when we tithe. Our pantry stays full an extra day or two when we tithe. Our lives seem to be more at peace when we tithe. When I try to control my 100%, it never pays off. God is in control of everything.

More than those good reasons, we like being able to bless others with gifts. We have been the beneficiaries of assistance during rough periods of life. We love to do the same for others. We also love the ability to give to missionaries, as our heart leads us. ( We were priviledge to hear Laura speak on her short-term trips to Zambia and Zimbabwe. She trains the people who go plant churches to unreached people. We want to be part of something bigger than our 4 walls in Florida. Again, money is not evil. Loving it so much that you can't give it away is.

Jesus said where your heart is, there your treasure is. So maybe it isn't so much about what is in your wallet as much as what's in your heart? If you remember that God is the one that has given you all that you have, then it is easy to give him back what is already His. You will be blessed.

Have you looked to see what is in your wallet?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

by Robin

I had intended to do a little preaching today (it is Sunday), but I'm running behind on time. I'll throw some quick pictures at you. I'll preach tomorrow on "What's in Your Wallet?"
Cool things to do with cupcake holders..... they also make excellent racks for ripening tomatoes.

This booger ate all my cherry tomato, leaving me only the shell. No thanks Mister!! I don't want your sloppy seconds.
Here are some baby brussels. Out of the blue, they have really started taking off. Multiple plants, buds are taking form.
Above is a snail that Simon Peter found on our Cilantro plant. He was pulling seeds off for replanting. Those are his hands. Such a gentle child. I love him! He really appreciates God's creation just like his Mama.
Here is a bigger picture of him pulling seeds. If you look closely, you'll see he was barefoot in the garden. I just love that about living in Florida.
PS: About Cross Carrier Chuck: We ran into my friend who helped him out earlier in the day. She let us know where he was staying. So, after the library, we went to Publix and I felt the Holy Spirit was telling me to buy fruit. We brought him strawberries, 2 apples and bananas, plus 3 protein bars to take on the road. It was divine appointment because we caught him just as he was setting out for the highway again. He wanted to carry the cross during traffic time. He surely did appreciate the strawberries. They were his favorite.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

CROSS CARRIER CHUCK(cartoon taken from Dan Lacey's blog, who is also the cartoonist. 11/30/05)

.... was heading down US 1 on his way to Miami. We first saw him resting on the way to the post office but on the way home, I was certain I wanted to know his story. Why is there a man carrying a white cross down the highway? Was he local? What was his purpose? When I got back to him, he was strapping his cross down on the hood to a car. I stepped out only to recognize one of my friends who was heading home from work. She was going to take him into Cocoa, FL to find a place for the night, good meal and maybe he could get a shower at whatever shelter a church would provide.

Chuck has crossed America 11x in the past 20 years. Back in 2005, he was at 45,000 miles. He started out walking on weekends and about a decade ago, went to walking daily. He started out with $1 in his pocket and he relies on the providence of God through kind acts of others. Now, he is 46 yrs old, still carrying his cross. He is trying to stay south for the winter before returning back up north. We saw him with a new cross (3 wks old). He has worn out a few.

(Photo by Jeff Jones/Independant)At some point, Chuck will write a book about his evangelical, cross-carrying experiences. I believe he said he turned to Christ back in 1987. What a remarkable story and testimony this will be to God's goodness. Of course, it is mighty hard to ignore a man carrying a cross down the highway. He said that he had been checked by the police a few minutes before we had arrived.

I wish I had had my own camera on me. I hope this video link works. It was taken in November in Columbia, SC area.
God bless you Chuck!!
by Robin

Last week, I referenced that we had 1000's of robin birds that migrated into our area. Well, they came back. We did our best to sit still and photograph whatever we could. By the time I downsized everything, they don't look as sharp as they did on the originals. Sorry.
We were thoroughly entertained by this guy on the fence watching us watch birds.

After we were bored with that, we went over to the garden. The other day, I picked about a dozen catepillars off the tomato leaves. Yesterday was no different. Found a bunch had been eating up my fruit & leaves.

See the arrows pointing to the 2 different types. One is blk w/ specks and other is green.

I did fertilize and spray w/ Extract of Neem Oil, which is suppose to be organic. It does a great job when I don't neglect to put it on there.

Also, Simon Peter and I spent a long time in the herb garden picking cilantro seeds. I planted a seed in his mind that he should try to grow some plants and make a little income on selling them. A friend of his in 4H did the same this fall.

I'm interested in seeing him understand small business, even if it is one step above the lemonade stand.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

FUNNY from an 8yr old.
Originated from Andrew

We're at a restaurant last night and after the meal, my 8 yo leans over to me and whispers in my ear, "Mom, I've got to go water the plants." We giggled our way to the little boy's room. Upon leaving that room, he says to me, "Next time, I'm going to be a fireman."

I have no idea where this comic genius is coming from, but he keeps me in stitches all day long. I have never been quick-witted or funny like this. But I seem to recall now that I have heard from his father something about dropping the kiddies off at the pool.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Here it is....I'm sure you were dying to know.......How did we survive the frost & almost flurries?

Pretty well. Sweet basil hates me. Sweet Bell peppers refuse to bloom, but haven't died. All my Brassica family (cauli, brussels) love the cold. My lettuce, onions, big & cherry tomatos are chugging along as though nothing has ever happened. I did not picture the brussels because it seems like they are going nowhere in growth. They are 2 1/2 ft high with buds.

Feel free to click on images to enlarge.
Here is my big head of cauliflower. I'm guessing but I think it will be another week or 2 before picking. It isn't pure white but I think some of that is my fault because I didn't blanch it (folding leaves over it & tying w/ a rubberband). The seed packet insisted blanching was not required for these "Snowballs" but I'm second guessing myself putting a rubber band on it or not.

My Lazarus cauliflower that came back from the dead. It is holding its own. I'm stand amazed.

I have to pick my tomatoes as they turn orange otherwise the hungry northern birds will eat them the day before they turn a nice red. I want vine-ripened fruit but I also don't want fruit with bites in it. Oh well.

Bunching onions are nearly a pencil thick. I wish I had put them in rows instead of grass-like pattern.

Lettuce going to seed soon. This will help me not have to purchase new seeds for spring. I picked some of my lettuce heads and let this one go to seed.

Baby Herbs. I just can't remember if this was the row of sweet basil or cilantro.
Not that you asked but I wanted to share with you my butterfly garden. I trimmed back everything making it rest while I figured the snakes were in hibernation. I added some lantana in the center. I put a plain mulch in there but I'm wishing I had put red now. That would really set off those yellow & purple plants. It has azalea, yellow roses, some variety of red lily, yellow mums, marigold, something purple, and now firey lantana. Something is blooming in there all year long.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


I have doctored one too many of these this past week.

Between Jack and the kids, I have used up a good portion of my hydrogen peroxide, neosporin and bandages. This one was from a skateboard accident,.... or was that rollerblades? Me thinks it was rollerblades now. Seems like those are the boots in the picture.

Poor Jack cut himself with pliars very deep into the fold of skin between the thumb and the pointer.

God said, "Let there be light", but yesterday Jack said, "Let's put it all around the flower beds." The good news is that we managed to fix all the lights in the front yard. It looks so pretty.

Shelves: A couple days ago, I happened to be browsing in Target and came across a deal on stainless steel wire shelves for the boys' closet. Ahhhh, just what I needed to store all those new toys & games. Peace that comes at a small price, otherwise I lose my sanity with toys all over the floor.

Tomorrow starts the new school year of 2008. I'm so excited.