~reflections~musings~inspirations~insights~and life lessons learned by one who is
whole-heartedly, steadfastly, firmly in HIS grip~

Romans 1:6 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twas The Morning After Christmas

Twas the morning after Christmas when all through the Kyzer compound
The boys were getting ready for hunting...someone even brought a hound!
The house had been cleaned of the remenants of presents, papers and bows,
The trash bagged, stashed, and gifts all "properly" stowed.

Four in the morning and Jake with six of his friends had jumped from thier beds.
While visions of wild game danced in thier heads.
Coffee was brewing and the smell of fresh bacon filled the air...
I went back to sleep..they were making a mess but I didn't care.

When in the front yard there arose such a clatter,
I stumbled to the window to see what was the matter.
What could they be doing? Wasn't it still night?
So I pulled back the drapes and turned on the light.

They were trampling around on frost thick as snow,
As the porch light cast an errie glow.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Richard on his four-wheeler ready to join the last hunt of the year.

Jimmy was ready to get the boys started.
I knew in a moment they would soon be departed.
Quick as a flash he started telling the boys what to do.
He called them by name...some I don't think he knew.

Now Jake, now Richard, now Big Country and what's your name, son?
Now Kieth, now Jerry Wayne...Hunter and Gage, y'all got your guns?
Where's Bruno? It'll be light soon...y'all get this stuff loaded
He poked, he prodded and he goaded.

As dry leaves before a nor-easter do blow,
They jumped in the truck and were ready to go.
So off to the woods they headed in a hurry,
Leaving Papa behind so he had to scurry.

In a flash the yard was empty, 'cept for the runts in the ground.
It was still early and too cold so back to the bed I bound.
I slept peacefully and soundly for several hours,
When finally I got up, had coffee, and decided to shower.

As I entered the hallway there they all stood,
With mud on their boots and leaves in Hunter's sweat-shirt hood.
Little Gage's game pouch was stuffed to over-flowing,
Laughing,telling stories and thier trophies all showing.

How Jake's blue eyes twinkled, Richard's dimple looked so merry!
Thier faces all wind-blown, red like a cherry.
They wanted coffee or something to get themselves warm,
So into the kitchen like bees they did swarm.

Three rabbit tails held tight in his hand,
Gage was rehearsing a show-and-tell story grand.
Outside were deer and ducks and the rabbits, too.
When Jimmy announced, "Come on boys there's still more to do."

They spoke not a word but went straight to their work.
Cleaning and butchering when I turned with a jerk...
I hope they don't think I'm going to cook that wild game.
Not me...I like my meat USDA prime and tame!

As they finished bagging thier catch and cleaned up thier mess,
Jimmy knew what I was thinking at the least he must have guessed.
With a wink to the boys he said, "Don't worry Momma, this you won't have to cook...
We know the receipies are not in your book!"

The boys were still laughing as he clapped them on thier backs.
Let's get our stuff from the trucks and get it unpacked.
Now boys we had a great hunt and it sure was some fun.
Until next season let's check out the magazines for new cammo and guns.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hunter and Gage are Surprised by Uncle Jake

The kids were all in their places by the time we arrived at the school on Friday morning. Hunter thinks he sees his Uncle Jake...

It is Unlce Jake, IT IS UNCLE JAKE!

Gage jumped up and ran to Jake...

His sister-in-law, Cheri, could hardly wait to get to him and give him a big hug.

His big brother, Richard, officially welcomes Jake home!

The program begins with the pre-K class. Gage in on the top in the middle with the red antlers. They are singing a Santa song to the tune of BINGO. The little boy in the red shirt in the front row is Amy and Justin's little boy, Caleb.

We finally made it to the second graders. Hunter is singing his heart out!

The girl in the middle is Hunter's cousin, Abby Kyzer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Day Before Christmas Eve

It's been a couple of days since I have had the opportunity to actually sit down and turn on the computer. Usually I'm one of those last minute Christmas shoppers. OK, I am always a last minute, special-occasion shopper. On Valentine Day...I am the lone woman standing among a pack of men...searching the card isle for something meaningful, yet funny...with an envelope that fits. Needless to say...I have been fighting the crowds. This year it seems I am not the only one who waited till the last minute!

I still have a few stocking stuffers to pick up but I am waiting until 2:00 a.m. and heading to Wal-Mart. At least that way I know I will be able to find a parking space within walking distance. There are cookies still to be baked, cheese balls to be put together, and no Christmas would be complete without my home-made, family famous salsa. Which is quite simple, actually...and there's really no secret ingredient. My youngest sister, Barbie, brought over a half-gallon pickle jar and said... this year...fill it up...the little squat quart didn't last till noon last year as she reminded me her youngest son is now 16 and nothing edible is safe in her house. It was meant to be a joke. How funny...I can't wait to see the look on her face when she finds out she actually gets that much salsa!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and Hunter and Gage will arrive at 7:30 in the morning while their parents work a half day. We will have our traditional family dinner...a Christmas Story read...and then open presents. Later, after the boys are home, had their baths, and are warm and snug in their jammies...their telephone will ring and on the other end a big ho, ho, ho...and one last check in from Santa before they settle in and dream of Christmas morning. The phone call from Santa on Christmas Eve started with Jimmy's daddy when Jake was little. I'll never forget the year he was four. Our evening routine was running a bit behind and Santa called while Jake was still in the tub. When the phone rang he looked up at me with those big blue, expectant eyes and when he heard his daddy say, "Yes, Santa, Jake is still awake." That boy shot out of the tub and grabbed the telephone in one fell swoop, soaking his mother and everything else in his wake.

I really love this time of year...the holiday season....and since becoming a Christian twenty years ago it has taken on a whole new meaning.

Psalm 8:1 -2 "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger."

Psalm 8:4 "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"

Psalm 8:9 "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"

This morning I received an e-card from crosswalk.com. I could not express a Christmas greeting any better and so I pass this along to you and your family....

King of Kings
Lord of Lords
God incarnate - the ONLY Savior
foundation of our
is not in us
but in CHRIST
not in
our holiness
not in our walking
but in HIS
samuel bolten


quick and easy salsa....mix the following and let set at least one hour
  • 1 each 28oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 each 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes in puree (I prefer DelMonte)

During the summer or when making just for the two of us, I use fresh tomatoes. Which makes it no longer quick and easy. :-D

  • 1 each medium Texas Sweet onion diced (Vadillia onions work nicely as well)
  • 2 each medium jalapeno peppers diced (for a mild salsa remove all pepper seeds)
  • fresh diced garlic...I chop the whole bulb and use it till it looks "right" a good serving spoon full is about right here. You can freeze and use the rest later.
  • fresh chopped cilantro...again, I add and stir until it looks right...It has a strong flavor. If you like it use a lot of it...if not...use sparingly
  • salt and pepper to taste
I will sometimes add the following....diced, De-seeded cucumbers or a can of fiesta corn. I let it sit on the counter for about an hour until the flavors macerate.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Servant of the Lord...Mother to the Son

Luke 1:26-38 " In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!"

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

"The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will over shadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. ~NIV

I made the statement when Jake decided to join the Army over going to college that we raise our children to be independent and then they go off and do it! It has definitely been a process and caused a lot of reflection. I was so worried that I had not done enough to prepare him to be an adult so soon.

Several people we know and know of are going through the adoption process and it reminded me of the interview process we had to go through to adopt Jake. We had to submit financial records, and have a home study where our house was thoroughly inspected, and all three of us...Jimmy, ten year old Richard, and I were questioned. Then we waited, and waited...and waited some more for the report and approval. It truly was a joyous occasion when we received the approval but the lifestyle we had become accustomed to was about to change. No longer would we sleep in...or sleep all night long... for a long time!

Then I thought of Mary, the mother of Jesus...while we had hoped and prayed for a child, her child was a total surprise...an unplanned pregnancy of a Divine nature...and all her plans, dreams, and way of life were about to be turned upside down!

We thought our process was thorough! Her approval was not up to some randomly assigned social worker of the state...her approval was up to the Lord God, the Most High! While we know without a shadow of a doubt that God was in the adoption of our son....what must have gone through her mind when she found out she was to be the mother of the Son of God?

Knowing that she would be in BIG trouble turning up "with child" when she was a virgin was a tough enough challenge...but to be responsible for raising the Savior of the World! I wonder which weighed on her mind most? Still her response was "I am the Lord's servant...may it be to me as you have said." Personally I think I would be more afraid of making a mistake while raising Him than what my betrothed, my family, and the community would do when they found out.

I have never known a stronger love than the love I have experienced as a mother...I never knew that kind of love even existed until I looked into the face of Richard just moments after his birth! I had no idea what to do let alone who he would become...I don't know if I even thought that far ahead on that frosty October evening. Yet she knew...didn't she? She may not have known all the details at the time...but she knew what He had come to do.

Then I think again of the "watching my son turn into a man, letting go" process I have recently been through with my baby...the telling myself and God, "He is Yours, Lord...He is in Your hands." How much more faith did Mary have to have? How much more did she have to trust the Lord and remind herself that our children are really only ours for a short time?

It would be easier raising our children if there were a tried and true book of instructions...but we are supposed to train them up in the way they are to go...when we really don't know the way they are to go....who they will be...what mission God has for them...but she knew her son definitely had a mission of the highest order!

Matthew 1:21 "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

As we enter the countdown to Christmas day, I pray we take a moment to realize He is the Son of God, the Savior of the World...and as we celebrate His birth...we take a moment to remember this woman used as a vessel to fulfill the prophesies...this Mary, mother of God...

That our lives reflect and demonstrate the kind of love and faith she must have had. And when we are called upon to be used by God we readily answer...I am the Lord's servant may it be to me as you have said.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

There's NO Place Like HOME!

Two thirty in the morning 18 December 08 and we are finally almost loaded and ready to hit the road. I had to curl my hair and Kyndal used the straightening iron thingie on hers ...only to find it was raining when we walked out the door. It will not dampen our spirits.

We grabbed a nutritious breakfast on the road.

It was icy, foggy, windy, and hilly!

Since he is still in training they 'released' him to me...but my suspicions were soon confirmed!

All buckled up and ready to hit the treacherous roads home.

Now he is just acting silly...showing out as he does so well!
We stopped for cheese fries and steaks!



"Hey, Dawg...let me grab my laptop."

Man...I can hardly believe it!

Justin, his cousin, drove up just as we were unloading the truck.

First glance of home...and the sign! That's Justin behind him...there were laughs all around.

And who do you think was waiting patiently for all the luggage to be stowed? Bruno! A boy and his dog...the look on Jake's face says it all doesn't it?

It wasn't long before Justin's wife and children came over. Caleb made 'Uncle' Jake a welcome home card.

He had to give 'his' Sophie some sugars!

There's no place like home!

I can't believe I am gonna sleep in my own bed tonight...in my own room...in my own house!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How Long Can One Day Actually Be?

The morning started out with a delivery of 10 fresh, hand-packed Christmas fruit baskets to the Holiday Inn Airport in Little Rock....ahhh...such is the life of a produce man's wife! Then my mom wanted to run to Mardel, the local Christian bookstore to pick up a few last minute gifts

Hunter and Gage got out of school early today so around 2:00 this afternoon they came in like a whirlwind and I still hadn't accomplished all I had set out to do.

Never-the-less we dug out all the crafft and scrapbooking stuff so they could finish making Uncle Jake some surprise presents. Hunter is working hard on a place mat that says: "veterins rule!"

Gage made him a Christmas picture to hang on his wall.

But the best "craft project" of all is the scrap book the boys are making documenting everything that has taken place since Uncle Jake left for the Army. They are giving it to him for Christmas. Hunter has written notes on several different pictures. I love the part where he says "We played a lot but it would be funner with you." awwwwww He has such a sweet spirit!

We even made a welcome home sign. Gage used the "sparkley" paint and Hunter drew pictures of the Lonoke Jackrabbit football team. Family members stopped by all evening to sign their names.

When Kyndal showed up at 5:30 I really got excited...and realized that I still had not accomplished all I had set out to do!

Daddy showed up just in time for dinner. How convenient...mom had a committee meeting this evening and I guess he did not want to eat the casserole. We are always happy to share!

Everyone was so excited they just wanted to hang out at the house...the boys do not know Jake will be home tomorrow night...they know he will be home soon. What they don't know is that Friday morning before the Christmas program at school he is going to show up in their classrooms and surprise them!

Even Bruno knew something was up today! As you can see it is almost midnight and I am still up...wide awake! I have finally finished all I set out to get accomplished but I just can not seem to close my eyes! We are leaving in two hours...TWO hours! That means in 7 hours we will see our baby boy...but don't tell him I called him that! Well, I'm off to make a pot of coffee, then brush my teeth....thanks for the comments and for allowing me to bore you with this hum-drum, but I know you can understand....thanks for that....and thanks for the prayers!

At least Kyndal won't have great big black bags under her eyes!

Good night and God bless and we'll see y'all again in a couple of days. Oh, by the way, Trish and Muse....thanks for counting the days with me!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This Just in From Fort Leonard Wood, MO

We just got off the telephone with Jake. He is doing laundry and getting things ready to turn in so he can come home! We have promised to be the first to arrive so he can be among the first to go home. Tomorrow his girlfriend will be here around 3 in the afternoon and 11 hours later...we will be on the road. He said the roads are icy up there right now. But we have a day and a half to pray that stuff away. It's going to be so good having him home.

Lost as a Goose!

There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.

One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused. "That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!"

So she and the children left, and he stayed home.A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.

When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese.Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them.

The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away.He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumbs trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe."Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?"

He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn--and one by one the other geese followed it to safety.

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese--blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized. As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought.

Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come.Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: "Thank you God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"

--Author unknown

Today is a rare "snow" day here in Arkansas. We didn't actually have snow but we did have sleet and freezing rain. As a result, I have the boys again today so coming up with something original is unlikely. I received the above story from my friend Missy via e-mail this morning. I usually don't forward a lot of things but this is just too good not to share and I chose you. God bless you all this wonderful Tuesday!

Matthew 1:18-21 "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother, Mary, was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bloggyland Christmas Tour 2008

Probably not what you are expecting on a tour of this magnitude...I am happy to have been included. Be sure to view the video post just below this one. God bless and stay warm....It's cold here so bring a jacket!

Today is the Christmas bloggyland tour....TODAY!!! I'm nowhere near ready to receive guests...

The house isn't even decorated! If you were expecting something bigger and fancier...well you're gonna have to wait a while for that.

Oh, well come on in...don't mind my attire...I just got up. I know it's late but have a steaming cup of coffee and I'll dig out the biscuits I made last night during one of my middle-of-the-night's, I gotta have something to eat sessions.

No...not that one....that came from the nightstand....now where are the rest? Surely...I didn't eat them all!

Ahhh....there they are. We can just pop them into the mircrowave with a damp cloth and they'll be just like they are fresh from the oven....almost.

Not good enough for a meal this time of day, you say? Hey Barbie, little sister, be a dear and check the fridge for some of those Thanksgiving leftovers. I think the turkey is stuffed way in the back.

I did pick up a tree, though...it was on sale. I hope you remembered to bring your ornaments. This is the tree decorating party portion of the tour. What, Muse didn't tell you that?

My handly little helper, Hunter, was hand-making each one of you these great little birdhouse planters for your gardens. As you can see on his face...he is as surprised as I am that time has slipped up on us.

He's going to work hard and fast to have them completed while we are visiting and eating...hopefully they will be dry before you head over to your next stop.

There....what do you mean....the house needs a roof? Ok, OK....take these instead. Maybe the birdhouses will be finished by our next garden party or something.

Wal-Mart gift cards then it is...for the whole lot of you!

Now that's pretty and the work is done...at least some of you remembered to bring an ornament.

You still here? Oh No...we are not going to start singing now are we? Don't you have another stop... you don't want to be late and miss the sleigh do you?