Monday, March 31, 2008

Seventeen Years of Blessings

My hard-working husband has been the owner/manager of Micro-Aid Computer Services, Inc. for the past seventeen years. This business was birthed out of his interest in computers and his desire to help others wade through the confusion of technology surrounding computers. Micro-Aid specialized in designing network systems for small businesses, but a tremendous side activity was to provide hardware and services to many, many missionaries and Christian ministries, both locally and internationally. Micro-Aid Computers has been Fred's life and passion for many years, and because of his committment to make this GOD'S business, he has been blessed richly by his experiences the past seventeen years.

Today is the last day for Micro-Aid Computer Services, Inc. We have felt that God wanted us to sell the business and trust Him for our future. This will free up time for Fred, as owning a business in this industry can be very time-consuming and stressful. This has not been an easy task for Fred, as it is hard to say good-by to a "good friend", to his blood-sweat-and-tears business, to his past, but he also wanted to be obedient to God's prompting in his life.

I am proud of the many long hours of work that Fred put into this company, but even more proud of the honor and glory and dedication to the Lord that he displayed in every aspect. This was God's company, Kingdom Computers dba Micro-Aid, and it was evident. We are happy to be rid of the long hours and the hard work and the stress of being business owners, but we will miss the blessings of owning our own business. We ask that you pray for us as we start this new chapter in our lives and that God will continue to use Fred's knowledge and skills in his work and in blessing the lives of others. Thank you for your prayers on his behalf over the years as well. God's name was never dishonored during the lifespan of Micro-Aid Computers and we give Him the thanks for His blessings and provisions over the years.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my precious husband! Nine years ago today we were married in beautiful, warm and sunny Phoenix! The weather here today is nothing like that day, but our marriage is nine years more beautiful and warm. I pray that God will give us many more anniversaries together as we serve Him as one. I love you, Fred!
Mark 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Professor and Christopher

We used to have a dog named Professor when we were kids. I'm not sure why he was ever named Professor because he was pretty dumb!

Christopher reminds me a lot of Professor, but certainly not because he's dumb! Let me explain.

Professor was a very touchy-feely dog. He was always laying on you or leaning on you or climbing on you, if you let him. Christopher is the same, but instead of calling him touchy-feely, I like to refer to him as snuggly!

I recognized the similarities the other day when I was in the kitchen trying to get supper finished and Christopher squeezed himself between me and the kitchen sink. He started leaning on my legs and putting his full weight on me. I was sooo tempted to do what I used to do to Professor. Professor was so dumb that when he was leaning against your legs, if you moved, he would literally fall over! For some reason when Christopher was leaning on me I was reminded of Professor and for a brief moment I wanted to see if he would react the same way Professor did. Don't worry. I didn't let my baby fall over ... he's not that dumb anyway!

(Side story here about Professor: One time when Karen came back from Argentina for a visit, she made us some of her authentic cornbread that she had learned how to make. For some reason, that batch didn't taste too good to some of us, I think it was all the salt that those South Americans use, and we didn't eat all that she had made. She left the next day to spend a few days with some cousins, so after she left, we buried the leftovers in the garbage pit we had at the back of our property. (Sorry, Kar.) It was a nice summer day, so I decided I was going to go out, lay on my towel and enjoy the warm sunshine in the yard. Professor wanted to join me, and those of you that know me, know that I am not particularly fond of dogs, and I kept trying to shoo this animal away from me. He insisted, though, and ended up laying beside me with his head nestled on my stomach. Before too long, the silly thing started to gag and choke and before I could jump up, he had barfed all over my stomach!! I was so grossed out when I realized that somehow that dumb dog had found that cornbread that we buried, ate it, and then heaved it all over me!!!! GROSS!!!!!!!! Unfortunately, that's a memory I can not forget. I did learn my lesson that it's not worth the effort to try to lay out in the sun anymore. You never know what could happen when you are trying to be vain. Haha.)

Same Old Story

You know how kids love to hear the same old story over and over and over again??? They love to have you read the stories so many times that even though they're only three years old, they have the book memorized? Or how they (the 18 month olds) get so excited they can hardly contain themselves when they see you pull their favorite Thomas the Tank Engine book off the shelf? Or how they ask you to tell them the same stories of what they were like when they were a "kid" (this is being asked by a four year old)?

Well, this past week, I caught myself behaving like my kids! I was driving and listening to the radio when I heard the radio hostess read the scripture of the women running from the tomb shouting that it was empty and Jesus had risen. I caught myself getting so excited and reciting the verses along with her, hardly being able to contain myself because I knew how the "story" was going to end! Each time I hear these verses of Jesus' death and resurrection, I spiral back into my memory of a teenager in the choir at East Akron when we sang an Easter Cantata one year. The songs were almost verbatim from the Bible and now when I read them or hear them being read, I can't help but sing those songs in my mind. I'm sure having all those verses put to music helped me to remember them, but I also know that I absolutely LOVE to hear that same old story again and again and again. And I get just as excited as the boys when they hear their favorite story being told!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Today is "St. Paderick's Day" ... according to Stephen. He's been looking forward to today at school because all he knew was that on St. Paderick's Day, he got to wear his green sweatshirt (and his green underwear). After school he asked us if we did any St. Paderick's Day activities, like counting shamrocks or anything. I guess maybe I should have talked about this more to him before he left for school this morning. We did celebrate a little bit today, though. After Christopher's doctor appointment, we stopped at McDonald's for a shamrock shake!

Then Stephen asked me what we're supposed to wear on Great Friday. If we wear green on St. Paderick's Day, what do we wear on Great Friday? He's so cute. No matter how many times we correct him and tell him that it's really called GOOD Friday, he always goes back to calling it Great Friday. I like that better! We've been talking a lot about this coming weekend and the events that happened to Christ. He definitely understands more of the accounts of Easter than Timothy, but it's so humbling to listen to them both retell the facts to each other while they're playing.

Stephen also told me today that all our snow will be gone in three days. When I asked him why he would say that, he told me because in three days it will be spring and in the spring there is no snow. I warned him not to be too disappointed because I heard that there is supposed to be some more snow coming tonight and later on in the week.

A week of holidays! Whew! I'm exhausted already.

Friday, March 14, 2008

March Break

Today is the last day of March Break. It's been a long week with some family members sick the majority of the time, but we've had fun, too! Yesterday we had our friends over for the afternoon and all the kids helped make supper for us. Stephen was peeling carrots, Caitlyn was peeling potatoes. Timothy and Braden were given the job of breaking up the cauliflower for our soup. Then we all made some delicious cheese crackers to go with our Creamy Cauliflower Soup. If you've got a bunch of preschoolers around that love to help in the kitchen, try these recipes! We'll be doing these again for sure! (If I can get some pictures posted later, you can see the kids in action!)

Connie's Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1 large head of cauliflower broken into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream (optional)
cayanne pepper (optional)

In large soup pot, saute' onion, carrots and parsnip for a few minutes in a bit of chicken broth. Add cauliflower and potatoes and enough chicken broth and water to meet your family's needs. Let the ingredients simmer until the vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend in mixer to create a creamy soup. You may need to add more liquid if the soup is too thick. Add sour cream and/or cayanne pepper for a bit of a zing.

NOTE: This recipe is versatile and can become any color you want it to be! If you have sweet potatoes on hand, throw those in! Want to add spinach? Throw that in for a green soup! If you're daring, try some beets. I haven't gotten up the nerve to do that, yet! Connie's been known to chop up brussle sprouts and dump those in her dishes, too, but just don't tell the kids that!

Easy, Cheesy Crackers

1 1/4 cups flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 cup (4oz) lightly packed grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small chunks (I shredded mine)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ice water

Heat oven to 400. Combine flour and baking powder. Add cheese and butter. Mix. (If you have a food processor, this would work well in there!) Add water and mix again until a firm dough forms.
Roll out dough to a 1/8in. thickness on a well-floured surface, then use your favorite cookie cutters to cut your crackers.
Bake the crackers on an ungreased baking sheet for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden, then allow them to cool completely on the baking sheets or on wire cooling racks. Store leftovers (what leftovers?!) in an airtight container. Makes 5 dozen 1 1/2-inch crackers.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Where Did the Food Go?

When Stephen started in on his second snack before bed, I asked him how he could be so hungry when he ate so much today.

He replied, "All the food I ate for supper slipped out of my tummy and got stuck in my leg."

Monday, March 10, 2008


I think this must be the year for appliance repairs here in our home! We had to replace the ignitor in the oven a few months ago and today we had to call back the same repair man (sure wish that Old Fashioned Handyman lived closer!!) to figure out what was wrong with our refrigerator. I noticed water leaking and the fan running non-stop this morning. We called the guy and he said he couldn't come until tomorrow afternoon!!! Thank God it's freezing cold outside right now! My freezer contents were getting pretty thawed out already, but we saved them.

Around 6:30 the repairman called and said he'd be here in twenty minutes! Hooray!! I did envision us having to go out refrigerator shopping tonight after he gave us the bad news, but thank God again, he told us the compressor was still working, but the wiring needed to be replaced. We're out a couple hundred dollars tonight, but at least it was cheaper than buying a new refrigerator!

As he was leaving, I asked him what other appliances he repaired since it seems like it's time to get them all done this year. I have a feeling we'll be seeing him again before too long. For now, I'm happy that our refrigerator is back (and the freezer is cleaned out!) and we're still in business!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Stephen's Announcement to the Neighborhood

I need to teach Stephen some social mores. This morning while I was outside shoveling the first wave of snow, Stephen and Daddy were having a race to see who could get dressed the fastest. Daddy didn't even know he was participating, but the whole neighborhood soon found out!

I was at the end of the driveway when Stephen peeked his head out the door and shouted, "Mommy, Daddy's still in the shower! I'm winning!" This shrill, childish voice bounced and echoed up and down the street, crisp and clear with nothing to stop it's sound as it skated over the soft covering of snow. A moment or two later I heard, "Daddy's STILL in the shower, so I'm still winning!" Not long after that I heard, just as shrill, crisp and clear, "Daddy has his underwear on now and it's even pulled up!"

The good thing is that this was announced to the neighborhood at 8:00 on a Saturday morning in the middle of a winter storm. There were not many people outside at that hour and the windows were tightly closed so that this little voice was not carried inside for all to hear as well! We will still need to go over what is appropriate to shout to the neighborhood and what is best kept at home.

By the way, Stephen won the race.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Down, Down the Way

For some reason, Timothy has decided to use the phrase "Down, down the way ...." all the time now. It seems to be used in place of "the other day" when he's telling stories. Stephen has now picked up on it and uses it regularly as well. All day long I'm hearing stories, "Down, down the way when Ethan was here last week, we played Checkers." "Down, down the way when we went to Wal-mart I saw a new Thomas puzzle." "Down, down the way when I was little, I didn't know how to get my own clothes on." Where in the world did this phrase come from?! Fred and I use it now when we joke around, but I'm afraid pretty soon WE'RE going to start using it regularly and then we'll get some strange looks from others.

Down, down the way .... think about it. It might grow on you, too!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Conspiracy or Problem?

Last night around 11:00, I wearily dragged my body and the last load of folded laundry up the stairs to our bedroom. The door was shut, but that's not unusual. The older boys usually shut all the doors upstairs except their bedroom to keep Christopher out of trouble. In the past, he's "helped" us turn off computers, clean out toilets, empty out drawers, unwind toilet paper, etc, etc., so we now keep the doors closed upstairs.

So anyway, our bedroom door was closed and I didn't think anything of it ... until I tried to open it! It was locked! Fred was still down in the kitchen, the boys had been asleep for hours, so what was the deal here?! Who locked the door before shutting it? Did someone think it would be a funny joke to play on their parents? Did Christopher learn how to twist the lock just by fiddling with it? Hmmmm. We eventually jammed a paper clip in the hole and got it opened and went to bed wondering ....

After breakfast this morning I went back upstairs to brush my teeth, finish combing my hair and get my stuff for the day only to find the door shut and locked AGAIN! Ok. Now what's up???

Is there a conspiracy going on here? Or is there just a problem with a broken lock? I think it's simply the latter. I wish I knew an Old Fashioned Handyman that could fix our broken lock for us!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

There's Still Time!

Yesterday we attended the funeral of a dear brother in the Lord, John. John was an incredible man, and listening to his dear friend speak about him at the end of the service made me realize that he was more incredible than most of us knew! John suffered tremendously the past seven years as the result of a spinal cord injury which left him paralyzed from the chest down. Since we are friends with his daughter, we were often asked to pray for him during this time in regards to his health issues and his emotional struggles. John used to be a farmer and loved the labor that he put into his work. He was doing what he loved to do when he was injured in his farming accident; he was paralyzed, but his friends did not survive. I'm sure there had to have been many moments in the past few years that John wished he would have died instead of those men. I can only imagine ....

But yesterday at the funeral, his dear friend Bob said in his gifted evangalistic way that John is now walking on the streets of gold! John had been bound to his wheelchair in this life, but now he has a new body and is walking again! That comment alone touched many of us listening, but his next comments, directed at the children and grandchildren who do not know the Lord yet, pounded us with the truth! This life is over for John, but not for us! There is still time to accept the Lord so that one day we can see John walking, even running, on those streets of gold! Bob begged those who are not yet children of God to accept His love and become part of His family so that they could see the lame walk again! There is still time! There is still time!!

Written for the eternal home going of our beloved Brother John Mohan, with joy, that his suffering is over and great sadness on behalf of all who knew and loved him. He was a shining example of a faithful believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Robert W. Freund Feb 27, 2008

Last Night, I Fell Asleep-----

Last night before I feel asleep, as many other nights before,
You tucked me, said goodnight and quietly walked out the door.

Like other quite moments when I would view my life.
I thanked the Lord for all of you, my children and dear wife.

How blest I was to share a love that few on earth could know,
It came from God through all of you who served me here below.

A comfort overwhelmed my soul that warmed me to the core,
My prayers rose up to heaven's throne, I could not want for one thing more.

Then slumber overtook my thoughts and suddenly I'm swept away,
I thought I must be dreaming on this heavenly, glorious day.

To my surprise and pure delight, I'm walking down a golden street,
With vigor and a youthful strength that gave new life to both my feet.

My chair is nowhere to be found, I will not need it anymore,
Because I am not dreaming, I have passed through Heaven's door.

I feel no pain or weakness, and have no need of help at all.
My burdens have been lifted, only good times I recall.

The Lord knew it was time for me to join the saints above,
Though I had no time to say goodbye, I thank you for your love.

Remember that I loved you and you meant the world to me,
I'm trusting we will meet again to spend a long eternity.

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God had prepared for them that love him." 1 Cor 2:9