Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Letter from Jesus about Christmas --

I received this "letter" as an email forward a couple days after Christmas last year and thought it was worth sharing this year. Enjoy~

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up... It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5 Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tis the season~

Being a mom and wife...
Children at different age levels (6,9,15,17)...
Christmas Season...
Calendar of activities...
Home renovation in progress...

Do you ever feel like a Stretch Armstrong? I sure do!!!

Praise God He gives strength; when I am stretched like this, God reveals himself in mighty ways. My prayer is for any and all who feel the way I do right now~ that we tap into God's supernatural strength and find a nice balance in our situations. May none of us lose the meaning of our mission in life (wife, mom, mentor, teacher, etc) or lose sight of Jesus as we celebrate His birthday this month.

I pray Jesus stay at the center of our stretched lives!

...“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

IT Gets Worse Before IT Gets Better!

Have you ever noticed that when you're working on a project or encountering a challenge, "IT" sometimes seems to "get worse before IT gets better?

I think we can all relate to the times when a room in your house gets a "deep clean"... you end up making it much messier in the process to get it to the place of cleaner- "better". In the middle of the project mess you may doubt if the getting worse part was worth the getting better part. Can you relate?

What is your "IT"? We all have them.

Right now, mine is our home renovation project. It seems to get worse before it's getting better! I wonder how much longer?... when will we finally be completely "better"? We are living in the midst of a cluttered mess! It's been 10 months since we moved into our fixer upper and begun our projects based on priority; doing all the demolition and construction while living in the house as we renovate. It's been like a domino effect of shuffling one mess into the next in the process of each stage of updating. Besides the fact that we are living our everyday lives in addition.

My family and I are truly learning patience and perseverance!

Office area by kitchen looking in from dining room.

This is our dining room area looking from the living room. The domino effect of mess from "every day living" and "renovation". This is a sample of our "IT".

What is your "IT"?

Monday, November 22, 2010

"BEFORE" and "AFTER" ~ Bathroom Renovation #2

"Bathroom #2" is our second bathroom renovation for our ranch house fixer upper. We did some work on it back in February out of desperate necessity (see THIS POST) to replace a leaking toilet and rotten sub-floor. After the repairs, we lived with the out of date bathroom for just over 7 months before we got time to renovate it. That's what's hard about this house- everything needs attention, so it's a matter of prioritizing.

We officially started our Bathroom #2 renovation the first week of September while the kids were on a break from school. We had this vision that we'd start and finish in a couple weeks. HA HA! Just like ALL the other rooms in our home, we discovered there's much more to the updates than we realized once we started, and the length of time it would take would be much longer than we expected.

Bathroom #2 took 6 weeks of hardcore demo and reconstruction before we could install the toilet and sink to even begin using part of the space again; that means six people coordinating bathroom time and showers in one bathroom (we just got done doing that with the first bathroom renovation!). We've learned to persevere because time has not been our friend! Officially as of today- 10 weeks after we began this Bathroom project- I am able to take good "AFTER" pictures. With the exception of a few painting details, a small piece of molding to install, and several knobs on the built-in cabinet, we are done with Bathroom #2!

Check it out~ (forgive me for so many pictures; I'm a "visual" learner and communicator and believe they speak volumes).


The kids picked out the "cool" shade of blue on the wall~ "Aqua Ice" by Kilz
The mirror has a recessed cabinet in the wall.

This is a close up of the corner of the floor by the bathtub that had rotted. What you can't tell by the photo is the corner space is stuffed with steel wool and is about 1" x 2" . When the steel wool is pulled out, you're able to look straight to the ground.

Repaired and pretty!

This original built-in cabinet had five layers of different colors of paint from over the many years of it's life (I sanded a small section to investigate). Since the layers of paint most likely contains some lead, we chose to repaint! The piece went from an antique cream color... an "Ultra Pure White" semi gloss, just like the trim. What a difference a fresh coat of paint makes! New hinges and knobs (still needed to be installed), give this original built-in cabinet the face lift it needed. all the storage space. The bottom cupboard space was originally a wood hamper (the smelled musty and not practical). We converted the old hamper to a storage for toilet paper and cleaner- salvaged the original front of the hamper and added a hinge.

Looking into the bathroom from the hall.

The bath tub had seen better days.

New and fresh!


...I love stained glass! This window adds some nice light to the bathroom.
...the molding around the ceiling dress up the space as well.
...the mosaic border is our personal touch to accent and compliment the window.

We saw the mosaic border idea at our Home Depot for $10.00 a 12" section. There was no way I wanted to spend that kind of money since we needed 22 sections, so we made our own for about $.50 a section using tile "left overs" from Bathroom #1 and this project. We saved over $200. as DIY'ers and got to make it more special with handpicked colors. Making the mosaic sections was a family project with the kids each doing at least one section piece (12" long)- Jessie did 3 or 4 sections!

Soap and razor niche.

No more arguing over where the shampoo belongs!

Jessie and Joe are the first to initiate the new bathtub. Both in swimsuits, they think it's a fun place to play!


Joe was excited to help tear down the old tile...

This chunk of wall with tile on it came down in one big piece and scared Joe as it was falling. We were blessed he wasn't hurt.

We knew there would be water damage, just not sure how much! The smell was gross.

...the tile backer board that was used (many, many years ago) was 1/2" plywood. After years of leaking around the broken chalking seal, the plywood rotted and crumbled around the bathtub upon touch.

Joe having a grand time lifting the brittle laminate tile pieces off the floor...

When we lifted the old bathtub to get it out, we discovered previous evidence of "critters"-mice or rats?- under the tub!

..and a rat snake in the wall by the tub! FREAK OUT TIME! We never caught him since he was so fast to escape straight up the wall into a crack next to some plumbing that goes to the attic! YES, HE MAY STILL BE IN THE ATTIC SOMEWHERE! But, that's a good thing, since rat snakes are non-venomous and eat rodents!

A bathroom down to nothing... time to put it back together~

...notice the opening above the shower area? (an opening for a transom window to let light in this room with no other windows!)
... how about the new tub? (we went from a 14" depth to an 18 " soaker tub depth)
...notice the niches near where the shower nozzle goes? (a place for soaps and razors- another is on the opposite side for the kids' shampoos- photo below)
...notice the shelf along the back wall? (perfect for kids to line their toys up, or candles for a nice bubble bath)

...the opposite side- four separate "cubby niches" for the kids to put their shampoos; each child has their own space!

...the transom window arrives!
(ordered from eBay- an artist in Canada)

Getting it installed was a challenge, but well worth it! The other side of the window faces the laundry room; we changed out the laundry room back door to an exterior door that has a window on the top half to let natural light in the space (which also comes into the stained glass window in addition to the ceiling light from the laundry room).

Our fixer upper has been a labor of love. Kirk has become the expert in updating the electrical and plumbing, while I (Teri) have done everything else- carpentry, framing, sheet rocking, all the tile work, chalking, painting, trim work, - a jack of all trades, master of none. Our house has a total of 12 indoor spaces (halls included) and we have 6 completed. Master Bedroom Before and After coming soon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Remembering Brittney~

A year ago today- November 8, 2009, an unexpected turn of events occurred and my sister's only child (my niece), was called home to be with Jesus.

Today, on the anniversary of her "Birthday into Heaven", we celebrate Britt and her memory here on earth. As a memorial to honor her, my family and I placed a cross by the side of the road where the car accident happened that took Britt's life. We let off a single red heart balloon to float to the heavens as a way to let Brittney know we love her and miss her. As the balloon quickly floated away, Jessie and Joe yelled, "we love you, Brittney"! The balloon went so fast to the sky we almost didn't get a photo (as if Brittney was grabbing it to let us know her presence with us).

As today marks the one year anniversary of Britt leaving this earth, I take time to reflect...

I think about my sister, Traci and Brittney moving to Corpus Christi at the end of July (2009) for Traci to start a new teaching job at Calallen Middle School. Traci had some situations occur that inspired her to move from Washington state to pursue new opportunities in Texas. Traci began her new job and Brittney started Calallen High in August. Britt would catch up on lost academics from her Junior year in Kelso, WA and graduate on time in Texas at the end of the school year 2010. Britt had got behind on her school credits when she had back surgery for scoliosis. After the surgery, she went through a rough and painful recovery (physically and emotionally), missing many days of school...

I think about how Brittney resented the move to Texas at first, but was getting adjusted and beginning to enjoy their new adventure in a new place. She was making good grades in school, meeting new friends, attending a new church (Bay Area Fellowship), getting to know her cousins better (my 4 kids), and drawing closer to her mom- a relationship that had been strained over the past couple years...

I think about Brittney's boyfriend Sean moving to Texas (in late August), how it was just what she needed at that very moment. After his arrival, all started to fall into place for Brittney...

I think about Ryan (Traci's husband, Britt's dad) and his trip to Texas to bring a load of belongings before his move. Although he didn't like the state, I believe everything happened the way God intended... he was reluctantly taking his time to square things up in Washington to move down south himself to join his family at a later time (a move that ultimately would not happen- all God's plan)...

I think about how over the month of October, when ever I saw Brittney, she had a countenance that was that of inner joy... she smiled more... she laughed more... she seemed real happy... it was an attitude I now saw in Brittney I hadn't seen in a long while...

I think about how after the car accident that took Britt's life, neither Traci or Sean could bring themselves to to stay in Corpus Christi; Ryan hadn't made it down to this point and chose to stay in WA state; losing Britt and the memories connected to Corpus Christi were all too painful for all three of them to be here (in Texas). Traci moved back to Washington state to join her husband (leaving her new job), and by God's grace found a long term substituting position in the Tacoma area to finish off the 2009/2010 school year...

I think about how this past spring, after applying to a number of schools in WA, God provided her the perfect position. She was offered what she considers to be her dream job- a High School English Teacher (11 & 12 grades) in Eatonville, WA. It's just what she needed to be close to this age group of children to keep Britt's memory alive and feel close to her as she teaches and mentors 16-18 year old youth. God knew what He was doing to provide her this job to help her heal; He IS for ever faithful!

I think about how Traci and Ryan have drawn closer through this time of losing their only daughter. God has been ever present in working to heal Traci and Ryan's hearts through this past year...

I think about the whole string of events, how everything fell in place for Traci and Britt to move to Texas... the mended relationship between Traci and Britt after the move...

I think about the last words Britt said to her mom were, "I love you, mom" before she left the apartment...

I think about Traci and Britt attending a new church together and both of them getting to know Jesus in a deeper way (in such a short time)...

I think about how God always has a bigger and better plan for us than we could ever imagine... I still don't understand why He called Britt home at such an early age and so soon after the move to Texas (only three months), but I know His ways are always right even when they don't make sense to us...

I think about how my sister tapped into a supernatural strength to get herself through every minute of everyday with such a great loss on her heart, and has been an inspiration to many as she seeks the Lord for her strength...

I think about Ryan and all he has gone through in questioning the "whys" of Brittney not being with us any more... the heart ache and different emotions he is going through that only God can comfort and answer.

We all miss Brittney and I personally think of her almost everyday. I know for a fact, Traci and Ryan think of her multiple times a day. As long as they are on earth, they will have an empty place in their lives that was filled by Britt.

As I think about Brittney leaving us; I'm sad, yet I celebrate. Celebrate, because for those who have Jesus in their heart- which she did- when it's over (on earth), it's really "not over", but just beginning! The life she's living RIGHT NOW is what living is all about!

I think about Brittney hanging out with Jesus and our loved ones who have gone home ahead of her and after her... how she is watching down on us from heaven excited to see us all again someday, wanting to give us a tour of "her new home" ... Until that day, we hold her close in our hearts and memories until the time when we join her at home in heaven.

We love you, Britt!

Dec. 17, 1991 - Nov. 8, 2009

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Royalty in the House

This past week was exciting with the Birthday of my daughter, Jessie, and the Homecoming nomination of my daughter, Kelsie, to be on Homecoming Court for her High School (one of 5 Senior Class girls chosen). On the same day as Jessie's Birthday was the Homecoming Game and announcement of the "Homecoming Queen". We sat with the audience as each couple walked across the football field, then through a formation of Jr. ROTC members holding their swords in the form of a large tunnel.

Kelsie and Robin Wymer walked together, a Senior football player. Often, the school office thinks these two students are related because when pronounced, not looking at the spelling, the last names sound very much the same (Wymore and Wymer). Kelsie and Robin walked together last year as well, when they were both nominated as the Junior Class Homecoming Prince and Princess.

After much anticipation, The announcement was made...
and this year's "Homecoming Queen...(pause)

Jessie~ "Queen for the Day" for her Birthday...
Kelsie~ "Queen of Homecoming"

I reflected back to 1981 when I was crowned "Homecoming Queen" of my small school in Washington state; seems a lifetime ago, really!

Through it all, I thought about the feeling most girls get when they're recognized as royalty (whether it's as a princess in some fashion or crowned queen for something special). I thought about how many of us base our value on what other people think; their approval or disapproval. What most don't realize, is we all belong to the "King of Kings" and are royalty in His eyes.

I am proud of Kelsie in her humbleness. As she was crowned Queen for Homecoming this past weekend, it did not and has not gone to her head; she actually seemed a bit uncomfortable with all the attention. Kelsie has a solid relationship with Christ- something I did not have at her age. She knows in her heart that it is not humans recognition and approval of her that gives her value, but the Lord's recognition and approval of her that matters. She has an audience of ONE, a child belonging to The King of Kings, the Creator of all things. This kind of royalty is one that outshines any other. Thank You, God, we are ALL royalty in YOU!

All these beautiful ladies of "royalty" below are some of Kelsie's close friends. (picture taken at the Homecoming Dance)

Andrew and Kelsie.

(we're so blessed they are as much best friends as they are brother and sister!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jessie!

Jessie has wanted her ears pierced for a long time. Every time she would ask, we told her she had to wait until her "double digit" Birthday (age 10), but decided to let her have them done early... her 9th Birthday. On Thursday, October 14, we went to the local mall and she picked out her birthstone (light pink) to be her first ear rings. Watch her facial expression as the second needle went in; too funny!

Jessie turns 9
TODAY, October 15!
Our family tradition is to have the birthday child's bedroom filled with balloons when they wake up on their birthday morning. (Jessie is under the glob of pink blanket)

To celebrate her Birthday, I took a cookie cake to her 3rd grade class to share with her classmates. The class sang "Happy Birthday", then ate their treat.

Home made by lil ole me.

We also will have a "family birthday party" a day after her birthday, tomorrow- Saturday, Oct. 16, since the Tuloso Midway High School Homecoming is tonight, the night of Jessie's birthday... we will be at the game since big sister, Kelsie, is on the homecoming court (a different upcoming post).

We love you!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Random Happenings and Highlights...

of the past several months.

Kirk and I have been so consumed with our home renovation that I have not blogged about family updates and random life happenings. This post of "random happenings & highlights" is for our friends and family who peak in on this blog to check in on our "Wymore Clan"... we love ya' all!


The kids posing at the "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" in San Antonio.
We took a family vacation to San Antonio and Canyon Lake, Texas for a week in June while the kids were on summer break.

Kirk and I at Canyon Lake. The following month (July 16), we celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary.

We rented a ski boat and tube for the day to spend on Canyon Lake... Joe and Andrew, are first up and have a fun time.

Andrew and Kelsie on the tube.

Jessie and Kelsie. Jessie was a bit timid, but Kelsie encouraged her.


We got three new kittens from the Curlee Family that will serve as our "critter cats"... strictly outside kittys that will hopefully help keep mice and snakes away from our house/property (we live in the country on 2 acres).

Jessie and "Socks"

July 9 ~ Joe turns 6 years old!

The Eccles Clan ~ Castle Rock, WA ~ A one week trip I made (by myself without children or hubby) to the Pacific Northwest. I had a great time just hanging out with mom, dad, and my sister, Traci. I saw Curtis (my brother) for a day which was nice. About this picture...
Oh my goodness! This is one of those pictures that adds about 20 pounds... oh wait! Those extra pounds are really there! YIKES.

Andrew and Kelsie ~ First Day of School, July 19.
Andrew is in 9th grade, a Freshman...
Kelsie is in 12th grade, a Senior.
WOW; can't believe they've grown so fast- I remember when they were both just starting Kindergarten!
Keslie drives to school everyday (her cute blue Kia car in the background). Since she's so busy with her variety of activities, it's a blessing she drives. Andrew chooses to ride the bus most of the time (social reasons), but does catch a ride with Kels on occasion.

Jessie and Joe ~ First Day of School, July 19.
Jessie is in 3rd grade and Joe is in 1st.

Kirk and Teri ready for a "Change of Command" dinner... a Navy event that celebrates our new Commanding Officer taking his new position. Congratulations Commander McGee and wife Julie (our new COW - Commanding Officer Wife)!


With the start of school, comes the start of a new Girl Scout year at London ISD. I am one of the Troop Leaders who administrates the group and helps lead (check out our BLOG). We have a great group of girls, a multi level troop; 36 total girls this year between Daisy, Brownie and Junior levels.

Jessie is a 2nd year Brownie this year.

This IS NOT a posed picture. I walked in the living room and found Jessie attempting to help Joe with his loose tooth. HUMMMM~ maybe we have a future dentist in the family? Although Jessie tried, Joe's tooth took another week before it was ready to come out.

Joe loses not just one tooth, but TWO teeth... in the same day! The tooth fairy paid double that night.

Jessie works on a mosaic project that is a contribution to our next bathroom remodel. Each of the kids helped with this project making mosaic sections. Using discarded pieces of left over tiles from our previous bathroom remodel, we added a new color tile to compliment the left overs, and included glass half marbles that will compliment a stained glass transom window. This mosaic border will surely add a personal touch to the kids' shower surround/bathroom space when we get it finished. (More to follow in an upcoming blog post on how we did this project and the whole bathroom renovation before and afters)


Over the kids' first intercession break from school (starting Sept. 4), we began demolition on the kids' bathroom...

... and to our surprise, we found a critter living in the bathroom wall. Talk about a "FREAK OUT" when I saw this Texas Rat Snake glaring at me as I peeled away a wall board. I think it was as afraid of me as I was of him. When we tried to capture him to put him outside, he quickly slithered up the wall into a hole in the ceiling between the studs (that the vent pipe went up in). This snake, as far as we know, is now living in our attic! First, I didn't know snakes could slither so fast up a wall; and second, I suppose having this type of snake in our attic is a good thing since he will most likely eat any mice he finds.

September 13 ~ Andrew turns 15!
We celebrated with a family birthday party and Kirk and Andrew spending an entire day putting together one of Andrew's birthday gifts...

...a new gym that Andrew will use to stay fit and conditioned as he trains for the Tuloso Midway High Swim Team this year. We're so proud of you Andrew for your commitment to fitness and faithfulness to swimming on the swim team. We can't wait to see you compete!

September 21 ~ I turn 46! I had a Girl Scout troop meeting after school, then when I got home, Kirk had baked me a cake and we had a family focused evening which was real nice.

Kelsie in her bedroom book worming it for the day! (not wanting her picture taken.)

We are so proud of you, Kelsie!!!
On top of being a person after God's heart doing her best to keep Him at the center of everything, Kelsie is a model example and a great daughter. Her personal ambition and gentle spirit are inspiring.

As a senior, Kelsie is Student Body President of the high school (1006 student enrollment), ranked #2 in her senior class (of 227'ish students), received exceptional SAT and ACT test scores; is applying for Baylor University, Seattle Pacific University, Houghton College, and a couple other Christian schools (hoping she gets clear direction from God as to which way to go), she was just nominated to represent the senior class as one of 5 girls for the homecoming court, and is involved with a number of clubs in her school. In the past couple months, Kelsie had it on her heart to help spearhead a new ministry with some friends at the high school. They are "Youth Alive"; a group that shows the love and kindness of Christ to anyone who might be interested. Their hope is to be be used by God to minister the Gospel to other teens who may not know Christ and to encourage fellow believers in their peer group to live out their faith. They meet once a week and also interact through the week in a variety of other ways. Kelsie, you truly are an example of a godly young lady.

I am proud of all our kids, my husband and thankful for my family. As I reflect on the past several months, I'm feeling a sense of graditude that God has given me all the people in my life. I love it when he brings new people in... random people who "connect"; I have been blessed with many friends- ones I interact with in person, and ones I've met and interact with through bloggy world and social networking. I love how God brings people in our lives for a season, a reason, and sometimes a whole life time. I just want to end with~

I couldn't have hoped for a better group of people to do life with; you reading this post included in that group! Thank YOU, God!!!