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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What’s in a Name?

I love to cook. Do you? Oh, I do. I love to plan and execute an exquisite gourmet meal. But I also love baking chocolate chip cookies with my kids. I just love to cook. So, when I was trying to come up with a name for this blog, my dear husband reminded me that if I was doing it mostly to help my family keep up with things going on with us, then it needed to be something meaningful to my family. Naturally, being the good Texan Baptists that we are, anything and everything has to do with food.

The title “Cheesecracks and Fruit Salads” is a way for me to poke fun at myself and my family. You see, my family has a way of taking any little mistake or misstep and never letting go of it. You hear about it in one form or another for the rest of your life. For instance, my dear late grandmother, Nana Prewitt, who died this summer tried one time to pass off store bought rolls as her own. We even heard about it at her funeral. That’s the kind of family we are. It’s a little sick if you ask me.

So here are the stories behind the name:

  • I was making a cheesecake one time at my sister’s house. Cheesecakes are finicky and they have to be cooked and cooled at just the right temperature. Well, Denise’s oven ran hotter than mine at home and it formed a crack wider than the Grand Canyon. Thus was born the name, “Cheesecrack” (thanks, Dad). Let the record reflect that I have only cracked one other cheesecake since then and that was because I went to sleep and couldn’t baby-sit it as it cooled.
  • When we get together for holiday meals, we all bring at least one dish. One year, I told mom I would bring a fruit salad. Well, things at work got crazy and I just didn’t have time to make it to the store to buy the fruit. So, I planned to instead, just buy the fruit at the local grocery store after we got out to their house in Lindale. We got there, and unloaded the car and I told mom I needed to go to the grocery store to get the fruit and she said, “Oh, I’ve got fruit here. You just use that.” So, I did. And now the long standing joke when we’re discussing holiday meals is that, “Donna will make the fruit salad… if you provide the fruit.”
  • And the web address… “way more homemade”? Well, there’s a story there also… We were at a dinner at church sitting at a table with several dear friends. Valerie, Andrea and I happened to be discussing different potato dishes that we liked to make. Valerie began to describe what she does and that she uses frozen hash browns and some canned soup or something. Well, I (without consulting the tact part of my brain) decided to say… you guessed it, “Oh, mine is WAY more homemade than that.” Everyone just kind of stopped. “Did that actually just come out of my mouth?” YEP, it sure did!

I recently began to think of how these stories and names can apply to my life. Here’s what I came up with…

Aren't we glad God doesn't keep that kind of record? In Psalm 103:11-12, God tells us, "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

In spite of all the cracks I create in life as I am sooo less than perfect… God can still use me. In spite of how I lack in so many areas and feel so unprepared… God can still use me. And in spite of my big huge mouth that seem to always jump in the action when it is least needed… God can still use me.

In spite of myself… God can still use me. I remember this as I pray that he uses this blog.

Monday, November 12, 2007


And sometimes even triple-booked. Our holiday schedules are in and boy is it going to be tight. Both Mike and I have office parties that are scheduled for the same evening on December 7th. And, if one more thing gets scheduled for December 13th, I think I might scream. Not only do I have our Onelife Christmas production of "All on a Christmas Day" at church, but Sarah has a piano recital, and Nathan has a Christmas program for his daycare as well. What's a mom to do?

Well, first of all, as I type this I realize that I’ve got to find a babysitter for the office Christmas parties. We won’t go to both, but we will definitely go to one or the other. Then on the 13th, it’s likely that Mike will go with one child, his mom will go with the other, and hopefully I will be able to catch up via video later when I get home. But you know, I’m the mom – I’m supposed to be there. I’m not supposed to have to catch up later via video. Ugh. How did this happen?

I guess we are beginning to experience what so many other families have dealt with for a long time. You have multiple children involved in multiple things and before you know it; you’re double- (and sometimes triple-) booked. It kind-of makes me wish I had an under-study for my role in our Christmas production. But that’s not the case and I believe it’s what I’m supposed to be doing because if it wasn’t, I’m sure the Lord would have taken me out of it by now (as He has so faithfully done with other activities recently). So, we will work around the crazy December 13th schedule. Moving on.

Aren’t we glad that God can’t be double-booked, over-sold, or scheduled way too tight? He is infinitely able to meet all our needs. As much as I want to meet every need of my children, I am a finite human, and there are only so many places I can be at one time. In fact, I can only be one place at a time. But God, Oh God, is infinite and omnipresent. He IS and He is everywhere. Praise you Father.

This idea came up somewhat in my BSF lesson this week. Matthew 7:11 says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” It is interesting to note, however that Luke 9:13 reminds us that “good gifts” are not always something we can see. “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

So, not only does this ring true and remind me that their Heavenly Father (not their earthly mother) will meet all my children’s needs, but it also speaks to me about good gifts. I want more than anything to give my children good gifts, especially as we approach Christmas. But I need to want so much more for God to bless them with the good gift of his Holy Spirit. I need to pray earnestly for them as they seek to personally know Christ that He will reveal Himself in such a way that they cannot turn away. That they will soon be compelled to invite Him to (as my friend Lisa says) be the boss of their life.

So, Lord, as I have failed so many times as a parent and I know that I have never been perfect, I know that YOU WERE. As I am unable to be everywhere for my children, I know YOU ARE. As I will never be everything to them, I pray YOU WILL BE.

Oh it's sad...

This was Nathan this morning, which is also pretty much how he looked when we went through this same stuff 3 weeks ago.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Yes, you read that right. Pneumonia. Nathan started coughing again on Friday and I took him to Urgent Care today (Sunday) as he began to have a fever as well. I pressed the issue with the doctor, who was pretty cold to us at first, and convinced her to do a chest x-ray on him. Glad I did. I had to leave to go to a drama rehearsal, but Mike said that she was a lot nicer and almost apologetic after looking at his films. He had what was termed as “scattered” pockets of pneumonia which could mean that it is either the beginning of it, or it could mean that he actually had it when we went 3 weeks ago, it wasn’t diagnosed as such and therefore not treated as such and it could be flaring up again. So, that aside, now we know and can hopefully eradicate it completely from his poor little body and he can begin to get better. We’ll have another chest x-ray in a week or so to check our progress.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Training Wheels No More

Sarah is now without training wheels. I noticed how well she was riding recently and began to talk to her and mentioned the possibility of dad taking the training wheels off. Then, on Sunday afternoon while I was at rehearsal for our Christmas musical at church, it just happened. There was no holding on to the back of the bike or anything... she just went. However, she does have to start with her right foot... it's got to be just right. This video was taken the next day because unfortunately, I had the camera with me Sunday afternoon and it was completely dark outside by the time we got home and I could see her.


Life's Messes

Life is messy. There’s no way around it. Some messes are just what we have to go through to get to a desired end. Some are circumstantial. Others are messes we ourselves make. And boy, can we do a good job at it or what?

My house is a mess. From one end to the other, it is covered in dust and grime. Dust from the drywall work we’ve done and grime because I have neglected cleaning anything so that I can spend any and all extra time working on the living room to just get it done. One is just necessary to get to the desired end, the other, circumstantial and a result of trying to get to that same desired end result. Just to give you an idea…
However, there is hope. We were able to send the kids to Nanny’s house again this past weekend and we got a lot accomplished. After taking the rest of the wall paper off and priming the walls over the last two weeks, this weekend I textured the walls while Mike installed all the can lights. We also primed the walls and were able to finish painting on Monday. I have to admit, it looks good. And, this means we are at the end of the major dust creating phase and now I am beginning the great clean-up. There’s not much I can help with from here on as it is all trim work (other than staining the trim).

I have also recently made some major messes. As I have been dealing with some issues that are frustrating and stressful, I have behaved so poorly that I know I have hurt those around me. I have had to go back and make some apologies recently. However, as our pastor pointed out on Sunday, Christ is our great mess cleaner-upper. I can only look to Him to truly make things work for good.

Life is messy. Sometimes it’s literally dust and grime. Other times, it’s more ambiguous and dealing with emotions and attitudes. But, there’s no way around it.

A Princess and a Frog

I didn't realize how well Sarah and Nathan's costumes went together this year until I said outloud what they were dressed up as...

the princess and the frog.

Actually, the explanation of their costumes is much better coming from them...