Friday, May 25, 2007


This is what I got for Mother's Day this year. I had always been interested in the concept of juicing fresh fruits and veggies, but I wasn't sure how often I would actually use a juicer.

During a visit with my friend Shannon, she juiced some carrots and offered me a taste. It was delicious! I didn't think I'd like just straight carrot juice but I did!

I got this juicer at Sams. It was a cheapie, and probably not a great one by juicing standards, but it works for me. I have used it nearly everyday, juicing pretty much everything! One of my favorite drinks is carrots, celery, and a tomato. I made this yesterday and then saved all the nutrient-rich pulp and added it to my spaghetti sauce.

Another good combination is an apple, a pear, and a piece of ginger. This one even helps with queasiness, something I really need help with at the moment.

There are two downsides to this juicer. One, is it's very large and it takes up a lot of counter space. Two, it's quite a clean up job. There are about six or seven pieces that have to be cleaned after each use. But the overall benefits have out weighed the downfalls.

I love my juicer!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Family Udates


I am very happy to report that my grandmother is resting comfortably at HOME! She is already improving wonderfully from her stroke. She can walk with some help and her speech has improved as well. I was able to speak with her very briefly yesterday and it sounded like Grandma, but different! Her speech was a bit labored and slurred, but I know she is improving each day! God has been so merciful and gracious and we are so thankful for His love and comfort! My family thanks each of you who have been lifting them up in prayer. They have felt the prayers and ask that you would continue prayer for healing and strength.


Well, morning sickness is slowly creeping upon me. I have been so thankful for each day I've had with minimal sickness. I'm still praying and hoping that this pregnancy will not be as bad, but also preparing myself for the worst. Mainly, I'm just tired and have that slight "off" feeling so far. My sense of smell has heightened a bit and my saliva glands are starting to misbehave, but still holding strong. Please pray for a more tolerable pregnancy and pray for God's mercy and strength to cover me throughout the pregnancy. I'm so thankful for this new life being carefully knit inside of me and would not change a thing, even knowing what I may be in for! I am 7 weeks and 2 days along......just 33 weeks to go! Wow, that sounds like a long time!  ....sigh....


My goodness!  Just five days until we are CA bound! We are so excited, but I have to admit that I am absolutely dreading all the packing I have to do for our family! I am slowly mentally preparing and trying to write things down so I won't forget anything important. I'm sure I will forget something, being that I get serious "pregnant brain", which seems to get worse with each pregnancy! Today, I will unearth all of the suitcases and lay them out in my room. Each day I will add a few things to each suitcase so I won't have to rush at the last minute. We'll see how it all turns out!

I guess that's all the updating for now. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Surprise Party

I know I seem to brag about my older girls a lot, but I just have to do it again!

Yesterday was my birthday and my sweet girls, with the little ones' help, threw me a surprise birthday party! While I was out for a birthday lunch with Greg, the girls cleaned the house, baked a cake, and decorated the house with balloons and streamers.

I am constantly amazed by my girls.  How did I become so blessed as to have these thoughtful, kind, and hard-working children? I'm just not that good of a mother to have produced them!  :)

Okay, back to the party.......

As I entered the house, I was greeted by Celeste, taking a picture of the surprised look on my face! When I rounded the corner into the kitchen, all of the kids were seated around the table and shouted, "Surprise!".  Then they all sang Happy Birthday! It is a moment that will forever be imprinted in my mind and heart! It was precious!

After the song, we ate cake and I opened my cards.

It was the best birthday EVER! Thank you, my sweet girls! I love you!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Good News and Bad News

This morning I listened to two messages on my machine that I somehow missed yesterday. The first was Linda from the Agape center letting me know that a young woman I had counseled last week came back in. She was VERY abortion minded and by the time she left the center, I still wasn't sure what she would do!

Yesterday she came back in to get a Medicaid form because she had chosen LIFE for her baby! I am filled with joy, and praising God for softening her heart and opening her eyes to the truth!

Thank you, Father, for allowing her to hear your words! To God Be The Glory!!!

Now the bad news.......PLEASE pray for my precious Grandmother! The second message I missed yesterday was my dad calling to tell me that Grandma had a stroke! As of yesterday, she was completely incoherent and didn't have use of her left side. They transported her to Merced from Mariposa.

I'm so worried about her, and as of now I can't get a hold of anyone since it's only 6:00am in CA.

Although I am very worried and scared for her, I know God is holding her tightly in His hands, and that He is the Almighty Physician. I take comfort in His perfect will for my Grandmother's life! Please pray for my dad and the Skinner family as they come together to be with Grandma!

Thank you all so much for your prayers! I'll update as soon as I hear something! My Grandma's name is Barbara and she is 74 yrs old.

Update:  It's been four years since my grandmother's stroke.  She recovered fully and is doing well.  Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

February Anniversary Bouquet

Happy Mother's Day to all of you dedicated Mommies!

I would like to wish my mom, especially, a happy Mother's Day and share some wonderful things about her!

Linda Marie Skinner, My Mom

The facts........

*Wife for almost 36 years.
*Mother for almost 35 years.
*Mother of four, including a set of twins.
*My mom is number six of fourteen children (go Grandma!).
*My mom is an artist. She can draw anything!
*My mom is very creative, a trait I did not inherit.
*My mom is a master sewer.
*My mom is one of the hardest workers I know.
*My mom is very frugal and she knows how to stretch a buck.
*My mom is a fabulous cook.
*My mom makes the best Thanksgiving Dressing (stuffing) in the world!
*My mom loves to read.
*My mom loves to plant flowers.
*My mom is very funny.

Growing up, I remember......

*Every Sunday after church, my mom would iron while watching her "Cowboy Shows".
*The year we couldn't afford a Christmas tree, she made one on the wall......out of branches she collected.
*I used to love sneaking into her room in the morning after she left for work because I could still smell the faint scent of her lingering perfume. It was comforting.
*My mom would always dance with us. Our favorite was when she would brake into the "Mashed Potatoes".
*I always knew when she was talking to one of her siblings on the phone.......the whole conversation consisted of rolling laughter........that's still the same to this day!
*I loved holding my mom's hand as a child.
*I was a total Mama's Girl!
*On occasion, I would get to go to work with my mom. I loved it because I got to be with her all day.

I love.......

*That my mom is my friend.
*That my mom's motto is "The more Grandchildren, the better!"
*That my mom is helping to raise three of her grandchildren.
*That we imitate funny lines from movies.
*One of our (mom and me) favorite movies is "The Incredible Shrinking Woman". We call each other "Concep-si-own because of the movie.
*A few years ago, while at a store, the two of us talked with a British accent the whole time we were there. We drew lots of attention and people actually believed we were British and asked us questions about England. I could hardly contain myself watching my mom "role play"! I've never laughed so hard in my life!
*My mom LOVES Poinsettias and places them all over her house around Christmastime.
*One of our traditions, when I would come home for a visit, was to go to Cinnabon in the mall.
*Drinking coffee with my mom in the morning.
*Our Saturday phone calls.
*She thinks I'm a great mother and encourages me in our homeschooling.
*I love that even though I'm a grown up, I still need my Mommy!

Thanks for being such a wonderful Mom! I love you and I miss you and can't wait to see you in two weeks! Have a blessed Mother's Day, Mom!

Photo Credit

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Agape Pregnancy Help Center Banquet

tiny fingers

Thursday night was Agape's 10th Annual Fundraising Banquet. I can't even begin to express how powerful the evening was to do it any justice! I wish I had pictures to share, but I will just try to give a quick synopsis of the evening!

It was our privilege and honor to have Dr. Alan Keyes as our keynote speaker. He was dynamic, funny, and hit the nail on the head as far as the message! He truly drove home the point of how we as Christians should be on the front lines of saving precious lives. We need to speak for the unborn, who have no voices. And when did taking human life become acceptable in our eyes, simply by changing the word "baby" to "fetus"! Again, my words cannot do justice to the words he so eloquently brought fourth! I know we were all touched very deeply and I was encouraged to work harder for the  unborn and the precious mothers who are tricked (by the world) into believing that there is no other choice!

Shirley Thompson, the Agape Executive Director, did a magnificent job of conveying her thoughts for this ministry. Her words were very personal, very honest, and she challenged each of us, especially pastors and churches, to offer their support to this ministry.

We also had two client testimonies as part of the program. I think the testimonies are my favorite because they're the reason we're here. Only they can tell us how God has worked in their lives through Agape. I am so blessed and privileged to be a part of this ministry!

Pastor Steve Branson was our MC again. He's done this for several years and always does a wonderful job! I think this year, though, was the best. He shared a wonderful story of how God used him in a difficult situation and then applied it to Agape and how God can use each of us even in the most difficult situations! His words throughout the night were important, relevant and heartfelt!

Dr. Scott Farhart sang a song called Blue Eyes Like Janey's. I have no words.........I will say that we were deeply touched by the message in the song!

God truly blessed the evening and blessed Agape with the resources needed to sustain two centers. He is always faithful to provide every year and I give Him the honor, glory, and praise!

Photo Credit

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sunday Service by the Lake

We had such a wonderful time Sunday! We joined our church family out at Canyon Lake where the men and young men were already enjoying a camping trip. We had a sweet service under the pavilion and then had a great time of fellowship during lunch. All of the kids had a blast playing near the water and exploring the waterfront. Even though it was cloudy, windy and slightly cold, we all had a blessed time! Here are a few pics from the day:

The pavilion where service was held...

Seth throwing rocks into the water...

John, Cheyenne, and Celeste on a snake hunt...

Mommy and Sophia...

Kids having fun...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Random 7 Meme

I was tagged by Granny so here goes. I may just go over seven since there are more than seven cool things (or not) about me that you should know. ;-) I'll try not to go overboard!

*I LOVED sports as a kid! And since I was a total tomboy, I was the only girl to play on my high school JV football team. I made the front page of our local paper, which was actually quite uncomfortable for me. I just wanted to play football, not stand out in the crowd!

*I lived in the Arctic Circle from the ages of 6-7. We lived on a small sandbar called Kotzebue. It was GREAT! In the summer it was light all day and in the winter it was dark all day! During one blizzard, our house was completely covered and my dad had to dig us out! Very cool!

*I climbed Half Dome in Yosemite National Park at the age of fifteen. I didn't climb the face, I climbed the side. When I got to the top I crawled to the face and dangled my head over to look down! I still get the chills at the thought of doing something so DUMB! Hey I was fifteen and daring!

*When we lived in San Angelo I was in a restaurant commercial and three magazines.....and not by accident, I was chosen.  Yeppers. San Angelo is small potatoes, but it was fun!

*I've had two major political encounters that don't exactly afford me any bragging rights. First, I shook hands with President Bill Clinton during the 50th D-Day celebration in Cambridge, England in was a beautiful ceremony! Prime Minister John Major and Walter Cronkite were also featured that day. The second, I received a personal letter from Assemblyman (at the time) Gary Condit, you know the "Chandra Levy conspiracy" guy, congratulating me on my "football endeavors"! Think I could get anything on eBay for it?

*My brother and I were extras in an independent film in Los Angeles starring Henry Winkler (The Fonz). It was a funny story that I will share another time. We had a blast! I even got to go to "wardrobe"!

*I went to six elementary schools, three junior highs and three high schools, and still managed to be nominated for homecoming queen twice, my junior and senior years. Trust me, I was not overly thrilled! I was an athlete, not a girlie homecoming queen. Needless to say, I wasn't heartbroken over not winning.

*In high school, during the President's Challenge, I did 78 full sit ups in one minute, beating out all the girls.......and the boys!

*Also in high school, my third and biggest high school, I won the girls triathlon, Greg won the boys! We were meant to be! :-)

*The most exciting thing about me currently is that I am expecting baby number seven, due to arrive in early January!

UPDATE:  Genevieve Julee was born January 7, 2008.
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