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Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

Hope in Her Happily Ever After

"I know what I am planning for you, says the Lord. I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future." Jeremiah 29:11 NCV

I told my mom yesterday morning that I just love it when the Lord is not silent. I know that He still works even in the midst of the silence, but there is so much comfort when He speaks. And wow is He speaking!

I explained in yesterday's post that I felt the Lord was encouraging my heart to hope again. Even if this becomes a new normal for our family, there is always hope...hope for the dreams we have for our daughter to be realized one day....hope for complete healing ....hope for the headache pain to go far, far away....

Imagine my surprise when a special card signed by "Someone who cares" arrived in my mailbox just a few hours later. The words read, "You are a daughter of the King, a holy princess, the bride of Christ! That means no matter what your story might be right now, the ending is still happily ever after!" And I cried. Thank you, Father for confirming in my heart, that I need to allow myself to hope again. Her future is in Your hands.
(Please visit here for more Word Filled Wednesday)

Doing the Shred

Good Morning!

May the favor of the Lord be yours this day! The Lord woke me up early this morning, we had some business to do. You see, yesterday was one of those days. During my off period, I filled in for a teacher whose son has the flu (speaking of flu-poor Rachel has had the flu for a week and we are praying that she can return to school today) and one of his students decided that he didn't really need to do what I asked him to do. Really? So, I asked him again and he retorted that I was being retarded (I really can't stand that flippant terminology). Seriously? Fine! Lunch detention for you little guy, in hopes that you can remember how to be respectful to a teacher in class. His behavior was inappropriate, but it still bothered me.

So, I woke up this morning needing to let off a little steam....and the Lord reminded me that I had purchased the 30 day shred 3 months ago. Oiy! I guess I just assumed that if I had the dvd in my possession, my body would shred itself in hopes that I wouldn't torture it by actually putting the dvd in the player. These may be the last words my shaking hands can type for a while. Ha! I haven't done push ups in years and girlfriend looked like it. I was excited about the floor exercises, because it was 5:15 am and it felt good to lay down....until the torture began! Oh my merciful heavens this is a workout...and I'm only on level 1.

After the shred, I pulled out my Esther workbook and began the study that I had hoped to do last spring. One of the first verses we were instructed to look up was Romans 15:4 that says, "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." I love this! The next question was, "Do you have any natural reason to think that whatever your "once upon a time" might have been, it can never be now?" Hello Beth, are you right here in this room with me? If you are, I really need to go put on some makeup and fix my hair, because I have just finished the first day of my 30 day shred and I look....well a bit of a shredded mess right now!

How timely is the Lord. Yes, I have started to wonder if our life right now is the new normal (yes, I know that normal is only a setting on the dryer). And then He reminds me early this morning that His words were written for our instruction and "that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Ah, just what this heart of mine needs! What a mighty, mighty God we serve!

Crowder's How He Loves Us

Have you heard the David Crowder Band's new Cd?
Our favorite is, "How He Loves."
If you haven't heard it, please take a few minutes and listen to the powerful is sure to bless.

Trusting and Waiting to See His Glory!

"But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head." Psalm 3:3

Oh, I wanted to stay angry....embarrassingly, I thought it was my right. This is my daughter after all. But even after typing the previous post the Lord had already begun to work on my heart. I still don't understand it all....but I don't have to... because I know the One who does and I can trust Him.

We have said it all along that God may very well be setting the stage to show His glory in this....but last weekend I just couldn't see past the nose on my face. I was broken over the magnitude of it all.

We moms (and dads) feel like we have to fix it when our children are sick, or sad, or hurt, or upset, don't we? When they ache, oh how we ache too. Somehow I got caught up in trying to fix what I know I cannot fix and I lost sight that our Heavenly Father aches when we ache too. I got wrapped up in the enormity of having to make the decision for surgery and when would be the best time (is there ever a best time for surgery?) and so on and so on.

And then I became frustrated and angry, and in the middle of it all, the Lord encouraged me to trust Him once again. I found that child-like faith again. If the timing of the surgery is not His timing, then He will change it. If the procedure is not the right procedure for Rachel, then the Great Physician will see to it that other arrangements are made. If the plans that have been made are right and in Rachel's best interest, then the doors will remain open. There is much relief and peace in handing that all over to Him once again. He knows this heart of mine too well though. It is my nature to jump into action on behalf of my daughters...but I am reminded that He is not slow to action either and His was are always the best. I choose to trust Him.

I have talked about L.B. Cowman's devotional, "Streams in the Desert" so many times before but in my anger I missed a day. My mom lovingly called me the next day and asked if I had read it. She said that it should have been titled, "My Dear Kristi...."

I picked up the Word for September 20th and sobbed. Oh, how timely is the Lord!
I know that it is long, but if you would like to read it too, I will post it below. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging comments and cards. I am so blessed by all of you.

September 20, Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman
"Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" (John 11:40)
"Mary and Martha could not understand what their Lord was doing. Each of them had said to Him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." (vv.21, 32). And behind their words we seem to read their true thoughts: "Lord, we do not understand why you waited so long to come or how you could allow the man you love so much to die. We do not understand how you could allow such sorrow and suffering to devastate our lives, when Your presence might have stopped it all. Why didn't you come? Now it's too late, because Lazarus has been dead four days!" But Jesus simply had one great truth in answer to all of this. He said, in essence, "You may not understand, but I am telling you that if you believe, you will see."

Abraham could not understand why God would ask him to sacrifice his son, but he trusted Him. Then he saw the Lord's glory when the son he loved was restored to him. Moses could not understand why God would require him to stay forty years in the wilderness, but he also trusted Him. Then he saw when God called him to lead Israel from Egyptian bondage.

Joseph could not understand his brothers' cruelty toward him, the false testimony of a treacherous woman, or the long years of unjust imprisonment, but he trusted God and finally he saw His glory in it all. And Joseph's father, Jacob, could not understand how God's strange providence could allow Joseph to be taken from him. Yet later he saw the Lord's glory when he looked into the face of his son, who had become the governor for a great king and the person used to preserve his own life and the lives of an entire nation.

Perhaps ther is also something in your life causing you to question God. Do you find yourself saying, "I do not understand why God allowed my loved one to be taken. I do not understand why affliction has been permitted to strike me. I do not understand why the Lord has led me down these twisting paths. I do not understand why my own plans, which seemed so good, have been so disappointing. I do not understand why the blessings I so desperately need are so long in coming."

Dear friend, you do not have to understand all of God's ways of dealing with you. He does not expect you to understand them. You do not expect your children to understand everything you do--you simply want them to trust you. And someday you too will see the glory of God in the things you do not understand."

Isn't that an incredible devotion?! Yes, I can trust the One who lifts my head again so that I may watch and see His glory in this.

One more thing before I publish this post, this precious mom is heavy on my heart. I know many of you are praying for Andrew and Melanie. Please, continue to pray for them. She is asking the Lord for 100% healing for her son. Her constant devotion to her family and to her Lord are so evident in every post that she writes. If you haven't stopped by her blog, please do so today.

Taking a Break

Ya'll I'm going to take a little break from blogging. I adore each one of you precious friends and followers more than you much so that I don't want you to have to have to see or experience the depths of my heart right now.

On our Lubbock trip last weekend we also came across a field of sunflowers that had already been sprayed so that the farmers could harvest the seeds and the fields looked so sad~in stark contrast to the beautiful, life-filled sunflower seeds we saw only a few feet before.

As we crossed the 3 month mark before surgery this last week, my heart became more anxious and then angry. I honestly don't understand it all nor do I like it one bit. Why my Rachel? Why now? I have loved the Lord and tried to serve Him faithfully since I was 7 years old so I need you to know that I have loved Him far too long to ever doubt His great and fierce love for me and my family or to ever doubt His great faithfulness....but I'm still hurting and feeling like these sad sunflowers:

Oh, I know He has not forgotten us nor is His arm too short to reach us. I believe in His all-sufficiency and I believe in His awesome sovereignty and He is mighty to save and so worthy of our best praise. I believe all of that whole-heartedly, but He and I have some things to work out in this heart of mine. So, I'll be taking a break from blogging.

Even in the pain of my heart He lovingly keeps reminding me that His mercies are new every morning and that He longs to show us great and mighty things that we don't know. My morning devotion was Psalm 121 that says, "I will lift up my eyes to the hills--from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord...." Even in our deepest sorrows, our pain, and our questions He still speaks, and He still cares, and He still loves, and He comes to our rescue.

Oh, He will lift my anxious heart and I will continue to praise Him....even in the sorrow....even in the midst of my daughter's the midst of my the midst of my anger... and I will rejoice again!

Standing in Awe of Him

"Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him." Psalm 33:8.
Many of you know that I was born in Kansas. So, this Kansas girl adores sunflowers.

Last weekend was Hannah's first cross country meet and Mr. Incredible and I got up at the crack of dawn to make our way to her meet in Lubbock. On our way there, we came across the most glorious sunflower patches. Since it was still too dark outside, we decided that we would stop on the way home. I could hardly wait.

We did get a chance to stop and take pictures. As I snapped pictures to my heart's content, I noticed this lone sunflower stretching above the others (can you see it?) and I said, "Delight!" I knew this would perfect for my Word Filled Wednesday post.

I don't know about you, but I want to be like that sunflower, rising above it all to stand in awe of my Savior! Oh, He is so worthy of our best praise! Go ahead, stand up, you know you want to....stand in awe of Him today.

Please visit Critty Joy for more Word Filled Wednesdays.

Mom's Taco Casserole

I hadn't made Mom's Taco Casserole in years. So last month when I was re-organizing my recipes, I came across this one and resolved to make it soon.

It had been so long since I made this for my family, that they responded by asking me to make this new recipe again soon. Oiy!
I thought I would share the recipe with you. You need a 13x9 dish, 1 pound of ground beef, cream of chicken soup, rotel, Ranch style beans, cheddar cheese, and taco Doritos.

Start by cooking the ground beef:
Layer crushed taco Doritos in the bottom of your sprayed dish:

Layer the ground beef:

Add the drained beans:

Add the can of Rotel:

Layer on the cream of chicken soup:

Add a top layer of crushed taco Doritos:

Cover it with cheese:

and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until it is bubbly and all the cheese has melted:

I served mine with a doll up of sour cream and a wedge of iceberg lettuce:

It was quick and delicious....thanks Mom!

Hannah's 1st Cross Country Meet

My baby girl is running cross country...and liking it!

Did you hear that "liking it!" She most certainly did not get that from me.
I did not enjoy running. I played volleyball and basketball in high school and all of the athletes (I use that word loosely) were required to be in track too. What's a girl to do? I threw the little disc thing...not very far, because it might mess up my hair, and I was really only there to meet the cute boys anyway. Maybe if they had posted the cute boys around the track I might have enjoyed running better.

Since I am not so much a fan of running, I wasn't a very encouraging mom when Hannah started working out with the basketball team. They all have to do the cross country workout in order to play basketball. Every day she would tell me who she out ran and how much her time was improving...and then I said something that I have regretted ever since, yes I became that mother when I casually said, "Baby, if you keep improving you just might make the cross country team and you know that you don't want to do that."

Yes, I did and shame on me!!!! I knew the minute my words rolled off my tongue that I should never have said that. Instantly the Holy Spirit convicted my heart.

The next morning, I woke up early like I normally do to have my quiet time with the Lord before hitting the ground running. The Holy Spirit once again convicted me that I needed to give Hannah my blessing on cross country because even though she acted like she didn't want to be on the team, she really did want to be on the team.

I woke her up early to ask her forgiveness and to tell her that her daddy and I would support her 100% if she wanted to be on the cross country team and she just beamed. Her face blushed a little and she gave me a big hug and told me that she was going to be a runner, "just like Grandpa" and my heart melted. Thank you, Father, for speaking to this momma's heart!

So last Friday night, we did our duty chaperoning the high school band, we got to ride the yellow bus, and corral the skittle throwing monsters, I mean blessings (Mrs. C. if you are reading this~ they picked up every skittle so we were fine), and then early Saturday morning we were Hannah's biggest cheerleaders at her first ever cross country meet.
I thought you might enjoy a few pictures of my favorite runner:

There must have been over 130 girls running:

And she is off:

Go Hannah go! We are so proud of you! You can do it!
The finish line is just around the corner!

She made it and she enjoyed it...and we did too. From the back seat, my little darling said, "I wonder how Grandpa finished in his first meet? Do you think I will be fast like him one day?"
Yes, baby I think you just might be. Keep running; we are so proud of you!

Praying for Andrew

Pray for Andrew

There is an urgent prayer request for this young man, who is in surgery as we speak. Please, pray for this precious family who too is believing God to do what only He can do!
You can read his story by clicking on the prayer button above or to read the current request, click here.

A Friday Funny!

Do you enjoy Baby Blues? I really do...that and Zits, and Family Circle. This one made me laugh out loud this week and I thought you might enjoy it too.

My children didn't think it was nearly as funny as their daddy and I did~ which makes it even funnier to me. Have a blessed weekend!

(go check out Kim's blog for more Friday Funnies)

Falling for Fall


Happy DIY day. Fall is in the air around our parts of Texas. I am catching glimpses of its glory in the cool crisp mornings. Since we were all blessed with a three day weekend, I decided to get out my fall decorations. One of my favorite places to decorate for fall is in the dining room. The long table almost begs for a little bit of fall.

Here is what it looks like now:

My arrangement was bought in Canton, the large candle holders and candles are from Hobby Lobby, and the cheetah table runner is simply unfinished easy is that?

To get the Fall look, I started with an untwisted grapevine wreath:

I wove it around my candlesticks (all of my decorations are 4 years old...which is a pretty good bargain when you can re-use them year after year-they all were bought w/ 40% off coupons at Hobby Lobby)

Then my daughters and I added a pre-made swag that has leaves, and berries, and fruit:

Next, we added 2 strands of fall leaves and then we tucked in little pumpkins:

I also added some of those raffia pumpkins. They were a bit too orange so I added a little burnt umber paint to antique them a little bit:

I may add some more candles in the crystal candlesticks some day:

And ta-da:

It's all ready for fall!

Ride Out to Victory!

Last weekend, at Unite and Conquer in San Angelo (see Monday's post for more info), there was a Christian BMX show. Wow did these guys put on a show with all of their stunts. They looked so happy and pumped up about riding to new heights and it got me thinking.

In order for us to soar to new heights with the Lord, we have to leave the ground; we have to leave our comfort zones and step out in faith and go where He leads us.
This journey of faith with our daughter is one that I would never have chosen, but the good Lord has a purpose and a plan and greater glory at stake so I can choose to complain and whine and give in to despair or I can choose to once again go where He leads all the while trusting that He is all sufficient and that wherever He leads us, He is there with us and that His ways are always the best and for our good purpose.

Don't get me wrong, I have begged Him to let me have all of this pain and suffering and to please spare our precious daughter, but then He reminds me over and over again that He loves her even more than I do and that He is allowing this for a good reason and that at the end of all of this she will have an amazing testimony to share for His great glory.

So, we are going to ride out this journey of faith to victory...and watch as He performs awe inspiring deeds! For this momma's heart it is a daily choice. The bike rider in my photo isn't even holding on to the handle bars, is he? While I have days where I feel like I am holding on for dear life and trying to hold it all together, this picture reminds me that I can let go and let God...because He is over it all and He is so trustworthy!

School Days-School Daze

I can't believe this is already our 3rd week of school. We are halfway through with our 1st six weeks....oh my goodness!

I was a little busy the first 2 weeks of pretend that today is our first day of school and here are the pictures, okay?

The girls are growing up way too fast! I love seeing what they are wearing and hope that one day, many, many years from now they will look back at their clothes and say that was so, "2009" kind of like I do about the fabulous 80's and my school pictures but that their memories will be just as awesome.
Check out their shoes! Rachel is wearing Tom's shoes (I so like what this company stands for) and Hannah's black converse.

All smiles!

How can you possibly be a Junior in high school?

Didn't I just hold you in my arms for the first time yesterday?

And a 7th simply can't be!

My precious daughters, may the Lord's favor be yours this year and may you take great delight in His amazing love for you each day. I am so blessed to be your Momma.

Oh, and time....can you please stop going by so quickly!

Happy Labor Day!

This is the day the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24). I just adore 3 day weekends, don't you? It has been a fast but fun-filled weekend.

Our weekend started off with Friday night football where our team won! Mr. Incredible and I worked the junior class concession stand and that kept us hopping for 4 hours. We woke up early Saturday morning to work in the yard a little and then the four of us headed to San Angelo for the Unite and Conquer Christian concerts where in the words of our daughters, "Skillet rocked our faces off!"

I have to giggle a little bit, our family counted the days until Skillet's latest release and we have almost worn out the new cd in one week and then we anxiously awaited the concert (this is Rachel's absolute favorite contemporary Christian band). Oh, the things we mommas do for our children. They adore Skillet and I do too.

We made our way to the "Mosh pit" up front, center stage, so that I could take a few 100 pictures for my girls and then finally the concert of the year began. Oh, there were fireworks, and smoke, and rising platforms, and screaming teenagers and their ever so cool parents. Yes, I was screaming and singing at the top of my lungs as if I were 16 again too. It was an absolute blast! At one point, I looked over my right shoulder to of my students standing next to me...."Hello Mrs._," she said sweetly and with eyes that could not believe she was rockin' it out next to her high school computer teacher. I couldn't believe it either...but I threw caution to the wind and kept screaming and singing at the top of my lungs next to my girls.

We got home at 2:30 in the morning! Yes, 2:30 a.m. We slept a little and then got up to go to church. I woke Rachel up first and told her that I thought I had been hit by a "skillet" and then she told me to go look in the mirror...I looked like it too, it was going to take some serious work to get my hair to look good. She got up and the giggles began; I told her to look in the mirror too and we both just rolled with laughter.

Hannah, on the other hand, did not think everything was as funny and she popped right out of bed. She didn't understand why I was so tired, but I told her to add about 27 years to her life and then maybe she might just understand. She was the first one ready and her hair didn't look like she had been hit by a "Skillet" at all....oh to be young again.

We made it through church, but secretly missed the trap doors and rising platforms of just a few hours before, and then I crashed for 3 hours. Rachel slept for 5 hours, and Hannah? She didn't nap at all! But who is awake early today? Yes, that's right, Rachel and I. Mr. Incredible is snoring in the other room, and Hannah is still sleeping soundly in her room.

I think we are going to just enjoy being home and together today. Rachel is having a great morning and her headache is surprisingly only at a 2 on a scale of 1-10 and we are rejoicing.

The coffee pot is calling and I can't wait to enjoy a great big cup. Happy Labor Day to you!

Boo Mama's DipTacular

Today is Friday woo hoo! I just have to say this before I burst, thank you for your prayers for our precious daughter Rachel. I am seeing her prayer reminder buttons all over this blessed blog land and it brings me to tears every time! You will never know how much that means to us.

We are still believing that nothing is too difficult for God and praying that He heals her before surgery, if He so chooses. Thank you for joining us on this journey of faith!

Okay, it is Friday and I am ready for some fun, how about you? My next door neighbors are huge Texas Tech fans (boo! on TT, not on the neighbors....sic 'em bears....okay I feel better) anyway, they have been working all week long on getting their tail-gating trailer ready for the big football season, and it has been fun to watch. They are excited about football!

I like football games mainly for the social aspect, so Boo Mama's diptacular event was just what I needed. I like a good dip, or in the words of Sam from I-Carly (one of our daughters' favorite shows) Mama likes me some dip.
My first fave is 7 layer dip, but there are lots of recipes out there, so I'll stick to my other 2 faves:

Pioneer Woman's Black Eyed Pea Salsa....yes it can be counted as a dip!

You can find her recipe here. We also added a mushed up avocado, like PW, to the mix and the entire dip was gone in seconds....yum!

And if you need a quick but delicious recipe grab some sour cream and a
little packet of this lovely:

It's called Fiesta Ranch and it is wonderful. You can find it next to the dry salad dressing packets. All you have to do is mix it into a tub of sour cream, chill for a little, unless you are impatient (there is that "p" word again) like me and then you can just dive in, grab a carrot if you are feeling a little healthy, or some tortilla chips and enjoy!

Happy dippin'!

Mighty to Save

(the above image came from Imagevine)

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17.

Isn't that a glorious promise? The Lord is with matter what journey of faith we are on....the mighty, all-powerful One is with us! Glory!

Amazingly, He takes great delight in us....are we taking great delight in Him daily?

He will quiet you with His love...this speaks to this mother's heart. I had a moment Sunday evening and Monday morning where I just felt like my heart was going to come out of my chest because it was so overcome by the enormity of what we are facing for our precious daughter. My emotions were raw and I just had that feeling that I couldn't get myself together....but then He came and quieted my heart with His love....incredible!

I love the last part of this verse, "he will rejoice over you with singing." The One who formed this world and everything in it, the One who knows each star and calls them by name, the One who numbers the very hairs on your head, who knows your deepest desires and longings, rejoices over is almost too incredible to comprehend. He rejoices over us with singing. That just makes me want to praise Him even more today.

What a mighty, mighty God we serve!
He is mighty to save....a wretch like me....and you....and He rejoices over us with singing.
For more Word Filled Wednesdays, please visit here.