Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taking a Break

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

I want to thank you for being such wonderful friends! I sure do appreciate those of you who regularly read my blog because you care for me as a person and a friend. I know there are those who check here often as spectators and that is okay with me if they are encouraged in some way.

First of all, everything is going okay so far with the babies. I have another doctor's appointment next week on the 4th which will also be my 45th Birthday. I am happy I was born. I am mostly happy because I have precious family that I have the privilege to love on and care for. Yes, that is the main reason I am happy that God saw fit to knit me together in my beautiful mother's womb.

Our family is going through an unexpected crisis that I cannot share at this time. We are broken and hurting. To those of you who truly care and pray for our family, we would appreciate your ongoing and possibly increased prayers during this very difficult and perplexing time.

Because of this stressful time, I have decided to take a break from blogging. I will keep you updated on the twins as they are due on December 23rd. However, my doctors believe I will go into labor way before that.

If you feel prompted to pray, please ask the Lord to bring peace and strength to us . We need His wisdom and patience. We need comfort and encouragement. We need people to come along beside us who will not judge but help us during this time. Friends are pretty scarce at this season in our lives.

Sending blessings and love to all. And I will be back in the right time!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Goodwill Thrill

(click on photos to get a closer look!)

I know what the Dr. said! No more going to the store. But folks I am going stir crazy. This morning I decided to check out our new Goodwill store just down the street...just to get out of the cabin for a spell! I thought I might try to find a couple of gowns but with no luck. BUT...I did find these! We still needed a bumper pad for the crib. It is on the left. It only cost $5.99 and looks like new. I also found this matching set which includes the crib skirt, diaper holder, and 3 padded wall hangers.
I am so excited! The ballerina wall hangers were only .69 each!! The crib skirt was only 2.99 and the diaper holder was only 1.99! And they all look new. I would have paid over $100 for all of this in the retail stores!
I also found a bag of sweet girlie goodies for 2.99. Inside were bibs, burp clothes, socks, and two sets of booties. Here is one of them! So cute!!
And here are the two sets of booties along with pretty head bands for the girls. I ended up with a set of 10 for $4.99!!
And here is big sister Heather sporting the girlie head bands! She is excited about her new baby sisters who are soon to arrive.

Thanks for letting me share my fun and excitement with you! It really is a wonderful feeling and brings such a great sense of accomplishment to find such pretty things for such little money! YIPEE!!!

Blessings everyone!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

We had a pretty productive Saturday. The teenage boys took the younger children outside to clean up the yard. Then the older ones mowed, pulled weeds, and trimmed trees and shrubs. Hubby went grocery shopping at two stores. He saved 100 dollars and only spent $100!! YIPEE! Basically, I just delegated and told every else what to do since I am off my feet for the most part. I cut coupons and made lists.

This is one of my favorite cookbooks. As I am writing this, John and the teenagers are making plates for dinner. And we used two crock pots early in the day to save on time and stress.

My 15 year old cooked three pounds of ground beef and put it in one of the crock pots. He added water and 3 packages of taco sauce. It has been simmering all afternoon and the house smells delish!! John is chopping up tomatoes, lettuce and onion for the tacos.

Around 4 o'clock this afternoon my 17 year old son used another crock pot to make this yummy recipe !

Cheese Dip (from the "Fix and Forget It Cookbook")

2 8oz. pkgs. cream cheese softened
3 15 1/2 oz. cans chili (we used Hormel with beans)
2 cups shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
tortilla chips

Spread cream cheese in bottom of slow cooker.

Spread chili on top of cream cheese.

Top with shredded cheese.

Cover. Cook on low 1-1/2 hour until cheese is melted. Stir.

Serve with tortilla chips.


I had a sample earlier and it is so good.

Well...gotta go. The family is waiting on me. There are all at the table and I do not want to miss supper!!!

Talk to you later friends!!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Quick Update

Just wanted to thank the few of you who are praying...God has heard. Fluid levels in the babies' sacs have dropped from border line high to a normal reading!! I really appreciate those of you who have taken time to pray for me and the babies! Hopefully, I will not have any visits to the doctor next week! Have a great weekend and bask in the goodness of God!



A Walk is Simply a Walk

I have been pondering a lot on different things I have experienced in my journey with the Lord. As you can tell, I am drawing on Him alone right now...leaning, trying to rest, trusting,and relying on the One and only true God. He is real. He is active and attentive. And His strength is perfect in all weakness.

To walk with God is simply a walk. It is amazing how we can become so caught up in religion that we loose the beauty and simplicity that Jesus wants to bring into our lives. When I think of a walk, I think of an uncomplicated activity. He just wants us to live simply as we travel the ordinary road of life. He loves to live and walk with us when we are just going about our way.

I have spoken with people who claim to see angels everyday. And then I have cried out in envy because I do not see them. I hear about supernatural occurrences and I wonder why am I not living in the supernatural each day. Is something wrong with me and my family that God would not come near enough to reveal Himself to me in this way?

Then I realize that the enemy of my heart would try and use anything against me to accuse God and try to make me think I am missing something, thus discouragement sets in.

But what about just a simple walk? Is there a miracle in that? And the Lord says yes! He says the ordinary journey of an ordinary person who walks with me is living in the wonder of miracles each day. Companionship with the Lover of my soul is the miracle that I should seek and live.

Many are being taught today that we should seek the sensational experiences of God. If I seek sensationalism, then maybe I am making it an idol instead of living with contentment in knowing that the Miracle Maker lives in me and with me each day in my simple and ordinary tasks. Oh think about the miracles in that!

So many believers, including myself have sought to find the glory on mountaintops, but there is a work in the valley that is also glorious and there is a Light that shines even when I walk on the level paths of simplistic living. We walk in all places...the hilltops, the flat trails, and through the lowest of valleys. The point is not so much where we are walking, but Whom we are walking with.

Lord, walking with You simply, ordinarily, and without complication is the cry of my heart. I do not seek your miracles...I seek Your heart and Your mind. I seek not sensational experiences from the heavenly realms, but I only seek to stroll beside You moment by moment. To hold Your hand, to hear Your whispers, and to enjoy Your smile.

In Jesus Name!

Update! Speaking of walking, I have to giggle...I am not really walking these days...just wobbling! I had a doctor's appointment yesterday with a fairly good report. I am doing well except my blood pressure has crept up a little. So, here is one more thing the doctor's will have to watch over the next few weeks.

With multiple pregnancies,blood pressure is always a factor because there is so much stress on the heart and the body of the mother. The doctor said she does not expect me to go past 34 to 35 weeks. But only the Lord knows! I am just praying for fully developed lungs for both babies.

Today I go to the specialist for the fluids to be checked with both babies. I am hoping for a good report. Thank you to those who have been praying and checking on me. Your thoughts and concerns mean more that I can say.

I will probably be posting another update this weekend, so check back.

And remember, wherever your feet take you this day, may you walk in the miraculous beauty of Your Saviour's presence!



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lessons from the Heavens

There are more stars in the sky, than grains of sand on the seashore.

The Heaven's are Your canvas Master Artist. The Earth is where You want to display the works of Your love!

(This video is 7 minutes long but worth the peaceful. Spend 7 perfect minutes with Your Lord!)

Well, preggy mommy was wide awake at the wee hours of the morning with leg cramps. So, my sweet hubby turned on the hot tub out in the backyard. Pregnant woman are not supposed to get in hot tubs because the high temps are dangerous for babies. So we turned the temperature of the water down and I just sat on the edge with my legs in the jets.

The night temperatures here in AZ are getting cooler but not cold. It was in the 60's and the air was crisp. The stars were so bright and there was actually a meteor shower. As I sat in the quietness of the night, I saw 5 meteors shoot across the glittery sky. At first I did not spot any. However, you have to wait for at least 15 minutes to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark. The strangest thing about observing the sky in hopes of catching a few "shooting stars" is that 4 of them I saw out of the corner of my eye..not directly. I spotted them with my peripheral vision. Being the contemplative person that I am, I had a thought.

To focus on one point helps our vision to least in the heavenly sense. When I learn to be still, wait, and focus solely on the Lord, He enables me to see much more than I ever could imagine. By setting my eyes on Him, my vision expands and my spiritual eyesight is clearer. Through Him, I can see many things. Through Him I can understand and have a deeper perspective of life. Through Him, I can see the hearts of others and feel their hurts so that I can seize an opportunity to encourage them. By setting my sights on the one STAR of all creation, my blindness is healed and I can drink in His beauty and feel His heart. By soaking in the Light of our wonderous Star, I am filled with peace. There was not much sleep for me during the night. However, I am happy I was able to have that quiet time in the beauty of the night as meteors danced across the sky like diamonds.

So as I focus on Him today, I expect to see and notice many things. And maybe I will not be distracted by trivial matters.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork." (Psalm. 19:1)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Art of Losing Myself....From the Inside Out

This powerful Hillsong worship piece has been playing over and over in my head for weeks now. And I know why. If you watch and listen to the lovely video above, carefully read the lyrics as it plays. There are some phrases that really are applying to me in the season of my life. Here are the lyrics. And I cannot help but raise my arms to my merciful God every time I listen!!


A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
my heart and my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Chorus 2x
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out

This tune is about the art of losing oneself. And boy has the Lord been confronting me on this issue lately. Sometimes I think I have grown and matured so much only to find that I really need more of his tender work in my heart. The Lord shows us the hidden flaws because He wants to purify and soften our hearts. We all hear this truth and know it. However the reality of it is often not genuine until we are living it. One of the phrases of the song says, "Your will above all else, my purpose remains. The art of losing myself in bringing You praise."

Wow, think of that. "The art of losing myself!" It is about control. Is about relinquishing what "I think" and allowing myself to listen to what the Almighty says, embracing His wisdom and instruction, and allowing Him to change me from the inside out.

Last night before bed I was reading a devotion about character. The writer used a photo of an iceberg to illustrate how others usually only see the tip of the iceberg.
However, hidden beneath the depths of the sea is the largest part and often most damaging.

This photo pretty much illustrates what others around us may see or it may symbolize what we want others to see. The tip of the iceberg in the gleaming light...towering tall in its' majesty and in its' white perfection.This really only represents about 10% of one's skill and glory. However, most of the iceberg is hidden below the water line.
The 90% of the hidden iceberg represents our character. It is what dwells below the surface that can sink a ship. So many times we want to portray that we are strong and able. And in our attempt to do so, we neglect our own character...just like the captain of the Titanic neglected the 6 warnings of an impending iceberg. The result was devastation.

God does not neglect the hidden icebergs in our life. He wants to melt them away with His merciful correction so that we do not sink ourselves in our own stubbornness and pride. God is really using this season to confront my own hidden iceberg. That is the 90% that most others do not see.

There is much I cannot do at this time. I have no control over it. I cannot do much cleaning and cooking. I am not able to run my household like I am used to doing. And boy, that lack of control is bringing out some less than lovely stuff in me. In addition, I am seeing that sometimes I do run a ship that is bit too tight at times. God wants there to be order in my home. But He is more concerned about order in my heart.

Now, this is much better. This is beauty under the sea...blossoms in the hidden depths where most do not see. Lord, from the inside out. My soul cries out. Consume me from within so that Your glory may shine without. Melt the icebergs in the sea of my heart and cause your splendor to bloom there.

As the first verse of the worship song says:


What a comfort...a strong assurance to know we are still caught in His grace,
forever in His warm embrace.
All the ice will melt away
should we choose to restfully stay,
to remain and dwell where mercy flows free,
And all that is not of love will melt in me.
Ange Cogburn

Thanks friends for always embracing the good and the bad in me. I appreciate you all.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

30 Weeks Today

Okay inquiring minds....NOW you can see how big I am! I am 30 weeks pregnant today with TWO baby girls! Mom and babies are healthy and well.

I will be 45 years old in about 3 weeks! And I will be giving birth to two sweet babies not too long afterwards. It is unbelievable to me. My doctor's appointment went pretty well this week. I had to have a 3 hour glucose test a couple of weeks ago as my sugars levels were high! Thankfully the more in depth test showed that all is normal.

I have NO appetite...even though I look like I am eating everything in sight. In fact I only weigh 10 pounds more than I did before the pregnancy. I lost a lot with morning sickness.

Well, the doctor has put me on partial bed/couch rest and told me to cut back on 50% of my activities. No more going to the store either. I am so thankful for my children and husband during this time. Everyone has pulled together like a great team. John does the grocery shopping and cooks on the weekends. The older children help with meals during the week and help watch the younger children.

Yesterday our 17 year old scrubbed the shower and vacuumed. He has been driving me around a lot too! He took me to get my hair trimmed last night.

And I cannot leave out the younger children who pick up for me and help do laundry. I have so much to be thankful for. We have a little community right in our home. It is so true of the saying that "It takes a village to raise a child." I am thankful for our little community. Things get tough and hairy at times. However, anything worth anything is hard work!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hidden Treasures...Blooms of Old

It seems odd that all these recent blogs I have been writing are about blossoms and blooms in my life's garden. And then yesterday I came across a hidden treasure. I came across an old photo frame containing old pictures from my Great Aunt Willie's rose garden. I am not sure how old the photos are, but the frame they were in really did not do justice for them. So I never hung them in my home and really did not know what else to do with them...until yesterday!
So I took the backing out of the frame and cut out the photos. I filed down around the edges and collage around the pictures with vintage designed papers. Afterwards, I took some sand paper and lightly smoothed down the collage around the photos. Then I used vintage tea dye ink as well as black dye ink to make them look even more aged. Lastly, I glued the distressed photo onto various paper backgrounds to help the blooms stand out.
These were placed in 3 simple dollar store photo frames. And I added a little paper to tie in the colors.
Here is another lovely shot of roses from Aunt Willie's garden. Aunt Willie was my Grandfather's oldest sister. She was of such a jovial countenance..always light hearted, friendly and loving! She lived in Abbeville S.C. which was the small town in which my Granddaddy was raised. I always enjoyed visiting Aunt Willie and roaming through her beautiful rose garden.
This is a close up photo of some of the details of my "old made new" creation. I am excited to display these in my home after having the photos put away for years. You can actually click on the photo to get a closer look.
Here is the entire trio. I made them yesterday afternoon while the little ones were resting. I should have been napping....but I am so restless these days. I do not understand it. Anyway, I am having fun just doing little creative stuff like I did when I was a little girl. I used to love to make things. If I did not have craft supplies, I would scrounge around in my room and find things to make.

I do not know why I am thinking about blooms, blossoms and roses in this season. After all it is autumn. Maybe if we look close enough, there is a little bit of spring time in every season. For our family, we have had many new beginnings lately and there are more on the way. Maybe that is why I am thinking "bouquets, flowers and blossoms"!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Two of My Favorite Blooms!

I woke up this morning to find these two beautiful photos on my computer! It was like I awoke to my life's garden and found two wonderful blooms that have thrived in my life for over 44 years. These blossoms are my precious parents! (Daddy I hope you do not mind me calling you a flower!) I realized this morning that I have not seen my parents in over a year. And I as look at these photos I see a couple whose beauty has only grown with age. Look at them! All I have to say is that I hope I look that good should the Lord see fit to keep me on this earth for 20 plus more years!
Yes, two of my favorite blooms that have been in my garden for all of my life! And I miss them more than I can say.

Many times I did not notice their beauty,
And have taken them for granted.
But as time has passed, they have remained
steadfast and faithful,
Deeply rooted in all they believe.
Loving one another
And those around them
Without broadcasting and announcing
All the gifts they possess and share.
They have given mostly in hidden places.
Where others around them did not see.
They have loved and still love without reservation.
And the vibrancy of their blossoms
bestow joy and lovely hues into
the hearts and lives of those who dwell among them
in the rich and lush soil
of life's lavish bouquets.- Ange Cogburn

I love you Daddy and Momma. I honor you both today and appreciate you more than you know! (especially since I now have teenagers! smile) Thank you for being who you are. May God continue to pour His many blessings upon your lives!! You both are a blessing to many!

With gratefulness,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nesting, Resting, and Reflecting

This morning I was listening to some songs of restful peace for women called, "Quiet Hearts". The photo above is enclosed inside of the CD. Look at this woman's hands. They are not young, but show signs of age and weathering. This woman has obviously worked with her hands. And look at what she is holding....wheat.


Today my heart is full. And yet I am exhausted. But within my spirit there is great energy. I do not know how to describe it.

And I believe I must be nesting already...Last night I was up late. In fact it was 1 a.m. before I turned in. The house was so quiet and peaceful. And even though I was not sleeping, I was resting, nesting and reflecting all at the same time. I washed baby clothes and folded them. Also I worked on some little baskets for the girl's belongings. As I sat, I felt so relaxed, but my hands were very busy. And best of all, I enjoyed my Father's presence in the stillness and whispers of the night! If you notice in the photo above there are three eggs. This is a symbol of some things happening in our home...three new eggs are getting ready to hatch. Keep reading to find out more!
This morning when I woke up it was 9:20 a.m. John was up and my breakfast was made. I hardly ever sleep this late. But my sweet hubby let me rest. Last night when I went to bed, I reflected on what a sweet husband I have. On his day off yesterday, he was running around like Mr. Mom...making meals, buying groceries, running the kids to and from the library. Sometimes I take him for granted...I am very blessed to be married to such a kind and loving man.

My friend Tausha sent me yet another adorable photo of twins this morning! This photos reminds me of the little bird's nest with eggs...a nest full of blessings! Precious life. Significant. Important. Even within the womb. Even as just a life planned within the mind of Almighty God!
Now here is the newest news! I am nesting for the hatching of a "third egg". Not in my womb but in my heart and from the hidden place of many prayers. We found out last night that our oldest son (on the right in photo) is moving out to Arizona to live with us. I actually had a dream about a month ago that he moved back with us and was going to college. Maybe my dream is coming true? We are over-joyed! Our whole family together again!! And what is even more special is that he wants to come...he wants to be with us when the babies are born. He just simply wants to reunite with our family!

I know I am skipping around a lot in my blogging today. But that is how wound up I am. I keep thinking about this, thinking about that...what a busy, busy mind I have right now. Here is a photo of the little baskets I was up making until 1 a.m.!!! I bought several of these at Walmart for $2.50 each. I also bought some wide pink ribbon and some scrapbook stickers. I weaved the ribbon through the holes in the baskets and tied a bow in the front. Then I embellished them with stickers. We are using these instead of a dresser since the babies' nursery happens to be the master bedroom closet! We have the crib in there with the the shelves cleaned off. It is really looking cute so cozy like a safe little haven...a little nest.
Also yesterday, we received a box from my dear parents in the mail. Enclosed were some really nice polo styled shirts for John and they all fit! Also there were two pair of flip flops for me. And by the way, Momma they fit! Never can you have too many pairs of flip flops in AZ! And tucked between all the goodies was a small gift wrapped box for Lizzie and Maggie with the two adorable pairs of booties!! Of course I plan to pack them in my suitcase for the hospital! Thank you Daddy and Momma for everything!

And here is a perfect ending to my post! After we talked to Bradley last night and found out he is moving out here with us, we went back to Tommy and Kerry's room to find our little Timmy sitting on the floor in front of the keyboard. Tommy has a button on the keyboard that plays "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" Timmy must have sat there for almost an hour singing it over and over. I thought my heart would burst for joy! What a great day...The blessings are endless...

When we ask Timmy, "What is your favorite color?" He always replies, "Rainbow!" He never specifies one color. He must just love them all! And I am right there with him! The colors of each of my family members are beautiful! Their personalities, their gifts and talents, and the different stages of life they are in ..all are valuable and priceless!

Thanks for reading my LONG post! But when there are so many blossoms to share it sometimes takes a while. Take some time today to reflect and to rest. There may be some hidden buds you have not noticed! Before you know it they will be blooming before your very eyes!

Ange Cogburn

Sending my love and best wishes to family and friends near and far!


P.S. Do not forget to watch the video below!!


Friday, October 2, 2009

Blooms and More Blooms!

Well, it is difficult to share just one bloom out of my little thriving garden! I hope you read my post from yesterday about my friend Meri and how the Lord is tending to my garden of friendships! Today, I have more blossoms to show you!

I am amazed over and over at how God continues to express His care and interest in the details of our lives. He even sees fit to provide hair cuts for my sweet boys who were really beginning to look like "boogars"!!!! And I did not even have to put the children in the car to take them to the salon! In this photo you see my friend Pam who lovingly offered to come over and cut the boys' hair. She spent almost the entire afternoon trimming and cutting! And she was so patient with them all. I just love this precious lady! God is good, good, good!! This lady is amazing...wonder if she is really "Wonder Woman"! She has four children, home schools, keeps a lovely home, is always serving others, and rides a really cool motorcycle!!
Here is Timothy after his haircut. I hated to see his curls go, but I think he looks even sweeter now with his precious new haircut!
Timmy is such a poser!
And here is our handsome Jamie who is now ten years old!
Joshua before the big cut!!
And Joshua after! He still has those precious pudgy cheeks at age 6 (almost 7)
Here is Daniel after his haircut! Such a handsome little guy too!
And Daniel in the middle of his haircut...If he was a bit older he could be in a "boy band"! He looks like he could almost be one of the Jonas brothers! LOL!
Timothy, Joshua, and Heather. Heather did not get a haircut...we are letting her hair grow back out after Joshua gave her a cut on one side several months ago.

This is Amanda. She is Pam's daughter and also a good friend to our son Tommy. I want to thank her for taking such precious photos of the children! She took all of these pictures! Thank you Amanda! You are very gifted!

And I cannot leave out my son Tommy who is also a growing and thriving photographer. It brings my heart so much joy to watch young people pursue the gifts God has placed within them! Tommy is such a trooper. He has taken most of the photos on my blogs and he does a great job! He took both photos of the blooms in these last posts!

Well, I am really counting my blessings as you can tell! And of course there are more blossoms in my garden I have yet to share. However, I am sure you will find sprays of blooms all across my blogging room as you continue to follow me along!

Thanks for your visit, and do not forget to stop and admire the blossoms in your garden!