About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


At 8:05 last Wednesday, my dad went home to be with our Heavenly Father. Leading up to his death, I kept thinking what a relief and blessing it would be when he passed, leaving me in no way prepared for the sadness and sense of loss I would feel when it happened. Not only am I coming to terms with my grief, it’s been hard watching my mom as she mourns the loss of her husband of 64 years.

Dad turned 85 years old on August 31. Other than the Alzheimer’s that he was diagnosed with this year, he’s had excellent health. The few hospital trips he’s had were to the ER, compliments of his table saw and ladders. Even in his Alzheimer’s state of confusion, he seemed happy most of the time and continued to laugh and joke with us. For the most part, he recognized us as someone he was supposed to know and sometimes even knew our names.

It is such a blessing that God took Dad home before his mind got so bad he had to be put in a nursing home. He was able to be at home when he passed away, under the wonderful care of Hospice with Mom, my brother and I holding him, as he took his final breath. The knowledge that we will see him again and spend all of eternity praising God with him, brings us comfort and peace.

The afternoon after Dad’s service, we found this note that he wrote Mom on their 18th wedding anniversary. It’s way too precious not to share!

Anniversary Day
Dearest Mother, Boys, and Daughter,
I want you all to know that 18 years ago I didn’t know that God was going to bless me with such a wonderful family. I just would not change a thing if I could. I think each and every one of you are the best and it just makes me feel like trying harder each day to be a better man, better dad to you, and praising God more and more for such a blessing. I just pray that we will all grow stronger and that our family will always be strong.
With all my love,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

here a shrimp, there a shrimp...

According to the old-timers around here, this is the best year the shrimp have run in twenty years. It must be true because there is a bountiful supply of shrimp this year. I think it would be safe to say that I’ve seen more shrimp, cleaned more shrimp, ate more shrimp and froze more shrimp in the past six weeks, than I have in my entire life!

This is the first year I’ve gone shrimping and I’m doing things that I never thought I’d do. One night I was watching Jim shrimp and jokingly said, “show me how to cast that net!” He looked at me and asked, “Are you serious?” I don’t think he thought I would do it, and I probably wouldn’t have, but not being one to back down, I had to go for it. He showed me how to hold the net, grabbing part of it and putting one of the weights in my mouth. Ughhh! Putting something in my mouth that had just come out of the river, just seemed plain gross. Somehow I got past the gross part, gave it a whirl, and not only was my first cast halfway decent, I caught shrimp! That first cast "hooked" me on shrimping and I've enjoyed every minute since that I've gone. Casting the net, looking in the water as I pull it in, and hearing the sound the shrimp make in the net (music to my ears!) is some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

We have shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp and they’re still coming! We’ve given them to friends and neighbors, carted them to Mom’s to put in her freezer, and have even bartered shrimp for freezer space with a couple of friends. We are cooking shrimp every other day, trying different recipes, searching for new ones, and Jim has even invented a few new concoctions.

Most of all, we’ve had good times and made some fun memories. Not only did I learn to cast a shrimp net, but Kirby did as well, and Cade perfected his casting. Both of them can cast a net almost as good as any grown-up I’ve seen. I never thought we would find something that the grandkids enjoy doing as much as we do, but they both love to shrimp and we’ve had loads of fun watching them.

Cade's first casting lesson - August 2060

Cade casting - August 2010

Kirby learning to cast - August 2010

The girl can cast a net!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oh my goodness, what goodness!!!

I just tried this recipe tonight and they have to be the lightest, fluffiest, most melt-in-your-mouth biscuits ever, bar none! And, they’re super easy to make, which makes them my kind of recipe!

Whipped Cream Biscuits

2 cups cake flour
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Beat the cream just until it holds soft peaks. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and add the whipped cream. Stir briskly with a wooden spoon, just until the dough pulls together in a uniform, shaggy mass.

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface. Knead 4 or 5 times, then pat into thickness 3/4 inch. Using a small biscuit or circle, cut into rounds and place on ungreased baking sheet, leaving a little space between them. Reroll and cut any scraps. Bake until light golden, about 15 to 16 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and serve.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

You would had to have been there...

And there’s no way I can put it into words, where it is half as funny as it was when it happened, but here goes my best shot...

Thursday, several neighbors and I had a meeting scheduled with the Chief of Police to discuss a problem house located a few blocks from our house. There are “dealings” going on all hours of the night at this house and Christina, the lady who lives across the street from the house, is fed up! Not only that, she has had some confrontations with the two brothers who live in the house. Christina had set the meeting up in hopes of finding a solution to help put an end to the problem.

Six of us showed up for the meeting and were escorted to the chief’s conference room. While sitting in the room, I happened to glance at the mantle behind the chief and notice a picture of a young police officer. Since it bore a slight resemblance to the police chief, I figured it was a picture of him when he was much younger and a lot “lighter” if you know what I mean.

We were in a deep discussion with the chief when out of nowhere, interrupting the conversation, Christina blurts out, “Who’s the cute guy in the picture?” All conversation ceased, a look of pride came over the chief’s face and he said, “That’s me.” Christina’s mouth flew open and before she could stop herself she said, “Oh S**T! I didn’t mean to offend you.” Oh my goodness, if the “Oh S**I” wasn’t bad enough, the “I didn’t mean to offend you” was icing on the cake! And, the look on her face was absolutely priceless! The chief quickly recovered, acted as though he never heard her comment, and moved right on with the conversation.

Jim and I are still laughing about Christina’s gaffe and hopefully you got a chuckle reading this. If not, I guess you would just had to have been there!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In awe...

Once again, I stand amazed at God’s protection over Chance and the troops!

We have a code that Chance uses to let us know when he’s going on a mission. He knows that I’ll put phone calls and emails into place, getting people to pray for him and the troops that are with him.

Through communication with Chance, we knew Monday that he was preparing to head out on a mission. I contacted people and put prayers in motion for him and the troops. I began praying Psalm 91 and some other verses over Chance, praying for God’s protection over him and the troops. He’s always in my thoughts and prayers, but even more so when I know he’s on a mission.

The next morning, when I turned on my computer, I read where five troops had been killed in a roadside bomb. You can imagine where my thoughts started to take me. Right then, I made up my mind that I wouldn’t go “there,” that I would hold on to the promises of God that I had been praying. I kept repeating Psalm 112:7, “He will have no fear of bad news, his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” And Isaiah 49:23, “Those who hope in the Lord will not be disappointed.”

Yesterday morning the phone rang and when I answered, I heard Chance’s voice. I couldn’t hold back the tears, and started crying. He wanted to know if I was OK and I replied, “I am now!” He said, “The prayers worked, they really, really worked!” Well, not only did the prayers “work,” they worked in miraculous ways!

Chance explained that a mine sweeper is sent ahead to detect IED’s. The Taliban has figured out how to rig the IED’s so they skip the mine sweeper and hit one of the vehicles behind it. Chance was riding in the vehicle behind the mine sweeper on the mission. The mine sweeper hit an IED and exploded, along with part of the truck Chance was in. Amazingly, all the guys escaped without any injury, and they were able to drive the truck back to their base!

It is nothing short of a miracle that the mine sweeper set off the IED, and not the vehicle Chance was traveling in. I had prayed on Tuesday that God would show up in a miraculous way, and boy did He ever! Jim suggested that next time, I ask for God to not show up quiet as strong! This is the second time that Chance has literally seen prayers answered while on a mission. What a faith strengthener for him, for us and for all the people praying for him!!!

My heart hurts for the families of the five troops that were killed on Tuesday and my prayers go out to them. Their situation makes me even more aware of how blessed I am. My heart is overflowing with gratitude to the creator of the universe!