Friday, December 21, 2012

Burning Christmas Cookies in Mitera

In this crazy time of year, do you ever just feel like, no matter what you do or how hard you try, you just keep "burning all the Christmas cookies"?  Boy, sometimes I sure do.  Sharing a repost (from 2 years ago) of "Burning the Christmas Cookies" published in Mitera Magazine yesterday.  It looks pretty cool here, so please check it out.

Click below to link to the magazine and scroll to my article on page 15.

Burning the Christmas Cookies... Again! (pg 15)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wait For It... Wait For It! The Hobbit

Nearly two years ago, Isaac, then 7 years old, made the announcement among tears, wails, and sobs, that he "would never play the piano again!"  He "hated" the piano.  Playing the piano wasn't "manly"...  With great big tears in his eyes, Isaac said, "Mom, I tried to play piano because I knew it made YOU happy; but I just don't want to play anymore."

:-(  I was devastated, to say the least!  You could have picked up little pieces of my heart all over the floor.  How could this child with a gentle soul get so upset about playing piano?  I came to realize through his statement that it really was me pressuring him to do and be something that I wanted from him... not something that he wanted.

Although, I thought I knew best.  I tried everything from bribery, negotiations, to outright paying him cash to practice.  I pushed all those buttons with Lego's, candy, to cupcakes.  But Isaac just dug in his heels and refused to play anymore.

It really was heartbreaking to have this beautiful silent instrument in the house.  At barely 3 years old, Isaac would play by ear his own rendition of "Ode to Joy" to a jazzy version of his own "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".  As a kindergartner, he would compose his own little songs:  What had I done?  Instead, his interest had turned to Nerf guns, Mario Kart and Minecraft.

Those stinking video games!

So, I waited.  And I prayed.  Dear God, how can You give this little boy a gift like that and just turn it off?  Why would You show him, and us, the magic of music and then have it silent?  And God said:
"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act." (Psalm 37:7)
Hold on!  Although it took me days to realize it, it wasn't a video game or even God.

Yes.  And, hadn't I been through this lesson before?  Well, many times actually!  Waiting.  Why is waiting for God so hard?  Haven't I had to be patient many times?  Like all those months we waited and struggled over life's lessons, like... when we couldn't get pregnant, heard about Brugada and Parkinson's, going back to work, family illness, finances, health....

Then I got it.  When we wait on God and are patient, "we rejoice in the hope and glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4).

I found that when I place ALL my hope on God, and fully trust His plan (although it wasn't revealed to me), when He finally reveals His purpose, even his gifts, they were like sweet, sweet music.

Isaac is playing piano again.  And this now 47-year-old-grey-haired-hott-mama-of-four has learned, again, to be patient and wait.  Wait in His presence.  Wait on His time.  Wait for His plan.  My phablet has this video clip of Isaac playing his Hobbit song just a few days ago.  Isaac actually asked me to record him and I finally fingured out how to load it.  While showing Katrina (the adorable hairdresser at Total Image), Isaac clues her with a dramatic "Wait for it.... wait for it!" before his fingers explode!  Check this out:

God just has a way of making connections, doesn't he?  A few weeks ago, I saw an ad in the Morgan Messenger for a piano teacher and, quite cautiously, proposed to Isaac about checking it all out.  Thanks and praises for Johnny Robinson, a new teacher that promotes making the piano fun.  Get this:  not only does Johnny call his studio "The Hobbit House" (go figure!) but his email is "spirit design music"!  I tried to share below Isaac's first recording session there (hope it works because it is an amazing example of how Isaac is learning to play all parts by ear and Johnny records it together!  A bit of a mystery to me.)

Listen to this:
Isaac's arrangement for The Hobbit

Prayerfully, God will reward our patience and, when He does, it's well, how can I express this?  I might be wrong about this but I don't think He wants us to wait as long as dying, going to heaven and stuff like that.  No.  Just like Isaac tells people to "wait for it" when he plays this song, the wait for this mom to hear him play piano brought me quite a lesson in not only patience but also that it has to be His plan, not mine.

I think I see my faith rejoice and rewarded in the little things; like each time Levi looses a tooth or gets another freckle; Violet speeds across the court; Caity texts me from her DC job; the boys fold me another origami ornament for the tree; or when Dan steps towards me for a hug; and now..., Isaac playing piano.

The wait is just preparing me to be strong during the struggles with big stuff like PD and disappointments.  It's not like I expect Isaac to be the next Elton John, or anything.  But I think God wants me to know it's okay if my kids don't turn out to be rocket scientists or brain surgeons.  They're just kids.  Enjoy them now, no matter what they decide to do  - "manly" or not!

Does that make sense?  Parenting really is an "unexpected adventure".

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Clicking "Like" Will Send $5 to Help Find a Cure for Parkinson's Disease

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's ResearchIt's easy!  The Michael J. Fox Foundation has partnered with UCB in a program called "Tell Us YOUR Story" on Facebook.  So, forever the story teller, I posted about our experiences living with this crazy illness; the good and bad!

"At UCB our sense of purpose is to help people suffering from severe central nervous system or immunological disorders lead normal, everyday lives. Our ambition is to offer them innovative new medicines and ground-breaking solutions that go beyond the drug. We are committed to enabling cutting-edge scientific research that is driven by the patients' needs. "  
And what a better way to understand patients needs than to ask them to tell their stories!  That's just cool in my book!  Happy to oblidge, I submitted a post in an effort to generate both awareness AND, get this.... $5 for each "like" or "share" on facebook.  Already, our story "Standing Tall" has raised $55!  YOUR click could help in leading to a cure to Parkinson's Disease and making my hott-hubby Dan more comfortable as we live with this stinking neurological crazy illness.

It's legit!  And FYI, Dan participates in research efforts at Johns Hopkins Hospital that is sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation.  So, please support this!  And do tell everyone you know; together, we can raise $60,000 just by clicking the "like" or "share" button on my post.

If you roll your cursor over the sentence below, it will take you directly to the site.  Thanks for helping.
Go to this link and "like" or "share" our PD story and UCB will donate $5 to research with the Michael J. Fox Foundation!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wows! and Wows?

Today on Facebook, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation shared this link to a movie called A Late Quartet.  Online, it says this about the film:
     "In the film, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir and Christopher Walken play a world renowned string quartet struggling to stay together as they mark their 25th anniversary in the face of illness and competing egos."

Always curious when the topic of musical careers come up, I so totally did not expect to discover the impact of one musician's diagnosis.  As with any unpleasant "news" - whether it be cancer, heart disease, or... yes, Parkinson's Disease - that "wow" just never goes away, does it?

Four years after my hott-hubby was diagnosed with PD, I get Mr. Walken's reaction as portrayed here.  Do you know what I mean?  It's like, sometimes, maybe that day when Dan came home following his appointment with the initial neurologist was just a weird dream.  Was it disbelief?  Maybe, in a way... it still is.  Even after all this time.

You know, most "wow's" come at an elated high.  But this sort of "wow"... well, it's kinda like a strange quiver deep in the midst of your inner belly.  And it stays there.  Permamently.  Forever.  A diagnosis that someone you love has an incurable and chronic illness, Parkinson's Disease.  Sure, there are days when the symptoms seem almost to disappear.  But others remind me of times yet to come and then that awful quiver in my belly resonates deep down.  It is then that the "wow" of the initial diagnosis and daily life with PD turns to a "why?" and even a "what the #*^+! ?"

Then, I remember that "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."  (Romans 8:28)


Please watch and share.  The movie is released later this month.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It Sure Is Hott!

For all of my little friends over at Widmeyer Elementary, Mrs. Caliente will sure miss you guys!  Watch this and remember... music IS everywhere!  From a Brazilian Carnival to Austria's "Sound of Music" --We had  some fun over the last couple months.

For all the teachers, administrators, and families of my little friends, thanks for putting up with me! It was indeed a privilege to spend time with you and your students over the last nine plus weeks.  Thanks for enduring the loud singing, dancing, and yes, even sax playing coming from the music room.  (Mrs. Hott sure sings "terrible"! LOL!)

I will never forget the words from RESA 8 substitute teacher trainer, Peggy Hause, "As a sub, you have just a short time in the classroom with these children. Make the most of it.  YOU could be THE sub to change a child's life."  Well, let's just say sometimes it is just one student, just one... that changes the sub.  For all my little friends, thanks for the hugs and know that Mrs. Hott will be remembering you all in my prayers.  (And, thanks for reminding me daily how "young" I am!)

Finally, for Mrs. Davisson -- give me a call anytime you have another baby!  I'll be there - me and my sax!

love, love, LOVE... your music sub

p.s.  Now, go "clip up!"  All of you!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Easy Steps to Armor Your Child with Back to School Bully Protection

Click here:  Mitera: Ministry in Motherhood  

Hott off the press, Mitera Magazine has just published my article called "Holy Boldness Batman!"  Please check out the cover (with a teaser to my story!) then go to page 13!  This story was deep in my blog from two years ago and the editor asked to republish it in her new magazine.  Please link to other parents you know.  Praying that "Holy Boldness Batman" helps a student somewhere... maybe even yours!

love, a

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Review of Lisa Chan's New Video - Be Still

Earlier this summer, Lisa Chan's marketing folks asked me to preview her new film series called "Be Still" here on my blog.  Inspired by her husband's book Crazy Love, I was thinking this was pretty cool to get to preview a film before it was released.  A first for me as a faith based blogger, all I needed to do was watch the video, include a link to the series, and blog about it.

Easy as pie, right?  Wrong!  Attempting to watch a video called "Be Still" on our intermittent internet service was like trying to have my 7 and 8 year old boys read War and Peace!  I would see about 45 seconds of film, wait... and then another 45 seconds!  This 23 minute film took me 2.5 hours to watch one day when all the kids were finally in school.  Be Still?  Are you kidding me?

As I am engaging in her story, I was also finding myself resentful.  Seriously!  Early on, I watch Lisa as she unloads groceries from her car to her home.  In one trip, she manages to bring in all her bags.  I don't know about you other moms, but I never am able to complete a shopping trip in one load!  Then, we follow Lisa inside her home and, immediately, I am feeling uncomfortable.

Seeing her modest environment neat and orderly, I begin to glance around my own home.  Kitchen piled high with dishes, mountains of kid shoes and dirty socks by the door, toys scattered around the living room, how can I begin to "Be Still" and watch this video?  I don't have time to Be Still!  There is way too much to do around here.  Be Still?  Who is she kidding?

But I continued to watch.  I continued to listen.  Forgetting for a moment all the tasks around me, Lisa talks about Mary and Martha.  Immediately, I am reminded to make myself sit and, not just listen to what this other mom (not so unlike me) has to say, but to just be.

This is what Lisa is sharing with us in her new series "Be Still" -- to just be in God's presence.  Once we allow ourselves to "be" at His feet, then we can discover the overwhelming peace Lisa describes.  And you know what?  God doesn't care at all about my messy house or chaos, He just wants to fill me with His peace in the midst of it all.

And it works!  I recently found myself in the middle of a serious situation.  Close to a panic, my breathing became irregular and, rather than "be still" at all, my hands began to shake.  The notion to be still seemed impossible.  Where was God in this situation?  How could He be present in the mess I was faced with?  Could God really be a part of other's evil pressed on my faith based life as a mom?

Want to know what happened?  In the midst of the turmoil, I heard God whisper to me "Excuse me, can I tell you something?".... just "be still... and know that I am God."

Lisa Chan's series "Be Still" is available here:
If you would like more info, let me know and I can forward you Lisa's bio and press info on "True Beauty:  Finding Your Identity in Jesus"
I hope you will explore her teachings.  The marketing folks said that they will provide a free copy for me to distribute to a reader.  So, let me know if you are interested in a comment and I will pass your request along.  It looks like such a cool series and may be a rewarding opportunity for moms, a group of friends, or your study group.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Surviving Tropical Storm ISAAC
[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]We're in survival mode here at the Hott House.  Yes.  Even for a storm unlikely to affect us here in the hills.  Images like this on tv can send Levi into hysterics.  (Btw, this is Tropical Storm Isaac's actual path... no where near us!)

The Hott brothers get so anxious about the least little change in the weather!  Do your children react this way?  Or, are mine the only ones having tummy aches every time the sun disappears behind a cloud or a tree begins to bend in the breeze??????

Sharing "Six R's to Surviving Storms" with you all today in my column.  Please pass along and let me know if you have any children secrets to storm survival.  And, remember to pray for those in Isaac's path.
love, a

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back-to-School Blues

No one seemed to be singing the blues at our house today!  It was, thankfully, a pretty smooth send-off.  How did it go for you?  The boys are sporting their new Nike sneakers.  Violet got up early to "wand" her hair.  Me?  Well, I'm watching anything but Adventure Time while doing laundry... "loads of fun"!  What about you?

Guess this mom is the only one with the Back-to-School Blues! See today's column "Hott Flashes" for more:

Friday, August 17, 2012

WSMS Students present: "Where is the Love?"

"Where is the Love?"

I think the 2011-12 6th grade class of Warm Springs Middle School found it!  I am really excited to share the work of film artist, Shamus Cleveland, as he shared with 30 students in an Art Integration's film and technology class in May 2012.  The video you will see is created by his students as they used the entire class of approximately 160+ students!

Thanks to a new program of the Morgan Arts Council in collaboration with Morgan County Schools, these students were able to express how "love" and tolerance is the answer to bully situations encountered by middle school students across our nation.  Art Integration, sponsored by the WV Commission on the Arts and the Eastern W. Va. Community Foundation, was able to teach basic film techniques to assist teachers communicating student values and individual worth (a WV Content Standard and Objective).

So, if you missed the premier at the Morgan County Fair, well, here it is!  So, sit back, relax, and enjoy WSMS collaborative presentation of "Where is the Love?"

And spread the word!  Share this link with your fellow classmates, friends, and families!
It's super cool... I promise.  Then, get ready for more fun creative classes from Art Integration.

You're gonna "love" it!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Love Thy Neighbor

Still having a hard time comprehending some recent happenings over here in the W. Va. hills!  Have you ever encountered anything like it?  Please see today's "Hott Flashes" on Moms of Faith here:
And... please share my prayer concern.  Thank you, dear God, for your love and protection.  Please help me to be an example of your kindness by showing love, not matter what.  Amen.

“... ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  
– Matthew 22:37-39

Friday, August 10, 2012

Explaining the Chick-fil-A Contraversy to a Child

"Excuse me, can I tell you something?"  The entire contraversy between Chick-fil-A and the LGBT community is making my head spin.  

Since our Hott family has been home on a “staycation” this summer, I have not missed much of the media hype, unfortunately, over Chick-fil-A’s support of the Biblical definition of marriage between man and woman.  Since I ended up avoiding the lines and bomb threat to our local Chick-fil-A on August 1st, Caity brought me my chicken and pickle sandwich later!

Yes,  you heard me.  We missed the lines on appreciation day, thankfully; but, our local restaurant in Martinsburg,WV, experienced a bomb threat.  This Chick-fil-A was shut down – all due to hatred.

Not only is my head spinning, but my heart is hurting even more over this craziness.  Can you just imagine what God must be thinking!?  A conflict of differing opinions; a disagreement between the views of an American corporation and those of more liberal philosophies; a media frenzy over Chick-fil-A’s Biblical foundations and the Lesiban, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual community.

This recently turned 47-year-old-grey-haired-Christian-hott-mama-of-four also has a heart for all people, regardless of their belief.  You see, although the Bible may define marriage one way; it also talks about choices and teaches us to “love one another” -- a perfect example of tolerance, accepting all people regardless of their differing beliefs.

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  
Matthew 22:37&39

...including LGBT's alike!  Sure, we can disagree about our beliefs; but love for my neighbor remains!

In fact, I encourage families to teach tolerance and diversity; and, I prefer this to be taught in a home without hatred!  Both are needed to achieve a peaceful world, right?  I don't agree with the school mandate requiring tolerance education because it will force these issues and raise questions long before truly necessary for children.  For many reasons, I believe this should come from parents.  (For more info, check out Focus on the Family's new website at

But here is what bothers me; here is what I find difficult to deal with:  How does a mom explain the Chick-fil-A controversy to children?  My kids only see that people are angry at Chick-fil-A!  You see, for a kid, a child, it really doesn’t matter what the argeument is all about.

Through the eyes of a 7 year old (or perhaps younger…I say this because my Levi is 7), one only sees that this fun restaurant with nice people and cool kid prizes is coming up everywhere when the radio or television is on.  For many, this Chick-fil-A with the goofy cows everywhere represents a safe place to go out with mom and dad where they hear that the food selections are healthier than others.  Let’s face it, Chick-fil-A is a family friendly environment to go out to eat.

Kinda like Disney World, right?  Family-friendly-fun!  Why not then, while we are at it, attack Disney World for promoting fairy tales that have male and female couples; kings and queens; Cinderella and her prince; Alladin and Jasmine; Nala and Mufasa; Lady and the Tramp; Snow White; Peter Pan and Tinkerbell; The Jungle Book; Sleeping Beauty; to Micky and Minnie….  So why Chick-fil-A?  Why now?  Someone please tell me…. Why?

Quite frankly, it is adults exacerbating a situation that force moms like me to have to explain all about tolerance and diversity long before I am ready to or even need to, for that matter.

For me, I would prefer to keep the fairy tale just a little longer please.  Wouldn't you?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Birthday Rings this picture probably needs a little explanation. LOL!  But I think you will find this an interesting.... no, I think you will think this a romantic story.  Let me explain:

Yesterday, August 4th, was  my 47th birthday.  Thank you all for the sweet wishes!  "Oh what a celebration" was had!  It began with blueberry pancakes, floating around the pool to the tunes of "Wicked" (Isaac temporarily moved to Brock's house), basketball in front of the garage, garden fresh tomatoes from brother-in-law Charlie, yummy cake from of Grandma (Mary McBee) from the new bakery downtown Berkeley Springs (try it out... it's across from the Ice House), a poem from Isaac, Captain America costume from Levi, and ended with a memorable family dinner at my favorite little French place in Winchester, VA, called La Nicoise Cafe!  Violet's surprise (I just know it is a wagon wheel) is arriving Monday!

The evening was topped off with a roaring rendition of "The Potter Puppet Pal's Mysterious Ticking Noise" in the back of the suburban... for 45 miles!  It was a loooong ride home!

So, what's with the "Birthday Rings"?  Well, a really special surprise for my birthday was a story revealed by my mom.  The freckly hand you see there is mine.  (Don't you just love my manicure!?)  This ring was a birthday gift from Caity.  I've always wanted an Irish cluddah ring.  Now I have one to match hers, Ashley's, and Aunt Tammy's.  Isn't it pretty!

Now, the top hand is my mom's.  (Her nails always look good!)  See the ruby ring?  I've known these hands all my life and never did I know that mom had a ruby ring!  Guess where she got it?  This precious "Birthday Ring" was a gift from Daddy (Bobbie McBee) on her 16th birthday.  He gave it to her when he took her to Lurray Caverns for her Sweet 16th Birthday surprise in a '52 Olds.  We got to hear all about some of Daddy's cars and how this one met an unfortunate underside semi truck when he fell asleep driving through town, among others!  Apparently, my grandmother (Edith Roysten Daniels) was not too happy the gesture.  "Grandmama" felt that it was wrong to receive such a gift from a b.o.y.!  She even insisted that mom return the ring to daddy because it wasn't "proper"!  Ooooooooo...

Mom kept it.

"Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies."  
Proverbs 31:10

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hott Love at Lurray Caverns!

Here we are for a summertime Hott adventure!  We drove down to Lurray Caverns, VA, for a tour with the kids yesterday.  After lunch with government spies at Brown's Chinese Restaurant, we got our tickets and waited in line to proceed 150 feet below the surface of the earth.

Waiting for us were some spectacular sights.  I think the coolest thing for me was the sounds and music of the "pipes".  Kids also climbed this giant ropes course, got lost in a garden maze, and panned for gold in the village.

It was a blessed day, for sure!  Here's something even cooler.  56 years earlier, PapPap (Bobbie McBee) took Grandma (Mary) to Lurray for her Sweet 16th Birthday!

Today, I am 47!

"Heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the LORD your God, 
the earth with all that is in it." Dueteronomy 10:14

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Who's Going to Chick Fil-A Today?

Chick Fil-A Appreciation DayI am!  Are you?

And, I'm ordering a chicken pickle sandwich!  This soon to be 47-year-old-grey-haired-Hott-mama-of-four has many fond memories treating our family to a meal at Chick-fil-A; including weekly stops on the way to track meets, regular visits after toddler gymnastics, to even breaking the miraculous news that I was pregnant to my husband in Chick-fil-A's Hagerstown, MD, location!

"God created marriage.  No government subcommittee envisioned it.  No social organization developed it.  Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God" - Max Lucado

Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Stranger in the Supermarket

Do you ever get to grocery shop alone or are your children always along for the fun?  See what happened to me in Food Lion the other day when I met a "stranger" in Aisle 4!

Link to today's column "Hott Flashes" on Moms of Faith is here:

Please link to your friends!  Thanks for listening to "my story"...
love, a

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Colorado Midnight Movie Massacre

Writing this week's column for Hott Flashes had my heart all in knots over the awful shooting in Colorado at the  midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.  Here is the link to the post:

This picture of Jesus is included in the book I mention, Heaven is for Real.  It was created by a child named Akiane who also experienced seeing Jesus similar to how Colten did in the book.

Imagining that those at the movies saw Him too.

Please share and pray with me for understanding.  If you haven't already, read Heaven is for Real... "You're gonna like it!"

Because, you know, Heaven IS for real.

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  2 Peter 3:13 KJV

Colorado Midnight Movie Massacre

           The Bright Knight                                            VS                                The Dark Knight... Rising

I had just completed reading Heaven is for Real the morning the midnight movie massacre at the Batman's premiere of The Dark Knight Rises hit the news.  I can't stop thinking of Jesus meeting those 12 when they entered heaven, how the Heavenly Father mourns over the suffering this has caused, and how God's heart must ache even for James Holmes, the murderer.

Above is a picture of Jesus drawn by a young child named Akiane who experienced seeing Him similar to that of Colten in Heaven is for Real. Can you just imagine Him among the turmoil that night?  I heard that a three month old baby was in the theater too.  I bet Jesus held that baby the entire time.

Please share...  and pray for understanding.  If you haven't already, read Heaven is for Real!  "You're gonna like it!"

love, a

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark kNight

Dear God, 
Please comfort those directly touched by the massacre which occurred at the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight" out in Colorado.  As a mom all the way across the country, I have a hard time understanding why things like this happen.  Please provide your light around this country as it struggles to heal from the "dark night", another gun tragedy.  Amen

“For You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop; by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (2 Samuel 22:29)

Just posting a prayer for those killed and injured at the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises". Please add your prayers too if you wish.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Food Drive and Energy Express

Sharing Mercy in Morgan County, WV

For this morning's church service, I had two very important, super cool, totally awesome announcements to share with the church community.  And I blew it!

So, here I go, needing to send out an apology to the folks at FUMC for arriving late for service...again!  Seriously, we Hott's are attempting to join the 8:15 a.m. service celebration and bring our family to a unique worship event.  Sadly to admit, I got "caught" sneaking up the back steps to the balcony, late,...again!  (quack, quack,...LOL! - inside joke)  Again, I need to ask forgiveness for being an interruption as we were earlier this month (see tomorrow's column: "Hott Flashes" for more about that.)

As I waddled in with my crew, I realized that I had missed an important opportunity to share a chance for us to show mercy with other folks in Morgan County, WV.  You see, a teacher had contacted me earlier in the week and asked me to make an announcement to our congregation.  Here is what's going on:

Tomorrow, June 16th, there will be a Canned Food Drive to benefit the Backpack Program.  The Energy Express Team will be collecting food outside of the Family Dollar next to Food Lion.  Matt Tolliver, Warm Springs Intermediate School Guidance Counselor and Director for Energy Express, is coordinating this effort to generate food supply for the Backpack Program.  Have you heard of it?  Morgan County has approximately 200 identified students county wide that are at risk.  These kids have little source of food when they are at home.  The Backpack Program is an effort to provide kids with easy to prepare meals when they are away from school and over the weekend.  This Food Drive will help the supply throughout the  year.

In case you were wondering, hunger is real in W.Va.!  As a substitute teacher part-time in our county, I have seen first hand the effect this program has had on students.  At the end of a Friday, I saw a backpack full of food go home with a six year old.  With huge eyes, the student said to me, "Yeah!  Mrs. Hott!  Now I won't be hungry this weekend!"  A piece of my heart cracked as I felt like I was in one of those Compassion International videos.  Believe it or not, there are kids in our county that go home from school with nothing to eat until the following day, or over a weekend, when they return to school.  Hungry kids produce poor learners and can, quite possibly, be a source of behavior issues in the classroom.  Feed the tummy and we also feed the minds too!  Believe me, these hungry students could be sitting right across from your child at school.

While I have your attention, Matt also needs volunteers to assist students with reading at Energy Express.  You are welcome to drop by Warm Springs Middle School anytime, Monday - Friday, until July 26th.  If Matt has enough volunteers to read, he is hoping to also introduce a writing program.  Both reading and writing have been identified a critical areas of need among elementary age students in Morgan County.

Want to share some mercy in Morgan County tomorrow?  Just as God has shown us mercy, let us also share the same in our community.  Thanks Pastor Rob, for helping me understand more about mercy this morning.  And if you find yourself late, like I usually am, I am sure that Matt can accept food donations at Energy Express (WSMS), or at several of the drop off locations, including First Church.

"Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."  Luke 6:36

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

God Bless the USA

Just sharing a Happy July 4th!  This song always gives me the

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

153 Say What?

Find out what "153" means on this week's column Hott Flashes!  It could have been the number of lightening flashes from Friday's crazy storm; but it's not.  153 actually has nothing at all to do with the storm. LOL!
Praying you all are safe and find your blessing from "153,"  -- that "no matter where you are, trust God."

Especially in the middle of a major storm.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

God's VBS Story is Published in New Magazine! Mitera: Ministry In Motherhood

Here in the heat of another summertime VBS, or Vacation Bible School, at First United Methodist Church in Berkeley Springs, you'll find me once again - the "drama mama" - hanging out with the kids in the "Wild Blue Bible Adventure" room.  It is here where I have the honor to return and share God's message with children.

Sometimes, I just have to pinch myself at the complete coolness of God's work.  I'm sure God must be pleased with himself at something so totally awesome that happend this week.  You see, God picked this week to have one of my stories published!  Why is this awesome?  Well, it is because an editor found merit in a message I recently shared about my mom experience with VBS, and with special permission from the family, we were allowed to publish this to a much broader audience than I can ever imagine.

And get this:  Just this morning, another VBS volunteer said the sweetest  compliments about these stories I share with you.  She asked me if I was an English or Journalism Major... just how I come up with writing down the every day experiences about raising a Christian family.

Well, all I could tell her was that "It's not me.  It's all about Him."

So, please click the linky thing below and it will take you to a new exciting publication where you will find a God story written by this lil-46-year-old-grey-haired-mama-of-four.  The story is featured on page 7.  For those local folks, you'll remember this like it was yesterday.  Actually, it is nearly exactly one year ago the day this magazine was published.

God is so cool, isn't He?

Click below:
Mitera: Ministry In Motherhood

Monday, June 18, 2012

"What If When We Get to Heaven Everything Is Made of Lego's?...Help Me Answer the Hard Questions!
"Mom, Will There Be Lego's in Heaven?"
After searching the Bible from Genesis to Revelations, I could not find one single reference to the favorite pastime of my 7 and 8 year old boys:  Lego's.  Not a notion anywhere.  Listen in to our conversation in this week's "Hott Flashes" post, "What if when we get to heaven, everything is made of Lego's!"
Any suggestions to answer some of these questions?  Let me know.  This mom sure could use some help.

love, a