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Monday, September 24, 2012

A week AFTER the fire....

Here we are, a little over a week after a fire destroyed our home.  It turns out my husband’s mini-refrigerator in his sports room (man cave) was credited with starting an electrical fire.  The firemen and/or insurance company made the decision to CONDEMN our home – so our home will be rebuilt.  Honestly, I haven’t been back inside our home.  It’s not that I’m fearful; I just don’t need to see it.  I know it was real and the damage was extensive.  The “stuff” can be replaced – the memories are in my heart.

The day after the fire was a Sunday – The Lord’s Day!  I KNEW I needed to attend Worship to thank God for our many blessings.  I was grateful to be alive and surrounded by all of my family members.  I have learned over the years (and the difficult times/events in my life) the easiest place for me to find healing is in HIS HOUSE (with HIS people).  I find the tears fall effortlessly.  It might be because I am surrounded by so many special brothers and sisters in Christ and I feel SO at home there.  Or it might be because He moves me when I am in His House.  Or it might be both!  I do know I feel extremely close to Him when I’m there and I can’t begin to explain the feeling.
I was moved to tears over and over by the generous gifts poured on our family by our Church family.  I was able to take the girls shopping that night and begin to purchase clothing for school (which meant the world to them)!

The next day was Monday, my 50th birthday.  It’s funny, turning 50 was a LOT easier than I thought it would be – your perspective changes when you could have easily NOT turned 50!  After spending the day making calls to turn off utilities and running replacement errands, I didn’t care if we celebrated my birthday.  My husband came home and surprised me by taking all of us out for a celebration dinner.  I had no idea my son Peter, his wife Chelsea, and my sweet granddaughter Harper, were coming to join us!  We enjoyed a WONDERFUL evening together and at the completion, a realization hit me.  My three children were all at my side – healthy, alive, and happy!  I was TRULY a blessed woman!  I snapped a photo to capture the moment (along with some other celebratory shots!).
As the week wore on, I began to search for a reason(s) I wasn’t devastated.  The one thing that continued to come to mind was when our Church building burned in 1999.  It was our youngest daughter, Kristina’s, very first Sunday in Church.  That night the steeple was struck by lightning and our Church burned for several hours.  The following Sunday morning, we met to Worship and thank the Lord at the Jewish Community Center located next door.  We sang about being on fire for God!  The way the leadership dealt with the situation in such a positive way affected my life more than I initially thought.  I think I’m able to be so positive because I’ve been there, done that.  As always, I’m grateful for my Church family!


The eve of my 50th Birthday! September 16, 2012

On this night, the eve of my 50th birthday, I am truly grateful for my many blessings.  As I ponder the events of the weekend, I am reminded of how easily and quickly everything can change.
I need to provide an update on God’s intervention over the entire weekend.

Saturday morning, both my daughters were  away.  They spent the night at friend’s houses.  Christopher was in Pittsburg, awaiting the BIG GAME (which turned out to be a disaster – not that he noticed or cared).  Our office has been working Saturdays for a few months, but due to my pending travel scheduled for today (and the closure of the HRBT) the decision was made for none of us to work.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been home either (which would have been devastating!  I can’t imagine how far the fire would have traveled in our neighborhood if 911 wasn’t called when they were; not to mention that Mandy would have been in the house too).

I awoke somewhat early – but had no intention of getting out of bed.  I was planning to enjoy several moments or hours of peace (and allow myself the opportunity to play with my new ipad – birthday gift from my husband).  Our bedroom is located directly above the room where the fire started. 
All of a sudden, I heard our Bassett Hound, Roxie, howling in the back yard.  She is normally very quiet, so I was extremely worried.  I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to check on her.  I opened the back door and was surprised to see an uninvited visitor; a raccoon.  I’m not sure if Roxie was scared of it or wanted to play with it – but I was worried she would get hurt.  I ran to the porch and called Roxie to come inside, then made the decision to start a load of wash.  Realizing the day was going to begin, whether I liked it or not, I planned to take Mandy on her routine morning walk.  I proceeded outside in my pajamas (as I do almost every single day) and was greeted by the most amazing, beautiful breeze.  I walked to the end of the street and returned to take my Zo Zos on her walk.  As I opened the front door, I saw smoke in the kitchen.  I walked in and looked down to my husband’s “man cave,” where I saw an orange glow.  Working for the Navy, our fire safety video prepared me to GET OUT FAST!  I knew I had no time to do anything, but stood at the bottom of the stairs knowing Zoe was in the upstairs bedroom.  I left her upstairs and ran next door to ask the neighbor to call 911 (one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my entire life!).  I remembered Roxie was on the porch, so I ran around back, pulled her off the couch, and put her in the back yard.

Honestly, I thought the firemen would be there quickly, extinguish the fire, and rescue our Zoe.  That didn’t happen.  Although they were quick, they were not quick enough.  I stood on the street and due to the black smoke, couldn’t see my home at all.  I was totally amazed that our Church family gathered with me, for HOURS, watching the 6 or 7 fire trucks, extending love as well as needed assistance.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

As of August 10, 2012....


Harper Noelle Kubesh
6 pounds 6 ounces
19 3/4" long
Born at 6:56 pm (I was at the hospital!)

The night she was born!

(my son!)

Our entire family is blessed beyond belief!  Thank you God!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I wanted to read this book for one main reason – to teach my children how to manage their finances.  When I was a child, my parents never taught me; but there were a lot of things parents didn’t teach their children that I am grateful we teach our children now! 

I remember getting myself into trouble financially because I didn’t want to tell my children I didn’t have the money to buy something.  Nowadays, I include them in the decision making.  I teach them that we have a certain amount to spend on “us” over a two week period (my pay days) and when we choose to spend it all in the first week, we don’t have anything left to spend in the second.  It’s truly amazing how they accept the idea and we move on to doing something that’s free.  We are learning to enjoy what we have together.

I love the way this book breaks down age appropriate teachings, but doesn’t forget to mention that every family is different (and every plan can be personalized to fit your individual family!).  I also like the step by step processes, lists, and question and answer sections.

I became a grandmother this past Friday evening (August 10th) and plan to pass this book on to my son and his wife.  To be honest, they could teach me a thing or two about finances – they are extremely disciplined and have already mentioned their intention of teaching their daughter how to be financially responsible.

About Mary Hunt

Hunt was not always a personal finance expert, but lived through financial crisis and her family emerged with a healthier view on the value of money and the danger of debt. It took them 13 years to pay off over $100,000 in unsecured debt, and Hunt is on a mission to help other families learn from her mistakes.

Hunt is an award-winning and bestselling author, syndicated columnist and sought-after motivational speaker, who created a global platform that is making strides to help men and women battle the epidemic impact of consumer debt. She is founder and publisher of the interactive website Debt-Proof Living, which features financial tools, resources and information for her online members. Her books have sold more than a million copies and her daily newspaper column is nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate, where it is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Everyday Cheapskate readers. Hunt speaks widely on personal finance and has appeared on shows such as Good Morning America, Oprah, Dr. Phil and Focus on the Family. She and her husband live in California.

For more information visit and follow Hunt on Twitter @debtproofliving.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books for everyday life.  For more information, visit

Endorsements for Mary Hunt

"Mary Hunt has been there and back, and it shows. Hunt's empathetic, real-world approach makes [her] advice somehow seem more palatable--and achievable."--Money magazine

"Nobody is more aware of the complex relationship between finances and relationships than Mary Hunt." --CBS Early Show

"Mary speaks from the depths of her own experience, a gotta-have-it habit that led her into six-figure debt. It took her 13 years to pull her family out, and the money-saving strategies she learned along the way became the basis for a career as one of America's top personal finance experts."--Woman's Day magazine

Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Established Footsteps VBS for Women 2012

I ALWAYS love Established Footstep's Vacation Bible School for women!  This was the 6th annual VBS, and I have been or served at every one of them!  My life has been changed by this ministry!  So many thoughts are going through my mind right now.  For those that know me, you KNOW I took notes!  Here are just a couple I jotted down (which may be paraphrases - I can't write fast enough)!!!!

We NEVER deserve faith, it is always given in grace.
We can't keep up with God's Holiness.
You sin because you're a sinner, not because you sin.
Definitions:  Justice - getting what you deserve.  Mercy - NOT getting what you deserve.  Grace - getting what we DON'T deserve (as in overflowing blessings!)
None of us are good enough to be our own God.
He is the light - He found you!  (revolutionary concept!)
If your relationship with God is broken and your relationship with you is broken, chances are ALL your relationships are broken.
GOD begins your faith.
The Apostle Paul was taught by God for thirteen years before he taught others.  (WOW!)
Paul's head knew the Messiah, his heart did not.
Genuine faith comes from the genuine Gospel.

NOTE:  Book to get and read - The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler (I'm listening to him on-line right now - I had forgotten how much I enjoyed his preaching!).

Thank you Sharon for your faithfulness and teaching!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

On Beth Moore's blog today, she encouraged everyone to learn this Psalm!  I'm on it!

Psalm 25

A psalm of David.

1 O Lord, I give my life to you.
2 I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
4 Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O Lord.
8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
forgive my many, many sins.
12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.
16 Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress.
17 My problems go from bad to worse.
Oh, save me from them all!
18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
Forgive all my sins.
19 See how many enemies I have
and how viciously they hate me!
20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.
22 O God, ransom Israel
from all its troubles.

My Sister's Birthday

Today would have been my sister's, Tamara Catherine Huntington Delp, 53rd birthday.  She left this world WAY too soon - a mere 36 years old (in 1996).  I think of her so often, and ponder WHY on earth she was chosen to enter her HOME of glory so early.  The only thing I can think is there is MUCH truth in the expression:  The Good Die Young.  Honestly, she was one of the kindest human being's I have ever met.  She was extremely considerate of others, befriended those others would not, never had a mean word to speak of others.... I could go on and on....

I have had a rather difficult weekend, reviewing my life and the ways I want/NEED to change.  There is one word that continues to RING in my ears:  DISCIPLINE!  I must choose discipline.  I have many things to change, but HE has shown me so much over the weekend.

Today, in my sister's honor, I will commit to making changes.  I will be posting more frequently; sharing some of the ways I need to change.  I pray you will endure the journey with me!!!!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Choose Joy Because Happiness Isn't Enough

What drew me to this book was the author’s name:  Kay Warren.  If you’re familiar with the book “The Purpose Driven Life,” then you know her husband, Pastor Rick Warren.  Our Church family studied The Purpose Driven Life together; many years ago.  Honestly, the book changed my life.  I have reread/studied the book numerous times over the last several years and I continue to be blessed/changed every time I reread it.
The second thing that drew me to this book was the title:  “Choose Joy because Happiness Isn’t Enough.”  How TRUE is that statement?  It seems to me the world continually looks for instant happiness, but Christians should be consumed with an insatiable desire for joy.  The author defines joy as, “deeper than happiness, lasts longer than excitement, and is more satisfying than pleasure and thrills.  Joy is richer.  Fuller.  And it’s far more accessible than you’ve thought.”  She goes on to say, “Joy comes from God…and it can be yours!  Today.” 
When I opened this beautiful book, the first thing I noticed was the first page of each chapter.  Each chapter page states the title of the chapter, a relevant Scripture reference, and a photo of a peaceful field.  I love God’s creation and marvel at peaceful fields, tranquil waters, and glorious mountain tops!  The next page shares a quote that applies to the chapter.  I LOVE to read Scriptures and quotes.  I read both every single day. 
Of the numerous things I loved in this book, I will focus my review on two of them: 
The first was how many times the New International Version of the Bible references joy, merriment, happiness, laughing and rejoicing - 545 times.  Compared to the number of mentions of sorrow, pain, tears and suffering – only 158 times.  The Bible is a BOOK OF JOY!
Second, this reminder:  “A fundamental part of expressing trust in God is learning how to gaze at Him and only glance at our problems.”  AMEN!  Doesn’t that say it all?  FOCUS ON HIM!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will keep it on my desk at work.  I want to open/reread/ponder/remind myself of His love and His joy!  This book is awesome!
You can sign up to receive 30 Days of “Choose Joy Devotions.”  Connect daily with Kay Warren through free Choose Joy video devotions.  For thirty days you’ll receive an email from Kay, sharing the concepts from Choose Joy in her warm, conversational style.  She’ll share not only her personal struggle to live a joyful life but also the truth that joy is available to anyone who seeks it.   Visit:
This fabulous book is available April 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.  Pick up a copy today!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

First Photos of my granddaughter (Sort of)

My FIRST GRANDCHILD....(and her parents!)
My son, Peter and his beautiful wife Chelsea! (and my granddaughter coming August 2012)
"Well, are you ready?" Ummmmmm, not sure......
I can't wait to meet OUR little Heaven on Earth!
Mom and wonderful friend, Heather, reading the numerous baby names on the wall of fame!
IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Susie Magazine

I added a link to my blog today - attempting to help Susie Magazine get on the shelves at WalMart! I have been a reciepent of this AMAZING magazine since the very first issue was created/mailed! EVERY TEENAGE GIRL should have one in her possession! To be honest, I'm excited because, if we can get this magazine on the shelves, I can purchase extra copies to hand out to all the girls I know!

PLEASE vote today! As a matter of fact, please vote EVERY DAY (I think you're only allowed one vote per day).

WE MUST SUCCEED in getting this magazine in EVERY WALMART across America!!!!!


I am SUPER excited to announce the anticipated birth of our granddaughter - August 2012! Pictures from the BIG NIGHT (the night of the ultrasound) coming soon!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012

Well, this is it! It's 2012 - the year I become a grandmother! My son and his wife are expecting a miracle on or about August 18th! I am so excited I can hardly stand it!

A little over a year ago, when Peter told me he found THE ONE (Chelsea) - the idea of becoming a grandmother did NOT appeal to me. It wasn't that I didn't want grandchildren, it was more than I didn't think I was ready to be a grandmother. I think I started preparing myself at that very moment - and today, I'm ecstatic!

I know Peter and Chelsea are going to be wonderful parents and I am extremely excited for them. Please join me in prayer this year for all three of them (Peter, Chelsea AND Baby Kubesh!).

I thought I would share the very first picture ever taken of our baby - who does he/she look like - mom or dad (OR GRANDMA)?!?!?!?!