Saturday, December 17, 2011

Update on Ben

Many of you helped contribute to Ben’s basket a few weeks ago.  Here is my sister-in-law, Shelley, putting it all together. 

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I received many, many contributions and I know a lot of you have been praying for him.  Ben’s mom, Amanda, wanted to say a few words:

Hello Everyone!

I asked Jodi if I could please post to her blog a THANK YOU from our family here in Ohio!

A special thank-you to Jodi & Ryan, Olivia, Bill & Mary, Stacie, Amanda, Neva, Shelley & Don, Izzy, Kerry, Pam, Don & Pat, Kris & Kim, Alex, Katie, Aidan, Kaleb, and all of you who prayed for our family!

It's been 6 weeks since Ben's diagnoses of Retinoblastoma, the eye cancer that caused him to lose his eye. But, as you all know, the cancer was miraculously contained to the eye, and no chemo was required! Praise the Lord! He is doing fabulous and gets his eye this Thursday :) Right before Christmas!

I want to thank-you all from the bottom of our hearts. First and foremost for your prayers. Little B was being prayed for all over the country, and by so many people who had never even met him! Friends like Jodi, that felt led to tell people to pray for us, played a huge part in Ben's healing. I have to say.. I was overwhelmed with how fast everything was happening, but even more overwhelmed (in a good way) at how many people cared for us.. And gave us stuff!

When the package you all put together (and so beautifully I might add)  arrived, it literally left me speechless in the middle of my living room floor. First of all, the BOX itself looked like a box for a refrigerator! Haha. We had received tons of flowers and things, but when the doorbell rang for UPS, and I looked out and saw the gigantic box.. I said outloud to myself, "Oh my gosh! What in the world did I order?!" I knew I was lacking sleep, but surely I would've remembered ordering such a large item! Lol :) Then, when I went to the porch, I saw it was from "JODI GLUNT".. And my FIRST thought was... "Oh my gosh! Is she IN the box?! She's small! Maybe she flew here, had Ryan carry her to the door like a package, and ring the doorbell and run!" I mean, when she surprised me at my birthday I couldn't have been more shocked! So, I have to say, until the box was completely opened, I wasn't convinced it wasn't her! Haha.

Anyways! Wow ;)

I was actually alone when the box came.. Which, is usually unheard of. The two little ones were asleep, Rodney was at work, and Jake was playing by himself in the basement. I started taking the tape off, and as I started to dig through the 100,000 packing peanuts (haha) I thought... "where in the world did she order this from?!"

I pulled it out, and immediately called my mom at work. I told her what just happened, and I said, "Mom, you have got to come here after work, I wanna open this so bad but I want you to see it first!" I still thought it was ordered! So, to see all the special things inside I just couldn't wait to see where in the world she ordered such a perfect gift of so many meaningful things!

Then we opened it. I was blown away. Literally. The card with everyone's name on it was one of the best parts.. And that was just the card! Something about seeing all the written names of people I've never met, on a card to me, just humbled me. Just replaying it in my mine makes me sigh. It was literally a "turning point" in Ben's journey that hit me in that moment. All you guys, that I've never met (but feel like I totally know through Jodi's blog and your own) took time out of your life to donate something towards a package for my children and myself. It was incredible how much stuff was in it! The bible verses on sticks were a great touch too. They are all on my fridge now..The boys all loved everything! I personally liked the Kansas teddy bear :) Ben loved the firetruck! We used the Pizza Hut gift cards for Ben's birthday party.  The books, the DVDs, the Elmo, buzz, puzzles, books, etc. Everything was just so perfect. Oh, and the wagon it all was packed in. That's one of the boys favorites...

Thank you Shelley for putting it all together so pretty! It looked so professional! You did a great job.

Thank you all again for your outpouring of love and kindness to someone you've never met. I can't wait to see how God uses this experience to touch lives. I pray Ben will have an awesome testimony to share one day, and hopefully be able to help others.

Everyone have a wonderful Christmas! Sorry this is long overdue... But all you've done will not be forgotten.

With love,

Rodney, Amanda,

Jacob, Nathan, and Ben Rust

Friday, December 16, 2011

We Have A Winner

The winner of the Psalty giveaway (chosen randomly by Olivia) is:


Congrats Neva!  Please email me with the cd that you have selected by tomorrow at noon.  Thanks to all for entering!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ho! Ho! Ho!

We took Olivia to a special Santa Jump tonight at Pump It Up.  Not only did she have a total blast playing with her cousin, Izzy, but she got to see Santa again!  And after recently receiving a video message from Santa himself, she is all about the man in the red suit!

You can request a video message for your children here:

You should have seen her face light up as she rounded the corner and saw Santa!  Pure, complete, utter delight! 


Here she is telling Santa about how she really wants a Squinkie Zoo.


What a magical moment!  Thanks Santa!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Craft Day

I’ve been sick for the past couple of days and, well, I haven’t been too much fun.  I’m now on an antibiotic and feeling a bit better today, so we decided to do some crafts.  First, we made a Rudolph.  We decorated him a bit more after I took this picture.

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Then, we made a Christmas tree.  I glued some craft sticks together and Olivia painted them green.

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After the paint dried, Olivia decorated her tree with stickers.  The only appropriately sized stickers we had were letters, Hello Kitty and hearts, so. . .

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And on an interesting note. . .don’t let paint dry on the kitchen table if you have cats that will decide to jump on table and wrestle.  They WILL get their tails covered in wet paint.  However, washable paint does come off tails pretty easily. . .just so you know.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It’s A Give Away!!

As you may know, the Kids Praise Albums were my very favorite growing up.  I feel more than blessed that Olivia now listens to them and loves them just as I did.  She goes to bed every night to Kids Praise 5, her very favorite.  Now, I want to share this love of ours with YOU!  Simply leave a comment as to why you would want to win one of these CDs.  Contest ends on 12-16-2011 at 9 am CST.  I will announce the winner and you have until noon CST on 12-17-2011 to tell me which CD you would like.  Valid on CDs up to $10.00.   Valid only to U.S. addresses, unfortunately.  I can’t guarantee that you’ll receive it by Christmas, but what a great way to ring in the New Year!  So, leave a comment, browse their store and hopefully you’ll receive a CD in the mail very soon!  Good Luck!

World’s Best Snickerdoodles

Okay, so here they are. . .my mom’s famous snickerdoodles.  I believe she got the recipe from her grandma and they are delicious.  I’m a sucker for anything with cinnamon in them.  I made them for Olivia’s preschool Christmas party on Wednesday.

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And, I added a hint of Christmas cheer (aka red and green sugar)

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1 c shortening

1 1/2 c sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 c flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt


1.  Mix together shortening, sugar and eggs.

2.  Sift together and stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

3.  Chill for 1 hour.

4.  Roll into small balls.

5.  Roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture: 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon.

6.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

7.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Enchilada Stuffed Shells

One of my favorite things that my husband cooks are his stuffed shells.  I found this shells recipe with a Mexican twist and thought I’d give it a try:

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Enchilada Stuffed Shells

They were very very good.  My husband didn’t LOVE them because they have refried beans in them and he doesn’t like refried beans.  Next time, I may make half of them with refried beans and half without, but I always follow the recipe exactly the first time I make something.  Olivia even ate these, my friends, and that is saying a lot!  Hope some of you can enjoy a few of the recipes I post.

There. . .I did something productive today with this horrible head cold.  Now, I’m seriously going back to bed. . .