Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sixteen Candles...

Today is hottie husband's birthday!

The big 3-5! (yes, I am a year older than hottie husband, but certainly not wiser)

In honor of hottie husband's birthday...

35 Facts About Hottie Husband That I LOVE:

1.  Patience (of course this had to be the first on my list...seriously, he's stayed married to me for 11 years now).

2.  Mark can "smile" with his eyes...I love that. 

3.  Incredible cook (when he follows a recipe).

4.  Absolutely trust worthy.  Mark is the BEST at keeping kills me!

5.  Mark has a sense of peace about him that I have never known.  It's truly remarkable.

6.  His strong relationship and his faith in Christ.

7.  I love to "watch" Mark be a daddy, he is a fabulous father!

8.  Mark is extremely strong, both physically and emotionally.

9.  I love Mark's BIG eyes...he always looks surprised  :)

10.'s like nothing I've ever known...and Lord knows Mark has forgiven me many, many times.

11.  Not only is Mark witty, but he is often HI-LARIOUS!

12.  I love how Mark always lets me shine.

13.  Mark is FULL of knowledge...ALL sorts of miscellaneous facts.  If we are ever chosen for a game show, we will totally win!

14.  When Mark reads a book he rubs his feet's how I know he is totally at peace.

15.  I love our inside jokes, only we know the meaning!

16.  Mark is often's really cute.

17.  His strong, hard hands that fold ever so sweetly over mine.

18.  When he thinks nobody is looking, Mark will "dance" to the's worthy of "America's Funniest Home Video's"

19.  Mark can smoke out-of-this-world ribs!

20.  Mark can quote just about every movie ever made.

21.  Honesty.  Hands down, Mark is the most honest man I know (other than my step-dad).

22.  When we treat ourselves to ice cream, Mark always chooses the same flavor...cookie dough.

23.  Mark has never been embarrassed to go to the store to pick up "girly" things.

24.  Mark is very sensitive to others needs.

25.  I am so proud of his willingness and passion to serve in the National Guard.

26.  Mark is a very devoted, hard working employee.  He gives his very best, every single day.

27.  The past 13 years I have watched Mark grow in his personality.  Where he once was "shy", he has really opened up.

28.  I melt at the sight of Mark's smile.

29.  Mark can out burp anyone I know (except he will never out burp my best friend, Amy...she is the champ!)

30.  I love that Mark can whistle, but he can't carry a tune!

31.  Mark has always encouraged me in everything I do. 

32.  When Mark proposed to me he got down on one knee and he lost his balance...he was SO nervous and SO cute!

33.  I love that Mark would rather watch Discovery Channel or The History Channel over any sports game!

34.  Mark has an adventurous spirit...but you would never know it!

35.  I love my husband with all of my heart and soul...and I love that he is ALL MINE!

Happy Birthday hottie husband!  I love growing old with you and look forward to many, many more years of birthday celebrations!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bloggers Unite!

It started last year (actually it was over a year ago, right Patti?) when a fellow blogger and follower of my blog reached out to me and we met for lunch! 

...what an awesome experience to meet a new friend!

Patti blogs over at Osage Bluff Quilter, and as it turns out, Patty's husband went to school with my father...

...."It's A Small World, After All!"

A few weeks ago as I was catching up on Patti's posts, I discovered that Patti met up with another fellow blogger, thus adding another friend in her life!


I had an idea!

So, I quickly emailed Patti, shared my idea with her and she agreed, it is indeed a grand idea!  ;)

Bloggers Unite!

....that's right!  I want to meet person!

I read all about your daily life, I *giggle* at the silliness of your kids, I sigh in amazement at the awesomeness of your hottie husbands...

....let's face it, we have an intimate's high time we meet face to face!

I realize that not all of you will be able to make this fun filled friend adventure, perhaps you live in another state...I will post pictures for you  :)

But for those of you who live nearby....can you come out to play?

I think it would be great for all of us to meet for lunch!

What do you think?!! 

Here is how I plan to execute this bloggers bash:

Leave me a comment to let me know that you are interested!  Include a day of the week that would work best for you.  Once I have every one's thoughts together I will post a day, time and place and then we can all "sharpie" it onto our calendars!

I'm SO excited to meet you! 

*Please feel free to leave me a comment if you think this idea is absolutely insane and you think I'm a lunatic and therefore will not be choosing to participate in my craziness.

**If you do not have a blog, but you follow my blog and you would like to be included in all the fun and meet new friends, come along!  But be warned...we will lure you into the blogging world, it's that contagious! 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Check With Pharmacy...

So my youngest had a hermit crab.

Seriously, who started this as a "family pet" phenomenon?  Can someone tell me what in the world a hermit crab does?  It doesn't cuddle.  It doesn't fetch.  It doesn't purr.  It doesn't roll over and let you rub it's belly....

So what's the big deal?

I don't get it.

...but I digress...

"Mr. Crabs" (come on, did you honestly think we would have a hermit crab and NOT name it after something Sponge Bob Square Pants?) plastic cage was accidentally knocked off of Benjamin's dresser and it cracked...leaving Mr. Crabs free to roam the home.... way, not happening.

So....I immediately jumped into the trailblazer and drove to Target (ummm, hello???  Wouldn't Target be the first place you would think of for pet supplies?)

After aimlessly wandering the entire (said sarcastically) two isles devoted to household pets I decided to approach the sixteen year old Target employee that was marking down expired pet food (nice).

Me:  "Excuse me.  Can you help me?"

Target Employee:  "Sure.  What can I help you find?"

Me:  "Can you tell me where you keep the stuff for crabs?"


Target Employee (face as red as his Target polo):  "Ummmmm, you might check with the pharmacy...."


Me:  "Yeah, not those kind of crabs buddy."
(then I waved my wedding ring in his face, just for extra measure)


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Everyone Needs A...

I haven't written any posts about our church sermons in several months...not because I haven't grown from the sermons, that certainly isn't the case, but because I've had other life events that have taken priority on my blog.

...however, today I want to share with you the most awesome (okay, so I say that about every sermon Pastor Mark preaches) series of sermons that our church is currently receiving...

The series is titled "Everyone Needs A..." and each Sunday Pastor Mark focuses on a different individual from the Bible...a Biblical "character" that everyone in today's society could truly grow and experience real life change from.

For example...(I do want to add that these sermons have been truly educational for me as well as inspirational.  I am very new to the Christian walk...a "baby" Christian, so to speak, and so each sermon has introduced me to a new Biblical character!  So fun!)

Week One:  "Everyone Needs A Nathan"  Okay, so my first thought was, Nathan?  Whose Nathan?  Is there a Nathan in the Bible?  Answer, yes!  Who would have thought?!  (well, besides those that have been Christians all their lives)...  So, Nathan...he's known as the man who rebuked a king.  Nathan was a prophet in King David's royal court and he basically was the one who pulled King David aside and said, " are sinning, big time.  You need to step back onto the right path, the path of God."

....Get it?  Everyone Needs A Nathan...someone that you trust to let you know when you are traveling down the wrong path...

Who is your Nathan?  I think I have a couple of Nathan's...Lord knows I need a couple of Nathan's (I'm FAR from perfect...shocker, right?) 
Week Two:  "Everyone Needs A Jonathan" Jonathan is a great example of a "true" friend.  Jonathan's father (Saul) wanted Jonathan to kill David...who by the way was Jonathan's friend.  Instead, Jonathan protected David.  A true friend, indeed.  A true friend is someone who is a peacemaker, an instrument in the hand of God, someone to protect you and defend you.  Everyone Needs A Jonathan....Pastor Mark referred to this as a TFF (not to be confused by a BFF) a True Friend Forever!

Who are your TFF's?

Week Three:  "Everyone Needs A Jethro" (no, I'm not talking about the hillbilly kind...although I'm sure we all have a few of those!)  ;)  Jethro was the father in law of Moses.  God used Jethro in a very significant way, by giving good, practical advice.  Often we become so stubborn and proud in our own knowledge that we close the doors to God’s leading in our lives, Jethro's example is that he was not too proud to acknowledge God’s sovereignty.  Jethro was a wise counselor...How do you react to wise counsel in your life?  Do you see it as something for your own benefit or challenge the counsel because you think you know better or don’t like the person that is giving the counsel?

.... The Bible teaches us to follow the wise counsel of our elders.  Everyone needs a Jethro.

Week Four:  "Everyone Needs A Timothy"  Timothy came from a mixed background - his father was a Greek and his mother was a Jewish believer.  Timothy's life has a lot to say to us about the importance of the church (especially mentors); and even the impact of potential weaknesses. We can all learn from his impressive example, and how God grew him in his ministry through Paul.  Paul invested deeply into Timothy's life, fostering his growth spiritually, helping him to live by God's Word.  In turn, Paul encouraged Timothy to invest into other's lives...passing along the knowledge of the Lord that he had received in his travels with Paul.
...Do you have a Timothy in your life? As I listened to this mornings sermon I thought about the "Timothy's" in my life...the people that have truly invested within me their knowledge of Christ.  The people that have encouraged me to walk in the Word of God...Everyone Needs A Timothy.





Do you have someone who challenges you? Someone who models godly character and discipline, and builds them into your life? Someone who lends a more mature perspective to your life? Someone who has earned your trust enough to probe the sensitive and hidden areas of your life? Someone who is committed to walking with you through the difficult times? A buddy with whom you can freely share the good, the bad, and the ugly? Someone who will tell it like it is when you don’t want to hear it? Someone into whose life you are currently investing?

This is a ten week study, we have six more "Everyone Needs A..." to go...

I can't WAIT to see who I "need" next week!  :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'll Pass...

Hottie Husband will celebrate his 35th birthday on the last day of June...

...earlier this afternoon I decided to google "birthday ideas for husbands" (I tried adding the word "hottie"...ummmm....yeah....not the sort of "gifts" I was looking for).

I found a link that offered two gift ideas from a wife to a husband, and BONUS...require very little money!

Here are the suggestions:

1.  Cook your husband a romantic dinner and eat by candlelight.  Oh, you mean I'm supposed to cook hottie husband dinner like I do every other night of the week, 365 days a year?  And what sort of "romantic" dinner can you cook on a tight budget?...Hamburger Helper isn't screaming "romance" to me.  By the way...dinner by candlelight just isn't a great idea in the Dudenhoeffer least not until we clean up from the fire we had last week via "warmed up" pizza box.  I'll pass on this idea.

2.  Give your husband a bath at the end of the evening.  Ummm, is this 1824?  Are you kidding me?  Should I use the "Batman" bubbles that I will have just used during the kids bath time?  And speaking of kids...I can only imagine how that would go over...(insert youngest child) "uhhhhhh, mom? dad? what's going on?"  AW-KWARD!  Pass!

Needless to say, I'm still searching for ideas... the meantime, there is an AWESOME bedroom set on sale at a local furniture store....I'm positive that hottie husband would LOVE to have a bedroom set for his 35th birthday!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day...

Jack (our 10 year old) was baptized yesterday! We are SO proud of him! It was a big day for Jack...his maw-maw and paw-paw, nana (poppo stayed home because he wasn't feeling well), aunt Corinn, uncle Kevin, aunt Shanna and cousins Brendan, Sophia, Henry, McKenna and Jamisen all came to the church service to be a part of his special day!

After church nana treated us to family style fried chicken at Nick's Homestead at the Jefferson City Airport....YUMMO!

Then it was nap time (for hottie hubby and me) and after nap time we went to hottie hubby's sister's new house to celebrate Father's Day with my father in law!  We had so much fun!  The kids played in the pool while the adults relaxed and visited, munching on some yummy snacks that my sister in law prepared...

My step-dad was ill we didn't have the opportunity to spend time with him on Father's Day.  I've written about him on this blog, he has MS.  The MS has really progressed quickly in my father's overall health...

My step-dad married my mother when I was nine years old...he took my younger brother and me under his wing, and then he and my mother blessed our family further with two girls (my younger sisters), Jordan and Brendan.

My dad loved (loves) all of us equally, my brother and I never felt like we were not his "real" children.  He cared for us, he taught us right from wrong, he instilled in us the importance of "giving back" to our community and helping those in need.  He was the sole provider of our family after my mother gave birth to my youngest sister who has special needs, yet never missed a ballgame, a piano recital, a formal dance or a school play.  Woven into his great sense of humor was a man of faith and persistance, teaching us to never give up on our dreams.

My dad is an honest and good man...I always thought he was a living honest lawyer...   ;)

He instilled stability in my life and Lord knows he has stood by me through every mistake I have ever made...often times pulling me out of the madness.

He is crazy about his grandchildren.  He's a baseball nut!  Hunting is his passion and his hot wings could win any county contest! 

When I think about my dad I have visions of Big Cedar Lodge vacations, denim overalls, ball caps, his Bible by the side of his bed with an "Upper Room" tucked neatly inside, and Sunday afternoon naps in the leather recliner....

.....someone once said that "father's are defined by how they love..."

Happy Father's Day Erwin...I have always felt very loved by you!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

All Part Of His Plan...

The past few weeks I've said this, over and over...

"Why did I have to get melanoma?  Why do I have to battle this?"

The past few weeks I've heard this, over and over...

"God has a plan..."

This morning, I witnessed God's plan.

Both my husband and I excepted Christ in our hearts a little over a year ago.  We were baptized together in May of 2009.  The following December, our oldest son Hayden made the same decision and he too was baptized.  Just a few short months after Hayden's decision, our youngest son Benjamin turned his life over to Christ and was baptized....

...and then there is our middle son, Jack.  Jack marches to the beat of his own drum...he's on what we like to call "Jack" time.  We had asked Jack several times if he was ready to make the decision to accept Christ into his heart and be baptized...he said he wasn't quite ready.  Of course he believes in God, he knows God is the only way to heaven, but Jack wanted to make sure he knew exactly what it meant to be "saved" and the significance of the baptism.

So we have waited...patiently, I might add...because those that know me, know that I am an "instant gratification" kinda gal.  But I never, we never, pushed Jack into the decision...we wanted him to make it all on his own...

...We continue our journey through life...and BAM!  I am diagnosed with skin cancer for the seventh time!  This time it's not just "skin cancer", as it has been before...this time it was melanoma...much more serious.  There would be surgery to cut out the melanoma, there would be high concentration of radiation to the areas, there would be much needed rest and recuperation...

...and then God stepped in. 

...Several families within our church got together and created a "scholarship" for our boys to attend a Bible camp during the week of my radiation.  A camp where my boys, who have never been away from their parents for more than a night or two, would stay for six nights and seven days.  A camp where they would experience God for themselves, not just because mommy and daddy believe.

I rode down to the camp with my bestie Linda (Caraline's mother) and we unpacked the boys in their assigned cabin, put together their bedding for the week and drove away...admittedly I was hesitant to leave them...this wasn't a new experience just for the boys, but a new experience for their mama as well.  I worried about all the things any mother would worry about...

...will they make friends?, will they be scared?, will they sleep well?, will they shower and wear clean underwear? (okay, maybe that's just the OCD in me...but it was a true fear).

...I didn't hear from my boys all week.  I prayed they would be having a great time!

Yesterday Linda picked my boys up from camp and brought them home to me.  Two little tan boys emerged from Linda's car, wearing the same clothes we dropped them off in (I now know that they wore the same outfits the majority of the time and only showered twice all week!  Eeek!) and ran up to me to give me hugs and kisses...

...and then Linda said, "Jack, tell your mom what happened at camp."

"I was saved.  I accepted Jesus into my heart!"  Jack smiled.

I can't describe to you the joy that my heart felt.  This was huge!  This was Jack's timing...but it was God's timing too...

...and this morning, after the sermon, my little Jack went before the church and shared with our pastor his decision.  And next week Jack will be baptized.

...and now all the Dudenhoeffer's are walking the faith journey together.

....Do you see what I see?

...I was diagnosed with melanoma.

...several families from our church step forward and send our boys to Bible camp to help me through my treatments...

...Jack experiences God on his own...

...Jack is saved.

I can't help but be a little bit thankful for my diagnoses...

....It's all part of His plan.

Jack (black shirt) and Benjamin (gray shirt) with a friend they made at camp!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Caraline. Take 3...

Remember my "little" bestie Caraline?

...she's my burst of sunshine!  Honestly, I can be in the worst mood or feel terribly ill, and Caraline can make all the ugliness go away!

The past two days have been awful for me.  AWFUL.  Radiation sucks!  Not that anyone said it would be all rainbows and lollipops...

...I have felt lethargic and icky for the past 48 hours.  I've cried until I have no more tears left. 

Just when I think I can't take anymore...

...the mailman brings a letter from Caraline, who is away at camp with my boys.                            

Dear Betsy,

My mom said if I'm not nice to your boys this week, she will kill me. So, I'm being nice. Wink. Wink. I hope all your stuff at the hospitile is going okay. If it's not, and you die, can I have all the stuff in your office and your fake nose? Can't wait to see you when I get back!


I love the honesty of a nine year old!  Who wouldn't feel better after a letter like that?  :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Warning: Do NOT Put Cardboard Box In Oven...


In my defense, there was no warning on the side of the Domino's Pizza box.

But like my dad said, "there isn't a warning on the newspaper that says 'do not place in hot oven' either, but we know not to place the newspaper in the oven, right?"


Here's how it all went down (in flames)...

Last night I was hungry.  Hottie husband was away with the National Guard, the boys are at camp for the week, so it was just me...all alone...and hungry.

I remembered there was left over pizza in the refrigerator. 

I turned the oven on preheat to 400 degrees.  I poured myself a Diet Dr. Pepper and I waited for the oven to heat up...

...(here is where I'm gonna pull the cancer card, for sympathy)... was my first day of radiation...I was tired.  I was weak.  I started to feel ill... the oven reached it's 400 degrees and I placed the pizza on the bottom rack...

...still in the box.

Then I went into the family room and sat down on the couch for just a moment....just long enough to shake some of the ickiness I was feeling...

...approximately 15 minutes later I awoke to the ear piercing sound of our fire alarm...

"! Beep Beep Beep! Beep Beep Beep!"

I opened my eyes and all I could see was smoke...


I jumped up and ran towards the kitchen...just as I turned the corner I saw the flames shooting out of the oven!!

I ran over to the oven and opened the door....flames began licking my ceiling....they were GROWING!!

I grabbed the kitchen towel and began to swat at the fire...

...(because in my head swatting at a fire would solve the problem)

As soon as the towel touched the flames, it too caught fire and I threw it to the ground... the floor was on fire.

So I did what any normal, calm, grown woman would do...

....I called my mother.

Yes.  I called my mother.  NOT the fire department.  My mother.

Brrrrrring.  Brrrrrring.

Mom:  "Hello?"








So...I dialed the phone...

Brrrring.  Brrrrring.

Hottie Husband:  "Hello?"




Mom (storming through side entrance of my home):  "OMGosh!!!  BETSY!!!!  DID YOU CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT?!?!?!?!?  WHERE ARE THEY?!?!?!?!?"



Me (dialing 911): "MOM?!?!?!  WHERE ARE YOU GOING?"


Moral of this story:

Next time order from Pizza Hut.  They have non-burnable boxes.

*As a side note, my mother really didn't leave me.  She was a real trooper...she even whipped me up fresh pasta with cream sauce her kitchen (because mine is unusable now)!

Monday, June 7, 2010


I'm unveiling my true self...

I have loved everyone's prayers and encouragement...

...I have needed everyone's prayers and encouragement. 

So many of my friends and family have shared with me what an inspiration I have been...

..."always so upbeat and positive"

               ...."always a smile"

"you've been so strong!"

...the truth is,

I. feel. weak.

Of course I'm "upbeat", "smiling", "positive" and "strong" out there...'s what people who know me expect me to be.

But in here...

...inside my home...behind closed doors...

I cry.  I bargain with God.  I scream "it's not fair!"  I feel numb.  I get angry.

...But I believe in God's plan enough to know that while I am hurting, I am also healing...

     in two very powerful ways...


            ...and spiritually.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Masked Panties...

A girlfriend of mine bought me a gift certificate to a local tanning salon for three spray tan sessions!  What a FABULOUS idea, right?  She knows that I feel better about myself when I am tan, and she also knows that having skin cancer seven times, currently battling melanoma, I am under strict orders to stay away from tanning beds...

Last week I called the tanning salon to set up my first spray tan session.  I was given instructions to shower before hand, shave all the unwanted hair, and exfoliate my body.  Do not apply any lotions or sprays, wear old clothing and bring something to pull my hair back off of my face.

I have never been to this particular tanning salon, so all of this was very new to me.  I was already feeling a bit uncomfortable about having to stand in the nude while the tanning technician spray "paints" my body, so I felt really uneasy when I walked into the booth and the lady asked me to undress saying, "if you would like to wear panties you may do so."  Duh, of course I would like to wear panties...I just didn't realize she meant my own...

let me explain.

The tanning technician wears a surgical mask while she spray "paints"...that mask was laying on a chair inside the booth.

Do you see where this is going?


I began to undress, taking off ALL my clothing and neatly folding it over the chair and I picked up the mask... (okay, I guess I'm going to have to spell this out to you...I thought the mask was the "panties" the technician was referring to when she said "if you would like to wear panties you may do so")....

and I put the mask on.

Down there.

And then the tanning technician walked in.... was right about that time that I realized the mask wasn't for me (you should have seen the look on her face)!

To make a long story short, I excused myself and quickly redressed.  I was too humiliated to stay.

No spray tan for me...

And no offense to my dear friend that gave me the gift certificate, but I totally re-gifted it to another friend.  I won't be going to that tanning salon.  Ever. Again.

And as a side note, it took me a good ten minutes to figure out how in the world to put on that mask...think about it...the "leg holes" are on the felt really uncomfortable and I kept thinking, "stupid skinny girls!"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Isaiah 41:13

I surrender.

I surrender my life story to God.

I reflect back on the past few weeks...

...I reflect back on the past few years...

...and I surrender my life story to God.

I have witnessed God's work in trying times...and only recently did I realize that indeed, it is God's work.

I have been encouraged more and more to recognize God's limitless creativity...

...A friend offers a verse, Isaiah 41:13

"For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,
Do not fear; I will help you."

Yesterday morning I opened my Bible along with my daily devotional...

...Daily Devotional:  Isaiah 41:13.

...I whisper to myself, "that's kind of cool. Today's daily devotional is Isaiah 41:13, the same verse that my friend offered just a few days ago."

...Coincidence, I thought....

Today.  I sat next to an elderly woman in the massage chair of a local salon, relaxed and clearing my head while I received a pedicure...

Woman:  "Excuse me, you look familiar, do I know you?"

Me:  "I don't think so."

Woman:  "Hmmmm. It must just be your friendly face."

Me:  "Thank you."

Woman:  "Special event?"

Me:  "Excuse me?"

Woman:  "Are you having a pedicure for a special event?"

Me:  "Oh, no...just because."  pause  "well, actually, I'm treating myself.
I've had quite the drama these past few weeks with my family, and
I was diagnosed with Melanoma....I'll be okay, but melanoma, none the less"

Woman:  "I'm sorry.  Are you doing okay?"

Me:  "Sure.  I'll be fine."

Woman:  "Do you have a Bible?"

Me:  "I do."

Woman:  "I would encourage you to read Isaiah 41:13."



That's God.