Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have been nominated by Beth for an "I Love (Heart) Your Blog Award." Thanks! Due to this honor, I must answer the following questions with one word answers and nominate 10 other blogs for the "I heart your blog" award.

1. Where is your cell phone? table
2. Where is your significant other? close
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? heaven
5. Your father? dead
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your dream/goal? debt-free
9. The room you're in? den
10. Your hobby? ?
11. Your fear? Loss
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Kentucky
13. Where were you last night? parents
14. What you're not? single
15. One of your wish-list items? couch
16. Where you grew up? Illinois
17. The last thing you did? Facebook
18. What are you wearing? clothes
19. Your TV? yuck
20. Your pet? dogs
21. Your computer? laptop
22. Your mood? sleepy
23. Missing someone? mom
24. Your car? mini-van
25. Something you're not wearing? shorts
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your summer? short
28. Love someone? many
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? today

Whew - that's a challenge to only do one word! So, here are a few people I will challenge...and give an award to!

Now I'm supposed to nominate ten other people? - as if that many people even read my blog!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thoughts of the cross

I didn't intend to blog this on our anniversary but its the first day that I've been able to write. I have thought about this for several days and decided that I nee to blog it to get some feedback. Last week (Friday) Tyler was playing baseball. He is in his first year of kid pitch. This is a little (a lot) scary! Up until this point, Tyler has gone in there and swung the bat and hit the ball. Kind of a "no fear" player. Friday night though, the pitcher threw the ball and it hit him square on the back, right between the shoulder blades. He went down and I jumped up! It took everything in me not to climb that fence. I teared up immediately. I wanted to go check on him and be able to comfort him. Keith helped me stay put. He got back up and took his base, but there was a scare. At his next up (to bat) he flinched every time during the pitcher's windup and he got hit in the knee this time. Later, I was thinking about the feelings it evoked in me. I started to wonder how Mary did it. My son was hit by accident and I had a hard time standing there and watching. Jesus was beaten and whipped and spat on and nailed to a cross... where was Mary during the beating? Where was she standing as they drove the nails into his hand? Did she cover her eyes or did she too feel the full impact of His death? What did she think? What did she feel as she watched the people do the awful things to Him? I just have to wonder...

So as I said, today is Keith's and my anniversary. 19 years of bliss for me! I have tried to come up with a romantic idea to surprise him for a few months now. Any ideas out there? Keith has been SO good to me for SO long and I can't come up with anyway that will help him to understand how much he means to me and how very much I love him! I wish he knew! Anyone who wants to make suggestions, please feel free!

I need to go... Courtney has play practice tonight, Tyler needs to get his homework done and his hair cut! I hope you have a great day!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Almost missed two in a month!

Well, it's almost the end of the month and I've only posted once this month. I figured I better get on it or I would be letting my "regular readers" down! LOL! As I write, the girls and I are preparing to leave for camp. We are excited to say the least! Tyler and Keith are hoping to do some camping themselves. They should have fun too!
It has been a busy month. A month of gifts given beyond measure to some dear friends and blessings removed for reasons we can't understand. The month has been filled with answers to prayers and challenges that bring us to our knees. In spite of it all one thing remains, God is with us! Beyond that, I have no real words of wisdom and I have nothing really to share.
Tyler had Cub Scout camp this week. He went yesterday and had a great time. Today my man cub is not feeling well. His right cheek is twice the size of the left one and his tooth is abscessed. He is in pain and there isn't a thing I can do about it. That doesn't keep him from asking me to help in some way. I feel so helpless.
It reminds me of the time that Tyler had his seizure disorder (although certainly not to the same extent!). He would stop breathing and turn blue and I couldn't do a thing about it. I remember holding him and crying as I reluctently gave him back to God each time by praying, "Please God, You gave him to us, please don't take him yet." Then I would pray that God would comfort me if His answer was to take him now. It was a time of learning that no matter what I do, there was nothing I could do to "fix it". I HAD to rely on God. It's hard to put our trust in someone we can't see. At the same time, what choice do we have?
The funny thing is He earned our trust before we were ever here to know of Him. He knew that our lives would be full of sin and we would have to rely on Him for salvation and He provided. We hadn't even asked yet and He provided the solution. We never even knew how much we would need and He gave it all. How could I not trust that He loves me and cares enough for me to "fix" things for me? Obviously, we serve an AWESOME God!
I hope this post doesn't seem as scattered as I think it sounds. I guess my mind is running circles and I'm trying to grab a piece and hang on! I'm sure I've written enough to confuse you so I'll close for now. I can't wait to go to camp and learn more about Extreme Living in Christ! I need to go finish getting ready... hopefully I'll have more to post when I get back.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I thought I should let you know the answer to your prayers... no surgery. That's the short of it. The "long of it" is this:
Friday I finally went to Urgent Care for my knee. I spent over two hours there. The doctor looked at my knee and pushed it and twisted it a little then ordered x-rays. I was a little puzzled because I figured there was no way that it could be broken and me be able to walk on it for a week. So after waiting for the x-ray for a while, I stuck my head out the door and asked the nurse about it when she went by. She said that x-ray was backed up but that I was next. I told her that I had a pre-op appointment in thirty minutes and I didn't understand the need for the x-ray (then I explained why I was questioning it). She said she would check with the doctor. She came back a while later and she said that the doctor said I didn't need an x-ray and he was just going to finish up my chart. The long story short is that they gave me a knee brace and sent me on my way with a hefty prescription for pain medication. My question was and remains, "Why did he order the x-ray if it wasn't necessary? Then I went to pre-op.
At the hospital I got a blood work-up and answered lots questions. When they asked about past surgeries I had to tell them about my heart procedures. This sent them into a tizzy... they did an EKG (which came back good) and we went back to answering questions. The hospital decided that they wanted a release from my cardiologist to do the surgery. I told them that my doctor had that so they called him. My doctor told them that he decided that he wanted a better release than what he had and he wasn't willing to do the surgery.
I was o.k. with the hospital making the decision because they did what they thought was the safest thing to do. Needless to say, I am NOT happy with the doctor! He could have done something during this past month ( the surgery has been scheduled for over a month now) to get the release he wanted or to feel more comfortable about the procedure but instead he waited until I had cleared my schedule for two weeks, wasted over two hours time in the hospital for pre-op and wasted my time and money getting tests done that are now wasted.
All of this is to say, Thank you for your prayers and support for the surgery that will not happen in BG! Crazy! Now I will need to go to work and reschedule people for the next couple of weeks so I don't continue to put them off or lose money by not working. I guess it will all work out, God has a way of making things work out like that! Now I have a little more free time with my children this week and next! God will provide... Thank you again for your support and prayers.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chaos! as usual....

OK, it's the 30th and I have to try to get one more entry in this month! It's a personal challenge to see how many people I can send into shock (especially for those of you who haven't even had a chance to read the one I actually posted yesterday)! So Memorial Day weekend will be one to remember this year! Too funny!
We spent the weekend in Birmingham at my sister's house with all of my family except one of my sisters and her family. I know that sounds weird - there are six of us siblings so five met for the weekend and my Aunt and Uncle have become honorary FOO members and my cousin joined in the fun too!
We had Thai food (my cousin's contribution) quite the experience. I wasn't sure how the children would do with that so I asked them all to TRY it and be polite and we would figure out something else later if they didn't like it. They did great. They ate a little and then told my cousin that they "... appreciated the cultural experience." It was interesting though and some of it was tasty too!
We mostly visited and relaxed a lot with the family. Monday we came home and thats when the adventures began (although Keith refuses to call them adventures because we usually refer to things that are low or no cost as adventures and this was definitely NOT one of those)!
As we were driving home (I65) some weird things started to happen with the car. Like when Keith used the turn signal, the radio clicked off. So he said, "something is wrong." Almost as soon as that came out of his mouth, the car started jerking - like loss of power - and died. He navigated us from the left lane to the side of the road on the right. It was raining pretty hard and we were stuck. Keith called for a tow truck and we waited. We played Go Fish while we waited. The hardest part was for the females who had to go to the bathroom... the rain didn't help and we couldn't do anything but wait. So, the tow truck finally arrived and was willing (thankfully) to stop for us girls and the driver made lots of calls trying to get things going to get the car fixed that afternoon. It was late though so we had to stay the night in the hotel (I wrote "the" hotel because there was only one in Cornersville, TN). We went to the hotel and the driver lowered the trailer for us to be able to climb into the van and get out our suitcases. As I was standing on the edge of the trailer (remember it had been raining) I slipped off and landed on my rear end on the concrete! OUCH! Worse yet was the fact that I twisted my knee on the way down. I sat in a puddle of water laughing at how ridiculous this was and how silly I must look! Long story short, we dropped about $800 (between hotel and repairs for the car - new alternator) for that very expensive night in Cornersville, TN!
I have to laugh at the whole thing though. Keith was able to pull us off the rod to safety, thank God, we had a place to stay and it could have happened at a worse time or place! God is good! The understatement of the century! I've often thought that the way to handle garbage in our lives is a choice, you either laugh or you cry and laughing is a whole lot more fun! I think I could do stand up comedy with our life experiences!!
I hope that you have a blest and enjoyable weekend with family and those you love! Pray that mine is productive as I have a tonsillectomy scheduled for Monday morning and I will "not be able to do ANYTHING for two weeks" as the doctor says. I need to get a lot done today, tomorrow and Sunday! May you be blest to find joy in your moments of trial!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another fun family day!

I know that there are some of you who will probably think I'm about to die or something since I have posted three times in one month! Crazy I know, but I had to brag for a few moments. As some of you know, last year our family won a nice commemorative edition Super Stock Soap Box Derby car. Bailey began her driving career last summer with that car. Tyler was too young and Courtney had her wisdom teeth removed the day before, so Bailey won the opportunity hands down. She made it through her heats to the "Sweet 16" and then she lost. Not bad for a first time out!
This year, we were given a Stock car for Tyler to race. This car was in pretty bad shape but Tyler and Keith worked long and hard together to bring it up to specs! Long story short... Tyler and Bailey about gave Keith a heart attack by making it all the way to the final race! Seriously though, we were close! Tyler was a bit more disappointed than Bailey - he actually wanted first! We had such a blast cheering them on! Thank you to the friends who stopped by to help cheer and those who stayed longer than they had to, just to support them! For those of you who didn't make it this year, it's o.k., we're hooked and hopefully you can make it next year - I anticipate that we'll be there! I'm going to try to put in some photos but I' m having a hard time narrowing it down (and now that Keith reads this, I want to make sure I get the right ones! LOL!!)
When I look back on this event and the fun family day, I think about all the fun family time preparing... Especially the fun "Keith and Tyler time" and "Keith and Bailey time," but some other extra family time to prepare them for race day. What fun we had! I am SO thankful for our children and the fun that we have because of things they are involved in and allow us to be a part of! I certainly hope that they know how much we love them and enjoy spending time with them!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Long time overdue!

Well, I know this entry is long overdue for those of you who read my entries. I have been asked by several people how it all turned out... The camping was cold and wet. Friday night was so cold that I hardly slept a wink. I lay there wondering if we made the right choice and then hoped that the children would remember the whole thing in a good light. Saturday morning we went to the Scouts flag raising. It took twenty people to carry the flag in, then they raised it on the largest flagpole in the National park system. The thought that immediately came to mind was, "This was worth freezing last night." Saturday started out beautiful and continued throughout the day! We all five had a great day and all five of us met the requirements for the Lincoln Bicentennial Award. That was nice but even better was the time spent together.
We overcame cold, no fire pit and rain together. We were able to focus on time together without cell phones or IPods or DS games. Nothing but family and fun! We made eggs in baggies and boiling water (pretty cool!) (Sidebar: this should be done with no more than three eggs per bag - six is too many and takes too long for the bags to withstand the heat - LOL!!). We met some new people and had fun using our new hand-washing station (which everyone thought was pretty cool). It was truly a great experience!
Courtney and Bailey got up and sang in front of a crowd, with a mic! We got pictures that will be favorites forever! I asked the others about the experience and they all said that it was fun. None of the children complained about the no electronics rule. They were all wonderful about the whole weekend (even the cold)! I think it will be a weekend remembered more with the fond memories than the cold wet ones (although I can't imagine that the cold and wet will be forgotten).
We had so much fun and got SO tired out that Sunday morning we decided that we needed to sleep in. Tyler and Keith were up as usual, Courtney stayed in bed until 10 and Bailey until 12. I was the sloth of all sloths and stayed in bed until 4:30! Of course I woke up with a migraine and couldn't get rid of it until 4:30 so there was nothing else to do!
Thank you all for prayers on our behalf! It was a great weekend! Even though the cold and wet will ever stay in our memories, I think it will be a good memory for many years to come!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Family bonding

Isn't it Smally who says that the best family bonding takes place during disastrous camping trips? Well, we are heading to southern Indiana for a weekend of camping in the rain-filled forecast. I'm excited about it and also wondering if this will be something we sit and talk about years from now as; "Do you remember that one time we went camping and stayed thee whole time in the visitor's center?" or "Do you remember that really cool weekend we spent at the Lincoln Bicentennial Encampment- man that was fun!" To further allow for bonding, we have declared it a weekend without "electrics". There will be cell phones for emergency use only, no ipods or other musical devices, etc. With one teen, one preteen and one electronics savvy boy, this should be interesting! If you think of it, say a prayer for us. I'll try to remember and find time to post after the trip to let you know how it went!
Have a GREAT Mother's Day!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why today?

I usually try to keep this blog all upbeat but today (for God only knows what reason) I have decided to write about my mother. My mom died the Spring before Tyler was born. I was holding her in my arms when she died, something I will never forget. Bear with me while I vent... On a Monday I got a call from my sister saying that mom was very sick and we needed to plan to see her soon if we wanted to see her before she died. I prayed that God would keep her alive so I could be with her.
Mom and I used to go get coffee or lunch periodically and that night as Keith and I lay in bed (sorry Terri lol), I told Keith that I just wanted to have coffee with her one more time. Tuesday as I was making arrangements to go to Chicago, I struggled through a lot of childhood memories. My childhood was not the most pleasant but I think my mom did what she was able to do to make it the best that she could. Unfortunately, she wasn't equipt with the tools that she needed either! Anyway, one of the things that I prayed was that God would help me to go with no expectations from our time together. My mom had never told me that she was proud of me and I longed to hear that she was, but I knew that if I went with that longing, I would probably be disappointed. I prayed that I could not hurt over that but that I could support and help her.
Wednesday mom was told that she had a very fast growing type of cancer that had spread everywhere but her brain. Mom was a nurse, I sometimes wonder if it would have been better if it had hit her brain as well. She knew what she was up against. I got to the hospital to be with her Wednesday afternoon. I stayed the night with her and rode home in the ambulance with her the next day. Wednesday night was our time. Between her screams of pain, we had many good talks during that night. Mom talked about being scared of dying and where she would go for eternity. I was able to talk to her about God's grace and how she was a Christian and that God loved her no matter what. One thing she said was, "You don't know all the things that I've done in my life." I said, "Mom, I know a lot and if you want to tell me more, that's fine. It will not change my love for you and I know that my love for you pales in comparison to God's love for you. Satan knows where you will spend eternity based on God's promise and Christ's blood. Satan knows he's lost this battle, but he is trying to steal your peace from you while he can. He cannot have you for eternity so he wants you miserable until you die." Then we prayed for her to have peace that God was with her and taking her home. Sometime during that night my mom told me that she was so glad to have me there with her and that she was proud of me. I thank God for that, as a grown woman, I still needed to know that my mother loved me and that I had made her proud. Moms tell your children those things while you can.
Today i was listening to a little Reba McEntire. She songs a song about "If I had only known..." "If I had only known it was my last night by your side, I'd pray a miracle to stop the dawn..." I started to cry. My mother died the Sunday after we were notified of her cancer. I know that was a blessing. It was hard for us who loved her to watch her health decline so much, so fast, but she didn't suffer long. She went into a coma-state Thursday night. When her breathing sped up, I sang to her and stroked her head and it would slow down. I stayed by her side almost non-stop. Days I thank God and my husband for. Keith understood that my life had to be on hold to care for her and he and his parents did SO much to care for the girls' needs while I was in Chicago! I am so grateful for the time that I had with my mom during her last days. I am thankful that when my mother breathed her last breath, she sat herself up in the bed (the first time in days) and said, "I've got to go." She had her arms stretched out as if reaching in anticipation of a greater place. The moment she died, her body went cold and she didn't look the same. Her spirit was gone and the empty shell that was there meant nothing anymore.
I think the biggest blessing was that all six of her children and her mother and brothers were around her bed singing her into heaven when she breathed her last breath. I want to die like that someday (not for a while). I want the people I love around me, singing me into heaven. Now my mind flows to Jeff's death. I can't go that far right now. I don't know why all of this came to me today, I know that I realized a few things though. I took my mother for granted. There is a line in Reba's song that says, "...I foolishly believed that you would always be there..." I guess I thought the same. I have no pictures of my mom hanging up in my house, I haven't been able to hang any memories... I think it's time. I want to be able to tell other people of the impact she had on me.
I remember my mom sliding down the stairs on pillow cases with us children until she laughed so hard she wet her pants (sorry mom)! I learned to be a fun loving mom from my mom. I learned to laugh and play with my children from a mother who laughed and played with us! All my memories growing up aren't wonderful but my mom offered all that she had to make me who I am today. There are some things that I make a point not to hand down to my children, but I hope that some of the things that my mom taught me are ingrained into their heads and hearts! I hope that her love for God is evident in my life. I hope that her dedication to service is clearly exhibited through my life. I hope that her laughter is passed down to my children and that their children and many others benefit from it!
I'm not sure if this post is helpful to anyone but me, but I needed to say thank you to my mom and this seemed like one of the best ways to do it. Thanks for bearing with me if you made it this far. For all of you whose moms are still living, give them a hug. For those of you who have lost your moms, remember the good things they taught you and pass it on to your children. Most of all, no matter how irritating some people are, don't assume that they will always be there to ignore or tolerate. Show them God's love despite the pain in the rear end they might be, I know I appreciate it when you do me that way! LOL!! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My periodic post...

We had a good sermon today (not that that is unusual)! One of the things that Bill said that stuck with me was, that we cannot rely on our spouse to be our spiritual anchor, only God can be that for us! It reminded me of many years ago when I was a teenager. There was a young woman in our church who was single and very excited for God! She was a great example to me and I respected her very much. Then one day she went forward to ask for the prayers of the congregation and to pray for forgiveness. She was pregnant. Of corse back when we were teens, that was the big taboo, now who knows what it would be today?!? Anyway, I remember that a lot of the girls were devastated and fell away from church and God. I was probably the closest to her before the incident but my faith remained solid because my faith wasn't in her, although to be honest, it did shake! But my faith was in Christ and I could realize that she was human and would fail me despite her best efforts. Maybe some of that came from my upbringing... you know you get disappointed and/or hurt enough by people, you quit trusting them to that extent. But honestly I think it taught me a very good lesson. I had to face the fact that we humans fail and that is why our standard HAS to Christ. When we put other humans in that place, we are disappointed often, when we put God there, He never fails.
Another thing occurs to me as I consider the place of my spouse in my life... I am SO blest!! Keith is a godly man who seeks to serve and glorify God and as a result treats me like a queen! This is a wonderful place for a woman to be, but it is also a stepping stone for satan. My heart must belong to God. He, and only He, deserves to be on the throne of my heart! The problem with having a spouse like Keith is that satan likes to take even the most pure and godly things and twist them to his purpose! So where does Keith fit into that equation? I have found myself praying for forgiveness and strength many times about who is on the throne of my heart. You see satan wants me to replace God with someone else, so when Keith is so good to me and our family, and when he is so godly, satan slowly helps me slip Keith onto God's throne! I have to pray for forgiveness for putting Keith there and I have to ask for strength to remove him. I know that God is a jealous God and I know that I should only have Him on His throne and I know that it is DANGEROUS to have someone or something else on His throne. You see God's nature is to remove that someone or something else if I am truly turning my life over to Him and asking Him to be in control... So if I leave Keith there, God will remove him some way or another. That is scary!! I have to remember that satan will use even the gifts that God has given to us, even the precious blessings that He gives us, to pervert our relationship with God! It is my job to keep God in His place in my life and heart, and to put His blessings in their place in my life. Sometimes its a hard balance because the master of deceit uses the blessings of the Master of Life to fool me! It's just another area that we have to be on guard from the evil one and keep our Master and King on HIS throne!
Well, that's about all for today's post... maybe I'll get in another one this month - LOL!! For all of you faithful readers (all one of you - LOL), thanks for your patience! Have a great day and may the Creator of life bring examples of His majesty into your day to help you re-experience the wonder of His creation!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


What is faith? Please don't give me the "textbook" (Bible) answer. Tell me, from your heart, "what is faith?" Do you walk in it? How? How do you know if you are stepping in faith or stupidity? How do you know if your choice is an answer to prayer or a stupid decision you've made along the way?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Courtney is 16 now. Every birthday that passes for our children takes me back to the day of their birth. No matter how old they get I remember it like it was yesterday. I don't think we understand this phenomenon until we have children of our own. For me birthdays seem like a time to remember. I go back through the years and remember the birth of our children and I think of lots of fond memories from the years past! So at the risk of embarrassing my oldest daughter, here are some of those memories. Obviously I could write about her birth... how the first sound she made was the sweetest sigh I ever heard. I recall the day she sat in a corner and "tested" various laughs to pick hers. I remember her cleaver remarks, including the day she got face to face (literally) with a caterpillar and said, "You gonna be a butterfly hon." Her inquisitive personality amazed me and re-opened my eyes to things no longer seen. She is 16 and we continue to marvel at the blessing that she is! I still enjoy the brief time we have together in the car alone when she rushes through the details of her day! Her love for others is encouraging and exciting to witness. She is so excited to learn to drive and now there is little to hold her back. I sometimes wish that she would grow past this stage or that and at other times I wish she was still that little baby that the nurse finally brought for me to hold and care for for the rest of her life. I'm sure this all sounds like sentimental silliness to some, but hey, it's my blog so you can either enjoy my ramblings or quit reading right? Lucky for you I have to close for now so I'm going to add a photos of my 16 year old (must be adopted - LOL!!) and close for now. I hope that you cherish each moment that you have with your children because no matter how many times we hear it, time passes by too fast and they grow up before we know it! I keep telling myself that there will come a time when I will wish that I had these (sometimes trying) moments back again. I pray that God blesses you with many fond memories that will bring smiles to your face during those years that you long to relive them!