Sunday, December 20, 2009

Favorite Christmas Memories-Vol. 5

It was the Christmas of 2002.  Our first Christmas in our house.  It was also the Christmas that Santa was bringing a puppy into our family.  Little did we know another member to our family would be added this Christmas as well.

That year, every month from September through November I went through the same scenario.  "I just know I'm pregnant.  There is all the signs.  I just know it."  And every month through that time frame the same scenario would follow. "Nope, pregnancy test just showed negative.  That's the third test..pretty sure I'm not pregnant."  This whole time I never said anything to Craig though.  We weren't desperately trying to have a baby.  If it happened, it happened. 

December came.  And like every December there is always sooo much to do.  Santa was contacting us about this puppy he wanted to bring to Dalton.  So we were helping him out trying to find the perfect one and to plan out how Santa was going to get it to our house without Dalton knowing it.  A week before Christmas, all of a sudden, I sat there and period is late.  "I'm not that late.  I don't feel typical signs...nope."  I had a couple days off before Christmas day and was busy shopping.  Then on Christmas Eve, I suddenly remembered I still hadn't started my period. 

I headed to Walmart, bought a pregnancy test, took Dalton through McDonalds drive-thru, and headed home.  I set him up with lunch and immediately took the test.  And waited.  I managed to take one bite of my sandwich before heading back into the bathroom to check the test.  I swear that walk down the hallway took forever.  And like in slow motion I picked up the stick. 

Is that what it looks like?  Is that two lines?  Well, but, that one looks a little light.  Is that positive or does two lines mean negative?

I think I read the directions five times before jumping up and down, praising God, and trying not to pee my pants!  Then I stopped....Craig still didn't know anything about this.  He didn't even have an idea that I was late!  Okay so how am I gonna tell him. 

I decided to wrap up the pregnancy test and that would be the gift he opened on Christmas Eve. seemed like the evening took forever before we got home with just the three of us and opened presents.  Dalton opened his, I opened mine, and Craig opened one of his.  Then I said, "Actually Daddy has another one to open."  He said, "No I don't...I'll wait till the morning to open it."  I wanted to strangle him.  "No you are not!  You need to open it now." 

He unwrapped the package and opened the box.  He stopped.  He stared.  Then looked at me and said, ""  I looked at him and said, "This CANNOT come as a big surprise to you."  I mean...seriously?  Was he not present during the making of this creation?  Then the initial shock went away and he said, "Awesome!" maybe I should have given him some hints so he would not have been so stunned.

The next morning as Dalton was opening up his presents and he discovered the new hairy family member.  I said, "Dalton we have another present for you.  Mommy is going to have a baby!"  Craig said, "Won't that be awesome...a little brother or sister!"  Dalton said, "We have a dog now why do we need a baby!"  We had to have a couple more discussions with him on this one.

Then to my parents house we went.  From a previous post you know that my parents open their presents first.  So in addition to what we already had purchased I wrapped another box.  My mom was opening the box which contained a simple note that said, "Your present is still in development but will be ready for delivery in September of 2003."  When she read the note she said, "You are kidding me?"  Nope Mom-no joke.  Then the tears came! 

I have lots of great memories of Christmas both from childhood and as an adult. But I will always remember the Christmas that God gave me one of the best gifts possible.  I thank God everyday for these two precious people that He gave me.  Every Christmas I relish in their delight over their gifts and the magic behind the season.  However, I am more delighted and in awe of their learning about the REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON! 

Merry Christmas everyone!  May God Bless You!

Friday, December 18, 2009

(Not so) Favorite Christmas Memories-Vol. 4

I'm going off track a little here.  Please let me make clear this particular Christmas IS NOT one of my favorite by any means.  It was actually a very HORRIBLE Christmas BUT it is still a very vivid memory that I thought I would share.  For two reasons:

     1.  Because of the events that took place.
     2.  This was the year that I had to TOTALLY give all my faith to God and let his strength, love, and 
          wisdom lead the way.

Christmas is a special time of the year.  Some say it is a time of miracles.  A time of hope and faith.  This is how we spent our Christmas of 2007.

It started on December 5th of that year.  I was on the phone with my Mom and she mentioned she was a little worried about my Grandma.  She hadn't been feeling well since a routine test and was having some difficulty with daily activities.  I tried to reassure my Mom that it was probably a touch of the flu and to give her some time to get over it.

The morning of December 7th started off with snow on the ground.  I went to work early that morning, as I do with any snow day, because when dealing with snow days there are a lot of call ins and staff issues on these days.  I decided I would run to the gas station after arriving to work to get my daily dose of Diet Coke.  As I started to pull out of the parking lot I noticed one of my staff running across the parking lot towards me.  She said, "Your Mom just called they have your Grandma at the ER and your Mom doesn't sound good."  I immediately headed to the ER.

Upon arrival Grandma was unconscious.  My Grandma's significant other, Papa Claude, was in the room along with my mom, my dad, my aunt, & my uncle.  The doctor looked at my mom and Papa Claude and asked if Grandma had a DNR order.  They both said no.  The doctor asked them if they wanted him to do everything possible in case she coded to get her back.  Of course they said yes.  They barely got the 'yes' out when she started to code.  We were losing her.  My mom started to refuse to leave the room.  I grabbed her and said there wasn't anything we could do and that she didn't need to see Grandma this way.

I immediately started to pray and pray like I never did before.  I knew God was with us.  But I wanted Him with those doctors and nurses.  I wanted His love to overwhelm me and my family.  I wanted them to know that He was in our presence.  I felt it.  And then the doctor came out and said they had got her back.

The family spent the weekend at the hospital with Grandma in ICU.  The following Tuesday, December 11th, the ice storm hit.  We lost power for four days.  We were blessed to obtain a hotel room for those four days and firmly believe that God had a hand in that too.  It was a place that my Mom and Aunt was able to go take showers, nap, or try to relax.

The next two weeks were extremely rough.  Grandma didn't make much progress and was unconscious most of the time.  She was on a breathing machine, tubes all over, etc.  The doctors were not giving us much hope of recover.  With all the trips to the hospital and the depression set over the city because of the ice storm no one in the family was in the Christmas spirit. 

The week of Christmas she started to make some comebacks with making eye contact and squeezing hands.  On Christmas Eve, Mom decided to go home for the night.  I told her we would stop out and stay for a couple hours after the Christmas Eve service at church.  When we arrived I went back to see Grandma and she was awake but still in that 'ICU state'.  I asked her if she wanted to see Dalton and she smiled at me and shook her head yes.  After some explaining to Dalton what he would see we walked into her room.  She instantly lit up and smiled at him.  She squeezed my hand and was very responsive to us both.

On Christmas Day we had our traditional dinner and then the entire family immediately headed to the hospital.  My mom couldn't believe her eyes.  Grandma was responsive, alert, and seemed to be making great strides.  Our Christmas miracle.

We spent the entire month of December in the ICU and then a week in a regular room.  The next month Grandma spent in the nursing home going through therapy and preparing to return home.

As I said, this was by NO means a favorite memory but one that will always be with me.  I thank God for bringing Grandma back to us.  I thank Him for surrounding us with His love and strength during that time.  I thank Him for showing us His miracles.  The real lesson I have learned that in every situation there are blessings...even in bad situations.  We just have to step back and take a hard look but they are there.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Favorite Christmas Memories-Vol. 3

As I reflect back over the years, Christmas has always been about tradition.  There was always cookies and milk put out for Santa.  There was always going to bed early and getting up even earlier.  There are traditions that you start on your own and traditions that you continue from your own childhood.

This reflection is more of a collection of memories.  As I have grown up and started my own family we have continued some family traditions and started some new ones.  It is really quite funny that out of all the conversations that Craig and I had about family while we were dating there was really no conversation about how our families handled Christmas.

The compromise started the very first Christmas of our married life.  As I started to set up the Christmas tree and place my color-coordinated balls on the tree along with all white lights Craig looks at the tree in total disgust.  "What is your problem?"  I said.  "Well, that is not how we decorated the tree when I was growing up.  We used multi-colored lights and ornaments that my mom made."  Well, if you have read my previous blog about Craig's mom and how important she was to Craig, how was I suppose to tell him I wouldn't put his Mom's ornaments on our tree.  So her ornaments joined my color-coordinated balls.  The tree never looked so good!!!

Just so happened that I was also 6 months pregnant our first married Christmas together.  (That subject may appear in a different blog...but yes if you do the math he was a honeymoon baby.)  Well, Christmas Eve came and Craig said we were going to continue another tradition that his family had.  When he was a child they all opened one present on Christmas Eve. 

Seriously?  I never heard of such a thing!  I would beg my parents to allow me to open JUST one present.  I didn't even care if it was clothes!  But they never did!  And here was my wonderful husband just giving me permission to do what I had wanted to do the whole time I was growing up!  So that DEFINTELY became part of our Christmas tradition.

Since the kids have come along we have added others, like getting a family ornament every year or making brownies for Santa instead of cookies.  "Santa has cookies at everyone else's house let's make our house different and make brownies.  He will remember us better."  This was my reasoning to the kids.  They love it and every year we talk about how Santa will remember us better because we make brownies.

Our tree now is covered with ornaments from everything.  Ornaments made by the kids in their schools.  Ornaments that the grandparents have given them every year since they were born.  Our family ornaments.  Very few of my colored balls.  And of course....the ornaments Craig's mom made still hang proudly on our tree.

So while this season brings about traditions and reflections it makes me curious....what are the traditions that your family celebrate?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Favorite Christmas Memories-Vol. 2

As I continue my track down memory lane I have come to the realization that although I have had many, many great Christmas holidays, my all-time favorites are more from my adult life.  Tonight I look back just a few years ago.

My siblings and myself usually tried to get together to find presents for my parents.  We would spend time discussing what to get, can we find something for them together, how much do we spend, etc.  This particular year my Dad was taking care of his Uncle's farm.  My Mom had taken a picture of an old barn on the farm to which my Dad shared with many and cherished the picture.  With my Mom's help us kids decided to have the picture blown up and framed.

Hey, hey you are probably asking what is sooo special about that?  We decided to have the frame custom-made from a piece of wood from one of my Dad's barns.  So I found someone to do some creative editing to the picture and they blew it up.  Then one evening I drove up to my Dad's farm and tore a piece of wood off of his barn.

The funny part is it felt like I was on some top secret mission as 007.  I had to call people to ensure that I would not be arrested for trespassing,  find someway to get a 8 ft. long board in my car, and then try to discretely drive into the VERY small town without being noticed and drop off this 8ft board to they guy to make the frame that just happened to live next to my Grandma's house.  Oh and did I mention that all this time I was also transporting a 4 year old and a 4 month old?

As this was going to be a great gift for my Dad I just kept thinking, "What about Mom?"  I was stumped.  Then my sister-in-law mentioned that awhile back my Mom had secretly told her that she had lost the mother's ring we had gotten her YEARS before for Mother's Day.  She was upset and didn't want any of us to know.  Boy was I glad my sister-in-law couldn't keep a secret!!  So to the jewelry store I went and picked out another ring.

What was best about this was the fact that my Mom was getting a kick out of the mission we were going through to get my Dad's present completed.  She knew all about it and also couldn't wait for him to see the finished product.  The whole time I kept thinking, "Just you wait Mom, you won't believe your own eyes!"

That morning, as with every Christmas morning, it is tradition that my parents open their gifts first.  My Dad was first and I think us kids had every camera and video camera going.  My Dad being the very joking man was making jokes and laughing as he was opening the gift and then he ripped off the paper and turned it over.  He was speechless.  He just stood there and looked at the picture.  Then preceeded to show it off like any child that just received a great gift would.  My Mom just smiled and relished in the fact that she had a little something to do with it.

Then it was her turn.  We gave her the box and she just looked at us and said she wondered what it was.  She unwrapped the box and opened it.  She was speechless.  I said, "A little birdy told us you lost your other Mother's ring so we decided to have it replaced."  She looked at my sister-in-law and lost it.  She started tearing up, then I started tearing up.

I think I will always remember that Christmas.  Yes we got my parents some great gifts but it was gifts that MEANT something to them.  Those gifts were so much more than a shirt or perfume.  They had meaning behind them.  My Mom still wears her Mother's ring everyday and that picture is hanging in their dining room.  I know it is cliche but giving is always better than receiving.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Favorite Christmas Memories-Vol. 1

We all have favorite memories of Christmas, whether it be something special we received or how we spent the day, there is always something that stands out.  I decided that I would tell some of my favorite memories from now until Christmas.

I don't remember the year but I'm sure most of you will know the time frame.  It was the year of the Cabbage Patch Dolls...and I wanted one bad!!!!!  I do believe I started asking for one six months before Christmas so Santa knew, without a doubt, that was what I wanted.  Who didn't love these little dolls?  They're adorable...round faces, diapers, adoption papers...even the 'Xavier Roberts' signature on thier cute little tushy was priceless!

I asked and hinted.  I did every little chore and task that was asked of me.  I mean I was beyond good...I was golden!  I told every mall Santa I seen that I wanted one of these dolls.  I just knew Christmas morning I was going to wake up and find one of them under the tree.  There was NO way I wasn't going to get one of these dolls.

I don't know how much I slept that night but I'm sure it wasn't much....I just don't sleep much on Christmas night.  There is WAY too much excitement.  I awoke and jumped out of bed and headed to the living room.  And there under the tree was.....a HOMEMADE Cabbage Patch Doll?  What?! Seriously?!  A homemade doll....I mean that was like getting coal!  I was a good girl...I'm the ONLY girl...don't I deserve a real one.  I put up with my big brothers bashings and verbal abuses...didn't I deserve the real thing.

I have (and always will be) a very gracious person.  I said I liked it and made over it.  Then as I continued to open up the other presents my mother handed me another one.  I tore off the paper and there it was....THE REAL CABBAGE PATCH DOLL!  Oh my stars!  I was overjoyed! 

I played all day long with THOSE dolls.  I carried them around, changed their diapers, and overall loved THEM.  As I was told parents had tried to obtain the real Cabbage Patch Doll before Christmas and because of all the rage over them everyone was always sold out.  So my parents got a rain check on them with the hope that one would come up before Christmas.  Not wanting me to be disappointed on Christmas morning if the real thing hadn't arrived, my Mom had a lady from our town make me the other doll so that I would have something similar.  The day before Christmas the real doll arrived at the store.

The irony in all of it....I think I played and enjoyed the homemade doll more than I did the real thing.  Either way it stuck with me all these years!  Sometimes the best gifts are the least expected!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Murphy's Law

You ever have a day where Murphy's Law applies:  If anything can go wrong, it will?  I haven't had just a day of Murphy's Law it has been going on since last Monday.  As I looked back on the last several days it makes me chuckle at all that happened.

Last Monday I received a 5 a.m. wake up call from my opening staff member. 

"Huh.....Michelle....we have an issue." 

And in my best pretend-I'm-awake-voice I said, "Who called in?"

"Well....we have water all over the place."  That woke me up! 

"What do you mean we have water everywhere?"  After a couple more questions I directed her to make some phone calls and I pulled on the first articles of clothing that I could find, slipped on a pair of flip flops and out the door I went.  Long story short here is what we found....I opened one door to find a small pond in the middle of the carpet floor.  I went to walk into one of the classrooms and when I stepped down the water covered my foot (thanked God for the sense to wear those flip flops).  By  mid-morning the water restoration company had cleaned up all the water and had the dehumidifiers and blowers moving in the building so off to home and a well deserved break I went.

Then I picked up my son from school.  I took one look at him. "What is wrong with your eye?"  He looked at me and said, "I dunno....why?"  His eye was swollen and red and upon further inspection had a rash around it.  Suddenly the father-son hunting expedition was replaying in my mind.  "I do believe son you have poison ivy."  Called the doctor's office and got the answer I figured I would get.  Couldn't see him until the morning.

So next morning (Tues) woke up to find Dalton's face is swollen even more and the rash has now spread to the other eye.  Great!  To the doctor we go. And of course, Momma was right...poison ivy.  Took three trips to Walmart pharmacy to get the prescription correct.  No big deal..move need to get upset is what I keep telling myself.

On Wednesday the chaos continued with a trip to the ER.  As I'm sitting in the ER I call back to the office only to have my supervisor answer the phone and tell me a parent had her purse stolen from her car.  As it was parked in front of my office at the preschool.  At this point I am considering having the building blessed and/or prayer service to be held there.

Well I should have called the priest right then and there because we received a call from the restoration company that was trying to dry the building.  They were going to have to rip out the drywall and replace it because the walls were just not getting dry.  "You are going to have to close." Oh...there are going to be some upset parents but what were we to do.  It had to be done.

Friday was spent dealing with painters, carpenters, and drywallers. I did get to go home early and start the weekend. Then Craig calls me on his way home from hunting. "Did you know the SUV has a crack in the bumper?" No way. Sure enough it has a crack and several scrapes across the front. Evidently it has been hit. GREAT!

Anyway you look at it this is not how you want your week to go but here it was.  It was one heck of a week. In some respects I have learned to give it up to God. He is the one in control-not me. In situations of chaos it amazes me how I can have the ability to forget all feelings of 'Oh my gosh what are we gonna do?' and just step up and get things done. It is because God is on my side. He doesn't give me more than I can handle. And looking back God was right there beside me the whole time. Any of those situations could have been MUCH worse than they were but He was there. He helped us through and consistently does. I place my faith in Him.

So while it may seem like one bad thing after another may be happening in your life just remember one have help. God's hand is in every aspect of your life.  I couldn't be more thankful or blessed that He is.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful, Blessed, Grateful

The last couple of weeks several friends on Facebook have been listing what they are thankful for everyday until Thanksgiving.  I decided to make one big list and to post on here. 

I am thankful for....
  • God.  Without Him there would be nothing.  I am grateful everyday for His presence.  I am thankful for His providing for my needs.  I am thankful to be able to go to Him in my prayers and devotions.  I am thankful for His word.  I am grateful that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for my sins. 
  • a husband that loves me without any hesitation.  A husband that does laundry, cooks, does the dishes, etc.  A husband that will take care of me when I am sick.  A husband that puts his family before anything else.  A husband that my children want to spend every waking minute with.  A husband that knows when I need a break and will take the kids so I can have the house to myself.  A husband that after 13 years and two kids later still thinks I am beautiful. 
  • a son that has a heart of gold and an infectious smile.  A son that has all the book smarts in the world but has no common sense.  A son that still kisses me goodbye (as long as no one is around).  A son that looks and acts like his father but is a 'Momma's boy'.  A son that gives a 110% on the ballfield and not because his dad is the coach because he wants to be a better player.  He is a sensitive soul that I truly believe will grow up to take in every stray animal that he finds.
  • a daughter that is assertive, independent, and quick-witted.  A daughter that makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes but also makes me laugh out loud everyday.  A daughter that is smart in every sense of the way but will only show it when she wants to.  A daughter that looks and acts just like me but has her Daddy wrapped around her finger.  A daughter that has an adult I will find comfort in knowing that she will be able to handle herself.
  • parents that love me unconditionally.  Parents that will drop everything in a moments notice to help me out.  Parents that will give me their opinions and advice but also respect my decisions.  Parents that love my children and would give all they have for them.  Parents that I can joke with, laugh with, and cry with.
  • family.  All of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sister-in-laws, cousins, etc.  Family that we can share stories and recall memories with.  Family that I get to see at dinners and parties.  As I have said before I love family get-togethers and it is because of who they are.  Family that I may not be blood related to but treat me like I am.  Family that I haven't seen in years but feels like it was only yesterday.
  • friends.  For friends that will call me out on my crap and help me be a better person.  Friends that I can continue to learn from.  Friends that we can look back at memories and laugh, cringe, blush, or do all three.  Friends that will watch my children, teach my children, and be second parents to my children.  Friends that know all my secrets and keep it that way.  Friends that I had lost contact with but can reconnect with like no time had ever passed. 
  • my jobs.  I am blessed to have two jobs that I enjoy.  One job that I get to be around children all day and to be witness to their milestones and their happiness.  Another job that I get to talk and work with parents so that they will stay involved in their child's life.  Jobs that give me flexibility and understanding so that I can be with my own children when I am needed.  Jobs with understanding bosses that allow me to vent my frustrations to them.  Jobs that give me great employees and awesome co-workers.  Jobs that provide me with funny moments, great stories, and a chance to help others.
  • electricity.  How did people survive without it?  Seriously. 
  • indoor plumbing.  Do you know how fortunate we are not to have to walk outside in sub-zero temperatures to pee in the middle of the night? 
  • my health.  There are people out there today that are suffering from cancer, heart problems, etc.  I am fortunate that I am able to get out of bed and go to work everyday.
  • Diet coke.  It is my saving grace some days!  Yes I am addicted and I really don't care to get over the addiction.
  • Chocolate.  It just makes things better.
  • My dogs.  They drive me nuts and seriously think one of them has ADD.  However, who else will cuddle up with you just minutes after you smack them for pooping on the floor?
  • Reality TV.  I know its stupid, I know it is everywhere.  But I really see no difference in watching Real Housewives then watching a football game.  They both have actually happened and there is usually some sort of physical contact.
  • clothes.  Because would you really want to see everyone walking around without them?  Some people just need to have them on at all times.
  • Kenny Chesney.  His songs are great.  Plus he is soooo very cute!  And yes I know he is bald but I really don't look at the top of his head much anyway.
  • Sharpie markers and pens.  I just like them.
  • Restaurants.  Because I don't like to cook so I am grateful there are places to go to eat when I really don't feel like cooking.
  • Laptop computers.  I can go anywhere and play on it.  I can sit on the couch all day long and still be able to play on Facebook and Twitter because my laptop is right beside me.
  • Cameras.  I thoroughly enjoy going through old pictures and reliving memories.  I enjoy old photos from my birth through childhood.  Those awkward junior high and high school pictures.  The high school dances and what were we thinking with those clothes?  The engagement pictures.  The wedding pictures. The pregnancy pictures.  The first smiles, first birthdays, the first day of school.  And yes...Craig.  I intend to take a picture of the first day of school up until they go to college. 
  • People that have a sense of humor and that I can be a smartalic to.  Nothing is better than being able to smart off to people and they get the joke and smart back.  I love talking smack.  I may not be very good at it, but I still try to get a few zingers in.  So, if you talk or chat with me and I pipe something off that may not be proper, more than likely it is a joke so please take it in stride.
  • text messaging.  I have recently became addicted to it.  It is nice to be able to send a quick message to give information without trying to get in contact verbally with them.  It is nice that I can yell at my husband through text messaging and not have to hear the response.  It is nice that I can send a quick "thinking about you " message to and even nicer to receive the "thinking of you" messages back.
I really could continue because I am sure that there are things that I have forgotten at the moment.  Everyday I say thanks for something.  It may be a very minimal thing but I am thankful.  So even though this is the season to be thankful please remember to be thankful every day and not just during the holiday season.  Thank God everyday for something.  Thank Him for starting a new day.  Thank Him for the toothpaste you were able to buy to brush your teeth.  Thank Him for the job that you may not like but that at least you have.  Thank Him for the family that drives you crazy but you know has your back.  Thank Him!!!!  It is because of Him that I am thankful, I am blessed, and I am grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

In Memory...

The last week has proven to The Trussell household how precious and short life can be.  Craig lost a very good friend on Thursday due to a work accident.  His name is Chris.  He was only 36 years old.  He had a wife that was his best friend and three children that he adored. 

Chris and Craig grew up in two different towns but wrestled against each other throughout high school.  From the stories I have heard over the years, it was a fierce competition between the two.  In fact, Chris's mother just told us last night that Chris use to have a list on his bedroom wall of all the guys he wanted to beat during a meet.  She said, "Craig Trussell's name was at the top of the list."

Everyone always found it strange and odd how two people that fiercly competed against each other came to be good friends.  When Craig and I started dating, Chris was one of the first friends I met.  They played softball together for years.  They teased each other about wrestling.  Chris always gave Craig a hard time for "stealing" a district medal from him.  Just last year, Chris was over at the house and acted like he was going to swipe the medal off of Craig's medal board.  (Yes, my husband is 37 years old and still proudly displays EVERY wrestling medal.  I just make sure its in the basement)

Chris and his wife are all about their family as much as we are.  And when that happens you tend to lose touch from time to time.  However, they were never far from our mind.  Just a year ago, (Chris being the baseball lover that he is and the fact that he had built a baseball field in his backyard) gave our son's ball team permission to use his field to practice on.  He helped us work with his local baseball league so that our team would have somewhere to play.  He umpired most, if not all, of our games.  Chris is the guy you look at and say, "Man I wish I could have half the character he has."  He made you want to be a better person.  The number of lives he touched is extraordinary.  He is no one famous.  But he is honest and down to earth. 

God had differnent plans for Chris.   It is always hard when someone young passes.   I don't understand His plan and the overwhelming feeling of shock has not left us all weekend.  But I recall a line from Steel Magnolias, "When something like this happens.  I pray very hard to make head or tails of it.....I personally feel much safer knowing that he's up there on my side."  All I can do is pray.  I pray to God to wrap His arms around Chris's family.  I pray that He graces them with His presence and lets them know that Chris will always be with them.  I pray that those kids will always remember how much he adored them and that they were his world.

Craig and I have been doing a lot of thinking this weekend.  And as usual, we kid and tease about leaving the house without that kiss or that goodbye or that 'I love you'.  But in all seriousness.....Life is short.  Don't take anything for granted.  Cherish the moments.  Laugh.  Live.  Love.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another smack in the back of the head....

A little background information first.....

It all started a few months ago.  I started feeling light-headed.  My eyes had a hard time focusing on things.  My hands would start to shake.  I would have this overwhelming feeling of off balance.  Reminded me of my college years and the one to many Miller Lites that I may have consumed.  That was not the case though. 

My first reaction (or my hope) was it was just a sinus infection or ear infection.  So I let it go. continued and continued to get worse.  I decided it was time to bite the bullet and see the doctor. 

Let me explain something.....I hate going to the doctor!  I don't like spending the money.  I will take my children at the first sign of anything but will wait years before I go.  There has to be something seriously wrong for me to admit that I need to go to the doctor's office.  So for me to actually pick up the phone and make that appointment took a lot.  It didn't hurt that my husband was sitting there holding the phone up to my ear while my hands were tied behind my back.  Okay that didn't actually happen, but I think the words he used were, "If you don't go yourself, I will tie you up and make you go."  Fine.

To the doctor I went. 

My gut instinct knew something was wrong.  I knew I wasn't gonna like the diagnosis he was going to give me.  The more questions he asked about my symptoms, the more I wanted to just pick up and run.  Then he said it.  The dreaded....Diabetes.  Yes, there is a family history.  Lots of it!  I had gestational diabetes with my youngest child.  The ob/gyn doctor and I have suspected I had it with my oldest child because he weighed in at a whopping 10lbs. 8 oz. but I had only gained 30lbs.  My primary doctor says, "Well you are like 80% more likely to get diabetes if you had gestational diabetes."  Yeah...thanks for that doc!  So off to the hospital for a 3 hour glucose test.

The lovely sugar syrup drink.  The one that makes your head hurt and your stomach turn.  Oh and by the way, if you do get sick on it, too bad.  You have to start all over.  I was almost in a sugar induced coma in the waiting room.  Got a good nap in though!  After the test, I had a huge drop in sugar because I couldn't eat anything.  So then I about passed out.  Luckily, I had just parked the car and turned the ignition off when that happened. 

The diagnosis:  pre-diabetes.  Not the full blown version.  Okay so no medication, I can fix this with a diet.  That is the plan then....a diet!  I was gonna do what I eat, cut out the carbs, and lose weight.  I was on a mission! 

Six months later....I have only lost 10 pounds.  And can't seem to watch what I eat.  Actually, I do watch it as it is going into my mouth!  I could come up with lots of excuses but the truth is...I just didn't stick with it. 

This is where, if I had been listening to God, I would have got it.  I don't listen well, so here comes the smacks....

This last Sunday, as I am sitting in church listening to the sermon, I start feeling funny.  I even turned to Craig and said, "I can't seem to get my eyes to focus."  I should have listened to my instincts and grabbed a snack.  But nooooo.  No time for snacks because we had lots of errands to run after church.  The shakes started and then the dizziness.

We were in the grocery store and I swear, I would have eaten things right off the shelf had I not had the fear of being arrested in my head.  "Okay....I think I'm dealing with a little low blood sugar attack here."  I was EXTREMELY moody and impatient.  I must have looked like some psycho out of a horror flick.  Craig looked at me and said:  "I think I'm taking the kids hunting while you have the afternoon to yourself.  Maybe you'll be back to normal when we get home."


Yesterday, I am changing the date on my devotional calendar.  The messages are about caring for our bodies and God healing it.  We are to glorify Him by caring for our bodies as we are the temple of His Holy Spirit.  Asking God for discipline in what we eat and drink and how we exercise. 


I sat there and thought,  "Yeah, I really need to start that diet over again.  I really need to watch what I am eating because I think I've been slacking."  Then I popped a Tootsie Roll from Halloween into my mouth and went on my merry way.

Then here it came...the big smack across the back of the head.

Craig brings in the mail last night.  And in the stack is a postcard from my doctor's office.  In big bold print reads, "YOU NEED TO CONTACT THE OFFICE TO MAKE A FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT."  Okay, God!  I heard you! 

My appointment if for 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Father and Son

Dalton was 4 years old when Craig took him on his first hunting trip.  It has been  non-stop since then.  Every Fall the boys head out to hunt whatever animal they can.  Sometimes I think it is just to get away from the girls.  Dalton has always been about his Dad.  He has always followed Craig.  Wherever Craig is you can bet that Dalton is not far behind.  He has followed his interests, his mannerisms, and the same taste in food.  The softball teams that Craig plays on, Dalton becomes part of. 

This weekend was not to be any different when the boys headed out on Friday evening to my parent's house.  They spent the night so they could get up and head out early to go duck hunting.  On Saturday Megan and I decided we would venture up to my parent's house and enjoy lunch with everyone.  We spent the afternoon riding the four-wheeler and talking.  The boys left in the middle of the afternoon to continue hunting as Megan and I headed out to a local pumpkin patch.  After the pumpkin patch it was trick-or-treat time. 

As I was posting pictures this weekend onto my Facebook page, I realized that Dalton was not in any of them.  Why?  Then it hit me.  Like a ton of bricks.  He's growing up and too fast.  He is in that phase where he doesn't want his picture taken so none were taken while we were riding the four-wheeler.  He chose to go hunting rather than go to the pumpkin patch or trick-or-treating. 

As time flies by me it makes me a little teary that he doesn't do the traditional Halloween kid activities anymore.  Then I have to realize, he could be choosing to hang out with the wrong type of kids or chose to sit inside and play on his Playstation.  But he chooses his Dad.  I couldn't be happier that they are developing that relationship and tradition that will last a lifetime.  And as Mom, I guess if I want pictures of Dalton then I'm going to have to teach Craig how to use the camera.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Parenting (or lack of)

My parents divorced when I was very little.  From the time I could remember, I don't recall spending a great amount of time with my father.  There were the years that it seemed like I spent every weekend with him.  Then the last several years were I see him once a year, maybe.  Whose fault is this?  I don't know.  And at this point in my life, I don't care.

This entry is not about my relationship with either of my parents.  I am not here to offend anyone and I apologize if I do.  However, I have witnessed too many broken parent-child relationships.  I will never understand how it happens.  I am also NOT going to sit here and start man-bashing either.  Too many times in our society it is the Dad that is taking the brunt of the absentee parent.  We hear all about the 'Dead-Beat Dad' or 'Sperm Donor' (sorry-but I hear it all the time).  However, there are a great deal of Moms out there that are just as bad if not worse than those Dads we all hear about. But here is my take on it....

It takes two people to have a child.  No matter how you look at it...two people have to come together to make a child.  Therefore, they should take responsibility for that child.  God has blessed you with the miracle of a child.  He has given you His child. It is your gift back to Him to raise that child and provide them with love, trust, and security.

Why, are there so many PARENTS that give up?

Now "giving up" can mean a lot of things.  The parents that neglect or abuse their children.  They are giving up on protecting and providing for their children.  The parents that get divorced and use their children as pieces in a game.  They are making their children choose between the two people that they love unconditional.  The parent that takes a child away from the other parent.  They are forcing their child to give up on the other parent.  Or the parent that has a child then drops out of their lives.  They are giving up on the child completely.

Don't give up on your children!  Give them the love and security that they need.  Give them support-even when you don't agree with their choices.  I know that my children may make some bad choices in life but I, as a parent, have to stand by them (or behind them).  Catch them if they fall or teach them how to brush themselves off and try again.  I won't allow their mistakes, or mine for that matter, interfer with our relationship.  Give them family-both paternal and maternal sides of the family.  Do not allow only one side of the family to see your children.  They learn so much from all of those people and who are you to take that away from them.  Is it so hurtful to you as a parent that there are people out there that love your children?  Personally, my children are better off being loved and cared for by many than just by little ole me.  Allow those relationships because it makes them better people.  Give them yourself-BE THERE.  Even if you can't provide for their every want, you can give them the love and relationship that they do need. 
I'm not 100% sure about everything.  I do have an idea that my special gift from God is to love children.  Why would I do what I do for the amount of money I make?  I do it because if nothing else they will know that Miss Michelle loved them and cared for them enough to help them grow up. 

Because I don't want them growing up wondering....

What was wrong with me?
Why wasn't I good enough?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

First Girls' Day!

About a month ago Craig and Dalton were heading out for somewhere.  Hunting, softball, baseball...I don't remember.  I do remember that Megan was upset.  She wanted to go.  And she has a great way of bringing on the guilt too.

Those of you that know Megan know that she is dramatic.  Dramatic in the sense that if they were handing out Academy Awards for getting your way she would be a 6 time winner (one for every year of her life).  I often wonder how I came to figure this out.  My years of working with all types of kids or the fact that she takes after me in every sense of the way. 

So as the boys are packing things up and getting ready to leave, I hear, "Mom, where is Dad and Dalton going?"  I say, "They are leaving."  Then I hear, "But I wanna go."  I could feel it coming.  Craig says, "Not today May."  (May is one of her many nicknames).  She started pouting.  "Why?"  Then whimpering.  "How come Dalton always gets to go?"  Then the watery eyes came and soon was taken over by sobbing. 

Here is something else you should know.  Megan is a Daddy's Girl.  She bats her eyelashes and he melts.  She asks and he delivers.  To be fair he doesn't deliver everything but it is very rare that she can do wrong in Daddy's eyes.  So when the sobbing began I knew there was going to be some giving in.  And I was right....

"Okay...get your.."

I stopped him.  I said, "Megan lets have a talk while Dad and Dalton leave."  So as we were talking and I am getting tired of the tears it suddenly becomes clear.    Dalton does get to do more than Megan.  Now granted he is 5 years older but, it is always fair?  After all, most of March through October revolves around baseball and Dalton playing it.  Then it is hunting season and Dalton gets to go everywhere with Dad.  I try to do things around the house to make the days fun for her.  It isn't enough.  She needs some special time.  She needs to know that her interests are just as important as Dalton's.  After all, I don't want resentment developing. 

The above picture is Megan's artwork.  She LOVES to draw and write.  She insists on holding art shows in our living room.  She even talked her preschool teachers into holding an art show.  There is a wonderful place in Kansas City called Kaleidoscope.  It is entirely based on taking materials and making art projects.  Perfect!  She was going to love it!  So I told her all about the place and said, "How about one of these weekends when the boys go hunting we have a Girls' Day and go to this place where you can make all kinds of art?"  She was all for it.

This week, I was informed (by the men of the house) it was Youth Goose Season & the boys would be leaving us to go hunting.  I called her favorite person in the world, Grandma, and asked if she would like to go with us.  I was so excited I finally broke down and told her of the plans.  We were going to have a Girls' Day!

As a parent, it is important to do things together that is just for fun.  To help build your relationship with your child.  There is not a price tag that you can put on what I was able to witness today.  I saw my daughter in HER element.  I was in awe by her face lighting up and those big blue eyes twinkling.  I was with my girl.  I thank God every day for the the priviledge of this little girl.  I thank Him for the opportunity to spend our time together today.  This was our first Girls' Day...keyword FIRST.    

Monday, October 19, 2009

Okay God, I heard you.

God has a way of communicating with us every day.  Do we always listen?  I know I find myself not always listening.  But God knows when we do need to listen.  He continues to give us the message until we do.  And sometimes it feels like the message is smacking us in the back of the head.

I don't imagine there is anyone that is comfortable with everything that they have done in their past.  I am sure there are more than one incident that has left you wondering, "Why in the world did I just do that?"  Personally, I have had more than my share.  For some reason the last couple of weeks I have reflected back on my life, especially those young adult years, and think.  "My goodness, how ashamed I am.  I wish I could go back and do things differently."

Then I wonder why I keep hashing out the past in my head.  After all, I confessed my sins to the Lord.  He has forgiven me.  So why keep reliving it?  Is it Satan continually trying to get in my head?   

Then I get the smack!

Now looking back, if I hadn't been caught up in Satan's destruction of my self-esteem I would have realized it earlier, I was receiving messages all along. 

It all started last week when a friend spoke to me about forgiveness of my sins.  They stated that we all have sinned, we all have fallen short, yet God still forgives us and loves us.  He wants that relationship with us.

(Insert little smack) 

Then came the messages in my devotional calendar.  No matter the trials and crisis we are going through.  There is a reason and I may not understand them now, I will when I meet my Lord and Savior in Heaven.  And after I have risen above the pain is when I find clarity and peace. 

(Insert little smack)

Here it is:  Big smack.  The smack on the back of the head.  The "Hello, are you paying attention now" smack.  This morning as I am reading through my emails, like I do everyday, I receive my daily devotional email from the Purpose Driven Connection and it said:  "We will never be able to change until we openly and honestly and authentically admit our sin, our weakness, our fault, our frailty, our character defects, confessing this to ourselves, to God, and to other people." 

Right then and there, in my office, I stopped and confessed my sins, my weaknesses, my faults, and my defects.  He is not shocked.  He is not surprised.  He knows. 

I want to change.  I want a more intimate relationship with God. 

I heard you and I thank you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Goodbye Old Friend

This summer we decided to purchase a new vechile.  Craig got a job that was going to require travel and it was either worry about him breaking down on the road every other day or spend our children's college money on gas for the gas hog SUV.  Here was our intentions:  I would drive the old car around town and save money on the gas for the SUV.  Yeah...that never happened.  Really don't know why just didn't.

Then last month we received the license renewal notice in the mail.  

"Oh no, I am not paying to license a car that is sitting in our driveway.  Not going to happen.  I'm selling it."

Last week I went out and took some pictures of the car.  Saturday after calling the local paper and they wanted an ungodly amount to list it in the paper, I decided to list it on Craigslist.  It was listed Saturday morning and by Saturday evening a gentlemen from Kansas City handed us the money, signed the title, and it was gone.

As I got up this morning to let the doggies out and looked over in that direction (as I did every morning to make sure it was alright) I missed it.  Why did I miss this car?  I was ready for this car to be gone, afterall I was worried about how much longer it would last us.  It just sat there.  No one was driving it anymore.  But why did I miss looking at it?  

I know, some of you are probably thinking, "Is this lady seriosly blogging about my old, worn, over 100,000 miles on it car?"  Well, yes I am.  No I am not sitting here crying in my Diet Coke over a car but it just feels odd.  But I'm not so sure it is the car I miss or the memories it contains. 

I do know this.  It was "our" car.  It wasn't mine.  It wasn't Craig's.  It was our first car together.  We purchased this car only a couple of months after Dalton was born.  It was our first four door car (which I swore that I would never own and then after having a child swear will never go without).  Our first family car. I still remember the day we bought it.  I remember fighting with Craig at the dealership on who was going to get to drive it home.  Of course I won that argument.  Only 2 months after owning the car I was rear-ended in it with my precious baby on board.  Then a year later, I rear-ended someone in it.  We took our first vacation trip as a family in that car.  The car that safely took me back and forth to Maryville every day for a year (or more) so that I could finish my Bachelor's Degree. 

Now it is someone else's car.  So now I pray for the gentleman who bought the car.  I pray that the car will help you move to a more permanent home.  I pray that the car will get you to your job interviews and hopefully to that permanent job.  I pray that you will find your own memories in our car. 

Goodby old friend....thanks for the memories.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Do I REALLY have to cook?

Last Sunday after church we ventured to the dreaded Walmart.  I try to avoid this place as much as possible.  I know it has super low prices and everything in one spot, but it gets packed and annoying.  I could spend an entire blog on my dislike of Walmart but to the real entry at hand.

We needed groceries.  Now my plan was to get the basics, you know...bread, milk, Diet Coke.  Get it and go.  Nope.  That is not what happened.  My plan gets derailed because I took Craig with me.  Yes, the other thing besides going to Walmart that I don't like doing is take Craig to Walmart with me.  One of two things happen:  a.  we end up with LOTS of snack/junk food or b.  we end up getting food for about fifteen different meals.  Well answer 'b' won. 

Each aisle brought a different idea for dinner.  And after the idea I would send Craig on his merry way searching for a needed ingredient.  At least that's the good part...he fetches well!  So as we are standing in the meat section, he says the dreaded phrase. 

"You know what sounds really good?"

As I feel the 'oh, no he's gonna ask me to make something' pit in my stomach , it comes out.

"Your homemade fried chicken."

"Sure babe--it does...ummm...look over here we could put a pot roast in the crock pot"

"Did you hear me?  I really want the chicken with mashed potatoes.  Real ones..real mashed potatoes."

Crap!  I hate cooking.  I cooked from the moment I was old enough for the family.  I cooked lunch and started dinner.  I do have to thank my mother for teaching me the great recipes and making me do it so that I do know how.  But by the time I moved out of my parent's house I have hated cooking.

But guilt was taking over.  He had that look.  The 'Come on hun' look.  I swear his lower lip was sticking out.  Did he take lessons from Megan in the cereal aisle and I didn't see it? 

"Okay fine."

But this is where I gained control.

"One thing...I only have one night to make it this week because of work.  So if you want it you are gonna have to wait until Thursday night."

Then like a child who just got the candy that they threw a fit for.  He says, "Okay, great.  What do you need?"

So each night we fixed the meal we had planned.  Then came Wednesday evening.  I had vegetable soup on the stove and suggested he make the kids grilled cheese sandwiches.  He looked and noticed we were short on bread. 

He says, "I'm going to the store."  Oh no!  So before he said anything else, I piped up, "Okay, bread that's it.  We don't need anything else.  Understand?  We got everything we needed the other day." 

As he is walking out the door...

"Okay dear!  I'll talk to you when you get home from work."

I didn't think I would ever get done working to see what damage he had done.  I rushed home and as I pull in the garage, I smelled it.  The scent of meat cooking.  Excuse me, dinner was done, what is he cooking?   I walk in to find him making a homemade pizza.

"Uh, honey, did you eat the vegetable soup?" 

"Yeah...the kids loved it."

"Okay, then why are you making pizza?"

"Because you can make it cheap and it sounded really good"

Then I got it.  If I went along with this I would get out of making dinner the next night.  The one night off and I wouldn't have to fix dinner.  Yes!  I could already feel the pajama pants, blanket-covered, Diet Coke relaxed feeling taken over.  In all my slyness, I say, "That's great!  We can have that for dinner tomorrow night"

I swear the world stopped.  Time stood still.  He turned around looked at me and said:

"Nice try dear.  No we are having homemade fried chicken with mashed potatoes.  And gravy.  Homemade gravy."

I tried my best wife death stare. 

"What?  You never mentioned anything about homemade gravy.  I am not making homemade gravy."

Here it comes...

"For trying to get out of cooking you are now making homemade gravy."


Monday, October 12, 2009

Stop The Abuse!

Warning:  I am on my soapbox.

The local news just came on.  Two of the top stories were in regards to children.  One a newborn and the other a three year old.  The story:  both dead.  They were not killed in a car accident or deadly disease and/or illness.  No!  Both were murdered. 

What could these two innocent and young children EVER do to make someone so mad that they needed to take their lives?  Did one of them cry too much?  Did they throw a temper tantrum? 

I have seen my fair share of abuse and neglect.  And there are situations that I question whether or not I should make that hotline call.  However, I am required by law to report such abuse and neglect.  I HAVE to believe a child.  I will admit that it is always hard to make that call. 

It is a tough call because no matter how I look at it the child is the one that is going to be most affected.  Whether they will be taken away from their home, even if it is a bad home it is their only home.  Or what consequences will they pay for telling their teacher about their abuse? 

But I will tell you this...I will make that call to avoid the above outcomes.  There is NO reason a child has to be the victim of violence.  I often find myself asking God why on this subject. Why do innocent children suffer?  Why did these people have this child when there are caring and loving people that cannot have children?  I don't know that I will ever get that answer.  I can assure you that I will do what I think God would want me to do.  Speak out!  I will give them a voice.  Will you?  Stop the abuse!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Winston and Me

Almost two years ago I read the book, "Marley and Me."  I cried probably half of the book.  Then came the movie.  And yes, I dragged Craig relucantly to see the movie.  And yep, I cried again.  Then it came out on video and Dalton begged to watch it.  So we watched again.  You guessed it....I cried.  Then tonight it was on HBO and somehow watched it again.  I think by now you know what this movie does to me. 

Why?  I may cry the first time I see a sad movie, but again and again and AGAIN.  While I was sitting here watching the movie tonight I realized why.  Because we had our very own Marley.  Our Marley however was a Basset Hound by the name of Winston. 

It was December of 2002.  Craig and I decided that Dalton needed a puppy for Christmas.  What boy doesn't need a dog?  I have always wanted a Basset Hound.  The adorable long years, the howling bark, the chubbiness.  When Craig and I arrived at the breeder I heard the barking.  I swear I was more excited than anyone.  Upon seeing the puppies I fell in love.  We found the most timid puppy and from the moment I held him, I was gone.

This was going to be awesome!  Or so we thought....

It started with the whining and howling.  He got locked out in the garage so we could sleep.
Then came the chewing.  On everything...side of our outdoor shed, kid's toys, the electrical wiring to our central air unit.  We chained him up and bought toys.  Escaping.  We have a screened in back porch that we would house him in when it rained or wanted to cage him up even more.  Well, he chewed through the screens and escaped.  We bought lattice work to place up on the outside of the porch so that he couldn't jump through the screens.  And like Marley, Winston hated thunderstorms, fireworks, and other loud noises.

Winston even chewed through four doors in our house one night, peed on Dalton's bed and tore off the blind to our picture window.  All in one night!  Craig wanted him gone.  We searched for rescue shelters.  I couldn't do it.  I couldn't give him up.

Then one morning it occured to me.  I was on my way to work and was chaining Winston up.  He was shaking.  He kept pulling closer and closer to me.  When I turned to walk back into the garage I seen the scratch marks on the door.  All he wanted was us.  He just wanted to be...with us. 

I knew that I had to work all day that day.  There was going to be no time for a break.  Then around noon that day one of my staff called and said she could come in early if I needed her to.  Yes, I can take a break.  So I headed home.  I called to Winston.  "You wanna come in"  Nothing. Then I looked out the door.  He had jumped through the screen door so many times that he had basically hung himself by his chain.

"You stupid dog!"  "Why?  Why?"  "I'm sorry.  I should have moved your chain." 

We took Winston up to my parent's house and buried him in their backyard.  They  made a wooden cross with his name on it.  We came home and picked Dalton up from school.  Immediately upon seeing us Dalton says, "Why are both of you here?  What's wrong?"  We told him and we cried. 

You see for all his psycho episodes he did have his moments.  Like winning best in show at a pet show the day after he wrecked our house.  Laying absolutely still while a baby pulls on his ears and tail.  Being a compainion when it was needed the most.

To this day, Dalton still keeps this picture of him in his dresser drawer.  And every trip to the grandparents house Dalton goes to his grave and ensures that the cross is straight.  So while watching this movie I see Winston.  He was the world's worst dog.  But for being the world's worst dog...we loved you and we still miss you!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Caution: Not for the faint of stomach

This morning my wonderful, beautiful, princess of a daughter got sick. I have worked with children for as long as I can remember.  It always amazes me the things and smells that can come out of a small child. 

It got me to thinking..

I have an knack for helping other people's kiddos whenever they need it but there are just some things I cannot handle.  I handled fingers getting smashed in a door so bad that all the fingernails on their hand were ripped off and bleeding.  I survived gashes in heads that bleed and bleed and bleed.  I survive the lice, scabies, snot...well you get the idea.

I CANNOT handle other children throwing up or, well let's just say, coming out the other end.  Now normal dirty diapers is one thing...its the extreme that tears me up.  You might as well hand me a trash can right along with the kid.  After 16 years you would think that I would become immune....nope. 

This is what amazes me.  As a mother, NONE of these things bother me with my own children.  I can tell the moment they look at me that they are going to throw up.  I simply lead them to the proper place and wait patiently till they are done.  No gagging, no holding my own trash can, nothing. 

Is this a mother's love?  Is it instinct?  I think its both.  It is a complete natural instinct for a mother to protect her children.  Even if that protection is disgusting, germ filled, and not for the faint of stomach.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Restoring Relationships

Everyday I receive a daily devotional email from the Purpose Driven Connection.  This week the devotions all focused on restoring relationships.   Everyday people get into arguments.   Now please do not miss understand me.  I have my quarrels with people.  But I also try to make it right. 

However, I do have to admit a grudge that I have held now for the last couple of years against someone.  I have prayed to God, not only to vent my frustrations, but also to give me understanding of the situation.  "What causes fights and quarrels among you? . . .You want something but don't get it . . . You do not have, because you do not ask God" (James 4:1-2 NIV).  Why do we fight with loved ones, friends, or even co-workers? 

Just recently we crossed paths with this person.  I went the other way.  Craig waved at them and then waited for them to stop and talk.  I immediately was irritated at Craig.  “Why did he just do that?  He knows how I feel about them.”  To my surprise, they stopped and talked.  Was this God providing the first step? A question I really don’t know how to answer.  But I know we all need to make it right.  “If you enter your place of worship and are about to make an offering, but you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God" (Matthew 5:23-24).  Dear Lord, please continue to give me the strength and encouragement to heal this relationship.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dear Lord

Dear Lord,
     Its been one of those days...maybe even the week.  I know some of this may be because I am not feeling the best but depression has set in bigger than life.  It seems that Satan is working hard right now to make me doubt myself. 
     You have given me a blessed life.  You provided me with two wonderful children and an awesome husband that loves me beyond belief.  Somehow I feel alone.  Please wrap me in your love and take away my anxiety.  Lord, please surround me with your words, grace, and strength. 
In Jesus name,

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Anyone with more than one child, or has siblings themselves, know the rivalry that can go on.  The teasing, punching, hair-pulling, throw a dog on top of you rivalry.  At times I feel that I am an expert in this field.  I was teased non-stop by my brothers.  I would be punched by simply walking by one of them.  And yes, the family dog was thrown on top of me as we were sleigh riding down our snow covered hill.  Feel the love, don’t you?
I grew up in a houseful of boys.  The oldest of the boys was to busy (and older)to really get into the complete aspect of the sibling abuse.  The other two however, were complete authorities on the matter.  As much as they would mistreat me I still treasured the moments they would include me in on their activities.  For example, the year my brother completed his Mic-o-Say initiation with the Boy Scouts and decided to initiate me when he returned home.  Or when they decided to play a new game that they had made up, but much to my dismay it was to throw a ball as hard as you could to the youngest person in the room.  Can you guess who that was?
But in all that torment there was love.  It wasn’t (or isn’t) always shown but I know its there.  I had no doubt in my mind that they would come to bat for me.  The day one brother ran a friend out of our house because he was being disrespectful to me.  Or when I had my heartbroken and my brother could tell my hurt and asked if I wanted the guy’s a** kicked.  The day Craig found out he was being laid off and my brother said, “Whatever you need, just ask.”
I see this same situation with my own children.  “Mom, her feet are on me.”  “Mom, Dalton just shot me with his Nerf gun.”  “Mom, Megan just kicked me in my privates.”  You get my picture.  But then comes the love.  The days when Megan misses Dalton because he is at a friend’s house.  The day Megan had to go to the emergency room and Dalton refused to leave her side.  Dalton is her protector and Megan would do anything for him. 
As a parent now I have to remember that where there is bickering there is also love.  The days where I threaten to lock them in the basement (or today when I threaten to handcuff them together for the rest of the day) because of their constant bickering, I find that all I can do is pray for God to give me patience.  And with that patience He then usually throws in the love.  And then that’s when I find them together and playing nicely.  But watch out….it doesn’t last long.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Life Happens

I am a people person, which is probably why much to my husband’s dismay I love reality shows.  I have said before that I love to talk with people.  I love social gatherings.  I love being around friends and family.  There are some very wonderful people out there that I consider my friends.  I miss them.  I say this because like so many things, life happens and time flies by. 
It happens all the time.  You become friends with someone, hang out ALL the time, and find out interesting stuff.   We all have GREAT memories of our friends.  I can look back and think about a time that I spent with a friend and smiled.  And the next second wonder where they are now.  Where did they go?  There are some friends that I have just recently lost contact with.  Not because of a disagreement, not because they moved, because life happened.  It just became too hard to meet up with them when we all had busy schedules. 
I have also come to realize that I really miss these people.  I miss the talks on the elementary school playground and cruisin’ Main Street honking our horns at everyone that passes.  I miss leaving the dorm at Midnight for a run to the border because Maryville did not have a Taco Bell.  I miss the conversations at my house during poker games and the after softball game ‘Cookout at the Trussell’s’.  The inside jokes, the stories, the memories. 
To all my friends:  I still think of you and smile at our memories.  I laugh out loud at a few of them and even blush at some of them too (then say a prayer and ask for forgiveness).  Thank you for being my friend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All I Can Do Is Pray

Worry.  According to the New World Dictionary the word  ‘worry’ means, a troubled state of mind; anxiety; distress; care; uneasiness.  However, I would like to add some physical attributes to this definition such as nausea; heart palpitation; perspiration; walking in circles.  Insert picture of me.
I tend to worry.  I worry over insignificant things.  I worry over potential obstacles.  I worry about others.  I worry about things I have no control over.    
I am not willing (or cannot) to make public about situations and/or obstacles that may be happening in my little world.  But tonight I came to the realization that something I had feared is actually a reality.  I have no control over it.  Here it comes…Worry.  Fear. 
When I worry, I pray.  Because recently I have realized that I have to give it up.  I have to give it up to God.  I give Him my worry, my fear.  God states, “Do not fear” in the Bible over 300 times.  I must trust in Him.  I read Philippians 4:6-7 and feel comfort.  I read Mark 10:27 and know there is hope.  I ask a favor of my friends tonight:  please leave me your favorite “comfort” scripture.  So tonight when I can do nothing else, I can read through those and then PRAY.