Thursday, November 5, 2009

Death, Reconciliation and Healing

I just noticed that the last time I wrote on my blog, it was on Grandparents Day. How fitting, I suppose. I had one grandparent left on that day and he was in a memory loss nursing home. I am sad to say that my grandpa passed away on October 23. Grandpa would have been 90 on November 11.

He had fallen a few weeks before and broke a couple of ribs. The medicine they gave him made his mind go even further away. He stopped eating and walking (or I think wandering would be more appropriate.) He lost a lot of weight. I talked to my dad just the week before and they were calling hospice into the situation which meant less than 6 months. Less than 2 weeks later, he was gone.

Several things tie into that I believe. First, Grandpa always promised that he couldn't die until Grandma and my Aunt Bonnie did. He believed he had to take care of them. My aunt was, well for lack of better word, slow. She has always had someone take care of her. Now don't get me wrong, she can function, but not like we do. She has no friends, no job and basically spent her time visiting my grandparents at the nursing home, running errands and sitting in a quiet house with her 3 small dogs on 4 acres that my grandpa kept immaculate, till he got too sick to take care of it.

My sister has been wanting to move back to Grants Pass for sometime now with her family. Due to circumstances beyond her control over the past 6 months or so, her path has led her to be evicted from her rental home in Portland. During the past few weeks or so, my dad and sister have worked out a plan that would allow her and her family to move back home and live on the property. Jaime's husband is a lot like my grandpa and would be able to tend to the property and renew the garden and the flowers and the yard. It is very exciting. Plus, my aunt wouldn't be alone anymore.

I think that in a round about way, maybe my dad confided to my grandpa what was going on and maybe Grandpa knew that Bonnie would be taken care of and he could let go. I think that Grandpa wandered the halls of his nursing home constantly because his subconscious knew that if he didn't, he would die and then he couldn't keep his word.

My grandpa was brilliant. He was an engineer for NASA in the beginning. He was also special ops in WWII in Asia. I didn't even know that till I read his obituary. He even worked at Roswell Air Force base...before all the aliens. We used to laugh because even if he did know about the alien stuff he couldn't tell me. So he was a man of his word. He was kind and gentle. He was shorter than me, so whenever I left town to come back to Texas he would hug me and I would kiss his bald head. He was awesome and I will miss him. I am so thankful that God gave me those glimses that I had of him in May after Grandma passed away. God is so good.

My dad let me handle the funeral service. He said that he didn't want a stranger talking about his dad. After I was done, my dad told me that I did good and Grandpa would have been proud. The only time I got choked up was when I talked about after I found Christ. I had gone home and it was a good trip. My grandparents house was on the way out of town, so they were always my last stop before getting on the freeway to drive 4 hours back to Portland. The first hours or so, I usually cried. Grandpa always walked me to the car and gave me that extra long hug to tide me over till next time he saw me. I asked him if he believed in God and he said "Oh Yeah! I read my bible every morning and pray. It keeps me grounded." We conversed a little more, but I was shocked. I was twenty something years old and never knew my grandparents even owned a bible. I got that bible, by the way. My dad told me I could have it. It is a Catholic bible, but I don't care. It smells like my grandparents. Grandpas last place he read was Mark 4. I don't know where, but that is the page he stopped at.

On top of that there was a reconcilation with my cousin, whom I haven't talked to since high school. To tell you the truth, I remember part of why, but not all. I don't care though, I apologized for acting like an ass all these years. (excuse my language, but that is what I was.) It was so nice sitting and reminiscing with her and my sister. I forgot how many good memories we had.

I also had healing. Oddly enough it was on a plane ride home talking to a soldier. He was on his way back to Iraq. He has been married for 8 years and only spent two anniversaries home. We talked about the serious stuff and I figured he'd had enough of that. He wanted funny stupid high school stories so that's what we did. We laughed and talked. It was great. I got his address so my girls could write to him. He said that there were 130 folks in his company and some of them never get anything in the mail. Hopefully we can take care of that. Anyway, the whole point of telling you this was to enlist your help in communicating with these soldiers and being penpals. He said they would send pictures and all kinds of fun stuff. Secondly,I was a terrible teenager and it seemed like every story I told was healing for me. I released it I guess. God took it and wiped it away. After I got baptized, I no longer felt shame or regret. It didn't weigh me down, it just was there. Now, I feel nothing, except a story that led me down a path to get to where I am today. Once again, God can use all avenues to push us to where we need to go, even the darker ones. He is so good.

I think that is what he is trying to do with me right now. Heal parts that need healing. Sometimes, before he can take us to the next level, he has to make sure all loose ends are tied up.

I'm not sure why I decided to tell you all of this. Maybe as a reminder for me of all that good things that can happen in ones darkest times. My grandpa was a light to me and my world will be a little darker without him, but God can light up even the darkest spots.

Be blessed,
Until we read again...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Grandparents Day

I woke up at 545am this morning. I had a dream about all my grandparents. I will occasionally dream about them and tell them how much I miss them and love them. They will hug me and hold me and reply the same. I always wake up crying. I miss them. I long for their arms to hug me and let me crawl up on their lap. I long for them to pull me into their chest and tell me how special I am and how proud of me they are. They would be too. They would look at my girls and tell me how beautiful they are and then tell me a story about something silly I did when I was their age. I long for those days.

I don't know why, but this dream, when I woke up, this dream hung over me. I have one grandparent left and he is almost gone. His body is still working, sort of, but his mind is locked away somewhere deep down in his brain. I think that today, maybe I thought it would be the day I got a phone call from my dad saying Grandpa Joe was gone. All day, I have been waiting. Why? I don't know, but I miss him. I miss my grandparents. I want my grandparents and they are gone. I think it hit me today. The more I think about it, the sadder I get. Even this Cowboy game isn't enough to keep me occupied. (they are winning btw...)

I guess there will always be days like this, but hopefully they aren't too often. Hopefully, the memories will keep their spirits alive in me and when I look at my girls, I can see my grandparents in them.

So, I say all this to tell you, that today, on Grandparents Day, if you have your grandparents still, give them an extra hug and tell them again how much you love them. Encourage your children to do the same. Tell the surrogate grandparents in your lives, you know who they are, how much you appreciate them stepping in and helping to fill a void, for your children, that would go otherwise empty. You know who they are. I know who they are and my girls do too.
Thank you to all of you and we love you.

Until we read again...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oregon vacation part 2

It wouldn't be fitting if I didn't start out our vacation story with the vehicle we were riding in. To be fair...apparently, Subaru's are very popular cars in Oregon. Well, this one belongs to my sister's husband who has hand-crafted his to fit his needs. Needless to say, this is a Jalopy. A picture just can't do this poor vehicle justice. On a side note though, we did get LOTS of compliments on it. I know, it is crazy.


On the car ride, my sister had her cd that we listened to old music (60's, 70's and 80's music is old now...) My kids had never heard Yellow Submarine before and it was on this cd...here is the kiddo all singing their hearts out in the back seat..


video

There was a side of a hill with lots of erosion and fun climbing. Miranda finally got to climb a tree.



We got to the Sunset Bay and it was a beautiful day. It was almost time for sundown so we walked down to the beach. There is a tunnel under the road, many childhood memories were made in that tunnel...screaming I mean, you know while we were walking down there...


This is the reason for the name, "Sunset Bay". I particularly like the Catie with her hands out, taking it all in.


Next morning...see that fire...I built it. I was feeling my inner logger come alive.


My brother came down on Monday. We walked down to the beach at low tide and played in the sand. We dug some hug holes in the sand. One was so big, we put Miranda in it and let her dig a tunnel to the next big hole. Our goal was to dig a whole bunch of holes then connect them and when the water came in, it was supposed to fill them up. Problem was, the tide was going out, not coming in. Yea, go ahead and laugh. I don't have any pictures of that because my sister had her camera. I am afraid that there will be some pictures that are of my booty in the air and my head in a hole. She would take blackmail pictures like that. Brat.

Later that day, we walked back down to the beach and walked out on the rocks while the tide was out. I got some cool pics of Tim looking out at the water.


The kids liked to spend their time on the rocks looking into tide pools and poking sea anenomes. (whatever, I don't know how to spell it either.)


One of the favorite passtimes of camping during the lowest tide of the seasons is clamming in the morning. You get up early, go out in the cold coastal weather into the muddy ocean bed, watch for water squirt up from the wet ground, stick a dowel rod into the earth and dig 2 feet into the water for a clam. Oh wait, did I lead you to believe that I enjoy it...no. I was forced to do it when I was kid and I don't have to do it now, so my answer was a vehement no. Miranda went though. They went two days, she only went once, so the picture dates will be messed up, but rest assured, they do the same thing each time. I also started the fire that will be in the pictures. Oh and Miranda's shoes were promptly thrown away. Those smelly things were not coming home.

Once clams are caught they need to be cleaned. Each clam comes with 2 crabs inside, a male and female. The kids promptly seperated them out into piles and "saved" them. When we were all done, we walked down to the beach and released the crabs back into the ocean...(mind you they live inside clams). The crabs were promptly eaten by seagulls...but the kids didn't know what was going on.






We went for a hike later that day with my dad. It goes around the point and you get some beautiful views of the ocean, beaches and other bluffs. You even get to see a lighthouse.





Too bad it was foggy every other day we were in Oregon.

Here is a picture of a crazy crab that we caught. It didn't want to die in the boiling water and be eaten for dinner later that evening...


That was the jist of our trip. It was fun...even with all the crazy waiting. We drove up highway 101, which is the coastal highway of the Pacific. BEAUTIFUL. I was so tired that I didn't take any pictures. It was a beautiful day too. Oh well, that just means I will have to do it again.

We left out at the Portland airport at 430am. We got bumped from every flight, again. The last flight was supposed to leave at 330pm, however due to mechanical problems in DFW, it didn't get to Portland till 630pm. They had rolled people off of the, booked full, last flight to other flights, which left this plane wide open. We got on! Praise God! We got back home in our door at 215am on Saturday morning.

Whew what a trip. Here are a couple more pics for you to peruse...





Monday, August 3, 2009

Oregon Adventure July 2009 part 1

Oh my! Where do I start? I am sure most everyone knows that we have been planning on this July trip for camping and fun since September of last year. Sunset Bay State Park was a yearly vacation spot for my family while we were growing up. I have MANY lovely memories there. This was something I was so looking forward to doing with my sister and her kiddos and our Dad.

So, for starters, the plan was to fly on my sisters non revenue airline passes for the airline she works for. We were slated to check in at the coast on Sunday 19July for 4 nights. Being that the passes were standby and not confirmed, we were going to start trying to leave on Thursday beforehand. That way if we got bumped a couple times, well, we would still have plenty of time.

Well, me being the wonderful planner that I am, started bugging Jaime a week in advance to look at the flights and tell me what they look like. "Not great." She said. Tuesday before, I asked her again, "What do they look like?"
Her reply this time, "Bad. Do you think you could start trying to get out on Wednesday night? That way when you get bumped, you will start further up the list."

Now, let me tell you, about this "list." If you are on the "list", you are amongst a group of several people who watch a monitor flash behind the agents head at the counter. It shows the weather at your destination, the approximate arrival time, the upgrade "list" and the standby passenger "list." Your goal, if you chose to accept it, is to watch your name move up the "list", till it hits the number one position and your name is called to get the coveted, golden boarding pass. (It's really white, but for this story, they were golden.)

We drove to the airport for to try to get on the 430pm flight to Portland. The girls were excited. They each had their backpacks, stuffed with a blanket, crayons, coloring books, paper and 2 Webkinz of their choice. So much joy and laughter. Oh hummm...I should have enjoyed that more at that time. Little did I know that 3 flights bumped later, we would be going home. Now luckily we were already short 5 pieces of check in luggage because they waved goodbye at us from under the plane of the 430pm flight. I could have sworn that I saw them waving and mouthing the words, "so long sucka, see ya wouldn't wanna be ya!" It was a long drive home at about 9pm.

The first flight left at 9am the next morning, we were in the teens on the list, so there was plenty of hope from the day before. We had to leave about 645am to miss traffic to the airport. That sucked. The girls hate getting up early. There was still some joy though. We will definitely make it today, Daddy said he had a feeling. Or was that Friday morning when we left at 645am after being bumped 6 more times and sitting in the late 20's early 30's on the despised "list" and watching few other standbyes run away with our coveted golden boarding passes. We ended up spending 13 hours in the airport on Thursday. The girls were troopers though. They created Webkinz homes using their blankets. I uploaded a picture to Facebook, but just in case you missed it, here it is again.




Friday, I decided after listening to some tv preacher I had never heard before, that we were going to try a new approach to getting bumped. We were going to FROG everything that we got frustrated at. Instead of saying darn or poo and other words I should be using, I was going to use FROG. Fully Rely on God and the girls were too. That was thing number one. Thing number two... in order to always be in God's will, we were going to 1-Rejoice always. 2-Pray continuously 3-Praise in everything. So the same thing happened, 9a-bump, FROG! next, rejoice, we have each other and we are not ouside in the heat...pray, please God have mercy on us, Praise, you are so awesome God that even if we don't make it, you are here hangin out with us. 1020a-bump, Frog, rejoice, pray, praise, 1230p-bump -ahhhhh FROG, rejoice, pray, praise, ride the bus back out to the van because Miranda left our lunch in the car, note don't leave your kids in charge of lunches, 430p-bump (you get the picture), panic mode officialy sets in.

"Jaime, how do the flights look tomorrow?"

"Bad."

Frog, Frog, Frog! If we don't make today, we can't go camping. We won't make it in time. Back up plan, "Jai, can you afford to at least go if we can't make it?"

"Wendy, you have to get here, it is my vacation too."

"Jaime, you said if we don't make it tonight we won't make it tomorrow. We are still 30's on the "list."

"Let's see what happens on the next flight. Maybe you can get into Seattle and I will come get you." (Portland is a 3 hour drive from Seattle.)

Ok, next flight 630p, bump. FROG!! How is this happening? Why God??? Girls have been melting down. They hate the airport. They never want to fly again. They hate each other. They hate their Webkinz, which by this time are so dirty that I can't even recognize them and I don't even want to think of what they are dirty with.

Minds are racing now, what are the other airports that I can get into and who would be willing to drive to come get us. Reno! That is like a 5 hour drive from Grants Pass which is where my dad is. I call dad, "Dad, if I can get into Reno, can you come get us?"

"Nope, I have no power in the trailer and we are leaving at 10am tomorrow morning. Good luck, see ya on Sunday."

Yea, if we make it...

It is 7p and the last Friday flight leaves at 830p. No chance to make it and it is guaranteed we won't make Saturdays. The lady behind the counter said..."I have never seen anything like this before. It is just crazy. Ha ha..."

AHHHHHHHH FROG!!!

Ring...Ring...it's Jaime.

"What about Fresno? The flights has 20 something seats open and leaves in 45 minutes" she says.

"Fresno? How far away from Grants Pass is Fresno?"

"0h, six hours south or so...just below Sacremento."

"that's not too bad. Who's gonna pick us up is the problem."

"Who cares, at least you won't be in DFW anymore."

"True..." Yes, I did say that. "Oh, let me call Tim. (my brother) He is back in GP and I bet he would love a roadtrip."

Ring Ring...no answer on Tim's phone. Frog.

Who else can I call... ooo oooo, Laura, my BFF. I wonder if she has plans tonight?

Ring...Ring...no answer. She is still at work though, let me call back so if she heard her phone, she knows it's important.

Ring...Ring.."Hey, what's up?"

"HEY! I am so glad you answered...what are you doing?"

"Workin, what about you?"

"What are you doin tonight?"

"Going to work out?"

"Anything else?"

"No?"

"You up for a road trip?"

"Where to?"

"Fresno?"

"What???"

I explained our plight and she said sure. Quick end to the story, we got on the flight, that ended up being delayed for an hour spent the night in Fresno that ended up being 8 hours away, not 6. Drove to Grants Pass on Saturday. I got to have dinner with my brother and I got to see my Grandpa who was not having a good day. Was yelled out to get my girls out of there by another elderly man, over and over again, till I finally took the girls out. That was hard. I got to see my aunt on Sunday morning and my sister picked me up at her house and we left for the coast. whew!

Come back for more, there is plenty to tell!

Until we read again...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Charismatic's church observations

I went to my first Charismatic church last night. It was an incredibly moving experience. Don't get me wrong, whispering tongues was a little strange for me because I have never actually been in the midst of it like that before, but you could almost feel the tangibility of the Holy Spirit moving amongst this small group of people.

So this is a small church in Joshua that is about the same size as CJ. No one was afraid to call out to the Lord (and there was a lot of that.) No one was afraid to raise their hands in worship. No one was afraid to clap or cry or just "be" with the Lord. Everyone did something a little different. There was complete joy in the Lord. Wow.

The worship team was incredible. The lead singers were sisters. One was sixteen and the other was probably 20ish. Their voices were, well, I can't quite explain it. They were awesome, almost bringing me to tears. You know the girl who sings the Revelation Song, well like that, times 2. They weren't singing to lead the singing, they were singing because they loved the Lord. It was like we weren't even there. One of the songs was written by one of the girls and her husband. It was called Who Do You Think That I Am? I wish I would have written down all the words because it was moving. It talks about who God is, beauty, sovereign, savior, then it talks about what God is, Now, right Now. During the song, the older sister went and picked up her newborn baby and stood in front of the church singing the song with all her heart, tears streaming down her face. When the song was over, she took the baby back to her mom. My friend leaned over to me and told me that the baby was not supposed to be here. She said that in her 4th month, she started miscarrying the baby. The doctors and nurses told her that there was nothing they could do to stop it and they needed to be prepared for the loss. That night, she got up in the middle of the night and was praying and took communion and asking God for a miracle to save His child. She said that God came down and she felt His presence. She said that she felt a touch on her head that sent chills down her and a voice that said, "Who touched me?" When she went to the doctor the next week the doctors were astounded and couldn't figure it out, but everything was fine and normal. She said that the doctors asked her, "Who touched you?" She and her husband wrote the song to give God the glory for the miracle He gave them.

Wow.

I feel like I need to say something about the preaching, but I wasn't there for a preacher, it was a guest speaker. He spoke about his travels and the miracles he has seen and there were some big ones. He talked about how God's church has fallen away from signs and wonders, but they are still very real and can happen. He said that when God performs a miracle in your life, He marks you as His. He is tangibly claiming you as His own. He said that when it happens, it is a token of His reality. It is a manifestation of who He is, perfect in every way. I never thought of it like that, but it's true.

Wow.

When I left, I felt like I was glowing from being in the presence of the Lord. I felt warm all over, walking on air. I think that there is something to say for an unadulterated love and passion for the Lord. There is something in being able to show it and not feeling like you are crazy or everyone is staring. There is something to say for just being able to "soak in His presence" with other people. I was fired up for God when I left. I was ready to start preaching the gospel and I think had I had a chance to run out and talk to the lost, boy, there would have been some savin last night. But, I should be on fire like that all the time. I think if people could bottle that feeling and flow in it all the time, wow, how awesome life would be. Praisin and preachin baby!

So, I say all this to say, we should be in a constant relationship with God. We should be constantly looking for the Hand of God. We should be looking to keep the fire flaming, not just sparked. God wants us to live like that. He wants us to be on fire for Him. He has soooo many blessings waiting for us, that they are overflowing because we aren't where we need to be or aren't even asking for them.

So today, I challenge you to turn inward and upward and let God fan your flame and start a bonfire. Ask Him to pour out your blessings and look for opportunities to pour out some on someone else. If you share, He will increase yours and you can share more. Be faithful. Stay in His word. He will keep all the promises that he gives. He is faithful.

Be blessed,
Until we read again...

Friday, June 5, 2009

A lot can happen in a month...

First off, I would like to apologize to those who enjoy reading my blogs.(If there is anyone out there... :-) I am sorry. I realized today that it has been over a month since my last post at the end of April. Wow. I have had so many things happen and going on that it is nearly impossible to tell you all of it. I wasn't sure where to start, so I just didn't.

I started out May with the excitement that it was the last month till school got out. It was exciting and mindblowing. Where did the year go again? I just can't remember...

1May - We started out the month with Jessi performing in her last ballet and tap performance for Cinco De Mayo and she did fabulous! She of course was the tallest one. I have pics on my other computer, but I am on my laptop right now, so I will try to add those later.

2May - We went to the most awesome Christian concert called Come Worship Ignite and it was 5 minutes from my house. We saw David Crowder Band and Chris Tomlin, among a few others. There was thunderstorms, tornado warnings, rain, rain, cleansing rain (that was for you Amber...), but the only thing that happened was it got better! Did I say it was AWESOME!

7May - I got to enjoy an allday fieldtrip with Catie and Miranda. I was celebrated at Jessi's preschool for Mother's Tea and it was wonderful because I got some special time with Jessica.

9May - I registered Jessica, my last child for kindergarten. That was tough. It hit me that she is it. Next fall, all 3 of my girls will be in school. I thought I would be excited, but when they took her back for the testing, tears started swelling in my eyes and I knew what it would feel like when I take my baby to class for the first day of school. I will actually be crying at the Boo Hoo Breakfast. Ho hum. Tears swell in my eyes just thinking about it.

10May - Mothers Day. Nuff said. It was wonderful! The girls got me a sweet card that played music and recorded their voices saying, "I love you Mommy". James lets the girls pick out their own gifts so I got, a Wii game from Catie (M and M racing), a vase and some pretty fake flowers, "so they won't die Mommy," from Jessica and Miranda picked out a red pot "because it's your favorite color and you can make tea in it Mommy." So sweet and thoughtful too, all of them!
So, at church there was a video and a beautiful song they did. The video was a slide show of pictures of the church moms with thier kids. It hit me that there was only one picture of me with my girls and it was from 2005. I never let anyone take my picture, so how could there be any. I was saddened for my girls. My own pride had taken that away from my girls. After letting it eat me up for the rest of the day, I decided that I was not going to do that anymore. God loves me just the way I am and my girls would love to have pictures with their mom. That was a tough lesson to learn the hard way. If you are reading this and you hate getting your picture taken, stop it. You are being selfish and if something happens to you, you want people to have pictures to go back and remember you with. That was the next lesson that I learned.

Later that day, my dad called me to wish me a happy Mothers Day. I asked him how my Grandma was doing. A few weeks before she had had a stroke. Dad said that hospice had been brought in and the nurse had said that she probably would last only 1-3 more months. I was in shock. My Grandma had only been in the nursing home for a few months. My Grandpa had been in for almost a year. He had some dementia issues and was put into this home that was a specialist in those types of issues. Grandma didn't really need to be in that type of home, but my dad wanted them to be together. I could go into all those details, but that would make this long blog even longer, so I won't.

12May - Catie had her first choir competition. We got to go out to Sandy Lake Amusement Park in North Dallas. It was great. It was a nice day too. Lots of sun and her choir got 2nd place. Yea! Oh, I forgot to tell you, my dad called me that morning about 7am our time and told me that Grandma passed away at about 530a our time. (there is a 2 hour time difference between Oregon and here.) So in the midst of Catie's wonderful time, I was trying to figure out, do I go home or do I stay here. When is the funeral, what is the plan?

The funeral was going to be the next week on Thursday. I knew that I would not be able to go due to both of my little one graduating that week and Catie had her first out of town field trip to NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. My mom was going to go with her, but I still wanted to be in town. I decided to get on a plane at
6pm so that I could drive home and be with my dad and sister. Dad was going to wait on the cremation so that on Thursday we could have a viewing and I could say goodbye.

14May - Saying goodbye to grandma. That was surreal. I have never actually looked at a body before. She looked peaceful. She looked skinny. She didn't look like grandma. Just thinking about this is hard for me because it just hit me yesterday when I saw a picture of her that that is all I have left. Pictures. Grandma and I loved each other, but we were never very close. She always had a special thing for my sister. I guess I was always jealous of that. The last few times I have seen her though, she had softened towards me and we actually got spent time together playing cards. Grandma loved to play Kings on the Corner. She has had some memory issues for a long time. All she wanted to do anymore was play cards. Grandpa (before he took a turn for the worse) and Aunt Bonnie were so sick of playing cards that when I came and offered to play they were so thankful! It was nice. That is a special memory that I will always have of Grandma because she loved me playing cards with her. It made her so happy.

So, that brings me to happy part of my trip home that week. I got to see my grandpa. My dad had told me that Grandpa didn't really respond to anyone anymore. He just sat there and was not really there. He said sometimes he would respond with a simple head nod or yes or no, but Dad didn't believe he was sure what he was responding to. Grandpa and I were so close, so I couldn't believe that. I refused to believe that. Without making this too much like a book, long story short, Grandpa did respond to me. Grandpa did talk to me. It wasn't a whole conversation and it was slow and choppy, but he did. He even told me "I love you too." He made eye contact with me and I could see he was there and wanted to say so much more, but couldn't make it all connect to work from brain to mouth. My dad even witnessed some of it. He was so shocked and happy that we decided to take grandpa to the house he built and lived in for like 40 years. Grandpa was so glad to be there. He sat in his chair and yelled at the dogs to, "Shut up!" just like he always did. When we were out side, he picked up his hand and pointed at the dogs who were sniffing the cars and said, "Look at those dogs." It was totally awesome. I told dad that Grandpa was still in there and that he needed stimulation. He needed to be talked to and to made to use his brain to get it firing again. I hope dad does it. I told Grandpa before I left that I would be back and I would bring the girls with me because they really wanted to see him. He smiled and nodded his head. Nuff said about that. It makes me want to cry some more to think about all that.

16May - Catie was in her first wedding out in East Texas. She was the flower girl. She did great, it was beautiful. Jessica went and all she wanted to do was, "hug the princess." (the bride). Does that surprise anyone???

18May - Miranda graduates from Kindergarten. Wow. Can't believe it. Cried again. Go figure.

21May - Jessica graduates PreKindergarten. Wow. Can't belive it. Cried again. Go figure. Catie makes it home from Houston safe and sound with my mom. Had a great time. Thank you God!

30May - Catie gets her softball trophy, Yea! Miranda gets to show us all the new and awesome tricks she has learned in gymnastics and gets a medal. Yeah! She learned so much so quick and improved SSSSSSOOOOOO much so quick! Wow. Cried again.

4Jun - Schools out. Summer time begins. Swim season. A new season. Everyday is a new day to begin again.

What I learned this month. Kids grow up quick. Enjoy them while they still want to enjoy being with you. Let people take your picture. You never know when that is all they will have to remember you with. Love your family. Always tell everyone that you love them, all the time. You never know when it will be the last time. Love your friends. They will be there with you to pick you up when you fall.

I know this is late too, but to those that helped James when I was gone to Oregon, Thank you so much. I know that it was a pain, but I am so grateful. I knew that my family was taken care of and that is one thing I didn't need to worry about. I love you all so much!

So, all that being said... God put something on my heart last week and when I work out the details, I will be posting it soon. Be ready... :-)
Be blessed, until we read again...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Marathons and sprint writing

Well, I am sure most of you heard about James. I can officially say that I am married to a marathoner now. He ran his first marathon and it was brutal. The weather was the hottest it had ever been since they started the race 10 years ago (right after the OKC bombing). It was in the mid 70's and it the wind was blowing anywhere from 20-30 miles an hour. It was brutal. The previous high temperature was only 53 last year.

The race started at 630am and there were 20K people downtown. 19K were running one of the races. His race took almost 15 minutes for all the runners to cross the start line. It was an incredible sight. I, being the sweet weenie that I am, ran/walked the 5k at 645am. It took me a whole 43 minutes to cross my finish line, at which time, I walked town to the memorial and took in the awe of it. If you haven't had the chance to go, you should. It is beautiful and you can sense the presence of God in it.

After that, about 8ish, I walked back up to about a 2 and a half blocks before the finsih line and waited. And waited. And waited. Oh, and waited. I finally saw James' friend, Robert, who was doing the half marathon and ran down the 2 blocks to catch up with him and show him where I was. His wife was doing her first marathon too. So then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. (Long day of waiting ever.) By this time, James other friend who was running the marathon, Raj, well his brother had come with us too. He finally made it to where we were so it was Robert, Suresh and myself now. Waiting.

I got a phone call at 1020am from a 405 number. I normally don't answer numbers I don't recognize, but it hit me, it might be one of the medical tents calling about James, so I answered it. It was James. He was way behind schedule due to running into the 30 mile an hour wind and he was only at mile 22. We all did the math and figured it be another 40 or so minutes. So we waited. And waited. Finally, at 1110am, 4 hours and 40 minutes after the start, we saw James. I was so excited I almost cried. I ran out and he ran over to me and gave me a big sweaty kiss! (he was really sweaty!) An hour or so after that, Roberts wife finished hers and about 45 minutes or so after that, Raj finished. He was hurting bad, but he finished. He is really tall and was already having some knee issues prior to that, but he finished! Yea!

So it was a long day, but it was well worth it and I am now offically married to a marathoner. yea!!! Oh and we checked the times on the internet last night and James finished in the top half of marathoners. The average finish time was 4 hours and 51 minutes. Last year, with the temperature at 53, the average finish was 4 hours 30 minutes, so you can see how much weather plays a part in a person's ability to perform. He did pretty darn good for a first timer huh???

ps....no pictures are attached because James did not want his misery kept forever on camera. :-)

So, Sprint writing. Awhile back, I entered a 24 hour writing contest for Saturday. The way it works was you get a topic and word count at 12n on Saturday and have 24 hours to turn it in. I didn't get the topic till about 2pm due to wifi issues and we were in the car on our way to OKC. (I was getting carsick trying to type.) When we got to the hotel, I spent about an hour or so writing my 900 word story during the Mavs game. We went to dinner, then got back about 830p. I spent about 45 minutes editing it and turned it in. Whew...what a Saturday that was... I should find out how I did in a month or so. The contest was limited to 500 writers and they are giving out 85 prizes, so hopefully, I will win something. Wish me luck. Also, the silent character contest I entered on the 15Apr, well I should find out on 4May if I won or not.

Until we read again...
wt

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My nine year streak is OVER...

Well, I finally had to take one of my girls to the ER for stiches. Poor Jessica had a meeting with a mean old ceiling fan on top of a bunk bed at a friends house. Don't worry, there was a lot of blood, but she was a trooper. In fact, when I got back to my friends house (in like 2 minutes...) the only one's left crying were Miranda, Catie and Torie. Jessi wasn't crying anymore, till she saw me of course.

We went to the ER and only had to wait about 10 minutes in the waiting room, it was a head wound you know. We were in and out in about, oh, 3 hours. Thankfully Jumanji was on ABC Family and we got to watch that. She didn't cry at all while the doctor did the stiches. She held my hand and when he was done, she had a big smile on her face. She wanted her milkshake.

We went to TGI Fridays for dinner and our waitress was so sweet that she had the manager comp all the kids some ice cream for dessert. So, here are some pictures for you if you are interested. She got 7 stiches and the doctor took about 30 minutes to get it done, just to make sure he did it right.

Don't be scared by her evil eyes...she was trying to be funny and the other pics I took wouldn't come out. She really is sweet. :-)


You can see in the pictures that she had another scratch, that was the second swipe of the next blade, but Catie grabbed her and pulled her back before it got a good whack at her. Thank you Catie!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Kingdom Dog Isaiah 40:31 - video Awesome!

One of my friends emailed me this video and I had to share it. It is awesome. Especially if you love God and dogs...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKohJ1k4oKA

Enjoy -
Until we read again...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another dream...cautionary tale

Ok, so I woke up this morning with the overwhelming feeling that I needed to share this as soon as possible.

I dreamed that I went back to work at my old job in a call center. It was different. The building was the same. The view was the same, but the inside had been remodeled. At first, of course, I had difficulty getting around, but as I walked and worked, it got easier. Most of the readers I have will know that the place I worked before was filled with darkness. I walk in Marvelous Light now, so I could see all the darkness and it could see me. It followed me around, tempting me and trying to be my friend. I would try to hide from it, but it still came. It knew where I was.

After drinking some water, I left the building. I wanted to run away, but I didn't. Instead, I flew. Me, the fraidy cat of heights flew away and it was awesome! I was with 2 other people, but I can't remember who they were. Two of the dark folks followed me too. They wanted to be my friend. I just wanted to get away from them. We stopped in an old town grocery store. You know, the ones in the back country's that look like wooden buildings that were built in the 1800's? I ran into the delivery garage in the back of the store. I was frantically searching for a water bottle. I found one, but it was empty and dirty. I tried to clean it out, but the water was gross. I kept thinking, I have to have some clean water or I won't be able to fly. Next thing I know, the dark people found me. They wanted to "help" me. I told them no and tried to fly away. I guess I got a drink of the dirty water because I flew, but it didn't last long. I saw a clean pool below me and thought of falling into that, but I kept going. I saw some ponds too, but didn't fall into those. Instead, I dropped next to a large puddle of dirty musky muddy water. The dark people behind me stopped to help me. I knew I was dying and they just sat there and patted me on the back and told me it would be okay.

That was when I woke up. Folks, let me tell you what I believe was being shown to me in this dream. I told you a little about my old job. The new me, the one alive in Christ, see old things through new lenses. (although I am not that new anymore, that is what God used to show me this lesson.) I went back to my old job and seeing it in new lenses it looked different and it was filled with darkenss. The longer you walk in darkness, the easier it gets to see. That also makes it easier for darkness to be around you. I guess I realized it and wanted out. I hid and then for some odd reason, I drank water. I know weird, but listen to this... In my dream experience and reading several books and even confirmation in the bible, water signifies the cleansing in the Holy Spirit. Water is cleansing in a baptism and makes things clean and new. I walked out the door expecting to run and started flying. Flying signifies freedom that we don't have without God in our lives. (Again, these are my opinions in my experiences.)

So, now let me get right to the point of why I need to tell you this. I believe that God was telling me to get His messages from His word and not always from people who say they are teaching His word. Such as preachers on TV. Have you ever noticed that some preachers don't even open the bible when they are giving you suggestions on how to live your life? Oh, it's there, but they don't ask you to use yours. That is dirty water. Have you ever read an article in a "religious" magazine or book and they tell you all these wonderful things, but never tell you where they found it in the bible? That is dirty water. I believe God wants us to get back to his clean fresh water of life which is His word, the Bible. I believe that God can do wonderful things with us. Things that are as freeing as flying, if we just open up His word and let Him give us revelation. I think that it is too easy to rely on other imperfect people to tell us what His word says instead of diving into it ourselves. You know what that is? Well, it's just plain LAZY. In the court of law, isn't it hearsay to quote someone else when you are on the stand? Doesn't that make it inadmissable in the court of law? Why? Do you want to go to the judgment seat when you die and tell God that you only did what _______ said you were supposed to do? Have you ever played the game telephone with a bunch of kids? Start with Mama ate Papa's peanut butter sandwich and end up with Mama caught Papa stealing a lunch box. Get my drift? That could be what is happening to God's word. It is being distorted. Even if the person preaching the word is an awesome man of God, you need to be writing those scriptures down and looking them up yourself to make sure they weren't taken out of context. If he didn't quote scripture, you need to go ask him where he came up with that lesson? Ask him for the scriptures? God will give you a little nudge if that was truly His word that was spoken. He is faithful.

So, I guess this was a cautionary tale. I am not preaching, by the way. I am asking you to simply get into His word and have Him show you what, He showed me. I know that I need to be delving into His word more and stop relying on TV preachers to teach it to me. I hope that someone else out there needed to hear this message. I felt it so important that I didn't even go through my email when I opened my computer before I started typing this. Okay, well, I did peek at one. The evil one sure is a good tempter...

Be Blessed, until we read again...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Basking in the Son

Do you ever have those weeks when God is giving you stuff so quick it just is too hard to keep up? This past week has been one of those for me. I keep trying to tell Him that I need to come up for air, but I am drowning in his glory. Have you ever heard that you need to be careful what you pray for? Well, I have been praying for God to let me see people and myself as he sees me and he has answered it in ways I haven't fully grasped yet. It's like, I know it, but I can't put it into words. Yes, me being a writer, stumped for words... go figure.

So what I realized is there is sadness all around me. I watch people and can see that they are hiding behind masks. I do too and it makes me sad. They long for acceptance or forgiveness. They long for unconditional love. A love that is so uncharacteristic of the love that they receive in their lives, that if they did have it, it would be so forgein that they would never fully benefit from it. That love can only come from God and sin has blanketed their lives makes it nearly impossible for them to see it.

This past week has been a flurry of events. I don't want to elaborate at this time because I am not sure what to do with all the info yet. I'm still processing. What I have been so excited about though is that I have been writing like a fool this week. All kinds of things. Usually the Holy Spirit gives me words at the most inopportune times. Like when I am outside jogging, when I am driving or even in the shower. (Do they make anything water proof for the shower yet?) So this time, when words started to hit me, I was sitting in the middle of church. I was so tired because I had just had a surgical procedure done on Wednesday and then went and WALKED the Cowtown 5K on Saturday while my husband was doing the half marathon. Yes, I know it was silly, but I did it anyway. I did not overdo it, don't worry. Anyway, I was sitting in church so tired I could barely stay awake, so I closed my eyes to listen to the pastor talk and really hear his words. All of a sudden, I had to start writing. It was the craziest feeling ever. I popped my eyes open and started franticly looking for something to write with, of course, I didn't have my purse or any paper. I found the closest thing, an info card that my six year old had drawn pictures on and started writing like a fool all around her pictures. I drew arrows to follow the words and wrote over the hearts that weren't colored in. It was incredible. I just wrote.

When I was done, I realized what it was all about. God IS love. All this week he was showing me what people were missing. If we could just love people like he loves us. I felt warm and fuzzy. Like I was basking in the sun. (Hence the blog title.) I would tell you what I wrote, but I think it was for me to understand what God is, then try to share. God is love. He is the feeling between two people that is real. He is the voice in your head that tells you things, like not to sin, go talk to that person, read your bible or you need to apologize, you get the picture. People call it intuition, but it is God.

Just think for a moment, if we all functioned the way God created us to, following our intuitions (ie. Holy Spirit), we would always be showing love. God created man in HIS image. They even talked about it in The Shack, (if you haven't read it yet, read it). His image is the image of love. It encompasses everything. The beauty of the blooming trees. Those fluttering butterflies you get when you meet your soul mate. The crying of a newborn baby. The feeling, the actions, it's all about the love. In the beginning God was love and he created someone to share that with. So, I believe inherently, we all know that there is more than the Big Bang. Why do you think that in peoples most desperate moments, they cry out to something or someone they don't even believe in? Because deep down, they know love and they know he is the answer. They are just too proud to admit it.

Everytime we share love we share a piece of God. Everytime, he fills in the missing piece. That is why we can continue to love one another. That is why when we have another child, we can love them just as much as the first one. The more you give the more you get. Therefore, that intangible faith that we have in a God that we can't actually see or feel is truly tangible. We see and feel him everyday through the people we share our lives with. Each piece of nature surrounds us and that is Gods way of showing love to us. If we follow that little voice in our heads, the Holy Spirit will always lead us the love way and ever a-way.

God is love and he is the true foundation of our lives, whether we profess to believe it or not.
It is. He is. The best way to learn to love others better is to learn to let others love us. That includes the God of the universe, whose only wish is that we would love him above all other things. I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?

So, throw away that sunscreen and come bask in the Son with me, there are plenty of chairs.
I promise, you won't get burned.

Until we read again...
wt

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Disney on Ice discount code for Fort Worth and Dallas shows

Hey all, I have a discount code that will get you 4 tickets to Disney on Ice for $44.00! I know some of you would enjoy that with your kiddos and you can't beat the price. If you need more than 4, like me, they will also let you purchase extras for the same $11.00.

Go to www.ticketmaster.com and enter the coupon code: MOM

Here are the dates and times for the shows:

Dallas shows -
Mar 18, 19 @ 730p
Mar 20 @ 1030a or 730p
Mar 21 @ 1130a or 330p
Mar 22 @ 130p or 530p

Fort Worth shows are -
Mar 26 @ 730p
Mar 27 @ 1030a or 730p
Mar 28 @ 130p or 530p
Mar 29 @ 230p

And don't worry, that real post that I promise to post is coming. I am still formulating my thoughts.
Until we read again,
wt

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chart for Stress

I got this from a friend and thought I would share. I will be posting a real post tomorrow, but for those of you interested, here is something to tide you over.
Until we read again,
wt


A Chart for Stress

You say: 'It's impossible'
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say: 'I'm too tired'
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: 'Nobody really loves me'
God says: I love you (John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 )

You say: 'I can't go on'
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: 'I can't figure things out'
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5- 6)

You say: 'I can't do it'
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: 'I'm not able'
God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: 'It's not worth it'
God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28 )

You say: 'I can't forgive myself'
God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: 'I can't manage'
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say: 'I'm afraid'
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: 'I'm always worried and frustrated'
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: 'I'm not smart enough'
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: 'I feel all alone'
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

cool personality test

I found this website that has a test for what type of spiritual person you are. You should check it out when you get a chance. Here is the website - http://www.upperroom.org/methodx/thelife/test.asp?act=test

This was my outcome...does it sound like me or what?

You are a Lover, a feeling type, whose spirituality comes primarily from the heart or emotions. You value freedom, independence, and spontaneity. Along with your gift of enthusiasm, you show us how to have fun and appreciate beauty. More than any other type, you know how to experience joy. This puts you in a unique position to experience God in the moment, to revel in what is happening around you, and to be in the present tense.

To Lovers, God is a nurturing parent. Prayer for you is often extemporaneous, speaking to God about what is on your heart at the moment. Music moves you deeply; so does heartfelt preaching and worship. You believe that real faith must be shared. Consequently, many Lovers are interested in missions or in spreading the Gospel through the media. You are passionate about holy living.

On the other hand, a Lover's impulsive behavior can get you in trouble. You sometimes focus on satisfying immediate desires to the detriment of investing in longer term needs. You have been known to exude a "holier-than-thou" attitude toward other spiritual types. That does not endear you to us. Guard against thinking that to be right everyone else must share a spiritual experience similar to yours. You also may need permission to acknowledge anger, disappointment, sadness, and doubt, and to allow yourself to be less than ideal.

Crazy huh? Anyway, have some fun today and see what you are like.

Once you are done with the test, find the next part, how to pray as you are.
http://www.upperroom.org/methodx/thelife/prayermethods/praying.asp

If you are interested, you can follow through with the rest of the things the page suggests, learning how each type prays. It is quite interesting and revealing, at least in my opinion. If you still have time when you are done and are interested, feel free to share what you learned about yourself on my comments section.

Until we read again...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things to do for 2009

I like to do the yearly resolutions. Usually I have several and usually, I just forget about them halfway through the year.

HOWEVER, last year, I wanted to get healthy and I did. I lost about 20 lbs and am feeling much better. I can get into about half my closet now and I am so excited.

SO, this year, I want to lose another 20 lbs. I want to be even healthier and I want to take better care of myself, for my girls. T Girls Rock, by the way, if you didn't know that already!

I want to smile more and yell less. I told one of my girls in the car today that if you want people to change how they treat you, you have to change how you treat them. I think that is a good lesson for me too and for everyone. We can be upset because someone did this or that, or even you wish someone would do this or that, but I think that in order to get, you gotta give. It is always so nice to give. It makes your heart feel good to know that you helped make someone smile. My prayer would be that God helps me change to be a better person. I guess to sum up this, I want to be a better wife and mother. To have a tangible goal... I don't have a clue how to measure this. Any suggestions would be great!

I want to write more. In order to be a better writer, I have to write. So, I have been writing once or twice a week in a journal. My goal will be to make that 3 times a week. It sure will be great at the end of the year to see where God has taken me.

I would like to let God lead me where He wants me to go and not where I want to go.

I want to intentionally seek out peace and harmony. My life tends to get carried away in chaos, whether it be letting the girls go crazy, in turn driving me crazy or letting the laundry get out of control and driving me crazy. Either way, I feel out of sync. I need to find a place in my head where I can just let Him have it and not try to control everything, because that is the illusion, we don't have control of anything, but what is in our head. (thank you to Jurassic Park for that, oh so true, line).

So those are the things I want to work on this 2009. 2008 was great, but 2009 is going to be sublime! :-)

Peace and love to all of you....
Until we read again!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hello to all my friends and family! I just want to tell everyone to have a blessed year! We are praying that we will and you will too.

May God's greatest blessings be showered upon you and may your year be the best yet! Good tidings to you and your kin!

wt

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