Family of Warriors

Family of Warriors

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Magic of Christmas

I recently heard Lisa Welchel discuss her new book Adventures in Christmas. She talked about embracing the moments of Christmas and seeing Jesus in all things Christmas. I can't wait to read her book. Her discussion that morning made my mind began to twirl with the idea of Christmas and it's magic .

The magic of Christmas is hurrying to my mailbox to see all the Christmas cards. We can't wait to laugh at the the people dressed up as reindeer, to adore the new additions, and to praise God for the miracles of the year.

The magic of Christmas is in the beautiful wrapped packages and bright lights that make us all "feel" like young children again. It is about the yard full of lighted displays that get the oooohhhh and aaaahhhhh.

The magic of Christmas is in watching the same Christmas movies every season and laughing at the same "funny" parts. It is about crying at the Hallmark movies as they come to a story book conclusion.

The magic of Christmas is lingering under the mistletoe with the one you adore.

The magic of Christmas is celebrated with parties, caroling, homemade candy, and genuine human kindness.

The magic of Christmas brings laughter, smiles and 'Merry Christmas' by strangers.

The magic of Christmas is desiring to help others out who are less fortunate.

The magic of Christmas is sitting as a family and watching the snow fall with giddy anticipation of snow ball fights.

The magic of Christmas is something that cannot be sold or bought. The magic of Christmas began with a small baby boy born to a virgin in a manger. That sweet baby taught us how to love and created the magic of Christmas.

The magic of Christmas is love expressing itself through random acts of "human greatness."

No wonder the stores put Christmas decorations out early....we all love the magic of Christmas.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Faithful

*This is my journal entry on November 20, 2010. My hope in sharing it is to bring comfort to others who grieve over their loss....no matter how small or how big.*

On a Thursday afternoon, my life came to a crazy spot. I realized that the life of my unborn baby was coming to an end. I would not get to hold my sweet baby, feed him, clothe him, show him off or snuggle with him in the early morning. My moment with him is gone. My heart cries, my arms yearn, my mind jumbled. Yet I know that my God is with me forever and ever. For He will never leave me nor forsake me. He will not forget me. Today I will seek out those things to praise my God. For he is the giver of all (Deuteronomy 32:39).....He gives life and He takes life.


The title of this post is Faithful. We choose to name our unborn babies. So, not knowing the gender of our sweet little one we decided to name him/her the characteristic that God has taught us through his life....God is Faithful--regardless.

Random Thoughts of December

Well, I have been a not so good blogger lately. Not really the lack of things to "chat" about, but the lack of my blog being a priority. So, with that being said...here is another random post!

  • So far this season, we have fought croup, walking pneumonia and the stomach bug. Yes, I have my sanity. Yes, it stinks but the cuddles are out of this world.
  • We bought a ping pong table for the kids with the help of some others for Christmas. We gave it to the boys early. Kaleb is pretty good and Joshua and Stephen have "killer" serves. I barely can bounce back the ball to them.
  • Mary-Elizabeth has began to play by herself. She likes to play "cooking and serving."
  • Micah's vocabulary has increased at amazing speeds. He pretty much says everything that comes to his mind...tactfulness is a lesson in his future.
  • Mark received a job promotion. He now stays home a majority of the year. God's blessings to us!
  • We are suppose to get a lot of snow tonight and tomorrow and we can't not WAIT! Come on snow. We have missed you greatly.
  • ME doesn't like to sleep very well. I have begun to take back her sleeping habits and create the parent directed sleep. Praying she goes back to normal soon.

Well, that is my random thoughts. I am planning on doing a post on reality and another one that God has been placing on my heart. Until then, God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A Week of Storms and Rainbows

Lately, God has been showing Himself HUGE in my life. Last week we found out that I am with child. Then in true God fashion He fixed our dilemma with Mark's new schedule. He is no longer deploying 8 months out of the year. He is only going to be gone 4 months out of the year. This is a true blessing that we have been praying for, but didn't expect it for many years to come. God is always good.



Then today happened....I started spotting. A replay of loosing the twins came over me. After a confusing doctors visit we have found out that I am pregnant but we are uncertain where the baby is. Then the bleeding began to get heavier. Now we have 3 precious souls in heaven.

Some ask why we would share we were pregnant so early on just in case we loose the baby. My answer is simple and not complex. Mainly because we value life whether the baby meets us on the outside of my womb or the baby is but a breath. Life is precious and life is purposeful. It is just up to us to listen to our God teach us the purpose.

So, I guess I am going to put my listening ears on and ride out this storm in the arms of my Creator and the Lover of my soul.

Bottom line God is still good rather it is in the storm or sliding down the rainbow.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Disappointments....

With a family of 7 we are never short on disappointments throughout our day. Almost every hour someone is aggravated, frustrated, or just plain hurt. Normally the cause of the dismay is a sharing or lack of sharing I should say. With time and a patient Mom, the issue is normally worked out.

Lately, we have had larger issues that have caused loud outcries in our household.

I need to make a side note... I want my children to be disappointed while at home. I know....I am mean like that. But, in reality I want to help my children learn how to deal with disappointments. I want them to have a bag of good coping skills and good Bible verses to get them through life. The Bible is very clear that we will have many troubles in this world.

Back to the outcry...

As I walked with Kaleb through his disappointment for not getting a part in a play that he wanted, I was reminded of my senior year in high school. I auditioned for speaking at my graduation ceremony. I was told that my speech was good and the delivery was good as well. But the time was shorter than he wanted. I was the alternate. I was crushed. In my eyes, I was better than the girl who received the honor of giving the graduation speech.

Now forward 17 years later. And I realized that very experience of disappointment was the beginning of learning that God has a plan for me and for those around me. Plans to prosper me and to give me a future. In lay terms, God has my back! I don't understand why I did not receive the privilege of speaking to my graduating class. Yet, I trusted God.

In hind sight, I can see that one of the best aspects of not getting to speak is I learned how to cheer others on. I remember my Uncle offering to go and flatten her tires. My response was a chuckle because I knew that God had ordained that night for her and not me. What growth I would have missed out on if I had allowed the root of anger or bitterness to take hold.


I say all this to say.... As I walk with my children down many roads of disappointments, I want to remember as I grieve with them for their "loss" that God has a perfect plan and all that is required is for us to trust God. Then I want to sit back and watch them flourish and pray against the weeds of anger, bitterness, and selfishness.

Mountains and Valleys

Lately, I have been in a valley. I don't know where I am going or when I will get to my final destination. All I know is this journey is arduous and bumpy. I am learning how to carve out time for my family in a busy world. I am learning how to take huge dosages of criticism at a time. I am learning to stand strong in what I believe. I am learning how to cry and let go. I am learning how to stay focus on the task ahead of me even though my heart is breaking. I am learning that God is with me every step of the way.

A few weeks ago, I went on a journey up the mountains. I learned a few things that has helped me in this valley. Once I made it up the mountain the view made me speechless. I know that once I climb up this spiritual mountain from this valley that the view will put everything into perspective. I also know from the view on the mountain that the valley is not that bad. It has places of ick, but it also has beauty.

So, as the real valley has beauty so does my spiritual valley. My goal is to seek out that beauty and ponder the Creator. My goal is to love the Lord regardless of what happens and to stick firmly to that which God has called me. Easier said than done I know. Sometimes in the valley we find our true friends. But even worse we see who we really are...sinners set free by a loving God.

In my recent valley, I have seen how strong I am. I have cried countless times...very hard for me. I have watched my children suffer--even harder. I have been anxious, angry, bitter, raging, and joyful. The best part is that I have been refined and made to be a better wife, mother, friend, sister and most certainly a better child of God. I have began to fall more in love with a God who adores me and calls me by name.

So, from my view....the valley is a beautiful creation...a bit painful at times, but definitely gorgeous.

Random Thoughts

A good friend of mine has been teasing me for awhile that we don't live in Colorado we live in Kansas. So, to prove her point she took me on a tour of the "real" Colorado. Just to fill you in on some details...together we have 7 kids ranging from the age of 1 to 11. One of us are very use to driving across country the other one not so much. One of us drive through the mountains multiple times in the year, one of us has never driven through the mountains. With the large numbers, we were both forced to drive our cars. I think you are seeing the picture...

As we drove to the mountains, through the woods and over the river, I had many random thoughts. So, here I go....

  • 14 month olds do NOT like car seats. Everyone in both cars will back me up. A screaming child is no fun for no amount of time esspecially for hours upon hours.
  • Even a driver can get sick to her stomach as she drives those curvy, drop off roads.
  • 1 spilled drink during dinner out...not bad odds with 7 kids and one clumsy adult.
  • A lake, some mud, a few dozen rocks and a plethora of worms are more fun than a park regardless of your age. (A side note...I did allow ME to play in the mud too.--I know absolutely shocking. I have proof though.)
  • My children absolutely love hotel rooms.
  • A freezing pool doesn't scare children who adore swimming.
  • One small disagreement in a 37 hour period of time with 7 kids...the grace of God.

Bottom line after my journey to the mountains, my friend is right I live in Kansas.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Accomplishment

So as we close out our first deployment, albeit small deployment considering the sacrifices others make, I am feeling frustrated for not accomplishing more. The more I wanted to accomplish is way over the top--really it is! I wanted to finish 90 lessons of school for 2 of my children and 60 lessons for my new kindergarten kid. I also wanted to paint 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a playroom and a wall in the "great" room. I wanted to do all of this while raising my 5 children and continuing our very active life style.

So, now that I have stated all that I have yet to accomplish...let us see what I have accomplished in the last four months...(list style of course.)
  • Drove from Florida to Texas all the way home with 5 children. No wrecks, no tickets and all 5 children arrived happy.
  • Did a walk through on my new home.
  • Closed on my new home.
  • Moved into my new home and slept on the floor. Bought and moved 2 twin mattresses with box sets.
  • Unpacked my new house.
  • Get up with several small children throughout the night.
  • Hung pictures on the wall.
  • Homeschooled my 3 out of my 5 children for 2.5 months.
  • Went through the entire process of braces with my 11 year old.
  • Weaned my daughter.
  • Worked out several anger issues.
  • Read several books.
  • Bathed many children.
  • Sent numerous packages.
  • Wiped countless tears.
  • Changed endless beds.
  • Said multiple prayers.

I truly stand in awe of any wife of a soldier who carries out deployments for years and years. I am eternally grateful for being able to have the strength to do that which God has called me to be-- Mark's wife and everything that encompasses.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Birthday Parties in Heaven?

The other day out of the blue Stephen asked me if the twins would have a birthday party in Heaven? The timing of his question couldn't have been more perfect. I was contemplating on how to "celebrate" their birthday this year on my blog. Last year I spoke about how God was faithful through the entire process.

This year I wanted to do something a bit more fun. I wanted to see them as they are in Heaven.

A friend suggested that I dream about the boys growing up in Heaven and blog. It is a different experience for the twins because they have been made perfect in death through Christ.

Here we go...

So, while my children on earth sit through Sunday school to learn more about Jesus, the twins sit with Jesus and learn.

While my children pretend to ride wild exotic animals, the twins might actually ride a lion, a giraffe, or an alligator on those golden streets. Maybe they are taking a ride on a Great White Shark. They could be flying on the back of a Bald Eagle. Whatever they are doing, I can almost hear their squeals.

While my children cry when they scrape their knees or when a day has gone poor, my twins know complete freedom to be who they were created to be without the fear of pain.

While my children listen to a cd of earthly, angelic melodies in order to go to sleep. My twins hear the true angelic music all around them as they rest.

While my children are being raised by earthly parents who mess up daily, my twins have perfection.

While my heart aches at the thought of my loss, my spirit rejoices. My sweet Zechariah and Hezekiah are in a place I can barely describe without getting giddy with excitement.

So, to answer Stephen I said, "Yes, I bet they are going to have the time of their lives." Because we all know there is a "Martha" in Heaven planning the biggest 4th birthday bash ever.

Happy Birthday Boys!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Burdens....

Today really stinks in many ways.

My friend and her two children are saying good-bye to her soldier as I write. He is back to fighting a hard, cruel war for another 6 months.

My sister's principal is a fabulous man who loves God and has given his life to following God by loving on children. He is presently on life support in ICU. He was healthy then he wasn't.

My sister in law's family friend died of a brain aneurysm last night. She went to the bathroom during a baseball game and never came out.

I have a friend who is struggling to trust God and have another baby after a miscarriage.

So, today I am weak. My burdens are high. My God is sufficient.

"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made
perfect in weakness."
2 Cor. 12:9
Presently praying for God to be powerful in many lives....life is precious. Do we treat it as such?

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Funny/Sweet Things My Children Say/Do

*I was cleaning my blog posts and found this particular post that was not posted. I laughed so hard that I had to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it too!*

This is why my world is always spinning.....children say the sweetest and funniest things.

Micah said, "Come come come to my service. There is a BIG mess."

As I cleaned up ME's very big mess, she was saying, "ooooo" and smiling. How can I stay mad at her long?

Micah was talking to his Dad and said, "When I get biggest I am going to go home and get my swim suit on and then go to Sea World and give shamu lots of fishes."

Micah was waltzing back to the table during dinner and said, "Hey Mom, why does Dad get adult drinks and I don't?" I replied, "Because he is an adult and you aren't." Micah didn't miss a beat. He said, "No he isn't he is just DAD."

In playing Frisbee tonight, Micah said, "Momma you play very, very well." Then I threw the Frisbee over the fence and he said, "Momma you are really, really bad at this. Maybe Dad should just play with us."

ME just brought me my water bottle and said, "Momma Momma."

I gave ME a metal bowl and a wooden spoon. I was teaching her how to play drums with it. I know I am insane. Yet, the girl in her came out and she turned it around and started stirring a make believe mix of some sort....no drums for her!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Trust & Obey

Regardless of how many verses I memorize, I sometimes forget about all of those when people ask me the hard questions.

I had one of those conversations last week. I couldn't explain my conviction on trusting God in a particular area.

*This may be a post that is way too much information for some of you. You may want to stop reading*

I was talking to a very sweet friend who had great intentions. She just made me really think.

Mark and I fell under conviction 5 years ago that God was asking us to trust him with our fertility. It was somewhat easy then. We had 3 children and wanted more...then we lost twins. We had to believe that God had a plan--a perfect plan. So, once again we made the conscious decision to trust Him even if it hurt.

Now fast forward and we have two more precious children. It is harder to "want" more children when already you are up all day chasing little ones, homeschooling bigger ones and trying to find solitude in the clutter of everyday life. Yet, the question come screaming at me. Do I trust God? Do I believe Him to know what is best? Why not use birth control? Why not use timing methods?

So, in my quest to work this thing out one more time (will probably go through this again) I am blogging my thoughts.

Question 1: Do I trust God? I would like to think that I do, but really it scares me. I am worried about my health, getting fat and the plain mechanics of running a full house with pregnancy and a newborn. Yet, faith is believing the unseen things of God. My verse for 2010 has been Prov. 3: 5-6. So, in order to live out that verse...I lean not on my own understanding. I believe God to be huge in all things including the size of my family.

Question 2: Do I believe him to know what is best? Psalms 139 says He knew me while I was in my Momma's womb. He knows my sitting down and getting up. He creates in me a clean heart. He is GOD. Really if I was honest with myself, pride is what brings this question to my mind. God's desire is for me to be humble and trust in Him.

Question 3: Why not birth control? If God is the creator of life can't He work outside of birth control? I totally believe God can work through all circumstances. So, why don't we use birth control? This could be a huge post on its own. So, suffice it to say that this is a moral decision that we have made. I know the level of defenses of certain birth controls. I probably should add that I am HUGELY pro-life. Life begins as soon as the sperm hits the egg. Therefore certain birth control methods go against my core beliefs. Plus, you add question 1 into the mix and it equals trust.

Question 4: Why not timing methods? Well, the Bible is very clear that the only time one should abstain from sex is during a time of prayer. Therefore, if you choose to abstain then it should be for prayer only. Tough to swallow I know. Conviction is throughout Scripture on how marriages should work. Thankfully, God hasn't given up on me yet.

Mark and I had a recent conversation on this topic. I was taken back by what he said. Side note-I wholly believe in submitting to my husband. I thought he was walking down the road of "I think we have had enough." We fully were recognizing the sacrifices and the hardships. Then he said something that made me fall in love with him all over again. He said, "It scares me to death to have another baby. Yet, it scares me to not have one too."

See, if you really trust God then ultimately it is not what our heart says. The Bible is very clear about our heart being wicked above all things. It is about actively trusting God and obeying God in all things. For Mark, the love of children is abundant. Yet, that isn't even his motivation. He absolutely loves God and to show God he loves Him, he obeys Him. So, in trusting God we are obeying His plan for us.

To sum up this very long post, I had the conviction part settled then God added the blessing of Scripture. Today, in my personal devotional time, God blessed me with Ps 128:1-2.

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways.

You will eat the fruit of your labor;

blessings and prosperity will be yours.

So, I say all this to say...yep I am still believing in God. Trusting in God. Obeying God. For His blessings are far worth the sacrifice.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Rarely

This is the 3rd year to "celebrate" my Mom's birthday without her. Sadly, this year it has been the worse. I think it has been the "worse" because I finally have realized the depthness of what I am missing. It is no longer the idea of what I am going to miss, it is reality--a stinky, yucky reality.


Yet, my God was faithful to me today and hope and joy were restored.

In was during my lamenting to God that He blessed me with some memories of rarely.

Rarely do I pick up the phone anymore to call my Mom. Yet, when I remember my conversations with my Mom joy and sometimes laughter comes.

Rarely do I see a yellow butterfly. Yet, when I do the joy is much greater.

Rarely do I smell smoke. Yet, when I do I am reminded of how precious life is.

Rarely do I meet her in my dreams anymore. Yet, I see her in my daughter.

Rarely do I hear her sing hymns or laugh. Yet, I hear her in my children.

Rarely is grief and reality fair. Yet, my God is righteous and sovereign in all things.

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him.
Lamentations 3:25

Monday, 6 September 2010

Priorities

I have often wrestled with a verse. In fact, I pray it almost daily for me and my family. Yet, I try to go under the radar and not live it out. So, I struggle with it or to use a social work term....I grapple with it.

It if found in Psalms 90:12, " Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Sounds simple doesn't it. He is to teach us. Unfortunately for me, I have had to retake this class several times.

I am in the mist of trying to figure out what priorities I live out. Do I live what I say I believe? Do I work at it? Does my decisions take the shape of my priorities? Um...tough questions huh?

They are for me. Since Mark is gone, I have made for myself a buffet of excuses. I can pick and choose several. They are good and truthful excuses, but they are still excuses for not getting stuff done.

So, as I sit here and contemplate my priorities am I allowing God to number my day? To try and get a handle on my over achiever to do list, I am making a daily list of 3 priorities that I would like to achieve.

This may sound easy, but when you have Awanas and gymnastics in one day I only have a spot for one more thing. So, is it school? Or is it an errand that needs to be ran? In doing this exercise for a week, I have realized that I have put too much into a day.

No wonder I am begging God for rest. He has been screaming at me to number my day and He would give me a heart of wisdom.

Praying that you gain a heart of wisdom through allowing God to restructure your schedule.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Providential?

Last night as I returned home from going out to eat, I should have known something was wrong. I wasn't hungry. I was freezing on the patio as I ate. I was overall blah. I love getting out doing fun things, but last night I was ick. It really didn't hit me until much later that night that I was sick. Sick. Sick. Sick.

As I finally dropped my head on my pillow to quickly go to sleep before another bout of sickness hit me, I prayed that God would be kind and let the kids sleep in. Well, an hour later ME, in true ME fashion, woke up. God was ever faithful and blessed me and she went back down without much of an issue. I quickly fell asleep again.

I was awoken again at 5 with sounds of a sick child in the bathroom. As I dashed to the kids bathroom, I was overtaken with thankfulness that he wasn't throwing up. My least favorite child's illness. So, as I helped him down and carried him to my bed, I agonized over how many children I would wake up hearing that they were sick.

As the sun rose, Micah woke up at 6. It wasn't long to find out the he and ME were also joining Stephen and me in the roll call of being sick.

I prayed this morning that God would show me who to call for help. Having a stomach bug pretty much decreases the chances of having help..but I held out hope.

Well, today hope didn't come like I thought. In fact, hope came in a weird way. My older two helped out greatly. My younger two took amazing naps. Now, I have to really iterate this point. ME doesn't sleep well. An hour is the longest she ever sleeps. Today she took 2 naps for almost 2 hours each. Micah took a 3.5 hour nap. I was able to rest and sleep peacefully.

So maybe, just maybe God allowed for the little ones to get sick so that I may have the rest I desperately needed. God is always providential even in illnesses. Would you not agree?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Lessons Learned During Dinner

Well, lately I have been trying to make dinner time a time of connection between me and my wonderful 5 children.

Tonight they taught me several new lessons....

1. Milk is the best liquid to blow bubbles.
2. Don't get in between a girl and her brownies.
3. A vacuum cleaner is Mom's best friend.
4. Throwing croissant circles is fun.
5. If you put all your food in your mouth and then spit it out, no one will touch it.
6. Clorox will probably not go out of business anytime soon.

Tonight we laughed hard, and we are going to get to clean even harder.....

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Loneliness

One of the first obstacles in my very first deployment is the loneliness. So, you might be asking yourself how can someone be so lonely in a house full of children. Well, being busy and being lonely are two different things. I am extremely busy from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. However, I am still very lonely at times.

I am by nature a people person. I walk into a room full of friends and get giddy. No denying it I love people. I love talking and laughing. I enjoy the times I cry with others, pray with others, and learn with others. I basically adore my time with friends. However, my best friend that I truly enjoy walking, talking, laughing and crying alongside is 11,000 miles away. I miss my adoring husband. I miss our talks about our days. I miss our talks about God and how He is working in our lives. I miss praying with him. I miss living life with him by my side.

So, although I have a plethora of children surrounding me and loving on me, I still get lonely when the sun goes down.

So, I have options on being lonely. It can drive me to depression or it can drive me to sit at the feet of Jesus. Jesus said he would never leave me nor forsake me. He cares that I am alone. And most nights I know that He is all that I need. Regardless of whether Mark is at home or several thousand miles away, Jesus is all I need. Mark is the dessert...the extra...the icing on the cake. Hopefully, I treat him that way.

So, when the nights are lonely my choices are to sulk and go to bed miserable or to trust God and allow Him to occupy me. So, how do I allow God to occupy my time and my mind? Well, diving into His word gives me great peace when my heart is anxious. Chatting with a close friends help me to process my day and thoughts. Reading a good book helps me to see life through others' eyes. Crying helps me to feel and see the compassion of a Holy and Righteous God who adores me as his daughter.

So, when the night gets lonely, I cast my eyes on my Creator, the one who knows me better than I know myself, and I dance the night and loneliness away.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Deployments....

After 5 years of Army life and not one deployment beyond basic training, Mark took a job that would lead him out of the country for months at a time. The particular job popped its head several times and several times we sad NO!

Until, God soften both of our hearts in different ways and then blew the doors wide open on this job opportunity. So, here I sit writing this blog in the comfy of my beautiful home that my husband and my God has blessed me with. While he sits in a war torn land protecting me and probably you from our enemy.

I believe that I am truly blessed beyond all measure to be married to a man who has a deep desire to follow God with all of his heart. I am blessed to serve a God who loves me and is using this particular path to grow me in some areas I lack obedience.

So, I say all this to say...I am a transparent person. I don't masquerade my feelings or hurts. Here is your warning. My blog is the real me....the real thoughts, tears, and laughter. I am not out to offend people, but out to share my heart and fears.

So, you may ask what is my first lesson in learning....how to deal with the loneliness of deployments. But, you will have to wait on that particular post. Because right now, I am a single Mom with a baby whose tummy won't stop hurting.

Off to cuddle....

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Thanking God!

I have really struggled with blogging. Mainly because my blogs are from the inner parts of my soul. I haven't really wanted to share my soul lately. I have been "processing" this new way of life. Well, the last 24 hours have been really tough. So, I thought I would finally get the nerve to do a post that I have been praying over.

My heart's desire is to praise God for this time in our life and for Mark's deployment. I want to see the good in this deployment. Unfortunately, I don't see it very well. Yet, it is during the greatest storms that the sacrifice of thanksgiving has the sweetest fragrance.

So, here it goes. The list is short, but it is a beginning.
1. I thank God that my schedule is more flexible.
2. I thank God I get lots of little hugs and kisses.
3. I thank God for the support of my church family.
4. I thank God for the sweet emails from the love of my life.
5. I thank God for great friends that walk along side of me during this battle.
6. I thank God for listening to me cry and laugh and loving me through all my emotions.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Monday, 5 July 2010

Temper Tantrums

Lately, I have been in a really bad mood. It doesn’t make sense. I have a wonderful husband, children and a brand new house. The only thing I can think of that is the seed of this temper tantrum is my Savior calling me to step out again and trust Him. And for lack of a better way to describe it…I am throwing a fit. Not a screaming, kicking fit…a silent one…a sit in if you may.

The other day I took the boys into Cracker Barrel to eat dinner. A storm began to blow in and I didn’t have our luggage rack suitcases wrapped in their rainproof gear. So, I allowed the kids to go to the bathroom and look around and then we took off. Well, my sweet 5 year old didn’t like that answer and decided he would just sit in front of the door and not go with me. You can only imagine how I felt. He didn’t trust my judgement or the severity of the storm. He didn’t want to leave yet he wasn’t done doing “playing.” Basically, he wanted his very own way.

Hmmmm….it sounds like he might be taking after his mother. In reality, I don’t want to do what God is calling me to do….I want my own way. I want to have all the perks and none of the pain. Yet, it is the pain that I seem to grow the best.

So, this is my official way of trying to end my temper tantrum and share it with my few followers. I am gonna ask God to help me let go and start embracing what He has in store for me. I will try let the tears flow when they come and let the laughter rock the house when it comes.

I guess you can say I am all done sitting in front of the door of progress. I am ready to get up and trust God through those doors and into the thunderous storm that may or may not come my way.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010




Warning: This post may make you cry....

So, we are in the last few days with Mark. Soon, he will pack his duffel bag with hot weather gear and head for a place beyond the ocean. We have been trying to get prepared for such a journey. His journey into a new country and our journey living without Dad.

We have several preparations to do before Mark makes his final lift off. We have clothing to buy, bags to get, phone calls to make, final questions to be answered, etc. However, one of the most important things to do is to give the boys something special from Daddy.

One of the coping mechanisms we used while Mark was gone before was a special stuff animal. It was quite successful with my two oldest children. So, we are trying it again. When the boys miss their dad they can hug their new stuff animal and remember how much their Dad loves them.

We didn't want just any animal we wanted a special animal. We walked by Build A Bear and we qualified for a special discount; therefore, it was almost a done deal. Now to choose the special animal, make it, and dress the animal in their special outfit.

Mary-Elizabeth was easy. We found a very special flowery bunny. She is precious and ME loves her too. It was moving to see Mark work with Mary-Elizabeth in building her bunny. My daughter no longer looked like a baby, but a toddler in her Daddy's arm.

Joshua chose a Army bear with an Army tent. It fits his passion in life and is a perfect symbol of his Dad. Joshua decided he didn't need clothes for his bear because he was already camouflaged. So, he opted for the Army Tent. Precious moments watching him set up the tent and carefully put his stuffed animals in it.
Stephen chose a bunny so that Joshua's bunny wouldn't be all alone. Fits Stephen's personality to always include others. However, his bunny is spectacular because he sports a Star Wars outfit. His bunny is Bunny Skywalker. Mark wanted to call him O' Bunny Kinobi. Stephen, being a true Luke Skywalker fan, wouldn't have it.

Kaleb chose a dog. Anyone who knows Kaleb knows that he desires to have a dog. A dog is companionship and responsibility rolled up in one for him. He also opted for a dog house instead of clothes. It was a weird feeling watching him put his own toys together. Some days I forget how old he is.

Micah's animal is the sweetest. I call Micah my "Monkey." Mark calls Micah his "Tiger." Mark found a Tiger for Micah and we knew that was the animal for him. So, Micah got a tiger in honor of his Daddy's nickname. I know that as time comes my eyes will be moist as I watch Micah cuddle his Tiger and remember how Mark calls Micah his "Tiger" and smiles. Micah doesn't totally get it now, but someday that Tiger will mean the world to him. Because goodness knows "Tiger" means the world to his Daddy as well as the other bunch of animals we have roaming around here.

So, here is to the beginning of God's new plan for us. A place where tears and laughter will intermix. A place where I will realize how strong I really can be. A place where every breath I take will be dependent upon the God of the universe. A place of peace that God has orchestrated for my family.

A Rambling Random Post

Throughout this trip I have thought about various things that I wanted to share with my closest friends. So, to stop the insane amount of facebook status overloads I have been saving them for such a post.


  • I bought my first tank top bikini bottom swim suit. It has been the best investment. I could give you several reasons. However, the main reason is I can now nurse and not "feel" like I have to totally undress. Oh, what freedom I have found. Sadly, it only took me 5 kids to invest in such swim suit.

  • Mary-Elizabeth is swimming with water wings. She is so cute. I love to see her move around the pool with such ease. Not certain where she has gotten her love for swimming, but I will take it.

  • Kaleb and Joshua has both began jumping in the pool doing flips. They have both braved up in the last few weeks of swimming.

  • The more we swim the more freckles I get per my children. FYI, I wear 50 spf. Yep, I am too old to burn.

  • We added to our extended Proctor clan this past week. Mark's cousin's wife had a baby girl Paige. Her pictures show that she has kept up the Proctor tradition and comes out of the womb beautifully perfect. I hope to see that sweet little one.

  • Micah was terrified of the water. It didn't help that he almost drowned once and fell into the hot tub once. He is now swimming all over the pool with his swim vest and "wing floaties." It has opened up my enjoyability of the pool to have him enjoy our daily pool time.

  • Stephen is quite a fish too. He can swim all over the pool without any swim helpers, but he almost drowned on my watch. So, in fear he wears his swim vest and plays games with his brothers.

  • The humidity here in Florida is absolutely crazy. Little girl sweats regularly. Her curls are really cute though!

Alright I guess that is enough rambling for now...Enjoy!

Forever Home


Along with embarking upon a new journey in the area of occupation, we have also embarked upon finding a permanent home. Gone are the days of moving from one rent house to another. Gone are the days of thinking we should keep that box it will pack my _____ very well. Gone are the days of moving here and there. My forever dream is coming true. Never ever have I stayed in a house for more than 3 years in my life time. This new home that we are presently building will be my forever home.
This particular house is not a headache it is a joy. It has been an overwhelming, joyful task to pick out carpet, vinyl, exterior paint, etc.. We were blessed to be able to pick out the largest lot and see our house go from a dream to reality within weeks.


I received pictures yesterday of my home and I fell in love. I can't believe that God is gracing Mark and I along with our 5 children with such a large, beautiful home. I am so excited about decorating it and making memories in my forever home. The boys have all picked out their decor. We have a room where the Force will be strong and in another room heroes are abundant. We are all so excited to get moved in and began our creation.


It will take time to get everything just like we love it, but in time our house will become our FOREVER home. So, yes we are finally getting rid of all those boxes and calling it quits on moving. We are now forever Home-at least on this side of Heaven.
Every good and perfect gift comes from God.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Trip vs Vacation

Lately, I have been debating this in my head. Many think we are on vacation, but I am not convinced.

Vacation to me is when one relaxes and lets go of all the normal jobs. My spa day was a perfect illustration of a vacation. I changed no diapers, disciplined no child, nor did I fix anyone a snack. It was a day that I relaxed and "worried" only about myself. Now, I couldn't do this for long periods of time because it isn't in my nature. In fact, when I saw cups left out I had to fight the urge to not "clean" up. Taking care of my family is my job and I actually enjoy it most days. Yet, the day at the spa provided a relaxed atmosphere which allowed me to rejuvenate before moving. It allowed me to vacate...vacation at its finest.

Now, that brings me to today. We are presently on a trip. We have traveled to Florida with Mark to be with him while he trains for his next position. This experience is a trip. I have to literally "work" at having fun for the kids. For example, yesterday the kids an I went to the beach. It was stinkin hot and the water was warm too. So, cooling down was not an option. It took me over an hour to get all our gear and lunches made to go out to the beach in a cost effective manner. Than it took another 30 min. searching for an umbrella for the beach, which we never found. So, then we went to the beach and ate our sandy lunches. Afterwards, I put sun screen on everyone and that took another 20 min. Then I proceeded to nurse the baby and then we could go out to the water area....oh wait nope I must change a diaper. So, after all that I tracked to the ocean with my hands full of babies, toys, and towels. I played in the water for 5 min. with my little ones and decided to capture this moment on film. So, back up to the car I ran-the sand was hot. As I went back down to the water front and captured my beautiful children on film, I received a phone call from Mark. He was done and needed to be picked up. He needed to run errands quickly to put out his own fires. So now we have spent all of 30 min. at the beach and in the water. Now, here comes the fun part. I had to hussle my children back up to the pavilion to rinse them off and get them into the van. It probably took another 20-30 min. So, yes this a trip..a place where Momma works hard to make sure her small children enjoy their surroundings.

Some may ask was it worth it....you bet it was! I saw smiles, heard giggles, and saw life reenter my children. Plus we saw jumping fish, schools of fish, and a large ship.

Who could have asked for a better "trip"?

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Random

Just a few random things going through my head.

  • I had my first spa day. It might have spoiled me.
  • Mark is gone for several days. Movers come in 30 hours and I feel like I am two weeks behind.
  • Mary-Elizabeth has a horrible cough tonight and I think I might loose a bit of sleep over it.
  • Tomorrow I will make coffee for one and realize that this is my "new" life. It will make me look forward to making coffee for two.
  • I made my to do list and realized that being focused is not my strong point this week.
  • My hair was cut today and I like it.
  • Kaleb was extra sweet tonight. He stayed up with me to help me clean up some areas of our home.
  • I tried booking a hotel tonight for next week and realized that most of the hotels have no vacancies.
  • Joshua doesn't like his dad away and asked for me to stay close to him. So sweet to have my 8 year old hold my hand.
  • Stephen's smile can still melt my heart and get him out of trouble.
  • Micah is still very passionate, but is completely crazy about loving on me and his sister. Sometimes love hurts.
  • I took all 5 kids to the mall and we bought the rest of our summer clothes. I even made them go bathing suit shopping with me. Too much fun! We did have a successful day though. All kids did make it back home in once piece.
  • Alright, I need to go to bed so that I may get up and take the kids to church.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

12 Reasons I Love Mark


Tomorrow Mark and I will celebrate 12 beautiful years together. I am extremely blessed to be married to him. So, in honor of my husband I would like to write 12 reasons I love Mark!


1. I love Mark because he lets me sleep without condemnation when I really need it.

2. I love Mark because his smile melts my heart.

3. I love Mark because he puts me first.

4. I love Mark because he cooks really well.

5. I love Mark because he gives great foot massages!

6. I love Mark because he gives me the greatest hugs and kisses.

7. I love Mark because he gave me 5 wonderful children.

8. I love Mark because he loves Jesus with all his heart.

9. I love Mark because he supports me in all of "my callings."

10. I love Mark because he is passionate about teaching our boys.

11. I love Mark because he tenderly dances with our daughter.

12. I love Mark because through the rough waters or the calm waters he is always committed to working this thing out and whole heartily loving me through the process.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Praising God in This Storm

Lately, I have my good days and then my really bad days. Today was a bad day. I just woke up and it was ick...

So, to be faithful to my walk that I talk about with my girls in my Bible study, I am going to write my Praises out.

1. I praise God for my adorable, committed, loving husband.
2. I praise God that my children adore me and love on me in their individual ways.
3. I praise God that He has never ever left me nor forsaken me even when I deserved absolutely nothing.
4. I praise God that I am not worrying about food, shelter, or illnesses (outside of normal childhood stuff).
5. I praise God that my heating bill was completely covered this month--previous deposit.
6. I praise God for giving me my heart's desire and allowing me the awesome privilege of teaching some wonderful ladies at my church.
7. I praise God that I have several good friends that hold me accountable.
8. I praise God that I have a loving relationship with my sister and brother.
9. I praise God that it snowed last night-beautiful.
10. I praise God that I have the breath to praise His Holy Name!

Monday, 22 March 2010

A Word

Last Sunday, Mark and I had the privilege of giving our testimony on tithing. We are blessed in this area and we have lots to say. However, Our main focus was on the obedience of tithing and interpretation of the Malachi 3:10 verse. We had an enjoyable time discussing the privilege of tithing with our church family.

So, before some of you stop reading this post, it isn't about tithing it is about what happened after the service that I want to share.

A man came up to me. I have never seen him. He thanked me for giving my testimony and said that God had given him a word for me. At that very moment, my heart sunk. What the man didn't know was that my prayers all week was to hear from God through man. I wanted some encouragement in my present situation.

So, as I put my listening ears to hear the man, I realized that I was listening to hear what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear something like this:
"Susan, Mark will have a job by xx date
and you will live in xx
city and you will buy xx house
and you will live happily ever after."


It took awhile, but I realized that isn't what he was saying. He proceeded to explain to me that God had not forgotten the love we shared with the soldiers that were at our house during Christmas and Thanksgiving. He said that God really appreciated us ministering to His people. Then he told me something gut wrenching. He said that God loves me. Wow! I know that, but at that moment I really needed to hear that I was loveable.

I am in one of those funks...where I see myself for who I am and wonder why anyone would want me to be their wife, mother, sister, friend, etc.

Unfortunately, I have sinned and my sins still haunt me....my character still haunts me.

I know I have come along way, but I see how much further I need to go. I see my laziness and my complacency. I see my fears and how I allow them to control me. I struggle with anger issues and controlling my tongue. Selfishness keeps me from ministering to those around me with a cheerful heart. That is just to name a few of my character flaws.

So, to hear that God loves me rocked me...

It reminded me that my relationship with the Creator of the Universe should be built on love and not my to do list. It reminded me that regardless of my failures He loves me. It encouraged me to keep pressing on. It helped me to believe that God has a great plan for my life. It has helped me to seize the day and rest in the Arms of the One who loves me.

Just for the record...I have it on good record that God loves you too....regardless...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Stephen's 5th Birthday


Last week my sweet son turned 5 years old. I am baffled by how fast time flies. It was just yesterday that he would sleep on my chest and make sweet cooing sounds.

He melts my heart completely. He loves kisses and hugs. He is always giving his sister lots of love. He yearns for chocolate milk, but doesn't eat much of anything in particular. His favorite shows are Star Wars, Super Hero Squad, and Batman. He loves to play outside, but hates running around. He plays really well by himself, but he would prefer to play with his older brothers.
For his birthday, we had his first friend party. We celebrated his birth by having a Batman party. Mark worked real hard and created a Batcave. We were in awe of his creation and left it up for several days.
For his cake, we had a very creative lady make a 2-tier Batman cake. It was awesome and the hit of the party. Not only did it look good, but it tasted heavenly too.

He celebrated his birth with several friends and ran throughout the house and outside. Then we ended the night with his 'bestest' friend and eating pizza. His cup was full and he was sitting in paradise as the night came to an end.


For his actual birthday, we took him to eat breakfast. The ladies at the restaurant made a super cute hat for him and danced with him. He didn't like that part much. He did like his new outfit that was his favorite color-green. We ended the day by going home and letting him play with all of his new super cool toys.


My dear sweet Stephen, how I have loved you from the moment you were within my womb. You have deepen my love as you have grown in age and wisdom. I am amazed at how you figure stuff out and how you continue to learn at a high rate. Your adoration of your baby sister puts tears of joy in my eyes. Your passion for playing and for your friends is outstanding. Your desire to know God and worship Him is staggering. You my precious son have been and will always be my Joy. Thank you for your loving spirit and kind words. Loving you, Momma

Joshua's Page Ceremony


Several years ago, God pressed upon Mark's heart to start a rite of passage ceremony for our boys. It begins at the age of 8. It is a journey into Knight Hood. The journey has 4 celebrations that happen at monumental times in a boy's life. So, at the age of 8 you enter the first stage and become a Page.

The journey began for Joshua this past month on his 8th birthday. The kids come dressed up a Knights and Princesses. We have a ceremony where Joshua is given a spoken word about his faith and Scripture to memorize. Then the significant, Christian men in Joshua's life pray over him and sign a scroll. It is a faith building event for me to observe. I see my young boy taking steps to become a young man and pride wells up within my heart.


Of course, during the evening we have food, fellowship and complete chaos. So, it is not a somber event. It is a celebration. A celebration that each one of our boys look upon fondly.


So, my loving Joshua, I am proud of you. I am proud of the man you are becoming. I am proud of the path you choose. You take the hard road and strive to be humble and honest. You make my heart skip a beat when you look at me with those deep blue eyes and knock out smile. You are strong, my son, and courageous. You are my Blessing. I will always love you, my son. Momma

Friday, 19 March 2010

Random

It is time for another random post. This is a post where I just put alot of random thoughts down--nothing really fits together.

  • I am really enjoying teaching my Bible study class. The ladies teach me far more than I give to them.
  • Kaleb just got glasses. He looks super cute in them.
  • I am seeing God work through all situations even the tough ones.
  • Stephen is 5 years old...he can write his name and knows his letters and count to 20 on a good day.
  • I finally organized my school room....it only took 5 months-YUCK!
  • A schedule is my best friend and without it I am lost.
  • Micah is doing an awesome job of trying to learn his letters. He can count to 10 and daily practices saying his ABC's!
  • Joshua had teeth pulled and cut out this past month so he was grateful to join the 'I had surgery club.' He got new pjs and watched his movies all day long. He was a champ through the whole thing.
  • A friend and I started a homeschool group at our church. I love the group of ladies that have attended and look forward at the progress of this group!
  • Now two little friends have come to join us for the night, so I must go and get hot dogs ready to be grilled in the fire place!

Seeking Wisdom

Recently, I read through the book of Proverbs. God gave me so much wisdom as I studied His word. I wrote a few of those passages down and wanted to share them with you. In light of our present situation, I share these verses.

It is to a man's honor to avoid strife.

Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.

Make plans by seeking advice.

A man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Blessed are all who wait for Him-Isaiah 30:18

In repentance and rest is your Salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

Mary-Elizabeth 7 Months Old


I cannot believe that my little girl is 7 months old. These past few months have flown by--absolutely flown. It was just yesterday that she would fall asleep in my arms and snuggle up on my chest. Now, she refuses to snuggle much. She is always on the go. She has learned to crawl correctly even though she is almost always in dresses. She can go from laying down to sitting up to standing up. She is on the verge of walking around things. In short, she is mobile. She loves the fireplace and little toys-both to her parent's dismay.


This month she learned what a tu-tu was and that she was pretty in it! She has also started to leave her bows in--her mother is very proud!

Her hair has also grown in very well. We can now do pig tails. Oh,the fun her mother has with her hair, her clothes, and her toys.


She loves to play with toys especially the ones in the basket. She enjoys pulling them out, chewing on them and then passing them on.

She had her first hospitalization this month too. She had a cold that ended in some breathing issues. Her oxygen level was low, but we were able to go home within a day.
Mary-Elizabeth loves purses and jewelry. She adores being a girl, but also loves to play with balls.

In all, this last month has been one to remember. The boys love that she can crawl to them and hate it that she loves to chew on their toys. Micah has really taken to her and has learned how to make her belly laugh. Stephen continues to kiss her consistently. Joshua is the one who can always make her smile. Kaleb loves to hold her and carry her around.
All and all, it is a pretty good life!

5 month Old Mary-Elizabeth


Oh, can I count the ways I love this little girl. She laughs sweetly. She cuddles warmly. She smiles frequently. She is precious, absolutely precious.


At five months old she is able to do more than I anticipated. She rolls all over the floor. She can sit up for seconds at a time. She squeals and laughs. Unfortunately, she can also take out her bow :(. Sad, but we are still working on it. Perseverance is the game! She also doesn't like to lay on her stomach at all. So, this could make crawling difficult.



During Christmas, Mary-Elizabeth added some pink to our bins of toys. One of her favorite toys is her baby doll-Baby Beth. The doll was named by Micah since Mary-Beth can't quite talk yet.


Mary-Elizabeth also enjoys getting dressed up. She likes to wear her dresses and she likes to show off by smiling big.

Mary-Elizabeth's 4 Month Post



Well, it has almost been 4 months since she turned 4 months, but I must accomplish my task. The task is great, but rewarding in the end. I choose to share with the world the accomplishments of my little girl and her big brothers.


While she was 4 months old, we had her baby dedication. Mark and I were both blessed to have a part in her dedication. Mark read from the Bible about the importance of the church family. I ended the service with reading my prayer for her.

My Prayer for My Children


I pray that you have faith. The type of faith that can move mountains.
Matthew 17:20

I pray that you have strength. "The Lord blessed His people with strength."
Psalm 29:11

I pray that you have hope. "The hope that does not disappoint."
Isaiah 49:23b

I pray that you have devotion to prayer. "Devote yourselves to prayer being watchful and thankful."
Colosians 4:2

I pray that you have contentment. "Be content with such things as you have..."
Hebrews13:5

I pray that you have love. "The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save you. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love and rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17


My sweet daughter, I pray that God will teach you His ways, and that you would walk in His truth. I pray that you will have an undivided heart that you may always fear His name.


Some things little girl has accomplished at 4 months of life is playing with toys, laughing out loud, rolling over, and hugging real tight. She almost always wakes up smiling. The last four months have been pure delight for all of us!



Intertwined

Lately, I have been sick to my stomach all day long... It has taken me awhile to figure out what is wrong, but I think I have narrowed it. Obviously, it is the uncertainties of my future, the deadlines of decisions--the craziness that is my life right now.

But, it goes deeper....

As I was processing my thoughts and feelings with my husband, he gently said he thought it was more.... More what else could be bothering me to the point of this pit in my stomach. In his gentle ways, he asked me if my heart was broken for a friend. It was at that moment I realized I was broken.

I am broken for a friend. She is saying good bye to her husband for an entire year. For an entire year, he will be across the ocean in a land where ducking isn't apart of a nerf war. It is a true bomb blowing war zone. A place where men and women are tested beyond their own strength. I feel for him. He leaves a family behind that will be a year older, a year wiser, a year taller.

And on top of that their marriage will have one of the biggest trials thrushed upon them. How do you keep love alive miles and miles apart? How do you communicate? How do you feel their love bank up?

My heart breaks--my soul cries out--my body shakes at the true sacrifice our military makes.

So, what can I do for my friend and her family? Obviously, pray for them fervently. Next, be available and listen closely to the unspoken words. I need to open my spirit up to God and allow Him to direct my paths and speak through my mouth.

So, does this make me feel better. Not a chance... I am reminded of a story in Scripture when Jesus wept. He wept because his friends were weeping over their dead brother. Jesus knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, but his friends' emotion brought out his deep emotions. Our lives our intertwined as Christians. We feel other's pain and joy and through these feelings we accomplish success in being the friend God wants us to be.

So, through my tears, I will be reminded of what compassion can do. I will walk along side my friend and her family and I will weep when they weep and I will rejoice when they rejoice. I will be the friend that God has created me to be.

"I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the ROCK that is higher than I."
Psalm 61:2

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Panic Attacks

Well, I was really hoping I could escape this fire without a stench of smell. I don't think it is going to happen though. Tonight proved it for me. This waiting on God thing is going to transform my life. I will either choose to believe God and live out my talk or I will choose to believe the world and bury my head.

I am at a turning point or maybe it is a breaking point. Tonight we were off and running and then all of the sudden....BAM...a full fledge panic attack. I could breathe and work through it, but it was there.....

All of the sudden, I had incredibly horrifing thoughts....will Mark ever get a job? Rejections were bound to happen. And they have come...in all sorts of ways. And I know that those rejections are needed. It leads us to know where to go and where not to go, but they are ever so painful.

So, tonight my heart is heavy....I have fears. They aren't realistic, but yet they are very real.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Reality

Reality is that I can't find time to fold clothes, organize my school room, declutter my play room or even blog. I enjoy writing my thoughts and feelings down, but I don't have enough 'quiet' time to accomplish my task. So, I come with an apology for those of you who daily look at my blog for pictures or updates on our growing family.



Reality is that our life is crazy and I am trying to assimilate it. I am trying to make sure that all my ducklings are satisfied. I still have lots to say. I am still journaling and I hope that I can post those journals on here as time goes by. In fact, I have a great desire to share with you my thoughts on the journey God has placed us in. We are smack dab in the middle of waiting for God...well I must stop or this might be two posts instead of one...more to come!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

6 Months Old...








At 6 months, Mary-Elizabeth Janice can do quite a bit to keep us on our toes. She can scoot on the floor. She can get up on all four and rock. She sits up like a champ. She is also eating baby food rather well too. Her favorite is peas--organic. She doesn't like bananas at all. She takes a morning nap and 3 small naps in the afternoon and evening. She is extremely cute and has her family wrapped around her fingers--including Micah. Micah can get her to laugh out loud easily. She babbles constantly and loves to play patty cake. We are blessed beyond words to be parents.....

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Addy update....

Addy is still on the ventilator. Her diaphram has weakened and she is unable to breath on her own. They are taking steps to strengthen her diaphram. Please pray for this family as they eagerly await being able to hold their daughter.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Thursday update on Addy

Addy is presently in the OR. She is being closed up. She had a fabulous day yesterday and her liver enzymes and her billirubin are all NORMAL! Her blood pressure is normal and she is getting rid of the fluid. They will slowly start unsedating her--it could take a few days. The family is ecstatic. They have not seen Addy awake or held her in the last two weeks.

Amy is not being discharged today. She is very nauseous. Please pray for her today.

Many thanks to all of you.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Wednesday Update on Addy

Addy is doing fabulous. Her lungs have reinflated and her liver enzymes are down. They were at 3000 and now are at 80, just above normal. They are switching her sedation meds because Addy is beginning to wake up. She should be closed up on Thursday. I guess she will be slowly awaken after being closed up. Let us continue to pray against infection and rejection of the new liver.

Amy is doing well too. She is going to be discharged tomorrow.

Wow, I love being apart of something bigger than myself.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Addy Update--Monday

We just had an update on Addy. She is doing better. She has begun to relieve herself of the fluid in her body, but she still has lots of fluid. Her lungs are beginning to inflate and they can hear air flow, but her lungs still have the chance to get an infection with all the extra fluid.. Also, her blood pressure is all over the place.

Amy is doing well.

The family is asking that we pray about the extra fluid and her blood pressure. Blessings to all of you.

A detailed life....

I didn't want to do it, but I have to. Everything in me wants to just get by. So what do I have to do....well--

I have to schedule our days. We can't get it all done when I am floating through the day. Somehow, I must love on each child (the way they receive love), homeschool, cook, clean, do laundry and still find time to spend time with the man of my dreams. I haven't been very successful in completing my tasks lately.

So in my devotional time the other day, God slapped me upside the head with Scripture.

In 1 Corinthians 14:33, "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace." My house is in disorder. The laundry floats from tables to baskets to even the floor at times. My children are also in disorder. Their devotions are scattered and their Awana verses are not being practiced daily. I am also frazzled which normally leads to nothing productive.

So, in order to restore peace to my home, I must enforce the schedule. I don't think the kids will fight it as much as myself. Yet, it is a necessary part for my home to run smoothly.

Another verse that God laid on my heart that day is 1 Corinthians 14:40. "But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way." Um, I think that screams we need a schedule in order for all of us to be productive.

So, beginning tomorrow I will take the first step to bring order to my home which will bring peace and prosperity to my family of 7.

My Mom


Two years ago today, my Mom passed away from this world to a world of no more pain or suffering. I am grateful to God that He took her to a place of complete freedom. However, I must be honest I still miss her. This morning I was pondering this day two years ago.


I would like to share with you my side of that day. It is more or less a journaling experience for me. I never want to forget what I felt that day. My desire is to remember so that I may empathize with others in their grief. I want to be able to help others by sharing my own experience.


We knew Momma was sick. However, she normally called to tell us good-bye if she was struggling to breathe. We had no phone call. In fact, in my talk with Mom the night before she was emotional. She was ready for me to be back in Texas. She wanted me to come home. We said our last goodbyes and I never knew it.


The next day I was a bit anxious all day. I had no good reason for being anxious, but I was. I couldn't figure out what had me so out of whack. I tried calling Mom all day long, but no answer. This was not completely unusual if Mom was having a bad day. So, that night I called my sister to see if she had heard from Mom. It was during that conversation that my step-dad called.


His words to me were loud and clear. "Susan, she's gone." I could hear tears and utter helplessness. Immediately, I called my sister and told her to go to Mom's that she was dead. I didn't use any nice words. I didn't cover it up for my children. In fact, they found out that their Granny had died by me screaming to my sister. I was a mess. The next few hours are a bit of a blur. I know I cried and screamed and yelled out for my heart was breaking.


Mark was working that night. A friend brought him home. He walked through the door and I once again began to wail and fell into Mark's arms. His friend came in and played with the boys.


My Mom was gone. I wanted to be there when she left this world and into the next. I wanted to know how she died. I wanted answers.


They never came. I had to put my trust in God and believe that He was with Mom in her last moments here on earth.


Two years later the pain is less than it was. I don't cry out anymore. I don't scream. I just keep going and thank God for the small reminders of my Mom. He allows me to see her in my children and even in myself at times. I am grateful to have had her for 33 years of my life.


So, today two years later, I am reflecting on lessons my Mom taught me. So, here are a few of them that came to my mind today.


1. She taught me to be honest regardless of the consequences.

2. She taught and showed me unconditional love.

3. She showed me what hope looks like in the mist of complete chaos.

4. She taught me how to fight and do what is right regardless of the pressure around you.

5. She showed me how to work out my Salvation with fear and trembling.

6. She taught me the power of prayer.

7. She held her possessions loosely and her family tightly.

8. She showed me the blessing of forgiveness.

9. She taught me the blessing of giving all that you have to the God of all.

10. She taught me the purpose of Scripture.


Her children do rise and call her blessed.

Update on Addy

Thank you so much for your prayers. Abby is doing well with her new liver. However, her lungs have collapsed and they are trying to re inflate them. The family has not sent out a new update on Addy's condition. So, she must be doing okay.

Amy, Addy's liver donor, is doing well. She is out of ICU and has been on a few small walks. I have heard that it will take 3 months for Amy to finish recovering from the surgery.

Let us continue to pray for God's healing hands upon Addy and Amy. May we also pray for comfort during the ups and downs of the transplant roller coaster.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Best Friends


Mary-Elizabeth doesn't understand it fully, but she has a friend that adores her. Her friend is 10 years older and lavishes love on her. She loves on her by carrying her around, playing games, and showing her the appropriate behavior of girls. In shorter words, she spends time with her. She is a superb role model for my little girl.

It is important for us to have friends. Friends help us to carry on and fight. They help us to relax and laugh. They allow us to be who we are and yet will spur us on to be who God has created us to be.

We have been blessed with friends everywhere we go. Unfortunately, it takes time to make those life long bonds. Yet, it is in those lonely times that we realize what a friend we have in Jesus. Ultimately, He is our best friend. When we are forced to say good bye to our friends on earth He is still here. He is the one who carries us in the stormy weather and dances with us in the sunshine. He is our all and all. Are you being a good friend and spending time with Him?

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights." James 1:17a


Thursday, 21 January 2010

Thursday Addy update

Addy's liver is failing. She will need another transplant. She is blessed to have an aunt who is going to be a living transplant for her. The surgery is set for Friday please pray for Addy, her parents, grandparents and her Aunt Amy who will be donating a part of her liver tomorrow. Thank you in advance.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Praying for Addy

Please pray for baby Addy. The parents are feeling a bit discouraged today. Her liver enzymes have gone up. This can be normal, but Addy also has arterial clot which causes further complications. Tomorrow they will look at her bile ducts to see if they are working properly. If they aren't then they will do another liver transplant. If the ducts look okay they will then do a biopsy and make certain the liver is working appropriately. She has a 50/50 chance of needing another transplant. Please continue to pray for these young parents.

If you are a facebook junkie you can join the group 'Pray for Addy.' You can get updates sooner. Thank you for being apart of something bigger than any of us...

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Music

Music is healing to my soul. It gives me freedom to cry and freedom to rejoice. I am grateful to have a plethora of stuff to choose from. Lately, I have been listening to my new Point of Grace cd. Wow! I am in love with the entire cd...just ask my kids. There is one song that continues to play in my mind long after it leaves the speaker. I wanted to share the words with you. It speaks volumes to my soul and refreshes me to face the day with dignity, grace, mercy and excitement. Enjoy!

You Are God
When the sun starts to rise and I open my eyes.
You are good, so good.
In the heat of the day with each stone that I lay.
You are good, so good
With every breath I take in.
I'll tell you I'm grateful again.
When the moon rises high before each kiss goodnight.
You are good.
When the road starts to turn around each bend I've learned.
You are good, so good.
And when somebody's hand holds me up, helps me stand.
You are good
So, how can I thank you.
And what can I bring?
What can a poor man lay at the feet of a king.
So, I'll sing you a love song.
It's all that I have.
To tell you I'm grateful.
For holding my life in your hands
When its dark and its cold and I can't feel my soul.
You are still good
When the world has gone gray and rain's here to stay.
You are still good
With every breath I take in.
I'll tell you I'm grateful again.
And the storm may swell even then it is well.
You are Good!

The words are fabulous, but the song will speak to your soul.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Monday Addy Update

Addy is holding her own. She has a blood clot again, but they are trying a new technique. They have made this hyperbaric tent in hopes to get extra oxygen to her liver. The doctors are hopeful that they will have her come out of sedation and off oxygen on Thursday. Let us continue to pray for this family. The option of a new transplant is not off the table. Thank you for praying.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Addy Update


Addy's liver had a blood clot that had to be removed yesterday. They were unsuccessful in removing the entire blood clot, but God is faithful. Her liver is doing its job despite the set backs. Her level of toxins is down. We are praying for the family, no blood clots and no more complications. Thank you for your prayers. The family is handling the situation well and have left their daughter in the hands of their God. He is greater than all things. In Him will we trust. Praying for you sweet little Addy.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Baby Addy Update

The family was able to see Addy this morning and at 3:00. She is on muscle relaxers and sedation, but she looks good. In fact, her mother said she looks great. She has blood drawn every six hours to check her levels. The level of toxins have already decreased. The doctors are pleased. We are all believing God to be huge through this entire situation. We wait in anticipation of what God is doing. Blessings to you all!

More Information on Baby Addy




Addy was born last June and diagnosed with Biliary Atresia. It is a rare liver disease that can be corrected with surgery; however, the surgery failed. It was agreed that she would need a liver transplant. The transplant would be put off until she was stronger or in liver failure. The family was blessed within days of being in liver failure a liver was found that would be a good match for Addy.

The family is asking for special prayer for CJ, Addy's 2 year old brother. He is staying with his aunt while his Mom and Dad are hanging out with Addy. It could be some time before the family is reconnected.

Update on Baby Addy

Please continue to pray for Baby Addy. She came through surgery with some complications. She is on blood thinners and will be sedated for the next 4-5 days. Please pray for the following: 1. no more blood clots. 2. Her body would accept the liver. 3. Comfort and physical needs of her parents to be met. 4. The liver recovers from being on ice longer than expected.

From what I can read, Baby Addy should do okay if her body doesn't reject her new liver. The main drawback is that the complications in surgery is going to make the process longer.

Thank you for praying.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Praying for Baby Addy


Please pray for baby Adddy. Right now she is in surgery having a
liver transplant. Her parents' names are Megan and Casey.
She has a big brother CJ.