His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Uncle Bob Visit Part 2

Poor Uncle Bob wasn't feeling too well. We gave him our colds to take home. You are welcome Uncle Bob. :)
We all had to stay home from Church due to being contagious. So we had a nice easy morning before Bob left to go back to Tulsa. Everybody was soakin' up love.





A Visit From Uncle Bob

We had a really nice visit with Uncle Bob. He came with a vehicle and no heat, and left with that same vehicle toasty warm. So it was a productive weekend. In the midst of all that work, we managed Thanksgiving Dinner, visits from other relatives and loads of backgammon games. Uncle Bob has been practicing and we are looking forward to a Backgammon Christmas Challenge.

video

Friday, November 28, 2008

Grand kids

Aren't they just the greatest little inventions? :)

Lillian and Will held still long enough for a picture or two. Lillian decided to make a face instead of smile. Will was fascinated with the Christmas Tree. We just put it up this a.m. I put the non breakables on the bottom part so the babies can do what babies do.
It was really fun seeing Marc, Ivy and Chuck and Jodie. Katie played her Oboe for us and she is on her way to being a great Oboist.

So here starts the Holiday Pictures!


An Executive Order From Daddy

Anna no longer has to fear our Vietnamese Customers coming over and looking at that duck. We have sold them ducks before and every time they come, she runs to hide the duck. :)

So Daddy granted the duck immunity and she is now an official pet. (besides, her eggs taste great) We raised her from an egg and she is 2 years old now.
AND...... this duck LOVES Anna.

Here they are playing together:




I think the Duck is Thankful..... quack....

Birthday Part 2

After the morning, we had company and Thanksgiving dinner, and then the Birthday Cake.




It was a good day. :)

Anna Is 10 !!!

Yesterday was Anna's Birthday. The first year we had her she turned 5 on Thanksgiving Day, and now, she has turned 10 on Thanksgiving Day. What a neat day we had with all the traditional visitors, turkey, stuffing, AND a birthday.

She chose to have a chocolate marbled cheesecake. Here we are making it, or is that eating it?




Anna enjoyed her present hunt:


It is tradition to hide the presents and they get to open them as they find them.
We were able to get Anna a stroller for her birthday this year. Gramma sent some clothes, a much loved book and a nice watch. She can practice telling time!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Surprise Surprise Surprise!

I went to Tractor Supply today to get goat feed. They asked if I wanted help getting my feed bags in the car to which I said YES! (they weigh 50 lbs each)

So this nice man helped me get them to my car. I popped the trunk open and the poor guy takes a gasp.... this is what he saw......


LOL! I forgot they were in the car. After he came out of shock I explained that they belonged to our daughter etc. etc.
I bet he'll never be shocked again to see another person's trunk. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Marcus the Preacher Man

It is an honor to say that Marcus, our youngest son, preached at his church on Sunday.
We were able to drive and hear him speak and I have to say, he did a really good job on a difficult text.

Marcus is a wonderful husband, father and son. Praise the Lord that He has worked in Marc's life and caused him to want to bring glory to our Heavenly Father.

It is an honor to be both Marcus's mother AND his sister in the Lord. :)

If you want to hear his sermon, it starts after the scripture reading on this podcast.
(It is called Jesus Speaks to the Churches at Ephesus).

http://www.mckinneybiblechurch.org/index.php?option=com_podcast&view=feed&format=raw

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

It is our favorite, FAVORITE time of year once again. The weather is cooler and there is just an excitement in the air. I love seeing the trees turn color. Some of the trees have golden leaves and one has purple leaves and it is just so pretty.

We have been able to use the wood stove again and the bedrooms are all cozy with flannel sheets, blankets and quilts. We could live in Alaska with all the coziness in around here, but we just have to pretend, as it just doesn't get that cold in Texas.
However, tonight, it will get down to 32ยบ.

I talked to our dad tonight and he said it is snowing like crazy in Michigan. I love going to Michigan at Thanksgiving, but we couldn't make the trip this year as we have too many medical issues going on.

But the GREAT news is Uncle BOB is coming from Oklahoma, and our kids will stop by here and there. We will also be introduced to "Tofurken". Our oldest son Chuck, is a vegetarian and his wife Jodie, will be making a Tofu turkey. :) I can't wait to try it. Of course we will have a regular turkey too. However it will not be our 441/2 lb one. I forgot to get him out of the freezer on time. I feel terrible about that.
He was supposed to be smoked tomorrow, but he is still frozen, so another turkey is going to be our guest. He weighed in at 25 lbs and is resting in the fridge. :)

Of course Anna announced that she no longer wants to take care of the animals if all I'm going to do is kill them after she works so hard to care for them. :) She told me she had a talk with the goats and told them if they see me coming with a bucket of food they should run for their lives.....
She is better today. LOL

The last few days we have been busy cleaning and straightening in order to get our Christmas stuff out. The day after Thanksgiving, we make a tradition of shopping and then putting up the tree. After the tree is decorated we have hot cocoa and watch Miracle on 34th St. The old one with Natalie Woods.

One of the fun things today was seeing the girls faces light up as some things came down from the attic. Erika was gleeful saying, "I remember that! I remember that!"
Anna and Sarah were doing the same and it was great to see that their Christmases are now filled with happy memories of Christmases past. :)

Anna's Birthday is Thanksgiving Day too. We are going to do the traditional "seek and find" your presents in the morning. She wants a cheese cake for her cake, and then either Saturday or Sunday we will go to Chuck E Cheese for fun and games.

This is gonna be one busy week.
I think I need to grab onto something and hang on for the ride. :)

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Closet Cleaning

I think I need to clean my closet out more often. When I finished Sarah said, "Wow mommy! A person could live in here!"

Doing Girl Stuff

Anna loves to help in the kitchen.... Actually, ALL the girls love to help, but this one is about Anna.

We made this YUMMY caramel on Saturday.


It was an easy recipe, but I think it could use some "tweaking".

The recipe is:

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Butter
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

put sugar, corn syrup butter and 1 cup of whipping cream
in heavy pan. Heat to boiling stirring regularly.
Then, when it comes to a boil, you add the other cup of
cream. Stir well and then do not stir anymore. Heat until
the candy thermometer gets to 242 degrees or hard but pliable ball stage.

Add Vanilla, stir and then pour mixture into parchment lined 13x9" pan.
Cool and cut into squares. Wrap in wax paper.


With the Extra Whipping Cream, Anna asked if she could make Butter, like we did at Log Cabin Village. So here she is shaking the jar. The butter is very tasty!

Amputee Humor

Sarah was a little disappointed on Friday that she couldn't just get out of that cast and take off running. She spent Saturday night at a friend's house hopping around, and yesterday at church hopping everywhere and got pretty tired. I can't imagine the energy she exerts on a daily basis. So after all that energy spent, this a.m. she woke up and was a little on the grump side. She didn't want to wear jeans, only shorts and couldn't find shorts. etc. etc.
We got her smiling and back to normal and then she said something about her leg making her mad.

So I said, well Sarah, you know what the bible says...."If your leg offends you, cut it off!" To which I got this face....

With the statement, "Hey, it already IS cut off!" LOL
Then she said, "I LOVE MY FOOT!"


Then this face because she knows I'm gonna blog about her. :)


Sarah is always fun, even when she's mad. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Any Unpacked Bags?

As parents, our children come most of the time when we are young and foolish and in no way ready to be parents. That is how God chose to do it! :)
It seems that God has made a great effort to want us to be dependent upon HIM for every breath of life that we breathe and every step we take. Our inadequacy glaring at us each day caused us to run for our prayer closet and hang onto our Heavenly Father for the inspiration of the day, for the strength to get to the coffee pot, for the words we spoke and the energy our days required of us.

As our children got older and we were more comfortable with what direction they were taking, we relaxed abit, as we knew that GOD had ordained their steps and our job was almost done. It was a time of thrilling enjoyment, seeing those flowers unfold into beautiful bloom. (yes,even with boys the analogy works)

Now, there are those crazy types that have decided to do it all over again! LOL You know who you are....

But the difference is: They come potty trained and talking back! They haven't learned your language, either unspoken OR spoken. They come with loads of baggage that needs to be sorted through and a tangled mess of ideas and hurts that give the feeling of continual untangling of Christmas lights. AHHHHH!!!!! You can throw the Christmas lights away and buy a new set! (don't tell, but I have actually done this before)

But our Children are not throw away. There is something new we must learn, like.....
timing, patience, kindness, careful untangling of a little life and unpacking of a bag so tattered that if you don't unzip it carefully it will fall apart.

So, we say to ourselves... this a different sort of kid. This kid didn't come with instructions.(even though we know very well our others didn't either)
If we are not careful, we can find ourselves looking through instruction manuals of a different nature that will offer loads of "man's wisdom", devoid of Godly wisdom.

Some books are great and we can identify things in our dear children in them, and they can offer help to us BUT without prayer and discernment, they can also be VERY, VERY dangerous. The same goes with counselors, and those who have made businesses dealing with emotional pain and baggage.
While some of the information and techniques used can be utilized in a positive way, some of it is just down right dangerous, and we MUST discern what is best for our children.
This very issue SHOULD bring us to our knees in prayer and to the Word of God for instruction, but slowly, instead, the phone call is made to the counselor, the books are re read and we forget Who our TRUE source of guidance is.
Don't get me wrong. I am not against reading of books, and I read them ALOT too. But it is a battle to remember to hold them up to the whole counsel of the word of God.
I am not against counseling either, as I think sometimes there are things they can offer a parent to try.

What I AM against is the forcing of a child to face things he or she may not be ready to face. I am 50 years old, and there are STILL things in my life from long ago that I am JUST NOW, starting to comprehend. I don't think any amount of counseling would have helped me to see it any sooner.

I remember several years ago, after a very traumatic event in my life, a counselor at a church kept calling me. She kept trying to get me to come and and talk to her and she persisted to the point that I totally shut down. I didn't want to talk to her. I wasn't ready. I didn't want her prodding me for how I felt or act like she cared about me. I felt like one of her "projects" she had chosen to fix.
What welled up in me was anger, frustration and self thoughts of inadequacy and pain.
Why does SHE think I need fixing? Why MUST she bother me so?

I finally wrote a letter to her and the church pastor and asked him to please tell her to lay off. I didn't need her help. I needed to work things out between ME and my LORD. She is not my intermediary! I have no need of one.
She didn't back off, and I found sanctuary at a new church.

You know what happened? The pastor there was amazing. He was a little younger and the church was HUGE. ( I thought I could hide out for a while) He saw me and 4 little boys watching the worship team practice. I was so used to going to church early for music; but I was no longer fit.

That guy came over and sat down and showed me respect and kindness. He introduced himself and talked to each of the boys who were between 4 and 8. He never asked me where my husband was. He never asked if I was in need of anything. He just respected me as person, and then he went on his merry way. Oh I was never so thankful for a simple kind person to just treat me as normal.

In time, the Lord brought things to my heart and I poured my heart our to HIM. Later he provided me with a friend to share with, but had to be HIM first!

Why do I say all that?

Because I think so many times we are on a mission to "fix" our children. We are on the fast track to make them whole, and in the process, we may be missing God's timing, and our children's timing.
They may not be ready for things to be discussed. They may just need to chill and be loved just for who they are, with all their quirks and unpacked bags. They may need us to soak that scab in love so it gets soft and doesn't hurt when it comes off.
(sorry for the gross analogy)

I remember when our Anna came to us and decided she wanted to be a baby. She went through the birth process all on her own, curling up under a blanket and being "born" and then snuggling up and I gave her a bottle of warm milk and swaddled and rocked her. THIS WAS NOT INITIATED BY ME OR ANOTHER PERSON, though I have heard of it being done; this was initiated by HER!
She was 6, and after she finished, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "YOU ARE MY MAMA!" It was like she birthed herself into a new role in the family. She was REALLY part of a family and chose to identify herself in that way.

Well, along came Sarah and guess what? After about 6 months.... she did the exact same thing. I thought... how intersting. They have both done this and they are the ones who have initiated this. I felt honored.

When Erika came, she was a little older (almost 8) She of course loved being rocked and sang to, and because of her physical problems, she could not curl into a ball under a blanket on my lap, but she wanted to. We tried some different things and so we just announced that we had a new baby. I held her in my arms and talked to her just like I talked to the boys when they were newborns. "Oh, look at her Mike, she is just BEAUTIFUL"! Look at her hair. Look at her eyes! She is ours! We prayed for her and we gooed and gahhed at her and she snuggled up, just as the other girls did.
She actually went a little further and she would catch me in the hall and grab me and then pretend to nurse! YIKES...... She was fascinated for a few weeks about if her brothers were nursed etc. I explained to her that not all babies are nursed, so though her brothers were nursed with mother's milk, Tim wasn't able to latch on because of being preemie. She was preemie too.

These things happened over time. We had incidents with each girl of disturbing behaviors, but saw those as bags being unpacked. And the longer we loved them, the longer we respected them, the longer we were able to reach them, the more those behaviors disappeared.

As we have been able to instruct them and lead them to Christ.... they have continued to grow and are now learning to ask HIM for help and comfort along with mom and dad.
The words placed in their hearts, the love that has been planted is growing and each of them, are shining in their own ways.
All bags are NOT unpacked. But in God's timing, it will happen. God's timing evokes change from the heart. It is welcomed and does not bring resentfulness and anger.
His timing brings about repentance and healing.

If it were up to me.... I'd want everything fixed today. No YESTERDAY! But God is multilayered. He knows that I need to continue to learn patience and kindness and a big helping of MORE forgiveness.
AND.... as He helps them unpack their bags, He shows me that I still have some bags to unpack too, and so we do it together. :)

Dolls Playing with Dolls

Here are our little dolls, playing with their dolls. They took over my bathroom for the morning and had a wonderful time.







I love seeing them be little girls and just have a good time together. Of course they got into my makeup to give their dollies rosy cheeks. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Breaking Free of the Pink Cocoon!

Today is the day for Sarah to get her cast off of her leg! We are SOOOOOOO excited!
Two weeks ago she cried saying she didn't think she was going to be able to stand not being able to run any more. She is a runner, and hopper, and jumper and dancer, and she was just plain tired of not being able to do what she loves. My heart breaks at these moments. They can be hard for all of us.

Her moment of crisis is in the past and she is now ready to break free of that pink cocoon that has been holding her down for the last 7 weeks.

So here are her last few pictures IN her cast......the last 2 are at the hospital with Daddy in his volunteer Uniform. :)





I was going to take a picture of her getting her cast off, but she was a little too scared so instead we read a book, did tic tac toe and then I held a very scared little girl. But once it was off and she could see things weren't as bad as she thought, she did great. She told the Dr. it feels like her knee has been to the dentist. It was a little numb. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Presenting Truth vs. Brainwashing

Because of numerous conversations I have had with different people, my mind was swimming with ideas how truth is presented to our children. What is the difference between "Truth and Brainwashing"?

Some would say all religious education is "brain washing". Some would say teaching the evolutionary theory in schools is "brain washing". Some would say that teaching right from wrong is "brain washing".

This got me to thinking that the term "Brainwashing" is used as a negative term by those who oppose what the other side is teaching.

So, if you are not a Christian, then All Christian teaching is considered "brainwashing." You may ask how else could anybody think Christianity is true? Or, maybe you were raised being taught something you didn't accept, so now you say, it was brainwashing.
I was taught evolutionary science in Public School. Some would have argued I was being "brain washed".

But both of these examples are ample proof that no brain washing took effect.
As, the person who is not a believer after being raised in a believing home, has his own beliefs, and I, as a public school graduate am not a staunch Darwinian.

I looked up brainwashing, and the definition was interesting. It wasn't absolute.
Some definitions said that brainwashing took effect by isolation, coercion, torture,
intimidation, etc. but here was the definition that stuck out to me:

""""Social scientists who study new religious movements, such as Jeffrey K. Hadden (see References), understand the general proposition that religious groups can have considerable influence over their members, and that that influence may have come about through deception and indoctrination. Indeed, many sociologists[who?] observe that "influence" occurs ubiquitously in human cultures, and some[who?] argue that the influence exerted in cults or new religious movements does not differ greatly from the influence present in practically every{[fact}} domain of human action and of human endeavor.""""


Isn't that interesting? Brainwashing has been watered down to mainstream societal influence. And that is a shame, because it takes away from the true meaning of brainwashing.

In teaching our children the truth, the catechisms, true doctrines of the church, history, science, mathematics etc, we are not brainwashing them but educating them.
There is a big difference between brain washing and educating.

The same goes for the other side of this coin. If somebody teaches or holds the belief that is foreign to me, it is not brain washing for them to express their opinion.

I think however, when it comes to children, their minds are open to whatever is told them, and they are ready and willing to receive what is taught. They do not have discernment for what is true and what is false and therein lies one of our chief duties as parents.

We MUST teach our children to be DISCERNING. We must teach them to THINK, and we cannot do that without teaching them the absolutes of truth, which we can only find in scripture. Part of that teaching includes healthy discussion and debate.

I do not want my children to repeat a catechism with perfect rote memory and never have it touch their heart. But that doesn't mean I won't teach them the truths of God's word. I know many who are afraid of the word "doctrine" because that denotes indoctrination and thus is a form of brainwashing. HOGWASH!

Our children's education, both spiritual and academic must come from a moral compass.
We don't teach them to brain wash them and therefore cause them to believe as we do.
We teach them the truths of scripture to lead them on the path of Life. We certainly have hope that they will follow that path, but there is no magic guarantee, as each man is accountable to God for what he believes and NO MAN comes to God unless the Spirit draws him.

You may be wondering where I am headed with this.....

Here is where I am headed.....

There are movements within the United States that are asking for Change. I am not talking Obama here. I am talking about "within" the church. There are wolves among us who are preaching a new doctrine and not a doctrine based upon truth but upon lies. There is a new youth movement going on and some larger churches are allowing false doctrine to come in. (check out the emergent church and the website www.deepshift.org) I can think of a more appropriate name for this site, but this blog is G rated. :)

HOW OH HOW will our Children be able to discern the truth from the Lie if they are not taught the basic tenants of the faith, based upon the absolutes found in scripture?
If we do not teach them and make sure they understand the gospel, the TRUE gospel, then we are to blame when the wolf comes in and leads them astray with a "new gospel";
a gospel that is devoid of the Cross, without a need for salvation, without a need for repentance.

We had better wake up, as it will not be "brain washing" that steals the hearts of the next generation, but lack of teaching from the Church and from our own homes that entices them away.
It is time to TRULY teach them to think and discern and stop filling their brains with mind candy. If we do our jobs as directed in scripture, we have hope that they will not be led astray by false teachers.

The Challenger

Erika challenged me to a game of Backgammon.

Here she is about to begin....

Here is the game ready to go....

Here is the winner.....
She clobbered me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thinking, Playing and Learning

Tonight I was scrubbing cabinets in the kitchen. The girls had pretended to be servants and scrubbed the kitchen floor and then when they were finished, they carried their play over to paper dolls.

It was quite curious how they took their history lesson, recent bible lesson, conversations we have had in the car, and the life knowledge they have acquired and turned their play into an educational experience for all. Especially me.

I was watching, (listening more than watching) to them separate their paper dolls into servants. Then they decided to "sell" some. Then felt it was morally wrong to sell a servant alone. (separate a family)

Erika began a "story" about a man who married his servant's wife and had his servant killed. (King David) And then she gave a little theology lesson on how he asked for forgiveness and that God forgave him.

She went on to tell about forgiveness and that having servants is wrong.
Then Sarah spoke up saying, "But, there are servants in the bible! The bible doesn't say slavery is wrong!" LOL (our little philosopher)

She was perplexed by that, as she looks around her and sees that it would be wrong to treat another person as somebody to be owned or sold.

They were also able to see how helping in the kitchen or around the house is not being a slave or servant, but working as a team and having a "servant's heart" for the common good of the family.

These girls are such deep thinkers. Each of them was able to transfer the lessons learned recently in school and in discussion into their play.

It really shows how much influence we have on our children, how much influence there is in what they are exposed to and the responsibility we have as parents to teach them the truth. It shows how trusting they are in what they are taught, and even more weight is placed on the responsibility we have, before the Lord, to teach and guide them in the way they should go.

Just when you think they aren't listening..... they are. :)

They are fascinating to watch.

Hypervigilant Heart Protection Mode

This is the term I have come up with to best describe one of our darling daughters who shall remain unnamed, when she gets into a mood that causes all of us grief.(she gets a case of the snautys; which might include folding of arms or rolling of eyes and sometimes an escaped blank stare off into space because she doesn't want to do something that was unplanned) And to make sure that she protects herself even more, she'll say, she knows she won't regret anything. Of course she always does, which is a comfort, but she'll make sure to let us know that she doesn't. :)

I know what works to get her out of HHPM, or to head her down the right path, but what I haven't figured out is how to prevent it all together.

Parenting a child who has past trauma can be very counter-intuitive in nature. What causes a child to become HHPM may make no sense or have any connection to what is going on at all. Accepting that, is one of the keys to dealing with it head on.
Things don't have to make sense. They just are.

Sometimes just taking them in the other room and rocking them and soothing them does the trick to get them back onto the right path, and then you can talk later when things are calm and hearts are open to receive. Other times, that is just not possible, like this A.M. when I had to take Sarah to the Therapy appointment and she didn't know I was leaving, and she couldn't come.

I have found that being able to plan ahead and prepare her is what works best for her, but that is not always possible either. AND, in the real world of everyday life, that isn't going to be probable. Right now she is a little girl, but soon, she will be a teenager and then an adult and the world is just unpredictable.

I can see that our job as parents for her will be to transition her into adulthood and try to help her achieve the personal tools needed to weather the unpredictability of the world. Easier said than done.

One thing though, that ALL of us CAN truly count on, is the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father. His constant and true care for us, even if it seems He isn't listening. He is. We can count on His word to guide us. We can count on his loving hand to hold us, and we can count on His eternal forgiveness.

We were talking to the girlies about this very fact last night during our Family Worship time. But we also were talking about the need for us to be willing to receive love, to open our hearts and be vulnerable.

And that is exactly the root issue I have seen in my one darling daughter's little life.
She opens up, and then closes up, then opens up and closes up. It is as if she remembers, "Oh yea, I can't do this, it will hurt too much and I must be in control," and then she shuts down.
The good thing is that we have seen 3 steps forward 2 steps back, then 3 steps forward, then more forward, then 2 steps back, etc. and we are always moving forward.

Over this next year, we are going to throw a few more surprises her way and try to help her learn to accept the unplanned. In this family, that isn't so hard. LOL
I have to work really hard to PLAN!
So, I guess what I'm saying is I am PLANNING to be a little more carefree on certain things and then work on helping her to develop coping tools.


Anybody got any new tool ideas? LOL

Mine is always STOP, DROP, AND PRAY!

One interesting thing: When I returned from our therapy appt., she had done exactly what she was supposed to with a cheerful heart. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Life Books

I have life books for each of the girls, just like we had baby books for the boys.
But at some point, with the boys, we started to combine pictures into more of a "Family Life Book", not individual books.

I think this is where I am at with the girls life books. They are not just individuals, but they are each an important part of a family unit. My brain goes fuzzy trying to separate pictures, join them, decide what book to put them in etc.

I think I may be able to solve this problem by making a simple "Family book". That way I can start to put together all sorts of pictures and I don't have to "sort" anymore!

Yea~! I feel FREE! FREEEEEE!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gramma Doris 1915-2008



Isn't this a beautiful picture of Gramma Doris? She was Mike's Gramma and Mike's Dad's Mom. She was also one of the sweetest grammas I have ever met. The first time I met her she flew to Dallas with Aunt Judy and stayed on our roll away couch back in 1989. It was fun to visit with her over night and meet both her and Judy. Our air conditioner was not working at the time and it was summer. She didn't complain! The next time we met, our boys were a little older and we went to Michigan for Thanksgiving. She was quite a card player, her favorite being bridge.
She was still living alone in her home during that visit.

Five years later, just Mike and I went up for a visit, and that was one of my favorite visits. We went to a birthday dinner with Noelle and Bob and I think Judy was on her way.... Noelle had to leave to answer a phone call and Gramma Doris leaned in and said, "Let me give you some advice now... when you get old like me, confess NOTHING, they will hold it against you!"
That was the week she lost her right to drive for good. She was becoming a bit of a danger on the road, and seemed to have a knack for running into police cars.
I will never forget that dinner. She was so funny, but so serious.

The next time we went to Thanksgiving, Gramma was much more frail. That was 3 years ago. She was starting to use a walker all the time and had moved to an assisted living home, near Aunt Judy. I'm glad we were able to see her again, and that Anna and Sarah could meet her. Unfortunately, Erika was not able to meet her.

One sad part of family life is that relatives get spread around in the U.S. and we don't get to be as involved with each other as we would like. Living in Texas makes it very hard to keep up with those in other states. We have relatives from one coast to the other.

Gramma died, and we are sad that she is gone. Death is such a final thing this side of heaven's gate. There are always so many things left we could have done, but the time is gone and the day is over. This chapter of her life is closed, but we know that there will be a new chapter opened as she goes into the arms of her Heavenly Father and He says, "Welcome, good and faithful servant!" "Welcome to your new home."

Here is a link to Gramma's Obituary:
http://www.legacy.com/Link.asp?I=LS000120370874X

Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas Picture Bloopers!





Anna's First Phone Call


Is this a sign of things to come??? :)


Anna's good friend MaryGrace called today. MaryGrace and Anna have been friends since Vacation Bible School last July. They have been writing letters back and forth to each other, and sometimes see each other on Sunday's at the Dickey's BBQ here in Wylie. It seems that most of the church going population converges on Dickey's on Sunday afternoons to take advantage of the special deals where kids eat FREE! :)

She is being very polite on the phone and I'm glad she has a good friend. :)

God's Figerprint in Nature

Mike's mom and I were on the phone the other day talking about the Fingerprint of God in nature. I am always amazed at how the Heavens Declare His Glory. Everywhere we look, we can see His handiwork. I am always amazed at the detail and the depth of God's creation. How does a simple spider do this?



Isn't it beautiful? I saw it this a.m. when the dew was wet on the ground. The sun hit the web just right and it sparkled all its glory into my window. :)

Thank you Lord for your marvelous creation. For the simple joys you bring to us each and every day and for the lessons you allow us to see and teach to our children.

Mike and I took all the girls to the window to see our special web. We were able to take that little moment to tell them how awesome of a God we serve and how creative He is even with a simple, lowly spider, and they could see His handiwork this morning, through that spider's hard work. :)
ALL of creation Praises the Lord and tells of His greatness and goodness.
Let everything that has breath, PRAISE THE LORD!

The Continuing Saga Of "The Beverly Hillbillies Comes To Wylie".....

This a.m. Sarah woke up with that "Ellie Mae" accent again. She was asking for me to "whip up some greens" for breakfast. Then she kept on calling out "grannie" this, and grannie that....pretending to answer the phone and talk to Jethro, Jed, Pearl, Mrs. Drysdale etc. I told her, "Sarah, please don't call mommy grannie". She said,
I'm just playing; Your the one who keeps answering! LOL

Hmmmm.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Miracle of Coffee Update

I have been giving Anna coffee in the a.m. before school and a little in the afternoon for a few weeks now. It seems to have be our magic potion of the month! She is concentrating so much better than before and seems to be able to organize her thoughts better.

There are 2 things I definitely noticed. Her comprehension is much better and her ability to go into her chapter and find the answer to a question is much better.

YEA!

Yesterday in History there were some questions regarding 2 chapters for overview. They had to go back into their book to look up the answer. I was sure I was going to have to work with her one on one, but guess what? She did it all by herself! I'm amazed.

So, my experiment worked, just like it did with Joseph. I will stick with the 1/3 cup in the a.m. and 1/3 cup in the afternoon and none on weekends.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Beverly Hillbillies Come To Wylie

I'm beginning to question if that 5.00 DVD for the first 40 episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies was a good idea after all! Especially after the girls free play this afternoon!:)
I overheard them pretending to cook "rabbit stew" amongst some other strange sayings with extreme southern accents. I didn't notice the rabbit until later when I came upon this:

I called them out to ask about Poor Velveteen, as he appeared to be dinner.
They said they had gone "Rabbit Huntin'!" LOL

You Are Still Holy

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