Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today's Agenda

  • Complete FAFSA so I can maybe get a little governmental help paying for school.
  • Go back to Harris Teeter for the 5th(you read that right) time and take advantage of Triple Coupons to get more freebies.
  • Get some goodies for our Spring Fling scheduled for Saturday for our miniature children(0-5years old).
  • Finish a flyer for Youth Revival
  • Make the beds
  • Eat lunch with my buddy at the Waffle House(I'm so excited about this place.  The food is great and the price is even better.)
  • Change the bulletin board at church(I was gonna do this on Sunday but....well....GI viruses had other plans).
  • Have my High School transcripts sent to my new school(It's been so long since HS it will probably like sorting through the Dead Sea Scrolls.)
  • Zumba with my SIL.  (She loves it.  I've never done it.  I'm petrified.)
  • Shower(immediately)
  • And round the day off with dinner at my 'rents and hear all about their Israeli adventures.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Just Thinking

Do you ever wonder why God lets "bad" things happen to "good" people?  I'm not even thinking about Chad, me, and Johanna at the moment because I don't feel we are "good" people and Johanna is/was not a "bad"thing.  It just seems that sometimes life is skipping along quite nicely and everything is coming up roses.  And then you hear of one bad event and that starts an abominable snowman sized chain reaction.  Why is that?  Maybe it's because once we are hurting our eyes, ears, and hearts are opened more widely to the hurts around us.  I don't know if that's the case or not.  It's just a guess.

The reason I ask is that I was cruzin' around on Facebook and was just noticing the sheer amount of hurt in the lives of my "friends".  Sometimes it feels like we just bounce from one dramatic incident to another.  I don't personally feel that way in my own life.  Yes we buried our daughter and yes 2 months later I found myself unemployed.  But both events have been the in my top 5 of all time best things to happen to me ever.  Salvation, Chad, and Clayton round out my top 5.  I could keep listing the best things that happen to me ever but that's not the point of this post. 

But that does remind me that I should probably do that sometime soon.

Oy, I ramble. 

If Johanna had been given to another family and we wouldn't have been her parents I don't know that we would have learned all the lessons about God's grace, mercy, and faithfulness that we've learned.  And if I hadn't been given the old heave-ho out the back door of the doctor's office where I worked I would have never taken the opportunity to go back to school and fulfill one of my life's greatest dreams.  By the way I was accepted to the Paramedic class scheduled to start in August.  Woot!!  I'm pretty excited.

I guess maybe perspective has a lot to do with a situation.  After all if we believe God is all powerful then is He not in control of every situation?  And if He sees that letting me bury my daughter or lose my job will bring Him more glory than their seemingly more pleasing alternative does He not have the right to do as He pleases?  I don't know if this makes any sense or not I'm just rambling for the sake of making my own thoughts make sense.  That's why I blog anyway.

Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.  Psalm 135:6

Just thinking..................

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Normally the family and I would be putting the finishing touches on whatever lunch had been prepared(or purchased).  And then getting ready for Church Round #2.  But today the three of us are holed up in our tiny house.  We have been hit with yet another stomach virus.  And more than just Chad has it this time.  Any time a stomach virus is going around Chad inevitablly gets it.  It's like the cruelest of gifts.  And this time was no different.  The difference this time is that somehow I received this "special" gift as well.  I have not had a stomach virus since I was about 14.  I honestly think its been that long.  Even when I was pregnant with both kids I had very very minimal stomach issues.

I am now healed of my gastrointestinal unpleasantness(and hopefully it's another 14 years before I have it again).  Chad is now afflicted with his.  My parents are also in various stages of GI unpleasantness.  Apparently their group of fellow travelers kinda shared the gift while they were in Israel.  Clayton seems to be just fine.  For now he's watching his third installment of Veggie Tales.  I hope he stays well.  He's not had any type of GI viruses just yet and I would like to keep it that way.  But I don't guess I really have any control over that type thing.  And no, we don't normally let him watch that much TV in a given day but he's trapped inside because it's raining outside.  Our house is tiny.  And he can't play with his most favorite playmate in the entire world(his Daddy).  So he's kinda getting to do what he wants.  The house looks like a Tonka Toy truck machine exploded.  But that's OK.  Everything should be right with the world tomorrow.

I hope you and yours stay well.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Adiso MoTown!

Chad and I are headed out of MoTown in a few hours.  It's a working overnight trip but that's what makes it awesome.  I'll see ya'll on the flip side.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pink.......How I Love Thee!

Yesterday I noticed that I'm beginning to acquire a large quantity of pink things.  My husband is somewhat concerned.  I see nothing to be concerned about.  I have always loved the color pink.  It's just a fantastic and happy color.  Currently I have on a fuschia short sleeved t-shirt  layered over a baby pink long sleeved t-shirt.  Why would you ever layer over white when you can layer over pink? 

Here's the very very short list of my pink thingies:

I write with these every single day.  They're my favey fave.
Dry my hair with this in the mornings.
 This is my life line when I'm mobile.
My coupons are stashed in one of these.
My uhm.....money(or lack of) is stashed in one of these(but mine's fuschia).
My Tylenol(and various and sundry things) is stashed in one of these(the pink one).
I really like this particular bag.  I don't have it but I like it.
And this just might be the best of all.  I have one of these blooming in my yard right now.  It's a Weeping Cherry Tree.  And ours is HUGE!!!!!!!  It's a very old tree and it's absolutely gorgeous.  It's not in full bloom just yet.  But in another week it will be absolutely gorgeous.  I'm serious when I say that this tree stops traffice.  Literally!!

And my toenails are 2 toned pink.  Painted in the French Manicure style with a baby pink base and a hot pink tip.  And yes I did it myself because I'm too cheap to pay someone else to do it for me.

I LOVE PINK!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

That's My Girl!

On Monday I mentioned that I had received some encouragement related to Johanna that I didn't know I needed from a source I didn't even know.

The short version(you know nothing besides my height is short) is that the pastor that led the dismissal prayer at the banquet where I spoke told Chad and me that Johanna is exclaiming "That's my Mommy and Daddy".  Please don't think these things are said to be boastful or proud.  I'm just being real with you and telling you what has helped me lately.

I've been going through the book "Having a Mary Spirit".  I so don't have a Mary spirit.  I'm a Martha up one side and down the other so this has been quite a challenge.  The author was describing God's possible reaction to His children when we "get it right".  When something finally clicks or when we gain victory over whatever it may be on any given day.

When you have small children(infants and toddlers because that's all I know about so far) every minor accomplishment is a major achievement.  Clayton picked up all his toys with no discipline required?  Chad and I act like he just received an Olympic God Medal.  That's how God reacts when we reach a spiritual milestone.  When we achieve victory over the perpetual bad attitude.

This is an excerpt from my Bible Study.  I don't if this is at all how God would do things but I guess it's a dumbed down human version.  I really like it too.

"Woohoo!  That's my girl!"  He says.
"Did you see that?"  He asks, turning to the angels and pointing to earth.  Pointing to you and me.
"That's my girl."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What's It All Mean? And What's Going to Happen?

As a former/future healthcare employee I'm so confused by the new healthcare reform bills.  There are some parts that are fantastic and some that are awful.  I've tried to do some self appointed research('cuz that's how I roll) to find out exactly what it all means.  But I'm reading different reports and they are of course all conflicting.  The actual bill is something like 1,018(literally I think) pages long.  That's a lot of junk to rifle through.  I'm not gonna try because after looking it I've determined it's a lot of legalese and political jargon.  As are most types of legislation, legal rulings, legal contracts, and John Grisham novels(no I'm not knocking on John Grisham I think he's fantastic).

Here's my beef with healtchare reform.

The "Hyde Amendment" and the new "Stupak-Pitts Amendment" both state that Federal Funding(ie Medicaid or Medicare and the like) is not permissable for abortions except in the case of incest, rape, or the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother.  Let me insert and say that I have nothing against Medicare and Medicaid and their use.  Nothing at all.  That's not my beef.  Keep reading and you'll see where my problems lie.  Here's the thing.  The "Stupak-Pitts Amendment" really isn't an amendment.  It's an executive order.  An executive order is not always binding.  They can potentially be overturned in the court system.

In a few years our nation's Insurance and Healthcare industry will be mostly if not completely federally funded.  What happens then?  I'm sure this is a stretch in thinking at this point but this is my fear.  First off, I fear that the "Stupak-Pitts" order will be over turned and abortions will be federally funded.  Therefore making me and the taxes that I pay, financially responsible for a practice I whole heartedly disagree with.  Second, will pregnancies that have a psychological impact because the baby is "abnormal"(for lack of a better word) like that of Johanna's be considered to endanger the life of the mother?  If a mother, receiving health insurance from any type of federal program, is given an adverse prenatal diagnosis for her child, and she begins to have mental health type difficulties related to that pregnancy will she then be allowed to legally terminate her pregnancy while my family foots the bill?  Third, who is the person that will be saying what is "endangering a mother's life".  Is the endangering influence only from the pregnancy itself or could it be from an outside source?  Say a disgruntled boyfriend or husband that is abusive in some way to the mother?  I don't have any disillusionments that our nation will ever reverse the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade.  Although I disagree with the practices, the US is a pro-choice nation.  If you're a long time reader you know that I am staunchly pro-life. 

Another beef I have with the Health Care Reform is the eventual ending or reducing of Medicare Advantage Insurance Plans.  These plans are the best things since sliced bread for many people that use Medicare as their primary insurance.  The plans do provide comperable coverage to any 80/20 group insurance plan, reasonable deductibles, and prescription coverage.  Yes they are more expensive than traditional Medicare but only by about $20-$30 per month.  They do have their flaws but all in all they are a fantastically affordable option for many Americans.  I'm sad to see that these plans may come to an end.

Don't lose heart with the American Healthcare system.  There are a lot of people that work very very hard everyday to make sure we all have the best healthcare imaginable.  If I had a need I could be seen almost immediately at any number of local physicians.  You have to remember that Insurance is(or was) a "for-profit"  industry.  We are(or were) a capitalist society.  It's one of the things that have made our nation great.  The fact that I can choose to shop at Walmart, Target, or KMart for the same products mean these places have to continue to work to provide the best deal.

May this recent upset in the status quo be a reminder to people of my generation(and everyone else too) to get out and VOTE on election day.  I say my generation because the demographic that I'm currently pigeon holed in has the least number of voters.  P. Diddy tried to change this and did great, but we're still the least among the numbered voters.  Take an active role in the future of our government and country.  Do I vote?  Yes in every election.  It's important.  Far too long my generation has taken for granted all of our liberties.  And now we will begin to pay for our lack of involvement.  God did not put us here to think about ourselves.  Rather we are here to serve.

Random I know but it's how I feel.  Feel free to comment if you want.  Please don't start a verbal assault or war in the comments.  It's happened before when I say anything even slightly political.  Be advised that if your comments contain any type of obscene language or references I will delete you.  Feel free to disagree with me if you want, that doesn't bother me at all.  That's your right as an American(and an awesome right if I say so myself).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Princess Johanna

Saturday evening I had the privilege of speaking at the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center's Volunteer Banquet.  I am so honored that they would ask me to do this for them.  The theme of their banquet was "God's Princess".  It's a perfect theme for so many reasons.  The ladies and gentlemen that volunteer their time and resources are royalty in their own right.  And the ladies, men, and babies they minister to are also royalty because someone is taking the time to spread God's love.  The whole evening was a wonderful experience.  And the pastor that led the closing prayer just put the cherry on top of the ice cream for me.  I spoke about Johanna, Trisomy 18, and the decision to give Johanna life.  When this pastor stood up to pray he gave a simple illustration about how parents applaud all of the accomplishments of our children.  When they do something fantabulous(do you like that word?) we will proudly say "that's my son/daughter".  He simply reinforced that Chad and I have chosen the right path by saying that if JoJo could see us she would be saying "that's my mommy/daddy".  I don't if all that's true or not but it just made me even more proud to be her mom.

Had she lived, Johanna would have been 5 months old tomorrow.  I'm sure our lives would be completely different than they are now.  But God had a different plan for our family.  So for now we live without Johanna.  But one day we will be with her again forever.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday......I'm in Love

  • I'm loving this southern spring weather.  If it's still cold where you are I'm really sorry.  For now it's over 70 degrees in NC and sunny.
  • Clayton and I had a wonderful morning and afternoon with my grandparents.  We did a little shopping, a little lunch, a little more shopping(is there ever too much shopping?), a little ice cream, and a lot of running outside.  Clayton's currently sleeping off his big day.  Thanks Grands for a great Friday.
  • Clayton and I are going to the park when he wakes up for more awesome outside fun.  He's getting so big and loves to bounce all over the big steps and slides.  
  • I'm speaking tomorrow night at the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center's Volunteer Banquet.  I'm super excited, nervous, thrilled, and anxious.  If "all of the above" were an emotion I would fill in that bubble today.
  • I have an awesome new pink, black, green, and white sweater to wear.  Maybe tomorrow night, maybe to church on Sunday.  Who knows.
  • My parents and the rest of their caravan made it safely to the Holy Lands early this morning(but it was actually mid afternoon Israeli time).
  • I'm thinking of stir fry and strawberries for dinner.  That sounds kinda springy.
I'm out of here peeps.  The weather is beautiful and my house is a mess.  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Big Ol' Jet Airliner

Just a quick note asking for a favor.

Please remember my parents(and the other 45 or so in their group) in your prayers today and for the next 10 days.  They are flying out this afternoon and heading to Israel.  This is the trip of a lifetime for them and one they've been dreaming of taking for as long as I can remember.  Chad and I are gonna escort them and a part of the group to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in just a few hours.  They're gonna have a blast I just know it.  Thanks for praying for them, for their safety, for their enjoyment, and for their learning.

"Oh oh big ol' jet airliner"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Be Thou My Vision

Most of us know the folklore type stories of St. Patrick's Day.  Whether they are true or not I honestly do not know.  I wasn't around in the 5th century to verify their accuracy.  There is one part of St. Patrick's history that I just love.  I have found this telling the same in multiple places.  There is no variance so I will presume it to be accurate.  At this point I have no proof to make me believe otherwise.

There is a song "Be Thou My Vision".  It is a beautiful ancient Celtic Hymn.  The song is beautiful both in music and in word.  My brother and his wife had this song sang at their wedding.  It's simply a great song.  This is the history of this song.

The tune name is called 'Slane,' after the Hill of Slane in County Meath, Ireland. When Patrick first came to Ireland to spread Christianity, he was forbidden by pagan royal decree from lighting any fires at the Spring Equinox. Patrick defied the Royal Edict, and lit the first Paschal Fire in Ireland from atop the Hill of Slane. It's so tall (about 500 feet, or 160 metres) that the fire couldn't be missed. The pagan king at Tara was so impressed with Patrick's devotion that he gave him leave to begin proselyting. The rest, as they say, is history.(not my wording I swiped from a forum because I liked the way it was written)

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'ns Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

This May Be The Best Week Ever............

I started using coupons to buy our groceries, toiletries, household necesseties, and basically everything possible in November 2009.  I started basically because I needed something to do after Johanna.  I needed something to occupy my mind.  Well it, as with most other things I do, quickly became an obsession.  In January, when I was "layed-off", that obsession quickly became a necessity.  I'm loving it.  I now balk at prices that only 6 months ago I would have easily forked over my hard earned money for without thinking twice.

I feel like I've done well but not fantastic with the coupon game.  And that all changed on Thursday of last week.  I haven't posted sooner because of my self-imposed bloggy break.  I have a picture and then a break down of each item(minus their individual cost because I'm not that patient), and then the totals and percentages(I know I'm a nerd).

(I do not know why all of my pictures are glowing.  I'm gonna blame Clayton.)

Items Pictured Above:
  • 1 pack Pampers Cruisers Diapers
  • 1 pack Pampers Baby Dry Diapers
  • 1 tube Crest Whitening Expressions Toothpaste(in Cinnamon Rush if you must know)
  • 2 CoverGirl Make Up Thingies(1 powder and 1 eyeshadow kit)
  • 1 Palermo Pepperoni Pizza
  • 9 cans Hormel Chili(mostly Turkey and a few regular to make my husband happy)
  • 1 Gillette Deodorant
  • 1 Gillette Body Wash in some strangely named manly scent
  • 1 Old Spice Deodorant in an equally strangely named manly scent
  • 1 Emerald Nuts Trail Mix
  • 1 Meuller's Whole Wheat Rotini Pasta
  • 3 Dawn Dish Washing Detergent
  • 3 All Laundry Detergent
  • 1 Kraft American Cheese(we were out so it was a necessity)
  • 2 Shedd's Spread Country Crock Butter
  • 1 Bone-In Chuck Roast
  • 1 Bone-In Beef Shank(what can I do with this??)
  • 1 pack Center Cut Pork Chops
  • 2 bags Russet Potatoes
Total Before Coupons              $124.86
Total Savings                           $81.79
Total OOP                              $43.07 or a savings of 65.51%

And a big ole WOOT WOOT!! went up from Carswell Manor!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bloggy Break

I'm taking a break.  Just for a few days.  I have a lot going on mentally and spiritually that I need to sort through.  No big announcements when I get back so don't get your hopes up for something amazing.  It's just been a busy few weeks and I need some time to unwind, play with Clayton, and spend time with my husband.  I'll see ya'll next week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless.......I Meant Wonderful Wednesday

(I just find this hilarious.  I don't know who the random people are or why everything appears to be glowing)
(I'm pretty sure that snowball was meant for me)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Isn't That Special(Warning!! Prepare for Picture Overload)

This past week and definitely the weekend have been an absolute blur.  It's been crazy busy.  There is a part of me(mainly my feet that have been in heels almost non-stop since yesterday) that is glad that this weekend is behind us.  But it was totally awesome and worth all the work.

Tonight we had a "Welcome Home" extravaganza for a gentleman in our church that has just returned from military deployment in Iraq.  You can follow their story at Crossed Moments.  Robbie, we're glad your home and your family is whole once again.  Thanks for serving for my family and me.

The weekends big event was our 2nd Annual Father / Daughter Formal.  This is an event our youth hosts to celebrate the Father/Daughter(special man/special lady) relationship.  I've got pics for you.  It's an awesome night.  Our young girls and young ladies dress to the nines.  They have their hair and nails done.  They are simply radiant.  The Oscars have nothing on our ladies.  It's true. 

Table Decor

Chad's Army
Our Young Men that Served Appetizers and Dinner

Our Youngest Attendees

Our Most Seasoned Fathers

The Hustlin' Bustlin' Kitchen

(And 1 one more that I just find hilarious)

(?? Texting ??)

It really was a sweet evening for all the ladies and their Daddies or special men in their lives.  I have a lot more pics that I could have shared.  I can't wait to start planning for next year.  It's been so much fun.  Thanks again to all of those that helped us with this event.  We couldn't do it without ya'll.  

Now I think I'm gonna hit the sack.  Maybe Clayton will decide to sleep in tomorrow morning.  Nah.......probably not.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fridayd Fail......I Am No Betty

as in Crocker.  I'm just not.  I give it a valiant effort but I always seem to fail miserably.  The attempt at Japanese restaurant style shrimp sauce.....FAIL.  The first attempt at dumplings....FAIL.

Last night I was making tea.  Nothing unusual or out of the ordinary.  I make tea almost every single day so I should be a pro at it be now right?  Wrong.  After the water had boiled and the tea bag was introduced to beging the scientific process of steeping I immediately forgot I had even made tea.  I just left it in the pot on the stove.  ALL NIGHT LONG.  I'm sure it was weaker than pond water so I just dumped it this morning.  And I use Splenda instead of sugar to make tea.  Do you know what happens to Splenda that sits out over night?  It turns in to a hard brick like mass.  That jug is soaking and since it's my fave, I really hope the Splenda brick comes out.  Tea....FAIL.

And this morning I attempt to make blueberry muffins for my family.  Mainly just for Clayton and me.  Chad has some strange aversion to muffins.  I don't get it either so please don't ask.  Anyway I'm not culinarily gifted enough to make them by scratch so I pop open a box of Krusteaz Home Made Fat Free Blueberry Muffins.  Just add water.  I can do this.  Or so I thought.  I mix the batter and that's where everything else goes south.  The blueberries are in a little tin of their own to keep the rest of the batter from becoming tainted with blueberry stain.  Brilliant!  But how does a woman that's been married for over 8 years cut herself on a mini tin of blueberries?  I have no idea but I did.  Clayton's chomping away on a muffin now so they must be edible.  But he's wathching his daily dose of the Veggie Tales so I could probably lay a piece of cardboard down there and he would eat it.  Blueberry Muffins....FAIL.

I'm hoping the rest of my culinary weekend is much better.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Transition Lenses

Well maybe not lenses since I only need my totally cool tortoise shell Anne Klein glasses for anything that requires eye concentration.  And while I'm on this subject does anyone else think their is such a thing as eye concentration?  I'll explain.  It's when your eyes have to do all the work.  I have a hard time seeing things clearly and my glasses help.  I can see fine without them but everything is kinda fuzzy around the edges.  And my glasses take the edge off and help me avoid headaches.  I have no idea what I'm even talking about at this point.

Transition was the real word I wanted to focus on but I got all caught up in my glasses.  I feel like I'm in a transition period in my life right now.  Kinda like there was a different life before April 2009 and there will be a totally different life sometime down the road.  I don't know when this new life will start.  Right now I'm assuming when I'm finished with school in 2012.  Ugh..........that's a long transition period.

At this point I'm loving the transition.  And that's a big step for someone like me.  I loathe, no despise, change.  It's awful.  It's worse than mixing the food around on your plate.  By the way that's gross.  I seriously need a divided school lunchroom tray.  Change is like that for me though.  It makes me feel like my baked beans and slaw are all mixed together and I get all nervous and want to hyperventilate.

The "Great Lay-Off 2010" couldn't have come at a better time.  Honestly.  Excpet for the decrease in fundage things are great.  And the decrease in fundage isn't a big deal either.  God's taking care of us in His amazing ways.  I'm learning some new lessons about life.  And since I love lists almost as much as I love the idea of a divided food tray I think I'll make one.

  • I'm learning how to live better on less income.  It's true that you get used to bringing in a certain amount of income.  And when you think about decreasing that amount you automatically think it can't be done.  Well, our family is living proof that it can be done.  There are ways.  I'm loving couponing(I may have become slightly obsessed) and learning to say no to purchases.  I was looking for a pair of shoes for a little girl yesterday and found myself wondering towards the ladies dresses because a black sparkly number caught my eye.  But with the Lord's help I resisted the temptations.  I didn't touch it, or look at it, or anything.  Aren't you impressed?  OK fine be that way.  I was pleased.
  • I'm learning that SAHM Moms have the absolute hardest job in the world.  And I'm learning that I am still not cut out for this job.  I still firmly believe it's not what God created me to do.  But I do salute all of ya'll that can do this on a long term basis.  I'm truly amazed.
  • I'm learning that a 2 year old boy has the attention span the size of a flea.  Currently we're learning Philippians 4:13 and the letter "A".  We have the first part of the verse almost down pat.  But when he says it, it's in the most southern drawl imaginable.  I thought mine was bad, but it's nothing compared to Clayton's.
  • I'm learning that I love church work and actually having the time to minister to all of the different groups at our church.  Before I only had the opportunity to work with the youth but now I'm getting to work with the youth, the ladies, and the seniors.  It's been a lot of fun.
  • I'm learning that flexibility is a great thing.  I don't have a flexible gene in my body so this is also a hard lesson.
When I went back to work after Johanna's maternity leave I had a lot of mixed emotions and feelings.  My routine was exactly the same as pre-Johanna and as when I was pregnant with her.  I felt almost like she had never happened.  And that's not a good place to be.  But now that I have a totally different routine(and I do love a routine) I feel closer to her in some ways.  Clayton is now more aware of Johanna's pictures and things around the house so that gives me more of an opportunity to teach him about his little sister.  If I'm having a missing day(and yesterday was) I can take the time I need to get the help I need from whomever I need.  Sometimes it's Chad, sometimes it's someone else, sometimes it's music, and sometimes I just need to get alone with God.  At work I couldn't have done that quite as easily.  I feel like I've been given an extra amount of time to continue to grieve and heal.  And yes, I feel, you do have to grieve to heal.

So this got long and rambling.  It always does whenever I sit down at my favorite lappy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Did I Really Say That?

There are time when you're dreaming about having babies that you think everything will be sunshine and roses.  Every day will be a dream like state where both you and baby are happy.  The pacifier is never dropped and that glorious child never smells like they just crawled out of a trash truck.

And then there are days when you hear yourself say something and the other you standing on the outside watching all of this transpire looks at the real you and says "Did you really just say that"?  Please tell me ya'll have another you watching you.  Here's my most recent things I never ever would have thought I would have been saying 2 years ago:

  • Don't play in the trash can it's gross.
  • Don't eat that raw chicken.
  • Did you poop?  No?  Then why do you smell like that?
  • Bye Bye PeePee
  • Yes you may eat your bite-bites out of your truck.
  • Get out of the dog's crate.
  • You can only watch Veggie Tales one time a day.  Sorry Charlie.  Don't pout at me.  I'll give you something to pout about.
  • The pepper shaker is not a drink.  It will make you sneeze.  And now you're sneezing I tried to warn you.
  • Emma does not appreciate being bitten on the tail.
  • Go back to bed it's too early for you to be awake(this was at 5:30am yesterday morning).
  • Don't stand on that.
  • Crayons do not taste that great and they will get stuck in your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth we have to get that crayon off before church.
Parenting is definitely "interesting".  I wouldn't change a thing.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Clayton's Story

Ya'll have regularly read about all the many different aspects and details of Johanna's story.  But Clayton has a story too. And very few people know Clayton's story.  We call Clayton our Samuel(as in Hannah and Samuel).  It's pretty awesome in its own right.  Wanna know?  I thought you did.

Chad and I married very young.  I was 19 and he was 20.  With that being said we knew that we did not want to have children immediately after we were married.  We felt it best to grow up a little and become adults.  In December of 2005 I unexpectedly(although not unwelcome) found out I was pregnant.  Chad and I were excited, over the moon.  Our excitement didn't last long though.  I miscarried at 7 weeks.  That was difficult but God's plan and timing in that situation is completely amazing.  Had that baby been born at term it would have been born in August of 2006.  In August of 2006 Chad had a lot of complications with this diabetes and for health reasons took a 6 month work sabbatical.  It was our desire for him to stay in school so I worked 2 jobs to support us while he recovered.  Had we had an infant this would not have been an option for our family.  We did realize that we felt we were ready for children and wanted to see what God had in stort for us.

In May 2007 we still had no baby.  I realize that's not a long time and many of ya'll have struggled much longer than we did.  Chad and I had just bought the house we currently live in and were doing some simple remodeling and giving this place a face lift. 

At the same time we were wondering if God was ever going to give us a child.  Also at this time the pastor at the church we attended at the time(that would be our transition church where God really worked in our lives and taught us a lot) started a series of sermons on the "Blessings of Brokenness".  One of the sermons in the series was about Hannah and her brokenness for God's will and a child.  I'm sure there was more to it but it's been 3 years and I can't remember all of it.  I am positive that God gave that message to our pastor just for me.  I had wanted a baby for so long for all the wrong reasons.  I don't say that to mean that if you are longing for a child and don't have one that your reasons are wrong.  I simply mean that my reasons and intentions were wrong.  I wanted a child so I could be a parent.  And while that's a great ambition it was all wrong for me. 

This is my interpretation of the message.  Hannah was broken over her desire for a child.  He husband had fathered many children by his other wife so she felt the problem was obviously with her.  Hannah had earnestly desired and prayed for a child for quite some time.  But when she gave that child, actually a son, back to God before He had ever given her a child, then she conceived.  Only once Hannah was broken could God use her.  That was me.  I had to be broken before God could use me in any way whether that was having children or not.  That day I asked the Lord for forgiveness for some attitudes that I indeed still struggle with(I'm slightly hard headed). 

I also told the Lord the desires of my heart for a child, specifically a son.  I prayed for a son specifically because there is a lack of Godly men in our culture.  Together Chad and I prayed that if God chose to bless our home with a little boy we would immediately turn him back over to God to be used as He chose.

I know this is long so I'll try to wrap it up.  All of this praying and healing and begging and breaking happened in May.  I believe it was the second Sunday but I'm not 100% sure.  I immediately had a new attitude about babies and children.  I now firmly believe that we don't raise children, we raise adults but that's a different post for a different day.  I stopped obscessing about having a baby and resigned myself to whatever God wanted.

My family normally vacations together every summer.  Late June 2007 we went to Savannah.  On a side note, you should totally go there if you've never been it's amazing.  After some interesting difficulties getting there we kinda chilled out on Monday.  I was incredibly tired but the trip to Savannah was very difficult and lengthy so I didn't think much about it.  But when I took a very long nap and I was still tired I began to wonder...........

Sure enough.  Chad and I were expecting our first child.  I knew that day we were having a boy.  God had answered our prayers immediately.  I was so amazed that He would answer so quickly.  On February 15th 2008 at 10:56am Clayton was born weighing 8lbs 2oz.  Clayton's story is decidely different than Johanna's but I felt like it was worth telling today.  I hope it encourage you if you're waiting for either a child or for an answer to a specific prayer.

Clayton's Verse
"For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:  Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord
1 Samuel 1:27&28

Monday, March 1, 2010

Please Hold

Yeah I know I'm way behind.  I get it and I apologize.  It's currently 12:13am on Monday morning.  I should be sleeping considering that I have to get up around 7am in the morning to help the hubs get ready and get off on some ministry things.  But I'm in a holding pattern with 125 white roses and Sams Club.  And at the moment they're getting the best of me.  Appartently Sams Club thinks my membership card has expired even thougth it's not even been a year since I renewed it.  Sigh..................

Anyway, the past week has been insanely busy and this week is beginning to shape up much the same. 

Chad did indeed graduate on Friday evening.  It was wonderful in every way.  As always we have a humorous anecdote.  Chad's cap and gown were accidentally swiped by another student and he had to search high and low for a cap and gown as the students were lining up.  This is the kind of thing that only happens to us.  He found one(probably the one that belongs to the person that swiped his) and made it down the aisle just in time.  I'm super proud of him and all that he's accomplished.  His education has been an amazing journey and I'm so glad that the Lord has seen fit to lead us down this road.  And yes I have learned a lot myself.  The three divisions of the Old Testament being one such lesson!

This week my brother is holding a revival meeting at his church.  I have the honor(and the church has the terror) of providing the special music later on tonight.  Should be interesting.  Our youth choir is singing on Thursday.  On Saturday our church will host its 2nd Annual Father/Daughter Formal.  Hence the 125 white roses.  This event was amazing last year and I'm sure it will be great again this year.  Sunday evening our church is having a Welcome Home/Thank You fellowship for one of our men(and his wife and daughters) that has just returned from military service in Iraq.  And on Tuesday of next week we have a Senior Meal for our seniors(I bet you didn't see that one coming).

So I'm busy and at this moment I'm exhausted.  We'll attempt the roses again in the morning(or I guess later on this morning).  And if that doesn't work we'll regroup and come up with a new plan.

And to all a good night............................