Monday, January 31, 2011

Jan. 31st

Or, "the tirty one" as J says. I can't believe we're already through our first month of 2011. Zoiks!

We've been busy as usual. I worked a lot of days last week and am not scheduled so many this week. I'm probably leading worship on Sunday so I have that to prepare for.

T has been cleaning up and fine tuning Big Mama so we can sell her. I'm a little bit emotionally attached to her but am ready to move on.

A is redoing her psych B class and is happy to have moved on to her other new classes. She especially enjoys art 3. She is filling out job apps and enjoying life. We are both thinking about doing a play again. Her boyfriend wanted to see her in action so we got out an old dvd of her playing "Ratty" in "Wind in the Willows". He thought it was kind of funny but she is really good. I think I just got parts because I'm their (R and A's) mom.

J is liking his new afterschool program on the days I work. He asks to go other days too so I know he likes it. He still loves TV and eating and hates school work. Se la vi!

The weather is looking bad the next few days but it's looking bad all over. JT is in the field and it's only supposed to be a high of -1 tomorrow. Pray for him and his troop. Or unit. Or whatever it's called.

Well, that catches us up for now.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Wednesday was another snow day. What is up with that?! Yesterday they opened 2 hours late. They have never done that before and I'm so glad they did. All the snow was gone by lunchtime. They have only gone to school 11 days so far in Jan. 'Bout like last Jan.

But it's Friday. I'm off work but I have to go in tomorrow. Today I have some errands/shopping to do. I'm looking forward to it. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lessons from the missing cat (surrendering)

R's cat, Tonka, went missing last week. How do we get so attached to these furry creatures who wake us up in the night demanding food or that a door be opened for them and who leave their fur or their dirty paw prints all over the house?

I reminded her of when Dexter went missing when we were living at Mrs. H's while we built our house. We had already sold our old house, were deep into building this one, T had lost his job and we weren't even sure that we'd be able to keep this house that we labored over every day and then Dexter went missing. I just knew he'd been killed by a coyote or some stray dogs that were around Mrs. H's house.

I felt the Lord telling me to release the cat, to surrender to His will and I just couldn't do it. I fought it. I felt like I had already given up so much (ha, that's the American in me) and I wanted my cat back. I did finally come to that point where I surrendered. We found him a day or two later. I had to crawl under some pricker bushes and drag him out because he was so scared of the stray dogs but we found him. He's still leaving his fur everywhere and waking me up in the night to go out "cattin'".

After we got the house done, T still didn't have a job. Every time he went for an interview and didn't get the job I can remember praying, "Why God? What's so wrong with this job that he didn't get it?" We surrendered. T had worked at his first job for 10 years and the second one for 5 years and then he didn't keep a job for more than 6 months. Then for a period of 13 months he was only employed for 7 of those months. But it brought him to where he is now, where he has worked for that last 5 1/2 years. He loves it. He never would have taken this job had it been offered to him before he had been unemployed. And we are so glad we surrendered.

We spent 4 years trying to bring J home. Those were difficult years with LOTS of "surrendering" moments. Difficult things with the O and with Haiti in general. Difficult things with the girls. Difficult things with church. Difficult things with family. We learned to surrender.

Recently I have felt the Lord leading me to pray that our children will see the Lord's hand in their lives and that they will surrender to Him. I hesitated to pray that because I know the pain that can be involved. I surrendered and prayed it over them. Girls, if you're reading this, learn quickly! ;)

I believe that a place of surrender is exactly where God wants all of us. He wants us willing to give up control, material possessions, friendships, etc. to submit to His will. To be willing to obey Him. He wants us to be at a place where no thing stands in the way of obedience. No comforts, prestige, or desires are more important than God in our lives.

I'm not where I should be in this. But I'm certainly not where I started out either. I can certainly think of things that I'd have a hard time letting go of but the list is not nearly as long as it used to be. One thing I know, God does not waste experiences. "In this world you will have trouble but I leave you My peace." Yield your life and experiences to God and see what He can do with it. You will be amazed.

The definition of surrender is; to yield to the power, control or possession of another upon compulsion or demand. To give oneself over to something (as an influence).

Dexter is still with me. He is 13 years old now. And R found Tonka yesterday afternoon. She called me at work, crying, and said, "I found Tonka." I asked if he was okay and she said, "Yeah. I'm crying because I'm happy." Lessons from the missing cat.

How about a thankful list. I'm thankful for unwasted experiences. I'm thankful for family and friends. I'm thankful that we are in a school system who works so well with J. And I'm thankful for Dexter and Tonka, silly cats.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sick day

Yesterday was a snow day. Today is a sick day. J has a fever/cough/cold type thing going on. Sigh...I'd rather have a snow day than a sick day.

A couple weeks ago I was asking him if there was anything he missed from Haiti. I thought he might say his birthmom or some friends from the O but he said he misses rice and beans with chicken and "red sauce". I asked him what was in the red sauce because I make rice and beans and chicken. He tried to explain it a little bit and what I got out of it was that it was spicy and had onions.

T will not eat anything with onions or anything that he thinks might have onions in it but I do use onion powder a lot. I got online and found some Haitian recipes and came up with something that I thought might make both guys happy. I scored. J was happy and T was happy. They both like spicy and it had onion powder but not onion slices. They put it on their chicken and their rice and beans. I had mine plain so we were all happy. Now if we can get him well again and no one else gets sick. I'll be spraying lysol everywhere.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow day again

Well, it snowed again last night. It came fast and furious. If it had snowed 'til midnight like they (whoever "they" is) said, we'd have like 6-8 inches. We got about 2. So, the kids are off school again. They only went to school 3 days this week.

We tried an afterschool program for J this week and he loved it. Those were his words, "I loved it." I hope he continues to love it. It helps that a couple of his friends are in it. He will just go on the days that I work. Or that's the change, subject to plan.

A gets to re-do the psych class that she failed. We are all thankful for that. Still no job prospects on the horizon for her. Could you pray with us about that and as she makes college plans?

T has found a truck he wants. We'd have to sell Big Mama first. I'm slightly emotionally attached to Big Mama and I don't know why. When T tried the truck out the guy who owns it started it and T said, "Oh, Amy is going to love the way this sounds." Yep, call me a redneck if you want but I do love the way that truck sounds. We shall see.

Today I want to make hamburgers on the grill, baked beans and lemon bars and pretend it's summer. Want to join us?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


...they went back to school today. So far, so good. I haven't gotten any calls that anyone is sick or misbehaving or haven't done their work yet.

Laundry is being done.

Floors will be vacuumed.

Dishes will be done and kitchen is already mostly cleaned.

What to have for supper? If that's the biggest decision I have to make today, I will be a happy camper.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Redneck Rifle

Redneck way of doing things. (by T)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Well, we got the tater cannon out and blew up some snowmen. I tried to upload a video but our internet is too slow.

We were having some trouble with the igniter on the cannon and I was looking in to it to see if it was igniting, when it ignited. There was a really cool sound and a rush of flame and now the inside of my right eyebrow is singed. You can't tell unless you're looking for it, although my forehead feels a little sunburned, or something. My lightning fast reflexes saved the rest of my eyebrow. I put some snow on it and we continued with the fun. What's that saying? If you're gonna be stupid you gotta be tough.

I need to go to work to get a break from all the fun I've been having. I was already sore from rolling the biggest snowball ever yesterday and then we rolled some more this morning, I fell on my mom's porch and then singed my "frybow" as T has taken to calling it and fell again getting away from the flame. Brings new meaning to "stop, drop and roll". Maybe T can upload the video tomorrow. We shall see.

More snow fun

This is snow day 2 in a row for us. It's still snowy and slippery out there and some more snow is falling right now. J and I made snowmen this morning. The plan is to take a few out with the potato cannon when T gets home. Hey, we do live in TN.

This is my large, voluptuous snow woman, recently crowned snow princess with her beautiful straw hair and her cedar spray. T just wanted to confirm whose idea this was. It was mine, not J's.

You know those pictures that have a cut out for the head and then you stand behind them and have your picture made? The same can be done with snowmen. Sort of.

-Whenever J gets money he immediately wants to spend it. We tease him that it burns a hole in his pocket. This morning he helped Nanny with some chores and she paid him a little money. He informed me that, "Dis money is going to burn a hole in my pants!" Pants/pocket-so close.
-Not long after he came home he was trying to help out and put a new trash bag in the kitchen trash. He didn't realize that the bags were attached to each other in one long roll with perforations. He was in the other room with the first bag when he said, "Dis is a long bag!"
-And one more that has to do with the snow. Trixy was rolling in the snow and I pointed her out to J and he quipped, "She is making a snow angel." Funny kid.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sledding party

We had an impromptu sledding party at my brother's house today-and he's in Haiti. Shame he missed all the fun. My SIL was very gracious with all these people showing up in her yard to sled, tube, snowboard and be pulled in sleds, tubes and snowboards behind 4-wheelers and horses. Here is part of the crew. It's a TN tap tap. If you've ever been to Haiti you know what I'm talking about.
Here's another shot of some of the group.

It snowed!

Well, they called for snow and it did snow. We are on snow day number 4 already for this school year. At least this is a really pretty snow. It stuck to everything. A is at E's house. Last night we decided to pop popcorn in the fireplace. It was fun, kind of neat to watch it pop and it tasted so good. I thought it would have a smoky flavor but it didn't. Here is J popping the corn.

This is what it looked like outside at 11:00 last night. The spots are snowflakes.

And this morning. Isn't it gorgeous?

Here is the rosebush.

The gate. Look how the snow is stuck to every little detail.

The dogs were feeling pretty frisky in the cold.

The hill in front of our house.

Closer up.


See the horses kind of huddled under the trees?

Our house tucked up into the snowy woods.

Rock wall in front of the house.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Tuesday!! (and fibro info)

Hallelujah! They all went back to school/work today. T works for the school system and that's why he was off. J forgot his agenda and reading books. And so it begins.

I've had someone ask about my fibromyalgia and what I've done for it. In summer of '09 I took 2 months of doxycycline. After reading about fibro and infections I presented what I had read to my GP and thankfully he was willing to consider it, think outside the box and prescribe 200mg. once a day. The result was that the "fibro flu" (achy, tired, sore throat, low-grade fevers) I had been experiencing for years was greatly reduced. It was happening weekly and sometimes multiple times per week and now, post doxy, it has happened about 5 times. 5 times, people, in a year and a half.

I was still low energy, still had the tender points, "fibro fog" (feeling foggy headed-can't come up with the correct word, etc.) was bad, and several of the 100 symptoms of fibro- . I have muscle relaxers as needed, which I take one once or twice a week. And recently I discovered, through a massage therapist, ATP Energy Dietary Supplement made by progressive laboratories. I love these things! I get them at my chiro/massage therapist office. I did a google search on malic acid and magnesium for fibromyalgia and was surprised at what I found. I am convinced that these things help and I had no idea about it. My energy levels are up, fibro fog is down (not gone, but noticeably improved) and people say I look better. Hmmm. I'd recommend them to anyone with fibro. Not everyone is the same but it sure can't hurt to try. I would recommend the doxy too, if you can get your doc to go along with it.

I know I'll have good days and bad days and that I'm not "healed" but for right now, I'm feeling pretty good most of the time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Hmmm. I was trying to figure out how to do a year in review. I guess the best way is month by month. January had the earthquake in Haiti. We eventually found out J's birthmom was ok. It happened about the same time as JT's graduation from basic/AIT so we were in KY. JT's graduation was really emotional for some reason. My mom went with us and at one point we both had tears in our eyes and we looked around and discovered that several people did. T's parents, brother and nephew were in Cap Haitian, Haiti during the quake as well as my dad, brother and nephew. Dad was on the road and the roads are so bad that he didn't even know anything had happened. My brother and nephew felt the tremors as well as T's parents, brother and nephew. Several kids from J's O (about 60?) came home on humanitarian parole that month. We also had a lot of snow days in Jan. The kids only went to school 10-11 days.

In Feb. R packed up and moved to CO in a snowstorm. She took Sanomae (calico cat that they no longer have) and my dad rode/drove with her and flew back. A turned 17 in Feb. J had his first time with non-family babysitters (other than after school) and loved them. Thanks C and S!

In March the four of us flew out to CO to see R. JT had already deployed to Afghanistan at that point. We had a great week with her and took the Cog Railway up to Pike's Peak (only 6 of the 9 miles because of the snow) and it was so pretty. We also hiked around Garden of the Gods, went to the zoo and Focus on the Family and went sledding.

In April we celebrated 23 years of marriage. Zoiks!

In May my nephew got married. We had a great time with family who came in and R made it back too. J got an art award, math award and most improved award at school. After the wedding R, A and A's friend E all drove JT's car back to CO and stayed for a week. They had a great time. I also started playing and singing on the praise team at church again.

In June I got bronchitis. Yuck. J went to a day camp for a week and loved it. He also started wetting the bed less and lying more. Does there always have to be a trade off? JT came home from Afghanistan.

In July we headed up to WI and got to spend time with family and friends. We got to meet Sarah and kids from . We had a great time at a family reunion on my mom's side with 93 people in attendance. We also went up to Door county and especially liked picking cherries and the Door County Fish Boil.

August held the transmission going out in Big Momma, J throwing a fit at the dentist and they wouldn't even work on him, and A started her senior year of high school. Wow! J had his first gotcha day.

September and October were relatively uneventful. J had his 13th birthday. A made her first batch of candles and sold them. We spent a lot of time at the lake, A played soccer and J played fall ball. He also got baptized. October was when we had the squirrel in the sink drain.

In November JT fell on the cactus and gave us something to laugh about. What a great story. A got mono. We had a nice Thanksgiving together. And we bought the van. Sometimes I call it Bonquiqui (it has 17inch chrome rims) and sometimes Vanna Blue but mostly just the van.

December was a whirlwind. We had a the fridge issues, mammogram issues (it's a cyst thankfully) car issues, Christmas, R and JT coming in, their party, etc. The fridge story is a crazy one, but oh, what a story. Still need to fix/sell the jeep.

Yesterday morning started off rough with J telling another lie. But it went uphill from there and he and I managed to have a nice day together. My parents came over last night and we played a card game called baseball. J won. A was at her boyfriend's house and is now housesitting for some friends. I'm considering going to CO this spring and that set J off. I've not left him overnite since he's been home so we think it's time. Abandonment issues reared their ugly heads but we are working through it.

Ok. Now for some pix. Here are my "grand critters" crated up for the ride home. Poor babies. They left Wed. afternoon and didn't get home until late Thursday. They couldn't even get up the hill to their apartment. Someone with chains on their tires pulled them up.

We tried to take a family pic. There's one in every crowd.



Here's to you, 2010!

Hoping and praying for a blessed 2011!!