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Saturday, December 25, 2010

AM

My mother claimed AM as her best friend. She had a daughter (R), four months younger than me. R did everything first, before me. And I think most everything I did (softball, gymnastics, tap & ballet, Girl Scouts…), I did because R was doing it. I had a rough time with jealousy over the talented and able and beautiful younger "sister", that wasn't my sister. We were friends by circumstance more than choice… and my mother was constantly referring to us as being "like sisters: playing happily one moment, fighting the next and ready to take on anyone who offends the other…" true or not, I believed it :)
Anyway…
AM was like a second mom or favored aunt to me. She was kind and caring, but with standards and expectations, I think, higher than my mother's.
She tricked me into eating mushrooms one night. I don't know how she was motivated to dice those things so small, but she had the victory when she told me I had eaten them in my spaghetti and liked it never knowing what those little black things were. I still don't like mushrooms, but I know I can have the good manners to gag them down if I have to (I can cut them as small as I need to to not detect that mushy squshyness). lol. I know that just because I don't like something, doesn't give me the right to offend someone and their work… if it won't kill me, there is a way to accept it… graciously.
I thought AM was Supermom! I had it in my head she could do everything in seconds. She got off work at six, the nights she picked me up from school, she arrived at six, and she always served dinner at six! Not sure how she did it, but she did!! She was where she said and did what she said, when she said she would.
It's amazing of all I remember, how much more I don't remember. But I know there was comfort and safety with her. I knew she was there and I didn't have to worry when I was with her.
As a little girl, I always assumed she would be part of my world…
It's amazing how deceived we can be. In those darkest days. I know I could have come to her, but then, at that time, I was convinced that she and R were like everybody else I had known and walked away from me. It had been presented to me that A simply didn't like my stepfather and so she dropped a friendship that was very close, like it was no big deal. I was led to believe that since my mother wouldn't listen A wanted nothing more to do with us… well, I know now there was more to it than that. There were many details that were not shared with me until I found A and reconnected with her in 1999. She is a careful and discerning person who trusted her instincts and protected her child… the way my mother should have. When I got her side of things, everything made sense… so much was left unanswered, A gave me the answers… and she was right.
We have to make careful choices, right choices even when it's hard, even when it requires letting go of dear friends. What's right is right. Sometimes that can sound cold and unloving… but it's not. It's wise.
I respect her greatly for making the right choices.
She has had an amazing testimony over the last several years as she has dealt with(I think) four different types of cancer, been a foster parent and dealt with jobs coming and going, but God has been good to provide and care for her as she trusts Him. He is so good! She has remained constant and steady following His lead… an example worth following because it's a life that points to Christ.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My widow ladies…

I had a small collection of widow ladies, who were wonderful.
Faithful to the Lord, served wherever and however they could.
I already mentioned GA, but there was DB, EW, MB, & FS.
There was one, WP, who I never got to know at all. But she was the one who stood out my first day at CBC (besides Grandma Lady). I don't think I'll ever forget the welcoming smile on her face and the hug she gave me that day. It truly felt like she thought I was some long lost granddaughter who had returned home. After I moved away, I continued to send birthday cards to many of the people there, and after I sent her a card, she wrote me a note asking me to keep in touch, which I did until she passed away.
That one small act of kindness spoke volumes. When I think about it… though I wasn't one of hers, I was a child (of the King) who had wandered far away… and I was welcomed back warmly, with love, God just used her to demonstrate that love to me. He is so awesome.
DB, was a dear sweet lady. Convinced of her ideals and willing to encourage others to follow the same guidelines. I learned to listen respectfully, consider her opinions, and choose what I wanted to agree with. She was sweet and had a good spirit with those of us who didn't agree with her opinions. That too, was a great lesson to learn.
EW & MB were a pair that seemed to never be apart, to most people anyway. They were definitely best friends…
At first they were a little intimidating. But somewhere J and I got the courage to get to know them. EW had a fantastic sense of humor. The things most people though would offend her, really made her laugh. I don't really know that she was very easily offended. She had standards and expectations and was disappointed to a degree when those weren't met, but she had learned- what others do results in their problems more often than mine.
Mrs. B. was one of my favorites. She and Mrs. W. often had disagreements, bit they always worked them out. Mrs. B. was a bit more active in my live than. Mrs. W. Mrs. B., I think really appreciated the fact that J and I called her (I thunk I did more than J did), and she did more with me/us. One Christmas she took us to Walmart. And everything we liked she threw in the cart and bought for us! We were shocked! Amazed! Who ever does that? Mrs. B. had us over several times to help with springtime yard work. And she had me over more than once to help with indoor spring cleaning… took hours to dust one room, her house was like a museum with all the nicknacks and pretties she had. I don't know how many times she had me over to "work" the VCR. She said she didn't know how to make it work :), but she didn't seem to care what we watched, and she insisted on paying me for my time :). When I told her she didn't need to pay me for helping her, her response was,"Oh. No. I would never have you over here without paying you." I think she knew that would make it harder for my stepfather to complain about the amount of time I spent with her and impossible for him to refuse to let me go with her :)
I think she knew a lot more about my situation than she let on. She gave me multiple opportunities to tell her what was going on, but I was too scared to open up. The day before I left for Indiana, I spent the whole day with her. She had me promise when I got back I would help her with her living will and other things. But the last thing I remember, we were sitting in her car in front of my house and she asked me if my stepfather abused me… I was terrified by that question! I asked her,"How?". We went back and forth a few times until she finally asked if he hit me. I could honestly answer that he'd only done that once years before. She didn't ask anything more specific, accepted my answer with a bit of annoyance in her voice… I am convinced she knew what was wrong, but I wouldn't give her what she needed to help…
When I didn't return to YV, I think she was disappointed, but she seemed to enjoy keeping up with what was going on with me. When I finally had the courage to speak up about my stepfather, she definitely was not surprised, but something changed. She wasn't as friendly and forthcoming with herself as she had been. I found out when we went to YV to move my mother, that Mrs. B. had quit church and had been lying to me about it for months. I was mad and hurt. I wrote her a letter scolding her for lying to me… not even considering the reality that I had lied to her for a lot longer time. I have since apologized, but she hasn't had a thing to do with me since… I still miss her, my friend.
Mrs. S., later became Mrs. O., that was confusing so we called her Mrs. F. :). Mrs. F. was always smiling. So sweet. When she would go on vacation, she always gave me the address where she would be, and always took the time to write me back when I wrote to her while she was away. Wow! How amazing, to take time out from visiting her kids and grandkids to write to me… wow. She laughed and joked and teased with me in choir (we sat beside each other, her on one side of me and Mrs. A. in the other), I think she might have been another one we called pretty regularly, and she always had the time to spend on us.

Oh I love and miss MY widow ladies. I so enjoyed their sweet, caring spirits. They gave me opportunity to do and help. They respected and cared about me. They all encouraged me in the things of the Lord. They shared their lifetimes of memories, their blessings and regrets, good choices and bad… oh how I prayed (at times) to learn from their mistakes, so I wouldn't have to endure similar heartaches!
I know they don't/didn't think they did much for me, but the "little" things they did made a huge difference for me. And the kind of people they were/are gave me a desire to draw closer to Christ to be more like them, was to be more like Him, for it was Him living in and through them that made them love me and me them…

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The third Mrs. G…

My Third Mrs. G.
My first impression of her was not as warm and welcoming as some… perhaps more along the line of intimidating :). I'm not sure if it was that was because I sensed something or sensed something that wasn't there :). I was a teen with an attitude toward Baptists, getting ready to visit a Baptist church… she may have not been too excited to be giving me a ride to church for a number of reasons. Like she worked with teens and could spot an attitude a mile away, and she didn't care to deal with attitude-even when she had to lol. Or maybe she hadn't been informed that the lady we were invited by was bringing two extra people with her that morning. And maybe, just maybe I took her quietness personally and she was glad to see visitors, but just didn't talk much. Or maybe a combination of all three, or maybe something totally different…
I don't think it took long for me to see someone I liked in Mrs. G. She was obviously real-she was what she was and if you didn't like it, sorry, but not changing to please you :), she was no-nonsense… and it wasn't long before I noticed she was friendly, smiled often and even seemed glad to see us at church…
The more I got to know her the more convinced I was I wanted to grow-up to be her lol.
She was faithful to be at church all the time, she was in the choir (and joined two or three others in encouraging me to be in the choir too), and at every everything that the church had she was behind the scenes helping.
I spent many hours on the phone with her, too. Nearly everyday for quite a while. JT and I would "pester and annoy" her to the best of our ability every time we were at church. We even went to their house many times for the same reason :). Mr. G taught me how to argue nothing… "if you can't convince them, confuse them" is an art to learn, and a skill that comes in handy from time to time :)
J and I teased Mrs. G a lot. We teased her for marrying a man 10 years older than she is. She told us,"if you marry a man ten or more years older than yourself, then you'll never be old."- makes sense. We followed that advice :)
I couldn't understand how it was possible to live without a TV, but they did, quite happily. After tasting the bliss of TV-free silence, I completely understand and have that desire for our home too.
She was always getting Mr. G a cup of hot tea, another thing we thought was silly… he is a full-grown able-bodied man, let him get his own tea! (that's what I was taught to think anyway)… I understand better now :)
When I decided to not return to YV and had written to tell them (like everybody else) that I wouldn't be returning as I had planned, she wrote me back (she had the IN address) and encouraged me to return home. She knew home was bad and I needed/wanted out, but she also knew the business I was working for in IN had bounced two if my paychecks (in less than 8 weeks), and she didn't see the wisdom in staying… I had no job, no church, no place to live…
So, I called her and let her know where I was going and how things had unfolded… by the time we finished she was supportive… perhaps concerned, but she understood…
After I got to Oregon, I kept in touch with Mr. & Mrs. G. When I called and told them about my stepfather, she said she wasn't surprised…
When Brad and I got married Mrs. G, was my matron of honor. I was so excited, and amazed that they would come all the way here for me and my wedding!
When we helped my mother move, Mr. & Mrs. G let us stay with them and he even came over and helped us pack and clean the house (he later told Mrs. G. he thought we were exaggerating about the mess, but we weren't!). They also strongly urged me to not stay with my mother and grandmother over my first wedding anniversary and let my husband go home without me…
I already shared the adventure with my grandmother that was sort if a "lightbulb moment". After that experience (and even more so now), I was able to see how much of a mom-type role she had played in my life.
She demonstrated to me faithfulness to God and loyalty to friends. I have seen her love her husband and have learned from her that it's the little things everyday that matter. She is teaching me to love my kids (I get her opinions and advice every week). I have watched (and experienced) her be a faithful and compassionate friend.
She has lived Titus 2:3-5 before me for over 17 years! Perfectly? No, but I can see Christ in her working through her, teaching her and me and others around her. She is not my mom, but I call her my mom-type-person, because she is the example God has placed in my life, in that role, for me to follow, and I believe that to be a testimony to His goodness and grace.
She loves me. She loves my husband and our children. And we are so blessed to have her…
I guess we can't always trust our first impressions.
;-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

LG

This Mrs. G is a sweet and dear lady. My friend JT and I spent many hours on the phone with her. She always had time to talk or listen when we called and often invited me to sit with her in church. We were in the choir together and it seems we may have worked at the school together.
Mrs. G. was, like many of "My People", sort of a grandma figure… though I wouldn't think she is old enough to be my grandma… maybe more like an aunt lol.
She was so classy and kind and quiet… I wanted to be like that :). For some reason she chose to invest her time and energy in me. Mostly in the ways listed above.
She made my 21st birthday memorable in a pleasant way. She (and Mr. G.) had JT and me over for dinner for our birthdays (because our bdays are 16 days apart). I had never had anyone invite me over to their house for dinner before! How special!
She and her Mr. had lots of stories about their past, before and shortly after their salvation. Stories that I took to heart, heeding the choices they made and hoping to remember so that I might avoid some of the heartache they endured.
She was/is a great example of faithfulness. I always knew they would be at church every time the doors were open. She worked wherever and whenever needed, doing whatever she could. I know they pray for me and my family and that they have for all of the 17+ years I have known them.
The story from when she came to the Lord and the time until he did too, is an amazing testimony of God's goodness and grace… His faithfulness to His own.
She is one that I enjoy seeing every chance I get and am excited to give my children the opportunity to get to know.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

JLG

The first of at least three I claim as "MY Mrs. G."

I first met her in Kindergarten. I had been held back a year in preschool because of going off medication. The preschool teacher was the wife of the principal at the elementary school (how small town… but it was L.A.!), and she took the time to teach me what I would need to know to go straight into first grade.

Mrs. G. Had the "joy" of testing me for three days to see if I was really ready for first grade. I was :). I remember she had to keep pulling me back into focus, because I was not interested in the testing, I wanted to be at recess with the other kids!

After moving on to first grade, I still saw Mrs. G. everyday because she was the teacher that worked in the cafeteria before school and at lunch. She used to get so frustrated with me because I was always the last child eating.

Not sure how it happened that my mother got her to babysit me in the second grade, when mother was making too much money for the state to cover the cost of after school care for me. But she watched me until her younger daughter got home from school to babysit :). Everyday I got a full column of Ritz crackers and a glass of kool-aid for my snack. I was allowed to watch tv for, I think, one episode if Scooby Doo, then I had to do my homework before I could do anything else… a lesson in time management and priorities.

During that year I learned she had a first name! And what it was!! When I started calling her by her first name at home, she didn't mind, but at school it was not OK. She explained it was a matter of respect. "What's respect?", I asked

"Showing me respect is how you let other people know you like me."

Pretty basic explanation, but it made enough sense to me, that I still can't bring myself to call her by her first name.

I always felt (and still feel) welcome and at home in their home. I know I felt respected, my opinion mattered… she let me decide every night if I wanted to have dinner with them, or wait for my mother. If it was chili I ALWAYS ate with them, other nights it depended on what the options were :). My mother gave her permission to spank me at home or school, wherever needed whenever needed (IF needed)… she told me once she wouldn't spank me, I never (that I remember) tested her on that. I know if I had been rebellious enough against her to get discipline, it would have broke my heart. She gained my love and respect in such a great way, I was eager to please her.

I remember being six or seven imagining my life being different … she had told me two things 1) she wanted to be done having her own children by age 30, and 2) aside from me she didn't like any kids younger than me (I am certain that changed when she became a grandma lol). Well, she was 33 years older than me. I had recently heard the story of Moses in Sunday School… so I imagined in my mind how it might be possible, that Mrs. G. really was my mom, but since I was born three years later than when she wanted kids, they gave me up for adoption, with the condition that the mother stay near by and allow them to be my caregivers when she needed one…

A far out story from the active imagination of a child who knew love when she experienced it. I think my mother loved me as best she knew how, I'm just not sure she really knew how…

Some of my favorite memories of Mrs. G. are the times she would reminisce about her childhood… the look on her face, in her eye… she was there describing what she saw like it was happening right before her eyes… the joy those memories brought to her made her beautiful, radiant…

After we moved to the other end of town and back, one of the first things I did was reconnect with My G's. I spent a lot of time hanging out at their house, a safe place in my miserable life… when the schools in our area went year-round, she encouraged me to volunteer as her helper when I was "off track". I was glad to do it! Not only was is more time with her, but the kids were fun (except for the one that bit me!) and it was an excuse my stepfather would allow for me to not be at home…

Just before we moved to YV Mrs. G. took me out for a day… a memory maker. We went to the mall and just spent the day together. It was a great memory, made me feel loved, like I would be missed :)

Mrs. G. taught me lots about letting kids know they are loved, the importance of showing respect and how wonderful it is to know "the door is always open"… to know what it's like to always be welcome in a place…

I want to have that kind of spirit… a welcoming, loving-ness to my home that gives others that confidence- that they are welcome

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RA

One of the sweetest memories I have of my childhood is the beautiful RA. She had the prettiest silvery white hair I have ever seen, and a smile to match.
RA and her husband gave my mother and me a ride home from church ever service. She worked in the nursery at least every Sunday morning. They babysat me overnight more than once (one of those times they told me I wore out their TV. Apparently, after I left it died, she said "it wasn't used to being watched so much." lol. I did watch A LOT of TV, a great escape)… She made the best Strawberry Shortcake! They took us under their wing, like family they didn't have… most importantly… I know she loved me!
RA always had a smile and a silly poem about me for me every time I saw her (probably not too hard… May is easy to rhyme…. ). I still have my purple and white doll she gave me, my kids play with it now…
Most of what I learned from her/them was from watching them live the life of a Christian… loving people, meeting needs if they could-by doing/helping not necessarily by giving money. They were faithful to the Lord in their attendance to church and they're service at church and to the people in the church. In the dozen years that I knew them, she was one of the few who always followed through with promises made. When she got sick with leukemia the summer before I was 13, she promised she would get better and then we would go out to lunch just the two of us… that was the hardest part of her not getting better. That was the only promise she didn't keep…
I remember thinking she couldn't have died, she made me a promise and she never broke her promises. But that wasn't in her control… and her time in my life was over. I miss her, but the memory of her sweet spirit lives on… and I pray that one day, I can have as sweet a spirit as she did.
It is also my desire to follow her example in being a keeper of promises… one that is known and can be believed and trusted to keep any promise they make. I know sometimes things happen and no matter how hard one tries a promise gets broken, but I want to strive for the reputation that proves broken promises to be a rarity… especially with my kids :)
W & R A probably did a lot more for me and my mother than I'll ever know, but I know they set a godly example of Christ's love for others to see and follow, for me to see and follow…
"…May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live
Inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful…"
I want to follow those footprints, too…

Monday, December 13, 2010

G.A.

She is my friend. I miss her smile her laugh…
She told me once she didn't understand what she ever did to acquire me as a friend. She really didn't do anything, but be a friend to me. She always had a smile and a hug. She had a listening ear and more than that she shared herself, stories of her life, experiences… thankful reminiscences of the way life happened and how God always provided and guided her way…
She invited me to sit with her sometimes in church. And was glad to have me join the 60+ class on outings and ride with her…
She didn't necessarily agree with the strict standards of conformity that some in our church held to, yet and had the ability to laugh off the differences and still accept and love others even if they didn't agree with her…
I saw a realness. She was who she was, comfortable with herself, and wasn't about to change simply to please those around her.
What an amazing thing! To be so confident in Lord, to be so sure of who He wants you to be and do that you're not worried about what others think…
She was (is) beautiful, and full of class…so much better than me, but so much the kind of person I wanted to be like (a thought you will hear me say about many!)…sweet, caring, confident, not afraid to do what needed to be done, willing to follow the Lords direction… willing to befriend a confused, hurting, misguided teenager…
There weren't as many hours outside of church or church activities invested in my life as some, but there were many hours spent visiting on telephone, and she always appreciated a letter whenever I was out of town… like she missed me when I wasn't there.
Every time I returned to YV after leaving home one of my highest priorities was a visit to MY Mrs. A…
She rejoiced in every good thing the Lord gave me. I am convinced she not only loves me, but she prayed for me always. The last time I visited her was truly a blessing… my T woke up sick that morning, so Brad and the kids stayed home with the Parent-type-people, and I went to see her alone. We sat and visited for three and a half hours, it passed like minutes! We talked about everything remembering good times, sharing about hard times, considering things to come… was a beautiful memory all it's own…
Just (I think) a week later she had a pretty significant stroke and is now living with her son… I know I will probably never see her again this side of Heaven… but I will see her again!
God is SO good… He blessed me with the privilege of knowing such a dear, sweet, godly lady and he gave me an awesome last memory to carry with me until we meet again…
I am not really sure how to do what I want to do here… I want to recognize God's use of people in my life with the understanding it is Him in and through them (even if they are not "His"- He can and does use the unsaved for His purposes too), not so much them and who or what or how great they are. I learned long ago even our heroes can fall from their pedestals, only God is great and mighty and He does great things through the inadequate and weak. I was thinking about trying to do this in a chronological order, but too many over lap and is difficult then to sort it all out, so I have decided to start with the one who is on my heart today… and let God lead me through the many others in the same way…All of "my people" pass through my heart and mind almost daily… I am so thankful for them all! So many have gone to be with the Lord, many are still here and though I don't write or call like I should, I see most of them on Facebook, and I pray for them all regularly. I miss those who live in different states and towns, and I grab and enjoy every opportunity I have to spend time with them. There are some reading who may not realize they fall into this category… if you recognize yourself in a "story" praise God for 1) being such a blessing and 2) for getting to find out… we don't always get to know we have such a great impact on a life…
It is important to realize (preaching to myself) how we live our life from day to day speaks volumes to those we encounter even if we don't know it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Well, I've been thinking and praying about what to do now. The story has pretty much caught up to life… well two years behind right now…
There are some other cool things that have happened like reconnections made with people…
But I am thinking… maybe I will take a while and share about different people that have been used by God in my life. I have shared some big things that people have done, but there are a lot of little things… influences and impressions made that helped me choose the direction I took… the little things that people do without realizing how big a difference they make…
Still praying about it… about if and who and how-in a particular order or just random as things come to mind… so if you are a committed reader who want more to read… pray with me for guidance, because I want the focus of this to be on God and His work in the lives of people. Thanks…

Friday, December 10, 2010

Brad was able to take a week off with the arrival of each of our children. Which was nice…gave me the ability to rest as much as possible and gave him more opportunity to bond with them.
Brad's project when he returned to work after BK was born was to build a utility trailer for the church. A nice thing because he was building at the house, so even though he was back at work, he was still at home.
On his first day officially back at work Brad was in the garage working, the kids were sleeping and I decided it was a good time to shower and dress so I went into the bedroom. I heard the drill Brad was using stop suddenly and he made a noise… couldn't tell what it was, maybe he made a mistake or something and was upset, or maybe he forgot something… but whatever I didn't think much of it. A few minutes later the doorbell rang. "Grumble, grumble, grumble… couldn't Brad have talked to whoever it is?". It was Brad,"I need to take myself to the ER." he said as he showed me a very crooked finger, bent totally in a way fingers are not supposed to bend!
He went and found out that he broke it through the knuckle and the tiny "piece" that was broken off was broken into FIVE pieces!! Surgery had to be done to fix it and the closest doctor able to fix it was in Ashland, an hour south of here...
It took two surgeries and nine months of physical therapy to fix it as good as it is going to get.
Brad's injury made things a little more difficult, because I had no help… postpartum fatigue and hormone fluctuations… life was an adventure…

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Romans 8:28

" And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

I was in Sunday School a few weeks ago, it was just me and the teacher that morning, and this verse came up… a memory was sparked, I can't remember if I shared it or not… I think it would be good to share… as a testimony to God's ability and trustworthiness.

I remember sharing how the sermon on 1 Samuel 16, clearly spoke to me about it being time to leave home. Every answer I had the preacher brought up and answered… but my reality was that even though I was willing to go and wanted out, I had no way to leave… I had to wait for God to open the door before I could run through it.
Well, shortly after that message came one on Romans 8:28. This time I wasn't "arguing" the same way. I knew God could work anything out the way He wanted, but I still needed to believe it in my heart of hearts. The things the preacher was saying with this message weren't like he was reading my mind, yet I could completely identify with the ideas he was presenting. Not could He, but WOULD He? I loved God, and was doing what He wanted me to, but how could He work my life for my good and His glory?? I mean, really! My reality was pretty bad!!
As I pondered this sermon while enduring another invasion of my person, and crying to God because it was wrong, this man was supposed to be my father-figure and what was happening… being allowed… but that verse, that promise kept coming back. So I claimed it! "OK, God. I believe it. I don't see how You could possibly use this for my good or how You could be glorified by it, but I pray You can and will, and I know You will if you can and I thank you for it."
The moment I prayed those words, my stepfather got off of me, out of my bed, left my room (as if by something other than his own control), and never returned or touches me again!
God is good! He is able! He is worthy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I am noxious?

She told me once, many years ago…probably 15 or 16 years ago (OK, I understand to some that may not be "many", but that IS almost 1/2 my life ago!)… she said, "You are noxious, not obnoxious, just… noxious.". That left me pondering off and on ever since…. The thought crosses my mind, I think about it, and leave puzzled to return to the idea again later… until tonight, I think I may have figured it out… OK, I am slow, I have excuses why my brain doesn't work so well :)

Noxious… something that is noxious (like fumes) is noticed by everyone in the room, it fills the space and cannot be ignored. It may offend some and send them away. But it cannot be ignored and is hard to forget… and even if it is unseen everyone knows it's there… because noxious is strong and bold, perhaps intimidating?

Sort of blows my attempt at invisibility out of the water… though I will still work at it :)

Noxious am I?

I have wondered for so long, compliment or not? I have officially decided it's a compliment, even though noxious things may not be the most pleasant… noxious is what it is, it cannot hide itself…

Yes, I think I like that label… I think I can wear it proudly, I just hope the noxious fragrance I emit will be the scent of Christ… something bold and strong and sweet and pleasant…
When BK was born…
I had been having a lot of pre-labor and we were assured that the real thing wouldn't start at 5 minutes apart. Well, I woke at 6:00 Monday June 9 with contractions 5 minutes apart, but I had been dreaming that I was in labor. I woke Brad and told him what was going on… he said,"let's wait and see. Get up andover around a little and see if it stops". Well, that made things worse. Brad still didn't believe me and was sure they were going to stop. Around 9:30 he decided maybe it could be the real thing. Contractions were to about 3 minutes apart at 10:30 and he decided maybe we should call the sitter and go on over to the hospital… so he went and took a shower! He called the sitter first, she arrived as he was getting out of the shower and we finally left the house about 11:30. We got to the hospital at 12 noon. The nurses said I was too calm :). They sent me to my room and after 10 or 15 minutes with no nurse, Brad called for one, who calmly said she was going to check me, but she figured it would be a while.
When she checked her eyes about popped out of her head! She called for reinforcements, and called the doctor… at 12:25 we were holding our sweet little girl! The doctor's lunch didn't even have time to get cold! LOL. And the nurses spent the rest of our stay trying to get caught up on our paperwork.
I did have a little trouble with high blood pressure and bleeding after delivery. I was told I was almost bad enough to be hemorrhaging, but they got the bleeding stopped… I think once they calmed down so did I and my bp came back down too. By the next morning we were bored and the nurses didn't need to help with anything and I couldn't get comfortable anywhere, so we decided to go home.
T was excited to see us. He wanted to hold the baby, but we thought he wanted me to hold him, so we traded… he was heartbroken! He cried and cried… and cried! He was sweet and loving to his sister from the very first moment he met her… and has been (mostly) good to her ever since.
Blessed with two precious children after being told we'd have none! God is SO good!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

As soon as I knew baby #2 was going to be a girl I knew exactly what I wanted her name to be! BK… B- for Grandma Lady, and K-for the Mom-Type-Person. Now I know some of you know Mom Lady's name to be SG, but S is her middle name :)
Brad was all for K as the middle name but it took some talking (and a heart-sharing e-mail) to convince him to go with B for the first name.
When we told Grandpa Man what we wanted to name BK… I never saw him so close to tears.
Mom lady was, surprised that we wanted to pass her name to our child, and even promised to not be offended if we changed our minds.
I did also choose to add my middle name to the baby's name, giving her two middle names, and making her the sixth generation May (through the mothers). That is kind of cool, not something I was sure I wanted to break.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The day before my family arrived for their visit, we found out baby #2 was on the way. I really didn't want to know for sure until after they left, but Brad wanted to know. So, I took the hpt, and went and got the blood test… he was right, that explained the sudden loss of my energy.
On that Wednesday night after church, we took my mother with us to McDonald's as that was part of our usual routine. Brad's mother was with us, too, so we decided to tell our mothers together. My mother instead of being happy for us responded with," How did your grandmother know already?" that was surprising to us since we only had confirmation that morning.
Instead of making a church wide announcement, this time we decided to share with a few an see how long it took for news to spread. I was given a baby shower gift of 30 homemade dinners (lasted us 3 months!) when I had T, and the two ladies who made the meals said they would do it again if I had another baby. So, went to one of the ladies and whispered in her ear,"you better get cooking again.". She got the hint, hugged me and screamed with joy and excitement. By the time Sunday evening service started we knew pretty much everyone except Pastor knew. One of the ladies in the church walked by Pastor and told him,"Ask Brad what's going on.". He gave her a questioning look and dismissed it. Once service started Brad posted a note on the screen "He still doesn't know", everyone laughed, and the note was gone before Pastor turned to see what was so funny. Then Brad posted it again. Suddenly Pastor remembered what V.D. had said and asked Brad what was going on. Brad played dumb and someone told him our news. He got excited and grabbed his cell phone to call his wife, who was home sick… but his daughter stopped him saying,"she already knows, we told her this afternoon!". What fun :). Our Pastor is great, and great to tease :)
We also found out that the chronic eczema that T had as an infant was probably caused by a reaction to peanut butter in my diet coming to him through breast milk. I lived on PB&J when nursing him… yummy! I still miss peanut butter :(
We were told he would probably outgrow the milk and soy allergies by the time he was two (which he did), the peanut allergy was only a 10% chance of being outgrown, but because he did not have the respiratory reaction he had a higher chance of being part of that 10%.
We have discovered some good substitutes, but we miss peanut butter!

When T was about 11 months old, my mother, uncle and grandmother came to visit. My grandmother decided to announce she was coming to see her great-grandson, and she was bringing her daughter to see her first grandchild because if "I don't see to it, it will never happen!"… she is probably right, but that was hardly her sole motivation.
My mother and I (&Brad) got along fine (she stayed at our house and we had mo problem, we avoided ONE certain issue, but had no problems)… when grandma was around, she was loud and rude, obnoxious.
She insisted on taking us to dinner on Wednesday night before church. Grandma asked my uncle to share a story about his ancestor (an interesting story…), but less than half way through, she started interrupting and yelling at him that we didn't need to hear the whole story after all. Then a couple from our church stopped by the table and said hi to everyone, but spent the most time playing with T. Grandma's reaction," children who get too much attention end up spoiled". When we left the restaurant, Brad left me my mother and grandmother alone in the van while he went back inside to talk to my uncle. As soon as he was out of sight grandma started in yelling at me and my mother, with Thomas in the vehicle looking confused. I wasn't going to take any more, especially when I didn't know what or for how long T would remember. So, I went in to the restaurant and told Brad to do something. So he had my uncle take grandma with him and the rest of us went to church (which might have been grandma's goal-to not go to church).
Then the next night they all joined us for dinner at our house. The meal was OK, then came the visiting time. Grandma sat at the head of our dining room table and started in. She belittled and insulted everyone in the room (except Brad), to the point Brad asked her to stop her form of conversation or leave. Yes, Brad kicked my grandma out of our house. It made me thankful that he could/would stand up to her on my behalf-no one else ever dared to do that!

T's Allergies

Before the ice cream cake and hives incident, if T was eating yogurt and it touched his skin he would get a little blotchy… that would also happen if he ate crackers or cheerios. No big deal, it went away when we washed him off, I just assumed he had sensitive skin.
Well shortly after the ice cream cake incident, I gave him two Ritz crackers with peanut butter on them… a snack to occupy him while I fixed dinner. A few moments after I gave it to him I looked of at him and he was rubbing his eyes and face and he was red and splotchy, but the splotches were bumpy like they had been after the ice cream cake. I still didn't think too much of it, I washed him off and took the peanut butter away… but it kept getting worse. So I called Brad. He came home and called T's doctor in the way. When Brad got home we scooped T up and took him to the doctor we were half way there before the nurse called back.
They gave T benedryl, then gave him an injection of benedryl and gave us several different medications for him to take for several days. By the time we got to the doctor's office I could tell T was finally starting to improve, so I resisted being sent to the ER, fortunately they listened to me…
T was referred to an allergist, after a blood test we discovered he was allergic to milk, soy and peanuts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grandma Lady…

Probably the hardest thing about T's birth was the passing of my Grandma Lady four months before…
She was so excited to know he was coming, and would have been so excited to see him. But the Lord knows best, even when we don't understand.

We went to visit Grandma & Grandpa K not long before they left for the last trip they took to Indiana together… the most memorable part if that visit… she told me they were proud of me… of ME!! I smiled and said something dumb like, "I know". But I still have a hard time believing it! Proud of me?!? For what? I haven't done anything but follow God's lead as best as I could, one step, one day at a time… I have only come as far as I have because of what God has chosen to do with me.

Anyway. They went to Indiana to visit their daughter. They went camping IN A TENT! They went and did some other things she had been wanting to do… she was so excited and enjoying herself so much, but she was having trouble with losing her breath and low energy levels. At first they thought it was asthma, but later it was decided the problem was her heart. The doctor said have surgery and maybe die, or don't have surgery and die… so she opted for surgery… the day or two before her 80th birthday, and Jesus took her home a few days later, the day before Grandpa Man's birthday. It was a shock! She had been doing better… And I was here… Brad was gone to camp along with most of the friends I might have called on to be a shoulder to cry on in his absence… but once again God proved to be enough… my comfort and my strength.

I got the call about her death on Sunday morning… the last place I wanted to be THAT morning was church, but I had no "good" excuse. So on the way I told the Lord,"I really do not want to go to church today, but I am going because I know You want me there. If You don't want me there feel free to cancel it." knowing full well I was going to have a terrible day of public tears and probably uncontrollable emotion. :) God is SO good. When I got to church L.S. Was trying to figure out why there was no water working… no water=no church!! It turned out to be a broken pipe and was fixed by Wednesday. I was SO thankful, God let me go home before I saw hardly anybody… another prayer for the impossible to happen, was answered.

I still think of her everyday, and to say I miss her seems like an understatement, but I know I will see her again, hear her laugh, see her smile and feel her hug one day because she is safe and healthy in the presence of the Lord and I will be there one day, too!