Friday, August 31, 2007
His birthday seems an appropriate time to talk about how we met. So whatever will I talk about when our anniversary comes??? Oh, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
It was January, cold, even so after work my friend and I would go to the walking park and walk. I am a native of my little town and think I know everybody..so several times over the months we had walked, I would speak to someone else on the track and say "aren't you so and so?" and they would ALWAYS say no. But on this cold afternoon, God brought two people together at just the right time and just the right place! We were walking along and I spyed Russell walking and said to my friend "I know him"....to which she replied "NO YOU DONT! DON'T SPEAK" I'm guessing she was embarassed all those time I did speak to people that I really didn't know. I insisted that I knew him and not only that, that we grew up in church together. My only problem was, he had a brother and I wasn't sure which one he was since I'd not seen either of them in years. So when we were side by side, starting to pass him on the track, I said..........and my friend tried to strangle me, "aren't you one of the (our last name)?" The bells rang and the birds sang, he said yes!!!!! then "who are you?" I guess all those years in church he was listening to the sermon while I was busy scanning the aisles for future husbands. During our conversation, I somehow figured out which brother he was without asking outright.
He walked with us for a while and we talked about how we knew each other, and our families too. He eventually came to his truck and it was time to part...I thought to myself, "Maybe I should tell him my last name now, you know, just in case???" I had introduced myself with my maiden name. So I somehow got my last name out. Now I had no idea that he was very forgetful. Two weeks later, he called and asked me out....the night he picked me up to go to a movie, I saw where he had written my name...so he would be able to look it up in the phone book! AHHHHH!!!!! I guess he "knew" we were supposed to be together too.......so why did it take him two weeks to call??? He was worth the wait!
Here's where the "we know it was God" part comes in....my husband is a CPA....in January he is very busy, but that day he had decided to walk. At 5 p.m. exactly when I was walking. No one could ever convince me that was a coincidence! 2 1/2 years later, we married in the church where we grew up. That was almost 12 years ago.
My husband is the best man I've ever know, except for my daddy....in fact he's so much like daddy that it seems spooky sometimes. He's incredibly honest, hard working, a wonderful father and my best friend. The only time I truly relax is when he's with me.
I love you dear husband, even if I nag sometimes, o.k. a lot, it is ONLY because I love you! And forever I will say AML/AML All my love, all my life!
In the wee hours of the morning, I began to have a really bad stomach ache, and don't laugh I called the nurse and asked for some pepto bismol......I kid you not! Good old pink, soothing pepto bismol. The nurse, trying not to laugh hysterically, examined me and said, you are having a baby...and I said "NOT NOW", because it wasn't "in the morning" yet. But against my personal wishes, she rolled me down to the delivery area. Back in the day, birthing babies was MUCH different than now...of course for me, I was already three sheets in the wind from the valium and had no idea that I could start having convulsions at any time. I wanted my mama! My family had been out of town and she made it to the hospital right before Paul was born. That little bundle weighed 3 lbs. 11 ozs. I didn't see him for two days because I wasn't awake during that time. They had given me a big dose of what they then called twilight medicine. I remember nothing of the delivery and nothing of the two days following. Later I was told that when the nurse came out carrying my baby, she was crying. The doctor came out and said, "we need to get this daddy home". He was afraid that one of us might not live. We fooled him! Of course there was no NICU so he was in the regular nursery in an incubator. Miraculously he not only survived, but came home in 28 days.
Today, on his birthday, I pray he remembers the little boy he was. I pray that this is the year God breaks the bonds that hold him and sets him free. I love you, Paul.
"Our Savior Kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives.
But rather than recoil in horror,
He reaches out in kindness and says,
"I can clean that if you want." Max Lucado
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Oh, well, back to the grind! I'm actually happy to be doing this for such a special occasion!!!
Monday, August 27, 2007
This is Russell's oldest son and my step (I hate that word) son, Tommy. This is his first date with Claudia. The occasion was the Sadie Hawkins dance at school, they were freshmen in high school.....As far as I know, they didn't date anyone else, but went through high school and college together, then married!
After Tommy graduated from the University of Florida, GO GATORS, he took a job in an engineering firm. Claudia graduated from the University of Florida too and is now working toward her doctorate while teaching preK ESE. They are both really hard working people. We are so proud of them and all they have accomplished in such a short time.
Here they are in front of their first home. They bought a really pretty home in the town where they live. The yard was already beautifully landscaped. They have 3 cats and a dog, Roscoe. Our constant prayer is that this home will be filled with the love of Christ and that He will always be their center.
Roscoe, what can you say about Roscoe. He was a pound doggie. Claudia adopted him 11 days before their wedding. I asked her if she didn't have quite enough to do??? But he's a sweet, old dog. He only has one tooth that sticks out over his lip and he likes to be right with Claudia and Tommy. He's a chihuahua mixed with something. Roscoe isn't supposed to eat dry food because he can't chew.....so the poor thing, when he comes to visit grandpa and nana's house, he runs over to our dogs' food dish and tries to eat it all and quickly....ah the temptation! If he manages to eat some, he feels really bad later.What a wonderful thing to add a daughter and for your children to grow up to be your friends. We love you two!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Today we were on time for Sunday School...sounds like such a little thing doesn't it? But lately for me it isn't that easy. I have for years been at least 15 minutes early to everything, no I'm good if I'm 5 to 10 minutes late. Russell's been working with me to get me to be on time.
I have to get busy and get ready for this party! I had the cutest little bride and groom for our son's wedding...they fit over wine bottles. I loaned them out and of course didn't get them back.
It will be fun and special.....and for fun's sake, here is a picture of her engagement ring.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
but with her own hands the foolish
one tears hers down...Proverbs 14:1
That is one of my favorite verses....Some of us have had times in our lives when we were foolish and tore our houses down with our own hands. Brick by brick we took our families apart using a chisel called sin to break the mortar from each brick. Each time we used our sin chisel, a heart was hurt. Some of us were blessed to have the opportunity to rebuild using the mortar called grace to gently and lovingly place each brick back in place. They weren't perfect, the house had cracks here and there, but eventually things became even better with the furniture of forgiveness placed inside.
Some of us never used the grace mortar and eventually our houses fell, some slowly one brick at a time, some just tumbled down and the people inside had to crawl out pushing the bricks away, bruised and wounded from the experience.
These people were not bad people, in fact they were Christians. When the dust settled from the fall, God, the great builder used what was meant for bad and made a new thing. He forgave and started to rebuild, in a new location.
With both of these houses, there were painful and lifelong consequences...hearts that were broken , children who's lives would change forever, loving parents and siblings disappointed. The shame and stigma that divorce (enter your own sin here) brings, the guilt. Yes, God forgives but He usually doesn't take away the consequences.
A wise mentor of ours said this..."Christians are the only ones who shoot their wounded".....that statement made a huge impact on me. Those of us who have been through difficult life situations have a unique opportunity to gently and lovingly offer a hand to lift those who are in the midst of trouble. None of us are immune from sin, if we were we would not need Jesus. But we do need Him, we all need Him and the love and forgiveness He brings.
Please, if you find yourself with the opportunity, remember all that God has forgiven you, lean down and offer a hand, help restore a fellow sinner. Keep your gun in it's holster!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
These are her children....children born to a husband and wife only after they were drawn to Christ. The girls let me read Linda's testimony and it is riveting. Linda always wanted children, but was not successful for some years after she married Big T. Then after they were saved, they had four! Once she told me that she couldn't wait to have grandchildren and she loved having all her family around. She will hold her grandchildren when they join her in heaven.
B, her oldest, was so precious to her. He was her only boy and her first child, she loved him dearly. When Linda was so sick and he was home from college, he would jump right in and care for her! He married a few years ago to a really great girl! Their wedding day was a happy and sad day. Linda's presence was sorely missed, but she so looked forward to the day her children were married and happily settled down. B's wife is a teacher and B is a biochemical engineer. (or something like that!)
K, her first daughter, so responsible and caring, putting everyone ahead of herself, coming home from college to be with her mother and family during that awful time. She is engaged to a wonderful man. He had the diamond from her mother's ring reset into her engagement ring. It is stunning, but more than that so sentimental. The wedding may be a mixture of sadness and joy, especially to Big T....K is the image of her beautiful mother. Her "ways" are so like Linda's ways. She will be a breathtaking bride. K is a natural caretaker....I had surgery a couple years ago and K stayed right by my side, even sleeping on the floor by my bed so she wouldn't "disturb" me, but would be there if I needed anything. Hubby appreciated that! She is now a speech pathologist in a nearby town, but after she marries into the Navy, she will be moving far away! Even though we are all for leaving and cleaving, it will be hard for her to be far away. But their second station is where my grandchildren live....so I'll be going to visit!
E, who was in her senior year of high school in an honors program, bravely carried on with school, while also being home with Linda as much as possible. Her senior prom, she was so beautiful. She graduated 3 months after her mother died, with honors and scholarships, and was awarded a special hero's award for doing it all during the most stressful time in her life. She's beautiful, talented and adventuresome! She moved to Atlanta and worked there for a time then started working as a traveling therapist and has lived in Colorado and Texas! She is a physical therapist and loves working with children. She is the introspective one....she ponders things in her heart.
MG, the baby! What can you say about the baby?? She's beautiful and talented. MG was uprooted from her high school and moved to a nearby town where Big T's job was located. She had a lot of change in a very short time, and has done it with grace (well, most of the time, I mean she is the baby!). She has a wonderful sense of humor, but do NOT make her mad, the girl holds a grudge! :) After graduation, she went to college and she and K lived together for a few years. She is now a teacher in a nearby town and I know the kids just love her, but she keeps order in her classroom! Ellie, her dog, is in the picture, a very mannerly dog, the first I've ever seen sit on the couch just like a person!
These children are all such a blessing, they are very close to one another and each one values the other's opinions greatly. Linda and Big T with God's help did a very good job!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Linda and I became very close friends. She prayed diligently for my children. She and her husband big T had four children, the oldest a boy and three girls. During our time in the group, Linda found out she had colon cancer. She had surgery and chemo and was pronounced cancer free. Maybe a year later, she asked for prayer because she was having various pains that didn't seem right to her, but was being put off by her doctors. After a good while of that, she went out of town for a second opinion. Her cancer was back with a vengeance. She had about 6 weeks of radiation and chemo. Three of our sweet ladies in the church would take her and stay with her 2 weeks each. Then she went to the Mayo clinic in Minnesota. I talked to her the day after surgery and in a gentle, quiet voice she said "well, there aren't many organs left in my body". But the doctors there gave her lots of hope and she came home. When she went back for a checkup, it was back and the doctors told her she had 6 weeks to live.
Her husband worked out of town.
Those precious children, B,the oldest ,was well into his college years, K was early in her college experience, E was a senior in high school, and MG a sophomore, pulled together and kept that family running. K came home from college, she was the backbone for everyone. They were all heroes. Big T's aunt and uncle (they raised him) came and Mimi took wonderful care of Linda and the family. During those weeks that followed, B came home as often as possible and the 3 girls took such tender care. Linda loved those children and one of her favorite Bible verses was 3 John 4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
Linda died that February, one month after her 52nd birthday. I don't tell her story very well, but I want to tell the story of how this child of God's children have carried on since her death. That will take a few posts! So tomorrow another chapter.
Monday, August 20, 2007
One of our sons got married and after the wedding was over, I just stopped....just like that...cold turkey. It isn't hard to stop exercising cold turkey, no patch needed, nothing, just quit. So, one year later......cellulite for the first time in my life on my thighs, but on my stomach??? I didn't even get stretch marks from pregnancy. O.K. you get the picture, I'm out of shape.
So, Friday I held a baby for maybe 45 minutes....mostly sitting and rocking. Saturday morning my arms were sore. Saturday, my husband and I took our bikes and drove them out to 30-A where there is a nice bike trail. We rode bikes for about an hour then loaded them up, drove to a little market restaurant and had fried grouper! Sunday morning, my legs felt like wooden poles..oh, why did I give up exercise! My muscles obviously have atrophied!
Sunday started out normal, we went to Sunday School and Church, came home and rested a little while. I started out to go see my mama with my purse, keys, sunglasses, cell phone and a bag of garbage in my hands. It had been raining hard and small amounts of water had come under the garage door. As I got right to the garbage can, my foot slipped in the water and I came down HARD on my thigh/hip. So of course I screamed for my husband in fear that I had broken something....o.k. he says I'm a little dramatic. He picked me up and I could walk. I got my senses back and went to mama's, but it really shook me up....so now I have a huge black and blue thigh muscle! I'm guessing I really have worked out this weekend! I'm limping around on that leg, again so my sweet husband can tell me how dramatic I am. My daddy always said it was no use to feel bad if you don't moan and complain....I always do what my daddy taught me.
I hope you all had a great weekend.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I did vacuum the carpet. I thought that was very helpful. Matt is fortunate to live in the house that another pharmacy student bought and rents out rooms. This is his second year there, and he really likes it, so do we. But with the move, we needed to go purchase things you need in an apartment, but not in a room. Silverware, dishes, etc. Oh, and microwave, no one could live without a microwave. Plus, he'll be studying so hard, he won't have time to really cook or go out to eat.
Moving was a very HOT job. I thought surely we would sweat off a few pounds, but NO. Now that Russell and I are empty nesters again, we really, really (I mean it this time) are going to diet. The house is quieter and we keep looking for him, it takes a few days to really get that he's gone. We thank our ever watchful God for allowing us to have a safe trip and good time with one another.
We went with Matt to visit a church there and we really liked the services. There were several college age men and women there and we hope he will connect and have a true church family of his own. We will miss him being with us at church.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I'm going to have to write our "moving son back to college" story in several parts (to bore you all the longer), but first I want to issue a word of warning to all parents. We stayed in our motor home at a lovely park near the Atlantic Ocean....during the weekend, there were lots of campers (as we were busily moving furniture, buying needed things, etc. all in the blazing heat....but on Monday when we got up, the park was almost empty, with just a few stragglers left. Monday evening, I was out walking our dogs and a darling little girl rode up on her bike. She had all the safety equipment and had her helmet on, so obviously somebody cares. She stopped and asked if she could pet the "puppies" and I said sure. In 2 minutes, I knew her name was L, she is from Pennsylvania, her parents are divorced and she and her mother live with her grandparents, she was here at the park with the grandparents, you get the picture. She gave me so much information in such a short time that I was thinking info overload...then she said, "you have a kid? I'm looking for a friend." I asked her age (now this was the ONLY question I asked, the rest of the info was for free), and she said 9. I said no, I only have a big kid. She proceeded to tell me that she was going to put her bike up and she would be right back to play with my dogs.
I walked back to our place thinking that if I was a (fill in the blank) bad person, I could have just asked her to come on in and play and taken right off with her. PLEASE, PLEASE somehow without just scaring our children to death, we have to help them know that everyone they meet isn't a sweet grandmother....that there are bad people out there....and for heaven's sake, in a strange place, don't let you child wander alone. As you can see from the picture, the park was heavily wooded and you can't see into the motor home. It just sent chills up my spine to think what could happen to children who are so innocent and just looking for a playmate. She was not in the least afraid to talk to me, get near or even to talk about coming back! I walked on and didn't see her again, but as a grandmother, it really made me think! I hope it makes you think too!
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
These pictures are of Adam with Uncle David and Ashley with Uncle David...tomorrow 8/9, David will be 30 years old! 30...oh, where do the years go??? I have many prayers for him for this upcoming year, but maybe I'll share those tomorrow! I will say he was very disappointed when I told him I would be out of town tomorrow. I usually make chicken enchiladas for him as they are his favorite! You're 30 now son, maybe I'll cook them another nite.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Joshua and Adam had lots of fun together. They have many common interests, both like skateboarding and remote control anything and of course video games. We limited the game time choosing to do outside stuff that they wouldn't normally do at home.
I will miss them so when they are gone home....even as I know their parents miss them while they are here in Florida!