August 31, 2006

Technilogical Tornado Alert!! Warning, Warning

I have been trying to come up with a creative post or story for today. I am afraid that my creative thoughts have been overrun by forcing technical information into my brain. I took a right and left brained test on Sarah's blog a couple of days ago. I do realize that these blog quiz's are really just for fun, but on my test my creative side so overwhelms the technical side it made me realize just why I can't program the VCR. I have switched my photography business from film based to digital. I am so excited, I am thrilled! The only downside: My brain hurts, everyone says there is a learning curve to contend with. After the initial tidal wave of information sinks in, takes hold, and becomes second nature my brain will be so relieved. I think that my brain is actually swollen from overuse. I have also been working through a new website for my business. My cousin Michael, who is a computer programmer, has been awesome to help. Thanks Michael - I know you are filled by the fruit of the Spirit, because not once have you ripped the hair out of my head, or sent ugly words in my direction. At some point I will have a new business website, once I get my ducks in a row.
Rob's dad is coming in for a quick visit today through Saturday. We love when he visits. The kids all figured out where they would be today if Grandpa arrives on schedule. Jack will be in music, Derek at recess, and Sophie in her classroom. I am looking forward to 1 and a 1/2 days of no technological tornados in my brain. Just fun.

August 29, 2006

Heartlight Article

Be Like the Dumpster, by Tammy Marcelain
on Heartlight


I live in a town founded in the late 1800's. The downtown area is full
of character. The buildings are old and sometimes even a bit crumbly.
Tucked away in this area is an object that always catches my eye. It is
a big ugly dumpster with the word, "GRACE" hand painted on it.

In the same area, the walls of the old buildings have sometimes been
covered in graffiti. The graffiti doesn't stay around too long before
someone covers it with a fresh coat of paint. However, I appreciate
that the word "GRACE" written on the dumpster has never been painted
over. It stands as a powerful reminder of God's work in my life.

In the middle of tall buildings and the daily hustle of life, a small
word is painted on an ugly dumpster just waiting to be noticed ... a
small word with awesome implications -- "GRACE"!

In the past, I have been like those graffiti scarred and crumbly walls
with ugly words written all over me. I just was waiting for a fresh
coat of paint to make me look pretty again so I could cover up the
ugliness I saw. All the while, I knew deep down inside, I was only a
wall, with several layers of paint covering up the ugliness of sin.

Instead of painting over sin, now I choose to be like the dumpster --
the place where God has written out His "GRACE." I learned through
God's grace, that shame happens when we try to cover over the sin in
our life. Satan lures us to sin. When we do sin, he rubs our noses in
it and shames us to humiliation.

Satan's shame is different than the Lord's conviction of our hearts
when we sin. God wishes to make us clean -- to take a broken heart and
make it new. Only Jesus can cleanse us of our sins. No quick touch up
job will do the trick. Because of God's grace in Jesus, we can humble
ourselves before Him, confess our ugly sins, ask forgiveness, turn away
from the sins we have committed, and he will empty our trash for us,
cleanse our hearts, and cover us with His "GRACE."

Humility, confession, forgiveness and repentance ... those words can
sound impossible, especially if we have chosen sin for a long time. Sin
has a way of blinding us so that we can't find our way out of it.

God can make a modern day miracle.

Fifteen-years ago, I felt bound by the sin I had chosen in my life, I
was lost and felt very alone. If I had considered those words --
humility, confession, forgiveness, and repentance -- at that time in my
life, I would have been overwhelmed. I am not sure I even knew what
they all meant. The words I remembered uttering in desperation were,
"God please help me, forgive me for what I have done." When I lifted my
teary eyes to Him, He gave me His hope and He helped me see His grace,
which was there all along.

I learned that God always gives us a way out of sin. God's grace over
my life made that hope possible. God can take the simplest of prayers
and a willing heart and make a modern day miracle.

I bet you know someone like me, or maybe you and I share a bit in
common. Maybe you are looking for a way out of sin. I have the secret:
be like the dumpster. Allow God's grace to be the miracle in your life.
Let Him write His loving grace on your life and bring you closer to His
hope.

He is waiting ... just for you!

Once you were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins. You
used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying
Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit
at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us
used to live that way ...

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that
even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when
he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's special favor
["GRACE"] that you have been saved!) ... God saved you by his
special favor ["GRACE"] when you believed. And you can't take
credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward
for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ
Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long
ago.

(Ephesians 2:1-10 NLT)

August 28, 2006

The Greatest Morning

Today has been a glorious day. My children gave me hugs and kisses before they entered the bus. I took my sweet dachsund Snickers for a walk down a road filled with tree's, cactus in bloom, there were raindrops in puddles everywhere, the temperature had not moved into the 70's yet, I had my husbands ipod and downloaded my favorite artist, Amy Stroup's, music it, and sang along. I think I have hit the top of the mountain and it is just now 8am. Thank you God for the cooling rain that makes everything fresh, just like YOU!

August 24, 2006

Football in the Heat
























Here are some pictures of Derek at football practice this evening. If you have read Sarah's post about the heat then you know just how hot it is in West Texas right now. Quoting the Sparks who used to be one of my favorite 80's bands, I want to go to cool, cool, cool, places tonight.

August 23, 2006

Laughter, Tears and Inspiration

The Coffee Group's First Presentation was last night. WOW. There are five of us in the group, and even though we are with each other frequently, we really had no idea what the others were speaking on. We had a vague idea of the subject or tag line, but we were hearing for the first time what each other had to say. It was awesome. Donna, Judy, Denise and Sarah, ya'll all blessed me so much. I loved Denise's driving analogy, Sarah's thoughts on calming a hectic and busy life for the Lord, Judy's awesome vision and the roots of our coffee group, and Donna's awesome presentation on control, croc's and all. I really like those shoes.
I was blessed to be a part of so much fun. The tag line on our site says, "laughter, tears, and inspiration." That all happened thanks to the Lord. I was inspired by each of my friends. What a blessing. I am just so grateful to be able to share the way God loves and calls us to him never leaving us the same.
Thank you to all the ladies (and a couple of gentleman) who came out to support us. A special thank you to Jana B. for being my prayer warrior for months now, you are an amazing and faithful friend, I am so blessed by you. We will see you at the ACU Lectures September 18, 19, and 20th.

August 21, 2006

Jack's Wheel Moving Obsession

(moving wheel - what you do if you get into trouble in class)

Jack: Every morning at school when we have our moment of silence I say a little prayer.
Mom: I am so glad, what do you pray about?
Jack: I pray I wont move my wheel.

Last night when Jack was going to sleep he asked me, and not for the first time, what would happen if he had to move his wheel at school. I told Jack that we all make mistakes and that we just need to learn from them and not do it again.

Jack reads 20 minutes each day after school and today his selection of reading: The Bible.


I remember when Jack was in kindergarten his best friend, was Aaron S. Jack made Aaron a Christmas card that said he was glad that Aaron had never had to move his wheel, so they could be friends.

I definately need to continue sharing the benefits of grace to Jack as I don't think it comes natural to him. Jack makes me laugh. What a precious little punkin'. Keep praying Jack.

August 19, 2006

"My Grace Is Sufficient,"... even through tears.

This is the scene on Wednesday night. The Front Porch Guys - all Bible majors, future pulpit ministers, who have been giving awesome lessons for our Wednesday night service, sitting in their rocking chairs, one evening drinking iced tea, and one steamy night when the A/C was out - sweating, just like they were really on a hot front porch. These young men all in their early twenties, there are 4 of them, are awesome. They have in their very unique and thought provoking way brought us to their front porch for awesome conversation that we get to listen in to.
Wednesday was the last night of the summer Front Porch Series, and one of the young men called me and asked if I would help them sum up the series by telling the congregation something I learned or appreciated from the series. I say, "Of course, I would love to," not hesitating for even a moment. There were a couple of us given the task. These guys have worked hard, and I really thought that one little statement in support of their efforts would be easy, no big deal.
As I spent the afternoon working on finishing up my Coffee Talk for Tuesday night, then had to run some errands and thought that this would be the perfect time to gather my thoughts for The Front Porch question. I could have picked several things that I enjoyed, but, no, I pick the two things that makes me emotional just thinking about them. Authenticity and Transparency. And this is the story I told that night, first of all I made a bad joke, thanks to my husband Rob, for informing me of that. I didn't want to get emotional and if I could just make myself laugh - I could get through it, so I took the microphone and you know, said, "testing, testing," I laughed and so did some others - thank you very much dear friends. Anyway, I said that the thoughts that touched me over the summer were of being transparent and authentic with others. When I moved to Abilene I was leaving a life of sin behind. God put me here for my journey back to Him. Satan on the other hand was going to try and keep me in my shame, and had thoroughly convinced me that I was the only person in the church hallways that had ever done such horrible things. Every one looked so shiny and perfect. On the outside I was smiley and happy but inside I was broken and ashamed. I worked in the church office as the secretary, doesn't God have a sense of humor? One month I am hanging out in bars, drinking way to much, partying was the focus of my life, then the next month I was working in a church office as a secretary/receptionist. What a wonderfully mastered plan, and I was the sheep He searched for and brought back into the fold. There was a woman, Amy B., who worked in the counseling center at our church and she invited me to a home fellowship group that she went to on Sunday nights. After a while I went with her and that was the first time I had been in a group of Christians that were opening up about the sin in their lives, and how God forgave them, and transformed their hearts. I remember being amazed that I was not the only person who had sinned. It opened the door for me to really begin my walk with the Lord and start the healing process that took years. But because of a group of people that didn't feel like they had to look like they had it all together, and were not too prideful to share the mistakes they made, the devil was out-schemed by goodness, and I felt awesome hope.
Authenticity and Transparency - it changed my world. I told a good part of the story above, not quite all, standing up in front of 500 or so people on Wednesday night and before I get to the end of the first sentence, my eyes start tearing up, Judy and Denise grabbed the tissue box. Not a full out cry mind you, but whimpering, my mouth dry. I am a driven to being transparent and authentic, I don't ever want someone to feel like I did, alone, my only problem is when I say the words, I feel them too, and when I feel them, I remember just how it felt to be alone and in darkness, then I feel the unsurpassed joy of my Savior rescuing me, and I cry about that. I don't ever want to forget about the darkness because that is what pushes me forward, once you have been at rock bottom you never want to go back there again. God's plan for my life is unbelievable, I just wish I could get through a simple sentence before the water works start. Just one question, how hard can that be?
Emotions are something I had learned to control, I had turned most of them off from the time I was little. I was so hard hearted. And now they come so freely, and it seems that I can't control them at all. I know that God counts each one of my tears and that He will continue leading me down a path that is not always easy, but it will bring me closer to Him and that is after all, the best path ever. Eddie C. said on Wednesday night he was glad that there was someone else in church that couldn't get through a thought without crying, and he said that as much as he wishes that he could, God says, "My grace is sufficient." Thank you Eddie for those words. Because that is true, I do not have to have it all together, I only have to testify to God's love for me, and if I cry through it and it doesn't come off shiny and pretty, that will be o.k., for HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. Glory Halleluiah.
Hebrews 13:15,16 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

August 18, 2006

Images ... love them.

It is only 7:44 in the morning. In the 90 minutes that I have been awake I have gotten 3 children fed, clothed, out the door to ride the bus to school, and changed career paths twice. What? you might say, how can someone change career paths twice in just a matter of minutes, come live in my head sometime it is a never ending saga of planning. I am fessing up to the sickness I have, Jack definately gets his "what are we doing after this," from me. I am not proud of that, I would love to be one of those people who wake up and think about breakfast and coffee, but before my feet have hit the ground I am already up to about 5 pm and dinner plans, football practice, and possibly even tomorrows plans. Most people would look at me and use words like... easy going and low-key, ah that Tammy, she just seems like she never get's stressed out ... those are things I have heard, and that is the fruit of my planning. I hate stress. I always say I am the type of personality that can not do many things well, I try to stick to just a couple. Before I had my children I could juggle a jillion tasks, now I have kids and I just can't do that and keep my sanity both.
So here I am, financial aid papers filled out, classes written down from the junior college I had planned to be at right now to turn in those financial aid papers. I went and talked to someone yesterday at ACU and got my degree plan, of which I have 20 hours already completed from when I was fresh out of high school, I am a mere 10 hours away from being a Sophomore. So close... but yet so far.
I have a wonderful home business that God blessed me with about 6 years ago. I am a photographer. I prayed when Derek was in my tummy that God would give me a job that I could be a stay at home mom and make some money on the side. I prayed and prayed, and in God's timing He made it happen. At the time of those prayers I was a snap shot taker, never dreamed photography would be my thing, but God made it my thing, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this field. I am eternally grateful to the Lord for the gift of this business. But I am always thinking, "what am I going to do after this," my kids Lord willing will grow up and go to college (I will beat them with a stick if I need to, for them to get a formal education, and not drop out after a mere 20 hours like I did) I really wont beat them with a stick, just for the record. But you get my drift. When our kids are in college if I work at ACU the local christian college my kids will get a significant tuition break. I do not need a degree to be support staff, but it would be a good thing for me. And then... out of nowhere an email comes from one of the labs I use for a seminar on photography and I am totally swept up into the images on the screen, my heart is pumping hard, my palms are sweaty, I love it. This is the business that I love. So I am bidding a'dieu to my college plans this year, loving the field of photography, I know it will be grand as it comes straight from the Lord, and maybe, just maybe, one of these years I will actually make a profit on my business and when that day comes, I will shout from the rooftops,... there is just something about taking a picture and having the emotion jump off the page, a high school senior, independant, and ready to enter the world with dreams so big they can not be contained, to remind a couple of the love they felt for each other before they were married, or the pure innocence and excitement of a bride dressed in her gown minutes before she is betrothed to the love of her life. The gift of images that last forever, yes, that is my calling. Marcelain Photography
Now that I have that off my chest, I need to continue thinking about the breaking down in tears post, answering one meager question, ... come back tomorrow.

August 17, 2006

You Found Me, You Really Found Me....

Ah... you found me. I am so glad. I was afraid you might get lost. Judy, I know that this will stretch your comfort zone on the computer, sorry, and I am sure that you worked hard to add the old blog to your blog feed, but please bear with me. I had always felt a little strange having my minor childs name as the blog address, it is a big world out there you know. But it was certainly helpful for people to be able to remember it, after all no one can forget Jack. But now you must remember that my name is the address.
Don't forget to come back tomorrow, I am mulling over my next post on blubbering like a goof ball when answering one minor question in front of our church... emotions I wear them on my sleeve and all over my face and in front of hundreds of people.

What are you doing after this?

Good Thursday morning. It is so nice and cool outside. I opened my windows for the first time in months to let the fresh air in. Ah, the smell of fall. I should enjoy that fallish scent until about 7:45 am when the heat of summer takes over.
Jack has a port flush today so we will get to see our chemo friends at Dr. Hirsch's office, if there is anyone still there after school time.
School is going great. The first week of school is always extra fun because the kids don't bring home any (or very little) homework. The kids are enjoying their teachers and friends.
Jack has asked each morning this week, do we not have a day off of school yet? He was ready for the weekend on Tuesday. Jack is always about 3-5 days ahead in his planning. The inside of his brain is a well developed calendar system and he is always looking to the next event. "What are we doing after this?" Is one of his most asked questions. We could be at a pizza place with games and bumper cars and he will stand in the middle of kiddie heaven madness and say, "what are we doing after this."
There are so many lessons to be learned in that one question. For me the lesson was driven home when Jack was diagnosed with the tumor, each moment is a blessing, don't take one for granted. But it also makes me think of the gift of eternal life. As believers in Christ we know just what we are going to do after this life is over. And that is what we put our hope in. There is so much in the news just today that I am listening to in the background, Jon Benet's murderer was finally found, the suffering of John and Patsy Ramsey having to tell the press and police over and over they did not kill their daughter, the 9/11 remembrances have started, it makes my heart ache. But that is not where my mind has to stay,... "What are we going to do after this." Thankfully praising in Heaven with angels, no pain, no tears, that is what I am going to do after this.
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." John 11:25

August 15, 2006

Needs for Andhra Pradesh, India




Linda Egle who founded the Eternal Threads Ministry, which is one of my favorite things, sent this email to me and others, I thought I would post it for you to read, you never know how God will work. Pass the info on to your church, or write a check if you can, if you can't will you pray for God's glory to be shone in this situation.
********
There has been widespread flooding in the area where, Johnson Medidi, and the other preachers live who distributed the aid to victims of the tsunami. It is the villages and churches in their areas that have now been affected by this flooding. As many as 350 villages and 20 Churches of Christ were flooded as well as all their members homes. The preachers have been doing what aid they can with their own resources as you will see from the attached photos, but as you can imagine their resources both financial and material (blankets, food, etc.) are limited and have already been exhausted.
***I am attaching communications from preachers below......

Healing Hands, Abilene, is now Global Samaritan Resources. They can immediately distribute funds to Johnson, but unfortunately do not have funds in reserve for this need since they have recently gone through an organizational change. Randy Uthe who went to India with me and supervised the distribution of tsunami relief funds in this area, will be overseeing this project and I assure you that all funds sent through Global Samaritan will be distributed by Johnson and the other preachers for the needs of the Christians there. Randy and I will also be giving you full updates of the relief and Johnson Medidi will be coming to the U.S. on August 25th at which time he can give a full report to Global Samaritan in Abilene.

If you or anyone you might know could help in even a small way, it is so important that we take care of our brothers and sisters at this time. Thank you so much. Please send any donations to:
Global Samaritan Resources
101 Walnut
Abilene, TX 79601

Gratefully,
Linda

Linda Egle
Eternal Threads
Eternal Threadswww.eternalthreads.com
linda@eternalthreads.com
1-888-487-4549

Flood Situation worsens in East Godavari and west Godavari

It is the High emergency information for your kind consideration and prayers. You may watch the news about the tragic flood situation in our districts of Andhra pradesh. Many villages and Churches effected by the flood disaster. Many Christian & Non- Christian families of communities, and preachers in some villages are suffering and threatening for the present situation, I communicate with Bro. Johnson Medidi

Situation: - More than 181 villages are dipped in the
flood water in East Godavari & More then 40 villages in west Godavari Districts. Total – more than 231 villages effected very badly. Water prevailing on the villages due the cause the of the River’s Bund breaches. The situation at present worsens, people are suffering for the food, water, shelter and medication. Acceding to today’s new more then 2laks (thousand) shafted,, Governments are unable to help the majority of families, these are looking for the help many people have no food, water and medication since 4 days. Many people remained on the top of the houses, and trees. A team of fishermen who got the boats in Tsunami relief are working along with some brethren what they can to save some people who remained in the flood-effected villages. I visited many victims along with press-reporters & had men of the villages where I got the possibility to go by boat. Number of the villages lost the communicatio ns.

Loss: -
1. Thousands of families lost every thing except their lives & everything washed away. It can not be estimate at present. In Tsunami mostly the fishermen community affected, in this disaster many communities many families in down villages,congregations, and prayer sheds badly affected
2.. 20 preachers and their congregation effected & 5 Prayer Sheds were washed away in West Godavari.
3. 29 preachers and 23 congregation effected. 9 Prayer Sheds were washed away along with number of the poor huts in East Godavari.

High emergency Need:- I request your kind consideration to do some emergency relief of food, drinking water, and medication if it will be possible temporary shelters. Medical care will be essential to eradicate the viral decease, and keep the victims healthy

Dear Bro. Randy please pray for the present
situation, our God is Almighty, we trust He can take care of our fellow brethren and communities, our local congregation at Karakkayapeta doing what we can for comfort the victims, and serving what we can. Please pray and do what you can through Bro. Johnson to take care of our fellow brethren and suffering people in the badly affected villages. We are grateful and thankful to you for your love, care and concentration on us. Surely your prayers are with us. Please give our hearty greetings to Bro. Ed Enzor and other Brethren.

August 14, 2006

Glorious Mercies of Prayer and Sprinkles (or spit)

Here I am, all the kids are in bed, or on the way. The first day of school was a complete success. Derek, Jack and Sophie all had a great first day. The only minor mixup was the bus schedule, when perusing the bus schedule at Meet The Teacher Night, I was a little confused in the mass hysteria of parents, and picked the wrong bus for the kids to take home. I called the bus barn this afternoon to double check because I had an inkling that something was not right. I was able to get the correct information to the kids long before school was out, so they all made it on the correct bus and arrived safely and happily home at 4:10.
Derek started his 3rd week of football practice and I believe he is feeling excellent about participating in football. We said several prayers on the way to football practice that he would have a great night, and God gave him just what he needed to enjoy it. I prayed with him at Skinny's in our van after I bought my water. He prayed again before we were even out of the parking lot. Then as we were driving up to practice Derek asked if we could say one more prayer. We took it to the Lord and he blessed Derek. The night was cool, yes I said cool, it was a bit sprinkly or my Australian family would say, "it spit on us off and on all night." We all just enjoyed the weather. Derek ran hard, and did a great job. Praise God for His tender mercies.
The major excitement at the practice field was the dead bird, just waiting to be spied by one of the many younger brothers that run around while their big brothers are practicing. At first they just stood there looking at it, then they started chucking rocks and sticks at it, then they decided that they needed to kick it out into the street. It was like an hour of fun that no toy could provide. The leader of the 3 and 4 year old pack is this very cute little blonde kid. He has so much energy he just runs circles the whole night. He wears his Texas A&M jersey, with shoulder pads and a helmet. He is ready to hit the field when he is old enough.
Everybody had a great day, I hope yours was too!

August 11, 2006

9/11 Tribute


Carlos S. DaCosta, age 41.
Place killed: World Trade Center. Resident of Elizabeth, N.J. (USA).
Father God please be with the family of Mr. DaCosta, continue to bless them as only You can. Mr. DaCosta was an innocent man who suffered at the hands of the terrorists. May his legacy continue through his family and friends. And may they find comfort in Your presence.
Over 3000 bloggers signed up to remember the men, women and children that died in the 9/11 attacks. You can click here to read more about it.

Go God!!!

Derek is my 9 year old son. He often gets mistaken for being older than he is. The first words from the doctor in the delivery room after he saw Derek's size, "This kid is so big let's just let him walk himself to the nursery." When Rob and I were taking Derek home from the hospital, the nurse reminded me that Derek was just a newborn even though he was leaving the hospital in 3 month sized clothing. I think she was afraid I might just send him to the refrigerator to pour milk and grab a bag of oreo's and call that lunch.
Derek has been a joy. He is full of energy, loves sports, trading cards, and play station. Derek also has a heart for people in need. For several years he has collected money to buy goats and soccer balls for children through World Vision.
2 weeks ago Derek started playing pee-wee football. The first week was conditioning, running and drills. This week they put on their football gear and added the contact part of football. Derek has struggled with the contact part. Once the tackling started Derek's excitement about playing football took a nose dive. The first night of contact Derek would walk over for a water break with words that said he was having fun, but the look on his face said different. By the end of that practice he was physically shaking and holding back tears. Rob and I encouraged him to stick with it, hoping that it would get easier for him. This week in the pep talk at the end of practice the coach told the players, "It is natural to throw a ball and catch it, it is not natural to hit and be hit, we are here to teach you the fundamentals to keep you from getting hurt."
I thought about that statement alot this week and how that applies to our spiritual boldness for the Lord. We can walk through our days throwing banter back and forth to the people around us. We can ask how their family is, talk about the latest football scores, whatever is easy and doesn't require any discomfort on our part. When was the last time we asked a friend about their spiritual walk, or told someone how Jesus changed our life. As Christians we are the chosen ones of this generation to share the Gospel.
Derek finished his 3rd practice this week and had a smile on his face. He practiced, over and over the fundamentals of contact this week. Each time he made contact with another player it became easier. Just like Derek wears his helmet and pads for protection, we put on the full armor of God and arm ourselves with the Sword of the Spirit, which is God's word. The biggest enemy we have to face in the United States is the enemy within ourselves, the fear of looking silly or coming across as a Jesus freak. Fear is a much used tool of Satan, but the more we rely on God and make contact with others, the easier it gets. The cloud of fear that once kept us from reaching out is shown just for what it was, lies and deceit. I find it interesting that there are people in other countries who put their lives on the line to share the Gospel, but here in the USA we are so comfortable in our lives we just don't want to rock the boat. Let’s put our hope in Jesus not in our possessions and comfort and take one for The Team, who knows you might make a touchdown, at the very least we are following the direction of the best Coach ever.
“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God.
But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8-9

August 10, 2006

Jack the Natural Energy Source

Yesterday I was at the computer. The kids were all watching a movie on the television. It is the last week of summer vacation, and swelteringly hot outside, so I have become a bit laxed on television viewing time this week. I hear someone get a cup from the cupboard, then I hear the water run in the sink, then Jack say's, "Sorry for the noise, I will have the water turned off in a second." I didn't hear any response from Derek or Sophie, so they were tuned in and not paying attention to Jack's distraction. What a sweet boy, he was afraid the water was disturbing his brother and sister.

Jack is doing very well. We are going to cut back down on his Physical Therapy to once a week, with the stipulation he stays in Thai Kwon Do. He will have PT and OT on Tuesdays, then we are enrolling him and Sophie in a fun acting class, on Thursday, with Thai Kwon Do later that same day. I refer to my post about becoming the busy family.
Jack has not yet worked through the problems with the braces on his feet. They are made from a mold that hardens around his feet, Jack has the bony-est (sp?) feet ever. I never realized he has so many bones that just stick out. Needless to say those bones are all pressure points so we have had to take his braces back to the orthotics doctor, and he made some adjustments, they are still making red marks and rubbing on his feet, so we will be back there again soon.

Last night Jack was in the middle of the living room, exercising like a crazy man. Running in place, knuckle push ups, sit ups, swinging his arms in every direction, anything his 7 year old mind could think of. He had worked up a reputable sweat, I asked him why he was working out, and he said he had to keep up with Derek. Jack has not had this much energy since his chemotherapy started. He has been off of it now for 6 weeks and his endless energy is coming back. Hooray. This is very exciting. Of all my kids, Jack was the one who never stopped. He had two speeds, fast and asleep. I am grateful for Jack.

August 09, 2006

Great Post on Raising Five

I read a great post yesterday on Raising Five

  • Click Here
  • to read about "fishbowl parenting"

    What do you think?

    August 08, 2006

    Mammoth Boy

    Rob and Derek just left for football practice. Last night Derek got an A+ from the line coach. He worked hard, took some hard hits, hit others, all in all he thought he did a great job.

    Conversation overheard at practice last night from Mammoth Boy to his mother:
    Mammoth Boy: When are they gonna let us hit all out? This is stupid, the other players just need to figure it out, and get used to it.
    Mother says: They need to teach the basics, mammoth son, then you can hit hard.

    In my mind I am thinking that if mammoth boy were on a field with players 3 times his size he might not be so excited about hitting so hard. This kid is huge.
    Mammoth Boy is a good player to be on your team come game day, each and every day in between he could be the bain of your existance, or should I say my existance.

    August 07, 2006

    Go Raiders!

    The big discussion today in the car on our way to the grocery store:
    Jack says, "Mom, do they make long-john donuts with sprinkles?" I replied that I did not know, but I haven't seen any lately. Jack says, "I have a big decision to make, when I am older do you think I should play baseball for my job or open a donut shop?" Wow, what a big decision I think to myself, then Jack says, "Here is the problem about baseball, when I go to the batting cages and I hit the fastball it makes my pinky hurt." Well, there ya go! Decision made, no hurting pinky fingers aloud around here. So it looks like I might have an in at the most famous donut shop in Abilene, come the year of 2022.

    Derek is playing junior pee-wee football now with the Raiders. We are adjusting our simple schedule to becoming a family who might not see each other for dinner, together, at the same time more nights than we can be together. We have fought against this lifestyle for several years. Derek is the only kid on the team that hasn't played for 4 or 5 years already, he is 9 years old! It took me several years to figure out the sign up process and then when Jack got sick we couldn't add anything in our schedule in order to maintain our sanity, so now here I am 4 years late signing Derek up for football. I am glad he was able to be a part of the team, he is more than excited as he has been waiting for this day for the last 4 or 5 years, but has been patient none-the-less. Tonight is the first night in full pads, helmet, .... I am going to cringe every time he is hit, but I will keep it to myself. This is definately out of my comfort zone, but c'est la vie. I will definately be a great supporter, it might just take me a couple of weeks seeing my sweet baby (108 pound, 5ft, 9 year old) take some hits, and hit others, to get used to it.

    Go Raiders!!!!

    August 04, 2006

    Grocery Store Craziness

    The kids and I went to the pool for a couple of hours yesterday. We had a nice time, everyone played, laughed, and enjoyed the company of friends. On our way home from the pool we stopped in at the local HEB. For those of you outside of Texas, HEB is a great grocery store. Good prices, good selection, minimal service, but I can see where they are trying to improve that in some areas at our Abilene location.

    I swore off shopping there once when my twins were babies and Derek was 2. I had bought a cart full of groceries, was on my last nerve, and they didn't ask me if I needed help to my car. I could have asked for help, but it was pretty obvious they didn't want to help, and I didn't want to grovel for grocery assistance. I was sure that if I asked for help, I might start crying, and a crying mother with a full grocery cart, 2 babies and 1 toddler, I did not want to be.
    I walked to my car that day, forever swearing off, my most favorite coffee in the world, Taste of Abilene, Violet Crumble,(a candy bar that I used to eat in Australia, that only they carried), and low, low prices.
    It took me about 3 weeks to go groveling back with my tail between my legs, good thing I hadn't written an ugly letter (it was politely worded), or waved my fist in the air saying, I shall not return, upon my last exit. My grocery budget just couldn't stretch to meet the grocery stores with great service, and I would rather eat my foot than go to Walmart on a regular basis.

    Yesterday we were picking up some ingredients for yummy crusted herbed chicken for Rob's birthday. As we were walking through the store Derek is already thinking about Buddy Bucks. Buddy Bucks are a toy dollar bill that the cashiers give the kids when you go through the line that work in one of the machines at the front of the store. I quickly head Derek off at the pass, we are NOT going to accept Buddy Buck's today.
    Fifteen minutes later we find ourselves in the line to pay for the groceries, and the nice cashier starts handing out Buddy Buck's to my kids. I say, "Oh, I am sorry, we don't want any Buddy Bucks today." He looks at me with a quizzical look on his face, and politely took back the bucks he had already passed out.
    At that point I felt the need to explain myself, “Those Buddy Buck’s drive me crazy, you hand them to my children, then they have to go wait in a line of crazed buddy buck kids at the one machine in this whole store, I have to stand next to them with my raw chicken in my grocery basket getting warmer by the moment. We finally get our turn, the kids play the game, then they win a little container that only opens with a hammer smashing it on the ground, all to get a sticker of a number 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 on it. My kids don’t need a sticker with a number on it, so that is why we are not playing the Buddy Buck’s today. “
    This twenty something male cashier, named Mike, looks at me with a grin on his face. At the same time I am telling him this story my kids are continuing to ask for something we passed at some point in the store, candy, gum, cereal, fruit chews, and I just keep non-chalantly interjecting the word “no” to them as I continue my rave on Buddy Bucks. His grin continues to where he is almost laughing at me, not with me. He says, “I know it seems like I am laughing at you, but this is all kind of funny.” I smile back and tell him someday he might have several children in tote when he goes to the grocery store and it wont seem so funny then. He then says, he is ready for children, and he can’t wait to take them to the grocery store and tell them “no.”
    So I am glad I could help him have a warm fuzzy in his heart about future parenting and the grocery store outings that are to come.
    The best part of my kids starting school soon – grocery shopping alone.

    August 02, 2006

    Ms. Vintilla

    The glory days of summer are quickly coming to an end. In a week and a half the kids will already be at school reciting the Texas Pledge, USA Pledge, and I think even singing some sort of Texas song each morning. Along with a moment of silence, which I know for certain, many of those teachers are praying silently for the innocent eyes looking up at them.

    I remember a special moment that happened to me when I was in the 3rd grade. I was a quiet little girl I was shy, had no self-esteem, and was easily embarrassed. When I was young I was sure I was the only child who had a daddy that struggled with alcoholism. When I went to school I was sure everyone there was better than me, and they all thought I was nothing to even consider. I do not know what anyone really thought about me, I just kept my head down and tried to walk through school invisible.
    I had a special teacher her name was Ms. Vintilla. She saw the sadness in my heart, and went out of her way to make me feel special. She had visited with my mom I think and knew about our home life. One day she sent the rest of the class on to music, I can remember it like it was yesterday, and she asked me to stay behind. She showed me a long necklace she had made. The necklace part was made with that leathery, suede looking material, and the bottom had a beautiful oval shaped picture attached to it. Then she showed me a beautiful turquoise and silver beaded necklace. The turquoise beads were big and chunky and the silver beads were extra shiny. She told me I was allowed to pick my favorite and that it was a gift from her to me. She told me that I was a special young lady, she could see that, and that I had alot to offer the world. That was what I felt anyway when she was talking to me. I chose the turquoise necklace. I wore it everyday, I wore it out, until the necklace could take no more, and broke. I kept the pieces for a long time, but don't have them anymore.
    That special teacher put a light in my heart that was never extinguished. I had seen myself through her eyes and I knew that I was special to someone.
    To all the teachers who are just around the corner from having kids in their classrooms, you have the most important job in the world. You are educating the future, you are developing character, and sometimes giving hope outside of a hopeless home. You are up to the task and your heart has room for 22-30 kids this year, maybe even more. Be blessed and let the Lord shine His face upon your students through your eyes.
    I will never forget Ms. Vintilla, in fact she reads this blog, and I remembered that about halfway through my story. To Ms. Vintilla - I give thanks to the Lord upon each remembrance of you. You put a flame of confidence in my heart, I will always be grateful for you. You shone the love of the Lord in my life.