Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Goodbye 2016

It was a wonderful Saturday morning – the boys were at their jobs, Steve was working, Soph was major “chill-ax-ing” and I was moving mountains,  mountains of laundry!  But getting other things done too. I lingered over my toast and coffee, enjoying my back yard view.  Soph and I enjoyed our Saturday at home, doing what we both wanted to do.  Late afternoon, we were forced to leave our cozy nest to venture out as Sophia had her first 3rd grade Basketball game.  I was excited to watch her and we’d planned to grab a bite the two of us after the game – serious mommy/daughter day! 

Just as I arrived at the gymnasium, I received a call….the kind you don’t want to get as a parent….my eldest daughter who was at a Christian boarding school, had reacted violently (nice way to say she assaulted, battered, etc) two staff members.  They were expelling her and asked me to come get her immediately.  I scrambled to find someone to come watch Soph and take care of her after her game, luckily a dear brother-in-law stepped in to help me out.  My husband works in a “core” and can’t receive calls so I knew I couldn’t reach him until his shift ended.  I was on this alone. 

After an evening spent in ER with an angry defiant teenager – the mental health plan failed – crisis literally told me there was nothing they could do, the social worker was pressing us to get her admitted, the screening didn’t allow her into anything – so other than placing her in a Youth environment that would put her in front of a judge, our only other option was to take her home.  Which, by then my husband joined me at ER – and we fearfully took her home. 

This has been another adjustment for our home, with our youngest fearful of her outbursts – scared of what the anger produces.  We’ve dealt with this so many years – the reality of how peaceful our home had become swamped me as that peace left and my stress and anxiety returned. 

We came to learn she was failing all her classes, and threw her back to the very public school she couldn’t handle last year – because we are all out of options.  She’ll be 18 in 3 months – then these outbursts will sadly have legal consequences that we won’t/can't save her from – we continue mental health support in the last efforts to help her control this anger beast.  Already with just 7 days in – she has broken rules from home to school, with little regard for those it affects, including herself.

So, with Christmas around the corner, we’ve returned to a household full again.  We are in this for the long haul, while the heavy feeling doesn’t go away and sometimes I’m paralyzed by the sheer volume of the sadness and stress we’ve experienced in 2016 – I optimistically look forward to 2017….hoping, wishing for easier times again.  I was enjoying my new freedom of being able to do things I enjoyed again, I plan to find that more in 2017 as I take time for myself and my spouse.  Finding the balance needed to stay healthier.

In 15 minutes I shot some pictures of the kids to capture for a Christmas card – I love them all so much!  Despite the trials we’ve endured, my Mom heart loves deeply for each as I only wish them wings to fly. 
 May you find peace and joy in 2017!  Blessings from us all!

My outtake ~ because they have a hard time cooperating!  Love them all!

For Unto Us a Child is Born ~ Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Dying Wish

My dear, lovely mother-in-law passed away from cancer this week at the wonderful age of 91 years young.  She was a gem and family anchor that valued her legacy of 7 children she gave birth to and many in-laws, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  My adopted children were blessed to call her Grandma and be on the receiving end of green beans, many quilts along with specially hand chosen books every year for Christmas to name a few.  She was a warm hug full of acceptance in a world of hurt that healed the hearts of my children.  She had their utmost respect and they’d bend over backwards to do what she asked of them. 

With her cancer growing and a family meeting formed to ask her what her goals were at this point….she had only one wish, that my son return home to the family as he’d departed ways from us in anger months ago.  This, was her last wish.  Before she passed away, he had the chance to tell her he’d moved home and he loved her….  I’m blessed we lived near  and all my children had the opportunity to tell her one last time they loved her as God called her home to her heavenly family reunion.

My youngest shows the suffering of grief the most, as the rest of us work to hold our tears and grieve in different ways – she cries and doesn’t want to go to the funeral next week, but wants to attend the graveside service only….my heart hurts for her pain and to honor her Grandma, she will be there…. despite her tears of sadness, she will be there for Grandma….
Just 14 weeks ago we lost Grandpa too, so this is a hard year for my husband to lose both his parents and my children their beloved grandparents.  We’ve lived in the same town as them, so we received many perks like the Saturday morning calls to come fetch some cinnamon rolls which a bike rolled out quickly to go get…..mowing for Grandpa and him sitting on the front porch to make sure they did a good job, paying them well for the job and many more memories abound.  So much to grieve and miss of two lives that made a difference.

This picture – it speaks volumes... 
My oldest is holding Grandma’s hand while saying goodbye to Grandpa in the church – that is his character of support.  My sons loved her longer than the girls, had more memories and blessings from this time.  I’m so glad God gave them such awesome grandparents that as time goes by, those moldings of life will continue with them.
2016 has been a hard year…. I’m ready for 2017…. but first we have some tough days ahead as we honor her with a funeral filled with love and respect for a journey well lived and a legacy left.

2 Timothy 4:7  “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.”

Her legacy to us.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


The magic of snow drifting down from the sky,
Then you look up and get a flake in your eye.
Beautiful, white and each one unique,
Watch them closely before they land on your cheek.
Each one falls gently onto another,
Giving way to a pile where they smother.
Drifts form with the wave of wispy wind,
Swirling the flakes making your vision thinned.
God’s weather reminder through nature divine
Live life like a snowflake, be special and shine.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

When God Says Love Your Neighbor As Yourself….

The challenges have been beyond real lately.  God pushes me to grow…..sometimes like my teens I just want to sleep in on life and ignore responsibility, chores and going to work…..I want to sit and do nothing.  This isn’t normally me – but occasionally this feeling comes.  More so with age.

So, I had part of my kidney removed. Tumor was all contained – praise God! No chemo, no radiation needed.  Hallelujah all the way.  I am blessed.  I stayed longer than anticipated in the hospital due to fever and the weekend wasn’t when they wanted me released if I ran into problems.  I was happy to get home, shower and wear normal clothes!  During the time I was in the hospital, our oldest, decided along with the lies he was giving us, to quit his job, move out and move in with his birth mother who found him via Facebook.  Shock.  Pain.  I’d take 10 kidney surgeries with the pain vs what this did to me emotionally.  Talk about a low blow.

My cries to God of why, 17 years and this is what we get?  Not the plan we had.  Major failure to launch here.  So I tried to set aside my selfishness…. resisted listening to God, pleaded with him…. a month went by.  I heard God telling me over and over what I needed to do…. but I didn’t want to do it.  A few more weeks went by, God gave me sleepless nights, mental angst…. finally, broken of my will I said “Yes Lord, I will do what you ask.”   

We reached out to the birth mother and for the benefit of my sons, we got together in peace to learn to know each other.  What struck me was the struggle of poverty, addictions of 17 years, a turned leaf struggling against the odds.  I felt humbled and guilty of all I have in my life.  A new view….and the fix it Val came out.  There are ½ siblings, so I’m treading softly.  I want to continue to hear God and what he asks of me.  My walls of fear exist and I’m slow to lower them, but God made me a loving being for a reason and I will rise to His challenge.  I’m actually excited about how this has released some of my fears – how the hurt can ease when I listen to what God says about loving your neighbor as yourself.
I am blessed and have been given talents and abilities that are clearer to me, given this interaction and I pray discernment as we move forward.  What mixed blessings will come from this initial olive branch we have begun?  Healing.  Healing for my heart, sharing of two boys we’ve had for over 17 years that we love beyond measure…. hope for their future.  And maybe, while we don’t have anything but love for two young men in common, a small bud of friendship and understanding will grow.  Peace – the peace I seek may be possible as I step outside my comfort zone.   It has been years since my voluntary service experience and I find myself needing to remember more – needing to be able to let go and risk.  So, a new journey begins.  
Prayers welcome. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Toomah Ahh-nald

The world has been moving fast since my last post….a beloved father-in-law passed away more suddenly that expected and the grief was overwhelming for all of us – he was the fishing grandpa, the one that came to all the kids events, Sophia especially grieved as a first time of knowing someone well who moved on to heaven.  Has been quite a journey to comfort her and see her processing death. 
We’ve discovered the world of vision therapy too as in looking for answers on why our dear Sophia can’t read, after a summer or tutoring and working so hard, vision therapy has entered our life giving us some newfound hope as she desires so much to read chapter books and dreams of curling up with a book to read.  Breaks my heart as we pursue the unknown to give her the best future knowing very little biological background – many of you adoptive parents know this walk!
Then, Courtney moves to a private Christian boarding school this weekend – the summer has gone fairly well, a relaxed girl with no school pressures is much easier to live with!  So, knowing after last year, we couldn’t survive doing the same thing…..we found a wonderful school nearby that will be the venue to complete her education and give her the support she needs.  Because it is so close – we’ll have regular contact with nice breaks at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring break!  I’m excited as she discovers more about herself and as we see her mature and blossom into a lovely young lady with God in the center of her life.  We reached out and helped her make a healthy family connection to her past – this is a blog in itself, but let’s just say – healing bridges have begun!
The eldest, my wild child – he is so DONE with college, he just wants to work.  So, he found a job that we hope will work into full time after his trial period.  He loves the outdoors and having fun – but launching him into adulthood is not for the weak in our household!  Being parents doesn’t end when they are 18, that I can say for sure….so the guidance and directions given, while not always taken, continue as I pray for God to keep him safe and watch for the when / if he allows God to be a part of his directing life.
Toby my Toby.  Stressed some with school, full load and a few college classes as a senior, continues to work, run cross country and usually be my helping, loving son.  When short on sleep and food – beware!   Proud of the young man he is becoming and how focused on his goals he is. It is a hard course, but his sail is holding steady.  He is such a kind hearted young man.

Love all my kids to the moon and back.
My husband, my rock.  We stand together in the trails that come our way, I couldn’t do this alone, the good Lord knew I needed a strong patient man to help us stay firm in Him.

I myself am heading for a partial nephrectomy – removing a tumor from my kidney, hoping it isn’t cancer, but told 70-80% odds it is.  Hoping and praying we can keep most of the kidney and not have it all removed.  I can live off one kidney – just prefer to have most of the other if possible!  We named it “Toomah Ahh-nald” after Kindergarten Cop with Arnold Swartzeneggar.  So – asta-la-vista Toomah Ahh-nald!  I pray my recouping time restores my body back and allows my soul some down time for me, to gird up for the next challenge that I’m sure awaits out there with my rocks in the washer of life.

 Prayers – always welcome!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My Pokeman Go Weigh In....

OK – I’m annoyed so I’m venting – my Pokeman vent therapy.
When I first heard about Pokeman Go – the game on your devise, using GPS, I thought….nah.  Some people immediately bashed it publicly on facebook, etc, etc.  I just read, listened and observed.  Then our OWN city, declared no one should be out after dark playing this game, due to recent burglaries where guns were stolen, don’t trespass on private property, you could be in danger, etc etc. 

So, my 18 year old son admits – he is playing the game.  He says, Mom – you should play it too!  I said show it to me.  So he showed me it, I downloaded it and started to play in the house only at first.  I’ll admit, it was fun.

Then last Saturday night my son convinces me to go on a walk – the weather was nice, yes it was after dark but we’d walk city streets and I was an adult.  We headed out.  What I learned was, there are many aspects to the game and getting out and moving around (we walked over 2 miles) was fun.  You don’t have to go on any private property, most things can be accessed on sidewalks near buildings like churches, post offices, etc. 

I saw the news article about kids leaving trash at a Veterans memorial due to Pokeman Go.  I think that is sad….but I’m also guessing more people have visited it in the last week than the last year, but that doesn’t justify leaving trash! 

They warn about not doing it while driving.  Like texting and driving – it shouldn’t be done.  Will some people do it – yes.  That said, like anything, all things are a choice whether you do it or not it isn’t the games fault.  Every time it launches up, it gives you a warning to be aware of your surroundings.

Like all things – you can use it for good or bad – you can litter or not litter, you can play Pokeman Go safely and for fun – or you can take risks.  Also, this is a GAME.  Kids play games - this isn't drugs or alcohol - it is an app and a game!  Kids have played games for years - this one actually has kids more excited and active and talking with each other vs just texting sitting at home or in front of a TV!

Last week I read of a lady who was taking a selfie at the Grand Canyon and stepped backwards and fell to her death.  We all takes risks every day in many ways.  Just getting in my car and driving to work is a risk. 

What I know is it has given me and my son (and now husband and daughter) something to do together, today my hubby got out and walked a mile on his own early this morning.  I’ve walked more and it is fun!  For however long this fad lasts…..enjoy it if you like to play games!  

I read these positives posted the other day on Pokeman Go:
 1) People who are obese are actually going and walking.
2) Soldiers with PTSD whom have not been out of their houses in years are coming out.

3) It is showing positive results in helping people with depression.
4) It is helping young kids with social disorders because of disabilities such as Aspergers, Down Syndrome, and Autism to go out and interact with kids their own age. Some of which had never successfully interacted with other children at all.
5) Some families are saying this is a group activity that has brought them closer.
6) People who love games have found a game where they are actually out, socializing, and not sitting at home in front of a computer or a TV. This is something similar to geocaching, which is an amazing concept. 

I remember when Harry Potter came out and people all freaked out calling it evil, demon possessed, witch craft, etc……instead of judging it without knowing, I picked up the first book from the library and read it.  I loved it for what it was – creative, targeted towards an 11 year old audience reader and a good read….I then read every one as they came out.  Same goes with Pokeman Go – if you haven’t tried the game – don’t judge it.  It really is fun, while not for everyone, realize it has positive benefits.  Bambi advise “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all!”

Friday, June 17, 2016

You Are My Sunshine....Usually!

This guy...
A heart of gold, sensitive, caring, kind, generous, many good qualities.  I think he is adorable. His eyes - he has lashes girls would die for.....I just don't know why he doesn't have the girls knocking down the door!  18 years old and a Senior this next school year we headed out to get an early start on Senior pictures before the beautiful wheat is gone, as it is being harvested now.

It really wasn't that funny a joke....

Love my Toby...Prayers that God guides and protects him.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Summer Is Here! 2016

The sun shines and the rain comes….but they are good days, not perfect days, but good days are here for now.  School is out - last day of school is over.  That is a relief greater than some are able to recognize.  Sunny hot days ahead which can bring boredom – a wonderful thing to have….reading books, swimming, mosquitoes, softball games, road trips, BBQ’s and the swing of the summer routine will set in.

I remind myself lately when I’m giving myself that pep talk – that there have always been those kids that struggle – no matter what others do….  No matter how much I want them to become the fighters to overcome – it is their journey to walk and live.  My job remains the support and giving them the best resources to use should they decide to use them.  This is true.  While I may have good reason for despair – I too have good reason for hope as well.  My kids aren’t the first adoptive kids or bio kids out there to struggle in their time of raging hormones and with poor decision making skills and catching large backlashes of results from their choices.  School of hard knocks has been around for ages – my kids are enrolled and hopefully those lessons will carve them more than any lecture I can expound on them.  I will be their defender, but sometimes you need to go under water to learn how to come up for air on your own….I can’t and won’t always be the lifesaver here.  And sometimes it is just plain Karma.

It is time – time to detach again, time to say “I love you” yet I am going to take care of myself more now….Dad and I are going to “date” more again – we need to get away together, we need to refocus on us as we’ve put “us” aside too long.  You will be better for “us” being better and no, you can not divide us – we won’t allow it no matter how hard you try – and I do see you trying…..
We will lean hard on each other and that hope which we know exists.  Options are arriving and we are looking at each possibility carefully and for the best interest of this family we love and want to ride this wave of life.  I’m seeking the sandy beach with the warmth of the sun on my face and a cool drink with a great book beside me – restoring my soul.  Love exists in these walls called home….I’m looking up, my sky is not falling today….so for this I’ll be grateful. Better days are ahead.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Daily drama, trama and craziness!  It just doesn’t end.  I feel like this picture….

There is that glimpse of the sunny blue sky, white puffy clouds, but all around is the storm, waiting to rain on any peace that tries to appear. My life these days.

We’ve had the run-away.  Suicide hot line called.  Defiance up the ying-yang.  Sketchy lies, plagiarizing, more stealing behavior without thinking…..and this is to name a few. My life feels surreal at times and I can’t believe these choices are being made by children we are raising – choices COMPLETELY against our morals and every fiber of our being of what paths we don’t want them on.  Teenagers that know better, but don't live better than the very past we hoped to save them from.

I've been listening to Lauren Daigle’s “Trust in You” song – wow, this is my song right now in my walk of life.  Read her lyrics:
Lauren Daigle
Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see
I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side
When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!
Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less
When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!
You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood
When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!
I will trust in You! 

Amen – that is all I can say.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Fake Birthday

 She was stressing out the other day, as only an 8 year old can.  Kids having birthday parties in school, get to have a special straw hidden that they then find.  So, since she is a summer birthday – she wasn’t getting in on this birthday tradition as the school year went on.  So, as school is winding down, we are encouraged to have a “fake” birthday party if we like, bring food and she gets to find her straw.  Luckily her Dad was off today, so he took the treats to school, as the awesome Dad he is – so she could feel the special-ness of having a “fake” birthday straw hunt.
As I was reflecting on all this, it dawned on me, she wants for nothing, has all the love and possessions she needs to be satisfied for a child her age.  BUT the rewards of being amongst peers, recognition and fair treatment are motivators for her in such big ways.  A simply Birthday Straw motivated her to bound out of bed with excitement on a Monday morning, when we usually drag our feet at the beginning of the week….because it was special.
I bet God watches us and wonders too why we aren’t bounding out of bed daily, for that special sunrise he gives us every day, many of us take it for granted, as well the gift of salvation – his son Jesus – the Birthday Straw in our lives that should give us new energy, a reward that is ours, simply for the asking.  Many seek this "Birthday Straw" and never find it.   How many times do we just go on our busy way, forgetting those little things….those things that matter the most.

This 8 year old – she teaches me something new in life every day.  A wonder of creativity with a learning disability that is such a beautiful unique creation, and God picked us – he gave us this Birthday Straw girl – when we too had everything we needed to be satisfied, he gave us her through the beautiful gift of adoption….because he knew we’d need some “fake” birthday’s in our lives.  He knew we’d need that one more child to fill our vessel of blessings with a smidgeon of challenge so we wouldn’t be bored in our older aging life….. 

Thank you.  My cup is full.  My straw is awesome!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Toboggan of Life

A life changing weekend at FCA is our saving grace at the moment.  Things learned there somehow made a difference in the same message – just delivered in a new way.  So….the tide flows again with new goals, new hopes…..then why am I so weary?
When I was young, in Winnipeg, Canada at this one park close to our home in St Vital, we'd use our 5-6 seater aluminum toboggan and would haul it up wooden steps to a loading ramp, the more you put on it - the further it went. Barreling down in the guidance of ice walls beside us.  Everyone, when it would stop, would jump off quickly and dash up the hill so the last one off had to pull the toboggan back up.  I'd slowly pull it back up and look at the ice guidance walls, sometimes seeing blood from someone who got bumped and maybe had a nose bleed - oohing at the grossness of fresh red blood on white snow and ice.  Such awesome memories of hours of exhausting fun.
I feel like I’m pulling the toboggan up to slide once more, the exhilaration and joy of the ride ends when you have to trudge up the hill with a toboggan in tow, each time it feels heavier, each time the wind in your face pushes you to push harder to get there for the joy in the ride….eventually you are too cold, too tired and you go home…..seeking warmth, dryness and nourishment.
I’m weary of my toboggan – I think I need a long rest….  God is my strength pushing me from behind to rise up that mountain over and look and experience the joy of the ride when joy can be found and cherished.
I read this quote by Brennan Manning:  “Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.”

Isaiah 54:17
"No weapon forged against you will prevail..... This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me", declares the Lord.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Iced Emotions

We received a blanket of lovely white snow on Easter Sunday.  Coming home from Sunrise Service I fought an overwhelming urge to go away on my own and photograph the beauty of it.  But duties called me to the kitchen to get things ready for Sunday Dinner with 16 around the table, so I snapped a few just around home, then C asked if she could shoot a few with my camera and she did.

My emotions tie in with these pictures so well lately.  The beauty in the ice and snow - hiding so much dirt and dryness of the parched Kansas ground, hugging it with intensity to provide it some loving moisture.  As a Mom, I too want to be that blanket of white snow, loving, giving, sacrificing for my children, hugging them to keep them away from the evils that lure them in - especially when they face challenges so much lately.  My reality lies in that no matter how much I give, how much I love, how much I sacrifice - we are back to square one again.

My soul feels a deep sadness - nothing works.  Nothing helps.  They say more therapy, they barely can acknowledge that what they provide doesn't work.  When the recipient doesn't value the information or isn't capable to applying it - it becomes pointless.  But to "give up" makes us feel like failures in a life we can't save from the demons of the past that moulded and control. $18 grand and weeks later, we arrive at 7 weeks home and it feels like we've gained no ground.   I've a strong faith, but I've got to admit - short of a miracle, nothing can save this slide down a slippery hill over and over.  I'm feeling low.  I allow myself to realize that it is Okay.  It is time to let it go - I've fought the good fight, but I'm tired and don't know that I can keep doing this for another year.  I'm hurt and retreating.  It is hard for me to give it up, give it up to God I tell myself and move on, so I have to try. 

Another day it will snow will return in pristine cleanliness that will also fade and go away.  It doesn't stay.  I yearn for a happiness that seems out of reach.....I remember the days filled with love and laughter and a carefree flow with trust and honesty prevailing....why can't that be the norm?  I envy those that have this.  I remember who I used to be and mourn the passing this situation has me in.  It was my choice.  I chose this I'll finish it.  It won't be easy, fighting demons isn't easy work.  Some hard decisions lie ahead.  Time and prayers will direct this. 

Do you know what it is like to volunteer for something, then as that obligation comes near you regret it and can't wait for it to be over?  Sometimes we have to say "no" and that is where I'm at.  I'm not going to compromise my standards or morals because the ethics of who I am hold me strong in my stance.  Some think I'm hard headed or hard hearted....they don't know the tender spots my heart holds at all.  There is give and take - but it comes with responsibility, honesty and trust I pray for these as a norm vs a rarity.  These things when lost are hard to gain back.  I was recently informed of a girl who pays her parents $200 a month rent, who isn't 18 yet - and then her parents aren't allowed to "parent" her and she can do whatever she wants.  It was told to me with admiration like that was the path we should go.  Hmmmm  - not this mama.  You can be 25 and if you live in our house - it is our rules. 

"Tell a lie once and all your truths become questionable. " ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Above and Beyond

Every now and then, you meet a person whose dedication to community service is one that is worn with pride in all they do.  I’ve a friend who serves on the volunteer Fire Dept of our small sleepy town and also responds with the EMS.  She is a jem of a person.

When an infection mimicked heart-attack like symptoms for me and I had my first ever 911 call for my medical situation, my husband was at work, it was early morning and my daughter placed the call.  My friend was on the response team – and it was such a reassurance to have her there, I can’t put to words the support she has given me over the years.  Her daughter and my daughter are good friends, attend Youth together, etc.  She is a rock of a person, and while I was taken away on a stretcher to the hospital – she stayed and took care of my kids.  Talk about above and beyond.  She even took them to church, as it was an early Sunday morning and fed them.  She is a hero made lady with a service heart.

Late last year, in an effort to find something that C and I could do together – a mother/daughter bonding thing, we started doing each “our own thing” – C made paintings and I make jewelry.  C would help me find words, scriptures that I’d use in my jewelry making as well.  She is also a “ringer” in she rings up my charms along with my husband.  She didn’t really follow through on her paintings, so it ended up me with jewelry.  Well, I’d signed us up for our first craft show before Christmas – but at the time it rolled around, she was in the hospital and I solo’d it.  The weather was horrible and the turn out mediocre at best.  So, with her home now, we did a ladies event in a larger town with good success and this weekend we’ll tackle a Flea Market/Craft Show in a town about 40 minutes away.  Private orders have kept me busy too.  I do the metal stamping and glass pendants along with custom orders to meet the needs of what people are looking for.  It has been fun.  Challenging, as I recently finished a necklace for a lady with 19 kids!  C got on board with her art class and stamped us T-shirts which was cool.

Back to my Firefighting / EMS friend – I made her this….just because 
As I recalled her stepping in, going above and beyond as a friend and worker in my time of need I just want to publicly express to her my many thanks.  She has been a listening ear many a time, and I thank God for placing her in my life path. She has not judged me in my imperfections of motherhood and been a superior support in all we've been through and continue to go through in the ride of mental health for our daughter. She is a place of respite and welcome that rises above....because that is just how she rolls.

Thank you Susan.

PS – if you want to see our creations – look us up on facebook at:  we ship too!  J

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fresh Start - Again...

Well, she is coming home – ready or not, here we go.  

Nervous, afraid, excited, lots of emotions flowing for all the family.  We’ve done this before, in / out.  Hoping that the skills for coping work for her this time to ride out the tougher times that always seem to come.  

Hope – for the joy of togetherness again as a complete family making memories and enjoying laughter as well that heals our souls.

While she was gone, she had picked out some paint colors in the fall and we hadn’t had the time with our schedules to re-paint her room. Then the crisis hit.  So, after Christmas, with the time she was gone we could move all the furniture in and paint like she’d wanted.  We “refreshed” her room with d├ęcor as well. 
 A new spread, shams/pillows, curtains, floor rug, arrangement, wall art with positive encouraging words…..

I’m excited for her to love this and be in this space again…prayers for this ongoing journey.

Romans 12:12  Be joyful in hope, patient in afflication and faithful in prayer.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Let It Shine, Let It Shine, Let It Shiine....

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…..don’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine….
When the pain shows up – everything changes.  Life shifts as we respond each in our own way to deal with what life is giving us at the moment. I’m reminded of this childhood song I sang, I’ve also sung it to my children.  It really has a strong message to return to.  

As I look at the depth of my soul, and feel the brokenness and times the hopelessness to change a dark path into light, I strive to hold onto my positive outlook on life – my optimism – because, I truly am a hopeful optimist.  That said, I stumble and fall like anyone.  I hurt for the hurting and want healing to do miracles – because I believe, I have hope, I know they exist and desire one or more in the lives of my children! 

I’ve heard the social workers tell me “kids like these usually don’t make it” – I know my odds are stacked the wrong way, I know love doesn’t fix everything and genetics and poor starts in life rule against me over and over that is makes me mad.  I want to be the statistic that isn’t the norm – I want to break the odds. Time will tell.

So, I found this ring……(I love jewelry).
My hubby got it for me for Christmas.
It is described as “a little bit of joy peeking through the clouds, like a ray of sunshine.”   Like it’s creator – who has a different journey of pain, I too will slip this ring on my finger daily – this sunburst to remind me, better days are ahead, the sun will shine through the clouds – joy will come through and peek out – allowing the strength of those rays to fill me with joy to survive the cloudy and stormy days.
Finding Joy in this journey is my challenge.  This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.  Today Joy may or may not come…..I can choose it – but it also eludes me like water in a sink with a stopper that doesn’t hold the water in….there will be days like that.
We got the movie “Inside Out” – I really liked it – so profoundly simply in it’s message that Joy can’t survive alone without the other feelings as well.  We can’t be just one thing – a healthy balance is needed, even for the depressing sadness, she was needed.  A teamwork of emotions is needed. 
Meanwhile, I’ll look at my ring and sing….This Little Light of Mine….I’m Gonna Let It Shine…..and remember to let the clouds be over the sun, but find a way to shine as often as possible.

I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine….Everyday, everyday, everyday I’ll let my little light shine.
Eckhart Tolle:  Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you.

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