Journaling Through the Valley . . . and finding JOY in the morning!

Location: MICHIGAN, United States

Thank you for stopping by. It's my hope you find glimpses of my Savior interwoven thru my writings. I am the wife to one husband for over 25 years, a blessed mama to a dozen children, yes each born from me ~ two of which see Jesus face to face & ten at home, all of us yearning to see Jesus someday. We have been home educating for over 18 years with . . . well, another 15 years to go (the youngest is 3, the oldest 23!) I have walked through rejection, to continually learning I am CALLED, LOVED and forever KEPT by God - never, ever to be rejected by Jesus! (Jude 1:1) I've walked through deep sorrow to find that joy does come again, though the night may be long; I've witnessed God orchestrating miracles with my children still beyond my comprehension, & I am seeing new love forming as we begin a new road of older children finding life mates. My life has and is a journey, from the deepest, almost rock bottom pit, to stumbling through my faith and looking towards the ultimate climax of everlasting life in heaven. Will you be joining me here and there? ~ Loni

Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Frenzy

What a day! But we are thankful as the day ends, that it is ending much better than it started. Stephen, our oldest, who will be 19 in a week, is taking automotive & welding courses. He's done some welding here at home with dad - and being told over and over again about eye protection and protection in general as it can cause serious burns. He's given himself a sunburn on his arms and face already. Well, last night he got home from class and his eyes were really red and watering. He was working on the exhaust on our car at class and some of it he had to see "better" so he pushed the protective hat up off his eyes. This morning he could barely open his eyes. His eyelids were so swollen and his eyes burned terribly. Everything was blury. We called the doctor's office, and they said he should go to ER right away - but not the small hospitals in our area - but to the bigger city - so an othomologist on call can see him. We had plans for the day - taking in puppies - plus a friend coming for dinner. This was NOT in the plans for the day! Stephen was not thrilled at all to have to get out of bed, and could not stand the light. I tried calling a local eye doctor's office, and an optrimitist was in that could see him right away. So, I "made" him go. I jumped to conclussions when she first started looking at his eyes, because her first reaction was "ohhhh . . .You burned them quite good." Then she had him read the line of letters on the wall. I could read them just fine - even reading them backwards - and he could not. More anxiety. She put two different types of drops in his eyes and determined he did NOT burn the retina's but did do cornea cell damage. However, these cells rebuild every 24 hours, and she expects him to be MUCH better by Sunday. He had to get two perscriptions which seems to be helping, along with wearing sunglasses, even in the house.

Well, though it was a painful lesson for him to learn, I think it was a good one, and maybe one of those "I told you so" that we DON'T have to say . . . and he will be much more diligent about the protection. He is getting razed some and probably will too by his friends. We have been coming up with different ideas of what he could do for a job if he was blind. He's not too thrilled of that idea - and neither are we!

The night ended good with time with a friend. Jayson played his guitar. He is getting quite good on it - pretty much self teaching. He's always had an ear for music. His piano teacher used to get frustrated with him, because he plays by ear. But, the guitar has been a good outlet for him, and neat to see the kids listening to him as he plays and sings.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thankful Thursday

"In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you."

I Thessalonians 5:18

Thankful Thursday
I am, thankful for this week

"Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." Psalm 50:15
I am thankful for the bright sunshine today and the warm breeze that is finally warming up the outdoors.

For MAKE-A-WISH that granted us with a wonderful trip to Disney several years ago and CONTINUES to grant wishes to ill children AND special outings throughout the years for all families.

God's provisions - more puppies coming in and Norm's small engine repair business seems to be picking up.

Links to other Thankful Thursday Posts
Unicorn Child ("home" of ThT & code)
Child of God
Friday's Child
LadyBug Crossing
Sting My Heart

If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below. Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

No Attachment Included

Things can be so bittersweet. Daniel writes on his blog, Dear Elena, about his 7 year old daughter that went to heaven at the end of February. His words captured what we went through today:

The espresso machine isn't working lately. I've been shopping for a new one. I've compared prices and features and have spent way too much time on the whole process. I may be stalling. You see, I've looked everywhere and no one sells one that includes Elena as an attachment to help me brew coffee in the morning.

Matthew loved to grill. This is one of the last pictures of him just a few months before he died. The grill has been falling apart for some time now - getting to the dangerous point. We couldn't get rid of it last year. We too stalled. We have to junk it this year. Another piece gone.

We got a new grill today.

It did not include Matthew as an attachment to do our grilling.

Yet, it is another new beginning . . . bittersweet.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: Lord, Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room

When is the last time you read a book (besides the Bible) that you know was God appointed, and just what you needed to read? I was given a book to review, and not anticipating it to be what "I" needed to hear. If you are just a mommy overwhelmed with the daily life of caring for your family, your home, your husband and everything else that is thrown at you, then this is the book for you! Lord, Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room, is a wonderful, encouraging book, by Barbara Curtis, mom to 12 children - ALL her own. Nine came to her biologically and 3 through adoption. Her 9th child was born with an "extra chromosome", thus leading her and her husband to adopt three more children with Down's Syndrome. The first page captured my heart:

"This book is about spending some time together sorting through the things that get in the way of finding joy in motherhood. It's about getting real about the past and mistakes we've made . . . about seizing each day, squeezing every bit of joy from every peanut-butter-and-jelly-smeared moment, finding God in the hum of a washing machine or an unexpected bargain."

Finding joy again . . . it's what I need more of. I read on. My heart was already moved.

Her laundry room became her "prayer closet". She was searching for where she could go to be alone with God and pray. She was asking God this while sorting through laundry, and God pressed it on her heart she IS praying, she IS having quiet time. It's made me think of my laundry room. I think it will help me to look forward to doing my laundry more - praying for my children as I go through their clothes, and being thankful for quiet time there.

I could relate to so much - from a child arriving at church with no shoes on to leaving a child behind at church. She spoke of how we moms worry about perfection - worry about how we look, how our children behave (or don't behave), and how we can pull ourselves down just in this thinking. With encouragement she says "we need to stop running from our worries and start running toward God. He's the only one we can trust to accept us as we are - even when we can barely accept ourselves. He won't push us aside to reach for the most perfect and spotless specimen behind. "

God has impressed on my heart a lot lately, the verse, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). Sometimes this verse would really make me cringe, especially if someone would say this, that would not really know what we are going through. Barbara shared this verse too . . . and showed how good did come together, even from mistakes, sin, and pain. She is a "real" person, with "real" problems, and shares her heart, even when she was ready to give up and run away from it all. She did not come from a perfect upbringing, nor did she have a role model of a mother, and yet, she found the Lord as her Savior, and God showed her how even her mistakes can bring glory to Him. After she was saved, she found how the things she did wrong, God brought joy from it, starting out with her first child that was conceived before she was married, which made her and her husband commit to marriage, and eventually finding God. They don't hide the date. It shows her how God was working with them from the very beginning.

Her writing is personal, and for a purpose - to encourage her readers. She really does care for them. She wishes she could take their hands and and say:

"May God bless your motherhood as He has mine. May He give you the courage to see your mistakes and the assurance that He can use every one of them to His advantage. May He give you a vision of the glory of your motherhood, so that even while doing the lowliest tasks, you will not forget the privilege of your calling."

This has been my favorite read for this year, and I am very thankful to God for Barbara Curtis and sharing her life.

NOTE: As a Mind & Media Reviewer, I was not compensated for providing this review. I received this complimentary book in order to review it and am thankful for this opportunity.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Let's Get Real Monday

Randi at "I Have to Say" encouraged bloggers to post pictures of their high school days. I have few pictures of my growing up years, but here are a couple from high school. Me at a graduation party
My sister (left); me right

Do you remember the different colored silk ribbons us gals would wear? I remember I had a slew of them that my mom made to interchange with different outfits. It was a big thing that year (1982). I remember this one that I am wearing. It was red with little black dots.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

AWANA Boat Regatta

Our kids boats, all set to go!

Benjamin (with yellow flag over his face) watching his boat take off.
Katie & Melody with their boats. Katie's won a 3rd place ribbon. Melody got a "sympathy" ribbon. Another kid felt bad for her and gave his to her. :)

Heather got 2nd place for her boat design.
Heidi got 2nd place in the boat race.

Bethany (almost 3!) & I did not go to the race. We slept in. Bethany has a cold. We've never had one of our children say this before because of a stuffy nose: "My nose doesn't work". Poor babe.

Friday, March 24, 2006


I bought Manwich tonight. I haven't bought Manwich in years - at least 4 or 5 years. We had "Me-Ma Joes" instead. Matthew hated Manwich Sloppy Joes. So, he made up his own recipe and would often make it. His big brother called him "Me-Ma" when he was little - thus, the name "Me-Ma Joes". We still have been making "Me-Ma Joes". But I saw the Manwhich tonight. I used to love Manwich sandwiches. Most of the kids didn't even know what this was. It almost seemed like I was doing something bad buying this. Like, NOW we can eat this - before we couldn't. We are doing better, but somethings like this sure strike us. Norm said again tonight, when will we go a day when something doesn't hit us.

Last night Norm played our piano. He hasn't played it much since Matthew died. I don't think he realized it. But he just sat down, and began to play. Melody (5) came to me just sobbing. She said it reminded her of the funeral home music. (At the time, Norm was playing "Give Thanks, With a Joyful Heart" - so it wasn't funeral music). Her little heart was breaking. She still misses her big brother so much. She asked some of the same questions she has before: "Why did he do that mommy? . . . Do you think he misses us too? . . . I remember how tall he was. Do you think he's grown more?" We talked some about Matthew . . . and again and again, she tries to understand "that day". Though she did not see him, she knows what happened, and she just cannot understand why. "Why would he do something that dumb?". We've asked the same question, maybe everyday. So, we were talking about this, and I told Melody that she has to also forgive Matthew. I asked her if she ever had done that. She was quite thoughtful, and then said no. This morning she came to me and told me she prayed to Jesus and asked Him to forgive her and that she forgave Matthew. I thought that was real neat - that we did not have to remind her, and she did it on her own. That seemed so good for a little one of her age (and it was) BUT, then she said as she was praying she asked Jesus to let Matthew come back here just for a short time so we can talk to him. She asked me, "Do you think He will let him?" Oh, my heart. I see her hurting heart, just wanting to see Matthew one more time. I tried to tell her how busy Matthew is in heaven and maybe He is helping Jesus to get the mansions ready and when we get there, Matthew will have so much to show us. Melody then says "But I don't know if I can wait that long." I told her how Matthew has a job to do in heaven, but we have jobs to do here on earth and we have to finish our work first for Jesus here. She seemed content with that. For now. We shall see what she or one of the others comes up with later.

So, we continue . . . better, but as Norm said tonight, there's always something that brings the sting of death, and the bittersweet memories, and lingering tears. This is another reason, we continue to share about the "choking game". We don't want other families to go through what we have or have siblings so hurt and not understanding. This week alone I've had 3 or 4 write to me that have just asked their children about it, including a mom who lives in Bermuda, and these kids knew about the "choking game." Just as we wish we would have known before it was too late, be informed, share, talk to your kids.

Tomorrow for lunch it's Manwich sandwiches . . . after the kid's AWANA boat races. They have had fun these last several weeks making boats and being inventive. The older ones made boats for the younger ones. We've had the bathtub filled up numerous times to "try" their boats! Pictures later!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


* * *
Spunky Homeschool

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

In Memory of My Mom

My mom died two years ago today. I got the call just a half hour before she died, from my childhood pastor. He told me she probably would not make it through the day. There were a lot of mixed feelings. I had prayed and hoped for a reconciliation with my mom for many, many years. It wasn't going to happen. My husband and I were talking about trying to make it home (a 6 hour drive) to see if we could try to see her one more time before she died. We talked with the children. They even cried for a grandma they never got to know. We prayed together. I then nervously called the hospital, prepared for the rejection again. My sister answered my mom's room. My mom had just died minutes before. Though we weren't there in person, it was as though we were there. We think we may have even been praying, when my mom slipped away. I have been thankful for God's timing, in preparing my heart, and to have been in thought of her, when she slipped away.

We went to the memorial service at the end of that week. My dad and sister knew we were coming. We brought three of our children with us - Matthew, Heidi, & Bethany. My dad had seen Matthew & Heidi before as little ones. He shook Matthew's hand and told him what a firm handshake he had. He talked with his grandson for the first time. After the service Matthew told us he wished he could stay and talk to my dad more - maybe help him towards reconciliation - but most of all his heart was towards serving him - helping a lonely man with chores around his house - helping him open his pool in the spring -being a friend. It was something that touched me, that never came about.

Nine months later, my dad called me - a first in over 20 years - to express his sadness of the loss of our son - the grandson he met and stood beside. We've talked several times since. Though it's not repaired, there's been some healing.

I was disappointed that the song "Because He Lives" was not sung at my mom's funeral. I remembered it as being her favorite song when I was growing up. When we were preparing Matthew's memorial service, we just could not think or know what to do. Our pastor chose the songs. The song we all sang together with the guests was "Because He Lives". Now, when I hear it, I think of my mom and Matthew. God certainly has a way of putting these little pieces together - like a pat on the hand - saying "I AM HERE - I KNOW WHAT YOU NEED".

I grieved over the loss of my mom, and the mom I never had. I grieved over words that were never said - and words that were said. There were a lot of "if only" or "I wish I would have . . ." It was easy to beat myself up with that. My pastor from my childhood has stayed a part of our lives, and he encouraged me with this. My mom has forgiven. She does not hold bitterness and anger anymore. She does not have regrets anymore. And, she loves me. The day I enter heaven's gate, she won't turn away. And, if she could come back, she'd say, life is too short, mend relationships, forgive, laugh, reach out to those around you. Mom, I've forgiven you too. I love you too. Give Matthew & Angela a hug for me.

Monday, March 20, 2006


We are are rejoicing with the Walsh family and especially for Candace as she left the hospital today to go HOME!!! Read their update and see the new pictures!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Poem - Suffering


Am I all alone in this place?
For I have looked; yes I have sought You,
I have sought Your face.
I look within; and I bow in shame,
For once again my actions have denied Your sacred name.

In this dark storm I am tossed around.
As the waves hit me, I panic as I begin to cry out.
Lord I need You, I’m in agony!
My life is lost, as I cry and as I start to weep.

The Lord says to me; "Son, take my hand.
Don’t look down at the ground son,
don’t look down at the sinking sand.
I will rescue you, I will not leave.
All you need to do is hold onto Me in all your suffering.
Hold onto Me in all your suffering
Hold onto Me for I will never leave".

By: Bill Scott (A special thank you to Bill for allowing me to use his poems on my website)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thankful Thursday

"In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you."

I Thessalonians 5:18

Thankful Thursday
I am, thankful for this week

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam. 3:22-23)
New every morning . . . not some mornings . . . not most mornings . . . EVERY morning! We can start over . . . it's a new day. I am so thankful for this.

Lord, Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room book by Barbara Curtis - I am thankful for this book I just read. It was such an encouragement to me from the very first page - and just what I needed to read. It was definitely a "God thing". I will be writing a review on it later.

We had a wonderful discussion with our oldest son tonight, and it's so neat to see his maturity & growing into a responsible young man with convictions and God-driven goals.
I am thankful again for God's provisions - this week it is 9 little puppies to adopt into homes (the pups pictured with our girls yesterday).

Links to other Thankful Thursday Posts
Unicorn Child (new "home" of ThT and code)
Child of God
Friday's Child
LadyBug Crossing
Sting My Heart

If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below. Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: Life is a Buffet So Save Room For DESSERT

JUST IMAGINE . . . going to a dinner party, knowing you look great in your new outfit and jewelry, you wave confidentially at all your old friends and then . . . you go to the buffet and get yourself some wonderful food. As you walk towards your sister, her mouth drops open, stares at you and begins to laugh uncontrollably. You realize something is wrong, and look down, and there is stewed tomatoes hanging from your necklace, dripping down your new clothes. Everyone is looking at you . . . where do you melt away to? Instead, you laugh uncontrollably with your sister and quickly exit!

This is a true life story that happened to the author, Polly D. Boyette, in her book, Life is a Buffet So Save Room for Dessert. She then uses the verse from Psalm 90:8 "You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence" to make an application to our lives. Stories are told throughout this book of the author, who is called Polly D by family and friends, her sister Robbie Lee (whose name is actually Robin Lynn) and her mother whose real name is AC (no, the letters to not stand for anything - this is her actual name). The two sisters live together, and their mother moved in with them after their father died. She says in the introduction of her book, "Perhaps the main purpose of this book is to encourage others to appreciate their families, even with all their annoying, stressful, demanding and sometimes embarrassing characteristics. Life does not offer us many choices. Even though we didn't get to choose our family, we can make the choice to find the lighter side of family life. You can choose laughter." She goes on to share that yes, life has it's difficulties, and things that are hard to laugh at - such as the death of her brother to cancer, yet, she can look back at the good times they had together, and laugh at it.

And, laugh you will! You will laugh at her mother who loves daffenydils (daffodils), and Robbie Lee who thinks fried chicken is the only food to eat, and Polly D who gets herself into very unusual situations. This is an 88 page book with 2-3 page short stories, and then a page of Scripture application. This a quick "pick-me-up" book to leave in the bathroom or by your washing machine, to read when you have just a few minutes. It would also make a great gift for a friend, knowing it will brighten many moments for her. I loved the book, and highly recommend it.

NOTE: As a Mind & Media Reviewer, I was not compensated for providing this review. I received this complimentary book in order to review it and am thankful for this opportunity.

Monday, March 13, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: The Witness by Dee Henderson

If you want a fast-paced, can't-put-down-book, this is the book to read! I read into the wee hours of the morning several times, thinking, "I will stop at the end of THIS chapter", but I was too caught up, and read further. Henderson

I have read several of Dee Henderson's books, and though I feel personally that some of her other books were even more captivating than The Witness, it was very good. I do not want to tell too much of the story line, because you will find right away there is a "family secret" that begins to unravel and relationships begin to develop. This is a mystery including several murders that take place, and finding out how they seem to be interwoven together. I found the beginning of the book more intriguing and kept my attention more.

This is not a highly "religious" story where most should not be offended by it's religious content. I personally wished she would have brought God into the plot more, and how He aided them. Yet, anyone can read this book and get a glimpse of God to sew the seeds of interest. There is also definite romance in this book, but very well written, and keeps the purity in it. Because of this, I feel I could let my teenage daughters read it.

The story ends much different than I expected and was not as exciting as it was in the middle. I hoped for more resolutions and maybe even a more romantic ending, BUT . . . maybe Mrs. Hendersen planned it that way, to have yet another book finish up these details! Overall, I give this book a B+ rating and would love to read a sequel to it!

NOTE: As a Mind & Media Reviewer, I was not compensated for providing this review. I received this complimentary book in order to review it and am thankful for this opportunity.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

POEM - When All Else Fails

Though there is not nearly as many tears, the 11th is the date Matthew died, and on a Saturday, so it's an extra reminder today. It's 15 months today. We were sitting in a coffee shoppe today . . . and an ambulance from our area parked outside, and two EMT's came in. It brought back those rushing feelings for both of us. This is something we've not shared a lot about, but have a lot of nagging memories with the EMT's. To put it minimally, they were "unprofessional" in their speach and actions and we still have a lot of "what if's" in our minds. We know God WAS and IS in control. It's just a difficult thing, somedays.

When All Else Fails

When times are tough and things get out of hand
When you are scared to death and no longer can stand
When things get chaotic and fear grips your soul
When you feel you are lost and cannot be consoled

When your vision is blurred and you no longer can see
Because of the tears swelling inside as you weep
When all is against you and you cannot go on
And you feel you will die as you feel all is gone

Do not cast away all the things that you know
Don't think God's not there; that He's left you alone
We know God is for us; His word tells us so
He will not forsake us; no matter where we go

Our feelings will tell us that God hates our guts
But if we listen to feelings, they will drive us all nuts
For our feelings are contrary to the truth in God's word
Our feelings will lie and will twist what's occurred

Let God be true and every man a liar
Is a Scripture to cling to; when we are in the fire
Our feelings deceive us; they shift just like sand
But Gods word is eternal; on it we can stand

So please be encouraged as you go through this storm
Your life is what the Lord wants to use and transform
Don't throw in the towel though you weep and you wail
For God is still with you; even when all else fails!

Written by Bill Scott, Sr.


Candace's mom: "Yesterday it was confirmed that this flesh eating,bone eating,bacteria has now entered Candaces right hip and is quite extensive. The bone involvement extends the illness for a long period of timeas reaching the bone with medication is much more involved. AlsoCandace's methidone treatments will be starting today." More on their webpage.

Please continue to pray for this precious little girl and family.

And, by the way, the picture shown is Candace with her older brother, Patrick & his wife Hannah, whom we know from when they lived here.

You may also use this below to put on your blog or webpage and please link to her webpage

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Kitchen Meme

1. How many meals does most of your family eat at home each week? How many are in your family? There are 11 in our family. We rarely eat out as a family, but Norm & I go out often for a coffee break. We eat most of our meals at home. Our oldest is at college during supper, but will end up having his supper during a snack time for the kids at night.

2. How many cookbooks do you own? 30+ I did not include many of my "Quick Cooking" magazines.

3. How often do you refer to a cookbook each week? Several times a week. One of my daughters does almost on a daily basis, trying out new bread recipes.

4. Do you collect recipes from other sources? Yes - many from magazines. I will ask for recipes, and will find some on websites, or look up something on the internet I might be interested in making.

5. How do you store those recipes? We have a photo album we keep many in. Some that I make over and over and don't have memorized, or want my kids to make, are taped inside my cupboard.

6. When you cook, do you follow the recipe pretty closely, or do you use recipes primarily to give you ideas? The first time I do, but then will make changes if I make it again. If it is baking desserts, I follow it much more closely, but if it is something like a crock-pot meal, I will change it esp. if I don't have a certain ingredient.

7. Is there a particular ethnic style or flavor that predominates in your cooking? No

8. What's your favorite kitchen task related to meal planning and preparation? Tasting!

9. What's your least favorite part? The clean-up!

10. Do you plan menus before you shop? Not generally, though I go in spurts with this. We go a lot by what is on sale, and work our meals with this.

11. What are your three favorite kitchen tools or appliances? CrockPot, Bosch Universal Stand mixer/blender and a Zojirushi 2 pound bread machine.

12. If you could buy one new thing for your kitchen, money was no object, and space not an issue, what would you most like to have? I would love to have a stove/oven that is almost double the normal size - more than 4 burners and two ovens - but now I am dreaming too much!

13. Since money and space probably are objects, what are you most likely to buy next? We need a new under-the-cupboard electric can opener.

14. Do you have a separate freezer for storage? Yes - 2!

15. Grocery shop alone or with others? With dh.

16. How many meatless main dish meals do you fix in a week? 2-3

17. If you have a decorating theme in your kitchen, what is it? Favorite kitchen colors? I collect Pfaltzgraff Naturewood pattern, and have somewhat the "potted herbs" theme on my wallpaper, and sage green color.

18. What's the first thing you ever learned to cook, and how old were you? Scrambled eggs - probably around age 14.

19. How did you learn to cook? I learned some watching my mom, though I rarely did anything in her kitchen. I lived with a family for a year before dh & I were married, and learned a lot from her, and then it was trial and error after I was married (and still is!).

20. Tag two other people to play.
Are you ready Sting My Heart & Teena?

Do you want to play? Let me know where I can read your answers in my comment box.

This meme was found at Quiet Life. Thanks Donna!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thankful Thursday

"In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you."

I Thessalonians 5:18

Thankful Thursday
I am, thankful for this week

Salvation - without it, what would our hope be?

My husband & children - the joy for getting up every morning.
(ok . . . most mornings . . .sometimes it would be better to stay in bed!)

God's promises - the one that has helped me the most lately is:
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Rev. 21:4

The little joys God continually blesses us with - such as this week, 4 little kittens being born to our children's mama cat and they saw the miracle of birth - and it helped heal some hurts too. Shortly after Matthew died, our other cat died while birthing her kittens. This was a great joy this week for them.

Links to other Thankful Thursday Posts
Unicorn Child (new "home" of ThT and code)
Child of God
Friday's Child
LadyBug Crossing
Sting My Heart

If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below. Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


CANDACE - I've not heard any mention of any infection being found any more, but she is having a hard time coming off the pain killers/narcotics. The withdrawl symptoms are very difficult with major reactions - which then keeps her from keeping liquids in. Please pray for her continued recovery so that rehabilitation can start. She has now been in the hospital for a month.

Little Luke & His Family - Luke's birthday is this week. The family is weary from all the care for Luke and especially for mom, Sue, it gets pretty overwhelming with his care, homeschooling and all the doctor visits, ETC. ETC. Could you just fill their message box on their blog with encouragement, and rejoicing for Luke's birthday and how far he has come? I know they could really use encouragement.

Continue to pray for young Emily - who has thyroid cancer, and just had surgery and is anxious to go home, but cannot until her calcium levels stay higher. This family too, is riding the roller coaster of life.

Our Family - We are doing pretty good. We are all healthy! Jayson gets braces on tomorrow. He still has major jaw problems from the accident he was in with his brother over a year ago. He's tried two different retainer type braces, and this is the next step. If this does not work, surgery is a possibility, but can actually be more of a risk. His jaw can lock up for hours to days at a time. So we are hoping & praying this all goes well.

I was rather bummed a few days ago, as one of the bands on my wedding ring broke. I have my original engagement/wedding ring and then a small anniversary ring I got when we were married 10 years. The anniversary band is what broke, but all were attached together. I tried to get my rings off, which I have actually not taken off for years, and could not. So, all had to be cut off. :( The jeweler was real kind about it, and wants me to wait a few weeks before resizing it. But, after he looked at my rings, my main diamond's prongs are quite worn down, the stones on my anniversary ring are worn, and then all three rings have to be taken apart to enlarge and put back together. We have looked at other settings, which may be almost equal in cost, or slightly more, since it's almost as though the whole ring settings have to be redone. But, this is a new venture for us. I've always liked my setting . . . but I guess wearing it now for almost 21 years, things to start to fall apart!

I will write more later. The kids have to go to AWANA tonight.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Who Needs a Shower?

Blest with Sons blogger is looking for volunteers to “shower” those in need with words of encouragement and Scripture to bless and encourage others at their blogs. Here is the idea:

All that we’re asking the team to do is be willing to visit the target blog within 24 hours of receiving the Shower Alert, leave an encouraging comment - preferably enhanced with Scripture - and pray for that blogger while you are on their blog. (that way you won’t forget to pray for them! Or am I the only one who has that problem?) So what will happen is that the blogger will be flooded with encouraging comments and prayers - a Shower of Blessings!

For more information and to sign up, visit Blest with Sons!

Monday, March 06, 2006

I Will Wait

My favorite devotional book is, Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman. I prefer the unabridged edition orginally written in 1925. I have the book, but I now also get the devotional each day by e-mail or you can read it on-line. Here is a portion of yesterday's devotional.

"Let us not be weary in well doing,
for in due season we shall reap,
if we faint not."
"So run, that ye may obtain."

In the bitter waves of woe
Beaten and tossed about
By the sullen winds that blow
From the desolate shores of doubt,
Where the anchors that faith has cast
Are dragging in the gale,
I am quietly holding fast
To the things that cannot fail.

And fierce though the fiends may fight,
And long though the angels hide,
I know that truth and right
Have the universe on their side;
And that somewhere beyond the stars
Is a love that is better than fate.
When the night unlocks her bars
I shall see Him--and I will wait.
--Washington Gladden

Saturday, March 04, 2006


This update is from Candace's mom on their webpage:

Candace has been up all evening with violent symptoms of vomiting, hot, cold shakes and thrashing. It is thought at this time to be drastic withdrawal symptoms to the heavy narcotics she was on for so long. Many tests are going on currently and we will update you later today. Please pass this request on to others who pray.
In Christ,

Friday, March 03, 2006

Our Short Stories

I've been thinking about this for the last 24 hours, about a gal I've known just on-line for several years who died on Wednesday after giving birth to her 5th child. I find no better words than to share Ann's post from the ChoosingHome Blog, which she titled, There Are Only Short Stories.
"Live well.
Missey did just that. Passionately so.
Yesterday, March 1st,
Missey, home educating Mama to 4, swollen with the hope of babe #5, got up and blogged about her day. A day just like any other day:

I have another ultrasound, dr. visit, and non-stress test today so I will update y’all this evening. So far things have been going well.

Missey didn’t update us. Missey is now home with Jesus. For various reasons, at that scheduled doctor’s appointment, the doctor decided it best for Missey to have the baby….and within an hour of birthing beautiful daughter number 4 (babe #5) a bloodclot ushered Missey from the waiting room on this side…. into the forever, never-ending drama of eternity. Please pray for 3 little girls who miss their Mama, a little boy who will hardly remember his Mama, one tiny Mama-less newborn…and one man who just wants to hold his bride again….all cupped in the hollow of one caring Father’s hand.

Live well, ladies. Write your stories with gusto, passion, and fervency. We all only write short stories.

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people....

What good can I do today? If today were my last….and it just might be….what good would I do? Anyone I need to pick up the phone and call—and leave with the right words? What would my last writing entry say? What is one thing I would choose to do—-with those precious kids He’s given? And with that grand man to whom I promised “until death do we part”?

I’d better do it. Today might be all I have. And you?"

I know another mom, who could have easily had a story cut short too. She was pregnant with her 8th child - and taking another child in for a doctor's check-up. She almost cancelled the appointment because of sick children at home and was quite short with her children and snapped at several of them as she was leaving. Her children and husband saw her leave upset - but let her go. She wanted to make sure the child she was taking to the doctor was ok. She had contractions all the way to the doctor's office - but did not think it unusual. Just barely sitting in the doctor's office, she thought her water had broken - only to find out she was hemorhaging. This doctor's office was right next to the hospital, and she was rushed there to learn that her baby in her had died because of a placenta abruption and her life was in great danger. The doctor was very concerned about a c-section with how much blood she had already lost and was trying for an induction to work, which it did not. Her husband just barely made it to the hospital as her blood pressure dropped, and she was rushed for out for an emergency c-section to save her life. This Christian doctor sensed the family's love for children and though he was not able to save the baby within her, he was able to, with God's help, to save this mother, and save her womb so she would be able to have more children. He sat by her bedside for many hours just in case she hemorhaged again. She was later told had she been at home and this happened, she would not have lived. It was devestating to this family to lose their precious little girl, they named Angela Hope. They were able to give her a beautiful funeral service and honor her short brief life. Several weeks later as the parents were saying prayers with their children before they went to sleep, their second oldest son, Matthew, said with tears in his eyes, "Mommy, I am so glad you did not die that day, because you were mad when you left, and that would have been bad if you died and you left us with being mad at us all."

Yes, my heart melted, and tears flowed - not then for the baby I never got to know on earth, but for the pain I caused in my children, and for joy that God gave me another chance - and to make things right. It was definitely all planned out by God to be at the right place, at the right time, with the right doctor. And, it's something I try to remember now - what are our good-byes like? How many times should we turn around or get out of bed, and make things right? The story of Missey above, could have been me 8 years ago. How would my children have remembered me? What if my story . . . or your story on earth was to end today, how would the last chapter read?

There is a photo of Missey and a tribute set up at HomeSchoolBlogger.Com where you can learn a little more about her. They also have an address to send cards to the family. You can also read her obituary here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Glimpse of our Homeschooling

Things have been more "normalized" here, and getting back into more of a schedule. School is going pretty well. I am working more with Melody (just turned 6) in reading. I use the AlphaPhonics reading program (have with all my children) and she is doing pretty well. I really love this grammar reading program. I started out with it with our oldest, and just used the book and it has worked wonderfully. It is very basic - just black and white - no pictures to distract. We cuddle on the couch as we do this. With our third child we also got this book on CD. He was not catching on with the book and his learning to read time was when Jessica was born, and dealing with all her doctor visits and surgeries. We got this CD and he really did well with it. He needed more "hands on" and reinforcement which this program does. Jessica then pretty much learned from both AlphaPhonics on CD + the book AND . . . since she is one that seems to like the hands on work . . .doing workbooks, we used Explode the Code. This has been great reinforcement for learning to read, and learning grammar. She is still doing some of the upper grades of Explode the Code.

Since I am on a roll with homeschooling, I will share a little more what we use. We mainly use A Beka for science and history - but add in a lot of additional outside reading - books from the library to fill in or go on a rabbit trail with something the children have an interest in (such as I shared before, one of our daughters researching on herbs). We also use A Beka math for grades K-3 and then we switch to Saxon Math. Sometimes we have to supplement here too, if they are not grasping something (such as division) and then get a book just on division or as I also mentioned before, we found an old antique book at Good Will, and this is working great for one of our girls in helping her. This is what we find as such an advantage with homeschooling, is working WITH the child, instead of a child "trying" to stay with the class and getting lost, or not being able to excel where they can go on ahead. We use various things for

My very favorite program for those just starting out with homeschooling is Learning at Home: Preschool & Kindergarten by Ann Ward. I did this mainly with our oldest two, and have such wonderful memories with it. It's a LOT of hands on work for the mom - lots of crafts - lots of trips to the library - and lots of fun too. I am going to have my older girls do some of the things in it with two of our younger girls to help me out, and they love doing crafts - so it will benefit both! For someone starting out though, it gives a day-by-day schedule (though it can be long, and we learned to skip some things).

Some other things we use are Easy Grammar & Daily Grams, Learning Language Arts through Literature, ACSI Spelling, and the LIBRARY (lots of reading - writing about what we read, etc.) And, we are still learning a lot!

Candace Update

This will be a short update, as you can read it at her website. Her wounds are now all closed and stitched which the family is very thankful for and are hoping and praying for continued recovery and no return of infection. The biggest difficulty right now is Candace keeping food down - even just some water. She's been very sick. Please pray that this little one can recover more and be able to keep food down and build up strength.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

CANDACE - 14th Surgery Today

Please pray for Candace. She is having her 14th surgery late this afternoon (changed - went into surgery at 4 pm). If there is no trace of infection in this last wound, they hope to close it up. You can read the full update here.