07 December 2010

Remember Pearl

A friend had a book proposal returned
 with the explanation that, 

"People today, would not be able to relate to her stories of growing up in the 1940's". 

This did not make any sense to me. 

If that is true, then what does that say about those who have followed what has been dubbed 
"The Greatest Generation"? 

When I mentioned that today was 

"Pearl Harbor Day",

my daughter said, 

I realized then, that I needed to make sure the youngest of my children understands
 what that means.

06 December 2010

Carol of Summer

The month was August.
 I "thought" I was having contractions.
 Turns out,
 I was having a few "mild" ones 
that weren't really doing anything. 

I was ten days past my due date and feeling very irritated. 

15 November 2010

I Have Not Disappeared.........

I have just added a new identity.......

I'm a new Grandma.....Grammie.....um, not sure what to call myself.......

I will catch up soon......

I promise.......

19 October 2010

The Hinge in the Middle

I was thirty years old and living 
in a hotel in Ohio with my husband 
and three children under the age of ten. 

 It was yet another stage of the journey 
and it was an exciting time. 

All of our belongings were 
in our house in Tennessee. 
We had the essentials with us.....
clothing, school books, 
dolls, cars, building blocks.....
and some diapers and onesies and sleepers......

My parents had the bassinet at their house 
two hours away.
Baby number four would soon be making his appearance and 
we could not find a house to rent.......

Finally, we found a house....
but we could not get it until 
 my due date.  
Everyone figured that would be fine 
because I always went
 two weeks past my due date.

In the meantime, 
our eleventh wedding anniversary rolled around and my husband surprised me by arranging for us to renew our vows. 
You need to know that God had moved us 
from Tennessee back to Ohio where we had lived for a couple of years 
and our church family became very dear to us. 

 So, the morning of our anniversary, 
I awoke to realize that I could breathe again
 but could barely walk, 
which is a very good sign for an expectant mama. 

I had visions of renewing our vows and then having a new baby for an anniversary present.

Not God's plan.......
an entire month went by........

We moved into an empty rental house and 
I cleaned it. 
Mom and Dad brought over the bassinet. 
Our church family loaned us
 beds, chairs, tables, sofa, lamps....
you name it.....
and then,
 at the two week mark past the due date, 
we went to the hospital.

This little guy had some trouble during labor
 and had to be coaxed here.....
when he was born, 
he was holding on to his umbilical cord. 

We wondered if that was why his heart rate dropped so suddenly and stayed there. 
 Then he ended up in another hospital 
under bili-lights.  
Let's just say that 
his entrance into the world 
was not calm and peaceful.

This child learned to speak 
in complete sentences 
at age one. 

And then, 
when we moved from Ohio 
to the far away state of Louisiana, 
he began making friends.  

Once again, we were living in a hotel.....
with four children and another on the way......

once again, we had left our home and were looking for a new one.

This time, Tommy became the star and 
we all got the very best treatment because of him. 

It is not your average two year old who can hold complete conversations with adults.....
but he could. 

I was always a little leary because I never knew what he would say.  
At the end of our extended three month stay at the hotel, 
the staff gave us a going away party and a gift.

Once, shortly after we moved into our house, 
I was in the check-out line in Walmart. 

I heard his little voice say, 

"Are you a boy or a girl?".  

I heard a man's voice say, 
"Excuse me?"  

And yes, Tommy repeated it....
"Are you a boy or a girl?".

 I turned to see a man with a bandana around his forehead an a very long pony tail.  
He did not seem offended and they struck up a conversation. 
Then I heard my son telling the man that he was having a birthday and this man and his wife should come to the party. 

The man chuckled and said,
"When's your birthday?"  

To which Tommy promptly replied, 

"October 19th.  It never changes."

After the man got control of his laughter, 
he asked Tommy how old he was going to be.  

"I'm two, but I'm fixin' to be five."  

Tommy had already picked up the "fixin' to be" of Louisiana. 
He was, in fact, "fixin' to be" three. 

Tommy kept inviting the man and told him 
at one point that he had,
 "just moved here from Ohio and didn't have our new address memorized yet, but my mom can tell you where we live".  

The man told him that he was a truck driver. 
He didn't think he could make it to the party, 
but he had a gift for him anyway....
and handed Tommy a one-dollar bill.

His verbosity did not always go so well
 with all adults.  

Once, in the same Walmart, 
an employee asked Tommy if he was all ready for Santa Claus to come. 

He looked at her and said,
 "Lady, don't you know Santa Claus isn't real?"  

I got glared at for that one and had to tell him not to tell people that Santa isn't real, 
especially grown-ups because they will get upset.

Being  a smart little kid was not always easy.  Some grown ups did not take him seriously when he asked about scientific things. 

We left one particular hobby shop without a motor he wanted for an airplane he was building. 

All of theirs were too large and
 they just did not understand what he was explaining to them that he wanted to do. 

But he understood they were laughing at him......
he said he would never go there again.  
We went to the local science museum and 
they had just what he was looking for 
and understood 
what he was wanting to build.

Tommy ended up being the
in the middle of seven kids. 
Boys as bookends with two girls in-between.

 With the stretch of years between boys, 
I guess they technically are all "first-born sons" according to the birth order books. 
Uniqueness is definitely a trait of middle kids.

He is not a little kid anymore.....
he is on the edge of adulthood......
the future is full of such bright possibilities. 

God has gifted him with an intellect that is very curious about life. 
He has been gifted musically. 
He has been given favor with man.

As I watch him grow and think and challenge his thinking, 
my prayer is
 that he remain
 grounded in the love of Christ.

 Truly, God has protected him,
 not just in the womb, 
but out of it many times. 

The Lord has an amazing plan for each child 
He creates. 
It is such a privilege to be a witness to a young life unfolding in all of its promise.

  Happy Birthday, Tommy!

06 October 2010

A Lesson of Grace

On a hot summer night twenty-one years ago, 
God gave me a baby girl 
who was much prayed over. 
She was the third blessing added to our family
 and I was beginning to learn about a very real, very personal God who cares about the 
tiniest details of my life.

08 September 2010

A Goodly Heritage

Today's quote in my Elisabeth Elliot flip calendar says this: 

"A family is a microcosm of the
Family of God, and the same Law of Love governs both."

today is my birthday

I'd like to try to fulfill Exodus 20:12

07 September 2010

My Heart is in Mexico

This week my heart is in Mexico.  My husband and daughter are there on a mission trip.  This is her first trip to MITC.  Check out the website for the Mexican Indian Training Center.

Please pray for these faithful saints as they go about working for the Kingdom.

05 September 2010

Fairest Fourteen

I know a fair maiden with long golden hair.

Sounds like the start of an old Irish ballad, doesn't it?  But, this fair maiden is my sweet daughter whose birthday we celebrated just a, ....ahem, a few weeks ago.  Time is slipping past me very quickly and two more fair ladies have celebrated birthdays in the meantime.  

13 July 2010

Twelve and Terrific!

As I told you in my last post, we celebrated an important birthday in our house near the end of June. The smallest and last that I birthed has been a most delightful joy to all of us.  

His birth came just a bit early due to some complications that I'd never experienced before, but all was well, and since he was the smallest in birth weight, he was dubbed "peanut" by me. 
But, not for long.  

Silent Summer

The month of June has come and gone. 
It was jam-packed full of summer activities and a bit of schooling. Baseball and softball reigned supreme and ruled many late evenings. 
Storms and sunshine each had their place. 
Near the very end of June, the youngest of the tribe turned twelve.

It is hard to believe, but it is true. Next summer will put all of my children into their teens and beyond. You know the old adage, "time flies"? Well, there is much truth to that.

21 May 2010

Winding Down, Gearing Up, or Just Plowing Straight Ahead

May is nearing an end. 
Co-op is over...
field trips and gym days, nearly so....
graduations are happening......
book sales have started. 

My school room is spilling into the dining room as I clean up and clear out and try to figure out what to keep and what to store.  Intead of feeling the excitement of nearing the end of a school year, we will have to keep going a bit longer with a shorter break this year. To me, it feels like October...and I'm still unsure of what I'm doing.

07 May 2010

He Who Has Ears, Let Him Hear

I received an email from my third-born, 
recently married college daughter. 
She sent photos of a project that she and some classmates did in Biology II about the ear. They made a clay sculpture and had drawings and a paper to accompany it. 
As a teacher, I was impressed. 
As a mom, I was encouraged.

She was my first to be "totally homeschooled". 

05 May 2010

Shadows of the Mind ~ Shadows of the Heart

She cannot verbalize what is bothering her.

Her behavior is self-destructive and mystifying.

Prayers are offered up to the One who knows the secret places of the soul.

28 April 2010

Lost! (Not the Show)

On Monday around supper time, the kids and I were leaving the elementary school where we attend Good News Club.  
On the way home, I started looking for the small little card holder that I had brought with me which held my license, insurance cards, bank cards, etc......

It Was Gone!

21 April 2010

Walking the Path ~ 50 Years and Counting......

 It was the dawn of a new decade. 
One that would bring things into existence that were unheard of at the time. 

A decade of unrest, drugs, free love, rock music, riots, turning patriotism into a four-letter word and throwing God out of the public schools. 

But in one small town, the simple things were still the big things - the important things. 
God, family, hard work.

06 April 2010

A Needed Word

The weekly physical therapy appointment gives an hour to catch up on grading papers.

 Not much was done last week because I was not here to oversee it.
 Not much was understood because I was not here to explain it. 
Instead, my time was diverted by a child whose needs seem to be growing every day.

02 April 2010

"Why Do You Call Me Good?" ~ Pondering Good Friday

All this week I have heard and read glimpses of the phrase, 
"This is Holy Week." 

My week did not seem so holy. 

17 March 2010

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

Happy St. Patrick's Day

  Ireland is a magical place in the minds of those whose heritage reaches back in time to the Emerald Isle. 
My roots go back to Northern Ireland ~ Ulster. 

09 March 2010

The Hope of Spring

The sun is doing its best
to melt the remnants of snow.

Jackets are left behind
with the declaration
that it's in the 50's

and         that         means         it            is          HOT!

27 February 2010

Do You Have Your Passport?


They are the documents needed to enter and exit other countries including your own. 
They are prized by thieves and forged by those who would do evil. A little history of passports can be found here. 

I have copies of 1907 & 1908 passport applications of the woman and her granddaughter who first lived in this house . 
She was escorting her granddaughter to England for her upcoming marriage. 
Unfortunately for me, there were no photographs required then so I only have a written description which takes a bit of deciphering for the novice genealogist.

06 February 2010

The Power of Words

For the past month, I have been thinking about the power of words. Encouraging words, discouraging words.....we all know their power. 
But what I have discovered is the odd way in which it sometimes does not matter where the words originate.....and in others.....
well, it makes all the difference.

15 January 2010

Temperature is Relative

One week ago, we had 4-6 inches of snow. 

Homeschool co-op was cancelled, public and private schools were cancelled or delayed, and we were hunkered down inside a "kinda warm" house.  

It was so very cold outside and the wind was blowing the snow into drifts. 
Then on Saturday, the kids had a blast playing in the snow.

13 January 2010

Pray for Haiti

I've been watching the news, along with many of you,and have seen the destruction from the earthquake in Haiti.  There is such devastation. Such anguish. Such misery.

 Immediately, I thought of my brother-in-law and his family who, with their church, have gone to Haiti many times to minister to the people there. They have at least one mission there....and they have friends there. 

I was thankful when he called this evening to say that he had heard from his friends and they are okay....the mission is okay......in one of the areas.  There are other areas that they have not heard from yet.

Tonight there are thousands of people who are not accounted for....whose families and friends are waiting to hear if they are safe....Some of them are Americans......Some are native Haitians.....Some vacationers.....

Some met the Lord ......some met Eternity without Him......

It will be many days before help can get to these people. Some will die waiting.

Please join with me and pray for the people of Haiti. Pray that the Lord will be with those who are suffering and those who are waiting. Pray for the people who are bringing help to those who are helpless....for their safety and strength.

Pray for the orphan.

Pray for the widow.

Pray,  knowing that above all else, God is El Elyon. The Most High God who rules and reigns over heaven and earth. He is in control.

He knows.

He sees.

He hears the cries of the afflicted.

He is there............If you want to be His hands and feet, prayerfully consider giving here.

04 January 2010

A New Year of Gratitude

I'm a little late in announcing 
the birth of a New Year, 
but I am sure it has found you without my help.  
Others have jumped right on it with vigor and promise and I have stayed back in the lull between Christmas and this Newness of 2010.

The married kids have come and gone.  The house is still in a state of in-between with decorations in boxes still piled around and bedding waiting its turn in the washing machine.

I'm feeling the lull.

Not exactly sad to see the old year go and not exactly eager for the new one to come. I know I'd better get busy because "real life" starts in earnest tomorrow.

And so I'm here without any energetic pep talks to offer you, but I do realize that it is Monday.  Monday isn't more special than any other day, but a few months ago, 
I found a challenge over at A Holy Experience   written by Ann Voskamp . 

Her challenge was to write down
each gift with gratitude.

1. salvation

2. kids climbing trees

3. too many books

4. doctors

5. husband who loves me
each one numbered
                                   6. pot of beans for supper

                            7. found: important papers
                            8. freedom
                            9. xrays and ct scans
                            10. grandparents

  Big or small
    11. shopping with hannah
   12. lunch at mcalisters
   13. husbands who call and check on you
   14. coffee
   15. freedom to worship

                                            especially the small
                                              16. kids who love family traditions

                                     17. abundance of food
                                     18. children laughing
                                     19. warm houses
                                     20. married children

and so I have attempted
21. my husband

22. the Holy Spirit who gives guidance, wisdom and comfort
23. grace
24. forgiveness
25. leftover lunch creations
26. physical therapists

27. little girl laughter
28. kids who clean kitchens to surprise me
29. music classes for my kids
30. homeschool support groups

and will say so here....
31. a car to drive
32. medicine
33. missionaries
34. music
35. a warm house
36. hot soup
37. medicine to help the pain
38. laundry rooms - even small ones
39. new ideas for Christmas gifts
40. crock pots

 and offer the challenge to you...

41. house decked out for christmas
42. musical inspirations
43. snow boots for everyone
44. baby noises
45. young families loving God and homeschooling their children
46. homeschool mom groups that support each other
47. hah friends who pray
48. everyone together for Christmas
49. mess to clean up after everyone leaves
50. reminders that family is important
51. long-distance calls from friends
52. husbands who sacrifice comfort and time to provide
53. grace

And focusing not on Past nor Future, but on Him who doeth all things well,  will chase the grayness away and give a purpose for my life which is built on many small things sanctified by the One who gives them....and feeds the multitudes.