Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Year in Review 2006

The year in highlights:
  1. I started the year off by filing for divorce from Big Red. It is not yet final but should be within the next month. I have come a long way from the teary mess I was at the beginning of this year. I am more confident in myself and my abilities as this year comes to an end.
  2. My Mom became engaged and was married in Sepember of this year. It has been interesting to say the least as we try to all get to know each other and combine this huge group of adults into a new family. I have 2 step sisters who are Grandma's and that makes me a Great Aunt. I remember as a child going to funerals of my Great Aunts and I am positive that I am not THAT old.
3. I took a huge step in my faith and went on a Missions trip. You faithful readers will know that I went to Jamaica in November. God worked in my heart in so many ways before, during and after that trip. I became more confident in what I CAN do. I discovered I can build things.
4. I am still growing in my faith and I have refused to get angry with God because of choices that Big Red has made.
5. I have discovered the joys of riding around our fair city on my Scooter. I love feeling the wind in my hair (through the helmet of course) and the warm sun on my skin. Oh How I can't wait for summer again!
6. I have become comfortable in sharing the story of how this happened. I no longer burst into tears everytime I think about the day I found out and the impact that one day has had on my life.
7. I am looking forward to 2007. I could not say the same about 2006. I see the future ahead of me and it looks promising. It has to be better than the last 2 years!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Fun and for a good cause...

I think I may have posted this site before about making your own snowflake. This year they are donating money to help out the Salvation Army for every snowflake you make.

A very bad man

I don't care what you political preferences happen to represent.

With that being said check out this link to an article on the execution of Saddam Hussein.

Now I don't want to hear any garbage about the news source I choose to link to, how they are slanted one way or the other or biased.

Saddam Hussein was a very bad man. Period.

He killed people for disagreeing with him. He killed out of intimidation. He killed for power. I believe he killed for the sheer enjoyment he received in his sick little blackened heart.

He wasn't remorseful, sorry or apologetic. He was a representation of true evil.

Yet somehow I am saddened by his death. He carried a copy of the Quran with him to the gallows. Given his mocking last statements, apparent lack of feeling and the overall statement he has made by living his life in this way lead me to believe that he probably did not have a "deathbed conversion" to follow the teachings of Christ.

Some may be happy to see this man "rot in hell". My prayer for those people is that someday they can work through the bitterness and hatred in their heart.

My prayer for the world is that we can start to look past the corruption, evilness and death that this man seemed to represent. We need to look forward and stop blaming each other for the perceived mistakes of others.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Frustration abounds

I can't really discuss the issue I am bothered by today.

Sometimes certain circumstances cause frustration. Sometimes I can say what I need to say. And say it again and again.

The words are written down. The words are heard but not listened to.

Nothing is done. Nothing is settled.

I will continue to say what I need to say until someone listens who can do something about the circumstances.

I apologize that you may not understand this but I am feeling better that I was able to get it off my chest so to speak.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I spent too much time on the template so....

how smart are you
flat out genius

Ok, theres not much I can say here accept congratulations! There is noone smarter than you. Well, except the few others who made it here. I mean Im just gonna leave it at that. Im sure your much too above what I could say.

Take this test

I spent way too much time messing around with the new template so all I really have time for is a few quick quizzes. How do you like this one? Is it better than the pink?

Oh and I am in no way proud of the fact that I know this much about Roseanne...

How well do you know the show Roseanne???
Total Roseanne fanatic!!

You totally love this show! You paid attention to all details! And you probably know more about the show than the stars who played on it do!

Take this test

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I am so excited!

Well you know I like Superman....

Beau gave each of us money to buy ourselves a present and wrap it. See the previous post.

I purchased my gift today:o)

I bought the Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition today. I will have it in a few short days from a wonderful person on Ebay for a nice price. She has over 6000 in feedback and has a 100% positive rating. There is no doubt in my mind that I will have it shortly.

That combined with the Belt Sander, the ring and the MP3 player have made for a great Christmas. I was afraid I wouldn't get any gifts when my Mom talked about just doing money at one point. It isn't really about what you get but it actually for me is about someone remembering me. Growing up that meant we were loved and it is hard to break some of those old patterns.

I actually like giving gifts better than receiving them. I love the look on people's faces when they open a gift.

Boy this post doesn't sound at all like what I wanted to say...But I'm too tired to fix it right now.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas has gone into the memoirs

The memoirs. Here are the highlights:

  • I am ecstatic that Beau and Mom got me a new Belt sander for Christmas! This will help me when I turn the garage into a woodworking shop. Oh the things I will build....
  • The prayer before dinner was interesting. The new Step Sister in a wheelchair offered to pray and then went on to thank God for the day but COMPLAINED about the whether He gave us...."it's too gloomy and rainy today but you designed it". She also complained about some of the people being late..."but keep them safe anyway". In fact I am not at all sure she ever asked God to bless the food at all.
  • Beau ended up in a local ER early this morning. The beginning stages of Pneumonia was the diagnosis. But Christmas would not be stopped!
  • When one of the new relatives opened a present he wasn't too fond of....when asked what he thought, "It's alright I guess." Several of us wanted to jump the table and strangle him but none of those people was a parent of his!
  • I really thought they were joking when they said to wrap the gift we bought with Beau's money...they were not. Several of them actually did it.
  • I am planning on putting my money toward SUPERMAN-ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S EDITION. I know I can get it locally instead of ordering it online.
  • No arguements. And we actually got to watch A Christmas Story as well.

Merry Christmas

Luke 2

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Is anyone really surprised by this?

You Are Superman

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
And pretty cute too. No wonder you're the most popular superhero ever!

Guess who got bored today?

OK so I have been messing around with the template a little today. I'm not sure it will stay pink like this but I was tired of the old view.

However it does remind a little too much of either Barbie or Pepto Bismol...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

And I bring you good tidings .....

Well maybe not good tidings. I do not understand why my Mom has suddenly become certifiably crazy! When in doubt check out these posts of my lovely sister.

We have never been a Ward and June Cleaver kind of family but this is getting ridiculous!

I have however decided what Mom's Christmas gift will be:
  1. Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families
  2. The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook
  3. Dysfunctional is putting it mildly Keychain
  4. I Saw Mommy Kicking Santa Claus : The Ultimate Holiday Survival Guide
On the other hand I will be loading us up with:
  1. Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families
  2. Straight jackets
  3. Lots and lots of Drugs
  4. Ear plugs
Why can't Christmas be about the birth of Jesus? Why do I have to jump through hoops for my Mom and the "new family"? This isn't about not liking the new step siblings. It is about not knowing them and being thrown in a room and expected to bond, love each other and all get along immediately. I understand they are in the same boat but don't forget this event.

It has to be better than I expect it to be....

Friday, December 22, 2006

More Quiz things

How well do you know the Bible?
Bible Expert

Well, we know our stuff don't we? Nicely done! We could possibly be a Sunday School teacher, or small group leader.

Take this test

Finally some reasons to tell the difference between my family and myself!
Are you a Red neck
Up town girl/boy

You are just an uptown person. But this doesn't mean you don't love the country also. You are not a redneck or a cowboy you are just you. Love who you are and paint the town red!!!

Take this test

Create your own friendquiz here

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The new one is just around the corner....

Feel free to check out the site....create an account and join in on the fun! The draft happens on December 26th and runs for 3 weeks.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

So some papers where signed the other day

No it is not final yet. This is a so called "amicable" dissolution of marriage. I signed the agreement and he will be signing before the end of the week. It then goes to the courthouse to set on a desk until it is given the official okay dokey by a judge.

Merry Christmas!

Kind of fitting since the papers were inadvertently filed on Valentines day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


It amazes me how much slang is in our language. I realized this especially while I was in Jamaica but I have been paying closer attention and these are some that baffle me and other English as a second language folks:

hair of the dog Noun. An alcoholic chaser which will help relieve the symptoms of a hangover, usually needed on the morning after a drinking binge.

Graze: Verb To eat a lot of food without actually having a proper meal, usually in the context of picking at food that is readily available at a buffet.

see a man about a horse: Any general business that needs attending to that you may not care to discuss with the present party.

break a leg: What you tell someone about to perform in a drama or musical performance to wish them well. What you don't say is "good luck".

Bought The Farm: Passed away. Expired. Vacated this worldly plain. Snuffed it. Died.

trolling: the act of seeking out a person to hook up with. In a bar or on the Internet

hook up: 1. received a good or service as a favor 2. to make out with someone 3. to have sex with someone

No holds barred: wrestling term used to describe a no rules match.

Going commando: To wear pants without underwear

Is it no wonder people have a difficult time learning our language? I commend people who make the effort to understand us.

I am amazed at how most slang words deal with sex or illegal activities.

Just a little observation.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Maybe the movie wasn't that far off after all...

The article can be found here:


BB strikes teen’s eye; vision loss unlikely

By Abby Slutsky
The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne police were called to Parkview Hospital’s emergency room Tuesday after a 16-year-old Fort Wayne boy reported being shot in the eye with a BB gun.

According to the police report, the boy was with a friend when the shooting happened just before 8 p.m.

The boy told police that his friend yelled to him from about 5 feet away and when he turned, his friend fired an air-soft gun, police said.

Both the boy and his mother told police that they thought the shooting was unintentional, police said.

According to the report, doctors told police that the BB did not puncture the boy’s eye, and as long as the swelling subsided, he would not lose vision in it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Oh no....

I am nerdier than 25% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I am curious to see where my beloved sis scores on this one.

Hat tip to Laura for the idea...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pet Peeves Part 3

I am really annoyed by people who do not seem to realize that when you are in a car other people can still see you. Therefore please do not partcipate in any of the following if you happen to be in a car next to me...
  1. Do NOT pick your nose.
  2. Do not wipe booger from #1 on the seat of your car or your door.
  3. Please try to remain fully clothed at all times. I do not want or need to see a shirtless man with back hair at the light smiling at me. By the way it is only 50 degrees outside not 95.
  4. I am all for hands free headsets for cell phones in the car. However this does not mean your hands are therefore free to continue to apply your makeup because you are running late.
Whew I feel better now...although it would be nice if people actually read this and took the advice.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I miss Jamaica.

I miss Jamaica.

I miss the warmth that I was complaining about being too hot in.

I miss the views I was blessed enough to see every day.

I miss the closeness of the friendships I developed there.

I maintained the friendships but it's just not quite the same.

I miss the kids that I bonded with in such a short time.

I miss the feelings of accomplishment that I had from the projects we did.

I do not however miss the bugs, roaches or chiggers that bit me or scared me by scurrying across the floor.

I do have to laugh as I remember someone trying to spray the bugs on the wall and the spray being too powerful...the bugs blew off the wall onto all of us standing there. Not funny then but it is now.

Or I laugh when I think of "Lilly" being scared of a cockroach scurrying in our bedroom while she was doing her she screamed to "JEEEEEEEESSSSSSSUUUUUUSSSSSS" for help she doused the roach with about a half a can of aerosol hairspray. I am sure he is shellacked to a wall somewhere in Jamaica.

I am however happy to be back online....sleeping in my own bed....eating familiar foods...but I do miss the Jucci patties.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I am still alive......

The rumors of my death have been exaggerated. I am however without an internet connection until the services are hooked up in my name "no later than Weds. December 20th" WHAT! How did I ever survive without the internet all those years? I am missing my little online friendships, my daily blog reads, the ability to check my email anytime I want and what about my daily devotions that are emailed to me and my friends I communicate with by email because it is cheaper than the phone calls.

Life has been busy and interesting in this last week. I have however been lucky enough to miss out on the slew of emails from my Mom. My Mom rarely uses the phone anymore. She communicates almost exclusively through email with me. Although I do miss the announcements that she will be stopping by my house to pick up more of her I can't avoid her arrival or straighten the place up if needed.

Never fear I will be back soon enough with tales of my adventures...Surely there will be some as I have all this free time....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Not that I would but.....

Not that I believe in these voodoo dolls but the thought has crossed my mind lately. It seems like every time we get to the point that paperwork can be signed and presented to a judge Big Red throws a wrench in the works. He's pushing to have it finalized so that he can refinance and make the house payment go down but he keeps "adjusting" the agreements we made months ago.

He has never retained a lawyer in this process and now he's talking about doing it. I told him go ahead but that will make this drag out longer as the lawyers duke it out and then we lose the right to have much say over what happens. Maybe that would be best to just let them do the arguing.

I am at the point that I want to say fine...I'm in no hurry...take your time...we can drag this out and cost you more money....oh and did I mention that you, Big Red, will now be responsible for my lawyer fees and that point is non negotiable :o)

But somehow I think that could back fire on me somehow.

Just venting.

Now I need to go put away all the stuff my Mom left out Sunday before she comes back tonight and accuses me of "letting the house go".

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The clutter of my life...

People wonder at times how I can go from a season of living in clutter and chaos to needing everything to be in it's place and put away. (DISCLAIMER: My bedroom in no way is included in this statement).

My Mom has always been a pack rat. Big Red was a pack rat. I (being the sentimental fool that I am) have pack rat tendencies. None of my tendencies even compare to the legacy that I have come from.

I am easily overwhelmed by change. Heck I am just easily overwhelmed by many things...

Today was a perfect example. Lunch for Mom's birthday. I thought this would be a nice little lunch followed by cake and then since this was a restaurant we could all go on our on merry little ways afterward. Oh but wait my Mom is involved...

You see every time...EVERY TIME.... we have a get together, coffee, stop by to say Hi or anything that causes a conversation to happen my sister and I get blessed. Blessed with sitting down and going though boxes of stuff with Mom. Stuff she bought on sale, bought to many, bought and lost them but look now I found them...just stuff. The same stuff she buys every year but maybe a different color or size. The same stuff she tries to give us every year...every time we see her. The same stuff she got mad at us last week for not wanting to take.

But have mercy if we take something (that she has asked us no less than 100 times to take and we have refused) and she comes over to the house and sees it in a closet, garage sale, goodwill pile or drawer. Then it comes down to....well if you didn't want it you should not have taken it!

You can see the dilemma.

But still every time we see her we are sent home with something...unless we manage to "forget it" on the counter.

I can't remember a single time since I moved out 15 years ago that I have been able to see her without going through a box or taking something home with me.

Today after lunch we were invited (read ordered or not given a choice because I live there) back to the house to sort through a couple of more than a half hour she promised.

Two and a half hours later we had gone through a couple of totes and 9 more bags she had pulled out of the closet in the hallway. My sister, myself and a new step sister were trying to waste time and repack the boxes without taking much while she quietly pulled these other bags out.

She just waits.....
and waits....
until we finally take a few things and she agrees that we can repack the items.

I have found myself in a unique position now that I live here. She can leave it here and I can't say anything about it. It is still her house. She does let me live here rather cheaply.


And that is not even touching the issue of her insisting my sister has a hysterectomy this summer (she hasn't) and a colonoscopy that discovered polyps (she didn't). One would be every other female in our family and the other could be our Dad or brother....but not her.


Friday, December 01, 2006

I feel a headache coming...

We have a nasty weather front coming though. Earlier this week it was almost 70 degrees and now it is barely 30 degrees and well if you add in those 50 mile per hour wind get the picture. With the funky little weather front barreling through, clowning tomorrow (for Christmas $$) and the birthday bash for dear ole Mom on Sunday after church I decided to take Monday off work to regroup. I am still playing catch up from the Jamaica trip and well....

I'm just tired.

I have put on the full press to change certain aspects of my life. And it has taken a lot of time, energy, correspondence etc etc etc.

Not sure how much I'll check in this weekend...but have a good one and be safe.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Christmas Story

I love this movie! If you have not seen it you need to check out A Christmas Story either on DVD or during the 24 hour marathon that TNT does on Christmas Eve.

Having grown up in the state of Indiana where the film is based I find particular humor in the subtle humor regarding pronouncing city names and other small town idiosyncrasies.

The above scene came to mind today as a friend at work brought her lunch into the office and the lid of her drink slipped causing her to spill her pop all over the desk and down her jeans to the floor. In fact a few pieces of ice slid into the hallway where I was talking to a Pastor.

"Son of a ..............Gun!" is heard from the office. The Pastor smiled and said he needed to go back to his office.

Down the hallway I mused with a coworker that it was amazing that a word or two had not slipped out.

As I walked by the office to go get my coat the "spiller" commented that she was quite surprised that she didn't say, "Oh s%^t".

I chuckled to myself thinking that she would have not gotten a timeout or, in the case of this movie, become a connoisseur of the finer soap tastes.

Anyway make time to see this movie it is hilarious.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

One of those days.....

Have you ever had one of THOSE days? It isn't like anything was particularly wrong with today it just was kind of a blah day that turned into a somewhat angry day and then a "will this ever be over" kind of day.

Today was one of those days that people in general just annoyed me.

Today I felt like some people should not be allowed to reproduce offspring.

Today I thought that maybe the use of medications in young children should be given a second look.

Today 2 grown women did a "happy dance" because a child went "poopy on the potty" 2 days in a row. We didn't have to clean up her underwear.

Today I learned how the death of a high school student can affect his friends, their families and so on.

Today I learned that a child I taught in preschool several years ago just didn't wake up one morning. He was only 10. I don't think he's in Heaven right now.

Today despite all of these things I praised God. Because He asks us to.

Today I thanked God for all the blessings in my life.

Tomorrow with the help of a friend I will start to go through the boxes that Big Red dropped off last weekend. I need the support because I have learned the hard way that you don't always know what to expect when you sort through things he has packed.

Tomorrow is a fresh day and I will go on because His mercy is new every morning. I get a brand new day to make the most of every opportunity.

Maybe I can talk the squirrel into putting down the bazooka :o)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tomorrow might start a new adventure

Unless I can come up with an internet version like the one above I will need to depend on the kindness of strangers and family until I can get a connection of my own. My Mom and Beau will be taking a crucial piece of hardware that will prohibit me from going online at home. Since I have been busy doing things like pretending to be one big happy family for Thanksgiving, shopping for her birthday presents, taking care of the issues created by a "oh by the way __fill in the blank___ will be shut off on __fill in the date__" statements and cleaning up after she comes here in a whirlwind leaving scattered messes in her wake I have not had the time to do the proper research into what type of provider I need that doesn't require a land line phone connection.


I will still be checking in and posting as often as possible. I hope to not be offline very long but who knows how long it will take to get an appointment to get things hooked up.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The big drop off

So Big Red called me earlier this weekend to make arrangements to bring over some of my things that apparently I forgot during the great escape. I was in a hurry to try to get rid of him so I didn't really look through the boxes as he unloaded them into the garage and back porch.

I should have paid closer attention.

It looks as though I will have quite a bit to sell in the big spring garage sale my Mom is planning. I did refuse one box of lace curtains that he tried to give me because I know they belong to his sister. He said everything is mine.

So my thought is if he says it is mine... it is mine to sell, donate or toss out right?

The things I am happy to get are a few family heirlooms, the freezer and a bookcase! I am so happy to have another bookcase to start taking my books out of boxes. Finally!

I have discovered the things that I do value. My books and my "kid" memories are important. I still have not located my ultrasound pictures, my memory box of the children and a few other important items.

Now I must begin the process of sorting before the next load comes over next weekend.

I continue to be amazed at how God walks me through every situation. I look back at how far I have come in the last year with God's help and I am amazed. The twins would have been 4 today. I thought about it a few times but spent my day NOT dwelling on it. Grief is a process. I handled it well this year but next year could be totally different as well. Everyone handles grief in their own way. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to grieve. Keeping the process moving is really the key. As long as you are not stuck in grief then you will eventually make progress.

Anyway back to the sorting....

Friday, November 24, 2006

So we tried something new this year...

Ahhhh The day after Thanksgiving....A day for relaxing maybe putting up a few Christmas decorations but not this year.

My lovely sister and I had a brilliant idea to go shopping at 5:00am. You see a local store had 20 inch flat screen TV's on sale for a mere $49.99. Wow what a steal! Considering the newest TV I have is approaching 8+ years old and the oldest is at least 20 years old (NO JOKE!) Today was the day.

This is the first time I have ever braved the crowds on this day...
The race was on as we pulled into the parking lot and saw people entering into the store at 4:50AM. Hmmmmm that's early. We walk across the parking lot to the sounds of a lady swearing at a driver at the top of her lungs because he "almost ran me over with that %^$@&$$ car". He wasn't even that close but back to my point...

As we enter in we see people lined up 20 deep at the cash registers. WOW! Many with our TV's in their carts. We head back to electronics only to discover our item is over by the pets and food departments. What??? That makes no sense at all to me! Alas we start the trek with myself in the lead. As I am bobbing and weaving through the crowds my lovely sister calls out somewhat laughing, "Are you sure you have never done this before!?" I glance back to see that we have a line of about 8-10 carts following our newly opened path. I shout back without thinking,"Yes I'm sure! I teach in a daycare and we are just having a fire drill practice!" OK we aren't really having a field trip on this day but that's what I felt like as I looked behind me.

So we each get our TV's and we go wait in the line to check out. People are really not being that bad. For the most part people are almost being polite.

Then we left that store.

At the next store people were a little more lively to say the least. I managed to get the last piece jewelry to complete the set I had in my hand but it had no bar code sticker on it. Uh oh. I searched in vain for the same item but with the needed information and it could not be found. Off I went to the cash register to wait in line with my trusted little ad in my hand proving the amount. Things got ugly behind me as the people griped and grumbled and complained because I was taking so long. The first price they came up with was over double what I intended on paying for it. They continued looking for a price and UPC number while the snide comments continued to roll forward like hot lava from a volcano. The highlight was when one lady said something to the effect of, "You could have run back and gotten a different one for as long as this one is taking!" I somewhat politely said no this is the last one like this. This was followed by more rude comments at which point I was no longer being polite and pushing the being civil envelope right to the edge.

No need for bail money. I was however very happy to get back in the car and go on about my day.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

New traditions??

So we were required (no it was not optional for the folks in our half of the family) to participate in a "traditional" Thanksgiving family dinner today with my Mom, Beau, and ALL the step siblings, their children and so on. I am still processing the event itself so for now all you get is the bullet points:
  • Many members of his family didn't show up or where not expected until 4 hours after the dinner.
  • Just because you marry someone and throw their family in a room with your family doesn't make us all one big happy family. Did you follow that?
  • Relationships grow with time. And the BIG issues should be given a "heads up" notice in private so as to not offend anyone involved with jokes or icebreakers.
  • We all have family traditions that are important to us.
  • If you blend your family with another when you have adult children it is nice to include them in the changes that will be happening before they show up.
  • It would also be nice to include traditions from both sides of the family rather than just starting over and making all new traditions.
  • When someone asks a question about the menu don't make fun of them or tell them they are wrong about what we have eaten for the last 7 years.
Christmas should be to say the least...

I have already been told I am required to celebrate it twice with my Mom and Beau...Long story don't ask yet....

Monday, November 20, 2006

Is there a 12 step program for this?

It seems that I am in need of a new type of 12 step program...I can't stop watching these darn celebrities on this site. I just go from one season to another without much thought. The thing is that I really don't care about what scores points, who scores points or what the points are for...I just NEED THE POINTS!

This has brought out a little competitive streak that I have not seen in a long time. It irks me to no end that my sister beat me so horribly this last round. By almost 30 points I believe.

So we had our mission report to the church tonight. Basically anyone interested in hearing of the trip was invited to come and watch a video, hear us speak and enjoy some of the things we did.

Again I say I will never be the same...Maybe I can update a little more on the trip tomorrow.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Blessing of the Thorns

I do not know who wrote this as it came to me in an email several years ago after I had lost my twins. They would have been 4 years old on this coming November 26th. This is the first year that I have been able to celebrate Thanksgiving without that date being heavily on my mind.

Maybe you are not ready for the thorns but maybe you are about to be....

The Blessing Of Thorns
Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease. During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose annual holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come. What’s worse, Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder. "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" She wondered aloud. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" The shop clerk's approach startled her.
"I... I need an arrangement, "stammered Sandra. "For Thanksgiving?
Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving Special?" asked the shop clerk. "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this
> Thanksgiving?”
"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong." Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."
Then the door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi Barbara...let me get your order." She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped...there were no flowers. "Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.
Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers!?! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed. "Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile.
"You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again,” she said as she gently tapped her chest. "Uhh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uhh... she just left with no flowers!"
"Right... I cut off the flowers. That's the Special... I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.”
"Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that?" exclaimed Sandra.
"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling very much like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery." "That same year I had lost my husband, "continued the clerk," and for the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel.
"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.
"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for good things in life and never thought to ask Him why those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others." Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God." Just then someone else walked in the shop.

"Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement... twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.
"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?”

"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks to Him for what that problem taught us." As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"
"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.
"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."
"Thank you. What do I owe you?" asked Sandra.
"Nothing." said the clerk. “Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra.
"I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you'd like to read it first."
It read:
"Dear God, I have never thanked you for my thorns. I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that have climbed closer to you along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of your rainbow look much more brilliant."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Banana trees and Jucci patties

The bananas in the grocery store just don't taste the same after you have had one that has been picked off the tree in your backyard. I have never been a real big fruit eater (I have however dated many fruits but that is another post) but while in Jamaica we were at the mercy of what the cook at the children's home decided to serve us. All the fruit down there seem to be sweeter. I even liked the fresh pineapple.

I bought bananas when I came back to my "House of no food". You see while I was gone Mom and Beau came down to "sort through some clothes and stuff to take back to the other house". I was assured none of my possessions would be altered or taken. You see I don't like change. It is partially a control issue having to do with times in my childhood when I had absolutely no control. Not many people do like change BUT for me it causes actual physical effects. I start to get agitated, start sweating, get a headache and my heart beats really hard. This lasts usually until I can take an hour or so to "explore" the changes that were made without me.

Anyway back to the "House of no food"~~~

I came home Sunday afternoon please note that I was supposed to arrive home Saturday Night but due to delays and other circumstances (beyond my control) I ended up spending the night in Atlanta before catching yet another flight home. I walked in to find the living room absolutely spotless....Great you might say until you learn that I could not find my file folder of bills due for 3 days, I am still missing a few of my knickknack type items but I am pretty sure she took those too.

I was tired. The kind of tired where you could sleep for days with no problem. I drop the one piece of luggage that came with me (the rest arrived at 2:00AM when the airport people rang my doorbell to deliver it) and stumbled to my room only to find things piled on my bed. If they couldn't find a spot for it it went on my bed...even the stuff that belonged to my Mom last May but now she has forgotten she owned.


I'll catch a nap on the couch...stumble to the kitchen to grab a hot cup of coffee (yes I know this is a new has to be flavored coffee but I am addicted) but I open the fridge to find...nothing. Well it had some things but not what I had left...a pitcher of koolaid, a few Pepsi's (I had a case before I left), a few packets of Jelly, Dr. Phil weight loss drinks (I have no idea where these came from but it had better NOT have been a hint from Mom), a half jar of Mayo, a 6 lb 13 oz can of tapioca pudding and batteries in the drawer.


I open the cabinets to find all of the boxed prepared food (OK so I am not a gourmet chef) gone as well. No dishes, no paper plates, DVD player gone, VCR gone, MY plant gone, blankets in the living room that I had made ... poof! gone, trash bags, zip lock bags, Hot chocolate, pots and pans, even the blankets I used on the back of the couch to stay warm... gone.

I cried.

I called Mom and she insisted she thought it was all hers. A few points here:
  1. She taught me how to "cook" doesn't it make sense that we would buy some of the same foods.
  2. Did she really think the butter in the fridge was left over from May?
  3. She thought I had dishes to use...I was scheduled to arrive home at 10:15 at night...sure let me go unpack the boxes in the garage and wash all those dishes so that I can have breakfast ...oh wait she took all that stuff too!
  4. Blankets are stored on the back porch...the non heated back porch where I needed to go search through tubs to find as I FROZE because it is 30 degrees here and 102 degrees when I went into the airport in Jamaica.
Anyway....Now that it off my chest.....

The other thing I fell in love with in Jamaica is Beef Jucci Patties. These are not really patties like we think of them here. They are more like hot pocket type products but with Jamaican flavored beef (yes cow not goat) inside. The bread on the outside in SOOOOOOOOOO good! Unfortunately I have not been able to find them in any of our local international food shops here in our fair city. I have located them in Indy and Chicago...but I'm tired of traveling at this point.

IF anyone knows where I can purchase them in Fort Wayne or a web address that will allow me to order them online and have them delivered I would be VERY grateful.

Since I have to restock the kitchen anyway I might as well make it with food I love....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My view

This is the view I had on several nights during my trip. This is the sun setting over the mountains behind the children's home I stayed at. While I was there I was reminded daily about the glory of God. His wondrous creations in nature are evident everywhere you look. From the mountains, the flowers, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets (and even the darn little bugs that have decided to plague me still with the haunting bites) I was in awe of the creativity and might of God.

It reminded me that yes God did create the universe. No I did not come from Monkeys. And as it says in:

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. (NIV)

Job 1-6 Job now resumed his response: "Oh, how I long for the good old days, when God took such very good care of me.He always held a lamp before me and I walked through the dark by its light. Oh, how I miss those golden years when God's friendship graced my home, When the Mighty One was still by my side and my children were all around me, When everything was going my way, and nothing seemed too difficult. (The Message)

God calls me His friend...Wow the Creator of the universe is my friend. The same One who made the mountains and oceans is my friend...

That is hard to even wrap your mind around...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Dear Sister of Mine!

As I have recently returned from the land of Blue Mountain coffee beans you have a bag waiting for you as soon as we can connect our schedules long enough to make the transfer.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More pictures from Jamaica...

This is a typical house in Jamaica. Most do not have screens on the windows. Many homes do not have electricity or running water. Yet we knew people lived there because candles would illuminate the night and we would see them coming and going throughout the day. I never saw a lawnmower being used but I did see many homes with goats tied in the yard eating grass.

This is a picture of the entertainment center that my friend and I designed and built. The dimensions, cutting the wood, hammering and screwing them together only took a day and a half. We had to complete a few odds and ends projects during that time as well BUT midway through the second day the shelves were ready to be sealed with shellac. I had no idea that the two of us could complete it and make it sturdy but everyone else on the team had no doubt.

I cried when we finished it. I have been told for so long now that what I did wasn't good enough, I didn't do it right and that I was incompetent that when it was finished I was overwhelmed. The biggest thing God taught me on this trip is that I can do anything I set my mind to. I got my self confidence back!
Here is a picture of another project we built. This is an end table in one of the girl's room. In the background you can see the freshly painted walls and the new bedspread as well.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A few pictures for now...

It is truly a beautiful country. It took us 2 and 1/2 hours to travel 50 miles because we had to wind through the mountains on roads that can barely be called that. The clouds can literally be touched in the mornings as the sun rises in the mountains.

What a great day we had on our fun day visiting the waterfalls. This was after we had worked all week completing all the projects we had planned plus a few extra ones.

I will never again complain about gas prices here in the US. Ok so it is in Jamaican dollars and the price is for a liter of gas but it is still almost $3.00 a gallon once you do the conversions. Did you notice the dog in the bottom of the picture? Dogs are as common as squirrels are here. They are wild and are not really ever seen as pets. The garbage that lays in the streets is where they find food and shelter.

Houses scattered among the hills of Jamaica.

I'll never be the same

I will have many pictures to share and stories to tell soon. For now I can tell you that I will never be the same person ever again. Because of an airport mishap and delays etc instead of coming home Saturday night I spent too much time in airports and arrived home on Sunday afternoon minus my luggage and slept until almost 11am this morning. More to come soon...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Play nice for awhile....

Ok now I am trusting you all to play nice until I get back. I will be back in blog world around the 12th provided I am not sleeping the day away. I know this may be difficult for some of you so I have painstakingly pulled together some of the best distractions on the web so here you go:

Here is a fun little game where you can make your own sledding hill to send your person to their certain doom.

This one is a chance to design and make your own snowflake complete with a personal message to send off.

Oh and one of those thinking games can be found here.

Like the movie Message in a Bottle? Try this site to create your own.

Here is a little sample of the Jamaican music I will be hearing as you read this. Or this one is a traditional dance.

Here is a place to let your creativity run wild...well sort of.

Ok try to keep the place clean while I am gone and don't forget to come by and feed the monkey.

And anyone who would like to pray for me...that would be much appreciated.