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31 December 2007

2008~it's going to be a really great year. I've decided that. And deciding is half the battle. We have a choice each day. To make it better, or to wallow in everything that's wrong. I have bad days. I have days where I can't speak without stuttering and days where I can't remember words or put sentences together. Those are the days I try to stay alone so that I don't have to see pity and sympathy in the eyes of those that love me. Johnny wants to think these days will get better. I think it's going to be a way of life for us~the 'new me', if you will. If it passes, great! If it doesn't, then we'll deal with it. Either way, it will be our choice.

My dad used to say there are only two things we have no control over. We all have to die, and we all have to pay taxes. Everything else is a choice. There will be things out of our control and actions will happen that we can't stop. But what we can do is control our reactions to them. Do I have regrets? Shoot yeah, but because of my choices, I am the person I am today. And although that person isn't perfect, I like her. She's stronger, she's more intuitive to another's pain, and she's far wiser than she was a few years ago.

Dad also used to say, "time stops for no man". It doesn't. As much as I wanted time to stand still so I could hold on to Jenny and capture forever that sweet smell behind her right ear, I couldn't. As much as I wanted time to stop so I could tell my grandmother just one more time how much I loved her, I couldn't. And as much as I wanted to hold my dad in my arms as he crossed over, I couldn't. Time marches on. And it carries us with it. We can, however, choose the walk.

I choose to put my hand firmly in His; my footsteps directly within His; and, my eyes on the beautiful place I know is there. I am so excited with this new year. There is this feeling in my soul that says it's going to be such an awesome time for our family that I simply can't wait to see how God is going to present it all to us. May 2008 be just as good for you~

30 December 2007

This was on Susanne's blog and I wanted to share it with you~

25 December 2007

These two sweethearts came into my life March of 1983~and they've remained through laughter and tears, challenges and victories, births and funerals, and the beauty and sadness of life in general. They have blessed my life in ways they'll never realize and brought smiles to my heart when it needed comfort. I know now, as a parent, I can look back and wish things had been different, words had been said or not, actions been done or left undone~but through it all they have grown and matured into beautiful young ladies . I am so blessed and so proud to be a part of their life. Stacey, Leslie, I promise to always be near, to always love you, and to always cover you in prayer.

19 December 2007

Nativity scenes. I've always loved them. Growing up, we had one that my father brought back when he returned from overseas. It was very simple, just Mary, Joseph, the baby, and an angel. One cow and a sheep, that over the years lost a leg. I loved finding it when mother would bring it out of the attic with the other decorations. Now, I don't know where you worship or what you believe, but as my father aged he began to resent seeing nativity sets during the Christmas season. He had his reasons and they were valid. To a point.

I know we should celebrate His birth each day and that we should also celebrate His death, because in dying, He arose. I know all that and I believe it wholeheartedly. But, in his attempt to get the point across to us, he didn't want Christmas carols sung either. To do so, in his eyes, would be to appear worldly. And in his swing away from the scriptures the World tried to place on Christmas, he missed the whole point of what a beautiful story it is. And if this is the only time that most of our world ever takes the time to hear it, then we need to share it. And not be afraid.

While shopping with Jenny downtown recently, we came across a beautiful nativity set. She asked Ian who the baby was. He promptly said, "Moses!" She couldn't get him to say it was the baby Jesus. Now I don't think that's any fault of Brandon nor Jenny. I thought it showed knowledge on Ian's part that there was another biblical figure who's story began as a baby! But sadly, this is the only time each year that some children see parents hovering over a baby in a straw manger, with animals nearby, shepherds, and men bearing gifts. I'm sure they ask questions and I pray that they are given a patient answer, if no other than "that's how Jesus was born". And just maybe from that planted seed, more questions will follow and someday someone will have the answers to bring them to the Lord.

Share the nativity story. Share it with the holiness it deserves, the excitement of this miracle, and sing with feelings the beautiful hymns normally reserved for this time of year. And may your Christmas be filled with His peace, His grace, and His mercy. And if you have questions of your own, I pray that you will find someone to help you with the answers.

11 December 2007

I remember getting up long before daylight and thinking no one would hear me if I crept very quietly to the Christmas tree. Did I really think mother wouldn't hear me?!

I remember just quivering with excitement and wondering what would greet us when we were finally allowed to get up and go to the tree. You see, Santa didn't wrap any presents so gifts were always laid out with such care. The only wrapped presents would be taken later to grandparents and cousins. Oh the awe of that first sight of everything Santa brought!

I remember thinking that in the pre-dawn light, a tree couldn't look more beautiful. That is until~I saw our Christmas tree mirrored in my young daughter's eyes. Then I realized the real meaning of the magic of Christmas.

07 December 2007

President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy. The United States Of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Naval and Air Forces of the Empire of Japan. It is obvious that planning the attack began many weeks ago, during the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American military forces, I regret to tell you that over three thousand American lives have been lost. No matter how long it may take us to over come this pre-meditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. Because of this unprovoked, dastardly attack by Japan, I ask that the congress declare a state of War.

Admiral Yamamoto: I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.

30 November 2007

There are moments in your life that make you
and sets the course of who you're going to be.
Sometimes they're little, subtle moments.
Sometimes, they're big moments you never saw coming.
No one asks for their life to change, but it does.
It's what you do afterwards that counts.
That's how you find out who you are.
{Thank you, God, for never leaving me alone
during the big moments when I needed you
and the little moments
when I only thought I did it by myself.}


22 November 2007

It's Thanksgiving and I want to thank you, John, for being the one I always dreamed of. You bring such joy to my life and a stability to the world. Thank you for being more than just my husband, I cannot imagine life without you. forever and a day, me~

21 November 2007

My heart is in tatters. I learned earlier this evening that at a time when I most needed to recognize someone, I didn't. Apparently, I looked into his eyes and right through them. So busy with gathering up a group of second graders and lost in my thoughts, the moment passed that would have brought needed joy to both our hearts. He remembers it. I don't. I was never aware we were within hugging distance, close enough to speak, close enough to acknowledge. I am so sorry, dear one. I never knew. And now that I do, I don't know what to say.

A lesson for us all~take the time. Always, always take the time to look at someone. Not through them. The flip side to this would be, don't ever be hesitant to reach out.

04 November 2007

This afternoon I took it upon myself to clean some areas that had long needed organizing. In doing so, I found items that enveloped me with memories of yesteryears. Old love letters and notes passed in class brought back the sweetness of first loves, stolen kisses, and dreams of a young girl in love. Snapshots revealed more than just the people in the pictures~sounds, smells, and conversations tumbled in around my heart. Reading through old school newspapers caused me to stop and wonder where those people are now, and if they are happy.

And then the phone rang. It was Johnny. My Johnny. The man that loves the woman I am today. The man that has stayed in love with her for almost 25 years. Maybe not the starry~eyed love that I felt so many years ago, but he brings a love that I know will last. I find it comforting that he still brings butterflies to my tummy when I see him across a room. When his eyes meet mine, I love the way his smile is for me, and for me alone. We didn't know each other during those high school years or the adventurous college days. We met after broken hearts and shattered dreams had dimmed the notion of true love. After the toll of stressful adult life made us wonder if dreams were really meant to come true.

Late at night, after our daughter was fast asleep in bed, and I was trying to get everything ready for the next day, he would come to me. He would find me and bring me into the kitchen, where the radio was. And he would dance with me. It became an endearing part of our relationship. Long after our children were grown and gone, long after housework became less important, and long after our youth faded, this man, this beautiful man, still dances with me. We still dance in the kitchen.

20 October 2007

Trust. Small word. Big idea. Jenny posted this tonight on their family page and the look on Noah's face grabbed hold of my heart. I know he's looking at his mommy. I know how dearly this child loves that woman. And I know how much he depends on her. For many months she was his food source, his pacifier, his hiding place. He knows nothing more than to feel safe with her and to trust her totally and completely.
It's difficult for me to remember trusting anyone this much. As we age, we grow cynical and trusting others doesn't come as easily as the hurts of life begin to accumulate. I love my daughters and I adore my husband. And I trust them. But not as much as the look in this little man's eyes as he gazes at his mother. Which makes me somewhat sad. We lose so much as we age.
There is one that I can trust and always feel safe. Within my heavenly Father's hands I know everything will be alright. That whatever I need and whatever happens will happen only within His realm and I can rest knowing that He is always there, always loving, always safe.
Hold on to this look, dear Noah, for as long as you can. And as you age, know that you can always trust your mother and father. And you can trust me, sweet child. I'll be here, forever and a day~

10 October 2007

Imagine

Imagine if you will, an utterly beautiful day. An April morning. It's Friday and you have the day off! You are filled with such peace and happiness you almost can't stand it. A day of laughter. And love. You're strong, you're in control, you're invicible. You're safe.

Now, during this beautiful day, it's time for a nap! You're comfortable, relaxed. 'Just lie here for 30 minutes'. Easy. You drift away.

Dreams come and go, haunting, scary. Your fears wrapped up in everything that's ever made you uncomfortable. They're so real. So real and so frightening. Finally, finally, you wake and there's your best friend, your lover, your rock. And you begin to relax. Wow, what a dream, you say. And you notice, you're not lying where you were, but that's okay. It's not really a problem. Yet.

Tubes, wires, bandages, something attached to your throat that prevents you from talking, breathing. Panic begins to rise, and fear clogs your throat. Swiftly your brain races to find some logic to connect the pieces of this horrible puzzle that's becoming your reality.

Throwing back the covers, you find temporary relief that your legs look normal. While getting out of bed, someone has to catch you as you slide to the floor. Who do those legs belong to? Not you! You just tried to walk. And couldn't.

You ask, 'what's happened?' 'What day is it?' And you feel his anguish before you see his tears. You hear, but you don't comprehend. 'That's, what? 77 days?' He doesn't need to nod because you feel it inside with a sinking, sinking feeling. Something is wrong. Something is horribly, horribly wrong. Seventy-seven days? Of your life? When? How? What happened? And this is only the beginning.

03 October 2007

Does our heart not melt at the sight of a sleeping child? Do we not remember with clarity the smell of their freshness, the soft whisper of their breathing, and the way they fold into us when we reach for them?

Jenny posted this picture of Ian, asleep after a morning of playing at the park. It touched me, as I recalled his mother in much this same repose. "Ah, time doth stop for no man." Sleep well, sweet prince.

21 September 2007


O the Raggedy Man, he works fer Pa;
An' he's the bestest man ever you saw.
He comes to our house every day,
An' waters the horses, an' feeds 'em hay;
An' he opens the shed, an' we all ist laugh
When he drives out our little old wobble-ly calf;
An' nen, ef our hired girl says he can,
he milks the cow fer 'Lizabuth Ann.
Ain't he a' awful good Raggedy Man?
Raggedy, Raggedy, Raggedy Man.

Why, the Raggedy Man, he ist so good,
He splits the kindlin' an' chops the wood;
An' nen he spades in our garden, too,
An' does most things 'at boys can't do.
He climbed clean up in our big 'ole tree
An' shooked a' apple down fer me
An' 'nother 'n', too, fer 'Lizabuth Ann
An' 'nother 'n', too, fer The Raggedy Man.
Ain't he a' awfully kind Raggedy Man?
Raggedy, Raggedy, Raggedy Man.

Once when he wuz makin' a bow-'n'-arry fer me
Says "When you get big like your Pa is
Air you goin' to have a fine store like his?
An' be a rich merchunt an' wear fine clothes?
Er, what air you goin' to be, goodness knows?"
An' nen he laughed at 'Lizabuth Ann,
An' I says "'M goin' to be a Raggedy Man!
I'm ist go' to be a nice Raggedy Man!"
Raggedy, Raggedy, Raggedy Man.

16 September 2007

"A babe in the house is a well-spring for pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men" ~Martin Fraquhar Tupper
When a baby is looking past you, could it be there's an angel behind you? And when they look into a tree and are captured by the movement of the wind, could it be they see what we have lost sight of? Perhaps that is why then, that we find peace in taking the time to watch the same when we feel its caress upon our face.

09 September 2007

"Wherever they go,
and whatever happens
to them on the way,
in that enchanted place
on top of the world,
two little blondes
will always
be playing.”
to a playmate,
a best friend,
a forever friend.
Thank you for taking time for me.

08 September 2007

My computer appears to be having some serious problems, so Brandon will be looking at it tomorrow for me. I will most likely be offline for several days, just in case you're here and wondering why you haven't seen anything new written lately. This is why.

Have a restful tomorrow and a really great week. Oh yeah, and don't forget to look for something to laugh about, someone to hug, a person to help, and a comfy spot to lay your head~

05 September 2007

I felt the need to write that you are missed and that I've thought of you today and that I've wondered how your day has been. While putting together thoughts and pictures for today's blog on Faith, Family & Friends, I kept scrolling by pictures of you. But these pictures weren't taken today or even yesterday. There are pictures of the others, but so few of you. This really must be corrected. You, me. Two people famous for NOT wanting our pictures taken.

Stacey took this one. And it's so you. I feel you're looking right at me. Taken at the fair. A place you love. With those you love. You're relaxed. Happy. Well, as happy as one can be in scorching heat with little air. But you've never been one to complain.

So~the next time we're together I am going to take more snapshots of you. To remind me of what I'm missing when I'm not with you. I love you, peanutbutter.

31 August 2007

Bryan Martin was murdered Wednesday night as he returned from a Biscuits game. He had merely stopped to pick up a few items to take home to his wife and two very young children. Such a senseless and random act, all for the sake of stealing his F150 pickup ~ which was spotted on the Eastern Blvd. by police at 9 am the next morning.

Our little community has been rocked and brought to its knees. This couple grew up together, fell in love, and stayed in the area to make a home for their 2 year old son and 3 month old daughter. His wife has such a difficult road ahead. I taught Kelsey and knew Bryan. Both with much love for each other and their fellow man. Both with dreams for the future and the motivation to make them happen.

Take a moment to pray for this situation and for all of us. Ask God to continue believing in America and that He give us the courage to try and make a peaceful difference in our world.

29 August 2007

“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” ~Albert Camus

24 August 2007

"Last night we had a lightning storm (at least I think that’s what it was ~ we didn’t get any rain to my knowledge) and it was beautiful. Since we were in the car on the way home, it was the first time Ian had really seen lightning. He said it scared him and I took this opportunity to incorporate God. I asked who made the lightning and Ian said, “God. God, please make the lightning go away because it scares me. Mommy, God’s going to make the lightning go away because it scares me.” How it warms my heart to see his faith grow!" ~Jenny Maddox

and so we have His little ones to renew our faith and hope for the unseen~we are so blessed.

15 August 2007

Forever and a Day~

“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” ~Winnie the Pooh

12 August 2007

Switch on the Night

It's getting late and I'm getting sleepy. This is a time I enjoy looking forward to. You see, I love our room. The previous owner had painted the walls a nice chocolate color and although I never would've had the nerve to choose that color, I do so love it! It's like being wrapped in a soft cocoon. Especially at night, snuggled under my comforter with the fan creating breezes and the sound machine set to sounds of the ocean. Since the accident, I've taken more naps and slept later than I ever have. And I enjoy it. I relish it even.

Darkness has never frightened me. Now, I've been frightened at night before. When one of the girls was sick or Johnny. But never of the dark itself. I read a story once that asked this: "Have you ever noticed that when you switch off the light, you switch on the night?" The lesson being, that to notice the beauty of the night, you have to 'switch off the light'. It's a warm short story encouraging children not to be afraid of the dark. So during the upcoming days find time to switch off the lights and switch on the night. And rest well, dear friends~

11 August 2007

"No matter where you go, no matter what you do; I will always, always, always love you."

I can't think of anything that one of our daughters could do that would cause me to quit loving them. What awful, terrible thing would have to take place that would cause me to turn my back and cease to love them? I've thought of mothers that have children sitting on death row, or those with adult children that wear a perverted label given to them by the court system. As bad as people are and as bad as things can be, there's still that mother's love.

Sure, I've been angry, hurt, sad. But I can honestly say I've never, ever stopped loving them. Even when my actions didn't back up those words. There were times I had to practice tough love, times when my words were harsh. Sometimes too harsh. But I never stopped loving them. I've never regretted having them in my life.

The quote isn't original. No, it comes from a beautifully written film called "The Electric Grandmother". I saw it many years ago and fell in love. Written by Ray Bradbury and released in 1982, it's about a family whose children are traumatized by the death of their mother. They go to an old factory, where they customize a new grandmother, and within a short time, she arrives. The boys are charmed. The daughter, however, still misses her mother and she bears no welcome for this interloper. Maureen Stapleton is the grandmother and Edward Herrmann is the father.

Netflix doesn't carry it, but I did find it on a Goggle Search. It's worth the change to buy it.

So, my beautiful girls. The daughters of my heart. No matter where you go; no matter what you do. I will always, always, always love you~

09 August 2007

"If you have faith, . . . it will happen." Matthew 21:21

God always rejoices when we dare to dream

In fact, we are much like God when we dream

He wrote the book on making the impossible possible


Eighty-year-old shepherds don't usually play chicken with Pharoahs

but don't tell that to Moses


Teenage shepherds don't normally have showdowns with giants

but don't tell that to David

And for sure don't tell that to God

31 July 2007

Desiderata
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life
keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

~~Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

30 July 2007

"You are today where your dreams have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your dreams will take you."

28 July 2007

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A Hero in My Eyes

Life is full of wonders
and things we can't explain
buildings, towers, spaceships,
sunshine, thunder, rain.

There's so many blessings
in the beauty of our world
vast, living oceans,
a tiny hand unfurled.

You're a wonder yourself
just being in our lives
I needed you to know
you're a hero in my eyes.
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25 July 2007

another year without me~

So, here it is. Another school year. Another year without me. Another teacher in my classroom. My classroom!! As much as I've enjoyed my lazy mornings, as much as I've enjoyed my time at home with my family I'm still looking forward to being back in the routine I've been familiar with for almost 21 years now. The year I had to leave was left with unfinished business. I need to finish a school year in the normal way. The way I like to finish a year!

I spent the afternoon, and into the early evening, with one of my bestest friends. Lisa teaches in the room next to mine and she's already talking of the classes, the new programs, the new teachers. I had to keep reminding myself that this time next year I would be back! I'm looking forward to it.

This break has been great for allowing me the time visit our girls in Mississippi and come home on Sundays knowing I don't have to go to work Monday morning! And it's given me much time with Jenny and her boys. Jen and I talk at least once a day and I'll miss the impromptu calls. Ian has even called and I look forward to more of his calls. Being home when Johnny gets in has been real nice! Most nights we've already had supper by 5:30. When I'm working, he gets in first and I'm doing good to get home by 4:30. And that's with NO meetings after school.

It would be interesting if you would leave me a comment and let me know what you look forward to in the near future. Hope is a warm feeling and allows one to rise above the stresses of the day to look ahead with a smile. Have a beautiful evening and until~

18 July 2007

Picking Up the Pieces

Wow, found this blog upon accident and was surprised to catch up with past writings. I have another blog that's family oriented, so I think I'll continue this one with writings that never got published. I've published pieces before, but the ones close to my heart are those that only mean something to me. So if you choose to come back, you'll see what I'm talking about. Until then, may you find hidden moments of laughter and smiles~