Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is it Christmas again tomorrow?

For kids, and some adults, there is a such a let down the day after Christmas. Fortunately, that was not the case in our home this year. Everyone truly enjoyed the holiday and the realization that the celebration continues in our hearts daily helped to encourage us all. That said, we were having such a great time the whole day that I don't think Soph's smile left her face once....not even while sugarplums danced in her head during nap time....with which she went willingly. This was the first year that she really seemed to grasp the concept of Christmas. She opened her presents with zest and seemed to comprehend the idea that we were celebrating Jesus' birthday. I have to say how proud I am that both girls came downstairs and sat very patiently on our couch near the tree and gifts as they waited for Marty to get his coffee and me my Diet Dr. Pepper. They also lovingly participated in our tradition of a prayer of thanks to God prior to opening even one package. The day was wonderful and what made it truly great this year is the increasing awareness of our family's blessings...'specially the one that has the four of us under one roof! The day ended with a funny note from Sophie Grace - sitting on the couch discussing bedtime...she stood between Mart and I and while shaking her head back and forth very slighty asked in a hushed tone, "Will it be Christmas again tomorrow?" - - - we both laughed and said, "Not tomorrow, but definitely next year!" - She nodded her head, accepted our answer and readied herself for bed.

In a blink, as quickly as the day began it ended. Mart and I tucked Sophie in bed, followed her nightly instruction on how to properly say good night, hugged and kissed Bella and with each step down the stairs, listening to them giggle about the day, we were reminded, yet again, that the most precious gifts we are given are not found under any tree or in any stocking. The very things we, as humans, seek to make us happy have already been given to us. They aren't wrapped in perfect paper and can't be purchased in any store. They're not delivered by the postman and certainly don't cost a thing. Simply put, they are those joys that let your heart sing, the moments that take your breath away, the fragrance of memories and the awareness of wisdom gained. These are the gifts that are priceless!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Short and sweet....

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you ! Hope your day has been filled with joyful sounds, wonderful tidings and super yummy eats!! And more than anything I hope that you found yourself full of spirit and surrounded by the true "presents" of Christmas - the Good Lord himself!!!

Love to you all!!

"All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord."

Monday, December 22, 2008

I am so spoiled....

For a week now Marty and I have been sick. It seems to have started with Bella and just made it's way around to the two of us, thankfully Soph is in good shape!! We have both felt so lousy that we haven't done much of anything. That said, I can't sit still....if there are dishes in the sink I must wash them, garbage that needs to go out, I must take it. And because I am such a germaphobe laundry needed to run regulary and baths given daily. I have been exhausted...but what I have hated most is how this type of situation can feed on anything negative. I was just a grump...and short of feeling terrible couldn't put my finger on why....until yesterday.

For so many years, I was the one doing all of the meals in the house, every dish, every bath, all the cleaning and so on. No help. I was physically exhausted and didn't even know it then. NOW, things are quite the opposite...I am married to a man that doesn't have to be asked at all to help. He does more than I imagine and probably more than I could recount, so while I was not feeling well, nor was he and I perfectly understood this.....I guess the subconcious fear of past reality crept in...overwhelming me to the point of tears. I never want to go back.......and I need to get better about letting Mart know just how much I appreciatate all that he does do! Spending so many years counting on only one person in a relationship is an exhausting and scary experience.....nor the way the Good Lord intended. So I spend today getting better, taking care of a terribly sick hubby and being incredibly grateful for the amazing man given to me, as well as for the wonderful knowledge that I will never experience past circumstances again and especially for the incredible hope that burned all those years in the process!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jabanero Peppers!!!

Bella has been wanting to try a Jabanero for awhile while in the store the other day I bought one specifically with her in mind. I warned her that they were really spicy, but she still wanted to try. So we cut it into small pieces and she took a bite. She loved it and was very proud that she could handle the heat. I smiled and congratulated her and told her that if she really wanted to taste the spice to eat a seed. So, in true Bella form, she did....this time, however, she chose to eat about 8 seeds and a piece of the pepper itself. She smiled again and was very proud and while I continued to cook, I listened to her boast about how strong she is and that it's all because she's got "Italian blood" in her and I don't - I just gave her the look as she exited the kitchen with a very "I'm the best" kind of look on her face. Moments later, she returned, rushing saying in a very hushed tone with tears streaming down her face......"I know Mom, God don't like ugly - God don't like ugly" - - - I nodded my head and smiled as she ran water to quench her need for cool. I didn't say a word....just turned to give her a hug and tell her that I was proud she tried something new so willingly AND that she learned something from it.

Nice to see that she got the message in the lesson pretty quickly. BTW, the phrase she used has been passed down by a friend of mine that introduced it to me years ago......I am pleased to see it's still being put to good use despite it's grammatical errors!!! ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas tour

A couple of friends of mine via email and one of the sites I follow instituted a day to do a Christmas tour of each of our homes. Since I've now seen it in a couple ways I decided to participate. The idea is just to post pictures of things you'd find around your home that might be of some importance to you over the holidays, to make us feel like we were there! So I thought it would be a nice idea to follow through on over the next few days!!
So look for the incoming tags guys!! :) First, I tag Jen at Against All Odds.

Soph's favorite!

My ornament wreath!
Marty decorated our norfolk island pine

The Santa ornament my dad carved for me!

My Santa Doll and Bella's Snowman plate

The girls' snowflakes

Marty's Santa - he was his Grandfather's!

The Hand Wreath Bella made in Kindergarten

Our outdoor wreath

The banister

Our nativity and some old ornaments!
Our Advent Calendar!

Our Tree!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Date night with the hubby

Sunday night Marty and I attended a dinner/fundraising event for the Pujols Family Foundation! It is a foundation that Albert Pujols and his wife established to help families dealing with down syndrome and families in the Dominican Republic.

Upon moving to St. Louis I became very familiar with Albert Pujols. He plays for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and has gained a great deal of respect in the city and league because of his integrity. Not only is he a phenomenal ball player, but his faith in God is astounding. His motto is "faith, family, friends". We were very excited to receive tickets to the dinner, just to be able to take part in some fashion for such a terrific cause warmed our hearts. And the event did not disappoint. The people at our table were wonderful and the presentations moving. We were surrounded by a variety of people from professional hall of famers to the average family affected by DS. I have to say that the level to which individuals praised God at this event was surprising. Reminds you that no matter your lot in life, we are all the same - and that God has you just where he needs you regardless of reason or obviousness of reason.

Our night took an unexpected turn from our plans and allowed Marty and I an opportunity to do something valuable. I mentioned the terrific people at our of them was a man named "Bob". He's an older gentleman, about my mom's age. I became enamored by him from the get go. He was a happy guy, experienced and genuine. He spoke of many things, but especially of his wife "Grace". He lost her to an aneurysm ten years ago. They went to sleep and she never woke up. When he retold the story, even in short, his voice cracked and I could clearly see the pain he still feels in the loss. Throughout dinner we chatted of things; items he was bidding on, his three daughters and grandchildren, his travels, his business. I was really taken with him......gotta admit I love older gentlemen...and that's only grown since I've lost my father. I know Mart gets this...he's amazing. Before long Bob was really feeling sick. He did not want to leave because he wanted to pay for the items that he bid on; of which I thought was one thing - a cake that he bought as a gift to Marty and I....a really thoughtful gesture. I assured him that we would take care of it and insisted he head home. He just nodded and headed out. Not long later we saw him sitting on the steps, miserable. He was feeling lousy and looked horrible, and still wanted to take care of the cake. I grabbed his bidding number and asked Mart to stand in line to pay for it and he did without question. I helped Bob up as he told me he was heading home. Mart and I stood in line together....I wanted him to let me handle it...I hated that he was passing up his opportunity to meet the Pujols and the many others...but he didn't want to leave me. While in line, my heart was aching and I couldn't quit thinking about I told Mart that I felt I needed to look to make sure he was gone. I walked to the foyer of the ballroom and there he was, nearly passed out on a couch. When I put my hand on his to wake him, I frightened him greatly. I borrowed Mart's phone and asked Bob for his daughter's number......I explained the situation and she said that she and her husband would be there as soon as they could. They lived about a half hour away. So I waited. I went back and forth between my husband and this wonderful man, checking on them both. At one point when I walked away from Bob, I turned to look at him and I instantly held my was this man....all alone, missing his wife. Tears just came to my eyes. What it must be like to spend a lifetime with someone only to wake up one day and find they are gone. How sad that is. His wife died when she was 55, my Marty is 40. The difference is 15 years....less time then he and I have spent together and it's just not enough, 'specially since we just got it right to begin with. Before I started back I caught my husband smiling at me...waiting very patiently for me in line, for a man he doesn't even know...because what he did know is that it mattered to me. There are not enough words to describe the love I felt for him even at that moment. I sat back down next to Bob and held his hand as he apologized for keeping us from our family and evening. I explained to him that we were right where we were supposed to be and that we were not leaving him. Before long Marty came around the corner - cake, bags and boxes in tow. Seems that Bob had won more items then I thought and in his attempt to make a night easier an old guy, Mart covered the cost until Bob could pay us back. Bob was very thankful and apologetic at the same time.....I just teased him saying how thankful we were that he didn't win the VIP box at the Cards game....that would have broken the bank for sure....he laughed and assured us that he would be in touch as soon as he could. We weren't concerned for that, we knew he would. After about 45 minutes his daughter arrived and we felt comfortable leaving him in her care. The whole way home I held my wonderful husband's hand.......Bob served a purpose for me that night. The last month I have been missing my father greatly.....taking care of Bob filled a need I didn't realize was so abundant....the need to feel closer to my dad.....secondly, Bob served as a reminder that marriage and love, in all it's stages is precious. That there will come a day that either my husband or I will be living without the other.....that each day I have with him is a blessing and that no amount of time is enough. It's my hope that if there is ever a day that Marty endures a similar situation that someone would show him the same kindness we showed Bob.......just like Bob, he deserves it - and more!

Monday, Bob's daughter called to tell us that her father has a bad case of the flu and was still feelng pretty lousy. She thanked us for our time with him and Marty explained that we wouldn't have had it any other way. My mind still goes to him and I look forward to seeing him again.

Date night with my husband was more than I could have wasn't enough that I was there with the best looking guy in the room and the love of my life.......God chose to sprinke a little more of his magic on blessings can not be counted!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Well, I've been Jen at Against All Odds.

The instructions are these:
1--choose the 4th picture folder on my computer
2--choose the 4th picture
3--explain the picture
4--tag 4 other people

Okay, here is the pic -

The week of Easter we found a rabbit's nest in our yard. We watched over it and after awhile noticed the mother wasn't coming back, she left this one after one had already died and took the largest one with her, we watched as she left it. So we tried to save this little guy, but was not able to. He was adorable, but just too small!

Now, most of those bloggers I know have already been tagged....sooooo I'll be tagging via email!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Message through music

I went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra yesterday with my mom. I have heard their music for years and have fond memories of them because they were one of my father's favorites. The show was fantastic and while there, I was able to really listen to the words and receive the message they were sending with each note.

There were several songs I loved, but there was one that really got me ~ "This Christmas Day". As I narrowed my ears to really hear what was being sung I was amazed that the words so perfectly described what is in my heart this season. See, I have always loved celebrating Christmas! It is a time that since I was a child was filled with magic...the lights, trees, shiny ornaments, cookies...everything that goes into it. As I grew, the appreciation did too. I began to focus more and more on Christ and the reasons to celebrate, which only made the season more magical for me. That said, this year is different and I wasn't able to put my finger on it, until last night. These words and suddenly the lightbulb came on:

"She's coming home this Christmas Day
All at once the world
It doesn't seem the same
And in a single night
You know it all has changed
And everything is now as it should be

I have the ornament
I have the perfect tree
I have a string of lights
I have a chance to see
Everything that my heart thought could be"

It's not the "she" that's coming home, it is the "he" that did.

That's why!! Right there. Everything is as it should be - my family back under one roof, united!!It is everything that my heart thought could be and more! I have been given that chance I always dreamed of - a chance to see my husband in a whole new light! To know a man that I am learning more about each day. My eyes well up just at the thought. He is such a gift to me and with each day that passes this season my heart grows more and more and my gratitude to God rises with every breath. I can not rejoice enough! For that alone, every individual light on our tree will be its own shout to the heavens and each it's own praise to God. Every cookie delivered will be in the name of our Savior, every song sung will be to honor our King and each gift will be wrapped with precise awareness of the gifts we've been given!!!

"...My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." Luke 1:46-47

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not much to say! Just wanted to add a note that I am thinking of you all and hoping you each have a terrific holiday! Individually there is so much to be thankful for, I hope that you and your loved ones can easily recount all of your blessings!

Big hugs!

~ Ephesians 5:19-20 - Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.~

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Youtube warning!!!!!!

Bella loves to play on the computer. We have always monitored what she does on the computer, limited her time and chosen not to join certain websites to keep her safe. Yesterday she was on a couple of times throughout the day, all while both of us were home and doing things. Last night we were reviewing her history and were not shocked to find the typical 10 year old sites and some others such as youtube. Bella likes to watch movie trailers or the parodies that are put together of some of her favorite characters to music or just some of her favorite music, such as, Miley Cyrus, Cheetah girls, etc......

We decided to look deeper into her viewing of Youtube just to check. What I saw astounded me and leaves a deep deep sorrow in the pit of my being. Bella started by searching for Barbie then she was looking for an old, but familiar and favorite character named Kim Possible. What seemed like a simple and innocent search turned into a parent's nightmare. As we clicked on each link of videos viewed it revealed the very characters she was searching for in very serious, x-rated condition. One video went as far as to show Barbie and Ken having physical relations while hitting one another. Now this was late and we haven't spoken to Bella about it, we plan to do so later today. I don't know how much of these videos she watched, but in my opinion even the slightest was too much and knowing that Bella is in a curious faze because of the normal physical changes in her it is likely that she watched.

We have done everything we can to talk with Bella about sex. To explain that it is a gift from God to be shared between a husband and a wife. That it is a beautiful way to show their love and a way to aid in the bringing of new life to a family. NOW, my beautiful, young, christian child has these images seared into her brain. Images that by no means depict what sex should be. I have been praying this morning on just how to handle this, just what to say and while I know I must turn it over, it stills saddens me so incredibly much that my daughter's first experience with intimacy is via horrific and deplorable videos on youtube.

So I warn you parents, while there are perfectly innocent videos on the site, there are those also posted by creators who does not think, nor care of the significant and long lasting ramifications of their desire to harden a children's character!!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The "I believe" bug

I follow several blogs and found this on An Open Book and loved the here it goes.....

I believe I know God more and more every day.

I believe I am blessed with an incredible family.

I believe my husband is phenomenal.

I believe God moves mountains!

I believe St. Louis has surprised me.

I believe I will see snow this Christmas.

I believe that my friends are amazing!!!

I believe that chocolate milk is destined to end up on the floor.

I believe that three year olds are supposed to ruin clothes.

I believe that 10 year olds think they know everything.

I believe that cookies were meant to be devoured intimately.

I believe in Lysol!

I believe that highways are wonderful.

I believe that the letter "l" likes to stick.

I believe that dogs are among the best creatures created.

I believe that dog hair can hide anywhere!!!

I believe a little mess makes a home.

I believe in joy.

I believe that everything I need to know is biblical.

I believe in simplicity.

I believe Jesus Christ died for our sins.

I believe peanut butter is an essential part of a diet.

I believe age has it's privileges.

I believe Bella loves to talk.

I believe that I need to finish painting.

I believe that I could listen to music all day.

I believe in my prayer group.

I believe that God is in it!

I believe that there is nothing that can't be overcome!

I believe in LOVE!

I believe in Hope!

I believe in Grace!

I believe hearts change!

I believe families belong together!

I believe in babies!!

I believe its fun to play!

I believe that Dorian has the cutest ears ever!

I believe that construction crews find great pleasure in waking a neighborhood.

I believe the itsy bitsy spider is contagious!

I believe in peace!

I believe in streets of gold and crystal waters!

I believe in my prince of peace and king of glory!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Complacency - 1 : self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.

This has heavily been in my heart this week. I have seen and heard much from society lately that is frightening to me. Our nation is currently in a serious state that has many people concerned about their futures, that I do not question. Our intentions or mindset during this time, however, is. Many times we are not holding ourselves accountable for what we have done or areas that we have contributed that have further complicated our own personal standing. We are quick to call to God for help and shortly after we find ourselves out of the pit, we fail to recognize God daily. We draw near when we need him, but when things are good or going the way we want, we no longer spend time with Him or in His word. We focus our energies on earthly things and people that we think will bring about the changes we need and get so wrapped on the right things to say, do and people to do them that we end up leaving God out. Our entire focus shifts, ultimately, to a very selfish perspective that is all about the "greater good". What is best for everyone. First of all, it is impossible to please EVERYONE. Our desires and wants as human beings change nearly daily, so what we think we want or need today will not be the same in a year. We excuse each other's sin as our way of saying we love one another, we want opportunities to be entirely equal across the board even when it goes against God's direct word. We spend so much time and energy on what we think we have a purpose for, but in reality we don't really stand for one thing. And in the end, it all comes down, again to individual desires. Though we think we are helping one another, will we really be there for one another in the end? Truly, ask that question. When everyone gets what they want, will they finally be content, or will they only want more. Something else to fill a lacking? Complacency is a sickness, a sin. Take this scripture from Revelations for example:

~Revelations 3:15-17 - "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."~

First of all, how many times do we say things such as this - - "I did this, I did that, I have this....etc...". We fail to give it back, both in the glory and praise of it and in it's true physical sense. Also, how many of you like to drink lukewarm water? I would venture to guess that it is not your preferred tempertaure. It's shear taste is bland and disgusting. Most like it either cold or hot. This is a great example of believers in Christ that follow him in a half-hearted or indifferent way. Who consider themselves self-sufficient. Indifference leads to idleness, which goes entirely against God. He wants us to stand for something, His word clearly defines His will for us and we continue to seek a way that is entirely self satisfying, all the while thinking, we are loving one another and embracing one another. Think about it, would you knowingly throw a loved one into a fire? No, of course not, but how is going against God's word any different than that? It's not. We choose in this day and age to take apart God's word, we want Him with us when we think it's necessary, but any other time, when "we have it under control"....we are comfortable with the distance we put between God and ourselves.

The big question to ask yourself is, "What do I stand for?" and "Why?". Are we living each day looking forward to "that" day or are we just looking forward to tomorrow, to the change we "think" we need. Are we placing our hopes in earthly idols, following God only halfway? Or are we allowing our faith to burn and stir us into action for God? For the real greater good!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ribbons and Curls and Dresses that twirl....

this is what my life is made of.

No matter the occassion or the simplicity of the day, it seems that I find myself surrounded by things of the girly nature. Lately, Soph is mad about a small tutu she has, she insists on wearing it with her leggings, pajamas, you name it. And I have absolutely no intention of denying her this right. In fact, as we speak, she is twirling and twirling in the room whilst her ponytails whip around her. It really is divine to watch, really! To see the pure enjoyment on her face, the pleasure she gets from something so incredibly uncomplicated. It is again, another moment in the many that remind me of the innumerable mercies and gifts I have been given. This is but tiny minutes in the big picture that provide such beautiful clarity for those things which really matter! Not the houses, or cars, not the trips or technology, and certainly not the rights or the wrongs....but the most fluid of moments when you are granted a new set of glasses. Glasses that allow you the ability to see one thing; you know what I am talking about - that glimpse of heaven. And just like many times this week, I can look at my 3 year old and realize a genuine peace and joy in her that is breathtaking, a sense that makes my heart melt with gratitude for the obviousness of God in my life!

"At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." ~ Luke 10:21

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We are back!

And had a terrific time. There was not one thing I would change, short of another day! The girls even enjoyed themselves and had so much fun playing with their dolls.....of course, we had to hit the American Girl Place on Friday. Bella brought one of her dolls to have her hair "fixed" and Soph was in awe of the many dolls. In fact, she fell so in love with one that resembled her, Mart snuck away and purchased it, the big softy!!! Anyway, a great time was had by all. We truly fell in the love with the city and can not wait to go back!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Off to the Windy city with the family for a weekend. I am really looking forward to it. We've got lots of things planned, snacks and movies packed for the road and are ready to go. Although, I will add, that as much I as I am looking forward to it....I will personally be dressed like the abominable snowman himself....."cold" is not my friend! Back soon!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Emergency Warning Systems

This morning the city of St. Louis decided to test all of the warning systems. So about 10am a loud voice could be heard coming from the sky telling residents that the alarms were about to sound and reiterating that there was no cause for concern. I watched as one of our dogs, Dory, began to go a wee bit crazy. So I brought him inside and began to comfort him, which got me thinking......what a great idea. A warning system; an alarm to tell each of us when something it about to go wrong, to give us the heads up to take shelter or procede with caution. Like an internal know......"warning - you're about to trip over that curb", or "warning -you're about to say something stupid!". I mean wouldn't that be brilliant? Something that resounds in your mind and just blares the instant you think something idiotic or utter words that should never be spoken. My, wouldn't that save us alot of aggravation and embarrassment? Come to think of it, I guess we've already got one, the Holy Spirit! But as hard headed as I can be, on occassion, I could really use the blare instead of the oh so gentle tug!!! ;)

Friday, October 24, 2008

A sure fire way to feel old......

You know those moments, they are plentiful....but it seems that you notice them even more when you have kids. For instance, there is something I know about myself, something that I know I just shouldn't EVER do, I pay for it everytime.....and still I do it.

I twirl and twirl with Soph as if I am 3 again. I get such pleasure in hearing her giggle. She absolutely loves to fall to the ground in a dizzy stuper.....Me? Well, after two turns, I fall to the ground with great nausea and develope the lovely headache that comes shortly after, leaving me the rest of the day exhausted. What is up with that?

Children, while incredibly wonderful and such gifts, are life's sure way to remind you of your limitations. I think my husband can even attest to this; just ask him about the time he challenged Bella to a headstand competition!!! LOL!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


My husband and I were asked to speak to a congretation at our church's Wentzville location tomorrow. We know the minister; he and his wife have been so loving and wonderful to us in our transition and in our reconcilliation. I don't know exactly what to expect tomorrow, although I know that Rick said he will call us up at some point so we can share our story. He talked about how fantastic our experience is and thought it would really benefit some of his members.

Wow, what an opportunity! I am so pleased to be able to share our hardships and victories so that others can see the work God does. How marvelous it is, to explain that God is so able and that it is so important to turn our attention to Him, to allow Him to work. To share that the good Lord saw us through the many rough spots in our marriage and seperations. That it is only because of Him that we are united as a family under one roof now. Sure, there are moments, in our story that can be uncomfortable for the two of us, if we choose to look at it in an earthly way. There are many points to our story alone, that I know as a woman, some have thought of me as "weak". Most women would have chosen to walk away, they wouldn't have looked back, in fact, I've been told that, many times!! BUT it doesn't concern me, instead how fantastic is it to be able to say "See, see what God can do!"

The least my husband and I can do is give glory to Him and let everyone we meet know that He deserves our praises, that He deserves our daily attention, that He deserves the best we have to give everyday, that because of what He has done there is no limit to what we should do.

Nervous? Yes. Deliriously delighted? Absolutely!

~2 Corinthians 5:20 - We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.~

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Even the dreariest of days...

I woke today to the sound of little footsteps. The size 9er's wandered to my bedside and as I pulled the comforter over to make room, I noticed my husband was already up. I pulled my sweet Sophie Grace in bed to cuddle a couple of minutes when I recalled a promise to Bella that I would curl her hair for school pictures. Which is beyond comprehension, since she already has incredible wavy locks, and the thought of them alone make me chuckle. It's interesting, human nature is most often to want what we don't have; more money, smaller thighs, a better car, and yes even curls! But as the thoughts and images rolled briefly through my head I was reminded one more time that God has blessed me abundantly. I smiled, grabbed Soph and meandered downstairs to find my wonderful husband trying to hush the two canine maniacs, otherwise known as Zeke and Dory.

As soon as I saw him, my Marty, there was a hush in my soul. The Good Lord placed it there for good reason. It is one year ago this month that my husband and I seperated for one final time, with the intention of divorce. The girls and I packed and left our home in New Orleans on way to Louisville, Ky. God has blessed me to overcome many things over the years, but that was a time that tried even the strongest part of my heart. I silenced my mind and diligently worked to see everyone off this morning and run a couple of errands. All the while, listening to complaints about the dreariness of the day.

Shortly after coming back home, I sat for a few minutes of reflection. I remembered a scripture God brought to my attention over and over the past year; Mark 10:27 NIV "...With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." All these years, married, I had hoped and prayed for my husand's salvation. I have seen God allow miracles in my life in so many ways. For starters the rescue of my youngest child's life, twice, and through my father's death. I have known Him personally for many years and known the possibilities, but after so long, I began to doubt that my husband's salvation would be something I would see as his wife. I wanted to, with all my heart, but it didn't seem to be in the cards and for the first time I began to accept it. I was ready to turn over my marriage and admit defeat. While God comforted me in my decision and calmed my soul, He had other plans. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV "For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." So in typical divine fashion and unbeknownest to me, the Good Lord was preparing my groom. God was calling his name with great clarity and on a cold, winter day, my beloved finally answered.

It is in simple moments each day, even in grey, wet form like this one that my heart waits with every beat, the Lord by my side, for my new husband to come home. Days like this remind me of Psalm 37:4 NIV "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."

With every drop of rain I am reminded that He has not forsaken me or you, that with God all things are possible; doors open and mountains move!

~Psalm 145: 1-3 NIV "I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom." ~

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pins and needles - okay, just needles!

Saturday was a great day! Mart and I had plans to go to a fundraiser and I had been looking forward to our time out all week. The sitter came and we were off. We attended the function where we had great food, listened to a fabulous musician and had a table with the best view of the arch! Afterwards, we went to a chocolate bar where we both had two amazing desserts and then we were off to Mart's hotel to check out the live jazz in the restaurant, it was a terrific time.

Shortly after getting home, Mart locked up the house and I went upstairs to kiss the girls. I wandered back in to Bella's room a second time to close the window and as I was passing through my foot met something that left an amazing ache. I dropped to the floor and asked Marty to turn the light on, Bella had woken. I explained that I didn't know what I stepped on but thought part of it was in my foot. In an instant, Mart found the culprit....a sewing needle that must have fallen out of a box we had been unpacking. My first thought was that I was so thankful it didn't get one of the girls or dogs, or even Mart. I hobbled into the bathroom where Marty attempted to take it out...gotta tell you strange sound and feeling when you hear steel being scraped in your own foot. Despite his effort we were unsuccessful and I opted to sleep on it for the night...hoping by some miracle it would be better in the morning. By the time I woke it was worse and with one touch realized it was best to head to the ER. After much time, xrays, meds, and needles, including a tetanis shot, the doctor performed minor foot surgery on me and removed the needle. It was larger than we thought, just over a centimeter and had gone into my foot about an inch and a half. The doctor told me that she takes injuries like that very seriously, which I greatly appreciate, but when she told me she was considering keeping me overnight to get a great number of IV meds in I was shocked. She was really concerned about infection, due to the many layers of tissue the needle passed through, but after determining that she had gotten all of it and feeling like I had received a significant amount of meds already, she agreed to let me go home under alot of promises and conditions - not to mention the horse size 500 mg pill I need to take three times a day.

Marty and the girls were amazing. The girls weren't allowed in the back so Bella took care of Sophie in the waiting room and after awhile, Marty and I decided it best if he take them home and try to find someone that could look after them. Eventually he did and by the time he made it back to the hospital it was done and over and was only a short time until I was discharged. I was plum worn out by the time we got home around 4 PM yesterday, between the actual incident and the percocet it didn't surprise me.

I'll tell ya though, I think my time in the ER was more peaceful than what Mart experienced that afternoon! LOL! What could have been a yucky experience turned into some nice peaceful moments......nearly like that in a spa......I said NEARLY!!!!

So today, I am just tired, and my shoulder is really sore from my tetanis shot. My foot is definitely tender, but well on it's way....looking forward to the stiches coming out in 9 days!! I plan to take full advantage of the doctor's advice and enjoy bathing this week. Wonder if the 5 day "work release" she gave me applies to laundry and dinners......hmmmmmmmm??!!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Last night something amazing occurred in our home. An opportunity to be a part of something so beautiful I was overwhelmed with joy! It was so simple and yet so beautiful that I am still beaming just thinking about it. Some of you know there are some difficulties with Soph, some areas that are still a work in progress, although she is turning corners in incredible ways. She is still home with me and while we read, color, draw (or as she says dror), she knows her shapes and so much more, she has never made an attempt or the effort to draw her own picture. She will happily color one in, but has been limited on designing her work of art.

Well, while Mart and I were preparing bowls of cake and ice cream in the kitchen, sweet Sophie Grace came running in asking us to look at her "drorings". What we expected to be the perfect, but typical squiggles of art ended up being two beautiful masterpieces. Completely accomplished on her own with no input or help from anyone. They are faces, with hair and eyes, ears and on one, legs. What a milestone to reach. Thank you God for another speechless moment!!

So like any mother, I have to share what my little Van Gogh created. I am so proud!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Candles on the cake!

So today is my birthday, yep, 37! Simply put, this is by far one of the best birthdays. Today has been filled with so much, and the amazing thing about them, is that even if it wasn't my birthday, they would still be incredible moments.

The best gift I have ever been gifted is faith in God. It truly is a gift, I am more and more aware daily as I age, that it is something not everyone has. I wouldn't trade it for anything and no amount of money, material item or hugs and kisses could compare. Faith is something that is so indescribable, so incredibly beautiful.

I knew when I made the decision to see my marriage through that God would provide and that I would see reason behind ALL things, but the blessings that he has bestowed in me and for me and my family just bring me to tears near daily. God has given me a testimony that truly proves he exchanges ashes for beauty. Words can not express all I have in my soul and yet my soul can not contain the love and gratitude I feel.

So today I want to say thank you to God. Thank you for all that is and has been my life. For my husband, who truly is amazing. Wow, that feels so good to say and mean, you have no idea. There are changes in this man that are there only because God placed them. Changes that I couldn't have conceived of, emotions that are relentless in their reminders of mercy, a life I have always dreamed of. And it is only because God saw fit that we have it. So for any of you enduring anything in life, know, know with great passion that with God anything is possible. Anything!!!

I know that I am precious! And I know today, on my birthday that God is as near to me as the day of my birth. I know that he smiles at my peace and rejoices with me daily. There is a daily dance in my heart and my Lord and Savior provides the remarkable tune!

~Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; … 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. 4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. … 9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed. …
~62:3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God." Isa 61:1 - 62:3 (KJV)

Monday, September 22, 2008


Just gotta say today I continue to be amazed by the grace God gives me on a daily basis! Life is good and God is better!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I finally found who I've been looking for!!

Okay for starters refer to the "Cat-tastophe" story should you need more info and to know how we got here. That said, most of you know that I had a dog named Laddie. He was my wedding gift from Martin and truly the best dog I have ever had. When he died due to bone cancer on December 26, 2003 I felt like I lost a baby. And I have missed him every day since. I wasn't ready to even think about looking for another dog until some time last year. I would peruse the ads and online sites looking for just the right one. The girls picked out their dog Zeke last November and have been happy with him since, but I was still aching for my Laddie.

After not being able to find out about the cat the other day the girls and I went to Animal Control to try to find it and see for ourselves. The first thing that stunned me was the number of animals. I was overwhelmed. I will say the facilities were clean and the people so nice, they truly seemed to care about these creatures, but I saw animals that were so pitiful my heart broke. We walked into the main area and my head turned to cage 24. A black and brown fuzzy dog just laying. He lifted his head when I came by, but other than that was not reactive. I inquired about him and the woman there told me that she thought he was going to be adopted. So I smiled and put my hand to the cage and moved on. We found the cats, but could not find the black and white kitty from the night before. We played with many of the cats. In fact there was one that kept grabbing my shoulder...he was beautiful. We decided it was time to go and on our way out stopped back by number 24, the name on his cage was Dorian. He put his head to the door so that I could feel it, beautiful....just beautiful. I couldn't help it, the tears just started coming. So I pulled myself together and walked back through. We passed through the runs and there were full bred dogs there.....3 full grown "Turner and Hootch" dogs. All 3 with eye problems...two of them couldn't even see, they were at their gates sniffing us like crazy. More tears.

We decided it was truly time to leave, but as we walked past reception I asked about "24". Their information reflected that he was available, but I chose to walk out and head home. The last thing we needed was another dog. When I got the girls in the car there was a huge tug on my heart. I called Marty and he told me "if he is what you want, get him." I couldn't believe he was so open about the idea. I took the girls back in and asked to walk him. We spent about ten minutes with him and I fell in love. I filled out the application and agreed to wait until the following day for approval. After alot of waiting, I got the call. He was ours, Dorian was ours.

Soph and I went to get him about 4pm. He is very calm and uncertain. He had been in that cage for 4 months and appears to have been mistreated prior, so we have our work cut out for us. BUT his eyes tell such a story that it speaks to my heart in a way I can not explain. I feel like he was waiting for us this whole time to bring him home. We know nothing about him, he could be between 3 and 4 years old and he has a slight limp, and is terribly underweight with matted fur. He is a little "escape artist" but he is trying so hard to trust it is nothing short of beautiful. I hope to get him into the vet in the next few days. But they won't tell me anything I need to know. What I know is, he is who I have been looking for, he is supposed to be with us and he is finally HOME!!

Welcome home Dorian!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cat - tastrophe!!

We had a church event last night and were running late. We hopped in the car and about 1 block from the house noticed a little boy, I would say between 5 & 7 looking as if he was "up to no good". We drove by slowly when we noticed that he was holding a cat. I continued to watch and became so upset when I saw that he was trying to force the cat's head in between the rod iron rales of a fence. I told Marty what it looked like to me and he slowed further as I watched closer. I was stunned with the boy walked out into the road and threw the cat into the curbside sewer. Marty u-turned in the road and before he could come to a complete stop I hopped out and asked this boy knowing full well what had happened, "what did you do with the cat son?" - he shook his head and told me, "It just fell in". I told him that I saw what he had done, that it was horrible. He continued to yell that it had fallen in. And I continued to say "Honey, I know exactly what happened. I saw the whole thing." By this point, Mart had gotten out of the car and began to address him also while I leaned into the sewer to look for the cat. I couldn't see it, but as I called out to it it would meow loudly, as if crying. It broke my heart. A couple of adults walked over to see what was going on just as the boy ran into his home crying.

We explained and one of them called 911 and informed us someone would arrive shortly. I knew it wouldn't be a priority. Unfortunately, with the storm that passed through and the outages crews were busy. The last thing they had time for was a cat, but we stayed and hoped we would see them come. Within 10 minutes we flagged down a passing police officer who came over and was so tiny it blew me away that she was a St. Louis cop. She was so sweet and reiterated that the day hadn't been the best across the board. After explaining the whole thing she agreed to stay until animal control came and took care of the cat. We all agreed that we needed to head to church.

All night all we could think about was that poor cat. We had been told that the cat was following the boy all day. They didn't think it belonged to anyone and it broke my heart further to think that this stray who had been so trusting was so mistreated. It is my hope that when the boy's parents arrived home that they addressed the whole thing with him. I know it is a fine line between animal abuse and abuse to people. Several times we admitted that we had the thought of adopting this cat, but agreed that we have never had a cat and don't know the first thing about them so also agreed that it wasn't feasable.

That said, I have called animal control and the humane society to try to find out how the cat is and neither place can tell me anything. I think I might just have to take a look for myself!!! Poor kitty!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 2 in pictures - The Bella Perspective

A little late, but this is the next day in pictures. Almost entirely taken from a 10 year old's perspective!

On our way downtown for an unexpected trip to the dentist. This is Purina's headquarters.

The Arch and the St. Louis Cardinals stadium!

Back to the hotel for the "drop off". Leaving Soph with Dad so that Bella and I can go.

Red and a movie - what more could a girl want?

Pink Jellies!

Red waits too!

Gotta plot the walk!

The arch is always peaking!

Bella loved that the sidewalk was "sparkly".

Not just any pigeon...the mother of ALL pigeons!

A statue on olive street!

I love love love that Bella appreciates the old architecture!!!

Floor 18 - Dr. Bartles!

Bella's upside down portrait!
The kid's got character, what can I say!!

Mom's purse! Don't ask, I don't know!

An after school trip to the grocery!

(BTW, Why there are so many different grocery stores in this country is beyond me!)


She wouldn't be Bella if she didn't find something sweet!

Ready for check out!


So not happy with me!

Sharing mint "choca" chip ice "Keem"

Bath time for Gracies!

Plum worn out! Although she'd never admit it!;)

The war zone...uh, play room!

They DO breed!!!!!!!!!!

So do these!!!!!

And today's line up by Sophie is.........

Getting ready for bed!

The things we mothers have to do are like pulling teeth! Literally! ;)

Oh the sweet sound of slumber!!!

How does she breathe???