Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Nice Day

Today our senior high youth group had a service project and a Christmas party. We had to be to church by 8am and I was NOT happy about that this morning. I was whining and complaining the whole time I was getting ready. It turned out to be a great day, though. During the school year, I don't work with the teens on Wednesday night youth group. I work with the Awana Sparkies. (which you all know I love) Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy being with the teens. I go to Sunday School with them and activities, but the activities are the times where I really get to connect with the kids and get to know them better. They are an encouragement to me. Today we went to help out with an inner city program that reaches out to a very difficult area. I believe that this city is rated one of the worst in the country. The kids were adorable and the gospel was shared. It was so interesting to listen to and see the way that they ran the program. I was blessed by going and hope that we will be able to continue helping this ministry out in the future. Cheney left feeling that the ministry was a very worthwhile thing and I really appreciate my sons being able to participate in something like that. All in all, it was a great day, even if I did have to get up early on a Saturday morning.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thank You Lord

Last Wednesday, we were all getting ready to go to Awana. It was a big night for Ashleigh and Bethany. The T&T club was going to a nursing home. We had never done a trip like that with the clubbers before. Bethany, and her two friends, Rachael and Kelly, headed out to get there early as the T&Ters were leaving early. I got my things together and the rest of us prepared to leave. As I was heading out the door to begin loading up my Jeep, I got a call from Bethany. She had been in an accident. They were all okay, although she thought both cars were totaled, but the other man was trapped in his car. That's all I knew. I told her I would be right there and Alan and I decided that we would head over to the accident to be with the girls and Cheney would drive himself, his brother and a friend to church. As we were leaving, I handed Cheney my story for Sparks and explained really quickly what he would need to do to run my club.

We headed out and soon came upon the accident scene. There were firetrucks, ambulances, and police cars. Bethany's car was facing the opposite direction and parked on the other side of the road from the car that hit her. After being directed across the street by a fireman (and being told repeatedly by my husband that I needed to "calm down") we found that the girls were all sitting inside one of the ambulances. The older man was still stuck in his car. Much to my pleasant surprise, the ambulance door opened and I saw our friend who happens to be a state trooper sitting with the girls taking their statements. What an extra blessing for some girls who were pretty shaken up to see a friendly face.

We decided that we would take the girls to the hospital to make sure they were okay. Bethany was holding her arm funny and we thought it could be broken. The other girls were stiff and sore and Rachael might have hit her head. The emergency room was a mixture of concern, relief, more relief and a fuller realization of what the girls had been through.

The girls had been stopped in traffic waiting to go through a circle (it's this weird thing that they have in NJ). Without any warning to them, a car slammed into the back of them. We don't have the police report, yet, but the girls do not feel like the man was braking and we know the speed limit there is 50 mph. Somehow Bethany's car did not hit a car in front of her, but flew into the other lane of traffic and at one point was nearly on its side. Bethany tried to control the car with all her might and was able to make some quick decisions as far as hitting a telephone pole v. running over a mailbox and stop sign. There was one point where they were sure their lives were over. They were once again in the other lane of traffic and a car was coming right for Bethany's side of the car. Somehow the car managed to stop before hitting them.

All in all, we had some really sore girls (no broken arm) that we had to send back to PBU to complete their week of finals. However, I will take that any day over what could have happened. God was so gracious to us and kept our girls with us. God blessed me to be able to get the call from Bethany herself so I would know she was okay. He had our state trooper friend on duty and on the scene. God kept other people from being hit and gave Bethany the presence of mind to think things through in a very stressful situation.

It was also a blessing to see all of my kids jump in to help each other out. Cheney taught my story, ran game time at Awana for my club and did it beautifully. Ashleigh and Kevin came home with Cheney and Davin which let Cheney not be in charge anymore and be able to relax a bit. Two other friends of Bethany's waited until we got home from the hospital and took her back to school. We were able to finish the night by praying together and thanking God for the incredible mercy He showed to us on that night.

Thank you, Father. We never know what a day will bring. Thank you for your protection that you granted to all who were on the road that night.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tagged, but this time not embarrassed...

I was tagged by my friend Kelli. Thank you Kelli!

8 Shows I Watch:

(I really don't watch much t.v., mostly DVDs, so I will try:)
1. The Office
2. Gilmore Girls
3. Jon & Kate Plus 8 (If Alan is not home:)
4. The Amazing Race
5. Little People, Big World
6. Good Morning America (I left The Today Show after they were so offensive a few months ago)
7. That's all I can think of.

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. laundry
2. kept Davin home from school since he was still sick
3. did nebulizer treatments for Davin
4. took the dogs out
5. made a blueberry pie for Alan to take to work
6. ate pizza with my extended family for official "pizza night"
7. talked to my long lost friend on the phone
8. worked at Three Nails Construction

8 Places I Like to Eat:

1. Bertuccis
2. Five Guys Burgers and Fries
3. Panera Bread
4. Friendlys
5. Outback Steakhouse
6. Pirones
7. TGI Fridays
8. Fuddruckers

8 Things I Look Forward To:

1. All my kids being together
2. Adding to our family hopefully someday
3. Having an addition put on our house
4. Heaven (Davin will be able to walk all by himself!)
5. Vacation
6. Awana
7. Evenings with Alan
8. Seeing my children serve the Lord

8 Things on My Wish List:

1. A kidney for Kyler
2. Davin to swallow all the time
3. A wheelchair van (I think, although I am really dragging my feet, so am I really ready???)
4. Dinners where I only feed myself:)
5. Hardwood floors
6. Countertops
7. Three Nails to thrive
8. Davin to read (and us to know that he reads;)

I won't tag anyone else, but this was a fun list, so maybe you should try it.

For a Season

Our family has moved many, many times over the years. I believe we are living in our 14th location presently. Some were local moves, but many of them were not. At each stop of our lives, God has blessed me with some amazing friends. It has been sad to leave each place, but I could always look back and see how God provided just what I needed for that time in my life. Just yesterday, I reconnected with my very best friend of my late teens and early twenties. We met when our husbands were both in the Navy and we were living in Navy housing in Saratoga Springs. We each had one very young child and I was pregnant with my second. One day we sat on the playground and watched our children play. I told her of my "plan" for having children. I was going to have four. I would have my third when Ashleigh went to kindergarten and my fourth when the new baby went to kindergarten. She said she hadn't thought about it, but thought that sounded like a good plan. We both did just that. It was so much fun to talk to her on the phone and catch up with our now grown and nearly grown children. God had us to be friends at a time when we were without our husbands a great deal of time. We relied so much on each other and we also grew so much in our faith with our Savior at that time. When we moved to different locations, we parted with many tears and much sadness. Through the years we had kept in touch here and there, but just recently reconnected and what a pleasant surprise. God really does provide just the friend that I need, just when I need them. We are at such similar stages in life and have so much to share.

Monday, November 17, 2008

So Much to Think About

Yesterday my husband and my boys and I were blessed to be able to go to Washington D.C.'s Holocaust Museum. What a journey it takes you on. Two of my children have researched this subject extensively in school, but I do not remember learning much about it while I was in school. While my children were learning about it, they shared a lot of things with me, though.

It really made me think about a lot of things. Adolf Hitler never pretended to be someone he was not. From the very beginning, he told everyone what he stood for and what his intentions were. He was clear as could be. His reign did not happen over night. It was gradual and the whole world watched it happen.

I looked at so many pictures of people. People who were certainly just like me and just like you. They had hopes and dreams for their families. They had so much to offer the world. Where in the world did anyone get the idea that they did not deserve to live and were less worthy than someone else. They often times didn't know what they were about to face. I read about the different policy changes that went into effect. Little by little, rights were taken away from entire groups of people. There are so many sad aspects to this that it is hard to wrap my head around it. It certainly gives me much to think about. I don't want to forget what I learned and what I saw.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Birthday Boy

Happy 16th birthday, Davin Boy! I can not even believe it has been sixteen years since you entered my world!!

I was going to share some of my story of Davin's life and the struggles we have gone through together, but I think that is better left for another day. Today is his big 16th birthday and I am celebrating Davin today!!! I will share 16 things about Davin.

1. Davin has very flirty blue eyes.(He knows how to use them. I can remember when he was as young as 7 months old and he was batting his eyes at someone:)

2. Davin is the baby in our family and we do not let him forget that. Okay, well, I don't, anyway.

3. Davin has a wheelchair that is black and has sparkles in the paint.

4. Davin is in grade 9-2. He gets to stay in each high school grade for two years if we want him to. I don't see any reason not to.

5. Davin has a great sense of humor.

6. Davin sleeps with our puppy Rocky every night. Rocky sleeps right on his legs, but it doesn't seem to bother him.

7. When Davin was born, they immediately said that he looked just like his Daddy.

8. Davin adores his Daddy and his brother Cheney and wants to be just like them.

9. He also adores his sisters Ashleigh and Bethany and they have always taken excellent care of him.

10. He has a one-on-one aide at school and I have always thought he feels badly for the kids who don't have one. Maybe they are just not special enough or cute enough???? (I think that is what he may be thinking)

11. Davin has been flipped upside down in his wheelchair at least three times. Once on a playground, once in a ditch and once on the Awana circle.

12. He models patience for me constantly.

13. Davin is very social and loves to be around the action. You can not do anything without him knowing it, because he is always watching.

14. Davin LOVES to eat and he really LOVES to eat sweets!

15. Davin rides a yellow bus to school and he much prefers that over his mother taking him.

16. I am not sure what my life would look like without this boy. He has changed who I am in so many ways and I have learned so much from growing with him.

It's going to be a great day!

Cheney had some to add even though it makes more than 16:)

17. Davin LOVES to be naked. He also likes me to make a big deal about how he is naked and I don't want any naked boys in my living room.

18. Every day is his birthday. Whenever anyone is singing happy birthday, Davin is grinning from ear to ear like it is for him.

19. Most every day is the "best day of Davin's life" AGAIN!!

Good job, Cheney. You know your brother well.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Singing and Dancing









Today I was blessed to have both of my girls at home for the whole afternoon. We had such a good time together and Davin certainly found it much more entertaining than when it is just the two of us after school. We played lots and lots of music that we had listened to so many times while the girls were growing up and of course, we had to do some "living room dancing". That was a favorite past time for many years and still is. I really have some great moves:)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tagged

I was tagged, but not in the normal "blogging" sense of the word. You see, the other day, my sister and I made plans to meet for lunch. I put on a new outfit and was feeling pretty good. I headed into work to get a few things done before going to meet her. I walked into the restaurant and sat at a table and waited for my sister. We had a very nice lunch and then headed out to our cars. It was at that point, that my sister (so lovingly and with hardly any laughing at all) took two HUGE stickers off of the back of my new pants. Of course, I really just wanted everyone to know I had on a new pair of pants AND what size they were:) My sister could barely keep herself together, she was laughing so hard. I realized I would never again be able to eat there and it also explained why the man in the restaurant had been staring at me. So, off I went to the grocery store to pick up a couple things I needed. I picked my purse up when I got to the register (realizing that no one in the store had seen my earlier spectacle) and saw that the two huge stickers were stuck to the outside of my purse that I had been carrying around on my shoulder. Naturally, I hurried to my car and called my sister to tell her this news that would give her an even bigger boost to her day and make her feel pretty good about how she was doing today:)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Report from Dr. Herman

Davin saw Dr. Herman today. Dr. Herman is his ortho surgeon who did his surgery a year ago. He said Davin's x-rays look great! His other hip is still fine and it couldn't be better. He said we have done a great job:) (Love that) The only thing we need to think about is whether we will take out the hardware in Davin's hip. It is a rather large piece of hardware and it is very visible from the outside of his hip. Dr. Herman usually removes it when a person is as thin as Davin is. To remove the hardware would require the same surgery basically, minus sawing the bone. Yikes! I didn't realize that. I believe he would be casted again as well as he wouldn't be able to move it for 4-6 weeks. So, we will wait and see how things are in 6 months.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

1 Year Ago

Yesterday was one year ago since Davin's hip surgery. The date is so etched in my mind since there were so many things to do to prepare before the big surgery date between the surgery itself and the upcoming wedding. When I think back to last year and all that Davin went through, I am so thankful for God's grace through that trial and I am thankful that He chose to answer "yes" when I asked that He restore Davin to what he was prior to surgery (meaning no feeding tube, or c-pap machine, etc.) God did!

Tomorrow we go see Dr. Herman, the doctor who did Davin's surgery. Davin LOVES Dr. Herman and I must say, I like him a whole lot, too. He was the only person in the hospital who knew who Davin really was. He would come in everyday and try to encourage me and make sure Davin was doing alright (even though none of his issues were ortho-related).

Thinking back to last year, also reminded me what a surprise support system my blogger friends have been. I have known many of you for over a year now and you prayed with me and with my son through that trial.

Praise God that in August, Davin's therapist reported that he was back to what he was physically prior to surgery. Davin didn't eat real food for about 6 months after his surgery, but last night, he tried to out-eat his father and brother.

Now I have the opportunity to pray for Dennis and for Kyler as they face medical issues. It is such a privilege to be able to support other mothers in the same way I was supported.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Now More Details

So, last night, I wanted to let you know the big news! This morning, I thought I would share some more details. None of us thought that "B" would understand enough in just two weeks to make a commitment to Christ. It went through our minds, but seemed like he just had too far to jump. Let me back up and tell you the background.

Last week, on the way to NJ, Bethany and "B" were talking. He was not sure he was going to like Awana, especially the part where you had to learn verses. He asked Bethany if he could just bring his homework in and work on that while others learned their verses. He said that he just really didn't like the Bible. (That was just a week ago!!!!!) Anyway, Bethany said that was fine and put no pressure on him. He does not have much of a church background at all.

So, last week, I wrote how super excited he was and how much he shared with Bethany. This week, (they both come home to our house and have dinner with us and play rock band:) he came ready to pass his section. As he was working through the handbook time he ended up with a question. He told Bethany that he was looking and looking for the answer about how to have faith, but he couldn't find the answer. It was time for counsel time, but Bethany shared with her Dad that B had a question about faith.

Alan and B ended up going to talk. Alan didn't think there was any way that B would understand everything, but as he was talking to him, felt led to explain further and further. Alan told me at the end of the night that B had gotten saved, but I didn't hear the whole story until Bethany relayed it to me through the words that B had told her. He explained to Bethany that man had fallen because of sin and that the punishment for sin is DEATH! He then told Bethany not to worry because Jesus paid the penalty for that sin on the cross and that if he believed that, he could live with him in heaven forever. He then told Bethany, "I believe it. All of it!"

Bethany shared that the most exciting thing about heaven for her is that Davin will be able to do what all of us can do. He will be able to walk and talk. Well, B has a brother who has "problems", too. He said, "Do you mean that when we get to heaven, my brother won't have problems anymore?" (Oh, this is really getting me choked up...) Bethany said that it is true if his brother believes in Jesus as his savior, too. So, B is going to make sure he shares everything with his brother. When they got home, his brother was asleep, though, so maybe today:)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wow!

"B" asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior tonight. I stand in awe of an awesome God. Enough said.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Strolling Down Memory Lane...

Christine tagged all who read her blog and I have really enjoyed reading her trip down memory lane as well as Rachel's. So, here is mine. Let's see....

23 years ago, I was 18 years-old and a brand new Mommy. Alan had just left (maybe yesterday) to go back to Great Lakes, IL where he was stationed in the Navy. I would be moving out with him as soon as I went in for my six week check-up. I was totally nervous about moving away from my Mom. I was also totally in love with being a mom. I loved everything about it and knew right away that was my "thing". That was to be my career.

19 years ago, I was 22, and I had two little girls who were 2 and 4 years-old and we were living in Virginia Beach, VA. We were counting down the trash days until Daddy came home from the ship "far, far away" as Bethany would say. Alan was on a Med-cruise and had been gone since May. His return date was in November and we counted trash days because the trash came once a week. It seemed less depressing than counting each day. We missed him terribly and although it was one of the hardest things ever, I learned so much and grew so much. I remember trying to find at least one thing to do each day that was outside of the house so the days would not seem too long. We watched the "Daddy tape" that we made of Alan and the girls before he left just about every day. I sat down and wrote to Alan every day of the Med-cruise except for five. I LIVED for the mail man to come. There was no email back in the olden days:)

15 years ago, I was 26, I think, and learning to deal with the reality of my son being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We had just finished doing a bunch of tests through the summer. What a devestating time for me. I felt so responsible for him being injured. I had the most amazing pediatrician who was such a cheerleader for me. I was dealing with therapists coming into my home and it seemed like I was being crushed by new things all the time. It wasn't until that December that I really let myself start to grieve.

13 years ago we had just moved to Ontario, NY and were looking for a new church. God was so amazing and so clear in his leading. It is a long story, but God lead us to an incredible group of people who would support me through many things. Of all the places we ever lived (and there have been many) that is our home. This was also the time of year when our oldest turned double digits. I spent my days taking care of my house and taking care of my boys while my girls were at school. The kids and I would "living room dance" lots of nights while we waited for Daddy to come home. It was a wonderful time in my life.

5 years ago, I had an unhappy daughter at Word of Life Bible Institute. Although she now realizes how much she learned there, it was a tough time in her life. Therefore, it was tough in my life. God also lead us to NJ to be near to our families. My Dad had just had a traumatic brain injury in March and I had been traveling back and forth alot. I did not know what kind of care he would continue to need, but I knew it would be hard if it all fell on my Mom and sister. I am so thankful for the opportunities that God has given me to be with my Dad (and the rest of our families, too).

Today I got a call that a certain husband had forgotten the cord to his laptop, so I ran that over to him. From there, I went to work and then had a dentist appointment. No cavities!!! I stopped at the pediatrician to pick up a form, stopped by the job site to have some checks signed, went to the bank and back to work for a few minutes to drop off another check. I got lunch, came home and waited for Davin. Davin and I made cookies and I threw in some laundry. I fed Davin, went to pick up Cheney from soccer practice and then took him to look for some cord thing for his cell phone. Dropped the boys off at home (dinner was in the oven) and headed over for a youth group dinner with the girls. I came home, did a bit more laundry, found Cheney's soccer shorts that he was sure I lost and did the ironing for tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

First Night, Great Start

Last night was our first night of Awana for the new club year! I am crazy busy on Awana days and especially yesterday. I was very excited for last night, but I really had not thought through the details of the night. With the help of many others, everything ran very smoothly, I think and we had a great time. I love teaching K-2. They soak up so much of what you are telling them and generally they are pretty willing to go with anything you are doing at the moment.

The most exciting thing of the night came later when Bethany called me to tell me about her night. Both of my girls (and Kevin:) work in Awana, but they work with the older kids. Last night Bethany had been able to bring the boy (B) that she nannies for. He is in 4th grade.

On the way to our house last night, B asked if he would have to learn Bible verses since he didn't like the Bible very much. Bethany told him that he didn't have to, but if he did he would earn points for his team. (He is very competative) So, after club, he could not stop talking about the night. One of his leaders had given him a Bible (which he previously had not liked very much) and he was going to read it! He was so excited that he had his own. He also was working on learning a verse on the way home. He told Bethany that he was struggling with the one verse and Bethany recited it for him. He was shocked that she knew it! Bethany explained that she had gone to Awana and learned the verses. By the end of the car ride, B had learned two verses, so he will be able to pass them next week. Bethany was beyond excitement when I talked to her! To think that B could give his heart to the Lord this year... wow! Bethany didn't even really dream of this. To top things off, B's Mom PAID Bethany (which gave her gas money since she drives for at least an hour one way to Awana). Bethany also told me that even though the Mom is not very "religious" as she puts it, she sees that Bethany is different. She said that she knows there are not many young people Bethany's age that live the way she does. What an encouragement to Bethany! People are always watching our lives. This Mom is thinking that when her boys are Bethany's age, she would like them to be the same way, so she sees value in sending her boys to Awana now.

Wow! Bethany wasn't sure she would even be able to sleep. This was just a job for her in the beginning and now she was able to really minister to B. You never know what God is going to use.

What a great start! I can't wait to see what God has in store for this year:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And The Answers Are......

Such suspense, I know. The funniest thing about my list of "who did it", was that even my girls were not quite sure they knew all of them. It took Ashleigh quite a while to figure out who in the world was expelled from school for three months!

1. Cheney Alan (my climber) scaled down the outside of our house. He tied a rope across the hallway on his sister's door knob and then strung it across his room and out his window. I thought he was upstairs playing, so I was very surprised when my five-year-old walked in the front door with a huge grin on his face. He was very proud! (He's still pretty proud of that story, actually)

2. Ashleigh broke the glass out of our front door while pounding on it so that I would let her in. She had run out of the house in anger, so I decided to lock the door and not let her decide when she was coming and going. Needless to say, she was a bit angry and started banging on the door. She was shocked when it broke and VERY remorseful.

3. Cheney ate the middle of a cherry pie and somehow questioned the rest of us as to who ate the crust? Like it was his personal pie or something!

4. Bethany cut her thumb with a small axe while we were away visiting friends. She came running in holding her thumb and screaming. I was afraid it was cut off and hated to look. Alan decided that we did not need to go to the ER and could just use butterfly band-aids to fix it up. The next day we went to our peditrician (since we were home now) and he said it should have had stitches. Immediately tears were in my eyes. My pediatrician (he was soooo awesome and knew me so well) was not even facing me, so he did not know I was close to tears and without turning around, said very sternly, "Listen, this is not a big deal. This is her thumb, not her face. We would have stitched it yesterday, but you don't need to worry about this. He had been through all of Davin's tests and diagnosis with us and he was such a big supporter.

5. Davin boy was kicked out of school. It is a BIG long story that I probably could have pursued legally, but in the end he was kicked out of school for feeding issues. The school just neglected to tell me. So, on the first day of school, Davin got ready and sat in his wheelchair looking out the sliding glass door. So, he waited and waited and waited. For hours, we waited and finally called to see where the bus was. School, even then was not forth coming as to why Davin was not enrolled in school. Really long story, really touchy subject for me. Can you tell? Anyway, when people would see Davin out with me, they would ask about school and I would tell them that he was kicked out. Davin would smile really, really big! He loved it. Then, people would look at this sweet-looking little boy in a wheelchair and ask, "What did he do?????". It was funny.

6. Ashleigh had the stalker. (Nan, I think you are thinking of a different stalker person:) I won't go into this much, but eventually this boy made a threat to kill someone and I had to go to school and remove Ashleigh from the school, call the person who was threatened and have him taken out of school, and eventually involve the police. Tough day.

7. Bethany Alyssa lied about eating the brownies. This is a famous story in our house. We told the kids that we were going to punish everyone until the person who did it came clean. She did not come clean. Cheney eventally took the blame for it. (He confessed, but was lying because he really didn't do it) About three months later, Cheney came clean that he had lied to cover for Bethany.

8. Cheney had tubes put in his ears when he was just 10 months old. That is the youngest any of my children have had surgery.

9. Bethany shaved her legs when she was just a little toddler and shaved huge chunks of skin off her leg. She has a scar to this day because of that. She really was made of steel, that girl.
10. Davin was tied to the bed his first morning after sleeping in his big boy bed. Cheney had a little bat man rope thing and was pretending to tie Davin up in between the bed and the ladder. I guess Davin was having fun until Cheney left him there and went to do something else. Davin was crying and when I went in there was this little itty bitty rope and Davin was wedged in between the bed and ladder.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Ashleigh Diane!!

23 years ago, my Mom and I were in a labor room. She was my labor coach. Alan was away in Great Lakes, IL in the Navy and was waiting for the Navy to give him clearance to come home to be with me. We were hoping he would make it before she was born. Nope! My Mom and I got to welcome little Ashleigh Diane into the world. I was 18 years old and didn't really know what to expect. I thought babies were born chubby, so I was very surprised that she was skinny:) Things are very fuzzy about those first hours. I remember having her and the pediatrician being called in for the delivery because there might be a problem. My Mom watched as the doctor skillfully and calmly removed the cord that was wrapped around Ashleigh's neck. Alan did not arrive until a little after midnight. I had already been asleep and he came in (in his dress whites, I believe) and then headed over to see his new daughter. For some reason I will never understand, I did not go with him. What was I thinking? Maybe he needed time with her. Maybe I just was too tired to be thinking clearly. I waited and waited and waited for what seemed like forever for him to get back. I thought he would be anxious to get back to see me, but what I didn't realize quite yet was that there was another blue-eyed girl in his life now. Another love. Alan walked into the nursery and literally fell in love with Ashleigh. I think he had a hard time leaving her to come back to my room. That love has lasted and never wavered.

So, Ashleigh, (because though you never comment, I know you read this:) you are not so little anymore. I sure am thankful that 23 years ago today, you came into my world and pretty much became my world. You have added so much laughter to our lives. You have added some (just a little bit) of drama, as well. I think my life would have been pretty boring without you. Now that you are an adult, I am learning things from you, as well. I hope today is a great day for you (your first as a married woman) and I will see you for your birthday dinner. I am going to start working on it now:)

*By the way, the kids always get to pick what they want for their birthday dinner. Ashleigh's menu is as follows:

baked ziti with sausage
garlic bread
salad
banana cream pie (with chocolate in it)
brownies (for her husband)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Who Was It?

You all know I have four children and they are a bit older now. Over the course of their childhoods, they did some interesting things. I am wondering if you can guess who did it?

1. Who, at 5 years-old, scaled down our two-and-a-half story home on a rope and then headed inside the front door to announce what he/she had done with a huge smile?

2. Who broke our glass in the front door by pounding his/her fist on it?

3. Who ate the entire middle out of a cherry pie at 3 years-old and then was upset that someone else ate the crust?

4. Who cut their own thumb with an axe when he/she was about 8?

5. Who was expelled from school for three months?

6. Who had a stalker and at one point, I had to call the police?

7. Who lied about eating the brownies without permission even though his/her other siblings all had to take punishment until the truth was told?

8. Who had surgery at the youngest age?

9. Who shaved his/her legs when they were 2 and shaved the skin right off of the leg? (This still gives me the willies)

10. Who was left tied up to the bed by another sibling on their first night in their "big" bed?

So, was it Ashleigh, Bethany, Cheney, or Davin??? (Ashleigh, you can not answer these questions:)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Am A Big Fan

I am a big fan of my husband. There are lots of reasons why. I was just thinking of some of them.

I am a big fan of a man who has been working so much, and realizes that he does not want to be that man who is ALWAYS working. I didn't have to tell him that. He doesn't like to miss out on his family. That's pretty cool.

I am a big fan of a man who would take his daughter's car to help her financially, but then give it back to her when she needed it back. He never complained and was glad to help her.

I am a big fan of a man who teases said daughter so much, but loves it because he loves her so much. (Hi Ashleigh!)

I am a big fan of a man whose family is so important that he started a business that he knew very little about so that he could employ his family members. He jumped in with both feet and learned everything about that business and as I would listen to him talk, I was amazed. Even I couldn't tell that just a short time before going into that business, this stuff had been foreign to him.

I am a big fan of a man who wins a trip for two in a contest. I sat and listened to our kids try to figure out which of them he would take. They did consider that their Dad might take me for a moment, but then for various reasons, each one explained why he would probably pick them. That is pretty cool to always think you are the favorite.

I am a big fan of a man who calls his wife to see when she is getting to church so he can make sure he comes out and helps get the wheelchair out of the truck.

Frankly, I am a big fan of a man who has loved me for the last (almost) 26 years.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Awesome Report from Sandy Cove

I just got the following letter from our TKCS Knightly News. I had told you Cheney is on a retreat with school and they sent the following report. Their words, not mine. I don't want to steal credit for writing:) It filled my eyes with tears as I read it. God is so good.

"Apparently, God Didn’t Get the Memo


As everyone knows, nighttime bonfires at Christian teen retreats are supposed to be carefully scripted and planned in advance. They’re supposed to start on time and end on time, with a few tears, a few yawns, and a few shallow commitments which everyone knows will soon fade away, some even before the campfire smoke clears. They’re supposed to be led by the adults, the grown-ups who know better and have years of experience staging worship experiences.

Tonight, here at Sandy Cove, apparently God had other plans.

Apparently, He didn’t even notice the sound system that was set up, because the kids didn’t use it. Instead, they raised their voices loudly in prayer, one by one, the young men first, the young ladies following, all praying openly and unashamedly for forgiveness, for God to work in their broken lives, for God to continue burning in their hearts in the days and year to come. They prayed for revival.

Apparently God forgot about the guitar that sat, unused, on the bench in the back. Instead, He filled the students’ hearts with the songs they have been singing for years. Chorus after chorus, hymn after hymn, about 25 or 30 different songs, one right after the other, for well over an hour and a half, all sung without instruments, without PowerPoint, without hymnals or song sheets, without thought to those around, only to the One being sung to.

Apparently, God wasn’t watching the clock or the color-coded retreat schedule, because the bonfire service wasn’t supposed to start until the pizza event was all over, and the chaperones rounded up the reluctant kids and urged them to the fire. Instead, the seniors took it on themselves to get the crowd moving to the hillside overlooking the bay, where they began singing, “Our God is an Awesome God,” over and over and over.

Apparently, God didn’t see the benches set up neatly in rows a few feet from the fire, because no one sat in them. Instead, they marched 200 yards across the field, arm-in-arm, singing the whole way, and directly to the fire, surrounding it, three people deep. For the next 90 minutes, some stood, some kneeled, some raised hands, some wrapped their arms around the one next to them, some drifted off to the hillside to cry or pray with a friend, and then rejoin the rest. Young men hugged each other, said “I love you,” and yet no one giggled.

Apparently, God forgot that the school’s Minister of Spiritual Life or maybe the retreat speaker, or at least some other adult is supposed to keep the “program” moving and keep the kids focused on God. Instead, God used the student body president, and a few other senior guys to do that. Guys? Since when are they the spiritual leaders in a Christian school? The adults just sat to the sides, quietly praying and letting God do what He was going to do.

Apparently, God forgot all of the standard protocols for Christian teen events.

Instead, He just showed up, got everything else out of the way, and did what only He can do—speak to the passionate, open young hearts of the next generation of disciples and world-changers.

Apparently, our job, as adults, isn’t to do God’s job for Him. He can do just fine on His Own. Instead, like the apostle Paul with young Timothy, we simply want to “fan into flame the gift of God,” by mentoring, encouraging, and discipling those who, tonight, worshipped God in spirit and in truth."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Time to Retreat

Cheney left this morning to head to his high school retreat. They will be heading down to Maryland for three days. They will have a guest speaker and lots of activities. It is always nice for my kids to be able to get away on a spiritual retreat. They always come back refreshed and pumped up!!

Meanwhile, things will be quiet at our house once again. With Alan working long hours, it is me and Davin for a good part of the day after school.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A New Van?


We are in the market for a van. Not just any van. We are in the market for a wheelchair accessible van. I have really mixed feelings about getting one, but I do know that it is time. Just a couple of weeks ago, Davin got a bunch of new parts for his wheelchair. It changed the whole thing. It changed it so much that I can no longer easily put the wheelchair into the back of my Jeep. I have been picking up wheelchairs and putting them in the back of my vehicles for almost 12 years, I guess. I know I look awkward doing it, but I was used to doing it and it was no biggy. But, now, when I lift the chair and have to put it in sideways, it's not good. I can tell I could really hurt myself and that is a big No No when you have a child who is not ambulatory. You can not have a hurt back!!! So, today there was a special showing of accessible vans at a special dealer and we went. I pretty much know what we are looking for, so that is not a problem. We also have some funding to make it MUCH easier to afford because all of the adaptations are VERY expensive. The biggest difference will be that I have to be careful where I park. I have to park where there is the big handicap strip (for the lift) and it has to be on the correct side of the van. I also wonder if it will take me a lot longer to put Davin in and out of the car with a lift. We shall see!

Davin is totally excited about getting a new van. Today, he wanted to go in lots of the vans. Any of them that had the ramp already out for him, he wanted to go in and he was so excited to sit in there and see if it had a television screen in it. He is so funny.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Thirteen


Today I will share 13 things about my favorite sister Jennifer.

1. Jen is my only sister.

2. She is 18 months younger than me.

3. She used to have straight hair, but every time she had a baby it switched. Back and forth, etc. It ended up being quite curly.

4. My sister now lives 15 minutes from my house:)

5. She is a nurse.

6. Jen is the only one in my family who went to college.

7. She loves m&ms of all kinds and calls them "vitamins". I love that I can go to her house and have a few vitamins whenever I feel I need them.

8. Jen has three children (including one that we nicknamed "the big-eyed baby" when he was little. Adorable.

9. I laugh so much when I am with her (especially when we go through a Wendy's drive-thru)

10. We have a lot of inside jokes and we always think they are really funny.

11. She does not highlight her hair, even though I tell her all the time that she would feel so much better if she did.

12. She is a godly woman and a very good example to me.

13. Jen is my best friend and has been for a very, very long time. I am so proud that she's my sister, even though I had nothing to do with it.

14. Jen married her "high school" sweetheart even though they parted ways for a while after high school.

15. She has been known to use a bit too much butter in recipes:)

16. She makes fantastic chicken and dumplings.

17. She is ALWAYS thinking of other people first.

18. My sister was a HUGE support while Davin was sick. Not only was she there as a sister, but since she is a nurse, I was able to ask her so many questions. She even was willing to come over the minute Davin got home from the hospital to show me how to work all of the equipment.

19. Jen saved up her own money to buy herself a bike when she was young.

20. She has a pair of yellow sandals that she calls her "happy shoes".

I do realize that is more than 13, so I will now call this, "Thirteen Thursday plus a little bit more".

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Sarah Palin Thoughts (Getting really real)

I really like Sarah Palin. I have enjoyed hearing about her and I agree with much of what she has to say. She seems strong, she seems loving and is very personable. I can not help but ponder some situations in her life right now that must feel quite overwhelming. (The nomination aside) Sarah is in the middle of three rather huge, life-changing times. I guess maybe I have been thinking so much about this, because when I have been in these three situations, it nearly took the breathe out of my lungs. I have dealt with these situations one at a time, she is in the midst of all three together and she is campaigning. Wow.

First off, SP is getting ready to say goodbye to her son as he heads off to Iraq. I can not say that I ever sent anyone to war, but I did say goodbye to my husband for 6 months at a time. Even without the war aspect, it took a huge amount of energy and time to keep up with my husband (write letters, send packages, pray). This is a huge event in the life of a family.

SP is also dealing with a huge diagnosis of her baby boy. I know that she knew about the diagnosis before his birth, but still...... it's HUGE!!! There are feelings to deal with, there are questions from people, there are initial doctor appointments, there are therapy appointments. All of these things are so burdensome, especially in the beginning when you are trying to deal with the diagnosis and your dreams of what life is supposed to be like. I remember the first year after Davin's diagnosis and I really can't put into words the amount of times that I felt crushed. It's huge and it changes many things. It is one thing to accept the diagnosis, but that is really just the beginning.

SP is also dealing with her daughter who is 17 years old and pregnant and I have heard is planning to marry her boyfriend. I have never been a mother of a pregnant daughter, but I have been the 17 year-old pregnant teen and have married my boyfriend. I can not tell you the amount of energy this crisis took. I do not know how much energy it took for my mom, but I can imagine it was a great deal. There are so many things to think through, there is the space distance. Will her daughter be far away and really need that advice from her Mom? It's such a difficult time.

As I have thought about these things in her life and how much she does represent normal life and difficult things that women go through, I can not stop and think that that is a lot on any person's plate. And then, what if you are asked to run for vice president of the United States?????? Oh my goodness.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

6 Random Things About Me

I was tagged by Kristina. I do not know how to link her name in this post, so if you go to my sidebar, you can go to her sight. Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you (but I don't know how)
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. List 6 random facts about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by commenting on their blog
6. Let the tagger know the entry is posted on your blog


1. I am humming most all of the time. I always have some song in my head. Alot of the time it's "Bill Grogan's Goat". Did any of you sing that at camp when you were growing up??

2. I love to watch "The Office". It is so pathetic now that I am often quoting things from the show that apply to my life. It's sad. I do not watch my t.v., but like to watch this show on DVD.

3. I really like anklets. I don't wear them often, but I really like them.

4. I often do not get jokes. The other day someone asked my son if he still had his girlfriend and when he said, no, they asked what happened? Did she get glasses? For the rest of the night, I was thinking that Cheney must have said something to him before about not liking girls who wore glasses. Alan and Cheney found this very funny when it came up.

5. I used to have such a problem with worrying that I would throw up.

6. I LOVE highlights! If you don't have some, you should get some. They are fantastic!!!

I will tag Michelle, Melanie, Christine, Angie, Carla, and Kelli

Monday, September 08, 2008

A Washing Machine is a Beautiful Thing - especially if it is in your own house!

Since school has started back up, I am dedicated to working for our small construction company three mornings a week. Last year, this totally overwhelmed me. I could never get anything done in the house, it seemed and I wasn't caught up in my work, either. Thinking back to last year, I realized that for about 7 months, I guess, I did not have a functioning washing machine at my house. I would cart my laundry over to my wonderful sister's house (whom I am SO thankful for - she let me use her washing machine and NEVER made it seem like an inconvenience!) and that took me a couple of days a week to do that. Also, I was picking Davin up two days a week and taking him to PT. Before that, I had been taking him to speech two times a week for the last couple of years. This year, Davin is not attending extra therapy outside of school AND I have a washing machine that works beautifully and the best thing is, it's right in my house!!!! My stress level with working is SO much less because other things in my life are not quite as demanding of my time.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Ah, the Weekend

One of the best things about school starting is being able to enjoy the weekends in a different way. During the summer, they are sometimes not that different than any other day of the week. But, during the school year, it's so nice to be able to sleep in late (except when Rocky wakes me up early anyway) and figure out what we want to do for the day on Saturday. Today I think I may sit down and scrapbook. That is the plan anyway. A plan that is often thwarted. I have already made a batch of cookies, folded a load of laundry,fed Davin, and have a load of laundry in the washer.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

First Day of School




Yesterday was the first day of school for both Cheney and Davin. Things seemed to go very well. Davin was a bit nervous and with good reason. This year, he is over in the high school wing of his school, he has a new teacher and he does not have his aide anymore. He has a new one. (Sobbing, sobbing) The sobbing is from me because I get so attached to the aides. It is like we have joint custody and I trust them to care for Davin for half of the day. Miss B had been with us for three years and she did such an excellent job with Davin and he ADORED her. I'm sure his new aide will be great, too, but it is a time of adjustment.

This year Cheney is president of his senior class, so he is already busy with meetings and things. I think he is excited about all of the activities he is involved with this year.

On a side note, did you all watch Sarah Palin last night? Did you see little Piper (her daughter) holding Sarah's youngest son? Oh my goodness. It was adorable enough when she was just holding him, but then she started smoothing his hair down and when that wasn't enough, she licked her hand and then smoothed his hair down some more. It was adorable!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Some Good Cheney Days:)

Lately Cheney and I have been having a rough road of it. Nothing terrible, just the normal tugging between a mom and her son who is 17. He is wanting to be a man and be independent and I am a bit concerned with some things in his life. I remember being nervous when Ashleigh only had a year left before college and wanting to instill as many things in her as I could. I am feeling that same way quite a bit lately.

HOWEVER, for the last three days I have had such a wonderful time with my son. We have seen each other alot in these last three days and we have talked alot, too. I am greatly encouraged by what I see in his life. I told Alan last night that it has been a while since I have had such a sweet time with Cheney boy, and it sure is nice. You know the drill. Some days are just tough as a parent. Some days are discouraging and you wonder if they will ever be all they can be. But, some days are great! Some days you see so much of their potential shining through and it does a mom's heart good. I'm really thankful for those rough days so that the good ones shine so brightly.

I have only one year left with Cheney before college. This is such an exciting time. Today we are talking about which colleges he is going to apply to. He has a list of about 6. I am hoping he will start working on the applications soon. He has begun lots of things for school although school has not started yet. I am going to enjoy this year with him.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Watch the new Charlotte's Web?? Absolutely not!!

As many of you know, I am an Awana girl. I love Awana. I think it's a fabulous program. I love serving the Lord through this venue. I generally teach in Sparkies which is K - 2nd graders. Love it, love it. So, the new Awana year is almost here and I was looking through my catalog to get my order ready. I knew they had changed some things and I would need to order some new materials. Did I mention I really like the way Awana has done things??? Okay, anyway, I was looking and looking and found everything I needed, but could not find the teaching materials. Every year I would teach The Green Meadowland Series and they went with the books the kids were working on. They had adorable characters and told a story about the fictional Sparky kids and then a Bible lesson. It had lots of visual flannel graph kind of things and again, I loved it. I could not find anything like that, so I called my friendly Awana operator. I asked if they had anything new for me to teach to go with the new book they came out with. She told me where it was and I looked. It is a little book and there are NO (sigh) visuals and no stories about Grumpella or Stephen. The woman on the phone told me that it is only Bible stories, but also has ideas for me. I explained to her that it is very hard to change. I did keep myself from screaming out that I didn't want them to change it and what in the world happened to Grumpella!!

After I got off the phone, I did the next logical thing. I called my sister and explained this terrible tragedy in my life (I am really exaggerating, but you get the point). She knows how I am about changing things and told me that this would be a perfect time for me to sit down and watch the new Charlotte's Web! I told her that I would never do that because the old one is so good and there was no reason for a new one. I am the same way with Willy Wonka. I do not want to watch the new one. Are you crazy? I asked my sister why people would need to change things when they are really perfectly fine and even excellent the way they are. My sister is not afraid of change and just explained to me that sometimes you need a change:) Oh, Jen!!

So, I have two choices. I can teach the old lessons or move on with the new lessons. Probably because I could vent to my sister, I will be able to move on and teach the new stuff and probably because Awana's materials are so excellent, it will probably be really good. For now, though, I am missing Grumpella.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Oh The Things Neurologists Say...

"He has cerebral palsy...any questions???"

That was my first experience with a pediatric neurologist. When Davin was one day shy of 7 months old, he saw his first neurologist and after checking Davin out and saying, "good, good, good" over and over again, he blurted out the comment above. You can imagine how I left that appointment. Not one of my better days. I was terrified to ever go back to a neurologist. I never made another appointment until my pediatrician or someone insisted that I needed to. For one appointment, I could not even make myself go. I had to make Alan go for me. It was just too hard. The neurologist crushed my world and I just couldn't stand going there and giving him the ability to crush my world again. It took me years to get over this.

Yesterday Davin had a neurologist appointment. I slept well the night before. I wasn't sick to my stomach. I hardly thought about it at all, except to figure out how I would be getting Cheney where he needed to be and how and when Davin could get to therapy. That's pretty cool. God has brought me a LONG way. To think back to the anxiety I had in those first years and then to walk in with no nervousness is a blessing. And to top everything off, the neurologist had some nice words for me. We had been there a while and she was checking Davin out and looked at his belly and saw that he does not have a g-tube. She said, "You really have done a good job with him. You really have."

I have to tell you that hearing those words was much nicer than that first appointment in June of 1993.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

In Training

I have been so totally challenged lately concerning my walk with Christ. I feel Him pulling me closer and deeper in my relationship with Him and expecting more of me. (He may have been doing this all along, but I am just now listening.) God began tugging on my heart a while ago and everywhere I go, it seems that I am reminded of my walk and what I can do to be a more devoted follower of my Lord and Savior.

I have been watching Michael Phelps and his swimming. He has spent so much time training. He has been so dedicated and driven to accomplish his goal. As he has gotten farther and farther, his goals became bigger and bigger. What if I do this? What if I go into serious training as a disciple? What if I spend hours and hours every day reading God's word, spending time talking to Him, and listening to what He has for me? What would my walk look like then? I am running a race, so why am I not training harder?


1 Corinthians 9:24-27 says:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. they do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big Day for Cheney oh, and I'm Back From Vacation;)

I am back from vacation! Isn't it nice that I could go away for such a looooooong time. Just kidding. We were gone a bit over a week and it was very nice. We really enjoyed Atlanta, GA and I do hope to be able to post some of our pictures, but you know I am not the swiftest at that....

Today was a milestone in Cheney Boy's life. It was a day that he has thought about and hoped for for a long time. He took his driver's test today......and he PASSED!!! I must say that I am hoping I did not show the shock on my face that I felt in my heart when I asked the instructor if he passed and he replied, "yes". It has been interesting to see each of my kids learn to drive and see how some are so natural at it and others are not. I will not say which kid is which. Anyway, we took his test, went to the DMV, got the actual license with the serious as can be face of my son on it, and were done 45 minutes after our appointment. Plus, the test and the DMV are NOT at the same place. I do not know what the DMV has done to streamline things, but every time I go in there lately, I am expecting a few hours like it used to be and they have me in and out in no time. Mad props for the DMV of NJ!!

Let me see, other happenings in our household since I last posted. This may sound awful and lazy, maybe, too, but for the last two weeks I have not had a car because Bethany's is broken and she needs to use mine for her jobs. So, I am "stuck" at home with no way to go anywhere and I have been LOVING it! Davin and I get his exercises done, we get things cleaned in the house which have been left undone for so long because of my busy schedule with working, etc. It has been fabulous. Several days, we took naps just because we could;)

I have always known that I enjoyed being a homemaker, but after a long stint of working and running myself ragged, I am so at peace being at home in my house and working on things and being here when my kids get home from jobs, etc. It is just what I am called to do. Even though my kids are getting pretty old, I so enjoy having dinner ready for them, having a treat made (which I was never having time to do) and listening to them when they wanted to talk. It's pretty cool to listen to your 21 year-old share her dreams and hopes when she gets home from work. It's nice to be able to ask Cheney how his day was and hear him groan when I tell him I am making something he doesn't like for dinner;)...okay not everything can be peachy. I may be of a strange breed that likes to be stuck at home, but I just don't see it that way. I feel so privileged to be home for these weeks and be able to serve my family and rest my mind and body.

Thank you Lord for giving us exactly what we need when we need it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Vacation!!!

Vacation! I sooo look forward to going on vacation. I love the packing, the dreaming of what we will do when we get there, all of it. However, before you can go on vacation, there are so many things to do that it is hard to fit everything in. We leave tomorrow to head to North Carolina and then onto Atlanta, Georgia. Just a few hours left to get everything done, but I am sure somehow we will get it together before rolling out in the morning.

Ever since Alan started his own business, it seemed we really had an even greater need for taking some time off and getting away. Having your own business means hours and hours of work and sometimes it never leaves your mind. We have had a change in our lives lately, though. A few weeks ago, Alan was offered a job back in the area that he used to work in. He decided to take the job as our lives had gotten very difficult financially and we knew that a different job would make it easier on everyone financially. So, he has been working at the new job for about three weeks. He still has much to do with our business, though, and he is teaching me to take over some things, as well. I wrote a long post about the transition, but haven't been ready to share it yet. It was an emotional time to watch the man I love leave a business that he has nurtured for four and a half years. It had always been Alan's dream to have his own business and it was even better for him to have his family employed and be able to provide for them.

This vacation will be different this year because we only have three children going with us. I keep finding myself thinking about what Ashleigh will want to do when we are away and then I realize she will be here in her little house taking care of her new husband. Just the way things should be.

Have a good week next week everyone!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Duffers for Davin"

I have had a bit of an absence once again from blogging. This time it was due to a little golf tournament called Duffers for Davin. 7 years ago, our Pastor at the time in NY started a golf tournament to raise money for Davin to go to special therapy that insurance doesn't cover and is very expensive, but very productive. 7 years later, it is still going strong, it is just not in NY, but in NJ. Yesterday was the 7th annual NJ Duffers for Davin and it was a great day! We had over 110 golfers and everyone seemed to have a great time. It is always such a big day for our family and of course, takes a lot of time and dedication to get it put together in the first place. We had a great committee who all worked so hard for the last six months. This golf tournament has provided all of the money for Davin's therapy and this year I am even more thankful than ever before. This year, while watching Davin be still and lose so much muscle mass, I knew that there were the golfers and sponsors that stood behind us and would enable Davin to get the therapy he needs to get back on track. It is truly a humbly experience to have so many people involved in our lives year after year. There are people who faithfully come to the tournament year after year. Thank you everyone!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

News Flash! Boys Growing Way Too Fast



Okay, I have been doing pretty good with the fact that I have ADULT daughters. Yes, Ashleigh is now happily married and Bethany just finished up her junior year of college and will soon turn the big 21!!! I still had my little boys to focus on. They still need me for lots of things. There are still lots of school things to do and papers to sign and schedules to figure out. I could feel good about still having my 2 boys at home. I was NOT however ready for what has been happening now. Cheney's school just had their senior class graduation last night. That means that Cheney boy is officially a SENIOR!!! When did this happen? How could this be? To add insult to my injury, I just recently learned that Davin has been in 9th grade ALL year long! I thought we were keeping him in 8th grade this year and somehow that had made me feel much better. He was still in junior high. I still had years to go before he would be graduating. I know you all have your mouths open wondering how I could have missed such a big thing as knowing Davin's grade. I admit that occassionally (and sometimes more often) I miss some details. However, with the kids I am pretty on top of things. Last year at Davin's IEP, we decided to keep Davin in 8th grade for one more year since he can stay in school until he is 21. No one told me that had changed. So, all year I think he's in 8th grade with just really large junior highers. There is no sign that says what grade the classroom is at Davin's school, so I just go on in my little 8th grade bubble. Now here I am, with a senior and 9th grader. I am a bit shocked that this part of Cheney's life is almost completed.

I have to say that I am so thankful to God for allowing me the honor of raising these children. I am thankful for all of the lessons that He has taught me through this child and parent relationship. I have learned so much about his unconditional love and mercy through raising my kids. I am thankful for even the hard parenting moments when I think that nothing is working. I know that God has had those feelings with me. Will she ever learn? Will she ever rest in who she is in me?

I guess it's okay to have older kids. There is always something new to learn and to teach at each stage of their lives.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Found It!



This is a picture from the Murder Mystery Dinner we did at my church in NY. The Bethany that you all know and love has a lovely look ;) on her face and is all the way to the left and my daughter, Ashleigh is right next to her. They looked so cute with these elephant ears. I don't remember why they were elephants, except that the theme was "circus". The whole concept of this mystery dinner was great. It was based on a Bible character and you tried to figure out who is was. However, in reality it was very confusing and probably the best thing about the night was the costumes and food we ate. It still made for nice memories!

Bethany, while I was looking for this picture, I found MANY more pictures of you, so I will be sharing some of those later!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Boring Blogger

As much as I love going on my blog and catching up with all of my blogger friends, I am usually at a loss of what to write. That comes as a surprise to me since creative writing was one of my favorite things to do in school. I will have to get a bit more creative!!

Tonight we will go to youth group. Now that Awana is over for the school year, we head back into Wed. nights with the youth group. Boy is it a tough transition for me. Last week went a bit better, but the week before, I was really struggling. Although I enjoy both ages, younger kids is probably more of my comfort zone. The bigger kids can overwhelm me when there are large groups of them. Plus, I am not a "large group" person, so that increases my anxiety of it all. Last week did go better, though, and I am thankful for that.

In the meantime, Alan and I have been praying and praying about some decisions, but the Lord has said WAIT. That is a difficult thing. It seems that we have been waiting for quite a few years now, but God knows. He knows what our needs are and He knows what is best for us. So, we will keep praying and waiting upon Him and His perfect timing. It sure is hard when His timing is so different from mine;) Another lesson...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Busy, Busy Weekend

This holiday weekend was filled with tons of business, and definitely lots of cooking. One of Ashleigh's friends was turning 21 on Saturday, so Ashleigh and her other friend had planned a surprise murder mystery dinner. Alan and I and our siblings and their spouses had done a murder mystery dinner when Ashleigh was little and I think she has very fond memories from that, so it seemed like a great idea to celebrate Rachael's 21 birthday! And it was. We spent much of the day on Saturday cooking lots and lots of lasagna and chicken alfredo. We also made this awesome garlic bread that all of my kids love. We also got out the chocolate fountain that I had bought for Ashleigh's bridal shower and cut up fruit and stuff to dip in it. That is always so yummy!!! The dinner was so much fun, but I am afraid we mostly forgot to eat. There was so much to think about and remember and there were questions that we needed to ask other characters! It was a blast and Ashleigh and Kendra did such a good job thinking of everything. This picture shows me threatening to reveal some secrets that the maid had been keeping...

On Monday we had some of our family over and had a cookout. Memorial Day is such a great time to stop and think about the huge sacrifice made by so many. I am proud that my grandfather, my father-in-law and husband have all served their country in the armed forces.

It was a great weekend, although the Chapmans are on my mind so often. I keep thinking of their huge loss and also how they are ministering to their son. I think having teenage drivers in the house has connected me to that part of the situation. It happens in the blink of an eye. Keep praying for this family.

I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Basement Cleaning is Yucky

My big job for the last couple of weeks has been to get the basement clean and organized. So, today since I am home for the whole day, I am hopeful to get the majority of it done. Bethany has organized all of her part and so I am encouraged that I can do the same. However, I really HATE basements. As a general rule, when we look for a new house, which we have done countless times over the last 23 years, I don't even go into the basement. I just don't like them. I don't want to be in them and I really hate to clean them. But, we live in a pretty small house and need the space in our basement for storage, etc. So, I am off to clean some more after I feed Davin some lunch. That will be a nice break.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Moms

I was riding home from church yesterday and thinking about my Mom since it was Mother's Day. I was thinking of some of the ways that she has inspired my life. I was truly blessed with a great mother. She never made mothering look hard and she always seemed on top of things. I always knew she was a good mom and I have always appreciated the example she set before me.

Five years ago, that was taken to a much different level. Five years ago, last month, my Dad suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and nearly lost his life. By God's grace, his life was spared, but he had to learn EVERYTHING over again. He could not walk by himself, shave, eat, and many of his words got very confused. My Mom became less of a wife and more of a caretaker. I have watched her for five years be exactly what my Dad has needed her to be. Sometimes that was different things and she always rose to the challenge. Did she have discouraging days? Yes, but she continued on. Could she have made different choices that would have made her life easier? Yes, but she didn't. She chose to do what Christ would do and I am so thankful for the example she has been to me.

Things are so much better for my parents now and we rejoice continuously over what God has done for our family. Even five years later, we still see improvements and it is so fun to watch. My Mom has been an incredible example of patience.

Thanks Mom.

Friday, May 02, 2008

What a Week, What a Week

I knew right off the bat that this week would be busy and it has been! On Sunday night, we had our Awards Night for AWANA and I was able to hand out many awards to my adorable Sparkies! They did such a great job and it is always amazing to me how much scripture they can memorize. It was a fun year. On Wednesday, we had our Awana Fun Fair! It was so exciting, but there are many, many details required to get that together and when we finally left the church around 10:30 pm, I was very ready to go home! We did have so much fun, though. Yesterday Davin had an EEG to see if he still has seizure activity since he has not had a seizure for over four years. Praise God! Today I will drop Cheney off, go to PBU and help Bethany pack up her room and move back home from the summer. It is so hard to believe she will finish up her third year of college. Yeah Bethany! We will rush back, unload the car and get Cheney ready for his junior/senior formal (prom) tonight. Whew! (Oh, I almost forgot that in the meantime, Ashleigh will come and get Davin off the bus and pick Cheney up. I am very thankful for helpful kids.) I am a little bit tired from it all, but it has been an exciting week with lots of good things in it.

I have missed all of my blogger friends while I have been absent. I think my busy season is about to end, so I should be back much more often! Martha, Kristina, and Tracy, thank you for visiting me in Facebook land:)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Biker, A Thesbian, and a Sicky

So, it has been a busy few days. Bethany stayed home from college for a couple of days because she had a virus that had her down. Was she a bit more dramatic than maybe she needed to be? Well, maybe, but how often is she sick? I can give her extra pity once in a while;) Cheney has been busy getting ready for his play. It is two weeks from tomorrow! Yikes! So much to do. They have been working on building the set and getting their lines down. Cheney just loves doing plays, so it is a good busy for him. Davin went to PT on Monday night and we were talking about his dream of having a bike. Davin has wanted a bike since he was about 5 years-old. We have had to wheel him out of more than one store while he cried and cried because he wanted to sit on the bikes a bit longer. So sad. A bike for Davin costs over a thousand dollars which is ridiculous, but what can you do? Anyway, at therapy, they had a bike that kind of worked for Davin. It didn't have enough support for him, but with a few extra hands, it was fabulous! Davin was beside himself the entire time he was riding it. I had to run out to the car and get Cheney so he could see this dream coming true! It was so fun and we left with many smiles on our faces.

In the meantime, Alan and I have been weighing some big decisions and spending time in prayer concerning those things as well. Life changes and moves on and we want to be following the Lord in all that we do.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Little Road Trip

Davin and I just got back from a little road trip! On Thursday we headed out with some kids from our youth group to check out Cedarville University. Cheney and Alan had already been there, but Davin and I had not seen it, so off we went. (I think it is in the running for colleges that Cheney is considering at this point.) Davin could not have thought the trip was any better! He loved everything about it. He loved the long, long, long car ride. He loved the tours. We also visited Grove City College on the way to Ohio. He loved where we stayed. He just loved everything. It was funny. While we were at Cedarville, I got to visit one little teenager from upstate NY that I used to teach as a Sparky and then later when she was in junior high. That was very nice. We also got to see friends of ours who moved a couple months ago. Fun! It was a long, long ride for a short stay at the college, but I must say it was nice to visit Cedarville. I really appreciated the attitude that I got from the students. Chapel was wonderful and the spiritual energy was wonderful to be around.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Birthday My Friend Martha!

Okay, I know I am copying Martha, but I still wanted to wish my friend Martha a very happy birthday. When I moved to upstate NY, Martha was the first person I met who really reached out to me. I remember having a lengthy phone conversation with her, soon after moving to NY, and finding out that we had many similiarities. We have several children who are close in age and some of our kids remain friends even now that we have not lived in NY for four years. Martha's family has been a blessing to ours many times over the years. It sure meant a lot to me when Martha, Bethany and Josh took the big trip down to NJ for Ashleigh's wedding.

Martha, I hope you have a wonderful day. You have been a wonderful friend to me and I am so thankful for you! (I do wish I had a great picture to put here, but I don't have a scanner at home, so try to picture one of the many glamour shots that our girls took of themselves over the years;)

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Spring Break

This week my Bethany had her spring break. It is so nice to have her home. She is just a bright light in our lives and I always enjoy being around her. Today we are going to make cookies together. We were a mean-cookie-making-machine together when we made about 120 cookies for Ashleigh wedding reception. Today our goal is much smaller, but we will have a nice time being together. I am so thankful for children who have grown into such beautiful people.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Not Much To Say

So I have been MIA quite a bit recently from the blogging world. I do check in from time to time, but to tell the truth, I just haven't had much inspiring to say. I guess there have been lots of things to think about, pray about and read, but not much to blog about.

Alan and my middle kids were away for most of this week on a skiing trip. So, it was just Davin and me at home. We made out just fine, but boy was it quiet. (okay, except for the dogs)

This weekend Cheney will take his SATs which is a big deal to him. After that, we will head over to the Awana Games (formerly the Olympics!) to watch my Sparks team claim a victory???!! It will be a great time, I am sure. The Awana Games are always so much fun. It seems like just a few years ago that my girls and Bethany were practicing the games. They were so serious about it. They had such a good time and even won a couple gold medals along the way. My girls are coaches this year and are as excited as ever. I am hoping their excitement will spread to the girls and everyone will be so pumped up! If I were Martha, I would have one of the pictures of the girls competing to put up, but I don't know how to do that with old pictures. Martha???

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Some Deep Stuff

Today we went to a beautiful memorial service for a man that I did not really know. I know his wife, though, and two of his children (daughters) have been in senior high since Alan and I have been sponsors. I am especially close to his youngest daughter. There were several testimonies of what this man meant to so many people. He had many struggles in his life, but God triumphed and this man let that be known to the people he came in contact with. They spoke about what a godly example he was in his business life, his home life and his ministry life. They spoke of the love he had for his children and his wife. They even read the words this man had written when he and his wife had a rededication ceremony quite a few years into their marriage. It left me humbled and thinking. What am I doing that makes a difference? What will I leave behind and am I making the most of my time on earth for Christ? Will I be pointing others to Him? It was a beautiful challenge and I will certainly be praying for this beautiful family as they begin their walk without their father and husband.

As I sat there I could not help but realize that this was in my future as well. If the Lord tarries, either Alan or I will be asked to give the other spouse back to the Lord and begin our walk without each other. It is not a sad story that is only told by a few people, it happens in every marriage. I don't think any other funeral has ever touched me so deeply or made me think so much. Maybe I was more vulnerable to deep thoughts because I have spent a whole week listening to wheezing and moaning, maybe I was more vulnerable because I am a bit older now. Maybe it was different because those children that sat up front saying goodbye to their father were the same ages as three of my children.

Whatever the reason for my deep thoughts, I am thankful. I am thankful for Christians that leave such a huge mark on others and an incredible example for me. I am thankful for the challenge that I received today. I am thankful for the reminder that Alan and I have only a certain amount of time together and I need to take advantage of every day. I am also so thankful to know that this is not the end. Since Christ is my Savior, heaven is my destiny.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

No News is Good News???

Okay, not necessarily. I haven't posted lately because there was not too much to say. It has been a long week this week.

First of all, snow camp was great. We talked about boundaries. Boundaries in our thought life, tongue, actions. Such a great topic. There is so much to think and ponder about concerning that, no matter what your age. It was great to be with the kids and catch up with many of the teens. We made movies one afternoon and that was so much fun. We were divided into teams and we came up with videos that had to do with boundaries. Fun!

Well, I got home on Sunday night and Bethany thought that Davin had a fever. Yes, he did. He has been sick all week with that whole fever, coughing thing. Poor thing. He just can't seem to be totally on track since the surgery. In addition to the sickness, we have been to the orthopedic doctor (all is okay with his hip, by the way - great news! He can begin PT without any restrictions now.), the pediatrician (to make sure this sickness wasn't worse than a virus - it's not!), and today we went to the neurologist.

I am hoping for a better week next week for Davin boy. Poor thing to have to be in the house for so many days again. At least this time, there is no cast!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Davin Update

I finally was able to speak with someone from the orthopedic doctor's office yesterday. Davin is not to do anymore exercises or PT until he is seen on Monday. I am feeling a bit better because he is MUCH less sensitive about his leg than he was on Monday and Tuesday. Thank you for your prayers.

Alan and I will be heading to Snow Camp with our teens for the weekend. I am praying that Davin will be fine. His sister, Bethany is hanging out with him for the weekend and I know he is in great hands.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Nicknames

I kept Davin home from school today because his hip/leg is still really sore. I never heard back from the doctor which is really odd. I always hear back from him. I checked and double checked that they have my right phone number and I called again today, but so far, nothing. So, we are heating Davin's muscle, taking motrin and resting.

So, I decided since I was home, I would bake cookies and that lead me to thinking about my kids and the nicknames that I call them. When I was little, I didn't really have a nickname and I always wanted one. When I was in high school, some girls on my softball team gave me one and Alan calls me Heath. When we had kids, I wanted them to have nicknames. Just a silly thing, really, but they each have many.

Ashleigh - her sister and most all of her friends call her Ash, but I never call her Ash. By me, she is most often called Loubie, but she is also Sissa, Sissy, Loubie Lou.

Bethany - known by most everyone who knows her at all as Ben or Bennie. She is never called Beth by anyone who knows her well except my father occassionally calls her that. By me she is also Baby Girl, Bertina, Alyssa, Boop, Booper, Sissy.

Cheney - He is Cheney Alan, Chey, Chey-Chey, Chener, Brudder, brother, Bud.

Davin - We all have lots of nicknames for Davin. He is Bubby, Bub, Davin Boy, baby boy, snoodle and I think Bethany sometimes calls him Peanut.

Did you have a nickname growing up? If you keep your name a secret, you might not want to share, but if you don't mind sharing...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Tears and Fears

Last night we were doing Davin's stretching during the Superbowl. Davin started screaming and crying and even after we were done stretching (the side he had surgery on) he cried and cried, shivered and quivered. We each took turns holding him and trying to comfort him until he was doing much better. He slept fine last night, but when I got him up this morning, anytime I touched or moved his left leg/hip, he screamed, cried and shivered. It was terrible. I continued to get him ready for school, thinking that the PT could look at him for me and tell me if he should be seen by the orthopedic surgeon. Davin is always happy to go to school, but the bumping just to get him on the bus had him crying again. He cried the whole time they were strapping his chair into the bus. Poor thing. I did not know what to do. Get him off the bus? Would he calm down? Would he get bumped at school? Had we hurt him seriously? I ended up letting him go so I could get his PT's opinion and then I called her. She encouraged me to call the doctor which I did and am still waiting for a call back. In the meantime, I am beside myself picturing Davin at school screaming with tears streaming down his cute face. So, I called school and talked to an aide in his class. She assured me that Davin was "all smiles" (I certainly had not been thus far today.) and that he was doing fine. So....we will wait for the doctor to call and prayerfully Davin was not hurt and he is just sore. It is the worst when you feel like you hurt your own child and it could have been avoided. It is something I have struggled with ever since Davin was diagnosed since CP is a brain injury. It is not something genetic that happens to the baby. It is an injury and since I was the one carrying him, it was very hard not to feel like I had not protected him. Oi, so I give him back to God. God knows and God loves Davin more than I even do.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Tagged By My Friend Martha!

Martha tagged me, so I will try to come up with 7 random/odd facts about myself that I have not shared before. Maybe Alan can help me...

1. I hate to have my clothes get wet.

2. I do not like anyone's feet to touch me.

3. I have a hyphenated last name.

4. I am constantly thinking about how fat my chin looks.

5. I wish we would have had more children.

6. I sang and danced at our youth group's Lip Sync a few weeks ago.

7. I rarely ever read directions.

I do not think there is anyone left to tag, so I will not tag anyone this time!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

13 Things About Bethany Alyssa

I don't think I have blogged about Bethany very much, so I thought I would write 13 things about my favorite 20 year-old.

1. Bethany was born in Niskayuna, NY

2. Bethany is very tall.

3. Bethany is very photogenic. (This makes her sister a little upset.)

4. Bethany loves basketball and played for many years in junior high, high school, and college.

5. She is loyal.

6. She loves very deeply.

7. She is a tremendous help to me, especially if she knows I am stressed.

8. Bethany is majoring in social work and Bible, and hopes to be a counselor.

9. Her best friend is her sister.

10.Bethany wanted to beat up a little child once because they said something unkind about her brother, Davin.

11.She would much rather wear basketball clothes than get dressed up.

12.Bethany loves to stay up late.

13.Bethany has such a heart for Jesus and a heart for people. I am so proud of the young woman that she has become.

It Can't Be True!

I may be in a bit of denial. It simply can't be true. My Cheney Alan turned 17 yesterday! 17!!!!!!! How did this happen and exactly when did it happen? This past weekend, I scrapbooked some pictures from his third birthday and I have a hard time believing that was so long ago. I guess it was, though. Cheney is now way taller than me, has a man voice, shaves his cute little face and as of yesterday, he has a driver's permit. (In NJ, you have to be 17) So, last night, against my wishes, he headed out from church in his sister Ashleigh's car. This would not have been strange, except this time Cheney was driving! Wow! Am I old, or what? I have three children that can drive. What in the world is going on? I was very nervous for Cheney to drive in Ashleigh's car. I pleaded my case, that it was dark out and he shouldn't really drive for the first time in the dark. Well, I was overruled. And since Ashleigh truly potty trained her sister was she was only 3 years old, I figured she should probably teach Cheney to drive, too! Anyway, I ended up being two cars behind him and he did a great job.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I've Been Around

I have not been on the computer very much as you may have noticed. My computer at home is in the baesment and it is very cold down there in the winter, so...... that is why you have not heard much from me.

Anyway, this past weekend, I went on a scrapbooking weekend with my sister and two friends. It was a wonderful time. Three days of scrapbooking. We never even had to put our stuff away. We just got up in the morning and got to scrapping again. Fabulous! PLUS, someone cooked all of the meals and I just had to go down to the dining hall and get the food. Wonderful! It was so nice to spend the weekend with my sister. I always laugh so much when I am with her. Alan and the boys had a nice "boys' weekend" and didn't make me feel one bit guilty for leaving them. Such nice boys that I have.

Now the weather is a bit more mild, so maybe you will hear more from me, but if we hit a cold spell, then who knows????

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Few Pictures



It was a beautiful wedding. In the first picture are our two daughters. They have been best friends since the day we brought Bethany home from the hospital and Ashleigh tried to feed her a french fry. (That surely is true love.) The second picture is the mother and father of the beautiful bride and last, but not least, the newlywed couple with Ashleigh's cousin Jonah who was their ring bearer. So, our family grows.....I think Kevin is a great addition.

Beautiful Day

The wedding is over, the people have all gone home and we only have a tiny bit of wedding cake left to eat. It was a lovely day and things ran pretty smoothly. Ashleigh looked beautiful and had a great time. Nobody changed their minds and they are now the newlyweds! When I get some pictures, I will post them, but Shelly is hoping to have some posted today or tomorrow! Thank you all for praying.