His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Monday, December 31, 2007

The New Year Is Upon Us!

How does it happen so fast. It seems that I just get used to writing down the new date, 2007, and starting tomorrow, I have to start writing 2008! How is it that as we get older, time does seem to go faster?
Now I know there is a mathematical solution for this that makes perfect sense, but it definitely gives me a sense of being, well, OLD. :)

But this isn't about being old, it is about the New Year!
I actually Love New Years. Everything has a chance to start over. Not that you can't make changes in the middle of the year, as we all do, but there is something that is refreshing about starting fresh with the new year.

So this year, has been BUSY. We have had surgeries, new legs delivered, dr's. appt's. visits with friends,visits with family, travel to AZ, we have had our share of tragedy and our share of triumph.
There has been the tragedy of death in our family, and there has been the welcoming of new life.
We have seen the girlies grow both physically and emotionally, and even in their setbacks, they are moving full steam ahead; turning into beautiful young ladies.

We are so very thankful to the Lord for the lives he has given us. Our lives are fulfilled in serving Christ. We are not without problems, and we are thankful for those problems. They keep us on our knees. Without tragedy, we wouldn't know triumph. Without sorrow, we wouldn't appreciate joy. And it is such a part of life, the life that God has chosen for us to live.

As we prepare to be ushered into the New Year, we have no guarantees, we have no assurances that we will live this entire year in success and happiness. However, we do not enter this year in a spirit of fear. Because what we DO have, is the assurance and guarantee of a Savior, Christ the Lord, who will hold our hand and walk us through all of the unknown. Unknown to us, but certainly not unknown to Him. He will continue to break us and mold and shape us and cause us to cleave to him.

And someday, a day we look forward to, we will not have to worry about how to write the newest year in our check book, because we will just need to remember "eternity".
There will be no weeping, no sorrow or sadness or pain. There will only be Life in Christ.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish all of my family near and far a SUPER VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
We are so going to miss those who cannot be near especially Joe, Becca and Sam. Our hearts ache that we can't be together, but we know we shall see you soon.


We love you so very much.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Fair Lady

Sarah watched "My Fair Lady" this weekend. She loved the movie. It amazes me how much she catches onto for such a young girl. (the other 2 girls lost interest and went to play in their room, Dad was asleep, and I was sort of napping, so she was watching it alone.) Well, we were at the part of the movie where the man sings "I'm Getting Married In the Morning". It is a LONG song and dance routine. After his zillionth verse about "getting married in the morning", "get me to the church on time"........


Cracked me up. :)

Monday, December 10, 2007


I remember teaching Awana a few years back. I was teaching my favorite group, the "Sparkies". It is such a great name for Kindergarten to 2nd grade. They are kind of like little "sparklers", all over the place, but if you aim them in the right direction, they just sparkle and shine.

It was Christmas time, and we were of course talking about "Baby Jesus". We had done and interactive play with Mary, Joseph, the wise men, baby Jesus, donkey's etc.

ALL the kids knew about the shepherds, wise men and baby Jesus.

What surprised me though, was that many did not connect Jesus the Man, the Crucified one, the Lord, the Savior, with Baby Jesus.

"Do You mean that is the SAME guy?"


The world LOVES to celebrate His birth. The cute little baby, in the manger, sent as the Savior. "For on this Day in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior is born, Christ the Lord".
But when it comes to him growing up, walking among us, convicting us of our sin, telling us that HE is the Way, The Truth, The Life..... people start dropping off the celebration wagon.

In order to be forgiven of sin,to be saved, we need to recognize that we are sinners in need of salvation!

Jesus was perfect, sinless, and the final and complete sacrifice for sin. Why is the "baby" accepted, in song and celebration, but the Man, disputed, rejected, diminished?

The truth is, This is the WAY God showed his love for us, He sent His only Begotten Son.

That Son, would pay the ultimate price for our sin. Death on a Cross. But it doesn't end at his birth, nor at His death.

GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD! He is eternal, His name is above ALL names and Every Knee Shall Bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ Is LORD~!

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Do You Ever Feel....

Do you ever feel like Crying?

Yesterday, Tim had his graduation party. It was a wonderful time, and so surreal.
I have been quietly crying for over this week while putting together his slide show, imagining him walking across the stage with cap and gown, shaking the hands of his educators, seeing him beaming smile and cheering loudly from the crowd with my whole being. Tears come and I shake them off as much as I can. They are tears mixed with raw emotion, joy, sorrow, elation, from the past, present and future. Tears that contemplate and celebrate the past and the present. It isn't often that I would admit to tears. I do not feel comfortable with the "woman emotional thing". In my life it has been necessary to keep my tears under wraps and tightly controlled; but if there was ever a time for tears of joy, for unbridled joy, for a celebration of celebrations.....and for loads of tears with a box of kleenix by my side.....
This was it.

you can read a few posts down more about Tim and his graduation. Also-----> over there somewhere is a link to Tim's slide show.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Mania

There is nothing like kids to get you into the Christmas Mania mood.
I did all my shopping on the computer this year. Avoided the shopping centers and malls and was very disciplined. I plotted and saved and planned and ...... well....

Two days ago, Anna wrote a letter to Santa. She asked for a doll. The rotten little guy wrote back and said EVERYTHING BUT... "I'm bringing you a doll"....but he hinted around like it was true.

Then Sarah wrote and SHE asked for a doll too! "I've always wanted a doll!" WHAT?
She didn't ask ME for a doll! She asked for a dog!

Then Erika, she didn't play around with the english language, she went straight for the jugular. There was no bantering of words like, "Dear Santa, how is Mrs. Claus?" She said straight up, "I want a computer". A COMPUTER!??

Well, the computer was OUT, but dolls? I could work with that. I found myself looking at the American Girls Web site and found the prices Shudderingly scarey. Then I remembered my friend BETH2 from Frua, a voice of reason, talking about dolls from Target. Well, I headed to target and there they were. Beautiful dolls, the kind they wanted on SALE for 19.99!

So, yes, I am a Christmas maniac. I got them the dolls. Erika got a doll too. I hope they love them. Computers will come soon enough.
I loved buying them.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

Today was one of those days. The kind where you wonder why you woke up in the first place.....

I had to go to the insurance office to give them our premium before we became uninsured homeowners. I brought with me a delicate plate of home made coconut macaroons for an insurance peace offering.

I was about a mile from the office when the van made a wierd noise and then that all too familiar alarm sounded as the van died and drifted off to the curb. Now the last time I heard that sound I was in the middle of nearly nowhere and it overheated and the engine burned into a melted heap of metal. This time, I was pushing buttons to see if it was hot and it wasn't but it was that same unnerving sound.

So, I try to start it again, no go. I call Mike and he tells me to try and start it again. Nope, it won't budge. He calls a tow truck and heads to get me. He arrived at the same time as the tow truck. But inbetween that time I couldn't believe how nice people were. No less than 8 different cars stopped to offer help or assistance to use their cell phone. I was really proud of Dallas Texas.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Learning How To Play

I remember when Anna first came to us, she had no idea how to play and imagine. She did have 2 imaginary friends, "Holly and Sister Nuthin'", which showed she had potential as she had an imagination, but understanding playing with dolls and toys were just beyond her.
We started with playing together, and teaching her how to care for her babies. Over time, she took off. And now, I just walked onto the back porch. She was sitting on her saddle pretending to be "Pa" from "Little House on the Prairie", she had her "catch of food", (stuffed animals) hanging by her saddle and was getting away from wolves to go home for dinner. I walked out a few minutes later and she was making soup from wild leaves. She has been pretending little house with her sisters for a couple of weeks.
It is just ineteresting watching that little imagination become healthy and happy. The only thing she would pretend when she first came to us was that she was going to hit us or put us in time out because we were "bad". Now, she is a nice mommy, and plays a great "PA". She is going to be so excited to get that "Cowboy Outfit" she doesn't know she is getting for Christmas. :)

Christmastime Is Here

Here we are at another Christmas season. I love this time of year. I love the smells, the lights, the activity, watching the crowds, the smiles of strangers, everything is just better in December.

There is banter back and forth on how to celebrate the Holiday. Do you celebrate it as the Birth of Christ or as a Secular cultural Holiday? I have heard persuasive discussions from both camps.

However you choose to celebrate; tree, no tree, gifts, no gifts, religious only, secular only, mixed up and all in between or mixed up and all in betweeen, don't forget that EVERYDAY that we live, is a day to Celebrate Christ our Lord. It is a day for which we should be thankful. Every day is a reminder that Christ did come in the form of a man, emptied himself of His glory and became a serveant unto death. It is a time to reflect upon the baby who came, but also the one who reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is a time to remember that this is how God showed His love for us.
That while we were yet sinner's Christ Died for us.

The Ultimate Gift, became the Ultimate Sacrifice to give us Ultimate Life; He is our Life.

Monday, December 3, 2007

When Santa Fell In Love With Joe

When Joseph was 3, I took him to see Santa Clause at the Mall. This Santa was such a cool Santa. He had a REAL long white beard, and long white hair. He had a beautiful red suit and little round gold rimmed glasses. Marcus was not about to see Santa, but Joe was intrigued.
I had never "pushed" the Santa Clause thing on them, but he had seen Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and had seen the Mall Santa, so we paid a visit. After a long wait in line, Joe got on Santa's lap. With those large Hazel eyes he stared at Santa and talked to him about his cars and just contenly sat on his lap. He never asked for anything for Christmas. He didn't get the concept of "Christmas getting" quite yet.

The large elf woman was asking me about picture packages for 19.95 and I couldn't afford that. I said no picture, he just wants to see Santa. He came out with a look of contentment on his face and didn't say anything. He just seemed happy. A week later, I took the kids back to the mall to see the decorations again. Joe asked to see Santa again. There wasn't a line, so there he was back on Santa's lap. Again, he talked about his cars, but didn't ask for anything. Then again, and then again. Santa smiled when he came to see him the last time. He thought he was such a sweet little guy and commented about how he never asks for anything. He just wants to visit. Santa seemed pleased about that.
They stopped asking to take pictures and understood, Joe just wanted to talk to Santa one more time. Santa let him talk as long as he wanted, and then he went home content. I think Santa still remembers Joe and those sweet hazel eyes staring at him in awe.

What About Santa Clause?

So Was Saint Nicholas a real person?


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In Honor To The LORD for our Tim

I don't know if I can get through writing this, but I am compelled.

My Tim, OUR Tim is graduating from College. A mother could not be prouder of ALL of her sons, but Tim.... How can I begin?

When I found out Tim was on the way, it was because of a "threatened miscarriage". I went to the Dr. and found out he was still hanging on for dear life. Well, he hung on as long as possible, and when I was 30 weeks pregnant, he was born. I won't go into the long details of the experience except to say that is was not normal labor and delivery.

Tim breathed on his own, gasping for each breath through underdeveloped lungs for nearly 4 hours before he was rescued by a team from the NICU at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. I took one long lingering look at him as they were taking him away. He curled his little fingers around my finger and gazed back at me so intently for a very sick newborn. I checked out his fingers and toes and full head of black hair. He was the most beautiful baby. And then, he had to go. I couldn't follow until several hours later.
I got there as soon as I could. Of course, my first question was, "Is he going to live?"
The very experienced nurse said, "I can't tell you that, but he is a fighter!"
Those words never rang so true.

He fought for 16 days on a respirator, and on his 16th day, VICTORY! He was breathing with oxygen, ON HIS OWN! I went home triumphant. When we returned that night, the Dr. stopped us saying "Don't let them in here yet, I need to talk to them!" Chills ran through me. I caught a glimpse of him. He was back on the respirator.

The Dr. gave us the grim news, that he had suffered a major brain hemmorage. It was large and to the left side of the brain. As the Dr. went on explaining things, his words were humming somewhere away from me and I was thinking, "Can this be happening?" It was. But it was so surreal. I came back to hear the Dr. once again say that he has given them no indication that he will ever see, hear, speak, sit up, etc. I said, in other words, "He will be a vegetable?" Yes.

The Dr's. told us they wanted to remove him from life support. After numerous tests at our request, he was taken off of life support. He was determined to be brain dead.
My prayer had been, "Lord, if Tim is never going to know he was alive, if he can never Know YOU, then take him, but if you have something to teach me through taking care of him, can I please keep him? But can you make him Know he is loved and make it so he will know you and can worship you?

Well, I didn't know it, but my prayer was answered. We rocked him for a day, and he didn't die. Then they put him back on oxygen and I overheard them say, "this is a devastated baby", meaning,  he can breathe, but nobody is home. I was crushed.

I visited him every day and talked to him and held him. At nearly 3 mos he came home.
I don't exactly remember when, but I went into his room and looked at him and he looked back for the first time and SMILED back at me when I said, "hi Timmy"! OH WOW! That was strange. He started to learn how to suck too, and at 5 mos, was taking a bottle without needed to have a tube put in his tummy to feed. Up to that point, I was tube feeding him several times a day. It took a lot of practice, but he learned.

Before I knew it, he was babbling and starting to bunny crawl, but not sit up.
He was a happy little guy, all chubby and cherubic.

I knew we had a problem when he couldn't sit up and seemed rather stiff. I found out he had a condition called "Cerebral Palsy"; spastic diplegia to be exact.
Not much hope was given.

He had some therapies but not much made a difference. He wanted to walk when his baby brother Joe started walking. In fact he got MAD that Joe was walking and he wasn't. He made it is life project each and every day to do nothing but try to walk, and walk he did! It was just a few steps, but after trying over and over and falling and falling, he was finally able to manage a walk.

He was considered retarded by all the tests, with his first IQ test coming back at around 68. I was again told not to expect too much. I knew better. He was a linguist and was already conversing above his age level. Did he have issues. YES!
Wierd seizures that made him stop talking, bang things, including his brothers, open and close doors... and forget everything he ever learned in his life. But, we got them figured out.

It was time to start school. First he was placed in a Preschool for the Handicapped through the public school system. He came home after 1 week and had a tanrum, and by week 2 was banging his head on the floor! I went to the school and was shocked. The teacher said, "I think he is autistic!" AUTISTIC! NO! He is mimicking his classmates. I pulled him out and he returned to normal.

He went to a regular Kindergarten, and then was placed in a special ed for 1st. They were teaching him to tie shoes, comb hair, things I would teach him at home. I asked them, "What about reading?" It was like I was from mars.

Things continued that way through 4th grade. He was going into 5th grade and still could not read and write, or do any math problems. The teachers told him he couldn't and he believed it. WE DIDN"T BELIEVE IT! We went to his final IEP and 10 professionals stared at us telling us he would never learn to read or write or do math. WHAT? He can find the super secret Mario mushroom! If he can do that, he can read!

Thus began our journey with home education.

Tim tried so very hard and by Christmas was READING. Before school officially started he did 2 years of beginning math! He was focused and ready! Life was back in his eyes. His internal clock was raring to go at 6:00 a.m., and I had to ask if I could have my morning coffee before answering his math question.:)

Tim continued to progress and more importantly grow in his relationship with the Lord.

When he was 18, he so much wanted to graduate. I knew it would benefit him to study just one more year. I asked him to pray about it. He did, and then made a very mature decision. He would study one more year and graduate with his brother Joe.
He grew so much that year academically and emotionally. It was a fun year.

He was still convinced he couldn't do college. Joe and taken a year off to wait for Marcus to graduate, and then they were going to go to school together.

I so much wanted Tim to go too. His brothers got a grand Idea! While Tim was on a missions trip to Russia, they would sign him up for college. When he got home, he had 5 days to take the college entrance test and move into a dorm room with Marc. We told him, "don't think, just GO! I don't care if you take underwater basket weaving, GO!
He took the entrance test and passed it. His first semester was bowling and Russian.

After that, he got the school bug.... then more encouragement, and then.... he met a girl. Emily. She encouraged him even more. And... She married him. :)

Well,day after day, week after week, month after month, semester after semester, Tim went from Jr. College to University of Texas Dallas! Wow, he was a Junior, and then a Senior!
Math class after math class; professors telling him he should give up, not allowing extra time... then there were those who did give extra time and encouragement. But NOBODY gave him a free ride. He did every assignment. He did everything, just like everybody else.

And then, today came. He took his last final. He is done. DONE! It has been 7 years of non stop study. He is done. And December 8, 2007, when he walks across that stage to get his diploma, We will be there, proud mom,proud dad, with a large box of kleenex stashed away. We're gonna need it.
Praise the LORD!

We're so proud of you Tim!

Dear Lord,

I thank you for letting me be Tim's mom. For sending him to me and giving me the honor of raising him. I am so honored and thankful for my dear son. Lord you know what is best for each of us, and all of your gifts are good. You have taught me to embrace sorrow and suffering through Tim, in order to achieve gladness and joy.

Thankyou for my wonderful gift.
Tim's mom

A U Tube Slide Show has been added over there--------> see Tim's Slide Show

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Today Was Anna's Birthday

Ahhh. What a nice day. 9 years old is just a fine age to be. Anna woke up to her favorite Oatmeal breakfast, and then hunted the house for presents. She was pleasantly surprised with a coveted Remote Control Tarantula. She loved baking her own cake, and finally having her favorite dinner. She is looking forward to Chuckie Cheese this weekend. Little girls are just the sweetest gifts. So are little boys, but right now, it is a little girl's day. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

What a whirlwind of a trip! We celebrated Thanksgiving in Phoenix with Mike's brother's family and Sister's family, and all thier friends, and more of our extended family. We had a wonderful time, just wish it could have been longer.
When we left Dallas it was about 83. We rushed, all day getting as ready as we could be; my fault for not being ready the day before, which set the pace for the beginning of our trip as "stressed". I should have known better!

Before long, there were little rumblings of bickers coming from the back seat. "She's looking at me!" "Her pillow is touching my pillow!" I was starting to long for the days when putting the kids in the back of a pickup camper was legal. :)

After about an hour and a half, we pulled over and said, "This must stop." We moved one child up front with us, and we kept it that way all the way there and all the way home.
It made for a great time in the car and at while visiting in Phoenix. The kids had a wonderful time and so did we.

It was really neat to meet new people and of course all of the relatives. I loved seeing all the little cousins together and noticed Anna and James seemed to hit it off with their love of reptiles and spiders.

Sarah loved being with Lindsey and little Emily and I think they especially enjoyed playing follow the leader in the Creek.

Erika enjoyed spending time with Katie and Melanie, and playing Backgammon with Grampa.
The biggest treat for Anna was being able to lead a Llama around by a leash and help take care of it.

Ever since her LLAMA experience it has been "when can we get a LLama!" Yikes.... Do they SPIT? I Dunno.

We are home now, I have gotten past the collapsed from exhaustion experience and we are now working on the Christmas tree and planning for the Christmas Holiday.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Anna- Dear God,I'm thankful for new clothes, ribbon Candy, the new globe, the coloring book, the Elsie Dinsmore Books, reading about Coyotes, memorizing bible verses, having a house, a cat that doesn't meow at Rusty. (the dog next door)I'm thankful for mommy, daddy, Sarah and Erika and animals to love and kiss and give shots and I'm thankful for the cows. Amen

Sarah- Dear God,I'm thankful for my sisters,and I'm thankful for a sister who helps me get my crayons, I'm thankful I have good clothes, sisters who tickle me but don't jerk me, I'm thankful for God's angels and that God helped me, and I'm thankful for my family and home. Amen.

Erika- Dear God, I'm thankful for my family and my sisters. I'm thankful that I have legs. I'm thankful that I have hair. I'm thankful that we get to go to AZ to see Uncle Dave.
I'm thankful my sisters help me and play with me. I'm thankful that I got adopted by a wonderful family. I'm thankful that I have a mother that teaches us. I'm thankful that I have brothers, that God gave me a wonderful life. I'm thankful that God gave me uncles, aunts, father mother and cousins. I'm thankful for a house, food and a bed.
I'm thankful we have animals, and turkeys. I'm thankful for my coloring book, and that I like to read and play basketball. I love my whole family that God has given me. I'm thankful I have a globe. Amen

Friday, November 9, 2007

Well, HE DID IT!

Chuck signed with Capitol Records. He has a contract, WRITTEN and SIGNED! Guaranteed 3 Albums. His song "GEEK" is being played on the Radio and is about to go Nationwide.
It is already being played in several states and on the TV show "Beauty and the Geek."
All those years of guitars, singing in his room, sceaming to make his voice "raspy", weird pedal requests, worries, sacrifices, hard work. He signed. Chuck I'm proud of you. :)
Love, Mom

The Link to the Geek song is over there---------->>>>>>>

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Anna and Her Fish

Since Anna lost her sheep to Coyotes, she has had a hard time not having something living to take care of. That ended last night when she purchased her very first Beta Fish. She is so proud of her. She says it is a girl, of course. The fish looked at her and got happy and excited. She insists the fish WANTED to go with her. After careful consideration on each item needed to care for a fish, a report on fish care for daddy, and getting the fish home, she named it Ruby Carole. It is a great name for a red fish. :)

She sat by her during movie time last night and made sure she was ok. This a.m. was fish feeding time. 3 pellets. I think she has found a new love, and coyotes can't get to it.

Funny Sarah

Oh My, she comes up with some zingers.

Today, she was looking at the BBC version of "The Silver Chair". She asked, "Mommy, did you win this movie?" I said, "No, why do you ask?" She said, "because it says 'Award Winning Video' on the box." :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

What Is OUR Purpose in Life Here

I have been pondering this after a few discussions that Mike and I have had. What IS our purpose here? Is it to be happy, have a cool family, live morally, die and go to Heaven? No. It can be so much more.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my family. But there is LIFE in Christ, that INCLUDES family and includes ministry and includes work.

Our lives SHOULD reflect and glorify God. Is what we do, here on Earth for ourselves, or is it in honor and love for our Lord Jesus Christ?

Every time I look at an orphanage slide show, there is something down inside that tells me, that is where I should be, that is where WE should be serving. Living out James 1:27.

This a.m. I witinessed our "Christian" neighbor, be so rude and mean to another neighbor who's cow jumped over the fence. I saw her so worked up over a cow, and thought, oh my, what would happen if we got that worked up over sin. Sin in our own lives. Sin that causes little children to be abandoned, neglected and abused?

Then I looked at myself. I can get myself worked up over things too. Oh that I would spend that energy more wisely, to pursue holiness, to pursue a life dedicated to my Lord and Savior, to pursure James 1:27 and be its embodiment. Oh Lord help me to prioritize. Help me to guided by your Holy Spirit in my every day existence.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Music Is A Universal Language

When we were in Ukraine. We couldn't speak Russian and Erika couldn't speak English.
Somehow we were able to communicate. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What More Could a Mom Want

We are getting closer to Christmas, and we asked the girls to think about what they might like to have this year.

I received a letter from Sarah. She said she wants a "book room", a new skirt, green shorts and a new movie. Then she said, "I want a happy family". We always joke when she asks what dad or I want; "all I want is a happy family". She always says, "you already have that! What do you REALLLY want?"

We say, we have what we want. A happy family.:) So when she wrote this, it made my heart sing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I was contemplating life the other day. This is my last year of my 40's. Next year I will be 50. Yep, nobody, NOBODY is considered young when they are 50. That doesn't mean I can't look great, or have energy or that I have one foot in the grave, but it does mean, most likely I have lived over half of my life. Now, it is time to reflect.

If I had known in advance how my life would be, before it unfolded to me, I think I probably would have crawled into a corner to wait it out; like a timid toddler not wanting to go to preschool.

If anybody had told me how painful the teenage years would be. That I would be laughed at and rejected because of my Savior, I wouldn't have beleived it. After all, this is the United States, a Christian Country, and it was church youth group. They were supposed to Love the same Lord that I did. It was so very painful and confusing.

If anybody had told me that the lover of my youth, would turn on his Savior and reject his own flesh, and the fruit of his loins, I would have cowered in disbeleif. I might never have dared to marry in order to avoid the deep and mournful pain the self doubt, the fear.

If anybody had told me that my second born son would be so very close to death, hanging from a thread between fleshly earth and eternity, I would have been crushed by the weight.

If anybody had told me how lonely I would be, even in a large family, raising four little boys alone, and how difficult it would be to try to be the mom to them that they deserved, I would have run for cover.

If anybody had told me I would marry again, I would have denied it, saying I would never get divorced, how could I marry again!

If anybody had told me that I would have 3 more daughters, I would have said, oh no, I'm a boy mom, not a girl mom!

If anybody had told me about he depths of despair that each of my daughters would come from, I would have been crushed by the weight of pain and sadness.

That is why God kept all of his miracles secrets. God chooses to bless us in many different ways. One of the ways he blesses us, is by breaking us, so he can mold us into what he wants us to be. If we were born perfected, how would He be glorified on Earth?

I think I have been in need of much perfection and breaking in my life. God hates pride. That means he must have hated the pride he found in me.

I was so sure of what I knew as a child, that at times, I would step out on my own and try to force the hand of God. I remember telling a Jehovahs Witness child, I won't let you ride my bike if you don't beleive what I do. I thought I was saving him from Hell fire; not seeing that the Lord is a lord of Mercy and Grace.

I was so proud and pomposs that I KNEW I would never get a divorce. Marriage is forever, besides I was 18 and marrying a minister, I'm divorce proof! Boy did God let me know that wasn't the case.

And then, no perfect healing for my son? What is this all about? I thought if I had perfect faith, without doubt, a mountain would be moved! Why is my son not healed?
Why have I not seen a miracle? He only weighs 2lbs. 14 oz's. He's hardly a mountain!

Where are you God?

How could God lead me into single parenthood! Parents aren't supposed to be single!
Lord, don't you care about my family?

And now, I am led to marry again, but I'm conflicted within. Again and again I study the word of God and what others have to say about remarriage. I pray and pray and sense the leading of the Lord, as does Mike. So I marry.

Wow, something good has happened.

I continue to struggle as God breaks my fingers from the grip of pride. I hear him calling me, "let go", I am a good catcher."

I struggle. "Let GO, I'll catch you!"

Come and be what I want you to be......

I let go... finally totally let go. I don't care anymore. I don't care what other's think of me. I don't care what my life looks like. I care about letting go.

As I basque in the healing balm of the Lord, he lets me know he isn't finished. I already knew that somehow, but I didn't need to hide in a corner anymore.
I knew the only place to run and hide was at the foot of the cross. That is where he wants me to stay.

So he brings these little girls into my life. They are a delight and a joy, and they have come with much tribulation and heartache. I cannot control what happened to them. I cannot take it away. I can lead them to the foot of the cross that took me so long to find. There they can basque in the presense of the Lord and understand that the breaking process in our lives is to rip the weeds of self love, pride and arrogance and replace them with the sweet fragrance of sorrow and suffering. Only there can we find our hope. Only there can we cling to our Lord. Only there can we be molded and shaped in to something of true beauty.

I am so glad that I didn't know what would happen in my life before it happened. I wouldn't have chosen to live my life. I would have been too afraid to live.
And that is exactly why God doesn't reveal everything to us. He knows we would be great big chickens, unable to come out of the coop for fear of the wolves.

He gives us our lives in small bytes.... one day at a time. One revelation at a time, and then when we look back, we see how God in his great infinite love and mercy, extended His hand, and held ours, all through our lives, and we would not trade one moment of the gift of life he as given us for anything.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm Sad

I am so sad. We went to Ministry group last night, and returned rather late. Too early to put the turkeys away when we left and it was late when we returned. We forgot to put them away.

They are in a fenced area, and roam around freely during the day time. This a.m., at about 5, I heard the duck going crazy. I just figured it was waking up and being "the duck that thinks its a rooster", like in Babe.

Apparently, the duck was running for cover and alerting us that our turkeys were being attacked by dogs. I didn't see the dogs, just the end result. 5 dead turkeys. It is so frustrating to have them fenced in, and they SHOULD be safe, only to have their lives taken from them for some dog's sport. If it were a wild animal, they would have eaten them. But, just like before with the sheep, 1 was eaten and the rest just left for dead.

I feel terribly that I didn't put them away. At the same time I feel angry that people don't put their dogs away and make sure they don't roam or pack.

So what is the Lord trying to teach me? Is he trying to take away the things that I love? Prying my hands off of my worldly desires to be a "real farmer?" Or is he saying, "get a dog stupid~!" I honestly don't know.

I know that if we move to Ukraine, we will most likely not have an animal. Is the Lord trying to prepare us for that? BUT... if we live in the country we will have an animal, but I doubt we would live in the country.

I don't know. I think for now, I'm going to pray and get a dog. That will solve both issues for now.

I'm just so sad.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Visit

I cannot put into words right now, how much the last 2 weeks has meant to Mike and to me and the girls.

It is always nice to see relatives come and visit. But when you haven't seen them in so long, and they bring little new relatives who coo and drool and smile and laugh, it just warms your heart so.

We had a whirlwind of 10 days of delight and joy. Joe, Becca and Sam visiting, playing backgammon for a gillion times, cooking, creating and enjoying each other. They were such a huge blessing for all of us. And our little Sam, just makes us melt with delight. He is a doll, dimples and all. He is rambunctious, gives me many memories of days gone by, and I just KNOW the Lord has wonderful things in store for him.

One of the neatest things was seeing all 15 kids and grandkids in the house at the same time. What a great bunch of people, young and old. What a huge representation of talent and love. What a wonderful family. I was so sad that Mike's mom and dad couldn't come down and visit, but that will happen again, in time. We are so blessed as a family. My words fail to express my greatfulness to the Lord for the awesome things HE has done.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The New Kids on the Block are Here

And they are sooooo Darling!

Sam Minich is 6 months old, Will Minich is 5 months old. The cousins have seen each other and seem to like each other alot! Of course Gramma and Grampa adore them both.
So, here are the pics from Yesterday!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Kids Learning English

Kids Learning English can be such a fun experience and a Funny experience.

I remember when Sarah had been with us for about a year and was starting to use "phrases" that she thought she understood. One time in the grocery store, she cheerily looked at me and said, "Mommy, You make me sick!" with a big smile on her face.
When she saw the look on mine, her countenance fell and she when I asked her "what did you say?" She said, "oh I don't think you'll want me to repeat that one." LOL
So I explained to her what it meant, and she was horrified. :)

Fast forward to Erika. I was putting her on the bedpan, which made it even funnier.

She said, "I'm just crapping all the time!" I looked stunned! I said what? She said, I crap alot! I asked her, "where did you hear that?" I then realized she had a very puzzled look on her face. I asked her what she meant. She pointed to her wrist and neck and said, You know "crap". Ahhhh, that is CRACK dear. She pops and cracks alot.
That was a good laugh!

We were sitting at the donut shoppe waiting for Daddy to come out with kolaches.
I saw a man walking by with an Australian Shepherd. We have been looking at dogs, and one of the kinds we have been looking at is an Australian Shepherd. I said to Erika, "Look! there goes an Australian Shepherd!" She replied, "Oh! And he has a dog!" I nearly spit out my coffee. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

School Days

It is that time of year again. We were off to a great start. School started on August 1st. The girls are all reading!!!! Yea! This makes it so much easier on mom. Now we are working on perfecting our reading. We started, then had a slight break for Erika's surgery, although Uncle Bob took on the challenge and helped the girls through some schooling. When Erika and I left for the hospital we had covered up to Marco Polo in our history book. When we returned, Anna and Sarah were covering George Washington ALREADY! Wow Bob, what a task master! :)

We are looking forward to a very successful year full of excitement. The girls are waiting anxiously to go to a Planetarium after they memorize all the planets.

Science seems to be a favorite for Anna. Erika seems to really like history and Sarah loves math and reading.

I'm so very proud of all of them. The picture is what they looked like on the first day of school.

Our Anna

I just want to say something about my precious little Anna. She is such a trooper. She silently watches as her sisters seem to get much limelight. Not because they seek it, that is just the way it is. She is such a great sister. She helps care for them when they need her, gets thier socks for them, helps with all kinds of extras and doesn't complain, most of the time. :)

Anna LOVES animals of all kinds. She is very interested in Bindy Sue Irwin, and loves to visit her website online so she can look at Bindy's snake. I think we have a little vet on our hands. :)

This past few months has been very hard for Anna. She lost her Dear Uncle Jim to Leukemia, her sheep were eaten by coyotes, (the one she bottle fed) her sister went to a great camp that she couldn't go to and then had surgery. She didn't want to have surgery, but she has silently handled being sidelined lately and I am so proud of her.

She is a GREAT KID.

The Past Week

Whew! It has been a whilwind of a week and a half. Erika and I left for the hospital on August8, leaving Anna and Sarah in the good hands of Daddy and Uncle Bob.

August 9 was surgery day and Mike came up to spend the day with me so I wouldn't have to sit alone. I wasn't able to be alone this time. I was alone when Tim had a similar surgery and I didn't want to experience that again.

Erika came through the surgery well, but lost a lot of blood. She was in terrible pain for about 3 days. Just a slight movement of her pillow or a bump on her bed and she would go through the roof in pain. Poor baby. It is so hard to see them suffer like this.
She also had a hard time with oxygen saturation and needed to get blood. We now know that she is O positive. A universal donar!

She was able to come off the oxygen on August 14. We came home that night, after she spent about 12 hours on room air.

I just love kids. She went to the child life room and after playing a few games turned and said, "I just love this hospital, it is so nice".

We are so fortunate to have so many friends too. 3 fellows from the prosthetic department stopped to see her and make sure she was ok.

The Folks from Peaceable Kingdom camp called twice to check on her and sent a camp bag for her.

Her Sunday School teachers stopped by, as did one of our Elder's and His wife. Stand and Berny Schultz. How sweet.

Plus numerous calls and well wishes. She HAS to get better and walk soon. :)

But for now:

We are home, she is in a body cast, still on some pain meds, but overall doing well.
The hardest part is the bed pan service. I think we have it down to a science now.
She has to be rotated, and keeping knots out of her hair is a challenge.

I'm so proud of her. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Melanie's visit

We had a great visit with cousin Melaine this last week. She is a delight. I picked her up from the airport and immediatly let dad and mom know that the package had been safely delivered. :)

She played with the girls, learned about the animals, learned to play backgammon and we hunted several stores until we FOUND cotton candy!!!!

We took her to see the new Rat movie, Rattatouie, which was quite good and very funny.
We look forward to seeing Mel again.

Erika and Mom go to Camp

Yep, we went to camp. When we were about an hour out of town, I had this chill go through my body. I was thinking, "were we supposed to bring tents?" AHHHHH! I started sweating, thinking about this ole' body sleeping on the ground. No way that could happen.
We arrived at the camp, and my heart was overyjoyed. I saw a very beautiful lodge, rocking chairs, and then we were led to the cabin. A large log cabin with lots of beds and real mattresses. YEA! This was gonna be cool!

Oh my, was it ever a great week. We did all kinds of things,but what impressed me the most was the giving hearts of so many young people who shared their lives with us.

One fellow in particular was a young man, on his way to college in New York. He was deaf, and could read lips quite well. I could have brought him home. He was just a joy to be around. I tried my sign language skills out on him and found out that I accidently know a bad word.:( He so eleoquently showed me the right way to say but. :)

Erika was able to do so many things. She climbed on ropes, did arts and crafts, swimming, bean John with the ball, air hockey, dancing(she loved dancing)miniature golf, high swings, archery, horse back riding, learned about metal crafts, watched movies in the theatre, participated in a skit,fished, met new friends and had a wonderful time.

She got to know Robert the guy who makes her legs pretty well, and also John, the guy who fits her for her legs. She made some friends with other children especially Kash, a beautiful girl who was born with no arms.

Oh my, we had a great time.

Our week was a week of peace. No staring. No glaring... just acceptance and love.
I will never forget it, and the wonderful parents I met. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Well, it has been 14 months since we got back from Ukraine with Erika. What an eventful 14 months. As I was cleaning out our closet, I noticed a carry on bag that we had used in Ukraine. It still had a couple of straggling items in it, so I took them out. As I was taking them out, I noticed a business card that somebody had given us in the internet Cafe' we went to in Kiev. I decided to check up on the folks who gave us that card, as they were there doing the same thing we were.

WOW! Do they ever have a story. It is interesting how our lives intertwined for just a moment in time, but the stories that come from that meeting are so life changing.

They adopted an 11 year old little girl. Her story is amazing. She suffered unspeakable torment at the hands of her parents. Then, she was taken to an orphanage after being shot and burned.

You can read her story at http:spaces.msn.com/ukarineadoption

Friday, June 15, 2007

Birthday Girls

Wow! Today was a neat day.

Sarah turned 8 years old. This is such a special day, because Sarah was so very happy and excited about her birthday. She never mentioned her previous life or the negative things that used to happen on birthdays, such as NOTHING, and then being scared at her previous home. Her first birthday with us was interrupted by a phone call from the previous family and she broke down in a pile of tears and wet her pants in a panic.

Last year was much better, but she had lots of memories.

This year, however, was flawless. She was HERSELF! Do you know how important that is??
Do you know how special that is???

It is AMAZING! Birthdays are a time of remembering, a time of reminiscing, a time of remembering the day you were born. Unfortunately the day Sarah came into this world, it was a traumatic day. Her unmarried mother rejected her. She placed her in the care of the Ukrainian Government, where she was systematically neglected for many years.
She was then placed in an orphanage, then finally adopted at 5, only to be rejected again. She didn't have a chance. Or so it seems she didn't.

The Good Lord saw fit to intervene in this little one's life and here she is all bubbly and smiley and full of life like any 8 year old should be.

I'm so proud of her. So proud to be a part of her. So proud to be her momma.

Happy Birthday Sarah, you are more special than you will ever know. :)

I'm going to add to this post about Erika's birthday.

She woke up so very excited about her special day. Our friend Kenny came over to work with Mike and observed her looking for presents. He said, "I've never seen anybody hide gifts before." Erika turned around with a big smile and said, "that is what our family does!" "We hide our presents and look for them!"
She was having such a good time. :)

This is Erika's second birthday with us and she has established that this is OUR tradition! Isn't that the coolest thing?

These 2 days have made me so very happy. The girls are so settled and comfortable.
More so than I ever thought possible. God has been so good to us, simple birthdays, simple joy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


When our son Tim was born, he was very premature. Because of complications, and a pretty bad hack job of a delivery, he had a massive brain hemmorage at 16 days old. This caused him to have Cerebral Palsey. They didn't tell us that he had Cerebral Palsy. They sort of let us find out on our own. When we started asking questions like, "why doesn't he bend his legs? Why is he so stiff? Why can't he turn over? Whey can't he sit up?" Then, they said, "Oh yeah, he has Cerebral Palsy." gee thanks.
I wish I had known that before. I could have spent a lot of time reading up on it to know what was ahead for us, and what we could do to help him.

I think the hardest part of having a child with disabilities is the isolation one feels from the general public, not the disability issue itself. It is hard sometimes continually being asked questions. Always being stared at. At home, it isn't an issue. Don't really notice anything. But then in public, it's another story. I'm not that shy, but do wish for anonimity sometimes.
Just to blend in. Nobody notice. Nobody stare. I remember one time when I went with Tim to the store when he was about 17, we kept getting stared at. For a while I couldn't figure it out. I actaully went into the bathroom to see if something was wrong with my hair or face. Then it dawned on me. They were staring at how he walks. LOL I had completely forgotten that it isn't every day that you see somebody walk like Tim. I really don't even notice it. But others do.

So, here we are, all old and everything. And now, we have 3 little girls. 2 of them have missing limbs. One, just her leg and some fingers, with some deformity of her existing leg and arms. The other one, has arthrogryposis, and had to have both feet amputated. They are wonderful, beautiful girls. Sweet beyond sweet. But what do people see? They see disfigurement. They see missing legs. They see "HANDICAPPED". And yes, we are back to being stared at all over again.
The sad thing to me is that nothing has changed over the past 25 plus years. People still don't teach their children not to stare. They still whisper while looking at you and don't smile. They still point. The same kids that made fun of our dear son, and stared at him, are now the parents of the kids who stare today. Nobody seems to learn, and that makes me sad.

So here we go again. Educating people that we do not know. Rising above the hurt, to say, we are just people with feelings.
And NO, you don't need to feel sorry for us. And NO our lives are not terrible. And NO we are not "catchy".

What we like to share is how wonderful, rich and full our lives really are.
After all, how many people can break their leg, drop it off at the hospital and pick it up the next day like we do?
How many people can take thier feet off when they hurt? I'm stuck with mine.
We are able to speak frankly with our children about love, understanding,ignorance, forgiveness, education. Are they special kids? YOU BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR THEY ARE!
But not because of the outside that society tries to define them with; but because of the inside that reveals their true spirits of kindness, bravery, confidence and love.
How many people have the privelege of meeting and working intimately with some of the finest Doctors., prosthetists, nurses and all around great folks on a regular basis all for the cause of making a child's life successful?

And I can't forget to mention the silent siblings. First, our 3 other boys, who lovingly cared for and watched over thier brother. Who patiently and sometimes not so patiently protected him. Who waited for him to get back from a missions trip so they could all go to college together. Who encouraged him to keep on keeping on and follow his dreams, when he got discouraged.
And to our little Anna, who quietly serves her sisters. Many times she helps them find their socks. She knows the exact socks they are supposed to wear and many times wakes up early to help them get dressed. She has helped Erika with the bathroom, making sure she has wipes. She has actually surprised us and carried her to the bathtub, out of the tub and gotten her dressed, only to say, "mom Erika's done with her bath, it's time to get her out!" Then, I go to get her out and there is howling laughter at my surprise! She has helped Erika put her legs on and surprised us with Erika walking out of the bedroom all dressed. What joy she brings us with her servants heart.

So we will continue to share our blessings with those who truly know what blessings are. And to educate those who don't.
This is the Life that God has chosen for us, and we are most grateful.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I was looking at some pictures of our new little grandson Sam. Look at how he is engaging his mom at 3 weeks old! His mommy and daddy are his delight. He trusts them fully. He does not doubt that his mommy and daddy will take care of his every need. When he cries, they are there to comfort him. When he is hungry, they are there to feed him. When he is cold they keep him warm. He is cuddled and loved by them and he adores them.

Now, I think our our own dear little girlies. Left in beds. When they cried, nobody came, so they ceased crying. When they were hungry, nobody fed them, so they found other ways to satisfy their most basic needs. When they were cold, they shivered. When they wanted to talk to somebody, there was nobody, so they cooed to themselves, they comforted themselves, they rocked themselves.

To think, that every moment of every day for Sam's first 5 weeks of life now, he has been cared for; I couldn't imagine his needs not being met, even for 5 weeks. That would be terrible!
But, I know, our own dd's needs were not met for YEARS. How can we fathom Years of neglect?
We nearly can't. Our hearts would break.

What amazes me even more is that they are all blossoming into lovely young ladies, full of love and compassion for each other, for their own mommy and daddy, and for others outside of their immediate family.
I am amazed at their capacity to forgive, move on, grow and explore their new world. It IS a new world for them. To see little babies being cared for the way they never were, has got to bring a tinge of pain to them. After we see the babies, they ask if we can rock them. We do.
I cannot make up for their loss. I cannot change their loss. What I CAN do, is grieve for them, with them, and guide them to maturity. I cannot pretend that they were never neglected or that it hasn't effected them in some way. It has profound impact. My prayer is that they will use it as a tool of understanding that most will never know, and not an implement of destruction to continue the cycle of neglect. I have a sneaking suspicion, that they will use it as a tool for the positive.

Thanks for hearing my heart break for them.
Now I will turn around and smile at them, and continue to love them.
They always have a way of mending my heart.


Sarah is in charge of the baby Turkeys. Today, when she went to the coop, she and Anna found one a little weak and looking rather sickly. We determined that he might be a little cold, getting pushed out from under the warm light. So Sarah decided to keep him warm alone for a while and bring him in the house. The girls were eating their breakfast and Anna asked if she could hold him for a while. Sarah cautiously said, "well ok, but watch his head!"

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Today Anna and I drove the sheep to Trenton to be turned into food. She has gotten used to the trip, and enjoys going. She has really turned into a farmer. :)

Today, as we were driving, it seems that we were noticing lots of new housing developments popping up where there used to be corn and wheat fields. It is progress, I guess, but also sad. It seems to way of life that we so love is giving way to "city folks" who want to be country folks, without the country. Meaning, they like having space between their homes, but instead of cows, sheep or goats, there are big fancy swimming pools and rec rooms instead of barns. Then, those very people who encroached on our way of life, turn around and snub thier noses at us "low class farmer types" and start to demand that those smelly animals be moved to where they belong! The country!!
Well hello! We WERE the country, until YOU moved here!
Not that I'm venting or anything..... but, it is getting harder and harder to keep a precious way of life safe.

Back to Anna.

She asked the question. How Long before we will have to get rid of our animals? I told her I didn't know, but my guess was, not too long. She proteseted, WE HAVE to have animals! I can't LIVE WITHOUT animals! :) She is a good animal keeper, I must say. She takes great care of them. I do not have to remind her to feed them or spend time with them.

So, what does she do? What any farmer would do. All the way to Trenton, she was looking at property and for sale signs.
She kept saying, "There's a good place! Look at that barn!" "That one has a pond!"

I think she has the farmer bug. I'm so proud of her. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Post Office and Turkeys

You might be thinking, what do post offices have to do with turkeys? Well, that can be two fold.

The first Turkey I ran into at the post office was an employee. He asked to see my ID because I was purchasing stamps with a credit card. He dramatically looked at my ID, then ME, then my ID, then Me. Finally he said, you look nothing like this picture, IS THIS YOU? DUH!!! Like I'm going to say NO, if I was some sort of terrorist trying to buy a roll of stamps.

Could I possibly look like a terrorist crook? I'm standing there, amost 50 years old, bandana on my head, white t shirt, favorite jeans, socks and birkenstocks. The worst thing somebody dressed like me would commit would be preventing somebody from cutting a tree down in Washington State. I was only lacking my Starbucks to prove the point!

Ok, so the guy was a Turkey.

Fast forward to 2 days later:

I get a call from the famous Post Office telling me my Turkeys are in to please come and pick them up.
HUH!!!! They are a tad early. I wasn't expecting them till next week. Oh well. Turkeys, we aren't ready but what the hey, let's load up in the van and start a new adventure.

We get to the post office and they look at us like we are from Mars. Turkeys? What turkeys? I say, "you called me 10 minutes ago! What do you mean "what turkeys!" So, I call home and have mike get the Number from Caller ID. It turns out my Turkeys are over an hour away at the Coppell Post office. I am trying to figure this out, and it turns out that the Coppell Post Office is a big branch for all the other post offices. BUT... the package said, when it arrives, call customer for pickup!
Now I know, that package went to at least 3 post offices, with that sort of Logic, I would have had to pick them up in Idaho where they originated!
The person on the phone actually tried to defend not sending them to Wylie! Even though we have picked chickens up in Wylie on more than one occasion!
I'm thinking, did they transfer the Wylie guy to Coppell????
So, I agree to drive ove ran hour to pick them up. Then they say, oh, you aren't a business? You can't pick them up here, this is only for businesses and other post offices, there is HIGH SECURITY HERE you won't be able to get in!!!
Ok, so my Turkeys are not in Wylie, but Coppell. They called me to come and pick them up, but now that I'm coming, they can't let me in becuase I'm not supposed to be there? It is high security??

I get a call back after they figure things out and get permission to pick up my poor turkeys. When we arrive a lady looks at my license plate, has me write my name on a check list and tells me what loading dock to go to. I walk up and tell them what I am here for. (I'm the Turkey lady!!") They go get my turkeys and ask to see my driver's license. You know, the one that doesn't look like me! That one. I'm thinking OH GREAT, I'm going to get arrested for Turkey Theft because I don't look like me. He didn't say a thing about me not looking like my driver's license picture.

I drove off back to Wylie wondering....... Who are the real Turkeys?

gobble gobble

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Last night when I was putting Erika to bed, she said, I'm not going to be wearing my legs tomorrow. I couldn't really get an answer from her as to why. She isn't in any pain, she likes them, she just decided to leave them off.

Wouldn't it be nice if your feet hurt, to just, take them off? Or if you wanted to laze around for the day, just, remove your legs so nobody would expect anything from you, except that you could sit on the couch and knit?

Well, this a.m., she said again, "I won't be wearing my legs today." Hmmm. Now, I figured last night, she was just tired. But this a.m.? There are places to go, people to see, things to do. So I asked her, "did anybody say anything to you about your legs? No. Did your legs hurt you yesterday? no. Are you mad at your legs? No.

Then, I asked, are you worried about surgery? BINGO! Tears started flowing. I'm going to be in a CAST for 8 WEEKS!!!!
I won't be able to move or get around! That isn't totally true. You will be in a wheel chair and can roll around, albiet from a laying position, but get around YES.
So my question was, "so why are you punishing yourself by not getting around now?" Smile. I dunno.

If she decides to wear her legs, I'll be happy. If she doesn't, my back will be sad.
We'll get through the day together.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Love You Gramma

I saw Lillian yesterday. We went to take Chuck to register Katie for school next year. She will be in the 6th grade. Lillian came along and was her sweet self. She adores her Daddy. As he was coming out of the school office, she started to smile and was whispering, "that's daddy". As he got closer to the car, those adoring little eyes lit up and she was smiling at me and saying, "THAT' MY DADDY!"
So darling.
When Chuck got in the car, she said, "hi daddy" with a big ole' smile on her face. :)

When we drove to their home to drop them off, Chuck took her out of the car and she looked at me and said, "bye gramma! I love you gramma. "

What a little joy she is, and she brings me great joy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back Troubles

This blog would not be complete without a complaint about my back. Right now, it is hurting so badly that I wish I could just take something and go lay down in a cold room with lots of blankets and sleep it away. I can't. I need to stay busy. I need to stay happy. I need to work it so that it doesn't keep getting worse.

The problem is, IT IS getting worse. It doesn't seem to matter what I do. I can rest it, relax it, take drugs for it, massage it, x ray it, not lift with it, lift with it, cry about it, laugh about it, and it is still with me. I can't see it, it is behind me, but I sure can feel that it is there.

I have so many things in my mind that I really, really want to do, but when I go to do them, my back screams at me.
Sometimes it is a low whine. Sometimes it is a boring, dull ache that says noooo, and sometimes it is a shrill scream that says, WHOA! Don't do that again!!!! Sometimes it scrunches up and I have to run for a chair. Sometimes it refuses to let me get off of the floor after playing with the kids. Sometimes it feels like a lit fire and it warms my feet for me. Sometimes it won't let me drive, or turn my head to look at something pretty. Sometimes, it leaves me alone and I have a day to smell the flowers.
However, those days are getting more and more rare.

It is garden planting time. One of my favorite times of year. I went outside and saw the wood pile that needs moved to plant the garden, and went back in. My back was still smarting from loading the dish washer. If I try to move wood, I might have to lay down for a while. If I lay down, I can't get the floor scrubbed or finish the laundry. If I scrub the floor and finish the laundry, I will have to lay down anyway, so I may as well do as much as possible and then lay down.

So what now.... ???

I guess nothing. I can spend big bucks on more x rays to find out what I already know. There really isn't anything to be done.
I can park closer at stores because of a handicapped bumper sticker. I can park farther away because it is good to walk.
I can lay on my back and feel sorry for myself, or I can lay on my back and spend my time wisely, praying for others, praying for our missionaries, praying for the Lord to teach me to be content in whatever state I am in.
The problem though sometimes is complicated when other's are not content with the state that I am in. They need me to do more than I can do. Then I start to dwell on what I can't do, knowing I am making them unhappy and dissatisfied and then it is hard to do what I can do.
It turns into a cycle of sadness sometimes. I have to fight it. FIGHT IT!

So now, I must do what I know I can do.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Reconstructing Erika

Erika continues to be "under construction". :)
Her Dr. visit went great and she was able to show the Dr. the problems she is having with getting up from the floor. It doesn't happen. She can scoot on her back to the couch, and then wiggle up the coffee table with her back and neck, but that isn't so comfortable.

The Dr. viewed the video clip and said he felt they could do something to make her quality of life so much better.
Now, for a while, it will make it worse for all of us. :( It will require a body cast for 6 weeks, then, therapy to get walking again. After that, the sky is the limit!

She is very motivated to get it done. It will interfere with swimming plans for summer, but that is ok, it just has to be.
There will always be next summer.
And, swimming. Who knows, maybe she will learn to swim.

What a brave girl.

Mother's Day Musings

I have to say, that a few days ago, I was in a bit of a dismal mood and couldn't be bothered with Mother's Day. "Why do we have to be bothered wtih 'made up' days to make the card companies richer?" Those were my thoughts.

Then, the dreaded day arrived. I had already sent a few e cards out for my dear daughter's in law, and I love to do that for them. My problem is with me. I am uncomfortable with attendtion being paid to me. I know Mike doesn't care for holiday hubaloo, so I get uncomfortable with him feeling obligated. There are some things that cause him stress, and holidays is one of them. :)

So, on mother's day, I awoke to some sweet cards from the girls, and they WERE very sweet. They were so excited, that it made me feel excited too. It really was a special day after all, I am their mother and they are my daughters. Our son's being grown ups now with their own families are remembered on that day too. What life was like when they were little. It was really fun with them just as it is with the girls now.

So, here goes, this is what my day was like.

As I said before, I woke up to sweet cards and a box of treasures the girls collected. Anna's shawl that is too itchy, so she wanted me to have it. A baby seal, a tag from her clothing, a paper doll and a jewelry box.
We headed to church via the donut shoppe and picking up Katie. When worship was over, we headed home. Mike asked, what do you want to do? ( I hate that question) I was thinking, just go home and take a nap. But you see, as mothers, we really can't do that to our little children. They want to celebrate! We talked about the zoo, but there really wasn't enough time. So, because of my gluten free anti restaurant need, we stopped and got some tacos and headed to the local park.
We don't go to the park often, and it was special to go with mom and dad; so it was a real treat.
After playing in the park with the girls, we walked down town Wylie and stopped in for a cup of coffee, and the girls were treated to candy. They were so excited. Sarah said, "I think I'm dreaming!" This is the happiest day of my life!"
Wow. Simple pleasures.
We sat in front of the coffee shoppe and watched the girls play. Then we all headed back to the car.

I took a nap, sort of. Between the tortuous pain of having my hair styled by 2 8 year olds and a 7 year old, and having a manicure and pedicure, I managed to fall asleep and wake up to a french nail job. :)
It was so sweet.
Then it was off to McKinney Bible to listen to a missionary speak and see his slide show.
We also saw our children and dear grandson Will.

When we got home, it was 10:00. Anna and Mike didn't go to the store for a mother's day card. They were regretful.
I'm GLAD they didn't go to the store. We had a great time together, loving each other and spending time together.
That is what mother's day is about.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Head Coverings and Me

I have struggled with the idea of head coverings for many,many years. In Corinthians chapter 11, one half of the chapter is devoted to this topic. If it were just one verse, or 2 verses, I could probably brush it off. But it isn't. It is 16 verses.
Then I have heard it taught that a woman's hair IS her covering. I tried that one on for a while but can't get past vs. 6
"if a wife will not cover her head she should cut he hair short". If the hair is the covering, then why would Paul be saying if you don't cover it, cut if off? (which is in line with a prostitute in that time)
Her hair is not just her covering, her hair is her glory. In vs.15 it states this.
And a woman is not to show her glory. She is to have it covered because her husband is the image and glory of God and he is her authority. A woman should cover her head because she is the image and glory of man, and we do not want to glorify man, but God.
There is also an interesting verse that speaks of the angels watching us. Because of the angels. vs.10. Because of the angels? Yes they are watching and learning. Is it possible they could get confused by who is in charge, if the woman doesn't cover her head? Why are they watching? I don't know. But in in vs. 12 it says, And all things are from God.

So, why do I struggle with this? Probably because in our modern society, covering one's head is seemingly odd. It is associated with the Amish, Mennonites or Muslims. . I certainly wouldn't want to be associated with Muslims. I am also not Amish or Mennonite, but believe many of the same things.
EDITED:  (this statement has been taken as an offense. My apologies.  I am trying to say, I want to represent Christ, and dress in a way that would Honor Him, not to be labeled with any particular sect or group. I may be worrying way to much about what others think... and that is a problem I need to deal with personally.  Thank you for your criticism, as Iron sharpens Iron. I did not remove the statement, but struck it through, so the comments can be clarified)

There is also harsh criticizm and judgement from ladies who don't cover their heads. At the church I attend now, a few women cover their heads in church. I wonder how we came to the conclusion that it must only be done during church? Most don't even bother at church. I do most of the time, and then there are times I forget, because I am not covering my head all the time even though I feel compelled to do so. At a church I once went to , they refused to allow women to cover their heads. They said it was "legalistic". Is it legalistic to want to do what God wants us to do? Is it legalistic to be modest? Is it legalistic to want to be modest? Is it legalistic to have long hair?

I think it CAN be. Heart attitude is important here. BUT... heart attitude is not mentioned in these verses. If you are submissive in heart, submissive to your husband, and have a quiet spirit, then are you exempt from covering your head?
It doesn't say that.

Is my problem hidden pride? I would have to say yes. What do others think of me? What will people say? Will they think I'm legalistic? Oh heaven forbid! and it goes on from there. My focus winds up being me. And, that is prideful.

Lord, help me to do what is right; not what is right in my own eyes, but what is true and honorable. Please lead me and guide me. Help me not to offend. Help me to be a blessing to my husband and not a burden. Help me to cause your glory to shine through him.

Joe's graduation Ceremony is Tomorrow!

Our 3rd son Joseph is graduating from college tomorrow. He has worked so very hard and parents just could not be prouder than we are of him. He is the second son to graduate from College. His commitment is so commendable. He started at Collin County Community College where he quickly found professors who saw great potential in him. He is still very good friends with one of his professors who was also a mentor to him.

During is Jr. year in College, he got married to his childhood friend Becca, and after all classes were completed for his degree, Becca and Joe had a baby boy named Samuel Parker Minich. He is a doll.

Joe, we are so happy for you. I know seminary is starting soon, so there is more school, but I believe you will go through it just fine and be able to serve the Lord in whatever capacity he places you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Our dear brother Jim

We are so sad. Our dear brother Jim died of complications during the treatment of his Leukemia.
Jim was a great guy. He was patient and sweet and had a huge appetite. :) He worked it up by skiing
and wakeboarding on the lake nearly daily. He left behind a big hole in all of our hearts. We are really going
to miss you jim.

You can view the blog kept by the family at www.todayskid.biz/jim

Monday, April 2, 2007

babie babies babies

We have 2 new grandsons now. I am the proud gramma to :

Samuel Parker Minich born to Joseph and Rebecca Minich
and to
William David Minich born to Marcus and Ivy Minich

These little fellows are 1 month apart in age and I'm so happy that they have wonderful parents
who will be able to raise them.

Pictures available on the minich family web site. Family snap shots/ed family, scroll down to Will or Sam.

Women's Conference

I spoke at a conference this weekend. It was a neat and VERY SCARY experience. I was glad to do it, and felt a taste of what it is like to be in front of all those people talking! I'm used to singing, not talking! There is a big difference.
I beleive the Lord was glorified, and that was the purpose. Im looking forward to the follow ups. Invited for more informal question and answer sessions. I am putting my first session on my blog. Somewhere over there------->

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Countdown

Ok, I agreed to speak at a women's conference last year. Then it was cancelled. Then I agreed again for one this year.
Yes, I had over a year to prepare. Did I, no. Did I write? Yes. Did I organize? No.
So, I am down to the wire. I MUST get organized with all this stuff that has been in my head, and is now on paper, or cyber paper anyway, and then somehow fit it into 45 minutes and have it make sense!

My dearest friend, who trusts me, and sometimes I wonder why!, is helping me to figure out what a good speaker would do.
She would make an outline! She would leave room for notes and she would give them something to take home with them to think about.
So, I had to figure out, what do I want them to remember from what I have to say. I have alot to say, but what would be the most important thing I would want them to remember.
So, ok, this is the kick myself in the pants night! I'm gonna get the outline FINISHED tonight and emailed for scrutiny and hopefully print.

I really want to honor the Lord in this and I know he will help me. It is serious, get down to business time.
I am really looking forward to sharing what the Lord has put on my heart. :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A new grand son

Well, Sam has finally arrived to the pleasure of the entire east, middle and western united states. :)

He is a doll. While Sarah was in recovery screaming her little lungs out, Sam was being born and then
screaming HIS little lungs out.

I'm so glad to have a new grand son and I know that the kids will raise him to love and honor the Lord.

His NAME : Samuel Luther Parker Minich
7 lbs. 5 oz. 20 inches long, brown curly hair and cute as can be.

Joe said, it is like having an alien, sort of foreign person. All of a sudden he is here, and he needs to get to know
him and connect with him. I think ALL parents have that feeling. This little person that you don't know, is suddenly
upon you, and TOTALLY dependent upon you for their every need. Overwhelming and joyous and awesome.

I wish we owuld know ourselves as such in our relationship with God. He has to do EVERYTHING for us, we just have to breathe and eat what he gives us, and then, we grow.

Surgery for Sarah DONE!

Sarah and I left for the hospital on Monday a.m. We got checked in and then checked out so we could run home and do laundry. Anna thought she couldn't "do this week", because she really wasn't prepared properly for me to be gone. She made it through just fine. I spent 2 nights in the hospital with Sarah and she did great. She had a tantrum including kicking and screaming in the recovery room, and they zonked her out with valium. Wish they would have done that before she woke up, could have saved us all some heartache. After that, she was fine. She called the nurse in the middle of the night and told her, "I think my leg is trying to get a headache", made me laugh. :)

We went home 1 day early. She is doing great, other than sneaking out and trying to ride her bike and falling down, then falling on the stairs. Hmmm. I need to watch her a little closer.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sarah Having Surgery

When we got back from Oklahoma, we had a letter letting us know that Sarah's surgery has been moved to this Tuesday!
Glad I opened it. We have to be at the hospital for admission tomorrow a.m.
I think I need to get a good night's sleep. It looks like this is going to be a crazy week.

Back from Oklahoma

Mike and I and the girlies are back from our visit in Oklahoma. We stayed with Mike's mom and dad, and they were graceious enough to let us slip off for a couple of hours to have lunch and then go visit Jim, alone.

The girls baked cookies with gramma and grampa and took a walk to the park.

Jim is doing as well as can be expected but is quite miserable. He gets nauseated and has a terrible head ache and eye pain. HIs throat is raw and he can barely talk.
He is hanging in there.
It took all I had inside to keep from breaking down weeping when I saw him. I was able to hold his hand for a while and put a cloth on his head. That was a true honor.

I'm happy that Jim and Cindy know that we love them.
We were able to visit Cindy and Emily at their church and that made Emily feel special. She had 3 guests at sunday school today!
We followed Cindy back to the hospital and then from there Mike and I left to go back to Texas.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Leaving today

Today we are leaving to go to Oklahoma. Mike's brother Jim is in the hospital with Leukemia. It happened so fast!
He was fine, then he was sick. Really sick. Over this past week he has been on my mind continually, and we have been holding him up in prayer. There is a part of me that knows and understands that nothing happens without a purpose and plan, then there is this deep pain that keeps me on the verge of tears. It is a pain that doesn't want a loved one to suffer. Doesn't want him to have pain, worry, fear, nausea and all the other stuff that goes with being in the hospital with a terrible disease.
Then, again, there is faith. I have to continuously look to the heavenly father for comfort, that only he can offer.
My heart feels broken. This is Jim. OUR JIM! Our Jim who is so athletic, funny, sweet. Our Jim, our brother, our daughters previous foster father. Our Jim, the little guy who was barely out of high school when I met him.

JIM HAS CANCER! I'm scared for him. But I also trust the Lord that HE is in control, and like a shepherd will lead HIS little ones beside still waters, cause them to drink and eat of the bread of HEAVEN, for eternity, so I can rest in the LORD, as HE is the answer.

Christmas News Letter 2006

Merry Christmas News Letter 2006





Christmas 2006

We would like to wish all of our friends and family a VERY Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and keep you and draw you closer to Him.

This year has been a very eventful year for us. We have had many ups and downs and experiences that we never thought we would be a part of in our lives. We are grateful to the Lord for holding our hands this year and guiding us through yet another year.

In January, we had a wonderful New Year's Celebration with all of the kids and their wives home for the holidays. I was running around keeping coffee made, and making sure snack dishes were filled and just watching the magic of 4 sons, 4 daughter's in law, 2 daughters and 2 grand daughters, along with many friends and extended family, all running around the house, playing cards, talking, laughing, crying, and just having a great time. Mike and I went to bed that night, and praised the Lord for His many blessings.

Sarah graduated from Kindergarten early and started 1st grade in February. She continues to amaze us with her reading skills.
She is still the class clown, but as school gets more serious and challenging, she is stepping up to the plate and getting things done.

Most of you know we have a new member to our family. Erika Noelle Olya Minich. Erika is now 8, and is a precious, precious child.
We received an unexpected call on March 19, that we were to be in Ukraine in 1 week. Oh my, we were sooooo very excited. We knew that Ukraine had been shut down for international adoptions and we had left Erika's adoption in the hands of the Lord. Isn't that a great place to be?
We didn't need to worry or fret. Our Lord has never failed us yet.
Our dear daughter in law Emily and our Son Timothy were on call, for "the call', but I think we were all taken by surprise. We had to leave our 2 little girlies behind as we went to Ukraine to get Erika. We didn't know what to expect and had been told many stories about foreign countries.
We were so very excited. This was also a chance for a much needed Vacation/ Honeymoon all rolled into one!
We got to the airport, said our tearful goodbyes and went on the trip of a lifetime. When we were waiting to get on the plane, Mike felt really sad, that he had forgotten his wedding band. We couldn't go on a honeymoon without a wedding band, so I excused myself and found a gift shop with plain bands. I found one for him and we renewed our vows, kiss and all. Then, it was proper to get on the plane. We were gone for 1 month and when we came home, more miracles. The love of friends and family, the meals, the support was incredible. You can read about our experiences at www.minichfamily.org in the chronicles section.

It has been very interesting watching a child learn english, just by talking to us. It has been a joy watching her find her place in our family.
She was shocked to find out that she had 4 brothers and six sisters! Learning all those names!!!!
She will finally meet her brother Joe and Sister Becca in 3 more days. She has been counting down the days. She is so excited.

Sarah learned how to ride her bike this year! She has joined Anna as a 2 wheel girl.
We were able to spend some of the summer going swimming with our friends and a few times with Daddy at Hawaiian Falls. He is such a fun daddy.

In June, we celebrated Sarah's 7th Birthday and Erika's 8th birthday. On June the 15th, Anna, Sarah and Erika are all the same age. This year it was the lucky 7's. Next year will be the crazy 8's.

We visited with Gramma and Grampa Minich and Uncle Jim, Aunt Cindy and Little Emily, Uncle Bob and others, over Labor Day Weekend in Oklahoma.
Everybody went to the Lake and had a really wonderful time. Boats, jet skis, inner tubing, water skiing, eating, swimming, and a great meal courtesy of Lois. It was a very fun time. On the way home, we stopped at the Dallas Ft. Worth airport to meet our friend Hal Tait. He lives in Washington D.C. and it was one of our only chances to see him. He was instrumental in bringing Sarah into our lives and opening the world of Ukrainian Orphanages and TB Sanitariums to us.

Sometime during the Summer, we were given the very exciting news that we have 2 grandsons on the way. They are not twins. Joseph and Rebecca and Marcus and Ivy are going to be parents. They are due sometime in February/March. We could not be more excited!
We also were able to spend some time with our grand daughter's Katie and Lillian. They are a delight and their parents can be proud of having such sweet little girls.

It was time to start school again. Anna in 2nd grade, Sarah in 1st grade and Erika in Kindergarten. Home schooling is going just fine, and while I can't believe I am teaching reading once again, it is REALLY a joy. And, I also get to teach all that history again, and read all those fun books again, and see the magic in the girls eyes when they learn a new math concept. What could be more rewarding?
Mike is close by thanks to the shoppe being behind the house and he stops in to check on how we are doing several times a day.

On September 28th, Erika entered the hospital to have her feet amputated. She did so very well and learned that the morphine pump can really be your very best friend.
Anna and Sarah were the very happy visitors to the Schlimme family while Erika was in the hospital. They also went to Aunt Elaine and Uncle Chris's house, where they went on a VERY long bike ride. They also visited the pumpkin patch and made nature notebooks. We are so thankful to all of those who have helped us out this year with caring for the girls. This made it possible for us to stay with a very frightened little girl who really needed us to be with her 24/7.

We decided to have a low key Thanksgiving. We had chicken, and Turkey, and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
We played games and watched Miracle on 34th Street. Then next day, we started yet another Christmas Season. The girlies were so excited putting up the tree and decorating. Erika was just looking at everything and beaming with delight. Anna was explaining to Erika everything that was going to happen and showing her all the ornaments she has. She was telling Erika, we are going to let you pick out your own every year and the longer you are here, the more you will have. It as so cute watching Anna just glow with Christmas spirit. Sarah was joining in, and then when they went to bed, I thought they were talking. I went in to tell them it was time to be quiet and go to sleep, but found they had been singing a little worship song and were praying together in their beds. Erika had little tears of joy in her eyes. It was very special.

Our dear son Joseph has graduated from Catholic University of America. We are so thrilled for him and Becca. They are a great team.
I'm sure Becca feels like she has graduated too!

I must admit that I had really hoped that Erika would be walking by Christmas. I also had hopes that the various projects we find ourselves in on the house would be done in time for Christmas. Instead, projects are incomplete, laundry is forever mount washmore, dishes always need to be done, and there are the bills to pay, work to be done. You know how we can have expectations for how things oughta be?

Then, I started to think about Mary and Joseph. How did they think things should be? Mary being pregnant before she was married. Joseph and Mary having to travel at the last minute before the birth of Jesus. Could you imagine riding on a donkey being great with Child? What about having no home or hospital to give birth in. Instead, he was born in a stable, placed in feed trough, and kept warm by the love of his mother and father.
May we all experience the Love and Warmth of our Loving Heavenly Father during this special time of year, where we set everything aside, and basque in His presence, and worship our King.

Merry Christmas to ALL

The Minich Family

Mike and Christie
and the Noelles

You just might notice our last little surprise. Erika's Dr. sent her home a few days ago with her prototype feet so she could enjoy them until Jan.
If that isn't just too cool!!!!! :)

You Are Still Holy