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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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reading and Such

There is reading:And then there is, "Ahhh, reading". :)
I took the girls to the library today. It had been a while . Last time I had to go with lists, because they still had the flu. Yesterday, our regular library day was cancelled because the Library was closed, so today was the day....

After that we went and purchased 3 money jars so they can collect loose change and save it.
I like money jars, because you can see the money and it is fun to collect and try to fill it up over time. While we were at Target, apparently a man thought we were an amusing bunch of beautiful women to behold because he was staring at us and literally knocked down an entire rack of clothing~ ! LOL
I told the girls not to stare at him, as I'm sure he was embarrassed and we moved right along.
I probably should have helped to offer pick the clothing up, but frankly, I just wanted to get outta there.
Then, for no apparent reason, Erika fell down, in the store. She was holding onto the basket, but said she forgot to walk, and I was walking. LOL So, she is on the side of my body with the very sore rotator cuff problem. I tried to grab her on her way down and then I was in extreme pain. I slowly let her down to the ground and then I was grabbing my shoulder, while we all stood there an laughed. This very nice lady helped her back up.

So, after we regrouped, we decided to head for a taco. Anna suggested we make room in the restaurant by her standing on a table and announcing she had the swine flu! That really didn't seem such a great idea, and there were tables available. LOL It sure got a laugh out of Sarah imagining the entire place clearing out with Anna standing on a table oinking. :/

We then had one of those conversations about staring and self consciousness. Sarah is very self conscious right now. She doesn't like looks, and it is something she will have to deal with all her life. Logically she knows that people don't mean harm and those who do are ignorant. But it is still hard.
I was able to tell her about her Uncle, who struggled with kids staring at him, after his hand was blown off, and how he couldn't leave the hospital until he could find humor in hand jokes.

It is something to work on. Erika went through this last year. I remember our son going through it too.
I guess it is Sarah's turn. I just hate to see the kids hurt, but that is part of life.
I did tell ALL of them on the way home.
"Do not let an ignorant or rude person waste ONE MINUTE of your life, or effect what you do!"
Life is just to precious to give another person control like that.

Friday, October 30, 2009

We Have Done the Unthinkable!

We gave Erika her own room.

All 3 girlies have shared the same room for 3 and a half years, since Erika came home from Ukraine.
It has worked very well.

But something has happened. Erika, being the oldest by 5 months 1 week and 1 day, has decided that listening to Hank the Cow Dog CD's to go to sleep is not her thing anymore. The closet light is no longer necessary, and it keeps her awake. But Sarah still needs the closet light for comfort, and Anna and Sarah LOVE Hank.

She has not demanded anything, but gently asked a few months ago, to which I said, I would pray about it.

So the time came. She quietly started moving her things into the guest room to make it her own.

Anna and Sarah realized what she was doing before I could sit them down and talk about it, and the tears started to flow. They were so sad she was moving down the hall. Anna said, "Doesn't she like us anymore?" Sarah said,"I pinky promised not to get mad if she takes too much blanket!"

No dears, she is growing up, just like you!
So I explained the plan.

IF we could knock a wall down between the 2 rooms and make one GIANT room we would. I would also cut out the ceiling into the attic to make a fabulous loft that looked down on their room, as we have a full attic... but that isn't practical right now.

So for 6 months, Erika has her own room. In May, it will be Anna's turn, and Erika will move back in with Sarah, and then 6 months later, it will be Sarah's turn, (to which Sarah said, NEVER! Please don't make me have my own room) LOL

So our experiment has begun in ernest. They are fixing their new homes up, and Anna came in to announce that Erika was listening to "Christian Rock". LOL

I think this will give them the best of both worlds, both learning to share and learning to live in their own room. Except Sarah of course. :-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A New Use For Panty Hose

Books are wonderful things. Many times, those come alive in our home. Apparently there is a new Character "Donovan".
He is an archaeologist. So we have an interesting use of panty hose lately. They have been turned into suspenders for our new, "Donovan Jones" the archaeologist.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our New Doctor

Yesterday, we headed to our New Doctor. I don't think if we searched for a century, we could have found a better fit in a doctor. And the good thing is, this one is young, and no where near retirement. LOL

We were supposed to go for well visits sometime in November, but instead the flu hit.
I was so worried about Strep infection.(due to Erika still having a sore throat) So I emailed the new doctor last Saturday, asking if it were possible to get in to see him on Monday. Not only did he respond, he even gave his cell number if we needed it over the weekend. AND we weren't even official patients yet!

He was caring and careful with the girls and they really were relaxed. I just loved it that his office is in a fabulous old house filled with antiques and beautiful wood floors to make you feel welcomed.
I also LOVED it that he is an M.D. and open to alternative medicine too. For the first time visiting an M.D., I didn't have to explain what colloidal silver was, or homeopathy, and watching them roll their eyes, or not using dairy for Anna or anything.... for the first time in my life, we were totally on the same page!
There is a best of both worlds,(allopathic and homeopathic) after all. :)

The only thing I had to inform him on, was what Arthrogryposis was. He is after all a Family Doctor, not an orthopedic specialist. Erika's condition is rather rare.

As we were leaving, he also gave hope that there is something he can do with this shoulder of mine. That, I will find out next week, though, in the middle of the night, I was kicking myself for not making an appointment sooner. So until next week, I live with hope of a full night of sleep uninterrupted with serious pain.

So if anybody in bloggy world is looking for a great doctor, try Dr. Chartrand!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Will The Tool Guy

Grand boys are so fun. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Missing My Dear Friend

My friend JJ moved away during the summer. We did not get to see each other for long, as she only lived in Texas for 18 or so months, but we made good use of our time. :)
She has been a wonderful friend to me, and we loved getting to know her family.
Soooo, we are back to Emails again, and some phone calls. Thank goodness for phone calls.:)
With her permission, here is a fabulous picture of her family visiting a pumpkin patch!

I Saw This Last Night

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Worst Is OVER!

Well, we have 3 bouncy girls again. Fevers have been less than 100 since about 3:00! Yea!
Yesterday they literally slept all day. Today, they were sleepy for a while, then bored that I made them stay in bed, and then, when temps were officially down, I let them get up and shower. By 5:00 I actually heard some playing going on!

Thank you Lord for getting this ole' mama through!

We were treated tonight by some dear folks from our Church, to a very special dinner, delivered with get well cards and all! Thank you sooooo Much!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm Pretty Sure We Have Been Swined!

Yep. Apparently around here 99% of cases of flu are of the Pig Variety. Dang....
Erika's temp is a little higher, so she is sleeping and they are all getting lots of fluids.
I hope this passes quickly! And I hope it passes ME right by! No time to be sick.

Pumpkin Pie in the Pumpkin

I found this recipe on Brenda's Blog.

Here is the recipe. AND.... it is gluten free! Yea!
Thanks Brenda!

1 5-8 lb. pumpkin (make sure it is a baking pumpkin which is a little darker shade)

6 eggs

2 1/2 C whipping cream

3/4 C brown sugar

2 tbsp. molasses

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

Cut the lid from pumpkin as you would for making a jack-o-lantern. Remove pulp and seeds from pumpkin, scraping quite clean. Save seeds for toasting later, if desired. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the cream, sugar, molasses, and spices. Beat smooth and pour into the pumpkin shell. Dot with butter and replace lid. Set pumpkin on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours oruntil the mixture has set up like a custard pie. Time will vary with size of pumpkin.Serve directly from the pumpkin and instruct diners to be sure to take a bit of the shell with each scoop. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.Serves 6-12, depending on size of pumpkin.

His Mercy Is New Every Morning

I didn't sleep well last night as I needed to make sure the girlies were sleeping well.
When my kids get sick I absolutely HATE it! I love caring for them, but I am a bit of a worry wart when it comes to sickness.
I know logically what to do, and I go into auto mode. We have had enough surgeries around here over the years, and sickness over the years , that I think I may have earned an honorary degree in medicine, or at least how to use a bed pan properly on a kid in a body cast. LOL

So, why is it I can deal better with amputations, osteotomy, hip surgeries, and all the other strange things over the years, but a simple fever, ear ache or cough scare me to death?

Well, I was fretting and woke up at 5:00 a.m. to Erika coughing. I woke her gave her water, more medicine, took her temperature, put a cold cloth on her head, moved her into my room so I could stare at her and watch her breathe and fall back asleep. She did. I didn't.

I got militant with my thermometer and checked Sarah's temp. 98.6~!!!! Horray!
Anna was faced the other way. She still feels slightly warm, but seems to be resting comfortably. After all it is still sort of the middle of the night. :)
Erika, just has this little cough. She ALWAYS seems to get a cough if she has surgery or if she gets a little cold, it turns into a cough. I am pretty sure it is related to her arthrogryposis. Her temp was a little over 100.

I was laying in bed, imagining the worst. This is not ok for me to do. It means that I am not resting in the Lord. I am worrying about things that I cannot control.
Now of course, in reality, if I felt she was REALLY sick, I'd take her in to see the doctor.
But it hasn't even been 24 hours yet, and she isn't that sick.
I'm more scared to take her in where people are REALLY sick and have her go home with something worse.
See, there is that worry again!
So I got up and went to one of my favorite Blogs on the East Coast. And there was a word there just for me. :) Thanks Jeanne!

Thank you Lord for giving me perspective. For blessing me with brothers and sisters who Love you and share the things you put on their heart in order to bless others.
Those words today are my living bread. :)
My manna.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some Very Bright News!

Dad is OFF of the ventilator. He will be having a swallow test tomorrow. He may be out of ICU sometime tomorrow! YEA DAD!!!!!

We LOVE you!

Oklahoma Cancelled

Well, we had hoped to go to Oklahoma this a.m. to visit with Mom and for me to visit with Dad at the hospital. But, God seems to have had other plans.

Sarah woke up with 102º fever, followed by Anna with 101º and this afternoon Erika with 100.4º.
So, we figured we had better stay hunkered down until whatever it is runs its course.
We are reading, doing lots of chicken soup, lots of fluids and so far, so good. They all are swearing they are feeling MUCH better..... and I believe that is true. But REST is what they need and that is what they will get. We broke out the Oscillococcinum and hopefully, they will feel perfect quickly!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Clothing Stretcher

I was talking to my son on the phone, and looked out the window, to see Anna walking her goat. But when her goat walked by, it had on a very familiar looking shirt! "Anna, are you dressing your goat in clothes?" "Yes mama, that shirt was too small for me."

Ummm. Not anymore. I think I have found a way to make clothing last longer. Stretch it over a goat and then wash and wear for another year. :)

Some Brighter News

Our dad is showing improvement! He is still in ICU, and they may start to wean him from the respirator. Keep praying!

The girlies and I will be heading up to stay with Mom for a few days, and I hope to get a few visits in with Dad too.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tradition! TRADITION!

The weather is definitely cooler, and everywhere we go, there are hints of fall , Harvest decorations are everywhere, and we have even seen hints of Thanksgiving and Christmas!

The girls are giddy with excitement at this time of year, and old sad memories have faded. New memories have taken over, and those memories are happy, positive ones.
This didn't happen by accident. We have striven hard to make new memories for our girls.

Our first event will be the Annual Reformation Party complete with over 100 people and loads of food and fun, including a Pinata! Because we do not celebrate Halloween, and Martin Luther nailed the 95 Thesis on the Door at Wittenburg, on October 31.... it is a great and real celebration of the Birth of the Reformation.

Next is Thanksgiving. We love Thanksgiving time, and we will start a new tradition this year at our new church. A Sunday Evening Thanks Giving Potluck. The girls love the familiar foods and getting together with friends and family. We have certain decorations that come out, and they look forward to seeing them. We also pass around a bowl and everybody has 2 kernals of corn.
As we pass the bowl, we say 2 things we are thankful for and put the kernals in the bowl. When everybody is done, we say our Thanksgiving Prayer for our meal.

I remember both Anna and Sarah had such traumatic memories at Christmas, the first year we put the Christmas tree up, when both of them were home, I actually discussed with Mike, the possibility taking it down, as it was causing such heartache for them.
My Mike wisely said, no. We need to create new memories, and it will take time. You cannot get away from Christmas, it is everywhere. He was so very right.

One of the Traditions we had with our boys was making Christmas cookies with hooks baked into them. We had an assembly line of little decorators and they loved hanging them on the tree, and then eating them off. :)
We did this every year, for as long as they could remember, and still do it to this day.
The girlies have now taken over the cookie decorating assembly line, but I was thinking about calling for a cookie baking day so the guys and their kids could come over and help.
Hmmm. What an idea! :) I still have the secret recipe we developed over the years.

Some of the things we have done with the girls to promote new and positive memories have been, going to a Musical, going to a special movie (if one is playing) Making crafts, and certain foods of the season. Making special gifts, and getting to choose a new ornament for the tree.

The ornament thing seems to be a real biggy for them. They LOVE getting out the Christmas decorations and visiting their old ornaments. They get so excited and say, "There it is! That's the one I picked 3 years ago!!!!" I love seeing those smiling faces. The night the tree goes up
we get to watch our first Christmas movie too.

We love to sing Carols of the season together and to drive around at night and see all the beautiful decorations.

We also pick a family to bless each year, and the girlies get to pick special things out for that family. They love giving the gifts and food to the chosen family.

What are some of the traditions you have?

So Would This Cause You to Panic?

It caused me to panic! I looked out my window and saw her on the ground!
I'm used to Erika falling, but not Anna. Sooo I go running out there, and .....
It was all in good Fun. They were pretending she fell off of a horse! :)

So What Have They Been Doing?

They have been busy little bees.
Erika and Anna have practiced their dancing and Sarah making paper dolls and outfits.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Our Dad

Our dad, aka "Oakie Grandfather" is in intensive care at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa Oklahoma.
He is VERY critical.
From what we understand, all cancer treatment has been stopped. He has pneumonia due to aspiration, (food and fluid getting into his lungs) and congestive heart failure. His diabetes, which showed up about 3 weeks ago is not being controlled very well. It spikes and goes dangerously low.

Right now, he is on a respirator, and feeding tube, and is in an induced coma, to help him rest and not be agitated by the respirator.

If you think of our precious dad today, please send up a prayer.
And while your at it, pray for our mom too. I'm sure she is scared.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sam Can Read, I think....

Here is Sam the man... He reminds me of somebody very familiar! LOL
I love Hearing Becca's voice cheering him on. :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Isn't He One of The Cutest

Little Grand-buggars you've ever seen!!!!! :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall is Definitly Here to Stay

It is cool outside. We had a fire once in the wood stove all day and evening Saturday, and it has kept the house comfortably warm since. We are now at 70º. (down from 75 over the weekend)

I love this time of year. It is cozy.... ideas of Harvest, new recipes, the smell of Cinnamon and the fragrance of candles are all around.

The children are deep into their studies and are really enjoying our delve into Ancient Greece.
They are excited about learning, and that makes for a happy mama. :)

It seems that as time goes on, things get smoother and smoother. This time of year, is also the time of year where we had back and forth visits with Anna before she came home for good.
She was also traumatically moved during this time of year while she was in foster care.
So, when she was first with us, these events, the time of year, and the smells, sights, feel of the air, all were little triggers for her emotionally that would send her into a tail spin. Memories would flood in, and she would be upset emotionally, not really understanding why.
At the same time, those memories would come flooding to the forefront and she would verbally
express what she was remembering. It might be as simple as, "I remember going to.... with x"
or "I remember when the lady picked me up and I didn't know where I was going. I was scared!"
"They just put me in a car seat, and then they said, 'Now you are going with these people!'"

I can' t imagine being so little and having so little control. Which is most likely why, she tried her best to control in other ways, and that wound up not being such a good idea. :)

Last week, we had what I would consider an absolute perfect week. I mean, we had wonderful school work , and wonderful attitude, neat hand writing, and general happiness in a fun loving girl. Then, just as suddenly, last night, when she found out that it wasn't her turn to sit next to me during reading time, she got angry and said, "then I'll never sit by you again"..... (what she used to do when she was 5) I was a little surprised.... but after a few minutes of discussion, it dawned on me, she was speaking from the fearful little child that she once was....

I reassured her of my love for her, let her mourn her loss of not sitting by me, and held to what we were doing. At bedtime, I didn't sense she was quite ready to be in the room with her sisters, so I told her she could fall asleep in the guest room and I'd move her to her bed later.
She complied. After her sisters went to bed, I went in and snuggled next to her, and she gave a heartfelt apology for her anger. I let her know we love her always, and she is back to her normal self today. Yea! This is a far cry from years gone by.....
I am really so pleased with Anna's progress. She heartily participated in class this a.m. even though it was Sarah's turn to sit by mom.

The neatest thing about last night, was when I told her, "I love you Anna".. She replied, "I know you do mom. I love you too, and I am really sorry about how I acted. "


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cool then Hot then COLD

On Wednesday, it was around 64 degrees. On Thursday, it was about 87 degrees. On Friday a.m. it was about 52 degrees and went up to 62. This a.m. it was around 48 degrees. Typical, fickle Texas weather. Can't make up its mind.

Sooo, since it is cold and rainy, what better thing to do after bringing in the fire wood, than stay inside and watch "Journey To the Center of the Earth" in 3D!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Importance of Reading Labels

Since I have been gluten free, I have learned to read labels quite well. :) I have also learned that the absence of something from a label does not mean it isn't contaminated with that ingredient.

I was pleasantly surprised for a while, that Walmart's Great Value brands had many gluten free choices. I always checked the label anyway, and BOY AM I GLAD I DID!

One of the regular Items I had purchased, "pizza sauce" was labeled gluten free before, but not anymore. Now it says it is processed in a plant that also processes wheat.

Another product, the same thing. No longer gluten free. I was really disappointed.

Being gluten free is not a difficult diet, but keeping oneself from being contaminated with gluten is another story. It can be difficult.

With the obvious cost of groceries sky rocketing, trying to save $$ on food is a priority, but not at the risk of health.

Something new I found out:
I don't typically shoppe for Crab meat, or imitation crab meat, but since I was making a crab meat dip, I was looking. I went for the imitation crab meat which was much less expensive, but on the label, it contains WHEAT! So, I bought the real deal. Hope everybody likes it. :)

More Stinging Caterpillar Information

So far, we have identified 3 different ones. The one that stung Erika, is the Puss Caterpillar, here is an exact picture of what it looked like. It is more "slug like".
Last night, Sarah went into the shoppe to visit Daddy, and sat on a chair. She jumped off and said OW! Guess what! There was a different one on the chair, just sitting there waiting for her to sit on it. It is an immature version of the first one. So glad it wasn't on bare skin! It looked like this:
Then, this a.m. I walked out onto the back porch and found THIS crawling on the porch!
I went to get a cup to catch it in to show to the exterminator, but before I could get it, our little Mr. Kittie Winkle smacked it around and it fell between the cracks of the wooden porch. HOPEFULLY it is dead! It is also a stinger, but not as bad as the two up above!
Interestingly, all these caterpillars like PEARS..... We have a giant pear tree. They also like Oak and Nut trees, both of which we have. We are a stinging Caterpillar Breeding Ground!

Glad we live next door to an exterminator!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Funny for the Month

Tonight we were watching the first half of Ben-Hur... that extremely long movie with Charlton Heston....

The beginning of the movie features Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus in the stable and the 3 wise men and shepherds. Then, the next scene it has Roman Numerals that say XXVI years later.
The girls have studied Roman Numerals and know that XXVI means 26.

So Anna says, "It can't be 26 years later because nobody saw Jesus from the time he was 12 until he was 30!"

Soooo.... I ask, "Why do you think that?"
And I hear the shocking words: "Mama, you said so. You SAID, when Jesus stayed at the temple when he was 12 and his parents found him, his mama grounded him until he was 30 and that is why he didn't start his ministry until then!"

Now why can't I get her to memorize her times tables as well as she remembers off hand comments I make???? :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Puss Caterpillar


I sent the girls to bed. All of a sudden, Anna brings me this weird looking little creature that is stuck to ERIKA'S Underwear. She was putting on a new pair of undies before bedtime, and felt a "sting" on the back of her leg.... she quickly took them off and Anna picked her undies up seeing this odd looking creature.... She touched it and felt a "sting" on her finger!
She brought it to me saying, "Look at this mom, it is really wierd. It stung my finger!" Not telling me that Erika was stung on the leg.....

I flung it into the trash can and didn't think anything about it. I wasn't even sure if it was a real thing. It looked almost like a gummy worm. :/

The next thing I know Erika is calling saying her leg hurts. I asked her why ? She said, that weird thing!!!! She said pain had radiated to her groin!
So I dug the little creature out of the trash and Mike ran it next door to the Pest Control fellow who gave us an emergency spray for her.
He didn't know what it was either.

I looked up online, "Stinging worm thingy" and came up with the exact thing I was looking for!
Yea! It described exactly what happened and said that this thing is the most poisonous caterpillar in the U.S.A.!!!!!!

I was freaking out..... by the time I got back into the bedroom, Erika said her leg was feeling better and Anna was fine. I am SOOOOO Glad they did not try to smack it or squish it, as that would have caused them more problems.

Now I'm going to be checking EVERYTHING!

One time Sarah got a bite on her bottom from a "Solitary Bee" that was hiding out in her underwear drawer! LOL

I checked out a website about this Puss Caterpillar and Texas just happens to be their main hangout, AND October seems to be the height of their existence.

Well, NOT HERE! The exterminator guy is coming over tomorrow to rid us of unwelcome guests who sting and freak us out!

My First Month's Grocery Checkup AHHHHH!!!!!

I am shocked. I am really glad that I am doing this, as I was off on what our actual spending was.
I would like to try and cut by 1/3.
Now, before I give the number, I need to say that this includes ALL cleaning products, paper products, prescriptions, supplements and food. I also shoppe at Sam's Club, but not every month. This month just happened to be a big hit.
Sounds like I'm justifying things...... LOL

SOOOOOO......the horrible number is : 978.69
from September 1 - September 30.

We do not eat out, except somtimes on a Sunday afternoon. It costs less than 20 dollars for the whole family.
I am also feeding 6 people on a regular basis, and there are others during the week. It is not uncommon to feed friends or customers who are waiting on a vehicle around dinner time.

Now, I'm going to go over our budget and see what can be cut out.

You Are Still Holy