Happy New Year!

New Years Eve is always such an emotional time for me. Don't ask me why...just is. Just ask anyone who spent any of the watchnight services at Tower with me and they will gladly tell you how I cry like a baby! lol

So I was reflecting for a moment on this last year. YUCK! what a CRAP year!!!! LOL Some of my other years have probably been worse, well I know they have..just pick one that I was married to the evil one and it will win hands down! But 2005 ranks up there with the worst of them. What's funny is that I thought it was going to be one of the best. Last spring started with me in love and thinking that this was the turning point in my life. Well... it sure was. But it got worse before it got better that's for sure!

I had some joy mixed with alot of sorrow and loss. Probably one of the worst depressions of my life. Made a couple of friends and lost several (not because anything particular happened in those friendships, but because I finally quit allowing them to be one-sided. If it was all give and no take, then I let it die a peaceful death.)

But as God is faithful to do for me this time of year... he wraps everything up with a pretty little bow and hands it to me as a merciful gift of new beginnings. It never fails... right before my birthday (capricorn season!) he has a way of making me deal with all of the garbage and resolving issues. This year it was finances and friendships. I'm not going into the nasty details but suffice it to say that the financial devastation of 2005 came to a head yesterday. I'm still praying for a merciful loan of some sort from someone or somewhere, but even if that doesn't happen I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today I am stressed, but soon I will be just fine.

As far as friendships go... I've lost alot of them. I lost Joleen ......AGAIN! (I give up for crying out loud...I've finally let her fly. I'm not even interested in working on it anymore), I feel like I've lost alot of Kristin (although I know that she's still there. It's just kind of changed forms), and I lost Scott. Just typing that name made my eyes tear up.

Yeah, he was my boyfriend. Yeah, it turned out to be a HUGE mess. But he started out as my friend. My friend Scott. Man did I adore him. I don't know if I've ever had a friend that I've had more in common with. He was simply the best. And I'll leave it at that. My heart hurts just thinking about him. I'm so sad about the way that things turned out. I wish I could take it back. Do it differently. But I can't. Not only has the knowledge that I can't change things helped me to want to do things differently in the future, but it has also made me feel more merciful towards people that have done me wrong. I bet there are alot of people out there wishing that they could go back and have a do-over. They can't. It's done. And neither can I. So I have to pick myself up, dust myself off. Put my smile back on and move forward. I'm good at that. I'll be fine.

I think 2006 is going to be an amazing, amazing year. I can just feel it in my bones. God is so good. And I may not be a fast learner, but I am a good learner.... and I think that maybe I finally got it. 2005 devastated me in alot of ways. The ripples of devastation are just now reaching the shore in alot of areas. But luckily Jesus is a big break-wall of rocks that protects me from waves that are too strong.

Yep...2006 is going to be great. I resolve to do my best. My absolute personal best. To authentically love the people in my life, to get my finances in order, to be healthier (in every way that it can apply), and to get myself and my children back to church regualarly like I know we should be. I want to exercise more. And I vow to stay soft...I resolve to stay sentimental and somewhat naive. I will continue to look at the world, life & love with a sense of wonder. Yeah...it's gonna be great! :)


Merry Christmas!

I received an email today from Greg & boy did it hit home! It's kind of long, but hang in there! Here it is....

Twas, the months before Christmas. When all through our land
Not a Christian was praying nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say
The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a "Holiday"
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it
CDs from Madonna, X BOX and I-pods
Something was changing, something quite odd
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda
As Target was hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was not to be found
At K Mart and Staples at Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, On Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton
To the top of the Senate, they rose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matters
And we spoke not a word, as they, slapped our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before started
So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream Tree"
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me
Choose your words careful, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday!
This is something that has been grating on my nerves and conscience for a little while now and this poem is the perfect way to sum up how I feel! Good, bad or ugly I've had alot more trouble lately keeping quiet about how I feel.

It started when I was at Wal-mart looking at Christmas cards and there were two women standing next to me. I didn't think anything of it until I heard one of them say, "There's nothing here I want! I don't want JESUS all over my Christmas cards!!!" I found myself clearing my throat really loudly and giving her a sideways glance. Then the other lady replied, "I know! People need to realize that not everything is about CHRISTIANITY! I want to celebrate 'Christmas' and send out my cards just because it's 'CHRISTMAS',not because I'm worshipping or anything!"

So I looked at them and said something like, "Yeah...God forbid you should celebrate the holiday as it was intended to be celebrated!" and walked away. Probably not the most gracious response.... but well.... *cricket, cricket*. LOL

Then the other night we went to Wendy's to eat dinner and the girl at the counter (must've been a new employee) said to us as we were walking away "Have a Merry Christmas!" Immediately she was pounced on by another employee who sternly said to her "it's HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!". So I turned around and said to the person who corrected her... "No, actually for me it is MERRY CHRISTMAS. Merry Christmas to you too." Another time someone said to me "I'm not a big fan of the Jesus thing." UGGGHHHHH!

This is one of my pet peeves and I tend to jump right up on my soap box when this issue comes up. People tend to respond to me with "well then you shouldn't go trick or treating unless you want to celebrate the devil because it's their holy day!". So I say... "well then let them fight for their rights! If it offends them then I will rethink it!" Stupid I know, but whenever someone tells me that it's not the religious holiday that it used to be I always respond with "don't ever be that naive or foolish to believe that! It IS a holy day. It IS a religious holiday. And it IS the birthday of a Lord so mighty that he is watching everything that is happening on this earth and it is sickening to him. Don't make the mistake of removing him from his own birthday!"

People tend to think I overeact. LOL But that's nothing new! haha When I'm passionate about something I speak up. And I am passionate about celebrating the merciful, beautiful, loving God who came to this filthy earth for the sole purpose of saving me from Hell. He suffered so that every single selfish, foolish thing I've ever done would be covered with grace. I am so unworthy....but I am so grateful. I fail daily. But the beauty of the entire gift is that it never has been about what I do or don't do. I've always been undeserving and always will be.

I love you Jesus. That is the sweetest, most comforting name that can fall off of my tongue. I am so thankful for your birth and I am so blessed to live in a country where I am free to celebrate you. Even though I am constantly needing a "do-over" (lol) I will serve you all the days of my life. You are beautiful, worthy, omnipotent, forgiving, holy, perfect, loving... I could go on and on. My prayer for the new year is that you would allow me to fall deeper and deeper in love with you every day. I praise you. I worship you.

Happy Birthday Jesus! And Merry Christmas to the rest of you!


Silent Night, Holy Night

It's now officially Christmas Eve. I'm sitting here in the middle of the night having just finished wrapping gifts (which I HATE doing! lol) and I'm loving the silence. All I can hear is the furnace running.

As I was sitting here the song "Silent Night" started running through my head. You know how it goes... "Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright." And I'm feeling convicted. This has been anything but a silent night...and anything but calm. Actually as nights go around here it wasn't too bad. There wasn't much fighting, hardly any raising of voices, etc. But I'm talking internally. And even verbally. I think we all at one point or another are guilty of turning one of the holiest of all holy days for Christians into a commercialized, busy, clamorous holiday that is full of plenty of complaining. Too much to do, to much money spent, wrapping gifts, shopping, stores are crowded, traffic is horrible, have to make a huge dinner, Christmas cards to fill out AND mail, kids are so ungrateful.....blah, blah, blah. I feel like we're living out the song "The 12 pains of Christmas" sometimes! lol You guys know the song right? Here's the lyrics...the song cracks me up....because it's so true! haha Although the written lyrics don't do it justice without the funny voices to go with it!!!

The first thing at Christmas, That's such a pain to me: Is finding a Christmas tree. The second thing at Christmas, That's such a pain to me: Rigging up the lights. And finding a Christmas tree. The third thing at Christmas That's such a pain to me: Hangovers. Rigging up the lights. And finding a Christmas tree. The fourth thing at Christmas, That's such a pain to me: Sending Christmas cards. Hangovers. Rigging up the lights. And finding a Christmas tree. The fifth thing at Christmas That's such a pain to me: Five month of bills! Sending Christmas cards. Hangovers. Rigging up the lights. And finding a Christmas tree. The sixth thing at Christmas That's such a pain to me: Facing my in-laws. Five months of bills. Oh, I hate those Christmas cards. Hangovers. Rigging up these lights. And finding a Christmas tree. The seventh thing a Christmas, that's such a pain to me: The Salvation Army. Facing my in-laws. Five months of bills! Sending Christmas cards. Ohhh geeez. I'm tryin to rig up these lights! And finding a Christmas tree. The eighth thing at Christmas, that's such a pain to me: I want a transformer for Christmas. Charities, and what do you mean YOUR in-laws?! Five months of bills. Ughh, makin' up these cards. oh, Edith get me a beer huh? What we have no extension cords?! And finding a Christmas tree. The ninth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me: Finding parking spaces, Daddy, I want some candy! Donations! Facing my in-laws. Five months of bills. Writing out those Christmas cards. Hangovers. Now why the hell are they blinking?! And finding a Christmas tree. The tenth thing at Christmas That's such a pain to me: Batteries not included. No parking spaces. Buy me something! Get a job you bum! Facing my in-laws. Five months of bills. Yo-ho sending Christmas cards. Oh-geez look at this. One light goes out, they all go out! And finding a Christmas tree. The eleventh thing at Christmas That's such a pain to me: Stale T.V. specials. Batteries not included. No parking spaces Mom, I gotta go bathroom! Charities! She's a witch, I hate her. Five months of bills. Oh, I don't even know half these people! Oh, who has the toilet paper, huh? Turn on a flashlight, I blew a fuse! And finding a Christmas tree. The twelfth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me: Singing Christmas carols. Stale T.V. specials. Batteries not included. No parking! WAHH (crying) Charities. Gotta make 'em dinner. Five months of bills. I'm not sending 'em this year, that's it! Shut up, you! Fine, you're so smart! You rig up the lights! And finding a Christmas tree.

cracks me up!

Add other stress to that and it's even worse! I know that for me this season has brought home to me the reality of relationships that have fallen by the wayside. And I have to tell you it's really been bothering me lately.

How is it that people who claim to care, claim to be your friend and even on an unspoken level have entered into that "contract" if you will of relationship...be it friendship, family or romantic can just choose to fade away? That is something missing from my DNA and is so foreign to me that I just don't get it! I have a couple of friends who I actually used to consider BEST friends who one has just faded away and I talk to her once in a while. And the other has just dropped out of site. No return phone calls, emails, Christmas card...nothing. And as a matter of fact I think she even moved! I drove by her house and I was contemplating stopping and giving her a piece of my mind and it looks like her house is empty and there's a big pile of trash on the curb!!!! Well alrighty then!!! How do you do that? Just stop communicating? The circle of people in my life are rather small. Each one hand-picked and is special to me. I treasure those people and can tell you what place in my life each and every one of them fills. What need they meet. I honor their friendship and I cherish it. Whether I'm busy, stressed out, sick...it doesn't matter! I'm checking on you to see if you're ok. I'm celebrating with you, or crying with you. Always praying with you. I could never just walk away and selfishly only focus on my "stuff".

What got me so riled up about this now is not just the two people I considered my best friends going pretty much M.I.A., but it was a new friend too. He was my e-harmony guy that I was VERY excited about. Excited enough to break my oath of never mentioning guys too early because you jynx them. See! I mentioned him on here and now he's gone! I DID jynx it! lol Well anyways, it had only been a few weeks, but we had grown by leaps and bounds in that time. We were talking 3 and 4 hours every day. We had gotten pretty close. Then all of a sudden......*POOF* He's gone. Never called again. So after about a week i sent him an email saying that i was confused as to what happened and telling him how it had hurt my feelings. It was like being stood up for a date! He apologized for it and explained that things he had going on in his life, but frankly I don't care! There's no reason besides you're dead and I missed the obituary in the paper that you can't at least take 5 mins and either call or email me to say you've gotta go take care of some business for a while and you're going to be distant.

What that showed my really is that he isn't a person I'd probably want to be with full-time. Although he is a pretty amazing guy. Any guy that would blow me off and not return phone calls, send me to voice mail( and yes I meant SEND me to voicemail! Because when someone has NEXTEL you can tell when they don't want to talk to you. They get a little screen telling them who's calling and asking if you want to take a call from them...you click yes or no. No sends straight to V.M. It has a very distinctive sound when you're the caller and someone "no's" you.) and not drop an email line is not my kind of guy! unless it was a huge fluke and he comes and REALLY apologizes and tries to win me back then that's just too bad for him....it's his loss because I am fabulous darling! :)

See all the garbage in my mind??? Anything but a silent night in here!!! Happy Christmas Eve to every one of you whom I love and adore! My darling friends....I would do anything for any one of you! I LOVE YOU!


Baby it's cold outside

Well, it sure is good to be back!!! I know it's only been a few days but I have a chorus of "welcome back kotter" running through my head. LOL Not much is new actually. I've been really tired. And I mean REALLY tired! I have slept about 30 hours out of the last 48!!! I feel narcoleptic! I just couldn't stay awake for anything. But today I'm a little bit better. I don't know if my lupus was flaring up or what the problem was, but hopefully it's passing. I was afraid that maybe I was getting depressed again. I saw Scott yesterday at Drug Mart and thought that maybe that was enough to bother me, but no....I was tired and feeling crappy before then. So it's good to say that I survived that just fine! PROGRESS!!! :) I saw him, but he doesn't know that I did. I KNOW that he saw me. I didn't acknowledge him or even make eye contact though. I wanted it to be his idea or not at all. He didn't speak and so neither did I. I let him think that I didn't see him... and that he got off "SCOTT" free. LOL

I finished up my Christmas shopping. I have my elves back there wrapping gifts as we speak. I love having kids old enough to help! haha

The candles turned out FABULOUS!!! I've gotten nothing but raving reviews since making the first deliveries. They are amazing! I have a gingerbread and a cranberry burning right now and my house smells great. :) The only thing is that now I have even more people on my back to re-start the business in the spring!!!! Oh Soap & Pew...what did we get ourselves into???? :)
It's December in northern Ohio....cold & snowy. So I'm cacooned here in my home with my family where I love to be. (SNOW & COLD are are EVIL!!!) I'm drinking a cup of tea and the kids have hot chocolate. It's just a sweet day. It's good to be alive. :)


Happy birthday Dad

Ronald M. H., Jr.

Today is my dad's birthday. He would've been 58 today, but unfortunately he passed away four months ago.

Everyone knows the troubled relationship I had with my Dad when I was younger. He was a hard-living, hard-drugging, hard-drinking, motorcycle riding, womanizing, cuss-word loving man! lol I used to really hate all of these things about him and some I still do. Alot of those things are what led to his downfall....too many drugs=stroke, etc. But what has happened is that I've come to accept those things as "him" and honor him in-spite of himself.
I look alot like my mom but I look most like my dad. He was the biggest, strongest man I knew when I was a little girl! He was 6'2" and about 200#. He always had dark hair (just like mine) and a mustache. Sometimes a beard. Blue eyes. And he had a deep voice. Actually, you know who sounds like my dad when I hear him talk? Hulk Hogan. LOL Except my dads voice was just a little bit deeper.

He was a mechanic. He was also a motorcycle lover. He always had a new or different bike in the garage working on it. My mom says that she was so upset when I was born because she wanted a pretty, spotless, pink nursery for her new baby girl but because it was January and too cold to work outside he brought his motorcycle parts into the house and turned my nursery into his temporary garage! A pink layette and black grease...not a great mix. I was terrified as a little girl whenever I'd spend the night at his house because my "nightlight" was an 11x14 picture lit from below (museum style) picture of the band KISS!!!! In full makeup and tongue hanging down with blood dripping, etc. I was so scared but he thought it was the coolest picture and would just tell me to shut up and stop being a baby! Oh, fatherly love! j/k Then I had nightmares for years because he took me to the drive in to see JAWS when it first came out...I was only probaby 6 or 7. It terrified me!!! He'd sell drugs in front of me. Drink & party. I knew how to get the seeds out of weed and roll a good joint by the time I was 8 or 9 probably. He was gruff and abrasive. He used to call me into the room in front of all of his drunk and high biker buddies... "Budge!!! (that was his nickname for me since i was born...don't ask me why lol) Get in here!!! Look at my girl!! She's gonna be f****** hot as balls when she's grown!!! Look at these titties already growing!!! Any of you motherf****ers ever touch her and I'll cut your balls off!!! Now get your a** in there and get me some coffee and another beer!!!!" Yep, that was a typical weekend with my dad. He used to absolutely humiliate me.

It all came to a head when I was 16 and I told him I would come over but that I wanted to go to church sunday morning. He had a fit and became very, very verbally abusive. I told him that I didn't want to see him anymore and I never went back. He didn't give me away at my wedding. He didn't see my kids when they were born. Nothing.

I'm glad to say that before he died we made peace. When I went to see him in the nursing home I was struck by how broken & small he looked. I first saw him from behind and I recognized him immediately. He was wearing a flannel shirt like always. I recognized his hair. But he was different. He was slumped and weak. He didn't stand tall anymore. He couldn't stand at all. He was paralyzed on one side completely & partially on the other side since his stroke. He couldn't speak either. His speech was very garbled. He could try to talk but it was hard to understand. One of the thoughts I had immediately was that he had towered over people to intimidate them so many times that God wouldn't let him stand anymore. And he had raised his hands in anger so many times that now he couldn't use them at all. He had used words to hurt people so many times that now he lost his ability to be heard.

I learned a big lesson that day from my dad. Probably the biggest one my father ever taught me. I learned that I never wanted to be so rebellious and hard-headed that God has to wrestle me to the ground like that. I also learned something else. I learned that he loved me. He really loved me. I have no doubt about it and I can feel it in my soul. He loved his daughter. He just didn't know how to love me. He didn't know how to be a father. He was doing the best that he knew how to do at the time with the knowledge that he had...and failed miserably. As he sat there in his wheelchair holding one of his grandbabies on his lap for the very first time ever he was absolutely beaming with pride. He looked at me and smiled a half-crooked paralyzed smile and a tear ran down his face. He said as best as he could "this is the best birthday I've ever had." I'm crying like a baby as I write this just thinking about the look on his face, the light in his eyes and the sincerity in his voice that day. It changed my life. He even called me Veronica. I think it was the first time in my entire life that I ever heard him call me by my real name. He was trying so hard to treat me good. He wanted so bad to make me happy that day and to make peace that he was even afraid to call me by my nickname. You know, I grew up hating that nickname. But I've made peace with it. It's part of me now. At the funeral the family that I haven't seen for years referred to me as "Budge" all day and it actually felt good. It was comfortable and actually made me proud because that was a part of my dad...and I was no longer ashamed of him. I was proud of him. I am proud to admit that I am Nat's daughter. I look like him. I'm stubborn like him. I can sometimes do really dumb things to my own detriment like him.

Unfortunately that was the last time I saw my father alive. That was four years ago today. I never went back. I told myself that since I had made peace with him I didn't need to see him all the time. Didn't need "that kind" of a relationship with him. I think I was afraid that it was too good to be true. That the amazing healing experience I had would be wiped out with another visit if he decided not to be good anymore. And maybe that would've happened, maybe it wouldn't have. I don't know. I regret not going to see him again. That's one thing I would do differently. But I can't change that now. I got the call on the morning of August 25th that my dad had died that morning.

Some people might think I'm crazy but he came to see me when he died. I know he did. At about 4:15 or so in the morning I woke up out of a sound sleep....wide awake. It felt like someone was in my room. (remember I hadn't gotten the call yet)The sense of presence was so strong in my room that it actually started freaking me out. I remember actually praying and telling the Lord that I didn't know what was going on, but whatever was in my room to please make it leave because it was really obvious that I wasn't alone. LOL I even put a sleeping mask over my eyes because I was convinced that if I looked around I would see something. So I came out of my room to get the kids off to school and Randy was awake out here. So I said to him "I don't know what the heck happened here last night...did you feel anything weird a couple of hours ago?" and told him what happened. He agreed that it was strange and was amazed that I woke up like that (because once i'm out, i'm out! lol) It was just then that I got the phone call telling me that my dad had died. When I asked what time he passed they said "just a little after four." Some say coincedence, but I know that I have never in my life felt anything like that and I know it was him coming to say goodbye.

As I sat at the funeral looking around at my relatives that have good hearts but are more "rough around the edges", I realized that all the years I spent being resentful that he wasn't around were actually God's hand protecting me. He had other plans for me. Since my dad didn't know how to be a dad he removed him from my life. He allowed him back in just long enough for us to make peace and for me to see my father become a Christian. Now I get to spend all of eternity getting to know my dad...the real man. Not the man being filtered through drugs, alcohol and baggage. I'm so grateful that we have a God that is so merciful. It doesn't matter what we've done or haven't done...he loves us and welcomes us into his embrace the moment we ask him to. I'm also grateful that we have a God that watches over and protects the children of parents who screw up sometimes. Not just for myself, but because sometimes I can be more like my dad than I like to admit! Like father like daughter.:)


God can't drive a parked car!

~Affect others, don't let them infect you~

So I've been thinking about my goals for the next year. Financially, spiritually, friendships, parenting, home-improvements, love, etc. I know that you all know what I mean. It gets to be around Thanksgiving or Christmastime and I start getting reflective and analytical and thinking of all the ways that I've blown it over the last year. Any of my goals met from last year? Well, being frankly honest... I'm going to have to say probably not. 2005 is going to go down in the story of V. as one of the worst years. Strange...1995 was too. Wow, 1985 wasn't so hot either! Ok...that's a different blog! All I can say is that I hope 2015 will be better! lol

One of my goals last year was to not cuss anymore. Well....... *silence....cricket, cricket* LOL I have to say I'm a ton better than I used to be. I went a majority of my life without saying ANY cuss words....where did this nasty habit come from??? It's like patients that I have that say they didn't start smoking till they were like 27 or something. HELLO??? You should've really known better by then! So anyways I'm just going to have to shrug my shoulders and admit that this is still a work in progress and is once again a goal of mine.

I want to get my 401k up and running again this year...I still haven't done that since leaving the last hospital 3 years ago (yikes). More money in the bank. Tithe better... pretty much the old standards most people deal with.

I've already come across a couple of people that have pretty much moved from friend/best friend status down to acquaintance/friend status. You know how it goes. You quit talking everyday. Then it's every once in a while. Pretty soon hardly ever. Then there are the friends who have qualities that I just don't feel peaceful having in my life anymore. I have to keep growing and moving forward and I just can't have people that won't allow me to do that. They want me to stay the same person I was 5 years ago. Even one year ago! I wish they'd come along. I wish that they'd see gossip isn't as cool as it seemed when we were younger. Or that negativity only breeds negativity. It not only saps your spirit, but it's just not the right thing to do. Numbers 11:1 says "And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled." I'm not a negative person by any means. I've never been a pessimist. Like I've said a million times....I believe in happy endings! :) It's all going to work out just fine. And even on my worst days, God is sooo good.

I've been talking about this alot lately with several people. We've been talking about how EVERYONE has negative MOMENTS. Everyone. But they should be just that...moments. We have a negative thought, or we need to "barf" about something. But then the spirit and grace kick in...and we die to ourselves. At least that's supposed to be the process. That's what I need to make sure stays in check....my moments. And really they aren't out of control. But the problem is that I have friends whose moments ARE out of control. They aren't even moments anymore! They're sessions. Marathons. LOL And that is what has this on my priority list. Sometimes the Lord places people in your life to teach you what to do. And sometimes he places them in your life so that you can learn what NOT to do. Negativity will sap your spirit so bad that it can paralyze you. You will be so drained by the end of a "downer" conversation that you won't have anything left for yourself....or the Lord.

So my mission this coming year is to keep growing. Keep moving forward. God can't drive a parked car!

And as for the love life? Who knows? We'll see. :) There's someone I've been talking to who seems pretty awesome so far! Ok enough about that...I don't want to jynx it! ;)

Santa Claus is coming to town

~Merry Christmas Baby, You've Sure Been Good To Me...~

Well I must be starting to feel better 'cause guess what??? YEAH BABY! I FEEL LIKE SHOPPIN!!!! *big wink and a smile!*

I started to tonight but it's so hard with kids with you!!! So tomorrow I'm gonna do what I can before payday. Mostly, I'm just looking forward to getting dressed and actually doing my hair! Tonight was a schlep to walmart in some track pants and a ponytail kind of outing, but I think tomorrow is a dress up and put on some red lipstick kind of shopping day! Of course I'm notorious for feeling that way at 1 or 2 in the morning! Wait until daylight hits me and it'll probably be another wash-n-wear type of day! haha

I've been itching for a Christmas party lately. My good friend Carl has been planning for everyone to go out dancing this coming Friday for like 2 months... I've sooooooooo been looking forward to it! I wish you could/would all come with me. My problem is that having had to call off all weekend unexpectedly wreaked havoc on my calendar!!!! Darn that stupid flu bug!!! Flu bugs are stupid!:)


Like a wink & a smile

I started this post as an entirely different thing than you're looking at. I had something happen today with one of my kids that once again broke my heart and I started to vent about the deflowering of our youth in today's society.

When we were younger it was tough to not be sexual, but today... fugheddaboutit!
So as I was venting and barfing all over my blog about my frustrations, I was listening to music as I usually do. Anyone who knows me (and I've said on here a hundred times) I LOOOOOOOOOVE "standards". You know, old jazzy type music. "Crooners" as most people call them.

(Frank Sinatra is usually the one that people think of when they hear that term. And you know, I like Frank... but I hate his attitude. He's part of the problem I'm facing today. Womanizing, etc. No... what I'm think of is more like Harry Connick, Jr. or Michael Buble.)

Ok, back to my story. So as I'm sitting there "barfing" about my problem, I'm listening to my music. Let me tell you, this music makes me come alive when I hear it. It always has. I can remember being a little girl and hearing big band music on t.v. and being absolutely mesmerized. I fell in love. I felt at home the instant I heard it. It makes me smile and "swoon" the instant it comes on. I was soooo supposed to be born in the 20's, 30's or 40's!

So I was sitting here listening to "Taking a chance on love", "smile though your heart is breaking", "It had to be you", "Moonlight Serenade", etc. and my mood started to lift. And I started thinking... what is it about this music that is making me feel better? Is it because Harry Connick, Jr. is just so freakin handsome? lol (yeah, Jill Goodacre, I said it! It's time for you to move over and let someone else have a chance! You've had him long enough!!! lol) And it came to me that... nope, it's more than my natural attraction to this music... it's what this music has come to represent to me. A simpler, more respectful time. A romantic time when the most scandlous thing on a magazine cover was a sailor kissing a nurse that he didn't know. Men were men. Men were gentlemen more specifically. And women were ladies. The pressure was on young people to be decent, respectable and modest.

Nowadays young girls are pressured to act like "video girls". You know, the half-naked girls in music videos bumping and grinding all over the nasty person singing. The less clothes the better. These days girls don't even know how to take a picture without trying to have a seductive look on their faces! I'm so tired of these little girls devaluing themselves like that! Let me say this...
I've said it a thousand times to my kids and I'll keep saying it until it sinks in... "Pick friends that you WANT TO BE LIKE because they're not going to rise to your level, you're going to sink to theirs!"....Man I hope they learn that lesson while the learning's good!


Nothing new

~Nothing New~

Thought I'd drop a note to say not much new going on here! :) That can be an awesome thing though. I had a short but nice visit with my girlies this weekend...wish it was for a different reason, but it was still nice to see them. I've been working on candle orders and graphics. I'm amazed at how much shipping is if you don't have alot of time to wait!!! Amazing! For 2 day air on our order it's going to be $150.00 and for next day air.... $350!!!! I about crapped myself! LOL Needless to say I suddenly found the time to wait for my shipment! $42.00 for ground shipping sounds alot better to me!
The kids have their Christmas concerts this week. They planned both of them at the same time at different schools...so thoughtful of them! So Courtney has to take one to theirs and I have to take the other.
I saw today that I did some Christmas shopping last night at target.com. I thought that was funny because I hardly remember it! LOL Some people "drunk dial" in the middle of the night... I "sleepy shop".hahaha What happens is that I take my sleeping pill (because I'm a famous insomniac and got really tired of hearing people saying "why are you still awake? shouldn't you be sleeping???"), then I sit down at the computer to wait for it to kick in. Pretty soon everything starts looking good and I'm thinking I can use everything on every website! I need to order it now! haha Most of the time it's things I can actually use and am glad I ordered, but I've ordered some pretty questionable things a couple of times! LOL I'm not going to get too detailed, but for those of you "in the know" I'll just say... Victor has a brother now! hahaha So anyways, this morning I got up and it looks like I actually got some really good deals on Christmas presents! Yay me! :)


Catch-up blog

Well, time for an update on my little Courtney girl. She's acting much better. I think that night really got to her and she's been back to my normal good girl. Of course she has been really sick too... lol Maybe she just doesn't have the energy to be bad! haha No seriously she's a great girl and anyone that knows her can attest to that. She has a great spirit. She's resilient and she's HILLARIOUS. She does the most hillarious Napoleon Dynamite impersonation I've ever seen. Napoleon is very big in this house and she constantly cracks us all up! haha I hope she grows into the amazing woman that she's heading towards.....nothing's been able to stop her yet! :)


My babies

~"Amelia Bedelia Schmelia Pelia"~

My baby emmy girl! This is MY girl! She will come and curl up on my lap no matter what I'm doing. She crawls in bed with me, she touches my face and tells me how pretty she thinks I always am...and she will always be the one child of mine to tell me when she thinks my butt looks big too! haha She has to be the absolute funniest of all of my kids!!! :) She cracks me up. And not even because she's trying to be funny most of the time. lol She is just naturally funny! We all get alot of our "language", etc. from things she says and does. Like "bellytuppin"(belly button when she was tiny), "yesternight", "Back off turkey!!!" "I'm tidered", "I hate getting ready for bed! Going to bed is so stupid!!!"...just to name a few. Oh, and who could forget freezing in mid-action when she thinks someone is looking at her that she doesn't know???? HAHAHAHA For those of you who have never seen this hillarious act... all it takes is a waitress for example to walk up and start talking to her. She totally freezes right in mid-action, no matter what she's doing. She won't look, move, breathe....she thinks like an ostrich and if she doesn't move they can't see her. LOL She's so bashful that she doesn't even want to be seen. That's in public though. At home she's a totally different person.... she is a little ham! She's always "shaking her booty" or "breakin it down". She does a good job too! I have to say that unfortunately she's the only one of my kids who has ever had the nerve (or ignorance) to repeat bad words she's heard. LOL One day we were driving in the car when she was probably four and she yelled "this stupid sun won't stay out of my eyes and it's really starting to PISS ME OFF!!!!!" haha I know I shouldn't be laughing about that but I CRACKED UP! She was sooo serious! LOL The best thing about Amelia is that a few weeks ago... she got saved! She asked Jesus into her heart and was so excited I heard her dancing up and down the hall singing "you can't get me no more bad devil because Jesus is in my heart!!!" :)


My babies

~"Madelaine Baby"~

My little Mat (I actually hated when pleople called her that when she was born, but it stuck and now I call her "Mat" all the time). Along with that, whether I liked it or not at the time her name was turned from Madelaine Baylee into "Madelaine Baby" by my in-laws and it used to irritate me but now it's my term of affection for her. :) What can I say about her? Plenty actually. :) If ever there was a faithful, responsible, on-top-of-things child then this is it! It's a running joke around the house that we call her "the elephant"...because she never forgets anything! She's my walking to-do list and notepad rolled into one. If I need to remember to do something I simply say "Maddie I need you to remind me to do this." Then sure enough, not only will she remind me about it on time, but she will have probably have reminded me thirty other times before it was time! lol We jokingly call her "Repeat"...that's her newest nickname. You know..."Pete & Repeat were sitting on a fence, Pete fell off. Who was left? REPEAT" LOL She will have lunches packed, her clothes laid out, homework completed, beds turned down when the rest of my kids are still sitting around picking their noses! haha

Sometimes I can get a glimpse into the future and I can see her as a woman. She's going to be the responsible one. The soccer mom. She's also going to be the one who is near me the most. I can see us having lunch, or her taking care of me when I'm old. As much as I adore my other girls...God knows I do....but Madelaine's going to be my one-true-thing. That made me tear up just to type that. :) It sure wasn't like that when she was born and I think that's why it touches me so much.
From the minute she was born she was daddy's little girl. I hardly even got to hold her when she was little! I actually used to feel rejected by her as a baby as dumb as that sounds. I'd hold her and the evil one would walk in and she'd cry to go to him. I was heartbroken. But unfortunately heartbreak doesn't just have my name written on it.

We didn't know it then, but her daddy was a monster. And when he left I think a big piece of little Mat did too. Her baby heart was so broken by his sin and then his absence that for a couple of years she couldn't even say the word "dad" or any version of it. She would say "that person". She, like the rest of us, had been betrayed and a part of her tiny heart was shut down.
She's doing great now. But as the last three years have passed I have seen her coming out of her shell, growing into me and becoming mommy's little girl.
Now she talks a mile a minute and her dream is to do gymnastics... the most common site around here is to see Maddie standing on her head! LOL She's actually really good at it too!

As cool as she is in other areas, the one thing that I love the most is that even though all four of my kids are born again now, she is the one that truly has a heart for Jesus. She gets excited just to hear his name spoken. When it's her turn to say grace before meals the other kids aren't as thrilled as I am that's for sure! :) She tends to take forever...her prayers are very long. lol But it's because she loves to talk to God. Wow do I choke up just talking about it! She's such a special, touched, blessed, beautiful little girl. Smart as a whip, aims to please, compassionate and thoughtful, lovely inside and out. Innocent. Yep, that's Madelaine.

My little "Madelaine Baby"

My babies

~My Son~

I've had a ton of stress with my kids lately and it seems like all I've been doing is venting about them to my friends! So you know what? It's time to shine some light on my beautiful babies! They're awesome kids, they truly are and they deserve some praise too! So for the next four days I'm going to be covering a kid a day! :)

They are all so different it amazes me. My girls are just like me...each one a different aspect of me...but definitely their mother's daughters! And my son...well....LOL....love him to death, but he's just like his dad! (You can take that to mean whatever you like! haha) Just kidding...he has his problems but Darren has so pretty great qualities too!

Darren was the cutest baby boy ever! He was so fat and squishy. :) And he was so happy...I could just love on him forever!

He was an adorable toddler too...he was a natural cut-up. He cracked me up. It was at about this age (I'd say two years old) that he would just jump up and start running around the living room yelling "I'VE GOT A MONKEY ON MY BACK!!! AHHHHH!!!" Because he knew that it would make people laugh. LOL What a goof!

He's still a gorgeous kid! He's so smart he puts me to shame most of the time. I know most mothers will say that about their children, but I'm not kidding...he's a smart cookie! And he LOVES to cook...which makes me very happy! heehee Instead of "chef boy r dee", we call him "chef my boy d".


My Courtney girl

~How can you mend a broken heart?~

I can remember the instant I laid eyes on her for the first time. I just couldn't believe it was a girl! I was so excited. I wanted a girl so bad...and here she was...it was instant love. She was a stunningly beautiful baby. Lots of dark hair, dark eyes, beautiful pink complexion...wow. I was smitten with her immediately. I think there's something special about your first born. Of course there are special things about each and every one of my children. I love each one equally, but in such different ways....and my firstborn. My Courtney girl. I always tell her she's so special because she's the one who made me a mom. By the time the others got here I was already a mom. But she's the one the Lord hand-picked to make me a mother. I adore her. I can remember when she was little how sweet she was. For her first halloween she was a "court" jester...get it? haha :)

She was ten months old and sweet as they come! You can ask anyone who has ever known Courtney...she is and always has been a golden child. There is something about her. She has the most amazing personality...people are drawn to her. And she's never met a stranger. She is instant friends with anyone she meets. And the sense of humor on that girl!!! So funny! She used to crack me up when she was little because she was addicted to her pacifier. Or should I say pacifiers(ssssss). LOL She always had one in her mouth and at least one more in her hands. She called them her "pfa-pfa's".

She just has the most sparkling, amazing, beautiful, resilient personality....just like her mom! ;) BUT, she's also passionate, opinionated, and bull-headed...just like her mom!

Everyone always told me these days would be coming..... THE TEENAGE YEARS. (*gulp*)I never dreaded them much because I have great kids...really I do. For the most part my kids are awesome. But lately Courtney and I have really been butting heads. She has turned from an insanely adorable precocious little girl into an opinionated, mouthy teenager! Now don't get me wrong...for the most part she's still amazing.

But there are the occassions that she's anything but! We butt heads like crazy sometimes...mainly because she has to get the last word in...even if the last word is an eye roll, or a loud heavy sigh (oh I hate those!)...you know what I mean! And everytime this is happening it's seeming to get worse and worse...because she just won't learn. Tonight hit a fever pitch.

It actually started yesterday when she was constantly mouthing off and managed to get herself grounded (typical) and ended up tonight with she and I literally nose to nose and me yelling "if you don't like it here thenGET OUT!" And her reply was "Fine, I will!!!" and she stormed out the door and disappeared into the cold dark....with no coat might I add.

Nothing like this has EVER happened before and so it was kind of surreal at first. I was FURIOUS. That is such an understatement!!! Man oh man! But after about twenty minutes of her not coming back in the door ready for the drama to be over because she was cold....I started to worry. So I went out into the driveway and yelled for her. Nothing. I yelled louder. Nothing. I screamed her name. Nothing. I couldn't believe this. I went back into the house and stood at the sink wondering what the heck I should do and praying a silent prayer.

I was at a major crossroads in my life. My daughter. My flesh and blood... my heart was out in the cold with no coat, no where to go and being stubborn as a mule! I was infuriated and worried sick all at the same time. Where was she??? I couldn't believe this was happening. I suddenly started having flashbacks to every primetime show, Oprah, Maury, 60 minutes, etc. that I had ever seen where you hear "They thought it could never happen to them...she was always such a good girl....and then she was gone." Or something along those lines. What if she ran away? What if she fell into the wrong hands? What if she got hurt? What if she was gone.

Oh the power of a moment!

So I ended up piling my kids in the car and taking her cell phone and combing the streets while calling every friend in her phone book to see if they had heard from her. No one had. Finally after about an hour I saw her walking down a street about three blocks from our house shivering and crying. She got in the car and in an instant I felt the most amazing wave of relief and gratefulness wash over me.... and then I wanted to kill her!
We came home and still had a few words to say to each other...can you believe she still had some sass in her??? OH HECK NO!!! So I made her sit down with the dictionary and look up honor, respect & INFURIATED. She also had to look up and read to me Deuteronomy 5:16 "16Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee"...and we had a long talk about that. She seemed to get it. At least for tonight she does.

She's sleeping now. She's safe. She's warm. I walk by her door and I start to tear up. I can remember when a dear friend of mine faced a similar situation several years ago when his daughter ran away one night. He was torn up. And when she came home and he walked past her bedroom door he said he just wanted to go in and strangle her but at the same time he was just so overwhelmingly grateful that she was there. I now know the feeling.
As a parent of teenagers you are just pretty much helpless. You can hope they will yield to you, but they are old enough that if they want to be rebellious they're going to be. I'm so not used to that.

So for tonight my beautiful firstborn daughter is sleeping under my roof, right where she always has been, right where she should be. God help me I don't know what I'm gonna do when she gets married or moves out! My heart is going to be ripped from it's cavity! But I guess that's what this process is about to some extent...getting me ready to let her go.
Bringing her into my home in the first place was so painful (36 hours of labor on Christmas day!!! )...and getting her ready to leave my home hurts even worse.


Oh Christmas tree

Well, the tree is up, some of the lights are up outside (the ones where no ladder was required) and needless to say.... I'M WHOOPED!!! I'm frustrated because last year I made a BEAUTIFUL pine garland for around the kitchen entryway and now it's missing. It had lights, pinecones, red bulbs...all kinds of goodies...nope, nowhere to be found. My gut is telling me that last year when I asked Darren to carry it out to the shed for me he was too lazy and decided to just throw it away instead. But of course I can't prove that. So I'm out of luck. GRRRR. Other than that the house is looking gorgeous!I usually have a big Christmas party every year....and I'm starting to get the itch! I love, love, love, love, love getting the house all prettied up, putting on some Christmas music and having all of my friends over(the ones that will venture out in the snow and don't live four hours away anyways lol). We'll see what happens. Other than that...not a whole lot going on here! I'm going to be making candles tomorrow....ORDERS STILL BEING TAKEN PEOPLE!!! (just send either me or Allison a message!) Allison, Shawnda and hopefully Megan are supposed to be coming up around the 12th.... YAY US!!! Girls weekend, candlemaking, Christmastime....what could be better???? I'm so excited! I can't wait!!! :)


Isn't this supposed to be flu season???

The nursing supervisor just called me and h.c.'d me (house convenience) for the first four hours of my shift because they have too much staff scheduled for the few patients that we have. I have two thoughts... 1.) HOLY CRAP! I'm broke and need to work!!! lol and 2.)I thought this was supposed to be flu season!!! I know I have been sick as a D-0-G for the past two weeks and actually feel worse today than I have for several days..... am I the only one??? Where are all the sick people???

Oh well, there's a reason for everything and I should just be grateful that I don't have to be getting ready for work right now as miserable as I feel. So, for the next few hours I'm going to be chilling out and relaxing on the couch and wondering if I'm going to work at 11 or if they're going to cancel me then too. Can you tell I'm all "cough-syrup'd" up? lol I'm kind of babbling!! I guess maybe it's a good thing they cancelled me! haha

Ok, so here's the update. They tried to cancel me again at 11:00 and I basically begged for mercy. So I got to go in for 8 hours and immediately felt bad about it because while i was grateful I was earning much-needed income...my family kept calling for help... courtney is sick, amelia is throwing up, amelia is starting to have an asthma attack...where's her inhaler? etc,etc,etc. So I felt totally guilty and helpless about being at work...and I felt bad for Courtney that she had to deal with all of that. She's almost 14 but she's just a baby herself. Other than that though, work was great. Quiet and slow. Or should I say s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-ow. That's more like it. lol I decorated the floor for Christmas and tried to make time pass quicker. And now I'm home. I've taken my sleeping pill and am feeling sufficiently stoned from it...I think I'll be able to sleep now. :) I'd better get going to bed. Have a good day everyone! :)


A thankful heart

Well, after a heck of a drive we're finally here! For those of you who don't know where "here" is...it's West Virginia where my parents moved last year when they retired. We were invited to come down for Thanksgiving and hesitantly said yes. For one reason...I LOVE spending the holiday at home...it's for being home and relaxing with family. Secondly...the time of year! I just KNEW it was going to blizzard!!! And guess what??? I WAS RIGHT!!! The whole way down here it was nearly white-out conditions. By the time I got here the entire front of my car was 2 inches thick with ice. My step-dad had to take a snow scraper and bust the ice off of my headlights for me! But the kids are really excited because they get to go sledding down the mountain that my parents now call home (don't ask me why...that mountain-loving gene is missing from my DNA) tomorrow when my brother Kevin brings over the sleds. When my parents moved down here pretty much everyone followed them. They've just about convinced my little brother to come down and then there will be just me left! And forget it pal! I'm NOT moving to these mountains! They're beautiful to look at, but by the time I get to their house after driving in them I'm cussing like a sailor! lol So anyways, we've arrived at our family's new home-base and tomorrow my brothers and sisters-in-law, nephews, and probably even a few pets will be here for dinner. (Which of course means that I will be ready to come back home by lunchtime!!! haha) So for tonight my little ones are enjoying their time with Grandpa, Courtney's disappeared to one of the bedrooms to take advantage of the free long distance (yes, they really have free long distance down here! You could call France and it would be free!)And I am here..on the computer being a horrible house guest! So I'd better get in there and participate. I hope you all have a fabulous holiday! May we all be thankful for the blessings in our lives and know that they all come from above. May all of the Americans who cannot be here for the Holiday have their hearts lifted and spirits blessed. God bless our soldiers, our families, our homes, our lives, our churches, our president and mostly GOD BLESS AMERICA.



It's Alive!!

I fixed it! I fixed it! I fixed it!!! (*dancing around the house and singing*) WHO NEEDS A MAN BABY??? lol I took the front off of the washer, reset the out of balance switch and then when that didn't work I was told I needed to find the fuse and replace that. So I called Greg and had him talk me down from the ledge because you all know what a chicken butt I am and of course was afraid of getting electrocuted. haha So being the electrician of the group... he got the honors! :) THANKS PAL!!! So I went to Lowe's, bought the new fuse, came home, popped it in and lo and behold..... A WORKING WASHING MACHINE!!! yeehaw! Isn't it funny what we get excited about as grown ups?


My washer is dying

My washer is sick. It might even be dying. I turn it on and no water comes in. It will spin but no water. I've been online trying to self-diagnose and have found a few things but nothing I can do on my own. And hello!!!..... $$$$CHA-CHING$$$$!!! So, please pray for my washer...for a speedy and miraculous recovery. Anybody have a tissue? Soapie just called me a dirty-butt because my avatar is wearing the same clothes two days in a row... but HELLLOOOOO???? MY WASHER IS BROKEN!!!!! DUH!!! lol



So here I am again. Most of you know about it. For those that don't, last night was an ugly, ugly, painful night. I was accused of something really ugly and hurtful by a friend and put in a position that left me no options but to strike back. I am so heartbroken. Sometimes that word is thrown around a bit carelessly but I seem to have had my share of heartbrokenness lately...and today I am so sad I don't know what to say. I know at least one other person that is feeling this kind of pain right now. She's hurting probably worse than I am and unfortunately she's lashing out at me. She's my friend. I love her. I tried to protect her but it didn't work and now there's pain. Pain caused by an ignorant, mean-spirited, selfish, malicious person. A person that we both trusted and who let us down so hard that we landed with a big crash.

Why does this overall situation seem so familiar? I know that everytime something bad happens it doesn't mean I did something wrong to deserve punishment. Sometimes crap just happens...but it seems that I am consistently being faced with the same kind of people. I'm pretty much able to spot 'em when I see 'em like I've been writing about, but the problem is that I'm still not acting on protecting myself right away. I'm ignoring my alarm bells. Even if it's not as much as before I'm still doing it to one point or another. I've heard compromise described as "going just a tiny bit below what you know is right." It's lowering your standards and accepting even just a tiny bit less than your gut is telling you that you should. We all tend to think that the little things don't really matter...but God is in the details.... or not. I have to admit that I compromised in this situation. I allowed some conversation (although totally innocent) that should have never happened. Entertained someone through politeness because I didn't want to offend them or seem rude. I totally compromised. Just a tiny bit. Now that tiny compromise has turned into a titanic disaster. One that will probably NEVER be fixed.

Today my blast says "experience is when you know what to expect the next time you screw up in the same way." So true. I can see that each time I compromise in the same way my mistake gets proportionately smaller. 12 years ago I compromised by letting the evil one into my life.... HUGE, HUGE, HUGE mistake.....all the way up to this current situation which was like a little "oops" where I really didn't blatantly do anything wrong....but my consequences are still huge because God's been trying to teach me about this for a long time. I don't want to look at this situation and play victim... I want to look at this and say "what can I learn from this...why did this happen?" And I know that for one thing it's because I really have got to stop compromising for fear of offending someone. Secondly, I need to deal with the abuse issues from my past.

Last night I wept over the guilt that I felt. I felt so dirty and shameful. Allison kept saying, "why do you feel guilty??? You didn't do anything wrong???" So I started examining that. Why did I feel so guilty? It's because I tend to perceive myself at times by the negativity of the different messages I've received over the years and the events of my past. I was told that I was so many different ugly and dirty things by the evil one that even though I know he's a complete IDIOT, those words tend to sometimes rear their ugly little heads in my conscience sometimes. If you hear that garbage for long enough a part of you starts to believe it after a while and everytime I think that I'm past it.... I'm shown that NOPE.... I still have trouble seeing myself as the righteousness of Christ. I know that none of that garbage I've been told is true. I know that I am a beautiful, smart, loyal, funny, giving, passionate, feminine woman. Maybe that's why God keeps allowing me to face these abusive jerks every now and then...so that I can continue to be pruned of all the dead stuff so that I can bear fruit. Still, sometimes enough is enough and God never gives me more than I can handle. He shields me when it is going to be too much. Last night this creep kept leaving me nasty voice mails on my phone and my alarm bells were going off... big time. I could not bring myself to listen to them.... no way. I just knew I wasn't supposed to and I obeyed. So Allison offered to call my voicemail from her house and screen them for me.... and thank God she did. She said she almost deleted at least one of them because she instantly thought to herself, "this is something that she does not need to hear." I never did listen to any of them....deleted them all. Not only am I going to work to get that garbage out of me... I refuse to feed it. Anything will die if you just don't feed it... so I will not ever knowingly allow that garbage in my ears again. Garbage in, garbage out. I thank God that as he teaches me and weeds out people that don't belong in my life that he also has friends there that are ever-lasting. Friends that are willing to help you at 2 in the morning, listen to voicemails and defend your honor. I've had a song running through my head this evening that reminds me of this.... Unbroken by Zoegirl. Here are the lyrics.

Fallen to pieces
(I am undone)
The things you said
I trusted you like a fool
While you made all the rules
So you searched me out
And you took me down

To be unbroken, what would that be?
If words that were spoken, had not shattered me
If I was unbroken, I’d never know
The beauty of hope, and how far grace will go
To be unbroken
To be unbroken

The things you found
(To use against me)
Have lost their sound
(Where mercy and truth meet)
I fell to the Father’s feet
His words washed all over me
And all the scars you made
Watch them fade away

To be unbroken, what would that be?
If words that were spoken, had not shattered me
If I was unbroken, I’d never know
The beauty of hope, and how far grace will go
To be unbroken
To be unbroken

I’ve tasted bitter, tasted sweet
Embraced the victory, and some defeat
I’ve tasted bitter, tasted sweet
I found the beauty in the place they meet

To be unbroken, what would that be?
If words that were spoken, had not shattered me
If I was unbroken, I’d never know
The beauty of hope, and how far grace will go

To be unbroken, what would that be?
If words that were spoken, had not shattered me
If I was unbroken, I’d never know
The beauty of hope, and how far grace will go
To be unbroken
To be unbroken


100 things about me

Almost any blog you look on these days people have their "100 things about me" lists. Who am I to break tradition???

1. I love vocal standards and big band...they're my absolute favorite.
2. my favorite colors are sage green, deep red/burgandy and earth tones... black for clothing.
3. I do a great impression of billy crystal in "when harry met sally"... "pecan pieeeeee" LOL
4. I'm afraid of dogs.
5. I love cats but am allergic to them.
6. I'm a side sleeper.
7. I'm a pillow-flipper (i like the cold side of the pillow). LOL
8. Marching bands are one of my favorite sounds in the whole world.
9. Seven is my favorite #.
10. I can't stand the feel, sight, sound, thought of paper of any kind (including the wood it came from)....it skeeves me out so bad...blah! lol like fingernails on a chalkboard.
11. My first kiss was with a guy named "Hank".
12. I think i'm one of the only women on the earth who doesn't like roses....i wouldn't complain if i got them, but I would never pick them for myself.
13. I fear change.
14. I love, love, love to sing... but really stink at it.
15. I have never done drugs.
16. I'm too nice for my own good.
17. Don't get me a plant, it will die. lol
18. I'm the walking definition of procrastination.
19. I HATE the cold.
20. I have a fear of tornados.
21. I'm such a huge sap I cry over everything.
22. I wear rose-colored glasses and I wear them quite well might I add.
23. I love Janis Joplin
24. and Melissa Etheridge
25. and Renee Olstead
26. I love Christmas music... I listen to it all year long.
27. I am soooo not a morning person
28. I'm a totally typical capricorn.
29. I don't want to jynx myself but *knock on wood* lol I've never had a speeding ticket.
30. I'm a total germ-o-phobe
31. I'm addicted to chapstick/lipgloss.
32. I HATE to cook... i will and am ok at it... but hate, hate, hate it and will try to get out of it every chance I get.
33. I love my naturally dark hair color... brunettes ROCK!
34. I'm listening to Harry Connick Jr.... "Do you know what it means to miss new orleans" right now.
35. I had my heart broken this year.
36. Many of my relationships have ended in the month of September.... don't ask me why.
37. I never liked New Kids on the Block.
38. My mom wouldn't let me wear the one lace Madonna glove when I was in Jr. High... she said it looked like a "hooker glove".
39. I got saved when I was 15 while laying in my bed.
40. I made up a horrible rumor in high school about Charmaine Bohrer because she tried to steal my boyfriend (John Algarin)...now I feel bad and wish she would've taken him.
41. I CAN'T STAND 98% of 80's music.
42. I'm a messy person
43. I love the show "Thirtysomething"
44. Chris Nunez from "Miami Ink" is hot as balls!
45. So is Matt Johnston from "It takes a Thief"... gorgeous!!! he my baby daddy! lol
46. All of the Tyler Perry Plays (ex: Diary of a Mad Black Woman) CRACK ME UP!!
47. I love New York City.
48. I am a total girly-girl
49. I can't draw.
50. The only kind of music I can't stand is heavy metal.
51. I have a really dirty mind.
52. I sleep with a fan on for the noise.
53. When I find music I like I listen to it over and over again without getting tired of it.
54. I'm a tea drinker... Earl Grey mmmmm
55. I have solved all of the Tom Clancy Splinter Cell xbox games
56. Other than that I never play video games
57. I'm a toilet paper over the top kind of person...even at someone else's house I'll change it because it bugs me so bad.
58. I'm a "big girl" but LOVE my body... I have an hour glass figure and am very curvy.
59. Absolutely ADORE Sex and the City. I'm a mix between Carrie and Charlotte with a tiny bit of Samantha thrown in.
60. I believe that there are soulmates and love mates... you have an instant connection with you soulmate that never seems to go away and you can't explain (even though you don't always get to be with that person)...love mates are those you love and CHOOSE to spend your life partnered with.
61. Have a huge fear of whales....shut up! Quit judging me!!! LOL
62. Love Louis Armstrong
63. I'm REALLY shy until I get to know you (even if I fake it and make you think I'm not).
64. I think Moulin Rouge was a beautiful work of art.
65. I love to quote movies.
66. I LOVE Napoleon Dynamite... heck yes I do.
67. I let my ex-boyfriend give my hair highlights while sitting on my back porch drinking wine. (they actually turned out great LOL)
68. Love the song "I've Grown Accustomed to her Face"....performed by Michael Feinstein.
69. And "Come Rain or Come Shine"...sung by Ray Charles.
70. I have my funeral planned out...even the music that should be played.
71. I have my will made.
72. I'm a total homebody. I would be happy to go a month without leaving my house.
73. I can nurse the same beverage all day long.
74. My dad was a pool shark.
75. If I can't win I usually don't like to play.
76. I can't stand knowing someone has a grudge against me.
77. I have the strongest conscience of anyone I've ever met....if I do something wrong I won't last more than 10 minutes before I have to fess up and fix it.
78. I'm much more traditional and conservative than most people first think.
79. I'm prone to depression.
80. My short-term memory is crap anymore.
81. I hate beer.
82. I hate confrontation.
83. I've discovered it's pretty hard to come up with 100 things about yourself.
84. I'm a total voyeur. I'll watch anyone do anything....I don't like to be the center of attention, I love to sit back and observe. I'd love to be invisible for a day just so I could see what people do when no one is around.
85. My favorite article of clothing are my old paint-stained sweat-pants.
86. I could spend hours in the office supply aisle just looking around.
87. My favorite karaoke song to do is "Ice Ice Baby"
88. Or "Shoop" by salt n peppa
89. I used to love roller coasters but now I hate them. There's so much peer pressure to ride those stupid things!
90. I'm a very touchy-feely person.
91. I would love to be able to speak all of the French I learned in high school.
92. My cell phone hardly ever leaves my side.
93. Cleaned bathrooms at Cedar Point amusement park in high school. (let me tell you... women are PIGS in public bathrooms!!!)
94. I've never lived alone in my whole life.
95. I hate folding and putting away laundry.
96. Music is my inspiration and most of the time I have a soundtrack to my life running in my head...(this song would be perfect right now).
97. I have an amazing sweet tooth.
98. prefer necklaces to any other jewelry (sometimes rings)... hardly ever wear earrings.
99. I can't stand it when people call me "Roni" or "Ronnie" or any version thereof.
100. I can't believe you read this whole thing.

Tell Mama

Most people think I'm crazy.... but I love, love, love, love, love Janis Joplin. I was just watching a documentary on a music Festival from 1970 that she was in and it reminded me all over again how much I love her. Hers was a really tragic story... she was young and made some pretty bad mistakes... but which one of us hasn't. I'm not here to judge her or analyze her...only to honor her. Man, her voice gives me goosebumps...she's awesome! I now have two of her songs going back and forth in my head... Cry Baby and Tell Mama (all about it!.... I'm jammin over here! lol)She was a passionate woman who dove head first into everything she did (gee, sounds familiar lol)...even to her demise. I hope I can learn from her mistakes but also take from her the good things...she was a cool woman.



Wanna know what I've been doing all evening? Making graphics! It's amazing how relaxing that is for me. I really should start my own website selling the graphics that I make. I can get lost for hours and hours just making little silly nothings. I made the above one a few years ago.

I don't have anything really exciting to say today (which is AWESOME!! haha) and no profound insights....just thought I would let you guys into my exciting world (woo hoo!). I can't wait to make the candles. I didn't think I wanted to but I'm actually getting excited about it again. Maybe that's one of the reasons that I had gotten depressed lately... I've moved too far away from most things that I'm passionate about. My friend (or ex-friend unfortunately) Scott kept trying to get me to make candles again...he even offered to pay for it and I would never take him up on it. I thought that was a chapter that I was ready to leave behind me. But I gotta tell you... I'm kind of glad everyone has talked me into it this Christmas. I think I needed something to get excited about! :)


Another weekend over

Ahhhh, another weekend is finally over. This weekend seemed really hard! I even had to take a break last night and go lay down for an hour.... I haven't done that in years. I wonder if I'm coming down with something or if it was just particularly trying.

I had a ton of "bell ringers".... people who for one reason or another constantly ring their call bells. So you can't really get anything done because as soon as you start to do something, on comes the call light. That in and of itself isn't bad... but when they do it 40 or 50 times in a shift and don't really need anything it gets pretty irritating. So I had a couple of those, I had two older gentleman who WOULD NOT stay in bed so their alarms were going off all night long and you'd have to jump out of your seat and take off bolting down the hall to make sure they weren't going to fall and break a hip or something. Then on Saturday I had a man who was actively dying and it seems that no one had been totally honest with the son...he still seemed hopeful that he was going to "pull out of it". Well, I knew within a matter of hours that he would be gone and so I had to be the one to break it to the son. Very emotional. Ministered to him all night long. You get the picture. I had ten patients who were not easy to handle this weekend. Sometimes they aren't so bad, sometimes (like this weekend) it takes everything you have. It saps your spirit so hard that you almost crawl home like you've come out of a battle. Nursing is a profession that you give so much of yourself (if you're doing it properly that is) that sometimes you don't have a whole lot left for yourself at the end of the day. You can go through every single emotion in one shift. You can be so aggrevated with someone in this room. Cry, mourn and pray with the people in the next room. Rejoice over good news for the next patient. It's that roller coaster I was talking about yesterday....and it happens all in twelve hours. I think that's why on Mondays I'm pretty much useless. God has to pretty much remove me from life for a little while to refill my cup. But you know what? I wouldn't do anything different even if I could. I can't imagine not being able to be a nurse any more. It is one of the biggest and most cherished blessings in my life. I am so proud to be a nurse and know that someones life is just a little bit better today because of the parts of myself that I invested in them last night.

I've heard it said that "most people don't truly understand what nursing is until they experience it as a patient." Some people still don't get it even after being a patient.... but most people do. They have very grateful and humble hearts and that makes it all worthwhile to me...because I have a very grateful and humble heart for the ability and honor to take care of them when they are the sickest and at their most vulnerable. What a ministry God has allowed me to have!!!


Barf session!!!

ok.... I'm having a big barf session..... I just need to let it alllllll out!!!!!

Have I said lately that I CAN'T STAND MY EX HUSBAND??????????? Cause if not.... let me say it now! I CANNOT STAND MY EX HUSBAND!!!!!!!!!!!! What an arrogant, smug, inconsiderate, uncaring, selfish, short-sighted narrow-minded ASSHOLE!!!

For those of you who don't know.... my son was diagnosed with childhood bipolar disorder. He has RAGING mood swings and had gotten to the point where I was fearing for people's safety. So he's been on trileptal (which is actually an anti-seizure medication but has been found to work for children with bipolar to control their mood swings) for probably at least a year now. This med WORKED MIRACLES!!! It really was a lifesaver around here. The problem the whole time he's been on it is that my wonderful ex-asshole thinks that Darren has never needed the med and that there is nothing wrong with Darren (because he's just a perfect little angel who's fallen under the horrible care of a wicked mother.... geez!). Darren typically doesn't act the he normally does around Randy too much..... for two reasons, I believe (and were backed up by his therapist)....1: RANDY IS HARDLY EVER AROUND!!! Duh! He usually leaves in the evening by five oclock and comes home between midnight and four in the morning. This happens at least 4-5 days a week. 2: Darren doesn't trust that Randy won't leave again. He feels safe with me so he isn't on guard around me, hence different behavior. But even if he wasn't seeing it at first... I'm telling him the behavior is there. My other children are telling him the behavior is there. During therapy the counselor had to stop the sessions and call Randy at work to tell him "I'm sorry but you need to be here because I have never seen a boy so out of control and frankly I'm at a loss as to what to do with him. He's obviously changing his behavior around you and pitting one parent against the other.... so you need to be here to witness this and participate." Nope... still "nothing wrong with Darren." So this has been the constant battle. I've even caught him encourage D. to not take his pills and hide it from me. Ugggh! Just saying that makes me mad at him!

So here's the issue now. A week or so ago Darren was having dizzy spells. He was acting totally stoned is what it looked like. A little groggy, bad balance....drunk looking basically. Well, his Dr. had given me a little bit of leeway when it came to the dosage. Because I'm a nurse I know all of the safety stuff, not to give too much, not to wean too fast, blah, blah, blah. My first question was "have you been taking your medicine like you're supposed to?" "Yes Mom." Why am I not believing him? So of course Randy's in my face yelling, "you're such a bad mother! he doesn't need any medication!" (Let me just remind everyone....as if I need to...... that to tell someone they are a bad mother....especially one who has faught so dilligently and sacrificed so much for her kids..... ARE MAJOR FIGHTING WORDS.) So we had it out. I agreed to taper darren down to half the dose he was on (which is still a good dose), but I also took him to the regular medical doctor for a checkup. He thinks he has an ear infection maybe (which would cause dizziness, etc.) and gave him a RX for antibiotic. Never get it filled because by the time we get to the car Darren is bouncing all over the place, laughing, says he feels great and he'll go to school. Fine. Last I ever heard about it. BUT I ALSO STARTED WATCHING HIM LIKE A HAWK ABOUT TAKING THOSE PILLS! one in the morning. one at night. That was a week ago. No symptoms. So I started to let my guard down a little bit. Shrugged my shoulders and moved on. Who knows what happened.

So this morning I get up and Darren is not gone for school and is crying while he's eating his breakfast. Before I could even ask what was wrong Randy pounces on me that it's happening again and "I know it's that fucking medicine!". And I reply "OR LACK THEREOF!" I asked Darren if he's slacked up on taking the med since I haven't been watching him the last few days.... "yes mom." I tell him I'm having a really hard time believing it. Randy's screaming at me "he SHOULD'T be taking the medicine! He SHOULD be taking it and flushing it down the toilet! And I refuse to let him take it anymore! YOU'RE JUST A HORRIBLE MOTHER WHO DOESN'T WANT HIM AROUND SO YOU THINK THAT IF YOU DOPE HIM UP ENOUGH HE'LL JUST GO TO SLEEP AND NEVER HAVE TO LOOK AT HIM AGAIN!" So what happened next???? Yep, you guessed it. You know that normally cool, calm and collected composure that i have? NOPE! GONE! GLOVES CAME OFF!!!!! We went at it. How dare him say those things to me!!! I would die for my children!!! In fact, I love Darren SO MUCH that I am willing to 1: risk the social embarrassment that most parents would feel by admitting that their child has psychiatric issues, 2: put him on medication ( YA'LL KNOW HOW I HATE MEDICINE!!), 3: inconvenience myself with weekly or twice weekly trips to counseling and dr's, etc. All of this because I refuse to let him fall through the cracks! He's a great kid underneath all of this crap... and I refuse to lose him to the detention hom, prison, drugs, alcohol, etc. because of this. It needed addressed, fixed and we needed to move on with normal lives. But Randy refused to let it happen.

I'm so tired. Just so tired. Tired of dealing with it all. Darren totally takes his Dads side (of course... what kid wants to be told this is wrong with him?). There are so many times I want to throw my hands up and scream FINE! TAKE HIM AND GO!!! I'M DONE!!! But the mother in me won't allow my boy to be hurt like that.

So this morning through all of the yelling... I did just that....I threw my hands up and screamed "FINE!!! you want him off the meds.... fine!!!! I'm done!!!!" Then I told Darren that he CANNOT just abruptly stop taking them, he needs to wean off. So for now... 1/2 pill in morning, 1/2 at night. Then down again. No, Randy starts screaming at me that he's not allowing him to take any more of them PERIOD. I asked him if he knew what that could do! You cannot just stop these kinds of meds!!! He says to me "NOTHING is going to happen to a perfectly healthy boy just because you stop a medicine that he didn't need in the first place!" I remind him that I'm a nurse but he could care less. So I look at him as calmly as I've ever been and say quietly to him.... "fine, but if he gets worse before he gets better...... if ANYTHING happens to my son....... this is on YOUR CONSCIENCE."


So I looked up on the internet the symptoms of trileptal withdrawal... showed them to Randy...... and he just stammered like an idiot, "uh uh uh even if he's already dizzy and having trouble? you really think maybe he should have more?" I replied "I think he's having symptoms because he's ALREADY NOT TAKING THE MEDICINE! and I also think this is because he's a: dehydrated and b: has an ear infection. So hot shot, here is the prescription for antibiotics that never got filled.... give him some fluids and get this filled..... this is in your hands now remember? YOU FIX IT."

What an incredible jerk. I'm so fed up I don't know what to do with myself! Because of the financial trouble I've had this year I've had some late payments and so my credit has suffered.... can't refinance now!!! I tried last week. I just want to get my children and get out. This is just another fine example of when we think we know what's best for ourselves and God keeps saying "no"... but we keep on asking trying to convince him that it will be ok. Then he finally gives us enough rope to hang ourselves. I don't know what I was thinking buying a house with him. AN EX IS AN EX FOR A REASON!

Stopping the legacy

Sometimes in families things get passed down from generation to generation that are priceless and valuable. You cherish them, insure them, pass on stories about them. You set them out on display for everyone to see because you are so proud of them. You might even list them in your will because they are such a valued part of your heritage that it's important for them to be passed on to your loved ones. But what about when some of the things getting passed on aren't so great? What about dysfunction and hurt. Unfortunately more often than not those things get passed down too. When you know better you do better, but until that happens you just keep doing bad. And instead of handing down the locket, silver or family paintings you hand down the sarcasm, the critical spiritedness, anger, bitterness and resentments (just to name a few). Sometimes there has to come a time when a person is willing to stand up and say "This legacy stops here."

The Lord knows that I've had my family struggles... I've even written about some of them on here. But some of the people dearest to my heart are facing these issues today as we speak. I'm not actually going through it today, but my heart is aching for them just as if I were.

It takes courage to stand up for yourself....especially to your family. Sometimes, though, it's necessary. To continue to allow ourselves to go through the same garbage over and over is nothing short of neglect and abuse and it's a sin against your spirit, heart and body... because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. So God begins to take us on a journey. Some people don't know or acknowledge their journeys and they stay in the middle of the garbage heap. Some of us... the lucky ones... see the trouble and seek to change it. And it's after the "light-bulb moment" when it's known and recognized that help and healing are needed that God brings us to a crossroads. You can continue on the same path.......................or you can take a deep breath, fall to your knees in prayer, put on your armor, muster your courage...............then stand in faith.............and turn. Turn to the road less traveled. No one said it would be easy. As a matter of fact it will probably be hard. It's scary. But once you're aware of the problem you can't pretend you're not and it's then that you have to do something to change. Alot of people are too afraid to make the turn and start a new journey. New beginnings are really frightening. And sad! Every new beginning comes from some other new beginnings end. Think about that for a moment. In order to have a new beginning.... something else has to end. Endings are sad.... even when it's a happy ending you'll usually find people crying! But you know what? God is faithful and we have to trust that he is giving us good courage to go out even when we aren't sure where we're going. All we know is that his hand is leading us and his love is supporting us.

Being brave doesn't mean you're not afraid... it just means that when you're afraid you do it anyways. Sometimes doing the right thing means knowing that you're afraid... but you make the decision to just step out.......and do it afraid.


she loves me, she loves me not

It's another one of those nights. We had such a good weekend. She stayed home from school and we even had such a good day yesterday. We were both laid back, humor was flying, there were frequent hugs and "I love you's" (as is typical in this house). Tonight... not so much. My teenager needs some chicken soup for her soul. So do I. So does anyone living in this house that was within 100 feet of the battle zone. I knew it was getting bad when I saw my little ones putting on their flack jackets and kevlar helmets, turning the dining room table on its side to use for shelter and screaming "FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!!!!". lol

My poor mother!!! I had the same sassy mouth that Courtney does. As a matter of fact I STILL have the natural tendency to have the same sassy mouth that she does but I just don't have to answer to my mother for it on a daily basis now. She just doesn't learn!!! My job as a parent is to love her, nurture her, teach her, make sure she knows Jesus, etc. etc.... and to inflict some pain into her life when her butt steps out of line. But nothing is working. I haven't found the currency that works in her world. If you take Canadian money to Japan....you won't get far. You have to find the currency that works there for it to be of any value. Well, I'm having trouble finding Courtney's true currency. I've tried it all. Seems that way anyways. The other day she got herself grounded for three weeks (one day added for everytime she sassed off, tried to get the last word, etc.). THREE WEEKS! She's STILL serving her sentence! Do you think it's deterred her one bit? nope. This evening she earned her brothers chores on top of hers and worked it up unil Saturday. Then she also earned her sisters chores on top of both of the others until Saturday. Then she earned both of them again on Sunday. Then because I was to the point where I was so incapable of remaining calm that I screamed at her that this is all going to be finished tomorrow because if she doesn't go to her room and not let me see her face again tonight that I swear I'm going to go to jail tonight because I am about to drag her across that kitchen and beat her down!!! So she ran this way to her room crying the whole way that she hates me and slammed the door and I went that way fuming that I was going to kill her and went out the kitchen door and slammed it. I stood out in the crisp cool air eyes watering, breathing heavy, cheeks red, pulse thumping....................... silence..............that's all I could hear out there. My head was still spinning. My desire to control and my frustration that she's trying to resist me at every turn have me in a total internal (and tonight external) uproar. I started praying. Of course the words wouldn't come. It was a very choppy prayer. "Lord.... please calm me down.....be with her......can you believe her????.......please help me to be a better.........help her to be a better.........I don't know what to do........I'm so sorry........... I did it again..........I'm a horrible example.......... I must be a horrible mother........... what a rotten kid!!!...........no, she's a great kid with a horrible mouth............i've lost her forever haven't I?......they're gonna be in therapy FOREVER when they're adults I just know it.......I know, I know, I'm dramatic.......there's trash in the yard........the gate's open........these kids never listen!.......man I'm tired of this.........sorry Lord, got sidetracked.........Randy never helps..........I can't even think right now!!! .. Lord, please help me. Please help everything. Amen."

So I came in the house. She's in her room with the radio blasting which infuriates me even more because I told her to go to her room and go straight to bed. Here it is about twenty minutes later and not only is she not in bed..... her light is on......and her radio is full blast. The prayers start again. " LORD!!! SHE'S NOT DOING IT!!!! I DON'T WANT TO FIGHT ANYMORE!!!!! COME ON!!!! WON'T YOU HELP ME????" I felt a small wave of peace and control come over me enough to let me get away with just doing the police-pound on her door *THUMP-THUMP-THUMP*..... i hear "WHAT???" being screamed at me from the other side of the door and my temples begin to throb once again. I open her door and growl through my clenched teeth.... "TURN OFF THAT MUSIC AND GET IN THAT BED NOOOOOOOOWWWWWW." I did pretty good! Praise God! LOL

I now sit here feeling deflated, ashamed and guilty. I did it again. I know that she comes by her head-stongedness (is that even a word? lol) as naturally as I do, but I sure don't do a very good job of leading by example as to how we can do better. Huge fault and weakness of mine... I own that. But you know what... I am not and never will hold myself up in front of my children as the main example they should follow...... JESUS IS THEIR EXAMPLE. That doesn't give me an excuse to behave badly, but points them toward the true standard. Unfortunately I know that all too often I'm going to fail as an example. They need a consistent, unchanging example and that only comes from Jesus.

I was shown a Christian parenting article tonight as I sat down to write this as only God can do.... it sure was a word in due season! I'll copy a small part of it here.

"Since harsh words and impatient attitudes are frequent offenses in our family, it would be easy for me to live in guilt over the bad example I've set. But several years ago, Romans 8:1 became a key verse in my life: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." As I recall this verse, I remind myself that, as a Christian, I do not stand condemned. I stand in grace and forgiveness by what Jesus Christ did on the cross. That brings freedom in two areas: it frees me from the guilt of my own sinful actions, and, it frees me to confront my children confidently when they are unloving and impatient with each other. When we view our family as sinners saved by grace and believers who live under grace, we feel freedom in knowing we can confess our sin and receive forgiveness from each other and from God. "

Wow did I need that!!! Harsh words and impatient attitudes are way too common around here lately. I tend to beat myself up about it because I do know better and I am supposed to be the example. I was talking to Allison about just how tired I am lately. I've been doing this since I was 18 years old and I'm getting tiiiiiiiiiiirrrrred!!! It's alot more challenging for me to be patient, kind.... heck it's even harder to just be funny!

Watching those home videos the other day really did help alot. I was reminded just how absolutely sweet, perfect and innocent all of my babies were. (unfortunately it can also remind me how much i've screwed them up!!!! haha) I believe that the teen years are God's way of preparing you to release them as adults. If they stayed perfect and cute and snuggly their whole lives you'd never let them go!!! So I guess she's right on track. She's preparing me reeeeeaaaaalllll good!!! LOL Kids.... they're either a big lump in your throat or a big pain in your butt!!!
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