Monday, May 25, 2009

Heart Prayers

Been awake since 3:00 this morning. I have a lot on mind. A lot to do in a short time. A sad event taking place in my life. Taking more time to be with Jesus.

Now three and a half hours later, still to early to contact people, I haven't accomplished all that much except spending more time with God.

Don't you love the fact that at times when we can't pray with our words, we can pray with our hearts? That what it was this morning. Just sitting and praying with my heart. Letting Him feel my prayers. I feel that He responds more to me laying my heart open, instead of rattling off impressive word prayers. Not that we can't use word prayers, that's how I pray 98 percent of the time, but sometimes just letting our hearts pray and cry out to Him...

Peace, that's what He gives to us when we heart pray. Plain, simple, uncomplicated peace.

Now I can face my day. Go to the nursery to finish getting the plants for the yard. Planting those plants. Making potato salad and baked beans. Making the phone calls that need to be made. Taking Lance on a bike ride.

Resting in God.

Monday, May 18, 2009


My daughter had some work in the area Thursday and Friday. We haven't seen her since Christmas, so when she asked if she could crash at our house, we jumped at the chance. It was incredibly good to see her and her little doggies. We love our grandpuppies to pieces and so did Oliver, even though Tilly and Kally didn't care for him quite as much as he cared for them.

She came loaded with gifts from Trader Joe's (I made a recipe to use up the fast ripening pears she brought in, you can read it here).

My daughter is a publisher, an author of her's was speaking at a local church. So, on Thursday evening, she and I went to the mall for a quick visit at a store that she loves to shop in (they do not have this particular store where she lives), and then off to hear the author speak. The next day she was up and gone early to meet with this author and I had our little Tilly and Kally (Long Haired Tea Cup Chihuahuas) all day. We had such fun, the girls, Oliver and I. When my daughter came back home, we had a quick dinner (that she made, Wahoo!!!) and then she and the dogs left to catch a plane back home.

It was a very fast visit. I miss both my girls so much, that even a quick visit is a treasured treat for me.

Ahhh...nothing like family...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kids Say the Dardest Things

Most of the time I don't pass along or post the forwards I recieve via e-mail (and believe me, I get a lot of them) but every so often, a priceless one comes along. This is one of those. Many you have probably already read it, but it is so cute and reminds me of my girls when they were little. So here it is again. "Kids say the dardest things." Art Linkletter


Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.

2. Mostly to clean the house.

3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.

2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.

3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.

2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

1. We're related.

2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?

1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.

2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.

2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?

3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.

2. She got too old to do anything else with him.

3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball..

2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.

3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?

1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.

2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.

4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don't do spare time.

2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.

2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.

2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.

3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life is Good

Friday, I was able to celebrate my nephew's graduation from U of M. I couldn't be prouder of Lance (yes, we have two Lance's in the family)! He worked very hard to get to this place.

We rode in a big limo bus, sipping wine, to the Hunt Club about an hour away. It was a gorgeous evening. The grounds were beautiful, the daffodils and tulips were showing off, the grass was a carpet of green, the birds were singing a wonderful tune and the squirrels were acting as squirrely as can be.

The lodge was elegantly rustic with the heads of the most amazing animals and birds staring at us from the walls. I do have to admit that I am not a hunter and would be happier if those animals and birds were alive and running around in their own habitat. Even so, they were so impressive looking down on us. Out in the court yard, there was a waterfall and the most beautiful Magnolia tree in full bloom.

Dinner was all evening long. It has been such a long time since I took four hours to eat a meal. Appetizers were cheese and crackers, Salmon Pate`, Smoked Pheasant and Elk Meatballs. For the soup course, I had Ham and Pea soup, Salad was a Spring mix with oranges, grapefruit and raspberries with a lemon vinaigrette. The Entree I chose was Elk and Quail, the presentation was beautiful. It was so delicious and tender. And desert was a choice of Fried Ice Cream, Creme Brulee, Cheese Cake or a Chocolate Torte. I had the Torte, again it was so beautifully presented.

Kevin was sick and unable to attend, which I felt bad about, even so, I had a wonderful time chatting and visiting with people I haven't seen in such a long time. On the way home the boys (I should say young men)sang and let lose, it was a noisy end to the evening, but it was theirs to enjoy.

Congratulations Lance! Isn't Life good?

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Day My Eyelids Fell and Other Menopausal Stories

I remember it well. While sitting in church listening to the Pastor preach, I reached up to rub my itchy eye. And that's when it happened. I noticed that things didn't feel right, I reached over to check the other eye and was the same. When did this happen and for how long has it been like this? My eyelids were no longer tight! They were sagging! Please don't ask me what the Pastor spoke on, I don't know. And don't ask me what we did for the rest of the day, I can't remember. I just know that to my horror, I realized that I was getting older.

I started coloring my hair at the age of 28 because I began to turn grey. My husband has always been the one who was/is practical and frugal, and he insisted that I didn't need to color my hair since it had only a few greys. He said he would tell me if I needed it. Well, I continued to be vain and colored it for quite a few years. Then one day, I started thinking about all the money I was spending on hair coloring services and thought that my real hair color really couldn't be that bad, even with a few greys. Heck, both my sisters have a few greys and it looks fine on them, so why not let my hair go natural. It didn't take long until the good old hubs said, "I think you need to keep coloring". Okay, so not only didn't I have a couple of greys, the grey was covering three quarters of my head. I still color to this very day...

It was one of the coldest nights of the year. While sleeping in my tank top and short pajamas, I was awakened for the fourth time that night with a hot flash and sweating profusely. I couldn't stand it anymore. I got up and opened the door to our balcony and stood out there for five minutes in the subzero weather, with the snow flying, in only the tank top and shorts. When I finally cooled off and came back to bed, I saw hubby huddled under three blankets shivering like crazy. He then curled up next to me to try to warm up. Yep, it happened again, another hot flash, not two minutes later, back outside again.

While driving home from having a pelvic ultra sound for a leaky bladder, (yes, another menopause symptom)I had to stop for a train. I am sure most, if not all of you, have had those ultra sounds where you have to drink gallons of water. Well, I was behind a long line of cars waiting for that train. The train kept coming and coming and coming and I kept waiting and waiting and waiting. I began to squirm and wiggle. Of course I turned the music up and sang with gusto trying to get my mind off my filling bladder. I danced in my seat. That train kept moving. I know you must think, I am making this up, but I am not, the train had to be 30 minutes long. I knew that even if I finally get to cross that railroad track, I still had about a ten minute drive home. Well, that's when I decided to pull into a little (I reiterate little) market right there at the train tracks. It was a dive to say the least. I walked in and begged the owner to let me use his restroom. Of course he said it is only for costumers. I promised to buy something when I was finished. I think after he saw me dancing around and my cries of please, please, please, he gave in and told me where it was. I had to go down the oldest set of stairs into an even older Michigan basement. It was dark and damp and cold and I thought I saw something move in the corner. (true story!!) When I entered the restroom, I started to cry. It was beyond my imagination, dirty. But because I had to go so bad, I closed my eyes and prayed that I would hit the toilet while hovering. When I finished, I ran up those stairs and out the door hollering THANK YOU SO MUCH. (The owner didn't even look me in the eye, now I know why he didn't want to let me use the restroom!) I couldn't buy anything from that place, ewwwww...shudder.

Menopause, what a trip!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Giant of a Woman

I don't know if there ever was as tiny a woman who held such a huge place in the heart of a family than my mother.

Betty Jean was itty bitty, only 97 lbs. and so full of love for the Lord and for us. She always put her family first, we were the most important things in her life. It centered around her children and grandchildren.

There were six biological children born to her and then in her fifties she adopted two more. She now has 19 grandchildren.

We always lived close by her, even right next door for six years. She was the kind of woman who would drop everything to help anyone out. When Lance was born, she was right there. I have never had the problem of being a parent of a special needs child without support. Mom and Lance were the best of friends, he adored her and she him. She loved to take Lance to Disney World, I think we were there six times with her. (Thanks to her, Lance only wants to go to Disney World!)

If one of us were struggling financially, she would happily give. If one of us were hurting, she would be there immediately for as long as we needed her. Her family was spread out across the country and she would go visit often.

Today would have been her 73rd. birthday. We lost her just one month shy of three years ago. I can't tell you what a huge hole was left in our hearts. We miss her more now.

Phil posted her eulogy, it is Mom. You can read it here.

Sexy Betty

Mom and Dad's Wedding Day

Auntie Eileen who passed away two weeks before mom, she was like a mother to us, Mom, Lisa and Me at my wedding.

Mom and Lance on a beach in New England.

Mom and Lisa at Lisa's Wedding.

All of us, yea we are a big family.

We miss you Mom, happy birthday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Please Pray

Joni and Friends Family Retreat is only five weeks away. It is a time for many families affected by disabilities, to escape the rigors of the everyday life. For many it is or will be the only time they ever get away. Having a loved one with disabilities can be very wearing and exhausting. The entire family will be able to relax, have fun and renew themselves, both spiritually and physically.

I am asking all my friends here in Blog World to join me in prayer. We need Short Term Missionaries to come along side these families. An STM is someone who will be a one on one with the person with a disability. It enables the family to relax knowing that their loved one is being taken care of and having fun without them. It also allows the person with a disability to feel like they are important and have fun without their family right with them the entire time. They feel like one of the group instead of the one who is different or even despised.

We currently have 60 STMs signed up and need 200. The times are hard, I know, the cost is $400.00. Also asking people to give up the one and only vacation they may get, only to spend the week working hard and not getting much free time, is asking a lot. But people are needed.

Please join me in praying that God will move on hearts and provide the means to make this happen. That He will open doors and make available people who want to be used.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Art of Lying

Yesterday I went to church by myself, since Lance wasn't feeling well and Kevin volunteered to stay home with him. (I personally think that Kevin just didn't want to shave, he was nurturing the stubbiest beard that I have seen in a quite a while).

At church we had communion. I love and hate communion. It is such a wonderful time of sharing and remembering the sacrifice and blessing that Jesus gave to us. But it is also the time of reflection and repentance, and I find that there are so many things in my life that I am ashamed of. Sin. But then again, it is so beautiful afterward, when things feel right between God and me.

Pastor started a series several weeks ago called reflection and yesterday he spoke specifically on lying.

We know that God does not lie, he can't lie. Numbers 23:19 Hebrews 6:18 or Titus 1:2

But why do we lie?
To impress
To get revenge
To protect ourselves
To escape punishment
To profit
To keep from offending someone

What are ways that we lie?

I come from a long line of pathological liars, so much so, that some of them even believe their lies. I have always prided myself on not lying, but what about these scenarios?

I'll start my diet tomorrow.
Really officer, I didn't know I was going that fast.
Oh, this tastes really good and you're thinking I could have made it much better.
No Honey, that dress doesn't make you look fat.
I will pray for you.

To say the least, this message opened a whole can of worms. We here in the good old USA have made lying an art form.

And then there's the smuggling Bibles and hiding Jews during the Holocaust scenario.

Help me God...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Have you heard the one?

Our Lance has the funniest sense of humor.

We have been told many, many times that children with the type of disabilities like Lance's, do not understand abstract ideas and concepts. They most often will have tons of fun and laugh, but will not comprehend or tell jokes. This is not the case with Lance, he loves jokes, jokes of all kinds. Every single teacher he has ever had, has told us that Lance is so funny and has the greatest sense of humor.

We know this because we have been the recipients of many a jokes or one liners. The funny thing is, they come out of the blue when you least expect them.

Here are a few of the ones he has told us, with his classic follow up line. These are for my family's benefit.

Why did the chicken cross the playground?
A: To get to the other slide. Get it??? Other side, other slide???

Why did the boy throw the clock out the window?
A: Because he wanted to see time fly. Get it??? Clock flying out the window???

What did the baby corn say to the mama corn?
A: Where is Pop corn? Get it??? Pop corn, Dad corn???

What kind of movies do pirates go to?
A: Arrrrr rated ones. Get it??? R rated, G rated???

What did Captain Hook want for breakfast?
A: Peter Pancake. Get it??? Peter Pan...cake??? Like pancake??? Get it???

We are so blessed that Lance doesn't fit the mold, God can do amazing things.

Friday, May 1, 2009


My daughter had forwarded this story to me today (she never, and I mean never forwards anything). I have read it before, but after reading again I still cried. We never know how our choices will impact another, good or bad. I thought I would share it here.

Think harder about choices.

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: 'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!Run to first!' Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!' Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball.

The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!' As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!' Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

Let us make the right choices to uplift, encourage, help and bless those around us, we never know how it will make someone feel.