Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mr Wonderful!

Okay, here's the long awaited picture of my husband. I decided to do a post in honor of him today, just because I love him!

I think my husband is a major hunk!

I met him when he was 20 and I was 15 (gasp!) and I can say it was love for me about oh, 3 days later! This summer he celebrates a big milestone birthday, only I won't tell you which one.....but that tells you how long we've been together.

In my last post, I referenced my husband several times, about him being tight fisted and frugal......he is, but he is so good to me when I do spend money! I don't want it to sound like he is a miser or a skinflint. I have cute clothes and a new pair of shoes because he works hard away from the home to provide for me.

This man is the culmination of all of my dreams. He is the answer to the prayers I didn't know how to pray as a little girl. He is the second best thing that has ever happened to me (the Lord saving me is the number one best thing!).

Not only is he my dream boat, but he's really handy as well. He can pretty much fix anything.....and he'll even plunge the toilet!!

This man loves me. It never ceases to amaze me how he loves me.

Tomorrow morning, very early, I will take this man to the airport. I will watch him get on a plane. He will wing his way away from me to go see his music put into the movie that will come out this summer. I'm being pretty brave.....

But what will I do in an empty bed the size of New York City?

We will make the best of it, but we'll long for him deeply! We'll be counting down the days till he gets home. We really hate it when he's gone!

So pray for us! Pray for me specifically, as I parent alone for a few days......I hate it when he's gone because he shares so many burdens here!

And pray for me, because it will be one perpetual party for him in Colorado! Friday night pizza party.........fellowshipping with his crewmates........seeing how production works.....basically like a kid in a candy store! I'm green with envy!!! LOL!

He deserves every minute of it and more!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shoes and socks

Ladies, let's talk.

I commented, in my "20 random facts" post a couple of days ago, that I only owned one pair of socks. What??!!

It's true. One lonely pair of socks, and they are black and gray, warm and cozy, and getting old and worn in the heels.

You might wonder, do I wear socks? Do my feel get cold? What do I wear around the house? How come I only own one pair of socks ?

Okay, one question at a time! I'll answer them all....

Well, the first question is kind of a no-brainer: Since I only own one pair of socks, it's a bit difficult to wear socks every day. That one pair would be in the wash so much they'd become lint!

Yes, my poor feet live in a perpetual state of freezing-ness! My feet are always like ice cubes with grape popsicles for toes. So, if my feet are always so cold, WHY don't I get more socks?? I'll get to that in a minute....

I wear bare feet around the house, because my slippers are too slippery for my kitchen floor, which is where I spend the lion's share of my time (when I'm not on the computer. ahem.) Even with no-skid soles, they are dreadfully slippery on our green and white marble tiled kitchen floor. That's why they're called slip-ers!

Why do I only own one pair of socks?

Well, you see, I am severely challenged and behind the times when it comes to attire for my feet!

I own 3 pairs of dress boots and one pair of tennis shoes.

Now, boots are fine during the fall/winter/early spring, but let me tell you, they can get old. If it's the only shoes you have, you wear them without complaint......

Because when you ask your husband if you can buy a few pairs of shoes and he asks how much you want to spend, and when you tell him, he has a heart attack and unequivocally says, "NO WAY!", that kind of takes the wind out of your sails, you know what I mean??

But sometimes a girl has to take matters into her own hands, ladies. Sometimes it's easier to ask forgiveness from hubbie than to ask permission!

So I went down to my local Payless and tried on endless pairs of shoes. You'll feel sorry for me when I tell you I went in my boots, on a 65 degree day, unbeknownst to hubbie!

I settled on two pairs, one was brown, one was black. Very chary of me, wouldn't you say??

I wore each pair for an hour and decided right off that the brown pair had to go back. Right away.

But the black pair I fell in love with! They're Champion brand, kind of a Skechers-look-alike-for-$30-less, and they're the most adorable strappy Mary Janes, sort of a cross between a dress shoe and a tennis shoe.

So back to the original reason I started this sauntering you see why I don't own socks. I don't need them for one pair of shoes! I really do like socks, but if asking hubbie for shoe money is akin to just calling the ambulance right off when I tell him how much I need, then I am......NOT.....asking for sock money!

You really must see my shoes, they are sooooo cute, and I know you're so proud of me for updating my sadly-lacking shoe wardrobe! I would post a picture to go with this post, but would you believe it?

I don't have a camera!!!!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Yesterday we had a gathering of family in honor of Russell's 13th birthday.

I call it a "gathering of family" because our dear friends were there, and in our sphere, our dearest friends are like family to us.

We had my chili with all the fixins and hot fudge cake and ice cream to top it all off.

It was a good afternoon spent in the fellowship of believers, ones who have loved with us and laughed with us, and yes, sobbed with us too over the years.

My friend Stephanie was here with her husband and their four children. Stephanie was with me when Miss Sofia was born two years ago, and what a calming influence she was! She's someone I'm very comfortable with, having known her for many years now.

She has prayed with me and given me words of wisdom and let me cry with her. She is someone who just feels my heart.

We were talking about babies, of course. She was remembering some of her pregnancies and births and she got to talking about her littlest man, who will be 7 soon. He had the hiccups and he was not happy about it, for, in his life, hiccups are just one more thing conspiring to slow him down! She remembered that in the womb he had been her baby that always had the hiccups and he wasn't very happy about it then either!

Then, as natural as you please, I said, "Janie was my one who had the hiccups allll the time."

It was so easy, so normal, like I was talking about one of my living children.

Before then, I had hesitated to talk about her. It's an issue of not wanting to make others uncomfortable, of not really knowing how others would handle her life and her death. I mean, she wasn't born alive and didn't live with us, so she never really was, was she? Her life is over, right? Not for me. Her influence and her ministry is very much alive in me. She started my becoming!

I have not really talked about her much at all these past four years.

But yesterday I did. And it so surprised me....

I feel free today.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Do I?

I found this poem in my binder this week. I want to post it mainly for posterity, but also because this is my prayer for my life. I hope you like it!

Do I use my own wings,
or do You carry me?
Do I run,
or do You pull me along?
Do I sing my own tune,
or do You give me the words?
I don't want to be
down looking up
but up looking down.
I want to be in the lead
looking ahead!
So carry me
while I use my own wings.
Let me run
while You pull me along.
Let my heart sing the song
as You give me the words.
Let me be up on the heights
looking down.
And the last shall be first,
and the first shall be last,
Let me fly
and run
and serve.

These words copyright leeswords*2005. Please do not copy these words without express permission from the author. If you like it, ask to print or post it, but please don't steal!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

20 random facts about me

Okay, let's lighten up!

Here are some random things you just have to know about me!!!

I prefer Crayola Crayons to markers. You know, different brilliant colors. I'm prejudiced against markers!

I am not a chocoholic. Sorry. But I do enjoy chocolate, and I'm not talking Hershey's here, people. I like the good stuff. I have very sensitive taste buds, and I will eat Hershey's in a pinch, but I don't really like it. I prefer Guylian, Lindt, or Ghiradelli. And just for the record, I've tasted Godiva chocolate, and I have to tell you, it's nothing to write home about. I buy the good stuff at the store and it lasts me for weeks. Just one truffle or square satisfies my need.

My favorite flower is a sunflower. They always make me smile.

I am not athletic at all. I'm really rather clumsy and uncoordinated! I've never been skiing, ice skating, rock climbing, running, snowboarding, motorcycling, biking, or any other strenuous, outside, athletic activity.

I've dislocated both of my knees, the left one twice. Hence the reason why I do not do any of the above!

I really don't like deli meats anymore.

My favorite color is chocolate brown. I'm instantly drawn to it and it makes me feel calm.

We've never had a car payment. Ever.

I love couscous. I just discovered couscous. However, on a gluten free, wheat free diet, couscous are a no-no.

I'm deathly afraid of heights and flying in an airplane. Done both. Neither is too bad, once you get going.

I've been without my biological dad since I was two years old.

I love my step dad. He and my mom have been married since I was 16. They're going on 19 years, next month!

I only own one pair of socks.

I have a penchant for painting my toenails wild colors. I'm very conservative, but I have a sassy side as well.

I have a secret desire to be fluent in French. I took two years of French in high school and excelled in it. I quickly outgrew the classes. Third year French was canceled at the high school I went to so that there would be more money for the sports programs. Go figure.

I don't shower every day, or even every other day sometimes!

I love Tom's of Maine Spearmint no fluoride toothpaste.

My favorite drink is a strawberry daiquiri. Virgin.

I was the first girl my husband ever kissed. He was the first guy to turn my knees to jelly and make my heart race with his kissing. The first time he kissed me, I thought I was going to die! I actually was so forward as to ASK him to!!

I lived three miles away from the beach in So Cal growing up.

And I think this post is getting way too long, so I'll quit now while I'm ahead!!!

Never alone, always at home.

I am not alone.

I am home.

I am not drowning in the water of grief and despair and anguish any more.

Praise God!

I ended my post yesterday with the words "that day was the beginning of the end."

That may have sounded hopeless, helpless, to some of you, but let me explain.

That day was the end of who I was.

That day was the end of the old me, and the beginning of my becoming. I didn't know that then, but I see it crystal clearly, with startling clarity, now.

Becoming takes a long time. I wonder if it is ever finished.

In my deepest heart, I just knew, intuitively, that I was not alone that day. And the next day, when the shock had had a chance to wear off, I felt that sense of being held, of being sheltered, of being in the secret place of the Most High God.

I still feel that. That feeling never went away.

I believe that God has a very special grace, a very special care, for mommies who have lost babies. The only reason I know that is because I'm in the middle of that care and grace right now.

And that is the reason why I am able to sing this song. I love this song. I'm poetic by nature. I'm lavish by nature. I love a beautiful turn of phrase and that's the way I think.

That said, being poetic and thinking in poetry, I still couldn't write a better song than this.

It says every thing I ever wanted to say to my Father. It expresses every drop, every drink, the very essence of what I feel for the One Who has rescued me.

I don't know how to say exactly how I feel.
And I can't begin to tell You what Your love has meant.
I'm lost for words.
Is there a way to show the passion in my heart?
Can I express how truly great I think You are,
My dearest friend.
Lord, this is my desire,
To pour my love on You.

Like oil upon Your feet,
Like wine for You to drink,
Like water from my heart,
I'll pour my love on You.
If praise is like perfume,
I'll lavish mine on You,
till every drop is gone.
I'll pour my love on You.

Phillips, Craig and Dean, from the CD "Let My Words Be Few"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Four years ago. Today.

Walk with me on this road that leads to my past.

I will need you to hold my hand as I once again navigate that road.

I will need you to offer up your most earnest prayers on my behalf as these words unfold from my heart.

Bear with me as I try to convey to those of you who may not understand, and have mercy on me as I try to help those of you who have never experienced the magnitude of loss, grief, and anguish to comprehend my story.

The significance of this day stares me in the face.

On this very day, four years ago, my life shattered. Life as I knew it was gone.

Normal means something entirely different now than it used to, prior to that day.

Walk with me.......

My second level ultrasound was scheduled, and April 23rd was the day. I was unruffled. Not worried in the least.

My mom went with me, along with my two smallest daughters, who were 1 and 3 at the time.

I had never been to this office before, didn't know the doctors or staff from Adam, and it was a strange experience to be in a place where nobody knew me and nobody knew the baby in my womb.

I didn't have to wait long. They called my name and I went in. Alone. Mom had stayed out in the waiting room with my two toddlers. I was still totally calm and collected, actually excited to get to see my baby in sharper focus.

Again, the requisite pulling down of the pants and the warm, slick gel on the belly. Familiar feelings.

The ultrasound was going to be very involved, much longer than the normal 45 minutes normally called for.

The tech was a man. I remember thinking that this was the first time I had had a man technician do an ultrasound on me. I was a little shy and embarrassed. I'm still modest after all this time!

The scanning got underway quickly, and he lingered over an area for quite some time. I remember, in sharp focus, how we laughed at how big my bladder was! He chuckled, because I had taken the order to drink 32 oz of water very seriously. I'm good like that! I take doctors' orders seriously....

I noticed he had a puzzled look on his face, and he finally said, yes, her heart was tipped, but usually the ultrasound shows some sort of mass that is pushing on the heart, thus the tipping, but he wasn't seeing anything like that, really no reason for the tipping. He chose to call the doctor in, and, just as he walked out to summon the doctor, he uttered the words, "I'm seeing some other things that concern me too".

I started sweating.

This was not what I was expecting. Not in a million years does a mom dream about hearing those words spoken to her during an ultrasound of her cherished, loved unborn baby.

Remember, I was alone in the room. Solitary. By myself.

The doctor came in. I still remember his name. I'm not likely to forget it in this life. Dr Abell. He was medium height, dark haired, glasses, doctor-looking.

He came in. And this is where my world tipped upside down on its axis.

This man proceeded, without even glancing at the ultrasound, to tell me that my baby would die. That "the fetus" had a lethal chromosomal abnormality that would kill "it". If "the fetus" didn't die at birth, "the fetus" would certainly die shortly thereafter.

He then recommended immediate termination.

To which the tech said, "She's already past 23 weeks."

The doctor said, "Shoot".

My hands, even now, four years later, tremble with remembrance.

Doctor Abell told me that I had a one artery umbilical cord. He said that "the fetus's" ventricles in the brain were "slightly" enlarged, and that the heart was tipped.

I'm sure, if I had not been lying down on that table at that very moment, I'm quite certain I would have fainted. Dead away.

I suddenly had tunnel vision, and things around me became dark, like I was going to pass out.

He asked me where my husband was. Russell and Dave were in Seattle, celebrating Russell's 9th birthday as father and son. Blissfully, joyfully unaware of the rending that was happening in a city 3 hours south of them.

He told me to call my husband to come right away, right away.

At this point, I was in total shock. Literally. I heard what he was saying, but it was like listening to someone shouting underwater. I felt like I was drowning in that water.

I told him that my mom was out in the waiting room, and not once, not once, did he suggest going to get her to come in. Not one time.

I was alone.

I heard something that sounded like my voice say, "Are we talking Down's Syndrome here?" And he said, "Most definitely NOT."

I began to breathe very fast and hard. I kept saying, over and over.....

I want to go home, I want to go home, I want to go home.

He became very concerned and called a nurse into the room, who repeatedly asked me if I was okay.

I want to go home, I want to go home, I want to go home.

It was all I could think of to say.

I somehow managed to pull up my pants and get off that table. I somehow managed to walk out into the waiting room when it was all over. I must have looked like I had had the fright of my life, for my mom took my arm and asked me what in the world was wrong.....

I want to go home, I want to go home, I want to go home.

She was very frightened when I couldn't speak and could scarcely walk out of that place. She remembered that I hadn't eaten in over 6 hours and frantically yelled for some crackers or water or something. A nurse materialized and gave both.

We made it out of there, with two toddlers, the very epitome of innocence and life, following.

Blissfully unaware.

We drove through a McDonald's close by and stopped to eat in the parking lot, where I poured out the whole story to her in broken, dissonant chords that were a rude imitation of my voice. I heard myself from far away, and it was me. Only it wasn't really me.

I remember things now that I forgot then.

I remember that Dr Abell never told me which chromosomal abnormalities he was suspecting. I recall that he never once looked at my baby or referred to her as a she or as a baby, not once. I remember how brisk and business like he was that day.

I remember that his white coat was stiffly starched and ironed to perfection.

I hated him.

God forgive me, but I hated him and wanted to do him harm.

He didn't tell me that my baby may die inside of me. He didn't tell me that she would be dead not even a month later. He didn't suggest that I see a perinatologist, nor did he refer me to one. He didn't suggest that, as a specialist, he could follow this pregnancy through with me. He didn't tell me that I had just been given what is called a "terminal pregnancy diagnosis" from him. He didn't say that I should be classified as high risk now.

He didn't.

I was ignorant of the prognosis. I was totally unaware of what could happen.

We just didn't know. We just had no idea.

And that day was the beginning of the end.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Some of you may know by now that Sissie, who is 7, is quite the unique individual. She thinks in ways which none of my other children think, and she isn't ruled by any of the rules of the universe!

If it's quiet for a moment, she'll say whatever is in her mind, and it's always, to a word, quite amusing.

She has such a queer and actually poetical way of saying things.

She can also be very quiet when the others are very boisterous....

I just love the way she talks and thinks.

As an example, the other day the girls and I went to the Goodwill, and I had stacks of things in my cart, stacked according to the child they were for, and she saw Sofia's pile and said "Sofia has chunks and chunks of clothes!"

To Sis, hair that comes down over your forehead in a long fashion is a "swirl".

Shoes that make tapping sounds are "paw paw shoes" because that's the sound their heels make.

She gets joy out of using the "mowlawner" and can go at it in the yard for hours with that thing!

Puffed sleeves are called "puff puffs".

And the other girls have adopted these sayings too.

Our Sis is so special. Some may say she's weird or even something's wrong with her, but just try and say that to us!

There is nothing wrong with her medically or developmentally speaking, she just sees things so differently than we do. If you told us something was wrong with her, you'd probably be picking your teeth up out of the street!

We love her so much and she is such a light in our house and a joy to our hearts.

She laughs all the time over everything, but she isn't a joker. She just has sparkle in her heart and it makes her laugh, kind of like the "snappy" Cherry Coke Icee we all had at Target recently.

I couldn't imagine our life or our home without our one-of-a-kind Sissie!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

An ammendment to my earlier post!

I read the comments on my last post, and I got to feeling like I had alienated or perhaps, ahem, offended people, and my little heart is sad within me at that thought!

The last, I mean, the very last, thing in the world I would want to do is offend anyone!

When I wrote the post about my dear son, I described him in all his glory, yes, but I hope I didn't hurt anyone out there who reads my blog who has real boys! It wasn't my aim.

I have seen other boys with their 4-wheelers and their stuff-and-such-the-like, and if my boy was like that, I know I'd have a heart attack!

I'm such a freaker!

If I were to find a tarantula in our home, I'd run howling from the house!

If I had to go out on a hunt with my man and my boy, I just couldn't do it! Don't get me wrong, I'm not against hunting, I'm just glad I don't have to do it!!! I love my warm bed at the crack of dawn!

I do thank God for bringing me a boy like Russell, because God knew what I needed and what I could handle. He knew just the special little gift to give me, and it was packaged in a different way than most boys, but he is all-boy at the same time.

He loves his computer. He plays Zoo Tycoon and Sim City, which are basically building games. He adores these and saved up his hard earned money for literally years so he could get the latest version. He could get lost in those games if we let him!

He loves Legos more than anything, and he still enjoys them even in his teen years. His 4 oldest sisters saved up their money and each of them gave half their earnings to get him two Indiana Jones Lego sets that he'd been looking at and wanting. He was delighted!

I often hear him in his room making all of the bomb-and-explosion, airplane-battles-and-yelling sounds that go with war games too. Poor guy, he's the only boy around here so he has to be his own best friend!

His favorite movies of all time are the Star Wars movies. He insists the music is the best and the effects are second-to-none, and even wishes we could harness the Force!!! He knows all the characters and can tell me the plot of each, as well as a scene-by-scene synopsis of each too!

And he's not above wrestling with his younger almost-brother Conrad, who's 7 but more like a 13 year old than a 7 year old! That kid loves Russell, and the feeling is totally mutual, and Conrad is the most typical boy! He loves to talk airplanes and battles with Russell, and yes, he loves to rope Russell into an occasional wrestling match when he comes over.

I thank my Father for Russell.......but I'm so glad he's mellow!! lol!!!! I guess I'm scared of what I look at as "real boys". I don't understand them, can't keep up with them, and don't get the whole testosterone thing either! At least not yet...

So if I hurt anyone or sounded like I was anti-boy, please forgive me! I love all of my real-life friends' boys and love it when they come to play.....

And after all, pity me, because I've so far got 5 girls! I've got enough developing estrogen in this house to replace the water in the Pacific Ocean!! And they aren't even teens yet!!

I wonder if Stayfree or Always sells their stock on the stock market, I mean, in about 5 years I will own their company outright anyway, so why not invest??!! lol!!!

Think of the weddings! Think of the fugues! Think of the hair in the drain in the shower, because they all have long, thick hair that women pay oodles of money to have! Think of me when it comes time for courtship, or rather, pray for my dear husband!!

So, even though my boy may not be typical, my house is far from calm and collected!

And Emily, I can't believe it, but I don't have any recent pics of Russell, other than the one that is on my blog, and anyway, even if I did, Russell is very, um, shall we say, protective of his self and would probably die of embarrassment if I posted a picture of him on my blog! So sorry!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Reflections on 13 years with Russell

Yesterday was our only son's 13th birthday!!!

I am now, officially, the mother of a teenager. And not just a teenager, but a teenage boy!

I'm kidding.

Anyone who knows us and who knows my Russell would probably say that he isn't your typical boy. He's studious and quiet.

He's very organized and very calm.

He is a bookworm to the max.

He is well spoken and can hold his own in and actually prefers adult conversation.

He's just an all around really special and unique boy.

We've had none of your typical boy-ness from him, and may I say, Thank You, God! No marking up the walls with Sharpie markers! No tracking in mud on my floors! No running and breaking things and screaming and not being able to sit still! No guns, although he does like them and knows how to shoot well. No congratulating himself on being master of the universe while he triumphantly holds up his latest kill from the wilderness.

And for the absence of all of the above I am extremely and eternally grateful. I pray for all of you moms out there who have a housefull of typical boys, because we have a houseful of typical girls, and you can return the favor and pray for me just because of that! lol!!!!! But I digress.......

We used to imagine what it would be like, all those years ago, when we got to 13. It seems that we blinked too long and now it's upon us, and it is a bit disconcerting how it happened so fast. It really cements the fact that time indeed does fly.

I find myself today being very thankful for modern technology, for without it, my 13 year old son may not be here. He was born 5 weeks early with no warning and was very sick. He stayed in the NICU for 2 weeks.

He's not scarred from his early ordeals, other than severe allergies to foods. And a propensity for vomitting, early on, for about two years. Every bottle came right back up! Didn't it, Gayle!!??

We are so thankful that God gave man the ability and the wisdom to save little lives.

Without that ability, our lives would be so much less joyful today had Russell not survived.

I'm intensely aware of how much we've been given. I'm purposing to be intensely thankful and live in humility for the gift of my children.

And I want to say thank you to my husband because as I type this, he is composing for a movie, and the piece he's playing could easily accompany this post. It's poignant and emotive and gorgeous.........

Just like our Russell.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A foretaste of what's to come

I was sitting here in my broken down rocking chair and a thought hit me, out of the blue.

I remembered that, 4 years ago, I was pregnant. I was scheduled to have my 20 week ultrasound this very week. So I scheduled my ultrasound here in town, at our radiology place, and I was so excited to go! I couldn't wait to see our baby on the screen. There's something about an ultrasound that instantly makes a mama feel so much closer to her unseen baby. It gives face to the flutterings and kickings going on under your heart, doesn't it?? I always look forward to my ultrasounds with intense joy.

This ultrasound was no different. I was expectantly waiting to see our baby and to see if we could find out if we would be adding a boy or a girl to our clan. I had been to this place before and knew the technician who would be doing my scan. That was great, having someone familiar see our baby with me for the first time.

I got on the bed, with my pants pulled low and the requisite warm gel on my tummy. I was literally trembling with excitement!

As she placed her wand on my tummy and slid it around, I was able to see, on the screen, a baby!!! I could place hands and feet and a tiny head! If you have had many ultrasounds, I think you become skilled at deciphering what's what on that blurry, black and white screen.

All was going calmly and smoothly, and you know those techs aren't real chatty!

About 10 minutes into my scan, she suddenly said, "Do you have any heart problems in your family?"

Keep in mind that I was by myself. And I said, "No, not at all," thinking to myself, what a strange question to ask me!

Nothing else was said, and we found out we were having another girl!!! This would be girl baby #5 for the clan! YAY!!!

Fast forward a week. I went in to my doctor for a routine appointment to hear the results of what I was sure was a normal ultrasound.

When I got in there, my dear Dr informed me that there was a question about our baby's heart, and they couldn't be sure what the deal was. He told me that if there was a problem, many surgeries can even be done while I was still pregnant and baby was in the womb. I was shocked because I had been prepared for normal news.

Dr Whelan ordered a second level ultrasound at a clinic in the closest big city, an hour south of us.

I was still trying to take it in. I was really still thinking about when Dr W had said that it was probably nothing, but he wanted to be absolutely certain. I was hanging on to that and was sure it was nothing.

Oh Lord, I had no idea what You had in store for us. Just a few weeks later we would begin a journey that was frightening. Bewildering. Surreal. The journey that You asked us to walk was not the journey I would have chosen. But You saw the beginning from the end, and in Your total wisdom, You chose us to be our girl's parents.

Thank You.

A Post in May

I've been thinking lately. Wow, what a big surprise!

I think I spend my life thinking deep thoughts that nobody understands but me and God.

That's okay. I'm a contemplative person. It's how God made me. I was born that way.

I used to annoy myself, and try to be someone else, because who wanted to be friends with someone who spent their time thinking about deep stuff? I used to be so uncomfortable because often I would never have anything to say in a gathering of lots of people, or I would chastise myself or beat myself up for being too wordy or tell myself that I talked too much about weird, silly things.

I think I'm over all that now and I've come to accept who I am.

I've felt a post brewing in my heart for some time now. May is the perfect time for me to write it. I'll tell you why.

We had a stillborn baby.

It will be four years on May 13th since she was born. And I still carry that deep pain around with me. I've realized, over the past few weeks, that it hurts. It still hurts. The pain is part of who I am now.

And I've been contemplating that, because that's what I do. I store things like that in a place in my heart and then I study them. Usually out loud. I look at it from all angles, every facet, every different meaning and color.

I think I added the pain of my two miscarriages to the pain of losing our 6th baby. And sometimes that compounded pain takes my breath away.

So, in an effort to be free, to live joyously and out loud, I will be doing a post on May 13th about our baby girl who does not live here on earth with us. Maybe I'll do more than one. It's my way of healing. Writing about those days and weeks is therapy for me.

I've been remembering. I've been taking out the memories from the dusty reaches of my being and seeing things I didn't see before. I want to tell her story, and I want to tell it to all of you.

I want to tell her story because I want you all to know that you are not alone. If you have that kind of silent pain sitting inside your heart, you are not the only one. I want to tell a story of hope, of loss, and I want my story to point steadily to the One Who has been steady for me all these years.

I pray that my story can be a story of healing. I believe one of the reasons I've been allowed to experience pain like that is so that I can be closer to the Lord, and hopefully I can lead other women there as well.

I pray that as I write her story, the Holy Spirit will be very present. If I can be a conduit for His ministrations, I say, Lord bring on the memories and the pain and the loss, for I want your words to flow out of my mouth.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

stealing a meme

I'm being a thief and stealing a meme from Cindy at Still His Girl. It's a good one, and you can get to know me better with this meme!!

What were you doing 10 years ago:
  1. I found out I was pregnant with Baby #3. I had a two year old son and a 6 month old baby girl, nursing on demand, and on the mini-pill......Surprise!!!! Baby #3 was to be a Christmas 1998 baby....another present! We lived a few streets away from here in a 900 sq ft, 2 bedroom house. We still call that place our little "Love Nest".
5 things on my to-do list for tomorrow:
  1. Call dermatologist for appt for my son and myself.
  2. Call ophthalmologist for appt for myself.
  3. Get more eggs and transmission fluid. Transmission fluid for my hubbie's car!
  4. Try to stay away from Scrap Happy while I'm out running to the store.
  5. Make more cards for my dear friend.
5 snacks I enjoy:
  1. Guacamole. I don't even need chips!
  2. My own hummus and rice crackers.
  3. Activia yogurt with quick oats and cinnamon mixed in. I eat the yogurt with added live cultures because I'm lactose intolerant and it's easier on my tummy. I can only eat this once in a while.
  4. My oldest daughter's blended coffee drinks. This is like dessert to me!
  5. Homemade pico de gallo. And loaded nachos to go with it!!
5 things we'd do if my husband was a billionaire:
  1. My husband would quit his Post Office job.
  2. My husband would work from the home composing music scores for Independent Christian movies. This is his real job, his real love, and the one he does when he comes home from his day job!
  3. Build our dream house, complete with a studio for my husband.
  4. Shop at the Goodwill. Still.
  5. Go on as we have been all these years.
5 bad habits I have:
  1. Being sarcastic with my children. Hands down. Number one horrible thing. I must work to stop this. Sarcasm sounds awful coming out of the mouth of babes.
  2. Trying to control everything. This is bondage.
  3. Getting sucked into the computer and allowing myself to spend too much time on the internet.
  4. Forgetting to eat. At all times. And hurting my tenuous health doing so.
  5. Not spoiling my husband like he deserves.
5 jobs I've had:
  1. Making food at Taco Bandito in Castle Rock. I got yelled at one night by the manager of the adjacent pizza place, in front of customers, for messing up her order. That was my last day there!
  2. Housekeeper at Comfort Inn in Kelso. I was there before it opened. When we had to scrape grout and caulk off of the floors and tubs. I worked there for about a year. It was my favorite job.
  3. Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame. I loved that job! I started in Hard Crafts and then graduated to a cashier position, where I stayed for over a year. I worked there until two months into my marriage, and my husband and I were making $800 between us every month! He got the Post Office job two months after we got married and I was blessed to become a stay at home wife!
  4. A brief time at a local resale shop in town. I love the owners and still shop there.
  5. And those are the only jobs I have ever had. Ever.
Okay, so that's the meme......and I wonder if I should tag anyone for this one?

Nah. I know nobody has time to do these things!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

More about Tide

Okay gals. I wanted to do a supplemental post to my review of Tide laundry detergent. Many of you may be wondering if you can use Tide if you have a septic system. I care about that!! I do not have a septic system, since we live in the city, but I did some research and came up with some things that I think would be nice for all of you people on septic systems to know.

First of all, let me say that I use Tide 2X Ultra liquid in the original scent. I am able to use less than it recommends on the back of the bottle. I do not use powder because I found that using powder caused strange stains on my clothes and there would be funny (not the ha-ha kind of funny, but the gee, that's interesting kind of funny) powder residue on the clothes and in the washer. It also tended not to rinse out as thoroughly, thereby causing skin irritation. I allow the washer to fill a little bit with hot water, and when it's sudsy (yes, that is a word! Spell check said it was!!) I add my detergent.

I thoroughly read the bottle that is sitting right beside me on the couch just for the purpose of this post, and I could NOT find, anywhere on the bottle, (after I got over being so confused by all the Spanish on there!!) a warning not to use it in your washer if you have a septic system. It is biodegradable and contains no phosphates. My parents also use Tide and live out in the country and have a septic system. My mom has been using Tide for ever.

I researched whether or not Tide was harmful to septic systems this morning before writing this post, and I came up with nothing that said that it could not be used if you have a septic system. I don't know if the powder is safe, but it appears, for all intents and purposes, that Tide is okay for your septic system.

If you are using powder detergent because you think it's cheaper, I encourage you strongly to do your own research. I'm not a big fan of powder, for the reasons listed above. We recently had to take our washer apart because it wasn't working, and when we did, we found all kinds of rotten powder residue, black and rancid, from when we used powder (because we were told it was cheaper) a long time ago. It was totally gross! I read an article this morning about a lady who actually runs her sheets and towels through the washer twice because they weren't rinsing well and that was causing skin irritations and rashes.

So, there it is in a nutshell. I don't know why someone would say that Tide wasn't safe for a septic system. I don't have any explanations for that. But I think that if Tide was not safe for septic systems, then that would mean that millions of people could not use it, making it one of the non selling products out there on the market, and I do believe that Tide is a top seller, so that really didn't make sense to me.

Do your research before you buy things!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I heart me some Tide!!!

Okay. Today I'm going to tell you why and how my children's clothing always looks spotless and gorgeous. I get so many comments on the lovely state of their clothing that I decided to pass some hints along! I know you all were dying of curiosity and are so envious of how I get my kids to look so, well, so fashionable and so well put together! There's nary a stain, hole, or loose seam in any of their clothing!!!

Snort, snort!!!!!

Yeah, sure. Of course I jest!

But for real, in real life, my children's clothing looks a lot better than it should for a family with 6 active kids. Truthfully, I'm.....ummm........very obsessive about their appearance, and the state of their clothing, and here's why: I have to hand down my girls's clothes. Hannah's don't get handed down to Samantha, because they are too different in shape and size, but Samantha's go to Sara's go to Kellie (you get the picture).....because we are a big family and I can't afford to be a frequent shopper at Gymboree, no matter how much I would love to be!I mean, hey, they don't exactly have a Rewards card or a frequent shopper card, huh?? Thank God the closest Gymbo store is like an hour away from here!!!!! But I digress.....

So I feel challenged to keep the clothes looking spiffy. And because we are a big family, which is something of an anomaly in this day-and-age, I know people are dissecting us under a very unkind microscope, which, thinking about this all the time, used to have me in bondage! I used to be so caught up in what those people thought of me as a mom, and having a big family! But I got over it. Remember, I'm becoming.

I'm growing up now, finally, and I care about the way my kids look because I'm genuinely joyful when they look nice. I like to make sure my girls's hair is always done. I like them to wear skirts because we believe that it's so modest and beautiful. I like them to have clean faces and no stains or rips or holes. I do this because it's my job, and because I have time and I love to do it. I'm trying to be a good steward of my gifts.

People have commented on how their hair is always done and how they're so well behaved......really!

So I want to do a commercial for you as to why my children's clothes look so good.

The first reason is that I use Tide laundry detergent. I don't care how much it costs! Some of you out there spend oodles of bucks on fancy, brand name mascara and lip gloss. Some of you love lots of expensive handbags. Some of you like to buy tons of shoes. Not me. I have a fetish for Tide. Really. And yes, my husband is giving me therapy for this idiosyncrasy. But it hasn't worked and hey, Tide is the BEST. With a capital "B". And so I remain addicted. It's okay, it's the only bottle of anything I love to knock back, and it sure does last, because I don't use as much as it says to!! I use way less. It's still the best. Tide, you are my babe!!!

I never pre-treat any kind of stain on any of our clothes. GASP!!! Yep. Your eyes didn't deceive you. I have never owned Shout, or a pre treating pen. I just use OxyClean. And here's another dirty little secret, since we are talking about dirty clothes here, people........

I wash all of our clothes in hot water. There. The cat is finally out of the proverbial bag, and I feel so much better!! I guess you know by now that I have not one bone of frugality in me! I wash with the best stuff and I use the most expensive water......

But our clothes are uber-clean. Nary a stain. None. Not even mustard! My babe (Tide) gets it alllll out. Chocolate. Berry stains. Mold. Mustard. BBQ sauce and ketchup. Coupled with the expensive temperature of water, it's all a no brainer for Tide.

And my kids don't have play clothes. I know. I don't know if you can handle another secret from me!!!! I don't know if you want to be friends with my anymore!! But my kids play, eat, and do schoolwork, go to church, weddings, and do chores in the same clothes. And they stay clean because of that big orange bottle that I love!

Now, quit being frugal with your gross laundry stuff that you really aren't satisfied with, deep down in your heart, and go out and buy you some serious Tide!!! Kiss dingy, discolored, wrinkly, gross smelling, dirty clothes goodbye!

There! Don't you feel much better???

Monday, April 7, 2008

spring poetry

Here's a poem I found in a binder I'd not been using. The binder is some years old, and I think the poem is at least more than two years old. I've reclaimed the binder, and reclaimed the poem too!

Petals dance
from the cherry trees
like so many
tiny white butterflies,
fluttering to the ground
in a cascade of
snow colored wings.

Lacy cotton clouds
glide leisurely across
a robin's egg sky.....

and wind chimes laugh
their music
over a teasing wind.

The baritone hum
of the lawnmower,
the merry chatter of birds
calling to each other......
my eyes and ears feast
on the glorious
song and dance
of spring.

all words copyright 2005 by leeswords. reproducing any or all of these words prohibited unless by express permission from author. if you like what you read, please ask to post it, don't steal it!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Straight hair

Just for fun, here's a pic of me wearing my hair straight. It was a good hair day that day. Wait, does that sound boastful? Sorry, but when good hair days don't happen every day, ya gotta take 'em when they happen!!!! It sure looks like I have more hair than I really do!!

I was taking a picture on my MacBook for my Homeschool Lounge page and decided to save it, for some unknown reason. My husband said I should have taken the picture on his iMac because it would have been a better picture, but I was on the MacBook that day, so I didn't....*sigh*....oh well!

It's the only one of few pictures of me that doesn't look like I'm a bag lady or I'm about to murder someone in cold blood.......

Thank God for the small blessings of good hair days, my daughter's blended mochas and MacBooks!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Songs that remind me of Dave

Gayle over at Life With My Crew had a great idea for a post, and I'm stealing it...actually I think it was Cindy who started it!!!!

I'm going to tell all you gals what songs remind me of my husband....but I can't say they're 80's songs.

Let me explain. I met my husband when I was 15, in 1988, so the era was almost over, and we courted in the 90's. I have lots of songs that I love from that era.....but let me caution you: A lot of my songs are going to be by Celine. She was my all time, hands-down, #1 favorite ever. You know how Cindy feels about her pretend BFF, well, that's the way I used to feel about Celine! So brace yourself, all of you Celine-haters!

The first song I love that reminds me of my man is "Seduces Me". A friend of mine once told me that that song was indecent and I shouldn't be listening to it. What??!! What's wrong with listening to a song that makes me think of my hottie husband over and over?? Maybe it was not good for her to listen to it. I love the words, they're so eloquent and beautiful:

Everything you are,
everything you'll be,
touches the current of love
that is so deep in me.
Every sigh in the night,
every tear that you cry,
seduces me.

All that I am,
all that I'll be
means nothing at all,
if you can't be with me.
Your most innocent kiss,
or your sweetest caress
seduces me.

I don't care about tomorrow.
I've given up on yesterday.
Here and now is all that matters.
Right here with you is where I'll stay.

Everything in this world,
every voice in the night,
every little thing of beauty
comes shining through in your eyes.
And all that is you
becomes part of me too,
cause all you do seduces me.

And if I should die tomorrow,
I'd go down with a smile on my face.
I'd thank God I'd ever known you.
I'd fall down on my knees
for the life we've made.

I know I'm wordy, and some even say poetic, but in a million years, I could never come up with words better than that to express exactly what he means to me. We're intertwined, he and I, and I've forgotten where I stop and he begins. I love that feeling, and even after almost 15 years, his kisses still have the power to make my knees turn to jelly and my tummy turn upside down!

So that song is so perfect for us, and the Spanish guitar is so beautiful, it brings tears to my eyes.

There are not a whole lot of singers out there who captivate me the way Celine did. Imagine the impact she'd have singing for the Lord!!

That's the first song for me and my man. I'll post more songs later.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The deal of the century!

You gals are NOT going to believe this!!!!!!

I want to tell you all why I'm so pumped, but first, a little background!

We're all huge fans of Anne of Green Gables around here. I myself have read all of the books and we also have the Focus on the Family radio drama series too, which I got on Amazon a couple of years ago, and we've all (including my almost teenage son!) have listened to the CD's a dozen times or more.

Lately I've really been wanting to get the videos for my kids to watch, and for me, so I can revisit old friends and make new memories with my kids. I've had my eye out for several months now, but wow, they were all way too expensive!!!! I'd just about lost all hope of ever having the privilege of introducing the characters from the beloved series to my children "in person".....

Until just about a half hour ago.

I went on eBay. I had gone on eBay and done a search for the videos, thinking that I would be able to afford them better than I could the DVD's. Yes, there were lots of offerings, with the DVD's going for like $50! So I looked into the videos and also found lots of offerings, and found the set on video two days ago. I saved it to watch in my eBay, and promptly forgot about it.

Today I got an email telling me that the auction had a little over two hours left on it. I was certain I wouldn't win, after all, this series is so hot, it's hard to get! So I didn't bid and, you guessed it, promptly forgot about it!

Of course, I got another email, and when I clicked over to eBay, the auction had only TWO MINUTES to go!!!! I knew my chances had been blown, and I was so sad, so sad!

Well, I bid anyway, and I purposely set my bid high so I had a fighting chance on winning......

And guess what??

I WON!!!!!!!!!!!

But the really-ridiculously-fantastic thing about this meandering post is that I WON ALL FOUR VIDEOS FOR $6!!!!!!!!! SIX DOLLARS, LADIES!!!!! EMILY, ARE YOU GETTING THIS????? WITH SHIPPING, THE TOTAL WAS A MERE $10!!!!!!!

It's the deal of the century, gals.

I'm so incredibly pumped, and you shoulda been here the last 2 minutes of the auction, as I counted down and constantly refreshed the page! We were all so excited!

And now my kids will get to see everything they've only heard about, like The Lake of Shining Waters, and the Haunted Wood, and the White Way of Delight! They'll get to know and adore Anne and Matthew, and come to respect and love Marilla. My son will get to "meet" one of his favorite characters, Miss Rachel.....They'll get to look on as Anne has her first "grown up" tea and Diana gets drunk! They'll see Anne after she dyes her hair. They'll feel the angst and attraction between Gilbert and Anne......

And I'll get to drink in the joy on their faces as they watch!

I'm thankful for eBay!!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pray for me!

I guess my blog is more of a serious blog.

I've always been told that I lack a sense of humor.

I think I'm a thinker, a ponderer.

And it shows in my posts.

Oh, lots of funny things happen in any given day here at my house, and yes, you may find a post about them now and again.....and I do laugh, really I do...

But my overarching thoughts right now are deep and tough and given to the nether parts of my soul and heart.

And I guess my blog reflects that.

Right now, I want to rally all my friends out there across the nation.

Please pray for me!

I really want a full womb again! I want to conceive, have a positive pregnancy test, hear a heartbeat in my tummy......I want to feel those first flutterings and when I look in the mirror, I want to see that luminous glow one gets in pregnancy, as if a candle was lit within. I want to have one of those cute pregnancy ticker-count downs on my blog. I want to wear all of those great maternity clothes I packed away. I want the chance to use all of the wonderful, tiny clothes that lie hidden in the reaches of my mother's hope chest, over there by the front window, just a heartbeat away.


I'm in the middle of some health issues right now......

And I'm scared to death to embrace a full womb again, even when my heart sobs just to look at other expectant moms. Even when it's really all I hope for.

The fear is very real, and ever present with me. It dogs me, follows me, sniffs at the door to my heart every day.

Ah, to live without fear! To embrace what God has for me, with abandon, without looking back over my shoulder!

I want to live in this moment, to live out loud, true to the call He has for me!

If this is what my heart, my soul, really every fiber of my being wants....

If I'm standing on the edge of the diving board, looking into the clear, crystal, refreshing waters below me........

Then why is it so hard to jump?

A poem

"I asked the Lord
for a bunch of fresh flowers,
but instead He gave me an ugly cactus
with many thorns.
I asked the Lord
for some beautiful butterflies,
but instead He gave me
many ugly and dreadful worms.
I was threatened.
I was disappointed.
I mourned.
But after many days,
I saw the cactus bloom
with many beautiful flowers,
and those worms became
beautiful butterflies,
flying in the wind.
God's way is the best way."
Chung-Ming Kao