Monday, December 31, 2012

Snow Day

Well, it's been snowing here since about 9:30 this morning.

For many of you reading this in different parts of the country, you may think it's no big deal, but you see, it never snows here.  I mean, every couple of years it may snow a bit.  The last time it snowed in our area was the week that Pennie was born.  I remember the mounds of white snow on the ground as I labored. And that was two years ago!

We're thankful for the snow that we get.

The girls went out to build snowmen and Daddy video'd (that's not even a word) them, all the while, he's standing out there under the umbrella to protect the camera! Genius, I tell ya!

I'm looking out the window right now.  It sure is the NW version of a winter wonderland out there.  It's pretty peaceful right now, with Pennie asleep in her cozy little bed and all of the girls out to the store with Daddy.....

I think I'll take a much-needed nap!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Christmas

How was your Christmas?

Ours was so, so much better than I thought it was going to be! It was abundant.  It was beautiful.  It was peaceful.  It was humble.  It was fun.  It was full.  It was unexpected.

One of the highlights of our Christmas Day was that we got to go to a family's house to which we had never been.  It turned out to be so fun and so joyful! We got to tour their house, which is only about 3 minutes from us.  They tore their house apart 5 years ago, literally ripped it down to the studs and did all of the remodel work absolutely 100% themselves.  It was so homey and also so beautifully done.  I simply adore Mrs W and we had a great time talking.....not to mention that the feast they put on for us was AMAZING! Baked pepper ham, roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, sauteed carrots, homemade creamed corn, lovely gravy, and as if that wasn't enough, there was so much more munchie food like my famous cheese ball, spinach dip, ranch and veggies...I mean, that counter top island was GROANING with goodies.  She made some popcorn mixture with white chocolate, marshmallows, M&Ms, peanuts, and pretzels....ooooh, for this girl who doesn't really love sweet stuff, that stuff was incredible! We played Bingo (which I totally bombed at, like usual), the kids played Skip-Bo, and then we watched a movie downstairs in their family room.  In short, it was the perfect day.

Another precious thing was that, unbeknownst to me, Samantha went shopping for me one day and she got me some really cute clip-on tabs that I can put on the edges of my Bible! I was totally shocked and surprised because I was sure there wasn't anything for me under the tree.  She also had gotten a pin a while back that's a silver rose with a pearl in the center, and she gave it to me.  It reminds me of our Janie Rose and I wear it on my apron, which I wear almost all day every day, so she's always with me.  I was incredibly touched that Samantha had thought of me.

Today we're fixing things around the house, little things that need done, like the cupboard door under the kitchen sink that was hanging by one hinge, or the sink in our only bathroom that leaks fiercely....

Later we're going to watch the Celtic Woman special called Believe, while we eat yummy, warm home baked cookies and drink hot mochas! 

With Daddy home on vacation, it feels like every day is Christmas, and we want to kind of draw out the festivities this year, so we're taking it easy and the girls are playing and drawing and reading and we're loving a more relaxed pace.  We're taking time off from any schoolwork that we do until January, after Daddy goes back to work.  We love it when Daddy's off!

Just a few minutes ago, I noticed that there were quite a few pine needles from our tree on the floor around it, so I decided to move the tree skirt and sweep really well.....gracious, there must have been a small hay stack of needles in the dust pan when I was done! It's nice to see it so clean under the tree.  I love having a real tree, even if it means extra sweeping!

So now the little girls are down for naps and everyone else is tucked away doing their thing.  I'm going to sit in my chair with my heating pad and a cup of mocha and see how much reading I can get done.  I'm reading the first book in Michael Phillip's Caledonia series called The Legend of the Celtic Stone.  I LOVE his books and if you haven't read his stuff, I can recommend everything he's ever written.  I've read all of his stuff before and now, I'm re-reading his books.  I just got done with A Rift in Time, which my son and I read simultaneously, and he did a book report on it.  So fantastic!

Well, I hope your season continues to be peaceful and joyful and celebratory. I hope you don't give in to the let-down of the after season slump. Extend the party and do something fun and unexpected with your family today!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Everyone else is posting about their Christmas traditions, Christmas decor and the like, so I am too! And it's all part of my efforts to blog every day, or at least every other day. Let's say that if I can blog at least every other day, that will be my holiday and New Year's gift to you out there!!

 Christmas here at our house is usually a big thing.  Daddy likes to make a big deal out of it, and it seems that the children begin in April to anticipate the celebration that Daddy puts on! Now, to you out there, that may seem like we do a lavish and fancy party and tons of gifts and things like that, but really it is small and simple and homey, and it's just our children's innocence and child-like joy that makes our humble Christmas doings seem like glamour and fanciness.

We always have what we call a "spread" for dinner on Christmas, whether it be on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  In times past, during the holiday season, Daddy would get tons of goodies and treats each year on his route, and we'd save them in a high cupboard for Christmas. We'd bring out all of that sweet and mysterious goodness, along with things like meats and cheeses, and we'd feast! Our spread is the chief highlight of the season, and we will be doing that same thing this year.  I'll cook a ham, and we'll slice it real thin and then wrap it in assorted cheeses and munch on pickles and olives, apples and oranges. I'll also make my special hummus for Daddy.

As far as gifts go, this year we did something very different.  Papa (Dave's dad) came up with the idea of having our children draw each others' names and then, Papa took them shopping in groups of three to buy the gift for their sibling.  What's funny is that I was thinking of doing the same thing! It was a first for our children and they had a blast! They also got to go out for ice cream after their shopping trip.

Getting our tree is always a major adventure too.  We always go to a local tree farm and tromp all around the place, looking for that perfect tree.  This year I was unable to go, but everyone had just as much fun and the tree is so gorgeous! The children decorated it and as I said in a previous post, we love our homey, simple, lovely tree!

This year we will be doing something entirely different on Christmas Day.  We have been invited to a family's house to have an early dinner and play games and fellowship with them. We've never done anything like that and we are all so excited! We are getting to know this family, and I couldn't be happier, as I feel that the mom is a kindred spirit and I'm looking forward to some good, old fashioned Girl Talk! We'll stay late since Dave and Mr W (the dad of the family) don't have to work the next day.  We'll play games and probably eat ourselves into a coma!!

We always watch the traditional films during the holidays, such as White Christmas, the original Scrooge and especially It's a Wonderful Life.  It's another thing we all look forward to.  We do watch them every year, but it seems that we always love the films just as much as the first time we watched them.  I especially love It's a Wonderful Life, and I do cry at certain spots.

Well, there you have it! I think this post would have been 100% better with pictures, but our camera is busted and so, pictures are impossible, and anyway, our home decor would never make it in Better Homes and Gardens, and Martha Stewart would probably turn up her nose if she came in our home right now, but we don't care!  I do hope you have enjoyed reading about life around here during Christmas.  

I know Christmas can get very busy and stressful, and I know there's so much to do right now, but please don't forget the reason we celebrate right now.....Jesus.  Without Him, I would be nothing and nobody, and I'm so thankful He came to us as a baby so long ago!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More Thankfulness

I'm still thinking about all of the things I'm thankful for.

Yes, even in this shadowy forest I'm walking through, I remain thankful.

Some days I can't stop crying because I am so humbled and grateful and thankful.

I feel so sensitive to all of my blessings and the things around me that bless me.

So I want to share them with you!

  1. Perhaps it's a bit superficial and petty, but I'm thankful for chocolate.  Especially in the Christmas season, I'm thankful for fudge.  I've had a couple of pieces of exceptionally good fudge lately.  And if I start craving chocolate, I'll have a small bit of Guittard chocolate chips.  Their milk chocolate chips are really the best I have ever had.  And their semi-sweet chips? Heaven! I like to eat the really good stuff because the better the chocolate is, the less of it I want to eat.  Indulging in a tiny bit of the super good stuff is so much more satisfying!
  2. Our Christmas tree this year is absolutely gorgeous.  I'm so thankful to be able to look at it! It's a big event in our family every year.  The kids start talking about going out and getting our tree in early November.  We go to a tree farm near us in the hills.  We've gone to the same farm for as long as I can remember.  I wasn't able to go this year, but I waited at home in anticipation while the rest of the family was tromping around out there sizing up each tree to find just the right one.  And when they brought it home, it was beautiful.  And it is decorated to perfection.  Oh, it's not a designer tree.  It isn't chic or sophisticated.  All of the ornaments don't match and it's random, joyful colors.....but it's wonderful to me!
  3. Being able to get out and about again a tiny bit is refreshing.  I don't last very long yet and I get tired real easily, and riding in the car makes me a bit light headed still, but I'm glad to be able to participate in the fun things that my family gets to do this season.
  4. We went caroling with some other families from another church Tuesday night.  It was amazing.  There were so many families and most of those who were there were young people!! We went to some of the less swanky and elegant nursing homes and care facilities around here and it was a blessing to see smiles and light on the faces of those who usually get forgotten at this time of year.  
  5. I'm so thankful that our van is fixed.  It had to sit in our driveway for a couple of months and we drove Daddy's work car a lot.  You know, the car with no power steering and no speedometer? Yep. Hot! I took Dave to work every morning for a lot of weeks and when we'd go to church, we would take two trips to get everyone there! We couldn't go on any trips or events because we couldn't all ride together.  So now it's good to have my van back!
  6. We've had lots and lots of love and hugs and cards and meals showered on us in the past two weeks, from our church and from another church that we aren't even members of. The families at that church just love us, and they showed it by rallying around us during this last 6 weeks.  I remain deeply amazed and so humbly grateful for these people.  From heating pads to devotional books, to gluten-free pretzels and home canned pickles....there was a bottle of specially made essential oil to make my healing easier.....there was a dear friend who brought my favorite coffee oldest daughter made the very BEST broth I have ever had the day of my miscarriage.....and the friend who brought an emergency supply of pads and toilet paper when pay day was still 5 days away.....and the specially selected peanut butter cups.....and the hugs....and the shared tears....and the rides to the midwife an hour away.....I will never, never forget!!
  7. My husband's protection and care of me is so sweet and so romantic and so special.  He shows that he loves me in those ways.  From bringing me my favorite blanket in the mornings when I'm in the recliner, to mixing up my morning nutritional drink, to making sure I take my iron pills....he is one in a million and he's ALL mine!
  8. Seeing my oldest daughter and my youngest daughter playing together never ceases to make me smile and laugh and even cry sometimes! Hannah's going to be 16 this summer and she wants to play with her littlest sisters.  She's so fun and they love her!
  9. Pennie is sleeping SO good at night! There was a time when I just didn't think she would sleep much past 6 AM.  She sleeps so well that this morning at 9 I had one of the girls go check on her because I thought she should have been up by then! I'm thankful that I get to sleep at night.
  10. I finally was able to go and get a good haircut Tuesday afternoon.  I simply adore the gal who does my hair! She knows just what I like, and it felt so good because she really pampers me.  My hair was getting really long and bushy and my bangs were down past my chin! I felt slightly reborn after the nice haircut! It's interesting how little things like a $15 haircut (that should cost $40) can make me feel so thankful....
  11. I'm so glad my 9 year old daughter, who is on the cusp of turning 10, still wants to snuggle with me and have me tickle her arms and run my fingers through her hair! I will remember those moments always, and think of them when she stands before me as a 16 year old.
  12. And lastly, I really am thankful for my life and my breath and being able to put my hand on my chest and feel my heart beating.  I am so grateful that I didn't die on the bathroom floor two weeks ago.  I'm so glad I get to spend Christmas with my children! Everything's new and fresh to me right's almost like the innocent wonder of a child.  My life and the fact that I'm still living is not something I take for granted and I'm constantly thanking the Lord for sparing me.
I hope you enjoyed reading my list.  It's a good time to take stock and make tangible note of what you're thankful for!

Monday, December 10, 2012


Can I take a moment to thank all of you dear friends who left sweet and concerned comments on my last post?

For some reason, Blogger doesn't recognize that I've signed it, so I can never, ever leave you personal messages on Goggle Friendconnect.  This irritates me! I can sign in 10 times, over and over, and it still tells me I can't.  I'm not sure what the problem is, so I am forced to leave a message in a post for those who leave me comments whom I do not have emails for.

Moving on....Thank you all for your comments and your prayers.  I'm comforted by the thought that many of you are lifting me up.  I loved reading your comments and was so surprised and delighted to get so many!

I'm now out of the woods physically.  I'm waiting for my energy to return.  I went to church yesterday and it was a difficult experience! There are a lot of stairs at our church and I had to go down them afterwards, to enjoy Coffee looked like the stairs on the Mayan pyramids in Mexico!!! My husband was very dear and very kind to escort me down at my own pace.  He's a mailman, AND he's 6 feet 7 inches tall, so the man's legs go on forever and his pace is usually racehorse speed, so he was very considerate!!!

Please continue to pray for me! Although I am out of the woods physically, there are days which seem as dark as if I were lost in the middle of a dense forest where tall, old trees block out the blue of the sky and the light of the sun.  This will go on indefinitely, as it is the process of grief and sorrow.  I dearly would love several days linked together without the presence of the weight of anguish in my heart!

I'm so glad I started blogging.  I have made a couple of very close friends over the years, friends that I communicate with via email.  It has been so worth it to me! Blogging gives me a great outlet for my need to express myself via the written (or in this case, typed) word.  

So, be assured of how much I appreciate all of your prayers.  I'm so glad I am a part of the body of Christ!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I'm back.

How I've hesitated and stalled and balked at writing this post.

How I have so wanted to be merry and bright! How I've wanted to be light hearted and excited this Christmas season! How I've wanted so badly to embrace everything that the Christmas season entails.....How I have avoided posting such heaviness and anguish.

I guess writing it out will somehow cement its realness in my heart....

Today, December 6th, is the 10th day.

The 10th day after my body gave up that little gift that we thought was coming to us in the Spring.

My second trimester miscarriage is now complete.....

But the jumble of thoughts and feelings and emotions are just beginning.

I was 3 months pregnant when I found out our baby had died. Baby was supposedly measuring at 9.5 weeks "or so".

Upon further investigation and another ultrasound at a different place, Baby looked more like 12 weeks or more.  Baby was big.

At that point, 2 weeks after that 12 week ultrasound, my body hadn't realized yet what had happened.

And I knew from past experience that it was going to be a bumpy ride.

But I hoped and prayed and begged and beseeched the Lord to spare me from what my heart knew was going to happen.

I have had another second trimester miscarriage.  I was 16 weeks pregnant when it happened.  

I almost died on my bathroom floor.

I intensely petitioned the Lord to make it easy, make it fast, please do not let me die....

It was my focus during the last 5 weeks.

Monday November 26th was the day.

I was alone with the children.

And again, I almost died.

Thank God my son had the foresight to call my mother in law, who is a nurse.

I am recovering.

I guess the reason I write this is because I covet your prayers.  My heart....oh, my heart.  I just didn't know the human heart could sustain so much battering and shattering and breaking and crushing in one lifetime.

My body will mend.  My body is already mending.  Slowly but surely, my body mends.

But my heart.

I felt that, on that day as labor began and progressed, I felt that everything I was gushed out of me.  I felt that my essence was being flushed down the toilet and soaking into the tiles and running out of me.  I felt as though it was the death of me.

10 days later I still wonder who I am now.

When I look at myself in the mirror, I wonder who that person is gazing back at me.  I'm worn.  I'm pale.  I look bewildered.  I look puzzled.  I look old and done for.

I know that the Bible promises joy.  I know that Christ's mercies are new every morning.  I know that He vows comfort and healing and strength.

But oh, I could really use some of that right now, this moment....moment by moment.

When breathing threatens to further shatter my heart, when waking brings the crushing knowledge back....

Father, come!

And when my mind, against my will, flashes to what could have been, when my mind sees a baby in the womb, kicking and dancing and smiling and sucking her thumb.....

Father, come!

Conversely, I am deeply humbled at life.  I have my life.  My Lord spared me once again because my work here on earth was not done.  I praise Him daily for that. Everything humbles me! I am abashed by a sunrise, a warm blanket, a touch from Pennie.

I look forward to the day when the trauma will be forgotten, both for me and for my children, who witnessed the whole ordeal.  I am so proud of my children, who maintained their cool and rose to a very, very scary challenge with grace and aplomb. Still...I pray that the trauma would be forgotten and only everything that God has done for us will be remembered.

These are some of my jumbled, confused, weary thoughts today.  I ask that you would remember my family in prayer in the days to come.

Father, come!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


"One sees great things
from the valleys
small things
from the peaks"
GK Chesterton

This quote reminds me to look up.

As I travel through this valley, I am reminded to look up....

From whence comes my help.

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills~~
from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord
Who made Heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot
to be moved.
He Who keeps you 
will not slumber.
Behold, He Who keeps Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper.
The Lord is your shade 
at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you
by day
nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you
from all evil.
He shall preserve
your soul.
The Lord shall preserve
your going out
your coming in
from this time forth
forever more."
Psalm 121

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Thankfulness


I just realized that I need to update my Thankful Journal again!

I've been preoccupied lately and for that I'm sorry, because being thankful, to me, ushers in joy and also kicks out depression and sorrows......

It's something I really need to do right now!

Just let me say that, for me, it is SO hard to narrow down things to be thankful for! What I mean by that is I am so abundantly blessed inside of just the four walls of my humble and small home! As I listen to my almost 18 year old son blissfully snore on the couch in deep sleep, and as I think that each room in this house is bursting at the seams with love and children, I realize again how hard it is for me to just pick one thing a day that I'm thankful for.....

So I will go against the grain and pick many things!

  1. My Home: To start out this edition of Thankfulness, I will say I'm thankful for my house, all 1400 square feet of the tiny structure!! Yes, we are crowded! Yes, it is close and there isn't a lot of wiggle room! And yes, we only have one bathroom for 10 people, but it is our mansion and we're happy to have it.
  2. Video Cameras: I'm so thankful for our video camera, which is just the video camera in our little cheap camera, because with it the children can document lives, make little movies and Dave and I have an everlasting record of our children and how they've grown and how silly and intelligent and creative and appreciative they are.  This is priceless to me.
  3. Organic Chocolate: I'm thankful for organic chocolate because I often crave sweets and chocolate is almost always my choice! I'm thankful because I can pretty easily get a chocolate bar or chocolate chips to bake with.  I do think that it is a very real threat that organic farming and private gardens will be banned some day very soon, so I'm enjoying that taste of sweet, rich goodness.
  4. Warmth: I'm thankful for our natural gas fireplace that looks like the real thing.  It's so comforting to sit by the fire and feel the soft warmth of the flame and to be able to adjust the level of heat.  It's a beautiful fireplace and I'm so humbled and grateful that my husband chose 11 years ago to switch over to natural gas.
  5. And on the same note, I'm thankful for my natural gas stove.  Seriously, cooking with natural gas is superior to every other method out there.  I've cooked on electric stoves and convection ovens, and to me, natural gas comes out the winner due to the fast cooking and the real heat which is there at the turn of a dial.  My oven is accurate and never unreliable.
  6. Pennie's Coat: Recently my dear friend met me at a resale shop in her neck of the woods, where she had traded some of our clothing in for me. I ended up getting a surprisingly large amount of credit for them.  What's more, the day she met me there was Veteran's Day, and the owner was having a 50% off day.  Everything in the store was 50% off!!! So I was able to get Pennie the most adorable puffy brown winter coat with a hood trimmed in fir for $2.50!! Now that's a bargain!
  7. Tenderhearted People: When I brought my enormous load of clothing up to the counter at the resale shop mentioned above, I was nervous because when I shop I always go over the total amount of credit I have and at this particular time in our lives we are not able to afford anything beyond the bare necessities, so, as the stack of clothing I had picked out grew smaller and the total grew larger, I just knew I was going to have to put a lot of it back.  Well, at the end of the tallying, I owed $29.00! My heart sank.  My cheeks flamed! I realized I didn't have my debit card and that there was no money in our account anyway, so I began to sift through the things to start putting them back, when my friend Jen pulled out HER credit slip that she was going to use for HER children and gave it to me! The tears that were threatening to fall due to having to abase myself to put things back almost began falling right there in front of of a whole store of people! After her credit was subtracted I still owed $5.00. I offered to sweep floors or clean windows, but the owner insisted that I forget about it and take all of my purchases home.  She was so sweet and at this point, the tears I had been holding back DID fall! In a world of busyness and rushing, in a culture of selfishness and entitlement, I am so thankful for tenderhearted people!!
  8. Good Books: I'm such a bookaholic! I love to read! I'm thankful for that.  Right now I'm reading Michael Phillips' "Rift In Time", and it is SO fantastic! I'd read it before many years ago, but my son picked it to do a book report on, so I decided to read it again.  It's gripping! It's chilling. It's action packed! It's thought provoking! It's also extremely well written and very relevant.  I fear I'm reading it much faster than my son, who is constantly asking me where it is so he can do his report!! Ha.
  9. My Husband's Old Work Car: I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd ever hear those words come out of my mouth! Alas, I am extremely thankful for the old 5-seater 1987 Pontiac 6000! It was my husband's grandmothers, who gave it to my husband's father when she moved in with them many years ago.  After she died, my husband's dad had no use for it so he gave it to Husband.  It's got 127,000 miles on it.  Right now our van is out of commission indefinitely, so to have this car is a blessing from the Lord! Yes, it's old.  There is no upholstery on the ceiling.  The gearshift slips.  There are no visors.  The speedometer is broken.  The seats in front are torn and the back door doesn't open, but we have a car.  Yes, we have to take two trips when we want to go anywhere as a family, but we have a car! Yes, I have to take Husband to work and pick him up, but we have a car! The thing runs like a top and so, I'm thankful for it.  I know that I will appreciate my hot rod red Mama Ride Van SO much more when/if it is fixed, but for now, I tool around town in the Pontiac!
  10. And last but not least, I'm thankful for Protection. Over and over in the Bible the Lord promises to protect us and keep us and surround us and defend us.  I'm seeing this in my life and I'm also trying to trust that.  I'm trying to remember that He never breaks His promises like man does.  He is not man.  He neither sleeps nor slumbers and He's always on the job.  He promises to be the shade at our right hand and to shelter us under His wings.  I'm working on believing that and taking Him at His word.  When I'm constantly in the Word I find this reaffirmed time and again.
Thanks for hanging in there while I recorded my long list of blessings!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Liebster Award

Well, I'm just so surprised, humbled and happy!

There may have even been tears shed and noses blown!

Why, you ask?

Because Erin nominated me for a Liebster Award! I guess she thought my blog was inspirational and encouraging.

Let me talk Erin up here a bit.  I have no idea how I discovered Erin's blog, but I am just so glad I did.  I'm telling you, she is a fantastic writer, a thinker, a grammarian (which I REALLY love), plus she loves the Lord with all of her heart and she really wants to please Him above all else.  She simply adores her husband and is so proud of him and what's more, she isn't afraid to brag on him. She is a great Mama to two of the most adorable piggie-tailed gals you ever saw.  She's been an encourager to me and I appreciate it.  She is beautiful inside and out and her clothes are just too cute!

I tell ya, I'm totally shocked! My little ol' blog has never been nominated for anything.  I mean, hardly anyone reads my blog.

Anyway, I'm really honored and it's enough for me if just one Mama reads my blog.  I just hope I can encourage one gal out there.  I'm not perfect (not even close) and it's usually chaotic and loud and happy and fun around this house with 8 kids! I hope I'm honest and real though.

So, to start, I'll tell you 5 Totally Random facts about me, okay?

1) If I could, I would read all day long! I mean, to me, a good book is the greatest thing.  I have sometimes read 2 books in one day.  I'm a very fast reader.  I can't help it! If it's a great book, then I can't put it down, and if it's a series, I can't wait to start the next book after I finish the first one! I guess you could say I devour books! And I'm just not adverse to reading my favorites again and again.  To me, favorite books are like good friends, never to be forgotten!

2) I love poetic phrases and colorful metaphors.  In fact, I keep a notebook nearby when I'm reading anything, just in case something jumps out at me and implants itself into my heart. I like to write and I admire an author who writes beautifully and very well. This happens when I read Jan Karon and Lucy Maude Montgomery.

3) I love sunrises and sunsets in every season.  I wake up before the sun rises each day and so, I've seen quite a few sunrises.  I've been blessed to see sunrises on the beach, as well as sunsets.  I've seen sunrises and sunsets that have literally made me cry as God speaks to me in the poetry of nature.

4) I am DEFINITELY DRAMATIC! My husband told me to type those words in all capitals! I am also intense.  I talk with my hands and I love a good, deep conversation.  I don't usually do extended small talk or fluffy conversations.  I'm just a deep person and I have a lot of passionate tendencies to talk about, I guess!

5) I am NOT an animal lover.  I mean, I don't hate animals or rage against them, but I really don't like them.  I don't understand why people have the need to dress up their dogs or sleep with their dogs or take their dogs with them everywhere they go.  I don't understand doggie daycare and inside pets.  Please don't hate me! 

(Now, I asked my husband to think of 5 random facts about me, and the above 5 are what he came up with.  I thank him so much for at least being kind to me!! Lol)

So, now I'm going to answer some questions about myself.  I know, you're just waiting with bated breath to hear these things about me! Just settle down and be patient and your wishes will be satisfied!

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging many years ago because I had actually read a couple of blogs and thought, hey, what a great idea! I love to write and have a lot to say and it's the perfect medium for me. I'm a bit of a grammarian and a language lover and it's a good outlet to exercise that.  I really would like to post more pictures and be a very consistent blogger.  I always  have so much more peace after I write a post!

What is your favorite item of clothing to wear?

My favorite item of clothing to wear is sweaters! I actually have a crazy weakness for sweaters.  I look at them in every store I go to.  I'm so glad I'm not rich because I would have to have a whole room devoted to my sweater collection, reminiscent of Celine Dion and her shoe room.  I'd really love to try cashmere sweaters, but alas, I just don't happen to have a couple hundred dollars laying around! Oh, and I have to add that I adore boots! Oops, is that two things?? Sorry!

Do you prefer the beach or the lake?

This one is very easy for me to answer.  I will always prefer the beach! I grew up in Southern California, three miles away from the beach, and I will always miss it and would love to visit a great beach again. The beach and the ocean are embedded into my soul.  The waves soothe me and the warm sand feels fantastic against my bare feet.  I can still smell the scent of the clean, salty breeze.  Someday I would like to take my family to the beach on which I grew up.  

What is the best meal you have ever eaten, with whom and where?

Oooh, this one is tough for me, just because I'm such a Foodie, and I have eaten so much great food! I think that one of the best meals I've eaten was at a restaurant called Judy's.  It was Valentine's Day last year and one of Dave's co-workers had given him a gift certificate that she wasn't going to use, so we decided to have a rare date.  I had a fantastic green salad, artichoke spinach dip (which I ate with a spoon), steamed broccoli sprinkled with fresh parmesan cheese, and the piece de resistance, a steak cooked medium, topped with a creamy sauce of fresh Dungeness crab and parmesan cheese.  Oh my stars and garters! It was just delicious.  

What has been your biggest inspiration lately?

Well, I have to say, and this is going to sound like favoritism, but Pennie has really been an inspiration to me.  I am continually so grateful that God allowed her to survive.  She really is a very unique, very essential blessing to our family, and basically, I can't live without seeing her tiny smiling face every day.  I miss her when I'm gone from her for too long.  She has to snuggle with me periodically.  She has to touch my skin and caress my arm repeatedly during the day, as she is doing even as I write this.  I could write a whole small book about her! God was merciful and compassionate to give her to me! I was going to say my children are my inspiration, but I wanted to be a bit different.....

Last book read?

The last book I read, which I finished two days ago, is called "Gentian Hill" by Elizabeth Goudge, published in New York by Coward-McCann, Inc, in the year 1949.  It is literally one of the most fantastically written and poignant books I have ever read.  And yes, I did write a passage or two in my  journal.  It is worth a read.

Years married?

Dave and I have been married for 19 years.  Next September marks our 20th anniversary, and it's all I can think about, because I marvel still that someone like him was and can still be interested in me.  I'm amazed and deeply and truly thankful that we have made it this far with each other, because I am not the easiest person to live with sometimes.

Best thing about your husband?

Wait, I can only name one?? Wow, this is going to be HARD! Okay, my husband is dedicated, determined and singleminded in everything that he does.  He is as steady as the year is long and you can count on him to come through when he gives his word. Plus, his kisses still make my knees weak and my tummy catapult to my toes.  Oh yeah, I've got a serious crush on him!

Best childhood Halloween costume?

I just can't remember that far back! So I have NO idea!

What's on your Pandora?

I don't really know exactly what a Pandora is. It goes without saying after that statement that I don't have one! We have iPods and we listen to iTunes.  We have a really eclectic taste in music, and some of the stuff we listen to includes Chicago, Lionel Richie, Fleetwood  Mac, Charlie Zahm, Mandisa, Celine Dion, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Ennio Morricone, The Carpenters, John Denver....just to name a few!!

What has changed your life for the better?

Something that has changed my life for the better is moving back to our town from a different town that was, quite frankly, Hell on earth.  I am so thankful that my husband took us out of that situation.  He truly is my rescuer and my protector.

Who should read your blog?

I guess you ought to read my blog if you want reality.  Read my blog if you're bored.  Read my blog if you want to hear about a lot of really cute kids.  Read it if you appreciate a gal who has a massive crush on her husband.  It's more on the serious side and you out to read it if you like that sort of thing.  I like to talk in poetry a lot, so if you like that my blog is for you.  I don't talk about TV shows, the latest fashion fads or trashy magazines on my blog.  You won't find celebrity gossip or lots of sarcasm either.  So if you don't want to read about that stuff, then read my blog.  We're a homeschool family and I stay at home with my best friends all day.  Sometimes I might unintentionally step on your toes with my philosophies, but I don't mean to.

So now I'm supposed to nominate some blogs that I read, only that's pretty hard because I want the blogs I nominate to know by reading my blog that I nominated them and well, not very many gals read my blog!! I think I'll opt out of this portion.  Actually, most of the blogs I read are pretty good, so it would be hard to choose anyway.

Again I want to thank Erin for nominating me for this award!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I was reading my Bible this morning and I came across this passage in Isaiah. Most of you probably know it, even by heart, and so do I, but this morning it caused a deep thankfulness and humility to rise up in my heart.

This is the Ultimate Sacrifice.

And ultimately, this is the reason I'm here.

He has no form or comeliness
and when we see Him,
there is no beauty that we
should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected
by men, 
a Man of sorrows and
acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were,
our faces from Him.
He was despised
and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows,
yet we esteemed Him
smitten by God
and afflicted.

But He was wounded
for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities.
The chastisement for our peace
was upon Him,
and by His stripes
we are healed.

All we like sheep
have gone astray.
We have turned, every one,
to his own way,
and the Lord has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed
and He was afflicted,
yet He opened not His mouth.
He was led as a lamb
to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers
is silent,
so He opened not His mouth.

He was taken from prison
and from judgement
and who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from
the land of the living.
For the transgressions 
of My people 
He was stricken.

And they made His grave
with the wicked~
But with the rich at His death
because He had done no violence
nor was any deceit
in His mouth.
Isaiah 53:2-9

On this Sunday in November, the month of Thanksgiving, as I think about how everyone makes Halloween almost a national holiday, how Halloween has become a bigger holiday than Thanksgiving, I'm so glad for this remembrance. I'm so thankful! Really, I am.  Thanksgiving seems so commonplace, so banal.  Thanksgiving Day in our nation is now nothing more than a day to watch endless football, while Halloween, Dias de la Muerta, the Day of the Dead, becomes a national phenomenon!

Forgive me for injecting that tiny off-thought, but really, it isn't so out of context, because I'm so grateful that Jesus Christ allowed Himself to be led to the cross.  I have a new appreciation for that this year.  That is the reason my family celebrates Thanksgiving this year, and why I have a tongue to proclaim thanks! Oh, we're thankful for the Pilgrims and their brave journey here, but.....

Jesus Christ died on the cross.

His blood is the redemption of mankind.  Still.

His hanging on that cross is the reason I have a place in Glory beside Him.

That's what my family is going to be celebrating this Thanksgiving, and on this 11th day of November, that's the next thing on my Thankful List!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I'm jumping on the Day of Thanksgiving bandwagon, folks.

I will be honest with you, I have never been a joyful person.

I am usually solitary and deep and intense and well, difficult in that I am passionate and serious and very committed to what I love or do not love.

I mean, I'm happy. I can laugh. I recognize humor.

But joy? 

Recently I started a Beth Moore Bible study on James called "Mercy Triumphs", and she talks a lot about the Lord restoring joy.

I did not understand this because I have never had that kind of deep joy.  I have never been a happy-go-lucky optimist.  So, I was ready to see how something that I had never had could actually be restored.

What God has been saying to me is that He gives.  He likes to lavish.  He likes to do the unexpected for those who think they just don't have it or aren't ready for it or don't deserve it.  I fall into all of those categories! 

I really have been trying to wrap my mind around how this is going to look, this restoration of joy.....and I've gotten tremendous wisdom in the past few weeks, and it's all confirmation of one overarching principle:

Thankfulness births deep and abiding joy.

I've heard and read lately about Thankful Journals and blogumentaries on daily and weekly thankfulness and posting around your home what you're thankful for, and okay, I'm convinced.

I'm convinced that there is something very intrinsic in that principle that is sorely lacking in my life right now.  I believe I have hit on the key to real joy.  And I really believe the Lord is calling me to remember how blessed I am.

So, I'm going to do it.  And I'm starting today.  Will you bear with me?

I'm starting with 8 things I'm thankful for, and here they are!

  1. I'm thankful for my hyper-sensitive taste buds.  By this I mean I have a very developed and very sensitive taster.  I am a major foodie and I love that I can taste very well.
  2. I'm thankful that my girls ask me questions about everything under the sun! It means they trust me and it means that maybe I do have some wisdom outside of Daddy to bring to the table.  
  3. I'm thankful for my shower.  I can hop in any time I want and it's such a pleasure to feel so clean and refreshed.
  4. I'm thankful for Lucie.  Her almost-4-year-old personality is, quite frankly, totally adorable! A week or so ago I made a smoothie and gave her some.  She went out to the living room with it, but soon she came running in to the kitchen and she said to me, "Ummm, all I have to say is YUM!" Oh that girl....I'm so glad to have her!
  5. I'm thankful that I got to carry this baby as long as I did.  
  6. I'm thankful for open lines of communication with my Lord Jesus Christ.  I'm thankful that I can open my Bible and reaffirm the fact that indeed, He hears and wants to know each and every thing that is on my mind!
  7. I'm thankful for paper.  I'm thankful that I am a Paper and Pen Freak.  Yes, I'm addicted! Index cards, good paper, journals, notebooks..I love them all and I'm thankful that I can have paper to write on any time I want.
  8. And lastly, I'm thankful for friends who force me to let them bless me and who are willing to keep asking me to accept blessings.  This has been majorly cathartic in my life lately.
I hope to keep up on this regularly, and I hope you can bear with all of this!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

He Hears

"You number my wanderings,
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?"
Psalm 56:8

I read this verse this morning in my Bible reading, and it was SO reassuring.  I know that His eye is always on me.  I love that I can confirm that any time I read His word.  His word is what I'm standing on right now.  It's my foundation, and it always is.  God's word is what is helping me to stay sane! I like that all of the verses I have written down on index cards or the chalk board or pieces of paper come back to me in the most critical moments in my life.  I am trying so hard to hide His word in my heart.

I really like Ruth Bell Graham.  Now, I didn't always agree with her philosophies or her belief system, but she was a very wise woman.  She was a brilliant writer, and I have most of her published books.  I've read them many, many times over the years and gained so much insight and most of all, comfort for my heart.  

I have a little booklet written by her called "Letters From Ruth's Attic".  Ruth Bell Graham was a notorious pack rat.  Her attic was jam-packed with papers and old books and journals that she just couldn't bear to throw away.  Her attic was like another world lost in a precious time warp! I wish I could have known her and gotten to see her attic!

This morning I was taking in the reading for today (Day 6) and it was really what I needed to hear, and a concrete confirmation of a word I gave last night at a meeting of a women's group of which I'm part.  I share it this morning with you because this idea, this principal, always needs to be reaffirmed to us.  We always need to hear things more than once for them to really get planted in our hearts, don't we? At least, I do!

I share it with you in hopes that you will remember one of the most fundamental and foundational promises He gave us!

Ruth says:

"The cat had kittens on the daybed in the downstairs guest room.  We didn't think that was such a good idea, so we collected them and placed them on rags in a box in front of the kitchen fireplace until we could come up with something more suitable.  
But the mother cat had a mind of her own! We watched with amusement as she entered the kitchen silently, stood on her hind legs, front legs on the box, sniffing for her babies. Then, leaping nimbly over the side, she checked them over, picked one up by the nape of the neck, leaped out, and quietly returned her baby to the daybed.  This was repeated until all that was left was the runt of the litter.
She did not come back. She may have been exhausted from her efforts, or she may have been busy playing lunch counter to the others.  We waited.
Finally, the tiny scrap at the bottom of the box let out more of a squeak than a mew.  It was almost a non-sound.
Instantly, soundlessly, the mama cat appeared, bounded into the box, grabbed that baby and carried it back to the guest room. Three doors, two rooms and two hallways away, and yet she heard. It wasn't even a full-fledged cry!
Nor are our prayers necessarily full-fledged prayers~or even articulated cries for help.  According to the Bible, God responds to our sighs, our tears and our murmurs.  Even our longings can be interpreted as prayer.  John Trapp said in his commentary on Psalm 145, 'The Lord is near to all that call upon Him, yea, He can feel breath when no voice can be heard for faintness.'"

Aren't you glad? Does that comfort your heart as it does mine?? Know that the Lord hears you whisper.  He hears the groaning of your spirit.  His ear is attuned to your cry.  That is such reassuring knowledge!

"The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.  He fulfills the desires of those who fear him. He hears their cry and saves them."

Monday, November 5, 2012


I want to thank all of you who left me sweet comments!!

I try to leave comments for you on Google friend connect, but for some reason, it doesn't recognize that I am trying to sign in to leave comments for all of you and I have to sign in again and again and again, to no avail.


So, please allow me to take this post to thank those of you who left comments for me on my last post.

I have a couple of your email addresses so I can get back to you that way.

But just know that I am extremely grateful for your prayers.

Nothing has happened yet.  This is something that is very hard, probably the hardest part of the whole thing, the waiting.

My mind has even told me that the dr was wrong.  They made a mistake.  Baby's still in there and still alive.

Especially since I crave PB&J something fierce.


I just want to ask that you keep praying for us.  I just want this phase to be over with.  I want to go on with the next step that God has for me.  I'm not sure what it is, but it's got to be better than this infernal waiting.

Tick. Tock.  Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock......

Endless ticking.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Unexpected Silence

There really is no way to frost this post to make it look pretty.

It shatters me, no matter from what angle I look.

So, let's begin.

I've had a big, exciting secret.

I'm pregnant.

I was waiting and planning just the right time to do a post on my blog.  Would I  put a "Big Sister" shirt on Pennie and take a picture to post? Would I record a little ditty about our baby? I had spent the last weeks looking for a creative, unique way to tell my blog world that we were expecting, but I felt myself waiting for the very perfect moment.

I got to see the baby at my first 7 week appointment.  There was a little peanut on that screen!! And the first thing I saw was that teenie, minuscule heart beating!!! I was floored.  I was riveted.  I had never gotten to see my baby's heart beating when she was that tiny in my womb.

And I was feeling siiiiick.  I was so queasy all day.  "Morning sickness" is a myth, gals.  I'm sure you know that.  I was so tired I would fall asleep on the couch before noon.  And STARVING! And craving.....

I was so happy to take that picture of our little baby home with me!

At this point, we were not going to tell anyone.  I did pick two of my friends to tell, just because I think I would burst if I didn't tell someone!

This pregnancy has been so important to us, because we had been trying for another baby for so long. We had been trying for over a year.  Early on in our trying, I would take a pregnancy test every month, because I was just SURE that month would be IT! And it wasn't.  And it wasn't.  And it wasn't, again.  Weeks passed.  They turned into months, and the months became a year.  And then it was over a year.

At the end of July, I started to act strange.

My husband told me to go immediately take a test.  I didn't want to because long ago I had given up on my fertility and thought that maybe the tons of blank and empty pregnancy tests were God's way of telling me my childbearing days were over.  

But I caved and took a test.

And it was positive.  I think I forgot how to read when I looked at that first test because I just stared at it in shock and disbelief.  It probably took less than a minute to trumpet the word "Pregnant" across the screen, but I bet I sat there for at least 5 minutes, just staring at it.

I was so shocked that I took another test.

My husband had told me to take a test, but he didn't know when I was going to take it.  

I came out of the bathroom and handed the stick to him. 

A huge smile lit up his face and he began to laugh.

We called everybody around Daddy, and we passed the stick to Hannah.

Everyone was looking over her shoulder.

There were gasps and shouts and we were all celebrating together.

So, after that initial doctor's appointment and ultrasound, I took possession of this baby.  I named her.  I was certain it was a girl.  I began to fantasize about tiny baby feet and sweet smelling newborn skin and how blessed our baby would be because I had saved all of my baby girl stuff.

I left the doctor's office with that precious black and white picture in my hand and an appointment for my next appointment at three months.

It seemed that those 6 weeks between appointments dragged at a sloth's pace!

But finally, Monday the 29th was the day! I would get to see my baby again! 

I was nervous.  I was excited.  I just couldn't wait!

Sara, Kellie and I loaded up in the car and set out on our 45 minute trip.

We got there with time to spare.

They called us back very quickly.

The girls came in with me to the sonogram room.

The room was dim and peaceful and yet, I could hear the whispers of memories past.....

I laid down on the sheet-shrouded bed.  The tech covered my legs and squeezed the wet, warm gel on my middle.  I had to concentrate to not hyperventilate in my nervous excitement!

He placed the wand on my middle and there was our baby.

Whole.  Perfectly formed.  


Where was that heartbeat that I had seen bumping along 6 weeks ago?

"It doesn't look good."

I turned my head to look at him.


"I need to go get Dr W."

I was still staring at him, my eyes piercing him like laser points of dread and fear.

"What is it? What's wrong?"

"There's no heartbeat."

And I cried out to God.

Please, Lord.


Dr. W said our baby's measuring at 9.5 weeks.

All of those weeks begging the Lord to let our baby come home to us and live with us.....all of those fantasies and lemon drop thoughts! 


The sound that I most wanted to hear, the melody that I most wanted to sing along with is not to be.  There was no sound.


So friends, I write this post to tell you that though I am almost 13 weeks pregnant today, my baby has gone to Heaven to be with her God.  I was not expecting to hear that silence.  I was sure that my heart could not shatter into any more pieces.  

On the drive home, all I could hear in my mind, over and over.....our baby's dead...our baby's dead....our baby's dead.....

I got to see on the ultrasound that she was perfect.  Everything looked great.  The doctor didn't know what to say.

Now the road that I'm on, this winding, rocky road of grief and sorrow, must lengthen again.  I cannot take a free ride yet.  The path is dry and the dust blows into my eyes so that I cannot see the end.  My mouth is parched and I've never been so thirsty.  My feet plod on, devoid of strength.  My heart faints within me.  I don't want to, but I have to ask.....

God, where are You??

I ask for your prayers during the next several weeks.  The doctor was fine with me waiting for things to happen naturally.  This is my fourth time, so I know what to expect.  We've been here before, but that doesn't make it any easier.

We wanted this baby very much.

And so, we say goodbye to her.  We will never forget.  She will always hold a place in our hearts.  How can I wish her back to my womb when she dances before the Lord? How can I want her back here when she beholds the very face of God??

Meanwhile, down here on this ball of clay, I must put one foot in front of the other.