Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Sooooo.... EXCITED!!!

Tomorrow I am leaving my little town to go and see two of my FAVORITE people...

Love my Mommy and Jim-Dad to pieces!!!

I also plan to see this gal...
One the best pals a sister could have!
Plus three of my FAVORITE boys...

And just so my brother-in-law doesn't feel left out, I will include a picture of "Kirkaroni" too. He deserves it for putting up with all of us.

So, as you can see I'm excited to see my family this weekend. I might try to post while I am away, if my sister lets me borrow her computer, but if you don't hear from me for a few days, nothing is wrong, just celebrating the beautiful holiday weekend with the people I love most in the world.
Don't worry, I'll take pictures. Our family ALWAYS takes pictures. Of course that "Rascally" sister of mine might steal them and post them first, like ALWAYS, but HEY, I guess that is what sisters are for. Love her anyway! :)
Have a beautiful Good Friday and Resurrection Day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jordan's got the fever...

You know it is spring time around our house when...

You don't see the hubby and man child until dark every evening. (Except Wednesdays and Sundays!)

You hear phrases like; "The one that got away," "It was HUGE!!!" and "I had him hook, line and sinker."

All of a sudden baby boy (gosh he HATES it when I call him that!) mopes around when dad has to work late...

My son spends his allowance on a new rod and reel...

These are my son's favorite shoes...

A basket full of these brings a huge smile...

Like Father, like son. They have fishing on the brain these days. Gosh, I love the fact that they spend so much quality and quantity time together...

My little boy has caught the fever, and he has got it bad!!! (Isn't he just too cute?!!!)

Happy Spring! It was BEAUTIFUL here today...

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Roller Coaster Named "Cancer."

Several years back, my mother-in-law discovered she had breast cancer. She was able to have the mass removed, had radiation and got on with her life. She would go back for her regular checkups and they would clear her for another year.

Until this year... Mr. Cancer decided to show it's ugly face once again. This time in the other breast. OK. The mass was removed. No problem. She will just have another round of radiation. It worked last time just fine.

WRONG. Because this time there were cancer cells found in the lymph nodes. UGH! They decide she will have to have chemo. OK. We will deal with it...

WRONG. A test was sent off that said it wasn't bad enough to have to undergo the stress of chemo and that radiation should do the trick... Praise the Lord!

WAIT. She just had another scan and test run. They found a spot on her liver. It is a small spot and they have no idea, YET, what the spot is... she goes tomorrow for more tests.

I feel like we are on a roller coaster ride. Up and down, in and out, highs and lows... Radiation, radiation and chemo, radiation, undecided... Please keep this precious woman in your prayers. I am so proud of her, for she has remained upbeat, but unfortunately with every turn and swerve and different things doctors say, well it is hard not to worry and fear the unknown.

Tomorrow she goes for more testing to see what the spot on the liver is. It could be ANYTHING. We are keeping the faith and staying positive.

Thanks Friends!

Prayers and blessings...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Day is Dawning...

Today was good. I shopped. The guys fished. Kayla slept in. We ended the day by going to a wedding. Today was good.

Then why am I so sad?

I think it is because Spring Break has come to an end. AND I AM NOT READY TO GO BACK TO WORK!!!

Yet, I know it is necessary for now.

One of my hubby's favorite choruses is "The Day is Dawning." I found it today on YouTube and just listened to the words, letting them soak in, while humming along. I thought I would share it with you.

This song goes out to all the moms (and dads) who need a little boost and reminder of where our strength does come from, to meet the daily needs of our family and others.

Hope you have a beautiful Sunday! May you find the strength you need in the Savior to find your way through this week...

Prayers and blessings...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It Started With a Prayer and a Phone Call...

As I have said before, my hubby likes to take a trip during Spring Break. Sometimes it is a mission trip, sometimes a conference, and sometimes just a retreat. There are a group of wonderful ladies in our church who have a heart for missions. Their goal was to originally plan a BIG mission trip for the whole church. It fell through and my hubby was left with NOTHING for his kids to do during the break. So he did the only thing he knew to do...He PRAYED.

His prayer was that in the next week God would show him what he needed to do and plan and where. If he didn't receive a clear cut answer then he would wait patiently and assume that maybe missions was not in the Lord's plans for our Spring Break this year.
A few days later, this man calls...

This is not just any guy, this is one of my hubby's oldest and dearest friends. They go back to college. Todd was Kevin's RA his first year and the friendship grew. (They were the same age, but Kevin had transferred, so he practically lost his first year of college.) Todd and his wife were in our wedding and present at the the birth of our children. Kev and I were at the hospital for a couple of his babies (HE HAS FIVE!) to be born as well. Because of their busy lives, Kev and Todd do not see or talk to each other much, but when they do, NOTHING has changed. They know they can count on each other ALWAYS.

So out of the blue, Todd calls. And you will never guess what he wants... He needs a small group of kids to help his small, but growing church with some mission projects. HELLO?!!! Kev, received an answer to his prayer, LOUD AND CLEAR. "Ask and you shall receive."

So, we took a group of twenty two. We helped a ninety two year old with her super duper BIG yard. We demolished a porch and helped rebuild. We spent some time at a couple of "soup" kitchens, and we held a small "kids conference" in the evenings.

Small group of youth helping a small church with several small jobs, including ministering to a small group of kids, yet there were BIG rewards. Friendships made. Ministry done. And on the last night, one little boy was SAVED. It doesn't get much better than that.
I have to be honest, I didn't want to go in the beginning. I had the week off and I wanted to be lazy and caught up on my cleaning. But my family really wanted to me to go, my son wanted to go (he could only go if I went.) and I now know God really wanted me to go too. There has been a lot of grief going on in our town, with the passing of "Mary." Her quick passing, reminded me of how precious life is, how very important spending every moment available with my family is, especially when they want to give up their free time to minister to others. I was reminded of our calling "Until the whole word hears..."

We may not have done a lot of witnessing. We may not have gone to the "ends of the earth" with the gospel. But let me tell you what we did do... we showed a little of Jesus when we hugged and played with his kids. We showed three ladies Jesus when we served without compliant and did for them what they were unable to do for themselves. We showed Jesus to the homeless, when we helped served them food and water. Little things, yet they all lead to a bigger purpose. We may never visually see that purpose, but God has a plan for sure.

So, I slept on the floor, but God provided us with camp mattresses. We had hot showers everyday and wonderful food provided for us morning, noon and night. God took care of us BIG TIME! I can't even honestly say we "suffered" for Jesus. In fact, I think truthfully this trip may have been more about God teaching me, showing me the ministry opportunities even among our own group of kiddos and encouraging Kev and I to keep plugging along in serving Him. I received a blessing for sure.

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

Kevin with Todd and Randy (another college pal who now serves as music minster at Todd's church.)

Kevin leading worship. This was a fun song for the kids, talking about dancing and "leaping" for joy. the girls in our group had a blast with it.

Kayla, sorting clothes at the soup kitchen.

Again, Kayla at the soup kitchen. She is going to help serve the meal.

Jordan, the demolition man and builder.

Kayla, making a new friend.

Jordan playing games with the kids.

My family. Gotta love them. They have big hearts for ministry.

Hope you are having a beautiful week!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I went, I worked, I was blessed...

Well, we made it back home from an AWESOME trip. It was a small group, with small goals, but GOD IS BIG! And my family and I are oh so very tired.

I promise, tomorrow, to catch up on all my friends in bloggy world and their news of the day. I also promise to blog about my trip. But for tonight, I will leave you with a few pictures of my family and call it a night.

I AM glad I went...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"There is a time..."

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build

a time to weep and a time to laugh

a time to mourn and a time to dance

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them

a time to embrace and a time to refrain

a time to search and a time to give up

a time to keep and a time to throw away

a time to tear and a time to mend

a time to be silent and a time to speak

a time to love and a time to hate

a time for war and a time for peace

What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time."

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11


It was in the wee morning hours that the phone rang, this morning. Startled, I answered. It was the hubby, we had locked him out of the house. He had just arrived back from a long night at the hospital with a family in our church. The events of yesterday afternoon, led to a long wait at the local hospital and ended at the hospital in Little Rock. He and our music minister and head deacon had finally come back home after a long wait.

As he came in the door, his red eyes said it all...

"It is not good. She is not going to make it."

At that moment I felt sick. Literally thought I was going to throw up. I went and laid back down and did not move as my thoughts ran rampant. WOW! Wasn't it just last Sunday I had sat by "Mary" and her daughter at a wedding shower? They were so cute in their matching colored tops... Wednesday night, she was the mom with "pre" wedding jitters... Yesterday morning, she was the mom getting ready for a wedding... Yesterday afternoon she was "not herself" with a horrible headache... Last night she has a mass on her brain that has ruptured and is need of a miracle...

My hubby quietly says in the dark, "Moments like this make me realize how much I really do love you."

"You just never know what the next moment holds." I spoke my thoughts aloud.

This life we live is like a roller coaster ride. There are slow steps of anticipating the mountain top ahead, only to hit the valleys at full speed in seconds. It knocks us from side to side, turns our world upside down only to slow down to fulfillment at the end of the journey. We grow up knowing about the hard knocks of life. We experience them, see them, hear about them, watch them on the news. Yet nothing prepares us for those high speed valleys. Nothing. All we can do is pray our seat belt doesn't break, hold on tight and hope we survive the ride...

The hardest part of my husband's job as a minister is this... waiting for a miracle with the families. What do you say? What can you say? All you can really do is simply "be there" and pray. This is where life gets really tough. This is when you wonder how God chooses to heal and who to take on "home." This is when it takes every ounce of faith you have to continue keeping the faith.

Last week our interim pastor talked about "Hope at the end of our rope..." He said so many times we want to ask "why?" Yet, that should not be our question. Our question should be "How do you want me to respond to the situation at hand?"

"Do not try to figure out the love of God through circumstances... know who God is from His word." In other words if we search for the "whys" we will never get answers. If we chose to simply KNOW who GOD is and put our total TRUST IN HIM, then he will bring strength during the tough times.

If anything, this whole situation has reminded me of how precious life is. That we need to "stop and smell the roses" at every turn. The last few months have made me realize this more and more. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. My nephew had an accident. We are told that one of our 18 year olds, a former member of our youth group is pregnant. Today, that same girl is praying for her mother's life. "There is a time..."

Tomorrow I leave for a mission project. Time to spend with my little family, while serving a God that I believe in. I plan on cherishing this time. A may not understand the journeyof life before me, but I am so thankful He has promised me a "happily ever after ending."

Dear friends, I pray you have a wonderful week, wrapped in the Father's love. I will be back Wednesday. Say a prayer for us...

Please continue to pray for Mary's beautiful family. Her husband has a lot on his plate right now. A pending wedding, a grandbaby on the way, two small foster kids under six years and the loss of two incomes, for Mary worked two jobs. And of course the loss of his best friend and life partner. (They took her off the ventilator this morning. Now it is a waiting game and totally in the Lord's hands.)

On a side note, our family did receive a "miracle" yesterday. My mother-in-law went to the doctor yesterday and received news that the test that they sent off, stated that she will not have to have chemo after all. They think radiation will be enough. We are doing a "happy dance," over small blessings. Thanks for all your prayers for her.

Sawyer celebrate his birthday today. I am so thankful for the miracle of him.

"There is a time..."

Do me a favor... go hug someone today and tell them how much you love them. Life is so very precious, I personally don't want to waste a moment!

Blessings and prayers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

An Update to prayer, and a HUGE prayer request, all while having Missions on the mind...

Well friends, spring break has officially arrived, as of 3:00, in our small town. Grades were handed out at the middle school, (Kayla made all "A's." Yeah!) Jordan had what he called a "great afternoon," with a little extra fun at school and Popsicles. I left work, at 4:30, starting a week long vacation...

WAIT! Did I say "VACATION?!!!"

If you call traveling for a few hours, sleeping on the floor, having a shower schedule, leading crafts, doing yard work, working in a soup kitchen and possibly building a porch, while chaperoning teenagers a VACATION, then WHY YES! BY GOLLY I"M VACATIONING!!!

Every year during Spring Break, the hubby plans a small event for the youth of our church. Sometimes it is missions, sometimes a conference. This year about 23 of us will be headed to another Arkansas town to help a good pastor friend with a few needed ministries around his church. We are suppose to help with a two night kid's camp, help a few of their elderly with yard work, building porches and repairing a few things and going into downtown to help with a soup kitchen ministry that they have.

My job? Crafts at the kid's camp and keeping tabs on some pretty special teenagers. I have to be honest, I haven't been too excited. I had the week off to spend with my family and then this mission project camp up. The thought of enjoying being home for a week, doing a little spring cleaning has been calling my name. I also wanted to wait and see how my nephew was doing. In other words, I wasn't going to go unless I was needed.

Well two other ladies are going, and I could stay home, but I am headed out on Sunday, anyway. WHY? Because my son really wants to go. Because the girls in the youth group really want me to go. Because the hubby wants me to go. Because I think God really wants me to go.

Although, the desire to stay home has been strong, there has been conviction mingled in there, telling me that there are more important things, telling me to set the example for my children, telling me that not everything is about ME.

So, I plan to leave on Sunday full of excitement over this little adventure and then come back with a camera full of pictures and plenty of wonderful stories to tell. God is so very good!

Pray for us please. Sometimes the little mission trips like these get forgotten and don't sound quite as exciting as if I was telling you I was going to Mexico or Africa. No, we are going to meet the needs of some individuals in our own state this trip. Every now and then you need to hug and minister to your own too!


I know many of you are wondering about my nephew Sawyer. Great news! Today, he is not in pain. The disk is no longer sitting on a nerve for now. . He is going to be monitored, having regular check ups. If it starts causing him pain again, he is to go immediately to the hospital and they will talk further about what can be done. He could have pain tomorrow or he may spend the rest of his life pain free. They just don't want to do major surgery if it is not necessary.

He is, however, to give up all contact sports, at least for now. His dream of playing football is now certainly out of the question. However, he is OK to play baseball for now.

We are thanking the Lord that he is a happy, little boy again. Thanks for the prayers.

I have an urgent prayer request. My hubby is at the hospital now, with a family from our church. I am going to call her "Mary" for now. Mary was up at the church preparing for her daughter's wedding tomorrow, when she had what my husband called an "episode." They took her to the hospital and found a mass on her brain. I do not know more details than that right now. I do know that it doesn't look good. Please keep her in your prayers, as well as her family.

Thanks Friends! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

That's My "Jorboy!"

My son.

What can I say?

He is a people pleasing personality just like his dear mom. He is totally in awe of his daddy, just like his dear mom. He is a fearful one, a worrier, and just a tad selfish, just like his dear mom.

Now as for the stubborn, energetic, can't sit still, "don't want to miss a thing," with just a little temper, that part of his personality, is ALL JUST LIKE DEAR DAD!!!
And then there is his intelligence... God just worked a miracle in there and graced us with two smart kiddos. WOW! I think the good Lord knew I would be NO help with the homework! Did I tell you about the time I had to Google to help Kayla with her math... There is a reason this mom doesn't home school! (Although I admire and envy all of you who do!!!)
Anyway, Jorboy got his grades tonight and dear mom here, is very proud! He came in the house all worried because he did get a "B" this time, but I quickly told him that he had nothing to be ashamed of. He made an 89% in Math. One point from an "A." We even know why... there was one test that did him in. That one test brought his grade down, and Jordan is not too happy about it. How much you want to bet he tries even harder in math the next few weeks? He is harder on himself than I ever could be.
Here are his grades:
Spelling = 98
Language Arts = 96
Reading = 97
Mathematics = 89
Science = 97

I am so proud of my little boy! (He hates it when I call him "little.")

Did I tell you that he can also frustrate me to no end? You see, Jordan is too much like me. The traits he does share with dad are sometimes the traits that frustrate me about "dad" too, so there you have it! He can argue the life out of any situation. And sometimes he will not "argue" and just do things "his way." UGH! That boy!!!
For example...

School pictures.

Last year I blogged about how he didn't tell me it was school picture day, so I had absolutely no idea what he looked like. Although I was mad that he didn't tell me anything, it turned out to be one of his best school pictures EVER!

Isn't he adorable! I just love him to pieces!!!

Sorry, got a little off track... fast forward to this year. I KNEW about pictures this year, had the cute sweater picked out and everything. Then I get this...

Hello?!!! Where is the cute brown sweater?

"I didn't want to wear it."

"OK, but WHY are you wearing a pullover?!!!"

"Because I wasn't wearing a nice shirt under it."

And there you have it people. When stubbornness mixes with all boy, the outcome is a pullover.

But, once again, he made a really cute picture...
"But a pullover?!!! REALLY?!!!"
I still forked over the forty bucks.
Hey, at least his hair was combed!!!

Gotta love that kid!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

She's so "Prettiful."

See this cute one? That is my bow wearin', music blastin', fun lovin' baby doll. I'm pretty proud of her these days. She can be so full of drama sometimes, that she makes me laugh, yet she has the biggest heart I know. I am in awe of her "I don't care what they think" attitude, because I am so much a people pleaser. I love that she is drawn to the underdogs in life and just wants to help. And I envy her BOLD, fun, sense of style.
Today, it seemed that everywhere I turned there was someone complimenting me on my little girl...
There was "Mrs. Beth" who said "Michele, don't you dare say anything to that girl about her style. She is so very cute!!! (Mrs. Beth is old enough to be Kayla's grandma, so that was so sweet coming from her generation.)
"Mrs. Jane" who works at our local children's home, stated that the young teenage girls think the world of Kayla. That she is the one person in the youth group who goes out of her way to befriend them. They call her friend.
"Mrs. Karen" loves how Kayla is not afraid to discuss the Bible, ask questions and learn in Bible study.
And I also had three other ladies and one man at church today tell me that Kayla was a "sweetie," and a "keeper."
Oh, what that does to the heart of the mom of a thirteen year old girl. Thanks Lord, for helping me raise this beautiful child. I pray everyday that she stays this way through the years to come.
To let you know how sweet she can be, I'm going to tell you what she did tonight...
Kayla babysat this afternoon for Kevin's secretary. She paid Kayla, even though Kayla said she didn't have to. So Kay decided to take the family out for dinner after church tonight on her earnings. Her words were "Mom, I just want to do something for you, for a change!" Is that not the sweetest?! I plan on paying her at least some of it back, because she did earn the money and dinner at her favorite place on a Sunday night, for a family of four is expensive, BUT the fact that she wanted to, means the world to this mom. I'm blessed.
As we were driving in the car to dinner, we were looking at the beautiful sunset. I mean it was a gorgeous piece of artwork tonight, Lord!!! Anyway, Kay said it was "prettiful."
No Kayla, you are the one that is "prettiful."
Mommy loves you very much!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Doing a "Happy Dance" and our week in pictures...

If you have read my blog for long or received a comment from me, then you know I love to "happy dance." My expression for Woo! Hoo! "Praise the Lord, People!!!" I am certainly doing a happy dance today!!! Miracles, big and small, DO HAPPEN!!!

As you know my sweet, redheaded nephew has been suffering from a lot of pain due to an accident last weekend. He has been on a lot of medication and they have been trying to patiently wait for an appointment to see the neurologist. It was going to be THREE weeks, so we prayed. It was then moved to TWO weeks, so we did a lot more praying. His appointment time has now been moved up to the 18Th!!! I'm still praying for an earlier time, so they can get back to life as they once knew it, sooner, but every little step is a blessing and answered prayer from the Lord.

But wait...that is not all I'm dancing about. Sawyer has been feeling good, able to move around and be a little kid and rest at night, without the heavy pain meds. When my mom asked him today if he hurt, his reply was "just a little, but I'm OK." A BIG leap from the nights of screaming pain... OH friends, GOD IS GOOD!!!

Thanks so much for the prayers. I will continue to keep you posted on his recovery and prayerfully the good news they do receive when his visit to the doctor arrives. Please continue to keep him on you prayer list, for he is by no means out of the woods yet. We are just thankful that he is having moments of rest and feeling good. I think he even had enough energy to fight with his brothers when they came back home today... yep, feeling like himself again. :)

Since I have been posting a lot about Sawyer this week, I guess you have been wondering what my hubby and the kids have been up too (well, at least just pretend you want to know.) I took pictures, just for you...

Yesterday, my daughter cooked dinner, all by herself, for the first time. She made spaghetti with crescent rolls. I thought she did very well and was so proud of her.

Kevin and Jordan have been going fishing about every free night this week. My hubby loves to fish and has been taking our kids since they were small. They can bait and reel like no body's business. Since the weather has been warmer and beautiful, I don't see them till dark and dinner is ready.

My daughter has her own style these days. Sometimes I think it is really cute. Sometimes I look at her and think "what are you thinking?!!!" And sometimes I just simply shrug and go on. I'm picking my battles, so unless it is not modest, then she is free to express herself.

I leave before they go to school in the morning, so dad takes them. I can count on him to make sure she is modest, but I never know what array of colors, hairstyles, etc...will greet me when I come home in the afternoon. Today, she was classic preppy, with a polo style shirt, and she decided to wear the famous pigtails that she is known for...

Isn't she cute?!!!

Have you met our dog? She is in need of a bath!!!

My mother-in-law will have to undergo Chemotherapy. They did find cancer present in her lymph nodes. Please say a prayer for her. This is not an easy journey for her, as you can imagine.

One thing my mother-in-law loves are her flowers. As long as I have known her and Papa, they have had a beautiful garden and flowerbeds. The other day she picked me a beautiful bouquet for my table. They smelled so good and so springy!

I have been so good lately. I'm not really on a diet, but I have drank NOTHING but water for over two weeks and I really feel better. And I am not snacking a whole lot between meals. However, I had forgotten that I had helped a teenager out and bought a package of yummy goodness a while back for a fundraiser at school. HELLO?!!! The hubby brings my purchase in the door this afternoon... I have a weakness for these...

I was good and only had two out of the whole box.

Well, Easter is fast approaching. As you may have heard, I love doing crafts. My sis always thought I should have been an art teacher. She is probably right. I love being crafty with kids. Today at school, my babies and I did an art project for Easter. I am going to put them on my door. I finished them up tonight and thought I would share them with you. Aren't they precious?

If you can't tell, I used their footprints for the ears of the rabbits.

Well friends, this has been one crazy week! Thanks for coming along on the ride with me.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

prayers and blessings...

I would like to dedicate this song to...

This has become one of my "new" favorite songs...

I would like to dedicate this song to...

Every precious individual, who for whatever reason needs a "miracle" today. My hope comes from the Lord and I believe with all my heart He can change lives!!! There is nothing too small, that He doesn't care about, nor too great, that He can't handle.

As for Sawyer, thank you so much for the beautiful comments and prayers sent out on His behalf. My sister and I are truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of love.

Right now it is a waiting game. Just waiting till he gets in with the doctor. He is on pain meds which are finally helping him rest and at least move around a little more. He is a trooper and I thank God everyday for him.

Thanks once again!

Happy Friday! :)

Prayers and blessings...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tears on the pillow...

I got off the phone with my sister, last night, just plum frustrated. I had a car full of girls, on my way to Wednesday night youth at church. I enter the youth room and as soon as the hubby saw me, he asked, "Saw alright?" How do you answer that question?

I mean, nothing has changed. As of last night, he wasn't worse off, but the "same" is not good either. My almost eight year old nephew is still in severe pain. Everyday, it seems, they are changing his pain meds, because nothing seems to stop the hurting . He shows his "game" face during the day, trying so hard to be strong, yet at night screams like he is having night terrors... only what is haunting him is pain.

My sister is at the end of her rope. A frazzled mess of concern, exhaustion and fear. The unknown is never a good friend. She is trying to be strong, but when you can't even hold your little boy, to comfort him, because the pain is so great...

She got a call from the neurologist's office... three weeks. Yeah, you read right... THREE WEEKS till his appointment. She asked them if they realized that she had a seven year old on Valium!!! "Sorry." was the response. Her pediatrician was able to move the appointment up a week, but still... DOES ANYONE REALIZE HE IS JUST A LITTLE BOY?!!!

Did I tell you that my brother-in-law is sick? Not sure what is wrong with him, but the word "flu" was mentioned on the phone last night. I'm praying it is just a cold...

As I was writing in my journal last night, the words would not come. I'm not sure these days how to even pray. All I could do is weep, as a storm brewed outside. In a way it was as if the Heavens were weeping with me. This frustration that has been welling up inside of me had to be handed over.

You see, I'm the older sister, yet I feel my hands are tied. This time I couldn't simply stand up to the bullies, buy her an ice cream or say the right words to make "everything alright." This is so much bigger than any of us. AND I DON"T LIKE IT!!!

As the tears hit my pillow last night, I realized I would just have to let go. Two hours away, the greatest gift I can give my sister and nephew right now, is my faith. Prayers mingled with the tears... I believe in miracles!!!

"Lord, wrap my little Sawyer in your love today."

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An update on Sawyer...

Yesterday, as I talked to my sister, I was thanking the Lord, for small miracles. Sawyer handles yesterday like a pro and the news they got was on the positive side...or at least better than what we first thought. They still have a long road ahead, but our family appreciates all the prayers and sweet comments. Thanks so very much!

As I did yesterday, I am posting the latest email from Amb, so you can read for yourself what is going on...

Thank you so much for your prayers for Sawyer! Our family has felt them and have been soaking up all the love and encouragement. We are so blessed to have each of you.Sawyer had his MRI today, and he did amazingly well. He was so very nervous going in, but he was a PRO. The MRI tech even said that he was better than the majority of adults that come through. I believe it!! Those things freak me out!! But Sawyer was nothing but a man. SO PROUD OF HIM!

Again, thanks for those directed prayers. They were definitely answered this morning.I was able to speak with Sawyer's doctor this afternoon and was given the results of the MRI. It was good news. The MRI showed that Sawyer does not have any spinal cord damage or scarring, and that the calcified disc is not jutting into the cord. PRAISE THE LORD! At this point, they are still suspecting that the source of all of his pain is due to the protrusion of the disc and the possibility of its irritation of the spinal nerves. So, all in all, good news! We, however, still face the issue of the protruding disc and Sawyer's on-going pain. The plan right now is to meet with the neurosurgeon at Baptist in Little Rock and allow him to take it from here. Our pediatrician is working with us to keep Sawyer as comfortable as possible until that appointment. We are suspecting some type of surgery or procedure will have to be done to deal with the disc, but we won't know for sure what we are looking at until we meet with the neurosurgeon.

Sawyer remains in great spirits. He is still experiencing a significant amount of pain, but it seems as though the pain medication is helping to take the edge off of the majority of it. Nights are the hardest for him, as he finds it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. He still is unable to turn his neck in any direction, and, today, he has been having some trouble getting up out of the bed by himself. Sawyer is incredibly tough, and he continues to surprise us everyday with his lack of complaint and his good attitude.

Thanks again for your prayers, and we would appreciate them to continue whenever we might come to your mind. This process is nowhere close to being over, and we continue to wonder anxiously what the future will hold for Sawyer. Baseball and other sports are a huge part of who Sawyer is, and, right now, we are uncertain as to where his condition places him within that area. This situation has obviously taken over our lives and our home for the past several days, which has caused strain on the other two boys. I took them to my mom today, so that they could have some time away from the ordeal. Please pray for their peace and understanding as we focus on their brother right now.We are blessed to know all of you.

Thank you for approaching the Throne of The Great Physician alongside us.


Thanks friends! Hope you are having a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

About Sawyer...

Yesterday, I asked for prayer for one of my favorite little men in the world, my nephew Sawyer. He just plum makes me smile. Don't tell anyone, especially my other nephews, but Sawyer has always been a fav of this auntie. Not that I don't totally love the other two boys bunches, I do. The only children I love more than my precious nephews and my niece are my own children. They mean the world to me... that being said, Sawyer has always had this energy about him, that I just find so lovable. Maybe because he and my own son are so much alike in so many ways... maybe because he sports my mom's beautiful red hair...maybe because he is fearless and so very brave... whatever it is, he is my little hero this week.

I just heard that he made it through the MRI fine. Answered prayer. Although, I haven't heard anything else, right now, I do know they rested better last night. Prayer is a powerful drug, when used with the right amount of dosage of faith... I believe my Heavenly Father, has this little guy wrapped up tight in His love today!

I thought I would share an email I received from my sister, yesterday. If you are a bloggy friend of hers, then I know you probably have already read it, but for those of you who haven't and would like to know what happened and what exactly to pray for, here is a copy of her email from last night...

Oh, friends.

This has been a long and exhausting weekend. We are moving into very unknown territory, and your prayers are deeply coveted. Most of you have heard by now that Sawyer (our middle one...the ornery redhead!) had an accident on Saturday morning. Before I go any further, let me give you a little background on Saw. Those of you who know him well, know that he is the toughest little cookie around. He's very athletic and rarely complains with any kind of injury. So if Sawyer complains...we take notice. Back to Saturday....during Tate's soccer game, Sawyer was playing around on another field with a group of other kids. We didn't hear this story until we were in the car on the way home, but according to Sawyer, a big "teenager" pummeled him to the ground during their soccer game, and he fell on his neck.At this point, we just assumed it was bruised and just sore from the fall. Saturday night was a VERY restless night for all of us, with Sawyer up and complaining with his neck throughout the night. We are so blessed to be friends with and go to church with our pediatrician, so Sunday morning at church we caught him and had him take a look at Sawyer. Sawyer played tough, and our doctor said that it was probably just a "sprained neck." Throughout the day though on Sunday and through the night, Sawyer moved past the point of being able to pretend it didn't hurt anymore and was in all out pain. We didn't sleep a wink last night, and today has been the climax of his pain. He is unable to move his neck from side to side; has intense pain when raising his head up; and cannot stand for his neck to be touched.After the obvious change in his pain tolerance, we took him back to the pediatrician this morning. He saw a complete 180* difference in Sawyer from Sunday at church and sent us to the hospital for x-rays. X-rays led to a CT Scan. Which led to the phone call from our doctor today.Apparently Sawyer has a rare condition that has caused the disc between his 2nd and 3rd vertebrae to calcify (discs are partially made up of a spongy material -- Sawyer's, however, has turned to bone). The doctors and radiologists are presuming that the injury he sustained Saturday morning caused that boney disc to jar and shift and jut into his spinal cord. It is a rare condition, but from what they have told me so far, there is no danger of it being life-threatening. The problem, however, comes with the very intense pain that goes along with that pressure on the spinal cord.Sawyer has an MRI tomorrow morning to find out more about the spinal cord issue, and then we will be heading to Little Rock to meet with the neurosurgeon. From what I understand, a spinal surgery is really the only option for treatment, but again, we haven't met with the neurosurgeon yet. There is also a chance that he does only have a very minor injury to his muscle tissue, and the calcified disc is just a freak thing. We will find all of that out tomorrow.Right now, we are just trying to keep him as comfortable as possible and are just praying that rest will come. Like I said, Sawyer isn't a complainer, so this is hard on all of us because, in addition to the unknown, him being down and out is new territory for us. Thank you so much for your prayers and your thoughts. Sawyer is a fighter, and we believe in the power and wonder of our Father God, so we have no doubt that all will turn out well and to His Glory.

Love you all,


Thank you for your continued prayers...

Monday, March 8, 2010

I GOT MAIL!!! (Doing a happy dance...) But I also have a HUGE prayer request!!!

Last night as I was writing in my journal, I just prayed for peace for the week. I haven't been feeling too great, struggling to get rid of a cold and cough, so the thought of going to work was just plain YUCKY! Anyhoo, I just ask that there be a song in my heart, a skip in my step and that I would have the energy to make it through the day.

It may have been MONDAY, but friends, the SUN was shining here in small town ARKANSAS!!! Can I say BEAUTIFUL...?!!! Of course since it is Arkansas, we could have SNOW tomorrow, because that is how things roll around these parts, but for today, the beauty of the day simply took my breathe away. I would like to say, God painted the sky blue, added a bunch of fluffy clouds, let a few flowers start blooming and got the birds singing, just for me, just 'cause I asked. God and I are tight like that!!! :)

So here I am, being all "happy" because of the beautiful weather, when I go to pick up my mail. HELLO?!!! I got mail! Whoo! Hoo! Not the "I want your money," so I'm either sending you a bill or a catalogue kind of mail either! No, this was the fun kind of mail. I had actually won a giveaway from my dear bloggy pal Kat, (I never win anything!) so she was sending me my winnings, plus a few extra goodies. The girl knows I like me some jellybeans!!! Now, not only do I have a little sun shining, but I have two new books to read and a bag of jellybeans. See, I am not hard to please at all! Someone please tell the hubby that! Books and jellybeans, does it get any better than that?!!!

Oh yes, it does. You see, I have not had anything to drink for two whole weeks, but water. My sister is gagging right now, especially when I add that I haven't added any flavoring to my water either...just plain 'ol water. No soda. No juice. Nothing. Well, guess what, when I put on my jeans this morning, there wasn't that usual snugness. Is it the water? That is the only thing I've done different... Loose jeans? Now, that always makes a gal feel good. What a way to start the day....

So, do I still have a stack of bills to pay on the table? YES! Do I still feel like crud at times? YES! Am I fixin' to have to go clean on my dirty house? YES! Is it still Monday and I still have to go to work tomorrow? YES! Is it going to be Monday night soon and the Bachelor is over and I have no one to fuss at because he is picking the WRONG gal? Unfortunately, YES!!!

But, you know what?

"Today is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!"

I think I will do a happy dance just because... want to join me? What brought a smile to your face today?

Happy Monday, friends!
On a not so happy note, I ask that you say a prayer for my nephew Sawyer. He got hurt playing soccer Saturday and is in a lot of pain. My sister has spent the whole day at the Dr.'s office and hospital trying to find out what is wrong with our favorite redheaded little boy. I am not going to go into a lot of detail right now, mainly because I have absolutely no idea how to describe it, but I will say that he is having a lot of neck pain and is going for an MRI tomorrow. Sleep seems impossible for them, right now.
Please keep my little munchkin in your prayers. He is the most precious, loving little boy. So full of life and energy. He gives the best hugs and can belt out a song like nobody's business. He is so very dear to our hearts. I also ask for prayer for my Sis and BIL, because they are running on empty right now...
"Sawyer, your Auntie 'Chele loves you much and is praying for you!!!"
Sawyer and my sister, Amber.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Longing to be a Paradox?!!!

Strong enough to be weak.
Successful enough to fail.
Busy enough to take time.
Wise enough to say, "I don't know."
Serious enough to laugh.
Rich enough to be poor.
Right enough to say, "I'm wrong."
Compassionate enough to discipline.
Conservative enough to give freely.
Mature enough to be childlike.
Righteous enough to be a sinner.
Important enough to be last.
Courageous enough to fear God.
Planned enough to be spontaneous.
Controlled enough to be flexible.
Free enough to enjoy captivity.
Knowledgeable enough to ask questions.
Loving enough to be angry.
Great enough to be anonymous.
Assured enough to be rejected.
Stable enough to cry.
Victorious enough to lose.
Industrious enough to relax.
Leading enough to serve.
-Philip Brewer

Happy Sunday, Friends!!!

Did I say that?!!!

I was reading a post from an old high school friend. She was a little frustrated and down. I went to encourage her with a comment. All of a sudden my fingers typed away and this is what I wrote:

"I believe every turn in our lives will have its ups and downs. The "ups" are so we can be thankful. The "downs" are so we know "who" to be thankful to."

Did I just write that? And where did it come from? As I'm looking at the words staring me down from my computer screen, I am in a little awe. Whether God whispered in my ear and told me what to write, or I had read this somewhere (let me know if you have heard it before!) and it had subconsciously stayed with me, I do not know. What I do know is this...


Funny how that works sometimes. Either way, God once again found a way, to gently remind me, that HE is always there.

Thank you, Jesus!!!


I thought you might want to see some more pictures of Jim-Dad on his journey through Israel. I am so in awe of where he is walking and what he is seeing these days. Like I have said before, I have traveled all over the world, yet this adventure my dad is on, has him walking where Jesus once walked. Smelling and hearing the sights and sounds HE once heard. Experiencing the beauty of the places where HE was... (These pictures were taken by a fellow preacher, traveling with dad.) Whether, he is at the river, in the garden, walking down the road into the city, or standing in front of an empty tomb...WOW! I want to ask my dad if he could hear the echo of "Hosannas" while walking down the road? Could he feel the anguish of Jesus as he stood in the garden? What did he feel at the tomb, the EMPTY tomb? Oh the stories my dad will have to tell...

Please say a pray for me today. I'm afraid the winter season is getting the best of me. In my line of work I am slobbered on, snotted on and spit up on. The babies have all been fighting the nasty colds going around. Yesterday it all started to catch up with me. I have the CRUD. I feel like CRUD. Oh, with so much to do, on this, my one free day of the week.... Thanks!
Hope you have a beautiful weekend!!! It is certainly beautiful in my neck of the woods. The sun is shining...
But then, I do need to remember the SON is shining everyday, isn't HE?!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thursday Thoughts...

Hey Friends! Just me, Mich, rambling again. Actually, I would like to think of us all sitting around a table, sipping on our favorite beverage, having a grand 'ol visit. I would share about my day, my kiddos, maybe tell a funny story, show a picture or two and then you would return the favor. However, since I can't be with all my bloggy friends on this beautiful day, I thought we could do the next best thing...

Simply share.
I have no great words of inspiration today gals. No tear jerking, hearts and rainbow story to share. I don't even think I have a new joke to tell. What I do have? My thoughts and pictures from the day...
My day started on the late side. Yours truly had a very hard time rolling out of the bed. But, let it be said, I still made it to work on time. 7:00 A.M. My hair wasn't straightened or curled, so it looked a "hot mess" as we say around my part of the world. Definitely a ponytail kind of day!!! I'm wearing a work shirt. It has my name on it which tells the world who I am. Must be for the parent's sake, because my babies certainly can't read!!! :) There is baby snot and drool from shoulder to shoulder...good thing I'm not going anywhere! I have my new bluejeans on from Wally World (this mommy is broke, no named brands today!) and my black crocs.
Truthfully, I haven't worn my crocs to work in a while, but they were quick and easy to put on, and as I was running late... funny thing is, this mom of a two year old came in fussing about her little one insisting on wearing her crocs to school today, pretty bright pink shoes. She continued to fuss until she looked down at mine and said, "Well, since the teacher is wearing them, I guess it is OK, even if it IS WINTER!" Did I miss the rule about not wearing Kroc's in winter? (I do have socks on, so my footsies are warm.) I would hate to see what this lady would say about my daughter who wears her flip flops year round!!! :) Oh, and it was in the sixties today!!!
QUESTION#1 - What do you think, friends? Are you picky about the rules about dressing during certain seasons?
For lunch today, I had leftover homemade chicken noodle soup. Yummy! The kind out of the can makes me sick, because I think it reminds me of being sick. But when I make it from scratch, then I think I have mastered a totally yummy dish, that my family loves. I made cheeseburger pie Tuesday night, but unfortunately there were no leftovers. I'm on a roll, two home cooked meals, and I'm thinking about chicken spaghetti tonight. Now, if only we could find the time to sit down as a family together... (won't happen tonight, for the hubby is at ballgames!)

QUESTION#2 - Does your family find the time to have a meal daily together at the table? We are so busy and my kids aren't so young anymore, that it is hard. What do you do?
I went to the bank today. Had to get allowance money. Starting a new system that is working out a little better. If you don't do your chores, you don't get paid. Don't get paid, no money for the extras. It has cut out the whining at Wally World.
QUESTION #3 - If your kids are old enough to receive an allowance, how much do you pay? Or what is your system of doing things? Love to hear new ideas, that will help me on my parenting journey...
Did I tell you that my dad (known as Jim-Dad, around these parts) is in Israel? Totally jealous! Want to see a picture or two that I copied from a traveling mate of his?

I think it is incredible to think of walking the same path my Savior once walked. What an experience!!! As a missionary kid, I have been all over the world. I so wish I had the money to let my kiddos experience a little culture outside our U.S. borders...

QUESTION # 4 - If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?
I'm cleaning the closet out tonight. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the local thrift shop, to see if she is interested in buying any of my clothes. I would probably take about anything right now. I mean, anything is more than I have and my closets would be cleaned out!!!
I'm afraid the change in weather and my allergies are getting the best of me these days. Headache, stuffy nose, scratchy throat... just enough to make one not feel good, but not hurting enough to stop daily life. Plugging along here...
"Survivor" comes on tonight. Did anyone see last week, when the HEROES just slammed the Villains in the mud? Oh that was so much fun to watch, even though I do like some of the Villains.
QUESTION #5 - Are you a reality TV nut like me?
I was taking pictures the other day and my son said "take one of me." I wasn't going to pass that up. I've also included one or two of his basketball shots.

Well, I guess those are my thoughts for today. I would love it, if you answered a question or two, just like we had a real conversation....

Oh, by the way, I would be sipping a bottled water these days. For health reasons I am trying to avoid as much soda and caffeine as possible. Feel sorry for me?
QUESTION #6 - What would you be drinking during this chat?

Bye friends! Loved chatting with you. Hope you had a very happy Thursday! Guess what?! Tomorrow is FRIDAY!!! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What's Your Sign? (A fluff post about Mich decor...YAWN!!!)

My last three posts have been pretty deep. God has been teaching me a few things the last few weeks about myself, about faith and about His power. I have hope everyday. We are all on this journey called life...there are great days, good days, just OK days, bad days and then some. The great thing is that God doesn't change with the days. The day may stink, but God is ever present. It really is just that simple. The hard part is remembering that, daily.

Anyway, I wanted to do something fun for a change, but had absolutely NO CLUE what to write. Well, that is until this afternoon. Kayla had piano lessons. Which meant I had 30 minutes to blow. I mean who wants to go home for thirty minutes and then have to turn around and go pick her up. There are dirty clothes and dishes at home, but they can wait another thirty minutes...

So what did I do? I went to the flea market up the road. As I have said before, I love looking for treasure. As I was browsing, I came upon a wooden sign. The only thing special about the sign, was what it said... God knew I needed a little reminding of His power right now...

I think I might just make you wait a sec to know what the sign says. In fact I think I will drag you through a little home decor, "Mich" style. Truth is, I don't have one. I am one of those eclectic decorators who likes a little of this and a little of that. A little shabby here, little french there, throw in a little modern traditional with some cottage pieces and you have ME! If I see it and it makes me happy, then I use it. No matchy matchy for this gal! I love pieces that tell a story, that speak to me. One of my weaknesses when it comes to decorating is signs.


My family will tell you, I have them all over my house. Instead of posty notes on my mirrors, I buy signs and prints and display them around my house as inspiration, encouragement and just as good reminders of what is truly important.

So, I thought it would be fun to show you a few of my favorites... YAWN!!! I know this may bore you to tears, but WHO CARES!!! It is my blog after all!!! :) I would love to know which one is your favorite.

This one hangs next to my sink, in my kitchen. Nothing like having the word "pray" staring you in the face as the dishes are being done.

This "pray" sign is metal. I picked it up at a flea market and thought about painting it many times, but finally settled on the rustic look. It is over one of the doorways in my kitchen. And yes, my kitchen is a bright blue. (I love color too!!!)

This beautiful sign is in my kitchen too. What better place than in the kitchen, as I prepare dinner to see a sign like this one. God provides... we need to always try and be thankful.

This is above one of the window in my dining room. The dining room is of course red. It makes me happy!

This little treasure and the suitcase it is sitting in was a gift from a previous church family for my birthday one year. Always a favorite verse of mine, it sits on a little chest, behind my couch, dividing the living room and dining space.

This grouping is above my china cabinet, also in the dining room. It is hard to read the print, but this is what it says "Having someone to love is family. Having somewhere to go is home. Having both is a blessing." (Hey Amb, I did find a place for the birdcage! :) )

This is above one of my windows in my living room. What better place than the living area to house this "home" sign. My living room walls are kind of a khaki green, although it is hard to tell in this picture.

For now, this precious sign, sits on a shelf not yet used by the hubby in my entertainment center.

This is probably one of my favorite pieces. I spent a little more on it, about five years ago, but it has been a constant reminder above my doorway. "PRAYER: when life gets too hard to stand...kneel"

This sign sits pretty in my entryway, over the door. Love it!

Well, those are a few of my favorites. I could probably do a whole other post on a few more, but I will save you from boredom. Now for a drum roll please... the sign that inspired this fun little post...

I will, Lord. Thanks! I needed this sign, this month, more than anything!