Monday, August 23, 2010

I have the E Ticket and it's not all it's cracked up to be!

Well, for my girls, today is back to school day. Emily is in
eighth grade and Jules entered middle school (6th grade)
today. They were ready, happy, loaded down with their
books and schedules and Jules might have been a bit nervous
but overall, they were READY. Em assured Jules that she
would walk her to her homeroom and any other classes
that she needed help finding and I felt really proud of both

I have homeschooled for two years until a back injury derailed me so I have experience in both kinds of school-homeschool and public school. I also taught in public school for 10 years. (We don't have money or desire for the kids to be segregated at a private school.)Each year that my kids have been at public school I drove them to school in the morning and they rode the bus home in the afternoon. WHY? Because I wanted to pray with them on the way to school and bless them before they entered their day. Some mornings were glorious prayers and other mornings I was so fatigued it was, " God I am too tired but you know what they need, please do it today."It was a special time for us- and I loved it.
This year both kids got on the bus this morning and will be riding it home this afternoon. Ok, no big deal. Except that when Em rode the bus sometimes in the am last year, I still drove her to the bus stop at her friend's house to have those last few minutes to pray over her or tell her how capable she was or just to say, " GIVE ME A KISS, NO I AM NOT WEARING LIPSTICK EMMY!"
So they were going to walk to the bustop today. Good.It's time for them to do that. I ran out and said to them" Please don't go, I"ll eat you up, I love you so!" (an old
favorite we say all the time from the classic story Where the Wild Things Are.) Em looked at me and said, "OH MOOMS, do you want to drive us to the bus stop?" " YES YES YES!" Jules said, " I wanna ripstick to the bustop." (A modern day skateboard).
Then she looked at me and said, " But I will ride with you guys." So I prayed the most thorough prayer a mom can pray in 2 minutes and they kissed me and out they got.
I got home and Jon said, " YOU GET TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TODAY!" I looked at him and said, " Yea, only I don't want to really." He said, " Rest today
read, do whatever!" I said, " I feel lost today Jon." Not sad, not depressed,
not unhappy, just kind of lost feeling- like someone gave me a freeE ticket at Disney (if you aren't old enough to know what that is, it was the tickets that let you go on the COOL RIDES AT DISNEY like Space Mountain or Pirates of the Carribean and when your E tickets ran out, you had to either buy a whole new book of tickets or ride Dumbo or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) It was a treasured thing. So I have the E ticket and am standing in the middle of Disney World thinking, " But there's nothing I really want to ride today." BIZARRE? You bet. I told Jon, " They are growing up and learning to live without me."-they now do their own laundry, make their own lunches,and have always done their own homework,
unless they were stumped.I don't ever and will never "bail" my kids out of an assignment they forgot or left at home or waited until the last minute to finish. "And Jon, that is good and right and profitable for them, and I know that. But I miss them. I miss just knowing that they are upstairs being silly and making stupid dance videos. I miss driving them to school and having six minutes to pray instead of two. I missTHEM, the essence of THEM in my home." He said, "I understand."

So while there may be mothers settling down with a cup of coffee today saying, " Praise be to God for school starting!", I am not one of them. I want the E ticket but I want to go on the rides with my kids. That doesn't mean I want to homeschool- I know that I cannot and do not want to educate them to the standards that they are educated by six different individuals at school. I am honest about that. I don't have the energy to do it with excellence.I just wish kids still came home for lunch- maybe we could hop on Space Mountain and then they would say, " WOW, Mom, that was awesome, wanna go again?" And we could. But E tickets don't exist anymore, kids don't come home for lunch anymore, and there is a mom in Florida who is going to have to adjust to riding the rides alone.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Maggie is safe and sound at Tony's house!! Hooray!

Well, our Ibizan Hound is being fostered by a very nice person named Tony and his wife Leah. They know dogs like I do- they are more dog oriented than people oriented. (Compliment to him by the way.) Maggie has settled in well. She has had horrible allergies and we couldn't afford to get her tested and do the shots and that broke my heart. More importantly she had been showing agression toward some of the dogs and has tried to kill one or our IGs twice. Well the night before she was to be picked up I was crying my eyes out and I said, " God, I want you to give me one HARD FIRM NON ARGUABLE SIGN that this is the only way. The next morning I was out with Maggie, Quinn, Abbey and Grace. All of a sudden Maggie had Abbey nailed against the fence and was going to tear her UP. I broke it up and had Abbey come with me and BOOM Maggie ran up and did it again. Maggie had never shown any agression toward Abbey before and there was no "reason" for this agression on this morning. I was shaking all over with anger and fear for Abbey and every doubt in my heart about Maggie having to go just went POOF like a flame being burned out. I said, " God thank you for this hard and inarguable sign."

God knew that Jon and the girls and I love this dog with all of of our heart and I guess he knew I needed some sort of loud billboard kind of sign. So she went to Tony's the next day- I never cried until that morning when I opened the fridge and saw the package of ham and I just fell to my knees sobbing. Ham is what we used to put her meds in or reward her with ham after we gave her the meds. Oh my Maggadocious, we loved and do love you so much and I will never see your picture without tearing up a little. If we could have changed your aggression, I would have begged borrowed or stolen (not quite) the money for your allergies, baby. I miss you but I know you are being a blessing to Tony and Leah and they will see how much you were loved. I know Tony will find her just the right owner and that Maggie will bless that family as our surrenders bless us. Janie was nine when she came here with breast cancer- it's been 3 years and she is old and quiet but she has been such a blessing to our family and I love her so very much. I know some person will say as I have of Janie's old family, " God thank you for the family that loved this dog and thank you that she is part of ours, we love her so very much."
PS. This is not Maggie, but it is a picture that shows the grace and majesty of these very intelligent amazing dogs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New good homes needed for Abbey and Maggie!

Abbey on left sucking on my hand and Maggie on right looking sad with allergy meds.

Maggie's allergies will not cease and the next step is allergy testing which can be upward of $700 and Abbey Dabbey Doo needs another puppy to roughhouse with. So, ICHUS (Ibizan Rescue) is working on finding some great people to take Maggie and pay for her allergy testing and shots and give her a great new home and I am checking out come prospective homes for the Abbeymeister!!! I took them both in bed with me last night and cried and cried. But we are not the BEST homes for these dogs and that is what rescue is all about. So say a prayer for me, for the girls, and for the new owners of these precious gifts from God.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Donna and Lainey come for a visit!

Well we had our good friends, the Clarks come this week. Their kids were participating in power up clubs for our church and my kids were recovering from 2 straight weeks of vacation. Donna and Lainey, their adopted 4 year old Chinese doll stayed with us. I taught her how to swim last time she was here so she was eager to get in the pool as soon as they arrived. Julianna did a superb job of watching her and playing with her in the pool- even without her floaties!!! We so enjoyed hearing her laugh and be silly. She also LOVED the trampoline. She would just giggle and giggle when she fell down. I am certain that Julianna will be a mommy one day or at the very least work as a superb babysitter. WAY TO GO JULES!!!!
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rejoice for the son that was lost is now found!!! OUR HAITIAN CHILD RALF IS ALIVE!!!!

Two days ago I got a Compassion envelope in the mail. Usually it is a letter from Jane or Ralf or updated pictures of them. However, since the earthquake hit Haiti, Compassion had no news of Ralf, only that he was missing. Every day since that earthquake, I have prayed for this boy and asked God to tell him in his heart that his American sponsors had not forgotten about him and to believe in God and hang on. I asked everyone I knew, including my favorite bagger at my grocery store, Morris to pray that Ralf lived. But I got no update from Compassion, so I assumed the worst, but still thought of this child so often. When I saw the manilla envelope and saw it regarded Ralf, my hands began to shake violently and I began to say, " Please Jesus, Please Jesus, please let this be good news!" I opened the envelope and there was a picture of my Ralf- taller and thinner and with a very serious look on his face and eyes that had seen I don't know what. I began to shake and sob and sob and sob with joy. I called Jon at work and cried to him, " RALF IS ALIVE JON, OH HE LIVED!!!" I called Compassion and they told me that the only news that they had was that Ralf's home was destroyed but he was alive. I know nothing of his parents or his siblings. I sent a massive email out to all the people who had been praying for him and told them that our prayers had been answered. I wrote Ralf immediately and just poured my heart out and told him that I had no idea who he had in Haiti but that his American family was crying and praising God that he was alive. I so want to see this child. I want to hug him and see his face and touch him- I never thought I would hear of him again. Thank you God for sparing this impoverished angel. Give him the strength he needs to survive whatever trauma he suffered and may suffering now. Give us a way to encourage him and be his family if he needs one.

If you have never sponsored a child, it is a very special thing to do. We have developed close bonds with the four kids we have sponsored and have lost two of our African kids to tribal warring and relocation and when you get that letter or death or relocation, it hurts like it is your own child- lost or dead. So to hear that our Ralf was alive was even more precious to us because the two children we lost were both boys. I continue to pray for the nation of Haiti and all the other children there who may be orphans or have severe injuries or have experienced such horrible loss. I wish I could scoop them all up and bring them home. For now, I will just rejoice in this child being alive and pray for the day that I can hug him and he can see and know that his American family truly loves him.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A review of a book I just read- a must read!!!

This review is not written by me, but I have read the book and I think it is one of the best books I have ever read. It is honest, warm, and very encouraging. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and found the nutritional advice to be great. I actually emailed Daniel and he emailed me back and I hope to meet him when he comes to Jacksonville in August. Read the review and know that I give this book FIVE STARS!!!!

God Said Not Yet!: One Man's Experience With "Terminal" Cancer
by Daniel Edward NeffEdition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
Availability: In Stock
6 used & new from $13.07

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
An Inspiring Book About One Man's Battle with "Terminal" Cancer, June 22, 2010
This review is from: God Said Not Yet!: One Man's Experience With "Terminal" Cancer (Paperback) "God Said Not Yet" One Man's Experience With "Terminal" Cancer By Daniel Edward Neff God has a wonderful way of bringing friends and acquaintances back into our lives. I remember Dan, as we called him, from the time we both attended the same church. We were never close friends, but attended some of the same singles events as we were both single during that time. When I left that church, I lost touch with Dan but heard several years later through a mutual friend that Dan was fighting the battle of his life--he had the "C" word--"the most feared word in the English language," as he describes it in his book. So when Dan contacted me to read and review his book, I jumped at the chance! Here is the back cover synopsis: "When I placed my faith in God many years earlier, He promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." I would find out if that promise was true. From the initial diagnosis, to the time I died on the operating room table, to being faced with a (literally) life-or-death decision regarding the bone marrow transplant procedure, to the alternative treatment that He led me to, God never abandoned me. The doctors said my life was over, but God said, "Not Yet!" This book is his journey through the time of his cancer. But it is so much more than that. The theme of the book is about his hope and trust in the living God who breathed life into Daniel at the moment of his conception and who breathed healing into Daniel when he needed it most. It is about the path he took to find God, the love story of finding his beautiful wife, Linda, and hearing and submitting to God's calling on his life. Scriptures abound in Daniel's story that encouraged him and Linda throughout the two-year period of Daniel's cancer and treatments. Finally, there are several books and websites recommended for reading and gaining knowledge on some of the treatments that Daniel experienced. This book is an absolute praise report to God! Dan clearly gives all honor and glory to God for his healing. All of us are or have been affected by cancer. We either have a friend, a relative or perhaps even we've experienced cancer personally. This is a book that you will want to read and or share.

Fun in the Mountains!!!!

We went to Little Switzerland NC to visit my parents in their mountain house and we had such a great time. We hiked to Linville Falls, spent a day at the Gem Show, and biked 17 miles downhill (most of it) on the Virginia Creeper Trail and most importantly spend time with Mama and Daddy. The weather was gorgeous and we truly loved being with them and in the mountains. I have more pics to share but they are on Jon's camera, so these will have to suffice for now. Mama and Daddy, thank you for the gift of being able to fly up there and for all the fun things we did. We love you!!!

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