Friday, September 7, 2012

New address

I thought I would try a change of scenery...If you want to check it out you can go here
Hope you'll tag along!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bragging?? Maybe a little.

For a homework assignment Bailey was asked to write what basically is her story. The teacher asked her to answer a bunch of questions (examples: What does your house look like? Feel like? Sound like? What are your favorite things? Words or Phrases your family uses a lot? Family traditions? Beliefs?) The only requirement was that she start each line with "I am from" or "From". I read it when she was finished and nearly cried. I worry about my kids every day (as most moms do) but especially with all of the changes they've gone through. When I read her story all I could think was how grateful I am that this is how she sees her life. It doesn't look so bad through her eyes. And I guess in the end that's what matters most to me.
P.S. She took the picture below and I had to share it also. My girl is full of talents!!

I Am From

I am from red bricks and a green door

From the smell of dinner cooking

I am from warmth and coziness

From the sound of insanity

I am from notebooks

From nail polish and shoes

I am from Bryan and Angie

From Luke and Presley

I am from going to the movies on Thanksgiving

From pancakes on Christmas morning

I am from sweet dreams

From sissy and amen

I am from a man who died on a cross so we could live with him forever

From sweet tea and chocolate chip pancakes

I am from spaghetti and fried rice.

From going to the mall everyday with Mom

I am from my grandmother’s house every Saturday

I am from heat and humidity

From laughter and going to church

I am from watching movies

I am from shopping and going to my cousin’s house

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's nothing new except...

You know…we’ve been broke before. As a matter of fact, there was a time in our early marriage that we were so broke that we had one car between us that we could barely pay for; we couldn’t afford cable so we watched TV on a handheld black and white and some months we had to borrow grocery money.

Bry worked his butt off for years to get us out of that situation. At one point he had two jobs (I was working full time too). We would leave the house at around 6 am, work till 5 pm, drive home & eat a quick dinner and then he would be out the door so that he could make it to bartend from 6 pm till sometimes 2 or 3 in the morning. He is so talented but for years he was the “worker bee”, he did the work but his boss got to put his stamp on the job. When he was finally offered the position as VP of Development we thought “Finally, after all these years, he’s made it. We can breathe.
And we did breathe. Now I’m not saying that we spent all of those years struggling. We did okay after a while but there was still always that feeling of “Oh gosh, are we going to make it?” But when he got that job we felt like maybe we had arrived at that point in our lives where you just settle in and enjoy the ride. Well…that was our first mistake. :)

As I was saying…we’ve been broke before. This is different. It’s funny because I think that people have this idea that because he has a job now everything is back to normal. Here’s the thing, he gets a paycheck but that paycheck, according to studies, is poverty level wages. It is not even ¼ of what he used to make. People see us struggling and think well; maybe if you just cut back here and there you’ll pull through. Okay. If that makes you feel better I will nod and go along with you. It’s not the truth though.

Let’s forget about the money for a minute. We’ll pretend that he makes enough to stretch from payday to payday. My kids will never be the same. Luke and Presley still cry every time they talk about their dog, Max. Bailey doesn’t even talk about him at all. When you don’t have a home or money for your kids you definitely don’t have enough to keep your dog. Also, if they see you even think about taking one of their toys out of their room, even ones they forgot they had, they freak out. Not normal freak out like most kids do when this happens. I’m talking total melt down that eventually turns into sobs of “I miss Max”. Which we’ve learned is code for “I miss my old life.”

It’s affected them in ways that we haven’t even figured out yet. For instance, last year I found out Bay’s school was having a winter formal. I asked her why she wasn’t going and she said “I don’t know. I just don’t want to.” I could tell that wasn’t the case at all so I kept pushing her to talk. Finally she said “It’s okay Mommy. Yeah, I’d like to go but I know we can’t afford the dress and everything.” I was pretty sure I could actually hear my heart break at that moment. Yeah, I ended up figuring out ways for her to go (with the help of my sister) and yeah, we’ve found ways to help them get whatever they need but I know that they feel this more than they let on.

I won’t even go into the ways that it has affected me and Bry emotionally. Honestly, I’ve been too busy staying positive for everyone else to even evaluate my own feelings. I’m kind of afraid to feel them to be honest with you. I have this fear that if I let myself really “go there” that I will just lay in a heap and cry. That’s not my personality though. I’m a “keep it moving” kind of girl. And I also know that God has a plan for us. I REALLY believe that although it might not sound like it sometimes. No matter how discouraged I feel I am always brought back to that truth. No, that doesn’t mean that I have to like it or that it will be easy, but it does help pick me up off my feet when the burden gets too heavy.

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. Psalm 91: 3-6

Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip he who watches over you will not slumber; Psalm 121

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blog Again? Maybe....

Yeah's been a while. Needless to say that when Bry lost his job it put us into a tailspin. I read some old posts and was reminded of what a great tool this is. The kids are going to love looking back at these and seeing little glimpses of their past. Bailey already does. So yeah. I think I'll give it another shot. Not making any promises though. If you are a Mom, have a Mom or know a Mom you're probably aware of how hard it can be to carve out time for yourself! Bare with me... I know most of my old posts were about the crazy things my kids got into and the fun stuff we did together. There will be plenty of that but after everything we've been through the past couple of years I'm sure there will be some not so pleasant ramblings added in. But I guess that's what you get when you are a Super Mommy...lots of fun, memories and love with a few bad days thrown in to keep you on your toes!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nicaragua Day 5

I'm not exactly proud to admit this, but if I don't then I can't tell you one of the most amazing things that happened to me on this trip. For a while, I have been taking a pill just about every day for anxiety attacks. I made sure to bring plenty with me on this trip because I knew being away from my little ones, being in a different country, just being out of my comfort zone period that I would probably need them. Anyway, as I mentioned before, I did a lot of praying before I left about my fears and worries and I continued to do so while we were there. On the last day as I was packing my things, I came across those pills. When I saw them, I realized that I had not taken a single one since we left for Nicaragua! I couldn't believe it! God gave me such a peace, that I didn't even realize that I wasn't taking them!
Anyway, the last day was pretty much filled with us packing our things, loading into the bus and flying home. It was really great to spend the last day travelling with these people who have come to feel like family to me. I actually found myself wishing I could stay longer. When we got off the plane I was so excited to see Bry and my babies, but I couldn't help but feel a little bit sad about saying goodbye to the people who had shared such an awesome experience with me. We ate together, traveled together, prayed together, shared our stories, served together, laughed together and experienced God's love in a way that I cannot explain in words. All I can say is that it changed me for life and I cannot wait to go back or to see where God sends me next...

My fam with Tim and Ariana. Tim is sort of a "missionary intern". He spends a ton of time living in Nicaragua doing whatever is needed of him. He was such a help to us while we were there and an awesome guy. Ariana was one of our translators. She is from Nicaragua but goes to school in the U.S. She was the sweetest girl! We sort of fell in love with her while we were there.

This was the largest group our church has sent on a single mission trip. There were youth, women, our worship team. Mom's and kids went together, husbands and wives, siblings, and small groups.

We were there to work but we also had plenty of silliness and fun. :)
Our bus driver, Victor. Such a sweet guy!!
Ready to head home...
Nicaragua from the sky...beautiful and green!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nicaragua Day 4

On Sunday, we attended church at the same covered pavilion where we had spent the day before. It turned out that it was Mother's Day in Nicaragua, so we got a bonus Mom's Day this year! :) After church, we ate lunch at the guesthouse. We had plans to do a little shopping and then visit the public women's hospital. I had just finished telling Jo how Bay was so excited about going shopping and I was really excited about visiting the women's hospital. I went down to our rooms to get ready. Jo said that right after I left she was told that it wasn't a good idea for Bailey to go with us. The market was not the safest place and the hospital was not much better, b/c of fear of catching something. Jo said she felt sick about telling us. She didn't think that I would leave Bailey and she thought Bay would be really upset about not being able to go shopping. She said that she prayed all the way down the path. When she came in and told us we both held our breath while we waited for Bay's reaction. She said "It's o.k., just bring me something back from the market. " We were so shocked! Number one that she wasn't really sad about not being able to go to the market and two that she would stay at the guesthouse without me. And just as surprising that I would feel comfortable being that far away from her in a foreign country!
Bay stayed with Bubs, Caroline and a couple of the girls in the youth group. We went to the market and I was so glad that she hadn't come with us. It's not like a regular shopping trip. You have to be so careful b/c we were told that it is really easy to be robbed. We had about 30 minutes to shop and then we left for the hospital. We had put together a bunch of layettes for the new mothers from donations that we had brought with us. When we arrived at the hospital, I was shocked at the difference from the hospitals at home. First of all, the appearance was a lot different. There were tiles missing in the floors, screens out on some of the windows. Then I noticed that there were iv bottles on the ground, iv tubes in the trash, there were no hazardous waste boxes that I saw. Then when we got into the rooms, there were about 10-15 women side by side with their newborn babies. Right next door in a tiny room, there were probably 5 or 6 women in labor. No epidurals, no tv/dvd combo and most definitely no air conditioning! There were women in labor in the hallways, just walking around. We have it sooo good here! That night we all went out to dinner at a real restaurant. It was kind of funny though because we looked up and saw these stuffed chickens on shelves around the room. We realized that they were real chickens and that we were quite possibly eating what used to be inside of those chickens! We had a whole room to ourselves and it was a good thing b/c we were so loud! I think we were all just so excited to be in an air conditioned room that it went to our heads. The food was so yummy! And we were all so thrilled because they actually had desserts! We had been saying during the whole trip "Do they not have cake here??" We ate until we were sick! It was another busy but amazing day! I realized how close I was becoming to these women and hard it was going to be to leave this place.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nicaragua Day 3

If the school we visited on our second day was the "city school", then the one we visited on our third day was definitely the "country school". The road we traveled on was dirt and full of huge ruts from the rain. We had to stop once to let about 30 cows cross the road. The building where we met had a roof, a stage with a few classrooms attached to the back. While we sat there, we watched 2 men cut grass in a huge field using machetes. The houses that we saw on the way to the school were basically shacks that were barely standing. It was so hot, but it was really hard to complain when you saw how happy those kids were that we were there.
We did the same things as the day before, only I didn't have to teach the sewing class. I was so impressed by the youth group at our church. They were so awesome with the kids. They never complained about the heat and there was no drama, like you would normally expect when you have that many kids together for a long period of time. I really enjoyed this day more than the others because I was able to sit with the kids and watch the puppet show or help them make a craft. I was so frustrated that I didn't try harder to learn Spanish before I went. The kids were trying so hard to talk to me but I had no idea what they were saying! Luckily we had some translators with us, so we were able to communicate a little. Those kids were so awesome. They had no idea how little they had! They just wanted to play and to be loved and to be happy.
We went to a small restaurant for lunch. When I say small I mean really small. You walked in the door and picked out your food in a room about the size of a large closet. On the other side of that room is a covered patio with tables and chairs where you ate your food. The only thing that looked appetizing to me was some rice and beef. Bailey got the last helping of that so I just sat and had a coke while they ate.
We returned to the school that evening and had a movie night for the kids. The movie was a Veggie Tales movie, "Jonah" and it was in Spanish. It was so dark out there. The only lights were the ones under the little patio that we were sitting under and then they turned those off for the movie. I have to admit it was a little creepy. There are things crawling around out there that I don't want to know about! Anyway, after the movie we were able to give the kids things to read to learn more about Jesus.
It was a long day, but so rewarding! When we got back to the guesthouse it occurred to me that the movie was the first time I had seen any kind of television in several days. And I didn't even miss it. It's amazing how clearly you can hear God's voice without all of the distractions we put in our way.