Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Numbers Game

My Dad is an insulin dependent diabetic. When I heard he was coming here and I would be responsible for feeding him diabetes-compatible foods, you can bet I hit the internet hard and heavy.

I found out that good numbers are between 80 and 120. This is optimum for his well-being and mental stability.

If his numbers are whacky, Dad gets a little whacky, too.

Each morning and evening, Dad hollers out his numbers.



64. Oops, too low. Had to give him some orange juice after that one.

143!!! (I blame the potatoes on that one. OR, it could have been the chocolate-covered cherries his wife purchased.)

It has become almost a game for me to see how good I can get his numbers. This morning was probably my best score yet with 84. :-)

On a side note: My dear friend, BA, has a new niece! Molly E.A. F. was so eager to meet everyone, she arrived at 31 weeks instead of 40 weeks. She weighed a whopping 3lbs, 10oz and was breathing without assistance within hours! Please pray for Molly and her Mama - they were all vacationing away from home so they're not even at their own hospital. It's so hard on everyone - pray Molly will continue to thrive and get to go home soon!

Praise - Molly's Grandma got to be at the hospital when she was born because of this vacation. Since they live in different states, this was a true blessing!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Stuff

This is us on Christmas Eve! My Dad and Pam went with us to a Christmas Eve service, then we went back to the M house for dessert. Yum! Thanks for the photo, Jess!

Christmas Day we woke, opened presents, had breakfast, then SLEPT. Best nap ever.

Today we went to Blue Springs to see the manatee. Pam was so excited to actually see them! It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

I won't apologize for having a 74 degree day of sunshine in December. People, we live through Florida summers! We've earned it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Last Night at the W's

It was Cheesy Grin Night!

Jess came over and kicked everyone's booty playing Rummy. Good thing she's so likeable or we wouldn't invite her back.

And miracles of miracles - all four dogs relaxed and lay down.

Good dogs.

Himself kept threatening to knock on the table to make them think someone was at the door. He liked watching them explode into action.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I will try to blog when I can, but there's a whole lot of busyness here!

Hope everyone is well, safe, and enjoying family! May Christ richly bless you with the awareness of His most precious Gift . . . The "reason for the season" isn't just Jesus, it's SALVATION!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Since I'm having trouble downloading anything new from my camera, I was clicking through other pictures on my computer. I thought I would throw out a bunch of random photos that don't really have anything to do with each other.

One night this year Glenna had an impromptu sleep over. This was fine with be because I know the use and value of ear plugs. In other words, I slept.

We were telling them about Himself and his siblings used to leg wrestle. Of course, they had to try it out.

Bekah appears to be the victor here. Part of her strategy was to get Glenna laughing, apparently!

Glenna and Natalie give it a go. Yes, it's blurry, but it is an action shot. We had to lock the dog away before they started . . . we only had Jack at the time and he certainly wasn't going to put up with any Jr. High shenanigans.

Ahh, breakfast in jammies. Syrupy goodness with cool orange juice. I cannot guarantee that this was actually at breakfast time, though.

Isn't this a great picture of Kelly? I just love it. She was telling her Dad about an event of the day. Either that or she was trying to convince him to go to Blockbuster for a movie.

Ty was visiting Paul one night with his friends. As they were preparing to leave, Paul's mom said, "Wait! Let me get a picture!" They all grabbed Paul and she pointed and shot in the dark. She was so thrilled when she got back in the house and saw what a great photo she had captured!

Ty, Zach, Snyder, and Paul.

Paul is the new bass player for Evangelin! He also plays music for our Trek group on Wednesdays, along with Brett (not shown).

Here was my view during Jessie's graduation in May:
Seriously, Tyler B. You had to sit right in front of me. Seriously?

I watched this young man grow, graduate, and marry. One of six boys, he served in the Marines and did a tour in Iraq. He and his wife have a beautiful little girl!
Since they weren't yet locked into a church when they returned to Florida, they asked our pastor to perform the baby dedication. It does my heart good to see our young people growing in the Lord and committed to serving Him!

This is our youth pastor, Josh, and his beautiful wife, Kimberly!

Their firstborn is due in March and we cannot wait to meet him. This is another young man I watched grow through high school, wrestle with God, and now is the only man God could have possibly brought to our church at this time to minister to our youth (my children especially!). I am so, so thankful for Josh and Kimberly and their love for our children!

And there you have it; random photos from the forgotten files.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Operation Grandpa and The Grandma

Talked to Dad last night. Horrible snow and ice in Arkansas has caused many semi trucks to jack knife. He was unable to go faster than 25 mph the entire day.

They only made it as far as Little Rock.

Then they had to go to a Walmart because he forgot his prescription meds.

They should be back on the road by now, though! Hopefully they'll get further south where it's less icy, so they shouldn't have trucks blocking the roads.

I had to tell my children not to listen when he was cussing about the people who don't know how to drive in snow and ice.

I wish HE didn't have to drive in snow and ice! When I told him it was 79 here yesterday, The Grandma didn't believe me!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's Official!

My Dad and his wife are on the road! And yes, they are bringing the pony with them. We've heard she's now big enough to wear the saddle blanket they bought. This means she's grown since we've seen her last!

I have a lot of work to do before they get here. Step one was clearing away band equipment. Step two will be pony-proofing the house as much as possible.

Dad says they've had a storm and it's all snow and ice. I told him it's 79 here and a little humid, so the AC is on. Pam didn't believe him when he told her.

Hey! I don't feel badly! This is our reward for lasting through the 6 months of summer.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Say it Isn't So

Himself has discovered You Tube.

He's listening to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

I kid you not.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hand Me Downs

I have received yet another hand-me-down from Himself - his Blackberry! (Now, before you start with your jokes about addictions and "crackberries" etc, know that I have not activated the internet for it. I didn't want to pay an EXTRA $30 per month for that.)

Come to think of it, if I weren't so frugal I would be addicted to many, many things! We've often teased our children about being Scots-Irish. The Irish part of them will want to head for the pub, but the Scots part won't want to pay for it. We figure they're safe!

Anyway, I have thus far received Himself's hand-me-down car, laptop, and now phone. Have I mentioned how much I love this company he works for? They're constantly giving him new things!

I've never been afraid of hand-me-downs. My friend Jane used to give me her clothing and I loved it. She was a career gal and always had such nice things. In fact, I remember once when we were flat broke (no, no; this was a while back. Not yesterday.) and my clothing was literally falling apart. I was so fretful about what to do when someone led me to Matthew 6 where it tells us not to worry about what we need (food, drink, clothing) because our heavenly Father knows we need those things. Look how He provides for the sparrow, and aren't we more important to Him than a sparrow?

I felt comforted and didn't say anything to anyone.

Two weeks later, Jane brought me six boxes of clothing.

I have never doubted that God will take care of me since, and He has never failed to do so - even through more dire circumstances.

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:34

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Carols

I love games like this! I guessed almost every one of them. How many can you get? (Note: this is NOT for those of you who were at the JV Christmas party last night. AHEM Rachel Glenna Acacia!)

Answers will be coming in a few days. If you want, put your answers in the comments section!

1. Not here in an animal's dish.

2. Smack the passageways.

3. Move and speak toward the elevated plains.

4. Yahweh sleep you happy dudes.

5. Hey! The number one angelic beings belted out.

6. It showed up on a cloudless 12 at night.

7. Shaking chimes.

8. Happiness to the planet.

9. 12/25 shrubbery song.

10. Get here if you're reliable.

11. Like a strainer + time when the sun is down.

12. Small city of Christ's birth song.

13. Quiet non-day.

14. The premier not the 12th letter of the alphabet.

15. XII 24 hours of 12/25.

16. Not down on the roof of the home.

17. Us trio that's royalty from China.

18. Us dream not us a happy Dec. 25.

19. Spill the 411 on the baby.

20. Small percussionist lad.

21. Tim Allen's movie character will appear in a 'hood.

22. Song about a hoofed animal with a crimson schnozola.

23. Chilled the crystallized H2O male.

24. Don't stop the winter precipitation.

25. Traversing in a fourth season amazing country.

Have fun!

Friday, December 05, 2008

An Irish-Catholic Tale, Part X

Of all the siblings, the two youngest sisters have the hardest stories to write. I don't think it possible for a blog to convey the depth of experiences, both tragic and triumphant, that belong to Kathleen and Rita.

I conveyed my struggle to Himself about writing their stories. He inspired me by saying, "It's almost the same story, hon. You could write them both together." I've thought it over and couldn't believe how right he was.

As I posted in January, we just lost Rita this year. This wound is raw and my eyes smart with tears at the typing of that sentence. That said, I know the worst thing we could do is not talk about her anymore. I'm so afraid of dishonoring her memory! Still, I want everyone to know how amazing she was.

[Deep breath]

Kathleen was 2 and Rita maybe 8 months old when Chet died due to the complications of alcoholism. Growing up without a father in the house had its effect. Growing up with alcoholism in the family would have an even stronger effect, even though "the alcoholic" wasn't exactly present.

Alcoholism is weird that way.

Kathleen certainly had the run of the house and did as she pleased until Aunt Sarah showed up. Rita had the privileged title of Baby of the Family. Both were adorable!

Rita and Kathleen with Grandpa CT. To be blonde and blue-eyed in California in the 40's!

The girls attended the same schools, shared rooms and clothing. As they grew into their teens, they also unfortunately shared poor judgment of character. To be honest, though, both were deceived.

What is it about those of us who grew up in alcoholic homes? How is it we feel so wise, and yet are so unwise? While Kathleen and Rita didn't grow up with an alcoholic father in their home, they still had the hereditary effect of alcoholism to deal with. Remember, Uncle Matt and Uncle Bill both used the garage room as a place to crash and get sober. In the 40's and 50's, there wasn't the education on the effects of alcohol that we have today.

The ugly truth is this: Children of alcoholics tend to seek out and marry alcoholics.

Kathleen married Bill W. a year out of high school at age 18. Rita married David R. shortly after at age 19, though I don't know 100% whether David was an alcoholic or not. Both Kathleen and Rita would eventually have five children.

In this photo, David and Rita are in blue on the left. Kathleen and Bill are on the right. Himself is partially hidden by his brother, Dan, with his dad's arm on his shoulder.

Rita has dressed her girls in pink and is holding her son, Chris. Shannon, her youngest, wasn't born yet. All W children are present in their hip and happening 70's clothing!

Kathleen and Bill had one of those marriages that was both rocky and wonderful. Bill loved Kathleen deeply and she him. They both loved their children tremendously. Alcohol destroyed this family, however, and left scars for the children to battle continually. Bill and Kathleen divorced in the 1970s. Bill would eventually get the help he needed and rebuild his relationship with his children - today he is our beloved "Poppa" and I love him madly!

Kathleen would remarry to yet another alcoholic in 1980. The children would scatter to various relatives until they were on their own. Yet love is stronger than alcohol in this family. The children are close to their parents and each other to this day.

Sadly, Kathleen's husband died of cancer in 1992, leaving her widowed. She is currently living in the Palm Springs area where she is close to most of her children and grandchildren (except us east coasters). Kathleen struggled with alcoholism until the 1990's. She's now triumphantly sober and helping so many who are hurting.

Rita struggled with alcoholism herself. In 1970, she firmly decided to get help and became sober. I believe she was the first in her family to do so! She remained sober until the day of her death. She seemed so wise and so strong to me. I don't recall her nagging her other alcoholic relatives about their choices, but I do recall her cheerfully saying things like, "I'll save a seat for you at the AA meeting!" Her experiences also led her to say things to Himself such as, "You poor Ws, you don't stand a chance." A prophetic statement to be sure.

Rita's marriage ended in an unfortunate divorce. In 1982 she met and married Bill S. - they loved each other completely. Rita's children are beautiful, every one of them! At my wedding I passed by this table of beautiful people and they all stopped their conversations and smiled at me. I was shocked, because I wasn't used to beautiful people doing that! (A month later it dawned on me that I was the bride, so of course they would stop and smile!) That table was full of Rita's children.

An aside to Himself: ya know, ya could'a introduced me to your family that day! How embarrassing!

As with Kathleen's children, Rita's children have also had to battle with the effects of alcoholic parents. They are also extremely close and supportive of each other. Rita's husband, Bill, died in 2006. Rita was a quiet, firm picture of strength and endurance.

At Christmas last year, Rita posed with all of her equally beautiful grandchildren:

Oh come on . . . can we just say it? GORGEOUS. The stunning teens in the back were so young when we left California. It blew me away to see this photograph!

No one knew then how wonderful it would be to have all of her grandchildren (except baby Matteo, not yet born) together at Christmas.

Three weeks later, Rita was gone.

Friends, if you're thinking of blowing off any family members this Christmas, don't. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. No one.

Rita was engaged to Bob C. at the time of her death.

The recap on the sisters:
Both married shortly out of high school.
Both had five children.
Both had tumultuous first marriages, ending in divorce.
Both struggled with alcoholism.
Both overcame and attained sobriety.
Both remarried and then were widowed.
Both have at least 10 grandchildren!
Both are amazing women whom I'm privileged to know and have known.

While this does wrap up the children of Chet and Rosie, I still have a few more tidbits to tell on them. I would also definitely like to take the family tree through Himself's own familiar branch, starting with Bill and Kathleen. You can bet I have tons of pictures . . . but the story itself is truly amazing!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Believing God

The ability to believe God develops most often through experience.
Faithful yesterday, He will not be unfaithful today.
--Beth Moore

I am discovering how wonderfully believable God is.

Growing up, I lived with a bunch of jokers who loved to tease, often unmercifully! (Sure, it's all fun and games until someone pokes their eye out . . . ) While I don't feel scarred from this experience, it has certainly left me with a wariness. I don't often believe the first thing people tell me, especially if there's any kind of gleam in their eye. :-D

Have you ever had a thought nagging in the back of your mind, and then suddenly it shines forth with perfect clarity? The truth has been there all along but the mind suppressed it. It doesn't make it less true when it was suppressed, but the unleashing makes it immediately real.

Our youth pastor, Josh H., spoke of Adam and Eve listening to the serpent. He had this to say in this week's devotional:

Stop for a minute and take your garden pulse. Are you listening to the crafty voice of relativism and doubting that God is the final authority on truth? Are you living as though God is merely full of good opinions but not absolute truth? Are you trusting in your own ability to reason and chose what you think is right?

For so long I have gone on my own strength and knowledge. While we're not to be mindless weaklings, so much of my energy has been wasted trying to figure things out on my own when the truth is present all along. When I'm able to release my will to His truth, the peace flooding within is incomparable.

It has made all the difference.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Glenna is dictating her essay to me. I'm confused at the next sentence:

When home, knights ate from a feed bowl.

What does that mean?

No, Mom! It's "When home, knights aide the feeble"!


That's different, then.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Creatures of Habit

I have always known that children crave consistency. I'm not talking about a legalistic routine where the clock is the tyrannical task master, but a logical progression of events throughout their days.

Care for pets.
Eat breakfast.
Brush teeth and dress.
Start school.
Peel Mama a grape.

Many of my friends have heard this story before, but I remember when Tyler was 3 and Himself and I were both on the music team at our church in California. This placed us both on stage when the children trickled in from Sunday school, but Tyler would go to our "spot," see my purse, and sit down.

One Sunday I decided to "get out of a rut" and sit somewhere else. I stood singing on the stage, helpless, as my poor son wandered up and down the aisle, looking for my purse. Some friends of ours finally took pity on him and let him sit with them until I came off the stage! I vowed to never change my seat again. Consistency!

Fast forward to Florida. This time a friend of mine decided she was in a rut and would change her seating. Unfortunately, she chose our row. I had to scramble to find a new spot that would hold all five of us.

Enter my teenage son, who had driven himself to church. He wandered up and down the aisle and couldn't find his sisters or my purse! My friend decided she would behave and leave our row alone the next time she was in a rut. Consistency!

Recently, I have been making lunches for Tyler. Each day I give him a sandwich, some Cheezits, carrots and dip, and four cookies. Last week, there were only three cookies left in the package, so I decided to just give him three instead of opening another package.

He accused Ben of taking one of his cookies.

Look, every day my mom gives me four cookies. Now there are only three. You took it.

Dude, I did not take your cookie!


Last week and this week, my focus has been on consistency in all things, including Bible reading, prayer, laundry, correspondence, school, groceries, and housekeeping. I don't want to be a slave to these things (except Bible reading and prayer. Lord, chain me to You!) but I do want to be able to function without panic if someone comes over, or to be able to easily turn in school reports when due.

Consistency is working very well, but it definitely takes effort. I am so close to becoming a housewife of old who had a baking day, laundry day, shopping day, mopping day, etc. I don't want to fall apart if I miss something, but I certainly tire of giving in to the "tyranny of the urgent."

Have any of you found things that make consistency a habit and lifestyle?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday, AGAIN?

I have nothing to blog about.

Nothing that won't embarrass my family and bite me in the hiney later, that is.

I owe library fines. AGAIN.

I'm missing a library book. AGAIN.

I have resolved so many times NOT to use the library anymore. I can't afford it! It would be cheaper to simply buy the books I need. Which, coincidentally, is what I'm doing for most of Glenna's school next year. I love Beautiful Feet Books!

We had a wonderful holiday weekend and got so many things done! The girls have decorated the house (minus the tree) for Christmas. Thanks to my friend BA, I have re-evaluated my grumpiness over this season and have decided to embrace it as a true celebration. I can do this!

However, I will not, WILL NOT, give into materialism, commercialism, and greed. Where's that "Merry Tossmas" video?


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