Saturday, December 29, 2012

Taking Charge In The New Year And A 31 Day 'Use-It-Up' Food Challenge

2012 been one of the worst years (if not THE worst year) that my husband and I have had yet. It started off badly and went steadily downhill all the way. I won't go into all the gory details, but will happily proclaim that I'm glad to see that it's almost over! I pray that 2013 is better. :)

I've got tons of stuff that needs doing, but getting anything done has, at best, been slow going for months and neglect on every front seems to have become the norm. I am hoping to take back some control over my life in the days ahead and I am beginning today!

The main thing that I have accomplished today has been to take down all the Christmas decorations and with, my husband's help, put it all away for another year. As I was taking down and sorting through, I took the time to pull out things that are no longer needed and/or wanted and have started a garage sale box. I will add to it as time goes on and plan a big sale in the spring.

Now I'm getting ready to work on menu plans. My plan is to, throughout the month of January, buy only that which is absolutely necessary (fresh produce, milk, bread, etc.), concentrate on using up as many things as I can out of what we have on hand (fridge, freezer, and pantry), and eliminate all unnecessary eating out. That should, not only clean up things that have been hanging around for a while, but save a lot of money over the course of the month, too. I'm anxious to see how it goes!

This challenge is really to myself, but would anyone else like to join me in this little adventure? If so, come on and let's go for it! I'll be sharing along the way and would like to hear from anyone else that might take me up on this challenge, as well!

Until Next Time...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another Loss At Christmas Time

At approximately 1:00 this afternoon my beautiful and beloved friend, Robin, went home to be with her precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I talked with her just a few days ago and she told me that this was it. She said she wasn't afraid and that she was ready to go home. She said that wanted to see her dad. 

What I hate most is that I never made it down to Tennessee to see her. Ever since they moved I've wanted to go visit, but, financially, it just never worked out...and I know that if it was meant to be the Lord would have made a way, but I hate it that I never made it. At least we've stayed in calls, letters, cards, texts...each and every one precious and treasured.

Rest in peace, my dear friend, for all is well! I will forever treasure the many memories that the Lord allowed us to share...our 'backdoor' relationship, our 'R & R moments', blueberry pie and tea at midnight, homeschool field trips, burning picnic tables, backyard bonfires, all of our many chicken, calf, and cat escapades, hide and seek after dark with the children, spider sniffs, hiking trails, climbing rocks, getting lost, going in circles, and so much more. You were one of the greatest blessings God ever brought into my life. I love you so much, beautiful and beloved 'sister-by-heart'! I will see you again soon! ♥

Does anyone have any ideas of something we can do for the family long distance? If so, please, e-mail me at Thanks so much! 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Loss Of A Child

This has been a very sad holiday season for us. The husband of a dear friend was killed in a car accident earlier in the month and his funeral...the most beautiful, everything-pointed-to-our-Lord-and-Saviour-Jesus-Christ-funeral I've ever  been to...was held yesterday. Though my heart aches terribly for all of his family...especially the dearly loved, beautiful, young wife that he left was Tim's mother that held my attention yesterday. Tim was her son. And it is Christmas-time. And she hurts. And...even though I only held my son for a short time...and she held hers for 36 years...I know that pain. The pain of a mother that has lost a son. My heart goes out to her. To all the family on both sides. But today...especially to that mother that has lost her son.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the loss of my own son, Nathan. It is his birthday and his death day. I wrote this post last year and am reposting it today in his memory. It is dedicated to all mother's who have lost a child, but...this year...especially to my beloved Mrs. S.

Mrs. S...although you may never see this post...this piece is dedicated to you this year...and in the memory of your precious son, Timothy Andrew (by the way...your boy and my boy shared the same middle name). Tim, just as with my own precious son that is no longer with us, you are much loved and will be greatly missed, but one glorious day we WILL see you again! Until your father said is bye-bye for now.

Now...for last year's post...

It was exactly 29 years ago at this very time that Nathan Andrew was born. Something had been wrong for a very long time. I had been bleeding off and on since my second month of times very heavily.

On the 18th of December I was out Christmas shopping with my mother, my aunt, my 1 1/2-year-old daughter, and my three little cousins. All of a sudden I went into labor. My aunt took my daughter home with her and her children, and my mother rushed me to the hospital. Next thing I knew I was being strapped to a gurney and was being shipped by ambulance to a bigger that was attached by a walkway to Children's Mercy in Kansas City. Even though I had been given a lot of medication and was pretty much out of it, I could hear the doctors and nurses talking. If they didn't get me to the other, better equipped hospital soon, they were going to lose me AND the baby. It was one of the most frightening experiences I've ever had. All I could think about was what would happen to my little daughter at home if I died.

I arrived at the other hospital in record time and was immediately surrounded by all sorts of doctors and nurses. I was plugged into every kind of equipment they had...which wasn't nearly as good as the equipment that they have now, but, at the time, it was state-of-the-art. Immediately, the head doctor wanted to know who my doctor was and how long I had been bleeding. She said that the placenta had torn away from the uterus wall and that this baby should have been "taken" months ago. What was she talking about? I would never have allowed my baby to be "taken!"

Long story short...27 hours of intense labor later (I had been given every kind of pain medicine available and nothing seemed to be helping) Nathan Andrew was the hallway on the way to delivery. He was immediately rushed across the walkway to Children's Mercy and I was taken on into delivery where a DNC was performed. A few hours later the doctor came into my room with a nurse who was carrying my baby. Nathan had fought hard and lived for two hours, but his lungs were just too little. Now days they probably could have saved him, but, back then...there was nothing they could do. There was just nothing that they could do. :'(

Nathan was perfectly formed. He had long, black hair, had perfectly formed features, perfect, tiny, little fingers and fingernails...toes and toenails...on the outside he was just that...perfect! Tiny, yes (he was 10 inches long and he only weighed a pound)! But still...perfect.

Not having money for a funeral left me with few choices. I would not be allowed to leave the hospital without signing papers for Nathan's body to, either, be donated to scientific research, or be cremated in the hospital crematory. Not wanting to do either I chose the lesser of the two evils...the hospital crematory. To this day I regret that, but I don't know what else I could have done under the circumstances. It still hurts me beyond anything that I could ever express and there's never been anywhere to mourn Nathan's loss. I came home on Christmas Eve with two very blurry pictures, a set of tiny footprints on a piece of paper, and a poem that the hospital chaplain had given me.

I've never written about all this before, but, tonight, I felt a need to do so. Perhaps there is someone else out there who has been through a similar experience...someone who needs a word of encouragement. Even though all that I went through was, and still is, very sad...there are two things that have ministered to me over the years since Nathan's death...

#1 - The poem that the chaplain shared with me. It was entitled FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND, and I had never read it until the night that she gave it to me there in the hospital. It is still very special to me.

#2 - There's a verse of scripture that the Lord gave to me many, many years later, and it is still the verse that comes to mind whenever I think of Nathan. The verse is found in Psalm 30...verse 5...and it says, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that Nathan is with Jesus and that someday I will see him again! Not as a premature baby, but as the spirit man that God created him to be!

And, if you've suffered the loss of a child...whether it be at birth or beyond...know that, if you are a born-again, Bible-believing, follower of Christ, and child of God, then you, too, will see that child again and be reunited with them in days to come!

And as you remember that trial that you've gone through...perhaps you're asking (or have asked), "Why God? Where were You when I was going through all that? Why weren't you there for me?" I leave you now with that beautiful poem that was shared with me by that wonderful, old chaplain at Children's Mercy...


One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.

Friday, December 14, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 14, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts stamped...

          41. old letters from family and friends
          42. Christmas cards
          43. my name in gold on my Bible

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Thursday, December 13, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 12th and 13th

One Thousand Gifts
Yesterday's Gifts...

     Three gifts berry red...

          35. the beautiful pie cherries that grow on my dad's cherry tree each June and the jelly made from them

          36. fresh strawberries at their peak
Photo Credit
           37. poinsettias at Christmas time
Photo Credit

Today's  Gifts...

     Three gifts striped...

          38. candy canes
Photo Credit

          39. our cat, Stripes

          40. the stockings that I crocheted last year

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Sweet Grandlittle Mugs

My husband and I received these wonderfully cute 'Grandlittle' mugs in today's mail! The were sent to us by our youngest daughter and her husband. What a sweet and thoughtful gift! We love 'em!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 11, 2011

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts ice cold...

          32. icicles
          33. frozen yogurt
          34. frost flowers at Prairie State Park

Photo Credit

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Monday, December 10, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 10, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts unframed art...

          29. the beautiful, hand-made bowl that was gifted to us by our missionary friends from Guatemala
          30. the snowman light that was made and given to us by our little neighbor girl for Christmas a few years back
           31. the lovely wolf painting on an old saw blade that a girl from church made for us many, many years ago

Each of these are gifts I treasure! Each a gift of love given from the heart!

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Sunday, December 9, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 9, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts ugly beautiful...

          26. those nail-scarred hands
          27. emotional scars from the past
          28. a French bulldog named Churchill

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Saturday, December 8, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 8, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     A gift hung...


         23. pictures of people and places held dear in my heart

               ...a gift held...

                      24. a sweet-smelling precious new baby

                              ...a gift heard...

                                     25. familiar voices at the end of a long day away from home

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Friday, December 7, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 7, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts from your Savior...

          20. redemption
          21. renewal in every area
          22. eternal life

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Thursday, December 6, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 6, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts sweet...

          17. freshly-baked cinnamon rolls still warm from the oven
          18. a single chocolate-covered cherry presented to a grandmum after lunch
          19. Ghirardelli raspberry-filled chocolate squares shared by friends over tea
Photo Credit

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 5, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts silver...

          14. the Celtic cross that my friend in Belfast sent to me many years ago

          15. the 'FAITH' rings that my best friend and I share

          16. a soon-to-be-celebrated 25th wedding anniversary

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 4, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     A gift circling...

          11. the never-ending cycle of births and deaths that make up life and family

               a gift crowning...
                    12. the wrinkled head of soon-to-be-born babe

                        a gift crafted...

                             13. the tiny postage-stamp doll quilt made, and given to me, by my grandmother, Maude, when I was a little girl of five-years-old. She was bed-fast at the time and made every stitch by hand. Many of the tiny, one-inch blocks were cut from the little dresses that my daddy wore when he was a baby. (Yes, back then baby boys wore dresses, too.) The quilt is old and worn now, but it's still a treasure to me! :)

Postage-Stamp Doll Quilt Made By My Grandmother Maude

      Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Monday, December 3, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 3, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts shining...

            7) the sweet, smiling faces of happy grandlittles

Audrey, Silas, Abby, and Gianna
Sarah, Elizabeth, and Timothy
            8) stars in the heavens

            9) the Light [Jesus] shining in a world of darkness

      Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Sunday, December 2, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 2, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts bright...

            4) a full moon

            5) sunshine on water

            6) Christmas lights

Country Club Plaza - Kansas City, Missouri - 11/23/12

      Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Saturday, December 1, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 1, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts white...

polar bears
freshly washed whites hung out on the line to dry

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE