Thursday, July 10, 2014

Six Flags

I had the privilege to go to Six Flags with our church youth group. It was an awesome day! I am so incredibly thankful for the wonderful memories that were made with Marlee Anne, Grace, Samantha & all the other youth that went.


I rode the Dahlonega Mine Train first because it was the first ride I ever rode with my daddy. LOVED that so much!

I got to ride Goliath for the first time. Let me just say this has to be one of my most favorite Rollercoasters. Really enjoyed it. Tough to beat Superman & Batman too. 

The new water park Hurricane Harbor is really fun too. Loved Tsunami Surge. 

I loved standing in line reminiscing about the people I have stood in those lines with. It was neat to walk through the park & remember what used to be in those places, like Buford the Buzzard. Remember the recording studio where you could record yourself singing on a cassette tape? What about the Chevy Show? 

The pictures are on the camera so I will have to share those later. I wouldn't have been able to enjoy this day without some very dear family & friends helping out with the other children & making this happen. It's truly takes a village! So thankful for ours! Very thankful for a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weird Animals

When Marlee Anne & I volunteered to direct VBS I was feeling wonderful. Never did I dream I would get sick during the planning stages. A great deal of prayer went into this decision. I just knew I was supposed to be doing crafts but God kept saying something else. Even though I reminded Him what was involved He kept saying direct. 

As Marlee Anne & I were choosing the VBS curriculum we immediately decided on Agent D3. Well that was until Susan told us to go to a certain website which didn't include Agent D3. We read over each one & we were to both pick our favorite 3. The one we both choice alike was Weird Animals. I thought our family definitely fits the description. 

We started right away planning and we were so excited! Things fell into place and people were getting involved. About a month and a half before VBS I got very sick. My first thought was how am I going to take care of my family. My second thought was about VBS. 

For 21 years God has been working on me about asking for help. It's still hard for me to ask for help. However I knew for VBS to happen it was going to take a lot of asking. What an incredible church we are a part of. They stepped in and got it done. The first night was amazing! I cannot wait to see what God has planned for the rest of the week. 

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Being blessed

Let me preface this by saying I was born a Baptist and raised a Baptist. One of my best friends was Methodist and I enjoyed going to church with her, especially MYF. 

When Marlee Anne asked her dad & I if we could start going back to church, how could we say no. She was thankfully unaware of the trials we had faced trying to find a place where we fit and that was accepting and understanding of our unique situation. With a huge smile on her face, when we asked her where she wanted to visit, she said Starrsville Methodist. My first thought was it can't hurt to visit because I knew God wasn't leading us to this church even though we had been praying for years for Him to lead us to the right church. The one where He wanted us to serve. It couldn't be this one because it was Methodist. What do they even believe? It's a small church. Would there be a place for us to serve? We can't just attend church and not serve. 

To give a little history our dear friend Kendra graciously took Marlee Anne to Starrsville's Vacation Bible School every year. The first night she came home talking 90 miles a minute about how it went. The first thing she said was I have a wonderful teacher. Her name is Miss Jane. Miss Jane who we asked. She didn't know but would be sure to find out. The next night she came in to tell her daddy that Miss Jane was his teacher when he was younger. It was Mrs. Jane Anderson. Each night this child's heart was filled more and more. We were so thankful to Kendra and the dear people of this church. Never underestimate the impact of your VBS. 

So years later impacted by her Vacation Bible School experiences Marlee Anne requested to visit Starrsville first. We decided I would go with her and we would leave everyone else at home. Why overwhelm these dear people? Well the pastor was a female. Yes you Baptist friends on mine that's a lady pastor. My only personal knowledge of a female pastor was Royeese Stowe. I think she is wonderful so why not give this pastor the benefit of the doubt. The people of this small church with a big heart were indeed that. They were so very welcoming. 

On the way to Henderson's to pick up lunch after church I thought, that would be a plus. As we were driving along talking about the morning I asked Marlee Anne where she would like to visit next. She said I feel like God wants me there. That's where I would like to be. Well I didn't say a word out loud. I did say to God, here? You want us here? I knew I had a peace about it but continued to ask God if He was sure. I said God how can you use me here? How can I bless others? 

From that day since He has reminded me it's not always about blessing others. It's ok to be blessed. Boy have we been blessed. 

Last night I had the privilege to have dinner with some of the most wonderful women I know from this wonderful church we call home. They bless my soul more than they will ever know. Funny thing is that female pastor is still there too blessing me daily. 

When we pray for direction and God lights the way it's probably best to just follow Him even when we are not sure what's ahead. I pray that as you are blessing others you are also being blessed! 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014!

Thinking of all the amazing possibilities that lie ahead in 2014 but still there is a cloud looming overhead that it will all be done without my mom being here. I miss her so much! The other day I caught myself at night realizing I had gone all day without crying. Somedays I feel such an incredible peace just like I know it should be. I catch myself being worried that a memory is going to catch me off guard & knock me down. Still I am so incredibly thankful for those memories!

Mike & I have been praying about some changes God is leading us towards in our life. We are looking forward to those challenges & working towards a better life. Being in God's will is always such a blessing even though we know the enemy will work a little harder. So very thankful for all the blessings God bestowed upon us in 2013. 

As we reflect on 2013 with our family & friends there are things I would change but that's all in the past. This year I will use those things as a reminder of the person I should be & truly want to be. I see the blessings that were so unexpected & so very welcomed. 

I love looking back on the year to see the struggles that I thought we wouldn't make it through at the time but looking back see how clearly it was all part of God's perfect plan. Maybe just maybe I will remember & cling to that in the struggles of 2014. 

Each night my journal of 2013 includes a blessing that I was & am so very thankful for. So many of those blessings include ya'll. You may not even have known you were a blessing to me that day. I am sorry I didn't thank you at the time. 

Thank you to each of you for touching my life. My prayer for each of you is if you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ you will find Him right there with you. I pray for each of you that have a personal relationship with Him to grow daily in that walk. May you be blessed by those around you & may you be a blessing to them. May you overlook faults & downfalls in others, show kindness & love to those that you think deserve it the least. 

For my precious husband, my rock, I pray that he continues to put God first & me second. I pray that he doesn't compromise his values for the betterment of himself whether in work or with friends. I pray he knows how much I love & admire him always. 

My prayer for our children is health & love. I pray that Mary Elizabeth has a healthy 2014 filled with lots of smiles. I pray for less seizures for Michala & to better adjust to teenage life. I pray for health & happiness for Marlee Anne. I pray she has joy, lots of laughs & continues to grow in her walk with Christ. For my Abe I pray for less seizures & more laughs. I pray for his & Mary Elizabeth's lungs to be strong & healthy. For all our children I pray that they know they are loved first by God & second by a mommy & daddy who loves each other dearly & them just as much. 

My prayer for my sister, brother, nieces, nephews, aunts & cousins is that we find strength in each other to get through this year without mom. She was truly the glue that held us together. 

My prayer for myself is that I will work everyday to be the person God has created me to be. I pray that I will be open to His word as He speaks to me daily. I pray that I will be a God girl, supportive wife, loving mommy, & caring friend. I pray that my eyes & heart are always open to those around me that are in need. 

May 2014 be filled with growth, health & blessings for everyone. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A true act of love.

Those that know me well know a few things that are hard for me. Among those are asking for help & leaving my children. Well a precious friend of mine decided she was going to surprise me with time away with Mike. Mike told her he couldn't surprise me & needed to talk to me about it. He knows my heart so well. I knew right away a lot of prayer went into this because I had such a peace about it when he told me. 

When we walked into her lake house music was playing & there were gorgeous flowers on the table for me. There was a wonderful peace & calm in their home. We had a wonderful time together.

 We went to Gabby's at The Ritz Carlton to eat. Our waiter was absolutely great. Then we walked & saw the lights. It was absolutely beautiful. We were fine until it started getting dark & rainy. I got quiet & Mike knew. As the tears began he said to check on them. As I was waiting for a reply he said I am fine with going home. Very soon I got a text that everyone was doing great. 

As we drove back to the lake house Mike said do you just want to get our clothes & go home. I was very torn & wasn't sure. When we got back he made a fire & I made some coffee. It began to flood outside. It was only about 7 & I was so sleepy. After a nap it was 9 & once again I was anxious & missing our babies. Perfect timing for a text saying everyone was fine. 

I so enjoyed the time with Mike. When you get caught up with life it's nice to know that we still connect as a couple. It was also confirmation that I am where God wants me to be. Very happy & content with being the wife & mommie God created me to be. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why this time of year?

Someone asked me why I don't like this time of year. It probably started the first Thanksgiving & Christmas without my daddy. I thought that was the hardest Thanksgiving & Christmas I ever experienced. 

Then Mary Elizabeth's first Christmas when it wasn't all I ever dreamed of. I wanted her to be sitting up & playing with her toys. As those years went by & people asked what to get her I had no answer. Ya'll know those crushing questions. The ones when family & friends mean well but it breaks your heart. The realization of no gift being right or working for her. Eventually she got diapers for Christmas because the toys she could enjoy were too expensive. 

There is the Christmas we spent without me being pregnant because we lost our little boy during the pregnancy. We were still grieving as the world continued on. My heart still longs for him this day. 

Michala comes along. In November when she was 3 weeks old she had her first seizure. Then she was diagnosed with infantile spasms. My heart wasn't very thankful. On December 21st she was diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome. We were also hit by an on coming car that same night. 

Right after Christmas we began preparing to be admitted to University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital for Michala to start the vigabatrin study program. Not the way we wanted to start the new year. Our first night there I was in the hospital with Michala while Mike & Mary Elizabeth were at the Ronald McDonald House. The next morning the abortion clinic was bomb just a couple of blocks for RM house. It was on lockdown so they couldn't come to the hospital. 

The next November Michala had her first
surgery on her foot at Boston Children's Hospital. The next week we were told she had stage 4 angiosarcoma cancer. That week her second surgery on her foot was done at Egleston Children's Hospital to try to get a clear margine. In December we were given the choice of her life or her leg. We chose her life & in December her leg was amputated. In January her chemotherapy was started with not much hope from the doctors that she would make it. 

The next Thanksgiving & Christmas we spent without my brother Tommy. 

Marlee Anne's first Thanksgiving & Christmas was wonderful but those other memories continued to lurk. As she got older she wanted to get different things for Mary Elizabeth & Michala. Soon she would realize their abilities were different. 

Abe came along & those Christmas dreams were crushed yet again. This year we have Thanksgiving & Christmas without mom. Probably the hardest one ever!

I want to end by saying that our children not being able to run see what Santa brought on Christmas morning gave us even more of the real meaning of Christmas. We have always given them 3 gifts for Christmas representing the 3 gifts the wise men gave to Jesus. They help keep us focused. I try my best not to get in my holiday mood but every now & then it hits. That's why God blessed us with other Mito, Aicardi & "C" families to help us get through this. Also family & friends that have celebrated Thanksgiving & Christmas without a loved one. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mom's funeral

I came here to post a recording of Mike speaking at mom's funeral & I saw my last blog post. I will fill in details later on when my heart is ready. This recording was made by a dear friend of ours.