Saturday, April 25, 2009

April Update

Wow - I can not believe that May is almost here. We have been officially homeless now for 2 months. We are still living in the Ayres Hotel and have been very thankful for being able to have this place to stay. Some days it is hard to believe that we do not have a "real home". It is funny how the security of knowing that you have a place to call "home" is something that we most all take for granted for most of or all of our living days. I never thought in a million years that I would be among the "homeless" - it is very interesting how it takes a toll on your mental state.

Stace has always been a pessimistic person - I the opposite - the eternal optimist. Some days it is hard to convince the pessimist that things are meant to happen for a reason and that God ultimately has a plan in all things.

Stace is tired and down a lot of the time. I try to keep us all keeping on. Trenton is doing poorly in school - sad to say. He goes between being down then up then down again. Turner has has a set back in his behavior in school and continues to tantrum at times - which wears on your nerves. I try to remain calm and realize that he has special needs and can not help it. Taylor has had a re-lapse , with drinking hard alcohol and we feel that he needs to be placed in a treatment center. Today was not a good day for him and we can not jeopardize our living situation at the hotel by having him here - or having him show up intoxicated.

Pray for endurance - as I am a believer in keep on keeping on. I know we all have our bad days and then our good. I pray for more good than bad and try to always find a silver lining in each thing. It is harder said than done at times. I will keep you updated and appreciate the emails and calls. We have been blessed by giving individuals and thank the Lord for each blessing as it comes.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

March Update

We are being evicted from our home. We have received the blessing of a very low rate at the Ayre's Suites hotel as we wait to see where our journey takes us. We are thankful to have such a lovely place to stay. We are on the waiting list at Families Forward. Stace needs to have 3 more surgeries on his hand and arm. Taylor is up and down - keep praying for his mental stability. Turner is having a very tough transition as is Trenton. Moving is very hard - and watching all your things being sold and donated is hard for kids to comprehend. Keep them in your prayers. We will get through this storm - one day at a time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


2009 Update...
Many of you have written asking for an update on Stace and Taylor. I greatly appreciate your concern and emails of well wishes and prayers. AGAIN thank you to all of you for your help along the way and all the wonderful Holiday Gifts that we received. We are using the money to meet our utility bills this month.

Stace is continuing to receive physical therapy 3 times a week. He is still seeking employment that he can do with his limitations. He is going in for a physical this week, and has gotten some new medication to try for his anxiety. His depression is still troublesome but he sees the doctor today for that.

Taylor has his ups and downs. He seems stable at the moment. Since he does not live here with us any longer - it is really hard to assess his stability and moods. I see him each day and take him a meal. He told me he has not had any alcohol for a while and was proud of that.

In an effort to keep my spirits up I have started a new blog for ME. I have been so caught up in everyone else I have lost myself. If you wish to check out my journey - here is my new blog...

Memoirs of a New Me...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


This is the site for an UPDATE ON JAMIE WARREN
Pastor Rick's Daughter-In-Law
- Jamie's Caring Bridge Site -

Jamie gave birth to a preemie named Cole.
It was then discovered that she had a large brain tumor.
She underwent surgeries at UCLA.
Please continue to pray for her and the Warren Family.

Many have asked about the outcome from the Peppinos Fundraiser...
Peppinos sent us a check for $625 !
This helped us meet our utility bills and other bills this month!

Our Last Family Photo - 2005 -
I know we need an updated one!

WARNING - GRAPHIC PHOTOS ahead - Not for the faint at heart! :o)

My husband Stace was in a car accident Monday and we need your prayers.

I know the Lord loves my family more than I can imagine. I need His help now.

Our family has been stressed beyond the breaking point. With the losses we have suffered this year and with the economic crisis it has become harder and harder to stay afloat.

Many of you know that our oldest son, Taylor has increasingly become mentally unstable as he has chosen to do illegal drugs, drink and go off his prescribed medications following his accident in January. He suffered a skull fracture and several brain bleeds as well as 3 large bruises on the brain. It is not know the extent of the damage he suffered, but we know the son we once had is no longer here in mind and spirit. It pains us so to see his suffering.

On Monday Taylor got extremely upset after demanding to be picked up so he could come home after a 2 week stint of being "out and about - who knows where." Most likely he had been doing drugs and drinking. He wanted to come home to brush his teeth and get new clothes. I had some words for him that he didn't care for and he decided to fly into one of his rages over the phone. I hung up on him so he called Stace and then me repeatedly. When we did not respond or answer he became enraged.

Stace was at work and could tell by the tone of Taylor's messages that he was VERY angry at me. Two weeks ago Taylor got physical with me. Stace feared that he would come home and become enraged and hurt me. Stace tried to reach me and my cell phone had gone dead. Being worried he decided to drive home to check on things.

As he drove he experienced a stress induced panic attack (he did not know that is what is was at the time...). He felt himself beginning to pass out. As he came to a busy intersection he became very hot and felt as things were closing in on him. He knew he needed to cool down and pull over. He decided to throw is left arm out the window because his truck has no air conditioning. He was going to pull over to the right side of the road when he passed out. He veered to the left and crossed into oncoming traffic. He hit a lady in a suburban and in doing so his left arm was wedged between his vehicle and hers. As he traveled at a high rate of speed his skin was torn off of his arm. He then rolled the truck hitting his head on the pavement.

The lady was not injured.
Stace's truck was totaled. His tools were strewn all about the road.

He was taken to Mission Hospital where he underwent surgery last night. His surgery lasted 3.5 hours. He needed his elbow repaired with screws and all of his knuckles on his left hand were dislocated and pushed up on top of his wrist bone. His injury perplexed the doctors - it was like a "rubix cube" they said. The doctors attempted to repair things and put them back where they belong.

Stace lost 70% of the skin on his left arm. While in surgery they scrubbed the "road rash" off to expose raw skin. They will be treating this as they would a burn victim.
He has a pretty large abrasion and cuts and bruises on his head. He suffered a concussion and is in terrible pain.

We are so blessed that he is alive and that he did not lose his arm. His injuries although severe could have been so much worse. Please pray for his comfort and that he will be able to regain the use of his arm. It will be a long recovery. Stace will not be able to work for a while and I am very concerned as to how we will survive.
Please pray for us and the stress that this will bring. We do not know how we will replace his vehicle as we only had liability insurance on it.

To complicate matters - we do not have health insurance at the moment.

Taylor continues to exhibit out of control behavior even in the midst of his dad's accident. I am being forced to stay away from my home because I am living in fear of what he may do. We are at my mom and dad's house and trying to get the kids to and from school as I go the the hospital is a challenge. I am so grateful for all the help from my wonderful friends who have stepped in to come to my aide. My small group and church have been such a strong source of support and for that we are so grateful.

I have been battling an illness for the past week and it has gone into my chest - pray for my strength and for me to become physically stronger because I am needed by a lot of people.

Tomorrow is our 20 year wedding anniversary - who ever would have thought that we would be spending it in a hospital being thankful that we are able to still look into each others eyes. I am so happy that Stace is alive and I hope to have him around for another 20 years. I know we will get through this - it just may be a very - very rough road. We look forward to renewing our wedding vows once his recovery is complete and hope that you can share in this special time with us as it will mean so much after coming out the other side of this experience.

Please pray . . .

Thank you

After His First Surgery

WARNING - GRAPHIC PHOTOS - Not for the faint at heart! :o)



Before Second Surgery working on the lungs...

It was found today that Stace had infection on the skin wounds that covered his arm. He underwent another surgery tonight and the doctor had thought she would need to perform skin grafting. Praise the Lord that she did not have to do that! She was able to take the infected tissue all away and scrub the skin down to expose a raw fresh area to promote healing. She did this to the left arm and to Stace's head. She is a bit concerned about the elbow as it is red and hot - if he continues with a fever - this may need to be taken out and a different implant put in. Please pray also that Stace does not get pneumonia - his lungs do not sound the best and his pulse ox was at 93 without oxygen.
I pray he is on the mend and hope he can come home soon.
I will keep you posted!

Thank you for your prayers and support!

He is at MISSION HOSPITAL in Mission Viejo - 3rd Floor Room 366.


After Second Surgery - resting

September 11, 2008
Stace is still in pain - but has not run a fever today!! Yeah! He got up to go the the bathroom and was able to walk one lap around the nurses station. He started solid food - but has not much of an appetite. His arm is really hurting him and he is getting itchy from the pain meds. Tomorrow he will have to have his wound re-dressed and a new soft cast put on. Pray for a the pain meds to work so this will not be so painful!

September 12, 2008
Today was a bit stressful. As the doctors had a bit of confusion - Stace got a little unsettled. The ortho doc came in and said that in 2 weeks they would start re-hab on the wrist and fingers. He was not sure about the elbow because there is a slight issue with it at the moment. His skin wounds were oozing more than they should be indication that the wounds are too wet. The wound care nurse and specialist came in and decided on a more effective bandage system that supplies pain relief, is coated in silicone so it does not stick and only has to be changed 2 times a week instead of daily. This will cut down on the risk of secondary infection. The dressing process was painful and was hard to watch as Stace's jaw quivered and shook from the pain of the nerve endings being exposed to the air. I learned how to clean the wounds and apply the new dressings as I will need to do this for the next several weeks. Stace was pretty wiped out after this procedure and rested most of the day. I was able to give him a sponge bath and change his jammies, give him a soft blanket, brush his teeth and sit with him. He is getting a bit restless as it is hard to get comfortable.
He is missing home and the boys. He may get to come home on Monday or Tuesday if the new antibiotics work on the elbow "issue". The coloring does not look too good and they fear that the body is rejecting the screw or that infection is in there. If so he will undergo a 3rd surgery to remove that and replace it with something else. We will pray that is not the case!!
I will keep you posted...
PS = Stace would love visitors! :o)

September 14, 2008
Stace had a rough day yesterday. I was only able to get over to the hospital in the morning to take Turner, Trevan and Trenton to see him. He was so happy to see the boys but he was not himself. He is depressed and frustrated. His pain was more severe yesterday as they are tying to find oral pain meds that work for him. He was not in very good spirits. I spoke to him this morning and he is anxious for me to get there. He is lonely and wants a sponge bath. His skin wounds are giving him more pain as they are drying out and his dressing will need to be changed. We will know tomorrow when he can come home.
Pray for his spirit to be lifted and for strength for me as this is stressful on the kids and I am the one to have to make it all better for everyone. I am really tired. Stace's mom also underwent surgery for a blocked colon - please pray for her recovery.

September 14th 6:30 pm
Stace is back on the IV pain meds and feels much better. I was able to take Trenton to see him for a couple hours. We took him for a walk and I gave him a semi-shower.
He felt better to be able to get into fresh jammie pants and be a little cleaner.
He was happily watching drag racing when I left and his pain was not bad.
He will have the wound care nurse come tomorrow to change the dressing and we will have a peek to see if there is any infection. Pray that it is looking good and he can come home after they find oral pain meds that work for him!
Thanks so much! I am still SO tired - so off to feed the kids and to bed early for this mama!

September 15th 9:00pm
Well - WE ARE HOME! Praise the Lord! The plastic surgeon came and checked the skin wounds and there are only a few places that are still bad. No sign of infection so no 3rd surgery!! Yipeeee! He will stay in the soft cast for 2 more weeks and have a home health nurse come Thursday to help me change his dressings. He has a lot of bruising and is sore - but that is to be expected. Pray that the combo of pain meds is going to be effective. He is a bit depressed and feels a bit "lost" but I am sure that is the meds. They did a cognitive thinking test and he has some deficits in short term memory - which is from the head injury and concussion. This will be re-tested in a few weeks to see if it has improved. We follow up in 10 days with the orthopedic surgeon, 10 days with the plastic surgeon and 10 days with the trauma doctor. He will see someone for the anxiety on the 25th. Pray that all continues to go well - I know we have an uphill battle - especially with work, finances and getting another vehicle. I know the Lord has a plan and as Pastor Tom said he lets us know one step at a time. I am glad to have my man back in the house - even though I have one more "boy" to take care of. The kids all missed their dad and are happy he is home too. We'll keep you posted. Thanks for the calls and well wishes - Stace needs encouragement right now.

September 16th - 8:00am
I tried to be a nurse last night waking up and giving Stace his pills. He was uncomfortable and has a hard time finding positions that were suitable. Then at 2:00am we were awaken by Trevan who had gotten sick all over his bed and then continued to be sick for the next 45 minutes. What fun! I got his bed changed - towels down and then back to bed. A short time later Trenton woke me to tell me that he too was sick. Please pray that Stace and me do not get this bug - that would NOT be a good thing! I am still VERY tired - pray I can find a moment to get a power nap in this day somewhere. Thanks.

September 17th - 8:30am
Well, night 2 at home. It seems we are all not settled in yet. A lot of waking up and broken sleep. We'll get there eventually - a full nights sleep - whoever would have thought that that would be a luxury! We got Stace bathed and pulled some more glass out of his back. He is doing pretty well with the pain meds - he has pain in the elbow and wrist and itching on the skin wounds - which means they are healing!
I am having trouble with my asthma - can't kick this cough. Turner and Trevan are getting back to normal as they are happy to help out with dad and glad to have him home. The home health care nurse will come tomorrow to do a dressing change. I have a lot of running to do - back to the hospital to fill out financial forms and then an appointment in Aliso Viejo to apply for Medi-Cal. The reality of the situation is setting in now that he is home and he is having some anxiety attacks. Pray that we can get these under control and that he will not stress. Our greatest need is financial right now so please pray we can find a way to cover our bills and rent.
Thank you.

September 18th - Dressing Change

Stace is still in pain. A very nice nurse named Jane came this morning to help do a dressing change. No fever - that is good! A lot of the skin is healing nicely! He is having pain in the elbow and in the wrist - and will be in the cast for 2 more weeks. Emotionally he is getting really worn down and depressed. He is having some anxiety attacks and is irritable. We have 4 doctors appointments next week to find out about re-hab and check his progress. I am going to see today about Medi-Cal to help with the hospital bills and such. Wish me luck!

9/18/08 7:30pm
As I watched Stace today not feeling or acting himself it was very hard. I kept hearing sweet Carrie Payne over and over again in my head saying:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28. As I feel discouraged you all keep lifting me up. Weather it be a surprise in the mail, a kind card, an email, or a delivery of much needed supplies - I am humbled. I appreciate each and every prayer and gesture of kindness more than you know. I think that the Lord has a purpose in everything and I will wait upon the Lord to see what that message is. The kind actions are speaking volumes to my husband and I know God has a mighty plan for us. Again - thank you all...

9/21/08 - 8:20pm
Wow - as this weekend draws to a close I can hardly believe that a new week is already here. Where does time go? Friday night we had our first social outing. Stace and I were asked by Nani and Dave Plaza to visit their small group for the 40 days of Love. We went and met some wonderful men and women and felt right at home. Stace did good. He was really worn out when we got home and slept in until very late the next morning! He was glad to have gone and I think it lifted his spirits. One of the ladies brought us a beautiful meal on Saturday morning. Trenton had a home game and Stace really wanted to go. We were able to go and take along with my parents. The game was exciting even though we lost. As I was photographing the game I was reflecting on how grateful I was to be able to look into the stands and see my husband enjoying watching his son play. Bandages and cast aside - these wounds will heal. I know my heart would have not healed if he had died. Life takes on a new perspective when it is almost taken from you. We took the meal that Elaine brought us to my parents and were able to invite friends and loved ones over for a nice dinner post game. Stace grew tired and I took him home to rest then returned to my parents where the boys and I stayed for a long while to give daddy some peace at home. Today I rallied Taylor and 3 of his friends and pretty much forced them to come to church with me. I took Travis, Thompson, Nikki and Taylor to the Overdrive service. Taylor gave me a bit of trouble and said some unkind things but I knew it was conviction that was seeping through. No matter how hard he resists - I know he KNOWS he is known to God and loved - no matter how imperfect he thinks he is. I was pleased that they went and seemed to enjoy and pay attention to the message. I had a photo shoot this afternoon and relished time AWAY from the responsibilities at home. I too need a break! Tomorrow is another day - Stace has a doctors appointment and I am working in Turner's Kindergarten classroom. We were very blessed by many of you this past week and I appreciate all gifts, notes and kind words of encouragement. My Small Group is the most loving group of women EVER and I feel so honored that the Lord picked me to be with them! Friends and people that I do not know who have helped us - please know that we are SO VERY grateful for all of the kind gestures.

It is such an example to my boys and I hope that you all know that you are blessed to be a blessing!
Please know that the simple things mean SO much!

September 24, 2008 - Happy Birthday to my BROTHER!

Well this week we have seen the trauma doctor, the plastic surgeon and the orthopedic surgeon. The skin wounds are healing and will only need 2 more dressing changes - then he can have the skin out in the open air. The orthopedic surgeon did an x-ray and the fingers have all stayed in place. He cut the hand portion away from the cast and wants Stace to start to move the hand to regain range of motion. The elbow has not healed completely - we got to see the huge screw that has been placed in there to hold it together. WOW, amazing what they can do with bones and screws! He said 2 more weeks in the cast and then he will x-ray it again to see if it has healed. If so then he may begin physical therapy for that. We are now battling the towing company that the OC Sheriff called to have the truck towed. They want $755 to release the truck. I found a salvage yard to buy the heap for $400 but I have to come up with the $755 plus $30 a day! What a nightmare. If I do not get it out within 30 days they will charge me $4000 and then send us to court to obtain the pink slip. In addition they will get Stace's license suspended! This is just horrible - there are no agencies that govern this type of thing! I offered to GIVE them the title on the truck and they laughed. They said it is only worth $150 to them and they want the money. Wish me luck - if it is not one thing it is another...
I am thankful that Stace is alive and healing - do not get me wrong. I know I was blessed by his life being spared. I appreciate all the gifts and help that you are all giving us. Please continue to pray for us and ask the Lord to show us what is to be learned by all these challenges.

September 25th

Today we faced another road block. The staff at Mission Hospital had scheduled an appointment for Stace to see a mental health professional. When we got to the very early morning appointment after getting the 2 little guys off to Grandma's - we found out that the doctor was in fact an internal medicine doctor.
After pulling all of the charts from his hospital stay we learned that Stace has a 4mm tumor in his lung.

No one at the hospital ever addressed this issue with us. She ran a blood panel and will re do tests in a couple months to see if the tumor has grown or if it is nothing to worry about. She sent us on our way with a host of phone numbers to call to try to find someone for Stace to see about his anxiety and depression.
Back to square one....
Off to do dinner and get Trenton ready for football practice -
I'll keep you posted!

September 26th
The internal medicine doc called and told me that because Stace was there for depression and mental health she did not want to discuss the tumor in the lung at that time. She pulled the test results and told me that we did need to address the issue and have it looked at by a pulmonary doctor. She wanted Stace on meds for depression before telling him of this. Pray for me to endure - pray that this is nothing.

Update on Taylor -
Taylor has been home every night since his dad's accident. He is not perfect - as none of us are. He has however helped around the house - come in when we have asked him to, and has tried not to be explosive. We have had some bumps in the road and a few explosive outbursts - but nothing serious. I know we are being covered in prayer and I am so thankful for that. We need peace in our home now more than ever and I thank all who are lifting us up right now.
Update on Stace -
Stace continues to try to move his hand and ice it. It is very painful still and he is really trying hard. His sleep is broken as his arm has started falling asleep and it is painful. He is having bad headaches and spends most of his time in bed. I know this is a very low time for him and I have been trying to encourage him and we are reading the "Relationship Principals Of Jesus" which is part of the 40 Days of Love Study. We will be going tonight to the couples Small Group that we attended last week. Pray that satan does not get in the way and we get there tonight!

September 27th - Happy Birthday to my DAD! and to Karen!

As we have been reading the Relationship Principals of Jesus - we came to a part that read:
"It is your FAITH in God's principals that change your life! This statement is not meant to give any of us the credit, because it is GOD who give us the power to have FAITH. Instead, it is a reminder that knowing more facts and ideas and principles - even if they're God's principles - does not have the power to change your relationships. The power to change starts with faith - with trusting God - and then acting on that faith." This spoke to Stace. He stopped me and said "I guess I do not put my faith in God - I try to take care of everything on my own."

We talked and decided that perhaps we are being tested. Perhaps God is asking us to have FAITH that we will get through these challenges. Stace then commented - "But HOW are we suppose to have FAITH that we will get $2000 to pay the rent in just a few days?" I told him it was not for us to worry about - but rather to PRAY about and that God would provide. He replied - "I hope you are right." We went to small group last night and enjoyed the lesson.
It is so wonderful to share with a group of God loving individuals.

We arose early this morning looking forward to a day of football with Trenton. As I was taking the trash out I saw a truck stopped in front of my house. Expecting the worst - someone serving us with a lawsuit or something, I came in to tell Stace that someone was in front of the house. He went out front to check things out and he saw a card on the windshield of the van. He brought it to me and it read:

Blessings In Disguise

The world is full of miracles
to those who recognize them,
But we have to look the right way
since God sometimes will disguise them.

He shines His light in places
where we'd least expect Him to,
And often does the opposite
of what we think He'll do...

He has a way of bringing out
the best within the worst
The moment we stop worrying
and choose to put Him first

And if we do, He'll pull us through
and help us find the door
That opens to the very thing
that we'd been looking for.

Sometimes things happen that are hard to understand,
but I believe that your faith will see you through.
Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you!!!

Keep the faith and please let us know how we can help.
We are all praying for you all.

Walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7


My knees went weak - I was moved to tears. It were as if the Lord himself had handed me the card. Stace was blown away - as was I. We quickly went to share this with Trenton, as this had come from one of his friend's parents. I had only met the mother ONE time.
What a GOD thing this is!!
Trenton could not believe it either. I had to share it with Taylor and his friends, my parents and my neighbor. I tell you if this is not a testimony of love and a lesson in having faith then I do not know what is!
I called her to thank her and express our gratitude. We talked a while and I hung up so humbled and filled with love. She told me that they were blessed to be a blessing and that she wanted to come by later in the day to give us the money to settle up with the towing company on Stace's truck. I told her NO - NO! She insisted and gently reminded me that if someone is offering and willing to help you should say "thank you and God Bless you" - not turn their offer away.

I knew that she was correct as I have been able to be on the giving end at times and people have not wanted to accept the help I had to offer. It is just so hard being on this end and the Lord is expanding the portion of my heart labeled "humility". I am so humbled and grateful beyond words. After football she appeared at my door with an envelope of cash. We are now able to pay the inflated towing and storage bill and clear this matter up. What a burden lifted!

Thank you to our "Angels" as we feel a relief that we can keep the roof over head this month. I thank all the people who have also mailed money to the "Recovery Fund" - sent beautiful scriptures and anonymous cash donations - uplifting cards - and surprise gift cards to us. Getting the mail is actually a joy - mixed in with medical bills and past due utility notices little sprinkles of love come too. I feel the Lords strong arms about us and we are learning so many lessons during this time.

My boys are witnessing random acts of kindness and I pray that they too are in the position one day to be able to "be Jesus with skin on" to those along the way.
My heart filled with joy tonight as we had a wonderful football game today - the boys played their hearts out and it was such a beautiful day for the Lindner's.

My school, Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate, has recently started an online fundraising effort. If you'd like to help out, click on the link below to save up to 85% on hundreds of great magazines. Our school receives 40% of the purchase price.

I really appreciate your help in our fundraising efforts. My goal is to sell 50 orders!


September 28th - weekend over!?

Wow - where did the weekend go?!
I did not realize until I came home today how frazzled I am.
I got out for a few hours to socialize with WOMEN! Oh, how I miss "me" time! I went to the movies with my mom and 3 friends. It was glorious - not to think of anything! I was in "la la land" until Stace called and needed me to come home. He was quite "not happy" with having to deal with the boys and he was feeling overwhelmed and sick. I promptly came home and prayed all the way for the Lord to mold some much needed patience and kindness into my heart. I came home and Stace went to bed. I spent some time with the lil guys and then my friend Sandra came bearing the wonderful gift of dinner! It is so helpful to not have to think and cook at the end of the very long day! THANK YOU to all the wonderful meal providers that the angels have sent! We all rallied and got dad up to eat and then I bathed him and changed his dressing. I snapped some new photos so you can see the progression... Sorry if they look gross - but slowly - he is healing...

Pray for speedier healing of the skin wounds - I am being selfish here! LOL! I really want my poor hubby to have his arm back! :o) I lined his cast with some soft fabric and we put it back on after the bath and new dressings. He will be in the cast another week then off to get another x-ray to check the healing of the bones.

I need strength for the week - lots of patience and rest! I appreciate your prayers tenfold! THANK YOU all again for helping us through!

As I sit with my coffee and a sinful vanilla cream horn trying to clear the cobwebs this morning I am reminded of simple pleasures.
The simple pleasure of eating a vanilla cream horn ALL BY MYSELF without having to give "fair bites" to 2 little guys - priceless. Although in just a minute my simple pleasure of the day will be gone and then I will think of how many calories I just ingested I am going to chew the last bite slowly and make it last.
I feel like a lump today. Yesterday was a whirlwind of errands, phone calls and challenges. I did get a lot done - but I felt like one of those runners that jumps the hurdles.

EXCEPT I hit all of them - knocking them down!

I will tell you that this is such a learning experience.

Our day started at 5:00am when Turner and Trevan were awakend by the lightening and thunder. We used it as a discovery session. We opened the shutters and sat on the bed. We talked about lightening and what made thunder. Turner was thrilled to be able to "watch the sun wake up". He was amazed that the sky looked the color of macaroni and cheese. How fun - how simple. Oh to be a kid again - to discover things like lightening and the sunrise!

Very tired I made coffee and started taking care of business. I found out that in trying to cancel the insurance policy on the truck - we will have to pay a $50 cancellation fee AND pay for the rest of the policy because we are canceling mid term. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Then in order to cancel at all - we have to prove the truck was totaled and the insurance adjuster was not in yesterday.


We HAD to take care of getting the truck out of the tow yard before we were charged more. I tried to do it on Saturday but the man who wanted to BUY the heap for $400 did not work SATURDAY! So, I called him after calling the insurance company. I found out that he now had no room on his lot and was not interested in buying the truck like he was on Friday!

Back to square one AGAIN! BAM!

I called and called and finally found a junk yard who would come haul it off for the small fee of $100!

So not only did we lose the truck - we have to pay insurance and a cancellation fee for the next 4 months, pay the tow yard $966 plus pay someone $100 to tow it away!


My day did not get off to a good start. I was too exhausted to drive Turner to IBI across town. I dressed Turner and got him off to Kindergarten - that was the best I could do. With Trevan and Stace in tow we went off to the tow yard.

I had an assignment of photographing the truck so the adjuster could determine it was in fact a total loss. We arrived - I got my camera - set off to take the photos and found out that I had no CF Card in the camera! That is the "film" so to speak! WOW. Okay - so I used my camera phone hoping for the best.

BIT it again!

We waited and waited for the guy to show up to tow it to the junk yard. The we waited some more. Trevan had to go "pee pee" of course - so off to find a bathroom. The we wait. Finally after what seemed like forever - Stace growing more anxious with each passing second - the man arrives. In order to free the wreck from the mass of tangled vehicles a guy with a fork lift had to move 9 cars to get to the truck. We stood and watched - then the challenge of attempting to get Stace's mangled heap onto the flatbed. That was a feat!

After that was all said and done we got into the car to go off to the next thing. Stace started sweating and shaking. He told me to pull over as he did not feel well. He then got sick. I do not know if it was a panic attack or what - but he needed to get home. I drove him home and put him to bed.

There he remained for the next 7 hours as I dropped Trevan at Grandma's, had her get Turner at school so I could run to fill prescriptions, fax papers to Social Services, go to the bank to get a money order for the rent, go to the post office, run by the store, check in with Trenton, deal with Taylor, check on Stace, and so on.

I finally got home at 7:30pm - with the little guys. Ready to drop - I prepared dinner for Stace, got dinner for the rest of the brood, did the dishes, put laundry in, sprayed a ton of ants, mopped the floor, got one of the boys to take out the trash and then replaced toilet paper because heaven forbid mom has some when she finally sits down to pee!

Next I got the boys ready for bed - got them in bed - re-wrapped Stace's arm - gave him his host of medicines - said goodnight to Trenton - locked the house - told Taylor to call to be let back in before 11pm - took something for my headache - brushed my teeth and fell into bed.

So back to the simple things - I wish I had another
vanilla cream horn...

Well off to see what this day holds!

OCTOBER 1st, 2008
A new month. I will pray that THIS month is much better than the last.

I got a dose of "The OC" yesterday. It made me stop and reflect.

I am thankful that my "roots" are in the midwest where life is so different. I am a bit sad to realize though that "The OC" and certain attitudes found here are going to be the "roots" of my boys. I had a bittersweet encounter yesterday morning.

A man knocked on my door to tell me that he worked for the Homeowners Association. He told me that their had been complaints lodged against us due to some bare spots on our lawn where bunnies choose to use the bathroom. He mantioned oil stains in the driveway and flowers that have faded and need to be removed. He said he learned of our situation and he wanted to give me a "heads up" before action was taken. (this is the BITTER part)
He then handed me money out of his own pocket to help with the expense of "a lawn makeover". (this is the SWEET part)
I was sad, yet grateful.
As I drove Turner to school - I was irritated. Irritated that it was almost October and the heat was suffocating. I was irritated that as I passed through my neighborhood I saw lawns in much worse shape - bare landscape - tall grass - weeds. I normally pass through and appreciate the beauty of the flowers and notice plants that I have no name for. Today was different. I was bordering on anger.

Don't these people know that although they may have expensive gardeners, beautiful landscape and two brand new cars in the driveway that there are people who may not be in the same position as them?

How dare they judge me and my character on the appearance of my lawn, what kind of car I drive and how I dress!
I pulled into the school, tired, hot and irritated. The parking there is always a nightmare. I spot a FRONT ROW spot - "Oh thank you Lord" I say to myself. He must know I do not feel up to walking a distance today! As I get ready to pull in a car comes out of nowhere travelling the WRONG direction and slips into the space!

NOW I am really angry! In great disgust and irritation I proceed forward and as I turn the corner - there in the first spot of the next row is a spot. This spot was covered in glorious SHADE. It was the only spot around AND it was in the SHADE.

Wow. I had to stop my irritation. I had to stop being mad. "Thank you God" - I whispered. This was a visual representation to me that I am in "God's Shade". I may not be able to see it all the time - but he is blessing me. In times of "blistering heat" he is providing me with "shade".

As I drove home I tried to make a mental note of WHY we choose to live here in Orange County where life can be so "surface" and "selfish". I read an email recently that talked about how we approach things. If we approach them in LOVE we will see LOVE - if we approach things in ANGER we will see things that make us ANGRY.

I decided to list the reasons why I love "The OC" and why we choose to stay...
  1. The weather IS beautiful - not perfect - but there are no HURRICANES, TORNADOES, MONSOONS - etc.
  2. We love to be near Saddleback Church. Wonderful - Beautiful - Church.
  3. We have friends and family here.
  4. I love the beach. Being there shows me the awesomness of God.
  5. There IS a lot to do and see here. We just have to remember and appreciate that.
  6. This is a BEAUTIFUL place to live.
I decided to reflect on the "good" things so they would SHADE the bad.

I came home to find Stace still in bed. He spends everyday in bed. He says he feels "physically sick" and riding in the car makes him very anxious and sick to his stomach. I am going to call today to find a doctor for him to see. Pray that we find one that actually takes the time to DIAGNOSE the patient - not push samples across the desk and say "try these" for 3 weeks.
I know he is D E P R E S S E D. He is the MAN. He feels it is his job to make the money, take care of this family, take care of the lawn, service the cars (well only one now), etc.
He can't do any of that right now. His future is uncertain where his physical abilities are concerned which will determine what he will do for a living. I get that. "I" can't fix it.
We have to give it to God and rest in His SHADE right now.
Easier said than done for some people.
Pray that we can rest in God's Shade.

CHALLENGES for today -Please lift these up in prayer...
  1. Find a good psychaitrist that is on the insurance that we now have.
  2. Appointment at the Honda Dealer about the lease on the van (we are nearing our milage limit and we have a year to go). We need to see what our "affordable" options are. My mom leased this for us when Trevan was born.
  3. Neighbors are complaining about Taylor and his friends "hanging out" in front of the house. Pray that we can get through to him that this needs to stop and is not an option.
  4. Landscape. Pray for my physical strength and for the boys to help me get this taken care of.

October 2, 2008

Since we had an appointment with the Honda Dealership I decided to use some of the money donated to take and have the van professionally washed. This is a luxury that I usually never afford myself. I got Stace and Trevan to go with me. As we were sitting in the waiting room a lady asked what happened to Stace's arm. We told her about the accident and chatted a while. As she got up to leave she asked if she could buy us lunch. We said "No - No!" she then insisted and handed us $40.

We were very touched and grateful. She made us promise to treat ourselves to lunch - so we went to TGI Fridays.

While there we had a cute little waitress with a southern accent. She took our order. She quickly returned to tell us that she could not give us our drinks because they ran out of clean glasses.
After a long while our food arrived - and so did the drinks. As we enjoyed our lunch we heard a HUGE CRASH behind us. As I looked I saw her amid a huge mess. She had dropped a large tray of dishes, glasses and silverware as she attempted to bus a table. Liquid was dripping all over the floor and broken plates were strewn about. I felt so bad for her!

Later she returned with our bill and she had accidentally overcharged us by about $5 or more. The bill should have been around $19-$20 at most. I kindly asked her to correct it already making up my mind that I was going to give her the remainder of the $40 as a tip.

It took quite a while and as she returned she tripped and nearly fell. She went to hand me the change and I explained that someone blessed us with the gift of money for the lunch and I wanted to bless her with the change.

She teared up - and gave me a bit hug. She told me it was her second day here - she had transferred from out of state. Her day had been filled with all sorts of mistakes and blunders and she had dubbed it the "worst day ever". She thanked me and told me that I had just "made her day!" I felt so wonderful being able to bless someone as I had been blessed. I then told her about Saddleback Church and invited her to attend.

Later my mom and I met Cynthia at the FAMILY HONDA in reference to the lease on the van.
We met with the manager and Cynthia explained the situation and that we were needing help in being proactive. Since we did not have income we wanted to explore what options were available to get out of the lease early. He explained that the only thing we could do is to sell it to someone for the balance owed on the lease. The payoff is almost $18,000. He is going to see if the owner of the dealership will allow him to place it on the lot on consignment and sell it for us. We will know by Friday. Thanks to Cynthia for her time and help with this matter!

***So if anyone is looking for a 2004 Honda Odyssey Mini Van let me know.
It has 33,000 miles a DVD player and power. It is a wonderful vehicle with new tires and brakes. We love it and would love to keep it - but have no idea how we will make the $500 lease payment at this time. Our future is so uncertain with Stace's arm and when he may return to work. ***

When we returned from that appointment we found Taylor and his 3 friends out on the curb smoking. I had addressed this issue with him the night before.

My mom started to talk to him and something she said set him off. He quickly went into one of his "rages" that quickly turned very dark. He started screaming obscenities to my mom and myself. He started kicking things and screaming VERY loudly. This quickly escalated and Stace became involved. Taylor then went inside and continued to rage as my mom was crying outside. As Taylor was punching things and screaming inside Trevan and Turner became scared and started screaming and crying.

When these episodes happen you are totally helpless. Nothing you say or do can bring Taylor out of this. After he physically tires he then becomes hysterical and goes into a crying fit.

He poured his heart out last night and told us how he feels. He feels so hopeless and helpless. He does not understand WHY he acts this way. He shared some VERY dark and DISTURBING thoughts that go through his mind and he KNOWS that this is not normal. He does not want to be alive. He said he has tried to overdose several time and has gotten very sick instead. This makes him feel even more disconnected. He said he is tired of "smoking pot" to try to get a "feeling" of calm normalcy. He knows he needs help and is just not confident as we have tried many doctors and many - many medicines. He was remorseful for his actions and apologized and hugged me. He then asked to call his Grandma to apologize and he wants to bake her a cake. He says he "blacks out" and does not remember the events after they happen. This frightens him.
I can not imagine what he is going through.

Trapped by your mind. Knowing HOW you should respond and behave but NOT being able to make it happen.

***PRAY that I can locate a COMPETENT Doctor today to get Taylor
the HELP he needs.***

My heart breaks for my child. I know the person that the Lord made him to be is inside him - I know his HEART. He has a tender soul. He has always been kind and caring. Since his accident he has lost 25 pounds and has become so withdrawn. He walks around angry and scowling. THIS IS NOT MY SON.
I do not know where he has gone and I want him back. If I had one wish it would be that I could find the help to bring back my boy. He was my first born - my first love. I would give my life for him.

Please pray for him - pray that the Lord will provide what we need to save him.


We just learned the sad news of Chris Black's death. Last night one of Taylor's friends Jessica got a call from Chris' mom looking for Chris and Eric Jess' ex-boyfriend. It was thought that they were "tripping on acid" and that Chris had disappeared. We learned today that he was found in the Rancho Santa Margarita Lake last night at 10:00pm.
Taylor and all his are very shaken by this event and are all in shock. They have known the boy since middle school.
My heart aches for his poor parents and his brother, David. This is exactly what I fear each time Taylor "goes off" and disappears for days at a time. I tearfully expressed my deep sadness that I feel for his parents. I told these teens that this could have been any one of them. Let's pray for the Black Family as they mourn the loss of their precious son. My heart aches for them.
I pray that this is a wake up call for all teens who were touched by Chris' life. I pray that they can stop today the mindless recreational drug use and see that DRUGS KILL. I only wish this lesson could have been learned before the loss of Christopher Black's precious life.
Peace be with the family.

Heavenly Father, thank you that you promise comfort to those who mourn. Heavenly Father, we know that you are the God of all comfort.
Lord, we ask you to comfort the Black family and all who knew and loved Christopher, fill them with your peace.
Give them the strength they need in this difficult time.
We pray that you would surround them with your love.
Heal their brokenness and bind their wounds, in Jesus name.

I'll lend you for a little time
a Child of Mine, He said,
For you to love the while he lives
and mourn for when he's dead.

It may be six or seven years
or twenty-two or three
But will you, till I call him back,
take care of him for me?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you
and should his stay be brief,
You'll have his lovely memories
as solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay
since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down here,
I want this child to learn.

I've looked this wide world over
in search of teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd Life's lane
I have decided You.

Now will you give him all your love
nor think the labor vain
And hate Me when I come to call
to take him back again?

I fancy that I heard them say
Dear Lord, Thy Will be done.
For all the joy this child will bring
the risk of grief we'll run,

We'll shelter him with tenderness
we'll love him while we may
And for the Happiness we've known
forever grateful stay.

And should the angels call for him
much sooner than we planned
We'll brave the bitter grief that came
and try to understand.

A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that's enough.
1 Timothy 6-8

October 3, 2008

Today I write to you with a heavy heart. We experienced several emotional set backs yesterday. First being the loss of Chris Black. I am still heartbroken for his parents.

Next came a confrontation with someone I thought to be a friend. I am doing the best I can given the situation but they are choosing to not extend kindness and compassion. I am heartbroken and it has ended with us needing to find another place to live. I am amazed at how judgmental people can be.
Human nature, I guess.

Bottom line - we do not want to live in a neighborhood where your neighbors do not want you here. If only they could walk ONE DAY in my shoes they would know my heart. They would know I am trying as hard as I can - turning to the Lord for strength when mine is far from gone. I struggle to wake up, I feel lost. Money does not define who I am. It is who I am in Christ.

So yes, neighbors - our landscape issue is being addressed today (and it is not even that bad - there are many other lawns in the neighborhood that are much worse!).

I have asked Taylor and his friends, begged, pleaded, yelled at them to not "hang out" outside and will be vigilant in seeing to it that they do not.

This is all I can do. My best effort. Complaints brought to my attention - and I am taking action.

The day ended with all of us just drained. I opened the mail to find that Stace is being charged with a misdemeanor and has to appear in court for the accident. November 8. The charge is punishable with up to 1 year in jail, and or fines not to exceed $1000. Wow. I guess it is time to find a lawyer.

Trenton woke up ill, maybe stress and nerves - or a flu.
Trevan woke up sick too - a head cold and fever - oh joy.

I need to go to Home Depot to get mulch so the gardener that we found can come and "renovate" our landscape. I need a strong cup of coffee first!

  • A referral is in the works for Stace to see a Mental Health Doctor
  • We contacted AMEN Brian Center and got Taylor an appointment for October 23rd. My mom and dad have agreed to help us with the $3200 fee to have Taylor's brain scanned with SPECT Imaging to find out exactly the treatment that he needs. They have a payment plan. I used $300 from the donations that were sent to the Recovery Fund to secure the appointment. I thank you all for helping us. I think this is our last resort and he needs very specialized care. This place is one of the best in the world.
  • We found a kind landscaper who is helping us for $150 with the lawn - so that we are not in violation of the homeowners association. The kind man who came to the door gave me $100 so I will use $50 from the Recovery Fund. Again thank you - for your help. I am humbled.

I need strength today. Just pray for the Lord to lift my spirits, calm my burdened heart. Pray for the situation with the van, the neighbors, finding a home, selling our belongings, illness of the kids, Taylor, finances - and whatever else you want to pray about! I appreciate it more than you know.
MT 18:19 "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."


********** Rental Needed *********
We are looking for a new place to live in or around RSM.
We would like to keep the kids in their schools -
Melinda Heights and RSM Intermediate
We need at least a 3 bedroom - a 4 bedroom would be wonderful.
We would like to stay under $2400 if we can.

Saturday October 4, 2008

As I focused on what my greatest need was this morning I drilled it down to the fact we are in pain. I looked up the definitions of pain and here is what I found:
  • a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder; "the patient developed severe pain due to a physical condition"
  • emotional distress; a fundamental feeling that people try to avoid; "the pain of loneliness"
  • a somatic sensation of acute discomfort; "as the intensity increased the sensation changed from mildly aching to pain"
  • trouble: cause bodily suffering to and make sick or indisposed
  • a bothersome annoying person; "that nagging neighbor is a terrible pain"
  • annoyance: something or someone that causes trouble; a source of unhappiness; "that dog barking early in the morning is a pain"; "a bit of a bother"; "he's not a friend, he's an infliction"
  • cause emotional anguish or make miserable; "It pains me to see my children suffering because of poor choices they make"
I realize that most people are experiencing pain each day in some way or another. Each person also responds to pain differently.

Yesterday I was exhausted from several kinds of pain. Actually all the kinds listed above. At the end of my day I wanted to retreat - disappear - hide. I was in my bedroom on my bed just "being" not thinking - not doing - just there.

I knew it was Friday night and we were suppose to attend our couples small group. Seeing people was the last thing I WANTED to do. I got a phone call from a person who also knows pain - have lived it - survived it. She told me that we HAD to come. She spoke words of wisdom to me - words that God gives us in his handbook. I could not argue with God.

I quickly reacted and did what I had to to get the kids ready and we went. "Come just as you are" and I did. No makeup - didn't change clothes - didn't do my hair. I had no energy. I knew that the people I was going to see did not care what I looked like - just just wanted us there. We were glad that we went. We watched the video, had a great discussion, laughed and then prayed. It feels good to be with people who you can truly share with.
Thank you Bob and Lorna for opening your home and hosting the small group. You are all ministering to us and for that we are grateful.
Thanks to Nani and Dave for really being there for us these past few years.
We know that we are known to you and you all are family to us.

So - back to the pain - when we are in pain we have to choose our response. This is a very difficult thing to do when you are hurting. I know this all to well. I AM trying to live by example - I am trying to show my boys that in MY time of pain I am turning to the only one who can help me. I go to God. I told Trenton that I take an imaginary box - fill it with my hurts and pains - like little letters to God. Then I imagine that I carry them to the throne and lay the box at His feet. I know he already KNOWS by burdens - my pains - but doing this visually in my mind helps me put the fears and pain at rest in Him.
I remember a verse that my Grandmother had taped to her mirror when I was little - from Matthew:

Matt: 28-30 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Today I am choosing to rest.
Rest in the fact that "God has my back". I can't fix things big or small on my own strength - but He can with His.

I will sit with my husband and enjoy a cup of coffee, I may give my dog a bath.
I will hug each of my boys - tell them they are all so very loved.
Tonight Trenton will play football. I will enjoy watching these young men - the men of our future come together as a team. Win or lose - I get joy and pleasure interacting with them.
My little guys will go to Grandma and Grandpas.
They will spend time doing things that grandkids only do at their Grandparents house. They will make memories.
Tomorrow - will be another day....

Monday October 6, 2008

In an effort to preserve humor in a tough time -
"I am going to the dogs!"

Last night I was attacked by my mom's new neighbor's 2 dogs.
I had just been through a very unsettling incident when I came to my parent's house to get Trenton. I went outside to use my cell phone and it was dark. After a few minutes into the conversation 2 beefy, growling jack russell terriers came running at me full steam and started jumping up on me biting my clothing and tearing at my skin.

They came out of nowhere and I was just standing against the garage door. As they continued to try to bite me and jump on me I tried to stay still and scream for help. No one in the house heard me but the owners of the dogs ran over to my aide. I escaped with a bite consisting of 4 punctures on the back of my right knee and some scraping and bruising.

I need to call the doctor for a tetnus shot. Fun!

WOW - what is the message here God? I am trying to remain faithful and "hear God's Voice".

Stace is improving - he will go to the orthopediac surgeon on Wednesday to get an x-ray. Pray that the bones are healed and we can start therapy soon.

We have found a possible rental and will get to see it on Wednesday when they have completed the installation of the new flooring and paint. It is a great lay out and reminds me of a beach cottage. It is very spacious and rents for the same amount we pay now. Pray that if this is where we are meant to be it will all work out.

Gotta start packing! See some of you tonight!

October 7, 2008
Wow. Yesterday started out confusing and with us all very tired. As we sat and discussed our "game plan" for life I realized that with each day there is a new beginning. We just have to hold onto the promise of hope and try to see the sun peeking through the dark clouds.
We were blessed with another rainbow. I got a knock on the door in the afternoon. I opened to find an adorable trio of little boys and their beautiful mom. She said "You don't know us- but we wanted to give you a gift." Her sweet boys told me of the sacrifices they were willing to make this week so that their family could help ours. One of the little guys handed me a check. They gave me hugs and we chatted. She told me that things would get better and to hold on.

Such a beautiful testimony of how God provides. I am so touched and so grateful.
God brings people in and out our lives for a reason. Sometimes we do not know His reason and HE does not always make sense to US. I have learned to TRUST more in God through all of this. My faith, my trust and my hope have all been stretched. Growing pains...

Stace was not feeling well last night as he slipped in the shower and bent his bad arm. Trenton and I went to the Peppinos on the Lake in Mission Viejo where his Football Team was meeting in honor of the fundraiser. The place was packed and as I made my way around to table after table where I saw the fundraiser flyers I was honored to meet so many people who had come to support our family. I can not express the deep feelings of love and gratitude that warmed my soul talking to each of them. Each person gave me a warm smile and words of encouragement. Trenton was so touched at the HUGE turnout - it spoke volumes to his heart. Being able to share a meal with his buddies and watch his Saturday Game on their big TV made for a very nice evening!
THANK YOU to everyone who supported us! We are very - very grateful that the Lord has provided such wonderful people to walk beside us during this time!
I am excited about all the new friendship that are blooming and look forward to seeing you all again!
I now have the pleasure of meeting one of my VERY BEST friends in the "whole wide world" (as the boys say) for coffee. She is one of the smartest and kindest souls on the planet. She is guiding me and helping me structure a plan to get this move done. I am so thankful to have her in my life!
I love you Amy!
So off to start my day - Lord I pray for success today and for steps forward!

October 8, 2008

Today is a busy one. I am really running out of steam. Times are tough and confusing. We looked at more properties most of the day yesterday. The one we really liked I do not think will work out. Most "commercial" rental agencies need a minimum of a 30 day proof of income for the past 30 days. Since Stace had the accident we have not had income to show. I am afraid that until he or I can go back to work we will not be able to move as we had planned. Private rentals want HUGE deposits and then you have the fear that the property may be in financial distress or pre-forclosure. I know God has the perfect place for us and we will continue to pray that he reveals where that is to be.

We took Stace to the doctor today and the surgeon said he needs to be in the cast 2 more weeks. He can start re-hab 3 times a week on the hand and elbow. He will not release him to drive or work until he has full range of motion back in both. He said he could not drive for a minimum of another month.
WOW. . .
I do not know if I can mentally withstand his "backseat" driving comments for that long! In the 20 years of marriage HE has always been in the drivers seat. He is NOT a good passenger!

I don't think this was the news he had hoped for. We were pretty silent on the way home. Not being able to work for another month is pretty hard.

I have to drive the kids to and from their schools and now him to physical therapy at Mission Hospital 3 times a week. I will not be able to work unless it is at night or on Sundays. I am willing to clean peoples houses, babysit, do graphic arts, data processing or anything anyone has for me to do! If you need help please let me know and I will see what I can do!

I now am off to Turner's IEP. I'll see if I can post more later.

October 9, 2008

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

I am pretty maxed out. I had a dream that I slept 8 solid hours - then I woke up.
My to do list is growing longer and longer. Today is "Fall Recess" so we have boys home from school. My greatest desire is a long relaxing nap - and I do not see that in my future! I am trying to keep my spirits up for the sake of the "team". I just want to run away and let out a huge scream. I would if I really thought it would help! We just want peace and to have some normalcy in our lives. Things have been so upside down for so long. With this year almost gone it is our goal to make 2009 the BEST year ever for our family!
Keep praying for rest, endurance, healing, peace and direction for our family.

We will be selling a lot of our things so watch for the announcement of our first of several HUGE SALES!

If anyone has a job opportunity that you know of for either Stace or I - please email us! Thanks!

Better run - so much to do - so little time...

**********Prayer Request**********
We found another possible property today. It was offered previously for more money. They have lowered it to the same price we pay now and it is the same size as our home now. It has a HUGE yard - fruit trees, roses nice landscape and other amenities! It has a beautiful view and is in a GREAT location! We are working out details with the leasing company - say a prayer that if this is the right place it will all work out! If anyone needs a Real Estate Agent we found a great guy on the recommendation of my friend Naomi! Thanks girl~

October 10, 2008
Over my lifetime I have encountered time after time situations where my intentions were grossly misunderstood by people. This season of my life is no different.

I want each person who reads this blog to know that I am sharing our experiences to ENCOURAGE people. I want people to see that they are not alone in their struggles. It is my hope that by sharing how God is testing our faith and trust that by being faithful He will provide. Is not always easy. I am hoping that by sharing our experiences people will use us as an example. I hope they draw strength from our situation that they can apply in their own lives.

I am in NO WAY trying to make people feel bad. I am not bragging. I do not want to evoke jealousy.

I feel that by the Lord providing and blessing us - it is my duty to share these blessings so people can see faith, hope and blessing in action.

As Pastor Rick said a few weeks ago - in a world full of millions of people there will always be someone who does not like you. You are performing for an audience of one and He is all who matters!

That being said - I want to share with you another example of how the Lord is providing.

I read this today:

Increase your faith in Him. The Bible tells us that we should have faith in God (see Mark 11:22). If we had even a little faith in God the size of a mustard seed (see Matthew 17:20) He would give us peace through our storms (see Numbers 6:26). Having this kind of faith means that no matter how bad or extreme a problem is in our lives, we can withstand it because God is with us. This may be easier said than done, but when you honestly look back on your life and see just how far God has brought you, it really isn’t at all difficult learning how to develop faith in Him.

As I sat yesterday and totaled up the utility bills for the month I had to pray and ask God how we will pay these this month. We have been able to put donation money aside to aide us in moving. I did not want to have to use that money if I did not have to. I had just done a total of all our monthly obligations when I received an email from Barb Harris. She told me that the Peppino's fundraiser total was in. Peppino's will be sending a check to our Fund for $625. This will cover our monthly bills with some left over for gas! Another example of the Lord's provision. Thank you Lord.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Peppino's Fundraiser! You have blessed us greatly!!

I want to also share with you a gift of love from the Davenport Family. I have not had the pleasure of meeting them. Terri Davenport is the lady who took over my mom's job when she retired a few weeks ago at Creekside. When they learned of the accident they told my mom that they wanted to "gift" us with a vehicle. Yesterday I picked up a beautiful 1998 White Jeep Grand Cherokee. Stace was able to meet Terri and her daughter. They are wonderful people and we are so grateful. Words can not express our appreciation and gratitude.

We are placing our 2004 Honda Oydessy for sale. If anyone knows of someone interested in it let me know.

Prayers for today:
  • Pray about the new home that we are looking into.
If it is where the Lord wants us pray that all details will be worked out.
  • Pray for Taylor - he is sick and is sad and depressed.
  • Pray for strength for all of us - we are weary and tired.
Thank you all again for your help, encouragement and support - we would be so lost without all of you. I thank my friends, my family and people who do not even know us. Your kindness and love have meant the world to us.


October 11, 2008

With some crisp fall air finally here I look forward to the day. Although I am still VERY tired, the day is filled with activities. My brother Brian is in town with my adorable nephews Bryson and Ben. We got to visit with them last night and the boys enjoyed time with their cousins. We also enjoyed time with the Plaza family - it was good to get out, laugh and have fun.

Stace has been working vigilantly on his hand and is getting more movement in it each day. He was able to bend his elbow slightly yesterday in the shower and will start physical therapy next week.

Today I am going to Anaheim Hills to photograph little Miss Evelyn's First Birthday Party. I will hurry back to get the little guys off to Grandma's and pick up Stace to get up to Lakewood for Trenton's Football Game.

Taylor is feeling a bit better and wants to come see his Uncle and Cousins later tonight. We have arranged for him to stay elsewhere until we are able to move. I see him each day and take him groceries. He seems to be doing okay and is looking forward to going to the Brain Clinic for his scans.

Well, off to make coffee and eat a vanilla cream horn - I can hardly wait!

Pray that Trenton's team can W I N a game! If nothing more - pray for at least a touchdown or two! :o)

October 13, 2008

Wow - this weekend went by so fast! Three people we know and love celebrated birthdays - Happy Birthday to Vicki, La Tisha and Amy! 3 awesome ladies all born on the same day! I hope you all superior celebrations!

On Saturday I went to Anaheim Hills to photograph a birthday girl. I then came home to pick up Stace and head to Lakewood - where our team lost. Sadly our guys were a bit discouraged and did not have their heads in the game. We all have those days! Better luck next Saturday! We have to learn from our mistakes and do it differently next time. Trenton had Chris and Casey over to spend the night. I think they all had a good time.

Sunday the guys went to church and Stace and I spent most of the day collecting items and cleaning out the closets to give to the "pink bag people" (Donation Collections). It felt really good during this season where we have been given so much by so many to have a chance to "give back". I prayed and asked the Lord for a spirit of giving and asked him to help in the task. I wanted to give freely and lighten our load at the same time. Boy did it feel good to clean out the closet and pass things on that I have had for a very long time! Most did not fit - was out of style - or just not fitting for my lifestyle now. We looked at some more homes for rent. Trenton got to go to see the Mighty Ducks with the Peters' Family. We are so blessed to have them as friends! Thank you guys for including Trenton in so many activities - he LOVES being with you all!

I took Taylor grocery shopping - thank you everyone for the Grocery Gift Cards! We are so blessed to have gotten these - and the kids get so excited over simple things like "orange melon" and treats like Pringles chips! I got home late and put the food away to then drop into bed.

The mighty winds awoke us early in the morning and Trevan said "Boy God must be really mad! He is knocking everything down!" Being very tired today I tried to take care of things - going down my very long "TO DO:" List. I stopped and tried to reflect. As Amy always tells me - do not ask "Why? God" but rather "What?". I spent some time in the word and I am trying to ask Him "WHAT LORD?" What do you want us to do with our lives?? Now the hard part - being still and listening for His direction...
Pray for our Perserverence in this area!
Off to get Turner - until later...
I got an email today - this is the verse that was in it -

Proverbs 19:11 (The Message)

Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.

Is this hard to do or what? Often times we are reminded of how people have hurt us with their words. In anger it is easy to "let it fly". I think it is hard for us to "forget" when we have been hurt - but we want forgiveness when WE have been the one to hurt someone. So why is it so hard for us to Forgive and Forget? Human nature I guess. The more our character is shaped to be like Jesus - the easier it is to "forgive and forget".
I will be working on this one!

October 14, 2008

God's Stew
My son and I were having a conversation and he asked me why this year has been so hard for us. He wanted to know "why" God let's so many bad things happen to good people. I told him that I really did not have the answers he may be looking for.

I then took a shower and a visualization came to me.
No, I was not hungry!

It dawned on me that the ingredients that I use to make a stew were a lot like the situations in our lives. Some of the ingredients if eaten alone are not very easy to swallow. Salt for example. We do not eat salt all by it's self it is too - well - salty.

If you take Stace's accident for example - that was pretty bad. Just like a big spoon of salt - yuck. When you add the ingredients together - salt - pungent garlic - raw meat; these can symbolize the hard times in our life. All alone they are not easy to get down.

Add in the carrots, potatoes, celery, onion and when they all come together they make a beautiful meal. Just like the nice people coming together, sending gift cards, money, bringing us meals, etc. Combine the accident and hard times with the good deeds of friends and strangers and we have a wonderful STEW!

God is the Chef and he mixes good and bad experiences together to make our lives into a wonderful meal! I shared this with my boys and they "got it"!!

My Lesson learned for the day...
The lessons may be small - but I try to find at least one in each day!

Today I spent hours on the phone trying to get Stace's Physical Therapy Referral and appointment. I had been working on this since last week and was finally successful. He starts tomorrow. He will go in for an assessment and his first session at 9:30am.

Thursday everyone will have eye exams. We are all long over due. It has been 2 years since Taylor's eyes have been examined! Wow - time flies.

We made a trip to Costco today to pick up meat. Thank you for the Costco Gift Cards - we spent them wisely. I got of all things "Stew Meat" (lol), a big roast, ground beef etc. My parents have a freezer and we put the meat in it. It feels very nice knowing that we have some food stocked up!

My wonderful Small Group brought us "necessities" right after the accident. I thank the Lord and think of all the ladies as I do simple chores like laundry and dishes. They stocked us up on household items and other things and I smile each time I use them. Thank you all so much!

We used the Gas Gift Card from the Siegfried's today - thank you! We are curious to see what kind of mileage the Jeep Cherokee gets. We are enjoying it very much - especially the little guys! Thank you again Davenport Family!

As we drove around we listened to a sermon on the radio - KWAVE 107.9.
Pastor Chuck Smith was talking about giving up. He said "do not give up what you know because of what you don't know. Know that God does love you. Know that he IS working in your life. Know that He has a PLAN and a PURPOSE and that it is GOOD. Just because you are in a bad situation and you can not SEE how God can bring GOOD out of it - hang in there because God can bring good out of what you can even call evil circumstances in your life."

Stace was a bit dumbfounded. He said - "How weird - you would think that that guy was in the car with us!"

I told him - "He is! His name is Jesus and he is in the back seat!"
- we both got a laugh.

Off to do dinner...
I'll update you tomorrow!

October 15, 2008

Little Eyes Upon You

There are little eyes upon you
and they're watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly
take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager
to do anything you do;
And little boys who are dreaming
of the day they'll be like you.

You're the little angels idol,
you're the wisest of the wise.
In their little minds about you
no suspicions ever rise.
They believe in you devoutly,
hold all you say and do;
They will say and do, in your way
when they grown up just like you.

There are wide-eyed little boys
who believe you're always right;
and their eyes are always opened,
and they watch day and night.
You are setting an example
every day in all you do;
For the little boys who are waiting
to grow up to be like you.

Today we went to Stace's physical therapy appointment with the 2 little guys in tow. Knowing that 2 hours is a L O N G time for a 4 and 5 year old to be patient I tried to think of things to occupy them.

We went to the car and got all the "brown money" (pennies) that we could find. We spent a long while making wishes and throwing them in the fountain. As we did so, an older man and woman came outside in motorized wheelchairs. The lady dropped a penny and a dime on the ground. As the old man used his cane to try to scoot the money towards her I went over and picked it up for them. I handed it to her with a smile and she thanked me. She told me she appreciated my kindness and told me to have a great day.

Trevan asked me why I picked up the money and gave it to the lady. He said "Why didn't you make a wish and throw it in the fountain mommy?". I explained that the money was not mine and that I was helping her because she was in a wheelchair and her legs did not work well any longer. He was satisfied with this answer and went back to throwing his coins in the water.

A few minutes later a man came out the door in a wheelchair. He was being pushed by a woman in scrubs. Trevan ran over and handed the man a penny. The man smiled and said "What is this for big guy?" Trevan said "It is for you to throw in the water and make a wish for your legs to work again!" The man chuckled, patted him on the head and asked to be taken to the fountain. He then closed his eyes and threw the coin in the water. Trevan then said "Now - get up and walk!" The man put the brakes on his wheelchair and stood up. He walked a few steps. He then sat back down and said "Thank you big guy! I am as good as new!" He then told me that this encounter had made his day.

Oh to be a kid again! I realized they watch and listen to ALL we DO and SAY!

Stace had an assessment and was given a schedule for a month of physical and occupational therapy. He will then go back to the surgeon for a check up.

I am off to run errands...

Until later!



October 16, 2008

"He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord" Isaiah 26:3

Shortly after Stace's accident, someone sent me that verse handwritten on a piece of paper. Inside was a cash donation to our family. There was no postmark, no name. I have kept it in my purse and look at it often. I hope that somehow this person will know how much their thoughtful gesture means to me.

We have also received lots of well wishes, prayers and cards. I am trying to personally thank each person but time is something I seem to run very short of!

A lady asked me today while I was out doing errands - "So what is a typical day like being a mom of 4 boys?". I had to stop and think. I do not know how to answer. There is no "typical". Each day has it's own agenda and set of challenges!

So to answer her - here is "Today"...

6:30am - I wake up and chat with Trenton, check email, get the directions to the eye doctor written down, make Turner's Instant Breakfast and Trevan's Blue Gatorade before they wake up and come down all grumpy!

7:00am - sit and edit photos, watch the news and drink coffee. Make a mental note of all that I need to do for the day.

7:45am - answer the phone, say goodbye to Trenton, give the little guys their breakfast. Throw Trenton's football gear in the washing machine.

8:00am - let Romeo outside, turn on the sprinklers, eat toast, go back to answering email and editing photos. Remember to turn OFF the sprinklers...

9:00am - get in the shower, bathe Turner, dress both boys, help Stace get dressed, wrap Stace's arm, make Turner's snack box for school, call Taylor and make plans to pick him up.

9:45am - Get the boys in the car, feed the dog, get the directions and medical cards, drive to pick up Taylor, go to the eye doctor.

11:25am - leave the eye doctor, drive through to get Turner a quick lunch, drive to Turner's school to drop him off. Drive to Costco to look for glasses frames.

1:25pm - leave Costco and pull over to let Trevan go potty, drive home, carry sleeping Trevan inside, let the dog out, look at email, put Trenton's football gear in the dryer. Go to the bathroom, collecting more laundry, make lunch for the rest of us, edit more photos.

2:45pm - leave to go pick Turner up from school, go to the mail place to get stamps, mail my Thank You notes and bills, get Turner a haircut (thanks for the gift cert. Laura!), go to pick up medicine at CVS, go to the grocery store to pick up lettuce for salad - dinner will be simple tonight!

4:30pm - drive home and make sure Trenton is ready for football practice, find out that Stace hit his elbow while I was gone and is in great pain. Give Stace some medicine, let the dog out, pick up the house, throw in more laundry, plan dinner, answer more email, edit more photos.

5:30pm - Drive Taylor to his friend's house taking the little guys for a ride. Come home get them in the house, make them dinner, change my clothes, do some dishes, open the mail, check the schedule for tomorrow.

7:00-10:00pm - make Stace, Trenton and I dinner. Sit down. Eat. Then I will get the little guys into pajamas after washing them up, brushing their teeth and reading to them. I will put them to bed. Trenton will come home and we will talk about football and school. He will eat. We will make sure that everyone has clothes to wear for tomorrow. I will touch base with Taylor and see if he needs a place to stay tonight. If so, I will drive to get him. I will make sure Stace takes his medicines and help him get changed. I will work on editing photos, look at email, make some phone calls and if I am lucky - watch a wee bit of T.V. in bed before falling asleep.

Sooooooooooo that is just a day...not typical...none of them are! Just tiring and busy!

I received a letter recently that has brought me joy and strength. It was from a lady I do not even know. Her name is Wendy.

I want to share it with you...

"Dear Janean:

The purpose of this letter is to tell you how much your faith and courage has affected me. One of my co-workers Cindy Daily (Alex Daily's mother) shared your story with me and forwarded your blog. The story was sad, but as I read your blog, I was moved by what an amazing woman, wife and mother you are. I sat in my office with tears in my eyes and a heavy feeling on my heart.

Most people would drown in sorrow and pity at the pain and grief your family is experiencing. However, you have been able to focus on blessings bestowed upon you and the understanding that God will get you through this storm. You are an amazing example of what a Christian woman should be and for that I thank you for sharing your story.

Enclosed is a small gift that you may choose to use however you see fit. I hope that you would be able to use this to treat yourself to something that restores and gives you strength, but understand that often a mother provides for her family's comfort before her own.

May God Bless you and comfort each and every member of the Lindner Family."



I am so blessed by this letter. I can not even tell you how wonderful these words made me feel. They gave me strength and determination to keep on keeping on. Many times during my day I feel tired and want to give up. I think of the words from a person who does not even know me and know that I have to keep going. If I died tomorrow I would want to be remembered in just this way. I want to be "an amazing example of what a Christian woman should be". I am FAR from perfect, I try hard each day knowing that this is all that is required of me. To do my best and ask for forgivness when I fall short.

Our future is uncertain, we do not know what Stace will be able to do for work. I have applied for jobs working nights and weekends. I pray each day for the Lord to reveal His Plan in His timing for our financal needs. I recently have had a job "put on my heart". I am praying about it and know it is not of my own valition. It was a little voice that came to me on more than one occasion about a field I have not really explored before. I feel I am being "called" to do something and am a bit afraid. I will continue to pray and ask that you pray too. Ask the Lord to clearly guide me and let me know if this is His will for our lives.

I hope that by "blogging" people can draw from our experiences and expierence a more personal relationship with Jesus. I encourage people to "get in the word", pray, and surround yourself with like minded individuals.

Being part of a small group has been a salvation for us during very hard times. I am so very grateful for all who love us.

Until tomorrow -



October 17, 2008

Prayer Requests for today:

Please lift my sweet dad up in prayer as he and my mom are out of town and he has come down with OCULAR SHINGLES. He is in a lot of pain and the shingles have gone up the left side of his face and in his left eye. He is seeking medical attention but this can be a dangerous condition as well as VERY painful.

Pray for Stace as he starts physical therapy this morning. He was in a lot of pain yesterday and last night. His elbow and hand are really hurting.

****Update On Jamie Warren****

From: Chaundel
Date: October 16, 2008 6:30:46 PM PDT

Dear Friends and Family,

Jaime is still not back up in her ICU room but we've had several
reports from doctors. It is mostly good news. Actually, it is GREAT
news that she made it through the second surgery. She's doing well
and her vital signs are strong.

They saw that Jaime had bleeding in her brain through a routine CT
scan a few hours after her 20 hour surgery. At about 11 am she was
rushed back into surgery (and still isn't out of recovery yet). They
were able to clean out the blood and seal off the part that was
bleeding. They won't know if there were any long term damages for

Another piece of incredible news is that the doctor said to
her "Jaime" and she opened her eyes!! She will sleep be sleeping for
a couple of days but when she is ready to wake up they will let her.

The doctor says "we are encouraged but we aren't out of the woods
yet" so we would appreciate your continued prayers. Thanks so much
for joining us in talking to our Father about sweet Jaime.


Until later........



7:00pm - Stace was wiped out from his therapy. He slept most of the day. He is in really poor spirits. I think he is discouraged by his limitations and had hoped to be much better - much faster. Pray for him to have patience and for his depression and anger to be lifted. It is really hard being on the receiving end of his turmoil. I understand his anger - it is just hard to take. I am so tired and am doing the best I can. Pray for endurance for me. I do not feel physically and emotionally well sometimes.

PRAISE! I spent a long time with Taylor today and he told me that he feels really led to stop his path of destruction. He desires to get a job and help our family. He said he does not like the person he has become and he wants to stop doing drugs, get a clear mind, learn skills and be a good worker. I told him I have prayed for a long - long time to hear these words. I told him I would help him all that I can.

This is very encouraging! Admission leads to submission! Thank you Jesus!


October 18, 2008 - Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad!

Today we have a busy day. Football Game in Tustin - without Grandma and Grandpa here to help babysit! We will attempt to take Turner and Trevan with us - which is exhausting!

I am like a blank slate this morning - I am having a hard time getting my "get up and go". Turner and Trenton have been a bit under the weather. Turner is not sleeping well and I guess I am just plain worn out. I have a lot to do and need a HUGE boost of energy!

Continue to pray for Jamie Warren. I just got this update:

Update on Jamie Warren (from one of her best friends):
Today has been much more quiet. Jaime is back in ICU and responding to
the many neuro-assessment tests they are conducting. She's opening her
eyes, moving all four extremities, and responding to commands. These
are all very good things.
I can't thank you enough for all your prayers.The last few days have
been emotional and exhausting. The family is all holding up very well,
and getting to spend time with Jaime has been uplifting for everyone.
Please keep praying.

Also keep my dad in prayer as he is really not feeling well as he battles this terrible case of Ocular Shingles.

Tomorrow our friend Becca is Walking For Aids. I have posted a link at the top if you feel led to donate to this wonderful cause. She is sponsored by the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.

Well - we are off to get the boys all ready for the day - if I can get myself off this sofa! I am gonna try another cup of coffee! Wish me luck!



October 19, 2008

Well! Thanks for the prayers for energy! We got all ready and went to Trenton's game and ALL the boys played WONDERFULLY! It was an exciting game - they were pumped up and we even scored a touchdown! Way to go #7!

We had a blast and then had some fellowship afterward. We then decided to try to take Turner and Trevan to the 6:30pm service at Saddleback. They have both never stayed in their classrooms at the same time!

We got there and found out that they could both go into the SAME class! They went and had a GREAT time. We sat with members from our couples small group and thoroughly enjoyed Pastor Doug Fields! He is great!

We saw old friends in the front row and had an opportunity to chat with them after the service. We then went to the food court to "hang out" with a ton of fun people! Turner and Trevan made new friends and we were there until 11:00pm. It was really nice to get out and talk to people!

Stace actually DROVE the van yesterday - although he is not "officially" released by the doctor - he was told once he can "GRIP" the steering wheel he can drive. So try as he might - he proved to me he can grip the wheel. He drives with just the one arm and I watch very closely. Being a man - he does NOT like to be told he can NOT do something! LOL!

I had a job interview but found the job will not pay anywhere near what we need for me to make. I would have to work weekends and the salary was just too low to cover the gas and clothing required. I have applied at 2 other places - so pray that this week will hold a great opportunity for our financial advancement!

Today we are looking for more possible places to rent and I am editing more photos. We are enjoying the nice cool weather and will take the little guys out and about for a bit this afternoon to enjoy the great day.

Please continue to pray for Jamie Warren - here is a link to her Caring Bridge Site:

Also lift my dad up in prayer as he is still quite weak and ill with Ocular Shingles.

Pray too for us to keep moving forward. Turner is sick and I do not want him to miss school if at all possible. Thank you for your support.



PS - Good Luck in your walk for AIDS today Becca-Roo!

October 20, 2008

We are off to the hospital - Stace hit his elbow really hard and needs an x-ray.

Pray that he did not re-break it! He is in a LOT of pain...

I'll update you later when we return!



October 21, 2008

What a busy day we had yesterday! We spent several hours at the Hospital getting Stace's x-ray. The surgeon will see Stace tomorrow to go over the results and address the issue of his pain management.

We then rushed to get Turner from school. We came home, rushed off to an appointment and then we had an early Thanksgiving Celebration at the Plaza's house.

Dorothy, who is here from Africa was the guest of honor. We visited with her and learned all about her family, her home and her country. Dave and Nani have had the pleasure of going to Africa TWICE on missions and we look forward to going next time! We had a special evening of fellowship with them, the Santos Family and Liza and Jeremy. We were there until midnight and had the BEST time!

I applied for 2 jobs yesterday and we are putting the "shine" on Stace's resume with help from Amy. We have some opportunities in the works - so pray that God will lead!

We found a wonderful - peaceful - beautiful - brand new - place that we would love to live! We are going to take time to pray about the relocation, sell some items and see what happens!

We must TRUST and WAIT on the Lord!

Does God have you in a period of waiting? You have a choice before you. Will you choose to trust God and do what He wants you to do while you wait or will you despair that the wait is too long, become bitter against the Lord, and try to take matters into your own hands? May God help us each to wait patiently on Him, remembering that His ways and timing are perfect!

Have a blessed day!


October 22, 2008

Wow - another great night! Last night Trenton and I got the pleasure of going to The EDGE and listening to Dorothy (here from Rwanda) speak to the Breakout Kids about Missions. The Plaza's got up and spoke about their 2 missions trips to Rwanda. It was so inspiring and moving! We went back to the Plaza's home, ate and had more great time "picking" Dorothy's brain and learning all about her country. She is such a wonderful lady. I feel very inspired by her and have made a new wonderful friend!

Stace and I were both impacted by her visit and we feel led to go to Africa in June. We are very excited to go and meet Dorothy's 4 beautiful children and her husband Pastor Francis! A mission trip to Africa has been a dream of mine for 3 years and I am so excited that Stace's heart has been softened and he wishes to accompany Trenton and I! I know God has a plan and I am so excited to be used by the Lord in Africa!!

Our morning started off with Trenton waking up ill from this darn sinus thing. He stayed home from school to rest. We got Stace off to the surgeon and we found out that he will need to have the 4 inch screw that is giving him pain and trouble removed in 6 months! Arghhh! The doctor said the elbow looked fine - it is just that the screw head is resting on the outside of the elbow and when it gets bumped it causes great pain. He said the injury was quite traumatic and that it is just going to take a long time for healing to be completed.

Tomorrow Stace will go to physical therapy and then to the mental health doctor for his anxiety and depression. I will take Taylor to Newport Beach to the Amen Clinic for his first of 2 Brain Scans. We will then have an intake appointment lasting a couple of hours to complete his history. I have been filling out the 25 page assessment all night!

Turner fell fast asleep at 5:00pm - he walked and walked at his Jog -A - Thon today. He said "My school made me really exercise a lot today!". Trenton was a trooper and went to football practice although he felt really bad. He will be home in a bit and we will eat home made Chinese Food (with a little help from the freezer).

I am really at peace right now. I know the rent is due soon - bills will need to be paid AGAIN - I can not believe the month has flown by. I am truly surrendering it all to God and REALLY BELIEVE that HE will provide. It is a very liberating and exhilarating feeling! I think that meeting Dorothy and having a PERSONAL connection with the people in Africa it is so much easier for me to lean on God. The people in Africa have a faith that far surpasses mine. I want what they have - and I intend on getting it! Seeing the precious faces of the children and hearing her little girls voice proclaiming that they are "so blessed" made me feel very humbled.

I believe now more than ever that the Lord causes all to work together for good!

Tomorrow Dorothy leaves to fly home to Africa. Please pray for a peaceful and restful trip for her. I know her family will be so excited to see her!

Pray for Trenton to get better.

Pray for Stace's appointments tomorrow.

Pray for Taylor and for the scans to reveal an answer to his medical conditions.

Pray for my Dad - he is still in Havasu with the shingles.

Pray that my whole family will have the faith and peace in knowing that the Lord will provide for us financially this month as he did last month!


October 24, 2008

My day started off taking a trip to the Plaza's home to say goodbye to my new dear friend, Dorothy. She was flying home to Kigali, Rwanda. We had a nice visit, hugs, smiles with the promise to see each other again. Turner and Trevan wanted to go home and see on a map where Dorothy lives. They were amazed at how far away Africa is and that she came all the way here on an airplane. Here is a photo that I took of her...

We left there and picked up Taylor. He grew increasing angry the closer it came to his appointment for his first Brain Scan. His apprehension spilled out in anger and I really had to rely on the Lord and pray like I never had - to maintain peace. We got there and learned that they had to give him an I.V. to inject the radio active dye. I thought he would "lose it". He does not like needles. I prayed and left the room once it was done. As I waited for his first test to be done I sat quietly and prayed for his peace and a change of heart.

He emerged and was not angry. He waited quietly and then went in for the second test - the actual scan where he had to remain perfectly still for 30 minutes. Staying still is hard for him. I again prayed. He came out, wanted to go smoke a cigarette (which I just hate) and he smiled at me.

The Lord was really with us and I could actual FEEL it. I had a peace about me that I have not had in a long time.

His next appointment for the intake history started at 3:00pm with he and the historian. This appointment usually lasts 1 hour for the child and 1 hour for the parent. At 5:00pm he came out! I then went in and the therapist told me that of all the kids they see Taylor was the most OPEN and WILLING to talk! She said he really opened up to her and poured information out. She was very pleased - as was I!!

Another prayer answered!

I then spent an hour and a half with her. We were there for a total of 5 and a half hours! They were very thorough. Taylor goes today for a second brain scan at 2:30.

We were told that on HALLOWEEN - which is the very day that Taylor accepted the Lord when he was 8, we will meet for his results. The doctor that was assigned is one of the BEST at the clinic. People wait sometimes a year to see him!

Thank you Lord!

Stace went to physical therapy in the morning and then to the psychiatrist. He was prescribed a new medicine to try. Pray that this one really helps with his anxiety and depression. He is still having shooting pains in his hand and arm. He gets quite sore after therapy which it to be expected. Pray for a quick recovery so he can "resume" and get back to work!

I am continually amazed at how the Lord works in our lives. As I was driving and asking the Lord to continue to "drive" our lives in a forward direction, I asked Him again to show me "what". I stopped asking "why" a while ago and have prayed "what Lord?" WHAT do you want me to do to serve you?

I had a thought slammed into my head. It was like God put a sticker on my brain. I was in awe. I pray, but do not actually expect a CLEAR answer. I think that God will show me through baby steps what I am to do. Not yesterday! I was HIT by a vision. Here it is...

When God leads - we must follow!
I am going to be starting a Foundation.

BELLA Missions Foundation.
B=Believe, E=Educate, L=Learn, L=Love, A=Africa.

I am seeking fiscal sponsorship so that the foundation will be a non-profit agency. I am asking for your prayers every step of the way! I am writing my missions statement now. I have found some amazing resources in less than a day! Bella is also the name of one of Dorothy's daughters. I have been greatly impacted by her and have an overwhelming desire to help the women in Africa by educating them and focusing my efforts on building sustainable businesses and cooperatives in crafts. It has also been put on my heart to help the children by providing clothing and shoes. I intend on contacting businesses and manufacturers here in the United States and educating them on the needs of the children in Rwanda. It is my hope that through charitable donations of goods and funding that we together can make a difference in the lives of the people in Kigali and other parts of Africa.

Since my boys LOVE to wear CROCS and shoes like them - I had the idea of collecting CROCS for KIGALI. Dorothy said many children will walk to hours to get to their church and they do not have shoes or pants. CROCS are lightweight to ship. If you are interested in helping me collect CROCS or CROC like shoes - please contact me at:

Prayers for today...
Continued safe travel for Dorothy as she makes her way home.
Taylor's Brain Scan at 2:30
Trenton's health - he is still sick.
Continued prayer for Jamie Warren.
Pray for my dad - he is still away and ill.
Our finances - the month is almost over and we have many bills due!
Pray for Stace to be able to find work doing something that he is physically able to do.
Pray for my BELLA Missions Foundation.


October 25, 2008

I had the pleasure of spending time with one of my best friend's Karen yesterday morning. We had lunch together and were able to get away from the kids and talk. Pleas pray for Karen as she is struggling after knee surgery and is experiencing back problems. She will have an MRI to see if they can figure out what the problem is. Having constant pain really wears on you. Pray for relief and answers for her.

Taylor's second brain scan went very well. We will have his third appointment on Halloween, which is the very day he accepted the Lord when he was 8 years old. I am very hopeful and optimistic that we are on the road to recovery and help for Taylor to have his life back.

I was not told specific details but was told that he is suffering from post traumatic stress. The doctor said that he really opened up and that he had suffered a traumatic event prior to his drug use when he was 13. I am heartbroken, as his mother; that something could have happened that I was not aware of. Pray for this situation and for complete healing surrounding the details of the event.

Last night we had a great time at our couple's small group. I am very thankful that we have made this connection and have the new friends that we have made. Being in a small group is such a lifesaver!

Stace is still in a lot of pain. It is really bad at night when he is trying to sleep. He has also developed a rash under his bad arm - perhaps from not moving it around. It is itchy and painful. Please pray for relief for him.

Trenton has a home game today at Aliso Viejo. Both he and his buddy Christiopher are sick with colds and coughs. Pray that they both are rested when they wake up and that they are successful in defeating their opponents today! We need at least ONE win this season to boost morale!

Dorothy was not able to take some items home to Africa with her due to the weight restrictions on luggage. We have items that will fill 2 of the FLAT RATE PRIORITY BOXES, which are $49 each to ship. One of the items is baking soda which is VERY expensive in Africa. It is a 4 pound box that she was really excited to have. If anyone would be so kind in helping donate money to help ship these boxes - it would be a blessing!

You can send it via PayPal to me at:
or click the button below.

We will be taking donations to ship a box or two each month. If you would like to help I would really appreciate it! I am gathering some Children's DVD's and CD's to send now.

I will keep you updated on the efforts and what we send and when. Please pray for the Lord to guide me and use me to really benefit the men, women and children in Africa.


October 26, 2008

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Today is Sunday. We had a GREAT Saturday. It was filled with a lot of excitement. The Saddleback Valley Wolverines tasted VICTORY for the first time in two years! YES! That is right! WE WON A GAME! It was just amazing to see the kids pull off a win. I was so excited I was cheering and screaming on the field as I took photos of the great plays! I was even jumping up and down with my camera at one point totally losing control. I do not know what came over me!
We celebrated with the team at Ball Park Pizza afterward then came home to get ready for church. Turner and Trevan were thrilled to see their new friend Kelly in class and all was right with their world. We had a great speaker and awesome lesson. We then headed to the food court for fellowship until after 11:00pm.
It is just so heartwarming to be with other people who love and care for you. We have been so blessed during this time of pain and challenges. I rejoice and thank the Lord for his many blessings.
Dave Plaza prayed a week ago as we were all gathered for an early Thanksgiving Dinner with Dorothy. He said this was a week that we were to expect miracles.

We have seen just that this week.
Jamie Warren's tumor was non cancerous!
Nani learned her mother did not have to undergo another round of chemotherapy!
Taylor received his brain scans and did very well!
Trenton won his first football game!
Turner and Trevan attended church two times without crying!
Stace found that his heart was softened and that he wants to participate in a mission to Africa!
I have found a peace that I have never had before and a clear plan from God on how he wants me to serve him and the people in Africa!

The list goes on...

Leviticus 23:3
"Work six days. The seventh day is a Sabbath, a day of total and complete rest, a sacred assembly. Don't do any work. Wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to God."

I started today out working. I worked for a solid 6 hours editing wedding photos to complete them by a deadline that I have promised. I started growing tired and weary. I thought of the verse above. I then shut off my computer and laid my head down on my pillow. You may not think this is a big deal, but for those of you who know me is.

I NEVER REST. I NEVER take a NAP. I am always going - working - doing.
I can not slow my mind down long enough to even THINK about taking a break.
Today - I fell fast asleep and actually RESTED for 1 and a half hours. I did not hear a thing and when I awoke I felt like a million bucks!

Thank you Lord for the little miracle of a nap!

I would like to tell you of another miracle. A couple weeks ago I was given $100. I was going to take it to my mom to hold for us to put toward our rent for November. When I learned that she and my dad had not been able to come home as planned, I hid the money in my house. I did not want to carry it around with me. As time passed and as the days drew on - we came to a point where we had only $6 in the bank. Knowing that we needed to get some money in the bank I looked for the $100 bill and totally drew a blank as to where it was hidden. I looked for 2 days. On Friday I asked Karen to pray about it for me.

When we were at Bible Study on Friday night she called to tell me that one of her neighbors had come to her home to give her a Tupperware order for the fundraiser she is organizing for us and they also handed her $100 to give to us!
I was just so touched. She came over to give it to me and in doing so, I took the money and as I looked at it - it came to me where the money that I hid was! I went right to the spot that I had just looked the day before and found it!
What a miracle. I am very blessed. For that I am very thankful!

I am rested. I am off to prepare dinner that sweet Elaine brought to us today and go to Walmart to get Stace medicine that wonderful Dr. German prescribed for Stace's arm. We are cared for and loved.


October 28, 2008


I have really been tested in these areas through this process. It is so easy for people to get involved in their own lives and not stop to really look at the world around them. We have been so blessed by the love and kindness of people. It has taught all of us to be patient and wait on the Lord's blessings. We have learned too, to stop and look beyond "US" and try to focus on the blessings. I am trying to see where God can use us to further His Kingdom, by helping others.

Yesterday Stace was more comfortable as he started taking some pain meds for his arm. We were able to get to the eye doctor and order our new glasses.

We submitted Stace's Resume to a few companies that may have positions where he can do a supervisory position and not have to use his arm so much.

I was able to submit my Resume to 6 places that I feel my skills are suited for. Pray as we wait PATIENTLY for a response to these - it is very hard to wait!

We have been very blessed by members of our couple's group with food. Elaine and Cheryl brought us some WONDERFUL meals and I am so grateful! You two are excellent cooks and we are really enjoying the food!

Taylor, Stace, Trenton and Trevan are all sick. Trevan was up crying most of the night with a sore throat. I am starting to feel a bit stopped up and my throat is scratchy. My tummy is a bit upset too...we all know I do not have the TIME or PATIENCE to get sick!! LOL!

Pray for our finances, and finding a home. Our air-conditioner went out and the Landlord is not responding! Thank goodness it is not June!

Pray for my dad as he is still in Havasu with shingles and they need to come home.

Our group is hosting Marines from Camp Pendelton for Thanksgiving.
If you are interested in finding out more here is the info...
It is such a blessing to host 2 Marines for lunch. You need to pick them up at Pendleton between 8:00-9:00 drop off at 4:00-5:00.
Otherwise they spend Thanksgiving the barracks.
If you're interested please call 760-385-4921.
P.S. We usually give them a Purpose Driven Life Book

I am off to edit more photos - I am trying to catch up! Pray for speed!

October 29, 2008
I am a bit down today. I am physically tired and sick. I know my mental state becomes a bit overwhelmed when I do not feel well. I have applied and applied for job after job and yet I have heard NOTHING. It is so sad that most companies do all their applications over the internet making it so impersonal.
I check my email and voice mail hoping and praying for a nugget. I am stressed over the month being over and having rent and bills to pay. I am trying to find the peace that I had days ago and rest in the Lord to provide. Pray for my strength in this area. It is so hard, yet feels so good when peace takes over!

Turner is going on his first field trip today. He had to dress in concert attire and was just adorable in his tie!

Poor Trevan got his foot caught under the heavy door leading in and out to the garage. Taylor did not know he was on the other side and he came through it catching Trev's foot underneath on the metal stripping. He cut his foot pretty bad and he is sick on top of that.

I am still editing photos - pray for endurance and speed! I have so much to do and so little time.
Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!

October 30, 2008

Today I was frantically editing wedding photos all morning. I am still sick and not feeling up to par. I then went to help with Turner's class party. It was really great to help out and watch all the kids interact. They all had a super time.

Stace had physical therapy and found out that the insurance will not continue to let him attend in Mission Viejo. The clinic he will need to go to is in Fountain Valley - and that is quite a drive 3 times a week. Pray we can work out something else on that front.

After school I went to pick Taylor up and sadly - he had an episode. It lasted 2 hours in which he went into a rage and it broke my heart. I can not express to you how severe, how mentally and emotionally exhausting and how heartbreaking it is to see your child in such pain and not be able to do anything to fix it.

I am totally worn out. Stace tried to come to where we were to help me.
Often times Stace and Taylor's interactions are like gasoline on a flame.
Taylor does not make sense when he tries to communicate. It is so frustrating. He yells, screams, cries, hits things and becomes violent. He does not want to get out of control but can not stop himself.

Tomorrow we go to the Amen Clinic to get his results of the brain scans. Please pray for help for him. I love him dearly and know he is suffering. I want him to have a quality life.

He is and always will be, my baby.


Happy Halloween!

Today I will spend the day editing photos. Stace will help with the boys as there is no school.

Today at 3:00 pm we will have the appointment at Amen Brain Clinic for Taylor. It could be a 2 -3 hour appointment. Please be praying!

I have some great news...

We would like to INVITE YOU to attend the Baptism of Stace and Trenton at Saddleback Church on Saturday November 1st following the 4:30pm Service.
I anticipate the time being 5:30-5:45 pm.
Pastor Tom Atkins will be Baptizing them! Pastor Tom has been a wonderful support to our family the past year.
We will then attend the 6:30 pm Service and then go to the Food Court in Foothill Ranch for fellowship following the Service.

I hope you can join us in this special time!

SECOND nugget of GOOD NEWS -
I just got a call for a job interview for a very awesome position at a Law Office.
They specialize in Adoption. I would be working with pregnant women and adoption candidates as an adoption facilitator. I am thrilled to be considered for this position.
I will interview on Wednesday, November 5th. Pray for me during this time. Pray that if it be God's will I will get this job.

Today my parents are traveling home from Havasu - pray for my dad as he makes this trip. He is still very weak from Ocular Shingles.

Tomorrow the Wolverines will play their LAST game! :o(
Pray for the season to end with another WIN like last Saturday - that was SO exciting!

I'll update you tonight after our appointment for Taylor!

November 1, 2008

My Little Monsters!
Sweet one minute...

MONSTERS the next!
The Incredible Hulksters

Yes - you guessed it. Turner and Trevan went as HULK Twins. I hit traffic coming home from Taylor's appointment and we had to quickly dress the kids and get to the Church for the Trunk-and-Treat. It was just perfect. We then made our way to see Amy, Karen and Sammi. Turner and Trevan were not satisfied until they had gotten a full tour of Amy's house. We finally got them home and in bed so they would survive the early football game this morning.

We went to Stanton to learn that the other team did not have enough players and they automatically had to forfeit the game. We played them and it was SO close - tied for a while and then we lost by one touchdown. Bummer - but it was a great way to end the season - a good game.

We learned a lot at Taylor's appointment yesterday. We knew he had changed since his accident and had gotten very severe. The doctor feels that if we had not brought him in when we did - he would have ended up dead or in jail for causing harm to someone without wanting to.

Now we can actually see via 2 brain scans just where the damaged areas are. He suffered a good amount of damage to the temporal lobe. There are sharp bones in the skull that the brain rests on. When he hit his head with such force the brain moved a lot backward then forward - richocheting back and forth. The sharp bones poked the brain and caused damage to many areas.

Damage to the temporal lobe area causes memory problems, illusions, confusion, learning problems, headaches, anxiety, serious depression, aggression, dark thoughts, seizures and other things. Both sides of the brain were damaged in the temporal lobe area. The left side damage causes aggression and dyslexia and the right side presents sensory overload and disorders seen on the autism spectrum.

He also has damage in the Deep Limbic System/Thalamus. The functions of the DLS are - sets emotional tone, bonding, flight or fight response, sleep cycles, appetite, motivation, charged memories. When this area is damaged it causes negativity, blame, guilt, inward directed saddness, sleep/appetite problems, low self esteem, anger, irritibility, low motivation, low energy, social isolation, depression, cyclic mood disorder and more.

The scan also revealed polysubstance induced psycosis. This is damage caused by all the illegal drugs that Taylor chose to experiement with and self medicate with.

The doctor feels that he was predisposed to a depression/anxiety disorder as well as learning disabilities as these did present themselves early on. As a result he tried to self medicate with marijuana and then expieremented from there.

The damage caused by the accident made these conditions much worse plus added many others. He said it is as if the brain is overfiring and exploding out of control. Taylor does not have control over this and will need medication the rest of his life.

He has to make the choice to take the medicines that were prescribed, 2 prescriptions and 5 supplements, plus exercise.

He has a mood disorder, general anxiety disorder, polysubstance psychosis and brain trauma. I am so happy to have answers and understand what he is going through from a medical standpoint. I pray for his recovery to be positive and that the medications will do what they are suppose to and help him get his life back!

In an couple hours we will be celebrating a new step in our lives by witnessing the baptism of my son and husband. This will be a very special time for us. I am looking forward to seeing friends there and knowing that those who can not come are with us in spirit!

I will post photos and maybe a video clip! :o)
God Bless You All!

November 2, 2008

A HUGE Thank You to everyone who came to share in the Baptisms of Stace and Trenton last night! THANK YOU Scott Santos for the great job you did on the video!
I am so happy to have this! I have the video of Taylor being baptized when he was 7 and now we have Stace and Trenton's too! Very special memories!

We had a very special time last night and are so honored to have had Pastor Tom Atkins want to baptize the guys. Our time together was filled with love and meant so much!

We were able to fellowship following the service, after a wonderful time of prayer with my lovely friend Marcy in the Prayer Garden. I felt just on top of the world bringing all my burdens before Him and being prayed for! You should try it - it is such a gift!

Trenton was thrilled to have many of his friends come to witness his Baptism. It really meant a lot to him. Thank you Laura for the awesome celebration dinner of Sushi - it was just delicious! We topped it off with brownies that Shawna Santos made - we were full and happy when we left the food court!

I treasured meeting Pastor Tom's wife and Cindy Daily. I hope to be able to spend more time with both of you! You have been a support to our family and it is much appreciated.

The message last night was great. If you did not have a chance to hear Pastor Rick I encourage you to watch it online:

Saddleback Church Services Live and Archived

"Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up." 1 Cor 13:7 (GW)

I learned that having FAITH in someone and placing your TRUST in them is the ultimate expression of LOVE. I stopped and thought about relationships in where I have felt like I was not trusted, and that the person had no faith in me. I remembered how dark and sad I felt.

I have made a promise to God that I will do my best to show that I have FAITH and TRUST in those I love. I pray that Stace and I both can help Taylor by showing him that we have FAITH in him and TRUST him to make the right choices as he enters adulthood in the next month.

Below is a clip from the Baptism - enjoy!

Here We Are!


November 3, 2008

THIS is QUITE a week!

What a time of change...
Election Day is tomorrow - W O W.

I have a job interview on Wednesday - EXCITING.

Stace goes to court on Friday - SCARY.

I have a pretty decent case of the FLU and a Bladder Infection to boot. Despite my physical pain my spirits are high! I am SO BLESSED! This weekend was fantastic. Having Stace and Trenton baptized together was so special.

When I awoke yesterday so sick and in pain I called Dave. He then called Dr. Z who called me in a prescription for my bladder infection. I was just overjoyed by the awesomeness of this group. Everyone "has your back" all the time. I have experienced this for the past several years with my ladies group and I can not tell you how it really is a testimony of God's love in action.

I went to WalMart to get the medicine and prayed over Taylor's prescription. I know the two meds that he needs are very expensive. I found that the one is covered but the other needs a referral. The pharmacist said it may or may not get approved. I am going to ask that you pray that the Lord just takes care of this situation and that we can get the medicine quickly and that it will be covered.

Feeling lousy I needed a relaxing day. I met a group of family and friends for lunch after they went to church accompanied by Chloe. We then took Megan and we went shopping to find me a business suit for my job interview. I had some gift cards and money that I had received and had saved for a situation such as this need. I was able to find a lovely black skirt and jacket for an awesome price. I got my entire outfit for my interview for under $40!

I returned home to find that Elaine had delivered a huge crockpot of the most wonderful chicken soup. I was cold, not feeling well and eating the soup was like being wrapped in a warm blanket of love. I then thought of my poor dad who is still suffering with the Ocular Shingles. I called my parents and asked if I could bring them some of the soup for dinner.

I learned my dad had not eaten all day and I took some to them. He is in terrible pain. Please pray that as they go to the doctor today he can receive some medication for pain and anxiety. This illness it just terrible.

I thank the Lord for the friendships old and new that He has blessed us with. I have a wonderful support from the women in my life and now Stace is being afforded this same support by the men in our couples group. He needs it badly.

Thank you Lord for the Plaza Family and for their love and support. I am so blessed that they brought us to Bob and Lorna's group. Thank you Lord for the true friendships that I have been blessed with by Amy's Group. I feel so grounded and uplifted. I know we are loved and cared for. This is just enforced each day by all the acts of love we receive through emails, phone calls, meals and prayer.

I just hope that if you are reading this and you are not in a Small Group that you find one. I can not stress how much being in a group of loving Christians is essential to your life.
If you need help finding a group you can go here:

If you have never been to Saddleback Church and wish to go there are many campuses. We have one in Lake Forest, San Clemente, Irvine and Corona. If you would like to come with us - just let me know - we'd love to take you!

Prayers for today:
  1. Taylor's Medicine will be covered on insurance
  2. Stace goes to the doctor to get a new referral for physical therapy - pray it will be close by so we will not have to spend a fortune in gas!
  3. Pray for my dad to get medication to help his pain and anxiety with the Shingles.
  4. Taylor, Turner, Trevan and Myself are ill with the flu and I have a bladder infection. Pray for a quick recovery.
  5. Continued prayer for Jamie Warren and her journey.
  6. Pray for Karen my friend and her ruptured disc in her back.
  7. Pray for the Iannuzzi Family as they move from their home and work on the restoration of their marriage and start fresh.
Thank you all for your love and support!

Matthew 18:20 (The Message)
18-20"Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there."


November 5th, 2008

I felt lousy yesterday but feel a tad bit better today! I am excited to go on my job interview today! I am not nervous - I have peace. If this is where God wants me - it will be!

I was working on photos all morning and resting in my p.j.'s. We then went to get Turner from school and pick up Taylor. Taylor is starting to feel a bit better - we have only gotten him on ONE of the meds. We are still waiting to hear from the insurance company if they will cover the other one. I hope to hear today.

I was able to go have acrylic nails put on yesterday thanks to two wonderful friends who gave me a gift certificate! I have not had nails in about a year! Thank you so much Sandy and Shell! I feel ready for my interview! I have my nice snappy business suit and lovely nails!

Stace was able to get his physical therapy moved to Laguna Hills instead of Fountain Valley! This is an answer to prayer! He continues to gain more use of his hand and they are trying to stretch the muscles in his arm so that he may be able to straighten it one day soon. He is not in as much pain and I think his spirits are better as his new medications are kicking in. Another answer to prayer!

Turner and Trevan are still sick - as is Taylor. Please pray for a quick recovery as this flu is really hanging on. I still have the cough and the fatigue, but pray that it passes soon! Pray for Mark, Karen's husband as he really has it bad!

Today Amy's husband Dave will undergo his second knee replacement surgery. Please pray that this surgery will go smoothly and he will have minimal or no pain afterward! I know that is a lot to ask - but he has been through so much already! He is a wonderful guy and I hate to see anyone in pain especially Mr. Dave! Trevan will miss seeing you each morning and shouting "Hey I know YOU!" Dave has been driving Trenton to school since Stace's accident and Trevan loves to wave to him each day!

My dad is still in pain and we pray as he goes to the Eye Surgeon today. Pray that his vision has not been permanently impaired. He has been seeing double. I encourage anyone who is able to get the SHINGLES VACCINE! It is worth every penny - this is a terrible disease and very - very painful!

I was able to add a new guest book to this site. The link is on the right. I would love to hear from you! Take a minute to sign and say hello!

Thank you to Cheryl for the AWESOME meals you brought yesterday! I can not tell you what a gift you have! We ate meatloaf, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, yummy sweet bread last night- I am going to be really fat! I need to get out and exercise! You are such a blessing! :o) As is Elaine!

Continued prayer for our finances - or lack of! I really need to secure a job this will be the third month without income and that is VERY frightening! I know the Lord will see us through - I have faith.

I will update you today after my job interview - say a prayer!

*** My JOB INTERVIEW went FANTASTIC! Thanks for the prayer support~
They interviewed me for over two hours! They told me to mull over the opportunity, salary and job duties and call THEM tomorrow if I was interested!
When I left I overheard the CEO say "She is awesome!" as I was waiting for the elevator. Now I will pray about it, sleep on it and call tomorrow! ***

November 7, 2008

Yesterday was s day of challenges and a test of my patience. I started feeling much worse from this flu - or illness that I have. I woke up with stiffness in my neck and had very little energy. Stace spent most of the morning trying to find out about his court appearance that we thought was to be this morning. It seems that the court can not find any information on him. We called the OC Sheriff's Dept. and they had a hard time finding anything. Finally after over 2 hours on the phone calling here then there someone said he needs to appear on or before November 18 not the 8th. They said we would receive a letter and to wait for that.

I called the employer that I interviewed with and was only able to get her voice mail twice yesterday. In the late afternoon her assistant called to ask WHEN I had interviewed. When I explained that I had just been in yesterday, she said - "Oh, I'll have to tell her and hopefully she'll remember now. She could not remember who you were." She then told me that she would be calling me shortly.

As Stace and I continue to apply for jobs and the bills continue to mount - I can not help but get anxious. I admit that patience is hard for me in situations such as these. I am a "fixer" - I want to fix it all. I found this article on the internet on "Waiting on the Lord". It has given me strength -
Waiting on the Lord by
J. Hampton Keathley, III

Psa. 27:14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.

Here are a few points:

This short, but excellent article by Mark Wheeler formed the incentive for this series on waiting on the Lord.

One of the important exhortations of the Bible is the call to “wait on the Lord.” Even though God promises special blessing for waiting, waiting is one of the most difficult exhortations of Scripture. Why is it so hard? Because, as a part of fallen humanity, we are so prone to take matters into our own hands, to follow our own schemes. Yet, over and over again we are told in Scripture “wait on the Lord.”

We don’t like to wait and when we think of waiting we are apt to respond with the pun, “Wait? That’s what made the bridge collapse!” Of course, that’s weight, not wait. But then these two words, weight and wait are not always unrelated because one of our needs in waiting on the Lord is the need to cast the weighty burdens of life on Him.

The comment about the bridge expresses our normal dislike for waiting, especially in our “I want it now!” society. Ours is a society that has grown accustomed to immediate gratification. Due to modern technology and all our conveniences—telephones, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, fast foods, airplanes, etc.—we have many things immediately at our fingertips. Just think of the speed of the latest computer technology in comparison with the computers of only a few years ago.

Even in our modern age of conveniences, waiting is still a big part of life. When we think of waiting, what comes to mind? We might conjure up visions of an airport terminal, a doctor’s waiting room, the line at the supermarket, or being stuck in rush hour traffic. The facts are, most of us are waiting for something most of the time:

  • Maybe you are in a job situation that’s really tough to endure and you are waiting and hoping that conditions will change for the better.
  • Maybe you are without a job and waiting for news on an application.
  • Maybe you are ill (or have a loved one who is) and waiting for your health to improve.
  • Maybe you are on a diet and waiting for your weight to drop a few pounds.
  • A single person may be waiting for Mr. or Miss Right.
  • Or maybe you are waiting for your spouse or child to become interested in spiritual things.

The simple fact is, in spite of our modern age and our dislike for waiting, life is full of waiting. And one of the most challenging exhortations of Scripture is “Wait.” But waiting, despite our impatience and our dislike for it, is a vital element in life. Indeed, waiting has a number of benefits that we will discuss in this study.

When we think of waiting on the Lord, there are a number of important questions that need to be answered and understood in light of the principles and promises of Scripture. Why? Because without these answers, we become like a long-tailed cat scurrying around in a room full of rocking chairs. We become fidgety, fearful, frustrated, anxious, and even angry. However, because the Lord tells us to wait, and since it has some wonderful benefits, we need to know what it means to wait and how that is to be done.

Waiting Means Confident Expectation

WAITING and HOPING are wound together like the strands of a rope.

- When you wait to hear whether or not you have been accepted for the job you’ve applied for, you are not only hoping to get the job, you are hoping your credentials and qualifications are more than sufficient.
Psalm 130:5-6
5 I rely on the Lord, I rely on him with my whole being; I wait for his assuring word. 6 I yearn for the Lord, more than watchmen do for the morning, yes, more than watchmen do for the morning.
Psalm 37:7-9
7 Wait patiently for the Lord! Wait confidently for him! Do not fret over the apparent success of a sinner, a man who carries out wicked schemes! 8 Do not be angry and frustrated! Do not fret! That only leads to trouble! 9 Wicked men will be wiped out, but those who rely on the Lord are the ones who will possess the land.

Waiting Involves Seeking the Lord

Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.

On the positive side, waiting always means seeking the Lord. When we enter God’s waiting room we are not to just sit as one might in the doctor’s chair. Rather, we need to spend time seeking Him. This means:

  • Time in the Word studying, seeking answers, and claiming God’s promises;
  • Time in prayer praying about the issues, praying for wisdom and discernment;
  • Time meditating on who God is, what He is wanting to do in us and through us, and on what we need to do by way of answers and direction. Included in this might be our need to examine and evaluate our motives and attitudes, our values and priorities, and our goals and objectives in life.

Waiting Involves
Resting in God’s Timing

Psalm 145:15 The eyes of all look to Thee, And Thou dost give them their food in due time.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.

Waiting means resting in God’s timing and activity while taking care of our responsibilities—the things we can do and should do as set forth in the Word of God.

On the one hand we are to rest and be still. This stands opposed to running ahead of the Lord and taking matters into our own hands and turning to our own human strategies. For instance, when one’s spouse is acting in disobedience to the Word (as it is perceived by the other spouse) the great temptation is to nag and brow beat the other partner with arguments and complaining, etc., but Peter’s direction to us in such situations is far different. Our responsibility is to seek to win them by Christlike behavior while we wait on the Lord to work in their lives, using our testimony if He sees fit to do so.

I draw strength from this article. It is so HARD TO WAIT. I often feel very silly when I have been impatient in my wait and then the Lord delivers. I feel like a little child who is still learning patience. I tell my boys all the time to "be patient". I am finding it hard to practice what I preach!

Prayers for today:

  • Pray for Dave Julian as he recovers from knee replacement surgery. He has had trouble with pain management.
  • Pray for my dad as his battle with Ocular Shingles wears on - his patience have been great and his pain has been severe.
  • Pray for Karen my friend as her back and knee are still giving her trouble. She will undergo a procedure on Tuesday.
  • Pray for my patience, my health and for strength as I go to photograph a Wedding this Saturday for Amy's sister Tracey. She lives quite a distance away - pray for safe travels.
  • Pray for Taylor to continue to get help on his new medicines, he is working right now and that has been very positive.
  • Pray for the Lord to reveal WHAT he wants us to do to support our family financially.
  • Pray for continued rehab on Stace's arm so that he may return to work doing what he loves to do one day.

I just got a call from the company I interviewed with - it seems the CEO "has a lot on her plate" and "will get back to me in a week or two". So - if God closes a door he opens a window - I will have to be patient - STILL!

Sunday November 9th, 2008

- My Taylor -

I lost my little boy that use to love me so
quite a few years ago

As the teenage years took a toll on him,
Love that he had for me quickly grew dim.

As he numbed his pain with drugs and alcohol,
I was rendered helpless and felt so small

A skateboarding accident nearly took his life -
the journey since has brought great strife

The sweet boy I once had left me that day -
but forever in my heart he will always stay.

I know the Lord loves him more than I
it is because I am human that I cry.

I want him back to love ME again
is that just a selfish, selfish sin?

I want one day to look into his eyes,
and not to hear any more of the lies.

I want to believe that when he says he loves me too,
that it is not because it is the right thing to do...

I just want my little boy that got so, so lost,
to come back to me at whatever cost.

Pain in my heart is almost too much to bear.
Why is it that a mother just has to care?

Why does loving someone so much cause such great pain -
that just thinking of the depth makes tears flow like rain?

Will my job as his mother ever be done?
He can never stop being my very first son.

Many times he does not like what I have to say,
I'll admit, his hurtful words often ruin my day.

He was a gift to me that was more precious than gold,
even though he feels lost to me at nearly 18 years old.

Lord if it be your will please heal his broken heart,
I would love the opportunity for a brand new start.

Please protect his every step each and every day
and cradle his precious head wherever it may lay.


November 10, 2008
I had a busy weekend. I went to Banning this weekend accompanied by my sweet assistant Alysha, to shoot the wedding of Kenny and Tracy. We had a great time!


We returned yesterday afternoon. Stace had taken the boys to church while I was gone and I was so happy to hear about the good time they had all had together.
I was frustrated by Taylor's refusal to take his meds while I was gone and we had some words in reference to that situation. Dealing with him proves to be more and more challenging. I really need prayers for him and for his future.
Stace and I continue to apply for jobs - as of yet we have no bites. I have several photo sessions booked for the Holidays so for that I am very grateful.
Pray for our health as I am still a bit under the weather as is Turner.
Stace is continueing his physical therapy and is improving. We are just more stressed over the job situations as each day passes.
Thank you for your support and prayers - they are greatly needed!

November 11, 2008

After Stace and I spent the morning applying for more jobs - and I secured a job interview for next Thursday - yipee! We decided to take the boys out to do something they might enjoy. They have been sick and cooped up in the house. We took a drive to the beach to hunt for seashells and sea rocks. The little guys thoroughly enjoyed running in the sand, collecting treasures and getting wet and sandy - much to dad's dismay!
I love to ocean so I was in heaven. Stace get's a bit uptight as the boys run and play - but he did okay. I am still recovering from this flu virus and have a ton of work to do on football photos and wedding pictures as well as sessions that are coming up. It was a nice diversion even if it was short lived. It is good to take a break now and again!
Keep up the prayers for our finances they are running slim as I am sure many can relate! This economic situation is very scary! I just pray that something will come along in the way of employment for either Stace or myself!
Off to do dinner -

November 12, 2008

I have come to a realization that in this sad state of affairs that the world is in today - that there are a lot of unhappy people. I find it very draining and it saddens me to have to see, hear and deal with people who choose to spend their time doing negative things, saying hurtful words and just down right being nasty.

If everyone would just use the time they are expending complaining and doing things to make themselves feel better by hurting others -and instead do something to actually HELP people the world would be a much happier place.

THERE! DONE - Got that off my chest. I feel better...

Today I spent a lot of time applying for more jobs, working on the football DVD, editing wedding photos, placing orders for Holiday Prints for clients and the usual running for the boys.

Stace had an appointment with the ortho surgeon today for a re-check and things look like they are progressing. He can only put 12 pounds of pressure on that arm and over 100 on the other so he still has a way to go...

I am really exhausted and still have a bit of the flu lingering - I had better hit the hay...

P.S. - Just got this from ELAINE - thank you - friend! Just what I needed before bed!

November 13, 2008

We spent the morning submitting resumes and applications for the both of us. I am still working away on the Football DVD and Wedding Photos.

NOW - I have some great news!

I got a part time job photographing the Newborn Babies at 3 area hospitals! I am SO excited!
I just have to wait for my background check to come in - about 3 days - then get a T.B. test and a titer for MMR. Then I will undergo security clearance testing for Mission Hospital. I will find out next week when I will start!

THEN - I also have and interview at Saddleback Church for next Tuesday! Whooo Hooo!
It is so hard to wait and be patient - but the Lord does provide! Thank you Jesus!
I pray that something wonderful comes of all this and that we are on the road to pleasant, peaceful lives.

Thank you all for your faithful prayers and encouragement! It has been hard some days to stay strong when I just want to crawl into bed and cry!

I will keep you updated! Now off to do more work!

November 17, 2008
Happy Monday! (If there is such a thing!)
We had a busy - busy weekend. Saturday was spent trying to resolve issues for the DVD Production that I made for the Wolverines Football Awards Banquet. I could not get it to burn to a disc. I made a trip to Nani's house to see if the projector she had would hook up to my computer - no luck. We then went to Dave and Buster's and after several trips back and forth to the Apple Store - and there - we finally got the proper hook up. I was so relieved!

We then met Chloe at the house and we all went to Church - minus Trenton. Trenton was with his "other family" at Mark's Baseball PlayOffs. Thank you Peters family for having Trenton as "part of the family" all the time! He loves you all!

Church was great - Stace and I took away a lot of great tips on finances. We would love to go to the Debt Proofing Your Marriage seminar this week. We are going to put many of the points Pastor Rick made into place. Although we do not have any income as yet - we have committed to tithing. We will also start selling things and getting down to the basic necessities. I am going to melt my charge cards - which thankfully are only a few, and send them to Pastor Rick! I am thankful that we have stayed strong through this hard time and have not used the available credit that we have. It has been hard when we "need" food or gas not to charge up the credit cards that I have worked to pay down or off. I felt strong that we needed to keep from getting deeper into debt.

After church I went with Chloe to watch Megan's Color Guard Competition. Megan is like a daughter to me. I have known her since she was born. Her family is my family. I was so nervous watching her! It was the first time I have seen her perform, and I was more anxious than watching Trenton play football! It was a really awesome performance and I was so proud to see her take the Sweepstakes in the Championship! It was an exhilarating evening! I came home at midnight and could not sleep!

Sunday was Trenton's Awards Banquet. We did not have a sitter so I just took Trenton and Stace stayed home with the boys. We got the DVD production to work! I was so relieved. The Banquet was lovely and the boys all had a great time.

I left there to go to a photo shoot in Laguna Niguel. The session went VERY well and I had a great time! This family is so photogenic - they made my job VERY easy! Here is a shot that I got of Carson naked - it is one of my favorites!

I came from there and picked up Trenton and Chris and we had a bite to eat at Islands using a gift card that I had gotten. It was nice to chat with the boys and talk football and "stuff" that 12 year old boys deem important! We dropped Chris at his C Group and headed home to get into our jammies. Elaine and "E"Manda (Trevan's name for Amanda) came over and brought us goodies including home made Chili! Stace devoured 2 bowls and went to bed very satisfied!
Thanks Elaine!

Tomorrow I will go take my tests at the Church to prepare for my interview. I am very excited to see what may be in store for me in the way of employment! I will edit photos today and we need to call the court on Stace's ticket from the accident. We still have not gotten "the letter" that they said we should have gotten. What a nightmare!

Although there are things that remain "foggy" like our finances, job security etc. We are trying to remain faithful and wait on the Lord and His timing. It is hard, but we appreciate all who have come along side us to support us in prayer and in all the other ways that you have. I appreciate all the time given, the kind words, the financial support and the friendships that have come. Bless you all!


***Many of you know that I put the citation somewhere so that we would not lose it - and I can't remember where that "somewhere" is. We have been searching for the ticket for the past few weeks and have ripped the house apart. Nani told me to pray about it and that it is not lost to God. I have prayed and no luck. Today Stace was on the phone with the court for nearly an hour and they can not find his citation in the system ANY WHERE. He was upset at me and said - "Try to remember where you put it!". I said a prayer - "Lord YOU know where it is - please lead me there!" - The words LOOK IN THE OTTOMAN popped into my head. I thought - that is crazy - we do not ever put things in the ottoman. I quickly jumped up - opened the ottoman and there was the ticket along with a gift card that I had gotten - staring up at me!
WOW - how incredible - and HOW GOD is that!?!?

Pray as Stace is on his way to the court now - to see if he can get this "citation situation" sorted out. Pray we do not have a large fine or anything worse. ***

November 18, 2008

Stace went to court yesterday and they can not find any information on his case in the system AT ALL. The finally determined that MAYBE the Sheriffs Department needed to send the citation to the Newport Beach Court (I don't know why) and that the citation was "kicked back" to them. They told Stace to relay this information to the Sheriff's Department and go from there.
He came home and called them. They said they can't find anything about that - but that they would check with the District Attorney and we should just "wait and see" what happens.

So - we will pray that maybe it will just - "go away" completely! If we can get so lucky - I would be thrilled!

We had a bit of a rough afternoon with Taylor and he had an episode as I was trying to leave to go to a seminar at Church. I ended up fighting with him and Stace and leaving in tears. I was not going to go to church but Nani told me to come over and we would go - even if we were late.
I went and ate some pasta at her house - and calmed down. We went to see Mary Hunt speak on debt proofing your life and it was great! My evening ended with the Plaza family embracing me in prayer and I felt much better.

I did not sleep well last night as I have something wrong with my neck. It is really painful - I am sure I need to see a chiropractor. I received my official offer of employment for the in -hospital newborn photography position. I need to get medical testing done to proceed into the next phase of the security clearances.

I am going to Saddleback Church at 9:30am to do the skills tests for employment there. Pray that I do well!

Stace has been really stressed and is having a hard time with getting the physical therapy place to schedule him. He is restless and is not feeling at ease with "waiting" on all the employment applications he has put out. He is a doer and wants to get busy - he is frustrated by his physical limitations. Pray for him.

I will update you when I return home today - thanks for praying us through!

*** Well - I passed 3 out of the 4 tests with flying colors. The 4th test I missed 5, and you can only miss 4 to pass. I tried to re-test but I over thought the questions and did worse. I can come back on Monday to re-try ONE more time. I was really disappointed in myself. I went to Nani's and we then went to my mom's. I cried a bit and we prayed. I have to remember to trust in God and His timing.

I went home to find out that the District Manager of the other job had called to say that the girl that they hired for 2 of the hospitals is not going to work out. She offered me that position as well as the one I agreed to fill. I will take a TB test tomorrow and start training on Thursday. I will then work Friday, Saturday an Sunday from here on out at Kaiser in Irvine. I will get security clearance for Mission Hospital and Saddleback and will then be scheduled to work those hospitals as well! So all is working out. I will still re-test on Monday and see if I can go forward with the interviewing process for the position at Saddleback Church.

Trenton and I are at the Refinery at Saddleback Church right now! We are sitting in this awesome place and working. I am editing photos and he is doing homework. It is nice to share some productive time together eating a browine and sipping coffee!

You should all check it out - it is a cool place!
XOXO - Me ***

November 19, 2008

Just when I feel fatigued and have a glint of that helpless feeling that satan wants me to feel - I get a boost from one of the Lord's Angels. I try so hard to stay strong but do have my moments. I get physically tired then I start to beat myself up mentally. The past few months - or the past year has really been an extremely challenging time for me on many - many levels. I know the Lord is refining me and making me stronger - but at times I just need a reprieve!

I am not stressed over the upcoming Holidays - as I know my kids are aware of our struggles. I continue to try to push the financial stresses aside - but when your electric bill is DUE it is a hard one to put out of mind! I am blessed that I have oficially been hired for the part time job that I start training on tomorrow. I rejoice and thank the Lord as perhaps this "part -time" job could work into something more. It is my hope to remain open to the plan the Lord has for us and remain faithful.

I do not know what I would do without the caring people who have come along side us. I really appreciate all of you. We continue to look for affordable housing. We just can not move until we have secure employment as no one will rent to us. The situation with our landlord is very bizarre and we worry each day about that. I have worked hard to place my "worries" at the Lord's feet and just release those worries to Him. I visualize the issues in a box - and then visualize me laying them at His throne. It helps to cast the stress aside.

Pray today as I go to get my TB test for my new job and set out to find Khaki scrub pants and the proper shoes for the dress code. Pray for Stace's spirits to be lifted and especially lift Taylor up in prayer as he is really struggling with depression.


November 20, 2008

I need to THANK Laura Peters for being our ANGEL again! She provided us with money to purchase my scrub uniform pants, shirt and shoes that were required by the hospital for me to start this job. We were also able to purchase a much needed pair of shoes for Taylor as his had holes worn all the way through. We filled the car up with gas and had money to give Trenton for his school lunches too!

THANK YOU PETERS FAMILY for your love, kindness and support - we love you!

Off to start my new job today! I am VERY excited! I adore newborn babies and new mommies - wow what a combination! I will let you know how it goes when I return! Keep Taylor and Stace in prayer - they are still struggling with anxiety and depression.

I'll be in touch when I return!

Okay - I am home - it is a little after 2:00 pm - what a FUN - FANTASTIC job! I love it! It is so wonderful to get to see all these precious miracles just hours old! I caught on quickly to the computer system and the equipment is a breeze to use. My DM and the nurses are just lovely. I can't wait to return tomorrow when I get to photograph a set of twins! I think this is just the most awesome job ever! I can't wait to get started at Mission Hospital too!

Stace went to the doctor and he has been given some new medicine. Pray that he will see a difference with this one. I have to grab a bite to eat and then off to a Parent Teacher Conference for lil Turner! :o)


November 22, 2008 - Happy Birthday to my Baby Brother! (37 today)

As I am up early catching up on work and email I almost feel guilty that I am very happy to go to work this morning! My new job is just fantastic!

My District Manager had to attend a conference call yesterday and was late getting to the hospital. I am not one to wait around and do nothing so I jumped in and started working the floor. I remembered all that I learned the day before and thought there is no better time than the present to get to work.

I had done most of the prep work and made my way into half the patient rooms when she arrived and started briefing me on the tasks that needed to be done. I explained that I had already completed them and she was blown away. She told me that normally she needs to train someone for a full 2 weeks. I told her that I felt confident and that I could do the tasks for the day myself. She agreed to watch me and over lunch announced that I am District Manager material!
She said that after 90 days she will recommend that I be placed in line to be considered for that position when the next one opens up!

Although Stace is having a bit of a stressful time adjusting to my absence it feels good to be able to know we will have SOME money coming in. I am not going to get rich on 3 days a week - but pray that I will pick up more hospitals and perhaps do this full time.

Finances are still a huge burden and I will not get my first pay check until December. The company pays $10 an hour during the training period as they do not think your sales will be strong. I sold over $400 yesterday and the commission would have been a lot more than the $10 an hour. My DM will ask that they move my pay to the commission base sooner. I am thankful that she is so nice!

Our missing landlord finally surfaced - and we have not been able to make rent this month - December is right around the corner and Stace fears we will be evicted. He fears talking to her - but we have to confront the issue. I do not have the answers - I told him all we can do is pray and trust that God will reveal His plan. We are not alone - I know many people right now are having these same challenges.

Well - I set my own hours and I think that I will get ready and go in early. I leave when the work is done, so maybe I can get back in a few hours and spend the day with the boys and Stace.
Pray for a successful - stress free day for all!
November 24, 2008

Work is FANTASTIC! I just wish I could do it EVERY DAY of the WEEK! I love the nurses, the patients and the SWEET, SWEET babies - wow! I am in heaven! Thank you Lord for blessing me with such a terrific job!

I worked all day Saturday - I had 12 newborns. I came home and went to Amy's house for a Small Group get-together. It was so much fun to laugh, eat, play games, eat some more! I really miss "me" time with the ladies! Stace took Turner and Trevan to church - for the second time BY HIMSELF! I am so proud that he will go without me!

I worked on Sunday until about 3:30 pm or so. I come home really tired - but love every minute of it! I have even lost a few pounds walking all day and pushing the 80 pound photo machine/computer/cart! I have met some new friends and look forward to meeting more!

Today I re-took my test at Saddleback Church and PASSED this time!!! In 6 minutes I did it and scored higher than last time! Thank you Jesus! Since this is a Holiday week I may not hear anything about an interview until next week. I told her I would take any position - nights - whatever! I then went today to Mission Hospital to get my security badge and parking permits. I am now official at 2 of the hospitals. I will go to Saddleback and Hoag next week. I will work Thanksgiving at Kaiser, then work both Mission and Kaiser on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I am looking forward to seeing what little bundles came on Thanksgiving!

Stace had physical therapy tonight and continues to search for a job that he can do. It is very discouraging - during this tough economic time - no one is hiring! We have had a rash of bill collectors calling - and the landlord came today. We explained that we have NO money and are trying our best. I found out tonight that we are overdrawn in the bank! We may have dinner by candlelight soon and be taking cold showers! Oh well - what can you do?

I pray that I can get more and more hours and that my sales will be stellar. I do not get my first paycheck until December. But I am THANKFUL that I am getting a check at all! Thank you for your continued prayers and calls. We are very blessed to be so loved by so many!

Here are some of my favorite "Bundles of Joy" shots...


November 25, 2008

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is almost here. Trenton is turning 13 on that day and Taylor called to ask if he can be with us. We had planned on spending the day hosting Marines at the Greenhalgh's with our couples small group. I am not sure yet if we will still go - or celebrate at home.

I went to train at Mission Hospital this morning - I can't wait to work there on Friday. I just LOVE my job! I am excited to go to the other hospitals too! I can't tell you how thankful I am to have landed this position. It was made for me!

Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving Feast in Turner's class. I will be going to help and he will attend morning Kindergarten instead of afternoon. He is very excited!

Stace is in pain with the rain and moisture in the air. Pray for some relief for him.

I am off to bed - I have been editing photos and my eyes are buggy....I still have a lot to do!

I will be cooking tomorrow, editing photos and trying to design people's Christmas cards...

Goodnight - sleep tight!


November 27th, 2008

I am thankful.
I am thankful for the Blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us.
I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for my friends.
I am thankful for my health.
I am thankful for my job.
I am thankful for the beauty in nature.
I am thankful to have a roof over my head - for now.
I am thankful for the food we have.
I am thankful that the Lord wants to mold me and shape my character.

Happy Thanksgiving - I know you too, are THANKFUL!

Happy Birthday to my sweet Trenton - he is sharing his birthday today with MARK his best friend - they are birthday buds! Happy Birthday Mark Peters!!

I got this from my friend Shelly -

This Thanksgiving holiday with its blessings so grand
Should serve to remind us of the joys at hand
The friendships we treasure, our families dear
The love we've been given and shared, year to year
The food at our tables, where many have none
The dawn of each morning beneath the bright sun
The dreams that we carry; the warmth in our hearts
That bring us together when we are apart.

The walks by the ocean as stars light the sky
The joys in the children who quickly pass by
The stillness of nature, the comforts of home
Each blessing the greatest that could ever be known
The warm, pleasured scents from the kitchen, delight
Arousing the senses near the firelight
The wondrous decor of the season to come
Good tidings, best wishes for everyone.

The freedom we hold, so to live peacefully
The soldiers who serve us, so diligently
The air that we breathe, the flowers we grow
The brightness of spring, the coldness of snow
Our sons and daughters, our husbands and wives
And the furry creatures who capture our lives –
All are blessings we’re given to cherish, always
Yet, especially so on Thanksgiving Day.

Celebrate this time for the beauty abound
Be thankful for all of the blessings God has graciously
given you. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends; I am blessed, indeed
I am thankful for the love you have shared, selflessly
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!!


November 29, 2008

Whew! The Holiday was wonderful - I worked most of the day, but was able to get home to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family at the Greenhalgh's. We had 6 marines from Camp Pendelton and we all had a wonderful - wonderful time together. The food and the company was just amazing and we were all so relaxed. I am so blessed that the Lord has brought such great people into our lives to share and live life together with!

I posted a photo of Turner with one of his Best Buds - Joey and the Class Photo I took at his Thanksgiving Feast. All the kids are so cute and Mrs. Ballentyne is a wonderful teacher. I have always prayed that Turner would be able to attend regular classes and not have to go to a special ed school. Another Blessing!

My job is fantastic - I love every minute of it. I come home VERY tired - and with sore feet and legs. I am going - going all day long and do not sit at all. I am not complaining - I am blessed to have this job! It amazes me how the Lord provides and I know I should not stand in awe. I am to trust Him in all I do - in all areas. It is just so easy to say it - and hard to live it.

He never ceases to blow us away. Yesterday Laura Peter's called me and told me that the Softball Tournement that they organized for our family had a tremendous turnout. I was just stunned.
I can not believe the generous hearts and souls of so many good people. They had over 50 people come to play ball and raised over $1600 in cash, food and gift cards for our family. I read the wonderful cards and notes and just cried.

I thank everyone who came, who is praying and who have given to our family. We have been wrapped in the Lord's arms by all of you - you all are Jesus with skin on to us! THANK YOU is not enough - I only pray that I will be able to pass on the blessings bestowed upon us to others in need for the rest of my days.

Just when our food supply is low - he provides. Just when bills need to be paid - he provides. Just when WE are feeling LOW he provides wonderful spirits and souls to lift us up. I am rejoycing in this trial and praising the Lord for making himself KNOWN to us.

Although we do not have a way to "do Christmas" this year - I am still grateful. I feel less stressed - like a burden is lifted. I know all we NEED is to love one another and be here for our friends and family. I can give of myself - give my time - or give gifts from my soul. I know that all who know and love us will appreciate anything that we are able to do.

Our trials have been great - but they could have been worse. I pray that the lives that have touched each other throughout this process will all be better for trudging through this storm - together. It is the love of many who have brought SO much - the greatest is the life's lessons that my boys are being taught. I know that we will all be better for enduring and keeping our heads high. Without the Lord - we have nothing. I will keep looking up and can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us in the new year ahead!

Thank you all again for your support, love and blessings - we are forever grateful~

****Pray for Trevan as he came down with a bad stomach flu the past 2 days - he was up throwing up all night - and we pray the rest of us stay well.
***Pray for Grandma who watched him for a bit on Thanksgiving Day - as she has it too!
**Keep Taylor in your prayers - he spent Thanksgiving with us - and took Trenton to Nickel Nickel last night to spend time with him. He is doing good this week.
*Pray for me to have LOTS of energy - I work tomorrow and want to be bright and cheery!


November 30th, 2008

Wow - another month has come to an end. I am going to be glad to put this year behind us and start NEW! Today was "one of those days". I got to Mission Hospital early and anxious to photo my patients from the day before that I had made connections with, only to find that another gal had reported to work. She had not been informed that I was taking this hospital each weekend and she had been filling in. She told me that she had driven a distance and needed the money so she was there to work. I did not want to be rude and argue with her - so I went on my way. I contacted my DM and left her a message telling her of the situation.

I got to Kaiser and only had one little sweetie to photograph. He was the BIGGEST one yet and hardly fit on the camera bassinet! He was a whopping 10 pounds 8 ounces and was almost 23 inches long! He was adorable and we got some super photos.

I came home in a rush to get ready for a family portrait session. I got the kids all ready, my gear packed and we went out scouting for the perfect location. While in route my client called to say they would have to re-schedule.

Stace started feeling symptoms of the flu that Trevan had so we came right home and into bed he went. I took the boys to Target to use one of the gift cards we received. We were able to get both Turner and Trevan some sweats and a couple long sleeve tees for the cooler weather. We got laundry soap, medication and coffee! I have to have at least a cup in the morning! My luxury!
We came home in time to get the boys ready to go to church. They wanted to go so badly because we missed Saturday night to make sure Trevan was well.

We got there and when they saw that the teachers were different, the kids were new and they did not see Kelly - they both burst into tears. They wanted to go - but were so afraid. We ended up going to the refinery to watch the waterfall for a bit then back home.

On the way Trevan spotted a Christmas Tree lot. He was so excited. I made a U-Turn and we walked all through the Christmas Trees feeling the difference in the branches and smelling each one. The were bitten by the Christmas bug! The wanted so badly to take a tree home - one complete with "snow". I explained that we did not have the money and that we did not have a truck to bring one home any longer. They then spotted a tiny 3 foot tree and told me that we could fit THAT ONE in the van. It was so cute! I got out of there with the excuse that Daddy would have to be involved - and that picking a tree was a family activity.

They were satisfied with that. I told them we had a fake tree in the closet and they both protested heartily. They said we needed a REAL tree that smells good! Maybe I can get some pine spray and spray the fake one!

We then went to look at Christmas lights before returning home. We ate dinner, checked on dad and then got into our jammies.

Tomorrow is a new month - one month closer to a new year.

I can't wait.


December 1st, 2008

Happy December! I am afraid that I am becoming a bit overwhelmed. My "TO DO" List has grown quite long as I have tried to balance all my duties and working a new job. I am going to go to my mom and dad's to work today so that I may have fewer distractions. I have a list of about 25 items that need to be taken care of.

I am trying not to get down. It is the first of the month and all the bills are due AGAIN. We did not pay rent last month and do not have it again this month. I know I need to spend time selling items and prepare to move. I just need more hours in the day. Stace is not dealing well with being unemployed. His self esteem is low and he is stressed most days. He is a bit resentful of me when I leave to go to work. I know he wishes he was the one leaving and bringing money in for the family.

I know my job is not enough to support us. I have not gotten a check yet and after this week I will go on commission base only. I am still seeking another job. I wish I could be in more than one place at a time! Trevan is still a bit under the weather with a flu bug and Stace and Trenton are not feeling well.

On a happier note - my neighbors have been busy decorating their homes for Christmas and our block is looking very festive. My boys LOVE "dark time" and ask to go around the block to see all the lights. They are begging us to decorate the house too. Stace said he may attempt to do a bit tomorrow to make them happy.

I cherish seeing the spirit of Christmas through their eyes. This is the first year that the really understand the celebration of Jesus' Birth. I pray that I can put my stress aside and share in the sheer joy with them each day as Christmas draws near. They are trying to decide on the ONE gift that Santa will bring them. It is really adorable to watch them ponder over what they want more.

I will leave you with this neat bit of info I received from Marcy today:

12 Days of Christmas--Defined

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

Today, I found out. From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not
permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as
a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: the surface
meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtledoves were the Old and New Testaments
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first 5 books of the Old Testement
The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace,
Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The
Apostles' Creed.

This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas pass it on if you wish.

May your Christmas be all that God wants it to be!


December 2, 2008 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLISON! - my sister in law

Today is my sister-in-law, Allison's Birthday. I know this is a hard time for her as she and my brother are going through a divorce. I wish you a happy day Allie! I am praying for you all! :o) xoxox

This morning I get to go to work! I am very happy that I was asked to fill in at Mission Hospital and perhaps Kaiser. It seems the "sickness" is hitting hard right now! I am sorry my co-workers are sick - but am happy I can fill in for them!

I got about 15 of the 25 tasks completed yesterday. I am thankful for that! I am not feeling super great and pray I am not getting sick too. I think I am just tired and stressed.


Please pray for a renewed hope for us - a "booster shot" of faith. I do not want to get in a slump. It is hard when we are not feeling physically well. I think we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Pray for positive thoughts for the whole family and that we can rest in the Lord's promises. Pray for good health for everyone. Sickness is such a bummer!

Thank you again for your support! We appreciate it soooooo much!

Off to work - here is your Christmas Trivia for today...

What is the Meaning of the Word “Xmas?”

Some people think of Xmas as a contemporary, sacrilegious abbreviation of the word Christmas. On the contrary, the first letter of the word Christ in the Greek language is chi, which is identical to the modern Roman alphabet's X.


December 3, 2008

I worked until almost 9:30 pm last night! I am beat! I loved every minute of it! I photographed tiny babies and I photographed BIG babies. I met some wonderful families and being able to share in the joy of their new beginnings is a blessing.

It seems that Trenton, Trevan and Turner are all getting sick! ARGHHH! Pray for a speedy recovery - we are beefing up on the vitamins!

Our landlord (or the person who says she is the landlord) called while I was at work and I told her we are doing the best we can do. She said she wanted to talk to us today if I did not have to work. Pray for this situation.

I am waiting to hear if Robyn is ill today and if I will go to Kaiser. I am cuddled up in my jammies, robe and snuggling with Romeo and Turner. Stace made me my cup of coffee as he does each morning complete with whipped cream and brown sugar sprinkles. Life right at this moment is wonderful. I wish I could stay like this all day!

Turner brought home this adorable Santa Advent Calendar - so cute and easy to make. You add a cotton ball to Santa's beard each day and when Christmas is here his beard will be full!

Stace has to go off to physical therapy now - so I will now leave you with your Christmas Fun for today!

Christmas stockings

The tradition of the Christmas stockings began by a story told since ancient time about a kind noble man who had three daughters. The wife of the nobleman expired and the daughters and their father were left in a state of sorrow. The daughters had to do all the work in the house. When the daughters became young and eligible for marriage, the poor father could not afford to give the huge dowries to their husbands.

One evening the daughters, after washing their stockings hung them near the fire place to be dried. Santa Claus being moved by the plight of the daughters came in and put in three bags of gold one in each of the stocking hanging by the chimney. The next morning the family noticed the gold bags and the nobleman had enough for his daughter’s marriage. The daughters got married and they lived happily ever after. Since then children have been hanging Christmas stockings.

I just got a call from Robyn - she is sick so I will be going to work at Kaiser today!
Talk to you later!

December 4th, 2008

Wow - yesterday there was a BABY BOOM! Every room was filled and Labor and Delivery was overflowing. Think of all the families who will have precious new babies to celebrate the holiday with! I worked a long full day and then came home to do a fun session for Stacy and Shawn. We did their Christmas photos and designed their card last night. It is really cool!

I have worked 10 straight days in a row and am thankful. I am waiting to see if I go in today - or get a day to rest. I know we need the money - but my old bones are tired! I work Friday, Saturday and Sunday at both hospitals and know the weekend will be VERY busy!

I have been praying about our living situation and we did not hear from the "landlord" yesterday. We have been looking for more affordable places but will need a LOT of money to be able to move. Most places require a hefty deposit and first months rent. Pretty hard to come by if you can't even pay rent now.

I do not want to be evicted. Pray that we can find a solution - pray that an opening will arise and I can get a promotion. Pray that maybe I can find a second job. I don't know the answers - but just pray that the Lord will reveal what we are to do.

Most importantly pray for the worry and stress to not be so great in both Stace and I. THAT can be debilitating and it is not effective. We need to be united and stand strong for the kids.

****I just found out I need to work today! Pray for ENERGY - I will need it!
It is gonna be B U S Y today! *****

Okay - on to the fun for the day...

'Twas The Night Before Christmas
For moms!

Written by Karen Spiegler. Originally published in "Maniac Moms: A Humorous Newsletter for Crazed Mothers" in December/1993.

When this season gets to be too much - just read this poem...

Twas the night before Christmas, when all thru the abode
Only one creature was stirring, & she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
while visions of Nintendo & Barbie, flipped through their heads.

The dad was snoring in front of the TV,
with a half-constructed bicycle propped on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, "Now what is the matter?"

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, & saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes & soot, which fell with a shrug,
"Oh great," muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the rug."

"Ho Ho Ho!" cried Santa, "I'm glad you're awake."
"your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "So, I've made you a clone."

"A clone?" she muttered, "What good is that?"
"Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit chat."
Then out walked the clone - The mother's twin,
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.

"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch The Young & The Restless."
"Fantastic!" the mom cheered. "My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read, I'll sleep a night through!"

From the room above, the youngest did fret.
"Mommy?! Come quickly, I'm scared & I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She sure knows her part."

The clone changed the small one & hummed her tune,
as she bundled the child in a blanket cocoon.
"You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled & sighed, "And I love you, too."

The mom frowned & said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal."
That's my child's LOVE she is trying to steal."
Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed here."

The mom kissed her child & tucked her in bed.
"Thank You, Santa, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget, it won't be very long,
when they'll be too old for my cradle & song."

The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
With the clone by his side Santa said "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom, You will be all right."

Sometimes we need reminding of what life is all about.

Especially at times during the Holiday season, when all we seem to do is clean and bake and shop and and and and and and and.... You get the picture, I'm sure.

So stop for a moment and hug that little one so special, whether he/she is 2 or 22, or even older than that.

For they are the Gift that God gave us in life...and what a gift to be treasured, far above any other!

May the real meaning of Christmas be with you all this year,

this is my prayer.

*** I worked today - came home dog tired. I have to work for the next 3 days.

I am looking forward to Monday - a day off - maybe.

I heard from an OLD friend tonight. It lifted my spirit and made my heart swell. Thanks for the kind words and for the trip down memory lane. You always had and still do have a special place in my heart. God sent you just when I needed a boost!

Looking forward to catching up via email!

Keep in touch and I will pray for you as you travel!


Janean ***

December 5th, 2008
If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away.

I had sweet dreams last night. Dreams of days past. Dreams of happier times.

I woke up tired - and am thankful to get to go to work - just sad that I am so exhausted! I worked long and hard yesterday - it was a lot of fun meeting so many families and holding SO many little new lives! I got some ADORABLE photos! I work today, tomorrow and Sunday.

I am excited to be doing Jessica's Maternity Shoot tomorrow afternoon - so pray I can get home in plenty of time to have some daylight. I should be getting ready right now - I want to be to the hospital by 9:00am. Turner is snuggled into my side and how can I not enjoy that? If I am a few minutes late - so be it! I set my own hours so it is not a big deal. I need to give him what I can - and right now that is MY TIME. They miss me. I miss them. :o)

I can not believe that my first born - Taylor will be 18 in 9 days. I am sad and scared for him - entering the world as an adult. No longer will he be under our wing of protection. I will turn him over to God - as he is Taylor's only hope.

We told the little guys that they had to pick ONE gift that they want Santa to bring them. Trevan has decided he wants a Monster Truck. Okay I thought - I can handle that. Little did I know that it is a Monster Truck you RIDE - he wants one of the motorized ones!! do I tell him Santa can not handle that one?? I think I will tell him that is WAY too big to fit down the chimney! We'll see if that works! LOL!

Christmas Fun For Today
Where did the Candy Cane come from?

In a small Indiana town, there was a candy maker who wanted to spread the name of Jesus around the world.
He invented the Christmas Candy Cane, incorporating symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.
He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy to symbolize the Virgin Birth.
The candy maker formed the stick into a “J” to represent the name of Jesus.
It can also represent the staff of the “Good Shepherd.”
He thought the candy was too plain so he stained it with a red stripe to symbolize the blood shed by Christ on the cross.

Off to work!

December 5th - EVENING

I am home! I worked a long 10 hour day - but got a lot done! I saw 20 patients, set appointments for tomorrow and photographed 8 newborns today! So adorable and so sweet. I cherish looking at each sweet tiny face and appreciating the wonderful work that God put into each precious bundle. I can't help but get a tear in my eye a time or too as my heart swells with excitement for the new parents.
Pray for a sweet girl that I met yesterday - she is a 15 year old mom. She wants to do her best and be the best mama she can be. Her baby is adorable!

I meet so many nice people and enjoy the nice nurses at Kaiser. I just pray that the Lord will use me to touch people each day. One thing I try to do is smile at every person I meet. A smile can go a long way! I may not feel happy inside but I find if I smile on the outside it can make you feel good when someone returns the smile! At the end of the day all that matters is that I am remembered as the girl who tried to make a difference no matter how small.

I have been seriously considering becoming a lactation consultant. The hospitals are short staffed in this area and I enjoy working with newborns and moms. Pray that if this is a direction that I should go in - that the Lord will open the right doors.
I have already been asked by the hospital staff if I had nursing experience. They told me I would be a great addition to their staff! That is a compliment for sure!

I know the education process is lengthy and also very costly. I do know that the starting salary is around $70,000 which would be so wonderful. I thank you in advance for you prayers in my decision making process!

I am going to get into my jammies (for those of you who know me - I think these are the BEST things ever invented!) and eat some dinner!

I am beat - but blessed - believe me - I am very - very blessed - by all of you!

Sweet Dreams!

December 6th, 2008

I was up late chatting with an old friend. I had a nice sleep and got up early to head to work. I went to both hospitals today and Stace had a chance to take all 3 boys to see Madagascar 2 - thanks to some movie passes we got as a gift. They had a great time!

I made it home by 3:30 to do Jessica and Mark's Christmas portraits and Jess' Maternity session. I think I got some great images!!

Here is a preview:

I spoke to the lactation nurse at Kaiser and she told me of the extension program through University of San Diego. They have a course that I can take online for the first part of the required courses. It starts in January and I need to come up with $650 to register. I am going to pray that I can sell some things to get the money.
I think this would be a great career step for our family. Upon completion you will receive placement in an area hospital. Win - Win!

We went to church tonight at 6:30 and the campus was just beautiful all decorated for the Christmas Holiday. It was so peaceful and made me feel very relaxed and happy to be there. The lesson was great - Doug Fields is always a treat!

We then went to the food court and had Daphne's - thank you for the sweet card and the Daphne's Gift Card - we appreciate it so much!

Now we are home - boys tucked into bed and I am heading there....

So sleepy - I have to work tomorrow! :o)



December 8, 2008

I think....I get a day off today! I am so stunned - I do not know what to think! I woke up early - even though I wanted to sleep in. My body just automatically woke up like it was a work day. I was happy to come down and see Trenton off to school and have a minute to chat with him. He is getting so big and looking so old. I can't believe he is 13 already. Soon he will be gone - just like Taylor.

I got to speak to my brother Brian yesterday as I was driving home from work. I have not talked to him in a long time and we had a great time laughing and catching up. He is a very smart, kind and loving man. I am proud of the dad he is to his boys. I love him dearly - he is my "bubba boy". I am reminded at the Holidays of memories of Christmas' past spent with my brothers. We would hear mom wrapping gifts behind closed doors. We would wake up at some unGodly hour and come down to see all the neatly wrapped gifts under the tree and check to see what Santa brought. Then for the next week or so we would be obsessed with our new toys playing and blissful in our own little world of make believe.

No high tech toys then - just things that made you use your imagination. No videos, no DVD's, no computers and NO VIDEO GAMES! We played with our "Fisher Price Little People Mc Donalds", dolls, blocks, legos and BIG WHEELS. Simple times - simple pleasures. Ones that my boys know nothing about.

I will not be shopping for Christmas Gifts this year. I will be making special items for those I love. Simple - handcrafted, but filled with love. I just wish I had MORE TIME. With working - I will be hard pressed to get a minute to do the crafting that I love. Today I have a lot to do - I will be working tomorrow doing 2 in home photo shoots. I need to find time today to rest a bit - and my goal is to go to the lake for a walk. I need to get back to excerising - I walk a LOT for my job - but I think I sleep better if I can get out and walk a few miles. Pray that I can get this time - to be alone with myself and God enjoying the world and nature around me. I love doing is so relaxing. The BEACH is my favorite place ever - for those who know me - you know that I am a beach girl. No, not the Bikini Beach Babe - just a fan of the Ocean, Sand, Salt Air and the AWESOME greatness of the OCEAN.

Stace is off to physical therapy this morning. He is still in great pain when he sleeps. His arm and hand fall asleep and he gets broken rest at night - waking every hour or so to shake his arm and hand about to make the tingling and pain go away. He really desires to go to work and has been vigilant in his search. No luck so far. He is limited and this depresses him greatly. Pray for his spirit to be lifted and that something will come along.

I am looking for my first paycheck in the mail as we have a lot of BILLS to pay. Just trying to keep the lights on - what a vicious cycle. I pray that you are enjoying this Holiday Season and are not stressed and caught in the hustle and bustle of gift buying. Remember it is the simple things in life that can mean so much! When you go without for so long - you really appreciate the small things. People giving you their time. People making you a meal. People taking the time to call you and pray with you. Don't go crazy trying to make people happy - our world needs to learn to be satisfied by the gift of LOVE and not the "GIFT".

Call an old friend - take them out for coffee. Make something for someone. Offer to watch a friends child for a couple hours. Make someone a CD with songs that remind you of them. Write someone a letter telling them why you cherish them. Give them photos of happy times you have spent together. Bake your famous cookies for them - Just a few of my ideas!

Here is your Christmas Goodie for today - more on LOW COST GIVING...

Give of yourself
We all have skills that are coveted by others, whether it’s our baking skill or our ability to change the car’s oil. Take an inventory of your skills and determine how you could best put them to work to help the people on your Christmas list. Then create a gift certificate offering your services. Recipients are sure to value this gift of your time and your skills.

Pass something on
Express your love for someone by passing on an item that they’ve long admired, say an article of clothing that your best friend raves about or a family heirloom that you’re ready to pass on to the next generation. To make this gift even more special, be sure to pass along any history that’s attached to the item.

Chances are if you have a creative hobby, you also have an excess of supplies to go with it. To save money this Christmas, challenge yourself to create gifts for everyone using only the supplies that you have on hand. This will give you a chance to share your skills with others while cleaning out some of your overstock—truly a win-win for everyone.

Christmas gifts are more about the sentiment than the price tag. Challenge yourself to find the perfect no-cost gift for each person on your gift list.


December 9th, 2008

Well my day off was a busy one! I have had a chipped tooth that has been very bothersome. I finally broke down and went to the dentist for the first time in 23 years! I know - I know - for all you dental hygiene "goodie-goodies" you can pick your jaw up off the floor.

Much to my delight - I had NO Cavities and only a tiny bit of tartar on my wisdom teeth! They kept looking for fillings and I do not have any. The dentist said I am the ONLY patient he has ever had that is in their 40's with NO FILLINGS!

Wow - what an accomplishment...Maybe I will buy a trophy for myself! LOL!

Okay - on to the serious part. I had both front teeth knocked out in an accident when I was 11. He said there was something strange going on at the root of the tooth that is troubling me. He feared it was very serious and had me come back an hour later to see the surgeon and do a full set of X-Rays. There is indeed something there - so I need to go see a specialist. They think they caught it in time and that they can save my front tooth. BUT it may require a root canal AND perhaps treatment from the Orthodontist to pull that tooth back to where it needs to be. THEN the wisdom teeth - he wants them pulled.

NOW you see why I have avoided the DENTIST for 23 years! I had to pay $200 for the treatment yesterday. Which is going to consume most of my paycheck - IF IT EVER COMES! I am still waiting to get paid!

Then the total treatment will be in the thousands of dollars. He feels it is very necessary to save the tooth - or else I will need an implant. NOT FUN. Pray for this situation as it seems bleak to me!

We did not need this burden now - but he gave me meds to deal with the pain until we can get it all fixed. I am suppose to go next week for part 2 of the planning process.

While I was gone Stace and Trevan got out the Christmas Decorations and made the house look festive. Trevan was so excited to show all of us his hard work.

Last night I got the pleasure of spending the evening with some of the most lovely and fun ladies ever. We had our small group Christmas Party and Gift Exchange at Cheesecake Factory! I got a gift to exchange with one of the gift cards I got and I used the Gift Card to the Cheesecake Factory I won LAST Christmas! It was great! No outlay of cash and I was able to participate in spite of my circumstances! That is so GOD!

I got an adorable hand painted snow shovel with snowmen on it for my front porch. It goes great with all the snowmen we have collected over the years!

I came home and edited photos until the wee hours. I have 2 photo shoots today in people's homes. Both for newborns - it should be a lot of fun!

Taylor has been very distant lately - I fear he is on a downward spiral. He will not take his meds - and I do not know what to do for him anymore. Pray for his protection and safety. He is 18 in 5 short days. A whole new world for him then.

Okay enough of the sad stuff - onto some Holiday Fun..


The average height of a Christmas tree (5' 4") is exactly the same as the distance between Jesus's hands on the cross.

Absurd as it seems, behavioral scientists claim kids don't want expensive toys -- what they REALLY want is just to be loved.

In the village where the original Saint Nicholas was born, children celebrate Christmas by giving gifts to old men with long white beards.

The reason you almost never see purple Christmas lights is that Saint Nicholas, the prototype for Santa Clause, believed purple was satanic. He even threatened to have any of his parishioners who wore purple excommunicated.

Red and green became official Christmas colors in 1939, when it was recognized that red marked-down price tags brought in green cash during the shopping season.

For years, the U.S. Postal Service has secretly answered letters addressed to Santa Claus.

For the past decade, the Spanish-speaking Santa at the Del Amo mall in Torrance, CA, has been played by Erik Estrada.

Studies have shown that those who focus on and give to others in need during the Holiday Season enter the New Year less stressed and have a significantly lower risk of heart attacks.

Make it a Great Day!

December 10th 2008 -
Happy Birthday to my nephew BRYSON!

Bryson - Auntie loves you very much! I was not able to get you a gift this year, but when I see you next I will take you on a "Date" just you and ME! We can go on a pic-nic, take a nature walk and then do something else that you might like - maybe go to the beach and collect sea shells! Auntie can let you use one of my cameras and we can take photos - maybe make our own book! You decide and let me know... so is it a date??? xoxo Auntie Nean

Yesterday I was busy doing photo shoots. I had a blast with Mike and Sarah - baby Chase is such a love! Here is a shot that I really like from their session...

I also went to see Baby Abby - she is just precious. Her big brothers were also adorable! Here is a shot of her precious little hands . . .

I was pretty tired and did not get home until after 6:00. Stace went to the skate park to watch Trenton skateboard and I cuddled up with my two mini handsome men. I got in my jammies right away and then we all watched The Biggest Loser - one of "my shows". We turned in early and slept like logs!

Today Stace is at Physical Therapy. I am goint to get my hair done - thanks to Naomi! Her friend Tara at ROBERT and TAYLOR Salon sent me a gift certificate and I am SO EXCITED to be able to get a new hairdo! THANK YOU GUYS! You are the BEST!

I am working on designing Christmas Cards and editing photos for clients in my spare time - hee hee - what is "spare time" anyway!???

I hope to get out walking today - I have lost a few pounds and have more than a few to go. I want to start the New Year healthy and strong - looking my BEST - there has to be something great around the corner!

Christmas Fun for today....

Instructions to make a candle out of crayons and a milk carton.

Materials Needed:

  • Crayons
  • 2 Pint Milk Carton
  • Crushed Ice

Candlemaking can be both fun and dangerous. You should never try any projects that use heat and fire without an adults help, and always follow candle safety rules.

Cut off the top of the milk carton so that you have a "box" with one end open. Next, Melt crayons over medium heat (there are plastic bags available that you can place the wax or crayons in so that you then just place that bag into boiling water to melt). The crayons can be broken and different colors, but the washable type do NOT work well. You can use the wax for candle crafts found at the discount stores and add just a few crayons of the desired color to tint it. Place TAPER CANDLE into the middle of the milk carton and fill carton with CRUSHED ice. Be sure that the TAPER CANDLE is fairly centered and running the entire length of the carton. Now, pour melted wax/crayon mixture into the carton filling to the top. Let sit until hardened and ice has melted, then carefully cut and peel away the carton from the candle.

You will now have a beautiful candle. The ice in the carton caused the wax to quickly harden around the pieces. The result is a "swiss cheese" looking candle. Each one looks a little different! These must be handled carefully after finished as the swiss cheese nature of the candle make it
fragile. KIDS LOVE THIS PROJECT! Recycle those stubby crayons!


December 11, 2008

Yesterday I took Trenton with me to visit Robert and Taylor Salon. Tara did our hair and she is GREAT! If you need a hair dresser - I highly recommend her! She gave Trenton a "cool dude" doo and she colored and cut my hair. She had sent me a gift certificate and was just the sweetest! I will save up so I can go back to her in the future!

Trenton and his dad went out and spent the evening together. Turner, Trevan and I got in our warm Hanna Jammies from last Christmas (they all match) and we played "Go Diego Go" Matching Game. They love playing games with mommy! I got a call from a couple old friends and had a great time catching up on old times. It is great how the Holidays bring old friends together!

I was very excited to log on to my bank account this morning to see that my first paycheck hit! I got $350! Just in time to pay the cable and electric bills! I stayed up editing photos - so many to do!

I got up early at 5:00 am to continue my editing and designing Christmas Cards. Today Turner woke up with his asthma cough - the cold weather is here and I pray he does not get really sick again this year. He and Trevan are on dad to put up Christmas lights. They are obsessed with decorating the house for the holidays! They are out in the garage rifling through boxes in search of things to decorate with!

They are excited about the advent calendar that I have filled with small trinkets. They have worked diligently on their "Santa Wish List" and here it is...

Turner -

Leap Frog Didj with NickToons Game
Lego Star Wars for the Wii or
Spiderman Friend or Foe for Wii or
Spiderman Superhereos for Wii or
Carnival for Wii or
Hat and Gloves
Slippers size 10-11
He wants Santa to move his bed into Trenton's room to sleep

Trevan -

Power Wheels Monster Truck to ride on
Leapfrog Leapster 2 Learning System
Hat and Gloves
Slippers size 10-11

Pretty tall order! I explained that Santa may only bring ONE thing - and tried to prepare Trevan for the fact that Santa may not be able to get the Monster Truck Power Wheels down the chimney. He wants to ask him in person at the mall if I am right! (he is too smart!)

I will spend the day trying to get a ton done - bills paid - my uniform washed - appointments made - emails answered - opening a stack of mail - AND Stace wants to clean the garage! Not enough hours in my day! Plus I still have PHOTOS to edit!

Wish me luck! Here is your Christmas Fun for today...

YUMMY - YUMMY Sugar Cookies

Whenever you make these cookies for someone, be sure to bring along several copies of the recipe! You will be asked for it, I promise!!! NOTE: I make icing with confectioners' sugar and milk. I make it fairly thin, as I 'paint' the icing on the cookies with a pastry brush. Thin enough to spread easily but not so thin that it just makes your cookies wet and runs off.


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Rolling and Cutting

Cookie dough is much easier to work with after it's been refrigerated for at least half an hour--and the cut-outs will hold their shape better if the dough is cold.

  • Keep cookie cutters from sticking to the dough by misting them very lightly with cooking spray.
  • If you're cutting out delicate or large shapes, roll out the dough on parchment paper, lifting off the scraps; slide the paper directly onto a baking sheet.


One popular frosting for sugar cookies is a simple glaze of confectioners' sugar and either milk or fruit juice. By adjusting the ratio of liquid to sugar, you can make this glaze as thick or as thin as you'd like.

  • Royal icing is another option: it dries to a hard, crunchy finish and also holds up well in the mail.
  • Buttercream frosting is soft and thick; tasty, but not good if you plan to stack the cookies.
  • Instead of frosting, you can also dip half or all of a cookie in chocolate and then in chopped nuts or crushed candy canes.
I better get busy - lots to do before my work weekend starts! :o)


December 12, 2008

Our lives are like a puzzle - one experience after the other - all fitting together to make us who we are. I know all things happen for a reason - it is just my nature to want to know why certain things happen and for what reason!

I write to you with a heavy heart as I report that Taylor is on a downward spiral. He confessed to not taking any of the meds that we have been taking to him 3 times a day. He is an alcoholic and is addicted to self medicating and making his "mind numb". He says he does not want to live anymore.

He turns 18 in 2 days and I do not know what to do to help my own child any longer. He is an adult now - but so childlike in so many ways. My heart breaks for him and his hopelessness.

Please keep him in your prayers.

Tonight we are getting a Christmas Tree delivered by a small group at Saddleback. The boys are so very excited. I worked today and will work all weekend.

I hope to see Taylor on Sunday and celebrate his birthday some way.

Here is your Christmas Craft for today:

These cute little gingerbread boys and girls are fun to decorate and

adorable to display!

What you'll need:

  • Brown paper grocery bag
  • Gingerbread girl and boy cookie cutters
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint: white, red, pink, purple, orange, green, light blue, black
  • Paintbrush

How to make it:

  1. Cut a 7” wide strip the length of the paper grocery bag.
  2. Decide which side you want to be the front and turn over so that the back is facing up.
  3. Place gingerbread boy cookie cutter at the left side of the paper strip. Use pencil to trace the outline of the cookie cutter.
  4. Place gingerbread girl cookie cutter just to the right of the tracing of the boy gingerbread and trace with pencil.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you run out of room on the paper.
  6. Use scissors to cut the outlines of the gingerbread people out, keeping them connected. Do not cut the gingerbread people out separately. If need be, cut around your tracing marks rather than on them to give yourself “padding” which will make up for any gaps between the tracings.
  7. Turn paper over so that your pencil marks are now facing down. Decorate gingerbread with acrylic paints. Dot buttons on by dipping the handle end of the paintbrush into the paint and then onto your paper.
  8. Use thin paintbrush to add the “rick-rack” squiggles with white paint around wrists, ankles, and skirts.
  9. Use a thin paintbrush or black marker to add smiles them dot on pink for cheeks with handle end of paintbrush.
  10. Dot on eyes with black or dark brown and paint on red bowties for the boys.


  • Craft paper will work in place of a brown paper grocery bag. You can also use brown construction paper.
  • Cut individual gingerbreads to glue to cards and packages.
  • Glue some yarn to the back and hang as garland on your mantle or tree.

December 13, 2008

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.

I could not sleep again last night. I laid in bed reflecting on what I have learned through this trying past 2 years. I think that I have learned to be more patient. I have learned to not place expectations in PEOPLE because people can and will fail. I have learned to place my trust and hope in God. It is my hope that I can pass this on to my boys because the sooner that they learn these life lessons the better!

We got a lovely - lovely Christmas Tree delivered by Sharon's Small Group. The boys decorated with great gusto last night and were very pleased with their work when they were all done. Trevan said "That was SUCH a nice man to bring us a tree!" They sat and stared at it in the dark when they were finished. It was so adorable! Thank you to the small group that blessed us - it put a smile on our faces and an appreciation in our hearts far greater than if we had had the money to buy it ourselves! Thank you too - to Green Thumb Nursery who donated the tree!

I am off to work today and I leave behind a sick Turner who just wants mama to cuddle with him. He is taking a breathing treatment now - and has a terrible tight cough. Pray that we do not end up in the ER this weekend and that I can get him into the doctor on Monday. Poor little guy!

My diet is going well and I have lost a total of 6 pounds so far. A great boost for me - and pray that I continue to be successful - as this accomplishment feels very nice.

I better shove off if I am to get to Mission Hospital by 8:00am -
Here is your Christmas Fun for today...

Recipe for Christmas All Year Long

Take a heap of child-like wonder
That opens up our eyes
To the unexpected gifts in life—
Each day a sweet surprise.
Mix in fond appreciation
For the people whom we know;
Like festive Christmas candles,
Each one has a special glow.
Add some giggles and some laughter,
A dash of Christmas food,
(Amazing how a piece of pie
Improves our attitude!)
Stir it all with human kindness;
Wrap it up in love and peace,
Decorate with optimism, and
Our joy will never cease.
If we use this healthy recipe,
We know we will remember
To be in the Christmas spirit,
Even when it's not December.

Thanks to all of you who care and who have and who are praying for us
and helping us through this time!


December 14, 2008



My 1st NEPHEW BRENTON - Happy 14th Baby!

Memories...our minds are a wonderful.

Eighteen years ago today I gave birth to my first son. It is funny how we remember our "firsts". Our first love, our first kiss, our first born. I have been remembering many of my firsts lately. The first time I was pregnant - only to miscarry. The first time I felt my Taylor move in my belly. The first moment I saw his little face. The first time I held him and kissed that precious face. I can see these things in my MIND like they were yesterday.

Our minds - our memories - they are incredible.

Today I am sad. Sad that my FIRST born is now an adult. I reflect on memories of yesteryear and wonder "WHAT". What would life be like IF things had gone differently? I have to stop myself - because "what ifs" don't count. We can not change the past - we can only do better in the future.

I pray for my son. I know God loves him more than I do. Much - Much more. Although that to me seems hard to imagine - I love him so much my heart hurts. I have to trust that the Lord has great plans for his future and that in time - God's time that plan will be revealed.

SO . . . Happy Birthday to my son - Taylor. You are now and adult. WOW!

I am sure my day today will be an emotional one. As I go from room to room this morning sharing in the happiness of the birth of baby after baby - first born after first born I will be flooded with memories of eighteen years ago. My joy - my happiness for the first child I created. Pray for me today - and for Taylor.

Yesterday was a busy one. I walked over 5 miles in my work day. I saw many - many sweet faces. I work again today at 2 hospitals. I came home tired last night and we got ready to go to church. It would have been easy to lay down and just rest. But I got myself ready and took the kids to church.

Last night as I was laying in bed drifting off - Turner said "Mom I just prayed to God - I asked him to make me be good at school and stop hissing at people". (Turner is high functioning Autistic and hisses at people when he is mad or uncomfortable) My heart melted. I told him how fantastic that was. A few minutes later he said "MOM! God just put his powers in my head! He told me I AM good and I can do it!" - WOW! My heart almost leaped out of my chest. How awesome is that?!

I will leave you now - as I have to get ready for work. I will make today a great day - I will smile and remember the great times in my past. These will bring me joy - and we all know attitude is everything!

So SMILE today - and make it a great day too!

Here is your Christmas Joy for today...

Cherish His Christmas

Christmas brings such a time of love
Each tender heart holds so much of
Unselfishness thrives, trust is strong
The purpose to give, send love along.

A time of pleasantries, patience too
Good wishes to all, all feelings true
Thankfulness follows each fine deed
Gifts from our God, never from greed.

Great the rewards that joy does bring
Like the beauty in hearing angels sing
We pray for our loved, each so dear
Especially those who can't be near.

Many leave home to bravely serve
All freedoms we have, they preserve
Do pray for our troops, as we should
And their families too, if you would.

Give thanks to our Lord, His only Son
And cherish His Christmas, everyone.



December 16, 2008

The cold rain was a challenge yesterday as I went to my meeting. I hate being cold. I would much rather be inside all curled up in front of a fire than wrestling with wind and an umbrella. My seminar was very informative and I have part two coming soon. It is just the financial piece that is holding me back from making the decision to embark on enrolling in college to become a lactation nurse.

I have had another company contact me wanting to interview me. This job entails travel. I am not sure how Stace would feel about me traveling so we will discuss this today.

I am still looking and praying as to what the next steps are to provide financial security for the family. Stace is frustrated and is continuing on with his physical therapy and medication regime. His hand is causing him terrible pain and nothing seems to relieve this.

Turner and Trevan are both sick and Trenton has a cold - AGAIN! Winter - sickness - not fun at the Holidays! I am trying to focus on ME and staying healthy and strong for the family. If I am to be the provider I need my strength and rest. I am attempting to watch my foods and get out to exercise. If for nothing more - it will help my stress level.

I have lots to do today - so I had better get to it. :o) I have another dentist appointment - my tooth is still causing me to have headaches and great pain. Pray this will not COST a fortune!

Here is your Christmas Goodies today...


Deal Catcher

Fat Wallet

Coupon Codes



December 18, 2008

Yesterday was quite the day! I headed out in the "elements" to go to Corona to work. I had to go to Irvine first then make my way to Corona. I tried not to crash and get soaked - as the wind was crazy! I ended up a bit soggy.

I had a job interview in Corona too - so I got 2 things accomplished in one trip! If hired I may have to re-locate to Corona - as the commute would be crazy.

I was really upset when I got a call from Turner's school saying that he had collapsed and that they needed me to get there right away. I was in traffic and pulled over. I called Stace and my mom. They both were able to get to the school quickly as did the paramedics and fire engine!

They checked him all out and he was very pale. He said he felt really tired. They checked his blood sugar and oxygen levels. They said he checked out fine and asked if we wanted him transported to the hospital via ambulance. I let Stace and the professionals make the call as I could not get there.

I got home as quickly as I could - almost 2 hours in traffic. I was a bit frazzled when I had to pull off to get gas in the driving rain - when all I wanted to do was get home to my baby! I got home and he seemed a bit warm but alert. He said he feels really tired. We will call the doctor today and see what they want to do. He still has a low grade fever so perhaps he is coming down with a virus.

I am just happy that he is okay - I do not think I can handle much more right now.

Taylor is sick, Trenton is sick, Trevan is sick, now Turner - not gonna be a great healthy holiday!

I am still seeking other employment because my current job is only 3 days a week. I have a couple of opportunities in the works - but they may require traveling. Pray that I find an answer to support the family as our finances are becoming quite dire.

I don't have a lot of control right now over many things but I am doing well on my fitness plan. I have been working out at night and have lost 10 pounds. I am proud of that success and hope to look incredible in the new year to come.

Trevan just got up - with a wicked cough - I need to get going and take care of my sick babes. I may have to work today too - so I'd better get ready for the day!

Christmas fun for today...

Track Santa!

The North Pole

Christmas Games



December 19, 2008


If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it,

change the way you think about it.


Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.


Today I was struck by attitudes. I realized that I have grown over the years and that my attitude towards many things have changed. I see a lot of people each day and experience a lot of different attitudes. Negative attitudes really grate on my nerves. I do not understand how there can be so many negative people in this world. A positive attitude can make you a beautiful person.

Today a nurse told me how beautiful I was. I was struck by the comment and thrown off guard. She is not normally a friendly sort, walks about with a frown permanently glued on her face. She has NEVER spoken to me in the month that I have worked there. They call her "Nurse Nasty".

I stopped and said - "Oh thanks! I have lost weight and have been working out!" She said - "Good for you - but that is not what I meant. I mean you are a BEAUTIFUL person on the INSIDE."

I was really thrown!

Really? Did she just say that? I had not had a good past couple of days - felt tired - felt a bit sad and down. I tried to smile in spite of - and I guess she noticed. She told me that I had a great ATTITUDE. She said that every day that she sees me she notices my smile, my soft voice and that I am nice to each person I meet. She says that my attitude made me beautiful. She said she wished that she too could be like me.

WOW. I was stunned. I have tried. I really have. I did not think that I was making an impact - but it just shows that you never know who is watching. I felt my heart soften toward her. I do not know her past - or what makes her so gruff. I can however continue to be an example and keep on smiling "in spite of".

I have a lot to frown about - but I choose JOY instead. I hope that it is contagious. I want to bring JOY to those around me - and to be remembered as a beautiful person - inside and out.

I have learned to push my desires aside and make others happy. I learned a long time ago that I must sacrifice as a woman and as a mom - my happiness for that of those I love.

So SMILE - "in spite of" - you just never know who

may think you are beautiful inside and out!





December 21, 2008

They say it takes a minute to find a special person,

an hour to appreciate them,

a day to fall in love with them,

but then an entire lifetime to forget them.

This Holiday is a bittersweet time for us. The ending of a horrible year. The beginning of a new one. I have many special souls that have touched my heart. All of them I appreciate. There are those whom I love, and will never forget.

I have had a rough weekend and fear that I am coming down with THE illness. I have been kissing sick boys and now I am afraid that my immune system of steel has become compromised! I was sick last Christmas and the one before - oh heck - I have to follow suit and be sick for this one too!

I have spent a lot of time on my drives to and from work reflecting on the past. I have dug deep in my memory and in my heart and have spent time remembering people and times in my past, wondering about old friends and where they are and what they may be doing this Holiday. Life is short and we need to reach out to those we care about.

I am considering going to school to become a LVN then a Lactation Nurse. I am applying for some positions at Kaiser Hospital to try to gain more full-time employment. Working 3 days a week is not going to sustain us. There may be an opening working 3:00 pm to 11:30 pm and I am going to go see about it tomorrow.

Stace's arm is sore and throbbing with this cold weather - but he is hanging in there.

Turner seems to be feeling better - praise God. I had visions of grandeur that I would get all my Christmas Cards out - not so. I also had high hopes of making some handmade gifts to give those I love - have not had the time. I am sad that Christmas is almost here - and I am not prepared. Oh well - we are not in control - as much as we wish we were.

I need some down time - I feel like I am really wound tight and may snap. If Santa could make my wish come true - this is what it would be...No Coach Purse - No Tiffany Ring - Just a DAY and NIGHT for ME!

If I had a day and night all to myself...I would love to spend a day away - with a friend. I would go to the beach and take in the splendor of the ocean. I would frolic in the waves barefooted. I would then curl up by a fire and drink some delicious coffee complete with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. I would enjoy a long conversation without interruptions. I could make eye contact with my friend without dodging children's heads. I would then end the day in a hotel room for a sleepover. I would cherish a bathtub filled with bubbles. I would listen to music that I love really loud. We would dance and sing with reckless abandon. I would get into pajamas and sleep all night long in a bed with soft covers. I would not wake up the entire night... This is MY wish.

May Santa make all your wishes come true this Holiday Season!

Meet someone under the Mistletoe!

One tiny mistletoe kiss burns up 3 calories.

Therefore, the longer the kiss: the better the exercise!

Christmas Kisses!


December 23, 2008

I am trying to keep on keeping on! I have this flu and am SO tired. My babes wanted SO badly to see Santa last night - so we braved the mall. It was not so bad. Trevan and Turner told me that we could wait in line and that I would just have to be patient and wait my turn with them to see the BIG man in RED.

Today I arose stuffy and with a really sore throat. I had my coffee and then tried to drain a bit of energy off of the boys who are literally bouncing off the walls with anticipation. They can not wait for Christmas.

It is so sweet and dear to watch their excitement.

We have gotten lots of LOVE and well wishes. The Lord has provided and blessed us with caring hearts and loving souls this year. We are so appreciative of everyone and everything - I just can not put into words how special you all make us feel. Our gratitude is huge and we thank you for loving us.

Pray for Taylor as he is really struggling. He has been drinking alcohol in excess and had us pick him up tonight. He was very drunk. He was crying and really poured his heart out to me. He is hurting so and just wants to die. I found out he has been cutting himself, purging and starving, and not sleeping for days. He hopes that each time he gets drunk or uses drugs that this time will be the last and he will not wake to see the next day. It breaks my heart and I want help for him so badly. His heart is a good one and I know the Lord has a plan for his life.

My Christmas prayer is that God will touch Taylor's heart and be known to him. I can't help him - he has to want to help himself. I turn him over to God.

I can not believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve already. I am really not prepared. Oh, well. Life will go on. We have to remember what Christmas is all about.

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."
— Matthew 1:23

I received this from Jamie today...from Pastor Greg Laurie...

It really is an amazing thing to think about the mystery of the Incarnation—that mysterious moment when God became a man.

Jesus Christ—God the Son—was born in a manger. He went from the throne of heaven to a feeding trough. He went from the presence of angels to a cave filled with animals. He who is larger than the universe became an embryo. He who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young virgin.

Some people have a hard time believing in the Virgin Birth. If you believe the Bible, you need to believe in the Virgin Birth. The Bible teaches that God Almighty was supernaturally conceived in the womb of a virgin (see Matthew 1:23).

This makes sense if you think about it. If God had chosen to, He could have sent Jesus to this earth as a fully grown, yet sinless human being. A shaft of light could have come out from heaven with Jesus descending to the ground as an adult man.

But if Jesus came to us in that way, who could have related to Him as a person, as a part of the human race? God also could have had Jesus come into the world through two ordinary human beings—but still with a divine nature. But then most of us would have doubted His divinity. That's why the Incarnation makes sense.

The event of the Incarnation is the reason for the Christmas season. Christmas is the opportunity to worship God, to bow down and pay homage to Him for humbling Himself and appearing in human form (see Philippians 2:6–9). That stands as the true mystery of the Incarnation—and the reason we celebrate Christmas.





December 24, 2008

I pray that your day today will be filled with peace and love,

not stress and hustle and bustle.

Last night I did a lot of crying. I sat with my son, Taylor as he cried and poured his sorrow out. I held him, rubbed his head and wiped his tears. I cried with him and my heart just broke at his brokenness and heartache. He had a violent outburst and things were very disturbing. Please pray that he can make a decision to get help and to stop the madness in his head. He needs now more than ever to resign and let us help him help himself. I know God has a hold on his heart as he expressed that he feared going to HELL if he killed himself. He said he wanted to go to Heaven and that if he took his life he thought he would go to hell.

Our plan tonight is to go to Grandma and Grandpa's in our jammies and eat some foods that Grandma is known for. We are going to curl up by the fire and eat her White Chili and then have Strawberry Bavarian for dessert. These have been family favorites for a long time. We will open a few gifts and maybe bake some cookies for Santa. It is our hope that Taylor and Nikki will join us - if he is able. We are sad that this year we will not see my 2 brothers and my nephews and nieces. I love them all so and will miss seeing each and every one of them. Being with family is what makes Christmas SO special and this year will be empty without all of my loves. I love you Brenton, Blaine, Bailee, Brynnie, Bryson, Benjamin, Brian, Brent (and Auntie Allie and Auntie Nicole too)!! Miss you!

We have received lovely gifts from caring people and are looking forward to celebrating Christmas. I thank all of you who have made a Christmas for us. We are blessed and appreciate all of you so very much. I do not know what the Holiday would have been like without all your love and help!

We have some people coming to pray with us today at noon and I need to get the house picked up and ready for the day...

Blessings to you on this eve of Christ's birth! Make it a special holiday and remember - Jesus is the reason for this season!



December 25, 2008

***I miss you my far away friend. I miss you my far away family. I pray you are safe, warm and happy today!***

I give thanks to the Lord! We have been abundantly blessed this holiday! We would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to each and every one of you who have helped in providing for us a Holiday that we will always remember. In the midst of our challenges we have been shown the awesome love of Christ. I can not express how touched our hearts are and how our lives will be forever changed by the outpouring of love, prayer and affection that you have given to us. Each gift that we received was SO special because we know the thought and love that was put into each one.

I have NEVER enjoyed a Christmas more than this one! I LOVE getting gifts, to me they are very special. I love the sentiment behind the item no matter how big or small. I personally received some lovely items that I will cherish always.

My boys were OVERJOYED by the gifts that they received. The smiles on their faces and the joy that I see on their faces is absolutely PRICELESS! I thank YOU all for that! Stace also received beautiful items and each one he loves very much. One of the ones he especially likes is the BIBLE you read each day - so you can read it in a year. He is excited to start reading that on January 1st~

Trevan is toting his Curious George around, wearing his new sweatshirt - that he LOVES! Santa did not bring the "Bath Blizzard" he wanted but he is going to buy it happily with his Toys R Us Gift Card. (they were popular and hard to find!) Turner is playing the Leapster Game he got with his puzzles stacked next to him. He got the game he wanted from Santa and all is right with his world! We have a full day of puzzle making and game playing ahead! Trenton is uploading songs to his new MP3 Player, wearing his signed MONSTER T-Shirt from Kyle Loza and Taylor is trying on his new shoes while wearing his new pajama pants. Stace is making breakfast and we have Christmas Shows on T.V. with a fire cracking in the fireplace. I will take a bubble bath with my new bath products and we will go to my mom and dad's in a bit. We are very blessed.

We are going to use the money we received to enroll me in college to take the Nursing Courses so that I may start a carreer to support our family.

I thank you for providing.

We will use our Gift Cards in the months to come for food and necessities. We appreciate all the gift certificates to restaurants and are excited to be able to get out! We will be getting haircuts soon with our VERY GENEROUS gift certificate! Stace and I will use our Movie Tickets for a date night - we are long overdue!

I hope you too, were abundantly blessed with love this Christmas. Keep your hope, your faith and the love in your heart. Share it with others. If we all do this our world will be a much better place. HOPE is what I cling to. Hope for a better future for my family. Hope that God's promises will carry me through to be all that I am meant to be. I have FAITH. I have faith that things will be better. Faith that I will be able to provide for my family. Faith that Taylor will get help. I have LOVE. I have love for life. Love for the Lord. Love for you, my friends. Love for my family. Love for myself. I hope to share with you many successes in the new year to come. I am praying for the Lord to direct my path.

BLESSINGS to you on this special day - Happy Birthday Jesus!




December 28, 2008

As my little work week has come to a close -

I am anxious to get on to the

NEW YEAR ahead.

I am thankful to all who have supported us, continue to support us

and continue to pray for us.

Just because a New Year is here - it does not mean things

will automatically

be easy.

I wish that were true - a real new beginning...


We have many challenges ahead and I feel so helpless at times.

I admit too, to feelings of hopelessness.

I am just like you - human and filled with sin.

I try hard - I really do.

Sometimes life just gets the best of me!

I pray - then I pray harder!

I am going to start fresh - with a NEW blog.

I wish to put the past in the past and have a new


for the NEW YEAR!

I seem to have "lost myself" this past year and I want ME back.

So... if you wish to come in to the NEW YEAR with me,

I invite you to share in the journey!

I cherish you and pray that your NEW YEAR holds




Click Below to come to my New Blog!

Just Janean Blog