Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Selah had a good doctor's appointment.  Her hip is healing nicely, he took an xray and everything is perfect.  The doctor was very pleased with the results:)   She goes back in a month and then he'll left some of her physical therapy restrictions.  He anticipates this surgery has taken care of the problem with her hip.  I'm so thankful!  She did good traveling in the car, I was worried but she is a pro:)

So I have started a diet.
My doctor actually wants me to lose 50 pounds!  (I was shocked!)  He told me awhile ago but I've not been able to really devote time to doing this yet.  I'm not so overweight but he basically said if I lose 50 pounds, I should have no real heath issues that are brought on by weight or food ever.  He said I'd live to be 100 so let me get to working on it.

I've weighed around the same-within 10 pounds- for 25 years.  After Selah's accident I quickly lost about 30 pounds because I couldn't eat and when I did eat, I'd get horribly sick on my stomach.  I bought some clothes at a thrift shop in NY, and in spite of the circumstances, I was amazed that I lost that much weight so quickly.  But I gained it back once we came home. 

I'm pretty active, in fact much more active than I was in my late 20's and throughout my 30's.  I'm much more aware of what I eat now too.

When I was a teen and throughout my first couple of years of college I struggled with bulimia.  I didn't gorge and purge, I'd just eat a normal meal...and purge.  At the worst I became anorexia, no one recognized it for what it was, back then no one really knew about A & B.

The CRAZY thing was I came up with doing all that on my own!  At one point, I saw a tv show about anorexia and bulimia and realized I was not the only one who did that!  I KNOW why I did it, I did not want to become like my birth mother who was quite large.  I was paranoid about getting fat!

When I began to work with the homeless and the street people while in college, I got my mind off of ME and really began to overcome this behavior with Gods' help.

When I married Jon, he was quite the health freak.  He was big into exercise and eating right as his dad had just had open heart surgery and Jon did not want to have heart disease.  We ate a lot of "health foods" highly processed foods with low fat.  We always looked at the fat content of everything and whether a food had saturated fat and how much....

Then we began to learn healthier ways of eating.  Once we got the diagnosis on Sam (he's missing half of  a chromosome that protects him from liver cancer )  We started buying more organic and less processed foods.  We still buy fat free Organic Milk, and low or fat free sour creams, ricotta cheeses and cheese.  We eat more ground chicken than ground beef.  So we are careful to some degree about what we eat.  I'm really good at home, where I have control and can actually see what my meal is made from than I am when I'm out eating and I eat out way too much!

Some weeks I do so good....other weeks NOT so good.

For years I've been a WALKER.  At one point I was walking with a friend 3-5 miles a day on a cardiac track.  I walked before my friend started walking with me but then once we got the girls, it was really hard to go and then my friend was working....things changed.   I'd gotten so used to walking with a friend, it was hard to walk alone!!

Since we've been home, I've walked sporadically.  Last summer I did do classes almost daily at the YMCA but it's been hard for me to get back in the habit. 

I realize that exercise alone will not help me lose weight but I exercise because it keeps all my blood levels healthy.  For me to lose weight is to change my diet and eat LESS!  Even when I was walking all those miles every day but Sunday, I didn't' lose any weight.  My friend lost 80 pounds!  (and I hated her!)  But I do like to walk and I walk fast and hard.  I like to sweat and love how I feel after I'm done! But for me, I have to eat less.  I eat healthy 75% of the time but that 25% is what keeps me from losing weight. 

Since 2008 I have been a regular exerciser.  So for 6 years (with the exception of the 6 months after the accident) I've worked out.  Then last fall, I began to be so sporadic once school had started back.  I feel like exercise is so very important.  I could just quit eating and lose weight but I'm concerned about my heart and health more than that! 

Anyhow I have a goal, I'm going to see how this goes.  I'd like to hit 50 years old (next year) as a fit and healthy person.

Today I walked 2 miles on the cardiac track.  It is a work out~!  I'm keeping a food diary, so let's see what happens!

So my goal is to lose the 50 pounds by January 1 2015. 
****** if you wonder how my back/shoulder/neck is's "better"  I sleep with a airplane neck pillow and it seems to help the pain in my neck.  It's still stiff but not so painful.  My shoulder/back hurts all the time but it is more manageable.  Exercise really does help the pain more than anything else!


Thanks for all the folks who joined my blog site and who did it by email!!!!  YEAH! 

To the friend who sent me the PINK Salve for Sarah.  We are continuing to try everything and the pink salve seems to work better than the two prescriptions she's been given.   I can not get rid of this diaper rash.  It's just on her hips and doesn't seem to bother her.  With the pink salve, it's not getting worse and seems a little better but it's still there.  Thank you again for sending it!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Library Day

Last week I looked at the colors for the siding, floors, counters and cabinets for the new house.   Well don't laugh at me but thankfully they had the SAME colors/styles we have now.  I'm so predictable when it comes to house styles.  We live in a grey/white house and I really like the color so why change things?  When we moved into the church parsonage, I chose all the colors/style except for the outside and I like what I chose, so why change LOL.  I doubt that they've ever had anyone make their selections so quickly:)  The guys (the builders) were laughing at me as I quickly decided the colors.  It was quite easy.  I HATE having a ton of choices, it makes things too hard. 

So the outside will be lite grey siding and grey doors.  the inside will be medium color wood floors, tan tile in the bathrooms and laundry room and kitchen. The kitchen cabinets will be real wood!  The same color as the ones I have now but much nicer.   And the counter tops are tan speckled , like the ones in our kitchen now.  Then the majority of the house will be painted cream with the exceptions of Sarah's room PINK and Selah's lite PURPLE.   I may paint Sam's room blue but I think Steve and Shad want cream with black furniture.   We are having fun looking at the house plans and figuring out how we are going to decorate. 


Selah continues to do well after her surgery.  Tomorrow she has her follow up appointment and I think the doctor will be happy with how well she is doing. I'm sooo glad this surgery and most of the recovery is over!!!

On the other hand, our internet has been nutty!  We had someone come out and work on it and even put in a new dish but it's done no good.  Currently I'm at a library to do this blog and am just amazed by how people live with "high speed internet"  LOL  Us country folks can't imagine!!!!

Tonight we have Orientation at the college where Steve is accepted.  He will be going to a community college that has just become a State college in our county.  It's not far from our home and his grant/scholarships will cover all the charges!  My husband started out at a community college before he transferred to a 4 year school.  It seems like a good middle of the road decision for him and of course I'm thrilled he is going to be at home:)

We have 80 of our 100 work hours done for Habitat for Humanity.  Hopefully by this weekend, we'll have them all done as I plan to work with him on Friday so that's double hours:)  Thanks for all the messages I got regarding the need for the volunteer hours to be done before Steve can actually start working for HH as a real employee.  If you live in our area, and can give some time to either the Zephyrhills Restore Thrift store or the Dade City Restore Thrift Store, we'd appreciate it!   You can go in and sign up, their hours are Mon-Sat 9-5!  

Also another favor to ask.....could you join this site?   There is a box on the right side of my blog.  If you have google, twitter or several other accounts you can join.  Then you get notified when there is a new post.  Also you can go down on the right side of the blog and right below that, you can sign up to follow by email.  I have a lot of readers, thousands a day but not as many followers although I know many of you follow me regularly.  (oh my gosh does that sound odd LOL) 

The last few nights I've had wonderful blogs written in my head.....LOL but they never got to the page:) 

Hope you all are having a good week!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sleepy Sunday Afternoon

Its a sleepy Sunday afternoon here with the daily thunderstorm belly is full after going to the local "Village Inn" where I had breakfast for lunch.  All my kids are napping/resting along with my husband too. 

When I was a little girl, we'd come home from church and eat a big meal then I'd lay down with my aunt and we'd listen to records of gospel music.  Occasionally we'd listen to this strange woman preacher who would come on the radio in the afternoon.  She attended our church, and was quite a large woman who wore big dark colored dresses.  It was odd to hear someone I knew personally on the radio, even if it was just the local AM station.  The station would usually play country songs so if we turned it on too soon, she came on at 3pm (how in the world do I remember that???)  we might catch a few country music songs before the lady came on to preach. 

Do you know today is 45 years since man first walked on the moon?  Do you remember watching it on TV?  We had just gotten a black and white tv that sat in the corner of our living room.  We all gathered around it  to watch a man walk on the moon.  I remember it being such a big deal!  I was not yet four years old but I remember it quite well.  Of course my aunts and granny said it was a fake!  They had just seen Red Skelton do a skit about a moon landing and said it looked just the same.  My grandmother went to her grave believing the government tried to fool the country with the lunar landing. 

I also remember a solar eclipse around the same time.  My family believed that it was caused by the government sending things up in space. (And y'all thought I was the weird one!)  We walked outside and saw the chickens roosting in their chicken house.  They were very upset and cackling. 

Ok enough random thoughts.....well maybe a few more....LOL

Oh by the way, it is National Ice Cream Day.  We celebrated by getting Sarah ice cream today.  Everyone else was too full but Sarah will eat ice cream no matter what.

There's a lady who volunteers at Habitat who wears a large Alligator tooth on a necklace...she makes and sells them so I bought one for Shad.  I should have waited for his birthday but I knew he'd like it and he did.  That boy is one country boy:)


Selah continues to do great!  She is healing so nicely from the surgery.  Her nurse had her looking so beautiful today, we cut her hair some.  And she had matching bows and a new dress on.  I hate that I didn't get a picture after church of her.  You'd never know she had surgery just two weeks ago!!!
Well I hope you have a great week.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Learning to be Content

Yesterday I met with the house builder and we went over the house plans one last time.  We just "tweaked" a few things, nothing big at all.  Next week the permits will start being pulled!  All the plans are done, building, floor plans, electric plans....  this is so exciting.  Their goal is to have us in the house by Christmas.  Of course that is just a goal, you can never predict the weather in October, one year we had two hurricanes in October!  But if the weather doesn't slow things down, it will be on track for us to be in it in 5 months:)  

You know I don't want to come across as some heavenly minded saint but Jon and I never really worried about having a home of our own.  We've been in the ministry since the day we were married and never felt the pull to buy a home because we were never sure of the next step God might have for us.  We'd had pastor friends who had bought homes in certain areas and then relocated and ended up with a mess financially.  We wanted the freedom to be able to just get out of a lease and move if God opened a new door for us.  In all our ministry positions we were always committed to at least 5 Jon has worked for the Department of Corrections as a chaplain for over 16 years and has pastored here for almost 9 years. 

After we adopted the girls, we felt a stirring inside of us that a BIG change was coming.  We thought that God might even be calling us to work in Ukraine as missionaries.  On the way up to NY, where the accident happened, we discussed several things we wanted to look into, some BIG changes.  Then our world collapsed.....

We still look forward to the adventure of life, but we feel with our situation with the children, especially Selah, that God is confirming to us THIS is where we will stay.  I'm not saying there will never be any changes to our lives but we are content in the season that God has us in. 

Over the years, I've seen God do so many things.  I still wake up with an expectancy in my heart for where God will lead us.  It may not ever be out of this physical area of central Florida but in this day and age, you can do a lot for God without leaving your home. 

One of my favorite  bible verses is
Philippians 4:11-13
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

God has taught me or helped me to learn to be content in my circumstances.  My circumstances might be better or they might be worse than your circumstances but God is teaching me to be content.  One version of that scripture says "for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."  I used to kid around with Jon when we traveled so much in the 90's that I was content in any STATE of the US:) 

Actually it took years for me to learn to be content.  But God was patient with me and helped me to learn to be grateful in my heart despite the circumstances. 

I'm not saying I went around saying silly Christian slogans while my world fell apart.....

But I could find peace and security even when there was little peace to find.  I think back especially of the five  months Selah was in the hospital and our family all six of us lived in one room in the Ronald McDonald House with none of our  own stuff except a few things we brought with us and some clothes we picked up in NY.  I look back and just wonder how in the world did we live like that with so much pressure and uncertainty?  But IN the situation, we had peace.  It's unreal and only by the GRACE of God.  We were separated from our home, our family and friends, all of our belongings. our pets, our home church, with dealing with a very traumatic situation but yet God gave us peace.  No one can ever tell me that God is far away and doesn't care for us!  I KNOW that He is close to the broken hearted and that He keeps us in the palm of His hand. 

So now is a new chapter of our life, a time to be settled and be able to take care of all our children, especially Selah in a wonderful way.  This new home will make Selah's life so easy for her.  She'll have a big room, her own bath with every thing she needs now and in the future.  Her room will even have a door to the carport so she can be transferred to the van without ever having to get rained on or be subjected to any adverse weather.  IF you know our house now, we have to take her from the farthest room out the door to where our cars are parked outside our fenced in yard.  It's probably 50 feet from our front door to where we park.  With the fence, there is just no other way to do things.  It's not the end of the world and we've been doing it now for almost 2 years but with our new home, things will be so much better for her. 

We are so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to have a home that fits our children's needs.  It's beyond anything we ever imagined being able to have for them. 

And if you are wondering, we will have a mortgage, taxes and home insurance to pay.  However with so many volunteer hours and donated material or things bought at cost, our monthly payments will not be anywhere near what they would have been if we'd tried to do this on our own.  I doubt we could have ever been able to do something like this on our own.  We are really overwhelmed by this whole experience, it makes us want to do more for others!   The staff at Habitat for Humanity are as excited as we are, just a great group of folks who really seem to care about what they do for others whether it is in their Restore/Thrift Store or through their homes they build.  


IF you live in this area could you possibly consider doing some volunteer hours at either the Restore/Thrift store in Zephyrhills or the one in Dade City????  We have almost all our family volunteer hours done thanks mostly to Steve working in the Restore.  Steve has been offered a REAL job there once all the hours are in.  We had to have 100 donated hours besides our 100 hours in before he can start a salaried position there per their regulations and by laws.  He is really wanting to start working for a paycheck:)   From the first day he loved volunteering there and works his butt off.  I've got to go a couple of days and work but I can only do it when Jon is home to watch the little ones. 

We will need volunteers when the house is being built but we need some now too.  Please email me at if you are interested in volunteering.  It does have to be at one of those stores to count toward our family's hours.  

Steve would really appreciate it as he is ready to start working his first real job:)


As you can imagine we are still watching as things unfold in Ukraine.  Our prayers continue for the families of the victims of this horrible plane crash.  this article has pictures from Torez of the possible missile launcher.   Just so unreal to us.

There is so much conflict in the world right now 
Please pray for the people of Ukraine, there are many refugees, many Christians such as our close friends who have been threatened with death.
pray for the Israel conflict and for the peace of Jerusalem
I've heard reports of Iraqi Christians being targeted for execution in northern Iraq
So much heartache in this old world today. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Plane Shot Down in/near Torez Ukraine

 Earlier today I began getting messages and texts about the plane that crashed in Ukraine.  I turn on FOX news and I see the name of the town Torez.....that town is dear to me.  It is where we adopted the girls from, where we lived for 5 weeks, where we walked the streets, played in the park, attended the local church....where we made friends. 

I'm trying to get confirmation of the exact area that the plane crashed in, some news organizations are calling it  Hrabove or Grabove but most are calling it Torez.  Knowing that area somewhat, I am thinking that it was shot down very very close to the girls institution, as the institution was on the far edge of Torez.   As you can imagine, this is just heartbreaking to me.  Any loss of life is just horrible to imagine.  I pray that God will bring comfort to the families of the victims.  Then to think that this violence came from an area of Ukraine that we love so very much is hard to imagine.

I'm just glued to the tv and internet at this point....

SURELY NOW the world must take notice and help Ukraine!!!!   It is obvious that the missile that shot down this passenger plane came from Russia.  The world must do something to stop this!!!!

Please keep the country of Ukraine and the family of these innocent people in your prayers. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Only 11 weeks......

Awwwww my laptop is back home and we got to eat lunch with some of my fav people who brought it home to me!  Then our friends left and the boys and I watched the end of "Sherlock Holmes" which was really good.  I had a kitten on my lap and Shad curled up by me if it got too scary:)  You can't beat that!

We have had a rainy day with more rain coming.  It's seem this year has been really rainy and that makes me happy.  Rainy days make me feel cozy. 

Our A/C was finished late yesterday and we moved back home.  It was great sleeping in my own bed and not on the church floor on an air mattress!  Plus Jon's snoring is better than Sam peeing on me LOL!  I really appreciate Pattie Electric for helping us baby the parsonage and the church's a/c for the last 9 years.  They've done so much for our church.  And they pushed our situation to the top of the pile this week so the kids would have air since this is the middle of July in Florida and our house is not made to live in without A/C!!!!!!

Yesterday I got a chance to drive by the property and look what was happening......

The old house and shed are gone!  We also drove by today to show our friends and there is just a tiny bit remaining.  Can't wait to see the property all cleared and the dirt being brought in.   Construction starts on October 1st!  ONLY 11 weeks!  Wow!  That really does not seem long from now at all! 
Looks like one of my favorite trees will have to be cut down and I'm so sad about it but it seems to be rotten.  I love big old trees but it would be near Selah's room and we don't want to take any chances.
Selah is doing great, she's had Physical Therapy this week and has really handled things great.  I'm so glad that the decision to do the surgery was made and we did it quickly, it was positively the right thing to do for her for the long run.  It's a relief that she has recovered as well as she has, we are all thankful.  Honestly, I was quite worried.  Now I feel like a load has been lifted!  Again I just have to say thank you for your prayers!
Hope you all are having a good week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Still Alive!

We are still alive:)

Selah came home late on Friday night and she has done just wonderfully.  We are so thankful that she has had such an easy recovery period & we are grateful to our nurses for takings such good care of her!!!!!   Without a doubt we believe our nursing team, Aaron, Rose, Lexian and Kathy make the difference in Selah's life.   Selah is glad to be home, it's so obvious to see the difference in her when she is home.  She is much more relaxed and comfortable.

So the past 5 days have been one big adventure for us.....

First I'm a RED head LOL!  While I was in Tampa, I stayed with my close friend and her daughter gave me a rinse.  I don't have a good picture yet but I'll post....I did find one thing disturbing....I have GREY!  LOTS of grey and here I thought I was just blond!  There were places the rinse didn't take and I asked the lady who does my hair and she looked at it and said "yep it's grey"  I am in SHOCK!   So if I wasn't to color my hair, I'll have to use a permanent dye to so it.   This is in for just a few weeks then it'll be gone.  Not sure if I want a permanent change yet! 

Then our satellite went out....with no explanation.  We had someone come out and work on it but it's still not working.  I had left my laptop at my friends' house so I've come to the library to type this update so everyone would know we were ok!

THEN our A/C went our early Monday morning.  I woke up thinking I was in menopause and having a "hot spell"   When I checked the thermostat I realized it was NOT me!  So No A/C in July in Florida!!!!!!!   I was calling our A/C person at 6:30 am, they came out and the guy was so funny.  He acted like he was a doctor giving me a terminal diagnosis.  He was so sad to tell me the a/c was "gone"!  So they had to order us a new one.  As we speak (Tuesday noon) it is being put in and will be operational  soon!!!!

So Shad and the kids went outside to swing....and Sam threw bad, everything....don't know if he got too hot or what but I called Jon home.  I can handle a Chinese adoption on my own and kids' surgeries and hospital stays BUT NOT throw up!!!!!!  

Steve went on a campout and luckily came home by noon.  What a day!!!!

(Sam is fine) 

So last night we had a camp out on the floor of our church!  

These pictures were from the afternoon, both kids fell asleep.  Sarah loved being in the church and was playing and playing by pulling up on the stage and finally got quiet and was sound asleep.  I moved her as soon as I took the pictures LOL

Sam slept like this for 2 hours.
Then for the campout....

Sarah right in the middle 


Jon is over in the corner


I woke up about 3 am....wet....for a second I thought I'd peed on myself...NOPE...SAM took care of that for me LOL.   He was sound asleep so I just wrapped him up and then I moved to the short couch in the office (God Bless the friends who gave us that couch!)   I wrapped up in a sleeping bag and went to sleep!  Our nurse had stayed with Selah in the house as it did cool down into the 70's inside and she tends not to be as bothered by the heat.  I didn't want to freak the nurse out by going back to the house at 3am! 
But at least we have learned to roll with the punches LOL! 
Here is our animal adventures from Monday!

Shad and our nurse had spotted a crawfish outside and it was "rescued"  






Shad had a good time with it and then let it go into the deep ditch that runs under our road, where there is always water.
Then he checked on the bird's eggs he had found in our shed a couple of weeks ago, they've hatched and seem to be doing good. 
So this was a quick update for you all.  Thanks for all the messages and emails.  Hopefully we'll get our internet fixed this week. 
Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers for Selah.  We are so relieved to have this surgery behind her and that she is doing so good.