Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throw Back Thursday Again!


There is so much going on in the world, so much in my mind that I almost wouldn't know where to start.  From Ukraine vs. Russia , to Israel vs. Hamas, Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea....so many sad stories.  Then within the USA, we have this border problem, the mid term elections, all the attempts to take away our freedoms, so much craziness!  Then when I bring my mind closer to home, all the needs that my friends, church members, and family have.....Life can be overwhelming! 

This morning I woke early and laid awake, my mind thinking over the things I have to do today and thinking about the various problems in the world from the international to the personal problems.  Life is not easy!  I'm so thankful for having God in my life, I know whatever happens, God is still in control. 
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With today's totals I have walked over 18 miles in the past week and a half at our local hospital's cardiac track.  I told my friends I hope that we don't hear in a few years that walking is bad for your health LOL!  It's good to get back in the groove of daily exercise.  It's a killer but it does help me get rid of stress. 

The diet continues, I have not weighed myself.....

When I walk daily, the annoying pain in my right side that I've had now for 6 years, goes away for the most part.  It is ironic but true.  Plus I feel looser all over and that is good. 

So this is throw back Thursday..... this pictures just crack me up.  
But I love this picture with my best childhood friend:)  And that was my favorite dress for years.  I used to dress up all the time ....now not so much so.  A couple of years ago Shad asked me what was on my legs.  I was wearing pantyhose.  He had never seen such a thing LOL  It doesn't happen much anymore that is for sure!

 
 

 
 

 
OH MY GOSH!  We were taking "glamour shots" and the guy told me to think of a boy I liked.  Not sure who I thought of but this picture just cracks me up!
 
 

 
this was my first car.  We called it the "Roach Car"  Why?  Well it did not have an air-conditioner and the windows stayed down most of the time...I found a few roaches in it at times LOL

 
I loved this outfit, can we say 1985 at its worst????  I think  we were going to Homecoming with some guys at our high school.  We'd already graduated but I came home from college to go with my "home town guy" and ended up going with another guy....   Oh the dating tales we have.....
 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
My girls...we're all still friends:)





 
 
I love looking at pictures from the past, although we all looked so young and had no idea the curves LIFE would throw us.....  Glad we didn't know the future so we could enjoy the present!  Just as we didn't know what our futures held back then, both good and bad, none of us know what lies ahead for us now.  One thing everyone in the above pictures have in common, they are trust God to bring them through whatever situation comes there way. 
 
 
 
Here's a picture from the present...construction on our road, a road widening project as well as they are adding a "pull over" to our parking lot.  It should make it easier for folks to park. 
 
 


Thanks for the orders for Pampered Chef! 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1456835614569841/1457210007865735/?ref=notif&notif_t=event_mall_reply  You can join the party:)  

Tonight I'm going with Steve to register for his college classes and to look into what kind of scholarships/grants he'll be getting.  We've applied already and have an idea but we'll have it all figured out tonight:)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Little Boy

Recently I was contacted about a little boy in the US who needs a home.  Let me share about him.

He is a 4 years old bi-racial child.  He was a "shaken baby".  He is considered non verbal but is starting to make sounds.  He can't sit on his own but has started rolling over.  He uses a wheelchair.  He has a gtube and gets 4 meds a day. He is delayed but a very happy cuddly little boy.  Currently he is in medical foster care.  The mom is unable to take him home because she is young and having financial problems.  She does not feel she can give him the life he deserves.  His father is in prison.  The mom is willing to give up custody and wants to do a private adoption.  She wants to be in his life to some extent.   If you are interested you may reach lsmith@finallyhomecas.com   or call her at 813 777 0885.   There are costs involved as this will be a private adoption, probably between $10-12,000 if you live in Florida.  I'd love to hear that he gets his forever family!!!!


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Today was a great day for me:)  One of my friends and I got to spend the whole day together.  It was a "Mom's Day Out".  Usually when I go out, I only go for a couple of hours so this was a real treat for me!  We went out for breakfast and then shopped (mostly looked around) and then had a late lunch together.  Recently I had seen a suede type brown jacket at a store.  I'd almost bought  it several times so today I laid out a "fleece" before the Lord that if it was there, I was supposed to buy it!  LOL It was there!!!!   So I bought it!!!!  Now I have to wait a few months till it gets cool enough to wear it!    (a fleece is a term for asking for a sign from God like Gideon did in the Old Testament and I was kidding about the fleece....although in MY mind I laid it out LOL) 



I ran into a friend who I hadn't seen in years and she told me that her young husband Melvin, only 40 years old, had suffered a massive heart attack a few weeks ago.   Melvin has had many setbacks on the road to recovery and has had to be put back on a vent.  PLEASE pray for him and for my friend and her two boys.  There are so many things going on for them.  Thank you for your prayers for this sweet family.  What really got me as she was sharing with me, tears came to her eyes and her teenage son just wrapped his arms around her and loved on her!  What a sweet sweet family. 

Thanks for your prayers and hope you are having a great week!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pampered Chef Party!

So I'm doing on on-line Pampered Chef party.  Pampered Chef is a company that makes kitchen products, it is sold by people having parties in their homes.  I've never been one to buy things at those type of parties (or go to them if I could help it LOL) but I absolutely LOVE Pampered Chef stuff.  I have 4 cooking stones that I use every single day, they are different sizes from small to large, rectangular to round.  They are great, cooks things crispy on them and last forever. Two of the stones are older than Sam:) 

Pampered Chef has products other than stones and all of them are things you will use year after year.  One of my friends, Brook, works for them.  A couple of years ago I was trying to find someone who still sold PC and asked on FB and found that she does.  We did an online party a few years ago and now are doing another one. 


Yvonne is hosting an ONLINE Pampered Chef Show, so you don't have to actually GO to a party! It's all done online. :)

All orders can be placed online and shipped to Yvonne or directly to you! The website is SAFE and SECURE and your card will not be charged until we finalize the show and submit all orders together on A...
ugust 8th.

Here is how to order:
1-Visit
www.pamperedchef.biz/brookeandjosiah
2-Click Shop Online and enter YVONNE CLANTON as your host
3-Shop away!
Don't forget those upcoming birthdays, bridal showers, anniversaries, housewarming parties, kids off to college, etc! There is something for everyone in every price range and within your budget!

Spend $60 or more and get a Bar Board or Small Flexible Cutting Mats for FREE!

Need help with recipes? Contact Brooke at
 
 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1456835614569841/1456869334566469/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity     this is the FB page which is public.  You can ask questions on here.


So if you like the products and would like to order something please feel free to.  When people order using my code, I get points towards stuff.   I want to get this
 
this will help me eat some of the veggies I don't like as much.  If I can get them cut thin enough, then I can eat them:)   I love cucumber but it has to be thin.  With this, it will be thin! And then maybe I'll be thin LOL!
 
 
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This morning I sent in  $400 to Little Flowers Project
http://www.gofundme.com/aahhy4
I was able to write on their wall and give the credit to the readers of my blog and our church folks.  Thank you for giving to this wonderful project that saves children's lives every day!!!!  You can also give directly to them without going through me by clicking on the tab above.  Please consider giving, even a small gift is so helpful!

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It is SO hot in Florida right now, the heat index is up in the 100's!  Yesterday's walk almost wiped me out so I got there this morning at 6:45 am before the sun came up and was able to easily get my two miles in before the sun hit me.  It's still was in the 80's and humid but I'm used to Florida weather.   My goal is to go early, before the sun in up to walk until it gets a little cooler, like November LOL!

Hope you are having a great week!



Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm her Mmmmmm

Well I am continuing my daily walk/exercise plan and trying to eat in moderation at home.  We don't have a scale at home so I have to weigh myself at our grocery store.  For some reason all Publix grocery stores have scales....in the FRONT of the store so everyone can see how much you weigh LOL!  This morning I thought I would die as I began the walk.  Last night I had to take an anxiety pill.  I have no idea why, nothing was going on which is usually how it works LOL.  The times when things are nutso, I don't need a pill, it's the quiet that scares me I guess!!!   Anyhow the pill doesn't make me sleepy when I take it BUT when I go to sleep, I can hardly wake up and I feel sleepy the next day.  Well I pushed myself to get up this morning and go and I did it. By the time I was finished, all that "hang over" feeling was gone.  Although I actually did take a nap late this afternoon & it was nice!

Tonight I baked bbq chicken legs, green beans, baked beans, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese.  It was good comfort food.  One thing I notice is the kids are happier & satisfied when they have a good meal at home.  Plus then we have nice left overs for lunch!

So today was just a busy day for me.  Drove to Lakeland to meet with the church's accountant.  While there I went grocery shopping, big day LOL

So not much happening around here.  Selah seems to be fine again, don't know what the little episode was, we think it was just a little upset tummy. 

Really thought I had a blog to write but I'm sleepy and Sarah wants mommy to hold her, NOT the laptop:)  I love holding my little girl, wondering what goes through her mind as she reaches to touch my face and smiles.  So thankful she's in my lap not in an orphanage tied to a bed.  How she could be so loving, I can't understand.  But every time I look at her, I marvel that she is my sweet girl.  Now she calls for me, a little Mmmm sound that is trying to be a Mommy sound.  So glad I'm her Mmmmmm  :) 





Sunday, July 27, 2014

Being a PW

Being a Pastor's wife (PW) is interesting to say the least.  I've read a few books written from the pastor's point of view about being a pastor and living in the spotlight, but I've never read one from a PW's point of view.  Probably because the PW would be way too honest LOL!

For my readers who go to church, you know there are just days you don't want to get up and get the kids and yourself up and ready...and go.  Well....I can absolutely promise you that there are days when your pastor or PW doesn't want to go either!  I remember back a few years ago our church was going through a "time".  Jon and I would lay in bed and feel like putting the pillows over our heads, pulling down the shades and staying home!  LOL!  But we did not ever do it, we went out and faced our adversaries, dealt with the mess and went about the Father's business. 

Being a PW, is harder in some ways than being a pastor.  People tend to make remarks to the PW about how things should go....usually with me that only happens once or twice:)  People can be mean to your husband or your family and as you know, the Mama Bear in me is quite large so that can get a bit awkward.   And again that usually happens only once with me LOL

As you can tell if you've been reading my blog for long, I'm not a typical PW.  I don't play the piano, really don't sing although I have been drafted a few times, I absolutely hate to pray out loud in front of people, I'm not demonstrative, people as a group just wears me out.  I'm a realistic and worked with criminals for years, I know about things that most people never even want to think about....., crime is interesting to me.   Talk about being different than the typical PW 

We are at a great place in our church right now.  We've been here almost 9 years.  We followed a pastor who had been here 27 years.  Generally the pastor who follows a long term pastor is a short term pastor, meaning per statistics we should have been long gone.  In fact, coming here we committed to 5 years in our mind.  We felt that was fair to the church.  We didn't feel a huge "calling" to come here but it all seem to fall into place.  After we were here about 2.5 years the honeymoon was over, things needed to be dealt with and people realized we were not like the former pastor. 

Dealing with that crazy time really was when we felt the calling to pastor here.  We were told by our denominational leaders that we shouldn't even put up with the problems of this church.  We could leave and they could just close it down and find us another "easier" church.  But we knew that was not what God wanted.  Somehow He gave us the grace to walk through that time, then begin the task of rebuilding the church both in membership and the actual buildings that were in such disrepair.   Now we have a small but actually growing congregation of folks who have loving hearts and a totally renovated church.  Most of them are involved in some type of ministry themselves, prison, motorcycle chaplaincy, nursing homes, music etc....   The ones who aren't involved in something are elderly and they pray for the ones in the church who are involved. 

One great thing about our church is that I feel accepted:)  Being I'm not the typical PW, many people don't know what to do with me and believe me I can not fake it!  I LOVE that the congregation accepts me and my gifts which are more administrative than typical.  I'm the one who dealt with the remodeling of the church/fellowship hall, I handle the issues that come up in regards to the building or bills or whatever... and until recently I cleaned the church.  Now I have a friend and her hubby that does the cleaning and boy do they clean good!  

About a year ago, our church turned a curve....don't' understand it but God just began to bring in families.  Up till that point, we were thrilled if we hit 30 in attendance.  Now we have strong families, strong couples and even with a huge group gone today to Fine Arts, we still hit 30! This is the first year our church has ever participated in our denominations' Fine Arts program.   We have a group of boys who won first place in the state and now are going to Nationals for traditional percussion band.  Next year we will have several more kids old enough to participate and are already thinking of various categories they can compete in. 

We partnered with a Spanish church and they are seeing growth also.  Our missions giving is just skyrocketing and the missionaries we support is growing. 


Anyhow being a PW is interesting.  You see the worse of folks and the best.  You have stories that you can never ever tell but that are just hysterical. 

I don't feel I have to fit into anyone's idea of what a PW should be, 

One time when we were working in a NYC in a church and also in a inner city ministry, a lady we worked with, asked Jon IN FRONT OF ME...why he married me.   Me being the smart butt that I am AND not really liking the lady said "I tricked him" and flounced off!  LOL   In our younger years in ministry people tended to be meaner to me.  I guess I was nicer or just not as confident as I am now.  But now people are generally afraid of me LOL  I'm confident in who I am in God and in relation to my/our calling.  And I tend to have a rather sharp tongue too LOL

We've laughed about that for many years now.  And no I didn't trick him, he has known of me for a long time and had an idea of what I was about. 

I've always said I hope that my kids do not go into ministry unless it is the ONLY thing they can do.  What do I mean by that?  What I mean is unless ministry is in your blood, don't do it.  Unless you know that God has called you to it, do not even attempt it!  It can be a killer.  BUT if there is nothing else you will be happy doing but ministry....GO FOR IT!

Being in ministry is a privilege and a calling.  I wouldn't trade it for anything this world has to offer.  I wish I had given more of my life and heart to it as a younger person.  BUT it has not been exactly what I thought it would be either!

If you are a PW reading this, I just encourage you to be yourself, put your family FIRST and do not ever let anyone put THEIR expectations on YOU! 

So anyhow that is what is on my mind tonight. 

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Selah has done fine, no more spitting up!  I'm so thankful!

Hope you have a good week!!!!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday

Reading is one of my favorite things to do.  Everything is interesting to read about from novels, mysteries, biographies, whatever....even if a book is boring, I will usually finish it just because I have to know "the rest of the story"  Working at the thrift store, I've been buying some books lately.  Yesterday I found a book by Herman Wouk.  I believe he is still alive and will 100 years old next year.  I have read his two famous books "The Winds of War" and " War and Remembrance "  These books were also made into a miniseries which is excellent.  Yesterday I found the book "The Hope" about the beginning of Israel as a nation.  It's very interesting.  I'm very Pro-Israel for many reasons.  I don't have the "Christian" viewpoint that I have to endorsee everything that Israel does because they are God's "chosen people"  They've done  somethings wrong over the last 6000 years or so but I do believe that they are a nation set apart by God.  Obviously they are the only democracy in the Middle East and for that alone we should show them some support! 

Anyhow this book is so interesting, especially with the things going on in the Middle East like they are right now. 

I'm also reading a Victoria Holt book that is kind of a romance/mystery to take the tension out of the other book!  BTW I don't read books that are ungodly...just saying.....I know there are some doozys out there right now. 


Last night Selah did great.  She gagged once but handled the pedilite fine.  We are considering whether or not to give her the normal formula tonight.  It seems she just had a little tummy bug.

Steve is working today at Habitat for Humanity.  I went grocery shopping (finally!) and then Jon had to do a funeral.  It's been a busy Saturday around here.  I still got up and went walking this morning although after walking, exercising and working all day yesterday I actually had to take a hot bath last night and I'm not a bath person, I bet that is the first bath I've taken since we've lived here in over 8 years LOL  Don't worry I do take showers LOL!

Friday, July 25, 2014

100 Volunteer Hours

Our 100 volunteer hours for Habitat for Humanity are done:)  Steve & I worked today while Jon kept the younger kids.  Before we started volunteering at HH, I never knew how much work goes into a thrift store.  HH runs thrift stores in order to make money to buy supplies and things needed for the houses they build.  Steve normally helps move furniture and that is an all day job, new things coming in, things being bought....today he was taught how to run the cash register.  My duties are usually to go through clothes and cull out the really stained and dirty things.  It seems to becoming my weekly job which is fine.  As a perk, I find clothes for the kids:)  (boy did I find some nice stuff that I bought for the girls!)  I also straighten up that area.  Today I got that done early and then helped to stock the shelves and to price things.  As soon as I finished one buggy, more stuff came in and I had another buggy to do!   We still are in need of folks in this area who could volunteer for our family at either the Dade City Restore or the Zephyrhills Restore.  As a requirement for our new house, we have to have 100 hours given by volunteers for us.  And since Steve has been offered a job there, it's in their regulations that ALL our hours have to be in before he can start.  Luckily we can work on the volunteer hours ourselves.  One friend has done 16 hours so we only have 84 hours to do before Steve can actually start working at HH as an employee.    SO if you live in this area, we'd appreciate the help in getting the hours in.  We know we have some groups that will be helping on the house and normally that would be all we'd need.  But we have to get those hours in earlier so Steve can start working:)  They are a great group of folks and we are just thrilled that Steve will have the opportunity to work his first job there.  Who knows what doors that will open for him and how it will affect his long term future.....  He's already thinking of what kind of degree he'd need to run a charity like HH.....

Please pray for Selah.  She had an alarming situation this morning.  Her oxygen level went into the 70's early this morning.  Her nurse actually bagged her as she was putting on the oxygen.  We've never had to do that before.  Selah responded fine within just a few minutes and has not had another issue with her oxygen level.  But she threw up/spit up a little this morning, again this afternoon and now tonight.  We are just giving her Pedilyte tonight to see if she can handle it.  All kids get little bugs and as long as we can keep her hydrated, then there is no reason to take her to the hospital.  Thank God for our nurses!!!  I'd be very fearful if I didn't have them here. 

I want to thank a couple of folks.....
Thank you Shirley from Ohio for the pink butt paste.  So far it has done better on Sarah than the two prescriptions we've tried and certainly better than anything over the counter!!!!  Thank you!  And it smells nice:)

Thank you Jennifer from Texas for the nice gloves!  What an nice encouraging note and present to come home to this afternoon.  I have to admit my garden has not done as good this year as usual.  However we did harvest all our sunflowers for one of our nurses who has a big bird.  My carrots are ready to come out to as soon as I do a stew. 

I love the emails I've been getting lately too.  It's fun to hear back from you all. 

Also I want to remind you of our orphan project LITTLE FLOWERS!    We've had $400 come in to send to them.  I'm waiting till the end of the month to see if more will come in and send it all at once.  We have sent them $200 so far so we will have sent them $600.  I follow them on FB
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Flower-Projects/230680524654
on their blog
http://chunmiaolittleflower.org/blog/
and this is their GoFundMe page where you can give directly to them without sending a check to the church
http://www.gofundme.com/aahhy4

I LOVE what they do for the special needs orphans of China.

If I could just do whatever I wanted....I'd love to run an orphanage somewhere in the world for special needs kids.   I can not think of a better way to pour out this one life I have than that.  Of course I have my little ones here to love and take care of and I do it realizing the honor I have been given by having these little ones (and my other two also) to care for.  It's not a chore, it's like being close to an angel.  I'm not trying to sound spiritual or sloppily sweet but that is really how I feel.

When we were in Ukraine, I was left in a room with the older girl that we sponsor.  I had tears running down my face as I was holding her and looking at the other children.  There were probably 20 or more severely handicapped children in there.   There has never been a time in my life where I  have  felt the presence  of God like I did in that room.  There are no words to tell you how affected I was by that experience.  It shook me, and quite honestly I thought God was going to bring us back there to work with the orphans.  And let me tell you, I embraced it, even with the horrible Ukraine food (sorry to my Ukraine friends, you probably wouldn't like our Southern food either.....) I was ready to stay!   It was more than an emotional experience, obviously I understand all the ramifications of being responsible for three special needs children. 

But if I could make my own path in life, that would be the path I'd chose.  After the accident, I realized we could not do that with Selah needing so much medical care and that's fine.  I rest in and am content in where God has me and my family. I trust Him to open the doors He wants us to go through.  But I can share about wonderful ministries I know about and we can raise money to help them carry on their mission! 

BTW, the diet was pretty much out the window today!  I did want to clarify that I did NOT eat any brownies LOL .  I am not tempted much by sweets, I'm a meat and potato girl:)   Ever now and then I want a piece of candy but it's rare for me.  Also I'm eating on a small salad plate so I can remind myself of portion control.  I'm only dieting because my doctor feels it will keep me from having any of the problems that so many have as they get older.  I'm quite happy with how I look 99% of the time.  I was SHOCKED when he said I needed to lose 50 pounds, I think that is too much but I want to be healthy for the LONG term as I have lots of little ones dependent on me. 

To make sure I get all my fruits and veggies for the day, I drank V-8 juice.  It's got no added sugars and in each 8 oz glass is 1/2 the day's veggie and 1/2 the day's fruit needed.    So that fills in to ensure I get the veggies/fruits I need because honestly I'm not a big veggie/fruit person.  Over the years, I've made myself learn to like certain things and I do like salads (make my own dressing)  but it is challenging to me to get all the fruit and veggie servings I need! 

Well hope you have a great weekend, please pray for Selah that we can handle her at home and not have to take her to the ER!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 2 DIET and Throw back Thursday!

Ok day 2 of the diet/life change.  I got my 2 mile walk in.  I did an extra lap around one corner of the cardiac hill.  When I've not been walking consistently, I get awful shin pains, I've learned to build UP my walking distance and make sure I get potassium, that seems to help.  I was tempted today to go longer but I thought I might have an issue.  I've also added some exercise to my day.  Leg lifts, stomach crunches and sit ups.  YES my stomach muscles are sore!  VERY Sore!  There were years in my teens and early 20's that I would not go to bed until I did 100 leg lifts, crunches, sit ups, and all kinds of other exercises.  I had a whole routine I went through, don't think I'll get back to that full routine!

So in the quest to be healthier, of course I've had to cook:)
Last night I cooked spaghetti with ground chicken.  When I cook things, I try and make the healthiest choices, whole grain  pasta with added vegetables in it.   Ground Chicken instead of beef and I always use the Perdue brand as it says no antibodics given to the chicken.   The pasta sauce had no additives.  Always check for added vegetable oils in things, most brands have that in them. 

Tonight we are having a chicken/rice casserole that my mother in law used to make.  She wasn't a big cook like my family was but it was one of her meals I really liked.  I found the recipe in a book a few years ago and we are sure it is the same one she used.  It's modified a bit to be more healthy but it is really good.  With it we are having mashed potatoes and "healthy" brownies that I made from a mix that had no chemicals or additives in it.  I add FLAX seed to the casseroles I make, it gives it a little health boost that is undetectable by my oldest child who is AWFUL to cook healthy for!

Finally I used my bread maker again and I have fresh bread cooking.  It makes the house smell so good.  I added Flax seeds to the bread also.

Yesterday I came across this article on FB
http://www.charismamag.com/life/health/20865-this-cancer-causing-ingredient-probably-sits-in-your-fridge
I checked our ice cream and it was in it!  I threw the ice cream out.... 
carrageenan.  I looked it up and it seems it's been banned in some countries, at least in foods marked organic and in baby foods.  There seems to be some debate about its inflammatory process which is where the concern lies.....   I decided to ban it in my house!

So when I go to the grocery store, I have a magnifying glass with me so I can read the ingredients of things.  It's quite embarrassing BUT it is the only way to know exactly what is in the products I buy. 
I'm not a nutso organic person but WHEN I know to do better, I feel obligated to do so. I really try to think of how my family cooked when I was a girl.  Everything was made from scratch, and they all stayed healthy even tho they didn't eat the lowest fat or the lowest calorie.  Nothing was processed.....  that was only 40 something years ago....   I want to cook healthy good tasting food like that for my family.  It takes more time but it is so much better.  And I find with good satisfying food, I naturally eat less and feel fuller. 

BTW, I use a BIG magnifying glass at home to read my books....yes I suffer ridicule BUT then I find people wanting to borrow it to be able to read little print!

Tomorrow I'm planning on working at Habiat for Humanity with Steve.  As of today he has 87.5 hours in towards our 100 hours.  By tomorrow we should have all the hours in.  We still need about 80 volunteer hours so Steve can start working there as an employee.  They've offered him a job, but per their rules, ALL the volunteer hours must be in.  Tomorrow he is going to train on the cash register.  The person who runs the register is the one who gives the volunteers assignments so he can't wait to tell me what to do!  He's been waiting 18 long years for this moment:) 

Thursdays are like our family's Friday as Jon is off on Friday and Saturday.  We look forward to Thursday nights and take a deep breath!

Here are some funny Throw Back Thursday Pictures from the summer of 1986, I was doing my internship in Brooklyn NY, working in an inner city ministry called Metro Ministries.

 

 
Ernest and me outside the church

 
Me and a friend at Times Square one night

 
Izzy and me in Central Park
 
 
 
Our whole group in Central Park
 
This was a picture from Epcot spring of 85 and some of my dearest friends!
 
 
 
 
One of my roomates and me our freshman year

 
Me and one of my best friends Meich my Junior year of college

 
Darryl and me at SEC

 
 
These pictures make me smile:)  LONG time ago, a few almost 30 years ago!  WOW!  UNREAL how fast time goes by! I love that most of those folks are still life long friends even if we don't see each other very much.  Just feeling nostalgic! I can assure you that that young girl in those pictures had absolutely NO idea she would be the mom of FIVE kids....that was the LAST thing on my mind LOL!!!!!!!
 
 
 






Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIET

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:)

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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 doing.....it'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!


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

THANKS!
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. 


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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 rumbling.....my 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 years...now 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.  

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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 theclanton5@aol.com 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:)

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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.   
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696847/They-shouldnt-f-g-flying-There-war-going-Ukraine-intelligence-officials-release-phone-calls-claim-PROVES-Russia-shot-Flight-MH17.html  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. 

http://news.msn.com/world/malaysian-airliner-downed-in-ukraine-war-zone-295-dead#tscptmf

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 up...so 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....
 
 
Awwww  

 
 
Sarah right in the middle 

 
 
 

 
Jon is over in the corner
 

 
 

Shad
 
 
 
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! 
 
FUN TIMES LOL!
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. 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quick Happy Update

Selah is doing great!  She is having very little pain and it's been managed.  She's been needing a little extra oxygen but that's ok.  Selah's not on an narcotics but still this whole ordeal has been a lot on her. We are so thankful that she has such an easy time with this surgery.  Please keep praying for her. 

The nurses had her in her wheelchair this morning for a little while and she did ok.  She may go home tomorrow, we'll see....




Today I drove home for a few hours.  Boy were Sam and Sarah glad to see me!  Sam kept coming to me and hugging me & giving one of his "kisses" which includes lots of mouth and a little teeth on my cheek LOL!  He also wanted to hold my hand. 

OH!  Sam has been saying DAD!  He said it years ago, and then quit.  He says it in a whisper.  I've not heard him do it yet but he's done it two nights in a row for Jon.  Sam only says Ma, Mama NO, and Noooo.  It really touched Jon's heart to hear him say it. 

This morning Sarah was mad at me at first, she actually balled up her fists.  She does that when she is ticked off!  I got her up and gave her a bath then I was her best friend again.  Let's just say she didn't look like she usually does.  Daddy & big brother don't do hair! 

Shad had been with me this week but I took him home today, he is a help to Steve.

As you can imagine, I'm in debt to Steve for watching the little ones while I'm here and Jon's at work.  He really does a great job except for Sarah's hair.  He even had the house straightened up and had changed the poop box for Shad  (Shad wanted kittens....Shad does the poop box, that's the rule!)   Steve is busy planning a camping trip with friends this weekend so he knows there is light at the end of the tunnel!

This has been the least stressful hospital stay for Selah and me.  She has just handled things so well and I've had a friend there for me.    My college roommate and her family now live in Tampa so I've been staying with them at night and having a friend to be there is just great!  

Thank you all again for the prayers for Selah.