Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Christian Persecution

I'm a news junkie.  On my blog I don't get too political but you can probably guess I'm a conservative.  Lately I've noticed that there is a lot of news that get no play time at all.  In fact if I didn't subscribe to various groups I would have never heard about this!

In the world today Christians are being targeted for persecution imprisonment and death.  One such area is Chengdu China.  Chengdu is where Shad is from and I spent a week in that city in 2006.  Before I went to China I bought dozen of small bibles to give out.  To be honest I did that against the advice of the adoption agency we used.  But there was no way I was going to be in China without giving out bibles.  While in Chengdu I gave people bibles when I was alone with them in private.  One housekeeper began weeping when I handed her a bible.  That was so precious to me.  In another city I actually met with a man to give him bibles for his group of Christians.  It was a very cloak and dagger type of situation.  I had literally been given a code word to use and a certain scenario to act out.  To be honest I was afraid but I knew I could not-not help out.  Technically bibles were allowed but there was an incredible process to go through to get one and once a person received one then they were added to a list. 

Now the crackdown has started in Chengdu and it grieves my heart.   I'm by no means a China expert but I understand from what I read how every part of life in China is connected.   Many of the Christians are being arrested but it doesn't just stop with a family member being arrested.  Many are now being kicked out of their homes, their children taken from them, fired from their jobs.... It's so sad.  I get my news from China Aid  on facebook and at China Aid   I also get information on worldwide persecution from  the Voice of the Martyrs.

There has recently been many attacks on Christians in Nigeria read here  or here more   Over 200 killed in the past month.  Little or none of this gets reported on regular news.

According to Open Doors every month

  • 255 Christians are killed
  • 104 are abducted
  • 180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage
  • 66 churches are attacked
  • 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned
Personally we know people who live in different countries where Christianity or Evangelical Christianity is discouraged.  Some dear friends of ours were forced to leave their area upon the threat of death for preaching the gospel.  I wanted to have them come to the USA because of that but they stopped me from working on their behalf to get them asylum because they felt God wanted them to stay in their home country and preach the gospel.  They now have a thriving church in another area of their country! 

What can we do?  The bible says to pray for the persecuted.  We can stay inform and inform others.  We can contact our government officials to ask them to put pressure on countries doing this.  When I am tempted to complain about something in my life I think of others who are going through so much more and that reminds me to be grateful and to pray for others.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Porch Time

We do a lot of porch time in our family.  The front and back porches are just about our favorite rooms in the house.  Both have a different feel about them but both help me to relax!  I grew up in an old house that had a front and back porch and was insistent that when we had our own home we'd have a front and back porch.  Growing up I spend many nights sitting on our front porch.  I remember one night I was about 8 years old, we sat our there and sang for hours after supper.  The mosquito truck came by which was always a treat LOL  Then my friend's family stopped by in their station wagon to see if I'd like to go get an iceee at the 7-11 store.   We followed the mosquito truck down the road.  It's the simplest things.  That's been over 45 years ago and I still remember that night like it was yesterday.  Looking back on my blog there's been lots of pictures taken on the porches lately as the weather has gotten nicer and we did our porch spring cleaning.  This afternoon Sarah and I spent most of it on the back porch.  I had paperwork to do and appointments to set for various folks.  She on the other hand had a nap to take! 

She started out on the swing but it was a bit warm so I put her in shorts and in the hammock

she slept like this for an hour even though I tried to move her a couple of times lol

Finally I got her moved

They were up early today and back to work at therapy

Sam was loving the sun

Sarah was glad to be back on Rambo!  Sam did good with his physical therapy too.  

This was Sarah on Sunday  I thought she looked very cute!
With having so many people to buy for I seldom pay full price for clothes but this shirt was meant for Sarah!  I only got a small discount off but I had to get it for her:)  

You may or may not be able to tell I tried to do a pony tail.  I totally suck at doing girls' hair!  I just do my hair straight all the extra stuff is too hard lol.  I'm trying to do better.  Her respite care worker is much better with hair than me.  

Well I hope you are having great week!  Florida is in the middle of our short spring and i love this time of year.   

Saturday, March 23, 2019

March 2019 update

Today I'll update about March thus far.

We made it to the Strawberry Festival twice.  One night we just took Shad and met Steve and his girlfriend there.  We saw some of ALABAMA in concert!  They are my favorite group!!!

Love Alabama- smooth silky voices.  true southern singing

Another night we took Shad and Sam.  (Sarah stayed home- she would have liked the rides but not the loudness  she hates noises that are loud and she gets very upset)

Most of the night Shad was hanging out with some friends but he rode a few rides with Sam

this was his favorite.

Both nights were really fun.  The second night we had some strange run in with a carnival worker who was making fun of Shad's eye from a game booth.    The ironic thing is that Jon & I happened to be getting off the Ferris Wheel as Shad and his friends were getting on it.  Neither of us knew where the others were at but as I heard the guy I knew he was talking about Shad and I went running to stop him.  I started screaming at the worker who was quite shocked to see a middle aged white woman with freckles telling him to shut up about her son.  Believe me he shut up!  Shad's friends described me as "Lit" LOL   Shad wanted to drop the whole thing and continue riding rides with his friends so I didn't go and complain about it.  Shad is so good about letting things go and I still get shocked when things like that happen to him or to our other kids.

You know I was raised right.  Before I ever had a child with a disability, I never thought that their story was any of my business or they were there to provide me with entertainment.  At the most, I'd catch the child's eye or parent's -smile at them and then turn away and go on with my life & allow them to go on with their day.

Some people don't understand why I get so upset when people stare or ask questions since I have a blog.  (Obviously this guy was an obnoxious fool and mean) But for us personally when we are out with our family we are not focused on the kids' issues.  If I'm somewhere, I'm doing something and don't feel the need to be reminded that our family is different.  Sometimes conversations happen naturally but for us personally I wish people just treated us as a normal family.  Don't stare and don't ask.  Other families don't seem to mind remarks or questions but I'm not one of those!  Let's say one of your kids had broken their leg and was in a cast sitting in a wheelchair and your family is in Disney.  Would you want a bunch of questions or stares?  No of course you would not-you'd just want to enjoy your day the best you could.  That's how I feel.  sometimes I don't think of the differences so I hate to be reminded.  I don't feel the need to "educate" people .  Well actually sometimes I DO but those times might not be the kind of education the person was looking for LOL

Anyhow off my soapbox!  Jon and I also got a chance to go to a conference in Orlando for Step Up For Students the agency that oversees the Gardner Scholarship.  It was a nice easy conference and we stayed overnight in a Hilton so we were happy:)  We didn't really take any pictures but had a relaxing time.

This week we had some work done on two of our vans.  At our auto mechanics shop he has had several cats dropped off recently,  These two were in bad shape and I eventually took them to our local low cost vet and then brought them home with me because I felt so bad for them.

this is Hope

this is Faith.  She looks like she is about 3 months old but the vet said she was really about 3 years old.

they've made themselves at home on our front porch.  I can't put them out because they haven't been spayed and are too weak to be yet.  I got them their shots and some tests to make sure they were well before putting them with our outdoor pets and hopefully finding a home for them.  They both have already learned to go in the litter box.  

this big fellow has come up and of course I've been feeding him.  One morning we had him trapped to go to the vet to get neutered and he got out of the trap LOL  But Shad figured out the mistake and next time we will get him!!!!  We call him Sarge

this is my "real" cat Vermont and she is not happy with the new girls being on her porch.  She has been on the back porch She recently got follow up testing on her kidneys.  Two years ago she was in complete kidney failure.  Thankfully she has now recovered!
At the time it happened to her, two other cats who occasionally came in the house also got sick but not as bad as her.  We decided that it was essential oils I was adding to the vinegar that I clean with.    To be completely safe we also changed the foods the cats were eating.  bt since none of the cats that are strictly outdoors got sick we are pretty sure it was the cleaner.
I'm NOT an essential oil person who thinks it heals everything but I like smells so I bought some from a friend who was trying to start a business.  Now I'm very very careful if i use them on anything. I did put the peppermint on me when I was so sick a few months ago from salmonella  The smell gave me something to concentrate on and helped me some.   But ai've also smelled some of them that gave me a headache.  One time a friend put something on my neck and by the time i got home I had the worst headache ever.  I'm not much of a believer!

Last night I made chicken & dumplings.  Not to brag but my chicken & dumplings are better than my Granny's was and that is saying alot:)  I've tweated my recipe over the years but I'll share it with you...  I make two big pots but I'll give you the recipe for just one (like normal people make LOL)  

8 cups of chicken broth (2 cartons)
3 cans of condensed chicken soup
3 chicken bouillion  tablets 
a tablespoon of dried parsley 
2 boneless skin less chicken breasts
bring to a boil & cook until the chicken is done
take the breasts out and  shred it.

Then I take the LAZY way out.... I use frozen dumplings.  Yes I've made them from scratch but this recipe takes enough time as it is and I found these which are amazing.  

Just drop them in cold (they will unfreeze within minutes so they can be added easily but I just break them up into little pieces and throw them in the broth.  Every-time you put in a handful or so,  stir and stir it and let the temperature climb back up before you put more in .  You may have to add some more water I do every time.  Once all the dumplings are broke up and in the pot and it is boiling, stir them while they are boiling for 10 minutes and then add the shredded chicken and stir boiling for 2 minutes.  Then my favorite part....set it off the burner put a lid on it and leave it alone for about 20 minutes and you will have the best tasty dumpling you could dream of!!!!  

*you may add more chicken bouillon cubes as you add more water into it.  Last night I eneded up adding another 4 cups to the pot on the right to bring the water level up.  You will want to have lots of broth.  I've even added another can of condensed chicken souop because I thought the broth needed more.  I put in some pepper and salt as I go but not much.  

 We had our friend who is also our music minister over -I'd been promising him chicken & dumpling for awhile.  Later we sat around a fire outside and sang out of the old hymnal.  We just bought these hymnals for our church.  They are what we call "the Church of God" hymnals  I grew up singing out of them as did our music minister.  So we went back and did some old songs.  It was fun.  We had to restart alot of the songs to find the key and melody LOL but there were a couple we did really good on so our church will have to look out for some new "old" songs.  We are probably one of the few evangelical churches to order new hymnals this decade  LOL  

But I'll be honest I prefer the old songs for the most part.  they are deep, easy to sing and have a theological depth (for the most part) that is missing in many newer songs.   I could get on another soapbox but since that would be the third one this blog I'll leave it alone.  How many of you grew up on these songs?

I've enjoyed hearing from folks on the Blog's FB page.  
My Real Life By Yvonne

Ok we are all caught up!  I'll try to post more regularly

Friday, March 22, 2019

Update on Fam Feb 2019

Well I have been a lazy blogger once again!  So let me catch y'all up on what's been happening here.  Everyone has been well except our oldest son got the real Flu A.  We've all been getting the flu shot for over 15 years and he is only the second one of us to get the flu despite the shot.  Thankfully he was really only felt bad for about 2 days and no one else got it.  (he came home from school for it lol)  It got me motivated to do all my spring cleaning so now you can eat off my floor at least for now.
Sam has some appointments coming up as we follow up on gastrological issues (that are doing good right now)

We are still waiting to see the sleep specialist regarding Sam's sleep apnea.  He is still currently on a pulse/oxygen monitor.  Following Sam's diagnosis I got tested for sleep apnea too as my family often complains about how i snore.  I won the prize too lol.  What a story with that.....  our insurance was going to charge me $305 a month for a machine.  I just laughed and figured I'd have to die because there was just no way we could pay that.  A friend gave me an older machine so I took it in to be set up.  Evidently the whole office was amazed by this older machine-they all examined it out of curiosity.  Unfortunately it could not be set up for me.  The office was so nice to me that they loaned me a machine they had!  I was in tears actually.  People have always been very helpful to us because of our children but this was a huge thing just for me and I was extremely grateful.  Thus said I have attempted to be very disciplined in using the machine.  How many of you use a c-pap?  It can be a bit challenging.  Evidently I have a very small nose but the smallest size is a bit too big for my nose.  I feel like I'm drowning in air at times.  Thankfully I'm one of those rare folks who usually falls asleep as soon as they lay down so that has helped me because I can not talk or move around after I turn the machine on because it bothers me so much even though the pressure is programmed to build up.  My nose is very sore inside and I do have an appointment to go back and maybe have it reprogrammed.  My husband is quite happy he says I do not snore anymore LOL!   This morning about 2 am  I woke up to find I had turned the machine off during the night!!  I have no memory of doing it but I dutifully turned it back on.  Having the machine myself makes me realize there is no earthly way Sam will tolerate a machine like this and it could be extremely dangerous for him.  He would surely bring it to his eye which could be a disaster given the force of the air.  Plus there are too many strings he could and would get tangled in!

Steve is very busy as a Graduate Assistant at SEU while he is working on his Master's.  His classes are on-line thus far so he has been working alot of "gigs"  He currently works for 5 companies doing different type of audio/camera/directing.  Obviously he works for the college weekly as part of his GA position but he also takes jobs with them too.  He works for MABE (an audio/vision company ran by one of my college friends.  They hired him before they realized he was our son!)  He also works for the Detroit Tigers, the Florida Tropics and most recently TBN!  He recently traveled to Alabama to do a conference and worked a large convention in Orlando for TBN called The Send" It's interesting.  When Steve first tarted working jobs we had a serious talk to him about being careful in choosing the companies he worked for as some of his friends had worked some questionable things.  While we have never tried to force our older boys into the ministry we want them to use their skills to glorify God and not to promote anything ungodly.  I'm not sure at the time that we talked that he really thought it was an important conversation.  If anything I think he thought it would limit his work choices.  But to his credit he honored what we asked him and he has more work than he can do!  He often has to rearrange his schedule to get all his jobs done!  Now I think he sees how faithful God can be!!!

Shad is working at a local restaurant doing a great job as a busboy.  He entertains the folks and gets tips all the time.  The owner told me Shad is the best hire he's ever had.  That's always good to know cause you know no kid works like that at home LOL  We are hoping all his paperwork gets in by the next quarter so he can start college in the dual enrolled program.    He has now finshed 10th grade work (a year and half early)

Sarah continues horse back therapy and is more an more independent.  We've taken last week and this week off because of Spring Break and we just needed  a little break but will be back next Monday ready to work hard.  She is also verbalizing more which is great

Selah has been well and doing great.  She has had some of her yearly specialists appointments and they all say she is doing perfect with no issues.  Every doctor seems to be amazes at how healthy she is which makes us happy!

The country makes me happy.  It's spring time in Florida

My potato garden

our guard dog

our neighborhood pigs.  She has 12 babies

herb and lettuce garden


back porch

 my favorite couple on the front porch

the guard dog lol

We were out in the woods near the Hillsborough River and Dead River on a quiet Sunday afternoon

 we just spotted some deer-we think they were spooked by something.  We kept seeing deer all afternoon running.


Right after I took the above picture we saw a Florida Panther about 100 feet in front of us.  I had never seen one in the wild before but Jon has before.  I reported it Florida  Game and Wildlife and they scoffed at our sighting saying most sightings are south of us.   But we saw it and it walked very unhurried across the road.  I was in awe and to be honest a bit afraid.  I didn't even think to take a picture plus it had gotten darker but we could see it and it's long tail.  My great aunt (who raised me ) was born in 1899 in north Florida out in the woods  She had horror stories of Florida panthers so all I could do was think of the stories she told me of them killing people as we walked  rushed to get to our car! We had to cross where it had crossed so I was keeping a close eye out!

Ok back to the family  Sam Sarah and Selah get the Gardiner Scholarship for homeschooled disabled children in Florida.  It's an incredible tax credit funded program.  It pays for their horse therapy and lots of equipment.  Here's some of our equipment

Isn't she beautiful?

Sam still prefers the fake horse  Sam turned 15!!!!!

our bunch!