"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Smile Ü

A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give. ~Author Unknown


Well it has finally happened. We have been waiting for years, almost 4 years to be exact. But let me tell you, some things sure are worth waiting for. Justin finally got his braces off. He was one good look'n kid before. But now when he smiles......Oh baby!



before



after


His braces may have cost us a pretty penny but

A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks. ~Charles Gordy

Monday, July 14, 2008

Relishing Motherhood

Michal from Relishing Motherhood is having a writing contest. The topic is basically your thoughts on motherhood or as she put it an Ah Ha moment. I really haven't ever done anything like this but, I have recently put a few of my thoughts together and figured what the heck.

Being a mother has changed me. It has taught me things that I did not even know I needed to learn. It has tested me and stretched me into a person I am just getting to know.

Twenty years ago, as I was anticipating the birth of my first son, I realized that now my life was no longer about me. All of my thoughts, dreams and actions were focused around this new little spirit. I was excited and ready to take on the challenge. The minute he was placed in my arms I was changed forever.

Along this journey I have had many wonderful experiences. Looking back however, it has been the difficult experiences that have been the most rewarding. Isn’t it ironic? It is the latter that I have chosen to write about today.

It was a Wednesday night in early February. As we sat down to eat, my three year old son Justin pulled the cord on the electric skillet spilling boiling oil onto his head and arms. We spent many sleepless nights in the burn trauma unit. It was physically and emotionally almost more than I could bear. Nothing is as difficult as seeing your child suffer.

Once we knew that his life was no longer threatened, my list of worries began to change. I mourned the loss of my perfect, beautiful little boy. I would stare at his before pictures for hours thinking “what if” and “if only”. It didn’t take long however, to realize that he was still beautiful and perfect. HE WAS JUST THE SAME. Beauty comes from within. I had been taught an amazing lesson and I was changed forever.

Next I remember a long, terrible night. I had noticed some changes in my son Jalen’s normal routine. He was barely eating and always tired. Finally, after a week or so, I took him to the doctor. We found that his digestive system was plugged up. His intestines were compacted and had been for three or more weeks. Needless to say the doctor was concerned and he gave us a few things to try. That night we saw no results. We went back the next day and were given one last option before they would have to schedule surgery.

No one but I would know what that little boy endured that night. For hours his body trembled with pain and his pride was completely stripped away. In between his gasp he would apologize and whisper “thank you mom”. It was physically and emotionally almost more than I could bear. Nothing is as difficult as seeing your child suffer. That night I learned a very difficult lesson about true compassion and I was changed forever.

This last experience is from about six month ago. It was the darkest and most difficult time of my life. My oldest son Jordan was making choices that went against the things that we had always taught him. We were constantly arguing and our home was always a place of contention. I was so tired of it and to be honest I felt like I couldn’t stand it or him anymore.

One night things were especially awful and scary. After hours of heated arguing Jordan grabbed a handful of clothes and walked out the door. He was gone. How could this be happening? It was physically and emotionally almost more than I could bear. Nothing is as difficult as seeing your child suffer. This was not my dream when that precious infant was placed in my arms. But I learned a few important lessons that night. I learned to pray. I mean to really pray and pour my soul out to God. I learned to never say never. And I learned unconditional love. It took him walking out the door for me to fully understand how much I truly loved him. That night I was changed forever.

I am grateful for these and the many other things that I have experienced as a mother. These are lessons that I could have learned in no other way. I am humbled that my children were willing to go through these trials to help their mother change and grow. So now twenty years later I think I may have changed my mind; maybe, just maybe it is all about me after all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Birthday J-Dawg


Well it's official. My precious little boy is no longer a little boy. He has overnight grown into a handsome young man. It all happened so fast and I feel so unprepared. Will somebody do something? It's gotten to where I am afraid to blink.

Monday was Jalen's 14th birthday. We have been blessed to have him in our lives for fourteen wonderful years and I am not sure how we survived life without him. Jalen is our third son. And I thought I wanted a girl. Silly me!

Jalen is amazing! He is thoughtful, quiet, kind and mellow. A good word to describe him is even tempered. With him you always know what to expect. He is a hard worker and probably put in longer hours helping us get moved than all the other kids put together.

Jalen is creative and artistic. You should see the drawings he does in his art class. They are almost as good as the ones he does in his science, english and math classes. He loves to build and put things together. For his birthday Dathan brought him a whole truck load of lumber. Since then Jalen has been busy building a fort and baracades to turn our back yard into a airsoft gun battle ground.

Happy Birthday J. You are such a blessing in all of our lives. Thank you for being our middle child. It is a difficult spot and you have handled it beautifully. I love you more than words can say. How lucky I am that you are mine.








Monday, July 7, 2008

Let Freedom Ring


I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him. ~Abraham Lincoln


I am many things. I am a daughter and I am a wife. I am a mother and I am a woman.


But on Friday I was reminded that I AM AN AMERICAN.


I am so grateful to live in this country with so many opportunities and blessings. I love this nation, "one nation under God". And, if you ask me, our 4th of July was a perfect day of celebrating.


Johnny, Lonica and I headed out early to line up for the parade.

I LOVE PARADES!

It was so much fun! Here is Johnny entertaining the crowd and one of the dances that I spent last week teaching to about 80 girls (and a few boys).

video



After the parade we loaded into the car and headed to Uncle Kent's and Aunt Blythe's for our annual family 4th of July Party.


Where we ate and ate AND ATE!




Played in the pool.




And lit fireworks.
These three put on the most amazing firework show. I am surprised that they didn't singe the hair off their arms. They put their lives on the line for our enjoyment. Thanks guys!

FAMILY, FOOD AND FIREWORKS. It doesn't get any better than that!
This truly is the land I love.
May I never wake up from the American dream. ~Carrie Latet

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Moving Forward


I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes. ~Sara Teasdale

I'm baaaack! As of last night at 6:30 p.m. we are officially up and running. Our family went just over two weeks with no home phone, Internet or t.v. It was .....well, it was wonderful, quiet and peaceful. We played games, read, and actually talked to each other. We were able to get so much accomplished without any interruptions. Yes, I am glad to be back. I am grateful however, for the time that I had to get things in our new home a little more organized.

Yes, you read that right, I said "HOME". It truly is starting to feel that way. I still have a lot of work to do, boxes to unpack, pictures to hang. But, I am content. Content??? No, that is the wrong word. I am excited and ready to "make the most of all that comes".