Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kayla Visits From San Diego!

My daughter told me Friday she might be able to come home while Jacob is on two weeks of pre-deployment exercises.

Sunday she calls and confirms.

While she was bumped on Monday's flight; she was still able to be home Tuesday morning. 

We didn't tell the kids, or anyone else for that fact, just in case it fell through.

Tuesday morning, I sent Kaitlyn to school, as usual.  I then told Christopher we were going to the airport for a field trip.

The following are two videos.  The first one is of Christopher realizing why we were REALLY at the airport and the second one, is of Kaitlyn being checked out from school. 


video


I wish I had started recording Kaitlyn a few seconds earlier.  As she was walking down the hallway, she (Kaitlyn and I), made eye contact.  She then began throwing her hands in the air, mouthing, "What are you doing?  What are you doing?  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

She then opens the door . . . . 

video


Yes, we are thrilled to have Kayla for two weeks!

Please be praying for Jacob while he is in training.

Thanks!

. .

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our First Fur-Foster

For the last eleven days, we have had the joy of fostering a momma dog and her eleven puppies.
Momma Dog was found wandering some one's property.  She had been wandering for thirty days. 

I do not know when she had her puppies; but I know this past Friday, the 17th they were 5 weeks old.

She was in the Mobile County Animal Shelter for 30 days.



When she was in the shelter, she was thin.  When she left the shelter after those 30 days, she was emaciated.


She, and her puppies were due to be euthanized on Thursday, February 16th, at 4:00 if they were not adopted/rescued by someone, or an agency.

We love dogs and want one desperately, especially for Christopher. 


We have researched and heard how dogs are calming for children with Asperger's; so we have remained optimistic for a pup when employment comes our way. 

I received a link to "Momma Dog" from a friend that knows how desperately we want a dog. The link took us to SouthBARK Animal Rescue.

After a few quick emails explaining our financial situation, and how we would love to help but that we are not able to accept the financial responsibility of a dog, it was done.

Momma Dog, "January" and her eleven puppies were at our house by 1:00 on Friday afternoon.














 



Not sure why this is posting sideways, it's upright in my files; nonetheless, the purpose of this particular picture is for you to see the puncture wounds on the sides of her spine.  There are at least four of them.  There are also two scars around her neck from a chain that was embedded.  This pup has been through hell; yet she has the sweetest temperament.














This picture shows pure exhaustion on this momma dog's face. 
She slept for four hours ;)


Momma Dog has taken a likin' to my husband ;)



He's hooked ;)


Momma Dog has made herself at home ;)



The puppies left us Monday morning at 5:50.  :( 

While we have missed them, I know they are in good hands! 

They were delivered safely to Puppy Pleaser's in Orlando.  SO, if you are in the Orlando area, and are looking for a puppy; I can assure you, these eleven puppies are precious!  Our hearts melted over the baby runt, that we called Natalie.  We almost lost her when momma stopped nursing.  She's a fighter and a lover though!  We are very thankful for Safe Harbor Animal Hospital going above and beyond to see her through!



Overall, our first fur-fostering experience was a great success!  Having puppy breath to greet us every morning was precious!  It was worth all the poop and pee that came with ELEVEN puppies!


video


Momma Dog is still at our home.  While she is much better than she was, she is still a sick puppy.  She had kennel cough (which she is still being treated for), has a uterine infection from afterbirth that has not passed and also will be getting treated for heart worms. 

She has become VERY protective of our family!  We have four cats.  She has done GREAT with two of the cats, but has tried to chow down on the other two on a regular basis.  To say the least, we do not leave them alone together!

I will update more on Momma Dog!  Below is a picture from today.  She is curled up on the couch, but she has put on several pounds in the last many days!



OH, in case you are wondering, SouthBark carries all the financial burdens of their animals.  I have added a ticker to the top left of my blog for anyone that is interested in donating to help cover the expenses of Momma Dog and her pups.  They acquired several vet bills while here.  As I mentioned earlier, Momma Dog has many more visits yet to come.  Pray about your part.  $1 makes a huge difference in this agency! 
Thanks for stopping by today! 

Stacey


P.S.  I have been trying to post this blog for several days; but have been having blogger problems I guess?  Nonetheless, today we picked up our second set of puppies to foster!  We have four more puppies for the next few weeks!  I will post pics when I get a chance!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Homeschool Give-A-Way

Check out this great give-a-way of  homeschool curriculum!

Many ways to enter! 

Good luck!

Jesus Loves Me

At Christopher's therapy appointment today, his therapist asked him, "Christopher, who loves you?"

He said, "My mom and dad."

She then asked him, "Who loves you the most Christopher?"

To that he answered, "Jesus."

I experienced a comfort, a peace, a thrill, in knowng my son, a chld with so many "issues," gets it. 

So I ask you, "Who loves you?" 

If you can't say, "Jesus," then I pray, today, you will know and receive these words.

You are valuable.  You were made with a purpose.  You are loved.  He knows not only your  name, but the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7)!

When I first came to have a one on one relationship with the Lord, I was an adult. 

I didn't know the songs, didn't know the Bible, nothing.

But the one thing I did know, was the song, "Jesus Loves Me."  That song has gotten me through nightmares, fear, questions . . . when I didn't know anything else, the one thing I did know, was a man named Jesus, and that He loved me. 

You can know Him today.

For God so loved the world (that's you), that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish, but will have eternal life.  John 3:16.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

UpWard Basketball Gold Star Award

Yes, if we are on "friends" on facebook, then you know what this blog post is about . . . . my boy!

UpWard Sports is a fantastic organization!  It takes the opportunity to teach Christ through sports.  Bottom line, every child is a winner.  Green stars are given out weekly at practice to teach the importance of scripture and devotional time.  Each week, after the game, various stars are given out to each player.  They consist of the blue star which represents best effort ; the red star best defense; gray star is best offense; gold start is best sportsmanship, and white star is most Christ-like. 

After the basketball season, we have an awards ceremony (which was tonight).  During the ceremony one child from every division is picked to receive a Gold Start Trophy.  This year, my Christopher was picked from the 1st/2nd grade division!!!!  I know, RIGHT!?!  I was caught so off guard I didn't even have my camera ready, and I had TWO cameras I was taking pictures with! lol!  BUT, I got this one of Christopher with Coach Harry (directly behind) and Coach Sean (left) after the ceremony!




Last year, Coach Harry won the Gold Star out of all the coaches in the 1st/2nd grade division and THIS year, Coach Sean won it! 

Both of these men love the Lord with all their hearts.  Each year, God gives them special children to love on.  

With every sport Christopher plays, we are reminded of the challenges he faces and the challenges we were told he would never succeed in.

We were told by Christopher's occupational therapist that because he has a "mid-line" problem (this was in 2009) . . his right brain and left rain were not talking together; he would write with his left hand on the left side of the paper, to the middle of the page, switch hands,and then finish the paper from the middle to the right . . . they said he would never be able to play sports because he would not (in his mind) be able to cross that mid-line of the field. Chris looked at her and said, "Well he's playing soccer (UpWard) NOW and loves it!"

 God has a plan for my boy and I can not wait to see Him get the glory!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pure Sweetness

If you didn't read yesterday's post, then this will not make sense to you; so you might want to check it out before reading on.

God has always amazed me in His impeccable timing.  Not a "caught me by surprise" amazement, but an aweness amazement.

Last week, a friend of mine gave me the One Year Women's Devotional.  I had wanted to purchase this book, but God clearly told me, "No."  Receiving it from such a special friend, that had no idea I even desired the book, was a sweet nugget from my Heavenly Father.  Later that evening, when I opened to the first devotional, my mouth dropped.  Just days before I had shared how God revealed to me that I was not loving unconditionally.  He showed me that I have not been loving through disappointment.  So I put out a plea from readers and friends through facebook, to share with me how they (you) have learned to love through disappointment.  I am still putting together a lot of facts, opinions, and personal revelations in regards to loving unconditionally and can not wait to share it all with you.  (You may click here to read that post if you'd like.)

I share that detail because when I opened the book, the first devotional was titled, "Hope Does Not Disappoint."  HOW COOL IS THAT!?!  I immediately emailed my friend to ask if she knew (thinking maybe that is why she gave it to me).  Her response came back in all caps, "OH MY WORD, NO!"  I noticed the devotional begins on a Monday, so I waited to start it so I would not have to keep up with what day I read yesterday! 

God is confirming day after day that I am indeed hearing from Him.

In fact, He did it again this very morning.

After sharing with you the struggles I am facing with depression, this mornings scriptures were right on target.

In the Jesus Calling devotional I use daily, I read, "Don't fall into the trap of being constantly on the go.  Many, many things people do in My Name have no value in My Kingdom.  To avoid doing meaningless works, stay in continual communication with Me." 

God sweetly whispered, "You are on the right track, Stacey."

Then I read the reading from the One Year devotional.  The scriptures come from Psalm 42:5 & 11 (but I would like to encourage you to read all of Psalm 42).  (I use the Holman Christian Standard Bible for my daily readings.)

Psalm 42:5, "Why am I so depressed?  Why this turmoil within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God."

Psalm 42:11, "Why am I so depressed?  Why this turmoil within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God."

Again, God's timing!  If I had started the devotional in the middle of the week; none of this would have impacted this heart like it did this day. 

The timing was God's timing. 

The devotional was given, when God wanted me to have it. 

I started it when God wanted me to start it, so the devotionals could be read that needed to be read to encourage a weary heart.

As I am typing, the words, "Oh How He Loves You And Me," comes to mind.

Pure sweetness.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dealing With, "It."

I knew when I didn't want to plant my winter garden something was wrong.  But I ignored "it."  I excused "it" as I just had too much going on and life would be OK without a garden. 

For months I sensed the Lord telling me to slow down. That I was doing too much; too much volunteer work, too much Avon, too much cleaning (for others), just too much; so much, that my home was suffering.

Reluctantly, because I was so worried about that others would think that I wasn't "doing enough" to provide for my family, I reduced my Avon customer's, my cleaning customers, and my volunteer hours. 

Slowly, the guilt of slowing down began to seem to lift; but I didn't bounce back up to my normal self.

Still I ignored, "it."  I kept pushing all the symptoms back down and sucked "it" up, till I couldn't "suck it up" anymore.

That horrible "it," being depression.

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with depression .  

Around that same time, though I can't remember if it was before or after the diagnosis of depression, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

Treatment began and I struggled.  I struggled so bad because my faith was at a VERY strong place in my life and I just couldn't figure out how a person with "faith" could be depressed! 

While I still struggle with that concept, (By the way, if you are "one of those people" that think "if you have faith then you can't be depressed," then you might as well check out of this post right now.) I, once again, know I am at an all time "high" with my walk with the Lord. 

No kidding! 

It has been phenomenal! 

For 17 months, since Chris lost his job, God has stepped out of Heaven and held my hand. 

He has been my friend. 

He has been my strength. 

He has been my healer. 

He has been my banker. 

He has been my mechanic. 

He has been in just about every person's path I have crossed in these 17 months. 

He has provided in the most incredible ways that I am still in such awe. 

In fact, He has provided for my family so well, I now worry that I'm not worried about how bills are going to be paid!  Isn't that crazy! I mean, come on!  Just typing it out made me laugh! 

So why now am I finding it impossible to get out of bed?

Why now is just putting one foot in front of the other a chore?

Or getting dressed?  Why is it so hard?  I have spent more than half of the last three weeks in my pajama's.  Yes.  I put clean ones on . . . some of the time; eventually.

And my house.  It's a pig pen.  Every few days I have shuffled through to try and tidy up; but oh heaven if you go behind closed doors.   

I have quit functioning.

It has taken all I can do to just get through each day . . . . without tears.

This very morning, I received the following email from a cousin that lives in my favorite place, Crystal Springs, MS. 

During my time with the Lord this morning, I knew it was time to deal with it.  Just knowing the Lord put me on her heart, hundreds of miles away, made taking that first step, OK.
It reads:

"Hey Stacey,

Don't know what is going on in your world today but I awoke thinking of you this morning. I believe that when we have those out of no where thoughts that it God placing those in our heads and hearts so that we can pray for their needs. I then got this devotional and again you immediately came to mind - not because I think you are a good or bad Mom - but one that God feels is so special that He gave not one but TWO special needs children. I can only imagine how trying some of your days are and I admire you while I watch your daily walk from afar. I had two "normal" kids and didn't do a very good job and I am constantly amazed at the love and patience God has in your heart to be able to deal with what you do. Just know you are loved and prayed for daily.

I love you,
Marsha"
I basically wrote her back through tears to tell her everything I just shared with you all. 
While I try my best to keep my life open and share the trials and joys of our home; to give glory to God in and through all things; having to write these words and admit that after 17 months of managing my fibro and depression without medication; and even trying some more natural ways to get a handle on it, I just can't. 
I share this asking that you would pray for me in the coming days.  I see my doctor on the afternoon of the 14th to see what my options are.
I'm ready to be better physically, and mentally. 
Stacey

Richmond Eagle Lays An Egg

A few days ago I blogged about how using the live web cams of a couple bald eagles have helped me to "think outside the box" in regards to homeschooling my son with Asperger's.  If you missed that post, and are interested in reading it, click here.

BUT, today, I wanted to share a video from last night (Wednesday, February 8th), of a Bald Eagle actually laying her egg!  Just a few chirps . . . and there it was!  It was so touching.  I can't wait for Christopher to get home from therapy to show him and for Kaitlyn to get home from school to show her! 

I LOVE THE FACT THAT THIS LIVE CAM HAS SOUND!  Richmond eagles lays an egg.

Shalom!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Under Construction


Thank you for stopping by today!

I am in the processing of making some changes to my blog.


As you can see, I have added some tabs to the top of my page!  There is no text at this time, but I am working on it, so please bear with me.  I am trying to figure a way to add one last tab, about my ongoing weight loss journey . . . as that is a huge part of where I am right now.


 I will continue to post, and will let you know when the page is complete!

Please be praying for my children.  All three of them. 

Kayla was in a car accident a few nights ago.  She is OK.  She has some bruises and had a mild concussion; but is mainly dealing with headaches and just hurting.  I praise God she was protected by His watchful care!

Christopher and Kaitlyn have BOTH been sick for days.  Found out today not only do they have Flu-B (had no idea there were different stands of the flu, did you?!), but they also have STREP!

Can you say, INSANITY!

As I type this, I am being summoned.  Milk Shakes are on the menu tonight for sore throats!

"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."  Numbers 6: 24 - 26


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Web Cams Bring Learning To Life!

A friend and I were talking just yesterday about how education has changed in the 20 years since her brother had been teaching; and especially since our parents were children. Her words helped me process my role as a homeschool mom, "Twenty years ago, we all had to go to the teachers as our source of education/learning; today, the source is everywhere. Teachers have to work harder to make education interesting and bring in the facts."

I started homeschooling my son that has Asperger's in August of 2011.  I struggle with thinking outside the box; but am learning!  Maybe before he is too much older, I will be able to present education in a fun, practical, outside of the box, type of environment, instead of "all about books!"

For the last few weeks, my children and I have been checking daily on a Bald Eagle that was nesting.


Actually, we have been checking two sites, one in Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge  near Vian, Oklahoma (the most frequent one as eggs two of the three eggs had hatched when we started watching) and the other in Norfolk Botanical Garden in Virginia.  In the Virginia location, the male and female eagles have visited the site, but no eggs have been laid as of today.

The third egg at the Sequoyah site finally hatched on it's 35th day!  The kids have seen both the male and female bird feed the eaglets AND have seen birds, fish, and duck brought in to feed the eaglets. 

It has been an amazing experience and has brought education to life!  We've all been sick during the last two weeks; and while we have not had the brain function to sit down and do "book work," we have been able to learn about the size of a Bald Eagle egg, its gestation period, bring in a little History regarding the National Symbol, discuss the cycle of life and put the food chain in live action!  So, being sick has helped me to let down my "must cram all this in attitude."

We have also visited the web site for Winter the Dolphin that the movie Dolphin Tale is based on!




I do hope you will visit these great links!  They have indeed, helped bring learning to life ;)

Enjoy!