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Trying to follow God and draw closer to him each day. Some days I slip, some days I fall, I'm so glad He never does.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The First Day of School

First day of school…I had such great plans for this day…been planning for a week now. Special breakfast, healthy afterschool snack and stuffed shells for dinner, because that’s the kind of mom I am.

I was so excited for the kids and they were too. They really do enjoy school. So their backpacks are ready, clothes set out, including shoes. None of them seemed nervous. Not even Tommy, even though it was going to be his first day in Kindergarten, and Abby was going into Fifth Grade, that’s practically full-time middle school.

I was very blessed to be able to take the day of this year. I was excited. Got up extra early, spent some time in prayer for each one, made some hot biscuits with jelly on top, (ok, actually the biscuits were from the night before, but I did put them in the oven with jelly on top.) I just wanted things to be so perfect.

As fate would have it, in what was almost an attempt to mess with my perfect day, I left my memory chip at work. But I found my spare chip at home. That was a close one.

Oh yeah, I will have to admit, I was feeling rather proud of myself and all that I had accomplished… and would accomplish as the day progressed.

A simple foreshadowing: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2. 

Got the first day of schools photos:

There were smiles and hugs and well wishes given. Wow ~ we all made it through. What a great feeling. Now unto some errands I had planned and there would even be time for Owen & Mommy to have lunch together.

So having been to Wal-Mart and grocery shopping, I began to run a little behind, no Panera’s for us…it would have to be McDonalds – to go – but I would at least get him a Happy Meal..that’s a special treat.  As we stand at the counter, I let Owen in on the secret and he is just tickled looking over the toy he may get. It’s now about 20 after 11 and I'm thinking of the kids…and lunch….and the kids….HOLY CRAP, (sorry, sometimes it’s just warranted), my hand flies to my mouth and I stand there realizing….I did not send Tommy to school with any lunch or any lunch money.

What the heck….trying not to panic or cry at the McDonald’s counter…I think of all my options, I don’t even know what time his lunch is. So I quickly get out of line and call the school. The girls have given me horror stories about kids who do not bring money for lunch. ‘The school has to feed them, so they get a cheese sandwich with ‘probably’ the crust of the bread and whole milk.’ Oh, no, not on his first day…the teacher has probably already gone over the cafeteria procedure and what is Tommy thinking.

The office says he can charge for today and bring in the money tomorrow. I didn’t even ask anything more, the trauma was getting to be too much. Oh, how I had fallen.  I hand Owen his Happy Meal and grab my coffee and home to take care of the groceries. Still a little shaken up over this whole lunch situation.

How could I of let this happen…and then I began to think, I don’t remember anyone mentioning what they were doing for their child’s lunch. It had not been the topic of conversation on Facebook or in any chit chat I had heard. Not even any commercials, well I don’t watch them so maybe that doesn’t count. Surely, if there had been, I would have given it a thought or two. I begin to slightly remember thinking about it for the girls. I knew they had money on their account from last year, I know this because it was the last week of school that I had to send in money. But Tommy never crossed my mind.

So as I begin to shift the blame from me to you, I realize that I’m just doing the best I can. I am not Wonder Women..haha…I am not Perfect Mom….hopefully I will feed my children everyday or at least make provisions for them. But, if I do not, they will not be scarred or have lasting baggage that they will carry for the rest of their lives.  I've been humbled, now let the wisdom set in.


And as Tommy got off the bus full of smiles and hugs, we walk up the driveway and I ask him about his day, his head drops down and he says ‘I had pizza for lunch, you didn’t send any money and now I owe the lady.’ Oh that kid knows how to get to me, lol.

I hope everyone's first day went as well as mine. 

In God's Love, sheila

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Refresh 2010

Countdown is on.....can't wait.  Hoping Sondra has the baby before or after...just please, not during.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Baby

March 2010 (apparently I never posted this)

I went shopping Friday night after work.  I was so excited.  It's been a long, long time since I have been shopping and I got to go baby shopping.  My neice is having a baby girl and I love, love, love looking at itty, bitty pink baby clothes.  Oh, my it was fun.  (and oh my she is beautiful, Baby Bear is what we call her).

And Daddy was on duty. 

The kids love being home with him and always look forward to hanging out and things I think tend to be a little more laxed than when Mommy is home. 

I called home to say HI and thank you for giving me the evening to myself (and now (JULY) I think this may have been the last time) and there was some tension in Pat's voice.  So, I quickly decide how much information I want, if it's too much, I may have to come home early.  I ask what's up and he mentions MY BABY broke the toilet.  Not that he is using it yet, but somehow thought 'his guys', Luke Skywalker and Jedi, etc., wanted to go swimming and now they were somewhere between here and there.  Yikes, I sound very symphatic, but would it help for me to come home early, nay.  So, I wish him well and continue shopping.  Toilet is all better, and Owen continues to tell me 'I'm sorry I broke your toilet Mommy.'  Very sweet and loving.  I believe him.

Saturday Pat gets the toilet fixed and all is forgotten.

Fast-forward to Monday (two days later) I come home from work and walk into the bedroom to find my floor litered with peanuts, OWEN.....Then I hear Pat ask Owen if he told Mommy about the hot chocolate.  Apparently, Pat turned his back on Owen for just a few minutes and Owen decided to get two packages of hot chocolate out.  Now I was wise enough not to ask if he made a mess or ate any of it.  I didn't seen any reason to go there, what difference would it make.

What's gotten into my baby.  He does remind me that he's not a baby, but a Big Boy. (now, he is back to saying 'Momma, I am your baby', Yep, Owen you are my baby and why rush things)

 and then he looks at me like this:

What's a Mommy to do?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Do We 'Really' Need More Space?

I'm really not struggling with the thought of whether or not we should be adding more room onto our house, which is probably a good thing seeings how we have plunked down a whole lot of money for materials and quite a few people have given alot of their time and skills to help us accomplish this.  Which is actually really beginning to look like an addition.

I knew, even before finances were in place and plans for the addition were made, that the back of the house would be filled in, someday, somehow.  I clearly remember being outside, walking around the yard praying and thanking God for all He had done.  I mean, we now owned a house...that was huge. 

Let me go back a bit, when we first started praying about a house and talking serious about it, we very clearly knew what we could and wanted to spend, or more accurately what type of monthly payments we could manage.  So, as it goes, you talk with a realtor and they say you can be approved for almost double what your willing to spend.  Thankfully, though, we had thought about this first and knew what number we were willing to live with.  And so, this limited our search greatly, lol. 

I don't think our realtor understood that while we were eager to find a home, we were not eager to be stressed with a mortgage payment.  I think he might have been scary us or at the best letting us know, what we were looking for, was not going to be found.  He showed us houses that had been sitting for two or more years, ones that the foundations were uneven or had had water damage or my favorite was the house that had a notice on the door 'Buyer accepts all risk'. 

We continued to pray and trust God would show us where we were to be and He did not let us down.  We found a small house, close to our church, in the school district we wanted with a big, really big yard and in our price range.  We have now lived in our little house for five years.  Our two boys have been born here and we have outgrown our little house.  The children are getting bigger and need some quiet time, some time to be by themselves, some time not to be apart of the chaos and confusion that ends up right in our living room.

So yesterday we were all in the house, all except for Serena.  I called for her outside and then went out to find her having her own quiet time, private time, boys cannot find me time.

Do you know the girl had with her bug spray, her purse, her book she was reading and a watch hanging on one of the branches.  She had actually decorated.  I don't know, to be honest and don't fault me on this, exactly how long she had been out there, up there.  But she sure did look comfortable and peaceful. 

So, if you come to my door and the kids are running a muck and no one looks like their in charge, you might just want to check out the tree in our side yard, I may or may not be swinging from a branch.

In God's Love, sheila

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stranger On The Bus

About a month ago my van needed some work and I was fortunate to be able to take a bus to work.  Certainly not from my home, but then we don't live in a city and we like it that way.

Now, it became clear to me that when I mentioned I would be riding the bus, others did not exactly think I was fortunate. But I was really kind of excited about it.  That doesn't make me weird, does it?

I have only taken a bus once in my life and did not even get to finish going to my destination. To prove I could really do it on my own, if needed.  I mean its not like I am the most 'street wise' person, but I'm not naive either. So there I was taking a bus from the airport in Orlando, FL to Sanford, FL.  I had never been to FL before much less Sanford and I now that I think about it, I’m not sure I had an address with me (I must of though, right?). I did have a cell phone and money however. Well, it turns out my mom had went to the airport to pick me up (not that she called, remember I had a cell phone) but did get a hold of me on the bus and drove to one of the bus stops along the way to pick me up. So much for my independence.

But, back to my story. I was able to drop off the van at the garage and walk to the bus stop. Pat gave me all sorts of good advice, don’t talk to strangers, keep your purse in front of you, and don’t sit your drink down. Clearly he has ridden on many different buses, but we won't go there.

I’m not alone though, Sondra is going with me. She takes the bus twice a week, not at 8:00 in the morning though, but she at least knows the driver and the fees and the fact that they don’t give change.  This is a good to know.

The bus arrives right on time, 8:05 and it’s packed, no seats left except for completely in the back, so in we squeeze. The man on my right is busily writing words on a napkin on top of his Spiderman lunch box. He is older, probably 50ish, with thick glasses and a hook for a hand.  No, I'm not kidding.

Pat’s words are running through my head…don’t talk to strangers.... don’t talk to strangers…. don’t talk to strangers……

Hi, I say waiting for him to respond.  He looks at me and sheepishly says hi and goes back to what he is doing. He is concentrating very hard.

As the bus starts to go, he then tells me all he has written. I tell him what a great job he is doing and he puts his head on my shoulder and says ‘I like you’. (Pat’s words are running through my head…don’t talk to strangers.)

But I think ‘what a sweet man’. Sondra looks at me and starts laughing, thinking I have gotten quite the admirer. So I tell him thank you and it’s then that I realize he has Down Syndrome.

I try to hold my tears back but my eyes are filling up. I pray a silent prayer, ‘Lord, give me strength not to break down here, in front of Sondra and strangers’.

So I quickly begin to talk and make a few jokes and again the man next to me looks at me so sweetly, his smile goes all the way across his face and he says, ‘Your very nice’ and lays his head on my shoulder and leaves it there for a minute.

Well, that does it, the tears spill over and Sondra looks at me, so I quietly say, I think he has Down Syndrome, she looks and her eyes well up, and she starts to laugh, saying ‘thanks a lot Sheila, I have make up on you know.’ I spent the rest of the time making small talk with him and a few of his friends.

Who knew?? Who knew, but God, that I would get on a bus with men and women on their way to work at Opportunities Unlimited. Who knew, but God, the only seat available would be next to a sweet man who held all the same characteristics of my sweet nephew Davon.  Who knew, but God, that this sweet reminder was what I needed.

It only took about 15 minutes to get there and I so did not want it to end. But there we were, what could I do, I couldn’t exactly hug him, so I rummage in my bag and pull out some stickers to give him. He is so happy with them. He says goodbye and I wonder if I’ll ever ride the bus again.

Well, yesterday I needed to be to work early and the only way was to ride the bus. I wonder if my friend will be there. This time I am riding solo, but I’m not scared. I get on the bus and there he is, waving and smiling at me, and there’s an empty spot right next to him. This time I notice that he is copying the words from the bus stop, so I don’t say much until the bus starts going. He quickly lays his head on my shoulder (as if to say he remembers me) and continues to smile. I ask him about work and he tells me he likes to go to work and to work with his friends. 

Not too sure what he believes or if he knows a special day is coming up; I ask him if he is going to go to church on Easter ‘oh, yes’ he says. His friend behind us yells out ‘Church, I’m not going to church and waves his hand in the air’.  (This makes me laugh a little)  While my new friend shakes his head and says ‘I’m going to church, I like going to church’. Oh, Lord, please let me not have started a fight.  But, it is quickly forgotten and we talk about the nice weather and taking walks.

I sit on the bus looking around at the men and women, some happy and carefree, others grumpy and disagreeable. Each one of them have a story. Each one was created for a reason. Not to be forgotten, lost, or looked down upon. But to be loved, encouraged and befriended; the same as me.  I’m very glad that I was able to take the bus to work and so thankful that God chose to bless me with a new friend.  My friend’s name is Bruce.

In God's Love, sheila

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Difference Do It Make?

First let me recommend a book called 'Same Kind of Difference As Me'. 

Wow, a great book that had me doing alot of thinking.  Thinking about was I making a difference, am I doing the things I know the Lord is telling each of us to do.  I was underlining and highlighting for days. 

So then Pat brings me home from the library 'What Difference Do It Make'?  It's the follow-up.  Wasn't that thoughtful and insightful of him.  Very impressive.

I was very eager to begin reading and as I was reading through it, I was at times embarrassed, encouraged and hopeful.  It was good and I was enjoying it. 

Then, almost at the end, I read this:

'A troublesome thought formed at the edge of my mind:  was I so shallow, my do-gooding so superficial, that I could only set judging aside and help a person as long as his/her sinis didn't affect me?'

Well....there's something to think about.  CRAP (can I say that?)  UGHHH.....There's somthing poking me, prodding me, to NOT skip over that. 

Lord knows I want my heart to be right, I want to love others as he does...I want to be the women he created me to be...Lord help me, help me to see everyone through your eyes, help me to love everyone regardless of choices, decisions, and lifestyles.  Lord you know the struggle, help me to me more like you.

In God's Love, sheila

Friday, March 19, 2010

One Day Before Spring

Just realized I never shared some of our Winter Fun with ya, now that Winter has officially only one day left; I better hurry.

You see I have a good friend who wanted to take some photos of the wonderful, snow-filled ravine and waterfalls (Akron Falls). Great shots, well it would have been if she hadn’t of petered out on me the day of.  But what do you do when you’ve told four children they were going to go sledding. Well, you still go and take lots of fuzzy, out-of-focus pictures and have a great time.  And all's forgiven, plus I did get some great shots.  Well, I at least got some good shots.

This is my favorite

Now, let me tell you my husband is NOT a snow-type person. If he were to have his way, we would live in the AZ desert. I could not even imagine what that dryness would do to my skin, I usually need this time to recover from the summer sandals. But not too worry, we aren’t moving on out anyway.  I'm sure the Lord will wait until the addition is finished.

So, the first hurdle, keeping gloves on Owen’s hands. Pat stays far away from this, too stressful trying to keep five fingers straight while simultaneously pulling a glove on. The logistics of this really uses the right side of the brain so Pat wasn't really going to win anyway and has decided Owen would do just fine with a pair of mittens.  Another reason why God created Mommies...

Then when we first get there the girls take Tommy straight to the pond area only to bring he back wet and smiling. Why, why would they do that.  One or two reasons come to mind: either they don't know him as well as I do or they were trying to see how fast Tommy can get in trouble. Like that needs testing.  Thankfully, the jacket and pants were waterproof and he didn't complain, because we just got there and the fun had not even started and there was no way I was going to get Pat to come back on another day.  This is a once-a-winter event.

We went down a few times before the hike. I took Owen down once and the snow was sprinkling in our face; he did not like it, not one little bit. So then we hiked and it was beautiful, and serene. Everything was heavy with snow and the kids loved it and so did I.
After our hike we went back to sledding. Now don’t feel bad for us, we can actually afford sleds and have a couple of the blow up ones, but I’m pretty sure if we would of brought them, someone would of ended up in the creek. We were flying down that closed road with our Hefties.

So then it was back to sledding, Pat decided to take Owen to the playground. 

But then we got Pat to find his inner child and he had so much fun.

He even got Owen to go back down with him.

Sledding is exhausting!!!

But we are so glad to make these memories.

In God's Love, sheila

Monday, March 8, 2010

Life Of Moses

We had some fun times last night at KidZone. We had challenged our Youth to a Bible Trivia on the Life of Moses.

Some of my favorite quotes (from IMPACT, Youth Group):

 ‘I can’t believe I just got beat by a girl’

 ‘I’m just going to sit down, I have no idea’

 ‘Hey, that’s a trick question’

 Listing the 10 commandments, I asked if she wanted to start over, her reply, ‘No, that won’t even help.’

  'I was 1/2 right'

  ‘Is that even in the Bible?’

Our Youth were such great sports. KidZone had been learning about Moses for over six weeks and were prepared. I don’t think IMPACT knew just how prepared they were going to be but they handled it great.

It seems the win sparked some interest to go against the adults of our church. I’m still going with the kids, but I’m sure it will be much closer.

Here's a few pictures from the other night:


The fun is just beginning...

Mary scored the first point, they were on a roll

The very next round, it didn't last

They thought they knew....

At this point, they were really just trying to hit the bell first

KidZone 29 1/2
Impact 8 1/2

Studying Moses has been so rewarding and fasinating.  As the series was ending, I was feeling a little sad, the life of Moses is truly an amazing story of faith.  My favorite part is the last part, where God had Moses go to the top of Mount Nebo and look out at the land, the Promised Land.  What awe...I think of the birth of my first daughter; I knew it was going to be good (becoming a mother), but I had no idea how good it was truly going to be and I spent the entire first night awake in awe of just how perfect and awe-struck I was.  More than I even deserved. 

At this point, Moses was completely at peace with the fact that he was not going to enter, I am sure he spent hours laughing at the richness of the land, hours praising God and saying 'I had no idea it was going to be this great.' 

This week two wonderful, faithful members of our church went home to be with our Lord.  I would like to think, as they stood there, their reaction may be the same. 

In God's Love, sheila