Monday, March 31, 2008

Date night!

Last night I had the honor of going out on a date with my "Prince Charming". We try to go out on a date once a month but sometimes life and money prevent us from being able to. April is my birthday month so we sold some books on ebay so that we could go out and celebrate! Our date started out by my husband taking me shopping to buy some new clothes (I LOVE new clothes!!). After stopping at a couple of stores, and buying a pair of capris, shorts and a top, we were off to dinner. Brett surprised me by taking me to the "melting pot" (my FAVORITE-but very expensive, restaurant!). We had a beautiful, candle light dinner in a cozy little corner table that Brett requested. We then had to stop by walmart to pick up some shipping supplies (to mail the books to our ebay buyers)-while we we deciding on the size of the box we needed-Brett points up to the "bubble wrap" and says so sweetly "I need to wrap you up in bubble wrap because you are so precious" (what can I say.... The man really does try! :) From there we went to the beach and watched the sunset-it was a beautiful night, the weather was perfect and the sunset was breath taking! Then, we went to Starbucks and we sat and talked while we had our coffee (we lingered over our coffee, trying to time it so that by the time we got home the kids would be asleep :) ). I think it was one of the most amazing dates that I have ever been on-it was just perfect! I had such a good time with my price charming! I am so happy that, after 13 years of marriage, we still love to spend time together. I still miss him when he is at work, he still comes home for lunch everyday so that we can eat together. Brett has stood by me,through all of my health issues,he never complains about having to sometimes do more than his share of housework(he does laundry,dishes,scrubbing....) he works 2 jobs, takes time EVERY night to play with our kids and help them with their homework, (he is an amazing daddy!), he gives me a full massage EVERY night, he leaves me love notes, calls me during the day to tell me that he loves me and that he misses me, brings me my coffee and breakfast in bed EVERY morning...........I am so blessed to have him in my life. Sometimes, I think to myself "God must love me just a little bit more than all the other women in the world-because He chose to give Brett to me".

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Our dogs

We have three children and three dogs. We did not exactly "plan" it that way (the DOGS! NOT the children! :) ). Pooh bear, we got when we were first married-so, of course he is the oldest and our oldest daughter, Brooke, claims him. Second, we have "Scruffy". We got him when Spencer was 2 weeks old and Brett and I stopped by the pet store to pick up some dog food. The humane society was there trying to adopt out some dogs. There were all these adorable little puppies there, but in the same pen was this scruffy little dog that no one wanted to pet. We heard people saying "look how ugly that dog is!", but no one would pet him. This broke Brett's heart and he talked me into adopting the dog that Is SO ugly that he is actually cute! Next, we have "lady bug"-she followed me on a walk one day (about 4 years ago)-I kept yelling at her to "go home" but she just kept following me! When I approached a main highway, I picked her up so she did not run out infront of a car-it was then that I fell in love with her! She put her head on my shoulder-just like a little baby, and she was ours. (Of course, we put up flyers and advertised in the paper that we found her but no one claimed her.) When I came home with her that day I said to my husband "Look what I found, Honey!" and he laughed and said "Whose yard did you find her in!" (insinuating that I took her!). She was beautiful, well groomed and housebroken! Spencer immediately took to her and she became his! It is funny how each of the dog's personalities match up with the child that "owns" it. Brooke, is kinda quiet (NOT around us though! :) ) and she is the "head child" of the home. Pooh bear keeps to himself most of the time but ALWAYS keeps the other dogs inline! Funny thing is that he is the smallest but the other two dogs "listen" to him! He knows what each of the dogs are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do and he will bark at them when they are stepping out of line!Scruffy-is "different", he is very lovable but he he is just a little different. He will let you do anything to him! Maddie dresses him up like a baby all the time!Maddie is very lovable and she is very different-she is a creative soul! Lady bug-is LAZY and spoiled! Now, I would NEVER say that Bubba is EITHER one of those things, BUT............. (Truthfully,Spencer is really not lazy, but he NEVER wants to leave the house-even for "fun" things!). I really believe that Lady Bug was sent to us by God. Spencer was so young (3 years old) and with the problems he was facing he needed a "friend" like Lady! She loves him just as much I believe! He drags that dog around the house on a leash-he makes her lay down and then covers her up with his beloved "baa boo" (blanket)......... . So, while our house is very crowded, and our dogs are a lot of work-We love them all!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

God's Provision

Let me start this blog out by saying that when I created this blog I decided that I would be REAL-completely REAL when sharing my life. Sometimes I think that God has allowed so many trials in our lives so we can share our experiences with other people and I do not want to "waste" an experience just because of my pride or my fear. With that being said-some of what I am going to share is personal and I DO NOT want ANYone to respond to this blog by sending us money or sympathy! That is not my purpose! Please respect that. Here goes.....Yesterday morning we were out of gas, almost out of food (OUT of toilet paper!), and out of money! Prayer got us to Brooke's school in the morning but my "faith" was not strong enough to attempt to pick her up without getting gas first! :) So, my plan was to hunt through the house for change and hope the convienent store clerk did not laugh her head off when I handed her .75 cents for gas! So, after we got the kids off to school I started out on my walk-I just kept praying for a miracle-I pictured walking up to my house and seeing that someone had left us bags of groceries, or finding a $5 bill beside the road, or the mail coming early and there being the check that I have been waiting for for months! I just kept talking to God the whole walk begging Him to show us if there is something we are doing wrong that is keeping His hand from our finances. You know, I do not understand why we are in this spot-I can not pretend to comprehend it. We have been faithful in our tithes and offerings-we give when God says "Give". We WANT to give more and there are so many ways that I can think of to bless other people. So, we I hear on a "podcast" (I LOVE MY ipod!)what I already KNOW-"God wants His people to have MORE that enough so we can be a blessing to other people" I just get confused. Anyways..... I believe -REALLY believe that although we have been here for so long-it is not where we will stay!! So, back to my story-yesterday morning, when I got back from my walk, there were no groceries on my doorstep, I never found that $5 bill. But, before I could hunt for change I got an email from someone wanting to buy something we were selling on "Craig's list"( (love it!). And a few minutes later someone else emailed me about a seperate item we were selling! So, with in one hour of having to go pick up Brooke (on .75 cents worth of gas!) I had $90.00 cash in my hands! Both items sold within an hour! I filled my gas tank, picked up Brooke, bought TOILET paper (sometimes, ya just gotta laugh to keep from crying!) and food and I was still able to meet my friends to celebrate a birthday (which I thought I would have to cancel! It was our monthly "GNO" Girl's Night Out-a group of us "Moms" take one night off a month "catch up" on life outside our homes and we talk for hours over "Starbucks"!)! So, while I did not get an angel knocking at my door with money( I DO have some of those stories to tell too!), I DID get a miracle! God provided, once again, for my family. And, one day, I believe that we WILL have "more than enough" and I can put all my ideas, on how to bless other people, to good use!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Egg hunts

Today, Brooke, Maddie, Spencer, Noah and I went to 2 different egg hunt events at a couple of local churches. The kids had a great time! I wanted to share some of the pictures I took.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

accepting......what is.

I think that it is really hard to accept your true limitations but yet also push past the limitations that you "think" you have and strive to accomplish more. It scares me to death to think of being complacent and not to be stiving for a much higher goal but, at the same time I am learning that, for now, my body does have real limitations. It frustrates me to NO end, not knowing what I am really capable of and also being afraid to find out. Mostly, I am talking about my physical limitations but really, it can really go much deeper into other areas of our lives as well. My family will all be in Georiga this weekend, celebrating Easter, but I know that I am not able to drive that far-it would only cause more pain and I really would not be able to enjoy myself. But, I feel badly that my kids will be missing out on spending the holiday with their Grandparents and cousins. I sat down and had myself a good cry yesterday over this very thing-when I was done, I stood up and said aloud " I REFUSE to feel sorry for myself!".I thought back to the concert that we just attended-Jeremy Camp recently lost his wife,who was just 21 years old, to cancer-my children may have to miss out on things sometimes, but they still have their mother. I also remembered the blog I wrote on complaints-although, I must add, I have adjusted my feelings slightly on this matter. I feel guilty when I complain or feel sorry for myself or even cry over my situation and I plead with God not to "strike me down" (only half way kidding about that) for the way I feel. Well, yesterday, I realized that God does not mind me crying out to Him as long as I am also thankful for what I do have and I pick myself back up and keep going (without complaining). So, I never meant to minimize another person's (or my own) pain, trials, situation just because there is someone else who has it worse. To the person who is going through the situation-it is very real and often overwelming -but I refuse to stay in that place of self pitty and I refuse to enable another person to stay in that place either. That may seem harsh, but I certainly do not want to end up like the Israelites-walking around in the desert for 40 years complaining-and never getting anywhere. So, while I may continue to have days where I will cry over my situation-I will try harder not to complain-I am ready to get out of the desert and into the promised land!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Toby Mac

Last night was the Toby Mac concert-Brett and I bought the girls tickets for Christmas, we only purchased 3 tickets since the concert was originally scheduled for a Saturday (Brett works on Saturdays and Bubba would not sit through a concert). The concert was rescheduled for Sunday-I still planned on me and the girls going alone since the seats were assigned and we would not all be able to sit together if we purchased another ticket for Brett. Brett did not want me to have to drive since it was in Tampa and it bothers my back to drive for long distances (I do better stretched out with the seat layed back)-Brett INSISTED that he drive us there and he planned on sitting out in the car while we were in the concert. I felt really bad thinking that he would be out there waiting on us-but he insisted! When we were walking up to the ticket gate we were approached by a guy wanting to sell us tickets-I showed him our tickets and he agreed to trade my 3 tickets (cheap seats) for 4 VIP tickets-for $80.00. I, being the bargin hunter that I am, talked him down to $50.00! So, for that extra $50.00 Brett got in and we got dead center seats so close that Toby Mac could "spit on us" (as Maddie put it!)! We ALSO got access to the VIP room-where they served dinner-NO charge and have private bathrooms. The concert ROCKED! My girls were SO excited and the had so much fun! We even got to meet a couple of the band members after the show (we hung out a while after the concert hoping to meet Toby)! The girls got their T-shirts signed too. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I was allowed to bring in my camera-I was stopped at the door and they almost did not let me in with it (no pro cameras allowed) but when they called the security guard over, he recognized us, from a church we went to years ago, and he let me in with it!! While I was taking pics-a friend of Jeremy Camp's drummer (Jeremy opened for Toby) came over to me and told me that the drummer would like me to email him the pics that I had taken . I actually got some really good pics-I now need to find the time to edit them and email them to the guy. So, to end my story, we had so much fun and we made memories that will last a lifetime!!

Toby Mac Pics

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My day

Spencer and Noah

Today has been a very busy and challanging day. It started out in a freenzy from the moment I woke up. Noah (my 3 year old "second son"-long story) came over at about 9:00, he wanted to come spend time with his "Mama Sherri" (as he affectionately calls me). Then we left to take Maddie to her guitar lesson-while she was there, Noah, Brooke and I ran a couple of errands. We left there and picked up Brett and Bubba from the church (the boys had a "mock Pow Wow" and spent the night at the church)-from there we brought Brett home so he could get ready for work. The kids and I then went to the park, where the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community had an egg hunt. Spencer really likes being able to go to "DHH" events-he is always amazed that other kids wear hearing aids too! I think it took him a while to realize that it was a DHH event-even though I told him that he was going to see kids from his old school (he attended a school for the deaf and hard of hearing for 3 years). At first he came running to me and said "mommy! I saw someone with RED hearing aids!". I could not understand why he was so amazed by that-especially since he once had red hearing aids too(the kids can choose the color of the ear mold-part of the hearing aid that goes into their ear-he usually chooses 2 colors and has them swirled-currently green and yellow). But, when he came up to me again and told me that he saw someone with GREEN hearing aids and said "MAN! there sure are a lot of people weaing hearing aids here and I saw people doing sign language!", I realized that he did not know it was a DHH event. I think that it is really good for him to be around other hard of hearing children and to see that there are other children like him. Anyways-by the time we left the park I was beyond tired! I then came home and finished up a project that I have been working on for a friend-a very challanging project that has taken me about 8 hours-something that should have taken me about 2 hours-but there was a computer glitch! My girls and I then watched 2 "Little Houses"-we are almost finished watching the entire series. Now, I am about to go tuck them in and get ready for a little "me time"-which will propably last about 5 mins before I drift off to sleep myself! Busy day....but a fun day! I loved spending time with my children and with my little Noah!! Tomorrow-is the TOBY MAC concert-the girls got tickets for Christmas and they are SOO excited about going!! Look for a blog-complete with pics soon!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My "Prince Charming"

Sunday evening we were riding along, running a few errands, when we came up to a stop light. Brett stopped at the light, then he opened the car door and took off running across another lane of traffic! The kids and I were in complete SHOCK wondering what in the world this man was doing now! Within seconds the light changed to green and there we were, sitting at the green light waiting for Brett to return to the car-when he ran back to the car he had a single flower in his hand! He had spotted a flower growing in the median and he wanted to pick it for me! I thought of all the times I have received flowers and I could not remember a single time that it meant more to me. Of course, after I told him how incredibly sweet it was, I smacked him and told him to never do that again! I love that our children get to see the love that we have for each other and they able to see what marriage can be-I think that it gives them a huge sense of security knowing that their parents are truly in love.

Wishing you "Sundays"

Sunday is the ONE day that Brett has off -it is our "family" day. It seems like no matter what we are doing, just being together is enough! Some Sundays we go feed the turtles, ducks and fish (that seem to SMILE at us since there is "no fishing" in this particular lake!), some Sundays we go see a movie and walk the mall, or we may we go to the local REC center to play sports. What I love most about Sunday is just being able to spend the day together, laughing and sharing with each other! Today, we made the most out of our Sunday-we went to church, stopped by the grocery store-we got "hit up" by the Girl Scouts and we bought a box of cookies-we left the parking lot and turned around and bought ANOTHER box of cookies!! (My Prince Charming knew that I bought the PB cookies since HE liked them and he wanted to buy me the coconut ones since he knew that those were the ones I like-sweet! huh?) We came home and ate our "crock pot" lunch (which in itself was an experience!!-the kids had me laughing and crying at the SAME time because of the craziness-I think you had to be there to understand!),we took a nap , went to the mall so we could buy socks (the WHOLE family needed them!) and so the kids could spend some money they had. We had to stop by Target, then Walmart,came home and paid some bills and now we are ready for bed. My point is that to most people this would seem like any ordinary, boring day but when you live the "crew" I live with NOTHING is EVER boring! I am so thankful for the "Sundays" in life-they mean more to me than anything else ever could! I am so blessed to have my family-each member is so unique and I am grateful that we all still WANT to be with each other. So, while each and every day is a blessing from God-Sundays are the days I love the most. Wishing you all happy "Sundays",

God's plan for my health

Many of you know that I have been waiting YEARS to get the medical help that I have needed. Well, today, I am excited to report that I am officially covered and I was able to select a plan that pays 100% of everything! No copays-NONE! I am just thankful to God that he has brought me to this place and I am finally going to be getting the answers and the help that I have been waiting for! You know, I am learning to look at life and the circumstances we are in very differently (I say "WE" because when one person in a family is ill it effects the WHOLE family and because my family's trials are not limited to my health issues). I am learning to see our trials -not just as learning experiences, but also as preparation for the days when I will be able to share my stories with other people, who are going through the same things-and I will be able to encourage them and share how God has brought us through it all (in faith). Unless you have been in my shoes, you will never really understand how worthless the world can make you feel-when I was told that I had a tumor but, because I did not have insurance (or the $) I could not even get a biopsy done, I felt like my life meant nothing. Even though I know that to the ones who love me my life is priceless-it did not stop me from feeling so "little". The doctor told me -in front of my children that he would not biopsy the tumor unless I paid for it all upfront-it did not matter that I was a wife, a mother, a human being- my life was worth nothing to them without money. I mention this because-I have experienced it and I know that there are MANY others who are going through the same things and NO ONE will be able to reach them but someone who has been there. My friends and my family tried to encourage me and tell me how much I meant to them but I was the ONLY one with a tumor in my body, and I was the one that did not matter to the world. God has been faithful to me in so many ways-and when I get better (and maybe even WHILE I am getting better) I will be able to bring hope and compassion to others in need. A life without hope is HARD to live-I want to be the one who shares hope in a REAL way. I am so grateful that God opened the doors for me to get the insurance I need and, while I would have rather just been HEALED, I know that HE has a plan for my life and I am learning to trust Him.


This morning I met my best friend for coffee and we were talking about everything that is going on in our lives. Though life is often challanging for both of us (in the same ways) we spoke about the blessings that we DO have. We remembered back to a day several months ago when we were sitting at a table with about 6 other mothers-as we sat there, each mom at the table let out her frustrations with life, husbands and children. One mom began to complain about having to go BACK to "All Children's Hospital" the following week to have tubes put into her child's ears (for chronic ear infections) AGAIN! I can TOTALLY relate to this Mom's frustrations as "ACH" has felt like a second home to me many times but, what shocked me was when another mom (new to our group) spoke up and told us that her 5 year old son was currently admitted into that very same hospital. When we ask for more info she explained that her son was dying with cancer! WOW! Here we were all wallowing in our self pitty and this mom just sat quitely and listened to us. That day reaffirmed for me that there is ALWAYS someone else who has it worse than I do. I learned this lesson for the first time when I sat in that hospital holding my baby girl (Madeline) and I got the news that she had suffered a hemmorage in her brain at only 8 days old (after being born with no complications, ON her due date and sent home with a clean bill of health 2 days after she was born). Only a mother would understand the pain that sort of news brings-but I quickly learned that the patient next door to her room (also named Madeline) was dying. When we left the hospital (about a week later) were were warned about the dangers and the complications that her hemmorage could cause. We were told that she may have brain damage (and that only time would tell) and that she may never walk due to ANOTHER / seperate issue with her spinal cord. Praise God that He has brought her through ALL of that (and MUCH more) with NO side effects-in fact, I often tell people thst she heard EVERY word that the doctors spoke over her and she made it up in her mind to defy all of them! She walked at NINE months old (the youngest of all my kids) and she EXCELS in her school! Ok, back to my point-that time was very hard for me but I tried to keep the right perspective knowing that so many moms in that hospital would have loved to switch places with me. Our son, Spencer, was found to be hearing impaired at 2 years old-the ONLY thing that has gotten me through that (and his more recent diagnosis of "auditory proccessing disorder") is remembering back to the days spent with Maddie in the hospital (and Brooke when she had kidney surgery-I told you it felt like a second home for me!) and remembering that life could be MUCH worse. So, when I think about the situation I am in with my health and when the ends do not quite meet at the end of the month I am going to try to remember the blessings in my life-there really are so many!!