"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday "Big" Baby Boy!

This is a typical "Adam" moment with his little sister, Amanda.

Today my sweet boy, Adam, turned 24 years old. It's hard to believe that the little guy who was a totally and complete Mama's boy hiding behind me when people approached is 24. Where has time gone?


I am so very proud of the young man that you've become. You are such a hard worker, a man who loves his family, God and his siblings. You make me laugh often with your silly sense of humor, but what I love most about you is your heart.

I thank God everyday for allowing me the honor to raise you and I thank you for being such an amazing son. Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

With all my love (as much as the whole wide world and back again!)....


I'll post pictures of tonight's dinner on Sunday since we are leaving for the weekend to have our early Christmas get together with my Dad and family in Miami. I can't wait!

Everyone have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Do you remember Steve Martin in the movie The Jerk? Remember when he was running around like a maniac screaming "The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!"
Well folks, that was me this morning.

I am giddy with excitement! But it isn't phone books that arrived. Our Christmas cards are here! Can you feel the excitement? I'm off to start writing addresses down and joyfully go make that long line at the post office as I kiss each one goodbye. To my dear online bloggy friends, I will post our card on here next week wishing each of you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

With love,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

About A Star...or two!

Early this morning, Anna Grace, AJ and I headed up north again to take Anna Grace to her last post-op appointment at Shriners Hospital. She got a clean bill of health and was told to return in one year to begin the proceedings for her final (hopefully) surgery on her hand.

She really is a star. Her recovery continues to amaze me. I took her to the park last week and was in awe at how she was scaling the monkey bars using both hands. She still had a couple of stitches that hadn't dissolved completely on the hand where she had surgery. It didn't phase her. We are now beginning massages 2 times a day in the areas where the skin was grafted to help provide elasticity and we're good to go. Truly amazing! Thank you, Jesus!

After a long day at the hospital, we arrived home at about 5 o'clock and after we had some down time we went to do some shopping. On the way home, we decided to drive through the neighborhood so that the kids could see all of the decorated houses. There was street after street lined with house after house glowing with beautiful lights. There were Santa Clauses on their sleighs, reindeer, Frosty The Snowman figures and everything that you could possibly imagine having to do with Christmas.

Sadly, everything but what Christmas really is about. The birth of our Savior. As we listened to the little ones scream out "Look at that one!" with each passing house, my heart felt heavier and heavier. We went up and down rows of streets and not one single house had a nativity set outside. Not one house reflected the real meaning of Christmas. Don't get me wrong. I love everything that comes with Christmas, the carols, the lights, the tree, and of course, jolly old St. Nick, but by driving down the streets you'd never know that it was the birth of the King of Kings that was being celebrated.

For years, I've been wanting a nativity outside our home. Every year as Christmas approaches, we've never been able to have one because we've been too tight financially to splurge on a big nativity set, which ranges in the hundreds. So, this year knowing how important it is to us to teach the kids the real meaning of Christmas, I bought myself a gift. I got this:

Yes, it inflatable. And YES, I LOVE it! It's not elaborate, it's certainly not a Fontanini Nativity Set but it says exactly what I wanted it to say, "Jesus is the reason for the season!" There's rarely a day that goes by that we don't go outside with the little ones and talk about Mary and Joseph not finding a place to stay and how Jesus was born in a manger. Their little minds are filled with questions that sometimes move me to the core. Kai asked me one night, "Mama, Mary sad cause baby Jesus cold. He outside sleep?" My heart wanted to delve into what I could only imagine Mary's feelings must've been when she gave birth to the Christ child, but I simply responded with, "Mary and Joseph made sure that baby Jesus was warm and was all wrapped up." I could see a small sigh of relief coming from him.

We've also taken the opportunity to talk about the star shining brightly and how the the wise men followed the star to find the light of the world, Jesus. They soak up each word I say and impress me at how much they retain when I ask them to tell Daddy about what they learned. Even at their young ages; two, three and four years old, I could see their blossoming love for our Lord and I am forever thankful to God for allowing me the honor and privilege of teaching them about the most important gift they will ever receive. The gift of salvation coming from the baby that was born on that first Christmas Day.

I often think of our Blessed Mother and how she must've cradled that newborn baby in her arms on that first Christmas. I wonder if she knew at that time, that a short 33 years later, she'd be cradling Him again, only this time, after he had willingly suffered and been cruxified for all of humanity. Can you imagine how sad it must make Mary to think that her son is being slowly pushed out of Christmas in today's world?

The majority of my neighbors are not "church-going" people and that's OK, it's never stopped me from telling them about my Lord when the need arises. But God is using that inexpensive, inflatable nativity in my yard in a big way. Last week, a little 5 year old that lives down the street was walking around the block with his Mom. I was outside with the kids. As they are turning the corner in front of our house, the little boy stops and says, "Mom, look that's Mary and Jesus." I stop and said, "Wow! You're right. That is Mary and Jesus." I know through a few conversations with them that they don't go to church and God really isn't a big priority in their lives. The Mom looks at me and smiles. I smile back and she says, "We were riding bike here the other day and D. asked me who those people were. I had to stop and tell them that it was Jesus and his mother and father. He wanted to know more so I may go out and get him a little story about the nativity for Christmas." I smiled and said aloud, "That's great!" My heart was yelling out, "Thank you, Jesus."


Monday, December 15, 2008

It Definitely Was Not Me!

It's been a couple of weeks since I've ridden myself of any guilt, had I done anything wrong, so I figured with Christmas coming soon I'd better get back to it.

It is without a doubt not me that has been running to the mailbox every day to see where the heck my Christmas cards are! It is not me that for the first time ordered her cards early and they have not been delivered after it says they were shipped over a week ago! I refuse to admit that it is I that is obsessed with checking the mailbox several times a day, even after the mailman has gone by, in the hopes that he might have forgotten my prized package. And I know there isn't any way that it could have been me that called the inept company whom I ordered the pictures from all weekend after not having received them in Saturday's mail, only to find out that they are only open Monday-Friday. I would never have tried that same number 4 times Saturday and 3 times Sunday also with the hopes that maybe some lone worker would have decided to go in for some overtime, or even to check to see if he left his coat there and by some chance pick up the phone if he heard it ringing over and over. That would not have been me because I clearly heard the recording saying "I'm sorry. You have reached us when we are closed. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 to 6 eastern standard time." Nope, that would have been ridiculous and a complete waste of time to attempt to call knowing that they were not open.

Update from a very UNHAPPY camper: I spoke to the company who printed our Christmas cards. They were shipped on the 8th. Therefore, we should receive our cards by the 29th? HUH??????!!!!!!!!! So, to my family and friends that have graciously mailed out their cards to us, we are thoroughly enjoying them to the fullest as they slowly begin to fill out the shape of a Christmas tree on our wall.

As for our cards, please be patient, you will no doubt receive them before New Years eve! Maybe you can pretend they say "Hoping You Had a Merry Christmas" instead of just plain 'ol over-used Merry Christmas! GRRRR!!!! (Next year I'm heading to Walgre*ns, for half the price!)

It was not me who went with the family to a Christmas show at a nearby church and gazed at my 3 little ones in awe of how darn cute they were! It certainly was not me that thought over and over how blessed I was to have the cutest kids in the auditorium. And lastly, it was absolutely not me who glowed with pride (although I take no credit) every time we were stopped by someone to tell us how beautiful our children were! I figured as long as I was thinking it and not saying it out loud it wouldn't be bragging, right?

Then we left said Christmas party and went to dinner. As we sat waiting for our food to arrive, it wasn't me who jumped, completely startled, as I was hit in the eye by someone who had blown the wrapping of their straw at me, all while I was singing Happy Birthday, Jesus with Anna Grace. It was not me who completely turned around to see that the culprit of said action was not the children, but indeed sweet husband, who was laughing hysterically as I rubbed my poked eye. Furthermore, to my absolute horror, it was not me that sat pretending I wasn't watching sweet husband show our 4 year old, Kai, how to blow the wrapping from the straw followed by teaching him how to perfect his aim. I did not object knowing that my sweet boy would probably not be able to blow the wrapping only to find out that those cute little lips perfectly blew the wrapping not only across the table, but hit me in the other eye! Needless to say, I was not amused although I admit that I did not unsuccessfully break out in laughter with the two of them as they high-five'd each other.

Speaking of blowing straw wrappings. There is no way that it was me that was at Starbucks, again with the family, having our coffees and smoothies last week when I suddenly bunched up the wrapper of a biscotti into a tight little ball and flicked it across the table at sweet husband. Nope, it wasn't me that totally missed sweet husband and gasped as I saw the tightly-formed little ball fly right into a man's face that was seated at the table before us. Again, it was certainly not me that slid down in my seat and said a quick prayer hoping he wouldn't realize that it was I that had been the cause of the little red spot on his forehead, but to no avail. It was not me who sheepishly looked up and said, "I am so sorry! I was playing around with my husband. I meant to flick it at him. I am so sorry." The man smiled and said, "I thought something hit me." About that time, Amanda and sweet husband had realized what I had done and were laughing so loud, along with the man, that I buried my face into my coffee and slid down in my chair until I was about Kai's height. I would never have done anything like that because that would be totally immature and I teach my children good table manners, always.

And finally, it was not me that totally and completely forgot to change A.J.'s diaper, that he had on since morning, and put him in the car as we went about town Christmas shopping for about 5 hours, only to realize it when I went to put him in his car seat and he was completely soaked. Poor baby! It was not me that then decided that he could not wait until we got home to be changed and decided to strip him in the parking lot, change his diaper and his clothes while laying in the front seat of the Mama mobile with his cute "nakey" bum being shown to all passersby.

For more Not Me Mondays, head over to MckMama's site!

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