Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Organizer

While Soaring Amongst The Clouds and I were running around getting much needed supplies for my Warrior, the rest of my children were home. Daughter of the King was cleaning the pool pump. She's been diligent with trying to keep the pool in swimming conditions. She also ironed some of my Knight's work shirts. G.I. Joe was doing his school work. The Warrior was resting on the couch. Still Waters was busy. What was she busy with... organizing my pantry. Did I ask her to do this? No, she noticed it needed to be done and did it.

Being that we are a, ah... larger family, our children take turns with house chores, kitchen duty and with pool/outside maintenance. When you have kitchen duty, you are in charge of everything in the kitchen. You are the one that plans the menu, does the grocery list, helps do the grocery shopping, do the cooking and keep the kitchen clean. The pantry is a "high traffic" area. It's not easy to keep it in order.

For now, only the girls have kitchen duty. The boys help at times, but for the most part the girls are in charge of the kitchen. Oh, the boys are in charge of vacuuming the kitchen though. This is Still Water's week to have kitchen duty. She has wonderful organization skills. So while I was gone, she took it upon herself to organize the pantry. It needed it.

Here's the end result. You see, being OCD "can" be a good thing. Just joking Baby Girl! You did a PHENOMENAL job! You ROCK! Now we can find the twinkies at a glance. ;o)

All Is Not Well

My Warrior has been ill since Friday. He started to complain of a headache. Well, he really didn't complain. I happened to looked at him and he was silently crying cause his head hurt so much. Took his temp and it was 102.9.

Off to the tub he went to bring the fever down. He had no other symptoms other than a headache. So I gave him some motrin. Throughout the day I kept a cold compress on the top of his head. I got up a couple times during the night to make sure he didn't spike a fever. He didn't.

He spent all day Saturday with a headache and a low grade fever 101+. Oh along came a belly ache. My poor Baby.

Sunday morning, not only did he have head ache and a belly ache but he had diarrhea to go along with it. Time to stop the motrin (too strong for the belly). Charcoal capsules does wonders on belly aches. So that's what I gave him. His belly ached all day and made a couple of trips to the bathroom because of the big "D". He had a temp on and off through out the day. His head started to feel better.

Monday morning started up with him vomiting and the head ache was back. Poor thing. Now not only did he have a temp, a head ache, a belly ache and the big "D", the "V" came into the picture. I spent the day running back and forth with him.

Last night I had him sleep in the living room. We have a nice futon bed in there. I slept on the family room couch. I can hear him better from there. Our bedroom is to far away. I kept getting up throughout the night. Making sure the cold compress stayed cold and on his head. He slept soundly. Thank you Lord.

My Warrior is a remarkable 10 year old. Through all he's been through and is going through he faintly smiles. On more than one occasion, he's looked at me and said, "Mom, thank you for taking good care of me." Be still my heart...

He's been sick with this virus for 5 days now. There is no sign of him getting better. Lord, I know that no prayer is too small or unimportant. Please heal my Baby.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Do more...

Do more than exist

Do more than touch

Do more than look

Do more than read

Do more than hear

Do more than think

Do more than talk
...say something.

~John H. Rhoades~

Thursday, May 24, 2007

8 Things About Me

I was tagged by Dolce Bellezza to do the, 8 Things About Me meme. Not that I like to talk about myself, but I liked being tagged. Why? That means that she wants to get to know me better. I enjoy getting to know people. I might not ever meet them in person, but we will meet once we get to Heaven.

Here how this works:
1-Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.

2- People who are tagged, write a blog spot about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.

3- At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.

4- Don't forget to leave a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Now, with all that being said, here are 8 Things about me...

1~ I fascinated by the Italian language. Always have been. I think is sounds so romantic. I'm trying to learn it. My goal is to speak it fluently. I hope to purchase the Rossetta Stone: Language Learning cd's. Since it's so expensive, I will have to use whatever our library has and Alta Vista- Bable Fish Translation online as a resource.

2~ I enjoy traveling. Out of all the place I've been to, Italy was my favorite. Hope to someday visit it again.

3~ Steak & mashed potatoes and Lasagne are my favorite food to eat.

4~ If my Knight has to umpire a baseball game, I go watch him ump. Even if my children don't have games. I love to see him in his umpire gear. Like the saying goes, " I hate to see him go, but love to watch him leave." ;o)

5~ My children say I am predictably unpredictable. I take that as a compliment. :o) I'm spontaneous. I'll wake up and say, "We are going to.... today."

6~ I collect teacups. I don't like any kind of tea, but I love the art of having tea. So when we "have tea", I'll fill my teacup with coke, lemonade or pink lemonade.

7~ The only vegetables I eat are, potatoes, corn, lettuce, spinach (only in a salad or in a quiche) and tomatoes. I only like carrots if it's in chicken soup or if it's raw with some kind of dip. I know tomatoes are considered a fruit, but I have to list it as a vegetable so my list "vegetable like list" doesn't look small.

8~ Whenever I hear a song I like, I quickly jot down a verse from the song. Even if I'm driving. I then look it up online to see what the name is and who sings it. Music moves me. Not just physically, but emotionally.

I would enjoy tagging all of you. Since it's an 8 person meme, I can only tag 8. Let's see, who shall I tag? I'll tag 8 of the blogs I most frequently visit. My list is in no particular order. :o)

The Gate Keeper

Christine at: Are We There Yet?

Robin at: Around The Island

Boltbabe at: Raise The Cup

Rock Chick at: Life is RANTastic!

JAM at: Least Significant Bits

Emily at: Emily's 5 Blessings

Kate at: Just Another Day In Paradise

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Armed Forces Day

Yesterday, Saturday, May19, 2007 was Armed Forces Day. Patriotic holidays are very important in our family. We know that freedom is not free. It's bought with sacrifice and blood.

Today in honor of our soldiers we watched, We Were Soldiers. My Knight and I have seen this movie a couple of times. My Knight has even read the book. I haven't read it, but I dusted it off and will start to read it. Our Fair Maidens have seen it before too. This was the first time we allowed our Squires to watch it.

As we were watching it, we made sure they understood what was going on. How we, the Americans came to be there. We talked about how some Americans did not want our soldiers there. How there were protests all around. How some soldiers came home and weren't welcomed back. We talked about how hard it was for them to do the job they had to do and come home to be hated for it.

My Warrior sat next to me. He sat there silently, with tears rolling down his cheeks. I too was crying. We were all silently thinking the same thing. How can man be so cruel? Why does man want to govern and rule over others? What gives man the right to elevate themselves and crush those beneath them?

My dad is Cuban. He came to the United States right when Castro was taking over Cuba. He came here legally, in search of a better way of life, in search of freedom. Freedom he didn't have in Cuba. I was born and raised here, in the United States. So I've lived in the land of the free all my life. I never had to endure what my dad had to endure. But I've heard him tell the stories. Not only have I heard him tell the stories. I've heard stories from my Abuelo Manolo (my grandfather), my Abuela Eugenia (my grandmother), my in law, my uncle, other family members and family friends.

We Americans take so much for granted. We have forgotten how we became the land of the free. It's because of the brave ones. The ones that stood their ground. The courageous ones that have fought and died so that we could be free. The valiant ones that lay their live on the line today, so that we can sleep soundly in our beds at homes. Because of their sacrifice, we are free to do and say. Every time I think about this, I'm filled with gratefulness and sadness. Grateful because, I feel unworthy. Sadness because others think nothing of it. My heart is heavy.

If you haven't seen the movie, We We Soldiers, take the time to see it. It has language and it's graphic. It will tug at your heart. Then take the time to see the documentary. You will get to hear from the actual Lt. Colonel Hal Moore, his wife- Julie Moore, Joe Galloway- the photographer (and author of the book this movie was based on) and Major Bruce "Snake" Crandall- one of the helicopter pilots. You'll hear first account of what went on. How the wives dealt with what happened. You will see actual footage from 1965, what happened in The Valley of Death- the landing zone X-Ray.

Lord, I want to thank you for your unconditional love, for your mercy and grace. I pray that you watch over our soldiers and over their loving families. Bless them ten folds. Help them to do what needs to be done. To help those that aren't able help themselves. Bring them back safely to their beloved.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Best Children In The World!

Yep, I've got the best children in the world. As I'm writing this, four of them are outside, weeding, raking and working around our pool area. The other one is inside in the kitchen getting ready to start dinner.

They are all doing this without being told to. I didn't suggest it. I haven't talked about it. I haven't complained about how it looks. They took it upon themselves to get out there and do what needed to be done.

I enjoy gardening. I find it very relaxing to be outside, messing with soil, planting and uprooting. I just can't do it. Being that I have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE for short), I can't be out in the sun much or do anything that stresses me out.

Soaring Amongst The Clouds, Still Waters, G.I. Joe and The Warrior are all busy working outside. We don't like to use mulch. Mainly because roaches love it. Instead we use dried up dead grass. It does the same work that mulch does, it helps keep the plants moist. Also, it helps to prevent weed from growing. Still Waters is the one that read up on it. I know it doesn't look real nice right now, but once we plant some more, it will look much nicer.

Coming out of our pool patio to the right is this small area. Right now we only have a lavender plant. We are going to add some other herbs to this area. It's an accessible area. Our barbecue grill is on the inside pool patio. Our pool patio door leads to the family room/kitchen area.

These are our gardenias. It's one of my favorite flowers. My Abuelo Manolo ( my dad's dad) use to grow them. I remember their home always had the scent of gardenias. Sometimes on their dinning table, they would have a bowl filled with water, with gardenias floating in the bowl. It looked so pretty and smelled great. We plan on adding some other flowers too. It has to be low maintenance. We are a very busy family.

Daughter of the King is busy inside. She is cooking. She's making Grilled Chicken Breast, Roasted Zucchini and Tomatoes with Oregano and Lemon.

Here we have the zucchini and tomatoes. She didn't make lots of it cause she wasn't sure if the others were going to like it or not.

Here we have the grilled chicken. She seasoned it with oregano, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I'll post an update later on.

* Update: The meal was a hit. Well at least with my Knight. He's a vegetable lover. I'm not a vegetable lover. The tomatoes were great, but I don't care for zucchini. None of our children (including the chef) liked the vegetables. Daughter of the King did a great job cooking. The chicken was delish! The veggies... ah... well... we aren't too into veggies.

Great job Baby Girl! We'll find a veggie we all like other than potatoes and corn. ;o)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Warrior...

...smacked the ball and hit a line drive down between 1st and 2nd base. He was safe on first. What's the big deal? Well let me tell you... he's a 10 year old, who hit the ball off a little league age 12 year old who turned 13 during the season! HOOYAH!!!

This was his second hit off of Big Al. Mama was on cloud 9. Considering that my throat was not up to all the hollering because of the procedure I had done on Monday, I still belted out my usual, YEAH BABY!!! My Warrior had the biggest grin. He looked right at me... I know he heard his mama.

One of our family motto's is "Hard Work, Pays Off". The other one is, "Max Out or Block Out". Yeah I know, we are a little hard core. :o)

To celebrate his hit, he chose to eat BK. So, off I go to get lunch....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Slept The Day Away

In 1997 I was diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus. Due to having that, I have to have an upper endoscopy done yearly. So I had it done yesterday.

It doesn't hurt and it isn't uncomfortable. Ok, two Benadryl put me to sleep. So anything else that they give me, really knocks me out. I slept most of yesterday away. I remember little bits and pieces, but that's about it. By the end of the evening, I was a little more ah... with it.

About Barrett's, the only reason I found out I had it was because I was having these chest pains, that made me think my heart was going to jump out of my chest. They ran so many different test. It showed that I had GERD. I was in disbelief! That can't be! I've never had any "acid reflux" symptoms. I never felt what they say is an "acid taste" in my mouth. My doc said the reason I didn't "feel" the symptoms was because that through years of having this, the acid had already eaten away some of my lining in my esophagus. Due to that, for the time being they are treating me with "the purple pill"- Nexium. URGH! I'm not a very compliant patient. I dislike taking meds or any kind of pills. But what example would I be setting to my children if I didn't do what's best.

So, for any of you reading this, if you have repeat heartburn, go and get yourself checked out. It might not be anything but it's best to be safe than sorry. Your loved ones would love to have you around longer. :o)

Oh and I just had a "flash recall" of when I was leaving the hospital. The nurse had wheeled me out and we were waiting for my Knight's car to come into view. When it did I pointed out to it and said, "There's my Knight". It was all like a dream, but I remember him laughing about it. He must of thought I was really out of it. Little did he know, that my Babe "really" is my Knight in shining armor. :o)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

37 Years Ago Today...

On Sunday, May 10, 1970 a little baby boy was born. He was an answered prayer to two little girls. He was born on Mother's Day.

Soldier Boy's birth was joyfully celebrated. His proud dad took his two little girls to go see their brother for the first time. They were not allowed to go up to the room, so their mom had to
bring him to the window. The girls jumped for joy when they saw him. They waved and blew kisses. Their daddy took them to their favorite restaurant to eat dinner. They were allowed to toast their baby brother's birth with a sip of wine. It was their first taste. Their daddy asked the waiter to empty the bottle so they could take it home as a souvenir. The bottle is still in the mommy's and daddy's china cabinet.

He was loved by many. He had brown curly hair and hazel colored eyes. He had a smile that would melt hearts. His sisters loved him dearly. He was their little prince.

When he was born, his sisters were seven and six. The oldest developed a special bond with him. In her eyes, he could do no wrong. Many a times she would willingly take the blame for
things he did, to spare him punishment. He would cry and she'd tell him not to worry, that she
would always love him and take care of him. When he was afraid to sleep alone in his room, it was her bed he crawled into.

He grew to be quiet the charmer. He had charisma. Not only did girls love him, but guys wanted to be his friend. He was popular. He was an all around athlete. He played football, baseball and was in the wrestling team. He knew how to have fun. He lived life to it's fullest. He was in the Explorer Program. He hoped to be a police officer one day.

Once he graduated from high school, he decided to follow his father's and his brother in law's foot steps. He joined the army. He wanted to be all that he could be. His goal was to be a RANGER. He joined the 82nd Airborne Division. His family was proud of him. He was the apple of their eyes.

On Friday, March 17, 1990, he called his oldest sister. "Hey sweetie, how are my girls doing?" He always referred to his three nieces as, "his girls". They caught up on things that were going on. Just before they hung up, he told her, " I love you, thank you for everything you've done for me and thank George too." That's the last time she heard his voice.

Soldier Boy died in a car accident on Friday, March 17, 1990. He was 19 years old. He had gone to a party with some friends. He drank too much and had passed out. His friends put him in the front seat next to the driver. The driver was intoxicated too. So was his other friend in the back seat. While driving back to the barracks, the driver lost control of the car... he was speeding. The car hit the tree. The car was broken in half. Manuel's seat was ejected from the car. He was buckled to it. He died at the scene of the accident. It was twelve midnight. The driver walked away physically unscathed. But he was unable to deal with his friends death and was admitted to the psych ward. The young man in the back seat, lost one eye, had to have rods put on his back, broke his legs and arms. It was a tragic night for all three.

Since he was stationed in Ft. Bragg, it took 6 days to have him come home. When he arrived, there were orders saying his casket could not be opened. But we wanted to "see". We wanted to make sure. We were still hopeful it was all a mistake. We went through a lot of red tape, but we were able to see him. Gone was the handsome, young man we all knew and loved. He was not there. The accident had taken a toll on his body. Who we saw, didn't resemble my brother. They tried as hard as they could but even so, they failed. We buried him on March 23, 1990. My heart was buried along with him.

I miss him more than I care to even share. More than I can even allow myself to say or think about. My heart aches and cries. When the tears come and my heart pounds I want to let it all come out. Then I remember I need to be strong. There are others watching. I quickly wipe my
tears, put my shield up and put on my mask.

I try to remember... hope. Hope that one day I'll see him again. Hold him. Kiss him. Let him know just how much I've missed him. Till then... I cry, I ache... but I always have hope.

Lady G~
blessed sister of Soldier Boy

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fascinated By Names

I'm fascinated by names... people's names. I like to see how people spell their names differently. I like to look up the names and see what they mean. I like to hear the stories of how they ended up with their names.

I sometimes wonder if we "grow" into being what we are named or if we are named because that's how our parents perceive us to be one day. I know that sometimes we are named because it's a family name. I will share a little about how we came to be named.

My Knight was born in the United States. His parents were both Cubans. His sister was born in Cuban too. The wanted to give him a Spanish name, but his sister said no. He's an American, he should have an American name. So they decided to name him the English version of the Spanish names they had picked out. The origin of his first name is Greek, it means earth worker. His middle name is Hebrew, it means he will enlarge.

I was also born in the United States. My dad is Cuban and my mom is Panamanian. My mom named me after her. She believe it or not, was named after a character in a Spanish soap opera. You'll see how odd that is when you see it's origin. The origin of my first name is German. You see what I mean? A German name in a Spanish soap opera?! LOL! My name means grey. I've also read that it means battle maiden. I kind like that meaning better. :o) The origin of my middle name is Latin, it means miracle. My mom tells me that I was a premmie. By the calculations I've made, I don't think this to be true. I believe she was with child when she married my dad, but she won't admit it.

I got Soaring Amongst The Clouds' first from a James Bond movie. The actress what absolutely beautiful. I had hoped that she would also have her daddy's blue eyes and my dark hair. The origin of her first name is Greek. It means honey. Her middle name I got from a book I had read five years before she was even born. The origin of her middle name is Greek, it means very holy one.

Still Waters was named after a professional ice skater. The skater was so beautiful and graceful. The origin of her name is Hebrew, it means pure. Her middle name, like her sister's came from a book that I was reading. The origin is Greek, it means victory for the people.

I picked Daughter of the King's name because I thought it was fit for a princess. The origin of her first name is Greek and it means defender of men. The origin of her middle name is Greek and it means God is my might.

G.I.Joe has his daddy's middle name, as his first name. As a child, it was my favorite bible character. His first name is Hebrew, it means he will enlarge. His middle name is Greek, it means warrior.

The Warrior was almost named after Daughter of the King. But she wanted him to have his own name. He was named also after on of my favorite bible characters. The origin of his first name is Hebrew and it means God is my judge. His middle name is Hebrew and it means heart.

Our names fit us perfectly. I don't think that it's because that's what I'm use to calling us, but because their meanings are part of our characters. My Knight is a hard worker. Soaring Amongst The Clouds is as sweet as honey. Still Waters is a godly young lady, as pure as one can be. Daughter of the King looks out for others... defender of men. G.I. Joe is God's warrior. He boldly asked some of his teammates if they were saved. The Warrior has a tender heart. As for my name, many miracles have happened in my life. I see miracles happen every day...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Good That I Want To Do, I Do Not Do

I often ask why do I keep messing up? Why do I keep doing the same mistakes over and over again? I know in my mind and in my heart that what I'm doing is wrong, and yet, I still do it. Why?

In Romans, Paul wrote:

"For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing dwells in me, that is , in my flesh, for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
-Romans 7:15-25

I will never be perfect... not until my flesh dies and my spirit dwells with Jesus. Yes, I know that I'm a sinner. But that doesn't give me a free ride to keep doing that which I know I shouldn't do. Is it my lack of discipline? My lack of self control? My selfishness? I know that there is a lesson to be learned in all this. I would just like to learn my lesson and move on. My problem is, I've been stuck in the same lesson for almost 25 years!

Which one of my sins am I talking about... coveting... spending money on unnecessary things. It's not that I want what others have or that I want things that are on commercials or anything like that. It's when I'm at the stores, I see something and then I end up getting it. Majority of the time, it's not for me. It's for a loved one. Most of the time, it's not even something that is needed.

My hearts desire is to change. I do good for a little while, but then I mess up again. Lord help me to be a good steward.

4 things about me...

Lisa asked a group of us the questions below. Thought I'd journal about it...

A) Four jobs I have had in my life
1. Candy Striper- no... not a stripper.
2. Medical Records Technician
3. Receptionist for three Plastic Surgeons- one was ranked top ten in the world for his specialty: cleft palates.
4. Medical Office Manager

B) Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. Last of the Mohicans
2. Princess Bride
3. The Patriot
4. Saving Private Ryan

C) Four places I have lived

1. Miami, FL
2. Ft. Polk, Louisiana
3. Stuttgart, Germany
4. Winter Park, FL

D) Four television shows I watch:

1. The Unit
2. Amazing Race
3. Survivor
4. CSI

E) Four places I have been on vacation
1. Italy
2. Austira
3. All over Germany
4. Canada

F) Web sites I visit daily

1. Crosswalk
2. E Blogger
3. Google

G) Four of my favorite foods;
1. Steak
2. Lasagne
3. Daughter of the King's chocolate chip cookies
4. My Knight's roasted pork

H) Four places I'd rather be right now.
1. Sitting next to my brother and talking with him.
2. Hanging out with my Knight and my children
3. At the beach with my family
4. Skiing with my family

I) Four of my favorite colors
1. Pink- not bright pink
2. Blue
3. Lavender
4. Black