Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Twenty Five Years Ago Today...

My Dearest Knight,

On June 19,1982, twenty five years ago today, I married you, my Knight in shining armor. I can and can't believe we've been married for twenty five years. It feels like we just got married and at the same time it feels like we've been together for as long as I can remember. You are my best friend, my soul mate, the man that has surpassed my "dreams". I didn't think it was possible to love you more than the day that I married you, but I do.

You know how hard it is for me to say with words just what you mean to me. Not because I can't express myself, but because you leave me speechless. You take my breath away. My heart skips a beat when I look at you. I treasure our time together. I thank God that he brought you into my life. I'm blessed beyond measure. Through the years, I've thought it can't get any better than this, but I've been wrong. You have made my dreams come true. I'm living the "happily ever after" that all women dream of.

On our wedding day , our first dance was to Kenny Rogers' song, Lady. The first verse says, "Lady, I'm your Knight in shining armor and I love you...". I called you My Knight and you called me your Lady before this song ever came out. So it was very appropriate for us to dance to this song. Years later, in 1999, Kenny Rogers came out with another song, Through The Years. When I first heard this song, I knew that it would become one of "our" songs too. Today I dedicate this song to you. I love you...

forever yours...
Your Lady

Through The Years
by Kenny Rogers

I can't remember when you weren't there
When I didn't care for anyone but you
I swear we've been through everything there is
Can't imagine anything we've missed
Can't imagine anything the two of us can't do

Through the year, you've never let me down
You turned my life around, the sweetest days I've found
I've found with you ... through the years
I've never been afraid, I've loved the life we've made
And I'm so glad I've stayed, right here with you
Through the years

I can't remember what I used to do
Who I trusted whom, I listened to before
I swear you've taught me everything I know
Can't imagine needing someone so
But through the years it seems to me
I need you more and more

Through the years, through all the good and bad
I knew how much we had, I've always been so glad
To be with you ... through the years
It's better everyday, you've kissed my tears away
As long as it's okay, I'll stay with you
Through the years

Through the years, when everything went wrong
Together we were strong, I know that I belonged
Right here with you ... through the years
I never had a doubt, we'd always work things out
I've learned what loves about, by loving you
Through the years

Through the years, you've never let me down
You've turned my life around, the sweetest days I've found
I've found with you ... through the years
It's better everyday, you've kissed my tears away
As long as its okay, I'll stay with you
Through the years!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Day At The Beach

Scrapper, a close friend of mine and her two children have been staying at the beach all this week. She invited us to come over whenever we wanted to. Her son Airmen G attends the Air Force Academy. He's home for three weeks. Her daughter KT is good friends with my Daughter of the King. They had asked her to sleep over. Daughter of the King was really looking forward to it.

So yesterday, Soaring Amongst The Clouds, G.I. Joe, The Warrior and I took Daughter of the King to where our friends were staying. I only stayed for about 1 hour because I started not to feel well. Our Squire's had a wonderful time. It's been a few years since they've been to the beach. Still Waters didn't go with us. Thursday is "quilting day". Our church has a quilting ministry. They make quilts for orphans. They send them all over the world. Daughter of the King also quilts. She was feeling torn about what to do. I told her not to worry, because she doesn't usually miss a Thursday of quilting. That it would be perfectly alright for her to spend the night with her friend at the beach.

ALL my children take after their dad. He is a morning person, I'm the night owl. :o) Well, they were all up early this morning. They ate breakfast and started to get ready to head out to the beach, to spend the day there and to pick up Daughter of the King. I have to honestly say that I tried to help them get ready, but was quickly told, "Mom, don't worry about it, we're taking care of everything." I sat on the couch and watched them get ready. They did an AWESOME job! I'm so very proud of them. They even packed enough lunch items in case someone else wanted to eat what they were eating. The loaded up the car, kissed me and drove off. I didn't go, cause I really can't be in the sun right now. So I stayed home. It was just me and Nicodemus, our golden retriever. I can't remember the last time I was alone at home. I didn't know what to do with myself. LOL!

Once they got home they all had stories to share. They had a wonderful time. I'm thankful for good friends....

Airmen G, Scrapper and KT. I really wish I would of been able to visit with them a little long. :o(

KT and Daughter of the King. They both have a servants heart. They a very different but at the same time very alike.

They had a hard time staying on their feet. It was wave after wave. But they were loving every minute of it.

This has got to be one of my favorite pictures. All of our children had a wonderful time together. They all get along so well.

Here they started to make a "pool" of water so they could catch these little fish. My Still Waters is the one standing. She had her hair in a ponytail, but it fell off and got lost when one of the waves pushed her down. I love the way her hair looks. My Daughter of the King is the one kneeling down. Scrapper is sitting and enjoying the sun and cool water.

G.I. Joe and The Warrior wanted to get into the fun. They had never done this before.

Daughter of the King was helping The Warrior.

The Warrior caught one and....

Shared it with her sister, Daughter of the King. Once they started to lose some of the water, they were concerned that the fish were going to die. So they worked hard at catching the rest and running to the beach to "set them free".

Scrapper and I wanted our older ones to get together. But Airmen G and Soaring Amongst The Clouds are just friends. Only God knows what their future holds...

Quiet Heroes

My devotion for today really spoke to me. I'm not perfect. I'm a sinner saved by grace. I don't consider myself a hero in any way. I often wonder "how" my children see me. I'm just doing what I feel God is leading me to do. I'm attempting to be the mom He wants me to be. I daily ask forgiveness for my shortcomings and for His guidance on my journey. I pray that He blesses me with wisdom, knowledge, courage and strength to do what He wants me to do. I want to be the best mom, "I" can be.

When I was younger I looked up to my dad. Even thought I knew he had faults, in my eyes, he could do no wrong. Even now, that I'm almost 44 and he's almost 71, I still look up to my dad. He's one of my heroes to me... do I have others? Yes... Jesus Christ and my Knight.

Quiet Heroes
by Max Lucado

Quiet heroes dot the landscape of our society. They don’t wear ribbons or kiss trophies; they wear spit-up and kiss boo-boos. They don’t make the headlines, but they do sew the hemlines and check the outlines and stand on the sidelines. You won’t find their names on the Nobel Prize short list, but you will find their names on the homeroom, carpool, and Bible teacher lists.

They are parents, both by blood and deed, name and calendar. Heroes. News programs don’t call them. But that’s okay. Because their kids do … They call them Mom. They call them Dad. And these moms and dads, more valuable than all the executives and lawmakers west of the Mississippi, quietly hold the world together.

Be numbered among them. Read books to your kids. Play ball while you can and they want you to. Make it your aim to watch every game they play, read every story they write, hear every recital in which they perform.

Children spell love with four letters: T-I-M-E. Not just quality time, but hang time, downtime, anytime, all the time. Your children are not your hobby; they are your calling.

Your spouse is not your trophy but your treasure.

Don’t pay the price David paid. Look ahead to his final hours. To see the ultimate cost of a neglected family, look at the way our hero dies.

David is hours from the grave. A chill has set in that blankets can’t remove. Servants decide he needs a person to warm him, someone to hold him tight as he takes his final breaths.

Do they turn to one of his wives? No. Do they call on one of his children? No. They seek “for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel … and she cared for the king, and served him; but the king did not know her” (1 Kings 1:3–4).

I suspect that David would have traded all his conquered crowns for the tender arms of a wife. But it was too late. He died in the care of a stranger, because he made strangers out of his family.

But it’s not too late for you.

Make your wife the object of your highest devotion. Make your husband the recipient of your deepest passion. Love the one who wears your ring.

And cherish the children who share your name.

Succeed at home first.

From Facing Your Giants
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2006) Max Lucado

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Allergic Reaction?

Let me start off by saying, PRAISE THE LORD!!! My children are all better. No one else is ill or showing any signs of getting ill. Woooo Hoooo!!! Thank you Jesus!

As for me... well, the docs aren't sure, but they believe I've been having an allergic reaction. I haven't shared this because my focus has been on my children. I'm sharing this now because it might help someone else.

Back on 5/14, I had an upper endoscopy. I even journaled about it and why I have it done. Well, a couple of days later I noticed my left eye started to look puffy and red. Then it started to itch like crazy. It started to happen to my right eye too. Being that my children had been working on our yard, I thought I was allergic so something that got "stirred". I called my doc and he wasn't out due to an emergency. I wouldn't be able to see him until the following Thursday. I had started to take Benadryl but it wasn't helping any. The itching got worse and the my reaction was no long "just around my eyes", I was having a reaction all over my body. I can't begin to share how this all felt. My skin felt raw and in flames. Cortisone cream didn't even help. Nothing seemed to help. I was getting absolutely no sleep. I don't know why, but it made me feel "dirty". I'm very OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) when it comes to cleanliness, but it still bothered me that my reaction was all over.

I saw my doc on the the 24th. *I will share something that happened during that visit, at the end of this post. God ALWAYS has a reason why things happen when they do. Well, I suggested that maybe it was a yeast infection. He didn't think so. He gave me a prescription for Halobetasol Propionate Cream and Hydroxyzine HCL 50mg. The itching did not subside, but where ever I applied the cream, it would alleviate it. By that, I mean it would take the edge off it. But I still felt like I was in flames and try as hard as I could to stop scratching but , I wasn't successful. God is good, cause during it all, I never blistered or had an infection.

Now I'm not one to run to the doc for every little thing, but this was getting out of hand. Nothing was helping. I called to see if he could just call something in for me. "Lady G~, he's going to want to see you, why don't you just come on over." URGH!!! Don't take me wrong, I'm glad and thankful that he's caring enough that he wants to see me BUT ..."I have to put on clothes AGAIN!" Not that I was walking around our castle in the buff, but I do have some very comfy lounge wear. Needless to say I wore one of my soft, 100% cotton sundress with no slip. I prayed, "Lord, I know this is nothing compared to what Job or your Son, Jesus Christ went through, thank you for your mercy." Well he gave me Prednisone. I've been on it plenty of times before, because I have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus better known as Lupus. Prednisone is a strong steroid, most call it the miracle drug. It instantly makes you feel like you are better.

Actually on Friday 6/8, it dawned on my Knight and I that I might be having a lupus flare up. I'm not a compliant patient. So all my "lupus" medication is outdated. I called my doc on Friday and asked if my Plaquenil could be refilled. He called me back and said, "Lady G~ ... you naughty girl, we haven't seen you in quite some time regarding your lupus. We need to keep an eye on that." My hands were slapped... my prescription was filled.

Today is June 10 and I'm still not better. But I have to tell you that I keep thinking about Job. What I'm going through is nothing. I know that I can't through this on my own, only with God's help and the love and caring of those around me. I know that this too shall pass... till then, I guess I have to grin and bear it. I have to keep telling myself, "There are others that worse off than me."

*My doc had to go on an emergency leave. His brother died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. It was his baby brother. He was a husband, dad, leader in his community and a leader at church. They lived in another state, so my doc and his family had to travel. When I called to set up the appointment. I was not told about the death in the family. I was only told he was out due to an emergency. I prayed for him every day. When I got to see him. He looked tired and worn out. It was his first day back and he had been seeing patients since 5a. He's an early bird. By the time I saw him it was 1p. I was his last patient before his lunch break. First thing I told him was that I had been praying for him because I had heard he was out due to an emergency. He sat down and just looked at me. He's a Christian. I'm not just saying that. He really talks the talk and walks the walk. You can see Christ dwelling within him. He told him he had not even had a chance to think. He was still in shock. He told me a little about his brother. I shared my story about my baby brother. I shared how God used my brother's death not only to save me, but my Knight (who believed in NOTHING!) and my children. We talked about how hard it is to see the bigger picture. But we gave God all the praise and glory for being in control. We both know that His ways are better than our ways. We both walked out of there knowing that God had wanted me to see my doc at that moment in time. We were meant to minister to one another. What a MIGHTY God we serve...

Monday, June 04, 2007

God Is Good... ALL The Time!

What a day this has been! Today was the first day of Vacation Bible School (VBS) at our church. Soaring Amongst The Clouds is working with Ms.Kimmie in the 5-6th grade class. Still Waters and G.I. Joe are working with the 4 & 5 yr. olds. Daughter of the King is working with bed babies-3 year olds which are the VBS volunteer children. The Warrior is too young to help, so he's enrolled in the 4th grade class.

After a night of very little sleep, I woke up and noticed that there was something wrong with the plumbing. Now, any other time, it would be an inconvenience. At a time when someone has the stomach flu... it's an emergency! My Knight wasn't home so I didn't even know if the problem was the septic tank or a plumbing problem. Who do I call? What is my G.I. Joe going to do when he has to use the bathroom?! I was beside myself. I quickly called my Knight and said, "try the plunger". URGH!!! If there is one thing that really gets under my skin it's the commode! I'm a little ah... OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) about it. So off I went, I plunged so hard I got blisters! Nothing was working. In the mean time, I'm praying through it all. "Lord, help me."

I called Sheely's Septic Tank. I explained our "emergency" situation. I was thinking, "Yep, she probably gets that story all the time. She isn't going to believe me." She told me they'd be over after lunch. I politely thanked her, hung up the phone and bit my lip. "AFTER LUNCH! it's only 8:30am! What's my G.I.Joe going to do?!" I told him if he was going to get sick, he would have to use a bucket. We live on 5 acres, there is plenty of room to bury "whatever". Well, I think I scarred him out of going! LOL! All went well, no one had to use the bathroom until wayyyyyy after they they came to clean out our septic tank.

Oh and turns out that the septic service I called is owned by someone who volunteers with my Knight in the little league. He recognized our name and had them come right over. He even told his employee to give us a discount! God is good... ALL the time!

I believe this is a turning point for my G.I. Joe. As of tonight he's feeling much better. If I cursed, which I don't, I could probably say, "I scared the c--- out of him." Since I don't curse or use sewer language (pun intended), I have to say, "Thank you Lord for watching over us."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

All Is Not Well... the saga continues

I have to start of with praising God. Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace. My Warrior is all better. He woke up Thursday morning, starving! No symptoms whatsoever. The only sign that he'd been sick was his loss of weight and the dark circles around his eyes. His appetite was insatiable! But I still kept him on a "BRAT" type diet.

Friday morning, while I was loving on my Warrior, I told him how glad I was that he was feeling better. He quickly told me, "Mom, feeling? (with a Daniel attitude) I 'AM' better." :o) His humor is back. We've missed it.

*Note: this picture was taken Saturday around 6p. Three days after he started to get sick. He's looking much better here.

G.I. Joe woke up Thursday morning at 4am. He came into our room and said, "Dad, I'm not feeling well." My heart stopped. Not only because he wasn't feeling well, but because, he didn't come to me. He came looking for dad. My baby is growing up. I believe he has it worse than my Warrior. He has awful abdominal cramping, the big "D" AND the big "V". :o( He was unable to keep anything down all day Thursday. We made him as comfortable as possible on the futon in the family room. He didn't sleep a wink. He was in too much pain and busy. I kept an eye on him all night. I wanted to make sure it wasn't an *appendicitis attack. (More on appendicitis at another time.)

Friday morning, after disinfecting the living room, we set him up in the living room. My Knight brought down G.I. Joe's mattress. We changed his sheets, blankets and pillow covers. Best to start off fresh. In the past week I've done over 20 loads of laundry. I'm not exaggerating. He has not been able to sleep. He was weak, tired and in pain. I know there is nothing that can be done other than letting the virus run it's course.

G. I. Joe was very upset that he fell ill cause our youth was going rock climbing Friday. He had invited a friend to come along. He's been witnessing to his friend. I know that God will bring other opportunities for him to continue to witness.

I spoke with *Boss Lady today. That's my sister. (More on this at another time) She reminded me that Abuela Caky always drank Anise tea when she had a belly ache. Now none of my family members are tea drinkers. Even so, I always kept some just in case. Even though I can't remember the last time any of us had a stomach virus. I made some Anise tea. He took some sips and felt a little relief. Now the symptoms didn't stop, but the tea took "some" of the edge off. We discontinued drinking Gatorade cause that for some reason made him worse. So we stuck to "itty bitty" sips of water, Anise tea or flat coke.

Today we see a difference. I was up all night with him, but the intervals of being sick were getting farther apart. He was able to sleep 1-1:30 hours at a time. Praise the Lord! He really needed the rest. He is a slim young man to begin with. Just being sick 2-3 days, has really taken a toll on him. Bless his heart. In the middle of the night he looked at me and said, "Mom, I love you. I'm sorry I'm working you so hard." I couldn't help but cry. To think that he's thinking of me at a time that he's so ill. First thing I did this morning is take a bath. Once I was done, he took one too. We wanted to start the day off fresh.

We were running low on supplies and grocery needed to be done. My Knight, Soaring Amongst The Clouds, Still Waters and the Warrior went to get what was needed. They also went to get a new softball bat and a baseball bat. Soaring Amongst The Clouds has put together a college & career summer softball team and we needed to get a new bat. The Warrior cracked his bat at his last game, so he needed a new bat too.

On Sunday our church is having a luncheon fund raiser for a Cuban mission trip. For $7 dollars you can have an authentic Cuban dinner. The meal includes, roasted chicken, black beans, white rice, salad and for dessert flan. Flan is a traditional Cuban dessert. It's almost like a custard, but BETTER! So I had volunteered to bake some flans. So while my Knight was out with three of our children, I got busy preparing to bake. I could only do part of it cause I had to wait on the main ingredient... a dozen eggs. I did do the toughest part which is making the caramel which lines the pan. I always have a hard time with it. Would you know it... it came out perfect the first time around. I can honestly say, that I was just going through the motions of getting it done. It was all God's grace and mercy getting me through the day. I did two more loads of laundry.

Today the cramps were starting to lessen. He still hasn't wanted to eat anything, but at least now he is keeping all liquids down. Praise the Lord. While he was resting, I was able to take a much needed nap in our waterbed. I have missed my bed. I've been sleeping, not wait, more like cat napping on our family room couch for 10 days.

When I woke up, all the groceries were put away. G.I. Joe had been able to take a much need nap too. Daughter of the King tended to her brother while I was resting. Lots happened while I was napping. Soaring Amongst The Clouds is meeting with some friends to night. They are going to watch a movie and have pizza at one of her friend's home. Still Waters is babysitting for a church member. I made sure they knew that one of our boys had recovered from the stomach virus, but the other one had it. I left it up to them. I told them our feelings wouldn't hurt, it they didn't want any of our girls to babysit, we would completely understand. They still wanted to got out. Before Soaring Amongst The Clouds left for her fellowship, she had made chocolate chip cookies to take and some for us at home. She also cooked dinner for the ones that were staying home. She made tacos.

I can't say it enough... I'm sooooooo blessed! My Knight is a Knight among Knights. He is ALWAYS there for me and our children. My children have such a servants heart. They're willingness to help leaves me speechless. They continue to give and give without being asked. My cup runneth over...