Monday, December 31, 2007

Lady In Waiting

I bought a book I've been meaning to get as a devotional study guide for my Fair Maidens. It's called, Lady In Waiting. Book-A-Million only had one, so Soaring Against The Clouds gets it first. There are some privileges to being the oldest. I'm ordering 2 more books today.

Last night I couldn't sleep. I was restless. I try not to worry. I really do, but satan has a way of just getting to me. I know that God is in control. That nothing happens without Him knowing or Him allowing it to happen.

I love my Knight and my children. I love them unconditionally. I know that sounds untrue, but it's true. My dad showed me to love unconditionally. I think that's why it was so easy for me to accept my Heavenly Father's free gift, because my earthly father set a good example and was a good example too.

Just like our Heavenly Father wants the very best for us, I too want the very best for my children. I've always thought that my life couldn't get any better. But it continually does. Now that doesn't mean that I haven't had pot holes, pits or speed bumps. I have. I know that they've helped me to be stronger, But even so, I want much more for my children.

Getting this Lady In Waiting book made me reflect a little. Well, not just that, but my Fair Maidens are young ladies now, of marrying age. I often wonder how it will be for them. I know that they are well grounded in the Word. Should they stray, I know that God will bring them back to Him. So that's not what I wonder. I wonder about the man they will marry. I have been praying for the man God wants them to marry since the day I got saved. My Knight has been/is so good to me, that I want my Fair Maidens to be just as blessed as I have been... no... even more blessed than I have been.

I have a carefree attitude when it comes to myself. I don't worry about things when it concerns me. Every surgery that I've had ( and I've had my share of surgeries!), I've not worried a bit about it. When my children were young, I didn't worry a bit about them either. The Warrior, stopped breathing twice when he was new born. God's peace washed over me. I remember not even panicking. God carried me through it all. I just never worried about my children. But now, I find myself... well.. worrying. I'm hoping that they marry whom God intends for them to marry. That things go smoothly for them, even thought I know that one grows through adversity. But I don't want them to have those heartaches. I don't want them to have to shed those tears. It's not that I don't have faith. I do. I know that God will see them through it all. He will carry them. But the thought of them going through struggles, any kind of struggles, keeps me up at night.

Lord take these thoughts away, replace them with your peace.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

G.I. Joe Begins His Journey

G.I. Joe was baptized today. Seeing him up there in the baptism pool, getting baptized made me cry. They were tears of joy.

My young Squire is training diligently for his Knighthood. Just yesterday he was six years old. He was holding my hand and praying the sinner's prayer along with me. Today, he is a young man, 13 years of age, walking up the path laid before him. His eyes fixed on the cross. Be still my heart...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas/New Year's College & Career Party

My Knight and I are the Sunday School teachers for the college & career class. We started teaching that class in October. Prior to that we were working with the youth. He taught high school boys and I helped in the high school girl's class. I'm so glad we are teaching together again.

I had to admit, that teaching is not my gift. I'm more like the rabbit chaser. :o) You could say, I'm the sidekick. He teaches the "meaty" stuff and I am the comic relief. Don't know how I got to be that, cause I'm really not that funny.

Well tonight, we are hosting the college and career Christmas/New Year's party. All who are coming will bring a dish to share. We are also going to play the white elephant game. So they are all bringing a $10 (under) gag gift. My Knight got a Chipmunk cd. He thinks they are annoying. LOL! Let's hope he doesn't get stuck with that. LOL! I'm bought a penguin fleece throw. I figured, there's got to be a gift that someone might want to keep. I hope I "do" get stuck with that one. The penguins are sooooo cute!

Daughter of the King, G.I. Joe and The Warrior was going to hand out with Steps' family for a while. She baked some chocolate chip cookies to take over to his home. Jewel's said they are going to have a bonfire and roast some hot dogs. I know they will all have a good time.

Still Waters and Soaring Amongst The Clouds are busy betting some dips ready. Still Waters also baked a caramel, chocolate chip brownie. I'm not much of a brownie eater, but let me tell you... I LOVE her brownies! Daughter of the King also makes a "to die for" brownies. Soaring Amongst The Clouds also makes some brownies called Texas Brownies. YUM!!! But those are the only brownies I'll eat.

Well, I'm off to get ready, I'll update this entry after the party! :o)

We had a great time at the party. We had a total of 15 guests. I was thrilled to see 3 guest that usually don't attend class. Two are students who study our of state and one is a young man who works every Sunday. I was glad to see him cause that meant he felt like part of the group even thought he hasn't been able to attend class in quite some time. We ate, laughed and played games. We played two games of scene it. It was gents against the ladies. The gents won both times. They won by a landslide. We vowed a rematch, but next time it will be playing the Disney Scene it. I know we will smoke them!

I enjoyed having our Castello full of people. It's been quite a while since we've hosted anything. I used to host gatherings all the time. But my Knight is not much of a people person. He doesn't mind fellowships, it's just his Castello is a haven for him. Also he's a morning person and I'm the night owl. So, when things start to really get going it's when he's starting to wind down. But he did great tonight. I know he had a great time too. I'm already planning our next gathering... well, we need a rematch! I'm very competitive and I don't like to lose. :o)

Friday, December 28, 2007

So Much To Do...

We are in the process of getting our home ready for our oldest two Fair Maidens Sunday School class, Christmas/New Years party. So much to do and so much time to do it! LOL! I know, how can that be? That's not how we've always heard it. But it's true. It will all get done... in due time.

We are the ones that set ourselves up to fail. Who says that the home has to be spotless in order to have friends over? Does it really matter? Are you friends going to say, "Wow, did you see that living room? Did you notice the fooseball (sp?) table, they had clothes on hangers hanging on the handles? Did you see their futon, it was laid out and made out like a bed. Did you see all those baskets full of papers and books in the family room? " I think friends would say, "I'm so glad they have room for their guest. Good thing they have that foosball table, she can hang her clothes on it. That bed sure looks inviting. They must work hard on homeschooling did you notice all their workbooks in the baskets?"

It all comes down to how we perceive things. I would like to think that loved ones would care more about spending time with me than checking out our Castello. I have been to homes that make Better Homes and Garden look like what the world would call a shanty. But to me they looked empty and cold.

Our Castello looks, well.... lived in. It's warm and inviting. We've got pictures every where. It looks tidy. I have throws on my couch cause I'm always cold. I enjoy scented candles, so I usually have some candles lit. We live out in the country and it's hard to keep sand out our floors. We vacuum once a week, but as we see Nicodemus' hair floating by, we pick that up. I'm a little... ah... compulsive about bathrooms, so they get cleaned daily. Dusting happens when I notice the tv has to get dusted. Which is frequent cause the sun shines, through our bay window in our living room and it makes it easy to see it's dusty. LOL! That's the extent of the cleaning. The major cleaning, baseboards, walls, etc... get done only a few times a year.

Let me share why I feel it will get done in due time. A wise woman once said, "The house will always be here. Your children won't." It sounds better in Spanish. LOL! What she meant was, time is fleeting. A spotless home is not important. Treasure the time with your children. She told me this when we only had two Fair Maidens. I respected and valued what that wise woman told me. I will never forget her words. Who was this wise woman, my Abuela Caky.

So let me leave you with this...

I use to complain about cleaning the rings around the tub.
Now, I clean the dust around the tub.

Enjoy your children. They are precious. Treasure your time with them. They are watching you. What are they learning? Before you know it, they'll be all grown up with families of their own.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I'm A Sinner

I know my post on Christmas Day was not a pleasant one. I was weak and it came through on my post. I'm a sinner and have a hard time dying to self. I prefer to be as positive as I can be. If I'm not, then it really drags me down and I don't like to be down. I wish I could say that I'll not be weak, like I was on Christmas Day. If I did say that, then I'd be lying.

What has/is helping me get out of my ugly funk? Praying, talking to my Knight and Still Waters' post. I'm still (and will always be, until I die) a work in progress. We truly serve a Mighty God. He's never promised it would be easy. He has promised that He would be with us every step of the way, as long as we call on Him. That's comforting.

My relationship with my Knight's side of the family is a struggle for me. I've forgiven 70 x 7 and still continue to forgive. But it wears me down. If my Knight didn't look so much like his dad, one would think he's adopted. He is so different than his family. He's positive and an encourager and doesn't complain. He always wants to do the right thing, no matter what others think. His family is very negative, they like to criticize and complain. The only time they call us, is if they want something from us. There, I got it off my chest, I feel better. I do not want to go here again. Lord take this off my hands. Restore the peace in my life and in our Castello.

Today was a run around day. The Seamstress needed some items so I took her to Wally-World (Wal-Mart). The store was packed! I enjoy going to the stores, but I really don't enjoy crowds. She got three items. I bought items for a dinner. My friend Jewels had a procedure done today and we wanted to take dinner to her family. I know that the Mechanic (her hubby) and her boys are totally capable of taking care of dinner. But it's nice not to have to worry about it. Her Steps and One With Nature spent the day with us. My Squires had a great time playing upstairs with them. Did I mention that our carpet was cleaned today? Yep, they had to remain in the room for at least 4 hours, while the carpet dried a little. I also went to the permit place. Our permit to work on our septic was ready to be picked up. YEAH! Let the work begin! I drove to the eye doctor to pick up some contact solution (free) for Still Waters. Went to Target to exchange a movie I bought, which turned out we already had. I thought I was purchasing the last Pirate movie, but I purchased the second one. Have I mentioned that I've done that with other movies and cd's? I keep forgetting what I've purchased and I purchase it again. It's a joke around our Castello. They all laugh when it happens, and it happens often! I took the Seamstress to Publix cause they are the only ones that sell sugar free Nestle Quick and Eddy's No Sugar Added ice cream. Publix was a mess too, lots of shoppers. From there we went to Walgreen's to pick up her prescription. Oh, did I mention we had no internet for most of our day? Talk about feeling disconnected! We also didn't have cable tv. That really wasn't missed.

Well, that was our day. My Knight returned to work on Wednesday. I sure do miss him when he's not with us. I wonder what's instore for tomorrow....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Our Christmas Day

I'm crying as I write this. I am blessed with a wonderful, loving, caring and unselfish family. My heart is full of joy and happiness. I'm so grateful for God's blessings.

Our children gave us this...

The inside of the card read: Merry Christmas! Thank you for taking us on the ski trip! We all had a blast!! We love you! Love... then they all signed it. I decided not to post what the inside looks like, since they all signed their names. I couldn't help but cry..... be still my heart.

Our gift this year was our ski vacation. Christmas morning at our Castello was still joyous, even though there were no presents to open. When we opened our card, I couldn't help but cry. Our children were grateful and appreciative. Even during our trip, they kept thanking us for everything. They thanked us every time we went out to eat. They thanked us for the little souvenirs they got. I'm so blessed... God is so good... ALL THE TIME...

Yesterday, we went to the 5pm church service. It was wonderful. Our Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir read the Christmas Story from Luke 2. We sang songs and had a candlelight service. We had a Holy Spirit filled service. After service we all went home and had our traditional Cuban Christmas dinner. After dinner, we watched The Nativity Story. I had just purchased it, we had not seen it before. What a beautiful movie. From now, we will make it a tradition to watch it on Christmas Eve.

Through the years we've been adamant about our family not showering our children with gift at Christmas time. Well, it's not their birthday... it's Jesus' birthday. They get one gift from family members. My parents and sister always combine their gifts. They figure it's their way of getting around our rules. LOL! This year they got our Squires a playstation 3. Well it's for the whole family, cause all but two enjoy playing video games. The first to guess which two don't play, gets a prize. Family members are not allowed to guess. :o)

We spent most of the day hanging out at home. Jewels and her family called and asked if we wanted to go see National Treasure 2 at 5p. So we all went. Great movie. We really enjoyed it. From there my Knight went with Still Waters to pick up the Seamstress. During our vacation the Matriarch guilted her into coming back. But the Matriarch is leaving Friday for a 4 day trip, so the Seamstress is coming back to our Castello.

Update: I went to before I could finish my post, below is how my day ended...

Our day ended not at all as it had started out. Poor Nicodemus had the.... well... how can I put it nicely... had the runs. While we were at the movies, he had two accidents. So I got home to an aroma one doesn't care to smell. I felt bad for him, cause he's really doesn't like to disappoint us. But that really put me in a bad mood. Too boot, one of the accidents was in our living room, which is where the Seamstress sleeps. URGH!!! So I started cleaning it. I was still cleaning it when my Knight got home. So he went to the upstair's stain to clean that one up. I also got all worked up because I felt that the Matriarch is really taking advantage of us. We've been home four days and are still getting into the swing of things. Our Fair Maidens are having a Sunday School Christmas/New Year's party this Saturday. We have things to do to get ready for that event. My carpet now needs to be cleaned, which means everything in that room needs to be moved out. Both of my surgeries are being postponed until I can recover quietly in the comfort of our Castello, without having some one sit there and stare at me because they are bored. So, I took a long cool bath to cool down. It didn't help. I ended up with a headache and went to bed.

I know that I sound selfish and uncaring. I know that it's wrong of me. But I also know that my spirit is not at rest and God is dealing with me on this issue. This too shall pass. All I need to do is to turn the other cheek... and allow that one to be slapped too (excuse the sarcasm).

Lord, please restore the peace in our Castello. Help me die to self and to do it without complaining...

Monday, December 24, 2007

O Holy Night & Silent Night

There are many Christmas songs that touch my heart. Many of them make me cry. The words really move me. Two of my favorites are, O Holy Night and Silent Night. Let me share why...

O Holy Night makes me feel like falling on my knees and praising His name. I can imagine myself seeing all the words in that song. This song was sung in our service this morning at church. Needless to say it made me cry.

O Holy Night
The words and lyrics of the old carol 'O Holy Night' were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Cappeau was a wine seller by trade but was asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn. He then realised that it should have music to accompany the words and he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams(1803-1856). He agreed and the music for the poem was therefore composed by Adolphe Charles Adams. Adolphe had attended the Paris conservatoire and forged a brilliant career as a composer. It was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893).

O Holy Night
by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angels' voices!
Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born;
Oh night divine, Oh night, Oh night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

My other favorite is Silent Night. Once again, I can "see" the words to this song. This song is specially dear to me because of my Fair Maidens. When they were in 2nd grade, I had them enrolled in a sign language class. They learned to sign this song. I can't begin to tell you how beautiful this song is when it's signed. One can't help but be moved. Did I ever mention that my Knight and I went to Oberndorf, Austria? We were there for one week and got to see this beautiful quaint town where the writer of this song lived.

Silent Night
The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass. Silent Night is the most famous Christmas carol of all time!

Silent Night
by Joseph Mohr

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing alleluia;
Christ the Savior, is born!
Christ the Savior, is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Proud Mama

Well, the final grades are in for this past semester. I'm proud to say that Soaring Amongst The Clouds and Still Waters worked very hard. They've got the A's to prove it! YEAH!!!

I can't begin to tell you how very proud I am of them. They've had late nights and long study hours. I'm so glad they have so much of their dad in them. They are hard workers and are harder on themselves than we are on them.

Baby Girls', I'm so very proud of you. Well done... keep up the great work

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We're Back!

First off, I want to thank my God and Savior for making this trip possible. Without Him none of this would of been possible. Now, look closely. Can you see the tiny snowflakes? There is one on the tip of the middle finger and another tiny one on the right side of the palm seam. You can clearly see the tiny snowflakes. How someone doesn't believe in our Creator is beyond me. Still Waters is the one that took this picture. It's her gloved hand that caught the snowflakes.

Ok, next I want to thank my Knight for putting this trip together and surprising us. Babe, you always know how to pull things together and make the very best of everything. Have I told you lately that I love you? Well, I know I haven't met my quota for the day so... I love you and your baby blues! Be still my heart...

I must confess, all but one, wanted to stay in Bolton Valley, Vermont. We had a FANTABULOUS time! I know that's not a word, but it's my blog and I happen to like my made up word. :o) It's a combination of FANTASTIC and FABULOUS.

Where do I EVEN begin?! First off, we stayed 8 days, at a condo in Bolton Valley, Vermont for .....$250! I know, it's unbelievable, but it's true. But that's thanks to the RCI certificates. The condo had 3 full bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a living room w/ a fire place, a small dinning area, and two bedrooms. The couch was a sleeper couch. They also had one of those wall pull out bed in the living room. Our room had a queen size bed. The Fair Maidens' room had two full size beds and a balcony. There were three tv's. They had plenty of board games too. They also had a recreation center. They had a heated pool, a jacuzzi and game room. We never made it there, we were too busy skiing. :o)

First off, up until 3 weeks before our vacation, we were concerned. You see, no snow had fallen in Bolton Valley yet. This was to be our first family ski vacation. Well, we've been skiing many times before, but our Squires weren't born yet. Our Fair Maidens have gone with church groups, but all 7 of us have never been skiing together before. We also wanted it to be a special trip because, well... our children are getting older. Who knows if we'll get another chance to do this kind of trip. But as we all know, God cares even about the littlest things. By the time we got there, it had been snowing for over two weeks. We had fresh God made snow, not man made. :o) There is a HUGE difference.

Our first night there, we settled in and then went to get our ski equipment. They saw us walk in and their eyes popped out. LOL! I guess they aren't use to seeing families like ours... by that I mean a family with 5 children. We got looks from dads, moms, and young ones. We also got looks from young men. But I know they weren't looking at our family size, they were looking at our Fair Maidens. Which by the way they were oblivious about the looks they were getting. Soaring Amongst The Clouds did mention that she had never seen so many young men. Which I must say, was true. We saw wayyyyyy more young men than young ladies. Hmmm... makes me wonder if we should move up north in our for our Fair Maidens to find their Knights? Nah... I know that God already has their Knight all picked out for them. :o)

The second night we were there, we spent most of the day skiing. We also went grocery shopping. We stocked up on items we needed and plenty of log for the fire. We also found out that a snow storm was going to hit late Saturday night. But we were ready. :o)

After breakfast Sunday morning, we did a family devotion. I don't know why it amazes me, it really shouldn't. God always has a way of doing things. The devotion my Knight did was on 1 Corinthians 12. We talked about how each of us are special, now two are alike. How we each have a purpose. Snowflakes came into topic too. How each one of them is different and God created them that way. A couple of nights before we had seen Survivor. I know, I can't help but enjoy watching that program. Well, on that program one of the participants made a horrible comment regarding another participant and what she believes the other ladies life to be . What happened tied into our devotion. I love how things that happen can be used as lessons. God is truly AWESOME! No skiing was done on Sunday. All lifts were closed, due to the snow storm. But that did not stop my children from venturing out in the snow storm. They went out and still had a great time. They were freezing, but none the less they enjoyed it.

The rest of our stay, was spent on the mountain skiing. Like I mentioned before, we had a FANTABULOUS time. I have a gazillion pictures. But I'll only post a mere million. Just kidding. LOL! I'm having a hard time picking favorites. So bare with me...

We left our International Airport and flew to JFK International Airport. We had about a 3 hour layover. We were very surprised cause the airport was almost empty. There was no traffic at all. We were expecting New York to be buzzing, but instead it was snoozing. From there we had to walk out to our plane. Our children got a kick out of it, cause it seemed so old school to walk to a plane.

We flew into the Burlington International Airport. I always thought that International Airports were big, but this one was quite small and quaint. They even had white, porch type rocking chairs for people to sit and watch the airplanes. Did I even mention that I LOVE rocking chairs? Well, I do. :o)

Here we are, first day on the slopes. All bundled & geared up, ready to go. You won't find me in many of the pictures cause, I'm the one taking the picture. :o) Which is fine and dandy with me. ;o)

I love this picture. My Knight, always the helpful one, is helping G.I. Joe with his boots.

Still Waters (in white) and Daughter of the King are checking out trail map. All my children take after their dad. Always prepared. Know where you are going so you don't get lost.

Here we are at mid mountain. From left to right: G.I. Joe, The Warrior, Still Waters, Daughter of the King, me, and Soaring Amongst The Clouds. As you can see it was pretty cold. Temp was 10 Fahrenheit. Sorry, I don't know how to do the little "o" to represent temperature. Well, we had ski masks on, so it's hard to see our faces.

This is the only picture you'll see of me on the slopes. You wouldn't believe the compliments I got on my hat. The young and old loved it! LOL! They are actually dreadlocks, but my Still Waters braided them and this was the end results. I liked it better this way. :o)

I love this picture too. I just love the way my Knight is looking after and teaching his young Squire. Isn't that what a parent is suppose to do? This was The Warrior's first day of skiing. We had him take two half day lessons. By the third day he was skiing with parallel skis and traversing like he'd been born on skis. G.I. Joe and the Fair Maidens all looked like pros. I was totally amazed. I was blessed beyond measure. To think that my children love and enjoy doing something that their parents also love and enjoy. It was all too surreal for me. Be still my heart...

This was taken at night. It snowed most of the days we were at Bolton Valley. Here they are with Jabba The Snowman. This was the first snowman they ever built. It was still standing or should I say sitting, a couple of days after it was built. If you look closely, you can see that they gave him a mohawk. LOL!

I always knew my children were angels! G.I. Joe is the one furthest away. The one up close was made by The Warrior. This was their first snow angel. All those little spots you see are snowflakes falling. Pretty kewel!

I know I've said it before, but I love this picture too. This was taken by Still Waters. The lift closest is ridden by Soaring Amongst The Clouds (in purple) and Daughter of the King. The lift in front of them has G.I. Joe (in gray) and The Warrior. The lift in front of them has my Knight and I (in dark blue).

Every time after The Warrior was done skiing, this is what he would do. He would lay on the floor, too tuckered out to take off his boots. No problem, cause...

Daughter of the King and Soaring Amongst The Clouds were always there to help him out. This is what we are all about... helping each other out. Still Waters stood up on a chair in order to take this picture.

The view from the top of the mountain. This was the clearest day we had. You can see the other mountains around. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I don't know how some people think that all this just happened all on it's own.

Did you know that Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream is based in Vermont? Well it is! And we got to go and check it out. :o) We all bought a pint of our favorite. I know, you think we must be crazy to eat ice cream when it's 15 below zero, but we did. :o)

We thought this tree was absolutely beautiful even without it's leaves. I don't know if you can see it, but The Warrior's hat says, "MARINES" on it. He says that when he grows up he wants to be a Marine or a Ranger. Whatever he does, I know he'll be great at it.

Let me say it again, no, this time I'm going to yell it, "I LOVE MY KNIGHT!" This man ROCKS my world!

Future Bond Girls. No, wait a minute, one of them is already a Bond girl. You see, Soaring Amongst The Clouds was named after one of the Bond girls. Which one? Well I can't tell you... for security reasons. :o)

Soaring Amongst The Clouds makes purple a beautiful color. I know what you are saying Sweetie, only a mom would say that. But, this mama is right. ;o)

My Still Waters always has a pensive look. She's a thinker. I love that about her. I always wonder what she's thinking. The gloves she is wearing use to be mine. My hands are no longer itty bitty. Oh, those gloves are 24 years old. They were bought when my Knight and I were stationed in Germany. I can't believe my hands were ever that tiny! Gone are the days of being itty bitty...

Daughter of the King is always sporting a smile. One can't help but smile when she's around.

G.I. Joe getting ready to go out on the slopes. He couldn't get enough of skiing. A Squire after his own dad's heart.

The Warrior, ready to tackle the mountain. His instructor told me that he was very impressed with our Squire. He had never seen someone learn so quickly. To think that this was his first time in this type of weather and he just kept at it. The instructor kept asking The Warrior if he wanted to go in and get some hot chocolate, but kept saying no, that he was fine. The instructor was more than ready for some hot chocolate, but kept up with The Warrior. He has a way of doing that. He makes you want to give 100%.

Soaring Amongst The Clouds gave us her pouty face, "I don't want to go home." G.I. Joe, "Whatever" and The Warrior is ready to go home. He misses his other little beanie friends.

Here we are leaving Burlington, Vermont. It's hard to believe that it time to go. We had a dream come true vacation. Things couldn't have gone any better if we had planned it. God was totally in control every step of the way. My prayer was that God would put a hedge of protection, shower us with mercy and grace and show us favor where ever we went. Did I mention that they gave us a free day on our ski equipment due to the snow storm? Did I mention that we got to ski one day for only $10? Did I mention that everywhere we went people were nice, courteous and friendly? Isn't that just like God... what a mighty God we serve.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Vacation Bound!

We head out to the airport tomorrow morning at 4:30 am! I don't think that we'll get much sleep. Everyone is just too excited.

Bags are packed. Clothes are laid out. Our home is clean. The Sub is house sitting for us. He is one of Steps' older brother. He's a real nice guy. He'll be keeping our Nicodemus company. I'm not sure if I've mentioned Nicodemus before. He's our Golden Retriever. He's a beautiful 97+ lb dog. We just hated having to leave him at the vet. So, The Sub agreed to watch him. Oh, The Sub came by his name because he's a.... substitute teacher. :o) The name fits. He's great with kids of all ages.

Here we have my stuff on the left. The ones on the right are my Knight's. Notice, I have the biggest luggage. LOL!

The biggest luggage on the left is my G.I. Joe's. The one on the right is The Warrior's. They are also taking a backpack. They'll be taking some books, mp3 player and sudoku puzzles.

Can you tell who's room this is? This is Still Waters room. She's the methodical, logical one. You can tell by how she's got everything sorted out. :o) I love this girl. She's everything I'm not.

This is Soaring Amongst The Clouds' bedroom. She too is organized and knows how to pack. She's got everything in one luggage. She's only carrying on the green slingback. I don't know how she does it! A girl after her own dad's heart. Wish I was more like her.

This is Daughter of the King's room. She also packed everything in one bag. She is so efficient! If you look closely, the blue item that is rolled up toward the right and the grey item, are sweaters that my Knight and I bought over 22 years ago in Germany. Pretty kewl that our children are now wearing them.

Well, time for bed. Praying you all have a Holy Spirit filled week. I can't wait to share our adventures....

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Countdown To Our Family Vacation... 2 days

A couple of days ago, I started a ski trip check list. I've been skiing before, but the last time was in 1994! So I was having a hard time making up a check list. I though, why not check and see if I can find and checklist online. Wouldn't you know it, I found several! So I combined different lists and tweaked it. Wala... we have an AWESOME check list. Now all I had to do is copy them and give them to our children.

We started to lay out our items tonight. My checked and our check in luggage has to be 50 lbs. or less. Yikes! But at least we are each allowed two check in bag and two carry ons. We got a great deal for our luggage. We didn't get it at JC Penney's and we didn't pay that price either. We got a great deal at Wal-Mart and it was a set of 7. Being that we are a family of 7, I bought two sets. They didn't have enough black sets, so we bought it in red. That's ok, cause now they are easier to spot. :o) I got it a couple of days after Thanksgiving. I already mentioned, that in no way was I going shopping the day after Thanksgiving. The stores still had great deals days and days after Thanksgiving. :o) So far, The Squires can fit their stuff in one of those rolling bags. They each have their own luggage and will also carry a backpack. Soaring Amongst The Clouds and Daughter of the King also fit their stuff in one. They too have a luggage to themselves. They'll also carry a backpack and their purse. Still Waters was busy studying for her last final, which is today. So she'll start packing when she gets home tonight.

Being that my Knight was in the military, we kind of pack military style. It just makes things tidy and everything fits perfectly. Even the bibs didn't take up that much room. Our snow boots are filled with socks or underpants. So far, everything is going smoothly... Praise The Lord. \o/

Yesterday I had a ct-scan done on my neck. I can't remember if mentioned I was having that done. Well, for quite some time I've been having trouble swallowing. My doc also found a lump on my neck. So he wants to rule out anything serious. This is just a precaution. Any way, they did the ct-scan with and without contrast. The taste of that dye (even though it was given by IV) stayed with me ALL day long! I couldn't even enjoy the delicious meal Daughter of the King fixed. :o( But it finally got flushed out of my system by 11p! LOL!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Welcome To The Blog World

I'm big into journaling (see *note). I like everything about it. But blogging bring journaling to a whole new level. Not only do I see blogging as journaling, but I also see it as a ministry. Why? Well, let me tell you...

I feel that by sharing what happens to our family, it could help other families. Maybe we have gone through something that the reader is going through. Maybe, what our family has done might help someone else. Maybe, it gives hope to others. I know that when I read other blogs, I sometimes come away feeling encouraged. At times it helps me see things from a different perspective.

Having said that, I would like for you to welcome my Soaring Amongst The Clouds and my Still Waters (see **note) to the blog world. When you have a chance, drop in on them and see what are the musings of a 20 year old and 19 year old. You might be pleasantly surprised. You'll see why there is never a dull moment in our Castello.

Today, Soaring Amongst The Clouds sent me an email. This is what she wrote, "You know, I was just looking at my 10 year plan I made a few years ago... so far I've been following it to a "t"... not even realizing it!!" Let me tell you how this came to be. A young man had expressed interest in her. At the time they were very young and still in high school. We had both of them read, I Kiss Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. After they read the book, we had them write a 5 and 10 year plan. We asked them to share where they would be in that time. What would they want to be doing. Then they were to compare the list. That's the list she's talking about. She is always being told that she is her mother's daughter. But today, I see that she is very much her father's daughter... be still my heart...

*note: Ok this is driving me crazy. I kept typing journaling and it kept saying it's misspelled. So went to look it up. It is written in two ways, journaling and journalling. Could someone please correct me? :o)

**note: Still Waters just set up her blog. Due to finals, she hasn't had the time to journal online. Though, she does journal in her journals. She' be making an entry when she's done with her finals. That's what I've been told. I'm looking forward to that. I know I enjoyed her old blog. For some reason, she's not able to access it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It Is An Honor To Be A Mom

Yesterday, I wrote about some of the women who influenced me. Today I am lead to share some of my thoughts about being a mom. Please keep in mind, these are my thoughts. I don't claim to be an expert. I fall extremely short of being the woman God wants me to be. But even so, I keep on striving towards that goal. I know that I can not do it on my own. He is with me every step of the way.

Ok, this is something that you'll hear me say over and over again... I LOVE BEING A MOM! I love everything about it. I have welcomed it, with outstretched arms, everything that comes my way regarding being a mom. Has it been easy? No, but what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. :o) I don't like to dwell on the bad times, I prefer to focus on the good times. My Knight teasingly tells me, it's because I live in a Pollyanna world. But I don't mind, I like it there. :o)

Personally, there are two things that I consider the most important part of being a mom. One is to be a woman who loves and follows the Lord, Jesus Christ. The next, is to love her husband. Not just with words, but with actions. Well we all know that love is a verb. So the best way to love someone is by showing it.

I feel it's important that my children see my walk with Jesus Christ. That they see He dwells within me. It's not enough to have my children hear me talk about our Heavenly Father. They have to see it in action too. How else can it be real to them? Parents whether they try to or not, influence their children. So as a mom, it's up to me to set an example. To pave the road ahead for them. If I walk the straight and narrow, they might deviate, but God will always bring them back. Now, I am human, I mess up. I mess up all the time. Praise the Lord, my Heavenly Father is merciful and showers me with grace. My children see me stumble. But they also see me repent. Saying sorry sometimes sounds empty, but backing up that sorry means all the difference in the world.

As a mom, I feel I have to give my all to my husband and children. I don't consider it a sacrifice or a martyrdom. My children will only be under my care for a blink of an eye. Before I know it they will be married and starting a family of their own. What I do with them and for them now, will impact them for the rest of their lives. I don't take that lightly. Right now, it's all about them. They'll be plenty of time for me later on. But you know what, honestly, doing for them is also doing for me. I feel fulfilled when I do for them. So I guess in a sense, I'm being selfish too. You see, I told you I was sinful. lol!

Now I'll share what I feel is most important, aside from teaching my children about God. Drum roll..... loving my Knight. I need to set the example of having a good marriage. There is no such thing as a perfect man, woman, child or marriage. It just doesn't exist. Only God is perfect and flawless. By loving, submitting (in the biblical sense, not how the world sees it) and edifying my Knight, I am setting an example for my children. They get to see first hand what God intends a marriage to be. Like I said before, I know that no one is perfect. I'm a sinner saved by grace. I make mistakes. I say things I shouldn't say and do things I shouldn't do. I repent and strive to be the woman God wants me to be. My children know that when people love each other it's not about self, it's all about your loved one. So when I'm busy pleasing my Knight and he in turn is busy pleasing me, we are being selfless. I'm not talking about intimacy, even though it applies in that area too. :o) What I'm trying to say and I might not be getting it across the way I want to, is that by putting my Knight first, I'm dying to self and it's freeing. By my Knight putting me first, he's dying to self and it frees him. In the end, we are thinking of each other and that's when it all comes together. That is what 1 Corinthians 13 is all about. That is what my Knight and I strive for.

I have to honestly say that I have been very blessed. My Knight is a wonderful husband and dad. I know that it makes it easy to love him, but we are not always lovable are we? LOL! He is involved in every aspect of our lives. Which make parenting much easier. We support each other. When one is at wits ends (it does happen), the other one picks up and takes over. It has always been like that for us. We are there for each other and for our children.

I know you've heard me say it a thousand times, all I ever wanted was to be a wife and a mom. I always wanted to have a large family. I could see me with 12 children, but the Lord in his infinite wisdom blessed with with 5. Well, years ago we miscarried while I was 18 weeks pregnant. So we have one waiting for us up in Heaven. So I God has really blessed me with 6 children... my favorite number.

I love my children with all my heart. I love my Knight with all of my heart too. Being a mom, I though it was up to me to teach and them to learn, but my family has taught me so much. Little did I know that I too would be learning too. I've only been a mom for 20 years. And I've learned that, I still have much to learn...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Women Of My Past

I never thought about being a nurse, a teacher, a police officer, a fire fighter or to have a career. It never appealed to me. For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a wife and a mom. I feel very blessed that my dream to be a wife and mom has come true. I'm living my dream.

I can't even begin to share what my life has been since I became a mom 20 years ago. It was nothing like and at the same time, everything I had ever dreamed of. Nothing had prepared me for motherhood. I had all these ideas of, "I'll... or I'll never...". But I quickly found myself eating my own words. But every step of the way, God put a woman for me to learn from, a woman to mentor me even though they didn't know they were mentoring me.

The first woman was my mom, Sabimbi. She is an incredible woman. She showed me by example how to love unconditionally. Let me explain. My paternal grandparents did not want my dad to marry her. They were prejudice. My mom is from Panama. Her skin is not white. My paternal grandparents didn't even attend their wedding. But my mom never told me this until I was much older. Growing up I don't ever recall hearing her say anything negative about my grandparents. In fact she would encourage us to love on them "when" they would come to visit. She would call them and put us on the phone to ask them how they were doing. She went above and beyond what anyone would do to love unconditionally. But we all know that children sometimes see things, that others do not see. I could tell that something was not right. Being a child, I wasn't sure what it was. But I realized it when I was older.

The next woman was my grandma, Abuela Caky. She had the biggest heart. She loved God like no other person I had ever met. I never heard a curse word come out of her mouth. She was the type that would give you the shirt off her back, she was very giving. She worked hard and put all her brothers through college. She was a hard worker and everyone loved her.

Tia Toya was married to my Tio Manolo. Tio Manolo was one of my Abuela Caky's brothers. She was the life of the party. She new how to have fun. She laughed and joked. Everyone wanted to be around her. She had a way of making everyone feel at ease. She was very eclectic in her taste of fashion and decoration. I was always awed how she could put things together and make it look great.

Tia Yolanda was my dad's sister. Like my paternal grandparents, she too was prejudice, but she accepted my mom. They weren't buddy buddy in the beginning, but with time, their relationship grew. They became close. She was a very devoted mom to my three cousins. She worked outside the home and kept her family going. She was the baseball mom and the taxi mom. She did everything in the house and never asked for help. She felt it was her job to do and I never ever heard her complain. I remember hearing other ladies say things like, "Ay Yolanda, dile a tus hijos que te ayuden!" Translation,"OH, Yolando, tell the boys to help you!" She would answer, "Yo lo hago por que quiero, y es mi placer atenderlos." Translation: "I do it because I want to and it's my pleasure to tend to them."

Mari, is my dad's cousin's wife. I know it's hard to follow that one. LOL! She married Fafi, when she was young. She as soft spoken, kind and loving. I never heard her raise her voice. She always had dinner ready when Fafi got home from work. She always looked pretty. She was all about taking care of her husband and her children. Everything else came after.

These are the five ladies that influenced me, early in my life. They all valued being a wife and mom. Now do you see why, it's all I've ever dreamed of? I wanted to much to be the type of women they all were.

I am not even half of what those women were. But I do strive to be the woman God wants me to be. I fall... but He's always there to pick me up. I just sometimes wish that I could just learn my lesson and move on. But dense me, I don't always learn it the first, second, third... time around. I'm sure all the these women, like me, had faults. I can remember certain times that my bubble would burst, but why dwell on those moments? What purpose would that make? I choose to remember and dwell on the positive. It helps me to move on and stay the course.

A wonderful lady I know recently asked for our homeschool group to pray for her. She's praying for an accountability partner. Now this kind of surprised me and it really shouldn't have. But I've always thought she was all that and more. Kind of like the ladies who influenced me. Her prayer request got me to thinking. I know, "Oh no, she's thinking. Watch out, her brain might explode!". Well, all along my Christian walk, God has sent me someone to help me along my journey. Sometimes that someone was here for a reason, a season and some will be here for a lifetime.

When I got married (at 18), I felt that I was mature and ready for marriage. After all, my parents set a great example. Guess what? Nope, you're wrong. Marrying my Knight was the best thing that ever happened to me. Moving away two days after our wedding was the best thing that happened to us. He was in the military and we got sent to Ft.Polk, Louisiana (for 10 months, then to Germany for a little over 2 years). Being far away from family and friends, drew us closer to one another. We learned early on in our marriage to rely on one another, to work things out. God sent me my Knight and he helped me to grow. We were truly blessed.

When I became a mom, who did I call? My mom and my Abuela Caky. Why because they had already been down the path of motherhood. They were (my mom still is, my Abuela has gone on to be with the Lord) wise and knowledgeable. They gave me great advice and helped me be the beat mom that I could be.

Then it was time for our Fair Maidens to attend school. "Oh, what to do?!" We weren't pleased with the school system. We couldn't afford private school. So, wouldn't you know God sent a friend for a season. She explained to me and showed me what homeschooling was all about. Did I learn it right away? Nope, like everything else, you never stop learning. It's an ongoing thing.
This friend came and went, but God sent others along to help me continue on my journey.

When I had questions that needed answers. God sent me wonderful Godly women to help me along my way. They always steered me back to His Word. We would have awesome bible studies. Not just ladies bible study, but couple bible studies too. We would go on marriage retreats and fellowship with each other. To this day, we still do this.

Having an accountability partner is a wonderful opportunity to help each other out. I say help each other out, because that's exactly what happens. Not only is the receiver getting blessed, but the giver is also blessed in return.

All these women that God has put in my life, have helped me become the person I am today. There have been others. Others that were only sent for season. They too helped to mold me. Even though these ladies weren't officially an accountability partner, they influenced my life in many ways. For that, I'm very grateful.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Countdown To Our Family Vacation Begins

In 10 days, we'll be heading out to the mountains. This will be our very first ski vacation as a family. We are all looking forward to going away and are very excited about what's to come.

I am a native Floridian. I was born and raised in South Florida. When my Knight and I got married, we were blessed to be stationed in Germany. That's where I first saw snow and learned to ski. I was hooked! We skied every chance we got. We became quite the experts, but we surely had man falls along the way. My Knight was born in New Jersey, so he had seen snow before. He also did some military training in Alabama, so he was use to snow.

Our Fair Maiden's saw snow for the first time when they were 5, 4 & 3 yrs old. We took a road trip in search of snow. Our quest took us from Florida (which was where we lived) to Tennessee. But we finally found some snow. About a year later we went on a family ski trip to Virginia. That was the first time our Fair Maidens got to ski. I was pregnant, so I was the official photographer. They took one day of lessons and from then on, they skied with their daddy. They were natural skiers. They loved it! For the last 3 years our Fair Maidens have been able to go skiing with our old church youth group. This is the first time our Squires will see snow. They are very athletic and I'm sure they will have no trouble picking up this sport. It's in their blood... double dose. ;o)

For privacy reasons, I'm not sharing where we'll be going. But once we get back, I'll be sure to post pictures and share more details of our trip. I'm so excited! We are slowly but surely getting things ready. We've got a list going on and we keep adding items to it. But all the clothing and accessories have been purchased.

I have not been skiing since 1994. I'm not as limber as I use to be. But my spirit is willing. Being that I have Raynaud's Phenomenon , I am making sure I have enough stuff to keep my feet and hands warm. We live in a warm climate, but even so, I have trouble keeping my hands and feet warm. This all started happening once I started having lupus flare ups.

So far things area going rather smoothly. No one has hit panic mode... yet. LOL! We are just excited that the time is drawing near.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Monday, So Good To Me

I woke up this morning and praised God for what He was going to do in my life and in my beloved family's life, today. This is sad to say, but it's the first time ever I have praised Him before I got out of bed, for what He was going to do in my life.

I pray. I pray every day. I pray a couple of times a day. But it never occurred to me to thank Him for what he's "going" to do. I have to honestly tell you that today, Monday Monday was so good to me. My Lord and Savior blessed me every step of the way. Not only me but my beloved family too. He blessed me in the big things and in the littlest things. How were we blessed today? Let me share a few of the blessings:

* I woke up at 6am, without any joint pain, neck pain or headache.

* I was able to do 2 loads of laundry and every one showered without the tank backing up.

* The weather was absolutely wonderful.

* My mother-in-love and I got to have a heart to heart talk.

* Soaring Amongst The Clouds spent most of the day with me.

* Soaring Amongst The Clouds had to meet with the Alumni University (*see note) counselor. She had to turn in the list of classes she's taken and what she plans on taking next semester. The counselor is only there on Mondays' and one can not schedule an appointment. It's on a walk-in basis. I dropped her off at the entrance and went to look for a parking space.

* I got the perfect parking spot, right in front of the LS administration building.

* As she was getting to the Administration counter, the counselor was leaving, even thought he's suppose to be there all day long. She was able to hand in her paper.

* I was able to find a pair of jeans for Soaring Amongst The Clouds and Still Waters. They are very petite Fair Maidens. Their size is not easy to find.

* When I went to turn in the paperwork for the septic tank permit, everything went smoothly.

* While at the "permit" place, a mom with her 6 month old was standing next to us. I was blessed to hear and see that little one smile, giggle and laugh. She was a simply adorable.

* I was able to find the gift I wanted to get my good friend, Jewels.

* My Knight had a good day at work.

* Daughter of the King got to go with Steps and his family to see the Christmas lights of a neighboring town.

* When I called the nurse practitioner, they were able to see me today. They were also able to get me in to see the surgeon this Thursday.

* The pharmacy had the new medication I was prescribed, even though it's not something they usually carry.

* I was able to get to the post office before they closed.

This was only some of the ways that I was blessed. So much more happened, but I have to cut the list somewhere.

My prayer is, that you God bless you and yours...

*note: The reason I call the university she'll be attending, Alumni University, is because my Knight, the Matriarch (his sister) and the Constable (our nephew), all graduated from that university.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Seamstress

The Seamstress , my mother-in-love (*see note) , went and spent a week with her daughter, the Matriarch. They live about 35 minutes away. Things at our Castello was quiet and relaxing. Which is something that it hasn't been, since the Seamstress moved in, in late July.

Things around here have a been a little tense. The Seamstress is refusing to get involved and do things. All she wants to do is stay home. She doesn't speak enough English to get involved with the senior citizens of our church. There are a few Hispanics that attend the functions, but she is not wanting to participate. She sits out by the pool and stares at the sky. I've tried to get her to help out Daughter of the King in our church's quilting ministry. She doesn't want to do that. Since we are a homeschooling family, we are home more than the average family. But, my children, those that are still homeschooled, are busy throughout the day with school work. Those that attend college are often not home and if they are, they are busy with school work too. There is also the language barrier between our children and the Seamstress. My children understand a little bit of Spanish, but they don't speak it. I know, it's our fault. When they were younger, we use to speak Spanish when we didn't want our children to know what we were talking about. I know that they are now paying the price. It's to their advantage to be bilingual. We dropped the ball. But even so, we try to get her to do things, but she won't have anything to do with it.

My mother-in-love has never learned to be content where she's at. When she lived in South Florida, she was bored. She would tell us, that all the family did was complained all the time. During the week she would stay at her home and not go out anywhere. On the weekends, she would go and stay with family and visit with friends. She would say she's bored, but refused to get involved in groups gatherings. She makes no effort to keep herself busy or to get together with friends. She doesn't know how to entertain herself. She looks to others to entertain her. But even so, when we try to encourage her to go places or take her to functions, she declines. At times she even gets aggressive with us. In her own way, she has always been loving. But at the same time, she has always been negative, prejudice and very critical.

My children and I are having a hard time dealing with all this. Yes, I grew up in a home where my mom was a verbal, mental & physical (not like what you hear about these days) abuser and very critical. But my children did not grow up in a home like that. We are all about encouraging, edifying, loving, joking, hugging and kissing. I know this has not been easy for my Knight either. He loves his mom and is doing right by her.

My parents live in South Florida. They are both retired, but have a part time job. They transport patients to and from doctor's appointments. They keep busy and enjoy their job. They have come to visit us three times since July. During their visits, we have noticed that the Seamstress changes. She becomes more active. She participates in the activities. She converses more (my parents are Hispanic, but they speak English well). She doesn't get bored. She laughs and she has a good time. But this only happens when my family visits. The rest of the time, she regresses and goes back to her normal self.

During my parent's visit, my mom shared with me that back home, she gets together with people of her peer. They play cards and bingo every Thursday and Friday. One day a week their church has game day. They arrive mid morning. They play games, have lunch and fellowship. Then they are given dinner to take home. My dad doesn't participate, he keeps busy in other ways. I also remember when my Abuela Caky was alive, a bus would come pick her up and she would be taken to a another church who offered the same thing my mom's church offers. My Abuela looked forward to attending game day.

Since we noticed the difference when my folks visit, we have looked into finding a group who has activities for the elderly. She won't participate in our church's group. She says she doesn't know anyone and she doesn't speak English well enough. Even though we told her some Hispanics attend and we would stay with her until she feels comfortable attending on her own, she refuses to participate. So we looked for groups in our area. There is non for Hispanics. Not even in the neighboring towns.

It does not help her to be idle. We are trying to keep her active. I showed her how to play Sudoku and she is doing well with it. I also got her a word search and she does that too, even though she doesn't know what the words are. But at least she's looking for the words. We live on 5 acres. We have plenty of room to keep a garden. She says, she's going to start one. But every time I say lets get a garden started or work on the ones we have now, she gives and excuse and says no.

The Matriarch and the Fortune-Hunter have already said, that she can not stay with them. She can visit, but not live with them. The Seamstress lived with them for 9 years (1996-2005) and they want privacy. In one conversation the Matriarch had with me, she said, "My blood pressure has gone down since she left. I can't stand it when she sits there and just stares at me. It unnerves me." I found that interesting. During the time she lived with them, they lived in a 4000+ square foot home. The Seamstress had her own mother-in-love quarters. She had her own kitchen/dinning area, living room and bedroom. According to her (the Matriarch and the Fortune-Hunter say different), she kept pretty much to herself. She would help the cleaning lady keep up with the home. She would also cook every now and then. During that time, she was able to drive, but never went out anywhere, other than church on Sunday's, groceries and the bank. She made no effort to visit with friends. They lived in a very nice closed gated community, but she never went for walks.

The Seamstress is living with us because she is no longer able to live on her own. She has dementia. She has trouble keeping up with her medications. She gets easily frazzled, so we keep things as stress free as possible for her. She is no longer able to drive. We have also noticed that she at times, doesn't tell the truth. Even though we've witnessed things, she outright, tells us different. The doctor says the dementia is not too bad. She does not have Alzheimer. He told us that, the dementia is just part of getting old. She is now 80. She remembers well, it just that she has trouble when it comes to taking her medications and remembering little things. We did purchase a pill box which has am, lunch, pm, bedtime, 7 days a week compartment. She is easily influenced, so she has to be guided when she has to make choices.

We have been praying for guidance ourselves. Scripture tells us to honor our parents. But, more and more we see that she needs something more than just us. She needs to be around her peers. Not just age wise, but culture wise too. The road ahead is not an easy one, but then again God never promised it would be easy. We would greatly appreciate your prayers. I have faith that God will see us all through this. His Word says so.

*note: When I say mother-in-love, it's because I'm speaking life into it. It is best explained here.