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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in calmnise's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, June 21st, 2012
11:52 pm
Quick Update: Nicole earned her Masters for Education of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing and she will marry Matthew on August 3, 2012. Ashley had a bit of a set back. After making plans to go to CA to live with my brother, she decided the night before to stay in NJ. She moved back in with us. It took about five months before she got another job (long story). She is now working p/t in a new salon and p/t at a B&N in the cafe. Ian just graduated HS and will attend RUMG. All in all I am extremely proud of all my kids. Each one I have immense respect for. I'm amazed and inspired by each one.

Suffering: It had to be at least five years ago, probably more, that I thought to myself, "I really do not know what it is to suffer." I mean, yes, I have suffered in the past; actually pretty badly by the hands of another when I was a child, but since then my life seemed to be going very well. After thinking that I was a bit fearful of what might be coming my way; almost like God was going to get me some how. Well, as time went on and I no longer thought about suffering, things began to change drastically for me. The beginning of this turn of events was four years ago when I got the tragic and unexpected call that my father-in-law passed away. Then eight months later my dad died. Shortly after that I learned of Danny's business woes and that we were in serious debt. My dog of almost 15 years died. My cousin whom I was close to just died of alcoholism at the young age of 50. It was hard to see her in a casket. Now, we are selling our house to begin to get out of debt. We will move to an apartment. It pains me to think that other people will be walking through my home and critizing it. There is a deep hurt in my soul. My kids are moving on. Nicole will get married, Ashley will move in with Matt & Nicole to a place two hrs away, Ian will go to college and live with friends of ours. I am now suffering. I suffer with the constant struggle of depression. Little by little things are being stipped from me. Dan's dad, my dad, Dan's business, my faithful dog,our two vehicles, my old friend/cousin, my kids, now my home of 28 years. Along with the move go my friends, my work, possibly my church. Now, I know that I will see my kids, but it won't be the same. It's not supposed to be. I think that along with all the other "loses" it's emotionally harder. God is not "getting me". I'm learning that God allows and uses people and circumstances to make us more like Christ. He is asking me to trust Him even when I'm afraid. Well, I admit, I am afraid. I'm very afraid of leaving my home and going somewhere unfamiliar. It depresses me deeply to have to let go of all I've known for over half of my life. Ok, not all I've known. Danny will still be with me. God is with me. God promises to never leave me nor forsake me. He is taking me on a journey where I am finding that the "kingdom of self" needs to be dethroned because there is a new King. I constantly have to ask for His grace to get me through. I cannot do this on my own strength.
Friday, March 11th, 2011
12:41 pm
Way too long.
It's been way too long since I've blogged. Time seems to just slip away. Mom is all settled in with my sister Dawn and her family and doing better now that she is not so lonely.

Nicole graduates in May 2011 with her bachelor's degree in English, but she continues her graduate studies right away through the summer. With a year of graduate studies and student teaching she will have earned her master's degree in Deaf Education. We are very proud.

Ashley is still working very hard at the same salon cutting hair. She attended the Vidal Sassoon Academy in CA for 6 weeks to earn a specialized certificate in hair cutting. We are very proud of her.

Ian will be a senior in HS come Sept. We're praying for the right college for him to attend. He wants to pursue a career in the arts, possibly illustrations. His passion is music. He just finished wrestling and is now in track. He will be playing the drums for the HS musical production again this year. He will sing and play the guitar for a talent show. We're so proud.

Dan's business has seized to exist. He is now working for another company an hour away. He is happier there, so I'm glad for him. He's been struggling with so much over the years with all the finances that ensue with owning your own company. He has recently shared financial woes with me and they are extremely heavy and burdensome. We're praying for God's wisdom.

Fighting depression is a constant struggle, but I am encouraged and rejoiced when I remember who I am in Christ. He is my Lord and He will lead me where I need to be. His purposes are always for my good and His glory. Day by day I need to preach the gospel to myself.
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
10:26 am
Packing up 50 years worth of things at Mommy's house is emotionally exhausting, most especially for Mommy who already is prone to being anxious. It must be extremely hard to have to relinquish trinkets and treasures your husband had given you as gifts. There are so many things that even with five children just cannot be spared. My siblings and I take what we can, those things that mean something to us, but even then there are those items that just have to be tossed. How heart wrenching.

It's also a trip down memory lane. A trip that triggers happy and unhappy times. My memory journeyed back to when I was a kid. Packing odd colored glassware that my father's mother sipped her wine from when she visited on holidays brought back comical memories of Nana. The lovely and sophisticated Lenox China reminded me of how Mommy was so excited to finally have a set of "good" china, china that she could be proud of. The memory is so vivid to me. Mommy and her sister, Carol, both purchased the same exact pattern. I made sure I didn't give that job of packing the Lenox (and the Waterford Crystal) to the kids, no no, that job had to be mine. I carefully wrapped each piece in just enough newspaper as I placed them into the box which was then labeled 'FRAGILE!!!' on all sides. As I worked I couldn't help but think about those holidays around the table set with those special plates and bluish/greenish glassware. Memories of how hard Mommy worked to prepare dinner and make the table look so nice, only to have Daddy ridicule pretty much everything. Memories of how he was mean and rude. Nana was the only one in the room who could tell him to shut up. One holiday, Mommy went over to Daddy's plate and turned it upside down and left the house. It was late in the evening when she returned. Danny, Joey & Jimmy all managed to go out to get away. Dawn went hiding in her room. I was stuck cleaning up the messes and avoiding any more confrontations until Daddy feel asleep. There were happier times, though too. I have to remind myself of that b/c I have a tendency to see the negatives. Some positives were the many trinkets that Daddy had given Mommy over the years. I think they were tokens of his love and devotion that he never could properly show otherwise, at least not until later in life.
Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
12:27 pm
"I come to the garden alone, where the dew is still on the roses...and He walks with me and talks with me, and tells me I am His own..." My fav hymn...I have to continually remind myself of the gospel of Jesus Christ! My righteousness comes from Him and Him alone. I have no righteousness of my own. I will never have righteousness because of any human effort on my part. I'm saved by His grace and will live by His grace and ultimately & eternally be saved by His grace!
Monday, May 24th, 2010
1:05 pm
"I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom, but I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection. Why should I gain from His reward, I cannot give an answer, but this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom."
Stuart Townend's ending of his song "How deep the Father's Love for Us"

One of my most favorite songs to sing. Why should I gain from His reward? I have nothing to boast of in and of myself. Why should He use me for anything? I don't know except that He loves me and wants to be glorified by the works He has prepared for me. I trust the Holy Spirit will enable me b/c I am inclined to my sinful way of thinking I have nothing to offer when God said He has gifted me. I am also inclined toward loving my idol of isolation and comfort, so I continue to pray and lean on His grace.
Friday, May 14th, 2010
11:33 am
Marie passed away May 3, 2010. What a sad day to see my brother suffer with such a loss. Joe & Marie were married the same year as Danny & me; 1984. When mom and I last visited her we spoke to Marie about the Lord. Mom encouraged her to reach out to the Lord. I pray Marie did. Her memorial service after the church was touching. Stephen, her only son (only child), spoke about her while holding back tears that eventually fell. He did a wonderful job. One of her brothers wrote a poem which his wife read aloud. It was beautiful. I will miss my sister-in-law. I pray Joe finds comfort in the Lord Jesus.
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
10:53 am
Visited Marie in the hospital yesterday. It was emotionally difficult for Dawn and I b/c she's on the same floor as my dad was last year only a few doors away from where he was at one point. She was heavily sedated. She had a tube up her nose and a tube down her throat that allows the machine to breathe for her. The nurse said it's not that her lungs are unable, it's normal for this type of post surgery. (Also, it's extra important in her case b/c she is a heavy smoker). The doctors had her on the operating table for over 6 hours. They removed 3 ft of her small intestine and took a vein from her leg to connect to her intestine. They are doing an ultrasound this morning on her chest b/c they suspect she also had a slight heart attack at some point prior, during or just after the surgery. Joe said it was probably b/c she was extremely nervous. She had been refusing tests for the first few days of being in the hospital b/c she was afraid...hence the emergency surgery. Steven, her only child (he's 36 and has 2 kids), says it's b/c she is so stubborn. I have to say that Steven exhibited such love and sweetness to his mom in the hospital. He keep leaning into her talking quietly to her stroking her face and kissing her often. I know he will take it very hard if she doesn't make it. It will be devastating for my brother Joe. They've been married for 26 years. I'm praying for their salvation. Both are not interested in hearing about the Lord. I brought my dad's prayer book with me to the hospital (sentimental reasons) and wanted to read a portion of it, but Joe came in before I could. I felt uncomfortable at that point knowing it might make him upset.

That evening, Danny took me and the kids out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. He wanted to have a nice time all together. Nicole road home for the "occasion"! I'm thankful for a husband who treats us like royalty! It was a four course meal and before dessert arrived I handed each one a small package. Earlier I had purchased each a new shirt "just because". I told them I am thankful for each of them; that they are such good kids and that I loved them all! It was all so much fun! It was a great diversion from all the sadness earlier in the day.
Monday, April 19th, 2010
1:55 pm
In my previous post I want to mention that the "Dan" I referred to is my brother Dan, not my husband Danny.
1:52 pm
Been praying for Marie (my brother Joe's wife) who is in the hospital again due to severe pain from 10 gastrointestinal ulcers. The doctors just took her into emergency surgery - something to do with her intestines. She has an infection which they don't even know where it is. She weighs under 70lbs b/c apparently this problem has been going on for over a year now. We all knew something was wrong with her last year, but they never seem to want to talk about it. She' only 53 years old. She is in the same hospital that my father was in when he died; which in Dan's mind is no XXXX good! As far as he's concerned it's a place you go to die. Dan is very upset that Joe leaves Marie there. He suggests he take her to a hospital up north. This may seem extreme, as may very well be, but I understand how Dan feels. It seems like the same situation as when my dad was there...not diagnosing nor doing much...so we worry that Marie may die. This is scary. Marie is not open to hearing anything about the Lord. My heart aches for her and Joe.

Nothing else much to report...life this past year has been emotionally hard...too many deaths. Yet, in the midst of all this, I can rejoice in the fact the God has been most gracious and merciful to me. He is showing me and convincing me more and more that Jesus came not only for my personal salvation and the redemption of others, but that His work on the cross and His resurrection, the gospel story, is just the beginning of all things new. "Firstborn of all creation - Jesus, Living Word - High Priest". I'm understanding finally what it means to hear Christians plead with Jesus to come again - soon! Not only is Jesus our High Priest, but He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings!
Friday, May 8th, 2009
10:44 am
Nicole comes home from college this weekend!! I'm very excited to have her back in our home for the summer. When she returns to college she will be a Junior. Time sure goes fast!

This weekend is also Mother's Day. It's going to be sad visiting them. Both have lost their husbands this year.

Ashley graduates high school in June! She's is so excited to get on with her life as a full time worker in the cosmetology field. I'm being used as her "model" for her state board exam. She will be timed while having to demonstrate proper procedures on my hair and such. When she passes she will have her license to practice in NJ.

Ashley's prom is a week from today. Her gown, funny as it is, happens to be the same one as Nicole wore, only Ashley's is black! She looks so beautiful in it!!

Ian finished a successful wrestling season as a freshman. Now he is running on the high school track team. His coach put him in as a long distance runner, but has since moved him to being a sprinter after realizing the great times he ran sprints during practice last week. Ian likes the change. He also, of course, is still involved in the high school band playing drums.

Danny and I are praying about Ian's future. He just informed us the other night that he's thinking of enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps' Musician Enlistment Option Program. He's thinking he'd like to be in the Marine Corps Band or the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps. Of course, this is in the earliest stage of interest. We'll see what happens.

I've been enjoying a new cd by Rascal Flatts!!
Thursday, April 30th, 2009
10:18 pm
It's been seven months since my last post. So much has happened in my life. The biggest, most traumatic, most heart-wrenching thing is that my dad has passed away. He died Monday, March 2, 2009. It's not easy for me to think about. When I do think about those last days with him, I get emotional. God allowed precious times with him. I'm very thankful for those times. I wish life with him had always been as good as those times.

Cancer took over very quickly. We hardly had a chance to let info sink in before additional, harder news was delivered to me and my family. We were blasted with bad news constantly. I literally watched my dad die. Day by day, I witnessed my father slip away from us. Every day I would wonder "Is today the last day I'll see my dad?"

It's very strange, but the day before he died was the most alert he was during the whole terrible ordeal. He talked to everyone - and I mean everyone, for he had many visitors that day. So many visitors that I actually began to feel a little annoyed that these people were taking away precious time I had with my dad. Dad greeted everyone by name, he smiled and even laughed a few times, he kept his eyes open more than ever before, and he was stayed awake most of the day. He asked Ian to pray. I'm not sure exactly why. I can only guess that perhaps he knew Ian had been brought up in the ways of biblical truth, and my dad wanted someone who was physically and spiritually related to him to say a prayer. There was no particular reason for the prayer. My dad just, out of the blue, with everyone there, wanted Ian to pray.

Toward evening, my dad was getting tired, and visitors started to one by one leave. Only the family was left. Finally, we also left, for physical rest.

The next day was totally and completely different. My dad was barely responsive to us. Us meaning, my mom, my oldest brother Dan, next in-line brother Joe, and me. (Jim had flown home to CA, and Dawn was very sick). I'll never forget the last day I had with my dad. Even though he did not respond much to me, or anyone else, it was a day to remember.

That morning my dad's regular doctor had not been on duty (not that we ever saw him anyway - but that's a whole different story). A woman doctor we had never met before, was my dad's doctor for that weekend. She pulled me and my oldest brother, Dan aside to speak to us outside in the hall. We were concerned that morning about the way my dad was breathing. The woman doctor was very candid. She informed us that my dad would die either that day, or the next. Even though, in the back of my mind I wondered how she could possibly know this, I knew she was right.

Dan and I had to gain our own composure before going in to the room to tell my mom the news. We knew it would be difficult, for we had just done this type of "informing" twice before with my mom. Once, a few weeks earlier, we had to sit her down to tell her that it would be a few months that we would have w/ dad. Two days later we had to tell her it would only be a few weeks. Now we had to tell her it would be "today or tomorrow".

God granted us the whole day with my dad before taking him the next evening. Even though it was a day that he was barely responsive, it was a day I will treasure.

Midday my brother Joe and his wife Marie went home to take care of their new puppy. My mom had barely eaten in a few days so my oldest brother Dan took mom downstairs to have a bite to eat at the cafe. I told them to "Go, I'll stay w/ dad!" As they left the room I felt a wave of fear rush over me. "What if dad dies while I'm here alone with him!"

A moment later, the Holy Spirit gave me peace. I felt calm, and I was even elated to have that special time alone with dad. Under normal circumstances, in the past, to have time alone with dad was uncomfortable. This time it was very comfortable. I was excited to be able to read to him his devotional (the devotional was his prayer book he would read from everyday until he physically was not able to. I would read it to him at that point).

I was excited to read the devotional to him at that particular time b/c I knew I could really read it in such a way that I didn't have to worry, in the back of my mind, what everyone else was thinking. I read it with such deep emotion. When it was over, I yearned for more of God's Word to him. I looked around and found a bible in the drawer. Honestly I cannot remember exactly where in Scripture I read, but what I do remember is reading and emphasizing how wonderful God was to send His Son to die on our behalf! How we didn't deserve it. I remember reading portions of the Psalms. Then I remember feeling the need to praise the Lord Jesus with song! I, softly, sang praise songs that popped into my head that I remembered from church.

It was a time of worship to our Lord and Savior! My dad and me! Even though he physically did not speak, I believe that he was praising God with me. I will always treasure that in my heart. After several songs, we/I was interrupted by my the arrival of my brother and mom from their all-to-quick lunch.

Later that evening, while we were all engaged in a conversation with a nurse near the hallway, I noticed my brother Joe turn his head quickly toward my dad. I asked Joe "What?!" He replied "It seems like Daddy was breathing weird." I immediately looked over at dad. When he took a breath, I counted (as I had all day long between breaths) "One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi". I frantically told Joe that all day long it was "One Mississippi, two Mississippi".

I counted again, only this time "One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Mississippi,FIVE MISSISSIPPI!!" I then hit my oldest brother, Dan's arm in fear. The three of us ran to my dad. We realized these were his last breaths. I ran to my mom, who was still talking with the nurse (her Pastor was there talking as well). I said "Mom, Dad!!" We ran back to dad. It was only a matter of minutes. It was fast, scary, (heart-wrenching actually), and peaceful all at the same time.

My two older brothers were on my dad's right. Dan (the oldest) nearest to his head. He had his hand over his chest, teary-eyed. Joe was standing bent over near his right arm, also teary-eyed. I was opposite Joe. Near my dad's left arm. Mom was next to me, on my dad's left side, hovering over his face frantically crying and telling him "I love you. I'll see you again in heaven."

I just stood there crying, hands covering my face. A few times, as I wiped away the running tears, I watched my dad's face. Although it was calm & peaceful looking (for which I am extremely thankful to the Lord Jesus for) I saw it loose it's color. That was difficult to see. Later, after my mom kissed my dad one last time and moved away, I went to dad, leaned in and also kissed him one last time. His forehead was already cold.

I miss dad very much. I wish we had more time to worship the Lord together here on this earth, but I know we will one day have eternity to do that!
Thursday, October 2nd, 2008
10:52 am
October 6 is will be our 24th wedding anniversary! The cliche is true, time really does go by very fast. We're going to Cape May to celebrate! I'm looking forward to getting away and enjoying the peacefulness that we find there. We've been going (almost every year) since our 10th anniversary.

I wholeheartedly believe God is sovereign so I must accept and be thankful for the trials that have come our way these past several months. My prayer is that I will be an extremely joyful person while God is molding me more like Christ. Being a wife and mom I know it's my job to set the tone in the household and I intend to make that tone be one of peace and joy no matter what my circumstances.

We are in the process of trying to provide a place in our home where my mother-in-law can make herself comfortable while visiting us. We'd like to make our current tv room into her bedroom. This will require we find a new place for our tv/hang-out room. This needs to be done prior to Thanksgiving since we are having that holiday at our house this year.

Just in case I forgot to mention in my prior posts, Nicole made the dean's list for Spring 2008.

Ashley is getting nervous about what she'll do after graduating high school this year.

Ian just started high school and is already super busy. I don't see him much lately. There are many practices and activities he attends.

Danny is very busy at work these days. He has been working from 5:30am to 5pm. We thank the Lord for all the work He has so graciously given to him.

I'll be leading LBS again this year starting next week. We will be going through the book, Feminine Appeal, by Carolyn Mahaney. It's on the seven virtues of a Godly wife and mother.
I'll need much prayer since I feel very unqualified. It's only with God's help am I able to accomplish anything. When I am weak, He is strong.
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
11:46 am
This past month has been emotionally draining. The sudden death of Danny's dad on June 21 was a shock to our family. I'll never forget the phone call that came from my sister-in-law Liane. (Michael's wife ~ Michael was too upset to be the one to call us). I answered the phone that Saturday morning and upon hearing "something very bad has happened...dad died" my heart felt as though it fell into the pit of my stomach. Immediately tears were falling and my eyes were locked on Danny's face. I don't remember how the call ended, but the memory of having to tell Danny I will always remember. Danny just sat there without a word or any movement. It was as though he didn't hear me, but I knew he did. He demeanor was very matter-of-fact, so much so, that one might think he didn't care. That's the way he is, he reacts to things later. And that's exactly what happened. The next morning, after having driven the day before to be with his mother, he woke up at 4am and was crying on and off until about 8am. I'll never forget the look on his face when he woke me up that morning: red and swollen, glassy-eyed. He didn't say a word to me, but just hugged me, almost like a little boy. After that, he was ok again. He and his brothers were perfect sons caring for their mom. They were there for her all that day and the next. We all came back again the next weekend to take care of some things for her. Actually, we've been there every weekend since, and she's even stayed at our house for a night.

Dad was the grandfather that came to my kids school events. He was at almost all of Ian's home wrestling matches last year, and to Ashley's basketball games in HS. He was at Nicole's plays. He was the grandpa that came to Nicole's HS graduation ceremony. My kids certainly miss him.

Our gracious God gave us a very special gift before Dad passed away. We had Danny's family over on Father's Day the Sunday before he died. After reading our card to him that was signed "We love you", he looked at and pointed to each one of us individually and said he loved us. He had never done that before even though I always signed cards that way. We have so many good memories of him that we will have with us always. He was very much loved.
Monday, June 16th, 2008
12:37 pm
Today is Danny's 44th birthday. We will celebrate it at home with steaks and salad for dinner, and chocolate cake (his favorite) for dessert! We had fun yesterday with his whole family minus his nephew, Adam. Adam (24) is Danny's brother Steven's son. For some unknown reason Adam didn't show up or call anyone. Sometimes families can be tough.

Nicole and I have been busy painting the two bedrooms upstairs. Nicole and Ashley's room is a calming pale blue/green seaside color with with trim. We painted all the furniture while and got new white bamboo shades with white lace valances. There are some pink elements included in the room like a vase of pink and white flowers, pink lamp shades, and pink and white candies in a dish. There are now only two framed pictures of seashells. It looks lovely. Ian's room is the color of melted coffee ice-cream (creamy medium brown) with white trim for all the molding. We bought bamboo shades with valances that are natural in color with flecks of dark brown throughout. Although Ian didn't think he needed new paint (he was ok with the faded white that had remnants of old stickers and an old border!), I think he's happy now that it's done.

Ian's 8th Grade Graduation is tomorrow. I can't believe my youngest will be in high school!
Monday, May 19th, 2008
1:56 pm
It's been so nice to have Nicole home from college for the summer! I've been missing her presence at home since she left in September. Unless you've experience this process I imagine it's difficult to understand. I don't know if it's different with boys or not either; I guess I'll find that out when Ian leaves in four years. She has been a great source of help to me in many ways that include duties at home, encouraging me spiritually, and respecting Danny and me as parents even though she's becoming an adult and is used to having a schedule that is very different at college than at home. I'm so grateful to God for His grace to us. She plans on doing domesticated things while home for the summer. She plans on cleaning and learning to cook. She is also making herself available to the women at church who have kids for free child care, of which she has already helped in. Danny and I believe these are very important skills a young women should learn well, and since she will earn her room and board next year at school, we are all for her staying home instead of looking for work for the summer. (Also, I think she's earned a break since her second semester has produced even better grades than last - 3 A's and 1 B+ !!

Ashley is consistently been a great source of joy to me as well. She works very hard and it is paying off well at her job. Her boss really likes her and is always complimenting her and has given her a monetary bonus. Her sweet spirit and her hugs to me are so precious. Her grades have been all A's except for History. We are praying for her to bring her grade up.

Ian still continues to be a blessing. All his grades are A's as well (even 3 100's!!). His band teacher told him that he is the reason he continues to go to work in the morning, and plans on retiring next year when Ian goes to the high school! (I pray Ian doesn't get a big head...so far he hasn't...still very sweet and humble...but he is only 14!!) Oh, and you can even see Ian in a "drum-off" with another student at his school on U-Tube!

Danny has been extremely busy at work and under a lot of pressure from a particular customer. I pray for him for strength and that he will continue to trust God. I pray also that he will place all his care at Jesus' feet and trust Him completely.

Danny and I had an opportunity to share Christ with a Muslim couple. They believe that Jesus is a prophet, but deny he is God and also don't believe he died on a cross! I never heard that one before! Anyway, Danny and I felt so good to be able to have that opportunity together for our Lord Jesus Christ!!
Monday, April 14th, 2008
1:53 pm
Ashley passed her driving test! Of course she wants to ride everywhere, but Danny and I want her to take "baby steps". We let her drive around town for now.

Ian has been going to the weight room several times a week and he keeps track of his "max" limits.

This Saturday will be a concert at TCNJ. It's the Christian a capella group that Nicole is a part of. She has a solo. Two other groups from other colleges will also be performing.

I crocheted a halter top for one of the girls at church for the "lingerie Party" we had for her. I also knit a baby hat for Micah, the newborn boy in our church. Both were very fun to do!

I forgot to mention last entry that Danny is now officially an ordained deacon at our church. It was with much thought and prayer that God revealed it to be His will for him.
Monday, April 7th, 2008
1:05 pm
Nicole has switched her major from Special Education to Deaf Education with English as her second major. This is a five year program that will allow her to be certified to teach as well as have a Masters Degree. She is very excited! We praise God for His providence in having her be a "CA" Community Advisor on campus in the freshmen dorm next year. This is the highest paying job you can have on campus and we are very thankful since finances were a big concern.

Ashley will be 17 tomorrow! Her driving test is scheduled on her birthday. I'm trusting God for the outcome! We are very proud of her firm faith in Christ. She has been very diligent with her cosmetology studies and her work at the salon.

Ian had his first paying "gig"! The high school band asked Ian to play the drums for the play this year (even though he's only in 8th grade!). He did an excellent job! The play was "Zombie Prom" which has music all throughout the play. It was a lot to learn in a short period of time. On the last day of the production, Ian was paid $100.00!! He was so excited b/c he had no idea he was even getting paid at all. He was thrilled just to be asked and be a part of the play!! I thought it was very generous of the school. Danny and I did not know he'd be paid either.
Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
8:40 am
Allowing your teenager to take control of a steering wheel of a car has been one of the hardest things I've had to do as a mom. Normally Danny takes Ashley out for driving practice because my nerves just can't take it, but yesterday was different. Fearing that my daughter will only remember the negative things about me I decided to let Ashley drive around the neighborhood. It was the middle of a nice sunny day and I was feeling confident that I could handle it. Of course, as soon as we went to get into the car we noticed that there were construction men at the end of our road working with orange cones set up around them. I immediately began to worry that she might hit one of the cones, or worse, one of the men. I wanted to back out of my offer, but I decided I needed to not only trust her, but trust God as well. She did fine going around them. She drove around our immediate neighborhood pretty well, so I decided she should drive to the closest school to practice her parking. The schools are closed this week due to spring break and I knew it would be empty. Ashley did fairly well, but I did get out and switch places with her once to give her some pointers. Everything seemed to be going fine, until...One time as she was parallel parking, I told her to "cut the wheel" so she wouldn't hit the curb...well, instead of turning the steering wheel she decided to hit the gas! Thank God she immediately slammed on the brakes just in time so as not to smash into the curb and possible go up it and crash into the fire hydrant! Needless to say, I was ready to go home at that point! I didn't get mad, but I sure was glad when we parked that car back in front of house! All in all, I'm glad we had that time together, but I think I'll just let Danny do that job again from now on!
Wednesday, March 19th, 2008
12:37 pm
I've been watching a lot of cooking shows on tv these past few weeks and have been inspired to want to try new recipes. I think my family would appreciate that because lately my dinners have been either mediocore or horrible! Danny, of course, never says anything negative. Even after being the first to admit that dinner was terrible, he'd say "No, I thought it was good!" Ian gobbles down his dinner before he even realizes if he likes it or not! Ashley often is not home for dinner because she's at work.

I also have been watching HGTV. I like to see how designers redecorate the different rooms in people's homes, and how they reinvent new ways of using space. Many times afterwards I find myself moving things around at home, or trying to organize something.

Ashley will be 17 in a few weeks. I find myself having to try hard to accept that she's getting older and I have to allow her more privileges. If she gets her license Danny and I will have to really consider whether or not to let her drive to the mall and home again at night for her job.

We have a new "pet" in the home. His name is Cujo. He is Ian's white and gray mouse. Ian and his friend, Clint, are working on a project for school. They're in the process of constructing a maze from cardboard and will be training the mouse to take certain paths in the maze. I am not very fond of mice. If they didn't have those long tails, I might think they're cute. Ian walks around the house with Cujo running from hand to hand. Danny and I are concerned that Cujo might slip and fall prey to Carly our cocker spaniel!

The president of one of the companies Danny does work for met with Danny last week. The company is looking for someone to be in charge of their mold department, and the president said he'd like that person to be Danny. We're praying about the opportunity. He'd be in charge of 15 guys. Danny would have to figure out what would happen to his company. It's a lot to consider.
Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
10:45 am
Posting once again for the first time in a while!
Praising God for His goodness and kindness toward me and my family!
Learning more and more what loving people means and how much I fail in that department.
I heard a non-Christian mom say that she has never raised her voice at her two (now grown boys)! She said she always looked at them with a smile and had nothing but love for them, and that she always thought of them as her precious, precious gifts that she was given to raise. This affected me in a deep way. Can I, who is a God-fearing lover of Christ, say that?

Ian is doing well in wrestling. He earned third place in his weight class at the regional tournament held in Princeton over the weekend. It was exciting to see him receive his trophy!
Ashley is still working hard at her job which she seems to love. Actually she loves it so much she speaks of wishing she could just drop out of school so she can just work.
Nicole is now 19. I can hardly believe it. She's been home from college for about 4 weeks now for Christmas break. It's been great having her around again! We're proud to know that she has been making wise decisions and she has earned two A's and two B's in her classes. The two A's are for the classes that are most important to her major (Special Education/English).
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