Saturday, December 16, 2017

Visions of Sugar Plums Dance

Ah, The Santa Clause. I love that movie! Good thing, huh? It's on every night, yeah? 😂 
If pre-Christmas everything leaves little time for movies...
First and foremost, if this is you, stop. Just stop. It will all wait... right up until January 2nd, if necessary. Worst case scenario? You don't pull off the perfectly planned Pinterest... I mean... Christmas! 😉 So, what?! 😲 THERE! I said it. 😂
But, I digress...
A boy and his dad, inadvertently, startle Santa Claus on the roof. Poor Santa takes a lethal fall. A card, discovered in Santa's pocket, states the holder of said card will take possession of the position. No if's, and's or but's, an airtight clause. A magical journey ensues for Charlie and his very reluctant father... Santa!
Scott Calvin, eventually, came to terms with his fate. By the time his 2nd Christmas on the job rolled around, he was an awesome Santa Claus! *happy sigh* 
If I could choose any job, I would choose to be Santa. Wouldn't that be the best job ever? Yes, it would take a lot of hard work, but sharing all that joy with the children of the world would more than make up for it!
My fear of heights, however, could make flying off into the sky in an open sleigh a bit... well... terrifying! But, I would push through! I would not allow fear to keep me grounded! I'd white knuckle it all the way, but off I'd go - Oh! Ho! Ho!
Does Santa visit your house? Never any contemplating here! We could not wait! But, after a couple of years, at some point, the thought would come.

"There will come a day..." When that thought strikes you, don't hit the panic button! I have something to share with you. The method is tried and true.An escape clause, if you will. (Jack Frost will not be involved. 😉 )

The time is at hand. He's looking, directly, into your eyes (or sobbing muffled words into his pillow after bursting through the door after school and dashing, tears streaming, straight for his room just one day - one day - before Christmas break... 😩) and asks you the question, it will be, oh, so tempting to gloss over it or sidetrack or... Don't. You knew the day would come. It's here.

Your child has opened up to you questioning a lifelong deception come to light. Oh, sure. We can mutter under our breath something to the effect of "How dare they?!" Or... "I know it was that little So-and-So!" 

But, in the heart of our Christmas hearts, we know that isn't what's really bothering us, is it? I can ask because I've been there. Twice before... and two more to come. *heartfelt sigh*  

Our child stands before us and needs to know the truth. Questioning a lifelong deception... Now, is when we must face fact. It's a deception that began, directly, with us. How can we admit that? We have, intentionally, lied to our children. Oh, the magnitude of it all! How do we rectify that?

In the heart of your Christmas heart, you know the answer. There is only one way.

Tell the truth. 

I hope it's not as devastating as you've imagined. But whether the reaction is a resigned, "I knew it." Or more tortured sobbing into her pillow... We can't just leave them like that!

Now, would be the time to wrap him in your arms and whisper, "You know... When you discover the truth about Santa Claus, you can be Santa Claus." Let that bit of information sink in for a minute. Did some sparkle return to those beautiful eyes? I hope so!

I will imagine the sparkle spreads to yours, as well, while you plan how you will help Santa spread some Christmas joy to children (All People!) in need.

"Great plan!" you think to yourself, "But, what if the question comes while putting out the milk and cookies on Christmas Eve?" 😩

I, certainly, wouldn't blame you if you kept the dream alive, while promising yourself you will have the talk before New Year's.

But... What if you were at the ready and pulled out a beautifully wrapped package or two?

Imagine you and your child slipping out into the Christmas Eve night to make this very special delivery. No matter the content! It can contain whatever your child can imagine. No matter the destination! It can be left anywhere! Around the corner or clear across town! 

This gift is not for the one who receives it. This is a gift for you and your child. Whether it's in the days and weeks ahead or the eve of the celebration of God proving His great love for us by sending His one and only Son into the world that very first Christmas, your child will learn that the joy that comes at Christmastime has nothing to do with whether or not Santa is flesh and blood.

The joy of giving and expecting nothing in return... Now, that is a feeling we all need to experience. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! Let love abound!

And, perhaps, this Christmas Eve, her dreams of sugar plums dancing will be for someone else. Someone he does not even know. After the angst our betrayal caused, that thought is a balm to the soul, isn't it?

The spirit of Christmas lives on.

Merry Christmas!


The Santa Clause Image belongs to Disney Pixar
Panic Button & Gift Courtesy 
Thank you!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Mom Fail #4,642 ...And That's No Hashtag

Nose wrinkled in distaste, you glance at the clock and grab a diaper for a very needed change. It's 1:05 PM. The thought pops into your head that your child's kindergarten class has snack at 1:15... Then, it hits you like a ton of bricks.

Your child has snack at 1:15! In the chaotic rush of bed rousting, breakfast and all else entailed to get your family up and out the door, you had not thought to get a snack in the backpack. There's no way you can change the baby... and you must change the baby... grab a snack and get to the school in time. The teacher keeps snacks on hand for just such emergencies, but still! 

A vision of that precious, crestfallen, little face comes to mind.

You had vowed after the last time, never again! I mean, what parent of a kindergartener does not think to send a snack for the entire first week of school?

This girl, right here. And, no one said a word. I realized it, myself, over the weekend... When I opened the back and forth folder to find all the first of the year literature.  *sigh* To put the fail on an even grander scale, this is not my first go round! She is our 4th kindergartener. You'd think I'd have it down by now.

The truth is... I do.

I don't mean to toot my own horn or anything, but upper 90 something percent of the time, I'm a great parent! And, you are, too!

We can't go around beating ourselves up because we... oh, I don't know... frantically searched the house late, and I mean LATE, one night for something to use to stuff a dinosaur tail that "we" had just finished hand stitching for "our" son's costume needed for his presentation at school the next day. And, maybe, in "our" sleep deprived state, "we" jerked open a chest full of sheets and decided "we'd" hit the jackpot! Never mind that the thing weighed at least 25 pounds and "our" son is in third grade... and a bit on the thin side. "Our" son, however, thrilled with "our" creation upon waking, got an A on his talking dinosaur presentation.

Not so bad, after all. Mom Save! Knuckle pounds all around, girls!

Uh, no... 

At parent/teacher conferences, weeks later, the teacher brings up the dinosaur costume... The report was a large part of the 3rd quarter grade, of course, but, to bring up the actual costume... "We" are inwardly thrilled at the mention and prepare to receive the coming compliment, oh, so graciously! Then, it happens. The teacher says, "The tail was quite heavy and they wore the costumes all day. You might have used newspaper or wrapping paper. As it was, it was very cumbersome. I felt a bit sorry for him dragging it around behind him." *Insert sound of GIGANTIC Mom Fail! stamp slamming down.* 

I survived the epic tail fail. (Had you figured out that "I"  am the "we" here?) Actually, it was a very good idea. I don't know why I didn't think of it myself, but believe me, it is filed away for future reference should we ever need to stuff something large (And last-minute, because, let's face it, that's the way I roll.) again! asked moms to fess up and compiled a list from the submissions received. It's titled, Epic Mom Fails: You Are Not Alone and is worth the read. It's proof positive that everyone fails now and then. Their kids survived. And our kids will, too. You know why? Because forgetfulness, especally in context with the crazy busy life that comes with parenting, is allowed. We're human, not perfect. 😉 

Bend, little willow.

Oh, and regarding the kindergartener with no snack... After carrying the crestfallen image with me for the remaining two hours and forty-five minutes of school and sufficiently berating myself right up to my turn to pull up in line to the pick-up spot, she bounded out of school with her sister, their faces wreathed in smiles when they caught sight of me. Once settled in the car, I started to apologize, but she spoke first.

"You forgot my snack."

"I know. I'm sorry."

"It's okay. My teacher had cupcakes!" 


Hang in there, parents! It's all going to turn out okay.
See you next time!

Photos Courtesy: Thanks!

Friday, October 20, 2017

How To Be A Morning Person... Wait... WHAT?

True story. 

Our wee one loves to draw. One Saturday morning, I was cooking breakfast... okay, it was more like brunch judging from the time...  and she was drawing at the table. Excitedly, she called out for me to see her creation. I turned toward her, happy to accommodate. She said:

And, then, she said:

I had apparently been feeling a bit frazzled.   😂

It's okay. Go ahead and guffaw! I do! Sometimes, I laugh right out loud even thinking about this picture. 

It keeps lots of things in perspective for me.

Take, for instance, the how do you wake up question. Can a person who is not genetically programmed to leap out of bed every morning at the first sound of the alarm - if they even use an alarm - greeting each new day with a smile and a song, actually, become a morning person?

I have seen a flurry of blogs and ezine articles touting that all you have to do is follow "these easy steps" and... Presto! Change-o! You, too, shall awake shining before you even rise!

Wait... What?

Something tells me these champions of change were all ... morning people! 

I have sought to become a morning person over the years. Here's my take on their key points for change.

  • Get more sleep. That's easier said than done, isn't it? Lots of us are juggling a job (or two!), kids (which means extra curricular everything!) and, let's not forget how quickly a house can fall way past disarray! Besides, speaking for myself anyway, I'm pretty sure that staying up late (and hating to get up!) is part of my natural body cycle. Honest. Even if I sleep for 9 or 10 hours straight, I still wake up on the grumpy side of things. 

  • Move the alarm out of bed's reach. There's a tip that makes sense. I began using it years ago. If you have to walk across the room to shut the thing off, you are more likely to keep your feet on the floor.    
  • Don't hit the snooze. It messes with our natural sleep cycle. And, you have to admit all that shuffling back and forth across the room to and from the alarm sort of defeats the purpose.😉
  • Habits let you run on autopilot. You may not have chosen your outfit the night before since elementary school, but there's something to be said for mindless activity in those first minutes of my day. When I find my way to the bathroom, having everything I need waiting there works well for me.

  • Wake up to natural sunlight. That would make things a bit better, but my alarm goes off before the sun comes up so...
  • Work out immediately. Baha! No, thanks. Pretty sure I could do bodily harm.
    • Coffee is essential! I stumble to the kitchen first thing. Caffeine is a motivator. The hero come to the rescue! The memes that tout its importance in the morning are true! Oh, happy day, when I discovered coffee's wonderfulness!

    So, what's the outcome? If you choose to follow these tips, will you be transformed? Will you leap out of bed every morning singing the happy song?

    Take it from someone who's first thought upon waking is (and always has been), "I don't wanna!" The answer is no. Some of us just aren't programmed to be morning people. It has got to be hereditary. You should hear some of the stories about my aunt! Oh, my stars!  😂

I use some of the above techniques to help me cope. I realize I'm no fun to be around when that alarm goes off. Believe me, my family realizes that, too. They steer clear for a bit should I get caught stumbling down the hall towards the kitchen. Most days, I'm up before everyone else so I will be past the hardest part of my day before they arise. I have done so for decades. I just need that few minutes...  

Thankfully, I realize my sour outlook upon awakening should have no bearing on the rest of my day. Or anyone else's! So, I shake it off… Every. Single. Day.

As a matter of fact, I know, without a doubt, if you were not there to witness the stupor in which we wake, you would peg my aunt and me as morning people. Seriously. I'm just a little ray of sunshine... (the vast majority of the time, anyway. Everyone has a moment now and then...) and, if I'm a little ray, my aunt is a sunburst! That might be an appropriate comparison, if likening the sun to someone constantly exuding joy from their very soul!  

Yep. I want to see the glass more than half full every time. An optimist supreme. That's me.

Well... Once I roll out of the bed, anyway... And slam that cup of coffee.  😉

Be a little ray of "Sonshine" today.

*pointing to the comments section and whispering* It's so quiet here. You ought to say Hi! 

Alarm and Coffee Photos Courtesy

Monster Slippers Stock Photo

Disney's Anna from Frozen....

Sunday, September 11, 2016

He's Everywhere All The Time

*Original Posting Date: September 2015  @ *
Thoughts of where we were and what we were doing at the moment we learned of the evil that was unleashed on our nation September 11, 2001 have surely been going through everyone's mind. Horrible images left burned into our brains of the of the hate fueled attacks resurface. The incredible sadness is relived. We were a nation in mourning. We mourn still.
I would like to share three things that I have been thinking. about the last few days. Things that happened that I believe show God was not caught unaware on September 11, 2001. He is truly omnipotent. He knows everything and is everywhere all the time. These are not miraculous stories of heroism and survival, though I have no doubt there are many of those! But these three things required attention up to a year or more before that fateful day. I should tell you that this was a time in my life when my knowledge of God and His promises was growing by leaps and bounds. When we are looking for Him at work in the world, He does not disappoint.

The World Trade Center normally had 50,000 people working within it's walls each day. Add 140,000 to that figure which is the average number of daily visitors.
There could easily have been up to 190,000 people inside, but because the attacks happened early in the morning, many people had not arrived yet. There is also story after story of people who were held up along the way to work due to many different reasons. So many schedules orchestrated right down to even the flights taken by the terrorists to minimize life lost.
       There is no such thing as coincidence.                                                                                                                              God did that.

                                           (Photo courtesy
               The following is an excerpt from an article published by the Datonian in Manhatten.
                                    Click the pic to read the article in it's entirety.
The committee members of the Fire Fighters Memorial Foundation of Missouri worked hard to design a fitting memorial to the fire fighters throughout the state who were lost on active duty.  In addition to the wall on which were inscribed the names of the fallen, the Foundation envisioned an emotionally-moving sculpture: a mourning firefighter, kneeling in grief with his helmet at his feet.
In October 2000 Matthews International Corporation of Pittsburgh received the commission to create the bronze statue.  Cast in the firm’s Parma, Italy foundry, the 2,700-pound sculpture was completed nearly a year later, in August 2001.   Matthews International had promised the Missouri firefighters that the statue would be delivered in October.  Although the bronze was originally intended to be shipped by ocean, Matthews decided to air freight it through New York City to guarantee the delivery deadline.
The statue never made it to Missouri.
The crate arrived at Kennedy Airport on September 9, 2001 where it was held for customs clearance.  Two days later Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists flew two Boeing 767 airliners into the World Trade Towers.  Emergency responders rushed to the scene in a valiant attempt to save the thousands of workers in the burning structures.  Among the 2,573 innocent people who were murdered that day, 343 were New York City firefighters.
The entire nation joined New Yorkers in their shock and grief; among them the firefighters of Missouri and the Matthews International Corporation employees.  The Fire Fighters Memorial Foundation joined with Dave DeCarlo of Matthews International and offered the statue—which so astonishingly-well reflected the pathos of the event--to the New York City Fire Department and the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation as a gift to New York.
On September 17, the day that the Kneeling Fireman was released from Kennedy Airport, the New York Post published a full-page photograph of a New York City firefighter kneeling in the ashes of the Trade Towers.  Eerily, the photograph was nearly identical to the bronze sculpture.
Me again...  Do you think God would orchestrate circumstances to bring hope and comfort by such a remarkable thing happening at such a time as this? I do.
Lastly, I would like to tell you Alfred Marchand's story.

Alfred Marchand came home from work one day in the fall of 2000 and out of the blue declared that he was retiring from his 20 year career as a policeman. He was certain that God was telling him it was time for him to live his dream and become a flight attendant. Alfred had always wanted to see the world and this had always been how he dreamed he would do it. He began training for his dream job in November 2000, even though neighbors teased him and his wife tried to dissuade him."I didn't want to be away from him or move somewhere else," said Becky Marchand. "But Al was gung-ho about doing it. He was adamant, and I just had to accept it." For nearly a year, Alfred lived his dream. He was working aboard United Airlines Flight 175 that first hit the World Trade Center. We saw his wife and stepson in an interview. His wife shared the first part of this story.
Then the interviewer turned to his teenage stepson and asked, "And how does it feel seeing that plane crash into the tower over and over again on television?"  The boy's answer began with "I feel proud because I know God had my Dad on that plane for a reason." He went on to share that his Dad believed in God with all his heart and never hesitated to share our need for Jesus with everyone he met that he felt needed to know. He said his Dad's light shone so brightly that people naturally flocked to him. With a sense of peace that seemed to radiate from him, the boy explained he was proud because he knew in those last moments his Dad was sharing with anyone on that plane that needed to know how to go with him to heaven that day. At the ready to lead them to Christ.
There were other stories like Alfred's those first days, but this young man's visible peace in the midst of such chaos spoke volumes. I knew that God had not forsaken us, but had not considered the fact that He was putting people and things in place long before that day. I knew without a doubt that God was in control. 
Yes, God was prepared for 9/11. He was not caught unaware. He will never be caught unaware. He is always everywhere all the time. No matter what is happening in this crazy, mixed up world know that God is in control. Bad things, horrific things are going to happen, but the Bible lets us know through the story of Joseph (Genesis 50:20) that God is aware of evil and will take it and turn it for good if we but trust Him. Let's trust Him. Ultimately, God wants you to be with Him forever when you leave this earth. That is going to be nothing but good! Have you assured that will happen? Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? If you have not, come take a walk with me with me. If you have, who do you know that hasn't? Let's follow Alfred Marchand's example. Let's let our love for God shine like a beacon drawing others to us so we might share Jesus with them.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. 😊
See you next time~
* Becky Marchand quote can be found here: (sorry... you will have to copy and paste)
This is so amazing to me that I have to share this with you from the Deseret News article as well! God orchestrating again! He blows my mind! Wow!
Joshua Marchand found a post card of the World Trade Center in a shoe box just weeks after two jetliners slammed into the twin towers and killed his father. Underneath it was a Bible with an inscription written by his father. "Pretty soon I'm going to be in heaven, and you're going to be left to struggle here on Earth. Use this Bible for strength and wisdom in God. Love, Dad,"
 *Pointing to paragraph above today - April 7, 2016 - Mind still blown!*

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Grand Life

Probably about 20 years ago, my sister called to say they were making out their will and asked if we would take the kids if anything ever happened to them, we said yes immediately. It was not until a few years ago that I learned we hadn't been her first choice! She'd asked our Mom if she and Dad would take in her little orphans and admitted she was a bit surprised when Mom had said no. Her reason being that they were old. Oh, how I can relate to that statement now! Can't you?
But family is... well, family! I have no doubt that if circumstances had arisen and someone had to step up to keep any of their grandchildren out of foster care (or an orphanage, sister!), Mom and Dad would have headed up a grandfam in a heartbeat. So did we, all, when it came down to it because here we are mid-life (or beyond!) with children in the home. God bless you, by the way, for you are doing a great and wonderful thing!

I knew even before I actually looked them up that the numbers were going to be high. But I was floored by what I discovered! And these statistics were collected from the census in 2010. I have no doubt they are even higher now. Our children are in crisis.

Kinship Care is defined by the Division of Family Services as a grandfamily with the following exception: When a foster youth is placed in an agency arranged relative or kinship placement and the placement provider successfully completes the licensure process, that provider will be eligible to receive a monthly maintenance rate equal to that of the traditional foster care payment, plus the $100.00 professional parent incentive rate each month.  (I never intend to show my novice blogging skills, but I'm pressed for time and can't figure out how to make the little 1 for a footnote! You can find that information here: )

Do you see that last statistic up there?
• For every child being raised in the foster care system, nearly 25 are being raised by grandparents or other relatives outside the system.
I looked up some figures and did some math on that because to me it reads as in foster care as a whole. The ratio number is for every 1 child in Kinship (Foster) Care. Let me say it one more time...


I am happy for those children that had family members step up and rescue them from what must feel like total abandonment during a terrifying time in their lives. No matter how crappy our living situations are, it becomes the norm, you know? But excuse me while I shout, "Hurray for us!" The vast majority of us saw a child in need and acted. Whether you were responsible for actually removing them from an unsafe living situation or you immediately agreed when asked if you would take these children into your home, thank you! You can be responsible for breaking the cycle that has spiraled more out of control generation after generation. You are teaching a child about unconditional love first hand. THAT is a powerful tool, my friend! Statistics, also, show that children raised in grandfamilies thrive. Can't ask for a better outcome than that! I am so proud of you, Grands! Baby Boomers may be blamed for having accelerated this tailspin to warp speed, but some of us were obviously learning from the greatest generation and it's time to get back to our roots!

The last statistic on this list blows me away, too. Are you starting to feel like Atlas? We have shouldered a lot! But we will endeavor to persevere! This mountain of broken souls (children and their parents alike!) is a heavy burden to bear, but together (*looking up* And with Your help, Jesus!), we will move it!
The majority of information was taken from Generations Unite. I encourage you to check it out. There is a wealth of information on that site alone!
Even though sometimes I know it feels like it, you are far from being alone in this situation. There are 2.7 million more of us rooting you on! Speaking of making noise... Feel free to leave a comment here or over on the Facebook page.
See you next time!
Will and Testament Image Courtesy

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Literally Literal

If the house was still when the little girl awoke, she would head quietly for the kitchen and ease a spoon out of the drawer. Ever so quietly, she slid a chair across the floor and scramble up to the counter. The sugar bowl was there. A blissful smile would appear on her face as she closed her eyes and removed the spoon from her mouth to wait as the sugar dissolved into gooey deliciousness. One morning, she opened her eyes to find her mother standing before her. She had a very serious expression on her face. She explained that even though it tasted very sweet, eating lots of sugar wasn't good for us. It could cause a sickness that you would never recover from. She paused for a second and added, "You could even kick the bucket."

The little girl stopped her early morning ritual because she trusted her mother to know what was best for her. Being sick was no fun and she could not fathom how horrible it would be to never get well. But she formed a mental image of herself walking along kicking a bucket. She wondered how eating sugar could make her do that and why it would be even worse than being sick forever.

The little girl was me. The hands above are Chloe's. I hope I don't regret asking her to pose for me, but she was the perfect model. She's made more than one trip to the sugar bowl, herself. Her technique differs. She bides her time until I am occupied and then goes for it! I've never used the kick the bucket line, but I do tell her and her sister that too much sugar is not a good thing. They are still having trouble comprehending how that could be possible because of the deliciousness. I will do my parenting job and try and monitor their intake. Not always an easy task because their Uncle Randy is often a coconspirator in their quest for yumminess. That's probably a topic for another post. 😉

But I digress. My mom was talking about sugar diabetes. In the 1960's, it was widely thought that eating too much sugar would cause it. We know differently now.

Of course, feasting from the sugar bowl should still be frowned upon, but that isn't the point of this post. It was the mental image from the phrase kick the bucket that I was going for. My sweet, loving mother paused because she was wrestling with something that would be terrifying for a child and could grow out of proportion. The thought that I might die. She just couldn't risk it. Hence, the phrase "kick the bucket." Children see things literally. I believe concrete thinking is the official term. explains it well:

Development of Concrete Thinking Concrete thinking is the first form of thinking children master. Very young babies think extremely concretely, and most research indicates that they cannot conceive of an object as existing if it is not physically present. As development continues, children develop object permanence–the ability to think about things that are not present–but still struggle with abstract thoughts. The development of abstract thinking is a gradual one, with children first understanding abstract concepts such as emotion and then being able to understand more challenging abstract ideas such as theoretical math, metaphors, and philosophical concepts.

We need to remember that. Children live in the here and now. They can't help but take things literally, even though, we may not mean it that way. Not only can we confuse little minds with cryptic phrases, but all our words are forming their self-image in these early developmental years. We don't want to create little "I can do no wrongs," because that will be a rough lesson learned out there in the big, wide world. But we sure don't want the other extreme either! Not long ago, I heard the words, "What is wrong with you?" come out of my mouth. And no one was sick or hurt! I don't even remember what the final offense was that pushed me to the brink. But I, immediately, checked myself and said, "Nothing. Nothing is wrong with you. You are acting naughty and Aunt Charelle got grumpy and said mean words." I, also, apologized.

I hope explaining that I shouldn't have said that and apologizing erased the immediate thought that might have popped in that little mind. There must be something wrong with me. Actually, I have done more than hope. I pray. Not only that those words don't take root, but that I don't sow any more bad seed. Will I mess up again? I'll take a guess and say, "Yes!" But, when I realize it, I will put the blame back on me where it belongs. 

So in the end, maybe I can turn this into a lesson for you learned by my example in taking responsibility for your actions. Or... Maybe this is supposed to be a reminder lesson for me to think before I speak! Either way, it's all good.

That's me. Always looking for the bright side. Guess what? There always is one. *Looking up.* And I mean that, literally!

Please know you are welcome to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Or pop over to the Facebook page and comment there.

See you next time!

Photo: Courtesy

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Little Things Mean A Lot

After my realization that the babies were no longer babies and how completely overwhelmed I was for, oh, I don't know... Years, maybe? I found myself wondering if it had, adversely, affected the girls. I can imagine someone interjecting here with, "Hey! Didn't you just champion God, Himself, in your last post for being the reason you can live for the day and not worry about the past or future?" Yes, I did. But I did add a (disclaimer.) No one's immune to those fiery darts, it's what you do after they strike you that helps or hurts. 

I've used some of my new found "free" time the last couple of days to start gathering pictures into one file on the pc. Tablet pictures, my phone, Randy's phone, the digital camera... Wow! We took tons of pictures of our kids when they were little, but technology has certainly put a whole new spin on that game, hasn't it? We have beaucoup pictures of the girls and we have recently discovered the joy of actually using the video recorder! If I can get that to be second nature... Look out! The YouTube channel may be coming soon! Actually, that idea first hit me when one day after performing an original, spur of the moment song for her Uncle Randy, Cynthia (then age 4) said to herself, "Hey! That was pretty good. I think I could be on the YouTube." Of course, we had not gotten her performance on video, but I thought, "Hmmmmmm." 

I'm kidding (sort of) about the YouTube channel, but guess what I saw in the pictures I have actually started looking through?
Happy Babies!

*Insert the sizzling sound of the fiery dart being extinguished as I drench it with a bit of Living Water!*

Oh, the memories those pictures stirred up! Zing! (That was me shooting an arrow, high into the air, streaming hearts and pretty little flowers behind it.) Those pictures proved to me that even though I may have felt the weight of stress from all the angles that it was being hurled my direction, I didn't let it steal my joy. I didn't let it keep me from, ultimately, focusing on those little things that are so precious. And I have not even viewed my way to Chloe's first birthday yet!
OK, this one is a few months after Chloe turned one. I pulled it off Facebook for you. We have captured some big moments since the girls have come. The most exciting being that our son got married that first summer and they asked Cynthia to be their flower girl! Our youngest (to date!) grandson was born the following summer. We've made a couple of trips to the city to the zoo. There are other examples, but you get my drift, right? Mostly, though, picture after picture will be like these two collages. The little things. They should be our top priority! Keep that in perspective and the rest will work itself out.

If you're in the midst of it, whatever it is, don't let the liar throw thoughts in your brain that are meant to eat at you until you explode one way or another. Choose instead to listen for the still, small voice. I'll be saying little prayers that you hear it loud and clear!

Hang in there!