February 26, 2008
God is good - ALL THE TIME!
All the time, God is good!
This morning, I write that a plane ticket has been booked to get Nol home to his wife. I write this with joy and sadness. I've had a front row seat in witnessing what happens when you trust God to take care of a need.
My husband went to the hotel Sunday night, when Nol was working, in order to let him know our mission. For the second time in as many days, Nol broke down into tears in the kitchen at work - this time as a friend assured him that he would be going home as soon as possible.
The ticket was booked this morning, on the faith that we would have enough money to pay the bill when it comes. We know we will have it - I continue to get calls and emails from all over - and when I check the paypal account, there seem to be new payments - from names I've never even heard before.
God has worked in a mighty way this week - through the generosity of many many people. I personally appreciate each donation, each prayer... Something has transformed in me in the past few days, contemplating the kind of life that requires working many hours in a foreign country - sacrificing onesself to provide for a family and a village he cannot even enjoy.
March 3rd, 2008
I sat down this morning to write an update and found this in my drafts, so I will post it with an update.
This morning, Nol has arrived in Cebu, Philippines to be with his family for the next 5+ weeks. In addition to his flights, we were able to give him an envelope with money to help support his family while he has no income. What we gave him is not enough to cover his wife's medical expenses, so we are still collecting donations on his family's behalf.
We are so touched at the numbers of people who gave generously last week. Thank you for your prayers!
With Great Sadness
This post made me cry..What are we doing?!?!
.God Bless our nation and its leaders that allow this to continue. May their hearts be changed and may those in authority have their eyes open to truth.
February 24, 2008
*in the paypal account - $250
*pledges - $300
PLUS a roundtrip ticket from BWI to LAX (the tickets to the Philippines are much cheaper from the west coast of the USA).
After our prayer group meeting on Sunday morning, (where we did not ask anyone for money, though some of them had received an email) Nol's Fund has $800
* in the paypal account - $250
* pledges - $200
* checks & cash - $350
PLUS the roundtrip ticket from BWI to LAX
As of 2:30 PM Sunday, Nol's Fund has $875
* in the paypal account - $325
* pledges - $100
* checks & cash - $450
PLUS the roundtrip ticket from BWI to LAX
As of 10:30 AM Monday, Nol's Fund has $ 1445
* in the paypal account - $ 395
* pledges - $300
* checks & cash - $ 750
PLUS the roundtrip ticket from BWI to LAX
I will update more as there are things to update. It is INCREDIBLE to see God working through all of us to get Nol home to his family!
February 23, 2008
This morning at breakfast, Adam asked how we might come up with a fast $2500. I thought he must be crazy - what do we need that for? Then he relayed the following story:
Nol is 67 years old. He has come to the United States from the Philippines in order to support his family better than he can in his own country. The main problem is Nol's family continues to live in the Philippines. This is a true blessing for them - they remain at home, yet receive the glamorous income from Nol's hard work. Nol has been a hardworking, committed dishwasher at the Adam's hotel for the past 8 years. He also works at the Marriott, where he is a dishwasher. Nol spends 16 hours of each day washing dishes. On Sundays, he attends mass.
Nol lives simply and sends nearly every penny he earns to his family in the Philippines. For years, he has supported the high school in his hometown by sending musical instruments and supplies. He sends whatever he can to improve the lives of others - his family and others in their community. He's a sweet man, with a simple and beautiful faith - sharing of God's grace and goodness with everyone around him. Adam, for one, has been blessed by Nol's willingness to share his faith, especially at work.
So, why this money? Well, Nol's wife has diabetes and she is critically ill. His daughter has told him that her mother's illness is coming to an end and she wants nothing but to see her husband again before she goes to be with her Lord. Nol has not asked for the money, but last night, in the kitchen of the Holiday Inn, as he told Adam that his wife is dying, Adam thought he had to make sure this man could support his family in a more intimate way during this time. So we are asking for your help.
If we could get 50 people to give just $50 by Tuesday morning, Nol could be home with his family by next weekend - provided the flights don't go up too astronomically before we can book the ticket. This Lent, you can make a real difference for Nol and his family. By giving up just one meal out with your family of 4, you can help Nol be with his wife and children - for the first time in 7 years! If you know anyone else who might be willing to help, please direct them here.
You can forward donations to us - through Paypal. Send me an email (through the contact me link on the sidebar) and I will give you the information.
You could send a check (this would be last resort, as we need to gather the money fast), again, you'll need to email me for that information.
I realize this is a ridiculous request - so many that are reading this barely know us. But we trust in God's providence and we believe that He will allow all of us to bless Nol's family during this Lent. We know that we can do anything in His Holy Name and that He wants us to help in any way we can. And we just don't have the funds to send Nol on our own. But we know that God will provide. We just know it - so many of you have proven yourselves to be angels in the short (or long) time that we've known you.
We pray that you are able and willing to help. In addition to the funds, we would ask that you would pray that Nol's wife would not suffer, that Nol would make it home in time to be with her. We pray for peace for her children, for Nol and mostly for her - that she would have a happy death and find herself with Christ.
Thank you so much for prayerfully helping.
February 19, 2008
This morning, as we were sitting at the kitchen table, going over her math:
Me: Bookworm, you have to delete these zeroes (pointing at the page)
Bookworm: Oh, I forgot (as she uses the purple rubber end of her pencil to "delete" them)
Clearly, I don't remember that it's called, you know, erasing.
February 18, 2008
Even though I feel like I get stuff done every day, I hardly feel like I am making progress through the piles of things I need to get done.
Ever feel like that?
I've got literal piles and figurative piles and they are both driving me batty. I am fairly certain the literal piles are also
beginning to drive driving my husband batty as well. I think one of the problems is my inability to focus on a task for more than 4.2 minutes at a time, particularly when there are pages of math to check and help correct.
All this to say I'm here. I had a great weekend, but feel under the gun on some projects and would like to really make some headway around the house.... Any ideas? Also, if you know someone who likes to clean toilets, please give them my address. Immediately. Thank you.
February 16, 2008
Somehow, we've managed to mostly stay on track for the school year. One catch - I have to scan everything and send it in to Seton for grades. This is actually on my list to complete by the end of this month - to have first and second quarter submitted to Seton.
As I'd predicted from the beginning of this school year, Sally is almost finished with Kindergarten - she'll likely finish everything before her birthday at the end of March. I think we may just order first grade and get started. I was hoping to get the conference discount in June, but I really think we shouldn't wait for her to get started on the coursework. I've considered just getting a couple subjects and having her do science with her sister, but I can't decide what's best for her right now. I suppose I'll pray about it. The only problem with doing partial subjects is then we have the issue of Seton's grades being off. I do think it's possible she'll finish first and second grade by the summer of 2009.
Up until about 5 weeks ago, she was completely uninterested in even trying to read. Now? She's reading. It's amazing! The other night, we played a beginning reader Bible trivia game and she rocked it! She read the cards with practically no help. Of course, it took longer having her read, but it was fantastic to see the progress she's made in such a short time. We're very proud of her efforts and her interest.
Bookworm is pretty much the same. We've had some trouble with her crying when something doesn't come easily to her, but that seems to be easing up. She'll finish the some subjects ahead of schedule, so we'll work on book reports and creative writing, both of which she abhors. She's actually going to have to do two book reports this month since she has refused to do them up til now (and I have to submit the coursework for first and second quarter). Seton's curriculum could be a bit more challenging in some areas, but I think it's a great, solid program. We will be supplementing more from the library as we head into the spring.
I've been affirmed repeatedly for making this decision to school our children at home. They are blossoming and they both are incredible kids (of course I am biased). They have both thanked me in recent months for homeschooling them - they are starting to realize how much extra they get to do because our schedule allows. It's very rewarding to see them grow and learn.
February 14, 2008
Happy Valentine's Day
May your day be filled with peace, love and much sweetness!
February 13, 2008
60 Things You Possibly Didn't Know About Me
1. What is in the back seat of your car right now? not much, it was recently cleaned out, but I'm sure the girls have a few things lying under their seats
2. When was the last time you threw up? last fall during a migraine
3. What's your favorite curse word? Does crap count?
4. Name 3 people who made you smile today? Husband, Bookworm and Silly Sally, not necessarily in that order
5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Wishing I could stay in my warm bed all day long.
6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? finishing up more than 2 hours on the phone trying to figure out what was wrong with my internet connection. Also, quizzing Bookworm on multiplication tables
7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now? Hanging photos at church
8. Have you ever been to a strip club? Yes
9. What is the last thing you said aloud? Don't play on the stairs, we are NOT going to the emergency room today!!
10. What is the best ice cream flavor? any flavor that is in my bowl
11. What was the last thing you had to drink? water
12. What are you wearing right now? black jeans, long-sleeved tee under a striped polo, pink slippers and a fleece jacket
13. What was the last thing you ate? oatmeal with dried cherries, almonds and flax meal
14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? no
15. When was the last time you ran? that time a monster was chasing me
16. What's the last sporting event you watched? Silly Sally's last indoor soccer game
18. Who is the last person you emailed? our priest
19. Ever go camping? yes
20. Do you have a tan? um, let me think about that one....
24. Do you drink your soda from a straw? if there's a straw in it
25. What did your last IM say? I don't remember the last time I was on IM
26. Are you someone's best friend? I hope so
27. What are you doing tomorrow? Driving the girls to piano lessons, heading to get a cup of coffee and sit and read a book for a while before picking them up to go to the library, then to a St. Valentine's Day party in the afternoon. Then, we head to DC to take the girls to see Disney on Ice in the evening. Can I just go back to bed now?
28. Where is your mom right now? at work?
29. Look to your left, what do you see? Bookworm
30. What color is your watch? silver
31. What do you think of when you think of Australia? Sue
32. Would you consider plastic surgery? Absolutely
33. What is your birthstone? sapphire
34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? I do, only when we meet friends for the kids to play - it's too cold for the park here.
35.How many kids do you want? 4
36. Do you have a dog? no
37. Last person you talked to on the phone? Michael from Vonage
38. Have you met anyone famous? My father-in-law - depending on what circles you run in, you'd think he was famous.
39. Any plans today? Need to get to those pictures....
40. How many states have you lived in? 5
41. Ever go to college? yes, I majored in partying with frat boys
42. Where are you right now? home
43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? temperature
44. Last song listened to? The Big Parade, as played by Sally
46. Are you allergic to anything? cats
47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
48. Are you jealous of anyone? no
50. Is anyone jealous of you? I'm pretty sure not
51. What time is it? 12:47pm
52. Do any of your friends have children? most of my friends do
53. Do you eat healthy? um, most of the time
54. What do you usually do during the day? teach the girls, laundry, extra activities (tomorrow, we go to a Valentine party with the homeschool group; piano lessons, library, etc.), mass when I can drag myself out of bed in time
55. Do you hate anyone right now? not ever
56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? yes
58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday? 33
59. Have you ever been to Six Flags? No
60. How did you get one of your scars? collided with a teammate during warmup before a softball game
February 12, 2008
As I'm readying myself and my children to run out the door to take care of a number of things, not least of all is voting in the presidential primary, the weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse.
These things must be taken care of today, particularly the voting, so what should I do? Do I risk being out and the roads worsen, then I'm left to drive in not-ideal conditions with my girls in tow?
There are many other things I'd like to talk about today, but I'd better head out before things get worse.
Praise God, the doctor appointment went well yesterday with my sister (in-law) and extra cool bonus - the guesstimated due date just so happens to be MY birthday! I can't wait to hear about the ultrasound next week. (Is it weird that I am just excited for their pregnancy as I'd be for my own?)
Stay safe and warm! God Bless.
February 11, 2008
Babes into Autumn!
We had a fantastic weekend! You can read all about our little pilgrimage trip to Emmitsburg in my last post. I ended that post with a mention of heading to some friends' for dinner. That was a lot of fun, with another family in attendance as well. After dinner, the adults (and the 12-year-olds girls) played Pictionary - I'd forgotten how much fun that game is. Our team didn't technically win (due to dice rolling inabilities), but we definitely outplayed the guys.
The best part of the evening, nay - the whole weekend, was an interruption to our game. First Husband's phone buzzed in his pocket, but he let it go to voicemail after mouthing to me that it was his brother-in-law. Then, my phone buzzed in my pocket - it was the same brother-in-law, so I felt it must be important for the attempt to track us down. And it was.
They are pregnant! They'd been hoping and trying for nearly a year and it wasn't looking like they'd be able to do it without some medical assistance. Of course, we've all been praying for them and we can't be more thrilled for their family to grow! This is their first pregnancy and I am all too aware that things don't always go as planned, but I pray that their hearts will be spared the aching my own has endured. I pray this pregnancy goes perfectly well and in the fall, we will have another niece or nephew to love.
Would you please pray with us? Also, they have their first doctor appointment today, so pray that goes well and all is well.
February 09, 2008
Today, our little family took a day trip up to Emmitsburg, Maryland. There are several cool things in Emmitsburg, particularly if you share the same faith as we do.
First, we traveled to the Grotto, which is a replica of the one at Lourdes. We arrived a few minutes too late to attend the noon mass, but when we reached the grotto itself, we happened upon a group being led in the rosary by a priest. So, we joined in (they'd just begun - score!). Afterward, it was incredibly crowded, so we didn't actually get inside the grotto, but we prayed there and marveled at thinking of how many "pilgrims" have come to this holy place on a mountain for the past two hundred years.
The grounds surrounding the grotto are incredible, with beautiful statues and a path with all 20 Mysteries of the Rosary done in mosaic. It is clear the place is well-loved and cared-for, in spite of the traffic.
After quite a hike to the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, we enjoyed some time in quiet prayer out of the cold damp air. As we ascended the "mountain", we gazed up at the towering golden statue of the mother of our Lord. (At least that is what I told myself as I was overheating from the hundreds of steps to get back to our car.)
I'd packed a picnic lunch and though it was quite chilly, we enjoyed the shade behind Mother Seton's Basilica and Museum. In the museum, they had a movie presentation about Elizabeth Ann's life and works. We enjoyed the beautiful Basilica and more time in quiet prayer.
Many pieces of our faith in America sprang forth from that peaceful valley. We'd love to take another trip to see all the things we didn't squeeze in this afternoon. It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.
Now, we're off to dinner with friends. May you have a blessed weekend and a wonderful mini-Easter!
February 07, 2008
Babes of Summer
If you know me at all, you know that I've been longing for another baby for years. We have two living daughters and many other angels that have gone before we were ready to let go. You can read about our most challenging loss here (read onto the next entry by clicking at the bottom of that page). We have been pregnant 9 times. It sounds like a sad story, for sure, but make no mistake, we are incredibly grateful for our two beautiful daughters.
It doesn't stop the shame and slight achiness in my chest, however, when I hear others' fantastic news.
And this summer, I am going to be overwhelmed by the joy of others. We have 6 babies due this summer in the circles of our friendships.
Our first goddaughter is going to have a baby brother in May. This will be our friends' third baby in less than 3 years. I do not envy that. Seriously. I do not even think I have the grace to handle three in diapers. They live just outside Atlanta.
Another Atlanta baby! My dear friend, Becca, is expecting her second daughter in June. We are beyond thrilled for their family. And we know Rach will make a fantastic big sister!
And another Atlanta baby! Other friends are expecting #4 in July. Their oldest is a girl just about Silly Sally's age. My guess is that they will have another boy - giving them girl, boy, girl, boy. I pray this little babe is mellow and offsets his/her older sister, who is wild at 2.
Friends in central Georgia (was there something in the water in Georgia last fall?!?!) are expecting #s 5 & 6 in July (actually the same week as my friends immediately above). This family is incredibly sweet and I know that the new babies - both boys - are going to be adored by their older sister and brothers.
Finally, a friend in DC is expecting her first in July. I don't know if she plans to find out the sex or not, but I know she could use the most prayers. She's an established career woman and is slightly freaking out about whether or not she will know what to do as a mother. I am planning to put together a booklet for her with all the advice she doesn't need. Kind of like a "stuff-people-tell-you-that-means-absolutely-nothing-when-you-actually-bring-the-baby-home". A funny book about all the bad advice people give you as you prepare for your first baby. I'm thrilled to accept your stories for addition into the book. I'm thinking "what not to expect when you're expecting, even though everyone else seems to think you should expect it"...
I am thrilled for all my friends. But I can't help my weakness seeping in and smacking me upside the head, as if God is taunting me with my inability to maintain pregnancy (heck, I haven't even ovulated in 2+ years, so staying pregnant is hardly my current problem). So, this Lent, I am committed to really trying to lay this "burden" at the foot of the Cross. I'd like to just feel content with where we are right now - even if I can't get to the place right now where I feel like our family is "complete".
And seriously, I'm wondering how I can plan to be in Georgia for about 6 weeks this summer so we can be around for all these babies. It is going ot be incredibly exciting!!
February 06, 2008
Ash Wednesday Plans
Greetings! I know I've basically been MIA for the past few months. I won't apologize, as that assumes there are those who are missing me. I do know it may be true, as I've gotten at least one or two messages lately asking for an update. So here I am.
There are lots of things stewing around in my head that I'd love to write about. Perhaps I will make Lent a time of sacrificing some of my time to write about things that are important to me. Things that may turn off a few of you, I don't know. But I've given it some thought and I'd really like to write some things that are not so much about my life and what's going on in it - but things that are about how I feel about certain issues. I won't call it sharing my wisdom, because I'm far from wise. Rather, I'm thinking some words about what I believe and why - just my perspective. Because blogs are nothing if not a bit about narcissism.
If there is something you'd like to read about in particular, send me a comment and let me know. Otherwise, you're basically going to get some stuff about what I believe, why, and how I got to this point. Every day? Hopefully. I will not be posting on Fridays or Sundays during Lent, so that basically is 5 posts a week for more than a month. I know it's a stretch, but I'm certain I can do it. Right after I run those 3 miles each morning. haha.
Today, I'll take care of some light housekeeping around here - dust off the keys, so to speak.
-- My health is the same. I had my appointment with the specialist at the end of January and he knows nothing. I have more tests for them to do and I have a follow-up ultrasound for the cysts they found right after Christmas. For now, he doesn't think it's hypothyroidism (due to my blood work from November), but all the signs point to that, so he doesn't know what to think. The other thing, he has no idea why my temperature is so low (bordering on hypothermic many days). Even if I have hypothyroidism, it is rare that it would cause this low of temps. So, nothing new to report. [I could still use your prayers. I feel rotten most days - think of how bad you feel if you have a fever and imagine that, only cold instead - now imagine feeling like that roughly 5 days/week. So, definitely not life-threatening or anything too severe, but it's a constant blah - not to mention the headaches that come with it.]
-- I'm wanting a blog redesign - a complete overhaul. I cannot spend money on it during Lent, so if you know of some great layouts that an idiot can implement for free, please let me know. Or if you know a blog designer willing to do some pro bono work, send me their way. ha!
-- If you haven't been reading the incredible story of Tricia and Gwyneth, as told by Nate, you must go. But be prepared to weep at God's witness through them. They are quite a family! If you don't have time to read through everything, please just remember to keep them in your prayers.
-- Most of you who know me also know Raelyn. Please remember to keep her in your prayers as she continues chemo for traphoblastic disease.
-- If you need a laugh, go read this. I seriously chuckled for days when it crossed my mind. Then she posted this, which is almost as funny.
Have a blessed day.
February 01, 2008
.Mary at Owlhaven has more kids than you can imagine. 4 of her daughters were born in Ethiopia and the country has captured Mary's heart in a very tangible way. Her writing is fantastic, but the love for her children is what keeps me reading. Mary has detailed the social situation in her daughters' native country and it is so sad that there are so many people living in such poverty. We cannot even imagine what it'd be like to experience some of what they go through each day. Most women are so poor they don't even have a blanket for their newborn! The hospital workers wash everything by hand, including sheets, towels, etc.! .Mary's family has really embraced the cause and her parents and sister will be going to Ethiopia this summer to help train nurses and do odd jobs in an attempt to help make a difference. Mary had this brilliant idea of getting some bloggers to donate blankets to supply the hospital with something to present to each newborn baby to take home. Initially, many of us wanted to make blankets to be taken there by her family - but the suggestion of collecting monetary donations in order for her family to purchase the blankets from local merchants (thus stimulating the economy while freeing up suitcase space for things like medical books, et al), has led to today. Today is the day we can all make a difference - if even to one baby, one family. Please go to Mary's place and make a donation..But wait, there's more! Mary thought it'd be great if she could raise $500 - to supply about 100 blankets to the hospital. Then she issued a challenge - dreaming big, thinking we could help thousands to us all to raise the money for a commercial washing machine. $2000.00 USD.Won't you please consider donating to this worthy cause? I did!