Sunday, December 5, 2010
As a little girl one of my fondest memories was on Sunday nights, watching you and Dad getting ready for Square Dancing. I can still smell Dad’s aftershave, lol. I would be watching the Mandrel Sisters on tv and you would be walking around in your square dance skirt…I thought you were SO beautiful! I loved how you and Dad always had matching outfits. It was the best thing ever when us kids were allowed to come and start taking lessons and I got to dress up just like my Mom!
I loved camping too. I remember it seeming like we were going so far away…yet we had just gone to the Jellystone in Racine, and I couldn’t wait for you to get there after work. You always made sure that we had so much fun and later after T was gone and it was just me, you always let me bring J along too. Even to Disney World!! How lucky of a girl I was to go to the most magical place on earth with my Mom, Dad, AND my best friend!!
Another great memory happened every Christmas Eve. The lights were on, it was dark outside already, and sometimes it would be snowing. The anticipation of you getting home from work so we could open presents was almost unbearable! But the feeling of excitement was so great and it was all because you gave me such a love for ALL things Christmas! I remember I used to call you at work and beg to open just one present!! You always laughed at me and told me I had to wait!
I remember that when Grandma died, you held your grief in for my sake so I could go to my formal at school; you let me have just one more day. We traveled to MN the next day and I remember that I went to the funeral home with you to take care of things. For some reason, I felt really close to you that day. I miss Grandma a lot. I think of how much she would love my kids and how much she would just adore Mr. M! I know you must miss her a lot too!
In this military life that we live, I could not imagine being able to do it without your support Mom. God is what gets me through…but He gave YOU to me to be his listening ear and loving heart right here on earth. I know that no matter where I am or what I am facing…you will be there for me. I remember the feeling of total fear that I had when Mr. M told me he was going to Iraq. After he held me and I cried, I looked at him and said, “Can I call my Mom?” He said, “I was wondering when you would.” He knows that I still need my Mommy to make the boogie man go away.
So this year, on your birthday, even though I can’t be with you, I want you to know that I love you Mom. I love the relationship that we have! I know that I can tell you ANYTHING and you will still love me. I feel proud of you, protective of you, and I am so happy that God chose YOU to be my Mom…I wouldn’t have picked anyone else!
I love with all of my heart.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Then when my kids started getting old enough for trick or treating, we participated. Mr. M did not ever participate in Halloween as a kid so he wasn't real thrilled with the whole thing, but I LOVED Halloween! We went to all the same neighbors that I had gone to as a child and all my friends brought their kids over to our parents neighborhood, it was so much fun!!
Then we moved away, all the way to Washington state. As Halloween grew closer, Mr. M and I both started feeling some conviction about participating. There were scary graveyards all over the neighborhood. Children were talking about the costumes they were going to wear: witches, zombies, characters from movies they shouldn't even know about. Dad's were talking about dressing up like Freddy Kruger from Nightmare on Elm Street and scaring the kids! This wasn't sounding like too much fun anymore. What are we doing to our kids? What are we teaching them? Do I want my kids to think that all this is fun and games and be lead into the same activities that I played around with? Thank the Lord I was protected from the evil that I messed around with, but did I want to put my children into the fire as well?
We chose to hand out candy that year. As I watched these kids coming to my house, I had another thought...any other time of the year we tell kids "Don't talk to strangers!" "Don't ever take candy from strangers!" "Don't ever go to someone's house you don't know!" OH, except this one day! When everyone is dressed up really creepy and you don't know who might possibly be a pedophile!! Yikes!
Then we moved to Virginia. We handed out candy again. This time we had a pumpkin carved with the name Jesus in it and Christian music playing on our porch. No one cared about either. It wasn't a witness. People aren't stopping to have conversations, half the kids were out without an adult anyway! They were with older siblings who weren't even dressed up and wanting candy! That year, Princess had nightmares. We decided that was it. No more Halloween for us.
Since then we have had many wonderful times on October 31st!! Our favorite thing to do though is to have Family Movie Night! We close the curtains, turn off the lights, and don't answer the doorbell when someone doesn't realize our light isn't on. We have popcorn and candy and watch a family friendly movie...it's the best!
Most people aren't bothered at all by the fact that we don't celebrate Halloween...the world that is. Now Christians on the other hand, that's a whole 'nother story! Somehow, us not celebrating is very offensive to other Christians who do. We've been told how legalistic we are. I didn't realize that following God's will for OUR family was legalistic. Who knew?!
Now, I also don't think that we would ever hand out tracks on Halloween or use that day to try to witness to others and tell them how "evil" it is. That's really going to win them over to Jesus!
Here is what I believe, I believe that Jesus is the light! I believe that Halloween celebrates the darkness and death. Jesus overcame death!! So do I want to celebrate the opposite of what Jesus represents? No thanks!
I also don't feel this hurts my testimony at all! People see that I live my faith, yes I make mistakes, but I ask for forgiveness daily! Just cause I don't take part in Halloween isn't going to drive a wedge between myself and my neighbors. In fact, if you are a Christian and Halloween is the only day of the year that your neighbors darken your doorstep...then you've got bigger problems.
A few years ago for Christmas, Tink decided she wanted us to do a manger scene in our front yard. I really didn't want to do it, it seemed like a lot of work on my part and it seemed kind of silly. But she was so persistent! So we did. I made up flyers and she went to every single house in our subdivision and invited people to come and see our "live" nativity and sing some Christmas songs with us. People actually came!! Even someone from the local paper! She reached thousands of people that Sunday when her story and pictures and why she did it were in there! We met so many people in our neighborhood and people thought that it was such a neat thing. You can choose any day of the year to witness to the lost...it doesn't have to be on Halloween.
For our family, we can't argue with scripture!
1 Thessalonians 5:20-22
Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
3 John 1:11
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
1 Corinthians 10:21
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.
1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Yesterday was a hard day for me. My new church is great! Full of friendly people, spirit filled, just wonderful. But they don't know me yet. I miss being loved by my church family. I miss walking into church and having people who know my heart, welcome me into the fold. I miss people cherishing me and how I can serve in the church. I know that will all come in time here, but in the mean time, it's hard. I feel like a wall flower. The kids and Chris all LOVE it! I do too, I'm just having a harder time I guess.
Today we started school! Tink is in 6th grade, Princess is in 3rd, and Little Man is PK-4. We started the day by going to watch colors at the flag pole. That was really patriotic and brought tears to my eyes. Two guys bring out the flag and attatch it to the pole, the Star Spangled Banner is played across the whole base, one guy salutes the flag as the other guy raises it up. We are so blessed to live in such an amazing country! I feel very priviledged to be able to homeschool my children.
So we came home and ate breakfast and then the kids were ready to go! Unfortunately, Princess's computer was not. It took me 30 minutes and a reboot to get it going. (I also realized last night that somehow I forgot to order her math book!) So then we were off and running. Scooter went down for a nap and I did Little Man's lesson with him, luckily it wasn't too long cause he was losing attention quickly! We had a nice lunch around noon and Tink finished at 1:30 and took Little Man across the street to the park to play. Princess is finishing up her last two subjects. All in all, it was a great homeschool day!
Mr. M started his first day of work today and he had to go to Long Island. It took him 4 hours to get to work!! I couldn't believe it! I knew it was going to be be bad if there was traffic but wow! Hopefully he will only be there a couple of days and then he'll be here in New Jersey. I told him he should have just spent the night at a hotel there tonite and come home tomorrow!
We really like it here in NJ, it's a beautiful state! I miss my Mom and Dad. I miss my friends. I miss my church. But I know that I will get used to it here in time. I can't wait for people to come visit!!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Next we had the big basket hunt! We had hid their baskets, tied one end of yarn to each basket and then wove the yarn all over the house and outside. Upstairs, downstairs, in the basement, up and down the slide, through the garage...all over the place! The kids loved it!
Scooter's basket we had just put right in front of the fireplace and as soon as he saw it he scooted right over to it. He loved his star shape toy and his wubanub...which is a pacifier with a little monkey attached to it.
We had family over for Easter dinner and everything went very smoothly for the cooking, hubby did most of it! :o) My Mom wasn't feeling well so she wasn't able to join us. Later that evening we went to church. It was a great service!
The next day, Easter Sunday, we all went to church again...this time to serve. It was a wonderful Sunday and we stayed for both services in children's ministries.
After church we went out to my friend's parents house to celebrate with them. We had a nice dinner and then they do an egg hunt for the kids outside. The hit of the afternoon though was the new rope swing that Grandpa Joe hung up in one of the trees, the kids had a blast! So much so that I finally had to call them in well after dark, it was raining, and I saw lightening in the distance! What a great weekend!!
Monday was pretty uneventful, Little Man was kind of crabby all day. He fell asleep on the couch right before supper and then wouldn't eat dinner and just cried for quite awhile. We finally put him to bed and he seemed pretty hot. I gave him some Tylenol and then of course he ended up in our bed. It was a good thing cause he ended up throwing up during the night and since we were right there and just happened to have a bowl in our room...no sheet changing for me!
He was very sick all day Tuesday, high fever, throwing up, very lethargic. That night we noticed a rash on his body. I thought maybe it was heat rash. Mr. M thought strep throat and scarlet fever. The next day the rash was worse even though he seemed to be better. So I made a Dr. appt. for him and sure enough...strep throat with scarlet fever. Who knew?! Oh...that's right... Mr. M did. :oP
So now he's on meds and feeling much better, although I understand this rash might last a couple weeks...and then he's gonna peel...great! I didn't even know scarlet fever was still around!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tink started Saturday with a head of hair — long brown locks that flowed to her shoulders and neatly framed her round face.
By 4:15 p.m., the buzz was on, but not just from the electric shaver.
Tink wanted her head shaved. And, the crowd of some 200 people who watched the 11-year-old Kenosha girl lose her mane during the fourth annual St. Baldrick’s fundraiser for children’s cancer research at the Brat Stop, cheered her on.
With one section of hair remaining to be shaved, many standing began applauding vigorously.
“Way to go Tink!” one man called out.
Among her biggest fans, her father sat in the chair next to her and received a similar cut. He hugged her immediately after the last lock fell.
With just the peach fuzz that remained, she then climbed out of her chair, smiling.
Inspired by Garrett
She said her inspiration, a little boy named Garrett, had lost his life to cancer and she wanted to do something to help other children who have the disease.
Just 10 days ago, she started raising awareness in person and on Facebook. With the help of her parents, friends, her church and the community, she garnered more than $2,700. Her donation goal was $500.
Her mother said Tink had just planned to donate some money to a young man who was also going to have his head shaved. Then, she told her parents something they never expected.
“Mom, I have to do that,” she told her mother.
Her parents talked it over, and when Tink explained why she was making the sacrifice, Dad was soon compelled to join her.
“Her heart was totally in the right place,” he said.
Tears, locks fall
Mom said she was crying as her daughter’s hair fell onto the stage. Before the event, Tink tried to reassure her mother it was just hair and it would grow back.
The bigger picture was that kids could help kids in need.
“When I knew I could do something like this, I thought, why not?” Tink said.
BY TERRY FLORES (names changed to nicknames)
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I was telling her about a boy at our church who was doing this and she knew the moment I told her that she had to do it too. At first, I tried to talk her out of it! I didn't want my little girl to be bald! But after listening to her heart...we couldn't say no.
Tink had a friend when they were younger and when we had lived away from here he died of cancer. It really touched her. We had been praying for him every night and then he had started to get better it seemed. Then we found out that he wasn't doing well at all. Olivia prayed so hard for her friend. Then we found out he had gone to be with Jesus. God healed him, by taking him home. This is a hard lesson for a little girl to understand.
So when she heard about what St. Baldrick's does, she immediately brought up her friend that had died and said she wanted to help so that no more kids will die.
She has such a huge heart and God lays big things on her heart! She has been raising money and is already over $1700!! People have just been amazing in their outporing of love and support!
Before any of this came about, I heard the story about a little girl named Layla Grace on Rufflebutts. Layla Grace is 2.5 and was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. She passed away today. This makes this whole thing so much more real to me. While it may be hard for me to let my little girl shave her head...at least it will grow back. How hard must it be for Mom's whose little girls lose their hair because of cancer treatment. How hard must it be for Mom's whose little girls hair never grows back.
One in five kids who have cancer will die.
I am so proud of my little girl for her great big heart and for doing what God has called her to do.
If you would like to donate: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/participantid/387838
Friday, January 22, 2010
New Years Eve was the best! We had great friends over and I made my parents come over to eat and they ended up staying for the whole celebration! It was a fun night of food, fellowship, and games. We ended up keeping a few extra girls for the night too...which my girls LOVED!!
So this year we will be moving again. This summer some time (hopefully toward the end) to Long Island, NY. Wow! We thought we were heading back to Virginia and Mr. M back to a ship. God had other plans though! 2 more years of shore duty...of Mr. M coming home every night to us! Who could ask for more?!
I am trying not to go into check out mode yet. When the time gets closer to moving, I start shutting myself off from everyone and everything and start finding faults with everything about where we live. I guess it makes it easier for me to say goodbye then. Well, I don't want to do that here! This is my family and my hometown and friends that I have had forever...and great new friends too. I do not want to burn my bridges here! It will be so hard to say goodbye! So I just won't think about any of that yet. I will live in the here and now! Not that I won't think about NY or plan for it or talk about it...but I will not check out just yet!!!