Friday, July 31, 2009

Clunkers for Cash?

Where is the money coming from for this stuff?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dinah Claus

Diana came to visit! And bearing gifts. When Anna was little, Diana always had a little "something" for her, well, always. Anna called her Dinah Claus. She's not too far off.
Holly even let Diana hold her for a few minutes. But she loves the books! (Me too)

The boys, Lee, Thomas and Bill. I think Lee was not impressed with the video game interruption. He and Thomas were in some kind of "James Bond" showdown.
The girls, Anna and Emmalee have been at this picture taking thing so long now, they know what to do. Holly I believe Holly will catch on one day!

It is so good to visit with friends, catch up, see everyone doing so well. And you do know, Dinah Claus, that we all love to visit even with out the "little somethings"!!!! Love you!

Good Ol' Times

No digital scrapbooking lately, but don't you just love these pages? What I love about the pumpkin page is I'm the only one holding my own kid. Thomas would go to Kathy, Reed cozied up to Diana, but Anna would only stick to ME. And of course, Lee in the CLASSIC Red Power Ranger suit.
Thomas and Anna are hardly recognizable now, from these pics. So grown up!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wedding Dance

May All the Days of Your Marriage Be Joyful!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Happy 70th Anniversary Aunt Alice and Uncle Tony

Mom, Dad and Marcia

It's easy to be grateful in America. So very much to be grateful for. Mostly, for the peace in which we live. When I watch Holly run around the yard, I'm pretty sure she is safe. Except for the bees :-)

Then I get an email from my mom reminding us all about Aunt Alice and Uncle Tony's 70th Anniversary is today and I am grateful for the life they have shared and the commitment they kept. Uncle Tony said it wasn't easy, but worth it.

And the second picture...well I see my son Lee in both Mom and Dad here. I see the yard where we all played baseball, kick ball. My sister Marcia and how she remembers everyone's birthday and how much she loves us all. And if you were to see a picture of Mom and Dad today, it is just the same, love and joy, even through all not-so-easy parts too.

Thank you, God for all the things in my life I have to be grateful for and the reminders in these pictures of your blessings.

Imagine that?

My teenager couldn't "find" his clothes the other day.

He looked in my room, the dryer and the empty laundry baskets.

I recommended his dresser drawers.

Maybe I have been leaving him up to his own devices too much in the laundry department. I haven't put away his clothes, myself, in a long time.

Funny kid.

What Can You Say?

Speech therapy began today in earnest. Since we began the process, Holly has added "more" and "move" to her short vocabulary.

But today, I was not toooo surprised when going through the flash cards with Ms. Shelby, Holly clearly and plainly said:


Wonder why?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

God's Smuggler

Brother Andrew's story of God working in his life is really amazing to read. He grew up seeking adventure and got the biggest one of all. For many years, he smuggled Bibles into Communist countries, without being arrested. Even now, he is looking forward to the new frontier: Muslim countries.

The miracles he tells are tough to see in my life. It is hard to see the providence of God, meeting basic needs, when we meet so many by our own endeavors. Reflecting on this while reading the book, I wondered this week, have Lee and I removed our self from God's care by being too independent? Counting on our own abilities, instead of looking to God?

So Sunday rolls around and we are planning to head to another Catholic church, for a few reasons, but not the least is Holly and our temporarily closed nursery (our Church is in the middle of moving). Lee and I agreed that a visit to the next closest church would be a nice change, and they have a cry room.

At the same time, my husband gets a call that his cousins' son, 20 years old, has died in a car accident. This is heavy on our minds as we are preparing for Mass today.

Then a friend calls and offers to babysit Holly so we can all attend Mass together here in town. We take them up on the offer, happily! After Mass, my husband lights a candle and prays for the Armstrong family. That God would be with them, that He would welcome their son into Heaven, and let the family know He is still caring for them all.

The rest of us had gone for coffee in the parish hall. My husband comes and looks over a table of free books, left by some missionaries from Belmont Abbey. And there in the middle of the table is a Living Bible.

My husband's grandmother's Bible. Her name is in it. Her notes. Or maybe it is Aunt Patricia's? Either way Armstrong is written in the Bible. How did this book come from a Baptist family across the state by way of out of town missionaries and end up in a Catholic church on the very day he was praying for that exact same part of the family.

Today, it was Lee's turn for small miracle.

Please join our prayers for The Armstrong family, for their son, for the Holy Spirit to carry them these next weeks, surrounding them with the Love of God. And letting them know their son is in Heaven.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


One of my most favorite things is our chandelier. It was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law, that we hand picked from a crystal outlet in Germany on our honeymoon. I carried it all the wya back from Germany. On my lap.

In our old home it hung over the kitchen table because there was no dining room. The sun would hit it and make rainbows all over my kitchen. Lee Allison and I would play with it when he was a baby.

One of his first words was "Chandelier".

I tell you all this because we met with the speech therapist for Holly's eval today. She is, as I suspected, at the 10 mos old level for actual speech. So of course, the therapist being kind and helpful gave me suggestions to help Holly have more opportunities to talk. She is very kind and nice and lovely, the therapist.

Inside, I'm thinking to myself "Chandelier".

It is just one more of those moments when what I want and think is "normal" is just not what Holly needs.

I want her to be able to help herself, so I put a sippy cup of water out for her to get by herself when she is thirsty. My other children had full sippy cups in the fridge, and I taught them to go get it themselves. But that is not what Holly needs. She needs a chance to say "cup".

I want her to be able to help herself, so I put a small bowl of dry cereal on her little snack table. My other children had snack bags in the pantry, and I taught them to go get it themselves. But that is not what Holly needs. She needs a chance to say "more".

Saying all this, just to get the point across, that Holly speech or lack thereof, is not my fault. And if your baby is struggling, it's not your fault either. These babies just need a different opportunity than what I expected.

And most important, God knew even better than me. Our cleft team did not recommend Holly for ST, but we ran into a friend at the pool who knew who to call. And finally at last, some one will teach me what it is that Holly needs now.

Time to "launch out into the deep" and "be not afraid!"
John 21:7 Matthew 14:27

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The really good news!

We finally have had a meeting with the Children's Developmental Services Agency (think: speech therapy!). Two very nice women have come to our home to evaluate Holly to see if she needs therapy for speech and nutrition. (I mean clearly you CAN live on Karo syrup and Chicken Noodle soup, but should you?)

Here's the good news: Holly no longer needs the Karo, hooray. One day I cut back, the next I left it out and no problems. She drank the toddler soy and was fine! And tonight she ate applesauce with cereal mixed in, a couple of bites of steak, a few carrots and some baked beans. What more could I ask for? I think she has really turned a corner with her food choices. For the better!

From the Evaluation Team Member, Holly is doing well in every area of development but speech. At 19 months old, she communicates at the level of a 15 mos old. I think that is a generous evaluation, but the lady said this included "understanding" and "expression". Oh yeah. She can understand and express herself. No doubt about it :-)

Either way, 15 mos old for communications is not too shabby for our Little One Feather. So we meet with the Speech Evaluation Team Member next week. The Nutritionist will review the form I completed and see if we need to go to the next step for that. After Holly's dinner tonight, I think she is doing GREAT. But would like to know from an expert if we are on track.

More later... Need to take some pictures at the pool!