Posted in Family

A “Good & Perfect Gift” on a Day being Restored

There has been a long pause here with writing.  Life, new grandbabies, joys, heartaches, homeschooling, public school,  graduations, running with more extra curricular activities than in years past, and just life!  God paused the writing.  I used to “think” writing a lot.  But God stopped a lot of my mind thoughts with that.  I like writing, but the writing went elsewhere, including a lot of snailmail letter writing.  The last few weeks as another heaven anniversary of our son approaches, my writing mind wanders more.  We have an amazing joy on Matthew’s anniversary date. I was anticipating it to be good.  We have something to celebrate on his heaven date.  There is joy again. But . . . there’s still the ache that resurfaces at unpredictible times.  

Friday afternoon I came home to the kids watching old videos from the year our son died.  To see his face as I remembered him those last months, to hear his voice and laughter.  Oh how I wanted to reach through that screen and hug that boy.  And then, there were areas I sure did not want to see.  Where he died (which within weeks after his death was totally gutted and remodeled). I didn’t want to remember.  It sucked the breath out of me.  And satan reminded me of my failures . . . where I messed up . . . what I could have done differently . . . the what if’s.  My husband and I got out for dinner.  He felt that air sucked out of him too.  I am thankful we can share our hearts on this together and “get it” where most (thankfully) don’t understand.  We text one of the kids asked for videos not to be on when we got home.  I am thankful they have joy seeing it.  But sometimes, even the joyous times, just plain hurt.

Saturday morning a friend posted this quote by Henri Nouwen:

One thing I want to ask you is to not allow the dark forces of your soul to draw you into a deep pit. When you give too much attention to the voices of despair, you will find yourself quickly moving downwards into depression. Don’t trust those voices, but continue to give special attention to the voice that speaks of hope, the same voice that said to Jesus, ‘You are my beloved Son. On You My favor rests.’ Trust deeply that you are God’s favored child, and try to speak and act and even think out of that knowledge, even when you don’t always feel it.    (Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life)

My friend Deb did not know the whispers I was hearing.   I needed to get out of my downer mood, and remember the joys I can so celebrate and not listen to those voices of dispair.  I know Matthew would want us to.  He is alive, just not alive by our sides.

A few hours later our house was filled with four grandkids running and crawling about while parents went to a Christmas party.  And the next day, yesterday, we celebrated our youngest grandson’s first birthday.  There’s something really special about his birthday.  He was born one year ago, on the day Matthew died.  And not just on the same day, but within the same hour.  ONLY GOD could do this.  I would not have picked this date for our grandson’s birthday, but God did.  Just as God said in Joel 2:25,  “I will restore the years that the locust has eaten“, He could do for us with the date and time.  Matthew cannot be replaced.  We will miss him until the day we see him again on heaven’s shore, but God can bring joy again, a reason to get up on December 11th, to celebrate again, and to even restore those lost years, with remembering all God did to uphold us through the years, to keep our family and marriage together.  And so on December 11th we have learned even more of the “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”  (Romans 12:15) because  “to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: time to be born and a time to die.” (Ecclesiates 3:1,2)

fbthdrI am thankful the grief of missing Matthew hit days before. As I told my friend, there will always be that gray cloud on the 11th, but there’s more blue sky showing and the gray cloud is not right over our heads. The sun is poking through because of the Son. I can’t help but think Matthew knows we have a reason to celebrate.  He rejoices in God’s presence.  On December 11th, I am thankful for two lives – Matthew’s life in heaven, to know without a doubt he is there with Jesus and for this precious one year old.   I cannot rejoice Matthew died.  His death did not steal all our joy and Satan did not win, but because of God’s son’s death and ressurection, Matthew lives in heaven and THAT I can rejoice over!  And now to celebrate here on Earth, our youngest grandson’s bright cheery smiles and sweet cuddles. God gave our family an amazing gift for this day to carry us through many years ahead.  Our other grandson also has Matthew as his middle name.  God is good – always.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights . . . ” (James 1:17)

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Our two sweet grandsons

If you do not know Matthew’s story, please read it and talk with your children.  His death may save your child’s lives.

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Posted in Family

Happy 17th Birthday Angela Hope

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ometimes holding her seems like it was just a dream…sometimes a bad dream; most of the time a bittersweet dream that I know someday I will wake-up from for a happy, never-ending good-bye.  Angela Hope

Today marks Angela’s 17th birthday.  Jessica reminded me today that Melody and her would have both been 16 at the same time for just over a month together. This when I get the lump in my throat. I wonder what it would have been like with the three girls so close in age.  But it’s ok.  They have eternity for that.

A few weeks ago I read this blog post:  We Lost a Child, and Gained Something Greater. So this year, this is a short remembrance.  It’s worth stopping reading here and reading that article.

AngelaDaises
In Memory of our 15 year old baby girl, Angela Hope

 

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Posted in Family

Upcoming Movie: The 33 (the true story of the Chilean miners)

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ugust 5th marked the 5th anniversary of the 33 Chilean’s who survived a half mile underground for 69 days.  On November 13, 2015, Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. will release a new movie based on this real-life event when the gold and copper mine collapsed, staring Antonio Banderas and Lou Diamond Phillips.

Warner Bros. has made a special trailer (see below) for Christian and conservative outlets that spotlights the faith themes of the film.  I thought my readers may be interested in seeing it.

CNN also had a special on their story last week, sharing how the Chilean’s faith got them through their ordeal. One Chilians said, as everyone celebrated the rescue of the 33 miners, many pointed to a higher power — a 34th miner — who they say was with them all along.”  It is also worth watching the special on CNN.

Posted in Family

REVIEW: Great time to buy a portable Pulse Oximeter

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or those who have followed my blog through the years,  you will recall that we have a daughter who has had three open heart surgeries.  (She is now almost 19 years old and doing amazing!) Her heart defects were discovered a few days after she was born and she had her first open heart surgery at  13.5 months of age and about a month after that. 11843967_10153565140350439_214107533_n Before she had her first surgeries, her pulse oximetry was closely monitored, which is a way to measure the oxygen levels in your blood.  We had a machine at home, about the size of a tablet, but about 6 inches deep.  It had to be plugged in and then had a long cord to attach to her finger.  Through the years, I noticed the pulse oximeters getting smaller and smaller, but I never imagined I could actually own one!  

I own one now!  And it’s small . . .  and it’s portable . . . and it’s PINK!  🙂  Right now Amazon has this Pulse Oximeter Oximetry Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor with silicon cover AND batteries for only $19.95 (regularly priced $69.99)!!  I’ve been very pleased with it’s accuracy and how quickly it shows results.  It also comes with the batteries.  If I feel there’s a need to monitor closely, it can easily be thrown into my purse.  

If this is something you or a loved one may need, NOW is the time to get one at a great price!!

I received this product at a reduced cost in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Posted in Family

REVIEW: Mesh Laundry Bags TO THE RESCUE of GIRL DRAMA!

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ow do you keep up with all that laundry is a question I am often asked.  Well, I don’t – many times.  There’s always yet another load of wash to be done.  It does help that we have two washers and two dryers and numerous laundry lines outside. The kids do a lot of their own laundry, which does help me keep up with the bedding and towels, kitchen laundry and my husband’s and mine along with whatever else gets thrown in.xxx
But then there’s still the mix-ups of missing socks and underwear.  There always seems to be unmatched socks and seems to happen within days after new socks are put into the laundry.  And, it can cause the girl drama whose socks are whose and who is wearing whose socks.  What has helped is each child has their own laundry basket.  But this has not eliminated the lost socks and undies, until . . . I started their own individual 
 Mesh Laundry Bags.

20150801_194921It certainly didn’t end all drama and as with trying to get into any new habit, it requires nagging reminding and more nagging reminding. When the kids finally realize they can always have clean, matching socks, it can inspire them!  Another thing that helped, was I put a key ring on the zipper part of the mesh bags, so they can be hung on a hook in their closet or over a hanger. Again, it keeps the Mesh Laundry Bags within easy access.

NOTE:  I was given a set of the Mesh Laundry Bags at a discounted cost in exchange for my honest, unbiased review and blog post.

Posted in Family

Press Release: God’s Not Dead 2 – Coming out Spring 2016!!

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asn’t it amazing to see how well, God’s Not Dead movie went over?!?! I just received the following press release, to share!  I am excited to see this sequel!  

GND2 - First photo(Los Angeles, CA) Pure Flix, the largest independent faith film studio just wrapped production for God’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive.This film is the highly anticipated follow-up to the immensely successful God’s Not Dead, which grossed over $60 million last year at the box office. God’s Not Dead 2 features a star-studded cast that includes: Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey), Jesse Metcalfe (Dallas),David A. R. White (God’s Not Dead), Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Sadie Robertson (Duck Dynasty), Robin Givens (Head of The Class), Fred Thompson (Law & Order), Maria Canals-Barrera (Cristela), with Pat Boone and Ray Wise (Robocop).

Other returning cast favorites include: Trisha LaFache (Amy Ryan), Benjamin Onyango (Reverend Jude), Paul Kwo (Martin Yip), andNewsboys (Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein, and Jody Davis).

About God’s Not Dead 2:
Scheduled to be released in theaters Easter 2016, God’s Not Dead 2 will have audiences standing unashamedly and firmly in their faith during a time when it seems increasingly unfavorable and divisive to do so in the public square. The film takes audiences back to Hope Springs, Arkansas … home not only of Hadleigh University, but also of Martin Luther King Jr. High School, where beloved teacher of the year Grace Wesley (Hart) helps students understand and enjoy history. Grace’s love of teaching, her love of life, and her love of people all come from the same place: her love of Christ. So when Brooke (Orrantia), a hurting student grieving the loss of her brother, finds Grace at a coffee shop, their conversation naturally leads to Grace sharing with Brooke the hope she finds in Christ. However, when Brooke asks an honest question about Jesus during a lesson Grace is teaching about Dr. King and Gandhi, Grace’s answer lands her in big trouble—almost before she finishes giving her reasoned response. With the principal (Givens) and superintendent teaming up with a zealous civil liberties group represented by an attorney with no love lost for God, Grace faces an epic court case with, the help of a sympathetic and charismatic defense lawyer (Metcalfe), that could cost her the career she had always dreamed of—and expel God from the classroom once and for all. In a story that could easily be pulled from today’s headlines, it’s good to remember some things will always remain the same: “God IS Surely Alive!”

Posted in Amazon Alert

AMAZON ALERT! Great price on men’s suits!

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aving had married off three of our children, we know the expenses of weddings and we did quite low cost ones at that.  One of our son-in-laws chose to have the guys buy their suits, and this actually saved money.  The cost of tuxedos sure can add up, with not only the cost of the rental but the driving to and from the chosen place, some times quite a distance off.

I just noticed on Amazon these Luciano Natazzi Men’s Modern Fit Two Button Faint Faint Pinstripe Navy Suits are on sale for $130-$170 which are normally, $550.  That’s quite a bit off!

In reading the reviews, I did notice these run small, so if you order, be sure to order at least one size up!