Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you WILL perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yes it happened..and no I don't regret it!

here, on the eve of my 11th wedding anniversary, I choose to answer this question that some have asked me, "did you waste 15 years?" or "Do you regret it?" I have plenty of regrets in my life, but I these pictures, all taken prior to getting married, speak volumes about what is definitely not one of them. day..enjoy looking, I know that I have!

the early, early days!

little boarders

check out the web album in the post below to see all the pictures Amanda took




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First time wakeboarding

Amanda was kind enough to send me these pictures of Peyton and Paige in their first wakeboarding attempts! Thanks Amanda, for getting them to me. I pulled them up, cried for about 10 minutes, and decided to share them here. They are kinda hard to see, but you can see my little 7 year olds boarding with daddy. Maybe an odd thing to sob like a baby over, but for those of you who know me well, you will probably understand. Jamie, you might not want to look at work! click here for the web album.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A new web album

Click Here for a web album of some of my recent pictures. I hadn't cleaned off my camera in a while, so there is no particular theme. A few are from a mother daughter brunch that we went to two weeks ago. There are some from work, which I plan to add more coworkers to if they will stand still long enough to take their pictures!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A new adventure

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a very nice, friendly lady when I was on an outing with my kids at the mall in Champaign. After talking to her for awhile, I agreed to do some pictures for her for her for her Mary Kay business. Mostly, I thinks she looked at my bare face and decided I needed help! Since then, I have fallen in love with some skin care products that she introduced me to. Some pictures from that day were previously posted, and can be seen in my Picasa web album. Anyway, I decided to try my hand at selling Mary Kay. For those of you who know me, you probably are pretty surprised, but I am having lots of fun with it! I am also beginning to become passionate about skin care (I am being reminded that I am not 20 anymore, not by others, but by my own face ;) So, I have a new MaryKay website. I will provide the link here and eventually get it on the permanent side bar of my blog. Thanks you all who have already been encouraging, supportive, and customers!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I stole this picture from Steph's blog. Steph and I met up at my parents house last Friday night, and we decided to bring the dogs.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I can remember one of the first times I heard this song, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot when I was in college. I sat in the car and listened to it. I thought of my mom, but I thought that the song didn't really apply to my life at all. I was still very struck by the powerful lyrics, and also Patty Loveless's powerful voice. Even though there are still many things about this song that don't necessarily apply to my life, like I am blessed enough to have my mom with me, I still haven't been able to get this song out of my head this week. So I post the words today, for my mom, who was great when I lost a friend in the 4th grade, was great this past year, and will probably still be taking care of me until the day she dies!

Patty Loveless How Can I Help You To Say Goodbye?
Through the back window of a '59 wagon
I watched my best friend Jamie slippin' further away
I kept on waving 'till I couldn't see her
And through my tears, I asked again why we couldn't stay
Mama whispered softly, Time will ease your pain
Life's about changing, nothing ever stays the same

And she said, How can I help you to say goodbye?
It's OK to hurt, and it's OK to cry
Come, let me hold you and I will try
How can I help you to say goodbye?

I sat on our bed, he packed his suitcase
I held a picture of our wedding day
His hands were trembling, we both were crying
He kissed me gently and then he quickly walked away
I called up Mama, she said, Time will ease your pain
Life's about changing, nothing ever stays the same

[ Lyrics found on ]

And she said, How can I help you to say goodbye?
It's OK to hurt, and it's OK to cry
Come, let me hold you and I will try
How can I help you to say goodbye?

Sitting with Mama alone in her bedroom
She opened her eyes, and then squeezed my hand
She said, I have to go now, my time here is over
And with her final word, she tried to help me understand
Mama whispered softly, Time will ease your pain
Life's about changing, nothing ever stays the same

And she said, How can I help you to say goodbye?
It's OK to hurt, and it's OK to cry
Come, let me hold you and I will try
How can I help you to say goodbye?

How can I help you to say goodbye?

For my mom....

My mom has been right there with me during some of the roughest moments of my life. She was there for me when my best friend moved away in the 4th grade. I remember that she bought me books and got me started reading "Trixie Beldon" which I hope my girls like in a few years. I remember the year that I was pregnant with the twins, and she took me to get a massage when I was having migraines. While I was there, I got sick and nearly passed out. I think she felt responsible for me being there, even though she just wanted to help me feel better! My mom did all she could to help me with my short but eventful pregnancy, and she was wonderful after the girls were born. I remember my life's worst ever car ride, which was my parents and me on the way to Peoria when Paige was transferred there a few days after her birth. I still felt really sick, and we were all so worried about tiny little Paige. Mom was always willing to come and help with the girls. She started keeping them all night, as soon as we were ready to have them away. She hasn't stopped that yet! This past year, mom's health hasn't always been so good, but she has always been available me when I needed her. This past year has been the most emotionally challenging of my life, and I feel that I have been able to get even closer to her through it. Thanks mom, for all you have done and said, even when you had NO IDEA what needed to be done or said! I love you!




Friday, May 11, 2007

Mothers day 2006 revisited

I know, I am constantly blogging song lyrics. I love SO many songs, and want to share the neat words of songs. I wanted to share my mothers day post from last year, it includes a tribute to my mom, and a song that I treasure. Click here for the link.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

For my girls....

Martina McBride In My Daughter's Eyes Lyrics
In my daughter's eyes
I am a hero I am strong and wise
And I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I want to be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes
Everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light
And the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
Gives me strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh, It puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
[ Lyrics found on ]

I realize what life is all about
It's hanging on when your heart
Has had enough
It's giving more when you feel
Like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes
I can see the future
A reflection of who I am
And what will be
And though she'll grow
And someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see
How happy she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

Mothers' day blogging, Day 4

Oh, the blogging continues! That person who told me that she wished that I would blog more is probably regretting it! The first person I would like to mention in today's mother day blogging is someone that I unfortunately do not have a picture of! But I did find a picture of her littles baby, Gavin, taken not long after he was born. This picture, with Paige also, was taken during one of the most difficult weeks of my life. My friend Trish was wonderful to me! Trish has become a mother for the 5th time since the past mother's day. Gavin is a miracle baby, his older brother died a week after his birth a few years ago. The way Trish handled this devestating time in her life was life changing for all who watched her. In Prasso, we discussed how others are watching and following in our "spiritual footsteps." Trish is a wonderful example of moving forward for God in the face of extreme adversity. Trish has been wonderful to watch over the past 7 months as she actually "glows" over caring for her new son. This can't always be too easy, as she has three school aged children also! I love you Trish, happy Mother's Day!

This is my friend Julie. She might kill me for this picture, but maybe no one will tell her! Julie recently had her third baby, Landon. Julie is a devoted mother, a good friend, and a sweet and sensitive prayer warrior. Happy Mother's Day, to a "new mom" again, Julie!

This is my friend Mandy. Mandy has been a great example for my kids, as she has been working with them during Wednesday Night church for over a year. Mandy gives much of her time to working with the kids at the church. Mandy was also great for me this past winter. She was used greatly by God when I needed a distraction, and she got me going on a new exercise plan! Mandy is a great mom to Maddie, who will go to Kindergarten this fall. Mandy also is expecting twins this fall, and I am SO excited for her! Happy Mother's Day Mandy, just watch out for next year!

This is Jen. I have known Jen since I first came to Calvary as a kid. She was a cute little girl with long eyelashes and long hair. She has since grown, and moved to the Indianapolis area. This past winter, she gave birth to quads. They are all boys, and two of them are identical. I know that Jen is probably busier that she has ever been in her life! I wish her a wonderful first Mother's Day. She is pictured here in the hospital the week before she had the boys.

This is my friend Megan. Megan has two sons that are all boy! She is a calm, patient and very organized mom. Megan recently announced that she would be adding a third child to her family in December. I am excited for Megan, as I know that his has been her wish for quite a while. megan has also been a huge encouragement to me over the years, and particularly over the past 9 months. Thanks Megan, and Happy Mothers Day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Good Friend Doubles the Joy and Divides the Pain

from, Manda, Steph, Char

to young adults (no kids, one husband so far)...Steph, me, Char, Manda

to moms...ok, here is our crew Oct 05
"A Good Friend Doubles the Joy, and Divides the Pain"

Mothers' day blogging, Day 3, take 1 (cont)

Charity and I have had tons of fun over the years. We have also shared some rough times. I have pictured Charity with my birthday gift for her this past February. I saw it, and immediately thought of her. I also have a shot of her with my girls that I absolutely love! Another is of us last summer at Sunset Beach NC, after a fun day in the sun. Also, is a shot of us when we were high school seniors (not TOO long ago ;) love ya, Char

Mothers' day blogging, Day 3, take 1 (cont)

Peyton Paige and Olivia on our Bull Shoals trip in 2005

Amanda and I at the camp retreat in the fall of 1991, new High School Seniors

a few short year later ;) at the Pumpkin patch, now a couple of momma's

Mothers' day blogging, Day 3, take 1 (cont)

Stephanie and I when we were "young" a couple of 17 year old high school seniors

Mothers' day blogging, Day 3, take 1

Today, I dedicate my mothers day blogging to my three best gal pals! I have been good friends with Steph, Charity and Amanda since we were in high school, Stephanie, of course, since before I could walk! All of these girls are tremendous mothers, and have been good influences on me, and on my children. If my girls ever need anyone to talk to in their preteen or beyond years and can't talk to me, I would love to know that they could go to any of these three! Amanda has one little girl, who is 4. Her name is Olivia, and she talks like she is already in her teens. I was blessed to be able to be present when Olivia came into the world, and it was a far better experience for me that my own child birth! Steph is my dear cousin and friend. I love her like a sister, and her boys, Elijah and Isaiah, are precious to me. I had the chance to have them last night, and I love to be their Aunt Sandy. Steph has been a huge rock for me to lean on, and a pretty good reality checker for me too! Any my dear Charity. What can I say, one definite good thing that came out of the past year is that we have drawn closer than ever! Hiding out..I mean your house has been wonderful for me and P & P. You have been great to my girls, and I love your boys to pieces! I am a bit worried about some fireworks in the future between one of mine and one of yours, it is good we don't live to close! Happy mothers day to all of you, my sisters

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mothers' day blogging, Day 2, take 4

This is my other Grandmother-in-law. Her name is Vernice, but all who know her call her "Granny." Granny has been a big part of my life since before I even married into her family. Visiting at their house was a regular occurance when Brad and I were dating. She always had pop in the fridge, and usually a big meal cooking in the kitchen! Granny positively adored her grandchildren, and now loves her 8 great grandchildren just as much. My girls have spent the night at her house, and been loved and cared for there many times! A few years ago, Granny and Granddad moved from their farm house into town. While it was wierd to see them off the farm, it was great to have them so convenient! Granny was ill a few years ago, and went through a very serious operation. When she came home from the hospital, my sister in law, Brittany and I, shared the job of helping to care for her wounds. It was a wonderful opportunity to help care for this lady who had cared for so many others! Granny has recovered, and finally retired from work just this past year. One of my best memories of her is when we traveled over to Covenant after my girls were born. While we were there, there was a tornado warning, and we all had to move to the hallway. So here we were, holding these little babies together, still on monitors and one on oxygen, out in the hallway next to the elevators on the 8th floor, waiting out a tornado warning. Thank you Granny, for being like a second grandmother to me, and such a wonderful Granny to my girls! Happy Mothers day.

Mothers' day blogging, Day 2, take 3

This is my grandmother-in-law, Eileen. We refer to her as "Grandma Day." Grandma Day adores her grandchildren. Even though she isn't really able, she would love to have them with her all the time! Peyton and Paige are old enough now to go and stay with her for a few hours each week, while I go to a meeting or go to the YMCA. I never really knew any of my great-grandmothers, and I think that is is wonderful that they have three of them! Grandma lived in the same house for most of her adult life. About 5 years ago, she had to moved because of the construction that was taking place for a bridge in front of her house. At the same time, we were moving out of our small house, into a larger one. God's timing was perfect, and she was able to buy our little house. So now, when we go to visit her, it is the house that we brought the girls home from the hospital to, and watched them grow and change for the first 2 years of their lives. Sometimes it is bittersweet to visit this house where we lived as a family for 5 years, but I am glad that each week, I have the opportunity. Grandma is almost always there, and is always eager to have us visit. Grandma likes to sew. Even though she isn't as able to sew as she once was, she has made some pretty things for the girls that we will keep long after they are outgrown! Grandma also loves the Lord, and I know she prays for us regularly. Happy mothers day, Grandma Day!

Mothers' day blogging, Day 2, take2

This is my other Grandmother, June Reese. My girls, who never had a chance to meet her, refer to her as "Granda Tick Tock." I believe this comes from an old nick name that my cousins must have given her many years ago. My Grandfather worked on clocks, and they apparently had many in their house. I don't really remember Granda June, and this is one of the things in my life that I wish was different. She was my fathers mother, and she had 7 children. She must have been loving, because my own mother, her daughter in law, who only knew her for a few short years, loved her dearly. My mother cared for Grandma June while she was dying. While I do not look forward to losses like this in my life, I would count it a priviledge to be able to care for a family member like that. I know that it was time spent that my mother doesn't regret in any way. They tell me that the family loved to gather at Grandma's house, that is was fun, and always the place to be! She died young, in her 50's, leaving behind her husband, 7 children (two of which were not grown yet) and several grandchildren. As much as she must have loved babies, each time one of my cousins has a baby, I briefly think of Grandma tick tock, and how much she would have loved to see those babies. Happy Mothers day to my aunts and my cousins who are now mothers!

Mothers' day blogging, Day 2, take 1

This is my grandmother, Helen. She is 89 years young and still has a wicked sense of humor! We called Grandma "Gee Gee" when we were small, and over the past few years, this nick name has been resurrected for use by Peyton and Paige, who are blessed with still having all but one off their great grandmothers. Anyway, Gee Gee has Parkinson's disease, and her walking and thinking aren't nearly as clear as they once were. Nevertheless, some of my best childhood memories are of this woman. We would go to visit, and she would cook, tell stories, and ride bikes with us. Now, she lives next door to my parents, in the care of my sister. Sometimes I am jealous of the relationship Jamie has been able to have with Grandma, by living with her. I don't envy the work, though, because I know caring for her is a 24 hour a day job! But we are so blessed to still have Gee Gee with us. Over the last few years, I have taken Grandma to the cemetaries to visit important graves for her, I have taken P & P along, and it has been a good experience for all of us. I wouldn't trade those Memorial Day trips for anything! This year, there will be one more grave that will need flowers, if we can make the trip. Grandma lost her best friend of around 70 years in November. They had been friends, wives and mothers, and grandmothers together. I know that Grandma still misses Helen, and always will. Happy Mothers Day, Gee Gee, we love you!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mothers' day blogging, take 3

This is my other sis-in-law, Amie. She is pictured with her new baby, Mia Kate. Mia was probably the happiest thing that happened to this family this past year, and we are SO grateful for her! She is a beautiful, happy baby, and her parents, and other relatives, are in love with her. Amie may be the person on my list of people to focus on this week that I have known the shortest time. I met Amie for the first time when Brock brought her to the hospital when I was on bedrest. So I have known her for 7 years. She has been my sister-in-law for 5 years now, and I have been able to come to know and love her. Brittany, Marie and I were sad, but priviledged to be with Brock and Amie when they were dealing with the miscarriage of their first baby. Nothing in the T-Bro family goes smoothly when it comes to having babies, that is for sure! Out of that loss, Brock, Amie and Brittany penned a song, dedicated to the babies lost to miscarriage. Amie is a school teacher, and currently teaches music at Bismarck Grade School. She is a sweet, wonderful friend, and I want to give her a big congratulations on her very first Mother's Day!

This is my sister-in-law, Brittany, with me at the zoo, recently. Brittany is the mother of 3. She is very busy with the kids' activities, church, and homeschooling. Brittany always has time for others, particularly for me. To say that she has been "there" for me over the past year, yeck, over the past 8 years would be an understatement. Brittany and I have been friends since our preteen years, but never as close as since we both became mothers. She is my sister in law, and my sister in Christ. Brittany has been a rock for me, even when the same set of circumstances threaten to pull her own heart apart! Now that is a good friend! Brittany is not a motherly figure to me, but she is a great mom, and fills in for the mothering for me for P & P regularly. She is always willing to add them to her household when I am in need of a sitter. The girls love her and she obviously loves them. Thanks Brittany, for being a great sister, mom, aunt and friend. I hope you have a great mothers day!

Mothers' day blogging, take 2

This is my mother-in-law, Marie. Shis is pictured with a very tired Peyton at Nathan's first b-day party. Marie, better known as Nana, has also had a rough year. We went for our annual Christmas shopping trip this past December. We figured we have been doing that since 1990! It is a longstanding tradition, and even though what we shop for has changed a great deal, it is still always lots of fun. I hope that we continue this for many years to come. Marie has been a 2nd mother to me since I was a young teenager. She taught my Sunday School class all through my high school years, and we were very close. When I began dating, and married her son, we became even closer, and stayed that way. Marie loves all her grandchildren dearly. My girls love to go stay with Granddad and Nana. They sit and read with her, which is one of the things she loves best! Family difficulties, as well as her husband's illness has been difficult for her, making the past year a hard one. I am SO thankful that last summer, she took the time to have a "girl's night" with her daughter and her daughters-in-law. This very timely evening included a written prayer and blessing for each of us. That night stands for me as a critical time, used by God to prepare me for the difficult times ahead. Thank you, Marie, for being my second mother, Nana for my girls, and my friend for so many years. I love you.

blogging my way to Mother's Day

This week, I would like to do some blogging to talk about some of the important mothers in my life. They will be discussed throughout the week, in no particular order. Just kind of how the pictures and thoughts flow! So check back all week!

This is my sister with Peyton and Paige on their 7th birthday. Jamie doesn't have any children of her own, but she has been great at mothering lots of kids! Since she was barely a teenager, Jamie has been a sought after caregiver for many small children. Jamie has been wonderful with my girls since their birth, even before! She was very important to me while I was waiting for them to be born. Jamie came to the house and helped me shower, dress, get breakfast and lunch. She would basically hang out with me all morning while I was on bedrest, all this after getting off the night shift at the hospital. Jamie is dearly loved by her nieces. She is also always willing to help look after my dog, Ella. Jamie has had a rough year, she spends alot of time caring for our elderly grandmother, plus her full time job. She has also suffered the loss of some friendships that were very important to her. This loss doesn't go unnoticed by me, even if many might not think much about it. Jamie has given her support to all that I do and plan, and always offeres to help with the kids in any way. Thanks Jamie, Happy mothers' day, we ALL love you very much!