Monday, May 30, 2011

Devastation and Despair

I have been absent from blogging for a while. My goodness it has been hectic and busy around here. I think we have not had one day/night where there hasn't been "something" going on. You understand I know! And then you throw a few tornados in there and people's lives are turned upside down. My heart aches for all the families who have lost a family member, hunted a family member, lost a home, and just had the normalcy of every day life ripped out from under them.

Last Thursday my school district Superintendent organized trips to help with tornado clean up. We were able to sign up to go to either Joplin, MO or Reading, KS to help in place of a work day at school. We had a HUGE number of employees volunteer. I went to the Reading, KS community. It is about an hour away and we had around 40 teachers go. We left at 7:30 a.m and returned around 5:00 p.m. It was a very rewarding day. This is a very small community of approximately 230 people. We arrived in town to sign in with the Red Cross and began work on homes, a park, and a ball park. A group we met up with was really wanting our help on cleaning up their small ball park field to allow a "ballgame" to be played soon so they could get back to some type of normal and provide a "morale" boost for the community. One of the young women told me that Wed. night they held a church service outside and she was saddened by the somber, sadness of so many and as they began to sing hymns....she saw "hope" come back to them. Perhaps they felt God was with them.

We came armed with gloves, rakes, shovels, chainsaws and we were blessed with wonderful people who gave us food, water, and so many thanks. Little did they know but they were so inspiring and uplifting to us.

I could not imagine standing and looking at your home wide open with no walls, no roof, and all your personal possessions exposed, wet, and appearing to be a pile of trash. But to them, it was their life. Although was their everyday life that you and I also live with. It is the safe haven we come home to every night. It is our security of a meeting place for our family. It is HOME.

I watched the bulldozers and skid loaders scoop up their "lives" and dump it into a dumpster. I picked up enough shingles today to last me a lifetime. The protection over their heads they relied on every night. I watched as the trees that stood in their yards and shaded their homes be cut down and sawed up and stacked into piles to be used as firewood.

I talked to a few people who watched the tornado approach their community that night, have true fear set in, hear the sirens roaring,  and then prepare in a few minutes for a tornado to destroy their town as they took cover in the best shelter they could. I heard them talk about the man and woman who lived in a trailor and how it took the trailor off it's slab and tip it over and ultimately take the life of the man.

I saw baby cribs exposed in homes and was thankful there was no baby sleeping in that crib that night.

I heard that an 80 year old woman had a fire that destroyed her trailor a while back and just last week had a new trailor set in it's place a few days before the tornado. It was now demolished by a bulldozer and hauled off.

On May 21, 2011 around 9:15PM, an EF3 tornado hit Reading. It was three blocks wide and stayed on the ground for about four miles. The tornado destroyed at least 56 of 110 homes and 14 of 21 businesses. The post office and fire station suffered major damage. One person died and two were hospitalized. Early damage estimates topped $2.2 million.

And this is just a minor few snippets of what I saw in a day in a very small town hit by a tornado. There was another large group of our teachers that went to Joplin today and they saw even more devastation.They worked all day as well trying to help people clean up. They are still looking for people. They are still hoping to claim family in a makeshift morgue.

Please pray for all these communities that are hurting.....Reading,KS     Joplin, MO    Sedalia, MO     Oklahoma City, OK    and the list goes on. 

I saw so little today but really....for much. I have never had to experience a tornado. I was so sorry for the people, so sad for these people, and they will be in my prayers.  God is with them. I will pray they turn to Him and ask for comfort and strength. They are dealing with this every morning when they wake up and every night as they lay their head down to sleep.
May God bless them!

I will be absent for a few days....Darb has her Junior Trip to Washington DC/Baltimore/Philadelphia/New York this week and Daddy and I are going along as sponsors. Dad goes about every year and this will be my 5th time. It's a great trip and we get the opportunity to see many sites. That being said....I will admit the bus ride is a killer!! I can't wait to share some pics with you when I get home!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reflecting.....Graduation/Baccalauerate Time of Year

It's that time of year when the Graduations and Baccalaureates are scheduled. I'm thankful actually that my children don't have any. I tend to get too emotional and sad. I know, I know I should be happy and excited, but my nature doesn't roll that way! 

Pomp and Circumstance!  Oh that beautiful tune that just hits me so hard!I don't know why the composer, Sir Edward Elgar, made it such an emotional song! Well for me anyway. I don't care where I am, what time of day, and I might not even have a child graduating.....I still bawl!!!! What is it about that music? It makes me just want to go grab a "graduate", anybody's kid,  and hug them and weep. I think all Mommas feel a little like that....we don't see these 18 year olds in a cap and gown...we envision our little 4 or 5 year olds!!!
We do have some parties and festivities to attend and I enjoy that. My husband was asked by the Seniors to speak at their Baccalaureate and he did a wonderful job. He speaks a lot at school and at church, so it's not extremely stressful for him. He had a very good Christian message for them about what he wants for them. He wanted them to stay safe, be happy in what you do, and most of all to get to heaven by putting God first in your life. I won't elaborate but many young people don't get to hear the Word of God and the story of Jesus Christ. That is very sad. That will be my prayer for this class of 2011. 

Today, as a celebrating day of Graduations, etc....... the girls, Daddy, and I dressed in BLACK! meaning for that! We all came down to go to church in BLACK! Today is gloomy, chilly and cloudy! That must be why!

Do things break at your house? Oh please tell me YES!  Ours tend to come in 3's but this time it was 4's!

*Daddy's BRAND new Zero turn mower had a hydraulic somethingorother break and they had to order a new part. Not good! But under warranty!

*My daily used 12 cup Coffee Pot can barely spit out enough coffee for one person. It's going to get a good cleaning and then into the trash it will go!

*Flat tire on my van....take it in to get it repaired....oh no....we have to buy 4 BRAND NEW TIRES as they are all getting bad!

*The leaf blower will not staying running! It's going to the Doctor on Monday.

This does not mean to sound like belly aching/complaining (well maybe a little) but good grief, why does it ALL have to hit at once? I will take deep breaths and focus on one at a time. I will count my blessings!

Wishing you a wonderful middle of May with Graduations...Do you have any you are celebrating?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Darbey Rhea!

Thursday, May 12th was my little baby's 17th birthday! Boy that really just shocks me! She has always been the "little" one of the family both in size and in birth order. We sometimes forget that she is growing up and she tends to have to remind us of that. I am accused quite often of "babying" her but I make no apologies...she IS my baby and Mommas can do what they want!

She has always had a sweet and personable personality. Now there were a few years we all lived through in which she had "phases" that about made us pull our hair out. When she was just a toddler/preschooler, she had these weeks where she HAD to wear headbands, or she HAD to wear pastel colored tights with dresses. (I bought out Walmart of tights during that phase!), or she had to wear a pony tail with no "bumps or ridges" in her hair. ARGHHHHHH! Her siblings were very patient and tolerated it. Her 2 older sisters always included her in their recitals on the porch, slumber parties in the bedroom, makeup/hair night.

She was due on Friday the 13th and my doctor asked me if I was superstitious....I said "No", all my other babies have come a day early so she'll probably come on the 12th". And she did! I had worked all day teaching on the 11th and by evening did not feel well. So I thought we'd head off to hospital to just check it out. Grandma came to stay with the other 3 and so when we got there, I was dialated some but my doctor was not going to be back until the next day so I just wanted to wait through the night. He had not delivered any of my other babies and he promised me that he would deliver this baby unless he ended up in Tazmania or something like that! So the next day, the nurse said he was in meetings until afternoon and orders were to "break your water" and he would be here soon. Sounds good to me! My little blond hair, blue eyed beauty decided to come quite fast then and although they had a Doctor standing outside the room ready to come in, I REFUSED HIS SERVICES. I wanted my doctor! They were on the phone with him that whole time as he was stuck in traffic on an interstate trying to make it. When nature/child birth/no stopping a baby coming out was imminent, I succumbed and had the "hall" doctor come in. Poor guy...I'm sure he thought I was a crazy lady! He was wonderful and just as he delivered the head..........who came BURSTING through the door but my DOCTOR! Hallelujah!!!!!!! And they literally switched places and my doctor delivered the ...... body!! 
I was a happy camper! And Darbey Rhea was a doll! I named her after Kim Darby who played Mattie in True Grit and Darby Shaw, played by Julia Roberts in The Pelican Brief.  I added an "e" since Lacey and Haley had one in their name.  Her Daddy like the name Rhea.
She was such a cute precious little petite thing with always a smile on her face. And even today, she is the same. She has such a loving heart and is such a good Christian girl. She is the last one home to be with Momma and Daddy and we appreciate her so much. I'm so proud of her and I just want to wish her a very happy birthday. Here are a few pics of my baby....

You will always be Daddy and I's little baby! We love you!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Momma's Day

What a wonderful, beautiful, happy, joyous day! It is the Lord's Day and today we share that day with Mother's Day! The sun is shining where I am and there is much to be thankful for. I pray your heart is happy and full of love today.

This morning my husband made me breakfast.....waffles, juice and coffee. How sweet!
My #2 daughter and her beau, Cody, sent me a beautiful Knock Out rose bush to school on Friday. What a wonderful surprise! She is unable to be home today but still thinks of her Momma. I miss her terribly. My son had to leave to go to Iowa to take some horses as they have some races tomorrow. I miss him too.
I did happily get to spend today with my #1 and #3 daughters and they were wonderful to me. Lace and Blake got me a beautiful Azalea bush. I have tried them before and killed them. I have kept saying I want to try any helpful hints?
We went to Lace and Blake's new home for a cookout this evening and it was perfect weather and very fun. 
I also got to visit my Mom at the nursing home and she is doing so well. I'm so happy that she is getting along so well with with her feeding tube and is very content and adjusted. We took her flowers and cards and she enjoyed them. 
So all in all it was a memorable day and I'm so thankful for my blessings.
Here are just a few pics to share....
Momma and her new rose bush

 Mom and I
Our 3 generation picture

 Mom's day party at Lace's
 New home!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

National Day of Prayer

National Prayer Day draws thousands, but also stirs controversy

03:34 PM

Thousands of Americans marked the 60th annual National Prayer Day in local communities and churches, although the yearly event almost got overshadowed in the aftermath of Bin Laden and the celebration of Cinco de Mayo.
It also almost didn't make it over a legal hurdle this year. Only last month did a federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that had declared the proclamation of a National Prayer Day as unconstitutional, CBS notes.
Congress established the day in 1952, but the president by law must proclaim a day in May every year.

I don't know about you but how can PRAYING be overshadowed by anything? In my opinion, you better be in prayer 24/7. One of my favorite verses
Pray without ceasing... 1 Thessalonians 5:17
The "unconstitutional" thing doesn't surprise me a bit. There will ALWAYS be those that claim that! Oh pish posh! Good grief I say! They may not know God now nor worship or serve him or believe prayer is a necessity, but when Jesus comes, we ALL will know what is and is not "Constitutional".
And one thing I know for sure....

Philippians 2
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 Romans 14
10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
"Therefore, comfort one another with these words" I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Today, as any other day, Christians believe in prayer. We have hope through our faith that God answers our prayers. The answers may not be just exactly like we want them, but they are answered with God's plan and even better than we thought. God's will is always the best.

The Lord's Prayer Words


Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

And on a lighter note.....This week is Teacher Appreciation Week! So to all my fellow teacher blogging buddies, whether you are public school, private school, home school, Sunday school.....
I salute you and give you applause! The job you do is commendable!

So days are diamonds and some days are stones! sang John Denver!

Today I had a few stones! It's getting that time of year when little people (and big people) are definitely ready for SUMMER! If students were punching a time clock, I think they have checked out!
And I had some diamond days! A sweet girl that I had last year in my class has been showering me this week with goodies made by her Momma. (She is an awesome baker!) Yesterday was a full pan of cinnamon rolls that I just smeared on my hips because that's eventually where they end up, right? And today I got a Chocolate Surprise Bundt Cake. 
I just adore you Callie...and your Momma too! 

I hope all you teachers feel appreciated and special!
You deserve it! 

P.S.....For me, 13 more days until they return to their Moms and Dads for Summer! Is it okay to say, Yippee? 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Prom 102

We survived another weekend of Prom festivities! Since Darb is a Junior, parents were a little more involved and we helped with After Prom/decorating/undecorating. Darb had a very nice date and they are great friends and have gone to school together since Kindergarten. It was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it... but I will say right here and now...I'M TOO OLD TO STAY UP UNTIL 5:00 AM! I'm still catching up on sleep. Darb and I got in bed last night at 7:00 p.m. to get ready for bed. 
Here's some pics of her fun weekend...