Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Quiet Christmas

So this will be the last quiet Christmas for our family for a long, long time. And the prospect of that is so very exciting. Next year at this time, our new baby Collin will be 11 months old, and on the move. The lights and magic of Christmas will be seen through his eyes and smile. And that magic will just be magnified as the years go by. This time next year we will be celebrating the safe return of Robert. He should be getting back from Iraq around the first part of November. Yes, that means that Kaiti will have this baby alone from about 6 weeks until Robert gets home in November. God is in control, and He has a plan to provide, protect and comfort them all through this. On this last quiet Christmas, we were blessed to have my Mom with us. We were able to stop by and pick her up as we traveled to be with Kaiti and Robert. She spent all of Christmas Eve knitting a beautiful pair of white baby booties - did you know that people still do that?? They were truly beautiful, and such a special gift!! Perhaps the most wonderful gift of all this Christmas is health. My mom aka Magnolia was healthy enough to travel with us,keep up with everything that was going - even helping with the Christmas Day Puzzle. My daughter, Kaiti, is having a very, very healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy. Our prayers are for Kaiti's health and safety, and for Collin's health and safety as they get close to the date of his arrival. And guess what!?!?! Kelly has been pain-free since Dec. 14th!! That in itself is a miacle of Chistmas of 2007. We have all so enjoyed having our old Kelly with us for the past 3 weeks. Thank you God for the gifts of health!!

God is in the Most Unlikely Places!!!

It all starts with 4 little angel-shaped tags from the Christmas tree at our church. 4 children - fatherless because the fathers are in prison. A wonderful grandmother who is caring for all of them in her home - despite just having brain surgery. This is the story of so many families and children in our community and world. The blessing in all of this was the fun that David, Kelly, Paula and I had being "Santa" for this family. The most fun was my mission to locate games for an original Sony Playstation not a PS2 or better - just a plain 'ol version one of the Playstation. I checked all of the normal places first, Target - Walmart - KMart - Radiot Shack - ToysrUs - you name it, I checked. So then everyone told me to try the local pawn shops and flea markets. Ok - now, I don't ususally frequent pawn shops - so this was going to be a great adventure - besides, who knows - maybe I would find my new camera that had just been stolen. First, I checked the "nice" pawn shop. Hmmmm - maybe I should have checked this out at the beginning of my Christmas shopping. There really were some great deals in there. BUT - no playstation games - "try the flea market". Well, I don't really have time now to try the fleamarket - so, on to pawnshops #2 and #3. Things are going downhill quickly. By the time I get to shop #4 - I am really getting worried. I call David and let him know where I am just in case no one ever sees me again. Remember - I live in South Florida. I go into the shop where I hear only spanish music and everyone is speaking Spanish. Everything inside looks old and dirty. But wait - doesn't that Spanish song sound just like one on my praise and worship cd? Is this lady witnessing in Spanish to her customer. When she finally noticed me, she asked in English what I was looking for. Oh yea, I am sure that you are way ahead of me - not only did they have 1 game, there was a whole shelf of games for Sony Playstation - orginal version. The lady came and knelt beside me while I sat on the floor going through the games. She asked why I needed these games, and I explained the Angel Tree. She asked where I went to church. When I shared that - she responded with "'Faith Rider". This little Spanish lady running a pawn shop was very active in an incredible group in our church. So now I am getting the games for only $6. Did I go into that dive of a pawnshop thinking that I would find God inside - I think not!! Did I come out praising God for leading me there, and showing His face to me in the form a little spanish Faith Rider running a pawnshop - YES!!
So on Thursday evening before Christmas, the gifts were bagged and taken over to the grandma's house where all of the little angels were. What a great time we had - especially David!! My prayer is for health for grandma/caregiver, progress for little Niles who is developmentally delayed, and the other three children for health, happiness and love. Merry Christmas Angels!!

Christmas-Getting There

It's been so long and so much has been going on that I am not even sure where to begin. Highlights?? Well, that sounds just a bit too positive, so maybe a few bullet points to get us out of the muck and onto the blessings of the past 19 days!!
*numerous trips to the hosptial and doctors
appts. for Kelly to receive IV treatments
for pain

*the remodel of the kitchen - if you have
"been there" then you know what I am
talking about!! Will this ever end!?!

*finding out in a routine eye exam for contacts, that the medicine that caused all of the crazy
problems with my liver has also caused some major eye problems. the first of two laser surgeries is scheduled for next week

*a close, young friend who is like an adopted son has just found out that he has Hodgekins Lymphoma. Treatments started last week. Please pray for Jared.

*Our friends in Africa (David's interpreter) lost their home in the flooding. Please pray for Andrew, Judith, Little Peggy and Little David.

*fast food or take out for 11 weeks - did you ever really think that you would get tired of NOT cooking!?!?!

*an overload of dysfunction that was brought into our home, and we finally had to come to the realization that there was absolutely nothing that David or I could do to change the situation. This was a huge source of frustration for both of us, as we truly believed that God put this in front of us, so that we could help. Our only way of helping now is to pray for those involved.

*my friend, at Putting the Pieces Back Together blog, is sitting with her Dad as he waits for God to take him home...the timing a surprise - the ending is difficult...please pray for Kerry, her Mom, siblings and grandchildren...being left behind is sometimes so hard...
Enough!! Now another post on the true blessings of the past 19 days!! God has brought us through the muck and there is Christmas on the other side!!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps… means a little bit more.” The Grinch from How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Holiday Treats...

I saw this on a friends blog, and decided to take the quiz. Maybe this is a good way to get back into writing again. It has been a long, long time and so much has been going on in our lives. I think that I am ready to get back to my friends here, and move on. This is a good season for that.