Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I cannot decide whether to dance around my house or fall on my knees. It looks like I'm going back to Zimbabwe in November.

If you have a desire to and are able to contribute to my fundraising...please contact me.

But for now, I'm dancing and praying.

I cannot wait to see these children again, and the precious teenage girls who rocked my world.

Zim, baby!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The World is Rockin

Today, a blog that I follow very closely is shedding some sadness over a young baby's severe heart defect. Baby Stellan is not doing well today and my heart is heavy. www.mycharmingkids.net

I have several...way too many friends, going through divorce. There is pain in the air.

One of my dear friends is trying to love on her family with all of her might, and they just keep stabbing her (metaphorically, of course). An actual flesh wound, might hurt less.

I keep studying and studying the scriptures, and just as is true of the way and word of Jesus....He encourages us to persevere through all of these trials. And to love people.

I had an online chat with my sweet friend, Sue, in Zimbabwe about me going to serve again, either in October or November. I am on pins and needles. I need to raise so much more money, but I have received a little more than 1/3 in pledges so far and am just blown over with gratitude for the loving and generous "senders" in my life.

This is Asher's last week at his precious school. This makes my heart want to crack in half. He seems to be taking it pretty well........ while I am tormented. We just do not have the budget to keep him there. We're hoping he'll get to go into public pre-school.....but we are STILL waiting to find out. If not.... Asher will be having special adventures with me until he starts Kindergarten next August, 2010.

In other news....Asher got to meet some "real life" football players last week at his school. They came from one of the local private highschools. He has been in football heaven ever since then. He is only willing to wear his football socks, and one of his 3 football themed shirts. It's a bit dramatic, over-the-top obnoxious and annoying.... but it is still very cute. I see his precious face as he is looking through his closet to find something that would make one of the "real life" football players proud. His face crumples a little when he realizes that he does not have a football heavy wardrobe. I sense that he is already feeling the pressure of impressing others.....and for a 4 1/2 year old to be feeling this way....and acting it out.....is devastating. We're not keeping up with the Joneses, and I was hoping he wouldn't notice. Love just has to overcome. We just have to be rich in love.

Shawn's words are increasing. He can say "cow". And finally.....finally praise be to God, Shawn can say "momma". He can say "cheese".....well, sorta.....it sounds like "tease". His classroom is called "busy bees" and Shawn can say "bees". He can say "hi da" which means, "hi daddy". He can say "nigh nigh" for night night. It is all so beautiful and remarkable.

And speaking of words....here's a word that is resting in me this morning:

Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I am praying this not only for myself, but mostly for all of you...whoever you all are.....that the peace of God will literally consume your hearts and your minds, and that you will be content regardless of the circumstances you face. I am praising God today for peace. Not the idea of peace, but real peace.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Awesome Stank!

Today, I found a naked boy in my garden chair, and made some chocolate cookies. On a totally out-of-character, spontaneous whim, I took the boys to a place outside of Nashville, called Old Hickory, where there is a lake and a "beach" if you can call it that.

I was not prepared for this one to be a dare-devil. He refused to let me hold his hand. I had a few moments of cardiac arrest, and then I abandoned my fears and just let him live a little. It was hysterical. And dirty and stanky....but sooooooooooooooooooo MUCH F.U.N.!!!!!!

At one point I thought Shawn might be tired....after all he had run and jumped into the lake about 60 time....and no I am not exaggerating. I took the boys back to our perch and removed Shawn's swim trunks. I kid you not...,.he took off naked, running to the lake. I caught him, and then just surrendered and put on these little pull ups. M.o.r.e. F.U.N.

I am not sure how much lake water Shawn consumed while Asher was conservatively crusing the beach and sinking his toes into the sand. And it remains to be seen if Shawn's stomach will need to be pumped at the hospital later....and yes, I'm a little worried about his diapers later.... but mostly, it was a blessed SPLASH. Except for when I looked up and saw Asher doing....this...

What you don't see are several sweet, innocent families in the near vicinity watching him and wondering where his mother was. I had to really zoom in to get this picture because I was in the water preventing Shawn from swimming to Kentucky.
Ahhhhh......mommyhood.....what a freakin blast!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


My thighs offend me. Seriously, couldn't they just BACK OFF? I mean c'mon, I decided to have children in my mid 30's. I was able to work out, and er......hire a personal trainer after Asher was born and snap my body back into shape....Good shape. But after Shawn was born things were just different. I don't know about other people, but after learning on his first full day of life that he had Down syndrome and a possible heart defect....I mean, I just wasn't in the mood to make my body a priority. I was kinda busy........ being metaphorically swung around by my toes and getting my head slammed into everything within a 5 foot radius.

And really, how does a mommy cope with the new normal and face a heightened reality of unknowns without indulging in some rich breads and home-baked sweets, anyway? Sure, there was a brief stint with Zoloft which did ultimately help me fight my desires to do dangerous stunts without a stunt-double, or a harness. But what about my thighs? My poor thighs have really been neglected in all of this.

Oh, if only I could get back into a routine of doing walking-lunges, weight-training and cardio.

I'm trying to get my mind into that place. My thighs are already there....and my mind is a little behind. And speaking of "little behinds"...... yea, that would be nice too.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In Color

Today me and the tots, we had an adventure. The highlights might have included a leaky boy poo accident, but no worries, I didn't take pictures of that. And yea, I know it's gross.......but I am here to share the truth.

The weather here in Nashville has been amazingly comfortable over the past few days. I heard it was a Canadian air mass that moved in.... and let's just say, I'm loving me some Canadian air right about now. The boys are thankful too cuz it's difficult to get momma to go outside in the heat.
Love to all!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Out & About

Last night we went out to continue the celebration of Daddy's birthday which was on 7/12. We went to the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens family night, with kids entertainment. Shawn enjoyed the music, while Asher mostly enjoyed the exploration of the gardens, ponds, and meeting some new friends...or enemies?

Shawn got close to the entertainer, Conductor Jack. The ground was sloped and he had a little trouble keeping his balance, so this excursion quickly turned into him sitting firmly in my lap.

Here is proof that daddy was there, and that Asher sweats like his momma....

All that sweat deserves a little ice cream. We went to Baskin Robbins where I failed to bring in my camera (dangit!)... but Shawn sat on top of a table, and ate a scoop of chocolate ice cream in a cone, all by himself. I didn't catch him in action, but I did capture the aftermath....after he wiped off his own face...

His shirt says "Born To Be Cute" and I give a roaring loud AMEN to that!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Yesterday we took the crib apart and moved it out. Asher and Shawn have been sharing a small bedroom for a long time. Asher sleeps in a twin bed and Shawn in the crib. When I was pregnant with Shawn, we bought the kids matching twin beds. They were on sale at Pottery Barn and I knew I wanted them to share a room, so to avoid the "no longer in production" headache, we went ahead and bought 2. We have been using one of them in our bonus room as a little guest bed/daybed deal. No more. We have moved both beds around in the bedroom and now have more space in the bonus room for toy action. Shanw took a successful nap yesterday afternoon, and also had a great nights sleep last night. Above is a picture of his first nap in the bed. (The matching quilt cover is STILL in the washing machine!)

Shawn likes to chill when he wakes up. He will easily relax, awake, for 15 minutes before he decides he wants to get out of bed. I like that he likes to chill. I slept on the sofa last night so that I would be able to hear if Shawn got up in the middle of the night and decided to cruise the pad. Without bars holding him in, who knows what he might do. Luckily, he did nothing but sleep. He woke up this morning and I heard he and Asher giggle a little. Then a few minutes later, I hear a loud "HI" coming from the top of the stairs. I ran to the stairs and yelled "HI" right back. My sweetie pie was just hanging out, looking around, feeling big. (Shawn can maneuver the stairs very well, but I didn't want him to try it in a state of sleepiness).

I went upstairs to get him and change his diaper. I walked into the bedroom and saw Asher just laying there (his bed is in a new position) with a huge grin on his face. He was just "happy". I think he really enjoyed being snuggled by Shawn in an unexpected early morning visit.

Change is big. It can be. We fear change because of the unknowns. We fear change because it is letting go of the "old way". We fear change. Change is intimidating. And, change can be hard work.

But change can also be freeing, instead of letting go of the old, it is embracing the new. Instead of becoming complacent, change is refreshing and energizing.

Is there anything you need to change?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Hubs

Today is the Hubs birthday. I am so happy that he was born.

He is working all day today and I'm getting ready to show some houses, and then later Asher and I have a special project to work on before Daddy gets home. It could be magnificent or it could be a total disaster....as projects with 4-year-olds often are. We shall see.

Hoping to have photos to post later.

Happy Birthday to my honey.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Not Numb

So much grief has been experienced in this world recently. Grief happens everyday. Everyday, somebody suffers something. Never a day goes by that someone doesn't die. Never a day goes by that a woman doesn't miscarry, or someone is abused, or a marriage breaks up, or child starves, etc. In your life or my life, these things might happen here and there, on occasion, or not yet. But somewhere, everyday.....somebody is experiencing the most tragic pain of their life. And this is just a small glimpse of the painful options.

If pain were on a shelf in your pantry, it would be crammed in, stocked high and low. And it never runs out. And until Kingdom comes, it never will.

The Bible says we are to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who are filled with joy. That might sound like poetry, and the idea sounds good.... but this is real. I took this idea of mourning with those who mourn, to heart, many months ago. I was reading a blog of a woman I do not know, and she was sharing some deeply painful experiences going on in the lives around her...and she asked that if any of the readers were willing to share in the grief so that this family could have some of it lifted off of their spirits...to please ask for that grief to be shifted. As crazy as it might sound.....I knew right then I was supposed to take some of that grief. This was for a family I did not know and for a siutation in which I had no involvement. That day, I got on my knees and I wept and I mourned and I felt a very heavy weight for several days. Then I felt it lift. I can only tell you that whatever the purpose was....it was my honor to go through it. But more than anything now.....I just know that this is true.....the we should and we can mourn for and with those who mourn. We can carry burdens that are not our own. We can lighten the load of another....and they might never ever even know. They don't have to know. This is between you and God. But I believe that person who's grief you share, will have a lighter burden...I believe this.

Lately I am depressed. I know that I know that I know that my spirit could use a lift and I have a prescription for Zoloft that I have had since Shawn was 5 months old and I was diagnosed with post-partum depression. I have plenty of those little blue pills, and I have a refill available, and my doctor would give me more if I called and asked her. I'm not taking the meds because I know for me, right now, today, I am supposed to feel what I feel. I am not supposed to be numb or even uplifted in these moments. Have we any idea the heaviness of grief that Jesus carried for us before He was crucified. He carried it ALL.

I am supposed to feel sadness and grief for the lost souls in this world. I am supposed to feel outraged that children die and starve because they cannot afford a clean water source. I am supposed to grieve for the relationships that do not work out. I am supposed to feel upside down when I reach and try and fail. Our Lord Jesus has never felt numb. He feels all of our pain and He can fill it......too.

I had a great conversation with my dear bible study girlfriends this week and we talked about how everything we do is apparantly in an effort to stop the pain or avoid the pain altogether. Our coping mechanisms may all look different. Some people drink or use drugs. Some people try to cure their pain with relationships. Some people try to steal the things that might numb the pain. Some people kill their pain (with guns....yes). Some people eliminate their pain by eliminating themselves. Some people climb to the top where they think there is no pain. Some people try to outrun their pain. Some try to outsmart their pain.

The whole world's pain is a product of sin. And it s.u.c.k.s. For ourselves and for the ones we come into contact with, all we can really do is lean into the only healer ever made available to man. All we can do is trust that there is an eternity without pain and that if we believe that and if we serve God for that purpose.....that is our gift and our treasure, in Heaven with Him.

I am well. I am good. My heart is healthy and my faith is strong. I'm just learning that maybe I can and should carry more pain than that which belongs to me. I'm honored and I am heavy....but I carry this heaviness for the savior of my life, the Lord that I love. If this glorifies Jesus, I never want to be numb.

I am not going to proof read or edit this. It is what it is.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July - thus far

I've seen this one, once, doing exactly...this...

This one is excited about his new water-wing skillz..

And, who can resist an Asher burrito? Not me!

A precious bff gave me this....(awwwwwwwww)

This one has learned to climb on top of our dining table and pretend to be a centerpiece...but for this photo op....we just have to use our imaginations...

Bath splash time, sporting a well healed scar.....

And also sporting a lovey big brother...

This last photo requires an explanation.....

Our house is for sale and today we had a showing. I always work so hard to perfectly set up our house for showings so that it is as lovely as it can possibly be. This morning, I had already finished cleaning the master bedroom suite and Asher was playing with his green (pictured) "fuzzy bunny blanket" in the living room. He kept draping it over the chair or the sofa, folding it, and just doing all sorts of wonderfully creative things with it. He asked me if he could "set it up" for the showing. I said yes, knowing full well that I would un-do any masterpiece, fold it, and put it away where it belongs. I finished all my cleaning, loaded the kids in the car and ran back into the house to make sure it looked fantastic. It did. When we came home after the showing, I walked into my bedroom to find the masterpiece Asher snuck in. I gasped. I asked Asher why he did it...to which he replied, "You said I could set it up, and I set it up in your bedroom to make it more beautiful". Oh lawdy! I wonder what the Realtor and her clients thought when they walked in.
It's a busy July so far.
Hope you are having a lovely summer!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God Bless This One and That One

Happy 4th of July. Remember to be so grateful for the freedoms we, as Americans, live day to day. The freedom to practice any faith. The freedom to go to public school and to be well educated. The freedom to challenge, the freedom to change directions, the freedom to try and to succeed....the freedom to serve or to be served. The freedom to love who you want to without being arranged, or promised to.

We have so many freedoms we cannot even count or begin to realize them. We are so spolied.
God Bless America? I sure love my country. I do....for all the many freedoms listed above and not listed above, I love my country. I've got it made, here. Men and women have been protecting my freedoms since long before I was a thought.
But I've been to Zim and I deeply want God to bless Zim. He has and He does, in ways you or I might not fully comprehend. They haven't been blessed with wealth or with options, but they have been blessed with spirits and hope that you nor I could ever imagine.

I've been to the Dominican Republic and I have served some of the Haitian community there. I so deeply want for God to bless the DR and Haiti. He surely has and will surely continue to, in was that you nor I can appreciate. He has blessed these peoples with the commitment to press on. Man, do they ever press on! It is a sight to behold, and I cannot be more thankful that I have beheld such sight with my very own, spoiled rotten eyes.
God bless America, yes. Bless us to be thankfully blessed, because many of us are not even clued in to our freedoms..... our freedom to vote, to worship, to work, to learn, to teach, to own property, to buy organic, to choose paper or cloth diapers, to stretch our minds and exercise our gifts and talents.
God, bless this one..
...Oh God please bless this one...
...and this sweet one....
...and that one....
Happy red, white and blue, freedom and independence day. Thank you to all who have served in our military, for all that you sacrifice for the countless freedoms that I forget to acknowledge.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


For mother's day, Asher's classrom decorated tiny flower pots, and with my precious flower pot from the magnificent Asher Tate, I was given a bag of seed. Sweet.

It took me about a week to get around to the little, dirty project. I filled the small flower pot, delicately decorated with haphazzard brush strokes of paint, and painted buttons glued around the rim, with potting soil. Dropped in the seed. Added water.

Whadaya know? Things began to grow. Such is the case with seeds that are sown, nurtured and nourished.

I see my sweet little flower pot several times a day. It is in my kitchen window. It truly begs to be re-potted into a larger pot now, but then it wouldn't be in my window anymore. It craves the sun. It leans and stretches toward the nourishment of the sun's rays. Occasionally I have to rotate the plant because too much leaning and stretching in one direction makes it all lop-sided.

A child of God is truly the same. A planted, nurtured and nourished seed, leaning toward the Son of Man, stretching out to reach His robe (power), longing to bloom into His likeness, and turning every direction to share His beauty.





I'm a dirty little project, but He continues to nurture me and always gives me what I need, when I need it.

....... here comes the Son ~ do do do do ~ here comes the Son and I say, it's all right..........

(yes...pun intended)

My retinas may have been slightly damaged in the making of this blog. I hope you appreciate the trouble I go through......and as always, thanks for reading!

Comments welcomed and appreciated!