Dada Superhero

Today has been a beautiful day…..we are finally seeing fall-like weather, at least for Florida.  I should NEVER have been a Floridian…..I hate Florida weather….we have 3 seasons instead of 4 and they are hot, hotter and hottest!  I LIVE for cold weather….so wish we got more of it than we do.  I truly think Alaska is more my cup of tea!

Anyway, I have been so sick and Hannah has too, but today we decided to go outside and get some fresh air.  Hannah and I have been cooped up in the house all weekend and I am feeling somewhat better, and now that Dennis is home (he worked 16+ hour days practically all week and weekend because of the Georgia/Florida festivities), we thought it would be nice to get outside for a few minutes.  Dennis, Hannah and I started out on a little walk down the dirt road.  Hannah always has to be about 4-5 steps in front of us and I have to keep reminding her to “wait for mama and dada.”  Well, all of a sudden, I saw it…..a snake…..a yucky, blah, evil, disgusting serpent…..Ahhhhhh, I hate those things with a passion.  The problem is, Hannah was just about to step on it…..all I could say was “Dennis, snake,” and point.  Dennis leaped into Superhero mode….honestly, I have never seen him move so quickly.  He got to Hannah, threw his arms around her, picked her up, jumped over the snake to safety…..whoo, that was a close one!  Hannah seriously has NO fear…..had she seen the snake, she probably would have bent down to “give it a hug and kiss.”  Dada Superhero didn’t stop there…..if truth be known Dennis is as scared of snakes as I am and he agrees that there is no good snake except a dead one!  So, he told Hannah to wait (the snake was between me and them) and Dennis grabbed a stick and literally beat the thing to death splitting it in half…..OUR HERO, our very own snake-wrangler!  He then picked it up on the stick (what was left of the sucker) and threw it into the woods!

Needless to say, all I wanted to do after that was to go back inside!  HA!  I don’t have a love for the outdoors, I am VERY much a homebody…..love to be in my house with the AC on!  Seeing snakes doesn’t help me want to be outside more either.  The funny thing is, snakes are not unusual where we live….we live in “the country” on a dirt road with woods all around, but this is the first snake I have seen all year!  Maybe it is because I pray them away!  Fortunately, it was on the dirt road, not in our yard.  If it had been in our yard, I probably would never step outside again!  HA!

So, we are now back in the house where I plan to stay put!  Dennis is exhausted as he worked so much last week and I am still trying to get over this nasty pneumonia.  Hannah is mostly well, still congested some, but seems to be so much better.  Hopefully next week brings us the rest and healing we all need!  So my prayer for this week is that we all get well and stay well and that the Lord keeps the snakes away!

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Behind the Smile

I have so much I could blog about right now, but I am so sick with pneumonia that I cannot even think straight.  Hannah decided to share all her germs with me and I neglected myself taking care of her, hence the walking pneumonia!  It was inevitable, but I will be so happy when all this sickness and these germs LEAVE!

But, I wanted to take a minute and post this picture I saw the other day…..really got me thinking about people.  What is behind the smiles on people’s faces….the brightness in their eyes…..and where their heart really is.  I know, for me personally, that sometimes the smile is just a front, my eyes have shed tears that no one knows about and that my heart is heavy.  Sometimes though, smiling through it is easier than talking about it, but the pain is still there and the only person that truly understands is Jesus!  I would encourage you to read this and take it to heart when you see someone you know that could be hiding behind their smile, their beautiful eyes and their kind heart!  I guess this hit home with me, because honestly there are days that this is me.  Not that I would share with anyone when those days are and what those secrets, tears and hurts are, but the truth is I think everyone feels this at some point in their life.  When the pain is too much, there is only one person I turn to; the only one that can truly understand…..His name is Jesus!

 

Mama Bragging Rights and Hannah’s School

If y’all will indulge me for a minute, I have to brag!  Hannah goes to a very special school, for very special kids and we are so fortunate that she is able to attend there.  It is the North Florida School of Special Education.  Every year they have a brochure to talk about the school and this year Hannah is the cover model.  I love each page of this brochure (of course the front cover is my favorite), but each page has a word on it describing the incredible students that attend there.  The theme is “I AM” and then each page says things like:  I am Significant; I am Courage; I am Curiosity; I am Strength; I am Kindness; I am Community…..I love this about the school, the teachers and the staff!  They focus on these special kids attributes instead of their disabilities!  They look at their abilities and build on that!  They teach independence, self-esteem, acceptance, compassion and then build on that by teaching work ethic, morals and values!  I could talk about NFSSE ALL.DAY.LONG!

Hannah LOVES school, she loves learning and playing!  She has so many sweet friends….even the older students know her and love her!  All these kids have things that make them just a little different; but oh how special each one of them are!  I have had the opportunity to meet so many of them; from the little ones in Hannah’s class to the older ones in the high school and each one has given me HOPE for Hannah; her future and what she can be and will be!

Here is a picture I took today of Hannah holding the NFSSE brochure!  She is just as proud as I am!

Happy Birthday Dennis!

Forty-two years ago today, a little baby boy was born and I am so glad that he was!  Many years after his birth (30 to be exact), that little boy, who was now a man, became my husband!

Today, we celebrate Dennis!  I will be the first to tell you that he isn’t perfect; but he comes pretty close to it.  I couldn’t ask for a better husband to me or father for Hannah!  He loves his girls and we are so blessed because of that fact!  He takes care of us, he protects us and he provides for us!

What a blessing to be married to a man who puts the Lord first, Hannah and me second and everything else is after that!  He has sacrificed in so many ways so that I can stay at home, be a mom to Hannah and take care of things here.  He has a difficult job that is physically and mentally challenging at times, but he does it to the best of his ability so that we can have all of our needs met.

He is my best friend…..no one makes me laugh more than he does and no one laughs at me more than he does…..HA!  I can truly be blonde under this brunette hair!  He is not demanding, actually he is very easy-going (except when the Gators are playing and I just stay out of the den).  He never complains about what I cook for dinner and he always eats it; even when it is spaghetti (which is his least favorite thing).  He pretty much let’s me have my way, which to any men out there that might be reading this….it isn’t a bad thing to just let your woman have her way…..you might be much happier!  HA!

So, today is his day…..we celebrated some yesterday and then this morning Hannah and I gave him his presents.  Hannah, then on her own went over to him, put her arms around his neck and said,”Happy Birthday Dada,” I think for Dennis, that was gift enough…..that truly made his day!

Honey, when you read this…..please know how much you are loved and how thankful we are for you!  Enjoy your day!

Backseat Driver & Road Rage

Today, I decided that since the past 10 days have been ROTTEN and full of sickness, Hannah deserved a break!  We hopped in the car before lunch and headed to her favorite place….Chick-fil-a, the drive-thru, of course!

It has become quite hilarious listening to Hannah in the backseat as I drive.  First, we get in the car and her shoes MUST come off before her seat belt goes on, except on the way to school; then she will leave her shoes on.  Then, as soon as I sit down and start the engine, there had better be music playing and we cannot play the same CD that was in the CD player….it has to be changed IMMEDIATELY!  I always let her choose…..Christian, Country or Rock.  She usually says Bible (for Christian) or she will say Toby or Tina (for Toby Keith or Martina McBride for Country) and if she says Rock, we put in Port Chuck (good classic rock music sung by a group of 4 soap stars that are fantastic)!  Anyway, today’s choice was Bible, so we put in Casting Crowns.

She is too funny as I drive…..she will tell me where to turn or to go straight.  When we come to a light, if it is red, she will yell, “RED, STOP MAMA!”  If it is green, she will yell, “GREEN, GO MAMA!”  Well, one thing we haven’t learned yet while sitting at lights, is that if the car in front of me is turning, we have to wait for that car to turn, before we can go.  Hannah DOES NOT like to WAIT…..so today, when this happened, she sat there yelling, “GREEN GO MAMA” and got very frustrated when I told her that we have to wait for the car in front of us to turn……it was quite comical.  The look on her face is priceless as she gets more agitated by the second!  This backseat driving started a few weeks ago, but today her “road rage” was something new and I honestly couldn’t stop laughing!

Hannah LOVES to get in the car and go…..she will even tell me before we leave the house which vehicle she wants to take.  We have a car and a SUV….she would rather take the “truck” because it has the TV in it, but most of the time we take the car because of gas prices and it gets MUCH better gas mileage.  She gets excited when we take the “truck” though.  I actually prefer the “truck” myself, but save it for BIG shopping trips and vacation.  

 Hannah is feeling better finally!  She had quite the appetite when we got home too….she didn’t leave one fry or one chicken nugget on her plate!  Hopefully this weekend will be a restful one for her and she will be all ready to go back to school on Monday!  We have some celebrating to do this weekend, but I will save that for another post!  Happy Friday!

 

Joy, Happiness, Thanksgiving and Being Real In Your Circumstances

I am certainly one of those people who TRY to find joy, happiness and thanksgiving in my circumstances; but let’s be real for a minute…..it is not an easy thing to do all the time!  This past week and a half, for example, has been REALLY difficult for me and I haven’t woke up every morning with joy and thanksgiving in my heart!

Hannah has been so sick, I have been thankful that she has been at home and not the hospital; but it is still not pleasant!  She ran fever for 6 days with horrible congestion, coughing and sneezing….and let me just tell you….when you are so full of congestion and you sneeze every 3 minutes….well, it is just plain NASTY!  I could go into more detail, but I will spare you the visual!  On top of that, she has a double ear infection and both eardrums ruptured.  The antibiotics have completely torn her stomach up; so everything she eats, goes right through her……ugh!  I am sick of sickness!  Oh, I didn’t mention in 9 days, she just finally starting sleeping through the night again 2 days ago!  I feel like a walking zombie!  Anyway, because of all of that; my joy diminished…okay, it didn’t diminish, it completely WENT bye-bye!  Joy, happiness and thanksgiving went out the window and was replaced with bitterness, sadness and pure out-and-out grumpiness!

I know that I am not the only mom that goes through this.  Heck, everyone gets sick….even the healthiest of people….but, really…..Hannah is sick ALL THE TIME it seems like.  We get through one illness and have a few good weeks then….BAM, she is sick again!  Over the last 7 years, this has been my life…..and normally, I deal with it okay…..this time, has been different and I had to have a “come to Jesus” meeting with myself and the Lord!  Let me just say, it wasn’t pretty!  The good thing is, God knows our hearts……He knows how we feel before we even tell him and He knows why He is having us go through the things we do.  I asked the Lord to show me why……I asked Him for peace and understanding and of course I have begged him daily to heal Hannah’s little body.  The Lord showed me this verses yesterday and they helped, I am still trying to reclaim the joy and happiness; it is better but I will say these verses opened my eyes and have once again made me realize that there is a reward for perseverance and for waiting on the Lord.

James 1:12

New International Version (NIV)

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Psalm 27:14

New King James Version (NKJV)

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

I don’t know why we go through difficult things in life….I don’t know why it “appears” that some people get dealt a “bad hand” and others get the “good life.”  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel as if I have been dealt a “bad hand,” as my life isn’t bad; it is just different.  I will go a step further and say that I don’t believe that some people have the perfect life.  I believe that people want others to have that perception of them, but I don’t think anyone is without difficulty.

I have started to have a love/hate relationship with social media, especially Facebook.  If you look at and read what people write you would think that their lives are perfect!  They have perfect children who are the most beautiful and smartest; they have the BEST husbands, jobs, prettiest houses and they all drive Range Rovers!  HA!  They never talk “REAL.”  Most people don’t let you in, don’t show their hearts, hurts or struggles….people just aren’t real!  I think most people think that they need to only let people see the good things about their life….we all have WONDERFUL things in our lives; but life isn’t just about the good.  We all have sad things in our life too….we all hurt, we all struggle and we all, at times, wish our lives and circumstances were different.  All this to say…..my life isn’t all joy and happiness; there are real hurts, real difficulties and real struggles.  But, I will say….for the most part, I try to be real and I do try everyday to find the joy and happiness in my circumstances.  I try to be thankful for all God has given me….even the not-so-pleasant things!

I don’t have all the answers, all I know is that I am living a different life than most people.  I am not going to sit here and say my life is perfect because it is far from it, but I will say that with the Lord, I do my best to be real and take the good and bad and glorify Him!  I have learned that when someone asks you how you are doing it is okay to say you’re not doing well.  I have learned that sometimes you have to get alone in your room and cry out to the Lord and ask why and then ask Him to show you where you go from here and help you find peace.  Do I struggle?  Absolutely!  Are there times that I wish things were different?  Absolutely!  Do I sit and dwell on it, getting depressed and crying?  Absolutely NOT!  I hit my knees…..I beg God for peace, wisdom and understanding and then I get up, dust myself off, pull up my bootstraps (as my dad would say) and keep on moving!

All I want for my life’s journey is to somehow make an impact for eternity……all I want is for the Lord to work through me to touch someone’s life!  All I want is to be real so that people see that just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle, have problems and sometimes want to scream!  I don’t ever want to give a false impression of what it means to trust the Lord for everything.  Life isn’t perfect, it never will be…..but the best thing about it is that this life is not my final destination……Heaven is, and it will be perfect and there will be no more tears, sickness, sorrow or death……that is what I am living for!

Sickness and Judge Not

Well, it was inevitable……sickness…..UGH!  Wednesday night Hannah woke up at 11:30 all congested, running fever and so miserable!  Thursday, all day it seemed to be just a head cold but then last night it started heading into her chest!  We were up all night with coughing, fever and TONS of drainage!  Needless to say, we are walking zombies around here!

People don’t believe me half the time when I say that if it is going around, Hannah is going to get it.  Most people, family included, don’t really understand her low immune system and ask “who did she get it from,” or “how did she get that” or “is something going around?”  If it is in the air and Hannah is anywhere in the vicinity, she is going to catch it!  With that said, I do my best to protect her from unnecessary germs, but there are some things that are just inevitable!  I just love it when people say, “well, you have to be around germs to build immunity,” seriously makes me want to slap somebody….because we are all around germs in our day-to-day life and it hasn’t helped Hannah yet!

School is the most important place that Hannah has to go, everything else is not important.  This is the main reason we don’t go to church.  I know ALOT of people have judged me for this, but I am so serious when I say…..if we went to church every Sunday, Hannah would be sick every Tuesday and thus miss school.  If we miss too much school, we lose our MacKay Scholarship and if we lose that then I have to homeschool and let me just say…..that ain’t happening!  I admire those mom’s that can homeschool…..I am just not one of them!  I was not cut-out to be a teacher, especially to my own child (academics anyway).  Hannah would not learn from me and we would do nothing but head-butt the entire time!  So, with all that said….as important as church is; we just can’t risk being sick ALL the time.

Dennis and I teach Hannah about Jesus daily!  We have devotions and pray with her everyday and she learns Bible verses every week.  You should hear her quote them word for word!  PRICELESS!  So, just for those that are in that “Legalistic mind-set” and are “drinking the kool-aid” as I like to call it…..just because we aren’t in church worshiping; doesn’t make us any less a Christian!  Hannah is taught daily about Jesus; His love for us and what He did for us on Calvary!  I felt the need to say this, because it never ceases to amaze me the people who sit in judgment of me for not being in church!  God gave me a child with special needs and it is my sole responsibility to do what is in her BEST interest……right now, church is not; especially the size church that we go to!

I know that it may appear that I am backslidden and honestly, it used to bother me that people thought and said what they did; but it doesn’t bother me anymore!  The decisions Dennis and I make are between us and the Lord…..if there is judgment to be done; He will do it!

Just felt the need to get that off of my chest……I love the Lord; I love my daughter and I KNOW that we are doing what He would have us to do!  Being sick stinks and that is why we try to limit when she is sick…….if you have children with good immune systems; thank the Lord for that but don’t judge others for doing what is best for their children.  No one walks the same path in life and we all have to do what is best for our family…..for everyone that path is different!

Going to go cuddle with my little Princess now…..I have to make the most of the times when she is sick, because she really loves to cuddle when she is!  These are the times that she picks her mama over her dada…..for me, it is the ONLY time she picks me over Dennis, so I have to take advantage of it when I can!