Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I just ordered my cards!

Faith Love Family Religious
Shutterfly has modern graduation announcements and photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

A God Story

So I have to have a renal bladder pelvic ultrasound because my samples showed nothing. I am on medication which seems to be doing nothing (but I have only taken four pills.) Anyway...

I decide to just go get it done instead of waiting and putting things off like I usually do.

I am on my way and I am thinking, "now that I know how easy it is to have an x-ray, this should be a breeze". Then I hear that voice, "Girl, it's an ultrasound not an x-ray. Duh!"

I pull over to call my doctor's office...which I know that no one is there because it is 1:00 and they are probably having lunch.

As soon as I park in the shopping center, a woman gets out of her car and approaches me. She is speaking in a Dutch/Sweden or something that sounds similar accent. She is looking for I-95.

I start pointing and telling her how to go. She isn't far at all. She is trying to get it all straight. She is very flustered. Then I said, "I'll just take you there. Follow me."

So we go out Flower's Mill, turn left on to Maple, then a right back on to Flower's Mill. Then right on to Lincoln Hwy and there it is. The big sign saying I-95 Philadelphia. She says thank you and waves and I pull in the McDonald's to call the doctor's office...which no one is there because now it is 1:15.

I call my love who gives me the number of the hospital. The receptionist tells me that I need to make an appointment. I leave a message and come home.

Twenty minutes I was gone. But God had a plan that I didn't know about. It was a plan that could have aggravated me. Some would see it as wasted time.

But I just made someone's day with what would be "a great inconvenience" in someone else's day.

Soooo, the next time something doesn't go your way, think about how that situation can and will bless someone else.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School Already?







I can't believe how fast the summer went. It was the best summer of our life!

Today is the first day of school. It is a day where some mommies celebrate. I think I did when they were little but now that I see how fast the years are going by, I am sad for this day.

I started a scrapbook nine years ago. It is the only one I keep up with. It's first day of school pictures, class photos, some field day photos and some last day of school photos. I have the children stand in the same place each year. One at the end of the drive-way. One by the front door. One at the kitchen table. And of course, one together. I love this scrapbook!

Every year there was a ton of kids walking and several parents. I have a photo of the back of the group. Today one of those mommies will not be with us because she is no longer an elementary school mom. She is strictly middle school now. I started to cry this morning when I was telling my love.

(He is home by the way).

My morning started at 5am with kitty poo in my bed. That's better than an alarm. The smell had me up and doing laundry in 3 seconds flat. Then I took my man to the train station because his truck is getting an oil change today. When I return home at 6:20 to wake the children, the phone is ringing. There is no getting in to Trenton today. I think getting in to NJ in general is a mess. So I turned around (after I took my cell off vibrate. He called six times with no luck) and picked him up. We got back at 6:45. My friend and I took photos and sent the five middle school children off.

As I am in the shower reflecting on my morning, I thought "wow, I got a lot done. I washed the sheet and quilt. Thank you, Dash. I made three lunches. I took photos. I cleaned the kitty litter. I drove to and from the train station TWICE. And I ate so I could talk my medicine. (I am having some undiagnosed pain until the urine and blood sample come back).

Unfortunately, the most important think didn't happen this morning. I did not start my day with quiet time and prayer. I have not even opened my Bible yet.

But I did check facebook. Joyce Meyer's words of wisdom for today are:

One of the greatest blessings in the world is to be able to be happy even when things in life are not going the way we planned.

I think I am pretty happy today considering the events before 7 am.

Anyway, I am going to take Daniel to school at 9 and then have coffee with my two girlfriends. Once we are all talked out (not possible, lol), I am going to have lunch with the best Mom in the entire world.

I start back to work next Tuesday. One chapter is constantly closing while another is always opening. Melancholy is the only word to describe it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Christmas

Oh Yes I Did!

School starts in just three days and then before you know it, it's Christmas. I spent yesterday on Shutterfly creating our photo cards. Today, as I wait for Irene to arrive, I am wasting time on Pinterest. (Thanks Shay)

I love this idea and hope to try it this season.







School Supplies

This is a combined list for Amanda and Daniel


TI-34 $18.94
Post-It Notes - $6
Mechanical Pencils - $1.50
Pink Pearl Erasers (2) - $3.38
Erase Chisel (what is this?!) $3.00
Crayons - $.89
Dividers - $5.79
Theme Book - $1.50
Locker Shelf - $3.00
Ruler - $3.29
Portfolio (folder) 4 - $4.36
Pencil Sharpen 2 - $2.98
_____________________

$54.63

What isn't included on this recipe is the filer paper that I need to return because I got wide ruled not college ruled. Also, I bought a 5-subject notebook and 4 two-inch binders. Where is that receipt? And pens? I have to look for another receipt, which most likely I threw out because that is what I do. I throw things out.

I still have to get one binder for Daniel as well.

And this is another reason why we only have two children.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Evaluating Why We Do What We Do

This is my bedroom at its best. Everything is in its place. Is it clean? Not necessarily. I didn't zoom in but if I did, you would see the dust and cob webs. This is where I have been reading each morning this summer. I love this room. We NEED new carpet in the worst way but it's not a top priority right now. So we will wait.








This is my kitchen at its best. I LOVE this room also. It's the newest room in our house. I enjoy keeping it clean.







However, I don't want you to get the wrong impression. This is what it looks like most days:




OK, where am I going with this? Yesterday, my friend and I were talking to another friend about clean houses. I enjoy going in to someone's house and not seeing it "perfect". It takes the pressure off of me. Then we got on the subject of another friend and the topic was "knowing this person, it would seem that her house would be PUT TOGETHER". I don't know how to say it without it coming out offensive. It is just always lived in. And that's not a negative thing. I am not slamming her or her house. I love her. It just doesn't match with her personality. So it sparked this conversation through email. But first, I decided to look up a few good quotes to share.

This is the one I was looking for:

A clean house is the sign of a boring person. ~Author Unknown

But instead I found a website called Gardenquote: Quotations about Housework.

If the shelves are dusty and the pots don't shine,
it's because I have better things to do with my time. ~Author Unknown


Doesn't that make you feel better? Or this one. So true.

Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~Author Unknown

Not that I am a Roseanne Barr fan, but I thought this was funny.

I'm not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on. ~Roseanne Barr

This is a great one for my man:

Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark

Then you have the ones that make you really think:

Thank God for dirty dishes,
they have a tale to tell;
while others may go hungry,
we're eating very well.
~Author Unknown


And my favorite:

I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby. ~Nancie J. Carmody

Then I decided to google: What does the Bible say about housekeeping and found this:

to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:5 NIV)

The King James Version says "keepers at home."

The New Living Translation says "to work in their homes."

The Amplified Bible simply says "homemakers."

Well like I said, a conversation started between a couple of friends and with permission I am sharing it with you:

Just the other day it came to my mind how when I lived at home with my parents I got up every Saturday morning and cleaned my mom's house. When we lived at the house behind the church I had a really great cleaning schedule - cleaned a room every morning and kept things in really nice shape!

My question was: Knowing your personality, why isn't your house immaculate? Now don't judge me. I am not judging her. I love going to her house. It makes me feel really comfortable. It is lived in. She doesn't run around to make it look perfect because I am coming over. She is comfortable with me seeing it just the way it is. Here is her response:

To answer your question, I guess it's a couple things - priorities being the main one- I just don't have the time to clean things the way I would like to clean them. I usually do go through my house at the end of the night and tidy things up so it's relatively in order the next morning. Second, organization is more important to me than perfectly clean. I could probably tell you where just about any item is in my house to the exact location. I do not keep excess around ;)
Third, and most importantly, God just working in my heart to help me keep the right priorities! Fourth, I do try to teach the kids the importance of taking care of their things, putting things away, etc but I also want my kids to feel at home and comfortable here and be able to be kids. I don't want to be uptight that something is going to be damaged - there is nothing that is not replaceable or cleanable ;) (Again, not that we just eat everywhere, etc b/c we don't, but just not being uptight).
So, I don't know. Yesterday I was babysitting a 2 year old and at one point my living room and porch looked like a child's consignment shop. It made me absolutely crazy!!!

God is good ... He is always working on things in my life ... priorities is a big one.


After I asked if I could share the above, she responded with more:

To me clutter = distraction. It is a constant battle in a small house - which is why I try to clean out all the time.

You can share what you want, just don't put my name on it. It's not about me, it's about what God is doing! The truth is, if I could have an immaculate house I would in a heartbeat, God is just helping me w/ the reality of this season in life, I won't.


So why do we do what we do? Are we trying to put up a front? Are we hoping to be someone we are not?

Why do I feel that I have to have everything in order to sit down and enjoy a book or read my Bible? Does God care that the dishes are not done? My neighbor commented on my sink full of dishes last night. He said, "don't you have a new dish washer?" LOL. It didn't bother me. I did get around to loading it before bed and running it today.

There are some days that I clean for the majority of the day. Then there are others that I don't do much. I don't have "clutter". I have organized everything. It is either being used or it is gone. I either love to look at it or it is gone. The toys have to have a category (Legos, Lincoln Logs, Barbies, etc.) or they are gone. I can't stand all of those random McDonald's Happy Meal toys.

I am a minimalist. I like it that way. I have two pairs of jeans. I have three bras. It's all just stuff in my world.

How about you? Why do you do what you do?

I Fully Intended To...

Click here for the song of the day.

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Matthew 19:6

Dear Lord, help me to tame my tongue and focus on building up my man. Help me break free of the habit to criticize, even when warranted. Open my eyes to the positive, not the negative. Draw us closer, and help us both nurture a strong and loving marriage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

This has been in my email inbox since Friday, August 19th. I am just getting around to going through my emails. So I read decided to read it. Some I delete because I just have too many devotions to go through. I receive two each morning and if I don't keep up with them, I just get overwhelmed. This is one that I decided to keep because the title was "I fully intended to..." Yep, that sounds like me. I don't even know what the topic is yet but it sounds like me, lol.

It starts with this:

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)


Oh yeah, another message about marriage, I think. But I always need to hear it so I read on. Tracie Miles from Proverbs 31 Ministries lays it out for us ladies:


When I married my husband over twenty years ago, I fully intended to unconditionally love, respect and admire him. I had great intentions of being the perfect wife, offering kind words, a romantic kiss and dinner on the table every evening.
But then careers took off, bills increased, children were born, laundry piles grew, and life became chaotic. Along the way I subconsciously created a measuring stick of expectations for whether my husband actually deserved my love and respect.
When marriage doesn’t meet those unrealistic expectations we had before the wedding, and real life kicks in, it’s easy to fall into the habit of tearing down our husbands and our marriages as well.
In fact, the longer couples are together, the easier it is to not only see each other’s flaws, but to mercilessly criticize them. This eventually leads to short tempers, less tolerance, minimal patience, and a lack of marital bliss.
As a result, those gifts of unconditional love, respect and admiration that we fully intended to offer become gifts we are not so willing to give.
A few years ago I picked up a book for wives written by my friend and author Rick Johnson. I was hoping to rekindle some passion in my marriage. Little did I know, God would use truths shared in that book to get my attention and help me make some inward changes.
As I read, God convicted my heart about things I had said to my husband just days earlier. I recalled critical comments that rolled off my tongue so easily, which I now regretted deeply. Although I had fully intended to be my husband’s biggest encourager, I had become one of his worst critics.
Over time, God helped me see the powerful influence I have on my husband and my marriage when I choose words that build up. Words that encourage instead of discourage.
As women, we have the power to build up or tear down our husbands every day, merely by the respect we give and the amount of faith we let him know we have in him.
Respect and admiration are two of the most powerful tools a wife has to influence her husband.
When I realized I had fallen short in giving those two precious gifts to my man, I asked God to help me control my tongue. I asked Him to fill my heart and mouth with words that would make my husband feel admired, respected and loved, regardless of whether I felt he deserved it.
I wanted His help following through on what I intended to do from the beginning, so I asked Him to convict my heart when critical thoughts crept into my mind, and help me avoid the temptation to say them out loud.
Within just a few weeks, I saw a change — in me, in my husband’s demeanor, and in our relationship. A change that rekindled unconditional love, respect and admiration. A change that reflected what I set out to give him all along.
Through our words of respect, and admiration, we can help our husbands become the great men God created them to be, and in turn, have the marriages we fully intended to build.


Tomorrow night we have a date. We might not even leave the house but we will have a good two hours just to ourselves. Maybe we will talk. Maybe we won't. Maybe we will play scrabble. The point is that we need to work on our relationships, to build our marriage and strengthen it with just time together.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My information packet for 8th Grade

(This is for you Tina!)


August 17, 2011


Ms. W,

With just two weeks of summer left, the new school year is on my mind daily. It has been a wonderful summer for us. I hope that your summer has been just as lovely.

We would like to start off on the right foot this year. To bring you up to speed, we ended seventh grade on the left foot. We did not have a smooth transition with guidance counselors. We did not have an opportunity to discuss the revisions for Amanda’s 504 plan. We did have a meeting with Ms. R. and the seventh grade teachers. Though she is wonderful, it was not a positive or productive use of everyone’s time. I am hopeful that we can start new and work together to provide a happy and successful school year for Amanda, her teachers and us (her parents).

Please review the attachment and let me know when we can meet with the new team of teachers. I have also included an introduction letter to the eighth grade teachers as well as information from Sandra Rief, M.A. who is one of today's leading speakers, authors and consultants on how to reach and teach children with learning, attention, and behavioral difficulties.

I look forward to your call. Thank you.

Sincerely,
TK
phone number


CC: DK, principal

*****************************


Our commitment as a parent is to follow through making sure that Amanda completes her homework. We will permit her schedule to allow for several hours of homework after school. I would like to discuss having the 504 Plan read as follows:



• Provide a 2nd set of textbooks/novels to be kept at home. Allow Amanda to use a class text during school. (Slightly different than current wording)
• When working on group projects, place Amanda in a group that will maximize her ability to work and minimize distractions & disorganization. Use of peer buddy, as appropriate.
• Provide study guides at least 2 days prior to tests/quizzes.
• Due to executive functioning weaknesses, establish a homework planner system in which Amanda records her homework for a given subject and the teacher initials. Parents check & initial planner each night.
• Morning check-in with teacher to make sure that Amanda is organized and has assignments ready to submit.
• Allow Amanda to use a "Homework Folder" or other system that helps to develop her executive functioning skills.
• Alert Mr/Mrs. K immediately by phone or e-mail when Amanda fails to submit homework or class work assignment on due date.
• After parents have been alerted by phone or e-mail, allow Amanda to submit missing assignment(s) without penalty while executive functioning skills are being strengthened, the next day.
• Work with Amanda to establish a plan that can be used in class to help bring her back to task when she has difficulty focusing & completing tasks. (Positive, not negative)
• Preferential seating closest to the area of instruction/instructor.
• Divide workload into manageable chunks. Remind Amanda to check for errors before submitting work to teacher.
• Extended time for classroom tests/quizzes, as needed. Small group testing, when possible.
• Standardized Tests: Test will be given in a small group in a separate room, extended time as needed, Directions read & clarified.


We do not feel that the current 504 plan is improving her academic performance. She continues to flounder throughout the years. We understand that this document will not make her bring home “good” grades. We are not interested in that. The purpose of a 504 Plan is to recognize a student’s needs and to provide the framework for accommodating those needs!


********************************************




Resources from author Sandra Rief:

• The ADD/ADHD Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Teachers
• How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD: Practical Techniques, Strategies and Interventions
• The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide to Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders



Teacher flexibility, commitment, and willingness to work with the student on a personal level. This means putting forth the time, energy, and extra effort required to really listen to students, be supportive, and make changes and accommodations as needed.

Training & knowledge about ADD/ADHD. It is essential that teachers are aware that this problem is physiological and biological in nature.

Modifying assignments, cutting the written workload! What takes an average child 20 minutes to do, often takes an ADHD student hours to accomplish (particularly written assignments). There is no need to do EVERY worksheet, math problem, or definition. Be OPEN to making exceptions. Allow student to do a more reasonable amount (e.g. every other problem, half a page). Ease up on handwriting requirements and demands for these students. Be sensitive to the extreme physical effort it takes these children to put down in writing what appears simple to you.

Limit the amount of homework. Be flexible...cut homework down to a manageable amount. If student is not able to complete class work, do not send home in addition to homework, as it is unlikely student will be able to complete it that evening. You will need to prioritize & modify.

Providing more time on assessments. These students (often very intelligent children) frequently know the information, but can't get it down, particularly on tests. Be flexible in permitting students with these needs to have extra time to take tests, or/and allow them to be assessed verbally.



Teacher sensitivity about embarrassing or humiliating students in front of peers. Self-esteem is fragile; students with ADD/ADHD typically perceive themselves as failures. Avoid ridicule. Avoid projecting failure. Preservation of self-esteem is the primary factor in truly helping these children succeed in life.

Assistance with organization. Students with ADD/ADHD have major problems with organization and study skills. They need help and additional intervention to make sure assignments are recorded correctly, their work space and materials are organized, notebooks and desks are cleared of unnecessary collections of junk from time to time, and specific study skill strategies are used.

Value students' differences and help bring out their strengths. Provide many opportunities for children to demonstrate to their peers what they do well. Recognize diversity of learning styles and individual approaches in you classroom.

Belief in the student---not giving up when plans A,B, and C don't work. There are always plans D, E, F,...Success will require going back to the drawing board frequently. These children are worth the extra time and effort! Example - Plan A is for Amanda to bring her calculator to class. Plan B is for parents to send an extra calculator to be kept in the classroom for Amanda to use, if/when plan A fails.

************************************

We did this at the beginning of sixth grade. We needed to do it at the beginning of seventh grade. Amanda started strong. She made the honor roll. She was like a completely different child. No one can explain why. Only God knows. The teachers developed this "false" if you want to call it, image of her and her capabilities. Then she fell back in to the "same old" Amanda. What does it all mean? Again, only God knows.

***************************************


We would like to introduce ourselves and give you a picture of our home life. We want you to get to know us, because we are going to get to know you quite well.

CK, BA in Marine Science from Kutztown University
Fifteen years in the Molecular Biology Department
TK, BS in Art Education from Kutztown University
Preschool Teacher - A church of LIVING HOPE


The day begins with medication, Concerta 18mg. We try to offer Amanda healthy food choices. Our family does not eat fast food because:
1. It is costly.
2. It is not healthy.

Amanda's diet has improved over the last two years. She eats fish, chicken, steak and pork. She has an occasional vegetable but prefers fruit. She loves carbs. We have experimented with her diet by taking her off of all gluten and wheat products. No change in behavior was exhibited.

Adequate rest is very important to our family. The children are upstairs at 8:30 pm, when our schedule permits. They are given 30 minutes to wind down. But lights go out at 9 pm.

Typical Morning
1. Wake at 6:15 am
2. Rise at 6:30 am
3. Dress
4. Breakfast
5. Exit at 7:30 am

Amanda has a dry erase board with the following tasks that must be completed and checked off:

Take medicine
Eat
Devotion
Dress
Brush teeth

Typical Weeknight
1. Homework
2. Dinner
3. Homework
4. Shower
5. Bed

As you can see we are very structured.

We limit television during the week.

We do not have Wii or Playstation but they do have Nintendo DS and IPods. The children are not permitted to use them on a school night.


We have visited medication on numerous occasions and continue to experiment with drug types and dosage.
1. Third grade - Adderall 10 mg
2. Fourth grade - Adderall 10 mg, 15 mg and 20 mg
3. Fifth grade - Adderall 10 mg and Concerta 18 mg
4. Sixth grade - Concerta 18 mg
5. Seventh grade – Concerta 18 mg

Amanda is under the care of our pediatric group. They are consulted on a regular basis.

Amanda has been observed by two psychologists outside of school. She was evaluated in second and fifth grade by the school psychologist. She was also evaluated by the school psychiatrist in fifth grade.

For a brief time, we hired a tutor.

Currently Amanda said she does not love nor hate school. She knows she is there to learn and hopes to have fun while doing it.

We have set the bar very low for Amanda. We ask that she try her hardest and do her best. When Amanda brings home a 72%, it is equivalent to an A in our home. We celebrate all grades. We encourage her no matter what the paper says. We could not love her any more or any less if she was a straight A student.

Amanda's self-esteem is low. Her best friend received straight A’s EVERY marking period last year .In June, Amanda was completing math homework and we visibly saw the information click. She was beaming. It almost brought tears to our eyes to see what a little encouragement could do for her self-esteem.

We are afraid that with the No Child Left Behind, that Amanda will fall between the cracks and just be pushed on to be the next teacher's burden. We have been told time and time again that it just gets harder and that the teachers will do less for our child.

Here we go again!

Guess what I have been doing? Working on a letter in regards to revising Amanda's 504 plan. I found this information yesterday.


School Testing / 504 Plan / Individualized Educational Plan (IEP)

Children are often tested to provide their teacher(s) with information about their cognitive abilities and academic functioning. Two federal laws apply directly to special education for children: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

504 Plan

Section 504 is a civil rights statute requiring that schools not discriminate against children with disabilities. Schools must provide reasonable accommodations for children with disabilities, such as wheelchair-accessible classrooms, extended time on tests, etc.

The purpose of a 504 Plan is to recognize a student’s needs and to provide the framework for accommodating those needs to the student’s family and school.

The 504 process applies to children in the public school system, but often has a counterpart in the private school setting (i.e., Student Study Team). When a student’s needs cannot be met by a 504 Plan, or there is a need for more structure in the process of communication between home and school, an IEP may be more appropriate.

IDEA and Individualized Educational Plan (IEP)

IDEA is the law that provides money to school districts for students with special education needs. Students must meet established criteria to receive accommodations in the classroom, work with a resource specialist, or be placed in a special needs classroom.

Students may qualify for special services under IDEA for a variety of reasons:

Speech and language disorder
Learning disabilities
Intellectually limited (mental retardation)
Traumatic brain injury
Emotionally disturbed
Visually impaired (legal blindness)
Orthopedically impaired
Autism
Other health impaired (ADHD and other medical conditions)
Once a student has been tested, an IEP may be created by a team at the student’s school. This process is specific to the public school system, however many private schools have the ability to utilize testing data and create a plan for students as well. Cooperation between the classroom teacher, parents, resource specialist, and student is critical to success.

Families can receive additional information about special education laws at the following web sites:

Wright’s Law – Special Education Laws
Parents Helping Parents – Local Resource

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finally!












Yes, the prayers have been answered and the braces were removed this morning.

I asked Amanda when they were put on. She responded: the Tuesday before Christmas (fifth grade). She is going in to eighth grade in two weeks. So how long have they been on? A long time for this momma! Oh the reminders to brush! And let's not forget to wear those darn rubber bands. I will be finding them for years, I am certain.

I asked for a final total. They cost $3400. Our insurance paid $2400 of that. What a blessing it is to have insurance. What a double blessing it is to have GOOD insurance. Yes, it's the little things that make me happy. I am so thankful!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shine On!



This is from Christie's Carepage:
On December 11, 2007, at the age of 29, I became the first woman in my family to ever be diagnosed with breast cancer. I was also 8 ½ weeks pregnant with my second child at that time.

“We are trusting that GOD is in EVERY DETAIL!!!!” ChristieDevitt, 8/8/2011

Posted Aug 12, 2011 4:16pm
This is Ronnelle Burley. I am grateful for the family for allowing me to give an update on Christie.
As many of you know, this journey of Christie began in the fall of 2007. I watched with AWE as I saw this amazing person step from behind the diagnoses of cancer to allow HIS LIGHT TO SHINE. Not only did I see HIS LIGHT in Christie but I felt HIS PRESENCE beam from her soul. At the time, Christie was also pregnant with Laney Grace. Can you imagine as a women, a mother, a husband, or as a father?
One of the many of moments during her pregnancy that is so ingrained into my soul is watching Christie at Lakeridge Chapel, in her white maternity blouse, with her hair growing back that she lost from the chemotherapy that she was receiving, giving her testimony, and then instead of having others praying for her, Christie was praying over others! Was it not to be the other way around, that she be prayed for and not Christie praying over others! But this is Christie!
On May 27, 2011 Christie called and told me that the cancer had reoccurred. But I remember that one of her many worries were YOU AND ME. She did not want anyone to STUMBLE IN THEIR FAITH because the cancer had returned. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!! She told me later that that she felt a burden lifted once she updated her status on carepages. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! But this is Christie!
Since then, it has been an amazing journey. On August 7th 2011, I journal on how I have seen GOD’S HAND in every situation.
The Devitts and Truelocks have been encompassed by some amazing individuals through this journey. I have watched many great doctors at their very best! Brent told me yesterday afternoon that Dr. Oblender said that this may be the time to treat Christie as a person and stop treating this horrible cancer, a cancer that has gripped Christie’s body with a vengeance. So the family has decided to no longer fight the cancer. We are all still praying for a healing. The family also wants everyone to keep praying for a healing but knowing that, as Brent said, God’s healing may not be on this earth.
Brent also shared with me something that Ryan Smallwood said to him and that I would like to share with you what I have seen and witness in not only Christie, but in Brent, Miss Ressie and all the others, to paraphrase, this cancer (the devil) has not won this fight because Christie has NEVER WAVERED IN HER FAITH.
So I ask you, on behalf of Christie, going back to her worries that she shared with me on May 27, 2011, DO NOT DARE WAVER IN YOUR FAITH, but trust that GOD is in EVERY DETAIL!!!!
Ronnelle Burley


**********************************************************************************
CHRISTIE HAS WON THIS BATTLE!!
Posted 4 hours ago (August 15, 2011)
My heart is heavy but I am also very joyful that Christie has gone home to meet Our Heavenly Father.
Christie passed away this morning. Christie has fought a good race and she is now receiving her crown.
Christie is now in heaven with her big curls, the smile on her face, and laughter in her voice. After my last post on Christie’s carepage, I was overwhelmed and I know her family was also overwhelmed to know how many lives she has touch with just being who she was. For those who do not know Christie or never gotten a chance to talk to her, let me give you an example of who she was. Reisie, Christie’s mom, recently told me that Conner, Christie and Brent’s five year old, was lying in the grass outside one night. He goes back inside the house to get his binoculars, when asked what he is doing; he says he is looking into heaven. He then sings a song of healing for his mom, paraphrasing, “Please heal my mom”. Or Laney Grace, who is three years old, climbing on her mom and telling her “I pay for you”, meaning she is praying for her mom. This is Christie’s legacy.
I have thought about how Christie has touched my life and the many physicians that have cared for her. Christie had that radiance about her that showed that God was in her soul and whom she served in her walk, her talk, her attitude and whom she would continue to serve even to the end. She had that unwavering faith. This is the Christie that many of us saw and knew and loved.
We are hurt and are sad that we have lost Christie’s physical body. But Christie was the true epitome of faith and standing strong in her faith and not wavering in her faith when the cancer (devil) continued to attack her body. We have lost her body, but she is now our angel watching over us. And she will continue to “Shine On.”
Hebrews 10: 35-39 (NIV) So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive that He has promised. For, “In just little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.” And “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
So Christie’s pray warriors continue to live by faith, even in the toughest of situations!
Ronnelle Burley

the Love Revolution

Click here, listen and then answer the question.




I spent most of the day just reading. I was at my girlfriends hanging with her children and mine. They have XBOX. So my children love to play the track and field games. I didn't see her children too much because they had the Legos set up in the back room. I would go back, ask how everyone was doing, then go back to the couch. I love days like this!

Joyce references scripture in her book so I had my pocket Bible, the one I carry in my purse, with me to look each one up. There are so many parts of this book that I want to share but I think I will just share this one part.

It is from the chapter Nothing Good Happens Accidentally:

Just Keep Moving

As I close this chapter, let me say that I realize things happen in life that cause us to want to retreat from the world for a while. I realize that major life changes occur and require a period of readjustment, and I realize that loss or trauma can make people not want to interact with or reach out to others. I am sympathetic to these things, and if you have experienced a loss of some kind and it has left you numb and not feeling like doing anything, I understand how you feel, but I want to encourage you to force yourself to keep moving. Satan wants to isolate you because you may not have the strength to defeat his lies by yourself. I know that it may sound almost ridiculous to tell you to go help somebody else, but I believe with all my heart that doing so is a protection for you as well as the answer to the world's problems.

Let me say it again: I firmly believe we need a Love Revolution. We've all tried selfishness and depression, discouragement, and self-pity - and we have seen the fruit of that. The world is filled with the results of these things. Let's join together in agreement that we will live life God's way. Be mindful to be a blessing to others (Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.) Put on love (Colossians 3:14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity). That means to be active on purpose in reaching out to others. Watch and pray for opportunities; be a spy for God! Jesus got up daily and went about doing good (Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.) It seems so simple. I wonder how we have missed it all this time.

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Earlier in the chapter she reference something that Pastor Paul talked about yesterday. In 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Apostle Paul writes about people who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, but never worked with the Holy Spirit to develop spiritual maturity. I told Amanda that we have to read out Bible daily. We need to discipline ourselves to feast on God's word and not just go to church on Sunday and listen to a message...a "milk message".

Pastor Paul gave us a scolding. It is our responsibility for our own growth.

Another point Joyce makes is that we have to not allow our ordinary impulses to control us.

Now is a good time for me to get disciplined. We are getting back in to a routine since school starts in just fifteen days. I will be returning to the daycare soon. Early to bed and early to rise has begun. All of our vacations are wrapped up. I am enjoying the last days of summer, savoring every minute!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Daniel's Best Birthday EVER!











For You, Brother. A WISH FOR BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS

Because you've always been
such a wonderful brother,
may the Lord bless you
with a wonderful Birthday.
Have a Happy Day


Happy 9th b-day bubba. I love you! Love Amanda
PS. Here are 9 dollars and one for good luck! Spend it well in Knoebels tomorrow!!

Daniel's Turning 9 on the 9th!






"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

(I had to put last summer's photo with my parents).

I claimed this verse for Daniel during little league. I was so nervous when he would pitch that I just kept saying these words over and over. Then I heard a song on the radio. LOVED IT!

It's called Strong Enough by Matthew West.


Be Diligent - Shirley Pope Waite

The book I was reading last week had this poem/prayer that I loved. "A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life" has the title as Be Diligent. But the internet has Standing in the Gap. Either way, it is a beautiful prayer for my favorite son who is 9 years old today. I honestly can't tell you how quickly the years have passed. My heart is sad in that regard. But I am so proud (in a good way) of who my young man is and how he is growing in Christ. He has stepped out in boldness and obedience to the Holy Spirit on two occasions that I would have discouraged him of doing. My heart smiles at the promise this little man has, the promises of God, for his life.

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

I'll stand in the gap for my son.
I'll stand till the victory's won.
This one thing I know
That You love him so,
And Your work with my child is not done.

I'll stand in the gap every day,
And there I will fervently pray;
And Lord, just one favor
Don't let me waver
If things get quite rough, which they may.

I'll never give up on that boy.
Nor will You, for You promised him joy.
For I know it was true
When he said "Yes" to You,
Though the enemy seeks to destroy.

I'll not quit as I intercede,
for You are His Savior, indeed!
Though it may take years,
I give You my fears,
As I trust every moment I plead.

And so in the gap I will stand,
Heeding Your every command,
With help from above,
I'll unconditionally love,
And soon he will reach for Your hand.


Today, I was thinking about the hopes and dreams we have for our children. As I read Mary Beth Chapman's book, I total understand that my hopes and dreams for my children may be different than yours. BOTH of my children accepted Christ as their Savior. (Daniel, February 22, 2010 and Amanda on the last day of the Joyce Meyer conference last August. I am still looking for the exact date on that). Maria Sue Chapman accepted Jesus just three months before she was killed in their driveway. She was five years old. She understood. They can rest assure that they will see her again some day.

It's an odd feeling to describe, the feeling of being confident in Christ for your children. Do I have fear that something might happen to them? Yeah, sometimes. But I know that God has a plan for them that involves me. I know that we will all meet again in Heaven and live forever with Jesus.

Daniel said he gets scared when he thinks of dying. But then he said "but I would live on streets of gold". He gets it! What a burden that has been lifted from my shoulders.

As awful as 2010 may have been, the year holds two of the most precious memories that I could ever ask for. BOTH of my children are saved.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Ephesians 2:8

Seasonal Friends


"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." Anais Nin

Sue and I have been friends since college (early 90's). It's a friendship that seems to have no beginning. "We've always just known each other". I love spending time with her. We meet every August at her house, just us and the four children. Jeremy is fourteen months older than Amanda and Timmy is fourteen months older than Daniel. They are "cousins". This year we arrived at 9am which meant for us leaving the house at 7 am and me up at 5:30 am. It was so worth it.

We are seasonal friends. Summer and Winter. But the time in between doesn't seem to skip a beat.

Anyway, we all can't wait to get there and then we are all sad when the day comes to an end. But Sue and I meet up again at the mall sometime after the new year. Just the two of us. And we talk. And talk. And talk. And then we talk. And then we have lunch.

Our time together is always inspirational and refreshing. We never waste our precious time complaining about life. We encourage each other. We build each other up.

Thanks Sue, for always lifting me up even if it's only twice a year. I am already looking forward to our lunch at the mall.