Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Made It To SILVER, Baby!

There once was a little girl, who dreamed of her prince charming.

There once was a little boy, a prince charming if you will, who dreamed of his princess.

They met in 1986-  and he told her he loved her.

She agreed to be his bride.  

They were so in love.

Full of joy, and humor!

He thought of her always...

 and she couldn't take her eyes off of him!

They started their life together.

They learned a lot.  (like how not to wear their hair) 

And to be best friends. 

Soon, 5 years had passed.  They were now in Tennessee, taking on the world together.   

They were style trend setters.  

And finally, in 1995, there were three.

They enjoyed their love, and their wedding so much--- they did it again in 1996 to celebrate their 10th.

Time marched on.

They aged changed. They grew matured.

They enjoyed life, even when the seas were a bit rough.

She'd do anything to make him smile.

And then there were 5!
Life changed.
More than they could have ever imagined.

They had to learn that taking time together, and making each other priority was the most important thing they could do for their kids.

Their friends still call them crazy.  They probably are.

Over the years, they encountered, dared and sizzled through all kinds of marriage retreats. 
They've taken a few rides on the coaster of love, the ups and downs of true marriage- the kind that is honest, the kind that takes the good with the bad, stares it in the face and refuses to quit when it's hard. 

And they figured it out.  It's really simple.  Pretty much the way God designed it. 
Put the other person first!  Love him/her more than they love themselves.

Simple, not easy.

Today, this crazy couple loves each other more than ever, they're closer friends with each passing year, and they wouldn't trade being married to each other for anything.  ANYTHING!

How do I know?  Because I'm that little girl, and this is my Prince Charming! 

Happy Silver Anniversary Baby!
I'll love you forever.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Thankful for Precious Memories

My brother-in-law recently put our old VHS home videos onto DVD for us.  We've been watching almost every night, they are addicting to say the least.  Memories that were lost in the archives of my mind, are now fresh and easy to recall.  Tonight, we popped in the DVD labeled Labor Day 2001.  We had never watched this video before, and we didn't remember videotaping our trip to Alabama to visit Shanna & Troy- precious friends who moved from Roanoke.  Before they moved, we would hang out and have a blast together- eating raw chicken, swinging our kids at the park and girl talk.  I was so sad when they moved- but God is sovereign and it was His plan to move them to Alabama.    It wasn't too long after our visit, that Troy was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The trip in 2001 was the last time we all hung out, played cards and goofed off together before he was diagnosed. How bitter sweet to watch our families just enjoying life, together.  Troy died in 2006.   I had forgotten about the video; but I am so thankful to have the memories to pop in and re-live for years to come.

1000 Gifts#403-420

  • videos of my baby's laughter
  • daddy's- mine, and my boys
  • new haircuts
  • a good steak and quiet conversation with Rex
  • the baby squirrels playing outside my window
  • my garage is clean and I can check it off my list
  • dry pull ups in the morning girl talk with Dakota
  • hearing Shayne talk about how God is speaking to him at Camp Eagle
  • family reunions
  • sister lunches
  • the smell of a clean house and tropical candles
  • Dakota's helping me with banana pudding  
  • reunion crashers
  • miracle successful surgeries for Calvin
  • new medications finding videos of Troy & Shanna - and our kids playing and laughing
  • laughing out loud with best friends

what 'ya thankful for?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It Must Be That Crazy Reunion

For more years than anyone can confirm, the last Sunday in June has been reserved for the Powell Family Reunion.  (including the day after I wed my beloved, 25 years ago )

They come from 800+ miles every year- from New Jersey to Florida, from Arkansas to California --- they come.  The location and a few of the tradition's have evolved a bit over the years; but the commitment to the reunion remains strong.  Some really special people have died, and new precious people have been born.  It truly is a reminder of how pecious life is, and how it changes from year to year.  The other thing that changes from year to year, according to the photo diaries Betty has kept for years now,  appears to be my hair.  That's all I've got to say 'bout that.
Reunion, is a weekend that year after year brings hugs, laughter, joy and sometimes tears. 

Every year I look forward to the first hugs from the New Jersey/FL family.

In the last few years, we started inviting everybody who can,  to come to our house for dinner the night before. We outgrew most of the restaurants- and we do love chaos around here.  Add 35-50 people, depending on the year, and I am one happy momma! 

On Sunday, after we've sang, eaten and distributed door prizes to most everyone, we move the party over to Rex's brother's.  Steve & Ona open up their home where we pile in, and fill up on leftovers, and memories.   
It's an exhausting weekend but I do not take for granted the precious gift of our family. 
It's a good time people!

Terry, Brad & Rex

Tret, Iris & Wanda

my boys hiding behind the couch playing DS

Connie, Ona & Shirley

Amy, Wayne's back, Anne Marie & Dawn

my driveway, just a few of the cars

Wendy, Vicki, Peyton & Terry

Group Shot

Peggy & Bill, our co-planners and great help

newest Powell descendant with grandma, and great-aunt

Betty holding original watercolor- painted by Kitty Legge

Rex, Robbie & Paul singing for the group

my boys :)

Me, and my sweet mother in law, Iris Powell Allen

Dakota & Shayne

another group shot!

Yes indeed, it must be that crazy reunion!

Nite, ya'll!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five Minute Friday- Wonder



When I was a little girl, I wondered why my parents were divorced, and all my friend's parents were married.  I wondered, as I watched all my friends "go steady" if anybody would ever love me.  I wondered what it would be like to be a wife and mommy.  Would I ever get the chance?
Then I grew up, and met the love of my life.  We married, and I knew that somebody loved me.  I became a mommy.  Now I wonder about other things, like

will we ever have a morning without tears
who will my sons marry, and will she love Jesus?
will my kids remember all the times I told them I love you instead of the times I screamed at them
will my husband remember my name when we are  80
will I ever have all of my house clean at the same time
why I pick up the same shoes over and over and over, in the same day
will cancer come back
why age three is harder than two; and thirteen is harder than 14, and 30 was harder than 40 to accept
what will I fix for dinner tomorrow night
why do some people die so young
how they make the cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster.. I've tried and they just don't taste the same
when will Jesus come back for me?

Yes, there are lots of things I wonder about, but mostly I think about the wonder of the maker of all things.  I wonder how, God himself created life, precious life and made it grow inside a woman.  How we are connected to our children in ways that hurt to our core.   I wonder, why the God of the Universe loved me enough to die for me? 


Definitely much to wonder about!

 Linking up to: thegypsymama

Monday, June 20, 2011

A miracle looks like....

Do you believe in miracles?  
Do you know what a miracle looks like, feels like, smells like? 
Sometimes, they happen to you.  Sometimes they happen to other people.  Sometimes, the miracles happen to both. 

This week, I know of 3 very specific miracles.  They look very different, but I know the same God gets glory for all three. 

Last Monday, you probably noticed I didn't post a thankful blog.  It wasn't that I didn't want to, it was just that our lives took yet another dip on the roller coaster of learning exactly how to meet the needs of our boys.  We found ourselves in the midst of a crisis, and thankful to avoid a hospital stay; immediately was frustrated at being told on Monday, it would be November before we could see a particular Dr. our son desperately needed an appointment with.  I spent the evening holding and cuddling my son.  Rex and I prayed.  Some of you prayed for us, and didn't even know we were who you were praying for.  Gotta love Facebook :)
Late Tuesday afternoon, we got a call for a cancellation at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday morning.  I'm told, that never happens.  God gave us a miracle.  A miracle looks like a schedule opening up. 

The second miracle I am blessed to be privy to, is in the life of my sweet niece and her husband, who are expecting their first baby.  I know all babies are miracles; but some come a little slower.  We are thrilled and excited to see the sonogram of a healthy 8 week old baby coming in January.  We'll have a new baby to love on.  A miracle smells like a newborn baby.

The third miracle this week involved the lives of sweet friends, who miraculously lived through a
head-on collision at 50+ miles per hour Saturday afternoon.  The other driver, who was texting, crossed over into their lane while on a bridge.  Miraculously, they are alive and praising God- giving encouragement to us as we visit, reminding us that God has a plan.  They have serious injuries and will face painful recoveries, but what a thrill to see her, talk to her, and hear her poke fun at my husband.  They will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary tomorrow.  A miracle feels like the holding the hand of a friend who lives.  We love you Renee & Calvin.  

Yes indeed, God is still at work and miracles do still happen.  I hope at some point in your life, you have experienced seeing, feeling and smelling miracles.  But if you haven't, and you're praying for one---keep praying and trusting.  I don't know why we don't all get a miracle everyday, I just know that God is sovereign and He has a plan, and His timing is perfect.  
Whether it's the miracles or mundane of life I almost miss, like the sunshine and birds singing, watching my boys catch their first lightning bugs, the fact that school is out and we survived our first Kindergarten year with IEP and special education battles, 

I WILL continue to find reasons to thank God and
bless His name. 

1000 Gifts# 397-402
What 'ya thankful for?

I'm linking up with

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five Minute Friday- Home

It's Friday, and I'm sneaking in 5 before my day goes insane.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the details below.


It's often you'll hear one of my youngin's whining- "I want to go home" 
Especially if they are tired and just want to melt into a tantrum, or a pile of snuggles. 

Yep, home.  It's where the laundry's piled up, the dishes are scattered and I'm sure you'll find empty juice boxes, Diet Mtn. Dew cans or chocolate milk containers scattered about.  Shoes, toys, and papers, piles of papers, decorate the rooms.  Some might call it cluttered, I call it comfortable.

When I am busy getting kids to school, running errands or putting in my 8hrs at work, I find myself  whining that "I want to go home."  The place where when the burdens of life get too heavy, we can sink into the comfort of the walls that are familiar and safe.  Home - my safe place, cluttered and all.   

It's where the loving, and the kissing, and the laughing and the crying and the praying and the playing and the anxiety and the tantrums and all of life's stuff happens. The good and the bad.  It's where we go to heal after surgery, mourn after death.  It's where we welcome our friends and the people we love like family.  It's where we go to rest and regain strength.   Home is where my kids wrestle, fight, laugh and giggle.

It's where we can be, well, be who we are without fear of judgement, or rejection.
It's where we can pass gas, pick our nose or burp and nobody cares- they sometimes even score and applaud it.    

Home is where my youngest are finally secure enough to let it all go.    It's where we have changed from people to a family.  Home is where we can love and be loved, just as we are.     Home is our safe place.

I just wanna go home too!


Check out the details here:  thegypsymama

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What if ?

I have a new favorite song.  It's called   "Blessings" by Laura Story.  I'm sharing the lyrics tonight, and I hope they speak to you, the way they are speaking to me these days.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

"Blessings" to you all!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Five Minute Friday- Backwards


Backwards.  I used to think of it as a negative- loosing ground.  Having to start over.  When we started foster parenting, and now as adoptive parents, backwards has taken on an entirely new meaning.  It feels like I live my life going backwards.

Progress in therapy- then boom- back to where we started.  Progress in getting them to bed at night; and something brings out a fear in them, that nobody can see and we're back to the 1 hour hold my hand till I fall asleep. 

Thankfully, God is giving me a different perspective on backwards. A thrill ride perspective, if you will.  I love roller coasters, and riding backwards is my favorite, you get the thrill, but see things completely different (that is, if you keep your eyes open and look)
So, I think of my life as a roller coaster - and backwards is the way I get to not start over, but just see things from a different angle.  To get new perspective, and then when we marching forward for however long, a day, a week, a month- if I'm brave enough to look, I get to see things with fresh eyes.

Yes, my life is going a different direction.  This time of year, I'm reminded how many of our friends and family members are getting ready to be empty-nesters, or are there already.  I get a little jealous when I look at the coaster ahead- while I've got one close to solo flying, we still have about 13 more years of parenting before my all birdies fly the coop; because we chose to go backwards, grab a couple of kids and are start again.   

I wouldn't trade this coaster ride for anything, it is a thrill and joy that keep me learning the faster I go backwards, the more precious the view!

Buckle up!  It's a fast one.


Happy Friday!

check out all the details here: http://thegypsymama.com/
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