Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It is so hard to believe that another year has come and gone once again. We hope that you all have had a blessed and productive year in 2010 and that God will bless each and every one of you in the coming year.

The James Grant family has had a good year all in all. James is still working as an in-home care giver. He is well loved by all of his clients. He does such a good job of taking care of them and goes above and beyond what his job calls for. Plus he has taken on my jobs this year and so is the shopper and bill payer as well as home organizer and chauffer

Mom (Audrey) has had a rough year, health wise, and has spent most of the year at home. There isn’t much change for me but I am hanging in there and am so very thankful for God’s faithfulness and the hard work of my family and the encouragement of family and friends and especially for those who have taken an extra interest in helping with the kids in their outside interests!

Mathew is an amazing young man! We are so very proud of him. At 15 years old he is in 10th grade and is on the basketball team. He has his drivers permit and loves to drive and has been my salvation this year, driving me around to Drs apts. and other places I needed to go when I couldn’t drive because of pain and/or medication. He has worked quite a bit in construction this year. He worked with his Uncle this summer and is working with a friend of ours now. He is learning a lot and really enjoys it!

Joanna has become quite a little “Momma”. She cooks and cleans like a little lady. She has her own cook book that she is making when she learns a new recipe she adds it to her book. She is a whiz when it comes to laundry and is quite the little bathroom cleaner! She just has a hard time keeping up and I feel bad that there is so much work for her to do. More of it has fallen on her shoulders in the last few weeks with Mathew working more and starting Basketball. She is doing so good with her school work. Her reading is doing pretty well. We found some books that she can read with the dyslexia and she is so excited and loves to read! She is also reading her Bible, it is very hard for her but she is proud that she is on Gen. Chapter 18 all by herself!! We are so proud of her!

Andrew is still “Chewy”! We are trying so hard to help him “grow up” but he is definitely the baby of the family and likes to milk it for all it is worth! Although he is starting to enjoy learning to cook so he’s coming along too. He is now quite expert at Mac-n-cheese which is pretty good for having just turned nine years old. He also cooks soup and ramen and a few other simple things. Joanna is trying to teach him to fry an egg but he is frustrated because he can’t seem to flip it without popping the yolk and he LOVES his yolk! LOL But he is our resident loader and un-loader of the dishwasher and is becoming quite a pro with the vacuum! So he is coming right along. He has decided that he doesn’t like home school. In fact he doesn’t like any school that isn’t Mrs. Ruffridge because “She makes school fun! She gives us cool stuff to do like projects and pulling seeds out of pumpkins and all kinds of stuff!”

So as you can see we are all doing good and hope that each and every one of you have a wonderful year in the coming year! We love you and are thankful to have you in our lives!

James, Audrey, Mathew, Joanna, Andrew

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pregnancy ~ The Journey

A very dear friend of mine is pregnant and coming towards the end of her pregnancy. She and a couple of other friends and I were discussing the last trimester of pregnancy and how uncomfortable it can be. But I responded to them in the following way...
35 weeks ~ with Joanna

Some times when you are going through it or have just recently gone through it, if it was a rough pregnancy, it can seem that way! I KNOW! But the farther away from the pregnancy you get, especially when you know you can't or won't any more, the more you remember and treasure the wonderful moments and parts of each pregancy.

I had such a hard time with all of mine, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. Every memory of each pregnancy is something I treasure! Even the pain and hard times brought me my beautiful children!

I know, easy to say when it has been nine years since I have been pregnant. But I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

I guess that is one of the reasons I try to encourage women who are pregnant to relish, treasure and enjoy every moment, even the wierd and not so comfortable ones! Having waited and prayed for so very many years before I finally had my first baby. I know what a blessing it is to acctually BE pregnant! It's about enjoying every moment of the journey!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pain and Loss ~ Sickness and Death

This has been such a rough week and a half for me. I know I am being selfish in thinking of myself when others are going through each of these in such a more personal way but they just seem to keep pileing up on me one after the other.
At one point this week I just wanted to drown my poor cell phone! It seemed like I was just getting one text and call after another of bad news and I was just cringing every time the thing went off!
It had really started quite some time ago with James' Dad finding out that he has a brain tumor and then finding out just before Thanksgiving that it had grown and was going to have to be removed with surgery. So we were all kind of holding our breath with that.
Also my cousin Cathy who lived in TN. and had had cancer once before was very sick again and I knew she wasn't doing well.
But then that night late I got a text that my cousin was in a coma and they had called in the family. The next morning I got the news that she had passed away.
While I was still trying to take this in we got a call to come to the hospital because my father-in-law was in the hospital for emergency surgery for a gall blader that was three times it's normal size, had ruptured and was gangrenous! He's 71 years old! And we were worried about his brain!!
By late that night he had had a successful surgery and was out of danger, but I was physically and emotionally drained!!
BUT within a few days one of my friends who has a pace maker had to have her appendics removed in the middle of the night. Another friend's husband also had to have emergancy gall bladder surgery!
And now two days ago we find out that my Uncle has lung cancer that has spread to his brain and the Drs have sent him home, telling him there is nothing they can do!
Then last night we found out that one of our children has been going through a time of stress and trial and something is really bothering them and now we have that burden to bear with and for them! They will be ok, but we may not! (Isn't that the way it goes?!?!)
I just don't know if I can take much more!
I am an emotional wreck! I'm doing my best to lay it all in God's hands and leave it there. But I am so sad I am haveing a struggle with haveing JOY in my day to day right now. Being down and sick is sooo very hard during the normal day to day times of life. When things are this rough it is very hard. I know God is still on His throne and in control. I just have to not let myself get too far down. I have to keep "lifting up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." Psalm 121:1

Monday, November 22, 2010

Little Things

Today I am thankful for the little things! Socks for when my feet are cold, diet coke just because I love it so very much, good music to sooth my heart and mind when things get to be more than I think I can take. It is amazing how much listening to music can distract me while waiting for sleep or meds to give me some rest!
A phone call from one of my moms or my sisters to just say how are you or to talk for two hours, it doesn't matter which, it's the call that's important.
The sound of my children's chatter and laugher, my tiny dog, Haylee,snuggled next to me while I read or nap or just lay for hours in pain~ she is my ever present companion and five lb. self apointed protector.
A strong, hot, cup of coffee, a joke to make me laugh till I cry or snort or my back hurts so bad I do both! A note of encouragement from a friend or family member on Face Book, email or text that makes my day and cheers my heart!
My dear sweet patient over worked husband walking into the room to check on me and tugging on my toe as I lay in my recliner in pain, asking if I need anything. Sometimes I hurt so bad he can't hug me because of my shoulders and back so he squeezes and tugs on my big toe instead...that's his way of hugging me without hurting me! It lets me know "Here's a hug, I'd give you a great big one if you weren't hurting so bad, but for now this will have to do. I just have to hug something on you that doesn't hurt and doesn't demand any effort on your part!" It's him giving me all of his love and asking nothing in return when he knows I can't respond at that moment in time! list goes on and on, little things that make my heart light, Little to anyone else but sooo big to me because they touch my life in such a real way ~ God even gives me little thing I need and want! I have so very much to be thankful for!

Monday, November 8, 2010


    James and I were talking today about our "Other Children". The ones we have never seen. The ones many people discount without even realizing they are doing so. My precious Babies that are in heaven waiting for me.
    I had my first miscarriage on a cold day in December. I will never forget it. Every moment and every detail is burned into my brain and my heart like a very slow moving picture show. I can remember every word that was said, every thought that went through my mind, every expression on everyone's face around me. Then, nothing...emptieness...all I remember is sitting curled up on the couch wrapped in a blanket for days, it seemed like forever and yet it didn't seem long enough.
    When I finally started moving around again, everyone thought I was "over it" and "ok". Ready to move on. They didn't seem to realize that my baby had just died inside of me! They thought that because I hadn't known but for a few days I hadn't had time to get "attatched" to it or love it yet. But that didn't matter. It was mine and I wasn't able to give it the life it needed! I had failed my child when it needed me the most!
    I had been longing for, praying for and waiting for a baby every month. Month after month, year after year and finally I was pregant only to have it ripped from me! No, I got up and went back to life but not really to LIVING. That took a long time.
    Slowly, over the months my joy came back and my laughter and over time I found myself longing even more desperately for a baby. Once again, I finally got pregant. By now we were almost 5 years into the marriage. But I was afraid to say anything until I waited a little while, Just in case...And I was thankful that I did, because I miscarried again. This time I was at home alone and my marriage was on the rocks. So I bottled the agony and pain and when some of it had to come out it burst forth in the form of anger during our arguments about other things. And in more weight gain, which I didn't need thanks to hormonal problems that had caused me to gain 75lbs to begin with and the Dr. thought was part of the reason I was having trouble getting pregnant.
     So started two years of moving in and out. First one then the other of us. Back and forth from one state to another. And in the middle of all of this another miscarriage that I didn't even tell him about because by the time I realized I was pregnant we were fighting again and then he left just as I lost the baby...Life was a nightmare by then. But I kept praying and waiting and hoping for a baby and begging God for my marriage.
    In the early fall of '94 he again promised that he had changed and wanted to work things out. I believed him and let him move in. He stayed three days and left. I was so ashamed I didn't tell anyone he had even been there!
    Until...almost three months later and I had this "flu" that just would not go away! I had been so sick for so long! I had lost 17 lbs. I was misrable, everyone was trying to talk me into going to the Dr. but I couldn't afford it.
    Then one day it just hit me and I started doing the math and realized...So I went and got a test, POSITIVE. I got another, POSITIVE. I got another 2 pack and took them both, in the store, POSITIVE & POSITIVE!!! I went to the Crisis Pregancy Center where our Pastor's Wife vollunteered and swore her to secrecy, POSITIVE!!
    By now I was past the 3 1/2 month mark. I had never made it that far before. But I was still afraid to let myself get my hopes up or tell anyone. So I waited two more weeks. Then I made a Dr. appointment. You guessed it...POSITIVE.
     Now I just had to tell everyone that I was going to finally have the baby I had prayed for for seven long years! Of course as far as everyone knew I had been living on my own or with my Mother-in-law for almost 8 months so I had to "fess up and admit that he had been there for three days. My Mother-in-law called him my "Steak Dinner Baby". When I finally got a message thru to my husband with the friends he was staying with, he met me after work one night where I worked and I told him, thinking he would be glad that finally we were going to be parents. His response was, "I'm happy for you. You will be a great Mom!"
    So I was on my own. He made it very clear that was the way he wanted it. So that was that.
     I still had fear and worry all thru the pregancy because of the previous losses! Up until the Dr. told me that he was developed enough to survive on his own if he were to be born! Oh, the joy and the love!
    That isn't the end of my story, I didn't magically start having babies. After Mathew was born, when he was about six months old we had been talking and trying to work things out and so Mathew and I packed up and left the state and moved down to his apartment. Like an idiot I didn't even think about birth control because it had been a non issue our whole marriage. We has spent our whole marriage TRYING to have a baby and it just honestly didn't even cross my mind that I might get pregant. I guess we both just figured it took years for me.
     But within a month I was pregnant. I didn't realize it yet, but I was. And as usual, things were crumbling around us. We made it for almost three months before he thru me out that time. I made it two months before I lost that baby. During packing to leave...I didn't even tell him. At that time in our lives he wouldn't have cared and would have thought I was trying to make him feel sorry for me so I could stay.
    After being married for 11 years we were finally divorced. I had been living without him for three years by then.
     I ended up falling in love with and marrying my husband whom I had known for 13 years! I had met him right after I graduated high school.
     When we got married it was with the understanding that I have trouble getting pregant, and when I do I usually miscarry and with my age (I was 30) when we married. We might not be able to have any more children other than Mathew. 
     Within a month I was pregant! The Dr. put me on modified bed rest, (lots of laying on the couch) to see if I could keep the baby. I miscarried. James and I wept in each other's arms. This was the first time he had ever lost a child. It was very hard for him. I knew what he was feeling. It hadn't gotten easier for me. I had just gotten better at hidding the pain from others, until he was there to share it with me. Then the flood gates opened and all the stored up tears for my other babies that I hadn't shared with anyone else came pouring out! It was like a weight was lifted off my chest that day.
    Two months later I had to ask my Mom how soon you could get pregant after a miscarriage! I had no idea it could happen so fast! Usually I was years between pregancies and here I was thinking that I was pregnant again! I was freaking out! I thought either my body or my brain or both had gone crazy!!  She laughed at me and said, You ninny! Right away! You probably are pregant! You shouldn't be so soon, but you probably are! You need to go see a Dr. right away!
     So we did, And I was! So straight back to bed I went. And spent the rest of the pregnancy there...but that is a whole other story er, book.
    Enough to say from that pregancy Joanna was safely born 6 weeks early. And then we had one other, medical miricle, baby Andrew. And now I can never get pregnant again. And that too is another story that I am going to write.

     I guess what I am trying to do is two fold here. I don't feel I have ever TOLD my babies stories before and I wanted to speak about all my children. And in this format. I can do that and noone who is embarassed or not wanting to stand there and listen has to. But if someone wants to read it, my heart and soul is there for them to see. laid bare and honest. Nothing hidden.
     The good and the bad that I did and felt and what I was going thru at the time. I wasn't in any way trying to lay blame at Charlie's feet in any of the way I was writing this. I was writing as plain and honest as I could from my viewpoint at the time of the occurances themselves. I know that our marriage falling apart was as much to do with my stubborness, pride, unsubmissiveness, anger and temper as it was for any of his faults. And I have written to him and appoligized and told him so. So I am not telling tales out of school, so to speak, in writing about the loss of our babies in the way they really happened. Otherwise, it wouldn't be my life. Charlie was, is, and because of Mathew, in some way always will be at least a small part of my life.
     Second I hope and pray that some day, in some way God may use this to help someone. Whether it be to get thru a miscarriage, Understand how their husband did or didn't react, Give someone hope that in God's is always right. However God can use it.
    I have been thru a LOT in my life and I have come to realize that it helps me if I can talk or write about it. And why would God have me go thru them and learn something if it weren't to help someone else later? But if I shut my mouth and never say anything, be it from shame or fear. Then I am doing myself harm and not helping anyone else.  So this is my Let 'er Rip, and Tell it Like it Was promise that I won't lie and I won't sugar coat. I will just write my life as is and pray that what God lays on my heart to write is something that will help someone else.
Audrey Lynn

Friday, October 22, 2010

Peices of Me

Some may wonder why I write such personal things on my blog. Why I'm so honest about my past, my health, my failings as a wife, mother and even my struggles as a Christian. I do not ever wish to offend or hurt anyone with anything I write or say in my life. But I have had the desire to write since I was very young. I have tried to write in several different formats over the years but they were never right for me. A frustrated writer is a bad thing indeed!
I have always felt like everything that God allows me to go thru in my life teaches me something, prepares me for something and/or eventually allows me to help others with my experiance. But if I keep my mouth shut from shame or embarassement or shyness, I am helping no one, not even myself.
And sometimes things bottle up inside of me till I feel I will just bust if they don't come out! I HAVE to write them down. Even if no one ever reads this Blog it is where I feel I can write what is in my heart and God will send who He wants to read it, if and when the time is right.
So sometimes I go days and even weeks without writing anything and then sometimes I write three or four days in a row.
So if I am talking about my children, my ex-husband, my health, my love of Alaska, being raised a PK/MK...whatever God has put on my heart that I am impressed to write. That I write...It is not written to, for or against anyone. It is just ME. Who and what I am, ungaurded and honest. Audrey Lynn (Noel, Boyd) Grant. All I have been, all I have lived, everywhere I have been, everything I have seen and experienced in life has made me who I am today. And most of all I am thankful to be God's redeemed Child! For without Him, I am nothing!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Children

Mathew~the Son of my Heart:
I prayed for a baby for seven years. My heart longed for a child. I had three miscarriages during this period of time, and still I waited and prayed. Family, friends and my church faithfully prayed with me and in GOD's time, He gave me a perfect and beautiful son! Mathew Aaron weighed 10lb. 5oz. and I fell in love at first sight! I immediately called him "Son of My Heart" because unforseen by me I was left to raise him on my own. I thought in my human wisdom that I would never have any more children and that it would just be Mathew and I. He was mine...
Joanna~ the Daughter of my Love:
When Mathew was three God tenderly healed my heart and gave Mathew and I too a wonderful man whom I had known as a faithful and trusted friend for 13 years! He loved us and we loved him! Knowing that it took so very long for me to have Mathew we knew that at my age we might never have another child. So we agreed to leave it in God's hands and be happy and thankful with our son, Mathew. I got pregnant right away and had a miscarriage (bringing my total now to 5) But then I immediatly got pregnant again and was put an full bedrest. Seven months later our only girl, our "tiny mite", our early bird, Joanna Irene Tamar arrived weighing in at 6lb. even!!! The daughter of my love!!God gave her to us a little over a year after we were married!
Andrew~ Son of my Life:
After Joanna was born we were on cloud nine!!! For about six weeks...then I went in for my check up and got a call that my labs came back "abnormal". So I had antibiotics for 10 days then went in for a second set of tests. We were told not to worry that they would call in about 10 days to 2 weeks. Two days later the Dr. called and asked me to sit down. She said that my lab test had cancer cells in it and that they had already schedualed me an appointment in Anch. for a biopsy. I was to be up there the next day! We were scared to death!!! I had the biopsy, same thing, it had to be sent off to a special lab out of state and would take at least 7 days to get results. Try not to worry. Two days later...the call. The lab had seen my biopsy and had CALLED them instead of sending back the report as usual! They had calld and said Who ever this Audrey Grant is get her to a specialist NOW! This is the cervical cancer that developes in the glands not on the surface like normal. It is very rare and has a very low survival rate! So, back to Anch. to the surgeon.
He had to remove my cervix. He explained to us that he had been in this field for 30 years and had only seen 6 other women with the type that I had and that they ALL had died. But that he couldn't understand how mine had been found so soon. He had never seen or heard of one that had been found before it was through the whole system and that is why they died. He said cervical cancer cells of this kind just do NOT show up on a pap...period!!! James told him that when God is in control and has other plans they do! So he told us that we needed to realize that with the "proceedure" that he had just done removing the cervix. that I would be unable to ever get pregant again so we needed to know that. And if we wanted more children we would need to adopt. James told him we were thankful for what God had given us! And we went on our way praising God..
At my next follow up for the cancer they told me everything was fine as far as the cancer went but that there was a slight problem...I was pregant! James asked the Dr. "How did that happen?!?!" The Dr. looked at him like he was crazy! So James told him what the Cancer specialist had told us and he shrugged and said, I don't know, I just know you are!
So I went to the OB...he did an ultra sound and shook his head. there's a dark lump on your right ovary. It's a cyst. It will just bust and go away at some point. And with no cervix you won't be able to carry this baby. Go ahead and get dressed. And walked out! When I came out of the room he handed me my paperwork to take to the front desk and called down the hall after me, "Come back in a month and we'll see if you are still pregant or not!" I was shocked, horrified and devestated at pbing treated this way!!! I drove all the way home in tears. When I told James what had happened you can imagine what his reaction was!
Needless to say we never went back there! We called the next day for an appointment at another OB and when I told them what had happened they got me in right away. BUT when this Dr. did the ultra sound he kept going over and over the "cyst" and taking picture after picture and measuring it from every angle. Then he asked me to get dressed and said he would be right back. But he was gone and gone and gone. I looked at James and told him, "It's cancer." James said, We don't know that..about then the Nurse poked her head in the door and said, the Dr. will be with you soon he's just looking something up. I looked at James and he looked at me. After what seemed and eternity he came back. He sat down and apologized for the wait. "I just wanted to make sure that I was correct on my diagnosis before I talked to you" This is not a cyst. It is a toumor and it is most likely cancerous. And he showed us all the ways he could tell. 
Back home to fear and waiting. Lots of Drs appoint. and ultra sounds to watch the baby and the tumor, which was groing fast and was soon outgrowing the baby. It was a waiting gaime. Trying to let the baby get big enough to survive the surgery but not let the cancer spread and kill us both! Terrifying!!! 
Finally the day arrived to have the cancer removed. When I woke up hours later it was to find out that they had had to remove the whole right ovary because the cancer had encased it. But I was alive and so was the baby. 
Two weeks later another surgery to keep me from delivering the baby too soon. I had now been in bed, counting Joanna's pregnancy for almost 15 months! The Dr. and Hospital were now on watch for me to deliver a very premie baby and had a helicopter on standby to take me to Anch. to the neonatal ICU. I had a Dr.s appt. every week. And every week, I showed up. The Dr. couldn't believe I kept hanging in there. He finally got to meeting me in his waiting room each week! Asking "What are you doing here?!" I waited for your call all week!?!" We just smiled and said, Everyone is praying. Finally the baby reached viability and I had another small procedure and the Dr. said. that would trigger labor so I would end up having the baby right away. But I didn't. Finally on my due date, while sitting at the house visiting with friends, my water broke and I went into labor! The next day, I had Andrew James. He weighed in at 10lb. 14oz!!! Not quite the premie we expected!! James calls him my "Life Saver" because of becoming pregnant with him they found the second cancer that saved my life!
All three of my children in their own way are my "Gifts From God". And I am thankful for each of them and love and cherish each one of them!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Amazed at how God can, seemingly, change His direction for a Christians life!! I've seen it time and again but it never ceases to amaze me...never think you have it all figured out, God may just be letting you think you know where you are going when you are really on the road to somewhere else!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Does FaceBook Show the Real Me??

Amy J. Spilman ‎'Like' my status and I'll tell you.....

1) What I have learned about you by looking at your wall for 13 seconds

2)What color you make me think of

3)What comes to mind when I think of you

4)What animal you remind me of....

5)Something I would like to know about you

6)A nickname Im goin to give you

You, like this..

Audrey L. Grant Bring it on girl! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

.Amy J. Spilman
Audrey -

1. I have learned, by some of the things I saw on your page, You enjoy scrap booking, and reading. And that you love warm, cozy evenings with your family and something warm and comforting to eat.

2. Yellow

3. I think you are a stronger person than I could ever be emotionally, and spiritually. And I think about how fun it would be to one of your regular visitors.

4. Not sure...maybe a beautiful, brightly colored Parrot. Cause you love colors and you love chatting :)

5. When you feel down etc, how do you manage to come out of it, or to be positive about things. . .

6. no idea
To me these were some very interesting and telling statements from a facebook friend of mine tonight! Just thought I'd share...

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I feel I have a million things to say and no time to say them,

Tears to cry and nowhere to cry them,

Prayers to pray and no quiet to pray them,

Stories to write and no words with which to write them,

Things to teach and no one to teach to,

Paths to walk and no strength to walk them,

Jobs to do and no power to do them,

Mountains to climb and no way to surmount them,

Children to train and no wisdom to impart them,

Streams to ford and no balance to cross them,

So much to do and no way in myself to do any of it…Lord, I need thee. Every hour I need thee!

A.L.G. October 3, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Diet Coke

My husband knows me well! I sent him a text at work this afternoon..."IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!!!" He never responded...When he came home from work he walked in with a 12pk. of diet coke cradled in his arms like a baby! LOL He said, "When I saw the text I laughed out loud! I knew exactly what you meant!!..." Yep, he's perfect for me!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

~ Misadventures in Water ~

A portent of things to come? Mathew and Andrew at the beach a few years ago!
Sept. 24, 2010
What a week for Mathew and Andrew this has been! A week ago today I was feeling like I hadn’t been to the beach to see “My Ocean” in a lifetime of forever and so I asked my ever patient husband to drop me off at the beach for a little while. He was happy to do so and Joanna and Andrew wanted to stay with me and so the three of us piled out of the van and made our way across the sand to a spot close to the water where I sat down and took out my camera as always.

Joanna and Andrew took off socks and shoes and headed to the surf. It was a beautiful day. Sun shining, cool wind blowing and small waves steadily rolling in. The kids played in the waves, kicking and running along the edges for almost an hour till all of a sudden an unexpected bigger wave rolled in fast and knocked Andrew right off his feet and flattened him! He came up soaked, drenched in icy cold ocean water! Spitting, sputtering and staggering toward me. I grabbed my phone and called my husband and told him, “Come get us, Andrew fell in, bring all dry clothes and a towel fast, he’s ok!” and was off the phone before he even got to me!

I had him take his shirt off and dry off best he could with his sweatshirt that had been laying there by me. (By now he was shivering, his teeth were chattering and his lips were turning blue and it had only been a couple of min.!) Then I wrapped him in my sweatshirt to help warm him a little and we walked as fast as we could up to the parking lot and sat on the concrete to soak as much warmth out of it as we could (Not much on a fall day in Alaska!) till James and Mathew got there a few min. later. Other than a touch of a head cold for about three days he seems to be ok!!!!!

Fast Forward to Last Night ~ Teen activity at the Youth Director’s Home…On a Lake… Mathew and another young man (who shall remain nameless), decided at 47degrees outside…to jump in said lake. Yes, he had taken clothes to swim in case they swam. He just didn’t change first! He dove in his normal clothes and finished the evening with shorts and a tee shirt outside! “But Mom, I had a sweatshirt…”

So today, he went for his Algebra class and then on to another lake with his teacher, his Aunt Deanna, cousins and some friends to cook hotdogs, canoe and have a few hours of fun… Around 7:30 or 8pm he comes home wet to his armpits, smiling, with a big story to tell.

I knew we had had a windy day and as the day went on the wind had gotten worse and in the evening was gusting pretty bad, but I also know in Alaska you can be in town and have a storm with wind and snow mixed with rain and power outages and be just a few miles away hiking on the other side of the mountain and it just be kind of a grey overcast day. This has happened to me hiking with the very same teacher that he was with… so I wasn’t worried.
The 4 Adventurers - Mathew, Jacob, Jesse and Hollie

Here’s Mathew’s version of the afternoon. They had had a good afternoon. Ate, gave canoe rides to the little ones for a while and then Mrs. Vicki and Aunt Deanna told the four teens they could row the two canoes to the middle of the lake to check out the tiny island for a little while before they had to leave.

They got there fine and had fun looking around and then saw and heard them waving from the shore to come back it was time to go. So they loaded up but the wind had picked up and the lake was very choppy and they couldn’t row back to the shore. (Now this is saying a lot because Mathew is no weakling, he’s well over six ft. tall and as his Dad puts it, “Strong as an Ox”). In fact the other canoe with his two cousins was blown around the little island and so he and his friend rowed after them to help since they weren’t making any headway anyway and were worried about them.

Once they were on the other side of the island he said it was a battle to keep from capsizing in the wind and rollers. The order of how and when they tried the different ways of making it are all mixed up in the excitement but I must confess everything I could think of in the calm of sitting at home they had tried there on the lake. They tied the canoes together, then they all got in one with the other tied behind, then they put the lightest and weakest in the small canoe behind for control and ballast and the other three rowed together. They couldn’t make any headway.

They were finally pushed to the opposite shore. There was no trail they could use to hike back around the lake. But one of the boys had a cell so they finally got a weak link to Mrs. Vicki and she told them to work their way around the shore line back to the dock, because they would never be able to fight the waves across the lake.

So they started trying to go around. The only problem was between the wind and the waves pushing them sideways they had all they could do to keep from tipping over and couldn’t make any headway that direction either. So Mathew decided since he was the tallest (Least likely to go under in a deep spot, I guess) he would pull the boats and the other three would keep them upright and from swerving around, so he jumped overboard and pulled the two canoes. I’m sorry but Alaskan lakes are cold!! Alaskan lakes the end of September in the middle of a wind storm…freezing!! I don’t think I could have done it!

But he said he would pull them along the edge about hip deep for a while and then the wind would let up for a few min. and he would jump back in and they would all row as fast as they could to get as far around the lake as they could till it started gusting again then he would jump back in and pull some more. And that is how they made it around the lake.

He got wet to his arm pits when the one time they tested the depth and it was a false read and he broke thru the soft mud and sank! But he said he still had hold of the boat so that kept him from going under! To him it was a grand adventure! He told me the best part was that he got to make Jesse (his cousin who is older than him) sing really loud the whole time! I said, You MADE him? How did you make him?” He laughed, “I told him, you either, sing or get in and help pull, so he sang!” and he just laughed and laughed!!

I was worried that he might be sick after two such wettings in a row, but he’s been fine today. His Grandma Arlene always did call him a “Water Baby” when he was little, she just didn’t know how right she was!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Mom~Heart of the Home

Hills of Central Ky. Dad was Pastoring his first Church he started out of Bible College.

Sommerset, Ky. - One of our many stops alongside the road in our travels!

   Growing up as a missionary kid we moved and were on the road so much that for us "home" was definatley where we were together as a family. Home was where our HEARTS were, literally. Mom had a way of creating such a closeness that we felt at home in a van, a converted yellow school bus, a church nursery, someone's floor, a colonial mansion, a tent, even a house that was literally cut in half and was sitting in two pieces a few feet apart when we got there to move in!

Yellowstone National Park on the move to Alaska 1985

   I guess what I am trying to say, is home is you the wife and are the heart of your family for your children and husband. That doesn't make it easy for you. But if you are happy and keep that beautiful smile on your face. They will be at home where ever God puts you. Until He lets you be "settled".

Church for a livingroom - Village of McGrath, AK. 1994

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


How did I come to this place? I sit here 42 yrs old, a mother of three and wonder if I am doing and saying the right things in raising my Children. They are 15, 10 and a month from 9 and I always sound so sure when I tell them to do or not to do something. But sometimes in the back of my mind I am wondering, how do I know that this is the right? Who am I to always know what they are and are not supposed to do? Don't I make enough mistakes and messes in my own life to disqualify me from being responsible for anyone elses life?
It is such an awsome responsability! One I do not take lightly. I remember when James and I followed God's direction and moved to Ky. for two years. On the way down we ran into so many new and frightening situations that had we been alone probably would not have been a very big deal but because we had the three little ones it and they were uneasy about moving and leaving everyone and everything they knew. It was a very dificult time for us. There were many quiet conversations of "What should we do?" in new situations that we had seen our parents boldly go into in years past but we felt somehow unprepared for.
There were acttual storms unlike any we had seen in years both on the road and while we were in KY. I am sure that I had seen as bad or worse while growing up but back then I could bury my head till it was over and know that Dad and Mom would make sure everything was ok. Now I was the Mom and I didn't really know what do do to make "Everything OK".
I feel that way more and more the older my kids get. I feel storms of life and I know I am supposed to protect them and make things OK but I feel as lost and confused as they are and somehow unprepared. Did I miss something I was supposed to "get" some part of me? Some training? Some natural sense of growth? Most of the time I just go on instinct and everything is fine, then when I stop and think about it I just wonder, who am I? And what makes me so special? How can I possibly teach these dear precious Children what they need when I lack so much myself?
Just Wondering????