Well, we’re here, again. It’s been almost 8 years since Carson’s last cleft surgery, but 8 years is still not long enough. Those memories flood back on you, and you have to fight that punched-in-the-gut feeling.
Psalm 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing…” kept running through my heart and mind, as they prepped Carson for today’s bone graft surgery.
He, of course was so excited to be watching a movie and had already exuberantly picked out the cherry flavor for his silly gas he would soon be breathing.
We walked into the room where he was supposed to get his silly gas, hold Mama’s hand and slowly and peacefully slip into his sleepy state, but that’s not exactly how it happened. The anesthesiologist waltzed in, gave Carson a fist bump and said, “Hey!! You like cool Science stuff!? I’ve got some awesome stuff to show you in the Operating Room! Want to see?!”
Carson said, “Yes!”, waved to us, said “bye,” and that was it. The operating door closed behind them and we were left staring at the door with the nurse.
Not quite what I had planned, but I should know by now that nothing goes according to my plans (thank goodness). God always has the better plan.
Be anxious for nothing…Carson had surly grasped that truth.
The faith of a child…I needed to grasp it, now.
We walked toward the cafeteria to grab a bagel, and that’s when my blessings list started to grow. We began to pass children who were swollen from chemo treatments, children in wheelchairs who would probably never walk again, children with tubes and wires and braces and crutches. As we passed them, I could envision my little petty problems dropping to the floor and being crunched by those kid-sized wheelchairs. No, Carson’s surgery was not just a petty problem, but I could praise the Lord that after only 5 hours we were headed home.
I couldn’t have said it 8 years ago, but today I can truly say that I’m thankful we are “only” dealing with cleft lip issues.
So, this year on Thanksgiving, everything may not be perfect, but God is good and we are blessed. This year, that’s enough for me.
If you’d like to read more about having joy while accepting your child’s cleft, or read about some ideas that were successful for us, when taking care of a child with a cleft lip and palate, click on the links below.
Well, it’s official! I had my first library book signing yesterday evening. It was a great experience and encouraging to have, among the group, a couple of teenagers. One of them was a 15 year old girl interested in writing. As I looked at her, it was amazing to think that I was about her age when I began writing A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. Time sure does fly!
I’m thankful for my family who came and supported me, husband who herded the kiddos, and for 2 wonderful surprise guests!
I had just started speaking about my inspiration for writing my novel–how my best friend, Alicia, and her family took our family on a trip to Bailey’s Harbor, WI, where I fell in love with Cana Island Lighthouse. Just at that moment, Alicia and her mom (Mama Debbie) walked in the back door. I immediately teared up and couldn’t talk for a few minutes (and I’m definitely NOT a pretty crier), but after regaining my composure, I was able to introduce the group to the very people who provided the inspiration for me to write A Light in Bailey’s Harbor.
I’d like to end this short blog by giving a few tips on how to make a book signing more successful:
Bring a pen. Seriously, I hadn’t even brought a pen to a book signing. So embarrassing! (A big thank you [again] to my dear friend, Alicia, who saved me by having a pen.)
Bring money to make change–guess that shows how sure I was about selling my books.
Bring a phone or camera. Neither my husband nor I had brought anything to take pictures. Guess we felt it was a success to just arrive on time with the books and the boys. (Thank you to my mother-in-law and Alicia and Debbie for their pictures.)
Hopefully, there will be more book signings in my future and more books to sign.
One more friendly reminder to please, please review A Light in Bailey’s Harbor on Amazon.com.
1.Just click the “amazon reviews” icon below, and it will take you to Amazon.com.
2. Scroll down to “Write a Customer Review.” Thanks!
Can’t believe I’m announcing this, but I’m having my first public book signing for my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, on Monday, August 8th at 6:30-7:30pm!
If you live in the area, I would love to see some familiar (or brand new) faces! Click the link below to see the location of the North Dearborn Library. After clicking the link, click “Get Directions” to map it from your location (because I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to get the map to link up right to this page!)
What an awesome privilege I had last week to be a part of a FaceTime, book club discussion in DeLand, Florida.
It really does amaze me that a group of 12 ladies would set aside an evening to discuss a book that I’ve written! I still have to pinch myself on that one. The ladies were all calling the characters by name, asking to know what would happen to them in the next book. They spoke of each character like they were a neighbor or a friend from church. I had to keep my mouth from dropping open.
The most amazing part of the night was that after answering questions about why I included various characters, the struggles of their faith, and the way the Lord worked in their lives, I found out that this book club was not an all-Christian group.
It had never occurred to me that my book would reach non-Christian readers. What an exciting moment the Lord provided to encourage these women and to plant seeds. I now have a far greater reason to continue to work on the sequel.
I’m so thankful for this opportunity and pray the Lord will continue to use A Light in Bailey’s Harbor for His glory.
I was so excited to hear that my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, is nowBook Club “worthy.”
It’s true! One of my blog and FB author page followers asked me if I would mind my book being read in her ladies’ book club. Of course, I had to think long and hard… Of course!
Truthfully, I am honored that someone would want to sit around and discuss my novel! It is what I prayed for while writing the book, that God would use my words to encourage others in their spiritual walk.
Also, I will hold a FaceTime session with this book club on Monday evening so they can ask questions and share comments about A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. It’s exciting to see how God can use an author from Ohio to write a story set in Wisconsin to touch the lives of a group of ladies way down in Florida.
We were so excited to begin our adventure in Geocaching!! I had never heard of it (guess we are behind, because others I had talked to had heard about it 😏). Thanks to a friend of mine in Tennessee, who ran across some great resources to get us started, we found our first “swag” or treasures today!
First, some simple background…
Geocaching: A world-wide treasure hunting experience that you can get involved in right where you live! Click here to watch a 1:15 clip on YouTube and get a little glimpse into the basics of geocaching: Basics in Geocaching
Swag: The treasure you receive and leave for the next hunter.
(From the research I’ve done on YouTube, you can really get into this thing, but we are keeping it simple right now.)
A MUST–Smart phone (or GPS) The app we used on my iPhone was awesome! This App tells you the last time the treasure was found, lets you log in your find, keeps track of the ones you’ve done, etc. And it’s free!
Flashlight, pen/pencil to sign the log book, shoes for light hiking (or heavy, depending on your adventurous spirit) and trinkets or “swag” to exchange.
Ideas for swag: Think unique, hand-made, non-expensive, Oriental Trading Company, even a great opportunity to have your kids clean out their rooms and gather (nicely, slightly used) items that they could trade.
Finger puppets, special coins, matchbox cars, glow sticks, rings, etc.
And here is our return “swag” or treasure that we placed back inside:
One last “tool” we took with us:
3. A big, strong man (or husband, in my case). Where we went wasn’t scary, but some can be in the middle of nowhere, so make sure you’re careful!
Our second geocache site:
So, hopefully you get an idea how fun, easy and super exciting this can be! You can do it anywhere and everywhere. We were actually just going to eat at our favorite pizza place in Brookville, and I decided to get on the App and check and see if there were any locations around us, and Voila!! (“Whala,” for those of you who had no idea it was spelled like this, oops!). It would also be a fun thing to do when you’re on vacation or in another area visiting family. Who doesn’t like a treasure hunt?
The ways you could use Geocaching are seemingly endless! My mind has been reeling about how you could even use this in the classroom. Challenge your kids to see how many geographical areas they could cover over the course of a school year, or if your students are more local and don’t travel beyond the city much, see how many different locations could be mapped just in that city, since there are Geocaching sites in the city as well as in natural settings.
I would love to hear back from anyone who decides to go Geocaching! Post pictures, share experiences, etc. Happy hunting!!
And by the way, when you’re finished running all over finding treasure, you may want to just sit back and relax with your Kindle and a great book! And if you do, I have just the book for you, too! A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, of course, for only $.99 this weekend on ebook! Just click on the picture below.
Don’t forget you can send a copy to your Mom for Mother’s Day. Just click on the Kindle picture above and then click on the button to the right of the screen where it says “Give as Gift.”
I have sold almost 200 books (which is exciting), but I have only received 16 reviews on Amazon. I’m asking anyone who has read my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, to please take just about 2 minutes to click the Amazon Review button below, scroll down to “Write a Customer Review” and review it. This greatly helps my book get noticed on Amazon and noticed by bigger publishers.
I also have a special deal coming up over Mother’s Day weekend! The Kindle version of my book will be on sale for $.99! This will only be a 3 day event, May 6th-9th. You can actually gift a Kindle version of my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, to someone you love.
Just click the picture below and then click “Give as Gift” button on the right side of the screen.
Thank you so much for the support you have given me! I do appreciate it. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
Do you ever have a tiny, flash-of-a-moment where you realize this is why you are a mom? I know, I know. If you are like me, these moments may come very few and far between. Lately, most of my “mom moments” are not ones that should ever be typed out for the world to see. They are more like the hidden camera moments they show on Dateline, where you see them and say, “I would never do that or say that to my children.” Yeah, right you wouldn’t. You already have. I know you. You’re a mom.
Anyway, let me get back to my good mom moment. I’m sharing this, because I’m determined to dwell on the positive. I could fill a zillion blogs with the negative, but I thought you’d rather be lifted up on this beautiful Saturday. And who knows, you may want to go out and have a Starry Night of your own.
So, I have to first go back a few months. I believe it was late summer, when the meteor shower was in full swing. My son and I were planning to start Apologia Science Exploring Creation With Astronomy for his Science “class” for second grade. We were excited about beginning it, and I had been researching different ideas to get a jump start with the Space ideas. I heard about the meteor shower. It wasn’t going to start until late in the evening.
At first, like a reasonable mom would think, I decided that it would just be too late and he needed to get in bed. I reasoned that Cole (his little brother) would be in bed and may wake up and need me, or even that we shouldn’t be outside after dark. It was dangerous, right? I mean my husband was out of town and with the cows mooing, the horses neighing, the wind whispering through the pines and a zillion stars shining in the country darkness overhead…
Ok, ok, of course we had to do it.
I sprung the idea on Carson, as I began gathering blankets and couch cushions. I remember his eyes growing as round as the planets we’d soon be studying. Stay up late? Lay outside on the couch cushions? Under the stars? He was definitely seeing the vision.
I’ll never forget that night. It’s one of those nights where you just think, yep, all is perfectly right with the world tonight.
I still get teary-eyed as I think about laying out there on our deck on those cushions, listening to my 7 year old ooh and ahh over the falling stars. We counted 20 that night. That was our goal, we told ourselves, before we would go in. The most memorable one that night went from the western sky completely across to the east, burning the entire way. It even made the night a little brighter.
I think about that night when I’m struggling with home schooling, because my almost 2 year old is painting himself with baked beans from lunch. I try to remember that time is flying by so fast, and I that I must slow down and enjoy those little flashes of light before they just pass me by.
That starry night was almost a year ago. Amazing that it could be a year.
Almost a year later, and last night we had another starry night. It was only a few minutes, a few billion stars, my son and me, and an iPad (I know. The iPad doesn’t sound very poetic, but we have to go with the times, right?). I had downloaded the app- SkyView Free for my iPad, and my son and I were excited to try it out. (Yes, I am behind. This app has been around for a few years, but we had never thought much about it, until we began our astronomy study.)
So, we went outside together and began to hold it up to the sky. Let me tell you, the background music it plays is enough to bring you to tears. You feel like you’re in a heart wrenching moment in one of the Star Wars movies. It’s just very inspiring, so make sure you have your sound turned up. Carson and I were so amazed! It showed exactly where the planets were and the constellations, and even connected the dots of the constellations, giving the actual illustrations of Orion, Ursa Major, and The Crab. We had been studying these and how to identify them. Carson was even able to find the Little Dipper and the North Star.
But the moment that stood out, was when we saw Jupiter. Yes, it was just a bright speck of light, but Carson turned to me with eyes wide and said, “Mom, I can’t believe it. We just stood here in Pawpaw’s yard and saw the real Jupiter, that God made.” He’d never admit it now, but his eyes were glossed over. He had gotten teary-eyed, coming face to face with God’s amazing creation.
And of course, now I’m teary-eyed, because it hit me. This is why we, as moms, dads, and grandparents, do what we do and teach what we teach. We pour the Bible stories, the scriptures, the Golden Rule, the life-lessons into our children and hope and pray that it all sinks it. We pray that they “get it.” We pray that when they come face to face with the Creator of the universe and all his awesome power and might, they will stand in awe, realizing He is also a God who is personal enough to give them a glimpse of Jupiter and pictures he designed for them in the starry sky.
Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: (Amos 5:8)
It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, and it’s nice to be back! We’ve had quite an interesting couple of months. After almost 10 years in the same place, we now have new jobs, new dwellings, a new church hunt, are in new states…and my “new” list could keep going on and on. Thankfully, there is one part of our lives that has stayed the same–home schooling.
We are getting to that point, though, of having “spring fever.” The point where the weather is was just starting to get warm, the days are getting longer, and the days of school are easier to count down, then count up. Yipee!! Summer is coming, but it’s not here yet. I think I’m having to tell myself this even more than my son. I felt like we needed something to break our routine. We needed something interesting, but also something to refocus our hearts and minds so that we could keep ourselves from growing frustrated with each other, and complacent with our spiritual walk.
My son is memorizing Ephesians 6 for school. In this chapter, Paul speaks of putting on the whole armor of God. Since my son is very interested in the military, I thought it would be fun to study the armor of God from a soldier’s perspective.
I searched the Internet and found a curriculum a church used for VBS, but it wasn’t exactly what we needed, so I altered the idea and made our own “Soldier in the Army of God” field guide and study.
This is a short two week study. I’m going to touch on some of the highlights for each day, but you can click on the link below and have all of the instructions and information to help with the daily lessons.
Although this video is based on ancient warriors and battle armor, it is so inspiring that I had to include it. Please watch and be inspired to put your armor on!
Here is just an overview of what we did in our 2 week lessons:
Belt of Truth
Background: In ancient times, the belt was the most important part of the armor, because all of the other pieces of the armor were attached or fitted to the belt. If the soldier didn’t have his belt, he wasn’t going to make it in the battle. Soldiers today also have a belt. They have their guns attached to their belts, as well as some forms of protective vests.
Application: We know the Bible is true. The belt of truth is the Word of God, and it is the only true foundation we have. If we don’t have it, then we will never win the battle. Without it, none of the other parts of the armor even matter.
Breastplate/Chestplate of Righteousness
We chose to do “Chestplate,” because of my “manly” son
Background on Kevlar vests (bullet proof vests):
It was accidently invented by Stephanie Kwolek, a chemist who was trying to invent a light-weight fiber to use in tires, to help a car have better gas mileage. What she invented was a fiber that is 5 times stronger than steel. It is used in many things, but for what we’re studying, it’s interesting to note that Kevlar is used in bullet-proof vests, army helmets, and even gloves, boots, and other body “armor.”
Interesting facts about a bullet proof vest:
-If a soldier is shot wearing a vest, it still hurts. Some explain it as getting hit by a hammer (In our Christian lives, the Devil’s darts can hurt our feelings and “wound” our spirits, but if we are God’s child, the Devil can’t get the ultimate victory.)
-Soldiers have to inspect their vests daily (just as we have to maintain our righteousness each and every day)
-Vests can wear out and need to be replaced. Sometimes we get tired and weary of the Devil’s tactics. We can’t give up though. We may only need to refresh our vests and start clean again.
Boots of Preparation and the Gospel of Peace
We, as Christians, are to be prepared to always give an answer of “the Hope that is within us.” Christians have the opportunity to go and spread peace in this “war zone” that we call the world.
Shield of Faith
Soldiers/ police officers, etc. use shields even today. They are sometimes nearly as tall as the person holding them. In ancient times, they were made out of many different types of metal, depending upon what they had available in that time period. Some were even made like tightly woven baskets. The soldiers would put the shields all together to create a type of wall to hopefully keep the “fiery darts of the wicked” from piercing through the shields. The shield was vital to the soldier. Without it, they had no hope of survival.
Application: This is true for our Christian life today. We must have faith that Jesus has risen from the dead and that he is victorious over death and hell. To keep us from being discouraged by the Devil, we need to take on the shield of faith each day.
Helmet of Salvation
Helmet Info: In ancient days, the helmet was personally created for each soldier. The soldier couldn’t just pick a helmet off a shelf and use it for battle. Every detail had to be tailored to the unique person, or the soldier would be unfit to fight in the battle.
The blacksmith would take many different measurements to ensure that the helmet would be comfortable and functional for each soldier, allowing the soldier to see through the eye slits, to have his cheekbones, nose and neck protected by the intricately molded metal.
This can be compared to our salvation. We have to make the personal decision for ourselves. We can’t rely on the “helmets of salvation” of our friends or family and just slip those one, expecting to be protected. Like a soldier, we are only protected by our own helmets of salvation. We have to make a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, in order to survive the spiritual warfare of our land.
Sword of the Lord
Note: This, of course, was my son’s favorite day. He loved using the dagger. I felt alright with it, as long as we stressed that we were “cutting” out evil and not just stabbing everything we saw!
We used our “swords” to destroy the lies of the enemy.
We can pray sincerely anywhere and everywhere. We need to pray in the Spirit of the Lord and not just have a memorized prayer that is meaningless.
ID Tags (IDentify with Christ) – See the attached page of the Field Guide for the information about the ID tags.
The Bible says that when we are saved we become a new creature. We “die” to ourselves and we start living for Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
You can use the pictures of ID tags in the Filed Guide instead and have your child write on them, if you don’t want to fool with actually making them, but my son LOVED making them with the aluminum foil. When you write on them, they look raised up like it’s actually stamped on the metal. Pretty cool.
I hope this is as meaningful to you and your child as it ended up being to us. I learned a lot in the research, and Carson loved relating it all to a soldier. We have referred back to these truths many times, in dealing with his attitude and Christian walk and how he should be “suiting up” in the armor each day.
So, get your armor on and enlist in the army of the Lord!