Friday, November 27, 2009


A letter to my son, on the occasion of his 18th birthday:

It’s quite unfathomable that you are 18 years old today. When you were first born, well-meaning people would tell me to enjoy it because it would pass so quickly. I did not believe them — and I was wrong. The past 18 years have moved at the speed of life and show no signs of slowing down. You’re a senior in high school and heading off to college next fall, which is really the beginning of your launch into adulthood.

While this letter could easily veer off into the maudlin and sappy, I think you know me better than that. Plus? I save the maudlin and sappy for your Mamaw Brenda, who seems to need it more. It makes her happy and she obviously takes comfort in it!

I was not that much older than you are now when I became a mom. One month older to be exact. I think your childhood would have been far different had I been older, more prepared for the role. I’m not sure if you noticed, but I really didn’t know what I was doing probably 75 percent of the time. I think you’ve turned out pretty OK anyway, but I can’t take credit for it. (Don’t worry, Daddy does.) You were an easy baby, a bratty toddler, a pleasant child and a pretty fabulous teenager, except for those times I want to shake some sense into you. And if it turns out that your childhood has somehow scarred you, you’ll some day have insurance that covers therapy — but don’t expect me to fork out the co-pay.

Eighteen is a huge milestone, sort of this quasi-adult age where you’re old enough to vote, drive and die for your country, but you can’t legally drink an alcoholic beverage before making the decision to do any of those things.

You may be a newly minted “adult” but you have a lifetime of learning still ahead of you. I hope you don’t mind me sharing a few — OK, 10 — things I think you should learn, things I think will be important to you throughout your life. (Son, I know you and know the likelihood of any of these things sinking in is pretty minimal, given that you can’t remember to take out the trash after I ask you three times in a row. Humor me and pretend they changed your life. I’ve got a major case of mommy brain and won’t remember writing this three days from now, so you’ve only got to fake it that long.)

1. Personal hygiene is underrated. Do us all a favor and bathe regularly (with soap). Change your socks and underwear daily. Clean your room! Your living space should not smell like 5 day old underwear and socks! Don't turn into the 'one who must not be named'! And, for goodness’ sake, don’t recycle them because you were too caught up in REAL LIFE to do your own laundry.

2. You impress people more with what you don’t say than what you do say. Remember “who needs a brain when you have a mouth”? Sarcasm, son, Sarcasm.

3. Some things are better done in the privacy of your bathroom or bedroom. Most people find belching and 'passing gas' not only to be rude but disgusting. (I know! They totally have no sense of humor!) Learn how to discreetly excuse yourself to take care of business. Remember we don't do it and we definetely don't talk about it!

4. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Regardless of how they dress, look, act, what they drive, where they live or how they treat you. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

5. No matter how bad you think you have it, someone’s got it worse. You can’t change other people; you can only change how you respond to them. It’s not easy but sometimes it’s the only way to cope with an unpleasant relationship, whether it’s personal or professional.

6. Ignoring your problems doesn’t make them go away. Often, it just makes them bigger. You can’t solve something if you don’t deal with it.

7. If you want friends, you have to be a friend. Don’t just call your buddies to hang out when you’re single or your girlfriend is out of town. Maintain those friendships (with pals of both genders) because they fulfill you in ways a romantic partner doesn’t, and you need that no matter how old you are.

8. People are more important than possessions. That means you call us for reasons other than asking for money, food or something you need me to do for you!

9. Do what you can to make the world a better place. Pick up trash on the sidewalk, keep up your work in the church, perform a random act of kindness as often as you can. If there is one thing I hope you have learned from me, it is this.

10 There’s lots more I could share with you, but I know your attention span is about as long as mine, which means you stopped reading somewhere around the third sentence. But I still love you, and I’m quite proud of you, even if I do still have to remind you to take out the trash!

Happy birthday, teddy bear!

I Love You!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A message from the Lord

On Sunday night our Pastor was preaching and he quoted the verse in Corinthians that seemed as if it was just for me. It says "My grace is sufficient for thee" I know this was a message sent from the Lord! Then last night at our church ladies meeting an elder sister told me that she had been praying for me and Charlie and that the Lord was going to let us break out into the sunshine. I know that a message from the Lord too because other than our family and the few of you that read my blog no one knows of that we have been going through a valley.

I am thankful that God still works in the hearts of people!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

In the Shelter of His Arms

Well, it's been 2 months since I've posted, and a lot of things have happened in my life. I've still been reading your blogs and commenting from time to time. It isn't that I've not had trials because I've had plenty. Some I've overcome, and some I'm still going through.

It seems like since April that I've been walking through a valley. A dark dark valley. There is a verse from Job that describes the last few months for me.

Job 23: 8-10 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

I can't name one thing that I've been going through. I know many people have lost jobs, and are in a financial crisis, but thankfully God has taken care of us financially. I started a new job in August. I am now working back in Inside Sales for a company that manufacturers automotive exhaust products. Last month Charlie had a horrible gall bladder attack that resulted in surgery. During the surgery the doctor also repaired an umbilical hernia and now Charlie has been out of work since August 17th, but we are making it. The doctor says he may be out of work another 2 or 3 weeks. There is no way that we could have survived if I hadn't already been working at this new job making better money.

The crux of it is, I am scared. Yes, horribly frightened! I feel like that something else bad or tragic is going to happen. I have to tell myself everyday that the Lord is holding me in his arms, and that he is with me. It is almost like I have to give myself a personal pep rally daily in order to live. I don't want to be this way.

The nights are the worst. A few months ago I posted about having a dream that my Mother died. Well, dreams like that are now a nightly occurrence. Last night, I dreamt that Charlie died. I'm scared when my children drive away that it may be the last time that I see them. About a month ago my brother called to tell me that my Dad is very sick. The doctors don't know what is wrong with him and he may not live much longer. It is some type of blood disorder. The first thing I thought was "Oh, God, I can't take another death!" How selfish is that?

My only consolation is that last verse in Job...when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. I've had people tell me that they perceive me as being a strong person, even intimidating, but if they only knew how weak that I really am.

"There are storms that we all encounter
Do not fear they will do you no harm
In the Lord you will find protection
In the shelter of His arms "

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am not a good blogger

Well, I guess it is official! I am just not a good blogger! I can't seem to fit blogging into my daily life anymore. Now I no longer have visitors... Oh well, summer is just a difficult time. We are extremely busy with church, work, and just life. When I do have a spare moment I want to be doing something with the family not sitting in front of a computer. So, when did blogging become a chore? I guess when I started sitting for hours trying to think of the appropriate topic to discuss or maybe it was when I started taking pictures just to place on my blog! What was I thinking? Well anyway...if you don't see much of me around here please don't get mad at me. I'll be back from time to time. Just not regularly. I have to remember that I didn't really start this blog to attract followers or to make money. I started this blog for me. Just to record my feelings...a journal of sorts. I started this blog to record my trials over the last year, and how with God's help we turn those trials into blessings or lemons into lemonade! As I've progressed I've forgotten to witness, and because I forgot that I was doing this for myself, I chose not to share my trials for fear that I would be embarrassed. Oh well, I am going to get back to the true reason for starting my blog. If you don't see me for a while don't worry I'll be back. Believe me I have trials daily, and God does help me to overcome them. I'll share those trials so that others that maybe going through the same thing can see how we come through triumphant.

God Bless You All!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pictures from the Cruise...Finally

Our Boat...The Carnival Liberty

We just got on the boat, and Charlie already has an ice cream cone!
Some of the rest of the family above us!
These pictures are all from the first day! I'll post more tomorrow.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bad Dreams

Do you ever have bad dreams? I do! I've had them since I was a kid. Sometimes they are silly nightmares and then sometimes they seem like they really could come true. The ones that ring of reality are the ones that usually take a long time for me to forget.

Last night Charlie & Trevlyn went fishing overnight with some friends, and Beth & I were at home having a girls night! Of course, the boys stayed up all night fishing, but we just ordered in pizza and watched a movie. All was well until about 4 o'clock this morning. I woke up with my pillow drenched with tears. I was having a terrible dream!

I had dreamt of what could be my worse nightmare! Losing a family member to death. In my dream I had received a phone call to come to the hospital that my Mother had been in a wreck. I was thinking, is this deja'vu? When Charlie & I arrived at the hospital Mother was already gone. We looked at each other in shock. I asked him, How could this happen again? I wasn't ready for this. We can't lose Lethia & my Mother in the same year! I told him that I couldn't survive without either of them. They were my rocks! Who was I going to go to when I didn't know what to do with life? The dream went on in so much detail that it really seemed to be reality. When I awoke the first thing I thought was I need to call Brendia. Neither of us needed to be alone during this! It took me a few minutes to realize it was just a dream. I was crying and couldn't seem to stop. I stayed awake until about 5 and then finally drifted off to sleep. The dream started right back where I had left off. We were at the funeral home making decisions. It didn't take me long to wake myself back up again. From that point on I just stayed awake. Hours later and I can still remember in vivid detail every aspect of the dream.

I spent some time this morning talking to the Lord. I talked to him about trust, and being willing for his will in my life. That is really what this is all about. I need to trust the Lord and let him be my guide. He will always be there! Charlie & I have been praying about some tough decisions lately, and I know that is what brought this dream to life. I can't imagine not being near my Mother & my family anymore. I can't imagine not being able to see them at a moment's notice.

A preacher's family is subject to the Lord and to the church. Just like when I was a child if God led my Father to work at a different church from where we were then we moved. There was no delay. I know that I have been very fortunate that my husband hasn't felt the call to move as often as my Father did. However, I also know that if the Lord did call him to another church then he would follow the Lord's will. I know that God is in control, and I need to trust him.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's My Life

It's that time again!
If your new to it's my life (a family history project) go here for the details.
If not, welcome back!
Here's the list of this week's questions:

1. Was yours a religious family? Yes, our lives revolved around church. When I was little I remember going to church on Sunday morning, and Sunday night for service, Monday night for choir practice, Tuesday night for band practice, Wednesday church service in Dalton, Thursday night church service at our church, Saturday night church service. The only night we didn't have church was Friday night and that was if we weren't in a revival which I felt like happened every other week! Isn't it funny how you remember things from when you were a kid? Were Sunday's spent together with family? Absolutely! We always went to church together, and ate dinner together in between services.

2. Did your family take vacations? hmmm... vacations....well, do you count revivals as vacation? Usually during the summer Daddy would go somewhere in revival and then we'd extend the trip to include a little vacation time. This is how we vacationed until my parents divorced when I was 12. After that things were very different. My step-dad, who is also a preacher, didn't quite do things the same way. and our Summers were usually spent going between parents. Did you go to the same place every year? Absolutely not! Let's see if I can remember a few of the trips...I remember going to Kokomo Indiana for revival and then we went on a road trip to Mackinaw Island, Detroit, Toronto, back through Chicago, St Louis on our way home to Pampa TX where we lived until I was 12. I remember going in revival to Rockhill SC, and then going to Myrtle Beach. That was lots of fun! I do have 1 memory of a vacation that didn't include a revival...we went from Pampa TX to Colorado Springs, the Royal Gorge, and through New Mexico. I've been lots of places in the US. Some just passing through, others actually spending the night. My Daddy knows his way around the country by restaurants. It doesn't matter where we go, I can always call him and ask do you know of a good restaurant in ______ and he'll tell you right where to go, and what is good on the menu!

3. Do you remember any special stories your grandparents told you? I don't remember any particular life stories that they told me. I do remember a poem that my Mama would tell us..."Little Boy Blue come blow your horn, the sheep are in the meadow and the cows are in the corn, but where is that little boy blue? Behind the haystack fast asleep!" Granddaddy passed away when I was 3 1/2 but I remember him telling Mama to give us candy out of her stash! She would hide candy so we couldn't find it, but he always wanted her to give it to us. Did you sit on a lap when you heard these stories or did you hear them when you and your grandparent would walk hand-in-hand, taking a stroll? I remember one very special memory with my Granddaddy. My brothers and sister think I made it up because it sounds very Lion Kingish, but I didn't! I remember the day. I was really little. He was pulling weeds out of the flower bed around the church sign in Chattanooga, and of course I was helping. He began to talk to me about the brothers in the church who had died before us. He told me that they were wise and were the stars in the sky looking down on us. He also told me that when it Thunders it just God talking, and when it rains it is because God is providing water to the plants and animals that don't have anyone to take care of them. Do you tell any of these same stories to your children? I have told these things to my children. After I became an adult, and my brothers and sisters kidded me so much about it, I looked these things up for myself in the bible to see if they were true....There are several verses that refer to the thunder just a couple are ...2 Samuel 22:14 ; Job 37:4-6. The wise as stars is referred to in Daniel 12:3.

4. Did your grandparents live nearby? When we lived in Chattanooga TN, my dad's parents lived their too, and then when we moved to Texas, Mama moved with us. She kept her house in TN, and sometimes she'd go back and forth, but she always came back! My mother's parents lived in Knoxville, and we didn't see them very much. How often did you visit their homes? Their house in Chattanooga was like a second home. Mama would go back home many summers and I'd go with her. It was always lots of fun. The back bedroom was officially mine! Did the house have any special smells? Mama was always cooking. I think she spent most of the day in the kitchen. So, the food always smelled of food. When she passed away I was given the stove that she always cooked on. As a matter of fact it was the first stove that I had in mine & Charlie's apartment. Every time I cooked on it I would think of her! What did their couch feel like? The couch was brown & orange tweed. I think all couches were like that in the 70's. It was so soft though, and it seemed huge. I can remember laying on it, and 2 people still being able to sit on the other end. How big was their kitchen? The kitchen was huge! The kitchen and dining room were all 1 room. She had two big tables end to end so it felt like we could all sit in the same room and be at the same table. When I was about 6 I was running in round and round one of the tables chasing one of my friends and I fell. I hit my head on the rung of one of the chairs. I had to have stitches! I'll never forget it because Mama was in the shower getting ready for church, and she was so upset with me. She had to call Bro. Ray Smith, a deacon at the church, to come and get us to take me to the hospital. She couldn't drive because she was so nervous. I still have the scar on my forehead. Now that I am an adult I can imagine what she was going through because I was gushing blood, but then I could tell she was so nervous I just kept saying "I'm okay Mama. I promise I'm okay" At my Mamaw Brewer's house I can always remember a table with a bench behind it, and the bar stools. I remember Mamaw Brewer always had nuts that we could crack and eat. Funny thing I remember is that Mamaw always took her ice cream out of the box and put it in a Tupperware dish. My Mamaw Brewer is the only grandparent that I have that is still living. She turned 82 last week and she we all went to Aubrey's for her birthday. You know I think Mamaw Brewer still puts her ice cream in a Tupperware dish! She also had plastic cups that came out of oatmeal! When I first got married they still sold that oatmeal and I bought it just so my kids could have the same kind of cups that I drank out of as a kid!

Memories....You know what is so I'm writing these things I think about how different my sister's memories of our grandparents probably are. She is 8 years younger than me, and things were so different after our parents divorced. She was only 3 when they divorced so she doesn't remember the life "before" as we call it. She only remembers the life after.... They were both great, just different!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tuesday night=Date Night

Charlie and I had an impromptu date night this past Tuesday. Beth was at work, and Trevlyn spent the night with a friend so we had the house to ourselves. I already had a meal planned and since it was Charlie's favorite we decided to just stay home & enjoy the quiet house!

To my surprise Charlie brought me flowers. 5 dozen roses wouldn't have pleased me more! This is the first time he's brought me flowers in...well, I can't even remember!

Aren't all the different colors beautiful?

This is my favorite flower in the bunch. I don't know what it is called, but it was really pretty.

Our meal wasn't fancy, just Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Creamed Corn.

Then I made Honey Oatmeal Wheat Bread in my new Breadmachine. It is really really good bread! This is the 2nd loaf of bread that I've made. The first was just a basic white bread. The picture is of about 1/2 of the loaf already sliced. I am hoping to make 1 loaf of bread a week to supplement our bread intake. Charlie eats a sandwich every day for lunch, and I was hoping by making homemade bread that it will get some of the preservatives out of his system. He has had a few health problems over the last few months so I am trying everything that I can to make him feel better.
I don't have a picture of my breadmachine because I simply forgot to take one. I purchased the breadmachine at Goodwill for $4.20. It makes 1, 1 1/2, & 2 lb loafs. It has so many different settings that I had to print the manual from the on-line website just so I would know how to use it. So far though I could say that I've gotten my money's worth, wouldn't you?
Sorry if my pictures are blurry. My computer is still broken. I took the pictures with my cell phone then emailed them from my cell to my personal email. Today, I uploaded them, while at work but on my lunch break, from my personal email to blogger! I hope to have my computer repaired this weekend.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's My Life

Julie Isa over at Tattered Threads and Willing Hands has created a weekly blog post so that you can document your life for your children. As soon as I saw this I wanted to join. In 1997 Charlie & I purchased his Mom & Dad journals. They were called A Mother's/Father's Reflection. Each page had a question about their life, childhood, holidays, growing up, etc. When they passed away in April we were able to take these and read them. They have been a comfort. I read the stories and I can almost hear Lethia's voice telling it to me.

I hope you'll join me in this endeavor,here's how we'll do it. Each Tuesday you will have several questions to answer. Each month there will be a 'theme' for the month. For example, we will start with your family and ancestry, then we'll move on into the house of your growing up, your childhood, holidays & celebrations, romance, parenthood, etc. sometimes the questions will be simple, sometimes they may not even apply and other times, you might find it hard to answer. there's never a right or wrong answer.

Here are this week's questions:
I included my step parents because they've been apart of my life forever!
What is/was your Mother's name? Brenda Faye Brewer
What is/was your Step-Mother's name? Carol Ann Biller

Your Father's Name? Edwin DeWayne Condra
Your Step-Father's Name? Jerry Lynn Cassell

Your grandmother's names? Juanita Helen Kyle (maternal) Mary Dell Owen (paternal)

Your grandfather's names? Zolas Hiram Brewer "Bo or Johnny"(maternal) & David Turner Condra(paternal)

What did you call them? Daddy & Mother, Mamaw & Papaw Brewer (maternal), Granddaddy & Mama(paternal)

Do you have brothers and sisters? Yes, total of 10; 1 older brother, 1 younger brother, and 1 younger sister. 3 step-brothers, and 1 step-sister. 3 half-brothers.

What are their names? In order, DeWayne, Shane, Nakia, Dabreon, Corey, Brendia, Skyler, Caleb, Andrew, & Jordan

How old were you when they were born? DeWayne is the only one older than me, and he is 5 years older. Shane, Nakia, Corey, & Skyler are my step-brother's & sisters so I wasn't around when they were born. :) But, I was 5 when Dabreon was born, 8 when Brendia was born, 15 when Caleb & Andrew were born, and 18 when Jordan was born.

I'll give you our birthdates to give you an idea of all of our ages. DeWayne-July 1968, Krista-September 1973, Shane-October 1973, Nakia-April 1975, Dabreon-October 1978, Corey-February 1979, Brendia-October 1981, Skyler-December 1986, Caleb-January 1989, Andrew-June 1989, and Jordan-December 1991. Yes, I know all of their actual birthdays but I didn't think that was appropriate to put on the internet! :) DeWayne, Me, Dabreon & Brendia have the same Mom & Dad. Shane, Nakia, Corey & Skyler have the same Mom & Dad, just not my Mom & Dad, hehehe. Caleb and I have the same Mom. Andrew & Jordan and I have the same Dad. Now, are you confused yet?

Do you remember the first time you saw them? Yes, Dabreon was fat! Brendia was too tiny! I declared Caleb as mine at first sight! Andrew was born with a tan, and lots of dark hair. Jordan was born 2 weeks after my son, and he looked like Mo from the 3 stooges!

What about your aunts and uncles? Vicki & Al (maternal), Harold (paternal)

Did they play an important part in your growing up? Until I was a teenager we didn't live anywhere near my Mother's family so I didn't get to know my Aunt Vicki & Uncle Al until i was an adult. But, we were around my Uncle Harold and his family all my life. Uncle Harold's wife is Polly. We spent every vacation, holiday, birthday, etc with their family. We were all really close, and I thought of my cousins as siblings!

Did your family get together much casually or did you have to travel to spend time together? I spent a lot of time with my Uncle Harold and Aunt Polly. They lived in Midland/Odessa Texas and we lived in Pampa Texas. It was a drive to their house, but we did it all the time. I loved it because they had a pool! My mother's family lived in Knoxville TN so we didn't spend much time with them until we moved to Knoxville when I was a teenager.

I hope this isn't too much for my friends to read, and you may learn more than you ever wanted to know about me!

Timi & Leslie convertible diaper bag

They are having a great giveaway over at Mom Central. It is a Timi & Leslie Convertible Diaper Bag. Now all of you know that I do not have small children. My kids are teenagers, right? Yes, you are correct! No, I do not expect either of them to have babies soon. But, My baby sister has baby Isaac, and I know that she would love to have this trendy diaper bag! It really looks like something that she would carry and get a lot of use out of! I have entered! Just click on the link here, and you can enter too!
The patent tote comes in five colors and there are a ton of organizational compartments inside. The bag also includes two smaller matching purses, a bottle holder, changing pad, stroller straps, and a removable shoulder strap. Plus the liner itself is water proof. Wow, can you believe this is a diaper bag?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One Door Closes..Another Opens

One Door Closes..Another Opens
Revelations 3:8 KJV
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go, only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He'll catch you when you fall, or He'll teach you how to fly! The power of one sentence! God can shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor. God closes doors no man can open & God opens doors no man can close. If you need God to open some doors for you just ask.
Have a blessed day and remember to be a blessing...

My cousin forwarded this email to me yesterday and I thought of how true the words are. I hope it helps one of you today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We are back!!

I have so much to tell you! Unfortunately I just don't have the time to write it all down because I am posting from work! I've come home and my laptop has bit the dust! I can't download my pics or anything :(

I am planning on taking my digital cards to Sam's and having all the pics developed and put on a CD. That way I can share them with you all.

Needless to say we had a fabulous time! The time off was very relaxing. We slept, ate, slept, ate, and then we'd get off the ship at a port, oh and then we'd sleep and eat again! Lots of sleeping and eating. I do have some wonderful pictures of the gardens in Jamaica, Hell in Grand Cayman, and the coral reef in Roatan Honduras. I know you'll all love them, once I can share!

My google bloglines was over 1000. This is the first time that I have had to say "mark all as read" without really reading them. I just don't think I'll ever get caught up so I'm starting fresh.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Out on the Ocean Sailing

As of Saturday morning, me & 15 of my family will be boarding the Carnival Liberty setting sail for Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman, & Roatan Honduras! I'll see you back here on Monday, June 8th!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Upper Classmen

First Day of School 2006-2007 Trevlyn was a Freshman & Beth was in 8th grade. Isn't it cute how they dressed alike? They didn't realize it until I took this picture! It was a good thing they were still in different schools then!

First Day of School 2007-2008 Trevlyn was a Sophmore & Beth was a freshman. This picture was taken as they were getting ready to walk down the steps to school. Can you tell they are embarrassed?

We don't have a 2008-2009 picture because they decided they were too old for me to be taking 1st day of school pictures! So sad...:(

What?? This is what my daughter said to me last night. She said "Mom, do you realize that as of today both of your children are officially upper classmen?"

No, I refuse to believe it! My babies are still my babies. It just seems like yesterday that they were born. I can still remember my pregnancies and their births in vivid detail. How could this be? Trevlyn will be a senior, and is turning 18 in November. Beth will be a junior, and just turned 16 in March.

Can we stop time? There are so many things that I wanted to do with them before they were grown. I still have so many things on my list. I know they aren't leaving and will probably still live with us while they are in college. (because I refuse to let them go off to college) Overprotective? MUCH!! However, I know things are going to be different. They are already making so many decisions on their own. I just want to say, please don't forget about your dear Mom & Dad! You still love us remember? We are cool too! You don't have to spend all your time with CHARLIE EMERT!!!!!

Charlie is a great young man, but both of my children would rather spend time with him than with us! I am a little jealous, can you tell? Really I would rather they spend time with him than with some of their school friends! I just miss them wanting to spend time with me.

I miss my babies!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stress + Krista = Disaster

About this time last year my health problems started, and it was during a stressful time of my life too! I had a few problems with some friends, I quit working for my Dad, and then what happens...I start having major migraines! Okay, so stress is not my friend, and that is what the doctor said. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, eat properly (no skipping meals which I have a tendency to do), and remove stress from your life. Now just how do you do that? Remove stress from your life...if anyone has figured that out let me know!

I am looking forward to our vacation in 8 days! There are 16 of us going on a cruise. Ultimately that is a no stress situation, but leave it to me to make it stressful. Who else gets stressed out over making sure everything is packed, and that we have enough money to have a good time without overspending? AAARRRRGGGGHHHH Why can't anything just be simple in my mind? I think I am wired to make everything complicated! I don't intend to, it just happens. I start thinking of all the 'what if' factors. Like, 'what if' we can't fit all of our luggage in the vehicle? 'What if' we don't make it to the boat in time? 'What if' our passport cards don't get here before next Friday? Now Charlie knows my problem and has already made appropriate measures to ensure that none of these things will cause a problem. For instance, he made arrangements that we can put the luggage on top of the vehicle if the back isn't big enough. He wants to leave before 8pm, which should give us plenty of time to get to the port before 1pm the next day (it is a 12 hour drive). I checked with the cruise line, multiple times, and as long as we have our birth certificates and are leaving & returning to a US port than we don't even need our passports. Okay so everything is taken care of, right? NO, my mind just starts coming up with more potential 'what ifs'? I can't even let vacation be simple!

If Brendia is reading this she is probably rolling out of her chair laughing because she knows how OCD I am! I even made a packing spreadsheet to make sure I didn't forget anything. Guess What? I did, Brendia emailed me yesterday afternoon to tell me that I left off shaving cream! By the end of the week I would have been a woolly mammoth!

I need a mental vacation! Hopefully I will get one on Sunday. Our first day on the cruise is a day at sea! I can't wait. I have already told everyone that I am unavailable that entire day! I want to lay out in the sun or even just sleep in the room. Whatever it takes to relax, that is what I am doing!

Enough about vacation. Let's talk about my job. Most of you know that I started this job in December 2008. I work in a retail cell phone store in the mall. I do not work retail hours. I work Monday - Friday 8:30-5. I found out this week that my schedule is probably going to change. We are going to a new scheduling system that schedules everyone based on store needs and projected customer needs. Even though my job is not customer impacting, my job title is. I have a job title that doesn't relate to my actual job duties. The district manager is trying to get the back office sales support to be exempt from this new schedule but we don't know yet if this is going to be possible. There are 7 of us that do the same job in this district just in different stores. Our job was a trial thing and the other stores in the nation do not have a back office person. This could mean that I would have to work anytime that the store is open Sunday - Saturday pretty much 10am - 9pm. Of course Sundays are 12 - 6, but that still causes a problem. Then we were told that our job might even be phased out since the other stores do not have a position such as ours. Our position was created to increase efficiencies. We do most of the office management duties so the store manager can be on the sales floor increasing sales. If our district manager can't prove that we've increased efficiencies and sales are increased because of us then why do they need a back office person? The manager could go back to doing the paperwork before the store opens. They pay him a salary anyway, right?

So, Please pray for me and my job. I want the Lord's will. Charlie & I really need the second income to make our bills each month. While I would much rather be at home being a good housewife, the mountain that we've created must be crossed first. We have paid off a good amount of debt since I've been working but we still have more. I should know something for sure once I get back from vacation.

It makes me remember that God is in control. I AM NOT!! We are all in God's hands.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It happened again...

This past weekend our church held our annual minister's convention. It begins on Friday night, and goes through Sunday night. We always have a great time, but it is very tiring. The Friday night service is mostly singing, and just a short sermon. Saturday & Sunday we have 2 services each day. By the end of the Sunday night service we are all exhausted which gets me to the reason I am posting today.

Last night I became very sick during the service. Actually it happened at the very beginning of service. I started feeling dizzy, and then I felt almost like an explosion in my head. It felt like ants were crawling all over my head or a thousand needles. Then I couldn't feel my fingers or toes on my right side. I guess I could feel them, it just felt like needles or like they both went to sleep. I'm sure you all know how that feels. I sit there for a few minutes just trying to keep it together. I didn't want to lose it in front of 3000 people. My sister was sitting next to me and she began to realize something was wrong with me. Charlie was sitting on the rostrum with all the ministers but I tried to get his attention to let him know that I needed prayer! He saw me and looked at me funny. He later told me that he could tell something was wrong but he couldn't understand what I was saying. As I sit there I begin to feel nauseous then I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. I told my sister that I was going to try to get to the bathroom. She asked me if I wanted her to get Charlie. I think I said yes, but I'm not really sure. When I stood up I thought I was going to fall back down. I made my way past the people that were sitting on the pew and finally made it to the aisle. I didn't have far to walk to get out of the sanctuary but it felt like miles.

We made it to the bathroom without accident. I was barely walking, and I really felt like a drunk person. I was washing my hands and I heard Charlie in the hall asking where I was. I still couldn't feel my right foot or right hand. I walked out of the bathroom and when I saw him I started crying. He asked me what I wanted him to do, and all I could say was pray for me. I tried to tell him what was wrong but my words were slurring. He prayed for a long time, and I began to have feeling come back into my right side. I told him that I felt like I would be okay, and I wanted to go back into the church.

I sit through the remainder of the service trying to control my right side. I was involuntarily shaking, but only on that side. I held my arms crossed so that no one would notice or so I thought. Beth was on my left side and Brendia was on my right. At one point during the service Beth moved over and I almost fell. I didn't realize that I was leaning on her until then. I don't know how long the service lasted. I know that 2 preachers spoke but don't ask me what they spoke on because I have no idea. During the service I was talking quietly to myself. I just kept saying No, I will not be like ______ (another lady that has had seizures in our church), and No, I will no let this claim me! Later Brendia said that I was saying No, but that was it.

After the service was finally over, Charlie came down from the rostrum to get me. We were trying to get out of the church, but with over 3000 people it was difficult to do it quickly. There were also several people from all over the country that we really needed to tell bye because it will be months before we see them again. We made our way down the center aisle, and spoke to a couple of people. I talked to my brother from Florida and told him good bye. I sat down in a chair once while Charlie was talking to someone else. An older man that we know came by and spoke to Charlie and then to me. He walked on by me but then he came back. He told me that he felt like the Lord was going to heal my body, and that it was going to happen right then. I sat there for a couple more minutes and it was almost like a fog lifted off my head. Charlie quit talking and we walked on down the aisle. As we were walking down the aisle, Charlie's cousin walked up to me and hugged me. She also told me that she felt like the Lord was going to move for me. She said she hadn't ever prophesied to anyone before but she really felt like telling me that.

Several of my family stopped us to ask if I was okay. I told them I was feeling better and that we were going home. You see this is the same thing that happened to me last year and this is why I went to the neurologist. The doctor has diagnosed me with partial on-set seizures, but I refused to take the medication. I haven't had a "spell" since last July after the church elders anointed and prayed over me. My family was very worried about me. My daughter told me later that went I went out to the restroom that my face was white as a ghost. We made it home and I slept well last night without incident. For that I am grateful. I was afraid that once I went to sleep I would go into a full blown seizure but I didn't. I know that God was watching over me.

Today I am work. My right side is extremely sore. I feel like I've been lifting weights or something. I am a little dizzy today, but nothing that I can't handle. I am still believing in my miracle. I have Faith that God won't let me down. I will not let this take me over. Please pray for me and help me believe!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Coulter's Comfort

While we were staying at the ICU of the Dalton Hospital I noticed that a couple of ladies were delivering quilts. Being that I am a new quilter, I began to ask questions. My niece then told me that her daughter, my great-niece, had received one of the quilts. I then went up to the patient representative, Ashley, that was delivering the quilts, and asked where they came from. She told me the most heart wrenching story.

Coulter was not a crier. But one bad day at the clinic, after numerous procedures, he had enough. On the way home he began to cry. And he cried and he cried and he cried. This went on for hours. It broke my heart to see him so sad. I went to the psychologist at the clinic who suggested giving him a blanket to create a 'safe' place for him. He could hide under the blanket, make a tent, or make it a 'no ouchie' zone. What ever worked for him. Coulter loved teletubbies, so the next day we went to the store and got two yards of fabric. I made one blanket for Coulter and one for Annika. It did the trick. He loved the blanket! And, while he never slept with it at home, it went to the hospital a lot with us and on the way home he'd throw it over his head and sleep under it. It gave me a great sense of relief to have given him some comfort.

This child's Mom started a group of ladies in Georgia that makes and donates blankets to children who for whatever reason have to be in or at the hospital in honor of Coulter. I think this is an awesome outreach and a help to so many children. You can visit their website for more information.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Look for me

When we've been there ten thousand years, a million, maybe two, look for me for I will be there too! Lethia has been in Heaven now for 4 weeks and Loyd for 3. I wonder if it feels like just a day.

Mother's Day is coming up this weekend, and we had plans to go to Georgia to spend it with Lethia. We've not talked much about Mother's day since. I am trying not to push anything. I don't want to make an uncomfortable situation any more unbearable.

We've had a tradition on Mother's Day since the first year we were married. I was just pregnant with Trevlyn and not really even a Mom yet. There is a little restaurant in Chattanooga TN called Bea's that Charlie takes me to. I went there with my grandmother when I was little, and Charlie knew it was one of my favorite restaurants. After we moved to Knoxville we would still go down after church on Sunday and eat there. The last few years Charlie's Mom & Dad had met us there so we could spend Mother's Day with them and still celebrate our tradition. Charlie may surprise me and we may still go to Bea's, but honestly I don't know if I could handle it. This Mother's Day will be a very sad day. Please remember Charlie. We all still need your prayers!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Monday,April 13th - Thursday,April 16th

Okay, I am going to fast forward through the rest of the week. As you can tell from my previous posts the family tension was horrible, and made everything worse. However things are starting to work themselves out, and I really don't want to talk about it anymore. This will be a long post, but it will be the last about the wreck and the incidents following it.

On Monday morning at 5:45 we were back to see Loyd. I loved those first morning visits. It was usually just me & Charlie, and maybe one of our kids if they woke up that early. We tried to let them sleep till the second visitation because it was always 1 or 2 in the morning before the rest of the family went home and we could all try to go to sleep. So, that morning just a little after 6 the neurosurgeon came in and told us that at sometime over the weekend Loyd had a stroke. His was unable to feel his left side, and had become unresponsive to commands. Meaning that he would no longer squeeze your hand and then let go when told or open his eyes on command. He could still squeeze your hand but he wouldn't let go. The doctor said that was a muscle reflex and not because he wanted to. Again his right side was the only side where he could do that at all. As we talked to the doctor, Charlie started talking to his Daddy. The doctor gave him a few exercises that could make Loyd respond. He taught Charlie how to get him to lift his eyebrows, wiggle his fingers and toes. In the matter of just a few minutes he was responding to Charlie's voice commands, but he still wouldn't respond to the doctors or nurses. His responses were always a little unusual; like from the beginning he would respond better to my daughter Elizabeth than anyone. He would try to lift his entire arm up when he heard her voice. He would lift his eyelids a little when I would sing, and then when our old Pastor came in to talk to him he tried to lift his right hand like he wanted to shake his hand. We could tell by these acts that God was still in control.

Then the lung doctor came in. All of this during that first AM visit. Believe me Monday was a most eventful day. He told us that even with the ventilator he was not getting a full deep breath. They were very concerned about the continued path and what the children should decide to do. The children had all already told him that no other methods of life support could be done. Meaning, no cutting, chest compressions, heart support, or brain support. The lung doctor wanted to insert the tubes via a trach, but he knew the circumstances. He basically told us that morning that if we weren't going to do anything else than we needed to just remove the ventilator completely. We were just prolonging Loyd's suffering. Yes, his pain was getting worse everyday. They were giving him more and more morphine everyday which also slowed his responses to anyone. The doctor asked Charlie to sign a DNR so that the hospital would have the information in writing. Charlie explained that he couldn't and wouldn't do that without talking to his siblings first. Charlie always wanted them to be in agreement before anything was done, but most of the time when the doctors came by we were the only ones there.

At about 8am, the nurses came running out. Loyd's right lung had collapsed and there was a 4cm tear in it as well. They wanted to do a chest tube. Charlie got his 2 oldest siblings on the phone and told them the news. Remember no one wanted Loyd to be cut on. He talked to them about 5 minutes and they couldn't come up with a decision. Finally Charlie said "Well I am the one here, and it can't wait. I am telling them No, and I am signing a DNR otherwise they will do a full code and we don't want that" He told them both that he loved them, and then went in with the nurses to do what he'd said. Basically he was just putting in writing what they'd all verbally agreed to anyway, but this caused a little friction. His brothers & sister finally arrived at the hospital that afternoon. They weren't happy but they understood why Charlie had to do what he'd done. They didn't want the chest tube either, but they just didn't want to put anything in writing.

Monday evening, Tuesday & Wednesday came and went. We only left the hospital for the visitation at the funeral home and then the funeral on Wednesday. Charlie wouldn't stay gone long because he didn't want his Daddy left alone. If the doors were open then he wanted to be there, so we went to visitation between visiting hours. This upset the other siblings a little bit because they thought he should be at the funeral home with them. What they didn't understand was everyone who was at the funeral home had already been at the hospital at least once, and we already felt like we'd had enough visitation.

Before the funeral on Wednesday the doctors had talked to Charlie and recommended that if we weren't going to do any other treatment that Loyd be taken off the ventilator. Charlie asked the doctors if they would meet with all the siblings on Thursday morning. He explained the funeral situation, and asked that they just let them all get through the day. After the funeral Charlie asked all the siblings to meet him at the hospital to talk to the doctors at 8:30 Thursday morning.

On Thursday morning everyone arrived as requested, but you could tell they weren't all happy campers. Charlie began by giving them all copies of something that his Mother wrote. It basically said that she always wanted her family to be peaceful and that the circle be unbroken. She never like bickering of any kind. Charlie told them that he didn't want any fighting, and that he just wanted to honor the life that his Father had lived and his requests. He asked them to be open minded and listen to the doctor. Charlie then asked them if the Pastor could pray with us all. Well, needless to say we never had prayer. Each of the brothers had something to say to Charlie from he was rushing it because we needed to get back to work to we were greedy. His sister never said anything at all. It was very ugly! They all believed that Loyd could get better, and come home. They even were talking about home health etc. Finally the doctor came out, and explained. He told us that Loyd couldn't live with the tubes down his throat, and that he would have to be on a trach. No one wanted that. He told us that Loyd would never go home. If we did decide on keeping him on the ventilator via a trach then he would go to a nursing home where he could have 24 hour nurses care. He would always be exactly like he was now, unless he had another stroke which could further restrict his ability to respond. Charlie never said anything because we had already heard this all. They all had something to say to the doctor, and really berated him. One brother said well when God is ready for him to go then his heart will stop. The doctor said well if you believe so much in God's will then why do you have him on the ventilator anyway? He said, why don't you take him off and then if it is God's will for him to continue to live he will, and if not then he'll go. After about 30 minutes the doctor finally said he had to go to surgery and to call him if we ever made a decision.

The day went on. About 1pm Charlie, me & the kids left. I needed to do laundry, and we wanted to get something to eat besides snack food. I couldn't believe Charlie wanted to leave but he said if they left his Daddy that way then he couldn't stand it and that we would probably leave Friday morning for home.

I need to preface what happened that afternoon with something else I haven't told you. There were times that Loyd would be in a lot of pain, choking, and they couldn't give him anymore morphine. The nurses would call Charlie in to pray with him and the pain would subside. None of the other children had witnessed this. That morning all the children went in together and this happened. Charlie didn't pray immediately because he wanted his brothers & sister to see the suffering that he was going through. Finally one of the brothers looked at him and asked him to please pray. He did and the pain & choking subsided. So, about 3:00 we were at the laundromat and I received a phone call from one of the granddaughters. She said her Mother, Charlie's sister, was asking Charlie to come and pray for Loyd. Well, we couldn't be there that quickly, and within 5 minutes she called back and said that her Mother had decided to remove the ventilator. She couldn't take seeing him suffering.

We started back to the hospital immediately. We almost didn't make it in time. When we walked in we realized that the entire family was in the waiting room but the door was open for visitation. We just walked straight back to Loyd's room. The nurses were there removing the tubes. He
only took about 3 or 4 breaths once the tubes were removed and he was gone. He never gasped, choked, or anything that they'd prepared us for. Charlie was his only child in the room with him when he passed. I was there, my children, and 3 of the granddaughters.

It was a very sad passing. I think I reacted the worst because they had prepared us for the worst which didn't happen. They told us that he might last several hours to days, and that he might even be able to communicate with us. I wasn't prepared for him to just pass so quickly. However, I was and am very happy that he no longer had to suffer.

He lived a very full and happy life. He was a wonderful, strong man and very loved by his entire family. He loved to work and sometimes I think he lived to work or worked to live. When he couldn't work he would get sick. I miss my in-laws greatly. They were both inspirations to me. I was never counted as a daughter-in-law. They always told me I was their daughter. They had other daughters-in-law but I was the only one they ever said that to. So, I think that makes me special! I am special to have been loved by people so great! I am going to share more stories about my in-laws but they will be reflections of their life and my life with them.

Thank you all for your prayers! We have definitely needed them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Saturday, April 11 & Sunday, April 12

Saturday began with Loyd's blood pressure & heart rate being extremely high. They started him on a heart medication to bring down his blood pressure & pulse. It worked to some extent. His heart rate & blood pressure came down but it was still high by normal standards.
We met with his family doctor and the lung specialist sometime on Saturday afternoon. They began by telling us that there wasn't much hope for his survival. Dr. Bedgood, his family doctor, asked if we knew Loyd's wishes about life support. Charlie & I said yes. He asked us what they were, and we told him that Loyd didn't want to be on any life support. Then he said that is what he told me too. He asked why we placed him on the ventilator? Charlie's oldest brother explained that he was told that it would give him a better chance of survival. Dr. Bedgood just kindly smiled at him, but he never returned the entire time we were there, his PA did the rounds. Dr. Bedgood was my family doctor when we lived in Dalton. He explained to Charlie & I after the family left that he couldn't be part of his treatment because he knew Loyd's wishes weren't being carried out; however there wasn't a living will so our hands were tied.

Saturday afternoon we finally left the hospital, but only for a few hours. We went to the funeral home to make funeral arrangements for Lethia.

On Saturday night or should I say Sunday morning about 3am, Charlie decided that he would like to go to church for Easter. I had been talking about making a trip home to get more clothes. We decided that we would visit with Loyd at the 5:45am visitation and then we would all leave for church, our church! We made it home about 8:00am. We all ran through the shower, unpacked and then packed the right clothing for our trip. About 9:45 we left for church. We had a great time, and our church family welcomed us with open arms. I don't think we could have made it through the week without the church service that morning. We made it back to the Dalton ICU in time for the 5:30pm visitation. The four of us went straight in and began to tell Loyd about the service that we had. We told him about the songs that were sang, the sermon that was preached, and the spirit that we were able to feel. He would lift his eyebrows, and try to squeeze Charlie's hand.

We again spent the night at the hospital. Sunday night was the fourth night we slept in the recliners, and on the benches.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Friday, April 10

Charlie & his Dad in February 2009

Thursday night was the first of seven nights that we spent at the hospital. Friday began at 5:45am, the first time that "the door" opened for the day. For 7 days we ate, slept, and plain lived by the opening and closing of "the door". This was my first time to see Loyd since the accident. For me to tell this story accurately I need to tell you that Loyd was dropped as an infant, and his back was broken. He lived his entire life with a hunchback. I had never seen him laying on his back until that morning. I was immediately concerned because I knew that this was causing him considerable pain on top of the pain he was in from his injuries. He was having trouble breathing, and with each exhale he would say "Oh Lord". I couldn't keep from crying. Charlie was able to hold him up a little and that would relieve some of the pain. It was so sad to see Charlie holding his daddy like a little baby. He would wrap his arms around him and then just pull him up to him. It was like he was giving him a big bear hug. The first time that Charlie did this Loyd looked at him and said "I Love You." Of course, this had us all crying. At 6:30 we had to leave the room to return at 8:30. When we returned the nurse told us that Loyd was having considerable trouble breathing. The respiratory nurse said that every breath was hurting him because of the pressure from his back and from the fractured ribs. He was breathing very shallow, and couldn't get a deep breath. They were concerned about pneumonia setting up in his lungs. They recommended that he be put on a ventilator. Charlie explained to the nurses that he wouldn't do anything until all his brothers & his sister arrived at the hospital because they needed Loyd as alert as possible so they could tell him about Lethia's passing. The nurses then placed Loyd on a CPAP to assist his breathing. Within minutes he seemed to be breathing easier.

When the siblings arrived Charlie explained the situation. Charlie also explained a conversation that we had with Loyd the first of February when Charlie's uncle was placed on life support. Loyd was adamant that he never be placed on life support. He told us, Lethia, and Charlie's sister, Tiny. Of course we never thought that we would placed in this situation. At 11:00 they let us back in to see Loyd. All the siblings gathered around his bedside and told him about Lethia's passing. We weren't sure if he understood or not. He was on morphine for the pain, and that caused him to be very sleepy. He was able to talk, and he said "Oh Lord, Thank You Lord, I Love You Lord" He didn't stop between statements.

The nurses left him on the CPAP machine until later that afternoon. Then around 5:00pm they came out and said he was still having considerable trouble breathing. They again recommended the ventilator. Charlie was adamant about following his father's wishes, but his other brother's didn't hear Loyd say it so they wanted to go ahead and place him on the ventilator. The respiratory nurse said it could help him breath, and that would give him a better chance of recovery. So, at 5:30 they placed him on the ventilator.

We visited with Loyd at the opening of "the door" throughout the rest of day but he was no longer able to communicate with us. We were told that it was because of the morphine that they were giving him for the pain, and the fact that without enough oxygen he was becoming very lethargic.

**I am still having problems with my home computer so my daily entries won't be daily but as I have access to a computer.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday, April 9th

This Thursday was similar to many other Thursday's since December. I went to work at 7am because I needed to get off early to take Trevlyn to the doctor for his 4th ultrasound. I have a great boss; as long as my work is done, and I work my allotted hours than he is fine with making my schedule flexible. Trevlyn's appointment was at 2pm. It didn't take long and by 2:30 we were at Home Depot looking for material so that I could make a sign for the Easter Festival at church. After leaving Home Depot we stopped by Hobby Lobby. My to do list was long...Our church Easter Festival was scheduled for the following Saturday, and I still had many last minute things to do. While I was searching for Easter Egg Dye, candy & prizes, Trevlyn was talking on the phone to my brother Corey. That Thursday night our church was starting a revival, and it was going to be the first revival that Trevlyn had ever spoke in. He was very nervous, and Corey was giving him a "hard" time. It was all in good fun. We were laughing and just enjoying the beautiful day. Little did we know that at 3:42 our lives would irrevocably change forever.

We decided to go home after leaving Hobby Lobby instead of going to Party City. Trevlyn really was getting very nervous, and a little sick to his stomach! We were almost home and I received a call from Charlie. I knew that something was wrong as soon as I answered because he was crying, sobbing was more like it. He asked where I was, and then he said go straight home, and pack us some clothes. We are going to Georgia because Mama & Daddy have been in a wreck. I asked him if he knew how bad it was and he explained that his sister had called him from the scene. His parents had just left their house, and less than a mile from their home a vehicle passed a car in their lane hitting them head on. The ambulance had already taken his Mother to the hospital but they were still getting his Dad and brother out. The truck was completely caved in and all three had to be cut out of the truck. At that time no one knew exactly how bad it was, but by the appearance of the wreck his sister didn't think any of them would make it.

An hour had passed by the time we all arrived home, packed a few outfits, and were ready to go. By that time we had received another call letting us know that Lethia, Charlie's mother, had been airlifted to Erlanger in Chattanooga. His Dad & brother were in ICU at the Dalton hospital. At that time we knew that Loyd, Charlie's dad, had 8 fractured ribs on the right side, a fractured vertebrae in his neck, and a cut on his left hand. Joe, Charlie's brother, had a broken wrist, and his right leg was crushed. Lethia was in the worst shape. She had internal bleeding. Her left leg was crushed, her right leg was broken, and her pelvis was broken. Before airlifting her to Erlanger they were having a hard time getting her blood pressure stabilized.

We arrived at Erlanger shortly after Charlie's sister and niece arrived. The nurses explained that Lethia was taken straight into surgery. We waited and waited and waited. More family arrived. Charlie's family is huge, and I think a member of every one of Lethia's siblings was present. Finally a nurse came and took us to the ICU waiting room, but we were turned away because our family was too big. They said only 2 people could be in that waiting room. We were told that visiting hours were from 8:30-9:00, and then they took us to the CCU waiting room because it was bigger. The nurse explained that they would call us when it was time for visitation. We asked when we would have a chance to speak with the doctor and she told us that as soon as the doctor was able to get cleaned up he would be by. At this point it was about 7:30. We thought everything was fine. Of course we knew that she was critical because she was going to ICU, but we thought we were going to be able to see her shortly. We even began to talk about getting Loyd & Joe moved to Erlanger so they could all be in the same hospital. About 8:15 the doctor comes out and ask to speak with the Singleton family. He takes us into the hallway. Then he begins to explain..."When Lethia arrived her blood pressure was very low, and not stable. She had internal bleeding, and many external injuries to her lower extremities. We were able to get her blood pressure stabilized. We found that her internal bleeding was from where her bowel had come loose. We were able to get the bleeding stopped, and the bowel reattached. Then her heart just gave out." The way he was explaining we all thought that everything was okay, but then his last sentence just about stopped our hearts! After about an hour they let us back to see her. She looked like an angel. Lethia's skin is olive toned and her hair is white. Laying on the bed she looked like an old Indian woman. She looked like she was sleeping. We all said our goodbyes and made our way to Dalton.

Upon arriving to the Dalton ICU we found out that Joe was still in surgery. Charlie's other 2 brothers didn't want them to tell their Dad that Lethia had passed until they could tell Joe. Joe didn't get out of surgery until after midnight and by this time it was too late to tell Loyd. They made a decision not to tell Loyd or Joe until the next day. They didn't want Charlie to go back and see Loyd either. They were afraid that he would tell him about Lethia. Thursday was the last day that his Dad was fully conscious.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Grace is Sufficient for Thee

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (King James Version)

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Valerie's sister shared the verses above. As I read the above I thought about how the Lord prepares you for things even when you don't realize it. A couple of weeks ago Charlie and I were making plans for the months of April & May. We were trying to find a weekend to come down and spend a weekend with Loyd & Lethia, Charlie's parents. We had something going on at church every weekend until we go on vacation in May; however our plans were to spend the weekend of Mother's Day with them. Yesterday we were coming out of the funeral home and Charlie said "I bet God was laughing when we were making plans a few weeks ago".

I started this post on Saturday, April 18, but due to computer issues I was unable to finish it. I think that I will let this be the start of a few posts dedicated to my wonderful husband's parents. I will try to write a post about them each day. I will tell you about the events that led to their painful death, and other posts about how they've impacted my life.

Monday, April 13, 2009

God is in control

What a week!! I don't even know where to begin, but I guess the week starts with Monday so here goes... Last Monday I found out that my brother's first wife; the Mother of my niece & nephew was still in the Dalton Hospital's ICU. She had been admitted with pneumonia and had steadily gotten worse. The doctor's couldn't find out what was wrong with her, and where all the infection was coming from. The diagnosis hours before her death was that she had contracted an infection from an IUD. She died early Tuesday morning. She was 38 years old, and the Mother of 2 teenagers. Her funeral was planned for Friday at 2pm at Ponder's Funeral Home with visitation on Thursday night at 6pm.

Also on Tuesday morning we found out that my step-father's brother had a massive heart attack. His heart quit beating and he was gone for 25-30 minutes. They were able to shock his heart and revive him. Today he is doing great. He didn't have to have surgery and this morning was sitting up in the bed eating.

Some of you know my son has been sick since December when he contracted mono. His spleen has been enlarged now for 4 months. When we went in March for the ultrasound the test results said that his spleen was twice the size that it should be, and that he would still be unable to participate in any sporting activities. We all know that sports is Trevlyn's life, and this has been very hard for him. On Thursday afternoon we went for another ultrasound. We should receive the test results back later this week.

Then about 3:30 on Thursday afternoon I received a phone call from my husband. He was crying, and he told me to meet him at home; we were going to Georgia. I know that something was bad wrong. I finally got it out of him that his Mother & Father had been involved in horrible head-on collision. His brother was also in the car with them. When we first received the call we were told that they were all in horrible shape and had to be cut out of the truck. I immediately started praying for God's will. They airlifted my mother-in-law to Erlanger in Chattanooga TN for further treatment while my father-in-law and brother-in-law stayed in ICU in Dalton. Some of the family stayed in Dalton & we met Charlie's sister in Chattanooga at about 5:30. By 8pm the doctor's came out from surgery and told us that his Mother didn't make it. Her heart was unable to survive the trauma. We left Erlanger and came to the hospital in Dalton to see my father-in-law and brother-in-law. By Friday afternoon my father-in-law was unable to breath on his own and was put on a ventilator. My brother-in-law had multiple injuries; his right leg is shattered, his left wrist is broken, and his right knee had to be reconstructed. We don't know if he'll ever walk again.

Today is Sunday, well actually since it is 2am I guess it is Monday. We've now been here since Thursday night. The good news first...Joe, my brother-in-law, is improving day by day. They've been able to sit him up little by little. He is fully awake, other than the pain meds they give him, and able to communicate with us. My father-in-law is not improving. The doctor's told us that he had a stroke sometime between Saturday morning and today. He is in unresponsive and hasn't talked to us at all since Thursday when he arrived at the hospital. Of course he couldn't talk if he wanted to because of the tubes in his throat. We have seen him try to squeeze someones hand and he grimaces his face, but the nurses say that doesn't count because he can't respond on command. We've been told that it doesn't look good for him to make it.

My in-laws have been my parents for almost 19 years. I love them with all my heart. I've never had those horrible mother-in-law stories that many people talk about. My mother-in-law was truly an angel. She was such a Godly woman. My father-in-law is also a Godly man. He is a deacon in our church, and at 81 he has served his church for many years.

I would ask that you pray for our family. We are in desperate need of God! I know that he is in control, and when he is ready to move then he will. Thank you for all of you who have already posted about the accident. You'll never know what you prayers and thoughts mean to us.

My mother-in-law is now a star in her local town too. I think we could have done without this type of stardom though. You can click on the link to read the story that was featured on the front page of the newspaper.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

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Monday, March 16, 2009


Our Aldi's finally opened on Saturday, March 7! They started teasing us before Christmas when they put up the big sign, but finally it opened! I had my first opportunity to visit yesterday after church. The biggest problem with the first Aldi's in Knoxville is that it is across town from where I live. It is very close to where I go to church though, so in an effort not to waste gas, we went yesterday between church services. Of course, I forgot to bring my own grocery bags, and I didn't have a quarter for the buggy. Luckily, Trevlyn had a quarter, and I was able to snag a couple of boxes to bring home my goodies! Charlie & the kids weren't very impressed with the store, but why would they be? They aren't the ones struggling to meet the grocery budget every week.

A few of the items that I was impressed with:

$1.99 for 1 gallon of Skim Milk
$2.19 for 1 gallon of 2% Milk
$0.49 for 1 dozen large eggs
$0.99 for 1lb of slicing tomatoes
$0.99 12oz. Salad Mix
$1.49 5-7 oz Spring Mix
$1.49 12oz Baby Spinach

The other items that I bought I could have probably purchased at Kroger's with a coupon for about the same price. The store claims to have different items every week as "store specials". I didn't get to look around much because the entire family was with me, but I hope to go back and take more time! I plan to make Aldi's one of my weekly stops and I'll let you know what I get next week. I feel more and more like my grandmother everyday. She would go from store to store to get the best prices! I remember...Pruetts, then Red Food Store, and then the farmer's market for vegetables. I always hated going with her on grocery day because it literally took the entire day! Now, I remember those times fondly. I wish I could recall them more vividly. Memories...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

For Our Children

I found a beautiful poem written by Amy Carmichael. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Father, hear us, we are praying,
Hear the words our hearts are saying,
We are praying for our children.

Keep them from the powers of evil,
From the secret, hidden peril,
From the whirlpool that would suck them,
From the treacherous quicksand, pluck them.

From the worlding's hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Holy Father, save our children.
Through life's troubled water steer them,
Through life's bitter battle cheer them,
Father, Father, be Thou near them.
Read the language of our longing,
Read the wordless pleadings thronging,
Holy Father, for our children.
And wherever they may abide,
Lead them Home at eventide.

By Amy Carmichael

I've Been Out of Pocket

Have you heard that saying before? My mom uses it all the time, and it means simply I've not been available. She also says "back of this..." but that is a whole different story. True southern woman! point to this title is that I've been unavailable for the last week and a half. It all started with jury duty last Monday, and then it just hasn't stopped. I've just been extremely busy, you know how it is, nothing important just one thing after another! To make a long story short...I'm back!

I have been reading your blog posts, here and there, but I've not had time to sit down and write one. I have so much that has happened over the last week that I want to share (starting with jury duty) but I still don't have time to share today. I wanted to drop in and say Hi and tell you all that I am not dead, as some of you have sent me emails wondering... Things should be back to normal by Monday, and I'll post about the "goins' on of the Singleton family"!

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the spring like weather! You know warm, then rain, then it is cold again, and then it starts all over!

I'll leave you with a picture of Hannah & her quilt!