Friday, October 28, 2011

Out Of The Ashes

I was in the grocery store today, hurrying around finding things, pushing my full cart along, and suddenly I stopped. I remembered how, not so long ago, I could not even push a grocery cart. I was too weak from not eating. I looked around and smelled the spices and saw the people laughing and happy, and I thought how the grocery store is "no fun", but for some people, it might be a happy place, filled with the smells of the food they love. Especially in "small-town Idaho", people see friends and even relatives at the store. People were standing in the aisles visiting. Others were smiling and waving to friends. Families with six kids were bustling around finding their favourite foods. And I realized _I_ am among those people now. I don't THINK about the grocery store now. I remember one time having a complete melt down in the grocery store. I had to sit on the floor (it was in the bread aisle, I remember :) ), I couldn't even walk. I could hardly move! I was paralyzed. With anxiety. With fear. So much food! All around me! I was, well, freaking out!

Not anymore.

I can go to the grocery store now. I can breathe easier. I can move. My heart beats stronger. My muscles work. My brain works so much better now! I can laugh without feeling like I am going to pass-out.

My life is a thousand times different than it used to be.

How is that possible? How can someone go from where I was...the depth of that trap...to where I am now? How?

There is only one way.

Through a loving God, who makes all things whole. I can run and not be weary. I can walk and not faint.

"Into the darkness He cries. Out of the ashes we rise."

And I did! I rose out of the ashes.

You can, too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yue Yue Needs YOU!

I need some help. Sweet little YueYue in China needs some warm clothes to wear to kindergarten. Will you please sponsor an outfit for her? You can choose how much you want to donate in sponsorship of an outfit. You get to pick out the outfit you are sponsoring! It is a fun way to help a little girl in great need. Won't you please help? Go to my other blog, HERE, to pick out an outfit to sponsor.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011



There has to be a period after her name. Because that is the end. She is dead. Breclyn can go on in this life. Chelsea can't. In England, they call that punctuation mark a "full stop". Ironic. Fitting. Almost comical in the drowning of today. Funny, like a life ring floating a few feet away from a sinking Charlie Chaplain. We laugh as he flails, because the music is funny, and it is black-and-white and not real. But today IS real. Full stop.

Each October after she died was torture. October 25 loomed over me from September until that fateful day arrived like a blast of cold wind.

The past few years have been less shocking. Less oppressive. Less ominous.

But I still miss her. And I still hate today.

This year, I hate today because it is ugly and dirty and miserable. I have made it disgusting and ruined it and made it filthy for another year, until maybe next year can cover the memories of today with a new October-25-The-Day-Chelsea-Died. I have a habit of doing this. Tainting days that can't be forgotten, and hoping next year will be better and will erase this year.

It is a biting cold, sunny autumn day. The leaves on the tree across the street are gone, and the trunk and branches stand stark against the blue sky. Everything feels like that today. Raw. And yet muted at the same time. I feel like climbing out of my own skin and living somewhere else for a while. The tree probably wants to be in Hawaii right now. But we both remain. Bare. And strong. The winds blow and strip us of our humanity, but we stand on.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dick and Jane, or I am not happy about what should be a good surprise.

I have always thought Taiger was super bright. I started him on letters when he was about 2 because I felt reading is the most important thing in the world.

I had him reading "Dick and Jane" when he was barely 4, and I really was excited he was learning to read. I have always taught him how important it is to read. In Taiger's kindergarten preparedness test, he recognized 36 letters (upper- and lower-case combined) and I was so pleased that he was so far ahead of the standard for kids entering kindergarten (they need to know 11 to enter kgarten). He is SO SMART!

Well, my parents brought in this sweet little foster boy who is Taiger's age. He acts like a baby. He is very immature. He had not learned much before he came. He hardly spoke at all. In his kindergarten screening he recognized 11 letters total of upper- and lower-case letters. He was miles behind Taiger. He did not understand that letters could fit together to make words, and could not sound out even the most simple words.

About three days ago, my Mom started having him read Dick and Jane. Today, he caught up to where Taiger is.

Is it bad that I am totally furious about this?

Do I feel like an idiot for spending all of that time working with Taiger when he was little? Yes. Yes I do.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dragon Mom

I thank God every day that Taiger is healthy and well! But I am not naive to the fact that other parents are standing next to their children, fighting with them, even as they die, often painfully.

My last blog post was about Tipp and his mom (by the way, HAVE YOU VOTED TODAY?). She linked to this article.

I thank God every day that Taiger is healthy and well. That he has the potential to live a long, happy life. But (and maybe it would be appropriate to say "in spite of that"...but that may be for a different blog post) I want to take example from these mothers. I want to be a Dragon Mom.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Okay, so I follow this blog of a Mom who is...well, I can't even describe how amazing and wonderful she is. You will just have to go read her blog and see for yourself. You will be blown away at her faith, her kindness, her love. She is incredible.

So, her little boy has this disease that is absolutely horrible. He is in so much pain ALL. THE. TIME! And this mother NEVER loses patience with him. She never asks God why she has to have this trial. She never complains a single bit! Her entire thought, life, BEING, is caring for her sick little boy without a single thought of herself. Talk about CHRIST-LIKE! I wish I could sit here and tell you her whole story, but it isn't for me to share. Instead, please go to her BLOG and read about her life. She will amaze you. And her little boy? He is the strongest, bravest, most amazing little boy. We pray for them and we worry about the little boy and we talk about them and we think about them...Tripp and his family are pretty famous around our house! We only wish little Tripp could get better quickly!!

Okay, so why I am telling you this? FIRST, because I want everyone I know to go leave her an encouraging comment on her blog. It is super easy and just imagine how it would brighten her day and lift her spirits if all of these random people sent her a little message of love and encouragement?! The other reason is, I need you to help me with something. Reader's Digest is having a contest, and whoever wins gets their story published in RD! This mom really wants to publish the story of Tripp to spread awareness about the disease so a cure can be found. I want that, too, but I also want her to win so they can have the prize money, which would really help them afford Tripp's medical care. So, how can you vote for them? It takes, SERIOUSLY, about two seconds. You click THIS LINK, and then click the big, red "VOTE NOW" button, and you are done. I mean really. How easy can it be to change the lives of this sweet mom and her little boy?!


THANK YOU, FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D

(You read Tripp's story at his Mom's blog!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I am just going to put this out there. Seems rather random, but I kind of just want the world to know. So when I get to the end of my life, and I tell someone what I always wanted to be, they won't say, "Huh. I never knew that about you." Or say, "Whatever, you are just saying that because So-And-So said they wanted to."

So, here it is. In black and white.

I want to be a sailor.

I mean it! Stop laughing.

I read, "The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle" when I was about 16 and that was the end of it.

All I can say to end this post is, "Yar Matey" ... because EVERY sailor SHOULD talk like a pirate now and then.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I have a friend who really needs some help.

Will you help me help her?

CLICK HERE and HERE and HERE to read more.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Sun

I used to hate the sun.

I know that seems strange, but really! I did! When I was young, I would close the curtains to my room and keep it as dark as possible...my sanctuary from that sunshine I so loathed.

If I woke up in the morning to a sunny day, it put me in a bad mood.

I sunburned very easily, and that added to my hatred of the sun. It did nothing for me. It gave me nothing good. I hated the sun. Even as a child. (And yes, I admit that is a little strange.)

I LOVED rainy days or snowy days. Or even just overcast days.

As I got older, my tolerance for the sun did not improve, in fact, it worsened (I know that seems impossible!). I didn't even like going outside any more and would spend as much time as possible in the house. I would work out at the gym rather than take a walk. When my son wanted to play outside, I would convince him we should just play inside. I really, really hated the sun and any sunshine.

In the last year, for some inexplicable reason, that all changed.

When we lived in China, we were outside most of the day. The hallways in our schools were not "indoors", so even walking from one room to the next in the school forced me to face the very present sun. Our form on transportation at first was a bicycle and later a motorbike, so we were outside in rain or shine, not inside a comfortable car, hiding from the sun. The sun and shunshine became part of my life. At first, I hated my new living situation, being in the sun CONSTANTLY! I endured it, at best.

I became friends with another foreign student while in China. She was from Latvia and was used to long winters with little sunlight. She lived on the top floor of a five story building, and often I would find her standing outside her door with her face to the sun, a relaxed smile just on the corners of her mouth. I thought she was crazy. She always talked about "sun bathing" her face, or her legs or arms. Miss Latvia was one of the happiest, most at-peace people I know. She was always calm and calming. I loved her dearly, and I loved how she seemed at peace with EVERYTHING. Miss Latvia did yoga, and I thought most of her peace came from that.

Although it rained and stormed on our island, it was sunny most often, and even on cloudy days, the sunlight seemed to be brighter. I was beginning to hate the sun less and less. Not that I "liked" it! Just that I didn't HATE it.

When misfortune forced us to leave China, I handled the drama and trauma with more calmness and peace than I would have thought I would.

When I arrived in Idaho, it was the middle of the long, cold winter.

I didn't want to admit it to myself, but I missed the sun.

This summer, I embraced the sun like I never have before. I went for walks outside. I sat at Yellowstone, on a bench IN THE SUN, ON PURPOSE and let the warmth soak in to me and fill me up. I threw an OUTDOOR WATER PARTY for Taiger this summer. AND...I even took up sungazing.

I wouldn't say I adore the sun, but I like it now. I can say that. I like the sun.

Yesterday was raining and cold. And do you know what? I MISSED the sun! I really, really did. I wanted to stand in it's light and feel the warmth and just let the vitamins from the sun soak into my skin.

Well, today it started snowing.

Good bye, sun.

Good bye, sunshine.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Give Me Hair! Long, Beautiful Hair!

Steps To Cornrow Hair
Wash it...

Stretch it...

Put it in cornrows.

This was one of Sunday's adventures. :)

PS His hair is just over 8 inches long now, if anyone is wondering.