Help with Technology

Normally I would be the first person in line, refraining from slinging a slew of curse words, ready to throw words of damnation to anyone associated with offering “help” to a problem on the other end of the phone. Typically I find almost any call made to just about any company one of the most frustrating experiences in my life. It’s not unusual at some point in one of these conversations that I find myself checking my pulse. The level of stress my body begins to physically manifest convinces me, this will be the call that will be the death of me. I avoid these calls like the plague, and when I have to make them, I normally end up screaming at the automated prompter, ” Customer service please, customer service please!” ! over and over again! My family now just giggles from another room in the house instead of coming running to my rescue as they did in days past. Now they know, everything’s okay, mom is just trying to get to a real live person. But today was not one of those days where the windows needed to be shut so the neighbors weren’t privy to my descent into temporary madness.

I recently bought a new PC notebook. Actually, I should rephrase, David bought it for me. I am writing a book. Yes, you heard it here first folks! :-) About a month ago, David came home several days in a row to me typing my novel on an IPAD. After reading several chapters a day, he gave me the biggest vote of confidence, by telling me “to get on my shoes, I needed a laptop of some sort.” Did I mention I love my guy?

To my horror this morning my Microsoft Word would not open. I’m invested in writing this book, after all I’m 27,469 words in to date. Plus anyone who knows me well, knows I’ve wanted to write this book for years. Hours working around being a wife, mother to nine, daughter, sister, homeschool mom and friend have already been spent. A glitch in my computer system is NOT going to stop me.

So here comes the shameless plug, HP rocks! I have had to call them twice since I purchased my computer and they have rescued me with great ease. Sure I spent an hour on the phone this morning with them, but it was painless. I only had two speak to the automated system twice and it actually understood me. I guess a good night’s sleep paid off in helping me enunciate my words instead of sounding like I was in a drunken stupor. Then on the other end of the receiver, a kind, knowledgeable man living in India magically appeared and took control of my notebook. It was amazing, he remotely accessed my computer and fixed it! He actually made it perform even better! I know , two exclamations at the end of those last two sentences, I’m excited! The hour on the phone wasn’t even drudgery. I sipped my tea, ate my peanut butter toast and strawberries, surfed FB on my IPAD and chatting with the parade of my children filtering in and out of my room, all the while snug under my quilt. It’s chilly this morning :-)

So after a lifetime of dreading calls for any type of help from a business at all, my faith has been restored. My hats off to you HP, you gave this girl a smile that will last the day through.

And remember, keep an eye or an ear out, for more news about my book :-)

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Keeping My Body Limber

I realized today that I need to keep my body limber if for no other reason than the dog and my five year old. We recently purchased a home and we are in the middle of not only getting out of the old one, but trying to settle into the new one. It has been a long and exhausting process but we are joy-filled and very grateful.

My husband and I have been sleeping in the basement while we are painting our bedroom. Each morning I find our Lydia has shifted from her pallet ( so she can be near us -after all, as she reminds us ” she can’t see through floors from her room”. I guess that means on the same floor her x-ray vision is in place through walls, she says tongue in cheek ) to the futon with me. Each day our beloved family golden doodle, Lexie, has inched closer and closer to sleeping on the floor by the futon. I was plotting out my escape route amidst boxes, bookcases, human and fur when I gave up and decided to just write a post.

So in addition to working on my mad cat-like skills, I need to remember tomorrow, if I feel wet, sloppy kisses in the morning, it’s probably the dog inching even closer.

The Smile Behind The Tree

Time flies by. We all know it. We all say it, but so often we don’t stop and really appreciate it -time.

With having children ranging in age from almost 5 to almost 26, I get a glimpse of different ages and stages every day. But oh one of my favorite things in life, the most precious moments, is when I get a glimpse of the little person in my grown child.

Over the weekend, Grace, now 21, became tickled with a story she was telling and as she began to giggle, she brought her hand to her mouth, cut her eyes to the side, crunched her head down low between her shoulders held high and in a split second, there she was – my little princess with her white dress with the silver lining trim and her princess crown on top of her head, giggling as she told me a story about her day. I could even see the dated wallpaper behind her head that really needed to be peeled and scraped and replaced with fresh paint, a new look. They grow so fast and for just a moment she was five again.

Later, I picked Lilly up from a meeting at college. She was waiting just past the stop sign like she always does, tucked behind the bush. As I came down the hill, I could see the top of her head and her eyes peaking over the shrub, but I could already tell there was a playful smile attached to the bottom of the face that held the head full of wild, beautiful hair. Something about the look on her face transported me back to preschool days. As I would pick her up, some days she would pop out from behind a tree on the playground, wild mane revealing her spot just seconds before her playful eyes and then her “I’m not up to anything smile” would not be too far behind. But then I blink and realize she’s really 18.

I know it sounds kind of cheesy or something like the scene from Father of the Bride when Steve Martin’s character watched his daughter grow before his eyes while playing basketball with him, but it was wonderful.

It’s such a privilege to watch as our children grow and experience different seasons, but oh how special to catch glimpses of the little person they were as they grow into the person they were meant to be. I pray I always remember to not let life move so fast, that I don’t miss the smile behind the tree.

Bella is leaving the hospital! Yippee!

I am so happy to share with all of you that Bella is leaving the hospital! She has been fever free for 48 hours and is being released. We are so thankful for her healing and for all of your faithful prayers and concern. Please continue to keep their family in your prayers as they have a few other medical things to attend to before they fly back to their home in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

We are so glad our sweet Bella is feeling better!

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Please keep the prayers coming for Bella

Thank you everyone who continues to pray and be concerned for our sweet Bella and our family. Bella has had some improvement in that she is eating again and she feels like playing. She has always been protective of her “baby sissy” Emma, even on the days she has felt terrible.

On the medical front, her urine has cleared for signs of the bacteria that has caused the UTI. That is great news and a huge praise! However she continues to have fever, it spiked again this morning :-/. The doctors will be running more tests tomorrow to try and determine the origin of her fever and to piece together all of her lab results.

We covet your prayers!

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Please Pray for Bella

Please pray for my sweet, rambunctious, full of life granddaughter, Bella. She is in the hospital in Thailand, and is very sick. The whole family came down with a flu-like virus but Bella didn’t seem to shake it. They had gone to the doctor and four days later when she was still running a fever of 102, she was admitted to the hospital for testing. We are on day five of 104 degree temperatures now. She has a UTI that has entered her blood stream. The doctors are running more test and searching for more effective antibiotics.

This is hard being so far away and wanting to nurture and encourage them. I wanted to sink down into my chair and wallow, but decided against it. I decided to do something normal, so I shaved my legs and took the kids to the park- to breathe in the fresh air and sunshine, to pray and to be grateful for Bella and every moment we all have to cherish life.

Please pray for Bella! Pray for her healing and that she will be our climbing little “monkey” soon. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors. Also please pray for Philip, Ashleigh and baby Emma.

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In Sorrow We Find The Laughter And Memory of A Wonder Years Moment- ( for Julie)

My heart is heavy today for a wonderful friend who’s son, Daniel, has passed away. I spent late last night and today walking down memory lane and recalling so many fun and fond memories of my big boys ( as I call them), along with other neighborhood playmates.

My family was blessed to live for an incredible season in the Bon Air section of Richmond, Va. for nine wonderful years. We belonged to a great neighborhood association and pool called Brighton Green. I think everybody who knows this “season of life” I speak of would agree it was magical. Our families, parents and children alike, we ate together, we swam together, we educated together, we laughed together, we “partied” together and we wept together. Love , support and encouragement were the theme of our lives and it wasn’t just lip service, it was lived out.

When I heard of Daniel’s passing, I immediately thought of his slightly crooked smile and his eyes that danced when his lips turned upward. I then remembered the “Wonder Years” moment. My dear friend Mariann lived up the hill behind the pool and we were all ready for a break from the sun. We collected our children along with several other neighborhood kids and we crossed over the small bridge above the creek, walked up the steep grass and entered through her screened-in-porch door. The boys were sent to the basement to play, my older girls to the den to watch tv with a snack and Mariann and I settled down to a glass of lemonade.

It wasn’t too long before baby Phoebe wanted to eat. My bathing suit was hot and sticky and it was awkward to nurse her, so I quickly agreed to Mariann’s suggestion of just pull the top all the way down. So there I sat, Phoebe contentedly nursing, me no longer dripping in sweat from wrestling her, and my top-half exposed back to the day before man and woman wore clothes. It was a perfect plan, great friends lost in conversation, sipping tasty lemonade- a perfect plan until the basement door opened.

I am sure the boys came up for something that day but for what we will never know. One by one they filed through the kitchen,mouth open, blank face with a dazed look in their eyes as they passed me and very quickly filed out the front door. It all happened so fast. I sat equally in shock as I thought of how I had just exposed myself to these preteen fellows and would now need to tell their mothers.

Mariann broke the ice, she exclaimed, ” Well if that wasn’t just an episode of the television show The Wonder Years. I can picture it now. One of the boys are the narrator and he says, I remember the time I saw my first breast. It was a hot summer day and Mrs. Irwin…” We laughed in fits and giggles for hours over that scene and we still giggle to this day. All of the moms were gracious about it and laughed right along with us. Such good times- boys being boys, water gun fights, creek digging for tadpoles, swimming pool games and coming of age stories.

I sit here with a grin as the tears stream down my face, embracing the sorrow for this world’s loss but reaching for the memory of laughter as I recall a sweet boy’s face.

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