Friday, July 13, 2012

Island Girl

........................................................................I'm on island time!!!!!!!!!!!

Before I even start I'm just gonna say that if you are ever questioning wether or not to take your "good" camera on vacation....TAKE THE DARN THING!!! I didn't take mine because I was afraid of getting sand in it or something silly like that...and I am still kicking myself for not taking it!!! 

OH...and it appears I am atleast a little less smart than my smart I am having problems getting my pics transferred onto my computer...some that I really wanted to share on here :( So if and when my "smarts" kick in I will post the pictures!!! we decided to take the kids to Sanibel Island, Florida and Gatlinburg, TN this summer!!!! We have been to Sanibel once before and LOVED it!!! So after we got packed up (the day before we left!!!) we were on our way!!!

We weren't too far into Florida when it started to down pour!!! That started the only bickering that went on the whole trip...and it was between Shannon and myself!!! We pulled over for awhile then started in again. And when I say started in again, I don't mean our "75 mph-can't-wait-to-get-there" driving....I mean my "30 mph-if-we're-lucky-flashers-on-please-don't-let-us-die-stop-yelling-at-me-Shannon" driving!!! He was afraid we would get rear ended....I can't believe all the crazies that kept on truckin' at  80+ mph when they couldn't see 2 ft in front of them!! We passed 2 accidents on the way...still praising God for his protection over us!!

After talking to Shannon's aunt who lives in FL. and after much prayer....we decided to fill up the van  and head across the 3 bridges to Sanibel!!!! In Indiana if you have a tornado warning you head to the basement. However, if you are in Florida and have a tropical storm/hurricane warning you go far, far away!!! We didn't want to end up on Gilligans Isle 3 hr tour!!

We arrived and decided right away to get our things unpacked real quick and head on over to The Bubble Room!!! Besides the beach, it was the thing we all were looking forward to the most!!! The food is great, but the desserts and atmosphere are the best!!! Aaaaand these were some of the pics I really wanted to share on here....maybe later!!!

 The first 2 days were filled with lots of wind and some rain...but still nice enough to go to the beach, etc....!!! Again...had a video to share....ugh!!! Finally the sun came out...and stayed out!! It was beautiful!!! We spent most of our time at the beach and the pool, then would head out somewhere new and fun for supper!!  See below for some pics of the good eats!!

We took a few hours to see what if any damage there had been from Tropical Storm Debbi. There were some limbs down and some flooding on certain areas of the 2 again...praising God that it wasn't any worse!!!

I love all the green, lush trees, etc...very beautiful and nature oriented island. Speed limit is 35 everywhere!!! So laid back...SO ME!!! We had a little friend fly in and didn't seem afraid or even annoyed by all of us "tourists" taking pics of him...or her??!!! See pics below!!! Another day we were driving to Captiva (the 2 islands are "connected") and sure enough we had to brake for an alligator/crocodile (we still don't know which one for sure!!) strolling across the street!!! Too funny...and weird!!! Another highlight was the sunset dolphin boat tour we took!! We saw some super cute dolphins, a manatee ( I missed it), a few multi-million dollar homes (i-yii) and the most gorgeous sunset!!! of the videos I can't seem to download :(

We made one more trip to The Bubble Room before we left, then headed for Gatlinburg!! Set our gps and before we knew it we were in the Smokies!! This was a first for us and it was a little nerve-racking!!! We were pretty high up and just around a curve the traffic was stopped!! Oh boy!!! Dylan and I decided to walk ahead to see what had happened. There ended up being a car all burned up...but must have happened the day before because it wasn't smoking. 45 minutes later we were on our way. Well needless to say Gatlinburg was AMAZING!!! We could've spent more time there but headed out the next morning after seeing the "must sees"!! And after finding a SAAAAWEEET pair of cowboy boots!!! I had been wanting a pair for awhile and finally found a pair...and in Gatlinburg...even better!!!

We couldn't believe how many outlet stores there were not just in Florida but all the way home!! And the prices...really puts Michigan City to shame!!! We got some awesome deals!!!

It was an amazing trip all around (so much that we are trying to talk the kids into moving down south!!! hehe), but it was kinda...kinda nice to be home again!!!

Til next time,
Wanna be Island Girl :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Paying it forward

I feel led to share this part of my life. I want to sort of pay it forward. People have been so willing to share their experiences with me and I know that because of their willingness to share...I have been able to sort of evaluate my past and start to close the wounds.

It's funny how God puts us right where we need to be!! Puts people in our lives that help us through. Our ladies Bible study leader looked me in the eyes when just the right words were coming out of her mouth last Wednesday night. Healing....what a wonderful thing!!

July 27, 1979...

Long story short...neither my Mom or Dad was ready for a I ended up living with my Grandparents. I met my Mom for the first time in 2000. I didn't really know what to expect and I have to say it wasn't anything like I had imagined. I remember she came outside and gave me a hug like she had just seen me the day before...when in reality she hadn't seen me since the day she left when I was just a baby. That hug felt empty. We visited for awhile and as I remember feeling happy about meeting my half sisters (which I must say seem like some really great girls!!)....the time spent there was just sort of unreal. I was there...but not really. I remember before we even left the parking lot...Shannon asked me if I was ok...and it hit me like a brick in the face. I just was overwhelming. I guess maybe I thought I would feel different after meeting her...but I only felt worse. The meeting was so...I don't know how to describe felt like it meant nothing to I meant nothing to her. It's not that she wasn't kind to just felt we had seen eachother everyday for the last 21 years...not like a Mother seeing her daughter for the first time in a long time.

I didn't really think about that day much after that. Sure, I would start to think about her and my Dad  and what went on during the short time that I did live with them...but those thoughts would leave even faster than they came. I didn't want to deal with it...I didn't want to hurt. I remember listening to a woman give her testimony at our ladies Bible study. Parts of her story were similar to mine....the thing that struck me was when she compared herself to a dog being dumped at the pound or like trash being taken out. WOW. That was me. And I didn't like that. How could someone do that...especially a Mother to her child??? This jump started my healing process. 

Through Bible studies, prayer, sharing like this, others sharing with me, etc...I am close to being healed. Will I have the scars...yes...but no more gaping wounds.

...Learning the principles of forgiveness-and mustering the courage to choose to forgive-sets us free in ways we never imagined...(from Becoming A Woman Of Extraordinary Faith)

...Everyday God gives us grace and forgiveness that we don't deserve...

...Ephesians 4:31-32
        "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

...Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door to resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness...

This isn't intended to hurt anyone put anyone down. I know that things happen...and we carry on. Choices we made in the past don't completely define us as people today. People change and people do their best.

I thank God everyday for taking me out of what could have been a bad situation and putting me somewhere that he knew would be better for me. As much as it saddens me to know that all these years "Mom" and "Dad" haven't been a part of my vocabulary...I am blessed to have a Father who has always been here with me...even when I didn't know it. I am so undeserving but so thankful for his forgiveness and grace. I wouldn't change anything about my as helped me become who I am today. I love being a Mom, a wife. I love that I can share this and not be ashamed. It's life and it's worth sharing...

There are so many kinds of hurt...and I encourage matter how big or small that hurt is...choose to forgive.

I choose to extend grace to you, because God has poured out His grace on me. I choose to release my anger and grudge to God, so I don't need to hold this against you anymore.

...I forgive you


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dylan Everett

February 3, 1995...
        9 lb  7 oz
        head circumference measured off the charts
        scared young girl
        scared young boy
February 3, 2012...
       166 lbs
       6' 1
       body has caught up with head!!
       proud Mama and Papa

 Dylan has grown into such an amazing young man. He has always put others 
first...such a gentleman. Ethan and Grace would nominate him for "best big brother...ever"!!! He is driving, working, finishing up his sophomore year
in high school. He plans on becoming a dentist (let's not talk about the cost of this goal!!) but he is determined and that makes
us HaPpY!!!

 We love you Dylan Everett and hope you enjoyed your Birthday!!! We look forward to college visits, more basketball games, graduation, and so much more!!!

     Kuddos on scoring 28 points Friday!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A blog you say???

Hello all of you seasoned bloggers!!! I created this blog a few months ago...and its taken me this long to actually write something...oh boy! I couldn't decide what I wanted this blog to be about...what I wanted to write about. I came to the conclusion that I am over thinking this...imagine over thinking something!!
      I will share things about my past, my family, my lessons learned, scripture, too-good-to-keep-to-myself recipes, and whatever else i come up with. So if by chance you read my blog...I hope that it makes you smile...or helps you realize you are not walking this alone...or gives you the recipe that scores you big at family get-togethers!!! Heeeeere we go...
     This first post will be a!!!
I am the oldest of 9 (I think)...I was raised by my Grandparents...which has made a very special place in my heart for the elderly...alot of times I tear up when I see someone "older"...I met my husband my freshman year of high school...he still gives me a hard time because I took 2 weeks to write him back!!!...the 2 of us fell in love, became parents and went through you-know-what and back...all before we graduated...I met my Mom for the first time (since I was a baby) in ' wasn't at all what I expected...but I needed it...and I don't regret it one husband Shannon and I have been married for 14 years...we have 5 beautiful children...2 in Heaven and 3 here on earth...Dylan, Ethan and Gracie...I am a Christian...a work-in-progress...
........I AM BLESSED