Thursday, February 24, 2011

Building an Ark, and not because it is raining...

Have you ever noticed the closer you get to God, the more the devil throws in your way? Coincidence? I.don'! Remember everyone, satan is constantly lurking around, seeking whom he may devour!

Just an example of what I mean:

Last Sunday night, the Praisemen Trio were singing at our church. Our church has grown so much over the last few months, Sunday night, it all exploded! It was the absolute most spiritual service I have ever been! Oh my, I just cannot say how amazing it was! It was a song and praise AND altar service! I don't think there was one person who wanted it to end!

Since this awesome service, many of our church members have been stricken with illnesses. I know, I know, a lot of things are going around and this is cold and flu season. COME ON people, the devil not only got shoved out of the service that night, he got two major black eyes!!!! He was not happy!

Now, a personal example from my own week of horrors:

Monday for me was "prep" day for a colonoscopy! Ugh! But, it went alright. Tuesday I had to report for my test at 11:30 am. I was very punctual (yes, believe it or not). Todd drove me because of having to be put to sleep for the procedure (thank God). Well, we sat in the waiting room for what seemed hours, but was only for a little over an hour and 15 minutes. Usually, with procedures, when you get called back, they prep you and you go right into the procedure. Well, here is how it unfolded. They started my IV, but didn't start the fluids. There was already one lady back there in front of me, and they immediately brought another lady behind me. So, now we are all hooked up and ready to go. About 45 minutes later, without seeing anyone else, I start hearing rumblings by the nurses from behind the very tightly closed curtains..."where is he?" "is he even in the building?" "does he realize he still has three to go?" Wow! How long am I going to have to lay/sit here in this uncomfortable bed? Starving. Thirsty. Uncomfortable.

At that point, us three ladies started complaining to ourselves/ each other. Someone must have overheard us, so one of the ladies was checked on by a nurse. The nurse asked her if she could at least let this woman's driver know that she hadn't even yet been sent in for her procedure. OMGosh! Todd must think I died or something! Well, the nurse then peeked in at me and asked the same thing. She finally allowed Todd and the other person back to spend some time with us. Thirty minutes later, the nurse anethesist finally came to get me! Finally! They wheeled me into the room at 2:o2 pm.

The room was 66 degrees, I was freezing! But that was okay, this was all going to be over soon. Well, five minutes passed...15 minutes passed. One of the nurses was visibly getting frustrated, but I didn't say anything. Another nurse walked in, and I must have gave her a look, because she said "I am sorry, he is on the phone, but shouldn't be much longer." Okay. Well, he walked in at about 2:45 or so! I was about to flip my top, and of course, as mouthy as I am, I threw up my hands and said "well, it's about time." Half joking, half NOT! Well, the doc evidently didn't think I was funny. He began to raise his voice and tell me why he is so important, and that he has to take calls, and that if I wanted to blame someone, I needed to blame CAMC because they threw him off schedule first this that morning...I was devastated to say the least! He sat down and got right back onto a phone call while telling them to put me to sleep.

The next think I remember is waking up in recovery sobbing! I immediately told the nurse that I didn't want to see that man again. She said she would handle that and have someone else come in and give me my results. Again, okay. Well, the doc met her at the curtain, and she told him that I didn't want to see him. He would not listen to her, and opened my curtain. He apologized several times, although he was not sincere in the least. He gave me my results (which were perfectly normal), and I did quit crying long enough to say one more thing to him..."I know you have probably had a bad day, BUT SO HAVE I!"

Wednesday, still feeling the effects of the prep, I had another doctor's appt. with a different doctor. Thinking I was just going for a consultation about placing me on Lupron for 6 months, I arrive to be placed into an examination room. "I am just here for a consultation about medicine," I said. "No, we have you on schedule for your annual." "Excuse me?" "Dr. XXX is in an emergency c-section right now, but if you want to wait, you can. Um, yeah. This is my fourth visit back to this office since December 2, and I am not leaving without scheduling this stinkin' medicine! Wow, can this week get any worse...oh, should I not have asked that?! Since this is getting pretty long already, I will give you the reader's digest version of this story - I didn't get to see the doc, but was fine with seeing his PA, and left with them having ordered my Lupron.

I get to work after leaving that appointment, and I notice my stomach is still feeling really rough. But I have a lot of work to do, plus a presentation to make at 2:00. I was afraid to eat lunch because of the way I was feeling, so I had some yogurt. I then left for my presentation, and just kept feeling weaker an weaker. By the time my part was over, I felt like I almost needed to crawl back to my car. I cried the entire way walking out. Hmmm, better go on home.

Got home and realized I had a fever, and started to panic a little. Fever + severe aching + severe cramping + colonoscopy the previous day = something majorly wrong! And of course, it is all happening on Wednesday...a church night.

I ended up at the emergency room, being ran through the gamut, to find out the two things I already knew - dehydrated and full of air. Praise God it wasn't anything else serious! You know, it could have been a lot worse, but God was with me even though the devil was trying to fight me!

Took Thursday off to recuperate, and Stephen started getting sick last night! Yikes, what more devil? YOU WILL NOT DEFEAT ME! Get that through your thick skull!

And finally, today. Ahhhh, Friday. I woke up feeling a lot better, but with a major headache. Uh oh, (since I have been so candid about the rest of my week), my other female problem happened. What better way to end a horrible week? But again, satan is not going to get the best of me!

So, there are some major (and lengthy) examples of how the devil creeps in and tries to destroy anything good. This happens on a daily basis if you allow it. Always remember that he is out there, constantly looking.

This leads me to the title of this entry...Building an Ark. For some months now, our preacher has been telling us that God is laying it on his heart that our church needs to "Build an Ark." Not in the literal sense of Noah, but fully relying on God and coming together in "one accord" so that we can reach the lost. Folks, truth is, time here on earth is drawing nigh, and we all need to be in this mind set. We all need to be faithful, serve God completely, and reach out to all of those who need Him as their personal savior.

This church service that started the devil out on his rampage was just the beginning. Huge things are happening in our church, and I hope they are the same in all of the other churches. We need to be looking up, because this world is waxing worse by the minute!

I am not upset because the devil tried to work on me this week. I am blessed to know that I gave him a reason to feel threatened!

If you are a Christian, and are going through struggles, look up, pray up, and relief will come!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday and a mood...

Being the parent of the special needs child definitely has its ups and downs. I have not written about Stephen's issues yet, so I will briefly explain.

Five and 3/4 years ago, God blessed us with the most beautiful baby on earth! Our miracle, Stephen. We had our fleshly doubts that we would ever be parents, but the Lord showed us that it is not in our time, but His!

Just like every single other pregnant woman out there, I dreamed of the most perfect child, he would be brilliant, athletic, popular, talented, successful at everything he ever dreamed about. Nothing or no one would stand in his way!

When Stephen was born, I knew all of my dreams had come true! He was perfect, and being a mommy was more than I could have ever imagined from watching other mommies from a distance. I held him so much, I even had to go to the chiropractor because I messed up my neck always looking down at him the first few weeks! :)

He was a late sitter, crawler, and then walker, but I never thought anything about it. When he began teething, he slobbered so much! It seemed like we were constantly changing bibs, and he basically wore a bib what seemed like 24/7. Still, I didn't think anything about it. He was a great eater (despite being a projectile acid reflux spitter), and he was soooo very happy! Then he became a lover boy, and to this day, he still is!

Of course, there are those "milestone" charts on every single infant/toddler website on the world wide web, and Stephen was basically on-time with most of the things. However, when he got to the age of the speech milestones, I quickly noticed something was amiss. Seems like he started off pretty well, mom mom, da da, and it tickled us that he quickly learned to say "backpack" thanks to Dora and Diego. Soon after that, he seemed to regress a bit. He quit saying da da, and started calling daddy mum mum, he also quit saying backpack altogether. We took him for his 2 year old well child visit, and his pediatrician quickly picked up on his lack of words. Before the visit was over, I was instructed to contact WV Birth to Three, which is an organization that performs home visits to children with delays.

Apparently, I was in denial, and I was devastated! Birth to Three began working with Stephen seven months before his third birthday. Because of my denial, I did Stephen a huge injustice by not reaching out and getting him help before. This organization provided a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, and a developmental specialist for those seven months. Thank God for Birth to Three. We quickly discovered that he had oral muscular issues which caused all of that excessive drooling, plus, Stephen was diagnosed with Apraxia of Speech ( along with Proprioceptive Sensory Disorder ( What we didn't realize is that our son would have such a struggle ahead of him. Before he could do any of the things mothers dream about, he would have to learn how to overcome two huge obstacles.

Because of his delays, he was able to enter pre-school at the age of three...already labeled - "Special Needs." It still makes my chest heavy every time I say, hear, or see those two words. But unlike that time, I now have a greater understanding (not anywhere close to total) of the huge world of special needs.

Stephen's firsts year was okay, and he received speech therapy through the school system. His second year in the same classroom was a little different because the first two months was a huge struggle for him. For some reason, he didn't adjust well going back to school after summer break. Once he got back into the groove, he seemed to excel somewhat. At the transition meeting at the end of year two, I heard the words I never wanted to hear, "Stephen is not ready to advance to kindergarten." More crying, and anger, but I got it.

That summer, something happened with Stephen. Something finally clicked. His vocabulary exploded! And trust me, he hasn't shut up since. Yes, a blessing, but good grief, sometimes a little quiet would be nice! :) You know the old saying, "we can't wait until they can walk and talk, then we are always telling them to sit down and shut up." I would never say that to Stephen, but wow!

He began and is currently in his third year in the same classroom (which concerned me, and honestly still does to a point), and he is doing better than last year. He is still nowhere ready for kindergarten and it breaks my heart! This is it, he has to go on this year! Can they not see that something isn't right? Do you ever wonder how children fall through the cracks in the school system?

There is something extremely important that I failed to do through this whole entire process...I only sought help and worked over and over for endless hours with his speech delay. I never ever reached out for assistance with his behavior (the SPD/Proprioceptive). Boy, after he conquered his speech delay, the other part reared its ugly head, and it hasn't gotten any better.

Some of the things that he experiences: meltdowns, temper tantrums, extremely messy with toys, lives for chaos, plays extremely rough with peers, constantly has to be in motion, has no understanding of cause and effect, and doesn't feel a lot of pain.

Sometimes I want to scream! Sometimes I slip and actually scream, then regret it! I finally realized that Stephen needed something else in addition to speech therapy. Thanks to my wonderful boss, I discovered the Childhood Language Center at the Scottish Rite in Charleston. Wow! That place is absolutely amazing! Stephen has been three times now, and I think they just finished the evaluation sessions. Next week, he will actually start a therapy session. His therapist "gets it." Whew! What a burden lifted. She is great, and he took to her immediately. I am confident that he will be more than ready for kindergarten this year. If not, too bad, he has to go! And my heart will no longer have to break about him seeing his friends move on and not getting to go with them.

I have to say though, even on his bad days, Stephen is still my biggest blessing. He is my life. God saw fit to put this precious gift in my arms, and I will always do what is best for him. I just hope I am doing enough for him!

When he smiles, or hugs me, or gives me my million kisses a day, it erases all that is bad in the world! I love my boy, and I thank God for giving him to me! He is perfect, and as stubborn as he is, I am sure that he will be brilliant, athletic, popular, talented, and successful at everything he ever dreamed about. Nothing or no one will stand in his way!

I ask all who read this to please read the following and dwell on it for a moment:
**Many people (and I used to be one of those) see parents out with toddlers who are acting up, and their first thought is "if that were my kid..." you can finish the sentence. Well, I am here to tell you that until you know the child, think twice about thinking or saying that. Unless you walk a mile in the shoes of a parent who has a child who suffered from any type of sensory disorder, you have absolutely NO right to place judgment! I am in no way saying there are not kids out there who do just need a good smack on the behind, but like I said, until you know the situation, it is not fair to judge.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blessed and so thankful for it...

I don't understand how the average person goes along their daily walk through life and either does not recognize that we have a Heavenly Father, or at worst, denies that one even exists! There are so many things that only HE could have created! All we have to do is open our eyes and look around, stop and listen, heck, you can use all of your senses! For those of you who may be struggling with this mere thought, let me give you some fine examples:






Human beings

Beautiful sunsets


Children's laughter

Birds chirping





Puppy breath


Baby's skin





Sweet Tea

Homemade biscuits

Okay, more "natural" stuff for taste:

Honey Suckle

Ripe Apples

Fresh Strawberries

Yes, some of these things are obviously man-made, but if that was your first thought, then you are probably one of those average people. If He hadn't given the inventor/creator of these things the intelligence, or provided the natural ingredients, then we would be without it all! Don't you see, God provides EVERTHING for us! No ifs, ands, or buts about it!

I love to take the time each day to reflect on something the Lord has shown me throughout the day. I am always amazed! He has done so much for me in my lifetime, and I want to acknowledge Him for that always!

Friday, February 11, 2011

So much to do and a splitting headache...

Wow! I know it is Friday, but exhaustion just truly set in and I feel like I have been ran over by a semi! Because I slacked so much yesterday at work, I am, uh, reaping the, uh, "benefits" today.

It seems like time is literally flying by! I know people say that all of the time, but good grief, I can't remember the last time I stopped to smell the proverbial roses. Let's see, this past weekend we had our whirlwind trip to Nashville, and it seems like it was only yesterday. The following is a snapshot of what my week has been:

Monday Work: Meeting
Monday Evening: Strangely quiet night at the house because my boy was threatened to be sent to the Principal's office at school, so we had to "punish" him by taking away his television and all electronic privileges - instead we cooked and cleaned.

Tuesday Work: No meetings, just insanely busy
Tuesday Evening: Stephen's kindergarten transition meeting (which deserves a whole blog itself...very odd); finished a scarf for a friend; bathed the boy; load of laundry

Wednesday Work: Meeting
Wednesday Evening: Church (which was wonderful)

Thursday Work: As you know by my post yesterday, just wasn't feeling it
Thursday Evening: Decorated a cake for a friend's birthday; started another scarf; bathed the boy; cleaned the kitchen twice

Friday Work: Conference call in the morning; Geocaching presentation to elementary school kids in the afternoon; need to mail out hundreds of registration brochures
Friday Evening: Not there yet, but here is what I have to do: Deliver cake; deliver scarf, Stephen desperately needs a haircut; cook dinner and clean up.

And plans for the weekend:

Saturday: Sign Stephen up for t-ball (yay); go to Tolley's Christian Bookstore to find an Easter Cantata that is not the classical stuff (because we are southern gospel/ hymn singers); clean my house (because I could be in the next episode of Hoarders); work on remaining scarf orders.

Sunday: Church, cook, and Church (yay)!!!

All of this and Stephen decides last night that he does not want to sleep. I think we finally managed to catch some zzzzs after 2:00 am. Maybe that is why I just can't seem to hold my head up!

My life is hectic, but I would not change one fraction of it. Next week is actually going to be worse as far as appointments and cakes and scarves, but that is OK. God never complained when He carried His cross, why should I?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Really should be working...

Right. Work. What I get paid to do. However, I am just not feeling it today. I am so excited about getting this blog started that all I want to do is play on here! :) I am not only posting, but finding extremely good blogs to follow!

Someone, please stop this insanity that has overtaken me! After our visit to Nashville this weekend, something strange happened to me. Now I am not only facebooking, O-M-Gosh, I have registered for an account on twitter, and now I am blogging again! I must be losing my mind.

It has to be from this experience in Nashville. I just got so pumped up, I cannot help myself! If you are not my friend on facebook, you have no idea what I am talking about. If you are my friend on facebook, you probably have some idea, so you are going to hear the whole me, it is worth sharing!

About a year and a half ago, my husband mentioned the name "Dave Ramsey" to me. At the time, it didn't really mean anything. Little did I know, Dave Ramsey is the epitomy of the term "financial genius." So, Todd started doing his homework, and I downloaded Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover (TMMO)to my Kindle. Our journey began the last week of October, 2009.

Todd and I both knew we made good money, but as many of us can say, we could not show you where our money was going. We were making it, but had nothing left over to show for it. And it is not that we couldn't manage our money, we just didn't.

With every page of the TMMO, I found myself saying to myself, "oh gosh Robin, you know that," "you can do that," "duh." So, Todd and I sat back down together and decided as a family that we were going forward to become debt free! Yeah right, you may be thinking, but Dave's motto is "Live like no one else, so you can Live like no one else."

The TMMO includes 7 baby steps.

(In my words):
1. Emergency fund of $1,000
2. Debt snowball
3. 3-6 month living expenses emergency fund
4. Invest 15% of your income for retirement
5. College savings for your children
6. Pay off your home
7. Building wealth

Seems a little overwhelming, right? Well, we are currently at baby step 2, and yes, at times, it has been overwhelming...but so worth it!

It took us a month to reach baby step one. Then came the budget. Ugh! The very thought of that gave me nightmares! But then we wrote everything down on paper, wow! We really do make good money (not bragging, it was a wake up call). Our next step was to write down our debt from smallest owed to largest -- NOT BY INTEREST RATE! That was extremely depressing. Even though we didn't have a lot of debt, we had A LOT of DEBT!

Our budget has to be what I call a zero balance budget. That means that after you right down everything you pay out a month in bills, you leave in the bank, then what you need for living expenses (i.e. gas, groceries, babysitter, etc.), comes out in cash. Your checking account is solely used for bills, not to carry over money, because during this process, you do not carry over money. Scary, huh?

Any extra money that you have during the month is paid on that smallest bill. After that is paid off, you take all of that money and apply it to your second smallest bill. It begins a snowball effect which gets larger and larger every time you pay something off. See, pretty much common sense. AND IT WORKS! To date, we have paid $42,000 of debt. Yes, you read that correctly. In 14 1/2 months, we have paid that much money toward our debt snowball. Like I said, even though I may have thought we were not in debt, yeah, I was wrong! We still have about 14 months to go, but we are getting there. And trust me, it gets easier after the adjustment period of about 3 - 4 months.

So that is the background. Now about how Nashville gave me such an epiphany to become more socially connected. Todd asked me several months ago if I would be interested in seeing Dave Ramsey in person. Oh, you don't have to ask me twice, where do I sign up?

This past weekend, we had the privilege of sitting second row at a five hour live Dave Ramsey show! Yes, I said f-i-v-e hour...and I would have stayed another five hours! This man is so energetic and charismatic! Whew! I wanted to jump up and shout. Wait a second, I did jump up and shout, several times!

Even though we have been living this program for over a year, the show brought it to a whole new level for me. Dave does not take credit for any of his ideas! He said - several times - that he got all of his ideas from God and grandma, and that he is just a good teacher. Wow! That was simply amazing to me. He quoted scripture, talked about the importance and power of prayer, told everyone if they hadn't talked to God in a while, they needed to because God missed them. Isn't that the truth? There were 10,000 people at this conference, so 10,000 people heard his message!

Dave Ramsey tweets, as I have now discovered that many people or groups tweet. About the only thing I will ever "tweet" is this blog, but it is nice to open it up and be inspired several times a day. It also was one of the pressing factors for me to start blogging again. If I can touch someone's life in any positive way, even if it is just one person, I want to do that!

I could write forever about him and this program, but I won't. I just wanted to share a little portion of the wonderful program that everyone could do, if they need or want to. You can learn more about all of his programs by visiting

And now you have more information than you ever wanted to know, but when I mention TMMO or Dave Ramsey in my posts, you will know what I am talking about! :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


**WARNING: One thing I did not mention in my disclaimer from yesterday was the fact that I am self-diagnosed bi-polar. I am not really bi-polar, but every now and then (more so now) I have "me" moments or "me" days when I am just feeling sorry for myself, and so the emotional roller coaster of my life begins. Well, this is definitely one of those times, and one of those posts. Please do not feel like you have to comment to give me support, because first: 1) This post is going to be about a character flaw that I struggle with on a daily basis; and 2) I will hate myself for posting because I will feel like I was just asking people to tell me how great I am. I am not doing that. I am just using this blog as my outlet...remember?

Where do I even start. I could honestly go all the way back to my tween/ teen years, but I will not do that. There is just so much running through my mind that I want to say, but I just don't want to go "there."

For some reason, I am the type of person who has to have my hands in a little bit of everything, but this goes far beyond my crafting capabilities. I have always tried to please everyone in my inner circle, outer circle, work environment, visual know, trying to change the world with my niceness. Well, heads up people, that doesn't get you hardly anywhere at all. Most people just see that as a lack of backbone, and unfortunately, I have to agree with them.

And then, partner that with the inability to complete goals (whether they be major or minor) in life, and you have a train wreck!

I say that because I have to be the world's best at starting things and never following through with them, or following through, but never mastering anything, i.e. direct marking sales (Mary Kay, Jewelry, Avon, etc.), cake decorating, crocheting, knitting, getting my college degree...I think you get the point.

The one that really sticks out to me, and should have been a MAJOR goal, is not getting that coveted college degree. Throughout my 20 years of post-high school graduation, I have attempted several times to obtain that slip of paper, but each time, I allowed some life circumstance to creep in and I bail. I have had two really good jobs during these times, so I never dwelt on the fact that I didn't have a degree. I have thoroughly convinced myself that through my intelligence and life experience, that I have proven myself and can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

I am here to tell you today that I am WRONG! I am not bragging on myself, but I am pretty smart. And when you give me something to do, I get it done. I make connections, build important collaborations, and expand on things that people would never think possible. However, just because I do not have that "paper," I will always be sitting at the children's table.

I know that God has always, and always will have a plan for me. Sometimes it is just so extremely hard to fight off the thoughts of the flesh - the discouragement, the anger, the hurt.

What I need to remember, and is probably the most important goal in my life, I do not lay up treasures here on earth, but in Heaven! Thank you God!

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

OK, I'm gonna try this again...

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about life. I have tried many times to find an outlet for myself, sometimes inappropriate outlets, but writing seems to be one of the best and safest.

I started this blog a few years ago, because God has always played a very active part in my life, even when I turned my back on him in my younger days. What I owe Him, I will never be able to repay, but what I can do is give Him praise always! So, here is my disclaimer:

**This blog will vary from day to day, depending on, of course, what is on my mind (and for those of you who know me, it could really be scattered :) It may not always mention God, but believe me, God is my driving force. He is what keeps me sane in this crazy life we live in!

I hope to drive people here to enjoy my antics, and keep them wanting to come back. Please feel free to leave comments! I will definitely enjoy the input!
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