Sunday, December 26, 2010

UPDATE: December 26, 2010

Writing has been put on hold. My husband is having some serious health issues. This is also putting a strain on our finances. I hope to return to my writing soon, but right now my family is my top priority.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Interrupted by Life!

So, in case you didn't miss me, it's been nearly a year since my last post. The reason is simple and complicated - LIFE!

On October 4, 2009, my husband Jeff was taken from church via ambulance to the ER for an apparent stroke. After lots of testing, it was determined that he had not suffered a stroke, but had experienced a Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA - commonly called a mini-stroke. What's the difference? Well, as near as I understand it, the difference is the lasting damage. A stroke damages more of the brain and these damaged areas can be seen on scans. TIA's generally do not cause as much damage and often you cannot even see the damage on brain scans.

You know what the problem is when the tests all show nothing. Doctors won't make a diagnosis. So you keep going from one to another. They all say something's wrong, but no one knows what the problem is.  VERY discouraging.

So, since October we've been going to a lot of appointments and tests. Jeff has gotten worse almost on a daily basis. Currently he is having trouble with memory loss, confusion, getting lost, forgetting what he's doing, personality and mood changes, numbness and tingling in his arms and legs. This week he's also having trouble with nausea and vomiting.

We have put in a request with the VA to have his disability rating increased as well as to have Jeff approved for an additional payment for Aid and Attendance. This will pay extra money so that someone (me) can stay with him 24/7. 

Not sure when my next post will be. My writing has been put on hold for the next little bit. Right now I am focused on taking care of him.

Please pray that the doctors will find out what is wrong with him and that it will be something that can be treated. Also, please pray for us financially as this is really putting a strain on our finances. Finally, please pray that the VA will approve his increase and his Aid and Attendance quickly.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rapture

VERY powerful video! May scare younger children.



Monday, July 20, 2009

Nineteen Years!!

Nineteen years ago today I married my husband Jeff. Many people didn't think we'd make it a year. I was pregnant, he's nine years older than me and I was only eighteen. But today we celebrate our nineteenth anniversary. Some days were harder than others but through the grace of God we are still together and I love him more today than I did when I said 'I do!'

I heard somewhere (and I'm sorry, but I'm not going to get this quote exactly right) that people fall out of love every day but marriage makes you stay together until you fall in love again. I like that. Marriage is never easy and some days you wonder if it's worth it. But then you have days when you wonder what your life was like without that other person.

So, for anyone who's having a bad time in their marriage or wondering what happened to the person you married, hang around for a little while. You'll probably never find that same person that you married, but you'll probably fall more in love with the person he or she has become.

Now, I'm off for a couple of days to celebrate!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Journey of Writer Danica Favorite

Today's blog spotlight will be on Danica Favorite's blog – The Journey of Writer Danica Favorite. She's a cyberfriend who I've known for a few years. She is a writer and is a finalist in this year's ACFW Genesis Contest. Beyond that, she's also a mom and a wife. Her blog is always good for at least one laugh; if you're interested in writing, she's got great advice; and, if you're looking for a good read, she's always got a great book review up.

Learn how she manages work, writing, marriage, parenting, family and life all at one time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Every man and woman who serves in the military gives up time with their family and time at home to defend and protect our freedoms. But today we stop to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives so that we might be free. The freedoms we enjoy and often take for granted every day aren't free. They were bought and paid for by the blood of those men and women. Today I extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to those brave men and women who made that ultimate sacrifice so that I might enjoy those freedoms.

Although many other heroes are noted at the Congressional Medal of Honor home page, the following Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients were noted in our church bulletin yesterday:

Michael A. Monsoor
Master-At-Arms Second Class
United States Navy

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as automatic weapons gunner for Naval Special Warfare Rask Group Arabian Peninsular, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army Sniper Overwatch Element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element's position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy's initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALS vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor's chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monssor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard to his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monssor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Ross A. McGinnis
Private First Class
United States Army

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an M2 .50-caliber Machine Gunner, 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in Adhamiyah, Northeast Baghdad, Iraq, on 4 December 2006. That afternoon his platoon was conducting combat control operations in an effort to reduce and control sectarian violence in the area. While Private McGinnis was manning the M2 .50-caliber Machine Gun, a fragmentation grenade thrown by an insurgent fell through the gunner's hatch into the vehicle. Reacting quickly, he yelled "grenade," allowing all four members of his crew to prepare for the grenade's blast. Then, rather than leaping from the gunner's hatch to safety, Private McGinnis made the courageous decision to protect his crew. In a selfless act of bravery, in which he was mortally wounded, Private McGinnis covered the live grenade, pinning it between his body and the vehicle and absorbing most of the explosion. Private McGinnis' gallant action directly saved four men from certain serious injury or death. Private First Class McGinnis' extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

SECOND CHANCES – Chapter 1

Melissa leaned against the kitchen counter, closed her eyes and mentally followed Hank's steps through the house. Same routine every night – walk in, find his chair, flip through every television station and settle on the news or the newest crime drama.

Just once I wish he'd do something different. Change clothes first, grab a drink, find a different show to watch. Anything.

She walked to the living room door and studied her husband. A little heavier than when they'd married, but still in good shape. Some gray hair showed around his temples, but it only enhanced his tanned face. A face she'd first noticed in tenth grade even if he hadn't known she existed then. His strong, square jaw and serious expressions nearly hid the twinkle in his dark blue eyes.

Years after graduation she'd run into him again. His more defined body and serious expression caught her attention, but the bright gleam in his eyes still set her heart racing. This time he'd noticed her too. Once again, he'd swept her off her feet and less than two months later she was pregnant and they were married.

Ten years later they had survived the worst life could offer. The gleam in his eyes had dimmed. Her heart no longer raced. They grew further apart every day.

Pushing the thoughts aside, Melissa stepped between her husband and the television. "Hank, I'm leaving. I left your dinner in the microwave."

Hank looked dazed. "Oh? Where are you headed?"

"I'm going to my database class. Edna wants to computerize the daycare's records. I told you about it when I signed up in June."

Hank's gaze flicked back to the news. "Oh, yeah."

Melissa gathered her purse and books and walked to the car, knowing she would receive no more attention from Hank this evening.

Five minutes. Would it kill you to pay attention to me for five minutes?

She remembered a different time. A time of laughter and happiness. Before life had dealt such a hard blow. Before she'd lost so much. Before God had let her down. Before Bradley and Melissa.

Loneliness engulfed her as she made the short drive to the university. The feeling disappeared as she stepped into what looked like a classroom full of high school students.

Melissa double-checked her schedule as she headed inside. She had never felt so out of place and – well, old. She scanned the room looking for an empty seat. Her cheeks flamed as she heard the whispers circling around her.

"I thought this class was with Dr. Alexander."

"You don't think she's a new professor do you?"

"Can't be. I was looking forward to Dr. Alexander. If she's the new professor I'll probably drop this class and pick up something else."

Stunned, Melissa turned but before she could dispute the teenager's assumption a man entered the room and began to speak.

"Hello, this is Database 101 so if that's not the class you're looking for, please check your schedule to find the right room number." He looked pointedly at Melissa before continuing. "If everyone is where they're supposed to be, we'll get started."

Melissa groaned. I'm older than everyone here, including the professor. She took the only seat left – front and center, of course – and opened her book as the professor continued his introduction.

"Okay, let's get started. I'm Professor Alexander, but you can call me Jonas."

Two hours later, her mind reeling from all the information buzzing through her head, Melissa stood and picked up her books. As she turned toward the door, Professor Alexander approached.

"Ms. Forrester, I just wanted to say if you have any trouble with the material, please let me know. I'd be happy to help you."

"Thank you, Professor Alexander; I'm sure I'll be collecting on that offer before the term is over."

"Well, I'm sure this class will be easy enough for you. And, please, call me Jonas. Professor Alexander makes me sound old."

A lock of blond hair fell in front of his blue eyes. He reminded Melissa of a teenage surfer from a fifties beach movie. She returned his smile, but resisted the urge to push the curls from his face.

"Please, call me Melissa, but I hardly see how anyone would consider you old."

A smile lit his face. "Actually, I'll be thirty-nine before this term ends. My sister says she envies my baby face and the fact that I look younger than I am, but I keep telling her it's not always a good thing. It's hard to teach students who look older than you."

"I guess I'm not the oldest person in this class then. For a while there I thought I would have to spend the whole term with a bunch of high school students."

Jonas laughed with her. Surprisingly, Melissa found herself warming to the sound. "I really need to get going; I have to be at work early tomorrow morning," she said.

Jonas held out a business card. "I forgot to give these out tonight, but here's my card with my home number on the back. If you have any trouble with the lessons this week please give me a call."

As she took the card from his hands her fingers brushed his. A shock traveled up her hand. And what was that funny little flip her stomach was doing? She stuffed the card in her purse and left the room.

###

Melissa sat in her office at the day care the next morning. As she listened to the children playing in the next room she replayed the previous evening in her head.

If only things had been different with Bradley and the baby.

Melissa pushed the thoughts of her children aside and focused on her paperwork. She longed for days when she could make an entry once on the computer rather than by hand in triplicate.

By the time she finished and headed home it was after six. Melissa hurried through the front door. "Sorry I'm late. Give me a minute and we can eat."

No answer. Probably already asleep.

She hurried to the kitchen and sliced bread to go with the soup she had put in the crock pot that morning. Ten minutes later she stepped into the living room.

"Hank, dinner's ready."

Melissa turned the lights on but stopped at Hank's empty chair. She glanced at the mantle clock. Seven fifteen. Wondering at Hank's lateness she settled on the sofa to read the newspaper and wait. At eight o'clock she quietly returned to the kitchen, ladled soup into her bowl and ate. At nine she cleared the table and put the food in the refrigerator. Worrying that something had happened to him she dialed his cell phone, discouraged when it went straight to voice mail.

She made her way back to the sofa, picked up a book and tried to read. After reading the same paragraph five times she put the book down and began to pace. Anger quickly replaced worry as she moved from one side of the living room to the other. Finally headlights flashed through the front window. Fuming, she walked to the door.

###

Hank reached for the door hesitantly. Melissa was waiting for him and he knew she was upset.

I shouldn't have gone out after work, and I definitely shouldn't have stayed for that second drink.

Vaguely he remembered a time when it would never have occurred to him to have even one drink. He looked at his watch. Quarter till ten. He stood at the door like a man facing a firing squad. He lifted his hand but before he could insert his key into the lock the door burst open and he faced his wife.

Anger sparked in her eyes. I'm a dead man. He stepped into the foyer.

Tell her the truth.

Hank ignored the warning as he tried to come up with an excuse.

"Hi, honey."

"Don't you dare 'Hi, honey' me. Do you know what time it is? I've been worried sick for the last two hours. You could have called and said you were going to be late." Melissa leaned closer and sniffed the air around him. "Have you been drinking?"

"I had a couple of drinks with the guys after work."

He reached his hand out to touch her but Melissa turned and stormed down the hallway to their bedroom. "I'm going to bed. There's soup and bread in the refrigerator if you're hungry."

Hank stood, staring after her as she entered their bedroom and slammed the door, never once looking back. It was his own fault and he knew it. He didn't drink, but guilt had become his new best friend. If Melissa ever found out what he'd done their marriage would be over. He'd made a mistake, one he never intended to repeat. He just hoped Melissa never found out.

###

Melissa woke up late but calmer the next morning. Hank was wrong, but she should have listened to his explanation. Disappointment filled her when she realized he'd already left for work. Melissa dressed and headed to the kitchen where she found coffee ready and waiting for her. Her cup and a note sat next to the coffee pot.

Melissa

I'm sorry about last night. I'll be home early tonight and we can talk.

Hank

Melissa wiped a tear from her eye. As she headed for His Precious Ones Day Care Center she made plans for the evening. I'll leave work early, fix a nice dinner and we'll talk. And we have a lot to talk about. Drinking? Hank doesn't drink.

With four new children enrolling, Melissa spent most of her day completing forms and giving tours. She finally finished with the last family and glanced at her watch.

Four o'clock.

She rushed to the grocery store, grabbed steak, potatoes, salad and bread for dinner. On a whim she also picked up fresh strawberries and whipped cream for desert.

Melissa loaded her groceries, climbed into her car and started home. She pulled up to a red light and stopped, studying the people walking down the sidewalk.

Happy couples strolling hand-in-hand seemed to be everywhere she looked. There was even a pair stopping beside a car to give each other a hug. Melissa stared at the couple. Something seemed vaguely familiar.

Her heart fell. Her stomach rolled.

Hank?

 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Author Interviews

Well, today is for Author Interviews. I won't be posting an interview today. If you're interested in being interviewed, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Book Review: Sandhill Dreams by Cara C. Putnam

World War II has long been one of my favorite settings for stories, but his story is unique in that although the Hero, Tom, is in the Army, he is not serving overseas. He works training the dogs that go overseas to help the soldiers. Lainie always wanted to become a nurse, but a case of rheumatic fever leaves her too weak to pursue her dream. Still, wanting to help in the war effort, she seeks employment at Fort Robinson. Throughout the story, many things, from her father to a relapse of rheumatic fever, conspire to keep Tom and Lainie apart, and through it all, both Tom and Lainie must learn to trust God and rely on Him.

I love Heartsong books since I can read them without worrying about what I'll find. In true Heartsong fashion, this is a clean, faith-based story with a happily-ever-after ending. I love that both characters must learn to deal with broken dreams and both must also learn to trust God. For a quick, good read this is a great book. A definite add to your TBR pile, and another great story by Cara Putnam.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Blog: As Your Soul Prospers

My sister, Christina, has started a new blog. She's new in the blogosphere, but already doing better than I did. :D I encourage you to visit her blog and check it out. Little nuggets come in each day that you can apply to your life. The title of the blog is: AS YOUR SOUL PROSPERS and is based on III John verse 2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (KJV)

Have you ever wondered how to incorporate the truths you know about spiritual and physical health, prayer, encouragement and the fruits of the spirit into your daily life. While not claiming to be an expert on these subjects, Christina has started a blog to help promote these things. Currently she's doing a study on The Proverbs 31 woman and is posting the things she learns. She also posts book reviews, recipes, and other things she thinks women might be interested in. She began the blog on April 27th with the following post:

Welcome! I trust that you will find encouragement here. Third John verse 2 states: "Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers." (NASB) As the Scripture reference indicates, I will pray for you, just ask! My goal is to provide a place for sharing about Bible studies that I am participating in or have completed, as well as information on physical health. I am not a doctor or nutritionist, but I enjoy making healthy food for my family and believe that family meal time should be honored. I am not a counselor and have not completed seminary, but I hope to share what God is doing in my life and what He can do in your life through the far reaches of the internet. God Bless You!

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About Me

I have been married since July, 1990. God has blessed me and my husband with four children. My oldest will graduate in May and head to college. I enjoy reading and began writing my own stories a few years ago.

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