Thursday, May 15, 2014

A face of Cystic Fibrosis....

I have a beautiful niece.
Maryanna is loving and kind. She is smart and funny.
She is special.
She is the first niece I ever had!! Born to my "favorite" brother and his wife!! I was only 9 years old when she was born and I remember going to see her in the hospital in Virginia (it was a very long drive!)....

She grew up.

I didn't get to see her much while she was growing up. My brother lived about an hour away from us. Most summers she and her sister Linda (and later her brother, Will-Paul) would come and visit for a week or two at my parents house, but by then I was busy in my teens and didn't have much time to spare for my "little" nieces and nephews.
Eventually, her parents moved to Jacksonville, Florida (4+ hours away!!) and that is where she "grew up".

She met a boy. Fell in love. And got married.
She was a beautiful bride!!!
My little boy was her Ring Bearer. He was so cute in his little white tux!!
Sweet memories.

She married Josh.

Josh is a nice guy.
She says he makes her laugh and I love that about him. He is funny, and sarcastic, and witty, and has amazingly blue eyes.
He loves her, and really, that's all I have ever wanted for her.  To love and be loved.

Josh has Cystic Fibrosis.

  "Cystic fibrosis is a disease passed down through families that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. It is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults. 
It is a life-threatening disorder."

You can see more about what it is here>>>
"Currently, there is no cure for CF. However, specialized medical care, aggressive drug treatments and therapies, along with proper CF nutrition, can significantly lengthen and improve the quality of life for those with CF"

He has been in and out of hospitals his whole life and is in the hospital right now.
Fighting for his life.
And my niece, Maryanna, is right there fighting with him.
His lung had collapsed and he has tubes attached and machines helping him breathe. It is scary and awful to think that his disease could claim him and Maryanna would be left a widow way before she should.

She has a strong faith in God and I am so very proud of the way she is handling this situation. God does have a plan for her and for Josh.
God is good.
ALL the time.
Even when out circumstances seem bleak and hard.
He is our rock and our fortress. A mighty help in time of trial.

The Secret Place

"I've found a secret place of comfort and release
a special place of healing, a quiet place of peace.
And every one who dwells there finds rest beneath God's wings.
in the shade of His pavilion new strength He always brings.

I find hope, I find grace, far away from the world's embrace.
He gives me rest, He keeps me safe, I find His strength,
I seek His face In the secret place.

With every trial He brings, my Lord will make a way
to strengthen and protect me, to help me each day.
He leads me through the valley to draw me closer still,
knowing even in the shadows I find His perfect will.

I find hope, I find grace, far away from the world's embrace.
He gives me rest, He keeps me safe, I find His strength,
I seek His face In the secret place."

Such a great song!!!

Psalm 91:1 - 5
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say unto the LORD, He is my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall by thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the fire by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day."

Tell those you love that you love them.

Say, "I love you".

Don't lose a moment of time with unnecessary stuff.
Fill each day with purpose and show the love you have.
We are not guaranteed tomorrow.
Make each day count.


PS...Prayers appreciated for my niece and for her Josh!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We Have Silkies!!! (And the worst Mother's Day ever!!)

There are just some days (weeks, months) that nothing seems to happen around here that would be interesting enough to blog about...

Don't get me wrong there is plenty going on.

There actually never seems to be a dull moment around here!!

But who really wants to hear about my (very active, water loving) 9 year old being in a foot cast for Sever's Disease for 4 weeks?!?!!
Or that my Army Man can grill a steak that tastes waaaay better than ANY restaurant!?!? Ever!!
Or about my 13 yo son's mouth ulcers that prevent him from wearing his bands for his braces that we are hoping come off very soon???
Or about the 2 snakes my husband has killed (so far...) because we are suspecting that they have been stealing and eating our chicken eggs!! =/
Or about the garden that we are just now planting?? I have no excuses. Just that we ordered our seed late...
Or that my Army Man wants to start a blog about the scandalous price of sweet tea in most (or all) of our local restaurants in what we call the "sweet tea capitol" (south Alabama) of all places!?!?!??!!!
 It's Highway robbery he says!!
Or that I have lost 20 pounds (and 18 inches) in 9 weeks using the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan??!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you are reading this and wonder what in the world I am talking about....go this website>>>


We have had a very eventful few weeks around here!!!

First off.....our hen "Softy" had hatched out 4 eggs that she so very patiently sat on for 3 weeks. It was an amazing sight to behold for our daughter, who has raised that hen from a 3 day old chick!!! My daughter has been our "Chicken Keeper" for this past year. She faithfully goes out every morning to check and care for our little flock. The chickens all know her and are comfortable with her in their yard. Even our ornery rooster has a grudging respect for my little girl!!

We woke up on on Mother's Day to the worst possible event. Something (we are thinking a raccoon) got all of our 3 week old chicks and killed them. I am not sure of the logistics of this. I only know that of the 3 chicks we found, 2 were beheaded and one was smashed (which may have been an unfortunate accident), and we never found the other one.
The HORROR!!!!!
My daughter had not been feeling well on Saturday so her big brother (my 13 yo) went out to do her morning chicken chore for her Sunday morning.  He is so sweet and and very thoughtful. When he saw what had happened and saw his sister coming down to checks on the chicks he very quietly, but sternly told her to go back inside before she saw the worst if it!!!  Such a good boy. Makes his Mama proud!!!! =)
It was still a traumatizing time for her and for me to watch her heart break for "her" baby chicks!!!  We had a good cry together Sunday morning...
Add to that .... She has had to see and bury the tiny dead chicks from the hatchery.
It happens.
But, she watched one of our new babies (from the hatchery) die in her hands from a Pasty Butt issue that we did not know to check for in time to save her..... It has been a very hard week for my sweet daughter.
It is a hard lesson to learn, but God saw each chick and knew when they died.  We take comfort in knowing He has a plan, even when we don't see it.

Today though, she is bouncing back to her normal self. She is loving on our baby chicks (Silkies and Araucanas from the hatchery) and taking over more of their care. (finally!!)  =)

I have also heard her boss her brothers around, do her piano practice and laugh a little.
Yep. She is feeling better!!!
So.......we have some of the cutest little chickie babies!!! 11 are left from the original shipment of 18...Here are some pics of the cuteness!!!!!

 The light "grey" chicks are actually "Blue Silkies" and we have one that is really light colored. The black chicks are all "Black Silkies".  The brown ones are Araucanas.
 Because of the Pasty Butt issue, we have been feeding our baby chicks plain Geek yogurt  mixed in with a bit of chick starter food once a day. It is supposed to help them get the proper bacteria they need in their stomach to aid in digestion and help their to not stick to the vent and fuzz on their rear end.

 One of our black Silkies.....they are getting their wing feathers!!! =)
Oh, the cuteness!!!!!

 They LOVE this stuff!!!!!  And it is helping!! 
We (well, I) started out cleaning 8 rear ends. 
Today, I only had to clean three and one of those was not too bad!!!!  
I am so over cleaning chick's pasty butts!!!!!!!

This is "Turtle", one of our Araucanas.....she is a pretty little thing!!! 

 The lightest colored Silkie we have....not sure what "color" she will turn out to be!!!

Both of our Araucanas that have survived so far.....
Turtle and Thor (our tiniest chick who also happens to be the loudest!!!). 

Luke 12: 6 & 7
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God.
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10: 29 - 30
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.


PS.....Here are my favorite Oak trees in our yard in all of their filled out green glory!!!!  
This "city girl" so loves living "out in the boonies"!!!!! =)