Friday, August 28, 2009

My Many Miracles - it's only routine

As I've mentioned before, I just passed the year anniversary of when I was given another chance at life. My life was almost taken, but God gave me another chance. I know we have new chances every morning. As a follower of Christ, I believe that I have a new chance ANY TIME I need one. But when you see your life fading, and possibility of death from Earth fast approaching, it changes your perspective. At least, it did mine. Did it ever! Before I get into all the details of what happened, I want to share with you what I wrote a few weeks after my "near death" experience. I didn't know it at the time, but I still wasn't out of the woods. As I look at the date, I wrote this exactly a year ago this week! Enjoy the glimpse into one of my many miracles!

it's only routine... and on a 'lucky' day
On 08-08-08 the world was talking about what a lucky day it was. For me it was a day I was to have a very routine surgery. One night in the hospital, two to four week recovery time. No big deal. The surgery went fine. Or so they thought. In recovery they realized it was not good. But it was a day of luck! What was going on? My blood pressure was crashing. There was internal bleeding. When they checked it out, emergency surgery was needed. I remember hearing bits and pieces of it and knew there was trouble. From what I understand, here is what happened: I was hemorrhaging and something else was going on with my blood. I went into shock and my body was attacking my blood. It was going from bad to worse. I know my doctor prays before each surgery and pictures The Great Physician behind him guiding him and giving him wisdom. I need to inform him that in my case, God stepped in and carried me. I wanted to live. God took the team of doctors and preformed a miracle. He carried all of us. And I survived! My blood pressure was very unstable and my blood was doing funny things. I had 12 or more transfusions among other blood stuff. I have 2 clots, one in my lungs and one in an arm. They put a filter in my lungs to protect against any more clots and the one that is there. My veins didn't cooperate and I had to have a central line put in. I swelled up and it made movement very difficult. After a few days my lungs started filling with fluid and started to collapse. I ended up staying in the hospital for 12 days. The road ahead is filled with doctor appointments and different kinds of treatments. We still don't know what is going on with my blood. Not all the numbers are running normal. I still have clots and will have to have the filter removed when the clots are gone. Walking is slow and I have to take it really easy. Through it all, God held me close. Jesus was my companion at the darkest moments. Without the miracles and mercies of God, I would not be here. I am reminded of that everyday and am so happy to be alive. My outlook is one of freedom and grace. I see God's smiles all around me, through people's prayers, through phone calls and emails, through offers of help, through the bird that plays on the tree outside my window. God has shown me there is a new path for me, a new way to live. I no longer have a job so I can have as long as I need to heal. I no longer feel oppressed by the outside things I was beholden to, things that didn't really didn't matter. I was given a gift in this. A gift of life and a gift of a new path. It really was a 'lucky day'. Thank you God!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Have you noticed the swagbuck button on my sidebar? I'm laughing as I read that sentence, knowing that some of you that read this blog are not quite blog-savy yet... sidebar??? button???? swagbucks???? Just for fun, I'm only going to answer the question "Kimberly, honey, what is that swaggy thingy?". (If you add layers of southern drawl and add "I swanny" to the end, you'll get a complete impersonation of my mom!) Enough already! Just tell us about Swagbucks!

Yes Ma'am!

Swagbucks is a search engine (a google thingy) that gives you "swagbucks" for using it to look things up! It randomly awards people swagbucks. You may or not get one when you use it, but if you use it enough, it will add up! If you sign up under me, just by clicking the button on my sidebar, I'll get swagbucks! If people sign up under you, you'll get swagbucks! So why do you want swagbucks???? You redeem them for free stuff!!!! They have all kinds of things... mp3 downloads, music, games, movies, and my favorites... gift cards! I've gotten 2 Amazon gift cards worth $5 each and am almost to my 3rd! You can even trade in swagbucks for real bucks with paypal! And who doesn't want money! So get signed up, people!

A cool thing... they do not send you spam emails! The emails are only for activating your account and info about your prizes!

One more cool thing... they give out swagcodes all the time. Right now, if you click on the "special offers" in the red box, skip the offers, you will get a code. Copy it and type it into the box on the home page that says Enter swag code (under your name and how many swagbucks you have).

Any questions? Still wondering what a button or a sidebar is? I'll answer the best I can... I swanny!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - It's that time of year again!

Back to school time!

How did your first day go? What about the morning of?

Kids are still happy!

Angela had a much better day! She said "It's all good now!"

Smiles around our house!

For more Wordless Wednesdays,

First Day of School... Mom's point of view

Whew! We made it through the day! I thought about the kids all day and wondered what they were doing... if they were having a good day... how their lunch was... simultaneously enjoying the peace and quiet! It was amazing... I got to watch what I wanted on TV! (So... I didn't actually watch TV, but knowing I could watch what I wanted when I wanted without interruption was a luxury!) I cleaned the whole house top to bottom! (OK... ENOUGH of this fairy tale! I did get the bathrooms done...) I completed my whole chore list! And had time to spare for a nap (and play on facebook, and blog, and chat on-line...)!
Picking up the kids from school was filled with excitement and anxiety. I didn't even make it to the playground because there were too many moms to catch up with on the way! Instead, my kids met me by the cars. (We don't do car line, we do backdoor walkers, otherwise known as mom's social time!) They all came home with smiles and excited stories. Evelyn walked around singing how much she loved school! (SHOCK! Excitement!!!) Amber had stories of her friends and is so excited to be in class with a close friend!

Angela's bff since preschool is in her class! She did have a hard time because a girl in pigtails kept touching her birthmark. It was a bit too much for her... Angela asked me today why God gave her the birthmark. I don't have that answer. I told her that. I also said "So you can show the world what beauty really is!" After talking for a while about what else went wrong that day, she was fine and ready for a good year. We both just hope the kids get used to her birthmark pretty soon so they will stop asking questions. This is something we go through in any new situation and it gets better.

The bus for Emily didn't get home until almost 5 o'clock! I was going crazy and really curious about her day. She loved it. It is a challenge, to find her classes and know how it all works, but she is really excited about it. She was glowing with excitement for all this year holds. The best part... the girls all kept talking and talking and sharing and sharing and were happy. As soon as dad stepped into the house, he took time to sit with each child and hear about their day! I'm so thankful the girls want to sit and share with their mom and dad the events of the day. The first day of school! And to clear up the sock drama... that child has decided socks are not quite so bad after all and will wear them to school. Now to see if we can keep the hair drama to a minimum! (I'll take those dramas!) Mrs. Tickle, did she live up to her name??? Evelyn says YES!

Our annual picture outside the school! Smiles this year!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Not My Child! Monday ... first day of school

Not my Child! on the first day of school!

My child did not start Jr High today...
My child did not ride the bus today... for the first time... to jr high.
I am not scared of the big 8th graders... and the bad words they use.
I am Not a nervous wreck!

My child did not refuse to wear socks today... and lock herself in her room.
Did I mention she shares that room with her sister?

My child did not wear bright red socks, pink shoes and a fuchsia shirt... all thinking they matched.

My child did not have scraggly hair on this all important picture taking, impression making morning... all because this summer she gave herself a haircut!
I did not sucessfully, without tears for the first time ever (this mom of 4 girls who surely knows how to do all things hair...) use a straight iron and curling iron and hair dryer with a fancy brush on everyone's hair (except for the child that was locked in her room because of the sock drama)!
My child did not look way too grown up this morning!

I am not super proud of my kiddos this morning... as they are off on another adventure this year at school!

Read about what other children (and moms) are NOT doing! Check out McMama's blog!

Coming up tomorrow...
Reports on the first day of school! Does Mrs. Tickle live up to her name? Did the girls make friends? Did Angela get any questions... you know the birthmark ones... and ... PICTURES!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Letting go

It might have been at the street corner, in the middle of the kitchen, leaning across the car, or in the bright and colorful doorway. But it happened. Many of us said goodbye to our kids as they started school. Some of us may have had tears. Some of us may have hidden our delight. Some may have been so rushed that there was no time for emotion. Ready or not, school started, and it’s time to let go a little more.
As your hands loosen their grip a bit and you take a step or two back, keep your eyes forever watchful and your heart open and full. Our kids need us now more than ever as the outside seeps its way in. When we’ve made a little progress in letting go, we see more ways they are asking for it. “Mom, can I ride my bike to school?” “You can pick me up, but does anyone have to see you?” “ I go potty by myself.” “I can do it!” In the early years, one of the first signs of independence is when they become mobile.
As they learn to crawl, notice how it seems they crawl away from you more than to you. From that point on, the steps they take carry them farther away from us and closer to the outside world.
No matter what age they are by your side, hold them close and teach them. But mostly - love them. When the time comes for you to loosen that grip a little, it is love that will carry them (and you) through.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - A facebook reconnection!

Thank you facebook! You have brought back into my life so many friends I once thought I would never see again...
Here is the fam with one of my besties from college days! Kristi and Jalee (her awesome daughter) included spending an evening with us as part of their summer vacation!
This time, we will not let 10 years go by before we see each other again!
And, looking at that wallpaper, oh my! Either we need to stop taking pictures there, or we need to do some redecorating!
For more Wordless Wednesdays, (and to give your eyes a break from that wallpaper!) visit 5 Minutes for Mom and Jolly Mom.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Amber - Back to School

Amber is all ready for her first day of school... minus the pair of shoes we still have to get... and the... um.... school supplies... and the haircut...
At least she has a great back to school outfit!
Mema strikes again!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Me! Monday... Economy Edition...

What have you NOT done this week??? Read what others are NOT doing over at MckMama's blog!

The economy is NOT kicking our rears right now. It's actually kicking our pocketbooks...
Due to that I did NOT tell my kids that we can not do the typical back to school shopping. Instead, we would give them each a certain amount of money (around 75% less that what we normally spend on back to school things...) and they would choose what they get with the money.
There really were no tears. It worked out very well. So far.
In that conversation I did NOT tell them parts of our family's financial situation. I would NEVER divulge such grown up things to my kids!
I did NOT also inform them that any extra jobs for earning money was also affected by the economy and there would be a pay cut. ($1 jobs reduced to 25 cents)
My children did NOT whine, cry or get upset. For real! They didn't!
I am so proud that they all understood and have made very wise decisions! I am also pleased to announce that they have used the information to make life easier by not asking for pricey things and understanding when we have said no.
I believe God has rewarded them and answered prayers by sending family members to invite my children on back to school shopping trips.
In view of our struggle in this economy... I did NOT get a part time job! Woo Hooo! I start in 2 to 3 weeks!

Happy Not Me Monday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hurt by Words

Someone hurt my feelings. Actually, they cut me deeply with words spoken that slandered and demolished everything that is important to me. The speaker of the words that were Oh So Hurtful was not someone I could just stop talking to or someone that I could put in my past. It was a very important someone that I will see... a lot. An already shaky relationship was made rocky and irreparable that much harder to repair. For a year now, I've been walking around hurt, wounded, and angry. I've "given" it to God (and then snatched it back anytime I needed to...). I've rationalized it away. I've forgiven. But the hurt has been there, hovering over me. I have spent a year second guessing myself. What if those words were true? If that is the person I am, if the picture that was let loose by those words is who I am, then I am nothing of what I believe myself to be. There were some dark days when my thoughts ran down that trail. And I kept it inside. And I didn't talk about it. Every once in a while, I would talk to my husband. He would listen. He would love. He would remind me of who I am. He would remind me of Who matters.

I took a hard look at the speaker of those words and I saw a very hurting person. A person that, yes, I love. A person I pray for. A person that also is walking around wounded.

But that didn't take away the pain.

I've been carrying it around for too long.

It's time to lay it down.

At the feet of Jesus.

I went to a place of love and safety for me. A place to get advice, to be heard, but most importantly, a place of love. This is what I left with:

What I'm going through with the Speaker of the Words is based on my feelings. I feel hurt. What to do with that hurt? Acknowledge it, feel it, talk about it, let it go, learn from it. A lot of times, feelings control us. When we feel a certain way, we act a certain way. When we feel "bad", we act "bad". When we feel overwhelmed, we act out of control. When we feel hurt, we act out that hurt (prove them wrong or prove them right). The spiritual realm does not take into account our feelings. We are to obey. Obedience brings blessings (good feelings). We are to repent and have a true thankfulness. That leads to positive feelings and a positive outlook on life.

Change comes when we realize we've suffered enough. Lay the hurt down at the feet of Jesus. Repent. Live in gratitude. Seek mercy not justice. The Holy Spirit will take the situations and present opportunities for what needs to happen next in the journey. Taking those thoughts, I've realized I've suffered enough. I've been acting out my hurt. I want to lay it all down and obey. With repentance and a new start.

The guy who leads the meeting that I went to, a man I trust and love and respect greatly, a man simply known as Jim, a changer of lives by the simple acts of listening and loving. Wrote this on his blog...

"When you put your life and your judgments of others on the alter, when you make ready and accept to die, you are invincible. You have no more enemies and nothing more to lose." -- Josif Ton

"Although you may spend your life killing them off one by one - you will never exhaust all your foes. But if you quell your own anger, hate, self-centeredness, and self-contempt, your real enemy will finally be slain." -- Siddha Nagarjuna

We are our own worst enemies - not as children, but as struggling, immature adults. When we finally realize that, and lay the so many ways that is true down in front of Him for Him to handle, asking Him and Him alone to heal the ways in which we were mistreated or misunderstood in our earlier lives, we are finally free to truly live a life of freedom, passion, and purpose.

Thanks Jim, for simple words of love! Thanks Kevin, for loving and accepting me and reminding me of the Truth! Thanks, Jesus, wow. for everything! um... and thanks Speaker of the Words, for a chance to grow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - More Cement Creations

You can find amazing things in Granna's Gardens. Remember these? Scattered around are leaves, some will forever hold their beauty along with some bird seed or gardening supplies as they are celebrated in cement!

Other Wordless Wednesdays can be found at
5 Minutes for Moms
and Jolly Mom.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

One year ago today...

I was given a gift.
Another chance at life.
God turned tragedy into triumph.
I celebrate
I will live
I will
take for granted
each breath.
Thank you, God...
For another day!
Stay tuned for more of the story... I will be posting the "what happened" soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Granna's Gardens... the flowers

Last week I showed you the pathways in Granna's Garden. This is where the pathways take you!

The flowers in Granna's Garden are amazing!

This is the front yard. Please excuse the large flower with a hurt toe...

Below is the back yard. They live on a hill, so the incline is steep. It has taken years of work to get the garden this big. I love sitting on the back porch, in the cool Tennessee weather, drinking a cup of coffee and watching the animals, even deer that come right to the tree line.

You can almost smell the beauty from the flowers that greet you as you come home after a nice walk around the block.

Even under the deck they have created beauty!

Granna and Papa love turning anything into garden treasures!

Remember Cement Creations? More of those to come! Next week I will show you how to make leaves into cement treasures! Keep checking back... I have more surprises from Granna's Gardens! I even have a special something from Kids in the Kitchen - a garden recipe!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, go to

Monday, August 3, 2009

Emily - Back to School

My mom... otherwise know as Mema...

is amazing!

What is she up to now?

Back to school shopping!

This hip, cool, grandmother (of 16! and one great-grand!)

keeps up with kid's styles... a bit better than even I do!

And takes her job of back to school shopping seriously.

She does a seriously good job!