Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My love for children...

I have such a heart for kids - big and small. I got to go to work today and was actually sad that there was only one baby to photograph. I love to hold the precious little ones in my arms and marvel at how each one is so unique and beautiful.

The little girl above is one of Turner's classmate's little sister. At 3 years old she has got one heck of a personality! She is so engaging and I got such a kick out of talking to her and playing with her at our pic-nic/ bar-be-que the other night.

I told her that I loved little girls and since I had 4 boys maybe I could come to her house and bake cookies with she and her sister sometime. She replied "Ummm, excuse me...I do not think that is a very good idea." I then probed further and asked her "Why?" She then told me that I had to check with my daddy before going to someone's house, after all I had never been to her home before! Her sister who is little older told her that I did not have a daddy. Kyle (another playmate - age 6) announced "She does too have a daddy! She just does not use him anymore!"

Kids...you just gotta love them! I thank the Lord for my 4 boys although they are driving me a bit batty lately being together in a small room - so much of the time. Thank goodness there is a pool here! I keep wanting to escape to the lobby and curl up on one of the inviting overstuffed sofas to read a magazine, journal or just "chill". I then feel guilty for thinking of leaving my husband caged in here with all the boys - so I do not make it down there!

I remain thankful that we are in a lovely place - that we are all together and that we are all healthy. I am meeting new people with beautiful giving hearts and truly know what it is to be humble.

I struggled a few years ago when I was first in my small group bible study. They kept talking about being humble and I was not sure I knew exactly what that was.

Here is the definition -

Main Entry:
1: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive
2: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission humble apology
3 a: ranking low in a hierarchy or scale : insignificant , unpretentious
b: not costly or luxurious humble contraption.

I can honestly say that going through what we have been through the past couple years that I am a humble person. I have been humbled and continue to be each and every day. I hope that you too - can experience what it is like to be humble.

Attitude is everything - only you have control over that!

Choose to be HUMBLE - not arrogant
Choose JOY - not Sadness
Choose LOVE - not hatred
Choose to SMILE - not scowl
Choose to LAUGH - not cry
Choose DISCOVERY - not stagnation
Choose HOPE - not fear
Choose to DANCE - not sit idle
Choose to be KNOWN - not hide

Make it a great day!

Monday, March 30, 2009

A new me!

For Christmas we received a very generous gift certificate from Michelle Scott of Jon Paulo Salon, in Foothill Ranch, CA. Today we got to meet Michelle and Trenton, Turner, Trevan and I got our hair done. Michelle is a color specialist and thought it best to color my hair darker to bring out my eyes.

If you know me - I am always game! I told her to go for it and do whatever she thought looked good. I am very happy with the new cut and color - I am letting my hair grow and she was able to shape it up and make it manageable while I wait for it to get longer. Michelle is a great person and has a real gift with hair design. Here is a link to coupons that are currently available for her services through Clipper Magazine.


Jon Paulo Salon is located in Foothill Ranch in the Ralphs Shopping Center.
Here is her contact information:

Jon Paulo Salon
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

Michelle was blessed to be a blessing to us and we are going to help each other out. I can help her with marketing, graphic design and photography and help my friends find a great hairstylist too! When we bless others - we are blessed in return! Thank you Michelle for being so kind and taking a leap of faith in helping us. I will do all I can to help you in return!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bubbles of Wisdom...

Circles in life...

Some of the things I have learned while living in a hotel is that we all take so many things in our lives for granted.

Simple things.

I have learned that I took for granted the ability to prepare and cook a meal for my family. I use to look at it as a chore. Now I would be very happy to have the chance to cook a meal, eat on real dishes and not have to worry about running out of paper plates and plastic utensils. I also took for granted my dishwasher. No one ever wanted to load or unload it - but now we find it challenging to wash the few items we have in the tiny bar sink or bathtub - and we keep forgetting to purchase dish soap! Using body wash tends to leave your cereal bowl a bit "over fragrant". The kids don't appreciate having their cereal taste or smell like the "sugared plum" body wash I received for Christmas!

Being "financially" challenged we know what it is like to cherish a gift certificate for hair cuts and hold on to it for months until we absolutely, positively MUST have a hair cut.

I have never been a "high maintenance" kind of gal. This has proved beneficial in a time of need. I have not been indulgent with makeup, jewelry, name brand clothing or expensive handbags.
I am jazzed when I find a coupon in a magazine for a FREE tube of mascara - perhaps a brand I have never even used. I am satisfied with the store brand face scrub or hairspray.

The one thing I did enjoy and splurged on were my nails. I loved having a set of acrylic nails and a pedicure about every 4 weeks.
I have peeled my nails off and am a bit sad when I have to look at my stubby little nails that I am keeping short so I can type faster!

We went to a pic-nic BBQ tonight and I have never looked so forward to an activity.

I worked a full day in anticipation of spending time getting to know new friends and watch the kids have fun.
We had wonderful food, lots of fun, quality fellowship and came back to our "hotel home" feeling very relaxed and happy to have gotten out.
I think we have learned to cherish our outings more.

We have been humbled and have had to learn to accept help from others. We have been forced to set pride aside and have learned to become more and more thankful each time a blessing comes along.

We look to making new beginnings as a positive thing. After all a new beginning is born because there has been an end to an old beginning.

A full circle.

We just have to make sure that we learn the lessons set forth by each circle in life. If we don't learn from our experiences we will just keep going in the same circle time and again.

Little bubbles.
Big bubbles.
Our life experiences are like blowing bubbles.
Some are small, some are big and grand.
Some pop quickly and some float along for an extended duration.

Each comes to an end and a new one is formed.

Go blow some bubbles in life and learn from each one - big or small! I know I have learned a lot from my "bubbles" and continue to do so each and every day.
For that I am a better person.
For that I am thankful.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today's Tidbit...

Remember this...
God does not begin by asking us about our ability...

but only about our availability,
and if we then prove our dependability,
he will increase our capability!
It's service, Not status that counts.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The "Suite" Life of The Lindner Family...


Those of you who know me well - know that I get really excited by the beauty found in nature. As the kids and I were on a "photo exploration" walk - Trevan spotted this crane flying overhead. I had no time to really focus on it or even get my bearings - Trevan shouted - and I just started to shoot. I captured this beautiful bird as it flew right over head. The boys were excited and wanted to see the photo immediately. Having the modern convenience of "digital imaging" I was able to satisfy their desire. They got such a kick out of our conquest - that they set out finding all sorts of really cool things to capture on film. We are working on a book together - nature seen through their eyes. Watch for a preview!

We have learned lots of things while enjoying our "Suite" Life here at the Ayres. We have learned that co-habitation in a 400 square foot room can be a challenge - but can also be rewarding at the same time. We do a lot more hugging and snuggling as we are all "on top of each other". I have loved taking long hot "guilt free" bubble baths. When we had to pay all the utilities when renting our home I was always feeling guilty for filling the giant roman tub with hot water just to soak myself.

I would be interrupted a hundred times while trying to take a nice hot bath. Either the phone would ring, the kids would scream, the dog would bark or someone needed something!

Here I find joy as I am able to slip into the room while Stace has the boys at the pool or jacuzzi and I have the bathroom all to myself - sheer glory!
You have to find the blessings in the simple pleasures life has to offer.

I know that our funds are running out and this too will come to an end. I fear that now that we are getting settled and accustomed to living in a hotel - will be forced to a less conventional living situation and this will be so unsettling for the boys. Living in a hotel indefinitely is not a reality - so we pray that a more permanent living situation is in God's plan.

Still we FIND joy in each day. We enjoy meeting new people here and learning their stories. We love finding out each night what they will be serving for dinner - it is always a surprise! We have found cooking in the room a bit of a challenge - and trying to collect coins to do the laundry...but all in all we are settling in just fine. I remind the boys that we are blessed to be here and not on the streets or in a tent.

I am sad to report that Stace fell and sprained his ankle - but happy that it is not broken!! Finding happiness in an unfortunate mishap. In these times - this is what one has to force themselves to do. Otherwise it is so easy to slip into a downward spiral.

Taylor is doing well on his new medicines and seems to be coming back to us - the old Taylor is in there and I get tears when I see him emerge. He has spent time with us and he actually offered to take our laundry to his girlfriends home and do it for me today. He did it gladly, and took pride in how he folded and sorted it all. I know he needs to feel worthwhile. He wants to work and help us pay the hotel bill. I am so blessed that he is making progress and am loving each moment that he inches forward.

I am still guarded as I fear he may backslide - but I have confidence that he will succeed with all our prayers and support.

I am off for a little snuggle and huggle as Trevan calls it - again thanks to all who are helping us each step of the way - we could not have gotten this far without all of you!


Friday, March 20, 2009

My Hero...


Some days as we pass through our lives going through the motions of our daily tasks we "get in a groove". We take on the mentality of moving forward and "getting things done". We fail to stop and take in the world around us and really challenge ourselves to push outward and go beyond our comfort zone. We simply wish to exist, blend in, complete our work and be done. Today as I was driving to work admiring the blooms that are exploding in color on the roadside, watching birds soar overhead I was deep in thought.

I wondered what the task of the day was for the bird soaring overhead. He was probably looking for food - then going to seek shelter after a great meal, if he could find one. I arrived at my work more quickly than I expected perhaps due to the uncluttered mind that I had this morning as my focus was elsewhere.

I got onto the FCC floor at the hospital, grabbed my clipboard and started moving through my tasks. I was focused on doing my job and doing it well. I was pleased when after a short time I had accomplished all my duties and was able to go home.

I was walking the long walk to the employee parking lot admiring what a beautiful day it was when I noticed an elderly man. There was nothing unusual about him, but I saw a look in his eye. He looked - scared. I thought to myself "poor man"... perhaps he was ill or here for a procedure. As I continued to walk in his direction I saw him turning this way then that. He went in a full circle, then slumped his small shoulders.

He was dressed in dress slacks, dress shoes and a sweater. He had a cute little cab hat perched just right on his head to shield his eyes from the bright sun. He stopped. He placed his hands over his eyes and as I got closer I heard him sobbing.

I could have easily dismissed him, passed by and said a prayer for this poor old man who was crying. I chose not to. I stopped and gently touched his elbow, which startled him. Jumping back he wiped his eyes and I then asked if he was okay. He said that he was lost.

He had lost his car and had been searching for 45 minutes. He did not remember the make or model only that it was a blue car. He explained that his wife had suffered a stroke and that he usually did not drive. He did not have family nearby but knew that he lived very close to the hospital in Woodbury Estates.

I told him that I would help him find his car. Seeming relieved he took my hand and handed me his keys. I commented on the beauty of the day and told him that I noticed that his car keys had an alarm on them. I told him that sometimes I get really preoccupied and forget where I too, had parked. I simply keep hitting the door lock button to hear for my car's horn and it leads me to my vehicle.

His sweet crinkly old eyes lit up and he smiled. "I never thought of that!" he exclaimed - acting as if I had just given him the winning lottery numbers. I started hitting the door lock button on his keys as we walked hand in hand. His old hand was soft and warm in mine and he gently squeezed it when we heard a car horn growing closer. "I think that is it!" he exclaimed. I kept hitting the button and there just 6 cars from where he stood we found his little blue honda accord.

I gave him his keys after I unlocked the door and opened it for him. He fumbled for his wallet and opened it up. Inside was one dollar. He took it out and offered it to me for helping him. He said I know it is not much but today - "You were my hero".

I told him no gift was necessary. I was happy to have helped him. I then offered to have him follow me to Woodbury Estates as I passed right by on my way home. He smiled and said "Oh I'd love that! At my age I really should not venture onto the streets but I had to see my wife."

I asked him how old he was and he said he was 92! I was in awe. He looked tired and worn but really good for 92. I told him that perhaps he could have a friend or neighbor bring him the next time and he thought that he would arrange that.

He gave me a huge firm hug and patted me on the shoulder - "Thank you - my hero!" he called out as he got into his car. I told him to stay put and that I would go get my white jeep. I would come to him and lead him home. I then gave him my phone number to call if he needed anything. He said he probably would not remember my name but that if I got a call from him asking for "My Hero" it would be him! We laughed, then parted.

I got to my car - my heart warmed by him. I went to where he was and he followed me to Woodbury Estates. I pulled in to make sure he knew what house he belonged at. As he pulled into his driveway he waved at me and I noticed a car parked on the curb. I stopped and watched him get out. He was greeted by a lady dressed in a brightly colored floral dress.

"PAPA! Where were you?! Why were you driving the car?!" She scolded. "I wanted to see Gran! " He told her in a firm but loving voice. I went up and introduced myself to his granddaughter. She told me she lived in Yorba Linda and had come to take him to see "Gran" her grandma. We both laughed at how anxious he must have been to have tried to go it alone.

She thanked me for taking care of him and we exchanged info. As I headed back to my car he called out - "Hey - Have a great day...MY HERO!" chuckling. "I will !!" I called back.

So today - I was some one's hero.
See who's hero you can be!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Frustration and Appreciation

Today I am having a struggle with frustration. I am trying to take my frustrations and turn them into appreciations. Frustrated that we are without a home, but have appreciation that we are in a hotel not a tent. Frustrated that we need to cram all 5 of us into one 400 sq foot room instead of using our funds for the convenience of two adjoining rooms.

I need to appreciate that the room no matter how small and cramped is at least a room, under a roof, we are all together and we are in a lovely place.

Frustrated that I keep applying and applying for jobs for myself, Stace and Taylor to no avail, while having appreciation for the fact I do have a job, albeit only 3 days a week.

Frustrated that Taylor's new medicine is not covered by insurance, the doctor will not call us back - but appreciate that Taylor actually wants to take his medications and get better.

Frustrated that Turner and Trenton are both struggling in school and with their behavior due to the transition, but trying to appreciate the fact that they too are fragile and need my guidance and love to help them through.

I am frustrated that my computer crashed, leaving me without a way to edit photos. Appreciate the fact I have the knowledge to do so, and try to find a solution.

I am frustrated that I allow my mind to become cluttered and start to get down. I appreciate my friend Eric who is inspirational and wise and that he has used his gifts to help others with his elife methods. I find comfort in his words and love his creativity.

I am frustrated that I need to be in the word more and do not make time. I find time to spin my wheels being frustrated - but need to appreciate each moment I am given and find the time to quiet my mind, reflect and gain perspective on my situation.

I appreciate you - my friends and even strangers who do not know me, but take the time to see life through my eyes. I pray that I can help you in some way as so many have helped me.

Here are some of my favorite Proverbs...
A wise heart takes orders...an empty head will become unglued.

When the storm is over, there's nothing left of the wicked;
good people, firm on their rock of foundation, are not even fazed.

The speech of a good person clears the air;
the words of the wicked pollute it.

The desires of good people lead straight to the best,
but wicked ambition ends in angry frustration.

The one who blesses others are abundantly blessed,
those who help others are helped.

I have been accused of a lot of things in life - one of them being too nice, another too sensitive. I am not going to apologize for how I am wonderfully made. If people can not appreciate me for who I am, why should I care?

Ultimately I am performing for an audience of ONE!

I am going to "clear my head and quiet my mind". I thank you for letting me vent my frustrations and help me to see what I need to appreciate.

I hope you can turn frustration into appreciation when you need to!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

My dear friend Nani Plaza sent me this story when I was at one of my lowest points...
I love reading it again and again!

The Fern and the Bamboo.....

One day I decided to quit.... I quit my job, my relationship, my
spirituality.. I wanted to quit my life.
I went to the woods to have
one last talk with God.

"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"

His answer surprised me...

"Look around", He said.
"Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"
"Yes", I replied.

"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.
I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth.
Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed.
But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed.
But I did not quit on the bamboo".

He said. "In the third year, there was still nothing from the
bamboo seed. But I would not quit.

In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed.
But I would not quit.

He said. "Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.
Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant.

But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots.
Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.
I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle."

He said to me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have
been struggling, you have actually been growing roots.
I would not quit on the bamboo.
I will never quit on you.
Don't compare yourself to others."

He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern,
yet, they both make the forest beautiful."

"Your time will come," God said to me. " You will rise high!"
"How high should I rise?" I asked.
"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.
"As high as it can?" I questioned.

"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

I left the forest and brought back this story.
I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you...

Never regret a day in your life.
Good days give you Happiness.
Bad days give you Experiences.
Both are essential to life.
Keep going...
Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrows keep you Human,
Failures keep you Humble,
Success keeps You Glowing,
But Only God keeps You Going!
Have a great day! The Son is shining!!

God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love
and so small He can curl up inside your heart.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring is upon us...

Spring is on it's way...and is one of my most treasured times of the year. My son Turner was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was 18 months old. When he was 10 months old (pictured above) I could not wait for spring and summer to come so I could take him to the park. I placed him in the swing and he within seconds crinkled up his nose then started to scream. I'll have to say I was really disappointed because I had thought that he would just LOVE coming out in the fresh air and spending time with me before his baby brother arrived 3 months later. I wanted a bonding experience...one I enjoyed.

Well we now know that he had gravitational challenges and he hated his feet off the floor. I tried time and again to take him to the park and place him in the swing. He hated it every time. Not just the swing - he hated being outside, hated the car ride, hated it all. I have now learned his limits and know now what is HIS idea of a fun time.

I have observed that we as adults try to make our kids conform, perform and be what and who we wish them to be. Having a child with special needs has forced me to think out of the box and take his lead. I think that as parents and spouses if we all tried to do this life could be and would be more stress free, care free and fun.

I am a work in progress. Once I learned that MY ideas were not what he thought of as a good time, and just let him be -things got easier.

I am now applying this to myself. I have stopped putting "Me" into a box. I have stopped trying to let MY ideas of who I think I should be, what I think I should do and who I think others expect
me to be, dictate my life.

It is hard...but if you will "just be" in the moment and stop - just stop for a minute, you will see that you will begin to visualize joy.

Slowing my mind is a challenge. Slowing ME is a challenge. I am taking time to enjoy the SIMPLE pleasures of life with my boys. If I died tomorrow I would want to pass on to those I know and love the lesson I have learned.

That lesson is to STOP EXPECTING. When you have no expectations there are no disappointments. I do not get my feelings hurt. I do not get angry. I take things as they come, find the good - or at least try and focus on the positive. Simple things like the big yellow full moon that surprised me the other night as I came over the hill gave me a thrill. Seeing a huge white crane flying overhead while we were relaxing in the jacuzzi brought a rush of excitement. Seeing hundreds of flower blooms on the side of the road brings me a happiness and an appreciation for where I am.

I am trying to teach my boys that it is the simple, beautiful things in life that have been placed here by God for our enjoyment are the "things" we should treasure. Not our cell phones, iPods, Game Systems and so on.

So on that note - I am taking my 2 little guys on a nature walk with camera in hand. THEY will take the photos of what THEY find beautiful and interesting - no matter what that might be! We will make a book and let you preview it! Wish us a fun filled adventure! Now go make your own!

Till later!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We all need a little help...

I stopped rowing the boat alone...I asked for help!

Being an only daughter - the oldest of three - I think that I took on the roll of leader, protector and fixer of all things. As a mom - that too, is our job. After all tests that the Lord has put me through I finally got the message.

I need to scoot aside and let God help me row. I can not fight the strong currents of life alone. As many times as I try - He ultimately reminds me who is the strong leader, the protector and fixer of all things.

I am going to assume my position - the one of passenger and let God row my boat. No matter how strong I think I am - he is stronger - he is almighty.

In dealing with a child that has mental illness and addiction it is more and more clear to me as I face challenges that are far bigger than I and much greater than my understanding.

I remembered a poem that my mom carried in her bible when my brother was a very sick baby. I reflect on it - during this time where my son's issues are not within my control. He is - after all on loan to me from God. He loves him much more than I, and that is a concept that is very hard for me to comprehend. I would give my life for him.

I am happy to report that we are taking baby steps and Taylor is on a path to hopefully - recovery. As with any illness and addiction there will be set-backs and triumphs. We will take them as they come and be thankful for each tiny step.

I will continue to keep you posted - and appreciate all your prayers, kind emails and gestures. I am blessed to have the friends that the Lord has put into my life. I truly cherish all my relationships. Here is that poem...I hope it touches you like it does me!

I'll Lend To You A Child...by Edgar Guest

"I'll lend you for a little time a child of mine," He said.
For you to love - while he lives
And mourn for when he's dead.

It may be six or seven years
Or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care or him for Me?

He'll bring his smiles to gladden you,
And should this stay be brief
You'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn.

I've looked this world over
In search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd
Life's lanes, I have selected you.

Now will you give him all your love,
Nor count the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call to
Take him back again?"

I fancied that I heard then say,
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joy Thy child shall bring,

The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known
Forever grateful stay.

But should the angels call for him
Much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that come
And try to understand."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Mother's Love...

As parents we are often told that we may face challenges beyond our comprehension. We all want to believe that we are doing the best job that we can do as caretakers of the precious lives that have been entrusted to our care. Peoples parenting skills and ideas are as diverse as our population. No two children are alike and there are no parenting handbooks that can prepare us for some of the heartbreaking decisions that some of us have to face.

Thursday night Taylor had an "episode" for the lack of a better description. He went into a "black rage" and it was frightening, terrifying and heartbreaking. We had to call 911 and have him transported to the hospital and held there. He was transferred to a county assessment facility on Friday. It was a very intimidating place. There was nothing nice about it. It did not look good, smell good and the people did not treat you like you even mattered. We encountered a very challenging "professional" who simply told us after 10 minutes with Taylor that he had no problems, was a rich spoiled brat that did what he did for nothing more than attention.

Our jaws dropped to the floor. I held my temper and was able to effective communicate the journey that we have been on with Taylor prior to and after his accident. I shared the results of his brain scan and told him of the brain injury that Taylor has suffered. Luckily they decided to keep him and transfer him next door to a county psych hospital for observation.

I was not able to prepare him, talk to him or let him know what was going to happen. I knew I was doing the right thing and prayed that it would be okay. It was the most gut wrenching thing I have ever done. My heart was in my throat and I could not hold back my tears as we drove away knowing that they were going to place him in restraints and take him to a lock down facility against his will. As a mama you do not ever want your child to be in fear, no matter their age. I had to put it in God's hands and ask for him to comfort all of us.

Saturday we had the task of clearing out the house by 5:00 pm and our goal was to get to see Taylor at 7:00pm that night. We tried furiously to pack, clean and make the deadline, but got to his hospital with 4 minutes of visitation left. I was able to hug him, see him and at least lay eyes on him and see that he was okay.

We are exhausted but are so grateful to those who came and cleaned, packed and helped us with the move. I also know that I have a host of friends that are praying for my precious boy. He may be an adult in the eyes of the law, but sadly he functions like that of a 12 year old. We know that we will have a long road to his recovery and also know that he has to want it for it to work.

Please lift him up in prayer and pray that this can be a new beginning for not only him but for our entire family. We have moved from what we once called "home" but will now make where ever we are our "home". We rejoice in the blessings of the timing of each thing - although we may not realize at that moment - that it is a blessing. We know God has perfect timing in all things and that we are just flawed humans - his children.

I love my new "home" and thank not only the Lord, but all the people who continue to support our family. I have never really experienced the love of "Jesus with skin on" like I have through this long journey.

I told Trenton that God is our "Travel Agent". We do not know the destination, some scenery is not so great - but there are beautiful sights and destinations ahead if we will only believe and "see" them.

I have more appreciation more and more each day for the heartache and love that my mother has experienced with each one of us kids. I know now exactly what she has lived through and continues to feel for us and her grandchildren.

A mother's love - it compares to no other. I can only imagine the heartache God felt when he witnessed his son dying on the cross for us - I am sure it was far greater that any heartache I have had.

I will keep you posted on Taylor's treatment plan and know that we are all safe - in a new "home" together, loving, appreciating and looking ahead to each new day.

I love you my friends - and your support means the world to me!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Big Picture...

The Big Picture...

As I was packing and finding lost treasures - I came across this photo of Turner eating cake for the first time on his first birthday. I stopped to reflect and remember his reaction to the cake. He smelled it first - then grabbed the whole piece and put it up to his mouth. He then sat there for the next 20 minutes in the pose above literally "taking the cake".

We have been through a lot the past couple of years - but as I stop to look ahead - it is really all about the "Big Picture". It is about moving forward and "taking the cake".

The economy is a huge challenge. Finding a job is another huge challenge. Housing - yet another. In the midst of this tug-o-war we need to find the cake. We need to take it in and enjoy the cake that life has to offer. No one said that life is easy, most of us know that. My kids are learning. As a mom I do not want them to suffer or go without. I will teach them to appreciate what we DO have and not envy what we do not.

So today - go forward in life and "take the cake"...no matter how big or small the piece may be you will surely find PEACE no matter the size or flavor!



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Take time to smell the roses...

As we count the days that we have to get all our belongings out of the home that we once had - it struck me that no matter how stressed we are we need to take the time to smell the roses.

My little guys do not understand the urgency in our actions as we brush them out of the way to pack yet another box, or haul a bag for donations out to the garage. They "get" that we are moving - but time does not mean a thing to them at ages 4 and 5.

Trevan and Turner scurry about picking flowers and bringing them in to me proudly. "Look mama - this is a pretty flower for you - smell it!" I know that taking a few seconds out of my furious packing, bending down to accept the gift, holding it to my nose and exclaiming "Mmmm it smells so pretty!" can bring a priceless smile and sense of accomplishment to my little boys.

My first reaction is to scold them for "picking the flowers" or perhaps annoyance as they interrupt my task at hand. I quickly realize that my reaction to their act of love can mean the difference between joy and heartbreak to their tender young hearts.

I have to remind myself to stop and smell the roses - no matter how rushed I am.

So today - I did just that. In the midst of my chaos - I took time to smell the flowers picked by the little hands smudged with dirt. Looking into the crystal blue eyes and watching the huge smiles on their faces brought a joy to my heart that surpasses all understanding. I have to remember that actions do speak louder than words.

I thank the Lord for my blessings in the midst of all the challenges...

We did get served and we have until Saturday at 5:00 pm to have all our things out of the house. We will take it minute by minute - and we will get it done.

Until tomorrow.


Monday, March 2, 2009

It's another week...

Well we are into another week...we are still packing and donating. We have not gotten served but have transitioned the kids to the hotel. We will move our beds today to my mom's garage. We have only kept a tiny bit of things and the rest have been sold or donated.

We are starting again. Just bare necessities. That is, after all what we really need.

I must admit I have been thrown a total curve by the crashing of my lap top's hard drive. I just knew in my heart that my data could be recovered. When the "genius" at the Genius Bar at Apple casually told me that the hard drive was "toast" I went numb. I have things on there that can not be replaced and have not been backed up due to the stress and time restrictions that I have been under. I needed to by a "vault" at Apple to store all my photos on. I kept talking about it and just did not have the money. I now have to take the computer to a data recovery place that could charge me $400 to $3000 to get my data - IF they are able.

I am just sick. I feel like I was socked in the gut. Lesson learned - got it. BACK UP your computer. Just do it.

Turner is having a really tough transition - as are the other boys. Turner really needs routine and stability so pray for him.

The hotel is a far cry from a tent and we are so blessed by those who have helped make it home. I can't express how thankful we are to have such a nice place to now call home. The staff is delightful and the food is great. We get breakfast 7 days a week and a dinner entree and snacks Monday through Thursday. The kids love the pool and the scenery is just heavenly.

We have been abundantly blessed. I am trying to impress on my children that this is a privilege to be able to stay in such a nice place. That it is a gift. They have taken a new attitude and help tidy up and respect their surroundings.

Please email me with your contact info as I have lost all my contacts in my address book - :o(
Email: JaneanLindner@mac.com

Blessings to you!