Thursday, May 31, 2007
Karen and I thank you for your prayers. God Bless you all.
In Christ Doug
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
In Christ Doug
Happy 4th Birthday to Lizzie! It has been amazing watching you grow up and discover new things. I love to see things through your eyes! Your smile melts our hearts, your laughter fills the room with happiness, your creativity is amazing, and your hugs are priceless. You are very special to us and we love you very much!
Monday, May 28, 2007
Mom's flowers are very beautiful right now. She has a sea of purple in the front flower bed.
Early Saturday evening, we went fishing at Sunnyside, or should I say that we practiced casting. I did catch two small ones, and Lizzie caught one, but that was all we caught. Hannah was with us in our boat, so I was helping her with her 'casting.' I put a big bobber on her little Nemo pole and kept throwing it out for her to 'wind in.' She doesn't reel, she winds. I was smart enough NOT to put a lure on the pole of a two year old who was determined to throw the line out herself. I thought her whole pole would end up in Pend Oreille, but it made it back to the truck at the end of the night. It did end up in my eye a couple times, but we all survived. We had hundreds of geese fly over us while we were out there, and one flock had 62 geese in it. What a joyful noise as they flew over and were all honking.
Sunday brought many showers and storms, and a 4 year old's birthday party. I can't believe Lizzie is already celebrating her 4th birthday. We had a princess party and there were enough presents for four 4 year olds!! Her mommy made her a beautiful cake, and we enjoyed a great dinner of smoked turkey that Vance smoked in his smoker and great family time. After the party, Thane and dad watched Flags of Our Fathers, while mom and I decided it was a bit too intense to watch before going to bed, especially if we wanted to sleep. I do plan to read the book, however. I did watch the last 20 minutes of the movie, and it was pretty emotional.
Monday morning was very wet and extremely cold! BRRRR, 40 degrees! The whole day was chilly and there was fresh snow on all the mountain tops. It sure didn't feel much like global warming to me!!! However, it sounds like we will be hitting 90 by the end of the week. Wow, my poor garden is going to be so confused. Our front yard is coming up really nice and hopefully by the time we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in three weeks, we will have a beautiful, lush green yard.
Well we are always there for our children aren't we? We could not imagine the loss of a child. We are spared from dealing with such a loss. Now it is a daily emotion to stand before a son that I can't help. He journeys this road not by himself but alone in the pain. I can only pray for his ability to accept his pain and condition. He is a great warrior and son. I am blessed to still have him here although at times, I feel guilty. I look around and see the living memorials of war and wars past. These men are so young with a lifetime to deal with their physical conditions, not to forget the mental war that rages on inside. Brandon is challenged everyday with these emotions. Along with the loss of his legs. The only thing that I can remind him of are the countless lives that he has saved because of his courage to travel down roads that are by design death to all who travel. This is our military, brave, honorable,loyal,compassionate,courageous and they are Americans made up many backgrounds and races. I am so glad I have met so many of these men and women. So I know that my son will walk proud and with a smile because he has saved lives. His pain someday will be understood as a reminder to those that gave their lives for freedom.
In Christ Doug
Sunday, May 27, 2007
In Christ Doug
In Christ Doug
Friday, May 25, 2007
In Christ Doug
Thank you Brandon, for your service to this country. Thank you for giving of yourself to defend my freedoms. You are a true hero!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The story of America's quest for freedom is inscribed on her history in the blood of her patriots. ~Randy Vader
The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree. ~Thomas Campbell
We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights. ~Felix Frankfurter
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. - John Stuart Mills
If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag. ~Author Unknown
Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. ~Louis D. Brandeis
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
We are all teachers, whether we think we are or not. There is always someone watching us, looking at our lives and how we respond to situations. If you are a parent, your kids learn from you how to respond to life situations and often mirror that response. I have worked with teens for 17 years, and I know they do the same to me. We all need to look at ourselves and see if we respond or react when life challenges come about.
Every day you teach people about God. You may teach Truth or you may teach falsehood; either way you teach. You teach others that God is faithful or that he can’t be trusted, and you do that by reflecting faith in God, or by behaving as if he can’t be trusted.
We become teachers when we tell, show, reflect how God is working in our lives, and we become teachers when we respond, act, walk as if Jesus himself were living through us. By watching you, others will see what “Christ in you” looks like in another human being.
You need to know God’s Word before you can teach it through study or by living it. By hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the words of Christ, they’ll take root in your heart, and this will make you wise.
God’s wisdom over conventional wisdom – Too often we look to the world’s conventional wisdom when we’re seeking answers, yet the Truth is found only in God’s wisdom.
When others look at your life what do they see? Love, acceptance, joy, peace or hate, judgement, unrest, and chaos. You are an open book to each person you come in contact with; what are they reading about you?
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful.
Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him. Colossians 3:15b-17
And the Scriptures were written to teach and encourage us by giving us hope. Romans 15:4
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
In Christ Doug
"...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis
Red is for the blood. Blue is for the bruise. White is for the eyes that fought for me and you. Lift your hearts today, filled with gratitude and praise, for the Veterans of the USA.
Freedom is never free. ~Author Unknown
Updates on Brandon from weekend:
Saturday night-Brandon was moved today to a new room. Its a two man room. He is very awake now. He continues to try to deal with the pain. He feels pain in the legs and feet. Phantom pain is real but very hard to make go away. His meds are not causing him to see things now but, his pain is higher because he can't take certain pain aids. Infection is still being looked for.His temp goes up and down. His cultures are coming back negative. So keep on praying! Its a long road to recovery! It has been extremely tough to keep regular hours. So my sleep although I am sleeping is at best good. I am continually ministering to others. The Gospel is rich throughout this place. The families are trying very hard to be there for their families and sometimes you just need to stop and cry so we too can heal.
In Christ Doug
Sunday night-Brandon needed to go back to ICU Sunday night. His phantom pain is very high. He needs to be watched as his dose of meds. go up. Otherwise he really tries to enjoy himself. He says hes a midget now. I told him not really because he will grow again. He wants to thank everyone for your prayer and love. He said," We need it!"
In Christ Doug and Brandon
Saturday, May 19, 2007
We have a new family member this week. Our nephew Josh and his wife Nakisha had a little boy late Wednesday night. I can't believe Josh is a dad, because it makes me feel really old!! He used to spend part of his summers with us from the ages of 10-13, and we have a lot of great memories from those times. We traveled around to watch him wrestle throughout high school and were always proud to be there watching him. We look forward to meeting Kingsley, and letting him know how lucky he is to have been given a dad like Josh.
This picture is of Josh, Kingsley, and Josh's mom, Cathy.
Congratulations Josh and Nakisha!
A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on. ~Carl Sandburg
When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers
Friday, May 18, 2007
Brandon has a possibility of infection. He has a temp increase daily. There is discharge also. A close eye is on him. They would like to move him out of the ICU environment. Many many germs there. Keep on praying!
In Christ Doug
1 John 3:1 What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to.
But you are God's chosen and special people. You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation. God has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now you must tell all the wonderful things that he has done. The Scriptures say, "Once you were nobody. Now you are God's people. At one time no one had pity on you. Now God has treated you with kindness. 1 Peter 2:8-10
We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Brandon was sitting straight up when I walked in this morning. He had all his bandages undone. He looked at me and smiled and said, "Good morning Pops, What's for breakfast?" I went down to the chow hall and grabbed are morning breakfast.
The Doctors are wanting him to be moved out of ICU. They are encouraging him to go up to the floor with the other guys. There he will start the basics. He'll learn how to get in and out of bed, bathroom use and so on. He is willing and looking forward to moving towards his recovery.
All the staff is amazed at his will. So many times they have to really push people along. With Brandon they are having to keep a close eye on him. The bed has become a jungle gym for him.
Yesterday a couple of soldiers with like injuries came and visited Brandon. It was amazing to see Brandon sit up and respond to their presence. We stepped out of the room and let him talk with his fellow soldiers. All of them were just filled with joy for each other. Soldiers in arms never forgotten.
In Christ Doug & Brandon
Love those you are with because you never know when your time, or their time, is through. Don’t live with regrets or I should have said this or done that….do it, say it, love each other.
The Father wants all people to honor the Son as much as they honor him. When anyone refuses to honor the Son, that is the same as refusing to honor the Father who sent him. I tell you for certain that everyone who hears my message and has faith in the one who sent me has eternal life and will never be condemned. They have already gone from death to life. John 5:23-25 (Contemporary English Version)
And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. John 17:3
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
and you take care
of all your creation.
10All creation will thank you,
and your loyal people
will praise you.
Psalm 145:9-11 (Contemporary English Version)
The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. ~Henry Miller
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
What a great way to sum up the life we should live. I must say I fail at it, but if I strive to live with those virtues, I am a better person, and those I come in contact with will be better off, too. The main thing is to try, and to not beat myself up if I do fail, but to keep trying and to know at the end of a day that I've done my best.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Brandon is doing well. Trying to get thru surgeries. His SGT MAJOR came and visited! Really enjoyed the time spent with him. Brandon had his Purple Heart pinned on him by the SGT MAJOR. It was a great moment for these two soldiers. Soon I will have pictures to post. Brandon's SSGT Maddox is here also. They were both in the attack. Brandon was the gunner and Madddox was driving when they were attacked. SSGT Maddox suffered a broken back during the attack. When we found out that SSGT Maddox was here at the same hospital I was ordered by SGT Adam to find his fellow soldier and friend. It was awesome to walk into the room with someone so close to Brandon. I showed him Brandon's pictures when he received his purple heart. His heart came out in the form of tears. Please send (email) me letters of appreciation that I can forward to these soldiers (his unit). They need to know that you're behind them. Our media is trying so hard to ruin this country of ours and these soldiers don't bend a knee to them! United States of America, hence the word united. Let it be the truth that we stand as Americans United! Our troops believe in America and what the stars and stripes stand for. These men are my sons legs! Join them.
IN CHRIST WE STAND
In Christ Doug and Brandon
We were in Sandpoint for the weekend. My sister and her girls and I took mom to lunch on Saturday, to avoid the crowds. We were harassed by Sherri at Slate's, which I must say, I miss so it was nice to see her. After eating, we went to the mall and Lizzie and I hit Yoke's and bought some food for lunch the next day, mini roses, cards, and had a lot of fun trying to hide the rose when mom, Jolene and Hannah came back from Penney's. Lizzie tried as hard as she could to cover the red and white striped roses with her little arms, and I'm sure mom and Jolene did not see them at all before we returned to mom and dad's home. Thane had a Mother's Day tea with his mom at the place she lives, so were went our seperate directions and got back together later in the evening, when we all enjoyed some Second Ave. Pizza at mom and dad's. We were blessed with seeing so many old friends, kids from our old youth group, and family. Unfortunately in the midst of all the activity of the weekend, I forgot about Marianne Love's book reading at Vanderford's. It was from 1-3, and at 2:55, I remembered! Sorry Marianne. I truly was looking forward to dropping by and seeing you and getting your new book. I will just have to try to catch up with you next time we are up there, although I will wait until things stop smoking around your house, just in case it is contagious.
We also enjoyed a cold trip to the mountains yesterday with all of our family. We had fun finding mushrooms, enjoying the beauty around us, and just having more time with both our moms (and dad, nieces, sister and brother-in-law.)
It was a great weekend and it was nice to return home and see that our grass has sprouted and that we have a soft green fuzz across our front, soon to be, yard!!
Our prayers continue to be with Brandon and his family.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
The older I grow, the more I realize what an honor it is for me to have a mom like you. My appreciation for you grows with each year. The lessons and values that you have taught me are the gifts I will treasure always, because you modeled them through your actions and your words. You are not only my mom, but my friend. You are always willing to lend a hand and your arms are open when hugs are needed. You have a giving heart and you put everyone's needs before your own. I am so blessed by God that he gave me a mom like you and so greatful for a mom who extends her love and care in so many ways. Thank you for being there with a listening ear and for your care and compassion in our lives. I pray for God's richest blessings for you. I love you, mom. Happy Mother's Day!!
Happy Mother's Day to my mother-in-law, Ruth. Thank you for the gift of your son. We love you!
Friday, May 11, 2007
Today I am traving to Brandons side!
Please send emails to Brandon. I do not know when he will get to read them, but it will be great to have his inbox flooded when he does open them. He uses the underscore in his address sapper_ 19 At yahoo.com email@example.com see what I mean.
Oh Father, I ask for your strength as I see my son. I ask that You Oh Lord, will stand as a pillar of truth. I ask Father that Your holiness shine with the hope and peace as I stand before Your son. I ask now Lord that you let me stand in You so my son will trust in you only. And all God's people said,"AMEM!"
In Christ Doug
Psalm 103:13, “As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.” (NRS)
Psalm 51:1, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.” (NLT)
Isaiah 30:18, “But the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.” (NLT)
Jesus told about a rescue hero, also. There was a man who was traveling down the road one day when he noticed a hurting neighbor who had been robbed, stripped of his clothes and left for dead. Unlike others who ignored him as they passed by, this man saw the injured victim and was moved with compassion. He bandaged his wounds, took him to an inn and got him the care he needed.
Jesus told this story to show what compassion looks like. But, it was more than a story He told, it was a story He lived.
With never-failing love and compassion Jesus became our rescue hero. He had an aching awareness of our injured hearts, our sin-wrecked lives and our need for His forgiveness. He couldn’t just walk by. Instead, He came to our side. With outstretched hands He offers to heal our wounds and give us the care we need.
The bible tells us that even when our hurts and our stuggles consume us, or our responsibilities, jobs and failures overwhelm us, God’s love is greater. His compassions never fail.
I love that Jesus didn’t just tell us to love, He showed us how to love - by loving us first. He told us to love sacrificially. Then He demonstrated by sacricing His life for ours. He told us to be there for others, because He was and is there for us.
So, whether you need more of His love or feel called to give His love away, remember the same compassion that brought Jesus near over 2000 years ago moves His heart toward you today.
No matter what you need, He offers healing for your hurts, comfort for your concerns and rest for your tired soul. No matter what you face today or tomorrow, His compassions will never fail. They are new every morning!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Brandon has been down graded from critical to stable. The drugs are having their way with his mind. He is reliving Iraq. No infection! I will travel soon to him. Karen and I have made up are minds that we moving to Texas to be with him. I have left work preparing to go. Karen will return to closeout her business. Then we will have a better idea of time frame. I want to write the story of this soldier and his unit. They are the most amazing picture of humanity. This is why God put the camera in my hand. Its a story of love, compassion, loyalty, friendship, honor and at its center is God. You have all been casted in this story because of your love for these guys. See a soldier and share your appreciation for them! In Christ Doug
We have been having wonderful spring weather! The flowers are beautiful and the warm temps feel so good. I am not very patient, however, and wish our yard would hurry up and sprout. I keep looking, but it's still just seed sitting there. It's been four days, what's taking so long!! haha This is definitely a lesson in waiting for me. As I drag the house and sprinkler around the front yard, I keep wondering why we didn't put a sprinkler system in. Yesterday morning, I was getting ready for work, and was out dragging it around and trying to correctly adjust the sprinkler. I set it down and as I did, the sprinkler flipped right in my face and drenched me. My neighbors across the street were sitting in their porch swing and as I glanced up, they had their hands over their mouths and I could tell they were trying really hard to wait to laugh until I at least turned around, which I appreciate. Fortunately, it was quite windy so I dried off fast.
Of course, I had to take more pictures of my flowers before they quickly fade into a beautiful memory. We also enjoyed another magnificient sunset last night. I must say that the prairie sunsets are pretty stunning. Enjoy your day!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
The Happy File
By Luann Prater
“Be joyful always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV)
It wasn’t what some would call a perfect day, but to her it was special. We had spent the day together just hanging out around the house. Simple things like lunch on the deck, soaking in the sunshine, and giggling over funny memories traced the outlines of our shared moments. That’s when she whispered a few words as if she were telling herself a secret, “This day is going in my Happy File.”
She explained that her Happy File was a record kept of God’s simple blessings, those moments in time that beam with a little extra spark. You know the ones. When no one else would get it, but whenever you recall it… you smile. Her collection was spilling over the top.
Often we choose to hang onto the bad memories. We relive the abuse. We replay piercing words. We carry the guilt and hold on to the shame. We forget the promise of Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (NIV). No condemnation. Period, nada, zip, none!
She found the Happy File very helpful when darkness came creeping into her life. Satan loves to fill our minds with negative thoughts and trip us up with stumbling blocks. A stash of happiness works like a flashlight in the middle of the night. The evil one can cloud our world with gloom, but when we open the file that holds God’s blessings, the shadows are shattered.
So what are you choosing to keep on file? Here is the deal. Start a collection of Happy Files! God’s fingerprints are all over each day. Look for them! Record them! Recall them!
Next, pull out those old musty files that have collected guilty dust and shameful mildew. One by one as they come to your mind plunge them into God’s thought-shredder. Second Corinthians 10:5 instructs, “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV). When you say this verse out loud, something amazing happens! The thoughts go away! God longs to give you freedom from guilt, shame, worry, and anything else that hinders your ability to be joyful.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can begin daily to rid your mind of the garbage Satan has dumped on you and replace it with Happy Files. Then you truly can BE JOYFUL ALWAYS.
Get a package of index cards that are spiral bound. Begin to record “God moments” on them. Keep this Happy File where you can easily grab it in case of unexpected darkness.
What gloom am I allowing to hang over me?
How can I walk in the light of God’s promise every day?
Why am I resistant to let go of the past?
Psalm 68:3, “But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” (NIV)
Isaiah 55:12, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” (NIV)
Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” (NIV)
Romans 4:20-21, “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (NIV)
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
In Christ Doug
Sunday, May 6, 2007
We got up early Sunday and went to church and a dad of a kid who had been in our 5th & 6th grade youth group several years ago in Sandpoint came up behind us, which was a nice surprise as we hadn't seen him in a couple years. Doug and Karen live down here now, as well. He told us of his son, Brandon, who has been in Iraq fighting for his country, and on Friday night he was in an explosion and lost both his legs. He is only 21 years old. Please pray for him and his family. They all have a very long road ahead of them. Another young man from his brigade lost his life and one other is fighting to live, so please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.
Mom and dad left midday on Sunday. Thank you so much for all your work on our yard! Now we have to conquer the backyard. Thane and I decided we just needed to unwind a bit after the busy weekend, and the news of Brandon, so we went for a drive around Hauser and Newman Lakes. We saw six deer, a pheasant, many geese and ducks, and other birds. It was a great way to unwind and we very much enjoyed watching the little yellow fluffball goslings with their parents!! Our dog Maddie's favorite part was watching the deer as they darted back and forth in front of our truck, running down the road, up the hills, and across the river.
It was a long weekend, with a lot of things accomplished, good times with family, tears shed and prayers lifted up for Brandon and his family, and a nice time to just enjoy God's creation at the end of the day. I think it's time to get to bed and get ready for the week ahead!
Friday, May 4, 2007
There is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is more about our circumstances, but joy penetrates our hearts and lives, and goes beyond our circumstances. If we choose to allow it, it is ever present in our lives, which doesn't mean that we are always running around happy, but if we have joy, it has a place deep in our souls and we have a sense of peace in all circumstances. Joy is a state of mind, a sense of well-being no matter what we come up against. It's not a fake smile, or pretending life is great when it isn't, but it's knowing we can pull through. Too me, joy and hope go hand in hand. Joy isn't about things, it's about who we are and what is in us. It is living each moment we are given to the fullest. Joy shines through us for all to see, if we let it.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Joy is prayer-Joy is strength-Joy is love-Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. ~ Mother Teresa
Happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Christ. Anonymous
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
While in Coeur d'Alene, I went to Camera Corral and took another plunge. My zoom lens has seen better days and the motor in it is really acting up, so I went in to check on a new zoom. The price wasn't too bad, at least if you are a camera buff, and I would be upgrading from a 100-200 zoom, to a 75-300, so I tried to keep justifying the price for the upgrade. I called Thane and talked it over with him, and fifteen minutes later was back making my purchase. After arriving home, I had to see how well it worked so took pictures of my May Day Flowers.
Thane came home from work and wanted to try to go fishing. It was clouding up and a little breezy, but we thought it would be fine to run out to Hauser and give it a try. We should have taken a hint from those with big boats who were coming in, but we didn't. We even had a lady who was holding her boat while her husband got their truck and trailer, tell us they just got beat up so bad out on the lake they had to come in. They had a big fishing boat, with a cover and rocking chairs inside, and two motors on the back, unlike our 12 foot aluminum boat, just big enough for the two of us. We put our tiny fishing boat, with oars, out in the lake. It was quite windy, and very cold, but we braved it. We had on every coat in the truck and were still freezing. The wind got worse, and we started to drift straight towards some angry geese who were not happy that we were coming closer to them. We decided it was too cold, and it just wasn't worth tipping over so went back to shore before we had to call may day to get some help because we had capsized and had angry Canadian geese chasing us because we got too close to their babies.
On the way home, the moon was rising over the mountains in Coeur d'Alene. When we first got to the highway, it was huge, but there wasn't anywhere with a good view to pull over to take a picture. Once we got back to our neighborhood, it was still beautiful, so snapped a few pictures. What a beautiful end to another wonderful day.