Thursday, August 30, 2007

...The Aly interview...part 2 Miss Aly wanted me to ask her some more questions and put them on the blog. So, why goes.

What can you tell me about God? Well, he lives in heaven and Jesus is with him there. Igma and Hunny are there too. I think it is a good place that he lives in.
What is your favorite TV show? Um...Little Bear because I like seeing the talking duck and talking cat and owl and bears...which is Little Bear. It's on Noggin
What is your favorite time of day? Um...when we go to the Merry Go Round. I love to ride the horses.
Who is your favorite person? Well, Daddy is my favorite person ever. I like when he makes up stories and I like when he does stuff nice for me. He is the best Daddy ever.
What do you think about adoption? I don't know yet...I get back to you. It is good, however. I just don't know how to put it into English yet.
Which do you like better...rainy days or sunny days? Sunny days when I can go to the Merry Go Round because I like to go to the Merry Go Round.
Which do you like better...breakfast, lunch or dinner? Breakfast because I like to eat what Mommy makes for me. It is good stuff.
What is your favorite part of bedtime? It's when Dad turns on "On Demand" and I can watch Little Bear or when he turns on the Cooking Channel and I can watch Alton Brown because he does stuff funny. I like Paula Deen too because she cooks good and says nice stuff.
What does Love mean? It means...I don't know how to say's just love.
Is there anything else you want to say? No...I just don't know anymore than that.

Well, there you have it.
I asked Lili if she had anything she wanted to say. She came running over and said, "Yeah". that was all she could come up with. Oh well...she will be overflowing with words soon if her current babbling is any indication!!!!

Have a great evening...go make lots of memories with your spouses and children today!!

In HIS Mighty Grip...

Monday, August 27, 2007

An interview with Aly here you go...what does Aly think on those tough issues of life? Keep reading to find out... (all answers are Aly's. I am just typing them for her)

What is you favorite color? Red and purple
What is your favorite outfit?
my yellow sundress because I like to go to houses that are yellow and I like to look at houses that are yellow and get dresses that are yellow because it makes me think of red and purple


What do you most like to do?
I like to read to my babysister. Um... when I read that means I'm looking at the pages because I can't read.
What is your favorite food?
Watermelon and cereal and ketchup too. Oh, and gummybears
What are you going to be when you grow up? What God wants me to be

****That's my girl!!!***

What would you like to be when you grow up? a teacher
What makes you giggle?
when we're laughing and having fun
What makes you happy?
when I play with my baby sister and draw with her
What makes you mad? but, I'm never mad

*****Ha ha ha ha...yeah right!!!! So what exactly was that temper tantrum you threw the other night???******

What makes you sad?
When you spank me
Can you tell me something about China? When we first got Lili, it was in China. And the food was good. The country has lots of different places that we went to. I liked it.
What do you like to do outside?
In the fall I like to make a leaf pile and jump in it. In the summer I like to go to the beach. In the winter I like to show you and Dad how to make a snowman and igloos.
Anything else you want to say? Um...yes. Um...this is from Aly. I like to go to the Merry -go-Round with Mommy and Daddy and Lili and Poppi and I like to go to parks with Lili and I want to go to Aly Loos' house and have a sleepover. This is written from Aly Swindler...thats all now. thank you

There you have it folks. All the things you wanted to know about Aly. Hope you enjoyed our "Interview with Aly"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Out of the mouth of my baby girl...

“When I said,
"My foot is slipping,"
Your love, O LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
Your consolation brought joy to my soul.”
Psalm 94:18-19)
Last week, while David was in TN, I was talking with Aly about Poppi. My Dad had been especially sad and angry and difficult that day and Aly was concerned. She asked me why he was so sad. I explained to her that he was really missing Hunny. She looked at me kind of funny. So I went on and said that I missed Hunny too, just like she did. She looked at me kind of funny again so I asked her if she missed Hunny. She said, "No, Mom" Well, you can imagine that I was a little hurt by that so I said, " Well, don't you miss Igma?" (David's Mom) and she again said that she didn't. So I said, "Well, don't you miss Daddy?" She said, "Yes, I miss Daddy because he is coming back. I don't miss Hunny and Igma because they are in Heaven with Jesus"
Wow...there is a great lesson in there!!! My God brought consolation to my soul through this precious little three year old!!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mommy's home...Mommy's home!!!

Yes, I made it in one piece! My friend, Leigh, went with me to keep me awake and we both came home early this morning absolutely hoarse from all the catching up we did!! We talked NON STOP for the entire was hilarious!!
We left here about noon yesterday, dropped off our charges at their house, and then went out for a very enjoyable dinner at California Dreamin' in Columbia. No bibs, no sippy cups, no crying, no children's menus...only the continued black hole that we talked ourselves into!!
I got Leigh back to her house about 2am and crawled into my bed about 3am. WHEW~!!
I slept in today and now we are back at it trying to figure out how to get this house in order for us to get our stuff in. It is so hard to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. I know it will take some time, but I sure do wish it was over and we were settled because the chaos that we are in right now is CRAZY for sure!!!
Aly just crawled up in David's lap and asked him when we would be going back home. Bless her heart...she is so confused about all of this! I'm pretty confused too come to think of it!! Oh well...thank goodness kids are so adaptable and she will get through it. Lili, on the other hand, could care less...just make sure she has food and a place to sleep and she is good to go!! :-) Lisa, can theystill come to visit when we go back to get the rest of our stuff???
Well, I better get back to it.
love to you all~~~~~

In HIS Mighty Grip

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Daddy's home!!!! Daddy's home!!!!!

Holy have NEVER seen two more excited little ones as Aly and Lili were when their Daddy drove in the driveway earlier today!!! Lili started running down the driveway with her arms in the air yelling, "Daddydaddydaddydaddy" Aly just kept jumping up and down and screaming "Daddy's home Daddy's home Daddy's home!"
Forget letting him get out of the car, they dove in the door after him. Bailey (the dog) wasn't much better!!! Hugs, kisses and licks (from Bailey) were on the menu and David ordered seconds and thirds and fourths of them all. :-)
Poor thing is coughing his guts out and they were all so tired from driving all night. Charlie said that it was the longest drive of his life. They have been trying to stay awake all afternoon so that they would sleep tonight, but they didn't have too much luck.
The girls were quite happy to get some more toys from home and their toy chest to hold them all. They were able to make a dent in getting some of our stuff down here...albeit a small dent. It is nice to finally have the highchair and some kids bowls and some of our personal stuff. Now we get to start rearranging this house and clearing out some space for us here.
Tomorrow I am leaving the girls with Daddy and Poppi (my dad) and I am heading back to SC to return our two helpers (our nephew and a good friend of his). 5 hours there and 5 hours back...whew!!
Please keep the prayers coming...for David to get rid of this cough and start to feel better, for safe travels for me tomorrow, for the energy to get done all that has to be done before we head back to TN for more stuff in a few weeks, for Daddy as he continues to deal with all the change in his world right now.
Thanks again to everyone for all the good wishes, emails , calls of encouragement and continued prayer for our family. We couldn 't have survived any of this without it all!!!!

In HIS Mighty Grip

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's been a long week...

Hello everyone. We are attempting to find some form of normalcy these days. Of course that is not going to happen anytime soon. A girl can dream can't she???

David left for Nashville this past Monday. He and our nephew have been going through all of our stuff getting ready for the big yard sale they had yesterday. It went okay...not as good as we would have liked, but we got rid of some stuff anyway!! We plan to have another yard sale in Nashville later in September before we move the rest of it.

Poor David is sick as a dog, which doesn't help. He has a nasty cold and it is really taking a toll on him with all that had to be done this week. Please remember him...there is still a lot to get done and then packing up some stuff to come back to Florida on Monday or Tuesday. He and Charlie have to get our van and car packed up, get all the stuff to sell on Ebay and then make the drive back down here to us.

We he gets back we will start the process of re-arranging the house here to get ready to bring back the bulk of our stuff. I am trying to get in the mindset of getting rid of stuff. It is all just stuff and we can live without all of it if needbe!! here are the prayer requests:

1- David and his get well quickly

2- David and Charlie and the drive back down here on Monday

3- God to make it plain to us what he would have us to do for income once we get down here

4- that the transition to our new home would be as easy and seamless as possible. It is not easy to move in with a parent under the best of circumstances, but there are a lot of raw emotions running rampant at the moment here.

5-For us to continue to trust in God's provision for us and to continue to trust that God does indeed know what he is doing with the Swindler family!!!

Thanks everyone for all of the continued prayers for us. I feel like we have been on the permanent prayer list for about the last year!! I don't have a clue what God is doing with our family, but I know that we are still trusting HIM!!!

Here is a picture of Aly from two summers ago. She was having so much fun dancing with the seagulls on the beach. I love this picture because I want to be just that happy. She was totally happy and not worried about anything or anyone...just dancing with the seagulls!!!

~Thank you Abba...that you are taking care of everything in our lives right now and always. Thank you that you know what is around the bend and we don't have to worry about it. We can just be happy and dance with the seagulls...knowing that you have it all under control!!!!

In HIS Mighty Grip

Saturday, August 11, 2007

You won't even believe if I tell you.... today was Mom's memorial service. It was just what she would have wanted. Not to much, not too over the top, but very very nice. Lots of music, laughter and a gathering of many friends and family to celebrate the life of my mother. After the service, the church had a luncheon for us in the fellowship hall. We made it home in the afternoon sometime.

Shortly after we got home, put all the food away, peeled all of our totally wet clothes (great golly it was hot today...we were all soaking wet!!) and began to get settled down from the days events, the phone rang. My cousin (Dad's brother's son) called. He asked where we had been and said that he had been trying to get us since after the memorial service. He said that he was glad I answered the phone and he would leave it to me to tell my dad. After the service he had gone to his Dad's house to let him know how the service went. (My uncle is old and sickly and wasn't able to attend). Anyway, when he got to his Dad's house he found him dead. Yes, you read that right...MY DAD'S BROTHER DIED TODAY...THE SAME DAY THAT HE MEMORIALIZED HIS WIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How much more Lord????

My uncle has been sick for sometime. By all rights he should have died several years ago, but he continued to hang on. I do not understand God's timing in this. A few minutes after we broke the news to Daddy he said, "This is just like when Dad and Curtis died" That would be his father (my G-father) and his older brother (my uncle). They both died within four hours of each other of totally unrelated causes when I was in the 9th grade. It was a total nightmare. Anyway, Dad did seem to take it pretty well, but I continue to worry for him. This has been a very overwhelming few weeks for my precious Dad...please continue to lift him up in prayer!!

David is heading back to our home the first of the week to begin the process of selling off furniture of ours that we won't need and packing up our stuff and bringing the first load of essentials back to us here in Florida. This is going to be a touch few months until we can get all of our stuff under one roof. There is a lot that has to happen here at my Dad's house before we can bring all of our stuff here too. A lot of rearranging and getting rid of stuff. It is going to be very wierd rearranging my parents has looked basically like this for most of my life.
Please continue to lift us all up as we struggle through these times. A lot of changes to deal with and a lot of changes coming down the pike.
In HIS Mighty Grip~

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Does life really go on?

It is hard to take that step back into life after the hits that we have taken at our house over the last 10 months or so. I am a little skiddish to say the least. It has been just one thing after another. At the same time I am blown away by God's provision at each step of the journey. He has been so very faithful and has been such an awesome prescence through it all!! I can't even describe as though God has just been leading us down this absolutely crazy path that has more twists in it than I care to discuss, but he just keeps saying, "follow me...I know where we are going. It is all under control"
So, I will post about a happy moment in my precious Aly's life today...
After a day of running around town on errands in the HEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We decided to go to our neighbors house with the girls and take them for a swim. They have been so sweet to open up their pool to us and today was definately THE DAY. So off we went.
Aly is absolutely FEARLESS and in the pool is no exception. she has a floaty thing that she wears over her bathing suit. She loves it and just flings herself into the pool over and over and over as though nothing could stop her. So, after swimming for a bit, David asked her if she would like to take the floaty off and see how she could do without it. Of course...she was total GAME!! So, off it came and we floated awhile, and she went back and forth between David and me a number of times. I was so very proud of her...she was really doing very very well. We commented that by the end of next week she should be a pro. I reminded her that when she got out of the pool not to go jumping in like she was used to doing since she didn't have the floaty on. About that time she said that she needed to visit the bathroom. So, out of the pool she charged and a few minutes later she came running up to the pool and didn't even slow down...IN SHE CAME...into the deep end no less!!!!! David and I both about had heart failure and either one of us could have easily challenged Mark Spitz to a race across the pool to get her. As we got close I realized that she had popped up to the surface, her eyes were wide open and her mouth was firmly closed. She wasn't at all in a panic, she was just treading the mess out of that pool water! David plucked her out of the water in one quick move and attempted to stuff his heart back down his throat. It took us a while to recover, but she was okay. I asked her if she was scared. She said "no"
Of course not!!
Kind of like earlier in the week when I was having a "moment" she climbed up in my arms and said, "Mom, it's okay, Hunny is in Heaven with Igma, Great Aly and Jesus"
Out of the mouths of babes...thank God for my babes!!!
Off to bed. Praying for good sleep and a peaceful night for my Dad..I can't even imagine what is swirling around in his head I can't even begin to imagine how he is putting one foot in front of the other right now!!
Thanks everyone for the continued prayers and support!!!

In HIS Mighty Grip~

Monday, August 6, 2007

Praise HIS name, she is at home.

Here are the light of Carolyn's eyes singing and having a good time with their "Hunny". We were blessed that they could see her one last time and that she was able to enjoy their visit.

Dear family and friends,

Carolyn Thomas Skinner, age 63, went home to be with her beloved master and savior Jesus the Christ last night around 9:20pm. It was a peaceful homegoing as Shelley and her Dad and several close friends were there. She simply stopped breathing and left her body to be with Jesus. What a burden has been lifted and yet the sorrow is so overwhelming so please remember our family at this time. Shelley especially needs your prayers as she learns to cope with life without her Mom. I am just sort of getting used to the fact that I will not be able to pick up the phone and call mine and here comes the unbelievable news about Carolyn.

God is soverign and in control and we thank Him for all his blessings. The best one we can think of now is the life we will celebrate at Carolyn's memorial service. She was a remarkable woman full of love and generous with her ideas and skills. I will always be thankful to her for the wonderful job she and Gary did raising their amazing daughter and my wonderful wife.

I am so overwhelmed by the Holy Spirits peace at this moment. Thank you for your prayers and love. Please, please continue to lift up Shelley and Gary.

Carolyn's Memorial service will be at Ancient City Baptist Church, St. Augustine Florida on Saturday August 11, 2007 at 11:00 am.

In leiu of flowers it was Carolyn's request that any memorials in her honor be made to Ancient City Baptist Church Building fund, 27 Sevilla Street, St. Augustine FL, 32084.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Still waiting ...still trusting...

Hi everyone. First of all let me say that I am overwhelmed by the emails and phone calls of support and love that we have received. I am truly blessed!!
Mom has now been moved to a nursing home. I don't understand Insurance companies...oh, I guess they think you can die cheaper in a nursing home than you can in a hospital!! They made us move her yesterday. She was so very depressed as we were getting her nearly broke my heart.
Let me back up to David's last post. Mom had the reaction to the Morphine and she never really came out of it. She ended up with high levels of CO2 in her system. Because of her size and also her sleep apnea and the fact that she is flat on her back in the bed, she is unable to get rid of the CO2, so her O2 levels are continuing to drop and the CO2 levels are continuing to rise. She sleeps a lot and when she is awake she is very confused and talking out of her head. Sometimes she knows she isn't making sense and sometimes she gets very angry at me for thinking that she isn't making any any of this making any sense???? Anyway, they are telling us that this will continue and eventually the CO2 levels with get high enough that she will go to sleep and just not wake up. Praise God...then she will be free from the terribly broken body that she is in and she will be resting in her Heavenly Father's arm forever!!!!!!!!!!!!
She is in a lot of pain, so my Dad has authorized them to give her however much Morphine she needs to be pain free. We know that this will cause her CO2 levels to rise because it effects her respiratory system and thus expidite her passing, but we know that it will also be a painless way to go!!! So we spend our days and nights (someone is with her 24/7) by her bedside explaining everything to her over and over and trying to comfort her as she talks crazy stuff.
I have prayed that God will be merciful and not let her suffer or linger a second longer than HIS will would dictate. I don't want her to go, but I don't want her to suffer even more!
My Dad is really limping along through all of this. It is really taking a huge toll on him..I just don't know how much more he can take. I am asking for many prayers for him. For strength, for courage, for peace and sweet sleep when he comes home and tries to rest. He isn't sleeping well and is so very tired. That David and I will have the right words to comfort him, that he will seek God through it all and draw closer to him!!
Obviously the Dr.'s don't know how much longer Mom has with us, but they say that it most likely will be days. So we are still waiting...still trusting in our Father's love to get us through it all...