Thursday, June 28, 2012

Healing for the Twins

This morning my sister sent me a picture of both George and Connor as they were just out of surgery.  Oh my goodness...they both look like they are in so much pain!  As much as I wanted to see them I didn't like seeing them hurting!!

Oh, sorry,,,The boys had to have their adenoids and tonsils removed but since they both had a deviated septum they had to have those corrected. It just broke my heart and made me want to jump on the first plane and help them as well as my sister and Big George out!  You know, I can't think of anything worse than your child hurting.  Maybe your spouse or your parent but your child is just that...your child.  Seeing kids endure something is so heart wrenching and goodness knows that these two boys have been through so much physically since their arrival 17 years ago it just doesn't seem fair sometimes.  Does that make sense?  

It's moments like this when I think about Mary.  How in the world did she stand and watch them mock her son all his life?  You know as a mother she had to want to step in and stop it?  How did she refrain from just losing it sometimes?  How did Joseph handle the bulling he saw being done?  I cannot begin to imagine the strength, the faith, the pain, the courage, the hurt that she felt as her son walked, carrying his cross and standing at his feet until his last breath was taken.  It's far more than my mind can comprehend. 

It's no wonder the name Mary when researched often comes up meaning "bitter".  However...before you form an opinion...As sure as I am that Mary certainly was "Bitter" for having gone through a pregnancy, child birth in a stable, and then watching her son crucified that she was also very grateful for the time she had with her son.  Her son formed in Gods image.  Her son for whom the greatest story ever told would be about.  Her son whose life and death meant salvation for the lost.  Her son who sometimes never spoke yet acted in love.  Her son who gave all.  Her son for whom she loved more than her life itself.  Her son for whom God trusted her with,,,not anyone else.  Her son for whom she had not been bitter over she would have never learned the true essence of endurance, faith, wisdom, forgiveness, sorrow, love and more importantly...everlasting life. Her son taught her more than anyone.  How is it that we must learn the opposite of sweet by tasting bitter?  Learn the opposite of hate by loving? Feel the opposite of strong by being weak?  Witness the opposite of sick as healed?
I don't know why my thought wandered off into this direction but there are times when I gather strength from the strength that I see in others.  Mary had to have more strength than imaginable! sister Debbie is right up there with her.  Debbie, you have been though more with your boys than I have been with my husband(s) and my children combined.  Sure we may have endured our own trials but nothing when it comes to what you have endured as George and Connors mother!  You are a pillar of strength!  Your compassion is overflowing just when you think it's depleted!  Your service to others is so honorable!  Even in your lowest moments you're able to crack a joke, shed a tear and still give God all the Glory for giving you two boys that changed your's and Big Georges world!

I hope you know what an inspiration you are to me!  My children may be grown but I have another generation at my heels that I can certainly be a greater influence to.  Why the boys have had to go though so much is beyond me.  Like you...I believe they are going to have a great story one day!!  They will be able to look back at the life you led and thank God that their Mother and Father were the Christians they were!  I believe that with the Gman many medical mysteries may be closer to being solved because you never gave up!!  The World Neurology Organization does not know who God put in their path! The Sturgis Family!!

  I look at Mary,  she was able to witness the resurrection of her son, Jesus.  I look to you and know that without a doubt God is going to unveil His plan for your family soon.  I'm in tears writing this and only hope that my words are coming out and making some sense.  You took me in when I was weary, lost, torn and without hope.  You gave me my smile, helped restore my faith, shared in my physical challenges and brought me back to where I belonged.  In His loving arms!  I wish I was there right now to help with the twins.  There is nothing I can do to ever repay you for your loving me unconditionally...for being the Mary I needed and for never allowing the word bitter to enter your mouth for the role that you had accepted!!   

 I pray that the next few hours bring you, George and both the boys some much needed rest.  May their swelling begin to subside and their healing begin.  May He allow the pain they are enduring to leave their body as quickly as possible.  I thank God for neighbors like Betsy and Lanie that are there to assist and help you all during this time.  Lord it is in your name that I ask this for my sister and her family, Amen.

just fyi...I love you more!

My Little Corner of the World

I'm sooooo excited about updating my photography blog. My goal is to make that a one stop blog for family and friends to see the latest photos without all my ramblings!  Can you believe some people don't like to hear my constant chatter??  sad, eh?  Their loss!  
anyway, there are a couple of repeats but I'm trying to get the gallery organized into categories.  Granddaughters, Nature, Trips, get the idea.  Anyhoo~~ feel free to jump over and take a peek!  Please, Please sign the guestbook.  It just lets me know I had company! : )   okey dokey!!  love yuns!                         The link again is    



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CWA Review Crew...I'm in !!

Finally!!  I'm sooooo excited to be starting a new adventure!  I know, my whole life is an adventure so you're asking, "What this time?" right!  lol   

I've been trying for a few weeks to get into the Christian Women's Affiliate and become a reviewer!  The fact is I received an email a few weeks back that I'd been approved to be in their Private Review was I would couldn't follow the directions clearly to make my way around until tonight!!  YIPPEE's official!  I put in for my first two books!!  Jaylen will no doubt have dibs on one of them if she sees it before I do!  The cover alone with the horse will clearly win that girl over!!  She is like Meme and loves to read.  My only problem is I found Facebook a few years back and stopped reading like I use to. I'm so guilty of becoming a Farmville, Cityville addict that I seldom paid any attention to the statuses!  (Which...for the most part could have been a good thing!!  People share way, way, way too much personal info on that social media!  But,,,I'm still hooked!)  I'm hoping my books when they arrive will get me back to reading especially since I'm expected to give a review.  It's kinda like self-discipline hummm...maybe I should say self-help??  lol 

Don't get me wrong...I  see several negative with FB but I also see several positives in it as well. For someone that's pretty much home-bound during the week it's an amazing outlet!  So I'll continue to harvest the crops and tend to the residents until my books arrive!!  Be sure to check back and review my reviews of some great books!  Who knows...maybe one day my book will be up for review on CWA!!'t that be amazing!  God does work in mysterious ways!!!  

If you'd like to check out click the badge on the right just below the verse-a-day!  Night all!  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Over The Counter Insurance Benefits

Wow...was I surprised when I recently chatted with a customer service rep with my health insurance carrier.  I had no idea that they offered OTC benefits via mail-order each quarter as well as assisted devices.  The representative told me how to order this all online but I'm still somewhat old fashioned and like getting catalogs in the mail so I waited for mine to arrive via Uncle Sam and the USPS.  
I was in awe when I saw what they offered and even more stunned when I noticed the prices they had listed beside each item.  Let's just take a bottle of Tums.  Regular strength.  100 count.  They charge 7.58.  whewwwwww..... That's about a 2.50 increase from what I pay anywhere for the name brand!
I spent a couple of days deciding on what I wanted to order.  Still, in the back on my mind thinking there must be a catch.  In fact, I dug out my carriers benefits folder to double check this benefit!   I decided to order things that would "fill" my medicine cabinet.  If that makes sense.  Having nursed for over 20 years there is seldom anything I don't have in my cabinet or in my first aid car kit but I was able to spend 200.00 in no time!  
Below is a picture of what filled my mailbox and my medicine cabinet for this quarter.  
Go check your insurance companies policy and see if you have this benefit!  I say if you're paying for the benefits...then benefit from them!! 

I'm still waiting on my assisted devices to arrive ... 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Marine of the Day & Presidential Unit Citation Award

As the mother of a young man straight out of high school and into the Marine Corp I struggled with "Letting Go" in so many new ways.  Not only was Bret the baby and the last one to leave the nest...the nest was going to be hostile territory from what I knew! Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Majarah!  I found myself even fearful of the "non hostile" areas he would be stationed.  Silly, I know, my only excuse, "being his Mom"!

When I look back I recall how I feared the day he would leave for college.  Would he make it to class on time?  Would he eat more than just fast food and drink less energy drinks.  Would he join a paternity? Would he use protection? Would he recall the long talks we'd had as mom and son and heed all the advice I'd given?  Would he call home enough?  ....I tell you the list goes on and on.  It's not that Bret was a skipping, drinking, partying's just that I knew what temptations would be knocking at his door the moment he arrived.  

Well, then I get the news he had decided not to go to college.  The day he knocked on my bedroom door he walked in, sat down on the bed and said, "Mother, we need to talk!"  Anytime Bret wanted to talk you knew it was something of some magnitude.  Not small talk...that's not Bret.  
From somewhere deep inside him, Bret gathered his thoughts and with a determined voice clearly spoke his plans. 
"Mother, I've really thought long and hard about this and my mind is made up and I've signed all the papers and I've joined the United States Marine Corp."  I leave in August.  

My mind was surprisingly very focused and my comment was, "Well son, why the Marines?"  His reply, "The Marines, The Few, The Proud."  

He said he knew I would support him no matter what but he thought I'd start crying.  Well...I did, just not in front of him at that moment.  The funny thing is I had had all these reservations about his going off to college and I suddenly felt relief.  Really?  relief?  My son just told me he wanted to join the military and I feel relief?  It's hard to explain but somewhere deep inside me I knew that the military would protect him.  That those guys would be tighter and than any paternity brother.  Don't ask me why or where this came from but it's what gave me comfort.  Comfort for a few weeks.  Then the real fear set in...

  I feared his being in Boot Camp at Parris Island, SC.  He not only survived boot camp but came out as one of the top in his unit!  
I feared his leaving for Camp Pendleton in California.  All I saw and heard was the long hours of work and the partying and drinking.  He survived, with 4 promotions. 
 I feared his ability to use his money wisely.  He called home for money and I wired it via Western Union but he soon learned how to make it work.  These kids live on a meager pay!  Quite sad and shameful in my opinion!
I feared everything as I waved goodbye while he stood atop the USS Pearl Harbor underneath the US Flag. His safety, his health, his well being all around and more so his emotional and spiritual soul.  He returned in one piece, his health suffering with lack of sleep, severe indigestion, nightmares and chewing away at his nails.  His emotional state was shaken to his core as we chatted about specific encounters and his spiritual soul touched by what he had seen, felt and learned. 
 The people of Afghanistan reaching out to our young men as well, "Life-Savers" for them.  They ran to them, they welcomed their help.  Very few kept their distance from our sons and daughters in uniform for they trusted them. 
I feared for his life.  I feared my son becoming a man...when all along he had already made the decision to grow up amongst a group of men willing to have his back, watch over his shoulder and lay down their life for each other.  He had made the decision only a man could make.  He was doing the duty of a man that most men twice his age couldn't and wouldn't do.  As he was learning the duties to be a Marine he was responsible for more people and their immediate safety than I can comprehend.

  Here I had feared his going to college and partying...
here he was living and witnessing a violent, harsh life for a group of people that were born into this rivalry. People that knew nothing about true freedom and choice.  People that live where mud bricks is all that protects them from the weather, insurgents, Taliban and bombs.  In homes where the floor is made of dirt and their only way of survival is growing and harvesting opium.  Where small children relish in the moment to hold a US military members hand and celebrate being handed a small kids meal toy from America. 

My fears as a mom were warranted, maybe.  My learning to depend on Gods promises and word replaced this fear beyond imagination.    The peace that came each day as I bowed my head in prayer taught me to have more faith and less fear.  It reminded me too that I in many ways am still like a young adult with much growing up left to do!  

For me there is a difference between worrying and being fearful.  In my opinion moms will forever worry, right?  Yet, as I'm growing in God I'm realizing that being fearful and not letting God take control is a sin.  It shows we don't have total trust and faith in Him.  Do your actions and words show you depend more on yourself or totally in His promises?  Do you make remarks like "I'm so scared"?  I believe our words speak our faith everyday.  We may not mean to but little doubting phrases allow Satan to slip right in and play havoc with our hearts and minds!   Fear not, just as the angel told the wise men many years ago in the darkness of night.  

Now...I shared all this because my sons unit will be receiving the Presidential Unit Citation for their work in during Operation Moshtarak in Afghanistan. Son, I will still worry but I have learned to let go of the fear and let God!  Also congrats to you for being the Marine of the Day on June 11, 2012!  What a man you have become!  

I love you son!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Yard Sale Bargain!

Our  neighborhood has a Yard Sale Event each summer and I say  EVENT because its not just a couple of homes going in together, It's anywhere from 100-150 driveways, garages and yards that are filled with goodies for the bargain hunter making it next to impossible find  a parking spot!! 

One year the kids and I fired up the grill and sold hotdogs and hamburgers.  Who knew we would raise over 700.00 for our vacation doing so?!  We were amazed!  After a couple of years doing this our secret spread because it seems everyone is now offering everything from coffee and doughnuts at 6am to water, sodas,cookies and cakes all day!! 

 I haven't participated in the yard sale the past few years due to scheduling conflicts but I' have managed to get out there and shop for a few minutes and visit with the neighbors.  Personally I think I scored the best find this year!! You know those Little Tikes outdoor houses that last forever....well...I scored one of these little darlings for 15.00!!  That's right!  just $15.00 bucks!  The new ones start out at $179.99 and that's the sale price!  I don't usually get too excited about purchasing things at a yard sale but this one is just an amazing buy! Thanks neighbors!  Thanks Little Tikes for making such great toys that last forever!!  

 Here's a few pictures of Stephanie, Jersey and I cleaning it up.  What fun Jersey had playing!

It's Country Music Award time in Nashville!! formally known as FanFair

Well, It's June in Nashville, Tennessee and that can only mean one thing if you're a Country Music Fan...THE CMA Awards!!  My entire childhood this festival was called FanFair and we old timers still refer to it as that! It use to be held at the grounds of the State Fairgrounds but it grew so much that it now takes over many, many blocks in downtown Nashville!  To avoid traffic on I24 we chose to do the famous back-roads and it still took all of 2 hours to go less than 20 miles!  Crazy eh?  

From Chevrolet, ABC's Good Morning America, The Chew, Singing Bee, Jack Daniels, Bad Boys Barbecue to the Humane Society, Comcast, AT & T this event is HUGE!  It was reported that this year was the biggest yet for freebies and giveaways and by golly I believe it!  No matter where you park and enter you will soon have a bag with some pretty cool items in it ranging from T'shirts, hats, key-rings, Margauritaville Giftcards, Meet and greet autographs, CD's, New artist sample CD's, posters, food, CD's, weets, bandannas, more food and even more CD's!! You'll have something to give to everyone you need a souvenir for just by visiting the vendors and it's ALL FREE!!  There is seriously no need to spend any money at this event!  Really!  Walk down two or three tents and another vendor has free summer sausage, tea, energy drinks, PEPSI,  chips, jelly beans, tattoos,pizza, lemonade and small water-bottles are everywhere!!  If you need a larger bottled water and it's the only thing you do buy all day you'll only spend one buck!! 

 It's so much fun to attend and the things there are to do are limitless!  There's bungee bouncing in the middle of Broadway, archery shooting, corn hole, lasso golf, free pictures are taken at what seemed like 20+ stations.  You can be Dancing with the Stars or you're on an episode of Modern Family. Jaylen and I had our own Broadway Posters made staring The Seibers!  What a great day for the family!   Don't take your i-pod because everywhere you go there is live music.  Class acts and new artist share a multitude of stages set up downtown.  Wear comfortable shoes, don't forget the sunglasses and sunscreen and prepare to be worn out by the end of just one day!!  

Did I mention this last for a week?  The girls and I always go during the day and stay from like 9-4.  The Titans stadium hosts many concerts and the tickets start at $10.  There is no bad seat as they always broadcast on those huge screens and the lineups all week long are just amazing!  You usually see from 5-7 artist in one evening!  Nashville has got this festival down to an art and to think it started by the artist years ago to say thanks to the Fans!  Keep it up country music and not that my rating counts but you get 10 stars out of ten for this fun filled week of music and celebrating!  

still waiting patiently for the phone call telling me I won this baby!! lol

Jaylen loving her some new boots!!

This is a GRILL!  It's amazing!  It also served up some amazing "Kangaroo sausages!"  Thanks Xfinity and History Channel!

Jaybugg and Aunt Nini with the famous Batman building in the background!

The Tennessee Titans Stadium (across the river) and The Hard Rock cafe

This couple was precious!!  They represented the Jelly Belly Company.  Jaylen got a "Double Dare" and had to choose between "Stinky Skunk" or "Dirty Baby Wipe"

She said hers tasted like coconut!!  Stephanie on the other hand got the Dirty Baby Wipe while Jersey got her first tattoo!

no, it's not Lady Gaga, it's our own Little Ladybugg!

Jaylen wanted Meme in on the action!  Yippee! We were having a great time!

photo opp #??  these are everywhere and Jaylen was loving it!  Jersey decided to grab the microphone on this one and sing Twinkle Twinkle!!  too cute!

Doc Hollidays on famous 2nd Ave

Wildhorse Saloon and Nashville Cowboy also on 2nd Ave anyone can find a pair of boots here!!

it's not ALL country!!  BBKings has GREAT music and if you're lucky you'll catch Mr King there anytime!

Coyote Ugly, named of course from the movie....and for those that don't know, this is where Miss Jerseys name originated from.  It's the first movie her Mom and Dad saw together!  :)

Steph and Michelle carried the stroller all the way up these stairs only to learn NO one under 21 allowed even during the day.  Funny thing is there is the elevator sign!!  lol

While they climbed three flights of stairs Jaybug and I got our faces painted!

too cute my Jaybugg

Someone was getting hungry so we decided to go to Sabarro's and get out of the heat as well as change little miss...this is her first bite our of a huge slice of pizza!

ABC's Good Morning America's Summer Block Party!

this reminds me of New Orleans for some odd reason!

Paradise Park...known for the Trailer park Troopadores!

Famous Broadway!  The Stage, Cotton Eyed Joes, Maragauritaville and of course the ever famous
Tootsies!  Tootsies is the small purple establishment that every singer in country music wants to be asked to play and where many, many live shows have been broadcast!

Ernest Tubb Record Shoppe!

We love Martina Mcbride and this is the only poster that referred back to the word "FANS" that I've seen in  a long while


The Bridgestone Arena, aka home of the Nashville Predators Hockey Team!

Stage 4 or 5 with artist and live music

Just one of the many Budweiser Clydesdales!

Luke Bryan in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame

Below is the new convention center.  It's the width and lenght and 5 football fields!  It's gonna be awesome!

Another live stage and I can't remember who was playing! :(

Some of Nashville's beautiful buildings and skyline

The Bat (AT & T Building)  above and the new Pinnacle building below.  The Bat building has a contract with the city to be the tallest building until a certain year at which time the Pinnacle building will complete it's upper levels to become the tallest building!!  The things we learn about where we live!

Hope you've enjoyed a few of our pictures from the CMA FunFest!  If you ever get the chance to make it to Music City the first week of June don't pass it up!  It's great fun and music for everyone!!

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