Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pass the Lysol, Please...

The sickies have descended into our house. First Connor, then me, then Connor again, now Sara. Steve has spent the majority of his days outside making an outdoor skating rink, so perhaps he hopefully has avoided our germs.

So far, Connor and I have missed one big party and left the people dining at the restaurant last night a little more than they bargained for and Connor and I making a real quick exit. Hopefully, this is the end of it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome to "Grace Between the Lines"

"Bump on the Road” was Annette’s attitude toward her cancer being one more bump in her life to get over in her journey of life here on earth. It was this journey that led her to her eternal home where she no longer must bump along but mount up on wings like an eagle. It is time for this blog to metamorphose, just as Annette’s journey led her to trade in her weary body for a beautiful new one. Like a butterfly.

I am happy to share my “new” blog called ‘Grace Between the Lines” . Grace refers to God’s gifts to humankind, especially the biggest gift of all, Salvation. This Grace left Annette confident in her journey home. Grace is between all the lines that weave together our lives. It is in everything. Grace Between the Lines.

Annette’s middle name is Grace. That is why I have chosen the title. Annette is woven in the fabric of my, her family and friends’ lives. Although not physically with us anymore, her grace-ful presence is always with all of us who loved her. Woven in the fabric of who we are and who we have become. Grace Between the Lines.

The tulips on the header are in honour of Annette’s favourite flower, the tulip. It symbolizes where she came from and where she went. I hope to continue to advocate and educate for people with disabilites. In her honour. Grace Between the Lines.

Welcome. I hope you will be blessed with Grace.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Year That Was...

It's so hard to believe that one year has gone by. 364 days since we've talked to, hugged, held, prayed with, cried over and laughed with (yes, even on her last day we shared smiles) her.

It seems like an eternity.

It seems like just a few weeks ago.

So much has happened in one year. Much grieving, growing, sorrowing. Many good and important things. Many hard and agonzing moments. We have been carried through. Not only has God carried us through, but you, our friends and family have as well. We have been blessed by so many of you.

I am anticpating Tuesday with much angst and anxiety. I am wishing those days away, while knowing that won't happen. We will face the day as we have faced the last three years: Arm in arm, together, for strength, for comfort, for hope, for peace.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Better Than Santa

I found this in my "inbox" earlier this week. Enjoy.

With 3 weeks before Christmas REMEMBER: Jesus is Better than Santa

Santa lives at the North Pole. JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.

You have to stand in line to see Santa JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl,What's your name?" JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knowsour address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how manyhairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry" JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.

Santa's little helpers make toys JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and buildsmansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It's obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in Christmas. Jesus is still the reason for the season.May the Lord Bless and Watch over you and your loved ones this Christmas 2008And may He prosper and bless the work of your hands in the New Year.May God Bless You All !

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

OK, I'll admit it. I did not get around to planting my tulip and daffodil bulbs. Boy, it sounded so good on paper. It seemed easy enough:
  1. Buy bulbs - check
  2. Dig hole.
  3. Stick bulbs in (point side down?).
  4. Cover bulbs with dirt.

Didn't happen. I know, it takes all of 3 minutes. You'd think I could find 3 minutes some evening or weekend. But I didn't.

So my question, gardeners of the north, can I still plant those bulbs on a warmer day, or will I be bloomless in the spring?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Not Me Monday!

I have become a bit of a blog junkie, jumping from one blog to another and becoming a follower of many people I have never met. One site I have started reading (who knows where I made the connection...) is called My Charming Kids. MckMama started the "Not Me Mondays" which is a fun way to admit we are not perfect and laugh about our funny mistakes. Here is my first "Not Me Monday" list.

I did not wear my high heeled shoes with socks and my pajamas to drive Sara to church tonight because they were the fasted things I could find to put on my feet. Not me. That would be embarassing!

I am NOT becoming obsessed with this blog thing. Who cares about widgets? I don't want to waste time trying to figure out headers. I'm not spending far to much time online trying to self teach myself these things. Nope. Not me.

I would never pinch my kids bottoms because they are the cutest bottoms in the world. Yummy, almost. Nope, that would be wrong.

I could care less about learning how to make words with a strikethrough through them. Who cares? I am NOT going to have a least six one word in each post with a strikethrough through it, just because I think it's cool. Nope. Not here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

"Tell Me About Your Annette Ornaments"

One of Annette's web friends posted this on the blog. I have asked their permission (and hope they say yes!-I just had to share and couldn't wait for their answers...)to share their stories and pictures here. Annette loved them all so much!

Anyone pulling out your holiday decorations and thinking about Annette? I know I am thinking of all of us so far in distance from each other but so connected as we display our memorials to Annette. Share your stories please..... Shannon

I met Annette only 1 time in Indy. I remember her smile. Annette's face glowed love. Also she was thankful to her husband for taking her on the trip to see her friends. Karol

One year Annette sent me a Pewter Angel and throughout the year it hangs on the rod iron of my dresser and it was bittersweet to carry it to the tree, here she hangs on my tree.... Belen

Yes, yes, yes,I have the angel that B made last year that is my connection to Annette. I was thinking I might ask him to make me one to symbolize my FIL, too. It is so beautiful and special. I will always cherish it. Chris

My secret Santa last year sent me a beautiful pottery angel!! She's on my tree and she's my Annette Angel! I can't believe it's been a year! Lisa I am thinking of you and your family as this difficult anniversary nears. Rhonda and Alex (8 yrs)

The ornament that reminds me of Annette is one I gave to her. I'm not a particularly religious person but I knew her faith was important to her so one day I saw a little ornament that was a little nativity scene in a hand and I thought, reaching into my brain for my bible teachings "The palm of his hand. It's perfect for Annette right now." So I wrapped it up and mailed it to her. I hope it's still somewhere with the family, but if not I hope someone else is getting peace from it. Clare

Mine isn't a treee ornament but it's a beautiful angel that I got from my secret santa last year. I keep it on my desk right by my computer and think of Annette each time I look at it, which is daily. I never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, but she was always such a wealth of information on any questions I had. Some people don't understand how you can feel so close to someone you've never met in person - to that I say you never had the pleasure of "knowing" Annette. I sure do miss her. Penny

This has been such a reflective week........as we approach the Dec. 16th anniversary of our friend, and sister, Annette's passing. I so want to memorialize this date in a special way..... My Annette Angel hangs above me right now, in my home office, and it will go back on the tree when we decorate this weekend. It says "An Angel Gets Her Wings" and has the inscription...Annette, you will always be remembered on the inside. Jeff purchased the angel after our road trip to Annette's funeral. I think I will reprint your wonderful ulogy on my blog and here..........and again think of our good friend and sister who I miss every day. And can't yet delete from my cell, but will do this on her one year anniversary and be brave as Lisa was. Jan
She's still on my cell, too, Jan......and her email is still in my address book. I don't know if I'll ever be able to let that go. My Annette Angel is on my refrigerator and I look at it every day - their Christmas card from last year, at Disney. In that picture, Annette is my living, breathing angel, and I am so thankful to have called her my friend.Amy
I have everyone's Christmas cards throughout the years and after Annette passed away, I knew I wanted to do something with them, other than store them away, so I put them in a scrapbook. Annette's family has their own pages, along with everyone else. It's a nice way to store them and have access to them, I can get them out and look thru at any time!! I can also see how everyone has grown!!! Rhonda

I have two, one from Annette and one for Annette... When I found out I had cancer, Annette sent me the angel of hope. She sits on my dresser and I see her everyday. The other angel I bought for our tree. I will post a picture of both when I have a chance. I miss her wisdom and her being. Kris

I met Annette and Kerri at Kei's house it seems like so long ago. We had the best time, drinking wine And Ryan had a blast with Bill...they were wrestling. Looking at those pictures is just so hard. Annette's Christmas card is hanging on my fridge. This is such a tough couple of weeks. Melissa

Many times a day I stop and smile back at Annette's sweet smile that radiates from her Christmas card from last year that is hanging on my fridge. I do believe that that card will always be hanging there, as it is such a huge part of my everyday life. Tara Marie

add me to those who have Annette's card from Disney on the fridge... i never had the chance to meet annette, but we did speak on the phone...it is really amazing how her presence is still so strongly felt, here and everywhere that she touched. Debbie
I actually have 2 ornaments that I purchased in Annette's memory. One is simple and beautiful and I wrote her name of the back of it. The other I HAD to get because it says, "Twas her thinking of others that made you think of her" Elizabeth B Browning. And that IS Annette's spirit that lives on in my memories of her. I cherish the times I was able to hug her and be with her, I miss her!
You ladies are all so special! Thanks for contributing these touching memories. Lisa

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Saving Lives

I helped save 3 lives yesterday.

I donated blood.

I have been donating for over 2 years. I had donated previously (about 15 years ago) but hadn't done it since. About 2 1/2 years ago, Mom was in the ER. The lady beside her was receiving blood and I thought, "I should do that." Annette was also sick at the time and I knew that at some point down the road, she might need blood products and I knew I'd want them to be available for her. (Mom did end up needing blood products during her last stay in the hospital. Thank you, strangers!)

The very next day, I was kidless and running errands. I had some extra time, and pulled into a plaza. There on the corner was a sign saying "Blood Donor Clinic Today". If that's wasn't a sign for me to donate...!So I went right in and donated. And have been back every 56 days since. I also coerced invited a friend to come with me about a year ago. We then coerced invited another friend. We make it a night out. I do it for Annette. I do it for Mom. I do it because I hope there will be blood products available when I need them. But I really do it because it's the right thing to do. And you get free cookies and juice

Consider this your little nudge or sign. If you are eligible, roll up your sleeves and give, because it's the right thing to do.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Some Good Advice

I have a great friend and we have great discussions about many mindless, useless, deep and provocative, soul-searching, trivial, supportive, chastising, honest and very religious topics. We are often on the same wavelength and radar screen of what is important to us. From this was born a small discussion group. Someone chooses a topic (often a video from a favourite speaker who has made the person think (our first was from Joyce Meyer, another was a pastor from Florida they had heard while on their trip, my next choice will be Tony Campolo). We watch and discuss. It's also always interesting to hear what other people heard from a message, and often it's not something you heard at all!

Our last session led us down the road of volunteering. I have decided to take a one year break from all volunteering (OK, I am on one committee at church). I was sharing how I felt I needed a break from all outside things this year, but that I still felt guilty, as many ministries still need volunteers and I think everyone needs to do their part. My one friend then said, "Don't you think that if you have a goal for yourself that God will bless what you do and be happy with your choices?" She shared how her goals were to be great at her job and be there for her husband (who has a very time consuming, travel involved, job) and her children. Once she set that goal, she realized other commitments weren't compatible with those goals.

That statement has made me think for the last 2 weeks. My goals are to be the best wife, mother and teacher I can be while giving myself time to rest, grieve, heal and grow. And right now, this year, other outside commitments are not compatible these goals. And those words of advice have lifted some weight (and guilt) from my shoulders. Thank God for great and wise friends.

No wonder she is a great counsellor/social worker. And I didn't even have to pay her $75!