Thursday, September 24, 2009

A PHOTO PAGE FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

http://picasaweb.google.com/Katsfamilyandfriends

For any of you who have checked into my blogs recently, you may have noticed me bouncing from one page to another. I don't want to keep all of my stuff on the same page, so I create another page or blog to keep up with the various things going one.

Well, my most current thing is a page set aside for photos of my family and friends. I normally don't spend time worrying about these photo's, but lately it seems easier to put them on a page where everyone can access them, instead of taking the time to send them to each person individually. There is alot of work in trying to put seperate emails together for just a few photos so this will really save me alot of time.

If you stop by here, take the time to look at my newest page.. I will be adding things as I have time.

Have a wonderful day everyone, and may God Bless each and everyone of you as you go about your day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MY OTHER BLOG

I will be adding some new stuff to my photo blog as I go along. I have enjoyed what other's have done with their blogs in regards to their daily photos, so I thought I would try that and see what may come of it. I went out today to find some new photo's to work with, and although I took a few different views, only a few were ones that I wanted to post. Call it my "ego" on not wanting to put something online that doesn't look good enough.... I think its an "artist" issue as I know others who have it. Anyways, check out my other blog and see what has been added for the day.

http://myfathersbeautifulworld.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

PHOTOGRAPHY: FOR JOSEPH AND MEL

This one is for Joseph and Mel:






Yesterday I went out to take some new photos during my lunch hour. I was encouraged by Joseph ( http://ptjosephrosa.blogspot.com/ ) as well as Mel (http://pursuingholiness.blogspot.com/ ) to look for something interesting and just photograph it. I had seen Mel take some photos of a church that she had posted in her blog a while back, so I went off to look at the inside of this church to see if I could take some pictures that were just every day pictures of something I saw.
As soon as I got to the church, the first thing that caught my eye was a dog sitting outside, tied to a bike, waiting for his owner to return from inside the church. Seeing the dog waiting seemed pretty interesting so I took a few minutes to capture the dog in some pictures. Well shortly after I started photographing the dog, his owner came outside and saw me taking pictures and seemed very excited about me having a camera. He immediately came to me and asked me if I would take a picture of him and his dog. I was very flattered and very excited to be able to share my hobby with someone in need. He wanted the picture, and I wanted the chance to share my hobby with someone else, so it was a win-win for both of us. I took several pictures and he thanked me very excitedly, so I told him I would take a couple more of him sitting on the steps.

From: Katrena

To: michaelakraft


Michael,

Thank you for letting me take your picture. I appreciate when someone wants to share my hobby with me. I included the photo of your dog also, who was the object of my pictures before you returned. Have a wonderful day and may it be full of the Lord’s wonderful blessings. God Bless…

Sincerely,

Katrena



RE: photos‏
To:
michaelakraft

your very welcome, glad I could be there to share....


Katrena, The pictures are beautiful. You made our day. God bless you for your generosity and time! The interior of the Cathedral is very picturesque as well. Sincerely, Mike


As you can tell, he enjoyed the photos very much much, so I took the time to send him a few more of the inside of the cathederal. I hope he enjoyed them as much as I did.






I later sent the photos of the inside of the church to Mel, who I knew could use a smile, as I know things have a been a little tough for her lately. She was very blessed by the pictures and I'm glad I was able to share.

The pictures brought up an interesting discussion about the actual designs of the art work inside Catholic churches (in general) and its something that makes me wonder about the reasoning behind it, as well as something that just makes me laugh overall.

The one particular thing that brings this to thought is: why do all of the portrayals of Jesus, Mary and all the Saints etc.. all have a giant, angelic "halo" hanging over their heads. I myself have a hard time imagining all of these people walking around with a halo over them, or for that matter, even an extremely bright glow about them that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Mary was just an ordinary young girl, and I'm pretty sure that even as she grew with child that her body didn't become brighter or stand out more as she got closer to the birth of Jesus, nor do I think it changed after she gave birth to him.

As for Jesus, the bible says he was so ordinary in his looks that He was able to blend in with the earthly people; He didn't stand out in a crowd. He grew up as a carpenters son and only went out to minister in the last few years of His life. Even then, people had to point him when to others. You would think if He had a Halo/bright glow about Him that he wouldn't be able to hide out so well.... ;O)

I realize this sounds funny, but I always pictures that "halo" over their heads as some heaving thing that they have to carry around, sort of like a burden on their shoulders, for all the world to see. Maybe someone another point of view on this, as I said, it just makes me giggle when I see it.... Just my thought!!
Anyways, it was interesting to see how much one hour of my day brought about so many interesting things to see and discuss... Thanks Joseph and Mel for sending me in a different direction with my camera yesterday. It proved to be very interesting indeed!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A STRANGE PLACE TO SLEEP








A few weeks back I had an encounter that makes you think that God put you there for a purpose. Lately things happen like that in my life, and I see the hands of God orchestrated so perfectly, even while I am busy doing my own thing, only partially paying attention to what sort of picture he is painting in my life.

I woke up early one Saturday with all the intentions of going down in to the city to take some photos. I don't like the city, or the crowds they bring, but I felt like I needed to go in and check out the places downtown to see what kind of photos I could take that aren't revolving around the country and the animals.

I am very partial to the park we have downtown, and all the beauty it has in it. I never used to be, but the more I look at it and take photos of it, the more beautiful it becomes. I had been in the park about three hours that Saturday, and was getting ready to take a walk to somewhere else, on my way to cross the street from the park to the city streets to go observe other things.

On my way to the crosswalk area I noticed a man sitting in the grass under a tree. Not unusual, since the park is a home to many homeless, and this situation seemed no different than any other, except for this particular man had what looked like all of his belongings with him. When I say that, I mean all the belongings that might come out of someone who had a permanent residence in a room somewhere. (TV, clothes, personal belongings, a walker, wall hangings etc.)

No one seemed to notice how unusual this was and everyone was walking past him as if he was just another homeless man on the street. The problem was, the tree he was sitting under was on the side of the road right next to the busy street, and among all the other unusual things, it just didn't seem normal, or safe.

I walked up to the man and as he spoke to me, I decided to let a conversation start to see what was going on. He invited me to sit down and chat with him, as if no one else really takes the time to do that, and he would welcome somebody paying attention to him, so I sat down with my camera and started listening to the gentleman talk.

He was a story teller, and proceeded for the next hour and a half or so, to tell me stories of his life. He was a Vietnam veteran who had what I would consider a very hard life. Some of it sounded like he enjoyed portions of it, as any one does when they are young and full of life, but many of the stories took turns that weren't real inviting. One of the things I noticed as he told his stories was the struggle he was having to tell them. He would start, and then forget what he was talking about, and would ask me to "ask a question" so that he could remember where it was he left off. That was one of the things, among everything else, that got me to thinking that he really wasn't supposed to be here, but I couldn't figure out where it was he was supposed to be. My first thought was "dementia" because he could tell the stories, he just couldn't keep them all in line.

Some of the stories talked about his life in Montana where I'm from, so based on that, I paid more attention to the stories he was telling in regards to that interest, to see if I could get something out of him that told me he had family and a life elsewhere. When I reached a point of figuring out a little bit more, I asked him if he remembered his sister's phone number, which he did. Then I asked him what her name was and I wrote the information down and then told him I needed to get going, because I was wanting to go take photos elsewhere.

Before I left though, I tried to get a knife to help him cut the apples that he had with him so that he could eat something, and then decided that he needed more than just apples to eat, so I asked him if he was hungry and would like a hot dog. He was very eager with that idea, so I went and got him a hot dog to eat. He was very proud of being a "veteran" so he let me take some pictures of him and his flag, and the "hot dog" which he was very excited about having at that moment.

Once we got past that point, I made a point of needing to go, so that I could go make a call to see if his family would know what was going on with him, and why he was down in the park with all of his stuff. I called his sister and no one picked up so I started to leave a message, which must have gotten the sisters attention, because once she heard the story, she immediately grabbed the phone. Her reception wasn't what I thought it would be, but none the less, it was someone who knew him and could hopefully help remove him from this situation. (I was really worried about the "street savvy" homeless, who might take his stuff or hurt him, for no other reason than to do just that and nothing more.) I explained to her who I was and why I was calling her, but her reception was more or less, "what is he up to now", and "he must not be on his "medication"", to be out and about like that. She said he got in lots of trouble when he wasn't on his "med's" and has been in and out of problems and hospitals for years. That didn't surprise me, because a lot of Vietnam Vet's are in that same boat, and he seemed no different. However, I told her he hadn't been a problem and that we were having a wonderful time chatting, I just didn't think it was safe to leave him out on the street like this, especially when it could get dangerous as the hours move on from daytime to night, and I didn't want to see him down there any longer than possible.


TO BE CONTINUED WHEN I HAVE A FEW MORE MINUTES TO WRITE-
As I talked to his sister, I asked her where exactly in Montana did she live, as the town didn't ring a bell to me. I told her I have family that lives all over the state, and that I was from there also. She asked me where my family lives, and when I told her where my mom and her husband live, she immediately responded that she knew my mom's husband. In an area where everyone farms or ranches, you know a lot of the people who live in the towns around you, and this just happened to be the case. She lives on a ranch about 40 miles from the town my mom lives in and knows Morris via the work he does. This is where the statement "it's a small world" comes into play.
Once we got the small talk out of the way, she said she would contact the nursing home where he lives to see if one of the people could come down there and get him. She at least understood the urgency of making sure he didn't stay out there any longer than he had too. Besides all the basic problems this guy was running into, the temperature outside was up above 100 and even I was having a hard time being out in the sun. However, I didn't want to walk away until I was sure someone would take care of him and get him back to where he belonged.
I waited until she called me back to find out what was going on. She said his case worker from the home would be down shortly to pick him up and take him back there. But she also noted that he may not cooperate because he is not taking his medication and doesn't want to go back there. She said he had been off his med's for about 3 weeks now, and they may have to take him back to the mental hospital if he didn't cooperate.
I didn't want to see this go any direction that it didn't have to, because at this point, he was being farely reasonable, and was just hanging out enjoying the sun and the freedom. However, I knew it wouldn't stay that way, so I watched him from a distance, while watching for the case worker, and also hoping that a police car would drive by so that maybe we could make this easier than I knew it would turn out.
I went back over to him to check on him and realized he was in need of water and neither of us had anything to put some into. He was to sick to walk to the water fountain across the way, so I resorted back to seeing if I could find enough change to buy him some water, since I spent most of it on the hot dog. I found just enough to buy a bottle of water, which in the park, isn't cheap, and I brought it back to him. He was extremely gracious, and I just hoped it would hold out long enough to get someone here to pick him up.
Finally a van parked across the street and I could see that this lady was heading right for him. She had been through this before and knew what to expect, however, I hadn't, and was unaware of the changes that would happen as soon as he saw her. Immediately he started cussing and yelling at her and telling her in all kinds of ways that he didn't want her around him and that he wasn't going to go back to the home. As she was trying to figure it out, I also tried talking to him, but now that I was on the enemies side, I was also the enemy, and he was telling me to go away also.
At this point, he had put his mind into gear, and was going to leave, whether we wanted him to or not. He got up, got his walker, and headed off towards the area where the children were running through the water. That scared me, because either of them could get hurt, and I didn't want to see that happen. The case worker was trying to follow him and yet still trying to pay attention to all his stuff. I tried to let her know I would take care of it, just make sure he didn't get hurt, because the children were running everywhere, and just beyond them was the steps down to the river.
She decided it was time to bring in help, and she called the cops to come in and help her. It was not what I had wanted to see, as I was afraid they would just put him in jail for the night, and that wasn't any better than letting him stay out in the park, to me it was worse than that park. I had hoped it wouldn't come to this, but at this point, there was no choice. I had been out here for hours at this point, and I know I was getting tired as well as dealing with too much heat.
Soon several patrol cars showed up and off these officers went to round this guy up. Mean while, I tried to put all of his stuff together in such a manner that it didn't get taken or lost or whatever; and then I just stood there next to his stuff and waited. I'm sure it looked funny seeing this lady who is well dressed, with my camera and gear, guarding this homeless man's stuff.
About 15 minutes or so later, the cops pulled up in there cars and this man was in the back of one of the patrol cars. It must have gone better than expected as he didn't seem out of control or anything; I think he just resolved to being taken back where he started. The good thing was that they told me they were transporting him up to one of the hospitals in town and not to the jail. Thank goodness, because he wasn't doing anything wrong, he just needed someone to help him. The case worker helped me pack up his stuff and the officers helped load it up in her van so she could head back.
I talked to them just enough to let them know where I worked, that I knew their faces from up there, and that I was glad this ended the way it did. They handled it the way I wish all cases could be handled; quickly with no one getting hurt, or having to go to jail. It had a much better ending than I had expected which I was very grateful for. I do wish the sister had been more interested in what was happening, but I know that families go through things like this, and we don't always see the happy endings we want to see. No matter what, I know it had a better ending, from my view anyways, and I was glad he didn't end up staying out on the streets.
Why the home didn't come looking for him as soon as he told them he was leaving and walked out the door, I don't know. But you think it would have been easier to have stopped him in the beginning, instead of letting it get this far. The case worker said they would have come looking for him by evening time, but to me, that would have been to late. I doubt he would have handled the heat that late into the day, and it could have had a much worse ending. The man had dementia, among the many other mental illnesses he had, and to me, why would you let someone leave the building when your dealing with those sort of issues. Some questions you just don't want to know the answers to. It's a good thing he didn't go any further than he did, considering how far he walked with all of his stuff, being in the condition that he was in to begin with, I was amazed he got that far with out getting hurt. Either way, someone was watching out for him, because I knew as soon as I saw him that something was out of sorts, and I think of how many people walked right around him and didn't even notice anything out of place.
There are definitely days when God puts you in just the right place at just the right time, and then waits to see how you will respond................. He is an almighty God!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Extremely Busy

There are days lately when I feel like I can't even find the time to sleep because I have so many things going on. God has been so good to me this summer, opening up doors for me to do the things that fill my heart, while fulfilling His work at the same time. I started out gathering coats and blankets a few months ago, and since starting this, I have seen God turn smaller donations into larger donations and now I have to have someone start to help me, or I'll never find the time to get it all done. I have sorted and bagged a lot of them already, but I have stuff sitting in my hallway, as well as my carport. The connections I have made by going out and talking to people have been great, and God has directed me to Christians who not only need my help, but are able to help me as well. Through this, I see myself growing by leaps and bounds. The once quiet lady who wouldn't talk to strangers, is now walking up and not only talking, but learning to sell my concept of giving back to the community. There has been a lot of reception to this concept, because the economy is so hard pressed right now, but the concept is nothing new. Its something we should be practicing every day as Christians. I see how God is changing my heart more and more as I do this, and others are noticing my changes also. I think it almost worries them that I'm opening my doors to stray animals, and going out and giving back to people on the streets because many people think its just a phase, and once you get over the niceties, then you'll be too overwhelmed and will quit, because its just too much to handle. I don't feel that way, and find it hard to respond when someone approaches me and asks me "What are you doing" as though I've gone off the deep end or something. The great part about this is, that its not me, but God doing all the changing, or rather, molding what He already knew was inside me, to make it better as I go. I get excited when I see Him open doors to places I would never have gone before, and more so, when the person He sends me to responds to me as though they have been waiting all along to talk to me, and they're not surprised to see me show up at their door, even though they've never even met me before. I've met some wonderful people along the way, as well as people who are willing to help only because they think its something the "should" do, not because their heart is really into it. He's shown me how people can be, and also shown me how "I" can be when my heart is not in the right place. I have to work hard not to make this about me, and just sit back and wait on God to open the doors. I find that when I try to open the doors, they are not what they should be and it doesn't work as well. I don;t know what Gods plans are for all of this, I'm just doing the work, and "waiting" on him to open the doors as He feels the need to do so. I finally got a response back from City Hall, in regards to an email I had sent out a month ago. I had completely forgotten about it until yesterday. I was thinking about the clothing I had gathered, but also the fact that I had not gotten as many coats and blankets as I would have liked at this point. As I was thinking about this, an email popped up on my screen in response to the email I had sent out a month ago, and I have been given the go-ahead to have an email sent out to all the departments in the City in regards to doing a summer collections of blankets and coats to be distributed to the homeless in the fall. God is good, and when you wait on Him, He does things exactly in the time that He feels they need to happen. What an Awesome God we Have!!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

NEW PHOTO ALBUM




I have another link that can be accessed for anyone who might be interested in the photo's I've taken that are involved with the church I attend. Our church was going on a road trip this last Sunday, and I had many things going on, and didn't really want to go. As I sat down and started listening to our Pastor talk, I asked God to let me know if I should take this trip or not, as I really needed the rest, and to just get work done around the house. The answer I got was to put together a photo page for the church photos so that others can access them. So, I guess that meant that I was going on a road trip..... We really had a wonderful time, and the photos were lots of fun, and they will leave memories for those who went. Now that I've started this, I guess I need to keep up on the photos from various events, so that everyone will have a way to look back and enjoy the time spent in worship and fellowship. I hope that others who look at this page are able to stop by and check out the page from time to time, as the picture will change with the events that come up. Our next big one is the church picnic in August, so hopefully it will turn out as well as this batch did. And as I go along, hopefully others will want to add their photos to the batch also.


http://picasaweb.google.com/calvarydpphotoalbum/

Monday, June 29, 2009

CITY GATE

Our first night serving at City Gate went very well. Most of the group was there before the scheduled time, so we were able to go over things well ahead of schedule. I only knew a few of the people that showed up, the majority of the group came as a family, but not directly from our church.

I'm not so good at opening up to new people, so it was a little awkward for me getting started. Pastor Bob stepped up and spoke, which helped my silence, and then I was good. I shared with the group as much as I could about working there, and then David, who runs the kitchen, came out and spoke some more about his plans for the night. Once we got everyone organized, we settled in to wait for the doors to open.

I had been down there once before, so I knew right away what was needed, and once David spoke and said a prayer, we were open to serving the food. This shelter is unlike the other ones I had served at before, instead of serving them via a food line, we go up to each table and serve them as though they were in a restaurant. We are encouraged to talk with them, and their expectations are high, because they are used to being served right away.

There was 3 of us working the floor, bringing food and drinks to the homeless who came in to eat. It took the other 2 a while to get a rhythm going, so I paid closer attention to those who looked like they were still waiting to be served. I love how gracious and thankful these people are, knowing this may be the one meal they get that day. Some of them seemed like they lived a really hard life, and others didn't seem like they should even be there, but it's not for us to know why they are there, just to serve them.

I really love going down and serving the homeless, so I just sort of float on air when I'm down there. I move quickly to make sure they all have what they need, and then quickly go back to make sure they don't need anything else. I think we moved people through for just over an hour, before it slowed down. It could have been 60 or 70 people, maybe more, maybe less, all I know is we were really busy for that first hour.

Once it started to slow down a little, I took time to get some food and sit down and chat with one of the gentleman that I had been serving that night. He really didn't seem like he should be there, so I just started asking him questions, trying to get some insight into what this person was doing out on the streets. He was very clean, well dressed, and his teeth were very nice, which is unusual for street people. He was very particular about what he ate, and only wanted the healthy food, so I served him several plates of salad. He spoke about living in a homemade shelter, in a back yard of what could have been an abandoned home. I talked about his work, what he done in the past, and whether or not he desired to be working or not. He talked of working to help others, but not of the kind of work that pays money, and yet, he didn't seem to be without, or needing of anything. We talked about Germany, a place that we both had lived at one time, but for different reasons, and different seasons of time. He shared with me how unhealthy the foods I liked to eat were, and I shared with him that I was working on eating healthier, because my son was not a healthy eater, and tended to be a little overweight, so for him to eat better, so must I. I told him the story of how I used to be overweight in my teenage years, until some people I considered "parental figures" shared with me that I was overweight. I took it to heart, and changed my habits that very day. I've never been over weight like that again. I was very blessed to be able to sit and have this wonderful conversation with this man, as though we were friends sharing a cup of coffee and talking about old times. We reached a point when they were closing down to clean, so I had to end my conversation and thank him for his time and start cleaning up.

Now that it had slowed down, I was able to see how everyone else was doing, and the feel in the air was that everyone had had a wonderful evening. We were all blessed by being there that night. I didn't get out of there until well after 9 as I stayed and shared my "flier" that I was passing out to get donations of clothing for the homeless later in the year. I look forward to whatever God has planned for this ministry, serving at City Gate, as well as being able to provide clothes and blankets when the cold weather arrives.

Friday, June 26, 2009

DONATIONS FLYER


My newest Flyer: God has really been providing me new ways to reach others, that I would have never thought of without Him. My newest Flyer was made to pass out to others in an effort to network "the homeless ministry" that I am working on right now. I put this together yesterday and on my way home, passed it out to several people who ride the bus with me. One lady let me know that as soon as she had sorted out her stuff at home, that she would bring the items she had to our bus stop, and I could load them directly into my vehicle, without having to worry about carrying them home on the bus. Plus I got to share the story of why I am doing this, and what God has been doing to promote this ministry, with another lady on the bus just that morning. The cool part is knowing others are hearing you tell your story and in that small space of time, they are being ministered to without them even realizing it. Who knows what God might do with this little piece of paper,l if its shared with others. I kept it simple enough to be able to post it at work, but also added the part about possibly using some of the donations, as part of the City Gate ministry at my church. 2 Flyer's, with 2 separate purposes, and the thought that God can do wonderful things, with something as simple as a piece of paper. I am going to make more copies to pass out along the way as I go to yard sales over the weekend. If they see that their left over goods will be put to a good purpose, and they can get me to come and pick them up, then it will make the donation all the better for the person donating it. God is really stepping up my boldness, as I submitted a letter to our mayor yesterday with a request to be able to share this with departments in the city. I'm hoping to promote other departments desires to give back to the city, and in turn, help those in need when they need it the most. I know the email was read, but have yet to get a response, so I guess only time will tell. Knowing God is in control of this ministry helps me to be more patient, knowing He can open doors if He wants them opened!! In the meantime, I will continue to share my flyers with others around me, and wait to see what happens.... God is Good!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

CITY GATE

Tomorrow is our "first big day" for serving down at City Gate. I'm excited and yet, very anxious, all at the same time. I know in my heart God has big plans for me, as well as my church, in regards to this ministry and that all of this is in His plan and in His hands. God has gotten me off to a great start with a "very large" donation of used clothing and blankets that will be given out in the up coming fall and winter months, and I am very gracious for the giving that has taken place so far. I am in the process of putting together a flyer that I hope can be distributed to area offices where I work, as well as any places I may go along the way this summer. Only God knows what direction He wants this ministry to go, and if what I feel in my heart says anything, then the sky is the limit...Because with God, there are "NO LIMITATIONS". Thank you Father for all you have done and plan to do with this ministry!!! PRAISE GOD!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

FATHERS DAY














I took the time to go back to Montana this Fathers Day to spend it with my dad. In my normal busy, chaotic world, I never seem to make the time for things like that. I think this is the first time I've ever gone back to just spend a day like that with my dad.

As we get older, and our parents get older, for some of us (like me), I think it occurs to us that time is running out. My dad will be 76 this year, and although his health is still pretty good, it puts things in perspective.

I took off a few hours early on Friday afternoon, but didn't get out of town until 5 p.m. I ended up driving halfway there, and then stopping for the night and sleeping in my truck at a rest stop. I woke up at 430 their time, 330 our time, and knew I couldn't go back to sleep so I headed out again. I did take time to do some photography, and managed to get to my dads about 11 that morning. He was not aware that I was showing up, so when I got there, he wasn't home. When I called him and asked where he was, it quickly dawned on him that he needed to be home. Surprises like that are so much fun.

We spent the afternoon just chatting about different things, and then I took him and his wife out for dinner. The food was wonderful and I was completely exhausted by the time we got back. I slept until almost 9 that next morning, and only woke up because he needed help with my animals. I always sleep so well at his house, because the air is cooler, and the elevation is much higher, so I go right to sleep and will get a good 8 hours or more before I get up. I spent the morning with them at church and then had lunch and headed home. It was about 8 that night when I got home, but even with all the driving, it was worth every bit of the trip. I hope I can find the time next year to do this again, as it was a trip well spent.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE FAMILY

This is Lady, who came to our home as a new member just yesterday..... I fell in love with her before I even saw her in person, and knew she was supposed to come home to live with me, my son, and "all the other animals" that we have at home.

(We now have: Baby (healer, Australian Sheppard mix), Rex (mutt…poodle, schnauzer, terrier etc.), Lacy (my princess cat who runs the house) and Rosco (king of the property, also known as the Old cat, because he is 14+ years in age)

I was looking through Craig's List yesterday on my work break and while browsing through the ads, just happened upon the ad for her. As soon as I saw her picture I got that feeling inside me that I get when God wants me to do something and I need to be paying attention. It wasn't like I needed or wanted another animal in my home, I just felt called to pick up the phone right then and there and ask if she was still available.

The gentleman who answered the phone seemed a little apprehensive about who might want to take her, so I gave him information that would reassure him that I am really wanting to inquire about her, and that I would provide her a good home.

She was located in an office that just happens to be right around the corner from where I work in a business that deals with the work I do, so the man who answered was wondering why our office was calling his office. God works in mysterious ways, and this was just one of those ways in which I get to see him work. I told the man on the phone that I would stop by after work on my way to catch the bus home, and would check her out and see what I thought of her.

As soon as I entered the door I could tell this was going to be hard on the person who had her. He didn't want to let her go, and the story she comes with speaks loudly how hard this was on him...... Lady is just over a year old, and her original family was a homeless couple who had her when she was just a small puppy. I guess the recent owner had seen her with this couple and told them that if they ever wanted to get rid of her, that he was interested in her and would take her should they decide they couldn't keep her. Well months later they showed up at his office and dropped her off, telling him that they were heading elsewhere and couldn't take her with them. That was January when he acquired her, and she was living with his girlfriend who had a home, until more recently when the girlfriend moved into other living quarters and could no longer accommodate Lady. So her next move would be to stay at the business he owns, but that lasted only as long as it became harder to take care of her, because he was trying to deal with her while running the business, and she has a lot of energy and needs to be out and about moving and playing. He was unable to keep up walks etc while trying to work. This is where I come in and take over.

I knew as soon as I saw her that I would take her and so I took the bus home and drove back down town to pick her up. He quickly gathered up all her stuff while I played with her for a few minutes, just to get her more comfortable with me. Outside it was pouring down rain, so I quickly ran to my vehicle and opened the doors and jumped inside and turned around to the back seat to help get her situated. He put all her stuff in the vehicle with her, closed the door and turned around and walked away without looking back. It broke my heart to see this big man be so broken hearted by this dog, so I sat there with her for a few minutes just in case something else might come up. When I felt it was OK I drove out of there and headed north to my house.

I called my son and told him what I had just done, and his first question was "what are you going to do with your dog" as if I was trading my mutt up for another dog. He knows I'm not a big fan of dogs, so he couldn't understand why I would get another one, when I never wanted one in the house to begin with. It was something I just couldn't explain to him, that I felt God sending me over there to get the dog and so I did.

I knew it would be chaos with all the other animals, bringing in one more to add to the already large pack of them. I got home and let her out in my back yard to check things out, and the first thing I noticed was how laid back and shy she really was. Considering her breed of "beagle/Rottweiler" I thought she would come across more aggressive than she did, but she was really docile, almost to the point of being a "scaredy cat".

Once we went around the yard a little bit, I took her inside and introduced her to my other animals. They already new something strange was going on, and they were barking really loudly downstairs waiting to be turned loose to see what all the commotion was.

My "mutt" is all bark, but not too much bite, so he acted all aggressive and such and just scared her more than anything, and my healer, well....she wouldn't stop sniffing her and that didn't go over to well either. Once we got past this part though, I took them outside and let them check things out by letting the two bigger ones go run (the mutt is a runner so he only gets to see things from the end of his chain). Once again we had to go through the initial meeting process on my dogs turf and then they just took off playing. I had to do some encouraging, but once she got comfortable, it was all OK.

In the meantime, I had to find a place for this dog to sleep, and I knew it needed to be in my room so she would feel safe. Well, my room was full of stuff left over from a trip we took a month ago, and I just hadn't had time to arrange things and put them away, so now I had to take the time to do it. Once I got that squared away and had a place to put her bed, blanket and of course her favorite stuffed dog, then I brought them back in to finish out the night. I took tons of pictures so that I could go back to the business tomorrow and let them know all was well.

I got up early the next morning to make sure I could take care of any extra needs that might arise due to her being new in the house. I let them all back outside and they just had a blast running and playing all around the yard. So far so good.... We will see tonight how well they fared being left to play together in my basement all day.

I went over during my first break at work to share my pictures and was totally unprepared for what happened once I got there. The man who gave her to me was not there, but the lady who works in the office ( His mother I think???) was there and she was and older lady. As soon as I told her who I was down came the tears.... She was so overwhelmed with having to give up her beloved dog, and it was hard for me not to cry. I showed her the pictures and even took the time to download them onto her computer for her so she could see that it was going to be OK. The more we talked the more she cried, but she also let me know it was OK, because she could see that Lady was going to a good home and would be well taken care of. I found it hard to focus at work when I got back because I knew on one hand that I had done a good thing, but on the other hand, I know how hard it is to give up a pet, because those who own animals know that they are just like your kids, and having to give one away is not an easy thing to do no matter how you feel about the animal.

I know she is meant to be with us, and She is a welcome addition to our family. Now I just have to figure out where I am going to live in my house, as it's over come with animals, and we only have 850 square feet to live in. Oh well.... God is good and He knows what He is doing!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

26 YEARS AND COUNTING

Recently I got an email from a friend from my High School years that said she was bringing her family out to where I live for their vacation. We try and catch up via email and occasional brief visits when I go back home, but we've never gotten the chance to just sit down and enjoy time together.

This past week I started to plan for the get together and having this family over for a barbecue. I don't normally have large groups of people at my home, mainly because I'm not that social when it comes to large groups of people. This was something I was not prepared for, but I knew once I got it planned out, it would be a lot of fun.

I didn't have a barbecue, but had wanted one, so I headed out Friday night after work to see what it would cost me to purchase a nice gas grill... I was prepared and yet not prepared for what it would cost me to buy one, just to have it for the weekend. I spent almost 2 hours looking, and then decided I would wait a day to make sure I made the right decision, because I knew it was going to cost quit a bit. Needless to say, I didn't get home until really late, and still had things to do so that we could get up early the next morning and head out to meet them over in Idaho.

I had hoped to be able to spend a leisurely drive going over to meet them, and perhaps be able to take photos along the way, but when I found out they were staying close to my house, I knew that would not happen. We would end up meeting them and driving the hour or so it took to get to Idaho together.

I woke up extremely tired, and neither me or my son were in the mood to get going so early. I have been putting in long days for several weeks and was running on very limited sleep, and both of us woke up extremely tired and not wanting to go anywhere. Our laundry was still dirty from the previous weekends trip, and so we had no clothes ready, which didn't help the situation at all. My son got grumpy because I wouldn't let him wear dirty clothes, and that started off our first day of fun in a not so good way.

We finally managed to get ready and out of the house, and then found out my friends were not doing to good with the directions we gave them, and they were lost, and working their way back towards town, so it ended up we weren't so far behind after all.... We finally caught up with them, and my friend rode with me and Tyler, and the rest of her family followed. We took back roads through the mountains to get over to Coeurdalene, and talked the whole way about "old times" and such. It was a wonderful way to start the visit and we really enjoyed the road trip...

more to come....

finishing up the story:

I have had so much going on in my life lately, that I have not had time to write at all. I have tons of titles, but have yet to put the stories in there.....

The weekend that my friends came to visit was so much fun, once we weeded out all of the junk that Satan brings to us to ruin the fun. Once we got on the road heading to Coeurdalene, my friend Veva and I had so much to talk about. So many things have happened in the years since school and even since we last saw each other. For one thing, both of our children have grown alot more since we last saw each other. My son Tyler has never been really tall, but now is about 5-5 which for him, means he has grown "alot" in the last year. Her boys, which were tall when I last saw them are now.... Well, its almost hard to explain. Her oldest, Bobby, is 6-7 and will be a Senior in High School this coming fall. Now, I don't believe that Zach is that tall "yet", because he is around the same age as my son, and still has a few years to grow....however, I do believe he is pushing right around 6 foot, or close to it anyways. They take after their moms side of the family, as Veva and her sister Jo were both 5-9?? or so in High School. We were very close friends, and you can only imagine the jokes that came with their "very short" friend, and two vey tall sisters. They were tall and very skinny, I was short and pudgy, not a good combination.. LOL LOL (And just as a side note, Bobby's girlfriend of several years is about 4-11 and maybe 90 pounds, although I doubt she ways that much.. LOL LOL)

Anways, we headed over to drop the kids off at a place called "triple play" which has water slides, go karts, miniature golf etc.... I don't normally spend money on this kind of stuff, but since friends were in town, I knew it would be fun for all of them to get together and spend the day, plus it would give us time to visit while the kids went and had fun. As we would find out later, Zach and Tyler hit it off right away, and they both left the weekend having found a new friend in the process. That is exciting, considering all the years I have been friends with Veva!!!

Once we dropped them off, and I got over all of my fears of leaving the kids near water without a parent ( a whole other story) we went to go look for quilting material for Veva, since the stock is better here in the "big city area". It's not something I would consider fun, but hey, it was time spent with friends, and I did enjoy looking at all the different patterns. They did have some made specifically from my home state of Montana, and those were really cool. Her husband had done this enough times that he knew the routine...Find a corner chair, and take a nap while waiting. I guess the sales lady told him that guys tended to fall asleep in the chairs, because they are very comfortable; I guess they must have been, because he fell asleep talking to another guy who was sitting there.

Once we were done there we went to Olive Garden and had lunch. Its one of my favorite places to eat, and I really enjoyed it. Having gone back to check on the kids who were bowling and wanting nothing to do with parents, we went down town and looked at some Antique stores. I had been to them last year, and they came with some personal stories attached to my visits, so it was wierd going back to them, but also worth the time, because we all found some fun things to take home with us. I always look for things that might be of interest to other people, and I came home with several gifts to give away. The joy of giving is always better than recieving, and I was able to share with a couple of people and bring home a gift for myself.

It was late afternoon when we finally finished up and started to head home. While we were heading home, I was busy thinking about a barbecue that I was going to have tomorrow afternoon, and knowing I still had a house to clean, purchase a barbecue, and buy enough food to feed about 15 people. I never do these sorts of things, so it was a big deal for me to make it right.

We ended up skipping church the next morning to get my house clean and make sure there was room enough for everyone to hang out. Then we had to go into town and buy all the food and the barbecue and get it set up before everyone showed up. We ended up with about an hour to spare to get things set up before people started coming over. I tried to match up my Christian friends in such a way that I knew they would get along with my friends family.

It turned out to be a wonderful time. Everyone got along, the men managed to find things to talk about for several hours, and the kids ran all over the place wearing themselves out as they went. My friend Tammies husband Mike cooked the hamburbers and hot dogs so I didn't have to do all the work myself, and we just sat out by the car port and just talked about whatever came to mind. I think everyone left around 830 or so, and I went in to tackle the kitchen clean up...... What a wonderful blessing it is when you can have old friends become new friends all over again, and then share them with others to allow them the friendship also..... Tyler is invited to go stay with them when he goes to his grandpa's this summer, and it sounds like both him and Zach are looking forward to getting back together to visit again. Life is good!!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

too busy for God

Do you ever feel like you are too busy for God... I seem to feel like that alot lately. I put a name to this post weeks ago, and to make my point, I'm even too busy to write about it. I feel like life consumes so much of my time, that I have to really be paying close attention to hear God talking to me. He makes His wispers loud enough to get my attention, but often times I'm too busy to do what He needs me to do because, I'm busy running here and there.

I try so hard to do things for other people, always thinking about others and what I can do to help, or just bring them something that might make them smile as they go about their day... I know God wants us to take care of others and do things for them, because what they see in our actions as Christians might just be the tool they need to give their life over to God..... The thing is, I feel like I spend so much time doing my own stuff, or doing stuff for others, that I completely forget to wake up in the morning and tell God thank you for the life He gives me each and every day. He provides me the tools needed to take care of His children and yet I put them before Him....

There are days that I have so much going on that I barely wake up because I am so tired, and I fall asleep more tired than when I wake up, and where in the middle of all this chaos do I find time to just say "Sorry for my daily mess ups, and sorry for not putting you first."

I do mean well, and I do try and do these things with God in mind, but still, all I see is my selfish "self" and I'm sure He feels the same way.... And yet, I still find Him wispering in my ear, directing me to do something else, that will help someone else along the way. In the midst of all my choas, He is still an Awesome God, and although I know I deserve none of the Love that He provides me daily, He is still watching out for me and showing me how much He loves me, EVEN WHEN I AM SO SELFISH THAT I CANNOT FIND THE TIME TO RETURN THAT LOVE BACK TO THE ONE WHO IS " I AM; ALMIGHTY GOD" Thank goodness He does not give up on the sinners. :0)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

TEENAGE STRUGGLES

I have been struggling alot in the last year or so with my son who is 15. Actually, I've struggled with him his entire 15 years, but the last year or so seems to be a lot harder to handle.

I've been chatting with a friend today and she reminded me that we do the best we can do with raising our children...And I know she's right, but sometimes it just seems alot harder than that.

He's your typical teenager at this point, but his rebelliousness is really wearing me down. He doesn't listen to anything, refuses to do "everything" and his walk with the Lord, well....all i can say is he's just not walking, not forward, and not backward, just dead still!!!!

I don't want to quit trying, but the more I try, the more I get mad at him for not being able to reach him. I find myself yelling at him alot, and more than a few times lately have told him that if he doesnt want to follow the rules and live the way he is supposed to in my home, then he can find another place to live.

I cried for several hours last night because I was so angry at him, and eventually he did give in and do what I asked, but what it takes to get there is not worth the journey. Most of the time I feel like a failure as a mom, and I look back at the way I've had to do things, and all I see are the things I've done wrong, not what I've done right.

I know he has learned to manipulate me over the years, and I just give up and give in, short of having my home destroyed with his anger. His dad has never got involved in discipline, so in short, I raised him on my own, except for the once a month weekend visits that are nothing but play time for both of them.

Ocassionally his dad does try and get involved,but mainly to blame me for whatever he feels I didn't do, that may have caused my son to act out this way, or not follow through on things. As if I caused this kid to punch a door or not turn in his homework, therefor getting an F in his class.

I try really hard to just keep peace in my home, which means, I do it all, or do nothing at all, and I never seem to get it right.... I know why they say "being a mom is the hardest job you'll ever have"......

Saturday, April 25, 2009

CITY GATE

A while back the pastor at my church brought up a new ministry that we have been talking about doing for a long while. He finally made the decision to get it started and asked if someone would want to take over leading this ministry. Knowing full well how much I love going down to serve at the homeless shelters, I couldn't help but say I would love to take over this ministry. He quickly acknowledged that he was hoping I would be the one to want to do it.

We started filling out applications to make sure everyone who had a wanted to serve there had a background check done, and planned a starting date of the end of May. Pastor Bob wanted me to go see how they operate and meet the guy in charge of the volunteers who serve the food on the days they are open. So yesterday I took my first trip downtown to see how things work down there. It was supposed to just be a meeting with everyone but it turned out to be much more.

Pastor Bob was running behind so I waited in town and checked out some stores while waiting for him to show up. Once he called me to say he was getting close to being there, I headed over to park and wait for him to show up. Knowing I'm not really a person who likes the city, much less when its getting dark, and being on the "inner city" side of town, didn't make me feel any more secure, but I got out and started looking for an entrance to go inside.


Once I walked around the corner from where I parked, I saw a line already growing for those waiting to get inside to eat. I tried to find out where I needed to get in but quickly found that door locked. One of the guys waiting outside told me to go to the side door, but it was a screen door that was locked also, so I just walked back around to wait for Pastor Bob to show up.


I didn't see him anywhere so I decided to just start small talk to those in line waiting and started talking about the warmer weather we were having and how it must be nice for them not to be in the cold and snow anymore. It didn't take much for a few of them to start talking. One said he was from Alaska and how it was much colder there than in Washington, so I replied that I was from Montana and understood true meaning of cold winters. The another gentleman told me he was from Montana too, in the town my brother lives in, and that he had family there. I told him my brother lived there and that it was a beautiful place to be. In the meantime, there was this young boy about 19 or so that said he wanted to show us the address on his drivers license since he didn't think anyone had ever seen an address like that. It was something to the sort of "3 roads past the fire department", I can't really remember, but one of those places that doesn't really have a name or a specific location, so they identify it by a "marker point" of some sorts so they at least know where to start. This kid called me ma'am in a very thick accent so I asked him if he was from West Virginia or someplace East. He said "no" he was from Texas. He came up this way trying to go to Canada, but that they wouldn't let him across the border, because he didn't have enough money. I asked him what that meant exactly, and another man there explained to me that they want you to have a minimum amount of money available, in case something happens and you can't get back across, so you have money to survive on if that happens. I said that makes sense I guess. Then this kid told me he came back through our city and had family here that he had been staying with, but that the cousin stole his money, and basically the transportation that he had to get around with, and now he was stuck here on the streets trying to survive. You could see he was a good kid, and I felt sad for his situation. He seemed very Naive, and probably just wanted to be anywhere but here. I sure wish I could help the kid get home, because it just seemed so sad to see him so lost.

Very shortly after that the Pastor showed up and we were able to get inside. I think he was a little worried about me being out there by myself, but I wasn't too worried once I got to talking to them. They saw that I was OK, and they opened right up, so it made me less worried about being there. We went inside and met the other church group that was working that night, and found out they came from a town about 30 miles north of where we were from, which is a long ways, considering we were already that far north of the place we were serving. It would be a long night for them. This was the group we would be taking over for in the summer while they took a break. It sounds like we will have at least June, July, and August as a time frame, and then God will open up doors from there if He wants them open.


The man that runs the volunteer groups is the brother of our worship leader, as I found out later, so that helped. He didn't think there would be a spot for us to serve when Pastor Bob originally started checking it out, but God opened up the door for us. Now we just needed to wait to see what else God has in mind down the road. I get the feeling door's will open, and so did the guy leading the groups. Doors had been opening up slowly since last fall, and I believed they will continue as much as God wants us to be there.

After the initial meeting of the group working there, we decided to stay a while and check things out, so I just jumped right in, grabbing food and serving it to those at the tables. It was hard for me to just sit and observe because this is a place where my heart really wants to serve, so I was up and going before Pastor Bob had even figured out what to do.

I have served at other Mission groups before in Portland Oregon, but this one was set up differently. The others had long lines and the food was served from a counter where they got there food and went to sit down in the large rooms with tables everywhere. This place was a small room, and they got to eat as soon as a seat opened up. And we, the volunteers, took them their food, and could sit down and talk with them and perhaps minister to them if the chance came along. This kind of situation made serving them very personal. You had to get down on their level and have eye contact and talk to them, and acknowledge them. What a way to serve God and give back to him. Most people hesitate to look into the eyes of a homeless person, much less get close to their face and acknowledge that they are human. There is so much you can learn from doing something like this, and your heart can really be opened up, especially if it's a hardened heart. If you let God reveal His heart to you in this place, you quickly realize how small of a person you really are, and how insignificant the things in your world can really be. Most of us have so much, and need so little, but we are greedy and therefor expect more as we go along. These people are grateful for having a meal in front of them, no matter what the food is.

My past, and the road God has taken me down, has allowed me to see both sides of the fence. I have survived with nothing, and yet always had enough, and I have had enough and yet have had nothing. It all depends on the situation and how we choose to use what God gives us. Lately He has been showing me that I have a lot, and yet am living paycheck to paycheck. Much of it is the economy and the cost of everything going up, but not all of it is. I started taking the bus to work to cut down on my spending, but there are still a lot of things that i do that I don't need to. And we live very modestly, I don't spend money on new things, nor do I over spend, and yet, I still need to cut down. God is showing me that even buying things second hand can be too much if you don't really need to be spending the money.

Anyways I spent the rest of the night helping to serve food and clean up after they shut down. It was a very well spent evening, and I look forward to being able to do this again in the near future. I hope that we are able to be a bit more organized, because the chaos last night was very exhausting, but it still went well. The man who runs the volunteers walked me out when I was ready to leave because of the area, and we had a chance to chat for a minute about our church and the future of our ministry volunteering there. He said the same thing I did, which was He thinks God is up to something, and that if we were meant to be there more than the summer time, the door would open up. It was encouraging to know that someone else felt the same way as Pastor Bob and I did, so hopefully we will see the doors opening up in the near future.

In the mean time, summer is here, and its a chance for me to start gathering coats and blankets while I'm out yard saling. This is the perfect time to buy them and if I start collecting now, I should have a good start by the time fall and winter gets here. God is Good!!!!!

ADDING NEW PHOTOS

Recently I have started working on my photo's again. If you happen to come upon my blog, check into my photo site, as I am updating the pictures as I have time. They aren't new ones from this year, just the ones I didn't have time to work on and post from last summer. I took some advice from a person who could be a good reference and decided to start working on cleaning up my site and also adding new things so others could see what I've done. Many people who do photography limit their sites to just a few things, but I want people to be able to get a feel for my pictures and why I do what I do, so there will be a lot of things to look at. I don't want to limit my work to just a few things.....God made the world beautiful in every way, so we should be able to enjoy the beauty for all that it is, not just for an animal, a flower, a scene etc....He gave us beauty all around us, and I want to "learn" how to capture that beauty as I learn how to take better photo's in the future. Check back in as you have time and hopefully I will have found the time to add new pictures.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A NEW CASE WORKER

I finally heard from the new case worker this week, in regards to my prior posts. I gave him a brief detail of what has happened so far and let him know a little about myself. He has been gone since the case was given to him and doesn't know anything about it. He did tell me just to be patient with the system and that he would call me as soon as he more information.

I have been so busy I haven't even had time to check on the kids, and I feel bad about that. I tried to call them once a few days ago and no one answered from either of the homes, so I just moved on. Hearing from the case worker made me feel a little better knowing someone was still paying attention to them and that he was taking me more serious than the temporary one, so it helped to remind me that God was still in control and would do things on his time.

They had ran my back ground check, and got all the information they needed, but funny thing is they hadn't been able to do my fingerprint check because they didn't have an address to reach me. I had faxed them my information 2 weeks ago from work, and they just contacted me 2 days ago to say they didn't have an address. If they had looked closely to my application they would have seen that I work in the "system" also and they could have easily gotten the information they needed. Leave it to the "system" to not figure that one out. Its almost as funny as having to have another background check and finger printing done when I work in the same system they do, except one is state and one is local. Why can't we all just work together and try to all get along. LOL LOL LOL!!!!

The case worker did seem to care about what would happen from here on out, and I was told by other's that he really cares about the children he works with, so hopefully this has a happier ending than the other options that I know are out there.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A TOUGH DAY








I had no idea how tough the next few days would be, but I would soon learn! You don't know how tough something like this can be on your emotions until you go through it.


I took time off Wednesday morning to appear at the court date for these children, knowing ahead of time that my appearance may not be needed. However, it didn't matter, these children needed someone to be present that was stable, and who knew and cared for them.


I was the first one there, and shortly afterward, the mother showed up. She was released Monday pending her next court date, and I had no idea how it would turn out there. Shortly after, the case worker brought in the kids. The oldest one kept to himself, because he knew the reality of the situation, and the younger ones cried and stuck close to mom. She of course acted as though nothing had even happened. She cried and tried to make the best of it, but I'm sure knowing I was there didn't help things. I could see through it all, and I know from her point of view, I was very much a threat to her world.


Sad to say, the system doesn't make any sense to me. The case worker spoke to mom a few days prior to this and mom told her she knew someone else who might be able to take in all the kids and keep them in one home. What I don't get is how a mother who can't take care of her own children gets the right to choose someone else to take care of them. Not family, just someone she knows who lives in her neighborhood.


I know that I'm not in control of what happens, I am dependent on God to make any moves He chooses to make, but it didn't make me any less angry at the system. Here I am, the only one sitting here with these kids inside Juvenile hall, and reality is, I mean nothing to the system. I'm just a person who cares, but that doesn't matter to anyone, except the kids, me and God.


I stayed the whole morning waiting for these kids to get through this part of the day. The mom had time with her lawyer, the kids had time with theirs and I waited patiently so these kids had someone sitting in the room with them at all times. I wanted so desperately to be any where but here, because that place is not friendly at all. Even the receptionist was mean to everyone.


At one point the case worker told me they were trying to place these kids with the person closest to their home because that is what the lawyer thought was best. I was told ahead of time that the case worker wasn't on my side or the kids and I got to see that first hand. I know the neighborhood they live in, God placed me there to live for a period of time, and most everyone living in that neighborhood is in the same boat, none of it good.


As we sat in court for all of maybe 3 minutes, the lawyers talked and the judge said it was best to place them closer to home so as not to disrupt their school functions. No one even asked me if I would make sure they would get back and forth to school. I live almost 25 miles from them, and whether they know it or not, if I needed to be up at 3 in the morning to make sure they got to school and kept up with their routine, I would do it. I care that much for these kids. Now its a waiting game to see what happens from here.


I stayed until the case worker walked these kids out the door before I went to work. When I got back a co-worker came up to me and asked me how it went and tears started to fall. I kept myself in check but it was so hard. These kids and their family don't understand how much it takes to do this, and I felt for them. I think everyone was worn out from all of this, and no one wanted me to talk about it any more. The sad fact though, is if you miss even a minute in something like this and your not doing everything you can to help, the system just pulls you in and pretty soon your just a name at some home where occasionally someone checks up to make sure the foster parents are still doing their job. I don't want these kids to end up that way.


Who knows if the mom will even do any time, even though the case warrents it. It could be that she is released, does some rehab, and the kids go right back into the routine they knew all along.


I did my best to put it aside after Wednesday. I tried to talk to the older sister who lives elsewhere, and she didn't respond, so I just figure at this point, its in God's hands and He will do what He know's is best for them. All I can do is pray that they end up in the hands of someone who cares!!


The one thing that allows me to just sit and wait is knowing God is in control. He will watch out for them wherever they go.

NO TIME continuation








Once I got that call Friday night, I spent the next 2 hours calling people I knew and trying to make contacts with anyone who could help me out. I was amazed at how much information I collected in those 2 hours. I even had contacts to reach the both sets of foster parents. I couldn'g go to sleep though after that, so I sent out a prayer request to anyone I knew who might respond. It was closer to 4 before I got to sleep. And of course, the sun came up and with that, I was awake again.

I went over to the home and tried to find out where the animals were and wether or not I could be of any help in taking care of them. After hours of searching for the dog who is part wild and a runner, I gave up, hot and tired, and moved on to do some personal work.

I knew a business close by who sells used furniture, so I thought I would check his shop to see if he had any pictures/frames for me to buy. I hit the jackpot when I went in there, and ended up with about 10 pictures to take home. Plus I sold a mirror next door in an antique shop and came out with a few extra dollars that would become a birthday gift for one of the kids in foster care. I love how God works.

I went back out one more time to try and find the dog and still nothing, so I called the foster parents and set up times to go see the kids. I didn't know how long the day would be, but I managed to get in time with both sets of the kids and made sure all was ok with everyone. The older one I spent a long period of time with, explaining to him what would happen and what he should expect, and allowed him to just understand the seriousness of the whole thing. He is in a home by himself and the younger ones in another, so the whole situation is very hard. It was close to 9 that night when I finally got home. Of course I still had stuff to do at my house, so it was late again before I got to sleep.

After church the next day, back to town I went. I spent the afternoon putting together Easter baskets for all of the kids and making sure the one who's birthday was coming up the next week had a gift and was acknowledged. Then I called up the families again, and delivered the first 2 baskets directly to the younger ones. They really enjoyed the gifts and the being noticed by someone they knew. The 3rd basket I left on the doorstep of the other family. I gave the older boy a Bible, because I knew he didn't have time to get his when they left the house. He told me later how grateful he was to get one from me. I knew how important it would be and was glad he was happy with it.

I still had to go pick up my son from the airport about 8 oclock that night, and we went back over once again to try and catch this wild dog. He was in the yard and I thought it would be easy to get him in my vehicle and keep going....Boy was I wrong. To put it mildy, I was all covered in mud and a half out later, had to let the dog go, because he gave me a warning bite, and I just gave up and let him lose. The dog won, and we left to go get groceries and go home. It was about 11 when we got there and I had to work in the morning. God has a sense of humor....that much I do know.

More of the story later....






Things have been extremely busy for me lately, in ways that I would never have thought of even 6 months ago....More so, I would never have been able to handle some of the things that have come up lately, had they happened 6 months ago. God has been stretching me in more ways than I can even comprehend lately, and had I not gone through all of my trials last year, I don't think I would have been prepared for the new challenges in my life.

My title of "No Time" seems very appropriate and ties in with my last post. I bought a new camera a few weeks ago, and have been anxiously waiting for it to get here. Finally after 3 days of trying, UPS was able to deliver it, after I signed a slip giving them permission to deliver it to my neighbors house. The thing is, I have this new camera and a box full of stuff to go with it, and I don't even have time to think about opening up the stuff to look at it, much less check out how things work. I thought last weekend that I would be able to go out and enjoy the sunny weather and take some photos with my other camera, however, God had different plans.

My son was gone on Spring break, and so far, I had not been able to enjoy even a moment of this time. I had been sick for half of the week, and very busy the other days that I had. Finally Friday came around and I was looking forward to going out Saturday to play in the sun, when I got an unexpected phone call that would change things for not only the weekend, but perhaps for an unexpected amount of time.

My son has a friend that I have been somewhat of a "surrogate/foster" parent to, for almost as many years as we have lived in Spokane. I care very deeply for him and as a mother would do anything to help him and his siblings. So when I picked up the phone and his voice was on there I knew there was something wrong. Immediately I went into "mother mode" once he told me that he and his siblings had been placed in the "foster care" system that morning.

There is nothing that will get your adrenaline pumping faster than when one of your kids are hurting, have been hurt by someone else, or are placed in some kind of danger. As a mother, I immediately started down a road to finding out how I could help these kids, especially knowing that there was no one else in the immediate position to help them.....

To be continued....later today or ?????

Thursday, April 9, 2009

NO TIME











Things have been extremely busy for me lately, in ways that I would never have thought of even 6 months ago....More so, I would never have been able to handle some of the things that have come up lately, had they happened 6 months ago.

God has been stretching me in more ways than I can even comprehend lately, and had I not gone through all of my trials last year, I don't think I would have been prepared for the new challenges in my life.

My title of "No Time" seems very appropriate and ties in with my last post. I bought a new camera a few weeks ago, and have been anxiously waiting for it to get here. Finally after 3 days of trying, UPS was able to deliver it, after I signed a slip giving them permission to deliver it to my neighbors house. The thing is, I have this new camera and a box full of stuff to go with it, and I don't even have time to think about opening up the stuff to look at it, much less check out how things work.

I thought last weekend that I would be able to go out and enjoy the sunny weather and take some photos with my other camera, however, God had different plans.

My son was gone on Spring break, and so far, I had not been able to enjoy even a moment of this time. I had been sick for half of the week, and very busy the other days that I had. Finally Friday came around and I was looking forward to going out Saturday to play in the sun, when I got an unexpected phone call that would change things for not only the weekend, but perhaps for an unexpected amount of time.

My son has a friend that I have been somewhat of a "surrogate/foster" parent to, for almost as many years as we have lived in Spokane. I care very deeply for him and as a mother would do anything to help him and his siblings. So when I picked up the phone and his voice was on there I knew there was something wrong. Immediately I went into "mother mode" once he told me that he and his siblings had been placed in the "foster care" system that morning.

There is nothing that will get your adrenaline pumping faster than when one of your kids are hurting, have been hurt by someone else, or are placed in some kind of danger. As a mother, I immediately started down a road to finding out how I could help these kids, especially knowing that there was no one else in the immediate position to help them.....

To be continued....later today or ?????

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A NEW CAMERA

I have waited a long time to purchase a new camera, and I finally saw one that fits my budget on E-Bay. I have never purchased anything online before, so that in itself was new for me. And to think that I would purchase my first camera on there, seems almost crazy. But once I saw it and checked it out on other sites, I decided this was a good place for me to start. I will be more excited once it get's delivered to my home and I can see for my self what I actually spent my money on. Being this was my first purchase online, its a little scary for me, and I hope my purchase lives up to my expectations.

The camera I got last year was a gift and I have enjoyed every minute of use with it, but ever since I got it, I have wanted to upgrade. I couldn't take the kind of pictures I really wanted to take, and I am hoping this new one will get me started in that direction. My next project is to find a zoom lenz for it. I have been looking for one already, but its hard to know which one to purchase, so I am taking my time in looking.

I couldn't get the photo to copy here so I am posting a link to the kind of camera I bought.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=139&modelid=17316#ModelFeaturesAct


Sunday, March 22, 2009

WITH SPRING, GOD BRINGS NEW LIFE






I have always enjoyed spring time, as new life breaks free from the frozen ground, new born animals are in the fields, and the colors are bright and fresh all around us. You can't miss the flowers blooming and the trees starting to bud new leaves, and the moods of the people around us start to change with the warm fresh air and sunshine that comes with the changing seasons.

This year seems to have brought to me a whole new outlook on spring. Before I enjoyed the changing seasons and couldn't wait for spring because I was tired of the cold, grey winters and I desperately wanted to get outside to do new things. But this year I am looking forward to spring for a whole new reason.....Photography!!

I had so much fun learning to use my digital camera last summer, and the photos I took as a beginner in this area were amazing. I have been waiting all winter for the season to be over with so I could get back outside to play with my camera. There are so many things I want to go see and I can't wait to see where God will lead me in regards to taking new pictures. I have never had something I enjoyed so much, and just the excitement of even thinking of doing it makes it harder to wait for spring to officially be here.

I recently put together my first layouts, and once I saw how well they turned out, I want to get some more done. The hard part is there is a lot of work involved in putting just a few layouts together. Even with technology, once you do the printing and adjusting and decide on the layout, find just the right frame and decide again if the layout will work, the time involved is tremendous. It took me almost a month to put together just a couple of displays, and I found out just how expensive it can get, so I don't know how soon it will happen.

I have been going to second hand stores and picking up frames that I think are in decent condition, since right now, I just want to put some together to show, not to sell. Once I see how that part goes, then I will pursue other directions, but for now, I am starting slow.

I have a store where I live that says I can put them up for display, and just put my business cards and an advertisement with them. The store is a furniture store and I think it will work out well for both of us, I just have to find the time and materials to put them together without spending alot of money to do so.

Once I saw the first few layouts, I started thinking of all the thousands of photos I have and just how many of them I could actually use. It's almost overwhelming to think about looking through all of them and then trying to decide on just a couple of them to put together.

It has given me more insight on what I might do this coming spring and summer though, because last year was just a trial period for me. Now I want to put more emphasis on what might really make a good picture for someone else to look at. There still is alot of trial in it, because I still don't know what that may include, but I have a better idea today than I did a year ago.

God has given us such a vast display of His handy work to enjoy, and how do you choose which part of that to share with others. I know what part excites me, and that is anything having to do with the country. I love the green trees, the mountains, the animals, the flowers, I could go on and on. There is so much beauty in this world to see that I often find myself not paying attention to what I am doing or where I am driving, because I am busy looking for that "next new thing" to take a picture of.

It's very distracting, but then it also causes me to stop and look at what God created with His hands for us to enjoy. The sad part is we as a whole are destroying it piece by piece and sometimes the beauty in front of us has to be viewed through all the stuff we've added to it, or through all that we've done to destroy it. It's hard to see it through the eyes of one who wants to only see the beauty....

Aside from my photograpy, God is also allowing this year to be a new season of change for me spiritually. God has taken all the hardships of the last year to mold me and change me, and I am now starting to see the fruit of His Labor in my life. I am seeing myself open up more and I believe that as I start to open up He is going to move me in places I would have never gone before. I'm excited about the changes I am already seeing in myself, and I look forward to what God has planned for me in this "New Season of Life".