Wednesday, January 28, 2009
While the entire suicide note hasn't been released, it states that the couple had been investigated for "misrepresenting their employment to an outside agency to obtain childcare." I imagine that childcare for 5 children must be expensive. They had an 8 yo daughter, twin 5 yo daughters and twin 2 yo sons. Let's face it: even if the 3 girls are in school, they have to go to some sort of after school care program. Here in South Florida the after care provided in school runs between $120 and $130 per month. Childcare for the twin boys here would probably be between $100 and $125 a week. At the cheapest level that amounts to $1,160 a month. I'm assuming in California it's way more expensive, as the cost of living there is very high. Due to the investigation both parents were fired from their jobs (they worked together at a local hospital). It seems the stress of the investigation and losing their employment was too much for this couple.
Did this solve the problem? They believed it would. Yet these children lost their lives too young. Was the problem so bad that it could never be resolved? Highly unlikely. People in America are losing their jobs left and right, directly and indirectly because of the economy. While I don't condone the fact that this family was somehow lying to get childcare, it's a symptom of how bad the situation in our country has become, and sadly, if things don't improve, I fear we'll be hearing more heartbreaking stories like this one. People, killing yourself and/or your loved ones is NOT a solution! No problem is so big that God can't fix it. Anytime life deals you a blow you don't think you can stand, read the book of Job. Honestly, I don't think anything can compare to what this righteous man suffered, yet his faith in the Almighty God he trusted earned him more than relief from his troubles. He received double of everything he lost. Jesus tells us to give Him our burdens. Turn to Jesus, all those who labor. He gives us rest.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I am wearing...t-shirt, shorts & flip flops.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Seriously, I'm looking forward to normal temps again. I don't mind being in the 70's, even the 60's, but in the 40's?! No thanks!
Monday, January 19, 2009
1 – I am 45 years old.
2 – I am the oldest of 4 children.
3 – Twins run in my family. My younger brother & sister are twins.
4 – I was raised in the Jehovah’s Witness religion.
5 – I accepted Christ as my Savior 5 ½ years ago.
6 – I’ve written my testimony. You can read it at http://www.towerwatch.com/Testimonies/mrsr.htm
7 – Secretly, I would love to be an interior designer.
8 – My favorite color is green.
9 – I studied bookkeeping in high school and graduated 4th in my class.
10 – I never went to college.
11 – I love to cook and bake.
12 – I am a bit of a neat freak.
13 – I teach Sunday Bible classes at church to elementary school kids.
14 – I am currently a stay at home mom.
15 – I am 5 years older than my husband.
16 – I was born in the Bronx, NY to Puerto Rican parents. That makes me a Newyorican (I hate that word!).
17 – I was born 3 weeks after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
18 – My favorite kitchen appliances are my slow cooker and my dishwasher.
19 – I love board games.
20 – Most of the TV I watch is on TLC (The Learning Channel). Jon & Kate plus 8, What Not to Wear, 17 Kids & Counting, Mystery Diagnosis, New Detective. Once in a while I watch Food Network or HGTV.
21 – I’ve never seen American Idol.
22 – I’ve never watched an episode of “Friends”.
23 – We purchased our new construction home in 1999, before the real estate boom. If we were to try and buy it now, we couldn’t afford it.
24 – Chocolate is proof that God still loves us.
25 – I attended Catholic Church for 18 years but never became one.
26 – My kids say I’m OCD about cleanliness. I don’t know what they’re talking about.
27 – I have no trouble falling asleep.
28 – I have 3 wonderful kids.
29 – My son’s friends have mistaken me for his sister :-).
30 – I love musicals. Sound of Music is my favorite.
31 – My favorite band is Casting Crowns, followed closely by BarlowGirl.
32 – My favorite food is anything Italian.
33 – I do about 10 loads of laundry a week.
34 – I love the smell of babies, fresh cut grass and Downey fabric softener.
35 – I hate cleaning bathrooms.
36 – Jennifer Lopez and I grew up in neighboring ‘hoods. In fact I could walk to her house from mine in about 20 minutes. Never met her, though.
37 – I love seafood. Except crab, not fond of crab.
38 – I love to read.
39 – I don’t like talking on the phone.
40 – My husband and I got married 2 months after our daughter was born.
41 – My kids were all born by Cesarean section.
42 – All 3 of my kids were born on the 27th: The oldest on March 27, and the 2 youngest on December 27.
43 – My favorite clothing store: New York & Company.
44 – I love bargain shopping. My 2 favorite words are Sale and Free.
45 – I worked 11 ½ years for the same company before they went bankrupt and I got laid off.
46 – I’ve read thru the whole Bible once and the New Testament twice.
47 – I have few friends, but the ones I have are top notch.
48 – I never want to move out of Florida.
49 – I still have dial up Internet.
50 – I just started text messaging last month.
51 – I’m a home body. I’d rather be home than anywhere else.
52 – I sold Christmas decorations thru party plans for 10 years.
53 – It was snowing the day I was born.
54 – I drive a 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Sport, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
55 – I hate wearing boots.
56 – My favorite season is autumn.
57 – I was named after my mom’s boss’s daughter. He was always bragging about his daughter Arlene and my mom thought it was so sweet.
58 – I played the clarinet in grade school and junior high.
59 – My daughter is an amazing guitar and bass player.
60 – My favorite pastime is scrapbooking.
61 – I’m trying to lose 5 pounds.
62 – I’m allergic to berries.
63 – I’m deathly afraid of mice.
64 – I never learned to ride a bike.
65 – My favorite subject in school was history.
66 – I’ve read Kate Gosselin’s book twice. In one month.
67 – On September 11, 2001, I was at work. My friend called me to tell me about the WTC.
68 – I think Rachael Ray’s recipes rock!
69 – I prefer Coke over Pepsi, but my favorite is Sprite.
70 – I prefer Burger King over McDonald’s.
71 – I have naturally curly hair which I straighten with the blow dryer and straightening iron every time I wash it.
72 – I’ve been to Walt Disney World about 15 times.
73 – I’d like to homeschool my son, but I don’t know if I have the patience to do it.
74 – My hair used to be jet black. Then I started getting natural white highlights. Now I dye it auburn.
75 – I have a brown thumb. I don’t know why. My mom can grow anything in her apartment in NY, and I can’t grow a simple plant in South Florida. I know, pathetic.
76 – I still miss our dog Tobey. He had to be put down in July. I start crying every time I remember him.
77 – I absolutely HATE to cry in public. Few people have ever seen me cry because I do everything possible not to.
78 – I don’t buy jewelry. My husband has bought almost every piece of jewelry I own. He has excellent taste, and besides, why spend my money if it makes him happy to buy for me?
79 – My favorite ice cream is Haagen Daz Vanilla Swiss Almond. I could eat an entire pint in one sitting.
80 – When I was pregnant with my oldest son, I’d go through bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Now his favorite candies are Reese’s Pieces. Do we see a connection here?
81 – I love chocolate chip cookies. With fruit punch. Yum!!
82 – I don’t like peaches. Even the smell of peaches makes me gag.
83 – My favorite fruit is apples. I am a New Yorker, after all.
84 – I’m a perfectionist. If things aren’t perfect I get panicky.
85 – I’m an introvert.
86 – I did the Gallup test to find out my spiritual gifts and abilities. My spiritual gifts are:
1-Administration, 2-Teaching, 3-Exhortation.
87 – My spiritual abilities, based on the Strengthfinder test, are:
1-Harmony, 2-Context, 3-Learner, 4-Discipline, 5-Intellection
88 – Harmony: Means I’m always trying to get people to get along. I’m a natural born peacemaker.
89 – Context: lover of history (see #65)
90 – Learner: I get a thrill out of learning new things. I guess that’s why I love reading the Bible. There’s something new to learn in it everyday.
91 – Discipline: I must have everything organized. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is my favorite saying. I can be a bit of a control freak because of my need for order.
92 – Intellection: I’m a thinker. I love to study and have intellectual conversations. I’m not interested in going to a big party or be around people. I’d rather be alone, in a corner, with a book, or speaking to someone who is an expert on any given subject.
93 – I’m leading a small group this spring for the 6th time. We’ll be studying the book “Really Bad Girls of the Bible” by Liz Curtis Higgs.
94 – My favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas.
95 – I don’t like taking baths. It feels to me like I’m swimming in dirty water. I love showers.
96 – Of all the careers I could have opted for, I’m glad I chose motherhood.
97 – If my house is messy, I start feeling panicky.
98 – I don’t care for the color blue.
99 – I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 15 years old.
100 – I prefer wearing dresses or skirts to pants. I feel much prettier.
Wow! I actually did it! It's sort of like playing Trivial Pursuit, only all the questions are about me. You can do it too, if you care to. Or not. It's a free country.
Outside my window...it's another sunshiny day. 64 Degrees this morning when I got up. Should get a "cold" front this week, bringing the temps down to a bitter 40+ degrees on Wednesday.
I am thinking...the TV will be saturated with inauguration programs all week.
I am thankful for...the love of my Savior.
From the learning rooms...I think we'll play some Scrabble today. It's fun, and educational.
From the kitchen...jambalaya in the slow cooker. One of my favorites.
I am creating...a plan for renovating the master bathroom.
I am going...to enjoy today with my son at home.
I am reading...Numbers for my morning devotions. I've ordered a couple of books from Amazon which should arrive this week. Good, 'cause I need some fresh reading material.
I am hearing...the hum of the computer, and my youngest son's ramblings. He's a talkative little critter.
Around the house...bathrooms and laundry. House is pretty clean for the most part.
One of my favorite things...is board games. We played tons of them when I was growing up, and we have fun playing them now, especially when everyone is home and willing to play.
A few plans for the rest of the week: back to school tomorrow. I hope to go with my hubby to the tile store so we can decide on a design for the bathroom. I'd like to get that done and over with as soon as possible. Awana on Wednesday. Sunday we have a guest speaker at church, Dr. Bob Barnes, who will speak on marriage and relationships. I promised that I would teach one of the children's classes so that the teacher for this week can go to one of the services and hear Dr. Barnes. I'm sure we will be blessed by his message.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...I actually don't have any new pics. I need to get the camera out. Keeps it more fun.
Friday, January 16, 2009
I, on the other hand, had to go to the doctor on Wednesday because I'd been burning up with fever for 3 days and pretty much ignored how lousy I was feeling so that I could take care of my husband. Hubby finally told me I HAD to go to my doctor, who gave me antibiotics for a very bad sinus infection. Any time we get a dry spell my allergies act up, and sometimes it leads to sinusitis. We haven't had a good rainfall in several weeks so I'm not surprised I got sick. There's no rain in the horizon either: a couple of cold fronts have brought the weather down to the lower 50's in the morning and 70 in the afternoon which is so comfortable, but also dry. I'm not complaining, mind you - most of the country is covered in snow and suffering from ridiculously low temperatures and wind chill factors that could freeze the sun. I'm extremely thankful for our very pleasant temperatures. I just want a little sinus relief! Not to worry. I'm resting and taking care of myself, and with the Lord's help I'll be as good as new in no time. Thank God for weekends!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday I was teaching in children's ministry and that night was our semi-annual church update dinner. I always look forward to these dinners, as our pastor brings us up to date with the plans God has for our church for the next 6 months. I got up in the morning with my sinuses inflamed, my nose running and my eyes watering. I took a Claritin and went to church. I was able to teach which was great (taught on the book of Job), but when I got home I was achy and had a headache. Turns out I had a temperature of 101.9. I took a couple of Tylenol and lay down, hoping I would feel better.
Let's backtrack to that morning. My hubby got up and complained that he had a lump under his chin on the left side of his face. I took a look but saw nothing. He insisted that he felt a lump and it hurt. "Maybe," I said, "you were coughing so hard your jaw hurts." He'd had the flu and his cough was out of control. Before he left for his softball game, I took a look at him and noticed that, indeed, he had a bit of swelling under his left ear. I asked if he'd ever had the mumps, and he said not to his knowledge. "Here, take an ibuprophen and let's see if the swelling goes down, otherwise we'll have to go to the doctor," I said, and he took his medicine and went on his way.
Even after taking the Tylenol for my fever, I was feeling miserable. I wanted to go so badly to that dinner, but I finally accepted that I'd best stay home. I couldn't understand why God hadn't just taken all these symptoms away so I could go and enjoy this time of fellowship and fun with my church. Oh well. I sent a friend of mine a message saying I wouldn't make it and just stayed in bed. Shortly afterward my husband arrived home, and I gasped. The right side of his face looked the same as always. The left side, however, was a different story. His neck was so swollen he looked like Alfred Hitchcock. He was in a lot of pain, including his ear. Now, I knew that mumps affect not only the glands around the throat but also the ear, so I called his mother and asked if he'd been vaccinated as a child. She couldn't remember. In their native country kids are vaccinated at school, so she didn't know what they'd been vaccinated for. I wanted hubby to go to the hospital, but he wanted to wait until the morning to go to his regular doctor. When I told his mother that it looked like the mumps, she said, "Put him on the phone." She gave him a good talking to, because he finally agreed to go to the emergency room. They ran all kinds of blood tests, and even a CT scan to see if he had stones in his salivary glands (I have to say I've never heard of that, but apparently it's possible to get stones in your salivary glands). We were in the hospital from 7:30pm to almost 4:00 in the morning, and in the end the diagnosis was mumps. He was given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication, and thank the Lord the swelling is going down. He's also in less pain, since the swelling was making pressure on his ear which was what caused the most pain.
Thinking back, I realize now that God didn't want me to leave the house Sunday night because my husband needed me. Had I not been home it would have taken longer to get him to the hospital. When we got there it wasn't too full, but within a couple of hours the emergency room was packed. Thankfully the hospital we went to is top-notch, and they make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible. They even gave me a stretcher to lie down on while we waited for his test results, which was a good thing since I still had fever and was achy all over. I'm thankful to the Lord that I was available to my hubby when he needed me, and for the excellent care he received from the doctors and nurses. I'm also very thankful that he didn't have to be admitted, because that would have really stressed him out. All my poor hubby wanted was to go home and sleep on his own bed, and it was finally able to happen. Praise God for His small and large miracles. I'm glad He's always in control.
A few plans for the rest of the week: need to get my hubby to the doctor tomorrow, and hopefully we can get to church tomorrow night. E was too sick with a throat infection to go to Awana last week and he really missed it.
To join in the fun, visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/
Saturday, January 10, 2009
R got his sister gloves. Yes, gloves. It gets much colder in Central Florida than it does here. Besides, they have Grrr from Invader Zim on them. My kids are cartoon fanatics, what can I say. He also got her a tote bag that says Life = Music. She was very happy.
I'm thankful that my son heard me when I said over and over and over again that I wanted Kate Gosselin's book Multiple Blessings. I read it in 2 days. She did an awesome job, and there are some really beautiful family pictures. I recommend it to anyone, especially if you like the TV show.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Monday I dropped my daughter off at her roommate's house and said goodbye as they got ready to go back to school. I kept my cool while I was there, but I cried on the way home. Why is it so hard? I know she has to grow up and leave home, and now is as good a time as any, since she's doing something good with her life. Still, I feel like a part of me is missing. It's kind of like people who've lost a limb, yet they still feel the sensation of that body part. That's how I'm feeling right now. Her classes started on Wednesday. She's already thinking of dropping one class; we'll see how that goes.
My oldest son was really sick with the flu. Fever, chills, body aches, the whole run of the gamut, and he had to work. Thankfully he had a couple of days off before he had to go back, but he just started working and got sick. Then Dad caught it. I actually woke up because he was wheezing (he's asthmatic) and I had to get him his medicine because he was so achy and exhausted he didn't even realize he was having trouble breathing. Now my little guy's got it. He came home from school on Wednesday with 101.3 fever and a sore throat. I gave him Motrin and let him rest, but the next morning he had 102.8 fever. I took him to the doctor today, who advised us E has a throat infection and is wheezing a bit too. I spent over $100 in medicines (ugh). But at least his fever seems to be under control. The sad part is that he missed Awana on Wednesday which he was really looking forward to, and I missed a small groups meeting yesterday because he was still sick and I had no one to leave him with.
On the topic of small groups, Pastor John has asked me to lead another women's group this spring. Last spring we used a great study guide, Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs. It went so well that I asked Pastor John if I could continue with the series and he said absolutely. So I've chosen as our curriculum Really Bad Girls of the Bible. I'm sure God is going to bless us as we get into His word and look at the women who did the wrong things and why we want to avoid those paths.
I'm serving in the children's ministry this Sunday, and I get to teach on my favorite book of the Bible, Job. There's something about teaching these youngsters about God and seeing their little faces as they remember what has been studied, that just brings total joy into my life. I love these little critters, and knowing that what they're learning will impact their lives gives me a sense of urgency. They won't be little forever; in fact they won't be little for very long. There's a small window of time when we can reach their tiny hearts with the Gospel before they become teenagers and know more than anyone about everything. Now is the time. I've got to give it all I've got. I thank the Lord that He has given me this gift and opportunity to teach these precious children about Him and His Word. I'm blessed to be able to serve Him by blessing others.
And speaking of blessings, we got an incredible blessing this week. Back in October the ceramic tiles in our master bathroom started falling out. I called the insurance company to see if they would cover the damages. We knew it would cost quite a bit of money to get the bathroom fixed, since the tiles we currently have in the bathroom are discontinued. It would mean retiling the entire bathroom, and on one income that just wasn't fathomable. An adjuster was sent out, then plumbers to see if there were any leaks. We were supposed to get an answer back in 2 weeks whether the insurance company would pay for our claim or not. Three weeks went by and there was no answer. I called our insurance company, and was told that the adjusters didn't have a final report yet. I was given the adjuster's phone number so I could call them and find out when they'd have an answer. I called and left voicemails for the adjuster and her supervisor. Thanksgiving came and went, with no answer. I called the first week of December, and the supervisor finally got back to me. She apologized for not having gotten back to me sooner, then told me her adjuster still didn't have a final report. She'd get back to me that afternoon. Two days later I called and left numerous messages. Mid December the supervisor called again; the final report was done but she hadn't received it yet. She assured me she'd call back that day. Nothing. The week of Christmas they were on vacation, and the week of New Years as well (at least that's what the receptionist kept telling me). Finally I called my insurance company again this Wednesday. Don't ask me why I didn't call the insurance company earlier. I should have, but I just didn't. My insurance company was appalled that this claim had been open since October, and here it is January and we've never received an answer. The woman apologized profusely and assured me the adjuster would contact me TODAY. Thursday morning, still no call. I call the insurance company again. This time a gentleman takes the call. I explain my frustrating story to him. My husband wanted me to yell at them and tell them off, but I'm just not like that. I just related my situation to the agent and asked him to please give me an answer: are they going to pay for my claim or not? The agent told me the woman I'd spoken to the day before had indeed told the adjusters to call me but they never did. He told me he would take care of this case before the day was through. I must admit I was very skeptical at this point, and my husband kept insisting that I was being too nice and the only way I'd get results was to yell and scream. Instead I prayed and left the whole matter in God's hands. That afternoon the agent called and told me an estimator was in my neighborhood and could he come by to see the bathroom? He would provide an estimate to my insurance company and they'd cut a check right away. I was surprised and delighted! I called my husband, and he came home so he could be there when the estimator came. About half an hour after the agent called, the adjuster finally phoned me, after 3 months of messages. She told me my claim had been denied, because they found no cause for the tiles to fall out other than the grout had fallen away. Shocked, I said to her, "Really? That's strange, because the insurance company just called and they're sending an estimator over right now. They told me they're paying on this claim." She sounded very surprised and said she was going to call the insurance company. Now I was worried; who was I to believe? I called the insurance company back, and the agent told me to disregard the adjuster's phone call - they were paying on my claim. Come to find out, the insurance company has over 1,900 complaints about this adjuster (can you believe it?) and they aren't going to use this company to do inspections anymore. Here is the most amazing part: had the adjuster called in her report, the insurance company would not have paid on our claim based on her evaluation. But since she didn't do her job, my insurance company felt obligated to pay on our claim because so much time had gone by. I got a call from the agent today, and they are paying $1,000 over what we had calculated that we were going to receive!! I tell you, I see God's hands all over this! Normally I would have given up on the adjusters and called my insurance company to handle this matter. Yet for some reason I just didn't. Now I see that God was in control of the situation, and He allowed this much time to go by so that our bathroom could get fixed without us having to dip into our savings to do so. I am so thankful that my God takes care of everything in my life. Two months ago I couldn't see why this was taking so long; today I see that it didn't take long at all. It was taken care of in God's timing.
So yeah, it's been pretty busy around here. And that's just fine with me. Have a blessed weekend.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Outside my window...sunny & warm. No cold front yet. Our temps have been above average for the past few weeks.
I am thinking...my daughter is on her way up to school. I pray she makes it there safe.
I am thankful for...the past 3 weeks, with the kids home from school. Now, back to our normal routine.
From the learning rooms...let's see what my son brings home from school today.
From the kitchen...chicken noodle soup. My son R has the flu real bad, and this should help him feel better.
I am wearing...beige tank top, baby blue capris & sandals.
I am creating...this blog post.
I am going...to rest up today (feeling a bit under the weather).
I am reading...Leviticus for my morning devotions. Also a book by Phil Callaway: I Used to Have Answers, Now I Have Kids. Very funny!
I am hearing...the TV in my bedroom. Hubby is watching a soap opera before he goes back to work.
Around the house...I've taken all the Christmas decor down, and still need to get it cleaned up. Just not today. I'm tired.
One of my favorite things...is staying home when I don't feel well, and just rest up.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...my Christmas present from my hubby:
I hinted, pointed, surfed on the 'net, because I wanted a bigger crock pot than my 5 quart. Did hubby buy it for me? No way! He gave me a gift certificate so I could get it myself. No problem! Isn't it great? Doesn't take much to make me happy.
To join in the fun, visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/