Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas...

from our family to yours.  Our prayers are that you are blessed this year. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

John's Story...

January 2009 started out as every year has started for the past 4 years, with a 21 day fast - a family, and churchwide, "Daniel fast". Our family participates (it would be odd not to since my husband is the pastor). The fast went well, and the year was bringing great promise. The church, and our family, was excited about what God was going to do. All the while in the background, the devil was stirring.



January 22nd dawned, and everyone was excited; the fast was over. We had errands in town, so the boys and I loaded up and headed to town to meet Dave for lunch, then to run our errands. We had a great time, laughing and joking. All was well, we arrived home, dinner was prepared, more fun and family time. Then after dinner everyone went their way. The boys headed to their room for playstation and guitars. Dave was studying on the desktop computer and I was on my laptop, watching a bit of tv. Nine pm brought shower time for John. After an hour of hearing water run, my older son realized that something was not right and started banging on the door. When he got no answer, he went and got my husband, who in turn banged on the door. Still no response. Panic set in! The door was kicked in, to find our sweet son hanging from the towel pegs with his robe belt. OH Dear Lord, this cannot be happening!! Our son cannot have hung himself! Please Lord, what is going on? These thoughts and other thoughts of horror raced through my mind. My husband got him down, and brought him into the hall. Our son was dead! He was cold, and I couldnt blow air into his lungs, I tried and tried and could not get air to go in. My husband tried, no air would go into his lungs. I always thought I was a calm person in times of crisis. WRONG!! I was screaming and crying hysterically.



Our phone was dead, and I still do not know why that was, as it had worked fine when we came home. We used our cell phone to call 911. The ambulance was here in 2 minutes. Truly amazing. The EMT's started working on him, quickly loading him into the ambulance and working to get a heartbeat. They allowed me to ride in the front of the ambulance to the hospital. My husband and other son were detained by the police to answer questions.



That ambulance ride was very frightening, I am not a good rider and that dude was flying. I prayed as never before, begging God for my John to live and not die. My mind was in a whirl - why would he do this? He was not depressed. This child was the happiest kid I had ever met. WHY, GOD, WHY?? My heart and mind screamed out these questions. My spirit could not get still enough to hear God. During the ride to the hospital, they got a faint heartbeat. We arrived, and they whisked John away. I was locked out of the ER, literally, as I had gone to a door that required a card key to open the next door, but finally someone saw me and let me in. The ER doctor did not hold out much hope for my son. He told us they were notifying Children's Hospital, who would send a helicopter for John. I live in a small town, but I must say that our ambulance service was amazing, from arriving in two minutes to our house, to the ambulance drivers remaining with me at the hospital until someone arrived to be with me. One of the EMT's even prayed with me. You just don't find that everywhere.



Before I had left home, I had called church members to come to our house, a couple who we are very close with. When they arrived at our house they saw that the ambulance had gone on, and I was on it, with John. So her husband stayed with David, and she came on to the hospital to be with me. My parents and David's sister was also on their way. They both lived an hour and half to two hours away. Of course my cell phone was ringing off the hook, I NEEDED my husband with me, but the police were questioning him, and Jarrod. They had to find out what had happened. After nearly two full hours, and me calling no telling how many times, they let him come to the hospital. He was able to arrive before John was airlifted to Children's Hospital.



Just to set the time frame here, we found John around ten pm. Between 12:30 and 1:00 am, the helicopter arrived to take John to Children's Hospital. We all followed in cars, there were 4 cars. Dave and I, Dave's sister and Jarrod, Mom and Dad, Greg and Sheila. I don't even know what time we got to the Children's Hospital. We were taken back to a room, where a doctor came and explained all they had done, and what they would be doing. At the time we arrived, John was in Radiology for a Cat Scan, from there he was moved to the PICU.



John was dead when we found him. He never responded to anyone, during the 24 hours after we found him, before he was pronounced dead. They were able with machines to get his heart beating regularly, and to breathe for him with a respirator, but my son wasn't there. We were told that his organs would start shutting down, and we would need to decide how long we would keep him on the machines. But God in his gracefulness, did not make us do that, he just slowly slowed John's heart down, until it stopped beating. January 23, 2009 at 10:27 pm John died.



The intense investigation by our local police and by the state police, came to the conclusion that John did not kill himself. That he was playing the choking game (www.chokinggame.net ), and had accidentally hung himself. Of course as a parent, you never want to believe your child would commit suicide, so our minds grasped that. But still there were niggles of doubt. However, once again our God in His almighty grace, showed us that it truly was the choking game.



First of all, He helped us to recall some things that had happened recently, such as marks on John's neck, unexplained periods of staying in the bathroom too long, small changes in John's behavior. But the clincher actually came on the day of John's funeral. My sister in law, neice and myself were blue toothing some pictures from each others phones. My phone was running out of space, and so I went looking for things to delete on the phone, for more room. Under the videos on my phone, we found a video that John had made of himself, choking himself. Horrible to watch, but a confirmation that John had been playing this dangerous game.



Educate yourselves as parents to the dangers of this game. It is often referred to as "the good kid's drug" because a kid will try this, whereas they would never try illegal drugs. There are many many other names that this game is known by, not just the choking game, a very popular name for this is also the passout game. At www.thechokinggame.net there is a list of the many names that the game is called. Along with a list of things to watch for, to warn yourself that there might be something going on.



It has been over nine months now since John died. Our lives are forever changed because of one dangerous game, and one moment of not realizing the danger he was placing himself in. John hated to hurt people's feelings, and he would have been devastated if he knew that what he did caused his family so much sorrow. We have experienced John's first birthday without him, it was hard on me, I spent a big part of that week in bed, sleeping and fighting depression.



He is with Jesus now! I have no doubt about that, and I know that one day we will be reunited as a family.



We will tell John's story over and over. If it helps one parent recognize the signs of a danger in their child, it will be worth it. We do not know, and probably will never know, how John learned about this game. It does not matter. We are a homeschooling family, who does not get out much, and still he heard of it. Never assume your child does not know about this game. Check out the link I posted above for more information.



~C~




A post script....I wanted to add a few thoughts, I originally wrote this article around seven months after John died, I edited it to change the months, but there are things that I know now, that I didn't even a couple of months ago when I wrote this. Loosing a child is hard, and while people around you go on with their life, you often feel stuck in a time warp. As a mom these months I have just gone through, October, John's birth month, and now the months bringing the Holidays upon us, are much harder than the first few months were. You may think I am crazy to say that, but those months, I was numb, a numbness that I was truly thankful that God had given me. But living numb is not a long term solution and now I feel these special days sharply. My heart cries out still wondering WHY us? I do recognize that God allowed this, he did not cause this to happen, but it was allowed. Perhaps God being the ever wise and loving Father He is, saw down the road, things that would hurt us more than this has, even though that is hard for my mind to fathom I can think of things that would hurt as much or more than this has, so I lean heavily on that fact that God is my loving Father, and He has no desire to do evil to me.

I pray that John's story (this short version) will change your lives, and make you aware of the dangers that our children face. Perhaps someday God will give me the words to tell the long version of John's story.
God Bless Your Family.

2011
Well life has changed for us.  We have moved away from the small town we lived in when John died, our oldest son has finished high school and is preparing for college.  John, if still living, would now be 16 and half.  I often wonder what he would be like, would he be very much taller, I never expected him to be very tall, the family was not tall.  What kind of things would he enjoy doing?  All those typical questions we wonder about our kids as babies, I now wonder about John who is now in heaven.  Loved ones have passed on since his death and I struggle with each death, thinking about them getting to see John in heaven, and missing him so much.  Memorial Day weekend is coming up and we will decorate his grave, and prepare for Decoration weekend the first weekend in June. 
I know that many people who read this will not believe like we do, will not understand our faith in God, nor will agree with the things that happened, that is ok, but this is not the place to say that.  I will delete any rude or hateful comments. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New book releases in December

This list was provided by AFCW and used with permission from AFCW

A Bouquet for Iris, by Diane Ashley & Aaron McCarver from Barbour Heartsong Presents. Iris Landon travels to Daisy, Tennessee, to care for two Cherokee children and finds romance and danger while aiding one family in the struggle to keep their land.

A Lady Like Sarah, Rocky Creek Romance
, by Margaret Brownley from Thomas Nelson. He's a preacher. She's an outlaw. Both are in need of a miracle.

ANGEL WITH A BACKHOE
, by Deb Kinnard from Desert
Breeze Publishing. A small-town widower and a spunky suburban transplant match wits over a church construction project, finding true love can mix with blueprints and concrete footings.

Child Finder: Resurrection series: Child Finder Trilogy, 2nd book, by Mike Angley from Total Recall Publications, Inc. Child Finder: Resurrection… the highly-anticipated sequel to the award-winning debut novel, Child Finder, which Library Journal placed on its 2009 Summer Reads list for Christian fiction!

Christmas Peril, by Margaret Daley from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Christmas themed, romantic suspense stories.

Cup of Joe, by Teri Wilson from White Rose Publishing. A grieving oman resists the cups of comfort offered by the shy, but handsome, owner of the neighborhood coffee shop.

Field of Danger
, by Ramona Richards from Love Inspired Suspense. When April Presley can’t remember details of the murder she witnessed, deputy Daniel Rivers must help her recall the event and protect her from the killer determined to silence her.

Her Patchwork Family series: The Gabriel Sisters, by Lyn Cote from Love Inspired. In spite of opposition from the rich and influential, can Felicity Gabriel establish a home for children orphaned by the Civil War and heal two wounded hearts?

Patterns and Progress series: Michigan historical, book 3, by Amber Stockton from Barbour Publishing. A farmer's daughter would rather turn back the hands of time than accept the fact that advancement in technology could be in God's plan.

The Sheriff's Surrender series: #1 of The Ladies' Shooting Club Series
, by Susan Page Davis from Barbour Publishing. The men of Fergus aren’t keeping the town safe, so a group of feisty women take matters into their own hands.

The Glassblower series: First book in the New Jersey Historical Series
, by Laurie Alice Eakes from Barbour Publishing. Colin Grassick moves from Edinburgh, Scotland to Salem county New jersey to take a position as a master glassblower. He loves his work and hopes of bringing his family to America for a better life. But his love for Meg, the daughter of the owner of the glassworks, threatens his job...and then his life.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo

3011 words today...yes, I didnt start yesterday on the first, Sundays are a busy day for me...but today I have written 3011 words and I am happy with that!!
I am still wondering what in the world i was thinking!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wow I havent posted here in a week or so...

The contest is still going at Cindy's Reviews I have some new things posted over at my Tips and Hints page too.

NaNoMo is fixing to begin...and I did sign up to write this year...:O what was I thinking ROFL. I already have several things that need finished, so I should just finish them instead of being in the contest, but I think the contest will push me to finish things...ROFL...at least that is what I am hoping.

It is downright chilly here today, I opened the door, but closed it again, twas a bit airy for me. Of course I am super cold natured, so that doesnt help.

Weekend is upon us, no plans here, not this weekend. I have several things I need to get accomplished for the next weekend though.

Have a great Friday!! Don't forget to check out the other pages, click on the links in the banner.
~C~

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Contest!!!!

YES it is time to have a bash, a big old giveaway celebrating the opening of my blogsite!!! I have 4 blogs, all linked to each other, with just the click of a button you can see each page! So to speak we are having a grand opening contest....

Click here
to go to the contest for details on how to enter!! 3 possible entries per person, how is that for a chance to win 5 great books!!

Also, I have a little side thing going over at my stamping blog, where I will give away a set of 3 handmade (by me) cards...YOU dont wanna miss out on that!!

~Cindy~

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ahhh the simple delights....

My darling Dave loves me. I know he does, because he does such thoughtful and kind things for me. I feel very unwell this evening, tummy maladies. He got dressed (he had already had his evening bath and had on his lounging around the house clothes) and ran to the store for me some tummy medicine. Now this alone made me feel loved, but after he got home, he opened the medicine, brought it to me for me to have some (ick) and then put it away. Feeling the love yet? Ohhhh then comes the cherished part, he peeped around the doorway, and rattled a bag of something. It was a bag of Worthers originals, he had bought some of the coffee caramel ones last week, but I mentioned that I really preferred the originals, so he being the thoughtful darling hubs he is, grabbed a bag and brought them home. Cherished. Ahhhhhhhh feel the contentment oozing through your computer screen?? You should because I feel it here..

What a guy!!! 24 years of marriage and he just improves with age!!

~C~

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What have I been doing all week??

obviously not posting here...LOL It has been a busy week of doing nothing. I spent the day in town with my hubby on Monday, and yesterday I spent in my recliner all snuggled in, watching a leadership conference online and reading a book (not at the same time LOL)

Over at Cindy's ReviewsI have had some reviews up on some great books...On Monday I reviewed John Bevere's new book Extraordinary How to live a life for Christ that is beyond the everyday life. Tuesday I reviewed Amy Clipston's newest book Betrayed. This is not a Christian fiction book, and there is mild language (which was disappointing to me, personally) but Amy truly shows she is a wonderful author. Her first book was about the Amish, and now a book about the (car) racing scene. Quite a jump between the two subjects and she done a great job on both books. Today's review is of an ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy)for Jamie Carie's book Angel's Den due to be released in February 2010, this book is WOW!! I will be posting my review again closer to the release date, but I wanted to give my readers a sneak peak at what you have to look forward to!!!
Due to a new FTC ruling, I am including a disclosure/disclaimer on all my reviews now. The books are sent to me by the publishers and authors to review. No cash trades hands, the books are the only compensation I receive for reviewing them. I am not being paid for my opinion of these books.
*sigh*...seems like everyone thinks everyone else is on the take, when it comes to government agencies..Oh well I will post my disclaimers and hopefully all will be well!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Some new titles hitting the store shelves in October

This list came from ACFW and was posted with their permissions.

1. A Star Curiously Singing, The DarkTrench Saga, Book 1, by Kerry Nietz from Marcher Lord Press. An augmented human programmer is sent to space to solve the mystery of a bot’s destruction.

2. Double Take, by Jenness Walker from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. When a stalker becomes obsessed with a woman, the key to stopping him lies in a best-selling thriller…until he stops going by the book.

3. Dreaming of Home, by Glenna Kaye from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Two wounded hearts must learn to trust that God's dreams for them far exceed any they may have for themselves.

4. Eternity Falls - A Rick Macey Cyberthriller, Book 1 of the Rick Macey Cyberthriller series, by Kirk Outerbridge from Marcher Lord Press. A cyber-enhanced detective must stop a religious zealot from destroying a serum for eternal life.

5. Gripped By Fear, Chicago Warrior Thriller Series, 2nd book, by John M. Wills from Total Recall. Chgo Detectives hunt a serial rapist in the mean streets of Chicago in the midst of personal struggles.

6. Leaving Yesterday, by Kathryn Cushman from Bethany House. A mother rejoices at the return of her prodigal, but is faced with an impossible decision as evidence from his past refuses to stay buried.

7. Loves Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, by Lauralee Bliss from Summerside Press. Set in the Guilded Age within the beauty of New
Hampshire's White Mountains, successful artist Tom Haskins and penniless Sara McGee discover through their circumstances that the most precious gifts of life and love don't always come as they're expected.

8. Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska, by Loree Lough from Summerside Press. A story that's sure to warm your heart, despite the icy Alaskan setting!

9. Love is a Battlefield, Book One in the Walk in the Park series, by Annalisa Daughety from Barbour Publishing. War rages again at Shiloh, but this time it’s a battle of the heart.

10. Seaside Letters, by Denise Hunter from Thomas Nelson. Sabrina Kincaid didn't intend to fall for Nantucket native Tucker McCabe, the man she serves coffee to every morning-a man tied deeply to a past she
deeply regrets. But she has. And she's fallen hard. But she's kept this a secret from her handsome customer. And now Tucker wants to hire Sabrina to help locate his friend "Sweetpea"-the mysterious woman he's falling in love with online. Sabrina is not inclined to help, but if Tucker hires someone else, it could spell disaster. Because if someone else sifts through the emails and figures out the truth-then Tucker will discover that the person he's trying to find is . . . her.

11. Soldier Daddy, Wings of Refuge Series-book 5-all standalones, by Cheryl Wyatt from Steeple Hill. A USAF Pararescue Jumper searches for a nanny for his twins and instead finds a future with a woman harboring a secret tied to his past.

12. The Case of the Mystified M.D., Book 2, Bouncing Grandma Mysteries, by A.K. Arenz from Sheaf House. First a foot, now a hand--what body part is next?

13. The Christmas Journey, by Winnie Griggs from Steeple Hill Love Inspired.

14. The Jewel of his Heart, Heart of the West Series, by Maggie Brendan from Revell. Discover the classic struggle between the world's wealth and the lure of eternal love in this Western story of elegance and survival.

15. The Matchmaking Pact, After the Storm #4 , by Carolyn Aarsen from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A single father and a single mother have to deal with matchmaking children.

16. Thirsty, by Tracey Bateman from Waterbrook. “Deep, cutting, an intoxicating blend of human and supernatural, of characters scarred by the past, drained by life. This is the book I’ve waited for.”

17. Trial By Fire, by Cara Putman from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. When an arsonist targets her family, Tricia has to find him before harm is done without losing her heart to a fireman.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday in Cindy Land...

Wow, Thursday already, this week is FLYING by!!! and I do mean flying by. Lots of nothing going on at our house this week, lol do you have weeks or day like that, where you do lots of things, but really it seems like you have done nothing....well that has been my week. Lots of writing going on this week, lots of website building, but lots of nothing too.

Check out my October 1st post over at Cindy's Tips and Hints I talk about the year, and what it has brought for me.


Over at Cindy's Reviews, there is a new book review up, on the book A Slow Burn by Mary DeMuth.

Please don't forget the contest at Cindy Stamps The post Double Cross Review, leave a comment on that review for a entry into the drawing to give away the book!! A busy day in Cindy's Land of blogs...Don't forget I love followers, so click to follow me!!! And comments make me deliriously happy!! ROFL!!

Have a great Thursday...Weekend is nearly here!!

~C~

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A lovely fall morning...

The air is crisp and cool, the birds are noisy out the windows and I am lying in bed with my lap top, under the covers with my long jammies on...I love love the onset of cool weather. The windows come open, the covers come out of the trunk, and the jammies are changed out with the nightgowns. I was thinking last evening as it started cooling down from the days warm up, that these warm days and cool nights should make the apples delicious. Now I am making myself want some apple cider YUM!! Today in my blogs I have several posts...I made a sweet little pumpkin card last night, paper piecing it, you can see it HERE

Over on my Review BlogThere is a book review up on one of the best books I have read all year!! The Familiar Stranger. Don't miss my review and don't miss that book, it is a good book!!

With my book reviews it has been really fun to get to know the authors. Via the books they write, but also through the emails exchanged with them. I am in awe that they appreciate the reviews as much as I appreciate the chance to read their new books. Please take a moment to leave a comment on the review as most of the authors I review for, like to check out the reviews and your comments!!

Have a wonderful fall day!! See you tomorrow!

~C~

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today in Cindy Land.....

you know everyone should come visit Cindy Land...it is a amazing here..ROFL...Today over at Cindy's
Tips and Hints
, you will see the guardian of the door....

At Cindy's Reviews there is a really nice interview with Christina Berry the author of The Familiar Stranger. Tomorrow will be my review of that book. It is an awesome book, you don't want to miss that review.

Dont forget to check in at Cindy Stamps on the post for the giveaway of the book Double Cross, I will be drawing for that on Friday.

Darling Dave traversed on to school today...even though he was a bit puny still, he never had any fever, just congestion. And he is sounding better, hopefully he is on the mend!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A busy day!!!

Well today has been busy, I had to run into town and do some banking and then I have made a couple of cards...Check them out at This post on Cindy's Stampin A lovely manly birthday card..and the picture isnt up yet but a nice fall card too.

Then over at Cindy's Reviews there is a review on a really good book by Melody Carson, 3 Weddings and a Barmitzvah, cute book!! Loved it..

Don't forget the contest that is going on for the book Double Cross too!! I left that post on the Stamping Blog so that I wouldnt have to move comments LOL. You can reach that blog by checking out the site menu on the left hand here or in the title section!!!

Watch for the announcement of a super contest coming up!!! Celebrating my new website set up!!!

Love ya'll
~C~

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Do you Want??

To learn how to pray for yourself with reckless abandonment? Do you feel odd asking God for things for yourself? Go to my book review site to read my review on Will Davis Jr's new book called Faith Set Free Pray for Yourself with Reckless Abandonmen


Will Davis Jr is the founding and senior pastor at Austin Christian Fellowship and is the author of the Pray Big Books, Pray Big for Your Marriage, Pray Big, Pray Big for your Child.

His books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and noble.com and Cbd.com

A awesome book!!


Check out my review for Denise Hunter's new book Seaside Letters Be sure to leave a comment!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reveiw on Plain Promise...


Plain Promise Beth Wiseman's latest book in her Amish series, Click Here for my Review

Today September 26th

There is a new post at Cindy Reviews

A work in progress

After listening to Jim Rubert a marketing guru and an author in chat last night I knew I need to priortize and seperate out some of my stuff...so be watching for some moving going on...

~C~