Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I am so sorry.....

OH MY!  Where does the time go?  I have not posted since October and we are almost through with March.  I can't make up for lost time but I can tell you what's next in our journey....

We are so fortunate to head out to Watercolors this weekend for a Lucky Buck Jewelry show on the beach.  What a great career we have chosen!  The kids have spring break and we are so thankful to share every holiday that they have as well.  We will stay in an Air BNB and spend all our money on experiences instead of a place to lay our heads.  FUN to be had coming up.  It usually involves a go cart in Florida and some good seafood.

My achalasia is tough right now.  It is very challenging as I recently have become afraid to eat again.  The last time was a bad experience so I am sticking close to my shakes again.  I am thankful that it is rare for both the achalasia and the neuropathy to act up at the same time.  My legs and feet feel good this week. 

Mom is having some health problems.  Please keep her in your prayers.  PaPa Jim is in the nursing home in TN and doing well. Brody is doing great at his group home.  I will continue to keep you posted on all of our adventures. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Just Brody

It is amazing to see the progress that he has made over the last two years. While we were there last visit, he put on his shoes and went to the restroom..... two things that we thought he would never do. The best part was that he did without any prompting. Go Brody!!!

Monday, August 21, 2017

On the set of "The Shocklosers, Surviving Camp Analog"

I just wanted to share a quick story with you about an excellent adventure our family had recently.  Our son Ian was invited to be an extra in a film being made locally at Camp Trico.  We got a last minute notice and so his sister Atlee was ironing clothes at 10:42 at night and Bubba and I were getting him packed like he was going to camp for a week.  Those things would all be used as props in the film.  We arrived on set at 6:30 that next morning(Wednesday) and didn't know it at the time but we would be there through Saturday. 

One of the first days of filming, a young man named Ryan asked Ian if he wanted to play UNO.  Ian declined as he didn't really know how to play it that well.  Ryan persisted and pulled Ian up a chair and showed him the basics of how to play.  At that moment, I thought what a kind young man he was.  I tucked that thought away so I could later tell his mom. They loved to play cards in between takes and it was so refreshing to see kids enjoy each others company.

The next day they had a "cast party" for all the kids and staff equipped with shrimp, steak on a stick, fruit kabobs, and so much more.  I was the accidental DJ for the swim party and I loved it.  They sang and danced in the water to the music I played.  Here again, I heard Ryan say to Ian, "what are you doing?".  Ian answered, "not much".  Ryan included him again by saying, "well you could be, come join us".  What a kid!  I was so impressed with him and his inclusion of all the new kids(extras).  I later had a chance to tell his mom I had nicknamed him Baby Jesus because of his kindness he had shown.

The next day Ian led his own game of UNO with all the other extras.  It was heartwarming to see the new friendships forming. All the kids have connected on social media and will film again soon. Ian can't wait to see his new friends!

It is possible to lead by example and make a difference.  Thank you Ryan.

Matthew 7:12 NIV So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Galatians 6:9-10 NIV   9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

My Everything Van

For years my family has had a van of some type to drive as our main vehicle.  We started shopping for one when we first decided to adopt our three children.  I remember going to a dealership in Franklin, TN and asking for their best price and then driving away from that new beautiful black van.  We purchased our first used Econoline van in Lewisburg, TN and after the last payment was made, my husband donated it to our church.  We got so much mileage out of that van and I think they are still driving it.  We then purchased our current van, a 2009 Ford Econoline.  We affectionately call it our "diaper bag."  It has carried bicycles on vacation.  It has carried Brody and his service dog Millo to many parks and campgrounds.  It has carried luggage and ice chests for both fun and work.  It has carried furniture to move friends and family.  It has carried many friends of the kids with us to places to experience for the first time.  We just can't seem to part with it.  It has been such a service to us.  Not once has it given us any trouble.  It always starts and it is our first pick to travel in even though it has many miles on it. 

Now our van has so many different uses.  We have used to haul groceries for Blessings in a Backpack.  We have used to collect and carry hand-me-downs to friends that can use them.  Now we are using it to collect supplies for the Wildcat Pantry at the Guntersville High School.  Once while we were in Miami, FL someone tried to break into it to get our pillows and blankets that were in there.  They didn't get in......I know it's just a van and a wonderful symbol to our family of loyalty and trust, but we love it!  Our son never wants us to get rid of it because of the memories.  Who knows he might even be driving it some day?

Everyone knows our van as it stands out in a crowd.  We often get a honk or a wave from a friend while we are out driving in it.  My apologies as I am so near sighted if I don't see you.  Don't worry, I hardly ever drive.  If I do, I have on my glasses.  LOL.  How do you stand out in a crowd?  What makes you different? 

The Beginning....

Genesis 1:1-5
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  3 And God said, " Let there be light," and there was light.  4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.  5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Dear friends and family,
Chicago called on Friday to say that they would be sending in the second appeal to Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  So for now it is to hurry up and wait. Insurance says the POEM surgery is elective and investigational.  The doctor started me on a medicine which I think is helping a little. One of my fellow achalasians said that when he looked at achalasia as a disability instead of a disease it helped him.  With that said, I need to learn by elimination what I can and can't eat.  I know meat is the hardest.  The list of what I can't eat is much larger that what I can eat. 

So much of it is grieving food and social companion while eating.  I shouldn't eat past 7:00.  I shouldn't eat any meat but hamburger and fish.  I shouldn't eat and then bend over, I shouldn't, I shouldn't, I shouldn't......

Monday, July 3, 2017

Drifting away from God

Our family is out of town on about 26-30 Sundays out of the year for our choice of work.  Because of this we are privileged to attend other church services all around the area.  One of our most favorite is Church in the Pines in Alexander City, AL.  This past weekend we heard a message about a young boy and his friend who were in a boat tied to the harbor.  When the dad got off the boat for a minute, the rope became unattached and the boys drifted away.  The guest speaker said his dad dove in and swam to get the boat and drag it back to the dock.  He suggested that life is a little like that.  We often drift away from God and what we know to be true.  Sometimes there is no reason and sometimes the reason it to fulfill selfish desires.  Sometimes it is what everyone else is doing and we believe them to be right. Sometimes….the list of reasons goes on and on.  Those two little boys’ boat was drifting away from the dock but the dock never moved.  God is also a constant in our lives.  He never moves away from us, we drift away from him.

Hebrew 2:1-3 says, “ 1 So we must be more careful to follow what we were taught. We must be careful so that we will not be pulled away from the true way.  2 The teaching that God spoke through angels was shown to be true.  And every time his people did something against that teaching, they were punished for what they did.  They were punished when they did not obey that teaching.  3 So surely we also will be punished if we don’t pay attention to the salvation we have that is so great.  It was the Lord Jesus who first told people about it.  And those who heard him proved to us that it is true.”

Such a simple sweet story was told, but I will remember it forever.  Living in a lake town it will be an ever present reminder that God is our constant every time you drive past a dock and see the boats coming in to harbor that we have the chance to grow closer to God if we so choose. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Our summer vacation.

     This trip was one of a lifetime!!!! The Griffin Adventures started in December of 2002 when we received pictures of babies that would later be named Ian and Atlee. Ian came home at 15 months old in March of 2004 and Atlee came home in August of 2005 at 34 months old. We would be blessed inbetween with Brody who came home in March of 2005 at 22 months old. He came home with a diagnosis of Autism and would later add Fragile X, ADHD, hearing loss, vision loss and SPD to the list. We learned a lot about life while raising Brody. He moved to a group home when he was 12 in September of 2015. He has excelled and seems to love his life. He enjoys skypeing twice a week and our every two week visits. I continue to cut his hair and trim his fingernails. Even though he is non-verbal, he has never once suggested he wanted to come home with us. At first it was hard to understand, but now I get it. He thrives better in a routine with changing players rather than a changing routine and the same players. Because of his happiness, Ian and Atlee have been blessed abundantly. We no longer have to go through drive throughs, we get to eat inside. We no longer have to go places just with one parent, we all four are experiencing new things. Meanwhile Brody is happier than he has ever been. So if our Griffin Adventures seem a little over the top, please know that Ian and Atlee have "lived" more in their 14 years as a sibling to Brody than most do in a lifetime. He has taught us so much.  We are ALL better for knowing and loving him and having him in our lives.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Three Marriages, not your Ordinary Mother or Wife

The Perfect Wife

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 How hard it is to find the perfect wife.  She is worth far more than jewels.  11 Her husband depends on her.  He will never be poor.  12 She does good for her husband all her life.  She never causes him trouble.  13 She is always gathering wool and flax and enjoys making things with her hands.  14 She is like a ship from a faraway place.  She brings home food from everywhere.  15 She wakes up early in the morning, cooks food for her family, and give the servants their share.  16 She looks at land and buys it.  She uses the money she has earned and plants a vineyard.  17 She works very hard.  She is strong and able to do all her work.  18 She works late into the night to make sure her business earns a profit.  19 She maker her own thread and weaves her own cloth.  20 She always give to the poor and helps those who need it.  21 She does not worry about her family when it snows.  She has given them all good, warm clothes.  22 She makes sheets and spreads for the beds, and she wears clothes of fine linen.  23 Her husband is a respected member of the city council, where he meets with the other leaders.  24 She makes clothes and belts and sells them to the merchants.  25 She is a strong person, and people respect her.  She looks to the future with confidence.  26 She speaks with wisdom and teaches others to be loving and kind.  27 She oversees the care of her house. She is never lazy.  28 Her children say good things about her.  Her husband brags about her and says, 29 "There are many good women, but you are the best."  30 Grace and beauty can fool you, but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.  31 Giver her the reward she deserves.  Praise her in public for what she has done. 

My story:

I first became a mother at the age of 25 when my first husband got a 15 year old girl pregnant.  I was able to watch him grow up from a distance.  In fact, he even spent a night in my home as a teenager.  He never met his dad.  His dad ended up passing away homeless with the cause of death bronchial pneumonia.  I waited until he was an adult to re-enter his life and share a little with him about his dad.  We share a special bond, as he tells me that I am the closest thing to a mom that he has. 

My second time to become a mother came when  I married an amazing dad to 2 children ages 12 and 13.  I treasure being their love mother.  We have enjoyed so many things together and they have both become wonderful adults with children of their own.. I am so happy that they chose to love me back when they didn't have to.  I was widowed and left to do life again in a different and unexpected way. 

Marriage number 3 was the addition of not only an amazing husband but three beautiful adopted children from Guatemala.  Being a wife and mother has been the most rewarding opportunity ever to be given to me.  My husband and I have had all our children come to us unconventionally but all on purpose.  We are a family and for that I am grateful.  I am married to my best friend and he is the most wonderful dad to our children.  We are so thankful for the journey we are on and the path ahead of us.  "Together we are better."

Here is my rendition of the Proverbs 31 woman:

I have a lot of work to do to become a Proverbs 31 woman, but I am trying in a conscious attempt to make a difference with God's help in the lives of those who are in my sphere of influence.  I love my life and those friends and family that are in it.  - 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Hand tailored blessings

 I wanted to catch everyone up on the Griffin family.,... it has been awhile since I've written. I read in my Jesus Calling that God gives us "hand tailored blessings".  When we are down and out, we forget to look up and ask how can this situation can honor God? It's these perfectly timed events that make us stronger in our faith. 
I recently went to Chicago to see a surgeon that specializes in Achalasia. A friend went with me to share the expenses and lessen them for me which was appreciated. . When we arrived at our hotel, the clerk said she had upgraded us to a bigger room. The doctors office was within walking distance of our hotel and I didn't have to pay any copay at my appointment. I was worked in for a barium swallow and they treated me like the "stat" on my paperwork made me out to be a rockstar. 
The doctor himself walked me down to get a barium swallow and then said he would follow up in a week. 

I was so anxious about the trip until I realized everything was "hand tailored" for me. God's favor is real and he definitely shared it with me during that trip. I will get a call next week and then we will plan the manometry, endoscope and POEM surgery later this summer. We have to get insurance to approve. 

It was really quite an incredible day. I feel hope again....