Sunday, August 31, 2008


On this beautiful Sunday morning, I would like to take a moment and thank God for the small and big miracles He has let me witness lately.

- A school principal who has suffered with Leukemia for several years and had no strength, to be able to get excited and look forward to a new school year due to renewed energy and stamina

- A friend with a rotator cuff injury be pain free in a few days

- A stay at home mom of 3 kids 2 and under (she has 9 mo. old twins) bring an extra $500 into the house, without ever leaving it!

- A dear man who has bone cancer that is in remission - but the pain has never left - has slept all week without being woken up by pain for the first time in a LONG time

- A man with horribly painful burcitis in his knee - resume bike riding and is now planning a 200 mile bike trip

I can not express to you how honored I feel to be a small part of this. God, I always knew during all those horrible years of illness you were not going to leave me there. I just had no idea that not only would you deliver me in a bigger way than I ever dreamed, but you also are allowing me to help other people in their darkness. I give you all the praise and glory - You are amazing!!
Your servant, Michele

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Official!

Reagan is officially a freshman at Montana State University. She got the classes she wanted and is very excited! I am so happy and proud for her. She was so nervous before orientation she was not sure if she was ready, etc... After spending the past 3 days in orientation she is full of confidence. It will be a year of challenges, changes, growth - but I know she will do fabulous - cuz she does fabulous with everything! I know it sounds weird from a mom - but when I grow up, I hope to be even a fraction of the person Reagan already is!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Woo Hoo

We are heading out the door - this is where we are going. It is 60 degrees right now, by the way, and suppose to be upper 40s by 10 pm.

This is who we are going to see - BONNIE RAITT - sold out by the way...woo hoo!! Should be fabulous, and besides, I live in MT for reasons just like being able to be cold in August!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lizzie's Little Piggies!

See that round silver thing above Lizzie's little piggies?? I thought it's sole purpose was to keep the tub from overflowing? Mine must be faulty cuz I started the bath, headed downstairs for a minute, had a phone call, then another phone call, you know how it goes, right? Then out of the blue I heard a dripping, that grew to a frantic dripping, and "OH MY GOSH, I gotta go" Click.

I ran upstairs, and just as I had suspected, at least an inch of water all over the bathroom floor. By the way, the only way to unplug an overflowing tub, after turning off the offending water of course, is to reach your arm down into the tub - causing more overflow onto the floor as a side affect.

Luckily - hard wood floors upstairs, stained concrete downstairs, 10 minutes later all was cleaned up and fine - except Jake's Keyboard which was directly under the tub on the first floor. It is presently laying upside down and will hopefully still be functional.

Just wanted to share my excitment for today! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I have always heard the statement that "happiness is a choice". This week in a book I was reading the statement was made, "Not only is happiness a choice, Hope is a choice as well." I am not sure why it stuck with me and I keep pondering it. Maybe because there are so many things in the world around me that seem hopeless. I also think there are times when it is hard to be hopeful. I do think that statement may just be right though - if we give up hope then we might as well just give up.

In the summer of 2000 we put everything we owned into storage and began building a house that Sean said we would be living in by fall. After a month of living with VERY generous friends, we ended up in a travel trailer out here at our property. No running water or electricity. I cooked everything on a grill, we showered at the public pool, basically our life sucked at that point! It was then that I found out I was pregnant. And people don't believe in God - oh trust me, he is alive and has a HUGE sense of humor!! :) I became very ill while pregnant, so the assumption was that once the baby came I would be alright. Well, I wasn't.

The years went by, we kept working on the house, while all 5 living in a two bedroom apartment. Hey, it was cramped, but at least we had water and electricity! My health was really bad though. We eventually figured out I was allergic to tons of stuff - gasoline, cleaning products, molds (which had been in the travel trailer and ended up in the apartment as well), perfumes, clothes dyes, pesticides, processed foods, etc... All of those things caused a Vago Vasal near syncope reaction - basically my blood pressure dropped and I became very dizzy and nauseous. I didn't know that right away - it was 4 years and about 16 doctors later that I finally found an internist that would listen to me and not just assume me to be crazy. He is still my doctor today and I love him dearly. I admit I was a basket case the first time I saw him. He looked through that and continued to do tests until he found the problem. I am grateful for that.

Anyway, back to hope! All those years, even in the midst of severe depression and debilitating anxiety - I was not willing to give up hope. I knew God wanted me to live an abundant life and I knew there was an answer - so I never gave up seeking it. I went and spent 3 months with a doctor in Missouri doing NAET - it is a natural way to treat allergies. It helped me some, but I was still reacting to tons of stuff after returning home. I went to a homeopathic doctor named, Dogmar Uhl - I should have been afraid of the name alone! She did "emotional healing" and basically I spent about $1000 and 10 hours screaming on a mattress over a 2 month period. You think I am joking? She had a full size mattress and she would sit beside me and we would talk about my illness and when I felt a negative emotion she would have me scream, bang on the mattress, sometimes kick, etc... All that came out of that was a very sore throat! I saw about 10 different medical doctors that all wanted to put me on antidepressants. I took them off and on and was a zombie - but still had my allergic reactions, I just wasn't as excited about them. :)

My point to all of this is - today I have my life back! I praise God for all He has done, and I am extremely grateful each day for being able to get up and do whatever I want whenever I want - that is a gift. I often encounter people that seem resigned with their circumstances. I was NEVER going to just resolve that I would be sick the rest of my life. I can promise you that if I hadn't found the answer yet - I would still be seeking it, all the way until my death. I was never going to give up hope that I could be well again. I think hope is a choice, whatever the struggle is, marriage, jobs, family, health. By choosing hope, our eyes might just be open enough to see the answer when it comes along. I HOPE so, anyway!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This picture was taken at Storybook Island in Rapid City, SD. Reagan and Jake LOVED Barney when they were little. Lizzie watched him a small bit, but did not have near the purple obsession her brother and sister did. There was a time I thought I would be fine if I never saw another singing dinosaur again in my lifetime. Now, well, I wish I would have just sat down with them more...and watched, yes, even Barney. I was too busy, doing laundry or dishes or just glad to have the TV babysitting them for awhile. I wish I would have just spent more time enjoying them instead of spending time fretting over meaningless tasks. Now they are 17 and 16. I am glad God gave me a second chance with Lizzie...a chance to spend more time just doing whatever she wants to do.

Look at those smiles though - I think Reagan and Jake were just as excited to see Barney as I was. It just seems like yesterday they were 2 and 3 and sitting in front of the TV singing with him.


It has been a fun trip and I arrived home yesterday. The trip home always seems so much longer than the trip heading out. Something about those LONG car rides that the closer home gets the slower the car seems to move. It was a fun trip. I will tell you more about the whole trip later, but first I have to tell you what happened to increase my faith in God:

This conversation took place about 6 weeks ago now:

karen: "so, you are going to Missouri?"

me: "yes, in august...uuuuggghhh. It will be so hot. One day, when I become a presidential ambassador, I am going to do something about International Conference being in August."

Karen: Pause - "Well, why don't you start praying about it now?"

Me: "well, I never thought of that - GREAT idea"

So, six weeks ago, I began to pray that Missouri would have unusually cool weather while we were there. GUESS WHAT?? IT HAPPENED!! We were even cold a couple of evenings! I walked a mile outside, didn't even break a sweat. I will be honest, it may sound silly to you, but in my opinion, if God can make Missouri cool in August, He can do anything! So, that, my friends is how my faith grew.

PS. I can't wait to go catch up on all of your blogs - thanks Jen for missing me, I am truly honored!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jake and the Liverpool Legends

During the show they asked for anyone with a birthday this week to come on stage - That is Jake, my son, in the middle in the black Tshirt. "Happy 16th Birthday, Jake!"

Liverpool Legends!

This picture is from left - my niece, Lensie, my daughter Reagan, and my son Jake - with, of course, the "Beatles"!!!

Tonight we went to Liverpool Legends. It was AMAZING!! They are Beatles impersonators. We had no idea if it would be good, bad or inbetween - it far surpassed our expectations. The show is produced by George Harrison's older sister. She even does a question/answer time. During the second half she came and sat in front of us... it wasn't too long after that Reagan accidentally flung her glow stick thru the air and it hit her! So, tonight, Reagan smacked George Harrison's sister with a glow stick. And to think we thought today would just be an ordinary day. I must admit to you, except for the past few years of my life, I didn't have much interest in the Beatles. Sure, I knew "Yellow Submarine" and maybe a few others, but I didn't really think I liked the Beatles. Reagan began a love for the Beatles two or three years ago. I have grown to really like their music.

Back to the concert - if you are a Beatle fan in any way, shape or form - then get on a boat, a plane or a train, or hitch hike if you have to - BUT get to Branson, MO and see this show! It was a blast!


This is Chica, my chihuahua. This is how she travels on road trips - right on the console. I have always wanted a chihuahua and finally got one 2 years ago - she was worth the wait!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mound City

Well, it was another interesting day of driving. We are presently in the booming town of Mound City, MO. We really have done poor timing on our motels. Both nights it has ended up either we drive late into the night or stop in a podunk town because there is nothing for MILES ahead. We have lucked out at having clean rooms at least! Tonight we had a great pool all to ourselves and had pizza delivered, so that was a treat.

Interesting things we saw today:
1 - a biker wearing a skeleton mask
2 - a woman passenger on the back of a bike clutching her purse to her side - in the middle of NO WHERE
3 - some severely strung out people at a gas station - with bruises from shooting up on their arms - this one still makes me a little nauseous, it was SO sad - I pray God delivers them from their pain and demons
4 - The Missouri River, which begins about 20 miles from our house - all the way down here now
5 - A woman passenger on the back of a bike going 75 mph reading a book

Questions we asked:
1 - Me to Reagan, "would you want to ride behind your man or would you want your own bike"
answer: there is good and bad both ways.
2 - Reag to me, "how come the woman is always riding behind the man? Does the man never just want to ride? Is she just decoration?"
3 - Lizzie - "how much longer?" X 4000

It was a good day.

Friday, August 8, 2008


We are in Wall, South Dakota tonight. We are making our way across from Montana to Missouri. We love road trips. We really enjoying seeing new things and the convenience of stopping whenever we want.

It was really a long day. I got up at seven, but we didn't actually drive out of town until after 11. Once again my disorganization was rampant. I have a lot of good qualities, but organization is NOT one of them. I get pretty upset and down on myself about it. I just start feeling like a failure. It is not like the entire responsibility is mine - the rest of the family was not sitting in the car waiting for me to get my ___ together. We were all busy getting things ready. So, why do I allow myself to go to that place of putting all the blame on me? I am not sure, but I recognize it and will work on that. The guilt and shame does not benefit me or my family. It just puts me in a bad mood and then I am grumpy.

Well, all things considered, it was a good day. Once I recognized my source of "grumpiness" and let go of the negativity, forgave myself and moved on. OH - by the way, this is my second time to travel near Sturgis the same week as the Sturgis Bike Rally. You have not lived until you have seen thousands of bikers in one spot! Old ones, young ones, fat ones, skinny ones...we even saw one guy going 75 miles an hour with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth! Now, that is talent! There were a few older - at least 50's - men with women in their early 20's. As they flew by us with NO space in between their bodies as she clung tightly to his back I asked, "Could she be his daughter?" I was hopeful...but the LOUD unanimous response from everyone in the car at once was, "NO!!"

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I am feeling inspired to be more candid in my writing. "Shameless Jonah" inspired me - check out his blog listed in my blog list. His writing is amazing - it is almost like experiencing it yourself. I do not dare to dream I have the capability to write as well as he does, but I do love his transparancy. That appeals to me in a great way. It feels cleansing somehow, and I want that in my own life.

Who is Michele? Well, to be honest I am really still trying to find out. Due to years of struggling with a debilitating illness, I have done a lot of therapy over the past 5 years. Maybe I should start with my family of origin.

I am the youngest of two girls, my sister being three years older than I am. Our parents are both adult children of alcoholics, so do you know the definition of Co-dependent? :) Also, my father has a lot of narcistic tendencies and bottom line is that as with most narcisists there is a scapegoat child - that was me. OH - do not pity me, the chosen child has issues to deal with as well, and being ignored was not always a bad thing - there can be lots of good things associated with that.

As a child I made an unconcience conclusion that there was something inherently wrong with me. It must be me, right? Because no father just dislikes a child for no good reason. Besides, my sister seemed near perfect, and I was always the chubby clumsy one. If I could just be more like her I would be acceptable - problem is - I denied the wonderful Michele I was designed to be for most of my life. Where am I now? Today I do not make decisions based on being acceptable or loved. I try anyway, to be true to me, love me or leave me - If you really love me, then you will find me acceptable without me having to bow to your wishes and be your doormat. I don't mean there isn't compromise, but I now stand for what I do believe in and pick the battles that feel important to me and don't back down on those.

I also look back and feel so grateful that I did not make worse choices as a teen where guys were concerned. I did and at times still do have this deep void of needing to know I am loved by the opposite sex. I truly struggle between judging all men in an unfair way because of my father experience and just assumed they are all jerks and self-serving. The flip side is this perpetual void of that little girl in me wanting to desperately be desired and loved. The good news is that I am no longer willing to sacrifice myself in order to recieve acceptance, although sometimes the desire to be unconditionally loved makes me want to be whatever they want so they will not leave me. I don't just mean my husband, but even father - type figures in my life. But that wouldn't be unconditional love then, would it?

I feel more free today as a person than I ever have. I also feel more vulnerable. One thing about having walls up for protection, they not only protect, but also have kept me from truly living. The things I thought were protecting were actually a bondage of sorts at the same time. When you truly open yourself up, it can be scary, because the chance of being hurt is much greater, but the rewards are so much more real as well! The great things are so worth the times of pain.

Like a Sad Song

This morning I was thinking of several friends and family I am missing. This is for them:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'm Back - Again!!

Oh my goodness - I have internet at my house again!! Woo Hoo!! I do wonder how long it will last though... The tech guy that just left assured me that this should do the trick, but I have heard that several times over the past year. How did all this happen you ask? Well...

My older little sister - older because she is older and little because she is 5' 2" - is a little bulldog. She called the internet company and said she was me. Within an hour I had the owner's son on the phone with me...interesting, isn't it? I don't really care how it happened - not that I am ungrateful - "thanks sis!!" - I am just glad to be back online.

I have missed reading your blogs so much. Just following your lives a little snippet at a time. I will be heading out there to blog world to catch up with you all now. See you soon!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


OK - still not having internet consistently. I am currently at my mom's house using hers. I am going to cancel my service and find someone else when we get back from our trip. Here is the kicker - they will charge $100 to come and get their equipment. Does anyone else have experience with this and is this resonable? It seems excessive. Also, our cheapest bill was $78.00 over the past 4 months that we have been having intermenten service. Seems I should be reimbursed for part of the time we could not get on when we wanted or it worked for 5 minutes and then quit. Over the past 2 years, everytime they had to send someone out, the tech would always state that whoever put the original box on the house should have put it on the south side instead of the north. Then they usually commented on if they had more time they would just move it, etc... I am tempted to turn them into the better business bureau - is that wrong? I would love to get some feedback on this one.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mama Mia

OK - I have to admit I have seen this twice already, and if coerced, I would go again. It is wacky - weird in a lot of ways, but loads of fun. Pierce Brosnan can not really sing great - but he is great to look at, even at his age. Even the teenagers in our group thought he was a "hot old man". Meryl Streep is amazing in it. The music is so fun. It definitely took me back to my teen days. Abba songs - wow! Don't really remember enjoying them then as much as I did in this movie now.

Male warning - Jake went with us the first time I saw it. He leaned over to me about 1/2 way thru the movie and made a motion of slitting his wrists. His actual comment was, "I do not have enough estrogen to enjoy this movie". There were a handful of men in there, but all married and Jake was sure their wives had forced them to come. The second time I saw it, the theatre was about 3/4 full and there were no men present.

So, if you are just looking for a bit of nonsense fun - go see it! I LOVED it, both times!!