Sunday, August 26, 2012

What Do You Call An Old Chicken?

Well, if the word isn't out yet, it's going to be....I'm not a young chick anymore. Nope! I am in my mid-40s and I'd like to say it feels GREAT! However, as hard as I'm working on feeling great, exercising, getting fit...I can tell you...there is this force...and its working against me. I'm afraid its called Menopause.

OK...I'm not quite here yet:

However, I am on my way. Some call it....perimenopause. Great the red squiggly line for spell check underlines the word. I wish that if Webster didn't recognize it, we wouldn't have to either, but we do.

For 10 years I struggled with infertility. Why? Because I had two horrible hormonal issues called Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome and endometriosis. I eventually had my babies, and became...."normal" or "regular" as we like to call it. I still have no thyroid as antibodies have been feasting on that since I received 8 blood transfusions when I lost over half my body's blood giving birth to my twins.  Lots of "forces" are working against my goals. As I rested today because I'm feeling...not so GREAT...I came to realize a few things and thought I would record them.

I really prayed today because I have two boys who are entering adolescence...and we been spotting some pre-puberty symptoms:  like crying for no reason, aches and pains in body, feelings getting hurt very easily, worrisome, sad or depressed feeling..blah!

My husband has been praying too. He knows that I've been experiencing symptoms like, crying for no reason, feeling sad or blah, forgetfulness, weird aches and pains, and with his vast knowledge now he knows them to be pre-menopausal.

Pray for my husband if you get a chance. If pre-puberty and pre-menopausal must live in is going to take Divine Intervention.

 Ok...I am not a classic menopausal person. I'm not really moody or crazy, however I have noticed a few symptoms creeping into my life. In case you are wondering what the symptoms of perimenopause are or if you are not certain what that even is...let me share what I've learned.

Perimenopause, or menopause transition, is the stage of a woman's reproductive life that begins several years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman's 40s, but can start in a woman's 30s or even earlier. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs (hence the chickens at the top). In the last one to two years of perimenopause, this decline in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women experience menopausal symptoms.

Some perimenopause symptoms are: hot flashes, breast tenderness, worsening PMS, decreased libido, fatigue, irregular periods, weight gain, vaginal dryness, urine leakage, urinary urgency, mood swings and difficulty sleeping. Seriously, don't you just feel sorry for women right now. At least by writing this down, I've found some joy...I'm not experiencing even half of these symptoms...but I've got some.

So here it is ladies (I'm sure any male readers dropped out way up at the top), its time to pull out the truth! I'm not in a race to get to my goals...I just want to get there at some time. The scale has been teasing me with its ups and downs. My body has been acting like it is old or tired or pregnant. (I'm not...I checked...I'm not kidding!)

I have to make a decision NOW before it gets really bad interesting. So, I've talked it over with the Lord..and here's our plan.

Regardless of what emotions are whirling around inside, by God's grace, I can choose to fix my mind on Him and, trust and obey. When I do this, I know that I will indeed experience His peace.

I will rely on His Word and promises: "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20), "My God will meet all your needs" (Phil 4:19), "Though the mountains be shaken and hills removed, yet His unfailing love will not be" (Isaiah 54:10) "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thess. 5:18). So many more that directly relate to those emotions (some I've already shared with my pre-pubescent boys).

Finally instead of dreading what is to come, I'm going to choose to understand that this is the way God made me. "You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days (YES ALL OF THEM) ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" Psalm 139.

So I'm not going to fight this. I'm going to keep going, keep trying to get fit and not be in a race about it. I'm not in my 20s or 30s anymore. I'm not a young "chick"! I'm hoping to keep a sense of humor and surround myself with other women that can keep me laughing! And when the time comes and I take up residence on Menopause Lane and I begin to experience more symptoms (which by the way, I'm already praying will pass  me by...why not...God can do all things)...I'm going to try to take each one with a good attitude. It's all about perspective right?

Anyway, we'll see when the time comes. Remember to pray for my family during all of this pre-stuff happening...especially for Mr. Incredible. I mean he is incredible...but we all have our limitations!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Uncharted Territory and Unreached People

Live starfish caught by Brendan at his Middle/High School End of Summer Party. (We threw it back..don't worry)

What do middle school, live starfish, the Buffalo People, the Algonkian tribes, Estaban, and the 10/40 window have in common? I'm so glad you asked. All uncharted territory or unreached people groups...and its all what we're learning about in our homeschool year!

So often people say, "I wish I could be a fly on your wall or one of your students in your homeschool." Well, now is your chance. Today was our first official day of school. When the new curriculum comes, it is impossible to let it sit on the shelves all summer long and not read some of it. SO, we're a little ahead on our read alouds and readers, and we did a little brushing up on our math before today, but really today marked our first official full day of school. It was AWESOME! So come in, be a fly on the wall, check out what happens on a typical day at Superhero School.

I was not ready for this picture...that would be Mr. Incredible taking this shot. It has to feel good to see his entire family up at 7:30am, spending time quietly reading the Word before he left for work. I love Mr. Incredible. Today also began my (shhh he doesn't know it) 30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge by Revive Our Heart Ministries.
When I wake up the must know I've had my quiet time in prayer and study already. That is a given. This is my time..along with them to read. I read for my Life Transformation Group during this quiet early morning time with my children. Kyle & Shane are reading through Genesis right now...and Brendan is reading through the Psalms. We are going to be memorizing Psalm 91.
This is my very kinesthetic learner before coffee. I kid you not! We are listening to our writing coach on a DVD. This child learns by drives me crazy, but it works for him. He knows he could never ever sit on his head in a regular classroom. Praise God he can do it here!
Same child, totally focused reading comprehension time! Studying early American History with his brother Kyle..also reading and writing! I love how you can see total growth after the summer. Just like weeds, even in their skills! Math was awesome..we sang some crazy songs to help with our multiplication memory work, and my other boy worked on exponents! Love Math U See!
I want to give a shout out to Excellence In Writing. I love everything about this curriculum, especially the fact that my boys smile when it comes to writing again. Oh happy day!
This boy has been waiting for school to start since the day it ended this past summer. He is my brand new middle school aged child. Talk about embarking on uncharted territory. WOW. Good thing we're studying human anatomy and the brain this year. There are serious changes that happen during puberty (and not all physical either)...totally uncharted for this Mom.
The animals were in rare form today. Dodger had to go to the vet for his check up. Come to find out he has a tumor that needs to be removed and biopsied...the sooner the better. Unfortunately, this will have to wait. We're in sacrifice mode..Dodger will have to hang in there. He was tired after his our cat to roam without being annoyed by the dog today. We caught him drinking from Shane's water. Yes, he knocked it over onto the floor too..that along with any pencil he could find. If you ask him, he had a great day being mischievous today!
One of Brendan's focuses this year as he digs apart the Eastern Hemisphere is praying through the 100 gateway cities of the 10/40 window. This speaks to my boy's heart for missions and mine too.
He spent part of his day researching China (the first country of several including...North & South Korea, Japan, Russia, Southeast Asia, Vietnam, India, Middle East, Africa, Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia, and Antarctica) He has already made his own fresh ground ink to do calligraphy on rice paper.
You better believe we'll be making some authentic Chinese food and I'm even inquiring about how to grow rice in a pot at home. He of course would love to go to Epcot and see China again, or better yet he told me today that I should write Sonlight and ask if they would consider placing two round-trip tickets to China to really get the feel for the country.
He found calligraphy a bit challenging...not something he really wants to do for fun all the time. But, it was a great experience!
Ahhh..back to school means Mom is back to doling out more than just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Something about the routine of school gets you motivated in all sorts of ways.
Oh...this child! Here he is with his spelling curriculum. He tested out into high school spelling last year I didn't purchase a spelling curriculum and he missed it. I found one that I thought would be awesome this year...and he loves it. He loves it so much that while I took my other two boys over a friend's to play for an hour (because we do actually socialize contrary to popular belief) ;0) , I got a phone call from this child asking me if he could please move on to the next lesson. He would be happy to teach himself. He aced the first lesson...all 15 words..just introduced today. He is a natural at spelling. After dinner I read to him for a bit and then..."please can I go back to the spelling for a little bit?" I'm dead serious.
They all have reading to do...which is followed by several comprehension questions. However, if you are in my home during play time does happen too.  How else do I teach 3 different grades. No TV, no DS, no Wii...old fashioned play and tons of creative fun! On Wednesdays I'll be training my boys for a 5K. They want to do one...and I love to run with them.
I know, what in the world is this? Well, this is my feeble attempt at trying to trick my superheros into eating a healthier alternative. Mr. Incredible worked until 7:00pm tonight, so dinner was on me again. I served up some smart dogs, (which by the way are 1 point per dog), threw them in a bun, put some mustard on those babies and very excitedly served them up. Shane had two, Brendan got one down, but there was no fooling Kyle. He couldn't handle the smell. So...he ate two cheese sticks, an apple, two celery sticks with peanut butter and a rice cake. This is why my husband does most of the cooking.
To end our night, I finished reading Young Fu to Brendan and Walk the World's Rim (true story about Cabeza De Vaca) to my other two - oh such great reading! While we read about he buffalo people we really wanted to try buffalo jerky (we've had it in St. Augustine before). None could be found...says Mr. Incredible on his way home from we tried Jicama instead.
I've been wanting to try it for awhile anyway, it just so happens to fit right into what we are studying...all of us. Originating in Mexico (De Vaca's destination), it was spread by the Spaniards to the Philippines to China and much of Southeast Asia.  It is kind of sweet and starchy tasting. It taste great raw...but if you ask my superheros it is much better with Nutella. Isn't everything better with Nutella?

Well, I hoped you enjoyed your peek into our school day. Everyone is sound asleep..and I'm about to be there too. Before I retire I wanted to continue my gratitude list...1000 Gifts...if you follow the link in each blog you can see its been awhile since I've posted on my gratitude list. It doesn't change how grateful I have been and remain. As I reflect on the events of this day and the end of our summer...

I am so thankful for...

300. His Word that is indeed a light on my path
301. His love for me...I'm a precious pearl worth pursuing.
302. Uncharted territory, albeit, pubescent hormones, unreached people groups, new foods...we don't go through one thing without Him being totally aware and present.
303. Love and sacrifice.
304. His example of both.
305. Skills that have grown and sharpened.
306. Multiple chances to be encouraging to my husband
307. Time spent with friends
308. Time spent with Jesus.
309. Time in His Grace.
310. The Holy Spirit that resides in us is the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead...we have power from Him...thankful that we can use it to pray for the lost.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Amazing & Divine Providence of God

Florida Storm on Saturday Night
A series of events have occurred in the past 24 hours, that no one can say it happened by chance. As my brainy boy heard me speaking with excitement the turn of events of the day...he says to me..."Mom, what does Providence mean anyway?" (Not afraid to ask..that is why he is so smart!) Let me start by explaining that Providence basically refers to God's continuous upholding the existence and natural or of the universe (you know He created it..causes it to spin on its axis...all of that!), likewise Divine Providence refers to God's direct and extraordinary intervention in the lives of people. So with that in is what happened in my life.

I have this brain (yes that has been confirmed in my MRI from 8 months ago), and it has a swollen something or other in it. Believe it or not I forget the technical name...(hope that's not a sign of anything...just kidding). Needless to say, I was told that my doctor wanted to keep an eye on it and have an MRI every six months.

An MRI at this particular place that my doctor sends me is $860. That is a large amount of money for someone who doesn't even make that in one month. However, the Lord did provide for me to get this done. This past Sunday a woman from my church approaches me and asks if I had ever be seen by a chiropractor, she works for one and knows many people who had severe headaches get some relief.

I have cluster headaches. "Cluster headaches occur in cyclical patterns or clusters — which gives the condition its name. Cluster headache is one of the most painful types of headache. Cluster headache is sometimes called the "alarm clock headache" because it commonly awakens you in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around the eye on one side of your head. Bouts of frequent attacks — known as cluster periods — may last from weeks to months, usually followed by remission periods when the headache attacks stop completely. During remission, no headaches occur for months and sometimes even years." I've experienced this intense pain for the past few years...typically hitting me in early September.

We don't think that the swollen vein in my brain has anything to do with my headaches, but since it reappeared so quickly, I didn't think pushing the MRI further back was wise. I had made the appointment for Thursday at 8:30am and the Lord provided the funds for me to have it done. As I told this woman from church that I was getting an MRI, she asked where I was having it done. I told her and she told me that there was another imaging center close by that might be less expensive...and still do the exact same scan. She would make a few phone calls for me.

Next morning she calls and says that indeed this new place can do the exact MRI for $300. Come to find out, one of my guitar student's Mom had her brain MRI done at this facility and they were able to save her from a life threatening problem. The place is reputable, and is used all the time by this chiropractor that this woman works for. Just had to call my doctor and get the order transferred from one imaging center to the next. The office staff told me that they don't recommend that other facility. When asked why, they just said, they don't like working with "No...we won't recommend them to you!" I felt a little bullied, so I called the friend from church and she said I should just call the imaging center and have them fax it to a new facility. I'm a self pay patient...I have rights! How could I in good conscience spend $860 when I could spend $300...I needed to be a good steward of what God has put in my trust.

Long story shortened just a tad. I was having such a hard time. While making all of these phone calls, I had a precious little girl here who had chosen to spend the morning of her birthday with me. She wanted to make cookies with Ms. Lisa...on her birthday. My heart was breaking because  my time with her was being interrupted with phone calls to people unwilling to help me change my appointment. I was hitting a brick wall. "We don't do that?" "We won't do that?" "We don't recommend this!" I finally called my friend and just said, in tears..."I need to walk away from this for 30 minutes. I've canceled my MRI, but I need to put cookies in the oven with this little girl...priorities after all!"  She said not to worry, walk away from it for a while and make cookies.
A few hours later, she called back and said she had called a friend at the new imaging center, they had my order faxed over and in fact the nurse at the new center was going to go pick up a copy of my last MRI from the previous center on her way to work in the morning. All I had to do was wait for a phone call to schedule my new MRI. Five minutes later I get a call from the new imaging center, confirming that it will cost $300 at the time of visit and I could have an appointment for this Thursday at 8:00am. (Almost the exact same time as my other appointment).

The one detail I forgot to mention was that for about a month now my car has been having issues starting. I would have to turn the ignition for about 3 minutes before it would actually start. I knew the starter was going, but couldn't afford to get it fixed, so just kept ignoring it and praying it would last until Mike got a nursing job. This particular morning, I knew that a special young lady had chosen to spend some of her momentous day with me and so I got up early to go buy her a festive birthday balloon. My car wouldn't all! It finally stopped working. On the very day that the Lord saw fit to save me $560 of which now I have money to pay for my car to be fix. PROVIDENCEextraordinary intervention in the lives of people.

How do we forget that He loves us that much? Saving money so I don't have to go into important to my Father God because its important to me. The course of events played out in the exact right time and order. Had my car broken down a week ago, I wouldn't have had the money to pay for it to get fixed. Small details...maybe...coincidence...definitely NOT! Divine Providence....absolutely!

Romans 11:33-36 says it best...and I'm using the Message, just because it is so much fun...

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom?
It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out. 
Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell Him what to do?
Anyone who has done Him such a huge favor that God has to ask His advice?
Everything comes from Him;
Everything happens through Him;
Everything ends up in Him.
Always glory! Always praise!
 Yes. Yes. Yes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Miracles Are Possible

Mike Engel, receiving his pin for nursing!
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

I don't believe I've told this story from the beginning. Today is a very special day. It is the fulfillment of part of a journey that was destined by God...because His Word is true...apart from Him, we can do nothing.

Outside the New Journal Center before graduation
My husband has a BA in History Education....but did not like all! As a former public educator myself, I'm proud of my husband for leaving education...we don't really need more teachers in the system who don't like their job. So he started working with coffee...with the hopes of maybe owning his own Coffee House. Mike had worked for Starbucks in management...(yes that is where the addiction for good coffee started) for 10 years. In fact when we moved to Florida the company transferred him to a store in Ormond Beach. It wasn't long until the top paid management figured out that Mike was still making his NJ salary but living in FL ...and he was capped out and experienced a cut in pay. He would never make enough money to raise a family of 5 on Starbucks salary. So when one of his customers handed him a business card and told him that he would be a great addition to his company...Mike took the chance to do something different. He became a sales representative for medical equipment and surgical supplies.
The weather was a tropical storm just during the graduation!
He actually loved learning about what he was selling and thoroughly enjoyed being in the Operating Room and talking to the surgeons. This invigorated him...far more than closing a deal. Sales, just was not his thing. His company had a freeze and he was let go. So thankful for this opportunity. After that, it was one job after another. Each one however, taking something and learning from each situation. All the while, Pop's dementia was increasing and he was requiring so much more care. I did what I could while schooling my children, but it finally had gotten the best of me and Pop would only respond to Mike. It was then his family decided that they would compensate Mike to be Pop's sole caregiver so that we could still make a living (albeit meager). Mike did this tirelessly for over a year.
The only man that participated in graduation. The last to light his candle, the last to receive his pin...he said he was the  exclamation point! Here they are reading the Florence Nightingale Pledge.
Then something happened. I won't go into the details, but suffice to say that in the midst of this terrible circumstance that the Enemy was trying to throw in my husband's face....God made something beautiful.

We were at a point where we thought we might lose our home. Pop was placed in a nursing home (best thing for him) but unless my husband could find full time work, there was a possibility we might not have a place to live.  I calculated that we needed at the very least just for living expenses...$32,000. So I began to PRAY BIG! Only God could do this...with man this would be impossible...with God all things are possible. I had no idea what the next day would bring.
We couldn't be more proud of him at this moment! He has worked hard and given God all the Glory!
It brought a letter from Daytona State College saying that Mike was accepted into the LPN program. He had taken the prerequisites for the RN program and had applied, but because they transferred over all of his grades from 18 years ago when he was in college...they transferred over some lower ones that didn't calculate to a high enough GPA (ironically enough that class he received a low grade in wasn't even a class he was all a numbers game). Even though he had straight "A" as DSC, his GPA was shy by a few points. We had no idea he would even be accepted into the LPN. The timing couldn't have been..."worse". There was no way, he could go to school order for us to survive...he needed to work. I was determined to see what God would do. So we prayed.
This journey would have been far more challenging without the love and support of so many friends. These are two special friends that joined us for Mike's graduation. I know Mike would have wanted his Mom to be there, I was so touched that these two braved the storm and cheered him made it so special!
I received a phone call the day after this letter came into the mail from a friend who lived in a different state. She said she was saving up some money to send for my boys and I for a summer vacation..but felt like the Lord was prompting her to send the money for Mike to go to school. It was $750 dollars. I remember her saying that it wasn't much and we both prayed that if this was God's will, that Mike go to school, then he would multiply it. Only she, myself and God were privy to our prayers that day. I told her that I wouldn't say a word to Mike that we would just pray. She sent the check.
We celebrated with a Thai dinner at my favorite Thai restaurant in Daytona! YUM!  Do you see Dave's plate?  Wait keep reading...
The very next day I received another phone call, from a couple who had inherited an investment. They called to say that they had an opportunity to have a check cut, to roll it over or reinvest it...they decided that the Lord put it on their hearts to reinvest it...they knew a guy who would make a great nurse someday...they were investing in the work of the Lord that someday, I believe, my husband will be a part of. That $750 multiplied and grew to $20,750. When my husband came home that day after I had received that phone call, I sat him down along with my children and told him what had happened. We all held hands, we were so humbled, we were witnessing God's miraculous and mighty hand...and have continued to witness his miracles. Five loaves and two fish...pretty much sums up how we've lived. We continued to be faithful to the Lord giving back to Him and giving to others sacrificially. You see, you can never out give God!

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:19

Only by the pure Grace of God is my husband walking up to receive his pin today. Someone told us recently that Mike did it..against all odds. We tell you today...with Christ the odds are always in our favor. My children have been so fortunate to watch their Dad study hard and give 100% to everything, the Lord, family, work, school...and it has paid off. "Everything you as unto the Lord"

Mike Engel...I am proud of you! We look forward to what God has in store for all of us. Make no mistake...He has got a plan..and its a good one.

Remember when you think that there is no way...if it is His will...He will make a way..."With God all things are possible!"
Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp! Beautiful & Delicious!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Hero Is Super!

 "Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!" Well, ok...not exactly. However, I do refer to him as Mr. Incredible...and there are numerous reasons why. I know, you probably think your husband is the best, and I hope you do, but today August 5th is my husband's birthday..and I'm taking this opportunity to share why he is one of my most treasured gift from God. Forgive me while I indulge.
He may not be more powerful than a locomotive, but he can calm a crying baby and actually loves to do it. He is one of the most self sacrificing people on the planet. This man has, on numerous occasions, taken care of other people's children as well as our own, so that I can go an help a friend, or have a meeting with others whose husbands work (his contribution to women's ministry). He has cooked more meals than I can count for people who are sick (I may volunteer...but he is in the kitchen). I love to hang with people, he does too, but when we do...he's the one in the kitchen. Actually he always does the cooking all the time. ♥
Here he is cleaning his sister's refrigerator that had stopped running while she was away on vacation. This took hours and he had to clean it out..maggots and all. That has to be love.
After giving birth to my twins, I spent 4 days in and out of a coma...he was on it..feedings, diaper changes, up all hours...sacrificing, my children are 11 & 9...and he still on it! Faster than a speeding bullet, maybe not, but you chase after 3 kids under 2 years old.
He's is one of the most present father's I know. He earned that accolade because for several years, he was home..unemployed or taking care of his grandfather and being a dad...24 hours a day. Allowing me to go on retreats, meetings and conferences. Making sure I got some alone time...he still does that.
Leap tall buildings in a single bound...maybe not, but he certainly has built his share of tall buildings with mega blocks and legos.
 He has played the sick patient for a couple of quack doctors.
He prays with his children every single night and often during the day too. He has modeled what it is to be a man after God's own heart to his three sons. He is teaching them every day how to be a father and a husband, how to pray, how to love, how to live.
Unashamed, he has faced hardships like none other. Ridicule and harsh words thrown in his direction by people he loves...yet he continues to love.  He has struggled to find work, yet has supported his family. He has worked part time while going to school full time.  Pretty powerful in my book.
 He (with me) has taken several young girls to concerts...helping make some of their dreams come true. There he is with his niece above, and below some other friends.

Again...just look at that guy. Who couldn't love that face...the two headed pushme-pullyou!
OH and of personal hero when it comes to capturing all things creepy. There he is disposing of a rat snake. 
So I've bragged on his cooking, he cleans and does laundry too (please don't ask what I do). He also makes costumes. His creation of the Lenni Lanape Indians above and of course our most recent Star Wars escapade...that's all Mike. I'm not that creative.
He is my rock when it comes to emergencies. This is when Shane busted his head on the corner of our counter. My man, Mr. Incredible, calmly holds the child, puts us all in the car and drives us to the emergency room. Calm as a cucumber.

Love this man! Speaking of calm. I know I don't have to repeat it, but for 4 years he was the sole caregiver of his grandfather. Pop, suffered from Alzheimers/Dementia. When he finally went into a facility, the nurse told my husband that he had gone...way above the call of duty and that Pop really needed a full staff of professionals for that last two years at least.

 My husband lovingly, sacrificially, tirelessly cared for him until the end.

OH and yes...he is that Dad and Husband who really couldn't see getting a puppy, but just because he loved us and really couldn't see his family be disappointed...he said Dodger! He totally went up in the ranks for all of us that day!
At 45 years old...he goes back to school. Trying to begin a career, finding out what "God has put on his heart to do", he goes back to school for nursing. He graduates at the top of his class in 3 more days at 47 years old. Nursing school full time, work part time, father and husband full time, head elder of our church for the past 6 years. Lost his mother and grandfather...his family hurt him deeply...yet he loves on. We are so profoundly proud of him (next post I'm sure).
So, Mr. Incredible...we may not look up in the sky to find him flying like a plane or a bird, but I certainly look up to him. My three sons, look up to him. I'm so incredibly blessed to call him my husband and best friend for the past 22 years. He's mine and I love him. One of the most treasured gifts that the Lord has blessed me with. So, Happy Birthday Mr. man who is indeed smarter than anyone I know, more patient that a rock, and able to make my heart leap miles high by just one look or a simple kiss! My protector, (who has watched me get so deeply hurt in the past few years and has been my rock of wisdom) my umbrella, my coffee buddy, my sounding board, my best friend, my hero -  I love you Mike Engel!