Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Feed The Bay 2009

First off, I apologize for not posting sooner.... I'm a slacker.

This past Sunday, churches in the Brandon area got together for the annual "Feed the Bay". The congregations are encouraged to hit the grocery stores with a list of items to help refill the food banks. The Publix stores are plugged in to this, so they make sure to be hugely stocked on the items.
There was a semi at every Publix so you could just drop off your donations on your way to your car.

Our church joined the effort last year so this was the 2nd time Fred and I got involved. Last year, we shopped, this year we also helped at a distribution center.

Before we got started unloading the trucks, we got an overview on what the Lighthouse Ministries does for the community, and had a time of prayer.

Someone made the announcement that they only needed 30 people to help (there was about 50 folks there) and so some of us could go home if we wanted.

Good thing no one did, because we needed all of them to get the work done

We were there from 2pm till 5:30pm.... There was TONS of food! And the neat thing, there were so many people there it got a little chaotic at times, but the progress never slowed. Everyone worked well together, people stepped up and took charge of different areas, and things were organized. We unloaded and sorted 2 semi trucks full of food. It was very cool.

And another cool thing, I got a free T-shirt!!! hehe
I was quite impressed with all the Lighthouse Ministries is doing for families. I am going to look into how I can get involved with helping out. I could come and help sort, pack food boxes. They also run a thrift store, so I could help with the donations for that. Either way, it's organizing, and I love doing that!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My baby girl had her wisdom teeth pulled last Wednesday. We decided she should come from Orlando and have it done in Tampa so she could recoup with us. I had to work so Fred took her. I asked him to video the moments so I could feel like I was there.... it's ok to post this. Steph got a big laugh out of it herself. What is really funny, she doesn't remember any of it....

She did really well. No side effects from the anesthesia. All was great until the numbness wore off. She has been in a lot of pain. On 2 percocets every 4 1/2 hours and 1 codeine in between and the girl STILL couldn't get any sleep. That was crazy. The swelling came on Thursday, she was the prettiest chipmunk you will ever see!!

She went home today (against my wishes) . She is still a bit swollen but doing much better. We colored her hair, she took a nice warm shower and felt 'human' again.... she is taking off from work tomorrow but hoping to be back on Tuesday.... the biggest thing is that she is so weak from not eating....
The one bright thing in all of this is that she was thrilled to have lost 5lbs. (not that she didn't already look great!) But you know how girls are about weight....

Prayers are still needed on her behalf. It's going to be tough getting back to her schedule after being down for 5 days.

Stephany Nassar at the Dentist - Valerie's MySpace Blog |

Stephany Nassar at the Dentist - Valerie's MySpace Blog

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Sunday, September 13, 2009


1 John 4:7-21 (New King James Version)

Knowing God Through Love:
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Seeing God Through Love :
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
The Consummation of Love:
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
Obedience by Faith :
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

These are the passages our pastor has been preaching on the last few Sundays. He actually has been preaching on I John all year....

As you can see, there is a theme going here.... I have no problem with love. I love my children, my husband, my family, friends, folks in need, little orphans in third world countries.

But I have had a problem with verse 20 for a while....

There is a family that I have had some SERIOUS animosity towards. I guess 'hate' is a strong word so I probably wouldn't use it. But it was pretty close. I knew it was not the right thing to do, but I just couldn't let go. This family has had a big influence on Andy the last 9 months. A negative influence. Without taking credit away from Andy for his own actions, this family has truly enabled him. They don't know Fred or me, yet assumed we did something terrible to make Andy turn against us, and have 'helped' him out financially while he lived away from us.

I am sure that they have no idea the feelings I have had towards them, so they aren't loosing any sleep. But I have been. And every time they showed up at church, I automatically felt my blood boil and was unable to worship all morning. (I know, that is my own doing)
I tell you, it's been a real tough time. I felt ill for the way I was behaving. I mean, being angry at someone who enters church? How sick is that?

I have been praying about this for a while. I have asked close friends to pray for me. And Bro. Tommy's sermons were a constant reminder I needed to let go of my 'hate'.

Then something cool happened. Last Sunday, at the very 1st song in worship, I felt something being lifted from me. Immediately, I no longer felt this anger that has been consuming me for months. I looked for the family, but this time, not to stare at them with 'daggers', but to go to them and say 'good morning, how are you?'. It was an amazing experience. I had nothing to do with it. The Holy Spirit finally cut through the wall I had built all these months and 'fixed me'.

They weren't at church again today. The sermon today was about going to the one you have wronged and apologize. My question was: if they never knew how I felt, do I need to go apologize to them? What if that just 'stirs the pot' and makes things bad? So I am praying about what I should do next.

I don't have any plans on becoming 'best friends' with this family. But I do think I have to answer to God for what I have been feeling.

This is a song that we've been singing at church. An old hymn with a new bridge.... powerful

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Blood Pressure and Blond Moments

About 3 Fridays ago, I came home from work with a massive headache. The kind that makes your face feel flush and your eyes are burning. So, I thought I should check my blood pressure to see if it was that. I just got my mom a wrist cuff blood pressure checker, so I used that.

Well, it came up 155/101. That's pretty high, and it got me wondering if my headaches all Summer were due to that.

I decided to start checking it once in the morning and once at night and keep track of it. It always came out on the hight level.... Everyone kept telling me I needed to go see my doctor. But I knew if I went, my Dr. would want to put me on medicine, or even worse, would get on to me and tell me I had to loose weight and exercise. (aahh!!! )

Anyway, I kept putting it off, until Friday... I was going to go after work, but I ended up without a car, so I couldn't make it. That evening, I checked it and it was 153/98. Still a bit on the high side. I started messing with the cuff to see if I could fix the time on it. I pulled out the instructions, and lo and behold, I had been taking my blood pressure wrong!

Apparently, with a wrist cuff, you need to sit by a table, put your elbow on it and have your wrist even with your heart.... I had been taking my blood pressure by laying my arm flat by my side.

I did it the correct way, and voila!!! my blood pressure is fine! yeah, I felt stupid. I also checked it the next morning and it was fine. I can't believe that for over 2 weeks I was stressing over something that wasn't there.... but I am glad I never made it to the dr. I would have been mad to pay $20 to find out I was fine!
Now, before anyone says it, I KNOW I need to exercise and loose weight....that's a given.
But I am thankful that (for now) I don't have another 'ailment' to deal with.

The moral of the story: Read the instructions first!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Andy's wheels

Andy bought himself a car about a month or so ago, 1996 Cavalier. Before he moved back home. I have been meaning to post pics of it, but, well, you heard my excuses on the last blog.....

Since he only paid $900, it comes with many 'issues'. One is the gas gague doesn't work. So he has to estimate how far he can go with the amount of gas he puts in. No air conditioner, back seat is detached, front passenger seat doesn't move forward and it's a 2-door. But, hey, he has a good battery!! LOL

He was proud of himself for purchasing his own car, when I took him to get the tag, he grinned from ear to ear when he walked out with it in his hands. I am proud of him.
But now he's frustrated. He is realizing that it's going to cost him $$ to fix the car, and he's not one to give up his money easily. lol
I told him the car needed a little 'love' to get it up to snuff. It's got to last him at least 2 years.

He is getting great life lessons, and he'll be the better for it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Family visit

Ok, so it has taken me 2 weeks to post about my siblings' visit. My only excuse is that school has started and I have been completely exhausted every night! That and I have found a new obsession in Farmville. (but that's another post)

My brother and family came down on Aug. 19th. They stopped by and picked up a little package, Sarathena. She is Sara's daughter's 6 week old baby. So, my brother became a Grampa before me and his kids are 11 and 9.... how weird. At first, he said he 'was not going to be called a grandpa!!'.... but she won him over and I convinced him he should be 'G-Daddy'. He likes that. (that's him holding her) She was definitely the entertainment for the week.

They stayed with us from Wed. till the following Mon. My house went from very quiet to 'not so' quiet. But it was nice. We also worked it so my sister came from Ga. on Friday to surprise my mom. Mom is turning 80 on Sept. 8th and we thought it would be cool to have the 3 siblings together and celebrate her birthday, all be it a month early. It added to her surprise! She was shocked when my sister walked in the house. So much so, I got a little worried about her health. But it was all good.
We got a her a flat screen tv a little bigger than the one she had in her room hoping it would help with her bad eye sight...
I think mom really got a kick out of the party. Of course, my brother and Fred did all the cooking so the food was delicious. (and Fred was barely conscious from the pain meds!)

Steph also came down for the weekend and hung out with the baby. Pappi (little Steven) has grown so much! He has gotten tall and has lost his 'baby' face.
And Savanna is as sociable and chatty as always. Steph and I took her to get an outfit for school...

The family left on Monday night to Puerto Rico... I am so jealous! I am really hoping to be able to go there in the next couple of years. And I would love to take my kids, I think they would really like it.
Here is Father and son at a cafe in Puerto Rico. For those of you who knew my brother, you can see how much weight he has lost. He looks really good!

Since we don't know when the family will be all together again, we took some 'pose' pictures....

This is my family.....

But like I said, Sarathena was the star of the week. We all took turns with her....

I love this picture... This is how I used to put Andy to sleep... it worked just as good for Sarathena!!

Ok, last but not least, I realize I didn't take a single picture of Sara. So I stole this from her facebook. Here she is enjoying the great Puerto Rico sun!

It was wonderful to see the Gonsalves clan again. Sara was hoping to have us to up for Thanksgiving. I would love to, but I don't think I could talk Andy & Steph to go with us, and I am already not having Freddy for Thanksgiving, I don't really want to be away from them too...

God is so good. He is really working in my brother's family. I am excited to see what HE has in store for them!