New Life

The Best Nana ever is a great grandmother again. . .


Isabella Hope Lopez was born October 8th to Jennifer and Joe.  Don’t you just want to kiss her fat little face?

    Mother Teresa  puts it best. . .

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” 

Until Next time. . .  

Our World Tuesday  :: ABC
Wednesday :: 

Upside Down & other things

I’m posting a picture of this little guy today for many reasons. 1.) He is just the cutest little guy you’d ever want to meet. 

2.) the theme goes perfectly with ABC Wednesday and the letter U.
3.) I just love a three year old. 
4.) He is just the cutest little guy you’d ever want to meet. 


ABC Wednesday
Black and White Wednesday w/ like Christmas every day
Me as a mother 

The Human Spirit

Remember Joe? Remember the story I told you about the night he was almost killed?

Joe worked hard to be one among the living again……..The past two years he has not only worked hard in accomplishing the everyday aspects of life…He worked hard to move forward and make positive changes.
As of today, Joe is a High School Graduate. He passed his test with flying colors.
Funny thing is now he is talking about going to college.
You GO JOE!!!
We are so proud of you!!!!
Sometimes a little bump on the head is good for the human spirit.  
I don’t know about you, but, I think we should all have cake.

The BEST Birthday EVER!!!

The month of August has been a very, very busy month for us all. There has been LOTS! going on. It just seems like there is NO time for the things that really matter in life like; posting, catching up on other blogs and up loading pictures.
I realize we all need to take a one day at a time. Enjoy the day and do what we can. I also thought, the memories and these pictures from Anthony’s birthday weekend are just too great not too share. Sooo, as I often think…”Better Later then Sooner“…I am posting in my own time.
((Anthony is Joe’s son, Karen’s grandson and the first Great Grandchild to my parents.))
Anthony lives with his mom and has come down South to spend some of the summer with his dad. They have not seen each other in well over a year due to the accident Joe had last year.

In the summer fun, Anthony met up with Alex and Brian. They all quickly renewed the great friendship they formed years ago. Most importantly, the weekend of August 8th was Anthony’s 10th birthday. We got started planning for the festivities right away.

We went shopping for food, birthday treasures and maybe one or two other things.

Joe prepared a great feast fit for Kings and Queens alike.

We were protected from birthday thiefs!


The gifts and food were just that good! The BEST thing about the weekend was not the gifts, the food…


the friendships and the family bonding that occurred that weekend…

It was declared…


Something Bee-ish

I went running this morning. The circles and arrows are still in the road but the rain is finally fading them. Things have settled down around here finally and people are starting to get back to a normal life.

Shuuuu, that was really creepy!
When I run, I take one of my kids I-pods with me to listen to and check up on the things they are listening to…….Today I took Kathryn’s. She had her favorite songs from the girl bands she likes and some songs Matthew and Stephen like. But, the thing that really stopped me in my tracks was the Catholic Apologists she had on there. I could not help but completely stop, turn around to see who was talking to me and then smile when I realized it was John Martignoni and Catholic Answers.
I wondered….. is that for me?? Or what??
..…I will tell you my kids know much more then I do or ever have about our Catholic faith. They teach me so much every day………Who wouldn’t be happy with this life I lead? There are many shaky moments in this very busy life but, it is good.
Don’t worry ~ my kids do have a sense of normalcy…As I sit and type Kathryn and Stephen are arguing about something silly. Matthew is at his Spanish class and is shall I say….. indignant we can’t have his friend spend the night this weekend because of a debate workshop he really needs to go to…..

He demands to know “WHY!?!”

I really don’t have an answer for him just simply; I think he should go… I think that is good enough. I don’t expect him to be the top debater. I don’t even expect him to come in the top 20. I just think it will help him in ((gulp)) college, which is coming all to fast for me. It seems when you home school you have to prove yourself to the secular world, which makes us work harder. I have to laugh……because it is all good for us.


Why does it seem everything happens at once?
This weekend my cousin and her family, Jen, Charlie and the kids , are coming in from San Diego. They will be staying with Jen’s mother of course and It turns out….Auntie’s neighbor has graciously offered her deceased sister’s condo for Auntie or Jen to stay in while the family is here. This condo is right across the hall from Aunties two bedroom home. How nice of this woman to offer.…
Jim is home with his love, hanging in and progressing after the stroke. Karen, Joey and Anthony are coming down this weekend too and we have a busy weekend planned with dinner with friends, the debate work shop and the boys are digging out a ditch for Grandpa so he can lay pipes from the old well to the pool house.

According to Matthew: “there are black berries to pick for the wine, fields to clear for the grapes, pipes to lay for Grandpa, a Spanish exam to study for and Bees to tend too. He just does not have time for all this….company and worse!! Debate stuff!”

I don’t think I have told you about the Bee’s…

It turns out Stupid Rick is really not that stupid after all. Well, some days…he is really stupid and then some days He is not that stupid . Huuuu? Who knew? I don’t want to give him too much credit!

He is into many things and he is including our sons into his hobbies. I just find this all so amazing. To think, he would want to be bothered with all this teaching he is doing with our sons…..A couple of weeks ago he took Matthew and Stephen to a three day seminar at Clemson University to study Bees.

The boys loved it! They where up before 6 a.m. and out the door by 6:45. The three of them could not wait to get to class. They could not wait to get there hands dirty and into their new projects. It was all so exciting to see.
We are reading and studying Bee books now. I think we will take this opportunity to study Bees as our science this year for Stephen and Kathryn. There is so much to learn when it comes to bees. It is just amazing!

Rick has been kind enough to call the boys when he will be working with the bees and always includes them when he is doing something like; finding the swarm, extracting honey or something Bee-ish.

The Church Light

Last year around this time, on Mothers Day, my nephew, Joe was hurt in a terrible accident. We where all praying hard that Joe would make it another minute, an hour and day……Every time we saw the doctors that week they all said the same thing………”Every minute he hangs on is good. We are taking this minute by minute, hour by hour.”

They where tough words to hear……….mostly for Karen, Joes’ mother.

A year later Karen wanted a party to celebrate Mothers Day and the fact that her oldest child made it through what we all hope will be one of the toughest trials in his life. In fact; In their lives.

The night was dark, rainy and late…….Joe was going home coming from a party. While he was riding his bike down a dark country road something terrible happened………We really didn’t know what it was…..All we knew……… he was hurt and hurt badly.

Among the cuts and bruises he had hit his head. There was a cracked skull and swelling on his brain. While in a drug induced coma, he had a stroke and things only seemed to grow worse for him…….Later that same week…..part of his skull had to be removed. It would be saved and replaced for a later date when things inside his head had settled down.

He was in the coma for almost a month…………. I think……..

It has been a hard year for Joe, Karen, and the family. William, Joes “little” brother, made himself available daily to help his brother in his recovery. Karen never left Joe’s side.

This Mother’s Day was going to be different. This Mother’s Day Karen wanted to celebrate the trials and tribulations of the year.

Through out this whole year there where questions left unanswered. All we knew about the night Joe was hurt was; some one…….a man…maybe…..watched over Joe and waited until help came. We didn’t know who it was. We really didn’t know much about anything……just that someone helped Joe that dark, foggy and rainy night.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Among other things this past year; Joe had decided to go back to school and we are proud to say he is progressing beautifully.

The first day of school;

As often as it happens with a brain injury………….Joe got lost. He found himself at the school counselors’ office. She was talking to a woman. This woman happened to be going to the same class Joe was headed too…….The counselor asked if this woman would mind making sure Joe found the class…..He followed her.

In the new class, the new teacher wanted to help her class relax. She had her students play a “get to know you game.” Each student took one card. That student had to find the match …….which another student would have. When the student found his match they were to find out as much about each other as possible and then he would share it with the class.

Joe took his card and set out to play the game. It happened Joe found his cards match in the woman’s hands that lead him to his new class. They talked……”small talk”……they shared a few uninteresting facts. There names……….Joe ~ Sharonda
There ages……….30 ~ 28………Where do you live……..?…….What brings you to this class…….?……..

Then the big question came……..

Sharonda asked…………..”What’s with that big scare on your head?”

“What happened to you?”

Joe tells her………..what he knew………She listens and then says………..




“That was you???????????????”

“I am the one that stayed with you that night………I am the one that called the police…..I am the one……….I thought you died……..Oh! That was you? I almost didn’t stop…….If it was not for the church light shinning on you that night……I wouldn’t have stopped…….I can’t believe that was you?”


Sharonda came to the Mothers Day party ……..Then it was Karen’s turn to ask the questions……….

Sharonda told us all about that night…..The Church Light……and the dark, long, country road.

Sharonda told us as she was driving home from work that night. She saw a light in the sky…..spinning……she thought it may be a license check. So she fasten her set belt…….she told us how she hates set belts and never wears them………and she also said, she slowed down. (This part was very important because as she told us; this road………the road Joe was on…….. was one of those roads that you “drive straight on and people don’t stop for nothen.” “They don’t care if there is a dog in the road or whatever. They hit it and keep on go-en.”)

She said as she approached the light, she saw a man and a bike in the middle of the road………..But the thing that got her attention was not the man lying beside the bike. It was the light from the church shinning on the man. She said she “was scared”…….because she doesn’t trust people……She said, she didn’t know if the accident was staged and the man would grab her when she got out …….. Or what would happen….……She told us, she “was scared for her life”.

…..She told us, she has been in and out of foster homes most of her life…..she told us her mother tried to kill her when she was just 12 years old and ……she told us about the beatings her mother gave her..….. She told us, she had to fight her way through…….
most of her life………. She said if it was not for the church light that was shinning on Joe…..showing him plainly, she would have just kept going. But the church light bothered her……the church light showed he was bleeding on the side of his face…..she said she saw a “white” man in a “white” truck drive….look……and drive past…….(maybe he was going for help………we just don’t know….)

Sharonda said she tried to call the police on her cell phone……….but her phone had one bar on it and “out there you can’t get good reception.” So she drove in a panic to the nearest gas station, called the police……..”gave as little information as quick as she could” and raced back to the man in the road and the church light.………hoping, praying….. NO ONE else would race down that dark country road too….

She made it………

She stayed with Joe until the police came…..until the ambulance came….until the crowds came…….she said she heard a woman crying saying “that’s my son”……”my son is dead”……..”that’s my brother”….” my brother is dead”…….”that’s husband”…..

She said she had to stay at the the scene because the police questioned her about what she saw….she said they checked under her hood to see if she hit him…….She didn’t……..They thought he must have hit the sign….after all the night was rainy, fogy and dark…He didn’t………..they checked for deer prints…there was nothing.….They thought maybe he slipped on the straw on the side of the road……he didn’t …..The police said many things…….

But nothing seemed to fit…..

Nothing seemed to fit until Sharonda told us more about what had happened..…….She felt; Joe could not have slipped on the straw…..the bike was to far away from the straw…….Joe could not have hit the sign. The sign had no damage to it. There was no damage to her car or his bike ……. …..Sharonda felt he slipped on the road……..There were heavy rains, heavy fog and visibility was tough that night………Sharonda said he slipped and hit his head on the yellow reflector in the road……….

She told us she tried to find the man in the road the next day. She said she went to the local hospital but they did not have any information on him…..She thought he had died.

The images of the church light shinning on the man in the road haunted her. They haunted her so much she could not travel down that road and……..after the accident she couldn’t sleep for days. She said she still has difficulty traveling that way……so much so……..she moved.

Little did she know Joe was transferred to Chapel Hill…….Little did she know he was in a fight for his life…….little did she know……… He made it. Little did she know she would be sitting on his front porch celebrating this fact with his family and friends.

All because of the church light…….because she was kind enough to stop…..little did she know……She was his angel that night…….seems to me they both may have been saved by the church light……

Joe has learned a lot this year….he has learned he is a fighter…and he has learned he is not afraid of school and he has learned …the body can take many things…..He has also learned….you never know where your friends will come from….. Maybe Sharonda will learn to trust and learn about faith and family…..I know she has found a life long friend in Joe.

I can’t help but wonder………..what will come from all this? I hope only good things……..For both of them.