Sunday, October 31, 2010

Adopt a Rhizo Kid

We are starting a new promotion for Rhizo Kids this Christmas. There are many Rhizo Kids whose families do not get much assitance in the things their children need. There are many toys and devices our Rhizo Kids would benefit from that we simply can't afford to buy when we are having to buy the expensive necessities for their health. This Christmas we are making a wish list and asking for people to volunteer to "adopt a rhizo kid" for Christmas. some of the items on our wish lists are rather expensive. In this case I am going to assign several families to one child. So...if your family and extended family and friends would like to adopt a rhizo kid together so you can buy more we would encourage you to do so. We have 11 Rhizo Kids who want to be adopted for Christmas. The children are: Callie Aspley, Abbie Carson, Ethan Holladay, Marlee Bedford, Alex Vodenik, Jordyn Cirner, Jake Cirner, Cale, Hayden, Corey Johnson, and Jackson Thomas. If there is one certain Rhizo family you have become attached to and you'd like to adopt them just let me know. If you just want to help a child out in general I will assign you a child. Please email me a list of who all will help you if you will be doing this in a group so I can make sure and assign the children appropriately. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated from our Rhizo Family. This is a project you can participate in no matter where you live. It's a great opportunity to teach your children about helping others and to teach them about caring for others by giving some of their Christmas to a child who has so many special needs. Email me at if you'd like to help out with this project.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We survived...

Well, we made it through the one year anniversary of our sweet little boy leaving our arms for Jesus and we made it through Ian's 2nd birthday celebration in Heaven. We slid through another "mile marker" people had warned us about and I'm going to be honest with you. The advice that comes from most people is plain ole' pooey!!!

Yes, we have now "celebrated" every holiday and every occasion without Ian. "Supposedly" after the 1st's of the 1st year it's smooth sailing. Well.......I'm pretty sure if you ask a mom or dad who has lost their child if any birthday without their child was any easier they'd say no. I'm pretty sure they'd say they were thinking about all the children who were celebrating their 3rd birthday (or whatever birthday it was) and wishing their child too was having that Elmo party like "normal" families. People say the 2nd Thanksgiving and the 2nd Christmas will be much easier to make it through. In my eyes it's yet another holiday Wae and I are "celebrating" without Ian there by our sides. The bottom line is our lives are different than most and we now have to learn to "live" through these occasions without Ian. So...onward we march to Thanksgiving and Christmas with our hearts focusing on our blessings as best we know how.

Wae and I took a trip over the week of Ian's passing and his birthday and it was a nice getaway. It was nice to not be in our house where so much took place, happy and sad, over the past 3 years. We were able to do some fun things that we hadn't experienced before and try to have some fun just the two of us. I always seem to feel so "guilty" to have fun or laugh these days! We went to a "monkey island" and fed monkeys bananas out of our hands. It was a true adventure and it was something done in memory of Ian since he loved monkeys so :)

Well, I'd better go get to cleaning my house. My best friend Lindsey is so very close to having her little boy (in a few days) and I want my house to be in order so I can be around to spoil the new little fella' in our lives. Oh how I love a newborn baby!!! His name is going to be Cohen Jeremy Bryant and I'm sure he's going to be one of the cutest little guys I've ever met...


Monday, October 4, 2010

The dreaded week...

One year ago this week our sweet Ian ran to the open arms of his maker. One year ago this week our only child quit breathing as he laid on my chest. One year ago this week my world, my life, my whole being was ripped apart.It seems like a lifetime ago but at the same moment it seems like it only happened yesterday. The tears are flowing this week as this mama's heart is aching for her little boy to be in her arms just one more time...

For the obvious reasons I have dreaded this week for the past year. I have realized one reason I have dreaded this week is that in my eyes many people think..."It has been a year since her little boy passed away. She is better now. She should be fine." I personally thought that after one year without Ian I would be much better. The pain doesn't go away. The pain hasn't lessened and the bitterness is still lingering. The hurt is far too deep to simply be healed by a year's time. It's a hurt that can only be mended by THE Father's hands and I am thankful I KNOW he is faithful!

I am remembering every second of last year this time and that is what is so painful this week. I am remembering every hospice visit, every visitor coming to say their final good-byes to Ian, our final good-byes to Ian, Ian's friends final good-byes on that precious Wednesday night, Ms.Kim sharing a frosty with Ian and waking him up for his final time, riding the golf-cart in hopes of waking Ian, and so many memories that I simply can't share on here. I am thankful to have these memories with Ian but at the same time these memories are far too much to bear.

My heart is heavy but thankful that I was able to experience two years of wonderful rather than a lifetime of heart is broken but hopeful for the heart is grieving but rejoicing because I WILL spend eternity with my little boy Ian with no timeframe on our time together! I am so thankful I believe in Jesus Christ and the hope of Heaven! I am so thankful my thoughts are that my little boy is in Heaven healed and whole playing on the streets of gold with his Paw Paw's and other loved ones. I don't know how I could survive the loss of Ian without the hope of Heaven! I am so thankful I was raised in the home I was raised in and taught the morals and values I was taught. Because let me tell ya'...if I wouldn't have been raised the way I was and had a strong faith there is no telling where I'd be after this life experience. I love you mama and daddy and I'm so thankful for the Christian values you instilled in me!!! God was preparing me to be Ian's mommy long before I even knew I would ever be a mommy.

I am asking for serious prayer this week. I am asking for prayer to just make it through the day each day. It's one of those times when the words just won't come but I know God hears my cries and knows what I need. So thankful He is faithful and won't leave us when we're at our worst.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

The season of grief...

When God created the world he specifically created it with four seasons in every year. As the world goes round and life continues to exist we will be faced with each season every year. This is a simple fact. It is a fact I have tried to avoid since last fall when our sweet little Ian flew to the arms of Jesus. My grieving heart has wanted to avoid the season of fall as I was all too aware of the emotions it would bring to me. It is a fact that the season of fall is upon us now. The season of fall, which used to be my favorite season of the year, has crept back into my life with the very vivid and heartwrenching memories of Ian's last days with his mommy and daddy on earth. The late afternoon coolness reminds me daily of our golf-cart rides together. The early morning crispness reminds me of me walking outside with Ian holding him and singing amazing grace. The weekend football games remind me of his first auburn football game we took him to in Auburn with his MimE and PapE and his girlfriend Ella Kathryn. I actually tend to forget as I watch football that Ian isn't just at his Pops and Nonnie's house watching the game like he did many weekends. I easily think he is coming home to me after the game is over and then I am jolted back to the reality of my life...he is with Jesus.

Needless to say...the days are hard right now. In less than a month it will be the one year anniversary of the worst day of my life. It will be the anniversary of the day a large portion of my heart was carried to heaven with my one and only child. It is the anniversary of the day my world was turned upside down and inside out. The day when I started living life in "the club" with grieving parents. The day I ceased to care about many mundane things in this world. It will be the day I will remember as the worst day of my life forever.

On a better note...I am still loving my job. I am thankful God placed me at a school with loving and caring teachers and administration. I am thankful for the thoughtful and caring parents of the children in my class. I am thankful for my very own Junie B. Jones who tells me 10 times a day "I just love you Ms.Mary" I am thankful to have a job I love where I can pour my heart and soul into it and see the appreciation on 20 sweet little faces. I am thankful to feel loved by 20 children even though I can't feel the love from my sweet Ian anymore.

The next few weeks are going to be incredibly hard for our family. I am asking you to flood the gates of heaven with prayers for strength and understanding. I am asking for prayers of peace in a time of such turmoil.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Whew...I'm tired!

So, yes...I did go back to work LAST week and no I have not updated since I joined the workforce again. Let me tell ya'...I am wore out!!! I remember the first month of school always being so tiring when I used to work before having Ian. I guess being off for 3 years has spoiled me?!? Now, now...when I was Ian's stay at home mommy I had my fair share of "mommy duties" to do. I was working 24/7 and running on no sleep. That was exhausting. So...maybe it was these last 10 months without Ian and me being at home all by my lonesome is what spoiled me?!? I wouldn't say I am "spoiled" because I am living without Ian. It is right the opposite but you know what I mean?!? I have been able to sleep as late as I want, shop whenever I wanted, eat out lunch with Wae anyday I pleased, and be a total bum for the last 10 months. I have been grieving every second of every day but I was able to be a bum while I grieved at my own pace.'s a different story.

Job's great! I have a really sweet class. We are getting to know each other and we are adjusting just fine to one another. There is one little girl though who reminds me of Junie B. Jones for those teachers of you out there. You know how Junie B. calls her teacher Mrs. because she just likes Mrs. Well...I have a little girl who just calls me "teacher" and will not call me Ms.Mary. It is hilarious!!! She'll say "Teacher, teacher" and I'll say..."I don't see anyone named teacher in this room but I do know a teacher in here named Ms.Mary" 1st grade is a totally different world from 2nd grade. Whew...maybe that's why I'm so tired. They are so little and they are really still babies. I am having to adjust to that real quick...they can't tie their shoes, they can't open their ketchup, they can't really read yet, and a straight line...oh don't even get me started on a straight line. I'm not sure if they even know what a line is. LOL I can't even begin to imagine teaching Kindergarten!!! Hats off to all Kindergarten teachers out're my heroes!!!

I have had many people asking about Team Ian's Extravaganza. We will be continuing Team Ian's Extravaganza because RCDP is still a dreadful, life-sucking condition that we haven't cured it. Until it is no longer in existence we will have Team Ian's Extravaganza. However, we will be moving the extravaganza to the spring. I can't pull it off this October. It will be too hard seeing that I have just started a new job and as the days draw closer to October 9th my heart breaks a little more each day. The dreaded day of one year since Ian danced on the streets of gold. Gut-wrenching for this momma's heart...I am thinking we will have the extravaganza in April...I know, I know what you're thinking "April showers bring May showers" That's what everyone said when we set our wedding date but guess what?!? It was gorgeous. I mean's a 50/50 chance every day so we'll just roll the dice on this one. I think March is too cold and May is the end of school and crazy. So...April it is. I haven't decided the exact date yet. I will soon though. If you have any suggestions on dates please let me know so I don't interfere with any community or school activities. I want this to be the largest Team Ian's Extravaganza EVER!!! We are going to win this fight against RCDP one day...we just have to in Ian's memory!!! If you have any new suggestions or are wanting to volunteer already for a certain thing before it gets taken by another group you can email me at or at

I hope you are all doing great and I'll try to update again real soon.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Getting excited...

Tomorrow is the big day. My first day as a 1st grade teacher and I am getting so excited. I worked three days last week for teacher inservice days and I was able to get to know the teachers I will be working with. They were so helpful and that really helped me to get excited about going back to work.

We had meet your teacher night Thursday and I was able to meet all the kids and parents. I think I have a great class and I think this is going to be a turning point in our lives. Yay...feeling hopeful tonight and it feels good!

I have made cupcakes for my kids to welcome them back to school. I've prepared fun activities for the first day and I've got my lunch packed and ready to go. Their welcome to school activities are ready for them on their desks and newly sharpened pencils ready to go. A small part of me feels like what life used to be like. Maybe the good will finally start outweighing the bad in our life. We will forever have the cloud of sadness in our lives but I am hoping the cloud will get further and further from the focus of my every thought.

Tomorrow will be 10 months since Ian went to LIVE with Jesus. It has been 10 months of happiness for Ian. I can't even begin to imagine how awesome it would be to be living free of sickness and pain and to be healthy and whole. I know our little boy is completely perfect in the prescence of his Almighty Father and for that...I AM grateful! I miss you Ian Ellis but remember...I'll see you again one day and oh what a day that will be!!! Until then I'm sending hugs and kisses your way...

I tried to post pics of my classroom but it wouldn't work. They are on my facebook page though. Sorry...


Monday, August 2, 2010

Another first...

This week is the week I go back to work for the first time in almost 3 years. The emotions I am experiencing are overwhelming me. I never knew it would be this hard to go back to teaching. I have longed to be in the classroom since the day I realized I wouldn't have the option because I would have to care for Ian. I remember each year when school started back and I sat here with Ian I would just cry and cry because I wasn't back at school with all my friends doing what I love. I would quickly remind myself of how happy I was to be home another year with my precious Ian and those thoughts of missing school went away as quickly as they came.

I think I know why I am so upset about returning to work. In my mind this marks a new point in my life. The day school starts with the kids will be exactly 10 months since Ian went to live with week from today. I think in most people's eyes they think I will return to the old Mary when this happens. I think people all think it will just take me going back to work to return to life as Wae and I once knew it. I think in most people's eyes they think things will start falling into place like Wae and I being able to have a baby for example. I don't think there is any possible way that I can return to the old Mary at any point in this life. Ian IS our little boy and we live every day without him. The cold hard truth is that as you sit there reading this possibly holding your baby I will never have that chance again with Ian. I can't feel him holding my finger, I can't snuggle with him on the couch, and I can't rock him to sleep ever again. That pain will never go away. It is here to stay I'm afraid. But...I have to learn to find some kind of happiness in this life we have now. I hope and pray teaching is the first step at a glimmer of happiness.

There was a lady at church yesterday who just lost someone very dear to her heart 6 months ago. She said to me..."Mary it doesn't get easier does it?" I say..."No mam it doesn't get easier. If anything it gets harder." She says..."People say it gets easier." I say..."People lie! They are trying to make you feel better and they have no clue what they are talking about. I'm not going to sugarcoat it...It doesn't ever get easier!!!" It's the truth...the fact of the matter is when you love someone they are still a part of your life. Just because they are gone in body doesn't mean you can forget them and live your life the way you did before you knew them.

My heart's desire is obviously to be a mommy again. I don't know God's plan and I don't know why he isn't asnwering this prayer. I do know that his plan is greater than my plan and that he's got this! I pray every month that if it's not the month for a healhty child that I don't want to get pregnant. My prayer every day is for a healthy child or for a healthy herd of children. Please join me in this prayer...I don't want a child to replace Ian you all know that. I just want to be a mommy again...more than anything!

I am going to go back to work on Wednesday this week. I am going to go in with a positive attitude and with every hope that this will bring some happiness back into our lives. I am going to fall in love with all 18 of my kids and give them 110%. I AM going to be a teacher again. The option of me being Ian's mommy another year is gone now and it is time for me to find another purpose in this life. I know God is working in my life with where He has placed me for my first year back at teaching and with every person I will come in contact with. I know he has strategically placed people along this path who I will need and I'm ready to follow the path he has laid before me. Please flood the gates of Heaven this week and next for me to have the strength I so desperately need in order to follow this new path. Please pray I can find the good in every situation when many times I can only see the negative.

I added some pics of Ian from last August. What a cute little man!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I have no words...

I know it has been forever since I updated. I have tried time and time again but I have no words. I have been trying to keep myself busy so I don't focus on the sadness that still resides in my soul. I am convinced at this point in my life that I will forever have a piece of my heart missing and that I will simply have to live without that portion of my heart and soul. It's hard and I'm trying my hardest to find happiness but I am losing hope.

I did take sunflower pictures and I loved it!!! I had the time of my life playing with the kids and seeing all the families who wanted their pics made with Ian's sweet flowers. I am now finished with pictures, editing, and ordering and was more work than I anticipated. It was joyful work though and I loved being in the beautiful sunflower field each day.

I have been in my classroom a lot this summer. I have worked and worked trying to create a class where the kids want to be every day. I forgot how much I loved being a teacher until I started preparing for the kids. This is my last full week of summer and it is kind of bittersweet. I have been at home for such a long time I don't remember what it is like to work a full-time job. Better yet...Wae doesn't remember what it is like for his wife to work a full-time job. LOL!!! We will adjust and I am sure it will be good for me to keep my mind busy and try to find a new purpose. I have my class list and that always makes it seem like school is about to start. I am going to take pictures this week and let you all see how the room turned out. I even had Ian painted on the wall outside my door. I have a tree and there is a swing hanging from it. There is a little boy swinging on that swing and from the looks of it I'd say he's the most handsome little boy I've ever seen painted on a wall. :)

I posted some pics of the sunflower pics so you could see how cute they turned out. I've had a few people trying to talk me into cotton pics, halloween pics, and Santa pics now. Whew...we'll have to see how the school year is going :) I do love it though and it is a hobby that I love possibly as much as shopping, chocolate, and coke. Now that let's you know how much I enjoy it. LOL!!!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More firsts without our precious Ian...

I knew Wae and I would be exhausted after the Rhizo Kids conference so we planned a vacation to the beach for the week after. We went to a friends condo in Panama City and it was so nice to get away. Of course we were worried about the oil spill but there was no oil in Panama City. It was as beautiful as ever.

I knew it would be another first I wasn't quite ready to face without Ian, but it was a first we would have to face at some point in time. Well, I guess we could just never go to the beach again but I love the beach so we had to hit this one head on. We did not go back to Destin or SanDestin though which is where we always went with Ian. We did change up our location so that the memories wouldn't be quite so fresh.

We had a great time and enjoyed ourselves so much. We went with Jason and Heather (our friends who we went to Disney World with at Christmas)and had a relaxing time away full of nothing but sun and eating out. My kind of vacation. There were many times though when the wave of sadness would hit me like a sack of bricks and I would have to fight it off once again. I would remember Ian "dancing" in his bouncy seat on the beach or being snuggled up by me on my lounge chair. I'd jump in the pool and feel lost to not have my little boy there to play with.

Some people think "Wow...a trip to the beach without our kids. Best trip ever!!!" When you are a parent who loses their child and you go the beach without your child it is definitely not the best trip ever. I had the preconceived idea it would be nice to have no worries but I'd give everything I had to be preoccupied at the beach with the duties of being a mom. My arms were empty once again and once again it was not my cup of tea. There have been so many moments lately that my arms physically ache for Ian. At times it as though I can feel him with me when times are the hardest and it takes me back.

We did have a good time though with much laughter and fun. There were some moments of sadness but there were also many moments of happiness with out friends. I'm posting some pics from our trip so you can see the beach really still is beautiful...

SUNFLOWERS...When we arrived home yesterday we were greeted by sunflowers in our Ian sunflower garden. Yay!!! He was smiling at me when I got home and I loved it. Smiling at me through a flower, but still he was smiling at me. Wae also planted fields and fields of sunflowers across from our home. They are blooming and I am going to take pictures there. You all know photography has become a hobby of mine and you know just how many pictures I take. : ) I am going to do something I've never done before...I'm going to take appointments to take pictures. You I actually know what I'm doing here. Hahaha...I've had many friends say they want family pictures so I'm going to take family pics, pics of just couples, and pics of kids. I'm going to take pics of everyone who wants them. I have found a company I am using to develop my pics and I think they are going to be great. I ordered my first set last night. I'm coming up with a sunflower package and they will definitely be affordable. I'm also going to give you the option of buying the disk with all the pictures on it for you to print what you want on your own. If you are interested email because I'm going to start making a schedule. I'm thinking the sunflowers are ready now and I think I may take some pictures towards the end of this week and some all next week. I'm new at this and I'm headed to the fields today to check them out. Just email me at and I'll make you an appointment. I soooo am not a pro at this but never will be if you don't try, right?!? I so enjoy pictures so I think this will be a blast for me.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rhizo Kids Conference

Whew...after four days with families who have children with RCDP and doctors, researchers, and dieticians discussing RCDP 24/7 I am wore out!!! The Rhizo Kids conference was this weekend at Chesnut Bay Resort in Leesburg, AL. There were nine families who attended from places such as California, Texas, Ohio, Canada, Tennesee, South Carolina, etc. There were 9 doctors from around the world...Vienna Austria, Canada, Johns Hopkins, and Kennedy Krieger, etc. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it.

You all know I had been kicking around the idea of "quitting" Rhizo Kids. After this weekend with all the families I love and all the kids who are just like our sweet Ian I just can't give up on them. I am exhausted and yes this drains me physically, emotionally, and mentally but I just can't give up on these kids. Ian was a child with RCDP and I did start Rhizo Kids to save Ian. I realize our child has already met Jesus but I also know that RCDP and Rhizo Kids will be a part of our lives forever.

So I know the burning question is "How did the conference go?"...Well...there was one particular moment I wanted to give a doctor a piece of my mind about protocols and procedures they expect us to follow. These protocols they want us to wait on can take years, decades even, and they don't seem to remember our kids are passing away before there "protocols" are met. One child in particular...Ian. Get with it!!!

However, there was this one doctor who spoke. He creates drugs and gets them approved for diseases/disorders. AND...we love him!!! He has this drug he has been working on for Alzheimer's patients. He has been testing it on rabbits and this week he begins testing this drug on mice effected with RCDP. Apparently a person with Alzheimer's has a deficiency in plasmalogenes which is the whole problem with RCDP children. This drug PPI-1011 replinishes the plasmalogenes and the drug also has DHA attached to the drug which will help our kids all the way around. Obviously this drug will not make the kids bones grow but it would be a treatment option that would replace the plasmalogenes they are missing. This should improve brain function, eye sight, etc. To my understanding our kids would be the "test" to see if there are side effects on humans. :) There has been no effects on the animals and it contains natural occuring ingredients. The approval process and final expenses will come to a whopping $7 million to $15 million. If this gets approved for Alzheimer's patients he will let the RCDP children receive the drug for free (I think) When asked when this would be available for the Rhizo Kids the response was the end of next year. So...maybe a treatment in the next 1 1/2 years for our kids. Maybe this is our miracle!!! Pray for this doctor...His name is Paul Wood and his drug is PPI-1011. I believe in miracles and I believe in answered prayers. I know we weren't able to save Ian but think about the children who would be saved if this works.

Thanks...I can't say thank you enough. I am probably going to leave someone out but thank you Cherokee County and Tracey's crew from Sylacauga for donating so much to pull this conference off. We had plenty of drinks so thank you for donating. We had plenty of snacks so thank you for donating that as well. We had three different groups to volunteer to bring dinner each night and it was awesome...our close group of friends brought dinner Thursday night, A precious family who loves Ian more than anything brought us steaks on Friday night along with sunflowers from their "Ian garden", and our very supportive sunday school brought dinner Saturday night and even cooked in the rain. We had family and friends volunteer to babysit Rhizo Kids and healthy kids and they provided a fun time for all the kids there. My dad and Wae drove boats and Jet Skis all weekend and the kids had the time of their lives on the intertubes. Many said..."This was the best day of my life." My grandmother and mom spent the whole weekend cutting up fruit and providing lunches and snacks to all the families. They cleaned up and organized and reorganized over and over again. My brother and Kyla brought Owen and were available for all the extra errands I needed met. Wae's mom and dad and his sister and brother in law Andrea and Shane helped with dinner on Thursday night as well and they helped provide food for some meals. Tony's meats gave us pork chops at a discouted price, Subway gave us a great deal for our lunch as well as Dominoe's pizza and Chesnut Bay resort was very helpful with everything we needed. This conference could not have happened without the support of our family and friends and our awesome community.

I am tired and after a four hour nap today I am headed to bed still exhausted. I am very hopeful something positive will come from this conference if not just the support of each family to one another. It was wonderful to see all the Rhizo Kids families and it's looking like we will have another conference next year. I love you Rhizo families and I pray for the best for your precious children. I miss Ian even more today after being surrounded by so many children who remind me of his preciousness. Prayers are needed... You can view a video of the conference at this link on youtube. Enjoy...


Friday, June 18, 2010

Good Morning!

Update on our sweet dog is his heart. Boo! We took him back to the doctor and his lungs were no better. He has a heart murmur due to old age. He will have to take a diuretic every day and during the hot summer months he will have to live inside because he can't breathe good outside. Man...I just really don't want an inside dog! But we will have one now because we love us some Shug and don't want anything to happen to him. He is precious!

I've been a wild woman. I have been working in my classroom every day it seems. I am almost finished though and I love it. I think it's the cutest classroom I've had so far. A very talented lady from our community painted me a mural on the outside of my door and one on the inside where it is our reading area. I will have to take pictures and let you see what it looks like.

Rhizo, next week this time there will be 10 Rhizo Kids families from around the world here in Centre, AL. All of the hard work is finally coming together and going to result in an international conference in Centre, AL and it is going to be pulled off by two mommas fighting for their kids lives. One of the mommas AKA me...has already lost her child's life to RCDP but the other momma still has her inspiration. We encourage the doctors to rush, rush, rush, because our children can't wait. We cannot keep losing our children to RCDP!!!

I think things are together. I am such a procrastinator that I just can't stress about it until next week. Weird, huh?!? I'm sure there are many lose ends to be tied and many errands to be run but I'm just waiting. Oh me...I hope it all comes together. There will be 10 Rhizo Kids families and 8 doctors/researchers/nutritionist here fighting for our kids lives. My prayer is that God guides my tongue and I don't lash out at the doctors because they didn't find the cure quick enough for Ian. Please join me in this prayer because I seriously can see me saying things that simply aren't necessary out of anger and hurt.

Sunday is Father's Day...another first around our house that I don't look forward to. Men are so different from women though. I admitted how hard Mother's Day was for me and I was in a pit for days if not weeks before Mother's Day. Wae doesn't seem to think it will be hard but I know men try to be tough no matter the circumstances. I can't wait until he is the daddy of a wild healthy "herd" of children running around our house with Shug tagging along behind. I know he will be the best dad who doesn't take a single second for granted and I know he will love our kids more than anything in the world. I can't wait until the day God decides to bless us with healthy children.

Well, I better go. I have a lot of Rhizo Kids errands to run that have come to my attention as I have been typing this post. Ugh...I didn't write any of them down so you better bet I've already forgotten the majority of the errands. Maybe my memory will come back and I'll accomplish something today for Rhizo Kids. I hope you all have a blessed weekend and my prayer for you on Father's Day is that you know just how blessed you are to be a father. Don't take it for granted...


Friday, June 11, 2010

Good morning!

Just a quick update this morning. Geez...our house is a zoo. You know I told you guys Wae wanted Shug back inside because we thought he was going deaf. Well...took him to doc and he has fluid in his lungs. Can we say dejavu'??? The doctor gave him meds for kennel cough and said he didn't know if it was kennel cough or heart failure. Really?!? I vividly remember a conversation with Ian's docs much like the conversation with the vet. Really?!? WEIRD!!! He is eating it up and loving every second of being inside. He remembers all the old ways and is rubbing it in Miley's face that she's outside. So mean...

I have had many people ask me to tell them when I am going to speak at Celebrate Recovery. is tonight. I'm not good at telling people when I speak because I just feel weird about telling everyone but there have been many people who wanted to know about this engagement so it will be tonight. The music at CR starts at 6:15 and then I speak.

Rhizo Kids Conference Needs:

***Cases of water...cases of water...cases of water... We had someone donate 21 packs of 24 packs last week of soft drinks so we have that area covered. We only have 4 cases of water though. So...if you were wanting to do something to do help Rhizo Kids water would be a great way.

***A video taping pro??? The doctors would like to have the Rhizo Kids conference videotaped and I am simply swamped and can't imagine taping the conference. As a matter of fact I just really don't know how to set up the camera on a tripod and do all that it involves. We would also love, love, love it if the video expert would be able to burn DVD's for each family and doctor to take home Sunday. Rhizo Kids will buy the supplies to burn the DVD's I just someone to tell me what to do and what to buy.

Thanks for your help guys. You are always so faithful to help Rhizo Kids. I hate having to ask for help so much but it takes a lot to pull this off and I'm not sure if we are going to pull it off. LOL...I've procrastinated bad!

Going to give Shug his meds and hope he quits this coughing. Geez...he's just a dog Mary! He's just a dog!!!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Disappointing people and disappointing God...

I have really been thinking about disappointment lately. Not disappointment about where my life is going now but about disappointing other people. About how many of us would work ourselves to the bone before we didn't do something for someone who needed us. About how we will stay up day in and day out to complete projects for other people because we enjoy doing them but also because we don't want to disappoint the person. We agonize over details in our lives because we wouldn't want to "disappoint" someone who counted on us.

I have been "thinking" (key word here is "thinking") about backing off on Rhizo Kids. I have entertained the notion of handing the reigns over to someone else and me taking this stressor out of my life for awhile. I have agonized and relentlessly tried to work out every detail of what could happen to Rhizo Kids if I "quit." I have struggled over the fact of how many people would be disappointed if they didn't have a new Team Ian shirt to wear each year. (some of you may just be glad to not buy one LOL) I have struggled over the fact that I started this for find him that cure or treatment to help him and am I really going to "quit" on Ian. I know Ian is LIVING in Heaven now but in my eyes everything that is done for Rhizo Kids is in loving memory of our precious Ian and when that cure is found because of what we all started I do want it to be in loving memory of Ian. I don't want anyone to think I am a quitter and the last thing I ever want is to disappoint someone. I was crushed when I discussed this option with people and they were not ready for me to quit because they too weren't ready to give up on Ian's cure even though he is no longer with us. I could hear the disappointment in their voices and I can't stand to disappoint someone. we care this much if we disappoint God? Do we even just "entertain" notions or do we jump in head first without even asking Him for His opinion. Do we care what God thinks when we only read our bibles on Sundays at church or when we never pray and seek His guidance in our lives. Do we care if we disappoint God by the choices we choose each day or when we put so many things before Him? Do we care if we disappoint God before we don't go to church because we make up yet another excuse? (It's so easy for me to want to sleep in on Sunday and have the whole day to just Wae and I) Do we care if we disappoint God by "quitting" on him the way I have thought of "quitting" on Rhizo know just slacking off a bit on God. Not reading my bible quite as much, not praying every day, not going to church every opportunity we have, and not trying to win souls to Christ. Wow...I really haven't ever thought about "disappointing" God! I bet he has been very disappointed in some choices I have made and how I have chosen to spend my life many days preoccupied by the things of this world.

Soooo...I say let's start becoming conscious of our decisions and let's think about whether or not God is proud of us or if he is disappointed in some of the decisions we make. We always worry about what other people will think about us and I think it's time to think about what God thinks.

A little side classroom is awesome!!! We painted it already...3 walls blue and 1 wall yellow. My "theme" is bees. I always have to have a "theme." Mine used to be monkeys and safari but after Ian's love for monkeys I just couldn't go there. We have "The Math Buzz" for my math meeting board, "The Reading Hive" for our classroom library, "Buzz Words" for our word wall, and many more things that need to have a title. If you are creative with this send your ideas about bees and beehives. We're going to paint a big beehive in my room at the "The Reading Hive" and there will be painted bees around it too. So cute!!! I'm thinking..."BEE autiful work" for the student's work displays, "Buzzing with good behavior" for the behavior chart, etc... I am really excited about getting back to teaching and can't wait to meet the kids.

Another side note...our "baby" before Ian was born was our cocker spaniel Shug. Wae got him for me my sophomore year of college. He lived in the house until Ian was born and then he was kicked out. So sad... :) Well, Wae has been wanting to get him back inside for quite some time now and last night he wouldn't take no for an answer. He used the ole'..."I'm afraid he's losing his hearing and I don't want him to get run over" Well...I can't stand the thought of Shug dying too so guess who is back inside after three years of outside?!? SHUG... This is going to take some getting used to. I think he'd rather be outside and right now I'm riding the fence on this decision. He really is the BEST dog ever so I guess we'll just roll with it. Well I better go find Shug something to chew on before he finds the door frames.

See ya'.......

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Direction...

Well...last week after I updated I met with the Superintendent of Education for Cherokee County.I got my new job placement for next year. I will be a 1st grade teacher at Sand Rock. This isn't the school I was at before Ian so I think God is sending me in a new direction now. I have been there working and painting my classroom and I haven't met one person yet who isn't nice. I mean everyone is overly nice and very welcoming. It makes going to a new school so much easier. And on the plus side I am real good friends with the principal's wife. So...I already knew the principal really well and that relieves a lot of stress to know the boss.

I've heard time and time again from people that they think this is a blessing. You know...I had my normal before Ian was born which was at CES. I had dreams for my future with our healthy kids and so on and so on. Those plans I once had were all shattered the day Ian was born. Now it's like God is giving me a new normal after Ian. I remember what it was like to prepare my classroom and work before Ian was born and I know what it feels like now. It's so different. I told Wae that from the outside looking in our life is "normal" to people now. Just like it was when I taught at CES. I thought things would feel the same but it is so different. I am still a teacher at heart. I loved my job and I cannot wait to jump back in head first. However, there is nothing about me that is the same as before. I have had a total body, soul, and mind makeover. Many things are better, some parts are still broken, and many parts are still healing. I believe God has placed me at this school, in this grade for a time such as this. I know HE is up to something and that he has great plans for my life. I know He sees the big picture and I can't wait to get a glimpse at his plan.

Reminder...Pottery Party this Saturday at Wae's office in Ellisville. This is where we do handprints and footprints of your children and place them on pottery...plates, cookies jars, canister sets, holiday plates et. We turn them into anything you want. If you want to schedule an appointment for "Precious Pottery" please email me and I'll let you know what times are available. For those of you from Centre this is with Deanna Patterson and Amanda Harkins. It makes great Christmas presents and it is one of my most valuable treasures of my time with Ian.

2nd Reminder...Rhizo Kids Conference is almost here. Aagh!!! What was I thinking planning this. I have way too much going on!!! We need drinks. We have 50 people to feed and provide everything for for 3 days and we don't have enough. We need soft drinks, water, drinks for kids, juices for breakfast, etc. We don't have much at all. We could also use little debbies and packs of cookies for the families to snack on during the days. We can use homemade desserts too for our meals and visiting times. If you want to make desserts you can plan on delivering them to Cotton States Insurance on Thursday, June 24th before 12 pm. I will be leaving for Chesnut Bay at 12 and will need to deliver all desserts, drinks, and food to the rented cabins we have. Please help Rhizo Kids with this. You can buy drinks and drop them off at Cotton States Insurance between 9 and 4. Deadline for drink delivery is Wednesday June 23 at 12 pm. Thanks for all you guys do to support Rhizo Kids. I just know this is going to be a blessed meeting with many new discoveries for the Rhizo Kids. You can email me at with questions or for volunteering to help with conference.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Conscious Effort...

I know...I know...I'm in trouble aren't I??? It's been quite awhile since I updated Ian's Reason. Not sure what I've been doing but I sure haven't been on here. I have been working, selling Rhizo Kids shirts, painting pottery,planting lots and lots of flowers, and patiently awaiting the news of my teaching position for next year. So...My mind has been elsewhere.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to someone about "Happiness." We were talking about when people go through trials and hard times in life and they turn into mush. You know just a big ole' pile of unhappiness. Come on know those people! They are always gripping and complaining about something and a lot of times blaming their troubles on someone else. They are in a pit of despair, often times blaming God for the unhappiness in their lives and they aren't working real hard at finding happiness again.

This person said something that has stuck with me. She said..."But Mary look at what you have been through. You quit your job, you took care of a sick child 24/7 for 2 years, and then your child died. How are you happy? You go on with your life and you make a CONSCIOUS EFFORT to be happy." My answer was..."The difference is my faith in Jesus Christ! I rely on him every day of my life to make it just one more day and to not live a life full of bitterness" After she said that to me about making a CONSCIOUS EFFORT to be happy I started thinking. You know I think that is the answer to my prayers for making it just one more day. God helps me to make a CONSCIOUS EFFORT to have a good day. He pushes me through one more day with possibly a little bit more of a smile in my soul than I had the day before.

Isn't that awesome?!? I can't imagine going through hardships and trials in this life and not having the faith I have. I would end up being a miserable and depressed person for the remainder of my life. I would be mad, depressed, sad, complaining, and just a plain ole' slug for the rest of my life. Don't get me wrong...there are many days when being a slug are pretty appealing to me. There are days when I don't want to talk to a single living soul and I don't want to see anyone. BUT...I don't do that! I make a conscious effort to have a good day.

Psalm 68:3 says "But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;may they be happy and joyful." The footnotes in my bible for this verse explained that only in God is there hope. So there you's right there in the bible for ya'...Without God as the center of your life you don't have much hope for happiness in this life. I'm not talking about the people who have never faced a hardship. Sure those people are happy...they haven't been tested yet. I'm talking about those of us who have cried a river of tears from heartbreak and who have been pressed on all sides with troubles. There is no hope for you if you don't have God!!!

A quick quote for you to ponder..."Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times." I saw this on a church sign this week and I thought it summed up how we must make a conscious effort to be happy sometimes. I say...DEAL WITH IT! Sure things are going to happen in this life that causes heartbreak in our lives. Sure we are going to get depressed at times because our lives didn't turn out how we had planned. But deal with it. Allow yourself some "mad time" but only a short time. Then...DEAL WITH IT! Do you want to look back 40 years later and realize you wasted the best years of your life because you were bitter,mad, and depressed about something that happened in your life. I sure don't...I want to live by the words of the song "Praise you in this storm" "I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands for YOU are who YOU are no matter where I am. And every tear I've cried you hold in your hands and though my heart is TORN I will praise You in this storm."

Make a conscious effort today at happiness. It will make your day so much better. Then when you wake up tomorrow you can start all over again praying for God to help you make a conscious effort at happiness.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


If you came to Ian's celebration of life (aka funeral) you probably got a small bag of sunflowers to plant this spring in memory of Ian. If you didn't come to Ian's celebration of life and you want to join this tradition each spring in memory of Ian you can just go out and buy you some seeds. (I will have the extra bags from Ian's celebration of life at the shirt sale tomorrow.)

I have never planted a seed before in my life. I have especially never planted a sunflower seed and gave it tender love and care. Goodness gracious...I'll just be down right honest with you. If I even buy a flower to plant and grow as soon as I sit it out of my car it seems to die. NO JOKE!!! I am horrible at growing flowers. Wae's infamous words every year..."Did you buy all these flowers again? Are you at least going to TRY to keep them alive? How much did they cost?"

Back to the story about sunflowes...when it was time to plan the funeral I wanted sunflowers. In my opinion, sunflowers are such a "cheery" flower. I love them! We used sunflowers because I thought it could remind us all of Ian's happiness. We will all remember Ian's contagious grin when our sunflowers begin to bloom and it will once again remind us of what's important in life. I have had many people tell me about planting their sunflowers so I thought I'd let you all know (especially my Aunt Dottie) that we have planted our sunflowers. It is now time Aunt Dottie so you can start you a sunflower patch. : )

We planted our sunflowers a couple of days before Mother's Day. I love the idea of this being a Mother's Day tradition at our house. I took some pictures to give you some tips about planting your sunflowers. Some are genuine tips and some are just down right common sense which I obviously don't have much of. : )

Tip#1: Plow up the area where you want to plant your sunflowers. It can be big or small according to what size area you want.

Tip#2: Don't wear flip flops like I did. DUH...I was a mess.

Tip#3: You can plant seeds in a degradable pot and then when they sprout you can plant them in the bed where you wish to have them. I am using dwarf sunflowers in my little pots and I am planting them in this small bed in our backyard flower bed.

So...grap a rake, a shovel, and a hoe and get your sunflower area prepared. Grab your bag of seeds and plant them. You are supposed to plant them one inch deep six inches apart. We just threw them out there in our dirt and raked them in. This was all Wae's idea to do it this way and I just hope they work. If you know me well you know I wanted to use a ruler and place them exactly 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart. Wae wasn't going to be that patient. So...we did it his quick way. I was going to bend over 1 million times and plant each seed in the perfect spot. Didn't happen though. : ) Then you must water them. A lot I think...we put up a sprinkler and are hoping to see some sprouts soon. Problem is...we have a dog named Miley who just might be possessed and she digs EVERYTHING UP!!! Odds of her letting us grow some sunflowers are very slim. Most important tip...they are SUNflowers. They must be planted in an area that gets full sun. Have fun planting and send pics if your sunflower garden works. I sure hope ours does.



Friday, May 7, 2010

Once a mother always a mother???

In two days we will be celebrating mothers around the world for Mother's Day. Moms will be getting flowers, candy, gifts, and hugs and kisses. It is the day that is actually set aside to honor mothers. For the past two years I was involved in those celebrations as well. This year though on Mother's Day I no longer have a child in my arms. I knew the joy of being of a mom and it was a dream come true. However, it was also a dream that resulted in being shattered to a million pieces.

So my question for you today is...If you were a mother and the child dies are you still a mom? If you were a mother of 3 and 1 child died are you still a mother of 3 or do you say you're a mother of 2? If you were a mother and you are left to live here without your child do you celebrate mother's day even though your arms are empty? I know what your answer will be...without even thinking you are saying to yourself..."Of course you are still a mom Mary!" But really think about it and put yourself in my shoes for a minute. You carried your child, you birthed your child, you raised your child the best you could and then the child died. You were left with no you consider yourself a mom still??? We are left with a hole in our hearts and a hole in our lives because our child is no longer with us. It is an emptiness that will never go away and a pain that will never cease. I pray with all I have the pain dulls in time, but I am certain it will never completely disappear.

Mother's Day...a day I used to treasure has turned into a day I wished didn't exist. It has opened up my wound that was healing and made the pain fresh again. I feel the pain of Ian dying at this holiday more intense than the week he actually passed. I see mothers being honored and I want to crumble to the ground screaming..."Why...Why...Why...I was a mother and it was taken away from me. Why??? How can that happen??? It should be against all rules of nature!"

Everywhere you turn there are reminders of mother's day...commercials, chain status updates on facebook, chain emails about mothers, contest on shows honoring the best mothers, cards at wal-mart, balloons everywhere, and even a celebratory dinner at chick-fil-a when I was at the mall(tablecloths and even a professional photographer)It is a holiday in which you cannot escape.You cannot hide in your home and escape it because it is inevitable that something will be on the TV about it. You can't go to church and escape it because all mothers will be honored on that day and you guessed it...BUT I'm not a mom anymore! It is a fact of life that every year in May I will be ripped apart because of this holiday. I pray in future years I will be a mom of healthy children on this holiday but as of now God has not chosen that path for our lives.

I have a request this year on Mother's Day. If you are a mom and you have children here to celebrate this day with you embrace this day with all your heart and love those chidren the way they deserve to be loved. Make the hugs last a little longer and let the kisses be abundant. Let the sound of their innocent child-like voices warm your heart and love them without holding back. Think about the moms around the world who are here and their chidren have died and they were left with one less child or like myself they were left with no children at all. Think about that Sunday morning when your children bring you breakfast in bed and think about that when they want you to play outside with them. Cherish every moment for me because I would give anything to be in your shoes with a house full of kids running wild and making tons of messes!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shirts...Shirts...and More Shirts!!!

It is time...our Spring t-shirts are ready and will be for sale on Wednesday, May 12 from 9 am to 4 pm. I will be set up at Cotton States Insurance (1450 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960).

I am taking NO PRE-ORDERS...unless you live out of town. If you live out of town then please email me at if you wish to place an order for the new shirts. I will email you back with the details.

The shirt prices are:
Charcoal Team Ian $15
White Team Ian $12
Pink Tie Dye $15
Black with Hands $15

Children's Shirts are all $10!

Thank you to everyone who supports our cause. The funds from this will help to pay for our 2010 Rhizo Kids Conference. We have 10 families and 8 doctors from all around the WORLD coming to this conference and we are very hopeful this will bring help for RCDP children.