Monday, December 29, 2008

Death in the Family

On Friday Morning my Great Grandmother passed away. She was an amazing woman. Both Joey and Bailey sleep with a quilt that she had made. They were both given to me as wedding presents. Please keep my family in your prayers as we lost a very vibrant member.

Crawford, Grace E.

HEDRICK — Grace E. Crawford, 92, formerly of the Hedrick and Farson area, died at 4:45 a.m. Dec. 26, 2008 at Good Samaritan Society-Ottumwa.She was born Oct. 1, 1916 near Bladensburg, Iowa to Elmer and Bessie Carter Handy. She married Keith Crawford Sept. 8, 1934. He preceded her in death Aug. 14, 1961.She worked at the Ottumwa Hospital, owned and operated Peanut Farm and was a waitress at the Holiday Inn and Country Barn.She enjoyed spending time with her family, gardening, flowers and handcrafts. Surviving are two daughters, Elizabeth (Larry) Webb of Ottumwa and Alice (Larry) Coble of Hedrick; a son, Robert (Diane) Crawford of Hedrick; a daughter-in-law, Carolyn Crawford of Hedrick; 16 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Dorothy Pearson of Clutier, Iowa.She was preceded in death by her son, Donald Crawford; five brothers, Orien, Clyde, Millard, infant Frankie and infant Joe Handy; two sisters, Mattie Bailey and infant Hazelle Handy.Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Reece Funeral Home with Rev. Bill Hornback officiating. Burial will be in Brooks Cemetery near Hedrick.Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. Monday with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. A memorial has been established to Good Samaritan Society-Ottumwa, Special Unit.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day

As usual Christmas was wonderful! I grumble every year when the kids wake me up at 5 AM. But I get up, grab my coffee (the kids set the timer the night before) and begin the ritual. Unlike previous years where I tried to by the kids everything on their list, this year we kept it low key. The kids each got a big present ( a nintendo DS for Bailey and a PSP for Joey), 2 games each for the new systems, a movie, a couple books, and a couple t-shirts for Joey and a pair of new jammies for Bailey.

When we decided we were going to focus more on others, I wasn't sure how the kids would like it. But as much as I complain about having spoiled kids, they are really pretty caring. We sponsored 3 different kids this holiday, 2 of which have parents in prison. The spending limit for the sponsors was $20 to $25. We had so much fun shopping that we almost doubled that.

As I was watching my kids open their gifts, I wondered how those other kids were reacting to their Christmas. I would have loved to see the look on one boys' face when he opened the battleship game and legos. Or the 8 year little girl that got the butterfly barbie and Hannah Montana microphone. I know I have complained about people's attitudes during the holidays but I am blessed and do not understand those that have so much anger.

This year I had more money to spend on Christmas this year than I ever have, however we decided to spend the money on others. We bought for more friends, we bought for stangers, we bought for members of our church who have touched us. We tried to spread the cheer to more people rather than spending more money on each person. Last night Joey said he forgot to get a present for one of his good friends. Rather than not getting his friend anything, he decided to give him part of his Christmas money.

That act made me think that maybe I am not doing such a bad job. I am teaching my kids what is really important. It isn't all about the material crap but about that look on someone's face when you have made a impact on them. In the Bible it talks about being judged by ones' works. I know I have a long way to go but it makes me feel good knowing that my kids and I are on the right path.

I am truly blessed this season...Are you?

Friday, December 19, 2008


Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the lights, the snow and the anticipation. I love the look of presents under the tree and the the kids begging to open just one. I love everything about the season. However, I really do not understand the "Scrooge complex". Why is it that people get so angry and stressed? It is really simple, to keep the stress down...

1 - Focus on what the holiday really means. Are we really celebrating a fat man in a big red suit? No we are celebrating the birth of our savior. We need to be celebrating advent and anticipating the celebration of his birth.

2 - Don't worry about affording gifts. If you question if you can afford can't. It really isn't about the gifts anyway, it is about the worship, family, friends and fellowship.

3 - Smile and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Go see the lights, go to a Christmas service.

The point is don't get all stressed out and take it out others. Your one little negative comment can ruin another persons day. If you smile and wish them a Merry Christmas it may just brighten the season for one more person.

Merry Christmas from Danielle

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am not sure what my problem was yesterday. I woke up in a bad mood, went to work in a bad mood, went through the whole day in a bad mood. Whenever I have days like that I tend to worry about my mental health. In the past I have gone through some pretty serious bouts with depression. It has been all consuming and painful. So now whenever I have a really bad day, I tend to stress out about it. Which then leads to more negative thoughts and moods.

I have discovered over the last year what a terrible thing clinical depression can be. When I first became aware that I had an issue with depression, I was lucky and did not have to try different medications and bounce around trying to find the best one or dosage. Then about 6 months ago my medication just did not seem to work anymore. It took a while to acknowledge the problem. I then bounced around on different meds until now (I hope) we have found one that works and will continue to work. However, yesterday I was seriously doubting that!

At 10:30pm when Joey got off work, I decided to go grocery shopping because I could not sleep. (Not a good thing to do when you are depressed) Over $200.oo later and still did not feel much better. I didn't get home until almost 1:00 in the morning and was up at 5. So this morning I am tired and have a headache but at least I am feeling much better.

It is amazing how depression can rule ones life. The people out there who say that it is all in the head are right. The problem is my head is screwed up at times and thank the good Lord for medication and prayer!