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Dec 31, 2010

At No Loss for Resolutions

Holidays have the potential of bringing out the best and the worst in a person. And by "person" I mean ME. Can I get a witness? Let's just leave it at this: I have lots of material in which to choose a New Year's Resolution! No details for now, I'll just share a few pictures from the past few days.

My niece and I won the Scrabble game with 139 points and using all of our tiles!

My friend, Amy ~ If you stop by, you have to try "Hookum."

Ted and his new Christmas toy ~ a moose.
This is my face when I focus.
My mother ~

Dec 22, 2010

Part 2 "Signed, Sealed and Delivered"

One spring day in 2009, Andrew called me out to the backyard to see his painting of Jesus. He had painted "Jesus" on his skateboard ramp. On the base of the ramp Andrew painted, "Long Live the King."

(Read part 1 here.)
You see, when Jesus came from Heaven to earth, He came for a purpose. In one man—Adam, sin entered the world. In another man—Jesus, atonement for that sin was made. Jesus, who laid aside his royal robes and entered our world, was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. He came to take the sin of the world upon Himself so that we might be redeemed and reconciled to the Father. In a sense, His purpose was to sponsor you and me.
Andrew got his sponsorship!
In the book of Isaiah, God says to His people, “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…” (Isaiah 49:16). Some translations use the word engraved or tattooed. God loves us so much that he carries a picture of us in His hands. Created in His image, we are an indelible part of Almighty God! 
At the moment of our spiritual birth, our picture is placed in the family album and our name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
At a young age, Andrew was drawn to Christ. He believed and confessed  Jesus as his Lord. 
Andrew Christopher Dorsey ~ sponsored and signed.
To be continued.

Dec 16, 2010

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

~ Andrew, the summer of 2007, at our local skate park ~
"Signed, Sealed and Delivered"
by Melanie Dorsey

As Andrew’s skateboarding skills grew, he began to express his desire of being sponsored by a skateboard company which he usually referred to as being “signed.” A sponsorship means free gear, trips and sometimes even cash. I do not even remember when Andrew first began to skateboard. It is so much a part of his identity that it seems odd to think of him without a board.
One summer, a foreign exchange student moved into the neighborhood. He was a high school boy and Andrew was an eleven year old middle schooler but they skated together almost daily. Fransisco was from Spain and spoke little English. Andrew was home schooled and knew a little Spanish. But somehow he learned that “Fran” was sponsored by a skateboarding company in Spain.  There was no language barrier when skateboarding, ramps and rails were involved! An "ollie" is the same in any language! Fran would walk the half block from his host home to our house, knock on the door and ask for Andrew. They skateboarded on our street and in our driveway and often I would see them from the window skating on Andrew’s rails. And to my maternal consternation I would insist they move the rails from the middle of the road back to our driveway! Andrew was sad to see Fran return to Spain when the school year ended. 
When brain cancer quickly affected Andrew’s left side leaving him partially paralyzed, he was unable to pursue his passion for skateboarding. That was so heartbreaking for us as a family. Andrew had lived and breathed skateboarding. One day he told me sadly, “It’s been three months since I’ve been on a skateboard.”
I went to the garage and got his newest board – one his dad had purchased for him shortly after the diagnosis. We had debated on whether to buy it or not, wondering if it would be a painful symbol to Andrew or one that would keep his hope alive. I placed the beautiful board in his lap and I told him to see himself on that board, to visualize himself healed, whole and skateboarding. And I asked him to repeat a simple prayer after me as I prayed for his healing and offered thanks to God. He held the board in his lap and he prayed. And I swallowed hard and tried not to cry. 
In the past 12 months I have often thought of Andrew’s wish to be “signed”. One day a scripture came to my mind and my heart rejoiced as I realized Andrew had gotten his desire after all.  
To be continued...

Dec 13, 2010

No Box!

The permanent marker arrived. I can't help but feel that this is what we got our son, Andrew, for Christmas this year. I do not want to feel this way. Andrew is our youngest child and we miss not being able to Christmas shop for him. 
I chose a tag from our Angel Tree at church. I picked the gift request of a 12 year old boy. He wants roller blades. He needs a men's size 10. This has proved difficult to find in the local stores so we will search online today so we can fulfill another young boy's Christmas wish.
One day in January I was home alone and I went in my boys' bedroom - the one Avery and Andrew shared. I looked through Andrew's side of the closet and saw his Nike shoes. I sat on the edge of the bed and I put them on. They were too big. At the age of 12, his feet had outgrown mine. But I slipped my feet into my boy's shoes and I tied them. Then I walked around the house in them. I thought to myself, "Why couldn't I have taken his pain to wear like I am wearing these shoes?"
 I would have walked that road for him, had I been given the choice.
Yesterday marked a year to the day as the last day the five of us sat in church together. As the choir ministered in presenting a Christmas program, I held Andrew's Bible close to me, wrapping my arms around it as though it were him. 
And I remembered that last year while the Christmas choir sang, Andrew leaned into me and whispered in my ear, "It's just not the same without you up there, Mom." 
I wrote this poem and posted it in February. We had to box up the medical supplies and wheelchair for return. It was such a hard and heartrending task. I had also gone through some of Andrew's clothing and things. Some I boxed and some I placed in my cedar chest in my bedroom. I left a few of his clothes hanging in the closet. And the shoes I walked around in are there, too.
No Box!
by Melanie Dorsey

A box cannot contain my love for you, nor who you are.
Not any kind of box.
Not the ones that will store clothes and toys and boy stuff.
Not the one that holds a jar of clay in a place it hurts to see Your name.
Andrew Christopher Dorsey.
It seems so wrong.
It hurts so much.
But listen!
Listen to my heart.
The place where names are eternal,
That is where your name belongs and IS.
In a book; not on a box .
In a book; not on a name plate under the red flowers.
In a book; the Lamb’s Book,
Where Eternal Life has signed your name.
Andrew Christopher Dorsey

I started a new writing project today inspired by Andrew. It's entitled "Signed, Sealed and Delivered". I hope to share it here soon.
Bible Study
'Still looking but thinking of writing my own.
*Can you see the skateboard on the marker?
The pine boughs at the bottom corners we chose because we have FIVE pine trees in our front yard.

Dec 11, 2010

Rejoice, The Lord is King

Rejoice Lord King Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
Create modern Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Dec 8, 2010

Help a Girlfriend Out!

What Bible study have you used that you highly recommend? I'm looking for something to do on my own as an individual study and I'd love to have your insight and suggestions.

Dannie & Melanie

The kids on Andrew's skate ramp and with his board

We used our tripod and set the camera on a timer for some pictures in our yard on Sunday. The skateboard pictured is one of three Andrew got for Christmas 2008.

Andrew on Christmas 2008
The anniversary of Andrew's homegoing is next week, December 15.
Be still my heart.

Dec 3, 2010

I Get By With a Little Help From SHUTTERFLY!

With a little help from Shutterfly, I just may be on top of things this year in sending out a photo Christmas card.

For the past few years (2009 excluded),we have taken a family ski trip during Christmas holidays.
Our family Christmas card was actually a Happy New Year greeting featuring a photo of the five of us on a Christmas vacation.
Christmas 2005
Christmas 2006
Christmas 2007
Christmas 2008

Last year was the first Christmas without our wonderful son, Andrew, and, obviously, sending Christmas cards was not on our radar screen.
This year, however, I had the idea of taking a family picture with a photo of Andrew included.
While searching the Shutterfly site for ideas, I found a lot of inspiration for a Christmas photo greeting that says, “Merry Christmas” from our whole family ~ all five of us!

These are my top 3 picks for a Dorsey Family Christmas greeting.

Wishing you a Christ filled Christmas

Faith, Hope, Love, Family

The Lord is King.
If you would like to see what Shutterfly has to offer you as you decide upon that perfect 2010 Holiday card, follow this link http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/holiday-cards.
Are you more interested in a Christmas greeting? Follow this link http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-photo-cards.

On my mother's Christmas wish list every year is a pretty calendar.
I think I'll surprise her this year with a photo calendar. It will be even more special to her this year as we include pictures over the years of our family of 5. I think I'll order one for myself as well.
I like this one a lot: http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars/wall-calendars

Could you use a little help from Shutterfly?

For information on Shutterfly's blogger promotion, go here: http://bit.ly/sfly2010.

Dec 2, 2010

Proverbs 31 Woman 2.0 ~ A chicken in every POTpie!

TastyTuesday200pix Welcome to my new home   Tasty Tuesday
Check out the tasty recipes at http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/

Proverbs 31 Woman 2.0
"Because virtue is always in vogue."

Proverbs 31:15 "She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls."

2.0 version: "She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast a meal for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls loads the dishwasher leaving more time in the day for the rest of her plans.

This recipe is from the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church cookbook (Red Bud Road, Calhoun, GA). When I was teaching at Red Bud High School I bought this cookbook from a friend and fellow teacher who attended the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church. I was a newlywed then and my specialties were Eggo waffles, tuna salad and chili! That covered breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you take a few minutes to make this homemade crust topping, which is quick & easy, you will feel very "virtuous" and may even impress your family! Of course, you can use a rotisserie chicken for a shortcut.

Chicken Pot Pie

3 cups chopped, cooked chicken (may also use leftover turkey from holiday dinners)
1 cup chicken broth
1 can cream of celery soup (or chicken or mushroom)
1 pkg. (10 oz. frozen) peas and carrots (I always cook fresh carrots and add peas or even potatoes but increase chicken broth if you use potatoes b/c they soak up some of the broth and you don't want this dried out.)
salt/pepper to taste

Crust Topping
1 cup milk (You can also use buttermilk.)
1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 400*. Grease a shallow 2 qt. baking dish. Place chicken and vegetables in baking dish. Stir together broth, soup, salt & pepper. Pour over chicken & veggies.

Crust Topping: Combine flour, milk and melted butter. Stir until smooth. Don't over stir or it will be tough. Pour over mixture in baking dish. Do not stir topping into chicken mixture. Bake @ 400* 35 - 40 minutes or until light to golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4 - 6.