Friday, December 24, 2010

Remembering The Days of 2010...


New Christmas Cut... Titled: "The Free Gift" (created December 12, 2010)


Antonio (Anthony) [celebrated 39 years]- hardworking husband and father. God has been faithful to provide for all of our needs, including work and opportunities to keep busy. Anthony is occupied with job, the home addition, and acts as jungle gym for our little troop of monkeys and chickadees. He enjoys laughing and hanging out with friends and family. One of his most common quotes is, “The more the merrier.” His hobbies include cooking, playing UNO, picking chestnuts, and thinking, thinking, thinking about creating all kinds of projects and how to make some existing project better.

Celita (me, the writer of this newsletter) [hint-hint: the same doubled number Jesus was when he completed his physical ministry here on earth] busy trying to be the best wife, mommy, and homemaker I can be. I am the story narrator, mischievous jokester, decorator, creative director, homework helper, organizer, nurse, investigator, and researcher of our home. I enjoy laughing, rejoicing, watching sunsets, bird watching, and rainbow hunting. One of my most common quotes is, “Better. Not perfect, but better.” My hobbies include putting together unique birthday party ideas for my kids, recycling “junk” beautifully, making up memory verse songs, and papercutting. See http://daysease.blogspot.com/

Antonio [celebrated 9 years] is in the fifth grade. He loves to learn about the wonders of how the human body functions and about real life people who made a difference in this world. He enjoys music, makes up his own guitar songs, still loves to hoard paper and trinkets, loves to learn more about English and Spanish words, and watching funny movies. He attempted his first papercut this year, and did a lovely job on his flower and heart. He expects to continue making them. He enjoys playing “fort” outside, and sports.

Giosaia [celebrated 8 years] is in the third grade. He is a lover of laughter and silliness. He enjoys playing guitar as the notes precisely appear. He is picking up a lot in the area of reading in English. He thoroughly enjoys school in every sense and is a wonderful student. He asks for homework when he has none, especially math, and he is okay with making up a song on his guitar when he I bored.  He loves to repeat movie lines that make him laugh, and he is a great helper around the house. He is a sensitive soul who feels things deeply. He does well with lots of hugs. He also made his first papercut, a sweet landscape scene with a dog and butterfly. Loves dancing, running, and moving and talking. Hahahahah…

Luca [celebrated 6 years] is in the first grade. Doing really well, and developing his reading skills. He is such a creative kid, creating houses from juice boxes, robots from shoe boxes, and adds amazing details (very observant) in his drawings. (Antonio and Giosaia were like that, too, but in a slightly different way.) His perspective in some of his drawings is stunning. Really. He has a strong character, but is such a sweet boy. He asks for a job to do when he is bored. He would like to learn to play the drums someday. He also made his first papercut. I was just tickled when he made it of the hedgehog we found (and let go) and named “Spike.” He did SUCH a great job. Since then, he has taken initiative to create another papercut without help from mommy. A squirrel for a family member’s birthday. Sweet. Loves hugs, playing with Miranda (even house), and playing outside.

Miranda [celebrates 5 years after Christmas] is in kindergarten and is learning to spell her name. Her speaking skills are improving wonderfully, and she comes out with some of the funniest phrases in her efforts to be understood. She loves to roll her r’s in nearly any word possible. BRRRRRUTIFUL!! It is lovely to her. She LOVES to laugh, change clothes often, play house with Luca, and just be involved in the boys’ play times. She loves to dance, jump, twirl, and DRAW. She has developed so much in her drawing skills. Most of her pictures are of… me, but she also does the rest of the family, flowers, beautiful rainbows, butterflies, and is little by little adding some of the neatest details. She is also a strong character, but is a giggly little lady whom I have dubbed “Princess Fuchsia Flutter Butter” for her love of dresses and all things princess. She sure is a funny mixture of tom boy and girly-girl.  I am getting excited for when she can have her own girly space, her own bedroom for me to doll up just for her. Yay!

Dario [celebrated 3 years] my baby is no longer a baby. He had to get his hair cut when we went through a lice challenge, and he forever changed from one instant to the next. He’s a little man who loves to run, jump, play, climb (EVERYWHERE), hide, play tag, and LAUGH. He is such a funny kid, with expressions that melt the heart, even when the heart should be firm. He is developing his character and beginning to see how far the boundaries can be stretched. He is quick at escapes and is silent when he does not want to be found. (Miranda is good at that last part, too) Makes for some interesting moments, but… He makes my heart warm with pleasure. He gives wonderful squishy hugs, just because, but cuddling is reserved for rare moments. He has fully become a daddy’s boy, too. All of my kids love to be with their father. No surprise, but at least he was a “mama’s boy” for a few more months than the others were. He loves trains. He plays with Thomas and friends nearly daily. His main love, though, which we are currently trying to monitor, is Toy Story. All things Toy Story. My sister-in-law got him the newest and third movie, and that is ALL he wants to watch all day, every day. Crazy! His favourite toys are the miniature figurines of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Bullseye my mom and dad got for him, but, he also has a thing for action figures he can easily hold in his hands. Plastic parachuting men, cheap market soldiers, an Iron Man from Burger King, etc… he is a patient block stacker and enjoys puzzle working. Oh, and I nearly forgot, Toby our dog, has a fascination for this youngest son of mine, and Dario returns that love. It is an odd and amazing sort of love. Dario also has a love for our cats. Poor things… he squishes them with all his might. He loves them so much he does not want to let go or be forced to let go. Hahahahah…

Anyhow… that is our family, in a nutshell. We are blessed that life is FULL of God’s blessings. Now, if you would not mind, I would like to share something that is on my heart… See below…

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“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b

Life is so full to the point that every December of every year, we are surprised that the end of another year has arrived so quickly.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

At the beginning of this year, I felt a word stand out to me, a word that would somehow sum up this year and things that God would be working or tuning in me. My word for this year was: STEWARDSHIP. I felt it was necessary to focus on this word in my marriage, my family, my home, my relationships, my responsibilities, and my waitings. Here are some of the things I learned or relearned:

*Make the most of every opportunity.

Speak words of blessing. Don’t underestimate the very simplest acts- a smile, a phone call to say you care, a note of gratitude… Even the smallest acts can grow big fruit in the hands of God. You never know how you can cause change to occur just by making the most of an everyday situation, being a cheerful giver, being patient, etc… While waiting for our house to make steps towards completion, I have stewed and stormed in impatience. I go through waves of peace to storms of restlessness. There was a certain point when I was impressed that the kids needed to have good memories of even this, so I had a small dedication moment with each of them. Each was given a pillar to paint. Their initial was creatively decorated, and I explained the reasons behind it. Such a simple, fun, and creative time was all to remind them to “Stay in the light of the Son.” He takes our monotonous, day-to-day moments, and brings light and inspiration to them. He takes our less than satisfactory efforts and blossoms them. The kids often recall that activity and remember the message behind it. A seed-planting moment that I pray God will flourish and grow into thoughts and feelings of love for His Word.

*Be a “finisher”.

Keep your promises as soon as possible. I have done it many times. One of my kids will come up to me asking me something, and I push them away with a “yeah, sure, later.” That “later” has stretched out for days, and sometimes never has come to pass. That leaves a lasting impression on my kids, and I do not want them to EVER think that God is that way because of my example. I must keep my promises and put them as a main priority. Even their little desires and needs are to be met with care, love, and consideration. (still working on this) And persevere until the end. Our lives are journeys, not just steps from one goal to the next. Sometimes, there are long waiting times, stumbling blocks, and steep mountains to climb, but I must keep going. Even if I have to trudge, crawl, hop, jump, climb, or tiptoe along the way.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

*Simplify.

I began to see how being overly busy was damaging communion in our home. The kids were crying out for attention, and so I made a point to eliminate some things that were “good” but not “best” for our family. I even made a point to keep the kids home from summer camp and just let them experience lazy days of playing, learning, and boredom. They learned so much because they were not overly stimulated. They had amazing creative play. And they will remember learning about the bees, butterflies, praying mantises, and other creatures that we examined and researched. We read together and laughed together. We had fun, and we made some amazing memories. There is a reason why God’s word says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Relax and enjoy the simple blessings; and by simplifying life, give yourself more time to truly spend with Jesus and spiritual seed planting and growing in family and relationships.

*Take responsibility for my own words and actions.

“Don’t blame the man.” It was a quote in the movie Second Chance, with Michael W. Smith in it. It was a quote that made a mark in my mind. How much time do I spend blaming someone else, complaining that it was someone else’s fault, etc? I have seen that I and my kids have been making a bad habit of blaming someone else for our failings, our mistakes, our lack of responsibility, and laziness. Excuses only leave room for negativity, back talk, and disobedience.

*Let go of my dreams so God can replace them with bigger and better ones.

I guess every girl spends a good part of her childhood dreaming: about marriage, having children, her possible career, and on and on… God asked me to surrender my dreams to Him. And, I responded like a raccoon, hoarding his treasure in his hand while the precious possession is stuck in a jar. Yup, I was like my stubborn, then, two year old who insisted it was “MINE”. Jesus had to coax my insecure and scared hands open and reveal that there is REST in trusting Him with my dreams, my failures, my heart, my future… I was reminded of Joseph. He had dreams, which were all dashed when his brothers sold him into slavery, when he was taken from all he had every known. He was taken to Egypt and could have easily just given into despair. God took his old dreams and replaced them with joy, peace, talent, favour, blessing, and new and marvellous dreams. He was abundantly blessed and used in a grand way because God had a plan for his life. Since He is the “same yesterday, today, and forever” we can rest assured that He also has a plan for our lives. When we surrender and trust, He can work His perfect will. It hurt to let go of my old dreams, some I had since childhood, but… I am so blessed by the relief I have found in being able to let go and trust Him.

*The true significance of forgiveness DOES also include Forgetting.

Forget the pain, bitterness, and resentment of the offensive act, as they will only eat away at my soul and add weight and burden to my heart. Fight to forget. But… remember to learn from the experience, and, so, grow better. Just be cautious, those old feelings WILL try to grow back again. Keep fighting them off, and be at peace knowing that God is my DEFENDER, my Shield, my Advocate.

*Stand in the gap.

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

This was a particularly special lesson to me. I was blessed to experience this revelation while praying for some immediate family members, a brother in Liberia, and some other spiritual siblings in China. I believe this verse can also be 2 or 3 gathered for a common CAUSE not just for those in the same location. I am not able to be near my family in body, but, when we join together in prayer for a common need, Jesus is the common bond between us and He truly does BIND US together by His Spirit, even if there is half a world between us. I have seen it, and I have experienced the wonder of this. I have seen prayers answered this way.

*Praise hard, Pray harder.

Prayer IS the work! I have experienced Joy and peace that make no sense in hard times, and it is only because of Jesus. I have laughed in moments where I should cry for pain. I have cried with joy over moments where grief should be strong and silencing. I have also been learning that praying for my enemies, or those who have hurt me, really does make a difference. There is victory through prayer. Don’t stress! Take it to Jesus in prayer, and know that He cares.

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16b

This can be further explained in a quote which has recently become my favourite. “There can be no healing without thanksgiving.” (Martin Rinkart) I know this FIRST HAND- especially in my burn/healing challenge. There is healing in the presence of Jesus. The Lord “lives in the praise of His people.” (Psalm 22:3) Where the Lord dwells is healing, restoration, refreshing, renewal, and all we need.

I took some time to really focus on the events of this year, the joys and challenges. Here are some of the challenges that took place since January: mid January to mid February was the chicken pox epidemic that arrived full force; April began my journey into driving in Italy (what stress!); May was the scarlet fever outbreak; July was Dario’s lime-in-the-eye accident; September was the diagnosis that I suffer from stress induced headaches (ugh!); and November was the 1 year anniversary of Nonna Nunziata’s death, the 10th anniversary of my Abuela Lydia’s death, and others too. Not to mention, early November’s battle with lice and the end of November’s burn accident (me).

Those are some of the major things that have weighed in our hearts. That does not include waiting for our home addition to be complete, challenges of the heart with certain family members, and innumerable other things.

But, now, let me publicly count my blessings: getting back into touch with old friends and family and getting to know newer ones on Facebook; getting a papercut published; getting my driver’s permit in May; the boys’ June guitar recitals in which they did beautifully (so proud of them); the great summer of learning and growing together; visits from Zios, Zias, surprise cousins, and Grandma and Grandpa; Passing my driver’s written test and getting our shutters installed in September; Passing my driver’s practical test and getting my license in October; our windows and doors being installed in November; and celebrating these days that God has made. He has filled them with rainbows, beautiful sunsets, laughter, all kinds of fascinating details, and so much love.

If nothing else you read in this newsletter touches your heart, I hope this will. Jesus is sufficient for ALL of your, and my, needs!!! His birth, His life, His death- all speak of His extreme, extravagant, and marvellous love for us. He is “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

He is waiting with open arms for YOU. “Draw near to God and
He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
We must not wait, for time is short. We must live each day as if it is our last,
before it really IS our last. Let’s live with purpose.

May God “bless you, keep you, make His face shine upon you, be gracious to you, and give you His peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Happy Holy-days!! And, Happy New Year to you all!

Sincerely and with much love-
The Perillo Family
(Anthony, Celita, Antonio, Giosaia, Luca, Miranda, And Dario :-) )

December 24, 2010... Medical Soap Opera Update #2...

I have been wanting to update you with pictures and such for weeks now, but life goes on, even after a challenge arises, so... I will do it now. Thank you to ALL of you who have been thinking of and praying for me and my family during this burn/healing challenge. God has been with me every step of the way. I have felt His help in every moment.

I had an interesting first three weeks, but on the third week, took a different direction in the healing process. You will notice below that scabs fell off, for the most part, by the third week. Aside from the initially burning, the scab process was the most painful part. After three weeks of walking distortedly, because of the scab not allowing me to stand straight on account of pulling, and the pain of leaning especially to my right, I am currently trying to retrain my legs to work as they should. The muscles weakened quite a bit, and my range of motion is not what it was. Getting better, though. Thank the Lord.

Midway through the scab healing part, I had two interesting incidences that made me laugh... I got stuck standing on a chair, when my legs decided that getting down was too hard for them to accomplish. Had to call my husband to help me. Kind of embarrassing as he scolded me for getting in the chair to begin with, but also humorous all the same. And, then, in an effort to help my daughter put away some toys, I sat on the floor, but... could not get back up again without help. Sigh... my legs are still recovering but... doing much better.
:-) Please continue to pray for me as my back and knees suffered quite a bit, and need time to be strengthened as well.



Taken December 7th... Both of my legs. Using the "humid" treatments, with creams and medicated gauze, wrapping with gauze and sausaging up my legs in wrapping, which you can see by my ankles. :-)


Taken December 7th... My right leg. you can see the skin beginning to pull and crinkle. It is healing for sure. Still doing the treatment that is "humid". Getting around well. Able to accomplish some things.


Taken December 12th... Both of my legs after applying the "drying" medicine. This was the worst. Once this medicine began drying up the scabbing, after seeing that the skin was pink underneath, the pain became more intense as movement shifted the scabs and caused them to pull and rub. Anyhow... you get the idea. I did not accomplish very much during this process. Hard to get around.


Taken December 12th... My right leg after putting on "drying" medicine... I called them my "desert legs" on account of how they looked. hahahahahah!!


Taken December 12th... My husband and me... :-)


Taken December 14th... Both of my scabby legs... Sorry, not pretty.


Taken December 14th... Scabs on my right leg. They kept pulling on my skin, any leg hairs, the gauze, and any clothes or materials they touched. It was not fun, but I managed.


Taken December 16th... What I looked like for weeks. I could not even let the edges of the shorts touch the burn area, it was so tender. At first I pinned them up, but holes were forming in the material. So... I took string and tied them up. Hey, applause for a bit of ingenuity, please! I looked silly, but it was the only way to go through the days. I still am wearing shorts, just not tied up. See, a bit of improvement. hahahahahah!


Taken December 18th. This is what my legs currently look like. The pink areas are still tender when putting on pants, but I am daily noticing a little less sensitivity. I live in shorts, knee socks, and thick sweaters. hahahahaha.... What a picture!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010... Medical Soap Opera Update 1...


My bandaged up legs... I do this (cleaning and wrapping)3 times a day...


Right Leg Burn as of Monday... (yellowishness due to cleaning medicine, not to healing bruising.. hahaha)


Left Leg Burn as of Monday... (yellowishness due to cleaning medicine, not to healing bruising.. hahaha)




So... as of tomorrow evening it will be a week since I got burned. I was amazed that I felt full peace and joy for the first two full days. I was elated that it was not worse and the kids were safe, and I truly felt an inexplicable sense of peace and joy just because God is faithful and always good. I knew He was and is helping me to heal and to deal with the challenges of this daily life. I am also experiencing itching which I am attributing to signs of healing. Sometimes, it nearly drives me crazy. I have to concentrate hard on why it is important to deal with it and not scratch. hahaah... OUCH!!! And, since this last note below, I have found that I am getting around just a touch more, making it easier to do some more than I have been able to. Not all, but more. Slowly, but still improvement. :-) I will rejoice even for the little improvements. :-)

Anyhow... Here is my email to family and friends from Sunday and Monday:

On Monday I asked Anthony to help me take the three youngest kids to the pediatrician. I have come to really like this doctor, and she has come to also enjoy seeing us. When she saw me, of course her main concern was my kids. Dario has an ear infection. Miranda and Luca have croup, but nothing major. Thank the Lord. She noticed me quiet and acting sort of oddly, not intentionally, but frankly I could not figure out why I was in so much pain. That is because I was so stupid as to forget to take my pain meds before leaving the door, thank you very much. Sigh…

So… Anthony was with me and recounted all that happened. She was horrified for us, of course. I told her what our family doctor had said, and she asked to see the burns. When she lifted up just a small portion she exclaimed… Oh, Signora, these are not 1st and 2nd degree burns. These are for sure 2nd and 3rd degree burns. !!!!!!!!!!!! I felt sort of betrayed, and upon entering the car had my only cry since it all happened. Don’t even ask me how I have not cried in these days. I have laughed plenty. :-) So… I am disappointed that I will have a longer healing time, most likely. I am having a hard time walking and getting around and accomplishing stuff, which had me frustrated several times, but I still feel that the Lord is with me every step of the way. “there can be no healing without thanksgiving”, right??? So… Bless the Lord, o my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name!!!

Hope this note finds you well. With so much affection…

Celita :-)

P.S Here are pictures of Tuesday, November 30.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 2010... And Our Medical Soap Opera...

PICTURES FIRST, BUT PLEASE MAKE SURE TO READ THE WORDS...


Listening to beautiful music...





My dear friend, Gio... Honoring the kid's request to play the flute for them... They loved their private recital. :-)


Left leg burn... not so bad as right leg.


Right leg burn within first day... Looks a little different today. sigh...


The flower in my front side window... Sweet.


Window guys/dry wall guys... Group picture. :-)


Our newly arrived front door... installed ON Thanksgiving. A very big answer to prayer. Finished installation of windows and all the day after Thanksgiving.


Our house addition to this day... Coming along, isn't it? Sorry I have been so long in showing you.


The kids with their haircuts to deal with a recent lice case in our home. All gone now, praise God! hahahah...


Not too many weeks ago, we had a lice infestation which had me cut ALL of my super long hair off. I can't do much with it now, except look like when my baby girl was three with little hair sticking straight up in little fountains. hahahah... or wear a hat. At least it will grow back. Oh, and that is a BIG torrone my hubby brought back to me from a work trip. Yummy, and such a sweet thought. Thank you, Anthony.


I sent out this email to family and friends on November 18th, days before the event I have to share next.

"I came across a quote that just knocked me off my feet yesterday. “… there can be no healing without thanksgiving…” by Martin Rinkart… Then… 1 Thessalonions says, “in all things give thanks...” I know that life is full of challenge and trial. But…. I think God is challenging me to really focus on HIM through it all, to praise, pray, and wait with thanksgiving. Not easy, but wow for the relief and joy that comes out of it.

Please DO pray for us when you think of us...

With that in mind… Happy and blessed Thanksgiving!!

Celita and family"
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Keeping that in mind, please continue to the rest of my shared words. I assure you, there is much to be thankful for. :-)

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This is my note to family and friends today... discussing our Thanksgiving Day:

"(per voi chi leggono solo in Italiano…scusami… non ho fatto traduzione, pero ti può fare sul internet o qui sul blog. Spero ti fa piacere capire che ha successo. Ti vogliamo tanto bene… :-) )



We had a great Thanksgiving Day… In general. Well, it started off with some difficulties, but I was just so excited that I took it as it came. Basically, we originally had plans to spend the day together, but we found out that the window guys decided that day to bring the windows and beginning installing. After a moment’s hesitation, I became very excited as I realized that God had brought an answer to a significant prayer request on this Thanksgiving Day. I was very grateful. Originally we intended on doing family time today, Saturday, instead. More on that later.

Anyhow… in the morning, Anthony hurt himself. Pulled a muscle or slightly ripped it, I am not sure, as he would not listen to me when I said to go get it checked out. But, he did keep going full steam ahead, until… he fell into a hole and hurt himself further. Up until this point I had cleaned and cooked and almost fully accomplished everything we needed to for a couple of friends coming over in the evening. Seeing Anthony in pain, I told him he should sit in the tub and soak a bit. Well, I had to help him, he was feeling that bad. He could not stand straight up and so, I got him settled, then said I would be back after I checked on the food. I had left a good sized turkey leg (much bigger than in the States) in the oven, and some things warming on the stove.

So… the kids were watching tv not far from the kitchen, and I saw that they were content. I went to check on the meat inside the oven. I turned the pan, slightly with my left hand to the left part of the pan, so I could get a better look at the turkey and to see if there was enough liquid inside. Wouldn’t you know it, the pan started to slide and in my fear of burning my hand near the inside of the stove, I let go just a moment to adjust my grip, only to have it slide faster and me not be able to catch it!! I caught the pan mid-air only to have ALL the liquid inside jump out and land…… IN MY LAP. I let out a blood-curdling scream that just shocked the life out of my poor kids, and then all went into action.

Here is where you MUST know… God is faithful!!! Praise His name!!!

I immediately recalled stuff I had read about several times. I felt like the Lord was whispering His directions to me, in my shock and pain. I did all I was supposed to, and realized that the kids were just so upset, so I am grateful that the Lord helped me be “with it” enough to give them jobs to do… one, go get the medical book and find the section on “burns”, another get me the ibuprofen (ASAP), another clean up that mess on the floor please, another get me the blanket off the sofa so I can cover myself after removing my burning pants, another even without asking ran upstairs to get his father.

I was standing leaning against the kitchen counter by the sink when I glanced up to find… Anthony bent over like an old man, barely able to walk, standing there, with a towel around his middle and dripping water and soap. “What happened!! What can I do?” Honestly, I laughed in that moment. DO??? Get upstairs and get back in the tub!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha!!!

I thought… LOOK AT US! We are a mess! We have guest-friends coming, and though everything else is ready, we are just a big ole mess.

That happened about… 10 minutes to 6., and our friends were supposed to arrive about 8:30. By the time they arrived we had managed to get everything set, feed the kids, and all.

I thank God for my girlfriend’s reminder that shorts might be better than keeping the pants rolled up to the top part of my thighs. Hahahahah
I thank God for this same girlfriend bringing her flute at the request of my kids, and playing marvellous joy into our heart… and SO pleasing my kids…
I thank God for helping us in our time of need.
I thank God for my kids who were SO helpful, listened to instruction, and just did a spectacular job.
I thank God for time with special friends who just were great to be with. We laughed and shared and ended off watching 2 episodes of The Cosby Show (aka The Robinsons here in Italy—who knew? Apparently, the Huxtables are too difficult to say for an Italian. Hahahahahahah) what better way to end off than laughing even more together.

We had a great, though very adventurous, Thanksgiving. Praise the Lord- for He is good, and His mercy endures forever. I know the situation could have been many, many times worse than it was. I have mostly 1st degrees, with small streaks of 2nd degree burns. It could have landed on my face, my chest, or my belly, and while the legs are also not ideal, I assure you, it would have been far worse anywhere else.

I was reminded of a couple of things while everything was happening. One, Anthony cannot say I read too much, as stuff like this certainly is handy and worthwhile knowing. Hahahahahahah. Two, I found it so amazing to have joy, peace, and laughter even in the time of such odd stress. I know the Lord is helping me to deal with pain and in managing with life, which has kept going full force even though I have slowed down. I thank God for a nephew who could initially get me burn cream from the pharmacy while Anthony was laid up himself. There is just so much to be grateful for…

I thank God for my kids who have had to give up Saturday family time because what we planned to do is not possible as I cannot walk too much or too far. I thank God for His courage, His help, His care., His love… THANK YOU; JESUS!!!

While it was happening, I was reminded of a story in “Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs”. A powerful and intense book, if you have not read it. It discusses many generations of Christians who suffered for their faith and sited examples and individual’s stories.

(paraphrase from memory) I remember one story about a man living here in Europe, I believe. He was a man who wanted the normal poor people to understand God’s word, and at the time, was forbidden to do so. At the time, only a trained pastor, minister, priest was able to, or “intended to”, understand and utilize the Holy Scriptures, and to relay them to the peasants. This man refused to denounce how he felt about his faith and refused to back down and submit to a way of doing things that he knew were not pleasing or acceptable before God. He was pronounced a heretic and told he would suffer the fate of burning at the stake. While they were preparing him: tying him to the pole, getting the dry brush by his feet, he announced that before God he would not allow these people, hungry for his blood, the satisfaction of crying out in pain or fear. He believed God would give him the strength to do just as he had said. And… as the flames grew and grew, the crowd was amazed and quieted as, sure enough, he died quietly, praying to and praising His Father and Lord.

As I was burning, myself, this man- his courage and faith- came to mind. Even while standing up for what he believed in… I don’t know or understand how he was able not to scream, but I do know that my Jesus is faithful, caring, and so good. He IS SUFFICIENT for all of our needs. While we may suffer, He is able to bring relief, to bring joy and hope and peace to our hearts. When we trust Him with all of our hearts, and listen to His voice, while we remember that He said He would never leave or forsake us, He is ALWAYS there… Keeping this in mind, we can be okay in any circumstance, not matter how awful.

Please, know that I am rejoicing and so blessed. I pray that you will also come to know Him and His goodness in a very personal way. He loves you so much. Remember that.

This experience has become number one on my “God please don’t ever let me go through this again” list, with mastitis and Dario’s traumatic birth under, and lice somewhere after. Hahahahahahahha… Yes, I hate lice that much. But, I know that God has a purpose for all things. I may not understand now, there is healing that needs to take place, to be sure, but I also know that I now have an understanding about something like this that I did not have before. I think about women in Iran or Pakistan who are burned by chemicals in their face, who have been caught in house fires and damaged intensely. I think of so many things, and have a clearer, though not perfect, understanding of how to pray for them.

It was intense, but I was NEVER alone. Praise Jesus!

With that all in mind… Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! GOD BLESS YOU and MINISTER TO YOU!!! :-)

With a grateful heart, lotsa love, and a great big hug,
Celita and family… :-)

[Please don’t feel bad. I am sharing because I want you to REJOICE with me!!!] ;-)

*********************************************************************************

For some perspective, my father-in-law just came up to me and said, "How's are your legs?" I showed him the signs of my experience, and he said, "Wow, you're cooked." I know it is odd, but it made me giggle. Yup, but I am looking forward to seeing the Lord doing a mighty work in my healing and in opportunities for me to encourage and understand others. Hey, isn't it better to find the positive and not dwell on being depressed and overwhelmed through the trials? It is only by His strength, joy, hope, and peace. Thank you, Jesus!

I certainly request prayer, and I will do my best to let you know if anything changes or the progress. Soon...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Romans 15:13...


Titled: Romans 15:13 (Which says... "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." ... FROM MAY 2008


Seeing as how I am coming to realize that challenges have been hurting many people I know, I thought I would pass along another papercut I did back in 2008. This image is how I felt then, and how I have felt many times since then… but I KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW that Jesus has been there all along. He is our strength, our joy, our praise, our hope, our faithful GOD and FATHER. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him; and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

My papercut images can be found at http://daysease.blogspot.com/ I would love to hear if (and, if you like, how) they have ministered to you or others, as that brings encouragement to my heart as well. What a lovely cycle of praise and testimonies!!! Blessings…


Clinging and fully convinced of the goodness of the Lord no matter what,

Celita

Wounds Of My Heart...


Titled: God Is Bigger Than...

Hello, dear ones… I made this for a cousin of mine at the beginning of this year (January 2010). It so spoke to my heart even as I gazed on its completion, and, even now it makes me glad and seems fitting for the end of this year. May it be a pleasant reminder to you today… I know it is for me. Sigh… faithful Lord be part of this day.

Celita


You can find more of my papercuts at http://daysease.blogspot.com/...

Rescue Me...


Titled “Rescue Me based on Psalm 144:7” which says, “Stretch out Your hand from above; Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters…”

Not too long ago, after a few days of intense trial and challenge, I was feeling just DONE. I lay on the sofa and willed myself into a dark and not supremely restful nap. But before I dozed off, I had a vision in my head of THIS. My trials were swirling me and threatening to overwhelm and overpower me, and my soul was crying out for His hand to rescue me. When I made this I had not found the verse yet. When I did, it fit JUST PERFECTLY. I hope it blesses you as it has me. He is there, always there, never leaving or forsaking. Trust Him to hear you, see you, know you. And, may you sense His presence even in the darkest moments. When you feel the most DONE may you see His hand work and move in the most remarkable ways. He is able, nothing is impossible with Him. He cares, lean on Him.

Broken and blessed,

Celita :-)

To see other papercuts that I have done, please click HERE...

Monday, October 11, 2010

An Update To Let You Know I Am Still Here...


There is no excuse. Really, I know that. I have fully intended to get back to blogging, Facebook, and the online life.

Life in September and in this beginning part of October has been a daily exercise in surrendering to Jesus. I cannot at all go into details, as it involves the lives of others, but... To say that these are dangerous times for the soul is an understatement. When depression, suicide, and other major things are mixed together in the lives of people in a community, well, let us just say that we are ALL in desperate need of God's grace, mercy, wisdom, and discernment. To watch valued relationships crumble in mistrust, bitterness, and resentment sends my soul in tears.

There are several situations going on in my relationships that are challenging me to PRAISE hard and Pray even harder. I am daily being challenged to pray with power and thanksgiving, even in the midst of heartache.

That is only bits and pieces of some of what is going on in my life, at least in close relationships around me. Not just one, but many. And God has put me in a place to try to encourage, try to build up, try to minister. I am trying to be a good steward with these moments, as I don't want to miss an opportunity that He gives me, and I certainly WANT to see these lives bettered, healed, and restored.

On top of that, I am in the midst of trying to get my license here in Italy. Between waiting for our needed addition to be completed and trying to get my license, I am being tremendously stretched in faith and patience. But, as always, God is faithful to give me what I need for every day.

The kids have begun school, and, although that has its own share of challenges, I am so grateful that the Lord is waking us up with the intention to have a positive attitude and make the most of our mornings. I have been doing mini devotions with the kids even before they begin to get ready since the second day of school. It came on after we had a rough 1st day of school when I woke everyone and got ready TOO LATE. Horrible way to begin the school year. But... sure motivated me to do better

Thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness. You give me "strength for today and hope for tomorrow"; You remind me that "all things come, to pass"; You provide for our needs (psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, and You even care enough to provide for some of our wants. I call them "love letters to my heart". You know, when somethings unexpected comes, a secret longing fulfilled, or just something that lifts the spirit, brings gladness to the heart, makes you smile, or really just overwhelms you with a feeling that you ARE special. That is what I mean. He does that for me, all the time.

As I put Him first, include Him in the moments of my days- good or bad, as I speak to Him, read His Word, and meditate on Him, in word or song... Well, I am learning more about Him. As I draw near to Him, He is DRAWING near to me. As He promised in the Bible. As I try to maintain my focus on Him, give Him the first fruits of my days, and share His love with others, that blessings goes to those shared with but also returns to me. It is a blessing to bless.

All of these things He has done for me in these days, weeks, months, years. He loves me. I know it. He thinks I am special, in spite of my MANY mistakes, faults, and quirkiness. He has a plan for me. Yes! He said in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Wow!! What I think is so great is that I am firmly learning that God is not just a Promise Maker, He truly is a Promise Keeper. So I can trust Him to keep His word to bless, keep, and help me and my family as we stay close to Him.

And you know what is great? He loves YOU so much, He wants to be there for YOU in the same way. Well, specialized just for you and how He knows you, but still... intensely loving you.

I hope that blesses your heart as much as it blesses mine.

Well, that is all for now. Hope this sporadic posting is not discouraging you from coming over to see what is new. Please DO check in again. Who knows? Maybe by then, I will have a bunch more for you to see and read. I hope so. We will see how these days go. Thank you for checking in this time.


Blessings...
Celita

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just A Very Belated Mini Update...

I have so much to catch up on... I apologize for not being on often. A lot going on. I really tried to focus on keeping the kids busy over the summer. With school now around the corner, we are trying to get back into the hang of things after our recent family vacation, while also preparing for that. We currently have my parents visiting, which is a pleasure. I hope to have more pictures soon. Please pray for us as we enter this new school year. I am personally not prepared for it.

Oh, and, on a side note, I have just begun doing some book reviews on my crafty and creative blog. Please go and see what I have been up to when you have a chance. I have several papercuts yet to post. Hope you will bear with me.

Hoping you are well... Celita

"... cast all your cares on the Lord, for He cares for you." Just been on my heart today. May it bless your heart.

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6, 2010...Guarding The Heart...


Nei Raggi Di Sole... In The Sun's Rays... (A card...)


May God Guard Your Growing Love... (this gift measures 8 1/2 high by 11 inches wide)

We have a wedding to go to this weekend for one of my husband's cousins. I have been brainstorming a wedding cut for a little while now, and this is what I came up with. I have never done one quite like this before: my own design of a profiled elegant couple. I am pleased with it, though still getting used to its finished look. I also did the card above it for my mother-in-law to give from herself.

It is a worthy thing to pray that God guards and protects a growing love as there are many things that we know can destroy this sacred union. I am reminded of a verse in Proverbs, chapter 4, verse 23 which says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Whatever challenges one may come across our ways in life, may they only draw us closer together and strengthen our resolve to fight for our mates and the love God intended between a husband and wife!

Roberto e Nicoletta, possa Dio vi benedica questo giorno speciale!!

Roberto and Nicoletta, may God bless your special day!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 24, 2010... Two Friends Share A "Tiara's And Tophats" Birthday Party...

The theme was the combination of two children's books: Fancy Nancy and Gigi: God's Little Princess. All I can say is that this party was great fun! The joy was in the details. Like what? Sprinkles over bananas and apples to make them look fancy and bright. Butterfly wings created from sparkly material rubber banded or pinned on clothing with pipe cleaner handles created to attach them to little hands (So forming the wings). Tiara and shield crafts. Tissue paper corsages, and netted flowers to wrap in the hair. There were even heart shaped balloons and rainbow colored yarn to string to them. And, of course there was lots of play time in the park where the party was held.

These things are still being used even these days after the party. They are enjoying them so. Simple, but effective for stimulating the imagination and making pretty little girls feel like they are going to a ball. Yay!

Thank you for inviting us! What a sweet memory!! My kids had a blast!

Creative Crafty Time: Collaging with cloth and anything else and other stuff, too.

This is the design down the front of the skirt dress. I took green pipe cleaners and formed a vine. I filled in with leaves from an old bouquet of blue roses that someone gave me when Luca was born. I took some old paper roses and water colored them in pink and purple. I then took a butterfly from an old shirt and watercolored it yellow. I then glued on the wings of a discarded and broken butterfly that normally is in flower arrangements. I love it!


I hung ribbons off the shoulder, and to decorate the front I took an already formed ribbon bow for presents and glued on a large button I have saved for a while.


Apron made from discarded purple umbrella, an old sash I have held onto for years, and lots of ribbon. The wide pink ribbons were from when Miranda was born. Seemed fitting to use them for this special purpose. I love to wear this apron myself. I used it to brighten up the dark of the dress itself. The dark dress was an old skirt someone had passed onto me. It had a bleach mark and was put into my craft box. I knew it would come to good use! The apron covered the bleach spot so nicely, too. :-)


Center purple flower and the two green leaves are made from rolled pipe cleaners. The gold edges are cardboard covered with gold present ribbon. All were hot glued in place.


Copper tiara, worked and wound around itself into the form of a tiara.


Tophat created by using cardboard circle with center cut out, glued to black posterboard on both sides. Center cut out again. Rolled long length of black posterboard to create tall part and stapled. Bottom edge was wripped about every inch and a half and stapled and glued down to hold to rim. Feathers added for detail. The top is open.


Sword made from a piece of wood from an old shutter. Wrapped in aluminum foil, then taped down with clear tape. Handle was also taped to prevent any possibility of splinters. Name of child was written on paper then placed on handle before taping.





Luca in his tophat...

The Party




Miranda having a girls' day!!! Yay!!...


The Fancy Nancy cake!! Yummy!!


Sophie and Kathy...





Miranda in her homemade princess dress... Good thing she is the only girl. I could not see doing that for four girls. hahahah.... Took me a day and a half to complete all of the crafty things for the party. I loved it, but it was a long process. Thank you to my family for their support of my crazy creative splurges. :-)








Best Friends... Eva and Isabella...





Nicoletta and Abigail...


Dario just woke up from a short nap...


Miranda and Giosaia on the teetering see-saw...








Luca and Samuel...











Birthday girls...


Friends...


Fathers...





Kathy and Leia... Birthday girls' moms...








Isabella...





Elise...


Papà reading to Miranda about "Fancy Nancy"...


Miriam...


Nicoletta and Kathy...


The end of a long but nice day...


E is for Elise... (card I made for Elise)


I is for Isabella... (card I made for Isabella)

Isabella and Elise, Happy Birthday!! Thanks for inviting us to your party. We had so much fun. God bless you and your families. May He bless you and draw your little hearts closer to Him. Keep Him first!

Love, us