An update from Joe, Matt's dad about Matt:
"I received word from the Navy today that they have called off the search. I want to thank you for your prayers. Matt was a wonderful son, kind and compassionate. Matt loved God, his family, friends, and country. No greater love does a man have than this, to lay down ones life for his friends. Matt, thank you for your service. I miss you, Son. See you in heaven."
Saturday, July 30, 2011
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 10:06 AM
Friday, July 29, 2011
....this was written by Don Bergman, Matt's uncle.
"Last night I was talking with my daughter Rachel about my nephew Matt. Matt was reported missing at sea while serving in the Navy yesterday. In the conversation we were remembering a recent visit when Matt was here with his family. We all went to the Pumpkin Festival together.
At the pumpkin festival we watched a game in which a giant slingshot was used to catapult miniature pumpkins to try to get them in a bushel basket that floated in the middle of the pond. There was a pretty girl supervising and taking money that bought three shots. We all watched as many people lofted the miniature pumpkins through the air and missed the target. It seemed impossible to have one land in the bushel basket.
Matt decided he wanted to win more than the fame and glory that would come with landing a pumpkin in the middle of the bushel basket. He wanted to win a kiss from the pretty girl. As he paid for the chance he asked the girl if he could have a kiss if he hit the target. She seemed flattered and smiled shyly. Matt stepped up to the slingshot that was mounted in the ground, did some quick mental calculations and let the pumpkin fly. His aim was true and the pumpkin landed squarely in the basket.
I remember Matt's huge smile as he turned to the girl for his prize. Her face instantly turned bright red.
Rachel commented, "That shot was one in a million. But you know that with Matt it seemed like everything was one in a million".
One in a million describes Matt perfectly. As a young boy of 5 or 6 he added up the prices of food in his head in the back seat of the minivan while his Dad ordered in the drive through at McDonald's. He could give you the square root of any 4 digit number to several decimal places after a short calculation in his head as a boy. He was a genius with a natural gifting in the area of language. He decided to join the US Navy and learned Farsi in their school while amazing the instructors by his ability to go through the class without having to study.
His heart was as big as his mind was sharp. He always had a big smile on his face and had an excitement for life. He loved adventure. He was so proud that he was serving his country in the Navy. My grandfather has a wall in his house with pictures of the men in our family that have served in the military. Matt was so proud and excited after he made it through boot camp because he could have his picture on Grandpa's Wall.
It seems that now that Matt has a one in a million shot as our Navy have been looking for him for more than 36 hrs. I am thankful that our fighting forces don't give up easily and don't leave a man on the battlefield. We can still hope and pray that Matt comes through this.
Matthew Bergman - I am proud of you. You are One in a Million and I will never forget you.
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 9:49 AM
Thursday, July 28, 2011
This is an update that we received from Joe about Matt this morning:
"I spoke with Navy concerning Matt, They said they would search one more day. They are using several ships, and planes with inferred cameras and night vision. They said with this technology they would find him if he is still on the surface. They said at this point the odds are slim to none. I will keep everyone posted. Thank you for your prayers."
My heart is breaking for Joe, Holly and Nissi...
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 9:45 AM
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Please pray for Robert's nephew Matt and our family. Matt is only about 21 years old and is in the Navy; apparently he fell overboard while at sea in the Gulf of Aden on a mission. Matt has been missing for 11 hours. Please pray for him to be found.....
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 9:39 AM
Thursday, July 21, 2011
...from my Sunday trip to Cheekwood with my camera. It was really way too dang hot to be out there, but i needed some time with my new toy. Not very happy with many of the photos i took; the bee one is my favorite.
So much to learn on this Canon 7D!
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 12:48 AM
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
One of the amazing things that has happened to Robert and i since we've adopted Emma is the "community" that we've discovered. This community of sorts are families who also have adopted from Guatemala, along with others who live there as missionaries to help the Guatemalans children. It's interesting to me that this group is as close as it is. When something happens, good or bad, it's shared. If there is a need, it's shared. Photos are shared of our children, holiday wishes are shared and many of us have formed very, very close friendships. We send Christmas cards, read each other's blogs and often ask each other for advice.
It was on Guatemalan adoption site that i found (okay, stalked and emailed her till she answered me) Melissa. I swear, she's my long-lost missing sister! Funny, beautiful and sarcastic, she is my buddy. We went through our adoptions together of Ana (her daughter) and my Emma. We've laughed hysterically together, cried together and prayed for each other. Melissa and her husband had a very long road and difficult road with their adoption journey, that was heartbreaking at times. I hate that Melissa lives in Chicago and i live in Nashville, but maybe that's a good thing as we would planning things together daily and probably having one too many Mommy Play Dates! Although we don't speak daily, or often, i know that i can pick up the phone at any time and call her...
Yesterday, i read about Gabby Lewis. She is a seven year old child who was adopted into the Lewis family. She also has a brother, who also was adopted from Guatemala. Gabby, as you can see from her photo, is a beautiful little girl. I don't know the Lewis family, but they are part of the "community" i mentioned earlier.
Gabby and her brother were in a car with their grandparents when there was an accident. I don't know all of the details of the accident, and somehow, when i read that Gabby had a serious brain injury, it really didn't matter what the details of the car accident were. Little Gabby had swelling on the brain and was unresponsive. Her brother, Tucker, 5 yr old, is in the PICU but are "he will make it" and the grandmother had lost her arm and as of this afternoon was not yet awake. Emails and posts asking for prayers immediately went around and all of us prayed....late yesterday i read this post on a fb site for GuataMamas:
Prayers and Hugs for the Lewis Family...
Tonight, Guatemalan adoptive families mourn the loss of a beautiful little girl by the name of Gabby Lewis. She was only 8 years old and passed away due to injuries suffered in a horrible car accident....
Her 5 year old brother Tucker is in the PICU but "will make it"... and the grandmother has lost her arm and as of this afternoon was not yet awake..... Please keep the Lewis family in your prayers!!
I think that probably the greatest fear of any mother is to loose a child. In fact, i would probably venture to say that loosing someone you love is the greatest fear of many. We've all lost someone we love; yet it never gets easier. And loosing a child seems to be perhaps the hardest to understand and deal with. Although there is happiness that the person you love is in heaven with others who have passed on before them, and in the Lord's arms...it's hard to remember that when you only are in the mist of your physical, heart wrenching pain. Later, the thought that your child is with Jesus, i imagine, is a comfort...for you will see them again.
But gone are all the moments that you were so sure would come. Growing up moments, loving moments, growing moments, funny moments, and time to make precious memories...i think that i take for granted that i am going to have every one of these moments with my daughter and husband. I think that i have "forever" with them to create moments;
when in reality, no one knows when their "forever" will end and for what reason, if there is a reason. Many times, it seems that there are no reasons that we can understand.
Cherish every single one of them. Let little things be. Hug more. Laugh more. Forgive more. Extend grace more. Spend time with those you love more, without the distraction of a TV, computer, or your phone. Be quick to giggle and not-so-quick to anger. Go barefoot with your family outside. Catch bugs together. Have a water-balloon fight. Tuck each other in with a goodnight story and prayer. Cook dinner together. Take care of others together, as a family. Attend church together and pray together.
And be sure to love with ALL of your heart.
It's the only way to love, you know....
Gabby, i know that you are among the angels today, playing with Jesus and watching over us. Although our hearts are so very heavy for your Mommy, we know that you are where you should be: in the arms of our Lord. We will all see you when it is time, but till then, know that you'll be in our thoughts.
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 10:35 AM
Monday, July 18, 2011
~The child loves animals. Bugs, flies, butterflies, hummingbirds, birds, bees, elephants, alpacas....you name it, and if it's a animal, Emma loves it! No Barbie dolls here....just lots of dinos, farm animals, jungle animals and savannah animals! She is also amazing at animal sounds. A trip to the pet store (especially a reptile pet store with a ton of fish and huge spiders) is a big treat for her and a joy to watch.
~Emma does her best to dress herself. The outfits that she chooses, well, are funny. On Saturday, she picked out her pink winter tights, white sandals, a t-shirt with "Girls Rule" in pink with flowers and a pink bow for her hair. On Sunday, it was the pink winter tights again, a Halloween orange and black kitty shirt, her white sandals again and her cowboy hat. I truly need to take photos of some of her outfits, but really, i'm trying to not giggle in front of her as she's so excited that she picked out clothes "all by herself" that i don't want to ruin the moment for her by laughing hysterically.
~Fruit, fruit, fruit, wheat crackers, wheat crackers, wheat crackers, cheese, cheese, and more cheese. If i would let her, she would eat fruit (especially strawberries!) till she exploded. Bananas are another favorite. Oh, and i almost forgot, grilled cheese sandwiches. She's also a great milk drinker and loves to drink green tea for some reason. Emma will try just about everything you offer her, but it has to pass her "smell test" first. Pizza is also a huge favorite...
~We know our letters, numbers and a gazillion Spanish words. We are working on Spanish numbers and phrases now along with writing. Pre-K is suppose to start in August sometime but we are not sure if Emma has been "accepted" into our county's pre-k program. Silly me thought that every child had the chance to attend pre-k. If she's not accepted or put on the waiting list, Robert and i have some decisions to make. Nothing like waiting till the last moment on something so important, eh?
~Singing and prayers: Emma loves to sing and twirl. Her night time prayers are sweet and she never forgets. She loves her room, but will come sleep with us occasionally. I know, i know, be careful with co-sleeping....but you know, this child of mine won't be four forever and if she wants to come cuddle with us, i'm tickled pink. She and Pachi always end up in her room, giggling and laughing together (as much as a pink, stuffed elephant can!)
~On July 10th, it was four years that Emma was placed in our arms. I'm really at a kinda loss on how to "celebrate" this day. I don't like the "gotcha' day" thing, and "family day" bothers me a little. I always think of Emma's birth mom, who i am willing to bet isn't having a happy day on that day. It's been four amazing years for Robert and i....and i pray for S daily. I hope that she knows that Emma is growing into a smart, funny, giggly, beautiful little girl. Emma has S's beautiful dark hair and her beautiful, dark, dark brown eyes. Maybe one day...
....yes, one day.
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 6:10 AM
Friday, July 15, 2011
I'm a "Helicopter Mom".
I try not to be. In fact, i tell myself all the time that i'm not a helicopter mom. I tell myself that
...but i leave out the part that she should only do this when i'm there to 'protect' her.
Because, well, you know, this would be like admitting that i obviously have issues.
Which i do, but i don't need her to know that just yet....she'll figure it out on her own much later. I don't need her to know that i have issues till she's much older. Like in her 40s.
Back to the "helicopter" thing...
For some reason, i have this fear that i won't be there to 'protect' my daughter when she'll need it the most. I won't be able to put on my "Super-Mommy-Cape-with Matching Kick-Butt Boots" and save her from some danger that she doesn't see. Dangers like, cookies too big that she may choke on, or a loose rail on the edge of a cliff that she may fall off of.
My amazing, insane imagination is only second to my stunning, mental issues, folks...
Since Emma came home with us, these
Where does this fear of mine come from? Is danger really always just around the corner, lurking? Have i watched one too many horror movies? Do i have a twisted imagination? If i don't stop thinking this way, i am worried that it will eventually trickle down to Emma, which is the very last thing i want. I remember always being fearful as a little child; scared of the dark, scared of bugs, scared of people i don't know. As an adult, i'm not so much scared of any of those things, except, of course, for the stupid bugs.
A few days ago, i read something that made my blood go cold.
A little boy, eight years old, in Brooklyn, NY, had finally convinced his parents to let him meet them half way home, walking from his summer day camp. Little Leiby Kletzky, has practiced this route before with his mom so he seems to be a little familiar with his route. But on this day, the day his parents agree to let him meet them half way home, he never meets them as he gets lost. Little Leiby asks a gentleman on the street for help....the little boy is never seen alive again. The little boy is suffocated, mutilated (butchered into pieces) by this man he asks for help from.
I know, i know....how often does this happen? And what are the chances of this happening? I don't know the answers to either of those questions, but i think that this is the stuff that makes me fear the most. This stuff DOES happen, though...and that terrifies me.
Fear shouldn't rule a life. Fear of the unknown should never stop me from encouraging Emma to be in our front yard to pick flowers, or to play in the back yard in her bathing suit with the sprinkler while i do dishes. But i don't encourage her to do either one of these things alone, even though i would be able to check on her and even see her from our home. If she goes outside, i go with her. If Emma wants to go to our Butterfly Garden to pick flowers, i go with her. Emma is four (she'll be five in February) and is quite capable of doing both of these things by herself. But i don't let her...
I remember my summers when i was growing up, how i would wake up early, eat breakfast, and grab my bike and not come home till lunch. And then i would be off again, on my bike, till dinner. After dinner, i would be out again till the street lights came on. I don't remember my Mom shouting out warnings, other than "Watch out for cars!" and "Make sure you are going where you tell me you're going!". I was with my friends, and thus, a lot less un-fearful because i was on an adventure. Why is it i can't imagine me letting Emma take off like that, on her bike on an adventure without a GPS tracking device attached to her? That's a part of growing up that i cherish the most, riding my bike with my friends to the library (which wasn't close, btw), or riding my bike to the pool to be with my friends. Granted, i was older than four, more closer to little Leiby's age, but i still can't see me letting Emma ride off like i use to do.
It seems that i have two choices as Emma grows: teach her the best i can to be smart and fearless (okay, a little fear is good....) or i can keep her locked in the house, with no chance of adventures. The first choice IS the best choice, but boy, do i have a lot of work to do on me.
The second choice?
Would squash the free spirit that this child is and make her fearful (not to mention make our home a battleground for years to come) of the world. And i don't want that.
So, i have work to do on me....
I wonder if Valium comes in a multi-pack?
By the way, please, please pray for little Leiby Kletzky's family, especially his parents. The horror of their son's death is unimaginable. Please pray for comfort for their tears, sadness, anger and that God holds them all in His arms. Thank you for doing that...
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 8:10 AM
Monday, July 11, 2011
One of my greatest joys is my Fukien Tea. It's a beautiful bonsai tree that i've had now for about 7 years. It was a gift from my husband before we were married, celebrating an 'anniversary' of sorts for us. He and i "oooo'ed" and "ahhhh'ed" over the tree as we took it out of it's box where it was carefully packed. The tree was full of deep green leaves and little, tiny white flowers. I was so excited, i could barely stand it....i've always been fascinated by bonsai and now i finally, finally had a real bonsai tree!
That next few weeks, my new little tree promptly lost just about all of it's leaves. I was in a panic! How in the world could i have killed a tree, especially a tree that i have lusted over, so quickly?!?! After speaking to someone who is a long time bonsai lover, the shock of transport and had probably gotten the best of my little tree. My tree soon started growing new little leaves and, thankfully, my new little friend would recover.
And recover it did! I would pick old blooms off of my little tree, spritzing it with water (these trees love that!) daily, count the blooms, making sure that it got all of the sun it needed, talking to it and making sure i did everything right. My new little friend started growing into a bushy, bushy, happy plant with amazing, beautiful blooms.
I was a proud bonsai tree mama!
I even was able to show it at a Nashville Bonsai Club Show! I was so giddy!! My little tree next to all of those amazing trees! My little tree didn't place or win, but just the fact that it was actually IN this show was enough for me. Dave Brogan, a well known bonsai expert with many beautiful trees, was judging and he spoke to me about MY tree, telling me what he liked and what he thought i should do to train it. I floated out of the show with my little tree. It may not have won anything, but i was thrilled.
Of all the trees that encompass bonsai, this particular tree is by far, my favorite. Bonsai trees, especially the older ones, can be very, very, VERY expensive. A tree can be an investment if you are interested in an older tree. My little tree was only in it's mid-to late twenties, though. And besides, this tree, this tree was my favorite tree. Yes, the maples are beautiful trees, as are the elms and the junipers, but the Fukien Tea, to me, is the most beautiful. I love the tiny, white flowers that bloom on this tree, i love it's green, shiny leaves, i love the texture of it's bark. This beautiful tree, though, requires care. Cleaning up fallen leaves is important. Having a tray under the tree with rocks works as a humidifier that is also important. Making sure that you have the correct soil mix and fertilizer is important. But, watering, watering is SO very important to this tree's health...
Vacations have always proved to be a problem. You just can't leave a bonsai tree to fend for it's self while you're gone for a week or more. You just can't take your tree (many folks who love bonsai have more than one tree, often several) on to your vacation, especially if you're flying. Many folks don't understand the care that some of these trees need. Tales of people not taking vacations due to their trees, watering systems failing, or asking someone to water for them and their trees dying are common themes that you hear when talking to others who love bonsai. I was so very lucky that a next door neighbor where we use to live took such great care of my tree while we would take trips or vacations....
....but, my luck has ran out.
A few weeks ago, we went on a longer vacation than usual and i hired a neighborhood boy to water my plants. He had watered for me before and did a really great job, but for a much shorter time, so i wasn't really worried about my tree.
I should have worried.
I really should have worried.
All of my other plants did very well, including the ones outside that i had just recently planted. Even my orchid did beautifully and had more blooms on growing. Yes, i have a LOT of plants......i'm a tree/plant/flower hugger kinda gal, i'm afraid.
Robert was the first to notice my tree when we came home. I tried not to cry when i saw my tree as my sweet husband tried his best to convince me that my tree wasn't dead, but i knew better. Robert lost a very old bonsai quite a few years ago due to a watering system that failed, and i knew from talking to him and others that once a tree is stressed by non-watering enough, well, you can't change what will happen, no matter how much you try.
My tree, my beautiful tree, is dying, bit by bit.
I can't even bear to take a photo of my tree in the shape it's in now.
I tried to clean him up, get rid of the leaves that had already fallen and water him the best i could. I've been extra attentive since we've been home, but i can see what the outcome will be for my little tree. I'm sad as this tree, this beautiful little tree has been such a joy the past 7, almost 8 years. It hurts to see my beautiful little tree die...
I'm sure that i'll get another tree eventually. And i'm sure that it will be a Fukien Tea. But this time, i'll be sure to hire a professional plant care person to water and baby my tree and plants.
Otherwise, by golly, i'll be the weird lady on the plane, holding her bonsai tree in her lap, going on vacation with her bonsai tree....
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 2:48 PM
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
....for even one photo. This child of mine runs, sings, plays, giggles, screams, takes her clothes off, farts and giggles some more....yet never seems to slow down long enough for me to get photos of her where i can at least not chop her head off in the pic.
I'll have to try harder....(smile)
♡ Scribbled by ~Isabel at 9:11 PM