|Posted by Valerie Anderson-Stallworth on August 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM||comments (3)|
"On the seventh day... God rested from all his work." Gnensis 2:2
Do you ever wonder when the madness of daily life will stop long enough for you to catch your breath? If you are, like myself, and most people, who are caught up in our schedule obsessed society, you fall into bed at night exhausted and sometimes much to much tired to fall asleep.
You are right to think that God wants you to tend to business and meet your responsibilities, but He also means for you to enjoy your life and treat your body like the holy temple that it is. When I was chained to the corporate table, I failed to take care of me. There were just not enough hours in the day to "take care of business", and take care of me. God saw fit to allow me to release myself from the shackles of the daily grind, and for that I am Greatful.
I learned, after much ill health and heartache, that rest isn't a luxury; it is a necessity. Without it, your body will be vulnerable to disease and even premature death if you are not careful. Physical rest will come more readily when you release your cares to God. Then, finally, you will be able to catch your breath again. Come on... release, breathe, there you go...
"Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your soul." Jeremiah 6:16
Lord, I ask for the rest that comes when we allow you to help us shoulder our daily responsibilities. Amen
|Posted by Valerie Anderson-Stallworth on June 9, 2010 at 7:09 PM||comments (0)|
Wow. The children in my life take center stage, again. "Teach respect. Authority plus love when a child is small sows the seed of a great patriot, a great world citizen, a great Christian." Anne Ortlund
"Show proper respect to everyone; Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king." 1 Peter 2:17
All I'm tring to do is provide some guidance and discipline while the child is still young. The bible does say to "spare the rod, is to spoil the child". I don't advocate child abuse in any situation, but I do believe that a smack on the hand or on the bottom may be just what he needs to help him understand his wrongs. I'm sorry, a good spanking in my day didn't hurt anyone, although I do understand it is so easy to cross the line.
I have to reclaim my home. Sometimes I feel like a prisioner when it comes to the "young ones" running the show, and allowing them to make decisions about situations they can't even spell yet. I don't believe that we should be honoring the requests of 3 - 7 year olds in any circumstance, and their "side" of the story can not always be considered... Do they have a "side" at 6 years old? I think that when a parent or adult tells a child no, that means no, and not wait until they ask again. Whewww... what a day.
All and all, I did have a great day today, participating in the "Marketing Your Talents" workshop. The workshop was offered to survivors/victims of the recent RIF, free of charge, to us. I didn't know what to expect this morning, and teetered on not attending, but realized that this may be the only opportunity I may have to reconnect with some old "friends". I was right. It was so nice to see you, and you, and you, and you. I was surprised to see "you" here for the 2nd time around. May God Bless each and everyone of my old "friends" who participated in today's session. May He shower you with so many of His gracious blessings, that you don't have room to receive, and may you find that awesome job that is deserving of the wonderful talents that you have. You will all land on your feet, and all will be fine.
Back to the kids. I am anxiously awaiting the day when we have an empty house again. The girls are leaving for Colorado this Saturday. They spend each summer with their family in Colorado. This is always a time for Willie and I to get the house together, and catch up with each other. This is our revival time. Michelle, Nathan and the boys will be moving this weekend also. Yeah... not that I don't love having them around, but I think it is real easy for family to quickly "wear out their welcome" when they are camping out for any length of time. I also feel like the boys need their own space, toys, beds, and home. It has been challenging, and I can only pray that Michelle will not take our giving them the boot personal. After all, we've been more than gracious for 5 months, and It'shard to be grandma up close, especially when our parenting styles collide, and they do. "We just talk to him"... Ok, enough said. So long for now. Tomorow is another day. Up early to MacDill to enroll the girls in DEER'S and get Amber her first ID card. This should be fun... I think it's going to be harder and harder to fight that "Early Morning Affective Disorder", tomorrow, but you know me. I shall rise like the trooper that I am.
|Posted by Valerie Anderson-Stallworth on June 6, 2010 at 1:30 AM||comments (0)|
Motherhood is the greatest privilege of life... "He settles the... woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord." Psalms 113:9. Good evening. What a full day we had today. A Woman's work is truly never done. Well, today I didn't accomplish everything I set out to do, but it was a full day indeed. I want to thank God again for bringing my family close together, and allowing me the opportunity to spend such precious time with my grandchildren. Today was much like any other Sunny Florida weekend. Willie finally put the Gazeebo together for me. O how I love that man. As he lay snoring next to me, I wonder how I could not... I have to smile because he called himself "going out with the boys" tonight.. I think sometimes he forgets that after 50 you can't call yourself one of the "boys". I remember a day when Willie would head to the club, and not come home until well after 3:00 am. I had my days' also. Hanging with Millie, Donna,and Nisha on any given night meant that I was safe as long as I was in before the sun came up. LOL At 12:15, Willie was calling me to see what I was doing. I didn't comment on the fact that he was supposed to be out with the boys. I did ask him why he was calling me? He said he missed me and was on his way home. Now you see why I'm smiling? I don't trip anymore when he heads out because I know he can find his way home. (smiling)... So it is, I believed in raising my girls to understand what life is always about, and be ever prayerful and thankful for all of the blessings God has bestowed upon them. Monique went all the way to Denver to go to school, fall in love, and start a family, but 26,000 miles was not to far for her to come home. It's great to be a mother. Michelle was very successful after graduating a Hurricane from the University of Miami. She completed school and started her own family. She too is learning the joy of motherhood, and has brought her family home to nest in our village. Yes, train up a child the right way, and they will never stray too far from it... Motherhood is the greatest privilege of life. Today I enjoyed taking a moment to listen to Michelle vent. She is such a caring young mother, and will walk over hot searing coals for her boys, Michah, Maurice, and Nathan. Her mothering instincts are all in tact. She still has a lot to learn about letting birds free... LOL I love my family so very much, and am thankful for each and every day. Talked to mom today. She was sounding good and having a great afternoon. She is improving each and every day. I love the fact that we talk much like friends these days, and that our relationship, mother/daughter has lasted through the test of time. Mom, I love you. You have taught me what it really means to be a mother, wife, loving sister, daughter, woman, and friend. I pray that you are having a very peaceful and restful night, and am looking forward to our mother daughter talk tomorrow. Today was also a day full of laughter and memories. Ran into an old friend recently, Jessie B. We met in the early 70', while going to school in Woodbridge England, Bentwaters AFB. What a wonderful time we had as young teenagers. Jessie posted pics on fb, and the memories came flooding back. Being an overseas brat has added so much fullness to my life. I thank my heavely, and my wordly father for such a wonderful life and childhood, so full of cultural experiences that most live a lifetime for. I will make sure to stay in touch with all of my old/new friends on fb, and can't wait until the next OSB reunion. Tonight is gone. Tomorrow will come before I know it. I trust that the sun will shine and the birds will sing, and I will have another chance to be a mother. Again, to me, Motherhood is indeed the greatest privilege of life. Good night all...
|Posted by Valerie Anderson-Stallworth on June 1, 2010 at 2:58 PM||comments (0)|
Wow, it has been quite some time since I've written here. There have been many changes in my life in the last few months. The most recent event has allowed something in me to die, to be reborn. As is with any death, you have to have a time of grief and mourning. Both of these processes are ment to heal, and not to harm. "Growth is the goal of the Christian. Maturity is mandadory... If you are the same Christian you were a few months ago, be careful." Max Lucado "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity..." Hebrews 6:1 Yes, growth is what is happening in my life. May 26, 2010 will be a date that I won't forget for some time to come. A date where something in me died. Where the old self is being given an opporunity to grow, to mature, to live, to strive. Death, in this case is good. When God closes one door, He is in a position to open not only other doors, but windows, by which he is able to pour out so many blessing, that we don't have room to receive. He is an awesome God. I continue to learn life's lessons every day. This year I will be 1/2 a Century Young/Old, however you'd like to think of it, but I'm getting better and stronger in Christ every day. I truly enjoyed my time working with ACS and seeing the way we improved the quality of life for cancer patients on a daily basis. I do hope and pray that the quality and level of services available will not suffer because of the recent RIF. My last 5/6 months at the Society have been no bed of roses, but my Lord has sustained me none the less. In recent months it had become increasingly difficult to go into the office each day. Goals were being met, tasks were being completed, and programs and services were being implemented around the state. That was not enough, the criticism was constant and blinding at times. Creativity was squashed, and new ideas were not welcome. Yes, God had been trying to tell me something for months. After my return from FMLA in January, I began to experience challenges in the office like you would not have imagined, but still my God brought me through. On January 4, 2010, the first day I returned to the office after surgery and Christmas Vacation, the Lord began to speak to me. I began to clear the office of any personal belongings or anything that was of me. I had somehow sensed that tmy life with ACS was about to come to an end. Slowly but surely life was being drained from me in the office. I was so thankful for family, friends, sister's Grace and Mercy, and the love of my holy Father. They were all there to sustain me and replenish my daily losses. Yes, death was creeping closer and closer. Finally, I realized the end was near the morning I removed the Relay For Life quilt from my office. My mother is a quilter, and this was the first quilt I had created, from Relay t-shirts strips of purple cloth, and love for an organization and mission that would have been respected in other societies, but that was ok. I had begun to sense a peace and calm like no other, and was ready for anyting that came my way. On Wednesday afternoon, May 26, I was not at all surprised by the visitors to my office who politely shut the door and explained to me that my position was being eliminated. I was ok in knowing that as this door was closing, my God was opening others, and others, and others. What did not sit right with me was being forced to put what little I did have left into a box, and being escorted out of the office like a common criminal. That aspect of the process is both embarassing and discouraging. Where I like to see the general good in people, this process is set up to expect the worst, and why then are they surprised, when they receive the worst from some. Dignified as I could, I proceeded to place a few personal items in a box, collect other goods, and a few personal files. I was not able to say goodbye to friends, nor take a moment to accept the idea that I was being force to walk away from 10 good years of service. No one thanked me for that service either. So we end up here today. Days from the event, and I am feeling better. Better about the organization, and better about what they have been forced to do in these difficult financial times. I wish them well, and can only pray that everyone else in the RIF will land on their feet. I have met some great friends during my time with ACS, but this process has torn us apart without even a way to reconnect. E-mails, gone, phone numbers, gone, address books, gone, and friends scattered to the far edges of the state, gone. I know I have the christian strength to recover from this, and pray that God will look upon not only those who call His name, but those you need to get to know Him, during this time of grief I have learned a great lesson from this experience, and know the importance of serving one God with character. From this experience, I have learned that the thoughts, feelings, and actions we participate in today form the kind of person we will be tomorrow. I am choosing not to be bitter, but to build on the experience I have gained from ACS, and to trust even more deeply in God. "...choose for yourself this day whom you will serve... as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15. Everything happens for a reason, and I feel that even though my season with ACS is over, my new season in life is just beginning.
|Posted by Valerie Anderson-Stallworth on February 17, 2010 at 10:03 AM||comments (0)|
Weighed Down or Way Up? If you're not as close to God as you used to be, guess who moved? "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us." Hebrews 12:1 Wheewww... What a last few whirlwind days. I've got to get myself more committed to this Blog. Having to find the time to shout out the last few days has been difficult, but I wouldn't trade the last week for anything. I took some time to reconnect with the most important man in my life, next to God of course, and the good thing about that is, that he doesn't mind that comparison. He whole heartedly agrees. Saturday, 2/13/2010. Rode off into the sunset with my knight in shining armour. I love a man who is flexible, and who realizes that sometimes plans are made to be changed. Our plans were to spend about 4/5 days in Pensacola/Mobile for Mardi Gras, but we began to watch the sever weather reports, and snow in Pensacola was not in or plans. 25 degrees in Mobile was most definitely not in our plans either, so we started watching the weather channel on Friday evening and noticed one bright spot on the US Map... Orlando. Well, Orlando, here we come! We cancelled all reservations in the panhandle and set our sights for Mardi Gras, Universal, Orlando. One weekend of sin is as good as the other, right? There was not a spot or blemish on the whole weekend. My sweetie is so sweet. We took our time getting it together Saturday morning, making sure we left the house in good shape and the kids had everything they would need. With Michelle and Nathan camping here, we didn't have to worry about Amber and Dela, they would be more than well taken care of. On Saturday night, Amber called to say that they "Did not miss us". I loved the fact that she took the time to call and tell us that. It gave me the fuel to forge ahead. 50 years old and still taking the time for the "getaway", is what keeps a relationship fresh and new. Made it to Orlando and opted for the simpler living at the Residence Inn instead of the Crowne Plaza. Don't ever make reservations at the Crowne that you don't intend to keep. Their new policy includes charging you one nights stay, if you don't cancel within 72 hours. The reservations were made closer than 24 hours out, so how can they charge us for not cancelling in 72 hours. Be careful when traveling these days. Everyone, including Priority Club, is trying to make sure they stay in the green. No matter how loyal of a customer you are. However, we didn't let that make a dent in our day. We landed in Residence Inn, Universal early afternoon, checked in, unpacked, and hit the road. The first stop in Orlando is always Shoe Land. One pair of red leather boots, 1 par of royal blue suede pumps, 1 pair of black pumps with pinstripes, and 1 pair of the new gladiator sandals later, I had to leave... Oh yeah, Willie did find a pair of Nike's to his liking. I had to let him get at least one pair. He was of course driving. We did so much running around on Saturday night that by the time we made it back to the hotel, all we could do was nap. We made the mistake of having dinner before returning to the room, and that was all she wrote. 10 years earlier, we would have made it back out to JJ Whispers or to City Walk to see what the night life had to offer. Tonight, our late night was a movie to order in the room, and finding the pillow at about 4 a.m. A great night, but no time to make it to the computer. Sunday, 2/14/2010. Happy Valentines Day Willie. I pray our love and life together continues to grow in God's glory. You for me, and me for you... Love you baby. Any how. We arose Sunday morning as if we'd had many, many, many, hours of sleep. Headed out to breakfast and just a little more shopping. Wanted to make sure I picked up t-shirts and King cake for all. T-shirts, check... King Cake, cinnamon with pecan nut rings, check... Ok, now to the fun. Back to the room to purchase the Universal Mardi Gras tickets on line... The trick to Universal is to get the after 5 tickets. You seem to miss all of those little ones running around, and seem to have small to no lines on the rides. Willie and I headed off to Universal Studios. First ride was the Terminator... Arnold is Arnold, is Arnold, is Arnold... "I"ll be back is I'll be back", in any language. From there we walked, walked, and walked. I really enjoy Universal, with or without the nieces and grandkids. This trip was different because we were able to do what we wanted to do as grown folk, without the added trips to the bathroom, and having little ones not big enough to ride the good rides. If you haven't done Disney without the kids, it's is never too late, and you are never to old to step back in time and just enjoy. That old Walt really had a plan that payed off for everyone. As the sun set down, we headed to the French Quarter where the aroma of New Orleans was all around. Most restaurants were shut down and street vendors were set up to serve the many street revelers. Jumbalaya, E'touffe, gumbo, funnel cakes, benet's. I may have mispelled many of these, but I sure remember what they taste and smell like. Oh Yeah, diet does begin today at noon. The stilt walker same out in their splendid costumes and Disney at night began to come alive. The Mardi Gras parade began at about 8pm. Not quite what you'd find in Mobile or New Orleans, but quite a site, and by then, the beads began to flow. 845ish, it was time for Kool and the Gang. No JT, but Kool was his usual self, and the did alllllll of their old tunes. Their sound is classic, and you could not feel the cold between the good music, the voodoo drinks, and all of the layers of clothes we had on. Still, the 50 degrees was a heck of a lot warmer than Mobile's 24. Another wonderful night had to finally come to an end. We crashed like the biggest babies who had been bathed and fed. Oh, I forgot to share that Disney has Starbucks available in their theme parks now. Not the Jarbucks that most places have, but a real Starbucks who can fix a mean Cafe Mocha, black and white, with vanilla. Yes, the diet will begin soon. Monday, 2/15/2010. Happy President's Day. Another glorious morning that the Lord has blessed us with. He is so abundantly good to me, and I love being His child. Father, I thank you for all of the wonderful things you have made, and for your guidance and agape love. Presidents Day morning, up for a quick breakfast, and shopping at Downtown Disney. Cirque De Solei is always a treat. One of these times we need to catch the Blue Man Group. I think the kids would love it also. We squeezed even more into Monday, Shopping, a show, a movie at the metroplex, and dinner. Now, we are really tired, and even thinking about heading home in the morning. Back to the room, again, so full of today, love, and each others good company. We have had such a wonderful opportunity to re-connect this weekend, and every couple, no matter how seasoned, should make time for each other. Time together is so important. A relationship needs to be nurtured, nurtured, and nurtured some more. I'm not saying that there won't be ups and downs, but that the downs will be much more manageable if you can communicate through them, and with each other. What a great weekend for self reflection. When my head hit the pillow Monday night, I was full... Tuesday 2/16/2010, we arose, had a quick breakfast, and one more shopping trip before hitting the road. If we had brought the girls with us, we wouldn't have had enough room for them to ride in the car... Too many bags and stuff. God is so good, that he allows us to make some little splurges on Him, and knowing that my Father owns all is such an amazing thing to me. Time to head home, revived, refreshed, and ready to work to make the world a better place for all. The conversation shared on the way back to Tampa was just what we needed to top off such a great Sweetheart Trip. Made it home safely, the house is still in tack, the family is all safe. Lord, I thank you for all you do for me and my family. We need you Lord now like we've never needed you before. Bless Monique, Ari, and Jason. Lord continue to put your loving arms around Michelle, Nathan, Maurice, and Michah, and Lord I ask a special blessing for Amber, Idela, and Willie. Father God, I have so many friends and family, I couldn't begin naming them all. I'd surely leave someone off. You have blessed them to come into my life, some for a season, and some for a reason. Please let your will be done in their lives, and if they don't know you Lord, show me how I can show them you light and your love. And when all is said and done Lord, thank you for being my sweetheart. Happy Valentines Day, Happy President's Day, and Happy Ash Wednesday.
|Posted by Valerie Anderson-Stallworth on February 7, 2010 at 10:42 PM||comments (0)|
Wheewwww, another Super Bowl down, another trip to Disney Land, and another football season has come to an end. Jumbalaya... gone, wings... gone, chicken salad... gone, lots of picante cheese dip left, but just about everything else is gone. The boys are in the bed...sleep. The girls are in the bed... sleep. Monique and Ari gone home... to sleep. The house is so quiet... I can barely hear a peep. All of this calm and quiet makes me want to sleep. It's over now. What a blessed day we had today. First Communion Sunday makes me so full. I really look forward to the right hand of fellowship. I was up with the sun, and here came little Micah. I love to see his smile early in the morning. It's been so great having Michelle and her family "crash" here until they get on their feet. I imagined all sorts of problems with this arrangement, none of which have materialized. God is an Awesome God. He has waved his wand of peace and calm over this place. He has blessed this home with such a spirit of selflessness, allowing all of us to get along and share in the glory. After Communion, off to H&R Block. I do remember when nothing was open on Sunday. These days every one is battling for the convenience dollar, and tax season is off with a blast. I expected the worst, and was extremely surprised and satisfied with how smoothly things went. My tax accountant was very pleasant and clearly loved what she does. It isn't very often that the "tax" man smiles, but this lady was so pleasant, and the office was so calm, that I enoyed having my taxes done. After the taxes i decided to make sure, to make the best of my time alone, and swung by Starbucks for my dose of sunshine. Grande, cafe mocha, black and white, with a shot of vanilla... Yes, that will do it for me every time. The ride home was so uneventful, and that is all right with me. I knew what would be waiting when I arrived. To my surprise, the house was quiet. The kids had all gone to the park. To the kitchen I ran, wanting to take care of as much as I could and use every quiet moment. Cutting up the onion and pepper for the jumbalaya, sauteing up the shrimp and sausage, then putting everything together did a sweet jumbalaya make. (smiling). Next on to adding the velveta cheese to the cooked ground sausage, and stirring in the picante sauce. Out came the cheese dip. Now to putting the meatballs into the oven, and making the dip... brown sugar, mustard, teriyaki sauce, and the soy sauce... yummy. Monique had already finished the wings while I was out, then open swung the door, and just in time for the super bowl. The girls helped to get out the other fixins and it was coin toss time and we're off. For the next few hours the fellows jumped and yelped, the girls talked to each other until we were all blue in the face, and I finished another collection of jewelry. I think this one reminds me of a Shirley. I'll have to remember to post it to the product line tomorrow. Shirley includes a watch, 4 bracelets, 3 necklackes/chokers, and about 6 pairs of earrings. Colors are in the blue line from royal missionary blue, to a light seafoam. Used up all of the remaining blue beads. It's such a popular color, I'll have to run out for more tomorrow. Game over, kitchen cleaned, everyone asleep... It's over now. PT will come early in the morning. Time to settle in with my boo, catch some news, and thank God for such a productive day, and oh yes, catch some shut eye. Yes, it's all over for now. Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take. God bless Mom and Dad, Debbie, Denise, and Joey. Lord, I ask a special blessing for Joey. You know what he needs. Lord bless Monique, Arianna, and Jason; Michelle, Nathan, Maurice and Micah; Amber, Idela, and Isaiah; and of course my Willie. Lord, I have a host of friends and family... you know what each of them needs. Lord, I am so thankful for all of the wonderful blessings that you have bestowed upon me and my family, I ask that you shower those around me with an abundance of what they need. And Father God, please don't let us forget your children in Haiti. They will need you more now than ever. Their recovery wil be long and hard, but you will never allow more of a burden than your strong people can stand. Please keep the children safe from further harn. I ask you for all of these blessings in your Son Jesus' name. Amen, and Amen. Good night.
|Posted by Valerie Anderson-Stallworth on February 6, 2010 at 6:29 PM||comments (0)|
Every day should be a "New Day". Life is never what you expect it to be. We begin each and every day with a kiss from heaven. God is our master, and the head of my life and house. I've been wanting to do the blog thing for a very long time. Here I go. Welcome to my New Day. This year I will turn 50 years old, and yes, Doctor Cheryl told me last week that this is the year of the Colonoscopy. I am excited about turning 50. In August, I will be a half a century older, or younger, which ever way you want to look at it. The big 50 is not the death sentence that many of my friends hide from, but an opportunity for me to share my lifes lessons and God's spirit with those within my sphere of influence, and yes, I will embark on my 50th Birthday cruise in August. Arianna, my oh so precious, divaliciously sweet 7 year old granddaughter. She is the apple of everyone's eye. She is growing up so fast before my eyes. Monique, my oldest daughter, and Arianna's mother, moved here to Tampa to be closer to the family. Before then, I was a closet/holiday grandmother, and wasn't involved in the day to day lives of Monique and Ari. Now, I have been blessed with the opportunity to watch Ms. Ari grow, grow, and grow. I look forward to her big hugs and squishy round cheeks every day. Maurice, my precocious 6 year old grandson is another gift to behold. With his oh so perfect smile, and enchanting "grandma" voice, I have a terrible time not giving in to his wants and wims. To my surprise, Maurice "Buddha", is a fairly well behaved young man. If you had asked me about his behavior two years ago, my response would have been quite a bit different. Watching him, while he is watching Alvin and the Chipmunks is just amazing. He is so into the movie, and watching it so intensly... oh well, I guess I spoke a little too soon. I'll check back in on this one later. Micah, the baby grand, at two years old is quite a character himself. He is going to be a charmer, for sure. I'd be a ca-billionaire if I could bottle his energy. He is beginning to talk and talking circles around "grandma". Of course that is one of the only words I can decipher. The other is Papa Willie. Just wanted to introduce you to the grands. You'll be hearing more about them in the days to come. Amber, just turned 12 years old. I gained permanent guardianship of two of my nieces from Colorado in December of 2006. Our lives have been so full of "little" blessings, since their arrival. Willie used to talk about missing the pitter patter of little feet, and now, look at what God has done. Amber was so vulnerable when she came to Florida. A 40 year old woman in a 8 year old body. Her life had not been easy. By the time she was 8 years old, she knew how to change her baby sister's diaper, fix formula for her bottle, and mix a mean bowl of cereal for her brother Isaiah. She saw herself as the "caretaker" for her brother and sister. She has grown so much in the last 4 years and really begun to mature as a growing young lady. She is very smart, intelligent, and responsible. She just made the Principals Honor Roll this semester, and I am so very proud of her. I look forward to seeing and hearing her success story. Her life is going to be what stories are made of. She has so much opportunity ahead of her, and I am honored to be a part of her life. Idela, just turned 8 years old. When we picked the kids up at the airport, Dela was 4 years old. I watched this beautiful pink bundle coming through the arrival gate at the FWB airport, carrying a back pack on her back that was just as big as she was. I wasn't sure at the time, that I was ready to add 3 new additions to my household, but God had other plans. Amber , Idela, and Isaiah would bring so much into our lives and provide Willie and us with 3 reasons to re-evaluate our lives and begin to purge ourselves of the unimportant things that weighed us down. We were now responsible for life and health of 3 small young children who had by this time in their lives, experienced more than any man or woman should have experienced. I simply could not have imagined a life without my parents, and especially my mother, at 4 years old. The strength of this little person was amazing to me. Looking into her deep eyes which showed a life of someone so much more older, I could see that there was something I might learn, even from a 4 year old. Monique and Michelle are my "girls". They may not want me to share their ages on line, but having had a hand in not only bringing them in to this world, but providing them the support and nurturing throughout their lives, had given me so much pleasure. I am so proud of the both of them. Such little ladies. Michelle and her family have just relocated here to Tampa also. Now, my family is complete. Traveling around the world as a military brat was difficult for me and my siblings. We had to rely quite a bit on each. We didn't have those friends that we knew or grew up with all of our lives. There were no cousins or relatives that we could hang with on the weekends. We missed a lot of the benefits of being grounded in one place. Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't change anything from my child hood, and there were many benefits to growing up a Military Brat, but having connections wasn't one of them. I have made some lasting friendships and found some old friends, but could never meet the "girls" for dinner or shopping. Now, Moniqe and Michelle's children will be able to grow up just a few miles fron grandma, and their cousins. We will be able to get together for birthday's, holiday's, and just for any day. Idela, Maurice, and Arianna ride the same bus to school each day, come home and do homework together, and spend a lot of time together on the weekends. God has been so good to us. Now, Willie, he is my friend, my partner, and my lover. I am so glad to have him in my life. We truly provide the support and encouragement for each other that a couple needs. I hope that our lives will be a beacon and a light for younger couples out there. We both have had our ups and downs before finally finding each other, and we have had some ups and downs since being together, but we have jumped over those hurdles, and our lives and love have grown stronger. Of course you will hear more about Willie in the months to come. My parents, Bill and Idella, sisters Debra and Denise, and brother Joey are a huge part of my life also. I can't wait to share their ups and downs with you also. I'll try not to provide too much of their information. Well, if you have read all of this introduction, welcome to my New Day! Hop on board and enjoy the ride. I'm hoping that this will be a great outlet for me, and an avenue for expression that I've not had before. This modern day of technology has offered us so many opportunities that we've not had before. Let's see how far we can go... If I can encourage just one young person out there, then this is all worthwhile. Oh, and don't forget to browse the pages of Stallworth's Precious Gifts. We are still under construction, and adding new items daily. Shipping for the next 90 day's is free, and you have a few shipping day's left before Valentines Day. Be Blessed!