©2019 by Heart to Heart.

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Armstead Family Trust  -  Post Office Box 24110  -  San Francisco, California 94124  -  United States of America

WELCOME TO HEART TO HEART

A JOURNEY TO HOME

You have not because you ask not. – The Apostle James, Book of James

A closed mouth, don’t get fed – My Dad, James, the Book of Armstead.

Lol! Okay, my first Disclaimer is that my Dad, James Armstead did not create that phrase.

I will attribute the saying to Black folks – it’s one of those euphemisms we use interchangeably sometimes for speak up, sometimes, for Speak out! Or sometimes for why didn’t you speak at all?   Broken down into its essence it was simply, if you don’t say anything, you won’t get anything.

 

My Dad gave the family other principles to stand on:  words on life, business, common sense and family.  He guided us through the mysteries of relationships and marriage:  Family is all you have; use what you have; money doesn’t grow on trees. Make sure you have all the basics.  These were simple, and practical Words of Wisdom, and though my Dad himself never wrote a book, his life was the book our family read, and it spoke volumes into our lives.

 

When I was growing up I knew my dad was preparing us. His intent was to give to us a structure we could stand on, the love of Jesus Christ being the chief foundation. But he also wanted us to have something for when life hurled itself at us as life sometimes does -for if God is not a respecter of persons, neither are the circumstances that sometimes accompany life.  We learned the best defense is a good offense, and so always be prepared. 

 

Yes, my dad gave us his best, but he couldn’t prepare us for the unknown part: that he would not be there for all of the journey.  He left us all too soon, but while he was here he gave us his Wisdom: we did not know it was a blessing.  When we are young we believe it is for ourselves only, but as we grow we realize wisdom is a seed, sown into generations to come. Our part is to continue the sowing until we have a harvest we can call our own.

 

To all my friends and family, today I reach out from my heart to yours.  My heart is that little tribe in the picture, my kids, my mom, and me.  If you haven’t heard, my life has been stretched dramatically, and I am writing this blog for two things, to raise funds because we are in a state of need, and to give me an opportunity to share my heart with yours. 

 

Because I have learned from the last few months, that, well, for one thing, a closed mouth really don’t get fed.

 

(Hello, family and Friends:  the circumstances of the last few years have included an increase in family size, a decrease of resources, health scares and other challenges. But through it, the Lord is here.  He has taught me to buckle down and to stand strong, and to ask for what I need.  We have all been through this part of the journey: to the mountain we need to speak to, to this Red Sea we need to part to get to the other side.

 

Today, I am the Moses to my tribe, and I ask you to be my God given staff.  Sit down for a while   and I will tell you the story, and you can tell me yours.)

 

Please go to: www.ArmsteadFundraiser.com to lend a hand, and come back soon to share in our story.

Heart to Heart,

June Armstead

MY LITTLE HEARTS 

 

Before I go any further, I want to introduce you to my little family.  Aka, my own precious little “motley crew” – not so much unruly. Or even undisciplined…but they are my own special cast of characters God has placed on this journey with me. And despite every thing that’s happened in our lives together as the song says, I wouldn't take nothin' for my journey now.

So here we are, my troop, my tribe, mi familia, or famille, no matter what language we use, it is our most cherished relationship. We are built up, molded, shaped, then sent forth into this world – sometimes with those who came before us, other times, we are the lead. But it is always this group of sojourners who we support along the road. Come go with us, for some of you a moment, for others, for the longer day, but whichever time you choose, we thank you for the time we have and your help along the way. 

THIS IS MY FAMILY HEART. This little group is the pulse of my life right now. They coarse thru the center of my days, they are the thread of our Master Quilt. 

 

From youngest to oldest...First, there is Benny (born 2005). He is the youngest and only male in our household--poor thing. Haha! He is giving, forgives easily and does not hold grudges. Benny is affectionate and demands hugs and my undivided attention. His dream is to be a track star, car mechanic and automobile designer, as well as an architect.

Second, comes Eegypt (born 2004). She is a creative artist, loves makeup, nails and hair. It is no secret that she is a Youtube enthusiast. She is very verbal, expects to be heard at all times--any given time of the day AND night. Affectionately nicknamed, Gi, Gigi or Cheeter-Chip wants everyone to be reasonable, has a soft heart and will inform you when something does not make sense--to her. All rules are debatable in her world. LOL! Eegypt has guaranteed that I will not have to worry in the future...when I die, SHE will take over and run my salon. Hahaha! Oh no, she is quite serious each time she reassures me. Needless to say Eegypt desires to be a cosmetologist. Who would have thought??

Third, is Elanna (2002) who prefers the title, Lona. Now she is my household's self-appointed "Commander-AND-Chief" (intentionally spelled and phrased). Lona has a fierce determination to achieve what she desires in life. She is a self-starter, advocate and defender for whatever  or whoever she is passionate about or for. Could care less what others think about her and you can hear her coming a mile away 'cause she LOVES TO SING!--anywhere, in front of anyone at any volume. Sooo, was it my mistake to purchase a bluetooth wireless pink microphone for Christmas? Hahaha...No, absolutely not! Because she loves singing and it makes her happy. And when Lona is happy, we ALL are happy. She also immensely enjoys cooking and eating food. Elanna joined the Army National Guard at 17 years old and will train to be a MP (Military Police).

Fourth, there is me, June (1972)...Aunt June, that is. Hmmmm? How would I describe myself? Well, Benny is sitting here asking can he describe me, so I thought that would be a better idea. Here is what the children wrote:

Benny: Aunt June is a hard-working woman that takes time out of her day to work so she can get paid and provide for us and teaches us lessons about life.

 

Eegypt: Aunt June is caring, loving, and strict. She takes care of all three of us and does a good job at it. She is like a mother figure in our life and works very hard to get us where we need to be. Aunt June teaches us about real life and how hard work pays off. I love my Aunt very much and I know she loves us too.

 

Lona: My Aunt June is a very loving and caring person. She has taken care of me and my older sister for the first three years that we lived in San Francisco, ever since the beginning of August of 2017, she has had me and my two younger siblings. She is a hard-working person, who has dealt with a lot ever since taking us in. I appreciate her and all her work that she does, for us to accomplish the dreams and desires that each of us have. She has helped me accomplish everything that my heart has desired, plus more. Aunt June is the most loving, caring, kind, and beautiful person that you will ever meet. She shows her love in many ways, but she makes sure that you know that you are loved.

Finally, there is my mom, called Aunt Opal (1941) by the kids. She is the matriarch of our household and of our extended family. Mommy is always thinking of others, and cares deeply about almost anything, everything and everyone. Family is everything to her--she lives to love for it. Unfortunately, during this time, she is suffering from short term memory loss, but is always upbeat and in good spirits no matter what. But she has always been that way. She may not remember where she put her mayonnaise jar or wallet, but she can remember how her and daddy met and all their 51 years of marriage and love-stories, as if it was yesterday. I know she misses him tremendously. Mommy, sits for hours quilting and watching episodes of  Heartland on Amazon Prime over and over...and over again, laughing as if she's seen each one for the very first time. Her dream is to make sure each and every family member gets a handmade quilt from her. She considers this her job.

 
Why I am asking and how you can help?
Please keep reading, more detailed information below.
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ARMSTEAD FAMILY

FUNDRAISING GOALS

PAST DUE BILLS & TAXES

  • My recent hospital stay and practically being off work for almost a month due to my illness--liver failure. 

  • I am the sole caregiver for my elderly mom and three of my teen cousins.

  • I have been raising my cousins since 2013. One of which, Emanni (Bel-Bel) who now lives in Virginia with her husband, Fernando.

  • Mom has lived with me since 2017.

  • Feeling like I am being buried in bills, paperwork, receipts, invoices, etc. regarding the finances for my mom, the family business, which we just sold December 2018, my salon business, and my own personal finances. 

BASIC NECESSITIES

  • We live off very little. Over the years, I have mastered how to juggle purchasing our groceries, household and personal care items by way of Grocery Outlet, Dollar Tree, and thank God for CVS Pharmacy. Between the three of them, we have made our household work! Putting more money towards things that I felt were more important like their education, youth camps and conferences. A shout out to the ministries that are instrumental in making sure my kids receive scholarships to various events to make sure they are always included—City Crossroads Ministries, City Life San Francisco and Epic Church San Francisco. OMGsh! What would I do without your continued support?

EDUCATION

Raising funds for the kids high school tuition, uniforms & educational supplies.

  • Both Eegypt and Benny were accepted into private prestigious Catholic high schools located in the San Francisco, Bay Area.

    • Benny’s 9th grade tuition is $10,000/year.

    • Eegypt’s 9th grade tuition is $2900/year.

  •  Elanna also attends a private Christian high school. She will be completing her senior year (graduation 2020) while continuing her service with the National Guard. She leaves for boot camp May 2019 for 10 weeks.

    • Elanna’s 12th grade tuition is $11,500/year. (So far, she has  gotten a scholarship every year to lower her tuition. Hopefully, she receives another for her senior year, especially since she is in the military now.)

HOME REPAIRS

We have water damage, flooding, plumbing, windows, electrical and other miscellaneous issues like doorknobs, etc.

  • We have had some type of major water damage since we moved in 2016

    • Bedroom ceiling

      • Ceiling is still open with plastic covering until we can repair the area that floods and leaks on walkout patio above my bedroom.

    • Flooding on our walkout patio area next to kitchen that leaks down into my bedroom.

      • I planned to use this space as a small garden to save money on herbs and some vegetables

    • Warped walls

  • Dripping somewhere behind the tiled wall in the downstairs bathroom that happens only when running hot water at the sink.

  • Home built in 1927—there is much that needs updating and repairing

    • Dated light switches, broken doorknobs, etc.

  • Remove back staircase because it is way too narrow and we all have fallen or slid down that staircase or bumped our heads. Mom refuses to use them again. She just uses the front staircase, which I am glad we have.

MOM'S CARE

Well it is no secret that mom has been suffering from short term memory loss and the all other issues that are attached to that. This year, I realized I am going to need additional help with her care. As of now, sometimes she forgets to eat, take her medicine, loses items that were just in her possession and does not remember what day or time of day it is. The list goes on and on.... But if you know my mother, she is ALWAYS in good spirits, consistently upbeat, but worries. She mostly worries about finances and making sure we are not worried or upset for her and her condition. I will admit, I am a little worried, because I must be at work most of the day. I am always concerned about her finding her way home if she walks to the store. Or loses her wallet or ID and emergency numbers (which has happened already) while she is out, and no one can identify her. Or her falling in the house, because she is still very agile and climbs on chairs and step ladders while no one is home. Sigh...whatever will we do with her? Cause Ms. Opal is gonna do, what she wants to do! Good Lord!

HOUSE EXTENSION

  • My current bedroom is downstairs where the children’s bedrooms are. Mom is sleeping/living in the bedroom that was previously mine upstairs. Experiencing memory loss and early stages dementia. Mom wants her own living space, but definitely not capable of living on her own. Therefore, she needs to be in close proximity to us, yet somewhat independent.

  • We would like to add on to our current property that way mom will have her own kitchen, living room, etc. but be in close proximity to us.

  • Currently, I have three teenagers and it can get quite loud and chaotic in our living quarters. As much as mom loves them, she can’t take it. LOL!