Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Conversations with Karis

Last week my girls went with their Grandma Robin and Grandpa Bill to a festival of lights benefiting Make a Wish Foundation.

Grandma was explaining to Karis that the money went to Make a Wish to help children.

Karis, being Karis, wanted to know all about it.

Grandma told her that the children were very, very sick and Make a Wish asked them what their very favorite wish was and made it come true.

There was silence in the back seat as Karis thought about this.


"Yes Karis?"

"I have the sniffles."

While she may be disappointed, I'm glad this does not qualify her to be a recipient of Make a Wish! :-)

On Christmas morning Karis was the first one up.

She crawled into bed with me, confessing that she had peeked at the presents under the tree.

We managed to suppress the excitement a bit as we waited for Gabi to wake up.

In the midst of the silence, Karis asked a question.

"Mom, was your name Rebecca Joy Swanson before you married Daddy?"

"Yes." (Where was this coming from?)

"Why did you change it?"

"Because I married your daddy." I mumbled. "I took his name."

"So....if I marry Owen my name would be Karis Faith Bair?"

"Ummmm..... yes..." (Why do these conversations have to be so early?)

"I don't think I like it."

"But you would really be Care Bear, then."

"No, I like Rankin."

"Ok, well you don't have to marry Owen."

I just wanted to snuggle down for a bit more, but the door swung open.

"Morning.... " Gabi said in a sleepy voice as she joined us in bed.

"Let's go open our presents." Karis bounced around, irritating her little sister.

Gabi, who had seen our completely bare tree the night before turned to her sister and said,

"There are no presents, Karis."

Which sounded an awful lot like "be quiet and let me wake up," to me. :-)

Her tune changed when her sister informed her that the state of the tree had changed overnight.

Christmas was great for us.

I'm exhausted, want to take a nap, and probably will, but we had such a good time.

Pictures will follow.

PS, later that day, Karis didn't seem nearly as opposed to having the last name Bair.

Watch out Owen!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas blessings

It is snowing outside.

A perfect Christmas Eve kind of snow.

Soft, not too cold, and not too much. :-)

Enough that our driveway was full, though.

Dustin scooped off the porch before he had to leave for work, but decided to do the rest when he got home and had picked up our now fixed snow blower from his parents.

I was sitting here looking at facebook and admiring the view out our front window when a truck pulled into our driveway and plowed it out.

I knew who it was.

You see.... all last year, when we got the record snow falls, our across the street neighbor, Johnny, would come and plow us out.

I wasn't really thinking about the kind of neighbors we would have when we moved here, but we are blessed.

The girls adore Johnny and Paula.

Johnny builds his own Harley's and the girls are alternately terrified and delighted by the sounds they make going down the street.

They both followed the same pattern.

First they would run to the window to see the pretty motorcycles.

Then they would get a bit older and run to me when the motorcycles would start up.

Now they have both decided that someday they want to drive one.

Uh, oh.... And of course they would have to be the most expensive kind. :-) Once you hear that rumble can you drive anything else?

I'm just asking. I don't speak from experience.

Besides the motorcycles they love to wave at them and delight in their decorations for the holidays. The big, black, fuzzy spiders on their trees especially fascinate them. :-)

Johnny also has his own business in auto repair. You have no idea how handy it is to be able to walk across the street when your car won't start. :-)

Thinking about all the places we could live, I'm very grateful we moved across the street from such great neighbors.

I also know Dustin will be thrilled when he gets home and sees the driveway!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two days till Christmas!

I am done running around for my last minute gifts!

Praise the Lord!

It wore me out.

I decided to stop at Maurices to find a gift of jewelry. Of course I had to check out the additional 75% off.

You can't pass that up.

I pulled a couple of dress pants to try on because all mine are too big, a dress, and a few tops.

Trying them on made me so tired I didn't have the energy to buy them. :-)

You see, you need alertness to decide if it even looks good on you or not.

I wasn't alert enough. No deal is good enough to have to go back to a store and return. At least for me at the moment.

But back to being done shopping.

My gifts aren't fancy.

There won't be a lot of them.

(Sorry family in advance! Not that you mind, I know, but I still feel bad....)

But.... what I love is that I got out there and got them.

I had one little episode, which I'll talk about later, but other than that I've felt good.

I just got done exercising for about forty five minutes and feel amazing!

And that brings me to the new medical aspect of my life. I added another helper to my list of nutritionist, oncologist, naturopath, chiropractor.

You see, in the midst of all my pain medication calls, I talked to an on call doctor. During my allergic reaction my personal doctor was on vacation.

Isn't that how it always happens? :-)

Anyway, the other doctor asked if I had ever considered preventive exercises with physical therapy.

It had never occurred to me.

I think in the midst of dealing with a disease I didn't think I would ever get, I missed simple things like strengthening muscles that are under strain, and not getting the exercise they used to.


I called my nurse, talked to my cousin who is a physical therapist, (Unfortunately she lives in K.C., or I would be going to her.) and made an appointment.

I had no idea what to expect at my first appointment.

It was another first for me.

May I just say that my physical therapist is amazing?

I have nothing to compare him with, but he offered me hope.

Hope that I will be able to do these exercises and build up my muscles in ways that will help keep the pain away.

And.... best of all.... when I told him how tight my back muscles were and how much pain and loss of sleep they cause...

It almost made me cry with relief when he felt the muscles in my back and told me I wasn't imagining things.

I was extremely tight.

And then he rubbed my neck area in such away that thoroughly relaxed me and worked those muscles.

I'm telling you, I'm a believer in physical therapy for that alone. :-)

I'll let you know if it works for my shoulder and hip pains.

I'm just thankful I have another avenue to explore for some relief and to build up my body!

Have a wonderful Christmas with your families if I don't get back on here until after Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Elijah and Jesus

Karis has been listening diligently to The Bible in Living Sound CD's during her afternoon quiet time and is learning so much about God's Word.

Today my mom relayed a conversation between Karis and her.

Karis came up to my mom and said very seriously, "Grandma, I think Jesus and Elijah are the same person."

My mom didn't know what to say. She couldn't think of anything they had talked about that would make Karis think Jesus was Elijah.

"Why do you think that, Karis?"

"Because Jesus and Elijah have the same voice."

It is so hard not to laugh at her and hurt her little feelings because she really does take these thoughts so seriously.

Fighting back laughter, my mom explained to her about the actors on the CD and how they sometimes had to play several parts.

I'm not sure if she belived her or not. :-)

We may have a bit more explaining to do later on.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Seeing God in a Pea Coat

Before I get into the why behind this title I have a couple of thoughts.

1. Who came up with that name?

Pea Coat?

Was the first one green?

Since I'm too lazy to look up the real reason it is called that, I will pretend that the designer made the first one in pea green. As people commented on his/her (I'm inclined to think it was a man because of the name) design and how much they liked it (because they obviously must have since they are so popular), he/she would say, "Oh, thank you. I call it my pea coat." And pea coat it will forever be, no matter the color.

The more I write about it the more I'm doubting it is called that. Do we really say, "Oh, I bought a Pea Coat today. It's red."

I googled it. It is assuring me that I am not crazy.

2. This post has nothing to do with me actually seeing God in a Pea coat. I sincerely doubt God would wear anything by that name. :-)

I'm beginning to wonder if I should wear anything by that name.

So..... why am I writing about Pea Coats?

Last night my sister bought an adorable black Pea Coat at a thrift store for $5.

It put a thought in my head.

I'd like one.

I don't really need it. I have two very nice casual winter coats. They do very well.

So, it isn't a need. Just a thought that it would be fun to have. :-)

I forgot about it by morning and didn't think about it again until it was time to put a coat on for church.

I zipped up my casual one satisfied that it would do just fine.

We deposited the kids in their classes and listened to a great sermon about Christmas.

As we were leaving our seats, I heard my name.

I turned to find a friend from Church.

The first words out of her mouth were, "Do you need a coat?"

I'd already been over the fact that I didn't need one, but I asked what kind.

"A Pea Coat."

I smiled and told her of my morning thoughts.

She smiled and said, "She wasn't going to give it to me, but it was like God kept telling her to give it to me."

I love how He works.

Before I even thought I might want a Pea Coat, God had already put it on her heart to give it to me.

The coat fits, of course. It is black. And I love it because it has a couple of ruffles in the front that make it a little unique.

Thank you God, and thank you Carol for my new coat.

And that is how I see God in a Pea Coat.

He knew I needed the reminder that He cares for me all the time, even when sometimes I can't feel it.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another good day...

I'm a little tired today, but feeling good.

I love it!

Today I went to Target and stocked up on stocking stuffers.

I love shopping for little girls.

Cute socks.

Princess sparkly lip gloss.

I confess, I did stand looking at this lip gloss trying to figure out exactly how it worked, but it was so cute I bought it, trusting that somehow when they opened it we would figure it out.

Miniature Slinky's. I so want to open those right now and play with them.

Gel pens.

Gummy bears.

And I found my last present for Gabi.

A toy mixer that mixes (air at least). Here again, I'm having a hard time not wearing the batteries out playing with it.

I am so excited to see their faces on Christmas.

I'm also grateful that I've felt well enough to be the one to buy these things and not have to send a list with someone else.

It just isn't as fun for a mommy, I don't think, to watch those little faces light up if you weren't the one to pick the things out, you know?

God is good.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is one of those days that I just feel good.

I wanted to share that.

Today I dropped off something for Dustin.

He has these snazzy new snow boots he wears to work so he doesn't have to ice skate in his dress shoes.

Unfortunately, those dress shoes got left at home today.

I enjoyed dropping them off and getting to see my hubby for an unexpected few minutes today.

Then I went to the hospital to visit my brand new nephew. He is absolutely adorable. You can send up a couple of prayers for him. He was five weeks early. He is stable and only on a little oxygen, but he may be in that little bubble for a few more weeks.

After drooling over that cute little one I stopped at Kohls and started drooling over a new shirt for Dustin.

May I make a slight diversion here and say I LOVE plaid? I'm so glad it is back in.

I was really proud of myself for walking out there with only three shirts. I could have easily made it ten. :-) I'll probably return two, but I just couldn't make up my mind.

Next I stopped at a friends to pick up something and just chat.

And, while I'm tired, I'm not exhausted, and for that I praise the Lord!

I'm hoping these days come more and more often!

Thanks for praying everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Childhood insight.

A few weeks ago my mom was bringing the girls home.

She had to make a quick stop in a parking lot to pick up something from a friend.

She told Karis and Gabi to stay in the car, as she didn't want them to get hurt, and if they obeyed, they would stop at a park before they went home.

Several seconds later my mom heard the door slam and Karis was out of the car and by her side.

As much as my mom hated to do it, she knew she had to stick to her word and not go to the park.

Karis was devastated!

This little girl wears her feelings on her sleeve and the tears started pouring out, accompanied by some dramatic wales.

My mom explained why they couldn't go and how dangerous it was when Karis didn't obey.

After a few more gasping sobs, my little girl replied, "It's all because of my evil heart!"

I love that little girl. She is dreadfully honest about sin. Hers and ours.

A few nights ago I was trying to get them to go to sleep and losing my patience. My voice was less than kind to Gabi.

Shortly after I hear Karis saying, "Mommy, you aren't obeying God. I know because I obey God and I love God."

I hate conviction from my children.

After apologizing, I snuggled my girls and if I remember correctly quiet soon followed.

I'm grateful that God is so very real to her and He is already working in her precious little heart.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday for a few reasons which I won't go into. It was silly. Is life a little tough.


Do I really have it pretty good?

Yes again.

I realized how good when I read a facebook message a precious friend sent me. Because it had so much impact on my outlook I want to share it with you. That, and then maybe you can pray for Hannah, as well.

"I feel like telling you about a very sick little girl on campus here. Maybe in your "bored" times resting, you could pray for her, since you may know better how to pray for her than I do, and maybe it will help you too. Her name is Hannah and she became very sick in July. She's 12 years old. Since then, she has mostly been sick in the hospital with aplastic anemia. Basically, her body has no immune system. The doctors were waiting a while for her to be healthy to do a bone marrow transplant, but she just keeps getting sick, and sicker. So tomorrow they're doing the transplant. It's really dangerous with her being sick already. And her body will also be fighting to reject or accept the new bone marrow from her sister. She can get pretty discouraged with all the poking, pain, fevers, chills, surgeries, and chemo she has had, besides being separated from her beloved sisters. Last week she said, "I can't do it anymore." Pray for Hannah and her family in whatever way you think best!
Love ya, Rachel
Rev. 19:1 Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God"

Doesn't that just put everything in perspective?

I've said those very words. "I can't do it anymore."

And I am relatively healthy compared to her.

I am praying that the surgery is a success and that Hannah feels well again.

I am grateful to my friend for putting my life back in perspective and reminding me spend more time praying for those hurting around me instead of feeling sorry for myself.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How did it go?

In my defense, this was written to post yesterday. We had a bit of bad weather that brought us a couple of welcome but unexpected house guests. :-) They couldn't get home.

So, instead of coming down and tweaking my post I watched "It's a Wonderful Life."

I haven't watched that for years.

I decided I really like that movie. :-)

But..... on to my post.

Sometimes it is so hard to evaluate my doctor's appointments.

A naturopathic doctor's evaluation isn't based on x-rays or blood being drawn.

This time?

My body was stressed.

I wasn't surprised.

Last month was tough.

The pain meds that I went through really did a number on my body.

I knew I was struggling, but you don't realize how much until someone else evaluates you.

It's hard on a normal body when it reacts to medication, but when you are already worn down a bit it is just that much harder to recover. So.... actually I'm doing quite well. :-)

My body is responding to what he is giving me - that is good.

It is slow..... super slow.... but it is a little bit of progress.

As with my oncologist, this doctor is finding my case a challenge. While he told me he isn't delighting in my pain and struggle, he is intrigued by my case.

Hopefully that intrigue will lead to a cure.

There is one thing I am super excited about this time.

I walked in the door and about the first person I talked to mentioned some new natural pain medication.

Could it be possible?

I almost didn't dare hope for something like that after my past month of disappointments.

The person, and my doctor, both said they had been on some prescription meds and these worked just as well or better.

After a couple of days of taking them I was getting optimistic. But not sold yet. I do have many days without joint pain.

On Thursday, after the trip, I had taken the pills, just because I need to take six a day.

Then I felt my hip going into a spasm.

You guys, I cried. I really did.

I wanted this pain medication to work so badly.

I walked around, telling God that I was really trying to rejoice, despite the pain, but it was so, so, so, so, so, hard.

I think it was the disappointment more than the pain that was causing the tears. I just wanted it to work.

I hopped into a hot shower to get a little relief from the joint pain and try to live with the splitting headache I currently had due to some old pain prescription meds I had taken over our trip.

Still crying, I told God I really needed relief from all of this.

When I got out of the shower, the pain was gone.

It's happened one other time since. The pain will flare up, but it will go away quickly.

Before it has taken hours and about 9 Ibprophin to kill it.

Am I excited? Yes.

Am I willing to recommend it yet? Not yet. Give me another month or so and I'll tell you if it keeps working. :-)

So far, so good, though. I've taken it a few more times as I start to feel uncomfortable and it goes away. And best of all.... I can still breath. I am not coughing up blood, and there are no side effects except my silly stomach for about five minutes.

I have another thing to try for my lung. I'm excited about it as well.

So..... How was the trip? We had so much fun as a couple. The pain medication alone was worth the trip, but I'm hoping that the other thing will really help me.

Oh.... and I am on this new Omaga3 fish pill. He described it as freeze dried salmon brains. Yum, yum, yum! Any one else care to swallow a few salmon brains with me?

Actually, it is an easy pill to take. Little, and it only tastes slightly fishy. :-) I've had much worse as pills go.

I wish I could give you more about how I'm doing, but that is it. This is such a waiting game and can be so discouraging.

If you could pray for me in that area I would be so blessed. I want to stay strong and encouraged and I know I can in the Lord, but....

"My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak."

Good think God is strong!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Chicago trip in a nutshell...a very large nutshell.

Ok, for some reason I can't move that blasted picture down, so you are going to have to look at it first.

Small warning. This will be a long post. However, there are lots of pictures. If you are like me, lots of pictures help on long posts. :-)

In the above picture we are finished with my doctors appointment (which I'll talk about tomorrow) and getting ready to head into the Windy City.

I was nervous about this because everyone says how bad the traffic is, but then again, I get nervous when I have to make a left turn on a somewhat busy highway.

Dustin thrived on the challenge.

Here is me occupying myself while he gets the navigator ready to take us to the United Center. Now that the girl made the "mom" comment I find myself analyzing my face. There are more wrinkles there.

I suppose it is battle scars from the last couple of years.

Or maybe it is the fact that I always forget to moisturize my face.

I used to do that faithfully, you know.

Every morning, every night.

I'd wash, scrub, mask, moisturize.

My face is crying as it remembers those days.

Now I'm lucky if my teeth get brushed every night.

Good thing my teeth can't talk because at my last appointment my dentist said what an excellent job I'm doing. :-) Maybe it is all the other things I'm swallowing for my cancer. Some of it tastes bad enough to even effect my teeth.

Or maybe it is the lack of sugar.

I hate to say it, but it is probably that.

But back to the United Center. We only got stuck in a little bit of traffic and found it with no problem.

I was starving, so we went to a little hole in the wall and had a couple of sandwiches and a quick stop to the bank for some parking cash.

I'm telling you, I would love to own that parking lot for a year. Actually any parking in downtown Chicago would do. :-) We'd make a killing!

We were at the doors before they opened - along with about a hundred other crazy people.

Our excuse was that we had nothing else to do in that part of town.

Theirs, we were quickly discovering, was because they were giving away free bobble heads of Boozer (#5) to the first few thousand people. Who knew?

I'm all about free anything, but to come out early and stand outside when it was freezing, and I mean freezing, (I had to hide my face in Dustin's coat because my nose was freezing off), to get a bobble head is, in my opinion, crazy.

What does one do with two bobble heads, anyway? You're input would be appreciated.

I sighed with relief when the doors were opened and we could go in and get warm.

Isn't he cute? We went down court side before the game started to watch the players warm up.
He's just a little bit excited. Even the bobble head got a grin out of him. :-)

The view from our seats. It seems far up, but actually the view was great. And here I have to explain something to the ones who generously gave us money for the tickets. I had told her that we hadn't got the tickets yet when she gave us the amount to purchase them. I didn't realize that at the very moment I was saying that, Dustin was downstairs buying them. Oops. However, I wanted them to know that their generous gift not only covered the tickets and parking, but also our hotel and the parking there. We were thrilled! Absolutely, positively, thrilled. :-) Thank you for that special blessing!

Yes, I was at the game, and following every minute of it. There was a three pointer that got even me excited!

Also, thank you so much for your prayers. I was tired, but there there was no pain! After a day of travel and being tired that is huge for me!

Towards the end of the game I had to giggle.

You see, McDonald's was giving $1 Big Macs if the Bulls won and made 100 points.

During the last three minutes they were up by about ten and stuck on 99. Each time they went to make a basket they either missed or were thwarted.

You didn't hear comments about them needing to step up their game.


It was "Come on! I want my Big Mac!"

Since I didn't want a Big Mac, I had a delightful time watching the consternation of those around me as the Bulls won 99-90. :-) Their arteries were thanking the Bulls for not making 100.

We waited for it to clear out a bit before we joined the 21,000 others trying to get away from the stadium. Mylanta! That is a lot of cars.

We found our hotel with very little trouble, thank you VZnavigator, and once we got out of the Bulls traffic, very quickly, as well.

I'm telling you, valet parking is something I'm seriously considering making a permanent part of my life. There is nothing better after a long day. You are tired, all you want to do is sleep. You get the bags out, hand your keys over, and that's it. Your car is gone. Loved it!
When I read the reviews of the room the majority said, clean, comfortable, a bit small.

They spoke the truth.

In order to take this picture I had to open the door and stand in the hallway. :-)

At first I was like, "Wow, this is really small, where are we going to put our stuff?"

Then I realized I sounding a lot like a spoiled American. :-)

The room was adorable, clean, warm, and the bed super comfy. It was perfect for what we needed.
I love these sinks. They aren't very practical if you only have one bathroom, but maybe someday I'll get one. :-)
The view from our window. So pretty! I do believe, though, that we were right by a fire station. I could be wrong, but about from about five in the morning on, I swear every building in Chicago was on fire. :-) I was beginning to think we had managed to get there for the reenactment of the Great Chicago Fire. :-)
The Holiday Inn was at a perfect location. In the morning we walked a few feet to Starbucks, took a gander at Trader Joe's, and then did some shopping at Bloomingdale's.
We had to go in because the building was so pretty. :-)
I didn't realize pillows could cost that much. Or rather, I've never thought about it long enough to dream that they might cost this much. :-) Guess we won't be buying them from here.
Despite the look on his face he really did like this couch. I can't remember who he was trying to portray. I think If I remembered the look would make more sense. :-)

After leaving town we went to my sisters so I could crash for a bit. My body was saying that I had done a tad much the day before and I needed to slow down. I had wanted to go the a museum or the Aquarium, but intelligence won out. That, and Dustin didn't want to have to carry me. :-)

We went out with Abby for supper, starting with an appetizer of Alligator.
I would have to say that the first couple of bites did taste like chicken. The next few were a little more fishy. Not sure I really loved it, but it was fun to try.

We had a great evening with her and then went to stay with our friends in Northwest Chicago.

We are getting to know the area quite well, which makes us feel more at home. On our way to our friends we passed Medieval Times. A dinner theater, I believe. Maybe next time we can try that. :-) Trips to the doctor are getting to be more and more fun!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Off we go!

Today we leave bright and early for Chicago.

I have an appointment and then let the fun begin. :-)

So far so good health wise for me. I feel fine.

I promise we will take lots of pictures and although I won't be in a jersey I was told I at least need to wear the colors.

So much for that cute skirt and sweater I was planning on. :-)

Have a great few days!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A little bit of randomness...

1. I ran to the store tonight to pick up detergent, taco seasoning and lettuce. I did throw in some gluten free, dairy free, egg free waffles. You might wonder what is in them if all those things are out of them. Good question. A quick glance said I could have them, that's all I remember for now.

Anyway, that wasn't my point. My point was, as I was hurrying towards the store a group of 13-15 year old girls came out to wait for someone to pick them up - I'm assuming.

They didn't actually tell me this. :-)

They were chattering as I walked towards them, determined to get out of the cold as quickly as possible. One of the girls looked right at me, then did a double take. She turned to the girl next to her and said, "I thought that was your mom."

Say what?

Ok, I know I've aged a bit. It happens. I have a few light wrinkles around my eyes and my laugh lines are deeper.

But have a 14 year old?

All I can say is that her mother had better have had her when she was 14 herself!

Maybe I'd better stop shopping in the teen department....

2. Which reminds me.... I crossed over to the dark side and bought a pair of skinny jeans.

I've resisted until now.

Not that they aren't cute, I'm just always slow on the uptake with new trends. Never sure if I can pull them off.

For one, they were on sale.

For another, I figured if there was ever a time in my life that I was going to be able to wear skinny jeans it was now - you never want to waste an opportunity. :-)

And lastly, it's hard to tuck the boot cut jeans into boots. It just is. And I want to wear boots.

3. Which brings me to this.

Did I tell you I'm knitting boots?

Probably not because I've only done about ten rows and I'm secretly afraid that is all I'll ever do, though maybe I'll do more now that I've told you about it.

I feel rather ambitious. I think maybe I should have stuck to the scarf, but my sister knitted a pair and they were so stinkin adorable I didn't resist when my little sister placed knitting needles in my hands and told me I was going to learn how.

I'll put up a picture of the start of them, soon.

4. Last but not least, last night we had a ladies night at our church called Rejoice. I will talk about this in one of my next posts, but it's not the randomness I want to talk about.

I left for it with our house a mess.

The kitchen was icky, the dishwasher needed to be unloaded.

The living room was full of scattered things. In my defense, I did pick up one towel and hang it up before I herded the girls out the door.

Oh, and lit the Christmas tree. You have to have your priorities straight, you know.

Dustin picked up the girls from my sisters after work and them came home and put them to bed.

When I finally arrived home I came in the front door and about fell over.

It was quiet.

The tree was beautiful.

My kitchen was sparkling, and the living room spotless.

Didn't I get an amazing guy?

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

These two are eagerly waiting to dig into our Christmas decorations. I always feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of decorating, but Dustin pulled everything out and we went to town.
Not that we really have all that much, honestly. I admire that stamina of those who completely change everything during the holidays. I may join you in future years. Karis can be very persuasive at five, at ten she will probably control most of the decorating, and at fifteen I very well may be out of a job. :-)
This is her creation. She has yet to learn that you group things in odd numbers, but I suppose if you count the flash light she is good to go.
This happens to be one of my favorite arrangements. Simple and sweet.
Of course no decorating is complete without turning out the lights, turning on the music, and dancing in front of the tree with Daddy. I even got my share of the fun, though I wasn't the favorite partner. You see, I don't lift and twirl around like Daddy does.

It's an awful picture, except for the fact that you can see a glimpse of the twirling that goes on around here.

At my house my dad had to dance with a lot of us growing up. Some of my favorite memories are standing on his feet and dancing to music.

It is nice to know I married a man who loves to do the same thing with his girls.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

He's excited

Yesterday Dustin purchased our Bulls tickets.

He had to rush off to work, so we really didn't get to talk about it.

About an hour later I got two text messages in a row.

The first: "Cory (a friend from work) is going to lend me his Bulls jersey to wear at the game."

The second: "And I can wear my Bulls hat with it and be all geeked out:-)"

My heart smiled.

Life is so serious around here sometimes. Dustin works hard to pay the bills that pile up, struggles watching his wife suffer at times, takes care of a lot around the house that shouldn't necessarily be in his job description.

It doesn't leave a whole lot for extras.

Certainly not time for much of the little kid excitement he has for this next week.

I am thrilled that we get to do this and for those of you who made it possible.

Would you pray for the first of next week?

I don't want to let fear rule me, but it is lurking around the corner.

What if I have a shoulder ache, a muscle spasm, a hip pain that makes doing anything else an impossibility?

I know he would be completely understanding, but I don't want to ruin the weekend for us, because, frankly, I think I'm just as excited to see him there as he is to be at the game. :-)

PS In case you are wondering, I will not be in a Bulls jersey or a baseball cap. :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

So long

It seems like forever since I've written.

There have been days I've wanted to write, but either my health or my emotions seemed to keep me from it.

Still not exactly sure where I'm at in either of those two departments, other than the last two days I've been feeling really well. I try not to sit on pins and needles wondering when I'm going to either be in pain again, or not sleeping, but both of those haven't been problems for two days now. I'm praying it continues.

So, instead of dwelling on those issues, I want to spend some time sharing the blessings God has sent our way. There are so many and I hope they perk up your day just like they did mine.

Karis has needed new dress shoes. I've looked. And looked. They were either too expensive or too ugly.

I sent my sister to look. We bought a pair and they ended up being duds. Cute, but duds.

Back to square one.

Frankly I was tired of looking and didn't have the energy to go to all the stores.

My sisters brought the girls home one night and dropped off a couple of bags of what I thought were their clothes that I had left up there.

It took me a couple of days to grab the bags to unload them.

The first bag did contain their clothes.

The second, and adorable swimsuit for Karis next summer. A cute skirt. A new shirt.

And these.....

They fit perfectly. She adores them. I love them. And they were free from my friend Kate. I seriously almost cried at this unexpected little gift. The exact thing we had been needing.
Between Kate and Jess and presents the only thing I've had to buy the girls this fall were some jeans and a few pairs of tights. It is like God gave me my own personal shoppers. Both of these ladies have wonderful taste and girls that are built like mine.

Dustin and I are headed out to Chicago soon. For his 30th we are going to that Bulls game and staying in a hotel downtown. Well... a relative of ours has been bringing us a meal every Tuesday. Super yummy meals.

You ask what this has to do with a Bulls game and Chicago? Let me tell you. The last time she stopped by she informed me that they wanted to buy our tickets to the game. I know they wouldn't want me to be writing about this, but I have to. It's these unexpected little gifts, and prayers, and outpouring of love that keeps me going. Dustin and I are often overwhelmed by how much people care and how they show it.

And the prayers... My cousin, who is going through the cancer battle, as well, told me her daughter prays for me every night.

A friend who I haven't kept in touch with, but unexpectedly ran into a couple of months ago called out of the blue to see how she could help. In the course of our conversation she told me her kids, who I have never met, pray for me every night.

I appreciate all the prayers, but there is just something about the little ones praying for me that melts my heart.
Remember my "wicked witch of the west" day? Well, on that particular day my sister, Faith, showed up at my door with this little treat. This isn't the best picture of it, but I had been wanting a braided rug for my living room. There is nothing that says cozy to me more than a braided rug and this one is perfect.

Speaking of cozy, we have also needed a winter coat for Karis. Once again, my searching proved fruitless. They were either not warm enough or ugly, or expensive. Thankfully we have had a warm fall and I was able to procrastinate. Just when the weather decided to make winter wear absolutely necessary, Kate found this in their coat closet. For once my procrastination paid off.
It's warm, it's not ugly ;-), and it fits perfectly.

God is so good, and thanks to all of you that are a part of the blessings He sends our way!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The new world of prescription medication.

At least new for me. My first real experience picking up a prescription was back in February when I was prepping for my colonoscopy. You can read about that under Instruments of Torture if you care to. Personally I think it best forgotten.

In the last five months I've picked up five bottles that look like this. Drugs are awfully cheap these days. I think the most I've paid for them is $1.00.

(lest you become too impressed with my counter, I must inform you that the only clean corner is the one you see. :-)

Financially they have been easy on us, physically, not so much.

The first was a sleeping pill.

It worked, I slept.

However, the second night I woke up with a racing heart that would not stop for at least twenty minutes. ( Good thing I re read that sentence. :-) I forgot the "not" in it. If this sleeping pill caused my heart to stop for 20 minutes I wouldn't have to worry about prescription medicine right now. :-)

After thinking I was going to die, I decided not to try that one again and called the doctor for another.

Ambian, my next try into prescription sleeping pills kept me awaker than a bad conscience or a pesky mosquito.

Ambian CR, the real thing, only put me to sleep for a few hours - which at that time was a blessing, but not what I was hoping for.

Vicoden, well, who wants a rash for a week that makes you itch like a monkey?:-)

And then Tramadol. I love Tramadol. It is an opiate, which works for some people and not for others. It worked for me. It took all the aches and pains away while taking the edge off everything else.

I suppose I should be thankful that it is what I am allergic to, but I must say I've had some bitter moments of mourning. I haven't talked to my doctor yet, but apparently I am allergic to everything that can be called in.

I did have one bout with some major pain and I was tempted to take one anyway. Can you believe it? A pill that was making me wheeze, breathe like I was at the top of Mount Everest, and cough up blood. No wonder people get addicted to things that are harmful. However, if drugs and alcohol produced these symptoms I'm guessing there would be a lot fewer addicts.

So... now I'm almost fine. I breath like normal, have a wheeze only a little bit, and the blood is gone.

I have a lot more to write about, but Karis wants to get on the computer to type and play pbskids:-)

I think pbs has a conspiracy going. Sadly, some of the first words out of my kids mouths is pbskids.org.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving if I don't talk to you sooner!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Prayer please

I'm having an allergic reaction to something which is messing with my breathing.

My breathing isn't perfect on the best of days, so it has really been a struggle the last few nights.

There are a couple of possibilities.

Either my pain meds or my Psyllium Husk (Fiber).

I'm afraid it is my pain meds, which makes me very sad because they actually work and when I take them I feel like a normal pain free person.

However, if they are making it so it is difficult to catch a full breath I guess I'll have to give them up and try something else.

Pray we discover soon which one it is. I'm off the fiber, but just now discovered that breathing problems are a "rare, but serious side effect" to quote the commercials of almost every drug out there, of Tramadol.

I'm a tad frustrated that I seem to be allergic to every pain med out there, but I know that God has a plan in this, as well. It's so hard to see it when you are in the moment, though.

Love you all, and thanks for being there to pray for me when I need it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Saturday

Last night I was listening to Karis pray before she went to bed.

It went something like this:

"Dear Lord, Help all those who are sick. Please make Stella's mom (my cousin Dawn who has cancer) get better. Please help all the people in the world who are sick get better... except the villains.... "

I tried not to chuckle as she went on. What a hoot.

Anyway, if you are sick out there, you are being covered by her prayers every night, unless you are a villain, that is. ;-)

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Do you remember your first computer?

I must have been about ten when my dad brought our first family computer home.

It was a big, boxy and off white. The screen was black, and the lettering green. I don't think there were any other options, but I could be mistaken.

The only thing I used it for was an occasional game of.... you know, I don't remember the name. But it involved a joystick, and I thought it was amazing.

I don't think we actually used this computer much. We only had it because a close friend of my dads loved them and either gave us the used one or it was a great deal.

It wasn't until a computer or so later that we had educational games.

How things have changed.

The last few days I have been getting e-mails from Karis.

She came home last night and told me,

"Mom, the first thing I do with I get to Grandma's house is log on to the computer."

I didn't know what "log on" meant until my late teens.

Having to have passwords for everything was a blessed unknown in my life. Ah.... to have those days back.

She has mastered the mouse, and is learning to send e-mails.

"I love sending you e-mails, Mom."

"And I love getting them, Sweetie."

Here is the story I got yesterday.

I have a dog and a cat in the hat but . Let’s play with the cat and the dog then we will have fun by ourselves we will play ball and play in the back yard then we will play with our cat and the dog we will have fun in the sun then we will go into the house then I will have fun in the house when it rains then the sun will come out then we go back out in the sun won’t that be fun

After reading it I thought four things.

1. I'm going to have to teach this child to type.

2. Is there any hope for her generation to write legibly? What does a parent say these days?

"You may have to write an important letter to your boss."

"No, I'll just send him and e-mail."

"You have to learn to address a package."

"Mom, I'll just print out a label."

"What if you want to write love notes to your special someone?"

"I'll just text, twitter, or facebook him, mom."

Writing is going to be a challenge.

3. I'm proud of my little girl. She has come so far in a year. Last January my mom started her on the journey of reading. Now she is sending me e-mails with little stories she is creating.

4. Maybe by next year she will be able to show her mom how to do all the things she wants to do on the computer. :-)

One last thing, I slept great last night, and I'm feeling good today. Thanks for all the prayers!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's a girl thing.

Last Sunday I randomly decided to paint my nails. I never paint my nails. A fact emphasized when I got in the car and Dustin glanced at my nails and grinned.

"What?" I said defensively.

"Nothing." Still grinning.

Ok, so maybe I have only painted them two, maybe three times in the six years we've been married.

I don't mind the paint job, it's the chipping and the having to take it off afterwards that is so hard.

Why is that?

A cotton ball and remover really aren't any more work than painting them on, less probably.

But they have reached that stage.

The removal one.

I may get to it in three or four days, I'll let you know.

My random act did spark another random act in my house.

All of a sudden I found myself getting out an old towel and finding two very willing pairs of legs on it.

Wiggly legs.
The ones on the left wiggled a lot more than the ones on the right. :-)
The great debate in my mind right now is whether to cut Gabi's bangs or not. She looks adorable (well, all the time) with them pulled back, but I am losing more hair clips... we really should buy stock in the company.... But anywhoo...

Despite the wiggles, we managed to get this...
I LOVE little feet. Each one of those little pink sparkly piggies are randomly kissed by me - when they are clean, of course.
On Dustin's day off chances are you will find the girls here or wherever he is. Mommy loses most of her appeal when daddy is in the room, or house, or anywhere that isn't work. :-)

Pardon Gabi's hair. My girls don't grow hair, any hair, until the age of two. By then, it is next to impossible to get them to leave hair clips, bows, ribbons, or hats on their heads. I try.
We got Dustin's favorite ice cream and stuck a candle in it for his belated, and going to belated even more, birthday. He loved it.
Surprisingly this kind of ice cream doesn't even tempt me, chocolate deprived though I am. That was one of the reasons I bought it. ;-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Karis has learned so much this year. A friend told me that at four the baby goes away forever. It's true.

Right now she is on the couch reading to herself.

She asks me to say words she can write out.

She unloads the dishwasher and most of the dishes go in their right places.

She cleans her room, makes my bed at times, vacuums, and can clean windows.

She helps her aunties cook, loves cooking shows, and wants to be a chef.

This year she mastered the overhead ladder.
Loves to climb trees, as you can tell by these pictures. The Rivers kids taught her how to go higher. Mommy is not sure what she thinks about this.

And of course, learning to ride without the training wheels. She has two bikes, but this is my favorite. One of my nicknames for her is Strawberry Shortcake. A neighbor was getting rid of their vintage bikes and we got the Strawberry Shortcake one. It works out great because now we have one and one is up at my mom and dad's.
Above all, she is a tenderhearted little girl who loves her family and the Lord. We are blessed to have our fiery little redhead.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Get behind me!

Last night I stared temptation in the face. (I won't tell you yet who won the battle)

It came in the form of some delightfully ooey gooey Coco Rice Crispy bars.

You see, the last few days have been a bit of a challenge.

I had been feeling so much better besides the sleep issue, but I knew things would eventually catch up to me because they always do.

I haven't been in any intense pain, just more than usual with the lung.

It happens when I'm worn out and, ok, I'll admit it, have too much dairy. :-)

The combination is lethal.

But when I'm worn out, discouraged and in pain, I still want to turn to what has comforted me in the past. Sweets and Chocolate in particular.

When our meal was dropped off, which was fantastic one, I was also handed the above mentioned bars.

Normally it isn't a problem for me. I take the sweets, give the girls a little, and send the rest with Dustin to work.

I put the bars on top of the fridge and set to work fixing the girls plates.

Those bars were stinkers, though. They kept taunting me with their incredible gooeyness.

"Eat me, eat me. You know you want to. It will make you feel so much better. Why not? Is your strict diet really helping you? Just one bar, it won't hurt."

They would not let up, I'm telling you.

I fed the girls, ate my own meal, and still, those blasted bars urged me to take them from the top of the fridge.

I finally did, taking a tiny little single crisp and chewing it.

It was every bit as good as I imagined.

I looked at those four bars, dying to eat every single one of them, and knew what I had to do.

I put on my shoes.

The kitchen garbage wasn't good enough.

Too easy to pull them out later. (Hey, their still wrapped and on a plate. When you are desperate who cares where they have been sitting. :-)

It was cold, windy, raining, but I stalked out through the garage, actually having to say, "Get behind me Satan" as I went, opened our big trash can (Sorry Krista, Just be flattered that the bars looked that good that I had to resort to such extreme measures. Forgive me?) and shook all the bars into the smelly depths.

They were so sticky yummy that I had to work really hard at getting them to fall off.

And then I cried.

Why? I'm not sure. I don't think it was really about those Rice Crispy bars at all.

I think it was because I felt so absolutely foolish and pitiful having to say "Get behind me Satan" to a plate of bars.

Why couldn't I be resisting something big and nobel?

And why do I struggle so much with giving up something that harms me? All for momentary comfort?

Why do I even wonder if it is worth it, when I know it is.

Last night as I got the girls ready for bed I had a precious time watching my Karis discover new words out of the Bible (Her current favorite book to read from), and bath time with Gabi turned into a precious splashing (by me, the girls aren't allowed to, of course:-) and exchanging kisses time. The sparkle in her eye when she realized hugging me was getting me all wet gave me the giggles.

That is why it is worth it.

And that is why I will continually have to say "get behind me Satan" to sugary temptations, no matter how foolish I feel.

Psalm 13:5-6 were a blessing to me today. "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me."

It's true, He has been so good to me.

And so has Dustin, letting me cry it all out and just holding me. (Poor man, there is no manual out there that tells a guy what to say when comforting a wife who is crying because she had to throw out the Rice Crispy bars:-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

About that Chocolate Cake.

Remember the Mom Song from a couple of days ago?

I changed my mind, and made up my own little ditty.

"This is the Mom Song, mom's are great, they are better than, better than, better than....all the sugar I ever ate." :-)

My mom is amazing. Way better than chocolate cake.

She decided that I wasn't getting a chance to get better because I was using all my energy to survive every day. Even with the help I was getting.

So, you know what?

She is taking my two precious little high energy, mischievous munchkins from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

That gives me seven whole hours at home to rest, exercise, eat all my veggies and protein, take all my vitamins, lotions, oils, etc.

She deserves way more than a medal.

And I'm so glad I have her instead of all the chocolate cake in the world.

Thanks Mom!

I love you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The center of attention

I've never much liked being the center of attention.

If I can avoid it, I will.

Somehow I think Gabi Rae took after me in that area.

She loves one on one attention.

She adores hugs, tickle time, reading, cuddles, but....

Try and sing Happy Birthday to her and you will get a face like this.
She recovered enough to blow out the candles, although her aim was a tad off and big sister had to help out before her hair caught on fire.
Daddy got to help with the presents this time while mommy tried to keep up on what she was getting from whom.
She loved this baby, although I'm not sure we are quite ready for a real one again in the house if this is any indication of how they would be held. :-)

Thank you everyone for the wonderful gifts and for making it a great day! Grandma Karen once again opened her home for the party and it was greatly appreciated!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Random thoughts

1. I slept four hours straight last night, then dozed after that. It may not seem like much, but it is amazing for me. Now to work my way up from that.

2. Karis sang me "The Mom Song" at lunch today. It goes like this. "This is the mom song, and my mom is so great, she is better... she is better... she is better than chocolate cake."

Two things about that.

First. In my sugarless state I'm not sure anything is better than chocolate cake. Moist chocolate, creamy frosting..... ummmmm..... Sorry mom.

Second, my proud mom heart was basking in delight over my budding genius of a song writer. Here was my five year old making up a darling song about how I'm better than chocolate cake. I had visions of the famous singer she would become.

Later I overheard a conversation between her and Dustin.

Did you make up the Mom Song, Karis?

No, it's from the Cat in the Hat.

:-) Oh well, she is still a genius.

3. I don't know what new pain medication they gave me for my shoulder ache, but I highly recommend it.

I'm warm, I'm drowsy, and the pain is gone. It was a little pill, smaller than a pencil eraser, but it packs a punch.

4. My husband turned 30 this weekend and I totally blew it. No card, no cake, no party. We had a family reunion. Poor excuse, I know.

However, just so you don't think too badly of me I'm going to try and make it up to him the next time we are in Chicago. He has always wanted to see a Bulls game, so we are going to try and see one of those and stay downtown somewhere. Most of the hotels are outrageously expensive for us at the moment, but I did find one for $79. We will see. :-) I'm kind of excited and I'm not even a fan of basketball.

5. Someone brought us a really great meal tonight. We were at the park so we just missed them, but if you happen to read my blog thank you for the super yummy meal.

6. Isn't sleep a wonderful thing? I can see why the super rich would give up their fortune for a good night sleep. I may not be super rich, but I was ready to spend $70 on sleep meds if i knew they worked. :-) Yes, I'm a bit of a tight wad.

7 . Now it is time to go get some of that sleep. After I do my back exercises, which could be amusing on these pain meds. It requires some balance, which seems to be affected by whatever I am on.

I know.


Because I tried to go across a moving balance beam in the park today and it didn't work out so well. Good thing it was only an inch or two off the ground. If memory serves me correctly I think I was fairly good at balance once upon a time. Maybe that is something that leaves you after you turn thirty.

8. Have I mentioned that I'm glad my husband is finally 30 along with me? I never minded being older than him, but when I had to say I was 32 and he was only 29... well, it made me feel a little old.

Night everyone and can I say thank you again for all the prayers? You are all amazing. When I hear people wake up in the middle of the night and pray for me, well.... it makes me cry I'm so grateful.

I love ya'll

9. No, I'm not from Texas, but this time of year I like to pretend. You see, my friend Jayne keeps showing off these pictures and they are in shorts and t-shirts. It's to make us jealous, I know. I figured if I threw in a few ya'll here and there I might feel warmer.

10. I think the ya'll's are due to the pain medication. I"m going to sign off before something else comes out of these fingers of mine. :-)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thank you

Your prayers are working.

I have a new sleeping pill that managed to get me several hours of sleep and I wasn't even in my own bed. :-)

I have high hopes for tonight now that we are back from Minneapolis.

More later, but I wanted to let you know that I have managed to actually sleep.... what a blessing it is!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Quick prayer request

I haven't slept for about four days now.

I'm not sure what is wrong, but obviously something is.

I've tried prescription sleeping pills, and all the natural stuff.

Nothing is working.

Obviously I'm getting a tad desperate and could use some extra prayers.

Would you pray that tonight I would find something that works for me?

If it weren't for not sleeping I would say I feel great. It is frustrating and is yet another complication to my life.

Not having sleep also makes it really hard to have a good attitude about everything, so pray for me to be patient and not a grouch to be around.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life is messy.

I'm glad God can handle it.

That's what I say.

Sometimes it is hard to believe it, you know?

I'd like to say I never doubt God, but the honest truth is I do. There are times I doubt. I doubt He knows what He is doing. Why am I, a mother of two little ones and the wife of a busy man going through this? Is it really for the best?

I'm reading a book called Praise Habit by David Crowder. Today I came across a quote by Walter Brueggemann.

What a last name, eh? Anyway, back to the quote that meant so much to me in the messy places.

"It is no wonder we have trouble when trying to fit our "spirituality" into all the stuff of life because we've neglected to bring all the stuff of life into our "spirituality." There is impoliteness in our experience of living. There is darkness and pain. But the wonder and joy and the surprise are that even in the middle of darkness and loss is the unexpected presence of God."

In my/our spiritual experience we have felt the impoliteness, darkness and pain. There has been doubt, questions, wondering what is going on.

But, in the midst of that, I have had the wonder and joy and the surprise of God.

I'm not perfect.

I forget and doubt again.

I feel the betrayal of my body that brings those doubts of God's perfect plan.

But then there is ALWAYS the unexpected presence of God.

He never leaves Dustin and I to figure it out on our own.

I am so glad that in spite of my doubts and in the messy places of life...

God really can handle it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

From Ballerinas to Bugs.

For six months my little Gabi has called Dustin or me into her bedroom after she has been put to sleep.

She is standing up in her crib (yes, she still sleeps in her crib) with a little smile on her face.

"I have something to tell you," she singsongs.

"What is it Gabi?"

"I'm going to have a ballerina cake for my birthday."

I wish you could hear her. She says it the same way every time in this adorable singsong voice that draws out the word ballerina and birthday. I smile, no matter how tired I am, and say, "Yes Gabi, you will have a ballerina cake."

So... her birthday rolls around and naturally I plan for the coveted ballerina cake.

The cute little hand made ballerinas are picked out.

Picked out mind you, not made. Procrastination is the name of my game.

I was only wondering about doing a cake or cup cakes, so I asked her.

"Gabi, do you want ballerina cup cakes or a cake?"

She wasn't sure what I was talking about so I pulled up some pictures.

She looked at a few and said, "I want M&M's."

M&M's? What happened to ballerinas?

I pulled up some pictures of M&M cupcakes. Some really cute ones that looked like bugs popped up.

"Those." Her little finger punched the screen while Dustin tried to hold her back.

"You're sure? What about the ballerinas?" I asked.

"No, M&M's." Very decidedly.

I must admit that I didn't argue too much. You see, M&M bugs are much easier than the ballerinas I was going to make.

M&M's it was. :-)
Faith came over the night before the party and helped me create.
The end results. She loved them.
My spider legs are a little off, but the eyes were cute and buggy :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010


I haven't had to deal much with betrayal in my life.

I've had glimpses here and there, but God has largely protected my life from those crushing moments that come when family members or trusted friends betray you.

In the last few days I have identified a feeling brought on by this journey called cancer.


It's not betrayal from God, friends, or family.

It's my body.

I would imagine it is much like a relationship betrayal. You've invested a lot of time, you feel connected to this person in a deeper way than with others, you do things to show you appreciate that person, you love them.

I'll say it, I'm rather fond of my body because it is all I have to walk around in. I'm not Miss Marathon runner or Miss America, but I've tried to stay in shape. I've avoided drugs, smoking, drinking and binge eating. Now, I could have done better in the healthy eating department, but I did OK. OK, not great. I must confess that in my past my idea of shedding a few pounds was just eating less. And the "less" that I ate might have been french fries, a bowl of ice cream, etc. If that is all you eat, well, you lose weight. Not healthy, but it worked - maybe. I may be suffering the consequences of those decisions now.

Now my body and doctors are telling me I have cancer.

I have a cough that won't go away.

I have a tumors in lung and liver that are tenacious and don't like to give up.

The doctors don't have a good solution to get this out of my body.

The other things I'm trying are either slow or not working.

I feel more fragile than my 92 year old grandma.

When pain keeps me up until 2:30 a.m., (or all night) the feeling of betrayal hits hard.

Why can't I get my body to do what I want it to do?

Why does it have to hurt when my babies run up to me for a crazy big hug?

I hate cringing when I know they are headed my way, but reality is that their little bony heads, elbows, knees, etc., hurt me a lot when they connect with my lung and chest area.

I was wandering around the kitchen a few nights ago feeling sorry for myself and I'll have to admit on the way to letting bitterness seep in.

This is a daily battle for me, keeping my thoughts going in the right direction.

My thoughts fortunately turned towards Jesus - always a good thing. (they don't, always)

I mentally went over who Jesus is.

And then I felt really, really, really small.

His public ministry was right at the age I am now.

He gave everything to those around him, especially His disciples.

He didn't have a home or many moments he could call his own.

He was always serving someone, or teaching something, or healing somebody.

There wasn't a selfish or feeling-sorry-for-himself bone in his body.

And what happened to him?

He was betrayed by those closest to Him.

He was betrayed by everyone, including me.

How did He feel when those he had given everything for gave him up and denied they knew Him?

He didn't storm around and stomp his feet, He didn't become bitter towards them, He didn't say "Oh woe is me." (convicting. I like to storm around at times)

He gave the ultimate gift and died for them, for me, for you.

Yeah, like I said, I felt really, really small.

Small yet comforted.

He didn't suffer the exact same way I am, or you are.

And He did have the advantage of being perfect, unlike us. :-)

But, even though He always chose to respond the perfect way, I love that He knows how I feel.

He knows exactly how it feels to be betrayed, and He is ready to listen to me when those feelings overwhelm me.

What an amazing God!

Friday, October 29, 2010

My girls!

I feel like my girls are in some ways growing up without me.

My mom and I were discussing this morning the things both of them had learned while I was in Chicago and she in Israel. (yes, dad and mom went to Israel for ten days, and yes, I'm jealous. :-)

Gabi had called me in extreme excitement and told me that she had gone "stinky" all by herself in the potty chair.

I laughed at myself as i was practically dancing up and down with the phone in my hand all because she had dumped some icky, disgusting waste into the potty chair.

The things we get excited about as parents.

Now, she hasn't done it since, but still, I'm hopeful that it will happen soon.

When we got home on Wednesday Dustin went up to the farm to pick them up. As he pulled in the garage door opened and Karis rode out on her bike with no training wheels.

My sweet, adorable, amazing husband said he was so proud of her he started tearing up.

Don't you just love dad's with their little girls? There is nothing more precious.

They are both getting so big, and as they accomplish more and more, often without my help at all, I get a little sad.

But the sadness is soon pushed away by gratefulness.

My girls could be stuck in our house with nothing more to do than watch PBS kids while I try to survive.

Instead they are getting to learn new things all the time. Things they would be doing if I was feeling like a normal mom.

I love it.

God has provided a way for my girls to learn and grow even though we have a war with Cancer going on around here.


Not everyone who is going through what we are have that blessing.

I'm so glad I can sit back and work on getting better knowing that my job is to give hugs and loves and what I can, all the while knowing that they are going to be learning exactly what they need to be.

God is good!

Thank you everyone who is helping my little ones grow up!