Thursday, January 31, 2008


Today my middle child, my second son, turned 10. Alec is the child who has garnered the most medical attention of all my kids (so far). For a child who is not a risk-taker (like my oldest son), he has seen the doctor more than most.

Started seconds after his birth. "O.k., he's got a partial cleft lip", words from my midwife that changed our lives forever. Surgery 4 months later. Yearly check ups at the hospital 2 hours away, part of the "cleft palate/cleft lip team" there. Oh, and there was the febrile seizure and the two unexplained episodes that appeared to be seizures but we think now that he was just in deep, deep REM sleep. At least the CT scan showed no seizure activity. Whew!!

Currently, we are waiting for all of his adult teeth to come. Praise the Lord that his other big front tooth finally came in (he only had one for a long time). Braces will start either this year or next.

If the kid wasn't so darn handsome, well ... let's just say he's worth all the trouble. Most days, anyway. All around, I think he's pretty neat. And very bright. And creative. I dig him.

So today we celebrated his 10th year. Happy Birthday, Alec. May God bless your future and may it be as be as bright and wonderful as you are!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Something wonderful happened last week. Due to his surgery, my husband won’t be able to drive until next week so I am his chauffeur. I drove him to a meeting at work and the other nurses there gave him a get-well card that they all signed. They also enclosed a gift card for our local grocery store - I can’t believe the amount! I cried when he showed it to me. I began thinking about how this story has played out. The Lord knew my husband was going to need this heart surgery long before my husband ever became a nurse. I think his becoming a nurse was vital to our situation at present. So many things have come together, I feel like I can see things a bit clearer now. We would really be in a bad way if my husband still had his cabinet business. His being a nurse has made so many things easier for him and for us. And he’s happy at his job and with his fellow employees - which is important to me.

If you’ve read any of my posts from last year, you may know that it has been very difficult for me to accept my husband’s new career. I have prayed for a change of attitude and the Lord is continuing His work in me. More evidence that His will is best for us. As I’ve said many times … God is good.

I kind of feel like this circle is complete. Todd had to become a nurse - he just had to. God said so.

Another circle came to mind last week. I was getting a Sunday paper out of a machine at a corner store in our neighborhood. As I was loading the quarters in (all 8 of them - $2.00 for a paper!) just as I was about to put in the last one, I saw that it was a South Dakota with Mount Rushmore on it. As we are statehood quarter collectors, I called out to my family waiting in the car, “Do we have South Dakota?” Suddenly, a young man appeared behind me and offered me a quarter. Startled, I said, “Oh, no, that’s o.k., really.” He answered, “Here, take it.” I thanked him and said how generous it was of him. He said that he often panhandled and liked to give back to the community when he could. And then he walked away. On the way home, I thought of how nice it was of him and it reminded me of something that happened about 5 years ago in Southern California. We were visiting my family there and my son, Chad, and I went into a grocery store by the beach. A skateboarder was standing near the door and asked me for a quarter, which I gave to him. While in the store, I decided to buy this young man a candy bar, thinking that he might be hungry. When we walked out, I handed it to the skateboarder and said, “Here, this is for you.” He said, “Really?” I said, “Yeah, why not.” He smiled and said thanks and skated off. It was one of those silly, giddy moments you feel when you do something totally unexpected for someone for no reason. Just for the sake of giving. I love moments like that. And I hope that young man that gave me the quarter felt the same way. Giving for the sake of giving. We learn that from God. He gives out of love, freely, for the sake of giving.

I love circles.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I feel compelled to write about this but I would prefer not to give too many details. The bottom line is that my husband is on medical leave until March. He didn't have that much sick leave. Which means a tighter budget. But ... through an amazing circumstance, the Lord has provided. I mean, the realization just came to me today. The Lord provided what we need. If we are careful, the money provided should get us through. I am just about speechless. And humbled.

Once again, why am I so astounded when the Lord works in amazing ways? He provides. He loves us. Even if He didn't provide in this way, I have faith that somehow He would see us through. I give Him all the praise and glory for being our loving Lord and Saviour.

It is such a joy to tell others how God worked in our lives during my husband's surgery. The story isn't done yet. God has just given me more to praise Him for. May I never stop being thankful for all He has done in our family.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Star Wars and Elvis

Stay with me here, there is a connection ...

The last few nights, my husband has felt strong enough to watch some videos in our media room (there is no TV in the living room where the couch is, which is where he has spent his resting time lately.) Anyway, he decided to watch the "Star Wars" series in chronological order. Tonight, he put in the movie that started it all, back in the late 1970's, the one we all thought was the first. I've been sitting here watching with him and blogging a bit simultaneously (aren't I talented!)

And the whole evening, I've been thinking about Elvis. Why? Well, the first time I saw the first Star Wars movie ever made, I was in junior high and at the movie theatre with my boyfriend, Robbie. I have strong memories of sitting there in the dark, seeing special effects I'd never seen before. The huge ship, the strange creatures. My boyfriend was holding my hand and when Obi Wan first lights up a light sabre, my boyfriend nearly jumped out of his seat (he said it startled him). We thought this movie was so very cool. My dad picked us up from the theatre in his old blue Chevy truck and on the way home, we heard on the radio that Elvis had died. So for the rest of my life, these two things will forever be cemented together. I am unable to watch this movie without thinking about that eventful today.

It gets weirder. Tonight, as I was sitting here on the computer, (Luke and everyone fighting their battle behind me) I happen to read on the home page "This Day In History" whose birthday it is today. Take a guess ... it's Elvis' birthday!! Is that majorly strange or what? These kinds of things sort of gravitate toward me - I guess because I find them so bizarre.

I wonder where Robbie is tonight? I wish him well. I wonder if he ever thinks of Elvis when he sees Star Wars, "A New Hope" (Episode IV). I certainly never dreamed that I would be watching this film, nearly 30 years later, with my sweet husband in Oregon, with three kids sleeping down the hall. It's a funny old life, isn't it?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!

Let's start this by reporting that my husband is doing well. It will take weeks for him to fully recover but I look at each day as one step closer to being healed. I'm so, so glad the surgery is over. Todd's face looks so much healthier, so handsome. I have been dreading the surgery for so long that it is hard to let go of it. I don't have to think about it anymore, I can breathe deeply again.

Now, on the down side ... we got home Saturday night. I had all day Sunday to try and get things unpacked, washed, etc. Plus help my husband. And then Monday, my daughter and oldest son woke up with fevers over 102! My daughter gets very ill when she has a fever, so I spent the whole day taking care of her, trying to help my son, assisting my husband and trying to keep my middle son from driving me nuts because he was bored. Didn't get much laundry done that day! Tuesday and Wednesday, things got a little better, thankfully, but now my middle son has the 102 fever. Three sick kids! I thought I was going mad a few days ago but the Lord is good. By His strength I am surviving. I am praying that the kids will recover soon and God will keep both Todd and me healthy. Carmen was a lot better today. It's amazing to remember that we were supposed to be at the hotel until New Year's Eve - and if we had of stayed that long, we would have had sick kids at the hotel. Praise the Lord we were able to get home before that.

My husband has asked that we take down all the Christmas stuff but, like, when? Who will help me? And who has time or energy at the moment!! I want it all down, too, but it'll have to wait its turn. It seems like we only had about 2 weeks of Christmas this year. We normally decorate right after Thanksgiving and remove everything on New Year's Day. With Todd's work schedule, the bad storm and blackout week, our trip to Leavenworth, Todd's surgery - after all that, there wasn't much left of Christmas. My poor little daughter was walking around today, going from room to room, bored. She's feeling well enough to play but her brothers and father aren't well enough yet. She leaned against me and said, "Our whole world has changed." I know what she means and it breaks my heart. She's nearly 7 and, of course, I want her life to be seamless but that's not realistic. She'll make it through this time in our lives and be stronger for it. She keeps asking me how many days ago was Christmas. None of us can remember what day it is. I've taken to marking the days off on the calendar to keep me straight. Pathetic, huh?

I thought about writing the details from our trip but I think I'll skip that. None of it really matters. My kids and I bonded more deeply through our days at the hotel without Dad. We missed him so much. I managed to hurt myself in many ways (nearly broke a toe on the day we left - it turned so purple I thought it would fall off. Still hurts.) I think I was trying to sympathize with my husband. I wanted to take the pain for him. I thought I packed earrings for our trip (I know, SO important) but never found them. (I still haven't.) I wore the same pair all week - made it easier to get ready. (Travel tip #15: Only pack one pair of earrings.)

On the Saturday that we left, I had told the kids we could swim that night. But that was before I knew we were going home. Briefly, my kids struggled with wanting to stay at the hotel and swim or have Daddy get out of the hospital. After being sternly eyed by me, they relented and agreed that it was better to have Daddy come home. Very good, kiddos! While Todd was in the hospital, Alec (middle son) slept with me at the hotel. He wanted to get my husband a stuffed armadillo he had seen in the hospital gift shop. I said it was too much money - Daddy might not want him to spend that much on a gift. Alec said that he'd spend all his Christmas money on Daddy, if it would make him well. Needless to say, we bought the armadillo. Lord, I love my kids.