Saturday, October 31, 2009
Yesterday, we had a Halloween Party at our local elementary school and I was the Party Coordinator for my daughter's 4th Grade classroom.
Last night, my son went to a Hallows Eve Lock In with the Youth Group at church. They trick or treated early in the neighborhood for Diapers and Canned Goods for the local shelter.
M went to a sleepover at her dance studio, with no scary costumes allowed. They played games and watched movies. There was nothing scarier than "Freaky Friday".
We have pumpkins on our front porch and candy waiting to be given out to the neighbors.
Yes, we are Christians, but we participate in Halloween. I'm not sure "celebrate" is a good word for what we do with this holiday because we don't really celebrate the day, we just take part in some of the "good traditions and fun."
My kids have never worn ghosts or goblins costumes. They've never been allowed to wear costumes with blood or gore. In fact, for the most part, we've used Halloween to dress up as something we'd like to be when we grow up or dress up like little princesses and just have some fun!
C, our son, has gone as Train Conductor, Air Force Pilot, Buzz Lightyear, Astronaut, War Hero, and the like. This year, he is Moses including the grey beard and stone tablet. As a 7th Grader, he's dressing up just for the costume party at church and for taking his littlest sister out trick or treating tonight. He's not in it for the candy people. Whoever believes that one, please stand up. Good to see that everyone is still sitting.
M has gone as a Duck, Piglet, Clown, Amelia Earhart, Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz with a matching outfit for Kit the American Girl Doll, and an Angel. This year she's going as a nurse which is her dream profession.
A has been a Puppy Dog, (No clown outfit for her as she's afraid of clowns) Elmo, and Eeyore. This year she's dressing up as her favorite princess: Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
We don't spend a fortune on costumes. We don't have any "Halloween decorations" as we just decorate for fall . Tomorrow, a Door Hanger will go up on my front door about Thanksgiving.
I allow my kids to participate in the school Halloween Party because I take part in the planning. I use my influence to make sure there are no "scary games" just good fun. Yesterday, the hit of the party was a game involving a hanging donut on a broom, a blindfold and kids trying to eat without sight/hands the swinging donut. C and I spent Friday morning stringing a 100 donuts on orange string!
As a Christian, I choose not to allow my kids to watch horror movies or expose them to the "Evil" side of Halloween. We talk about how it's a bunch of make believe. There are no witches or goblins.
When C was little we used to recite the line from Veggie Tales: "Are You Worried, No Not Really, Are You Scared, Not a Bit. I know Whatever Happens, God Can Handle It" when we would see scary creatures on the sidewalk on Halloween. With all the kids, we've talked about the real power coming not from Witches and Little Red Devils, but from God. We've talked about how there is nothing to be afraid of, because God is in control. Now that little Veggie Tale phrase is a family mantra.
For our family right now this works. Participating in Halloween without letting it become too big of an event in our lives. I realized doing this post that I don't even have a picture of the last two Halloweens in my scrapbook/one by choice and one from lost pictures. But, maybe that sends a silent message to my family, too. It's not that big of a thing! While I think M is adorable in her nurse's outfit and C cracks me up with his grey beard and bathrobe and A's little silver sparkly shoes make me smile, it's just a moment in time that they are pretending and dreaming.
My strongest desire for my children, besides them accepting Christ as their Savior, is that they can learn "to be in the world but not of the world." For our family, that's our approach for Halloween, too. We want to participate in the good clean aspects of Halloween and avoid the evil and scary things.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Those songs are planted deep within their souls and they are never lost. Alzheimer's cannot rob them of those seeds planted by God. I remember clearly my own grandmother who when it had been months since she'd really spoken, remembered anyone, or had been aware of her surroundings hummed along as my mother sang Amazing Grace at her bedside. There were tears streaming down both of their faces as they shared this wonderful old hymn.
And I think of the years,. . and the love that I've known.
And I'm loving and living . . . .. . . . . .life over again.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
A is a real trooper. She takes whatever life hands her and just makes the best out of it. Yesterday's ear surgery was no exception. At one point yesterday afternoon, she said this was just like having a birthday. A friend dropped off some "fake makeup and a new cell phone" for her, she got homemade cupcakes from Nana, a fancy new fleece robe from Bestemor, and a few coloring and sticker books from a number of friends and family to keep her entertained.
Hours After Getting Home In Her New Robe with some of her new toys and coloring stuff-so fun!
Playing Guess Who With Dad in the Cares Unit
8. After an hour and a half nap in the room, she was ready to have something to drink and eat. A small sprite later and a few crackers and she'd proved she had no queasy stomach and could finally go home. She'd eat and drink more if they had let her. She liked the "mini" pop can. 6oz was just her size.
9. Her only tears where when they removed the IV and she had a few drips of blood. The band-aid trauma. Guess that little blood is more traumatic than the whole ear thing! The Child Sized Wheelchair that they wheeled her out to the car made up for the trauma though. She thought that was big time fun!
The Little Yellow Wheelchair; She was great at driving, even on painkillers!10. By mid afternoon she was playing, watching NU Volleyball, and just hanging out. She was thrilled by the cards, phone calls, and gifts. Hopefully, not enough to want to do this again, but it was great to see the joy!
11. This morning she asked if we could have a "no more ear trouble party*" soon with presents, cake and friends. I said yes to the cake and friends, let's skip the presents. She said that sounds great. It will be just like our "no more nukkies parties, but better"
* for the record when each child gave up their "nuk" or pacifier we had a little party to celebrate, guess for A this is as worthy of a celebration.
Of course, she crashed later in the evening and today is taking it slow after sleeping for 13 hours. However, she's taking her pain meds and antibiotic like a champ, watching the movie Annie, playing with legos and leaving her ear alone.
I'm not sure grown adults could handle the pain, discomfort and ear tingling as well.
We'll be taking it easy this weekend. The discharge orders said no heavy lifting, no contact sports, no hair washing, and no swimming or air travel for at least two weeks. Guess we'll have to wait a few more days for her to get outside and do some yard cleanup for winter!! I think that means we'll be watching some college football, some cheesy old Disney Movies, and maybe taking a "midnight run" to DQ for some ice cream.
She's a real trooper!!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I'll be back tomorrow with the details and pictures ( My husband was shocked I took my camera). Even in the midst of it all she had some great moments.
Just in the last half hour as the "drugs" have worn off has she slowed down. I'm thinking she'll crash from this "high" soon.
Thank you so much for all your prayers.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Today, as I've thought ahead to what tomorrow brings, I feel peace. Peace that A tolerates surgery well, that she has the area's best doctor working on her ,and that the hospital we are going to is top notch.
I also know that this is all in God's hands. Friends and family are praying, we are praying and, as A said tonight, that's alot of people praying. Even the 6th -8th grade confirmation group that my husband leads is praying for her.
Hopefully, we can close the book on these minor surgeries and get her on the track to good health. I'm grateful that in the midst of all the H1N1 around we've been spared thus far and A can proceed with this surgery.
This afternoon, we had lunch with some friends and as we were leaving A said, "just think if I'd had lunch with Bridget tomorrow I wouldn't be there." For a moment my heart jumped. What does she mean? Does she know something I don't?
She finished with this typical A phrase, "Yeah, tomorrow I'll be busy eating nuggets and fries at my favorite hospital. Guess we could invite them to join us though."
Gotta love that girl.
Monday, October 19, 2009
I can run to the grocery store to pick up any item I want at anytime without worrying about its cost, freshness, or availability. Their are probably 6 grocery stores within a two mile radius of my house. If I want it, I can get it quick.
If I choose, I can run through a drive thru and pick up food for the kids or go to a Restaurant and enjoy a nice meal. Chicken Nuggets and French Fries can also be had, but not sure they fit the definition of a "nice" meal.
Sure my kitchen is not top of the line, my cookware needs to be replaced, and my kids often complain about what I'm serving them or more likely what I'm not serving them. (Often, I think they would most evenings prefer Burger King). However, we only budget so much on food and we try not to eat out much so as it make our rare evenings out more of a treat. My family has what it needs to prepare our "daily bread".
That's why I call our family blessed. We have what we need and, for the most part, we have it in abundance.
Not so for everyone. I will sometimes jokingly tell my kids that the amount of food I throw away each day would feed a starving child for a week. I tell them that the food they waste on their plates, the food that rots in our fridge, or goes past expiration in our cupboard could amount to more than some kids across town eat all week.
While we continue to try and reduce what we waste, we are also trying to show our kids a little bit more about how to impact kids around the world who don't have "all this stuff." Making it tangible can be challenging, but, in the last month, we've had two great opportunities to show our kids ways to impact their world. The first was to sponsor a child for World Vision. This is an awesome ministry and we can't wait to learn more about Shakum from Ghana. We talked about what everyone would sacrifice in order to write that simple $30 check per month.
The second was when my girls, my husband, and I had the opportunity to package food for "Kids Against Hunger" on Saturday night at our church. We helped to assemble 12,000 meals in two short hours. Food that if eaten once every three days by a starving child will stop starvation from ravishing their bodies. Eating this food once a day, gives them all the nutrition they need.
Miss A got to dump in the "soy product", Miss M got to dump in the "veggies" and I topped it off with "chicken flavoring" before our table partner added in the rice and my husband made sure the weight was exact. If the package weighs too much or too little, custom officials in Africa have been known to reject the entire shipment of food
The food is going to an orphanage in Sierra Leon. It is a place where children go when their parents realize they can not feed them and want for them to have a chance at life. These are parents who must be at their wits end wanting to give their children everything and the best they can offer is an orphanage where meals are served and starving children have a chance.
Watching my two girls package the food to help these starving children I was so grateful. Grateful that God is providing for our family and that we have all we need. Grateful that when my kids gripe and complain about the meal I place before them I should, instead of have hurt feelings or get angry, realize that I'm blessed to hear them complain. Children across the globe are crying inside for food and parents are giving them up for fear they will die. I could not imagine having to make that choice of letting them go as the only option to save them.
It was a profound evening. Leaving, M said that her hands smelled like the food we packaged. I told her that it was a reminder of what we had done that night. That that scent should remind her of all she has to be grateful for here and that it should remind her to pray for the children who will eat that food and live.
Friday, October 16, 2009
C will be an official teenager this March. Wow!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Miss A is having surgery to repair a hole in her right ear next week. It's a hole that Tubes left in her ear and it's getting bigger rather than smaller. We've repaired it once when she had her tonsils and adenoids out two years ago, but the repair did not take.Now we are going for the big guns; the best Ear Specialist in town, a more invasive surgery that should plug that hole and restore the 10% hearing loss that she has in that ear.
This week, we've been to the eye doctor for a follow up on her lazy eye. Great news! The glasses are doing the work and we are clear for a visit until next year. She loves her new glasses and does a great job wearing them. We've also been to the Pediatrician for a pre-op physical. She's in great health and cleared for the procedure.
I got such a kick out of A's explanation of what's going on next week. She's going to "her hospital" which is the one with the great cafeteria, play room and french fries and she's probably getting a toy out of the deal, too!
This will be A's third surgery in five years. All for relatively minor things such tubes, tonsils, and now ears. She's been to more doctors, specialists and hospital rooms than our other two children combined. We call her our Health Care Spending Account Child! But she doesn't seem to mind.
She takes it all in stride.
She's happy, joyful, and funny as all get out and takes these visits to doctors as just the normal thing you do. While I realize she has nothing to complain about with all the health care issues that others are faced with such cancer, chronic illness, pain etc, she is still only 5. She could fuss or cry or scream.
Most of our visits to waiting rooms and doctors offices are filled with books, snuggle time and giggles. She thinks the eye doctor is hilarious with his little Burger King toys to watch go back and forth. She asked me why he kept asking what the letter was on the wall. Doesn't he know his letters?
Our pediatrician makes her smile when he taps her legs for reflexes and she thinks it so funny he never remembers which ear has the hole in it. Can't he see it from outside the ear?
She's our child who took Mono in stride at two, Tonsil infection upon tonsil infection with a smile, and now she's going back to her favorite Hospital just for a little visit.
She lives life with gusto. She takes what is given to her and makes the most of it.
I feel so privileged to be her mother and witness all of this along our journey together.
Today is Pregnancy Loss and Remembrance Day. Almost fourteen years ago, we lost our first baby at ten weeks. It was just days before Christmas and we were heartbroken. For months after I wondered if we would ever have children.
Never did I begin to believe that I would now be the mother of three wonderful children. Children who have forever changed who I am as a person and enriched my life so deeply.
Seeing A take this next challenge of ear surgery on with such strength and courage is just one of the blessings. I am forever grateful.
I'm praying today that God can give other mothers and fathers who are mourning the loss of babies a measure of this joy! That He can turn their mourning into dancing. That they will know that not only did that child they lost through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death matter, they matter to God. That whatever God's ultimate plan for their family is that they will be able to find joy.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Yesterday, I mowed the lawn to rake up the leaves in the front.
Today, my front tree went into shock and starting dropping leaves like crazy. I think it was afraid it missed fall.
Yesterday, we all went on a Hay Rack Ride and Roasted Marshmallows by an open fire.
Today, the kids huddled together under blankets and warmed up with Hot Coco and Redi Whip.
Yesterday afternoon, the kids played kicked ball in the backyard.
Today, they built a snowman in the middle of the backyard.
Yesterday, I cut back my mums to allow for new growth.
Today, they were covered in snow and wilted like crazy.
Yesterday, I lined up our three pumpkins and prepared the new "pumpkin patch pumpkin" for display on the porch. I didn't get it out there until after the snow. Thank goodness A said it would not have been happy this morning.
Today, the pumpkins had a blanket of white stuff on their tops.
Yesterday, the kids were throwing Hay at each other and their Uncle while bouncing down a country lane.
Today, the kids were throwing snow balls at each other.
You might have guessed that Old Man Winter Made A Surprise Visit This Morning To Our House. Yes, I realize the calendar might only say October 10th, but obviously that doesn't matter anymore.
Oh, please don't say this is a sign of things to come. A Winter filled with snow, cold and lots of "inside" time.
I'm just glad I thought ahead this week and got out all the "snow gear".
We have all the coats, gloves, hats and snow pants we could want. All that's missing are some new sleds.
I was thinking that Santa could bring some new "snow" things. Looks like by Christmas, we'll have had plenty of time to use them.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
A sitting on a Strawberry, part of the play zone at the Cherry Creek Mall. She loved jumping on bacon, over easy eggs, and this cute strawberry. What a great way to burn off some energy.