Thursday, May 31, 2007

The end of preschool

“One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank, nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.”

I used to have this quote at the top of my resume when I was interviewing for a teacher job. It means so much more to me now that I am a parent – and I am placing my child in the hands of someone else.

My daughter's last day of preschool was today. I was actually sad to be finished - her teacher became a part of our family. Miss Katie exemplified and glorified Jesus in her teachings and interactions with the children. She genuinely loved them as her own. We weren't sure about the value of preschool and sending her this year - but are sooo glad we did. We are truly grateful for this experience. Katherine has really grown and matured.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pray for strength

First let me apologize for my last post - my kids are really trying to stay up late and my husband had been gone for 4 nights and I was just tired....

I have it good. If tired is the worst it gets - I know I have it really good. In fact, I feel guilty sometimes that it is good. We have healthy children and haven't had any serious issues. I know that can change at any moment - but as I have said before, now is good. There is a family we know who is struggling through a rough time. I hesitate to say struggle, because considering the situation, they are doing pretty well. This husband and wife have a five year old daughter, 22 month old son, and a nine week old daughter. They had another daughter too who died when she was 21 months. The doctors thought she had an ear infection and in a matter of hours she was paralyzed and unable to breath again on her own. She died shortly after. The condition she had was one that less than a handful of young people have ever had (like 1 in a million odds). Their nine week old baby was born with a disease called Treacher Collins Syndrome. This is something that can't really be seen on an ultrasound, so they were expecting their little baby girl to be completely healthy. It is something 1 in 10,000 people are born with. Their baby is at home now with a GI tube, traech (is that how you spell it?) and hearing aid. She is doing well considering. They need a nurse 16 hours per day but are having trouble finding one even from 8-4 during the week. I can't imagine having to go through one horrific situation like that - nonetheless two. They are doing their best to focus on getting through each and every day - looking past that is even more tiring. Thankfully, their family and Church is very supportive and they have an unwavering faith that God is control and see them through.

It is such a helpless feeling to watch someone you care for have suffer. We think that there has to be something we can do to help. Anyway, if you think of them today, please pray. The mom and dad's names are Alissa and Brad.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Repeat whiners (whom I love very much)

If it is 10 PM and your child repeatedly cries and asks for things - anything he or she can think of to stay awake and keep you from enjoying alone time - Is it mean to say
"Are you dying? ... If not, than stop crying!"
Is that unfair or unreasonable? Because those are the words that want to jump out of my mouth at this moment.

The message was good today...

Not that it isn't every week, but some weeks the message at Church just hits a little deeper. I was planning on visiting a Church we don't normally attend this morning (I won't delve into any reasons right now)...but we got up late and couldn't make it. I was disappointed, and instead went to the Church where we are members. What a wonderful service it was. More importantly, God spoke through the pastor. The pastor was talking about the military since it IS Memorial Day and discussing the training soldiers receive and then how they are 130% identified with the army/marines,etc...once they join. They do their job with conviction and everyone knows who they stand for and what they do. As followers of Jesus, we need to have that same conviction and people need to know who we follow - who we identify with - 130%. He continued to discuss how we have really watered down Christianity in the US. We try to sell God and "religion" as a feel good thing = lots of wonderful benefits...but somewhere along the line, we have lost the cross. There is suffering in following Christ. Many people identify with "religion" but when you say you follow Jesus - they don't always have positive things to say about that. I, unfortunately, wasn't taking notes, so I can't relay what he said as eloquently or make the same points, but it was good. It spoke to my heart. I know daily I need to "take up my cross and follow Christ" - moment by moment,...with each breath.

Recently I read a really interesting Blog post from a pastor about a service he went to in Mexico. He was contrasting the service there (their enthusaiasm and genuine desire to worship) with our Church services here. If you get a chance, check it out here - Scroll down to April 22, 2007. Under the Cedars.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

It was a good day.

Today was. I traded in my seat in front of the computer for a day outside. I am trying to surprise my husband by fixing up the yard...not my favorite thing to do - the yard I mean. So, I pulled out (with the help of mom) five dead bushes and chopped them up...then moved two bushes. She planted some Hostas and other various plants. I edged and mulched and trimmed more tonight. There is still a lot left to do - hopefully i can be content with imperfection, because I can't make this as perfect as I would like. My legs and rear end are really bothering me - and I think I may have pulled something in my right quad. I am also running out of money. Anyhow - it feels good to do something for someone else - and I am broadening my horizons.

The girls and I watched a Barbie movie(I never had a Barbie when I was little by the way) and ate pizza and subs tonight. We laid in our sleeping bags on the floor and made ice cream sundies with LOTS of sprinkles. (Although my favorite sprinkles treat has to be the toast Megan made me with sprinkles on it for Mother's day:) We read books and tried to have a sleepover in the living room. Thankfully they changed their minds and wanted their beds around 11 - my body wanted my bed too.

I am thankful for fun days like these - fun moments - good memories. Thanks Lord. I have lots to be grateful for.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

too many t-shirts

my husband has too many t-shirts. he has a dresser full of old t-shirts in the basement for painting and mulching in. he also has a drawer full upstairs and a large pile of overflowing t-shirts next to the dresser upstairs and a basket full in the closet. none are new and probably less than 10 are purchased. they are all old and from camps he has been too. do you think i should secretly throw them out little by little? do your husband's hoard anything? {sorry if typing in lowercases is irritating - it is easier at the moment}

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Breast Cancer, Mammograms, etc.

[Warning - long post! - sorry but this is important for me to share important for me]
Those of you who know me are probably aware that nine years ago my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 48. Around twenty years ago, my dad's sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39. In between the two of them, both of my grandmothers and my grandmother's sister were also diagnosed with the disease. Thankful, none of them have died from this cancer. Needless to say, this disease is something I am very familiar with and need to become even more familiar with.

A little background about Breast Cancer...
It is one of the most common forms of cancer in woman in the US. One in 7 or 8 women will develop it sometime in their life. Like many other diseases, it is affected by both controllable and non-controllable risk factors. Non-controllable risk factors would include things like aging, race, or heredity. Controllable risk factors would be things such as diet, exercise, alcohol, etc. Many things are still questionable like soy, birth control pills - some studies show these are beneficial and some show they are harmful.

I am considered high risk for this disease (because of heredity) and was referred to a cancer center nearby that has a Breast Cancer Prevention Clinic once each month. My understanding was that I was going to meet with an oncologist who would give me an examination and possibly develop some time of a protective plan from here on out. When I got there, I first met with an oncologist and a nurse practitioner. I was joking around somewhat...feeling awfully silly for seeing a doctor about something I didn't have. When they didn't laugh at my jokes, I tried to take things a little bit more seriously. I found out that one Monday each month, these doctor's commit their time only to high risk women. The other days of the month are spent treating women who already have the disease. So all of the other women there where in a situation similar to mine. After my initial exam and health history with them, I was sent to meet with a genetic counselor for about 40 minutes. It was SO interesting and informative. From there I was taken to have a baseline mammogram (didn't see that one coming) and then another conference with the oncologist and nurse practitioner.

Little old me - with no problems at this point...but they cared and wanted to help.

I have considered seeing a genetic counselor in the past but wasn't really sure it would be beneficial. I mean - it seemed to me that the only prevention was a preventative double mastectomy. I also wondered if playing around with genes was God's business and not mine? I was shocked by all of the information she gave me. There are two genes that have been associated with breast cancer and with ovarian cancer - BRCA1 and BRCA2. When one or both of them has a type of gene mutation, there is a significant rise in breast cancer cases. Nearly 35-85 percent of woman who have a gene mutation in one of these genes will get breast cancer in their lifetime. Between 16-60 percent of them will get ovarian cancer. I knew this was high regarding the breast - but I did not know about the connection with ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is much more difficult to find and diagnose and therefore - can be quite deadly. In cases such as mine, there is enough of a possibly that I have the gene that they recommended genetic counseling - for my aunt, my mom, and if necessary - myself. It costs almost $3200. {If you are over 65 it is free through Medicare.}

For woman who have one of these mutated genes, they like you to have your fallopian tubes and ovaries out before you are 40. Yikes! Who wants to get put through menopause that early? Well- they give you 25% of your hormones through HRT (hormone replacement therapy) which still leaves you with 75% less than what you were getting. IT doesn't put you through menopause and reduces your risk of getting ovarian cancer in particular by 65%! I guess that is better than the complete hysterectomy and double mastectomy a friends of mine just had! This is just a tiny little bit of what she told me - but it was enough to really make me think. There was lots of info about male breast cancer too - if anyone wants to know. They are really so proactive. It is amazing.

A concern many woman in my situation have is the problem of genetic discrimination. In the past - and still in some states, insurance companies could and would drop clients if they were found to have this gene. It IS a preexisting condition, after all! So, doctor's would advise their clients to pay everything out of pocket and not write any information about the gene in their charts. Thankfully, most of that has changed or is changing. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act is currently running through the house and Bush is expected to sign it. At this point, life insurance and disability companies can still drop clients though. [My friend Elizabeth is so good at keeping up with political issues - I am interested but I realized how much more interesting it becomes when it directly affects me!] As far as the genetic testing, there are lots of factors to consider before doing it, and I haven't prayed about it enough to know what is right for our family.

As far as the mammogram - you do wear these robes and the technician squeezes and molds and squishes your chest. They actually stuck bee bees on the end of them - (that is a nice visual huh?) But - compared to childbirth, or any other injury, it didn't really hurt. Maybe just a little uncomfortable for a brief time. The lady said - "wow look at all that muscle!" So - I could take that as, wow, you are strong....or wow, you don't have much fat in the only place in your body where you are supposed to:).

My mom hasn't had any recurrences. Praise the Lord! She was recently diagnosed with a mild case of lymphedema - but that is a side effect of having a double mastectomy and radiation and chemo.

Anyway, if you know of anyone who would benefit from this info, feel free to pass it on. Thanks for listening and letting me tell this story.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


My head is spinning! I had a VERY informative day yesterday - spent several hours at a comprehensive cancer clinic nearby specifically as part of a high risk breast cancer prevention program. I can't wait to write all about it - I think it will help me process the info - but I will do that later this evening or early tomorrow morning - when I have more time.

Also - we now have two girls wearing gloves - in hopes that my five year old will stop sucking her thumb by the end of the summer and the 2 year old will stop pulling out her hair. Before you think I am cruel, we only wear them in the car, in bed, or watching TV.

Right now I just want to say how incredibly thankful I am for my husband! I totally don't tell him enough - but I wouldn't be half the person I am today without him! Do you ever have those moments when your mind starts wandering and you worry about your loved ones and then start to think "How could I possibly survive if anything ever happened and..." Well I was having one of those moments this weekend. Kevin and I went out to a nice (free) dinner at a wonderful restaurant and saw a sweet movie called Music and Lyrics. For some reason, I started that ridiculous worrying and just realized - you know what - NOW is good. I am thankful for NOW - soooo thankful. Thankful for the moment. and Thankful for each extra moment I get to spend with him - it is a gift and a treasure and I want to make the most of it. So - honey I LOVE YOU!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

the weekend..

Here are two pictures from the weekend...can you tell what they are? One is my daughter sleeping with a mitten on her hand. We are trying this again to get her to stop pulling out and eating her hair. For a two year old, she is pretty compliant about wearing it! I think habits are so hard to beat the older you get, so we are comitting ourselves to doing all that we can to help her stop now - but it sure would be easier to let it go!

The second photo is my leg. Odd for me to post that - it is the spike marks left over from a collision during my soccer game on Sunday. I was asked to play on a coed adult team and it was SOOOO fun - spikes, soreness and all! We didn't have enough girls so we had no subs, had to play short two players and didn't get a sub for 80 minutes! It was great exercise and great fun - even in the driving rain. Of course, I was a little nervous at first - but that went away quickly. I have always loved to compete - in any sports. I played volleyball, tennis, basketball, track and softball in high school and loved all of them. The older you get it is harder to find places to play. Anyway, I could hardly lift my legs last night I was so sore- but it was a good soreness. I miss that.

Anyway- what is something you have always enjoyed doing but forego now that you are in a career, or a mom or dad, or just don't make time to do? (or for some of us - we are injured and can't particiapte the way we did when we were younger.) There is some type of energy or feeling that is wonderful when you are doing something you really love to do.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Journal Jar Photos

Here are some photos I promised (from the post 2 previous to this one). I chose not to embellish the journals and keep things as simple and inexpensive as possible. Journals and plain jars are from Target.

I am so thankful for them this Mother's Day!

Journal Jars

Have you heard of them? That is what I am working on at 1:13 am on Mother's Day! :) Don't feel too bad for me - I did get to watch Grey's Anatomy on the computer while I was cutting. Anyway, I have been wanting to make these for the people in my family for some time now...I will post a photo another day when I am more finished. It is a jar or container of some type, filled with many questions...questions about the past, like:
  • What were some of your favorite places to go as a family when you were a child?
  • Describe a typical childhood Christmas morning.
  • Tell about your first vehicle - don't forget the price.
  • What food did you hate when you were a child? Do you still not like it as an adult?
Or the present:
  • Write a want ad for your spouse.
  • Describe the street you live on.
  • What is a typical day or week look like for you at this time?
  • How much does a dozen eggs cost? a loaf of bread? a gallon of milk?
Or the future:
  • When and how would you like to retire?
  • If you were able to donate time or money to help people, what would you choose to do?
I have well over a hundred that I have typed up and cut for all of the woman in my family. (I would be glad to email you a copy if you would like.) Anyway, you can decorate the jar however you like...then you can give a journal and a special pen. The recipient is to pick one paper out of the journal daily or weekly or whenever - then write about that topic in his/her journal. The purpose is to be reflective and more importantly, to have a lot of history and thoughts written down to pass on to others who love you...especially as a legacy. Yes - it is a little selfish to ask someone to do work, but in my opinion one of the greatest gifts is to have pieces of those I love...just like I love to share pieces of me.

photo of a journal jar
description of how to make one

Okay - off to star at my beautiful sleeping pray fervently for them...and to praise God for allowing me to have them for a time on earth:) Happy Mother's Day to all of you mommies out there!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


EDITED: I am not saying it is bad if your priorities include blogging everyday. I am just not organized enough to do that right now . BUT if you are - kuddos to you!!!:)

So I have pretty much realized that I will be about a once a week blogger...Believe me, it is not that I don't have plenty of thoughts rumbling around in my head that need to get out. I know for some people blogging is one of those daily things in their routines, but I just can't fit it in all the time. See..there is the husband and kids, work deadlines, cooking and cleaning, exercising and reading the Bible, taking a know - so it tends to get pushed down to the bottom of the list...and I am okay with that. Oh - and the laundry which last week was piled up in the basement to almost the bottom of the shoot in the ceiling...seriously!

Had a great week last week - celebrated a birthday (a few times) for my FIVE year old - so much fun! Working on some graduation invitations, bridal shower invitations, wedding reception invitations, sports photos and family photos...riding bikes!! - Katherine is learning how without training wheels..having family visiting...

Okay - here is the question floating around in my head for a while now. Does it mean you are getting old when everyone else looks so young???? or when 40 doesn't sound so old anytmore? When Kevin first started working in the high school 7 years ago, I remember how young all of the students looked. After my second daughter was born, I remember thinking how young all the new moms were looking. Now, I was sitting at a middle school soccer game taking pictures and thought - "Man, these moms look so young!!" So, are the moms getting younger or am I getting older???

I have some other posts I have been working on - hope to upload them in the next day or so...Have a great day!