Wednesday, September 29, 2010

transplant day, take 2

Meet Nicholas.  easter and flowers 021

He’s almost 8 1/2 now.  This picture was taken last year around Easter, about six weeks after Nick had a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia, and just about exactly his 7th birthday.  I posted here and here and here about his recovery.  Or go to his Caring Bridge site here and read his whole story from the original diagnosis 4 years ago til now.

Well, in April 2010, as Nick was set to be released from post bone marrow transplant follow-up, it was discovered that he relapsed.  Again.  And today is Day 0 once more.  Transplant day.  Today Nick is having a cord blood transplant, hoping and praying that it will once and for all kick leukemia’s butt.  The transplant itself is nothing big—‘just’ a transfusion—but it is HUGE in it’s impact. 

Nick will be in the hospital for a bit, probably another 3 weeks or more.  He has to stay until the new marrow is engrafted.  As things move forward, please pray for a swift, uneventful recovery!  This little family has been through a lot in the last 4 years (Nick’s original diagnosis was Sept 20, 2006) and while the road will not be smooth any time soon, it will be nice for them to return to some sense of normalcy. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

2 lessons

Lesson 1:  “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15 NASB)  Doing lots of this right now…it may be time to invest in Kleenex.  I would love the opportunity to rejoice with those who rejoice.  Bring on your happy news!  :)

Lesson 2:  When asked to speak to the young moms at church, expect God to make sure you understand your topic.  Case in point—I was asked this summer to speak on the topic of productivity.  As I have thought and prayed about it and run my ideas past a few wise friends, one thing keeps coming up:  align your priorities.  And guess what?  God is making sure MY priorities are in order these days.   “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…” (Mal 3:3 KJV)

Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." One lady's opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject.

She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. "But Sir" she said, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?" "Oh, yes, madam," replied the silversmith; "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."

The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; "the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way that he knows when the process of purifying is complete when he sees his own image reflected in the silver....

--Author Unknown

Seemingly unrelated, yet intricately intertwined…all for the purpose of a truer reflection of Christ.  Painful?  Yes.  Worthwhile?  Definitely!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

still here

We haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.  It just seems like it.  :)  Crazy busy week with lots of volleyball, the last of the fall start-ups, changes to speech therapy, last minute plan changes for one of the college crew—all of it going on in the midst of daily life.

And when you add a pair of size 14 shoes in the middle of the room to trip over?  It’s a good thing.  Those shoes belong to Brent, who’s HERE for a few days!  We are loving having him home!!  I’ll even happily move said shoes out of the way.

Ahhhhh………………going to enjoy a few days with my firstborn!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

time flies

16 years ago our family welcomed a third little girl.  Her big brother was a bit ticked because A) it was ANOTHER sister; and B) he had to miss Puyallup Fair Day at his school so that Mom could go to the hospital.  He forgave Tori.  See?

(Brent, 5, and Victoria, 2 weeks)tori 10-940001

Victoria has always been a joy and a delight—this picture is a great representation of her personality!

(9 months)tori0001

Spending years keeping up with her older siblings has matured her greatly, and many are surprised to learn she’s ‘only’ 16.

This year feels bittersweet.  Her birthday will be celebrated at dinner at home.  Jim and I are here and the little guys are here.  But Brent, Hailey, and Emily are not here.  Their absence makes a very big hole tonight.   It’s the first milestone birthday that more siblings AREN’T been around to celebrate than are.   And it’s bittersweet because she’s growing up SO fast!  One more year with her at home…she’ll celebrate her 18th birthday off at college somewhere.  Too strange to contemplate…

Happy birthday Tori!  You are a joy and a delight, and it is an honor to be your mom. I love you!!

(Victoria and Emily, Homecoming 2010)homecoming 10 020

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

growing up

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

Training up children to become responsible, independent, capable adults is hard work.  When they are little, it’s physically exhausting.  Then they become adolescents and the work shifts from physically tiring to mentally and emotionally challenging, even for the most delightful of children.    These are the days of the harder issues of life:  unfairness and ignorance, bad attitudes, and broken hearts.  Somewhere during this phase, most of us find ourselves longing wistfully for golden days of the toddler and preschool years, when we were ‘only’ physically tired, and when a band-aid and a kiss fixed everything!

Going back, however, isn’t possible.   And while watching them chart their course for an independent life is far more difficult than watching those first wobbly steps, it’s also infinitely more rewarding.  This time, you CAN’T step in and stop their falls.  You CAN’T remove every sharp object from their path.  And when they DO fall, it seems almost cold and cruel to stand on the sidelines as they try to figure out how to stand back up.  Stepping in to put them back on their feet only prolongs this ‘toddler' phase of adulthood.  But the reward of a caring, capable, independent, responsible young adult child who has become a friend?  Priceless!

Today, with 2 children in college and one newly discharged from the Marines, I am doing lots of watching.  Lots of encouraging.  And lots of wondering.  Did I do enough to prepare them?  What can I do to help?  How can I best see this child through this situation?  How do I understand?   Life is so different now than it was when I left for college many moons ago.  Do I have what it takes to simply stand on the sidelines and pray rather than step in and rescue? 

There are days I feel weary and burdened.  Life is not easy for one of mine right now.  Struggles abound with no easy, quick answers.  The mom heart wants so desperately to step in and fix everything, but the rational parent with an eye on the future knows that’s not the right choice.  So every day…sometimes many times in a day…I take my burdens and lay them down, again, at the feet of the One who knows and loves my children even more than I.  HE is the answer to many of the struggles.  HE knows their needs.  HE owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and has unlimited resources to tap into.  It is HIS strength I hang on to.  Through it all, I have seen the truth in the words: “…and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  

Today I know a parent…and a young adult…who need a light burden.  I know where to look.  Does my young adult?

Monday, September 13, 2010

24 years ago today…

…my dad walked his firstborn down the aisle.

leaving reception0002

It’s interesting to see how much Brent resembles Jim in this picture.leaving reception0007 

3 of my 4 favorite young men:  Collin, Ian, and Justin.  Big brother Ryan was ushering when this was taken.leaving reception0005

Maid of honor Krista and best man Georgeleaving reception0003

My parents, my sisters, and the two of usleaving reception0008

Heading to the reception…leaving reception0001

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Parenting is not for the easily embarrassed

(Or, how to keep your parents humble.)

Today, the JV girls had a volleyball jamboree in Tacoma.  The little guys and I headed down to watch part of it since they wanted to see “Daddy’s girls” play.  (Jim is the JV volleyball coach this year.  Yikes!)  I took some magnetic storyboards for them to play with, but they had to be opened first. 



is what happens when the goofball 5 year old gets his hands on the price stickers and the shrink wrap…  He wore his ‘hat’ and tags for most of the jamboree.  I just laughed.  Lovely, isn’t it?


Ryan, however, would have NOTHING to do with it!


Sorry for the poor picture quality.  Gym lighting isn’t conducive to good pictures with a good camera, and these were taken with my cell phone. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

say what??

I never thought I’d have to say anything like this:

“Hey guys?  Come down please.  Now.  Rhododendrons are not for climbing.  Especially when they belong to the next door neighbor.  Now OUT.”

But I have…just a few minutes ago.  Hmmm…every day is a new adventure!  :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

this n that

It’s funny how God does things.  Over the summer I was asked to speak to the young moms at church.  The topic they asked me to speak on?  Productivity.  And God is teaching me!  Oh boy is He teaching me!  (Good thing I speak next month—I’m not sure I want to continue learning these lessons until…oh…say, April.  Did that with self-control.  Boy was that ugly!!)  :)  Finding the right balance, learning to discern the difference between just being busy and truly being productive…not lessons I wanted to sign up for.  I’ve learned one thing, though, in the years I’ve been asked to speak:  whatever topic they request of me appears to be an area in my life that needs rebuilding.  Or reworking.  Or refining.  Or something.  It’s guaranteed—no matter the topic, God has something for ME to learn.  So thanks, ladies.  I’ve enjoyed this learning experience!

Life throws curveballs.  Everybody knows that.  Some are good, some not so good.  The last week or two has seen a slew of them.   Most are good but some are not so good.  Still trying to sort everything out…still working on school for the boys and moving college kids out and helping big guys find their way and…  Well, you get the picture. It’s that whole ‘what is just busyness and what is truly productive’ thing again.  (Do we sense a theme to this fall??)   Maybe one of these days I’ll sort through the curveballs enough to make sense of them and put some here.  Or maybe not. :\

And now, I’m off to sort through the day’s curves, to rejoice in the awesome news and mourn the tough stuff.  Life might be full of curveballs, but this week I am taking comfort in knowing that there are no curveballs for God.  THAT’S a pretty incredible thought to hang on to.  But then, He’s a pretty incredible God…

Friday, September 3, 2010

heard this morning

“Mommy, yours is better!  SO much better!”

That was Ryan’s assessment this morning while having a small container of Tree-Top applesauce for breakfast, and remembering the homemade applesauce he helped make that he ate for dinner last night.  He even refused to finish his ‘treat,’ instead asking me to give him some REAL applesauce.

Smart boy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

so far…

  • 10 quarts of applesauce canned, sitting on the counter
  • 26 cups of applesauce ready to be canned (about 7 more quarts)
  • 2 pans of apples ready to be made into sauce (about 26 cups worth!)
  • 2 apple pies and 1 apple crisp either frozen or already eaten
  • about 3 times that many apples still on the tree…

It’s going to be a long few days…  PIctures sometime soon, when my kitchen doesn’t look like it exploded.  Maybe.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a treasure trove!!

Today I got a box in the mail.  I knew it was coming; what I didn’t know is the absolute treasure it would contain.  One of my mom’s friends was a special education teacher for many years, and apparently she reads my blog.  (Hi Linda!)  When she read this post, she went to her files and packed me a box FULL of materials.  It came today.  WOW! 

Test booklets, visual motor testing information, visual perception testing, visual-aural testing, sensory integration information, basic learning abilities assessments—all complete with directions, score sheets, and complete test booklets!  I can’t begin to imagine what this would cost us to have someone do these.  And now they’re in my house!  I can integrate some of the test portions into our school day and evaluate the areas where I am concerned about Logan.  It is SO incredible to have all this!  The difference it will make for me as I teach Logan is amazing.

Thank you Linda!  Because of your help, Logan has an even better chance of succeeding in life.  (Did you know that 80% of children who are deaf or hard of hearing graduate from high school functionally illiterate?  Neither did I…until last fall.  That fact alone was enough to push us into homeschooling the boys this fall.)  Even with the odds stacked against him—hearing loss, motor planning issues, balance issues, sensory integration issues, speech and articulation issues, and likely visual motor and auditory processing issues—we WILL get this little guy a solid education.  Especially with friends like Linda to help.