Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Tale As Old As Time"

There's a bit of excitement here in our neck of the woods - we got a dusting of snow this morning.  It wasn't enough to delay or cancel school (though neighboring districts!) - but it adds to the excitement of life.  Perhaps tomorrow morning we will be luckier.

Last night was exciting for sure for Mikayla and I.  We attended the Broadway Across America performance of "Beauty and the Beast".  It was EXCEPTIONAL!  I was so entranced and the choice of actors for particularly Gaston, Lumiere, and The Beast were perfect.  (Belle was spot on too).  We did a lot of outloud laughing and were entranced from start to finish.  Best of all, despite the start time of 7pm, Mikayla stayed awake until the end.  Woo hoo!

Adding to the magic of the performance is our seating.  I'm not sure if I mentioned this earlier when addressing John and Brayden's viewing of "Blue Man Group", but this year, we purchased season tickets.  There was a space for seat requests, so I simply asked for as close and center as possible.  End result, our tickets are in the third row!  And, we are darn near center too.  As they blew out streamers to the crowd for "Be Our Guest" they landed on us, and you could see the expressions of the actors so vividly - sometimes too much so, as in the beginning, I swear Gaston was staring straight at me!

All in all - a wonderful date night with Mikayla, especially when paired with our routine pre-stop at P.F. Chang's for Lettuce Wraps, a Diet Coke, and a Shirly Temple.  (Totaling $8.65, that stop makes for a cheap date!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Home Sick

This weekend has indeed been a restful one, but it was also a necessity in that the sinus cold I've been fighting all week finally got the upper hand.  I've been reliant on Mucinex Sinus all week....such good stuff, but apparently missing the every 4 hour doses Friday night while sleeping threw me under the bus.

I'm actually feeling pretty decent right now, but Mikayla has been pouring through the Kleenex box, full of sneezes, coughs, and snot.  I think we'll be spending the day in our bedroom with computers, my kindle, my cell phone and the tv - shutting out the rest of the world.

Before that can happen, though, we need to get Brayden to school.  I wonder how many of you moms out there have this similar problem - in that when one sibling is sick the other when pouts incessantly that they should stay home too.  This is a recurring theme for Brayden - he's all about "fairness" and despite the fact that he is not sneezing, coughing, or blowing his nose, he insists he doesn't feel good.

In the end, I caved.  He stayed home under the condition he got some extra credit work done.  In situations like these, I'm just too much of a pushover...

Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm Not the Only Visitor to the Classroom

I came home to a sweet message on our answering machine from Leona (John's mom) making sure we are all okay, because nothing's been updated on my blog and she was worried that I've been under the weather due to headaches.  Bless your heart, Leona....and thank you for asking....and sorry for being MIA.

I'm happy to report that my absence has not been due to headaches, it's been due to other teachers' absences.  I've been working - and unexpectedly, it turned into an entire week's set of assignments.

And, let me just tell you - THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY!!!!  I'm a little worn out. 

Let me back up a bit and tell you my first assignment of 2012 began last Thursday - at the same sweet school that I love, but this time with fourth graders.  They were a nice bunch...except for one.  I know, I should love them all...but, literally, this one boy wanted me dead (it was reported by more than one student that he said such things).  Nice, huh?  Yeah, throw that little morsel of goodness to a CODE RED SAFETY drill in which we are supposed to turn all lights out, hide out of view, close all curtains and remain silent for ten minutes - and there's the recipe for a certain day of substitute success.  Yee haa....  For the record, I was actually asked to return to the school Friday - I'm glad I'd made alternate plans!

This week, I was scheduled for my FAVORITE class on Tuesday.  We had a good day, but they were a bit wound up.  The picture above shows part of the reason why.  This little dude (we at first called him "Kermit", but decided that he might be a she based on how wide her girth is...and changed the name to "Miss Piggy") showed up outside the classroom door right after lunch.   Of course, being the animal lover that I am, there's was no way I was going to resist the opportunity to pick him, put him under the document camera, take a pic with my own phone, and walk him around the class for them all to touch.  Despite cries of protest, we did release him to a safe place on the outskirts of the school property once each of the fifth graders got to touch him.

It had been originally planned for this week for me to have this class on Tuesday and then the teacher next door's class today.  However, each of the teacher's extended their absence an additional day.

Wednesday:  LOVELY - because I got to improvise some of the lesson plans due to the teacher's unexpected continued absence (she was sick), I felt more ownership and we all had a lot of fun.

Thursday:  UGH  As expected, the male dominated class next door did not demonstrate nearly the level of class cohesiveness or kindness as my original favorites.  We got through, and by far, it was not even close to the worst subbing day ever, but their negativity did wear me down.

Today:  BETTER.  The class was more mellow to start, not seeking to push the envelope as much and the lesson plans were pretty easy-peasey.  But, still, I was counting down the minutes and seconds until I could excuse them and I could reach the end of my work week.

Whew - this whole working full time thing is HARD!  I found myself much more productive, organized, and prepared than normal, but going, going, going constantly.  Dishes loaded and unloaded, lunches packed the night before, clothes laid out, floors quickly picked up, laundry moved through - and then on to Wed. church or Th. Bible Study.   And yet, so much more sense of satisfaction for having "contributed" than I often have when my days are so loosely structured and empty of appointments or routine.

I'll analyze more of what can be done with that assessment on Monday.  In the meantime, it's the weekend, which starts out with "Friday Night Whites"...and promises lots of down/me time.   Thank you God!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Don't Leave It on the Desk

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course his or her freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.
This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him.

" How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Dr. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know.... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve. "Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can... yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?"
Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

"Sure." Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second! aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.

When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?" Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own pushups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten pushups.

Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Dr. Christianson said, "Look!, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No."

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?"
Steve did ten... Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks.

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten pushups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your pushups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut"

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut."

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"

Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"
Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda.

Then Dr Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone, I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not. When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"

As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he! fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, 'into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten." Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding "Not all sermons are preached in words."
Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not only His Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"

reposted from who reposted from

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Home Court Advantage

Today we are beginning a back yard remodel.  Upon looking at this picture, you must be thinking to yourself, "I can't imagine why?!"  I mean really, who wouldn't want to frolic in that patch of moss and thinned out grass, or break their ankle in the dogs' efforts to dig to China?  (Heaven only knows what they think is down there....other than the original "shock wire" to keep them from going across the line...I think it's a revenge issue!)

Did you see the gentleman in the background?  He is dismantling this little piece of our family history.

That is a picture taken this morning of the play structure we purchased within weeks of moving into this, our first-owned home, 7 and a 1/2 years ago.  At the time (when the yard looked AMAZING after having just been landscaped with fresh sod laid down) - it was the "final piece" to my perfect home.  We purchased it from a family for a greatly reduced cost (it's a "Rainbow" play system which is top of the line) - as long as we were willing to tear it down from their residence and, of course, put it up ourselves.

It looked much better back then than it does now. 

Upon realizing, all of a sudden this morning, that it needed to come down this weekend before work begins, John begrudgingly acknowledged he needed to borrow a trailer and tear it down to haul it to the dump. 

With a bit of "Toy Story" nostalgia and sentimentality, I suggested we just take a pic and put it on Facebook to see if anyone would bite at the offer of a free play structure.  John reluctantly agreed, feeling like it wouldn't work, but appeasing me.  We went ahead and then placed it in the free section of Craigslist as well, mandating it had to be taken down this afternoon and hauled away by someone else....but hopeful it would go to some family that would find as much joy in it that it has brought to us.

Within a half hour, John had received 10 calls from folks willing to take it off our hands.  PRAISE GOD!  And, let me just tell you, John is ONE HAPPY CAMPER to not have to worry about that job.  I'm a very happy camper to know it's going to another home and not the dump, but most of all, that gentleman (Rick is his name) is a VERY HAPPY CAMPER to be able to bring home a quality play structure (once it's given a little TLC) to his two boys....aged 2 1/2 and a year.  =)  Our kids even threw in the bucket of toys in the sand area when they found that out.  =) 

I'm going to hold off in giving a complete description on what our new backyard area will become, but let's just say there's a whole lot of excitement about it.  There ought to be, because it's going to cost us quite a bit of money.  This has been something John and I have been weighing out, but just this week, it hit me why I'm willing to spend money on this, but not on other repairs crying out for help (i.e. - air conditioning system).   It goes back to the title...I want our home to have the "home court advantage" for Brayden and Mikayla.  John and I absolutely see the upcoming changes as being a huge draw for the ministry functions we have with the UO students and young adults in our life, but much more importantly to us is the huge draw it will be to our kids and their friends.  We want our home to be the place they most want to be. 

On Wednesday morning, during that hour or so alone that I have with Brayden between the time Mikayla's school starts and his school starts - out of the blue, this is what he said:

"Mom, you know what my best birthday present was?  It wasn't even something I could have asked for because there's no amount of money that could ever buy it, it's far too valuable."

(At this point, I hate to admit, I was only half listening - too engrossed in Pinterest or Facebook...and from what I heard I was already guessing the Christmas announcement of Travis and Stephie's baby as the answer - even though that had nothing to do with his birthday...yeah, I'm a really good mom)

He continued, "It's having you guys as parents.  I mean, you are the best parents in the world, and that's something so much more amazing than any birthday present I could have asked for....

He then followed up with some more cuddly comments about me as his mom....and while I was half listening it hit me that I had to immediately treasure every word coming out of that boys' mouth - memorize it and write it down quick....because, how often does a mom of a seventh grade boy ever get to hear words like that come out of her son's mouth? 

WOW!!!  And, then as I processed that over the next couple of days, it solidified in my mind that this upcoming expense will be worth it - to help insure this relationship we have with our kids stays as strong as it is.  Clearly, us providing games, toys, a trampoline or whatever are not what makes us the parents Brayden is describing - but, having those as resources to engage with our kids - or allow them a safe place to engage with others - that's a part of it.

So, stay tuned for "remodel" pictures - I'm excited - and for sure, it's time - and as far as I'm concerned, it will be "worth it".   

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pinterest Reviews

I've already addressed the fact that I am a Pinterest follower.  It really is such a cool concept - and I find myself wandering for great amounts of time through all sorts of topics, tracking back to new people and blogs to follow.

With all the recipes I have for sweets and desserts, I've laughingly addressed my Pinterest Favorite Recipes board as my "menu for Heaven" - in that there's no way I could ever make all those foods, but more importantly - EAT them, without major ramifications to my "earthly body"!  But, it sure is fun looking.  =)

Practically speaking, it's been fun to search out recipes for next year's Harlow Auction Desserts.  I think I found one for sure, as the morning after posting it, I had an email indicating 36 different people had repinned it.  Given the secret to having your dessert get picked early is picking a taste that appeals to a wide audience and looks pretty....I think it might be a winner.  You can get a an advanced preview here.

There were two recipes I did give a try last week that were not sweets.  I tried the supposed Copycat to PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps recipe and then a slower cooker recipe for Orange Chicken.

The Lettuce Wrap recipe was TIME made me realize that the price for this famous appetizer in the restaurant might not be too far off base considering the vast array of ingredients and chopping time for it all.  It was kind of fun for me to put together for my Thursday Night Ladies, though, so to that degree it was a gratifying experiment.  However, it took a visit to 3 stores to accumulate all the ingredients.  It took a couple of hours to put together.  And while the texture and look were pretty "spot-on", the taste was just slightly off.  It might have been the brands of different sauces I used.

The Orange Chicken was kind of fun as it inspired a deep fryer purchase from Walmart.  I spent all of $9 on the fryer and $4.50 for a mini Cuisinart style chopper....major clearance finds!   So, once again I ended up with a result with the perfect consistency (after boiling the sauce up a bit more in a skillet).  However, I was not a fan of the very strong orange concentrate taste.  If you try it for yourself, I'd suggest halving the concentrate in it.

Tonight I tried this.  Slow cooking pork tenderloin in root beer, pretty strange right?  But, upon reading about it, apparently it works as an amazing tenderizer.  The kids both loved it, though next time I'll probably use a little less sauce (about one standard size container of bbq sauce).  As for the tenderloin, I used Costco's Kirkland brand, sold in a four-pack in their meat section.  Good stuff!

On to Pinterest cleaning inspirations.

Yesterday, I tried this to clean my couches.  Ours are brown, so they've definitely hid dirt and wear much better than any in our past.  But, the "after" effect was noticeable, and it was really a rather painless process to complete.

I also purchased some Dawn and hydrogen peroxide to give this a try on some favorite white tank tops and t-shirts that have gotten dingy.  Instead of spot-cleaning, I put a pile of about 8 items in my sink and just let them soak for a couple of hours.  I then transferred the pile into my washing machine (minus any additional detergent) and hit the rinse cycle.   I bet you might guess where I'm going with this.... =)  That much Dawn in a high efficiency front load washing machine is not a good idea.  Even after a couple of repeat cycles, it was still loaded with foamy suds.  On the positive side, Mikayla and Christina had a blast pulling it out and playing with it (pretty clean fun to let them indulge in....not to mention they helped rid the machine of it).  I ended up transferring the whole load to the bathtub and rinsed it under the shower for a while.  That was the trick, as the last run through the washing machine was successful.   As for results, yes, a lot brighter, but not all the "armpit stains" disappeared completely.  I'm not sure if it was worth all the effort, but it was worth a shot to try.

How about any of you other readers out there, any personal test-run of popular Pinterest ideas you have to review?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

I saw this idea on Pinterest....looked easy enough to make for the kids this morning with a tube of Pillsbury Orange Rolls.

When Brayden came in, he said, "Oh cute, 'Moustache Rolls'"....

Uh close, but not quite!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Restoring My Soul

If you look closely at the bottom of this plaque, you'll see "Sunriver Restores My Soul"...the rest of the history lesson is lost on me - that's all that resonated with me.

We are here for a mere 36 hours, but already, my soul feels restored.  The snow blanketing the ground, the smell of the pine, and the feel of the brilliant sunshine.....sigh.  Not to mention the hot tub which is one of the best we've come across in the houses we've rented from around here, set at an ideal 103 degrees - perfect to spend vast amounts of time reading from my Kindle. 

We are here as a perk from John's work, as he is currently making an appearance at an Oregon Dental Association conference in Sisters*.  He left around 7 this morning, and he'll be back by around 1, earning our stay.  To keep me, Sydney, and the kids company, we brought along the Whites, and Michele and the girls.   We'll have to check out at 11am tomorrow, but the journey is worth it.

So, here's to making the best of our short stay in Central Oregon, and savoring every little minute.

*  With the mention of Oregon Dental Association and the reference to John working for Tyson Steele Marketing, I feel like now might be a good time to clarify what it is John does for a career.  He works with "Tyson Steele", the person, who created a marketing company used for higher-end dental practices.  It is a very small company that runs out of a Victorian-style house-converted-into-office in downtown Eugene.  They employ around 8 folks at any given time.  John is the VP of Sales - meaning, he's the one who follows up on all leads and determines if potential clients would be good fits for the services Tyson Steele (the company) has to offer.   That's a simplified's certainly never a career John ever would have dreamed of aspiring too, but it is a PERFECT fit for his skill-set and occupational giftedness. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Lane County Historical Museum

In the fourth grade curriculum at our kids' school, the Oregon Trail is a very big deal.  The whole second half of the year is dedicated towards activities including a ho-down, simulations, reports, and creating miniature "wagons" with all the supplies needed.

To kick off the curriculum, a field trip is planned to the Lane County Historical Museum.  It's just across town from the school, and for the short hour and a half we were there, I feel like they did an excellent job giving the kids a real taste of what the journey along the Oregon Trail was like and what the day of a pioneer would include.  I had gone when Brayden was in fourth grade - his experience was a little longer and more tedious, so today was a pleasant surprise.

Also, Mikayla was asked to be one of ten "actors" to be part of the enactments of what a day would look like.  It gave me plenty of photo ops.

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Party That I Hosted but Didn't Attend

Superbowl 46!  Woo hoo!  For the third year in a row, we had Heather and Kaela take over the social reigns in putting out the invites to create an environment ready to party...

Where the pumpkin-carving party is primarily aimed to the college students, this event is primarily aimed to those out of college - that 20's age group that often gets lost in the mix.

We decided to repeat last year's offerings of Mexican fare.  Taco meat is an easy one to keep warm in the crock pots, making it ideal for the kind of party where folks will be grazing for hours on end.  Based on these tables, it's that lots of extra food was brought by all the folks that came to visit. 

This picture was taken during the first half - when not everyone had even shown up yet!

At halftime, it was time for some football.  It's the biggest street game we've ever had, that is for sure!

The view post half-time.  Nope, not an inch of carpet to spare - I think we definitely exceeded the capacity in our home (all told, John counted 42 people that came)!

Suzie's husband, Lance, guessed the score of the game PERFECTLY!  Way to go Lance (he also caught the winning touchdown in the halftime game!)

Nice T-bow pose, Brayden....these folks were the last of the crew to leave.

So, what you didn't see in any of these pictures - was a picture of me.  There's a reason for that.  I was in the bedroom lying as still as possible.  The headache that I'd been battling since Tuesday, decided to pull out its full arsenal and literally wiped me out.   Kaela arrived early, and I'd hoped to just disappear in the bedroom and wake up about 15 minutes before party start time (2pm) - leaving her and the family with the minimal last minute chores left over.  However, after taking a mini nap and then getting up to get dressed up, it quickly became clear with the shaky hands and nauseousness, that this wasn't going to work.  My one hold-out for hope was that I'd called Mom earlier to see if she could stop by after the movie her and Dad went to watch.  She did show up around 3, and for sure, helped the situation, but by then, my body was so far gone in terms of pain overload that I didn't stand a chance at quick recovery.  I know it pained Mom to see me like that....I so hate inconveniencing her life to run to my rescue - and yet, I know she'd do it in a heartbeat.  I just wish it wasn't necessary.

By about 9pm, I'd dozed just enough to recognize that I'd wake up the next morning feeling significantly better.  I'd conquered the worst of it.  Honestly, this week (culminating in the total despair that was yesterday) had really taken its toll.  I was able to keep the issue at bay through most of the week with medicine and ice, but that's a bit like a victim being given a restraining order from an attacker.  Theoretically, you know its not supposed to "get you", but the haunting of it being "just around the corner" is always there.  (Not to mention, often the medicine just doesn't do the trick).  One of the best pieces I've read regarding physical pain was posted here.  It just isn't a whole lot of fun.

Fortunately, I saw Mom again this morning, and I'm doing SIGNIFICANTLY better.  Thank you, Lord.  Yesterday, I really succumbed to the fear of the what-ifs, the how longs, the how oftens.  If I'd even had the ability or energy to cry, I would have done a lot of it - instead it was a lot of stillness.  A lot of thinking.  A lot of listening to raucous laughter - which is just what I wanted, but a constant reminder of what was being robbed of me - and how many moments of my future would also be robbed.

God doesn't give us what we need to handle for the future, he just promises it in the moment.  He got me through yesterday, and I need to trust He'll get me through anything else much worse than that in the future.  However, I do have a new determination to pick up those physical therapy exercises and see if I can't regain some control over this demon.  Something's gotta give, and I'm determined it's not going to be my future attendance at the very party I'm supposed to host....

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Reunited...and It Feels So Good!

Sometimes I'm a little naive, is that song lyric used for my post title inappropriate? =)

If you count all the women in this picture - you will find a Perfect Ten....all of our past "Tuesday Night Ladies" and current "Thursday Night Ladies" - together again.  Courtney (front row, second in from the left) is up at OHSU in med school, but skipped out on Friday's classed to make it down to see us and spend her birthday (4th) weekend at home.  Elaina (cuddled next to me in the back row), has a birthday on the 5th.  It was perfect, then, that EVERYONE could be in attendance Thursday night, even after a trip down Kimmie's stairs had her and Elaina late as they had to take a trip to the doctor's office en route to my house.  (Fortunately, it was just a sprain for Kimmie - you can see her right ankle (far left) taped up a bit).

A few things I notice from this picture.  1.) Our fireplace is not a good backdrop as the white is so marred by the soot.  That's why Mikayla and I spent about two hours today repainting it gosh, it looks so good now....we need another reunion so we can do a picture re-do!!!  2.)  Stephie looks positively "glowy" these days, huh?  (far right).  On Monday, she'll be at 12 weeks....woo hoo, girl, you look good pregnant!!!  And finally #3.)  I am ONE BLESSED GIRL to have these amazing, gorgeous (on the outside and INSIDE) ladies in my life.