Saturday, March 28, 2009

2 Years and 1 Week

Happy Blogiversary to me! 240 posts and counting...

It's strange how time marches on. I'm sure I'll be saying that a lot as this time of year brings thoughts of the past flooding to my mind even when I don't want them. Just saying "2 years" doesn't sound all that long. But when I think of what the past 2 years has held I feel I could fill an entire lifetime with lessons learned, ups and downs (lots of downs), waiting, going, growing, etc.
Two years ago I had a 3 1/2 year old and an 18 month old. My plan was to have a couple more kids, remain settled in my favorite small town in Washington....perhaps venture to the next big town over, but you get the idea. My parents were near, with their fabulous lake house just waiting for summer and parties and fun. My siblings were close. 2 brothers, 2 sisters, 1 nephew and 2 brother-in-laws. I was content and happy. Oh. Did I forget to mention I was married???? Enter lesson #1. Husband. Two years ago the word brought negative thoughts as I resented him for trying to thwart my well thought out plan for my life. My dream deteriorated and I realised that it would never be as I wanted. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't Rand's fault at all. It was mine. As I watched with anguish as my family turned on my husband and my husband turned on my family I felt as if I might rip in two. To no one's credit but God's, it was rooted in me that I had to choose and I knew the choice I had to make.
You know the story. Phoenix. Thank you God for Phoenix. And God had much more in store than just teaching me the importance of my role as "wife" and the blessings in following God anywhere. No, He had many more lessons in store. I still wonder about the timing of all that. Why God chose to take my brother on that very same night I will never know. (Well maybe someday I will)
I really don't know where this post is going, but the start of this blog 2 years ago, the move to Arizona, this first post, all started with such.... an ignorance. That is clearly not the right word because I could have never known. I suppose it was more of a naivete. I find comfort in knowing that God knew all along. Yes, now I see more. Even through it all I found myself looking to lay down my roots. To find "my place". The desert was never my ideal, but I could live with it. I could find my niche. I wanted to. So quickly God moves sometimes.
Just the events of that job and then no job and then waiting and then a new job and then a move (again!) could fill pages and pages. The lessons learned, the trust and faith gained, the victories won. And still we struggle and God still teaches. Such is life if we are willing, I suppose.
Here I am. In Pennsylvania. Missing the past. Missing a brother. Missing Washington. Missing Arizona. Missing friends whom I may never be able to repay for their love that first year. Missing a family that at one time was "intact". Missing a Mom and a Dad who were whole, who were a rock to lean on. Missing sister camping trips and sibling trouble around the table. Summers at the lake, holidays with my family, sharing it all with the next generation. Togetherness.
I am thankful for the togetherness I have in my marriage, with my kids, with my God. I long for the "wholeness" that Heaven will bring.
I like having this blog to record the whole thing. To be able to look back and see where I've come and how we've grown. To stay connected.
What the next 2 years will hold....I have no idea. But I trust the one who does know. The more I know Him the more okay I am with not knowing.

Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Playdough and Frisbees

Today, in order to just find something for the kids to do, we made a batch of play dough. I am fresh out of food coloring so we went with "natural". It's a little brownish because I don't even have white flour...only whole wheat, so brown it was. It really didn't matter. The kids thought the whole project was weird and I had to convince them to participate. They thought the play dough was too hot, and wouldn't help me knead it. I thought it was fun. Something therapeutic about kneading dough. They thought the play dough was smelly. I thought it was rather nostalgic. What is wrong with them? They're sounding spoiled. :) They eventually got the hang of it and besides, they were just complaining about being bored, so what else were they going to do?
Here's some of their creations (dinosaurs in case you can't tell)

After dinner tonight Brendan bought himself a frisbee. He's been wanting one for a while, and it was only a dollar, so we all played frisbee in the driveway for a bit tonight, even the dog.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Evening Stroll at VFNHP

Isn't that a hilarious abbreviation? VFNHP. I saw that on a sign. I'm guessing Valley Forge National Historical Park. I guess it is a little long to type out.

I am loving daylight savings time and going out after dinner. Here we are at another spot at VFNHP!

Have I mentioned before that I wish I had a farm? Just a little one, but I really loved this property.
(click on the pics if you want to read the signs)

Friday, March 20, 2009

From The Mouths of Babes

Facebook, like MySpace (does anyone hang out there anymore?) has about a bazillion surveys always floating around: 25 Random Things About Me, 15 Albums, How Well Do You Know Your Spouse...etc. I typically don't do them. No offense, I like reading other peoples, but I just don't do them very often. This one, however, has got to be one of my favorites. I love interviewing my kids and recording their answers, or having them narrate a drawing they did. They crack me up so much. Kids are the best entertainment ever. So, this survey I had to do. And I found it just as funny as I thought it might be. I interviewed them separately so they wouldn't be influenced by each other. Priceless!
Wyatt age 3 1/2 Brendan age 5 1/2

1. What is something mom ALWAYS says to you?
W: I love you!
B: I love you! (good answers. phew.)

2. What makes mom happy?
W: Listening
B: Doing stuff with your kid.

3. What makes mom sad?
W: Not listening
B: If I don't like you.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
W: tickle
B: tickling me.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
W: A girl. You were like a baby.
B: I don't know that answer. Do a different one.

6. How old is your mom?
W: I don't know. How old?
B: 31 (correct)

7. How tall is your mom?
W: (holds hands to about 5 inches) Like this tall?
B: This tall (holding hands to about 2 1/2 feet)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
W: Taking us on trips.
B: Hugging me.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
W: Um. I don't know. What?
B: Work on the computer.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
W: I don't know.
B: It would be for.... Congratulations

11. What is your mom really good at?
W: Doing Frogger (oh. that's embarrassing)
B: Typing!

12. What is your mom not very good at?
W: Level 4 of Frogger
B: Uhh, let me think....Riding a one-wheel bicycle. (probably right)

13. What does your mom do for her job?
W: Sewing
B: Take care of the kids while dad's at work!

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
W: Ham (?????)
B: Macaroni & Cheese (again, ?????)

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
W: Ummmm. Making me pancakes.
B: Doing a great job getting us, like chasing us.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
W: Maybe Spidergirl.
B: Uhhh, uhhhh, a mommy talking T-rex.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
W: Ummmm. Play.
B: Fun stuff!

18. How are you and your mom the same?
W: NO!
B: We have the same colored skin and the same colored hair. I'm answering all these questions good!

19. How are you and your mom different?
W: I don't know.
B: We wear different clothes every day.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
W: 'Cause I'm so cute.
B: She's told me millions of times before.

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
W: To Ikea (not true)
B: Outter space. (not true again)

22. Where would you like to go with your mom?
W: Pizza places
B: A friend's house.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Brendan Update: 4

Today was our follow-up appointment for Brendan at duPont Children's Hospital in Delaware. If you don't know the whole story, you can catch up by reading here, here, here, and finally here.
It's been 8 weeks or so since our last visit and if you remember we got some good news last time. His x-rays showed new growth in the bone. After 8 weeks we were very anxious to see what was going on in there. Since November Brendan has been on restricted activity. No running or all. The running thing was near impossible, but anyway, we've been hoping our efforts were paying off.
We all went today and got held up in finance for an hour. Bleh! Insurance irks me like no other! I took the camera and have a plethora of pictures of the children making silly faces while we waited and waited and waited for insurance stuff to clear up. Finally it did. Brendan had 2 x-rays taken and then we went back to the office for the feedback.
Dr. B came in beaming and said...and I quote, "The bone is filling in beautifully!" He was so pleased and so were we! This is GREAT news! He checked Brendan's range of motion, watched him walk down the hall and showed us the x-rays. Amazing!!!! He showed us the progression and what's happening and where the blood vessels are and all that new bone! Aren't our bodies fearfully and wonderfully made?! I just can't believe it can repair like it has. For now Brendan has the green light to run!!! If he hurts or limps worse after running then we have to back off a bit. He said the bone is still pretty soft. No jumping still, but Dr. B said probably 3 more months and he can do whatever he wants!!! This couldn't be better timing with the weather and spring and outdoor activities on the way.
We will go back in 4 months for another follow-up and they will continue to watch his growth in that leg. The damage was extensive enough that there has been some growth plate damage, but he thinks there is enough good growth plate left that it shouldn't be a problem. We learned some other interesting things about Perthes Disease too. He said that kids usually stop growing while the first few stages are happening....until the re-ossification starts again...which is what is happening right now. He said if you look at their hands, their hands will be about a year or two behind, but for some reason their teeth aren't. Weird. Dr. B thinks that Brendan will have a significant growth spurt soon and totally catch back up to where he would have been otherwise. He says a lot of this disease is a mystery. There have been 900 cases of Perthes that have come through that hospital since 1939. He has reviewed and studied all of them and still there is so much unknown.
We are happy and excited and so thankful for the good news we got today. Brendan is happy too. No more, "Stop running! Your leg!!!!" He kept saying on the way home, "So this time I earned 'running'. And next time I'll get to earn, 'jumping'." He's pretty darn happy about that!
Can't leave you without the plethora of silly face pictures!

At the Zoo

We joined the zoo. It costs about as much to go twice as it does to join, so obviously we joined. :) This little zoo is real close to our house so I imagine many trips in the Spring weeks to come! It was practically deserted yesterday, which was great, but all the animals were napping in the afternoon sun...except the prairie dogs. They were by far my favorite of the day. We got to them and the pack leader stood up on the highest rock and started yelling at all his friends. (I'm sure he was talking about us.) Following suit, all the other prairie dogs stood up and took a good look at us. It was pretty funny. All the other animals, however, couldn't have cared less about us. Oh well. It was a lovely 65 degree sunny day and our lazy stroll through the zoo was great.