Sunday, July 26, 2009

Home Improvement...

“Imagine that you are opening your front door and walking inside your home. What do you see, and how do you feel? Is it a place of love, peace, and refuge from the world, as is the temple? Is it clean and orderly? As you walk through the rooms of your home, do you see uplifting images which include appropriate pictures of the temple and the Savior? Is your bedroom or sleeping area a place for personal prayer? Is your gathering area or kitchen a place where food is prepared and enjoyed together, allowing uplifting conversation and family time? Are scriptures found in a room where the family can study, pray, and learn together? Can you find your personal gospel study space? Does the music you hear or the entertainment you see, online or otherwise, offend the Spirit? Is the conversation uplifting and without contention? That concludes our tour. Perhaps you, as I, found a few spots that need some ‘home improvement’—hopefully not an ‘extreme home makeover.’ ” “Whether our living space is large or small, humble or extravagant, there is a place for each of these gospel priorities in each of our homes.”

~Gary E. Stevenson, Ensign, May 2009, 102~

Monday, July 20, 2009

Peace Be Within Thee...

Today I drove kids to Bowling Green to attend EFY (Especially For Youth) for the week. It's a two and a half hour drive one way plus there is a time change involved.

We got to our destination at the time we had planned but it then took about an hour to find the location of the EFY check in! It was quite funny after a while. We laughed as we visualized finally getting to where we were going and greeting the check in people with a, "Gee, we've been in town for three hours now and we finally found you!" We laughed about that soon the police were going to be tailing us as people reported two suspicious vehicles casing the neighborhood on our 5th trip around the block! At least we all had a good stress relieving laugh!!

After dropping the kids off, the girls and I began to make our our way back home. It was quieter on the way home minus three boys.

In the quiet of the drive home I was thinking back to Sunday. On Sunday as I sat in church listening to some really great talks I felt happy.

I was sitting next to Tim, the girls were a little squirmy and had some snickering going on between them, and Jacob was trying to sneak some Hershey Kisses out of my bag that were reserved for passing around during the lesson I was teaching for Relief Society.

As I held Tim's hand, listened to the speakers and observed the kids from the corner of my eye, I smiled inside.

I reflected on a few months ago when Tim was going through his radiation treatments; when he was too sick to attend church with us. I remember well the pain that simple things would bring, like the words to a hymn that flooded my heart and mind with emotion that I could scarcely contain. More often than not I couldn't contain it. It was useless to even try.

But this Sunday was different. On Sunday the experiences of a few months ago seems so far away and there I was sitting beside my husband and my children. I felt thankful to be there; thankful for the healing that Tim has experienced, and the healing that our family has experienced. I felt content, serene, comfortable, at peace.

I thought about a scripture that I have long loved....

Psalm 122:8

"...I will now say, Peace be
within thee. "

On Sunday peace was within me and it is within me today.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Opposable Thumbs....

Abigail and Annah are counting the days till their puppy comes to our home. We are getting prepared little by little. During the week we got some supplies to ready ourselves for the big arrival. I don't know that I've seen anyone more excited about getting pet supplies than they are!

We plan on crate training from the start so one of the things we got was a kennel for the dog. The girls have been having a good time taking turns trying to fit in the kennel and although they are a bit too big for it they keep trying!

While playing Abigail was the dog in the kennel and Annah locked her in. Abigail was trying to open it from inside and Annah said,

"Hey, you can't open that because you don't have opposable thumbs!!!"

HAHAHAHAHAHA! I don't think that at 9 years old the words "opposable thumbs" were even in my vocabulary.

How can anyone resist that face???? :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Clock Watcher...

Summer seems to be flying by so fast. I want it to slow down and let me enjoy it just a little bit longer.

Before I know it school supplies will beckon to us to buy them and new shoes will find a home in the kid's closet....or on their floor, or in the hallway.
Before I know it I will be back to work each day; once again longing for the weekend to hurry and come. And before I know it we will be seeing Jordan off to Brazil for his mission.

I will miss the summer. I will miss going to the pool and reading or napping --whatever suits me at the time. I will miss being home. I will miss being with the kids.

I will turn into a clock watcher once again -- time for bed, time to wake up, time to bring kids to school, time to get kids from school, time to do homework, time for Jordan to leave for Brazil.
Oh I will miss the ease of summer, the unstructured days, the bare feet, Jordan's presence.
But, just as much as I will miss the summer I know that I will be enchanted by the fall.

In the meantime I will cling to my summer days, take a few more pictures, take a few more naps in the sun and give Jordan extra hugs.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tired Hearts and Far Away Places...

It was a big day on Friday, July 10th. Big in many ways.....

It seems odd to write of Tim's latest struggles with health issues and Jordan's mission call in the same blog post but that is exactly what happened....both on the same day. In our typical style, multiple things were happening on the same day. It cannot be said that our life is boring, that is for sure!


Friday began with Tim going to the cardiologist first thing in the morning. The day before Tim had his monthly check up with the Fabulous Dr. O and it was there that it was discovered that Tim's heart rate was pounding at 146! Being a fabulous doctor, Dr. O sent Tim right away for an EKG. After the EKG Tim went back to work (how crazy was that?) and later in the day his heart rate was still quite elevated so he called our family doctor and they told him to come right in. Once there the doctor did another EKG and didn't like what he saw. He called a cardiologist and together they were deciding whether or not to put Tim in the hospital for observation over night or to have him go in for an appointment first thing on Friday morning. They decided to have him go to the cardiologist at 8:30 Friday but warned Tim that if anything changed during the night he was to go to the ER immediately.

So Friday morning we saw the cardiologist and by 2:30 Tim was at the hospital having a Cardiac Ablation done. It was a 5 hour wait to hear any news of how things were going and in that time Jordan had gotten his much anticipated mission call. When he got the envelope he brought it up to the hospital along with Abigail and Annah. The plan was that maybe by the time he got to the hospital that Tim would be out and Jordan could open his call with all of us there.

It began to be apparent that there was no telling how long Tim's cardiac ablation was going to take so Jordan opened his mission call in the waiting area of the hospital!

Here is a video clip that is up on YouTube...

So there it is.... Jordan is going to the Brazil Belo Horizonte mission and he will be speaking Portuguese! He reports to the Brazil Missionary Training Center on October 21st.

Tim wasn't able see Jordan open his call but when I was able to tell him where Jordan was going he was very happy for him. We are so proud of Jordan that he has chosen to dedicate 2 years of his life to serving a mission. He is such a fine young man who will touch the hearts of many people that he will come in contact with. We truly feel that our family will be greatly blessed by Jordan's decision to go and serve. I know that it was a hard thing for him to decide knowing that his father has cancer. I remember the day that Jordan and I were talking about it and he said that he wasn't sure what to do because of his Dad's cancer. I told him that he needed to do what he felt was the right thing for him and trust that everything would be taken care of. I believe that with all of my heart.

And speaking of heart....Tim is doing really well. He stayed over night at the hospital and was able to come home on Saturday afternoon. The doctor had to do two ablations as Tim had several types of arrhythmia's going on. He said that Tim's case was more complicated than he had anticipated because Tim presented with three types but only two were addressed during the procedure and even with that the doctor is not 100% sure that the problems were solved. He's a little sore in his chest but otherwise is doing well. He's got some new meds to be on and has to go back to the cardiologist in 4 weeks (sooner if he has more problems). The doctor thinks that Tim has had these problems for a while. I told the doctor that we had noticed that Tim's heart rate was elevated about mid-way through his radiation treatments and we asked doctors about it on a number of occasions but they never seemed concerned about it. While the cardiologist doesn't think the radiation (a.k.a. stress on Tim's body) caused the tachycardia problems, he does think it contributed to tipping the scales to having an accelerated heart beat on a pretty consistent basis.

So Tim's heart is on the mend and Jordan has been called to labor in Brazil for two years. Oh...and my camera also got out of the hospital on Friday (and I am holding on tight to it!).

I am taking a deep breath and am thankful.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Old Third Eye Makes a Come Back...

With my third eye missing I had to revert back to my old third eye....our chunky, 10 year old digital camera that I used before my more modernized third eye. I am glad that I kept it even though it acts up once in a while, weighs as much as a brick and is just about as big as one! (I am not kidding!)

Yesterday we made a trip to Monticello, Kentucky which is about 85 miles to the south of us. A few years ago our family traveled there every week to attend church in the Monticello Branch. We made that trip for over a year. We miss going there and seeing the people that we came to know and love during our time there so occasionally we make a Sunday trip see everyone again and yesterday that is what we did.
As we packed for the trip (lunch for the girls and I and Tim's "lunch supplies") I also grabbed my "old third eye" to come along for the ride. You know, one just never knows when the urge will strike to stop the car and jump out to take a picture so you should be prepared! Let me just say that I was happy that I took "Mr. Chunky third eye" with us........ No one would have believed what we saw since WE couldn't believe what we saw!


Okay...would you ever have believed me if I told you that we saw a UFO with an alien on the top???? Lucky for me my old third eye was ready and waiting! :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Third Eye is Missing...

This picture that Abigail took of herself, bad lighting and all, is how I feel...

Last weekend I took some pictures -- only a couple of them before tragedy struck.

I broke my camera.

I am heartbroken not to be able to snap images that beckon me to capture them. It's a fresh sting each time I think I need to get my camera and then I recall that my beloved camera was sent away from home.

It all happened so quickly. I had taken a few pictures of Tim and then it happened....I walked into a blow-up beach ball in the living room. I was annoyed that it was in the way so I picked it up and decided to gently toss it into the next room so it was out of my way while I got a few more pictures. That was my mistake. Beach balls toss gently...cameras do not.

You see, normally I always have the wrist strap on the camera ON my wrist so if I should lose my grip, my camera is safe. I wasn't wearing the wrist strap and when I tossed the beach ball.....well, the camera went with it!

I was stunned by the thud of the camera hitting the floor...and not a carpeted floor. In my shock I just stood there, looking in disbelief, at what my carelessness had done. Then I cried.

I had hoped beyond hope that my camera survived the crashed, but it didn't. It was hurt and bad. It's now at the camera hospital in intensive care. They expect it will be there for 2 weeks and there is no visitation.

I don't know if I can make it without my third eye.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Forever in Peace May You Wave...

"Now is the time for us to nail our colors to the mast and to stand up for God and those unequivocal principles of freedom and morality-the very foundations of this blessed land of America!"
~ Ezra Taft Benson~

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Growing Like Weeds...

There are times when I look at our two girls, just like I have every other day, and yet I see them differently. Suddenly, without warning, they look older, their conversations between them sound remotely like maturing young ladies, teenagers in waiting.

I love it that they like to be around each other and play together. They giggle and scheme, write stories, and make puppets. They create things out of paper (the paper snow cones were a favorite of mine!) and cardboard boxes and pretend. They make maps of what their houses will one day look like; they play together on the trampoline, in the sprinklers and at the pool. It makes me happy that they like one another well enough to miss the other when they are gone.

Of course they have their moments as all sisters do, but I am so thankful that they get along so well and that they enjoy a friendship that binds them beyond sisters.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Family Techno Night...

Tim and I have recently discovered that our family is perhaps more tied to modern technology than we care to admit.

It began on Monday when for Family Night we sat on the couch huddled around Tim's laptop to view several YouTube videos. Not that we were just watching mindless stuff. Tim had picked out several videos that related to our country's upcoming celebration of its birth.

We watched a video of the Chicago Cubs baseball player, Rick Monday, who on April 26, 1976, swiftly ran onto the field to scoop up a flag that two guys were trying to burn. When he realized what they were doing he took off running and snatched the flag before they could get their lit match to it. The fans responded with standing to sing God Bless America. This event was highlighted in the top 100 moments in baseball history! Rick Monday has been asked if he's upset to have spent 19 seasons in the major leagues and what he's known for is the guy who ran out and saved the flag. His heroic response was that if that is what he is known for that is not a bad thing!

Another video we watched was of Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance that was first aired January 14, 1969 on the Red Skelton Show. It is a most moving performance as he dissects the Pledge of Allegiance line by line sharing the meaning of each.

It is a beautiful thing when you can go to YouTube to pull together a lesson for Family Night!

Then last night it was time for family prayer. Everyone was getting tired and all of us were downstairs, except Jordan. No one was jumping at the chance to go upstairs and get him. We all just looked at each other with that familiar "Don't look at me!" attitude! Then Tim reached for his cell phone, flipped it open and dialed. "Jordan, we're wanting to have family prayer. Can you come down and join us?"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yup, perhaps just a little too dependent on modern technology!