Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No News Is....

*This is a picture that Abigail drew in 1st grade. :)

Often we hear the expression "no news is good news".

In our case, no new is......well, no news.

Tim was supposed to have his CT scan done Monday morning. Monday morning turned into Monday afternoon and Monday afternoon turned into "not today". Seems there were problems with the machine so his scan couldn't be done.

We had hopes for today (Tuesday) but this morning the machine continues to have problems. We are left not knowing if today will be the day or not. If it is fixed then they will squeeze him in for it but if not it will wait until tomorrow, or whenever the machine is good to go.

We continue to wait for news.....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Again....

I have been somewhat neglectful of my blog lately. I say somewhat because while I haven't posted much, I have THOUGHT about it so I think that qualifies my "somewhat" :)

While I have been away from the blog spring has begun to wake up the world around me. The bare trees are beginning to take on the slightest hint of green as tiny buds form and swell. In passing I've seen daffodils nodding their heads in approval of the warming temperatures. Grass is greening while flowers are poised to bloom when Mother Nature gives her signal. Ahh, spring. :)

And while I have been away from my blog days have marched on putting even more distance between us and cancer. I think that spring will forever remind me of our journey on the cancer road. While it was winter when the diagnosis and treatment came, it was spring when the healing began. Somehow that is so fitting.

In cancer terms doctors measure time from the end of treatment, not when the diagnosis was made. Tim's treatment ended last March -- a whole year ago. At the time it felt as though a year would never pass. In many ways it felt paralyzing, as though we couldn't move beyond it. But, that was 365 days ago. Many things have changed between then and now. Perhaps the biggest change is the eyes through which our trial is viewed. We are most grateful for the blessings, even miracles, that we have seen during the last year.

Today Tim goes for another CT scan. It's the one that commemorates his one year mark since the end of treatment. Test times always come with anxiety. I know of no way to take that away -- it just is. So today we pray for a calm heart, and a trusting heart.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth..." Psalm 28:7

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Only In America....

If you are in need of a laugh today this should help! :) (It makes me laugh everytime Jacob quotes it!)

1. Only in America.... can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance
2. Only in America....are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.

3. Only in America....do drug stores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

4. Only in America....do people order a double cheeseburger, large fries and Diet Coke.

5. Only in America....do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the desk.

6. Only in America....do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage. (I can really relate to this one!) :)

7. Only in America....do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we don't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place.

8. Only in America....do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

9. Only in America....do we use the word "politics" to describe the process so well: "Poli" in Latin means "many" and "tics" meaning "blood sucking creatures".

10. Only in America....do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Good Thing I Kiss Better Than I Cook....

I wish I could tell you that I made this wonderful, gooey treat called "Monkey Bread" but I didn't. In fact, Abigail made it. This was her first attempt at baking something and I am very proud of her.

You see, cooking and I have love hate relationship. I love to provide something for my family that they enjoy eating, especially when they think I am wonderful for cooking it. But, I hate that cooking, for me, isn't a more enjoyable activity. It never has been and perhaps never will be but I continue to try.

I think it all stems back to the fact that I never learned how to cook. My mom worked since the time I can remember and being the youngest of 5 kids I never learned to make much of anything. I remember making minute rice...a lot. BWHAHAHA! Like that is something to be proud of! :)

I don't recall my mother cooking very much at all. It was not until her much later years that she began buying every recipe book and magazine known to man and would grace the table with her trial recipes but that was years after all of us were long gone from home. I suppose it was then that she had more time to cook.

What I do remember is that everyday after school my brother, Richard, was responsible for starting whatever was for dinner. Honestly, the only thing I remember him making was goulash -- hamburger and onions browned, cans of whole tomatoes, pasta and salt and pepper. That is truly the only dinner I remember other than liver and onions and on those nights I didn't eat. (Blah -- I don't understand eating an organ that filters impurities out of the body -- no matter how much iron it boasts. Give me an iron supplement any day!)

So anyway, I never was taught to cook and so I entered married life with a handicap. And not knowing how to cook IS a handicap! It wasn't so hard to muster up the desire to cook since I wanted to take care of Tim and please him with impressive meals but the fact was that not knowing HOW to cook overwhelmed my desire.

I want to like cooking and want to have people like what I make but the fact is that with 8 of us in our family there was no pleasing two people at the same time! It actually got to be quite comical when something as easy as spaghetti for dinner turned me into a short order cook -- Young Tim wanted only butter and salt on his spaghetti -- no sauce. Andrew wanted sauce. Jordan wanted spaghetti with the sauce on the side! Jacob ate it with sauce and made it his personal mission to WEAR his sauce...behind his ears, behind his knees...I am not even kidding! Abigail and Annah decide it was butter and salt for each of them. So even something as harmless as spaghetti became a complicated ordeal. Don't even get me started on my picky eaters......
So between my inability to cook and my family being less than cooperative at every meal, cooking lost its appeal. It's not that I don't cook -- I just don't find a lot of joy in it. It's something that has to be done so I do.
That said, my girls have renewed my desire to cook. Mainly because I don't want them to be handicapped like I was when they are out of the house. I have long wanted to teach them basic cooking skills so that they are have more to go on than I did.

So, Abigail and Annah have been experimenting with cooking and I couldn't be happier! I think, hands down, they have a better and more positive opinion of cooking. Their husbands and their children will be very happy! :)

That said, I am still proud of the fact that.......

So life is good!

*This sign now graces my kitchen. :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Year Ago Today....

Several days ago I wrote about how with the passing years I have come more and more to believe that our response to the trials and challenges of life define us and define our hearts.

I wrote a little about the Mormon pioneers and their courageous journey of 1,300 miles on foot, pulling handcarts to escape persecution for their religious beliefs. I wrote a little about Jordan and his courageous 2 year journey to Brazil to teach the gospel to those who seek it.

I've known others who have chosen a courageous path and am in awe of their ability to hold on through the hard times, staying focused on the most important things.

And those most important things are never things.

They are the unseen things, the unspoken things, the little things. They are the things that matter the most and the things that keep us pointed in the right direction.

March 13th, 2009 -- a year ago today -- I am sure was of little notice to most people (except that it was a Friday the 13th!). But for us it was a day of great celebration.
No, we didn't have a party or go somewhere grand to pay tribute to the day. But if Tim could have, he would have kicked up his heels in celebration to have completed 7 weeks...count 'em....35.... radiation treatments!
It was a very dark time in our life and we didn't understand that it would get darker before the dawn would arrive.

But, in time, the dawn did arrive.
We were fooled by the end of treatment.
Usually the end of something signals that things will improve. Things did eventually improve but not before they became much worse. And "worse" lasted much longer than expected. "Worse" was worse for an additional 4-5 weeks after the end of radiation. And even then healing came slowly but the undeniable fact is, it came.

"....in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, buy joy cometh in the morning." ~Psalm 30:5~

Here we are a year later and life is good. Life is normal. Life is joyful and full of love. Life is a gift of time and time truly is a gift of love. We are so thankful for the gift of the morning and the joy that has come.

*While Tim was in the hospital just two days after his radiation ended, the kids made this from Scrabble letters on a cookie sheet for us. And Jacob even figured out that all those letters gave a Scrabble score of 144 points! :)

It is signed Perry, Jacob and Abigail...Annah's nickname is Perry for Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Joy in the Journey...

Two weeks ago we attended a Sunday evening kickoff fireside for a three day summer Trek that our stake has planned for early July 2010. The youth that go will pull handcarts loaded with the meager belongings they can each bring to reenact the pioneer trek of 1,300 across the plains that began in April of 1847.

While we waited for the fireside to begin there was a quote up on the screen that I was so drawn to. It said:

"Why were the saints saints?
Because they were cheerful when it was difficult to be cheerful;
patient when it was difficult to be patient.
And because they pushed on when they wanted to stand still;
and kept silent when they wanted to talk.
And because they were agreeable when they wanted to be disagreeable.
That was all.
It was quite simple, and always will be."

I love this quote!

The pioneers coming across the plains had so many trials, so much heartache, yet so much faith and courage. This quote made me think again about something that, in my passing years, I become more aware of and that is that the way we respond to our trials defines us. It defines our character; it defines our relationship our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ; it defines our heart.

So while I thought on that quote, the fireside began.

To encourage the up and coming group of trekkers they showed parts of a DVD that was made of the last trek experience our stake had -- Trek 2006. To my delight I got to see Jordan who was on that trek with his dad!

While writing to Jordan last week I shared with him the quote about what makes saints saints to give him encouragement for his own journey. For I believe that in the same way the early pioneer's trek defined them, Jordan's journey as a missionary in Brazil will serve to define him.

I decided that along with quote I would also email a few pictures to him (he likes to have pictures from home) and I happen to come across the only two pictures I had taken of Jordan and Tim before they left for their trek experience nearly 4 years ago! I thought how perfect it was that I send those pictures with my email as I had told him of the trek fireside and told him that I had seen him in the DVD from 2006.

In the time since the fireside on that Sunday evening, I have thought over and over about the quote I shared with Jordan.

I have thought how we all have defining moments is our lives. Those moments come for each of us no matter who we are or where we live. We don't choose them and we cannot escape them but we can choose how we will respond to those moments.

The early pioneers chose to accept a journey of 1,300 miles on foot to escape persecution for their religious beliefs. Yet through it they rejoiced in seeing the hand of God leading their every footstep. Amidst the heartache they experienced, they also found joy in their journey.

Jordan chose to accept a journey that has taken him some 4,000 miles from his home and family to share with others his testimony of gospel truth with people in Brazil. It is a journey where he too will rejoice as he learns to recognize the hand of God leading his every footstep. And although there are difficult times for him I have no doubt that he too will find joy in his journey.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Waiting For Spring.....

I heard the most incredible thing just a few mornings ago....

The sun hadn't even begun to warm the sky and I heard birds singing!

The birds must have a calendar all their own to tell them that March is officially here! I am outside every morning walking Ella and that was the first day that I heard them. Yup, I thought, Spring is coming!

Saturday it is supposed to be about 50 degrees and sunny -- I can hardly wait! In honor of the coming warmth and sun I got out my carpis! Okay, so it was a little chilly to wear them but I wore them anyway!

I do love the cold and the snow but seeing and feeling spring arrive is always an experience worth waiting for. I am beginning to look forward to Kentucky emerging from its winter slumber and showing us it's lovely spring blooms.

I have never seen anything more stunning than a Kentucky spring! I wait with anticipation to see if the approaching spring will be as incredible as the last.

I officailly join the ranks of those waiting for spring!