Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our little outing

Our homeschooling group moseyed on over to a local u-pick farm today for some blueberry-picking action. Unfortunately, when we got there we learned that only strawberries were available for the pickin'. I'd really had a hankerin' for them blueberries, too. Dang! We decided to just wander around rather than shell out the $20 we'd have paid for the picking and a few other perks. There's this huge bin of corn that the kids love to play in . . .

Which, though it has some little black bugs (ew) the kids still love . . . and hey, Canaan is sans diaper on this whole trip - and DRY! Yay buddy buns!
I was also able to talk Malachi into not only POSING for a few pictures but actually SMILING in them . . . (DANG, he's handsome!)And I also un-lazy-fied myself and uploaded a few pics from yesterday's kids vs. teachers baseball game. Just look how uncharacteristically grown up Graham looks in THIS pic!
And look at Canaan's lip - that white line on his right (our left) that looks like a reflection? That's not a reflection, it's a scar from when he fell off our bed a few months ago. :*(
Baby soooo wanted to be out on that field with his Daddy. I was not fond of the idea of a baseball careening toward an unsuspecting toddler's head, however, so he had to pine away behind the fence. And look super cute doing it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Baseball and such

Last night was Graham's first baseball practice of the season. It was at a park I'd never been to before - one I had hoped NOT to go to . . . ever. Anyway. I hope to get to know some of the moms during the season, but I didn't find any feeling particularly sociable last night. Lynette suggested I go prepared with some topics for discussion next time. No actually, she DARED me to.

"Hi Moms! Since we'll all be here week after week this summer, we might as well enjoy ourselves! So here's what we're going to do . . . "

Yeah, I'd totally be the most popular baseball Mom EVER. Right?

While I sat, shivering and covered in goosebumps, I let Caris and Canaan run freely around a tree that was - oh, about 7 feet away. Heh. I looked over at Canaan and he was face to face with a kid about 50% bigger than him, and what does my doe-eyed boy do but sock the kid in the stomach. I jumped up and had Canaan apologize and then took him back to sit with Mommy for a little time-in.

"Ouuuuchie, mama! Ouuuchie!" I looked down at his legs, worried that an ant might have bitten him, but he brushed my legs with his chubby, brown little hands and said, "owie!"

I might want to shave a little more often. How embarrassing!

Speaking of baseball, today there was a kids & parents vs. teachers baseball game at the park, sponsored by our charter school. WAS IT FUN! Don't worry, I didn't play but Alif, Malachi and Graham did and they were all super cute out there. Alif is such a take-charge man and so good with kids, I was bubbling over with pride. I love being his wife! I could include a couple pictures but I'm all tired out from all the good conversation goin' on out there (no conversation starters needed!) so I'll just sign off here and go work on something - like those pj shorts I keep talking about. 3 pairs now mostly done, 2 to go!

Oh, one other thing - during the bbq part of today's baseball game, I recognized a lady that I thought I'd seen when there was a showing of Business of Being Born at a local college. This lady used to be a midwife, and her daughter was there too today. The daughter has 4 kids and is a LLL leader. Now that was some fuuuuun conversation we had going! You get me talking about homebirth, homeschooling, breastfeeding . . . yeah. I miiiiiiiiiight have been one of the VERY last to leave that bbq. ;-)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Summer Sewin'

I came across what looked like a really fun sewing project yesterday - so fun, in fact, that I jumped right in! I've been wanting to make quilts for Caris and Canaan, and though this design isn't my absolute favorite, I do think it's cute and totally doable. So hooray, in a couple months' time I'll be well on my way to getting these done! Here are the first two blocks:
Last year I found myself lacking in pajama shorts. My options were: raid Alif's soccer shorts, wear too-hot pajama capris, or no pj bottoms at all which I don't enjoy. This morning I got two pairs of shorts started. By the end of today my goal is to have four pairs done. That ought to be enough! The one on the left is from a vintage sheet and the one on the right is the fabric I am tempted to use for my living room curtains. I love it so, so much. Just not sure I'll love it as curtains, and I don't want to waste it. Here are the shorts cut and sewn, just needing to be hemmed and elastic put in:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Portrait of Grandma by Canaan

We all know that life holds no promises. Anything could happen. It might be my last day on Earth today. Jesus might come back today (oh Lord, please do!). I might live another 70 years on this planet. I don't know. None of us do.

However, you add in a scary diagnosis like my Mom has received, and suddenly the world seems a little more uncertain. The Earth shifts and it's sort of like the Spring Forward time change times a hundred. Every day goes by in a blur. Hope battles with fear. Tears mix with smiles. The day ends and starts again and it all repeats. Nothing feels normal.

I prayed about this yesterday, quite a lot. After all, my Mom is completely healthy right now. She feels good, she's working, laughing, reading decorating books, organizing her company's Relay for Life team - she's really quite alive. No diagnosis could hold her back from leading the life the Lord has called her to lead right now.

It's dishonoring to both the Lord and to my Mom, then, to walk in fear. Yes, it's normal to think about what's happening and to wonder what is in store. But dang, it's not a healthy thing for anyone involved for me to be living in a haze.

Guess how the Lord answered my prayer this morning?

Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Oh. Yeah. I'm not alone. There is One who knows details beyond what we know. He numbers our days and His plans are good! And he is not a God of fear, but of hope - and joy! I can choose to live these days filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

Does that mean I won't worry or cry or wonder what's going to happen? Of course not. But I can hold God's words close to my heart and ask Him to help me to live them.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Photo Update

It feels quiet over here. I feel sort of on pause, if that makes any sense - like, just wondering what is going on with my Mom's body, what the doctors will tell us, what to expect . . . I'm in a funk over all of it, but life continues to whirl on around me. Want proof?

Ok, here's Easter. If you can believe it, the entire family coordinated. It was super cute, even if it was "very gray" as my beautiful sister-in-law Darla said. LOL This was the best picture I got of the kids. Malachi was being all tween-ey and uncooperative, which resulted in a big Mommy lecture for the first few minutes of our drive to church. Luckily the rest of the day was very nice. I will finish uploading pics and put some more up tomorrow maybe.
Mister Malachi himself, celebrating his 11th Birthday. You're welcome, parents of Malachi's friends and cousins, for that deeply colored frosting. :-X
Backyard playday - these boys were hard at work making their hole bigger. Alif and I have argued for years over whether the kids should be allowed to play in the dirt or not. We finally compromised and let them have this one area to dig. Hooray!
Canaan has no time for digging holes - there's work to be done!
But also plenty of time for kisses from Moxy, and lots of giggling.
The boys started indoor soccer. Here's Alif coaching Graham. Graham is the best defensive player ever. He takes his spot, gets any and all balls OUT OF THERE and then RUSHES back to his spot. He's very intense.
A couple weeks ago I went downstairs and gave the cats some water. It's the boys' job to do that so I'm not real well-versed in the layout of the cat-watering area. Well, I was apparently pretty excited about it and in my rush I stood up and smacked my head into a wall-mounted pencil sharpener. Oh my GOSH it hurt. Like CRAZY. I moaned and clasped my hand to it and waited for blood to drip out. When it didn't, I carefully crept up the stairs to the bathroom and slooooowly uncovered it. It was only bleeding a little, thank goodness, but man was I dramatic about it, all holding a wet washcloth over and everything. Next time one of my kids hits their head I will feel a LOT sorrier for them! That hurts, man! I still have a mark!
In less-dramatic news, I took the big kids to a Home Depot kids' workshop a few weeks ago. Oh, it was fun. We will do this again for sure! Anyone have tips on how to get birds to nest in their little boxes?

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Eye of the Storm

As you probably already know, my Mom faced her second battle with breast cancer recently. She's finished with her treatments, back at work and keeping up carefully with her follow-up scans and tests.

Last Monday she had an endoscopy because a scan showed an area of concern on her esophagus. Well, the esophagus is fine but the doctor found polyps in her stomach and sent them out to be biopsied, as is routine in this situation.

This past Monday, then, we went to meet with the oncologist to see what he had to say about the results of that biopsy.

I think my Mom, her husband Rod and I were probably all equally nervous that morning. As I drove alone to meet them at the doctor's office, I prayed aloud. Until God asked me to sit quietly, so I did - and the song Hope Now came on. It was such an encouragement to me.

Then the doctor presented Very Bad News: he said the polyps were indeed malignant and that they are offshoots of the breast tumor. This automatically classifies my Mom as a Stage IV breast cancer patient. Not good news.

We all spent Monday and Tuesday processing (aka crying). The doctor had basically said - well, we can't do chemo right now (she's had so much already that we need to save chemo in case we really seriously need it someday) - let's just wait for your next scans and see what's going on.

Not good enough, mister doctor man! We met with another doctor on Tuesday afternoon, and let's just say that I haven't cried since. This doctor is much more proactive. He feels that while certainly possible, this diagnosis is "screwy" and he wants to wait for the 2nd opinion to come in on the pathology before doing anything. HOWEVER - he doesn't find it even a little appropriate to wait for our next round of scans. Oh no, baby, we're not going to sit on this. He has a full-blown action plan already lined out just in case we really are dealing with what the first pathology results say we are. Also, we will be seeing a world-class oncologist-specializing-in-breast in a couple weeks.

So. PLEASE be praying, but also know this: we are not blown to and fro when a storm comes. Our hope is in the Lord, and no mater WHAT is swirling around us, no matter what results we are waiting on, no matter what any doctor or test shows, God is good. He promised never to leave us nor forsake us, and never is that more apparent than when we are facing a truly scary situation.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hope Now

My family is facing a storm, and I ask earnestly for your prayers even though I cannot disclose what's going on yet.

Hope Now

By: Addison Road

If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out Your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I'll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

(Chorus 2)
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
You've become my hearts desire
I will sing Your praises higher
Cause Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free

Friday, April 03, 2009

Baby Step 1

We did it! We did it!! We accomplished baby step #1! WE HAVE ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS IN THE BANK!!!!!

When we started FPU, Dave Ramsey said that most people can knock out baby step 1 in a month or two. Work an extra job for a bit, have a yard sale, he gives all kinds of ideas. Well, we figured we'd just use our tax return for the purpose, and we did. I called the bank today and transferred the money into savings.

I can't believe how good it feels. Every year we make big plans with our tax return money and you know what? It usually involves paying someone off. Well, this year is the beginning of the end of all that nonsense. We haven't used our credit cards since we started FPU. We have a long way to go toward true financial peace, but just stopping the madness feels good. Super good.

I called Alif on his cell phone and we rejoiced together. I am giddy!

Baby Steps:
$1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
3-6 months of expenses in savings
Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
College Fund for children
Pay off home early
Build wealth and give

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Happy 11th, Malachi!

You know how everyone always calls their youngest their "baby", no matter how old they are? Well, I can't help but think of my oldest as my baby too. He was my baby all by himself for 20 whole months. He made me a Mommy. He turned our world into baby-land.

So even though he's grown into a tall, handsome tween, he's still - and always will be - my "baby". Happy 11th Birthday, son!! I love you!!