Saturday, December 30, 2006

Morgan's battle with cancer

I could not have watched this a few months ago... but now I know exactly what he is talking about and he is dealing with it in his own very special way... You have to see this U-tube cancer diary

First Night

Here is the schedule of events for First Night in Sioux Falls LINK . I think this is an awesome idea for parents. There are tons of activities all afternoon and into the evening. I want to take the kids to the Multicultural Center, weather permitting. I love Phil Baker but we are planning on staying in Montrose and supporting the summer youth program by eating some grilled steaks that I may actually be able to taste.

they are still in need of volunteers if you aren't busy...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lessons Learned these past few days...

1. Opening presents works anytime, even when it's not really Christmas.("I guess Santa knew he had to come early since daddy is working")

2. Disney "Cars" undies trump everything.

3. Hutterite wine is good only in moderation! You know who you are... (no picture for this one, use your vivid imagination)

4. When 10 people can bowl for over an hour for only $10 it equals the new family fun activity every time we visit the in laws.

5. There is nothing easy about the Easy Bake Oven, especially when combined with less than four hours of sleep, grandma's house and an uncle that says, "Sure you can open it..."

6. I KNOW there is a good reason she bought those toys for my kids and not her own...

7. Sleep is NOT overrated when you are five.

8. Christmas is for family, food and...wrestling lessons.

9. Cousins are COOL! (kewl for you cg!)

10. We don't get together often enough.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Word Cloud

These are a sample of all the words from my blog. I think it does a pretty good job of highlighting the essence of me. I blog jacked this awesome idea from a fellow blogger, you can make your own by clicking here! Thanks B!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's officially Christmastime.

My dd turned five yesterday. If I had it to do all over again, I would have had her in any month besides December. She had a steady stream of gift givers coming and going yesterday. She started to get confused when we began making Christmas cutouts. She thought they were for her birthday. Maybe a good mom would have also added a birthday cake to the baking for yesterday, but I didn't. She had puppy chow and lots of Christmas goodies. In all reality, we celebrated her birthday last week at the infamous pizza place. Yesterday was, as she put it,"my real birthday, but not my party." So after we threw all the birthday wrapping paper away and cleaned up the kitchen and ate a late supper we all sat down exhausted in the living room. My darling daughter, who was on a sugar high with no nap, promptly exclaimed,"Well, my birthday's's Christmastime, when are we going to Grandma's?" ...sigh.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Chemotherapy Round 12, THE LAST ONE.

Well, I did it. Made it through 6 months and 12 treatments. In the beginning it seemed like it would take forever. I even got my graduation certificate and a fleece blanket for all my suffering. Many of you have asked me how I am gonna celebrate. I thought at first about a bottle of wine, or a sip of my new favorite creamy dark beer. Then I thought about a nice meal and a movie, but when I got home today and I was worn out and tired I opened my Bible to thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me. I really feel lucky and blessed to be alive. Even when I got sick during treatment and the nurse put a tiny band aid on me that I bled through and ruined my shirt and bra. We were blessed when my mom and I missed an accident with a school bus by a measly few moments and when I was able to talk with my sister on the phone for a few sacred minutes, and the weather cooperated and brought us safely home.

Here are some blessings I read about today in the Old seems He has been blessing His people for a long, long, time...

Numbers 6:22-27(from God to the people of Israel)
God Bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face and make you prosper.

2 Chronicles 19:11 (from King Jehoshaphat to the appointed Levites, priests, and family heads.)
Be bold and diligent. And God be with you as you do your best.

Psalm 34:8
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see--how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My husband thinks my hair looks like the Grinch

Thank you God, for everything.

When I was in my first year of college, my father died. I quit school and decided to move home and spend the summer trying to figure out what I was going to do. My parents had not been able to help much with college bills and I figured a private school like Concordia was probably a little beyond my means. After getting many calls from my professors and friends I reluctantly decided to return to Concordia and finish my education. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. But, it was not easy. I had a couple of jobs and a work study. I tutored ESL students and worked at a daycare. I gave campus tours and stuffed envelopes in the admissions office. Still, there were times when I could not afford to put gas in my blue Mercury Topaz. Several times I went to get my mail and there would be an anonymous envelope full of cash. I remember one Valentines Day when I checked my box and found a stuffed pink envelope with over $90 in one dollar bills. I was shocked at the money of course, but the fact that the sender still remains anonymous to this day is the part that really gets me. I can't imagine not wanting to be recognized for such a selfless act. I am humbled by the sheer goodness of a person who needs no thanks for such a gift. Just yesterday I received a Christmas card with two gift cards in it. Today I thank God for people who give and need no recognition. Thank you Jesus for showing me true humility. Merry Christmas.

2006 Christmas letter

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! II Cor. 9:15

As we celebrate this Christmas season I feel blessed and grateful to be able to thank the Lord for my life, my family and friends, my faith and the gift of His Son, Jesus.

Wisdom doesn’t come with age – it comes with the walk. Ps. 27:11

We have gotten wiser this year with my battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I have been undergoing chemotherapy for almost 6 months now. My last treatment will be on Dec. 20th. I am anxious to be done. My family, friends and community have all been extremely important in my path to wellness. The support we have been given is very difficult to describe in words. We have been blessed and are eternally grateful for everything we have received from monetary gifts to hot meals. I have been keeping a diary of my battle with cancer at

Love is patient, love is kind…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Cor.13:4-7

My DH has been my rock and is the solid foundation of the whole family. He is still working at the hospital as a respiratory therapist. He enjoys the variety of working with all kinds of patients, young and old. He is still a member of the hospital transport team, spending most of his shifts riding in the helicopter, ambulance and fixed wing airplane transporting patients and was promoted to charge therapist. His amateur baseball team, the Muckdogs, made it to the state tourney again this year. He was able to sneak in a weekend of deer hunting this fall, too. It wasn’t nearly long enough to fill both tags, though. He enjoys playing volleyball and trying to train our new puppy, Shiloh, to hunt.

Children are a gift from God. Ps. 127

Our DD turns 5 at the end of December. Where did the last few years go? She is enjoying life as a preschooler. Her favorite things to do are play make believe and sing songs. She has a new pet cat, Sampson. She loves him very much and is constantly trying to get him to play house with her. She loves learning and memorizing books so that she can read them to her brother and her cat.

Our DS (3) is all boy. He is obsessed with tools, motorcycles, four-wheelers, trailers and the color orange. He loves to play computer games and build with lego's. He really doesn’t mind playing house as long as he can be the dad or the dog. His favorite summer activity was playing t-ball in the backyard with Grandpa. He has recently discovered shopping and wants to ‘buy’ a lot of things from toys to full-size burnt orange SUV’s.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rest. Luke 2:14

God bless you in His love at Christmas and in the New Year.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

Now thank we all our God,
With hearts, and hands and voices.
Who wondrous things has done,
In whom His world rejoices;
Who from our MOTHER'S arms
Has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love.
And still is ours today.

I love you, mom!

'tis the Season

This morning my van wouldn't start. Since I leave about 2 milliseconds before I am supposed to be at work, I was late. My husband works at the hospital and this is the busy season so he has been picking up shifts. I miss him when he is gone for 14 hours a day 4 or 5 days in a row; my kids do, too. My son came into my room the other night and his face was crusted in dried blood. He must have gotten a bloody nose in the night and used his new comforter to wipe the mess. I am out of spray and wash. My daughter has a birthday on the 22nd and I have tried to plan her party around the holiday parties with no success. This year we will be celebrating her birthday a full week early just to avoid the holiday mess. I went through the gifts that I have been collecting for the kids and realized I have enough for two little girls, but none for my son. A three year old will be happy with just socks and underwear, right? Every day I get my mail and find more Christmas cards and it just reminds me that I haven't done mine yet. I was so proud of my Christmas lights even on the dog's kennel, until she chewed through the only green extension cord I could find at Walmart($12' imagine a flushing sound').

May you and your family feel the peace of His presence... now and always. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The food filled our tummies, the gesture filled our souls.

At least 5 months and over 60 meals ago the community began bringing us hot meals. Every single meal was packed with love, compassion, prayers and support. My children and my husband and I experienced some of the most nourishing meals of our insignificant little lives. The food was fantastic, but the most amazing course was the fact that these busy people took precious time out of their lives and prepared us a feast; when I know that they had a long list of other things to do. Recently I have discontinued the meals, I felt that December is busy enough without another dozen meals to prepare. I am going to miss visiting with my neighbors and friends and eating their scrumptious entrees. There were over 35 different people who shared meals with us and we feel blessed to be a part of an awesome group of people. We are eternally grateful. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Attention Shoppers!!!

My mom sent me this email this morning. I had to pass it on...



I am forwarding this on to everyone in the building. This is definitely not a hoax and something that happened in Sioux Falls last night. This happened to some very good family friends of ours so it is legit. Please be careful this weekend.


Last evening my daughter and I experienced a "flat tire" in the Shopko parking lot, (nice evening for that!). When we had the tire fixed, it was brought to our attention that this was "deliberate" and the gentleman said this was the second one that was brought in this way. The object looked like when we were kids and played "jacks", only larger and was hand made by welding it together. The object was put right behind the front passenger tire. My daughter came alone and I met her there so whoever put it there knew she was alone. They also asked us to call the police about it, and they came to talk to us. This was the 3rd one reported that night, two in the Shopko parking lot and 1 at the empire mall.

So please be careful when shopping, check behind and front of all your tires, it was silver, and about 2 ½ inches high and no matter how it landed it would always have a large pointed object ready to blow a tire. The police said to be careful as they could be predators just waiting for young ladies who may be in need of help, and then ask if they can assist.

Just a note of caution.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chemotherapy Round 11, (only 1more to go!) YIPPEE

I wore a new hat today that had mohair in it and it itched so bad one of the nurses gave me a green a red holiday knitted cap, I looked like an elf. Of course I would get sick this time, it was due. I held on to the pink bucket and ran for the toilet. There was no holding back this time. I can't win. I eat; I am sick. I don't eat; I am much for getting a little more shopping done today. We filled my script for zofran and came right home. It is snowing and blowing here and I am scheduled to head to Watertown tomorrow for a training. Let's hope all goes well outide and in so we can go. I will leave you with my favorite tune...

This little ditty is sung to the tune of "you are my sunshine".

Zofran, my little Zofran.
You make me happy when my stomach is queasy.
You'll never know, pills, how much I love you.
Oh, please don't take my Zofran away.

Zofran, my little Zofran.
If I forget you, I'm up all hours.
You're so expensive, thank the Lord for copays.
Oh, please don't take my Zofran away.

Monday, December 04, 2006

for the man on your list

Get this for only $22.89
there are lots of styles to choose from and there is free shipping with a $25 purchase....YIPPEE!

by the way...

Today is National Cookie Day, eat one or a half a dozen to celebrate.

It's Monday, YEAH!

I have been helping out at the daycare on Mondays for awhile now. It makes feel so loved when I walk in and they all scream my name.I don't need much to be happy but a few leg hugs go a long way if you know what I mean.My own three year old gets to go along with me occasionally and the first time we sat at the table and did activities he was so surprised,"Mom, you are the teacher!".I spent most of the first 4 years of my daughter's life at the daycare with my daughter and I had forgotten that my son didn't know that side of me.He was too young when I left or at least too preoccupied to remember mommy being the teacher. Maybe now I will get more credit when I ask him where he learned something.His normal response is "my friends at daycare taught me". I don't get any credit whatsoever.Anyway, I really enjoy getting up on Mondays and helping out.

I have a busy week planned. Chemo on Wednesday and then on Thursday I get to go to a training for the Horizons project. Have you heard about it? You can check out the website at
This program is aimed at reducing poverty in small rural communities. Horizons explores perceptions about and sources of poverty; it isn't always just about lack of money. Horizons builds stronger community leadership; leadership is as important as good roads, great schools and clean water. Horizons embraces the entire community; everyone is needed and everyone has something to give. For communities to thrive everyone must thrive.
Here are some testimonials...

"A year and half ago, if you had asked me or others in town about poverty, we would have said, 'There isn't much, it's not a big issue.' Some people would have said it's just those people who are too lazy to get a job. When you start looking at it though, you realize that bad things do happen to people, that you can't always get a job that will support your family."

"What mattered most with Horizons is that someone believed that things could be better--they had more faith in us than we had in ourselves."

"We have new leaders in the community because of what we are doing here. People are volunteering for things that they had never even been invited to before"

Our community may be able to recieve a grant for up to $10,000 to sustain the strategies that we come up with for poverty reduction and leadership.

I am motivated and up for the challenge. Are you? Watch the paper for the next meeting time and I'll see you there...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ho, Ho, Ho...

almost a whole week without posting... means I've been quite busy shopping online for Christmas:) I am so proud of myself for sticking to the budget. I found some really awesome deals again this year (I love bargain shopping) and I just can't help passing them on to others...

This is my FAVORITE site for postcards, holiday cards and calendars...I order from it at least two times a year, they always have FREE things, you just have to pay shipping and handling. My order this year for over $80 worth of photo calendars and cards cost me only $14. CHECK OUT THE PHOTO DESK CALENDARS - it takes a couple of minutes to put the photos in and add the birthdays, but what an awesome gift for grandparents (mom if you are reading this please forget this part) HURRY if you want to get them before Christmas. calendar link.

Another awesome deal I got this year was from this site. They are having a dollar for dollar sale. Here is the fine print.

Our famous Dollar for Dollar sale has returned. Spend ANY dollar amount on product and use the same dollar amount to purchase FREE books* from a selection of over 15,000 titles (over 1 million copies). Spend $5.00 and get $5.00 of FREE books*, spend $100.00 and get $100.00 of FREE books*. There is no limit to our generosity but there is a limit to how long this sale lasts. From all of us at, we wish you a Merry Christmas and the best for the New Year!

This promotion can not be used in combination with any other promotion including coupons.
This promotion ends December 31, 2006.
"FREE" books are limited to the 15,000+ titles selected for this promotion
Some titles have limited quantities

We have just received great selection of 2007 day and wall calendars and discounted them for a fast sale. Select from Far Side, Anne Geddes, Dilbert, Peanuts, Wizard of Oz, Ziggy and more. Limited quantities. Get them before they are gone.

I LOVE I only buy things that have free shipping so it's like going to the mall only you don't have to get dressed or leave your house. I buy all the kids pull ups and some grocery items, too. They come right to my door! I really wanted to get a new pair of shoes, but it wasn't in the budget. Here are some awesome deals maybe you can take advantage of.

PLUS Save $20.00 when you spend $80.00 or more
on Qualifying Items offered by!


Spend $25 or more in Apparel or Shoes stores, and receive a 1-year subscription to Lucky magazine, a $12 value, included with your purchase

Nine West Women's Ealene Boot
List Price:$108.95
Price:$39.90 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
You Save:$69.05 (63%)

Tommy Hilfiger's Jaelyn Mule
List Price:$59.95
Price:$9.89 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
You Save:$50.06 (84%)

Rockport Men's Oxford
List Price:$89.95
Price:$39.90 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
You Save:$50.05 (56%)

Tommy Hilfiger Women's Gwen Wedge Boot
List Price:$79.95
Price:$29.89 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
You Save:$50.06 (63%)

Tommy Hilfiger Womens Cipriana Ankle-Strap Sandal
List Price:$69.95
Price:$11.89 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
You Save:$58.06 (83%)

I want to get this from Sears if I can today. There is a rebate for the shipping cost and I know the kids would love it. You can also get this on the Toys R Us website for 39.99 with $10 off with Google checkout.

Oriental Trading Post has some great deals, too. Order online by 11:59 p.m. CT, December 5, 2006, to get free standard shipping plus save 15% on your purchase of $60 or more, within the contiguous U.S. Enter key code WC75753 during checkout. I love doing the crafts with kids...

Okay, that's about enough for today. I am a total addict. Before I do any shopping I go to and check if the store is listed there. I get points for every purchase made and then I can turn my points in, when I accumulate enough, for gift cards. Isn't life great?

Monday, November 27, 2006

It's hard; really hard, but it will make us stronger.

I thought I heard a gunshot a few minutes before the pager went off. My husband had fallen asleep, yet again, in front of the television in the basement. I called to him that there had been an accident a few blocks from our home. As he got dressed and left I quietly prayed as I do every time that pager goes off. "Dear Lord, be with the rescuers to do your will Lord." I heard the ambulance a short time later and prayed again. The sirens stopped singing. An hour passed and I heard the door sliding open. My husband was pale and as he came into the bedroom he only said, "It's not good, honey." My brain started racing, "Was it a kid?" He shook his head. Dumbfounded I hugged him and we sat together for the next few hours just trying to understand it.

It is impossible to completely understand the will of God. Faith will help us through the pain. Though things may seem hopeless, "God, who had called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful"(I Corinthians 1:9) No trial is so great that God cannot deliver us. No pain is so great that he does not bring us comfort and no situation is ever without God's presence.

This is what the Lord says...
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:1-2

Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Whether we face death, discouragement, loss or pain, we can take great comfort in knowing that no sorrow is too deep that God cannot feel it with us. And God wants to help deliver us from it. He wants to bring us into his divine comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

We will see you in heaven, AJO. Keep the light on for us.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Chemotherapy Round 10, (only 2 more to go!)

It used to be that I wanted to take in the whole experience, see the people, talk to them, get to know them. I love to socialize. That's why this is kind of hard for me to admit. Confession. The last 3 sessions or so I have really kept to myself. I find myself choosing the chair that doesn't have a neighbor. The quietest corner so I can curl up and listen to Jeremy Camp on the shuffle. I feel bad about not being social with the other patients and the nurses. I feel guilty. But for the most part my body craves rest and comfort during infusion and I have to listen to my body. Today I reclined back and closed my eyes and listened to awesome worship songs, I didn't bring any yarn, books, not even a magazine. I spent most of the few hours just listening to how other people worship and praise God and thanking him for my blessings. I did have a few visitors, my baby brother and my hubby and I had to get up and pee 3 times; other than that it was a pretty quiet treatment. Which is why I was surprised when the nurse told me my blood pressure is kind of low along with my white blood cell count and my hemoglobin. Sometimes I wonder why they share that info. with me because I was sort of lost as to how to improve it and she went about her business pumping me with poison, so I guess it was just a warning?!?!
I hope everyone has a blessed thanksgiving. I will leave you with my marketing mother's words, "Remember; Thanksgiving is an attitude, not just a day!"

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Holiday Dressy" what is that about?

I am scrambling.

First of all my summer 'refill the closet' garage sale bonanza was replaced with surgery and hospital stays and then chemotherapy sessions. Normally I hit the pavement once a week for the entire summer, this year I think I hit two sales total. I have a complex about the kids clothes, I don't know why. I want to always have at least a couple sizes on hand in case my kids grow an inch or two overnight. I usually have summer clothes already by now and at least one or two items for next winter, like snow pants, boots or a nice coat. Thrifty living and shopping demands that you are flexible and always thinking ahead. I have always shopped that way, even for myself.

This past year I was lucky and got a few suits for my ds on eBay for pennies even with shipping. He begged to wear one of the jackets on Sunday to church and I caved even though he looked the the Hulk with his 3/4 sleeves. My dd was set for the holidays last year, too. My brother got married and she had a flower girl dress. I added a little sequin sash and made a matching headband, bought some long gloves on clearance and she was good to go. She wore it 4 times for Christmas programs and church. This year, however, I am really far behind. Neither of my kids have dress clothes that fit. They are hurting even in the regular clothes category both of them being in between sizes when nothing fits 'just right'. I finally convinced myself that since clothes are not going to materialize out of thin air I needed to get shopping for a holiday outfit. Normally I might have a dress or a sweater that might pass for the special event, but not this year. So I fill my coffee mug up to the brim, grab my purse and head downstairs to the computer. I have a budget and I am going to stick to it. Surely I can find a nice little dress and a shirt and slacks for my precious children.

Old Navy starts my search and I cannot believe that they do not have any clearance holiday clothing, sigh, I guess I did budget for buying off the rack clothes so I go to the main page and look for dresses. You will not believe what I found. A page and a half of short tiny mini skirts and three, count them, three dresses. A hooded dress, a uniform jumper and a polo dress; everything cotton. Where's the satin? Where's the corny red and green plaid and the soft velvet? Who replaced the dresses section with boring khaki and blue uniform dresses? Upon further investigation I find the "holiday dressy" link. Here I find a faux fur vest, one velvet mini skirt and some pin tuck cotton shirts and shrugs. WHAT? I haven't been in the store in months so I think maybe it's just online that is suffering from the lack of holiday sparkle. I check the Gap, the Children's Place. NOTHING! Not one thing that I think says "holiday" for my 3 year old or 5 year old. I am disgusted. I check Target and Walmart and find some very cheap looking clothes that are at least red, green, or black and involve a little sparkle.

So last night and this morning I am back at my old habits on eBay searching for the perfect little girl dress and boy suit for my kids. I hate calculating the shipping and reading feedback on sellers so that I can be sure I get my purchase and even harder yet by Christmas, but I guess I'll have to deal with it this year and remember to hit the summer restocking hard this summer. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

getting in the mood

Yesterday was a beautiful, crisp day. After dark, mom and I took the kids to Falls Park in Sioux Falls to see the lights. We were going to just drive through, but the lights were so 'sparkly', in my daughter's words, we had to get out and walk around. The music was playing loud and the water was changing colors and, well, you would have to be pretty much a Scrooge to not be persuaded into the holiday mood. As I listened to Santa Baby and Ave Maria, my kids ran up and down the sidewalks and begged to go into the tower. They were so excited, it was like they had never seen lights before. It was quite romantic; we saw couples holding hands, familes pushing strollers, peiple of all ages were enjoying the park.

After returning home and putting the sleepy heads to bed, I checked my email. It seems while I was getting into the holiday spirit one of my dear friends was packing up for a trip they had been dreading. Her father in law has been sick for months now. Still it chilled my heart when she said he was expected to pass last night.I stared blankly at the computer screen. For some moments in life there are no words.

Dearest CLM, may the concern and sympathy of those who care help you through this difficult time.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's perfectly logical.... if your THREE.

6:58 am (pitter patter pitter patter, window blinds moving, pitter patter pitter patter;warm breath in my face)
in an audible whisper,"Mom,the light is outside, it's time to get up(cough, rattle, cough)I think I need medicine."

inaudible voice of overtired me,"I know I heard you coughing last night, let me feel your forehead are you warm?"

"I am sick like you mom, I need to take my bitamins and some orange medicine."

"Buddy, you aren't warm so you don't need the orange medicine. Do you want some cough syrup or a chewy Triaminic?"

"What color is the cough and the chewy?

"Red or purple."

"I think (cough, rattle, cough) I just need my bitamin and some cereal."

"What about your cough?"

"I think I will just stop (cough) coughing."

"Honey, you don't control the coughing, the medicine will help... do you want red or purple?"

"No, in a little while I will stop, I promise. I will just cover my mouth and it will not come out, see?"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Here we go again...

Last night after watching a family movie together we were sitting in the living room discussing Christmas. Dad was asking the kids what they wanted. My son was naming things like a four-wheeler and a motorcycle, but my daughter was thinking really hard. She was sitting so quietly, I leaned over and told her that she must be a really lucky little girl because she must have everything she needs and wants if she can't think of anything. "Except a real baby and a real car like the van or the blazer." She pointed out. Later while we were getting ready for bed she told me she would like a new pair of shoes and a toy, too. I was just thinking of how lucky she is and how blessed we are when she whispered..."Do you think Santa heard me?"
No matter how hard I try to avoid the topic of that guy he keeps coming up in conversation. I am not a Scrooge or anything I just don't want to encourage any outright fantasy only to have her crushed when she finds out I lied to her. I reread my post last year about Santa and I still feel the same way. Only now I realize that when she goes to school she will be learning a whole lot of new words and traditions and I have no control over what her little brain decides to keep or trash.
I subbed yesterday and there was a high school assembly. It was this man who had a "story" to tell about his choices. He started making the wrong decisions when he was 12 and according to him his bad choices affected his life, his son's life and the life of his tiny grandson, too. He used feats of strength to get the kids attention; like ripping a phone book in half and bending a frying pan and an iron rod. It was pretty amazing. He really emphasized that we need to make good choices now, because our bad ones follow us for a long time. He also talked about forgiveness and how anyone can start over at any time. I hope that the students in the bleachers heard him. I know I did, loud and clear. My job is to get my daughter to understand the differences between good and bad choices and then let her make them and learn from them. Surely we will need a lot of prayers and forgiveness along the way.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Now I know why God created eyelashes.

Every morning I look at myself in the mirror and wonder whose body I have inhabited. This is not my white puffy face, not my burnt tongue, not my thin and straggly hair. This is not my dry and flaky skin, raw and swollen fingers and plump sore body.
I have learned too much from this cancer; too much about how my body is not my own and only a vessel to get me through my earthly travels. I have learned that it is not important what I have but WHO I am and who the people are around me. I have learned that God made every last tiny part of us for a very special reason. Eyelashes keep the soap out of your eyes and you don't know how important they really are until they are gone.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Chemotherapy Round 9, (only 3 more to go!)

I only have to visit with the oncologist every other time now. So today was the day. It means more waiting room and a longer day. Instead of Dr.K I got to meet the nurse practitioner who was extremely thorough and very nice. She enlightened me about my anxiety and my :( weight gain. I have a script now for anxiety and I need to walk a little bit a couple times a day. I got my flu shot and my poison, too. The anti-anxiety stuff pretty much knocked me out so I napped the whole time again. It was after 2 by the time we got out of there and I was ready to leave. Even thinking about it now, as I am typing makes me feel nauseous. Next chemo. is scheduled for Wed., November 22, the day before Thanksgiving.
Dh will be taking the kids with him to the Scotland game tomorrow with his uncle. I don't think I am going to risk it. A nice quiet day of rest might be just what the doctor ordered, of course I have to squeeze in a short walk or two.
Sam gave us quite a scare last night. He escaped, twice, and the second time was after dark and I just couldn't find him. I called for him and called for him and dh looked,too. We eventually gave up and crawled into bed after 11 where I dreamt of speeding cars and smashed kitties. I woke up early and called again for him to no avail. I talked to dh about how Sam maybe wants to be an outdoor cat and we should take him to mom's. We stopped at Petco after chemo and picked up a reflective collar with a bell ('to save the bird population' was how the package read). When we got the kids and came home my daughter found him sleeping on the front deck, but he was hungry. We put the collar on him and hope to try and keep him indoors. I don't think he will be as likely to run out when the colder weather comes.
I really wanted to snap a few photos of the kids in this awesome weather, but I just don't have it in me tonight. I have to go and do the dishes and reheat some awesome leftovers.
"A truffle a day keeps the blues away" I just can't put my finger on why I am gaining wieght?!?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

1st Annual Birthday Girls Weekend a Success!

It has become increasingly more obvious how fast the time goes by now that I am older. But, the birthdays keep getting better and better. Last year, I had a purse party on my birthday and I thought it could not get any better than that until this year when my girlfriend decided to take me to the 'cabin' (it's more like a house by the lake). There was absolutely no agenda and we took advantage of that by going to bed early and sleeping late. We made our own meals and watched movies and enjoyed the view. I had an awesome time. I know that before I know it, next year will be here and I hope we can enjoy the same sort of celebration. Good company, good food, good location = good time.Thanks KW!

Ryan's co-workers have been planning a 'project' to help us. They sent paint samples and border selections home with Ryan and Gavin and I picked out the exact scheme we wanted for his bedroom. Yesterday was THE day. Ds was so excited he put himself to bed. We are so blessed to have these amazing people in our lives. Ds called them the paint ladies all last night and everyone that came to the door had to see his NEW room. Thanks Paint Ladies! Do you hire out? Because my bedroom could use a makeover...

I have a pile of dishes counter top high to return to all the meal makers who have nourished our bodies and warmed our hearts in the past couple of weeks. If you are missing your favorite dish you may want to call me first!?! I plan on returning them as soon as I can:)

Dh's baby brother made it to the DOME! Scotland plays at 11 am on Thursday in Vermillion. We are so excited for the game. Ds is going to be in heaven with all the orange he will see on Thursday. I hope to make the game, but I have chemo on Wednesday so dad might be taking both kids by himself. Go HIGHLANDERS!

It's going to be a beautiful day in the 70's here. THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE, LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT.

Don't forget to vote!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

If we don't take him you are going to what?

Tomorrow is Friday. I typically like Fridays. Fridays are good. Fridays are fun. But,the past two Fridays have brought new members into our family and now I am scared because tomorrow is Friday and I don't have anymore room. It started with Sampson. A friend of a friend needed to find him a home or her husband was going to hire a hit man to...well you know. So, I HAD to save him. Then, while I was at my sisters last Friday, my dh finds this adorable 4 month old chocolate lab mix of a pup named Shiloh that NEEDS a home because he was rescued by this family but they already have two dogs so we HAD to take her. So now in two short weeks we went from petless to petfull. It's the animal rescue family and yes I already called the vet and the the city to get the paperwork on them. But I am not taking anymore - so all you people out there with your gerbils and your lizards and your fish DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! I am not typically a pet person, I grew up on a farm and we had our share of animals. We raised 4 different kinds of dogs, Old English Sheep dogs, Samoyeds, Keeshounds, and we had a couple of Brittany Spaniels. I was never attached very closely to any one of them because the broker came out in his white van and took them away and I was used to that. We also had chickens, sheep, a pig, some cows, a goat, way too many cats and a peacock or two. It was sort of a zoo. My parents had the same length of hair, too, if you catch my drift... BUT, until Sadie I was never really a pet person so I am still wondering how and why we have a dog and a cat right now. I am definitely getting soft in my old age.

speaking of pee...

Made plans to help a friend with her move in this week. It was a long week and things didn't go as planned but I finally squeezed out a couple of hours when me and my ds could drive out. The little stinker has been trying to potty train for months now (feels like years actually) and I am sure he never gets confused since I decide each morning after I wake up what kind of day it is; a patient day means underwear(this day also requires that the 5 pairs of underwear he owns are clean, a crabby day means diapers and, an undecided day means pull ups with a splash of either diapers or undies in between. The joys of parenthood with mommy on medication...anyhow...get to the point potty pants had a bm and went pee on the potty already this morning and it just felt like a patient day so I threw all caution to the wind and put him in underwear,Bob the builder ones, and we went on our merry little way. Not an hour after we were at the brand, spanking, new, still smells new, beautiful, gorgeous, fabulous, new, did I say new, house ds comes into the kitchen asking for his 'backpack'. "Why do you need your backpack?" I ask (at this point I am still clueless to the whole thing) "I need new panties" (don't knock him he has a sister who wears them and that's what I call them half the time) HORROR, TERROR, THE THEME TO PSYCHO IS POUNDING IN MY HEAD,"Did you pee your pants?" I choke the words out. I am down on my hands and knees feeling the carpet surveying the floor, praying that it happened on the pergo or the tile, PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEEAAAASSSEEE! "Where were you when this happened, buddy?" I say as kindly as I can, hoping that my friend is not freaking out like I am...I crawled 20 yards of carpet but I found it; with my knee first and then I tried with all my might to soak it up with a rag. My kind and wonderful friend was remarkably calm as I was contemplating if Stanley Steamer made emergency house calls. I swallowed every ounce of my motherly pride and headed back to town to pick my preschooler up. While at home I whipped up a peace offering of chocolate and butterscotch topped peanut butter rice krispy bars, begged the daycare to take my kids for the afternoon and grabbed the oxy clean carpet cleaner and Febreeze. The funniest part is, my dd did the exact same thing at a friends house when she was potty training, only she managed to keep it on the pergo.
Thanks for understanding TK and bring the kids over when they are starting to wear panties my carpet is waiting for you...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Our House is a very, very, very...

Satisfaction is hard to come by these days. I always want more. A bigger closet, new carpet, a nicer van. I wish I could just be content with what I have. I know that I am influencing my children, too, and it drives me nutty. Just last night my son said, "it's okay if it's broken, mom, daddy can just buy a new one..." to which my daughter answered, "daddy doesn't have any money..." which is what we have been brainwashing her with because she also has been bitten by the 'un'satisfaction spider and wants bunk beds for her room "NOW, because I can't wait for a long time".
Blaming money for this feeling is the easy way out, I believe we live extremely well for the amount of money we bring home each month. The blame would better be placed on the pressures from the world that make us 'feel' like we need more and better things to make us happy. I know people who are much better off than me and are not very happy. I know people who don't have as much as I do who are satisfied and content with their lives.This past week has been another reminder that I don't need much in this life to be happy. Life is so precious. It is so fragile. We can be taken at any moment.
My birthday is on Saturday and as I was thinking of the things I wanted (it has been a sort of tradition that I get a home improvement for my special day...a new floor, door and even a coat closet one year, I love my handy man)I noticed that the list did not include what I need the most; a family who is healthy and safe, a roof over our heads, some food on the table, and faith and hope that this life is only temporary and we will all be completely satisfied one day in heaven.

***inspiration for this post provided by Sam, our supposed litter box trained cat who decided to pee all over my daughters bed during the massive trick or treat fest last night and make me so disgusted with him that I stewed over it all night only to realize that I am so blessed to have him in our lives for my daughter to love. Thank you Sampson.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ghosts and Goblins and 8th Graders...OH MY!

Sunday night was the community Halloween party and I spend most of my time convincing my 3 year old that masks are just for pretend. Needless to say, neither one of my children participated in anything other than the free meal. Maybe next year.

I spent some time getting my groove on with the toddlers at daycare this morning. It was the most exercise I have had in several months. I was sweating to the freeze song and kids in motion. Yesterday was near 70 degrees and this morning was gorgeous but as I left the daycare and walked to the school to sub for junior high the weather was a changing and I should have known it was a sign...

The room was hot enough to boil water and the kids were bouncing off the walls because that's what they do when a sub comes. I had a bit of trouble switching gears and lost some time trying to get my sub face on, I ended up bribing them with some Halloween origami which, in the end, proved to be fruitless because it was too difficult for all of us. I laughed when an 8th grade boy asked me to help him. I don't have enough patience for reading the newspaper, let alone folding a tiny square into some sort of scary creature...

Junior high is a ruthless world. It is a time when nobody really fits in and everyone is trying so desperately to find themselves. The boys are constantly picking on each other and competing for the crown of class clown so they can have people at least accept them for being funny. The girls are experimenting with makeup and clothing while their bodies are changing faster than the a chocolate bar lasts at my house. I wouldn't want to relive those couple of years for anything. It is an entirely different experience being a junior high substitute. Not for the faint at heart or the soft spoken, but I made it until 3:25. Whew!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Chemotherapy Round 8, (4 more to go)

Well, yesterday was that time again and this time, because I was so anxious and fidgety the nurse gave me some ativan. I immediately felt like I was woozy and laid my head down in the recliner. I woke only moments before she had to flush my port. It was definately the easy way out. It was a little difficult to eat lunch with my dh afterwards, I was zoning and a little dizzy. But it sure made the three hours at the infusion center go by fast. If this will be the norm, I may have to give up crotcheting...I'll never get anything done if I am passed out the whole time.
I learned on Tuesday evening that my sister-in-law's father was in the hospital. It seems they have foudn some growths in his abdomen. They don't know much at this point. I know too well that feeling of "what's next". I remember sitting in the hospital room and just praying for someone to come and tell us what was going on. It is scary and I am praying for their family to find the strength to get through this.
October is fading fast and the end of the year will be upon us in no time. I am excited for a fresh and healthy 2007.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Perfect Harmony

This afternoon was a wonderful distraction from thinking about chemo tomorrow. I carpooled with another substitute teacher (little does the rest of the world know we have the best job in the world:)) to the Colony. It was just what I needed before a couple of sick days. The afternoon went by too fast and my throat is sore from talking but it was worth it. The world is a lot smaller out there, but the most important things are a lot clearer. Faith, family and compassion for your fellow man seems to be the theme. I could learn a thing or two from them. They sang for me at the end of the day, by request. I could pick out at least four harmonies, it was perfectly beautiful.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Insignificant, but amazing.

I spent the morning making pumpkin and candy corn decorations from construction paper. It was too much fun. It got me thinking. Some of the most enjoyable moments in my life are the simplest ones. The conversations we have in the car on the ride home are excellent examples; for instance Sunday night; my three year old son explains to his sister,"Dad is the dad and mom is the mom and you are the sister and I am the, um... PEOPLE" he shouted triumphantly. Bedtime prayers are really great moments, too. I love the million questions that pop into a child's head when they lie down in bed. "Is tomorrow in the morning? How far is the moon? Can airplanes fly to heaven? When is Jesus going to find me a boy to marry? When I am big can I have an orange 4-wheeler? Can daddy make bunk beds?" I love being a mommy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I've come undone.

It's 4:45 am. I am not sleeping. There are several reasons why, some of which I am not going to share with you because they are not appropriate for reading as you sip your morning coffee. Your welcome.
Several things are scrambling in my auto-pilot brain this morning. I am not sure that I can organize my thoughts so I think I might just type what I am thinking as it comes into my brain, so as to not confuse myself. This being much different from actually trying to create a post that has an actual story or even a purpose at all.
1)my scalp hurts - I never anticipated that losing my hair would actually hurt more than my is very sensitive to temperature and sore. It gives me headaches. Sometimes I feel like there is a substance pushing it's way out of the follicles where the hair was. I just want to wash my head every couple of hours. I have been really careful to blot my head dry, but yesterday I just felt like doing a thorough towel dry and rubbed my head until it felt better. The towel was so covered with hair I just threw it in the garbage instead of putting my washer and dryer through more misery.
2)I am going crazy- I started reading a book to give my brain a rest from thinking and I didn't realize until I was several hundred pages into that I had just read it earlier this summer. I guess I forgot. I wonder how people who continue to work full-time during chemo feel? Does a consistent schedule help? Every time I have chemo it is so different. I think I am feeling okay and then WHAM I am sick and yucky. I start a task at home, like filling the dishwasher and then I get interrupted by my child or the phone and hours later I walk into the kitchen and the dishwasher is wide open. It still, after all these months, doesn't feel real. I try to read my body and feel the symptoms. I am a terrible patient. I don't know if what I am experiencing is nausea, menstrual cramps, constipation or just plain anxiety. I know it hurts and I don't like it.
3)wellness, shmellness- I have the vitamins, the goji juice, the bottled pure water, the chi-machine, the hot house, the books and Cd's that tell you how and why to eat better...and all I really want is a chocolate covered rice krispy bar.
4)I wish real life had a pause button,too- I try to make a budget and keep to it. I try to have hopes and dreams. I try to think about next year when I will have one child in kindergarten and one in preschool. I want to fast forward past this chemo, but not lose any time with my friends and family in the process. I have chemo two days before Thanksgiving, two days before my daughters fifth birthday and five days before Christmas. How am I going to enjoy the holidays? I feel extremely self-centered and vain spending all this time thinking of myself when I should be enjoying my kids and the 'real' life that keeps happening. Life goes by too fast and not fast enough.
5)driving myself crazy is one thing, can you imagine what my dh is going through?- I go back and forth from being weak and sick and quiet to being loud and angry and sick. He has the wonderful job of assessing my many mood changes, putting up with my crazy ranting and raving and then taking care of me. I am being really honest when I say this - I am not sure I could do the same for him. One minute I want him to sit by me and hold me and the next I can't stand having him near me. It is not healthy, for either of us. We have two little one's watching us; soaking in everything, good and really, really bad, that they are going to use in their future relationships with people and it scares me to death.
6)prayer is a necessity- for the first time in my life I really, really, really, really understand that my faith is not just about church on Sunday. The foundation for my faith came from when I was in Sunday school singing songs, or in youth groups planning activities like car washes and trips to St. Louis or New Orleans, or when I earned my nickname in high school 'church lady', or when I attended a Christian college, or when I got married and asked my husband to join my church, or when I baptized my children. Now that I have looked cancer in the face and realized that my place here on earth is just temporary, NOW, I know I need prayer. I need prayer because when everything else is crumbling down around me I know I can get down on my knees and cry and He hears me. I am not alone. He has called me by name and there is a place waiting for me in eternity. Maybe I am crazy here. There is sanity in heaven.
This is my daily struggle.

and I am a generation X'er

Allright people. It's crunch time. Get to know the issues so you can make an educated decision. It's your right, your duty. Here are the facts. Use your God-given mind to make a choice and vote.
(btw (by the way) use 2029 for the last 4 digits of your zipcode, if you are from my town, on this website to search the candidates listing, too)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our own Little House in the Village...

My mother, the guardian angel herself, has been borrowing movies from the library for my kids. The latest being a potty training video and some Little House on the Prairie stories. The potty training video included a catchy little diddy that included the phrase "where the wee wee and poo go". It drove me bananas and my almost 5 year old watched it more than the 3 year old we are training. But the stories with Ma and Pa brought back tons of memories of growing up on the acreage. My mother thought that television was the devil reincarnated and it was rare that we got to watch a program on PBS, but I do remember catching a Little House episode after school every now and then. I was mesmerized by the beautiful long hair and long dresses of the Ingalls girls and the stories of hard work and love and compassion for your fellow man. It was so romantic. I think it was then that I decided I wanted to marry a farmer and live off the fat of the land...if this illness has taught me anything it's that life isn't all that it's cracked up to be, but it could be a whole lot worse. I have seen the world with crystal clear 20/20 vision through this cancer and I feel blessed. I may not be rich with money or new cars or a fancy house, my richness is measured in the support and love that flows all around me. I can't believe I didn't see it before. Obviously, God didn't want me to take it for granted any longer.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

It takes for a long time.

Lately, everything we do is measured in moments of time. Trying to explain time to a three year old and an almost five year old is next to impossible. So, we a lot of things like; when it get's dark out, after daddy get's home,and when the snow comes. My ds has already figured out what takes for a long time and what takes for a short time and that is how he chooses to measure everything that happens..."Mom, does it take for a long time to go to the ball game?" As much as I would like to say I was more patient than a three year old, I can't. Everytime someone asks me how it's going I feel like saying, "It takes for a long time." Yesterday the kids and I laid down for an afternoon snooze and two and a half hours later my daughter was shaking me to get up saying, "nap time is over, I need snack." I choose these moments to try and remind her I am sick and I don't feel good and I need to rest a little while longer. She sighs and says, "it takes for a long time for you to get better mom." I know honey, believe me, I know.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chemotherapy Round 7, (5 more to go)

I am officially not a new patient anymore. I tried to schedule my next appointment for a Tuesday again and the receptionist quickly told me I wasn't able to meet with my doctor as he reserves Tuesday mornings strictly for new patient visits. So we move the therapy dates to Wednesdays and I become just another name on the list of cancer patients. Done deal.
The infusion center was full again today. It seems Wednesdays are busy days. It is becoming more difficult to stomach the drugs, today was my fist day with the little pink puke bucket in my lap while I was being pumped with my 'poison'. That was an experience I could live without doing again. But, keeping with the positivity, we are one more visit closer to the end.
I am pretty tired tonight and it's been a long week already so I am turning in. I hope to get online again soon. Check out the latest news about the daycare to keep in the know. We have to get all the right information out so people can have the knowledge before they have to vote on the issue.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's good 2 B 3!

My son turned 3 on Sunday. Since we had an extended weekend and daddy worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday we scheduled a party for Monday. Yet, we spent the whole weekend celebrating anyway. Saturday Grandma took us to the public library in Sioux Falls. I had never been to this branch. It has a large structure in the kids area that looks like a train. My kids had so much fun reading in the train. I think my son took every book off the shelf looking for books that were orange. We capped off the day with a trip to the dollar store. I can't for the life of me understand what I did with my hard earned money before the dollar store came along? Both my kids got outfits for Halloween and I stocked up on gymboree tights for my daughter. Thank goodness we live across the street from church because we all slept in until a quarter to 8 on Sunday morning. We barely had time to wash our faces before the church bell was ringing. We missed the greeting but made it for the confession and absolution, thank goodness, I really need that part! Breakfast was a benefit for a young man who cracked a vertebrae in his neck and has been wearing a halo around his head for several months. He has healed and it sure is good to see him smiling and walking around. The breakfast was delicious and I hope the family is blessed by some generous donations to help out. The kids and I baked the cake and cupcakes on Sunday. I believe I should be nominated for mother of the year for trying to make marble cake with two children under 5. Dad was home Monday and we spent the better part of the day cleaning. We got to see a darn good football game at 4pm. I am learning about this game of football. Maybe by the time my son is old enough to play I will understand a thing or two about the rules. Dh's nephew scored a few touchdowns and had some very hard tackles that made me wish my son would take up cross country instead :). We had planned a small gathering of family that really isn't ever small with my husband's crew. It all came together around supper time and we, of course, had cake and ice cream first and then the healthy stuff. His favorite present, if you don't count the fake teeth from Grandma, was from his auntie; a rocket blaster that kept him occupied for most of the evening shooting styrofoam rockets up into the air as far as he could see. My sil apologized when she brought the package saying the age recommendation on the package was 10+,"...but I couldn't resist, he had so much fun playing with it this summer at my house."

Friday, October 06, 2006

Embracing the ugliness one cut at a time.

The fear of losing your hair, along with actually losing it, is truly worse than having it gone. I would have never believed it, but it is the honest truth.
I actually made a hair appointment to chop off the rat tail, as we have so lovingly nicknamed my once luscious mane, for a week ago Friday. But, I was ill and did not have the courage to drive to the salon where I have been getting my hair cut for many years now. I was ill, but I couldn't help feeling that if I actually did cut it off I would be giving in, I would be giving up. It feels like I am being erased. It is so hard to explain. Anyway, one more week of trying hats and hankies and I had enough. I spoke with a kind friend and she said she would do the deed for me. It is so personal, I was so afraid of it. But, after it was over I actually felt better. I am glad I found the courage to just clean it up a bit. She did a great job and gave me a cute little bob that will slowly fall out over the course of the next few months. It fits a lot easier under a hat and a scarf. I wish I would have just bucked up and done it a month ago. I think I may even go shorter if it continues to thin. She mentioned that it may not have been so difficult had the process of the thinning been quicker instead of gradually dragging on for months. The hardest part for me is not knowing if or when it will all just fall out. It's frightening when you comb your hair and handfuls of it fall out. I am quickly learning what people with thinner hair go through, my scalp is not only more visible but extremely sensitive to sunlight and cool weather. I am happy to put a hat or scarf on for the warmth alone. Don't ask a cancer patient what is more important - their hair or their life? We all know the answer to that one. Yet, I don't see any 'hair loss' brochures anywhere for chemo patients. I can't imagine posters with bald women and the words," Lose your hair, gain your life." If that were the case, we would get out the clippers ourselves.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Attitude Adjustment

I have received this one in the mail the old fashioned way as well as in my email... every day it becomes more and more real to me. It's a great example of that mental game we all play with ourselves - attitude.

There once was a woman who woke up one morning,looked in the mirror,and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.
"Well," she said,"I think I'll braid my hair today."
So she did and she had a wonderful day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw
that she had only two hairs on her head.
"H-M-M," she said,"I think I'll part my hair down the middle today."
So she did and she had a grand day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed
that she had only one hair on her head.
"Well," she said, "Today I am going to wear my hair in a pony tail."
So she did and she had a fun, fun, day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed
that there wasn't a single hair on her head.
"Yeah," she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"
Attitude is everything.
Have a wonderful, grand, fun, fun day!
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

I like this one...

The Secret
One day, one friend asked another,

"How is it that you are always so happy?
You have so much energy,
and you never seem to get down."

image00316.gifWith her eyes smiling, she said,
"I know the Secret!"
"What secret is that?"
To which she replied,
"I'll tell you all about it,
but you have to promise to
share the Secret with others."

image00316.gif"The Secret is this:
I have learned there is little I can do
in my life that will make me truly happy.
I must depend on God to make
me happy and to meet my needs.
When a need arises in my life,
I have to trust God to supply
according to HIS riches.
I have learned most of the time
I don't need half of what I think I do.
He has never let me down.
Since I learned that 'Secret', I am happy."

image00316.gifThe questioner's first thought was,
"That's too simple!"
But upon reflecting over her own life
she recalled how she thought a bigger house
would make her happy, but it didn't!
She thought a better paying job
would make her happy, but it hadn't.
When did she realize her greatest happiness?
Sitting on the floor with her grandchildren,
playing games, eating pizza or reading a story,
a simple gift from God.

Now you know it too!
We can't depend on people to make us happy.
Only GOD in His infinite wisdom can do that.
Trust HIM!
And now I pass the Secret on to you!
So once you get it, what will you do?

image00316.gifYOU have to tell someone the Secret, too!
That GOD in His wisdom will take care of YOU!
But it's not really a secret...
We just have to believe it and do it...
Really trust God!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What's up doc?

It' s painfully obvious I let the garden go this year. The mums I revived from near death a couple of years ago and they are paying me back with beautiful blooms. Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Dh got tickets to the BIG game today(thanks to an awesome co-worker who was willing to trade and find daycare-thanks :)). He is sitting behind the dugout on the 3rd base line with two of his brothers...about 21 rows up for all you ESPN freaks. More family is sitting further up. Play Ball!

Sadie's death helps save lives

The city finance officer forwarded my email to the county sheriff's office and guess who I just saw pull someone over on my street and give them a ticket? Thank you Sadie for helping save lives.


I am still grieving the death of Sadie and didn't sleep much last night. This morning I sent off an email to our local city office. I pray that something can be done about the speeding vehicles that whiz by my home every day.

Dear City,
In the past eight years we have lived in our home; our house, garage door,
vehicle, and now our beloved family pet have all been victims of speeding
vehicles down the ----- Street hill. The speed limit is clearly posted, as
is a fake (I am assuming) sign saying radar patrolled. Late yesterday
afternoon a large speeding gravel truck struck my dog and killed her. I
believe the truck was speeding and I am thanking the Lord that no children
were trying to cross the corner of ----- and ------ because it was about
after school time and a dozen kids and bicycles use that intersection to get
home. I myself have two children who know not to go near the road, still I
fear for their life when we are working in the garage or the driveway. At
this time I cannot change my driveway but I can ask you to enforce the
speed limit better. Too many children and people use our streets to get from
one place to another, it would be a sad day if a speeding car, truck or semi
trailer met with one. Please let me know how I can help you get the word out
that we have to slow down in town.
Thank you for your time,

Monday, October 02, 2006

SADIE July 1998 - October 2006

These photos were taken by my four year old just a few days ago. Sadie was killed only a few feet from where she stands in the second photo today. A big speeding truck ran her over and just left her there. A neighbor stopped and came into the garage to tell my husband who was using the leaf blower to clean. My dh was crushed. He came into the house and said, "Honey, Sadie is gone. I saw her take her last breath". I never knew how much she meant to me. Just yesterday I was scolding her for coming in the kitchen when my son left the door open. The hardest part was trying to tell the kids. My son kept asking, "when will she be fixed and come back to our house?". My daughter took it well and said, "we will see her in heaven, I guess.". My husband took her body to my mom's and buried her. We have talked about moving out of town for years and letting her run. We hated leaving her in her kennel and when we were home for the day she was almost always out and about, checking on the neighbors and playing with the kids. She was loved and will be missed.

But I saved 29 cents a pound?

This is the third time I have sat down to post and I am still finding I have nothing to say. It is Monday again and I feel the need to ramble incessantly about nothing.
The weekend brought nothing but ill feelings so I am hoping for a much less sick week full of 'feel good' or at least 'feel okay enough' days. The weather was nice enough for me to crawl out of the house for a nephews football game on Saturday. The sun made me queasy and I kept sliding my lawn chair back till I was practically in the trees and couldn't view much of the action anyway. Saturday night despite a couple of invites the whole family was in bed before 830. We ventured out for church early Sunday morning and then I slept until early afternoon. I woke with an insatiable hunger that could not be satisfied no matter what I chose to put in my mouth. It all tastes like aluminum foil.
It is becoming painfully, increasingly clear to me why someone might go crazy or at least become depressed during this time in their life. Each time I try really hard to climb out of the temptation to just give up and quit, but each time it gets a lot harder. I keep asking myself "Why do I have to keep going to chemo? I am better, right?" It would almost be easier on my mental stability if I had waited for that PET scan until late November so I didn't have these thoughts each time I have another treatment. Oh well.
I have been doing a lot of sleeping to pass the time . I wish I could read or do something productive while my butt grows bigger and bigger, but my brain doesn't allow me to rest unless I am sleeping and even then my dreams have been really animated. Last night I was back in high school and I could have sworn it was real. I even smelled the smell of the study hall and felt the plaster walls. Freaky.
Dh is redoing the floor of the boat and has been hard at work gluing his hands and stapling his thumbs to pieces of plywood for two days now. He assures me that this is his last outdoor project and he will get to the trim in the bathroom in no time. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Call me crazy, I may just fit the mold on the that one.
I am the woman who has two producing apple trees in her backyard and buys Braeburns because they are on sale uptown. Nuts? We call it normalcy here. I am eating one now, yummy.

Friday, September 29, 2006

My place in this world...

So much for my good intentions to keep up with posting this week. The great thing is that the week has flown by and I have not had much time to wallow in my misery. I am exhausted and feeling a little under the weather but it is not going to get me down.
We have had another amazing week of nourishment from the community. The food feeds our bodies and the gesture fills up our souls to the very brim. We are so thankful. We are so blessed.
Dd had her first preschool 'field trip' this week to the local salon to get beautified. The theme is 'all about me' and let me tell you she has this one figured out. A little curl, a little hairspray, a little eyeshadow and some glitter nailpolish and she is good to go. I volunteered to 'help'. As I watched these young innocent children looking at their reflections in the mirror I wondered what thoughts were bouncing in their tiny heads. Exploring who we are and how we fit into this world is such a amazing concept. What better place to review it than in the fantastic resilience of a preschool classroom? I wanted to whisper in their little ears that each one of them is a beautiful creation and they have so much potential and that they are loved so dearly by those around them. I know I take for granted how lucky I am, raising up my children in a place where life is valued and my kids are loved not only by their blood relatives but by the members of this tiny slice of heaven I call my hometown. Again, I count my blessings. I pray that all children will know their place in this world.
My husband's little sister is a nursing student at USD. She needed some children to observe for a class and we so graciously volunteered ours. I thought for sure I would enjoy the quietness of an evening alone yet both my dh and I found ourselves a little lonely come bedtime. 'The house is too quiet," he said as we poured our tired bodies into bed. We only had to call once to check on them. She wanted to keep them for a couple of nights, but we'll see how tired she is this afternoon after 24 hours at the hurried pace of a potty training toddler and a busy preschooler.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chemotherapy, Round 6 (six more to go) THE HALF WAY POINT

The infusion center is amidst some construction projects, today I had to move out of my chair half- way through the drip to allow the electrician to work. It wasn't too bad. In fact, now that I am looking more bald I got to go through the donation basket and I chose a hat and a bandana to wear. My counts were really good today, wbc = 11.7.

As we left the oncology clinic we were met with a glorious sunshine filled day. It was really nice, though the sun is not really good for me. I popped a zofran and we went on our merry way.

When I got home the monkey was predicting my future, for the next week or so. I love that monkey almost as much as the bottle of pills.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The half way point.

Dear Lord: So far today, I am doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent. I have not whined, moaned, cursed, or eaten any chocolate. I have not charged on my credit card. However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot more help after that. Amen.

Tomorrow is treatment number 6. Then I will be half way done. I am filled with mixed emotions about going tomorrow. This weekend was good,and today I feel good. I know that going to treatment tomorrow will knock me back down to square one again. It makes me anxious and I dread having to go again, but at the same time I just want it to be December and this to be over and done with. I wonder if I will undergo surgery again before Christmas to remove my port, or if we will wait until January.

My hair seems to be the only consistent thing in my journey. It is consistently falling out. I don't know what to do because it is getting colder and my head is not insulated any more. Just yesterday I felt a chill when I took the kids out for awhile. I fear the headcoverings will come in handy over the next few months. I can put my dd's pony around the entire depth of my hair and cinch it five times. The long hairs are becoming a nuisance in the dryer vent, the vacuum cleaner and the drains. This shedding thing is really getting old. Maybe it is supposed to work this way, so that cutting it all off will feel like a relief instead of a necessity?

It is the season for colds and flu and I am a little nervous about my blood counts. I have been right at 11.2 or better for my white blood cell counts. It's a little low, but I am taking iron and a multivitamin and a calcium pill along with my goji juice. I know it's risky exposing myself but I do have two small children and my husband works in the hospital, so I get exposed even if I stay home.

That's about all I have for a Monday before treatment. I will try to post more often this week than last time. It's really hard to think clearly when I am not feeling the best. The treatments seem to be doing the job and I know I shouldn't complain, but I am really anxious to be back to normal again. October is nearing fast and I have a busy month planned with treatments, birthdays, hunting, shopping, craft sales and Halloween. My goal is to be able to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the next few months and not make it more difficult than it is already going to be.

To serve God, to laugh and cry and laugh again in spite of it all, to have your priorities in order, to hold a child's heart with love and their hand with encouragement, to learn from the older and wiser and give more than you took, to appreciate the touch of the Master's hand, to see the best in others by being the best in yourself, to serve others, to give all you can from your heart not just your bank account, to pray daily, to live contentedly, to keep the faith, to fight the fight and walk the walk, to leave the world a better place than you see it around you, to know that you have made a difference in at least one life; that, my friends is the purpose in a life well-lived.