Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A friend loves….

at all times.

Words in blue by Ann Voskamp:

“Don’t ever love by halves, because that’s not how anyone becomes whole.

Inconvenience is the proof of Love.

That’s the bottom line: You love as well as you are willing to be inconvenienced.

You love as well as you are willing to be inconvenienced.

How well we Inconvenience ourselves for each other is the real sinews of community, that binds friendships and relationships — not how well we impress each other. Inconvenience is the DNA of healthy love.”

As I sit here I’m pondering what Miss Ann said…..and I feel our society is missing this piece of the DNA that makes a healthy love.

We are all busy.  Our plates are all full.

So when someone close to you needs you….do you drop whatever it is you are doing or do you work their needs around your schedule?

I know I don’t want to love by half. I want to be whole.

With having a bff who is walking through a life threatening diagnosis it is really “in my face” on how I want “to love her.”

I want to do this journey well.

I want to stand beside her….through it all.  The good, bad and ugly.

So I don’t know if I totally agree with dear Ann V.  I don’t know if the “proof of love” is being inconvenienced.

(now, I’ll be honest, Ann is a bit “flowery and wordy” for me so I might have skimmed her post and missed some of the point.)

I see what she is saying….but I don’t feel inconvenienced AT ALL in serving Marcia and her family.

I feel privileged and am just so thankful that I am able to help her.

I pray that instead of being “inconvenienced” my “proof of love” shows in our talks, in our laughter, in our tears, in our silence and in my actions.

We hug each other a little bit tighter each time and there is no shortage of saying “I love you.”

This has really hit home that life is short and we never know what is right around the corner on this journey we call life.

But she has 3 weeks of radiation down and 3 to go!!!!

11108951_10204759982814198_2019229460537341315_n

Now that is something to celebrate!!!!

And then the next leg of the journey will start….but we will do it together.

All of it.

IMAG1850_1

The song that keeps going through my head….It is well.

https://youtu.be/j4taAN4QtbI

Yes it is!

IMAG2040

Monday, April 13, 2015

FINALLY!

It is time to get up from our long winters nap….

IMAG2029

and FINALLY get some sunshine!!!

IMAG2027IMAG2028

It feels soooo good to be outside again.

IMAG2032

It has been a long, cold, trying winter.

Praying for many more sunny days ahead with a brighter outlook on life.

Claiming this verse for our family this week:

For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
Proverbs 2:6-7 (NLT)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Blessed day

So sometimes you just need to mix things up and do something different.

We had celebrated Easter with my family last week as my folks were headed out to see my sister and her family in Indiana this past week.

So that left today totally open.

And I wanted to keep it that way.

We have felt a bit “under attack” lately.  And so we wanted to just spend some real quality time with our kids.

Just as a family unit.

And so we decided to take them out for supper.

IMAG1996IMAG1998

To a real live sit down restaurant!

Something we just never do.  So they are pretty happy about that!

IMAG2000

We had a very special time and it was so good to just laugh and embarrass the kids as we sung at the top of our lungs to Free Falling when it came over the speaker in the restaurant.

IMAG2005 (1)

IMAG2006IMAG2007 (1)

We kept the day low key and special….and remembered the real reason for celebrating Easter.

It isn’t about the baskets, the candy or the food.

It is all about the fact that HE IS RISEN!

IMG_8022

(Not bad for a self timer!!! I was amazed…even both the doggies are looking at the camera!)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Night and Day

Today Josie and I headed back up to Hershey….I know, I know.  I said I wasn’t going to do any more appointments until June!

BUT the endocrinologist called and they had an opening with a “good doctor”  today! And since Josie already had off school today I decided we should at least go up and see if this new doctor would be any better then our last horrible appointment!

And it WAS so much better! SmileI’m so glad I went.

I got right in to see the doctor and she spent AN ENTIRE HOUR just talking with me. And listening. And going over each and every one of Josie’s symptoms and wanted to hear everything that has been going on with her “dysfunctional uterine bleeding” and her blood sugar issues.

So I don’t know a whole lot yet but at least we have a PLAN now and someone is looking at the whole picture.

We had blood work done to check her estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels. (NO ONE has ever done that before?!!?) AND we got orders to get a pelvic ultrasound done.

AND this doctor actually LOOKED at her private areas.  Just to make sure that nothing “weird” is going on….again something that should have been done MONTHS ago.

So now we wait for those results.

And then depending on those tests show we will talk more about using a drug called Lupron or Supprelin to help control the bleeding better.

The other interesting piece to the puzzle is we came home with this:

IMAG1988

We are to check Josie’s blood sugar levels regularly and whenever she is showing signs of shaking.  We will then talk about those results.

(So thankful that the “education nurse” just happened to be “free” while we were there so I didn’t have to go back to get trained and they could just send it home with me!)

So like I said….no real “answers” per say today but we FINALLY have a plan and I have someone who actually listened and looked at the big picture.

I’m very curious what all these pieces will show.

Josie is a complicated case.  We may never have a clear answer.  And how much of her “issues” were becuz her Depakote levels were elevated and messing with her liver which in turn can mess with your blood sugar??? I think some of it was from that…..but time will tell!

DSC_0120

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A million pieces….

Today while I was waiting for Marcia to be done “radiating”, I was praying that the laser beams would destroy all the cancer cells and that she would feel good this afternoon. But a part of me was again questioning “why her Lord??” 

IMAG1856IMAG1858

As I sit in the waiting area and look around it is all “old people”…..people AT LEAST 20 years older then us.

So why has my friends life been thrown into a million little pieces??

That’s what it can feel like….life was going along just fine and then BAM! You get some health news that you just don’t expect and your whole schedule changes on a dime.

Its like someone shook up the box full of puzzle pieces and threw them out all over the table. A huge messy, unclear picture. 

But one by one they get put back into a whole picture again.

week 2 radiation (2)

But as she was in the room I looked closer at the puzzle and realized that when all the pieces are put back together it will be a rock.

IMAG1955 

Rocks are solid, strong and able to anchor anything that comes their way.

Just like God is our rock and the One that we cling to through this journey.

Week 2 radiation

Marcia is feeling amazingly well, considering!  In fact she walks faster then I do and I think feels better then I do.  (Really, with my history of having celiac and how I feel everyday with my pain, I should be the one with cancer!)

(And yes, of course I automatically assume that I have a tumor somewhere! lol  Don’t we all do that??  When someone close to us has a “big” diagnosis we think we have something major! Ok, so I’m probably the only one who does that….my dear husband just laughs at me.)

Marcia has been a bit nausea and tired but she feels like the prayers of many is what is keeping the “nastier” symptoms away. So please continue to pray that she will be spared from the nastier side effects from the chemo and radiation treatments! And that the nausea feelings will go away too!

We are polar opposites though. I’m much more “the realist” and she is always the optimistic one.  For instance: She had pictures taken today.  I asked her what they were for…..she didn’t ask!!?!? lol  She is just so trusting and figures she will find out eventually….where I need to know the who, the what, the why and ALL  the nitty-gritty’s details.

She promises she will ask tomorrow when she goes…for her friends sake! lol

I don’t trust doctors.  You have to be your own advocate.  I’ve learned that the “hard way” unfortunately and I guess I just want to protect her and make sure she is getting the care that she needs and deserves.

I kidded her that if I had cancer I’d have like 5 people lining up to help me!  Whereas she has an army. She is so loved and is always so kind that she never makes anyone upset. (Unlike myself…..who annoys people at least once a day! Winking smile)

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

IMG_1514

It is a blessing to have that many people who love her so much as she has all her appointments covered for transportation and meals are rolling in.  She feels so loved and cared for and for that I’m happy!

I love her to pieces and am so thankful that God has just opened up my schedule so I can truly focus on her and what her family needs during these next 6 months.

Logan bday 2007 139

I think we will both be changed and stretched, for the better, through this journey.

what cancer cannot do quote

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Enjoying….

time with the cousins!

(And the Aunts and Uncles too!)

IMAG1937

Uncle Persy and Aunt Joy were “in charge” of the Easter activities this year….a bit early, I realize.  But it is when it suited everyone to get together to celebrate that He has Risen!

They did a really neat Easter Bingo while reading the Easter story.

IMAG1944

We got a kick out of seeing how each of the girls personality came out by the way they “organized” their jellybeans.

Miss “tow the line” girl.

IMAG1926

Miss “raise your hand, I know the answer” girl

IMAG1928

Miss “everything needs to be separate” girl

IMAG1930

And then you have Miss “anything goes” girl.

IMAG1934

There was lots of sugar and lots of laughter tonight.

IMAG1935IMAG1942

And don’t forget Grandma’s special Easter baskets….full of lots of fun goodies! <3

IMAG1948

IMAG1949

It was a laid back, simple meal. Just perfect. Smile

It seemed a bit strange to be celebrating Easter with the coal stove still burning and having to wear winter coats! Will Spring ever get here?!!?!?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sometimes….

I amaze myself. 

And I crack myself up.

So I signed up for a field trip months ago.

IMAG1873

I thought I was going to the “basic” Turkey Hill Experience just at a homeschooling discount.

But when I got there I was told we were to hurry to the lab upstairs as we get to make our own ice-cream!!?!?!?

Score Mama points! (I had NO idea what I was signing up for….I just knew it was a great deal ($20.00 for the 3 of us) and it sounded like a fun afternoon with the girls!

We have done the Turkey Hill Experience once before….but I guess today was “homeschool day” and it was SO MUCH cooler! They had so many more different displays and samples than normal. (We got way more for our money this time!)

Even the president of Turkey Hill was there to sign a really nice book about the history of Turkey Hill Diary for free!

IMAG1918 (1)IMAG1919 (1)

So we got there just in time to make our own ice-cream flavor.

IMAG1876

Each “family” group got their own panel of flavors to use.  And we each got a pint of vanilla ice-cream.

IMAG1878

Then we were given instructions on how many drops to use for the flavoring and how to mix it. (There is a technique!)

IMAG1877

Ava mixed mint and chocolate flavoring together…but it doesn’t change the ice-cream color.  But the flavor is sooo good. The lady told us that Turkey Hill actually made mint chocolate chip without the green food coloring and people complained saying that it didn’t taste like mint anymore.  She said that we eat so much with our eyes, that even though it had the same amount of mint flavoring in it people “couldn’t” taste it becuz it had a vanilla look to it.  So they changed it back to making it green again!

She suggested we close our eyes to taste our ice cream so we can truly taste the flavors and not be thrown off by the ice-cream still looking like plain old vanilla.

IMAG1879IMAG1880

Lena made chocolate strawberry flavored ice cream.

IMAG1881

At this point the homeschool mom in me is geekin’ out at our “extra” unplanned educational fun that I was clueless that I signed up for! lol

Then we moved on to adding the “goodies.”  We could go and put whatever yummy additions we wanted into our ice cream.  So Ava chose Andes candy and chocolate chips.  Lena chose strawberries, chocolate chips and sprinkles.

Then as we ate our concoctions while we learned more about Turkey Hill Diary and what goes into making ice cream.

IMAG1883

Did you know that Butter Pecan is the best selling flavor!?!?

IMAG1913 (1)

Turkey Hill Diary uses 30,000 gallons of milk A DAY for their ice cream. They have over 100 flavors and make almost 1,000 containers of ice-cream every 5 minutes!  That’s a whole lot of ice cream!

IMAG1882

To get 30,000 gallons of milk a day you need to milk 4,000 cows, 2 x’s a day! (And all their milk comes from our local cows within a 20 mile radius of the Turkey Hill Dairy.)

IMAG1892

Thankfully they don’t have to do it the old fashioned way anymore!

Ava thought it was a hoot to “milk a cow.”

IMAG1889IMAG1891

Then we moved onto the butter making station where we got containers of cream and were told to shake them.

IMAG1893IMAG1895IMAG1896

And so we shook….and shook….

IMAG1899

and shook as we walked around doing the other stations.

(As you can tell the girls are no longer shaking….so guess who is?!!?! Yup….these Mama’s arms will be sore tomorrow! lol)

IMAG1902

Still shaking…..

IMAG1903

IMAG1906 (1)IMAG1907 (1)

And FINALLY we got butter!! Smile

IMAG1908 (1)

The girls can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow for buttered toast!

It really was a great afternoon and was so nice to get out and do something fun with the girls.  I’m so glad I signed up! Winking smilelol. I will certainly look out for this deal next year and take the boys….they would have loved it!