November 27, 2008

Thoughts on this rainy Thanksgiving Night

Tonight I'm having one of those rare moments where my family's already in bed and I'm the only one up.

Scents of apple pie and turkey still drift through the house, memories of an unexpected family dinner a few hours ago.

Outside, clouds wheel and roll about the sky like a flock of birds, darting here and there. The air is clean, cold, and wet, a testimony to the wild amount of rain we've had the last two days. Finally, finally it begins to feel like fall around here. It smells like it, too, inside and out. I'm savoring the sensation.

Tomorrow will bring a new season. The advent, the excitement, the approach of Christmas. As per tradition, we will decorate our home this weekend with red and green and gold. Time to trade in my pumpkin pie and apple crisp candles for more seasonal scents, such as pine and cinnamin. And Jason will try to explain to Caleb that Christmas trees ornaments do not make good building blocks.

I can hardly wait. (said in a serious and non-sarcastic tone of voice). This is my favorite time of year.

And while many people will be waking up tomorrow to Black Friday sales and delicious leftovers, Jason and I are waking up to a car trip, hospital visit, and yet another change of plans.

But tomorrow isn't here yet. It's still Thanksgiving, for another hour and a half.

So I intend to be Thankful for the next hour and a half; maybe even just a bit longer.

For a God who loves me, even when I fail and when I am weak.

For a Savior who stands by me, even when the Devil and his world jeer at me for the choices I make.

For a husband who is helpful, faithful, and honest, no matter what.

For my precious son, who makes me laugh, makes me cry, and who blesses my heart every single day.

For the material blessings I enjoy and all-too-often take for granted.

For the immaterial blessings, such as friendship and laughter. My life is filled with them both.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you!

November 24, 2008

Moment by Moment, Peace by Peace

Caleb and I went to the Wild Animal Park this morning. Our passes expire on Sunday, and with the cooler weather, I wanted to take him one more time. We had such an amazing time. We got there around 9:30 and had the new Discovery Station all to ourselves for about a half hour. We played with plastic African animals, colored pictures, and built towers of small wooden blocks. We visited the elephants, the meercats, and the ducks. We went for a hike through the conifer forest and Caleb happily played in the dirt with a couple of sticks for about another half hour (honestly, I've never seen a kid so happy in dirt as Caleb =).

The park was quiet, peaceful. The weather was perfect. And I knew, I just knew, He had orchestrated it all. As we drove home, Wizards in Winter ran through my head while Caleb fell asleep in the backseat. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is fast becoming a new favorite around here; their Christmas music, while un-traditional, is nonetheless beautiful. I ordered one of their CDs from Amazon the other day and I can't wait for it to get here.

Wizards in Winter, which you can listen to here, has been my theme song this week. What with everything going on with Dad and Anne, this upbeat music has helped lift my spirits over and over. And, well, I just absolutely love this song. =) So as I drove home today, with this song in my head, I thanked God for a wonderful morning, good mommy-kiddo time with my precious son, and for all the little ways His grace manifests itself. I needed this morning.

This afternoon, we found out Anne does have leukemia.

The doctors don't know what type or what stage, but yes, it's leukemia. They want to start "treatment" (which means "chemo") later this week. She's pretty scared right now, and my dad isn't handling things too well, either. They are, as Anne said, taking things "moment by moment".

Your continued prayers are highly coveted commodities right now. And you know what? They're already working. When I talked to Anne this afternoon, I felt the same peace, the same Presence I felt this morning at the Wild Animal Park. And I know, I know that God is here with us. No matter if we are laughing with our children or crying with our family. He's in the midst of us. I've never been more certain of anything.

So thank you, friends, for your support and prayers. Keep 'em coming!

November 23, 2008

Holding Our Plans Loosely (and more prayer requested, please)

Hey friends . . .

So I need to apologize for the panic-mode post I wrote last night (for those of you who never saw it - I deleted it today - keep reading). I wrote that post in haste, without having all the information, and now I need to correct what was said.

(Note to self: Act, don't react. And taking things to God in prayer before flying off the handle isn't such a bad idea, either)

Anne has not been diagnosed with leukemia. Not yet, anyway. The doctors don't know what's wrong with her. She's undergoing a ton of tests right now as they try to figure things out and she will probably be at the hospital several more days at least.

Her condition is still pretty serious, so we would very much appreciate your continued prayers. Her blood platelet count is dangerously low. For those of you who don't know, platelets are what make your blood clot when you get a cut so that you don't continue to bleed. Anne's platelets have been low for a while, because she started bruising all over her body about a week ago, (that's what initially alerted her and my dad that something was wrong). She is also having bad headaches and trouble breathing when she's on her feet for any length of time. She's completely quarentined right now, so no one who's sick can come near her and she can't leave her room at the hospital.

Sooooooo, she still needs prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. The doctors are doing a bone biopsy tomorrow on her hip to determine if its leukemia or something else entirely. We're hoping for the "something else entirely" option.

Obviously, this has changed our holiday plans, and I'm planning at this point to drive out there Thursday by myself and stay with her and my dad for a few days. Jason is going to stay home with Caleb because, let's face it, a three foot tall tornado is not really a good idea in a hospital ward. I can better help out my dad and Anne if I don't have to watch Caleb, and Caleb will be easier to take care of here at home instead of in the desert. Maybe not the most ideal situation, but then, Anne in the hospital isn't really ideal, either.

So that's where we're at now. As Mishel wrote recently on her blog, we're holding our plans loosely. Things could change at a moment's notice, and we're trying to be ready if and when they do.

Thanks in advance for your prayers. We really appreciate them.

I'll keep ya'll posted.

November 19, 2008

Taking Care of Business

Happy Wednesday, ya'll!

I'd like to take a moment and introduce you to my friend Allyl over at La Petite Maison. Her blog focuses on chic home decor for nifty thrifty prices. She definitely has an eye for beautiful designs, so check it out! (I have added her blog to my sidebar, too, for your surfing pleasure).

The second thing I'd like to mention is this useful Christian website: Plugged In Online This site is also on my sidebar now; Plugged In gives Christian reviews for all current movies out in theaters, including violence, spiritual content, language, sex, etc. Not only are the reviews helpful, but they are well written too. Sometimes I find myself LOL-ing as I read simply because the writers obviously have fun with their job.

Last weekend was a heap of fun! My previous doubts notwithstanding (what a great word, huh?), we managed to pull off our visit to the Star Trek exhibit. Even though Caleb refused to take a nap that day. Even though, by the time we arrived at the museum, he was incredibly cranky. Even though he fell asleep in my arms while we looked at the various authentic costumes of our favorite characters. =)

Yep! We still had fun. Jason and Kevin took turns letting him ride on their shoulders. He climbed around Sulu and Chekov's seats on the bridge of the original Enterprise.

And now, I bet you're wondering why there aren't pictures. Wellllll, the museum wanted us to pay for professional photography and wouldn't let us take our own. =( That was the one downer of our trip. But lack of pictures notwithstanding (this shall be my new favorite word, I think), we all enjoyed ourselves and Kevin wants to come back and visit the rest of the Air and Space museum.

That was last weekend. Now I'm sitting here at my computer, thinking about this weekend and next, specifically about Thanksgiving. You know, that turkey holiday? Well apparently, it's right around the corner. A fact I failed to realize until yesterday. =) Funny how the holidays seem to sneak up on you. Sneaky sneaky holidays.

We are heading out to my dad's for Thanksgiving, something we've been doing since we got married. The desert is beautiful this time of year. I'm hoping it will be cold, since San Diego still labors under the delusion that it's July. Go away, heat!

Anywho, those are my Wednesday thoughts to share with ya'll. Hope you're having a good week!

November 12, 2008

What Happens When the Cape Comes Off?

There are days when I am Super-Mom. I wear a red cape and knee-high boots. I fly around La Mesa kissing boo-boos, shopping for food, cooking gourmet dinners, cleaning dust specks off my ceiling fan, chasing my son and his evil twin, coloring super-hero pictures. All with my hair neatly in place.

But, as Mr. Incredible says, every super hero has an alter ego. Even the red cape and boots need to be washed periodically. So what happens when they come off?

Well. Sometimes balls get dropped. And let me tell ya, I let a real big one go bouncing this week.

See, there's this Star Trek exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Air and Space. I'll admit I'm a little more geeky about ST than Jason is, but we both figured hey! it'd be fun to go, right? I mean, how many chances do you get to actually sit in Captain Picard's chair???

Oh, be still my heart!

We've been planning to go for months now. And we decided to get Jason's best friend Kevin, in on the whole deal since he's a Trekkie, too.

So our plans are made, the date is set. We are all excited.

Except that, in the midst of the anticipation of seeing a real transporter chamber and the deck of the original Enterprise, I forgot one little detail. A three-foot, blonde-headed detail.

I completely forgot that I would need childcare for Caleb while the three of us are out gallavanting around the galaxy. Bounce goes the dropped ball . . .

Not very Super-Mom-ish.

I'm so used to having Caleb along wherever we go; the thought didn't dawn on me until Monday: Hey maybe it would be a good idea if Caleb stays with someone rather than running around highly expensive T.V. props. Then I went into panic mode. Call Ashleigh. Call Mom. Call Amy.

No one can watch him. The ball keeps bouncing . . .

Maybe I should have called the National Guard instead. Hmmmm, anyone have that number?

There is a moral to this story. Ready? Here it is: Never, ever, ever take that cape off. Wear it till it rots. That's the only way to ensure childcare in times of need. Even Super-Moms have trouble catching dropped balls.

But lest I leave you in the Depths of Despair, I will tell you what I told Amy: we can probably take Caleb with us if no other option presents itself. Three adults should be able to handle one small child, right? Right?? (feel free to reassure me here, frineds).


Knowing my son, he'll be comandeering a space shuttle and commanding his own away mission if we're not careful. Either that, or he'll break said transporter chamber and Scotty won't be able to beam anyone up.

Let's just hope he'll be satisfied sitting in the Captain's chair and wearing his own com badge. =)

November 9, 2008

Hello's and Good-Bye's: Not sure I'm good at either

The weather can't make up its mind today. It's cloudy. It's sunny. It's cloudy again. Oh here, let's throw some rain around while we're at it. About the only thing constant is the wind.

But I don't mind. The weather can stay moody. I love it. =)

Today's a little more special than the average Sunday; today we are welcoming back to San Diego some very good friends of ours. Greg and Amy and their son Josiah moved to Nevada about six months ago. We were sad to see them leave; Greg had been leading our home fellowship for several years and Amy and I had become good "mommy" friends (our boys are only 4 months apart). =)

Now the Lord has seen fit to bring them back into our lives. And I am very thrilled about that, dontcha know? Toe-tapping-with-impatience-can't-wait-to-see-them thrilled. Caleb will have his old play buddy back, and we will all get to meet little Zeke who was born in August.

But even as I rejoice at this unexpected turn of events, I'm a bit down about another.

Because another set of really good friends are leaving.

Shawn and Natalie, along with little Elizabeth, are moving to Pennslyvannia on Tuesday.

And I am more than just a little sad about that.

I've known Shawn for almost ten years. I originally met him on my first missions trip in 1999. We both went to Peru with Teen Mania and kept in touch afterwards. His travels took him to Texas, Alaska, and finally to my little hometown of Yucca Valley. He worked for my dad for a year, learning wood-working and cabinetry. It was Shawn who found the Nazarene church where I would eventually meet Jason. In fact, Shawn met my husband before I did. He started bugging me to come visit this new church, and I remember Shawn telling me "I met this really great guy at Young Adults. I think you'd like him."

He was, of course, talking about Jason. =) I visited the church, fell in love with it (and with Jason, incidentally), and the rest is history.

Fast forward about three years. Jason and I had been married about six months when Shawn got engaged. He'd found himself a beautiful young lady from PA whom he was excited for us to meet.

Enter Natalie, stage right.

She and I immediately hit it off. I blame our common love for Jane Austen and the same exceptionally silly sense of humor we share. (fuzzy galloping caterpillars, Batman?). Yep. The giggle girls. That was us. Erm, is us. We're still silly. That hasn't changed.


She asked me to be her maid-of-honor. I said yes. They were married eight months later. We continued to talk, despite living in cities 180 miles apart. Over the last three years, we've become the best of friends.

You can understand why I'm in no hurry to say this good-bye.

God works in mysterious ways, doesn't He? I can see His hand at work, bringing Greg and Amy back to us. I can also see His hand in moving Shawn and Natalie back east. Funny that He should do both within two days of each other.

Natalie, I'm sure gonna miss you girlie. You guys will be in our prayers as you drive across the country and start a new life in PA. Don't worry. One day I'll forgive you for moving so far away. ;-) You know, when Elizabeth gets married and I get an invitation in the mail to be the wedding coordinator. Just kidding, just kidding. Seriously, I think I'll forgive you much sooner than that. You'll hear your cell phone ringing one day soon and I'll be at the other end, burnt dinner in hand, yelling incoherently about meatloaf and car windows and that new recipe for Jerk Chicken you gave me. :) I love you, girl. God bless you guys.

November 6, 2008

Thursday Thankfulness

Hey friends! Happy day after the day after the Election! Happy no-more-political-phone-calls day! =)

I'm not going to say anything about the election here. I have too many thoughts swimming around my head about it, and I'm not sure I could get anything coherent down on paper. But check out what Ashleigh and Mishel had to say. They have pretty much summed up what I'm feeling. Thanks, you two, for those posts!

You know what I'm really feeling today? Thankfulness. I know Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, so I will beg your indulgence in these pre-Thanksgiving thanksgivings. But seriously, I'm so grateful today, friends.

For my God, who is mighty and sovereign over ALL. I've been playing worship music all morning and let me tell ya, I'm so happy to belong to Him. I have such peace knowing He is in control. I don't have to be. He's got it all covered. (Whew, if that isn't a load off my shoulders . . . ;)

And secondly, I'm thankful for this:

. . . my family. I am a blessed woman.