Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Pre-Travel "Stuck"

Eh...I can't believe that I'm actually taking the time to blog today. I have to leave early for three weeks tomorrow and while I should be scurrying around to get everything done...I feel stuck.


I would much rather curl up on the couch and watch the rest of the first season of 24 and take a nap. I feel all icky today. Going home (and abroad) is great because I miss everyone so much but it's alot of work and packing and preparing and concerning...along with the emotional investment...sigh. I'm exhausted already.


So, I've baked a bit and talked to Steph a bit...okay maybe a bit more than a bit, but I NEEDED that laugh! (A little observation "girl talk" was in order! Hee-Hee! I'M FINE, STEPH- I promise!)


I also promised that I would post some pictures of Milo for her to update her on his look. So here are some pictures of him and some other developments at the house.







This is his homemade "doggie door". They are so expensive but thanks to My husband, Mr. Handyman...He just built one for us in the garage wall.

The outside has a nice ramp for him on hinges that we can close up at night or when we go on vacation. It also helps with our scaredy dog! Pretty ingenious, huh?


This is the before of our house before we enclosed (I use that word "loosely"!) the garage into a play room.


This is after! Matt did a great job on his own installing doors for the first time without any instruction! The doors were donated to us by a family member of a friend..I think?? Oh well-thanks, Matt and Lori, anyway!


My "get well" present from my dad after my surgery. He practically remodeled my kitchen! A new double oven, range top and yes...DISHWASHER! Yippee! I had a dishwasher for like a second in Lafayette and I have missed it very much. I agreed to go back to work full-time as long as this bad boy made it into my cabinets! Thanks to Seth and Anne who gifted us all the appliances!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Home Bound-Two Ways

Well...

I'm still-YES STILL, very sick from my surgery.

The tonsils are better and that is a blessing. I know I will appreciate the welcomed "roomy" hollowness that I will experience in my throat when the nose lets all the swelling and reaction go away.

Apparently, (and I have found others who have had this surgery to verify) my nose is all fresh with new tissue and that makes it very sticky (gross!) for allergens in the air. So far, I can't go to church or the store or just sit outside without a decent amount of reaction and discomfort and nose bleeds.

Matt's new boss said it took her a YEAR to feel normal! Wha-huh?!

I've never known myself to have allergies but I now have a great compassion for those who suffer. It's terrible.

Yesterday I went to Bath and Body Works...ran in and started sniffing my favorite "Cotton Blossom" and suddenly my nose felt on fire and my throat started closing up. The migraine headache soon followed.

*Stuffy Sigh*

The doctor wants to re-scrape the nose and while that will bring some relief...it sets me up to start all over again with the healing.

So, I've decided to stay in the house as much as possible. I'm now a "shut-in" :)

Problem is....on Thursday of this week, I leave for a whirlwind three week vacation!

I'll spend four days in the mountains with my family and siblings, rush up to Indiana to drop the kids off where I will fly out of St. Louis with my sister and her family to spend a WHOLE WEEK in San Antonio, Texas with my other sis, Julie! YEAH! I'm not sure what to think about a week completely by myself without my family? What will I do with all that free time? Blessedness to my sister who is taking me and Jean to a 4-star spa resort!

Then, I'll fly back and spend another week in Indiana visiting family and friends from where I used to live.

Whew....

So, I have the potential of having a miserable nose month or this home bound business could kick in and really make me feel better in the next couple of days??

Yeah-fat chance, right?!

Oh well! I've stacked up on allergy medicine and I'm trying not to stress. The next couple of days are going to be hectic and then gone for several weeks so I'll write again when I can!

(BTW...Steph, we have a date, right? We need it!)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What a difference a website makes!

I'm sure many of you have experienced this (good and bad) but today I came across an e-mail address on the web of an old friend that I had while working in Mexico after I graduated from high-school.

In spite of a very boring, ordinary day...I was elated! It caused me to think back to a time long ago that I have the most amazing memories. I don't talk about my work in Mexico much but it was life-changing for me. I met some missionaries that were exactly what you would think of when you think of the "epitome" of mission work and I really changed that summer. I have a million pictures and hope to put a few in the next post.

Connie...my friend, was about ten or fifteen years older than me at the time so she was about my age now. When I think about how kind and patient she was to be close with me and listen to my petty thoughts and concerns....I'm impressed! I have to work really hard to do that with younger people. We had some great laughs and just looking over the website, I was transported back to that time of self-abandonment and total service to a community of impoverished people who needed truth and hope. I know it sounds romantic....and it was.

I cried every time I had to come back across the border to the states. I could have camped in deep Mexico forever...and "camped" was the right word.

I don't know-maybe I'll go back one day. I want my boys to see what I saw and experience another culture.

You gotta love the Internet, don't ya'? Instant connection...Love it!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Child Prodigy



This is Sam performing his recital piece this past May. Sorry, I'm a little behind getting it published due to the recent surgery that has stalled my life!

You know...As unpredictable as parenting can be there is one thing that you can always predict-Parenting will never cease to surprise you!

When we showed up for the recital...well, it's not like Matt and I didn't care about it but it didn't seem like it was going to be that big of a deal. I mean, Sam has only been taking lessons for about 4 months so how impressive can it be, right?

I'll have you know, though that the minute Sam got up, I had to fight not getting teary. It was so special. He was very brave (totally unlike his mother!) and did a great job. I probably took twenty pictures just in the moments he was up front.

Typical mom.

It has me all worried about what I will be like at his high school graduation...eek!


Sam getting ready for the recital to begin.


This is Sam getting the Theory Award. Lest you are unimpressed, you should know that his teacher gives lesson to twenty-something children so this was a great honor!


Sam also won an award for consistent practice time. For several weeks he had to practice 7 days a week. If you've ever taken piano lessons, you know what a drudgery that can be!! He won ten dollars which he spent taking his brother to the movies!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Relative

I've always been a little "celebrity struck". It's not uncommon for me to enjoy a particular celebrity, author or singer so much that I wonder what it might be like to be a relative to one of them.

You know, hundreds of people might swarm around or gather to hear them but if one of the backstage peeps gets word that a relative or best friend is needing them-they stop the show to give priority.

That's what came to my mind today as I heard this verse:

Luke 8:19-21

Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.

Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."

He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."


Imagine it with me...Tons of people had come around Jesus to hear Him speak and see Him perform miracles. His "backstage guys" the disciples get word that Mary and Jesus' brothers had shown up and couldn't get to him through all of the crowd.

You have to think what they expected, right? My Pastor called it "doin' the family thing...giving a family hug!". I can only speculate how the crowd felt when they overheard Him correct them. He explains that it is those that HEAR and OBEY that are His relatives. His priority.

And what a statement of caution to me. Not to fear my position with God but to realize that Christ's relatives have BIG EARS...they are BIG DOERS. Their security is not in some random prayer or family church connection. You will be able to identify them.

Question today for myself...Am I asking God to teach me and reveal my heart (not with my own agenda to want to learn what will make me feel better) to help me be able to listen without holding back or getting distracted? And then to simply obey.

For the Master from the Grasshopper!

This post is for my Mom-in-law. She is a master gardener and I could only hope to have gardens like hers one day! She was very sad that she would not be near to help me attack the largest garden I have ever tried and I know she was doubtful that I could maintain and weed it...

What the heck...So was I!

So, Mother Teresa! Here is everything in bloom! (And I think it looks pretty darn good for almost two weeks in bed...yeah?)

This is the front of the house. The Lariape is shooting up wonderfully as it can only do in the South!



This is my monster hydrangea bush FINALLY blooming. I had to baby that plant and talk to it every day after the Easter frost we got. It will be great next year!


This is the my herb garden on the side of the house. It also is shooting up my African and Gerber daisies. I have a variety of herbs and I love this side of the house! It smells like Lemon Balm!


This is the back flower/vegetable garden. I wanted to show you that Matt built me a swinging door to go into it. It is very cute!


These are the mystery plants that were originally in my herb garden that we couldn't figure out what they were. I transplanted them into the veggie garden and surprise...They are Zucchini plants!


Remember that gardener that we used to live by on the other side of town that had the AMAZING garden? Well, Matt stole his idea for me and while I was sick he installed a fence side sprinkler so I wouldn't have to work my way around the inside of the garden! It is so great!

The Age of Reformation

(Alright...after two cups of coffee and a hefty vitamin that seems to be pumping adrenaline through the veins, I'm finding the energy for yet another post tonight! So here goes...)

I am ashamedly a TV addict.

It's true and very embarrassing to admit.

It's not that my television itinerary is altogether unwholesome (TV Guardian, DVR and Blockbuster Online have helped with that!) but it does consume a great deal of my evening hours.

I generally don't watch television during the day at all, but after supper or the bathing of the children, I'm hard pressed to keep it off.

A few weeks ago Josiah (5) drew pictures of himself with the whole family. In mine, he and I were watching TV together.

Hmmm...

I'm not looking to blame this character flaw on anyone but I have to attest as my own personal warning to myself that I was very much raised on TV. I can't say that I recall one children's book in my home much less a shelf of them. I think that not making reading a priority which develops a sincere love for it can very much be generational.

My husband has quite the opposite story. He was raised with many books and his most vivid memories are those times of being read to by his mother. It has made reading to our sons a thoughtful choice to him.

I, have to put it on my "to do" list.

We mutually believe, though, that television is the enemy to books. It draws us and our children into its stupor and sucks the minutes away that could be spent cultivating imagination and inspiration. It is the lazy man's entertainment and the downfall to our country.

So, how is a mom suppose to detox her children from television when she's totally addicted herself?

Ironically, it's not going to be too hard for my boys as I found out tonight...

My husband called a "family meeting" of sorts. This means that I was stuffing some form of cookie into my face while he and Sam chatted over the newest conviction...(okay, it's not so new for them) and Josiah played quietly somewhere in the back of the house!

Business at hand:

Television Strike.

What?

Do we get to vote?

Matt knows better than to call an all out war against the TV and that's where he's smart. I can remember so many times that my parents "turned over a new leaf" so-to-speak (no TV and daily family devotions) only to find that it was let slip in a few days. He also knows that my bad habit has to be broken in segments. One must learn good ways to replace bad behavior.

But what about my new favorite summer shows?

You see...we don't have babies anymore. Sam (8) is right around that tender age where you can lose him to anything else. Right now, "family" and "family time" is everything to him! He lives for us all to sit on the couch at the same time. He hates when he's forced to leave the room because even "that show" now has homosexual behavior on it or takes God's name in vain.

When he heard about the television strike, he was ecstatic. His exact words were, "This is going to be a great summer!"

Ouch.

Most kids would balk to know that four of the seven days the television would not be turned on for any moment....computer only one day a week.

Not my boys-they'd be happy if we got rid of it all together. To them, the television and computer prohibits us from reading endless hours of Tolkien to them or playing Clue and Crazy Eights.

So, the deal is that Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday-we will know longer be watching the television. This is with Matt's hope that by the school year, we will give up our TV (at least the digital, satellite part) altogether. Sunday afternoon, Sam may play a computer game.

Getting ready to face the first official day of our television fast, I have to ask myself...

Am I past the age of reformation? Is it too late for this child addict turned mom addict to give up her 8-11pm evenings of television viewing? I SOOO do love an evening cup of coffee and a desert with a good movie!

The part about my boys requires no question-I will do anything that is best for the saving of the innocence of my sons. I have made that choice very clear (even though it took me a little time in some years) throughout my mothering days. Some moms no longer have that chance but I still do and I will not waist it. I want to keep their love for their family constantly fresh, never growing dull. I want them to be shocked by the sinful and devastating realities of our culture and not calloused to them like I have become.

I want to become one of those weird families that sits around on a Friday and reads a great book together! (no offense...if you just did that!)

This desire closely followed by this discouragement-

"But that's not you, Charity! You're a stupid reality show-at best!"

Well, time will tell, I guess. The famous last words of any inspiring achiever is always, "If I could do it-then anyone could!"

So, let's see if I can...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Survey

Okay...I mustered up the energy to go water my beautiful garden and my neighbor who is Vietnamese came over to see how I was feeling.

Of course, I griped at him about how long it was taking to get better and how the whole experience has made me feel very old and unhealthy. I mean, when I'm thinking about joining some gym (Which I declare ALL OF THEM dens of wickedness) or becoming a vegetarian...you know I'm desperate!

I knew he owns a martial arts company and was fervent about teaching and he went on the tell me that he had an adult class and could make me very strong if I started to do martial arts. He bragged on how clear it would make my mind when I was older and the benefits of its workout. He's also observed that my husband is gone all summer and it would help me know how to defend myself.

Now...I will admit that learning martial arts has been an intriguing thought in the secret places of my mind but I really thought that I would have to keep it just that...a secret. I mean how severely would you all mock me if I wore one of those white suits and kicked at things? Am I not having a correct perspective in thinking that that would be kind of cool and a great alternative to regular workouts??

Should I just stick to being the mom that watches Sam and Jo karate chop people?
He did say he would give the lessons free of charge...

Hmmm...

He also said I could come over and he and his wife would teach me to cook fresh oriental food! THAT will happen...

I'm taking a survey-Let me know!

Slowly but sure...I think?

Well...I'm sorry for the delay.

I'm on day 11 of healing and I'm still BAD! In fact, I got a little worse these last couple of days.

I saw the doctor on Friday and he did HORRENDOUS things to clean my nose (by far...the most painful procedure yet) and he said that while I was healing nicely, I had a very extensive, painful surgery and I should expect to spend a good bit of time recovering.

I decided to venture out today to Fresh Market and buy a tomato and had to rush back home before I passed out. Matt actually had to help me into the door.

I am pathetic....but apparently, "pathetic" is very common amongst patients of this surgery so I'm not letting it defeat me!

I'm refusing to read any of your blogs because I'm too jealous of your active lives and frankly, I'm just that petty!

I have a million ideas for thought provoking blogs since all I could do for the last week and a half is lay around and think but the task of typing them just wears me out!

So, for now...I'm still sick and hurting and bored and depressed and VERY TIRED OF WATCHING MOVIES, but I will survive.

Maybe.

Monday, June 04, 2007

One mother's dream-another's...

I don't know how to be sick.

I usually allow 24-48 hours at the most but this whole stay in bed for a week is crazy!! I'm completely bored!

I talked to my doctor today and after scolding me for blowing my nose (ouch) he informed me that days 7-10 will be a relapse of pain and then I should be ready to go. My sister threatened me not to do anything that will prohibit flying in three weeks and my neighbor told me some horrendous story about her husband trying to get up too soon and then being sent to bed for 8 weeks! WHA-HUH??

So, Sam vacuumed my room and dusted it to keep me more apt to stay in bed and I'm re-discovering the internet!

Thank goodness, my best friend is on vacation with a computer because I've been sitting here with my eyes peeled to my inbox shooting amusing e-mails back and forth with her! If you are wanting my full attention then NOW is the time to send me a letter. I thought of starting a "Dear Abby" blog so I could spend my days giving my opinion on situations of concern! That always makes me happy....

Any online gaming site suggestions are welcomed! There are only a bazillion to choose from and I don't know what any of these games are??? Anybody want to play cards with me?

I did enjoy an online makeover site where I got to look at different hairstyles and glasses and such...I'm pretty much sticking with my current beauty regime....yeah.

I'm thinking about forcing myself to watch Schindler's List again. That's one that will keep you from self-pity.

This may be one mother's dream but not mine. My garden is calling me and the sun thinks that I've gotten a conscience about safe skin care!

Five more days...Five more days...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Slow but Sure...and a little bit of hope from Josh!

This will be short and sweet.

I'm going into day 5 and am finally able to eat a bit. I went 5 hours without pain medication instead of 4 so yee-haw!

I was beginning to think I was a total wimp but this article by Josh Grobin about his own tosilectomy made me feel better. I've wanted to cry every other minute but I tried it on day three for 15 seconds and I couldn't breathe the rest of the night. The nose surgery has been just as bad if not worse than the throat. I would never recommend doing both to anyone.

-------------------------------------

Recovering from tonsil surgery can be tough at first.

"I woke up and took a sip of apple juice," says Groban, "and it was probably the most painful thing I ever experienced in my life. I didn't drink anything else the rest of the day."

At the time Groban had his tonsillectomy, he had just had appeared on Oprah with strep throat. "I was so ready to get those out of my body that I was willing to have the pain," says Groban. "I woke up and said 'Thank God they're out of there.'"

"His tonsillectomy had a very short recuperation period — about two weeks," notes Romano. "Now he's back singing and his voice is better than ever."

"I was talking in three days," says Groban. "Vicodin can do amazing things. For the three hours that the Vicodin affected me, I could talk and I could eat even, but as soon as it wore off I couldn't drink one drop. So it really depended on how medicated I was. I ate soft foods again in three or four days. I was talking again comfortably in a week and a half, and singing again in two and a half weeks."

"Having my tonsils out didn't change the sound at all; in fact it really helped because it freed up my throat," adds Groban. "Having them out helps me to breathe and sing much easier. Now that they are gone a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I don't fear that I am going to get a sore throat any more."


----------------

Thanks for all the prayers, support, calls, flowers (and my beauiful new purse, Anne-You really know the way to my heart!).

I'd like to say that I'll follow up with one of my expected posts with all the humorous antics from my surgery and recovery but to be truthful, this has been the most physically painful experience of my life-and I've had two children. I'm not caring to re-live it in any way.

I had a reaction to two medications that I was given and have been pulled off my antibotic. Hopefully, I will not develop an infection. The same think happened when I lost my baby and spent four days in the hopsital on iv's.

If can happen to me-it will. *sigh*

Back to sleep now...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Surgery Pics

Here are just a couple of pics that you might enjoy.

Click Here

Friday, June 01, 2007