Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A work in progress...

Mickey and I have been spending the weekends working on a swingset for Michael. I just wanted to share a few pictures with you!
The work begins... and as you can see... it initially resembled a gallows. Wonder what people thought as they drove by and saw this?

But, by the second weekend, it was beginning to look more like a swingset.

Now, the slide was put up and ready for action, but the swings are still sitting in the garage... more harware had to be purchased.

Once the slide was up, Carly couldn't wait to surprise Michael, who had been busy playing Crocodile on the comupter.

I think you can judge from his face what his reaction was!
So, while Michael's personal playground isn't quite completed... he has already been down the slide. I think that he will have a fun summer playing, don't you?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What do you live with?

I was diagnoised with OA... osteoarthritis... over a year ago Not as damaging as RA, but still painful. For the past week I have been having a flare... and it hasn't been easing up. I have tried different pain meds in the past, but they just don't seem to help. Six months ago they gave me a topical gel, and with it I get some minor relief, but mostly, I just have the pain.

The pain has always been located in my hands (mainly fingers) and my feet (toes and heels), and with this flare, it has progressed to my spine. Two nights ago I finally took a sleeping pill so that I could rest, sleep has been hard to come by. Within minutes after waking up the pain hits in waves... and at my age I have to get up AT LEAST once a night to visit the restroom! That makes it difficult to fall back to sleep. The sleeping pill did help, and I was thankful, and much more rested!

Today, when I awoke the pain was the worst it had been for awhile... and I have to admit that I was nearly in tears. I try very hard not to let this get to me, and to deal with it, and keep on going, but this morning as I lay in bed I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for myself. My back, my hands and my feel literally radiated pain. Fortunately, I didn't have to sub until this afternoon, and I was able to spend some time in the tub with some VERY hot water. It eases the pain for awhile, and in that time of relief I was able to do some serious thinking.

I believe that everyone carries some sort of pain... be it physical or mental, it is there. It can be buried very deep, hardly ever surfacing, or it can be wearing you thin with its presence. But regardless of where it is, you are still carrying it with you. And I know, that it is how you choose to carry that pain that makes all the difference.

There are many people in the world with pain such as I have... and there are many with pain far worse than I will ever experience... and I am sure that we pass many of these people daily, and we are completely unaware of what they are going through. There are others who wear their pain on their sleeve for the world to see... they shout out to the rooftops for all to hear that their pain is unbearable, and that they have given up all hope. The difference, again, is in how they are carrying their pain.

My immediate family and a few close friends have always been privy to my pain... and even then, they aren't always aware of its extent. And as I sat immersed in my tub of hot water I realized that I could easily become one of those people who opts to sit back and drown in the pain, or I can be one of those people who embraces what they have to carry, and continue on with my life. That is the person that I choose... that is the person I want people to see when they pass me on the street, when I stand in front of a classroom teaching, and when I walk into church. I want them to see ME... not the PAIN.

I know that there will be times, like today, when the pain seems to be gaining the upper hand, but I have decided that it will NEVER win... I will keep on keeping on, and I know that I will be able to do this because I have the ultimate physician working on my case...

Jesus... who will hold me in the palm of his hand when I feel my worst.... who will give me the comfort of rest when I need it... who will always dry my tears... and who will always let me lean on him. So no matter what I am given to carry, I pray that I will always remember that he is right there beside me carrying the bulk of the burden... better yet... carrying me.

Yes... it could always be worse... but now I can't help but think... can it get any better?!

Monday, April 20, 2009


I know, it has been over a week since I last posted... SORRY!!! I subbed several days at our local Elementary, and I have NO computer access there. And by the time I got home and checked email and read all of the blogs I follow there was just no time to post.

Friday... Mickey took the day off and we headed to Lowe's where we purchased the wood to begin building Michael's "playground", as he likes to call it. We got a decent start on it that day, but we were both covered up this weekend, so we'll resume work on that project later in the week when it stops raining and warms up a bit!

Saturday morning I awoke to these words... "The fridge is dead." Yep... NOT the words you want to hear when you are still warm and cozy under the blankets! And not only was it dead... but Mickey was headed out to work a project to raise money for his mission trip... so Carly and I managed to get most of the food into coolers and get it iced down. Then... in the midst of fixing a cake for a baby shower... I headed off to find a new fridge. Good news..... found one I liked... bad news... it won't arrive until Wednesday!!! Luckily, they are going to deliver a "loaner fridge" this morning to hold us over. Yes... it is VERY GOOD to shop local!!! Have you ever heard of a Lowes or Home Depot that would bring you a fridge to use until your new one arrived??? Or deliver it free??? OR haul off your old one???? Yes... sometimes LOCAL is the ONLY way to go.

I did manage to get the Baby Shower cake finished... along with the cake balls (very yummy!)... I had completed all of my baking on Friday so it would all be cooled (even did pumpkin bread!!!) Here is the cake... my first attempt at fondant... not a huge fan of the taste... but love the look!!

Our friends, Erica and Joe, are expecting their little girl, Emily Jean, in June. Their first child... and I just love both of them dearly. In fact, Erica fits in rather nicely as another daughter! They are going to be such awesome parents, and little Emily is already so very loved! And she is going to enter the world with a host of new Aunts who just can't wait to get ahold of her! Honestly, she will be the age of my grands... and as they call me Nanny, I'm gonna teach her to call me "Aunt Nanny"... while I am way to old to be her aunt (okay... maybe GREAT AUNT!) and she already has three grandmas... I think that Aunt Nanny will work nicely. CAN'T WAIT to meet this little one!

They received SO MUCH at their shower... it will take them days to figure out where to put it all. But it was neat to watch Erica as she opened each package. You could see the excitement written all over her face. Erica's best friend, Angie, pulled everything together and she did a great job. Rebecca did the games (oh yeah... you know it... we did the candy bar "baby poop" game!!!) and there were several people who pitched right in to set up and clean up. If you aren't sure what friendship looks like, you should have seen the flurry happening around this shower... it was an awesome picture of truly showering someone with love.

Enough about my weekend... hope that you all had a wonderful one... time to go and catch up on all that was left undone over the course of the past three days!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

What a wonderful weekend this has been!

Yesterday we took Michael to our church Easter egg hunt. Our oldest daughters met us there with our grands... and I must say they had a great time. Mickey acted as the official photographer for the event, and he got some wonderful photos of all the children, including our own!

We also celebrated with our family yesterday so the girls could attend their own services today. Great photo ops there as well.

Before I leave you with pictures to check out, I just want to add that I hope you all had a blessed Easter... our service today was great, very touching... and we had an awesome lesson with our elementary age Sunday School class. They are a great group of kids, and we enjoy them all.

Happy Easter... Christ has risen!!!! He LIVES!!!!!

Mickey, Michael, Lynn and Carly

Michael was pretty chilly at the "Ranch" for the egg hunt!

Camden was ready to have some fun!

Little Miss Serious... that's our Kailyn

Levi loved the eggs!

The wind was a bit much for our Miss Emma Rose!

All the grands!
Chandra and Family

Rachel and Family

Mickey and Carly!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Not So Good Friday

Talk about ups and downs.... Carly has been having a few health issues, and yesterday, I took her to see the doctor. Chances are, she just needs to drink more... increase the volume of her blood so that it flows better... but last night, she began having fluttering and pains in her chest... again. This time... after nearly and hour, they were still there, and getting stronger. So, at 10:30 PM, Carly and I were making our way to the Floyd Memorial ER. Thankfully, after X-rays... the ER doc seemed to think that she has inflammation in her chest wall.... not a heart problem. That was great news, at at 1:00 AM we found our way back home.
Upon our arrival we found that our cat, Oscar, still hadn't come home. He had taken off after supper... and Mickey had been unable to get him back in. At 2:00 AM I was standing at the back door, trying to get him to come home, but he was nowhere to be found.
This morning, he still hadn't shown up, and as Mickey and I left to run some errands we scanned the ditches... praying that we wouldn't find him. When we came home, coming from a new direction, we were able to see him laying off to the side of our yard... we believe that he had been hit by a car. I was broken hearted.
Oscar showed up at our back door nine years ago... he was a little bit of nothing... starving... and in need of a home. We took him to the vet, got him checked out... and he weighed all of 1 pound. Over the years he has grown... and he was a healthy 16 + pounds... one big ol' cat. He was huge, and people always commented on his size when the came to visit. He didn't hesitate to sit right next to Mickey in the mornings as he ate his cereal, knowing full well that when it was all said and done, he was going to get a bite of whatever Mickey was having.
He knew full well the sound of the meat drawer opening in the fridge... you could open the big door and he wouldn't budge, but open the meat drawer and he was right there, hoping a little pinch of lunchmeat would make it his way.
After this many years, he will truly be missed... and as we just lost our house dog, Roscoe, a few months ago, our home is going to seem really empty now.
When I told Michael that Oscar had gone to heaven to be with Roscoe and Jesus, he sat there for a moment and then he said..."Roscoe is excited... he and Oscar are friends just like me and Kailyn and Carly and Alexis... and now Roscoe is playing with his cat. They are happy."
So while this hasn't been the best of Friday's... it being Good Friday I couldn't help but think of Michael's comments in light of Christ's death on the cross... I bet that Jesus was excited when he arrived in heaven... where he could be with his father and with his friends.... and I bet they were happy!
Yeah... our Good Friday wasn't the greatest, but it was nothing in comparison with the Friday that Christ endured for us.... puts it all in a little more perspective, doesn't it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Up in the Air

As I have shared prom pictures with you, I decided that I needed to share the photos Mickey took of our Michael, and Johannes... the little brother of one of Carly's friends. While the girls were being made over... having their pictures taken, etc... Michael and Johannes were busy being boys. Mickey turned around to find them jumping from the bank to the sidewalk and decided to take advantage of the photo op.

As you can see, Michael enjoys jumping... he was very excited to do so, especially since his new shoes sport lights on the sides. Nothing better than jumping and making them flash....

and so he jumped some more....

But I absolutely loved this picture of Johannes....

perfectly suspended in the air, with his arms outstretched...

As I looked at this picture this morning, I couldn't help but wonder how we would each feel if we saw ourselves suspended that way... arms outstretched... out bodies conforming to the shape of the cross. Would it bring home to each of us the fact that Christ died in our place? That he took our sins upon himself so that we would never have to find ouselves in this position because our sins are so great? Isn't it amazing that the very act of the cross literally wipes away death, and gives us each the opportunity for eteranl life with him?

So many thoughts from such a simple pictures... but I am finding that the more I allow God into my life... that the more I love Jesus... the more I see of him in the everyday events of life. And I am thankful to see him even in the small things.... like two little boys up in the air!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our Baby Girl is All Grown Up!

Tonight was Carly's junior prom. She attended with her friends Alexis and Laina. I think that Carly looked absolutely beautiful in her "70's Style"dress. And check out the hair!!!

That is Laina on the left and Alexis on the right... aren't they all just too cute?
And here they are, striking their Charlie's Angels pose...

I am sure they will have a great time... and that the "after prom" at the school will be a ton of fun. What kid, not matter their age, doesn't like to jump around in inflatables?! And my sister friend Rebecca rode with me to take the girls out to eat and then to drop them off at the prom. That was a lot of fun... loads of teenage girl giggling going on... and then when you add in Rebecca's giggles... well... let's just say I've reached my maximum on giggles for the week!
Seems like just yesterday that Carly was playing dress up, having her hair fixed by her sisters... and now... the prom! It won't be long until our baby girl leaves the nest! But I hope it isn't too soon... momma isn't quite ready just yet!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Palm Sunday

This coming Sunday marks the beginning of what many refer to as Holy Week... the days before Eastern and the celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

I recently wrote a devotional for our church devotional booklet, and I would like to share it with you all today. While some of you attend GCC and will be reading this tomorrow (hopefully!), others won't have that opportunity... and as I wrote this I was truly overwhelmed by the thoughts that were pouring through my mind....

Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!
Matthew 21:9
Amid the shouts and the fanfare, a lone rider makes his way into Jerusalem. The rider, who received a king's welcome, sits atop a small, gentle donkey. Many would believe that a king should be making his arrival on the back of a creature more regal. Yet, Jesus' entry into Jerusalem that day mirrored his arrival into the world some 33 years earlier.
With shouts of acclamation, the crowd ushered their Messiah into Jerusalem for a week that would change the course of history... change the course of the world. The crowd, in their excitement over all of the miracles Jesus had performed, laid palm branches upon the dusty road. Many removed their cloaks and laid them on the ground as well. The crowd was elated; they couldn't contain their excitement... Jesus was in their midst.
The Pharisees were among those in the crowd that day, and they chastised Jesus, telling him to rebuke his disciples. Jesus replied, "I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out!" The joy of the crowd was too much to contain that day... just as their hatred would be too much to contain as Christ was crucified.
I can't help but wonder how Jesus must have looked as he rode into Jerusalem. Did anyone catch a glimpse of the sadness that must have surrounded him? Did his eyes mist over as he thought of the pain he would soon endure? Did his smile falter as he played over the events that were soon to come? Did he flinch as a palm branch lightly grazed his arm, anticipating the flick of a whip? Did his heart break as he remembered that the shouts of "Hosanna" that welcomed him that day would give way to shouts of "Crucify him.. Crucify him!"
I am sure that if his mind wandered over the events to come, he shook himself gently and turned his fears over to his Father. Knowing that time was running short, and there was still work to be done, I can imagine that he sat up a little taller on the back of the gentle donkey who carefully carried its rider. I believe that as he passed by the crowd that day he looked into the eyes of those crowding along the roadside and repeated over and over to himself... "I do this for you... and you... and you... and you!"
Hosanna, blessed his He who came to take away the sins of the world....
Happy Holy Week... may God bless you all!!