Sunday, October 26, 2008

No Place Like Home

So I got home early Friday morning. I was so tired. While I was in California, it was go go go until I dropped into bed at the hotel each night.

Being with Mom was different than other times. God really blessed me with a lot of compassion and grace and patience... well, the patience was running out but I called home and Emily prayed with me and the patience tank was filled up again. I loved being able to bless mom. I cleaned her house, did laundry, and made a bunch of dinners to put in her freezer for later.

Her injuries were, well, I really don't know. I never saw the doctor. And though he came to check on Mom a couple of times, she doesn't even know the extent of her injuries. When I got to the hospital on Sunday evening, she had all these rods sticking out of her arm. 11 of them I think, or 13? Anyway, after her surgery on Monday, they took all the rods out. She has pins in her elbow, but we don't know how many. She can bend her elbow, and is even encouraged to do so, but it's freaky to do so, knowing that you have all this metal inside holding you together. The hand on the arm that was broken - wait that's not right, we found out that her other elbow is also has a fracture! So let me put it this way, on the arm with the most damage, her hand has swollen up like a water balloon. It's scary really. I was joking that we could prick it with a pin and let the pressure out but mom said she thinks it would blow out if we did, so we threw that idea out. Mom is in good spirits despite the pain and the inconvenience.

All I know is that she is off work for 4 months. 4 months!! Sheesh, what is she going to do? I wish she could come stay with us for some of the time. But I am so thankful that I was able to come down and help her out. I think it helped our relationship. It felt good to honor her, and I am hoping that she is beginning to see that she is a very valuable, loved, and special person to many.

I also got to know a wonderful young woman named Shelly who was mom's hospital roommate. She was in after having surgery for Diverticulitis and was in quite a bit of pain. The hospital staff were not very responsive to either Mom or Shelly and it was frustrating to see these women go without necessary things like water and food. I offered to help Shelly when I heard her moaning in pain one evening and that began a quick friendship. Every morning I would come, saying "good morning, ladies" and Shelly would say, "where have you been?" I loved visiting with her and mom. Shelly has been through a lot in her life, but is going to church and trying to live a life that reflects her values. I am proud of her and so blessed by getting to know her. We exchanged contact information and I intend to keep in contact with this wonderful woman.

I also got to visit with my grandparents who live approximately an hour from the airport. I drove up there on the day I left and we had a short but sweet visit. I just love my grandpa and grandma and we have recently been reconciled after a long period of not talking (my fault). So good to see them and be at their house. It is a very special place to me.

But the best place? HOME! I smiled when I saw my van in the parking lot at the Spokane Airport. Surprised I missed it, because I really really liked the cute rental car I had. But seeing the van was like knowing I'm home. I got home late and slept in the next day, so I didn't actually see my girls until the afternoon, but I was so glad to see them, and I think they were just as happy to see me. Phil did a wonderful job as Dad and as he filled-in for me. Thanks to Stephanie Elliott and Kim Weber for getting my kids home from school and to dance class. I know that helped Phil so much. And it put my mind at ease too!

I still haven't gotten back into routine, but I will by Monday morning... the schedule doesn't give me much choice! Right now, I am just enjoying being home.

PS Thanks to all who asked about Mom. She has no idea the amount of people asking about and praying for her. It would blow her away if she knew. Keep up the prayers. She still needs them!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Party of 5 is not feeling like a party right now

Just to let you know, I will be absent from Blogland for a while. Mom had a crash with her bicycle last Thursday. It just happened to be her birthday and she was out riding her bike when along came a vehicular death machine (car) who cut her off, forcing her to slam on brakes, which of course, caused her to end-o. She ended up with (I think) multiple compound fractures to her left arm. (Whatever all that means) All I know is that she said that "when (she) came to" people were all around and her arm was dangling like a noodle from her elbow. She also said that the bones were sticking out of her skin. Gross (but I have always wanted to see that)

Anyway, she had surgery on Friday and is having another on Monday. I really felt like I needed to be there. I used some frequent flyer miles we have been hoarding and I am flying out Sunday afternoon. I am busy trying to get life all tied up pretty for Phil this week while I am gone, and it is hard because I have been gone to scrap retreat all weekend. I came home early so I could get scheduling and laundry taken care of. Of all weeks, this is an extremely hectic one, so I am going to call around on Monday and cancel (almost) all of our appointments.

One appointment not cancelled is for Melanie at the orthodontist's... She is finally getting her braces off, and to tell the truth (though it isn't Tuesday) I am sad that I won't be there. For me, it's a milestone. Like walking. You coax and steady and encourage your little one to walk and all of a sudden the kid is running laps around your kitchen island laughing because...well because she can. Anyway, this is a milestone in the same way: I coaxed, encouraged, bribed, threatened and forced Melle to wear her rubber bands, to brush her teeth, to wear her rubber bands and FINALLY I am, I mean Melle is, getting the reward - braces off on Tuesday! Yay!!

But coming home on Thursday and seeing those braces off will be like picking up your kid from daycare and having the 19 year old "teacher" tell you that your precious daughter took her first steps today while you were at work. Ugh... Kind of sad.

Anyway, I will not be blogging, no Facebooking, nothing for a while. I plan on being back in less than a week, but I have no idea what the treatment is like for Mom's injury, so I need to know in order to help get her life in some order before I go. It really is hard when you have few people in your area to help you in times like this. There are some places/people I will be contacting to try to help her out while I am there.

For those of you who pray, please do. Mom needs it and so do I. I have been feeling quite down lately and while this is a diversion from the daily grind, this "depression" is wearing me down. I have family and friends who also have family members battling cancer, mental health problems, and a close friend who had a close call with some health issues too. My man will definitely need prayer now that he has to shuttle the kids around to different places at different times. I know it will be hard for him, and my girls too. Finally, I am afraid of how Melle is going to take me being gone and my mom being in the hospital. Melle used to be quite attached to "grammee" and to have her injured and her own mom not here to comfort her fears will be difficult. So pray for my family if you will, I would certainly appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Truth

Some people have Friday Facts, others have Thursday Thirteen. I have decided to go with Tuesday Truth (because it's Tuesday and I really don't know what to write about and don't have a nifty day-related post). So here goes:

Scrapbook retreats freak me out. I never know what to bring, what to do, how to do it, where to put it, etc. I get paralyzed just sitting there looking at photos... what paper should I use, what kind of layout works with the photos I have, where are we, who are these people, etc.

And yet, I am counting the hours until I get to go. And I know how the first 2 hours will (probably) go: Bring everything to the scrap room. Get organized. Drink lots of Diet Pepsi. Get photos out. Stare at them. Chat and chat some more. Go to the bathroom. Stroll by the snack table. Sit down and stare at photos and (inwardly) curse myself for the total lack of creativity in my person. Push papers around, dig through magazine pages and curse myself again for not scrapping like the real pros do...

I love scrap retreats.

Why? No husband to share bed with. No house to clean. No food to cook. No schedule to keep. Just me, my friends, and photos of my family which I will soon be missing (and calling on my cell phone the second I have one measly bar of service)...

I will get pages done. They will look fantastic - and not anything like the magazines - and that's ok!

37 hours until we hit the road! Woo hoo!

PS I won't be checking anyone's blog or Facebook the entire time. I might go insane because I am addicted. And that's the Tuesday Truth.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A week from now and...

In less than a week I will be at scrapbooking retreat... I am sooo looking forward to this!! So, in anticipation and with the hope that I won't be using up half my time trying to decide what layout to use and what photo and what paper and what embellishments, etc. (which is what always happens!) I am looking for layout sketch ideas for 2, 3, 4 photos per 12x12 page. If any of you happen to have ideas or know of good websites for layouts (I don't want to hunt too much - leave that to the men... I am more of a gatherer than hunter!) Please comment me with good sites or ideas you have. Thanks. I am looking forward to a relaxing and fun weekend with some productivity and not a lot of wasted, frustrated time!

Also, the weekend after our kid's school is having their annual Cow Plop. If you don't know what that is (and that's only because I haven't bugged you about buying a ticket or two) then let me explain: People buy a ticket which is then given a number on a grid. The grid is marked by a survey team in a pasture. The cow is let into the pasture. When the cow "plops" they mark the location of the plop and if it is on your area of the grid you WIN MONEY! You can win $200, $500, and $1000!!!! Tickets are $4 each or 6 for $20. Really a good return on investment if you win, and still a good investment as the money goes to fund our wonderful school. Besides all that, there is an traditional kids' harvest carnival with fun games (fish pond, cake walk, etc), concessions (chili, hot cocoa, bake sale, etc) and lots of time to gather with friends and family! If you haven't come before, please make it a part of your weekend (Oct 25, 12 - 3 pm). It's a great family activity and has become a tradition for many. Our family looks forward to it each year. It all happens across from Walker Field on 4th Street in Lewiston Orchards. If you are interested in tickets, please comment me or call.

Finally, on the same weekend as Cow Plop, our church is hosting a "SCRAFT" weekend which is from 6 pm to 10 pm Friday the 24th and 8 am to 8 pm Saturday the 25th. SCRAFT is a combination of Scrap + Craft = SCRAFT... So whether you scrapbook, make cards, knit, crochet, quilt, needlework, etc... if it's a craft bring whatever you are working on or a project you need to start to River City Church and join some fun ladies for crafting and conversation. No cost, just bring a snack to share if you can.

Hmmm. I know there is much more going on, but those are what I am excited about right now. Of course, I also have Bunco that week and I think Scrapbook group sometime in the same period... I will be busy!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Frustrating

The man has been home for 73 hours and has been at work for 18 of them... That is, he got home late Friday night (but you already knew that right? Been keeping up on the blog, right?) Anyway, he got home late Friday night, slept as well as he could for having to readjust to Pacific time and then was called in to work at about 11 am on Saturday. He was there for 6 hours. Thankfully he got most of Sunday off. Today he went in to work as usual at 8 am but he still is not home and it is now 10:30 pm!!!

Sometimes I want to call up someone at his place of employment (doesn't matter who, because it won't make a bit of difference) and just yell and tell them to give him a freaking break. The man deserves some rest and time off but NO... they just keep dragging him back in. Now, I know there are plenty of other people being drug in as well, but goodness, let the guy catch his breath!

Thankfully, the man is better able to deal with this than I am. It makes my eye twitch to think about it. Poor guy was just telling me about all of the things he has been juggling, just trying to keep the balls in the air. I think his arms are getting tired. (I try to help keep his arms up like Aaron did with Moses, but it's hard to help carry burdens that are not within your realm of understanding or ability). One thing is this: He'll keep doing the best he can. And I admire him because he never complains. (I do it for him.)

So do me a favor, okay? Just pray that this week that my man would get some rest and God would give him a vision for his future... what to focus on, new perspective, God's will for his life. Sometimes we can get so weary from juggling that we forget why we are juggling in the first place.

I can't juggle well unless it is homework, dance, school, church, volunteering, SRGC, etc. Ok, I guess I can juggle too. I just wish I could take on some of his stuff... it's frustrating not knowing how to help, other than what I am already doing. I wish I could do more. It's frustrating.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

He's Home and He's All Mine!

My man is home. What a relief. Although I did worry that he had a new woman. (Not that I don't trust him, but...) Do you ever do this:

Man is coming into airport and sees you and gives a wave. He does NOT come over and plant a good one on ya, while squeezing your bod and finish by whispering sweet nothings. Since that did not meet your hopeful expectations, your mind goes crazy with stupid thoughts like, "he has a new woman" or "I must look terribly fat in these capris" or "I bet his new woman doesn't look terribly fat in her capris."

When my man goes on these trips to conferences many miles away, he comes home pooped. I mean so pooped he barely knows his name or where he is or anything. The fact that he gave me a wave as he walked in the airport should be my cue to praise him for even recognizing and remembering that he has a wife! But no, I am caught up in some romantic reunion in my brain and so when he doesn't sweep me into his arms, my thoughts go crazy!

No, the man doesn't have anyone else. Just me and my silly thoughts. And he loves me anyway. Even after I ask him "do you have another?" "do I look fat in these capris?"
He just laughs at my ridiculousness and hugs me. That's better... I am satisfied that I am his one and only. I'll give him a day for recuperating, but then he better start sweeping. (Me into his arms that is, since I already cleaned house for his arrival!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Missing My Man

Oh how I miss this guy... (This photo brings to mind a thousand thoughts... and a smile to my face!) Phil has been in Washington DC for 5 days now and I miss him. We've been doing ok, the girls and I, but there is something about him being so far away that I am really uncomfortable with. I don't know how wives/husbands who have spouses overseas in the military can do it. The idea that something could go wrong here or there and neither of us can be there to take care of it.

What is kind of funny to me is that I was a single mom for over 9 years. I handled things myself. I maintained the house, the chores, the etc. I still do a lot of that now, but the one thing I don't like that I somehow "handled just fine," is the night. I don't like being home alone without my man to protect us. Even the girls are just a little bit insecure... so I guess there is something in that belief that women desire security. When your security flies three thousand miles away, you get just a bit jittery!

But I see a blessing in all of this, and this is why: I remember again how much I really need to rely on God. He truly is my real security, my only hope, my faithful protector, provider, and comfort. He alone is constantly with me. It makes me sad that I forget that, as I look to my husband to fulfill my needs. As I learned at Family Camp this summer, "Thank you Jesus: for my husband, and my kids, and my home. Thank you Jesus, for this opportunity, to give you the praise for, all you have done." (You have to sing it to really get it!) Oh yes, and "Thank You Jesus, for my man now, won't you please bring him, safely home?"

One last thing: we are in a "40 Days" campaign at church, this one focusing on generosity. At small group we agreed to focus on our blessings this week. To think of them, and even to write them down in a journal/notebook. So I am thankful for the chance to recognize that I am blessed in having a wonderfully devoted husband. And a wonderfully devoted God too! (And a thousand other things I am not going to make you read about, which is a blessing for you! haha)