Sunday, March 30, 2008

Life on an Expedition

In Disney World's Animal Kingdom there is a ride called Expedition Everest. It's a roller coaster like I've never been on; that being said, I haven't been on all that many! You go really, really fast to a dead end and then back up just as fast! I think I rode it 6 times.

Life these days is just like that roller coaster. I'm going full steam ahead when I'll see a dead end, screech on the brakes and back up, turn around and start again. Yesterday was one of those days....I did get the grass mowed! woo hoo....really the dogs are so glad, they hate long grass! I came in, got a shower, put my pajamas on and decided not to do my hair and wait until this morning. Big mistake.....DO NOT LET YOUR HAIR AIR DRY ON SATURDAY NITE WHEN YOU HAVE A SICK FATHER IN LAW AND A MOTHER WHO IS PRONE TO FALLS!

Just as Russell walked in the door and started to eat supper, the phone rang...these days that is not a good thing. My mother in law was about to call 911 because my father in law was having an excruciating headache. (a sign of another stroke). I asked her if she had given him the medication that the doctor had prescribed. Well, she had given him two sugar pills extra strength tylenol and a small dose xanax. Turns out she thought she hadn't filled the prescription.

Any one who has spent any time in the hospital or the ER knows that doctors write prescriptions , hand them out and walk away. One doctor had given him a narcotic that we knew made him feel bad so it wasn't filled. Another doctor gave him another narcotic that was not supposed to make him feel bad and I, at least I thought I had, dropped it off at the drug store.

So here we are, Saturday nite in small town, America.... calling pharmacies. One was open all nite. The in laws house and this pharmacy are on total different sides of town and we are smack dab in the middle.

I had been having some chest pain, really mild which I'm sure is anxiety, so Russell wouldn't let me go by myself. We picked up the prescription, drove to the pharmacy, on Saturday nite, with a prescription for a narcotic. We were trying to explain the situation to the pharmacist, also telling her about the tylenol and she's thinking.....drug addicts. Now we were trying to act really like reputable people. The young lady at the desk looks at the prescription and says, this is ******* (the wrong narcotic)......we say Oh no! We meant to get ****! Meanwhile, MIL calls to say she has found the right prescription! We took the first one because we were by this time frightened of the pharmacist. MIL calls again and says to ask if it's o.k. for him to take ****** AND another xanax and an ambien. THEY ARE CALLING THE POLICE!

She just looks at us and says, no more xanax tonight with a very knowing look on her face. As we walked out the door, I said "honey, you know what she's thinking don't you???"

Papa gets a pill and feels much better. Whew, another trip to the ER avoided.

We go home, get settled in bed....go FAST asleep. At 4:45 a.m. yes, I said A.M. the phone rings. The nurse from the retirement center my mother lives in was calling to tell me my mama had slipped out of her chair at 5:30 p.m. (yes I said P.M.) and she was calling to let me know. No explanation for not calling when it happened. I'm guessing she was bored, her shift was almost over and she decided to make prank phone calls! Mama wasn't hurt , just letting me know.

Instead of going to Sunday School this morning, I was at the retirement center with my brother. Most people who know me would say I am a peacemaker....hate,hate,hate any kind of conflict. Well this morning a very weary me just entered a complaint and said tell the head nurse I'll be here tomorrow to talk to her. I probably didn't have my nice voice on!

Later that day, after church, one of my sisters called and said did you tell brother Happy Birthday!? I FORGOT!

So Happy Birthday, big are you old!

Sometimes when all this is going on, I get really blue...and I'm thankful that God "remembers that we are dust!" Psalm 103:14

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bible Study

I was worried about not being prepared for our Bible Study today, but it is the most interesting yet to is on Church life. This is from a book by R.C. Sproul called Now, That's a Good Question! The first question in this chapter is Who was the first Christian? Now we all know that as a group of believers they were first called Christians at Antioch....but who was actually the first Christian...???

Was it Mary, who was told by the Holy Spirit that she was carrying the Savior of the world? My husband votes for John The Baptist, who leaped in his mother's womb when the pregnant Mary came to visit his mother.

I actually could vote for Adam, even though he lived in the Old Testament times. He walked in the garden with God and after the fall was given the promise of the coming Savior. They obviously were worshiping in their home as Cain and Able knew to bring sacrifices. Adam and Eve must have been teaching them. And of course Jesus was there in the beginning.

Now don't treat this as a deep theological question, just think about it and tell me who you think the first Christian was!

I'm just so thankful and humbled that He chose me, as sinful as I am!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back and Forth

So does anyone remember teeter totters? Two people sit on either end and go up and down? Depending on how heavy each is, you might go down easy and then again you might go down hard! That's how our lives have felt for the past couple of weeks.

Russell's dad went home from the hospital around 7 p.m. on the Thursday nite before Easter. Friday around lunchtime, he went back to the hospital by ambulance because he had a severe headache and as he had a stroke in the hospital, well, we take no chances. So,
as he says, he just went to get something for a headache and ended up staying about 20 hours. The first many hours on a gurney in the ER and that is not comfortable! He was so miserable and we were so concerned that he would have to stay, because you do know, don't you, that when you go back to the hospital, they find different stuff wrong????? His potassium was way too low, so they started treating that. His blood was also too thin, so they treated that! Two brain ct scans later and a wrestling match with not to be named doctor and we finally got back home.

Then we start trying to get round the clock caregivers.....and the teeter totter starts going down real hard on our side!

So, today after spending three hours in the oncologist's office and getting papa home again, then going to mama's home since I've highly neglected her, I came home and put on a tank top and my pajama bottoms. You know the skimpy little tank top with a shelf bra??? The one people my age wear UNDER things? Well, I was walking a friend out of my house and somehow locked the door behind me. You know, just another moment in paradise.

SO! Yes, I know I'm starting most every sentence with what??? :) I call the very, very busy husband who has spent 3 hours with us at the doctor and say "Honey, sweety, baby, I'm locked out of the house, darling." To which he replies "HOW DID YOU DO THAT??" So my friend drives me to his office with me slouched down real low in the car since I'm not appropriately dressed! I get the key, come home, get inside. Whew!

I hope I'm done for today! I'm in my pj's so it just somehow seems right that I get in bed....oh, except I have clothes in the washer and dryer, my house hasn't been cleaned in weeks and I'm leading a Bible study tomorrow that I have not studied for! Oh, dear.....could I get off the teeter totter now??

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

He's going home!

The tube is out, the catheter is out and papa is eating and he's going home tomorrow. Since my brain is mush these days, what I forgot to say in my last post was that the cancer has not spread to his brain, he had a stroke! I am sure it was the day his head was hurting so bad and he couldn't see. A neurologist was called in and confirmed what the ct showed and discovered he was blind in his left eye.

But papa has been surprising us all along this he started seeing some out of that eye and when the neurologist came in he said that if a person who's had a stroke starts getting better soon, they most likely will get back the things they lost due to the stroke.

All in all I just say this.......Psalm 116:7
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.

Oh, and also in the last post I meant to say AT Easter not OF Easter...hey, I warned you my brain is mush!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Just have to remember to count those blessings

Today is our 11th day in the hospital with my FIL. What a journey the last year and almost a half have been. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer, the doctors said he would have about 4 months to live. If you read my last sentence, you'll know they were wrong! Since his diagnoses and treatment, we have gone to North Carolina to my SIL's 3 times. He has been driving up to the time he went to the hospital....did I mention he's 82? But 11 days ago, he filled up with fluid and couldn't breathe, so off to the ER and after several days off his blood thinner, he had a chest tube inserted and is breathing better.

Now there are pros and cons with every medication we take, the blood thinner makes any kind of surgery too much of a risk, but since he was without it for several days he had a stroke! My MIL and I are taking turns staying with him, and Sunday he had a really terrible headache. He's never complained like he did that day. I knew something was really wrong.....the nurse (and we have had some great nurses) thought it was sinus. He finally got some morphine and I put an ice bag on his head. Later in the day, I noticed his sight was very different. He said "I sure do wish I had a t.v. in this room." That really alarmed me! I replied that we did have one and stood under it and said up here. He said "where are you?" Later when my husband came up he also noticed and when we left the hospital he asked if I thought his dad was blind.

All of you know how hard it is to watch someone you love suffer....and then to watch your husband suffer very silently while watching his dad is just agonizing. My husband doesn't show his emotions outwardly, but since I know him so well (one flesh you know), I can see his breaking heart and it breaks mine.

However, having said that we know that God is so good to us.....he's had a lot of quality of life during this journey.....the stroke could have been much worse. He's not paralyzed and the eyesight is coming and going.

I just pray all goes as planned tomorrow and the tube comes out and he gets to go home, get in his recliner and watch his t.v.!

Our families are great. I have the large family that pitches in when needed....Russell has the small family so it is a bit harder. I'm thankful for both families and as we all celebrate our risen Savior of Easter, I hope we remember that great love He showed us in his own suffering.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Still here

I'm still here, but I'm tired! But I'm sure not as tired as my sweet mother in law. I've begged her to let me stay at the hospital with FIL at nite, but she's having no part of that. So I stay during the day to let her go home.......but only after the doctor's have come by. Of course on the weekend, they come at a leisurely pace!

Russell's dad had a ct scan of his brain this morning, because since they know the cancer is active again, the first place it wants to go is to the brain. I hope not many of you have ever had to experience this, but doctor's talk about cancer as if it is a person. It "likes" to go to the brain, it "reacts" a certain way or doesn't react that way. It's so weird.

Papa was confused a good bit today, but every time he woke up he talked about buying a new car, a Tahoe to be exact. He would sleep, wake and talk about it....he wanted prices....brochures the whole bit. Of course, we aren't sure he'll even drive again, but it's a nice thing for him to focus on. He did walk a bit today which was a very big event!

All day, my mind was singing over and over again that old hymn "Open my eyes that I may see, glimpses of truth thou hast for me, open my eyes illumine me, Spirit divine..." I know some of you must remember that hymn. I'm not sure if it was just a comfort thing or the Lord was trying to tell me something, especially the part that says "Silently now I wait for thee, ready my God thy will to see, open my eyes illumine me, Spirit divine." That silent part always gets me.

One thing for sure, when you are in a helpless position silently waiting for the Lord to reveal His will is the only place to be!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Wow, I missed my 100th post and now here I am writing my 200th post. Who knew???

I know that once before I said this was the week that was.....I take it back, THIS is the week that was.

Matt did well with his lithotripsy! The doctor told us he would hurt badly, like he had been beaten with a bat. Well, not a member of the bionic superfamily! Honestly, I'm not sure they even feel pain! It's amazing. We got home and I kept asking how do you feel and he kept saying fine....and I would say no pain? and he would reply no. Amazing, simply amazing!

He even wanted to go out tonight! It is his spring break. His dad said may be 22 but no. So he's here with us.....Today we had 2 in the hospital....while Matt was in the recovery room, we ran up to Russell's dad's room and ate a bite of lunch with papa and mema, then we ran back down to be there when Matt came out of recovery.

On our way home from the hospital, son #2 called to say he had a mole taken off and the doctor said it looked very suspicious! I'm praying not!

O.K. I am so ashamed that my 200th post has been spent talking about our health problems....but I'm so happy to be here. I'm so happy to have so many blog friends! I'm so thankful for women who pray!

And tonight we will think only positive thoughts. Russell came home early :) we sort of know where all our children are and that they are all o.k. So for tonight, we will be positive and sleep deeply, knowing that whatever happens, we are held safely in the everlasting arms!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Breathing easier

Thanks to God for a better day for Russell's dad! They drained a LOT of fluid from around his lungs, in fact it is still draining and he's breathing so much better. While I was there today, he said I've been laying here thinking about all I'm going to do now that I can breathe better and I think I'll take up golf again!

He is a very positive thinker! His cancer is active again and we are praying that it will be very slow growing. Not sure how long he'll be in the hospital.

Tomorrow Matt goes in for his lithotripsy so we're praying that does the job on his kidney stone!

AND I got a call from the oldest son today and he sounded good! He's going to church! Mama's so thankful.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What do you mean it's only Monday???

Returning home from a women's conference Saturday, I was expecting our youngest to be home. When I got home I knew he'd been here because the mail was on the kitchen bar, so I called his cell phone. Russell's dad who has been battling lung cancer for a year and 4 months....a mere year longer than the doctor's originally told him he would live!!! , had gone to the hospital with shortness of breath. Matt told me where they were and I went to the ER. Papa was admitted and today had a chest tube inserted and drained 2 litres of fluid and still draining. If all goes well, he will get the tube out tomorrow and be breathing easier!

You may remember that Matt had gone to the ER in the town where he attends college last week. Well, last nite he began having pain again. Today we sent him to our family doctor who in turn sent him straight to the urologist. He came in and said "you are too young to be having a kidney stone!" we agreed. Then they x-rayed him and not only is he too young to have one....but this is a big one! Too big to pass! So Wednesday he will have outpatient Lithotripsy, a procedure where sound waves pass through the body and hopefully break the kidney stones into passable objects!

At the end of the day, NOW, several things have been established.....

No one knows how long we will be on this earth but God! He ordained the number before we were born, before the foundation of the earth!

My mother in law is indeed a bionic, superwoman! She has stayed most of the time at the hospital, leaving only for short periods of time. She doesn't seem tired. She's 80....she looks like she's on a cruise, not sitting at the hospital. She's wonderful!

My father in law is a fighter with a sense of humor! O.K. he's a little grumpy, but after all~!

Matt is NOT a complainer and can take an enormous amount of pain, where I on the other hand, want to go to the ER if I have a stomach, this is really true!

My husband is quite simply the greatest.

My family members are always concerned and thinking and praying for us.

I am indeed a blessed woman!

But really is this only Monday??? What in the world will Thursday bring? Cause we have Tuesday and Wednesday covered!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Visiting Choir

Right after the choir concert, as we were sitting casually with our girls, my husband says very calmly, "oh, Matt had to go to the hospital with a kidney stone last nite." My head spun around on my neck and I said "what?!?"....and I didn't know why???? You'd have to know Matt. He 's a very quiet, I can take care of myself kind of man....that isn't a bad thing, but you also don't know a lot about what is going on with him when he's away from home. He's also very shy, and for him to have woken the mother he rents from at 3 a.m. to go to the hospital, he was in a LOT of pain. I called and he seems o.k. now. His daddy has passed 2 or 3 kidney stones, so I know it is no walk in the park. O.K. now to the choir story....
The choir from Cono Christian School in Iowa was wonderful! The did a very inspirational concert and then we gathered our 4 girls and came home. They were such neat girls, from all over the country and even one from Korea. A lot of the kids come here from Korea apparently, and many from Korean Presbyterian churches. Hubby went to bed and the girls and I sat up and talked for a long time and each one checked their email. I've found with all visiting groups, they are so excited to be able to check email.

I offered them cookies and snacks of all kinds, but they weren't hungry....therefore, forcing me to eat lots of chocolate chip cookies. We found out at the concert that they needed to be back at the church at 6:30.....that's a.m. So.....they all assured me that they could get up on their own. They didn't. At 5:26 a.m., my husband turned to the clock and said honey, you may need to see if they're up. That's 4 girls to take showers, eat breakfast and make lunches....load luggage and trust the driving of one old woman who's not used to being up that early, much less driving a vehicle!

Just as we were ready to load the car, one of the girls became very panicked a teeny bit, but she got o.k. enough to get to the bus. Bless her heart, they will be on the bus for over 8 hours .

It was a good experience for us, and I pray for them.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sing to the Lord

This is a pound cake....I know it looks like the leaning tower of chocolate cake, but that is only because the pound cake, one that always turns out well, didn't. Tonight we are having pot luck for a choir coming to sing at church. So, I made old faithful....always turns out great....not today! I had a mild to serious panic attack, then decided after using 3 sticks of butter, 7 eggs, cream cheese and other wonderful ingredients, I just couldn't start over. So I quickly thought what to do? I looked on my H*rsh*y's cocoa box and lo and behold there it was, a recipe for chocolate frosting.

I tell you truthfully, this is the first frosting I've ever made from scratch and is it yummy....but that wasn't what I cared about, I just wanted to cover up the mess I made of the pound cake. So even though it isn't beautiful, I will say it tastes good.

Now, I need to finish my dishes and get moving! Can't wait to hear these young people sing to the Lord.

Psalm 33:3 Sing to the Lord a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Works better under pressure....

That's me....if I know something's happening, or someone is coming to visit, I will wait until the day before to really get busy cleaning! That's today! Tomorrow nite, our church is having a choir come sing and then families will take some home with them. We'll have 4 girls here. Which means that today I was cleaning like crazy!

But first, I wanted to mow the grass while it is dry. We had an old lawn mower that I dearly loved. It cranked right mowed just right....but after many years of faithful mowing, it died. Really, it just died. So after giving the poor dead thing to our neighbor who will probably be very successful at resurrecting it, we bought a new mower. The one I was using today to mow the grass. The one that WOULD NOT crank. I do not love the new mower.

After trying and I mean really I did try to get it cranked, I called my oh, so busy husband at work and said, if you don't want me to beat this new mower with a baseball bat...(we don't even own a baseball bat)...then you'd better come home and get it cranked! He came and he cranked. First time, first pull, it cranked. I think I have it figured out, the new lawn mower doesn't like me. I don't think we will be best friends. If rain wasn't in the forecast for tonight, I would have just let the grass grow.

But I got that done, cleaned one bathroom and have a pound cake in the oven. We're having a pot luck dinner for the choir tomorrow nite, and I'm taking a pound cake. Cooking sweets right now is really bad for my diet! Maybe the mowing will offset the gobs of little tiny bit of cake dough that I ate.

P.S. as a tribute to my husband, he didn't even fuss at leaving work to come home and crank the mower! He's really sweet!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Different kind of Meme

My friend Leslie over at known better as The pedalogue has tagged me to do a very different kind of meme. I'm not the deep reader that I think some of you are, except for the Bible and related books. But here goes.

Here are the rules:

1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.2. Open it to page 123.3. Find the first 5 sentences and write them down.4. Then invite 5 friends to do the same.

Many of you may have read the Mitford series about Father Tim Cavanaugh and his adventures in the town of Mitford. If you haven't go get the series, they are wonderful, I can't put them down, kind of books. After much groaning after the last book (which was supposedly "the last book"), Jan Karon has written a new book which will be the first in the Father Tim series. In this book he is called to his hometown in a mysterious note. So here goes.....

She was still beautiful. "Timothy." She held out her hand and he took it. "Thank you for coming." "Thank you for having me."

Now those were some short sentences! I can't wait to read this book....Jan Karon's style of writing is easy to read and she just knows how to write a story.

So, I'll tag:


Tonja at

Theresa at

Janel at

Momrn at

Have fun! And everyone have a good weekend! It is mostly sunny here in Florida. I really need to cut the grass and today would be the perfect day! Will I.....ahhh...that is a good question! :)