Friday, December 30, 2011

2011.... a year of battles and bounteous blessings

     As I write what is probably the last post of 2011 I want to reflect upon what we have been carried through.  Norm had several issues with GI Bleeding, most of which were from his diverticulosis.  The worst was during Hurricane Irene where he lost so much blood that he passed out falling against the bathroom sink and knocking it off the wall. 
     In June and July Nicole and I took a couple of road trips to visit colleges.  It was a lot of fun seeing the campuses and spending time together.
     During the summer we had our bathroom redone.  It was a much needed renovation as the old clawfoot tub was costing too much to maintain.  Unfortunately before we could quite finish, Tropical Storm Lee stepped in with all its fury.  
     T.S. Lee was the epitome of a wolf in sheep's clothing.  It came in quietly on the heels of Irene and no one thought much of it.  Unfortunately it caught everyone completely by surprise.  The water rose so fast and so high no one was prepared.  Our town was completely surrounded by water and basically cut off from any type of help.  I don't think anyone even knew we were in trouble at first as news of flooding in Hershey hit the airwaves. 
     I was watching the rising water with a great deal of concern.  When I realized how close it was to our sump pump pipe and was still rising I made the decision to get out.  Till I threw together clothing for the 5 of us, our medications and supplies for the dog, we were completely surrounded by water.  I assisted Lexi over and then Nicole, Ty & I carried our bags across the rising river that used to be our street and then went back for the dog.  I forced him into the water where he swam to the other side to safety.  The neighbors had all been standing on their porches watching us probably thinking we were crazy but in hindsight, I was glad we left when we did. Norm spent the night helping the local EMA in shelters while the kids and I stayed with my parents.  
     In the end, the water completely flooded our basement and was 18 inches in the first floor.  We lost so much!  And what hurt was not the good dishes but the memories from our kids....the precious gifts friends and family have blessed us with.....the sentimental things.  A blessing:  Many grabbed our scrapbooks and photos and dried them out and saved a lot.  
     So many gifts and donations poured in.  It was overwhelming how much people wanted to help.  Even up until Christmas.... two churches bought us gifts.  We were given furniture, food, appliances, gift cards, two Christmas trees.... etc., etc., etc.  A house to live in.
     The worst part was dealing with all of the phone calls from flood insurance and FEMA.  It was getting to the point I cringed whenever the phone rang.  Eventually it got to the point where whenever one would call with more bad news, I would hang up and just cry.  We were also having issues with the phone company since the flood as well stress trying to get a computer running for awhile.  We were blessed when a friend surprised us with a new computer.  The worst part for awhile was communicating with FEMA and the flood insurance without a computer.
     Norm had his surgery to remove part of his colon in November.  After two weeks of complications, he was finally home.  
     There have been other stresses as well.  My girls both having stress issues related to the flood....and the dog as well...... having to pick out kitchen cabinets and flooring and this choice and that choice.  Simply overwhelming.....
     A few good things that came out of it.  We are enlarging our kitchen, we are getting rid of the furnace monstrosity that was in the floor to our living room..... we replaced the stove that was not working right all summer.  I think the guy who was trying to fix it was happy about that too. LOL.
     I am looking forward to a new year of promises for a hope and a future.... I am hoping it will be less chaos and more peace.... we could use some peace. LOL. However my daughter is a senior and so we are starting a new chapter of college next fall.  Guess I better get my seat-belt on in case it's another bumpy ride.  Blessings to all!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Norm is finally home

Norm came home today after two long weeks in the hospital.  He ended up in ICU, went back to the regular floor, started to recover again when he  got hit with a large hernia at his incision which required more surgery.  He is finally home and I hope to stay.  He is still in a lot of pain and discomfort and has a slight fever.  I just pray for a complete recovery.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's been a week

Norm has been in the hospital a week now with no definite time of getting out which is extremely discouraging especially since they originally promised 3-5 days.  His morale keeps sinking.  If we could get the stomach tube out and he could start eating he would be a lot happier but we don't know what his small intestine is doing.  He has lost about 25 pounds through all of this which means I need to get on the stick and work at losing myself.  (LOL)
As of right now I just wish we could have  a normal life but I guess then my next question is "What is normal anyway?"  You look around and everyone has some kind of struggle.  Everyone has their own cross to bear.  
Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Norm's surgery

Norm had surgery on Monday to remove part of his large colon.   They also removed his appendix and nicked part of his small intestine. 

He had been having a lot of pain the past two days and it was not going well this morning.  His b/p dropped, heart rate elevated and his blood count also elevated. 

They moved him to the ICU this morning after pumping his stomach and are closely monitoring him trying to decide if he needs more surgery.  His b/p is still low and he has a slight fever.

The staff here has been great as far as seeing to his needs and keeping on top of things.  It's been hard to sleep with him often struggling to breathe plus all the lights and noises of the ICU.  We had hoped to be heading home by now but probably won't be out for awhile yet.

Your prayers are most coveted.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Post flood......

     It has been two and a half months since a little anticipated tropical storm totally uprooted our lives.  We FINALLY got the insurance settlement.  We just signed it the beginning of this week but dealing with them has not been fun.  It seemed like one conflicting story after another -  and the politics!  It is so frustrating to be forced to deal with politics from something we had no control over and did not want and would not wish on anyone.  
     To add drama to the mix, we are preparing for Norm's surgery on Monday. He will be having part of his colon removed.  It has been stressful to think about all of the possibilities associated with that.   This stems from the episode during Hurricane Irene in which large blood loss caused Norm to pass out.
     In October we dealt with a similar situation with Norm's young nephew, Mason, who just turned three a few days ago.  Mason had been experiencing a lot of pain and stomach virus symptoms.  It was first thought to be Intussusception and a stomach virus and the surgeon wanted to send him home but Norm's brother insisted they check further and it was discovered he had a ruptured appendix.  He is still recovering from that but making improvements every day.
    We keep getting comments about our positive attitudes and how we are a good witness....but I don't always feel that way.  I guess I look at it as we are put in this situation and we can choose to moan and complain, but no one wants to hear/read that.  I don't enjoy reading posts on Facebook by people who constantly complain and I know others don't either and I guess I don't want to be that type of person.  I suppose I would rather just put a positive spin on things, but I don't enjoy being compared to a saint because I certainly do not feel like one.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flood of Generosity

Hurricane Irene appeared with all the pomp and circumstance expected. Our area of town sits lower than most of town so, whenever it rains, our street floods and sometimes our backyard floods from the creek 200 yards behind the house. When it storms or we are expecting heavy rains, all of the neighbors know to move their vehicles to higher ground. Norm prepared a storm kit and we packed a bag for everyone with two days worth of clothing even though we usually did not need it. We even moved Lexi’s rabbit’s cage to our back porch.

Hurricane Irene arrived August 27 on a Saturday evening. The neighborhood moved their vehicles out of the way in anticipation of the upcoming storm. Norm headed to the firehouse to run fire calls for the evening. He began to notice symptoms of a gastrointestinal issue but ignored it as we had issues with his stomach med and the pharmacy the week before. As the evening wore on, he felt worse and came home. He informed me about the problem at 2AM and we agreed to wait until morning to try to make it to the hospital as the storm was raging outside. Unfortunately at 5AM we discovered he must have lost too much blood because he passed out in the bathroom knocking the sink off the wall. He tried getting up twice to get to the bed and passed out twice more. He did make it to the bed with my help.

I called 911 and the ambulance soon arrived. I was a little upset because they had me walk Norm down the stairway instead of helping him down. He was taken to the hospital and sent home after a few days with an order for a follow-up to get the left part of his colon removed.

Hurricane Irene did cause the water to rise somewhat but it went down like always. The neighbors moved their vehicles to another street until the street was safe. The wind flattened local corn fields and caused damage to houses but, in the end, the storm moved on as did the citizens.
On the wings of Hurricane Irene followed Lee, a tropical storm. When it emerged from the gulf and headed north the meteorologists barely mentioned it. However things quickly changed on Wednesday, September 7, as it formed a secondary system which hovered over the east coast sponging up moisture into the atmosphere from the coast and dumping it onto the already saturated ground of the coastal states. It was Norm’s first night back at work after being hospitalized. The rain left loose over lunchtime and by 2:00 most roads were impassable to safely take children home. They were evacuated to the high school where parents swarmed to pick up their terrified children and hurry them home as quickly as possible. The rains slowed for a short while and I brought our children home where we monitored the local weather and watched the creek. I had Nicole help me once more to move the rabbit’s cage to the back porch. Suddenly around five the creek began to rise…. Quickly! I watched as it inched closer and closer to our sump pump pipe which stood four feet over our lower back yard. When it came within six inches I anxiously listened to the weatherman forecast more heavy rains within the next few hours, and watched the water proceed around the house to the front and start up the street. I urged the children to quickly repack a few days worth of things into bags. Fifteen minutes later I noticed, to my horror that we were sitting on an island. I took my children through the neighbor’s yards to the end of the street where the elevation was slightly higher where I assisted them through two feet of rushing water plus their bags. We noticed neighbors watching us from our porches and I handed my next door neighbor a key to the house asking him to watch it and our rabbit. I then returned to the house for the dog. I forced him onto the flooded sidewalk where we made our way up the street. He did not like the water and tried to climb out of it. I had to give him a pep talk reminding him that he was indeed a Labrador Retriever and that normal labs enjoyed the water. We got to the corner where I pulled him into the water. I was afraid the current was going to take him for a minute but he persevered to the other side where we clamored to safety. We fled to my parents’ house across town.
Norm never made it home that night. He finished his work early and went to assist with evacuations. The town was mostly cut off from the outside world by flooded creeks that circled around 7/8 of town. He ended up bedding down at the local Middle school where he had children who went to the school he worked at taking refuge there. Norm had set up that area as an evacuation site as the assistant emergency management coordinator. The kids thought it was cool to spend the night with their custodian and the fireman that came to their schools to teach them to be fire safe. Slowly people straggled in to the shelters. They told story after story of escape and survival. One lady told how she was driving along and could hear the water. She looked over and saw the wall of water coming pushing down rows of corn in its wake. People were rescued from the second floor of their homes when the water rose four feet in fifteen minutes. Basements that had never had water had several feet that night. Our neighbors usually put their vehicles in a neighboring parking lot whenever the water got high. Not even that was safe. Many people lost both their houses and their vehicles. One man even lost his life when he was swept away as rescuers tried in vain to save him. Norm made it to my parents’ house late Thursday, which was to have been our 21st wedding anniversary, after checking the house. The water had completely filled the basement and gotten into our first floor destroying furniture and appliances as well as many items of sentimental value.

Overnight the basement wall collapsed in which Norm discovered Friday morning. Devastated we went to the house we had lived in 8 ½ years and could not believe our eyes. Up and down the street we saw neighbors with the same devastated look on their faces. Norm happened upon friends from our church who stopped to ask him about his health. They were working on a home near my parents’ house. When they heard about our plight they dropped everything and came to help. The contractor was about to get out at the house to look and he quickly realized that his work khakis would be completely inappropriate as there was mud everywhere. They quickly took care of contacting the insurance company to get emergency help for our home before it collapsed completely and then set out to help the rest of the block.
Our rabbit had even been in danger. A mouse had tried escaping into her cage and was drowned as the water rose into the cage. It was almost ready to topple into the water when the neighbor saw it and pulled it further onto the porch. On Friday morning I retrieved a very frightened, wet bunny and held her close until we got her back to my parents’ house where their neighbor offered an empty cage. The water overturned our shed which was up on a hill. It swept our heavy wooden swing set into a neighbor’s yard and moved our picnic table several feet with the benches still sitting on top of it. I had went to take photos Thursday morning and saw that the water was right below our door and felt relieved till I heard that the water was down two feet which meant that it had been in our first floor.
On Saturday, we began hearing of devastation over other areas of town close to the same creek. In all, the total number of people affected by flooding hit 600 households and kept rising. Volunteers poured in from all over, many from our church. The contractor had secured our home enough to get our things out. Members from our church descended upon it to help us and then our neighbors remove items from our house. A man came from the local newspaper to take a picture of Norm and I standing next to the gaping hole. It was in the paper the next morning. Someone from our church who was planning on selling their house saw our picture and read our story and offered their house to us instead. That was the first of many many MANY gifts of generosity. When I had cancer three years earlier we had at first had trouble accepting gifts but we realized that was how people showed love and it was wrong to reject them. This prepared us for the even more overwhelming outpouring of giving from all over the community. In the week it took us to move into our temporary house we were able to completely refurnish it.   People are continuing to bless us with gifts. 
It was difficult to pull out the papers and report cards I had saved from the children’s previous years at school and preschool. They were all ruined. The collapsed basement had a couple feet of mud in it and most of our things were destroyed. A woman from our church collected the soaked dirty photo albums I had, took them home and put out a call to the ladies via Facebook from our church to help save our photos. There were at least 12 and they were all claimed before the day was through.
Some ladies took home laundry and blankets and laundered them. A lot of our things went back to my parents’ house where my parents and brother spent an entire day trying to clean and dry things. My mom’s neighbor took my good china home and cleaned it. My mother-in-law took blankets and our tent.
The whole thing was exhausting both mentally and emotionally. People would stop me and tell me things and five minutes later I had no recollection of what they had just told me. I would smile and shake my head but inside, my mind was a total blank. Going to work was actually a welcome change as I had no time to think about what had just happened to us. People were constantly calling or stopping by with food and clothing and other donations. It was all very overwhelming. My anxiety attacks actually increased again because of the lack of control I felt.

This thing had even affected the dog. Suddenly he had to swim through water which he never had to do before. Suddenly he was mostly stuck in a crate for about a week. Suddenly he is moved to a whole new place. He was a lot higher strung and I heard another neighbor experiencing a different dog in their pet as well. Norm was up at 5:30 one morning to use the rest room. It was dark and he saw something on the couch. He wasn’t sure if it was the dog or the kids left something on the couch so he reached down (in the dark) to find out what it was. Here is was a sleeping dog….who was suddenly wakened by a hand grabbing him. Of course he lashed out at whatever woke him up and scared him. That would be Norm’s hand. As soon as he realized it was Norm, he dropped it and for the rest of the day he walked around with his head down and tail between his legs. We knew he was sorry and did not mean it. The doctor gave Norm an antibiotic.

It is so hard to comprehend all that has happened to us. It feels so unreal. I keep asking God “Why?” I don’t want to deal with this. I just want to go home but it will be many months before we will be able to return home to our quiet little street where ducks sometimes swim in my backyard. Sometimes I resent this happened to us. I wish we could go back in time. I know there was no way we could have prevented the wall from caving in but it does not keeping me from wishing. What gets me through is praise music. People tell me I am so brave and they admire me for trusting God but when you get in this situation, you only have two choices. You can either sit around and whine how life isn’t fair which no one wants to hear anyway or you can look for the good. One thing that was good was that my neighbor accepted Christ after witnessing our church in action after the flood. You see the humor in certain situations. My supervisor once let it slip out after listening to what all was going on with us, “When it rains it pours!” As quickly as it came out of her mouth, she slapped her hand over her mouth at she realized the irony behind the statement. The day of the flood was our anniversary. I found the card I had previously bought the following day when we were cleaning out our house. I got out a pen and signed it, “You flood me with love” and gave it to Norm when he showed up….Other zany quirky little things. You have to have a sense of humor or you would go insane. It’s not all a bed of roses. Last week I was in a conversation with my insurance agent and he told me that he felt we were underinsured and our insurance may not cover it all, especially with the emergency work done. I just broke down. What are we going to do? Friends assured us that we would not be left high and dry and I just have to trust God will carry us through. I do worry because Norm needs surgery.  Sometimes all I can do is try and find something to distract me from thinking about it. I keep busy….. but the stress of having to deal with so many things can be overwhelming and all I want to do is run….to escape.
Stress just makes you feel so stupid. You can’t figure things out that you used to have no problem doing. I texted my neighbor that I constantly felt like a blonde. She said she was feeling the same.
It is just hard to imagine the destruction that hit our street, our house….and I was even there to see it first-hand. How do I explain it to others who have not seen it? Those who complain about one or two or six inches in their basements.... The water was to the ceiling of our basement and the mud! The mud! Our one youth pastor took photos of the inside of our house in addition to what we took. There was mud caked on the heat ducts against the ceiling. There was mud encrusted on the faucet on a water pipe near the ceiling. You walk through our living room and the water rises up out of the carpet under your feet like you are walking on a sponge. We found a rabbit between our house and the neighbors covered in mud. When I first saw it, I thought it was a chocolate bunny. That was exactly what it looked like. Nicole said she wasn’t eating chocolate bunnies for a long time. I had a wash line strung in the one side of my basement and the clothes pins were encased in mud. There was mud on the hangers hanging on the line too. The falling wall took out our stairwell at the bottom. I had tomatoes in my front flower bed and after the flood I had green tomatoes covered in mud. And yet through the whole recovery mode, my butterfly bush flourished and the bees and butterflies enjoyed the sweet nectar in the midst of the chaos.The day after the flood we were treated to a monarch butterfly emerging from it's cocoon.

I had Bible verses from my summer Bible study taped to my refrigerator and I found the one after we got things from the house. “He will be the foundation of your future. The riches of salvation are wisdom and knowledge.” Isaiah 33:6. Yes, the wall from my home seriously damaged our foundation but we are trusting God to be the foundation in our lives and get us through when storms arise.  The next year will not be easy but we are trusting Him with our future.  That is not saying that there won't be days I feel down but I know God will get us through this.
We are waiting for the surgeon to get back to us with a date on removing part of Norm's colon. I will post some more when we find out more information.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer moving along....whether I like it or not

In a little over a week school starts.  I have gotten a lot done even though it wasn't as much as I would have liked.  Because I could not start my cleaning in June due to work on the house, I had to cram it all in August.  Moving furniture, window and wall washing, cobwebs off of ceiling...... 5 rooms done in 2 weeks and my body protested violently.  Constantly aching all over and then the severe neuropathy started.  Took a couple of days off and that went away but I still have the kitchen to do.  Hopefully that won't be as much heavy lifting.  
Band season started with 2 weeks of band camp.  We just completed our first fundraiser and start another in 2 weeks.  Plus we will have one from all of the schools and girl scouts and who knows what else.  I am already dreading it!
On Wednesday we had a day long in-service.  The new boss is bringing some interesting ideas to the table but he also made some upset by changing uniform regulations.  I hope the year goes well but I do miss my old boss.  We have a work day next Monday.  
Tyler gets his braces put back on Monday.  He has an underbite causing his teeth to chip.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Over halfway through the summer......

     A month left until school starts as my job. I will have to go in for a meeting and a day on in-service but it seems like this summer is flying by. I spent most of this month working in our church library and I almost completed cataloging the fiction section.  I brought the rest home in anticipation of working on it at home.  The box was a tad heavy.
     Nicole starts two weeks of band camp on Monday and Lexi leaves for Girl Scout Camp on Friday.  Amid that add dental appointments and who knows what else but this month promises to move equally fast.  I am hoping to get my house cleaned.

     We pulled a good one on Lexi today. She was angry with Nicole and wished Nicole would go away and never come back. So Nicole and I made a plan. I was getting ready to go shopping. Nicole made the announcement that since Lexi wanted her to leave, she would, so she did..... all the way down the street to the ball field where I picked her up and took her along shopping 10 minutes later. Till we got home 2-3 hours later Lexi was standing by the door worried she would never see her sister again. I guess I will have to pay for her therapist when she needs one in a couple of years......

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My daughter is a senior!

I recently took some photos of my oldest for her senior pictures. I took my youngest along and had her dress up and promised to take some photos of her as well. The photos turned out beautiful! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2 and one half years

Today I went to my oncologist for my 2 ½ year check-up.  He didn't do a whole lot.  I asked, "No blood-work? No CT scan?"   He said, "Nope.  None of those for you...because you see, the type of cancer you had, if it was going to recur, 90% of the time it will recur in the first two years.  You are past that mark, almost at three years and you are doing great."  It's hard to know how to feel after hearing that.  I wish I could forget I ever had cancer, but unfortunately it is something I will have to live with the rest of my life.
School has been out a week and a half and yet it seems like time is flying by and I have not gotten a thing done that I wanted to get done.  My time has been full with appointments and now a new aspect, college visits! Yikes, am I old enough to be taking my child on college visits?!!!  It has been fun, though.  I could never go to college so it is all new to me and I will have to live it vicariously through my daughter.  Last Friday we went to Moravian College and Marywood University.  It was a long day as we had to travel quite a distance and, unfortunately I had to do the driving as Norm was not able to get off work...and I do not enjoy driving!  I put Nicole in charge of keeping my mind occupied.  We had to stop every sixty to ninety minutes of road travel because my leg was throbbing.  The colleges were interesting.  We discovered while driving that if the turn signal was on too long, an alarm went off.  That majorly messed with my head till I figured out what was causing the alarm.  We had three "wrong turns" or missed turns in which I figured out instantly what was wrong and corrected myself.  Yesterday we visited Elizabethtown College in which the girl presented us with an entire carrot cake. Sold!  LOL.  We also got a free all-u-can-eat lunch and I have to say, the cheesecake was heavenly!  Nicole liked that college the best so far because there was so much to do and they offered her the course she wanted.  So far Moravian is running second.  We go on Thursday to visit Valley Forge and Immaculata.  
     We have also had many appointments.  They found a polyp in Norm's colon (which is normal) and two in his stomach which is not normal.  They were not cancerous but they wish to keep a close eye on the stomach ones.  Tyler goes back to his doctor in July for another test for a minor issue and tomorrow we are going to an Ophthalmologist for a spot on Nicole's eye that has been there since birth.  We went to the opt. for that before but it has been several years and our family doctor asked that we have it looked at again so I thought we should before she goes to college.  I also am having some minor things being taken care of with her as well.  
Lots of other things going on.  This week Lexi is at church camp.  Next week Nicole leaves for creation and then Tyler is going with my in-laws to New York over the holiday.  After the holidays we have a family reunion, vacation Bible school and then Tyler goes to church camp and Nicole leaves on a mission trip to Philadelphia.  We are hoping to sneak in a trip to Pittsburgh to visit more colleges at the end of the month and then in August Nicole goes to two weeks of band camp and Lexi goes to girl scout camp.  Lots of activities in between as well.  I was hoping to get my house housecleaned this month but between college visits, doctor visits and getting our bathroom redone, it has been near impossible.  I wanted to work in our church library and I thought maybe I could do that in July while Alexis is at a school-run camp during the mornings.  I am hoping to get all the books I am currently storing in my basement processed and put on shelves before July and time is quickly running out.  Somebody asked me if I could relax having the summer off from work.  I just laughed. 
I know I have been behind in my blogging.  Sometimes lately it is hard to even get in the mood for blogging although it was something I enjoyed doing.  I am starting a Bible Study with the women at church that I am really enjoying.  It is just what I need lately.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Snow on April Fools Day?

Yes, there actually was......guess I was April Fooled!  I tried to pull it on my daughter and went to show her and lo and behold there actually was sNOw!  argh!

We've been having some ducks hanging we started feeding them.  I am hoping she makes her nest around here and we get to see her ducklings.

Nicole was recently in "Bye Bye Birdie" where she played Mae Peterson.  The following is a video of her solo called "A Mother Doesn't Matter Anymore."  Her character was the over-involved, interfering mother of one of the main characters.  People really seemed to enjoy her character.

There has also been a lot of other things going on. Lexi recently competed in a Pine Car Derby where she won her heat.  This past Monday she fell and we ended up taking an emergency trip to the dentist.  He thinks she will be okay but we have to keep an eye on her.

Nicole recently started softball and she is also doing band practice as they have a special trip planned in a few weeks.

I have been working on our church website and trying to update their orphan care part and cancer part.  I have also redid the woman's part.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Two years ago......

I was starting my last chemo treatment......
I thank God that it is part of my bittersweet history and pray that it does not return in the future.

Been going through a lot of things lately...
>been working with the school district to get my youngest daughter the help she needs in school
>been working at getting our church women's ministry page off the ground
>taking kids to and from activities such as youth group, church clubs, play practice, girl scouts and a WRE after school program among other things
>a couple of friends dealing with cancer
>a funeral last weekend of a friend who passed on from complications of cancer
>getting my oldest daughter college and senior year needs taken care of...... that's a lot to think about!
>an issue with my family(sisters/mom) that I do not ever feel will be fully resolved... but am used to that
>my own medical issues that are still being worked on

Just a lot of water under the bridge...... :)
I was able to have some fun with friends lately.  Last Sunday we met with a bunch from church for fellowship and games and yesterday I met with friends from work for some scrap-booking fun.  I almost wished I had another page to do but I was the first one finished and I had no other material with me to do more so we chatted.  I work with a great bunch of ladies.  We found out recently our boss is retiring so it's been a little stressful wondering who will replace her as she was a great boss.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

      Yesterday we went to a Memorial Service for a man neither Norm and I have never met.  I have become friends with his wife over this past year and Norm works with his daughter-in-law.  It was different than any other service we had been to.  It was held in the funeral home, but the place was packed out.  There was no minister speaking however various members of the family stood up and talked about his life after a brief video slideshow.  However we were much impressed with what was being said about this man.  Between the packed house and the inspiring stories of all this man had done for the community we left there wishing we had known him.  He did not go to church or associate himself with any denomination but he lived his life in a way that was a real testament to his faith.  It just got me to thinking, if I died, how would people remember me?  Would they get together and laugh over the goofy stuff I had done, would they remember what I had done for others?  Would someone be so inspired by my story that they would blog about it?  How do I want to be  remembered?  
When I ponder that the verse from 2 Corinthians 4:18 comes to mind.  So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.  I hope they remember me for the things that matter like trying to educate others about Ovarian cancer symptoms, encouraging others in their cancer journey and trying to promote literacy both through our church library and through my daughter's school.  Our pastor once said that he did not think that if anyone ever came into a lot of money, they would think only on what they would get and haven't thought about how they would give back.   That is not true for me.  There are so many things I would love to do for our community.  I would love to get them a nice library.  I would love to have an old fashioned soda fountain as a safe place for kids to hang out at with Christian music playing in the background.  I would love to have a large park for families to hang out.  These are things that i think about when I think about my legacy.  They are dreams that I hold and wish I could bring to past.  
I leave you with this video called Legacy by Nichole Nordeman with the lyrics below.........


I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all the who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such 'n wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an "Atta boy" or "Atta girl"
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
the temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthy list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon destroy


Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, "Well done" good and faithful one


Sunday, February 20, 2011

February Freeze

Last week it was beautiful. The weather was back in the fifties again and it was so sunny and warm. Today we are back in the icebox. Brrr! They are expecting more ice/snow tomorrow although I believe that is more north of us. However, the youth group is traveling home and so I will be grateful when they are safely home.

I had been having some issues with neuropathy but my doctor has increased my medication and I have been using splints at night and I am happy to report that I have been able to feel the difference.  I am trying to go without the splints to see if it is just from the meds and if I can stop using the splints.

In 2-3 weeks Nicole will be performing in Bye-Bye Birdie as Mae Peterson.  I am looking forward to going and seeing it.  Her part promises to be a humorous look at an overindulgent mother.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

WInter Wonderland

We've been getting quite a lot of snow and now ice in my neck of the woods.  During the one snow we had almost a foot.  I built the kids a snow ramp in the back yard.  My husband also took them to the school he works at to do some more sledding.  Today they also have off because of icing.  In the Midwest this same storm is dumping a couple of feet of snow.  Unfortunately, since I also work for the district that also means I don't work.  Norm does, but he is helping to clear snow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calamity in a Small Town......

     On Sunday, January 16 four of our football players lost their lives in a tragic accident.  This has brought our high school to it's knees.  The viewing is tomorrow night and the Memorial Service is on Friday night.  We had a Prayer Vigil and our church on Monday and packed the facility.  We also offered our church for anyone who needed counseling or just to hang strings attached.  Our faculty and staff are all wearing ribbons to remember the lives lost.  It was supposed to be Finals week but the school district suspended finals because they knew no one would be up for it anyway.  School Districts throughout the county are stepping up to be there for us as well.  They chose to wear our colors all week as well as hold fundraisers to raise money for the grieving families.  This fatal accident follows a string of calamities our town has had to endure as we lost another football player over the summer as well as 5 Motorcyclists.  Please keep our town in your prayers.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year!

Christmas was pretty nice.  We opened our presents in the morning and had a pancake breakfast.  Later we went to Norm's family.  I have some highlights below.

On New Year's Day we met with my family where Lexi FINALLY got her Pillow Pet she has been bugging for for several months.

I was ill over my birthday, so not much happened there. I was thrilled to find over 50 people wished me a Happy Birthday on Facebook. There is nothing like a Facebook birthday.

I am hoping to get started on my weight loss. To inspire me, I signed up through Isabella's Journey to lose weight to help raise money. Isabella is a three year old little girl who was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma.  A local gentleman pledged to run a mile for every fifteen pounds pledges lose.