Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Giggle, a Prayer and a Miracle

As with almost everything, I am late with this post and a miracle is already in the works--Ain't God Good . See end of post for latest update.

That‘s the first thought that comes to mind when I think of my precious friend Rebecca. She has a contagious smile. With every word she speaks, it is the faintest whisper that resounds with a soft giggle. She has that delightful personality mixed with the purest of happiness that only comes from our LORD above.

It would only be natural for her to be married to a man with similar qualities. Shawn is the sweetest thing. He adores his bride –which is evident in the way he watches her with twinkling eyes and the biggest grin. Not to mention, he has an incredible talent for playing the guitar and singing.

For ten years, they tried to have a baby, in God’s special timing, HE blessed them with Mr. Isaac. He is a bundle of joy. Undoubtedly, he is the offspring of his adorable parents. He was one of many miracles the two of them have encounter because of God’s grace. When Isaac was born, they battled a few difficulties but once again because of God’s goodness he is a thriving toddler. He has stolen our hearts away with his charming smile and chuckle. We just can’t get enough of his sugar, that is, when his Aunt D and Grandma will share with us.

A few weeks ago, Rebecca and Shawn announced that they were expecting again. The entire church was ecstatic. We love babies…

Around 11 weeks, Rebecca went to the doctor for a regular checkup. However, when Rebecca’s routine blood work was reviewed the unthinkable was discovered. The doctor noticed an abnormal high white blood count—round 14.1to 18.1. She also had a positive result for BCR-ABL and the possibility of Leukemia.

The doctor sent Rebecca to oncologist doctor. As Rebecca sat in the waiting room for the first time, she looked around the room at all of these people. Inside she was screaming, “God I don't belong here, I don't belong here. But, I ask you this, who does?????
"Nobody does".

Unfortunately, the findings revealed that Rebecca could have Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia or "CML. Last week, Rebecca underwent a bone marrow biopsy, which consequently will let her family know what they are specifically dealing with.

Shawn and Rebecca are very adamant to not undergo any treats in which harm could be inflicted on their unborn child. Which as most of you know medically….there is very little that can be done for her over the course of her pregnancy. From my understanding, as soon as the baby is strong enough, around 32 to 36 weeks, they will take the baby and immediately begin aggressive treatments for Rebecca.

In many ways we can look at this doom and gloom ….but OUR GOD is a LOVING GOD. Just look at the blessing already in progress—

They live near the world’s greatest medical facility
Tons of family and friends are there to help
Rebecca’s mom is a nurse.
They have good insurance.
Isaac is a good natured baby.
Numerous people are praying daily on their behalf and the unborn baby.

My list could go on and on and on. On every corner of our life, God is there, whether we are on top of the mountain or down the valley. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know, HE is going to do another miracle in the life of Rebecca and Shawn.

Specific things Rebecca and her family want us to pray for
Peace of mind and assurance for the couple.
Strength for everything--- the pregnancy and the Leukemia both have the side effect of fatigue.
Pray for the unborn baby’s health, between 32-36 weeks they will take the baby.
Pray for wisdom through the decisions the doctors will need to make concerning Rebecca and the baby.
Pray for the family members that will need to care for Rebecca. They will need lots of physical and mental strength. Especially, after the baby is born. They will have to help with a newborn and a two year old.

I have included my latest email I received from Rebecca on May 26 at 7:00

Hello everyone, first of all I want to thank each and every one who is reading this email right now. Thank you for your prayers, thoughts and encouragement. Today I called to check on the Bone Marrow Biopsy report. The report came back NEGATIVE for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and it also came back NEGATIVE for the BCR-ABL the original Gene that came back positive for Leukemia. We are waiting for one last test to come back
Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH)

Please keep praying for us. Even in these times that we have went through and going through God Is Good and I praise him ever single day. When I talked to the lady on the phone today about this she said to me this is really weird and strange I said " no its not" I have people praying for me and I have been praying for my self as well.

Tomorrow, I go to the high risk pregnancy Dr. and keep me in your prayers about the pregnancy and keep praying for us the (FISH) results as well. Thank You all again and We Love each and everyone of you.

Love & Prayers,
Rebecca, Shawn & Isaac

Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Daddy's Watermelons-- Sweet ans Juicy, Well Not Yet

Y’all know I love Monday nights, this week (last week really) was no different, if anything it was better than most. Angela invited one of our cousin’s daughters over while her mother finished working on a set for the children’s play at church Sunday night. Notice how much she resembles Charlee.

When her Gigi arrived to pick her up, she ran to the car and proclaimed to Gigi that she just had to come smell the kitchen. Angela had fixed the most amazing chicken ‘n rice and green beans with new potatoes. I stewed and fried squash plus fried some chicken. So yeah, the kitchen smelled pretty righteous. After a little begging, Gigi agreed to stay. Aunt Bernice also dined with us. The meal was wonderful. Gigi and Anna had to hurry home with a plate for little brother at home with Grandpa.

After we had finished our countryman’s feast, dad mentioned he needed to go start the pivot and he would take the grand girls for their usual tour of the melon field.
I insisted that we all “load up” and go. Aunt Bernice of course, wanted to clean the kitchen first, but I persisted that the dirty dishes would not go anywhere while we were gone.

Dad wasn’t too sure about all of us loading up in his truck. Really I think he didn’t want to clean out the front seat of the truck (or embarrassed) nor did he want to unload the back of the truck.
Dad fretted over the junk in front and I moved the sharp objects and barbwire out of the back.
Consequently, we decided that the kids could ride with him and the older women could ride in mom’s car.
Even the dogs loaded up for the adventure to the watermelon patch. Each time the truck would stop another dog would jump in and sometimes one would jump out.

When we arrived at the patch the children bailed out like clowns out of a circus beetle bug. Dad cranked the irrigation motor.

Waiting for the motor to gain rigor, dad and the grand kids walked through the corn field.

Papa talked to Katie about his corn crop. He explained to Katie that the planter skipped the two middle rows… which in the end will affect his yield. I hate that, because I love to mix field corn with my sweet for the best cream corn ever.

Finally it was time to hunt for a ripe melon.

Even though dusk was on us, dad had a flashlight to help illuminate the way. Charlee and Papa found what they thought could be a ripe juicy melon.
All the kids, 7 to be exact, plus 3 dogs and 1 older woman (me) hovered over waiting the first taste of summer. Daddy carefully cut the melon as mouths started to water. The moment had finally arrived; dad cut a small piece of the heart for Charlee, and the other kids.
The kids took a bite out of their slightly pink, crunchy slice of watermelon.
Some mouths thought they were eating manna from heaven while others--- well didn’t care much for the bitter sweet delight.

Needless to say the melons still need a few more days in the hot sun to ripen and get a little juicier. Hopefully, next Monday we’ll have red juicy melons.
Tuesday, I noticed another sign of summer---blackberries.
Now every afternoon, we have to stop along our driveway to pick blackberries.
Saturday, Grandma prayed asking for rain to help the blackberries grow so Charlee and she could make a clobber.

Here are some other pictures taken at Meme and Papa’s. The big kids decide to race on their bikes to the second cattle gap. Miss Charlee thought she would go too, only she had a little problem.

She took it upon herself to walk through the cow pasture (where a bull who likes to play tag lives also. As I was washing dishes I noticed a speck --- All the kids made it safely back in the yard.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Charlee Ann and the Stupid Smelly Bus

Charlee has a new favorite book… Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. At night, she tells me that we need to read Junie B. so she can learn how to be a kindergartener. I have quickly learned that we do not need to check out another Junie B book. We have heard words like stupid, dumb, and other phrases not spoken at our home. Needless to say, we won’t be reading any more of them.

This week was our first bite into kindergarten. Due to my involvement in orientation, Big Daddy (that’s what Katie and I call Steven) had to attend with Charlee. The last thing I said to Sleeping Steven before I left was “I am not exactly sure what time it starts but I’d be there around 8:30 or a little after.” Truthfully, this was my ploy to get Steven to spend his money on Charlee some books at the book fair instead of me.

I arrived at work much earlier than normal. I went to the library checked in with Marsha and headed to my office to read emails and make the materials I needed for the orientation.

Clearly, in my mind thinking this shing-ding started at 9. At 8:45 the phone rings…the secretary on the other end says where are you? You are supposed to be at the lunchroom. Get over here NOW. I immediately gathered my junk and ran to the lunchroom. I thought maybe I could sneak in, but those dang loud fly blowers alerted everyone that I had finally made it to the meeting. The crowd then focused their attention on the reading coach, who may know a little about reading but apparently nothing about telling time. I scanned the room frantically looking for Big Daddy and the Princess. They were no where in site. I tried to tiptoe as quietly as my clonking heels would let me to the back of the group. Still wondering where they were. Wendy, the Director of Elem, came over and explained that the principal had already introduced me and that she would redo the intro and then I could speak to the crowd.

It was my time to address the anxious parents and children. I scrambled for words while everyone in the room, listened as offered my future services to them. Okay I lied …I explained that like them, I too had a child starting kindergarten and another that would be a senior next year. I know some of the folks were wondering what drugs I was taking and if their kids would be safe around a lunatic reading coach. As fast as an auctioneer, I said what had to be said and sat down.

It was dang near 9 and Steven and Charlee still had not arrived. At first, I kinda thought maybe they were browsing the book fair. I slipped into the teacher’s lounge and called Marsha –no sign of them. I am on the other side worried…like near panic. I know the booger that Charlee is in the morning, so maybe she just threw a fit and Steven just said forget it.

The group was dismissed for the BIG bus ride; I knew this would be Charlee’s favorite part. I called Steven’s cell again. This time he answers. He is in the front office. I tell him to just meet us at the end of the bus loop so Charlee would not miss the bus ride. I explain to the ever so very nice bus driver that my husband and child needed special treatment, would she mind if we picked them up at the other end. Thank the Lord I work for the school. She agreed.

Finally, I can see Steven and Charlee strutting down the sidewalk like a momma hen with her little chick following closely behind. The bus approached the end of the walk--- no Steven. When the bus rolled to a stop, I crawled off the bus almost beyond the point of humiliation. I noticed Steven and Charlee were headed back to office. The gate was locked and he had turned around. I hollered to come down to the other end of the prison gates that encircles our school. By the time I was reunited with my honey, I noticed a slight sign of disgust in his normally twinkling eyes. However, I wasn’t sure why on such a stress free day he could be aggravated. He whispered “You didn’t tell me that I need my licenses”. I didn’t think anything about it but thought to myself this is just a normal every day adventure for me.

We found seats in the very back of the bus and assumed we were going on a nice bus ride, when the bus driver turned off the bus. Immediately, I thought gosh now what. She gave the young unconcerned bus riders a quick bus etiquette lesson. Then she restarted the bus and off we went. The little girls in the back of the bus giggled and had a great time. Charlee sat motionless the entire bus ride.

Back at the school, we toured all the seven kindergarten classes. Although, I have walked through these doors hundreds of times, it seemed as though it was the first. Charlee’s eyes danced with excitement, but held a look of uncertainty as she peeked into her future at the BIG school. She examined artwork,

climbed into reading loft with Ms Jean,

talked with Annie the puppet in Mrs. Perryman’s class and looked at the plethora of books in her library,

and she reunited with old friends in Mrs. Smithers and Mrs. Welbers' rooms .

After the room tours, it was time to say good bye to all the great teachers we had meet.
We meandered over to the book fair. Of course, Charlee wanted everything. She had a Junie B. book, Wow Wow Wuzzybe, Beginning reader books, you name it, Charlee clutched it tight in her arms. Dad said one book. Charlee returned all of the books but 3 properly on the correct shelf. Determined to increase her library at home, she was adamant on all of them. Dad was just as adamant…. she walked away with the Wow Wow Wuzzybe. (Little does dad know, that we have a stack of books stashed away to purchase later). As we were talking in the library Charlee noticed an old friend walking by. She rushed to the door and hollered RONDA …..RONDA. Unfortunately, her dear friend was on her cell and did not hear her little buddy. However, later on Charlee had the chance to join up with Mrs. Parrish at the teacher appreciation luncheon. Charlee embraced her and talked to her as though they were old playground friends. I apologized for Charlee calling her by her first name but Ronda quickly stated that they were pals and it was okay.

Later in the day, I walked through the front office when the school secretary stopped me. Mrs. Coates asked me to please give her apologizes to Steven. I gave her a funny look and questioned why. She retold about the morning episode that occurred as Steven tried to enter our campus (note close to 8:30). She explained that she knew that he was my husband, but according to our new policy, all visitors must have their driver’s license scanned to determine if they are a risk to our students. When she scanned his license, the screen signaled that Steven maybe a potential threat or sexual offender. She had to verify that he wasn’t a predator and that he was indeed safe to be near small children. I know what some of you might be thinking to yourself….yeah small children aren’t safe around him.
Long story short, we survived the orientation and Steven’s name has been cleared. I hope the other 180 aren't as adventurous as the orientation. If so, I may need meds.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why I love Mondays

I love Mondays.....Well..... not really I love Monday Nights. Like most of my dad’s family, we are not early morning folks. We like to lie in bed as long as humanly possible. This is most evident on Mondays. However, the morning is worth the night.

Several years ago, my precious Uncle Jack was fighting an unmerciful battle with cancer. To offer relieve to his family, my sister and I offered to cook for them one night a week. To begin with we cooked on Thursday nights. He only missed two meals at the house. We would prepare the meals at Mom and Dad’s, around supper time, they would drive out to the farm. The farm was one of Uncle Jack’s favorite places. Maybe it is because of similarity and closeness of his and daddy’s family farm which is just across the fields. He loved to see the watermelons growing, the grass turning green, new calves prancing and playing, the sunsets, feeling breeze on the porch while he swung or perhaps it was just spending time with his best friend—my dad.

Even though Uncle Jack passed away a couple of years ago, we have kept up the tradition only it has moved to Monday nights. Occasionally, Uncle Jack’s sweet wife joins us. She enjoys the rowdy company and tons of conversions, usually going on at one time. We absolutely love to entertain at mom and dads. So any Monday, you are in the neighborhood stop by…I am sure we’ll have plenty. We love sharing stories and a meal with friends and family.
Spring time meals are the best. I love all the garden fresh vegetables. However, be care full not to eat too many. My long time best friend's EX had a few too many fresh veggies and needless to say they stopped at several undesignated rest stops between here and Belleview. HAHAHAHAHAHA...

Katie has piano lesson on Monday afternoons . While she is at piano. Angela and I cook. I think Quin will be our next piano player.

My oldest brother Kelley and his wife Melanie enjoying the Monday feast.

Katie and Tyler love to pick and play with Uncle Zane. He is usually the pun of their jokes. He just laughs and takes it all with stride. ( PS He needs a good woman if any of you know anyone)

As you can see, Monday nights are a barrel of fun. This is a great family tradition that I hope continues for a long time. Stop by ... Supper is on the stove. And laughter and good times are waiting for you in the dining room. I'll almost bet you that my bunch will be in the middle of some sort of adventure.

Watch out Claires, Here We Come

The first Friday of every month you can find the girls and me at our beauty Salon. In December, I make all of my appointments for the upcoming year. At almost all of those appointments, we go through the same routine.We arrive close to 4:30. Sometimes we wait and other times, Kim is ready for us as soon as we walk in the door. Lately, I have surprised Kim and have been on time if not early (yeah for me).

I am usually the first one in the chair. Usually I just get a trim since I am there once a month. Every other month, thank God, I get much needed highlights to cover the ever so increasing gray hair. I keep reminding myself, that in the Bible it is considered a sign of wisdom—well in my case, I wouldn’t call it wisdom.

Since the poor child was an infant, Charlee has regularly gotten her hair cut too. Sometimes it’s bangs only. If she is in a great mood, we’ll stack her hair in the back. If you she her regularly you know that doesn’t happen to terrible often. Don't get me wrong she loves Ms. Kim. One of her favorite things to do is imitate Ms Kim. She loves to curl and style Granny Sheffield and Grandma's Annette's hair. I usually opt out.

While I am getting all re-beautified with the hair, Katie searches book after book, in which she looked through last month, hoping to find a new do. She jumps in the chair and typically goes with the same style. After the cut, she gets her eyebrows waxed and we’re gone.

However, this story is missing one key element. The adventure of getting Charlee’s ears pierced. Each month, we go through the same ordeal. She drills Kim about getting her ears pierced. Did Braley get hers done here? What about Harley did you do hers? Does it hurt? Will you do mine? So dear sweet Kim starts the process—loads the gun, cleans the earrings with alcohol, dots the ears with permanent maker and then Charlee chickens out. Once we had two guns loaded and ready for battle. Occasionally, one of the manicurist would apply stickers used for nails to Charlee’s ears. She’d walk out and act as though she had actually gotten her ears pierced. Literally this has gone on for almost a year--- NO LIE.

She have donned sticker earring as though they were priceless diamonds. She has flashed her permanent marker dots as if she was a jewelry model. I am not kidding ask Shelia and Maxie Clark. At a football game, I sat talking with the Clark family, Charlee strolled up and asked Ms. Shelia is she’d seen her new earrings. Charlee peeled back her hair to flash her fancy earrings for all to see. Maxie looked over and admired and ooh-ed and ah-ed at her beautiful earrings. After Charlee prissed away, he asked if they were Blue Sapphires. I busted out in the biggest laugh…. “No Maxie that would be permanent maker”. He was rather puzzled and I explained her monthly trip to the beauty shop. They chuckled each time Charlee paraded up and down the bleachers.

Not this FRIDAY. As Kate was getting her monthly waxing, Charlee crawled up in my lap observing every move Kim made. Inquiring about whether it hurt Katie, why she was doing this and that…then boom “Can I get the sticker earrings”. Kim explained that the lady with the stickers no longer worked there. Then out of no where came ….I want to get my ears pierced if I can sit in momma’s lap.

Not too shocked by the words spilling from her mouth no one was alarmed. We’d been down this road before. However, this time she was a little less hesitant. We moved back across the salon. from the washing sink to Kim's chair. Kim loaded the gun for the 100th time. Charlee asked if it would hurt. Everyone in the building was encouraging her that it would not hurt. Kim said let me see your ear and…. POW…. One ear down. Immediately Charlee let out a shriek and looked and Kim and through sobbing words said “I think you did something wrong-- it hurt. We all snickered.

One left to go. Kim scrambled around and we all started cheering Charlee on again---I just knew we were going to be leaving with 1 earring. Somehow or another Kim got the other one with out to much chaos. Thank the Lord---I don’t know how I would explain that to Steven.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Read a Book. Who Me?

Last week while mom was having knee replacement surgery, Angela and I ran to the book store so I could get a book (duh) to read while I stayed with mom. I am not much of a reader. I have so much required professional reading with my job that I seldom pick a up book that requires much thought process. I happened to notice on one of the display table several religious books, when my eyes spotted my favorite TV family--- the Gosselin Family.

I immediately grabbed it up as though it was the last one in town. As soon as we arrived back at the waiting area I started reading --- I could not put the dang thing down. I read how Jon and Kate met. I was engrossed as I read about their difficulties conceiving and the joys of raising a set of twins and later on sextuplets. The most amazing aspect is the praise they give to God for what he has done, is doing and going to do for the Gosselin Family. Kate gives countless accounts of how their faith in GOD pulled them through. She told how what seemed to be the bleakest points, blessings would overflow.

Needless to say, the book was a life preserver during the long stays at the hospital last week. In numerous ways, I found that Kate and I could be best friends. I think, if you read Multiple Blessings, you too will see things about her that will make you appreciate and love her. Personally I wish she lived next door.
If you have some spare time, pick one up. It’s an easy read—you will be blessed. I know I was.

Oh, by the way, I have a couple who I’d like for you to pray for. I don’t want to publicize their names but the Lord knows them. She and her husband have had difficulty conceiving. I told the would-be grandma after reading Multiple Blessings, I was praying they’d have quadruplets one for each grandparent, one for mom, and one for dad. Then everyday at 4, I would be there for afternoon feedings and diaper changes. Grandma laughed, but I didn’t. I know the power of PRAYER.
Seriously though, twins would be nice, but if you don’t mind lift this couple up. They would be outstanding Christian parents and have a whole world to offer a child.