Friday, May 30, 2008

Gone fishing...

What are you doing here?

We're on vacation. Remember??

I'm not reading you. Honestly, I'm not even thinking about you.

Come back in a week. You are interrupting my margaritas.

Now go. GO! Take a day off! Enjoy some summer!

KEEP BELIEVING

Thursday, May 29, 2008

One reason I hate summer

School is out. It has been out for us for officially 6 days, but 3 days were the holiday weekend, so that doesn't really count. Three days have been the back-to-the-routine weekdays. Well, sort of. We are getting ready for our upcoming trips, so there were a few errands to run. Some groceries, gas, road food, misc. whatever, etc. I love the thought of the trips. I am as giddy as the kids about THIS PLACE and THIS PLACE where we will spend the next week and then THIS PLACE the week after. So, summer is great in THOSE respects. Summer is great in the sense of freedom, warm weather, suntanned skin, recreational water, and no homework (meaning, I don't have the equivalent of a graduate thesis in papers/handouts/take-homes from the school to sort through each week only to forget anyway scarring my kid for life because he missed the raffle ticket deadline and is not entered into the contest for the free ice cream cone).

Summer sucks in this HUGE respect though: My boys are home all the time INCLUDING THE TIME I HAVE TO RUN ERRANDS/GROCERY SHOP. I would honestly rather chew off my own arm some days than take them with me to ANY STORE.

When they were babies, it used to take me twice as long and cost me more to shop with them because of carseats, a diaper blow out, nap schedules, etc. causing me to forget my list, rush, etc. When they were toddlers, it took me longer and cost me more to shop with them because of getting them in and out of the car, tantrums/melt-downs, nap schedules, a diaper blow out, etc. causing me to rush/forget things, etc. Now, when they have to shop with me, it takes me longer to shop because we inevitably end up in the toy aisle (which even the hardware stores seem to have), they beg me for treats, they want to push the cart, they suddenly have to use the bathroom no matter how many times they have already gone that day, they beg me for treats, their legs are suddenly overwhelmingly tired causing me to rearrange the cart so one can sit in it after it is 75% full, and they beg me for treats.

After 4 different stops, yes, I give in to the treat reward for good behavior or just to shut them up, honestly.

I think they should have single serving wine bottles next to those Baby Bottle Pops at the check out line.

I deserve a treat, too.

KEEP BELIEVING

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vacations, Holidays, Summer and Tests

Hi. I'm back. Miss me? Spent another weekend with my family. My sister and family and my mom and dad came for the 3 day weekend. Spent lots of time drinking microbrews bonding and playing with the kids. Mindi is due in 7 weeks, so it is great to have a go-to, no coin-toss discussion necessary DD for now. Actually, I was a very good girl this weekend, too, because the calories are just becoming "not worth it" to me. Every time Mindi and Matt come, we have crappy weather. This weekend was no exception CONSIDERING IT IS THE END OF MAY. So, it was in the low 50s when they arrived on Friday. Got into the 60's on Saturday and rained some of the day. Sunday it was cool in the am, though it was not supposed to be, and was extremely cloudy and WINDY would be an understatement. Never stops us from having a good enough time, though. Had some smoked ribs because I totally swiped my brother's cooking methods am really good at it and we had a few people over including Brian's older brother and family. Ended with a backyard fire and some smashmallows (affectionately named at chateau KEEP BELIEVING)over the open pit. Finished up with more whipping wind and a thunderstorm. Aahhh, Central Illinois. Paradise.

So, you won't be hearing much from me for the next few weeks. We leave Friday for Wisconsin for a family vacation with Brian's family. Both brothers and their families will be present. Should be a very good time with lots of Euchre, fishing, and mosquitoes swimming. We get back Thursday and then the boys and I leave on Sunday, June 8 for Hilton Head for a week with my extended family. Should also be a good time if I can convince Gavin he will not be 1)eaten by a shark 2)swallowed by a whale 3)stung by a jellyfish 4) pinched by a crab - all of which are very real threats in his mind right now. This is our first trip to a swimable ocean. Vancouver and the nearly sub-zero Pacific water do not count as far as I am concerned. (Though I DO SO LOVE VANCOUVER) In between those trips, I have to do laundry, unpack, pack, clean house, cook meals, grocery shop, exercise, lose 5 pounds, pay bills, balance accounts, water plants, take care of landscape, solve world peace, get boys' haircuts, attend tee-ball games, and find energy and time to sleep with my husband, PERHAPS EVEN in the Biblical sense every once in a while. Let's just say blogging is pretty low on the priority totem pole for the next few weeks.

Brian's tests: Thursday, May 29 at 8:30 am, Brian is scheduled for his next MRI. This is the first MRI since we started this new chemotherapy/treatment plan of Avastin and CPT-11. The results of that MRI will be read to Brian on Monday, June 9th.

  • Elementary Pop quiz: When is Angie going to be in Hilton Head???? Did you say, June 8 -for the remainder of the week??? You are correct. In what state is Hilton Head? If you answered anywhere ocean-front, you get full credit. Does this put Angie IN Illinois or OUT of Illinois on June 9th??? Out of Illinois??? You are correct again. Does this make Angie FREAK OUT WITH NEARLY DEBILITATING ANXIETY that she will not be there for these results or rest calmly knowing Brian is in good hands with his folks? Did you say Panic Attacks??? You are correct again! Hey, you don't have to add that she is being ridiculous. There will be no extra credit for that.

In the meantime, Brian continues with the next round of chemo tomorrow with his friend, John, as his companion, husband of my good friend, Heather. How is Brian fairing? Brian's hair continues to slowly fall out, but he does okay with it in general. He is more tired than usual, but not excessively so. He has been especially helpful and supportive around the house lately and with the kids. He doesn't sleep great, but some days are not so bad. He doesn't feel good for about the first 3-4 days post treatment. He is run-down, sort of sick feeling, and just all around "off" for those few days. He rebounds a bit by day 5, rallies on day 6 and pretty good by day 7.

  • Pop Quiz #2. When are we leaving for Wisconsin? If you answered THIS FRIDAY, you answered correctly. When is Brian having chemo?? Did you say Tuesday, tomorrow?? You are correct again. You sure are smart. What day of Brian's cycle does that have us leaving??? Day 4???? Good answer! What day does Brian usually start to semi-rebound??? Day 5? Wow. Your memory is awesome! So, if history serves, would Brian be feeling good or NOT SO HOT, the first couple days of our trip??? Not so hot, right!

The above 2 pop quizzes would be the basis for our biggest prayer requests right now:

  1. Brian feels good on our family vacation
  2. Good/favorable test results on June 9
  3. Relaxation/trust/faith for Angie during those test results for which she will not be present.
  4. Safe travels
  5. Lower gas prices - oh wait, I am not sure if even I believe God can perform that miracle.

KEEP BELIEVING

Friday, May 23, 2008

The post where Angie takes a stand and loses half her readers (and gets a big Heck Yeah! from the other half)

So this post at Meg’s the other day (Hi, Meg!) made me realize I wanted to speak on this issue.

I am a Conservative. I am a Republican. I am a Christian. I believe in Absolute Truth. I believe in the Bible as the written and perfect word of God. It is upon those beliefs that I base my life. It is upon those beliefs, that I have stances and opinions about controversial and socially relevant topics. The other day at church, our pastor did a message on Elijah. Elijah was a great and powerful prophet of God during a day when the Jews were on the fence about Yahweh-God. Jezebel had helped put forth Baal as god and the Jews were getting confused on the subject. 1 Kings 18:21 "Elijah went before the people and said, 'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.' But the people said nothing." Silence is not something I feel I can live with. I am called not to be silent, so I choose to speak today on my beliefs on certain issues.

Like these:

Jesus. I believe Jesus is the Son of God. I believe He came to this earth to better help us understand the Father God and to help us find a way to God because we as humans were “missing it.” He fulfilled many prophecies and was crucified willingly for our sins. The Jews did not kill Christ. The Romans did not kill Christ. I killed Christ. I kill him a little every day with my sins. He died to save me from those sins so I could accept Him as God and some day spend eternity with Him in Heaven. I believe that anyone who rejects this will not go to heaven. I know MANY MANY MANY MANY (you get the point) people who do not accept this and I love those people and I am saddened that I will not see them in Heaven. I am sure they think I am as crazy as they are for believing this truth. There is no gray area on this for me. Hell is something that we have sort of glorified in our culture today – as a place where naughty things happen with hot fire and brimstone and pitchfork looking cherubs, but it is still fun. However, what I know about Hell is that it is total isolation and separation from God (aka anything good, pure, righteous, true, happy, loving) and is full of lies, deceit, anger, vengeance, and evil. I do not want to spend eternity there and nothing saddens me more than anyone who will. Nothing saddened Jesus more, either. He did not teach us to wish anyone there. He reprimanded his Apostles for wanting to strike down a city that did not welcome them. Reprimanded them because nothing saddens God more than the destruction of those who have not yet accepted his Truth.

Homosexuality: I am not one of those “not that there’s anything wrong with that” kind of people when it comes to this. I believe it is wrong because the Bible tells me it is wrong. If you don’t follow the Bible, I don’t expect this to make any sense to you. I believe homosexuality is a choice. The same way that getting married or not is a choice. The same way that staying true or not true to that person is a choice. The same way that staying married or not married is a choice. All have their pros and cons and all are easy and hard in their own respects. Now, I have lots of choices and I sin daily, too, so I do not think homosexual people are evil, but I do think they are sinning. I do not hate them. I love the sinner; hate the sin just as I hate my own sins. I am not so na├»ve to think that some are not more prone to struggling with this. Just as some are more prone to dealing with addiction. Just as I am more prone to struggling with impatience, anger, and yelling. God does not hate me for that and does not teach anyone to hate me for it either. God does not hate gays and lesbians. God loves us all equally. He does not love the black man more or less than the white man. God does not love the pastor more or less than the homosexual. Why would I? Just because I am against homosexuality and I voice that, WHY OH WHY would anyone think I am a hater? If anyone calls me a hater for this, then I respond in one of two ways 1) You obviously don’t know me because I don’t hate anyone for what they do or 2) You must be a hater, too, if you feel the need to say such things about me for having an opinion contrary to yours. If someone says I am close-minded, my response is that they are then equally as close-minded for thinking I am wrong and shouldn’t voice my opinion. What frightens me the most about this issue is that people who have contrary opinions to homosexuality are being labeled as haters and are slowly not being allowed to voice their opinions. I do not think it will be long before we are not allowed to voice this at all in some countries and I find that sad and socially repressive and frightening. I do not choose to avoid the topic of homosexuality altogether (if I watch any sort of network television I cant – Law and Order, CSI, ER, Scrubs, Earl, Office – it’s strewn throughout) and I do not choose to avoid gays and lesbians. I don’t know many, which is true. If I did, and I got along with the person and had things in common with the person, they may become my friend if they could handle that I had a belief contrary to theirs. I would hope they don’t hate me for having my beliefs just as I don’t hate them for having their lifestyle. I just think it is wrong. They think I am wrong. It is black and it is white for both sides.

Abortion. I think this one can be more summed up with some pictures. Meet Kevin at 8 weeks in-utero:



According to our laws and society, Kevin is not considered a human being with any rights at this stage. No, Kevin is an extension of his mother’s body and is her right and her choice, not her child. Kevin’s parents were 19 and 21 when he was conceived and unmarried. Kevin’s parents did not choose to view him as a choice, but as the life he was. They also chose to marry and parent. This is Kevin today at 38.

Does this look like a choice to you or a person? At what point in time from 6-8 weeks in-utero when Kevin could have been terminated to the point at which he was birthed, did he become a person and not an extension of his mother’s body – a choice? If Kevin’s parents had not chosen to give him life, Kevin would never be. Kevin’s 3 kids would never be.

Meet Andrew at 8 weeks in-utero.
Once again, according to our laws and our society, Andrew is not a human being with any basic rights yet, but rather an extension of his mother’s body with which she has any right to handle. Andrew’s parents were both 19 and unmarried when he was conceived. His father was an engineering student and his mother was working full time. Termination of the pregnancy was probably very tempting, however, his parents did not view the above as a choice or a right, but as life. Meet Andrew today at 19:

Andrew is studying Engineering at University of Kentucky. He graduated from high school with a 4.0 and was Valedectorian.

The mother and father that chose life for Kevin, happen to be my mom and dad. Kevin is my brother. The mother and father that chose life for Andrew happen to be Lisa and Kevin, my brother. Andrew is my nephew. If my parents had not chosen life, I would not have the brother I have. If Kevin and Lisa had not chosen life, I would not have my nephew, Andrew. If choice is the voice of reason, shouldn’t Kevin and Andrew have gotten a vote, too? I am going to go out on a limb and venture to guess that there are almost NO in utero babies that would vote for death over a chance for life. Once again this does not mean I hate anyone who has ever had an abortion, nor do I think I am any better. I sin DAILY. I believe abortion is a sin from which we can seek repentance and healing. But, God created every breathing human being differently and the Bible says he knew us when we were in the womb. That life in the womb should have the same basic human rights as those of us out of the womb.

So that about sums up my stand on some very hot topics of today. The reason this came about was because someone named Linda left a comment on Bossy’s post (which I admit grossed me out a bit) the other day stating she was not going to read anymore, she was finished, it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I have no idea what her reasons were. If they were because of a difference of beliefs, then what is so wrong with that? Something tells me if the shoe were dropped differently and Bossy wrote something ultra-conservative and upset some liberals and they said they would stop reading, it wouldn’t have been so controversial and would be considered open-minded and logical. I find a huge double standard in this type of logic and with a lot of liberal beliefs. If you tell me to get the corncob out of my ass from my conservatism, then I will laugh first, toast you with my red wine and tell you to put a band-aid on your bleeding heart from liberalism. I do not consider myself better than you and I hope you don’t consider yourself better than me. We are all equals in the playing field of life.

That being said, many if not most, of the blogs I read regularly are uber-liberal. These people have become my friends and my acquaintances. I find them witty, insightful and hilarious. I find them encouraging and inspirational as well. I love reading Bossy. I love reading Mrs. G, and KatyDidNot and Jenn and Meg, just to name a few, even though I know their political and spiritual beliefs are about as far to the left as I am to the right. I could stop reading them based on this, just as I am sure there will be many that stop reading me based on this today. However, I don’t choose to live in a bubble. I am firm enough in my beliefs to be able to look past and keep reading for the parts that entertain me and inspire me. There are many that are not, though. Either way, is that so wrong?

*cue crickets chirping*

Anyone left?

*cue crickets chirping*

I'm off the soapbox now. I promise to update on Brian again soon - this weekend as he has some upcoming events.


KEEP BELIEVING

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A weekend retreat

This last weekend, we went to my mom and dad's to celebrate my nephew's 4th and my niece's 11th birthday. I think my boys are the luckiest boys alive to get to spend time at this place:
doing what he loves


8 more weeks

the teenager

the first catcha first 4-year old time outbirthday boy in lock downthe matriarchrole modelthe newest addition (cousin to be)the biggest catch (she did it all by herself)partners in crime......in hiding......getting away...

...on the run!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Spring Cleaning Discovery #3 - Summer Plans

Moving on in my Spring Cleaning/Time Reprioritization theme. While determining where my time is best spent for my family and my home life, it also become evident that too much home time together sometimes drives us all a bit crazy. And when I say crazy, I mean boys hitting each other over the head with large blunt objects and mom screaming all day for some quiet (which I realize is in its very self contradictory to my quest for quiet). So, we also made some summer plans. And when I say WE made summer plans, I mean, OTHERS made those plans, and we LEECHED onto those plans.


First on the agenda - a weekend visit from my sister and her family for Memorial Day including a minor league baseball game and hopefully, some golf for the kids. And when I say golf, I do not mean the kind that includes putting through a large windmill or into a castle, unless of course, they insist, and by insist, I mean, cry.


Next, a week trip to Wisconsin with Brian's entire family including a water park then a rustic resort in Northern Wisconsin. And when I say rustic resort, I mean TV is included, but not DVR. Swimming pool, recreational lake, trails, playground, tennis courts, restaurant, cabins, and fishing. And when I say fishing, I mean worms for boys, MARGARITAS for me.


After that the boys and I will meet my family in Hilton Head for a week. My extended family planned a vacation to Hilton Head some months ago and asked us to be part of it, but we could not commit for various reasons, and when I say various reasons, I mean, CANCER. Those various reasons caused the above Wisconsin trip to form and also prohibit Brian from attending due to other circumstances, and by other circumstances, I mean CHEMO. After conversations, brainstorming and investigating, we determined the boys and I could fly with frequent flyer miles that expire in a few months anyway for almost nothing, and by nothing, I mean $30 (total). We have a very tight vacation budget, and thirty dollars fits into that budget along with ALMOST NOTHING ELSE.


When we return, the boys will attend a week long vacation bible school just up the road, and that almost sums us June. July is free and open right now except for one minor event right in the middle and when I say minor event, I mean A NEW BABY. My sister, who also happens to be my very best girlfriend in the whole wide world, is expecting a girl, who is yet to be named, because she told her 3 year old son what they were thinking of naming that girl and he named the baby goat at memaw and papa's that very same Savannah. In my family, it is acceptable to have an animal named AFTER a HUMAN, but not acceptable to have a human named AFTER an ANIMAL, because we are rednecks refined like that. ANYWAY, I feel very attached to my sister's pregnancies because I have never been with child, so I like to live it through her as close as I can, good and bad, and by the bad, I mean, of course, the baby weight.


That brings us to August. The kids start school in August, so we have like a million back to school activities, which means, literally 3. Kindergarten back to school night, the rest of the school back to school night and back to school shopping. We also have like a gazillion weddings, which also literally means 3. Two cousins and my brother. So, that brings us to the end of summer. The end.


Oh yeah, other events we would like to sprinkle in there - swimming at the pool, teeball games, time at each grandparent's house, a Cardinal's game, time at the park, playdates, etc., all while Brian continues to undergo chemo. THAT brings us to the end of my sanity the summer. THE END END.

This is WHY we plan activities all summer:
This is what my boys do when they have a million hours in a stroller together at Disneyworld.


This is what my boys do when they have 3.7 seconds together posing for a picture with their cousin.

The End End End.

KEEP BELIEVING

Friday, May 16, 2008

Spring Cleaning Discovery #2 - Lost and Found



Last night, during my bi-weekly gno (girls night out) (see, you think I don't take care of myself. It is Brian who needs more nights out), my good friend, S, got a phone call. We all dread the cell phone calls for fear of a night cut short due to a sick or unruly child or a babysitter issue. This was her husband. He called her to ask her where the remote was. I. Kid. You. Not.



Who else can relate?



I am beginning to think one of my sole purposes in life is to either inform my fellow home dwellers, who all happen to be male, where everything precious to them is located or to assist in finding said precious things. In my cleaning of the garage a few weeks ago, I discovered two hats, three missing gloves and a jacket layered between toys in the garage. With the very cold and snowy winter that graced us this past year, I will admit I didn't shuffle through the garage looking for lost and found type items very often. I bought new. Or I made the boys wear cloth mittens or *gasp* their HOODS when they were outside playing when we couldn't locate their bundling accessories. I also found the heads to action figures (although now I can't find the bodies), the marbles to random games, and the guns to Star Wars figures, which happen to be the size of my pinky toe nail (did I mention I have size 5-1/2 feet?) and tend to be the same color as my carpet (the guns, not my feet). I am not denying that sometimes the last I see of these type of objects is just before they are suctioned into my trusted Kenmore vacuum. Due to my slow reflexes. And sometimes not.




This is typical of every day of my life. I find their stuffies (stuffed animals), their socks, their shoes, their toys, their baseball gloves, their lightsabers, their games, their pencils, their homework, their books, their Nintendos, etc. All discarded between couch cushions, car seats, in their closets and under tables/beds for the first more enticing activity that beckons them.



And despite finding all of these things, I often ponder whether or not to return them. How long before they ask for them? Do they even know they are missing? They must not care about them.



Then I come across my own pitfalls. As I was cleaning out the console in the van a few weeks ago, I came across my long lost Poi Dog Pondering CD. I stopped looking for it about 2 years ago. I stopped asking and talking about it not because I wasn't fond of it, quite the contrary, but because, well, I was responsible for its placement and I simply couldn't find it. So, I guess I can't judge. Oh and did I tell you about that one time I couldn't find my passport and we were leaving for Europe in EIGHT DAYS? Guess who found it? Brian. Yes, the same man who can't find his jacket hanging in the closet some days. The same man who can't find the butter in the fridge that I just told him was on the second shelf behind the beer ketchup.



So, I guess it all evens out. We are a family. We help each other. We find each other's things. We leave our messes for metidy each other's messes.



For now, I should be thankful they need me in that respect. It won't be long when they won't.



KEEP BELIEVING

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spring Cleaning Discovery #1

Since I can't decide what to write about these days, or rather, since I actually think about things other than what to write on this blog each day, I have been suffering from a lack of anything of interest to creatively write about lately. So, I thought I would outline a few of the spring cleaning discoveries I have uncovered since I began reprioritizing my time and efforts lately.

My first unveiling is the fact that despite my total lack of best efforts, the booger vault still exists. As I was cleaning Gavin's room last week, I discovered these behind his bed again:

I had to use my Pampered Chef scraper to attempt to pry these dried, bloodied nasal excrement from the wall.

This one even took the outer lay of the drywall with it requiring a patch job whenever we repaint his room or he decides a tissue is indeed worth the effort. I am not holding my breath.

KEEP BELIEVING

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day, Translated

Since when did Mother’s Day turn into a day all about the kids? I thought it was a day of pampering mom.

I was mildly pampered.

Brian told me he was gonna make me breakfast in bed. Translation: Brian suffered from his nightly insomnia, considered just staying up and making me breakfast, but fell soundly back to sleep at the time I had to get up to get myself and the boys ready for church, so we all had cold cereal (Frosted Flakes, because I am all about pampering myself on mother’s day and all) Except for Brian who got up and made himself an egg 5 minutes before it was time to leave, causing me to rush everyone into the “get-your-shoes-on-NOW-it’s-time-to-go” frenzy.

We were supposed to go to Brian’s folks for a fish fry with Brian’s brother and his family, but someone from each family was sick and we cancelled it. Translation: I had the dessert I was scheduled to bring in the oven causing me to gain 5 pounds at the THOUGHT of the entire dessert in my house knowing Brian’s lack of sweet indulgence and my INABILITY to stay away from those chocolate chip, caramel brownies. (Feel pants constrict)

The boys decided to make me another card. Translation: The scissors, paper and tiny paper clippings are still waiting to be reorganized and reshelved.

Since our plans were cancelled, Brian decided a movie was a good idea, seeing how the weather for the day consisted of a balmy 50 degrees, hurricane force winds and arctic rain. Gavin decided I should get to choose the movie since it was Mother’s Day and all and he is so sweet and considerate. I suggested a nice princess movie since I am a girl and it is mother’s day and all, but sweet considerate Gavin said, “Mom, the movie you want to see starts with 'sssssss.'” Translation: Speed Racer.

I got to relax and enjoy a movie at the theater. Translation: I The kids ate way too much popcorn and soda. The boys hung on me and whined during all the slow, but essential too-complicated-for-a-kid-movie plot development scenes, Grant belly-laughed at the 'Spritle kicks a thug in the nads' scene, and I had to take one of the boys to the bathroom no less than 3 times during race scenes.

“We should have whatever Mommy wants for dinner.” Translation: Due to the cancelled dinner plans and the lack of any plan or thought for the day’s meal - Arby’s. The kids loved it.

Brian would put the kids to bed that night. Translation: Brian crashed on the couch around 7:30, so I put the kids to bed when their incessant fighting nearly drove me to manslaughter (although I think I had a good case for self-defense because listening to them argue all day was torture.)

I didn’t have to do much of any housework. Translation: Aside from the dishes Brian washed from the lunch he prepared everyone (leftovers), I just have an extra day’s worth of filth, clutter and laundry to handle.

Angie tends to exaggerate. Translation: Despite all of the above, I had a nice day surrounded by my family and enjoy making myself the martyr in it all, anyway.

So, when did Mother’s Day become all about the kids? Translation: Oh yeah, the day those kids made me a mother.

KEEP BELIEVING

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Not much

I don’t have a lot to say. I have about 5 posts in my head but everytime I sit to write them, they all jumble together and end up being ridiculous. My kids haven’t done or said much funny that I can share or that I remember lately. I already updated on how Brian is doing, except I did forget to mention that he is also suffering from canchor sores in his mouth – another lovely chemo side effect. This is despite the special mouthwashes we have purchased which are supposed to help in alleviating this problem. I already told you about my new priorities. I have little else to say. I have so little to say that I feel the need to tell you how little I have to say. And apparently all this is making me crabby because my kids have been praying for me during bedtime prayers to be a nicer mom tomorrow and Brian tells me a large percentage of what leaves my mouth lately is negative. I am assuming he is not referring to the mucus I am hacking from the cough that has plagued me for the last week. I guess I need to continue to refocus.

KEEP BELIEVING

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I took a break. A long break from blogging and as much as I would like to say the computer in general that is not entirely true since my break was to take care of some long neglected duties. Part of those long neglected duties included inputting receipts into quicken (since we use our credit card for most everything to earn rewards, but pay it off like a checkbook each month, I track credit card receipts equally as diligently as checks and debits) and updating my calendar for the ever growing number of weddings and graduations this year. We are long out of the "another friend is getting married next weekend" phase of our lives, but we have over 50 first cousins between the two of us and it seems after a long dry spell of weddings and graduations, many have decided that 2008 is THE YEAR! Plus, the kids' school registration packets came home for next year with the 08-09 calendar, so I thought I would be proactive and input holidays and other important dates onto my calendar so I can just have a longer time frame of forgetting about those until the last minute. So, I actually spent A LOT of time on the computer last week. I just didn't blog. I didn't even check comments. Honest. I knew there would be time for that later.

No, I took care of business. I cleaned the house. Thank you for all those that insisted my house was not dirty. The clutter was actually not too bad, but I do not have a macro lens to show you the splatter marks on the ground from spilled chef-boy-r-dee three days ago or the jelly on the kitchen rug or the URINE CRUSTED TOILETS from living with 3 boys. I cleaned them all. Today, the bathrooms are still okay, but the floor looks like I didn't touch it.

In addition, I cleaned out my google reader. As with all cleaning projects, there are some tasks that are meant to be ignored. Some clutter that is best dealt with by shoving it under the bed or simply closing the door. So, like kicking yesterday's breadcrumbs under the rug, I hit 'mark all as read' on over 300 items in my google reader. It felt liberating, but so guilty. I did read some, but I can't read that many each day. Which brings me to my next point...

I can't keep blogging like I have. I think many realized that last week with my 3 posts in 8 days. I actually attended to the stay-at-home mom tasks that God intended for me. I played catch with the boys. I cleaned the house. I made DINNER - healthy, nothing from a box or bag DINNER - MORE THAN ONCE last week. I spent time with Brian at night. I pruned my landscaping. I changed light bulbs. I cleaned up the finances. I got together with friends - living breathing humans. I put ON MAKE UP. I worked out EARLY IN THE MORNING. I read my bible a bit. I EVEN READ PART OF A BOOK THAT DID NOT MENTION STAR WARS OR DIDN'T RHYME. I went to bed at reasonable hours. AND I LOVED IT ALL! This is what my job is and I am good at it when I do it the right way.

So, I will keep reading my fellow bloggers, but I probably won't comment as much or certainly not daily on each. I am allotting myself some blogging time each day, but not to the extent that I was. Spring and summer are here. I want to be outside. I need to be outside. The lawn needs mowed, the flowers need to be watered (and planted), the weeds need to be destroyed, and the kids need playtime. They are with friends most of the day, but occasionally, they still want to play with me and I want their memories to be of me playing with them and not of me on the computer while they still want to be seen with me.

KEEP BELIEVING

Monday, May 5, 2008

Who cares about....

So, I have been wondering, how many of you come around here day after day or at least on occasion and all you really want to know is how Brian is doing but all you hear about is my mindless drivel? WOW! All those hands. Okay, Okay. Here you go.

Brian received his second round of chemo last Monday. His very good friend since college and best man, John, husband to my good friend, Heather, came into town and took Brian to chemo, played cards with him and took him to lunch after. They enjoyed spending some time together in a place where you can't go anywhere anyway. Brian's white blood cell counts dropped out of the normal range, so we have to watch for sickness since he is immuno-compromised. Unfortunately, about a day after that discovery, I came down with a nice spring cold that has lasted for 6 days. I never get sick for that long. Regardless, Brian and I are currently not kissing. Make your own jokes about that.

Brian tolerates the chemo drugs OKAY. Not great, not terrible. He has a rather icky feeling in his stomach for the first two days after, but eats fine enough. He struggles with chronic fatigue. He is simply run down often. He starts to feel better about 6 days after the drugs are administered. He started to lose his hair this weekend and is considering shaving it off to save me from the mess. I told him it was up to him. The washing machine takes care of the sheets and the vacuum works in the rest of the house. The issue with the shaving of the head is the nice horseshoe shaped scar decorating the left side of his head. He is a bit self-conscious about it, but even more so than that, it is a matter of sparing people from looking at it. People gawk and they just can't help it. I don't blame them for it. I don't think Brian does either. So, once the hair is completely gone, he will have to wear hankies and hats on his head. At work sometimes that causes people to stare just as much, so it is not an easy decision either way.

We have a very busy next 5 weeks ahead of us. I will write more on that later. We could use prayers for Brian to have lots of strength and energy. While Brian never complains or pities himself, sometimes the disadvantages of his right side deficits are very taxing, especially this time of the year. He never says so, but I know he is frustrated he cannot play catch with his boys especially as they start tee-ball this week. He can't run with them or take them on bike rides. Bike rides were always something Daddy and the boys shared. I hope to keep the memory of those alive, but not being able to continue them is disheartening. Brian just chooses not to voice that. That is what makes him so amazing, dignified and heroic. He doesn't spend his time pining about his condition. He just makes the best of what he has right now.

Shouldn't we all?

KEEP BELIEVING

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A question for God

Dear God.

As you know, I question You a lot. My most often asked question is WHY! Why me? Why Brian? Why cancer? Why his speech? Why his RIGHT side? Why his brain? Why? Why? Why? I am reminded that you are all-powerful and all-knowing and I have no earthly idea what is going on in Heaven or the Spiritual realm. I take comfort in that when my earthly WHY's are not answered. Today, however, I have a HOW question.

How is it that you can make this




turn into this beauty in mere weeks,




Yet SMELL SO AWFUL!

For those of you who are not familiar, let's just say Bradford Pears and best admired from afar.


KEEP BELIEVING