Tuesday, May 25, 2010

He was. He is.

For me, when something touches me deeply, when I am forced to contemplate, mull, discover, reflect, it takes me a while to write about. First I have to figure out and arrange how I feel about something in my head and then let my heart pour out. This is to explain what is to come next...

There’s a word I hate.


Hate that word. Really. I’ve heard that word more than enough times in my life. If someone came up with a new descriptor for the disease, I’d still hate it. But that word sends chills to my bones and makes my heart heavy. Too much experience. Too much hurt.

And yet it is here again.

Four weeks ago, Chris was diagnosed with cancer. A highly treatable, curable kind of cancer. God’s hand has been in our lives as long as we both can remember, and this experience has been no exception. He was working in us before Chris went to the doctor; He was with us as we got the grim look and very serious words from our family doctor that he was nearly 100% sure it was cancer; He was in the moves that our doc made in getting Chris into ultrasound, chest xrays, bloodwork, and the surgeon all within 72 hours of the diagnosis.

He was there as Chris laid in the chamber getting his CT scan and with the surgeon’s hands and nurses as Chris underwent surgery the following day. He was in Chris’ recovery. He was moving in our hearts and providing peace, comfort and support. He was in the meals that friends provided, He was in the love extended through kind words and notes. He was with us as we sat in the radiologists office going over treatment options – a bit surreal. He was with us as we sat waiting and looking at the cancer clinical trials. He was with us as we prayed and thought and tried to digest what was really happening. He was.


And that’s the best part. He is. He is with us. He is in us. He is beside us as Chris begins intensive radiation therapy this Friday. He is healer, master, comforter, grace provider, peace giver, and God. He knows. Whatever come, be it blessings upon blessings, or allowing Him to carry us when it’s tough, HE IS.

There’s this verse that I have hanging in our bedroom. I originally put it up there as we were going through the trials of trying to sell our house in AZ for 2.5 years, but I love how scripture moves you and continues to move you as circumstances change. Yet I still like to read it and I am trying to allow it to sink in and permeate my soul, because just as it was applicable to the Israelites thousands of years ago, it is still applicable to me today. Because He was and is the Word.

Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you....The LORD will fight for you, and you only have to keep still. Exodus 14:13-14

I think that this verse reminds me that I really do need to be “still and know that He is God.” I need to seek peace, refuge and strength in the One that knows what tomorrow holds. He has entrusted us with this trial, which means He trusts us! And if He trusts us to remain faithful to Him and bring him glory in this, how can we not trust in Him? And so we do. Because....

He was.

                    He is.

                                He will always be.

Monday, May 24, 2010

our gauge that summer is here…


How do we know that summer is here?  STRAWBERRY PICKING!!!!

We ventured out with Marion and the twins to pick some delicious strawberries that melt in your mouth and are so juicy you can see the remnants on Anna’s shirt.  Hudson’s hands were red – man, we love strawberries!

The second test?  We had the below for dinner:

IMG_2072fresh local strawberries picked by our grubby hands :), homemade salsa with cilantro from Mommy’s herb pot, freshly made meadow (mint) iced tea, carrots, celery, blackberries, cheese cubes, bean dip and our fave blue corn tortilla chips (with flax seeds in them).

It’s summer and we all loved this laid back dinner and filled our tummies.    

Thursday, May 20, 2010

slightly grossed out

I just found my two year old in the bathroom using her bathtub sponge to wipe her own buns after she pooped.  Good that she had tried to wipe herself, bad that she had put baby soap on the sponge and cleaned her buns – and then was wiping her legs too.

Yup.  I’m grossed out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

quotable: control freak

From Mark Batterson’s In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day:

“We want control, but the decision to follow Christ is a relinquishment of control.  Following Christ is letting Jesus take the wheel…..What I’m trying to say in a nice way is this: We’re control freaks. 

                    But faith involves a loss of control.  

And with the loss of control comes the loss of certainty.  You never know when a five hundred pound lion may cross your path.  And faith is the willingness and readiness to embrace those uncertainties.”

And if you want to know what the 500 pound lion thing is, read the book.  It’s worth it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

a visit to the dairy

Hudson’s preschool (he goes 2 or 3 mornings a week from 9 – 11:30) does some really fun activities and parents are always invited.  Anna and I tagged along to one of the latest – a trip to the dairy farm!  Anna was in heaven because her best boy bud, Daniel was there with his big brother, Caleb.  Hudson and Caleb get along rather fabulously as well, so it works out for us mommies!IMG_1974 

I think they were all plotting how they were going to be mischievous and get away with it….

 IMG_1978Best buds off to do some damage – well, not too much.  They were holding hands. :o)  Hudson and Anna were also “milking” this water cow.


A couple of the fun activities that you can do on this farm?  Hang out with the free range chickens, bottle feed the newborn calves, pet the horses, see the mamas that are about to give birth in the next few weeks, tour the milking parlor, see the tanks where they homogenize the milk, see the bottling process  and watch the ice cream being made!  The little farm store to get fresh milk and ice cream rocks – plus, they have yummy treats like celery & pimento cheese, homemade block cheeses, homemade chicken salad and soups as well.


And if you come to visit us and we take you to this awesome farm (because you can go any time for a tour, or to feed the calves, OR to get some delish homemade ice cream), you’ll have to remember to say your prayers for your treat.  Hudson did.


Monday, May 10, 2010

birthday bash 2 – Hudson is 5!


Look at this beautiful boy!  I can’t resist smiling at that face.

Hudson wanted a camping party – so camping to the best of our ability we did!  It was so much fun!  His invitation was a s’more – it was 2 grahams with small holes and sandwiched between the chocolate and marshmallow.  On the front it read:

You’re invited to Camp Hudson

On the Marshmallow inside invited all campers to gear up.  Info was given per the party and guests were to rsvp to the head camp counselors (daddy and mommy).  Grandparents, family and friends helped us set up for the day as not only was the demolition for the mission house garage changed to that day, but I was hit with bronchitis and a sinus infection .


Carla was the grill-meister; yes men, girls can grill.  And she does it well!  There were lights strung on the deck, a fire pit was dug in the back, a cabana tent was up, picnic tables were out, food was plentiful and the weather was impeccable.  Really.  I wasn’t expecting AZ weather for a PA birthday, but this May 1st party boasted low 80s. 

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After dinner, when it was sensed that the smallest campers needed some entertainment, the bucket of 20 water guns was brought out.  When the ratio is 17 boys to 4 girls, you can imagine the mayhem.  It was hilarious – and fun to watch.  No shooting adults and you couldn’t shoot if someone was refilling their weapon.  The cutest thing was when everyone “ganged up” on Hudson and was yelling “get the birthday boy”.  He of course loved the attention.  And he was soaked by the end. 

He actually just stripped and was running in his underwear.  Oh well.  It was his party.  Let him get ‘nek-ed’ if he wants to. IMG_7462 IMG_7466

The men started their fire.  I could almost hear the grunting of cavemen as they admired their creation.  We had plenty of firewood from the meadow and from the demo of the garage.

After the water, the kids went on a bug hunt.  Mom-Mom had hidden a bunch of insects and frogs at varied places around the yard and porch.  It was much more exciting than I had imagined it would be.


Then to the cake and s’mores.  The main dessert was s’mores, but you can’t have a party without blowing out candles.  I melted some lollipops and then broke them apart with some pretzels to try to make a campfire in the middle of the cake.

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The WonderPets Ming-Ming outfit was a hit too.  The cape never came off.  No camp is complete without fireside singing.  Lucky for Hudson, his daddy is a professional.


Happy 5th Birthday Beautiful Boy!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

birthday bash entry 1 – Miss Shelly

Miss Shelly.”

Say that name in our house and two small humans come sprinting and ask, “Where is she?  When is she coming?”  Seriously.  It gets as much response as if I would say “free ice cream to the first one here!”  I’m not kidding.

IMG_7434Miss Shelly has been a blessing to our family as she serves us by allowing the parental units to head out for nights on the town –free of charges – and full of fun things for the kids.  They make crafts, there is a treasure box, they have treats and I’m not sure how she does it, but they are in bed and sleeping when we come home.  Man, she’s good.

To kick off the birthday celebrations for Bubba, Miss Shelly brought over a very special birthday cake, and a very special project to commence the festivous week.  (I know that isn’t a word, but it should be.  There should be an adjective form of festival.  And yes, I know that if you are a Seinfeld watcher there is such a thing as “Festivus”.)  She brought a cake complete with gummi worms, icing and some kind of toffee stuff.  And it was delicious.

Just needed to share the first of the “festivous” occasions.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

bounce house mania

Pre-planning for me is a miracle.  Really.  But this day was a miracle :)  I found out the week before that there was to be 4 days straight of rain and thought, “hmm…how can I keep my kids busy?  How can I make it fun for all of us?  How can I not spend a fortune if we need to get out of the house?”

Solution:  the bounce house and playhouse delight.  A place not too far away has an indoor arena full of bounce houses appropriate for 5 and under and 7 and under – as well as 2 separate play structures (pirate ship/treehouse and a princess castle) with slides.  They sanitize (thank goodness for my germaphobic friends ;o) and they have special playtimes during the morning hours for little people.

I pre-planned.  (I can hear your applause.)  I called some chicas and had them bring their chico-ettes to meet us to bounce away some energy for two hours.  The awesomeness?  Um, well, mommies were allowed to bounce too!  We had a blast on the slides and climbing and falling and bouncing!  By the end, all 7 peanuts were pooped (phew!) and 2 were nearly asleep in mommy arms.

Sanitizer provided…and….Mission accomplished.

IMG_7408  IMG_7411 IMG_7412  IMG_7415 IMG_7413



ps.  Anna is screaming at the top of this slide.  She was mad that Hudson slid without her.  She was smiling by the time we got to the bottom.  I wasn’t torturing her.