Monday, September 29, 2008
A Guest Post from my Sister

One of the most frustrating things about my course of treatment is that I have significant gaps in my memories of those long, Ifosfimide-fogged days. Evidently, I asked my sister if she'd like to keep the blog up during those times...we'll have to trust her, as she wasn't on drugs at the time :-). She decided to cash in on my offer this week. For the record, she came up with her own nickname. Love you, Sarah!

I don't know if you recall in the midst of your first chemo round when you offered for me to 'guest blog' to keep everyone updated in your progress. I think in my not-so-eloquent way I turned you down as I didn't think anyone would be interested in a barf or blood cell count update. Well, I was wrong about that then, and now I do want to take up on that offer.

So I picked up your book, (thanks for the free edition, but I might have bought one anyways), and I found that I couldn't put in down. I got wound into the fabric that has been the past few years of your life through your blog and found myself walking through it with you, like a strange Scrooge moment in a "Christmas Story" where he looks back and knows what's going to happen.
The tears started rolling after the first section of the book ended and I knew what the second section contained, I dreaded starting to read knowing what was in store for our heroine as you started your cancer/move, etc.s!#$^-storm. What a difference seeing all the blogs together at one time vs. checking in from time-to-time over the course of your postings. I can see why so many people in your life want to you send your story out to the world.

I know you don't see yourself as a "inspiration", a "strong woman", etc. etc. you are called on a VERY regular basis. But you should know that as much as you shirk from compliments, you are all of these things, and more.

Best of all, I know because your faith in God is so strong, you would not change a thing about the past, and you will not shy from the hurdles ahead of you (as many as there seem to be, especially with Hurricane Kenmore to deal with).

Thank you for sharing your story, for being you, handling life with a great demeanor and sharing the challenges and inner-demons we all struggle with but too few will share openly and honestly in a public forum.
To say you are a friend or a sister seems to diminish what we have, and I cherish it everyday we talk....which is everyday : )

Love you Booger!!!

---Buttmunch (aka youngest Sis)

  posted at 7:41 AM  

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Also newly arrived... BOOK!

It arrived at the doorstep as my insurance adjustor was leaving.

So, of course, I autographed a copy and handed it to her.

Am I the only one who thinks it's cool that my "baby" and my new nephew arrived on the same day?

  posted at 1:12 PM  

And now, for some more plesant news
Welcome to the world Baby Boy!

I'm pleased to announce that I now am the proud auntie to SEVEN nephews!

My newest nephew was born this morning at 8:18am and weighed in at a very respectable 8lb14oz.

I can't wait to go see him's the first time I've lived close enough to meet my nephews when they were brand new.

  posted at 9:39 AM  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
It's just stuff, but boy, there's a LOT of it!!
One of the most frustrating things about my move from Arizona to Florida was that I was too physically ill from treatment to do the usual pre-relocation sort and purge. As a result, when we arrived here, I found myself unpacking things like rocks that my children had collected in their rooms "because they were pretty".

The most obvious stuff got thrown away when we unpacked here (while I said prayers of gratitude that I wasn't the one paying the freight for rocks...), but other things were simply put away with the vague assumption that I would get around to really organizing our house the way I wanted to someday when I was feeling better.

I began the process when we decided to market this house, but my good intentions were often pushed aside by the demands of my back-to-school, quasi-single parent schedule/taxi service.

With our home in chaos, the issue has been forced. I'm trying to reclaim my bathroom, where the contents of my closet were tossed when our carpets were pulled. Yesterday, I took a HUGE load of clothes and shoes that I haven't worn in ages to Goodwill, along with (get this) FORTY hats and countless scarves and bandannas.

It was strange to let go of the head coverings that had been the most despised part of my daily wardrobe for the better part of a year...I kept wondering if I should keep them "just in case". Then I took a deep breath, decided to trust God with whatever the future holds, and pushed the bag into the donation bin. Replacing hats is easy, giving my worst fears over, not so much.

I'm off to finish sorting the decade of scrap booking supplies that were unceremoniously thrown in boxes when they were packed to move here (I had just finished an album for my nephew during my first round of chemo). I've come to the painful realization that it's been WAY too long since I've faced my memories...the Little Guy's baby book stops at seven months (He'll be FOUR in February), and our family books stop sometime in the summer of 2005.

I've got this insane notion that I'm going to work on the books while we're in temporary housing ...and sew costumes for Halloween, and supervise our reconstruction, oh, AND promote the book (copies should be here today or tomorrow!!). It could happen....

The insurance person comes tomorrow...demo should start Monday. Thanks for your prayers and support and keep 'em coming!

  posted at 12:35 PM  

Sunday, September 21, 2008
We're still breathing here...
...but I'm not sure how.

The evil washing machine was supposedly "fixed" by our repair person Saturday morning at 8 a.m., after two weeks of waiting for parts, etc.

I threw a load of wash in our "fixed" machine (located in our UPSTAIRS laundry room) and left the house at 8:30ish. I returned six hours later to water pouring from the ceilings of our entire upstairs, and four or so inches of water downstairs.

Structurally, our house will probably require COMPLETE gutting. Since we live in the mold and mildew capitol of the world, I'm not sure if a human exists who would be dumb enough to buy the place for anything other than the land--even if we gut, treat the studs, and remodel.

Need I say that this feels like a cosmic sucker punch?

The computer was damaged, but seems to be hanging in for now. If the blog is dark for a while, it's because either a) it died or b) I'm struggling to model Job and not his wife:

9 His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
10 He replied, "You are talking like a foolish [
b] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. --Job 2:9-10

Thanks to those who are praying...and to the neighbors who rolled up their sleeves in the midst of the initial emergency. You are all wonderful and we love you.

Please pray for wisdom and grace, for the repair company to do the right think in admitting liability, and for a fast, fair and generous insurance settlement. We're still in shock and just can't get much farther than that.


  posted at 8:14 PM  

Monday, September 15, 2008
I don't get it.

This is the child who refuses to try any kind of gymnastics class. Hmmm.....
Posted by Picasa

  posted at 8:28 AM  

Well, at least the house looked really nice this weekend.
The people who caused the whirl of activity at my house did come and look at it. However, it seems that they "suddenly" decided that they couldn't live without a private pool. Or without paying about $100K less than we're asking.

My carpets, however, look lovely, and the other real estate agent told our agent that our house "showed beautifully". I'm not sure exactly what that means, other than the fact that God's not quite done with us here in Orlando...and that I was right not to kill myself cleaning the tile or doing a last-minute trim of the yard!

  posted at 8:21 AM  

Saturday, September 13, 2008
I'm not sure what to think...
but after, oh, five months (?) on the market, numerous inquiry calls that have lead exactly nowhere, two dead open houses, and one spontaneous walk through, we've actually gotten a call that someone wants to come and look at the house this morning.

I have a "real" blog post percolating, but for now we're vacuuming, wiping down, and getting the heck out of Dodge for a few hours.

Have Thy own way, Lord.

  posted at 9:08 AM  

Thursday, September 11, 2008
It's taking a village
One of the distinct disadvantages to my husband's extended workday and 150 mile round-trip commute is that, while he can do the occasionally late-evening soccer pickup, the vast majority of the responsibility for after school activities falls squarely on my shoulders.

At the beginning of the school year, I gridded out the kids' schedules. I mean this literally; there is a color coded time table that hangs above my workspace keeping track of their comings and goings. Piano lessons, check. Soccer, check. Gymnastics, check. Preschool and CBS, check. AWANA and youth group, check.

For a while, it appeared that I would be able to juggle things. After all, the miraculous had happened...the older two had soccer at the same time and location (that's akin to planetary alignment in soccer mom mythology).

It took about two weeks for my pretty little schedule to begin to fall apart. I hadn't counted on middle school soccer (only a 5 week season, PTL!) practices and games, or after school drama practice, or high school lacrosse and soccer pre-season conditioning, or the assortment of (early) evening meetings that seem to pop up at all the different schools. Then the other shoe son's soccer days were switching OPPOSITE my daughters. Now we have club soccer practice four days a week. One of EJ's soccer practices starts at the SAME time I'm supposed to pick up the Princess from the gym...and it's one county over.

Yesterday, it looked like things might fall apart. It was time to get the Princess from school, but a sudden and severe storm put the school under weather lockdown. EJ was practicing at the middle school, but would need to be picked up early due to the weather. AND I still hadn't figured out how to get kids to gymnastics/soccer in a way that didn't involve me cloning myself (and my van) or leaving my son to wait a lonely half hour in the park (not a comfortable option).

God always works things out. This is what went down.

My friend Andrea and I left our little boys with a third friend, Saundy, while I drove Andrea as close to the school as we could get (the traffic was a snarled mess with the lockdown). While she signed out kids (thank you, Lord that I thought to put her on the pickup authorization!) I drove to the middle school in time to fetched the half-drowned EJ. We drove back in time to get Andrea and the assorted kids as they walked home (the weather had calmed down). I retrieved the youngest with thanks to Saundy, and rushed home to dole out after-school snacks and supervise homework/music practice.

At four, we loaded up again, and dropped the Princess off at the gym. We ran a quick errand to the guitar store, then hooked up down the road with EJ's soccer coach. We traded our van (more seats) for his pickup; moved the car seat, and waved them off. Once I convinced a mildly hysterical Little Guy that it was OKAY that we didn't have "our car!!!", we scooted back to the gym in time to catch the Princess on the bars.

From the gym, we picked up TQ at play practice, and headed home to toss a salad for supper. Later that night, the coach returned EJ and our van. Because this coach drives so many of the boys to practice (lots of working and single moms) we decided that the car swap might be a good arrangement from here on out.

The evening was busy, but nothing near the nightmare it could have been.

The thing is, about halfway through all of this, it hit me.

I'm part of a community here. There are people I can count on to help us out and who love us.

After almost two (very long) years here, it was a lovely realization that a small part of me doesn't really care if our house sells anytime soon.

  posted at 1:30 PM  

Tuesday, September 09, 2008
File these under shameless bragging...
Two (well, three) of my kiddos made my day today.

I bounded upstairs to dress the Little Guy for preschool and found him....totally dressed (down to his shoes!) and with his hair brushed. The Princess decided to bless her mommy today.

I was volunteering for traffic control during middle school photo day, and was in the thick of a rush when EJ walked it to have his picture taken. I was completely prepared to be either a) ignored least I totally embarrass him, or b)kept at arms length lest I totally embarrass him.

Instead, I got a hug and a smooch. TWICE. In front of God and everybody. I was positively giddy with love for that kid and glowed all the way to get the LG from preschool.

LG capped it off by getting a much improved "great day" report from his teacher.

Whew....and whoo-hoo!

Some days, it's really nice to be the Mom.

  posted at 2:33 PM  

Monday, September 08, 2008
Monday, Monday...
I've had a hard time getting to my blog lately.

Life is a mixed bag right now. Last week brought the joys of tooling around the theme parks with my girls, starting new Bible studies (CBS and church), enjoying the company of out-of-town friends, and the first sighting of a Florida fall--the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte to Starbucks.

It also brought a leaky washer (Again. I'm beginning to think trying to keep our laundry up while using an aging low-end top loader is kind of like trying to write one's magnum opus in crayola. But I digress.)

Did you know that bull mastiffs can get really horrible cases of hives that require pricey emergency visits to the local animal hospital? I do now, thanks to my adventure in pet-sitting last Friday.

AND I had the new experience of having, well , that child in preschool and Bible Study class. Seems the little guy isn't "adjusting" well to his new class settings. As of next week, I'll be sitting in to offer the CBS teacher suggestions on working with him (in his mixed age preschool class) and his sweet school teacher and I will be collaborating on a behavior chart to help him with the skills he struggles with, namely sitting and focusing when there is a group activity with out getting overwhelmed and transitioning smoothly from activity to activity.

Why is it that, despite pretty much expecting this from the beginning this year, I'm still feeling like a "bad" mom? I find myself embarrassed, wanting to explain that I've also given birth and raised three other children who were decently behaved in group situations at his age, and that I really am NOT as clueless as my child's behavior would make it appear?

Why is it that having a child with a "silent" disability like Sensory Integration Disorder or a language processing disorder (he has been diagnosed with both) can be such a double-edged sword? If I don't pre-inform new teachers then he looks like a perfectly normal, but poorly behaved child. If I DO pre-inform (like at CBS) then I get teachers who are afraid to set boundaries for him without me hand-holding for them?

Now that I've had a few days of distance from my hurt pride, some sage advice, and lots of time on my knees, I find myself more firmly resolved to love this child to the standard. He's so much better most of the time (at least around us) and he is still on summer break from therapy, so it's often easy for me to forget that he's not just a "quirky" preschooler. It doesn't help that I allow myself to occasionally succumb to guilty feelings of having lost so much time with him--first to his early illness, and then to mine. Sometimes it's easier to give into frustration than do the work I need to do with Him.

Once again, I'm glad that God doesn't suffer from the same parenting foibles that I do. Ever patient, he doesn't give up on me, but disciplines me, molding me into the image of His Son. The charge of this very special child is sweet discipline for me.

Less sweet, of course, are the children who oversleep, the piles of laundry, the dirty floors and bathrooms, and the house arrest of waitng for a repair man that have made up the start of my week. But the confinement to home has allowed lots of focused time for sensory activites and rehearsing classroom behavior with the Little Guy. So I guess those are sweet disciplines, too.

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. --Hebrews 12:10-11

  posted at 5:07 PM  

About Me


I'm a work in progress, a stay at home mom of four, a beloved daughter of the King.

My Complete Profile

Amy W
Amy R
Julie D
Arizona Christian Worldview Institute
Every Square Inch Blog
My Publisher!
My Book!!

Recent Entries
I can't believe he's TWELVE.
Wordless Wednesday: Elementary School Talent Show
Things that make you go hmm....
From my Mothers' Day Card
Battle of the Books
Kinda Wordless Wednesday
More Photo Friday--Miss K's Big Day
She got me!
LIVESTRONG Challenge Cancer Video
What would YOU say to Cancer?

June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009

Blog Design by:

Image from:

Powered by: