Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Babies are off seeing the World

Well maybe not the world, but St. Louis.

Mimi, my mom, had a knee replacement last week. The surgery went extremely well. Mimi lives alone and next door to my sister KeeKee. Way before the surgery was scheduled my sister agreed to take a new job with August 31 as start date. My mom knew that she would still need a little help. J has his national sales meetings this week so he would gone. That meant mom could not leave to help Mimi. Goobers and Bear offered/agreed to be with Mimi as she heals. So off to St. Louis they flew bright and early Sunday morning.

They had an early enough flight from an airport that is a good distance from our house. They were up and ready to go. They were very excited to fly and yet a tad nervous. I laugh at how they act with each other. They are 15 months apart. Pooker has always been the leader of this crew. As she gets older and she gets busier with college they are taking the leadership role more and more.
The other kiddos are not to happy about their departure. They all woke up to see us off to the airport. Look at all those tired, sad faces. AWE.
The adventure had begun. These two were so excited to fly for the first time, to see family and friends in St. Louis and to get away for a few weeks.
We got through security and found our way to the gate. I was glad that I was able to escort them all the way back and to wait with them.
They ate and then grew more and more nervous while we waited.
We sat and watched the plane pull in, unload and then prepare for the next flight. We watched them check the plane and even saw their luggage being added.
Then it was time to stand in line. We talked and I tried to keep them giggling to calm their nerves. They were both very quiet. Then they were called. I got very frantic hugs and kisses and they were off.
I grew very nervous now as I watched them head forward to board. They were calming down and enjoying the process.
I didn't want to find out later that the plane had issues and returned to the gate only to dump my young children. So I waited and watched the plane depart. I said a prayer as it lifted from the ground and realized how much fun those two would be having with family.

As I walked back to the car I also realized how much my heart would be aching as I missed them. Goobers is a great leader in our home. She is very loving to her younger siblings. She isn't afraid of little hard work. Bear is the guy that fixes everything. He knows how things work and when they don't he makes them work. He is the one that keeps the family laugh track going as well. I hope Mimi is able to appreciates them as much as I do.

Bye guys, be safe and know that mom loves you bunches and bunches.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So Many needing prayers!

What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited . . .
It cannot cripple Love.
It cannot shatter Hope.
It cannot corrode Faith.
It cannot destroy Peace.
It cannot kill Friendship.
It cannot suppress Memories.
It cannot silence Courage.
It cannot invade the Soul.
It cannot steal eternal Life.
It cannot conquer the Spirit.
Author Unknown

Cancer is a part of our lives. It has struck so many people and so many that I love so much. I still remember my dear grandfather that died when I was in 2ND grade. My Papa was a remarkable wonderful man. Later in in life I was blessed to know my husbands grandfather that also went by the name Papa. He also dies of cancer. My grandmother was always afraid of dying of cancer, but God spared her. She died of old age at 99 years young. She had watched her mother and then her father die in their early 60's of cancer. A priest at that time told her that those that suffer from cancer serve their purgatory here on earth and go right to heaven. As a Catholic she found so much comfort in that thought. I do also. She said that the priest told her that the mental anguish is what united the victim to the cross. As a true Christian I take such joy in knowing that some of my favorite souls are heaven bound.

The reality of cancer to the human is so painful though. We blame everything on causing cancer. One person tells you to eat more dairy and another quotes a different study on how dairy is the cause of all evil. Each side believes themselves to be 100% correct. I am sure that there is some element of truth to be found. I would love to remind others that our life expectancy, even with cancer, if much higher than is was 100 years ago, don't even compare to a thousand years ago. Maybe cancer has always been around but we weren't around long enough for it to develop.

I begin with all that to dive into some serious prayer request. Our dear friend Natalia might be in the middle of a relapse. Her strength is amazing. Remember Natalia is our 16 year old friend from the homeschool world that has been fighting leukemia Since January of this year. Even though she possibly is facing another huge battle this young woman of God has given all of it back to Him. She is open to whatever path He asks of her. This beautiful woman states that she is anxious to learn whatever lessons God needs her to learn.

Another example of His love comes across each time I think of my friend Kelly. She is a fellow homeschooling mom. After fighting breast cancer for two years her husband asked her to leave his house. She struggled with this maybe more than her struggle with cancer. For now she is living in a small apartment homeschooling her two young boys in between her treatments. She joined our Catholic homeschool group not being a woman of faith. She is now a full fledged baptized woman of God. Her faith and trust in Him is a true inspiration to all that know her. She is now having extreme pain in the chest, that is making breathing hard. The crazy thing is that the doctors can't find a tumor. She keeps plugging away. She is making sure to teach her boys every day what it means to be a Christian and to understand that she loves them no matter what.

Then our dear cake fairy lady Linda was shocked to the core when she visited her doctor. She has had severe back pain for a few months. She thought that the medication from that is what lead to her ulcers. As it turns out it is a very advanced case of Pancreatic cancer. She is so thankful that God has given her enough time to let her children know how much she loves them. She is thankful that after surgery for her ulcers she will be able to enjoy the tasty pleasures of food again without needing to worry about addiction or weight gain. She will be treated for comfort not for healing. Her cancer is too advanced.

Linda has a daughter that is Sugar's friend, age 13. She has an intense happy go lucky son that is the love of her life at just 6 years of age. Her husband is crushed and reminding God that Linda has always served Him well. We have been friends with this family for the last seven years. They live in our neighborhood, she volunteers for the Cuda team, they are always running fund raisers for the various parishes that they are in, she bakes my children's birthday cakes, she hosts a killer neighborhood light viewing adventure at Christmas. I have sat and prayed with this woman. We have shared life secrets and deepest fears. She will now come face to face with death. Yet when speaking with her just hours after being told, I was amazed at the joy of life that I saw. I was so inspired by her peace and desire to enjoy her children over the next few months.

While creating caring bridge pages and care calenders for these friends and my mom I must have sent out hundreds of emails. I was also purchasing tickets for Moogie and Bear to visit St. Louis to aid their Mimi. She is having one knee replaced. She lives alone and wants someone with her. My babies have agreed to be there for her. In between all these emails I received an email from my cousin with another request. Similar situation of a young woman with 3 young children.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I cannot even begin to comprehend why we are allowed to suffer. Why are some allowed to suffer in such extreme ways? But I do see you in each of these situations. Remarkable woman of God, trusting in your will, finding your peace and longing for your promise of heaven. Please give me the same hope and joy that I see in these examples. Give each their own miracle. Thank you for allowing me to know them. Thank you for trusting me with the opportunity to unite to you in prayer for these ladies. Please give each one your peace and a knowledge of your love.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Birthday of a Princess

Princess planned how she wanted us to decorate. She asked for it to feel like she was in a castle. The bigger kids stayed up late the night before her big day and draped cray paper from all around the room. She says that she liked it. Yeah, A Happy Birthday Princess!
Jumba is never sure what is going on when the decorations make everything look different when he gets up. He was quite happy when it was time to tear the paper down. That really is the fun part and they all love doing this.
Bagel was very excited about Princess having a birthday. She helped plan and pick out how the day would work. She colored pictures and picked out gifts. I know that those two will be an unstoppable force later in life. Now their main purpose is to drive me crazy.
Princess was very upset to discover that Pooker had to work at the pool on her birthday. She wanted McDonald's for lunch, she loves the chicken nuggets in spite of peta.
We sat and waited for Pooker's break and then we had a little picnic at the pool where Pooker was working. I love that my kiddos want to share their big moments with each other. Princess did not ask for a party, presents or anything like that. She just wanted her birthday meal with all of her siblings.
After lunch we headed home, and mom went to pick up dad. When Pooker got off work she took all the girls shopping to spend the gift card that Princess got from her Mimi. They had so much fun together.
The next afternoon the kiddos baked a big cake and that night when everyone was home we sang the Birthday Song and had Princess blow out candles.
Happy birthday dear Princess. You will always be our little Princess. Mommy and Daddy love you and can't believe that you are now a 7 year old.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Celebrating Pooker!

(Senior Picture taken 7/2008)

Our wonderful Pooker Baby finished her studies at our T Homeschool Academy in January. She didn't want to celebrate then because some of her dear friends were off at college. So we waited until summer. We had to wait until after swim team. Pooker approached her dad and I a few weeks back and asked for her party. She now needed to "get it in" the schedule before her college friends headed back to college. Her best very best friend C was heading out and we needed to have the party.

I thought that I would have been fine if we had cancelled the party all together. I was so wrong. The party was the best thing that could have happened. Pooker is a remarkable young woman and she deserved to have us celebrate her scholastic accomplishments.

This was a party in true Pooker fashion. She invited her friends and their families. At first I thought this would be too many people and we would need too much food. The suggestion was made to have just a dessert party with the chocolate fountain. Well we reserved the neighborhood clubhouse one week before the party, scrambled to get invitations out, created the list of items needs, Bear created a History of Pooker Slide show, and Moogie created a memory book. It was a very busy week, but so much fun.

Then Friday came. Mom went shopping and took everyone but the oldest three up to prepare the food and the room. We cut the tips off of 10 pounds of strawberries, chopped and cubed 10 cantaloupe, and sliced and diced 2 huge watermelons. We set out marshmallows, cookies, cakes, pretzels, and anything else that might be yummy in chocolate. We made coffee, lemonade, tea and even put out jugs of water. We blew up 60 blue balloons.

Then we left to come home and get dressed. The older group went up with their dad. They finished decorating with signs, hung some of the balloons, draped cray paper from light to light, and sprinkled the confetti. They also assembled the TV and DVD player so that we could all enjoy the Pooker slide show. So much work and then the fun started. We had many friends from all aspects of our lives come to celebrate with us. We had neighborhood peers, first friends from our move to Texas, fellow Cudas, Life Guards, Life Teen Friends, Confirmation Class friends, Homeschool friends and families, and even a one week old baby joined our party.

We must let everyone know how thankful we were to have you join in our celebration. It was made that much more special because you were there. I am sorry that we ran out of strawberries so quickly (I probably needed 20 pounds of strawberries.) Thanks to all those friends that swam and I didn't get much chance to chat with. Thanks to the parents that brought their young teens. Thanks to the neighbors for not getting upset with our capture the flag game that went into the evening.

Pooker you are a wonderful person. Some friends will come and go but for the most part you have a solid group of friends. Hang on to them and thank you for sharing them with your family. Enjoy your college adventures. You are called to change the world by being the best you possible. Surround yourself with like minded friends, follow your heart but only as it is guided by the Spirit. Know that no matter what your family loves you bunches and bunches!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Terrific 2's!!!

Happy birthday Baby Boy. Jumba had his big birthday. Dad was out of town for the day but we will celebrate with a cake over the weekend. Jumba didn't care, he just loved the attention. We started off the day celebrating in Mass. We felt it is a great way to start this special day. We then headed to get chocolate chip bagels but they didn't have enough. Ironically it was Bagel that suggested we go for donuts instead. It really was a great start to a day devoted to enjoy Jumba.

I was sitting there Sunday night thinking about how very very hot it was. I was remembering the summer I had Jumba. That was not as hot as this summer. It rained much that year keeping the hot temperatures at bay. August was hot but that was about it. I even had the thought, "Thank God I am not pregnant this summer." Then I remembered that I should be pregnant and my heart broke all over again. Heat or no heat I miss Baby David.

Jumba is the such a delight. We all enjoy his humor and love his morning kisses. I was snuggling Jumba last night and Bear tried to teach him that mom kisses are gross. I was so upset. I know that Bear was teasing but Jumba is my baby. He is a big two year old now but he is my baby. I love having small children around.

This little one is a treat. He makes our days brighter. We are so thankful that God has blessed us with this amazing young man.

Jumba, We are a better family because you are with us. We love you bunches and bunches. Thank you God and please continue to bless this little man.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Being Sick!

Our house was a wreck this week. The flu hit us and hit us hard. It started with Pooker feeling ill and medicating herself through it. Monday she stayed in bed all day and by Tuesday was feeling better. The cries started about 5:oo am with Princess complaining of her head hurting. She had a fever. An hour later Sugar came down with the same complaints. Moogie woke another hour later high fever and head ache. Pickle came down about 2 hours later with a head ache, he didn't yet have a fever but it came later. Bagel pretended to be sick also until early the next morning when she really had a fever. Wednesday Jumba woke with a fever and very crabby . Mom's fever started later in the day.

The short version is that I suspect we had the H1N1 Flu but we were not tested. The headaches were bad and lasted about 1 day. The fevers were high and lasted 3 days. The aches were connected with the fevers. The sore throat lasted about 2 days. The coughing hasn't ended so I can't say how long that will last.

We treated the fevers with acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. How can you treat so many people when you are feeling sick yourself. You make a chart. You list everyone on that chart and you mark every symptom and every drop of medicine given. That way no one gets too much medicine and you know if someone isn't getting better. It wan't pretty but it got the job done. After my week of nursing the sick I have decided to go back to teaching. We will start school next week, maybe!?! . . .