Saturday, September 27, 2008

nurse or doctor????

The other day the girls and I were driving down the road and I hear Laine tell Paige "my dad is a doctor." (Apparently if mommy is a nurse in her 3 year old brain then daddy is a doctor). Paige then says "no he is not." Which then results in the two of them arguing from the backseat. Then Paige says "mom tell Laine that daddy is not a doctor." So I say to Laine "daddy is not a doctor...daddy is an Engineer." And from the backseat I hear Laine explain to Paige "yup my dad drives a train." (Train Enginneer) Paige and I got laughing so hard.

So then after I picked Laine up from preschool, Laine asks me "are you a doctor yet?" I laugh again and tell her no I am still a nurse (although some days I think I could do a better job than the residents us nurses have to babysit!).

Lately everywhere we go she assumes she is going to the doctor. We go to the bank yesterday and she says "Are there doctors in here?" She has seen more doctors than most kids her age and I wonder if she realizes it is just a part of her life.

I pray that from her experiences as a young child, God would use her to encourage and have compassion for others as she grows.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

tulips and holland....

I posted this when I first starting blogging, but I am repeating it because some of you may be new readers and not seen it yet. I read this a couple years ago and it has meant so much to me since our daughter was born.

Welcome to Holland
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability-to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...
When you're going to have a baby it's like planning a fabulous vacation to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, The Michelangelo David, the Gondolas in Venice, you may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I have dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there has been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would have never met.
It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you have been there for a while and catch your breath, you look around....and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...and Holland has tulips...Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about the wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you are going to say “Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever ,ever go away...because the loss of that dream is very, very significant loss.
But, if you spend the rest of your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, very lovely things...about Holland.
By Emily Pearl Kingsley 1987

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The cart

Well I am not the most creative writer in the I am sharing today what my recent Bible study is learning. For more info go to This week the topic was our burdens and having rest. Here is the story...

A traveller was walking down the road laboring under the heavy burden he was carrying on his back. Along came a man with a horse-drawn cart. Pulling alongside the Traveller, the cart driver said, "Sir! I see you are carrying a heavy load and that it makes you weary. Wouldn't you rather ride in my cart than carry that heavy burden?"

"Yes," the Traveller said as he got into the cart, "Now I will no longer have to walk with this burden." A little farther down the road the cart driver looked behind him and was quite astonished to see the Traveller sitting in the cart still carrying his burden, held tightly on his back.

"Sir, why do you still bend under the weight of your burden when you could simply set it down?" he asked. "You have helped me so much already," said the Traveller, "I would not want to impose on you any further."

"But don't you see," replied the cart driver, "it would not be an imposition on me for you to put your burden down. Look at my horse; he is strong and willing. He was made to carry your heavy burdens. Besides, both of you are now carrying your load, yet my horse will carry your load whether you do or not! So please put your burden down or you will wear yourself out and make my horse feel unappreciated."

Isn't that a great story? So many times I place burdens in my bag and continue to carry it. Sometimes our burdens are great and big and serious like boulders in the sack. Those fill our bags quickly, but sometimes make it is easier to go to Him. Other times they are just little pebbles and rocks from everyday stresses like work, errands, lack of time, lack of sleep, cleaning, disciplining, trying to reconnect ect...ect...ect. He still wants us to go to Him all the time. With the big and little stuff God is there for us.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Not Me!"

This is a new idea from a blog called My Charming kids (highly recommend) . She is honest about her life, kids and tells us all about it in a funny way. Things like I would never do...or "not me..I didn't do it" when she really did. She has encouraged her readers to do the same so here's to "Not me!" Monday...
1) I totally did not give my kids a bath with baby wipes.
2) I would never have a skim milk sugar free vanilla Latte 4 times this week. Nope wouldn't even think about it.
3) I did not buy 2 brand new tubes of lipstick that cost $16.00 each. Not me.
4) I did not take care of someone that ate 3 lbs of gravel. Oh wait that was a couple weeks ago. If it happened, which it didn't, so not me.
5) I totally did not almost pee my pants when I saw how many people visisted my site as a guest writer for blog on Sunday. Nope...Never
6) Well 5 is going to have to do for me this week. Anything you didn't do that you want to confess? Here's the chance...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Do...and be shaped

Another blog I read has a challenge for September. She talks about being a DOer. Check it out you will be glad you did. She asked her readers to share and today is my day.
My story is simple compared to the other Do Something stories. But at least in my life, my families life, and those around me in my church and community my experience as described below has made a difference. So here it goes...
I am a DOer because I have been shaped...
Have you ever noticed, when driving down the road, the way the trees are shaped? It almost looks like an upside down L shape. It appears to be a notch out of the tree branches where the trucks drive along the road. I have seen this before and not given it much thought until my pastor shared a story recently. He shared about a women who also saw the way the branches were shaped. But she didn't stop there. She decided to investigate further these strange shaped trees along a boulevard one day. What she noticed was the branches actually shaped themselves away from those trucks that would damage it's branches. It needs those branches to hold the leaves that help the tree grow. The tree shaped itself to become bigger and stronger, but away from danger. I just assumed the reason of the strange shaped trees were trees were broken and damaged. (They may have been at one point... but the healing and the new growth is the cool part!.

It is the burdens in our life that will shape what our life will become.

Our burdens no doubt shape us. We do have choices to make. Will we become bitter or anxious, depressed or lost? Will we turn toward Him? Will we keep on the path of self harm and try to do it ourselves? What would it look like if we trusted in Him? What could it look like when we use our burdens to become better and stronger and sturdy?

After the birth of my second daughter our family was faced with our own burden. My life isn't perfect, but up until that point things were going pretty smooth. When my newborn was 6 days old her doctor called to inform us that her Newborn Screen was abnormal and she had a potentially life threatening genetic disorder. I was rocked to my core. Life had thrown me the biggest "curve ball" of my life. I had choices to make. I chose to let Jesus shape me. I chose to learn and grow. Another choice was to use our experiences with our daughter to encourage others. God was using the "burdens (ie..worry, stress, illnesses, time)" to glorify Him. I had more compassion for those dealing with a difficult diagnosis. I choose to trust Jesus. I choose to take each day at a time. So much of our burdens are worries for what may or may not even happen! Be alive today. Be shaped today. Allow God to transform your life. Don't wait for the perfect time to be used by God. So many times we use the excuse that we can't serve until...we have the training, or time, or money, or less stress, or discover our "gift" or what ever. But he may just want you to use those burdens to do something Don't just sit something.

Friday, September 19, 2008


This is a picture from the top of the hospital I work at after flooding from last weekend. It rained so much here over those 3 days The drains just couldn't keep up. I still can't imagine what it has been like for those states in the south, but saw a small glimpse of what rain can do. If 3 days of rain can do this what could 40 days do! Poor Noah! It has been a challenge to get to work because the only drivable roads to the hospital come from the west and I live on the east. I have an extra 20 minutes right now. It has been a challenge all week. I am glad our home is safe and dry!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

what do your eyes look to?

I hope through her eyes she sees my love for her. I hope she can see that I care for her. I trust that her eyes see goodness, love, security, and joy. I pray that her eyes will see peace and goodwill in this world. I pray that when she has tears in her eyes that she is comforted and encouraged. I pray that the sparkle in her eyes remain for all her life. I pray for her future that through those eyes she will read and write and add and subtract. I believe that through those eyes could see herself as a doctor or lawyer or anything else she wants to be. But the prayer I pray most is that her eyes will look to God. That she will trust jesus will all her heart. Oh little one you are so special to me and your little eyes are just beautiful.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Simple Things Mean So Much

a cup of coffee...

fall decorations...

my vintage camera collection...

just the simple things I see today and enjoy...

Monday, September 8, 2008

first day again!

Last Thursday was Laine's first day at preschool. She had a great time and actually cried when it was time to go home. She keeps asking when she get to go back, and telling me she is going to be really good for her teachers and says "I won't poop in my pants...I'll go on the potty chair." It is about time little one! They have the parents stay the first day so I was at the school too.

Tomorrow will be a big day as she will be dropped off and I know I'll be crying as I pull away. I remember after she was born (and we found out something was wrong with her newborn screening) during the first appointment with her Genetic Dr. I was asking questions like.."So will she be able to go to school?" "Will she be able to walk?" "Will she be able to climb stairs?" "Will she be able to eat food normally?" Really my questions in my head (that I was never able to ask) were "Will she live?" and "Could she die?"

I never asked those questions though. I think I was asking all the other questions to answer the big ones. At the time I felt relief when the dr. said she should be able to go. If she should be able to go to school then she can live with this disorder (VLCAD see side bar for more info) then right? That really was the question.

Since those early days after her birth I have seen how God has worked miracles in her life and our family. Her tumor on her eye is almost gone...totally. She may need minor plastic surgery later but it is so much better than the large Hemangioma she once had. She is strong and healthy and smart and funny. She returns to her specialists in a another month but we are expecting and trusting God for a good report and normal labs.

God has been so faithful during the last 3 years. We are thankful and give Him all the glory for allowing her to be strong and healthy. We do ask for your prayers to protect her from illness that would require any Hospital stays this year. We know how to treat Laine when she is sick which we are grateful for, but we would rather her not have any issues this fall and winter. Our God is good all the time. He knows what is best. While we can't always understand the pain and worry, how we deal with the "curve balls" is what can be pleasing to Him. Do I bring glory to Him? And hope and encouragement to others? Do I trust Him? Always? I'm trying...

To whom much is given much is expected.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

back to school

First day of school started today and it felt so good to get back in a routine. I love routine. I love have a schedule of my week. I like knowing what days I volunteer, what days I play tennis, what days Paige has activities. I also totally enjoy fall. I love the tan, orange, red colors the leaves will turn soon. Bonfires and football games and carving pumpkins and decorating are traditions I will enjoy life in the months to come.

I remember the first day of school. I was always so nervous. I think back to the memories I have of elementary school. I know that I spent so much time the night before school thinking about the perfect first day back to school outfit. My mom would always take us shopping a few weeks prior and we would go to another big city shopping. This town had a big mall with our favorite shops. We would usually find our perfect outfit there. I also remember going to pick out new shoes. There was a shoe store that we would go to and usually mine where brown buckles or mary jane style (one pair of brown buckle shoes were my favorite until I fell into cow pasture at my cousin's farm. I was down to my knee in mud and manure and my mom had to pull me out. The muck sucked my right shoe right off my foot...oh how I cried).

Anyway, I remember organizing my book bag (we didn't have backpacks then). I had a pencil box and crayons, and an eraser maybe some scissors but that was about it. Now Paige needs hand sanitizer, snacks to share, colored pencils, and oh so many more supplies that I ever did.
Some things never change though. She spent last night deciding what to wear. She spent Monday organizing her backpack with all her supplies. She is so much like me and my organizing. She had a great first day of school. I did miss her but, was able to get so much accomplished only having one at home. Laine starts preschool on Thursday. I will have 2 1/2 hours twice a week to do anything I want. Do you hear me? Absolutely anything I want! I can have coffee with a friend, grocery shop, clean, garden, scrapbook, play tennis and go to the gym. I can't wait...I'll tell you about that later.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Just sharing a lemonade with sissy

Last week we spent the week at Lake Michigan for our last 2008 summer trip. We got to visit Glen Arbor and a store/restaurant Cherry Republic It has been a tradition each year that we look forward to. It is everything cherry including wine, candles, butter, salsa, dips, candy (our favorites are cherry sours and dark chocolate covered cherries) and so much more. The girls shared a cherry lemonade during lunch. They had awesome Cherry Chicken sandwiches and pitas with yummy cherry dip. They had Cherry pop too. It was so good!! Looking forward to next summer to enjoy it again. The memories are priceless. But for tonight we are preparing for the first day of second grade. Oh! What to wear?