Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We finally had to turn the furnace on....

We've had some cool nights and warmer days so we've been able to avoid turning it on until yesterday, but the forecast is calling for highs in the 50's so we knew the chill wouldn't just wear off. Fall seems like it has been a long time in coming. This spring it felt like summer would never come. In fact, we had some nights in the 40's in May, but summer finally got here. Now, it feels as though fall is taking it's sweet time. The trees don't seem to be turning much, in fact some are just going slightly yellow and then dropping their leaves. Others leaves seem to be clinging on for a lot longer than usual. Our willows in the back yard look as though they haven't lost any leaves. Makes me wonder what winter has in store for us...

We have almost completed harvest. The vast majority is done. Just a small piece left here at home. The corn is down quite badly in that spot and there was a major wet spot there a couple of weeks ago, but it's nothing that hubby can't get done on his own. He has a little to do for our neighbors and then it will be time to put away the combine until next year. Of course, the work only slows down a bit. There is still tiling and some bulldozing to do. We are very thankful for a good crop this year. It surprised us. But, with prices being what they are, having the extra yield is a blessing.

Now we begin to really get prepared to move our daughter-in-law and granddaughter in December. She has been moving more of the things they took to her parents back to our house. We are still waiting to hear J's PDS, which we should learn shortly, but we are excited to reunite them. It's been 9 months since he left for boot...their separation has been several months longer than was anticipated. It is a joy though watching B grow. She is 17 months old now and such a little go-getter. She is filled with emotion and doesn't mind showing it--happy, sad, or mad! She is extremely expressive and just such a little cutie. She is working on learning all kinds of words and is quite the mimic. She reminds me so much of her daddy as this age. Even when she doesn't have the correct words, she just chitter-chatters and using all sorts of inflection and conversational tones. She loves to be read to and then enjoys sitting on the floor and "reading" the book to herself. She is going to be wordy, like her grandma, her daddy, her uncle, and her oldest cousin on our side. And, since Gpa on mommy's side is a preacher, she's got it coming from that side, too! I love it! I love to hear their vocabularies expand and their being able to put thoughts to words.

The older two granddaughters are extremely well-spoken (so I see no reason why B and A won't be as well). Their grammar is ridiculously good for 3 1/2 and 2 1/2. They are so very polite, including using "excuse me" when they need to move past you. It melts my heart to hear that! They use "thank you" and "your welcome" and "I'm sorry" very liberally. Even their moments of rebellion are tempered by their manners.

It truly is a blessing to watch our children parent their children. They do not scream and yell at the kids. All of them are wonderfully reasonable with the kids, even when things get chaotic. They don't condescend to the girls and treat them as little sponges who learn what they see. I really think this is key in parenting. We all have high expectations of the girls, but without the requirement that they meet those expectations without help and example from their parents and grandparents. I know far too many people who scream and yell at their little ones and expect them to be perfect little humans and when those little humans behave like what they've seen, they just can't understand why they behave like that! People need to be a bit more introspective!

I really miss the days when manners and good behavior were lived out and modeled for the next generation. When the adults are behaving like barbarians, their children will only follow suit!

Psalms 127:3-5 (AMP)
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [city’s] gate.

We are truly blessed! Grandbaby #5 is due next June! We are praising God for His faithfulness and for the blessing of all our little ones!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

It has often amazed me how dismissive some people can be of their adult children. It certainly never was our goal to allow our children to become attached by our apron strings and never let go...we strongly desired that our children grow into strong, independent, capable adults, and, thankfully, they are! Despite our many parenting errors, because, let's face it, everyone makes them, they are all doing well. They don't always make choices that we agree with, but they are all strong, independent, and capable adults.

However, my mommy-mode kicked into gear this week as we faced our daughter's neck surgery.

When I first heard from the emergency room doctor that her neck was broke in two places the tears welled up in my eyes. He quickly sought to reassure me that these were not the kind we really needed to worry about and that with a stable neck for a few weeks, would heal on it's own. I felt reassured and we went on our way, waiting to hear from an orthopedic doctor to help us determine the type of neck brace she needed.

When she finally heard from them they couldn't get her in to be seen until the following Friday, a full week out from her accident. I was not happy about that, but what could we do. In this crazy world of health care bureaucracy there really was little hope of getting anything changed so we waited. I was concerned because she was still having quite a bit of pain and tingling and the brace that she was given really did not fit her and seemed to be causing even more problems.

She made it through the week and we headed to the orthopedic doctor with the hopes that we would just get a better neck brace and the all clear that she could go to work. However, it was not to be. The doctor was actually upset that the situation had been under-described to him and he said that she required surgery. We were shocked and K was even angry. It meant losing more work time and possibly school time and she has had such good momentum where school was concerned.

We left, still unsure of when the surgery would be...another wonderful consequence of the messed-up health care system we have, and began to get all the other things lined up...her pre-op check-up, school, and work.

We kind of moved through the weekend in stunned wait mode. Several people asked how I was doing and told me they were praying not only for K, but also for me. I really didn't feel much anxiety or fear, but I also knew it would come and was very thankful for dear friends willing to pray me through it.

When they first scheduled her surgery it was set for 2:30 in the afternoon! We were shocked. We had never heard of a surgery scheduled for that time and it seemed like the wait we would be even longer. Thankfully, about halfway through Monday she heard from the nurse at the hospital and the doctor had requested that her surgery be moved up to 7:30. He told her that he wanted "fresh hands" which both reassured and somewhat terrified me!  It was reassuring that he was paying attention to his day and that he knew her surgery was more delicate than his others and it was terrifying because it affirmed to us that her surgery was delicate.  I was still feeling a wonderful peace that could only come from God, though, and that was truly a blessing!

That night, as I tried to drift off to sleep, she and her surgery weighed heavy on my mind, but it the weight wasn't just about my daughter...my daughter-in-law's grandfather weighed heavy. He is facing his final days, having just found out a few weeks ago that he has liver cancer that has spread. One of our dear friend's weighed heavy...he had an accident a few weeks ago that has left him with a 4-inch x 6 inch open hole in his skull. Until the swelling goes down he won't be able to have a plate inserted and even if the swelling is down, he will still have to wait until there is a spot to fit him into surgery (thank you crazy health care system!). Our landlord weighed heavy...he was diagnosed with stomach cancer earlier this summer and is fighting a long, hard battle. Other things weighed heavy on my mind...it seemed that there was a never-ending list of sadness, hurt, and pain that rolled through my thoughts that night. I prayed for each, individually.

Despite the sadness that I felt for all the struggle that seems to be going on, I had a deep peace. I knew it was all in God's hands and I never doubted His plan. No matter what we see from our human eyes and feel with our human hearts, God knows the truest truth. He knows the outcome He is seeking and how that outcome will be achieved. I can trust Him.

The next morning began at zero dark thirty as my military son says. We got to the hospital and we were ready to take on the day. Our pastor, along with my mom and pops, joined us around 6 am. K was already being prepped for the surgery. Our pastor's prayer was what all of us needed, there was a hush, a peace, and wonderful knowledge that God was in control. It was just what we needed.

After he left we heard from the obligatory folks involved in her surgery...the anesthesiologist, the surgeon, the nurse who would be with her throughout the morning.  Before long the nurse told us it was time to love on her and head to the waiting room.

At that point, the mommy in me pulled at my emotions. My baby was going in to surgery and this was far more extensive than the 9 sets of ear tubes and tonsillectomy she had as a child. Those were 15 minutes and were really non-invasive. This surgery meant an incision in the front of the neck. It meant placing a bone as well as a plate. It meant messing with her nerve. The top risk, beyond death, was paralysis. Despite my baby being nearly 29, I just wanted to hold her and tell her it would be alright. Besides this accident and surgery, she has been through so much this year. My mommy heart just wants to fix it all for her, not make her go through it, kiss the owie and make it all better. But, I can't. The majority of things are beyond my control and this surgery was certainly one of those things. I had to trust that God would guide the surgeon's hands and that no matter the outcome, He was in control and it was for K's good in some way, shape or form.

We kissed her good-bye and headed for the waiting room.

The morning wore on. Thankfully they have an RN who checks on all the surgeries and reports to the waiting families and friends. Her surgery had started late. Finally about 2 1/2 hours later we got the news that all went well and she was in recovery. Praise God!! They told us that we had some time to get lunch and relax, they still didn't have a room for her and she needed to stay overnight. We were once again reminded of the craziness of our current health care system and the ridiculousness of it all!

She is now home and recovering nicely. She will have a nasty scar on her neck, but that scar will be a reminder that she is still with us, still is not paralyzed. God was gracious to her and what could have so much worse He had his hand on and, once again, showed His protection and mercy to.

No matter how old my children or grandchildren get I think I will always have that deep, intense desire to keep them safe, kiss their boo-boos, and love them like they are brand-new. I don't ever want to become a parent who isn't deeply committed to loving and nurturing my children, no matter how old they are. I won't step in and try to change their situations or keep them from dealing with the consequences of their own choices, but I will love them through their challenges and their victories. I will love them in their pain and in their joy. I won't protect them from the truths of this fallen world, but I will pray for God's protection in their life and we will face this world together.

I am who I am because of all that I have been through, good and bad. I don't want to steal any of that from them. It will make them who God intends them to be, too. I am so very thankful to God for coming alongside all of us and being our All in All so that we can be who He intends.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


We are waiting for the doctor to give her the A-OK to head home, but we are so thankful all went well!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

So thankful for God filling my love tank last week. As I wrote on Thursday evening, my heart was full! On Friday morning we finally got our daughter into the orthopedic doctor. It didn't go as we had hoped.

The orthopedic doctor basically said that the emergency room doctor and radiologist had "under-described" the situation and that she requires surgery to fix the problem otherwise she will have to live with chronic pain and weakness on the left side. They have to go in through the front, lift up the broken C7 that is resting on the nerve, put it back into place, put in a piece of bone and add a plate. They want it done quickly or it will be too late. So, Tuesday it is. She is understandably nervous and this Mamabear is, too!  However, God is in control and we trust Him with the outcome. It isn't always easy to see what He is doing, but I know He is doing something and that is enough.

We are almost a week into harvest, as well. The corn is yielding well, but the majority of it has broken over and is complicating how quickly we can combine it. We are thankful for the good yield, though.

So, another busy week ahead. Cleaning out the hog building and Bible study on Monday. Surgery on Tuesday and she won't come home until late on Wednesday. Getting the hog building washed and harvest and trucking and just general life. So thankful we got to sleep in this morning!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

What a wonderful week this has been! I was able to spend time with my dad, my step-mom, my aunt, and my sister.

We enjoyed our middle daughter's birthday with a yummy chocolate cake made from scratch by my daughter-in-law. We enjoyed Maid-rites for lunch and Gio's for supper.

There was riding in the combine. Beautiful weather. Wonderful company. Our little ones enjoyed my step-mom immensely and they were such little cuties!

My heart is full!