Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh Where Can She Be.......




It is now 11pm at night and I am sitting in front of our new computer getting everything set up.
Yes....our NEW computer.

A little over a week ago our computer hard drive crashed. It was an internal hardware issue that had been going on for a while and I was trying to nurse it along. I was successful until it started making rapid fire woodpecker type noises. Some things I was able to back up and others not. A friend of ours thinks he can still get things off of the drive so we will see.

Maybe the thought has crossed your mind as to how we were able to purchase a new tower when we are still working at cutting away our debt. May I share?

Hubby came home on Friday (after we had been a week without a computer) and said, "Guess what? You know how the company has been re-structuring things with pay and such and drivers aren't getting bonuses anymore? Well I just got notice that I am grandfathered into the old group and am getting back pay bonus for the 3 months that they haven't given it to me."

I love that. God delights so much in making things happen. He even cares that I feel the Internet is like a life line to me.

I have much to share from the past couple of weeks and thoughts are swirling in my head.
For now though I should hit the pillows for a fresh day tomorrow.
How grateful I am that I had made that blogger list of who I visit so I can find everyone again.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Week in Review.....

"Sure thing Honey", I mumbled. "Just let me warm up my coffee and then I can do your hair."
On went the faithful microwave in response to the turn of the timer switch.
hmmmmmmm......zzttttttCHTTTTTT..........and then silence..................

I looked around me to see if other things were still working. Yes, the clock on the stove was still on, the refrigerator still hummed, the kitchen light still gave off its yellow glow.
The microwave simply died.
I clicked the switch a few times but there was no response. Pippin suggested opening and closing the door as a means of resuscitation. Nope that didn't work either.



Bummer.....I can't complain really. As you can see we have had it for quite a while. I am just stumbling to change my mindset when it comes to warming up left overs. Hubby is pulling an extra day of work today so that next week there will be bounce enough in the checkbook to replace the microwave.

*****
I am so amazingly and humbly blessed to become the proud owner of a massage chair.

You may remember that back in the fall and winter I had been struggling with cascading headaches. After going through therapy and seeing a few specialists a decision was made that it was just a hyper muscle in my neck and to keep taking muscle relaxants to relieve the pressure. Over time I have gotten so much better. I have gone from taking 5-6 doses in a 2 day period to one pill every couple of weeks.

A dear friend of mine that owns a massage chair company, however decided that my progress wasn't going along quick enough. So a few days ago she brought me over a brand new chair free of charge and loaded with love.

Oh my goodness it is so nice! With the touch of a button I can recline back and put my feet up. It is programed for 3 different 15 minute massage cycles or I can choose a target type of therapy.
I am so very grateful.

*****

I know I talk about my girls a lot and it may sound like they are so good they are not real by all the praises I give them. I don't mean it to sound like they are perfect. I choose not to talk about the bad stuff just because I would rather focus on the blessings of life instead of type out the junk for all to focus on. They make mistakes and get under my skin. But despite that, they amaze me to no end with their hearts and motives.
Because of that I want to share with you something that happened yesterday.

Puddin' had signed up to participate in a high school science fair and yesterday was the competition. It was a daunting task but one that she took on with a smile. When it was all said and done, 8 students walked away with grand prizes of a Dell laptop and she was not one of the winners.

I thought to myself, "We will need to go for some ice cream or something to make up for not getting a prize." But I was the one who ended up surprised.
When we got in the car, she said, "You know Mom it is a good thing that I didn't win a laptop. If I would have won then that is all I would have brought home. Instead, I gained valuable experience in competing and trying. Plus, I learned valuable tips on what I could do different next time."

That blows my mind. Here I am at 38 years old struggling with the idea of what was fair in a competition and my 15 year old daughter is the one with a mature attitude.

Thank you Lord for this week.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day......

Mother's Day was so nice yesterday. We went to church and then spent the rest of the day up at my folks' house.

This platter of Tuxedo Strawberries is one of the things that I took up to contribute to the array of yummy foods. I love making this patter because it always makes everyone smile....especially my mom.

My mom did her famous Kahlua Pork as the main dish. Sound interesting? No it isn't soaked in creamed liquor. It is actually a baked oven combination of liquid smoke and island sea salt that gives the taste of pork served in a Hawaiian luau that was cooked in a pit.

As has become tradition, my hubby loaded up his trailer with bark dust for my mom's present. It is always so cute. He goes to work the day before Mother's Day to load up and when he shows up with trailer in tow she always pretends surprise and shock.

I am so grateful for my family.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Where Is My car......

Yesterday I had placed a circle on my calendar blocking out the day so I could spend it with my mom at the hospital. She had been scheduled for a procedure called coronary angiography. Once she was settled in and prepped with all the needed lab work, she kept telling me to go home, go away, or go get something to eat. It was going to be a long day and she was being my mom; always concerned that I am multi-tasking too much and spread too thin. I wouldn't budge though as I am a firm believer of being an advocate for the patient during a hospital stay.

I used to work in a medical surgical unit so I know that whatever a family member can do to help can go a long way in making a stay complication free. The person laying in that bed can feel so vulnerable. Having a second set of ears to hear what the doctor said, ask questions, make giggles, and at times be a silent encourager is invaluable. Plus as well intentioned as all the efficiency can be, with so many staff and procedures at a hospital, sometimes mistakes can happen that are easily avoidable if there is an extra someone watching.

Case in point: after an angiogram procedure, the patient is to lay flat for 4 hours. This is because the catheter camera is placed in the femoral artery. It takes 4 hours afterwards to make sure that the entrance site is stable and not going to re-open.
My mom's procedure was done late in the afternoon and when the ICVR closed for the evening she still had a couple of hours before she could get up so they moved her to a general stay room in the hospital. The CNA that was getting her vitals for that unit wanted her to get out of bed and stand on a weight scale. Oh my goodness! I dreamed about that all night long last night. What would have happened if I had not have been there to say, "No she hasn't even sat up yet. We have to keep that artery stable and immobile for 2 more hours."

Mom's angiogram went well and showed there was no new blockage at all. We are so grateful. This was her 5th angiogram since her heart attack in 2004 so we all felt pretty versed in what would happen. Strangely though, this time around we all seemed to feel more nervous than in the past.

While I was sitting in the waiting room, I visited with a man that was trying to pass the time just like me. During our conversation he mentioned meeting a woman outside the hospital that had lost her car. Try as she might, she could not remember where she parked. He thought it was rather odd and ridiculous. I said, "Oh poor thing. She must be so stressed to not remember."
He replied with, "Sure but who forgets that? Surely walking around would trigger some sort of memory for her. How in the world does a person forget where they parked their car?"

Later that evening (10pm to be exact) after Mom had proven to me that she could get out of bed just fine and would be going home soon, I relented that it was time for me to go home. I said my goodbyes and headed for the parking structure tunnel. I had taken the stairs out of the parking structure that morning but knew that the breezeway and elevator were on that same side so it couldn't hurt to take the path more lit.

I got up to level C West and headed towards where I parked my car but nothing looked familiar. I walked back and forth but didn't see my car at all. I mumbled to myself about getting turned around and being so foolish. Then I reasoned that the stairs were close by and if I go back and take the stairs then things will be familiar and I would remember.

Yeah that didn't work either. I stood there in the desolate parking structure at 10pm at night pacing and listening to that man's voice in my head saying, "How ridiculous that someone would not remember where they parked."

A hospital employee came by and recognized the look in my eyes and offered assistance. He took me over to the security phone and said, "Hey Charlie. I am over in C West with a 10-5. Yeah her name is Julie. Okay I will tell her." Then he turned to me and said, "Security will be here in a minute to drive you around and help you find your car. That way you are not alone."

I had to laugh. It actually happens so often that Security has a code name for it.
Security did come and once we went around the first corner.....there was my car. It took longer for him to get me than it did for us to find my car. I felt so foolish. I thanked him and got to my car as quickly as I could before the silly tears came.
I guess after 11 hours of appointing myself strong for everyone else.......I was a bit tired and more wound up than I realized.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Where Do I Start........

Hubby had a blast running the Bloomsday. I just received his results. He ran 1:36:33. I think that is great. He can do whatever he sets his mind to and I admire that. I can't imagine myself ever running even a mile.

The wedding we attended last night was absolutely beautiful. We have watched this girl grow up over the years and become an amazing woman. She is so tender hearted and is gifted with a perfect ease as a worship leader. Now she is married to an amazing man who also has an amazing gift and passion for worship. I wonder what God has in store for them.
Here is a cell phone picture that I snapped at their wedding. Everything was so elegant.


When I mentioned being busy last week, one of the things that I didn't bring up was tutoring an old student of mine. I think I didn't bring it up because I was stifling feeling a failure. She was having some algebra anxieties and her parents asked if I could fix the issues. One morning last week she came over with her assignment and we tried to tackle it. I could only wrap my brain around half of it while the other side of me argued internally as to the logic of the math and what in the world this teacher was trying to get across.

Once she left, I fought back those inner voices that taunted me.........
"And you call yourself a teacher."
"Ha, you never got a degree. You barely finished school yourself."
"You failed that girl and you probably scared your girls with all the years you home schooled them as well."

Yeah it was bad.
The mom came to me a couple of days later and said that the teacher couldn't even offer solutions to the problems. He said that all the students had issues with that assignment and he couldn't figure out why it was even in the scope of that algebra planning because it didn't belong there.

But wait, there is more.
The mom insisted on paying me for my time and held out in her hand an absurd amount of money. I tried to refuse it. I said I was just helping my friend, I am not an accredited teacher, it was just a couple of hours.
She said it was the least they could do for all that I have done for them for so long.
Father God thank you for that validation.

I hugged her and cried.
Yes I home schooled their girl for a few years, but I had personal motives. Yes I wanted to see her succeed and be a help to them, but I also knew that having a friend around would be a help to my girls. It was a motivator to know that someone was showing up every morning to do school. It made me more accountable.....and not so boring to them.

And then I had to laugh.
A few days ago I had posted some things on Craig's List to sell and I was frustrated that nothing had been inquired on. We have a few extra expenses this month and I was trying to figure out how to help out. My way wasn't working because God had other plans.

I just had to share that with you.
There are other things to share too but I will do that later this week.
Now it is time for me to go make a bunch of DVDs. Pippin was finally able to finish her sponsor video. I haven't even looked at it. But I feel so bad that she went to Uganda in December and we have yet to send out these thank you videos for her sponsors.

Have a blessed day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sunny Weekend......

It has been a busy week and I am rolling into the weekend with even more things to do. But I wanted to check in here and make note of and share a few things with you.

The sun was out so beautifully yesterday. I was able to open my windows and enjoy the fresh air. Kekoa rather enjoyed sitting outside with me soaking up the morning rays on his belly. I think he was trying to get an even tan.


I had the joy of spending a few days with my mother-in-law before they left today. I showed her the marvels of shopping and eating at Ikea. She was amazed. I love that store. It is not all my style of decorating but I love the clean and crisp practicality of it all. Boy wouldn't it be fun to walk in with a blank check and decorate completely with their ideas?

My car was in the shop for a majority of this week to fix the damage from that silly little accident. I loved my rental car. Actually I loved the bells and whistles of my rental car. I normally drive a 1998 Ford Explorer so having a 2009 Camry was quite a change. The mileage was a definite plus and it was fun to know the outside temperature and have the stereo controls on the steering wheel. But, I very much prefer being higher up off the ground with my rig.

I have had so many people stop me this past week for 2 reasons. One is to comment on my little puppy. People have actually stopped their cars to come over to the yard and visit with him. Over and over I hear their stories of how they had a westie when they were kids or their friends had a westie or they saw a westie in the news or.....this list goes on. But every time the story ends with how perfect westies are and how blessed I am to have him. Being without a dog for a while, I had forgotten how much a pet can start up conversations with people and be a blessing to strangers.
The second reason people have been stopping me is because of my girls. I have had so many people this week ask me about being a parent to teens. The questions run like these....
"How do you do it?"
"I have preschoolers, will they still be cute in their teen years?"
"I am ready to kill my teen, how about you?"
With each conversation, I have talked about my girls being such a blessing to me. It has all been very interesting.
Pippin and Puddin' were telling me the other day that they were sitting in the counselor's office for a bit and the counselor couldn't get over how nice they were to each other. She wanted to know why the look out for one another and don't fight but instead giggle and finish each other's sentences.
Thank you God for being so soft on their hearts and affecting their lives.

So, I mentioned the weekend being busy. Would you like to know what is up? Nothing big, just the usual living with teen girls stuff. We are going to see a movie tonight with a boat load of friends. Tomorrow morning Puddin' is heading out to work at Father's Heart. Tomorrow night they and Rixxi, who is visiting from the beach for the weekend, are going to see a play while I attend a meeting. Sunday is church and an evening wedding downtown at the Benson Hotel. Oh and Hubby is gone for the weekend to run the Bloomsday in Spokane with the older kids. No, I don't mind. I am glad he can have that fun with them.
See just usual teen busy stuff.

I have a blogger question for you.......
When it comes to commenting, if I leave comments to your comments, do you come back to read them? If you say no...don't worry I won't be offended. I used to answer my comments all the time. But then when blogger stopped sending me notification it got hard for me to know when someone dropped by to say hi. Now that I have changed emails I have thought about starting that up again but wondered if it would even bless you to do so.

Below is a short 40 second video of Kekoa. He is now 14 weeks old and becoming quite a permanent part of our family. I started training him a couple of weeks ago and I am amazed at how quickly he is learning. He rather enjoys doing "school" with me and has fun with the challenges. He is house broken now but I decided to make an amendment to his routine and we are back tracking just slightly. I found that he would go to the door to want out but didn't know how to tell me so. So I had Hubby hang a bell by the door and I am now teaching Kekoa to ring it when he wants out. I worried that he would play with it all the time just for the novelty but for some reason he knows only to touch it when it is leash time.

Have a blessed weekend.
Jules~


video