Tuesday, January 31, 2012

FPU, revisited

Last night while Robert was at school, the children and I went to an FPU reunion with our former group. We had a potluck dinner, and shared our victory stories. It provided some much needed inspiration, and fellowship that was nice too. I shared my story about paying for our appliance with cash, paying for Robert's tuition and books with cash, and our overall abilty to bless others in a way we weren't able to before having a plan. It was nice to hear how others have stayed on track-and also learned what worked and didn't work for others. The saying that you change your family tree rings true, the boys get it-knowing how we have a plan and when we live life our way, we're protecting (what we can control) our future (as best we can).

The kids were well behaved, and everyone went to bed without much of a fuss. I never know how it will be with four children on my own, especially at night. As l observed though, they looked out for each other, and helped one another. I get the sense that it will get easier going places with all of them, and as long as I have realistic expectations, it should be okay. We've come a long way since last year.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Talk, its all talk

Auston's dad wrote today, "My life has always been about tomorrow. What we do today.. determines our tomorrow. Thoughts were always on who I wanted to be in the future. There's been a huge paradigm shift in my perspective. I'm still mindful that tomorrow exists.. but life is now lived one day at a time. Thoughts have now shifted to being mindful of the man that I am today."

I was bent out of shape this afternoon for an instant-some people have mental issues that either need medication or a reality check, or both-but that's not my concern. I can do what I can, be the glass is half full woman, and keep my head held high through whatever life throws my way. I cannot worry about the little, mundane details. Frankly, as irritated as I was, I had the luxury of being irritated over something small. Lori is fighting her battle with IBC, Auston is fighting his battle with brain cancer, really, life is a gift.

Nothing will change with this individual, but I cannot do anything about it. All I can do is be who I am, and be with my kids. I have to admit I loved foggy school schedule this morning. The kids slept in, I made french toast for breakfast, we all did what needed to get done, and had a productive morning. Yes my kids were ornery with each other-but as I locked my door, and I looked at Rebecca, I said aloud, I am so blessed to be dealing with kids that get on each other's nerves, because they're around each other. Period.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Live life with perspective. I'm reading an update on a local child who's celebrating his 7th birthday at St Judes, and Imagine comes on the radio. I am planning a rummage sale to help his family during this time, if you have donations, financial, material, supplies, please pm me. Location should be confirmed this afternoon, and will post it once I have it. Also, Team Auston pre-orders for tshirts is still taking place at Kingsburg high school, and on Team Auston's t-shirt presale fb event page. I can't link from my phone, but will link up later.

Mary Ann has encouraged me to read discipleship - Book of Matthew from her church's website. She says it would connect with me. I'm not so sure. I just live life, the way I do. I can only hope my children see and learn, and appreciate the blessings that abound.

Today is Auston's birthday, I'm going to get his mom and sister a gift card and drop it off at the preschool. I can't fathom not being able to celebrate my child's birthday because they're receiving life saving treatment miles away. I can't wrap my head around the agony, but seek solace that her husband is there with him. I will continue to have an open heart, an open mind, an open spirit, to give thanks for what I have, and ease the suffering of those around us.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ruff and tumble

Live life. Laugh often. Love like there's no tomorrow.

I often sense I am put in situations for a reason. I went to a coupon class on Friday, held by a mom of five. I have known her since she had three, and I had Matthew and was pregnant with Gabriel. She showed a group of 15 moms how to coupon, how she combines sales and coupons, and uses whole foods to feed her family of seven on less than $400 per month. I went to provide support, answer questions, and share my coupon binder and frugal living experiences. Nikki took it further, talking about freezer cooking and her newfound organization. I love her enthusiam, her authentic self, and as a mom of five boys, her sense of humor and young at heart self (even though she really is young, having turned 30 last year). It clicked hearing her talk about being intentional-indescribable in words, but it resonated in my heart.

Robert went back to school yesterday, and I took the kids to the pet store, craft store, and children's museum. The boys looked at fish, and Rebecca loved looking at the rats. We made silly putty, boys learned about science, and Rebecca crawled, climbed, and was a busy bee at all the stations.

After coming home and making dinner for the crew, I dressed up and went to Cafe 225 with 5 great friends. A restaurant.com $50 off $100 netted us a fantastic dinner and sweet desserts. It was a night that helped restore my spirit.

Today was filled with intentional moments. Pancake breakfast, with a large batch in the freezer. Stampin Up craft time with Andrea restored my spirit-talked about parenthood and cancer, and living with our hearts outside our bodies. Another night, another home cooked meal. My three boys rough and tumble with their dad, Rebecca snuggling with me. Cake Boss marathon, meal planning for the next week. Life is short, and I cherish the time I have with my family.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Too close to home

It has been an unsettling three weeks. The boys friend A had been picked up on Jan 3rd from the kids after school program by his mom during the day-the teacher on site thought he wasn't feeling well, showing atypical, odd behavior. Mom picked hin up and took him to the pediatrician. Upon seeing A, the ped had him taken by ambulance to Central Valley Children's Hospital, where he had tests and scans. The next morning, Jan 4th, A had a 9 hour sugery to remove a tumor by his brain stem. There was some that could not be removed, and spotting was seen along his spine. On or about the 12th, the final diagnosis of Stage 4 M (I can't remember the name offhand) was given-pediatric brain cancer. It takes my breath away, gut punched as if I just heard it again for the first time. He is the same age as Gabriel, part of our lives going to the same schools, since A and Gabriel were in the toddler/preschool program together. Elijah and A's sister have been around each other since A's mom and I were pregnant. His mom was there when I had problems with Rebecca-and gave me a large amount of Rebecca's wardrobe.

Words can't describe how this has hit them, their family, friends, community.

At bible study last night, it continued to amaze me how everyone in town is connected to this family-from Kingsburg High, to Reedley College, The Learning Center-this is happening to someone we see everyday-and are connected to our community.

The road ahead-it is unimaginable. Hearing statistics, knowing the odds, its horrific. A has been accepted to St. Judes Hospital, and everyone flies out Tuesday.

Friends are starting to pool resources together, to help any way we can. A mom, dad, 6 year old son, and 3 year old daughter. Their life has forever changed-and my prayers are constantly with them.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

From life to death

Last night I had two experiences, celebrating life-one just beginning and one that's coming closer to the end. It is indescribable to go from one extreme to another without it making you question and be in awe of life. I experienced joy bringing a new mom dinner, remembering all too well those early days when having baby number two threw off my entire routine. Then to come home and post a tribute for L whose fight with IBC has opened my eyes-to living life to the fullest, with class, and dignity. The tribute 20+ women are putting together has moved me-but I hope it provides just a glimmer of gratitude and hope, and thanks to a woman who has opened her heart to all of us. I have been questioning where my focus needs to lie- in part because of this experience. My heart has been leaning towards a new career endeavor, and while I've wondered how and why I am leaning this way, I have to let it go, and see where it takes me. I'm also appreciating the moments with my kids, with Robert, and being at peace that I don't understand every single t thing that happens. I defintely have these odd dejavu moments though- a bit eerie considering the circumstances. Live life for today, enjoy the moments that come. Hug my babies, don't sweat the small stuff. Its how I'm living my life these days.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Counting my blessings this morning

It was a shock to hear about one death/unnerving to hear about another impending one. The New Year has just begun, yet it is bittersweet. I try not to let my heart hurt, but its impossible. I try not to cry, but the tears flow. I'm reminded everyday by the actions I take, how my children see me, and the memory I am ingraining in their memory. Its days like yesterday, that lead me to think Elijah and Rebecca are young, what they see now-they may remember the feeling but not the person; remember the scent, but not the words of the menu item, the person that smell was attached to. Matthew and Gabriel are older, yet I know too that their memory is forming more and more everyday. I'm not trying to be a downer, but my heart aches for those hurting. Its impossible not to think about it, as I sit here with baby girl curled on my lap as I type. Its not often, and it won't be long, before the noise dies down, and the toys underfoot disappears. I'm reinvesting in myself and my family, holding tight to those I love, and praying for others along the way.