An update on some of the people in my last, long ago, post: My mother-in-law has now been cancer free for a year and 6 months! Praise the Lord! She had a knee replaced last December & has suffered ever since from medication issues as well as finding out she has severe diverticulitus, but she seems to be getting her smile back. My mother still has shots in her eyes every so often - maybe it is slowing the blindness down? My father is doing well. I can't remember who else I need to update on - I'll check when I finish writing this.
As for my immediate family, we have been on a fast track for far too long and it has been so nice for the last two weeks to be at home quite a bit and just rest. (For homeschoolers, we seem to be out an awful lot, but probably not much more than most homeschoolers I know.) Truthfully, I only realized recently that I crave the busy, overscheduled life. Apparently, when I was a kid, I joined every club & sports team possible and spent my days in whirlwind fashion. I thrived on this, making good grades, pushing myself to be the best in all the sports, and just enjoying the "being needed" feeling. Now that I am a Mother of 3, and especially a homeschooling Mom, I still want to sign up for every club & sports team possible - every great opportunity that comes along, but I am no longer thriving. The kids do not enjoy every outing that I put on our schedule. Our home is not running as smoothly as I would like. We go all out for weeks at a time and then need a week to crash and regroup BEFORE we can relax into our downtime. By then, it is time to go again. No real solution for these super busy days yet, other than becoming recluses - although one solution is looming ever nearer on the horizon since my kids are growing up so fast (Kelsey will start 9th grade this fall)! Soon enough, the house will be quieter even if I still manage to stay busy. Speaking of busy, I need to go put the finishing touches on the Bible class I am teaching tonight. More updates to follow....and I won't wait 2 years this time! :-)
I haven't posted in a long time. For that matter, I haven't even looked at pleo for a while. It just seemed overwhelming with everything else we had going on to spend any time on the computer. Here's just a sample of the last few months:
~ My dear mother-in-law, Sarah Edwards, was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer after months of pain. She will have to undergo aggressive chemo treatments for several months and just completed her second treatment today. We have been busy taking this in and helping in any way possible. Sometimes, I just pick up groceries, mow their yard, weed, or even keep my nieces so my sister-in-law can help her mother.
~ We had some sort of cold with fever that each family member got a week apart. We missed countless Wednesdays because everyone's fever was on a Wednesday. I was again thankful that I don't have 19 kids & counting since we would stretch it over that many weeks, I guess.
~ Lauren ended the bouts of cold with her illness being strep throat (The 4th time in less than a year, but all spaced out enough so that she hasn't had those tonsils out yet. I can now diagnose strep although don't send me your sick kids yet since Lauren's tonsils swell past her uvula & anyone could tell strep is the culprit.)
~ My dad was having stomach problems (his tests came back & results were good - he's feeling better).
~ My mom, Linda Driver, has been battling a rare eye disease for a few years that will eventually lead to blindness. They've tried medicines, shots in her eyes, and most recently surgery in one of them. (This surgery was when Lauren had strep, so I was unable to help out with my mom at all.) The surgery didn't really help & they are going to try something else in a few months.
~ My grandfather died, then 2 weeks later my uncle on the same side of the family died. Neither was a Christian & their deaths have been especially hard on my dad because he was never able to convert them.
~ We had a 12 day trip to Nevada & California to prepare for that we never would have planned had we known any, or all, of these things were going to happen. We even considered cancelling it because it felt wrong to leave when so much was ongoing, but we went on the trip and it was wonderful. A short break from the concerns. (I'll try to write about the trip later because it is worth mentioning.)
~ Minor compared to so many around here, we returned home from our 12 day trip to find that all of our basement must have flooded the week before in Nashville's great rains. The water had mostly drained off, but many cardboard boxes had mold in them & even some of the plastic boxes had water, or mold, under them. I decided spending all of last week working out with the boxes downstairs was a cheap plan for fitness - I was sure sore! And, I have been praying more fervently for all of the people in and around Nashville who were really hurt by the flooding. We only lost some sentimental things - many lost everything.
~ And, finally, on a good note. Mother's Day was wonderful! Our oldest daughter, Kelsey, was baptized along with her cousin, Sarah Hope. Now, my youngest, who is 5, asks every week if she can be baptized yet. :-)
You can see why I haven't been on here much. I've missed it. More than that, I've needed the reassurance of many friends/Christians praying for these concerns, but I just couldn't make myself write this post. Please add my mother & mother-in-law to your prayers. I would appreciate that. :-)
Want to know something crazy? We watched a short, lovely piece on the Olympics about polar bears in Manitoba (Canada). Here they are on the frozen tundra in the middle of nowhere and these bears just go lumbering by. Tourists can stamp their passports with a polar bear & can go out to see them in these snazzy bus/trucks. Scientists come to study them & send live streaming into schools so kids can learn in real time.
Didn't I mention that this is out on a frozen tundra - way up north - out in nowhere land?
I, on the other hand, live in Tennessee. Admittedly, much of Tennessee can be very backwards. Probably not as much as we are portrayed in popular media, but yes, we are often country hicks. Even so, I don't live that far from Nashville. I live really close to a state park. We have lots of civilization around - people, stores, cars, loud trucks, a Walmart. I am out in the country enough that if we so desire it, television must come through a satellite, but we can get it.
But, I cannot manage to find one company who will offer us fast speed internet! We do have satellite TV and heard that they now offered a faster speed internet through the satellite to "virtually every home in the country without even needing a phone line." Apparently, we live in one of the few homes that does not get it. Explain that to me how I have a satellite from the company where I receive the TV signals, but they cannot send me the fast speed internet through the same satellite?
Crazy it is! I am resigned to using dial-up here in my home that is more remote than polar bear country. Just don't try to call my house because I'll be trying to send my questions to the polar bear scientists and you might disconnect me. ;-)
For years, I have traveled to our local library about 2 times a month, or more. We always leave with 30 to 50 books between the children & myself. Amazing to me is the fact that on those shelves of books, some magical stories still wait to draw us in, to captivate our senses, and to become a wonderful part of our lives. I have been walking by one of those books for years rejecting it because of the art work and the title. Maybe the description of the book on its jacket didn't sell me on the story within. For whatever reason, I passed it by until finally a few weeks ago, I threw it in the bag without any expectations at all. Now, I know there are other gems waiting on those shelves to transport us to a whole other world. An excitement has come to us visting our small town library that previously provided few winners. What is the book? The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. Lovely descriptions. We felt like we were in their world & we were grateful for the respite from our own world during a busy season.
Besides reading books & general holiday frivolity, we have been as usual too busy. Our Florida trip was great. Traveling in early November allowed us a few days that were warmer which is a nice change from our normal cool December temperatures. We did get to ride out a small hurricane - interesting experience. I cannot imagine these people who refuse to evacuate during direct hits from the hurricane. These winds were so strong & we were only getting a sample of a real hurricane. The ocean was awesome in the storm & in the calm after the storm. All of us were in awe of Jesus on a boat in the storm & His power to say, "Peace, be still." We spent everyday of the week on the beach whether walking, collecting seashells, building our yearly castle, or eating delicious seafood.
We did have a wonderful Thanksgiving & Christmas with lots of family visits including my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary (amazing since their first spouses both died young & they really spent more than 65 years married). Our greatest blessing during this time was that my son was baptized! He is young, but he spent months studying & praying & thinking about it till he was to the point he just didn't think he could NOT be baptized. He was able to let his grandparents, aunt & uncles & beloved cousins know that day & they made it to the service that evening. What a night that was & we have been rejoicing ever since!
We are off to a good start in our new year with homeschooling. We are finally getting the rest of the Christmas decorations put away. We are enjoying our bit of snow here in TN. We are filling our 2010 calendar already. And, we are on a quest to find those other wonderful books just waiting on the library shelves waiting to be our friends. Hope you are having a blessed year so far as well!
Okay, I know this is highly unusual for me to post twice in one day let alone twice in one month. (Maybe as excited as I am about our FL trip, I am equally unexcited about packing for some reason.)
Anyway, I have been feeling so sad today. I cannot decide if facebook is a good thing or not. I was enjoying keeping up with old and new friends in a more day-to-day fashion, but one of these old friends is just breaking my heart. I grew up with her & her sister from the age of 8 until we went away to college. We went to church together and were sisters in Christ together. She went to Dartmouth and we lost touch. I did see her again about 11 years ago when her father passed away unexpectedly and I "heard" how the family had all fallen away after the father died. Enough of the backstory, though. She is as interesting as ever (lives almost a homestead old-fashioned life), but very liberal in all her beliefs. For instance, she was heartbroken when Senator Kennedy passed away recently and is very much for the health care bill & all of the "change" Obama will be bringing. Yesterday, she was extremely disappointed in Maine for voting against gay marriage. I sat in Bible classes with this girl - they rarely missed services. I know she was taught differently. How, then, can we be so very different?
Sadly, pretty much all of those kids in my Bible class do not attend services anymore, but through the years I have prayed for them and hope they will come back to those early teachings. Now, I'm not so sure. Is this like a Perz thing where if I pray it, the outcome may surprise me? Honestly, I am afraid not to pray because she is so very far away now. When I pointed out a few verses against men with men, women with women, the "debate" was stated to be an issue with government and not with religious beliefs. I was just hoping to gently remind her of what her own father would have told her were he alive. This makes me so sad I have to stop writing this right now. Maybe I'll finish my thoughts later. I think I'll be praying for all the young ones where we worship now while I'm cooking dinner. Sigh. I wish, like the Bible class song we sang just last night, that I could roll right over that old devil!