Saturday, November 29, 2008
This is my darling, yet slightly bewildered nephew, Kenny. The occasion was Father's Day 2008. My father-in-law, Fred, received "Father of the Year" at his church, and all his sons and their families surprised him by being there to see him accept his award. It was very emotional (sniff, sniff). After church we treated the F-I-L and M-I-L to Sunday dinner at their favorite restaurant. You guessed it--Sizzlin' Sirloin. Yeah, the sky's the limit when it comes to treating our parents. I don't know if Kenny's expression is a result of just having attended church for the first time this year, getting out of bed before noon on a Sunday, or "somebody tell me what the Sam Hill we're doing at a Sizzlin' Sirloin!"
So, I guess I have to tag someone else, huh? Let's see....Jeannette, Bailey, and Jessica. No cheating...find the 4th picture of the 4th album on your computer and write a blog about it.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Jeremy and Jacob came over early in the day to help Neal find his slain deer in the woods. Jacob wanted to help me in the kitchen (maybe he'll be my reason to keep up the tradition in the future) so I agreed that he could set the table.
I've mentioned before his tendency toward perfectionism. Each piece of flatware was spaced precisely the same distance apart, and I had to re-fold one of the napkins because he said the corners didn't match up!
I'm strongly considering NOT decorating for Christmas, for several reasons.
1. It's only 3 weeks until the big day. (Again...all that work for 3 measly weeks? Then turn right around and put it all away?)
2. I'm still tired from being in the kitchen all day yesterday.
3. We have no money to buy presents. (Poor, poor me. Do you see a pattern here?)
4. We will be traveling on Christmas Day--the one bright spot--seeing all my family.
5. No one else in my family is remotely interested in Christmas decor.
Am I just being a Scrooge? Am I having a pity-party? Do I have the Holiday Blues?
Yes, yes, and yes.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Beep, beep! Come on, people, outta my way!
I just threw this picture in, 'cause I think she really looks like a Smith, here.
She even had the face to go with her imaginary bleeding boo-boo. What a little actress!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
So my question is this. If you had been at QT this morning, what would you have done?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
After a quick lunch, Lauren was eager to play with her babies. We looked everywhere for the powder, but it has "mysteriously" disappeared.
The rest of the afternoon she slept.
Just enough time to watch a little bit of the Baby Genius DVD and eat her favorite snack before going home. Don't laugh...I figure she's so much like me she better start the high fiber diet early.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
We teased that we only came so we could see him in a tux. And might I say, he was very debonair and shy and self-conscious at the same time. "Oh come on...no more pictures."
It was a lovely evening and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it. Thank you Joel, for the invitation.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
In the patio area outside our bedroom, he noticed there was some mortar that had crumbled away from the cinder blocks, so he neatly and discreetly stuffed those cracks with pink insulation, too.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
On the ride home, we were listening to the Baby Genius CD, 'cause Lauren is a genius you know. Good genes from her Nana. When we got to the song Ring Around the Rosy she just about jumped out of her car seat. She happily sang along with the CD and when the song was over she said, "Do it again." So I surfed through the 30 tracks while trying to keep my eyes on the road and land exactly back on track 23, which didn't happen on the first...or second...try. Of course, when the song was over she repeated, "Do it again." Again with the track surfing. This time when I surfed past it, she said, "aw shoot", and the next time, "ag gummit." Thanks to Lauren's persistence in wanting to listen to the same song ALL the way home, I discovered the RPT (repeat) button on my CD player. Yeah, Nana! I rock!!!
This afternoon, Lauren was occupied with her baby.
Mostly, the powder....
And the wet wipes...
Saturday, November 08, 2008
To All Who Have Loved Us,
Today, November 7th, is the two month anniversary for Liam’s fall and God has done amazing things. One may ask, “Where is God?” when things seemingly go all wrong. But I confess — no I proclaim — that we are never alone. He is always near.
Liam’s fall severely damaged his kidney, lacerated his spleen, most likely bruised his pancreas, and most definitely broke both his arms. He fell because he reached too far without really thinking about what he was doing. Falling just under 20 feet, he landed with his head inches away from life-threatening rock and concrete. He sustained no external injury.
Liam vomited the majority of his thirty-one days in the hospital – some days continuously and several times pure blood. He endured countless pokes, prods and invasive procedures, and continuously battled with the “fairness” of it all. “Why me?” “Why did I have to jump?” “It’s not fair!” His mental and emotional anguish was as hard to endure as his physical – extremely hard for a father and mother to witness. Couldn’t we have his pain?!
Liam faced death one night. Physically, he was having an anxiety attack. His body seized to point of near suffocation, and with gasping breath he said, “I feel like I’m slipping away. I don’t want to slip away.” His nurses’ quick reaction made his slipping away highly unlikely, but for Liam – and for his dad – it was a very real, emotional, and spiritual moment of reckoning. What if I die? What if he dies?
So where was God in all this? Paul says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) Do we know?
Here’s what I know...
- Liam is still alive and in my life. A few inches and he could very well have been gone, physically or mentally. I believe God protected him as he fell.
- Liam received and is receiving excellent, knowledgeable, skilled care from the many wonderful people who give their lives everyday to help those whose lives, for however long, are going all wrong. I believe God has called these people and given them a special love in their hearts, whether they recognize Him or not.
- Everyday our clothes were clean, our house was clean, and there was warm food prepared, all waiting for us at home by the hands of loving brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe God was using those who would allow Him to demonstrate His love through them to tell us He was near.
- Get-Well-Cards, posters, letters of love and even money to cover meals and gas came almost daily. I believe with each one God was sending His message to us, “Hold on. I’ve not left you.”
- As the bills started coming in and thousands mounted upon thousands with no insurance to help, SoonerCare cards and promise of help from St. Francis’s charitable foundation came in the mail. I believe God has told us once again, “There is nothing too big for me.”
- Liam’s arms are healed. His spleen is almost completely whole again, and his kidney’s are healing ahead of schedule. I believe God has heard the thousands of prayers lifted up for Liam and answered resoundingly.
- Liam will one day die, and so will I. I believe because of Jesus I will see God. And I’ll be able to say thank you...for everything.
All things don’t happen because of God. Sometimes things happen because we reach too far, too sure of ourselves. But, I know that in all things God works. And I know this because I believe.
Thank you for allowing God to use you for His purpose. We have seen Him through you.
With His Love,
Dan and Kathy
1. I am 52 years old. For some cruel reason, as you get older you have less energy and a bigger appetite. Why Lord?
2. Maybe I have a thyroid problem? Thyroid conditions do run in my family, you know.
3. The beginning of my weight gain coincides EXACTLY with the time that Neal moved home to stay. That means LESS calorie burning outdoor chores for me and MORE home-cooked meals. It also means that I don't have the intense desire to go to the gym five days a week out of sheer boredom or the need for daily human contact.
In conclusion, I think it's Neal's fault.
Yesterday I had the choice of going to the gym to work off some of these extra pounds OR shop the J.C. Penney Big Sale (emphasis mine) and buy some "more comfortable" clothes, i.e. "bigger" clothes. So I went to Penney's. In particular, I was looking for pants. Are you with me here, girls? Oh, and I needed a new bra--not because "those" had gotten bigger (another cruel joke...it's always the bottom half that expands) but because mine are getting old and worn out (not the ta-tas...the bras). When I got to the fitting room with my armful of try-ons, I realized that it was all blouses, jackets, and sweaters. Seems that even though I've outgrown my pants and skirts, I still can't shop in the grown-up stores. I'm going to have to either go to the junior department or succumb to trips to Gap or Old Navy and try to find pants that don't show your underwear and skirts that...well...don't show your underwear, to find my size. I hate those trips. I can see the wheels turning in Hannah Montana's brain as she tries to figure out why a grandma is shopping in her cool teeny-bopper store. If I have to talk to a sales person, I say things like, "I'm shopping for my daughter, and she's about my size...can I try this on?" It's really embarrassing.
Anyway...I came home with new underwear and shoes.
Friday, November 07, 2008
In 1964, the Smiths (that's me) met the Buntings. It was a match made in heaven. Our families...well at least the grown-ups...decided that we would move from Texas to Canada, where my Dad and Bill would co-minister a church in St. Thomas, Ontario. We were so much a part of each others' lives, it was like there was no distinction between the two families. Alma was like a second mom to me, and had a tremendous influence on my "formative" years. When Neal and I got married, I wanted my Dad to walk me down the aisle, which left Bill as the natural choice to perform the ceremony. Tragically, Alma was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma last year and the disease was already Stage IV. On March 1, my birthday and Bill & Alma's 50th Wedding Anniversary, we made a trip to Texas where they now live. Alma was not good. The doctors were trying everything, but the Lymphoma was advancing quickly. I was sure this would be the last time I would see my sweet Alma.
This summer, Alma seemed to be feeling better and she and Bill made a final trip to Canada. She is originally from Canada and there were people and places she wanted to see again before she left this world.
Last week another doctor visit and more blood tests. ABSOLUTELY NO CANCER CELLS. NO SIGN OF LYMPHOMA. What an amazing and awesome God we serve! Nothing is too hard for our God. Let's shout it from the rooftops!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Last night's 70 mph straight winds and quarter-sized hail pretty much took care of the last remaining leaves that were still hanging on for dear life. Probably did a number on my new roof, too. I'm afraid to look. Luckily there was plenty of advance forecasting and I had wisely parked my Pilot in the garage. The cold front that pushed the storm through left our temperatures very crisp and Fall-like this morning. I doubt we'll see 80 degrees again for several months. Now comes the battle of keeping the cold OUTSIDE and the heat INSIDE. I stocked up at Home Depot yesterday on all sorts of weather stripping and insulation. I'm determined to be cozy this winter without cashing in my IRA to buy propane.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
After all that, we were still only a few minutes late for BSF. Lauren's teachers were so happy to see her. Did I mention that she's the only girl in a class full of boys? I think she gets a lot of special attention.
After her nap, Lauren begged to watch the Bear DVD. It was Jacob's favorite when he was her age, and she loves it just as much. It's a music DVD, with children singing and acting out the songs. She sings along with it, but when I sing she says, "No, Nana, don't sing." She must have a good ear for music.
Lauren loves Gwacee and Otis and likes to stick her hand through the fence to let them lick it. Gracie pretty much ignores her, but Otis is very cooperative.