Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Clara's Birthday

She came into our lives when we were recovering from the loss of our mother.

Truthfully, she'd been in our lives for years...as our mom's best friend.

But, in the days, weeks, and months that followed, she was a constant support, and a faithful friend, to my Dad. When God allowed them to find love with each other, we were excited and thankful. Besides my Mom, I cannot imagine anyone being a better match for my Dad than Clara.

She embraced all of us, even tho she has a large and loving family of her own.

For most of our kids, she's the grandmother they know and will remember.

You know, life doesn't always turn out like we plan, and we don't always get to end our days with great healthy and mental clarity...and then slip quietly into Heaven.

Sometimes there's a lot of hard and a lot of struggle.

That's kind of where things are right now, because Clara has gone from being a wife, companion, and friend...to being a caregiver.

I don't know if my Dad will remember to acknowledge Clara's special day.

I'm pretty sure he will not be able to thank her for the tender and diligent way she is caring for him...but Happy Birthday, Clara!

Thank you for everything you do to help our Dad! We love you!

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mother's Day & Moving

When you have a bunch of kids, there will likely be times when you can't be there for everything.

As parents, we all just do the best we can with that...amiright?

There are also times when not all of our kids can be together with us at the same time, which makes me sad...but it can't always be helped.

We had a fun weekend over Mother's Day. We went to a college graduation on Saturday, and got to see our youngest...as well as several friends.Then, on Sunday, after church, we drove 2 1/2 hours to our middle son's town, and helped them move into their new place.

My daughter-in-law apologized over and over for "messing up" my Mother's Day. I was, like, "THIS IS LIFE."

Unless I've just forgotten it (which is totally possible, bc OLD), I don't ever remember my kids making me breakfast in bed, or anything like that.

And I've (apparently) slept through my Mother's Day parade for the last...ummm...31 years!

So packing. loading, unloading, cleaning? With my children?

There's nowhere else I would rather be.

I can't even count the times we've done the whole "load the trailer" thing, for us...or for one of our kids. I've learned a lot of things from our many moves, but there's one thing that stands out, and that is this: the words, "all tied down, boys...THAT'S not going ANYWHERE," mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

"The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him." Psalm 103:13

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

The Sunday morning before Memorial Day, I got up and got ready for church. I put on a navy and white dress, and white sandals. I put on a red, white, and blue necklace. And I thought of my Mom...

I thought of how she always dressed my 3 siblings and I in navy and white and red on Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Veteran's Day...and how, in turn, I dressed my 4 littles the same way on all of the patriotic holidays.

I thought of my Dad...so full of love for our country.

He always made sure we knew that the path to our country's freedom was paved with the blood of the men and women who served and fought and died for it. He made sure we knew to respect our military and our president (every president) and our flag.

He also made sure we knew that, while our soldiers died to ensure our country's freedom...JESUS died to ensure our soul's freedom. His death saved us from the penalty of sin, and assures us a place in eternity with Him.

"All gave some; some gave all."

"Jesus paid it all...all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."

"But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ." Galatians 3:22

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The One Where Jim Has Tick Fever

So, I posted about our wedding anniversary...and Jim's birthday is the day after. And I posted on Facebook about how he was really not feeling well.

I did not post about how he OUT OF THE BLUE said, "I think I might have tick fever." Or how I basically rolled my eyes at him when he said that. Because, he is never sick, so whenever he is feeling bad, OF COURSE he would think he had some random disease.

For several days, I begged him to go to the doctor, or to an urgent care place. We call those places "doc-in-a-box."

Anyway, he finally did, and guess what?

HE HAS TICK FEVER.

Like, for realz.

He had gone on a hike a couple of weeks ago...he knew exactly when it was, because he remembered pulling some ticks off of him. He neglected to tell me about his little tick adventure...his "tickventure," as it were...and then when he did, I was, like, "YOU HAVE BEEN CRAWLING IN OUR BED WITH ME EVERY NIGHT FOR TWO WEEKS!"

And I immediately started itching. I still feel like things are crawling on me.

When he started feeling bad, he remembered reading that it takes a couple of weeks for the symptoms to show up.

So they put him on this high-powered antibiotic, and he had to go to the pharmacy to pick it up. Even with our insurance card, his part was $125. He about freaked. They asked him if he still wanted it, and he said, "yes."

Because he doesn't want to die.

But he's not letting it go. He has told everyone...every.single.person we've run into...that his medicine cost $125.

And he told the kids not to expect much for Christmas this year.

I'M KIDDING...but just barely.

He came home and read all the instructions OUT LOUD on when to take the medicine, when NOT to take the medicine, what to eat/not eat/drink/not drink before, during, and after taking the medicine.

Then he read about the possible side-effects...OUT LOUD. At any given time, he's convinced he's got one or more of them.

It's gonna be a long 21 days.

I really am very sympathetic to him. We have some friends whose lives have been drastically affected by Lyme disease. It's no joke. So I'm praying for him...that he will only have to have one round of this medicine, and that he has a complete healing, with no residual effects from the tick bite.

But here is a your PSA, in Jim's words: Take this seriously.

*USE THE TICK SPRAY, every time.
*And CHECK YOURSELF, every time you come in from outside.
*And, if you pull a tick off of you, and start feeling bad after a few days, don't wait. GO TO YOUR DOCTOR.

Stay healthy, my friends.

"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." James 5:16

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Happy Meals, Jim's Birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh

We had a good anniversary, but we spent the day living out that whole "in sickness and in health" part of our marriage vows.

Jim is rarely sick, but it seems like he is usually sick on our anniversary...or on his birthday (it's the day after). I don't know what that says about our marriage, but it can't be good...amiright?

Over the years, we've learned to be flexible when it comes to our plans...which explains why our anniversary dinner consisted of a drive-thru, and some Golden Arches.

I didn't pick it...the health nut, did.

Which, if you look up the gift for 37 years of marriage...pretty sure it shows a picture of a happy meal. 

I'm just sayin'.

One more thought on our anniversary, before we move on: One day, I was shopping at the little Hallmark store in our town. A wooden sign on the wall caught my eye. On it was a quote from Winnie-the-Pooh.

If you know me, you know I love me some WTP. He's just so sweet, loyal, loving, and innocent.

I was immediately drawn to his words on the sign: "If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 100 minus a day...so I would never have to live a day without you."

I remember those words bringing tears to my eyes, because that's exactly how I feel about my life with Jim.

I didn't buy the sign, because I thought it was too expensive...and I also wondered why a grown woman would have a Winnie-the-Pooh sign up in her bedroom...or living room? But I came home, and tried not to cry as I told Jim about it.

I don't know what kind of reaction I was expecting, but it wasn't the one I got.

He looked at me, kind of exasperated-like, and said, "who wants to live to be 100?"

THIS IS MARRIAGE, PEOPLE.

And why I say you should marry your best friend...because comments like Jim's can be a death sentence, amiright?

Today is Jim's birthday, and I am very thankful for him...and I'm praying for him to feel better.

"Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10