Monday, May 23, 2011

Life At Our House

     What a difference a week can make!  A week ago Sunday Harris was still feeling pretty bloated at times, so we called the doctors' offices again early in the week, wondering if it was the medication he was on, the foods he was eating, or just a normal part of the recovery.  By the time we had connected with both doctors, we had conducted our own experiment by taking him off the medicine and then putting him back on it a couple days later.  We'll never really know why for sure, but he hasn't complained of feeling bloated for several days!  He spent good chunks of time at the office Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and didn't even take a nap once on Saturday!  (He made up for that on Sunday though!)  Friday night he succumbed to a severe craving for Mexican food, so we threw caution to the wind and enjoyed a late-night date out for dinner.  Saturday he even got on his motorcycle for the first time this spring and spent time taking the kids for rides.  Overall, when we ask him how he feels, he'll respond with a cautious "Okay."  He says he still feels as though something is different, but at least he's starting to feel as though he can function a little more normally. 

     "Thank you, Lord, for all the progress he's making!"

     My whole goal for last week was to get my garden and flowers planted before all the forecasted rain made it impossible for me to do so.  Even though it's a lot of hard work, there is really nothing more therapeutic for me than to dig around in the dirt and plant things that will bring me so much satisfaction and joy for the next several months.  Now I can move on to all the final details for the graduation party that's going to happen in one week whether I'm ready or not! 

     "Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your beautiful creation, for giving me just the right amount of hours and sunlight, for the rain-saturated earth this morning, and for protection from the tornadoes last night.  Thank you that we can celebrate Haley's life this week." 

     Heath and Jenny are still in Texas but will be flying home tomorrow night.  They must be having a really good time because we've hardly heard from them, but we feel comfortable knowing they are in the hands of a wonderful Christian family who we knew from our church here but who moved to Texas last summer.  Mindy was Jenny (and Haley's) small group leader when she was here, and despite the distance, they have maintained a really special bond.  Mindy's daughter is dating Jason, one of Heath's friends, and he made his way down there this weekend too.  I can just imagine all the fun all of them are having!

     "Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Christian friendship and the mentorship that is being provided."

     Ever since Haley came home from Africa last summer, she talked about her strong desire to just spend a week in Pella with family.  Little did we know then that God would bless both of my brothers with new babies a month apart from each other!  Welcome, Libby Alayne and Wyatt Denley!  When Haley was asked if she could help out for a few days, she jumped at the chance and knew this was her chance to fulfill that longing.  She had a fun-filled week with her aunts, uncles, and cousins and then ended it with individual lunch dates with her grandpa and grandma.  We're just very thankful that she made it home safely.  The same tire we had fixed before she left started making a strange noise, and she recognized that it was a problem, so Harris had her take it to a local tire repair shop.  They told her she had four junk tires and sent her on her way, saying that she'd be fine till she got home, but after lunch as she was driving through town and noticing that people were looking up from working in their flower beds as she passed by, she just knew something wasn't right.  Harris sent her to another tire shop in a neighboring town, and it was there that she learned that her tires weren't junk but that the one tire was about to fall off and that it was a miracle she made it there safely.  She enjoyed the camaraderie of the "little old men" in that shop and felt much better about hitting the road for her two-hour drive home. 

     "Thank you, Lord, for family, and thank you, Lord, for giving our daughter the intuition to check things out and for sparing her life." 

     Kelsey and Keaton are winding down their school year this week with finals at the high school and one last picnic at the elementary school.  Kelsey has a friend who recently lost her dad, and we've been enjoying having her hang out with our family more.  She's one of the most optimistic and sweet young ladies you'll ever find, but our hearts just go out to her.  After the girls spent time doing homework and chatting together last night, they wanted to know if Diana could spend the night.  We knew it would make our morning a bit more complicated, but by the time we went to bed, we had a plan all put together on how to make the morning go as smoothly as possible.  Keaton even got me to agree to give him a haircut before school since I didn't get it done over the weekend. 

     But this is how our morning went:

     5:15 a.m. - My alarm went off, I verified that Kelsey was up and going, and sent her off for swim practice.

     5:24 a.m. - I crawled back into bed with my alarm set for 6:30 so I could wake up Diana.

     5:46 a.m. - I woke up for no good reason, realized that I could sleep another 44 minutes, and went back to sleep. 

     6:14 a.m. - Kelsey appeared beside my bed and said that her swim coach didn't show up.  She turned off my 6:30 alarm, said she'd wake up Diana, and said she'd wake me at 7 before she left for P.E. 

     6:40 a.m. - I woke up again, wondering why my alarm hadn't gone off, and then remembered the conversation between Kelsey and me. 

     7:00 a.m. - Kelsey came in again, told me that Diana was leaving with her, and that Keaton was up.  Score!!  I told her just to have him wake me up at 7:30. 

     7:07 a.m. - Keaton came in and said, "Mom, I'm ready for my haircut!"  Argh!!!  Totally forgot about that little detail!

     7:12 a.m. - "Come on, Mom!" 

     And here is my handsome 5th grader, all ready for his final days of elementary school. 

     I'm not sure who all he was trying to impress or what bet he was trying to win, but he was pretty insistent on a 1/8" cut buzz.  The story sounded like a pretty good mix of the two.  Combine that fresh haircut with the smell of cologne, deoderant, and freshly brushed teeth, and our little boy just confirmed the fact that he is very ready to move on to middle school in the fall. 

     "Thank you, Lord, for my children.  They are all at such different stages in their lives, and I'm just so thankful for each of them. 

"And now if you could just let the doctor tell us this morning at our appointment that Harris can leave the stent in long-term instead of having to go back into surgery in a few months to have it taken out, that would be really awesome!  We will trust you regardless, but that would be such a sweet surprise." 


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