Too cute not to share

As I've mentioned, Jack, my friend, Tammy's son, had a brain tumor removed this week. I've been trying to keep up with his recovery. Here is a note from Tammy yesterday:

Today has not been easy for Jack. He is hurting, and not talking yet. I know that he knows what's going on around him, but that swollen tongue is keeping him from eating, drinking, talking and laughing. I hope that the swelling will decrease soon. He had his mri today, no results yet. He couldn't eat, so they put a line down his nose into his stomach and fed him pediasure, he didn't tolerate it, so they have gone ahead and started giving him iv food again. It has been so hard watching him hurt and not be able to help. I thank God for the last hour we have had, because Elaine and I started singing children's worship songs to him, after we sang one, we didn't know if we were hurting his ears or if he liked it, so we said give us the thumbs up sign if you want another song. His thumbs immediately began wiggling. So we sang, and we sang, and ....when we got to This Little Light Of Mine, he must have liked it, because we got to "all around the neighborhood I am going to let it shine" both of his arms that have splint like things on them with tubes everywhere and wires everywhere, shot up and started circling with the song. Both Elaine and I looked at him, and tears started flowing. It was like his first step. We were so excited. So we sang and sang some more. Every time we were trying to decide what to sing, he would lift his arms and start circling. So we would start this little light again. I think he likes that one best because even though his eyes are closed and he can't move alot, he can move his arms, so he feels like he is participating in the song. Praise God for that glimpse of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Is that the most precious imagery you can imagine? Poor little pathetic brain surgery patient needing to let his light shine! I love it!


Jack's surgery

I can't imagine that you would be reading this and not be aware that I have created a blog for Jack Marcelain and his family here. Anyway, all of my time and energy have been spent keeping up with that -- and doing my best not to keel over from this cold or flu or whatever it is that has me in it's grips. So, I have not much to say or report, other than to say a prayer for Jack -- they take him back to prep him for surgery in about an hour. They will have to shave his head, I'm sure. I hope they sedate little guys for that. I would imagine that's very traumatic. What am I talking about? -- It freaked out a grown woman on 'Amazing Race' last week. When I get this breathing thing down, I'll try to get back to blogging!


Jack and Sophie, ringing in 2005! Posted by Hello

Prayers for Jack

It's Monday afternoon, April 25. I've been in my green recliner most of the last 2 days with a head cold. I've improved from knowing that death would feel so much better to simply having all of my head and brain cells drip out of my nose in a constant flow.

Jack, 5 year old son of my friend Tammy, had an MRI this morning. Last week -- Thursday, actually -- she and another friend and I were at lunch and Tammy mentioned that one of Jack's eyes had started to turn in on occasion. So she was thinking that she should probably call the Dr. about it. He had also recently started wearing glasses, and thought that may be the problem. So, by Friday morning he had an appt. for an MRI at 8:15 Monday morning. That concerned me -- b/c it sounded as if the medical people were concerned.

I have very little clear information other than the scan revealed a 'fairly large tumor' and the Dr. sent them immediately to the emergency room of Children's Medical Center in Dallas. They are on their way there now, I guess. I feel absolutely, completely helpless. Tammy has a photography business that is quite busy right now with Senior portraits and brides. I wish I could help her with that. Jack has a twin sister, Sophie, and an older brother, DJ -- that are 2 of the most precious children I know (along with Jack). Just wish I could do something. Currently, all of the information is too new and there would be too many people swarming Tammy and Rob. So I will pray.

Let me tell you about Jack. You just have to laugh when you see him. Partly because he is ALL boy. Precious sandy blond with enormous blue eyes that you can almost see right through. Not quite Dennis the Menace, but close. He has a bit of a listhp and can't say his 'r's real well, and his greatest joy in life is making people laugh. Tammy always has a funny Jack story for us. He's all about the sacrifice -- if it makes you laugh for him to throw his body against the wall and bounce off of it and slam to the floor -- that's what he will do, time and again. Jack is 6, and so sweet. God will use him for great things one day. I don't want it to be now. Other than to show God's healing power.

Oh, Father, my brain that is in a fog from the cold hardly knows what to pray in this situation. 'Tumor' is about the scariest word in the English language -- put it with 'brain'-- well, we're just all so scared for Jack. Lord, I pray for a great diagnosis from this. Lord, please display your healing power through Jack. I know that Rob and Tammy will give you the glory no matter what the outcome, but I pray that you be glorified through Jack's healing. Give Rob and Tammy peace.

Much later -- I have been to the Abilene airport, where some precious Abilene people chartered a plane to take the Marcelain's to Dallas. What a blessing. We got to see them, hug them, cry with them, and pray with them. As my friend Karene says, "This is what makes friendships." Being there when we're needed. But, YIKES! Who wants this?

Anyway, I feel better just having seen them. I think I'll start a blog for Jack! Wonder if I can. . .


The Master Gardener

I have a very Darwinian view of yardwork: it's survival of the fittest from the moment any plant makes it's home on my property. I have learned that once plants take root in my yard, you can't kill them if you try. I have a geranium that has survived several snowstorms and is blooming to tell about it. The lantana in my front flowerbed should be featured in some horror movie about plants taking over a dwelling.

For a very few days to weeks in the spring I get inspired to try to do something with the flower beds. Perhaps it's the nasty looks I keep getting from my next-door neighbors whose yard is professionally landscaped. Perhaps it's the fact that it's the very brief window of time between too cold and too hot. Perhaps it's year-long guilt over the neglect that has built up. At any rate, now is the time. I'm digging in to the front flower bed.

Last year I did even less gardening than usual. Stressors continued to interrupt our spring and summer and I could barely weed the mess out of my personal life, much less the weeds in my yard. I knew they would be there when I was ready. Now that I'm finally ready, the weeds are definitely there. I have finally gotten enough weeds out to find the lantana. As I continued to weed and prune today, I muttered to myself, "What an unholy mess."

At first glance, it's hard to tell which is plant and and which is weed. Then there is a thicket of dead shoots intermingled all through the live shoots. Unholy mess indeed. I would NEVER dream to compare my gardening skills to the work the Lord does in our lives, but I realized that without a gardener we become, truly, an unholy mess. The difference in our lives and my poor lantana is that we can invite The Gardener into our lives and submit to the weeding and pruning that result in a healthy, thriving life. Or we can be left to our own devices and end up a tangle of weeds, dead shoots, and anemic leaves.

Father, thank you for weeding out the mess. Thank you for loving us more than I love those poor plants in my front yard. Thank you for tending us, nurturing us, and seeing the beautiful flower we can become with your pruning, when we only see the dead shoots and weeds we have brought upon ourselves.


Guilty! (of being a mother!)

Yukky day today -- weather wise, work wise, life wise. So I come home and promptly make my children work in their rooms. One would think that would be a bad choice at the end of a frustrating day -- but it was okay. We set the timer for 15 minutes, make a give away, throw away, and put away pile. When timer goes off, we're done and put away the put away pile! And I discovered something -- when my kids yell, "I have no __________ (undies, socks, shorts, shirts)" what they are actually saying is "The last time I put my clothes away I put my underthings heaven-knows-where and now I need you to magically produce some for me." I found no fewer than _20_ pair of undies in one child's dresser -- but only 3 in the undie drawer. The other 17 were evenly dispersed between the P.J. drawer and the t-shirt drawer. Of course they were. So, I weeded out the 7 that are 2 sizes too small and left said little person with _13_ pair of clean undies! The part that really frustrated me is realizing how that yell, "I'm out of _____________ (whatever)" automatically puts a knife to my heart that I am not doing my job as a mother. No, it's not my job to get them to the right place (you can try to convince me, but you won't). But I do believe it's my job to get them clean and in the 'put away' place (we call them 'laundry cubbies' at our house!). WHAT is this guilt that God gives to women as soon as they have a dependent to claim? And it may be different at your house -- but Troy does not suffer guilt in any form as a parent. Let their little faces crumple. Tell them we'll get a sno-cone and then say 'not tonight.' Whatever. The man at this house does not come with the guilt gene. It certainly makes for a good balance -- and he's far more apt to stick to his ruling of the consequences even when their little faces do crumple and their tears make mud on their faces. If any 'seasoned' mothers (boy, I just can't make it not sound like I'm saying OLD) could tell me when, if ever, this constant guilt leaves me, it would help.

My temporary job ends this week. I cannot tell you how glad I am. I will probably try to, though! Thursday I'm going to lunch with friends and Friday I may take the kids lunch at their school. Next week I have a hair appointment and I go to the zoo with first grade. THAT is more like it to me! I refuse to get caught in any heated discussion about stay-at-home vs. work outside the home moms. I know this for my family: a)I do not feel called at this time to any occupation that requires me to work 40+ hours a week and b)at this time our family has the luxury of me not needing to do that. I am thankful to finally be at peace that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing for this moment in time. And, just as I get a little too comfy in my spot, God has the tendency to say, "Surprise!" I'm hangin' on for the ride!


Back in Blogger Land

I'm sure I'm writing to the walls of cyber-land. It's been too long since I've been here! But my job is winding down and I can hopefully get back to the land of writing/blogging/basically boring you with my life! I am supposed to be hurtling down HWY 290 towards the National NRA convention in Houston, Texas. And God said, "Ha!" Obviously, the National NRA Convention is far more my husband's cup 'o tea than mine, but I was looking forward to Pappasito's and time to talk to my husband without a "Mo-o-o-o-m" interruption. Riley has a ball game tomorrow and Ashley is going to the metropolis of Monahans, Texas, to compete in Bible Bowl. I had the whole system DOWN -- people to get my children where they needed to be, money for their trips, medical release forms, the whole 9 yards. But it didn't feel right. Children aren't meant to be juggled so fervently -- even if they're generally good-natured kids and will tolerate it fairly well. So Riley woke me up at 5:30 this morning telling me he had thrown up -- that's it. No major nausea drama (which we usually get 30 minutes prior to the Big Event). So, he parked in front of the TV and I launched into the laundry that comes with such episodes. Nothing else has happened all day -- just that we have cancelled our trip. I'm so thankful for God's guidance -- I feel very much at peace that I am right where I should be, taking care of my punkin's. Don't get me wrong -- moms and dads need get-away time, and THIS mom especially needs Pappasito's (about like a hole in the head!) -- but we just had too much going on to leave this fine-tuned machine of this family to amateurs! (My apologies if you were one of the kind volunteers who was willing to take us on! :-) Long ago, a couple I look up to immensely mentioned that they had learned the hard way that if nothing was falling into place for a trip or even a date night for them, then they should stay home. That has stuck with me! I'm sorry that God had to make my little one ill to make me take notice of the gentle prodding He was giving me, but I'm so thankful I have learned to listen!
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