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Monday, March 31, 2008

Are you?

I was sitting in our kitchen at work today working on my BSF lesson as a co-worker came in and began staring at the microwave. I turned around and she was trying to figure out how to make it cook at ½ power. After pushing several different combinations of buttons, it worked.

It made me think of that show, “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?”

My question… Are you smarter than the microwave?

This situation reminded me of something I encountered last week that really struck me as funny.

In my haste to get out the door one morning last week, I asked Mike if I could dip into his Pop-Tart stash that he keeps in his car for his 45 minute commute to work. Being the “oh so loving and giving” husband that he is, he said it was fine. So, I grabbed a package of cherry Pop-Tarts as I flew out the door.

How long has it been since you had Pop-Tarts? Well, that’s too long.

I flew into the office and sat down at my desk, with said Pop-Tarts sitting idly by, not knowing even if we had a toaster for me to heat them, or if I was just going to have to eat the "raw" straight out of the package. Much to my delight, I did find such a toaster in our kitchen. And much to my dismay, I found that the toaster had a specific "Pop-Tarts" setting on it... labeled with the Pop-Tart logo and everything.

Are you smarter than the toaster?

Why on earth did the makers of this particular toaster think that their consumers were so brain-dead that they could not figure out how to cook Pop-Tarts? Well, I followed suit and used the Pop-Tart setting. And they were, well, perfect.

I find myself wondering why I am so concerned about being smarter or better than other people, or things. Do I think that I am smarter than, oh, say, the Bible? Truth be told, yeah, I probably do sometimes. But as I see from this example, if I just put my life on the setting that God tells me to through His holy and perfect Word, things well be, well, perfect. Not necessarily easy or the way I want them, but in God’s eyes, perfect.

Miracle Monday

My miracle this Monday for "A Mom's Life's Miracle Monday" (http://beth-amomslife.blogspot.com/) happened this past August. It was a hot, hot, Texas summer day...

Nathan and I went to Costco and got back out to the car. Being what felt like 1000 degrees outside, I got him in the car out of the sun, turned it on and closed the door. I went back around to the back to load up my groceries and it was locked. All the doors were locked… with my baby inside. I froze. I called Mike and could hardly even get the words out I was so panicked. Then the Lord provided an Angel (in my opinion) in the form of a young mother with two young children who went inside and got help for me.

After the police showed up and began to assure me that he would be okay since the car was running and the air was on, I started to calm down a little. Then, it became comical as the fire department and EMS showed up with axe in hand ready to smash in a window. I couldn’t tell if I was laughing or crying at that point. They were so funny as Nathan was playing peek-a-boo with them through the window. They asked him if he could reach the black nob to unlock the door. And as any good 2 year old would say, his answer was, “No.” They even tried offering him money – which is funny since the only currency Nathan deals in so far is M&M’s.

The wrecker finally showed up and got the car open, the EMS checked him out and I immediately took him out of the cool car into the hot sun just to hold him.

So my miracle came in the form of a woman with two small children, who I am convinced was an angel sent by God because as I was pulling out of my parking space, she and her two little ones emerged from the store with no cart or groceries in hand, just in time for me to thank her.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ding-Dong...

As promised, here is some video of my munchkins...

I apologize for Nathan's attire, but we "produced" this video this morning before BSF.

video


And here's Sarah doing her song and motions for y'all



video





And I thought this was a better picture of Sarah's make-up:

Before:


After:





Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We Welcome You to Munchkinland...

So we are in the middle of the school's production of The Wizard of Oz. Sarah is a munchkin and is having a ball. This week she has dress rehearsals Monday-Wednesday, and 5 performances Thursday-Saturday. Needless to say, we don't have much else going on this week besides Oz.
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She has been so excited about the whole make-up thing. We practiced doing her make-up on Sunday evening so that on Monday, when I would be working until 5 and had to have her there ready to go at 6, we wouldn't just be figuring out what we were doing. I got her there on Monday evening, picked up her costume and got her completely dressed and she was absolutely bouncing off the walls with excitement. All of them were. The excitement was just all too much to take.
The make-up is pretty serious stage make-up, too. Seriously, look at those eyes. Purple and yellow. Who would have ever thought that I would actually find an eye shadow duo set with both purple and yellow in it, but I did. And she's been great about all of it. Eye liner, mascara and all. How do little girls instinctively know to be excited about make-up? I keep trying to make sure she knows that this is just for being on stage and she would not normally wear this much make-up when she's a teenager.
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Oh, and the costumes... the COSTUMES. They are just adorable. They have these huge petticoats, though, that keep slipping down her little "non-hips". We had to cinch it up so tight that I'm afraid it's going to cut off circulation to her legs. They're going to have to wheel her off the stage come performance night. All the costuming is very good. It's a fun show to do costumes for, also. I do have to say that the Wicked Witch of the West has a great costume and is my favorite character and the one I would want to play.
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You may or may not know that I'm a bit of a drama person myself. I have always enjoyed being in drama productions at church. In fact, one of my favorite rolls to date was for Christmas 2006 when I played a school bus driver. Max(ine) was a little bit of Larry the Cable Guy mixed with the school bus driver from Forest Gump and the character Jan from the pizza parlor in Mr. Deeds. She was a little butch and a little uncouth (spelling?) to say the least. For several weeks after that I felt like I had to really "girl it up" when at church so that people would know that wasn't how I really was (all the time, at least).
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The fact that Sarah is enjoying being in this production just warms my dramatic soul. I love having a little bit of a kindred spirit in her. Our similarities have really been coming out over the last couple of years. She is very hard on herself and quite the perfectionist when it comes to something she is creating. She takes her time and does it right. And it has to be just right, or it's not done. Sounds like someone I know.
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So, next time you watch Judy Garland and the Wizard of Oz, think of Sarah being a munchkin singing "Ding dong the witch is dead..." Oh, and think of Nathan singing it, too. It gets sung so much around here that he has memorized it. The 7 year old version is pretty funny, but nothing compared to the 2 1/2 year old version. I thought I had a video of it, but I don't... yet. Stay tuned!
*** As a side note, I got the video clip from Easter Sunday - the handbells - to work. Check it out. ***

Monday, March 24, 2008

Miracle Monday

As I have considered my involvement in "Miracle Monday," I believe the Lord has truly tried to reveal something to me. You know, miracles aren’t always huge things. I have certainly been personally touched by some miracles of great magnitude. However, for me right now, it's just about seeing God's hand in the everyday circumstances and seemingly little and mundane things of life. This one, He revealed to me this morning as I was, of course, in the shower.

I was so frustrated on Saturday. Trying on dresses was becoming as much of a pain as swimsuits. I was looking at what I had in my closet to wear for Easter Sunday, and was not really thrilled about any of it. I mean, I’ve lost about 25 pounds since I bought some of those skirts and dresses. I have reclaimed my waistline (kind-of) and don’t mind showing it off. So, why on earth would I buy a new dress with a high waist and a tie in the back that makes me look pregnant???

Seriously. I’ve been pregnant - 4 times total and 2 to full term with big fat belly and all. We have decided that we are done with the pregnancy thing and have taken measures to keep that from happening. I don’t really want to look like it again unless it is truly a miraculous conception. Apparently the current batch of designers out there haven’t been in my shoes.

So needless to say, out of 4 different stores on Saturday afternoon, I didn’t buy anything for me other than 3 blouses that allowed me to use the rest of a gift card at SteinMart (love that store!). I was disappointed.

Then I realized this morning in the shower that I should be glad I didn’t find that perfect dress. March has been hard on the checking account for us and I didn’t need to spend any extra money. With Daisy’s vet bills, tickets for the school auction, our class’s auction project, tickets to see the musical that Sarah is in, and the list could go on and on… we’re just tapped out this month. Beyond tapped out actually.

So, my miracle this Monday is that the Lord protected my bank account from further depletion because of my own selfish vainity.

Happy Easter!

Okay - I'm a day late. That can't be surprising to anyone.


I don't know if you knew this, but I play in our handbell choir at church. We played a beautiful arrangement of "Beneath the Cross of Jesus" on Sunday.


Read the text of the 2nd verse as you watch and listen:


Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One who suffered there for me;
And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess:
The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

(I'm not sure if this is working or not...)
video

(I'm the one on the far left. I play the highest octave/the smallest bells.)


We had a nice day. They got to talk to Mimi and Papa on the phone that morning. And Nanny came up and went to church and had lunch with us.



The kids did get to participate in our neighborhood Easter Egg hunt on Saturday and they had a ball. Nathan kept calling it the Easter Party. Since it was just us and Nanny on Sunday, we let her hide and go through all the Resurrection Eggs with them while we finished up getting lunch ready.

In recent years I have established a tradition in my house of fixing lamb around Easter. As I did this year, I usually fix lamb chops on the Thursday (the night before Good Friday) in recognition of Christ celebrating the Passover Feast with his disciples on the night of his arrest. We were able to have a good discussion about it with Sarah this year. And I also fix a leg of lamb roast on Easter Sunday. After all, Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, slain to take away our sins. Amen and Amen!

I hope your Resurrection Sunday was happy and meaningful.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It can't be good...

It can't be a good thing when you walk up to the counter at the Tom Thumb pharmacy and the guy says, "Have you been here before... oh, yeah, you've been here before." And it's usually not considered a good thing when you call your pediatrician's office and the front desk person recognizes your voice over the phone, or when you walk up to sign in they greet you, "Good morning Mrs. Cornell." It can't be a good thing.

However, Nathan is generally on the mend. We got him started on an antibiotic on last Tuesday evening, and by Wednesday evening, this is what we saw....

video

... talk about over 100% improvement.

However, he began running a slight fever again on Sunday afternoon and another trip to the doctor on Wednesday revealed an ear infection.

It can't be good when your child is on 2 different antibiotics at the same time. And there's no way it could be a good thing when in the process of giving your child 4 different medicines at bedtime you realize that he has just ingested more liquid medicine than he drank in milk at dinner.

Overall he's doing well, though.

Please continue to pray for our 1 year old friend Frank. He's been in the hospital with pneumonia for over 2 weeks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Again...

It's pneumonia again.

Nathan's temperature was creeping back up this morning, so I had Mike (I was at work) get a urine sample to check just in case. He took that and it was negative. As was the strep and flu (again). So they sent him for chest x-rays. That showed a consolidation (versus being scattered) in the lower left lobe of his lungs. So, now we've got to get an antibiotic and check back in with the doctor later in the week.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oh the sickness...

I'm tired of the sickness.

Nathan is sick... again. We're not sure what this one is. Fever of 104.3 this morning. Flu test negative. Ears are clear. Throat is clear. He's coughing and it's wet, but Dr. says that there's not stuff just sitting in his lungs. He's not eating or drinking. Not even an icy pop. I get him to take a sip of water or juice every now and then, but it's not much.

So, we wait.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today - Winter Wonderland

It snowed today believe it or not. We had a good time once we got home this afternoon...



video

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Sweet Thang

Happy Birthday to my big 7 year old!



Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Daisy

This was written by Mike and gives a better description of what's been going on...



Just wanted to let everybody know that Daisy is not doing so well. We had noticed a drop in appetite recently, and took her to the vet the other day as it was progressively getting worse and she was losing weight. Blood work there was completely normal, and there were no obvious symptoms, so we thought that maybe she had an issue with her teeth above the gumline. This seemed to be reinforced when we would offer her soft food, she would wolf it down, but was not interested in hard food. We set up an appointment with Rusty because he has x-ray equipment and could look for a wider range of issues. By the time we did that (took her to Rusty’s house on Sunday night), she was no longer interested in soft food.

Rusty took x-rays on Monday morning and found a large mass in her lung. This prompted us to send her to another vet clinic that has better imaging equipment because primary lung tumors are rare – they are usually the metastatic result of other cancers. The sonogram showed an abnormal spleen, and the vet wanted to do an endoscope of her gastric system. We were all for that until they told us how much it would cost. Then, she vomited without having had any food for some time and we decided that a gastric scope would only show us things we didn’t really want to see.

So, long story short, we are pretty sure she has cancer in her gastric system. We are basically at this point trying to make her comfortable and get her to eat so she can put back on some weight (she is normally 50-55 lbs and she is currently 39). So far today, she has had some grilled chicken and some Cheerios, which is more than she has eaten in a couple of days.

She will be 12 years old this summer, and has had a pretty good life. It is impossible to say how much longer she will live, but I can safely say she will be pretty spoiled during that time!



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I was dreading how she would look when I got home today. From the conversations that Mike and I had earlier in the day, I had a pretty bad picture in my mind. But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. She's been eating chicken, drinking plenty of water and has been up and walking around. Mike tried again to get her to eat some canned dog food, but she would have none of it. We even had a difficult time getting her to take her meds this evening. She has always taken them with peanut butter, and she refused this time. I don't know if she's just got a keen sense of the pills or what, but it just wasn't happening... and we tried everything. We're half-way convinced that she just woke up one morning, looked at her food bowl and thought to herself, "Ya know, I've been eating this same stuff for almost 12 years now. I'm done." We may be cooking chicken for her from here on out....

Too much to take

The last week or so has been just that... too much to take. I am so tired emotionally, I can hardly think straight enough to function at work. In fact, I'm not... I'm typing this blog post.

So, on top of the emotionally taxing events of last week (which I will post more on some other time), we think our dog Daisy may have cancer. She quit eating about two weeks ago and we were watching her to see if she would start eating again. Finally I made an appointment and Mike took her in to our vet last Wednesday morning. We initially thought it might be something with her teeth and started her on an antibiotic but understood that she may need some x-rays to see anything above the gum-line. She did eat a little soft food that day, so we were hopeful. But then, she quit again. So, next we called my brother-in-law who is a vet to see if he could do some x-rays for us and give us another opinion. The films yesterday morning showed a large mass in her lungs. He took her to a specialist for us yesterday evening and they are doing further diagnostics on her today to see if there is anything else going on. Right now we're in the wait an see mode until they get back to us with any results from today.

Mike and I are just sick about it. I ate an entire sleeve of Thin Mints yesterday and he had to make a trip to Auntie Anne's just to get some comfort food and cope. We had to have a talk last night about what to "do." It's heartbreaking for us as we've had her since right after we moved into our first house nearly 12 years ago.

On top of that, I just got an email from my dear friend Carrie that her son, Frank (just over 1 yr old), has been in this hospital with pneumonia since Friday. Please pray for him.

It all just feels like too much to take all at once.