Monday, March 30, 2009

the life of a spring break-er

A comment heard in the kitchen immediately following breakfast....

"so, mom, do you want to wake me up for lunch?"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

thinking thoughts, praying prayers...

I'm sure that most of you are aware of the MckMama situation and are probably praying for their sweet baby, Stellan. She had a post here that started me thinking this morning. Or maybe remembering and thinking.

Several years ago, my daughter had a rather complicated surgery on her spine. At the time, I thought I was reasonably prepared for whatever life was bringing on our doorstep.

Until I got the letter from her doctor telling me exactly what they were going to do during the surgery. (something about cutting through her rib cage, moving a bunch of her organs out of the way and so forth and so on. Of course, he also felt it necessary to tell me what damage might occur to these organs as a part of this particular surgery. gee, thanks doc.) So, I re-prepared myself. Josh was unable to be at the hospital with me because he had major surgery two weeks prior to Jessi's surgery. So it was just me and her.

Anyway, after her surgery, they told me they were moving her to ICU. Um...excuse me, but no where in my preparations was the ICU mentioned. I was somewhat perturbed to say the least. And frightened. Distressed. Upset. Fill in the trauma induced descriptor here. They told me that once they had her ready, I could stay in the ICU area with her. The only thing was, it was taking sooooo long. And I was worried. And maybe just a bit traumatized by the word ICU.

After a bunch of time passed, I began asking nurses when I could go back to see my baby.

And I was told....that a child was dying and the nurses were helping the family.

Oh, my heart stopped.

And ached.

And my eyes opened to what was going on around me.

There was a grandmother waiting in the waiting area with me. She had a toddler with her. She said that her new grandbaby had stopped breathing the day before and the doctors were saying that she had no brain activity. (did I mention that this was the day after Christmas?)

Once I finally got back to Jessi's bed, I learned other stories. While we spent our 24 hours in ICU (as a precaution), I got to know the mom of the baby in the bed next to us. He was 18 months old and had already had 5 surgeries. He would be having more.

During the night, a three year old girl was brought in with head and body injuries caused by one of her parents. Social services took custody of her in the ICU.

Days passed. While Jessi recovered, I met another mom whose daughter was waiting for surgery. Apparently the doctor's office had called before they got home from their appointment. There was a message on their answering machine saying that they needed to go straight to the hospital. The dad had lost his job recently and the mom was the only one working but her daughter wanted her there to stay with her. The mom didn't know what she was going to do.

I learned something that week. While Jessi's surgery was a "big deal" and was complicated by several factors, she was going to heal. She had a family at home that loved her and cared for her. Her life would return to normal. Life would go on for us.

But life is so much bigger than that.

There are hurting families in need of prayer all around us. And yet sometimes we miss it because our eyes are focused on ourselves. More than likely, I will never know the outcome of any of the stories that touched our lives that December. But I like to think that they made me a better person. One that sees beyond herself. So while I'm praying for Stellan today, I'll be praying for the other children that Jennifer mentioned that are sharing the PICU with them.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

has anybody seen my Puffs?

Over the past year and a half as we've gotten to know each other, I've alluded to my sympathetic tear ducts occasionally. Those who know me very well, know that I tear up at the simplest, most ridiculous things sometimes. For example, I always cry at a certain point in the movie Apollo 13. Always. Even though I've seen the movie a dozen times or more. I know that they get back safely. However, I always have tears running down my face while I'm waiting for mission control to hear from the crew. Every single time. While reading our church newspaper last week, I teared up as I read portions of Karen and Beti's story, even though I've been a peripheral participant for the past couple of years and know their story inside and out. (Honestly, I think my daughter's biggest fear at her graduation was that I would propel myself at her legs, weeping and wailing as she walked down the aisle to accept her diploma. I did not. Not even when she walked over and handed me a stinkin' rose to thank us for whatever it was it was supposed to symbolize.)

All this brings me to the most recent display of over emotionalism in our lives. The Boy is a Junior this year. He attends a small Christian school (which is in a large baptist church.) We received a letter from their class sponsors on Tuesday. The small christian school does not have a prom. (Baptists still don't dance. Or at least they don't "sponsor" dances. The parents sponsor the dance. Go figure.) Instead they have a Junior/Senior banquet. The Juniors plan and pay for the Seniors. This is the last "official" act for the senior class (other than graduation) and they pass the theoretical baton to the junior class. So...back to the letter. First, it was a reminder of the Junior ring ceremony. They wanted to be sure we had submitted our baby pictures of our Junior child for the media presentation. (Can you feel my eyes watering already?) Then they talked about the banquet. This year it is being held at the Frazier Historical Arms Museum. The theme is "a night at the museum" and happens to coincide with the release of "night at the museum 2" and the class sponsors are planning to host a "red carpet event" complete with paparazzi (us parents). So, I am trying to read this to my husband and daughter and I can barely get the words out because I am all choked up. (One can only imagine what I will do when I take pictures on the red carpet.) And least you think all these waterworks exclusively for my child, think again. I'm sure I'll be weeping at the sight of each and every one of The Boy's friends as well. Because they have been a part of my life since they were itty bitty in the third grade. I'll be picturing them as little boys and girls (kind of like that insurance commercial where the little girl is asking for the car keys.) Sigh. I'll do my best to not mortify anyone. I wonder if they have an opening for a professional wailer? In the meantime, I need some kleenex. My um...allergies are bothering me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mabel in all his/her glory...



***It appears that spring may have finally arrived here at the heigh ho house. (or at least in the backyard.)

***tonight is the final "study" night for the Esther Bible study. (of course, we still have the food portion of the program to go. Can't finish a Bible study without celebrating with food.)

***if your life is seemingly made up of random moments, then are they really so random after all?

***While this year seems to be flying by (can you believe it's almost April already?), it seems like it's taken forever to get here.

***I'm considering the benefits of exercise.

***Does considering count as exercise?

***Because if it does, I should surely have lost a few pounds by now.

***except for the fact that I had Outback Cheese Fries twice in seven days.

***primarily because there was a great cheese fry tragedy.

***which makes me glad that I don't model swimsuits for a living.

***the thought of which gives me a good laugh to start the day.

***I'm pretty sure letting the dogs in and out a billion times a day counts as exercise.

***my mouth gets plenty of exercise. Since it always seems to be in motion. (even when my brain isn't engaged.)

***do teenaged boys always wake up grumpy?

***do they come with the gene to create a "man cave"?

***and why does it smell like gym socks? Since they haven't taken gym class in two years. Bleck.

***writing random comments does not, in fact, assist in preparing one for going to work.

***so this one had better get off of the computer and find some khaki.

Happy Day!

Friday, March 20, 2009

slow and steady wins the race...

Turtle Pictures, Images and PhotosRumor has it that we might close our inventory today. This is the longest amount of time that I can ever remember "working" one. But we are special. And special people get special treatment. I know Jan and I both will be ready to see the last of this thing. (perhaps a picture of a monkey on my back would be more appropriate!)


In other random bits of my life, it appears that spring is here to stay. The Bradford pear trees that were not lost in the ice storm are beginning to bloom, along with what might be cherry trees. (I am not very good at determining what plant is what. I mostly identify them by "it's green with pink blooms" or some such technical term as that.) We also have daffodils blooming and 30 out of 50 new tulips coming up. I'm hoping to take some pictures this weekend.


The city is beginning to spruce up for the Derby as well. May will be here before we know it. Rumor has it that they want to have all the ice storm debris up by then. (I'm thinking that it's a great idea since it will have been three plus months! It looks like Louisville has been invaded by herds of beavers. Flocks of beavers? How do beavers travel? Packs? Gaggles?)


Speaking of animals, Bakari is finally up and running around. Apparently he just needed a bit of equine surgery. Even though he's not an equine.

And, just in case you might be fascinated by all things Derby, my nephew-in-law is working on a horse for Louisville's Gallopalooza. You can check out what he's doing here.

Other than that, I hope everyone has a wonderful "springy" weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

The clarity issue

I've discovered (after countless inventories) that working 19 out of 30 hours does very little to improve my mental clarity.

A better way to put it would be to say that I have a head full of pudding. In other words, I will not be offering up amazing insights to everyday living today. (not that I ever do. But I suspect I might be more nonsensical than usual.)

I also discovered that I really don't mind hearing my name 4000 times during inventory. Just as long as it's not accompanied by "I think I cut my finger off." As a matter of fact, I'm fairly certain that I can go the next twenty years of inventories without ever hearing those words again. (and I'm fairly certain that Mary Jane can go that many inventories without wanting to ever say them again too.)

Fortunately, I have the day off today. At the moment I am pretending that I am going to be productive and catch up on all the things that didn't get done this weekend.

However, for the sake of honesty, I imagine that I will take a nap and then get some rest. (Perhaps inventory should come with a warning label that says something like you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery until you know how this will affect your person.)

And now that everyone else has left for work or school, my head full of pudding and I are headed back to bed. Here's hoping that the dogs won't play roller derby over the top of me. (one of their favorite morning pastimes is to run around the room, leap over the top of the bed and then dive underneath it. Pause and repeat.) I could always shut them out of the room but they tend to howl and cry for company then. Which leads to the parrots calling their names and telling them to be quiet. (except for Orbie. He's more likely to start barking like the dogs.) All of which leads to too much excitement for me to sleep. Anyhoo, I'll let you know how things turn out.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

LPM Scripture Memory Verse #6?

I think it's number six. My brain is really tired.


Well, 2009 will be forever known as the inventory that Mary Jane tried to cut her finger off. I'm thinking I will probably remember this for a long long time. Maybe forever. (some people will do anything to get out of a little counting. :) )

Sometime around 6:30, Mary Jane paged me to the stockroom. As soon as I walked in the door, she said that she thought she'd cut her finger off. I thought she was joking.

Turns out, not so much.

While we still aren't quite sure how she did it, she ended up at the ER, receiving stitches in one finger and "glue" for the other. And I am happy to report that the tips of her fingers now appear to be where they belong.

(If I'm rambling, please forgive me. It's been a long night. Which will be followed by a long day. However, the hardest part is over. )

And as for Mary Jane, she will be fine. She's medicated and hopefully sleeping. She was a little disappointed at missing all the counting fun. That's okay. We'll be doing this again next year.

Friday, March 13, 2009

No rest for the weary...

...til Sunday night. It's inventory weekend at ye olde LifeWay store. Which means hours upon hours upon hours of counting and checking and counting again. We hope to finish up by Sunday evening around six. Honestly, for some strange reason, I love inventory. It satisfies some neat and orderly part of my soul. However, can I tell you a secret?

By the time we finish this weekend, I will truly be sick of my name. Because it will have been called about 4 thousand times in the next 60 hours. It sounds something like this: Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen Karen. (I know that I work with some of you who read my blog. Please understand that I love you dearly and in no way does this mean that I don't want to talk to you or hear you call my name. It's just that when 24 of us use my name over and over and over again, the cacophony makes me want to change it to something melodious like Cinderella. Or pretend that I am Cinderella and I live at Disney World where they don't do inventory. And if they do inventory, please don't burst my bubble.) So, my lunch is over and it's time to head back to counting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Lately my life seems to be tied together with random vignettes. So why should today be any different?


We went to the Easter Passion at church last night. There is just something totally cool about sitting in your pew at church and looking up to see a camel plodding past. Or to hear the goats making goat noises up on the stage. (this particular goat seemed to think that he might really be a sacrificial animal.) We watched with great anticipation to see if the dove flew to Jesus this year after his baptism scene. (Last year he--the dove, not Jesus-- ended up landing in the cello section of the orchestra pit. We all cheered inside when he ended up in the right place this year.) The Passion is a mixture of film footage and live onstage action. Using the film footage enables them to add additional scenes that might not be easy to perform live. The whole thing is incredible and well worth seeing. (although they will tell you that it is not appropriate for young children because of the realistic flogging and crucifixion scenes. And I totally agree.) Oh, as another random thought, last year the person who played Satan was the wife of the guy that played Jesus. I think it's the same this year. Which is kind of weird, huh?


I found myself wondering as I watched the "mob" call for Barabbas, if I would have recognized Jesus for who He is if I lived then. I wondered if I would have instinctively known or if it would have taken miraculous signs and wonders to reveal Him to me. Or would I have missed it completely? After His death, would I have lost hope? After His resurrection, would I have believed? I don't know and that realization troubles me somewhat. I also found it interesting to see Satan mingling in and out of the crowd, "invisible"to the human eye, but there stirring up trouble. Something to consider.


On another completely random tangent, how can a person wear his uniform pants and belt home from school and somehow manage to completely misplace the belt? I realize that his room is a gigantic black hole from which nothing is recovered, but still. I would like to think that I would at least remember where I took the silly thing off. Or remember doing it. However, if you were to ask me where my work shoes are, I'm not sure I could tell you. So perhaps he is more like me than I care to admit. And maybe that's why it frustrates me so when he cannot seem to find things. Because there's nothing less attractive than having your less desirable traits mirrored back at you in your children. And I suppose I can be grateful that he didn't take his pants off somewhere and have no idea where he left them.


The clip below is from a bible study called the Easter Experience. It's put together by City on a Hill productions (the dude who plays Jesus) and features one of our pastors and film footage that is in the Easter Passion. I thought it might give you an idea of how part of it looks.




I hope your day is less random than mine! blessings...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

an update...



I honestly feel like I'm going to be dragging Spring to my house, kicking and screaming all the way. Although it is supposed to be eighty today. However, don't let that fool you. It's dropping back to the upper forties and lower fifties the rest of the week. (and we won't even mention the rumors of a snowstorm for next week. sigh.)



In other random bits and pieces of my life, we are going here this evening. (and just for fun, if you poke around on this site, you can see a time lapsed video of them building the set. It's amazing what all you can get done in two minutes. :) )

And just to make things more challenging, here's a random question: I know there's a difference between a tornado and straight line winds, but if the damage looks the same, does it really matter what you call it?

Oops, I just realized I forgot to make someone breakfast. And they might be a bit grumpy about it. So I'd better get back to my life. Sorry about the quality of this morning's post. Blame it on pollen...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

another confession...

Hi! My name is Karen and I like to drive really fast.

Oh my goodness, there's just something about a sunny, almost spring day, with not much traffic on the road and me zipping along in my little car going fifteen to twenty miles over the speed limit, singing Mighty to Save. (I'll leave out the part about lifting my hands to the heavens. It might seem a tad irresponsible. And it was only for a second or two.) Something about it makes me feel like spring is here to stay. And that, my friends, puts a little sunshine in my heart!

I hope your weekend is wonderful!

Friday, March 6, 2009

THE Dress...


(and no tears. Yet.)

I know...

...spring has arrived because I can no longer breath. Oh, allergies, how I have missed you. Honestly, all I can say is if it is allergy time, then there'd better doggone be a lot more flowers than this one. Cause if I'm gonna be all stopped up, I want something to look at other than my Kleenex box and benedryl.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

serving up a cup of random...

1. I might have anticipated the arrival of spring just a bit since it's been like SIXTEEN degrees the last two days.

2. The weatherman (who is always right) assures me that temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s for the next two weeks.

3. the amount of desperation in which the dogs must either go outside or come inside is directly proportionate to how busy you are or how many things you have in your hands at any given time.

4. It appears that Josh's foray into the world of being a giant bumblebee has paid off since we have at least three baby lemons on our lemon tree.

5. Past history has shown that only one lemon will grow to adulthood.

6. Perhaps we need to hold a telethon and raise funds to help extend the infant mortality rate of our lemons.

7. My dogs seem to think that slapping or pushing their food bowls around will make me fill them faster. They might be right. Or I might be entertained by dog bowl hockey.

8. While I don't mind the taste of Pillsbury Apple Turnovers, I don't like sticking my fingers in the dough.

9. I can never find a pair of scissors when I am looking for them. Of course, I can never find a pair of scissors when I am not looking for them either. Do we even have scissors?

10. If you are looking for a great book to read, try this. Or this.

11. We are going wedding dress shopping again on Friday. I think I'm excited. We'll see when Friday gets here.

12. It's almost inventory time again at work. I am not anticipating it happily. I'm hoping that will change. (I never feel "good" about inventory until it starts. It has something to do with worrying about whether or not we have prepared enough.) Although inventory will come whether I am happy about it or not. So I might as well be happy.

13. Does it make me a bad person if I am trying to decide if I want to be productive or not today?

14. Esther is a fantastic Bible study! Beth can really bring it!

15. Do you have any moments of peripety in your life? (I can think of three.)

Monday, March 2, 2009