Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm Gonna Get this Off My Chest in a Public Forum Just Because I Can...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

A day when the emotions ran the complete gamut. From extreme pride (a significant rite of passage in our society, obtaining your learner's permit) to extreme fear (a doctor fearing your child has a brain tumor). It's a day just like our wedding day, the birth of 4 children, the Christmas we almost lost Parker, that will be burned into my mind forever.

This child is a stellar student (and she'll have to be to accomplish all that God has called her to). A visual problem never hit my radar. Ever. She taught herself to read at 3 years old. No credit to me. She just did it. She reads like a fiend. I did the usual homeschool thing and took her to the eye doctor in Kindergarten. Fine, no problems.

But after her struggle with the eye test at the DMV, I was shocked. When our eye doctor suspected a brain tumor, called our pediatrician and sent us directly to the ER, well there just aren't words for those feelings. They sent us home with no answers, but they did know that Katelyn had almost no peripheral vision on her right side. We had a big medical term: Hemonymous Hemiopsia, but no rhyme or reason or idea of what it all really meant. My medical background did not serve me well here. It was one of those times ignorance would have been bliss. I went over and over what I could have missed and wondered if they were missing a brain tumor. What if, what if, what if ad nauseum...

After a gazillion phone calls to get appointments with just the right doctor. We got the news. A stroke, probably in utero or shortly after birth. In hind sight, I feel bad for the doctor who gave us the news. The word stroke is never a word you expect to hear in a sentance talking about your child. We must have looked like he slapped us with a 2x4. I really couldn't come up with an intelligent question (boy that was new for me, I've always got questions for doctors). We left the office and headed across the street to a pizza joint. It was all I could do to keep my crap together (and I didn't do it all that well). Somehow, this had to be my fault. Did I take a tylenol when I shouldn't have? Was her beautiful, planned homebirth a big fat mistake? I never ate food as heavy as that day in the pizza joint.

I'm forever grateful for our church family and our wonderful pastor.
He put it in perspective for me. Katelyn is not and never will be "ours". God has a plan for her life and though we are her earthly custodians for a very short time, we are on a need to know basis with God. And He proved Himself faithful to us once again. When she was in danger (for her, driving a car would be a huge danger!) He made sure we had the necessary info at the perfect time. He has a plan for her and cares for her in a way our earthly and human hearts can't even really comprehend.

Here's the thing that kills me most. This kid worked hard to pass that test. She wanted so badly to drive just like any other kid her age. Did her whole life fall apart? Nope. I saw her shed a few tears, but you want to know why? Because she wanted to lift the burden of some of my chauffeuring duties and was disappointed she wouldn't be able to. Maybe she grieves in private. She's always been kind of private with her feelings. Maybe we'll grieve all over again when ALL her friends and her younger brother have their licenses. I don't know.

I do know that she's one of the coolest/best kids I know. I was proud for her to take the city bus all by herself and be able to have a modicum of independence. I'm thankful for the grace under fire that God has given her. Will this be a stumbling block to her dreams/goals/plans for the future? No. I've got way too much faith in this child to believe that for a second. If you know her, you know just how cool of a kid she is.

By the way, we went back to that dreaded pizza joint, just her and I and ate a delicious meal after everything had settled down a bit. It felt good to me to do that.

Weekly Crafting Update

I thought I'd post each week about what projects I've completed for the week. I've often got several things brewing at a time, but I'll just post what I've finished.
The first picture is a washcloth/dishcloth and hand/dish towel gift set. I completed these in my all day study hall monitor session. It's a pretty retro avocado green that is much prettier IRL without my poor photography skills. The pattern can be found for free at
I love her website and she has several beautiful, free patterns.
The cards were all completed at classes or meetings held by the best Stampin' Up! demonstrator I know and a kind and wonderful friend, Linda Heller. If you're looking to getting into card making, let me know and I'll give you her info. Out of ten thousands of demonstrators for Stampin' Up! I'm proud to say she's number 55 (I think). Super talented too.
That was a bit of a commercial, wasn't it. I didn't intend that, I just got excited. Hope you have a project going that gives you pleasure.

Bigfoot Sighting

Thursday afternoons are free at the Orlando Museum of Art. For the youngest patrons they offer Creative Stations and this week's project was a collage of the work of William Joyce, most famous for his drawing of Rollie Poly Ollie, George Shrinks and Dinosaur Bob. You'd have to be watching a bit of Disney channel and have a 4-10 year old to really have a clue. There were other fine things to see like an African exhibit of native costumes and bead work and some fabulous sculpture. I couldn't get a picture of my favorite glass sculpture because a docent was standing right by it and fussed when I brought out my camera. Why is photography forbidden??? Oh well, I took this one before I got caught. It was a fun Thursday afternoon diversion. I think those 3 children standing there were truly the greatest works of art in the whole place. (naw, I'm not a proud mama)

Friday, August 29, 2008

History in the Making

It has been an exciting 24 hours historically speaking. First Barak Obama accepts the Democratic nomination and becomes our first African American presidential candidate. Then McCain follows up with Sarah Palin (governor of Alaska) as a running mate. No matter who wins the election, we get historical significance!

I confess I did not watch the convention all week. I did watch last night. I wanted to hear Obama's speech. I felt the historical significance. It must have been an amazing moment as a human being for Obama to step out onto that platform last night. The whole scene felt very scripted and directed to me. I thought the bio beforehand was a beautiful piece of cinematography. I have never seen pictures of his mom and she was very beautiful.

I got a chuckle when he talked about the disadvantage of his name. I think my very favorite moment was when at the beginning he acknowledged his wife and the camera catches his youngest daughter excitedly poking her mom as if to say "Mom, Mom, he's talking about you!!!!!".

My opinions about last night are mostly apolitical and mostly mom thoughts. Although I don't agree with him on numerous points, I do agree with him that politics in America is broken. I want change, but I don't think Obama can deliver. Can McCain? I don't know...

I'll be reading up more on Governor Palin. I want to like her and the snippets that the talking heads are buzzing about make her out to be just what McCain needs. Can we just have her instead?

On the other hand a mom like me says, "how in the heck do you lead our country with a 4 month old baby???" That's sexist of me isn't it? I've never claimed to be a feminist. Ask my daughters. I've always told them that you CANNOT have it all. Something will suffer. No judgement on the Governor. Maybe she's just a better woman that I am. I'll say she's tougher, just based on the fact that I could never, no way, no how live in Alaska. I'd love to visit, but my Florida blood could never survive the winters.

The next couple of months I'll be watching and listening. Trying to tune out the yammering of the pundits, analysts, talk show hosts and every talking head that wants to chime in with their own 2 cents. I'll be forming my own opinions and not spouting off what is fed to me. And after swearing that I'd never be able to cast a vote for either party (for the first election since I've of been of legal voting age) I'll do my research and cast my vote.

That my friends is what makes these United States great.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

This is my face on drugs....

What kind of doofus posts a picture this horrible/unflattering? Someone who's doped up on Novocaine from the dentist of course! Did I mention how much I despise going to the dentist? I have the world's sweetest dentist. A result of his sweetness and desire to never hurt a fly, he numbed the heck out of me for what turned out to be a fairly minor procedure. So here I sit, biting my cheek, drooling and looking like the victim of a stroke. Sheesh! Lilli keeps looking at me funny. I hope its gone before I have to get the big kids. You know teens... how dare I show up looking like that!

Interesting note... a local pastor Joel Hunter (from Northland, A Church Distributed and also where my whole brood attended preschool) was tapped for the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention. That's interesting enough in itself, local boy makes the big time and all. What I find more interesting is that he is very pro-life and his congregation (large) is what I would condsider very conservative. He has stated he is not making an endorsement. He's taking a lot of heat from the local press. I say why not? (not for the media heat, but for the prayer opportunity) Another interesting note about Joel Hunter. The man is an absolute genious when it comes to remembering names. Long ago I taught Bible at the church for the preschoolers. I used a classroom next door to his office. I introduced myself once, and he always called me by name after that. I think that is such a gift! One I don't have myself.

Enough politics for today.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away...

This has been the view out of my front window for at least the past 3 days. I'm over it. Completely and totally. Did I mention that I'm over it? Fay is not my friend. She can pack her bags and get the heck out of my state. At this point I don't even mind if she goes and plays with someone else as long as she leaves me alone.

On the plus side, unlike the terrible trio (that would be Hurricanes Charlie, Francis and Jeanne) of 2004, we have suffered no damage (if you exclude psychological). Also, it makes for wonderful knitting, sleeping and tv watching (mostly Olympics). My husband has been home and getting me coffee and such (yes points for him). So all is not lost I suppose. Many places are without power in our area but our air is running great and we've not really even had an interruption in the satellite tv signal. Really for the joy that is living in Florida, it's not too bad of a price to pay. I'll be strongly reminded of that come January and February when I'm seeing national news coverage of various blizzards while we spend weekends at the beach or using our Universal passes in shorts and short sleeved t-shirts.

Rant over. I've counted my blessings and come out quite a bit ahead.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Long time no blog...

Lame, I know. Do I have an excuse? Not really. Life moves at an extremely fast pace. So, I'm starting over and I'm going to do my best to document life in my little part of this big world.

Summer is over! The kids and I have discussed how we feel that we kind of missed summer this year. We lost Pete's mom in April. We hadn't even begun to recover from that when we learned that Katelyn had a stroke (probably in utero) and has no peripheral vision and will never drive a car. All of April and most of May was spent either in the hospital or at doctor's appointments. I think we spent most of June in a vegetative state of shock and recovery. Which brought us to July and the big kids went off to church camp. It was Parker's first year and I'll confess I was more than a little nervous for/about him. He seemed to enjoy it and despite a flat tire on the way home, everyone made it home safe and sound and a good time was had by all.

So here it is August. We are 2 weeks into school. It feels really great to be back into the routine of it all. I completely fell off the diet and exercise bandwagon during all the hoorah and it's time to get cracking again. I've gained about 20 pounds back. I really hate having to re-loose it, but I've got to tell you, it's darn near impossible to eat in a healthy manner from hospital vending machines or cafeterias. Seriously, I've never seen greasier or more sugar and fat laden food as I saw in the hospital cafeteria. Who needs to be slapped?

We had a really great family picture session at the beach recently. The photos are on a cd somewhere on this pile of stuff on my desk. I will find it and post some soon. I really love the pictures. We plan to pick one to enlarge and hang in Pete's demo room at the shop. Guess I need to get on that!

I have a knitting blog and a stamping blog, but for now I think I will just post everything here. Maybe I'll have better luck keeping up with just 1 blog instead of 3.

As I post this we are being hammered by Tropical Storm Fay. Man, she's a tough one for a tropical storm. By the time it is over they are forcasting that we will have had 15 inches of rain in our town. At the rate it's going, I'm thinking that's a conservative guess. Makes great sleeping and coffee drinking weather for sure.

I found the picture cd. For some reason that only blogger knows, they are posted at the top.