Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Do you Hear what I hear?

If, by chance, you are Maggie - the answer is definitely "NO".

When Maggie went through her massive chemo, we were told of lots of potential side effects.  At the time, the one you want to hear most is "cancer-free".  We did know that hearing damage would happen - as part of all of her scans and tests she had 2 or 3 different hearing tests at Riley.

Our last one at Riley was in December of  '09 (I think) and we were told that the effects of the chemo could take 3 -6 months to see the full effect on her hearing.  We found an audiologist here in Bremen - yes we were shocked too! and got her in and got her hearing aids.  For those of you who don't know, she picked pink and purple swirls for the molds (the part that sticks in her ears) and the part that hangs on her ears are still beige.

Around home, we don't notice her hearing issues much - it is quieter at home, not so many extra noises, not so many people etc etc.

However, lately it seemed I had been yelling TO her much more.  Being a loud person has come in handy with her.  At the pool or waterpark I think that she can hardly hear.....lots of people, noise of water and the inability to wear the "ears" in water....I had to yell often for her to be able to hear me.  I am sure we are quite a site.

So with her starting kindergarten in the fall, I wanted to get her a checkup with the audiologist.  We went in a little over a week ago.  She did a hearing test with and without the aids.

When it was done, the audiologist told me that that Maggie's hearing has decreased significantly.  This was (still is) pretty surprising since it is 18 months + after her last chemo. [Wow!  As I think about it - we are approaching 2 years on that - last week of September '09]  I truly didn't think that her hearing would be decreasing this far PAST her treatment.

For the first time, the audiologist mentioned a cochlear implant!  My heart about sunk.  Ok, I think that it really did sink. So I asked about cochlear implants.  I've had well-meaning people suggest them to me yet never the docs.  What I learned is that the implants are used for people that hearing aids cannot help.  Right now her hearing loss would be probably considered profound without the aids and Moderate with the aids.  So they are working.  IF one chooses to have a cochlear implant, then it removes whatever hearing that the person has on his/her own therefore making the implant irreversible.

We are seriously thinking about learning sign language as a family.  Just as a help to her - and maybe...hopefully.... reduce our yelling?  :)

I know that a cochlear implant is nothing in the whole scheme of things.  It is just ANOTHER thing that we are having to really watch and wonder how this will impact her future.  Yes she is cancer free and is so much better off than other Neuroblastoma patients.....

The other day I was trying to tell her of Heather Whitestone - the Miss America from quite a few years ago that was deaf.  Rod started mocking me as he wasn't as impressed with the Miss America issue.  I knew tho, that she would like that! :)

So that is a little glimpse into our world.  If  anyone knows a good, efficient, and cheap way of learning sign language let me know. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Courageous the Movie - My own thoughts

First of all, I was not/am not being paid for this review.  I only got two tickets to the preview in exchange for me giving my thoughts on it here.

Synopsis:  Four sheriffs officers and their friend face all of life's challenges.  When crisis hits, one of these friends, while in the midst of despair, seeks after God to determine what God has called him to.  As he shares his findings with his friends - all of them are challenged.  I do not want to give away any more than that.  :)

Rod and I went to go see the movie on Thursday July 21.  I had been looking forward to it for some time. :)  Let me back up and say as a reminder that Rod works in video production for a living.  So watching TV (especially the news) can be interesting as he catches all of the mistakes.  Even movies can be a challenge to watch without him "critiquing it".  And in the process of being together for so long, I have learned to see some - not all - of what he sees before he even has to tell me. :)  It is kinda like a doctor who when talking with friends will offer medical advice or a english teacher friend correcting your grammar in your emails.  You know they are right but it can be annoying.  Probably as annoying as your counseling friend giving unsolicited parenting advice....but back to the movie.

This movie is truly the best that Sherwood Pictures has made and I love to use those movies in the college classes I teach and Bible studies that I have done.  The plot is more complex and more thought through.  The acting is much better overall.  It is put together better (Rod saw some things to nit-pick about but I didn't catch it.)  :)

This movie evokes almost every emotion.  There are action scenes (hello?!? it is a movie about cops), there are scenes where BOTH Rod and I were laughing out loud, there were scenes of tension/suspense, and there were scenes of tears and one where I wept.  Even thinking about it now, I could still weep.  I saw many men and women wiping their eyes in the theater.

Courageous is about fathers (and in response - mothers) and what is needed out of them.  It is NOT necessarily a movie FOR fathers because I do not think that you necessarily need to be a parent to gain from this movie - or at the very least - enjoy this movie.

The goal of the producers is to bombard the opening weekend with purchased tickets so that it takes Hollywood by surprise.  They are hoping that by doing so the movie will be able to stay longer in the theaters   Locally, I know the movie will be released in Mishawaka, South Bend and Warsaw - maybe more. Please set aside the weekend of Sept. 30th to go see this movie!  This movie is rated PG-13 due to the violence that the cops face.  Because of that, we won't take our children (ages 7 and 5) to the movie.  However, we look forward to showing them the movie when they are a couple of years older.

Here is the trailer again:

Vacation is OVER!!

Well, we didn't really GOOO anywhere.  But it was nice.  Ok, it felt really good.

Rod just drove off to work a couple of minutes ago and that means I can get on the computer without him telling me to get off. :)

So here is what we did:
Saw Cars 2 at our little antique town theatre - smells of the old hardwood floors!
Went to Indiana Beach and rode some rides with the kids
Went to the county 4H fair
Went swimming at our pool
Went to see Fair Oaks Farms - a dairy operation with over 30K head of cattle turned tourist attraction
Went to Deep River Waterpark
Went blueberry picking.
Rod worked on some projects
The kids went to my parents for a couple of nights while Rod and I got to go see a sneak preview of Courageous - yes a review of the movie will be coming soon! :)
Oh, and I got to do some shopping and having fun with just Rod - which is what I/we needed. :)

I am sure that there was other things that we did - but those were the highlights! :)

This is the trailer from Courageous.  And altho I will post more about it later.... I will say this... everyone who has ever been a father or mother or who has ever had a father should see it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Hello Everyone!

I am so so sorry that I disappeared!  As of this past Sunday at 12:30pm - as soon as Rod turned off all of the equipment - Rod has been on vacation.  Which means we are on vacation.  We aren't really going anywhere big - just a bunch of little things. 

Of course, Rod complains whenever he sees me on the computer saying I should be on vacation.  So this means that my time on the computer is much less.

The bad thing about doing a "staycation" for a homemaker is that is doesn't really feel like a vacation.  So we are working on that.  :)

I am glad for Rod, tho!  Two full weeks off and TWO Sundays off in a row! :)  It is a nice break and change of pace to have him home.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Whatcha think?

I wrote something that got posted on the blog incourage.  incourage is the blog done by Dayspring which is the Christian branch off of Hallmark.

I know that it is not REALLY published but it is a wee bit.

Here is my post:

Jesus said in Mark 10 that we must become like a child to enter heaven. 

Lately when I have watched my children that verse comes flooding back to my mind.  Usually when we think of that verse we only think of it in terms of blind faith – such as faith that God will heal someone.  I think He meant it in a broader sense.

I was talking to a friend on the sidewalk and our daughters were playing nearby.   All of a sudden my 5 year old daughter was holding my leg and she wasn’t saying a word.  I bent down and realized that she had twisted her ankle and she was silently crying into my leg.  All she wanted was the comfort of her “Mama” and she knew she would be ok.  How many times do we go running to our Abba Father when we are hurt or do we turn elsewhere thinking that something or someone will do a better job of comforting us?

We were all heading back to our cars.  Our seven year old son was behind us and following him was his grandparents.  As he was walking toward our van, our son started running thru the parking lot – a car was about 30 feet away and pulling out.  He got in the van and said “I beat the car.”  My husband and I knew that the only way he “beat the car” was because that car “let him win”.  But there is a sense of invincibleness that a child has.  As adults we lose that as we are too afraid that God isn’t big enough for us.

Our daughter, for quite some time, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up would say “A Princess”.  She had no doubt that this was attainable.  The adults would smirk – laughing on the inside at her dreams.  Somehow as we grow older we lose our ability to dream and believe that the dream is possible.

So are you childlike when you have an “ouchie” and go to your Abba Father?  Do you believe that you are invincible with God’s power and act on it?  Do you dream big dreams and pursue them?

Being child-like makes us step outside of our comfort zone.  That sounds just like the Jesus I know, to make us a little bit uncomfortable  to draw us closer to Him. 

So what do you think of this post?  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Like Mother, Like Son or otherwise entitled "Who is teaching Whom?"


He is all boy.  He is strong, silly and loves to burp and fart and thinks it is hilarious that his Mom is not thrilled (at all) when it happens at the dinner table.  He is daring and loves to climb trees.  He would climb anything with no fear at all.  Nothing like his Mom.

He is also very analytical and older than his years.  He understands concepts that are way past his years chronologically.  His love language is words of affirmation.  Words can build him up in a heart beat and lay him down flat in a split second.  He uses his analytical mind to over-analyze it all.  Just like his Mom.

Jared was getting to the point that anything that I said to correct him he would take to the extreme.  "I never do anything right."  "You don't love me!  You hate me!"  He is so sensitive to "words".  It became frustrating to have this 7 year old just beat himself up over some silly little mistake/sin.  Frustrating to hear him accuse me of not loving him.  He would be soooooo mad at himself and us.  It was heartbreaking.

One day - I don't know what made me think of it - I told him that he is listening to Satan to tell him lies in his head.  He just looked at me.  I told him again that Satan is whispering lies into his ear and he is believing it.  Just like in his book A Warrior Prince for God where the the knights have to fight off Satan, he needs to fight off Satan and the lies that he is slowly starting to believe.

Understanding slowly came across his face.  His face softened.  He knew what I was saying was right.

When he would get mercilessly mad at himself again, I would say to him that he is listening to Satan's lies.  The episode would dissipate more and more quickly each time.

I didn't/don't want him to beat himself up like I do.

Something was said to me recently and I ruminated on it.  I stewed on it.  I have one of those minds that moves quickly, analyzing every word that is spoken, the tone that is used, the body language that is used when those words in that tone were said.

I started to beat myself up.  "I am no good."  "Nobody likes me."  "I feel so alone."  Satan knows just how to attack me.  But I wasn't seeing it for what it was.  I was just seeing me - my faults, my shortcomings - and the self-pity began.

Then I remembered what I told Jared.

"You are listening to Satan's lies!"  "Don't let him win!"

How incredibly humbling to truly see myself in my son.  And to have God whisper those words in my ear just like I did with Jared.

They say that we are our own worst critics and I know that is the truth with me.  No one can be tougher on me than me.  However, when it is taken to the extreme, I need to remember where that criticism is coming from - Satan.

Satan is out to destroy each of us.  What lies is he telling that you are believing?  What could you be doing for Jesus if you weren't believing those lies?

Satan knows which lie to tell us that will strike at the core of who we are and make us forget that we have a loving God who loves no matter what we have done, despite what we have done.  He loves us anyway!

God knew that we are the cancer that caused his Son to die.
He loves us anyway.

How humbling and motivating!
Don't let Satan's lies stop you from doing what you have been called to do and called to be!

Living Big,


Linking up with 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Little Girl's Room

When we had our Major home redo, Maggie wanted her room pink.  She was 3 and she had cancer and well, if she wanted pink she got pink.  I tried to pick a pink that wasn't too over the top and I am not sure how well I did.  Of course, at the time, my mind was scattered and I was trying to make oodles of decisions (some major, some minor, and some uber major).  She has oodles and oodles of schtuff that was given to her while she was in treatment and keeping it all organized is quite the challenge.  [In some ways, it is harder for me to let go of things than her.  For example: the Carebear that she got for taking her first dose of oral Tylenol at Riley.  The nurse brought it to her as a reward.  I remember that but she really doesn't.]


We kept the mini-blinds that came with the house when we bought it.  However, we finally replaced the mini-blinds with a wee bit nicer ones that had thicker slats in them.  (No, I don't believe that I am Irish....)

Then I was stuck.  What kind of window "dressing" to do for her room.  Now please keep in mind, not only did she get her pink room, but she also got a Disney Princess comforter and sheet set.  I was not too keen on the idea of dropping a bunch of moolah on curtains that she might not like for very long.  Sooo... I kept searching.

I had this chenille bedspread that I have kept around here for years.  I used it in the "nursery" to cover the light blue recliner that we had in there.  I loved the fringe on it and how quaint and vintage it is.

I had used curtains years ago to "dress" up a window cheaply and no, I didn't just hang it over the window.  So I finally thought that I would try it with the bedspread.

I went to my hubby's stash of stuff in our basement and he has a bunch of dressy hooks.  You know, the ones with details on it.  I stuck those in the holes that were there from our previous curtain rod.

Then I took rubber bands and made a rosette out of the bedspread at one corner until I found the right dimensions to make it fit on both sides.

My next step was to put a hook in the wall next to the so that I could "drape" it.

I bought some ribbon to make a bow for tying back the "curtain".
Personally, I think that it looks darling.  It adds some charm to her room.

Of course, there are Princess wall stickers above her window and all over her room too.

In the picture above, you can see the hooks that that we got at Target on clearance for like $5.  Maggie had a horrible time being able to hang up her things.  Now she has a perfect place to hang her jackets and bags.

What do you think?

Linking up with
Not Just a Housewife
Debbie Doos
Stories of A to Z
Elements Interiors
Passionately Artistic

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Getting Some of the List Done and Celebrationing the 4th

This is my list that I started.
1.  Clean the kitchen closet.
2.  Place chalkboard in kitchen
3.  Wipe board in kitchen closet
4. Shelf in hall bath
5.  Headboard for Master bedroom
6. Clean inside of van.
7.  Craft cans for holding kids commissions
8.  Finish trunk as seen here
9.  Finish cleaning the storage area in basement.
10. Place hooks in Jared's room
11. Do gallery wall by desk
12. Poly the picnic table
13. finish sanding/painting the dresser (see link in #8)
14. Sand/Paint the $5 garage sale dresser I got the other day
15.  Paint desk chair
16.  Make skirt/pad for desk chair
17. Curtains for Living Room
18. Paint desk - ugly laminate monstrosity
19.  Make skirt for the ugly laminate monstrosity
20.  Hang flag outside.

Oh, my goodness!  I am so far behind!  YIKES!

Here is a little of what we I have gotten done.

Here is the chalkboard in the kitchen.  

It is right in plain view from our island and stools where we eat many of our meals.  I saw somewhere in bloggy world using a chalkboard in the kitchen to memorize Bible verses as a family.  I loved the idea and started looking for a chalkboard or at least something that I could transform into a chalkboard.  I found this one at a garage sale for $2.  I think that I need to spray it with chalkboard paint as the chalk is really hard to see.  Believe it or not - I took the pic at JUST THE RIGHT ANGLE see the chalk well.  This is our first verse to memorize.  I taught the kids the song (anyone remember that???) to help them remember the verse.  Jared got it really fast and Maggie is getting it.  This will be a great family time activity to work on during meal time. :)

Here is the wipe board in the kitchen closet.  I had this wipe board down in the basement - not being used - and finally thought of a great use for it.  We started doing chores etc for the kids using Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Jr. .  Rod made a sheet using EXCEL which was great but we were having to make a new one each time.  (For the record, the FP Jr. Kit comes with a wipe board but it is just for one kid).  So we put up the wipeboard to keep track of chores that they have completed and fines that they have received - they only get paid for each chore that they do.  If you look REALLLY, REALLLLLYYY, closely you can see the green and orange checks for the kids for the chores that they have done.

This is the bottom of that closet.  I didn't take a before pic but it was a mess.  The green bag holds old rags that we use for cleaning or mopping up ugly messes or staining things.  I used to have a dish pan filled with cleaning supplies that I wanted access to but didn't use that often.  So I moved things around and put the ones that I use most often in here (easier access) and put them in the little cleaning supply thingy.  So, now I am using it for what it was intended for. (SHOCK).  In the crate I have the rolls of empty garbage bags.  Behind that I have our stash of bags - paper and plastic.   Much more clean and orderly.  Smile.

As part of Financial Peace Jr., it teaches the kids to save and give their money and we needed 3 separate containers for each kid.  So I saved some Crystal Light containers and the kids chose their own scrapbook paper and we decorated their containers.  They love to see their money grow and grow.

Ok, so that is some of what was accomplished.

Did you have a fun holiday weekend?  Ours was fun and crazy and busy but not in the way most would think.  Sunday July 3rd was a BIG  service at our church.  Normally we have 5 services and this past Sunday we had One Big Outdoor service for everyone.  The church built an amphitheater a couple of years ago and it was an exciting service of seeing how God works and moves in each of us.  My husband is in charge of all the audio/video at the church so this meant a crazier day than normal.  He got to the "Hill" (amphitheatre) at 5am and the service was officially from 10-11am and then he had to tear it all down.  Have I mentioned on here that he rolled his ankle a couple of weeks ago? Yep.  About the 3rd time since we've been together.  So he has been a "Crip" - it has gotten much better - the purple coloring is slowing going away.  But spending that much time on a hill was hard on his ankle and being outdoors in the heat running around, lifting, fixing things.  When he got home about 1:30pm he was zapped.  We had a lazy afternoon (naps) on Sunday and then went to see the fireworks here in town.  It was a quaint night.  It felt like maybe Norman Rockwell might walk by with his drawing pad.  We all stayed and watched the big boom at the end of the night and then drove the 2 mile drive home - wiped out.  Yesterday (the fourth) was just hanging out at home and recuperating.  The kids played in the sprinkler and lots of fun was had by all.  Especially Rod when he got another nap.  grin.

I love the Fourth of July and told the kids on the way home why we celebrate it.  Told them that it is the birthday of our country and we are celebrating our freedoms that we get to enjoy in this wonderful country.

Thanks to all of our soldiers - past and present - who fought/fight bravely for our freedoms.  Thanks to all of the people who help me keep into perspective of what our freedoms truly are.  The people who say with full knowledge of WHAT they are saying when they say "Only in America can "this" happen...."

Have a great Tuesday and Live BIG! :)