Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Question of the day

(I received one of these bracelets Sunday. Click on the picture to read more about the MLC world bracelet program.)

If you do a kind act, but your heart is not feeling kindness, does it negate the kind act?? I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this.

The wonder of the things we take for granted . . .

I've been thinking lately of the things I take for granted and don't take time to be thankful for. I came upon this as I was drinking my coffee this morning and it hit home. But there's more. As I said before, being at the heart clinic last week hit me hard as I thought about the daily things I take for granted: my health, my kids health, my ability to breath without even thinking, my heart beating an even, steady rhythm just like it's supposed to without any help, the water coming in through the pipes in my house, lights coming on when I flick a switch. It could go on and on.

A few years ago, before we made our inter-generational home, we had a water leak at our house. Our water had to be shut off for 3 days to avoid more waste and also more huge water bills. It made me realize how for granted I take clean, at-the-ready water in my life. We had somewhere to stay where we could have running water, but it made me think about those who don't have that option. Those locally who have their water shut off and have no where to go stay. Those around the world who have no clean water, let alone running water.

I also have a friend who lost a baby at the end of pregnancy. I know she continues to have days that are hard, and although I know I can't really understand what she's feeling, I suffered early pregnancy loss so feel I can relate somehow. And I remember the realization that pregnancy was one thing I would never again take for granted, although early in my first pregnancy I did.

I guess suffering, hurting, feeling loss or potential loss helps me not take things so for granted. So, I hope today, and every day, I can remember to think about things that I take for granted, to take time to be thankful for those things, and to, hopefully, reach out to someone for whom those things I take for granted might be a struggle.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good News!

Emma's cardiology appointment was today and after and ekg and an echo, plus checking over by a nurse practitioner and the pediatric cardiologist, they cleared her for all physical activity. The doc said if you pulled ten 14 year olds off the street, 4-5 of them would have a heart murmur and that in itself isn't cause for concern. He said our doctor should listen to it when she goes in for checkups but that's it. Whew. What a relief. I almost cried when he told us. It was very humbling too, because while there we saw a variety of people checking in for appointments; older folks, pregnant women, young children and even babies. It reminded me how blessed we are when our children, and we, are physically (and mentally) healthy and that we should never take it for granted. Good reminders. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers sent our way!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I can't get no . . . no no no

One day some people came to the master
and asked: How can you be happy
in a world of such impermanence,
where you cannot protect your loved ones
from harm, illness or death?
The master held up a glass and said:
Someone gave me this glass;
It holds my water admirably
and it glistens in the sunlight.
I touch it and it rings!
One day the wind
may blow it off the shelf,or my elbow
may knock it from the table.
I know this glass is already broken,
so I enjoy it -- incredibly.
~Achaan Chah Subato

Wow. I am just ending my evening so frustrated with my kids. The evening went fairly well early on and so they had a "girls night" in our living room while grandma and I watched the olympics in hers. The only rules: no yelling, no fighting, clean up your mess. Well, I had to intervene. Not one, not two, not three, but four times. Then, when I told them it was time to clean up, they started bickering, yelling and slamming doors. I told them to clean up and go straight to bed. Immediately, the two who had been bickering loudly, came and asked if they could please sleep in the same room. Ummmmm, no. This led to begging, crying, pouting, and so on. I could go on, but I won't.

Then I read this poem. Wow. I wasn't enjoying them incredibly at that moment. And it makes me think and wonder if I'm giving them what they need to be happy in their lives. Some days it seems like they are so focused on the brokenness that they can't find a way to enjoy it while it's unbroken. I wonder if I've missed something in mothering them that makes them unable to be really happy. Is it too late? Is it the way I look at life that makes them look at life that way? I think I'm a pretty optomistic, happy person, but maybe to them I'm just over protective and crabby, I don't know. I hope they know how much I love them and how much they mean to me, even when I get frustrated with them, as I was tonight. I pray that I can let them know how much they mean to me and how much I love them and that they will enjoy the glass (and life!)
. . .incredibly.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

And then there were two

. . . IN HIGH SCHOOL. I can't believe I have two in high school this year. Where have the years gone? It feels like I was just taking them for their first days of kindergarten. Wow.

My camera batteries died before I got Emma's photos taken. I did get pictures of here but they are on my mom's camera. Erin didn't have school today as she is an upperclasswoman. She did have to go, though, to drive her sister and her friend plus she is the Editor-in-Chief of the school paper this year and they are putting out a back to school issue that had to be to the printer by 3.

Check out the wrist warmers or whatever you call them. She is quite the accessory girl. And nutty too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Welcome to Kansas

The photo I used in my post last Friday was one I took on one of our trips to the El Paso area to visit our inlaws. It was taken at a place called "Dripping Springs". I think it's a state park in southern New Mexico. Anyway, when I was looking at my flickr photos tonight I saw this one that we took on our trip back to Kansas. I liked how it showed each of the girls' personalities. Something about the picture just makes me smile. I mean, imagine, we've been in the car at least 14 hours, and they're still all smiling. And there are no visible bruises from attacking each other! And then looking at more of the photos I saw these.

This is me with a fiber artist we met. She was SO COOL. Her work was actually featured in a fairly recent "Handspun" magazine. We found her place by driving down little gravel roads in a tiny town. My sister-in-law somehow knew about her and led us there. She was just so full of light and love of her family and humanity and God and she welcomed us all to her studio, showed us the natural dying she was doing, introduced us to her husband, one of her eight children, and her angora goats.

This is the building they use as a studio (her husband is a retired school teacher and weaves too). She had a truly amazing story of how she came to be a weaver. She seems to be living the life I dreamed about when I was younger. Living in the foothills of the mountains, creating art, living simply. The yarn in my hands is yarn my sister-in-law bought me. She didn't spin it, but the multi-colored skein was spun from wool from her goats. I haven't made anything from it yet. Sometimes art supplies are such an inspiration to me, even if I never actually use them. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but just looking at things like yarn, glitter, etc. makes me happy.

This side-trip was definitely the highlight of my trip, and I hope to go visit her again next time we make our annual trek southwest.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Just a quick update, since I'm up at the crack of dawn for a pre-school breakfast/meeting. I am so not a morning person.

We took Emma to a new primary care physician (I am becoming so good at insurance/doctor lingo), not because we were unhappy with our first so much, but unhappy with a clinic policy of not referring outside the clinic for specialists (hence the 2 month wait). Anyway, the new doctor heard the same thing and also recommended a specialist BUT she didn't limit physical activity, didn't use such scary language (although she said it could be that type of heart murmur), and could get us into the pediatric cardiologist in 2 weeks as opposed to 2 months. So, the specialist appt. is a week from today. And Emma can start tennis (1 practice before her appt). I am still a little anxious about her doing much physcially, after our first doc said she should do nothing, but I talked to the coach so I'm ok with it for one day. I hope the cardiologist will give us some info right away. Is that how they do it? Or do you have to wait for things to be "read"? Anyone know?

Ok I'm off.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

How fun does this sound?

Check out this link. I guess if you're not a knitter or don't want to be one, it might not sound very fun, but it sounded kind of magical and amazing to me!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Thoughtful Friday

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meaness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whomever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Jalal ad-Din Rumi
Beloved Persian Poet

Thoughtful Friday at Bella Dia

Saturday, August 2, 2008

And it all comes crashing down

My computer, that is. It's crashed again :( So we're sharing my mom's computer again. It makes me wonder if we are doing something wrong. Maybe it's just 5 people using one computer and it wears it out?? At least 4 of us now use it with regularity. Anyway, besides that this week has been one crazy week. I started back to school on Monday, we had a loooooooooooooong day of enrollment on Thursday, and Ellie was in the community theatre play "Honk" the last three nights. Also, Erin came home from camp and promptly got sick. Her 16th birthday party is supposed to be Monday and we're hoping she's feeling well by then. It is a party at East Lake and it won't be much fun if she still has a cold. I took her to the immediate care clinic this morning and the doc went ahead and prescribed her amoxicillan (sp?) to treat strep without testing her since Emma was diagnosed with strep last week so she's had direct exposure.

And I can't believe school starts in less than two weeks!!! Amazing.

Photos from the play with my next post . . . gotta get some sent to my mother-in-law before I post them here I think!