Monday, August 26, 2013

Praise God

From whom all blessings flow.

Mike and I are on a journey.
We thought when we first started out we knew 
where it would lead.
It took a turn.
We rolled with the punches
and thought we had a new plan.

God laughed.

As I write this it occurs to me 
that I can be talking about the 
last 29 years
or the last 29 days.

I could fill many Blog posts
with our antics over the last 29 years, 
but today I will concentrate on the 
more immediate past.

My husband was diagnosed with
prostate cancer.
I cannot be more proud of the man
I saw these past weeks.
I always thought he loved 
his family.
Through this experience I got to see
him prove it. 

On our way today to meet with the
surgeon, we each said our own private 
prayers and discussed 
what miracle we would love to see
God pull out for us.

Well, Mike still has cancer
but a surgeon gave us an option
that we didn't know was there.
And it doesn't involve surgery.

We will go the route of
active surveillance.
Mike will se the doctor every
three months for monitoring.
At the slightest hint of a change, that
prostate can come right out.

I cannot tell you the 
I feel with this decision.
I had felt at peace with God through 
all this so far but the surgery just felt
off to me.
This feels right.

The Holy Spirit
masquerades as intuition,
I think, 
like now.

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's Maddie's Birthday

That's about one year and 8 months ago.
This is from one year ago exactly.
We must have been getting ready for 
Margarita Friday.

Who knew back then that they would
forever be changed to 
Best. Day. Ever.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Baseball Wall

I am not the only person
perusing Pinterest.
Breese is too. 
In anticipation of a 
four year old guest on a regular basis
she is decorating her spare bedroom in
a baseball motif. 
Not a fan of the game. 
But I am a fan of Breese's.
So here you have it:
The baseball wall.
Some of the images on Pinterest don't include
the shading. 
I felt the shading added a lot.

You also will be hard pressed 
to pick up any tips on doing this, 
so here are mine. 

First, I used a 
thumb tack, 
a piece of string
and a pencil
to draw my arcs. 
I would have preferred a piece of chalk to the pencil
because figuring the width of the arcs
along with how far apart they should be
turned out to be an act of faith.

Also, the wall I was painting was oblong, not a square
so the space between the arcs seems a bit off.
I think squaring off an area might have worked better.

And here's a little tip you won't find
anywhere else, 
make a template for the stitches, 
it sets a consistent arch along with consistent spacing. 

Still not a fan of the game.
Thankfully, still a fan of Breese :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Little Side Trip Into Chicago

Don't tell Ava,  
but I went to Chicago without her.
I saw a piece on 
Sunday Morning
about artist, Jun Kaneko.
He does these huge ceramic pieces.
These are called Dangos.
Or, big dumplings.

They are interesting but not what drew me
to Chicago to see for myself.


I wanted to see for myself.

They are called Tanukis and as best I can tell
they are a real creature that the
 Japanese have fanciful myths woven around.
They are tricksters of sort.

I was intrigued by their faces.
you think they are all the same.
But they are not.

Also, look at the precision the stripes and dots
are painted on with, yet at some point in the 
process the dots and stripes bleed down.

yet imperfect, 
yet not.

there's a life lesson in there.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I've Been Teaching Maddie Things

 She now knows she has a tongue.
Michelle asked why I couldn't have just taught her to
point to her nose.

Hmm, never thought of that. 

Monday, August 12, 2013


And guess what?
It's the last week of summer 
vacation that Ava and I will be together.

Perfect timing!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sometimes God Doesn't Calm The Storm

He calms his child.

He doesn't take you past the storm, 
He carries you through it.

I made this for Taryn last Christmas.
She's a dancer.

I'm pretty good at quoting
be happy, don't worry statements.

We are just at the beginning of this adventure.
I'm going to post this.
If at some point during any of this
I begin to sound like
Poor Pitiful Me, 
please feel free to refer me back here.
Oh, and pray some more for me, 
I'm pretty sure that's what's
working for me now.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Museum Of Science And Industry

OK, don't tell anyone, 
not my favorite.

Here's why:
1) It takes quite a while to get to. 
1 plus hours on the train, walk to bus, 
stop go, stop, go, 
and then goooo, all totaled
we left the house at 9:15 and arrived at the museum
about noon.

2) It's a lot of reading stuff.
I want to look at stuff. 
I like to read books, not walls.

3) It's laid out weird, not at all intuitive
to my way of thinking.

4) You have to sign up and pay extra 
ahead of time for the submarine and
coal mine exhibits. Which, 
actually, worked in my favor, 
I'm claustrophobic.

Ava liked it. 
she liked:

1) The baby chicks.

2) The farm section with the giant tractors
and the videos of cows and pigs
being born.

3) The water works section.

4) The submarine stuff you could do without 
 going in the actual submarine.

We just have
The Field Museum, 
Adler Planetarium , 
The Shedd aquarium 
left and we will have seen it all. summer

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Morton Arboretum 2013

Lory and Bryce came with us this year.

 They have an extra attraction right now.
Tree houses.
But not like you (or I) might expect.
Whereas, I think 
up in a tree
when I think tree house,
The Morton Arboretum thinks
houses about trees.
 They were cute.
 This one actually had a tree coming up out of the middle of it.
 But they weren't terribly interactive.
And therefor held limited appeal.

Now, the creek with the rocks that you can move
around and make dams, and alter the flow of, 
that's FUN!

Even more fun?
Dropping one of those rather large rocks on
your naked toes.
And then getting piggyback rides from 
Grandma for the rest of the afternoon!

Monday, August 5, 2013

And On A Lighter Note

Maddie pictures for 
Mom and Big.

"Explanations never comfort. We don't need explanations. We need the presence of God." ~Rick Warren

I'm not big into the 
of things. 

Many things I just don't feel the need to know 
Somehow planes get up in the air.
I flip a switch and I get lights.
Rain comes out of the clouds.
(Actually, Michelle tried to 
explained that to me once.)

Some things are easier to conform to
if you understand the 
Mike likes the shower curtain left closed.
It lets the liner dry out.
Mike likes the shower curtain left open a little.
It lets air circulate so we don't get mildew.
Mike likes to engage the parking brake on flat land.
It helps exercise the mechanism.

I guess Mike has to explain himself to me a lot.

But one place I have not asked 
yet is God's plan.
He has had the graciousness to let
me see first hand how seemingly 
awful situations can be turned around and used 
for His glory.
That's what I'm going with here.

I'm not gonna understand His plan
 this side of heaven.
He could try to explain it to me but
I have the feeling it would work out about 
as well as my understanding of rain.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

We Will Praise Him In This Storm

Mike and cancer. 
They don't connect.
Except they do.
We will fight it
and I'm fairly certain we will beat it.
I'm also pretty sure it won't be pretty. 
For either of us.
I have no idea what the future has in store.

But these things I know;
God has a plan,
He is in charge,
He can make good come from bad,
He can use me if I let Him,
in Him I can find peace.

Here we go.
It's OK if I scream and cry a bit, right?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Bananas

Just because you can, 
doesn't mean you should.

Just sayin....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Photo Op

Over the years we have revisited 
certain photos. 
There's the one with the four of us in 
resort bathrobes 
that spans 10 years. 
There's the one of Michael with the
Butler Bulldog
that spans 5 years.
And then there's Ava.

These planters line one of the blocks along
Madison near the train station. 
It is her tradition to leap from 
planter to planter
on our way to wherever. 
Oh, and pose.
We usually get some interesting looks from passerby's.
Ava doesn't notice
and I'm getting used to it. 

And I wouldn't have it any other way.