Friday, October 26, 2007

Listening Ears And An Obedient Heart

Here's a conversation that just happened here. I think someone is getting too big for her britches.

Me: Laura, go finish your chicken.
Laura: Just a minute, Mom! Just a minute.
Me: No. It is time to go now. Please go finish your chicken.
Laura, with a rather snotty attitude: NO! I said just a minute.
Me, walking towards her: Laura, you need to have listening ears and an obedient heart. I asked you to go finish your chicken. Go now.
Laura: No. I not going now.
Me: One. You need to go eat your chicken. Two. When I get to three I'm going to whomp your bucket.
Laura, sighing and rolling her eyes: Okay, okay, okay. Man, Mom. I'm going. I'm going.

I calmly rerouted her to time out. When she was done, this conversation took place.

Me: Laura, when you don't listen you are being disobedient. You need to learn to listen even if it isn't what you want to do right then.
Laura: I know, I know. Lissening ears and an dobedi heart. I do it, Mom. I sorry. Fordive me?

And then we hugged while I told her I loved her. Now I'm going to go upstairs to take a shower to wash the ketchup out of my hair. Being a Mom sure has variety. Somehow I think I'll take mine without ketchup!

She Casts a Crooked Shadow

Laura only has one full leg cast on this week, bent at the knee. Yesterday she finally felt confident enough to take off across the room walking instead of crawling. I'm thrilled that she doesn't need to stick her hands out to steady herself much and that she's willing to try something even though she was unsure. Here she is in all of her gimpy glory!

St. Louis "Drive By"

As I prepare to do a second St. Louis "drive by", I realize I haven't updated you on the first one. Life since last Sunday has been interesting to say the least and exhausting would be giving it to you straight up and without any sugar coating. Life is what it is these days but I'm happy to report that I've gotten two nights of at least 6 hours of sleep - IN A ROW! :)

We took off from home by 8 AM last Sunday and had a wonderful drive through the sunshine. We arrived at my Nana's house quite a bit earlier than we expected and I was privileged to have an chance to spend time talking with my cousin Elizabeth while she calmly worked on dinner in the kitchen. Over the next hour or so my cousins Dave and Kevin arrived, Elizabeth's husband Jason came and my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Mick showed up as well. Dave's son William also came over to greet the family and it was a good evening no matter how you look at it. Not only was it good to be sitting around Nana's table again, but seeing family I haven't seen in a long time was such a wonderful thing. And it provided just the diversion we needed as we faced our first visit to Dr. Dobbs the next morning.

Monday morning arrived bright and early. We got all of us up, fed, dressed, packed and back in the car by 7 AM St. Louis time. We arrived at Shriner's early and we were taken back to meet with a variety of Drs and nurses without much of a wait. By the time all was said and done, Dr. Dobbs felt that Laura's feet could be corrected by casting again and that he'd be putting on the first cast then. His plan is to cast her left, more difficult foot initially to stretch out her cavus and flatten her very high arch some. Then, next week he'd cut that cast off and start correcting her heel varus and in general, recasting to correct. On that same day he'll start the casting on her right foot, initially to stretch her cavus and flatten out her arch some, and then a corrective cast or two. I failed to ask whether a tenotomy will be necessary for one or both of her feet but I'm not sure he could have answered that then. I think he'll need to see how her casting goes.

We waited for awhile in the cast room with other parents. There were several infants just starting the casting process and one older boy who was about 15 mos old. He was in casts that were cut off and left without any new ones but I didn't catch why he was there. All in all, the other parents made the wait quite nice and we took a poll to see who had come the farthest. This past week we won. I wonder what next week will bring. :)

Dr. Dobbs, his Resident, his Fellow, his very kind Nurse Kristina and a group of other nurses and support staff entered the cast room a little after 11. What happened next can only be described as a well-oiled machine carrying out a familiar routine and easing any difficulties for children with tremendous talent. They had Laura plastered from her knee down quite quickly and the Dr. Dobbs left us while another group of nurses applied fiberglass over the plaster and took the cast up over her thigh in traditional Ponseti fashion. In just a few minutes, we were free to go. I was amazed at the obviously common routine. They really do have it down to a science there.

As soon as I made our appt for next week, we packed everyone back in the car and started home. We spent most of the day driving in obnoxious rain with Laura fussing because she was in pain. It is my opinion that her muscles were spasming and tylenol wasn't totally effective at helping. I think I'll plan better for her discomfort this weekend. She made an already difficult drive much more challenging and my heart ached for her.

By Thursday this week Laura was walking on the toe of her cast and getting around just fine here at home. I am working on getting a child's wheelchair for her for next week as we'll be in double casts and her movement will be much more limited. She is still very protective of her cast but I think she'll get over that as they progress.

Overall, I feel a bit like life is passing by in a fog again. With the two day drive by traveling combined with five days at home where we're trying to keep up with school work, the laundry and life in general, I think we might just miss preparing for Thanksgiving this year. I wonder what Christmas will be like, too. But I can't help but think that we're doing what is best for Laura and that makes it all worthwhile. If she can avoid surgery, and even avoid wearing any kind of insert/AFO/SMO/whatever as well, I'll be so thrilled I just might hug Dr. Dobbs harder than he's ever been hugged before. Well, okay. Perhaps I'll take his staff a bucket of our famous Caramel Corn instead, but you get the drift.

Dr. Dobbs is a calm, confident Doctor who really does have a heart for our kids feet. I know that we'll come out of this better than we went in, and for that I'm extremely thankful. My Mom and I are having a nice time catching up together and talking about all of the little things we don't always have time for. And the boys are enjoying the change in routine - at least for the time being, and the unlimited gameboy time they get in the car. I don't know how many times we'll be making this trip yet, but we'll be going for at least the next two weekends. Please continue to pray for wisdom for Dr. Dobbs as he treats Laura, and for safety and provision for travel for the rest of us. With gas at almost $3 a gallon, Christmas is going to be mighty slim this year. *sigh*

Ever onward.

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Dis Is Molly, Mommy!"

Laura wandered in to the school room, more commonly known as our living and dining rooms, this morning and declared "Dis is Molly, Mommy! Dis is Molly!" I turned away from 4th grade division with tremendous interest. Well, wouldn't you??? She was holding out her newest baby doll. A soft and cuddly gift from her Auntie Diane after her last shopping spree. I wasn't sure I heard her right so I asked her to repeat herself. Again she said "Dis is Molly, Mommy! Her name is Molly. She's my baby." Tears immediately rose to my eyes as I smiled down on the two of them. My daughter has moved in to a new phase. Her babies will have names she gives them.

I realize you might wonder just why that is so great. I am not sure I can explain it myself. But after two years of "what is her name?" responses always being "Baby" unless the rest of us have given the item a name was beginning to make me wonder. But I shall wonder no more. Molly has arrived. And with her came a Mommy who can see beyond herself.

Life is good!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This Is The Way We Wash Our Clothes...

Have you ever, for circumstances I'm quite sure were beyond your control, let the laundry pile up so high you can't even guesstimate how many loads it will take you to dig out from underneath the avalanche? No, of course not. You are a perfectionist that would never let that happen, right? Yeah. Me, too. Sometimes, anyway. So how did this happen??? How is it that the laundry is so backlogged that processing it will take a herculean effort for the next few days? I honestly have no idea. Not a tincture of a clue. Nada. Nyet. Nothing in the ol' brain cells that would come up with even a modicum of an excuse. Well, aside from sheer laziness. Which you all know I'd never admit to as a first course of action. So I figured I'd do something drastic. Something as yet unheard of. In this household anyway.

I declared a "No Clean Clothes Day". Sadly, that didn't mean that I didn't need to clean any because we've already established that the desperate need existed. What it really meant was that anyone not going to work that day, an exemption necessary for the wonderful Daddy who supports us, must wear something they'd already worn. They were instructed to preserve the few remaining clean items in their closets in honor of the day and were to dig up something not so dirty and lacking wrinkles to wear instead. They were to suck it up and get with the program. And I'd prefer they choose something that didn't smell too badly as a special favor to me. My declaration met with blank stares.

Momentarily stumped by this unexpected reaction, I started racking my brains for some reason why they weren't rebelling at the very suggestion. Had we done this once before in a previous moment of desperation? No. That wasn't it. I'd spent much of their lives telling them to go put on clean clothes - from the bottom up so to speak. Hmmm... Perhaps they were wondering if I'd momentarily lost my mind. While I'd like to say that it couldn't happen, I'd be deluding myself and adding to the problem so I figured we'd just let that one slide for now. I wondered if perhaps they were having trouble comprehending what I'd said. You know, as it 'I have an earache and I can't hear you' type thing. But they looked perfectly healthy. That couldn't be it, either. So what was it?

Then it dawned on me. As I carefully looked at them in an effort to discover another helpful clue to their reaction, it hit me that they were attempting to figure out why this was a new thing. After all, Jonathan was standing there in the t-shirt he wore yesterday, and quite probably slept in. He was wearing jeans with holes in the knees that were too short and designated to be used only when not leaving the house. And I think he had them on yesterday. Please tell me he didn't sleep in those, too!!! And Matthew. Yes, that was a t-shirt he'd worn to bed at the very least. It was wrinkled in places shirts don't get wrinkled in while in the dryer. Could it be that putting on clean clothes that morning hadn't even crossed their minds? Was the fact that they knew we were staying home for much of the day impacting their fashion choices for the day???

Heaven help me. You'd think I would be upset by the fact that they were wearing clothing that wasn't vaguely clean. And more so by the fact that they'd not had any intention of changing. At least until their friends rang the doorbell asking them to join the latest neighborhood game. But that wasn't it. No, it was more of a "Oh My Goodness!!!" I was further behind than I thought I was. If indeed they were wearing clothing that was dirty already, where did all of those other dirty clothes come from??? *sigh*

I guess it is no longer a secret. I hate doing laundry. Absolutely despise it. It is only done out of necessity. And usually kept up at least to some standard. Until lately. It seems that in all of the joys of returning to schooling at home, the fun of fall and the issues around getting Laura's feet attended to, laundry had slipped not only to the bottom of the priority list, but might have slipped off the list altogether. I needed to face facts. First, laundry needed to get back on the daily to do list. I needed to make it more of a priority. Pronto. Second, I needed to readjust my kids concept of what was acceptable. Hmmm... on second thought, perhaps I'll just tackle one thing at a time. Laundry it is!

This is the way we wash our clothes, wash our clothes, wash our clothes. This is the way we wash our clothes, each and every day... Sure. I'll be working on that. Maybe for a New Year's resolution list...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Laura was mysteriously quiet. I quietly tiptoed in to the family room, figuring if she heard me coming she might alter her activities too much. I was surprised to find her sitting in front of the television. Normally not a big deal but it is usually turned to PBS. Or even a video. But not today. No. Today it was tuned to the Discovery Channel. And Mythbusters was on. Mythbusters is really big here. The boys and I, and even Don, will watch it whenever we're flipping channels and find it on. We'll watch Dirty Jobs whenever we come across it, too, but that's beside the point.

Anyway, I asked Laura what she was watching and she said, with tremendous excitement in her voice, "Miffbussers, Mommy! Miffbussers!" OY! Hiding a laugh I said "Why don't we change the channel. Barney is coming on soon and you can watch him while your hotdog cools down." Made perfect sense to me. But she protested. "No, Mommy! I am watching Miffbussers!" I laughed and said that it was time to change the channel. She softly agreed but I could tell her heart wasn't in it.

Mythbusters. Good grief! She's three!!! Oh well. At least it is something that has some redeeming educational value. That's something, isn't it? :)

She's Not A Baby Anymore

Sometimes things happen that force you to realize something you have known for awhile but refuse to accept. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Like the times that your pants are getting tighter and you blame the dryer instead of accepting that a daily dose of potato chips, ice cream and peanut butter on apples doesn't have anything at all to do with it. Or perhaps like the times that you wonder why in the world the kids can't just do their chores without reminders but then you realize that you don't do what needs done until you have to, either. My most recent acceptance arrived yesterday via the optometrist's office. My baby isn't a baby anymore.

I can no longer ignore it. I can't pretend, like she wants to every once in awhile, that she's still a baby. I can't pretend that she's not growing up, no matter who much I have wanted her to do so since the day they told me we needed to prepare for her funeral. No. There is no going back now. She's officially a little girl. There's not a thing that still says "baby"about her. Especially since she and Daddy drove off to the optometrist's office last night and came home with a pair of Princess glasses on. Honestly, she looks just as cute as ever. Deep down inside I realized that she's just not a baby any more. She looks older, more mature. Like a little girl now. I cried for just a moment. And I'm sure I'll do it again a few more times in the next few days. But the reality is unavoidable. She's growing up. Because of us. Despite us. And isn't that just great. :)

Here she and Jonathan are in all of their new glory. Aren't they too cute???

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Most Precious Commodity Of All... Sleep!

It struck me today as I tried to roust my body from bed that I've only ever been this tired a few times. Four of those were in the months immediately following the joyous addition of my children to the family. Laura has overextended her options on influencing our sleep several times in her short, but never dull, life as well. Like the months she was hooked up to the sleep apnea monitor. Or those times when she's been so sick she can't hardly breathe. Or even the first few nights after surgery or recasting. But somehow I was sure that we'd be over this by now. After all, she's three and a half. The boys moved on to sleeping through the night after just a few months. Surely she should be sleeping through the night and no longer having such a large impact on our sleep, right?

Wrong. We failed to factor in the tremendous effect returning to using the shoes and bar, in not-yet-corrected-feet no less, would have on her ability to sleep. And then there's the limited space issue in her crib... yes, she's still in a crib. Thankfully, it keeps her in the spot we last left her for the entire night. And it protects her as she seems to sleep with her head pressed against the headboard, her forehead resting on the slats, her fingers tucked down between the mattress and the crib for whatever comfort that brings her. When I hold and rock her, she often wants her hands pressed between my back and the chair, or under my arms against my body so it would seem that pressure is comforting to her. And she always sleeps on her stomach. I think it has to do with some slight dysphagia and swallowing her saliva without drowning herself, but we shall see. But I digress. It would seem that returning to the FAB has effected her more than we ever thought it would. Frustration, probable pain, and limited space in bed are certainly taking their toll on her. And its effect on us seems to be just beginning.

I daydream about sleeping. I wish for sleep while I'm doing the dishes. I think about sleeping when I'm watching the clock slowly wind its way to the evening bedtime routine hour. And I cry for sleep every morning as I drag my body out of bed, wishing I could be in it for just another hour of uninterrupted sleep. I recall doing this, along with all of those weird dreams you have, in the months just after your children are born. But as you look down on that precious sleeping face, all of the sleepless times seems so worth it. And hey, at that age they let you sleep while you are rocking and feeding them. And those catnaps add up.

But not Laura. Oh no. She is apparently getting just enough sleep to give her that boost of energy she needs to make it until naptime. Or almost. There is that hour of whining that seems to precede it now. Evident these days while we are out running errands in stores she used to behave in quite nicely. Or when she's just about had enough of the boys picking on her and changing her videos to something they'd rather watch while she's not looking. *sigh* She keeps us active as usual until she heads to bed for her nap. This used to be a two hour block of time when the boys and I would catch up on schoolwork, play games and read. Not anymore. If I put her FAB on, we can only count on an hour at the most before she'll wake up and realize her naptime can be over if she just calls for us and tells us she's awake. Gone are the days of long naps. Even though she needs them. Let alone the rest of us.

Yes, I realize this, too, shall end. I just can't see any end in sight at the moment. Perhaps Dr. Dobbs will provide some relief if he can recorrect her feet. That will entail a few weeks in thigh high casts without her being able to walk. But hey, at least she'll sleep. Then it will be back in to the bar and shoes. Perhaps it is time to put her in a bed instead of the crib. Or perhaps we should just plan on getting a full nights sleep after she's grown. After all, we're putting ourselves, and her, through these difficult times now so that she can walk down that aisle with perfect little feet, dreaming of chasing her own little ones around without pain. Yes, this is reason enough. We'll do without sleep for awhile longer. Just don't expect much beyond puttering for awhile from us. I think we'll be doing well to just keep on schedule. Whatever that may be in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

St. Louis, Here We Come!

Well, it is official. We'll be heading to St. Louis on the 21st. We have an 8 AM appt. on the 22nd and then we'll be driving home again. Ten hours each way. Ten hours with a 14 year old and a 10 year old who like to get on the other's last nerve. Ten hours of "I'm hungry. What did you bring to eat? What do you mean there aren't any cookies?" Ten hours of "Are we there yet?" Ten hours of wondering what the outcome will be and remembering to turn it back over to the Lord again and again. Ten hours of Laura fussing because she's strapped in to her car seat and she can't lay down to sleep.

And that's just one way...

On the way home, since I'm expecting her to be in at least one full leg cast, it will be ten hours of wet plaster. Ten hours of her fussing because her foot and leg are immobile. Ten hours of having to hold her hand to comfort her, even when she's in a deep sleep. Ten hours of noises from gameboys. Ten hours of "Mom! He touched me!" Ten hours of "Mom! He is being selfish!" Ten hours of "Mom! I have to pee! Now!" Ten hours of watching agriculture whiz by us along with the same cars and trucks we'll think we saw as they passed us up as we slowed down at the last rest stop. Ten hours of time with my Mom. Ten hours to talk and listen to her wisdom.

When we get home, we'll be here for at least a week before we do it all again. And when we get home we'll know more about what Dr. Dobbs thinks the outcome for her will be long term. That's what makes my stomach churn. So that means I have 10 days of reminding myself that the Lord is in charge and that HE is the one who created her feet and he'll take care of it. That's just more in a long line of learning to turn things over to him instead of chewing on them myself. Perhaps the Lord gave Laura to us for more reasons than I've realized so far. Perhaps she is here to provide the Lord with opportunities for me to grow in him, to learn to depend on him, to remember before I start sweating that he's always in charge when I let him. Perhaps that is what parenting is all about in the first place. After all, parenting definitely isn't for pansies!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ligaments and Tendons and Bones, Oh My!!!

Sometimes when dealing with yet another Laura issue I find myself wandering down the same path once again and peering into the darkness to see just where it will come out in the end this time. We're wandering down the path of 'relapsed club feet' once again. So far this path has led us to more casting, longer shoe wear, surgery followed by six weeks of casting, SMO's and my absolute all time favorite advice from one very kind but misguided Dr. to just relax. I wanted to ask him if he'd relax if it were his daughter but then I realized he is a trained surgeon. He wouldn't think twice about cutting her bone because that's what he's trained to do. But I'm not willing to go there if we can avoid it. So far while traveling down this path we've been to the Cleveland Clinic and out to the University of Iowa more times than I can count. I can see in my minds eye with intimate detail the waiting room of the pediatric surgical department at the Clinic as well as the patient rooms where we've spent far too much time for such a short life. Now, we're staring down the path again. But this time the path might just lead to St. Louis. Who knew?

When we put Laura back in her night-night shoes, I really felt like we needed to have a consult with someone willing to take another chance at helping us avoid surgery. I've sent several additional emails to Iowa and have not heard a response and assumed that they are quite busy there after the Symposium. But I needed answers. And I wondered if the silence meant that they just didn't know what to do or perhaps that there was nothing more they could do. The thought made my stomach churn.

Then another issue dawned its mighty head. Sleep. Don and I desperately needed uninterrupted sleep. After a week of waking up throughout the night as Laura cries because the shoes are uncomfortable, I had a gut feeling we needed more than just uninterrupted sleep. We really needed her feet corrected before the shoes would be comfortable. As I put a call in to the wonderful shoemakers office, I hoped beyond hope that they could do something for us. Something, anything to help. The girls suggested we contact Dr. Dobbs in St. Louis if we hadn't heard from Iowa soon. My stomach churned even more as I sat down to write Dr. Dobbs a letter. As I attached pictures of her feet and sent it off by email, the pit of my stomach seemed to drop even further into oblivion. What if he, too, just said to relax until she was old enough for painful surgery. What if there really was nothing that could be done?

All night last night I tossed and turned. My dreams ranged from the weird to even weirder. I imagined all sorts of things involving feet. Big feet, little feet, fat feet, skinny feet. All in clunky, ugly shoes because they couldn't wear normal ones. All on legs sitting in wheelchairs because they hurt too much to walk. *sigh* Once again an opportunity to turn my stress over to the Lord took me hours to figure out. By then morning was already peeking out from behind the darkness, willing us to get up and face another day of uncertainty.

As I approached the computer to check my mail, my stomach sunk deeper still. What if there was no answer. What if the answer wasn't good. Before I wiggled the mouse I decided that I'd have enough. I very quietly prayed and told the Lord I would be willing to accept whatever answer he provided. I half expected for Dr. Ponseti's email to be there after that one. But no. Dr. Dobbs was up bright and early, and he answered my questions. He offered to see her and concurred with our thoughts that recasting was the way to go.

Part of me is relieved. My 'Mommy Intuition' isn't faulty. But part of me is still a bit nervous. There are still several unknowns for Laura and those wonderful feet. Can Dr. Dobbs figure out how to help her? Will we be able to avoid bone surgery in a few years? Will Laura get used to the shoes once again and sleep through the night undisturbed? I don't know the answers to all of that but I am willing to let it go for now. Laura slept four hours today for a nap without her shoes on. Four hours. From a child who barely sleeps one these days. *sigh*

So we will continue to pray for her healing and the Lord's provision as we plan for a trip to St. Louis. Since our family is there, our trip will be filled with more than just Dr visits. And that's all good. However, please pray for wisdom for Dr. Dobbs as he evaluates and prepares to treat her feet to help us prevent surgery in the coming years. I'll keep you updated as I can. Meanwhile, I'll work very hard to just relax and enjoy it every time I hear "Mommy. I need you" coming from her room every hour on the hour through the night. Really I will. :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

"Night-Night" Shoe Update of Sorts

We've got three nights and three naps under our belt in our new "Night-Night" shoes. The naps are really no biggie. She isn't phased by her shoes in the middle of the afternoon and handles it very well. She doesn't even insist, as she used to when she wore them before, that we take them off as soon as she gets up. But nights are a whole different matter. The first night was very difficult. She handled them without complaint for about the length of a nap and then fussed. And fussed. And fussed. And fussed. Did I mention she fussed? We'll never know if it was really the shoes or the start of the cold or whatever she had at the moment but whatever it was, she wasn't happy. And around here, if Laura isn't happy, Mommy and Daddy get no sleep.

The second night found me rummaging for padding to put under the middle strap. We tried a strip of foam and, when you account for the thickness, we loosened the strap just a touch to accommodate it. Voila! No fussing. Again, last night was fuss free from the feet perspective so I think we'll find a more long term solution and we'll be set for awhile. I've thought of finding a denser foam (so it lasts longer), sheepskin (we have some real stuff but it is awfully thick...), and perhaps trying to find some real moleskin as the stuff we have from Wallyworld just doesn't do a darn thing. Or even paying for some pringles from John, the Shoemaker. But we'd like to avoid that large of an expense if we can. I'm very open to other suggestions if anyone has any to offer.

Meanwhile, please pray with us that these do help keep her bones in the right place long term and that we don't need to consider surgery in the future. We're still waiting to hear back from Dr. Ponseti regarding whether to recorrect her feet with casts or not, but we've gone ahead with the shoe wear anyway. I'm looking forward to hearing from him and will let you know if trips to Iowa will be necessary. We've come to accept that if there is a need for something extraordinary in order to help her, like traveling to Iowa several times for recasting, Laura will indeed need it. Perhaps this will be the first time in a new path for her. We can only pray... :)

Laughter Really IS The Best Medicine - Part 2

I must admit that this morning finds both my hubby and I a little toasted around the edges. Laura's been sick and that means lots of "Get up, get up, get out of bed" times for us throughout the night. Since Don gets up for work at 5 AM, on nights like this he's usually already up and doesn't need to use the alarm. *sigh* But this, too, shall pass as it always does. Then we'll catch up on our sleep. Well, maybe.

As I downed my first can of carbonated caffeine, the world started to become a bit more clear. I popped Laura's waffle in the toaster and turned on Fox News to catch my morning info before settling in on school work for the day. And what to my wide-awake eyes should appear but Anita Renfroe talking about her Momsense bit. My kids were just as excited as I was! We listened to her talk about raising kids and enjoyed watching a bit of her video once again.

But the best part of her talk was the end. One of the Fox News guys asked her how her kids felt about it all. Her response was classic. She said something like "They go between mortified and proud depending on what we're talking about." Oh I SO live that! Matthew and Jonathan have this routine down to a science. The thing they haven't figured out yet is that while I feel all warm and fuzzy when I know they are proud of me, I feel full of fun and frivolity when I know they are mortified. No guilt or sorrow here. Someday they'll appreciate it all and I'll enjoy that day when it comes. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying every little moment along the way, too.

So Thursday dawns bright and sunny. Not only have I had enough caffeine to charge me for another day, I've had a great laugh with the kids once again over Anita and her wonderful sense of humor. What a wonderful way to bond with your kids! Try it. You might like it! You can find her video here, and the words to her song as I attempted to record them here.

Enjoy and laugh out loud. You'll feel much better as you enjoy the rest of your day. We sure do!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

New "Night-Night" Shoes

I could easily have titled this "How John Mitchell assisted Dr. Ponseti in saving Laura's feet". He certainly has done so much for so many and I'm glad that included Laura. The UPS man delivered her new "night-night" shoes from MDOrthopaedics today. We tried them on and she didn't fuss. In fact, she said "They don't hurt!" so I guess that means we'll do okay. :)

She's about to go down for a nap but had to take her new shoes for a spin first. Here she is playing and jumping with Jonathan, pretending to do skateboarding tricks, and then standing for the first time alone in them. She wasn't strong enough or confident enough to do that before so it is nice to see her get such joy out of it now.

Thanks, John. We appreciate you and your shoes more than you'll ever know!

Even In The Little Things

The Lord is good. Even in the little things.

Twice in the past few days the Lord showed me just how much he loves me by taking care of what really are two little things when I let go and gave them to him. I'm sure there are many other ways he's taken care of me this weekend, but these two things are points on the time line labeled "Chris Learns Once Again to Let Go So God Can Do It". It is an ever growing timeline. One I don't think will ever end. I seem to want to hang on to things and try to make them work for me without realizing it is much easier in the long run to just let the Lord do it and save myself the hassle of having to ask him to fix it after I've messed it up even more.

Last week I received another in a long line of mailings regarding our secondary health insurance for the children. Since I'd already called several times to straighten it out, I tried very hard to just let it go. And I succeeded for a few days until the second mailing arrived. It was the 'booklet' they send you with all of the Drs you can access, and of course the plan restrictions and so on. Don questioned that one and I, once again, tried to just let it go. But it ate at me. After all, it was Saturday. No one was in their office that day. And of course, Laura's card arrived just as before with no problems. Which just emphasized the fact that the boys weren't on it. *sigh*

I spent a very sleepless night. I tossed and turned. Imagined all sorts of frustrating things as outcomes. And then, most humorously to me as I look back on it, instead of praying that the Lord would go before me and straighten out the whole mess, I prayed that the Lord would keep the boys safe and free from extensive medical needs until I straightened out the insurance mess. Ummm.... HELLO!!! It was somewhere in the wee hours of the morning that it finally dawned on me to just give the whole thing to him and let go. I fell in to a deep sleep and managed to get a few hours undisturbed. Amazing how that happens, isn't it?

All day Sunday, whenever it came to mind, I just renewed the giving of this small thing back to the Lord. It was just secondary insurance. No biggie. I think it might have crossed my mind at least once an hour for awhile. But then I suppose I started to 'get it' and it happened less frequently. By bedtime I know I'd be dealing with the issue by phone this morning, but there was no stress about it.

I waited until noon today to call. And only as the phone rang did the stress return. I could feel my heart racing. The stress was falling like a heavy blanket on me once again. And then this nice, calm voice came on the line and I responded in kind. After a few minutes I learned that the Lord had already taken care of the issue, and everything was straightened out. It just hadn't caught up with the mailings. Score one for learning to let go.

My second opportunity for letting go came riding in on the reins of technology. Can you say stress with a capital S? Yes, I realize that not all households depend on technology every day as a normal course of their lives, but we do. After all, the boys school using their computers with Matthew's classes coming in to our home three days a week on them. So I called our ISP. It seems that at 7 AM on a Sunday morning, those who answer the phone aren't the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree. But hey, at least I had a tentative date for someone to appear within the next week. However, I needed them more quickly. Matthew's classes started at 8 the next morning and he still had work to do before then. All submitted on the computer, of course. I was told to call back at 8:30. Okay, I can do that. But of course I had to just go downstairs and check the cable modem on more time. Or two. Or three.

I called again as we headed to church. The very understanding person who answered the phone this time told us she'd call dispatch and see what she could do. She'd call back in 20 minutes. When we arrived at church, I left Don in the car to answer the phone and the kids and I went in. Don sat and sat and sat and sat and sat. He waited and waited and waited and waited. We figured that our outage wasn't just our problem but that perhaps the whole area had some issues and we were just the first ones to call it in. We arrived home, ever hopeful. I tried to log on. No go. Apparently we were wrong. So I headed down once again to check the modem. No little light. No connection. I really wanted to just whack the thing into oblivion but instead I decided that God was knowledgable about technology too, and perhaps we would think this important enough. So I laid my hands on it and I prayed. I asked the Lord to 'heal' the modem. I gave it to the Lord.

Expectantly, I peeked at the modem. No light. Not even a blink. Right then I decided that even though it wasn't fixed, the Lord knew it was an issue and how much we needed it and he'd see that it got taken care of. In his time. I could let it go.

I came up and started closing down my computer. Just for kicks I decided to click "check mail" one more time. Low and behold, it started downloading mail! Yes, in just those few minutes the Lord answered my prayer. Our computers were all back online. Life returned to normal. The Lord had taken care of it. Something so little. Something so small. And he'd fixed it. I just sat here smiling.

When the call finally came from our ISP later in the afternoon, I was able to share with the very kind customer service rep that yes, we finally had our internet access back and it was because I'd prayed over the box. Turns out that she's a believer, too. She just laughed with me and said "The Lord is good, isn't he? Every day, in every way." Yes, he is. Every day. Even in the small things.