Thursday, May 31, 2012

Holding Hands and Heart Strings

This past weekend I celebrated the 18th anniversary of my 25th birthday! I would really prefer to plan and celebrate someone else's birthday rather than my own. It hasn't always been that way...but as more and more years go by, I'd just rather not celebrate my birthday!      

This year, I was incredibly blessed to have my parents travel to be with our family for my celebration! For the last 16 years, our family has moved around the country 5 different times and the joy of celebrating my birthday with my parents has not been possible. It is hard to describe how special it was to hear them tell stories about my childhood and the events on the actual day of my birth - not over the phone...but in person! We made some sweet memories and had some rich quality time with them, all for which I am truly thankful. The Lord has blessed me with an amazing family. Nothing else in the whole entire world comes close to touching this awesome gift.

One of the things that has amused Ken and I over the years is watching my parents hold hands while they eat.  This is only possible IF your spouse eats with the opposite favored hand that you have. My mom is right handed and my dad is left handed. This makes holding hands possible while eating dinner! This is only one small example of the cute things my parents do after being married 52 years. They are an inspiration and an incredible example to the many, many eyes watching them.

This last year of my life has proven to be by far the most stressful year I have ever experienced. Without going in to details, I can honestly say the challenges our family faced with other "Christians" were enough to shake our faith at it's core. It was during these times that we reflected on the many ways over time that the Lord has mightily shown His hand in our lives. He reminded us that HE is still in control and that even though we might not understand the "why" in our lives, He is molding us for His good. This year I chose my life verse! This is the truth and wisdom that helped me through some very difficult nights.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 
1 Corinthians 15:58

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Priorities and list making.

Well, I am not blogging very regularly as I had originally planned. This time of year always catches me off guard. Keeping up with end of year school projects, calculating final home school hours and grades, gardening, summer planning, spring cleaning, finding summer clothes to fit the kids. (both have grown 2 sizes since last summer!) :-)


I wish I was a better at listing priorities. It seems like for years whatever and whoever was screaming the loudest got my first and foremost attention. Now, in the current stage of life, I don't have such urgency but certain tasks need to be prioritized. I've considered making a master list. Taking the time to write things down and get tasks on paper is a new habit I need to develop.

One of the lessons we are learning in our home is about being direct. No one likes to guess about feelings, moods or tasks needing accomplished. If someone is having a difficult day they need to speak up so others don't take a short abrupt response personally. Clear definitions of expectations and consequences are difficult to achieve sometimes. It's funny how we as parents grow up right along side our children sometimes.

I'm so thankful that our family has open hearts and minds to learn new things and try new ways of improving. It's healthy to have conflict sometimes, but it also healthy to keep trying to improve communication.

I'd love to learn more about how other families prioritize and communicate. Please leave me a comment and tell me how your home works!

                                Live your life walking in His light. #tworship ♪♫•*¨*•.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Heart of the Matter

Ken arrived home safely from China! What a relief! He was gone for a few weeks and it seemed like an eternity! A friend told me I should plot on a map where exactly he was so the kids could see and learn about where he was.  I could not bring myself to do it. I didn't want to know how far away he was! It might sound ridiculous - but for me, having no family around and living in the desert, I could not stand to know exactly how very far away he was.  I can tell you that when he returned it was truly the feeling of Christmas in our home and extreme joy in my heart! We are SO happy he is back!

Hong Kong 
Hong Kong Night view from 33 stories UP

So far the only pictures I have seen have been from Hong Kong. Ken and his co workers flew in and out of this major city on their trip. Their destination was a 90 minute fairy ride plus a one hour shuttle ride from Hong Kong. 

Our first stop after picking him up from his long return trip was Outback Steakhouse. He could not wait to sink his teeth into some cooked American food! He likes seafood a lot....but not so much as he would want to eat it raw and every day. Oddly enough, Kentucky Fried Chicken has a large presence where he was. Seems like one extreme to another as we don't frequent fast food at all at home. It was nice to have the option though. 

Ken has spent much of the last few days asleep and attempting to overcome jet lag. It has been funny to see the kids sit near him just to simply be with him even if he was in dreamland. Emily built puzzles on the floor next to him and kept covering him up. Josh did some schoolwork near his dad just to be close to him. For me, words cannot describe how happy I am that he is home! Sleeping has been returning to normal as I don't sleep very well while he is gone. Prayerfully he won't have to go back to China for a while. We selfishly prefer him to be home with us! :-)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Good News!

Yesterday, Emily and I traveled to Boston to see her specialist to follow up for her kidney problem. Emily has had trouble with water remaining in her kidneys on and off for the last 7 years. No one really knows why this happens, the suspicion is that the reason for this happening is just part of the way she was created inside. Our hope and prayer is that she out grows this ongoing issue as it has caused her pain and other uncomfortable problems.

The good news from our visit is that the doctor does not feel it is necessary for us to return to see him unless we have a new symptom develop! We have very specific instructions about how to monitor her and how to proceed if anything new were to occur.  We are so thankful for this good news!

Through this whole process of seeing multiple specialist and all of the uncomfortable tests Emily has gone through, we have been amazed at how intricate our bodies function. In Psalm 139 it says:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.                                                       I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Everything inside our bodies was designed to work in a very delicate balance all together. What a miracle that we were created this way! What a miracle that some very intelligent scientists have figured out a way to diagnose our intricate functions! Thank you for your continued prayer for Emily.  These next few months are important for her continued improvement. 

After seeing the specialist, Emily and I decided to grab a quick fun lunch in downtown Boston. This was very brave of us as it was pouring down rain with miserable 45 degree temperatures.  We ended up in the financial district at the Quincy Market! Parking was a riot and we could not find a garage that was not closed due to being full to capacity. After giving my, "if mom doesn't find something in the next five minutes we'll have to go someplace else" lecture...we found an open garage. (for a mere $29/hr.) Lunch was great and the shopping was really different and fun. We are looking forward to going back on a nicer weather day so we can actually see the harbor and skyline.  It was all fogged in yesterday! 

Actually crawled inside a Boston photo taxi to get this
poor quality memento.

Em in front of Quincy Market.

Harvard Medical School.