Tuesday, January 05, 2010

"...But My Soul and Spirit Are Well."

So, I've never really used this blog for posting my thoughts. I (rarely) post pictures and stories for out-of-town family and friends to see. But I'm needing to write about some thoughts today.
Ten months ago, my dad was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma. For his two children, this seemed so frightening and worrysome. But he and my mom handled the diagnosis and coming treatments with ease and comfort. They displayed little concern, and I worried that they were either putting on a brave face for us, or just not really understanding the gravity of the diagnosis.
I was glad he was pursuing some great treatment options, as well as dealing with all of this in a way that honors God. John Piper's Don't Waste Your Cancer was helpful to us.
His treatment is progressing well, but we really have no idea what the future holds. He did several rounds of chemo over the summer and that went pretty smoothly. The month of December 2009 was spent at UCLA Medical Center where he underwent an autologous bone marrow transplant and INTENSE chemotherapy. He left the hospital on Dec 28, to stay at Tiverton House, a nearby convalescent-type facility. Yesteray, January 4, he was given the go-ahead to return home and resume his normal activities. He'll leave tomorrow (1/6) to do that. What a praise that all has gone so well! He was very sick for a couple of weeks, but He has kept faith that God is in control of it all. Even spending Christmas Day in the hospital, feeling nauseated, couldn't dampen their spirits.
And now, the good check-up meant that yesterday was a day that should have been filled with joy. However, it was also the day my mom received the results of her biopsy done last week. After 2 abnormal mammograms, the biopsy was ordered, and her cancer was detected.
I can't help but cry out to the Lord. This isn't how it was supposed to go. One cancer at a time, God! And yet, I know that I must trust! My mom told me the news this morning. I missed her call last night, so I called her on her way to work this morning. She said, "My body may be falling apart, but my soul and spirit are well."
I am stunned by my lack of faith. I may think that I trust God for the details of life, but how quickly I doubt His plan. I am focused on the temporal and not on the eternal. I worry over not being there to help my parents, but they are living daily with The Helper inside of them. We are not left alone by our Savior, and in that I take comfort today - for myself and for my two cancer-stricken parents.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Our Little Schoolgirl!

Alison couldn't have been more anxious to start school! So, it's just a 2-day a week Pre-K class, but for Ali, it's the much-anticipated SCHOOL!
She posed for me with her princess backpack and new dress, courtesy of Grandma T! Then Luke and I dropped her off, where she eagerly sat down next to her good friend, Kendall, and got right to work on her peg board.
An interesting note - she began creating a pattern with her pegs. That was so Caleb-like - it surprised me. I would have expected her to be random (I mean artistic)!
She had a good first day, but took a spill during Movement Class (PE), and hurt her knee. On the way home, I asked her if she liked Preschool. She said, "Not very much." HA! She spent the afternoon telling me everything about it that she liked.
By the way, she recently told me she can't wait to be a teenager because "you can do whatever you want." *sigh*

Friday, July 24, 2009

Faith Like a Child

So, I needed to record this conversation before I forgot it, and I thought it was worth sharing. Tonight, Caleb got a scrape on his arm that was bothering him. At dinner, he asked, "Why does God have us get hurt and have pain? I mean, I know we won't be hurt in heaven. But, why do we have to have pain?" Okay, my typical answer would be "Hmm... I don't know, sweetie. Maybe we can ask God about that." (You know, in the partially distracted-this question is too big for the moment sort of way.)

But, God's grace prevailed upon me and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to ponder with my child about God's role in our lives. I started talking about how we can't really understand all of God's purposes in sin and pain, but that if we didn't experience pain and sadness, we wouldn't truly be able to experience God's joy and pleasure. (I was thinking this is probably too much for my 6 1/2 year old, but it was worth the attempt.) He listened intently and then jumped in, "Yeah, and if there wasn't pain and cuts, Jesus couldn't have died on the cross for us." I agreed and then we went on to talk about how when we experience pain, it can remind us of the pain that Jesus suffered on our behalf.

So - the next time I stub my toe, it ought to remind me of the most precious gift God has granted to me. Hope it does the same for you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

We were so glad to celebrate this special day with Dad!

Caleb says:
I love my dad because... he helps me, he plays with me.
My dad teaches me... how to play video games.
What my dad likes to do with me: play exbox and play games.
Silly things about my dad: he makes silly faces.

Alison says:
I love my dad because... he takes me to dance.
My dad teaches me... to obey God.
What my dad likes to do with me: go to the pool with me.
Silly things about my dad: nothing. :)

We Love You, Daddy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Caleb's FIRST M&Ms

Caleb experienced another food ingestion challenge last week. (We've already challenged his body with eggs and been completely successful! So eggs are now fully acceptable in his diet.)
This challenge was for peanuts! When the nurse brought in this whopping spoonful of peanut butter, I almost panicked. But then she dipped in the tongue depressor and pulled out a tiny bite, and I felt much better.

We did small bites like this every 10-20 minutes for almost an hour and a 1/2. The team closely monitored Caleb's responses. Within a couple of minutes of eating each bite, Caleb said his tongue was itchy and his throat felt funny, like it was tight. Not an extreme reaction, and they weren't too worried. We still don't want to have him eat peanut products, but we found out that he would be totally fine eating items that "may contain traces..." or that are "processed in a plant that also processes peanuts..."
And we'll repeat the test in a few weeks to see if peanut butter might even be okay.

As you can see, the process didn't seem to bother Caleb. He brought a book and was so engrossed, it was hard to interrupt him long enough to see how he felt every few minutes.

The result of a great test was a small bag of mini M&Ms for an after-dinner treat! Can you believe that's his first bag of M&Ms? What a deprived child!

I even love how he carefully sorted them before enjoying every last little bite!
Caleb, we're glad to know that so many more foods are now safe for you! We're proud of how you've handled having to say "no" to many foods over the past 5 years, and pray that God will use that experience to remind you to be grateful for all that you are given, and to have compassion toward others in challenging circumstances.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lorikeets, and Elephants, and Lions, Oh My!

The fact that we went to the zoo isn't really that exciting. We are FOTZ members, so we go pretty often. But, this time, we went with Grandma Z, Aunt Sarah, and cousins Andrew & Kadi. We got some sweet pics of the kids together. Sadly, I only got blurry pictures of Grandma & the kids feeding the lorikeets. That was hilarious! Grandma wasn't holding any of the nectar (or whatever is in the little cup), but the birds LOVED her anyway! At one point, she had 3 of them on her shoulders and neck. The kids did not like the birds landing on them and all spilled their nectar, then made a quick exit. Oh well. We'll chalk that up to "a good experience."
We got to see the elephants up close. And right when we got there, we got to watch one of the elephants paint a picture. The zookeeper is holding up her creation.
Caleb was so helpful pushing Kadi's stroller at the end of the day. And earlier, walking with Andrew - aren't the boys adorable? Caleb tried to help keep Andrew from jumping in the puddles. :) Andrew loved the lion. He kept showing his mom and giving his sweet little "roar."
And here's a priceless moment between Luke & Ali. This picture alone made me want to post some pictures of our fun day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summertime = Baseball Games

Our Saturdays are busy with watching Caleb & the Bombers play ball! He's getting pretty good - and starting to really love it! The only problem is that the fields are up on a hill and it always seems to be cold and windy. Luke cuddled up with Grandpa to try to stay warm. Can you spot him in there?

She's Gone Country

We headed out to "the country" last weekend for Tony's cousin, Daniel's, high school graduation party. The kids thought it was so cool to be going out where Grandpa grew up, and kept asking if we were "in the country" yet.

So, when you take the city kids out to the country, they love to swing from ropes. Little monkeys!