Thursday, 31 May 2007

Just Waiting

Grace's surgery to put in a cathater to start dialysis has been postponed until sometime next week. Which means that she has another week to swim and have sleep overs with her best friend Jessie. Her kidney functioning is down to around 12% but her back dive is still a solid 100%. She was terrible in our volley ball game yesterday but that had nothing to do with kidney failure, she just stinks at it.
Our daughter Kirsten, who lives in France, has some thoughts on the entire kidney issue. Read them here on her new Blogspot blog.
Be sure and check out the movie called "Charlie's Testimony".

Friday, 25 May 2007

She Did It


Our daughter Kelly has often been timid about situations and her first day of school 13 years ago was no exception. I sang her a song every morning as we waited for the bus and she put on a brave little smile and off she went.
Yesterday, 13 years later, Kelly got on the school bus for her last day of school. She's a senior now and looking at her I couldn't help but think of that little girl from so long ago. Kelly has taken her timid self, climbed on that bus, worked hard all these years and will graduate in a few weeks.
We couldn't be prouder of her.
With her Ipod in her ears she didn't hear me sing
ing her song.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Out of Shape but Under Control

I was running this morning and was approaching the last hill. Unfortunately I had run completely out of steam, so to encourage myself to keep going I started making deals with my body. "If you can just make it half way up the hill to the big tree then Grace's surgery on Tuesday will go well." I did it and looked up further. "Okay, if you can make it to the driveway at the top of the hill she won't need the surgery and her kidneys will be miraculously healed." I was making it! I had about 5 feet to go when out of the corner of my eye I see the owner of the driveway flying toward the road in a little tan pick up truck. At the last second he threw on his brakes and I threw on mine. I walked sadly the few more steps to the top of the hill.
Then I heard God speak as clearly as I hear my friends talking (when they actually walk with me.) He said, "Kate, do you think YOU are in charge of the way things will be with Grace's health? You're job is to do your best, but remember, I hold the unknowns - the pick up trucks that you don't even know about. And by the way, Grace may need the surgery, but I stopped the truck from hitting you and I have her too."
I said, "Sorry for that God... and about this extra five pounds I need to loose..." He said, "Get running."

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Bad Hair Life


While shopping for shampoo in Wal- Mart today I noticed that almost every hair product on the shelves was about frizz. There were anti frizz creams, de frizzing gels and frizz away and frizz be gone, etc. Having frizz is obviously very very bad. Frizz is the modern day leprosy or something. In, is straight and silky...think Jan from the Brady bunch.
I resent that! Some genetic code said "curly and frizzy" when I was being m
ade and I will never have straight shiny frizz free hair no matter how many products or straightening irons I use. And I have used them all. My bathroom is a virtual treasure trove of bottles and tubes that promised to fix all my inherited kinks and steel wool hair woes. They lied. The few times I've come close to defrizzing, I've only had to walk near a body of water and as if by magic my hair grows...not down, but out. My hair is hopelessly not cool and I'll just have to wait it out till the afro look comes back.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Schools Out for Summer


Yesterday was our homeschool group's End of the Year Party - which is great because it means it's the end of the year. For homeschoolers the end of the year doesn't mean you'll be with your kids more or less but that you have a few months of not explaining math to them. Wonderful!!
God blessed us with blue skies and sunshine after hearing my pleas about having 30 plus kids in my house.
Certificates and awards were presented pool-side - everyone played happily together from age 1 - 18. I love homeschoooling and won't miss it a bit over the summer.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

On Your Mark..Get Set...



Just got back from a weekend in Charleston, capital of wild and wonderful West Virginia. Our son David ran hurddles in the state track meet. We traveled 5 hours each way to see him run for a total of around 31 seconds. He said, "Thanks for coming.", so we counted that as a good return for our time spent.
We sat in the rain for the first half hour or so and discovered tha
t only James really had on a rain coat. Troy and I apparently were wearing faux rain coats and we had wet clothes for the next 3 hours to prove it.










It was interesting watching all the kids running although someone was checking their work email and it wasn't me.





We went to dinner at a Texas Steak House and it was going well until Troy h
appened to look up and spotted a long horn steer head above him. He had a nervous break down and kept as little of his butt on his chair as possible through out the rest of the meal. There was no explaining taxidermy at that point.
We were all glad to get home
and today I picked the girls up from a "sister weekend" in Maryland with Kara.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Rib- It

Every morning my husband James and I get up at 5:15. He has to get ready to go face his 200 high school students and I have to have a little time before I wake everyone up here. Once the day starts it's like a train flying down the tracks till we stop in the evening. And every morning James looks out the porch window to the back yard and down to the pool. Surveying his land I guess.
This morning he saw something in the pool. Fully dressed and before his breakfast he did a "rescue".





........Lucky frog.

Loving a Bad Girl

The daughter of a friend of ours has been visiting the last couple of weeks. She's 22, beautiful, fun and does lots of things we have taught our girls are wrong to do. Our daughters enjoyed being with her but wanted to criticise what she wore, the things she said, and what she did. We explained that she did all these wrong things because she hadn't met Jesus yet. Our job was to love her in such an unusual way, that any friend of ours, she would want to be a friend of hers.... And we have a friend who could take care of all the "things" she was doing wrong. (It's way easier to point out others sins then to do the hard work of loving them in spite of them - and some people can make it hard!)
Turns out she really wanted to be loved in that way. She wanted to be around "us weird Chrisitans" and has returned home after telling someone on the phone that "she was going to be doing something about Jesus and get her life fixed". Her Dad is sad and worried that she's gone back, but I know the Holy Spirit is reminding her of something sweet that she wants and needs.
We have a sweet savior!

Monday, 14 May 2007

Don't Scare Me Like That

Twice during the day today I came across Grace lying down sleeping. Looking at her asleep when she normally has more energy then the rest of us made me so sad. I told my husband that her kidney disease must be finally taking it's toll. She's been fighting this for so long I almost believed that she would never run down. Later this evening she came to me and said she had a sore throat, and fever and I realized that she had the same flu symptoms her sister had a few days ago. I've never been so happy to see a germ spread.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

I Like This Job

Today was a good day to be a mom. All 11 kids checked in..some with cards, one with flowers and one with homemade gifts. Kirsten called first...France is 6 hours ahead of us. Lane was the most excited, Kara gets points for bringing a grandchild. Margie was short and sweet. Kevin whined the most in his call. Aaliyah left a nice message. David & Steven promised to stop bugging the other kids in my honor. Kelly made sure I had nothing to do but enjoy the day. Troy colored in the lines best in his card. Two called collect from jail. Ashley was nice to her other mom (she promised) and Grace was Grace. What other job gives such sweet rewards?

Saturday, 12 May 2007

One ringy dingy...


Our two year contract on our cell phones was up and James and I made the trip to the Sprint store to upgrade our phones. There really wasn't anything wrong with them but if you don't get new phones when the contract is up they'll cost $200 instead of $29 when you have to replace them. Jame's phone still looks brand new and probably would have lasted another two years. Not mine. Mine has scratches from where Grace dropped it the day we had lunch with Joanne and then she accidentally kicked it along the sidewalk when she tried to pick it up and dents from the 643 times I dropped it and the charger won't stay in unless you hold the phone really still because some how the hole got reamed out and the antenna is bent from letting Layla play with it and it looks bad.
My new phone does more then ring when someone calls. It can connect to the Internet and download music and movies and track the kids where-abouts via a GPS and it's an MP3 player and camera and camcorder and it even cooks dinner. (I'm lying about the last thing...unfortunatly.)
As soon as I got home I inserted the mini SD card, connected to my computer via the USB plug, synced it with my I Tunes library and downloaded worship music from Kutless. I LOVE technology!!
Call me.......

Thursday, 10 May 2007

I Wouldn't Play this Game

Our son Kevin gave my husband a six pack of horrible soda. Horrible because nobody would drink, turkey, or pumpkin pie or herb stuffing flavored soda. Grace dared her father to drink a bottle with her. (Apparently she's been doing a lot of daring lately.) They picked herb stuffing.....the most disgusting sounding of all.













Cheers!









James keeps drinking.





Grace is puking.





The winner puts his empty cup on his head. Wow James. You're the best at drinking nasty stuff. That must be good for something.









Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Steven and the Stump

After many days of hard labor the stump went down - along with Steven.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

"You have a collect call from an inmate ....

There is something you can kill in a child that makes them very dangerous. I can't really put my finger on what that something is but I have seen kids who no longer posses it and to give them a "regular" life is almost impossible. When a baby cries out, mommy runs to them and shows them how loved they are by feeding both their stomachs and their hearts. When you grow up never being any one's baby you figure that all you have is your self. A self reliant person is scary. We have taken in kids who look normal on the outside but have a hole inside that is too big/late/hard- to fill. Nobody and their values matters to them and you can't take things away because they don't care about anything. Other people (parents) are never to be trusted - they will hurt you or let you down. If you can't trust then you must lie and sneak and hurt before they hurt you. These kids break my heart but I can't reach theirs. "Just loving them" is too little too late. We have sons in jail and a daughter in placement because nothing matters to them. I know God grieves over children like these. And you can't give up on them because that's what they expect. But sometimes you sure want to.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Come Play with Grandma Kate

Layla Grace stayed with us this weekend while her mom and dad were out of town. I told Layla that although her mom thought I was doing this to help them out...she was actually here- purely for my enjoyment.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

All Dressed Up

Last night was our second annual Homeschool Formal. It was a ton of fun! Only with homeschoolers can you have a teen formal with moms and dads and little sisters and brothers all dressed up and still have a great time. Here's the whole gang and a few candid shots.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Wearing Down the Sin


My husband has a parenting theory - You can always pound the nail in......some wood is just harder then others.
Our oldest son at home has put that theory to the test both figuratively and in reality. He chose to disregard a word of admonishment and chose to ignore a reminder. An easy punitive task was also unheeded.
We're calling this lesson, "Stev
en and the Stump." We've provided him with an unmovable stump, an axe, plenty of fresh air, a chance to build up some stamina and lots of time to consider the error of his ways.
And Steven, just like al
l the kids, is happier as the nail goes in.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Here's My Plan

Last night we had a mom's homeschool meeting. It's a really nice excuse to get together but we do some planning too. With the school year ending, we not only planned the rest of this year, but came up with some tentative ideas for next year as well. I'm always excited thinking about what the new school year will bring...what we'll learn, the new books we'll read - I'm ready for a fresh start (i.e. sick of this year!). Filling in the dates for events as we get closer to summer is a challenge. Every one's got a million things going on and we're no exception. Our summer is full of camps and trips (to France!) and visits to relatives........
I got a call yesterday from Grace's nephrologist with some bad news about her latest blood work. Her kidneys up to this point have been doing a slow gracefull decline but this month they took a drastic jump downwards. Her functioning is now below 15% and that's kicked in a new course of action. Her doctor talked about preparing to start dialysis next month and activating her on the transplant list. When I told Grace about all this and we thought through all our upcoming plans and how they might be affected she got teary eyed and said, "I'm sorry Mom". "Sure, you rotten kid, how dare you have kidney failure and mess up all our plans!" With lots of hugs and assurances that we would get through all this, we felt a little better.
I'm still keeping my calendar - with a caveat...
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9