Friday, November 30, 2007

Remicade to the rescue

We are happy for Katy tonight because she is up and moving around without any difficulty. Within hours of her treatment, the inflammation of her vascular system is already settling down and she looks so relaxed and happy tonight. The mercies of God saw her through the night because we were awake and praying until it was time to get up this morning. Pain relief was not to be found in her medications last night. Therefore, prayers were said for so many of you; prayers for healing and blessing for as many of you as we could call to mind. We know that the Lord is alert and hears us throughout the night. But tonight we are planning an early bedtime and hopefully a good night of sleep.

Comments:
  1. Patricia Hagsten Says:

    Peace and calm for each of you … really Shalom!
    I had read your last blog and knew Katy would be getting the Remicade today … thanks be to God for a doctor who is willing to “bend the rules!.”

  2. Sandy Says:

    Oh Happy Remicade Day! I am glad Katy was able to get the treatment early and that things went so well again. Praise God for doctors and researchers who develop these life changing treatments.

    God’s peace to all of you. Prayers continue daily from here. Sending lots of hugs too.

    Sandy

  3. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    How the Father must LOVE and CHERISH the prayers you pray through the pain and sleepless night! Those prayers are sure to be heard, and as I John 5:? says “We know that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if He hears us, whatever we ask, we KNOW that we have what we have asked of Him”. Especially true for prayers for the salvation of someone.

    Our daughter Stef, with Kevin and granddaughter Savanna arrived safely at dinnertime tonight, from across the snowy mountains. We’re supposed to get snow tonight! Most of the rest of Tony’s family will be coming in for our combined Thanksgiving/Christmas gathering. I have a turkey ready to stuff and a ham to bake, too, everybody is bringing things and it will be a wonderful day.

    I hope and believe that all of you are sleeping a deep, peaceful sleep tonight as I write at 10:20 PM Seattle time.

    May tomorrow be a “Hallelujah” Day all day for you folks, too.

    Love, Aunt Lil

  4. Kristin Dunker Says:

    What great news to begin the weekend with! Hoping for all of you a wonderful beginning-of-December “need a little Christmas” weekend! With love, ~Kristin

  5. lburk Says:

    HI..you made it…yeah Katy…….we put our tree up today..it sounds like your home is decorated and you can enjoy this special healthy time…….
    Julianna’s nursery is painted pink and beginning to take shape…….Jack is busy watching and cheering during the Army vs. Navy game. Homemade vegetable soup is on the stove for halftime. December is here so my students willl begin to count down the days to the 25th..hugs to all, Linda

  6. Jennifer Wellington Says:

    Wow! What a journey. Praise God that He is sharing to so many through your family! Thanks you our wonderful Heavenly Father!

  7. kim rose Says:

    just checking in to say we are still praying… Looking forward to a time when we can all get together… when you are feeling up to it….

    You have been such a blessing and such an inspiration to us… We will continue to pray…

    side note… looks like the quads are coming soon so rest up and we will have to have a huge celebration for Qavah and Katy and the Quads…. wont it be wonderful.. I think we should have a block party and invite all the neighbors…. wouldnt it be wonderful…

    Katy, you hang in there girl and know you are in our thoughts and prayers…

    God Bless
    Kim

  8. Jes Says:

    Happy Remicade Day to you! We are so thankful that you are up and feeling better Katy! I’m glad that your doctor was able to get the treatment early and that it worked so well!

    I saw baby James Knox today - he is very sweet looking! He’s just over a week old. I put him next to Isaiah and we took a picture - it’s so fun to think of the two little guys becoming friends in the coming years! :) It was also amazing to see how they change from a little wrinkled newborn to a big baby in just months! Time passes so quickly!

    Noah and Lydia decided that they like colored lights on trees the best - so we got new lights to decorate with this year! I am so excited to see their faces when put them on and light up the tree! The past 3 evenings they have wanted to drive around and see Christmas lights - we even have a protocal for “good ones”…there is clapping and ohhhs and ahhhs! :) Seeing the excitement through the eyes of a child is such a wonderful gift! I’m sure you all will have lots of that this year! What a blessing!

    We love ya’ll and continue to pray for the entire family!
    Jess

  9. Alicia Richardson Says:

    Always praying for you Love you always!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

SCABS!

I don’t know how many people get excited about a scab, but let me tell you we are jumping for joy today. The drug Katy used on Monday is a nasal spray called Stimate. It helps bring bleeding under control and speeds healing. She will be using one squirt in her nostril three times this week (every other day). After the first dose I had soaked Katy’s wounds and applied the dressings hoping for things to look better by today. I checked this morning and the open, seeping wounds have scabbed over. They are beautiful! They are perfect! The Stimate can only be used when she has a bleeding episode like this, and since she has never had this happen before we are hoping these episodes will end as the Methotrexate begins to work on the inflammation problem. I am not kidding when I tell you this stuff is like a miracle in a squirt bottle. We have been so blessed to have been given the prescription and that it worked for Katy.

We are so thankful for this encouraging victory. We slept through the night last night without getting up for pain medications as well. We feel so refreshed when we have an uninterrupted sleep. So today we are having a quiet day and enjoying the reprieve. Katy has been talking about getting some wrapping done this afternoon. There is a steady stream of packages arriving in her name. She is doing all her Christmas shopping on the internet this year and being very creative about it, too. We are so thankful for this good day. Thank you for your encouraging comments. It’s like having a cheerleading team chanting, “go, go, go, go, go!” And we are!

Comments:
  1. Patricia Hagsten Says:

    Rah! Rah! Siss, Boom, Bah!!

  2. Doris Harriff Says:

    Praise God! I find myself always waiting on Wednesdays, hoping for a new update so I can report to our prayer meeting whether it’s time for prayer or praise for Katy! I’m glad this time that I can report a definite praise!

  3. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    Yeah, happy day! I’m home today from work (but still working remotely). I started an antibiotic for an infection, and it had me sick to my stomach all night. Happy Christmas shopping! I’m so behind on mine!

  4. Sandy Says:

    Hooray! :-)

  5. Jenice Says:

    Singing with joy. We are all cheering for you Katy, all of you, thank you God for this wonderful news! May it be just the beginning of more to come.
    With great hope in Him for you,
    Jenice

  6. Oma Collmus Says:

    Whoever would have thought that a scab could bring such pleasure–what a blessing! Praise the Lord, but please, dear Jesus. we need more blessings for Katy and family.
    I, too, am enjoying Christmas preparations. Several weeks ago I attended the presentation of “Messiah” at Hood with the Hood girls (and boys) and Navy boys (and girls). A week later Jackie made my boxwood Advent wreath and the other day Betsy brought me a poinsettia. And Advent doesn’t even start until this Sunday! I have a few friends with whom I get together for supper a few times during the season to do the daily Advent reading together. And, of course, we have the Jesse Tree for which Jackie made the lovely ornaments–another daily reading.
    Bless all of you and I keep praying for more pain free days ahead for Katy.
    Much love,
    Oma

  7. Jes Says:

    Yea for the scabs and the squirty medicine! :) I’m cheering tonight with you! I was feeling so tired and out of it when I logged on this evening and ready your post has lifted my spirits!

    Noah has an ear infection - we just started his third round of antibiotics for it…the poor little guy. I guess the first two never cleared it compleatly…Please pray that this one does the trick! I know you all can relate!

    Love ya’ll!
    Jess

  8. Lael Moreland Says:

    Go go go!!!
    Love you guys!
    So glad to hear of your Christmas plans coming together (decorating and just enjoying!) What fun. And what a joy to read about.
    *hugs*

  9. Candice and Crystal Says:

    Hi Katy,

    Thanks so much for your comment. I’m so glad you were able to hear the interview. We’re happy to hear you that the medicine is helping the bleeding. That is wonderful news. We are definitely thanking God with you for the small things HE allows to happen. We pray you will have more and more better days.

    Love,
    Candice and Crystal

Monday, November 26, 2007

Methotrexate Dose #2

This afternoon I called the pharmacy to see if I could crush the methotrexate Katy is now taking and put it into applesauce. She is supposed to take ten tablets each Monday. She took the first dose last week on her own so I failed to notice that the methotrexate was coated with an easy-to-swallow coating. When Katy takes drugs with a coating like that, they usually don’t even digest. We have had to start giving some of her medications in liquid form because of malabsorption problems. So after seeing the tablets were coated and clearing it with the pharmacy, I ground the tablets and she took them this afternoon.

Katy’s bruising and bleeding problems continue and that is due in part to the fact that the medication she should have been taking all this time (the one prescribed last week) has not been available in all of Roanoke. The pharmacy had to special order it and we believe that it will arrive by Fed-Ex tomorrow. This afternoon Katy woke up from a nap and started bleeding from her ear again. I have finally figured out that once a doctor has seen something of Katy’s condition, and makes a diagnosis, we just have to give the medications time to do their work and see if the problems go away. It is a frustrating position to be in; it takes qavah (hope and patience).

I do wonder every day, “How long, Lord, how long?” I wish I had a date to point to and know for certain Katy will be better. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. But still we see the blessings of God in so many ways, especially in the acts of kindness of others. Katy’s college adviser called today to help us with a plan to file an extension so that Katy can try once again to finish her two classes and graduate in the spring. They were cheerleaders for us today, and it encouraged me beyond words to hear the conviction in her adviser’s voice. There is a commitment on their part to see Katy meet this goal. Since some of them read the blog, let me say a hearty thank you for the phone call today!

Comments:
  1. Linda Kochendarfer Says:

    Dawn,
    We think of and pray for Katy so often; she continues to be an example of perseverance to Rich and me. We also petition God to give you and Paul strength, both physically and spiritually, for your days. Know that you are loved by the Father and by us.
    Rich and Linda Kochendarfer

  2. Sandy Says:

    I’m glad that you realized those pills might not work as given and called the pharmacy about it. Very smart!! I hope the other meds arrive soon. I take four prescriptions in total, and three of them have to be special ordered every time. One of the joys of rare disorders, I suppose! Of course, once you get into a routine with them, you can call ahead so there isn’t any gap. Everyone who works at my pharmacy knows exactly who I am because of my special meds!

    I totally know what you mean about wanting to know WHEN things will get better. When I was so very sick as a young adult (not able to be in school for years), it would have been so much easier to just relax if I had known in a very deep way that these better days that I have now were coming. For sure.

    Hang in there. Prayers continue from here. Always.

    Sandy

  3. Julie and Sarah Rehman Says:

    Katy,

    YOU WILL COMPLETE YOUR DEGREE!!!!
    We are following your health challenges as well as your desire to finish your Bachelor’s degree. First things first, of course, but stay as best you can on the path for finishing your degree. You have the advisor on your side and that means a LOT. We look forward to seeing stability return with your health, but also seeing a photo of you in a cap and gown attending your commencement ceremony. Keep your focus and you will overcome these life challenges.

    Love, Julie and Sarah Rehman (HPS group)

  4. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Yes, Dawn, I, myself have written those words with regard to Katy more than once in my devotional diary, talking to the Lord. If its a clear night, go out and look up at the stars - think was a powerful, majestic, timeless God we have, who “chose us in Him BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD!” Think how long He waited for Katy to be born, this especially chosen one…chosen to suffer as He was. Perhaps it will help us all understand that, though He knows well how long is each minute and aching hour, He also knows that in Katy’s eternal lifespan, it will be small. How wonderful that she has had some glimpses of the absolute wonder and joy of where that eternity will be! And I’m always praying that Jesus will give her another respite of joy. In the midst of acute pain He has come, would He also come in the middle of long-drawn out drudging misery? I pray so. Love, Aunt Lil

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We need a little Christmas

I was in a high school musical in eleventh grade and I remembered a line from one of the songs as I decorated during the last few days. “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles in the windows, carols at the spinet.” I hummed it and thought, “This is just what we all need:” the lights, the greens, the festive mood, the Christmas music playing, and to focus on the hope that is within us because of the very first Christmas. It is always a big mess to pull out the Christmas boxes, then suddenly all the old familiar decorations are in place, everything falls together, and I walk around the house with a heart full of wonderful memories. Paul Burton’s second-grade macaroni ornament is back on the tree again this year like an old friend. The stockings are hung. They’ve seen many years of toy trucks, and baby doll accessories. Now they get filled with grown up things like soaps and perfumes. And in the midst of every newly opened ornament box there was Qavah to exclaim, “Mama, it’s so pretty!”

Although this has been a very difficult time for Katy and her care has been labor intensive, we are enjoying life as we never have before. Everything is more precious, especially the way their eyes sparkle when Katy and Qavah are looking at the colorful lights on the tree. These are very good days. I’m tucking them away in my memory the way I’ve tucked away the macaroni ornament every year. In years to come they will be my old friends. I only hope my memory holds up as well as macaroni noodles sprayed with gold paint. God bless you as you prepare your homes and hearts for Christmas.

Comments:
  1. Patricia Says:

    We, too, have macaroni angels from P’burg … although we won’t be decorating this year. Just got off the plane from Baltimore where we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Ellen and we will be gone all but a very few days until Jan. 3rd.

    Anyway, I finally slowed down long enough the day after Thanksgiving and contacted the Greg Buchanan (harpist) company about Katy’s CD’s …. somehow the order has been lost somewhere. Tonight they got back to us and said they are definately shipping them tomorrow. PTL.

    It’s 48 degrees in the house (somehow or other the system was shut down while we were gone), so I’ve made hot cocoa and we hurriedly pulled out the electric mattress pad …. maybe I’ll send Ib downstairs to pre-warm our blankets (something learned from you! ) …. but we’re tucking in to get warm!

    Love,
    Ib and Patricia

  2. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Thank God! I’ve been wondering at the long silence on the blog and HOPING that you were just getting busy getting the Christmas decorations up! But I was also concerned lest Katy was doing very poorly and her care was so labor intensive you didn’t have time to do Christmas! I remember the first Thanksgiving that Tony and I were with you, as well as Jackie and Judy’s families, and Paul and Lucile (my brother and Katy’s Grandpa and Grandma) You already had the Christmas decorations up and the house I was beautiful! Katy was still new in the home, and the day after we got there there was a 4 inch snowfall, and we saw Katy playing in the snow for the first time, the young boys with their sleds sliding down a little hump in the back yard of your former house. I still have pictures of that! Be sure you take some good pictures of these new memories you are making and light up the blog with them. You’ll be putting little dolls in one small stocking again this year! I’ve gotten most of my decorations up this weekend, too. I decorated my Christmas tree between 4:30 and 6:30 Sunday AM, as I couldn’t sleep! I put the carols on softly and remembered the words of “Celebrating Jesus with my Christmas Tree” as I put the garlands and stars and balls around.

    Have a wonderful day! Add a few red and green sprinkles to Katy’s protein drink! Love, Aunt Lil

  3. Aleah Yunger Says:

    Glad to hear the Christmas spirit isn’t far from your hearts! I was just in the middle of doing my “homework” in Beth Moore’s Daniel study when you popped into my mind :) I’m in Chapter 10 right now, and Day 3 has been particularly moving to me. I’m not sure if you’re there yet, but if you are, I’m sure this spoke to you like it did to me:

    “Meditate on the lives of those who drew near to God and heard His voice. Nothing was easy about encountering His glory… [The children of Israel] let fear keep them in the distance. Beloved, a Daniel life — out there and exposed to God’s glory — quickens every nerve ending. It’s not the pain-free life. It’s not the safe-at-a-distance life. But, Beloved, it is life most alive. Life most abundant.”

    If that is not, in a beautiful nutshell, everything that your life, Katy, and this blog, Dawn, have taught me (and everyone else that reads this), then I don’t know what is. It honestly brought me to tears in its application to you all, and if you hold on to nothing else day to day, hold on to this. Life most abundant. What a sweet promise! My prayers are with you. Love, Aleah

  4. Jes Says:

    We need a little Christmas as well! We were out driving at dusk yesterday and the twinkling Christmas lights started to appear….Noah and Lydia got sooo excited and would point to each one…saying “Look, Look Mommy!” It was such fun! When we got home, Noah wanted to know why we didn’t have any lights up yet…we had only been home from our TN Thanksgiving trip for 4 hours!! :) I told him “soon” but I don’t think he liked that answer!

    I’m thankful that you are finding time to enjoy the holiday season in the midst of the pain and hard work! Dawn - your ability to find hope and ‘goodness’ in each day is an inspiration!

    Love you all!
    Jes

  5. Mike Theesfield Says:

    I remember learning that “we need a little Christmas” song when I was about eight years old. I’ve forgotten most of it, but I remember the tune.

    I hope Katy is doing okay today.

    Cousin Mike

  6. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    What an odd mistake in my letter above! “The house (I) was beautiful”! I meant to say the house was so beautiful…
    Aleah’s quotation is very moving. I’ve always noticed that life is lived more vividly, and that God uses more effectively what we do for Him when we are in a time of pain or conflict. Love and faithfullness demonstrated while under great affliction are very powerful. Thinking of you often with prayer and love through the days. Aunt Lil

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving

This will be just a brief post to thank you for entertaining us with your comments. Today we ached for Katy. We pray these days of suffering will change soon with the new medication. We got the Christmas decoration boxes out this afternoon in an effort to think and dream about better days ahead. Although it is hard to live like this day after day, we have faith that God is hearing our cries. I’ll close this post with a Thanksgiving prayer from our home to yours.

Father,

We humbly thank you for the goodness you show to us every day. Our focus is not always on you but today is Thanksgiving. We begin with our gratitude for your love for us, in that while we were sinners you sent your beloved Son to die for us and gave Him the victory over all the things that keep us from approaching you. You have pardoned us when we were yet unrepentant. You have called us your children when we were far away from you. You have heard our childhood prayers, our sudden screams in an emergency, and our heart-wrenching prayers of desperation when we had nowhere else to turn.

Thank you Father, for the friends and family who stand with us believing that you are a mighty God, strong in battle. You battle for us when we are helpless to defend ourselves. Who can know the times you have stepped in between us and calamity? Your ways are higher than our ways, Father. How can we thank you for the suffering we have all endured on this earth? Can we honor you, Lord, by turning our suffering into stepping stones that will lead others to know you better? Let it be, Father, that our life stories will reflect your nature and your goodness, so that others will come to know you. Your Word says that you are preparing a banquet, where we will drink the cup of praise together in our eternal home. All are invited if we will accept your invitation. Father, I pray that each day we will be just a little hungrier to know you in a personal way. Nothing would be more glorious than to be at your banquet table, where we will all be able to eat a Thanksgiving feast like no other and enjoy the glorious flavors of heaven, without pain or suffering. But above all, You will be there, Father. With all the nations, tribes, and tongues gathered around your throne, we will all shout our Thanksgiving with one voice saying, “Worthy are you to receive honor, and glory, and blessing!” Amen!

Comments:
  1. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    AMEN AND AMEN! Aunt Lil

  2. Oma Collmus Says:

    Dear Katy, Qavah, Dawn and Paul,
    My Thanksgiving dinner was the smallest that I can ever remember. There were five of us–my two married grandchildren–Robby Fisher and Kristen and Becky Collmus Koether and Jeremy– and I. Kristen brought a green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. Becky saved the mashed potatoes after I messed up using my thermomix (they were always perfect at other times!!). We enjoyed clam dip and chips and relishes in the kitchen while we prepared the food and then had the traditional turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry jelly, sauerkraut and pecan pies. We played Rummy-kub in the afternoon and later, dominoes.
    We were indeed thankful for our many blessings. I was especially grateful for the safe travel for all the family members traveliing the highways the past 48 hours.
    I prqy for happier Thanksgivings for all of you in the future and that Katy’s health gets much better very soon.
    Much love,
    Oma

  3. Martha Harrison Says:

    Dearest Dawn,

    My spirit bears witness with your spirit for ONLY the Holy Spirit can inspire a prayer like you prayed. To God be the glory!

    WITH THANKSGIVING, AMEN AND AMEN!!
    Love in HIM,
    Martha

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Just Past Midnight:

We just finished watching a movie on the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The movie focused on the years when he was stricken with polio, and his remarkable return to political life after rehabilitation. We were discussing the movie afterwards and I got to thinking about the fact that polio is seldom spoken of anymore, yet back in the early 1900s it was greatly feared. We are blessed in so many ways because of scientific breakthroughs. Tonight while Katy watched the movie she soaked one of her feet in a special solution to calm the pain and clean the wound on her ankle. After soaking it, an antibiotic ointment was applied and a new type of band-aid was applied that protects the wound but lets it breathe. She just had her pain medication and Paul and I got her in bed. All of these medical helps are giving Katy as much relief as possible, and we are very grateful for them. The things people used to have to suffer without these medical advancements only get our attention when a movie takes us back to that time. So tonight we are thankful for all the comforts we have now that our parents remember living without.

It is almost Thanksgiving Day and we were thinking about the precious memories so many of you shared with us about books you remember. I wonder if there are more stories you could tell us about the Thanksgivings you’ve enjoyed, or your family traditions. I have decided not to bake for Thanksgiving in an effort to keep the delicious aroma from torturing Katy who is still struggling to eat just a few bites. You could make our Thanksgiving holiday so very special by sharing your Thanksgiving thoughts and stories. We will “feast” on those this year. God Bless you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Comments:
  1. Aunt Julie Says:

    Hopefully, sometime in the future, HPS will be one of those diseases that is “seldom spoken of” like polio is now. I pray that it is sooner rather than later. We love you! Have a blessed Thanksgiving! It sounds like it has already begun in your heart.
    ~Julie

  2. David and Lizi Says:

    We are here in England with Wig and Sara and the boys. Lizi went to an Alpha meeting yesterday with Sara and gave her testimony. Lizi and I are very encouraged in the way the Lord is working over here. The church Lizi’s Mom goes to is full of the holy spirit. We will be coming back next week. We have just caught up on the blog today and are praying for you. We are praying for Jesus to intervene in a mighty way.
    We love you,
    David and Lizi

  3. Jenice Says:

    Hello Campbells,
    Yes, I was just speaking with Charlotte last night(4 years old) as she was going to bed about the wonderful medications to which we have benefit in this country that others do without. The World Vision gift catalogue we recently received sparked the conversation. The children are trying to decide where their gift will go. One can purchase a gift of clean water, medecine, education, shelter, etc. for needy children all over the world. Charlotte like most children does not want to receive vaccinations at check-up time “because they hurt.” The need of the children in World Vision helped her to understand how very blessed we are to have access to vaccines that protect our bodies from disease. She was very thoughtful about it all.

    We are rising early in the morning to drive just outside of Lynchburg to participate in a fundraising run for the Genesis Shelter which aids children 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All six of us will be participating. There is a 5K for Pete and a one miler for the rest of us. We are hoping that this will be the first of an annual tradition to “think of others” before we feast upon the many blessings God has given us on Thanksgiving day in friends, food, and family.

    May God give you peace, joy, comfort and much laughter tomorrow!

    Much love to you,
    Jenice and family

  4. Grandma & Granddad Says:

    Paul and Dawn,
    Here is a Thanksgiving Day story about Paul. He was just over two. We were eating dinner at Clara’s Nowlin street house. One of us gave Paul a piece of turkey. He chewed and chewed and chewed(no molars). Finally he took the meat out of his mouth and laid it beside his plate. Grandma Lewis was scandalized. The rest of us understood.

    Love,
    Mom and Dad

  5. Doris Harriff Says:

    I don’t remember whether it was Thanksgiving or Christmas, but Paul & Lucile’s story triggered this memory. It might even have just been a family get-together at my mother-in-law’s home. My niece Janice didn’t want to eat her peas, and she kept pushing them away, despite the pleading on the part of her mother & grandmother to eat them. I’m not sure I remember this correctly, but I think she wound up pushing some of them off her plate and under the edge of it. I guess Katy will appreciate her not wanting to eat peas!
    Aunt Doris

  6. Aunt Carrie Says:

    Katy,
    This year we will be sharing Thanksgiving with Aunt Lil and my mother at Aunt Lil’s. I do believe you will be as thankful for your “few bites” as we will be for the whole meal. We will pray that whatever you are able to eat will nourish and stengthen you. I hope you get a fabulous response to your Thanksgiving stories request and have a glorious feast as you sit down to read them.

    Here is a brief story (it is light so it should be an appetizer or perhaps part of the dessert course.)

    The day after Thanksgiving, Uncle Dave makes a turkey for “Friday Feast” a homeless feeding program at our church, which is about 1/2 hour away. He always takes as much care with this turkey as he does with our own including brine-ing, then adorning it with rosemary from the garden and sliced oranges. On that cold November evening we put the turkey in a cooler in the back of the Subaru and go on “a date” to deliver the hot turkey to the back alley of the church.

    Last year, the turkey didn’t really fit in the cooler, so we sort of slid it in with the cooler on the side and the lid ajar. We always keep the turkey in a cooking bag and in a disposable pan so the juices can be kept for the gravy. We had a pretty un-eventful drive until about 3 blocks from church, when we had to make a sharp turn.

    Glug Glug

    I said, “Dave, I don’t like that sound.” (more glug glug) Uncle Dave said, “I don’t like that sound either.”

    Sure enough the turkey had slid out of its protective cooler, the bag had split and spilled turkey juice all over the (thankfully) rubber mat in the back of the car. When we opened the back hatch a small fragrant waterfall cascaded out. We didn’t contribute much to the gravy that year.

    In the summer, when it gets really warm you can still sometimes smell a bit of holiday turkey from the back of the car.

    Love,
    Aunt Carrie

  7. Jennifer Blugerman Says:

    I can remember in 1999 when David and I were in Charlotte and I was pregnant with Emma, I was too ill from morning sickness to make the drive to Roanoke to be with family that year. I cried from a combination of feeling sick and being terribly disappointed. Our dear friend, Greg (who led David to the Lord), called to check on me and invited us to have Thanksgiving dinner with him and some good friends who were former missionaries. Sheepishly, we accepted. It turned out to be a wonderful evening. As the day progressed I felt a little better, and I even felt good enough to enjoy the food. But the best part was the Christian fellowship which was so sweet! Our day of disappointment turned into a real blessing! We couldn’t be with our blood relatives, but found it wonderful to experience that in Christ, we are ALL family. We are blood-bought relatives! :-)

    -Jennifer

  8. Patricia Hagsten Says:

    Our first Thanksgiving in Phillipsburg was memorable. We had moved there in early November, knowing that we would not be returning to Indiana/Illinois for Thanksgiving. I was lonely and not looking forward to the holiday.
    Ib and I decided to make the proverbial lemonade from a lemon, so I called our pastor, Dick Gibbins and asked him to make a list of all of the parishioners whom he thought might be alone and/or have no place to go for Thanksgiving. I was shocked to get a list of 46 names!
    I then picked up the telephone and called each and every one of them inviting them to our home for Thanksgiving if they didn’t have any plans for the day.
    I have to admit, after 42 or 43 turndowns, that I secretly began to hope nobody would accept our invitation, because by then I was beginning to feel somewhat dejected. But I persevered and the good news is that all 46 on the list had plans! The bad news is that nobody picked up on the idea that WE were lonely and alone. Nobody thought to include brand new Phillipsburg resident at their table.
    Rather than moping, we decided to head for the Big Apple and witness the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It was fun! Rainy, but fun! Then we headed to Battery Park and decided to go out to the Statue of Liberty. By then we were getting hungry … so we bought hotdogs there while we waited for the ferry boat out to the island.
    Did we totally miss out on turkey. NO WAY! I had a turkey breast at home, just for us, when we got back to P’burg. I stuck it in the oven and we were thankful for our blessings despite our aloneness.
    May whatever you do and whatever you consume in whatever quantities are possible nourish your bodies, hearts and spirits tomorrow even as you dwell on His goodness and mercy.
    Love,
    Ib and Patricia

  9. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    Hi Katy,
    I remember when I was little we would drive up to Ohio to be with my grandparents on my mom’s side. Her brothers would all come in and the whole family would be there. We’d eat a big meal around lunchtime and then celebrate Christmas by opening presents after the meal. After that we’d play, watch a Christmas movie, or football and I remember it being so much fun. Now that all the grandkids are growing up and everyone is so busy, the last time we were all in the same place was at a funeral. I guess that’s just the way it goes but I’ll always cherish those memories. :)

    I’m sorry you won’t be able to enjoy a full-blown Thanksgiving dinner but I do hope and pray that you will enjoy the day in other ways! We are praying for you and I love you lots!! I’m thankful for the encouragement that you and your family has been to me through this blog. Thank you for sharing.
    love and prayers,
    Jen :)

  10. Fairlight Says:

    Every Thanksgiving as I’m making pies at my parents’ house and get out their battered, old-fashioned metal pie pans, I remember the year they were given to us…I think I was only 7 or 8 at the time; our family had just moved into a farm house in the Maine countryside. Either on Thanksgiving or shortly before it, a couple of women showed up at the door to welcome us to the community with gifts of food, including the pies that originally occupied those pans. It’s neat to have the reminder of their generosity each time we make Thanksgiving dinner…We have newer and nicer pans we could use instead, but they don’t carry us back to faraway times and places like these do!

    (It was that Thanksgiving or the next that one of my brothers gorged himself on beet pickles and got sick right at the table, too, but that’s NOT such a fond memory, although someone in the family inevitably reminds us of it every year!:-) )

    May the Lord give you precious times together tomorrow, even without the feast, and hearts full of thanksgiving for how He’s sustained you through all the ordeals of the past year…

  11. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    My Goodness! David (Carrie’s husband and Paul’s brother,for those who don’t know ) cooks a much fancier turkey than I! At my house they will have to make do with the traditional old-time turkey, with bread, onions, and celery stuffing, “the kind mother made” and probably without celery some of the time. In fact, I went so many years without turkey in Africa, that I love to keep to the old tradition when I have a chance.

    Africa Thanksgivings were different. Thursday was a regular workday, so we waited until Saturday to celebrate it. And it was forever summer - November a comfortable transitional month in the 80’s. I remember two Thanksgivings in Mozambique - one was remarkable in that we actually had a small turkey, not chicken - but likewise remarkable in that the turkey ran free and ate whatever it could find, so was largely tasteless stringy muscle and skinny skin! But the best one there was when all the missionaries from both missions got together and went to the beach with all our Thanksgiving food and paraphenalia; and another lady doctor who had been in school our Dr. Marguerite and her husband and pack of kids all were there, too, coming in from Sudan.

    There were probably about 20 of us, and we swam and sunned and played with the kids on the beach, and then ate our feast, no doubt of chicken and besides some kind of pie (not pumpkin!) a fruit salad made from local papaya, bananas, pineapple and passion fruit.

    That brings another story to mind, since you’re “feeding on reading” for Thanksgiving! The visiting doctor’s spouse’s name was Talmage Wilson. I was to bump into him again. (He’s a grad of SPU, but the way.) Years later, when I was teaching Nursing at Roberts Wesleyan College, my own Alma Mater, his daughter graduated from the nursing course and he was the only one of the family able to be there. I chatted with him briefly. (You should have seen me in my very weird M.S. black gown, with sleeves like batwings!) But the real story was the next time: I had been asked to go to the Urbana Missions Conference that is always a very big national event in Urbana, Illinois, to represent our Mission Board - all kinds of missionaries and dignitaries were there - Billy Graham preached at the major event. I led a Seminar on Rural Health Prevention for 3rd world countries. Anyway there were thousands of college students and there, and we missionaries would ride on school buses from our dorms to the event stadium. One evening I got on the bus and it was so crowded that they had to put the pull-up seats between isles for people to sit on, and I ended up on one of those. The bus was dimly lighted and I didn’t particularly notice who was sitting behind me. Later on, I heard a big deep male voice from just behind me talking to the students and eventually said that he worked in the Sudan. So I turned my head as far as I could to address him and asked: “If you worked in the Sudan, did you ever happen to meet Talmadge Wilson? ” The big voice boomed out:
    “I AM Talmadge Wilson”! !!! That’s a between Christmas and New Year’s story, the snow was 4 or 5 feet deep, the temp minus something awful and I was bundled up stiff - No wonder I couldn’t turn my head. Since I love the 80’s I used to long to get back to Africa and when I touched down I’d think, “OH, I’m SAFE again! I won’t be cold again for four more years.”

    Enough, I’ve got to get ready for the Thanksgiving Service - a combined churches one, but closer to home than my church.
    I put the Christmas garlands and lights just on the mantle this afternoon, just to add some cheer to Thanksgiving with Dave and Carrie’s gang. I’m excited! We’ll have fun and we’ll tune in to you folks, maybe have time to give you a ring. By the way, I’m glad David isn’t doing OUR turkey, as neither Tony nor I like rosemary flavor AT ALL… though its a great trim.

    Love and prayers, and blessings and may God give you back your missed Thanksgiving over and over again! Aunt Lil

  12. Karen Tillman Says:

    Hey guys,
    Happy Thanksgiving. Tommy, Holly and I usually go to my mom’s house for Thanksgiving. My brother in law is a pastor, and I can remember when He and my sister lived in TN, and we only saw them a few times a year. So, Thanksgiving was always wonderful as they would come home and be with us to celebrate. Now he pastors a church closer by, and God couldn’t have sent them here at a better time than he did. As I was so sick that Holly at that time age 4 would go and live with them during the wek, and she would come home to be with Tommy and I on weekends. We were truly thankful that year that God moved them closer by as Rick and Joyce were truly where they were needed most, and still are.
    Love
    Karen Tillman

  13. sophie wilhelm Says:

    Thanksgiving traditions?
    If you can believe it in the close to 10 years that Zach and I have been married we have never been in one place long enough to have real traditions. One of the funnest thanksgivings I can remember is when we were first married we moved from Hawaii to California, and at the same time about 6 of our friends from Hawaii had also moved to the same town, so we had everyone over for a Hawaii in California dinner. It went well considering I was just 18 with very little experience in the kitchen.
    Last year we went down to the Biltmore for Thanksgving, it was so beautiful and already decorated for Christmas. However we were a little overly ambitious to try to eat a fancy dinner with an infant and a preschooler! We made the best of it.
    This year we are watching twin toddlers as well as my own toddler and preschooler, also ambitious perhaps but I am trying to do some of the cooking. So I am praying that we will have lots fun, and that I can remember what is important about today, obviously not the food and whether or not it gets done, because we will have plenty either way.
    Our prayers our with your family today, may you all have a peaceful and blessed time as a family.
    Sophie

  14. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Dear Ones, Just checking in briefly again to wish you a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING, feeding on reading! Bless you all who are going without all the wonderful yummy’s tradtions for Katy’s sake. But you can keep the GREATEST TRADITION - being so very thankful to God for all He has given us, especially Salvation through His Son! I’ve been up since 5-something having devotions, and I spend some time memorizing as a meditation method. About this time of the year I start re-memorizing the Christmas story in Luke 1 & 2 and Matthew 1. This morning I have been so filled with joy dwelling on Zechariah’s prophecy, after the birth of John. To quote a little of it:

    “PRAISE BE TO THE LORD, THE GOD OF ISSRAEL! (the first words out of his mouth for over 9 months!)
    For He has raised up a horn of salvation for us, in the house of his servant David…

    to remember His Holy Covenant, the oath He swore to our Father Abraham…

    to rescue us from the hand of our enemies

    And to enable us to
    Serve Him WITHOUT FEAR

    In HOLINESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS
    Before Him
    All our Days!”

    We wear His Righteousness and in obedience can
    appear perfect - LIKE JESUS! before HIM!
    all our days….

    I AM THANKFUL!!!

  15. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    A P.S. I’m expecting my sister Doris to pounce on me with an inaccuracy! My mother DIDN’T stuff turkey - it was chicken as turkeys were not grown around there. The first time I tasted turkey was when our older sister, Laurie, was in High School and they had a Thanksgiving feast with turkey and she brought some home so we good all get a little taste. Doris, do you remember that? Aunt Lil

  16. Doris Harriff Says:

    No, I don’t remember that; although I do remember that Laurie brought the concept of “Southern fried chicken” to us, probably when you guys were in North Carolina. Of course, Mom had always parboiled chicken before frying it, probably because it was usually tough old hens! And, yeah, I knew we never had turkey, but I thought maybe you were just generalizing.

Monday, November 19, 2007

You Make our Day!

I can’t tell you how many times we checked your comments yesterday and today. We even debated whether or not to update the blog because we enjoyed your contributions so much and didn’t want to change the topic. Sometimes your comments about the things you do and the places you go help take us away from here for a little while, just as Aunt Lil said. Please keep sharing your stories with us. You made a lot of your childhood memories come to life for us, and we certainly enjoyed thinking about you all when you were little. Sometime we would like to hear Kendall reading Huck Finn! I am so happy for those of you who wrote about having a child to read to. It is one of life’s joys and if you need a child to read to remember those young moms in your neighborhood or church that could use an hour to get something done while you enjoy reading to their little ones!

“The Katy” is feeling hopeful right now. Today the hematologist took a good look at everything and concluded that Katy could use some help. It took twenty-five minutes for her finger to stop bleeding when she had her blood checked at his office today. He looked at the sores on her body that are not healing and decided to try a drug to improve her clotting time. His diagnosis was vasculitis. We looked it up on the internet and so many of her symptoms were consistent with that diagnosis. All of her problems of rapid heart rate, body aching, fever, chills, inflammatory problems, unbearable pain, and generally feeling sick were listed under vasculitis. This afternoon she will begin a new treatment (new for her) called Methotrexate. It is a drug to replace the Imuran that was so helpful but problematic for people prone to having pancreatitis. Her GI doctor and Hematologist agreed on the dosage today, and we will be starting that tonight. The medication takes awhile to work in the system, so Katy may not feel much relief for three weeks. We are praying that her body will not only tolerate the drug, but it will work very quickly. We are all very hopeful today, but cautious. We are really being super careful about disinfecting sheets and towels because of Katy’s open wounds and MRSA. MRSA is always around, but with a compromised immune system we know how diligent we all must be.

Winter is fast approaching and at four in the afternoon the sky is already darkening. We long for better days for Katy, and hope they will arrive before spring. We thank you for your many acts of kindness that continue to flow from your hearts. Friends dropped off fresh chicken for dinner tonight and again I will not have to cook. Thank you for putting the warmth and light into these shorter winter days.

Comments:
  1. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Wow! What fun those 18 comments were! I was delighted to find that someone else remembers the Boxcar Children! And the first time I ever read Huck Finn - I was reading one night in the school library (A Christian High School) and I got SO TICKLED that I finally had to leave after the kind but stern librarian gave me ANOTHER cautioning look! I think our childhood books were a much greater treasure than the TV entertainment around now.

    AND KATY I AM SO GLAD THEY’VE GOT A DIAGNOSIS AND A TREATMENT! May it work!!! May it give you earlier relief than expected, by the hand of the Lord! I want you to have cranberry relish for Thanksgiving! Please, Lord! I’m already eating it. And a Christmas with relative ease and joy for all.

    Love so much, Aunt Lil

  2. Kristin Dunker Says:

    Hello! So, I’m a day behind with reading the blog, and missed the literary boat of yesterday’s fun rememberances.- BUT, reading your post from yesterday Dawn, and then enjoying all the reply posts was so delightful! Yes, I have lots of good book related memories. I guess that’s a given when both your parents are teachers! My dad is the BEST reader. He does all the voices…I especially like his “little girl” voice. :-) Some of my favorite read alouds as a young child were the Sweet Pickles books, Where the Wild Things Are, The Berenstein Bears, all the Dr. Seuss, and my all time (still) fav.: Go Dog, Go! (do you like my hat?). As I got older, I really enjoyed our family reading of the Chronicles of Narnia. That was revived last summer when we decided to read The Magician’s Nephew together on a family camping trip after seeing the new Narnia Movie (yes, my dad still does a great “little girl” voice!). We hope to be up to Prince Caspian by the time of it’s release in the spring.- I loved making things a part of my life from my favorite books.- Lael, I loved “Pickles the Firecat” too, and when I got a new kitten, guess what her name was? Yup, Pickles! My hands-down favorite series of all time is the Anne of Green Gables series (we just took a dream trip to Prince Edward Island in Sept., and it all came to life!), and when we cristened our new home, we named it “Windy Poplars”. My bathroom even has a painting of “The Lady of Shalot”. - As for reading together with my husband, we have recently discovered the joys of that tradition! We finished “Arena” in the spring (great sci-fi book), and are now in the midst of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. HOW did I manage to grow up without reading them? In fact, I think we’re going to do some reading as soon as I stop posting this incredibly long post. :-) Keep your chin up Katy-girl! Good times, they are a-comin’!

  3. Jennifer Wellington Says:

    I am so glad that Katy is feeling better. I will pray for continued wisdom for the doctors, as well as for Katy’s strength. I will pray that she will have Joy in the Lord, under all circumstances. Thanks for continuing to post. You all are never far from my mind. Take good care.

  4. Lael Moreland Says:

    Ha ha! Somehow it surprised me Kristin, to see my name in your comment up there! But I love the name of Pickles for a kitten too.
    Mrs. Campbell…since you say that you all enjoy hearing little things and stories about us…would you like to hear something of an update on our family?? ….
    I know that Katy asks about the family whenever I do get to chat with her or anything, so maybe I’ll entertain you for a second.
    On the book subject again- “Go dog, go!” has been a favorite for the little ones in our house just as Kristin mentioned above. The kids would eventually know all of the words that were coming up and would recite them as you read. “Do you like my hat? I do not! Good bye again…goodbye!” They would pronounce the g’s as d’s and say that they wanted to read “doe dod, doe!” The other favorite has been “The best nest”- a story about a momma bird finding the perfect nest for her baby!!!
    On a family update- I don’t know if you know any of this- but we have a house in Norfolk and we are currently trying to finish painting/flooring the whole place so they can move in. I’m not sure of the time frame, but I think it’ll be beginning of December. We are all going to be in Norfolk for thanksgiving hopefully this week. Dad and Ariel are staying in an apartment over there, and we will have dinner there and then proceed to work on the house for the rest of the weekend I think.
    I went to visit for the first time a little over a week ago, I really did enjoy going to Norfolk. I think it’s a pretty city. And the house is very cute too. I’m just praying (we all are) that the Lord would continue to put us where we need to be and guide us. It can be a big scary thing to move away like this, especially when we really do love Roanoke so much and everybody here.
    As for me- I’m getting exremely busy with the end of the semester nearing. It’s frightening to think of how much I have to do in so little time for school! I’ve signed up for spring classes and can say that I’m very close to graduating and being done in the spring at western! Yay! I’m enjoying my classes more than ever though. I’m not sure where the Lord will have me after I graduate though. This is scary as well. Sometimes all I can think of is that I don’t know why I’m here and I don’t know where it will lead and I’m so very confused as to why God has me here. But I know that I have to trust Him in this.
    I’ve probably taken up half the page by now.
    Well there you go Katy, have you enjoyed this update?
    I hope so! I pray that you all will have a wonderful week and a truly blessed thanksgiving!
    Lael

  5. Oma Collmus Says:

    What great memories the comments on those good books brought back yesterday. This morning at breakfast–I had company (Capt. Bowen who lives in Annapolis and has been so good to Jackie’s family and a Hood classmate, both of whom had come to attend “Messiah” at Hood yesterday) and for some reason Capt. Bowen mentioned the fact that he had been born in Joel Chandler Harris’ cabin in Georgia. That rang a bell and I was reminded of his stories. My aunt who spent a few years teaching in the Kentuckey Mountains used to tell the story of “Brer Rabbit and de Tar-baby” to my sister and me many times–always in that vernacular. She was a wonderful storyteller and also sang a lot of songs to my sister and me at bedtime. (”Froggie Went A-Courting”, “Oh. No John, No”, “Sleep Kentucky Babe”, “Come to the Fair”, “Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, O” and so many more!)
    We also enjoyed reading the Mother West Wind stories and my daughter in Germany has just requested that I mail her all the ones she purchsed this past spring!
    How about “Anne of Green Gables”, etc.?
    I pray that Katy’s new medication takes effect faster than expected.
    Twice a day I check my email for your news!
    Love and xoxoxoxoxoxo,
    Oma

  6. Mike Theesfield Says:

    Mom and I have also read the Anne of Green Gables series (and the same author’s Emily series), but only in adulthood, within the last several years.

    Hope you’re doing okay today, Katy!

    Cousin Mike

  7. Sandy Says:

    So glad that the hematology visit was helpful! And it’s great that the two doctors talked and agreed on the treatment and dosage. Having a team that works together is so important! So, I join you in being hopeful and continue to lift you all in prayer!

  8. Doris Harriff Says:

    You need to be careful about buying new editions of the old favorites, because some of them have been sanitized. My sister Mildred bought a copy of Heidi for her granddaughter, Kitiara, and found they had removed everything that might “distress” a youngster reading it. Examples: Peter’s grandmother wasn’t blind, and didn’t have to eat the hard black bread; Fraulein Rottenmeier wasn’t so stern, and Klara wasn’t crippled! What on earth was left of the story?

    As Mike mentioned, we have read the Anne of Green Gables series, and I recently bought the complete set, along with several other volumes by the same author. I think I will pass them on to my granddaughter. She has two little girls who will surely enjoy them in years to come, and I expect Annie will enjoy them herself.

    Glad to hear you have got a diagnosis for Katy, and new treatment. I looked up vasculitis on the internet briefly, and saw that (apparently) the most recommended drug was - prednisone! I’m sure you are dedicated to staying away from that! I just hope the new treatment gives relief, and soon. Now we understand, too, how Jesus “sweat, as it were, great drops of blood.”

    Aunt Doris

  9. Jes Says:

    Hey Guys!
    Just checking in! Go Dog Go!!! I forgot about that one! The kids love it! Right now we have a game - where you can put just about anything on your head and ask “do you like my hat?” Just this morning I was wearing Isaiah’s little pants on my head as I was getting people dressed! We enjoy silly around here!

    Katy, I’m glad that you will be able to start the Methotrexeate (sp??) - and I hope and pray that it will give you some normal days! I was thinking about getting my Christmas decorations out before we left for Knoxville for Thanksgiving…and I thought of the Jesse tree you gave us last year…what a sweet gift and a wonderful new tradition!

    We love ya’ll!
    Jess

  10. Jes Says:

    btw - I forgot to mention - we will be out of town until Monday evening so we won’t be able to take Qavah home from Awanas on Sunday!

  11. Aunt Carrie Says:

    Katy,
    I loved LOVED reading to my children. We read a ton of books. (all the Little House on the Prairie books to Lord of the Rings to Winnie the Pooh, to Narnia, fairy tales, Dr. Suess etc.) I even recorded some simple books for the first grade classroom (complete with sound affects.) Dick Estelle (the radio reader) has my “dream” job! :~)

    When I was in 1st or 2nd grade, I was allowed into the “Chapter Book” section of the library (a big privilege). The librarian helped me find a book, “Caroline and the Kettle Named Maud” since my name is Caroline, I made sure to read that book every year until I changed schools in 4th grade.

    We listened to one of the Lillian Jackson Braun books on the way home from Chicago (Redwall on the way there) and had to wait in the driveway to hear the last few minutes. (After hours and hours of driving!)

    Now I read all kinds of things as I exercise on my Nordic Trak (it takes me a long time to get through a book though.) I love the classics too and currently I am reading The Three Musketeers.

    Love,
    Aunt Carrie

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Reading and Romance

It is almost six o’clock in the evening. Although I’ve cleaned, straightened, cooked, and done laundry, I am still in my pajamas. Paul said, “If I ask you out on a date tonight would that be incentive enough for you to get dressed?” Yes, that would do it! We are going to Barnes and Noble for coffee and a book. We just discovered that a book we’ve been waiting for is now on sale. It is the eighth book in a series about the Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency. When we get home I’ll get my electric blanket ready, Paul and I will get our cups of hot red bush tea, and he’ll start reading to me.

A bedtime story has been a tradition from the first week we were married. Paul started reading the Winnie-the-Pooh series to me when I was eighteen, and from there we have spent many hours in the late evening reading all kinds of novels to each other. During the past year and a half we have come to the conclusion that romantic moments don’t just happen, they have to be planned. With all of life’s demands, it would be easy to forget we have a relationship to nurture, so I’m glad for the tradition Paul established early in our married life. Along with growing in our faith, taking time for reading together has kept us both from despair on a number of occasions.

Katy and Qavah are staying home with Paul Burton. They are about to watch a DVD of little stories about Madeline. We got the DVDs from the library and Qavah has watched them several times with all of us. She can quote them. We are happy to give her the experience of watching books come to life, and as the story begins it takes me back to when each of the children would cuddle up and listen to us read to them. They each had a book that became their favorite. It is our hope that they will all enjoy reading aloud to their spouses and their children, and enjoy it as much as we have.

In an old house in Paris covered with vines,
there were twelve little girls in two straight lines.
They left the house at half-past-nine,
in two straight lines, in rain or shine.
The smallest one was Madeline.

Comments:
  1. Katy Says:

    Mom, what a joyful update! I’m thankful that my parents can still be friends after all of these years together.

    I have many happy memories of being read to when I was little. My favorite stories from childhood are “The Little House in the Big Woods,” “The Wheel on the School,” and “Corduroy”.

  2. Sandy Says:

    What a wonderful tradition to read to each other! It sounds very sweet and romantic. I hope you had a wonderful evening.

  3. Doris Harriff Says:

    The Campbells and the Harriffs - always with a nose in a book!

  4. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    My favorite stories were Bambi, and the Heidi stories. In grade school I discovered The Boxcar Children and The Five Little Peppers. Yes, reading takes us to wonderful places we’ve never been and never will be, yet we “live” there for awhile and it brings wonderful refreshing as well as enriching our understanding of other times and places and cultures. Reading aloud takes us to the places together! What a special way to nurture a relationship! I’ve been longing for you two to have some special time together, and I hope more is coming up soon. :-) Love, Aunt Lil

  5. Paul Burton Says:

    Those were such happy days. I still remember driving that fourteen hour trip to Michigan; dad driving, mom reading us ‘Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika’. and then the lighter reading of the ‘Francis’ books. Also ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, and ‘The Cat in the Hat’ were books of which I never grew tired.

    As I started to think about my “favorite” books from that time in my life I was struck by the realization that I have had more books read to me than some people ever read. What a blessing that was.

    ~Paul

  6. Mike Theesfield Says:

    My most memorable being-read-to experiences were at school. I remember “Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine” (which I’ve rediscovered in recent years, along with others in the series), and a science fiction story from some years later (I was in sixth grade); I don’t remember the title, but these two boys who lived on a moon colony were exploring in some kind of vehicle, and they discoved this underground cavern that was lair to this large plant which had imprisoned (or not) some scientist who had gone missing some years before. Four years ago, I took a motorcycle trip back to Illinois where I grew up, and I had the good fortune to locate the teacher (along with two others) who read that one to my class.

    Much of my reading preference is nonfiction. I like books about aircraft, spacecraft, boats (especially cruising sailboats), cars, and motorcycles, and accounts of adventures with such, especially the sailboats and motorcycles. And Kitplanes is my favorite magazine.

    For fiction, sci-fi and fantasy are my favorites; I have copies of a couple of sci-fi anthologies for kids that I read in grade school, and I’m a big fan of Star Trek novels and other space opera. For fantasy, Forgotten Realms is probably my favorite; there are other similar series that I like, too. By the way, Aunt Lil, I’ve read “The Magician’s Nephew” and “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in the Chronicles of Narnia, and I’ve started on “The Horse and his Boy.”

    Katy, I hope you’re holding up a little better today, and managing to enjoy a few things.

    Cousin Mike

  7. Patricia Hagsten Says:

    You two could easily be UME presenters!
    Hope Katy held up well and is refreshed today.
    What a serendipity Ib & I just experienced. This a.m. we worshipped at the First Presbyterian Church in Decatur, IL. My great-uncle pastored there back in the 1890’s … I had always hoped some day to worship there. Lo and behold we net the church historian who had compiled their sesquicentennial history and remembered his name! Then we were invited to a full chicken/ham dinner they were holding at 12 noon … and sat across from their music director … who was our/my choir director in Gladstone while he was completing 2 Ph.D.’s in music and is now on the staff here at Millekin University. We sat next to a couple whose son is an organic grower in northern California and discussed with the man the ways he might convert his local farm acreage to organic production. What fun we had all in all ….. so much better than our grabbing lunch from the cooler back at our Days Inn!!!

  8. Dawn Says:

    Thanks everyone! The stories you shared about the books you’ve enjoyed were fun for us to read. Our date last night was very refreshing. I will update the blog tomorrow after we take Katy to the hematologist. Her condition hasn’t changed too much today but she is up and dressed and ready for small group this evening. Hope you all had a great day of rest from your labors. Katy hoped for more comments on this post, so I won’t change it. If you have a favorite book or book series, tell us about it!
    Dawn

  9. Trisha Ferris Says:

    Dawn & Family,
    What a treat to see a comment from the Katy! (Yes, I meant to say “the” as in “the Donald”)
    I have no memories of being read to as a child, but once I could read for myself, there was no holding me back. One of the most exciting events would be when the bookmobile came to my spot on the road. And the few books I owned were read over & over. I loved Trixie Beldon & Nancy Drew. I read to my children until they said they wanted to read themselves & what a disappointment that was. But they have given me grandchildren & now I am reading the Narnia books to my 5 year old grandson, Eric.
    Love & prayers,
    Trisha

  10. Sara Says:

    I don’t remember being read to much when I was little but when Laura and James were little ,Rich and I would read to them all the time. I really enjoy reading to small children. I think that is what I miss most about teaching. When Jackie and I were in college she introduced me to C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia. They are great books. I also liked The Great Divorce by Lewis and Dawn, you gave me a book called Hinds Feet on High Places. I haven’t read these books in a very long time but they all influenced me a lot. Whenever I go to a book store my favorite section is the children’s section. I wish I still had little ones to read to. Well, you are all my heroes. You continue to amaze and bless me every single day. We are praying for you daily. I love you and miss you .
    Sara

  11. Colin Says:

    I remember listening over and over and over… and over and over to Mom reading me Headlines, Corduroy, all the ones Paul Burton remembered, and others. I really look forward to being able to read to my kids at night. I have this idealized image in my mind of several children all sitting around my feet listening intently. In reality one will probably be wrestling with another, while a third picks their nose to the great distraction of a fourth. Ironically they’ll probably still remember much of it!

    I love that Dad still reads to Mom at night, and Jenn and I have really tried to keep that going as well on a semi-regular basis. I seem to remember that one of Dad’s tests to see if Mom was asleep for the night was to just say, “Rhubarb, Rhubard, Rhubarb.” If she didn’t say anything in response, that was it for the night. Otherwise she’d mumble, “I’m still awake - keep reading!”

    To Cousin Mike, you might also enjoy CS Lewis’ Sci-Fi Space Trilogy after you’ve finished with Narnia:
    - Out of the Silent Planet
    - Perelandra
    - That Hideous Strength

  12. Lael Moreland Says:

    What a sweet post! And such an interesting topic of comments. This is fun!
    I always run into books that I have forgotten about, but it is such a sweet feeling of remembering all of those favorite books from when I was really little.
    I remember corduroy too…it made me want a bear like that. I think that was probably the beginning of my obsession with cozy little teddy bears.
    How about Harold and the purple crayon?? Such fun books!
    Also… Pickles the Fire Cat. Wonderfully exciting book for me!
    Ah…so many good books.
    I love your habit of reading to eachother every night. How sweet. It’s a story that most of us would hope for ourselves.
    Your lives are truly inspiring to those who are able to see/read about it.

  13. Jes Says:

    I agree - a very fun topic! I was just visiting my parents this weekend and my mother has kept so many of the books we read as children. The bookshelf is packed with some very worn treasures! My parents have a wood burning stove in the living room that they use to take the chill off the air on winter nights…so we made a fire and the kids quickly found a lap to sit in…It brought back so many memories - the books definitly were showing signs of age but the stories were just as good as new!! One of my favorites was from the ‘great big book of Richard Scary’ stories….The Great Pie Mystery! I also loved A Bargin for Francis and Who’s Mouse Are You?….

    We started reading to our kids from the day we brought them home from the hospital! My new favorites as a mommy have to be Guess How Much I Love You…and I’ll Love You Forever!

    Katy - I hope the hematologist is able to come up with something today! Hang in there girl!

    Love you!
    Jess

  14. Sophie Says:

    I agree, a very fun topic. I have such good memories of both my parents reading to me and my sisters. It has been really fun for me to relive it now that Calvin is old enough, I love re-reading all these stories that I have not read since I was very young. Calvin particularly loves the Little House series. He sometimes even asks to go to bed early just to read a chapter, which is extraordinary for a 4 year old boy! Hope this week brings blessings to your family.

    Sophie Wilhelm

  15. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    My favorite books as a kid were all of the Little House on the Prairie books. I used to go around all summer with a sun bonnet and long dress on - weird kid hugh. I also loved The Box Car Children, The Borrowers and Island of the Blue Dolphins.

  16. Kendall Pelish Says:

    On my way back from the 2006 New Atttitude conference I was reading Huck Finn in the back seat of a car packed with twenty somethings from church. One of ladies asked me to read the book aloud. This request struck me as very very odd because I hadn’t been read to in over a decade and long car rides always consisted mostly of jaming out to the radio. By the time it was too dark to read we had read a considerable amount and my attention had not waned at all. We just passed the book clockwise at the end of each chapter and laughed at the dialects twain wrote into his characters. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed the ride. I immediately vowed my family will adopt that custom on our long trips.
    Kendall

  17. Doris Harriff Says:

    Two books (Rand McNally elf books, similar to little Golden books) that were favorites of my children - especially Karen - when they were quite small, were “Bunny Button” and “Timmy Mouse.” Especially Timmy Mouse. Aunt Lois had given them to me, and she said that her children particularly liked Timmy Mouse also. I ran across Timmy Mouse in a store many years later, and bought several copies and gave them away. I wish I had kept one in reserve for my grandchildren, because Karen wanted to find a copy of it and we couldn’t. She said, “You can’t raise a child without ‘Timmy Mouse.’” I used to read to her every book she owned at one sitting. Mike wasn’t so much of a read-to child. He was too hyper to sit still, I guess.

  18. andrea Says:

    Katy, Dawn,

    when I was a child I still remember my grandpa reading this huge book of fairytales to me. It was called “1001 Night” and another book with the stories of the Brothers Grimm. Every night I spent at my granparents house my grandpa read a good-night story to me :)

    When I got older and could read myself….I loved reading the whole series of “Heidi”, “Pippi Longstocking”, Huckleberry Finn”, “Moby Dick” and others.

    Yes this post of yours brought back nice, warm, fuzzy memories for me too!

    All my Love and Blessings to you all
    Andrea

  19. Carrie Thompson Says:

    Mom read us books when we were little–mostly Corduroy, The Little Engine That Could, Mike Mulligan & his Steam Shovel Mary Ann, The Little House Series, James Herriot Treasury for Young Children, Policemen Small, and many other Louis Lenske books, Hally Tosis and so on… By the time I was 7 or 8, I was reading to myself–LOTS!!! Generally she read while she fed whoever was the baby. She quit when Nicky was roughly 1 because he would get listening to the story & quit eating! So, I guess that’s why I started reading more then. :-)

  20. Beth Says:

    I loved reading this post, and your replies! I remember, as a very little girl, the youngest of 7, being at home while my older siblings were all away at school. When it was nap time, I got to nap on my parents’ bed. My mother would read to me, from various book series. I remember her reading The Borrowers, and many others. Then she’d wind up her special music box, and it would play while I’d go to sleep. Those memories are full of peace and contentment! My dad loved to make up stories to tell us, and he’d quote poetry as well.

    I used to love to borrow the Little Bear books from the library, and the Beverly Cleary books about Ramona and her friends!

    In our home, the favorite children’s books are mostly all still in the bookcase down the hall, and I really don’t want them to leave us. I so much enjoyed those times of reading, from Good Night Moon Little Rabbit to Dr. Seuss’s ABC’s to Richard Scary to Mike Mulligan to Henry’s Awful Mistake to Delores & Duncan to the Hans Chrisian Andersen series to…..so many more. So many happy blessings bound up in the covers of books!

    Thanks for reminding me. I think we never grow too old for reading aloud!