Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Get My Hour Back!

Maybe no one else cares about this topic but me. But every year when I find out that I get my extra hour of sleep back that I lost in the spring, I somehow feel celebratory. I can think of all kinds of ways to use my extra hour. After finishing another major house project and a very busy weekend, I am planning to use it sleeping.

Kathryn is coming out of a tough time physically. Although she was able to keep working, a sinus infection has plagued her. Her body has a strange reaction to antibiotics and she is again covered in bruises and took some Stimate today to control bleeding. This particular drug has worked better than others so she is getting relief from her sinus headaches.

Qavah was energetic today and followed Paul around as he worked between the garage and barn. We are all getting ready to go to bed in order to be up and ready for church on time tomorrow. I see by the clock that my extra hour of rest begins now!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Purple Mountain Majesty


Our little family stood on a mountain lookout point gazing at the Fall colors yesterday. Kathryn and I had a precious time of worship together Sunday morning and when the rest of the family arrived home from church we took a little time in the late afternoon to drive on a stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The time of worship coupled with the splendor of nature provided us with a good reason to celebrate our Creator God. He must absolutely love beauty. He sure gave us an eyeful yesterday.

Yesterday morning as Kathryn and I heard a message from the Old Testament about Gideon, my ears heard the story and my heart listened. Gideon was fearful and weak. And he was given a task that He knew he could not handle. When God fought Gideon's battle for him, there was no doubt Who deserved the glory when victory came. He deserves all the honor and praise for the moments we have to be a family enjoying our days together. We are hidden in Him, our protector. These days are so gloriously sweet.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bravery and Giggles

In my observations it seems to me that children born with health challenges are given an extra measure of joyful spirit. We had so much fun meeting another little patient at the hospital. It was very sweet. The girls communicated more with laughter than words. Qavah needed an extra dose of joy this morning because her veins were flat. Her CBC had dropped pretty low and she may have been a little dehydrated. It took 4 tries to place her IV line. She cried quietly in my arms on the third try and I told her how brave she was. I was thankful when she fell asleep and rested after the transfusion started. We watched Dora and had a cup of hot cocoa, too.

I wish Qavah didn't have to go through so much, but after her bravery is tested, her joy boldly kicks in and I am reminded that "a joyful heart is good medicine."


Monday, October 19, 2009

Making a Wish

I just finished rocking Qavah and telling her a bedtime story. She loves my stories. This one was about a little girl named Lucy who helped Mrs. Beaver bake a cake because Mrs. Beaver could not read the directions on the cake box. I am telling Qavah stories that will help whet her appetite for reading. So when I finished telling the story, I asked Qavah if she had any wishes. She said, "Yes, I wish to make a birthday cake for Daddy!" That was what I hoped to hear. I told her that I would help her read the directions on the box just like Lucy did. Then I asked her if she would like to go to the book store to buy Daddy a book for his party. Anyone who knows Paul would know that a good book is an all time favorite gift. But she said, "No, I just want to go to the toy store and buy him a bouncing sponge ball." Okey-dokey.

Making a Wish

I just finished rocking Qavah and telling her a bedtime story. She loves my stories. This one was about a little girl named Lucy who helped Mrs. Beaver bake a cake because Mrs. Beaver could not read the directions on the cake box. I am telling Qavah stories that will help whet her appetite for reading. So when I finished telling the story, I asked Qavah if she had any wishes. She said, "Yes, I wish to make a birthday cake for Daddy!" That was what I hoped to hear. I told her that I would help her read the directions on the box just like Lucy did. Then I asked her if she would like to go to the book store to buy Daddy a book for his party. Anyone who knows Paul would know that a good book is an all time favorite gift. But she said, "No, I just want to go to the toy store and buy him a bouncing sponge ball." Okey-dokey.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In the Shelter of the Most High

After several "project" weekends, and capitalizing on the good health of our girls, we put down our hammers, paint brushes, broom, and saw, to rest this weekend. We did not just rest. We fasted, prayed, read scripture, listened to sermons on sermonaudio.com, and had ourselves a real retreat. Our home was so very still. God quieted our hearts and we rested together. No one had a project. We simply rested.

As the sun was setting this evening, and our family retreat was officially over, I felt a sadness that we all had to leave the comfort and shelter of the Most High to prepare lunches for work and take out the trash. We have to live in this world with all of its duties. But we took time out this weekend to share our hearts as a family. We shed some tears, we laughed, we hugged. We played with Qavah and Paul Burton knitted her a little yellow hat that she wore the rest of the weekend.

The time is coming that Qavah will need to be very brave. Our trip to Cincinnati Childrens' Hospital is coming up next month. This weekend we spent time praying over her and telling her how much we love her. The sweetness and protection of being in our home and away from the cares of the world has refreshed us. We are ready to press on.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Than a Scarf

I went up the little hill beside our home to visit Paul Burton tonight in his apartment. He is making winter scarves on a loom. We talked for awhile, and draped across the back of his sofa was a brand new green scarf made of a very soft yarn. He had shown it to me this morning when he was putting the finishing touches on it. "Who's this for?" I asked. "It's for a homeless man that sits outside one of the Market Street businesses downtown," he answered.

It's good to know that while Paul and I are keeping our shoulders to the plow helping our girls at home, that we have a couple of sons out in the world plowing right along with us. I wish there were more words in the English language to express how much God has blessed me through my children. I'm glad He sees my heart and knows how full it is tonight.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Entertaining Snowbirds

Today we had Uncle Ed and Aunt Lois stop in for lunch. Uncle Ed is now 87 and still drives from Michigan to Florida and back. They are headed down to their winter home after visiting a few relatives along the way. We have more relatives in Florida now, and after taking a few trips there ourselves in the winter months we can understand the attraction. They call it the Sunshine State for a reason.

Paul picked Kathryn up from work at noon and brought her home for lunch. Dan and Julie also joined us. We had a little reunion over homemade soup and corn bread. It was a lovely lunch and it was good to have Kathryn and Qavah at the table with us. We enjoy entertaining, and today was just perfect.



Sunday, October 11, 2009

PaPa's Workshop

I have been so focused on finishing projects while the girls are well that I have forgotten about updating the blog. We've been having some wonderful days together and I am thankful for them all. Paul and I both have our "to do" lists. Both of our lists have something to do with getting ready for the winter months. I have managed to update rooms in our home with brighter colored paint. He is managing to get the barn straightened up in order to have space to work indoors out of the snow and ice.

We have both worked on getting ready for having the children playing indoors. We want them to get plenty of exercise while playing with their toys. A few years ago, Paul and I kicked around the idea of starting a business called "Keeper Toys." We thought we would manufacture just a couple of toys that our children loved when they were young. In particular, Paul made a little scooter for Paul Burton for his second birthday and we have kept it in the family until nieces, nephews, and now grandchildren are enjoying it. That little scooter was a keeper! Nehemiah is just the right size for the one that is now 24 years old.

Last weekend Paul went to the barn to look for scrap wood to make two more scooters for Annelise and Qavah while I went on a hunt for wheels at a local tool store. He modified the plans for a larger scooter for older toddlers and I found some great wheels at Harbor Freight Company. He cut, sanded, and assembled them. I applied an oil wood finish and made a license plate. This project was most fun when the job was finished and three little people were eagerly ready to ride. I couldn't get a clear picture of the children on them because they were in constant motion. We are ready for winter. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!










Thursday, October 08, 2009

Qavah News

Last night we had a call from the Children's Hospital of Cincinnati. There is a well known hematologist there that will be meeting with us on November sixteenth. I am making all the arrangements to go, and feel that this is what we must do next. As I was waiting to hear from Johns Hopkins I found out that the doctor Qavah was to see there is out of the country. I discovered through a conversation with Cincinnati Children's Hospital that the doctor at Hopkins had gotten his training at Cincinnati. We are now making our way into the top scientific research area for rare blood disorders going on in this country. It will be interesting to see where God takes us from here.

I was running errands this morning with Qavah and picked up a chicken at Sam's Club for lunch. We could smell the aroma of perfectly cooked chicken all the way home. I looked at Qavah in the rearview mirror and asked her if she wanted a chicken leg when we got home. She looked shocked and said, "No Mommy! I can't eat the chicken's leg!" That perplexed me because she had always liked it best. When we got home I set the chicken on the counter and she pointed to the part she wanted. "Oh, so you want the drumstick?" I asked. "Yes", she said, "that is the only part I like!" Oh dear.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Recharging Day

Every now and then we have a drowsy day around here; a day where we stay in our pajamas until early afternoon and linger over several cups of herbal tea. Kathryn had more problems with her electrolytes during the night and didn't have the energy to go to work today. We've enjoyed the quiet house and spent some time napping this afternoon. There was a time in my life that I would have considered this a "wasted" day. With a mere change of perspective I now think of it as my "recharging day." I have several projects to finish before winter, but they will all keep while I take the time to gather some steam. It was a lovely day. I appreciated the peaceful presence of God and my girls.

Friday, October 02, 2009

More Good Things

We woke up this morning with more joy for our journey. Kathryn's bleeding is under control. She looks so much better. The Stimate worked very quickly to help clot her blood. By noon today she was dressed and ready to go to work. She worked happily all afternoon and when co-workers found out why she was late for work they pampered her the rest of the day. She is happy to be home for the weekend and has another dose of Stimate to take tomorrow. We are very thankful for the way God cared for her physical needs yesterday.

Not only did Kathryn wake up refreshed and joyful this morning, so did Qavah and Annelise. They had a little sleep-over and came down to breakfast bright-eyed. Paul Burton has a little song he sings for these occasions and the words are a perfect way to introduce this picture.

My Hair Had a Party Last Night

My hair had a party last night,
It musta had a terrible fight,
Cause when my head hit the pillow it was lookin' all right,
My hair had a party last night.

My hair had a party last night,
When I lay down everything was all right,
It started out friendly but there must have been a fight,
My hair had a party last night.

By : Trout Fishing in America


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Trusting More

This morning started out with a supernatural calm over our home. Paul left town for an all-day business trip and when I woke up I felt like our home was wrapped in a blanket of security. I found Kathryn in her room getting her medications. When I looked in on her I immediately noticed her left eye was drooping. She complained of a terrible headache behind her left eye. I examined her head and found a large mushy place on the crown of her head. It all seems like a dream now. We knew that the doctor would probably want to see her so we left a message for the nurse and started getting ready for the the day. A few hours later Kathryn was in the doctors' office being examined. The two doctors who saw her agreed that she was having an extra-cranial bleed. The blood was pooling between her scalp and skull. She was given a new prescription for Stimate (to clot her blood) and took the first dose this evening. She has had other internal bleeds in her spine but this is the first time a bleed has involved her head.

Kathryn is strictly forbidden to do anything that would raise her blood pressure or cause her to spring another leak. So she will not be lifting much or exerting herself for a few days. The "calm" is still settled over our home tonight. I believe that there is a strong voice in the Heavenlies saying, "Peace be still!" And the troubled waters obey.

Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him." Luke 8:25