Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Flock of Robins

After our one spring bonus day last week, the weather has brought us more winter-like weather and cold rain.  This morning I looked out toward the garden and saw about thirty Robin Redbreasts searching for breakfast.  I might have missed that little sign of spring, but since there were so many of them, they were hard to miss.  Their little visit to my yard has encouraged me already today.

Kathryn has been treated successfully for another sinus infection.  During that time, she had several nose bleeds and a low red cell count, but she just kept plugging away.  She wanted to get in the car and drive south until the warm humid air and sunshine made her feel better.  It seems we are all eager for spring, and warmer weather.  

Our son Paul Burton has been in Seattle this week with his uncles.  He is attending a music festival and doing some teaching of young students, as well as some learning from professional musicians.   The day he left, his flight was changed because of bad weather at a connecting terminal, leaving him five hours to spare at the Roanoke airport.  He called me at home and asked me out to lunch.  That sounded great to me, so I went to the airport, picked him up, and drove him to one of his favorite restaurants.  As we sat talking, he told me about his job, working the night shift, and telling about people he has met.  His conversation was non-stop making me realize that it had been a long time since our last outing together.  He told me about watching the Redneck Wedding on television one night at work.  The program was being viewed by the visitors in one of his patient's rooms.  They were riveted by it and made several positive comments. We laughed together as he described the wedding couple killing and stuffing two squirrels for the top of their wedding cake.  Then he described another couple who jumped on their dirt bike after the wedding, still dressed in their wedding finery, to drive through mud puddles, completely destroying the wedding dress, but having a wonderful time.  We laughed about the entertainment value of our fellow human beings.  After lunch, Paul Burton reached for the bill and said, "I'll get it, Mom."  

Thank you God for children who make us laugh.  It is one of the great blessings of parenting.  Amen!

The Red Palace for lunch

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It Is Well

We have had some very good days since I last posted on Valentine's Day.  We've been  using our time wisely.  We've had family for a visit, and took care of the grandchildren for a few days.  Kathryn and Qavah are doing so well that I have been able to continue spring cleaning.  I haven't written mainly because I've been trying to keep on task, never knowing how long good health will last.  Paul and I promised the girls a movie night tonight, so we're getting ready to settle in early.  I'll have more to post over the next few days, but thought if I didn't update the blog soon, our relatives and friends might start to get concerned.  God has given the girls a rest from health challenges.  His hand is upon us, and our home is filled with His peace.  We're so very grateful.

Today I read from Barne's notes on the Bible, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee." (Isaiah 26:3)  "The peace here particularly referred to is that which is felt when we have no anxious care about the supply of our needs, and when we go confidently and commit everything into the hands of God."  I am going forth confidently, as are many of you.  Thanks be to God.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Valentine's Celebration

The girls and I went shopping today for a special tool to make Paul's drill assembly a little bit easier.  After consulting Colin by cell phone, I chose the right tool and headed for the cash register.  The girls were discussing whether there might be something else in the store worth looking at.  I overheard Kathryn say, "No Qavah, this is a guy store."  We bought what we needed for our guy and headed home to make one of his favorite meals.  While I cooked, the girls got their Valentines made, and the table was set for dinner.  Just like every night, around 5:30, Paul drove in.  Qavah let out a loud squeal followed by, "He's home, he's home!"  Paul stepped into the house like a king stepping into his castle.  He opened his gift and was quite surprised by his new air powered drill.

Earlier in the day, both girls had some discouraging doctor visits.  All of that was put aside this evening and their celebrating wasn't clouded by self pity.  I gave Qavah her Neupogen injection before Paul got home and scheduled her transfusion for Wednesday.  She is as happy as can be tonight with her little box of conversation hearts and Valentine's Day cards from us.  Kathryn liked her Valentine candy so much that she took a picture of it.   We hope you enjoyed your day as much as we enjoyed ours. 

 The lollipop is the universal sign language symbol for "I love you."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Qavah Read Three Words

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go."
~ Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!" 

Qavah's reading tutor met me in the kitchen with a big grin on her face after this morning's lesson and said, "I have a surprise for you!"  Qavah followed behind her with her school work in her hand and said, "I can read, Mama."  Today Qavah read three words.  M-o-m, D-a-d, M-a-p.   Today she understood that letters fit together to make words.  Paul and I are very happy, and proud tonight.  It's another act of God's grace to see Qavah joyful over her accomplishment.  

Monday, February 07, 2011

Stories of Childhood

One of the things that makes growing up in a family fun is being able to hear the stories that the "older" people have to tell.  When our children were younger we spent time around the campfire retelling our own family stories.  It was a time to laugh, to bond with each other, and to better appreciate the fun of belonging to a family. Often, our extended family would come for a few days to visit, and sitting around the table we would listen to the many adventures and misadventures of the people we love.

Aunt Lil has many stories about her years in Africa, but recently, she wrote this little story and I wanted to share it with the readers of this blog.  She also mentioned that she would love to hear from some of the blog readers who have stories of their own to tell.  Aunt Lil wrote, "When my sister Doris and I were very small, we were sitting together in the two-seater outhouse of my childhood years, having a serious discussion over something that puzzled us.  A certain lady in our church, one Sister Miller, may she rest in peace, always wore a hat to church with a large hatpin holding it in place. Doris was wondering how she could put the pin through her head, and I agreed that I didn't know how she could stand it."

As I read her email, I imagined Aunt Lil as a little girl, curious about the world around her.  It delighted me, and I laughed out loud.  Now that we have video games, television, movies, cell phones, texting, etc., I'm wondering if it may be time to schedule a family gathering to listen to some more of the stories that capture our imagination, and send us into fits of laughter.  Aunt Lil is coming to visit in a few weeks, and Lord willing, we will gather around the table again to share stories.  

Friday, February 04, 2011

Two Funny Things

The first funny thing happened a couple of days ago.  Qavah and Annelise were here in the house very busy in their pretend world.  I was making lunch, not paying much attention, when I spotted Annelise with a baby doll stuffed under her shirt with the head face down ready for delivery.   I suddenly zoned into their play. Qavah was wearing her gospel armor suit.  "Are you by any chance playing Mary and Joseph?" I asked.  "Yes we are!" they said.  As they skipped off to the library to continue their play, I heard Qavah ask, "Come on Mary, sit here at the table a while.  Can I get you a drink?"  Annelise, looking very angelic, and very pregnant, said, "Yes, I'll take some apple juice, Joseph."  Qavah scampered to the kitchen to get the sippy cup of apple juice and returned.  Annelise looked down and discovered that her shirt had ridden up on her belly and exposed the doll baby's head.  With a look of surprise on her face, she exclaimed, "Oh look, Joseph! Our baby is hatching!"

The second funny thing happened this morning.  Nehemiah had spent the night and came into the kitchen still in his pajamas, where I was getting breakfast.  "Nonny, can I have my sword?" He asked.  His pretend sword was put away so I retrieved it for him and asked, "Nehemiah, why do you need your sword so early in the morning?"  He looked at me seriously and replied, "Cause I'm gonna kill a lot of giants today."  He obviously woke up with his goals for the day set before him.  I love that little man; he's a man of steel and velvet.

Kathryn and Qavah are doing well.  We have been visiting their doctors this week, and keeping up with labs and medication changes.  I will have more to report about that when the test results are back in mid-February.  For this moment, I am looking forward to the weekend, and I plan to kill some giants myself in the form of dust bunnies.  It's time for some spring cleaning. 

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New Project

This week we are getting ready to replace all of our windows on the second floor of the house.  They are very special windows because they are a product designed by our son, Colin.  A few years ago, when he first told us about his new job, he explained that he would be designing windows that would need to withstand hurricanes.  To determine their strength, he would be shooting lumber at windows in an effort to design a window that would not shatter.  I don't know how all of his experiments are working, but we knew it would be a fun job for Colin.  We are going to be replacing our old windows with the new product line that Colin oversees.  Our old drafty, moldy, windows will be replaced this weekend. 

We are having fun with our good days the Lord has given us, and the winter will soon be over.  I bought some cottage cheese today with a "sell by" date of March 1.  Spring is not that far away.  Lord willing, we will once again be looking at the yard in bloom through our new windows.