Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Girl Time

Paul is somewhere over the Atlantic on his way to Sweden.  Paul Burton is working for another two hours.  The only male in the house is Gideon and he is curled up in his kennel for the night.  The girls and I decided to get into our pajamas and watch a "chic flick."  Something along the lines of Jane Austin will be just the thing.  We're off to a good week!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Celebrating Life's Moments

Paul and I sat at the restaurant last night, celebrating the anniversary of our first date, talking and laughing about our courtship and his offer of marriage after nine days of dating.  Anyone who really knows my husband knows that he makes decisions very carefully, and weighs all of the pros and cons before acting upon an idea.  He is a typical engineer in that regard, and has a tendency to take his time.  Therefore, we still marvel that after only nine days of knowing each other, he asked me to marry him.  While raising our children, we told them that we would probably not have the courage to give our permission for them to marry anyone after a nine day courtship.

As I was getting ready for my first date with Paul, I was standing at the mirror putting rollers in my hair when I remembered that I had told him our name was painted on the mailbox, and it suddenly occurred to me that the paint might have faded after many years.  Paul had never been to my house in rural Michigan.  I had given him directions and used the name on the mailbox as a way of locating which house I lived in.  With half my head in rollers I went out to my mailbox at the end of the gravel drive to find that only faded letters remained and they were no longer readable.  I quickly ran to the garage for black paint and my artist brushes and painted our name on the mailbox. With only a few minutes to spare, I finished getting ready.  I heard Paul drive up and went outside to greet him.  With a sheepish grin he said, "I drove by earlier in the day to be sure I could find your house, but I don't remember seeing your name on the mailbox."  That whole scene is so typical of us.  The combination of Paul's careful planning and my resourcefulness has blessed our marriage on many occasions.

I liked the fact that on our first date Paul talked about his family, their faith, and interests. I liked that he had goals and plans beyond college; he was planning a life.  At some point during those nine days I had baked him an apple pie, which he still tells me was the best he ever ate.  On one of our dates we went into the corn field to pick and shuck corn for my family's dinner.  None of that seemed strange to him.  We seemed to fit into each other's lives as though it was something planned for us long before we met.  Most of all I like the fact that we share a love and respect for God, and have both been able to confess our sins and ask forgiveness from Jesus, Who died to save us from the powers of death and destruction.  The relationship we share with Him has seen us through the times that were not so laughable; when we had nothing to cling to but the sustaining grace of God. He brought us together, then taught us from His word how to live out the vows we made to Him. When we lit our Sabbath candles tonight, it was with a great deal of joy, because He is our rest. Enjoy your Sabbath Day to the fullest; casting all of your cares upon Him, for He cares for you and your marriage.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Busy Week

Kathryn is improving, and went to her church small group tonight to be with friends.  It's so good to see her rebound.  She has some aches and pains, but was able to continue on with her day and we had a busy one.  While I took Qavah to the hospital this morning for a transfusion, she stayed home to do a little babysitting and laundry.  Qavah is feeling better tonight after a bag of red cells.  She rode her bike around the driveway and enjoyed the cool evening out of doors.

Our earthquake experience felt like the rumble of a freight train.  When it didn't stop after a few seconds I watched the pictures on my bedroom wall begin to rattle out of place.  Qavah came running into my room and stated that her walls were shaking and that she didn't like it.  Kathryn asked, "What is it Mama?" "An earthquake," I replied.  We stood beside my bed listening to the creaking and rumbling, then a peaceful calm fell upon us.  There was no fear, just wonder.  Kathryn commented, "Mama it was surprisingly calm in our house, and the sun was still shining so clear and bright."  This is the verse that came to me.

I have set the Lord always before me.  Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Psalm 16:8

Monday, August 22, 2011

Medical Updates

Kathryn has had a low CBC count and heavy bruising.  She received a bag of platelets today at the hospital and hopes to feel better soon.  Some of her blood loss is coming from her bowel, and she is wondering if some of the medication adjustments she has made recently, in complying with her doctor's wishes, may be causing some of her problems.  She took some pain medication tonight which is always a last resort for her.  I gave her the injection of Prolia (used to prevent bone loss) right after the platelet transfusion, but I confess to being a bit anxious about the side effects of that drug.  She was willing to try it, and made the decision on her own, so we hope it works for her.

Qavah has had another round of intestinal problems, and today I took her for blood work after dropping Kathryn off at the hospital.  She patiently endured several needles.  Her veins were so flat that the lab techs began examining her feet and neck for access.  Yet, she left the lab smiling after getting a candy bar, two bouncing balls, seven stickers, and hugs all around.  They certainly know how to keep kids coming back for more.  Although these medical problems are popping up, the girls remain positive. 

Our hearts are always moved with emotion when the girls are having health problems.  Partly because we are sad for them to have to endure so much, but also because they take it so well and just keep going like champions.  It's humbling to see them jumping these hurdles with so much grace.  God is faithful to meet them where they are, and comfort them.  We thank Him for another good day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August Memories

There are a few things happening with the girls health care, but they are both stable, and I have nothing new to report.  They are both having some medication adjustments and Kathryn is about to try a new bone building drug next week, but otherwise this has been such a great summer for both of them.

August is the month that Paul and I celebrate the anniversary of our first date.  I met Paul one Sunday after church, and he came to see me at my house the next week on a Sunday night.  We went to the Dairy Queen, bought a sandwich and soft drink, and took it to a park where we talked together and ate our fast food.  There was a pretty sunset that night but the Michigan mosquitoes were ruthless.  It doesn't sound romantic, but in those few hours we found that we had common interests, common goals, and a desire to know each other better.  Those years have flown by, thirty-eight years to be exact, and now we are heading into what I like to call the twilight years.

Last Saturday night we were in our room ready to climb in bed for the night when I spotted my toe nails and thought, "I need to repaint them and trim them!"  I asked Paul for his help because a funny thing is happening during this time in my life.  My legs don't bend the way they used to, and my trifocals don't help me see well enough to trim my own toe nails.  So Paul clipped my toenails and painted them pink while we chatted about nothing in particular.  I woke up for church the next morning and shaved the wild hairs off the back of his neck and trimmed the hairs coming out of his ears. I suddenly thought about the fact that we have reached the age when we have to groom each other and wonder why that isn't written into the marriage vows.  It certainly speaks of true commitment to me. We couldn't have dreamed of these days back at the time of our first few dates, but they are here now, and there is something very sacred and sweet about celebrating who we have become.

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts or measure words, but pouring them right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.   Dinah Craik, 1859

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

It's A Proud, Proud, Day!

Do you remember the Disney movie, Dumbo?  There is a scene when little Dumbo is able to use his ears to fly.  Seeing her young one take off, his mama stated with a broad smile, "It's a proud, proud, day!"  Well, the same was true at our house today.  The little swimming arm flotation cuffs came off today and Qavah decided that she wanted to swim without them.  She held her nose and off across the pool she went, kicking for all she was worth.  Of course we had to run for the camera.  I snapped a few pictures because it is a "proud, proud, day!"



Monday, August 08, 2011

Catching Up

Paul and I have been catching up on various projects and lately it seems like we are either working slower or weekends have gotten shorter.  Try as we might, we still have a lot to do before the summer is over.  I purchased a little white board for our refrigerator with ten lines on it.  At the top of the board the words "TO DO" are written, and now our list is centrally located to remind us of our goals.  

Paul Burton arrived home safely yesterday, and had some wonderful pictures of El Salvador, and a dark tan.  His time spent there was productive and he was able to use his musical gifts to play and sing for the children's Vacation Bible School.  He also led the mission team in worship each morning.  Once he had a break in his schedule he went to a local market and met a man there selling little whistles to tourists.  They had a conversation about guitars because Paul Burton noticed the man had one.   During their conversation, the man asked Paul Burton several questions about note reading and playing guitar.  The man brought some sheet music out to show to Paul Burton and he was able to give that local man a guitar lesson right there at the market. The guitar that Paul Burton took with him to El Salvador stayed with the La Casa de Mi Padre mission for future mission groups to use.  After seeing his slideshow yesterday afternoon, Paul Burton went to sleep and we went swimming.

The girls have been well, and enjoying the summer.  I have not posted as many blog updates because I am so focused on using this time to get organized.  The blessing of this time of peace is very much appreciated.  The rest of the world is in turmoil, but our home feels like a place of refuge, and even the white ducks have reappeared and have been seen each day floating lazily on the pond.  These are good days.