Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Well, a seed about the size of those pictured below spent the afternoon in JD's nose yesterday!  Somehow he got the notion to put an orange seed up his nostril!  REALLY?!!?? I had just stepped out of the shower when Shelley comes running up the stairs to tell me that JD had put an orange seed up his nostril!  As I stood there in disbelief, I started thinkin' about what to do. Of course he tried to pick it out, which as you can imagine did not help one bit! I tried to get it out myself with tweezers and then an opened paper clip, closing the other nostril and having him blow really hard ..... needless to say, nothing prevailed.  I started thinking I was going to have to take him in somewhere but our DR's office was closed for the lunch hour and I considered the ER for a moment but thankfully we have our dear friend Dr. Dan E!  I gave him a quick call and he calmed my fears and reminded me that the nasal passages open into the mouth and eventually with some flushing of the nasal passages it should come out in his mouth or he will simply swallow it! Of course this all happens just as we were getting ready to head to my class at church, so with no more available time to begin anymore extraction procedures we continued on to our class, orange seed in the nasal passage and all!  The end of the story is quite simple.  I was going to wait until the evening time to work on the flushing out when Chad was home. I knew we would need Daddy's expertise on this.  When we got home from class, I was in the kitchen when Shelley came in and said, "Momma, the seed is much farther down now, you can really see it."  JD had sneezed a few times in the van on the way home and I was hoping that because of the sneezing it had moved it down a bit and I believe it did!  I put him up on the counter and laid him back.  I could see it much better this time.  At first we tried to use a turkey baster to suck it out...thank you sweet Barb for the suggestion but it didn't quite get it out even though it did help to bring it down a little more. He was of course fighting me on wanting to lay still and allow me to get in there as I needed.  So, with the promise of a bowl of ice cream if he laid very still I was able to get the tweezers in there and wala...extract a VERY LARGE orange seed!  As I looked at it I began to wonder if it really could have made it through his tiny nasal passages! Thankfully we needn't wonder, extraction successful and mission accomplished!
"Never a dull moment", as Papa used to say.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hey, Fat Girl

I wanted to share with you a post I found on another blog. The author is Flint at 

He has a great blog, he is a REAL runner and his post REALLY encouraged me.  Even though I don't run on a track, over these months it has taken every ounce of everything I have to run on the road where everyone can see me! He put words to my insecurities and encouraged my heart just the same.  I hope you enjoy the post.


Hey, Fat Girl.

Yes, you. The one feigning to not see me when we cross paths on the running track. The one not even wearing sports gear, breathing heavy. You’re slow, you breathe hard and your efforts at moving forward make you cringe.

You cling shyly to the furthest corridor, sometimes making larger loops on the gravel ring by the track just so you’re not on it. You sweat so much that your hair is all wet. You rarely stay for more than 20 minutes at a time, and you look exhausted when you leave to go back home. You never talk to anyone. I’ve got something I’d like to say to you.

You are awesome.

If you’d look me in the eye only for an instant, you would notice the reverence and respect I have for you. The adventure you have started is tremendous; it leads to a better health, to renewed confidence and to a brand new kind of freedom. The gifts you will receive from running will far exceed the gigantic effort it takes you to show up here, to face your fears and to bravely set yourself in motion, in front of others.

You have already begun your transformation. You no longer accept this physical state of numbness and passivity. You have taken a difficult decision, but one that holds so much promise. Every hard breath you take is actually a tad easier than the one before, and every step is ever so slightly lighter. Each push forward leaves the former person you were in your wake, creating room for an improved version, one that is stronger, healthier and forward-looking, one who knows that anything is possible.

You’re a hero to me. And, if you’d take off the blaring headphones and put your head up for more than a second or two, you would notice that the other runners you cross, the ones that probably make you feel so inadequate, stare in awe at your determination. They, of all people, know best where you are coming from. They heard the resolutions of so many others, who vowed to pick up running and improve their health, “starting next week”. Yet, it is YOU who runs alongside, who digs from deep inside to find the strength to come here, and to come back again.

You are a runner, and no one can take that away from you. You are relentlessly moving forward. You are stronger than even you think, and you are about to be amazed by what you can do. One day, very soon, maybe tomorrow, you’ll step outside and marvel at your capabilities. You will not believe your own body, you will realize that you can do this. And a new horizon will open up for you. You are a true inspiration.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012


It’s hard to believe that it has been one year since my Papa stepped into eternity. Tonight, in memory of him, we will have steak ~ n ~ eggs with sourdough toast.  This was another one of his favorite meals, and the last birthday dinner he chose.  Words cannot adequately express how much my heart aches with missing him.  This morning, when I first woke at 4:38, my heart was heavy knowing what day it is.  Before I drifted off to sleep again, I thanked the Lord that He nudged me to wake up a little after 5 AM one year ago today with a strong desire to go check on Papa as he slept. How thankful I am to have had those last couple minutes with my hand in his as he took his last breath at 5:15 AM.

Over this last year, I have wrestled with myself often as I relive our last days with Papa. I wonder if there were signs I missed in recognizing his final decline.  As a family, we were by his side by his side almost every waking hour of the last years of his life, especially in those last 7 months he spent bedbound.  We lived our lives in his little part of our home, with him… how could I have missed knowing the end was so close?  We were blessed in our last days with Gigi.  She followed a pattern of decline and so it was very obvious to see that her time was close and we were able to be gathered around her bedside when she took her last breath.  In my heart I guess I assumed it would be the same with Papa. I often rethink the day before and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.  We had soccer in the morning so some were gone and some were home, and Ramona came in to help with Papa.  He was his normal self, kind and sweet, with “I love you’s” freely given.  We spent the afternoon and evening in with Papa, watching a Boise State football game, sitting with him, visiting between his sleeping, and holding his hand. I cut the boys hair in there and per usual we ate our dinner in with him.  We had Penne con vodka and fresh bread, a meal he deeply enjoyed.  He had a bite of pasta, a bite of bread and even a little sip of red wine.  We did our family devotions with him and then tucked him into bed.  The only “difference” you could say is that by the time we were done getting him ready for sleep, he was already asleep.  This wasn’t terribly unusual as he slept so much at that point but it was different in the sense that he was always awake to say his goodnight’s, I love you’s and give us all kisses.  How I have agonized over those last hours. Our time with him was sweet and just as it had been every day for a very long time.  Did I miss something?  Should I have been alarmed that he wasn’t awake to say his usual goodnights?  Was there something more in the day that I didn’t see? He was declining of course, eating less and sleeping more but this day seemed to hold nothing different than the days, weeks and even months before.  I have struggled to leave this with my Savior.  I have wrestled with guilt and sadness throughout this last year about how things might have been different had I known or recognized more in those last hours.  I have been reminded many times by Chad to rest in the situation and realize… can we ever know?  He has reminded me that we have no regrets in our years with them.  At the time of Papa’s death we had spent 12 of our 18 years married with Papa and Gigi, and a myriad of precious memories were made with them.
Another truth that has been brought to mind lately is that while I would have taken more comfort in being with Papa longer in the hours leading up to his death, it is not I who would bring him comfort, but his Savior.  I never wanted Papa to be "alone" in death. I have come to see though, that even if I had been with him through his last night in this earthly realm, in reality, that part doesn’t even compare to the comfort he received from Christ as he crossed between the earthly and heavenly realm.  I could not “walk the vale” with Papa, so to speak, but he was not alone.  Psalm 23 gives the reassurance that “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”. I am very aware of these truths in my head, but I struggle with getting my heart to follow. I have been and I still often ask the Lord to take this struggle from me and I need to trust him to do just that. How weak I am in my faith, how much more I have to learn and grow.  How thankful I am that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me in spite of myself.  How grateful I am that He is a sovereign God and that he knew and orchestrated the final moments of Papa’s life to be used for His glory and for the continual deepening of my trust in Him. 

I wanted to share with you a portion of the devotional entry for today, October 2 from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotions. I read it again today and I remember reading it the morning Papa died and I am thankful for this sweet reminder from the Lord. 

“The hope which is laid up for you in heaven” – Col. 1:5

“Our hope in Christ for the future is the mainspring and the mainstay of our joy here.  It will animate our hearts to think often of heaven, for all that we can desire is promised there.  Here we are weary and toilworn, but yonder is the land of rest where the sweat of labour shall no more bedew the workers brow, and fatigue shall be forever banished.  To those who are weary and spent, the word ‘rest’ is full of Heaven.”


Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Munchies: Bean and Kielbasa Soup

This soup is delish! It originally came from my dear friend Michele and it fast became a family and guest favorite! I usually serve this with my sweet corn bread and a mix of pickles!  Hope you enjoy!

Bean and Kielbasa Soup
1 pkg beef Kielbasa, sliced in rounds
2 - 14.5 oz can kidney beans
2 - 14.5 oz can black beans
2 - 14.5 oz can butter beans
2 - 14.5 oz can garbanzo beans
salsa (enough to fill one empty bean can)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
This can be either an all day crock pot soup or a quick 1hr. cook in a stock pot on the stove.  Add all the ingredients to your crock pot or stock pot and cook accordingly .... its that simple...and delicious!
Note: The original recipe called for only 1 can of butter beans and 1 can of pinto beans.  Over time we have come to love 2 cans of butter beans instead.  This recipe is so flexible you can do what you please with it and it is still delicious!