Friday, January 29, 2010

Our God is an awesome God,

He reigns from Heaven above,
with wisdom, power and love,
our God is an awesome God!

I don't talk much about my faith here on my blog, but it is a defining part of my life.

Jack has been in the hospital all week.

First the doctors thought his appendix had burst.

Then they said the CT scan and x-rays said it was fine.

Then they told us they saw what they thought was a large tumor and they suspected he had colon cancer.

Jack was in absolute agony. The pain meds weren't touching his pain.

He developed a fever.

He looked horrible.

As Jessica and Brandon, and Nathan and Crystal took care of the other kids, I tried my best to not be eaten alive with fear.

Our friends and family prayed for him. They visited him and laid hands on him and prayed even more. And through all of it, I prayed; a rambling prayer that just ran repeatedly in the back of my head.

Please, God, make him well. Please don't let this be serious. He doesn't look good, Father, please, please bring him through this.

Then the doctor said he really had no idea what he was seeing on the scans. It could be cancer.It could be Chron's Disease. It could be diverticulitis.

So he performed a colonoscopy. He didn't find anything.

He decided to do a laproscopic exploratory surgery.

He found that Jack's appendix had burst, a full three days after it had ruptured.

He found that Jack's colon had literally wrapped itself around his appendix, and in doing so had saved his life.

He said he had never seen anything like it before.

He doesn't know why it did that.

But I do.

Tonight Jack is home early because a huge winter storm came in. He is still in a lot of pain.

He has a long recovery ahead of him.

But he is home. He is alive. He is resting with Daniel curled up napping next to him.

My heart is full of gratitude.

And praise.

And tonight, I just had to share that with you.

Our God is an awesome God.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Love Birds

Hands down, my favorite part of snowy days is having cardinals converge on our yard. The sparrows come too, and they are cute, but they don't impress me as much as the beautiful cardinals do.

I like watching the bright red males try to woo the not-as-stunning females.

This one chased the sparrows away,

and even hopped around on one foot,

but I think this female was just too cold to care.

This pretty girl was sitting on our pile of rocks watching another male try to impress her.

I wanted to tell him, "Dude, she might be more interested if you weren't sitting on a SPINE!"

But when I try to offer sincere advice, the birds get all ruffled and fly away, so I have learned to bite my tongue and just laugh at the poor hapless males who can't seem to do anything right to get the girl.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


When Mom and Zack arrived here a couple of weeks ago, they were greeted with warm hearts and cold weather. It didn't warm back up again until the day after they left. There was snow and ice everywhere, which is perfect sledding weather.

Daniel came over to sled. "My fellow countrymen, lend me your ear!" he said, "or at least notice that there is "no" on my glove!" But his fellow countrymen were too busy sledding to hear him.

They were sledding solo.

They were being pulled in a sled,

which invariably lead to scenes like this,

followed by much laughter.

They were shoe sledding,

which often lead to fall-on-your-butt sledding.

They were even 4-wheel sledding when Crystal-married-to Nathan and Nathan-married-to-Crystal brought their 4-wheeler over.

And then Jack left to take Mom, Chet, and Tyler to Harrison in the green car and went down a backroad out of habit. Just as he realized he needed to turn back and go down the main road, the car began sliding and all Jack could do was try to steer it to a safer area as it skidded down a mountainous road. According to Mom, they went sledding in the car until a tree stopped them. Fortunately, none of them were hurt seriously, although the car was totalled.

After all that sledding, it was time to pack Mom back up in the van we borrowed and take her back to the airport to reluctantly send her home. Funny thing is, she says that from now on she only wants to come out between spring and early fall.

Considering the weather during those seasons, I think that maybe means she wants us to take her sky-diving in a tornado.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

He started out so tiny.

18 years and a week or so ago, under a cloud of morphine during an emergency C-Section, I brought this little guy into the world. He was 5 pounds, 4 ounces, and born a few weeks early. His heart had stopped beating, and he wasn't breathing, but the medical team was able to resuscitate him, and he has been thriving ever since.

That little scrap of a person wound himself completely around my heart. I was actually worried about having more kids because I didn't think it was possible to love another child as much as I loved him.

He started pulling his little naked self up to standing at about 7 months.

For two months I followed him with a Polaroid camera to make sure I could get this picture; his first steps at 9 months.

Then he turned a year old, and I really got that obnoxious taste of time flying by.

He was such an imp. He kept us busy, never slowing down for a second, and he spent a good amount of time in time-out. It didn't really faze him, though, as you can tell.

He grew, and started making his mark in this world. He has his struggles, but I marvel at just how good he really is. I am so proud of him in so many ways.

Last week he turned 18. His best friend, Zack, came out for the weekend, as well as my mom, and we celebrated all weekend long.

So welcome to adulthood, Matthew. I hope it is everything you want it to be, and more than you ever expected.
And by the way, you're still wrapped around my heart. I love you!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Snow Week

Along with the snow and arctic temperatures, we have had quite an accumulation of ice on our roads. Therefore, school was cancelled for this whole week. My poor kids have had to sleep in late everyday.

They've also had to make snowmen, endure snowball fights, and spend time sledding around the yard.

It's been rough on them, I'm sure, but somehow they are learning to roll with the punches and are getting through it.

McClacken is tough, though. As long as he has yummy hay to eat, he is willing to let the snow roll right off his back. He isn't willing to let me put a knit cap with holes for his ears to poke out of, though, no matter how much I try to cajole him with carrots and explain to him how cute I think the picture would be.

Horses can be so stubborn sometimes.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Kyle's Birthday

Kyle woke up to a snow-filled day on his tenth birthday. He just threw his boots and coats on over his PJ's and ran outside to start enjoying it.

After he got dressed, we gave him his birthday present; an air-powered Daisy BB gun with a scope capable of shooting BB's or pellets the length of two football fields per second.

Kyle got his new weapon loaded, and then he and Jack and Todd spent a while target shooting. He is getting ready to go on his first youth hunt next deer season, so this is good practice for him.

Later that day Jessica and Brandon came over and gave him another 4,000 BB's. The boy is fully armed now. Tin cans and old TV's everywhere should fear for their collective lives.

It came time to sing Happy Birthday, and we realized we only had 7 candles left in the baking drawer. The small inferno we had to create for Jack's cake the week before put a serious dent in my candle stockpile. So we lit the 7 candles we had, and after he blew them out too quickly for me to get any pictures, we relit them and made him do it again.

Happy birthday, Kyle. May all your wishes come true. Twice.

Monday, January 04, 2010

A White Christmas

We woke up on the 25th to our very first White Christmas. The kids were all very excited, but we had severe winds that made it just too cold to be outside sledding and building snowmen.

Instead, we spent a lovely relaxing morning together opening presents and eating the Pop-Tarts that Santa fills the stockings with for breakfast.

Everybody got something they really wanted this year. My big Christmas wish was for some time. I just wanted some time at home, with Jack and the kids, to do nothing but hang out together. Jack had five days off and I had four, and we enjoyed every minute of it!

Chet had the 5x5 Rubik's cube mastered in about 20 minutes. Jessica gave him the 360 cube and he was done with it about 10 hours later. I don't think they make a Rubik's cube big enough to stump him!

The GI Joe men have taken several rides on the Hot Wheels stunt track.

Of course, there were frogs.
Jessica and Brandon brought Daniel over to exchange gifts on Saturday. We were so excited to give Daniel a really noisy guitar. He loved it! We're getting him drums for his birthday.

Jack showed Daniel how to knock down his bowling ball pins. He really enjoyed that too.

It was a lovely, calm Christmas all the way around. Nobody ended up on the naughty list at all.

Except for this hooligan.

He drank Santa's eggnog.

He walked in my pan of fudge.

And he tore apart the Christmas tree so he could chase the bulbs around.

Is it any wonder he had coal in his stocking?

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