"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exltation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...this is to have succeeded." _Ralph Waldo Emerson_

Monday, October 27, 2008


I had to share this picture again, along with a few others of my favorites from our big outing to Apple Hill 2 weekends ago. After reading many blogs in my long night time hours, it would seem that I am not the only one who lusts after Fall. Fall is my favorite time of year - BY FAR! I love the way the air smells, I love the feel of a sweatshirt mixed with my favorite flip-flops. I love the changing leaves and foliage. I can't get enough of the colors, and sounds of fall. Even the way the glow the sun gives in the fall afternoons is so uniquely special. I love bringing out our winter food favorites, i.e. soups, stews, pot roasts, chili...and not feeling like I'm melting when I bake all the cookies and cakes until my heart (and my husbands belly) are content. Even the wildlife has a particular curiosity this time of year, scurrying about trying to get ready for something impending.

Yes, Fall is my favorite season, followed closely by Spring. It's the transition seasons, the time in life and in nature when everyone holds their breath for the things to come.

Funny Isaiah note...all day we talked about going to Apple Hill with Isaiah. He can say and easily identify an apple. Well, apparently the apple season wasn't so hot this year, so we saw almost exclusively pumpkins...which he proceeded to call apples... Too much pre-talk about apples and apple hill backfired on me.

Here, Isaiah couldn't lift the pumpkin, so follow the pictures below as he figured out how to tip it over on it's side and give it a rolling start with his foot.

(Our fireman in training) YOU THERE!! BRING THE HOSE OVER HERE!
What do you suppose he ate....or did?????

AH, The Family...I guess Isaiah's had a long day.
But, just a little more running around couldn't hurt...
Is that Mama bein' tackled to the ground by a munchkin?
Mama is the successor!!! Munchkin in tow.
What would a day at Apple Hill be without the token apple on the way home.

Redeeming Love

The love of God is as tender as a Daddy's to his children, and yet as passionate as that of a lover. Thank you again Francine Rivers for giving me a book that refreshed my soul. I couldn't put it down. Redeeming Love is fantastic, the retelling of the book of Hosea from the Old Testament...bear with me...set in the gold rush era of Calif. A man that falls in love with a prostitute, and the pain and love and immense beauty of the story. For those of you unfamiliar with the biblical story, think Pretty Women and how gorgeous is the love that would step into the dirtiness, ugliness, shameful and guilty life and bring you out whole, beautiful, guilt free and forgiven. Anyway, it's amazing to think that is a story written by God to show how dedicated he is to bringing his people back to him, no matter what their condition.
I think I cried through the whole last chapter.
"She felt his hand on her head. 'My love,' he said. He took hold of her and drew her up again. She couldn't look into his face, wanting to hide her own. Michael took off his shirt and put it around her shoulders. When he tipped her chin up, she had no choice but to look into his eyes again. They were wet like her but filled with light. 'I hoped you would come home someday,' he said and smiled."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Working Women Wednesday

WWW: Nothing too interesting or exciting
There is nothing that will wake you up better than the shower of nasogastric yumminess at 2 in the morning due to a clogged tube...obviously unbennounced to you. Also, there is always something more to your teenagers story...always...whether it's necessary to drag out the details is completely up to you...

And finally a bit of housekeeping:
*A BIG thank you to Sandy for the amazing picture of Isaiah, the last one I had posted up there was also taken by her...and to think that she took this when he was just playing in her backyard.
*New book on the list.....CAN'T PUT IT DOWN...just like you all said.
*New blogs (Butera, & Strawn's changed)
*Did I mention that our gigantic adoption checklist to the left is done....we are just waiting for our file to be compiled and approved by our social worker...okay, maybe I did say that, and I want to write more about it. But for now just know, that I am getting utterly beside myself with excitement. (I took a quick look at cribs today, after all we might need one in 2 months).
*I wrote more than one today, don't forget the next blog down.

Keep Tahoe Blue...and keep me real.

I had the privilege of spending last weekend at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove to be exact. I was on my first women's retreat with our Church, and let me tell you, I was most certainly blessed. The picture below shows a few of my cabin mates, yes all (or almost all) could have been my mother. There was great relief in that actually and safety to see and hear from so many beautiful women who have and are still struggling with life, whatever it may be. You see, there can either be comfort in that or discouragement. I had the opportunity to talk a bit with Sherri Elliston, as she was our visiting worship leader (who did a splendid job). Her and I being the youngest of the bunch, we both agreed that there was a part of us that thought,...well, once I get into college, or once I graduate and start working, or once I get married...etc.... then I'll get it together, and I'll be stronger, my trials not so great within me. And as we all are finding, it's not so. That brings me back to what I mentioned, it's either encouraging to know that our elder moms are still struggling, burdened, fighting, or (hopefully not) a discouragement that there is a lifetime of challenge ahead...IT DON'T GET EASIER...IT JUST CHANGES.
For me, I am encouraged. I am encouraged to know that I don't have to figure it all out today, and 'get my act together or else.' I was blessed by the reminding of the following simple statements of our beliefs. Try saying these out loud, it is one thing to know/believe these statements in your head, it's quite another to believe them in your heart.
Go on try it out loud...yes, it seems quite silly saying it to a computer...but you won't be able to deny the power in it once it is said.
**God is my perfect father (col 1:15-17; 2cor6:18; is9:6; john 10:22-30; heb 1:1-3)
**G0d really does love me (eph 1:3-14; eph 2:4-7; 1john 3:1)
**God knows everything about me and accepts me as I am. (ps 139:13-16; ro 5:8; ro 4:4-8; col 2:13-14)
**My actions do not affect God's love and acceptance of me. (col 1:21-23; ro 8:1-3; ro 3 :21-24)

Even though we say these are our beliefs as Christians, we don't always practice or preach this - do we?'s always in relation to how well we or our neighbor can get their act together first. Shame on us. He wants so desperately for us to simply respond to his love for us...not fall into a religious show of excellence. (Please see the end of my blog from Oct. 9th, it seemed to follow this). Especially considering what I shared from the beginning of this blog, from the honesty of the women this doesn't matter how old you are, struggles and challenges will be before you. So why can't we stop lying to one another, attempting to put on some sort of performance of religious excellance...nonsense...just stop it...NO ONE HAS IT ALL TOGETHER.
As a side note here, but it came to mind - even when we ask for each others advise about things as I witnessed this week at a moms group thing, we do it with one hand out ready to push back. For instance, 'how do you yadda, yadda, yadda...or get through yadda yadda.' only to respond to others answers with, 'well, yes i do that already, and oh and i already know that, and well, we do this.' It's as if we are trying to admit that we don't have it all together, but are never ready to listen and absorb an answer...maybe that's just too vulnerable. There could be such strength in vulnerability, as Jesus says, 'Gods power is made perfect in our weakness.' Paul, the apostle, said because of this he will boast about his weaknesses (last I checked....I was not boasting about any such thing), and this leaves us with the greatest oxymoron, 'For when I am weak, then I am strong.' Chew on that a minute, or maybe a lifetime.
Talk about things to chew on, I had the privilege of hearing Kelli Willson speak at the retreat this weekend, and as evidenced by just a few of my written thoughts above, she certainly gave the women LOTS to chew on.

You can't really tell from this picture, but Lake Tahoe is right below that big picture window!!!

Kelli about to start speaking. The cabin that 5 of us stayed in was incredible, again you can't tell from the pic, but below that window is the lake.
My morning view.
Okay, and if you can forgive the blurrines, this was sooooo cute. Isaiah has a new found love of oatmeal, and he has insisted on getting the last drop out of his bowel anyway he could.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Working Women Wednesday

I haven't put up an interesting work tid-bit in a while. So maybe I'll try this 'working women Wednesday' gig, since i work on Tues. nights, it might jog my memory. And man, this morning after having been awake for over 27 hours in running, I had lots of ideas of things I wanted to blog about. I think the creative mind must go into overdrive after being awake for that long. Don't professional writers do their best work at like 3 in the morning or something??? Well I have now had 4 hours of sleep, so I can't promise even mediocre work here. Wewhhh, did I go on a tangent there.'s one that might make you squirm. Sometimes when patients get really imunocompromissed (in other words their immune system is shot to pieces for one reason or another), they become incredibly susceptible to even their own bodies natural bugs. But one thing that can occasionally happen, and it's pretty life threatening (as if the person didn't already have something life threatening going on) is that a person can develop what is called.....are you ready.....fungal balls all throughout their body. Yes, you read that right, it's called fungal balls. As nurses, after we hear that our patient has this, we say, 'ahhh, no,' we then squirm and say a big long 'ewwwwwww' on the inside (can i get an amen you nursing bloggers).
As a side note, after having worked in my department for 3 years, I have had many children be very close to dying on my shift, or have helped a co-worker with their patient as they expired, or have gotten a patient ready for organ donation, but never have I had a patient actually pass away while on my watch and on my shift. This happened for the first time over a week ago. I can't give details of coarse, and I have intentionally not written this close to the date of it happening, but it was pretty horrible (as if that even comes close to describing it). The patient died a terrible death (away from the hospital), and the entire time he was under my care, it was all in vein to try and bring the patient back from death essentially. Picture a crazy ER scene with tons of people all working on one person, and that pretty much sums it up...along with tons of family freaking out (semi-appropriately) in the hallway. Finally, the doctors decided that our efforts were futile (after 6 hours), and told the family so, and we all stepped out of the way, and let the family come in to spend those last minutes with their child. But then the family leaves, leaving their child behind with us, and it's my turn again. The room is trashed from the hecticness of the previous hours, and the patient is still there, tubes and lines and everything still intact (because the patient will be a coroners case, so all lines and invasive things have to stay put). I now have to clean the room....and the patient, giving them their last bath. Nurses are pretty good about making sure that you don' t have to do this job alone, so I had help, but it's still not enough sometimes. Giving a child their last bath is so sad, and quiet and sur-real. And when that's over, and the rooms clean, you get a body bag off the cart in the back, tag their toe with all their info, and place them inside the bag. It's the zipping that thing up over their face that is so nauseating. I heard someone say recently that police, doctors, nurses etc, give a piece of themselves up when they choose to do this kind of work and see these kind of things. I am beginning to think that's true. This part of my life gets tucked away from the hum-drum of 'normal' life that most experience everyday, and that i participate in when I'm home. But it's there, in my subconscious still bothering me, waking me up with jolts at night as if I've been the one shocked by the defibrillator... wondering if there was something more i could have done, but really knowing that there wasn't. And the whole time that the patient is trying to die, your thinking to yourself....don't die...don't die.......and then.....but i know it would be better for you if you did. It makes me think of this quote i heard on a show that i saw once about the residents at John Hopkins Hospital...this resident doctor said, that when working with kids, what you know that the parents don't is that sometimes the worst thing isn't death. And maybe only nurses and doctors can understand that or someone who has seen it, but I think she was right. Regardless, we are going to do whatever the family wants, and give of ourselves to see that it happens.
Holy Moly, that was heavy, okay how about something a bit lighter and embarrasing to end. This morning when I was taking a shower i almost laughed out loud when i leaned over and suddenly took notice and thought just how funny looking my upper body parts are now....(for modesty sake the upper body parts shall remain nameless). Where the heck did those come from and where is that body-snatcher that took the good ones.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can you guess????

What will Isaiah be for Halloween??? Here's a sneak preview....children's book style

Will he be a truck driver????


Will he be a tractor driving farmer???? NO

Will he be a dirt magnet????NO

Will he be a book worm???? NO

Will he be a dare devil (shirtless) military man????

Will he be a boots only cowboy???? (Getting warmer)
He's going to be the darnd, rootin' tootin' cutest cowboy you ever did see....

With his best bud Tahoe too...

Bye Bye YA'LL

Monday, October 13, 2008

Isaiah's Dedication

A week ago Sunday (and, yes, I'm now getting around to putting it up....oops), we had Isaiah dedicated at our church. It was a beautiful day, and we were surrounded by friends and family. Our pastor, whom we've know for many years was able to do the dedication making it very special. Here are a few pics, (thankyou Sandy and Megan)...
Funniest part, as Mark was saying a prayer he mentioned home...and Isaiah started to repeat 'home, home, home' luckily he wasn't too close to the mic.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Great Romancer

I am being romanced by the Great Romancer. I have just finished reading Captivating (see book list), and I am even more convinced that my heart is being pursued, fought for, and enjoyed by our God. My God thinks that I am beautiful and worth it, worth the fight, and women....He is dying to whisper the same comforting words to you. There's a reason our hearts as women are never satisfied and long for a deeper sort of love. This next 2 parts are from the last chapter that I wanted to share with you all, and even if you are not a believer, maybe you could still take a moment to dream about a romance that is available to speak into the depths of your heart.

~Jesus is extending his hand to you. He is inviting you to dance with him. He asks, "May I have this dance.... every day of your life?" His gaze is fixed on you. He is captivated by your beauty. He is smiling. He cares of nothing of the opinion of others. He is standing. He will lead. He waits for your response. My lover spoke and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me." (Songs 2:10) You are a women. An image bearer of God. The crown of Creation. You were chosen before time and space, and you are wholly and dearly loved. You are sought after, pursued, romanced and the passionate desire of your Fiance Jesus. You are dangerous in your beauty and your life-giving power. And you are needed. As a women who has been ransomed and redeemed, you can be strong and tender. You speak to the world of God's mercy, mystery, beauty, and his desire for intimate relationship. You are inviting; you can risk being vulnerable, offering the weight of your life as well as your need for more because you are safe in God's love. You labor with God to bring forth life - in creativity, in work, in others. Your aching, awakened heart leads you to the feet of Jesus, where you wait on him and wait for him. The eyes of his heart are ever upon you. The KING IS CAPTIVATED BY YOUR BEAUTY.
~ Captivating
There is a story about a time when Jesus visited the house of Martha and her sister Mary. Of coarse this was a great honor for these women to have this man come to their home. Martha was so concerned and busy getting everything just right, cooking, etc. (like most of us would be). Everything must 'look' just right, taste just right, be just right....but Mary was unconcerned, instead it says that she just sat at Jesus' feet and was listening to him. What a beautiful picture, to just listen to him, allowing him to enjoy me and my vulnerability, and it's so freeing. "The one thing that is needed is a captivated, adoring heart, a heart that responds to the extravagant love of God with worship."
This is what Jesus says. "Martha, Martha,' Jesus answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her" Luke 10: 38-42

We need to stop this thinking that we are required to do and perform to be a Christian. To sit at Jesus' feet...that is all that is required, and he will not take that away, the rest will flow from there.
God is not a duty.....Christianity is not a duty....Religion is not a duty....
It is an opportunity, an invitation offered to anyone to sit at the feet of the creator of the universe, and just....listen.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Potty Talk

Okay this is too funny and embarrassing NOT to here it goes. This morning while Isaiah and i were playing on the floor, he heard his mommy pass a little gas. Isaiah, very astutely pointed at that region of my body and declared, 'poop.' I must have bust a gut at that point laughing.
Since I started with the potty talk we have officially pulled out the 'little' potty. It sits right next to the 'big' potty in the bathroom. Isaiah has started identifying with some regularity when he goes...but it's after he goes. Oh well, we can get started. So we practice sitting on it, etc. I have also started having him help me to put his poop in the toilet. That way he sees it, and sees where it's supposed to go. He finds this very fascinating, I figure it's a start.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

16 Months!

On Monday Isaiah turned 16 months. I knew that Isaiah had a lot of words for his age, but I finally started writing them all down today. So far I have 98 words and I know that I'm missing a's his list so far. These are the things that he can correctly identify with words.
Ta (tahoe)
thank you
you (i love you)
back (back up)
get (get me)
fly (the insect)
all done
pine cone

Too Cute To Pass Up

Our homestudy is half over!!! After 3 1/2 hours of interviewing and checking out the house and we are almost done. Our social worker predicts that we will be ready for submitting our paper work and begin the searching process by the end of Nov. Whew that will be here before we know it.....we are getting so excited.
Isaiah likes balls of any kind...but this day he sorted out his basketballs and lined them up
Then he sat down in the middle of them...just like he does with his trucks
Isaiah sleeps with that brown blanket, it must have fallen out, but he fell asleep holding it anyway.
These boots were made for walking