Sunday, October 29, 2006


We had our big "transition" meeting for Lora last week. Mark and I met with four people from the Seattle School District and they asked us a bunch of questions about Lora and her development. The day that she turns three, she is out of Boyer, which has been our "safe" place for over two years now. I actually think this is why I had my mini break-down a couple of weekends ago. It was our first meeting about Lora's education that her teacher Mary Ellen wasn't present for. I was dreading it.

Its a really long story, but the meeting was good. We brought Lora with us and of course, she charmed them. The people were nice, not the "big, bad" school district like I expected. I again came away from the meeting realizing what an incredible little girl we have been blessed with. She has so far exceeded her original diagnosis. I am so thankful for her! And yet, I'm nervous about leaving Boyer and every time I think about it, I still get teary. We have some big transitions ahead of us, but I'm sure we'll make them and she will continue to become the incredible little person that God is helping her to become.

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Sick Day

Yes, its been a week since my last post. This has been a crazy week, with preschool, visiting pumpkin patches, Living Room last night and one sick two year old. Lora has been really congested and even threw up last night while we had company. That is fun, especially with an audience.

So, I slept with Lora in Mark and my bed all night and she coughed on and off from 11 until 2 am and then woke up again at 6:51 and started coughing again. I slept well. So in direct contrast to my last I need a break from my kids.

I rented the first season of "Gilmore Girls" from Netflix. I've watched the first two dics and I really like the show. It appeals to the High School girl in me. The mother and daughter have this banter that is great, it is nothing like a normal conversation between a mother and daughter. It is too perfect and thought out, with funny and smart one-liners galore. Its very scripted, but who cares? Its I sat and watched two episodes of it this afternoon on my lap-top and pretty much let the kids watch TV all afternoon....Its a sick day. I fed them and broke-up fights, but other than that, pretty much left them to their own devices. Good thing Will knows how to work the DVD player! Otherwise, his day would have sucked! I was a little concerned when he came in today and said to me "Mommy, God has a new Bible and its called Thomas." He's talking tank engines, not disciples.

Its amazing what a week can do!

Friday, October 20, 2006

This is my job...and I love it

So, here are some snippets of conversations that either Mark or I have had with the kids during the past couple of weeks. Some are funny, some are poignant, some might bring a tear to your eye….I’ve just been thinking about my “job” this week and I truly love it, most of the time. I realize how blessed I am to have a husband and kids and to be able to be at home with them during this time in their lives. I complain about it sometimes, and its not always easy…but when it comes down to it, I love it. So, here are some snapshots from my past couple of weeks:

1. Lora and I sitting on the couch, she is picking her nose and eating the boogers. I say to her, “Lora, don’t eat boogers, that’s icky”. She says back, “Mommy, I’m not eating the icky ones, just the good ones.”
2. Will said to me today, “Mommy, when I eat my boogers it makes me cough.”
3. Mark was putting Will in bed the other night, he was scared to stay in bed by himself, so Mark told him that God is with him all the time. Will said, “No, God lives at Blake’s house.”
4. Another night, I was putting Will in bed and again he said he was scared. I told him he wasn’t alone because God was with him. He said, “But I can’t see God, where is He?” and I said, “No, He’s invisible, but He’s everywhere.” Lora was in bed with Will because we were reading books. So she proceeded to go upstairs and said to Mark in her spookiest voice…”Daddy, we have to hide” Mark said “Why?” and she replied, still spooky, ‘We have to hide, because God is coming! God is coming and He’s everywhere!” Mark said, “Lora, we can’t hide from God” to which she responded “I can!” and she buried her head under a pillow. (we started watching more Veggie Tales the next day, we needed help with the “God” concept!)
5. Mark was driving in the car with Will, Lora and GG. Will was looking out the window at the trees turning colors and he said “Daddy, the trees are so pretty!” so Lora asked, “Daddy where are the trees?” Mark responded, “They’re right out your window sweetie, can you see them?” and she said, “No Daddy, are they beautiful?” Thankfully GG was there and just started describing them to Lora in detail as Mark felt the knife go in his chest and the tear trickle down his cheek.
6. One last one, Lora and I laying in bed the other morning, she is poking herself in the eyes. I say to her, “Lora, don’t poke yourself in the eyes!” she responds, “Mommy, I poke myself in the eyes to help me see better.” I say, “Well, did it help?” She says, “No!” and just goes on talking to me about something else.

I learn so much from my kids about so many things in life. They have helped to shape my ideas about God and helped me to really understand what I do and don’t believe about God. There is nothing to keep you in check like having to explain “lofty” ideas to small kids. My explanations to them have to be simple, but that’s not a bad thing. Maybe my faith doesn’t need to be as complicated as I’ve made it. Lora has taught me already about adapting to situations. Even at two she can seemingly say, “this sucks” and then just get on with playing. I don’t do that very well, I like to wallow and hold onto things for awhile before I get back to playing. So all this to say, I love my “bosses”, they are funny, cute, frustrating, silly, sometimes gross, loving, simple and complicated all at the same time. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Although, right at the moment, I wish Will would just leave the dog alone!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Obama for President...and pictures of Zoe

So, my husband has just peed his pants because I am talking about politics on my blog...he gets nervous when I start talking politics. I think he's afraid of alienating people. Who knows...anyway I watched part of two interviews with Barak Obama over the past couple of days, I saw he and he wife interviewed last year by Oprah also and I have to say, I'm impressed. I just like his calming presence. And I love his wife. They just impress me all the way around. Now, mind you, I haven't read his two books, yet. But I plan to. I don't totally know everything about his politics, but I have a good feeling about him. That might not sound like a good reason to vote for someone for president but, I take my "feelings" about people pretty seriously. I think I'm a pretty discerning person and I like him. That's all I'm going to say until I read his books, so maybe I'll say more later.

On a totally different note, I'm posting some pictures of our new puppy Zoe. We got a new camera because our other one broke and I haven't posted any pictures for awhile and felt like my blog looked here are some pictures. She's really cute and I really love her this morning because she slept all night in her crate last night....gotta love that!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Okay, I've had ENOUGH with serious blogs...after my near emotional breakdown over the last couple of days I need to just talk about nothing or at least nothing too serious.

It is Sunday afternoon....the Seahawks won a close game, which I didn't get to watch because I was at church and then my kids were watching cartoons, but the did win. I'm sitting in my pajammas, its cold outside, Mark is downstairs snoring and the kids and I are watching Spongebob.

I have to admit, I love Spongebob. He is one of the only purely good characters on TV. Spongebob has no gile, he is kind to everyone, even Squidword. The show makes me laugh and after crying for 2-3 days for no real reason, I feel like I need to laugh...Thanks Spongebob! You're the best!

PS - Does anyone have a favorite Spongebob episode? Mine is when Patrick and Spongebob end up as slaves on the Flying Dutchman's ghostly ship and they have to help him scare people...its hilarious. ("How does he do that???It is still a mystery")

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Little Over Two Years Ago.....

I experienced something a little over 2 years ago that has so affected my life, that I don't know if I will ever fully recover from it. Mark experienced it too, and even though he is the only other person in the world who can truly understand my feelings, I can only speak for myself. We took our 3 month old daughter into a doctor's office perfectly normal and came out with a blind girl. At least that was our perception. I think we both thought there was possibly something wrong, but neither of us was prepared for the Dr. to look us in the eyes and say,"This is a very serious, situation that cannot be corrected by surgery or glasses. Your daughter is blind." The main thing that I remember is that the door to the examination room was wide open to the lobby. I was sitting there, trying to hold myself together as I felt my world falling apart. The only thing that the Dr could confirm to us that day was that Lora could see light, beyond that, we didn't know. We didn't know at that point whether she had some other syndrome that could involve a heart defect or mental retardation. The only thing we knew is that we walked in there with a normal, healthy daughter and were leaving with a blind daughter.

Now, as most of you know, the reality of her situation has ended up being so much better than what we thought it would be. God is helping Lora to use what she has to the fullest and we have seen miracles such as color vision that we never expected. And, I don't mean to harp on her situation or keep bringing it up, as I know there are much more pressing matters in the world. But this one day, one moment actually, in that Dr's office has seemingly forever shaped my world and how I relate to God and especially how I relate to other Christians.

Because Lora's situation has turned out to be so much better than we expected...I go along feeling like I am no longer affected by it. But then, out of the blue, I read something or hear something that someone has written or said and it sends me into a tailspin. I read a comment on a blog today that gave me such a visceral, physical reaction that I didn't know what to do. I don't want to go into the comment, it is irrelevant, it is my reaction to the comment that I am concerned with. This is a person who I have never met, probably will never meet. He is probably close to 15 years younger than me, has no influence over my life in any way, other than what I allow him to have. As a side note, it is amazing to me how powerful words can be, which is a good thing to remember. But since this moment in my life a little over 2 years ago, I cannot trust my reactions to things. A comment about providence or God allowing things in our lives, or things being a result of sin on our lives, etc can send me down an emotional spiral or on an angry tirade. I am by nature, a pretty laid-back, easy going person...but everything changed in a moment a little over two years ago.

I remember in the months after, hearing from people who had heard from other people how well Mark and I were "handling" our situation. I would respond "Well, those people aren't with us 24 hours a day". I never wanted people to feel like we didn't grieve, or that we still don't. I wonder what those people would say if they could see me now, sitting here at 3:42 on a Thursday afternoon, almost 2 1/2 years later crying and typing over a comment on a blog that sent me into an emotional tailspin and a venting tirade, made by a person I have never met.....Is there hope for me? I think so...I think this is what a real relationship with God looks like. It isn't always pretty or perfect. Its a journey. A rocky one sometimes, but a journey nonetheless. I'm glad I'm on it, most of the time. I think its better than the alternative. Imagine the mess I would be without God...okay, don't imagine it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Mark and I are leading a study of Genesis on Tuesday mornings at our church. Really Mark is leading and I just make soup...we call it "Souper Study". It really is a nice time. Its mostly the retired folks, plus a couple of "younger" people. But it is a way for us to connect to these people and it has been fun to just go through Genesis, verse by verse. It really is a crazy rivals any modern-day soap opera that I have ever watched for family dysfunction, greed and manipulation.

We were in chapters 29 and 30 this morning. It is the section where Jacob is fleeing his family after cheating Esau out of both his birthright and a blessing from Isaac...Anyway, he meets and falls in love with Rachael...she is technically his cousin, but that is pretty normal for the day. Anyway, he makes a deal with Rachael's father to work 7 years for her and on their wedding day, the father switches Rachael for her less attractive sister know the story. The part that I was facinated by today was after this, where Jacob is now married to both women and they are attempting to bear him children. Leah is fruitful and bears him 4 sons, hoping that this will win Jacob's love...Rachael is seemingly barren so she gives Jacob her maidservant to "lay" with and the maidservant bears him a couple of kids, Leah fights back by giving him HER maidservant and then finally, Rachael bears him a son, Joseph and we all know how that ends up. Its just this huge manipulation by Rachael and Leah...all for the love of Jacob. And yet, God ends up using these 12 sons to form the 12 tribes of Israel...redeeming our stupid choices yet again.

Then, I was talking with Lora's teacher the other day and we were talking about God...she is Jewish and we were talking about radicals in both of our faiths. And she said, "Did you know that there are fundamentalist Christians PAYING Jew's way to move back to Israel because they believe that the only way Christ will return is for all the Jews to be back in Israel?" I had heard of such things, and at the time was mainly glad that she thought of me as different from said fundamentalists, since I am...but Mark used that as an example of people trying to manipulate God today.

Do we really think we CAN manipulate God? Can we? What is prayer if it is not us trying to manipulate God into doing what we want? Someone at our Bible study said that regardless of our manipulations, God will carry out His plan...does that mean that my prayers have no influence with God?

I am also amazed by God's patience with his creations. We screw things up over and over and he continues to redeem our choices for His good...I guess that is free will at its best. Just some fragmented thoughts to think about.......

Monday, October 09, 2006


I don't have a lot of time today...that is what my day has been like. I went to school with Lora this morning, had a one hour break until I had to go to school with Will. Went to the grocery store after school with Will, came home, had dinner and now I'm off to my monthly Co-op meeting from 6-9 PM.

But, I listened to a song today that reminded me that everything in my life is Gods. Everything I have, everything I am, everything I do...It is by one of my favorite artists, Ginny Owens. I was drawn to her initially because she is blind, but I have fallen in love with her voice and lyrics. I tried to get them all down here, but I forgot one little stanza. I think you will all get the idea:

I Bring it to You by Ginny Owens:

My thoughts and meditations, my loudest declarations,
My every inclination I bring to You.

My faith and my religion, My folly and my wisdom,
My heart’s many dimensions, I bring to You.

Everything I have, You have given me.
So take this life, I give it back.
Make it all that it should be.

My search for satisfaction, my thoughts and distractions

My words and my actions, I bring to You.

My journey and my story, My failure and my glory.
And all the dreams I dream for me, I give to You.

Everything I have, You have given me.
So take this life, I give it back.
Make it all that it should be.

Yesterday, my future, what’s certain and what’s unsure.
And all that’s in between, I give to You.

All the see and the unseen, I give to You.My everything, oh I will bring, to You.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Living Room

We have a great new group at our church that I really love. We're calling it "Living Room". We meet each Thursday night at our house. We pick a meal each week that we make together, then we talk both about our live and about a topic that has been chosen each month. This month is grace. Anyway, it is a lot of fun and, I think, necessary for community.

Its amazing how much closer I feel to these 15 or so people now when I see them on Sunday mornings, just because we've spent Thursday evenings togethaner. There is something about being in the kitchen, cooking and sharing a meal together that is bonding. I guess its no coincidence that Jesus shared table fellowship with his friends...It is interesting the things that I've learned about myself through this. One big one is that its really hard for me to let other people help me in my own home. I'm not sure where I got this, but I think I came by it honestly.... Anyway, its really hard for me when people get here to assign jobs and let them help. I noticed it about myself before we started Living Room, but this situation has really brought it to light.

At first, I told myself that I just like others to feel comfortable in my house and that they shouldn't have to do anything, etc. But, I've come to realize that its more about me and my agenda. I have certain ways that I like things done, at least in my mind, and I'm not sure that someone else will do it the way I had planned. So, Living Room has been good for me even just in allowing people to help me in my own kitchen. Thanks friends!

PS - further to my post from yesterday reagarding the "New Guy". I was wrong, it is next Wednesday, so I'll just copy that post for then! :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The New Guy

Today, when I take Lora to school, we are meeting a new person in our lives. I think his name is Dan and he works for WA Services for the Blind. When we first got Lora's diagnosis, we met a man named Scott who worked for them, he was our go-to guy for any questions we had. He really was the liason between the school district and us, but he would let us ask him any question about anything relating to Lora's blindness. He was this great, fun guy who was in charge of these wonderful programs that help blind kids transition from high school to college, etc. Well, he is not dead, but he did move and this new guy is his replacement. We haven't needed his services for awhile, but he was a great resource.

So, I'm nervous about meeting this new guy. What will he be like? He could possibly be in our lives for the next 20 years, all the way through college...Its weird too, because I forget sometimes that Lora is blind. (You who know her, know what I mean) These kind of meetings slap me in the face again with the "facts".

I so appreciate her teacher setting this up. I think she sees so much potential in Lora that she wants to give her every advantage that she can. We all know she is going to be a Rhodes scholar someday.....and this new guy could factor into her life in education. He will be our/her advocate with the school district, will help her apply and transition into college, and even may be the person to help her find her first job. So, here's to the "new guy", I hope you're nice!

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Perfect Seattle Day

In direct opposition to my mood yesterday, I am in a pretty good mood today. A lot of that has to do with the fact that today was the perfect fall Seattle day...I love Seattle in the fall. I'm not really a hot weather girl so a day like today where it is clear and the temperature gets to about 63 is perfect for me.

I worked at Will's school today and we played outside for awhile. I just stood on top of the jungle gym, since that was my designated spot, and thought about nothing really. It was so beautiful and peaceful, even amidst the screaming and laughing of the kids, I just felt peaceful.

I want to go out and buy pumpkins to carve and apples to caramel and candy corn to eat. I've been thinking about Halloween costumes today. (I'm looking for a Dorothy costume for Lora and either a scarecrow or tin man for Will, then we thought Zoe could be Toto since she sort of looks like her anyway.) Just a good day....

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Community Sucks

I don't want to be part of a community today. Its too hard. People are unkind. I have such a hard time giving grace to people who are mean. We've been talking about grace in Living Room on Thursday nights and I've come to realize that the people I have the most trouble giving grace to are the ones in my own community. I don't do well when someone hurts me or hurts a person that I love....I guess that is the true test of grace. And today, I don't have much! :)