Friday, August 31, 2012

Move In Day!

Tomorrow is "Move in day" for my youngest son.  Even though he won't be terribly far away, it's going to be so strange to have an empty nest.  My emotions have been on a crazy roller coaster for the past two weeks. I felt well enough to get out and make a couple "dorm shopping" trips with him.  Fun!  He and my husband are out on the very last shopping excursion, as we forgot new sheets, a lamp, and a shower caddy... rather important items!
This was from our visit to the campus last July!
Being the OCD personality that I am, I've had to wash every new item purchased.  I lost count of how many loads of laundry I've done in the past two days, and as soon as those sheets come in the door they'll go right into the washer!  When I told my husband I had to wash our son's sleeping bag (it hadn't been used all year and was in a box in the garage), he just snorted. Honestly, I'm so lucky he puts up with me!  Anyway, it was in the dryer for an hour and still not dry, so I just draped it over two lawn chairs.  If any of nature's critters dirties that bag, there will be heck to pay!  It may have a slight wildfire smoky odor, but we've lived with the smoke smells for so long that EJ will probably not notice. It's got to be better than stale, garage odor... right?  He has to have it for the two day Wilderness Experience that all freshman are required to attend.  Praying that there will be no problems with wildfires or excessive smoke blowing over into the area they'll be in.  It's near McCall, Idaho, and is such a beautiful place!

My oldest, MJ!
My oldest son, MJ, started classes last Monday.  After working a few years, he decided it was time to get back to school.  He's studying at BSU, while working full-time.  I'm so happy for them, and so proud!  I still don't know where all the years have gone.  Friends are always asking me why my boys are so nice, and how did I get to be so lucky that they never gave me any trouble.  Well, I don't know.  PJ and I certainly did our best, but really, they are just kind-hearted, wonderful men.  I prayed for boys who would have kind hearts, like my grandpa and like their dad... my prayers were answered.

So many seasons, so many memories.  Too many to post, but here are a couple of photos from their childhood days...

So many summers...

And winters
I'll be back after the big move-in weekend, with some new memories made to add to the thousands I already hold in my heart, and I'll let you know how it went.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pushing Through the Pain...

It's been a while since I shared much about my journey with MS.  The last three weeks have been very difficult physically.  I had to swallow my pride and have my husband put my walker back in the car, in order for me to even leave the house.  It's been a long time since I had to use a walker.  The timing has been difficult, because we've been on the countdown toward my youngest son leaving the nest.  Move-in day at college is this Saturday!  I had plans for joyful shopping trips and last minute fun moments together, but this recent attack on my body made it nearly impossible.  A few days ago, I had to be placed on a heart monitor for 24 hours, and they took an ultrasound of my heart... no results yet, though I'm fairly certain they will decide it was something called an MS "hug" that I was experiencing.  They increased my pain medication, added steroids and muscle relaxants...  The results were that my face and neck swelled up night before last, and I woke in the wee hours of the morning fighting for air.  This is apparently from the steroids.  I'm feeling much more myself today, although I will still be using my walker and/or canes for the time being.

When I'm tempted to let the "dark days" take over, I have to remind myself how blessed I am.

~ I have family and friends who love me, and pray for me.
~ I'm still able to do many things I love.
~ There are those much worse off than I am.
~ I'm one of the fortunate ones with a good health insurance.

I have a faith that sustains me, even on days when I just want to sit and cry like a small child.  When those days come, and they do, I can find my way out of the darkness because of that faith.

It also helps to read about what others are facing in their lives, and how they deal with it.  I've shared many times about Baby Gabe, and his journey.  Here is a link to an uplifting blog I just discovered.  The writer is Jenn, and she shares about Gabe's birthday balloon release, and about her own journey with an invisible illness.  I think it will bless you, it certainly blessed me...  Her blog is called Chasing Joy.  Then, take just a moment to read Julia's Happy Birthday post for little Gabe, here at The Four of Us.  It is beautiful!

Well, my youngest just walked into the house... time to get busy on that list of things we want to fit into the next two days!  Wishing you a day filled with love and simple joys...


Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Final Post for My Little Cousin, Gabe

This week, Gabriel's family will be celebrating his life.  His first birthday would have been Tuesday, and the family and friends will gather at a local park to release balloons in Gabe's honor.

Julia's most recent posts, at The Four of Us, are heartbreaking and beautiful.  If you click on the blog name, it will take you there.  It's a touching look at a mother's faith, love, and saying goodbye to her little one.

Here is the Face Book page Hope For Gabriel's Heartand if you want to donate anything toward his funeral costs or medical expenses, see the link on my sidebar with his photo.  If you are unable to donate monetarily, I just ask that you continue to hold this family, especially Julia and Nick, in your prayers, and please say a special prayer for his big brother, Judah...

The story of little Gabriel's life is a blessing, a testament to faith.  We wished for a much longer life for him, here on this earth, but his family's faith tells them he is safe in the arms of a loving Heavenly Father.  Even in heartbreak, there is hope and peace.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Update...  Nick and Julia let us know that Gabe passed into the arms of his Heavenly Father at 8:58 EST.  They were there holding him, surrounded by nurses and doctors who also loved their sweet little boy.  They know he is in loving arms, but pray for continued peace as they move forward...

Please Pray...

Many of you know the story of baby Gabriel.  Things seem to have turned for the worst, but we're still hoping and praying.

Here is a video prayer by his daddy from yesterday:  Prayer for Gabe.
The following is a copy of the latest post...

Gabe's white bloodcell count has continued to rise. It is now at 22 and still getting higher. We will check it at 8pm, and if it has not improved we will hold Gabe off of the ventilator and say our sweet, painful goodbyes.

No parent should ever have to lose a child. The most surreal and strange feeling in the world. We are in so much pain but so thankful at the same time for all that Gabe has done for our family and our world.

Still hoping, but it doesn't look good at this point. Please continue to pray. Thank you for your love and support during this time.

There are no words to say except... please say a prayer for baby Gabe and his parents, Nick and Julia.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Here in Idaho, we're surrounded by wildfire in the surrounding mountains and deserts.  Sadly, we've even made the national news this evening.  I live near the capitol city of Boise, and we've been living with heavy levels of smoke in our air for what seems like weeks.  Those who work in the outdoors, like my husband does, have been faced with breathing issues.  PJ comes home with irritated lungs and eyes.  I can only imagine how difficult it is on the men and women on the fire lines, risking their lives fighting these fires.  It seems like the whole northwest is under siege, even down into California.

My heart and prayers go out to those who have lost lives, homes, livestock, pets, and those who are still on the verge of evacuation.  We could use a heavy, cleansing rain; a break from the heat and from the fires.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


It's been quite the summer.  I lost the urge to write somewhere along the way.  There are just so many changes going on in our lives that creativity had to take a backseat.  I haven't even been keeping up with my email.  I have over 1400 messages to work through.  Yikes!  It's going to take me forever.  Thankfully, I'm sure most of them are spam-type advertisements from sites I visit.  I just have to have the patience get on it.

I've been watching a lot of the Olympic competition.  Kristin Armstrong is from my home state, and my husband got to attend a big celebration in her honor today.  Here's a photo of him with Kristin.

My handsome husband with Kristin Armstrong!

He got a signed postcard and poster.  He'd almost given up as the lines were so long, but when he found out I was happily eating leftover Chinese food and watching Scottish TV shows on Netflix, he decided to grab a slice of pizza and wait it out.  I'm so glad he did.  The weather is still too hot for me to get out much, but I love that he can go enjoy the events.  Plus, he shares the goodies with me.  The poster is really nice.  It's the picture of her with her little boy!  It's one of those "once in a lifetime" moments that are so special.  We're really proud to have a lady like Kristin represent Idaho, as well as the USA!