Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Weatherman (Really) Missed It!

I watched the 10 o'clock news last night and the weatherman said that snow was in the forecast, but we'd likely only get an inch.

Well, it's been snowing non-stop since I woke up at 6:30 this morning.

This is what it looked like at when we were driving home from church at 11am...

Our church has big windows that look out at the mountains, and I watched the snow fall throughout the entire service. The crowd was slim this morning too. We thought about staying in, but I didn't want to miss the first Sunday in Advent! The snow made it extra beautiful!

This is the snow in our driveway.

Quite a bit more than an inch, huh?
That was an hour ago...and it's STILL COMING DOWN!  So glad we're in for the afternoon!  The kids are hoping for a snow day tomorrow...but I don't know.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 50s.  

We're heading out to play in it!  Enjoy your afternoon!

*UPDATE--The news at 6pm reported 14.5 inches of snow in my town. I believe it. John shoveled the driveway twice today and he'll have to again in the morning. Poor Jack. The snow was pretty deep for him...but he loved playing in it!*

Giving Gifts...

I had a comment the other day from Ali asking me how our family handles holiday gift giving in regard to our children. I've actually wanted to post about this, Ali. Since the official gift-giving season is in full swing, now seems like the perfect time.

We're minimalists when it comes to gifts for our children. Not because we're cheap or chintzy (though I am very, very frugal), but because we just don't believe that they need everything they see and/or want.

We desire to live very simply and to teach our children that the most important things in life aren't "things".

So, with that in mind, our children each get 4 gifts each Christmas.

We started out with three gifts each because I heard that idea at MOPS one year. The idea behind it (I guess) is that baby Jesus got three gifts from the wisemen.

But then I came across a wonderful little poem. I can't remember where it came from exactly (Carrie, was it you maybe?), but we loved it and it stuck. We've made it our gift-giving guide. Our children each get:

"Something they want, something they need, something to play with, and something to read."

We ask them to make us a list of some things they would like to have and of some things they need.  Of course, that means they have to understand the difference between the two, but we've taught them over the years and I'd say they generally understand.

Together, John and I look over their lists and choose what to buy.  We set a price limit and try to keep things pretty even between the three of them. I really, really encourage them to think about what they want and why. I enjoy buying "real toys" for them...things that encourage creativity and imaginative play. Last year, Sarah asked for and received an art easel, which I thought was awesome...but I'm learning to be flexible since I have a pre-teen son who loves all things electronic.

Usually the biggest gift on their list is from Santa.  Santa also stuffs their stockings (little stuff), and usually brings a new game that the entire family can play.  The remainder of their gifts are from mom and dad.  

Ali also asked how we keep it fun, and how we keep it Christ-centered.

Well, I think the fun part is easy. I've never met a kid who didn't love a present.

As for keeping the focus where it needs to be, I think you just talk and talk and talk about the meaning of the Advent season with them.

I also love this idea that my mom used with us growing up. Our nativity set always had a baby Jesus that wasn't attached to the manger, or creche. She had this beautiful gold box that she would wrap baby Jesus up in and put under our Christmas tree. It was THE MOST BEAUTIFUL package by far. On Christmas morning, before we could open any other gifts, we'd unwrap baby Jesus...God's gift to us...and place Him in the manger.

We've adopted that tradition as our own, and I think it helps keep things in perspective. Like I said the most important things in life aren't things...they're people and relationships and our faith in Christ.

Any ideas you want to add? I'd love to know what your family does.

*Update--credit for the poem above goes to Carrie's mom. Thank your for sharing your wisdom!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

List Central

I'm the queen of lists.

I make lists for everything.

I'm leaving town on Monday and will be gone for almost a week.

And the lists...oh my...they're out of control.

Here is a sampling of the lists I've been making for the week:
Dinner menu list (kid/husband friendly)

Lunch Box Packing list (again, husband friendly)

Daily-to-do lists for John and the kids (it's unbelievable how much is going on each day next week!)

My personal packing list

Grocery list (I got most of it finished at Walmart last night, but still need to grab a few things from the health food store and Safeway.)

General to-do list

Phone number list
(Debbie...this pic is JUST for you, and yeah, I might be a little over the top with my lists.)

All these lists make me a little tired, but at least I know I can leave with a little peace of mind. Gotta go...just remembered some things I need to jot down before I forget!

Are you a list-maker too??? Are you as OCD as I am???

Friday, November 28, 2008


We have been having the best time hanging out at home this week after our crazy change of holiday plans.

I love, love, love being at home with my family. I used the word "peeps" in my last post and got some funny comments and emails. I've seen that word around the web but it was my children who defined it for me. Actually it was Abbey. I asked her if she knew what it meant and she said, "Yeah, mom, it means your people". I love it. And I love hanging out with my people!

Yesterday was a quiet day spent at home. Our meal was amazing (if I do say so myself) and we stuffed ourselves full! I even dug out the china (my mom would be proud!) and set the table as fancy as my simple, down-to-earth standards would allow. I was scrambling at the last minute for some sort of centerpiece, and ended up stuffing our thankful chain in a bowl with a candle. It totally worked and I thought it was cool!

We watched movies and played games and then it finally started snowing! We woke up to a winter wonderland this morning and it was so beautiful.

John wrote about our day (much more poetically) here. I love the way he captures the warmth of our family!

Today was spent doing much more of the same. We slept in (yay!) and had a leisurely breakfast. Leftovers for lunch. We read books, played games (I'm addicted to Blokus!) and watched some tv. Pure

Mid-afternoon, we took the kids to see Bolt.

It was in 3-D, hence the crazy eyewear. The movie was very, very good! I loved it and I laughed a LOT!

I think that half of Co Springs was in that movie theater though. We arrived almost 50 minutes early and we stood in the longest lines I've ever seen at the movies. I had to fight hard to stay in a good mood. It was almost as bad as being at the mall. I hate the mall. I think I've been ONCE this entire year, and I'm not even joking about that. I'm so glad Al Gore invented the internet so that I can shop online, because, have I mentioned that I'm NOT a mall girl? :)

I really needed to go to the grocery store after the movie because I *thought* we were going to be gone this week and I tried to eat everything in the fridge before we left. But the madness of the theater did me in and I didn't want to tackle another crowd.

I couldn't imagine not having half-n-half in the morning, so after dinner, I grabbed my list and headed to Walmart by myself. I wish I had taken my camera because it was spitting snow when I left my house, and when I walked out to the van an hour later, it was completely COVERED. I had to brush it off the windows. It's still coming down out there too. Snow two days in a row...I love it!

I guess I went at the right time because there was hardly anyone out shopping. I stopped by Blockbuster on my way home and picked up Pride and Predjudice (can't believe I don't own that movie). It's the new version (not my favorite, but still very good) and I think I'm going to pop it in here in a minute and watch it until I fall asleep. Tomorrow is another LAZY day, so if I don't finish it tonight, there's always tomorrow!

I hope your holidays have been full...of family, of fun, of laughter, and of rest!

**PS--I CANNOT believe I missed the Razorback game. I chose going to the movie over watching the game thinking that the Hogs didn't stand a chance against LSU. I got home and checked the score online, only to find out that they WON! Arghhhh! **

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig...

Several months before Thanksgiving, my mom called to ask if we'd be coming to Arkansas. John and I talked about it and decided that since we were there in July, we'd stay in Colorado.

My sweet friend, Kathy, invited the Thanksgiving orphans (that would be us) to come eat turkey with them and spend a few days on their ranch, to which I replied, "Absolutely we'd love to come to your beautiful ranch!" And that was our plan until a couple of weeks ago.

Then my dad's health stuff popped up and we decided we probably needed to go to his house in Arkansas.

But then he decided to come to Colorado.

And then his procedure got bumped up and so our trip to Arkansas was back on.

And then it was off.

And on again.

(Is all this see-sawing making you dizzy?)

SO, we left this morning for a 16-hour trek to Arkansas.

We'd been on the road about 4 hours when my dad called to tell me that his surgeon had a cancellation and they could operate next week.


John and I talked about it. We talked with my dad some more. And my sister. And we decided to turn around and head back to our house so I could get things in order to fly out next week.

How's that for being LIMBER?

We're back home now.

The kids have a tent set up in the den and are working on a "show" for us.

We stopped at the store on the way back into town and bought a turkey and everything we need for a (modified) holiday meal tomorrow. I had made a double batch of cornbread dressing to take to my sister's house, and now I feel (super duper) sorry for her because she has a turkey but no dressing!!! We'll sure enjoy it though!

Tomorrow we're going to sleep in, have a yummy breakfast (not IHOP because we ate out so much today), watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, eat turkey and dressing, play games and just enjoy a lazy day at home. It's supposed to snow 3-4 inches, and we talked about going to Toboggan Hill if the snow piles up. Or maybe take the kids to see Bolt. Or maybe just stay cozied up in the house together.

I'm a little sad about not seeing my dad, but I just booked my ticket for his surgery next week, and I'll see him in a few days. My kids will see him at Christmas since we decided on the drive home that we're going to Arkansas then.

We talked a little about going to the ranch after all, and we had another invite from some other sweet friends once we got home, but we feel like it's important that we spend this holiday as a family of five.  Especially if we're going to travel for Christmas.  

There's no place like home...and for me, there's no place like home with all my peeps gathered around me.  I'm going to savor the day tomorrow, and I hope you will too! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving...

I'm thankful for...

my hard-working husband.

my children, and the fact that they have this week off from school.

our family in Arkansas, and the opportunity to spend some time with them this week.

some decent news about my dad's health.

our many friends--near and far, old and new.

Jack-the-Beagle, and a great neighbor who offered to watch him while we're in Arkansas.

for our home.

for our neighbors.

for the church we're growing to love.

for our health.

for blog friends!

for freedom.

for the mountains.

and for Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving ya'll!  

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Hodge-Podge


Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I actually prefer it over Christmas. I like the warmth of the holiday, the food, the togetherness, and the chance to pause and reflect on the many, many ways that God has blessed my life.

It's hard for me to narrow down my Thanksgiving memories to just one or two, so I'll just break Kim's rules and share many... (she'll forgive me and I know you will too!)

My mom always set a beautiful Thanksgiving table using fine china, sterling, and crystal. The table was almost as important as the meal. My job was always to make the placecards for our guests. I loved that job. I've delegated that job to Sarah the last several years. I was in the grocery store a couple of months ago, and ran into one of the first friends we made here. He told me that he still has the placecard that Sarah made for him one year. How sweet is that?

Growing up, I loved watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I still love it, but my kids have very little interest in it. I'm trying hard to hold on to that tradition, but I feel it slipping away.

Since moving to Colorado, we've made some amazing friends. It's been nice to know that if we don't travel for Thanksgiving, we have a "family" here to hang out with. Kirk and Kathy are some of our dearest friends and have been gracious to open their home and share their family with us when we've been unable to be in Arkansas. We love them so much! Here's the girls with Kirk two years ago riding one of the horses on their ranch.
I used to be a serious day-after-Thanksgiving shopper. I would pour over the ads and make my list and get up before daylight to get some AMAZING deals. But the older I get, the more I hate the traffic and crowds and shopping in general. So...that is one tradition I've let go of over the years. Thanks to those of you who endured those early morning shopping trips with me--Joan&Kim were the BEST shopping friends ever! I miss you guys.

One of our favorite traditions is going out to breakfast at our pajamas. We started this the year we moved to Colorado. We chose not to travel home for Thanksgiving and we were all feeling a little blue. John offered to take us to IHOP for breakfast in an attempt to cheer us all up. Someone suggested we just get up and go in our pjs, so we did and a new tradition was born. We haven't done this every single year we've lived here, but we've done it more often than not. It's fun! Sure, we get strange looks, but you know what, we don't care. WE think it's fun! This pic is from two years ago. Curly hair and no makeup! Yikes!

Meet Mr. of my favorite Thanksgiving decorations and the very best way to extend the life of our Halloween pumpkins.  I bought "Mr. Turkey" about 13 years ago at the Tate Barn Sale in Camden, AR, and he still brings a smile to my face when we pull things out of the box each November!

We're hitting the road soon, but I want to leave you with my favorite Thanksgiving recipes--cornbread dressing. It's my mother-in-law's recipe, and it's delicious! Thanksgiving just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

I hope you can spend some time reflecting on your many blessings this week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Be sure and visit Kim@DeliberateHope for more great Thanksgiving stories. And it's not to late to join the party! Just click the button above for details!


My dad got some good news today. The tumor on his pancreas is malignant and it has spread, but it hasn't spread too far and it IS operable. Surgery has been scheduled for mid-December, and after that he'll undergo chemotherapy.

Thank you so much for your prayers on his behalf. I am very grateful, and very relieved. The news today could have been so much worse.

*After reading Kelly's comment, I thought I should clarify. A lot of cases like this are NOT operable, and by the time a malignancy is discovered, the cancer has spread too far. My dad's case was detected early enough to treat.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Happies

We had a great weekend. Well, Saturday wasn't so great for me, but Friday and Sunday were. Here's some of the happy highlights.

Abbey was sick on Friday so she stayed home with me. I didn't love that she was running fever and had to miss first grade Mouse Day, but I loved having her home. We snuggled on the couch and watched movies in our pjs. It was nice, and thankfully she's feeling better.

I also pulled out my sewing machine and whipped out two bandana tops for the girls. I forgot to take a picture, but I will do that soon! They turned out super cute, and they were SO quick and easy. Twenty minutes tops--from start to finish (if you don't include the time it took to thread my machine!)

My sweet friend, Mary Ellen, called after I got home from picking Sarah up at school and asked if she could stop by. I was so happy to see her. I don't see her much since we left our church and her visit was a wonderful surprise. I tried to talk her into staying for dinner, but she had a dinner date with our other good friends. Sarah insisted we schedule something before she left...she pulled out the calendar and got it in ink! I heart that girl.

I finally won at Bunco! I've been playing with this group for over a year, and I think I've maybe won once before. I was so happy...I got the big $ prize AND the hostess gift. Woohoo!

But...about 15 minutes after I got home from Bunco I started throwing up. I was sick as a dog all day Saturday. I think I crawled out of bed at 7PM that evening. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I can't remember the last time I was that sick.

We skipped church this morning since I still wasn't feeling 100% and Will had a sore throat. It was great to have a lazy morning at home. John made sausage balls for breakfast--a nice treat, and we sat around the table singing Christmas carols a capella. I love my family!

I sanitized my bathroom, washed my sheets, and aired out our bedroom...that always makes me feel better after being sick.

And of course we went to the library, 'cause you know, we're the Sunday People.

We finished off the evening by putting up our Christmas tree.

For the record, we've NEVER put our tree up before Thanksgiving, but I'm so glad we did. We're going to be traveling this week (still don't know when or where) and it will be nice to come home and have it done. Plus...with all that's up in the air with my dad (his ultrasound is tomorrow) it helped take my mind off of that for awhile. John and I agreed it was a good thing, but we decided to stop with the tree. The rest can wait until we get back.

I love our Christmas tree. It's not fancy or symmetrical or perfect by any means. It's just full of memories and love!

Blog Party!


My friend, Kim@DeliberateHope, is hosting a fun blog party this Tuesday...and every Tuesday in December.  I'm planning to join the fun! This week she's asking us to blog about our favorite Thanksgiving "something"--story, memory, recipe, etc. Wanna join in? You're welcome to! The more the merrier. Just click here for all the details!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm in limbo and I'm not very limber...

There is so much in my life right now that is up in the air.  My dad's health, our Thanksgiving plans, and even this day.

I woke up thinking about it today as I have every single day for the last two weeks.  Specifically, I woke up thinking about the word limbo.

The first thing that comes to mind are Saturday afternoons at Good Times roller rink.  When I was about Sarah's age, I'd tie the disco blue laces of my white leather roller skates together, throw them over my shoulder, and head to the rink with 20 of my closest friends for an afternoon of skating in circles to the great tunes of the 80s.  Whenever I hear Michael Jackson sing "Rock With You" my mind is back at that roller rink instantly.

Mid-way through the afternoon skate, the DJ would announce Limbo Time, and a long line of kids would take turns skating under a bar that got progressively lower and lower as the line grew shorter and shorter.  

I never won that game.  Not even once.  This morning I decided that it's because I'm not very limber.  Physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  

I like control.  We all do.  Oh sure, you can say, "God is in control" and yes, I believe He is, but I think if we're really honest with ourselves, we hate it when we can't dictate our circumstances...or when things in our lives feel like they're in limbo.

Limbo. That weird place of tension between knowing and not knowing.

I don't know what the doctors are going to tell my dad next week.  (His ultrasound procedure got bumped up to Monday, which is excellent).  I don't know when we're leaving to go be with my dad.  I don't even know where we're going to spend Thanksgiving.  Our plans are very dependent on what my dad hears on Monday.  I don't know what today is going to look like seeing as how my youngest daughter woke up with a fever.  

I just looked up the definition of limber.  Webster says this: bending readily; flexible; pliant.  I'm asking God to infuse my heart, mind, and spirit with limberness today because honestly, I'm having a hard time with that bendable, flexible, and pliant stuff.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My oh-so glamorous life...

Alternate title: Maybe The Most Ridiculous Post EVER.

I double booked myself for a coffee date this morning. I realized it in time to cancel the second one, but when my original date called to cancel, I found myself with a day at home. I'm such a homebody. There is nothing I love more than spending an entire day at home. 

I noticed the camera on the counter beside the coffee pot this morning so I grabbed it with an idea in mind and started snapping pics. Here's my feeble attempt at a (very random) photo-documentary of my day.  

Starting the day with coffee.  I'm addicted to this gingerbread creamer, but I'm not quite as addicted as Michele is.

Starting my requisite two loads of laundry.

Checking email.

More coffee.  See that lovely Arkansas mug?  For my birthday, my dad replaced the one I broke.  That mug makes me happy.

Ugh.  I am not a fan of talking on the phone.  I had to make a couple of calls this morning.  I like to get my least favorite chores out of the way first thing.
Listening to music helps me get going in the mornings.  John brought this cd home yesterday.  I've always liked Brian Doerksen...this newest cd is great.

One load of laundry washed, dried, folded...waiting to be put away.

I rescued this Polly Pocket from the jaws of Jack the Beagle.  Obviously, I didn't save her before he chewed off her hands and feet, so  I "hid" her in the trash can.  I doubt my girls will miss her since we only have 50 versions of Polly living in our house.

These two books are next on my list...after I finish the Twilight series, of course. Two down, two more to go.
Uh-huh.  Our dog is so sneaky.  In the blink of an eye, he found the Little People dad and chewed his hands off too.  I wasn't feeling the doggy love today.  And yes, he has chew toys, but he seems to have a taste for things that belong to other people.

Checking email...again.  I conveniently left out photos of the time I spent on Facebook Crackbook today. (Hat tip to Fran for that very appropriate terminology.)
One very clean bathroom.

My to-do list is something I can't live without.  Since I'm being transparent here, you should know that mopping didn't get done today.  Neither did the cd burning (sorry, Tiff).  Oh, and I'm going to Co Springs tomorrow for a brunch, so I had to make a list of errands to run while I'm there.  You know me and my errand-combining-gas-saving trips.

Lunch break.  This looks like a lot of food, but it's actually only 5 fajita nacho chips left over from our dinner at 3Margaritas last night (with a side of fresh guac).  That cheese looks unnaturally orange, doesn't it?

It was gorgeous here today...sunny and unseasonably warm.  I went for a hike with a friend, and it was the highlight of my day! I'm so sad I didn't take my camera with me because the sky was a beautiful, cloudless blue, and looked amazing against the mountains.

Waiting in the pick-up line at school...talking to my sister.  I'm pretty sure the lady in front of me was watching me take a picture of myself and talk on my cell. Whatever.
Checked the mail on the way home and found our first Christmas card of the season waiting in the mailbox. The Turners are making me look like a slacker certainly on the ball this year. I don't know that I've ever received a card before Thanksgiving.

John had a dinner meeting tonight, so it was chocolate chip pancakes for the kids (leftovers for me).  They love it when I make pancakes in the shape of letters.  A & W are no problem, but my S's always break.  Poor Sarah.

We worked on our Thankful Chain after dinner.

Abbey is our lefty.  Check out that beautiful ring she got today from the treasure box in her classroom.

John missed out on a fun 2 hours of homework. Can I just say that's my least favorite thing about being a mom? I know it's part of my job as a parent, but I doubt I will ever be a fan.

Also got a movie it the mail today...The Family Stone...another one of my favorites (you probably know by now that I have many favorites). I'm off to watch it now! Good night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just Plain Happy!

I've been sitting on a bit of big news for about a month now...waiting for it to become "official". Well, it turns out yesterday was the official day, and it couldn't have come at a better time. You're going to have to click here though to find out why I'm just plain happy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Life goes on...

I really did enjoy my blog break last week. As much as I love comments, it was nice to check my email and have a relatively empty inbox. It was nice to sit down in the evenings to read or watch tv and not feel the urge to post something. I put a lot of pressure on myself in regard to my blog. I've had some time to think about that, and I have a few thoughts about it swirling around in my head. If I can every get them organized into coherent thoughts, I'll share them with you.

Here's a taste of what I did last week.
A lot of nothing. Last week's news about my dad knocked me off of my feet. And that's not necessarily a good thing. Too much sitting around lets my mind go to fearful places in regard to my dad and his health right now.

Remember my laundry system and my two-loads-a-day? Yeah, well, let's just say that I got WAY off track last week. (I never said I was perfect.) My sweet husband helped me get caught up over the weekend, and I'm so grateful. I'm sure my family is too, since they all had clean clothes this morning.

We've also been working on our Thankful Chain. It's something we make every year. I've posted about it here and here. Beginning in November, we keep strips of paper in a bowl on the kitchen table. Every night after dinner, we each write something we're thankful for on a strip and then fashion them into a chain. I hang our chain up in our kitchen and I try to leave it up until the next November as a visual reminder of our many blessings. I say "try" because I've only managed to leave it up for that long once before. However, all of our past thankful chains are hanging up downstairs in the playroom. Here's a pic from last week of Abbey holding what we've made so far...
It also snowed here last week...twice, actually. This is a picture from Friday morning. I think we ended up with almost 3 inches. It looked like this for most of Friday morning, but it stopped snowing around noon and the sun came out and melted the snow on the roads. It also melted the snow on our driveway and sidewalks which meant I didn't have to get out and shovel! Yay!

I have a love-hate relationship with snow. I love it most of the time, and I love it when I can stay home (even better when the kids get to stay home too) and be lazy. I don't love driving in it, and I don't love it in March-April-May. We haven't had much snow yet this year, and the girls were already home from school on Friday for a teacher workday, so we stayed cozied up in the house. It was perfect!

One great thing about living in Colorado is that we get 300+ days of sunshine a year. Friday was freezing cold and snowing, but the weekend was beautiful and we were back up in the 60s. Yesterday afternoon, we drove over to Palmer Lake for some ice cream (Rock House rocks!) and walked around the lake. It was a gorgeous day, and this time of year, it's important to take advantage of nice weather. Here's some pics...

All our snow melted, but that's ice you see on the surface of the lake. We threw rocks and watched them skid across the frozen water!

*Ugh. The stretch marks and flab are embarrassing.*

Like I said earlier, last week was a bit rough for me. I've been in a bit of a funk, and even though we NEVER do this, John and I decided to put our Christmas tree up this week. I've always been a day-after-Thanksgiving kind of decorating girl, but honestly friends, we could use an extra dose of joy and cheer around here. night this week, we're going to put it up. We would have done it yesterday afternoon, but the weather was so nice we wanted to get outside and enjoy it!

Speaking of Christmas, I got some new cds this year and have been enjoying them so much.
I LOVE the song "Let There Be Light" on this new Point of Grace cd. It is amazing! I tried to find it for you guys on YouTube...and I did, but the video that went with it was kinda very hokey. Sorry...I have a commitment to quality on the blog, friends...I can't be posting cheesy videos here, but you should definitely find it on YouTube and mabye listen with your eyes closed or something.

So anyway, check out that cd, and I also highly recommend this one and this one.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Still Waiting...

Good grief, it's been a long week!

Lots of emotional ups and downs around here. Thanks so much for all the prayers for my dad and for my family. I am very thankful.

I know I was vague about what was going on in my last post. That's because I had very little information at the time. Honestly, I still don't know a lot more than I did last week, but here's what I do know.

Last weekend, my dad was admitted to the hospital because he was extremely jaundiced. The ER doc did some tests and (carelessly, in my opinion) threw out the words "pancreatic cancer". That remains an unconfirmed diagnosis, but just hearing those words threw me into an emotional tailspin. This past Tuesday, the doctor did an outpatient procedure on my dad and put a stent in his bile duct. Something was causing it to constrict, therefore it wasn't able to drain, and that was causing his jaundice. While in there, the doctor was able to rule out some minor issues and to biopsy the inside of his bile duct.

The biopsy of his duct came back benign, but his C/T scan showed some suspicious growth on part of his pancreas, and that is likely what is growing and putting pressure on his bile duct and causing the constriction. Because they didn't biopsy his pancreas, we don't know for sure if that "spot" is malignant or not. That's where the "still waiting" part comes in.

He's scheduled for an endoscopic ultrasound in a few weeks. Not days...weeks. Until they go in there and take a look around and biopsy the pancreas, we don't really have a diagnosis. It may be contained in his pancreas, it may have spread to other places, it may be operable, it may not be. There are still SO many unanswered questions, and waiting is not an easy thing for me. Waiting from 1000+ miles away is even harder.

All of this is so frustrating, and needless to say, I've been in a bit of a funk this week. Knowing that people were praying was a relief and comfort, so again, thank you. I'm trying to remain hopeful.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Waiting and Praying

I'm going to take a break from blogging this week. I have some stuff on my heart and mind and attention needs to be given to those things.

My dad is undergoing some medical tests tomorrow. He was in the hospital over the weekend, and he called me on Saturday night with some sobering news. The first doctor he saw gave him a diagnosis that has yet to be confirmed, but honestly, it knocked the wind out of my sails. His tests tomorrow are of an exploratory nature and we hope to know more by the end of the week. I'm trying to be positive and to not let fear and worry consume me. But it's hard. He's my dad and I love him and want him to be okay.

If you want to pray for him, I'd love that. His first name is John. I'll update when I know more. Thanks, friends.

The Sunday People

Last night we were eating dinner together and talking about what's on the calendar this week--book club, meetings, time with friends, a youth activity for Will, etc. The kids were begging me to take them to the library after school today because they're having a party. Our local library was named "The Best" in Colorado for 2008 and the party this afternoon is for all patrons. I think my kids really want to go because they're serving cake, ice cream, and punch!

Anyway, we were talking about our library and how much we love it. Every Sunday afternoon, we load up and make a family visit. We know all the staff by name, and believe it or not they know us too. The librarian working the desk yesterday looked up, saw my family, and said with a smile, "Oh, it's The Sunday People". That cracked me up!

What can I say, we're creatures of habit!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

More Linky-Love

I just keep coming across things I want to share with you all, so I'm making another list of links for ya.

This post of Moriah's made me laugh out loud.

Need some craft inspiration?
Rachel's blog is amazing. She's collected and grouped so many great ideas. I especially loved the idea for making an Advent calendar with leftover Halloween candy. We certainly have an excess of that around here.

My friend, Leah, shared step-by-step instructions for making a girl's bandana top on her blog. It is adorable. I'm hoping to make a couple of these's easy enough that I'm sure I can do it!

I also loved this tutorial for making inexpensive topiary trees.

I had coffee with my friend, Jamie, a couple of weeks ago and she made the most delicious coffee cake I've ever put in my mouth (and the coffee wasn't too bad either!) It's a Paula Deen recipe that uses an entire stick of butter and it is so worth every calorie. Click here for the recipe.

I've also heard rave reviews about Sarah's Spaghetti Soup, so it's on the menu for tonight.

I get at least one email each week asking why my blog can't be added to Google reader. I know, I know, it's problematic, but here's a link with instructions for adding it.

*OH MY GOODNESS! I made the spaghetti soup for lunch instead of dinner (because John just got home from San Diego and I wanted to surprise him with a nice lunch) and it was *wonderful*. You've gotta try it. So delicious!*

Friday, November 07, 2008

Our Favorite Friday Night Tradition...

I love Friday nights! After Sunday afternoons, it's my favorite time of the week.

Pizza and a movie is our favorite way to spend Friday evenings.

Tonight I made homemade pizza...yummmm....

...but we're also big fans of Papa Murphy's take and bake.

John has a work thing tonight so it's just me and the kids. One of these movies is for them...the other for me.  Sweet Home Alabama is one of my very favorites!

I thought the kids would be excited about Hannah Montana, but right now they're glued to a Brady Bunch dvd from They're watching the episode where Alice goes away for a week and cousin Emma takes over and runs Brady boot camp. So funny! I can quote so many lines from every.single.episode.

I was taking these pictures earlier and remembered that I've blogged about our Friday night tradition here and here. We just can't seem to get enough of a good thing, I guess! Happy weekend!

**So, we ended up watching Hannah Montana after the Brady Bunch, and now we're having a big ole dance fest in the den.  F-U-N!

Is it just me??

Is it just me, or does it seem to you that the word verification feature for blogger comments has been using real words lately instead of just random vowel/consonant blends?

More and more I'm typing things like "benstilt" and "hallfix" instead of "twyyyvls" or "mljyxmf".

Call me crazy, but I think it's getting easier to leave comments on blogs that use word verification (whichbythewaydrivesmebananasandthat'swhyIdon'thaveitonthisblog).

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What's your favorite brand of peanut butter?

We're kinda picky around here. I typically buy three different kinds.

This is my favorite:

This is Will's favorite (the creamy one):

And John and Sarah prefer the kind that I buy freshly ground from this local health food store--with no sweetener added.

I can barely get Abbey to eat it, but if she agrees to a pb&j, I usually try to sneak the organic kind in. If she sees me with that jar though, she throws a fit and begs for Jif.

What about you? Are you loyal to a particular brand?