Monthly Archives: December 2009

Sometimes, Mommas Eat Hot Food

Well inducted into the world of cold and interrupted meals with their two children, our daughter, Jana,  and her husband Aaron planned an evening out  with just the grown-ups. 
No kids.
The women wanted to dress up, the men wanted to go casual. The women wore newer jeans with new tops. The men wore older jeans with old shirts. We shaved, they didn’t.  We have all  learned the art of compromise in marriage.
Jana and I not only looked great, we both smelled great. I haven’t smelled like baby urp in about five years, Jana about five minutes. We got out the door unscathed to enjoy an evening as adult friends, not as parents and child. This new stage of relationship has been a blessing, and a relief.  We have passed on the parenting baton with our firstborn.
One down, five to go.  But, who’s counting?
They chose the Matsu Japanese Restaurant, where we ate very amazing, very hot, teppan-yaki food. It was hot because they cooked it in front of you. He even cut it into bite-sized pieces for us while he cooked. Parents who have cut up three meals a day into tiny little, non-chokable pieces,  totally appreciate that detail.
My husband satisfied his raw tuna craving with the Spicy Tuna Roll. Yes, that tuna is raw, very raw.
The chef is part juggler, part entertainer, part stand-up comic. It isn’t just a meal, it is an experience.
Our fried rice was prepared then shaped into heartburn, then a beating heart, then Mickey Mouse.
A slice of onion became a flaming volcano.
Each part of the meal was prepared along with antics, including tossing, noise-making and flipping unused items, like shrimp tails, into his chef’s hat.
Like a gringo, I asked our chef if he was Japanese.  He laughed, admitted he was born in Mexico, but assured me his Japanese name was Orlando.
 I didn’t have to ask Hana, our waitress, if she was Japanese. I figured that one out all on my own.
She recommended Red Bean Ice Cream for desert. I’m thinking the only red beans I know are kidney beans. Azuki beans are NOT like the red beans I know. It was  deliciously unfamiliar.
The service was great, the show was entertaining, the  food was delicious, but somehow, the highlight of the whole evening was watching my daughter eat a hot meal.

Getting to know Dianne:

I’m 46 years old and have two kids, a daughter that is 18 and a son that is 17. I’ve been married to my best friend for almost 25 years. I’ve been teaching Math at the local Jr. College for 20 years and been a stay-at-home mom at the same time. I homeschooled both kids from the 6th grade through the 11th – it was loads of fun!

I found my breast cancer less than a month after a “clear” mammogram in 2008 (Infiltrating ductal carcinoma, stage IIB). I always knew I would get cancer because every woman in my dad’s family has died of breast or ovarian cancer. I’m hoping to break that chain.

So, after a bilateral mastectomy, an oophorectomy, eight rounds of chemo (interrupted by the development of a rare condition), Arimadex hormone therapy that landed me in the hospital after a month, another biopsy, Tamoxifen (for the next 5 years), and implant reconstruction surgery – I’m still here! It’s been a wild ride so far, but you’re welcome to join me on my journey.

How to Eat a Ruby’s Hotdog

To fully experience California, the extended family gathered  on  Huntington Beach to enjoy a Pacific Ocean sunset.
I am always a little annoyed that people dare stand between my camera and my view,
 but somehow those silhouettes always end up enhancing my photos, not ruining them.
We were told by many we had to eat at Ruby’s Surf City Diner.
 Since we give in to peer pressure easily when it comes to food, we walked down the long pier to sit in those  vintage red and chrome chairs and eat some really good American food.
Fisherman trying to utilize the last fragments of sunlight on the end of the pier.
Brookelyn was tired from the day on the beach, the long walk down the pier, and the wait for her food, so she dove right into the hotdog, giving a great tutorial.

If you think you are a big girl, hold the hotdog with only one hand.
Stop eating long enough to quietly exclaim to Daddy how good the “da-da” is.
If you want to dig your little nose right between the buns, use both hands to hold onto the hotdog.
When you get tired of the bun,  pull the hotdog out.
Hold the hotdog vertically and lick all the ketchup off.
Hold the hotdog horizontally and lick the ketchup off.
Set the hotdog down and act like a duck with the bun.
Get in trouble from Mommy for not eating your food while Gramma sheepishly puts the camera away. OK, to be honest, my battery died, or I would have kept taking pics of Brookie being adorably Brookie.
Seems to me, we also had problems when I was with Brookie at McDonalds and a coffee shop.
If I am not careful, my daughter is going to start searching for the blogosphere for a tutorial on,
 “How to be a Well-Behaved Gramma.”

Mommas Eat Cold Food

As a single woman, I viewed motherhood through rose colored glasses, imagining adorable, fresh-smelling cooing babies, in cute outfits. I imagined holding them, kissing them, changing them, singing to them, teaching them about Jesus.
I never imagined losing sleep while holding a crying baby.
I never imagined the real smell of that adorable child,  who ejected vile fluids from all bodily openings.
I never imagined rarely eating a warm meal for over a decade.
My first rude awakening into the true challenges of parenthood came soon after I married Scott.  We invited Tom and Jaci to dinner, a  couple the Lord used as a godly example in the early years of our marriage and parenting.  The entire meal, Jaci spent time cutting meat and feeding the toddler, while holding the squirming baby on her lap. Tom had to leave the table to discipline and to take the toddler poddy.
When the toddler was fed, the baby needed to be nursed.  By the time the rest of us were done with our meal, Jaci’s meal was still on her plate, cold. The gravy had congealed on her mountain of mashed potatoes.  We didn’t have a microwave to rewarm the meal, but she didn’t care.  Her babies were happy, so she was happy.  She ate the whole plate of food cold, with a smile on her face, graciously complementing me and thanking me for the meal.
I never got that visual out of my mind, nor her sweet spirit in serving her children at personal expense.  Her example was a shining beacon for  my next two decades of interrupted and cold meals.
When we arrived Christmas Day, my daughter and her husband had a wonderful ham dinner prepared.
We all sat down and devoured the meal, laughing, passing and making new holiday memories…
…while Jana sat on the couch feeding baby Bubba…with a smile on her face.
When Jaci cared for her children that evening 23 years ago,  I know she wasn’t thinking that she was displaying her faith to profoundly influence my mothering. She also wasn’t thinking that I would tell my children about her impactful example.  In fact, if I were to get in touch with her and relate this pivotal moment to her, I am pretty sure she wouldn’t even remember the situation.  Jaci was just serving the Lord as a joyful mother of children.
When we think of the admonition in Titus 2 for older women to teach younger women, we think of women’s Bible studies, radio programs or well-known authors who come through town to talk about their latest book on parenting.  These things can be blessing, but I think we are most impacted by those quiet moments where we watch older believers living their faith before us.
It’s also a solemn admonition that our quiet moments of parenting  might be a living sermon to younger moms who are
watching,
learning,
and imitating.
Jaci preached a sermon for 23 years in my heart by being a Mommy who ate cold food.
Sisters, what sermon are we preaching with our lives?

WELCOME!!

All women facing cancer are welcome to join this blog.

This blog will focus primarily on mothers who have advanced breast (or other) cancer.

As women, and mothers, who will be living with cancer for the rest of our lives (or until there is a cure), we form a unique community.

Living with cancer is always a challenge.

Raising kids, while living with cancer, is an even greater challenge.

Together, we can share our experiences, our concerns, and our support.

Together, we are strong.

Anyone interested in joining, should contact me at:
coffeeandchemo@gmail.com

MM Meditation – Fear and Trembling

This Sunday’s devotion was written by Keith Trevolt III, a younger brother in the Lord whose faith and zeal have inspired my entire family.

**************************
Currently, intent of obtaining a solid form of employment and direction in life has led me to look into the medical field. I have had the privilege of observing a handful of Physical and Occupational Therapists in the local rehabilitation clinics here in Wichita. My second observation was done with Doug, an Orthopedic PT, a solid believer in Christ. He is also an instructor at WSU.

Doug and I shared a good amount of time discussing spiritual issues and assessing job experiences. I was thankful to God for this encounter and continued my next scheduled observational visits to other clinics. On my fourth and final day I mentioned to the other PT’s and OT’s that I had shadowed Doug. Everyone knew his name and gave him high marks of commendation. This impressed me very much, because not all Christians who claim Christ  live for Him in a way that exemplifies their profession of faith.

This reminded me of what Paul said in Philippians 2:12, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

Here’s someone who has established a name that is respected in a honored profession and, on top of that, in the name of Jesus. This has been done with fear and trembling. This is a very practical blueprint of sanctification and refinement for the Christian’s life.

These two words were used in the same order in Psalm 2. 

The godless are raging in rebellion and God is demanding fear and trembling, in essence, repentance. The Spirit of God beseeches the high-positioned kings and judges, concerning salvation by crying out in verse 21, “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”

Paul would echo this same focus of prerequisite devotion concerning our sanctification.  We are to have fear, a healthy reverential awe of Him who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. We have so great a Savior, requiring that we represent Him in a blameless and steadfast effort.

Having heard from other PT and OT workers relating to Doug’s faithful testimony was thoroughly pleasing to witness and encourages me to attempt the same in my own life.

Doug, who in a brief segment of time in my life, exemplified Christ by following this principle – fearing and trembling.

Christmas in California

This year my husband and I celebrated our first Christmas in one of our children’s homes.  We flew to California to celebrate with our oldest daughter, Jana, her husband and two kids.
I was so excited about the occasion,
 I took picture of each child greeting their older sister as they came through the doorway.
Brookelyn wasn’t so happy to see Grandpa. 
After using Skype to be in touch for the past half year,
 we thought she would be familiar with us.
We were wrong.
Good thing Skype is free.
Brayden was very happy to see Grandpa.
 He was happy to see everyone. 
He giggled and smiled and drooled on everybody equally.
I forgot to keep my things away from Brookie’s curious little fingers. 
She thought she was taking a video with my Flip.
I always peek during prayer to see if she is peeking.
 She always is.
 I wonder if she knows that I am
peeking at her peeking.
I asked her to put on her hat for me. 
She’s laughing underneath.
She just needed a little help from Momma.
She’s ready for Christmas!
And, after 22 years of parenting,
we are starting to really feel the benefits of continuously pouring our lives into our children. 
They’re feeding us, caring for our needs, making sure we’re comfortable.
We feel so blessed.
I want to reassure you parents of young kids,
someday, they will pour back.
 I can’t promise you when,
I can’t promise you how much,
I can’t promise how,
but by the grace of God,
you will receive back.
I don’t look at Jana and her beautiful family with regret that I gave so much.
I wonder if I did enough.
I wonder what I could have done better.
I wonder what spiritual things I failed to teach her,
that could have helped her during her growing up years.
But, as I watch her function as a wife, a mommy, a neighbor, a Christian,
I know that the Lord is making up for any failings on my part.
It’s a beautiful cycle.
I read a saying once –
“Grandchildren are the reward for not killing your own children.”
 I used to think it was funny.
Today, all I am thinking –
“Children are a blessing from the Lord,” Psalm 127:3.
My blessing is now being blessed.
And, as I watch her pour herself into her family,
I know that cycle of blessing and growth is continuing,
by the grace of God.

What Do You Buy A Blogger For Christmas?

Two of my presents this year proved to me that a few people are reading and understanding my blog enough to retaliate my sense of humor.
From follower Amy, the granddaughter of Gramma Alice of the spritz cookie recipe, I received this wonderful wallhanging for the kids’ bathroom.
“Changing the Toilet Paper Roll Will Not Cause any Brain Damage”  is in honor of a blogging      soliloquy about nobody in the house having the ability to change the toilet paper.
I hope the declaration of good health will promote ingenuity and diligence on the part of my offspring in this area of extreme challenge.  This wallhanging will definately improve my ability to have a Happy New Year!
And from my Daddy, three rolls of Scotch tape.  All for me.  I don’t have to share – if I hide it well enough! The only dilemna is, should I hide it kinda’ good so I can take it out and use it when I need it or should I hide it really, really, good so I have it for Christmas next year?  If I hide it that well, I definately risk not being able to find it when I need it.
But, wait a minute, wasn’t I supposed to be replacing my parents’ tape for years of “stealing” theirs?
Thank you for the special gifts, Daddy and Amy, I appreciate the encouragement and the laughter.
My gratitude for these two gifts actually extends to all my readers, who give me their time as a gift.  I am so appreciate of the support I’ve received in emails, comments and encouragements.  I have been blessed to meet so many new friends and sisters through blogging and it has been a great encouragement to meet other women who are blogging their way through parenting, marriage, meal planning, cleaning, crafting, sewing, thrift shopping,  organization and homeschooling.  What a blessing to have such great spiritual encouragement just a mouse click away.
May the Lord bless you and your families as you celebrate the birth of His Son.

Didja’ Know Snowmen Have Bellybuttons?

In our house they do. Yes, that red thing on the bottom of each snowman is a bellybutton.

When Dad tackled the “frost cookies” item on the list of
 Things To Do That Aren’t That Important But Make It Feel Like Christmas,
I was thankful, but knew I’d probably be in for a surprise. 
I wasn’t disappointed.  
Our snowmen even had really cool red lips, leftover from our Valentine’s Day baking.

He even made the frosting. 
We learned in a hurry the imitation vanilla we bought was too imitation to actually be like vanilla.
 He added more powdered sugar and tried to make the frosting the way it looks in the cookbooks.
 I also learned this was Scott’s first time frosting and decorating cookies.
 Can it be?  Did I know that? 
I guess you really can learn new things about your spouse,
even after 23 years and 9 months and 23 days of marriage.
Jon got involved when we imposed the rule “you gotta frost if you wanna eat.”
Rebekah is at the age where the sprinkles are everything. 
She made elaborate outfits on the gingerbread people with the various colored sprinkles and candies.
They ain’t cookbook pretty…..
…they’re “aawww, my family made them” pretty
…and they’re done.
And Daddy giggled and the kids giggled
and the sound was an antidote for the crabbies that were welling up inside Mommy.
Another reminder of what we are all celebrating…
 “And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21
One day left of shopping, baking, wrapping, cleaning, packing and whatever else is on that LIST.
What are you doing or thinking
to replace the CRABBIES
with CHRIST?

Delighted with the Garden d’Lights

For yet another Christmas adventure, we joined another family to tour the  GARDEN d’LIGHTS  at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens.   Thousands of volunteers create and set up fairy-tale scenery.
My pictures are amateur, but capture a little of the beauty we enjoyed as we meandered on garden paths, oohing and aahing at the artwork, the creativity and beauty displayed for our enjoyment.
 Last year the area enjoyed a lot of snow.  The displays were even more beautiful!
My friend and I were exclaiming that we would love to have some of these gorgeous displays in our own backyards.  Can you imagine sparkly clusters of grapes or forsythia hanging along your deck?  Checking out their website, I discovered they actually have classes in early spring for volunteers to help make the displays for the park, but then they can also purchase the lights to make displays for their own homes.
They use between 300,000 and 400,000 individual lights to create the displays.
The attraction opened November 28 and will be open until January 2nd.  It is open nightly from 5-10pm.
You are in paradise for a suggested donation of $1 per person or $5 for a family. People of all ages were mingling, snapping pictures, enjoying the festive feeling the lights sparked in our hearts.
This was my favorite – I love monkeys!
This holiday season, our family has really enjoyed seeing some of  the holiday events our area offers, many of them free or very inexpensive. During the holiday build-up, where we moms often feel the holiday presentation of our homes,presents, crafts and baking are going to be judged by magazine editors, so it is always wonderful to just
relax
and
enjoy
the twinkly lights of Christmas,
the light in the hearts of our friends
and the True Light of Christmas.
John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke again unto them, saying,
 I am the light of the world:
he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
May you make the opportunity to enjoy the twinkly lights and the Light of the World this CHRISTmas.