Archive for February, 2010

Frugal Fridays – Goodwill Goodies!

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

I have read Frugal Friday tips forever and have never posted because I am brand new to blogging! I am sure my tip is not a new one to all the frugal bloggers out there, but I suggest occasionally shopping at Goodwill. You really never know what you’ll find. Sometimes it’s a bust. Today, however, I found a brand new GAP sweatshirt for Christina for just $2.00. I also found some cute jeans for Bethany, also for $2.00. The girls are thrilled with their new items!

My favorite deal, however, I found for myself! Now THAT is a rare thing!  I had 30 minutes to browse while Nathan was in physical therapy across the street and I came across an all cotton, stylish Bass cardigan for $3.50. I just LOVE it! So, I spent $7.50 for all three great finds!

True Greatness

Friday, February 26th, 2010

“If you’re a parent, don’t celebrate anything more than you celebrate godly character in your children. I commend and encourage my son for academic achievement or an athletic award, but we break out into real celebration around my house only when there’s a demonstration of humility, servanthood, or godly character.”

C.J. Mahaney  Humility: True Greatness

Anna is a beautiful dancer. She has a sophisticated sense of style. She’s articulate, witty, and outgoing. I love these things about her. However, I rejoice when I see her articulate what the Lord is teaching her. She recently knitted a sweet baby hat for little Holland. Precious. Lord help me celebrate evidences of true beauty in my daughter – that which is beautiful in your eyes.

Christina is Miss Creativity. She is fun. She can sew, knit, play piano and cook. I love these things about her. However, I celebrate her passion for honoring the Lord. She loves to hear God’s word. I can see the fruit of the Holy Spirit when she sets aside her creative agenda to serve her toddler sister or help me with the laundry. Her compassion for God’s creatures is precious. Lord, help me to encourage her creativity in ministry, heart for people and desire to grow spiritually.


My Bethany can draw and cook and knit and keep the house running in my absence. She pays close attention to detail. She too loves to dance and I enjoy all these gifts the Lord has given her. However, I rejoice that she desires unity in relationships. She loves people and cares deeply about the feelings of others. I am thankful that she would rather spend an hour baking for our 90 year old neighbors than playing Wii. Lord, help me to always encourage her desire to serve you by serving others.


Nathan has been gifted intellectually and musically. He began reading at the age of 4. He is a geography whiz. Musically, he amazes us. I am thankful for his gifts and pray that as his mother, I can show him daily that God has great plans for him. Not long ago, he saw an ad in World Magazine asking for donations for children in 3rd world countries born with cleft palates. “Mom, I want to help children like that when I am grown and I don’t want to charge anything to fix their mouths.” I love to hear Nathan’s music, but comments that reflect the heart of a future missionary doctor are more beautiful than any song that even the greatest musician can play. Lord, I don’t know what your future plans are for my son but help me to point him toward you in all things.

Little Sarah can sing and dance and she smiles a lot. She is spunky. She is smart. She can do anything she wants to do. All her gifts are wonderful but I pray she finds her joy in Jesus. She makes friends so easily. Lord, help her to point her friends towards you.


Esther’s curls are beautiful. She is delightful. She is only 2. She sings “Jesus loves me.” Help me Lord to show her just how much you love her in the years ahead.


Our culture defines greatness as being good at something. My children hear this definition a zillion times a day and they are listening. As a parent, I want to communicate that Biblical greatness is worth striving for. It’s easy to focus on things that are external and have no eternal value. While I am thankful for the way the Lord has uniquely gifted each of my children, I do not desire to celebrate talents more than Godly character. Well written papers, a good piece at a music or dance recital and a song well sung should be encouraged. However, I rejoice when I see my children serving others and honoring God. Lord, help me rejoice and encourage true greatness of character as my children develop – that which comes only from you.

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

26 golden rules for writing well

This entry is for my writing class. Too funny! Text taken from http://networkedblogs.com/p28413228

26 Golden Rules for Writing Well

  1. Don’t abbrev.
  2. Check to see if you any words out.
  3. Be carefully to use adjectives and adverbs correct.
  4. About sentence fragments.
  5. When dangling, don’t use participles.
  6. Don’t use no double negatives.
  7. Each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
  8. Just between you and I, case is important.
  9. Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
  10. Don’t use commas, that aren’t necessary.
  11. Its important to use apostrophe’s right.
  12. It’s better not to unnecessarily split an infinitive.
  13. Never leave a transitive verb just lay there without an object.
  14. Only Proper Nouns should be capitalized. also a sentence should begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop
  15. Use hyphens in compound-words, not just in any two-word phrase.
  16. In letters compositions reports and things like that we use commas to keep a string of items apart.
  17. Watch out for irregular verbs that have creeped into our language.
  18. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  19. Avoid unnecessary redundancy.
  20. A writer mustn’t shift your point of view.
  21. Don’t write a run-on sentence you’ve got to punctuate it.
  22. A preposition isn’t a good thing to end a sentence with.
  23. Avoid cliches like the plague.
  24. 1 final thing is to never start a sentence with a number.
  25. Always check your work for accuracy and completeness.

~Author Unknown

Very Informative Video On Heartmate 2

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3XJdfK7UVM]

More News and More Waiting…

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Daddy had an encouraging yet also sobering appointment today.  The PA Daddy met with presented another possibility outside of transplanting which would be a left ventricular assist system. This device might be a “bridge to transplant” for Dad or it might be beneficial enough to be a long term solution. Hearing that the LVAS could be an option was encouraging because if for some reason Daddy isn’t a good transplant candidate, this may help him to have better quality and longer life. While it is a more complicated surgery than a transplant, it doesn’t carry the rejection or other transplant risks.

The sobering news is that Daddy is really sick. Because his medication (Primecore) is relieving his symptoms, he feels better than he has in a while. He can climb stairs and isn’t as breathless as he was before his January evaluation.  Hearing phrases like “bridge to transplant” and “you may reach 1A status” is hard to hear. He also was informed that his platelets are low and his calcium is high. He’ll need surgery on his parathyroid either before getting a transplant or after. The endocrinologist doesn’t know in what order the cardiologist will want to go about taking care of this.

So now we are back to waiting. This time, however, we have been told that his case will be reviewed this coming Monday. We are very, very thankful for that! We will have waited 7 weeks for his case to be discussed on the heart transplant panel. Shannon, the PA, did tell Dad that while his case will be reviewed, it’s possible he’ll still need more tests (possibly on the platelets?). The team will devise a plan. We don’t know if that will mean parathyroid surgery before being listed, the possibility of LVAD surgery instead of transplanting, or being listed for transplant. We’ll just wait and see…

Waiting

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Still waiting….

The heart transplant evaluation team meets every Monday. Daddy started his evaluations on Monday, Jan. 11th and every Monday since then, we’ve been hopeful to hear a decision as to whether he will be listed. As of today another Monday has passed. I’ll admit… I’m feeling a little impatient tonight.

Daddy has great perspective. Waiting on God’s timing is what we are doing. Thus, we have no need to be irritated that His timing wasn’t today.

Daddy has an appointment in Charlotte tomorrow afternoon. Even though we were told we’d be notified on the Monday he’s evaluated, I am hopeful that tomorrow we may have news after his appointment. We’ll see…

If we don’t know if he’s listed yet, at least we’ll know what the next step will be.

If we don’t have anything else that must be done (tests, appointments, etc), next Monday will be here in only 6 more days…

I’ve been told it’s a dangerous thing to pray for patience, but that is what I need right now.

Welcome Holland

Monday, February 22nd, 2010


One of my dearest friends recently welcomed her 5th baby into the world. Words can’t describe this child’s beauty. She is tiny; just 5 lb 2 oz – a full term, petite little girl. She is welcomed and loved by a mommy and daddy and 3 big sisters and one big brother as well as loving grandparents, aunts, uncles and a church family of which I am blessed to be a part. This precious child has perfect little features. She has a beautifully shaped, round little head, the tiniest little hands and feet and gorgeous almond shaped eyes. She has Down’s Syndrome. Her name is Holland. I love her name and the story behind it…

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

by
Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

Lord, Thank you for my dear friends and for the gift that you’ve given them. Little Holland Grace is a gift from your hand. She has some special needs. Don’t we all? Thank you for everything about her that makes her unique. She is lovely. I pray that as she grows she will radiate your love and bless others with everything about her that is Holland. You know the plans you have for each of your children… And we trust you completely.
_________________

An Opportunity Not Missed

Saturday, February 20th, 2010
Sarah had a unique opportunity today to go out to lunch with Daddy and at the same time visit with another little 6 year old girl.

Once a month, Daniel meets a friend at Chick-Fil-A. Today, this friend was watching his 6 year old, Rachel, while his wife was away with the other children. So… it only made sense that on this Chick-Fil-A day, Sarah should come to keep Rachel company while the dads talked.

We thought Sarah would be ecstatic. “Sarah, guess what… You get to go to Chick-Fil-A with me today! Rachel will be there. You can play while Mr. Mosher and I talk.”

To our surprise, Sarah responded, “No thanks, Dad. I’ll just stay home with Mom.”

Daniel, thinking this might be a good mother/daughter issue handed the problem over to me. Sarah not going would put us in an awkward spot. We didn’t want to disappoint Rachel and we didn’t want Sarah to go against her wishes either. We were also a little surprised at her reaction because Sarah is extremely social and usually loves outings of any type.

So, while Daniel was preparing to get out the door, I had a little talk with Sarah.

“Honey, I think you should go. Rachel will be disappointed if you don’t come.”

Teary eyed, Sarah said, “What if she asks me to be her BEST friend?” She’s not my best friend and I don’t know her that well and I’d have to hurt her feelings even worse and tell her she can’t be my best friend because I have too many best friends already.”

Inwardly, I’m giggling and thinking this is ridiculous, but to Sarah this is a very real problem. She’d rather avoid this child altogether than take the risk of having to answer a hard question. Upon further probing, I realized that Rachel has no history of requesting best friend status… it’s just something Sarah has observed 6 year old girls do and it makes her uncomfortable.

I was able to counsel her to be honest and, if asked, respond, “I think you are a wonderful friend, but I’m not allowed to have best friends because it might hurt other peoples’ feelings.” I explained how Jesus should be her very best friend. Her sisters should be way up on the list and we really just don’t need to rank by favor the relationships the Lord has blessed up with.

Armed with a good answer, just in case she was asked a hard question, Sarah bounced out the door with a smile on her face, excited about her outing and play date.

A couple of hours later, she excitedly came running in the house with a report.

“Mama, I am glad I went! Rachel is so nice and she didn’t even ask me that bad question. And I got a dollar to get an ice cream and a mint and a KIDS meal! (I’m usually one to buy sandwiches and large fries to split several ways and water – so Daddy ordering is extra special). It was fun!

I’ve been thinking about this situation and how her fears really were not ridiculous. I am often afraid of new situations. All the “what ifs” can be paralyzing. I wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed to minister to people… afraid I might be asked a hard question that I am not prepared to answer. Sometimes I am afraid of the vulnerability that new friendships require. I don’t want to tell people what I REALLY think… deep down I have some pretty radical opinions… many (most) not being culturally correct or cool. What if I am asked about those things… What would I say?

Just as Sarah has a Mommy and a Daddy to help her know how to handle those tough social 6 year situations, I have the Holy Spirit. He is always there to instruct me. I just have to ask. How comforting to know that at any time I can ask… “OK, Lord… I don’t know what to say. This is awkward. Speak to me and through me.”

Every time I have prayed that prayer the Lord has faithfully equipped me and I, like my Sarah, have come home thankful for an opportunity not missed.

Snow!

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Daniel and me about a month ago. All that snow is still around - and then some!

My little mountain town has set records for snow fall this year. I do not think I’ve seen the ground since before Christmas! It’s so cold outside! On top of the foot of snow from last week, there is another 10″! The public schools have missed over half of the scheduled school days since Christmas break. I have neighbors asking about tuition costs for the Jobe Academy!

I am from Georgia. Growing up, I did not own a winter coat – only winter weight T-shirts. Once, when living in Atlanta, I remember playing outside with plastic bags fastened with rubber bands around my wrists for makeshift mittens. Even though I now own appropriate play clothes for cold weather, this Georgia girl doesn’t “do” two months of snow too well.

However, I am thankful. The snow is beautiful. I’m reminded every time I look outside of God’s promise that He cleanses me and makes me “whiter than snow.” It hurts my eyes to look out my window because everything is so bright. My sin is so dark and ugly. That the Lord takes such darkness and transforms it into something as beautiful as my snow-covered yard fills me with thanksgiving.

Also, while my children are weary of cancellations, I consider them a blessing. I have been given many days that would have been spent running around town to classes and lessons to stay home and enjoy my precious family. I truly cherish this time with them. We are in a busy season of life. The afternoons are usually full of music and dance lessons. This winter things have moved at a slower pace. Time at home is a gift.

Spring will come. For now, I choose to enjoy the winter!

Daddy’s Heart

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Daddy and Esther

This post is a note I copied from Facebook, written to keep all my family and friends updated on my Daddy’s heart and the process of evaluation for transplantation.

THANK YOU for praying for my family, and especially my daddy as he undergoes evaluations for a heart transplant.

My sister and I are with my parents in Charlotte and have been since Sunday. We are so thankful for our husbands who are doing our jobs plus theirs, our children who are doing wonderfully well with extra chores and absent mommies and my in-laws helping out today and tomorrow and all of you who are praying for all of us involved with this incredibly busy and tiring week.

Daddy had an initial consultation with Dr. Frank who is the head of the transplanting evaluation team at Carolina Medical Center on Monday. Dr. Frank had some concerns about the severity of Daddy’s heart condition but felt he should proceed with formal heart transplant evaluations. Because he lives 300 miles from CMC, Dad was admitted on Tuesday for a heart catheterization, the first of many necessary tests.

This test showed that the pumping ability of Daddy’s heart was actually stronger than his symptoms indicated they should be. This is mostly good news. The only concern would be that something else is causing such severe breathlessness and weakness. However, Dr. Frank did tell us that heart failure is very complicated and it is possible that there is nothing else wrong. So, that led us to today – a day of lots and lots of tests and consultations with doctors including a heart (transplant) surgeon, vascular surgeon, pulmonologist, infectious disease doc and dietician. He had chest x-rays, breathing/lung tests, and several blood tests.

We have no results from any of these tests. However, we are very encouraged. All of the doctors today have been so informative and positive about Daddy’s condition. One told us that from a surgical standpoint, his chances of receiving a transplant looked excellent.

Tomorrow Daddy will have an abdominal ultrasound, a study of his lower extremities and glucose tolerance test. We also have a two hour informational meeting on heart transplants. This is very important for all of us who will be helping with his care to attend. If Daddy is put on the list, he will be moving in with our family because we are closer to Charlotte. I am very thankful that I’ll be able to participate and learn first hand what all is involved.

Daddy is in good spirits. He is understandably tired, but he is keeping all his caregivers laughing. One doctor actually called him a “**** comedian” after he replied “red” to the question “What is your blood type?” The thoracic surgeon asked about his previous surgeries. Daddy listed them and then said, “Oh.. and I had my gall bladder out, but that’s no big deal… just kind of like “ice fishing” for a surgeon.” Then Daddy said, “And what do you do?” The surgeon responded, “I’m an ice fisherman. Wanna see my license?” Daddy definitely has kept everyone in stitches.

We have many praises! We are so thankful for such wonderful doctors and nurses. We are thankful that so far nothing has presented that would prevent further evaluations. We praise God for laughter in the midst of a stressful week. We are thankful for insurance approval. We are so, so thankful that in just a few days so much has been accomplished. We’ve been told that sometimes it can take a couple of months just to do these evaluations. In a way we feel being so far away from the hospital has been advantageous because they want to get them all done quickly.

Please keep praying as Daddy completes all the tests necessary for the formal evaluations. We are hoping he’ll be released by Friday. Then we will have to wait a couple of weeks for the evaluation team to discuss his case. Pray for his nutrition. He has not had much of an appetite and he does not need to lose any more weight. Meeting his caloric and protein needs are very important.

Thank you so much!

Love,
Tina

Update: Thursday, January 14th

We had another eventful (but good!) day.

Daddy had more blood test and an ultrasound. The pulmonologist said his lungs looked good. We were also told his kidneys look good. This is terrific news!

We sat in about three hours of meetings to educate us about heart transplants. I am a note taker. I just enjoy writing down facts because it helps me to remember them. Often when I take notes, I don’t go back and review them. Something about active listening and writing just helps me to remember the most important. Such is not the case today. There is just so much information. I have 7 pages front and back of notes and I keep looking back at them because it was just information overload – way too much to process!

Probably the biggest news of the day is that Daddy is released from the hospital. Interestingly enough, although he is released and not technically on the list, he will not be going back to his home in Georgia right now. He needs to stay on a medication that is set up through home health care. With CMC being a hospital in NC and Daddy living in south GA with the nearest home health care (that this group prefers to use) being an hour away in Savannah, it isn’t advisable to set this up only to (most likely) change arrangements to Boone in less than two weeks. We were advised to establish his medicinal needs from the beginning in Boone.

Now Dad just needs to see an opthamologist and a dermatologist and await word from the Transplant Evaluation Team.

Update: February 13th

The update here is that it has been a long month. Mom and Dad have been with us a month. Every Monday we’ve been hopeful to either receive word of the decision or know what to do to get closer. Two weeks ago, Katie, who is the communications “go between” for the committee called to say Dad’s calcium levels are high and Dr. Frank wants to know why before reviewing Dad’s case. We have been waiting since then. This week a thyroid doctor’s office called to set up an appointment for blood work. The appointment is this Thursday. We are hopeful that this will be the last test and are very hopeful that we’ll hear something a week from Monday from the committee.

While I am taking a FB break, I will log on as I have updates about Dad’s condition to update this note. I know a lot of people want to hear what is going on with him.