Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Email, Scans and Life At Home

A couple of months ago Outlook stopped working for us so we've had to go to hotmail.com to see our email. But we have 4 different email addresses (work, blog, etc.) and we couldn't just log out of one and into the other one. We had to wait 10 minutes or the previous email address would come up again. So I haven't been able to get your posts through email! Not very easily anyway. It's been so frustrating! Well today Chuck got Outlook working again! And of course it's one of those things where he can't tell me what he did. You know when you click on the same button you've been clicking on, only this time it worked?! Ah, technology. But now we have access to all of our email - woohoo!

Well, tomorrow Chuck goes in for his PET scan. The oncologist told us that because the cancer is on his scalp, it will drain into his lymph nodes and the scan will show how much it has drained and to which nodes, by the ears or in the neck. The ones in the neck are easier to get to and the ones by the ear have a facial nerve that is in front of the node and it needs to be moved to the side before they can do the surgery. It sounded like there was quite a risk. As of right now the surgery is scheduled for April 14. 

Chuck drives a metro bus and I've been concerned that he's still out driving when his immune system is compromised. But he got the okay yesterday to stay home! Plus he's got enough time built up that he'll still be getting paid. That whole situation is an absolute answer to prayer. A direct, without-a-doubt answer from God! 

God is so good!

In the meantime Beth and I been hunkered down at home. I only go out when I need to go the grocery store. Does anyone else feel awkward getting into your car? It's almost like I have to remind myself how to drive it every time I get into it!  

We have been trying to go for walks every day. There are a lot of people with that same idea!

 How are you coping?
I hope you're doing well. 
Stay safe and healthy!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thankfulness In These Times of Uncertainty

I've been at home since March 10 and am forgetting what day it is! I don't know if you saw the meme going around on Facebook that said, "I don't know who this is for but today is Wednesday.' That was for me!! But Rebecca Jo over at Knit By God's Hand always reminds me with her Thankful Thursday posts. Go on over to her blog to read more good news!

This week I am thankful for:

Sleeping in
Evening walks
Being able to truly relax
My first Zoom meeting!
Getting the yard work done
Being stocked up on groceries
Two friends with Covid-19 are recovering
Playing board games
Long talks with my husband
Peace that passes all understanding

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, March 23, 2020

Super Skinny Corona

I've left the house only two times in the last nine days. When they closed our church I decided to just stay in and try to limit my interaction with others. Well, on Saturday we decided to go on a mini road trip. There is a scenic road called Chuckanut Drive that goes up into Northern WA and overlooks the San Juan Islands. The weather was stunning this weekend so we decided to take a short drive. It was gorgeous!

We found an empty viewpoint so we jumped out to take a few pictures. It felt so good to be outside and looking at something besides our yard.

Beth took this of me and my super skinny husband!

(This picture was taken in April 2017)

 We decided to stop at a local burger sho and the food was really good! It was a walk up so we drove to an empty parking lot and ate in our car. Then it was onto the freeway for the drive home.

After a few minutes we heard something that sounded like a low-flying plane. Then Chuck noticed the 'low tire pressure' light on the dashboard and sure enough we had a flat! We couldn't remember the last time we'd had a flat tire! And we were in an area where the speed limit was 70 so of course people were going closer to 80, they were flying by us! Chuck jacked up the car and took off the lug nuts but still the tire wouldn't come off! It took our roadside assistance about an hour to get there and the young kid (they get younger every year!) had it done and we were on our way in about 5 minutes after he got there! What an adventure!

Diana went out hiking last weekend. She and P didn't see too many people out where they were in Pennsylvania!

Sharaya has had a nasty cough so she called her doctor. She had a drive through appointment and they came to her car in full gear.  She doesn't have Covid-19, thank goodness. However she does have bronchitis so now she's on antibiotics. Thankfully it's nothing too serious.

Washington State is an epicenter for this coronavirus and our hospitals are overwhelmed with patients. We recently set up two giant medical tents at a ball field just a couple of miles from our house. Just helping to reduce the amount of people coming and going from our hospitals. They built a second one next to this.

Thanks Google

There was an older gentleman at our church who got the virus and we found out he passed away on Friday. I heard his wife didn't get to say good bye. It absolutely breaks my heart! 

All of our schools and restaurants are closed. Tonight our Governor put out a 'stay at home' order requesting everyone in Washington State do just that: stay home!

This is such a serious virus you guys. We definitely won't be leaving the house again for a while. I went grocery shopping today and got enough food for a couple of weeks so we're good.

What measures has your state taken?
Is everyone in your family healthy?
I hope and pray you're all doing well!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

3/21 - WDSD

People who are born with Down Syndrome have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. So the world celebrates on March 21st! 

I was 23 when Beth was born and we didn't know she had Down Syndrome. No one did, even the doctor was surprised by the diagnoses.

Some babies are born with a hole in their heart and they have to have surgery when they're still very tiny but Beth didn't have that. Her heart was completely healthy. Still is.

She sat up at one year and learned to walk at two. 

Two years old

She was a part of the Missionette group at our church, it's like Girl Scouts where you go on adventures and earn badges. She was in it from 1st through 6th grade, where she 'Crowned', the highest honor.

 Beth is 5th from the left

She graduated from high school...

And lives a pretty basic life.

Her sisters think she's spoiled and her parents get frustrated with her at times. We yell, we slam doors, we laugh and have fun together. We're just a typical family.

Touring the US Capital in 2004

Living with special needs really is more normal than you think

Friday, March 20, 2020

Disneyland At The Kitchen Table

Allie came over today and we made some chocolate chip cookies. My family loves the cookie dough so I always put a little in some tupperware for them to eat plain. My favorite is when the cookies first come out of the oven... so warm and soft!

Then we played Candy Land. I have a Disney version which got us talking about the last time we were there together and that made us want to go back! So we did the next best thing, we watched the rides on the computer! First It's a Small World, then Splash Mountain, and Radiator Springs, then Star Tours... we gasped and yelled as if we were on the rides ourselves! It was so much fun!

 I hope you're finding fun and creative ways to be quarantined!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

It Started With Just a Bump On His Head

About a year ago Chuck bumped his head getting out of the car. You know how you bump it on the top of the door frame? Well a small bump formed and it became a blood blister. Chuck is good about regularly going to the doctor and so he's kept an eye on it.

For a long time it stayed the same but a few months ago it started changing a little bit and at his last visit the doctor decided to do a biopsy. Turns out it is cancerous, it's melanoma. 

We had the first appointment with the oncologist and she explained what all would happen during the surgery. There are 3 satellite nodes that have appeared recently and we're hoping and praying it hasn't gone into his lymph nodes. 

We had planned to go to Nashville next week and they were going to do the surgery after that but the trip's been canceled now due to the coronavirus. We had still planned to go but then one by one all the sites we had wanted to see were closing so that made it easier for us to make that decision. 

So now we're not sure when the surgery is going to happen. I will admit I held my breath a little when we pulled into the hospital and the big CANCER sign greeted us. It's a scary word but I know this hasn't taken the Lord by surprise. Chuck feels great and even forgets the spot is there on top of his head.

And speaking of the virus, how are you doing? Chuck drives a city bus so he is still working (although there are only 2-3 people on the bus now instead of standing room only!) but our church has closed so Beth and I are at home. It's been a nice break to be honest. Sharaya is a Nanny so she's still working (although the parents she works for are working from home) and the place where Diana works has closed.

There doesn't seem to be a consistent nationwide rule for how to combat this virus. So however you're coping with this, I hope you and your family are staying healthy.

Take care of yourselves.   

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Saturday Snippits

Each Saturday I want to try and share just bits and pieces of my week. This new idea will force encourage me to take more pictures!

Beth and Nick went to see Sonic the other day.
That's his mom walking in front of them. She brought Beth home after the movie.

After church we all went out to lunch and then Sharaya and Allie came over and we played Mexican Train. It's such a fun game, have you ever played it?

Once a month our church has an event called Ablaze. It's for the women of our church to get together to call on God and pray. I took this picture to show my custodial staff where to place the chairs.

I was able to get out and do a little yard work this week

The Pinterest post

The reality! ๐Ÿ˜

Then I went to Home Depot and picked up some flowers. My yard can always use a splash of color this time of year.

I hope you and your family are staying healthy!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Thankful For Peace Of Mind

Read more Thankful blogs over at Rebecca Jo's blog

There are so many things to be thankful for:

Blue skies and sunshine!
Ministry contacts
My husband! 
Our home
More daylight after work
A new haircut
Metro Buses
Birthday parties
Shrinking waists
Bright flowers in the garden

I hope you're staying calm in the midst of all the fear and panic that's happening out there. There is One who can give peace that you can't understand. A peace you can't explain when all around you is chaotic and scary.

I pray that peace, His peace fill your hearts and minds during this difficult time in our nation and the world.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Just The Beginning

This week has been so good so far!

Course, it is only Monday. ๐Ÿ˜„ 

The sun came out today so Chuck and I took a walk along the marina and out onto the pier after I got off work. I wrapped up in my long coat, gloves, scarf... but it was actually warmer than we expected. Spring is right around the corner!

We're getting ready to go on vacation in a few weeks so I've printed out our packing list and we've starting gathering things we want to take with us. We have a few CD's to listen to in the car, some extra phone chargers... I love this part of any vacation. The very beginning stages of packing! Ahhhh, it's so exciting!!

Well, time for bed. 
It always takes me a few days to adjust to 'spring forward'.

How about you? Does daylight saving affect you in any way? 

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Hard Stuff and Saturday Snipits

Sleepless nights
Stressful days

The last few weeks have been a bombardment of attacks that have left me reeling. But on Wednesday I had a breakthrough. 

I prayed like I haven't prayed in a very long time and something changed in me.

Isn't it funny that we pray for God to change our circumstances and then most of the time He changes us? I don't know about you but I usually pray that the Lord would change the things around me: please fix the car; stop the leak; take away my head cold, etc. When 99% of the time, the Lord changes me. 

My attitude
My perspective
My thinking

Oh He does those other things too but we're changed in the process. This time I asked Him to make my job easier. And He instilled me with an authority and a confidence I've never had before.

And now I've taken authority over my job. 
It's no longer controlling me.

I'm not scrambling to catch up or fix the problems. Starting this week I'm being proactive and am getting ahead of things before they can get out of hand. I'm on the offensive now, where for many months I've felt like I've been on the defensive. I'm changing and I'm changing things.

This has been a hard road but I wouldn't trade it for the world!


On a lighter note...

Beth and I celebrated Nick's birthday with him and his family at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Their family is fun and the food was delicious!

And then on Sunday Chuck and I sat behind this couple that we've known for years and they held hands like this the whole time! I hope Chuck and I are like this when we're in our 90's!


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Love in the Shadows

This has been one of the hardest, and most exhilarating two weeks I've had in a long time. This will be a short post but I wanted to get on here and let you know I'm still around.

This post will be about the exhilarating part ~

We hosted a pastors conference last week and I was on my feet non-stop for 3 days. Pastors came from all over the country to be fed spiritually, to be pampered and just have time to rest. We had over 500 pastors attend! It was powerful! 

We hosted a dinner for them the first night they arrived

 We served over 620 box lunches each day of the conference
(For the pastors and volunteers)

There were a lot of volunteers, they prayed throughout the day and worked so hard to make sure everything went smoothly.

The Sanctuary was full for every day and evening session

It was so good to be able to bless these hard working men and women. When we were setting up and preparing for it all, I was helping my team with the tables and chairs in the Commons (gym) and something happened that I have never seen before. I've attended this church for more than 30 years, have eaten a whole lot of food here but last week for the first time:

Love appeared in the shadows.

It was a sign to me that the Lord knew exactly what I needed at exactly the moment I needed it. More on that next time.