Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Happy 90th!

Let me tell you about this amazing little lady. She has been living on the farm by herself for 30 years. Well, except for the times when she has welcomed in others to live with her when they needed a place to stay. She was a full-time care giver to her 90 year old neighbor when she was in her 80s. Heck, she went jogging in her 80s just because she could. She has traveled to Ft. Worth,  St. Louis, Illinois, and Yorkshire, England to visit her family. At 89 years old she recovered not only from a broken hip but a bad bout with some nasty c-diff. She attends all the important events for her 15 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. She is as strong mentally as she is physically. Plus she loves the Lord and never misses a day of church.

This pocket-sized little gem whom I admire and love is my Granny. 
Wasn't she a pretty little baby?
Granny and her family.
front row: Wilfred/Bill, Gma Cote, Gpa Cote, Bernadine/Dini
back row: Irene, Rose, Paul, Edmund/Pete, Mary, Theresa
This picture is such bad quality because it is the one that Grandad always carried in his wallet. Isn't that sweet?
Kyrl Begnoche and Theresa Cote - January 2, 1945
Louie, Gene, Mom, Gary, Granny, Francis, Grandad
She's such a sassy little thing here.
Granny came all the way to Beverley, England to visit and meet Baby Zekers.
 I'm so glad I got to attend her 90th birthday party.
When I grow up I want to be just like her!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Big, Big Family Vacay

My Grandma was looking down on us pleased as punch, I'm sure. Almost all of the family was together in one place with the exception of a few (whom we missed, by the way). A bonus for Gma, we were there in honor of her. 

The weekend before her funeral we all got together at the lake. The lake is my happy place and I was surrounded with my parents, my sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousins' kids. 
It was great to see Aunt Joanne, Amy and Michael who came all the way from Washington.
 And dogs. How can I forget the mention the dogs? This was not even all of them.
I spent lots of time on the boat, which is the best place to be. I got to do some wake boarding. The water was calm as far as the eye could see. Absolutely perfect.
As a special bonus, Zekers got up on the wake board, too! I might make him a lake person one day.
I couldn't get the other two to try wake boarding, but they loved tubing with their cousins. There is a story about the tube flying in the air and Zekers was holding on, suspended in mid-air. Umm, thanks for the memories Justin??
My family does the lake right. We had campers to borrow, lake toys, a boat, a jet ski, a huge floatie, fantastic meals, and fish that nibble on your toes. Family time doesn't get much better, folks.
How perfect is this picture?
Daddy, Lijee and Daisy in one kayak, Zeke in another. DanFam5 time in the morning because all of the older cousins were still in bed.
Grandma, you left behind a great legacy.

I (K)need You

It's been a couple years since my lovely husband has had a hospital-worthy injury. It was high time and he accomplished it. This time he tore his meniscus. 

Those words don't really mean anything to you? Me neither. Apparently it's stuff in your knee that keeps your bones from rubbing together. A little more technical jargon: a common injury to the cartilage that stabilizes and cushions the knee joint.

Since Abe is interested in the body, its functions, and ways to repair it naturally, he opted to go with stem cell injections. He went in one day and they withdrew blood from his hip bones. They spun that blood several times to get very concentrated amounts of stem cells. 

The next day he went back to get them injected into his knee. I got to come along this day since he took some vicaden to take the edge off. No driving while under the influence of prescribed drugs.
 This big arm was an x-ray machine to help the doctor get the injections into the right place.
 I got to go in and watch, which was fun. Of course I had to wear an x-ray apron. At least it matched my shirt nicely.
 These x-rays mean absolutely nothing to me. The doctor acted like they helped him so we'll go with that. 
 He had 3 or 4 syringes to inject.
 They took more blood when they were done for the next day. They collected the platelets (or maybe this was the stem cells? I can't remember it all) and froze half of them. Freezing them breaks down the outer wall so they would go to work faster. The other half would take 7-10 days to dissolve so they were time-delayed. Cool, huh?
 Just a little bitty needle...
 apparently it was a little painful. The nurse got him a wet towel.
It's been a week. So far, so good. It seems to be slowing getting better. Recovery will be about 8 weeks. We're praying for good results in the weeks to come.

Hopefully we're good on hospital visits for the next few years!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Floating the Basket Down The Kindergarten Hallway

Anyone what knows me knows that I was struggling with sending my baby to kindergarten this year. I have been struggling with it since pre-k graduation in May.

I read an article from another mom struggling with it. It related letting our kids complete milestones to Moses' mother. She had to trust God when she placed her baby boy in that basket and let it float down the river.

For me it's not about trusting God where my kids are going next. It's about letting go of such a sweet time in our lives. Well, I guess it is about trust. Trusting that the next chapters that will be written will have precious time and sweet, sweet memories like these. This precious time when Mommy is one of the very most important things to my kids. They will always be one of the very most important things in my life, but as they grow and mature and yes, go to kindergarten, that will start to change for them. And I know that's a good thing; they need their independence. If they did not do things like go to kindergarten and become independent it would be because something was wrong.

I had my prepartum depression about my baby going to school this year. Sunday night I cried. I was worried about both of us. Whenever I tried to pep talk him he would put his hand to my mouth and ask me to stop taking about school.
On the drive there he told the bigs there were only 5 more days of school before they got a break. That's right--before he even attended a single day he was counting the days before the weekend.

But I put on my big girl panties, I got that basket out, I placed Elijah Walker into it, and I floated him down the kindergarten hallway. I was a little teary-eyed, but Lijee did not know that. He was too busy doing big boy things like putting his backpack in his locker and finding his name tag. Which is exactly what he should be doing. Through my sadness I am praising God that I got to spend ten of the most precious years at home with my kids. And now all 3 of them are happy to go to school. That makes me happy.

(Don't be fooled. As I'm typing this all alone in the dark and I don't have to be brave for anyone else, a few tears are slipping out.)

We started the day before kindergarten gift on Sunday night.  Eli had really been wanting some army tanks. He and Daddy found some on-line and ordered them a week or so ago, so he had been waiting (im)patiently for them.

We love our teachers.
 My Biggy BooBoo walked in like he has been going up to school for the past five years. Finding his locker on Meet The Teacher was one of his favorite parts of the night, so he was ready to get his new backpack in there.
 He got to find his name tag and pick where he wanted to sit.
 He looks a little sad in this picture, but he was not. Probably sad that his mom kept taking pictures and wouldn't leave.
 Our annual tradition: ice cream after the first day of school. The only thing missing was Grannie.
3rd day of 3rd grade gift
5th day of 5th grade gift
Day 3 - Lijee did not want to be hugged and kissed when I dropped him off. My 3rd and 5th grader still indulge me, mind you. And I met them in the hallway on the way out after school. He wouldn't hold my hand because he had to wait until they were outside and he high fived his teacher good bye.
And the basket gently floats down the river.
 I trust you, God, with the future.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11