Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wandering in the Desert

I had a  note on my Facebook wall this morning from a friend who said she was praying the morning and  the Lord brought me to her mind.  That touched me so deeply because I've been kind of discouraged lately.  Having this cold has not helped matters, either.  By the way, it migrated south during the night so now I feel it down in my chest.  So while I'm not quite as "liquid" on top anymore, now I feel like a large rodent is sitting on my chest.  Or a small mammal.

Why am I discouraged?  Oh, lots of reasons...chief among them has to do with our adoption desires.  We're still waiting.  I know it's only been a few months since we became eligible to do this.  But I've been thinking about it/longing for it for years.  Mother's Day will mark the one year point since we both fully committed to taking this journey.  Maybe that's what I am forgetting - it is a journey we're on.  I want to be at the destination already!  Of course, even when we reach our destination (obtaining a child) then another journey of walking alongside this child and helping to heal her hurts will begin.  I need to be patient.  Paul does work on the side for a Christian landlord - has been doing it for 2  years or more now.  I didn't even make the connection that he was the brother-in-law of our realtor (who is now the activities director up at camp) until a few months ago.  But Paul just discovered a few months ago that he and his wife are caring for two foster daughters on top of their own brood of children.  He told Paul it took them 18 months to get the call for the right children. 

The thing is - we got a call this week.  It wasn't for respite care, but it was for our "own" children.  The state had two girls for us, but they were older than what we were hoping for, ages 7 and almost 12.  They were coming from some pretty rough trauma, too.  We were torn.  I told the worker I would call her back.  Paul and I went back and forth.  My brain was telling me "no" but my heart kept thinking, "What if we are the only thing standing between these girls and a hopeless future?"  But yet - I have only ever envisioned parenting younger girls.  Yes, they would eventually turn into bigger girls, which is fine.  But I'd rather start small.  If we took these sisters, then we were giving up our hopes of getting a younger child, unless the sisters ever went back to their birth home.  But the worker told me we would probably have them for at least a year.  But what if God wanted us to take older children?  For the rest of my life I would tell the story of how I thought I needed younger children, but God knew better and how happy I was that we had gone with God's direction and not our own.  The thing that was confusing was that just the night before Paul and I had prayed about this together, asking God to provide a child(ren) for us very soon.  And then the next day we got this call!  We finally agreed to take the children.  When I called back to tell the worker, I found out she had already found another home for them.

I felt equal parts relief and despair that I had just blown it.  If only I had told the worker "yes" as soon as she had called!  But I couldn't make a decision like that without consulting with Paul.  We talked that night and both finally concluded that the best thing had happened.  We're not opposed to going a little older than the age 6 cap that we have in our dossier, but 12 is awfully far beyond that.  And we decided that if we get a call for a sibling duo like that again, at least one of the girls has to be closer to Sam's age or younger.  And, as a friend suggested to me that night, perhaps these girls went to a more experienced foster home or at least one where the parents might have more time to work with them.  That made me feel a little better.  But I'm still disappointed and wonder how much longer we'll have to wait.

There is encouragement along the way, though.  I wrote about some I received in early March in my latest Jewels piece that came out Friday:      I wrote about the gift of a pink pen that Sara gave me for my birthday.  And, the truth is, my sister-in-law, Kirsti, recently did the same thing for me as well.  She sent me a Target gift card and told me it's for the girl when she arrives!  I had already submitted my story before that arrived, or I would have included it, too.  When you're not seeing any results and you really wonder if God lead you into the desert and left you there, little things like this mean an awful lot.

I watched an older movie Friday night and boy, was it convicting to me.  Maybe I was just in the right place to hear it.  Paul went up to camp, overnight, to attend Counselor's Training.  He will be counseling Jr. High boys this year.  So I told the boys that I would pick up a movie on my way home from Jefferson for us to watch.  Will called during the day and suggested I pick up a movie called "Tower Heist" that he had heard about.  It had a number of comedy actors in it so I thought it would be the perfect thing for a stormy night when we were home without Paul.  Well, we got into the movie and got more and more uncomfortable as the moments passed.  We were about 15 min. into it and it was already generously peppered with bad language.  Plus there were some crude references and I don't know - it was bothersome.  The sad thing is I probably would have watched it, but David and Will were getting squirmier and squirmier - with conviction -  with each moment.  I was tempted to leave it up to them, but I mentally smacked myself in the head and reminded myself that I am the parent here.  We paused it and just kind of looked at eachother and then I reminded the boys of Philippians 4:8.  That was it.  The movie was off.  But then I remembered that we have "Facing the Giants" by Sherwood Productions.  I had never seen it before, even though we've had it for years.  So we watched that instead.  The movie centered around the theme of giving your best to God and surrendering everything to Him.  That hit me hard.  I guess I needed to hear that now.

One cheerful thing that happened this past week: Sam mastered riding his bike without training wheels.  He is only FOUR years old!  I don't think Will even climbed on a bike until he was closer to 5 or 6.  He's been zipping around all over the place with his new-found freedom.  I suppose I had better keep a closer eye on him.  He sure didn't stay little for very long.  He's been pestering me this week about giving him a "buzz cut" soon so that's probably going to happen one of these days, as well.  I was hoping he'd forget, but apparently, he hasn't...sigh...

It's Sunday and I'm home today with this cold and with David who is still struggling with his own.  I need to take frequent rests, but the nice thing is that I'll be able to get some stuff on my "to-do" list done.  This next week is going to be super-busy.  I mean, SUPER.  And all I really want to do is hibernate until this cold goes away!  No rest for the wicked, I guess...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Picture Time and Maybe Some Help

I booked Will with a photographer for his senior pictures this week.  The guy who took that above photo is going to do them.  He is a college student at Faith and has his own photography business.  You can find him at  The student's name is Josh and I actually remember when he was born.  His parents were married students the year I was at Faith.  He ended up being the first of eight children (so far) and now his dad pastors a church in the Clear Lake area.  So last summer Josh was up at camp and managed to persuade some of the senior highers to get up before dawn and pose for him.  My plan had been to take Will's pictures myself because I didn't want to spend a bunch of money.  The thing about senior portraits is that they are important that senior year, but not so much once the year is done.  I still have a stack of my own senior pictures in my cedar chest!  But Will had been saying he wasn't too thrilled with the idea of me taking the pictures since my sole experience with photography is taking shots of the kids in their underwear, usually with somebody's head cut off.   I stumbled across this picture of Will this winter on his Facebook page and immediately contacted the photographer and ordered a couple of copies.  Mine is on top of our piano now.  When Will saw how much I liked that he began mentioning how much he'd like Josh to do his senior pictures.  As it turns out, he's very reasonable in his pricing and I don't have to worry about Will handing out pictures of himself where the top of his head has been sheared off.  It doesn't seem quite right that he's old enough to be planning senior pictures.  I'll probably be saying that about everything this next year!

I am suffering terribly with a head cold right now.  This is my second cold in a space of 2 1/2 months.  I do not get sick, so I am quite baffled as to why I succumbed to the germs my kids were so freely handing out this week.  But you know, I shouldn't be surprised.  Mentally and physically, I have just felt "off" for weeks now.  I suppose my body got run down.  Having surgery didn't help, either, I suppose.

Ben and I spent yesterday in Jefferson, Iowa, which is a nice little town.  We met this Dr. Miller and I have to say that I was very impressed.  I only went to him for help with my allergies but he immediately figured out that I was still suffering effects from the stroke.  That surprised me because I thought I was healed, other than some left side weakness when fatigued.  He pointed out that my left ankle was "spastic" and I had no reflexes in my left elbow.  But he fixed that. He also told me that I was suffering from low blood sugar and my magnesium levels were severely depleted.  The blood sugar surprised me, but then I recalled that I had only eaten a handful of frosted animal cookies for breakfast - could explain the blood sugar.  We talked for awhile about the magnesium and I eventually agreed to try a natural powder to boost it.  I had a bad experience with magnesium supplements in the 90s and have avoided the stuff ever since.  But after looking over this paper that explained side effects from magnesium deficiency and realizing that I was experiencing most of them, I knew I had to do something.  When I walked out of the doctor's office after he worked on me,  I literally felt like I had springs in my shoes - amazing!

This guy claims to "fix" allergies permanently.  You don't have to come back for more work.  However, a person may still have more allergies that haven't been addressed yet, and then you'd want to go back for more work.  Right now Ben is still stuffy from the cold he had earlier this week so I can't tell yet if he's doing better, allergy wise.  Time will tell.  But if he is, I'm taking us both back so we can get some more work done.  I'm also cancelling his allergy shots.  Truthfully, I can't stand his allergist.  He's from the Middle East and will not listen to me when I tell him I think Ben's shots are doing nothing.  If for some reason we ever decided to do the shots again, I'd just find somebody knew.

One thing we discovered about Ben is that he is full of heavy metals.  I know that sounds kind of new-agey and hocus-pocusy - right up there with giving birth in a pool and grinding your own wheat.  But I'm tending to believe it.  That poor kid has had so many drugs pumped into his body and I watched his 2 month vaccines destroy his little brain and wreak havoc all over skin.  The dr. said, too, he would have some metals just because he was inside me for a period of time, too.  I thought it was bizarre that he was testing Ben for American cheese, too.  But the dr. explained to me that there is no such thing as American cheese - it's not real.  I argued with him that I don't buy anything that says "cheese product" but only the actual American cheese slices.  Ben has consumed those eagerly since he could feed himself as a preschooler.  Dr. Miller explained to me that American cheese is made up of a number of different products, chief of which is aluminum - I think.  Some kind of metal anyway.  Yikes!  But it's so yummy!  However, it won't have a place in my fridge anymore.  I assume that means the Cheese whiz and Velveeta have to go, too...sigh...

This was not as expensive as I thought it would be and it will be even cheaper the next time we come.  There was totally no pressure to come back, but I'll watch and see how Ben does and then probably make a day of it later this summer.  If I do see some marked improvement in Ben, I'll will probably take David, too.  David has allergies, as well, but I have been reluctant to get him started on shots, and, as such, have not yet.  Maybe I won't have to.

We had an hour and half before we could have our second batch of allergy testing done so Ben and I explored the town a little bit.  We ended up going to Pizza Ranch for lunch.  They had a digital pop machine, something neither one of us had ever seen before.  We're from a bigger metro area, too.  But yet, little Jefferson, Iowa has one?   Maybe we just don't get out much!  I went to help Ben fill his plate from the buffet and when I came back to the table, it had been cleared, including our drinks and my half-eaten plate of food!  I never had that happen before.

Well, I have a few more things to babble on about, but this cold is really wiping me out.  I think it's time for bath and bed...and a Tylenol PM so I can sleep better tonight than I did last night.  I won't be going anywhere tomorrow so I should have some time to get caught up then.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Making Music, People, and my Kitchen

I had planned to sit down and dash off a quick blog.  Then I discovered that in the week since I last posted, Blogger went and changed everything, so I had to learn the whole site all over again.  Grrr....

We have had some respite kids the past few days - a 4 yr old girl and her 2 yr old brother.  They have been the sweetest little things and I have enjoyed them very much.  However, their presence meant I didn't get to go out with Melissa last night as planned because Paul had to work late.  And today I'll have to miss a wedding shower at church.  I guess I'm starting to see some of the sacrifices involved in doing foster care!

Above are Ben and Will at the last Sp. Olympics event.  I didn't already post this picture did I?  My mind has not been functioning lately on all its cylinders, so I honestly do not know.  This was after they ran their unified race and got first place.  We'll be going up to Ames on May 19 for the state meet.  Then that afternoon we will have 4 graduation open houses to attend.  It is going to be one busy day!  On May 3 we're going to Drake.  Ben's coach arranged with the school to have several students plus Will run in another unified event.  She said she ordered me a t-shirt for that, too.  I actually just bought a Sp. Olympics tee and of course, I have one that matches the boys' in that fluorescent green.  I only wear that one at events because that color does horrible things to my complexion!

We have a new piano.  I should have taken a picture of that and posted it.  It is 93 years old - and gorgeous.  And huge!  It was in Indianola, in a house Paul was sent to for his job.  In talking with the homeowner, he found she was willing to let the piano go.  So, last Sat. was a workday at church.  Paul rounded up the people working there and they all descended on this house and loaded the piano into the truck.  I guess Paul had our music minister inspect it first and he said it was in good condition.  I have a friend who tunes pianos for a living so I want him to get it just right sometime when he's in the area.  And then when Paul got home he was able to round up a bunch of neighborhood guys, including one of Will's football coaches, who was visiting relatives in Swan, I guess.  They all brought it into our house before the rain came.  All week long the boys have been picking at it and Will has had me reminding him how to play the basics.  It had been 5 years since I had touched a piano, so I'm a little rusty too.  I feel so guilty to see his interest.  He's been teaching himself the guitar since last fall and now he wants to learn the piano.  We should have bitten the bullet and made sure all the boys had lessons.  It's probably too late for Will but maybe we can do that for David and Sam.

Tuesday night was our moms group.  Jenny came with me again.  We had a special speaker who spoke on marriage.  Part of me wanted to say, "Lady, you have no idea..." because this is a younger mom whose oldest child is only 6 and all her kids are perfectly healthy.  She lives in Ankeny, which usually implies a higher income bracket.  However, I immediately chided myself because a person doesn't have to be in my exact position in life in order to be able to learn from them.  Some things I shrugged off like when she was talking about looking for ways for your family to minister together.  Quite honestly, we're just looking to survive!  But she did have a number of books she has learned from and the next day I even ordered one called "Love and Respect."  That's a book that has been around for quite awhile, but I've never read it.  Paul said he'd go through it with me, so we're going to do it.  It was funny - the next night at church I told Jenny that I had ordered one of the books and she said she had done the same thing that day!  After the meeting was over Jenny and I visited this new place out at Jordan Creek called "Orange Leaf."  We were fearful it was a joint that served things like wheat grass smoothies, but it wasn't.  It's a frozen yogurt place where you serve yourself soft-serve yogurt, choosing as many of the 10 or 12 different flavors they have and then top it with any or all of the candy and fruit and nut toppings they offer.  They weigh your container when you're done and that's how you're charged.  They have all these couches or cool little tables and stools to sit at.  It was neat - can't wait to go back!

I have been dealing with terrible canker sores all week long, ever since I had that tooth removed last Thursday.  I have had a hard time talking, even.  I have two of the sores on the tip and underside of my tongue - incredibly painful!  But I think they're getting better.

Next Friday I am taking Ben out of school and we're going up to Jefferson to visit this chiropractor who has the reputation of being very good with allergy issues.  I think I already mentioned that in an earlier post.  Thursday, I had a meeting with Ben's case manager and his new contact at the Respite Connection, who is hiring a young man from our church to be Ben's new case worker.  Have I written about that yet?  It is kind of interesting how that has all come to be.  But anyway, she was needing a health history on Ben so I happened to mention our plans to visit this guy and she asked me, "Is it Dr. Miller?"  I said it was and she told me she had a friend who had been to see him and had been totally cured of her allergies.  She, herself, was thinking about going to him.  So that really boosted my confidence.  I have hoped that I am not wasting time and money to go see this guy.  I've just had such a rough time this spring with my own allergies, which is unusual this time of year.  I don't want to live like this.  And Ben doesn't even get the blessing of feeling good most of the year because his nasal allergies are just constant.

Oh, I have cupboards again!  Paul has them all up.  I am LOVING have all this additional counter and cupboard space!  He even put up lights underneath the cabinets.  I haven't had those since leaving our house in Loveland.  What a treat!  Now, to get the floor done and new counter tops...We also need to order some brick facing for the wall.  My neighbor walked in the other day to ask me something and suddenly gasped, looking over my shoulder, "Your kitchen!  You re-did your kitchen!"  Well, technically, I just maneuvered around the mess and Paul did the work, but I'll take credit for it, just the same!

Well, I need to intervene with the little people at my house.  Arguments spring up whenever you leave too many of them alone for too long!  It's been funny - ever since they got here, Sam has been going up to the little girl, knowing she is the same age as he is, looking her over, and then turning to me and saying, "Well, I'm still taller than she is!"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Finishing Up

I registered Will for his ACT test this afternoon - another first in my life as the parent of a near-adult.

This week I made some phone calls about our hoped-for adoption. One lady I spoke with is the area IFAPA (Iowa Foster/Adoptive Parents Assoc) leader. She suggested that we make a flyer about our desire to adopt and then mail it to the 8 state adoption workers. So I did that and now I'm just waiting to hear back from her. She's supposed to get me the addresses. She got really excited when I told her that we were willing to consider some special needs and that we had experience with quite a few needs in Ben.

My grandma is not doing well, physically. She's 87, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. I just wish she didn't live so far away. I had always hoped to visit her one last time, but I am doubtful it is going to happen now. The thought of her being ill and possibly dying makes me so incredibly sad. She has always been such a big part of my life, even when so far away. She is my last living grandparent and soon, I fear, I will not have any.

I have recently realized lately that my face is beginning to sag. I'm developing jowls. Ick! I never used to have such a square jawline and as I've studied it I have come to realize that my facial structure has not changed, but my skin has loosened and fallen down around my chin. No wonder they call them "face lifts"! I had better come to some graceful terms quickly with the aging process because, as fast as it is happening, it appears I'll be living the last half of my life all saggy and wrinkly.

Paul's sister and family moved this week to Ohio. They have both lived their entire lives in the Council Bluffs area. But a few weeks ago she got a job offer and so they packed up, rented their house to Paul's nephew, and headed East this week. They're going to live near (next door? not sure) to Paul's other sister. Now Paul's parents have exactly one of their five children living in the same city. Of course, the bad side of this for me is that we may end up with more company as relatives cross the state to and from Ohio!

A couple of weeks ago I was in Target when I saw something that gave me pause. A middle-aged man (read: my age) was in there and he was wearing a fanny pack! As I thought about it I came to a realization. As much as my husband may annoy me from time to time (and honestly, it's not all that much, anymore!) I have so much to be grateful for - because he doesn't wear a fanny pack!

And on that uplifting note, I'm going to sign off. The next few days will probably be as busy as normal. Tomorrow I need to do some work up at City Hall and then I want to go visit Charlotte and James. Tomorrow evening I am going out with my friends Debbie and Danielle, to celebrate our March birthdays (we all have busy lives, which is why we're celebrating in April!). Saturday I think I'm going to get to stay home because Will volunteered to take David to softball practice. And Sunday will be a normal day, too. Then, Monday, I'll be plunged back into the craziness that defines my life these days.

Tooth, the Cross, and Gifts From a Mother

I had a tooth pulled today - the one near the front (my eye tooth, actually) that the crown broke off of last month. I go in for the bridge work on May 10. It took my dentist 2 1/2 hours to pull that thing! She said it was very stubborn and kept breaking off in pieces. Ugh! So, I'm sore and seriously wondering why I put all this money in my mouth. Maybe I should just have all my teeth pulled and get dentures and be done with it! Excuse my while I spit some more blood into the garbage can... Bad teeth run in my family. My grandma had all hers pulled before she was 40, I think my mom said. So that was not a fun way to spend my morning!

Charlotte called to see how I was doing and when she found out what I had just been through ended up bringing me sandwich fixings for everyone so I wouldn't have to fix supper tonight. We were going to go on a date anyway tonight but I'll use the sandwich stuff later. She's so sweet. Last week she gave me the most gorgeous crystal cross necklace as a late birthday present. It actually has the Lord's prayer inside the center of it. You have to hold it up to the light and squint and then you can read it. I know people probably order these things as a talisman of sorts, but I love it because of the symbolism and because it's sparkly! Really, if we want to wear a cross necklace, I suppose it should be something hewn out of rough wood and have bloodstains on it, too. But I was thinking about that and reasoned to myself that while the real cross was not a thing of beauty, it becomes beautiful, symbolically, because of what was done there. Christ's great love transformed something ugly into something very beautiful - like our lives.

Well, Sam has decided he wants a buzz cut - "Like David" he says. Lately he has been refusing to let me dry his hair when he steps out of the shower because when I do I rough up his hair which makes it curlier. He sourly tells me, "I want flat hair!" I'm not whipping out the shaver yet, though. I'll wait until I decide to cut everyone's hair and then see if he is still set on that. My fear is that if I cut off his curls, they will never come back. Ben had the most gorgeous curls as a toddler. Then I dumbly cut them off when he was 18 months and he had lumpy, coarse hair for the rest of his childhood. In puberty, the curls returned with a vengeance, though - I was so glad! A couple of Paul's nephews had "normal" childhood hair and then when puberty hit, they ended up with curly heads of hair, too. A friend of mine, who had that happen to her son, told me she read it's because of the hormones. I prefer to think of it as a gift from their mother!

My kitchen has undergone some major renovations in recent days. Last Sat. Paul ripped out all the cupboards. I was trying to cook for our Easter meal, working around the sink laying on the floor and hunting for my pans and utensils in the living room - things memories are made of, you know! Now everything is back in place. My counters are in "U" shape. The counters themselves are temporary. Paul cut our old one to fit the new dimensions and then we bought a similarly colored piece on clearance. When we can afford it we're going to order navy blue custom made ones. We're going to need all new flooring, too. This week Paul has been working on the kitchen wall - ripping out all the old lath and plaster - nasty stuff. He has the new drywall up and has it mudded already. Oh, and we've decided to put brick facing between the bottoms of the cupboards and counter top, which will give the room a "homey" look. That was Paul's idea. I don't know why I didn't think of it. Growing up, my parents put that stuff all over the kitchen walls - covered up the aqua blue paint left by the previous owners. But the insides of our cupboards were always aqua, I remember! I don't have all my top cupboards up, but we're getting closer. Now I have two new bottom cupboards. I just love all this extra space! It's kind of nice having everything - the counters and stove and dishwasher, all right together like they are now. And the extra counter space - absolutely heavenly!!

I have really been struggling with spring allergies in recent weeks, which has been an unpleasant surprise. I used to be bothered by them, but probably for the last decade I have only experienced allergies in August and Sept. But this spring has been something else. I've been living on drugs, which make me so sleepy and give me strange dreams. I actually made an appt. with a chiropractor/naturopath in Jefferson for the end of the month for Ben and me. He helped a friend's infant grandson who had some pretty bad allergies, so I'm hoping he'll be able to point us in the right direction. I don't want to live like this and I know Ben's constant allergies are no good, either. His sneezes are so violent and have such a loud lead-up that it's downright embarrassing. The other night at church he sprayed a family in front of us when he didn't get covered up well enough. I would have cheerfully strangled him after I finished burying myself in a hole... I hope this guy can help us, otherwise it's going to be a waste of money and gas.

We had another "first" the other night. For the first time ever, Will bought his own shoes. He needed some new tennis shoes and it can be a little difficult to coordinate our schedules so that we can shop together. So Will suggested that he just buy them himself and I could pay him back. He did a good job - came home with a nice pair of size FOURTEENs! Another gift from his mother (big feet)...

One more post and I should be caught up. Better go hang some laundry first, though.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Prom, Easter, and Special Athletes

We've had a busy couple of weeks - what else is new? Hah! Here is Will at left, all dressed up for Prom Alternative. This year the kids stayed in town, eating at Johnny's Italian Steakhouse, staying at the Stoney Creek Inn (where we attended the marriage retreat in Feb) and then going to SkyZone on Sat. SkyZone is this place that has giant trampolines all over and the kids can play dodge ball and basketball and other things. It brings just two words to mind for me - urinary incontinence!

Friday night while Will was gone we went to Pizza Hut in Knoxville. Our waitress asked me if we were from Pleasantville. I told her no. Then she pointed at Ben and said, "I know him - he goes to my school!" So I explained to her that we were actually from Swan, but yes, Ben did attend Pville. She told me her name and that she was a junior and I told her that my older son was also a junior and was homeschooled, but attended one class there. She nodded and said, "Oh, you mean Will?" She added, "I've never met him, but I've heard about him!" I thought that was pretty impressive - that Will is well-known enough to be talked about! I mentioned that to Will later and he said that usually kids nod at him and he then hears them saying, "That's the homeschooled kid that plays football!"

Saturday we had an Easter party here in Swan. I was not involved in the planning at all, but I did help set things up on Friday. Sam was mystified when I mentioned that we would be "hunting eggs." He asked, "Why are we going to shoot eggs?" Oh, I laughed and laughed at that one! Saturday dawned gray, drizzly, and cold - ugh! I had agreed to man the "pin the tail on the bunny" game and I also ended up laying out a good portion of the 850 plastic eggs on the lawn. Despite the weather we had a good turn-out for our first party. The kids all had a great time.

But you know what? I found myself a little bothered by the whole party. Easter is such a sacred time of year and it almost seems wrong to me to be celebrating with Easter bunnies and candy. I used to think it was no different than Christmas - you have the sacred side and the secular side and as a Christian parent, you just make sure you teach your kids the sacred meaning. But I don't know - this just really kind of bothered me. Christianity pivots on the resurrection of Christ and yet, for most people, Easter is only about bunnies and eggs. I still did Easter baskets for the boys and we had eggs for David and Sam (this was the first year that Will and Ben both refused to hunt). I don't think we'll ever quit that, but I've just never found myself uneasy about it before. Kind of like Halloween last year... I know we're teaching the boys right. By Easter this year Sam was telling us that "Jesus died on the cross so we can go to Heaven." I did find it interesting when chatting with my friend, Tina, who lives in Korea (she is American) to discover that in Korea, they do not celebrate Easter like we do. Only Christians celebrate the holiday and there is no Easter bunny or egg hunts. It makes me wonder if only the western world is the only place where Easter is commercialized. Or maybe it's just the United States? I have no idea.

Well, I need to wrap up this post so that I can get supper going. I have Patch club tonight so I don't have a whole lot of time. So I'll have to write about my other stuff later. Yesterday was the Spring events for Special Olympics over at Simpson college. It was a chilly day, but the sun was out. I was shocked to discover when I got home, that I had fried my nose, though. Paul is calling me "Rudolph" as a result. The day was wonderful. I LOVE Special Olympics! This year I didn't feel so lost, though, and knew what was going on. Ben competed in three events - the 100 m dash, the softball throw, and a unified relay race. He got third place ribbons in the first two events. The unified race was one that Will got to run in (hence, the name - unified with "normal" people). It was so awesome because Grandview Baptist School had a group of kids there helping out. Two are from our church. So they stood on the side and cheered Ben's team on. Anyway, they won first place! I just love Sp. Olympics - all these athletes who are made perfectly, just the way God intended them to be.

One thing that is neat is that one of the team members attends Special Camp up at IRBC every summer. Well, when the coach found this out last year, and that Will works up there that week every year, she started looking into Sp. Camp, and she's sending her daughter (a sweet, shy teenager with Downs Syndrome) this June. The dad of the other girl told us that he spent a number of his teenage summers working up at camp, just like Will. He told Will to make sure to "check out the girls" which made Will's face turn red!

Since Ben's team got first they will be going up to Ames to compete in the state meet. His coach told me this will probably be on May 19 - ugh. We had intended to attend the NICHE graduation that day, plus I think we have 4 open houses to go to that afternoon and evening. How am I supposed to do all that? Plus, we have to go up to Ames on the 17th for Ben's bocce ball. competition. Then a week later we are going camping and David's birthday falls that same weekend so I have to not only get ready for camping, but I have to bring all his birthday celebration supplies with us, including the traditional "13" box (a box of 13 small gifts). Then a week later he's having a birthday party. And then a week later is VBS and the homeschool conference and Will's ACT test! One day at a time, one day at a time...

We may be going to Drake on May 3rd, as well. Ben's coach is hoping to get together another unified team to compete there. Apparently it's a day full of unified events. That would be fun.

Ok, I have to take a break from this madness to prepare supper. Hungry people get grouchy. Hopefully I can get all caught up tomorrow. I'm having a tooth pulled first thing in the morning (the first step in my crown process). I'm hoping I'll feel well enough to put in some time at City Hall and finish blogging, as well. I really need two of me. Maybe three.