Friday, March 30, 2012

A Dog's Life

Mellon is John's dog, there is no doubt that she belongs to him body and soul. This day John 'helped' her by letting her off her chain in the back so that she could run and play, well she jumped the fence and went on a merry chase through town. She's a big dog, so we stayed close to her and met a few neighbors along the way as she visited every dog, horse, small child, cat and interesting bush she could find. We were rather impressed, she never picked a fight, never got involved with the more aggressive dogs around and never did anything really bad she just wanted to run, and run with glee she did. She eventually ended up out in the country and with the help of a really nice man and his two sweet little girls we rounded her back up and brought her home.

John showed us how she got loose, he took her chain off, just as we suspected but he couldn't tell us until he could show us. So we explained to him that she could have gotten hit, or lost, or killed or taken to doggie jail and that he needed to take care of her by making sure that those things didn't happen to her. The rest of the evening they spent like this.



She could have easily gotten lose, but no she went with him through narrow doorways, long cartoons, and circles through the house. Occasionally she would look at us like we needed to rescue her and of course we didn't because she is John's dog and he wasn't doing anything bad, just annoying, lol, kinda like her earlier in the day.

He continues to drag her around like this and she does slip away when he isn't paying close enough attention but then she always sits and lets him get her again. We couldn't have asked for a better dog for him, we are so thankful to have her.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crack Me Up


I can't remember what they were watching on my computer, Kick Buttowski, Top Shot, something like that and of course they were enjoying it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Who are you tonight?

John has watched a good bit of Dr. Who with us and so when Mark came across this little weird looking flashlight he gave it to John and told him that it was his own sonic screwdriver. John was cracking us up this night reading with his sonic screwdriver. Other nights he has out the wand that Mark carved for him and is cursing the dog as Harry Potter and still other nights he is dashing through the house looking for stuff with his sword, he's Link. Gotta love that imagination.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Beloved

In February Mark celebrated his 42 birthday, he gets more amazing each year.


I'm thinking this birthday apron is a little more manly than him wearing mine and I just love it when we cook together. I love you sweetheart, it's been wonderful sharing your birthday with you and we look forward to sharing many many more!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Look No Hands


John's chair was broken for almost 2 weeks. A few days before the chair broke he flat refused to walk in blue (the walker in the picture), but true to his good nature the moment the chair was obviously broken he asked to be taken to blue and when I asked him what he was going to do to get around while his chair was being repaired he told me he'd walk in blue, like duh mom, what else. Each day we saw him get strong and walk further, this was taken a few days before the chair was back and the day before the chair was back he walked further and better than we had to this point ever seen him do.

I was worried that when the chair came back home that he would refuse to walk in blue. I am only willing to choose so many battles and while this is one that I was willing to engage in, I didn't want to have to do that. So we told him that since he was sick, little uti, and wasn't feeling well that he could wait and walk in blue when his fever had broken and he was feeling better. The second day the chair was home, still running a fever he showed me that he could park his chair and put himself in blue if I would hold the back of it so it wouldn't move and gladly walked with it into the living room to nap because after all he is sick. He amazes me constantly.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Snakes on a Pole

In the readings for last Sunday was a passage that used to take me by surprise somewhat, Moses putting a snake on the pole at God's command for the people to look at while they were being bitten by poisonous snakes so that they would live and not die from the snake bite. In the view of the world this is just nuts, first off if there is a snake in the room I am definitely not taking my eyes off of it and secondly if I get bit by said snake my first instinct is to kill the thing and then second is to call 911. Okay so Moses and the Israelites didn't have 911, but still, it's hard to imagine someones dad or mom telling the little kid that just got bit to look at the snake on the pole and it will all be better. It's even harder to imagine the little kid being able to look away from the thing that hurts so bad, it's hard to imagine a mom or dad being able to look away from their child's wound or their own.

Mark's sermon this past Sunday equated the snakes to the problems that go on around us and in the end used a stanza from St. Patrick's Breastplate, in my head these go together perfectly and look like this:

Sometimes this world is scary
Christ be with me,

The thoughts whirl in my head of how much bad can happen
Christ within me,

The things in my past come back to haunt me,
Christ behind me,

The future is uncertain,
Christ before me,

Sometimes I'm lonely,
Christ beside me,

Even those closest to me don't always understand the hurts,
Christ to comfort and restore me,

I'm scared to fall into the pit of despair,
Christ beneath me,

The world is so huge, sometimes I feel lost and insignificant,
Christ above me,

In the still of the night the nagging worries can over take me,
Christ in quiet,

I'm scared,
Christ in danger,

I need to hear from someone that I know and trust that Christ forgiveness is real,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,

I need to know that I'm not alone in this world.
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pushing the Cart


With his chair broken John got lots of practice walking, this was the very first time he walked a cart out of the store, Sam's no less, that's a lot of walking, and he did it beautifully. I'm walking with him and never could quite let go of the cart, other than to step over to get the balloon that the service desk ladies wanted him to have, but I wasn't pushing the cart neither was I actually keeping it from running away from him. These little things are the most amazing!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Expect Mistakes from Good Kids Too

One of our favorite quotes from Pastor Harrison's Little Book on Joy is
The Gospel of free forgiveness in Christ frees us to expect mistakes, forgive them, and to find the humor in them after the fact.

I remember as a kid that my parents would always tell people that my sister and I were good kids but we were kids. This was often said when we were out somewhere and showed off by displaying our good manners. My dad told us early on that if we had to be spanked by our teachers, aunts, or other adults then we would get twice as much spanking when we got home. We were always good in public, no matter whether we were actually good at home in the between times or not.

As a kid I never really understood this saying of theirs, after all I knew what my sister and I were like at home but as an adult it makes perfect sense to me. It is another of those things where I hear my mom and dad coming out of my mouth, especially in regards to John. So many people see this cute, adorable little boy with his muscle weaknesses and his inability to speak and think that he is a perfectly adorable little angel, or too mentally slow to actually create trouble. He is most certainly cute and adorable, he is however extremely smart and capable of finding and even inventing trouble when he is of a mind to do so. In the end he is a kid, a good kid, my favorite kid in all the world, but a kid, so I expect him to make mistakes.

When we taught John to sign 'sorry' we also taught him to sign 'forgive'. Many times he has signed 'sorry' and we have told him that we forgive him and signed it to him also. Many times we have told him and signed to him that we were sorry and he has signed 'forgive' for us. We expect him to make mistakes, I'm not sure he expects that of us yet, but he will in time and for now he forgives us when we do, so that's ok. We have learned over the years to expect others to make mistakes too, friends, family and people from church and community are human and everyone needs to know that just because someone is in general a 'good kid' doesn't mean that they won't make mistakes and they in turn need to learn to expect that others will make mistakes also.

If in his cuteness and adorable nature John is able to teach others anything at all it is my prayer, as his mother, that he teaches them and me forgiveness, for nothing this side of heaven is more important to have or to share. So many people have misunderestimated John and while that's an expectable mistake I hope at some time they realize that this little guy is one heck of a great teacher when it comes to forgiveness, compassion and love, not to mention that whole humor thing, John has humor down pat!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three of My Favorite Guys!

We loved to get to see Papa this spring...


...absolutely loved it. John had so much to show off for Papa and even was able to kiss and hug him each night and say with his mouth 'papa'. We cherished our time together and can't wait to get to visit again. We love you Papa!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gluten, Ugh, I didn't want to go here

I really didn't, I actually remember texting with a friend a few years back and saying things like 'if I have to give up bread I'm done.' Well here it is further down the road and not only have I given up bread but I read every single label of every single thing I put in my mouth or home, no wheat, nothing that is manufactured on the same equipment as wheat, nothing that is made in the same building as wheat stuff, nope, nope, even ordered our own communion wafers that are still bread and yet super dooper low gluten, the jury is still out on those but Mark seems fine with them. So you ask why in the world would someone go to these lengths for what seems to be the latest food fad, I've been thinking of how to explain that lately and well today I have come to the conclusion that a list is my friend. So here's the list of things that we don't have to deal with when we don't eat gluten -

for Mark
- upset stomach
- gut pain
- diarrhea
- increase of anxiety from those things and probably amplified by the gluten

for Gina
- inability to get my words out right, like John's apraxia or stuttering or something in between
- heightened anxiety (beyond just the normal stuff and constant)
- easily thrown into panic attacks
- feeling like the inside layer of the skin on my arms and legs are trying to crawl up my arms and legs
- more frequent and worse headaches (still not sure if I am headache free without gluten, but so far I've not had a headache that isn't at least related)
- numb patches on my skin
- brain whirling, like having 3 conversations in my head at all times
- kinda clumsy with both find and gross motor skills (trip easier, drop things more often, etc)
- absolute exhaustion, worn out from the heightened anxiety and depression type symptoms including thinking I'm the most worthless person to have ever lived and images of suicide
- joint pain in my hands, feet and back without having done something to cause it
- legs and arms that feel like they need to be stretched all the time and are rarely ever comfortable
- eyes feel like they are on fire a good bit of the time
- horrid time trying to focus, depending on typeface and size there are things I can't even read cause I can't get my eyes to stay still long enough to get through even a few paragraphs, and backlit screens are way way worse when this is going on too
- absolutely starving, nothing is satisfying, I'm just hungry, whereas without gluten I can go most of a day and not even think about food, at the point when the gluten effects start I could eat the whole fridge with a fork right now
- feet and hands swelling easily, gluten free road trips there is no edema in my feet, gluten laden road trips come with swollen and painful feet, ankles and hands

We started down this journey because we both ached and coming home from the hospital where we had, especially I had, pretty much lived on cake and coffee we wanted to see if we could feel better without the max dosage of ibuprofen all the time. We shortly figured out that Mark was gluten intolerant and so I changed things around here for him, happily, willingly because I would do anything for him. We knew that I felt much better too but just assumed it had a lot to do with getting off the cake/coffee jag, getting back home and such. It has taken us months to realize that I have all these neurological symptoms with gluten and as we look back over the years that we have known each other some of them have always been there and we never thought they could go away until I had some gluten free time around here. With gluten I spend 2 days of anxiety, loads and loads of anxiety and then a day or two of just crushing fatigue, for a long time I have wondered if I had mental issues that I needed to have addressed professionally, and really if you know me I am kind of a nut, but still without gluten I don't have days when I can barely move and others when I am so anxious that just having my skin touched makes me jump.

So if you've managed to read this far the most important thing you need to know is that gluten or not we still rely on Christ to carry us through this sinful broken world and that Mark has now appointed himself my gluten-protector so if you ever see a little white knight figure with a no-wheat crest let me know, he needs it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Merry Christmas

Um well, yes, as a matter of fact this is really late. But the pictures were on John's iPod which I lost as we left this museum where these pics were taken and didn't find until just a few weeks ago. We are so glad it is found, we are even more glad that we are blessed to have family close enough that John is actually getting to know his cousins.




They always have fun together and we are looking forward to seeing them again soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

She'll Get back to this...


...I promise, and she has lots of pictures to share and stories to tell cause I'm awesome. Love, John