Tuesday, October 31, 2006
What a blessed day I had today! My husband actually had the day off for the first time in over a month! He has been using his days off from the Olive Garden to help my brother and West Coast Construction. They are almost finished with a huge, gorgeous expansion for West Gate Baptist Church and Florida Baptist College here in Tampa. I'd like to invite you to go visit their websites. http://www.westgateministries.org My hubby wanted to be with Shane and I today as we planned on having a big night! He and Shane had fun carving pumpkins out on the back patio this morning, I cleaned the house, then off to Walmart around 5pm for their parade of costumes and in-store trick or treating! I picked up a little more candy to hand out at home. We don't really 'celebrate' halloween by attending parties and such, but each year we look forward to the haul of goodies we bring in from trick or treating and we enjoy handing out gospel tracts with yummy candies to the ghosts and goblins who ring our doorbell! Shane dressed up as a soldier tonight. He wore his camouflage pants, t-shirt, hat, and painted his face as well. Even his bag was camouflage! I will post photos of him soon. First, Agustin took him out house to house while I stayed home and passed out candy and trinkets. Then Agustin came and relieved me for awhile. There was a really spooky house down the street that Shane was just dying for me to see! We came home, ordered pizza and a coke, then pigged out. Later, I loved seeing him spill everything out on the family room floor and organize it into piles. I called him King Midas. "Mom, can you believe we have 34 lollipops!" My heart smiled. I was here at my computer reading family member's blogs, and he would come in periodically to update me about his booty! He then put everything back into his bag, then brought it to me to estimate the weight. These days, he is estimating everything. We had a math lesson recently involving making estimations. On the way home from Walmart tonight he had me see how many times I could say "I would like to light it" within one minute. He had been telling me he wanted to light the candles inside the jack-o-lanterns when we got home. I was able to say it 78 times in one minute. Yea Me!!! To end the day, Shane just came in and scared me to death with guess what? Two big rubber tarantulas! I love this kid!
It's true, all babies are precious and all our children are precious to us. But what a surprise for us back in 1997 when we found out we were going to have another child. Our only son, Joshua, was now 10 something. When we wanted to run out for a quick bite to eat; it was everybody to the car, everybody for themselves, everybody click their own seatbelt, everybody out of the car on their own, everybody order and feed themselves once we were in the restaurant. So simple. Around the house, simple schedules and chores were carried out without prompting from me. Due to my RA, Josh had been well trained. He was such a trooper. Bedtime would come and a simple "Time for bed. I'll be in soon to kiss you goodnight." Done deal! But that was all about to change! A baby means planning ahead for each excursion out of the house. Is the baby well rested? Do we need to change a diaper first? Are the bottles made and packed? Do we have a pacifier in the diaper bag? How long will we be out? Are there enough diapers in the bag? It also means we would have to keep in mind the extra time alotment for loading and locking the baby into the car seat, then after arrival, unlocking and unloading the baby! For all parents reading this post - YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT DON'T YOU? For us it also meant new everything. We no longer had baby clothes packed away or a crib or basinette, nothing! Just a few special items of baby Josh's I had stored in my cedar chest for keepsakes. My Rheumatoid Arthritis was under control and I was just weaning off one prescription, Prednisone, which is a steroid. I had begun a regiment of herbs and homeopathic medicines and had started losing weight. I was exercising more than I ever had in my life! I had been feeling great! I tell people that I must have been feeling a little too good, for now I was pregnant! But we were thrilled with the news and excitedly waited to meet our baby. My mom gave me an awesome baby shower. There were so many people there. It was amazing how much love was bestowed upon us and our boys. We received so many gifts! I don't think I had to buy a thing! God saw that we, His dear children, had everything we needed. Now we can't imagine a world without this special little boy. Since Josh doesn't live at home anymore, we would be empty nesters today if God hadn't presented us with this prize. Shane keeps us young. I tried to include a photo of Shane here but for some reason I couldn't get it to upload. I will try again soon. He is a doll! Take my word for it! God bless!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Josh was only 3 in this photo. This is how he looked when I was diagnosed with R.A. He is now a very handsome 19 year old! More photos will post soon.
I know it has been a few days since I have posted, but can I blame it on pain? Bad news first! I have had a difficult week, suffering with lots of inflammation in my wrists. My right ring finger won't bend, and left pinky won't either. My right shoulder feels as though it is out of socket and both my feet hurt in so many places. It seems my rheumatoid arthritis is in a very active mode at present. Years ago, when I was first diagnosed, I would lie in bed and cry on days like I had yesterday. I would feel so guilty for not being able to perform my "duties" around the house. My Rheumatologist once told me I would develop more tolerance to the different levels of pain. I was a hard case to diagnose to begin with. First, tests for thyroid malfunctions, then Lyme Disease, finally after several tests, it was settled - Rheumatiod Arthritis.
Now the good news! I don't cry near as much as I did in those early days of pain, frustration, and flat out embarrassment. It used to kill me when I would have to call in to the school where I taught first grade to tell them I would be late or not in at all. My husband would help me undress, get in the shower, and shampoo my hair for me because I couldn't lift my arms. Many mornings, I simply couldn't drive to work. My oldest son was three when I was first diagnosed. (Notice adorable child in photo above!)Because it took awhile to find what was truly wrong with me and then even longer to find the best medicine for me, my husband had to be both mommy and daddy for our Josh. I thank God for the wonderful friends he had by my side during those first months of this illness. I would like to say THANK YOU to a few of them. To Liz Bostick, a special "GOD BLESS YOU" for the Saturday you came and took Josh and I to lunch, then drove us to the Kapok Tree Inn in Clearwater. I really needed that day out. I know you had millions of other things you could have been doing. Another thank you to Todd and Patti Byrd who dropped everything and rushed over to my house one night when I was so swollen and red and sick, but my three year old, Josh, needed some help. His daddy was at work at his second job and wasn't due to be home until 11:00 p.m. Josh had diarrhea all day and was raw because he nor I could clean his little behind well enough. You all picked up his toys, the sofa cushions he had pulled onto the floor to play with, and you gave him a nice, warm bath! How special that was. I have tears in my eyes now just remembering it. I know my mom or sister would have been right there had they lived near, but my loving heavenly Father supplied me with the right friends with the right hearts!
I have grown to realize the world doesn't stop because I am in bed or because I am moving slowly. My husband survives it and my boys do as well. Dare I say my home survives when I take a day off? Yes! Unfortunately, my job didn't. I had to quit teaching early that year. But after having April through the summer off, and being on my meds, I was able to return to work part time that fall.
It is the Lord Jesus Christ who gets me through these tough days. His Word grows especially sweet to me when all I seem to be able to do is to think and meditate. I like to read in Psalms during these times. Many of them are so comforting.
Well, enough of this! However, it is therapeutic for me to write about it. Maybe you could find the time to say a prayer for me huh? Thanks! Until next time - Psalm 121.
(Thanks Pat H.)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Here I am with my handsome hubby! I love him so much! He has been such a constant in my life, always there for me through the ups and downs. I love how he jumps in and does whatever needs doing around the house on my "bad" days when I can hardly move. He may come in from work some evenings and cook a delicous meal for us. There have been many times when he has spent his day off doing housework. Now I am talking about real housework such as: vacuuming, dusting, wiping down the bathrooms, sweeping and mopping the kitchen, helping our little boy organize his room, playing with our son outdoors, cooking supper that evening. What a wonderful man! Wouldn't you agree? He does this because he loves me and our family. He knows I would much rather be doing those things myself rather than lying in bed hurting. He knows I feel more comfort when the house is in order. He is a godly man with character. I am so glad he loves me!