Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks when it's hard

The frozen fruit salad is in the freezer, and I'm going to make the green bean casserole in a few minutes.  My sister is hosting this year, so I don't have to do the turkey (insert sigh of relief here).
But I have a heavy heart this Thanksgiving.  Youngest daughter won't be there.  She's in jail.
Yes, she was supposed to be on house arrest.  However, she made the decision to not attend the screening interview, which was part of the conditions.  It turns out that she skipped it because she was either high, or had used drugs recently enough to show up on the drug test.  That automatically revoked the house arrest, and even if it hadn't, we would not have her in the house if she's been using drugs.  For a girl who said she never wanted to go to jail again, she sure didn't act like it.
I had to take her to report at the jail on Monday.  Next to losing my mom and dad, it was one of the hardest things I've had to do.  It's an awful feeling to see your child disappear behind that heavy door, and to know that you've tried everything you possibly could do, and the only thing left to do is pray.
Even so...
I'm thankful.
She's in a place that is nearby, so we can visit.
She has access to help.
She'll only be there 6-9 weeks.
She'll have time to think about what kind of a person she wants to be after this.
She'll be away from her boyfriend (we liked him at first, probably because he wasn't a drug user/dealer, but he turned out to be a major con artist).
I have a great support team of family, friends and church.
God has promised that He will never leave me or forsake me.
I'm learning about the "hard" thanks.  The ones that you don't want to say, but do anyway.  It's not an easy lesson, but...
I think it will be worth it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An early Christmas gift

A couple of weeks ago, my sister and I had our long-belated birthday lunch together.  We both have July birthdays, but due to schedules and unexpected events, we hadn't been able to find a time that worked for us.

After we exchanged our birthday gifts, my sister announced that she had my Christmas gift in the basement.  At this point, I was thinking, "What?"  It's not like we don't see each other on holidays.
This was my gift... two chairs that belonged to my grandma.

My grandmother lived with us until I was ten years old, and I remember her having these chairs.  I know there was at least one more, so I'm thinking that they were dining room chairs.  I believe they originally belonged to my great-great aunt, known in the family as "Nana Taylor".  Nana took in my grandmother after her mother had died, when her stepmother apparently didn't like her.  Can't understand that, my grandmother was a sweetheart!
These chairs ended up with one of my aunts.  When my grandmother moved to a nursing home, there was a bit of a "family feud" at the time over her possessions.  My dad just threw up his hands and said he didn't want anything, so my sister and I only had a few small items that belonged to her.  My aunt recently went into an Alzheimer's home, and these chairs were left after the estate sale.  My sister knew that I liked them, and got them from my cousin.

I'm pretty sure that the needlepoint was done by Nana Taylor.  She owned a needlework and stitchery shop in Tacoma, Washington.

The design on this chair was done in pettipoint.  I can only imagine how long that took!  Maybe that's why the other chair was done in regular needlepoint!
I'm thrilled to have these family heirlooms!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm still here...

It's been a long time since I've posted anything to my blog.  I apologize to anyone who's still out there.  I thought I should explain the long absence.

Re-reading my last post, I realize that I sounded defeated and depressed.  And I was.  I was sick and tired of all the crud youngest daughter had/is putting us through. 

On that subject:  Youngest daughter pleaded guilty to second degree robbery.  She was sentenced yesterday.  She will spend 9 weeks on house arrest, pending all screening and a clean drug test.  She received the low end of sentencing as she had never been in trouble with the law before. The judge agreed to house arrest because of her medical issues, which, among other things, make her highly susceptible to infection (right now, our county jail has about a 50% rate of staph infections).  Of course, house arrest means I get to play warden for 2+ months.  What fun.  But at least now, we know what to expect, instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Over the last couple of months, I debated whether or not to keep blogging.  I don't want this blog to be a depressing place. I've said before that my blog is where I share my heart.  My family will always be my heart.  Without my family, friends, and most of all, my Lord, I would never have made it through the last year.

I am going to keep blogging.  Yes, I will still post about my family.  However, I am going to do my darnedest to make sure that it's not just about the crazy stuff in my life.  I am more than that!  Deep down, I really am a nice, fun-loving girl!
So, thank you for reading thus far.  I WILL be back soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The month from you-know-where

I've been AWOL again.  It's not that I haven't had anything to write about.  It's simply because this was, for me, the month from @#%^!

During Memorial Day weekend, youngest daughter made the stupid decision to spend time with her dirtbag ex-boyfriend.  Ex is a drug dealer.  Long story short, she was driving him and his friends when the guys decided to try to rob another drug dealer.  The victim went to the police (which we're told is unusual, for someone planning to commit a felony to report a crime), and my daughter was arrested.  Oh, did I mention that all of this happened when she was driving MY car?  So, in addition to the arrest, my car was impounded.

The one blessing in disguise is that because of this, it brought the situation into the open. Who knows how long she would have gone behind our backs?  If they hadn't been caught, things could have escalated in a hurry.

So, can things get worse?  Yep.

We made sure youngest daughter took all of her medications with her.  It turned out that the meds were left at the police station when she was booked into jail.  She asked repeatedly, but nothing was done, and she went two days with no medications.  For most people, that wouldn't be an issue, but for her, it's life threatening.  We made the decision to bail her out for that reason.  Two days later, she was in the hospital with another round of ascites.

On top of this, we found out that the boy she was seeing at the time was ANOTHER drug dealer.  To her credit, as soon as she found out, she dumped him.  Within a couple of days, she was with a new boyfriend.  At least this guy, as far as we know, doesn't do drugs, and he doesn't have a police record.  He does, however, have two small children.  About a week ago, she decided she was going to move in with him.  She's known him a month.   We told her long ago that if she moved in with a guy, that we would pay for her medical needs, but other than that, she's on her own. 

Honestly, I didn't even try to argue with her choice.  She's one of those people who always has to learn the hard way.  I'm not expecting that this relationship will last too long.  I will say that going to jail was enough of a reality check that she finally cut all ties with those involved.  She has court dates in August and September, and will testify against the others if needed.  We're hoping that by testifying and not having a record, she won't have to serve jail time.  I'm not against being punished for a crime, don't get me wrong... I'm just scared of her being in prison with her medical needs.

"It would be so nice if something made sense for a change."  ~ Alice In Wonderland

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Refiner's Fire

Well, I seem to have taken an unplanned blog break.

We had another round of ascites, with youngest daughter being in the hospital for three days after Easter.  Add to that a few emotional meltdowns (her, not me) and some broken rules.  I just plain was in a funk for a while, and didn't feel like I had much to say.  Much as I try to stay positive, sometimes discouragement gets the best of me. 

I can honestly say that there is no way that I would get through this (and life in general) without my faith.  God has carried me so many times when I had no strength to stand on my own.  The saddest part of all of this, for me, is that my daughter is a prodigal.

I was on our church's ladies retreat this past weekend, and our speaker shared this story.

The Refiner's Fire
(Author Unknown)

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Yes, I am in the fire right now, but it's for a purpose.  It's to burn away the impurities and to make me more like Him.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Greetings

Have a happy and blessed Resurrection Day!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vintage Wedding Dress

 I recently attended a tea and vintage fashion show with my sister and one of our friends.  This isn't the kind of activity we usually do, but this was for a special reason.

When our parents passed away, we were faced with cleaning out their house.  To put it lightly, our mom was a packrat!

One decision that we had to make was about our great-great grandmother's wedding dress. Neither of us had the room to store it, and we just couldn't bring ourselves to take it apart to use it for anything else.

We decided to donate it.  We offered it to the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.  They turned it down, because there wasn't a "Seattle connection" to the dress.

Finally, my sister found a woman who puts on vintage fashion shows.  She was thrilled to take the dress, and even gave us more information about it.

The dress is from the 1870's, made of satin and beaded brocade.  We know that my great-great grandmother was a servant in a castle in Scotland.  The dress would not be affordable to a servant, so it was most likely a gift from her employer.

The dress is made in three pieces; the bodice, skirt and train.  It was stored in a cardboard box before it came to my mom, but amazingly, it's in very good condition.

Although I'm sure that my mom would have liked for one of us to keep the dress, I think that she'd be pleased that it's being preserved and appreciated.

Linking to

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Strong Enough

I've been in a bit of a funk lately.  I'm sure it's because of all that's gone on lately with youngest daughter.  Besides her medical issues, we're still dealing with some stinky attitudes at times.

There are days when I feel overwhelmed.  Mother Teresa once said, "God will never give us more than we can handle.  I just wish He didn't trust me so much."  I totally agree.

But I'm realizing something.  It's okay to feel that way (some might even say that I deserve to).  God didn't tell us not to cry, not to hurt.  He just said, "Don't fear." 

I recently read (and re-read) the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Amy Voskamp.  There was a quote in the first chapter that really hit me.

"Maybe you don't want to change the story, because you don't know what a different ending may hold."

I admit, there have been many times I've wondered, "what if?"  What if my daughter didn't have this disease...this attitude... and on and on.  It may have been different- but not necessarily better.  I need to fully trust God, because He sees the whole picture.  He understands on the days when I'm feeling overwhelmed and weak.

This song says it better than I can.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Murphy's Law

Rule #72:  Just when you think it can't get does.

I've been putting off this post.

A couple of weeks ago, we had an appointment with youngest daughter's GI doctor.  It was a follow-up visit after her hospital stay.

My daughter has an awesome doctor at Seattle Children's.  She's one of the top GI specialists in the region.  I will be very sad when we have to transition out of Children's to the University of Washington.

Youngest daughter developed ascites (fluid in the abdomen) over Christmas.  It's a complication that means that her liver is starting to fail.  From here on out, it's going to be downhill until a transplant, which her doctor estimates will probably need to happen within the year.  This means that she will most likely go onto the transplant list within the next few months.

Youngest daughter says she's glad, in a way.  She's felt at times that she's just been waiting for something to happen, and she's sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I understand that, though my feelings have been more like concern/anticipation/apprehension/terror.  I know that she's going to get much sicker before she gets better, and it scares me. 

Thank you to all of you that have lifted us up in prayer.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A belated New Year's

This is just my personal opinion, but I was ready to see this year end.
We spent Christmas with youngest daughter in the hospital.  She hadn't been feeling well for a few days, and her abdomen was bloated (She went from normal to looking about 6 months pregnant, to give you a rough idea).  So I made a Christmas Eve run to Seattle Childrens, where she was admitted and put on diuretics.  She was there until the day after Christmas, so as you can imagine, that threw off our Christmas plans. The diagnosis was ascites-fluid in the abdomen.  This is a complication of her liver issues.  It's a little scary, because I know it's one more step toward the transplant list.  She was in meltdown mode emotionally, so the two of us took a few days and went on a "mental health" trip for a few days.  It did help her emotionally, and we didn't kill each other, so it was good.

So, I am definitely hoping for a less stressful 2012.  I hope your year is blessed!