Friday, July 31, 2009

Fingerprint Friday

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of god
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of god
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of god

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them?

For all about Fingerprint Friday visit Pampering Beki!

For me this week my Fingerprint would have to be wonderful people who remember the smallest things, then do things that make me want to cry. Like this:

A very wonderful lady (who I am lucky to call family) remembered that nearly a month ago I was craving something marshmallowy covered in chocolate. She surprised me with these at the baby shower my WONDERFUL church family threw for me last night. I nearly cried. At marshmallows (and at how pretty the tea party was), and at how wonderful everybody is, and how I somehow have been blessed beyond measure in my life. And I'm almost 38 weeks pregnant and might be a little emotional (only a little).

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


What to catch up on since my last post.... we finished cutting wheat. Luke was rained out Friday night with 20 acres of downed wheat left to go (it had been rained on hard enough previously that the wheat was laying flat on the ground making for slow going. He was going about 2 miles an hour through the field to pick it up). He went back out on Saturday and was done in an hour.

Saturday night we got to hang out with some good friends and see our Godson B who give his own meaning to adorable. Marie and Jo had a blast with them and can't wait until they make the move to our Home Town.

Sunday Marie woke up and just wasn't right. I didn't know if it was the late night before or what exactly was up with her. We went to church together, we hadn't been through harvest. It was nice to be there, nice to take communion. Nice to hear the Word... I needed it more than I realized. I was having a rough morning though, crying for who knows what reason and worried about whatever was making Marie different. We had lunch with Luke's family, and sister S and her husband and hung out with our other Godson G.

After nap time and everyone had gone home it was obvious something was up with Rie. She would not let us pick her up and hold her on our chest with her right side of her face resting against us. Instead she'd throw her head back. I touched her everywhere and soon I knew it was her right ear, she'd jerk back every time I tried to touch it and her little eyes were full of tears. Thinking ear infection or something to that effect I called the hospital and decided to treat with Tylenol until I could get her in to the clinic Monday morning.

Sure enough, she has an outer ear infection or swimmers ear. No big deal right? Normal kid ailment, we can totally handle this. Only, Rie is not a normal kid. On top of what must be a terrible ear ache she's been sleeping a lot. Monday, after napping 4 hours from 1-5 I woke her up. I was giving her her bolus of water and she couldn't keep her eyes open and was literally passing out in my arms. Luckily Luke was home and whisked her up, changed her diaper and got all the toys out in her room waking her up and shaking her out of whatever was going on. She must be watched closely.

Just a hard reminder that something as normal as swimmers ear can take it's toll on Rie. Luckily she's been a regular girl today with lots of smiles, talking, some giggling, lots of bossing around Josie and the other girls at gymnastics practice and her general animosity towards her car seat. She also is laying on the right side of her face. Praise God for small blessings. We are doing ear drops for seven days, she hates them.

So, aside from that bump in the road all is well. The 27th was a hard day, thinking back a year ago. Prayers for L, for his Mom and family.

Josie is begging for some Josie time while Marie is napping and I need to vacuum about a field's worth of stickers out of the carpet of my car so I'd better run!

37 weeks today :) Luke is betting that I have the baby in 2 weeks, I'm thinking it will hold out for the entire 3. Went and checked the lists at the school today, Josie's in kindergarten, we know what kids will be with her in class. I'm not ready for that and she's SO excited. I can't believe summer is nearly over.... Hoping to squeeze some fun things in for the girls these last few weeks before the baby comes!
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

They love-

Josie loves, loves, loves-
  • Swimming
  • S'mores
  • Bob Marley (still)
  • drawing
  • her sister
  • twirling
  • building tents out of the coffee table
  • riding in the combine
  • Bunny
  • going out to eat

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Marie loves, loves, loves-

  • ice cream
  • her sister
  • Daddy
  • sleeping in mommy/daddy bed
  • dancing
  • her bird blanket
  • reading books
  • going someplace (until she realizes she has to be strapped into her car seat to get there)
  • peachy o's
  • bath time

Peachy Pictures, Images and Photos
They both love mermaids. This morning I dressed Marie in a hand-me-down tanktop with a mermaid embroidered on the front.
Josie, as soon as she saw it: "Mommy, I LOVE that tank top, I want one like that".
Me: "Josie, it used to be yours when you were two".
Josie: "Well, I love it and I need it now".
Me: "I don't think it will fit you".
Tears begin to well up in her eyes and she does that thing with her mouth that lets me know she might just wail about this tank top issue.

Me: "I'm sure Marie would let you touch her mermaid whenever you want". Add that to my list of sentences I never thought I'd say.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nearing the end...

As of now 5 and some odd quarters of wheat still to be cut. We will finish Friday or so, assuming no storms hit us. This is a late harvest, a long harvest, but a harvest non-the-less. So gratitude is necessary. I wonder sometimes how many farmers are caught up in praying for rain, praying for sun, praying for grace but forget to stop and say thank you. They are caught up easily in work, farmers. As they must be.

The girls and I are doing really good. Rie is a ball of fire, she's often found pitching a nightly tantrum in her car seat. Last night she did not want to leave the field, especially because Josie was riding in the pickup with Daddy. Marie was mad. I am second choice, it's okay, I'm alright with that.

Josie is going along like crazy, today at the pool she swam a good 10 feet face down underwater. She asked me if I saw her being a mermaid. Indeed I did.
child mermaid Pictures, Images and Photos
Her gymnastics recital will be the beginning of August, the other moms and I watch them practice and there's a group wonder of if they'll be ready, if they'll know their routine. It would probably help if the girls would stop chatting long enough to do a front roll.

I am 36 weeks today, 4 more to go. We are starting to get really excited to meet this small person. I have decided that I would like very much to never be pregnant during wheat harvest again. I mean, it's not that I want to complain, but heaving my 9 month pregnant self up a 6 foot ladder into the combine is probably not the most graceful thing I've ever done. I like this being big in summer better than winter though, there are less clothes involved :)

Tonight, Reuben sandwiches with a side of strawberries, chex mix and some spice cake bars. Recipe listed for those delicious things below!

Spice Cake Bars (actually, any cake mix bars, these are fun to play with)

  • 1 package spice cake mix (any flavor works, we like white with 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, or chocolate with 1 1/2 cups white chips)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 container frosting of your choice, or cool whip, or 1/2 cup chips melted with 1 T butter for glaze
Combine first 5 ingredients in large mixing bowl. Beat 2 minuets. Stir in chips if you're adding any (nuts are also good). Spread into greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 for 20 min (or until it springs back a bit when you touch the top). Cool and frost or glaze. I cut these up and bag them separately. They're not fluffy but come out as a nice heavy, dense cake that won't get crumbly.

They freeze well but frosting melts in the field so I keep it in my beer iced water cooler until the guys are ready to eat.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Diet Coke

diet coke Pictures, Images and Photos Today I sit with Josie and we enjoy her very first ever Diet Coke. I don't let us drink much pop and never cola... being a western girl as I am it's not even pop, it's all called Coke, even 7-up. She loves it. Of course she does, Diet Coke is a very. good. thing.

On a side note, Marie's voice tremors at times because her diaphragm is a little weak and easily tired. She can still breath okay. It sounds much scarier than it is. Even though there is a tremor sometimes she will still be able to speak. She will not loose her voice. And what a beautiful voice it is.

I have been sitting in the sun... :) Little Mama is snoozing upstairs half under a blanket and fully under the ceiling fan... We found some dry wheat to cut 20 miles north (it rained a lot on Friday evening).

Today is a good day. I will make hot ham & swiss for dinner.... with a side of cherries, bundle up my kids and go to the field.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Over normalized?

Today I've been thoughtful, which is somewhat easy to do when there's no other adults around. Things bounce around in my brain... It started last night.

We took dinner to the field but when it was time to come home at quarter to 8 Marie wanted nothing to do with her car seat. I strapped her in, she fought. She wiggled, grunted, and scowled. She never vocalizes when she's mad, it's all in her eyes and they were angry. We were 20 minuets from home and even the Cinderella DVD did little to appease my tiny dictator. Of course, as almost always happens when she pitches a fit it moved into movement disorder territory and she had an episode. Clonus set in and her arms were rigid, her legs straight in front of her and her breathing got heavy and slightly labored. Her cheeks were bright red and she broke a sweat. I can't do anything. I can't say, "Marie, stop it". There is no "Marie, calm down". All I could do was drive.

She continued to have episodes lasting 1-5 mineuts sprinkled with scowling, heavy breathing and sweating. I got us home and put her on my bed with Josie for company and she didn't stop. She didn't stop in the bath, or afterwards getting lotion and pj's on. She didn't stop until I was on the couch with her, had brushed her very angry little teeth, given her meds, and hooked her up to the feeding pump. The girls called Daddy, still in the combine, to say goodnight. She stopped the moment she heard his voice on the phone. She had been in and out of movement episodes for over an hour.

Josie talked to him some, we had a good hug, and she put herself off to bed (thank you God for my big girl) and Marie fell asleep quickly. This always exhausts her. I was tired too. Hefting a stiff, angry, 25 lb girl with a nearly 9 month pregnant belly is not easy to do. My legs are tired, my arms are aching, my back is sore, but there's nothing to be done about it. She can't walk, she can't crawl, she needs me and so in my arms she is. There are only a few who know how to hold her her properly, so that she won't hurt herself when she throws her weight so passing her off is not much of an option.

And this is my life, and I call it normal. I have to stop doing that.

I have normalized Marie's care, our day to day, I look at the blessing of her. I focus on that to an extent that all the extra hours of care beyond what a normal 2 year old would receive just are normal to me. And they are, normal. If this is what it takes to have my Marie I gladly do it. It's just not life as planned, life as others do it.

Yesterday at gymnastics I was chatting with other moms about school starting soon and how it beginning at 8 dictates your life. I realized with clarity that I am different. School at 8 means waking at a certain time, breakfast, lunches made, out the door and to the school. Because we live in town there is no bus to catch, I must take Josie to the elementary. I mentioned that it will be interesting because I'll have to arrange Marie's meds and tube feeding around that new schedule. The other moms didn't say much after that. I forget I'm not like them.

I will never be the harried, overworked, soccer mom again, with an SUV full of healthy overactive kids. I have special cares, special worries. I have positining equipment in a carseat, I talked with hopsice about getting a machine to monitor Marie's blood/oxygen when she has an episode because I'm afraid she's not getting enough air. I carry an emergency dose of valium in my diaper bag along with tylenol and diapers. Josie says she want's to do soccer in the fall so I suppose I will be the soccer mom, but I will have to monitor temperature if Marie can manage it, balance practice with bolus feeding water, I will have a lot to figure out.

Our therapist mentioned that Luke and I are coping really well. Our marriage is put first and we work really hard to maintain it. He is my rock and the only other person who gets it. There's no blame between us, there's nothing to blame for. There's a huge higher incidence of divorce in parent's of terminally ill children. Wha...??!! Is that really my life??? It is.

I don't see myself as any different than I was, but things are different. Grocery store takes planning, I have drawers and cabinets in my new kitchen just for Marie's meds/bags/syringes/tubing/formula/masks and a special cabinet for spare feeding pumps and nebulizer machines. I plan our days around meds and feedings, I sit outside at swim lessons while all the other moms wait on the bleachers inside because Marie cannot tolerate the heat of the indoor pool. At this size, just getting off the floor with her in my arms requires planning. It's so hard, and for the most part I somehow ignore it.

Have I over-normalized this? I can't bear to play the poor me, my kid is sick, life is hard card. Because life is hard for everybody. Is mine harder than most? It feels like it sometimes, but doesn't every ones life feel that way sometimes?

I feel sometimes like I put on the brave face and let on that it's all okay because to me it feels like we are doing okay. Other people believe it. Then I feel hurt and wonder, how can everyone act so normal, Marie is sick!! But it's because it's hard for them to cope with, and I have to work not to resent them for it. Sometimes I am sick of taking the high road. Sometimes I am sick of all of it. Then overnights it's better and I'm ready to deal again.

How did my life get so complicated? Thank goodness for God's strength because sometimes I know it isn't me. It's Him acting through me, holding me up. I am not that strong.

Today the occupational therapist came and gave Marie a wonderful massage. After a year and a half Marie will finally allow herself to really relax with the OT and she loves the sessions. The OT also thinks she knows why Marie's voice is trembling when she talks, why she sounds like a little billy goat gruff. It's because her diaphram is not strong enough to give a steady push of air through her vocal cords. Instead it's weak and because of that we hear the tremor in her voice. She's not completely sure, but our speech therapist is coming on Friday and she should know.

How is that? Even though she seems so strong, and last night she was so wicked with that terrible fit in the car seat she is getting weaker. I feel my heart crack a little bit... but we'll work with it. What else can we do? And if I'm cranky at the grocery store perhaps this is why... because she's getting weaker and life goes on, and Jo has swim and gymnastics that make for busy mornings, and I have a baby to get ready for, and Marie is getting weaker, but there's still living that must happen even though I really want to just stop and cry. So I have to figure out how to place it, and deal with it, and not let myself fall apart because there are little people who need me. And life is hard. But it's beautiful.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Last night...

Dinner to the field we call Webber's. My view out the driver's window looking to the southwest.

Waiting, and then over the top of a hill, Daddy.

Marie and I's picnic view after riding in the combine.

Because strawberry yogurt tastes best eaten on roads in the middle of nowhere...

Rain comes... inconvenient timing, work stops. Still enough sun...

Wet, dust washing off.

Helping that Daddy...

Grain off combine, rain comes down, sun shines on...

Looking west, storm's passing over now.

Looking east, such things!

And diapers changed...

To the northwest Nebraska elevator, half cut field of wheat. Ready to go home again. Too wet to cut wheat, to late to play. Tired. Baths.



Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I am not way to busy to actually do a decent job of "not me" Monday this week.

I am not hiding in Luke's office supposed to be doing paperwork, playing with my blog, eating a milky way dark that I hid from Josie so she wouldn't ask for some. Not me!

I am not insanely hot after watering plants and considering jumping in Josie's inflatable pool that has a water temp of 55 degrees at the moment because I just filled it up. Who wouldn't love to see an 8+ month pregnant woman leaping about in freezing water in a soggy tank top and Bermuda sweats? Not me!

Tonight on the harvest menu, breakfast burritos, Doritos, cucumber slices & blueberries, and lemon bars (all food must be able to be eaten while on the go). This is quite literally the recipe I made (I have about 30 burritos on hand, they freeze well), I think you could easily 1/2 or 1/4 it. Not fancy but good!

Breakfast Burritos

2 18 pack eggs
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
3 package regular Jimmy Dean sausage
2 larger cans Ortega green chilies
1 average size bag red potatoes
2 average packages shredded Mexican blend cheese
2-3 packages flour tortillas (you can fill them as much or as little as you want).
canola oil for frying

Cut up potatoes into cubes and put in about 1 inch of canola oil in large dutch oven. Commence to frying, with lid on to cook them till they're falling apart with crispy bits.

Begin browning sausage in another dutch oven. Once sausage is browned drain. In large bowl mix eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Add to sausage in pot and scramble. Once firm add green chillies. Don't forget the potatoes. Once fork tender or visibly falling apart drain off oil, pat dry with paper towel and add to dutch oven with sausage/egg/chili mixture. To all of this, add cheese. Mix well.

I like to microwave my tortillas about a minuet so they're warm and you can roll them easier. I put about 1/2-3/4 cup mix in each tortilla fold in the sides and roll them up. Then I roll them in tin foil. They last a week in the fridge or longer in the freezer (in a freezer bag). We like them for dinner with salsa and sour cream.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

John 12:23-24 NIV
Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Luke is doing this...

And we are doing this...

I made a button for the blog, since so many pray for Rie (thank you!). You can grab it here or from the sidebar:
Our Journey Home


Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday... fingerprints, thinking, fumbling...

"There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of god
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of god
And I know its true
Youre a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of god

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them?"

For more on Fingerprint Friday go see Beki at Pampering Beki...

My fingerprints this week... kicks and giggles from a child growing inside me. Ever stronger, ever more insistent little toes and heels and knees and elbows demand to be recognized. Reminders each time that my plans are laughable in the face of my King... a third child unplanned, bringing blessings unexpected already. Those are His fingerprints on me this week.

To that end... I have been meaning to write for awhile. I just don't know what to write. We are surrounded by our day to day, weather, summertime, Josie being busy, Marie and all that comes with loving her.

Wheat is ready to harvest, still it's pretty wet in the fields but hopefully tomorrow we begin. My head has been awhirl with planning, recipes, grocery shopping, organizing a house that is beginning to feel like our own. I thought I could share recipes of what I am making since my kitchen is all a mess with Harvest Brownies, Tiger Butter Bars, breakfast burritos, banana bread (it was not intentional that all the food I make have so many b's in the name...). So I thought I could do that.

I thought I could blog about the importance of wheat harvest, what my Luke and his family do, and how our grain goes to the elevator, east from there and helps to feed a nation. How prices are not what they should be and there's no explanation, how farmer's benefits are being impacted by the government, how new legislation aimed at preventing huge corporate farms is actually going to hurt successful family farms, how the family farm must be saved. It's as American as apple pie and converse sneaks... but that's a little political and I'm just not feeling it now.

I am thinking.

What has been on my mind these days? Why Marie of course. She is. She is amazing. Funny. Sunshine. She is God's love in it's purest form resting in my arms, holding my hand through the night. She is a blessing I am honored to hold. For some reason, how fragile she is is eating at my thoughts. Her voice is changing. It tremors when she babbles, can she control it? Is it the progression of a loss of motor control there? What a thing, for a child to begin to loose their ability to speak. She cannot make words now, why must her ability to squeak and coo also be compromised? Why must she suffer so. I am stuck in a place where it's all just not fair.

On the fourth of July we took the girls to the park. It is a regular park, not intended for kids as special as my Marie. We played. She sat on my crossed legs as I held her torso with my forearm and supported her head as best I could. I held her tiny hands on the steering wheel of the "firetruck" so that she could drive. I pretended corners to the left and right were being taken at high speed, leaning to and fro so that she was driving... she squealed. She loved every moment. She could not have done it without me. She could not have held the steering wheel without Mama's hands to steady her own. She is two.... and my heart breaks when I see the things in her eyes that she longs to do but because of a broken body she cannot.

It is not fair.

It makes me so sad that there are no words to write and I cry, and I pray, and I cry while I pray... I am blessed that the Lord gave her to me to hold for as long as I can, but waiting until Heaven to see her run like she longs to do (you can see it in her eyes) just seems too long to wait. And yet, a moment to Him.

I am fumbling.

My due date approaches quickly, 5 and half weeks to a new life. A new brother or sister, making Marie BIG, and Josie BIGGEST. Worries about this small one creep in when I'm not looking. Will this baby be like Jo or like Rie? Will it thrive and soar or will it sit close, lean on Mama, need me. Can I handle being needed that much? What if, what if, WHAT IF? And I hate it, because "what if" is satan, and I hate him. All of his sin and what not, bringing death. Stupid satan. Stupid what if's.

I try not to think them and just pray... "Lord, let this baby be healthy" is a mantra in my head. And the worst? It is so hard to talk about the possibility of another sick child that I don't know what to say to friends and family. Luke knows.... so I find my head on his chest as I struggle to get so deep in his arms I'm inside him, where I feel safe.

And life marches on... wheat ripens, storms ebb and flow, screen doors bang, we swing a lot. Flies buzz and bite in the evenings, swim lessons must be planned, dinners made, scrapes kissed, laundry folded and snuggles had. I have one hugging my waist, one in my arms, and one in my belly wiggling to be recognized. I am so blessed and it all feels so fragile...

Please pray for the baby, that it thrives. Please pray for Rie. I think she knows her purpose, I think she is so much wiser than me. I'd like to think she see's the angels that I know surround her. I hope that she does not ache at what she cannot do. I keep thinking of ways to make her able...

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not utter the words "If you go check on Marie you can have the last Oreo" in the last week. And I would never have said it more than once.

I would never admit to the fact that we are still doing ponytails, calling the messy kind a hair style, just to cover up the fact that Josie and I have not brushed our hair yet.

I'm not crazy excited that I get a pedicure this week (mostly because I know Annie will rub lotion on my calves), or that my one in a million babysitter got time off of coop at the beginning of wheat harvest to watch the girls for me. Did I mention that girl is one in a million and I love her like a pregnant woman loves cake?

I'm not excited for harvest. I am not a typical farmers wife and am certainly not adopting that "let's get it done before it's hailed out" attitude. I am a positive thinker, I never get stressed, I'm not sick of waiting on the wheat at all. I love wheat, go buy some. Seriously.

I am not biased and think that my daughters and my god-daughter N (their cousin) might be the cutest things on earth. Spending an awesome weekend with them did not help me decide that.

I'm not considering asking Luke's cousin H to fly up to Wyoming again just so we can stockpile more illegal fireworks to light them off for Marie whenever she likes. Actually, I might be. Marie loves fireworks just that much (and I would really go to that extent just to please my miracle girl).

Finally, I did not sort of wish we had some Easter candy left because something marshmallow covered in a little something chocolate sounds really good right now....

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Here we are!

We are now, officially, all moved in:) I have some pictures but am short on time so I just wanted to update quickly. Both girls are doing just fine with the move and Josie LOVES her new room. It is completely perfect for my little princess. Rie is sleeping just fine in her new crib (I was worried about that) and didn't seem out of place much at all aside from napping poorly a few days.

We have really wonderful extended family and friends, Luke and his cousins did all the moving and we women-folk were actually sort of not sure what to do with ourselves Saturday morning, the big move day. Internet didn't get hooked back up until yesterday and it was hard to be a week without it! We are farmers, we needed our NOAA and Weather Underground!

So, every things going good, every body's happy. Now if we could just get it hot and dry for the wheat to ripen we'd be right on schedule! Everyone have a wonderful 4th of July!!!

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