Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Nathan was pretty quiet and didn't want to run or walk ahead like Leila did and held my hand most of the time. He spotted lot of "people's" out on the trail and told me to to keep my eyes peeled for pine cones, and boy were there a lot. He also spotted several "dirty rainbows" on the trails. I was impressed with his ability to put his vocabulary together that way in a way that made total sense. How wonderful it is to live so close to a bit of nature in an urban world.
They love eachother!
Here they are standing under a "dirty rainbow"
Here is "Milo" leading us to safety. If you notice her hands are up on her head- her swords- and if we get too close we will get poked (A formal warning or somthing).
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Here is my history as if it were yours: I want you to imagine a life where you have headaches at least half of the time, if not more. These headaches can range from very mild so as you hardly notice them, to very severe- throbbing constantly, churning your stomach, sensitive to light and sound. You remember going home from school in the 6th grade due to headaches. You try to get relief with different methods. At the young age of 13, one doctor just kept upping the dosage of one medication until you became so sick from the medication that you figured that was worse than the headache itself. These actions have caused a you to avoid medications, even for good, at any cost. You try to only take medications at very last resort for the rest of your life. This experience has also caused you to be hesitant to bring up your situation to doctors the rest of your life. Your wonderful parents were very concerned. They watched the pain and were likely suffering right along with you. They sent you to Physical Therapy. Bio-Feedback. Counseling. Allergist. Even a neurologist. A CAT-scan proved your headaches were not anything serious, like life-threatening. You just needed to cope and learn to live with them.
Too much of your life was passing you by while you laid in bed, in pain. One day on the way home from 8th grade with a massive headache there were some rowdy boys on the bus. There was a discipline problem at the time and the bus driver made seating assignments. He happened to seat you next to several of these nasty boys, who were shoving and you were shoved against the window, hitting your head, making the headache even worse. By some miracle Dad and Amy happened to be waiting at the bus stop to pick you up that day, even though the walk was very short. In tears you got into the car. Dad was not as concerned(The headaches were old news and by now you have had them for years and people were getting a little bored with your drama-- they still love you, but you always have a headache... you will deal with this your entire life). But at home after you crawled into bed, in tears, because the pain is so great, your sweet sister Amy comes and checks on you. While you can't express your gratitude to her at the moment, your heart will never forget her tenderness. Your headaches have always been a silent battle that your parents have helped you fight, the sisters learned early to steer clear of their aching sister. (I am sure it was scarey for them too-- in fact until this moment I have never thought about it from their perspective.) That summer you gave up a fun week-long babysitting gig out at the John-Day Fossil Beds with a family at church because you were afraid of an attack. It seemed you would get a very bad attack once a week that required much time in bed, a blessing from Dad, and the the calm would return and you could be a teenager once again. Some travel agency sent a poster size picture of a very blue ocean. You put this up above your bed so when you laid in bed you could focus on the ocean and thing quiet relaxing thoughts. So much of what you are learning is relaxing, controlling your muscles, controlling your internal stress. So you have that figured out you think, so why do I still feel so much pain you wonder. A question that will haunt you the rest of your life.
Finally I learned to LIVE with headaches: When I started some temporary work and was still calling in sick like I stayed home from school I realized pretty quickly it wasn't acceptable to live this way in the real world. I had to get up and go no matter what my body was telling me. My body seemed to be lieing to me anyway, I hurt, but staying in bed didn't seem to be the answer, I didn't feel a whole lot better. Sure, it was nice NOT to have to do anything for a while, but when you are talking several times a week, and you are looking at paying rent and utilities, and now I have children to care for and many other responsibilities, I can't stop. I don't believe I am doing any damage by powering thru my pain. In fact, now that I am home I am finding the distraction of work and the object of getting up early and having something concrete to focus on almost made it easier to get thru the pain. So, until a doctor tells me I need to stay in bed, I won't change my ways. But, I won't go work out or do anything too crazy-- I do know my limits. I am on a daily medication that started helping in the beginning. Its been about a year and its not helping as much as when I first started, so I need to go in and adjust the dosage or get on something new, but we just switched insurance and I was using tax season as an excuse to not do much. I have this on my to-do list. And not to worry, I drink my water, stay away from the "bad food" on the lists the doctors put out, take my multi-vitamins, and a multitude of other things many well meaning friends and family suggest every time I might make mention of a headache.
Those immediately around me understand. My sweet children know about my headaches, sometimes they can't be quiet because, well, they are children. My husband is usually accommodating. By day three of a week-long headache he has usually had enough and stops helping out as much, but Hey, he helped out for three days! I think that is admirable! But sometimes he just doesn't think about the constant pain I am in, and how the inevitably makes me not a nice gal. I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone, however I do wish sometimes some of those around me could experience one of my headaches just to see what it was like.
I have had my prayer friends take me under their wings or wrap me in their spiritual arms for a time, and I have felt it. Most recently was during this past tax season I shared my pain with a very dear friend because I was coming very close to a breaking point, wanting and needing to completely withdraw and get on some major medication for pain. I also shared this with my sister. The night before I shared my pain, I was busy running errands. My pain was at an all-time high. I hurt every where. I took a double dose of pain medication, but was pressing on with errands(probably shouldn't have been with the double dose of pain pills, but hey, I am a busy gal! I gotta do what I gotta do!). That night in bed, the pain was so great I couldn't sleep (an aspect my darling husband doesn't understand at all, why not just sleep it off?) my mind was wandering because I felt so alone and helpless. At least the house was quiet with sleeping children and I could de-stress for a few moments on my own. My mind was heavy because at work I was worried about my sisters health(high blood pressure), and my Dad's memory issues. I laid in bed saying my prayers when my mind wandered to the girl in the bible with the "issue of blood" and all the faith she had in Jesus to be made whole again. This inspired me to actually get OUT of bed and kneel. I need to be more like this girl, show my faith in my actions and ask to be made whole. I was able to sleep. That in and of itself was a relief. Nathan joined us at some point during the night, but it didn't disturb me. I woke up still in pain, and very emotional from the pain, the stress, all my worries. I was so grateful for a full nights rest. I shared this experience with my dear friend Marcie and my sister Amy. Their prayers started working(I have feeling Marcie shared my need of prayers), and by the end of the day I was feeling pretty good. The next day too. What a miracle. A miracle of prayer. A miracle of friends. A miracle of faith. Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. -Martin Luther King Jr.
I had a major break-thru: If this pain was not from a headache and from some debilitating or life threatening disease like cancer, I would be so grateful to have time with my children, or friends, that no matter my pain, I would make the most of every single minute. So, just because the headache isn't killing me doesn't mean I shouldn't live as if today is the last day I might experience the simple goodness of my life. We never know when our last day of life will be... I don't want to waste it in my bed. I don't want to waste it complaining about my aches and pains. (Note: This doesn't mean I still won't have my days when I can't get out of bed for several hours, or won't whine for a minute or two. I am trying, I really am!) There is a good chance when you ask me how I am, if I don't answer "good" or "great" that means I am hurting. Also, if you notice I can't remember a word or two, or if my wrinkle between my eyes is a little deeper, or the color under my eyes a little darker, likely I am hurting. But play along... I don't want to dwell on my pain, I don't want you to either. I don't want my silent partner in life to win any precious minutes of my life.
Will I be able to perform basic first aid on my very accident prone three year old?
Stay tuned for developments in this case...
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Link to the article: http://www.nacleanenergy.com/features_details.php?feature_id=47&fpage=1
Monday, April 21, 2008
In the begining Dad rented a little apartment on 1st and Washington in Hillsboro Oregon. He lovingly made us "Salut" his office whenever we would drive past it. We had a very white, diseal station wagon he bought at a car auction with his good buddy Ken(One reason I can not own a station wagon today) that he would park on the corner there in hopes somone would accidentally side swipe to total it. Luckily it did break down before I started driving and I didn't have to endure driving to High School. Sorry Mar and Amy, that couldn't have been fun. Anyway-- on those days he worked in his office we wouldn't see much of him during his busy time. We missed our Dad after him being off work for about a year before our move to Oregon. But he was happy and it was starting to be a succesful little business. Life must have been rough for my Mom during those time too, but we made do. After Dad felt he was established enough, and once Marella moved out leaving the downstairs office open, he was able to move his business home. This was a bit nicer since we could look in at him while he worked, or plop down beside him once we got home from school and say hi.
Since all of us worked so hard to keep our family in check with Dad gone so much, lets Celebrate that its finally over! Lets go to Izzy's! It was affordable! And for us young kids , ages 7-16, a buffet was always somthing everyone could agree on. Izzy's became a fast tradition and we have gone there ever since. Over the years its been fun to take up tables, and as the grandkids joined us the tables have grown. There was one year when Jacob was just a little guy, and he ate ice cream after ice cream. The final count being around 6-7 I think. Amy didn't mind, she was sending him to his Dad's that night, who by the way misses Tax Night since leaving our family! The entire family has enjoyed our tradition, while some of us have tried to change the local(My Mom and I being the ones who have voice the greatest desire), it just isn't the end of tax season without Izzy's.
Having a Dad as a CPA has its advantages. He works like crazy from Jan- April, but he is a lot more flexible the rest of year. We were able to take Frederick Family Skip Days in May or June, heading over to the beach hoping it was nice over there(Being Oregon we had some days when we would have had more luck staying in our back yard!). We had a few battles with the seagulls who just helped themselves to our food that wasn't in coolers. He was around to make quick trips with us in the afternoon. He started taking over the back to school shopping and bought way more than Mom because "it just looked so cute" on us! We definately developed a different relationship with our Dad because we spent so much time with him in the "off season". Time we are all grateful that we have.
This year we were missing: Jacob, Bethany, and Richard. :o) But the rest of the wild group was there.... and here is proof(Joseph didn't make it in a photo darn it-- he was moving too fast)!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Well, she sure is trouble... somthing was missing when we walked in from our garage.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
My Kids- I love hearing their little conversations together, even if they don't quite make sense. I am glad they are each others best friends.
My Dad- I am so glad I can laugh with him.
My Mom- She keeps my Dad busy when we need her to.
My Sisters- My forever friends.
Prayer- it works. I will post a blog on an experience I had this last week, but I have a few friends(including a sister) in particular that seem to move mountains when they pray for me.
Water- drinking, showering, keeping my plants from wilting.
My laser jet printer that my sister gave me- it prints so nicely!
The first sunny day when we don't need a jacket outside. Yea!
Seeing my daughters joy over a dozen ducklings following thier momma in a parking lot, and her wanting to sharing that joy with me.
Kissing my sweet boy and feeling his little arms around my neck, hugging me back.
Healthy bodies, heatlhy minds. Strong shelter, strong convictions. Loving heart, loving family.
I have so much to be thankful for. I am tired, my head aches, and when I try to sleep I can't. Life is truly crazy right now. But, when I pause to reflect on those things I have I can't help but be grateful for what is around me. I have no reason to be anxious, no reason to worry. I have all I have ever wanted. The stress is temporary and will be looked back on as a learning experience on this long journey to this person called Me.
Monday, April 7, 2008
OK-- so this is a long video(Almost 5 minutes)-- very cute, but you have to really LOVE my children to endure it all. If you DO LOVE my children, you will be happy you watched the entire thing.
Leila takes center stage, but Nathan makes some very short, but very funny cameo appearances(first one at about a minute, so hang in there). They both take a bow at the end.
Sorry about turning the camera vertical, wasn't thinking.....
Friday, April 4, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Here are some other fun pics. Diane was our Survivor- we were excited to have her with us this year. Last year was newly diagnosed and didn't feel up to coming out. Its amazing our kids stayed with us. The HOPE sign burned all night and reminded us all why we were doing this. You can see our Monkey, and the monkey's inside our campsite! Fun fun fun!
I chose Relay for Life, Forest Grove because of my dear Grandmother Margaret Estelle Rice Frederick. It is held at Neil Armstrong Middle School, however when I started years ago, it was held at Forest Grove High School, which we could see from my Grandparents backyard. Grandma passed away from cancer around 11 years ago. But sadly, she isn't the only we have lost to cancer. In my family we lost my cousin Scotty at the very young age of 16, my Uncle Jack on my mothers side, and others I wasn't as close to. My husbands Grandfather Larry also fell victim. I personally have lost several friends. But we also have many friends who are survivors of Cancer. They are true heros. My favorite part of Relay is the Luminaria Ceremony. At night they light candles in "Honor Of" or in "Memory Of" loved ones. These candles are put in white bags that are decorated and they line the tracks, and this is how our walk is lit all night long. Its a very reverent and special time to really reflect on our loved ones. It makes what we are doing mean that much more.
Last year my entire family came out. It was rainy and cold, which was nice compared to the year before when we had temps well over 100 degrees, but only my family and kids, and the teenagers spent the night. We had fun. The event has entertainment thru out the entire time. Teams all have different things going on. I love the memories we create. I have to say it is a lot of work, and I end up doing most of it, but its important to me to have a team, and I do get a lot of support. So here we go again!
This year I am on the committee as Advocacy Chair. Last year I did publicity. I took on publicity as there had not been one previously, and all the work I did was immediate relief to the Event Chair. Since no one else had ever stepped up, everything I did was a lot more than previously done! Yahoo! Points for me! Same deal with Advocacy-- I am the first. So I can set the bar however low or high I want to. My main goal is educate people on what ballot measures are out there to vote on, how to get registered to vote if they are not already, and how we can make a difference in Salem. Lets make our state a cancer free state! How is that for excitement?
This years event will be held at Neil Armstrong Middle School, July 11-12 6PM-6PM. My team is the Barrel of Monkeys. This years theme is "Decade of Relay" so our team needs to choose a decade(Past or future) to decorate our campsite as. Please email me with any ideas of what we should do. Should be a lot of fun! I invite all of my friends and family(Family should plan on it since I count on you to be my walkers) to join us. There will be the rock wall again, the silent auction, music, fun!
I really hope my friends will be able to come and see what I am talking about. My family has been so supportive, but this is so much fun. Everywhere you look you see people with a unified purpose, and its overwhelming to think we contributing to eliminating cancer and may very well see a day when we will not loose another loved one to this terrible disease!
If you want to donate feel free. I more than invite you to come-- I expect it!
Click here to visit my personal page.If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RelayForLifeGreatWestDivision?px=3728208&pg=personal&fr_id=5640&et=qZQ1TZGv_ExM9yMfD03xOw..&s_tafId=100189
Click here to view the team page for Barrel of MonkeysIf the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RelayForLifeGreatWestDivision?team_id=194464&pg=team&fr_id=5640&et=tejWgDrnAy5edU0v5F1rkA..&s_tafId=100189