Friday, May 29, 2009

Teia Graduates

I watched my Teia graduate on Friday.

Great Teia story. She was 9 months when she started walking, and always resourceful. Early on she figured out that she should push a chair around - kind of like a walker - but she didn't need it for balance. She would push it around until she got to something up high, then climb up on the chair and grab it. That's how she got on the counter by the sink, on the dining room table, on the dresser in her room.

That's been Teia. Make sure you have a firm footing. Don't act until you're sure.

So, I look at my beautiful daughter graduate and I don't share all of the fears other parents may have. Will she be easily pushed into something by the crowd? No. Will she make a rash decision? No. Does she know enough? No. But she knows that.

Here's a young woman who will always have her feet firmly planted beneath her shoulders, feet standing firmly on the hope Jesus has brought her. Among her many gifts, her amazing beauty and compelling personality, standing firm is her best trait. I could not have asked for anything more.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Science Vs.Science

In this article, a self-described "atheist and secularist" ponders how advocates of science can draw an arbitrary line on when life begins. Maybe the Kingdom IS near.

"Newsweek, for instance, recently reported that 90 percent of women whose fetuses test positive for Down syndrome choose an abortion. Another survey showed only a small percentage of mothers even used the test. So what happens when 90 percent of parents test their fetuses? Does it mean the end of the disease or are we stepping perilously close to eugenics?"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

love them

what can we do but love them? pray for them?

Some Gave All

1. Download Google Earth. (It's pretty cool to play with, anyway.)
2. Download Map The Fallen.
3. Scroll over to the United States and look at all of those people icons. You can't even see America - just the lives of those those brave men and women who died for us. Appropriate, huh? Click on any of those people icons. Any of them, read their story. Read a few. Men and women and their families who learned that freedom isn't free.

Not Mine, His

Read this AMAZING entry about Corrie ten Boom. How many times have you limited what God can do through you by proclaiming you can't do it? You can't. That's the point.

Zoe Update

Zoe turned 14 months old on Friday, and as she grows older, she's growing. Longer. She's got long, skinny legs. Both of her hips are dislocated so she has a little trouble moving one of her legs. A few days ago she was trying to push off with both her feet.

Just last week she found her foot, which offers almost as much wonderment and beauty as her hands.

She's taken to eating some baby food and a bottle and some juice, and just in the last week, really started eating in excess of four ounces at a time. That's great news because her last bout with illness caused a weight loss, back down to 11 and a half pounds.

Zoe's turned into quite a Daddy's girl. Her head snaps around when she hears my voice and she's always trying to scoot her body across the bed to me. And she gets a little snippy at her mom. Jen is the only person you'll hear Zoe kind of bark out with a clipped holler.

She loves looking at ceiling fans and is only mildly impressed with a sunny day. It's just to bright for her eyes. Fourteen months later, she's still a reminder of God's grace and blessing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Last Day of School

I drove Teia to school for the last time today. She has finals next week, so I guess that counts. But this is it.

My thoughts on this run back to Teia's concert. Sitting there holding my youngest and watching my oldest sing. A lifetime has gone by since she was little. It wasn't just yesterday she was in diapers, that I know.

But has she seen too much? Been through too much? Does she have enough? Is she ready?

Have I failed her?

I think the appropriate answer is: plenty. I think we have all failed our loved ones more than we should have, more than we wanted to. But I'm proud that strength and wisdom and grace from her Heavenly Father outshine the shortcomings of her earthly dad.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Zoe's Cousin

Zoe's oldest cousin, Keaton, is traveling the country with his a capella group, singing the four part harmony. The Batiansila singing thing is deeper than we all know. Here's his website for the group, called "Augmented Fourth."

P.S. I'm a dummy because I never mentioned Keaton represents the first grandchild to graduate from college - and a classy one at that. Way to go, Keaton. Sing your thing. Live it. Do what you love and love what you do.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What If...

Shaun Groves wrote this challenge/question in his blog: "If no one would think you were nuts… If you held nothing back… If you were brave and full of compassion… What could YOU do to meet those needs? What could your service be?"

My answer(s): I'd make sure that no parent at Children's Hospital - Wisconsin felt alone or in need of someone to pray with them. That parents were fed and clothed and ministered to by Christians intent on serving them.

I'd challenge churches and Christians that if they have a child with a lethal condition or a condition deemed "incompatible with life" in their midst, to err on the side of grace with that child's parents. Figure they will forget a deadline. Assume they're at wit's end and might not be eloquent. Surmise that they want to be visited, prayed with, listened to.

I'd work hard to connect Christians with the amazing Christian artists that are ministering out there today. Money should not be an obstacle to experiencing a concert that can buoy a family's spirits.

I'd work on Twitter and other social media to meet the broken and lost where they are.

What would you do? Let me know, and I'll let Shaun know.

I Blame Twitter

Hey Ever-body!

It's been a week since I've been in the office. A week of run and shooting for a bunch of clients, Jen's birthday, running out to Manhattan for a shoot, traveling to Madison twice to visit with new clients.

I'd like to blame my lack of posts on that, but the truth is...Twitter. I Twitter and it's easier, I'm a lot freer to tell what I think about life and politics, and so sometimes I just lack the motivation to jump in here. I am hereby rededicating myself to my dual voice life of Twitter and here.

While I've been swept in a bunch of directions, a ton of thoughts have run through my mind, so I'll dump some here...

1) I didn't even mention my awesome big (old) sister's birthdays. Deirdre and Heidi are two of the best big sisters you can have. They could very well be polar opposite twins given how different they are. I'm blessed to know them both and have grown up with both of their crazy oldersisterness.

Brief descriptions of both: Deirdre's favorite drink is whiskey, straight. Heidi can't drink coffee or she'll start getting so hyper she'll drive you crazy.

2) I didn't mention my little sister's birthday. Tari, my little sister, is pretty old. She's a wonderful woman with a wealth of talents. I know nothing about what she drinks.

3) JFK airport is a pit. Despicable.

4) Thank God for Pastor Navurskis and St. Paul - Grafton or else I would have easily walked away from LCMS.

5) Selah got first for girls in the mile. Ran a six and a half minute mile. Not bad for a 4th grader.

6) I love my friends. Mipps, Gentle Ben. Born. The incredible Michael. Jaephlec. Longhair. I'm just blessed by so many wonderful people.

7) Dad, I can't wait til you see what it's like to do what you love and love what you do again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mother's Day and Birthday

Mother's Day was a nice day to give my mom a flower to wear to church and maybe even sign a card I may or may not have read that my dad bought for us kids to give to her. Then on to the hot ham and rolls for lunch!

As I became a mom, Mother's Day was slightly more meaningful to me. Now I got the flower for church and the hot ham and rolls. The signed cards, and even some homemade ones (my favorite!)

Last year I had a hard time facing May. It was going to be Mother's Day, and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to celebrate with all of my children. I started thinking more about Mother's Day, and being a mother, and if I was going to be given a chance to be one for my baby girl. Not only was that in May, but my birthday as well- turning the big 30! Was I going to be able to celebrate my birthday with all of my family?? As you are well aware- God blessed me to do just that!

Fast forward one year...May was coming once again. Two Mother's Days? Two birthdays? Would I truly be that blessed!?! Mother's Day came and I rolled over to see two BIG blue eyes staring at me. "goo" came with a little smirk. Happy HAPPY Mother's Day to me! Next came in an AMAZING 5 year old with the biggest, loving heart you will ever see- "Happy Mother's Day mama, here's your card!" I was never so happy to see a card in my life :)

Then the 4 year old who can put a smile on your face no matter how down you are came running in- "I'm the baby, Ethan's the monkey!" Explain- There was a picture of a baby boy and a monkey in a crib. I hugged them as tight as I could, looked out the window, just as I do every morning and whispered- "Thank you God for today" The rest of the day was perfection. Then came my birthday. Yes, yes...the big 31! I woke up to some big blue eyes, a couple hugs, and a "mama, it's your birthday" with two thumbs up. How much more could I be blessed!?!...and yes, I turned towards the window once again with thanks in my heart.

That evening, my WONDERFUL husband took me out for an amazing night...filled with comedy sports, cheap beer and people watching! btw- the burgers there are incredible! Who knew!?! We even got hip and trendy and went to a bar on Water St. Yep, that was us for a night, a couple! Thank you Greg for being there for me through everything and for laughs and beer and love.

Thank you ALL for your support through prayers, and gifts, and money, and food and love. You helped bless this mom to enjoy another May, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Aidan Presents

In Episode 1, Aidan explains that his brother Ethan is still sitting up at the dinner table because he wouldn't eat his food. And that his friend Elise lives in the jungle and broke her butt.

In Episode 2, Aidan has some good news and bad news. He also...completely unscripted and even coached, encourages you to click on the link at www.

Teia's Eye

Teia took this and some other ridiculously impressive pictures from Florida. I'll link to them in Facebook or get them up here.

Perfect World

Friend of the blog Dan sent along this link about a painting and it's accompanying story about the artist's child who has Down's Syndrome. "Are you going to keep him?," he was asked.

Welcome to Medicine, 2009.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I was ready for church and I wanted to see if my mom was ready. She wasn't in her room, so I wandered around our house looking for her. Breakfast was made and sitting out - Sundays were the only days mom was responsible for breakfast, and it was always something good like coffee cake.

I saw her sitting by her desk, sniffling. I fell quiet. She was writing out a check, wearing her standard Sunday jewelry - a charm bracelet with a charm for each one of us ten kids. It tinkled and sniffled more as I edged closer. She was crying.

She ripped the check off the book and set it down on the desk like it was too hot to hold. And then she felt my eyes watching her and she turned. The first check I write, she told me, is for God. For offering. The first check is the tithe.

I remember the amount - not worth mentioning unless you want my LCMS rant - and today, I can connect that moment at the desk with the times we kids were running around with candles and eating ice cream from the freezer. It was perhaps the most exciting and fun part of being a kid. Our power was shut off.

Or the times we'd go shopping and march up to the cashier with a couple of carts of food. I remember the same tortured look on mom's face when she saw the total.

This sick week at my house today reminds me of every time I'd go report to her I'd thrown up, and how she'd stumble out of bed and console me and spill baking soda on the spot, cleaning it.

When she left Germany at 19, she never guessed she wouldn't return for over 30 years because the man of her dreams and the children. Each tinkling charm on that bracelet, the music of Sunday morning. The husband, children and the tithe first, and then the bills.

My mom taught me that anything worth something costs everything.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

An Emergency

Shaun Groves writes a really cool blog post about a sermon he heard. It kind of follows my thoughts on why we are in the state we're in. We've focused on the things we think are emergent and necessary, and our decisions don't match smarter people than we.

Sick Week

Sick week is almost concluded but may drag into week 2. Jen has a severely sore throat. Elise is ucky pukey. Kellen slept for 36 hours. Zoe was very congested.

I have like 80 things to do and 180 emails to write to people all waiting for me to explain the 80 things. I have to set up meetings, explain my tardiness, beg for pay agreements, make appointments. This is the wrong time for Sick Week.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Goodbye Visiting Nurses

Zoe's dear friends - the visiting nurses who have loved, nurtured and ministered to her since she's been home - had to say good bye to Zoe yesterday.

When we were told the visiting nurses were going to come every month, Jen and I both thought it was a ridiculous proposal. Our child was going to die, and there was no stopping it, and we didn't want a nurse to come and "help."

Then, the nurses visited and it was really a troupe of professionals sighing deeply and looking somber and asking us gingerly if they could hold Zoe.

We cancelled.

Children's Hospital Wisconsin got a hold of us and told us that we needed the visiting nurses. If Zoe died while at home, the visiting nurses were needed to verify that her death was due to Trisomy for the police.

So we invited them back in, but this time they brought a whole new crew of people who were exceptionally nice and not the least bit somber. They befriended Ethan and Aidan, and Jen really looked forward to their visits.

When we moved, we switched counties, but the visiting nurses continued to visit. They brought gifts for the boys, and gave Zoe a wonderful 1st Birthday present.

Yesterday, they told us that it was their last visit. They said insurance kept asking what, exactly, they were visiting for. They said that initial conference calls with Children's seemed to be filled with some dread about how Zoe's condition would change, which morphed into mild conversations about Zoe's status.

Even while there are things that have us concerned, by most measures, Zoe's doing just fine. And the thing about the police? The nurses had never heard that one. They said that was never a reason they were necessary.

We were blessed to have them visit and happy to have them around. Zoe and we thank them.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


I've been waiting for something profound to say at post 1000. Something that would stop and make you think. All of my muses are silent.

So I'll leave it to the truly profound.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." -C.S. Lewis.


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