This is my life...a series of dreams come true on a daily basis. Join me as I run down my dream - maybe you will find your dream in the process.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Busy month...but all went well

August has been one very busy month for our family.  A lot has happened (some planned, some unplanned), but everything worked out exactly as God planned it -  all for the best.
 Here we go....

  • My sweet husband celebrated another birthday, along with our nephew's adorable girlfriend Caroline. Had a wonderful party at my sister-in-law's house.
  • Met with Early Intervention teacher for Jackson.
  • Scarlett started First Grade.  She loves her teacher and was quite relieved that she was able to remain in that class, as five students were moved to a new classroom due to overcrowding.
  • Jackson's cleft palate repair went extremely well, and he continues to heal.  Thank God for skilled doctors and nurses!
  • Even though I was completely out of leave time, my wonderful boss allowed me to take a week off to stay home with our son after surgery.
  • We refinanced our house from a 30 year to a 15 year fixed and got an even lower rate that we first thought thanks to a loan officer who was continually looking out for us.
  • We were able to put a new roof on our house, rewire our electrical box, and cut down five trees.
  • Family, friends and neighbors all pitched in to help out with meals, shuttle service and general support during Jackson's hospital stay and convalescence.
  • Scarlett brought home her very first homework paper - she had completed it while in after-school care, and did it perfectly!
  • Jackson discovered the joy of choo-choo trains.
August is not quite finished yet, but it has been a good, albeit busy, month.  Here is hoping that September is not quite so hectic, but just as good!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Surgery for Jackson

From the day the China Center for Adoption Affairs first made aware of our son Jackson's existence, we knew that a few surgeries would be in his future.  That did not deter us - he was our son, and we loved him.  Jackson was born with a severe cleft lip and palate.  Jackson's lip was successfully repaired in China before he came home to us, but his palate was not.  The cleft palate keeps Jackson from being able to drink from a straw or talk where people can understand him.
So his first cleft palate surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning.  We are holding near to our heart Phillippians 4:6  "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." We are praying for Jackson's physicians' hands to be guided by God, for the surgery to be a complete success, for Jackson's pain to be minimal, and for a speedy recovery.  Not too much, eh? 
If you would be so kind, please pray the same for our sweet boy Jackson.  Thank you, and God Bless!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Supper with Helen and Steve

The other evening, our family had the privilege of dining at the home of two of our friends, Helen and her husband Steve.  Helen and Steve are newlyweds that have just recently been reunited after a few months of waiting for Steve's student visa to be issued.  They met in Beijing as students.  We met Helen when we were looking for a native Chinese speaker to teach our daughter Chinese.  We've been friends ever since.
Anyway, Helen and Steve wanted to treat our family to an authentic Chinese family-style supper.  We had no idea what to expect, only that we were excited to see what they would serve us.  We just knew that it would be wonderful - and we were NOT disappointed!
Steve had been working in the kitchen washing fruits and vegetables, slicing, dicing and cooking since 2:00 p.m.  When Helen came home from University at 4:00 p.m., she joined him in the kitchen.  The results of their combined efforts were tasty indeed.  We had the staple Chinese sides of noodles (long and moderately wide like fettuccine) and steamed rice.  A savory sauce made from olive oil, sesame see oil, teriyaki sauce and scallions added some flavor to the rice and noodles. 
Steve made a tofu dish using "a pepper jam" as Steve called it.  The remnants left in the jar it came from looked less like a jam and more like a thick sauce. Anyway, it gave a creamy tomato soup like consistency.  It did not taste tomato-y - just looked like it.  The tofu was soft and creamy. 
The second main dish was pepper beef.  Quarter-inch thin slices of beef and hot peppers made up this spicy entree.  You did not notice the hotness until after you swallowed.  It was delicious.  They also made a chicken and potato dish.  It was exactly that - chicken with potatoes.  'Nuff said.  The final dish was a beef, broccoli and carrot dish.  It had a savory brown sauce with it that added a lot of flavor.  I only wish I had thought to take my camera to show you how wonderful these dishes looked!
We had a terrific evening discussing their upcoming move to Boston where Helen would be working on her Divinity Degree; how they felt babies in China were not as happy as babies in the States(babies in China cry all the time); and who has the best muffins.  Yes, muffins.  And the answer is Sam's Club.  The muffins there are huge.
We are saddened that Helen and Steve are leaving our area, but we wish them all the best of luck in Boston, and pray that God's hand protects them.  Godspeed, Helen and Steve!  Thank you for a wonderful evening.

Monday, August 2, 2010

How to relax - if you can

I generally find it difficult to make myself just relax and enjoy the quiet.  I mean, I am one of those people who is not happy unless I am doing something.  Put it down to the old saying that idle hands are the devil's plaything.  This weekend, I found myself forced to be still and relax.   Having surgery kind of makes you do that.
Friday morning, I had what I like to call "a minor major" surgery.  Major in the fact that I was put to sleep and my belly was cut, but minor in the fact that it was laproscopic and didn't really hurt at all.  But anyway, I was told to get plenty of rest, eat light meals, and generally just veg.  I am not a good vegger.
Friday afternoon, I was standing in my Mom's kitchen, leaning against the kitchen counter having an in-depth discussion with my stepfather's home health nurse about surgeries.  We compared surgery scars, recovery times, and the like.  After awhile, Mom and the nurse were telling me to go lie down somewhere. I shouldn't be up wandering around.  So, like a dutiful patient, I flopped on the little bed that Mom had set up in her front room to read.  
By the way, I do not suggest that right after having a minor major surgery your read "Mennonite in a Little Black Dress".  I can tell you from painful experience that it hurts to laugh, and giggles just don't cut it for this book.  What was my friend Debbie thinking?  Maybe she thought laughter really was the best medicine.
Anyway, I read awhile and slept awhile.  Read some more, then got up to see if there was anything good to eat.  I was told in no uncertain terms that I should have a bland diet (i.e. potato soup) and not eat anything too exciting.  After eating, I slept some more.  (By now I bet you are wishing that you had moved on to the next blog - go ahead - I don't blame you.  Relaxing is pretty boring sometimes)
Saturday was more of the same.  The only difference was hearing the somewhat desperate tone to my husband's voice when I asked how things were going at home with the two small fry:  "Good. Great.  How are you feeling?" he asked, somewhat like a person who was trying to ascertain if the parole board had voted in favor of early release.
Sunday dawned hot and clear.  I was feeling the benefits of a lot of sleep, a lot of reading and a lot of potato soup.  I decided to take a walk down Mom's long driveway through the woods to the little street that runs by her house.  Mom has done a lot of work over the years fine-tuning her home into something I like to call Modern Forties Vintage Only Better.  I stepped down the front porch to see an old blue car putter by.  For a moment I thought I was in some time warp.  I shook my head and proceeded down the drive, swatting at the mosquitoes all the way. 
I had just reached the end of the drive when I spied a tiny spotted fawn nibbling the neighbor's front shrubs.  Its mama was nowhere to be seen.  It delicately munched its way across the front beds and stopped at the edge of the neighbor's driveway, looking back over its shoulder.  That is when I saw mama step from the woods.  She ambled toward her baby, not stopping until the "poot poot" of a bright yellow Studebaker (convertible!) motored past.  She and I looked at each other in disbelief, as if simultaneously saying, "A Studebaker out here?  Seriously?"  Then she was gone.
This is kind of what Mama Deer and I saw, only envision the top to be white and down.
Once Hubby and the children arrived, the relaxation was over.  Pandemonium reigned and things were back to normal.  I was ready for it, thanks to the tender care of my Mom and lots of rest and relaxation.  Which is a good thing, because my house is a wreck after a weekend of mayhem without mama!