Friday, May 27, 2011


Like I said, it's every day.
In this 90 degree weather, I need to buy stock in Gatorade!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Well, we've been keeping busy, and no I haven't taken my camera with us anywhere. Mentally, it's easier--when we are running from one thing to another (like this past weekend)--not to take the camera and feel a need to "catch up" on journaling.

So, on to the more mundane things:
Good news vs. Bad news.
As a gift from someone, Cherish received a package of 5 nail polish colors--full of sparkles that usually make the polish virtually permanent. However, I painted her nails with the polish two times, and found that neither time did the polish stick to her nails for more than a few hours.

Bad news vs. Good news.
I was trying to be very careful and place the package of polish up high so Cherish couldn't get into them and make a royal mess. Well, the package the polish was in didn't stay closed as I was lifting it up high, and ALL 5 glass polish bottles fell to the bathroom tile floor. Glass and polish went "flying".

Chipped bottles + one broken bottle that spewed its contents on wooden cabinets, tiles, and grout. Polish + glass.

I couldn't wipe it up fast enough.
No problem.
Dried on nail polish.
No problem.
Out came the mop.
Out came the polish--off wooden cabinets, off tile, and out of grout!
No problem.
Good thing this was the kind of polish that didn't stick to nails...or anything else.
No problem.

Also, we purchased mirror holders that were made specifically for doors. Yep, specifically for mirrors. Specifically for doors. About three months later in the wee hours of the morning, down came the mirror. Yep, wee hours of the morning.

The "holders" held for about three months. Guess I can be glad of that. Now, they hold ties:
At least those sticky things are still good for something.

Our new favorite Bible book is The Jesus Storybook Bible--Every Story Whispers His Name. Personally, I love the book, because it ties Old Testament stories to Jesus. I think Cherish loves it because it brings new pictures and an interesting twist to the stories she is already familiar with. It is a unique book, and I am thankful that Pappy and Nanny (a.k.a. George and Carileen) gave it to Cherish.

Also, we attended a beach baptism with our church family this past Sunday evening, Derek finished up teaching 4th grade boys' Pioneer Club last night, and this Sunday will be my last time teaching UpStreet (Sunday School) for the school year.

So, other than painting nails, hanging ties, reading, and teaching, we have begun swimming (now that the temperatures exceed 90 degrees!), jumping on our trampoline at least an hour a day, cooking and baking with new ingredients (due to Cherish's allergies), handing out million dollar bills, etc.

I am SO THANKFUL for an opportunity to be a stay-at-home, nail-polish-cleaner-upper, trampoline-jumpin', cook-from-scratch-momma. I know I am truly blessed.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Working and Playing

So, we’ve been keeping occupied this week by cleaning, organizing, and playing.

We have finally put away all the baby and toddler toys and clothing—since it will be a while until Hope comes. Since we can’t put a whole lot into our attic—due to extreme heat—and since we don’t have a basement, Cherish’s closet is doubling as a storage unit for Hope.

Side note: Cherish and I heard about The House Fairy, and the motivation Cherish has to clean, have manners, and make meals is amazing! She has become quite independent, and she is asking me continually to do more. Like for instance today: she dumped out a bin in the kitchen so we could organize it. She's asked to clean out other drawers, and helped me even organize kitchen drawers!

The House Fairy lady teaches children so many things. She has videos on manners, obeying parents, cleaning, setting a table, making food, etc. What a positive motivator for good behavior!

Cherish's room is clean and organized:

Also, Derek and his parents got together and bought Cherish and me a gift. Let’s just say it is keeping Cherish’s mind occupied. (The children’s hospital said when a child’s pain cannot be controlled, preoccupy the mind.) This is doing the trick:

If you noticed, Cherish is wearing a yellow band on her arm. It is a bug-repellant ring that lasts 200 hours—and it only costs a dollar! The band is called: Insect Repelling Super Band and it repels mosquitos—which LOVE Cherish! She gets NO bites with this band on. It’s WONDERFUL! (You can purchase them at various dollar stores, too.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Following Cherish Around for a Day

Well, I thought I’d blog an average day in the life of Cherish. We started with lots of snuggling and reading stories, with the constant question: “Can we read another one?” (This is one of my favorite times of the day.)

Of course there were her morning chores, and I will say her bed-making skill is looking very good to me!

Then she ate breakfast and absolutely had to feed her children.

Yep, this is what I let her do. After she eats, she feeds her animals, um…I mean, her children. (She eats the food at the end and even puts their dishes in the sink!) This happens about 2 meals a day, about 5 days a week. I know: I’m a weird mom.

Then there was hair-cutting time.
 (Excuse the band-aids. See previous post.)

Up to this point, Cherish moves this guy around the house about 22 times a day.
No kidding.
Not kidding.

He gets a drink every morning, and then he follows the sun around the house. We have a couple of skylights, and as the sunlight moves, so does he. I have become very conscious of minutes as I see the light pass by this little pet. (Cherish has gotten me so conscious of his “love” for sunlight, that I have occasionally helped to move the little guy along on his daily journey.)

Then, came a manicure and pedicure for Cherish, followed pretty closely by the refrigerator repairman coming to fix our ice maker. Of course, he totally needed a 4-year-old helper. So, that’s what he got.

Then it was time to make muffins, followed by Cherish making lunch for us by herself.
One batch of muffins was made egg-free with this:
 Cherish making lunch for the two of us as the muffins baked:
 Break to eat said muffins:
 Back to sandwich making: 
"Peanut Butter and Jelly Somersaults" as she calls them:
They truly are good!

Afterwards, she cut up all the crust to be used as croutons. However, seeing that we had plenty of croutons left over from Friday and Saturday’s lunches, we decided to give our outdoor visiting birds a treat (prior to toasting the bread).

Then, there was a sewing "lesson". We added bling-bling to one of her “not fancy” dresses that needed mending anyway. I received a lot of comments like: “Thanks, mom! It’s so beautiful!” Then, when she got bored, she added ribbons and bows to her animals, and they all had a meeting.

Being finished with that, it was time to wrap her almost-daily present and walk it over to the neighbor’s house. She loves to wrap and leave gifts for the neighbor girl, so she will be “surprised” when she returns home from school. Yep, just about every day.

And then there was computer time, dance time—which of course included the “Hokey Pokey”, surprises for mom, and lots of play time packed into each and every moment that was not otherwise occupied.

We ended with reading Bible stories, snuggling, and praying together—as we do each night.

Tomorrow will be errand day: voting, library, etc. Cherish LOVES the library and enjoys going voting with me. (The poll people give her several stickers.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Back to Blogging…Catch-Up Time.

I’m back to the world of blogging—thanks for not abandoning me. =)

We have been so busy—in a very good way—going to Tennessee and then returning home to several days of company. LOVED IT!

Oh, and celebrating Mother’s Day, too. Yeah, that was nice!

So, before we begin, you might want to grab a piping hot mug of coffee…. Here we go:

We spent Mother’s Day weekend in Tennessee, because Derek’s great-aunt was being honored by the university she taught at and retired from. Therefore, we, (Derek, Derek’s mom, Cherish, and I) got in the car and headed out. Tracy, Derek’s uncle, boarded a plane and met us there.

Then, we drove home—all 9+ hours of it—on Mother’s Day. So, my mom came up and we went out to celebrate on Tuesday evening. Derek took us to a dinner theater to watch, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” It was amazing!! I am still marveling at how much they did on the size stage they had. The actors received a standing ovation from us! Wow! They were good!

Derek, Julie, Carileen, Aunt LaVeta, Uncle Tracy, Cherish:
Come on! This is a formal dinner!
Oh, never mind.
Then came and play day.
Derek taking Cherish for a "walk" with Aunt LaVeta's walker:

Derek is simply a big kid.
My favorite picture of Cherish:
 Her asthma was completely controlled--yay!
Having a blast rolling down the hill behind Aunt LaVeta's House.
The only hills we have at home are ramps onto interstates!
Lovin' life:
Hi, Daddy!
Back home and at the dinner theater for our
Mother's Day celebration:
Cherish had an idea and struck this pose on her own.
 Afterwards, I saw all the tiny red ants crawling
all over the palm trees!
Yep, those are bites!

...part of the 26-ish she had. Poor girl!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Belly Pain Update

Well, we have received the report back from Cherish’s biopsies and enzyme removal (that the doctor took during her last procedures). Not only is Cherish allergic to cow’s milk, but she is intolerant to dairy in all forms.

Lactase enzymes should be greater than 15 in a person’s system. Cherish’s are less than 2. Thus, we were told she will not be able to have any kind of dairy for life. It’s permanent. She cannot break down or digest any kind of dairy.

So, our G.I. doctor is referring us to the Nemours’ Clinical Dietician, where we will learn how to better care for Cherish. Another important concern that will be address is how to get enough calcium and vitamin D into her system.

We have until the end of May to see if Cherish’s pain subsides, or we head back for more testing. She remains in 24/7 pain. (She has been dairy-free and egg-free for 22 days—since finding out she was allergic to these two things.)

Side note: We are SO THANKFUL Cherish was gifted to us! We are thankful to be able to walk down this road with her. (“Belly aches” could have easily been overlooked in an institution—with so many other concerns to be cared for.)

We appreciate each and every prayer. Thanks for “hanging” with us.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It Began with Grace

This afternoon I finished reading The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson (the first book in the series). Wow!
The Yada Yada Prayer Group (The Yada Yada Prayer Group, Book 1)
Now that I have finished crying, I am soaking in the love and grace that God has bestowed…
…upon me.
A nobody.
But…chosen by God to be His child.
A nobody.

It began with Grace. Grace from God. Being chosen and drawn by Him. Being made alive. Being washed in the cleansing blood of Jesus. Being forgiven.
White as snow.

I am a forgiven sinner.
By Grace.

Enjoying freedom.
Enjoying peace.

If not for God’s grace, how lost I would be!