10 Things I Like About You

I thought I’d write about the 10 things I like about our new home:

1. I like my kitchen. Actually I’m finding it simply amazing (without being over-the-top.) It is big, open, and has tons of storage. It’s been fun having people over for dinner and it really is a good thing that I like my kitchen/dining room so much because it is the only place we can sit down inside the house.

2. I like my island. It has become a comfortable place to cook and feed others, but it is also my place to sit and read or plan, or work on the computer. John has his office and I have a loom room/sort-of-office, but I find I gravitate to the island for most of my quiet moments.

3. I like our deck (when the sun is shining.) Even though we are planning to make some changes to the deck (a second level with a hot tub 🙂 we’re enjoying what we have for now.

4. I like our very first master bedroom/bath. Our master “suite” is really four rooms: a bedroom, a bathroom, a separate toilet room, and a walk in closet. The bathroom has a shower and a deep whirlpool tub tha is helping me get over the temporary loss of a hot tub.

5. I like our first-floor laundry. Way cool.

6. I like our garage. So far it is a staging area for unpacking, but we are gradually getting things put away. John built triple decker shelving along one wall of the garage, which lets us store things, basically in view. His next project is a workbench.

7. I like our “lower level.” We are working on dividing the big room into sewing area /play area/ and place to relax together with friends. Last week I made a trip to IKEA and set up a desk and bookcase to make a separate space for my sewing. This week we ordered a sectional couch for the other end of the room. These two spaces bookend the kids’ play area but they all kind of flow together. John2 has a bedroom and a large “media” room that we are letting him take over.

8. I like our neighborhood. It’s really different, but pleasant. I’ve become a dog-walker, enjoying looking at the different homes, gardens, etc. There are ponds and paths and miles of places to walk. It’s not like Elmhurst, where we could walk to town and ogle some really big and beautiful houses, but it’s open and quiet. I like that we routinely pass farm fields as well. Our new neighbors seem nice. I was especially happy to find that one of my nursing school classmates, Cheryl Fornelli, lives just two blocks from us. We had fun getting re-acquainted with her and her husband, John.

9. I like our new town: Aurora. It’s really diverse and interesting. It’s sprawling suburbia mixed with a downtown area that is struggling to survive. An Elmhurst “kid” told me that we have a cool venue in River Edge Park. Today we got a flyer for the Summer Concert Series. (Our own Ravinia?) Aurora has miles of bike trails, lots of parks, a small zoo, and Blackberry Farm. Aurora is also home to Wayside Cross Ministries, where John has volunteered as a mentor and occasional teacher/speaker.

10. But best of all, I really like being near Laura and Taylor, Kellen, Oaks and Olive! It has been a lot of fun to share our lives and our new home with them. Besides babysitting and casual drop-ins, we were able to enjoy the end of the soccer season, seeing our kids at church, and taking field trips with them. Laura and I are also co-cooking: we plan our meals and double our portions so we don’t have to cook every night 🙂 Loving that!

Make New Friends…

Remember The Big Hole and the Taj Mahal? Our new neighbors moved in this week: a single cardiovascular surgeon, accompanied temporarily by his mother. We just got home from having Chicago style deep dish pizza with them. Naz is my new best friend.

Last Friday she wanted to make us a Pakistani meal so I gave her a ride to the grocery store so she could pick up the ingredients. She came home and cooked mounds of chickpea rice, chicken, and a tomato/onion relish. Her son told us she Americanized it for us.

She has been unpacking while I have been packing, which has worked out wonderfully as they are giving us their empty boxes and packing paper.

She also wants to take me out for lunch before I leave and her son has invited us back for a lamb dinner in a few weeks. We traded cell phone numbers tonight.

We are T minus three for blast off: By this time Thursday, our house will be empty (and “broom clean”) for the walk-through. I may come back afterwards for one more soak in the hot tub. We will still own the house until mid-morning on Friday.

By early afternoon, we will own another house and will move in over the next few days. I can’t quite imagine what it will be like unpacking all this stuff that I’ve been putting in boxes for months. It might be a bit like Christmas.

In a few days, we will be the new neighbors. We know that the neighbors on the north side of our house just moved in a couple weeks ago so it will be interesting to meet them and see if we can connect as easily as we have with Oz and Naz.

…but keep the old.

It’s going to be strange leaving the community, the people we recognise from our kids’ school years, the neighbors whose kids played with ours–all those folks we wave to in passing, but only rarely meet face to face. We’ve been through enough church changes over the years to know that it some of those close ties will change as well. My work relationships will continue for awhile, but eventually those will fade as well. Even Facebook is less satisfying. (I took the app off my phone so I’m looking at it a lot less frequently.)

We will have to work at making new friends, and be “intentional” about keeping the old.
One is definitely silver; the other gold!

New House/ Blank Canvas

We bought a house in the burbs!

After our lost bid, John spent the next day (while I worked) researching and looking at houses. He found a ranch that he said was “nice, but no glamour–functional, light.” It’s selling point was that the basement was entirely finished and very light and sunny.

We looked at it again the next day and also looked at another that had a lot more glamour but a completely unfinished basement. It also smelled like a smoker lived there.

We ended up going back and forth between the two, choosing the finished basement, clean home (the previous owner’s wife had problems with allergies so it was the polar opposite in air quality) and ranch style, which seemed wise for a couple in their mid-60s.

It’s a little boring, but I’m looking at it as a blank canvas. There is very little work that needs to be done, so we can concentrate on making it our own in other ways.

It is also relatively new–only 11 years old with one owner. This will be a new experience for us as we have always lived in old houses (with the exception of the duplex in Alaska.) It has a brand new furnace and air conditioner and a clean 2-car garage. The main floor walls are all white and the “lower level” is a pleasant yellow. (My friend said it shouldn’t be called a basement.) The deck is functional but uninteresting and the yard is mostly undeveloped, but sunny.

The kitchen/dining room is large and open, a huge contrast to the claustrophobic kitchens I’ve had in the last two houses. I haven’t measured yet, but I think there must be  a good 16-18 feet of countertop compared to what I have now and lots of drawers and cabinets. It will be our first house without a separate dining room, which I think will be a nice change. It also has a small island with a “breakfast bar.” The entire room, including the dining area, is 16’x20′.

This morning I cooked up a Tartan Room, an Alaskan Room, and a sewing area in the bright corner of the basement. There’s even room for a longarm 🙂

This is going to be fun.

(If you are the nosy type, you can look it up on Zillow: 2225 Roaring Creek Dr., Aurora.)

P.S. Today is our 40th anniversary! The proscribed gift for 40 is a ruby, but I think this is better.

Christmess

On Christmas Eve our pastor spoke about the mess of Christmas: of Jesus’ birth in a messy stable cradled in a feeding trough; of the difficulty of keeping plastic Jesus in the manger at his Indiana pastorate; of the reality that Jesus didn’t stay in the manger and he didn’t stay on the cross; and the truth that he comes–Immanuel–into our messy lives as well.

(I may not be summarizing his message accurately. An awfully cute baby had my attention through most of the sermon.) img_3106

This Christmas season felt messy and Christmas day was definitely chaotic. Our Last Christmas In The House was fraught with expectations, our house was FULL, and on top of that, we planned a family trip to Disney after the New Year. I decided not to give my adult children gifts since we were going on the trip (which one adult child thought was a very bad idea.) Three weeks ago, our travel plans changed (only half the family is going) and other family drama marred the preparations.

Christmas Day actually turned out reasonably nice, though chaotic. I gifted my adult children with photo boxes, memory boxes, journals and albums of the Christmas Letters we’ve sent over the years. (Actually a smart way to pack up to move.) We had gifts and activities for the kids, but hadn’t planned on Oaks’ penchant for randomly opening gifts. We also had two meals in the space of 4 hours: cinnamon rolls after opening our stockings and a turkey dinner at four. We ended our family time with a puzzle contest, which Kellen won (with Papa John’s help.)

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When I first started unpacking my Christmas decorations, I spent time placing my nativity scene on the top shelf of the curio cabinet. John and Johnny bought it for me years ago, and while I’m no longer a fan of Precious Moments figurines, this one is special. A papa sits in an armchair next to a fireplace reading the Christmas story to his little boy, img_3136illustrated in the manger scene of figurines of the main characters, cute sheep, a donkey and a pig. An angel with a flashlight shines his light down on the manger, an added piece that I bought the Christmas after a miscarriage.

On the shelf below, I put an earthenware communion set that I asked a friend to make for me years ago. Laura and Taylor used it at their wedding and I’d been saving it for the day when our entire family was truly following Jesus. As I placed the pieces, I decided that we should stop waiting for that elusive day and serve communion this Christmas–no matter how messy our lives were looking.

So for a very few minutes, we sat around the table eating cinnamon rolls and talking about our faith and our Savior. Oaks said he wanted to pray and we smiled while he prayed for “all the children to have power, all the power…” Kellen, prompted by his parents, explained why Jesus came and died for our sins. John and I both got choked up when we talked and others shared their gratitude for friends, family and church. We listened to a music video of O Come, O Come, Immanuel and then shared simple bread and grape juice. Short but sweet.

And then we went back to the chaos and the mess, both literally and figuratively. I was exhausted by the end of the day, vowing to never be in charge of Christmas again. There were huge img_3109messes everywhere, in the kitchen, dining room and living room. The top of my mantel was crammed with “stuff”, a pet peeve of mine. And oh, in between our two meals, the sink/disposal backed up so John, Taylor and James worked their magic with a plunger and a snake.           Not pretty.

But Jesus was here–God With Us–in the midst of our mess. We might have only noticed for a few brief moments, but we walk by faith even in those times when we don’t sense his presence or lean on his goodness. Merry Christmess!

Cedar Lake

Several years ago–I’m pretty sure I had my first blue Nokia cell phone at the time–I wandered off the beaten path and found Cedar Lake Conference Center. I called my dad and told him where I was. He immediately began singing an old camp song that he remembered from many years past:

“We’re down in Indiana, at Cedar Lake. Yo-ho!

We’re feasting on the manna, to the promised land we go. We’ll raise a loud hosanna and happy hours you’ll know.

At Cedar Lake in In-di-an-a.”

On Thursday, Dad’s birthday, I once again visited Cedar Lake. My mission was to find out more about the summer home my grandparents purchased in 1925.

Cedar Lake is in the back story of a Marshall legend. My grandparents, Robert and Janet Marshall, had purchased a summer home near Cedar Lake. I knew that it wasn’t on the grounds of the camp, but somewhere in the area.

For years I’ve intended to visit the Lake County Courthouse in Crown Point to hunt down the home that were living in on June 30th, 1925.

I found the Recorders Office several miles down the road in the Lake County Government buildings rather than at the Courthouse in the middle of town. The first three people I met were not very optimistic about my search, but I persisted and found the deed for their purchase on June 26th, 1925.

They bought the cottage on a Friday and must have started moving in right away. I’m guessing they spent the weekend there and settled in to spend at least part of the summer away from the city. Robert planned to commute back and forth to East Chicago, in his hard top touring car.

The following Tuesday, just four days later, that plan was turned upside down. Here’s the story I wrote from 11-year old Jean’s point of view. (Based on what she told me of her memories of that night.)

       Jean couldn’t cry even though she had never felt so sad in all her life. She stared at the ceiling of her small room, longing to cry, longing for someone to tell her it was okay. Okay to cry (even if she was a big girl.)

       She knew that nothing would ever be all right again. Her father was dead! Dead. How could that be?

No matter how many times she went over the story, it always turned out the same: She had been helping Mother prepare supper in the small cottage kitchen. They heard a car pull up in front of the house, and stopped to take off their aprons before greeting Dad at the door. Only it wasn’t Dad. It was two men from the conference who had come to tell Mother the awful news.

      Jean saw her mother’s hands fly up in the air and heard her anxious questions while she tried to absorb the news.

An accident.

The car hit by a train and dragged down the track. A fire.

No one could have survived the crash.

Yes, they were sure it was Bob’s car.

Yes, the police and fire department had come.

Yes, he was in heaven now.

No, he wouldn’t be coming home to the cottage or home to his family ever again.

         Then Mother had insisted on going to the scene of the accident, about a twenty minute drive from the cottage. The men hesitated and tried to talk her out of it, but she had insisted that she needed to see it. The children were too young to leave behind so they were bundled into the vehicle as well.

           There at that barren corner where the tracks crossed the Calumet highway, Jean had huddled in the back seat with her two little brothers, scared, shocked, unbelieving.

There really wasn’t much to look at. The car was a mangled, burned mess off to the side of the track. The train was long gone. The police and fire trucks had just pulled away. One lone policemen led Mother by the arm, explaining what he knew about the accident.

           A car had stopped for the oncoming train, but father had pulled around it and tried to cross the tracks ahead of the train. He hadn’t made it, crossing directly in the path of the Scotsman flyer. There had been a terrible screech and explosion as the train impacted the car and dragged it further down the track. The machine had burst into flames.

          Jean watched as her distraught mother wandered around the site. She saw her bend down with a handkerchief, pick something off the ground, and put it in her pocket.

         Finally, Mother returned to the car and they went back to the cottage where they immediately began packing their belongings. The would return to Chicago in the morning. .

Weeks later, when it was all over; when the funeral was done and Father had been buried next to Agnes; when they moved back home to their apartment on Green street, Jean asked her mother what she had picked up that day. 

           “Your father’s brains.”

When I shared Aunt Jean’s story with a friend, she asked if my Gramma was being sarcastic. I immediately said “no” but the more I thought about it, the more I believed that she was expressing both shock and anger. Robert made an impulsive and foolish choice that day, a choice that would impact his family for years to come. My father was born four months later.

I don’t know (yet) what happened to that cottage. I was able to locate an address and get a copy of Real Estate Assessment and Transferred Records, but they only go back as far as 1958. Even so, there are hints of more story: the first name on the record is Mary R Christie, a sister-in-law of Janet’s second husband. Her son’s name (a nephew) is in the top left hand corner of the document and Lawrence’s name is also on the original deed as the notary public. More puzzles to unravel.

img_2648I did find the land, but no cottage. There was even a For-Sale (“Best Offer”) on the ground. Speaking of land, I’d also stopped at Mt Hope Cemetery on the far south side of Chicago earlier that day. The final resting place for Robert Marshall (and two of his children) is an unmarked grave in a back corner of the cemetery that isn’t cared for well at all.img_2646

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I ended my day, somewhat coincidentally, at Palos Hills Christian Assembly, the Plymouth Brethren off-shoot of the “hall” at 86th & Bishop my grandparents attended. It was also my Dad’s home church for at least twenty years of his life. I was there for a memorial service, but couldn’t help reflecting on these family stories as well. Years later, Janet Christie, my grandmother, said “There are no tragedies in life.” She trusted that every part of her story was within God’s plan for her life–and ours.

It’s easy for me to wonder “what if?” they hadn’t bought that cottage…or Robert hadn’t been commuting back and forth. What if he’d simply stopped behind the other car? How would the story of our family have been different? Would it have been better? Or just different?` I probably wouldn’t go so far as my grandmother, to say there are no tragedies in life, but I could well relate to the words of Immanuel’s Land:

With mercy and with judgment
My web of time He wove,
And aye the dews of sorrow
Were lustered with His love!
I’ll bless the hand that guided,
I’ll bless the heart that plann’d,
When throned where glory dwelleth
In Immanuel’s land.

P.S. Immanuel’s Land actually has nineteen stanzas. It was written by Anne R. Cousins in 1876, using letters written by a Scottish pastor, Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661.) Read his story here.

Falling Short

unnamed-1Did you learn Romans 3:23 as a child? “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” I learned a new way of falling short this week–in weaving.

Actually, I fell short a few weeks ago when I ran out of warp for the sampler I was making. I decided to make a second sampler, striving for perfection.

My warp”fell short” again, but this time I decided to tie on more warp, a process NOT recommended by more experienced weavers on my Facebook Weaving group. I decided to ignore their advice and do it anyways. They were right, of course.

I measured and cut 140 threads, each about 4 feet in length. one by one, I knotted an old and new string together and trimmed the knots. I re-established the tension on my warp and started weaving again.

That seemed to work well until the knots started the process of coming through the heddles and reed. My fell line (where the weaving is actually done) started to wiggle and “smile”: the tension became uneven and my weaving was ragged. With every second treadle change, I was having to untangle threads from the back of the loom.

Finally I decided to pull the knots through the heddles and reed without weaving them, leaving a 10 inch gap in my weaving. It was difficult to establish a good tension after that, but I managed to get back on track.

Then, I noticed that I was already running out of warp–again! I decreased the sample size—from 2 to 1 inches–and retied the back beam to get a few more inches out of the loom waste. I managed to eek out the last ten structures to complete my project.

unnamed-3My finished product has an unplanned seam and a shortened sequence but, hey, its a sampler. It looks good and feels soft and wonderful. This picture shows a variety of the patterns in the sampler. I learned new tricks and now know more about mistakes to avoid in the future.

I’m ready to start my next project–sampler towels–which will add more color and practicality to my palette.

I know that I will start with an extra, extra long warp.

 

P.S. I’m pretty sure there is a spiritual application to this story, but I’ll leave it to your imagination and consideration.

Here is my birthday gift: a used warping board bought on Craigslist, with a 9-yard warp for my next project.img_2633

Reluctant Reunion

I really didn’t want to come. I’d signed up, paid my fees, and bought a plane ticket. Just ten days before John had decided that he would like to join me on the trip to Colorado and there was an extra room because someone else had to cancel. When John2 had another manic episode, I really wondered if one or both of us could/should go. I worked Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and still didn’t feel like taking a trip, but decided to just follow through regardless of feelings.

Our West Sub class of 44 graduates (1976) had voted to have this reunion in Colorado for a change. Only 13 ladies made the trip, less than 1/3 of our class. Illness, grandbabies, and other travel prevented many from making the trip, as well as some whose memories of nursing school aren’t all that fond.

14370306_10157368366335401_2575341235484813236_nBut the weekend has been sweet. We’ve laughed and talked through three meals a day and evening sessions focused on the past, present and future. We’ve driven together to town, and along the Trail Ridge Drive. We took a short walk around Bear Lake and huffed and puffed up trails in (literally) thin air. We even stopped to see a small display of National Park Centennial quilts.

This morning, we sang a lot of old hymns and songs from the 70s, our older voices stretching to hit the high notes (plus John’s bass.) We prayed and shared and had Cheryl Fornelli tell us a story* from John 11.

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I came reluctantly. I leave blessed. So here’s the lesson: Grab whatever opportunities you have to reconnect with classmates, extended family, and friends. It’s a little taste of heaven.

 

 

*Cheryl uses a method called Orality, which uses oral storytelling to teach the biblical narrative. She and her husband, John, have been using this as an evangelistic tool in many cultures. Follow the links to learn more.

 

Perfection

I finished my first sampler, about 10 “structures” short of the 62 variations noted in the pattern. I ran out of warp.

My sampler feels great, looks pretty good–and I absolutely LOVED the process of weaving.

And so, I’ve decided to make another one, same pattern, same threads. No mistakes. Or, at least if I do make mistakes (which I will) I plan to stop, take out, and fix. Perfection.

My first challenge for a perfect sampler came with dressing the loom. I couldn’t use my poolside warping set up because the morning glories have completely taken over.

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Instead, I set up three chairs in my room and stretched the thread between them. Which worked, except for that moment when one of the chairs fell over from the tension I was exerting. Eventually, I got it done with the “cross” looking mostly correct.

The next step is sleying the reed, which is picking up one (or two) threads from the cross and threading them through the reed from right to left. I was off to a good start, but it wasn’t long before my threads looked hopelessly tangled. I used lease sticks this time to help me maintain the cross, but I still ended up with a lot of tangles.

Next is threading all the ends (142) through the heddles, following a pattern which in this case was a simple 1-2-3-4. Not too difficult, though plenty of opportunity to miss a heddle or cross the threads in the process. I checked and rechecked them multiple times.

img_1987Once that seems right, the threads are tied on to the back beam and the process of untangling all the threads as they go through the reed and heddles begins. I broke five threads in the process and spent a good hour or more untangling. I ended up rolling the warp on to the back beam, back to the front beam (to add those five threads) and all the way to the back beam the second time! I’m sure there are better ways to do this, but my goal was a perfect warp and this is how I managed it.

I was in a hurry to get the loom dressed because I like having it set up for weaving during all the in-between-moments of life. It is calming to weave and rewarding to see the patterns emerge as I go.

I particularly need the calm and the reward, this sense of perfection, because so much of the rest of my life is anything but. John2 has had fourteen manic episodes this summer with accompanying depressive crashes. We’ve been working hard on our house and garden and we still feel like there is so much to do! We’re now thinking that we will celebrate one more Christmas here and put it on the market after the new year. That takes the pressure off, but extends the interminable wait process.

img_1989Weaving is the perfect antidote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer!

It is the first day of summer, the last day of school for the Chicago Public Schools (really?), and the last day of my 2-1/2 month “vacation.” I start back to work tomorrow.

What a wild ride it has been–both the trip and the days since arriving back at home. Vacation=time off work. Vacation≠rest. I think this is what retirement looks like. Most people say that they are busier retired than when they worked and I think that may be true.

Since we’ve been home (two weeks tomorrow) I’ve done a ton of gardening, catching up on all the work that normally takes place in the spring. I missed the whole “dandelion season”–for which I am grateful, though my neighbors probably weren’t.

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I’ve cleaned the house and the back room, which is becoming our box storage area. This is actually clean, relative to how it looked a few days ago. And it gets the boxes out of the living and dining room.

 

 

 

 

 

Today I put away my snowmen and snow scene…

 

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and put up my summer decorations.

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(Not the best pictures, but on the left is a quilt I finished 20+ years ago. I still enjoy it, though it may the last year I put it up. On the right is a patriotic quilt I made a few years ago. It turned out too big for wall above the fireplace. Both combine piecing and hand applique.)

We are still hoping to sell our house, just not sure of the timing. Right now our plan is to take one day at a time and keep working on the million small projects that we still should accomplish. We’re thinking that maybe we could be ready sometime in August or September. Or, we may end up waiting til January (though we don’t think so.)

We also have to consider John2, Liz, and Luna. We would like Liz to stay in Elmhurst so she can continue to enjoy her work, friendships and church life. She has gotten very used to having us close by so we know it will be a big adjustment for her. We guess that we’ll be making regular trip back to Elmhurst (the reverse of what we do now.)

John2 has not had a good year and has not made much progress toward independent living. We are willing to bring him with us to a new home–and expect that is what will happen–but it is not what he wants. He likes living closer to the city. (Too bad.) We feel that we just need to move forward with our plans and see what happens. Maybe it will end up being an incentive for him to move on.

Our plan is to rent a house in Aurora (or surrounding area) near Taylor, Laura and the grandchildren. We don’t feel ready to give up a backyard, but plan to gradually downsize to a condo within two or three years. There is a house I’m watching about a mile and a half away from the Birkeys. In the rental market, things may go quickly or may not, so we’ll see. Every day I ask the Lord to go before us; to lead us, because quite frankly, we don’t know what we’re doing, we just feel a need pack up and move. It is good to trust that God does know.

In the meantime, the first two weeks of my summer have been lovely. I love hot weather and Chicago has delivered! I work hard but take frequent breaks in the pool (or hot tub.) I’m already a toasty brown! It has hardly rained, which isn’t great for the gardens, but has helped me get a lot done.

I’m grateful for my kind boss who didn’t put me on the schedule for two weeks even though I just finished a two month vacation, giving me time to get over jet lag and go through Lizi’s surgery and recovery. It has been a huge blessing.

I’m only working two days a week but it is still a game changer. When I didn’t finish something I intended to do it didn’t bother me: There was always tomorrow. Still, I’m grateful for a flexible job and a great work environment. Retirement is still on the horizon, but just over that next hill.

We’re going to make a few short trips this summer and fall, in each case to “reunite” with family and/or friends. Over the 4th of July weekend, we will be in Detroit for some family time with the Marshalls. I am looking forward to meeting two babies for the first time and spending time with my family. The 100th Hurne Family Reunion takes place the third weekend in July. All but two of John’s siblings will be there, plus nephews, and grands. It will be fun to catch up with family again. In late August, my high school class celebrates 45 years and mid-September, my nursing school class celebrates 40! (Geesh!) That one is taking place–for the first time–away from the Chicago area at the YMCA of Colorado in Estes Park.

We also celebrate Olive’s birthday tomorrow–our ONLY summer birthday in all the family. (James’ birthday is June 6, but since it is winter in New Zealand, I guess that doesn’t count.) She was “tarred and feathered” at a family party on Sunday. Here she is enjoying her feathered smash cake, wearing a headdress! What a cutie.

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Summer!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

 

 

 

 

 

Biz Buzzed

Lizi’s surgery is all done. The frozen section showed cancer, so the whole thyroid was removed, as expected. Her larynx and parathyroid seem to have survived intact. Today we heard that her pathology report was very positive so there is a good chance she won’t have to do any follow up radiation.

IMG_1452She really did quite well. Neither of us liked the night in the hospital so we begged the doctor to send us home the next day. She came home with a drain still in, but that was removed this afternoon at the doctor’s office. It should be clear sailing from here on out.

She is a little tired and a bit “buzzed”–just sort of overwhelmed by the experience. She says she’s done having surgery! Yesterday we got her to smile by asking her to say “Charlee”, but today her smiles are real.

Thanks for praying!

P.S. Before leaving Rush, I stopped to take this picture of the demolition of my birthplace! I was born in the Presbyterian Hospital, which later became St. Luke’s-Presbyterian and then Rush University Medical Center. This makes me feel old–as did the night in a recliner.IMG_1454