Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Outdoor Fun

Here's a peek at some outdoor fun that's going on in town which I managed to catch last night and this morning. This is the outdoor set for the Shakespeare play, "Twelfth Night." Usually, I check around to see how a Shakespeare play is set to avoid a bad experience. (Our whole family attended, plus a neighbor friend.) But after last year's amazing Shakespeare production, by the same company, I assumed... well, let's just say I shouldn't have. Last night's "Twelfth Night" was painfully set in the 1980s. Enough said. Except, that the lead actor who played Viola did an exceptional job. We were glad we hadn't missed her performance, so the evening was not a total loss.
We've had the opportunity to see this gal in four plays. (This is her last one with our local university, as she just recently graduated.) Her stage-acting talent inspires Erin, and we like to think about seeing her perform again somewhere, someday.
Erin and I took our late breakfast to a park that was hosting a kids' "Rendezvous in the Park." While waiting for the free noon performance of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," I walked around the kids' art booths and found a friend of mine teaching the very fun art of Quilling.
Tye Dye Hankies
Demonstration of a homemade bubble blower
At noon, lunch sacks were distributed and the kids sat down to enjoy the food and entertainment. We sat next to these rainbow-cheeked girls...
with this happy boy in front of us.
Alexander's day gets worse when he has to wear his least favorite pajamas to bed. What a terrible, horrible...(the kids in the audience participate by chanting loudly along.)
Mom's comforting song, while tucking Alexander in, makes everything okay.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I've been a weepy mom, lately

Joy. I'm not use to feeling it so often...there's just been so much pain, so much suffering. Yes, there have been times of joy these last 3 and 1/2 years, too, but they have been... spread out.

But lately, wow, I decided today that I should consider carrying a hankie.

When Erin's best friend was here, they learned a song to sing together. They sang it over and over. We couldn't get away from the sound of their practicing. (I wasn't crying, yet, by the way - except for being tempted to cry out, "Please give us relief!") But finally, they sang me their finished duet. The performance that those two girls -who hadn't seen each other for eight months and who, if I hadn't been at one of the occasions, I'd swear were born joined at the hips - anyway, the performance they gave me... well, that was Weepy Time, No. 1.

Weepy Time, No. 2:

One of my friend's gave me a gift that was symbolic of something I had talked about in a blog post. The gift came with a meaningful message on the card. All that I can say is friendship like that makes one joyful.

Weepy Time, No. 3: While I'm preparing dinner one night

Erin's at the piano (Definition: an instrument that, before our illness, I use to hear being beautifully played at least two hours a day, but I've only heard being played a handful of minutes altogether since. Remember, that's over three and a half years people.) So she's playing the piano, and singing at the same time. Now, that would be a good enough excuse to get weepy, right? the same exact time as that is going on, my son (who use to play lacrosse and other such physical sports, but has not been able to comfortably walk up and down the hill that our house sits on, during the above length of time I just described,) is in our backyard with his new best friend, (it wouldn't be exaggerating to tell you that all of Brady's best friends have moved away from our quiet city during the said amount of time of our illness.) I stood watching them out the kitchen window play badminton, knowing that they had plans to hop on their Ripsticks later. (Do you remember Erin is doing that playing/singing thingy in the dining room?)

There is just no way that Weepy Time, No. 3 could have been prevented.

Weepy Time, No. 4:

Scratch this one, don't remember it.

WT, No. 5:

Today, the CD of Fiddler on the Roof we ordered a few weeks ago finally arrived. Erin blasted the Intro to the play which was followed by the cast breaking into, "Tradition." Oh boy, did Erin and I get excited! This made Erin's upcoming role in "Fiddler" finally feel real! (It was cast in May before school let out, but rehearsals won't start for a little over two weeks yet, so thoughts of it have just been kind of dream-like.) Then, "Matchmaker" came on and Erin started singing along as Chava. I couldn't help myself - the reality of how big this role is for Erin (it is going to be produced as professionally as a play can be without being wholly professional,) how she, with her limited energy has worked so hard to keep trying to gain the skills needed to be even considered for a role like this, and how I am so completely proud of her, and thankful to God for blessing, joy, joy! (Heh, it makes me wonder how I'll ever get through the actual performances.)

WT, No. 6:

At a picnic a couple of weeks ago (an event that our whole family was able to attend together - a very rare gift, in itself,) the moms started talking about allergies and I mentioned that I wanted to learn how to make kefir, but I felt like I needed someone to help me, because learning about it seemed so overwhelming. (Kefir relates to allergies in that, I've learned, a good yogurt or kefir can help those with gut problems gain some healing so we won't react to lots of foods - or pollen, or molds, the world for that matter. I've learned to make fermented yogurt, but we hadn't had success in being able to eat it yet.) A friend sitting next to me told me about a lady she's acquainted with locally who knows about kefir making, and asked if she could send the lady,(P,) my e-mail address to see if she could help me. Of course! P came over today to drop off a book for me to read about kefir. I asked her if she could come in and we visited for awhile. And somewhere towards the end of our visit the WT came. You see, I'd been praying for just this sort of person to come into my life, someone who had overcome problems like we've been experiencing and could help me and direct me in just these ways.

So what I said is true, I've been a weepy mom, lately. But it's okay, it's just that my cup runneth over.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What I sent out to our church e-mail today

Just a quick update to let you all join us in praise to God for the mercies He has shown us, especially in the last nine months. Several different helps during this time have helped us gain some really good improvements. After over 3 1/2 years of intense struggles with debilitating health, we are very excited to make some visible progress. We have a long way to go, but we are encouraged and hopeful.

As mornings are still our hardest time, please pray that we all will be able to join you in worship more and more. Please pray for continued strength and good health for our husband/father, who has taken care of us so amazingly and patiently. We continue to be blessed by your faithful prayers, your physical acts of kindnesses, and your words of encouragement. We thank the Lord for His gift of you in our lives.

Sherry, Brady, and Erin

Addendum: This goes to all you out there, too!

I've waited so long to send something like this out on our church's e-mail loop! Erin had gotten "out of the woods" a bit last summer, but not in a way that we were really sure about it. And Brady and I were still in a very dark, scary place as we headed into winter. In fact, it wasn't until this spring that we started feeling like we were heading into a bright, open spot; even though, we had started to see some positive things (a little light) from the help of the SCD (diet) and our doctor, by Christmastime. (We started seeing the doctor I'm referring to in November.)

We started drinking the alkaline water in April. There is something to this water - No. Doubt. About it. Yippee and hip, hip, hooray!

We still have a very long way to go, but we're getting out in the world some now, instead of watching it turn as we look out our windows. I don't feel like an alien imposter anymore when I go to the store. My time "out and about," albeit short, no longer feels like a spaceship has just set me down for a quick peek at Earth's inhabitants. We're part of things. It is so wonderfully cool!

"To the end that my glory may sing praises to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever." Psalm 30:12

Saturday, July 05, 2008

"More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing nothing, than by believing too much."
P.T. Barnum

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

We're having a party at our house this evening and then heading out to see fireworks. I went out yesterday to pick up some ice cream for our celebrating. I had other groceries to get, so I saved the ice-cream aisle for last. Mistake. Since our illness and all of our crazy diets, I can no longer just "grab something." I have to read every ingredient label of every brand of processed food. I have to dig for the freshest fruit or vegetable. The mental strain from picking out just the right wine, salsa, chips - both potato and tortilla, ice-cream cones, fruit for the homemade sorbet (for the three of us on the SC diet,) plus finding the answer to the last minute "What should we have for dinner tonight?" question had fatigued me. Not to mention the fact that my body had started complaining loudly for my skipping its afternoon rest time. It was in this condition that I faced the Great Wall of Ice Cream.

Do you know how many brands of ice cream that grocery stores carry? Do you know how many different sizes, prices, flavors, and fat levels there are to choose from? I opened every freezer door in order to perform the ingredient examination ritual. (Did you know that some ice cream is made with skim milk? And I don't mean just the diet ice cream.) Of course, this procedure immediately fogged each door up so that when it closed, it was impossible to see through. This was bad enough when I was the only person at The Wall, but then there was a "run" at the ice cream section - as if a blue-light special had just been announced - and everyone stared at the opaque doors and looked at me, thinking, "She did it."

By the time I had picked out a couple of flavors of sorbet for my dairy-free guests, found my husband's favorite ice cream in his favorite brand, and struggled over choosing a few other flavors that I hoped would be close to my guests' favorites, I had become the "Ice Cream Aisle Greeter." I helped a couple find the "lite" ice-cream in their specified brand and I quickly opened a freezer door for another, to prevent the humility of a glare. Still, I wasn't completely satisfied with the flavors I'd chosen, which at that point, brought waves of panic into the fog that resided in my brain. I quickly exchanged a brand and flavor with another, grabbed another carton of a different flavor at the last minute, then hurried over to the shortest check-out line I could find. My panic receded but gave way to an overwhelming confusion, causing a final surrender to all coherent consciousness. I did get a glimpse of way more ice cream containers on the conveyor belt then I remember putting in the cart; I had to ask the clerk why the machine wouldn't swipe my VISA; and when the bagger asked if I needed help out, I replied with a squeaky "Please."

After dinner, I told Brent he should go down to our freezer to dish himself up a sampling of the ice cream I'd purchased for our party. He came up and said, "I'm in ice cream heaven!" Isn't it great that my husband loves ice-cream? *smile*

Hope you all have a fun day.

And just so your time spent here won't be completely wasted on my foolishness, here's a bit of wisdom (completely unrelated to ice cream) it wouldn't hurt us to think about as we contemplate our freedom:

"The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts."
-- Edmund Burke