Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Getting to know me...

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends.
NOTE: Okay, people! This is generally sent via email, but I wanted to post it to our blog. Please participate by copying the entry into an email and sending out to all those who love you and would want to know your favorite Christmas traditions!
 Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a  SCROOGE!!!  Just copy not forward) this entire e-mail and paste into a new e-mail that you can send.  Change all the answers so that they apply to you.  Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you......Tis the Season to be NICE!
 1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?  Wrapping paper,generally, unless the size/shape of the gift warrants a bag. Then, it's all-out: matchy-matchy tissue peeking out the top and everything.
 2. Real tree or Artificial?  Prefer real; life dictates artificial until life calms down. Looking like we'll be celebrating with a fake Christmas tree forever.
 3. When do you put up the tree?  Day after Thanksgiving. Who WANTS to go shopping when it's INSANE!?!? Besides, it's my favorite tradition that I have from growing up—we would all bundle up, because in Elbert, it was  inevitable snowing buckets, and all trudge out in the back pasture to pick the perfect tree. Mom always had the final say-so, and no matter how small a tree looks under God's great ceiling, it was always 2 feet too tall for ours!
 4. When do you take the tree down? After New Years'
 5. Do you  like egg nog?  Yes, but it's gotta be chased with some plain ole milk or something—so thick a gal could choke, you know?
 6. Favorite gift received as a child.  I will never forget the Christmas that Santa brought me a whole bunch of sewing stuff. I mean, she – ahem, HE went all out. We three kids would come out on Christmas morning, drop to our knees before our respective collections (so artfully displayed) of gifts from Santa, and dig into the fun. My  little sister, however, did not think that My Pretty Pony (or whatever it was that Santa got her that year—I'm remembering MY favorite, not hers!) was her collection, and Mom had to tell her that that was my stuff and hers was over here. I also remember (may have been the same year?) that Santa brought me a whole slew of art stuff, and I think I still have one of those sketch pads.
 7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes complete with a creche, and also a beautiful cream & gold porcelain one that becomes our Christmas dinner centerpiece. 
 8. Hardest person to buy for? Teenage mutant ninja girls. Just kidding; they give us lists. Um… usually, people I work with. You can't give a gift to everybody, and some will get something more personal, and then there's always the person that you didn't get anything for…
 9. Easiest person to buy for?  Me! I love whatever gifts I get myself. Just kidding. It's pretty easy for me to shop for my husband. He's an extension of me!
 10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Christmas what??? Oh, CARDS? I haven't sent those in years. 
 11.  Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I almost didn't put it, but then, it's not like they'll be reading this anyway… a frying pan. Yeah, how would you feel if the gift you got said "get in the kitchen and fix me some chicken pot pie, woman!" (Vernacular changed; I don't talk like that anymore, but the term of "endearment" started with a B and not a W)
 12. Favorite Christmas Movie. The Nativity Story, the Grinch (the Jim Carrey version, too—he did a great job!), It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story (You'll shoot yer eye out, kid!)…  Oh, was I only supposed to name one? Not gonna do it; get over it.
 13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes—and anyone that says no is LYING!
 14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Fudge (I'm going with Margaret on this one!)
 15. Clear lights or colored on the tree? On the tree: both. On the house: varies from year to year, depending upon mood and what strings still light up
 16. Favorite Christmas song?  Silent Night, Holy Night—they REAL version.
 17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay Home – especially this year!
 18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?  Well, I could, but after Grandma got run over, they all got the chair, and he's got new ones now… Greedy, Dopey, Sneezy, Grumpy, Lumpy, and Clueless… Oh, you think not? Don't you watch the news?
 19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?  One special one on Christmas Eve, the rest in the morning
 20. Most annoying thing about this time of year?  All the merchants that put stuff out in July and stupid retailers that think I want to buy a Holiday Tree (or worse: a Family Tree. Duh! Those are on paper, you idiots!). Do Jews put up "Hannukah Bushes"? Does anyone besides people celebrating Christmas decorate a tree? Gimme a break!
 21. Favorite ornament, theme, or color? My favorite ornaments are blown-glass; I have some that are "American" blown-glass (generally clear or colored-clear glass), and some that are Czech glass (the shaped and inside-mirrored ones) with the fancy colors. One day, I would like to have a tree with all cream & gold (& glass w/ gold) decorations and white lights. We have so many ornaments in our family, we could easily do two trees, so I may someday get my wish!
 22. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Family and friends  to share it with. And strawberry lemonade!
 23. What do you want for Christmas this year?  To honor Jesus, the Christ and the reason for the celebration, in everything.
 24. Who is most likely to respond to this?  Got it from Margaret, and she's the one I would have said…
 25. Who is least likely to respond to this?  All the rest? Hey, it's Christmas, and these things take TIME! Now, go get on those Christmas emails, ya'll!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

quick update on DH's Dad

Many of you have been praying, and we thank you for that.

Dear Hubby and I had to leave town rather unexpectedly because his Dad (Colin) was doing poorly. So here we are somewhere in Oklahoma, and I have a few minutes to blog!

A couple of weeks ago, Colin had some pretty serious kidney stones. He had some in both kidneys, and they were fairly large. He went in and had surgery to remove them (via a scope--they didn't have to cut), and they got one but the other one went back up inside the right kidney. It wasn't small. They put a stint in, and he went home, doing very well. A couple days later, they pulled the stint out, and he seemed to be doing well until Tuesday when he woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't urinate and was in extreme pain. They went to the emergency room, and he was in considerable pain. They gave him some morphine, which helped the pain but caused some interesting delusions--he was having a hard time resting because when he was seeing things behind his eyelids.

Well, what basically had happened was this remaining large kidney stone wanted to pass and started to move down and out of the kidney. Because it was so large, and because they're not polished little stones (they're jaggedy, and filled with crud), it scraped and caused damage, and I believe it got "stuck." It was blocking the kidney, and somehow affected the other one--neither one of them was working correctly (1 is good, 7 is bad; both were at about 3.5). There was also a blood clot in the right kidney; again, likely due to the scratchy stone.

Well, they scoped him again that night, and just missed the stone again. Evidently, they want to blast it with the laser, but that's not something that they can do while he has an infection, which he certainly does. He has a stint back in place keeping the stone from moving down again, and got IV antibiotics and is now taking them to control the infection.

To make a long story short: Colin is home, and feeling okay, but worn out. Fortunately, the unpleasant side effects of the morphine has worn off and the pain is much more easily controlled now. He needs to heal and get over the infection so the doctors can take the next step.

Dear Hubby's Mom, Peggy, is also doing very well. You may recall that she has been struggling for the past couple of years and about a year ago was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. This disease is often associated with someone that has a lifetime history of drinking; Peggy never touches a drop. She has been on a number of medications for a number of years, and she has struggled with her health the last couple of years. She was diagnosed w/ cancer and had a kidney removed; the other seems to function just fine. She has experienced no small amount of God's healing in her body, and has been taken off of the liver transplant list. She still gets tired very easily, and it doesn't take much to knock her down, but she is eating well again, and has finally started to regain some of the weight that she lost when she was sick for so long.

It's hard on DH, because we are so far away. We are blessed that they have so much family around, but they also both tend to do too much--can't say no, you know? We continue to pray for them, and God continues to answer. Anyway, thank you everyone for your prayers, and know that we pray for each of you daily that God gives you the strength and support that you need to face whatever life throws your way each day.

God bless, and we'll be back in Colorado tomorrow (Monday).