A Quiet Wood

A Quiet Wood

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wooooo Hoooooo!

He's here! The child is here! *victory dance around the room* After long months of waiting, Carson Benjamin (better known to friends and family as "Beanie") finally made his entrance into this cruel, sinful world. He looks a little squished and cone-headed, but I think he's wonderful. I know, I'm gushing, but I can't seem to help myself. I'm becoming someone I've always made fun of. *sigh* But I THINK HE'S SO COOL! *sorry* Mom and baby are both doing well. I bow at the feet of any woman who can do this. Dixie has risen almost to the status of divinity in my eyes after watching what she did. Bravo to all of my other friends who have been there, done that! I mean, I've seen several births but haven't been through the laboring process with anyone I loved or had a deep connection to. It's pretty different when that gets figured in. Also, a pitch for the husband - Andy did a marvelous job "supporting". He was really great. Anyway, I'll stop the verbal diarrhea and just post a few pics of the blessed event.

Here is the happy family with Gina, Dixie's nurse. She was incredible.

Here is the happy me with the new little person. (I seem to be able to cheese it at a moment's notice. They tell me that I was even smiling and waving right after heart surgery while still on the vent. Go figure. One must always be ready.)

Here is the dude himself. (Remember, he's very new, has had his head squeezed for hours, and has just been yanked from his warm water world. He can't be expected to look his absolute best, but isn't he cool? I mean, really. I think I would look much worse under the circumstances. Especially my hair would be worse.)

Here he is looking a bit more put together with his pround Nanna. (Love the pompom. Also love that word..."pompom". Say it, it's fun.)

Anyway, I'm done. Just wanted to share my joy (and also fulfill promises to friends far away who are waiting to see him *hi guys*). I'm sure I'll have more to say later. You know me. :) Toodles!

*Thanks to any of you who actually said "pompom"...outloud.*

Friday, May 25, 2007

End of the Year

Just a quick update about my life -- since all of you wait with baited breath to hear about my daring exploits. I will tell you that this week is campmeeting here on the Hilltop. Busyness abounds, and tired young minds try to absorb a few last uplifting thoughts before they turn their minds to simply a vegetative state for the summer. I make my rounds attempting to challenge, counsel, encourage, and spur them on to greater things. :) Actually, I really enjoy my role during campmeeting. I get to reap some of the benefits of being in this position. All at once, in times of spiritual crisis, girls want to talk, and I love that! I love the privilege of listening and giving a few wise pointers here and there. :) It's lovely. Don't misunderstand me, I will be the first to admit that I am NOT a fount of wisdom. It's just nice to be that point person - one that gets to be in the right place at the right time. It is an amazing thing to sense God using you in the place where He has placed you. It is as if everything dovetails, and you feel that energy, that rush, that complete enjoyment in doing something you really, really love. Serving God is the most amazing thing. Living in His will is the highest form of enjoyment. I'm loving it!

So there you have it. The end of the year. Summer is a comin' in. Hallelujah.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I am struck today by the thought that, as scripture says, "the heart is deceitful above all things...". I know that the verse goes on to say that it is desperately wicked. I know this passage is referring to an unregenerate heart; however, I also believe that even after we have been purified by faith, the human heart (actually the mind) can trick us. It happened to me recently -- today actually. I allowed my selfish desires to be cloaked in what appeared to me as genuine altruism -- really wanting to help someone else. Happily for me, what I wanted to do to help was actually extremely beneficial to myself. In hindsight, it probably wasn't that helpful to the other person and actually probably hurt them a bit. However, at the time I convinced myself that my motives were unselfish ones. I know that one can over analyze one's motives. I tend to be gifted in that area. However, sometimes I think it's good to stop and think about how my actions affect others. Am I being truly kind, or am I just getting what's good for me? *Alert* Don't over think this. I don't believe God intends for us to be paranoid -- just careful. Any thoughts?

Friday, May 18, 2007


By now, I'm sure all of you experienced bloggers out there have heard every single excuse in the book for a long delay in posting a new blog entry. "I've been busy. The kids have been sick. My husband has been sick. The dog has been sick. My dog's husband has been sick. I just realized I don't have a husband." And the list goes on. Well, I won't use any of those tried and true excuses -- although one or two of them might be true. (You can pick which ones.) The reason I have not blogged in a while is that...I've had a monkey on my head. (See below.)

Having a monkey on one's head can really complicate one's ability to operate normally and makes seemingly effortless tasks -- like cleverly writing about one's mundane life in ways that make it seem exciting and glamorous -- very difficult indeed. Just try it sometime.

Anyway, now that the monkey's gone, I'll fill you in. Actually, now that I think about it, there's only one day that's really worth talking about. Last Thursday. I will make it brief. Last Thursday the following things happened.

1. Woke up and remembered that I had a lot of stuff two days overdue at the library -- $32 fine. Paraphrase of the first words out of my mouth..."oh no, I've got a huge fine."

2. Took one of my girls to Children's Hospital for a supposedly broken ankle -- only to be told hours later that it wasn't broken after all. The last hospital was wrong. Go figure.

3. Was racing against the clock to run errands for Dixie's baby shower which was that night. Started at the library to pay fine. Was told that I had to bring everything with me -- couldn't just renew. Thought bad thoughts.

4. Went to various stores buying last minute gifts, party supplies, food, etc. Ended at cake store. Evidently it was the first cake the decorator had ever done. Notice the backwards baby footprints. More bad thoughts.

5. Was standing outside a friend's house waiting to pick up crockpots so we could start the food (3 hours until shower time) fuming about the cake when a bird flew over and relieved himself (to put it delicately) on my arm! Didn't help my mood a bit. Well, I did laugh.

6. Taking the crockpots up to my apartment on the elevator. Talking on the phone. Watched the elevator door close on the crockpot cord. Dropped the phone. Hit the elevator button and pried the cord loose. Thankful thoughts -- especially since it wasn't my crockpot.

7. Things improved. Had a nice shower for Dixie where she got many cool gifts including this really cool one from Marianne Brown -- a cake made from baby diapers. She definitely got the creative award.

So, that was Thursday. Things have definitely improved since. This was exam week, and we start campmeeting on Tuesday. And then (joy of all joys) home again, home again, jiggety jig.

I am now in cardiac rehab approx. 3 days a week. It's going well. I think the ticker is improving. My stamina is definitely coming back. Life is good...even when one has a monkey on one's head.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

All Over the Page

*The following will be much more enjoyable if anytime one sees a "ha ha" one reads it in a monotone. One can even do this in one's head if one is especially good at imagining things. (I'm not really sure who "one" is, he just kind of slipped in there.)*

Well, hello there, faithful friends and lurkers. After much busyness, I have returned (even if briefly) to the cyberworld. So as not to stress those of you who struggle with long and verbose ramblings, I will condense the last couple of days into more of a pictorial journey.

To start things off, for those of you who don't know, the graft site from my leg became very infected, and they had to take the whole leg. (See photo at right.) I am hoping with therapy and a good prosthetic device to be as good as new in no time. I may even be able to join some special athletic teams, etc. I'm really looking forward to this new chapter in my life.

OK, JUST KIDDING. Stop before you call the prayer chain. This picture was from a belated Christmas party that my girls gave for Dixie (my assistant & right arm -- or left leg as the case may be) and me. Last night they set up a Christmas tree and gave us stockings full of gifts and signed posters with well wishes. It was so beautiful! *sniff* I would post pictures of us with the girls, but they were in pj's, and this is a holiness site. They also gave a sheriff badge to me and a deputy one to Dixie. They are so funny -- ha ha.

Sheriff -- ha ha.

Dixie & I with all the trimmings -- woo ha. The bulge in Dixie's front is her son, whom we hope will be making an appearance very soon. He is already a funny child. He loves band music. (The fact that he likes band music is not what makes him funny!)

Anyway, on to tonight. Tonight was the final meeting of my discipleship group. I love these girls. They make me laugh hard! I have really enjoyed studying the Bible with them and growing closer as a group. *Shameless plug* If you ever have a chance to disciple a group of young people in a small group setting -- take it! It will bless and change your life. *Shameless plug is over* Anyway, we ate good food (cooked by yours truly) and had a really fun last meeting.

Finally, how are you doing, you ask. (Thank you for asking.) The good days are getting better and more frequent. The bad days are still unexpected and unsettling. Overall, I am most pleased. I am using very few pain meds. (For anyone who was worried about an addiction problem, worry no longer. Another joke. Ha ha.)

In all seriousness, I am very blessed to have an amazing Heavenly Father whose grace consistently astounds me. I am humbled at His nearness and the fact that He IS -- whether we sense Him ...or not.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ramblings and Reports

Howdy, friends and prayer partners! It has been a while since I reported in. I feel I've been dreadfully out of the loop. I haven't even had time to read after most of you the last few days, so I hope you're still out there. :) You wanted updates, so here goes. After my "Sunny Day" and "The Hat" blogs, I was (as you may well imagine) feelin' mighty fine. My stamina up, back in the saddle, life good. However, as most of you know, sometimes, after a sunny Tuesday, there lies a mean and nasty Friday lurking in the shadows. Anyway, the weekend was a bit rough. I sat still in my chair for lots of hours. :) But this week has been better! I don't think I really understood how nonlinear the recovery process would be. One doesn't just get better. One gets better, and then worse. Then much better...oh, then worse again. But all in all, I think the better side outweighs the worse! So that's GOOD NEWS! Last night I was at the Academy Spring Program, and my chest was really hurting. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, when along came a gentleman who has been struggling for about a year with cancer and doesn't have long to live. He was asking how I was, smiling broadly, and saying how we had to stick together. Needless to say, I felt like a total whiny jerk. Praise God for reality checks every once in awhile. I am SO BLESSED!

GBS is in its wild slide to the end of the year, and all of my girls are feeling it. I called them all together last night for a little "You Can Make It There's Only Four Weeks Left So Don't Lose Your Focus And Get Careless With The Rules" pep talk. I think it went over OK. I really think I've got the best group of kids in the world. They're just tired and overwhelmed, so we talked about keeping their priorities straight and not losing perspective -- something that's good for me to hear as well. I really do love them. They can make me crazy at times, but they also bring me lots of joy. (One of them was battling pink eye recently and complained to me that her eyes were really "itchified". I hate it when that happens.)

Well, that's it in a nutshell -- a rather large nutshell as I look back over it. Oh well, you got the walnut version. Have a happy day!