Weather Or Not

Hello from frozen Ohio! It has been an interesting week, weather-wise, with low temperatures, and snow, and high winds. But life still goes on, thankfully.

Sarah had her root canal on Monday. It went well. She’ll need another round of internal bleaching before she is done, which happens next Monday. This has been a trying experience, more for me than for her, I think. During school time once we wrote about courage, which can be defined as the strength to move forward in spite of fear, difficulty, or change. That last one, change, isn’t normally what we think of needing courage to weather, but it does. And I think the change of this new experience, this going from having a good braces off time immediately to a serious problem, is just throwing me down. But I’m coming along. Moving forward.

I’m planning on starting Kidnapped by Robert Lewis Stevenson as a read aloud tomorrow. In the first chapter, the boy is given some items to take on his journey, but at first the author only describes the items by shape. I think we’ll guess at what the items are, and talk about why the author would choose to only give us bits and pieces of information, before I read us the chapter. Hopefully there will be more opportunities to have activities like this, because the book may be a little beyond some of these kids’ abilities.

 

All The Things

I spoke to my daughter about her latest blog posts sounding sad, almost depressed. I hoped that she didn’t feel that way, at least not on a regular basis. Then I got to thinking about my posts- seems I only post when I have some crisis or am worried about some crisis. I will try to be more well rounded here, I commit to that today.

I’m at Caleb’s Upward basketball practice. He is getting into the sport as his brother, Sam, has done. Noah will watch basketball on TV, but only played a couple of seasons before he was played out. We’ll see about the other three boys, what they take to. They are still pretty little.

So when we decided two were going to play basketball in two different counties, we had to decide who was going to drive them. I get the one close to home, so I don’t have to bring Chloe out in the cold, or leave her for long. But being alone for a couple hours is fun! I went to Hobby Lobby, and spent the rest of my Christmas money. Trying to get back into art, I’ve joined a sketching group that meets monthly. Our leader likes to use water pens, and gave me a quick demonstration on how they work. Then, lo and behold, I got some pens for Christmas from my friend Angela. (Funny aside here: Sarah asked me once, “Why do you refer to her as ‘my friend Angela’? She’s the only Angela you and we know!” And I just did it again here, in a place where she is likely my only reader by that name.) Just now I got some watercolor pencils, to use the pens in another way.

Sarah is my trooper right now. She got her braces off in December, and we immediately noticed one of her front teeth (#9, I now know) was discolored. We suspected an injury, but how? Neither she nor we could remember anything happening to her. She had been sent home with bleaching, so maybe it was some kind of metal residue? The bleaching didn’t do much, the off color moved through the tooth, so back we went to the orthodontist. He said it was bleeding internally, we should see the dentist to be safe, but that we should be conservative about treatment of this kind of thing. I had no idea what this kind of thing was; my worst fears were that the tooth would fall out of her head, and I was a nervous wreck. But as I prayed about it even before revisiting the orthodontist, I thought God was giving me Psalm 55:22. He will sustain Sarah, He will sustain me, whatever lay ahead.

Our dentist was not much more help. Yes, it was a damaged tooth, but there were many ways to proceed, anywhere from a root canal to leaving it alone for a while (“Just so you get it done before you leave for college,” he says.) He recommended an endodontist, a profession I had never heard of. This doctor would know what needs to be done.

We saw the endodontist yesterday morning, and after a cold temperature test and a few minutes’ exam, the doctor declared the tooth would have to have a root canal, as soon as possible. Did you catch the difference in sense of urgency in each Doctor we saw? It does depend on their area of expertise, and the way we were able to journey to the heart of Sarah’s problem. But I got a glimpse of what it might be like for someone being sent to a cancer specialist, being told they are stage 4, and they want to operate immediately. This endodontist doesn’t consider that I had no idea his job existed (or the severity of Sarah’s problem) before yesterday, so his dental chair-side manner feels a bit flippant. And since he does root canals all day every day, he doesn’t see this for the life changing experience it could be for Sarah, having a cosmetic, facial concern for the rest of her life. And the braces were supposed to have a good ending.

I was very low yesterday. Hormones and teeth combined to literally exhaust me last night. But I’m better today, and trying to look at the bright side, wherever I see it. She will have excellent care. Imagine living in a time or place where her hurt teeth really would fall out! And, I know we are just talking about teeth. It’s not cancer, it’s not loss of life, or even limb. And we can afford this care. All good things. And I have God’s word that He will sustain us. This is more than enough.

Blogs I Love

I’ve been blogging (on and ((a lot)) off) for a really long time! This has been such a great period of my life. In addition to writing on my blog, I’ve always had a playlist of other, excellent blogs I read. I got to tell the very first blogger I followed how much I appreciated her, recently via email. I’m sure she felt a cross between creeped out and flattered when I told her all these things I remember her blogging about, from meal planning to her micro preemie son’s birth. But I loved reading. I haven’t shared who I’m reading these days, so here are my favorites, with some commentary. I thought about linking to each one, but that might not be good for my blog or theirs, in some cases. So, you might have to translate my dots and slashes.

Smittenkitchendotcom- I not only love cooking shows and blogs, but I really love the ones who have a story to tell for each recipe they share. I’ve been reading this one for years.

Fountainavenuekitchendotcom- this is a new read, and I like her stories, too.

16blessingsmomdotblogspotdotcom- she has 16 kids, and faithfully writes every day! So inspiring to me.

Likemotherlikedaughterdotorg- I love the book recommendations here, and her thoughts on politics, life, homeschooling, and cooking.

Dailyconnoisseurdotblogspotdotcom- she’s so uplifting and fun. These are videos, though, which I cannot watch easily on my phone, so I am glad when she gives a written synopsis of the video. I discovered the book Amy Snow when she recommended it. Good stuff.

Thepioneerwomandotcombackslashconfessionsbackslash- this is one of the oldest blogs for me. I was reading when she was a mere pup, before Food Network, before Walmart. And her blog seems like it has not changed. She is still as goofy and poetic as she always has been. Love it.

Mychildiloveyoudotblogspotdotcom- I wish this lady were still blogging, and I check faithfully for a new post. But her archives are a treasure. Click on any month of the year, and find encouragement. Nights with these last few newborns have been spent with her whispering in my ear that this will all turn out beautifully.

So there’s my perfect seven right now. If you are looking for something good to read online, here’s where to start.

Disappointment, and Worship

I’m not all that easy to like. I know. There are many faults and sins that need work before I even start to get interesting. But isn’t it funny how easily annoying others can be, those many times with the same faults and sins? Disappointment is powerful, and is the price of having all of these people around us. You aren’t quite like me, and your response there was definitely not the way I would have handled it…Now I get to suffer loss because of your behavior. I told someone once, “The older I get, the more I see life is about cleaning up after other people!”

It hit me today, though- this reality should drive me to acknowledge God and His work in my life. He is in control, I am not. If I was, I’d surround myself with people just like me, and how fun/not fun would that be? I can only respond, Holy is the LORD.

This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
This is how it is
And our God is in control

This is not how it will be
When we finally will see
We’ll see with our own eyes
He was always in control

And we’ll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means

-Steven Curtis Chapman