Sunday, April 26, 2009

So much all at once!

It has been another whirlwind weekend! Here it is through photos:

Friday evening we had another rain/hail storm. The boys wanted very much to play outside in it, so we said...Have at it! Here they are playing invisible football in the street, the hail had ended by now, and it was just raining.

This was the beauty right over their heads. The house you see behind them is the roof you see in this photo! It was the best rainbow, we even saw the end of it in front of the house next door!!
We had tree planting on Saturday! Brian and I became citizen foresters last week (actually we didn't know we became them in one class...we thought we were just there to learn!) Christian is cutting the wire off the basket before we plant the tree.

Both boys really dug in and did a great job. Benjamin did a great deal of the digging. I was so proud of them!

We had to leave the planting a little early to get Christian to his soccer game. He played hard, and was pretty tired. But he scored a goal! It was really exciting! He is still wearing the bandana they gave the citizen foresters to set us apart from those who hadn't done the training. He needed to keep his ears warm! It was CHILLY during his game!
Saturday night we had my cousin's wedding to attend. It was unlike one I have ever been to. It was great because it was unique to the couple, and that is the best part about going to weddings. Ryan has come a long way, it was great to be there and share in his day. Here are the boys and my niece and nephew.
And my sweet husband! (I need sun!)

Here is the man I am lucky enough to call my dad. Of course this was taken on my wedding day, but it just gives you an idea of the way he usually looks. Such a handsome guy! And here he was today...and the swelling they say hasn't quite peaked yet. Sheesh! He isn't as miserable as he looks in this picture. Unfortunately the ones with him smiling are a little is time for a new camera I think.

Storing food for winter dad? Yes, that is a feeding tube. That will come out eventually. He has to heal more, and one day will be able to eat regularily again. The air in his neck is optional too. It just makes breathing easier right now. He has come so far the past few days. It was good to see him today!

After visiting Papa in the hospital today we stopped at Ikea. The boys are sitting in one of the displays. They are business partners doing multi million dollar real estate deals. Go for it boys!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


The last couple of days I have been feeling guilty. Why? Because I don't have the right to be mopey about all that is going on. I was reminded this morning about how blessed I am to have the friends that I do. The doctors were very encouraging when they talked about dad's condition. He is on the right path, and even the bumps that seem scary to me are routine to them. Thank you God.

So why do I feel guilty?

Because I am a devout follower to this blog. And my situation pales in comparison. Please read this ...
Plan A

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Delirious--seriously--THAT is how you spell that word?

After writing my title I think I just confirmed my state of mind right now. I think I am a bit delirious. It has been another LONG day sitting in the VA hospital surgical waiting room. Just waiting. 11 hours this time. Yea, that was poke my eyes out with a puzzle piece fun. Ok, maybe not fun.

Day 1 on his way back before the first surgery. April 13th 2009

Dad did well. As well as he could being sedated and laying in a hospital bed while surgeons do their nip, tuck, pull, sew, removal of his tumor, lymph nodes, cartilidge and vocal cords. They made the first incision at 10:20am , and came to tell us he was out of surgery around 6...or was it 7? Not really sure on the time exactly but it was a LONG while after the 1st (or was it 2nd) time they came to talk to us. Then we were told we could see him soon after that. Well, it wasn't until 9 that we were able to quickly take a peek. Ouch. I'm not going to lie, he didn't look as I thought he would. I didn't really know what to expect, but I was not prepared for what I did see. His face was swollen, his neck was puffy, his incisions were visible. He looked like he had been beaten up, and I have to admit it took me by surprise. I held his hand and he had such a firm strong grip that it helped sooth my initial reaction. What a guy! I thought I would take pictures to document for him the ordeal he had gone through. But that thought quickly left my mind when I saw him. I was overwhelmed with the desire to protect and comfort my dad. He is awesome.

Dr Tyler is starting to grow on me. Who is Dr Tyler you ask? One of his surgeons. A nice guy. Knowledgable. Friendly. Supportive. stunning movie star type Decent looking. When I see him coming, I know there will be answers to questions. I know there will be empathy, and I know there will be confidence. With his confidence in dad's condition comes my security in knowing that he will recover. I like that feeling.

Should I get to the delirium? Sounds good.

Have you ever sat in a waiting room? Waiting. For hours. With your sisters. Who have also been sitting there. Waiting. For hours. After a while, you start to create scenarios. Like at 8:30, when it is too dark to see the puzzle pieces of the puzzle that you just started working on but now want to finish as though your life depends on it. Yea, you start to think, maybe dad is just back there playing cards. Yea, he told the nurses to just let us sweat it out. He isn't really waking up from anesthetic, he is just hanging out. And after the 5th time that they told us it would be just a few minutes, we were CERTAIN that they were back there trying to convince him that we seemed like nice enough girls, and that maybe they should let us back to see him. Do you see where this is going? Trust me, there were plenty of irrational, impossible, complicated scenes that my sisters and I envisioned. I honestly half expected nurses..and dad to burst through the doors in a chorus line singing Oh Tannenbaum, or maybe rap Fresh Prince of BelAir. But that is a whole OTHER story!

Last week while we waited with dad, he was fasting. That meant we were fasting too. It got pretty scary with the 3 of us starving, but not wanting to eat in front of the man who couldn't eat. So we waited. I think we got a little wacky then too.

Day one, giddy, goofy, laughing so hard that we are crying. Seriously. Delirious.

But this time it was different. It wasn't hunger that caused our umm, irrational behavior. It was the sheer length of time. Dice didn't do it. Although, I won the first 2 rounds, by hitting the winning number dead on. Twice. Crazy.
My scores when it was just Jadee and I. See how I won.

Then Jacobi woke up...yes she slept--the cheater. And we let her play. And she won. So I quit. Yes, I quit. It was just too much.

The only straight rolled ALL day! It was Jacobi's. Cheater.

After emailing, texting, calling, correcting tests, dice playing, taking a walk, and just plain sitting...I am glad to be home, in my bed listening to my husband sleep. W/o snoring. It is wonderful to be home. Although, after only seeing dad AKA Poppi, Papa, Pa, daddy, for moments tonight, I will probably be heading back again first thing in the morning. I should just see if there is an open hospital room to sleep in. Save gas. Probably not.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


What an awful word. It certainly carries a cloud every time you hear it. I prefer words like butterfly, and singing, and grace. Words like cancer, radiation, surgery, recovery...there just isn't anything good about those words.

Except maybe in my dad's case. Yes, the tumor in his throat is cancer. Yes, it needs to be removed. Yes, he will breath through a tube in his throat for the rest of his life. BUT that means he has a "rest of his life" to live. And it isn't 6 months to a year. We didn't get those words, so for that I am thankful.

He didn't come home today. That bums me. It bums me more that it bums him. Seeing him today was disheartening. His color wasn't good, he has a fever, after a few tests they found slight pneumonia, he isn't sleeping, he was in pain, and he just wants to come home. When he walks down the hall he is a different man than the man who walked in there. He needs to come home to recoup before his laryngectomy. Pray Jodie. Just pray.

I love my dad

Today. was. hard.

I love my dad.

Please God.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What I've learned...

I have learned that my dad is not invincible. Not that I really believed that he was made of steel, or couldn't be injured...but he has always been my Dad. And with that title and role, came invincibility. He could unscrew any jar, open the high cupboards, lift heavy objects, have me and my sister walk on his back at the same time, he constructed big toys and club houses, and shingled roofs, built basements and garages, stepped on rusty nails (and didn't shed a tear) gave bear hugs, tucked me in mummy style, swung me in the air, walked me down the aisle, served in the Navy, fought fires, saved people and their homes and their pets...he is Dad.

This week my dad had a traichiotomy. Next week he will have a total laryngectomy. Following that he will undergo radiation. He should not smoke another cigarette again, so he will likely need a support group for that. He will need to learn how to talk w/o a voice box. He will need to make major lifestyle changes and adapt to life with a stoma that need constant care and awareness. There may be psychological challenges to this, so he will need to use the resources available to him to recover and adjust.

So what have I learned? I have learned that a patient with a traich in feels like he is drowning. I have learned that when it gets too dry to cough the gunk that needs to be coughed OUT of your lungs, you need to have it suctioned. I have learned that the suction "kills". I have learned what a total laryngectomy means now and what it will mean later. I have learned that the VA hospital has tasty cheap food in their cafeteria. I have learned that there is a very interesting hole in the wall booktrader store near the VA hospital that both Brian and I could spend a good deal of time in looking at books. I have learned that my dad is "pissed" that it got to this point. I have learned that so am I.

When I got the news, I didn't cry, I didn't panic, I didn't get emotional--which is unlike me. I have learned to put my trust in God. I have learned to put this in His hands. I have learned that no doctor, or surgeon, or nurse or family member can heal my dad. And that while God is working through all of these people, and He has given them the knowledge and tools to work on my dad's body, HE is healing my dad. I have learned that while we still as of now don't have all the answers... He does. He has known them all along. He is not taken off guard by this. I have prayed for peace over this. I am still scared. It is still very hard to watch my dad go through this. It is sad for me to watch him coughing, and it is difficult to see him in this pain, in this bed, with this traich, and with the sadness. However, I also see the light. God has given us a chance to do things differently. He has given my dad the opportunity to make changes to his life that will improve the quality. I pray that my dad will pray. I pray that God will heal not only my dad's body but his spirit and his mind as well.

I know my dad is sad, I know he is probably angry, he is hurting physically, mentally and emotionally. I pray that he is not hurting spiritually. I pray that he seeks God for comfort and that the comfort be given.
My dad is not invincible. He is human. He can break. He can hurt. But he will be healed.

Our Father though....that's a different story. He is invincible. And through Him, my dad will come home and live. I've learned that too. Thanks be to God.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Time precious time

This weekend has been one of the best weekends in...well, I can't even remember how long it has been since I have had a weekend as amazing as this.
Lets start with Friday. It was just me and Christian! We went on a date! Brian had plans with friends, and Benjamin was gone for the evening, so it was just us. He chose Erberts and Gerberts for dinner, so after a couple sandwiches and beer cheese soup, we did a little last minute shopping for Easter clothes. Then we rented some movies and came home to veg. During our dinner, he and I had some wonderful, uninterrupted, mom and Jake conversation. For the first time in a very very long time I was able to get him to talk. More than one syllable words, no big brother interjecting, no meetings or appointments to run to. It was fantastic! I feel very fortunate to have had that time with him.
Saturday morning, Christian and Brian went on a scout hike to Ikes in Rochester. Apparantly it is a great hiking area and both of them are looking forward to going back.
Next we decorated eggs. Christian and I wanted to blow some eggs this year, but I had forgotten just how freakishly, pounding headache, ear bursting impossible difficult it is to blow the yolk and whites out, so we only made it through 2.
When I say we, I mean Christian-1 Brian-1...I failed! What's more is that we forgot to decorate the hollow eggs! We only did the hardboiled! ARGH! We did have fun decorating them though. The kit had sponges and rollers, and was pretty cool, and we are all very happy with how they turned out.

Next we did a little shopping Christian style. That little man has been saving for a laptop, but his money has been burning a very large hole in his pocket. So instead of giving in and spending his laptop savings, he spent a gift card that he was given for his birthday from his cousins. That seemed to curb the desire to spend his hard earned dough. It is funny how young that desire sets in. But I am proud of him for holding off and sticking to his original plan!

With his newly purchased items in hand we came home so that he and Brian could put them together while I baked for Easter Sunday at my mom's.
Benjamin came home later that evening and we all went to church. We were reminded of the sacrifice that was made...just so we could be forgiven. Wow!
This morning we all slept in a little. We made no rushing efforts to make it out the door in record time, and I am so glad we did. No one forgot anything, we got to church in plenty of time to eat the Easter breakfast that was offered before the service. This morning's sermon by Pastor Nicklemoe was probably one of my favorites! He is an eloquent speaker and he really tugged my heart strings with his words. I can't possibly do his sermon justice, and I won't try...but it was a fantastic way to start an Easter morning.

From there we went to my mom's house where my sisters, mom and niece and nephew were waiting. The kids had an egg hunt, with quarters inside! Some of them even had 75 cents in them! I wish I could have participated! Thats a great deal compared to the jelly beans that I got as a kid!

Jacobi also planned another scavenger hunt through the house. She plants bunnies, chicks and lambs through the house then has the kids look for them. They have descriptions of each one that they have to then find, and have us sign off on after they tell us where they found it. If it matches our master list, we mark it, and off they go to find the next one! It is our 3rd year doing it and each year she makes it a little harder. It is so fun, and it involves us all! I loved being a part of it and all the kids had fun doing it!

Tonight has been just us back at home doing the Sunday night routine...but I couldn't help but sit back and think of my blessings over the weekend. We had beautiful spring weather, I had quality LONG OVER DUE time with just my Christian, we attended a fantastic church service, everyone was well rested and I had nearly all of my family under one roof for a perfect day of games and food.
My blessings are many, and my appreciation is great. I am undeserving of the goodness in my life.

Thank you God, for sending your Son. Thank you for your wisdom and grace. And now I ask that you watch over my dad tomorrow. Please guide the doctors and surgeons. I ask for steady hands and safe procedure. I pray that dad will have a speedy and uneventful recovery over the next few days with no further complications. If this is not your will I pray that you will guide me and help me to understand whatever is in your plan. In your name I pray, Amen.

Christmas 07, his gift from the Borsts.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Job hunting...

I want a job. I do. I can't believe I am saying that out loud...I WANT A JOB!!!
I want a job that I go to everyday. Not just when someone needs me. I don't want to be on call anymore. Don't get me wrong. Working at ReFashion--on call-- and subbing for the school district--when it works--has been fantastic! I have been very fortunate to find 2 positions that are very flexible to my children and my volunteering. But its time. I want a real job, that pays real money--regularily. So, lets get on that people! Any and all suggestions welcome. Well, maybe not all...

As promised here is a snap shot of our time at Kalahari.

Click it or ticket Christian! The go kart track is suspended up in the air. It was pretty cool, and the cars were very quiet! You wouldn't even know it was up there--unless of course you knew it was up there!

Benjamin is checking out how far back brother is. Needs to know how much of a head start he'll have!

Ok, this rope course was pretty tough for Christian. He was quite nervous about going, and this one just about did him in! He couldn't reach the guide rope soo he started...

Then went back, he almost didn't go but then...

He gave it another try! We were so proud that he did it!

Just an idea of how *@%&)(*^)$ high my kids were! It was scary for me too! Benjamin had just climbed the stairs (Christian had Benjamin pass him)

So here is Christian climbing the stairs to the highest level and he sees the course part that Benjamin is on and decides NOT to go to that height. He turned around and did the lower part of the course instead. To his credit though, later in the day he did the whole thing up at the very top! He was so brave!

Benjamin could barely reach the guide ropes on this one!

We ran into some kids from Benjamin's football team while we were there! They did laser tag together and played in the water park.

This is my favorite part of Kalahari! Christian is very good at this. He was pushing the board away so that his body was totally in the water, then pulling the board back...he was good!

My battery started to go dead, so this one was when he was splashing by rocking his just can't see that because it was taking pictures so slow.

Benjamin is steering his board, and he is just about to try to get fancy.

Here is is pre wipe out!

Breakfast on the last day. Christian has "took a shower and went to bed with my hair a little wet" head!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby Stellan

Spring Break has ended, and while we were threatened with never came. I have to say I am very disappointed that my crocuses have yet to make an appearance this year. It is sad to pull in the driveway, poke around in the garden, and find nothin'. Well, except a few left over weeds from last year!

We had a wonderful Spring Break. We took a couple days and went to Wisconsin Dells and stayed at the Kalahari Resort. Not only do they have a water park, but they have a theme park as well. So we spent our time on the lazy river, going down the slides, shooting hoops in the pool, testing our abilities with the body boarding--as well as playing laser tag, driving go karts, climbing the rock wall, doing the rope course and riding the ferris wheel--all indoors! I can't believe how stick em up rob you blind slightly over priced things are in a hotel like that. $2.50 for a bottle of water?! No thank you, I'll pass!
We had an amazing time as a family, we were all exhausted at the end of each day, but it was definitely something we all wanted and needed! A stop at the outlet mall before we headed back home on Tuesday rounded out our mini-cation. (I will post pictures soon!)

I would like to take a minute to ask each of you to say a prayer for baby Stellan, he has been at Children's hospital with SVT (Supra ventricular Tachycardia: A very rapid heart rate electrically originating on an inappropriate spot on the heart)

This family is from Minnesota and while I do not know baby Stellan personally, nor do I know his family, I have been following his mother's blog for much longer than I have had my own. She is an inspiration to parenting, she has opened my mind to different philosophies and ideas that had never occurred to me before and she is a devout Christian who has been so firmly planted in her faith with God that I am encouraged and excited to read her blog each day. I can not even imagine what pain this mother must be going through, and to stay so strong in her faith just inspires me to have a better relationship with our amazing Creator.

Even in her roller coaster ride in the hospital with her MckMuffin, she is fully set on the knowledge that He knows exactly what He is doing. And that His plan is in full force, and while we may not understand, He is in absolute control. Ahhh, if only I could remember that when I have a broken truck window, or when I am sick in bed with a cold that won't go away, or when the gas bill comes in a little higher than I would like. I have been blessed with healthy kids, and a loving husband, a supportive family, as well as amazing friends and co-workers. I am blessed beyond my own imagination, in the ways that TRULY matter.

After church today, Benjamin made a comment about how Pilate wasn't really responsible for Jesus's death. We talked about how even if Pilate would have told the people "No, you can not have Jesus," God's plan would have been carried out in one way or another. It was always in God's plan to give up his SON! for our sins. This time of year I am especially reminded of how absolutely AMAZING our God is! Just as everything in my life is no surprise to God. He isn't hanging out thinking
"Whoops! How did that happen? Must not have been paying attention!" He does not give me more than I can handle, and He never leaves my side. Thank you to Jennifer for helping me, reading about her sweet Stellan, and her struggles during these last few weeks, and her clinging to the Word, and finding peace in the Word has helped me to be closer to God. To put absolute trust in Him that no matter what happens, I will be stronger, wiser, and more fit to handle whatever will come next.

Please, take a minute to visit her site, Stellan's future is still very unclear, and this whole family could use our prayers.

Dear God,
Please hear my prayer. I go along each day, trying to run my life my own way. I forget to let go and give you control.

I wonder why things aren't going the way I want them to go. I forget to stop and ask what you want, Lord. Please help me to give you control. I want to follow you. I want what you desire for me.

Help me to realize that when you close one door, you open the one you want me to walk through. Help me also to realize that what I desire may not be what is meant for me, or what is best for me.

Lord, let me accept each day as a gift. Let me follow the path you choose for me. Help me to be thankful for what you give me and not to worry about my needs. I trust you will take care of all my needs. Remind me that my role is to care for those around me and focus on those who need my help.

Help me not to be judgmental, as we are all equal in God's eyes. Help me to see the good in all of your creations. Let me leave the judging to you, dear God. Instead, I will concentrate on living to please you!

Help me, dear Lord, be who and what you want me to be. Give me strength, faith and hope, and most of all, give me guidance each and every day. I let go and give you control.

In Jesus name,