Sunday, March 25, 2007
Makeover Hell & Europe (?)
So last week was Spring Break at our house. That meant the little girls were home along with Dad, who was on vacation. And the big girl was in Europe. At least we kept our life-saving babysitter (God bless Candi) for Landry, so there was some sanity saved. (That and I went to work everyday :) Bob worked and worked and worked and worked on the house. Our house is over 30 years old, so there are many things always needing repair. Isn't home ownership wonderful? It's expensive, too! Seems that everything needing replaced is no longer available (i.e. the same wood is not available for the outside, they don't make that type of plumbing anymore, or light fixture replacement lens - so you have to replace the entire thing). It's very frustrating. Of course, there isn't enough time in the day (or week -- OR money) to get everything done we would have liked to... but it sure looks wonderful. A fresh coat of paint does wonders for a house. It's like a makeover for a woman (I need one badly).

And then there's Katy, whom was blessed enough to go to Europe with some classmates over Spring Break. She even got to see her Aunt Tiff while she was there. Talking to Katy about Europe is seeing life through the eyes of a (very smart) child for the first time. She is descriptive and intelligent in her explanations and stories. She's had a difficult time readjusting to American life so quickly, but if anyone can pull it off, she can. Now it's three days since her return and she's off to San Antonio for a National drill team competition. The Europe trip was planned and being paid on long before we knew of the San Antonio trip, so we were just unlucky in the way the days fell closely together. So my world traveling daughter is on the road again. She'll be back on Sunday, exhausted and with I'm certain, a butt-load of homework. Awww.... the joys of being a teenager.

Bob and I have endured many home makeovers in our 15 years together. Mostly little things, but they are always challenging because of the frustration level of 1) having a house full of kids (which causes...) 2) not having enough money or time to do all the things he wants to do. It's helpful to remind myself -- or you can remind me too -- that we don't (and shouldn't) always see eye-to-eye on every-single-little-thing or how it should be accomplished. ....Aren't the trials and tribulations of parenthood and marriage grand? I think I'm glad Spring Break has come and gone :)

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posted at 1:57 PM

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Baby babbles
Isn't baby babbling wonderful? I LOVE IT! I truly do. Landry can say a total of (maybe) six words now, but of course, she's the smartest 14 month old there ever was. She no longer walks anywhere, she runs. She use to say apple juice for EVERYTHING. At a basketball game a few weeks ago, a mom leaned over and said, "Wow, she's so smart, she can say apple juice really well". I said yes, proudly, but then divulged that everything from pacifer to spaghetti to poopy diaper is "apple juice". That was the only word she knew at the time. Now, she can say things that sound like "dog", "Dad" (of course), "MaMa", "bubble", "bird" and what we think sounds like "NeNe" for Sydney and "ZZ" for MacKenzie. Oh and "Dora" and "Aire" (Claire).
She gets REALLY mad when she's told no -- that is still true for my 16 year old, so I'm quite use to that, just not the face with the bottom lip and ALL the tears. It almost makes you laugh, but that will really piss her off more. She loves being outside. She got use to running around barefoot this weekend. She had what we call at our house "orphan feet".
Babies are just so awesome.
Our neighbor, Angie, is pregnant with her first baby. Hopefully, her morning (all-day, everyday) sickness will subside very soon and she can begin to enjoy her pregnancy. She has about three weeks left in the first trimester, so hopefully she'll be feeling better soon. I remember all the un-knowns and wonderful feelings that first time around. It's funny how that can be so wonderful but the fourth can be just as wonderful because you know what to expect.
I am very blessed to have a happy baby this time around. I have indeed been blessed with the not-so-happy baby, but of course, I loved them just the same. It's just a little nicer on mom to have her happier :)
Here's to happy babies & babblings...

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posted at 2:08 PM

Monday, March 12, 2007
Rah, Rah, Rah
So... I have been blessed into the parenthood of another cheerleader. Sydney made 7th grade cheerleader at Cross Timbers last week. I think she was more surprised than anyone else. She had been preparing herself for the worst. 40 girls tried out for 18 positions. There was going to be a lot of tears no matter what. I was glad the tears weren't at my house! (Although I am sorry for the girls that did not make the team). Life will be (forever) changing at our house...

It is hard enough to be eleven years old, but being the younger sister of a seemingly perfect older sister has been difficult for Syd. Making the cheer leading squad will give her some much needed self confidence.

We had a few heart-to-heart, knock-down-drag-out, encounters at our house last week. It seems I am the hardest, meanest, parent in the whooooole entire world. There is such a fine line between knowing how hard to push your kids and letting them give up because something is too difficult. I never want my kids to feel like they can't do something. Bob and I are very blessed to be able to give them the means and encouragement for them to do and be whoever and whatever they want. My sixteen year old hates me. She says the only reason she does anything is because I make her. So as I'm writing this and I'm thinking, I guess that's not such a bad thing. I don't want them to go out for cheerleader if they don't want to... but I don't want them to do nothing either.

However, I think Katy just wants to blame me for her over indulgence in doing too much. SHE wants to audition for drill team officer and I think it's a bad idea. I would never say "Don't do it" but I do think it will over take her life (more than she realizes).

Thanks for listening. If you have any pointers for walking that fine parenting line, I'm certainly open for advice.

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posted at 10:37 AM

Saturday, March 10, 2007
My pretty little princess niece...

I have the most awesome sister and brother-in-law in the whole entire world. They are absolutely tremendous. They walk the walk, they talk the talk, they do everything right. Do you know any perfect people? Most likely no, as there aren't that many out there. Not only do I know them, but I'm related to them! Can you imagine? Yes, sometimes it can be somewhat annoying, there's no way I could ever live up to what they have already accomplished. They are missionaries in France, teaching the word of God to those that don't know Him. Isn't that the most incredible occupation you can imagine? I am still trying to figure out what God wants me to do while I'm on this earth. They know what they are suppose to be doing!! They are doing and living the life the Lord has chosen for them and they are right where they are suppose to be.

And of course, perfect parents produce the perfect child :) I have an incredibly fabulous two year old niece named Claire. We miss them every day.
I am so thankful to have them in my life. God has blessed me by just knowing and having them in our family.
I hope you are blessed with someone so incredible in your life.

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posted at 11:33 AM

Monday, March 05, 2007
Why do tragedies happen to teenagers??
It has been a difficult week at Grapevine High School. Over a week ago a 17 year old baseball player, Chris Gavora, was warming up in the pitcher's cage. He was pitching and a freak accident occurred when a ball was hit two cages over and went through the back of two cages into his cage, hitting him in the back of the head. He was taken to the hospital and had immediate brain surgery for hemorrhaging. He lived for three days before giving in to his injuries. The teenagers have banned together in an effort to survive and somehow make sense of this horrific event. Of course, it hit me all too close to home by bringing up many memories of Rob's accident, now 17 years ago. In fact, Chris' death was on February 25, the same day as Rob's accident, February 25 (1990). I don't think anyone remembers that date as I do, but I am somewhat of a date freak. So, I've sat for about a week now thinking and praying about the lives accidents such as these change and how strange life really is. There is a whole world of "what ifs" and "what was" that we will never know.
Katy was at the game when Chris got hit. She did not really know him, but has come to know him through his friends telling stories and sharing his life. There was a wonderful story in our paper about him giving his organs, which have in turned saved six lives. His parents did not know he had signed up for organ donation, but now they feel very blessed that he had.

Here is Dallas Morning News' columnist, Kevin Sherrington's article... (you might want to grab a tissue first)...
Gavora’s Life Was a Gift
In the last weeks of his 17 short years, before he would die tragically from an injury in a Grapevine batting cage, Chris Gavora saved the lives of six people.
He saved them as surely as if he'd pulled them from a lake or a fire or the rubble of disaster.
A 54-year-old business owner and father of four kids.
A 27-year-old software engineer.
A 14-year-old boy.
A 29-year-old single mom.
A 10-year-old Arkansas boy.
Chris gave them, respectively, his pancreas, his liver, his kidneys, his heart.
We know a little about Chris from tributes and memorials rendered in the last week and at his funeral Saturday. In the seven months he'd lived in Colleyville after his family moved from Virginia, he left classmates memories of a normal kid distinguished by a set of dimples and a love of baseball.
But he was more than that. His parents, Bill and Jill Gavora, indicated as much in the statement they released last week.
"He loved life, and people," they wrote, "and cared deeply for the welfare of others."
Here's how you know: At a poignant and what proved to be prescient moment, perhaps moved by an organ donor awareness event at Grapevine High School three weeks ago, Chris told his parents he wanted to be a donor.
He never knew the people his gesture would save. Even now, the public doesn't know much about them. The recipients and their families have justifiable reasons for remaining anonymous. Hard enough just thinking someone else had to die in order for you to live, much less acknowledging it publicly.
But one family figured it could help the greater good to tell the story, and here it is.
Brad Walker, 35, received Chris' lungs. Diagnosed as an infant with cystic fibrosis, Walker had long ago outlived his doctors' prognosis. They told his parents he'd be lucky to see 10.
But he managed his illness and didn't show many outward symptoms. Made a life for himself. Grew up a rabid Oakland Raiders fan in Albuquerque, N.M.
Lives in Keller now. Loves cars, video games, his girlfriend and her daughter, and his black Lab, Sable.
But in the last two years, said his sister, Tracie Campbell, it was clear the disease had worn through his lungs.
His situation became critical in January. He checked into the hospital and didn't come out. Doctors called his prospects "day to day."
He all but died the third week of January. On the morning of Feb. 25, he turned for the worse again. Doctors told his family they were putting him on a ventilator, a desperate, perhaps even frivolous attempt to squeeze another day out of his fading life.
But only the day before, Chris Gavora had died from the head injuries sustained by a batted ball. Campbell, who'd traveled from Chicago to be with her mother and brother, had been following the story of the Grapevine baseball player like everyone else. When doctors told her a potential match was available with a 17-year-old male, she put the facts together even before officials told her.
And she was all but overwhelmed by the confluence of events.
"Had it not been for the timing and the match," Campbell said, "Brad would have died."
Walker has already had a second surgery since the transplant. He faces some difficulties, but doctors tell the family his prognosis is good.
Even still, he's not as fortunate as others. The 54-year-old diabetic who received Chris' pancreas has already gone home to his family.
All that doctors promise Walker is a chance to live another 10 years or so, and maybe by then they'll have another miracle for him.
Chris' miracle will do. Walker's sister and mother believe that merely accepting it is not enough. They want everyone to know their brother isn't anonymous. They want the public to see the face of organ donation, to understand what signing a card can mean for those waiting on the unthinkable.
Above all else, they want the Gavoras to know how grateful they are. So Campbell wrote them a letter.
My family is so sorry for the loss you suffered ... To me, your son Chris is a hero. He saved my brother's life.
We'll always feel a place for you and Chris in our hearts.
Nothing eases the pain from the loss of a child. Not the kindness of strangers, not platitudes, not even time.
But when there's no understanding why, you'd like to think maybe the Gavoras could find some small consolation in the six lives their son saved.
"I hope they will," Campbell said, softly. "I hope they will."

God bless Chris' family and friends and all of us whom have endured horrible tragedies in this life.

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posted at 3:34 PM

About Me

Grapevine, Texas

Married to a wonderful, hard-working man, raising FOUR beautiful daughters and trying to provide inspiration and direction for my family and myself.

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