Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Life Update

Well, January is almost through, and much has happened for our family this month.

-Meres finished chemo two weeks ago. That fact prompts a sigh of relief. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is still off in the distance. The cumulative effects of chemo have definitely caught up with her the last two treatments. Her (blood) counts never really recovered, her hair is falling out (not all, but it is quite thin on the scalp), her nausea was out of control, she had a flu bug for 3 days, and she has been fighting a cough for 2-1/2 weeks. But, her vision was 20-20 in her good eye yesterday when we visited her retinal specialist. We are in a wait and see pattern now. Did the chemo do its job? Only time will tell.

-LC has been learning how to knit. And I'm rediscovering my love for knitting. It is such a fun activity for when you are listening to something. Currently we are jointly working on a wool scarf. It is almost done, and should be quite cozy for her.

-BMV is still growing. I bought him 29x32" jeans in October. This month I had to by him 29x34". He officially has a longer inseam than his dad. And when I'm folding laundry, I feel like his jeans are almost as long as I am tall.

-Freckles has been devouring our Ancient Rome studies this year. He has read a couple thick books on the topic that are not on his reading list. He loves the subject matter, and he also is really digging the author Adrian Goldsworthy. Even though Mr. Goldsworthy's books are quite thick, they are very readable-or so I've been told.

-Both girls got haircuts last Saturday. LC got 10-12" cut off. Her now shoulder length bob is much easier to deal with than her longer hair. Her hair is super thick. SUPER thick! And a gorgeous blonde streaked with light tan. So pretty. I wish my hair was like hers.... Meres' haircut lady did a fabulous job with her cut. Meres' hair right now is a disaster. She has hair falling out, plus breakage, plus new growth. The lady stacked the back, quite short, and then bobbed the front. It frames her face and head very nicely now, and the problems aren't as evident.

-We are halfway done with this school year. Actually, 2 weeks beyond the halfway point! That is very cool! I always am excited when we cross that marker. It seems like the number of weeks left quickly decreases after the halfway mark. 19 down, 16 to go!

-Mid December, my knee surgeon cleared me for running. But, I have to take it really slow and build up very gradually. I started at a 1/4 mile. Then ran a 1/4, walked a 1/4, ran another 1/4. Then I ran a continuous 1/2 mile. Each week I am allowed to up the per run distance but a tidge. I am up to 3/4 of a mile continuous running. Next week I will bump up to a mile, and then I will add a 1/4 mile per week from there on out for a while. After I get to a certain point, I may be able to add 1/2 a mile, and then eventually a whole mile. But, it is slow going. I'm somewhere between "it's hard to be patient" and "I'm going to die if I run any further." I've utilized my gym pass much more this year than in the past couple years. Part of that is because there is no way I am running outside on the ice and snow. And in the past I've been outside a lot. I am very thankful for these facilities. My goal is to run 3 times a week, swim twice, and get a good biking and weight lifting session in twice. These sessions are combined in various ways, but I am quite thrilled to be back in the triathlon training saddle again.

-Even though it is winter, Mr. Hippie's roofing work has not slowed down a bit! He is working full weeks, though sometimes he has to take days off because of snow. We are very thankful for work for him and his guys.

-I am well on my way to having our taxes done. Which is a big thing for me. Tax preparation has always been my dreaded task, but I've kept up with our expenses and income throughout this past year, so now it is a matter of assembling all that data. I probably have another couple hours work to do, and then I am ready for my early March appointment.

-Meres was granted a Make a Wish trip to Disney World (and Sea World, and Universal Studios, and the Give Kids the World resort). We are beyond grateful, and all of us are looking forward to heading to FL next week. Sunshine. Warmth. Relaxation. Fun. I can't wait! This trip is such a blessing. Make a Wish is a fantastic charitable organization. I can't say enough good about it. Everything is, hotel, rental car, food, baggage, gas, parks. Everything. It is amazing, and a total act of grace to our family. I'm sure I will have photos from the trip!

-I've been reading my little heart out. Which is another post for another time. I've been participating in my local library's winter reading challenge, but I've also been reading a lot of books on top of those 12 categories. I've been averaging 3-4 books per week.

-Speaking of reading...we've decided to read and discuss all the books on the Teen Reading List that Tim Challies recently put out. Individually, we each read the assigned 2 chapters during the week, and then on Monday night at dinner, we discuss what we've read. Each of our kids are required to come with 2 comments and 2 questions concerning what we read that week. Our first book that we are tackling together is Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson. It deals with the hot button topic of racism, from the perspective of a black man. It has been an eye opening read.

-Because of sickness and snow plowing (our friends), we haven't made it to our Wednesday night prayer group most of December or January. We all really miss it. I just keep reminding myself that this too is a season. Meres has been under house arrest the past two weeks, hardly going out at all. That puts me under house arrest too. But, like I said, it's a passing season.

-We've been dreaming of future trips. Maybe another trip to Spain. Maybe Ireland. Maybe Italy. Definitely TX to visit family. And possibly MO in July to work at a camp. I love traveling. We are just waiting on the Lord to see how He leads.

-Mr. Hippie performed his first wedding a couple weeks ago! I was so proud of him. He was very handsome in his suit. He made some mistakes, but nothing that would negate the official-ness of the wedding. And he has been asked to officiate at another wedding this summer. We'll have to hang out a different shingle. Along the same lines, we were asked to do premarital counseling with two different couples. This is a very humbling privilege. We are still learning how to glorify God in our marriage. But, we can point younger couples to the Scriptures, and share based on that. We aren't perfect, and we don't have a perfect marriage. We are two sinners that God has been very gracious to.

-Days are lighter, longer. Like last night, when I was serving dinner at 6:00, it was still light outside. I love that.

Anyway, that catches you up on the Barefoot Hippie Clan. How are you doing?