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Saturday, March 26, 2011

First I was crunchy, and then I wasn't

     I like to think I am pretty healthy, eating wise. Well everything wise I guess but I particularly think I and our family eat well. We have done organic as much as possible, steer clear of the Golden Arches of Death, and of course take a highly recommended vitamin supplement everyday without fail. Every once in awhile we would let a bag of Doritos or Oreos fall in the shopping cart. But for the most part it was clean eating for Weir,Tx.
    Imagine my shock that Zion got cancer. I mean, besides the obvious reason for shock. We don't eat foods that give cancer! We eat things that prevent it.
You might imagine I went a bit crazy in the health and wellness department during our stint down the cancer trail. Nothing, I mean nothing impure went into that boy's body. He has 2 glasses of carrot and orange juice daily, besides the green smoothies he was chugging down. We all ate that way BTW, in case you thought us heartless and we ate Big Macs while he gagged down carrot juice. I had done my research and cancer grows crazy amounts  with sugar. ( ok, that's a lame way to put it, but basically sugar helps it get out of control)
    Fast forward a few months after the dust has settled and I have been able to pray about other things besides, "MAKE MY BOY CANCER FREE!!".  It's funny when things settle you think a bit clearer. One night Zion and I were at the market and he started to cry. When I asked him why he said he was sad because I don't let him buy the things we used to eat. Never any treats or just regular Sun Chips even. I was sort of harsh and said, " well if we eat that way you could die.". He didn't say anything else. Wow, good job mom! Not one of my finer moments of explanation.
    The conversation was a tool used by God over the next few weeks to get me thinking. God so lovingly showed me I had become obsessed with healthy eating. I had already been a bit over the edge by now I had jumped over the cliff and never looked back. I realized my sweet boy and the other sweet members of Weir, Tx had been suffering a little.
    God gave us foods to enjoy. No one loves food more than the residents of this house, I promise! By making it so intense and so important to eat the exact right things at the exact right time I had taken the very joy out of eating. The tension I felt at the market, reading every label, wondering if that little bit of cane sugar would make the melanoma come back. In case your wondering, yes it is exhausting being me. Imagine being married to me. :-/
    As I began to pray about the crazy making in my brain and the results in the pantry God began to show me some fantastic truths about Himself and cancer.
First, this all happened in spite of great eating habits. In fact most of my McD lovin' friends have never had cancer nor will they. Ha! Slap my face! The average American kid never touches a veggie in a single week! Not every kid gets cancer either.
Second, every bit of healing that occurred in Zion was only a result of God Himself. Not because of any new habits we implemented. He alone can heal only, period. I can't stress enough this point. It was nothing we did. I'm stressing this point mostly for myself but also for so many of my crunchy friends that stress about healthy habits just in daily life.
Being crunchy is exhausting. I realized also I could never do enough to prevent every type of cancer. I could never eat enough veggies, take enough oils, detox my home.
    Third, there is an emotional healing that comes with food. Shut up Biggest Loser! Food feels fantastic! You are lying if you say you feel empty after eating something delicious. The key here is to put down the tub of ice cream, have just one bowl. Oh, sorry, I digress.
    After all the research I have done I had become overwhelmed and distraught. Seeing Zion's reaction at the market that day showed me I had been making them distraught also.
Remember when McD's was a magical place? Come on, I know if you are really honest you will think back fondly on the happy meal burger with the little onions and the prize you got. It was a fun place to go. It was where my gramma took me after a day of shopping. See, there's that emotional connection. Good times with gramma. I had made it the axis of evil. Never will MY children go to a place like that! Why? Because it might give them cancer? Well that ship has sailed baby!
    So you might be wondering where I stand now on granola habits. The truth is I look to the Lord for balance. We still drink green smoothies, though not daily. we still take the supps, and apply the oils to the healing skin graft on Zion. I make my own laundry soap. (because I'm turning into a cheapy) But... there has been an obscene about of Girl Scout cookies lurking in my pantry, and the bread I just bought at Costco was not organic neither was it homemade! *gasp!*
    God has graciously shown me a balance I so desperately need. We may not eat fast food very often, let's face it, it really is crap now isn't it? Taste I mean. But you might be surprised to see a little remnant of Oreo scattered across Zion's beautiful face next time you visit Weir,Txhealthy friends, I hope you won't look askance at me, for my friends who are less incline to dis the fast food, I hope you won't mock me for buying the cookies either. It's funny how both sides of the camp can criticized, both for the same reason. Though I really don't care. :-) I just figure it'll give everyone something interesting to talk about.
    Now, go grab a bag of Cookies!!

Friday, March 25, 2011


The day has arrived for our Canon to finally be in organized sports. He has waited what seems his whole life. None of the other kids have done much in the way of sports. Zion tried a couple of seasons of baseball, but as he told in no uncertain terms, he is more of a science kid.
With organized sports comes some very enthusiastic parents. VERY ENTHUSIASTIC. I received an email from one of the moms recently that asked if we wanted to get mom hats, you know more girly looking, probably some bling to it. Ok I'm in. Why not? Until I found out such hats were going for $28. I gasped and Marck kept trying to tell me that it's a decent price for a hat, after all he paid about that for each Rangers hat he owns. Ok, let me remind all of you and my husband, IT"S JUST TEEBALL!!! A Rangers hat at $28 a pop seems reasonable for a pro team that actually went to the World Series. That much for a tee ball team that doesn't even keep score seems ridiculous. Don't even get me started on the not keeping score and giving everyone a chance to play. I had that kid on the team that didn't do well, having him lose taught him great things. Mainly he was not cut out to play ball.
So no hat for me. After the hat email comes the t-shirt email. Ok a t-shirt would be probably more reasonable, I'll get that.  Seriously people in this town have money flowing out places I shouldn't say here in this blog. A blingy t-shirt was now going to run me $35. Dang, should have gotten the hat.
After I ranted and raved to Marck and shouted my phrase, say it with me friends,"IT"S JUST TEEBALL!!", something occurred to me.  I used to say I would do anything for my kids.  Apparently I have a cap on the things I'll do for them.
I know my rantings seem ridiculous, but I can not get used to the crazy money spent on things related to our kids. Here's how the whole organized sports cost breaks down in Weir,TX:
$75 to signup
$40 at Academy for cleats and a glove
$80 to the coach for various goods, helmet, pants, belt, ect
$30 for a Rough Rider game the team is going to
For a total of $225, on tee ball related things. For the cost of our tee ball experience we could have gone on a mini vaca.
Now I will admit the game was optional, I could have saved there. Particularly since we are going 2 days later for a Children's Hospital event. Oh well.
The outfit totals $120, which by the way is Canon clothes budget for 3 months. Hope he like his uniform. :-)
Imagine if all 4 of my kids were in a sport. Let's hear it for the science geeks!!
In a world of over spending and mortgage crisis, I can't help but wonder if the crisis and being in debt wasn't spurred on by these types of purchases. Marck used to help folks with loan modification and I always wanted him to ask the people, " did you make a bunch of stupid purchases? Like having kids in sports??". He never would and that's why he did the job he did and I stay home with our kids. I lack in compassion.
In our nation we have to have everything that presents itself before our eyes. We just can't say no. We must fit in and do what the culture is calling us to do.
I will likely be the only mom without the blingy outfit tomorrow as we hit the ball field. *sigh* Hopefully my tightwad-ness will not send Canon into therapy. Hopefully he will see I was unwilling to spend an extra $70 in exchange for being wise with our money and not as a mom who has no team spirit. Which actually I don't because again, it's just tee ball and they don't keep score!! Ahh, so maybe he will be disappointed that I am not wearing  Scrappers wear. Maybe he will be in therapy. It's a good thing I'm saving that money then! :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What About Canon?To Home School or Not to Home School?

Right off the bat I'm fairly certain of the answer my public school friends will be shouting, NOT TO!! I've heard it all over the past 2 years of home schooling. "When do you get some ME time?", "How do you know when they pass a certain grade?", and my all time fav, " Don't they need to be socialized??". BAHAAHAAA!! That one always sends me into a tail spill of laughter. Mostly because my home school friends are some of the most social people I know. Plus my oldest used to get in trouble at school for socializing too much during class. :-) I've even had people look at me with great disgust and ask "why on earth would you do that?".
Kindergarten roundup is upon us! My Canon is 5 and that means in the fall he "should" be starting school. You know real school. I have been contemplating this idea all school year. My reasons for home schooling were directed at the older 2, mostly my oldest kiddo. As we shared the idea of pulling out the kids from public school, so many of my well meaning friends asked with great concern, " what about Canon?", "he needs to go to public school!". I love how other people know just what my kids need. :-) So naturally I have thought the same over the years. After all, he's never been to school. The other 2 struggled a bit and who knows Canon may sail through with zero problems. Or would he? Don't know.
These thoughts have caused me to soul search and wonder why I home school my kids anyway.
At first it was to help my oldest with some issues with anxiety. We thought we'd just do it a year and evaluate after. Surely it wouldn't be a long term deal. Surely when Canon came along he'd go to school.
The past 2 years have been full of ups and downs. The first year we barely made it through. Loneliness gripped all of us by November but thankfully we made some great friends and by May looked back and realized what a treasure our year had been. Over the summer I plotted and planned out our next year. We had it down to the very last book we would read. The school year started and 3 days later Zion was diagnosed with cancer. Crap. There goes my BIG PLAN!!!
So this year has been a year of survival. Reading the basics, learning the math needed to pass to the next grade. Getting by. Or so I thought.
As I look back on our year, it's been so much more than getting by. My kids have had an education they wouldn't have otherwise had if they'd have gone to public school. I'm not sure I could even tell of all the "education" they have had. My sweet Eden has learned extreme compassion for little kids who are bald. (chemo patients). We have learned to look for opportunities to serve with abandon, and to look for the good in every situation no matter how crappy. I'm pretty sure that's not in the public school curriculum. Nor would we have had the opportunity if they had not been with us every step of the way.
As I ponder these things, I've come to the conclusion that I love having them here. I don't get much "me" time. Though I didn't have kids to get me time. :-) I have to work hard making sure they get all the learning they need. But does loving having your kids home mean you should home school them? Again, my public school friends are crying out a known answer. :-) To me it absolutely is. You see, one thing I was educated on this year was this; time is so short with my people. So so short. We were faced with an ugly reality that had Zion had melanoma in his lymph nodes his life would not have been very long short of a miracle. My mind can't camp there too long. But the thought lingers in my mind as I pray about our schooling decision. I don't base my choice based on fear or what if's, I base it on I love teaching my kids, I love having them experience life with me, and I so love teaching them God's ways every minute of every day. We could teach them about the Lord even if they went to school I know, but it's so great to able to use every situation to point them to Him.
Likely Canon will be home schooled next year. I'm sorry if that disappoints most of you. :-) Our little crumbcake enjoys his momma being his teacher. His momma enjoys having him here learning and growing along with everyone else. In Weir, Tx we just don't do things apart. We home school, Marck now has a job from home, and I do hair from home. Home is a great place in Weir,Tx. I think we'll keep it that way!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Our people

Better Than Facebook

Yep, blogging is way better than Facebook. Here's how I know. I have taken an on and off break, fast if you will from FB. I realized it is not a blessing to me. Seems that it really is a place for me to vent my frustrations about the woman in line in front of me at Kroger, or the recent hijinks my kids have done or, the weirdest part, looking at what someone else is doing right this minute. Is anyone else creeped out by how fascinated we all are by the goings on of other people? When I thought about it half a second I realized that if I am reading what your kids are doing, I'm missing out on my own kids. There's another non blessing about old FB to me... the lack of real interaction with real people. Most of the way we share what's going on in our lives is through FB. Again, weird. I had stopped getting calls to say hi, I was getting "wall posts" saying, " I'm thinking of you today!". I had stopped calling people to say hi because after all I "liked" their status. When I posted that my son had no more cancer, 2 dozen people commented with well wishes and 2 dozen more "liked" my status. That's when I realized Facebook was not for me. I was grateful for folks reading our posts and updates, but nothing heals the souls like a good friend calling and wishing you well. I like the phone calls. I'm a people person. I enjoy people actually talking to me. My husband, well he's another story on the people liking. But me, I crave a human voice!
I wondered what I would miss not "knowing" what was going on. Turns out a lot! Not many of my friend share the disdain for FB that I do. I have realized that I am a dinosaur. I am being dragged into technology kicking and screaming. Well, not kicking and screaming so much and whining and grumbling. Two extremely unattractive skills I have about mastered.
However I have found that with a little effort, I have been able to chat live with people. It may not be the dozens of "conversations" I was having through FB, but it is a few meaningful chats.
I'm not a hater of the facebook, just not a lover of it. It's been a really long time since I have sat down to write anything unrelated to cancer. I love writing. I have a lot to say and I'm sure my sweet husband gets tired of hearing my musings. So here's my alternative to Facebook... writing my blog. Let's face it, I'm always going to need to vent or share the happenings of Weir, TX, but I think this is a healthier way. Most likely it's just going to be Marck, and my mom that read this, but I can purge my thoughts on the computer and spare my husband of my rantings.... at least most days.