Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's all in your head :) That's nice

I had crazy dreams last night, and even though I did get some rest, I was seriously tempted to call and cancel my check-up appointment this morning. I would say that due to the weather I just can't make that trip to Princeton.

Then I opened the blinds and realized it was disturbingly clear outside. There went that plan.

We began getting ready, which is just kinda slow and awkward with my brace and crutches, when we realized my keys weren't anywhere to be found! My dad was coming to my house to drive us to Princeton in my van. Looking for keys on crutches is really hard. Up and down all around and the keys weren't anywhere to be found. As soon as my dad got here, he said, "Wouldn't YOUR keys be in YOUR purse?" I said, "No, I haven't driven in almost 2 weeks, so they would definitely not be in my purse."

So you know where they were now, don't you?

In my purse - of course they were in my purse, this wouldn't be worth typing if they weren't in my purse!

I got into the exam room and a lovely little lady with long fake nails came in to help me get up on the exam table. She said, "Oh, you have stitches, we'll get those out." She came back with a paper towel, tweezers, and scissors. She said, "This may sting a little bit." Then she took the tweezers and pulled my skin up and apart as she snipped the fishing line that was holding my skin together. um-ouch All the while she was poking my incision with her long nails.

The surgeon was out of town this week, so my check-up was with his Physician's Assistant Greg. We had met him at a previous appointment, and I just wanted to know if my leg should be able to do more than what it is doing, so that was fine.

They took X-rays and I got to see the cute little screws in my bones. yuck

They had me take off my brace and then lay back while he tried to bend my knee. um - ouch

He explained that there is only one problem with my post-surgery situation.

I'm a scaredy cat, and I'm holding back on my leg for fear of what might happen.

He demonstrated this by having me let my leg hang over the side of the table. I was extremely scared and kept wincing at the slightest feeling of discomfort. After letting it hang on it's own for a minute, I realized that it wasn't that bad. Thus the diagnosis - it's all in my head.

In my defense, I didn't exactly know what I could or couldn't do, or what I should or shouldn't expect it to be able to do. That was why I wanted to quiz him and then I could feel better about it. I did quiz him, quite a bit actually. Since he does everything except for the actuall surgery, he was probably not prepared for all my questions about what they did to my knee to remove the graft and then to reinstall the graft with drills and screws and anchors into my bones!! um-ouch After all, I've watched it on YouTube, I knew what I was talking about, did he?

I feel much better after finding out that I'm just making it worse in my head.

I'm on the road to recovery and will start my re-hab this coming week.

I can put 25% of my weight on it this week, 50% next week, 75% the next week and then full weight bearing for 2 weeks with crutches.

So I actually will be able to get off of my crutches if all goes well in about 5 to 6 weeks.

The numb feeling that is weirding me out is because of a nerve they cut during surgery. I may or may not get feeling back, which really isn't that big of a deal.

I should be able to lift it within the next week or so, and the Physical Therapist will help me with ways to try to keep the strength up so I don't lose all my muscle tone throughout the next 6 months. However, he did say I am losing a lot of muscle tone and it will be hard to get it back to where I was before.

I love a good challenge.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thanks for a better day!

So - my dad graciously agreed last night that he would escort me, kinda like driving miss daisy, to my hair appointment today. As well as help me get up and down my steps, which was what I was the most nervous about! Then considering the snow and ice today, I decided I probably shouldn't attempt the journey.

We spent the day inside, again, but it was a better day. I was able to get in some decent sleep last night, and that seems to be a good thing these days.

Right around 12 I realized that I had to come up with a way to get us lunch!! Ethan had fixed us cereal for breakfrast, but I still am a little uneasy on those lovely silver crutches. I have a phobia of spilling out on the floor and trying to coach Ethan through calling me in some help!

Of course I am the baby of 3 girls, so I called up my ever-spoiling, ever-helping, ever-wonderful mommy. And she did what she does best, she sent my dad over with Wendy's!

YAY, a baked potato and a chicken sandwich and I was a happy girl.

Thank you Mom and Dad - the best part of being down is having a reason for them to wait on me hand and foot!

It's almost 8 pm and Greg should be home soon, so that will make it an even better day.

My daddy will be taking me to the doctor tomorrow so we will have him to get us lunch. I will be attempting to fix chili for tomorrow evening...I have faith I can do it!

I'll let ya know what the dr says about my crooked scar tomorrow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Been home over a week now...

It is almost 7 on a Monday evening. My crazy pug is running from the front door to the back barking at noises he hears outside because for once, there aren't any noises inside.

It is just the pug and me right now.

Ethan had basketball practice, so my mom was gracious enough to come straight here after working almost 12 hrs, to take him since Greg isn't home yet. Emma wanted to tag along, of course. Which leaves me sitting on my couch all by my lonesome.

One thing that is going in our favor during this downtime is the amount of true "teaching" I am getting done. I am able to put so much time into each of our lessons that our schooling is turning out to be quite productive.

My leg is another story. I cannot lift it on my own. I wouldn't have ever thought about this being such a problem, but it is.

I physically cannot raise it. I have to grab the end of brace, towards my ankle, and tug on it to pull it up on the foot rest of the couch, or onto my bed.

The incision hasn't caused me any problems, but I am only able to bend it ever-so-slightly, and I'm starting to get concerned that it being straight for over a week has made it so stiff that I'm in for some serious pain when I start my rehab.

I cannot walk, not even one step, without my crutches. What does that mean? I cannot go into the kitchen to whip up a little something, or to even pour myself a drink, or I could maybe pour it I just couldn't carry it back to my seat. I cannot carry anything from one room to another, therefore, tidying up on my own is impossible.

So, I'm seriously looking forward to Wednesday's check-up appointment so that I can find out why I can't lift my leg. That is the only exercise that they specifically tell you to do the first 10 days after surgery, and I'm thinking I may have a small problem if I physically can't do it....hmmm...we shall see.

The help I have received from family and friends has been wonderful! My parents helped keep my children last weekend, then my sister Tarah came over on Monday and made some chili amongst other odds and ends, my sister Indy sent me an edible arrangement as well as bringing me lunch today after taking my children to their Gym n Swim class at the YMCA. A friend, Betsy, made some chicken pot pie for us on Thursday and another friend Lisa made us lasagna for Friday. My mom had a roast, potatos, and carrots delivered from the Butcher Block on Saturday - so thanks to all these folks, we have been taken care of quite well!

I go to the doctor Wednesday am, so I will post another update after that.

Tomorrow I have to go out for my hair appointment, on my own, with 2 kids. I'm not quite sure how I will get up or down the steps on my crutches without Greg's help, and I'm not quite sure how I will get in and out of the van, I do think I'll be okay driving though.

Prayers are appreciated!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stop it with the funny stuff already!

Now, those who know me personally are very aware that I find life to be quite comical, and I enjoy being goofy. But I must confess, I am starting to question my desire to turn everything into a joke.

I have been expressing my need for conversation with Greg that isn't one big joke for about a year now. But since my surgery Friday, I have been reminded how much my husband and I communicate through humor alone. Now, let me say this, when you are in terrible pain and you are having to have someone help you to even take a're not in the mood for laughter. Yet, Greg couldn't help but crack jokes the entire time he was coaching me to walk on my crutches. To laugh was painful, yet he didn't understand I needed him to be serious and to quit saying, "Good girl, there you go, you can do it, good girl." - in a voice that he uses to talk to our dog.

Let me be clear, this comical behavior isn't ever present with just my husband. My parents and sisters have commented for years at how my children find EVERYTHING funny.

I wander why.

Could it be that we make everything funny?

I believe that laughter has a place in the world. I'm not saying we should go through our lives concerning ourselves with only serious matters and glaring down at those around us who are taking time to enjoy themselves by kicking back and sharing something amusing from their day, but where do we draw the line?

I can remember back when Bob Sagget was the host of America's Funniest Videos. Granted, he wasn't the best host in the world, and he didn't always make you laugh along with him, but it was definitely a show that I could have watched with my parents without blushing.

However, I cannot say that now.

I can't even watch this show with my children! It has turned into a miniature version of MTV's hit show that shows grown men inflicting pain on one another for laughs!

I cannot tell you how many times we have turned it on, watched a few minutes, and then had to change it for something off color. Or we've seen something that just simply wasn't funny, it was dangerous, or sad, or just disturbing! And take note, the show comes on ABC's Family Chanel.

Is God pleased with me when I choose to laugh at something that simply ISN'T worthy of my laughter?

I honestly feel that I spend a lot of time throughout my days trying to reverse character traits in my children that I ignorantly helped form in their early years.

We teach them to talk, right? We teach them words. We teach them that words are used to make sentences. But do we really stop and explain that those words and sentences are a gift from God to be used for what is right, what is true, and not for what is foolish?

I read an article in a publication that I receive from "No Greater Joy" Ministries back in the summer that talked about silly boys. It focused on how we are allowing our young men to get lost in their childhood rather than growing into their manhood by encouraging their immature behaviors. Especially us mamas who just relish in our little boy's cute antics.

I am on a mission to be just a tad bit more sober minded.

I would like to have children that can stand still or sit still when asked.

I would like to have children that are able to control their desire to pick at each other.

But I first must have children who have parents who are able to do the same.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This just happened about 10 minutes ago.

Ethan was sent into the kitchen to get me a bowl for me to use to brush my teeth here on the couch after dinner.

He couldn't reach, and asked his dad to help him.

His dad jokingly demanded, "Boy, you best hurry up and grow if you're gonna help out with your mom."

Ethan responded, "Geez...I only have 2 million ovaries!"

You see, we bought a book at Sams last week that has pictures and detailed descriptions of the body, complete with the purpose of all of our organs.

We saw a TV show that had a boy who was a dwarf on it and Ethan said," I know why he is a dwarf, his ovaries aren't working."

On the part where it explains the way we grow, it shows a picture of ovaries and explains that they release hormones that make girls grow. Ethan had skipped the whole girl part and didn't keep reading where it explained that boys have testes.

I thought this was worth writing about.

4 days with my new ACL...

It is around 2:30, Greg is cleaning up the kitchen, Emma is whistling while she waits for her brother to help her get across the gate that is keeping the dog from attacking my stitched up leg, Ethan is standing at the gate questioning Emma as if he is in the CIA and has to do interrogation before allowing her into the hallway to retrieve her hairbrush.

I am currently icing my knee, and enjoying having the brace off for a few minutes.

I woke up late this morning, actually it was almost noon. Obama was minutes away from giving his acceptance speech when my eyes finally saw daylight.

I did not sleep at all night before last, and only enjoyed two short naps yesterday, so I'm assuming once I got settled in around 11 last night, my body was ready to be restored.

Yesterday when I did get up out of bed, I had an extremely hard time with walking. My leg wasn't cooperating and it was very frustrating even trying to get out of the bed to the bathroom.

I got discharged from the hospital Sunday afternoon and Greg and I made the trip from Princeton to Beckley with my leg awkwardly propped up on bags of hand-me-down clothes in the back of the mini-van. I was in quite a bit of pain, but we made it to the house and then the realization of climbing my front steps set in. It was snowing, and Greg had to shovel and clear off the sidewalk before getting me out of the van. However, it was so cold and so icy, Greg was extremely nervous about me getting out and getting into the house.

I stepped onto the sidewalk and immediately realized that my best bet was to "scoot", or slide myself towards the steps. It was a little unnerving not being steady on my feet under such slippery conditions, but we got to the bottom step and I begged Greg to let me go up by sliding up on my bottom. The physical therapist had mentioned using that as a last route in case steps were too daunting for me in the early days after surgery. He took my crutches, but then the thought of my hands and bottom on that icy cold brick caused me to attempt the climbing with my feet and crutches first. We stood there for what seemed like a good 2 or 3 minutes before I was able to muster up the courage to lift my good leg up off the ground. You lead with your good leg going up steps, you lead with the bad going down - this is what the therapist told me. Yeah, um, easier said than done.

The motivation of getting a warm shower overtook me and I was able to make it up the steps, through the door and into the bathroom. I got a shower and Greg got me onto the couch where I settled in for the evening.

I struggled with leg cramps and muscle spasms the rest of the evening. I couldn't rest or relax at all. Greg sat down beside me and decided we'd watch "Get Smart" with the Rock and Anne Hathaway...for anyone who has watched TV with Greg, you know that he shouts, laughs, and expresses himself very boisterously and isn't able to control his legs and arms as they jerk and flail around like an animal!!! So - I was quite annoyed and had to ask him to remove himself from my side and take a seat in the recliner away from me!

I was anxious to get in the bed in hopes that I would be able to be more comfortable there, but we tried several different pillow arrangements, only to find that comfort wasn't in the cards for me for a while.

I was awake all night and then slept for a few hours yesterday morning. When Greg lifted my leg yesterday and then placed my foot on the floor to try to walk, my breath was taken away by the amount of pressure I felt in my incision area. We had just removed the bandages and my scar was now visible. It is crooked...Greg finds this incredibly amusing! Yes, my permanent marking, the only tangible memento I will have to show everyone how I regained my ability to run, jump and frolic with a new ACL - it is crooked.

Moving on.

I was excited to finally welcome Ethan and Emma back home. They had been staying with my parents, and because Ethan had basketball practice, my parents were going to bring them home and stay with me while Greg took Ethan to practice.

Emma was extremely scared of my leg and the possibility of hurting me, by accident of course. Nevertheless, she wasn't feeling very good herself and was slow to actually come and sit with me. Finally, she came and curled up with me on the couch and it felt so good having them them home with me.

Today, I was able to get up and walk much easier. It is still a little uncomfortable and it isn't like I think I'm ready to just get on with my everyday life, but I was able to set down and get up off the couch by myself without Greg lifting my leg as if it were it's own entity.

I'm feeling much more independent and I'm not really feeling much pain, that is a good trade.

Emma and I are here on the couch now, Greg took Ethan to run errands.. We had quite a scare a few minutes ago. Emma said, "Uh, Mommy, I think my nose is bleeding." She was right, as she turned to me blood was making it's way down her nose and was all over her arm! Sitting on my light-colored creamy couch, I was trying to think quick!! I of course, could not get up and get to the bathroom in time to get a towel and catch it! So, we ruined her shirt by using it as a napkin. But we saved the couch and stopped the bleeding. First real emergency on our own, and we survived.

Thank you to all who have been praying for my recovery!

I am feeling good and I can't wait to get my rehab started next week!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Considering it as pure joy?

Our Pastor Craig spoke about joy right before Christmas, he had these lists that just really stood out to me - the first is the rules that a pessimist lives by...hopefully, none of these will stand out to you!!

1. Make little things bother you: don't just let them, make them!

2. Lose your perspective of things, and keep it lost. Don't put first things first.

3. Get yourself a good worry - one about which you cannot do anything but worry.

4. Be a perfectionist: condemn yourself and others for not achieving perfection.

5. Be right, always right, perfectly right all the time. Be the only one who is right, and be rigid with your rightness.

6. Don't trust or believe people, or accept them at anything but their worst and weakest. Be suspicious. Impute ulterior motives to them.

7. Always compare yourself unfavorably to others, which is the guarantee of instant misery.

8. Take personally, with a chip on our shoulder, everything that happens to you that you don't like.

9. Don't give yourself wholeheartedly or enthusiastically to anyone or to anything.

10. Make happiness the aim of your life instead of bracing for life's barbs through a "bitter with the sweet" philosophy.

Use this prescription regularly for a while, and you will be guaranteed a life without joy.

Now - a dozen ways to celebrate joy...

1. Complete what you start.

2. Enlarge your interests.

3. Laugh a lot.

4. Express gratitude to a friend.

5. Be kind, thoughtful, and caring.

6. Read the Bible every day.

7. Accent the positive.

8. Tell a friend you love him/her.

9. Extend a helping hand.

10. Jot down, every morning, five reasons to be happy.

11. Overlook pettiness and jealousy.

12. Yield your life to God.

Joy Is The Gift That Comes Through Trial
James 1: 2-4

Craig was gracious enough to email me his notes from his sermon because I wasn't able to get all of it copied down the day he spoke on it.

One of his notes says, "Therefore, we should not complain when we are suffering under trials and hardships, rather we should take James' advice and count it as joy, because the challenge is an opportunity to trust Christ and to rely on Him and to trust him to guide us through the hardships of life."

WOW - that is hard to hear, but it is oh so true. We know it is true, we all have said or have heard, "What doesn't kill ya only makes ya stronger!"

But as Christians, we aren't asked to just survive the trials, we are asked to actually consider them as pure joy.

Now, I am not going to even insinuate that I have that life lesson mastered. But I will say, that I am challenged, as well as encouraged, by this scripture to do more than just suffer through the tough times.

It just so happens I am facing quite a trial as I am having to deal with immobility and almost complete physical dependence on time you see my husband, ask him if I've been exceptionally joyful.

Staying ahead of the pain...

Alrighty then, it is 5:00 am on Sunday morning.

Friday morning we arrived in Princeton around 10 after 8. They pointed us in the direction of "Day Surgery", and I took in my last few moments of being able to walk on my own as I eagerly awaited the time I could put on my trendy hospital gown.

We took our coats off in a small room with a curtain, and the nurse promptly brought me a purple gown of paper and some matching purple socks...
Just as she was instructing me for my wardrobe change, another nurse came in and whisked me away. Dr. Branson's first patient had cancelled, and although I wasn't scheduled for my surgery til later on, they were ready to get this show on the road! So, we went on into the surgery prep area where I finally got to slip into my purple attire and amuse the nurses as they came and went.

It is times like those that I truly enjoy being able to bring a smile to others when they are there to help and encourage me. I joked with them of how the incident occurred, my professional volleyball skills, the idea of going under and how I needed to make sure they gave me enough sleep aide because a doctor in the past assured me a woman of my size needs more medicine than the ol' average petite ladies of our day in time. (true story)

I was so grateful to have Greg by my side. He is a good man, and the Lord has definitely equipped him with knowledge on care taking through his mom's illness. I'm so thankful he is my husband.

They gave me, a littl' somethin' to take the edge off, and I waited for them to take me on back.

I don't remember how long I waited there, but then a guy carrying a cute blue hair cap started my way and I knew it was time. They wheeled me into surgery, had me scoot onto the table, and started strapping my arms down. The sweet nurse held my hand and wiped my gigantic tears as she encouraged me to find my happy place. Then I saw the oxygen mask come over my head and onto my face...

When I woke up in the recovery room, I started crying, and sometime between 8 and 10 yesterday morning I stopped. The pain was more than I had ever imagined. My body wasn't responding to the pain medicine like they said it should, and I honestly felt that I had made a huge mistake by choosing to have this operation.

They had me get up and walk, instructing me on how to use crutches, and when I got back in bed I just wanted lots of medication and a good night's rest. The procedure is typically outpatient, but the nurse suggested I stay at least one night due to the amount of pain I was experiencing.

Good idea nurse.

We got settled into our room that night and then I just spent my time longing for the next time the nurse would come in to give me relief thru m IV.

The doctor came in and assured me I was ready to spread my wings and fly. The Physical Therapists came in and assured me the same thing. They helped me do some walking, and even had me going up and down steps in preparation for my departure. I, however, didn't feel ready to go. I wasn't pushy, but I stuck my ground, and through a lot of prayers and a wonderful nursing staff vouching for me, they gave me the okay to stay through this morning.

I should be discharged sometime before noon.

My leg is swollen and it is really uncomfortable to have to lay flat on my back with my leg straight, but the vision of me and my family enjoying "activities" this coming summer and fall assure me I made the right decision.

Now that they have the medicine on a schedule, every 4 hrs, and I'm doing what they call, staying ahead of the pain, I feel so much better.

It reminds me of our walk with Christ. And how we can become so "holy" or so dependant on him during the trials, during the pain...He wants us to stay ahead of the pain by drawing close to him daily. If we can remind ourselves to work on our personal relationship with Christ through reading His word, prayer and worship...He will be our refuge through those trials, and we'll be better prepared to handle what is coming our way. I know what it felt like waiting for that relief to kick in, and that is what our lives can be like if we fail to be proactive in our walk with the Lord. So, challenge yourself to stay ahead of the difficult times you will surely face by "stocking up" on God's promises through the reading of His word.

I will start rehab in a week, I will be limited to walking ONLY with crutches for about 3 months, and then I should be able to start some light activity.

I'm thankful for all the prayers and support from all of my friends and family.

I'm excited to see the lessons God will teach me through this difficult time for me and those closest to me. I look forward to spending days schooling E n E in my bed, cross-stitching some goodies for my sister's baby she is carrying, and encouraging Greg's skills as a Chef!!

In other words...I'm gonna enjoy my downtime while enjoying eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A farewell to my left knee as I now know it...

Okay, so I can drink water for 1 more minute...

Well...that minute is up and now I have to do no gum, no water, no mints, not a drop of anything until after surgery tomorrow.

That is the easy part.

I figured since it is midnight and I am honestly still too nervous to settle in for the "night before ACL reconstructive surgery", I would write an ode to my ruptured ACL.

A farewell to all the good times we had, and a small glimpse of exciting dreams for the future I will have with a piece of my Patellar Tendon and 2 nice little screws that will now serve as my ACL.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament...Oh how you've served me, let me count the ways...

So, I wasn't exactly the most athletic youngster.

I can remember my oldest sister being quite the baller. That is she could actually make a shot when we would play CAT with the boys from church a couple times in the summer. My middle sister has come into her athletic ability later in life. She has managed to drop over 100 lbs doing Karate and Kickboxing...she has impressed me this last year with her determination.

As for me, the baby of the three Cadle (also commonly, yet incorrectly pronounced CATTLE) girls, I should have just stayed behind my guitar.

What I should not have done, is decide at age 28 I would become a full-fledged middle-aged athlete.

I played volleyball professionally for the Crescent Chipmunks in the 5th and 6th grades.

After that...well...I played once a year at the Sunday School picnic!

But this past year had been a more athletic year and on the evening of October 28th I was feeling sporty.

This past spring I joined the Y.

I played racquetball for the first time.

I never realized that I could have so much of an urge to urinate from laughing, that is until I played racquetball. I guess it is just funnier when you think you still have some coordination and a padded room, a blue ball, and a miniature racket prove you otherwise. Add this one to your bucket racquetball with uncoordinated friend. Well worth your time, guaranteed.

I enjoyed working out at the YMCA. And although I have held a gym membership, at 3 different gyms over the last 4 years, I haven't always "exercised" my membership privileges. Such as, I don't know, actually going??

But this year was different. I was going 3 to 5 times a week. We weren't just doing the treadmill or weights, and I was thoroughly enjoying my attempt at becoming athletic.

I learned to swim in July. I started diving in August, I would say I learned to dive, but we'll have to wait and make sure I can do it again this summer before I state that is an actual, well, an actual thing that I can do on demand.

I started playing basketball with Ethan a lot more. I actually bought a bicycle, a purple one, and a silver helmet. The kids and I rode around. I rode down a gravel driveway, screaming the entire way down. It was quite fun.

So - bottom line is, I was feeling like I could take on the world. Or at least, some of my older friends....

About a month or so prior to the death of my ACL, we were at, yes you guessed it, a church picnic. We always had a volleyball net up at our outdoor church functions. I had brought our volleyball. We were just back from our Disney vacation and it was strangely warm for mid-September. I was thoroughly disappointed when I walked out and there wasn't a net. I don't know if it was the brat in me, or just the desire for that "athletic fix" I had been feeding off of all summer, but I wanted to play some ball!

So, I drove all the way out to the sporting goods store to buy a net. I came back to the church and made my poor husband, and other poor guys, beat wooden sticks into the ground to halfway put up a volleyball net.

I was happy.

Until we started playing. I wasn't as good as I remembered being when I was a Chipmunk. We only played for around 45 minutes. I had spent 2 hrs trying to get a net and get it up.

I left feeling such a void. I was so unsatisfied with my performance, and I couldn't wait to play again.

I organized a group of friends to get together to play that Thursday night after Ethan's football practice. We would play outside at the church, on my new net.

As we sat there watching Ethan practice, the inevitable happened. It started raining.

I was broken-hearted. I decided we'd head to the YMCA to play, we rounded everyone up and off we went for our first night of volleyball. Man, we had a blast!

We played 2, sometimes 3 nights a week for the next few weeks. Greg and I were having so much fun getting that little bit of healthy competition. And sure enough, week by week, my old skills were coming back. Now, was I GREAT?? No, I wasn't.


Life, my dear friend, was better. I was sleeping better. I was eating better. I was living better...

I was better.

We started mixing some basketball into the plan. I wasn't good at that, but it was fun learning about the game. I felt a sense of accomplishment trying something different, after all, this had been my year of broadening my horizons.

That Tuesday night we had friends in from out of town. Friends that were athletic and good at basketball. We all gathered in the gym and started with some basketball. I was getting upset because I was so confused, and let's just be honest, I can shoot some basketball, but when people start PLAYING basketball. I should sit and watch. So, that's what I did.

Well, actually I sat and pouted.

So - they gave in and I actually got my way. It was time for volleyball.

I was serving first. Bam-Bam-Bam, it was a good night. My overhand had come back, and I was scoring some major points!!

My was filled.

We rotated twice, I was on the front row beside my friend from out of town, we'll call her Macademian. She IS a basketball player. A girl from the back row screams, "Yeah Macademian, now you can spike it!!"

M says, "I cannot!!"

I say, "YES YOU CAN, IT IS AS EASY AS 1, 2, Together JUMP!!!!

My fingertips go about 2 inches higher than the net...

I come down...

I am down.

I am stunned. No pain. Just stunned. My leg feels really strange. I push my heel out. I hear a loud pop and it starts shaking. Everyone thinks what you would think if you knew me and were there that night. I was joking.

When I wasn't getting up, they realized, maybe she isn't joking.

They started to gather around me.

I sat up stretching my leg and bending my knee. Something felt strange.

I hobbled over to a seat and assured everyone to carry on, joking with M, "That is how you DON'T spike a ball!"

Then it was there. More than ever. Digging at me. Calling my name.

The void.

I wanted to play. I didn't care that I had just made a complete idiot of myself, I'm kinda used to that. I wanted to play some BALL!!!!!!! I got up and went to the middle of the court. Everyone said sit down. The ball came to my right side and I bumped it, good bump I thought. I'm okay. It came back to me, on my left. I shifted my weight to the left and that's when I felt it. Or shall I say I should have felt something...but I didn't.

Void, this time not just in my gut from wanting to play some ball, but inside my knee...nothing - it was void.

My husband and friends helped me to the van. X-rays the next day, MRI the next week, 2 1/2 months later and I'm preparing to go under the knife so that in a year from now I can try to fill that void.

You see, when you're 28 and you've "let yourself go", and you just had started finding ways to be healthier, feel healthier, and look healthier....a torn ACL is more than an injury - it's a blanket of refreshing, clear H20 being sprayed on a burning desire for change.

I am going to be a tough girl.

I will rehab my knee so that I can ride my purple bike with E n E in a few months. So that I can take them swimming and try that dive again.

So that in a year from now...

I can play volleyball like an almost 30 something who knows what it is like to be forced to be inactive, instead of choosing it.

Again, I'm just writing to appreciate...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Warning: Reading this may change your plans for this very evening

My sister forwarded this to me the other day...

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town.

From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future!

He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped Talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind. Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely, much too freely! about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger.

Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave. More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?....

We just call him TV.' Note: This should be required reading for every household in America!

He has a wife now....We call her 'Computer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

4 green walls called a school room

Ethan is eight years old.

The child started reading right around the time he turned 6 years old. His wonderful Kindergarten teacher taught him to read. It is a good thing I wasn't a homeschooling weirdo at that time. The boy may still not be reading.

He is reading, however, and he is an awesome reader!!! I didn't quite realize his talent until around the end of Kindergarten. We were turning books in at his school and the other children were turning in books that Ethan had read and turned in months prior. His teacher explained that Ethan was one of the best readers she had ever taught! He caught on easily and excelled effortlessly.

He walked into his doctor's office and shocked the nurse as he read "antibiotics" as if it were "ant". He shocked me as he read "cardiovascular and digestion" in my doctor's office. He obviously didn't have to put much effort into excelling at his reading skills. I don't know if you noticed, but the English language doesn't always phonetically make sense! However, Ethan could take a couple tries and figure it out. His spelling is the same way. He remembers rules and could easily spell most words we would verbally throw at him for our at-home spelling bees.

Am I bragging about my genious child?

Nope...I'm questioning his laziness enduced by his ability.

Although he has this ability, he chooses to not exercise it. You would think that homeschooling would be easy if your child is only 8 and can read as well as you can!!

Thus the reason I love homeschooling!!!

Is it important that Ethan can read? yes

But to us Bucklands, it is more important that he realizes education is a gift that shouldn't be taken for granted.

I love homeschooling, even when he is testing me with silliness, because I get to remind him that God expects his best.

I don't want Ethan to go through his education thinking that he is learning to do math or to do grammar because education will get him where he wants to go. I want Ethan to learn that faith in the Lord will get him where he needs to go. Education is a blessing and a tool that God is giving him to help him carry out God's plan in his life.

I enjoy Ethan. I am learning as he learns. I am learning that on the days we sit in this school room(made up of 4 green walls), as we are now, and we spend sometimes an entire hour on a worksheet that should take 15 minutes, his character is being exercised along with his phonics skills.

And in the end, my patience is being exercised as well!