Monday, March 23, 2009

Time for More Chemo

Yes, its time for another round of Chemotherapy for my mom who is fighting for her life with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. She was admitted to the hospital today and will stay a minimum of five days.

It is possible (hope, hope, hope) this could be her final round of chemo before her team of Doctors affirm that she is in full remission.

It does not mean however that life just goes back to what she once knew as 'normal'.

Sharon will continue regular visits to Dr. V, maintain her Hickman line, and be continuously aware of her blood counts and overall health.

Living in remission is better than the contrary (at the time of her diagnosis she was given approximately 2 weeks to live) but even so she will experience a time of transition as she navigates a 'new normal'.

If you would like to follow my mom's blog 'Strength of My Soul' please send me an e-mail at requesting an invitation.

I so appreciate the support that so many of you have blessed me with during this difficult time with my mom. Your prayers, words of encouragement, and listening ears have been significant in my life. Thank you.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Order of the Skittles

Skittles, a chewy fruit candy with a rainbow of fruit flavors, is a popular item in the Kintner Clan. (At least with the little people) The Skittle has become so well-loved it has become a staple.

You may wonder why a mother who limits sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup) in her children's diets allows them to eat Skittles.

Frankly, its all about the bribe.

Yes, I'm one of those mom's who believes in a little bribery.

Whenever Carissa and Caleb successfully use the potty they can choose one Skittle from the jar. They are always proud of their 'job well-done' and get soooo excited about their little piece of candy.
I guess moderation has served us well here.
And, I hope it serves their teeth well...eeek!
When the twins choose their single Skittle they pick the same colors in the same order. Their first color choice is typically gone before they choose the next color/flavor.
So, the Order of the Skittles is:
(In case you were wondering, the bribery has been fairly successful. Carissa only wears a diaper to bed and Caleb is working towards the same in his 'Cars' Pull-ups. Yeah!)
What is your Order of the Skittles?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever."
Psalm 107:1

Today I am thankful for:
  • A friend from church who watched my kids during a Dr.'s appointment this week
  • Our taxes being done...whew!
  • Board Games. I just received Ticket to Ride in the mail (a late birthday present). I'm so excited! Let me know if you want to come over and play.
  • Spring Break. I've finished teaching for the week and now am officially on break. We are so in need of rest and some time away from the 'norm'.
  • The hint of Spring. We've had a mild winter but I'm still looking forward to the warmer weather. I'm hoping April brings showers rather than snowstorms.

Today I'm not thankful that my close friend has lost a little one in a recent miscarriage. I am thankful however that God is sovereign and that He will use this hardship in unexpected ways.

If you'd like, I'd enjoy hearing what you are thankful for (or not thankful for). Click on the comments link to share your heart.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

As I paused to quiet my heart this morning I was inspired by this short passage in Sheila Walsh's devotional 'Gifts for Your Soul'. I hope it resonates with you also.

A Grateful Heart

"And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people." Matthew 14:19

"What a day!" said Peter.
"I can't believe how long this crowd stayed," Andrew added.

"They need to go home now. They're hungry, and I don't know about you, Andrew, but I am starving, and I've had enough of a crowd for one day. I'm going to tell Jesus to send them home."

Peter made his way through the vast crowd. Babies were crying. Children were chasing each other, jumping over unsuspecting adults. A few people had decided to take a nap on the hillside.

"Master, the people are hungry," Peter began. "I think you need to send them home now. I've had a look at their faces; they're exhausted. They need to eat."

"Then feed them, Peter," Jesus said. "Don't send them away."

Peter felt that old exasperation rise to the surface. This was such an impractical suggestion.

"We have five small loaves and two fish. Little fish," he said. "All we have is a boy's lunch, and you want us to feed this crowd?"

"Bring the food to me," Jesus answered.

Peter went back to where Andrew and the others were standing. "Is he going to send them away?" Andrew asked.

"No, he's not," Peter replied. "He wants us to feed them with a packed lunch."
"What?" Thomas exclaimed. "That's ridiculous."
"Just take the bread and fish to him," John said.

They all made their way through the people until they stood at Jesus' side.

"Here it is," said Peter, holding up a small parcel.

Jesus looked at the men and then lifted the tiny offering to heaven and said, "Thank you."

That is so radical to me! Imagine yourself in this position. Thousands of people are hungry. They are looking to you to feed them, and all you have is a tuna sandwich.

At best, I can see myself on my face before God, begging him to do something.

Jesus doesn't do that.

He doesn't ask God to do anything. He just says, "Thank you."

To me that says that his complete and utter trust is in God. It would have made no difference if a fast-food restaurant had suddenly appeared on the hillside, Christ's trust was in God, not in what shape the miracle took.

How wonderful to live in and with such confident gratitude. Can you imagine what a relief it would be? I spend so much time worrying about how things are going to work out rather than just giving thanks.

Barry and I rent a home. Today we received a letter telling us that we have to vacate the house three weeks before the baby is due. I look again at the life of Christ and I lift my eyes to heaven and I say, "Thank you."

Maybe you have a need that seems overwhelming.
Try trusting God for his provision.
Try looking up and saying thank you.

Joyful, joyful we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of love!
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee,
Praising thee, their sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
Drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day. Henry Van Dyke

Thank you, Lord, that you know our needs even before we speak a word. Help us to look to you with a grateful heart. Amen.

(excerpt from 'Gifts for Your Soul' by Sheila Walsh)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


MeeeOWWWW was the word of the night in the Kintner household.

I wasn't aware that so many 'Meow' sounds existed.

But now, I am enlightened by my 'dear' two year olds.

Rather than going 'night night' they entertained themselves (and me) by making every cat noise known to man...or cats.

It would have made a cat laugh.

Perhaps they were inspired by their recent visit with 'Babes' my friend Stacy's cat (whom Carissa scared meow-less when she threw a ball at her head).

Or, maybe they were hoping to land a spot in my up-coming studio voice recital. It was their own version of Rossini's 'Cat Duet'.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

"So thank God for his marvelous love,
for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness."

Psalm 107:8-9

My soul is hungry.

For this, I am thankful.

In our 'Soul Care' class at church yesterday we looked at the Spiritual Discipline of Examine - "the practice for discerning the voice and activity of God within the flow of the day. It is a vehicle that creates deeper awareness of God-given desires in one's life." (Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Calhoun)

In our time of discussion we looked at Psalm 139.

In Psalm 139 the author David clearly expresses the soul's invitation to God to guide the self-examination process.

As I've spent time reflecting on the well-loved passage I feel deeply encouraged by the truths embedded within.

I am grateful for the reminder of God's astonishing love for me, and that He intimately knows me through and through.

Recognizing that God knows me completely makes me feel sorely exposed and at the same time compassionately sheltered knowing that the One who knows me perfectly loves me as I am.

This is a ringing affirmation that no matter where I find myself - in the heights of heaven, in the depths of the grace, or even in the depths of the sea, God's guiding and sustaining presence is a safe harbor for my soul.

I am blessed by these truths as they shed light on a dark area of my soul. As I wrestle with the truth and the ways that God desires to transform me I am thankful that I am not called to do it alone. Surely God leads me and holds me close to Him.

Thank you Father for the truths of your Word.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Walking in the Garden

During my mom's visit last month my Aunt Patty, cousin Michelle and her daughter Gracie flew in from Indiana overlapping her visit by three days.

It was a wonderful time of hanging out, playing with the tots, and loving on each other.

One afternoon we took a walk in the Garden of the Gods.
(Michelle, Aunt Patty, Mom, Angie) (Gracie, Carissa & Caleb - attempting to get a pic of three tots!)
(The girly girls - same pint size!)
(Carissa and Caleb running the race. This pic was taken a mere second before Carissa bit the dust) (Carissa and Caleb with their Nana)
A wonderful walk in the Garden. Good memories.