The call from my sister came as Mack and I were doing some banking.  I ignored it, thinking that I could call her back later.  Then, only a few minutes later, my sister called again.  Once again I ignored it.  After the second call, my phone signaled that I had a voice mail and, since there was a break in our banking tasks, I decided to listen to the message.  Call me, this has to do with mom.

Sensing something bad I called my sister back and learned that my mom had been rushed into emergency surgery for internal bleeding caused by a biopsy she’d had two days earlier.  Mack and I immediately left for home.  I made arrangements for Mack and Hoob to get Yawlin to his 5th grade patriotic program later that night and then Hub and I headed to the hospital to be with my dad who had been left standing alone in the emergency room after my mom had passed out and the doctors and nurses had rushed her to the operating room.

When we got to the hospital we found my dad and four of my siblings with their significant others waiting for my mom to get out of surgery.  We joked a bit to lighten the mood.  Finally, we received word she was in recovery and was stabilized. 

More waiting.  Many silent prayers.

After an hour and a half we learned she had been moved to a room and we could go see her.  It was great to see her!

And, I am happy to report, my mom returned home later this afternoon. 

The joy for today?

My mom is still here! 

Joy, happiness, pleasure, contentment, cheer–things many of us seem to be searching for but somehow miss the mark.  For the next two weeks I am going to deliberately look for and create joy in my life.  I have always admired joyful people and consider the trait of being joyful a divine quality worthy of emulating and developing in myself. 

For the next two weeks my blogging schedule will change from my normal Monday/Thursday posts to a short daily post reporting on one or two things that brought me joy the previous day.  I might end up reporting on things I am grateful for or those “happy accidents” that happen to all of us that bring us clarification and a new perspective or I might report on deliberate acts on my part to bring joy into my life.  Each day will bring something new.

Today’s report (Joyful Report #1) comes from a deliberate act on my part last night.  Hub had to leave to take care of some things at his parents’ house while they are out of the country serving a mission for our church in St. Maarten.  Juju and Shroom were called away to a dinner at their mother’s house.  Squid serving a mission in Uruguay and Huh attending college out of state left just me, Mack, Hoob, and Yawlin at home.  

I was tempted to let the three kids watch tv and give myself some “alone” time to read and get other things done that I’ve been dying to finish, but instead, I chose to spend the time with my kids.  We try to keep Sunday as a family day around here anyway, so my request to turn off the tv and play a game didn’t receive much resistance.  It was a simple game, one adapted from a book, but we had fun.  We laughed.  We teased.  We ate kettle corn and drank root beer.  And while all of it was going on, I was happy, I was joyful, I was content with my life. 

Mission accomplished.

Until tomorrow…enjoy!

I’m busy enjoying my time with my daughter who is visiting during her college spring break, which means not much time for blogging.  For my Thursday post I simply recommend a blog I recently found called It’s Not About Dying.  The author of the blog lost his beautiful daughter to cancer some years back and is now writing about it on his blog.  If you have time, start reading from his very first post (he just started last month) called Chemical Therapy. 

You will be touched.  You will count your blessings.  I promise.

Back in August I wrote a post about a blog I had discovered through a friend.  MaeLynn was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2009.  Today, her mortal journey ended.  It is ironic that I learned of her death on the very day I had planned to start a blog string about joy.  I will start the blog string later but will look for and work to create joy in my life today, because you never know when your journey will come to an end.


I found this suggestion for a smoothie in Family Circle magazine a few months ago and finally decided to give it a try last night.  I liked it and so I share it here:


In a blender blend 1 peeled and sectioned grapefruit, 1/2 c. milk, 1/2 c. vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, and 6 – 8 fresh mint leaves.

That’s it!  It was yummy!  Mack prefers her grapefruit smoothie with two tablespoons of sugar.  I liked it both ways.  We now have one more smoothie recipe to add to our collection.

Mack hasn’t felt well for the last two days.  Abdominal pain.  Dizziness.  Feeling hot.  She went to school late yesterday and only made it through part of one class before she sent me a text to come back and get her.  As soon as my afternoon crossing was over I took her to an urgent care facility.  The doctor there suspects that Mack has an ovarian cyst.  Swell.  We’ve already dealt with ovarian cysts with Huh, now Mack is going to have them??? 

 There is a slight chance that Mack has appendicitis, so the doctor was going to order an ultra sound for today to check so see which diagnosis is right. 

Still haven’t heard from the doctor so I am postponing the post I had planned for today for another time so that I can call the doctor and get things rolling.

Let’s hope it is nothing serious…

Reasons I haven’t posted for a while (in random order)

*Fall recess.

*A desire to spend time with my kids during fall recess, instead of sitting in front of a computer.

*A three -day trip to St. George, Utah to check out a condo we want to buy.  Unlike my dream from an earlier post, we drove to St. George.  No commuter flights for us!

*Enjoyed the summer-like weather in St. George.  Who wants to be in front of a computer when there are palm trees around?

*The cream being used to treat my small patch of skin cancer has side-effects.

*My skin became inflamed, sore and unsightly.

*Sometimes the pain made me nauseated.

*Another side-effect–sore back.

*Another side-effect–feeling tired.

*Feeling tired a lot.

*Spent a couple of days in bed.

*Husband, kids, and parents urged me to see my doctor, because the nastiness of my inflamed skin worried them.

*I finally listened and saw my doctor.

*Here’s news…the medicine is doing what it is supposed to do.  The skin is supposed to look and feel that way.


*The doctor let me cut the treatment short one week and begin applying “healing cream.”  This gives me a little relief during the day.  I am functioning again.

*My calling as Young Women President keeps me busy.

*Housework keeps me busy.

*Kids keep me busy.

*No amazingly exciting topics to write about.

*Or, maybe, I’ve been too busy to think about amazingly exciting topics to write about.

Here’s to hoping I can get back to a regular blogging schedule soon…

Another fav at our house!

1/3 c. melted butter

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. grated onion

1/4. tsp. paprika

Mix together and brush on salmon steaks.  Sprinkle each stake with a little salt.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

Yum, and enjoy!

If you have tomatoes coming out of your ears like we do this time of year, here is one way you can use them up.  And the aroma in your house will make you hungry!

Roasted Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Line a cookie sheet with foil

Slice tomatoes and put slices close together on cookie sheet (Roma tomatoes work best)

Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper

Mince 6 cloves garlic and add to 1/2 cup olive oil (adding some basil is optional)

Brush oil mixture onto tomato slices

Bake until skins begin to wrinkle then turn oven off and leave tomatoes inside until oven is cool

Store in freezer bags for future use

During the winter we use them in spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, and other soups


…So guess what I’m doing today…

One of the very first posts I wrote on my blog was about taking care of yourself and scheduling head-to-toe skin checks.  I am supposed to see my dermatologist once a year to make sure there are no new pre-cancerous skin cells.  Well…life gets in the way, ya know?  A year went by, and then another, and though it was always in the back of my mind, I didn’t get around to scheduling my next dermatology visit.

Then a couple of months ago Hub showed me an unsightly reddish-brown something growing on his chest.  I told him he should get it looked at and even offered to make the dermatology appointment for him.  He took me up on my offer and so I called around to find a dermatologist who could see him as early as possible.  Since he was a new patient the earliest anyone could see him was a month and a half out.  We figured that was better than nothing.  Since I was making Hub an appointment I decided I might as well schedule my long overdue visit as well.

In the month and a half wait for the appointment the reddish-brown something  growing on Hub’s chest disappeared.  He kept his appointment, though, and was given a clean bill of health.  The doctor has no idea what was growing on Hub’s chest (I suppose it would be hard for any doctor to diagnose something that has disappeared!).

I, on the other hand, have discovered that I have a small patch of basal cell carcinoma–skin cancer!  We have caught it early and the doctor is hoping that the topical treatment we are trying will take care of it so that no cutting has to happen.  Pray that the topical treatment works…I don’t want any cutting to happen!  There is a 90% success rate with the topical treatment.  The doctor doesn’t seem worried, so I’m not going to worry either.

Had Hub not had that reddish-brown something growing on his chest, I would not have made an appointment with my dermatologist and it would have been much longer before we caught the cancer.  I kissed him and cheerfully told him thanks for saving me!  🙂

And so…if your husband has a reddish-brown something growing on his chest, it just might be a sign that you need to see your doctor!  😉

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