Thursday, September 20, 2012

Genesis 3 - a must see video

I saw this video at church and searched Youtube for it.  It is probably one of the very best interpretations of the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden that I have ever seen.  Please watch!


Friday, September 07, 2012

Cirque Shanghai on Labor Day

We saw Cirque Shanghai at Chicago's Navy Pier again this year (also saw them last year).  I was able to take a few pics of the show (photography is allowed without flash, and no video taping!) before my camera got hot.  It kept shutting down on me several times claiming there was an error.  I'll have to have it checked out because I love this camera for a point-and-shoot.

Anyway - this year's show was even better than last year's... and last year's was good.  Hope you enjoy the pics!

On the way back home, we again stopped at a KFC for their buffet lunch.  Roy was talking about the photo book that Richelle's orphanage had given us, with pictures of her as a baby, and pics of her as a little toddler, and he remembered a picture of one of her poops.

To which Richelle quipped, "Let me guess... below it said 'Actual size'.  And you had to fold out the page."

Where does an 8 year old get this kind of humor????  I didn't pee my pants this time, but we couldn't talk for a while for laughing with tears flowing down my face. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

St. Louis - a GREAT Vacation Place!

We're back from from a trip to St. Louis, MO.   I have to say, I never thought this city would be much - but we had a great time and I found out St. Louis has a lot to offer in the way of entertainment.  We didn't get to do as much as we wanted to, but what we did was great.

First we went to see the Gateway Arch.  I had told myself all my life growing up that I would NEVER get inside that thing and ride to the top... it just didn't seem safe to me.  But then, I have kids, and they were anxious to go inside and see the sights from up high.  The arch is 630 feet high at the top - and you can see so much from up there...   it's a beautiful view of the city.  And it's such a beautifully simple and elegant piece of architecture...  the stainless steel plating on the outside of the arch shines and reflects differently depending on the time of day and angle you are viewing it from.  

  Underneath the arch, there is a lot to see as well.  They have the Museum of Westward Expansion, a theater and gift shop. The museum is free - just walk through it. They had several animals (done by a taxidermist) such as a horse, bison, and longhorn steer.  They also have the robots that talk like at Disney. The kids thought they were creepy.  

We then took the kids down to the Mississippi River to take a river boat ride.   They thoroughly enjoyed being on the boat and seeing the city from the river.  I've been on one of these rides when I went to Minneapolis for a visit to a friend's house. 

The bad part was when we had to go back to the hotel.  There are 63 steps to climb up to get back to the park area at the Arch.  The kids ran up them like Rocky Balboa...  LOL!

We were staying at the Hilton at the Ballpark... it is just down the street from Busch Stadium - home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Traffic was somewhat of a mess when it was game day (which was every day we were there). I really wished we could have gone to a game, but the girls weren't interested. Maybe someday. There are some very nice parks nearby, and the girls enjoyed the fountains. As you can see, one of the game days the water was turned red in the fountain. Go Cards!

 We also went to the City Museum.  My camera battery went dead, so I couldn't take many pictures, but click on the name and it will take you to the website. This place was incredible...  a kid's dream come true with places to crawl/walk through, hide in, and explore.   It's $12 per person, but really well worth the price.  The food court was reasonable on their prices (I've seen worse, and they give you good sized sandwiches.) Everything here is made with recycled materials.  And you'd be amazed at what was used throughout the entire place.

Other places I would recommend in St. Louis is the St. Louis Zoo (free), the St. Louis Science Center, or take a carriage ride around the river/downtown area.  Also, there's the St. Louis Botanical Gardens (kids 12 and under get in free).  Here's a link to "25 Things to Do in St. Louis".  I really enjoyed the trip and want to return to finish seeing the things we didn't get to the first time. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mammogram mania and biopsy blues

Last month I had my annual mammogram.  I hate it because it happens to hurt like hell when they smash my boobs between the plates.  It's for sure that a man invented this way to find out if you have any anomalies in your breast, because if men had to go through this every year, they'd be coming up with some other method to check for breast cancer - and fast!

Well, this year, they saw something that they wanted to double check on.  So I had to go back to them last week to have another mammogram - this time with smaller plates but it was a magnification of the are so they could see better what was in there.  I would love it if we could put a man's testicles in these contraptions so they'd get a taste of what it is like to have your boobs smashed so tightly that it feels like the nipple is going to pop off...  Unfortunately, I think there are some men out there that would enjoy that act of compressing their tenders tightly - sorry - I'm just not feeling very charitable right now. 

This time, they found some calcifications.  Little white dots that were no bigger than a grain of salt - if that - and in a formation that was suspicious.  Sooooo....  today I had a biopsy.  I was afraid of the procedure - I hate pain and just knew it would be HORRIBLE!!!!!! I have this thing about control - and feeling so helpless is scary for me. 

Last Sunday, I went up to the altar of the church we attend, and told God that my life was his.  He gave me breath, and He could take it away. My life was His to do with it as He saw fit.  I gave it all up to Him, knowing full well that I was in His control all along.

You see, I am a control freak.  Always have been, and that side of me is a little hard to die away. The truth is, none of us control anything.  If I did, I wouldn't have to have a biopsy, because I wouldn't have the calcifications.  But stuff happens.  I figure it is God's will, either to teach me something, or to teach someone else something - or both.  Either way, I accepted this as part of what I had to go through.

So, I am a scaredy cat when it comes to pain.  All I could think of was how it would feel when the needle when in, and that was a fear I just had to endure. 

They had me lay on a table that had a cutout part where they have your breast hang down.  Then they had plates that they squeezed the breast between, so they could position it and hold it still.  Try to move and it would probably rip your breast right off your chest... seriously ladies, it was tight!

They took a few x-rays to be sure it was positioned properly. My luck, they had to redo it a couple of times...  Yeah... they had to re-squeeze it, which I can't tell you how much fun that was. 

Once they had it positioned right, they cleaned the spot that was where they would begin the biopsy.  Then the needle was inserted...  I thought it would be a huge pain - but instead, it was a tiny prick on my skin.  It didn't really hurt - and the numbing medication helped so I didn't really feel anything.  Then they made a tiny incision, and inserted the other needle that had the biopsy equipment inside, and it began doing whatever it was supposed to do - however, they didn't quite numb enough, because as the the thing was going through the breast to gather samples, it hit an area that wasn't numbed.  That made me yell - but it was a short-lived pain... and not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  Had the entire breast been numbed properly, this would have actually been pretty much a cakewalk.

The last part of the procedure was using another set of equipment to insert a surgical steel (or titanium) piece of metal into the area where the calcification had been.  That was so if they needed to go back to the site, they could find it easily.

Anyway, once they were done, they released the breast from the plates, and one of the nurses put pressure on the incision site for 10 minutes, then put steri-strips on the incision.  I then had to have another mammogram (this time NOT so tight that I would be in pain or that it would cause the site to begin bleeding).  Then she put on a gauze pad.

To be honest, I am sitting here now and I have an itching kind of sting once in a while... but really no pain.  I was told that I hardly bled during the procedure... that was what I was also told when i had my hysterectomy.  I guess I am blessed - I don't lose a lot of blood and I usually don't feel a lot of pain.   In fact, I'm feeling pretty good.  The biopsy isn't that big of a deal. It might have been worse had they had to take a large lump out... but for what I had, it was nothing.

I find out in two days if there is anything to worry about. I am hoping for good news.  But if it turns out malignant, then I'm all for starting the next phase.  I have asked God to let me live long enough to get my girls into young adulthood, but that's is up to Him.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Last night, the girls had their recital.  I can't tell you how beautiful they looked... and they did great.   I gotta give them credit, they have a lot of guts to get up on stage to a packed house and dance in front of all those people. 

The dance company they go to is stellar - they really do a lot with the kids and really care about them. They treat the kids with loads of respect and run a good program. I have pics of the girls in their outfits. They were adorable. Never mind the bad makeup job - that is my fault.