Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~

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Monday, October 26, 2009

The Face of Courage

Owen left the hospital and went home this past Saturday. He underwent a necessary surgery for craniosynostosis. An excellent site which offers really good information about the condition is CranioKids.  With Owen, it wasn't really very obvious, but if you looked at him from a certain angle, as in from above his head downward, you could see the triangular ridge already forming. If left unchecked, this condition could have become problematic in allowing his brain to grow properly, as well as other health issues, and could have potentially become an obvious deformity. That is why the decision was made to go ahead with the surgery. And so, after months of dreading the surgery date, and knowing what was to come, yet hoping and praying that it would not be necessary, we can finally say the surgery is over and done with. The surgery was performed one week ago today. It is a thing of the past, but every moment and every second leading up to it is still fresh in my mind. Added to that was the sadness we felt when we would see him smile and babble happily, knowing for months in advance what lay in store for him. That was hard to go through also. What I was not prepared for was the extreme angst and pain I would feel at seeing my precious baby Grandson's surgical scar. I can only imagine what his parents, my Son and Daughter In-Law must feel each time they see it.

Her Mother and Sister stayed the whole week to help out with Elias while their parents were in the Hospital with Owen. We traveled up to San Antonio every other day during the week. We too had made arrangements to stay with Elias, but I think it gave my DIL a sense of comfort to have her Mother nearby. So we gracefully allowed her to stay in our place, always with the clear understanding that we were ready to fill in at a moment's notice, always on standby. This is where Families have to be a cohesive unit and in agreement in order to help their loved ones.

I want to include a few pictures of Owen's ordeal on this post. It may be a bit graphic for some to view. I do this in honor of my little one, because he has been so strong and courageous through it all. Perhaps someday someone reading this post can gain insight or strength from knowing how other families cope when faced with a similar situation. It isn't easy, and the journey has just begun, but we have faith in God that this time of healing will pass quickly, and all this will be just a faint memory.

I am so in awe of this little man. He continues to smile, and is slowly becoming the cooing, laughing baby he always was, in spite of the pain and discomfort he must be feeling at times. He turned six months old the day he went home, and his parents bought him a cake and lit candles for a 'half-year' celebration. We were so blessed to be there and be a part of their celebration too. And yesterday when we last saw him, he did seem much improved. It seems every day that passes means he is getting better. These are just a few of the pictures we took:

This is day two after the surgery in ICU: THE FACE OF COURAGE!



This is day three in ICU:



Day Four in ICU, being held by his Mommy



Oh, Lord God, as I write this, you know how much it hurts to see his ordeal, but also, I am so grateful that you brought him through the surgery and he is home with his family, and he is a strong and healthy baby!

It has been hard for all of us, and certainly for our precious Elias as well. He had to be away from his beloved Parents during the past week that they were in the hospital with Owen. For us as adults, it's hard because we know our pain threshholds, and to see such a tiny little baby have to go through this is mind boggling.  I simply cannot begin to fathom this incredible process. It is so hard to find things to be happy about or to laugh or to rejoice about anything. I force myself to smile but inside I am wrought with sadness and pain. And then I remember that as per Scripture, I am to rejoice in all things. I just have been feeling so many emotions, both sadness and joy, sometimes all at once. God knows my weaknesses, and I know my Lord Jesus intercedes on my behalf for my shortcomings. Alas! I am such a weakling. And then I look at this tiny giant of a human being, and I know, it is because God is with him, as God is with all children. When I first saw Owen in ICU, I began to cry, and the nurse said that I didn't need to cry, that Owen was a healthy baby. She kept saying, "he's not sick, you should see some of the other kids we have here in ICU...they're really sick." And I understand that, I know that we have so much to be grateful for. But it doesn't hurt any less to see your loved one in that condition. It's just part of the whole situation. I just have to remember that always after the darkness, the light shines brightly again. And so it will be with these painful days. When they are long gone, we will all smile again and truly appreciate all the wonderul blessings we enjoy and take for granted.

I called my Son today and he says Owen is doing fine, and that he keeps getting better. I know the Lord will continue to minister to him and to strengthen him and to heal him. I have absolute and complete faith in my Savior. We do appreciate all the prayers from everyone. Thank you! I hope this post can be a blessing to someone, somewhere, someday.

Love,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gorgeous Day!

Today once again we've been blessed with a beautiful cloudy day which started out with a soft drizzle of rain. Outside, I remembered how beautiful my Abuelita's garden always looked, especially after some rain. Two plants which always remind me of her garden:


Gomphrena or 'globe amaranth' always made me happy as a child just looking at the bright cheerful color.



And of course her gorgeous cockscomb or Celosia Cristata. She simply called it 'mano de leon' which means lion hand. As a child I loved feeling the silky velvet texture. I was fortunate to have found one plant at the nursery which I promptly snatched up as soon as I saw it. My sweetie planted it for me today. No Holiday for him, he had to go in to work today. I so appreciate all the sweet things he does for me.

Now if only I can nurture this plant to grow as beautiful as the ones my Abuelita had in her jardin. Just remembering her and the things she loved is enough for me. That is why I always say that I come from a long line of gardeners. I hope my Sons and Grandchildren have inherited this love of all things green.....but sadly I have yet to see any proof of that. But there's always hope. I didn't discover my love for gardening until I was about 22 years old.

Note to self: White Easter lilies like buelita's

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Song For Me

I hardly ever listen to music. And when I do, it's usually by accident, and only if it's a song I loved in my youth. Nothing much in the way of movies or music impresses me any more. That's just the way it is with me. Earlier today when I visited Diane's blog Tomato Soup Cake I saw that she had a link up for a music video. I had an idea it would be a Christian song. I assumed it would be like most of the ones I've heard, nice, but not my preferred type of music....even though of course I know that music made to honor and praise God is way more important than the secular kind. So I went ahead and clicked on the link.

Let me say that it has been a long time since a song has touched my heart this way. I know that the Lord ministered to me with this song. I could identify with the message, with what he was saying to me. I hope you enjoy it also:


Nursery Shots

Today has been such a beautiful day with cloudy overcast skies and a very cool breeze. It made taking a quick trip to stock up on "Zote", our favorite Mexican soap, a really nice drive. Along the way, we also stopped at a local nursery to see if they had any Winter veggies. The visit yielded pictures of these beauties. Such pretty colors I had not seen before in zinnias. Love those tangerine and pastel orange hues.


And this is one of my all time favorite fragrant shrubs "Reseda Odorata" or "Mignonette" as it's also called. It has the most delicious fragrance!



I'm trying to become accustomed to always carrying my camera with me. Good thing, as I was also able to capture this graceful butterfly feeding amongst the flowers.



Love this garden vignette! Wish it was in my garden! Pottery is always something that adds such a nice touch to any garden.


We did go home with a small tray of spinach and a couple of jalapeno plants. We wanted other Winter veggies, but maybe it's still early for the nurseries to have them. We will have to wait and see.

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Camera Photos

Adding another item to my 'to learn' list: take good photos. I drool over the blog pictures I see which have an almost luminous quality. The lighting is always perfect, the shadows enhance the overall picture, and there is never any doubt that the photographer knew exactly what they were doing.

My Sweetie went and bought me a new camera. Oh, it's not the SLR I'd someday like to have, but it does a great job with the photos. I just have to learn the ropes a little bit.

And here to show a few pics I shot with it, are some of my garden plants.

I remember well the time I posted about my quest for this tree, which I assumed was some kind of  'Zote' soap tree. Turns out it's the lemon scented Eucalyptus Citriodora. My beloved Sister was able to acquire it for me. It is now waiting to be transplanted to the ground when the heat is well gone, as per my Sweetie's wishes.


And this is American Beautyberry, which graces an area near our front door.


This is a pot of portulaca and moss rose I planted over the Summer.


This is a citrus tree which my Sweetie planted years ago from seed. We really have no idea what kind it is, as this is the first time it produces fruit. We hope it's an orange, but the fruit is rather large.



This is one of my Hoyas or "Wax Plant" also known as "Porcelain Flower".


And in other news: I'm changing my blog layout. I've decided I rather like the look of simplicity. The 'less is more' approach is something I've been meaning to adopt. I will eventually remove several items from the sidebar. I'll be adding new blogs to the 'favorites' and removing some to make room for others.

I do love the look of all the wonderful free layouts available. I have found, however, that they cause the pages to load rather slowly. I think it's the same with having too many graphics, at least I suspect they have something to do with that. Well, I am just trying something new for now. I may just go back to the old layouts....it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. What's great about these programs is that it's almost like 'moving the furniture around'. Just like at home when you get tired of seeing the same layout, and you try for a 'new look'. I move my furniture around at least once a month! So, until next time, have a good one!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh, What a Day

For future reference, when I think October will surely bring cool temperatures:

Today's high: 102F, with a very high humidity of 75%! Weatherman said that was like a heat index of 109F! And yet, no rain anywhere in sight.

There's a cool front in the north part of the state, heading south. But likely it will stall just north of San Antonio.

The substance of our conversations on a typical day even this late in the year.......always hoping for cool weather and even a little bit of rain.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

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