Monthly Archives: February 2009

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 mama 002

Isn’t this beautiful???

It was a gift from the ladies of our church
 on this “Best Day.”

It was delivered today while I was sleeping,
and when I woke up, our
Wonderful Middle Daughter
had put them right into my line of vision.
It was a very affirming and encouraging discovery.

Thank-you, my dear sisters!

It has been a great day, dear friends.
The surgery went smoothly.
and there is much to be grateful for.
The pain level is a bit more than I had hoped,
but that is to be expected, I guess. 
Dr. Spieker said that when they got into the knee
it was in far worse shape than they expected.
Something about the enamal on my bones peeling off. 
“So,” he said to my attentive husband, “I took my trusty
Black & Decker drill and drilled seven holes into the bone.
  We wanted it to bleed, so that it would form a scab
and that will assist in the healing.” 

H-m-m-m- . . .   

That sounds rather stridently invasive
to this lowly lay person.

However, He provided me with a lovely pain medication
(Percocet) and it is being quite effective indeed.  He did tell
me that I shouldn’t put “much weight” on it for several
weeks.  How is a gal of my (ahem!) “social standing” going
to accomplish that???  I do have crutches, and I plan to
follow directions carefully, but I am hopeful that when I see
him on Tuesday for follow-up he will be absolutely astounded
at how well I am doing and lift some of these unhandy

So here I am, sitting on my La-z-boy, updating on Middle
Daughter’s laptop.  Certain Man and the off-springin’s are
being watchful and bossy and most lovingly helpful.

I am incredibly blessed.

Thank-you, Heavenly Father!




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Tomorrow is the day that I am to have this troublesome left
knee “cleaned out, smoothed down and made better”
according to the good doctor.  I am eagerly looking forward
to the third part of that proclamation.  Today I feel a bit
overwhelmed — teary, in fact.  There is potato salad to make
for the quiz team concession stand, some bills to pay before
the end of the month, and the nagging, restricting pain that
makes me want to sit on my chair and do nothing.

I don’t really think that would be the best for me, either in
terms of keeping my range of motion as good as it can be, and
my emotional well-being, either.  I am realizing in a new way
how pain isolates people.  It isn’t so much that people stay
away from people in pain as it is that there is this turning
inward, sort of a protective shell that we throw up around us
that almost defies people to step across the boundary. 

I haven’t allowed myself the indulgence of feeling sorry for
myself.  It is a proven fact that it doesn’t make people
attractive!  It’s also a proven fact that positive thinking
helps alleviate pain.  I’ve been trying hard to put flesh to the
theory, and for the most part it has been good.  This
morning, it is just taking alot more effort than some times. 
It’s a good time to put into practice some of the principles
that I have proclaimed to live by.  This is one that is on my
fridge that is especially pertinent this morning:

“When cheerfulness is kept up against all
odds, it is the finest form of courage.”

So I am going to go and attempt, with the help of Almighty
God, to exhibit the finest form of courage.


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I have chronicled the happy notice received by Beloved Son
in Law and Eldest Daughter, and we are still excited about
the fact that they are the chosen parents for a baby yet to
be born.  However (don’t you hate that word?!?!?) last week
the birth mom went for a sonogram to see if the baby was a
girl or a boy (they couldn’t tell) but the doctor determined
that her self-calculated due date was off by six weeks. 

So, we are back to the long waiting game again.  It is tough
for all of us, but it is no surprise to God.  He has this baby in
His hands, and those hands can reach where ours cannot —
He knows the end from the beginning, and we chose to trust
Him and His timing.

Say a prayer for Jesse and Christina, if you would please. 
There are lots of things to pray about these days, and I know
this is just one more, but I remember that when we were
waiting for Christina’s adoption, there were so many
setbacks, and after awhile, it was hard to believe that it
would actually happen.  God did something special in our
hearts during those excruciating days, and when she was
finally ours for keeps, we never ever doubted for a minute
that she was supposed to be ours, that God had blessed us
far above our expectations, and that His timing was best.

Jesse and Christina have been strong.  They have been
embracing the wait as part of the plan of God.  They have
comforted us when the disappointment was overwhelming. 
And so, I see God’s incredible grace at work in their lives —
but it doesn’t mean that it is easy.  So keep them in your
prayers and in your thoughts in the days ahead. 

And may God be honored in this delay.


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I talked to my cousin today.  She and I are a week apart in age.
Our Daddies were twins.  I am so at peace in her presence, and
when we talk on the phone, her voice wraps itself around my heart
and it is so good.


Last summer, we had a family reunion. 
Her Dad, my Uncle Luke, was not feeling well, and when
everything was said and done, only she and her husband
were able to be there from their family.  When it came time
to take family pictures, we wanted her and her husband to be
with our family.  There were lots of people missing from our
family, too, so this was the sum total of the families of the
twins of David and Savilla (Bender) Yoder
who were available for pictures that day.

Her Daddy is growing weaker.  As a family, we pray and write
and, whenever possible, visit.  Cousins have come from all over
to savor the essence that is our Uncle Luke.  He delights in
every visit.  Rallies to relate, and draws energy from the love
that has been pouring in, and strength from the prayers.

“Make it a good day,” he would always end his missives to the
Yoder Family e-mail group.  He has been unable to write for
over a month, now.  But over and over again, his words are found
at the end of our messages to each other.  And we are so
encouraged by the stories coming out of a Michigan Nursing Home.
Stories of dealing with the everyday things that life is made of —
surrender, praise, joy —  but always the leering face of Lou Gehrig. 

Our hearts strain for words of hope from the family that so
tenderly care for him with a commitment that causes all of us
to ache with hope that someday, for us, there will be a family
that cares like they do.  We pray for strength, we pray for patience.
We pray for the everlasting arms to carry them through these days.
We pray that our Heavenly Father will have mercy and that the
overriding presence in the attractive little suite will be that of peace.

This case of ALS has been insiduous.
It has tromped and smashed and snatched and cursed.
And it has tried to destroy the very Faith that is the lifeline.
I am so thankful for a Faith that can be in the middle of all
that is tromped and smashed and snatched and cursed —
and still hold steady. 
I am so thankful that it resides, not only in that brave, brave heart
of a most beloved uncle, but also in the hands and hearts of his family.

Today I heard the tears, felt the uncertainties and pain.
And sorrow wrenched somewhere in my gut with a familiar, nauseating twist.
It is not at all the way they (or we) would have chosen for things to go.
But things are the way they are, and the platitudes that get thrown around
at a time like this are made real by times like these. 
And Truth is  sometimes defined through experiencing the
inexplicable mystery of Faith. 

No, I cannot explain it.
I only know that it is where my restless heart can find a place of quiet.


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Valentines Day has always been special
for Certain Man and Me.
We had our first date on
Valentines day, back in 1971. 

After we were married,
e began to make sure to bring home
flowers for special occasions.

We were poor,
So he bought carnations. 
It was what he could afford.

I would rather have carnations
than anything else,
and that is what he still brings me.

This is this year’s bouquet.


After almost a week, it still looks great!

Thank-you, Sweetheart!!!



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I am having a terrible time with this new computer and
pictures and such.  I have had to redo a couple of things
several times, and I am not sure I have things right, even
now.  Anyhow!  This is from our weekend.  We were in New
York City for a wedding.  I did not even get a picture of
Zachari and Mary (Roth) Yoder, and I am not sure how that
happened.  But I did get some pictures that some of my
Xanga friends will be interested in, I think.  I am not going to
do much explaining.  These pictures were taken at the
reception, and that was all the snapping I did!

This was the menu that was on each table.
The food was good.  
Youngest Daughter was sorry she missed it!

This was such a pretty shot, across the table
in the late afternoon sun.
I couldn’t resist.

ChucksChic and her little one, talking to SweetMama

NYC Little Ones 1
I believe Colleen might enjoy these next pictures

NYC Little Ones 2                      NYC Little Ones
These two were so (*edit) busy together.
It was a carnival to watch! 

NYC  Harlan 
I think there may have been a daddy
who was keeping track of things with a watchful eye.

WR 1
♫   Gotta’ Get The Shoes On Now!  ♫

And this one is for Iwillbeokay.
Dwight, LaZonya and their precious baby.


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Of babies, and knees and such . . .

  In answer to the questions concerning the baby that is coming to our family.  We do not know whether it is a boy or a girl.  The adoption agency does not know, either, at this point.  The due date is the 25th.  Beyond that, there is a whole lot to guess about, speculate about, REJOICE about.  It is such an exciting time for the two extended families.  A baby shower is being planned, tentatively for March 6th, in the evening, but details of that are still being formulated.  They really have only the basics, and it is beyond exciting to them to think about setting up the nursery and getting things ready.  Please continue to pray for them and this happy but challenging time.  Life will certainly be different for them and for all of us, for that matter.

About the knee.  When I saw the Physician’s Assistant last week, he said that the MRI showed a complete tear in the meniscus, and that the only solution to this kind of tear was to clean things out and see from there how it recovered.  He scheduled me with the surgeon, and I saw him today.   Dr. Spieker came in and put the original X-rays of my knees on the lighted panel and said, “Henry (the P.A.) tells me you’re having some trouble.”

“To tell you the truth,” I said a bit ruefully, “I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place.”

“You absolutely are,” he said sympathetically.  “There is absolutely nothing we can do for that right knee except a replacement.”  He motioned towards the joint.  “As you can see here, it is even off center, bone on bone, with not cartilage of any kind left.”  My mind started thinking, then, about my other knee and what he was going to do about that, when I heard him say, “We cannot do arthroscopy on it.  It won’t do a bit of good.  Replacement is our only method of treatment, and you aren’t a candidate for that.”  My heart had done a little flip flop right about when he said, . . .It won’t do a bit of good . . . and I started scrambling in my mind what they were ever going to do.  About then, he said, “Now your left knee . . .” and I could breathe again.  I had changed gears, er, knees, and he hadn’t!  Anyhow, so the plan is to see if we can “clean up” the left knee, and see how things go.  There is a chance that they will follow up with SYNVISC injections if the recovery isn’t quite what they hope, but even that may not be necessary.

Surgery is scheduled for the 26th (I know, the day after Jesse’s and Christina’s baby is due  –  At least I can sit and hold baby!)  and it will be done on an outpatient basis at the surgical suite that is maintained by these orthopedic surgeons.  I won’t even have to be admitted to the hospital.  And I know that it isn’t a cure-all.  And probably there will be people coming out of the woodwork telling me not to have it, but Cerain Man had it done over 20 years ago (before all the advances that have been made)  in both knees and it made a wondrous difference for him.  The thing I most would like to be able to do is alleviate some of the pain.  It has really been troubling me — I have a high pain tolerance, so that I don’t usually feel pain unless it is really bad, so the fact that this is really hurting has made me want to get something done — and it has also made me realize that having a high pain tolerance does not mean that you are stoic about pain!  It just means you don’t feel it.  And I guess that I am one that when I do feel it, I am not stoic at all!  (Does that make any sense?)  What I am trying to say is that I am not necessarily brave about this present complication in my life.  In the past, I felt really strong and brave when I could keep going when things hurt a little bit.  All I want to do now is sit on my chair.  Even the computer is annoying because the desk chair that I sit on doesn’t hold the leg right to keep the knee from going into some sort of spasms. 

So there, you have my joys and my gripes.  We do plan to go to wedding this weekend. — just my Sweet Mama, Certain Man and Myself, and I am looking forward to that.  I am afraid that I will make a spectacle of myself at the wedding.  It looks kinda like Hopalong Cassidy when I start walking after sitting a while. The sad thing is, my bad leg is not accustomed to being the strong one, and it has taken to complaining vociferously as well.  So whenever I decide to get up and walk somewhere, it is hop a little, drag the leg, swing the other, hop a little, drag the leg, lock the knee, swing the leg, hop a little — well, anyhow, I don’t think you need a video to get the picture.

So here’s to hope and new babies and good doctors and gimpy knees  —  God Bless us everyone!


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 Beloved Son in Law
Eldest Daughter

Kids Jesse and Christina
Were notified yesterday
That they were chosen
To be the parents of
to be born yet this month!

Praise God
from whom all Blessings flow!


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Do any of you remember this post from almost exactly three years ago?

I’m posting it because the very same thing happened today to the very same person,

And the results have been just as encouraging!

In fact, the doctors say that this surgery went even better than the last.

Lynn came out of surgery, and a message soon after 1:00 said that she was alert and doing very well.

Praise God with us!

Please pray for my friend, Lynn.
Courageous, beautiful, serene.
Smiley, joyful, realistic.
So different from me,
but we have the same Heavenly Father.
And both of our earthly Daddies
are recently home to Heaven.
So much alike, too.
We both love words and laughter and friends.
We both love our homes and our families.
I love Lem and Jess.
She loves Jess and Lem.
She prays for her daughter and my son.
I pray for my son and her daughter.

Today, Dear Friend, you face an incomprehensible challenge.
And my prayers can scarcely think of anything else
besides an operating room at Johns Hopkins,
And what is happening there.

Lord Jesus, in your Holy Name I pray
For an incredible anointing of power and healing.
Guide the hands and thoughts of those who are operating or assisting.
Hold Lynn’s family in the calm of your grace.
May your eye that sees the sparrows keep watchful care of Lynn.
May the evidence of YOU be so inescapable
That no one, NO ONE can ever say
that it was anything but you!

This picture of Lynn and I was taken at Lem and Jessica’s wedding.

A Wedding 007

Dear Friend, may your recovery


speedy and uneventful!!!


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It’s a bit unofficial, but I am a grandma!

At least, that is what the baby’s Mama calls me.

Lupe has a baby girl.  Born at 2:00.  Probably this morning, judging from text messages from Guatemala and phone messages here.  But my heart is suffering because of the language gap.

Somehow, being told about the birth by the boyfriend of a sister because he is the only one who can really speak English — well, let’s just say it is a little less than satisfying.

He did say that they didn’t think she had to have a c-section.  But he didn’t sound sure.  Said that things seemed fine, and that she was going to come home from the hospital tomorrow.

He said that the first name was Nicole.  Then said that the second one was Marianna.  Then said, “Well, maybe ‘Maria’  or something like that –“

But whatever the name, whatever —   Whatever!!!  I am so glad that she is safely here (at least I think so!  Guatemala is a long way away, and I don’t really know if I trust the medical system there!) and I can’t wait to hear with my own two ears my Lupe’s account of becoming a mother.

And I will update when I know more!


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