Sunday, January 29, 2006

A quick note


Just a quick note.  We are on our way to do a little shopping for the week.  Rob is staying home while I go out with the girls.

Angie desperately needs your prayers, my friends.  She is now in intensive care on a breathing machine and dialysis.  God can work the miracle, but we need to stand as one for her.  Thank you in advance for her prayers.

Be blessed in the Lord today. 



Saturday, January 28, 2006

Saturday's Blessings


I would love to have had this graphic when I was in  Mexico.  The name of our ministry was (is) Let the Little Children Come . . .  There's nothing better than having a lap full of the Lord's most precious ones to make your life fulfilling. 

We have our laps full here this week as well.  Kayla and Lupe will be staying a few days longer than planned.  Mom Angie is being transferred to UCLA for further work-ups on her liver.  She's very tired and weak.  We are all praying for her and hoping that she will be able to come home soon. 

Now the challenge will be to get these girls back in school on Monday.  They missed 3 days this week, but we're trying to make arrangements to get them back to a regular schedule.  We are asking members of our church to pitch in and help. 

We are all tired this evening.  It's been an emotional day for the girls who expected to be able to go home.  Kayla is carrying the weight of the world on her 11 year-old shoulders.  She is terrified she will lose her mom, but wants to keep it together in front of others.  I held her for a while and she cried.  It's hard to find words of comfort for a little girl who has seen her mom so close to death before.  Please keep her in your prayers.

I only have one day off this week.  I guess that's the way it works sometimes.  I really liked those 3 and 4 day weekends.  Now it's famine just when I need the time to take care of things at home.  Poor Robert is coping, but it's difficult to be in a tiny house with 3 bored pre-teens.  Thank goodness for church activities.  The girls went to an outreach for 3 hours today.  Tomorrow is Sunday School and church.  It will be a good day for all of us.  I need time to stop and talk to God again.  We've been praying together, but sometimes our heads move so fast that we leave the Lord out of the equation for a while.

Good news!  Andrea finally has a type of identification that will allow us to get her a Social Security card!  It's been nearly a year and a half waiting just for this ID - and it's only good for a year.  We have an appointment with immigration in LA on March 3rd for her permanent residency petition.  We filed all the papers and now we have an interview.  What a pain, but of course we will do what is necessary.  Whoever told us that citizenship was automatic when adoption was final was all wet! It's a long and expensive process.  I can't wait for it to be over.

I've been trying to get to your journals and make comments, but my progress is very slow.  I'm reading as fast as I can, but find myself "chair-weary" very quickly.  Laptop may be home next week or the week after . . .oh joy!  I can compute while laying down. 

With all of its craziness, this has been a week of true blessings.  Robert and I have been reminded of the joys and frustrations of working with diverse children and as well how good the Lord is to us in the midst of all of this.  We have taken the time to be grateful and to pray for our friends and family.  What more can we ask for?  We love you all.


                  . . . Penny


Thursday, January 26, 2006

So on and So forth . . .


Wow!  Has it been hectic around here the last couple of days!  As you know, we got Lupe and Kayla on Tuesday.  Their mom is still in the hospital and things are kind of touchy for her.  She's very weak right now and really needs your prayers.  In addition, it turns out that I have developed an allergy to the antibiotic the doctor had me on for the infected bug bite and I have been itching and scratching like crazy.  Sometimes I wonder just when these attacks on my health will stop.  It feels like there is something new every week.  Today the doctor gave me a shot for the allergy and 3 more medications that were pretty spendy.  If they stop the itch, they are worth their weight in gold.

Today was Andrea's IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting at the school she will be attending starting on Monday.  We met with her teachers and the school staff and psychologist and goals were discussed for her.  The staff has been very nice to us so far and I have totally given up on homeschooling for now since I just don't have the skills to handle her learning disabilities.  Andrea is very excited about going to school.  I think it will be good for all of us.

Tomorrow is the day Krissy's husband John has his bone marrow transplant.  I am so grateful to know that so many of you are praying for them.  Those prayers will really make a difference for them both. 

I took the day off today to attend to the school stuff and go to the doctor again.  It's really different here with 3 girls instead of one.  The house is noisier, and constantly full of giggles.  I remember this from my time in Mexico of course, but it's good for a few days to have extra kids to love on.  I'm a whole lot more tired today because of the additions, but I feel a wonderful peace as well.

Oh!  I have to tell you all I got involved in a letter-writing campaign against a television program that offended me before it even started.  I signed petitions, wrote the network and wrote to some of the sponsors.  I was gratified to hear that the network has cancelled the show after only two airings.  YAY!!  I helped make a difference while standing up for what I believe.  Cool, huh?

I pray you all have a blessed and beautiful evening and night.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Home Again


Good morning, friends.  I have just returned from my annual retreat.  It was a good one.  These women and I have been doing this retreat for about 30 years.  New ones have come, of course and some of the older ones have passed away, but our tradition continues.  It's a very peaceful place with lots of trees and grass and flowers and a few peacocks to add to the color.  As wonderful as it was, I was happy to get back to home and family.

I got the good and bad news about my laptop!  Good news:  it can be fixed!  Bad news:  it will be expensive.  I kinda knew that anyway.  The cost will be a whole lot less than buying a new laptop, so I am willing to make the expense.  It will have to be sent back on Thursday or so and then as the repairs are done, I will get it back in a couple of weeks.  I am very pleased.

This morning, we are going to be taking in 2 little girls for a few days.  One is a 12 year-old Down's syndrome girl and the other an 11 year-old.  I have asked for prayers for Angelica before.  She had a liver transplant and is now having a great deal of trouble.  She has to go back to the hospital for a few days to draw the fluid off of her stomach.  Again, I am asking for prayer for her and for her family as she struggles to get well.

And while you are praying, please pray for Krissy's husband John who will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant later this week. They are both a long way from home and our prayers are definitely needed.  Thank you all.

Even though I've been off work 5 days, I am not quite ready to go back this morning.  It's not laziness, I have just enjoyed the time off.  I will be glad to see my co-worker however.  She and I have become friends.  I have a feeling we have a lot of work to do to get ready for the next auction which is in less than a month.

I hope to get back to reading journals and commenting this week.  It's been a while since I have been at the computer at all.  I miss reading your words and thoughts and jumping in with my own 2 cents' worth. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Happy Birthday to me . . .


Today's my birthday.  Last night, Rob sent Andrea with Hank to the store.  When they came back, they had cards, roses, daffodils and a balloon for me. And my sister called from Las Vegas to wish me a happy day.  It was great.  It was nice having that last night and to wake up to the flowers this morning.  I may get a picture to post for you all later.  I didn't want any gifts this year.  Rather, I have my laptop in the shop to see if it is repairable.  I may find out tomorrow if it is.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I talked to my friend Krissy of Sometimes I Think by IM last night.  She and John are getting ready to leave for the medical center to start the process for John's bone marrow transplant which will be done next week.  We have been praying for them all along and have asked others to do so.  Now I am asking you to join me in prayer.  John and Krissy have such a positive attitude about this.  I am in awe of their faith to go forward.  So, as you go about your day, if they pop into your head, just acknowledge that with a small prayer.  That's the glue that will hold the hands of the doctors and all our hearts together. 

For those who are wondering . . . my finger is healing.  I saw the doc yesterday again.  He says I will probably have to take 10 extra days of antibiotics because the infection is so deep.  I shudder to think of what could have happened if I had stayed stubborn and not gotten treatment.  For a bite!  Goodness gracious.  I appreciate your concern and notes to me.  At least I am more able to type now. 

I love that quote on the top.  I read in a book that it's easier to pray without ceasing than one would think.  It has more to do with remaining in an attitude of prayer than actually spending all your time praying.  Regular stuff needs to be taken care of, but one can slip back in to thankfulness and prayer once the necessitieshave been done.  I love that thought.  It's like having a running conversation with God.  Phone rings, customer comes in - handle it - what were we saying, Lord?  Refreshing. 

I'm off to see if I can catch another 40 winks before I have to really start my day.  I pray that all of you have a wonderful day today.  I'll be thinking of you.




Saturday, January 14, 2006

El Doctor Del Arroyo

As promised, I am adding some stories about our time in Mexico.  This first one is one I wrote just as it happened and stored away for the future.  Other than a few close friends, you will be the first to have read it.  Although this is a public journal, I ask that you please not copy or use it without my permission.  I hope the story blesses you as it did me.

                    THE DOCTOR OF THE ARROYO

I was working at the clinic on a Wednesday in August, 1996. A mom named Rosario came in with her little baby, Esmeralda.  She was a bit fussy and Rosario said that Esmeralda had a "grano" under her arm.  The doctor and I examined the growth, which was the size of a ping-pong ball and gave instructions to Rosario for the baby's care.  Hot compresses were the biggest part of the treatment, along with pain reliever and antibiotics should the first two treatments not work.  Rosario couldn't read, but we gave her hand drawn instructions so she could understand when to give the medicine, etc.

"I can't," she said, "I can't do this. I can't get the medicine and the hot packs right."  Her eyes pleaded with me.  "Please take her home with you."  I tried to encourage her to take care of her baby, that she was certainly capable of doing so.  She shook her head.  She was adamant that I care for the baby "just until the grano goes down."  Finally, I relented, but showed her again anyway the proper way to do the treatments.  Maybe after a day or two she would give in and take little Esmeralda home.

Esmeralda was so delicate.  It was nearly impossible to pick her up.  You couldn't just reach in under her arms like you could with a normal baby.  The cyst under her arm was angry and painful.  The hot compresses and anti-inflammatory weren't working.  We put her on antibiotics, but the results were poor.

At the time my friend and I were working one day a week in a little town south of us called Uruapan.  Dr. Campos worked with us there.  She was a wonderful doctor and withdrew fluid from the cyst and sent it to the lab for us.  When she came back the next week with the labs, she said we should see a surgeon.  She gave us the address of a Christian doctor who could help us.  We went the next day.  The doctor's office was in an area we had been to en Ensenada, but a little out of the way.  No one was there when we arrived, but we waited because we had come such a long way.  Eventually a tall man with glasses arrived.  He invited us into the exam room.  There he had us take Esmeralda's clothes off so he could examine her.  The glasses he wore were so this that it was hard to see his eyes.  Nimble fingers played over her underarm and by the time she was ready to cry, he had finished his exam.  "She needs surgery.  8:00 am tomorrow.  Do you know Ensenada?"

"A little," I replied.

"Go out 11th Street.  Passover the dip in the road and the riverbed.  When you come to the arroyo, make a left and continue up the arroyo.  Look to the left and you will see my office there.  If you get lost, ask someone where the doctor of the arroyo is."  An agreement was reached and we went home.

In the morning, I got into a borrowed car and headed into Ensenada.  Esmeralda was buckled into her baby seat in the back.  I drove until I reached 11th Street and made the right turn.  I traveled out on 11th, past the dip in the road, past the little river bed and then hit dirt road.  I mad a left and started up a hill.  Before long, I could see that I had made a wrong turn.  I turned the car around and headed back down, beginning to feel very lost and out of my element.

"Can you tell me where the doctor of the arroyo is?" I asked a woman walking beside the road.

"Go back to the main road and make a left, go all the way to the arroyo and make a left, driving down the arroyo.  His office is on the left on a hill."  I thanked her and headed on my way.

I found the arroyo without too much trouble once I was headed in the right direction.  Driving up the dry river bed, I searched on the left.  Finally I saw a sign painted on the side of a building.  It read simply, "Dr. Peralta" and was quite faded.  I parked the care and looked up to where the office was.  It was straight up the side of the hill.  Rocks were placed as stepping stones, but I was a little unsure as I trudged my way up.  In front of the office was a small pack of rather mangy looking dogs.  I prayed they wouldn't bite.  They didn't even get up as I approached and entered the door.

A pretty young nurse seemed to be expecting me and took me into an ancient exam room to take a history.  When she was ready we entered the "surgery" and got the baby ready.  I laid her on an antique wooden hospital bed to undress her.  The nurse helped.  As we took off her socks, I saw a black spot.  It was a flea!  I was embarrassed, but she smiled and pinched it off.

When Dr. Peralta entered, things happened quickly.  Syringes with anesthesia were prepared and injected and a scalpel sliced into Esmeralda's tender flesh.  His fingers moved like lightening over the cyst, seeking out each connection.  Before I even noticed that he was done, the stitches were in and he was placing a dressing on the wound.  He asked me to get her dressed and step out to see him.  As the nurse and I dressed Esmeralda, I saw another spot.  "Flea?" I asked. "Ant. We sometimes get visitors."

Back in the exam room, Dr. Peralta gave instructions for Esmeralda's care and medications.  He gave a prescription for an injected medicine and gave samples of the others.  Then came the time I had been dreading.  I had to ask how much money was owed.  I knew I would have to pay later, but needed to know how much.  Dr. Peralta smiled.  "There's no charge.  I work for the state.  They will pay me for my services.  God Bless You."

As I drove home, I had a tear in my eye and heart.  We would have paid whatever was asked to get this child out of pain.  But God knew that there was a doctor in the arroyo whose job it was to help us.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday 5'er



Good Evening, friends.  This is Robin's Fiver for the second time in a row.  How consistent is that?  I'm still struggling to type, but trying to work around the hurt finger. 

Hi guys!!! 

It's Friday and it is time for what I call "THE 5'er!"     

If you want to play all you do is cut and paste these questions into your journal. (there is no deadline as to when you can do "The 5'er) When you have answered them come back and leave a link in my comment section.  On the following Friday I will post your links and a new set of questions! Have fun!


This weeks theme is...Birthday's! My birthday is just around the corner and those who know me well know I LOVE my birthday...everything about it.




1.  How many candles will be on your next birthday cake?

This one (Tuesday next) will be # 57.  I don't care about the candles, but I hope I get some yummy food.


2. If you get a birthday cake do you prefer butter cream frosting or the whipped?

I like traditional frostings, real smooth and creamy with lots of calories.


3. What was the best birthday present you ever got?

Gosh, I've had so many birthdays . . . well, let me think . . .on my 40th birthday, my kids gave me a surprise party and my son Robert gave me a beautiful collectible doll.  I still have her.  Cool gift.


4.  Has anyone ever thrown a surprise birthday party for you?  If so did you know about it or were you really surprised. If not, would you like for someone to throw you one?

As mentioned above, the kids gave me one when I was 40.  I don't remember any other surprises.  I must be kind of hard to surprise.


5. If you could be any age on your next birthday and have that age stick how old would you want to be?

I like my age. Each year has its own problems and joys.  I'd like my body to be younger, but I'd like to have the knowledge I have now. 


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Missing You

I am so tired of not being able to type an entry!  I wish I could blame it on AOL, Rob, Andrea or anything but ME!!  Unfortunately, I can't.  I'm at work right now and I have got to get something in here before I leave early today. 

As you know, I have been whining about my back for weeks.  It's enough better that I can sit a while at the computer.  Now there's something else.  Poor Rob . . . he has to put up with me.  As empathetic as he is . . . I know he's gotten tired of one thing after another going wrong with my body.

At first I thought this was a little thing.  I woke up Saturday morning with a sore fingertip.  I noticed a little red spot and thought perhaps something had bitten me.  By Saturday afternoon, it was more sore.  On Sunday, I covered it with Neosporin and a band-aid.  On Monday it was swollen.  I was whining about it, but did not want to go to the doctor for a bug bite.  Tuesday morning, it was more swollen and there was a red streak running down the top of my hand.  Rob says he told me to go to the doctor.  I must have had my selective hearing on, because I don't remember that.  At work, I showed it to my co-worker and she told me to call the doc right then and there.  I did and got in that afternoon. 

This is all well and good, except they gave me a monster shot, a prescription for oral antibiotics (HORSE PILLS!!) and asked me to come back 8 am Wednesday.  I did.  Another monster shot.  Now both sides of my ample following are very sore.  I had to go back this morning.  I am not pleased.

I have to go back this afternoon.  They are going to do a nerve block on my hand, cut my finger open and culture the area of the bite.  Nerve block translates to more shots.  I know it won't hurt after the numby medicine works, but getting the medicine in there is gonna be painful.  Have I whined enough?  I'm a bit scared, to tell the truth. 

And so, I am here at work typing without my right index finger, because it hurts to touch the keys with it.  I'm glad I have a few days off to recuperate.  I think I will need them.  I don't know how the wrapping will go after the "minor" surgery will go, but I'm not sure my right hand will want to play computer this weekend.  We'll see. 

I miss you guys.  I've been reading journals, commenting when I can and trying to make time to chat with you all.  Bear with me. 


Sunday, January 8, 2006

Robin's 5'er on Sunday Morning

I'm finally getting around to doing Robin's 5'er . . .better late than never, I say.  I LOVE POTATOES!!




Let's play!!!

This weeks theme is...potatoes. I don't know why...I am just thinking about them.


1.  When was the last time you had mashed potatoes?  Were they regular mashed potatoes or some kind of fancy version?

We had garlic mashed potatoes the other day.  I added sour cream and they were absolutely yummy!

2.  Do you grow your own veggies? Have a garden? If so are potatoes one of the things you grow?

Garden?  I kill silk plants.  I've never seen a potato come out of the ground.  I thought they grew in the store.

3. French fried you like natural cut fries, with skin still on or the McDonald's kind? 

Yes!  As long as they are crunchy, I love them.

4.  How about potato salad?  Do you like it? Have a family recipe you have used for  years?

I love potato salad the way my family makes it.  My mom had a special way of making it so that it was never dry and never boring.  The store bought stuff leaves something to be desired.

5.  Did you have a Mr. Potato head as a kid?  Ever purchased one for someone else's kid? 

Funny, I have played with Mr Potato, but never owned or bought one.  Even all those years with kids in Mexico we never had one.

Bonus question just cause I think potatoes are cool...did you ever put a potato in a glass jar with water and watch the roots grow in school. Like a science experiment?  And does anyone know what the purpose of that experiment is? 

I did do that experiment.  Don't remember why, but maybe it was a way for the teacher to keep us entertained for a while and out of her hair.  I know we all looked at its progress every day. . .

Friday, January 6, 2006

We've been tagged again!

Our "friends" over at Perish the Thought have tagged us again to tell 5 things that drive us crazy. There are probably more than 5, but I can't get Rob to participate more than this one:

1.  It drives me crazy when someone bothers me during my football games.  Tell me later . . . bleed later . . . leave my game alone!

Now mine:

2.  The idiot who races down the freeway, rides right up to my bumper, flashes his brights to have me move over when there's no room, then finds a way around only to pull in front of me and slow down.  You know this one.  Their relatives are in every state and country.  UGH!!

3.  I go nuts when someone comes into my room, stands two inches from my sleeping face and says "Hey, are you asleep?" I can never get back to sleep again.

4.  This one is about my beloved.  He's out there watching his football games and I climb into the sack, turn on my lights and TV and try to relax.  In he comes, footballed-out after 3 bowl games in one day . . ."Could you turn the lights down?  What are you watching? Can we watch something else?"  I love you, Rob, but it's time for me to OD on my stuff!

5.  The lady in her luxury car who can never pay her bill on time who parks in the fire lane to come in and complain about the late charges, gets ticked off at me because I tell her she can't park there and then begs to pay just $40 on her $350 bill.  We aren't the credit card company, lady!

There.  I've griped all I can without getting grouchy or bitter.  Thanks for the tag, Gull.  I don't know who has or has not done this.  I feel like I'm kind of out of the loop lately. 

Here's my suggestion:  If you haven't been tagged, please tag yourself and link back here to let me know you did it.  I know, it's the chicken way out, but geez, I'm lazy!

Love you all!  Penny with a little help from Rob

Good day to you all!  I'm at work and things are slow, so I thought I'd write up a quick journal entry.  I came to work wearing a long-sleeved turtleneck shirt with a black and brown layered on top.  I expected it to be cool as it has been the last few days.  WRONG!!  The turtleneck is cast aside and I'm still warm in this shirt. 

The sky is robin's egg blue without a cloud in my line of sight.  It's just noon time, so the sun is directly overhead and very bright.  The wind has been blowing pretty hard for 3 days and as I made my inspection of the property this morning, my hair was re-coiffed by Sir Northwind.  Little leaves and papers were skittering around like butterflies doing a dance in a whirl wind.  As the wind rushed to my ears it drowned out other sounds and there was a delicious moment of true freedom found.  Our trees out front are naked now except for one who stubbornly holds on to her few green leaves as if letting them go would steal her beauty.  The birds are playing in the updrafts.  Their outspread wings make no movement, they just glide and swoop majestically.  I wonder what that feels like?  The birds seem to love.  Man can go in a glider, but is still encumbered by wires and cloth. 

It's wonderful to sit here in the quiet and watch the world outside.  No phones, no noise, just the wind and my fingers ticking away at the keyboard.  I know the moment will pass and I will be required to work again.  But for now, this moment, it's all good.

Be blessed,

Thursday, January 5, 2006

I believe


Isn't this a pretty little setting?  Although my kitchen is red and white, not blue, I think the plants really make it neat!  I've got to figure out a way to get some in there now . . . without killing them.  I do NOT have a green thumb!  If it wants to live, Rob will have to care for it.  My plants cringe when they see me coming.

I have been trying desperately to get back to the computer.  I miss my laptop so much I can't believe it.  It's very difficult to sit in this chair (Rob even changed the chair for me) for more than a few minutes at a time.  My in-box looks like a super-model's must look!  I just got it under 500 for the first time in a week.  I guess I will have to just let go of some of the entries from a week before Christmas.  I just hate to miss the wonderful writings of my friends here in J-Land.

There are 11 days until my birthday.  I can't believe another year has passed. Each year I go to a retreat in January right around my birthday time.  It's a time to reflect on the past and also on the year ahead.  I write out and try to get rid of my griefs and disappointments from the year behind and set goals for myself in the year ahead.  I spend a lot of time talking to God and renew friendships from the 30 years I have been associated with this retreat.  My track record for consistency has been lacking most of my life, but this retreat and my  service to the Lord have given me hope that I can be a long-distance runner instead of a sprinter.  It's all possible because

I believe that the Lord's love is stronger than anything I have ever or will ever experience.

I believe that if I love Him with all my heart, I can be strong through whatever happens in this world.

I believe I am loved.

There's no better way for me!  My faith used to be contingent on what I thought God was doing, but years ago, some things happened that showed me without a doubt faith had to be based on the biblical passage from Hebrews 11 - things not seen (no quotes here, but it's Hebrews 11:1).  If I can believe in He whom I have not seen, then I can have faith, pure and simple.  Now I just believe and let the evidence come later.  It's so easy!  I pray, He answers, I let it go.  Praise His name!

I love you all today and hope to get caught up on your journals soon.  By the way, if you ever need prayer, let me know by e-mail and I will do so . . . or IM me and we'll pray together.  It's the very best I have to offer to you and to the Lord.

Be blessed today my friends,



Monday, January 2, 2006

I Got Tagged

My friend Natalie over at Interface tagged me to tell a few Wild or Wierd things about me.  I think the meme has taken on new life since it started going through J-Land.  I honestly didn't know if I really wanted to be tagged or not.  I'm really not wild anymore, but I do have a few wierd habits:

1.  No matter how hot it is, I have to be covered when I am in the bed - if only by a sheet . . . and no matter how cold it is, I can't wear socks in bed - my feet have to touch the sheet.

2.  I never wear a watch.  I have one in my car, but it bothers my wrist and I almost never know what time it is unless there is a clock visible.  I rarely oversleep.

3.  I have to force myself to drink water at home.  I drink it at work every day, but at home, it's Diet Coke or nothing.

4.  I would never leave home if I didn't have to. 

5.  I quit dying my hair so I could see how much gray I have.  My whole family went gray in their thirties . . .I probably have 10 gray hairs.  I'm a little disappointed.

I  know.  BORING!!!  To tell you the truth, it's a little fun to be boring after so many years away.  I have a boring job, too.  Very little stress and just one or two of us there at any given time.  Right up my alley.  If we never have another crisis, it will be too soon.

It's a silly entry for my first of 2006, but I wanted to make my presence known even if I still can't stay online very much.  I hope my laptop comes home soon.  I really, really miss it!  This chair is gonna kill me.

Blessings to you all my friends . . .