Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I've been tagged several times, so as to not be a loser, here goes:


Lived outside of Boston, Massachusetts
Began a church plant with my husband
Husband graduated with masters from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Was a visiting nurse - route included the Gloucester fishermen as seen in "A Perfect Storm" and Salem witches
Drove a green Honda Civic
Saw the Atlantic Ocean every day
Camped on the weekends in the White Mountains


Was just coming off birth control
Lived outside Buffalo, NY
Husband was a beloved assistant pastor at a mega church
Led worship
Was doing acute hemodialysis around town in various ICUs
Had a Newfoundland dog named Sailor and a retired seeing eye dog named Jay
Hiked all the time
Drove a Hundai station wagon with the two dogs in the back


Became pregnant with my third child
Moved to Chicagoland, IL
Husband is lead pastor
Drove a minivan
Gave my Newfoundland to my sister-in-law


Went to Dunkin Donuts
Went to Ikea with the entire family for 30 minutes total! Ha!
Did not shower
Drew on the doodlepad with my daughter for 30 minutes
Made faces at my 3-year old from the front seat and made him giggle
Breastfed, breastfed, breastfed


Come,Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Worthy, Worthy
Silent Night
All Mary Poppins songs
A Mighty Fortress is our God


Pay off all debt
Invest for kids' college tutition
Buy a second home in Vermont
Buy a live-in nanny for another set of hands




Anything orange-colored
Killer heels
I'd have to go with Peach on the whole tube top thing
A cowboy hat


Cell phone
CD player


Redeeming Love
The James Herriot series
Anne of Green Gables/Avonlea
Dancing with the Stars


Staring at each of my children
Being in the center of God's will
Working hard as a nurse and making a difference
Spending time with L, C, A, J.
Listening to my husband speak each week (his sermons are available on audio on our church's website)

There you go. Though possibly the most boring list ever composed, I have fulfilled my duty!!!!!!!! Good night!

Bath Time

Once a month Matt has an Elder's meeting at church. It starts around 5:30p and goes into the night... which means I'm doing the nighttime wind-down alone. Managing tubby time for three three and under can prove to be a challenge. Tonight things were rather comedic. I was running the bath upstairs and asked Izak, who just strolled up, if Libby was watching Kipper downstairs. He said warily, "Nnnooo." Strange, I thought, so I asked again, and again he said no. He was right. She was downstairs, locked in the bathroom doing a little pre-wash of her own. The toilet paper was all unrolled and wadded up, damp. She was soaked, her hair, her shirt, her blanket. There was very little water in the toilet bowl. As I put Blankie in the washer for a quick disinfecting wash, I decided not to think about what she'd been up to. Izak accidentally dumped a TON of bubble bath in the tub; it was a little like Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory when they're riding the psychedelic boat and getting belched on by the pipes full of bubbles. Actually, that whole scene used to freak me out, but the imagery was very similar. Rinsing off was tough, bubbles are sticky things, and it required several tries to get the shampoo out of the hair and not have those latent bubbles when the hair looks clean but is really still sudsy... I digress.

Then there's the baby, who I bathed first and let play (read: lay and stare at the ceiling) in the hallway. Generally we go right from the tub to nursing, so Mr. Boobie was quite put out that he was put to bed last.

The end of the day is one of the toughest for me. It's like my strength is waning, my resolve shaking... not.. quite.. sure I'll... make it... . Then, like the still after a storm, comes the most beautiful time of the 24 hour funny-farm -cycle - silence! Ah... the babies are all asleep! Usually Matt and I give one another a high-five and collapse on the couch until one or the other can utter an intelligible sentence... "Want popcorn?" "What's on tonight?" "Do you want the computer?"

Matt is usually at the helm during bath time. I'm eternally thankful for his strength and energy during that time of day. And I'm appreciating it even more as I realize that he does what I did tonight by himself twice every week since I'm working Wednesday and Saturday evenings. I dread the one or two nights a month that I have to do baths alone, and yet he never complains. I think he actually likes that goofy time of day.

Matt's a wonderful husband and dad. At the end of a long day it's not uncommon to hear me say to him, "If you're ever going to leave me, or run away and change your identity, or get really sick and end up hospitalized, could you please try to wait until after bath time?"

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Stands for really scary Valentine's! Really stupid Valentine's. Really sad Valentine's. Really (crappy) Valentine's! Well, the bug that I thought was influenza has turned out to be RSV. It started with Izak (3-yr old), and four days later the two younger ones (20 months, 4 months) began coughing. Monday, the 13th, I took both of them to the pediatrician and he did a quick RSV test on Levi - RSV positive. They also both have ear infections. So $200+ dollars later I have a slew of antibiotics, albuterol treatments with nebulizer for the wee one, a decongestant/antihistamine, and a battery of Tylenol and Ibuprofen. We spent Valentine's Day holding Libby, who wouldn't stop sobbing, flushed and feverish, and sucking boogers out of Levi to keep his tiny airway clear. God bless him, though, he still smiles amidst it all. Happy frickin' Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2006


My Uncle Laverne (yes, he is a he) is a survivor similar to the friend of Mr. Cheney. As a young man he, too, was quail hunting with an experienced (read "ancient") fellow hunter. One wrong move in a distant bush got his tail-end filled with lead. To this day he has pellets under his skin. Though I have to admit, the face... YOWZER!

I cannot begin to imagine what Saturday Night Live is going to do with this incident. Especially if you tweak the spelling to read "Quayle"...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The smallest Furr-muppet


One of the things I enjoy about getting out of the house is the new point of view it hands me. Life as a SAHM can be very limiting, IMO. Little issues become overwhelming mountains. Annoyances become obsessions. I think that down deep I struggle a little with obsessive-compulsive issues. I count things, like bottles and markers and sippy cups, and cannot rest unless I know where they all are at day's end. (I always have a list of things I'm looking for: it currently consists of a green sippy cup, a pink pacifier, and the round magnet out of Libby's doodlepad.) I put puzzles back together when the kids are in bed and over-organize the toys. Things may not be spotless, but at least I know where everything is. I always run the dishwasher at night, even if there are only 5 cups and 2 forks in it. All of the light switches in the house need to be off in their down position at the end of the day. It's like there's a certain pattern that things must travel in, and any deviation is a major distraction to me.

I noticed that this really worsened the longer I was away from my job. But upon returning I'm enjoying a reprieve from the compulsiveness of it all. It's like I'm able to get my nervous energy out at the hospital a few evenings a week, thereby breaking the behavior cycles at home. Giving a bath to a woman dying of cancer reminds me that though my children are sometimes struggling, at least they're with me. Holding burned babies in the ICU reminds me that though Libby's accident prone, a little bump or bruise is a minor thing. Taking care of a trauma patient reminds me that my family is blessed with safety and security every time we arrive home after a drive. Taking care of the belligerent post-op patient makes me think of the "difficult" people in my life, and how I'm glad they're not as out of control as the patient... and when they are, I can get away and not be liable for abandonment.

And the little things: toys, cups, dishes... they're just a tiny, tiny piece of the real puzzle.

Martin Luther used to say, "When I think too much of myself I go out and stare at the stars in Heaven. And when I feel very small, then I go to bed."


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Snow Day

Well, not exactly. My son is in bed with a fever and a nasty cough, so I called off work. It's never hard to call off in the moment because I know it's the right thing to do, but afterwards I get to thinking ($$$). This is a good thing, though. I've been running just to catch myself lately, as you can tell by my missing entries. I keep wondering if working the little that I do is a good idea. I have a peaceful, quiet, relatively simple life. I feel like is transfers directly to my kids, who are happy little critters. But as a friend said, "All home and no work makes Heidi a dull girl." It's the truth.

Matt and I had a funny moment the other day. I was watching him poke food into the garbage disposal with a wooden spoon. Careful, not too deep, I'm thinking, and I can just see splinters everywhere, but the words that come out of my mouth are, "Hey! Don't use the spoon! Use your fingers!"

My little sister, Kat, with Libby as a (chubby) baby Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Made for the Moment

I believe every person needs to experience the sense that, "Hey, I was made for this moment!" It brings with it a sense of identity, a sense of calling, purpose. Sometimes the real blessing is helping others see that they're living in that moment of greatness, that God is mighty in them where they are.

A person that lives in those kind of moments would be my little sister. Looking back over my blog, I realize I've mentioned precious little about Kat. This, by no means, indicates my lack of affection and admiration for my little sister... I think of her all the time. I just don't have the prominent issues tied to her like that of my handicapped sister. I live around Chicago. She lives around Pittsburgh. I have three little kids. She owns eight rental properties that she and her husband revive and make available to people who may not otherwise find housing. Kat has always found unique facets of ministry to excel at... real estate for the less fortunate, sign language so that she could involve herself with a deaf group of friends in Marion (she's very fluent, has even interpreted for the Governor of Michigan)... In reading this I see that Kat often puts herself between people and opportunity, and then manages somehow to pull them together. She champions the underdog, always believes the best, always strives to make a difference, always tells the truth. People should feel honored to be befriended by my sister.

Her "day job" is in cytology. Simply put, she looks at slides of tissue under microscopes, providing diagnostic insight into the condition - cancer and other various diseases. That's very simplistic. But she majors on the minors, looking to the cells for clues, putting herself between the disease and the ability to detect and fight it, joining the two sides together for many patients. Mom (an RN), Kat, and I (an RN with oncology background) have spent many an evening at the Bennett compound discussing cancer and other diseases and their peculiarities. She offers great knowledge on the pathological side, while Mom and I fill in the picture with what happens after diagnosis. (She also has more gruesome stories than I do, in regards to... tissue... and, well, I'll stop there.) I imagine there are a bunch of IWU grads out there, too, who owe Kat a big "thank you" for being the phenomenal lab assistant that she was in undergraduate. She's a great teacher. She's also involved in a tumor review board, which discusses recent cases at the hospital, their presentation, detection, treatment, and outcome. (Kat's probably cringing right now because I'm sure I've slaughtered the definition of a few things... not to mention she corrects my type-o's.) Kat's been interested in cancer and it's effects since junior high, when her best friend died of Ewing's sarcoma. Kat has always suffered from a delicate heart, finding a place to hide on the scientific side of the disease without having to confront the people she diagnoses, which, I'm sure she would agree, is just fine... until recently...

She went home with her husband to Marion, IN, for the Holidays. Her in-laws are kind, gentle folks. A lovely compliment to the Bennett insanity, in my opinion. Buddy, her FIL, wasn't looking well. He'd lost weight, was complaining of abdominal discomfort. Kat immediately jumped on the diagnostic train and began brain-storming with him, asking him about symptoms. She told me she didn't panic until he mentioned night-sweats, then she knew there was something very wrong. She began stretching her arms between the two worlds again, one hand towards medicine and it's diagnostics, and the other hand holding Buddy. The worst of news came - stage 4 cancer everywhere, the primary site being his eye - a rare choroid melanoma. I remember the first time we spoke about it over the phone. After hello, there was a long silence which was punctuated by crying and quiet sniffing... but at that moment I was overwhelmingly aware that Kat was made for that exact moment with her in-laws, that moment and the thousands to come, and I told her so. Cancer, as a crisis, brings out the real parts of people. Some fight, some deny, some make their lists and start checking it off. Kat would be third kind. She and her husband, Dave, bring their expertise in financial planning, expertise in the disease and health care, and their experience in being wonderful, honoring kids.

Kat, do not forget, though saddness will come, that God made you for this moment. You're bringing your best to the table for Buddy and Lois and the family. You are loving them well and doing an amazing job preparing them for one of the hardest stages of their lives. I am so proud of you.