Sunday, May 24, 2009

On the Inside Looking Out

I posted this on the website I created for my girls in teh youth group in the blog section, so I thought I would also put it here. . .

Right now I am sitting inside the Children's Hospital in Plano, Texas. My cousin Emilie has been in here for the past week or so because of various infections that have settled into a lymph node in her neck. . . Today is Sunday and they will be here until Tuesday when we will know if the anitbiotics are working or if surgery is needed! We are hoping the meds will do the trick and surgery wont need to happen, but her health is definitely first priority.

She is doing really well, in fact she hasn't stopped talking since we arrived. Her parents took a trip back to the house to shower, get clothes, check on dogs etc, and to have a much needed break. . . The hospital here is REALLY nice, and is exactly as the name says, for children! We are actually in the play room right now playing jinga. There are so many cool things to do inside this hospital, games, television, and a WONDERFUL cafeteria where you can definitely order ice cream for breakfast, almost like a kid's dream except for one small detail. . . she is here because she is sick.

As good as the hospital is, it isn't home and she still misses the comforts of her own house. She is not allowed to go outside, and must tell the nursing staff where she is going whenever she leaves the room. her dog isn't allowed in and friends can come visit her, but they can't stay the night necessarily, and there is a constant stream of nurses comign and checking vitals all night long. So much is uncertain here and it is hard.

I can sorta make this a comparision to life and situations I have experienced. We all go through phases, especially in our spiritual walk. I know personally I have my own struggles and dealings with sins that are appealing at the time, but not what God would have me to do, which can make me stagnent and take me out of God's will. I build these walls because this becomes a safe place for me. I ccould stay there, and not do anything to get out because lets face it, things are pretty good for me, nothing is going wrong, and life seems dandy, except for the fact I'm stuck. Eventually I will and do get tired of being trapped inside the walls I have built myself, and the outside, though a challenge and somewhat unknown, is looking better all the time. Because the outside is where I am MEANT to be, where I can let God be in control and drive me "home" to the center of His will. According to John 10:10 The devil comes to "steal, kill, and destroy", but Jesus comes so that we may have "life and have it abundantly." I don't know about you, but abundant life sounds way better than milk chocolate Blue Bell ice cream for breakfast any day!

Please continue to be in prayer for Emilie and her family, that the infection would get smaller and surgery would not be needed. Pray for rest and renewed strength for her family too, I know they are tired of being here as well!

Despite the odds she really is doing pretty good, though I know she is ready to be home, she misses her dog Coco! She is running around playing games and just having a good time!!! I am glad she really isn't in any pain and is tolerating things well! The staff and hosiptal envirionment does a great job at making this place not so scary and kid friendly, so that helps a ton! She certainly is the princess here right now, and righfully so! She is so funny, saying she would like to play a game and then "I would recommend 'Sorry!'". Welp I think we are leaving to go on a walk with her stuffed animals around the hall! Should be fun!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Just in Case

Just in case anyone is really concerned or wondering, Ellie is doing great! Poor thing was so happy to see us, it was definitely evident even though she was still pretty sedated and drugged up! As I said before the people there are wonderful! They just loved on her, complimented on what a well behaved and great dog she was, the whole nine yards! We ended up taking them a huge thing of paper towels and toilet paper as a donation, and they were soo grateful! The lady told us she said to the staff earlier "We are on our last 4 things of paper towels and that is it unless someone brings some in tonight!" I was so glad we could help and wished we coulda done more! They also helped us in so many more ways. They were able to give us an estimated age on her, 9 months to a year, which is younger than we thought (we were thinking at least a year and half), and thought she was a definitely a spaniel mix, springer spaniel to be exact (a lot of spaniel according to them). They also clipped her nails down for us for free, instead of the $10 charge!

Needless to say the poor girl had been through it. She has a sizable incision that they sutured up, and was also given 3 or so shots, plus tattooed, and had a heart worm blood test performed. To say she was sore would be the understatement of the century. The poor baby was walking so slow and easily it broke my heart! The sad thing is she didn't want to be away from us! When we ride in the car usually we put her in the back, but she ends up puting her front paws on the middle console, with her back feet on the back seat. She tried to do that, but we stopped her and I decided I would sit in the back with my baby. There was a baseball game for the high school going on in Longview, so we went by to watch that (after checking to see if that was ok). She had to walk down a TON of steps and it was sssoo sad, because it obviously hurt! We finally got her home and comfortable, and she has been recovering nicely. I think she is tired of laying down, but she can't run or do anything crazy for another 3 days. She wants to, and tries, but is still having to move pretty slowly! All in all it was a successful trip with good results!

This weekend for us is pretty stinking crazy! We have a Sunday school party tonight, Sonfest which is a concert all day thing that the Cliftones are playing at, youth breakfast Sunday morning, a senior service at the school Sunday night, and then Monday comes around! Yeah I know makes me dizzy just thinking about it!

I do just want to say Mark and I are incredibly blessed! So many people have come up and told us they are praying for us everyday, saying what a good job he is doing, encouraging and supporting us, it is just unreal! We really are loving it, but it is nice to know we have the support of parents and church members! People are so generous and for that we are ever grateful!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Time's just ticking away

Time seems to be just flying by here on this wonderful Tuesday at work. . . I am thinking about posting this and leaving! I got here a little later than normal, but didn't take a lunch, so will be able to get off earlier too! Gotta love life. . .

This week started off on a good, but sad note. We took Ellie yesterday to get her "fixed". There is this low cost spay nueter clinic in Longview that we were referred to by the pound. They were great people, everyone working there obviously LOVED animals and we think are doing this for little or no pay! It is $40-$60 or so to get your pet spayed or neutered which is really great! They can also give them all their vaccinations as well. Since we got Ellie from the pound, we got vouchers for most of these. One voucher covered the entire spaying, and another covered a rabies shot! Believe me this all adds up after a while, even with it being low cost! We still ended up paying around $65 in order to vaccinate her against distemper and bordetella, as well as get her tested for heart worms and get a 6 month supply of preventatives for that as well. They are in need of certain items, such as paper towels, old bath towels,rubbing alcohol, etc. Here is the link so you can look around and see what they are about and need Animal Protection League

Anways, we get there and there is already a decent size line of people with various kinds and sizes of cats and dogs. We wait our turn patiently, all the while getting asked what kind of dog she was and where we got her. They were all pretty surprised to hear she was from the pound. We kept getting compliments on how good and pretty she was. . . I felt like a proud mama =] We get up to sign her in and they come weigh her, and them comment to us on how sweet she is, which I agreed too, and then whoosh, she was taken back to the back! I was like well alright. We then figured out she had to stay overnight! I was like oh no! We didn't feed her anything all day because some friends told us when they took their dog, they weren't allowed to let her eat or drink the day of. Well now she can't eat or drink anything until tomorrow morning I think! I feel so bad, I don't want her to starve!! Anyway, just a worry of mine.

We went over to the next line to pay for the things they were doing to her, and I presented my humane society vouchers and you woulda thought I had handed her a diploma! She thanked me so much for choosing to adopt a dog! She was like "that is such a great thing, thank you so much for doing that! I am so happy you adopted your dog!" I felt so good, and it only confirmed the decision we made to do it!! So today we are going to go and pick her up. I'm so excited to see my baby girl. I hope she isn't hurting too badly. We shall see how she does!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dodge This

Well the dodge ball tournament was yesterday and it was a success!! I was so excited that several kids came that we hadn't seen before and everyone there really seemed to enjoy it! Mark did great at getting everything together and organizing it all! He even made the big sign himself and hung it up, which I thought was pretty creative. While the students were playing I was going around taking pictures and threatening everyone upon penalty of death if I got hit(need I say that I HATE dodgeball, terrifies me really!). All in all it was a totally great night and I hope the students enjoyed it as much as we did!

Right now I am at work trying to just stay awake and sane in the middle of scanning all of these files into the computer! It is nice to be in the airconditioning and all but sometimes I wish I was outside for just a little bit more in the day. Today is Wednesday and so that means church tonight! We are actually taking the kids to a community wide service in Hallsville called Downpour. It should be fun, and we will be able to see the students from the other churches we have been a part of the past couple of years there as well. All in all, should be exciting and a great experience I think.

I'm still currently trying to get a website up and running for the girls in the group. I have started one and updated it somewhat, but really want it to be a place the girls connect with and be interactive on. . . if anyone has any ideas please let me know them or feel free to offer suggestions. The site is so go and check it out and let me know if there is anything I can do differently. Well today is proving to be long and boring, so you might hear back from me!

Monday, May 11, 2009

So it begins. . .

Summer is now officially here for me!! Woohoo!! No more school until august! Isn't it wonderful?!?! Today I am sitting at work (with the internet yay!!)scanning my life away so I thought I would take a mini break and blog a little!

Last week I spent at home, partly because I was supposed to be gone that week to Mexico. . . However, the swine flu decided that week was the absolute best one to begin an epidemic and had us cancel our plans that took us a year to finally get nailed down. Now we are going to the Dominican Republic the last week in May and hoping no major illnesses that no one has ever heard of decide to outbreak! I kept saying to Mark all last week "I should be on a beach right now" when I was doing something a little less fun like cleaning the house and junk! Oh well, now I have something to look forward too and a week to relax before our summer kicks into high gear!

Speaking of summer being busy this coming up week is going to be a slightly more hectic one. On Tuesday we have a dodgeball tournament for anyone who wants to play. . . I think it starts at like 6 but don't quote me on that haha! So if you wanna come and get your dodgeball skills on, then HBC Tuesday night is the place to be! Then this Saturday is a lake day down at Lake O' The Pines! We are gonna leave at 9 and get back at 4! It should be a blast! I think I am going to be exhausted by this Sunday though!

Several other happenings have gone down in the Clifton household. One being Mark got his dream toy, a motorcycle, a Honda Shadow Spirit 750 that he was able to pay cash for!! He got a really awesome deal on a beautiful bike and is like totally in love now! He is taking a motorcycle safety course this week to prepare him for getting his license, and then oh goodness!! Well because he got that, I made a deal with him as well. For my toy I got an iphone!! Woohoo!! I now have internet at the house!!! I am totally stoked! It actually is going to turn out cheaper as well, because internet for the whole house is around $60 and up per month, while the iphone plan is just $30. So yeah, but now we are back to saving our money and all like before :-( haha!

Anyways, that is life as of right now! i am really missing my teacher friends though! I would love to all get together one time this summer for something!! I already told Traci, so this is for Lee Ann, two words: Road Trip!! All right, enough of my randomness!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bittersweet goodbyes

Well yesterday was a bittersweet wonderful day!! ETBU's graduation was yesterday, two of them to be exact. It was great being able to be there to celebrate with friends I have come to know so well, to stand up in honor of their accomplishments, to watch them take the step from one point of life into the next. I couldn't wait until it was over and I could find everyone and hug them. I found Chelsea first waiting on her family and then it was off to find the girls I had got to know so well over the past year. I looked outside and inside and couldn't find them anywhere!! I went up to mark distraught saying "I can't find my friends!" he looked around sense he is considerably taller than me and said "there's Traci, and Lee Ann is right beside her." I'm pretty sure I ran through two families taking pictures to reach them. When I did we all squealed and hugged, together for one more time. Pictures were taken (which will be uploaded later)and then it was time to go our seperate ways...

I pretty much am coming to the realization that college life is coming to an end. I am happy for those who are graduating but sad at what that means... College has been great, better than I could ever have imagined in fact, so knowing it's time for something different is taking some time. However life is good, more than I deserve really, I can't ask for much more than that.