Comic relief

Well, on Asgard, Thor doesn’t need to go to the doctor. But here on planet earth, that seems to be a lot of what the folks I love have been doing lately.

First of all, my 49-year-old sister, Lisa, had a minor heart on 5/1. She’s recovering quickly, thank God; but as it turns out, her cardiac issues (plaque build up in the arteries) are hereditary and apparently run in my mom’s side of the family.

This is news to us, though, ’cause my mother is adopted and knows pretty much nothing about her bio family, least of which, medical history. So we’re just now starting to figure out all this heart stuff.

Houston hangs out w/ Norse god, Thor, & his mighty hammer, Mjölnir, @ Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 4.

And then yesterday, my 46-year-old sister, Dina, had to be rushed to the hospital due to an intense dizzy spell. She has been known to have these alarming episodes on occasion, and again, thank the Lord, she is doing well now.

All these scares are beginning to freak me out, with all my weird, random health issues and the extra 40 pounds I’m lugging around. I’d better get into shape soon — then again, my genetics may be such that I should live it up while I’m still able. Ain’t that a pickle?!

Speaking of genes, Houston has inherited sleep apnea from Daddy, Grumps and Papa. As mentioned in the 3/30 blog, Houston has visited an ENT to check out his enlargened adenoids and tonsils, and we have since determined that he has minor case of the sleep disorder.

Gabriel, who confidently filled the role of Ladies’ Man @ Acme Comics’ biggest annual event, poses w/ a friendly Black Widow.

So, we finally decided to move forward with Houston’s surgery (removal of the aforementioned lymphoids), which is scheduled for 5/20. We’re not taking this procedure lightly, but we do think it is in Houston’s best interest to try to remedy his maladies while he’s young and while we still have access to quality healthcare.

Then during a routine dental cleaning on 5/6, I found out I need to have an old, stained filling repaired, as well as a tiny hole filled in one of my top incisors. That imperfection has been present for who knows how long … probably dates back to my days on Dead tour.

While I’m at my upcoming appointment, I’m going to get an updated cast made of my teeth so the doc can construct a new and improved night guard for me. Turns out, I do have slight TMJ, which is certainly a contributor to those bizarre, surging head pains I was getting a while back.

Houston & Daddy stand w/ Thanos, the Mutant Eternal & carrier of the Deviant’s gene. Like Thanos, Houston has some (sleep apnea) gene issues, so please keep him in your prayers during his adenoid/tonsil removal on 5/20.

The custom-fit mouth piece with TMJ-specifications will replace my five-year-old guard and should help in limiting the negative effects of my severe nighttime teeth grinding. I hope I won’t have to have any major dental work done for a while. Man, getting old’s lame.

We’ve been visiting a new church since early April. We love Westover and have grown spiritually in our near two years there, but I felt the need to test the waters at some of our city’s other wonderful houses of worship, namely a small, but vibrant church called Mercy Hill.

Stephen has been supportive of my yearning to seek out a church that it just a bit more personal, but steadfast in his loyalty to Westover, which did a great job of reaching out to our family. It’s just we never felt 100% connected there — really a daunting task for any church as large and populated as Westover.

Even though the Joker was lurking around, Gabriel & Zeke feel safe in the presence of the Dark Knight himself, Batman.

Mercy Hill is a new church plant, not even a year old. Theologically, it’s on the same page as Westover: an unapologetic and passionate gospel-centered church. But something about the energy at Mercy Hill is contagious.

We’re still not sure what we’re going to do yet. Westover is wonderful, especially the pastor and the children’s ministries. But Mercy Hill also has a great pastor and growing Sunday-school program for kids.

I just feel like we might be able to get plugged into a small Bible study and/or accountability community group a bit easier at Mercy Hill. Either way, we’re going to end up at a phenomenal church and we’re blessed to have such exceptional choices in our our neck of the woods.

Granny & Obi-Wan Kenobi (& a grinning Uncle Greg peeking between the two) make the most of the long line while waiting for this year’s free comic-book stash.

We opted to attend Mercy Hill today. For one, Stephen and I stayed up late last night and Westover has a morning services, whereas Mercy Hill has one in the evening. Second, Houston wanted to turn in his “Blessings Journal.”

Houston’s Mercy Hill homework was to write down (daily for one week) things for which he is thankful. Here are the results:

  1. Gabe and Zeke
  2. Asher
  3. Piano
  4. God
  5. Kara
  6. Mom and Dad
  7. Homeschooling

Tony Stark (looking dashing, as always) & me (blinking in a photo, as always) enjoy a sunny day @ Acme Comics. Hey, maybe Iron Man can build a device to help me keep my eyes open during pictures.

Noticeably, God didn’t place first. Hmm. And then on the sixth day, Houston’s original choice was “dairy farms.” I had been patient up till then, but c’mon … I’m not going to let my kid’s love of milk outweigh what should be a grateful attitude toward loving parents.

Thankfully, Daddy softened Houston’s occasional hard heart toward school and gently inspired him into choosing #7 as my Mother’s Day gift. Stephen says it was totally Houston’s choice, but I appreciate you planting the seed, baby!

The other gift I want is for the 3 Amigos to learn to say “ma’am” as habit. We’ve been working on the sir-ma’am thing for a long time now, so it’s high time the boys exhibit at least the bare minimum of manners as second nature. We’re making progress, but we’re not there yet.

Gabriel & Houston are pretty worn out from the day’s zaniness, whereas Zeke is just getting rolling here in this pose w/ Iron Man. See, Zeke was bummed about Spidey not being @ the event, so he didn’t really get into the groove till late in the day.

Stephen treated me like a queen all weekend. First, he took me out for a date night on Friday, while Jessie babysat the 3 Amigos. I had a delightful time with my hubby, enjoying a nice dinner downtown and a few drinks, while the dudes had good times with Miss J, who they hadn’t seen since March.

Then late last night, Stephen began cooking me my Mother’s Day feast: smoked pork-butt, chicken and potatoes. Sure, he had to start smoking the BBQ at 2 a.m., but hey, I’m worth it! Seriously, thanks for a memorable dinner with the family, Beeler!

Gramsey and Papa couldn’t make it to Grumps’ memorial, so they came to visit the day we got back from the mountains. The dudes were really excited to see them, so that helped them out in transitioning back to “normal life” around the home, and also gave Stephen and me a much-needed break.

Gabriel, who is a MAJOR fan Captain America fan, is on cloud nine when he gets to hold the original Avenger’s mighty shield.

Then after Gramsey and Papa hit the road the next day, Miss Christie took the boys for a few hours to give Stephen and me a chance to unwind from all hectic happenings of that past week. It’s great to have such wonderful family and friends … thanks, y’all!

Late April also offered up an evening with Lisa Bailey, who is the CC state manager. It was an informal pep talk for the moms in my CC community. Lisa talked about practical ways to  keep up with summer homeschooling and our all-around classical education goals. Never hurts to take part in a little motivational therapy!

Houston went to a piano party at Miss Julie’s on 5/3. It was a students-only affair and I didn’t have anyone to watch the twins, so I urged an apprehensive Houston to attend solo. His teacher assured me that she would make him feel right at home and mentioned the fact that Mikey, a CC buddy, was also going to be at the party.

Houston compares his biceps to no other than the green giant himself, the Incredible Hulk.

Turns out, Houston had a blast and didn’t want to leave when we came to pick him up. Julie says he was even one of the first kids to volunteer to play a couple pieces of music, regardless of the fact that he’s only had a few lessons … so much for unsocialized homeschoolers, eh?!

At a recent used-curriculum sale, I ran into Kim, the former midwife who just so happens to be the one who birthed Houston into the world. I knew she was a homeschool mom from a prior but brief CC encounter; but this event actually gave us a chance to chat, so of course, we talked about that momentous moment nearly six years ago.

Funny thing is Kim’s most vivid memory wasn’t my horrendous 34-hour labor and delivery or Houston’s beautiful newborn gaze; rather, it was Granny and the Texas dirt we put under the bed. Granny does have a way of leaving an impression on people … classic.

So on that note, happy Mother’s Day to all you uniquely awesome mamas!