Xen Gel

Good morning!

I just spent the last couple of days in Oklahoma City. I had eye surgery. It was called Xen Gel. Xen Gel implant surgery to be exact. It sounds like a yoga move to me.

It involved putting this tiny stent in the back of my eyeball to drain it.

The joys of getting old. The joys of glaucoma.

But I have to say, if you’re going to have to have a disease, it’s one of the best to have. You don’t even know you have it. No aches no pains, only an eye doctor telling you when your eye pressures are too high. Or losing your peripheral vision or going blind, if it’s not detected or taken care of properly.

Unfortunately for me, drops don’t work. My eye pressures don’t stay where they should be. So I have had to experience several rounds of eye surgeries. This one’s the latest and greatest.

I have a great eye surgeon, Dr. Steven Sarkisian, at the Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City, that prays with me before each procedure. The doctor and anesthesiologist are both much younger men than I am, reminding me that I’m not getting any younger. I once was unsure of trusting the younger generation, but now I embrace the new procedures they bring to the table.

A dear friend came along with me as my driver. We used the hundred miles there as a time to catch up. I had told her it would be a girls’ road trip with a side surgery.

I did have some post surgery complications that cramped my style. Several hours with an extreme headache and nausea deterred our lunch plans, but after a call to the surgeon and a run to the nearest pharmacy, Zofran saved the day! I was good to go!

We were able to salvage our plans and end the day with a late dinner at Bricktown sitting outside on the patio at Zio’s enjoying a plate of Lavender Chicken under the lights by the water.

Complete with beginning our stroll by watching a young boy fall into the canal to be rescued by his family. And a homeless man digging in the trash for his dinner as we crossed the street to return to our car. We could have given him ours if we’d only known. Life.

I’ve been told by my surgeon that the surgery was a success. He sent me home the next day with antibiotic and steroid drops for healing and an appointment for a one-week check up next Friday. I passed my vision test with 20/30 vision in that left eye.

I’m thankful to God for the gift of sight. Something most of us take for granted. Not me. I’m thankful for all those friends and family out there that prayed for me. Especially my surgeon, who put me at ease before undergoing what could have been a stressful operation with his bent knee, held hand, and softly-spoken prayer. I’m thankful for that little stent. And those who created it. I’m thankful to my dear friend, Robyn, for accompanying me and taking care of me during this time. I’m thankful for my husband holding down the fort in my absence. I’m thankful for God’s perfect timing. For his providing that precious unborn infant my daughter is caring, to remain safely tucked away waiting for my return before he entered this world.

I am not blind. I can see. This beautiful world that God has created, and all that is in it. I hope you appreciate it as much as me.

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the lord loves the righteous. Psalm 145:8

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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Packing

Good morning!

Our school year is soon to draw to a close. I will be moving rooms. We will be undergoing construction this summer at Kendall-Whittier.

With that, there is packing. Packing up my own personal items in my classroom. My coffee pot, my pictures, my globe, my own books, my wall decorations, my Yeti cup for coffee and my water bottle, my candy jar that’s held treats for my students, my desk full of favorite pens and various supplies. And then there’s the curriculum to pack. Basically, my life for the past nine months. Away from home. My second family, so to speak.

My life at home is much the same. Much of our personal belongings are packed up in boxes as we undergo renovation, waiting to be unpacked in the appropriate rooms. The furniture, the pictures and artwork, the kitchen and all its various goods.

If you were to fill a box with your most treasured items, what would you include? If you only had one box.

Oftentimes we place our greatest value on things. That which we can box up. Pack away. Instead, we should place our value on living, breathing things. Relationships. Not just pretties to love. But things that are capable of loving us back.

Let’s all make our greatest investments in things that truly matter. Things that cannot be packed away. Lives. And leave the boxes for the classrooms to hold next year’s agendas for summer vacation.😎

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Matthew 6:19

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Blinded by the Light

Good morning!

I recently drove to Oklahoma City for an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

I was put through a battery of tests. One of them being pupil dilation.

When all was said and done, I was given a little pair of dark glasses to wear out to help my dilated eyes adjust to the bright light of outdoors. A widened or dilated pupil makes one’s eyes much more sensitive to light.

As I walked outside I was immediately brought back to a song from my past, Blinded by the Light. It was a very bright day outside, and the hour was about noon. All I could see was bright light.

Once I found my car, I put on my own sunglasses that were strategically tucked away inside my car, and I added my new little attractive pair on top of them. Perfect! That was just what I needed to make the 100 mile drive home. I certainly was not waiting the six hours for the dilation to wear off.

It reminded me of the story of Saul, soon to be, Paul.

Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” So I answered, who are you, Lord? And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting. Acts 22:6-8

Saul got up and opened his eyes, but could not see. For three days Saul was blinded. But what he saw from that day forward was the light. As Paul he became one of Jesus’ greatest followers.

God is light.

Let’s all see the light. No longer being blinded to things of this world that don’t matter.

And just in case that light is too bright for you to see, I’ve got a handy little pair of glasses I’d be glad to give you.😎

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Fat and Happy

Good morning!

Yesterday was my youngest, and very pregnant, daughter’s 25th birthday. I stopped by Nothing Bundt Cakes on my way home from work, and picked up a “bundlet”.

Or two. Or three. Or more. One for her and a different flavor for Andrew. She had to have birthday cake. And a bundtlet kind of reminded me of the bun in the oven she is presently sporting.

They’re delicious! And they are the perfect size! Little individually sized bundt cakes. And they come in a wide variety of flavors to choose from. She chose Red Velvet. He chose White Chocolate Raspberry.

Then there was my household. I couldn’t not think of my dear husband and father. After all, they do make a Chocolate Chip one that is gluten free. And my husband is gluten free. And Pecan Praline fit my dad’s tastes to a T.

So home I went with a bag of four little bundt cakes. First a stop at Maddee’s to deliver their two.

As I arrived, I took her two out of the sealed brown bag to run in to her. And to my surprise, there were not four little bundlets like I had purchased, but five! The sales lady went in back to get a Nothing Bundt Cake sticker to “seal” the bag and she snuck one in!

I had told her as I was ordering that I needed one for my daughter’s birthday. And Andrew. And Jayme. And dad. I can do the math. I teach it. One. Two. Three. FOUR.

And she said, “What about YOU?” I had told her I had gained too much weight this past year. Especially last week. With Teacher Appreciation Week. We were showered with food! I needed to pass.

I was so proud of myself for showing such will power. Such restraint. I love those little morsels. In every flavor! Lemon. Carrot. Marble. Vanilla. Strawberries and Cream. And Chocolate Chocolate Chip. I’ve tried them all! They were the birthday dessert of choice when I worked at Jenks West.

Well, there sat a Chocolate Chocolate Chip adorable little bundtlet, haunting me.

I put it in the frig with the two for my men. Both guys had theirs for dessert. The last I checked, mine was still camping out in the frig.

Fat and happy.

That’s me. 🎂😊

I’ll take it to work with me. With every intention of delivering it to someone dear to me at school. But God knows, I’ll most likely be the one to eat it. How can you resist? It’s chocolate! Who could resist one of those precious little things?!

We’ll see.

How about you? Could you resist? What’s your greatest temptation? What do you find irresistable?

I’ve got to resist. Lose weight. Eat less. (Desserts.) Exercise more. Fat and happy is not cutting it. I want just the happy.

So here goes. I’ve written it, so I now have to do it. God gave me a way out. I will deliver my little morsel of deliciousness to school and pass on the free gift to another. Share the wealth. I’m now held accountable. By all of you.

Don’t worry. I’ll keep you posted of its lucky recipient. I can assure you, it’s not going to be, fat and happy me! At least this time! 😉

And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10 :13

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Sub

Good Morning!

I hadn’t used a sick or personal day all year. Until Thursday.

Life always throws a curve ball. Just when you least expect it.

I had to take a sick day. To go to the doctor. In Oklahoma City. And now I have to take three more for surgery and post op appointments. Before school is out.

I had to get a sub. Not just any sub would do. I needed one that would follow my lesson plans for Thursday to a T. You see, I was in the middle of MAPS testing. I had completed reading and Thursday was the day we would begin testing in math. But I wouldn’t be there. A sub could not test. So I created the perfect lesson plan. We had missed our Writing Wednesday due to testing, so we would move it to Thursday. I typed up a writing exercise. Two to be exact. One for the mothers. After all, Sunday would be mother’s day. The other was for teachers. The 4th grade teachers that teach my students each day when they are not in my room. It was teacher appreciation week. I wanted to make sure they felt appreciated. By not just the community, but their students.

Ms. Biggs was my sub. She’s my favorite! She has history at Kendall -Whittier. She’s one of us. She used to be a para there, and she often subs at our school. I’ve worked with her, and I love her!

To Oklahoma City I went. With no worries. I knew she had it covered. I returned on Friday to three neat piles of papers on my desk. The personalized I love my mom because assignment. The what I’ve learned in your class this past year…teachers assignments and the math multiplication worksheets. Graded, no less!

Do you ever need a “sub” to take your place in life?

There is no other sub for our God. He is the one and only. He can’t be replaced by any other.

I’m thankful I have such awesome resources to fill in in my absence. But I’m more thankful that I serve a God that is the one and only God.

Here’s to all the subs out there! Thank you! It’s not an easy job, but certainly one we teachers appreciate.

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Mom

Good morning!

Today is Mother’s Day. The day we honor and celebrate our mothers. Past and present.

Unfortunately, mine is past.

But for my youngest daughter, hers is future. About to unfold. Any day.

Being a mother.

We hold life close to us in our innermost parts for nine months only to deliver a tiny life through the miracle of birth. We learn love like no other. It’s our nature to nurture. That’s how God made us.

Here’s to all the mothers in the world. From the past, the present, and those to come in the future. Without you, the world would not go round. You embrace, you instruct, you release. Always loving unconditionally.

Mothers. The perfect example to the world of God’s love. God’s creation. And God’s ever shining light on the world.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers! Enjoy your day! Today and every day, you make the world a better place. We love you!

Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has born? Isaiah 49:15

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Under Construction

Good morning!

As you know, my home is under renovation. In its final stages.

They are redoing the heat and air units and putting in and taking out some of the classroom walls at the school where I work this summer, so several of my ceiling tiles are removed.

It seems as if no matter where I turn, whether it’s home or school, my life is under construction.

It frustrates me at times. I’m not the most patient person. I want it done. Now.

But as I took my trip to Oklahoma City yedterday morning to visit the eye doctor, and it was just me and God, I had time to think about it. Perhaps the fact that the Turner Turnpike, that’s also under construction, to one lane with the speed limit of 50 miles an hour for much of the journey, had something to do with it.

Isn’t that what my life is all about? Aren’t we all always under construction as far as God is concerned?

Let’s all build strong foundations in Christ, so we can withstand whatever times in our life that we need to be under construction.

As I drove down Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City on the way to the Dean McGee Eye Institute, I passed the capitol. It looked strange without all the teachers there. So much more quiet and still since the last time I visited Oklahoma City. Just another piece of something in my life that was under construction. Our Capitol.

Let’s all see our lives as under construction. It’s all around us, and it’s within us. With Christ as our foundation. None of us are finished yet, this side of heaven anyway. Let’s learn to be patient as God works on us.

According to the grace of God which was given unto me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation and another is building on it, but each man must be careful how he builds on it. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

Love and laughter,

Sandy