Hail, hail, the gang's all here, Never mind the weather, here we are together; Hail, hail, the gang's all here, Sure we're glad that you're here, too!
Hello my sweet friends! So much has happened and so much time has passed since I last wrote you. Even though you didn’t know exactly what was going on, I can never thank you enough for the cards and notes you sent to me. ❤ Each time I read that you missed reading my posts…you hoped everything was all right…or that you were praying for me, meant so much to me and brightened my day. I’ll try to catch you up in this post of “what’s been going on”…then I have a darling “mock” tackle box to show you that is filled with gummy worms…Trolli frogs…Swedish Fish…and Sour Brite Crawlers. It’s a cute and whimsical favor to pass out after a summer day spent together with your family or friends.
Now, I’ll try to summarize “what’s been happening” since my last post. It’s been one health challenge after another since I had blood clots in both lungs, a year and 8 months ago. This year, when the doctor did a CT scan to see how my lungs were healing and progressing after having the blood clots, he saw some “shadows” he was concerned about on my thyroid.
Subsequently, I had 6 biopsy’s done on my thyroid, but thankfully the nodules the doctor was concerned about were all benign. However, he said I would need to have periodic tests done on my thyroid so he could watch for any unnatural, or rapid growth of the nodules.
Around that same time, I found a large lump in my forearm. My primary doctor didn’t like the look or feel of the lump, and ordered a MRI of my arm for a more detailed image. However, before the date of my scheduled MRI, I broke my arm and was in a cast for 7 weeks. They were still able to do the MRI (amazing technology!) even though my arm was in a cast and the pathologist diagnosed the results of the MRI and sent them to my doctor. After that, my records and the MRI were sent to 2 more orthopedic doctor’s until I was finally referred to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in benign and malignant musculoskeletal tumors. After examining my forearm, reviewing the pathologist’s report, and seeing the pictures of the mass, the surgeon felt certain I had a very rare and invasive form of cancer that is only found in .08 -4.5 cases per million persons, a year in the United States. He said as soon as possible, I needed to have biopsy.
After the surgeon’s diagnosis, Richard and I left his office a little dazed and overwhelmed, trying to process everything he’d told us. The gravity of it all started to sink in as my phone starting ringing in quick succession with different offices calling to schedule the pre-op…a co-vid test…an appointment to x-ray my arm and remove the cast…and the hospital scheduler calling to schedule the surgery. We felt as if the sands were sinking beneath our feet, but our anchor and faith in Jesus Christ “held” and we “Cast all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
We sent a text to our Pastor, our family, and our friend’s telling them what we had just learned. They all began praying and they contacted other friends and churches to ask them to pray, also. Our Pastor Jody sent out a text to our church and organized a special prayer meeting to be held for us.
The next evening our church family gathered together with us to pray that the results of the scalpel biopsy scheduled for the very next day would be negative, and for the Lord’s peace to be with us throughout the procedure and while we waited for the results. The outpouring of love and prayers physically and spiritually surrounded us, and we just put our trust wholly on the Lord and leaned on Him.
The next morning at 5:30, I went in for surgery. After I awoke from surgery, my arm was in a plaster splint and had to remain immobile for the next 12 days, wrapped from my finger tips, all the way to my upper arm, to keep it from moving, while we waited for the biopsy results…12 long days while we kept praying; we knew that no matter what the doctor told us, we trusted the Lord and knew He would be with us.
I can never praise the Lord enough for His endless mercy and care; the tumor in my arm was NOT malignant!
Prior to the biopsy, my doctor felt certain that the tumor was malignant and told us to be mentally prepared. After the biopsy results came back and he happily told us the tumor was benign, our relief was staggering; we were overcome with thankfulness and gratitude. After we got out of his office, Richard and I pulled out of the parking lot, found a quiet street, and parked the car. Richard and I joined hands, I wept, and we prayed together thanking the Lord for hearing our prayers.<3
Give me a moment, because I like to cry for joy. It’s so delicious, to cry for joy.Charles Dickens
I had to take some time and bask a while in thankfulness before I could settle my thoughts enough to try to write about it on my blog.
Even though the tumor in my forearm is benign, this type of tumor is still very rare and invasive and grows into the surrounding muscle and nerves; it has to be surgically removed since it is not sensitive to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. My surgeon who specializes in musculoskeletal tumors and another surgeon, a nerve specialist, are going to work together to remove the tumor and to repair the nerves that have been compressed and damaged by the tumor. Since the recovery is supposed to take about 4 months, I asked if I could wait until after our grand kids were back in school, and after Richard’s 240th Helicopter Assault Company reunion, in September. The doctor’s agreed and the surgery is scheduled for Thursday, September 30th.
In the “mean” time, and back to the shadows found on my thyroid…further testing showed that the shadows (nodules) on my thyroid have more than doubled in size in 3 months, so after the tumor surgery, I’ll need to have thyroid surgery, also.
We are trusting the Lord and know He will be with us every step of the way. You all have been so wonderful and caring. I’ll let you know when my thyroid surgery is scheduled and appreciate so much that I know you will be praying with us. ❤
In and amongst all these happening’s… it’s the last month of “sum-sum-summertime” and I have lots to tell you about our “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.”
Our first week of summer vacation began with the grand kids coming to the lake. The first fish of the season were caught…cannonballs off the dock were executed and measured for the biggest splash…and idyllic afternoons were spent eating watermelon, riding around in the golf cart, floating on rafts, and swinging in the hammock.
There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.F. Scott Fitzgerald
The next week, we all packed up and headed out on a family vacation to Branson, Missouri. PaPa and Grandma had reserved 2 condominiums right next to each other and the pathway between our 2 rooms was well trodden with visits from little ones (sweet and cuddly in their pj’s) and late night games of Chicken Foot.
Wonderful family days were spent together at Silver Dollar City Theme Park…riding golf carts down Lost Canyon Cave & Nature Trail…exploring the new Branson Aquarium at the Boardwalk…and playing arcade games and enjoying amusement rides at Uncle Buck’s Fun Mountain.
I hardly had time to get everything unpacked before it was time for the 4th of July weekend! Our daughter and grand daughter came on Friday; the rest of the gang…our son, daughter in law, our 2 other grand “babies”, my sister, and brother in law, all came on Saturday. It was a wonderful, made in heaven, one-of-a-kind, perfect day…from the “dawn’s early light” to the “twilight’s last gleaming” beginning with our Red, White, and Blue neighborhood parade.
Richard had festooned our golf cart with all kinds of 4th of July paraphernalia… pennants, flags, banners, spinners, and streamers were adhered to every surface of our golf cart.
Our youngest grand daughter had her own “float” all decorated for the parade. My heart melted when I saw Big Brother checking to see if all was in “working order” for his little sister, before the parade began. ❤
After the parade, everyone grabbed baskets I’d “premade” that were filled with ham & turkey wraps, grape clusters, individual containers of cucumber salad, chips, and Texas Avalanche Candy…
and we took our portable picnic out to the back patio.
The rest of the afternoon we spent lazily floating on the lake and pitching bean bags for our Family Corn Hole Competition.
At 5:00 “Thunder Over Cedar Creek” the annual air show that is performed over the lake began. It’s a spectacular show with aerial acrobatics, mock air fights, stunts, and maneuvers performed by fighter airplanes and jets, both private and military and we felt like kids at a circus watching it all while floating on our rafts, and sitting on the dock. Later, we enjoyed our dinner al fresco as we watched the evening shadows turn to beautiful twilight blue and the first fireworks were seen on the horizon.
Seemingly on cue, “at the twilight’s last gleaming” fireworks began exploding all over the lake. We hustled out to the dock for our front row seats, lit our pails of citronella candles, passed out glow-in-the-dark necklaces, lanyards, bracelets, wands, headbands, and American flags, and watched one of my favorite highlights of the year…“the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air.” ❤
Afterwards, we all came into the house and had a Family Prayer and Richard, our Master of Ceremony, and an excellent impromptu speaker ❤ gave an Award Speech for the Family Corn Hole Competition, which, by the way, was won by our daughter in law. The ostentatious family Corn Hole Trophy was passed on to her to be displayed proudly in their home, until it has to be brought back for next year’s competition. (: Incidentally, our son won the Family Easter Egg Hunt trophy, so now they have, and are displaying both of our family game trophies in their home! (:
We finished our day of celebration with desserts. Goodbye’s were said, hugs and kisses were given, and each person left with a little remembrance of our special day together at the lake…these darling little tackle boxes filled with candy “bait.”
Supplies needed for mini tackle box favors:
- 4.3″ x 2.8″ mini tackle boxes (I ordered mine from Amazon)
- mini bobber fishing floats (I ordered mine from Amazon)
- craft string (your choice of colors, I used red and white)
- hole puncher
- tag punch (if you don’t have a tag punch, you can buy pre-made tags in misc. colors on the paper aisle of your craft store, or make your own tag, using card stock colored paper, ruler, scissors, and a hole puncher)
- paper reinforcements
- stamp pad (I used Versa Fine Clair- black ink and gold ink)
- stamp block (I used a stamp of a sky rocket for the 4th of July)
Candy gummy fish, frogs, and worms I bought at Wal Mart and used to fill my fishing tackle boxes:
- Fill mini tackle box with gummy worms, fish, frogs, and crawlers and close
- Cut 24″ of craft string and center tackle box, facing upside down, over string
- Pull up both sides of string, over tackle box and cross strings, making a simple knot (like 1st step in tying shoelaces)
- Pull strings to the opposite of the box, one string on each side of the tackle box (like you are tying up a Christmas package)
- Turn tackle box over, bring strings together and tie another simple knot
- Make paper tag using paper punch…or use pre-made tags…or cut out your own tag using card stock
- Punch hole in top center of tag and adhere paper reinforcements over the punched hole on front and back side of tag
- Stamp image on paper tag
- Slip tag onto one string, and slide tag up to the simple knot on the front of the tackle box
- Finish tying the craft string into a bow, pulling gently to include the paper tag in the bow so the tag “dangles” from the knot and is held in place by the loops of the bow
- Attach a fishing bobber to the bow by pushing the little plunger on the top of the bobber down – a little metal hook will emerge from the bottom of the bobber
- Attach the tiny hook of the bobber to the craft string, near the center of the bow so the fishing bobber is attached above the tag for decoration
These favors were perfect for our summer day together at Cottage Green on the Lake, but they would also would be perfect for a child’s birthday party with a fishing theme…a Father’s Day favor…or a favor to pass out on a fishing trip or campout.
Click here to see #1 in the series “The Gang’s All Here” for How to Assemble Cutlery and Napkin Packages plus other tips and helps when “your gang” is over. (:
From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda
“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” Psalm 116:1-2
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! What a gift your prayers were to me when I desperately needed them. I feel like today I should ask you if there is anything going on in your life that you would like me to pray for, with you. It may be that you received a bad doctor report…or you are having trouble with your finances…or you would like prayers for your children’s protection in the new school year; whatever is going on, I would love to pray with you. You don’t even have to share any of the particular’s with me, if you don’t want to. The Bible says, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:8 That is a wonderful thing to think about…Your Father knows what you need. ❤ I don’t have to know…He Knows, but I can pray with you! If you don’t know the heavenly Father that I’m talking about…or you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ…or you felt sad and empty when you read the words I wrote, ” we knew that no matter what the doctor told us, we trusted the Lord and knew He would be with us” and you long to know the Lord like that. You can have that relationship with Him, too! That is the most important thing I could ever share and pray about, with you. Please don’t hesitate to write me today. If you want others to read your request and pray with us, write me in the comment section of this post. If you only want me to read your request, write me at CottageGreenOnTheLake@gmail.com