Remembrance Stones

So I don't forget all that God has done

Jacob’s Eagle Project April 6, 2011

Filed under: about me — dori @ 2:40 am
Today is my Jacob’s 17th birthday. And today, I’m so proud of my him, I can hardly stand it.!


Only about 2% of boys who enter the Boy Scouting program go on to earn the rank of Eagle. Jacob will soon be one of those accomplished few. One of the last steps to earn the rank is to organize a service project. Jacob has taken on an ambitious project to rebuild an inner-city play ground.

St. Malachi Center play ground. In need of being torn down and rebuilt.

The St. Malachi Center serves families and youths of the Near West Side Community in Cleveland.

Carl and Jacob taking some measurments

Another view of the play ground

A view from the St. Malachi neighborhood


In preparing for this project, so far Jacob has:

-made and designed a playground that will meet the needs of the St. Malachi Center.

-consulted with an architect, a builder and his dad about how to actually build his design.

-sought help from city councilman, Joe Cimperman. Mr. Cimperman has graciously arranged for a dumpster to delivered to St. Machachi’s for debris collection and removal. Free of charge!

-received a donation of used car, truck and tractor tires from Lakewood’s Marathon Station and tractor tires from a local business.

-found a local lumber business who will provide a significant discount and near free delivery. Thanks Cleveland Lumber!

-Commissioned a wonderful local artist and friend to help the neighborhood kids paint a functional mural for the playground.

-obtained a 20% discount on 30 cb yds. of playground quality mulch from Kurtz Brothers’ Landscaping.

-organized hundreds of hours of community help from fellow scouts, friends from his church and from the community.

-organized feeding all of the volunteers.

-reserved tool rentals and found people to borrow tools from.

-stayed within the budget he was provided, and has stretched that budget by comparative shopping, as well as securing discounts and donations.

And of course he’s done all of this under the authority and direction of both the leaders in his scout troop and the director of the St. Malachi after school program.

My delight is not so much that my Jacob has done all of the things above or even that this project will bring him to earn his Eagle. My delight is watching his spiritual gifts and his labors culminate as he makes a meaningful impact for Christ in this neighborhood.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Psalm 127:3


Call Me Crazy March 27, 2011

Filed under: about me — dori @ 10:43 pm

  Call me crazy, and I might have to agree.

I’m a mom of five kids. I’m homeschooling kids from 2nd-11th grade. Some days, just keeping up with math, laundry and dinner can seem impossible. So why, oh why am I going back to school now?

Well, I’m doing life a bit backwards. At twenty I married the love of my life and we’ve been raising a family since. When my youngest turns 18, I will not yet be 50. I will have a good 20 years to pour myself into something. I want to pour myself into nursing. A little crazy? Yes, but at first God’s plans often seem a little crazy to our callow,human minds.

In ten short years, she'll be nearly 17!

So, on Thursday I went to my first class. It’s humbling to walk into a classroom filled with students who are just a year or two older than my Jacob. And it’s awkward to tell people who have master’s degrees that I’m taking an English class at the community college. Stupid pride.

It is humbling to start again. And it will not be easy, I’m sure. I want this though. I want to do what God is calling me to do. Now that I’ve started, that I’ve set foot in the classroom, I want it so badly. I can taste it!

  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6


Last Time- Hopefully March 12, 2011

Filed under: Faith,j-pouch — dori @ 1:45 pm

Carl had a good night last night.  As I sit and write, he’s eating the first bites of food that he has eaten since Sunday.  He shed the awful hospital gown, and instead is wearing a t-shirt and comfy shorts.  And the pain pump will be taken down in just an hour or so.  Not bad progress for one day. And it’s only 11AM. 

These encouraging steps toward healing have allowed my heart to begin to think about him coming home.  All in all, Carl has spent some 54 days in the hospital, and has already had four sweet homecomings.  This one though is different.  

As I was walking the  all too familiar route to get a cup of coffee this morning, my mind was in prayer mode.  I’ve walked that path probably 100 times.  Past the nurses stations, to the elevator, down the hall, through the lobby, down a hall, turn, down another hall and to the cafeteria. And then back again. This time the path seemed a little different.

I was praying on this walk that it would be one of the last walks to that cafeteria. At least the last ones that I will make while my beloved is nine floors up in a hospital bed.  Of course it’s not so much the walk that I don’t want to face, but it’s what the walk represented to me this morning: Carl’s surguries.  I asked the Lord to allow this to truly be the last chapter in this valley for Carl.  When Carl comes home in a couple of days, I pray it will be for good.  No more extended stays at UH.  Please, Lord, give this gift to my Carl.


Grace Felt Here March 9, 2011

Filed under: Faith,j-pouch — dori @ 2:54 am

Yesterday we arrived at UH at 8am.  Around 11 Carl was called back to the pre-op area.  He was finally wheeled back to surgery a little after noon.  And the surgeon came  out to tell us that the surgery was finished a little before 4.  It all went well.  Praise Jesus.   We got settled into a room around 7:30.  It was a long day.

   The surgeon found no infection, and for this my heart is filled with praise. The hernias have been closed up with a biological mesh- a big piece of mesh.  It’s 30cm x 30 cm, and wraps all around his abdominal wall.  His incision is large, larger than any he has had before.  It extends from just below his sternum straight down to his pubic bone.  And although it is big- it is closed rather than left open to heal as most of his past ones have been. 

God’s grace is abundant here, and we are sensing His closeness.  Although I don’t like being here at the hospital, I am trying to take in the sweetness of the time to just sit with Carl. Sit and pray, pray and sit. 

“…my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;   for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”  Psalm 63:5-8

A little note Eli gave Daddy to take with him



One More Surgery February 21, 2011

Filed under: about me,Faith,j-pouch — dori @ 6:32 pm




On March 7th Carl will have his fifth major surgery in less than three years. His colectomy, mrsa infection, illeo-anal pouch construction and stoma take down surgery have left his abdominal wall in quite a mess. Without this surgery, Carl would be at risk for getting a strangulated hernia, which would be dangerous for anyone, but especially for him. He’s already short on intestinal tract; he can’t afford to give any up.

During the 3-4 hour surgery, the surgeon will go beneath the muscle wall and place a large piece of mesh (30cm x 30cm) there. Carl will spend about 5 days in the hospital, and will recover at home for up to six weeks. At Carl’s last appointment, the surgeon cautioned us to be prepared, that this surgery was as big, or bigger than any of Carl’s previous surgeries have been. In other words: don’t expect this to be an easy road.

It is a complex surgery. With Carl’s past mrsa history, infection is a serious risk and there’s a small risk that the bowel could be perforated during surgery. He’s been warned that it is a very painful recovery. 

 Carl is uncomfortable and ready to get this done with. He is fearful of the pain and the process, but he’s ready to feel stronger. I want this for him too. Still, I dread watching Carl go back to the OR…dread watching him struggle in pain and in the weakness that comes with healing. It all stings.

 The kids and I have been studying the names of God in school. Our look into who God is has been a comfort to us. Of all the names, I think my favorite right now is El Roi; God who sees. When the fear of what is coming begins to choke me, I am trying to remember that God sees my family. While he may not take all of the valleys away, He is watching over us and He is with us.

So she (Haggar) called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.’”  Genesis 16:13


Sweet Baby! February 5, 2011

Filed under: Birth Stories,Faith — dori @ 3:02 pm


Susan with my Caris- November 2006

For years- like six or more, my family, my mom and my sister and her family have been praying for my brother Mike, and his wife Sue to conceive a child. We all desperately wanted and needed another cousin!

On Christmas Day Mike and Sue told us that they were expecting!

And to this sweet niece or nephew of mine, I say-

Oh Little one , we’ve been waiting for you. Your dear life and breath is God’s tender to answer to countless prayers from hundreds and hundreds of God’s children. Your very life will always be a reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness. We love you baby. Jesus loves you…, so much.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.”

 Psalm 139:13-14


My Favorite Place December 27, 2010

Filed under: about me,sewing and artsy stuff — dori @ 7:24 pm


 If I have an hour to sit, think, pray and be by myself, this is where I want to go:  The Rodin Room at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

On the second floor, just outside the 1916 building is a large glass room filled with Rodin sculptures.  Even on a cold, cloudy day, the room seems to soak up sun and warmth of its rays.

From the bench at the back of the room, I can take in all of Rodin’s sculptures.  When I look past the masterpieces, I see the bustling campus of Case Western University, Severance Hal, Churches, and the lagoon. Just beyond all of that is the tall University Hospital Tower. (The same tower where Carl spent many days in post-op care.) No matter how busy the world is outside or how hectic life might be back at home, the Rodin room is peaceful and quiet. Here, despite the busyness outside and the handful of museum patrons walking past, I can find tranquillity and the needed space to think and pray.


Cleveland Museum of Art Rodin Room



 Sculpture reminds me of God’s unending and unlimited power.  As a human, try as Rodin might, he could never give his creations breath or spirit as God does.