Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Casady Blood Drive

Casady Blood Drive Thursday, December 11th - 7:30 - 12:30 @ the Woolsey Wing

Bennett mom teaches at the
 Casady Lower Division

Credit to Patient Blood Drive for Bennett Hanneman.  Blood donations credit will be offered to the Family of Bennett Hanneman to help defer the cost of blood needed by Bennett.

Each donor receives FREE: a Health Screening, and Donor Rewards Points

16 and 17 year olds need signed parental permission.

Weight requirement: 125 pounds if 16-17 years old.  110 if 18 or older.

Eat a good meal and drink plenty of liquids.  Have a good night sleep before you donate.

Caring Bridge post
Thursday afternoon, 12/4/14

The test dose of chemo went well Monday and we are ready for the real stuff today. There really wasn't much change in the lab work since the first test dose back in October. 

Over the past few days, they've started him on several meds for preventative purposes, mostly to help with potential side effects. He seems to be handling all of those fairly well at this point. His potassium level has been creeping lower over the past few days. It is low enough this morning that he needs a supplement later in the day. 

The real doses of chemo start this afternoob and go through SundayOn Saturday, he'll get the first dose another med to weaken his immune system. As I mentioned in my last post, the effects can be ugly! We are hoping and praying for the very best things to happen. In faith, we are trying to push fear away from us because the unknown feels rather scary! We pray the "Bennett factor" means the side effects are minimal and he will be as comfortable as possible!! He's done a great job letting the nurse swab his mouth to fend off the mouth sores. When he's finished, we all say a minty fresh "aaaahhhh!", which is directly opposite of the "BLEH!" he uses for something gross! 

He's doing an amazing job moving his leg without the cast! He's continued to want it covered with a light gauze but decided to trade that for a sock last night. He's a little sensitive to the seams on the socks so we go back and forth with the wrap. Please pray for him to become increasingly comfortable with this new situation and all the adaptations we'll make together. 

Thank you, THANK YOU for being here for us and with us through this journey! Your unending prayers mean the most but your actions have blessed us, too! Our yard has been tended beautifully to this point. Some friends came the past two nights to decorate his room for Christmas. It looks and feels so festive! I've had a few requests for the calendar link so here it is. https://mealtrain.com/o58v4 

More than ever, it is critical that you are healthy when you visit. On some days, it will be best to leave Sonic treats and yummy meals at the nurses station instead of coming into our room. Thank you for understanding and helping us keep Bennett as safe as possible! 

May the One who loves like crazy hold us close and heal our brave boy!

Day 3: Advent Botany

By Professor Carol on Dec 02, 2014 03:00 am
Bombarded by the vivid colors of our modern society (starting with images on computer screens), we easily lose our sense of nature’s colors. Advent gives us a chance to appreciate the beauty of the winterscape and to enjoy one of winter’s most enticing colors: the evergreen.
Holly Berries, Colin Smith (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Holly Berries, Colin Smith (CC BY-SA 2.0)
In particular, let’s consider two evergreens linked with Christmas: holly and ivy. We link them because of the song “The Holly and the Ivy.” But their relationship goes back even further.
Holly is in a category of evergreens that includes live oak and gymnosperms. These types are differentiated from conifers(hemlocks, cedars) and angiosperms, like eucalyptus.
Holly is perhaps the most famous evergreen associated with Christmas, but legends and myths about its powers stretch back thousands of years, especially in Celtic culture where Holly is linked to druid worship. Because of those associations, the early church fathers were reluctant to accept holly into the church as a decoration (a fate that also affected the Christmas tree).
Holly (Ilex) is a genus of more than 400 flowering plants in the familyaquifoliaceae. And while we know it mostly through sprigs woven into wreaths and placed around candles, it can grow into quite a large tree. Holly adapts to most soils and is a favorite of landscapersbecause it trims nicely into hedges. And that’s usually where most children encounter its prickly leaves! I know I did as a child in the Virginia mountains: it looked so pretty until, ouch, those thorns met my hands.
In Medieval and Renaissance times, holly was used as winter forage for livestock. Holly berries soften after winter freezes and become an important source of winter food for birds. Due to its thick foliage, birds find refuge in holly. Certain types of holly can be brewed for tea.
The wood of holly is dense and can be sanded to a smooth finish. Holly was a preferred wood for the spinning rod of the spinning wheel, as the threads would not catch.
So, we have a plant for all purposes. And that partly explains the affection people have for it.
What about holly within Christian tradition? First, the evergreen holly leaves symbolize life eternal, while the berries stand for Christ’s blood. Those prickly leaves recall the Crown of Thorns. Plus, there are legends that Christ’s cross was made of the wood from holly. Another legend tells how holly sprang up miraculously to hide the Holy Family.
Now, let’s think about ivy. Ivy is more straight-forward. It’s classified as a woody vine. Without question, English Ivy (hedera helix) is the most popular and among the sturdiest variants. It is an impressive climber, feeding up walls to towering heights. As desirable as it is in some landscaping situations, it’s considered an “invasive plant,” able to grow out of control and engulf areas, killing plants beneath it.
In Classical mythology, ivy was a sacred symbol to Bacchus, so you can see why, as with the Christmas tree, the early Church Fathers resisted its inclusion into patterns of Christian worship.
Children are bound to ask if “Christmas” ivy is related to poison ivy. Poison ivy is deciduous, and loses its leaves. The ivy of Christmastime is an evergreen. So, phew, it’s not like that poison ivy we strive to avoid!
Let’s return to the popular song “The Holly and the Ivy.” The text was collected by English ethnographer Cecil Sharpe (1857-1924). He spent decades collecting and publishing folklore that stretched back to Medieval times and earlier. The jaunty, four-part arrangement we often hear sung was created by Sir Henry Walford Davies (1869-1941).
Watch the Video

We commonly perceive “The Holly and the Ivy” as a Christmas text, especially with lines like these:
The holly bears a blossom as white as lily flower,And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to be our sweet Savior.
But, in fact, the relationship – indeed, the rivalry – of holly and ivy reaches beyond that. Holly and ivy vied to “rule the forest” in ancient European folklore. And in Medieval games and ceremonies, there were “contests” between holly, viewed as masculine, and ivy, seen as feminine. And so, holly-and-ivy songs and poems are frequently about this the male/female dynamic.
Depending on the text, holly would usually win the competition, but not always. In an old text called Ivy, Chief of Trees She Is, ivy comes out quite well:
Ivy is soft, and meek of speech,Against all woe she bringeth bliss;Happy is he that may her reach:Veni coronaberis.
Prickly, thorny, invasive, engulfing, and filled with layers of meaning – all of this plant business is sounding a bit ominous. And, yet, over time, holly and ivy have become standard symbols of Christmas. We may scratch our heads at our ancestors’ curious beliefs, but what would they say if they walked into a hobby store and saw rows of plastic holly and ivy? They’d definitely scratch their heads at that!
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