"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

December 31, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

Did you catch this story on the news about the Canadian airline that gave each and every passenger what they were wishing for for Christmas? It is the sweetest story! You've got to see it!
You can watch it here.
Here's what I think will preach: ; )
One man asked the virtual Santa for only socks and underwear but another couple asked for a giant screen TV. Everyone got what they asked for! The TV was so large they couldn't put it on the luggage belt.
What are you asking and believing God for in prayer? Don't give up and do go big. Are you asking for the salvation of your family members? Miraculous healing of your body? Provision? Better employment?
Have faith and keep asking.
Don't be the 'socks and underwear guy' because it doesn't take any faith to believe for those things. Keep asking for the things that only God can bring about and then give Him the praise when He answers.

Hebrews 11:6  "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.…"

Luke 11:12 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

Luke 1:37  "For nothing is impossible with God."


December 29, 2014

The family band reunited

 When Hubby found out he had cancer, he decided that Switchfoot's song 'Hello Hurricane' was going to be our family's anthem for this 'storm.'
No matter what hits us, nothing is going to "silence our love." Amen!

So, we put it on the calendar that the 'family band' would play it together on the Saturday after Christmas, so that Nathan would be here.
(by the way, the boys are not fans of the phrase 'family band' LOL but that's what we called it when they were little!) : )  Please, excuse the messy bedroom!

They sounded SOOO good! What a talented bunch!

These lines choke me up EVERY time! 

 "Every thing I have I count as loss  
Everything I have is stripped away 
                  Before I started building 
                 I counted up these costs 
                 There's nothing left for you to take away 

                  Hello hurricane 
                  You're not enough 
                  Hello hurricane 
                  You can't silence my love"

Hubby's day made! Dream come true to play and sing this song together. It completely wore him out, but it was so worth it!

He has a GREAT voice and I'm praying hard that surgery doesn't change it! 


December 27, 2014


Christmas was so much fun! 
It didn't exactly start out that way though.
We found out on Christmas Eve morning that the airline that Nathan was flying on had changed the flight time and departing airport....and he missed his flight.

We were so terribly sad. 
A good reminder that Christmas isn't about my kids coming...
but the fact that Jesus came! : ) 

A huge box arrived from my sister, filled with all the makings for a fantastic family game night! Lots of 'healthy' munchies and two games! She always wins for the most thoughtful gift giver! 

Joy and I did some festive baking! 

The annual Christmas Eve service at our church was amazing as always! Such a blessing! And Andrew was a part of it this year. There was a jazzy number where he pretended to play a trombone and made it look pretty real!) It was a really fun night. 

Then we headed home and Hubby made everyone filet mignon and Zac made fettuccine. Yum!

Since our kids aren't little anymore, we have to WAKE them up on Christmas Day. ; ) 

As you can see, it was tons of fun!

 We decided to postpone the "Reindeer games" until Nathan could join in.
 We had a nice Christmas dinner. Joy learned how to make Grandmum's deviled eggs and she made a caprese salad which one of the ladies at church taught her how to make. Yum!
We see a movie on Christmas night every year and this year we were smart and bought our tickets ahead of time!!! -Because, the whole world has the exact same tradition! : )

We were blessed to have these two precious young people join us! They are a such a blessing to our church and a constant encouragement to our kids in their walk with the Lord. Love them all to pieces!

We saw Night at the Museum 3. So much fun! 

And then.....

 Nathan finally made it! Whoo-hoo!!!
Soooooo happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             Then we ate dessert and played games.

Reverse Charades was CRAZY fun and full of action! I'm not sure when I've laughed so hard!

Hubby is acting out 'bed head' LOL
 Merry Christmas to all and to all a good-night!


December 24, 2014

December 22, 2014

Scans and such

Thursday we got the results from the scans Hubby had done last week and the surgery is on.
It is called an esophagectomy and it is the best way to make sure that he is cancer free, for good.

I broke down and cried when the nurse described how the operation would take 6-9 hours! I couldn't stop crying actually.(that's much longer than they had originally said) And then she asked if I needed to see a social worker (LOL)
and I got it together! ; ) Surely, I'm not the first person to cry at a cancer center, good grief!

He'll be in the hospital longer than we thought. Between 9-12 days! Goodness!
They didn't really have any statistics on how someone his age will do because he's so young. Most patients who have this done are 20+ years older than he is, are obese or smokers and have heart issues and this is just ONE of their problems. All that to say, that because of his age and good health, they expect him to do really well. PTL!

After the appointment, we headed to Chick-fil-A for some "Jesus chicken." (we heard that in a sermon illustration the other day and it makes me laugh) And I made sure to order a peppermint chocolate shake to drowned my sorrows in.

Then Hubby wanted to do something fun to take our minds off of it all, so we decided it was a good evening to use our free Busch Garden passes to enjoy Christmas Town. We were going to go last week but it was only about 48 degrees that night and we didn't want to freeze. We were planning to rent Hubby a wheelchair, but it is amazing what difference a week makes! He didn't need one tonight! Whoo hoo! It was a fun family night and he had the strength to do a lot of walking. Just amazing!

Our sweet church family prayed for us on Sunday and I think we've both had a breakthrough over fear of it all. He's glad that he can enjoy this Christmas and all the fun distractions it offers. Not to mention, eat anything he wants up til the big day. Yay!

 The surgery will take place on Zac's birthday, which he says "really stinks."
Hopefully, I will remember to run down to the cafeteria and buy him a cupcake or something to show him we haven't forgotten. : ) Although, we will be celebrating it a few days early while Nathan is still with us for Christmas.

We are starting to look at all the positives to having the surgery and are becoming thankful for it. It was not easy at first.
One positive being, if your stomach is your esophagus, you are guaranteed to be thin for the rest of your life! LOL The other good thing, is that this whole trial will be over soon. He will be all recovered by the end of February and he can lift heavy items, like ladders again, by the end of March.

The more people who hear about the surgery, the more who say they want to be there. How sweet is that!?
 And hopefully, I can hold it together so that no one sends for a social worker! ; )


December 17, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

Some comforting words from the book of Zephaniah:

"The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One,
will save you,
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."

Love that He's in our midst!
May His love quiet your soul and may His song be in your heart today!


December 15, 2014

Happy update

It is a big day for us because it is Hubby's first day back to work!!! PTL!
(light-duty work, of course)
It has been exciting to see the Lord restoring his strength. The chemo and radiation treatments ended 6 weeks ago.
We were just sure that he would be back to work 2 weeks after treatments ended, which just goes to show how cute and naive we were about all that his body would go through and all that his body would have to recover from!!! Crazy!
 But he's slowly regaining his strength and he's on his way! Whoo-hoo!!!
There were 3 very hard and horrible weeks in the midst of treatments, where everything is kind of a blur in my mind now, and I think like it that way. LOL But I know he wasn't able to work during those weeks and maybe even the week before those three. -All that to say, I think it has been at least 9 weeks since he has been able to work.
has provided for us in every way! We are just so humbled and in awe of God's amazing provision! We have not lacked for any good thing. ~Psalm 34:10 "The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing."

We will be at the cancer center on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for tests and scans.
We are praying for some GOOD news and believing God that the surgery on Jan. 5th will not be
But either way, we are glad that it won't effect our Christmas! Yay!

If he has the surgery, it will take 4 hours and require a 7-10 day hospital stay with the first night being in the ICU. He will have part of his esophagus and possibly his stomach removed. Or they may replace his whole esophagus with his stomach or his colon. (that's a little hard to wrap my mind around!) He won't be released from the hospital until he relearns how to eat.
His voice may change. (boo-hoo)
He'll be out of work for at least a month to recover and may not be able to do any heavy lifting for months after that. He will have to eat small meals, 6 times a day for the rest of his life and let his food digest for 30 minutes before ever laying down, or he will throw up.

I'm sure you can see why we'd love to avoid all of this all together!!!!
Everyone we know if praying for this, and we are so thankful!!!!
"For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37

But, if we do have to go through this, we know that He is with us.


December 13, 2014

Lead guitar

In the excitement of everything that has been going on, I haven't had a chance to post about Andrew's night as lead guitarist for the youth group's worship band. And the fact that Hubby made it out to watch!
He usually plays the bass, but guitar is his favorite!

Hubby decided he was going and it became his second outing after the treatments ended! -So, glad he had the strength! It was an awesome night and such a powerful service.


December 11, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word (on Thursday)

I didn't realize how awesome Habakkuk was (or how to spell his name) until the other day. :)
Despite everything going wrong in his natural circumstances he decides to 'joy in God.' Joy as a verb is means 'spinning around with intense emotion.'
His fellowship with God is worth leaping for joy over no matter what! Amen!

"Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines,
Though the labor of the olive may fail and the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls-

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
Hab. 3:17-18

Let's 'joy in God' today.
And try not to let all the spinning make you dizzy. :-)


December 9, 2014

Our Christmas photo shoot

Yesterday we took some family Christmas photos!  
  Nathan brought his camera and tripod with him and he made this magic happen! (Thanks, Nate!)

It was a crazy, mad rush to pull them off  during a break in the rain before the sun set. I really wanted to do at least one silly, fun shot with Christmasy props.
The boys took some convincing and then we did some trading around of props until everybody was happy and it all came together! And look, even our dog cooperated! : )

Our  babies!

 Right before we took the pictures, we got news from the hospital that Hubby's surgery is scheduled for January 5th. That threw us all for a loop. We thought that the scans they are doing on the 17th would determine whether or not he still needed the surgery...
We are still praying and believing that the surgery won't be necessary,
and in the mean time,
may this picture always remind us not to let anything steal our joy!!!
Because "the joy of the Lord is our strength!" : )

Merry Christmas!


December 8, 2014

The birthday bashes

We had a great time on Saturday night celebrating Nathan's birthday with a bunch of his wonderful friends!

There was lots of ping pong playing, and a little snowman building

Thank you, Joy for painting Olaf on the chalkboard for me!

and eating and a bonfire with s'mores.

We all took turns filming quick birthday messages for him to take back to CA. (his actual birthday is on Thursday)

Thanks for being our cameraman, Andrew!

Then Sunday, was Hubby's birthday!
He was actually able to go to church and teach his Sunday School class! It was awesome!
We headed home right after class though because that took all of his energy. But we streamed the worship service from home. (gotta love technology!)
By the time the kids got out of church, he was rested up and we met them for lunch at one of our family's favorite restaurants.

It was soooo fun to have the whole family together to celebrate him!  And so wonderful that he was feeling so well! What a blessing!!!

Zac's girlfriend, Tiffany also joined us! Love you, Tiff!

Our family is very blessed and thankful for all the men who were born this week!
My father, my Hubby's father, my sweet Hubby and Nathan!
Four wonderful men!: )
And what a blessing they are to all of us!


December 4, 2014

December 3, 2014


Tonight is the night our son, Nathan, arrives and we can't wait!!!
The plane ticket was a gift from his precious church family so that he can see his dad!
I'm so glad that Hubby is doing so much better. He was concerned he wouldn't be able to talk to Nate, but thankfully, talking isn't painful anymore. He's 'still weak as a little girl' he says but he is improving! I'm also thankful that Nathan gets to see him doing this well. Our other kids experienced a lot pain seeing Dad suffer and I'm glad he didn't go through that. It was rough.

Such a thoughtful gift!!!

Nathan is also coming home for Christmas!

So blessed that we will get to see him a lot this month! :-)


December 1, 2014

Ahhh! Advent already!

It hit me after we got home from church last night, that it was the first night of Advent! Already!

We made reading an Advent/Christmas devotional book nightly, a family tradition years ago to help us keep focused on 'the reason for the season.'

Way back when it seemed crazy to get out our china tea cups and hand them to little kids. -But we wanted them to sense how special this season is. The sweets were a way to motivate 4 wiggly kids to listen. :-)  And still their favorite part of it today.

Way back when they would fight over who got to blow out the candles when we finished. -And who will ever forget the time when one little girl blew harder than one little guy and hot wax splattered on his face.
Way back when every seat in the living room was
full. -Now there are just usually two kids around to do it with.

Sometimes we start out with good intentions in the beginning of December and then things get crazy busy and we don't finish whatever the book is we are reading but that's OK.

The book we are reading this year is: The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. She has such a poetic way with words! Love her!

Last year, when Hubby and our youngest two were all away on trips, and I had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with, I cut out the 25 ornaments that go with each devotion. So, I thought we were all ready to start.
Then, last night I remembered that you are suppose to make a "Jesse Tree" out of a branch to go with the study of Christ's genealogy! (a family tree of His family tree, so to speak)
And this explains why I was outside at 9:30 PM cutting dead branches off a tree! As luck would have it, my neighbors across the street were sitting outside! So, they may think I'm a little crazy now, for pruning in the dark and I can't blame them. ; )

But, here it is!

We pulled off night number one.

Hubby was feeling pretty light-headed so he couldn't join us.

 Here's hoping we read all 25 devotions this year!