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

September 30, 2014

So sweet!

Whenever this young man is around, 
all doors are opened for me and I don't have anything to carry other than my purse!!! : ) 

He's such a sweetheart! 

Hubby taught him well!
Love you, Andrew!


September 29, 2014

A new love for the weekends

Friday night we had a 'radiation date' and a trip to the infusion center to have the chemo pump taken off! Hooray!
Usually Hubby only wants chicken noodle soup for dinner after radiation, but he was actually craving pizza, so we took the kids out to our favorite local place, (which we've been going to since Zac needed a high chair) and we had a fun time. Bless his heart, it wore him out though.

 Our new plan is to let Hubby eat anything that appeals to him so that he can keep up his strength.The other day he said, 'When you are in the life raft, you eat the Spam.' ; )  (or pizza!)

He doesn't have chemo or radiation on the weekends and it was awesome! There were times when he felt like his pre-cancer self. Yay! So, we'll be counting down the days til Friday!

Tonight includes a 'chemo/radiation date' and then some chicken soup and a whole lot of rest!
Only 24 more days left of this!
God is good!


September 26, 2014

First day of treatments -check!

The first chemo treatment went well. Hubby had a recliner, cable TV, snacks and a heated blanket to enjoy.
But he wasn't feeling that great by the time we got home, as you can imagine. He also hasn't been hungry since.
My new mission is to keep him eating whether he wants to or not because people who maintain their weight heal faster. Most of the healthy things we've been eating lately have no appeal to him anymore. Zip, nada, none!
The ONLY thing that appealed to him yesterday turned out to be a Big Mac. LOL! Go figure! I think that is funny after eating so healthy for 8 weeks. THAT definitely wasn't 'grass-fed beef'! -I'm not sure that even counts as meat! ; ) But, at least he ate something!

The chemo is in a bag that he carries in a pouch around his waist and it has a line that is dripping it into the port in his chest. He wears it Monday-Friday. For radiation, he goes to the hospital daily, after work so they can zap him.
Yesterday, he had his first radiation treatment and I was able to go in as they got him all set up. It was like watching someone get ready to be launched into space! Quite the machine! Part of it was lifting him up, another part was moving up under him, another moved on top of him and then another section of it was unfolding so that it could encircling him and shoot the radiation. (my best try at a description)
Honestly, I was kind of freaking out but he was all strapped in and confined and he thankfully, couldn't see my face. But he was perfectly fine! He's so courageous. This part didn't phase him a bit! The added bonus was they wanted to play his favorite music for him and so he got to listen to Switchfoot, which was comforting.

The way he felt afterwards, was another story. Bless his heart. He felt horrible. He even said it felt like there was a living creature inside of his stomach! Ugh! So,we were glad when it was time to go to bed and end day 2 of 28.

We are so very thankful for all those dear friends who are praying for him and even fasting, during this time! We are blessed! I've always thought it sounded weird when people would say that they can 'feel the prayers' but no matter how weird that sounds, I do feel like I can 'feel' them and that we are totally being carried through this intense trial on the prayers of our friends! Amazing!


September 24, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

This is going to be my theme song for this cancer journey.

This line, is the line I plan to be humming and remembering as the chemo and radiation start.

"Jesus you reign

You reign over all of this."

I made a promise to myself not to go down the dead-end road of being mad at God about any of this. We live in a fallen world full of diseases.
I have had my low moments though when I totally want a bumper sticker that says "Cancer sucks." ; )

But I know that God is sovereign and He reigns over everything! And since we love God, we know that this IS "going to work together for good" in our lives. One of those 'good' things is going to be causing us to become more like Christ through this.

The very best part of any dark time is that HE IS WITH US in whatever we may be going through.

"Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Remember"He reigns over all of it."


September 23, 2014

An anniversary, a birthday and a procedure: Thankfully not all on the same day

We celebrated our 23rd by going to the beach for me:

And the baseball game for my hubby:

I felt sooo sorry for him eating healthy trail mix at a ball game! Bless his heart. So, I decided to be
'that lady' that ordered a steak fajita WITHOUT the tortilla for him. It was the only thing I could think of remotely on his cancer-fighting diet. And I didn't care that the guy thought I was a crazy woman on a fad diet and said "Here is your fajita SALAD, Ma'am." LOL, because it totally made his day!

We also went to the Holocaust Museum, which the kids thought sounded like a crazy thing to do on an anniversary date. (Hey, we had free passes!) It was very moving. But thankfully, not graphic like the films I had to watch in high school. 

For my birthday, Hubby and I went out for Mexican food (my favorite) on Wednesday night before we went to church, even though corn is not on the cancer-fighting diet! ; )
 We made a birthday exception and ate all the tortilla chips we wanted! Oh tortillas, how I've missed you!

Unfortunately, my hubby told the waiter that it was my birthday. Ughh!!! Which meant the banging of pots and pans and singing and a VERY large sombrero being placed on my head and a tequila being put in my hands, (which I didn't drink) even though they were all yelling 'shot!'
Oh my stars! It was this shy person's nightmare! Hubby snapped a photo in which, I surprisingly, did not look terrified. : ) One that I will NOT be posting on the Internet. However, the kids wanted it and now that crazy picture comes up on their phones when I call them. LOL

Earlier, as we dropped the kids off at church for a youth leaders meeting before the service, it hit us that all 4 of our kids are involved in youth ministry! (one of our favorite things) I don't know why it hit us just then because they've been doing it for a long time, but all of a sudden, we both just felt blessed. I think that is one of the things the 'C' word does in your life. It arrests you and brings your attention to all that is good in your life! 

Thursday, Hubby had the port put in his chest to receive the chemo. It is purple and he would rather have had 'Iron Man red,' but they didn't have that, and it is under his skin anyway, where no one can see it. ; )
It was another one of those mornings where he couldn't eat or drink anything and then had to be put under for the procedure. Bless his heart.This time they had either Spotify or Pandora in the operating room and gave him his choice of music and he picked jazz. Then he spent the day groggy and in pain.
He cannot lift anything over 10 lbs for the next two weeks and he can't do any painting with his right arm, because the motion could cause the sutures to tear. Thankfully, years ago, he taught himself how to paint with his left hand also. Thanks to Google, we found out that a gallon of paint weighs 10 lbs! So, he's determined to keep working; someone else will just have to lift ladders for him for awhile.

Friday, Hubby went to work and did some supervising until the pain was too much and then came home. We had a family birthday celebration for me, which included homemade fajitas and a trip to the movies. Originally, I wanted to go miniature golfing with the family to celebrate, but hubby wasn't able to lift his arm yet and it rained for about 5 hours that day! So, we ended up using a gift card we had to the movies and we all saw The Hundred-Foot Journey. We loved it! It was SWEET and clean! Just a nice feel-good movie!
-This reminds me of the last time Hubby and I went to the movies. It was early in the cancer journey and I wanted to take him out to get his mind off of it. We saw Guardians of the Galaxy, but guess what happens in the beginning of the movie????
(skip this if  you haven't seen it) 
       ------A parent dies of cancer in a heartbreaking scene in a hospital room in front of their child!
Yeah....So, pretty sure that didn't get 'his mind off of it.' LOL
But we laugh about it now.

Anyway, this movie was a much better choice! : )
It was a fun birthday and I enjoyed every minute.

This week is all about the chemo and radiation starting.
Thanks for praying against side effects for us!


September 22, 2014

A Banner Day for the Fam

Our youngest son volunteered to teach the high school class at church yesterday!

So proud of Andrew!!!
 Joy said he did an amazing job. Thank the Lord.

Sometime that morning, it hit us that with Hubby teaching his adult class, and Nathan teaching the teens at his church in CA, that made 3 guys in our family teaching God's word in churches yesterday! Yay! Beyond blessed that all of our kids love the word of God
and that I have a husband who made sure that they would all know how to teach it. : )


September 17, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

I love these verses from the first chapter of Revelation. Such a powerful reminder of what Jesus has done for us! I was contemplating them before communion recently.

"Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come...
And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead,
and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father,
to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen."

"I am He who lives and was dead and behold,
I am alive forevermore. Amen
And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."


September 15, 2014

23 years

Yesterday was our anniversary!
~Twenty three years spent with the sweetest man alive! I'm blessed!

Our two youngest went out to eat with us and Hubby asked them what meant the most to them about our marriage.
(surprisingly they didn't say that we got them out of the deal - LOL)

 One said: 'That you guys still laugh at each others jokes, like you just met and are on a first date.'
The other one said "That you two are still in love.' (Yes and amen!)

The icing on the 'cake:
'My friends always wish that they had you guys for parents when they come over,  but I never wish for other people's parents.'
'You guys always support us in whatever we are passionate about and encourage us.'
(I'm a firm believer in writing down those sweet moments because sometimes they are few and far between on the parenting journey! And you just might need to reread to encourage yourself)  ;)

Saturday, we used our Busch Gardens passes from Hubby's company and spent the afternoon riding water rides in the heat! So fun! Then we dried off riding the sky ride back and forth across the park.
We had to get this off our list since Hubby can't spend time in the sun once radiation starts.
-And here's a praise report: he has indoor work to do during that time. God is so good!

Chemo and radiation treatments start next week!
 We are praying and believing God that he will not suffer all the negative side effects of either treatment, in Jesus' name.
Everyone is different and some people breeze through it without any side effects at all. Pray he's one of those people please. :-)

Here is one of many inspiring things my guy has said lately:
'Cancer starts with a lower case 'c' and not a capital 'c'. We are not going to let it be a capital 'c' in our lives. We are going to move through it in victory and then  get back to advancing the Kingdom of God.,

He may have cancer but cancer doesn't have him! Amen!


September 10, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word (the cancer edition)

Six weeks ago when my hubby had an endoscopy for an acid reflux issue, the GI told us that he found a tumor in Hubby's esophagus and we were shocked. When we got home, the Lord put "Psalm 21:4"  on his heart.
Even though he's a student of the Word, he wasn't sure he had ever even read Psalm 21 before. It wasn't ringing any bells, so to speak.

On that day, we didn't know that he had cancer 
and we sure didn't know that it was stage 3. 

Psalm 21:4

'He asked life from You,
and You gave it to him- length of days
forever and ever.' 

How's that for being specific? :)

So, THIS is his verse! It is his promise for the journey and we believe it!!!


September 9, 2014

Fun in the mud

Mud Bowl 2014:

So, those pointers from Dad and practicing with Andrew did the trick!

Quarterback Joy

Joy was the quarterback for the first play of the game. She faked a throw and then ran the ball for a touchdown dragging some girls with her!!!!! LOL


And then the other team singled her out to be tackled by a bunch of girls whenever she was in. Poor thing! I guess that is kind of a compliment though, right?

 She's been nursing a sore back ever since, but she totally thought it was worth it! 
Love her!


September 5, 2014

Are you ready for some football?

Hubby was sooo excited last night for football season! To him it is 'the most wonderful time of the year.' One of our kids was telling me yesterday that part of the reason he loves football is because he loves how much DAD loves football! And he loves to see how excited he gets over it.
(its also the only time he yells all year! So, I nearly jump out of my skin when I sit by him) LOL

The youth group is having their annual mud bowl. Football in the mud. And a part of the ministry's budget actually includes having a water truck come and soak the field with gallons and gallons of water. -Except maybe the budget needs a little help this year because they asked us all to pray it rains until Saturday. LOL
It is some crazy fun! Joy was asked to be on one of the girls' teams and she couldn't be more excited. She's determined to be good at it. So, Dad gave her some pointers last night and then Andrew took her out back to practice. Her team was trying to think of a team name and it sounded like they wanted a cross between something fierce and girly. The options they'd come up with were pretty funny. Praying safety over that cute girl and reminding her that no awesome play is worth a trip to the ER, thank you very much, although the guys in this family might not agree. ; )

Now, I need to find some 'fun' football food that fits into this new way of eating of ours.
Today, I made gluten-free, sugar free banana nut muffins today! (they weren't vegan, but this was a good start!) They were actually delicious. I was surprised! I'm not sure when I've been more excited over a food item. The cancer fighting diet can be on the bland side, which probably means that I need to spend more time on Pinterest finding better recipes. (Pinterest is a god-send when you need paleo, vegan, gluten free etc.. recipes) Anyway, I'm so excited to surprise Hubby with a baked good he can actually eat! Smearing them with almond butter makes them even better. Next week I'll post this and some of our other favorite healthy recipes.

Hope you have a great (football filled) weekend!


September 3, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

Lord, help us to hear You above the noise and to rest in Your promises.

"The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea. Your testimonies are very sure...' Psalm 63

We've recently had the crashing "waves' of diagnoses and the 'flooding' in of bills, but we can definitely say that His testimonies are very sure!
He's the way maker and the need meeter! He is mightier...


September 2, 2014

No longer a beach wedding fan

Saturday, we decided it was time for some beach therapy!

As we were trying to get these selfies, some teenage boys walked by and teased us! : )

I was sooo excited to finally have dragged this cute guy to the beach! Then a mom with a crying daughter, told us she'd been stung all over her body by a jelly fish. Ekkk! That put a bit of a damper on things. Until we got down to the shore and found two weddings in progress! Who doesn't love weddings? Even if you don't know a soul, they are still fun to watch. ~I'm always trying to talk Joy into a beach wedding SOMEDAY but she's not a fan.

Just as the bridesmaids were about to walk down the sand/aisle all of a sudden it started pouring rain! I was too enthralled to leave. Then it rained even harder! It looked like the wedding would go on and so the guests just sat there. Bless their hearts. About this time, Hubby was ready to hit the road and we used our sun umbrella to keep us dry. He caught a glimpse of the bride at the other wedding standing under an umbrella. Poor thing!
As we were pulling away, I said "Wait, I think it is starting to clear up" and Hubby drove faster. ; )
Then we passed a mini van full of the bridesmaids who were trying to stay dry and some guests who were soaked to the skin in their formal attire.
 So, I think I'm over beach weddings now and I kind of bet all those folks are too.


September 1, 2014

Jehoval Jireh

In the midst of all the craziness of last week, the Lord did some marvelous things!

He truly is our "ever present help in time of trouble."

His care and miraculous provision have blown our minds this week and we are so grateful!

 For example, that oral surgeon's bill got taken care of! Amazing!
 And the pile of co-pays got paid!  : )

 Jehovah Jireh is one of His names and it means "The Lord provides." In other words, providing is apart of who He is and what He does. What a reminder we received!