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

October 31, 2014

Update on my precious man

Thank you so much for praying for my sweet husband during this difficult time. 
The large chemo treatment he had last Monday made him seem almost comatose for the better part of last week. It was very sad. He's been too weak to even talk.
This week, his head is clearer (since that treatment is wearing off) and he's talking a little more. 
He's unable to eat solid foods now due to the pain. (even drinking water is tremendously painful) Thankfully, today they changed his pain medication and we are hoping that will help. It is a great challenge to find soft foods that are appealing because everything makes him nauseous!  (he refuses to even look at quinoa anymore) I don't know why I thought sauteed mushrooms might be a good idea... then I noticed that he was out of bed and had his plate with him in the bathroom. Guess where those mushrooms went? ; )

Because of ebola, the same nurse has to ask us every.single.day. if we have been to West Africa. I have to refrain from saying "Well, not since yesterday." ; ) 
Today at 5:00 PM, Hubby will have his last treatment! Whoo-hoo!!! We just can't wait. 
It is apparently "Patient Appreciation Day" and of course, Halloween, so the hospital staff is dressing up and serving food. It really sounds fun except for the fact that eating is a nightmare for him right now. I'm looking forward to hearing him ring the bell! And on Dec 18th, he'll have a PET scan and we'll find out what the Lord has done! 

Thank you All SO much for your prayers and the encouraging text messages and cards! 

Love and hugs! 


October 30, 2014


This is my 'theme song' for this trial' It blesses my socks off every time I hear it. : )

 (and the video is so inspiring, you may need tissues!)



October 29, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

"We glory in tribulations knowing that tribulation produces perseverance" 
                              (perseverance = the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat -whoo hoo! Amen!)

and perseverance character, and character, hope. ~Romans 5:3-4

October 21, 2014

The big chemo day

All in all, we spent 8 hours at the cancer hospital yesterday!
Our dear friends had a wonderful meal waiting for us when we got home! What a blessing! (even flan! Oh my goodness!)  Thank you, A & C!!!

The nurse, who was administering the 3 hours of chemo, said that we were one of the nicest couples she'd ever met, "which means you probably keep your kids in the basement or something." ; ) LOL

Thanks so much for all the prayers. This treatment went so much better than the last one and he didn't feel as sick afterwards. So grateful!

Only 9 more days of treatments left!


October 20, 2014

The Potter fan and her pumpkin

The artist in our family doesn't just carve a pumpkin.

She sculpts it and makes it look 3D!

The pumpkins I used to carve had triangles for eyes. ; )

October 18, 2014

Our new normal

Week 4 of treatments was not much fun. Hubby felt pretty weak and crummy most of the time, but he's pressing through and is always joyful.
The kids have been writing encouraging notes for him to find inside his Bible each morning. Love them!

I've added chauffeur and nurse to my 'job' description lately.
Since he is too weak to do any driving right now, I am driving him to work each morning, where they are doing a remodel in a beautiful gated community. He checks things out and gives directions to his crew, while I wait in the car and read and then after about 45 minutes, we head home. He's pretty exhausted by then. We head home and he rests and then at 4:30 we head to the hospital for his treatments.
His last day will be October 31st. Can't wait! (that will also be the 20th anniversary of the day we bought our house)

Hubby jokes that chemotherapy is his 'truth serum,' so that has led to some funny conversations. He's pretty blunt these days. I never used to hear him criticize other drivers until now. LOL 
And, speaking of driving, I'm not going to get through this trial without becoming a better driver myself. Whenever I take a turn or a speed bump too fast, he moans. Bless his nauseous heart! So, I'm working on that and the route to the hospital gives me plenty of practice.

I used to think these signs were silly,
and maybe they still are, ; )
but I got to park in one last weekend, which was fun!

We love our Prius and spending $25 a week in gas! : )
That's about all that's going on here.
On Monday, he has a 3 hour chemotherapy treatment where they literally put platinum in his body! The first time he had this treatment done, he felt pretty rough afterwards. Prayers appreciated! : )


October 15, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

It has been a LONG day,
(and if I don't hurry this will be a Thursdays in the Word, and that isn't as catchy) : )

Every once in awhile, I get a glimpse of the power of Neh.8:10

   It amazes me that strength is found in joy!

  And joy is found in God's presence. So, if I'm lacking in joy, then I need to go to the source!

~And if that doesn't work,
 then I probably just need to go to bed! LOL

 Because, thankfully:

(although, I think it takes some of us a little longer than others, to get our joy on in the morning)  ; )


October 13, 2014

Weekend fun

A dear woman at our church wanted to bless a couple with a date night and she thought of us!
 -And what a date night! 
She gave us a nights stay at the Hilton and tickets to the Bucs vs Ravens game!
She barely knows my hubby, but she couldn't have given him a gift he would have liked more, unless it included the Bucs winning! ; )

This week has been a game changer as far as his energy level goes. So, it was awesome that the game fell on this weekend because Hubby had just enough energy to pull it off. It was a great 'last hurrah' until this trial is behind us. 

We were staying a mile and a half from the stadium and he was really wishing he could walk that far but we took a taxi, which was cheaper than paying to park anyway. We just made it to our seats before he started feeling a little shaky, so it is a good thing we didn't try walking in the 90 degree weather. We got our socks blessed off when we found out that our seats were in the SHADE!!! Hooray!

Watching these paratroopers fly into the stadium was such a treat.

We ended up leaving the game early but it wasn't because Hubby wasn't feeling well. It was because the Bucs were down 35 points in the first inning, I mean quarter, and he couldn't stand the misery. ; )

I apparently committed 3 fouls on game day:

1. I asked if I should bring some cooking magazines to the game in case I got bored 

2. I clapped for the Ravens when they were introduced. He said 'Stop clapping' and I said "Isn't it polite?" 

3. During the cheering, the score board said 'Tampa' with an arrow to our side of the stadium and then 'Bay' with an arrow pointing to the opposite side. I didn't get the whole arrow thing and may have been the only one our side of the stadium to yell 'Bay.' ; )

Did I mention this was my first professional football game? 

We had a great time and then he watched the rest of the game from home.... in the A/C.
Not sure how the game ended since I may have been looking at cooking magazines. ; )


October 12, 2014

A close up view

 We had some cute visitors with us at chemo and radiation on Friday! 

These sweet kids wanted to "support Dad and understand what he's going through."

Joy got a kick out of how ironic this Halloween decoration in radiation is:

It was a long wait but we had fun. 

The techs were glad that we brought the kids and explained the entire process to them in detail until it was time to shoot the radiation. 
The homeschool-mom in me realized right then, that it was a cancer hospital field trip! Whoo-hoo! : )

Joy said it was too overwhelming to take in all of what they were saying. I couldn't have done it and I didn't try. This was my second time seeing it all and I was still overwhelmed. 
 The immensity of the situation and of the radiation machine itself, is hard to take in. 
One of the nurses, who checks in patients everyday, has actually never seen the machine and never wants to. I found that surprising. 

Even if she did see it, it has to be different seeing someone you dearly love under it.
That's the overwhelming part, if you ask me!

Next, we headed to chemo, where the nurses unplugged Hubby's chemo bag from his port. We love when that happens! He always feels the best when he isn't wearing it. There isn't much room in infusion so the kids had to stay in the lobby for that part. They didn't mind since they could have unlimited grape juice and coffee. LOL
There weren't many people waiting for chemo that day, so they didn't witness the sadness that I sometimes do when I'm there.
 Joy found a necklace she liked in the gift shop and then we headed out. Boy, do we love the valet parking now that Hubby is so low on energy!

Thankful for these two, who wanted a close up view.
Always blessed by all four!


October 9, 2014

This and that

I've been enjoying Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes 
 It is like a slice of comfort food in and of itself.

I think I could eat her Blueberry Crisp recipe with Greek yogurt on top, every day of my life. It's that good! I'm inspired to become more hospitable once this trial is over.
"It isn't about perfection, and it isn't about performance. You'll miss the richest moments in life- the sacred moments when we feel God's grace and presence through the actual faces and hands of the people we love-if you are too scared or too ashamed to open the door." -Come to think of it, this could apply to more than just hospitality!

Speaking of food, not much appeals to my sweet Hubby these days.The effects of the radiation have hit and the fatigue it causes is something else. He is determined to keep working as long as he can though. He's absolutely amazing! So thankful for him! 

Zac starts school at Arizona State next week. Not exactly AT, thankfully, it is online! So proud of him and thankful to Starbucks for paying the bill! Whoo-hoo!
His tests will be proctored via web cam. Wow! ~He's so hoping that a certain homeschooling, younger brother never walks by during a test and waves at the camera. ; )
He and I went to Trader Joe's today and one of the fun things I usually buy myself is a cheap bouquet of flowers. Later, he and I went toWalmart for a WiFi booster that he needs for school and before we walked inside the store, he said, "Mom, I can't let you go in there like that." I looked down and I had a large amount of BRIGHT ORANGE pollen on my dark shirt on a very noticeable part of my chest. Bahaha! It could not rub it off for anything and I totally did not want to drive all the way back home! I thankfully had a big list I could use to cover it with while I quickly picked out a t-shirt on the clearance rack. He paid for it for me so that I wouldn't have to ever lower my list! LOL Then I changed in the bathroom. That was one memorable Walmart trip. Zac may not shop with me again for a very long time! ; )

Last week, while Hubby and I were on a 'radiation date', the nurses were talking about spending their entire paychecks at the hospital's gift shop. Hubby asked what they were buying and they told us that they sell cute necklaces with matching earrings for only $5.00. I had my doubts that they were actually cute at that price, but they were! I bought a set and then had my BFF send me a picture of an outfit that needed a necklace and got her a set too. This definitely made coming to radiation WAY more fun. The nurse asked me the other day if I have a tab at the gift shop yet. LOL

I am missing Nathan bunches and bunches! A message from a friend about him recently said  this "He has taken a broken, dying youth group and has begun to shape it and build it in Christ's love, which all of those kids have been hungry to feel" and in this last year it has more than doubled in size. PTL! Kids who never talked to each other, are now hanging out together other than at church and are thanking him for what he's done! So proud of him. God has also blessed him with favor and connections and he's getting paid to make videos for several para-church organizations. He's also come up with some awesome events that are raising money for missionaries and at the same time giving college kids a place to fellowship on Friday nights. Love that guy. He's so passionate about what he does.

Someone from church has blessed our socks off with an overnight stay at a hotel this weekend and tickets to the Bucs game. My boys tell me that the Ravens will win for sure, and that we probably won't have to stay for the whole thing. ; )  Hubby isn't really suppose to be in the sun due to the radiation, so we'll have to be careful about that. He's so excited. 

Joy and Andrew want to come to radiation and infusion with us tomorrow to experience what Dad is going through. How sweet is that? The techs in radiation are going to let them go in to see the machine. And we joked that they can drink unlimited amounts of grape juice while waiting in the chemotherapy waiting room.  Joy mentioned wanting to go to the gift shop, so maybe she's found an outfit in need of a necklace! : )

Hope you have a great weekend!

October 8, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

Psalm 78 is one of my favorites and it details the need to pass our faith on to the next generation. It is a great parenting chapter.
I love verse 4 which tells us to tell 'the generation to come the praises of the Lord and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done."
So, that they "set their hope in God." (verse 7) I love that! We need the next generation to set their hope in God. Otherwise their lives will be "consumed in futility" and filled with fear. (verse 33) We see people like that all around us and we want better than that for our children and their friends!

If we tell the next generation the things God has done our lives, then maybe they will not "limit the Holy One of Israel" (verse 41) from working in their lives!

I was involved in teaching a class for teenage girls last year and one of the projects in our book suggested that they make a "Faith Family Tree" in which, they were supposed to write the story of how their parents came to faith in Christ and their parents- parents, if that applied. Some of the girls weren't really sure how their parents came to faith in Christ.Sometimes we don't think to share our testimony with our own kids. Do yours know about the day that "The Most High became your Redeemer?" (verse 35) : )
Do they know the incredible ways He's intervened in your daily life to "redeem you from the enemy?" (verse 42)
When we can, let's remind them that the God we serve did and does "marvelous things" (verse 12)
The chapter lists some of those marvelous things:

"He divided the sea and caused them (Israelites) to pass through." (verse 13)
"He led  them with a cloud " by day and "light of fire" at night. (verse14)
"He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink." (verse 15)
 He sent men "angels food" to eat and "rained meat on them." (verse 25 and 27)

Because God "is the same yesterday, today and forever,"
 our Sea-Dividing, Rock-Splitting God is still leading, providing and redeeming His people!

Verses 5-7 tell us to make these things known to our children, "that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children. That they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God but keep His commandments."


October 3, 2014

Let the bells ring

 Monday, we were at the infusion center to have the chemo bag reattached to my hubby and the lobby was full of people waiting for chemo.
And honestly, some were hard to look at because they are having a rough go of it. Bless their hearts. So sad!
Then we heard a bell ring and everyone around started clapping.
We were the confused newbies who didn't know what was happening.
We found out that they ring a bell and clap when someone receives their last chemo treatment.
Isn't that the best!?
It was SO sweet!
I can't wait to hear the bell ring on Oct. 31st!

Since then, I've noticed a bell in the lobby of radiation too.
So, maybe there will two bells ringing that day! : )

In the meantime, the doctor called Hubby 'the chemo poster child,' so it is going well and so many prayers are being answered. PTL!


October 1, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

I love the courage of Caleb, in regards to the promise land in Numbers 13:
"Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are able to overcome it."
This got me thinking about being an overcomer. 
We all have the giants to fight, ours just don't happen to be literal, like Caleb's. 
Then the Bible geek in me got excited and I did a word study on all the verses that mention "overcome" and I got my socks blessed off. Here's what I learned:

Jesus overcame the world.
"Here on earth you will have many sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." Jn.16:33

He gave us the power to overcome it. 
"Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1 Jn.5:5

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1Jn.4:4

"And this is the victory that has overcome the world -our faith." 1 Jn.5:4

"And they overcame him (the accuser of the brethren) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony..." Rev.12:11

He expects us to be overcomers. 
"To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." Rev. 3:21

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Rom.12:21

"I write to you young men, because you have overcome the wicked one." 1 Jn.2:13

He has some glorious rewards in store for His overcomers.
"He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death." Rev. 2:11

"To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." Rev.2:7

"To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna to eat..." Rev.2:17

"To him who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations." Rev. 2:26

"He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name." Rev.3:12

"He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son." Rev.21:7

*My favorite: "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and his angels." Rev.3:5
So, what giants can we overcome for our Lord and King today?
Keep in mind, in the fight, that you are His called, chosen, and faithful ones.

"These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and those who are with Him are called, chosen and faithful."  Rev.7:14