Monday, June 30, 2008

Please Pray!

Mom is going into surgery right now. They will be removing the cancer in her arm and taking out the lymph node in her arm pit to see if the cancer has spread to the nodes. I talked to her last night and she was doing well. Please pray that the cancer is localized in the arm only and hasn't spread to the lymph nodes. The doctors are very hopeful that they have caught this early enough.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mandi goes to Rodeo Bible Camp

Mandi makes a great cowgirl!!!
Mandi spent the weekend at the Wasco Fairgrounds in Tygh Valley near Maupin. She left Thursday with her friend Samantha. The story of how she got to go is pretty special. She heard about this camp a year ago after Sam got back and has been wanting to go all year. I remember her talking about it and dreaming about it but somehow we lost track of time. On Wednesday,she approached us again and said that she was hoping to go and that it started Friday. Michael and I didn't see how we could make it work financially so we made the decision to not send her. Samantha's mom called me on Thursday and told me that she was doing all she could to help get Mandi there. She had called the camp and found out that there was a scholarship available- full ride. It was a done deal!!! That day Mandi and I went to Goodwill and found cowboy boots for $7.99 and a long sleeve cowgirl shirt and hat. All totalling up to $14.00. God is so good!! She was set to go except for the birth certificate we couldn't find. I found a little certificate the hospital gave us announcing her birth. We were praying that that would be sufficient. Mandi left Thursday afternoon with Sam and spend a fabulous, adventuresome weekend sweating, working hard and having tons of fun.

Today after church the family took off on an hour and a half drive to Wasco Fairgrounds to watch Mandi and all the other campers in a rodeo. The rodeo was designed to show off all the hard work and training that was done at camp. Bull riding, calf and goat roping, pole bending and barrel racing were the events. Mandi participated in the pole bending and barrel racing. She did great! We were amazed to see her handle her horse so well. This girl has only been on a horse once or twice and never at a racing speed. I was very impressed. I wonder what she could do if given the chance to pursue this more. She informed us that now she wants a horse. Oh My!! I forgot to mention that her horses name (that she used for the weekend) was Zip!!

I have to mention that it was probably the hottest weekend yet with the temperature reaching 105 degrees. Driving up today was so hot! Our air conditioning in the Tahoe broke and we were using the old fashion method, the four windows. It was a blast! There is nothing like taking a road trip somewhere new and really feeling the wind through your hair. O.K. we were a sight when we got there, but who cares, we were hanging out with the cowboys. The other exciting thing was the thunderstorm that moved in just as we were leaving the fairgrounds. Within minutes the temperature dropped from 101 to 75 degrees. We saw lots of beautiful lightning strikes and huge raindrops. The scariest moment was when the wind whipped up a huge dust storm which practically stopped traffic on the Highway because there was no visibility. All I can say is thank you God for your hand of protection and for your awesome works. It was an amazing and wonderfully fun way to spend a Sunday!!

Jeff and Josh are watching the Rodeo.

Walking to the awards ceremony for some home cooked chili!
Josh trying on Mandi's hat!
Emma having a great time!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

14 Years and counting!!!


Tomorrow morning if you wake up
and the sun does not appear
I, I will be here
If in the dark we lose sight of love
hold my hand and have no fear
cause I , I will be here

I will be here when you feel like being quiet
when you need to speak your mind, I will listen
and I will be here when the laughter turns to cryin
Through the winning, losing, and tryin', we'll be together
cause I will be here

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
and the future is unclear
I, I will be here<
As sure as seasons are made for change
our lifetimes are made for years
I, I will be here

I will be here, and you can cry on my shoulder
when the mirror tells us we're older, I will hold you
and I will be here to watch you grow in beauty
and tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made
to you and to the one who gave you to me

and just as sure as seasons are made for change
our lifetimes are made for years
so I, I will be here
we'll be together
I will be here

written by Steven Curtis Chapman
Song sung to Kristin by Michael at their wedding


Thank you for being such a loving and devoted husband these last 14 years. Every day your love for me amazes me and I feel so blessed to have you for the man that I get to spend the rest of my life with. "You Complete Me!" I am looking forward to the many more years that we will have together.

Love always,

Friday, June 20, 2008

The best way to spend a Birthday.....FAMILY!!

Yesterday I turned 34! I wasn't too excited about creeping up another number in my thirties, however, I had a fabulous day. I am thankful because God has given me another year to enjoy family and friends. Its funny because pre cancer I never thought of it that way. Going through something like that changes the way you look at life.

I decided to take the kids and drive to Aumsville to be with family. Michael stayed behind to work but the children and I are having a great time in the valley. The only bummer thing is that my allergies are really bad over here. It brings back memories of living in the valley. I definitely love where I live now, but it sure is pretty over here. Flowers every where and it so green.

Yesterday my mom had a big doctors appointment for the melanoma cancer that they found on her arm. It was just a consultation appointment. The doctors seem hopeful that it was caught in the early stages. On June 30 she will go in for a wide incision surgery to remove the cancer. They will also do a dye test to see if it had spread to the lymph nodes. I have not been able to spend a lot of time with her because she works this weekend but last night we all went out for pizza to celebrate my birthday and my Kimmie and Jeremy's anniversary. She seems to be in good spirits. We are all praying that surgery alone will be all she needs to take care of this cancer.

I got to enjoy a few hours out with my sister, Kimmie. Jeremy stayed home with 6 kids so we could do some sister bonding. We went to lunch at Changs Mongolian Grill and spent some time shopping. I love hanging out with her. We are just 16 months apart in age and close. I have been praying lately that God would give Jeremy a teaching job in the Central Oregon area. I would love to live closer to them. He has been putting out applications every where in Oregon. There also may be some oppurtunities around the Aumsville area.

The kids are having a blast playing with their little cousins, Isabella(2) and Natalie(1). Tonight I am watching the girls so Kim and Jeremy can go out and celebrate their 9th anniversary. The girls are adorable and growing so quickly. I have taken lots of pictures that I will share when I get home.

Isabella watering the flowers. This picture made it into the Salem newspaper!

Natalie being so cute!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day Daddy!!

Thank you dad for always being there. My mind is full of memories of your love and care for Kimmie and I. You have been a wonderful, godly example of what a father is suppose to be. I love you dearly and appreciate all that you are. I love the following words from President Bush on fathers. When I read this I knew I was reading a description of you. I love you daddy and Happy Fathers Day!!

President Bush's Father's Day Proclamation

"Fathers play a unique and important role in the lives of their children. As mentor, protector, and provider, a father fundamentally influences the shape and direction of his child's character by giving love, care, discipline, and guidance. As we observe Father's Day, our nation honors fatherhood and urges fathers to commit themselves selflessly to the success and well-being of their children. And we reaffirm the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. Raising a child requires significant time, effort, and sacrifice; and it is one of the most hopeful and fulfilling experiences a man can ever know. A father can derive great joy from seeing his child grow from infancy to adulthood. As a child matures into independence and self reliance, the value of a parent's hard work, love, and commitment comes to fruition.

Responsible fatherhood is important to a healthy and civil society. Numerous studies confirm that children whose fathers are present and involved in their lives are more likely to develop into prosperous and healthy adults. Children learn by example; and they need their father's presence as examples of virtue in their daily lives. A child's sense of security can be greatly enhanced by seeing his parents in a loving and faithful marriage."
George W. Bush
President, USA

Happy Fathers Day!!
Thank you Michael for being such a wonderful dad to our four children. They are so blessed to have you as their daddy!
A Dad is a person
who is loving and kind,
And often he knows
what you have on your mind.
He's someone who listens,
suggests, and defends.
A dad can be one
of your very best friends!
He's proud of your triumphs,
but when things go wrong,
A dad can be patient
and helpful and strong
In all that you do,
a dad's love plays a part.
There's always a place for him
deep in your heart.
And each year that passes,
you're even more glad,
More grateful and proud
just to call him your dad!
Thank you, Dad...
for listening and caring,
for giving and sharing,
but, especially, for just being you!
Happy Father's Day

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn form it. (Prov.22:6)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"In Better Hands Now"

Made dinner, did some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen while listening to Natalie Grant's new CD "Relentless". I really love this CD, especially her song "In better hands now". This is a great reminder to all that our lives are in God's hands. Those are the best hands that we could possibly be in!

Natalie Grant – In Better Hands
From the album – Relentless

It’s hard to stand
On shifting sand
It’s hard to shine
In the shadows of the night
You can’t be free
If you don’t reach for help
And you can’t love
If you don’t love yourself
But there is hope when my faith runs out…
Casuse I’m in better hands now

It’s like the sun is shining
When the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying
Though my feet are on the ground
So take this heart of mine
There’s no doubt
I’m in better hands now

I am strong
All because of you
I stand in awe of
Every mountain that you move
I am changed
Yesterday is gone
I am safe
From this moment on…
And there’s no fear when the night comes around
I’m in better hands now


It’s like the sun is shining
When the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying
Though my feet are on the ground
It’s like the world is silent
Though I know it isn’t true
It’s like the breath of Jesus
Is right here in this room
So take this heart of mine
There’s no doubt

You can’t be saved
If you’re not reaching out for help

Label: Curb Records

A Change of Heart

Check out Lyla's blog which is under "my blog list" on the right side of my blog. She is writing on being an "On-Purpose Home Keeper" I encourage you to take the time to read this. It is good stuff, and a great reminder to all wives and mothers. I sure do appreciate Godly council from older women who have learned through experience how to manage their homes. Am I creating a sanctuary for my husband and children? What is robbing my time of doing that? And, is my heart attitude keeping me from doing that?

Michael said last night that I was spending too much time on the computer. This is his kind way of saying that things are not getting done around the house. True, I have spend a great deal of time at the computer working on my blog. I love working on it, but my daily work at home has been piling up. Laundry is a mile high, the dishes are never completely done and if you could see my bedroom you would die! I am thus convicted by the Holy Spirit after reading Lyla's blog to reschedule my time. I need a change of heart in how I view my responsibilities at home, and I need to find joy in the mundane things that ultimately makes my husband and children happy like: clean clothes, a tidy kitchen, a bedroom that is inviting.

So no more writing about it! I need to get off the computer and get to work! Like I tell my children..."Do it with a happy heart, it pleases Mommy and God greatly!"

I Will Hope In You, O God

Why is my soul downcast?
Why am I disturbed deep within my being?
I will hope in You, O God; I will yet praise You
For the help of Your presence.
O my God, my soul is downcast withing me;
Therefore I will remember You.
Why is my soul downcast?
Why am I disturbed deep within my being?
I will hope in You, O God; I will yet praise You,
The help of my countenance and my God.
(Psalm 42:5-6,11)

I woke up feeling very downcast today. I wasn't sure what was wrong and why I was feeling so blue. Especially since the weather was beautiful. Psalm 42 just happen to be the chapter I was reading for devotions. Isn't it so special when God speaks to us. He knows what we need before we do. What if I chose to forgo my time with the Lord this morning and tried to make it through the day all by myself? Really, the day could have been a complete disaster. Thank you God for knowing what I need and communicating it to me. I will hope in You and praise You because You are my God. I will give you thanks because You are good and Your love endures forever.

I would have lost heart unless I had believed
That I would see Your goodness, O Lord,
In the land of the living.
I will hope in You and be of good courage,
And You will strengthen my heart;
Yes, I will hope in You, O Lord.
(Psalm 27:13-14)

My soul waits in hope for You, O Lord;
You are my help and my shield.
My heart rejoices in You,
Because I trust in Your holy name.
Let Your unfailing love be upon me, O Lord,
Even as I put my hope in You.
(Psalm 33:20-22)

As for me, I will always have hope,
And I will praise You more and more.
My mouth will tell of Your righteousness
And of Your salvation all day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and tell of Your mighty acts;
I will proclaim Your righteousness- Yours alone.
Since my youth, O God, You have taught me,
And to this day I declare Your wondrous deeds.
(Psalm 4:8)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Terrific Teachers

A big THANK YOU to the teachers who taught my kids this year. They have been terrific teachers and show such joy in what they do. I am so sad that we are saying goodbye to RCA (Redmond Christian Academy). I have had Jeff there for 3 years and Emma for two. They loved their school days there and have made many memories and friends. God willing, Jeff and Emma will get to join Amanda at Central Christian School next year. We are still waiting to hear if we got the financial assistance that we need to send them. I am trying not to worry about it but leave it in God's hands. He knows better than I where my kids should go to school.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

School Is Out

School's out and my kids are already bored. I actually dislike that word a lot but it just reminds me that I have a job to do this summer... to keep my four children busy. Just like when they were little and the day needed to be scheduled so it wasn't a free for all, I need to break down the day for my kids so they know what to expect.

Josh is loving the fact that his brother and sisters are home all day long. He hasn't asked once to watch t.v. I also love hanging out with them. This morning was so relaxing. I got to stay in my p.j's and sit in my rocking chair holding some of my children. I was very entertained I must say, for Jeff wanted to read every journal entry that he wrote for the school year. I just realized today that he is a very descriptive writer. No details are lacking. I loved hearing all his stories.they were a little out there. As Amanda would say," his journal entries are so random".

I have never really liked sticking to a schedule but I think it is a must for me and the children. For instance, at 9:00 a.m. while I was, well I hate to say it but blogging, I realized the house was way too quiet. Jeff, Emma and Josh decided that it was o.k. to just leave the house and go to their fort to play. I usually o.k. the fort but only if they ask me and I know that that's where they are going to be. So my first official rule for summer is.... no leaving the house without talking to mommy first. You would think this was a given but one must spell it out for kids.

I think most days won't be as boring as this for the kids because pretty soon the other schools will be out and they will have many friends to play with. Oh yeah, I'm sure warmer weather will help also. It's just a little bit chilly out there still. Where, oh where is our sunny summer weather? I promise not to complain in the middle of August when it is getting close to 100 degrees.

Now as I am writing this they are much happier. The sun has peeked its head out and the neighbor kids came a calling. Jeff is out in the field searching for treasures and the others are practicing cartwheels and front handsprings in the front yard. Honestly, my goal for the summer is to stay out of the ER or hospital. We have had enough for one year.

Union Creek

On our way to Grants Pass for the weekend we made a pit stop at beautiful Union Creek. I spend many summer weekends camping there with my family as I was growing up. We were scoping out the best camp site for our August camping trip that is coming up. Being there made me want to pitch a tent right there and then. God's creation is sure beautiful.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Praise You In This Storm

This morning I was listening to my favorite Christian radio station, KLOVE ( One of my favorite songs was on that helped be through the cancer days. The song is "Praise You in This Storm" by Casting Crowns. When mom called this morning I asked her if she had ever heard that song. She hadn't. I told her I would put the lyrics and You Tube vidoe on my blog so she could hear it.

I just recently talked to a friend who has been blessed by this song lately and she mentioned that she posted the lyrics on her blog just this morning. I am going to direct those who want to see the words to her blog. Just find the links under blogging buddies on the right of this blog and click on Cathy's name. This will get you to her blog site.

This is such a powerful and worshipful video. Take a moment to listen and praise God even in the mist of a storm.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The newest member of the family

Let me introduce to you the newest member of the family....Janie, the cute kitty that you see above. I think that we may have finally completed our family and let me say that the girls out number the boys for sure. Four kids, a dog and a kitten sure makes for a full house.

Friday, when Michael and I were picking up Mandi from school, I knew something was up when I didn't see her in her usual place in line. Nope...she just happened to be one of the many kids gathered around the box that contained six kittens. Yes, some smart mother thought it would be a great way to get rid of a litter of kittens. Mandi spotted and claimed the cute gray thing that you see above as her very own. The other three kids were in the car and they were out running to Mandi and the kitten before we could say no. So we parked the car and joined them with every intention of saying "NO". I think we said no many times but were not heard because, well, we were out numbered four to two. Then it happened. I found myself saying yes. I must have been crazy, out of my mind, and most assuredly not thinking clearly. Michael was just plain speechless.

That night we shopped for all the necessities and the kids gave her the name, Janie. It's not really a cat kind of name like cuddles, or precious, but it seems to fit the other girl name they gave our Golden Retriever, Leigha. Speaking of Leigha, they have become fast friends. I think?! I found the two of them cuddling on my bed last night. Isn't that just too precious for words? Actually it looks like Leigha is thinking..."have I been replace by this little puff ball?" We are trying to give Leigha extra attention and love so she doesn't feel replaced or forgotten.


My parents-Susan and Dennis

My heart is very heavy this morning. I talked to my mom yesterday afternoon, she had just returned from a four day wedding event back East in the Philadelphia area. When she got home Monday morning around 2 a.m. in the morning there were several messages from a doctor at OSHU who had results of her biopsy. Two weeks earlier she had a biopsy done on a suspicious sore on her arm. In 2006 mom had some Melanoma Cancer removed from her arm. It was localized and no other treatments were needed. This particular cancerous spot has been identified as Amelanotic Melanoma. It is different than the other types of melanoma in that it is harder to detect. Amelanotic melanoma is rare and is challenging to diagnose because there is an absence of pigmentation (color). As I am writing she is waiting to her from her doctor as to when her surgery will be.

Cancer has been a real word in our family. As you can imagine this news from my mom has brought up fears and feelings that I have suppressed for awhile. I just now got off the phone with my mom. I called her in the middle of writing this to see how she was doing. I really wanted to just love on her and encourage her. I have been exactly where she has been. It is hard to hear the word Cancer from the doctor and then play the waiting game to see what is next. My prayer is that with surgery the doctor can remove all the cancer and she won't have to endure the process of chemotherapy or radiation. However, if it's necessary for her to go through all that to be healthy then I know that God will be with her every step of the way as will her family and friends.

Please pray with me and my family for my sweet mother. She sounds like she is handling it fine, but I know there is still fear of the unknown. God never said that we wouldn't experience those feelings but I pray that the peace of God will overwhelm her and that she can rest knowing that God is in complete control and is with her. Isaiah 41:10, 13 says:

"I will not fear, for You are with me; I will not be dismayed, for You are my God. You will strengthen me and help me; You will uphold me with Your righteous right hand. For You are the Lord my God, who takes hold of my right hand and says to me, "Do not fear; I will help you."

This verse is a promise us, we can cling to it. Better yet, memorize it and hide it in your heart so that Satan can't get in and take our thoughts captive. Satan chooses the mind for his battleground because he understands so well the principle laid down in the Word, that as a man thinketh so he is (Proverbs 23:7). Satan knows that if he can capture the mind he can capture the body. That is why we are told,

"Be transformed by the renewing of you mind" (Romans 12:2).

The Bible also tells us,

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

When I first learned that I had Breast Cancer almost exactly 3 years ago, the week of my 31st birthday, I remember feeling so numb and very confused. One night when I was awake, while every one else was sleeping I opened up a book by Kay Arthur entitled "As Silver Refined". I didn't read the book from start to finish at first but just skimmed it looking for anything that would help me deal with the thoughts and feelings of disappointment. I turned to a page that had in bold letters, "DISAPPOINTMENT = HIS APPOINTMENT" The following is an excerpt from her book.

"Your first response to disappointment in life circumstances must be an act of pure obedience. You must believe God no matter how you feel or what you think- no matter your circumstances. Tighten that belt of truth. Recognize and acknowledge that every disappointment is God's appointment. In your thinking, in that all-important mental response to the disappointment you now encounter, determine by faith that you will simply change the "D" of disappointment to an "H," then add a space-and you'll eventually see that this really is His appointment. Adding that space is important. At the moment your disappointment may be overwhelming, shattering. The pain can be so overpowering that you cannot imagine how anything good could ever come out of it, for there's nothing good in it. God doesn't say the situation is good, but He does promise that because He's your God and you're His child, He will bring good from it."

"Disappointment-His Appointment";
change one letter, then I see
that the thwarting of my purpose
is God's better choice for me.
His appointment must be blessing
though it may come in disguise;
for the end, from the beginning,
open His vision lies.

"Disappointment-His Appointment."
Whose? The Lord who loves me best,
understands and knows me fully,
who my faith and love would test.
For like loving earthly parents
He rejoices when He knows
that His child accepts unquestioned
all that from His wisdom flows.

"Disappointment-His Appointment";
no good things will He withhold.
From denials oft we gather
treasures of His love untold.
Well He knows each broken purpose
leads to a full, deeper trust,
and the end of all His dealings
proves our God is wise and just.

"Disappointment-His Appointment";
Lord I take it then as such,
like clay in the hands of the potter
yielding wholly to his touch.
My life's plan is all His molding;
not one single choice be mine.
Let me answer unrepining,
"Father, not my will but thine,"

Mom, my prayer for you is that you will embrace this time and to grow even closer to God than you already are. And to see this "DISAPPOINTMENT" as "HIS APPOINTMENT". Isn't it all about stepping heavenward anyway? Christ likeness and fruitfulness!! Paul wrote,

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

I love you, Mom!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Adoration and Thanksgiving

For who You are and what you have done, accept my praise, O Lord:

I will exalt You, my God and King;
I will bless Your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name for ever and ever.
Great are You, Lord, and most worthy of praise;
Your greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works.
Many shall speak of the might of Your awesome works,
And I will proclaim Your great deeds.
I will express the memory of Your abundant goodness
And joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
You, O lord, are gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, and great in lovingkindness.
You are good to all,
And Your tender mercies are over all Your works.
(Psalm 145:1-9)

These verses in Psalm can become your personal prayer of adoration and thanksgiving to God.

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