Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oregon State Shakes Things Up!

Oregon State upsets USC 27-21 Thursday night at Reser Stadium. Oregon State's victory was its first over an Associated Press top-ranked team since a 3-0 victory over running back O.J. Simpson and USC on November 11, 1967. Riley's father, Bud, was an assistant coach on that Beavers team.

That game was the day before my husband, Michael was born. His birth announcements were in a football shape with the game score on it. Did I mention that Michael was born in Corvalis?

Michael has been a Oregon State fan all his life. I guess your destined to be if your grandparents were teachers there, father was an alumni there and you were born there. And now we have a nephew, Joey who is attending there. Michael has been that faithful fan through thick and thin all these years and last Thursday was a beautiful game for OSU and all their loyal fans.

Jacquizz Rodgers wasn't around for the celebration when Oregon State stunned USC two seasons ago. The freshman running back is now a part of history. Rodgers ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns and Lyle Moevao added a couple of touchdown passes all contributing to the huge win over USC.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Please Pray For My Mom

My mom heard from her doctor today. She was diagnosed with melanoma cancer this summer and has been through several procedures to remove the cancer in her arm. After one surgery and three other in office visits of trying to remove the cancer they still are not getting clear margins. Her doctor has been consulting with other doctors on what to do next. The thought is that she will need to go through chemotherapy and radiation to make sure that the cancer is completely gone. This isn't for sure yet but most likely. I ask that you will lift her up in prayer. Pray that she will be at peace with this news and that she will cling to God through this time. She is an strong woman. She is very active so I know that if this has to be done, she will come through just fine. Her strength right now really amazes me.

Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am afraid that my blog has become a medical report! I wish I had a lot more to write about but aches, pains and broken bones are my life right now.

Yesterday I went to see a new doctor. I have seen so many doctors in the last 3 years I can't remember them all! I saw Dr. Hadden, a Neuro Surgeon. The last two months I have been experiencing lots of pain in my neck, back and arm. This pain has been off and on for the last few years, but after being diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and having surgery for it in April, I thought my days of pain were gone. I was pain free all of June and July. What an amazing feeling it is to feel free of pain after having it so long.

Well it didn't last for long. I started having pain in my neck with lots of headaches in August. I thought that maybe I needed to see a chiropractor but kept putting it off and lived with it. The first week of teaching preschool I noticed that the pain went away and I was living pain free. It was a wonderful week! The next week it came back a lot worse.

I made an appointment with the chiropractor and when I saw him I didn't like what he had to say. He said that he wouldn't adjust me but would rather sent me to the neuro surgeon. That brings us to the present.

Dr. Hadden has diagnosed me with three degenerating discs, progressive arthritis and a herniated disc. The question was what in the world did I do to cause such problems at such a young age. I liked the young age part cause I really don't feel young any more, but I couldn't tell him anything. I have never been in an accident of any kind.

So, the first thing that I get to do is have a spect scan where I am injected with dye and the dye highlights the areas that are inflamed. From there my doctor will do cortisone injections to try and relieve the pain. He said that this could help from anywhere between 2 weeks or 2 years. What a range! When this doesn't work anymore then he will look at the possibility of fusing the discs.

Until I have the injections I am managing my pain with some strong drugs that he prescribed. I felt much better today than I have in awhile. The drugs are working, but they make me really sleepy. The praise is that I made it through work today!

My favorite song was on KLOVE tonight, "Praise Him In The Storm". I was reminded again to praise God in every and all circumstances. Nothing will stop me from praising Him. I am getting through every day with God's strength. I am praying that my body will be healed but if that is not God's will then I will use this pain to bring Him glory.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the
richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will
praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches
of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Prayer Answered!

Jeff had his x-ray this morning and it came out A-OK!! The doctor was pleasantly surprised to see such a huge change in the position of the bone and the way it was healing so nicely. He mentioned that he lost a lot of sleep last week worrying over Jeff. Wondering whether he should have ordered surgery earlier. The doctor seemed more relieved than us. I wasn't surprised because prayer is powerful and God is the great physician! What a wonderful testimony Jeff has for the doctor and his friends at school. Thank you for praying!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another prayer request!

Monday Jeffrey goes to his orthopedic doctor to have another x-ray of his broken arm. Last week they put a permanent cast on. The doctor mentioned that his bones had shifted but surgery wasn't necessary. Then Friday the doctor called Michael and told him that he felt the need to consult with the other doctors at his office to see what they thought. They all thought that Jeff should have surgery. So he gave us two options. #1- Have surgery Friday or #2-wait until Monday and have another x-ray to see if the bones corrected themselves and if not have surgery that afternoon. We chose to wait until Monday to see how the bone looks. We are prepared for Jeff to have to go to surgery but are praying that God will shift his bones!

Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

God Has It All Under Control

I have many times wondered if God knew what He was doing. Yes, my head knowledge knows that God is in control but I must admit my heart cries out why Lord? Life is so temporal and we can not see the big picture. I guess if we could that would take faith out of the picture.

Daily God is working with me to trust Him fully. Not just on the good days when life goes the way I want it to but every day. Trust Him on those rotten,no good days when it is much easier to throw up my arms and say I give up.

I want to share a portion of an email that my Grandmother wrote me yesterday. She is in her 80's and has seen her share of hard times. Her letter to me yesterday was very inspirational and encouraging. This is why we need older women of the faith in our lives. Titus talks about it and encourages it. This portion of her letter shares a quote from Charles Stanley. Please read and be encouraged.
(Grandma, thank you and I love you!)

In my worn Bible I had written a quote from Charles Stanley years ago : "Don't waste the adversities of your life when He has allowed each one of them, by His Sovereign will (and foreknowledge)----finding in Jesus alone the all sufficient matchless grace. ---All the new things we learn of God, we learn through ADVERSITY. He grabs our attention through TRIALS, wanting to teach us new truths of His Word. Adversity can crowd us to Christ and to lay hold of a greater depth of faith and trust in God."

Now go back to the top of my blog. The plaque I got for my birthday sits just above my kitchen sink in my window sill. It reminds me every day that indeed God has it all under control. What Joy, peace and comfort we can have in that truth.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Please Pray!

The last month I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my neck, back and arm. For a few months after my surgery I had no pain and I realized how life feels pain free.

The last two weeks I have had excruciating pain. The kind that keeps me from a good nights sleep and it is hard to get going in the morning. It is making my life difficult with a new job and just the day to day responsibilities that I have as a mother and wife. I visited the chiropractor two weeks ago hoping to be ,but all I got from him was possible more medical problems. As many of you know this is not what I want to here. Well, I guess nobody would want to hear that! The chiropractor looked up my MRI pictures and from them decided to sent me to a Nero surgeon. I was suppose to have that appointment on Monday but cancelled it because Jeff had to get a new cast. I am scheduled to have this appointment Wednesday the 24th. I don't want to go but I don't like being in this kind of pain ether.

Please pray for my state of mind. I want to thank God in every situation but that can be hard. I have seen His loving hand time and time again in my life and I know that this too shall pass, maybe. And if it doesn't then I pray that I will be able to live with it and count it all JOY. As I am writing this I am thinking of my sister and a friend who live with chronic pain and I see how God gives them Joy in the mist of pain. I so admire these women. This pain is also making me very grouchy. My kids keep making comments on how grumpy and stressed out I am. I don't want to be this kind of mommy, or wife.

Thank you for your prayers and support. I love you all!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Governor Mike Huckabee Plays with Michael's Band (video below!)

Central Oregon ComeUnity Band

Michael leading with Huckabee in background

Governor Huckabee rockin' on bass

Michael led worship for the High Desert Men's Summit this weekend and Governor Mike Huckabee was the special guest who played bass for two of the opening songs Friday night. Today, he was the keynote speaker for the Summit.

I was able to attend a reception to meet Governor Huckabee with my two oldest children, Michael and his mom and dad. Jeff got his cast signed by Huckabee and Mandi was excited to meet him because she loves what he stands for in politics. (She is my political girl)

The Holy Ground Community Concert on Friday night was wonderful. It was a special time of worship with about 2500 people from all over Central Oregon. Michael said it was amazing to see so many people worshiping God together with all of their hearts.

He just got home from the Men's Summit tonight and told us how wonderful the day went. The speakers were very inspirational and motivating. He said 1500 men were present.

It is very exciting to see this taking place in Central Oregon!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Tonight I was in Bend picking up Mandi from volleyball practice and running errands with all the kids. We ran through the McDonald's drive through because that was the easiest dinner I could think of at 7:00 at night. Life would have been as normal if I would have continued down the road, but my oldest son needed to go to the bathroom bad. I pulled into McDonald's parking lot and waited for him.

There was a homeless man waiting by the door with three cute dogs. I normally feel uncomfortable and try not to make eye contact. Tonight I couldn't take my eyes off him. I also don't make a habit of handing out money those who are begging. I would rather buy a burger and give it to them. But tonight I felt the need to give.

My son walked out of the restaurant and headed for the car. All I had was 1 dollar and some change to my name but felt compelled to give it. I gave Jeff the money and told him to give it to the man and to tell him "God Bless". As he walked over to him I regretted telling Jeff to say God Bless. How tright. What a cop out for telling him what I really wanted to say. Jeff petted the dogs for a second and started heading to the car. The man says "thank you mom", but precedes to ask me what do I mean when I say "God Bless". Here was the opportunity to share the love of God.

So I told him that God loves him. He introduced his name as Victor and told me that he knew that Jesus died on the cross for him and loved him but that he still did bad things like drink and smoke. I reassured him that if he knew and loved God and had believed that Jesus died on the cross for him and confessed his sins that he was a child of God. I told him nothing could separate him from the love of God. He asked me to pull over so he could tell me a poem he wrote. I did, and listended for 3 minute to the most awesome poem that I had ever heard in my life. After hearing this poem I felt pretty confident that this man knew Jesus and loved him with all his heart.

That poem was amazing! I told him so, and tried to encourage him the best way that I knew how. Silently I prayed that God would give me the right words to speak. Victor asked if I lived in Bend. "No" I replied. So he walked over to his pack and pulled out his notebook. He tore out a few pages and walked back over to the car. "Here is the poem, and a few others that I have written." Then he asked me if I had another dollar. I told him I didn't but that I would pray for him. He communicated how cold the winter was last year and that he was hoping to get on his feet before this winter came. Before I drove off ,Victor showed me the last page of the poem and pointed out his name- Victor, a blood washed sinner child of God, was signed at the bottom.

As you can imagine I got a million questions from children on the way home. "Mommy why can't he get a job? How can he feed himself and 3 dogs? Do you think he is going to heaven, and I can't believe you gave him money. You never do that!" I told them that it was the Holy Spirit that prompted me to give him money and to talk to him and talked to the kids a bit about some reasons why he might be homeless. Of course don't know Victor's story but I do know that today I was humbled and blessed through the encounter that I had with this man.

All the kids agreed that they should try and publish his poem and then give him the money. I was anxious to get home and read his poem but the pages he gave me did not have the poem I heard. It was another poem that revealed a man that might be still searching, or at least wondering why God doesn't hear him. This breaks my heart and I am determined to pray for him. There are a lot of things I wished I would have said. I wish that I had a Bible to hand to him or more words of hope. But this I know- God loves this man and desires to see him whole. If he doesn't know Jesus personally then I pray that God will bring him to Himself and put other people in his life that will show him God's love.

I am typing out his poem. It is interesting, it is confusing,but it is Victor's thoughts. Thoughts of a man who is searching for love, forgiveness and acceptance.

This is what he wrote:

Psalm 18:41
(They cried, but there was none to save them, even unto the Lord, but He answered them not.)

I opened my eyes and was sitting in jail
The paper in my pocket said I had no bail.
Emotions of fear traveled up my spine,
Oh dear God what happened this time?

A guard appears in front of my cell

With a freighting look He says welcome to hell.

I start to speak but my words don't form.
My soul is burning like a gail storm.
I try and think about the night before.
The beach, the party the dates we scored.


Then the Christians came preaching the Lord.
Singing, Dancing, and praising His name.
Repent from your sins or live eternity in shame.
Laughter erupts form all around.
The preacher so serious ,we fall to the ground.

The Christians stand firm with their hands held high.
The preacher keeps preaching because of you Jesus died.
One of the freaks falls down on his knees
If I didn't no better he was begging please.

As we walked away we say you're all nuts
At that very moment I felt fire in my gut.
Packed in our cars headed down town
Everyone talking but I hear no sounds.

Inside my head I feel so strange,
Someone speaking , calling my name.
Brother, sister why persecute me?
Because of you I died on a tree.

My head starts to clear
My friends are all stoned.
I think to myself I gotta go home.

As time passes by we're out of control
The stereo is blasting heavy rock-n-roll
A flash of light appears in the sky
My body is floating I must have died.

Now I feel the fire growing inside of me.
I am so thirsty but water I do not see.
I remember the Christians and call to their Lord.
He says He does not no me and shuts the only door.

All around is darkness my body heats too high.
Is this a bad dream I couldn't possibly be alive.
Closing my eyes I open them again,
Still in this cell alone with no friends.

Eternity passes by and still I am here.
I condemned my soul over drugs and beer
I condemned my soul through prideful fears.

Please pray for Victor

Our work as mothers does matter...

because it matters to God. Wear your title with confidence, yet with humility and with honor.

Isn't it overwehlming yet wonderful to know that we have the power to influence and mold our children. This little human being was given to ME to love. God chose me to be the mother of these 4 precious children. As I mentioned before the task seems huge most days but with God's grace, love and help I can do it. You can do it! God doesn't give us a job without equipping us first for it. My greatest prayer is not that my children obtain wealth, fame, or success in this world, but that they will learn that God loves them and learn to love and serve God with all their heart.

I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day;
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded at my will.

I came again when days were past,
The form I gave it still did last
And as my fingers pressed it still,
I could change that form no more at will.

I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art,
A young child's soft and yielding heart.

I came again when days were gone;
It was a man I looked upon,
He still that early impress bore,
And I could change it never more.

author unknown

I look at my oldest daughter who is becoming a teen. I wonder how much longer I will still have the power to influence and mold her? And at the same time I have a four year old who still has many years of my molding and shaping. I am not the same woman today raising my young son that I was when my first three were his age. It just caused me to reflect and thank God for his grace and mercy and help along the way. God doesn't want me to do it on my own but in His strength and His wisdom from the Bible.

I thank God for the wonderful occupation of being a mom and that He is the perfect role model and helper.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Best Playdough Recipe

I do not like store bought playdough! I think it stinks and I definitely don't want my child to put it in his mouth.

This truly is the best ever playdough recipe. It will last for several months in an airtight container. No refrigeration is needed. In addition to the food coloring you can add extracts or spices to give it different smells, though these can change how much flour you need to add.

20 min/1 batch

2 1/2 cups flour, plus more
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon alum (a preservative usually found with the spices at the grocery store)
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons oil
food coloring

1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl.
2. In a glass measuring cup, mix alum, water, oil, and color and add to the salt mixture. Stir until slightly cool.
3. Knead well, adding flour until it stops sticking to your hands.
4. Keep in an airtight container when not in use.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up 2 Cancer

Tonight all the major networks hosted a program to raise money for cancer research called Stand Up 2 Cancer. Michael and I watched this very informative, and entertaining program. It was very touching and emotional for me. Most days I don't give cancer a thought but tonight this program brought back to mind all the emotions that I dealt with and apparently will still deal with. This has caused me to give thanks to God for giving my health back to me. It is also a reminder that my days are numbered and to live like I was dying. Have you heard that country song? I'm not sure who sings it. I want to live my life sharing the Joy that I have in God and making joyful memories with my family and my friends.

The statistics are that 1 out of 8 women will get breast cancer in their life time. That is a very startling statistic. I want to encourage all my friends and family to go in for yearly check ups and to do a breast exam. 40 is the recommended age to get a mammogram but if I had waited until I was 40 it might have been too late. My kind of cancer was slow growing, undetectable to human touch but fast moving to my lymph nodes. The doctors say this is the old woman's breast cancer that isn't detected until it is too late. I have much to praise God for!

Michel called in and made a donation in my name. He wanted to get me one of the survivor t-shirts that all the survivor celebrities were wearing but the suggested donation was too much. That's ok though because I'm a survivor and I don't need a t-shirt to remind me. It is a word that is now attached to me. It is a word that helps define who I am and what I went through. It is a word that reminds me how God got me through one of the toughest times of my life and how He is using it for His glory. I am proud to be a SURVIVOR!

Below is the website address. There is some great info on it and a place to make a donation to help in cancer research. Take a look and maybe even donate. I am sure you know a loved one who has gone through some form of cancer. If you haven't experienced cancer yourself or through a loved one, odds are that you will. I don't mean to sound like an infomercial but it is a topic that is close to my heart.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

1st Day of School!!

Hi all- Just a quick note to let you know that my first day as a preschool teacher was just perfect! I had the best day with 13 precious 3 year olds. I am in awe of how loving they are. I am so tired though and am glad I have a day to recoup. I am not use to being on my feet all day. My kids had a great day at CCS also.

Mandi is now a 7th grader and has her very own locker. She made it to each class successfully without being tardy and leaves for Wild Horse Camp tomorrow for 3 days. When she comes home she'll start volleyball.

Emma loves her new teacher and is very happy to have her friends from her old school there. She also met a few new friends. She is on a roll in being ready for school each morning. She has set her alarm for 6 a.m. ,laid out her clothes and she even packed her own lunch the minuet she got home for school on her own. I think she has gotten the picture that mommy has other things on her mind lately.

Jeff had a rough start to school. Last night at 5:00 he went off his bike jump one last time before summer vacation ended and landed on his arm. We were in the ER for four hours. He broke it pretty bad. They put on a temporary cast and referred us to an orthopedic surgeon. Michael took Jeff this afternoon to the surgeon who decided to try and put the bone back in place instead of surgery. We have to wait a week to see if this works. I honestly don't want to go through another surgery. I pray that this works. Anyway, Jeff went to school this morning with one functioning arm and a little Vicadin in him. He didn't want to miss his first day. Tonight as he was trying to function with one arm he told me that he felt bad for the people who just have one arm. He said life is much harder. I think he is handling this great, of course it has slowed him down a lot. I'd post a picture but my camera broke today at school. Bummer!

Joshua went to school with me this morning and had a great time playing. Tomorrow he gets to go to his pre-k4 class. He says he's ready but most of you know the separation anxiety he goes through. I read him "The Kissing Hand". If you haven't read this book to your children I recommend checking it out at the library. It is a precious book.

Real quick- I have to tell you what Josh told me the other night. It was 11 pm and I was cutting out letters for school. I was very tired and a bit grumpy. Josh was still up trying to get some mommy time. I was really trying to be patient and loving at such a late hour. He told me out of the blue that he wanted to go to heaven. I have never been told that by any of my children before. It took me by surprise. I asked him why and he said "I just want to see what Jesus and God looks like anyway!" We had a great discussion after that. I just love those little moments. Now I am glad that Josh and I were up together at such a late time.

To rap it up- Our 1st day of school ended with a special surprise visit from my mom and dad. They just came over to see my room and connect with the kids about their first day and me too. My mom was taking pics of me in my room and at my desk just like she did 28 years ago on my first day of school. I guess a mother never stops being a mom!! We all ate dinner at Pappy's so that I had less dishes to do and it was a quick meal. Thanks mom and dad for driving all that way to support me and the kids on our 1st day. It was a wonderful surprise!

This got longer than I thought. I hope I didn't bore you with too many details!

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