Thursday, October 30, 2008

Harvest Carnival

Here are some pics of the kids going to the Harvest Carnival at the church. They had a fabulous time playing games, painting pumpkins, eating hotdogs and just hanging out with friends. I am personally not a fan of Halloween but loved the Harvest Carnival alternative. I think they had more fun doing this than going trick-or-treat. Even my better half decided to join in the dress up fun. He can get a little goofy sometimes. I now have the pictures to prove it! I, like always was taking the pictures and not in them. I truly prefer it that way. I was present though, but not dressed like anything but me!

Here is the the wig I wore when I was going through chemo. I am glad that this very spendy wig is being put to good use! Can you guess who that dude is in the picture? He was the mystery guy of the evening.

Here is Michael finally rebelling!

Beach, Hippy Dude with cute pirate girl. Ahoy Mate!! Totally Narly!!

Aspen, my friend Karyn's daughter,as a very cute bumble bee. I wish I would have gotten her tights in the picture. They were yellow and black striped just like her dress,

Mandi the fairy!

Emma with her friends, our neighbors. Aren't they precious!

Joshy as Batman! He was so thrilled to get this costume. He was so afraid that I wouldn't know who he was amongst all the people at the carnival. He told me to look at his shoes to know that it was him. He must not get it yet that mommy's know everything, almost!!

Yes, Jeff was there, but didn't want to participate in the dress up part. He'd rather play all the games and win a purple bunny. What in the world is he going to do with a purple bunny?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Persevering Through the Storm

"When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don't be afraid of the dark. at the end of the storm is a golden sky and sweet silver song of a lark..."
Oscar Hammerstein, II

Are you going through a storm in your life? Dark clouds, maybe hurricane force winds may be the daily forecast and you can't see beyond the storm. Persevere! Jesus is walking with you. And here is an awesome thought... God is ahead of the storm. He already sees the outcome; the glory that He will receive from you persevering through the tough times, the strength that you will gain by going through the storm and most importantly becoming more Christ- like . He is able to mold you more into His image during these times. Hold onto hope, and with faith believe that at the end of the storm there will be a golden sky and a beautiful, new song.

"For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it."
Romans 8:24-25

* Summery of a chapter in the book,
"Refreshing Hope in God, a Mother's Journey of Joy and Pain" by Judy Dippel

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Sis!

Happy Birthday Kimmie! Thank you for 33 years of being a great sister and friend. You are such a blessing to me. God's love just radiates through you, and the Joy of the Lord is your strength. I love you and cherish you so much.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Family can take a bad day and make it GOOD!!

Early morning cuddling with Uncle Michael. Josh doesn't look too happy that two girls have taken over his daddy's lap. No matter how cute they are!!

Isabella - 2 1/2 years old. I can't believe how smart she is. She knows most of her letters, numbers, shapes and colors. I gave her a bit of the assessment test I give my 3 year old preschoolers and she surpassed all of them by leaps and bounds.

Natalie - 1 1/2 years old trying on Joshy's hat. This gave her great entertainment for a very long time. Natalie is so busy and always happy.


I had a pleasant surprise come late last night before bed. My sister, her husband and the cutest kids in the world next to mine!

Kimmie, my sis who is turning 33 on Oct. 27 called around 5:30 to announce that they had packed the car and the kids (Isabella and Natalie who are 101/2 months apart)and all the food when Jeremy her husband had this weird thought that their vacation to Eagle Crest started Sunday the 27 instead of last night. I am sure all of you would agree it is a ton of work packing for a vacation to find out that you have to unpack and put it off a few days.

We already had plans to get together on Saturday and have fun at the pumpkin patch and celebrate her birthday, so she asked if they could spend Sat. night at our house. I told her to come on over tonight so they didn't have to unpack. 3 hours later, my horrible, no good, very bad day had all faded when I got to hold my cute nieces and see my sis.

Here's the bad thing- As I was putting Jeff to bed he felt clammy and mentioned his tummy hurt. I told him to go to the bathroom. He just barely made it before he got sick. Now I had a sick boy with who knows what and company. Not a good mix. We quarantined Jeff in our bathroom all night to protect everyone in the house. We'll see if we succeeded. Were still waiting for the next person to get sick. Michael's feeling a little under the weather but we're not sure if it's the pain medication that he took. He seemed to have mild allergic reaction to it.

This morning Jeff was doing a lot better and the house was lively with two cute toddlers. They are very busy girls. Oh, I remember those days!

I posted some cute pics that I took of the kids and Michael this morning.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What we do to make ourselves look better!

Tonight my mom called because she noticed that I put a new profile picture on my blog. she showed dad and dad was sure that the picture they were looking at wasn't a recent one. Mom thought it was. She asked if my face was really that thin. Hesitantly I answered that I altered the picture. She was surprised because she didn't know that you could do that to pictures. I told her that I took off the mole on the side of my nose and I touched up some other blemishes. I even smoothed out my scar. Anyway, she wondered what the original looked like so I had to post both pictures on my blog for her to see. Now I am blogging about it and everyone gets to see how I altered my pic so that I look thinner. My secret is now out!!

The funny thing was that mom like the original better. Now you can decide!

An Answered Prayer!

I wanted to update all of you who have been praying for my mom, Susan. She recently heard from her doctor and found out that she won't have to do any alternative treatments like chemo or radiation. OHSU sent her reports to a hospital in Pittsburg and a group of specialized doctors decided against any other treatments. We know God has this all in His hands and feel peace with this decision. Thanks again for praying.

This is a picture of my beautiful, 60 year old mother with her too cute, new dog, Daisy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Preschool Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

Last Thursday I had the great priviledge of taking 14 3 year olds to the Pumpkin Pactch for a preschool field trip. I was so impressed with all my preschoolers. They were so well behaved. I got a lot of great comments on how well they listened and obeyed.

Michael and Joshua came along with me to enjoy the field trip and to help. We went on a train ride, picked out pumpkins, petted the animals and went through part of the corn maze. The weather was beautiful and fun was had by everyone.

I can't wait until our next field trip. Maybe the fire station for community helper month? Please feel free to giv me some ideas!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sassy Sisters

Best Brothers

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My many hairstyles!!

I had fun digging up pictures of the last 3 years. Someone mentioned how much I have changed since coming to Redmond in '05. Here is just how much I have changed. I truly have enjoyed each and every stage of growing my hair back out since chemo days. I hope this makes you feel better if you are having a bad hair day. Oh, you will notice that my hair came in brown. Before I lost it I was blonde. It came in brown and wavy. Today, it is back to blonde (yes, my real color) and straight.

The order starts with the present and goes back to September '05 just before I lost all my hair. The last pic is of me right after Michael shaved my head. Why do I look so happy?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Breast Cancer Story: Part 1

I have never written my cancer story out. It is funny that as time passes the pain of what I went through gets less and less, and the details get kind of fuzzy. I thought that since I have recently celebrated the 3rd year anniversary of when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer I would take the time to get my story on paper or shall I say computer! I am not sure who this my help, but more than anything it is exciting to see how God works in hardships. To God be the glory if he uses my life circumstances to encourage and comfort others.

(2 Corinthians 1:3-5) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any troubles with comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. "

My story really starts when I gave my life to the Lord. I have seen God mold me and shape me in so many ways since that day. Going through cancer was just another one of those growing experiences that brought me into a deeper, closer relationship with God.

Paul writes to the Ephesians and says,

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms."

Paul prayed that the Ephesians would know Christ better. Christ is our model and the more we know him the more we will be like him. The hope we have is not that we will have a pain free life but the complete assurance of the victory we will have in Christ.

It took me so many years to understand this. I still struggle with this, but I hope that each day of my life, with each trial and blessing, I will know my precious Lord and Savior better and become more and more like him.

(Philippians 3:12-14) "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brother, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

I guess this was my lengthy introduction. Part 2 of my story will highlight my actual Breast Cancer story. How I discovered it, how I treated it and the many blessing that came from it.

My New Favorite Picture

My mom took this picture of Mandi and Michael this weekend in Sisters, Oregon. I love this father, daughter picture and pray that they will always be this close. I remember the first night we brought her home from the hospital. Michael rocked her in the rocking chair and read Pooh Bear stories to her. If you ask me-she is growing up way too fast. Please, someone tell me how I can turn back time!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Corrie Ten Boom Said...

When God forgives
He forgets.
He buries our sins in the sea
and puts a sign
on the bank saying,
"No Fishing Allowed."

Lord, if you keep in mind our sins then who can ever get an answer to his prayers? But you forgive! What an awesome thing this is!
Psalm 130:3-4

Women of Faith in Portland

This last weekend I had the privilege of attending Women of Faith in Portland, Oregon. Two full days of wonderful, funny, inspirational, and very Godly speakers. It was held at the Rose Garden with over 10,000 women in attendance.

I went with dear women from my church who I just love hanging out with. Lots of laughter and even tears were shared.

Friday morning we left bright and early at 6:00am to make it in time for the opening session at 10:00. When we left Redmond it was snowing! Our drive there was very easy and safe. Our group leader, shelli drove and did a fabulous job getting us over the mountain.

Friday's sessions had some wonderful speakers. Anita Renfroe who is a very funny comedian (see last post), sang several songs that she wrote that made us laugh and cry. Patsy Clairmont a quick witted, but spiritually deep speaker who made us laugh and cry almost in the same sentence. She spoke heart to heart about emotions and the different emotions that women have and how to handle them. Jan Silvious was another speaker who spoke on emotions also. I loved how she deeply communicated spiritual truths. And to top it off the worship team of four women was the best I have ever heard. It was so worshipful and their voices were beautiful.

Saturday was just as good with different speakers such as Steve Arterburn who is the founder of WOF, Nicole Johnston who is a very gifted Drama writer and presenter and Nicole C. Mullen who is a talented singer. Louise Duart, a comedian and impressionist rocked the house with her funny impressions of Carol Burnett and other famous actresses. Marilyn Meberg was another speaker who wove together life experiences along with the Word of God to communicate topics that are very relevant to women. Mandisa who was on American Idol was there and so was Sandi Patti. I missed those two singers however but heard that they were terrific.

There was so much that took place there this weekend I have a hard time communication everything. I definitely walked away from WOF encouraged and strengthened in my walk with God.

For those who have never been, let me encourage you to plan on going to next years WOF Conference which will be at the Rose Garden in Portland October 9 and 10. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Do You Want A Good Laugh?

If you haven't heard of Anita Renfroe let me briefly introduce her to you. She is so hilarious and knows how to take something we women all think about but dare not talk about and put it into a little ditty! I first saw Anita at Women of Faith last year in Portland where she did her famous "momsense". She got so many hits on You Tube with this song done to the William Tell Overture that Good Morning America had her on the show. Now a year later she is a regular on the show as their comedian contributor.

I just returned from attending this years Women of Faith Conference in Portland and was able to see her again. This year she had a fantastic "Ode to Spanx". I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

To see another funny Anita Renfroe video visit my friend Cathy's blog,Dancing in the rain


Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Love School Pictures!!

The kids got their school pictures today! I have gotten some very interesting pics in the past. You just never know how they will turn out. I hesitate to get them done because they cost so much money and I would rather go to Sears where I can monitor their smiles and such! But I decided long ago to let that go and get them done at school. As the kids get older they want to take more ownership or control over what they wear and how to do their hair. Last year Mandi wanted to do something weird with her hair and I vetoed it. Unfortunately I handled it a little too harshly and it caused tears which in return showed red and puffy eyes in the picture. Mandi is so thankful that last years picture will now be taken down and a new one put up. The lessons we learn!!

This year I was so pleasantly surprised at how perfect all the kids looked. I am overjoyed at the outcome and have to share them with all of you! I laid out all of their pictures from the very beginning of school and had a great big cry. They are growing up way too fast.

My oldest is almost 13! Translated...TEENAGER!!!! I remember so vividly the day she started preschool at Miss Vicki's Preschool in Grants Pass. Nine years have past so quickly. She has turned into a beautiful girl inside and out. It won't be long before the boys are knocking at our door. Honestly, I'm not ready for that and neither is Michael!

Then there's Jeff who is looking much older than ten. He is getting taller every day. One of these days he will tower over me. I can't believe how mature he has gotten this year. He is taking school so seriously. I am so proud of him!

Emma is my little beauty who has come a long way. I remember the early years when we wondered if she would ever talk normal. Several years of speech therapy and some wonderful teachers later she is talking great and reading well. Many people notice that she has an English accent. They want to know where it comes from. Who Knows? But I love it and hope it sticks. She makes us laugh so hard. She has a sense of humor much like my mom's.

Them there is my cutie patutie Josh! I am so thankful that this kid made it into our family. Just think, I thought I was so done with three kids. God knew I needed a little tag along to love on when all the other kids were going their own way. I can't get enough of his sweetness! I love having him in my preschool class. He acts completely different than at home. At school he is the almost 5 year old amongst several three year olds. He is big man on campus! Josh has shown so much progress in the shyness area lately. It has been great to see him come out of his shell.

All this rambling and all I wanted to do was post a few pictures. It is always so good to take time and reflect how the kids have grown spiritually, physically, and emotionally over the years. It does wonders for the Mommy's heart. Right now I'm Smiling!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

Today, October 8,2008 is my mom's birthday! This is a big one for her. She turns 60!I am so thankful to have such a wonderful mom. She has been a very loving and devoted mom to me and my sister and a very loving and supportive wife to my dad. Thank you mom for always being there for us.

Reasons why my mom is so special!

1. She loves Jesus

2. She cares deeply for people

3. She is always there for me when I need her

4. She works very hard as a nurse(almost 40 years)

5. She is interested in all of her grand children's lives

6. She taught me the love of reading

7. She loves the outdoors. (Hiking and camping keep her young)

8. She is a great listener!

9. She is a giver.

10.She is nurturing.

11.She is outgoing. She can start up a conversation with anyone.

12.She knows how to make people feel special and important

13.She knits(I don't)

14.She loves listening to Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill and to Curtis Tucker from RCC on her computer.

15.She loves to take long, beautiful drives with dad

16.Her home is a peaceful place and lovingly decorated

17.She is patient with me and my children

18.She looks much younger than she really is (I hope I inherit this)

19.She lifts people's spirits

20.She is beautiful inside and out!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Kristin, Michael, Mandi, Jeff, Emma, and Joshua

Spect Scan

This morning I go into St. Charles for a spect scan. This is were they inject dye into my veins and then I wait a few hours before they scan me. This hopefully will highlight the places where I am having pain.

My pain has been off and on over the last two weeks. I always seem to have a headache, but I am having less pain in my pack and arm. God gives me the strength and less pain on the two days that I work with the preschoolers. It is amazing how good I feel on those days. Of course, I am very tired and usually feeling pain at the end of the day.

This Friday I get to join some friends from church and go to the "Women of Faith" Conference. Another weekend away! Again no cooking, cleaning, etc...This time it is only for one night. It has been awhile since I have really socialized with the women from my church. I miss Tuesday's Bible study. I miss the fellowship and the accountability of being in the Word. I have a greater appreciation and understanding of women who do work and can't attend Bible studies.

This morning Michael thanked me for working to send our four children to Christian school. I thought that was very sweet, and it did help to hear it. It made me wonder how often I thanked him for allowing me to be a stay at home mommy for 13 years while he worked hard to provide for us. I know that there were many times that my working would have helped greatly but we made it work. Anyway, I am only working 2 days of week and at my children's school. I have a lot to be thankful for!

Have a beautiful fall day! This is the day that the Lord has made. I will be glad and rejoice in it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

ACSI Convention

Wednesday afternoon I left for Portland with my co-worker and friend from school. We were headed for a Christian School's Conference at the Convention Center. After dropping off her kids in Mcminnville we headed to our hotel, the Red Lion which was right across from the Convention Center. We left at 1:00 and finally arrived at 9:00. What a drive! We found our room and our roommates. Both of the other roommates were teachers that my kids have. Four ladies in one small room with one bathroom. What fun!!

Thursday and Friday were filled with seminars and fabulous Christian speakers. The worship time was so good too. Thursday night most of the teachers walked down to Newport Bay to eat by the Loyd Center and tried to make it back for the Vise Presidential Debates - which we saw only the last part of. Then we stayed up a little too late chatting!

Friday after the conference everyone left but the two pre-school teachers. We spent the evening shopping, mainly window shopping at the Loyd Center. I ran into a high school friend who was eating dinner at the food court with his wife. It's a small world!We got back to our room which had two less people in it. We have our own bed. Yeah! Saturday was the Early Childhood Conference. We were so tired by Saturday nothing seemed to wake us up enough. Not even the Starbucks coffee! I think it was all the sitting we were doing. Of course, we did walk a lot! Never once did we use the car to get around. We hoofed it even in the rain!

Saturday at 3:00 we left Portland to get my friend's kids and headed over the mountain. I enjoyed the fellowship with the other teachers and feel like I got to know them better. I also learned some great early childhood stuff (too tired to regurgitate it right now!) I was ready to get home to see my hubby and kids. What a surprise I got when I opened the door. All four kids had decorated the house with streamers and posters welcoming home. They also jumped out from behind the couches to greet me. You can't ask for a better home welcoming than that! Oh Yeah- the house was sooo clean.

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