Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I Believe In Love - Barlow Girl

How long will my prayers seem unanswered?
Is there still faith in me to reach the end?
I'm feeling doubt I'm losing faith
But giving up would cost me everything
So I'll stand in the pain and silence
And I'll speak to the dark night

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining
I believe in love even when I don't feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe

Though I can't see my stories ending
That doesn't mean the dark night has no end
It's only here that I find faith
And learn to trust the one who writes my days
So I'll stand in the pain and silence
And I'll speak to the dark night

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining
I believe in love even when I don't feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe
No dark can consume Light
No death greater than this life
We are not forgotten
Hope is found when we say
Even when He is silent

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining
I believe in love even when I don't feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe.

I heard this song for the first time yesterday on Air 1. I haven't been abel to get it out of my mind. This morning I found the video on God Tube. It is so beautifully done.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Run In With A Stop Sign

Today after church, I left in the Tahoe with the kids and headed home. I got one block down the road when I saw a car slide right through the stop sign in front of me. For those of you who read my blog and don't live in my town, it was snowy and the roads were not treated and very slick. I just nearly missed T-boning this small sedan. In an attempt to miss her I tried to stir the Tahoe out of her way. Low and behold, I drove up on the corner house lawn and slammed into the stop sign. By the grace of God I missed the parked car in front of the house but I did take down the stop sign. It Broke clear in half and toppled the opposite direction of the car. I managed to drive away from my first accident without a single scratch on the car and most importantly no one was hurt.

Michael left the church just after me and found the children and I standing outside the Tahoe in this yard. Just before he got there, I was trying to flag down the lady who ran the stop sign because she was not going to stop and check out the situation. I got her to stop but somehow did not get any of her information. I wasn't persistent enough and she didn't see the need to give it out. Well, it all worked out and all is well.

This weekend with Joshy's finger and this near accident has made me stop and think about how I react to difficult situations. I know I definitely panic and freak out. I couldn't tell you why I do this but according to most of my friends I reacted in a normal way. It only makes sense to panic when your baby is bleeding all over the place and you see a finger that is almost completely severed. I hope that if it was a life or death situation I would arise to the occasion,panic less and make wiser decisions. I do know that my first response to this accident, when I missed the car and the other car parked was to praise God for keeping everyone safe. I am just so glad that I didn't rattle off a whole bunch of bad words that my kids would have heard. Some situations allow us enough time to stop and think of the best response, but other times we don't have time to stop and think but just go with pure instinct, or our gut reaction.

Tomorrow is a new day and the start of a new week. I am looking forward to getting back to normal life...whatever that looks like! I just hope that it doesn't involve blood or downed stop signs. I hope you all have a normal, wonderful week too.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Praying For Harper

I have had a few blogger friends ask me who Harper was. I follow a blog called "Bring the Rain". One day when reading this blog I read about a baby that was just born but had a lot of problems. I followed this story on another blog called "Kelly's Korner". I don't know these people at all but had a real burden to pray and follow their story. My sister's baby was born with heart problems and was in the NICU for the first month or so of her life. She too was struggling to live just like Harper. I have been so touched by the strength and complete reliance on God that my sister and husband and also Harper's parents have during such trying times.

I'd like to encourage you to check out their blog and read Harper's story. Then go to "Bring the Rain's" blog and read Audrey's story. It is a sad but inspiring story. Whether through life or death, God is sovereign and in control. I have such a hard time understanding why these things happen, but God is a loving God and can use the worst, most horrible times for His glory.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Congratulations Jeffrey!!!

Friday Jeffrey was in a spelling bee at his school. There were six 5th graders competing together to see who would go onto the next round in the Christian schools division which will be held next month. After many days of studying a long list of hard words, his studying paid off. He ended up taking first place in his class. I was amazed that he was spelling words that I couldn't, but then again that is why he was in the spelling bee and I wasn't!

Here were some of the words that he spelled: eulogy, appendicitis, badminton (which by the way is popularly mispronounced badmitton)and his winning word was notorious. Now I have to use my spell checker to see if I spelled them correctly.

I was very proud of my son. Yes, for winning the spelling bee, but more importantly how hard he studied for it. All of his hard work paid off. The next bee will be using the same list of words. He is continuing to study hard for it.

Way to go Jeff!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Sleeping Beauty!

Here lies my very beautiful baby boy who had a very traumatic evening. Michael, Mandi and Josh got home from the hospital around 11:15. His little pinkie is sewn back together and all will be ok. The very first thing we did was carefully take off the crimsoned stained white flower girl dress that Mandi once wore in my sisters wedding. I must admit that with his pretty long eyelashes he could easily be mistaken for a girl, and a very pretty one I might add. Ask Michael, I wanted so badly to sneak a picture of this event but restrained myself. I did however, sneak one after he fell asleep. I am so glad that he is resting now and not screaming in pain. Oh, what a night!

Sleep well, my sleeping beauty...

The dress Josh was wearing when he got hurt.

Read earlier post to get the full story.

Please Pray!

This will be short, but I need my blogging buddies to pray for my youngest, Josh. Tonight, about an hour ago, Joshy slammed his finger in the bedroom door. This actually cut the pinkie finger off just below the fingernail. I have to say that I cracked under pressure and did not handle the situation like I thought I would in an emergency. The finger was bleeding greatly and when I looked at it I fell apart. Michael was at band rehearsal and I am thankful that he was on his way home when I called him. Within minutes he was home to help me deal with the situation. Actually, the calm force in the house before Michael got home was Mandi. She seemed to calmly step in as I was falling apart. I am thankful that she has recently taken first aid and CPR and had a clearer mind to figure out what to do.

Right now Michael, Mandi and Joshy are at the ER. Michael called and said that they are going to sew the finger back together and take X-rays. The doctor is expecting 100% recovery.

Please pray for Joshy's pain, I imagine he will be very sore.

Pray also for little Emma, she feels so horrible for shutting the door on his finger. They were playing and having fun and it was an accident. Oh, I have to mention that when this happened, Emma had just gotten done giving Josh a beautiful makeover. Imagine this- Josh wearing a beautiful, white, flower girl dress with black, thin strapped,heeled shoes and his hair was done up in several ponytails. He looked like a girl! This is how Michael had to take him to the emergency room! What will the doctors think of me? Now the pretty white dress is covered in blood. I can see him now sitting on the ER table with this dress on. Taking picture of this event would have been totally inappropriate but I will FOREVER have this picture of my precious Josh in my head- Him screaming, in a white dress, with blood dripping all over the place. It was like something out of a horror flick.

Well, I need to get off and focus on Joshy's homecoming. First, I would like to thank Amanda, my dear friend who so lovingly calmed me down over the phone. Her sweet husband quickly left for the ER to make sure Michael was doing great and she reassured me over and over that I was a good mommy. They went through a similar situation with their son.

Thanks also to my mom and sister for calmly talking to me. I am so glad they picked up the phone.

Lastly, thank you Jesus for being in control of the situation. You knew that I needed my husband home earlier tonight from rehearsal and brought him just in the nick of time. Thank you also for giving Mandi the calmness to take over when I was falling apart.

I'll update later on how little Josh is doing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A recap of my weekend

It is late at night and I most definitely should not be blogging. I need my beauty sleep in the worst way but I had to blog about my very busy, but wonderfully full weekend.

It all started on Friday when Mom and Dad Kuhlman arrived for the weekend. As soon as they got in we sat down to a yummy spaghetti dinner. I know it was yummy, not because I enjoyed it but because everyone else did. They ate and ate and ate. I, myself couldn't enjoy my own dinner because I have cut out flour and sugar from my diet. So far I have been mostly successful for almost 20 days. Now I just need to see the results in the way I look!

Saturday, I enjoyed a fun, quick, one day trip to Portland with a dear friend who let me accompany her to her sister's sweet and simple marriage ceremony. After the ceremony we conquered a very fun, but overwhelming store, IKEA. It was my first time there and what a treat it was to see it in person. I could have easily spent much more money than I did, but I managed to leave the store with only spending $14.00. Do you think that is a record? I bought a $1.49 butter dish and a very cool cheese grater. Oh, and a couple other little things that will make my life a little easier!

We had a delicious dinner at Olive Garden and got caught in a very windy, wind storm. I didn't know what else to call it. You should have seen us- we could barely walk into Olive Garden it was so windy. Then back to home we drove in the dark. We laughed and talked all the way home and definitely managed to get our 1300 words in. I didn't even have to talk to Michael that night I was so talked out.

Sunday, was busy too. Church, Sunday lunch and then to Sisters to window shop with my girls and mother in law. Oh yeah, Joshy came too and kind of wished he stayed home until he got candy. I was a good wife and didn't spend any money. I wanted to, but promised Michael I would just window shop. It kind of helps to leave all forms of payment at home. After looking in the shops, Michael drove to Sisters and met me there for a fun date night. Mom took the kids home so we could go out. We went to the cute movie house there and saw "Wedding Wars". This wasn't Michael's first choice but being the loving hubby he is, he let me choose. We also had appetizers at Three Creeks Pub. Yummy, bad for me sweet potato fries and spicy chicken wings were what we ordered. Hey, no flour or sugar in those.... I think! Ok, I kind of splurged on the weekend a little. Today was a new week and I am back on the wagon, after falling off the wagon. The good news is that in 20 days I have lost nine pounds.

Today, we puttered around the house until Mandi's basketball practice and I rearranged furniture. This turned out to be a bigger job than I expected. I don't think Michael or the kids like the look as much but it will have to do for now because I am done with it. Way too exhausting! The small turkey that we got from the church during Thanksgiving time was cooking in the crock pot all day and I just finished deboning it and putting the meat in baggies. It is the most tender, juicy turkey I have ever had. My mother in law is to be thanked for stuffing it in the crock pot. She had to cut off a wing so it would fit. Now I have lunch meat and soup and a few other turkey meals to make.

I am done with recap and heading to bed. Tomorrow is school fo the kids and a very busy day: babysitting, basketball games and another apointment at the chiroprators Most likely I have typed way too long and my dear, sweet hubby is fast asleep. EEKS, it is late, nearly midnight. long, fair well....have a goodnight sleep and a happy Tuesday!

Here are a few I took of the beautiful frost we got over the weekend. I have never seen the trees look so pretty or my girls!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Your Life Will Be Richer--If

Your life will be richer if on this day
you will make an effort to:
Mend a quarrel.
Search for a forgotten friend.
Dismiss a suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter to someone who misses you.
Encourage someone who has lost faith.
Keep a promise.
Forget an old grudge.
Examine your demands on others, and vow to reduce them.
Fight for a principle.
Express your gratitude.
Overcome an old fear.
Take two minutes to appreciate the beauty of nature.
Tell someone you love them.
Tell them again.
And again.
And again.

Author Unknown

"One Life To Love" 33 Miles

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My brain looks normal!

I am happy to post that my MRI report on my brain came back NORMAL!!!!! This was such good news for me today and I didn't have to wait a week to hear back. So....this means that my headaches are definitely tension headaches and can be helped. My chiropractor/neurologist is wonderful, and is taking a lot of time working with me. I feel very hopeful and so does she. Thank you for all your prayers. I am looking forward to a headache free year, God willing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I just have to blog about my "happy place" experience today at my MRI appointment.

This afternoon, while I really wished that I was outside enjoying this heat wave that we are getting, I was stuck in a machine. Yes, today I had a MRI done on my brain. For those of you who have not had this annoying experience, let me explain.

I walked into the imaging place with just the right clothes on. If you wear clothes without metal on them like sweatpants and a sports bra you are ready to go without changing into some hideous gown and an over sized pair of boxer shorts that don't cover much. I made this mistake last MRI and vowed to wear the appropriate clothing this time.

After entering the room I was placed on this long skinny table that looked as if only my tiny sister would fit on. I was given the recap on how to lie still and not move. After giving me the earplugs to drown out the noise and securing my head and elbows so I didn't move I was set to go. The machine is like a tube and they rolled me deep into the machine. Here's the thing- The first time I did this a year ago I didn't have a fear of being rolled into this machine. Maybe because I didn't know what the experience would be like. Well, this time I found myself getting rather anxious just knowing that I had to lie completely still for such a long period of time. My heart started beating faster and my hands were very clammy. I have never been one to be claustrophobic,but today I was experiencing it.

The kind technician talked me through every bit of what he was going to do. Then the noise started. First it is kind of quiet and I was left with the thoughts in my own head. That doesn't sound bad until those thoughts start to take you place you do not want to go. For instance, I am having this MRI done because my new Dr. who is a chiropractor Neurologist wanted to rule out the worst. With a history of cancer and headaches that started out of nowhere in August,it will be comforting to rule out anything serious or life threatening. Now, I really am not worried about these headaches being anything serious, except that they have rocked my world in a very unpleasant way. However, I found myself starting to worry that maybe something serious would be found. As I was panicking about the posiblility of cancer and then envisioning me with a bald head again I knew that I had to find my "happy place" real soon.

My "happy place"..... what does that look like? I really can't tell you! Michael sometimes will wake up from a dream and tell me he was in his happy place which was at the beach. I can't relate. I have never had a reoccurring dream that took me to a happy place. So, I tried to envision myself in Hawaii. We are actually going there this summer for our 15th anniversary, but it is hard to envision yourself somewhere you've never been, so I moved on.

Think, think, think.....I'm beginning to sound a little bit like Winnie the Pooh..

I am not coming up with anything happy. What is wrong with me? I'm beginning to think that I am just like Eeyore. "Oh my, I've lost my tail." If you don't know much about the book Winnie the Pooh then you won't get it, but Eeyore is extremely negative and I am realizing that so am I! Come on Kristin, shake yourself from all the negative thoughts and think happy, wonderful thoughts

Seriously guys, this was my conversation with myself as I was trying to lie still and not worry about my breathing. The noises were getting louder and longer and I was starting to have trouble talking to myself. I couldn't think as well. Maybe this was a good thing, since my thoughts were plaguing me. So I just laid there hoping it would all be over soon. By this time my head is pounding and I feel like crying. The noise is so loud and the pain is so great. I thought I was here to fix my headaches not to give me a horrific one.

I was just about to push the button the technician told me to use if I needed to stop the process for anything, and God's still small voice told me, "peace be with you". This phrase kept repeating it's self over and over. All of a sudden, my head stopped hurting, my breathing relaxed and I was thinking about how Jesus is my "happy place". Jesus is my peace, my comfort, my protector, my healer, the lover of my soul. He doesn't want me to spend my days searching for that "happy place" when all I need to do is call on Him.

Wow! How could I be so blind to the truth? The world wants to entice us with all the "happy places" and things that make us happy. Then we search and search, looking for that thing that will bring us happiness. What a lie! We could search this whole world over and not find the kind of happiness and peace that God can give us. He is our all in all, our everything. With just a whisper He can calm the most anxious spirit and bring complete and total peace. A peace that passes all understanding. This is what I experienced today and want to experience every day. The beach is nice! But all I want Jesus.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Psalms 29:11

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:3

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Some children were asked, "What is love?"
One little girl answered, "Love is when your
mommy reads you a bedtime story.
True love is when she doesn't skip any pages."


Monday, January 12, 2009


FOR TODAY January 12,2009...

Outside my window...The sun is shining bright and warm. This is suppose to be the coldest week of winter, yet it is in the mid 50's.

I am thinking...of how I should take the two boys I babysit to the park to run off some energy. This would get me out of the house and lift my spirits.

I am thankful As I am writing this I am listening to my play list and filling my mind with worshipful words that I can sing to my Savior.

From the kitchen...I am cooling granola that I made for the first time. The nutty, sweet smell is making me hungry. I hope it tastes good.

I am wearing...jeans and a sweatshirt. Nothing fancy, but very comfortable. I have on the warmest, fuzzy slippers that I got for Christmas. I wear them even to the grocery store.

I am creating...a picture frame for Michael's office with recent pictures of the kids and I.

I am pick up the kids from school at 3pm and then give a piano lesson. My day is very exciting....

I am reading...a long, but intriguing book about President Lincoln. He was a fascinating man. I think it will take me a year to read it!

I am hoping...the boys I watch will take a nice nap or rest so that I can finish my Bible study before tomorrow.

I am hearing...lots of giggles from the boys as they are playing so nicely together. Little boys are so fascinating. I love the noises they make.

Around the house...I have the wash going, the dryer drying. Laundry is starting to pile up and needs to be folded, but my tubs are scrubbed clean.

One of my favorite waking up and drinking my cup of coffee. I sit in my over sized, red chair and watch the beautiful sunrise. Often times I get a snuggle from my youngest when he wakes up early.

A few plans for the rest of the week:Mandi has her first basketball game. There is Bible study to look forward to and a fun trip to Portland with a friend for a day. I am also looking forward to my in laws visiting for the weekend if weather permits.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

This picture was taken January '05 here in Redmond. We were on vacation at Eagle Crest for a week. We loved this area but had no idea that God would bring us here 8 months later.

Visit the to share yours.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mandi's 13th Birthday Party!

This afternoon, Michael and I took our family, along with 12 of her friends from school to the Fun Mountain Sun Center for bowling and bumper cars. We borrowed the Church van which accommodated all of us. Michael and I were so impressed with how well behaved and how much fun we had with these kids.

We took up 2 lanes, and bowled, bowled, bowled. There were some great bowlers among us. Joshua was one of them. This was his second time bowling and he did pretty well!

We also did the bumper cars. There is nothing like getting all your aggression and energy out by bumping into other people.

We topped of the outing by having yummy, huge Costco cupcakes. Of course everything from Costco is huge.

All in all this was a fabulous birthday for Mandi. She had so much fun. We enjoyed watching her hang out with her friends and laugh and act silly.

I am definitely in favor of this kind of party. There was no mess to clean up at home!

She's a Teenager

January 10th, 1996, my sweet first born and apple of my eye was born. Amanda Janae was born at 4:30 am in Wenatchee, WA.

How completely delighted we were to have a beautiful baby girl.

Mandi has been a complete joy to raise. Her spirited personality is contagious and her love and devotion to God is something special.

Now, I have a teenager- This sweet, sensitive, energetic girl is quickly changing into an incredible young lady. I only get just a few more years of her at home. How time has flown. I am excited, however, to see what God has in store for her. I believe He will use her in so many wonderful ways to touch the lives of other.

Happy Birthday, Mandi!

We feel so blessed to have you as our daughter. You have brought us 13 years of laughter and fun. With you there is never a dull moment. We love how kind hearted you are and how you think of others. You are such a special lady. We know God has great plans for you. Stay true to Him and seek Him with all your heart. He will direct your paths.

Lots of love, Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Part 2: Bad or Good?

I love my husband so much! This morning he woke up and quietly whispered in my ear that he knew the answer to the riddle. With just waking up, and still very sleepy, I had no idea what he was talking about.

"What riddle," I asked. I didn't know that I was trying to solve a riddle.

"The riddle to the Chinese tale whether it is good or bad," he answered.

This woke me up a little faster, because I specifically blogged about how it is a question that really can't be answered, or so I thought.

My husband preceded to give me the answer. An answer that truly answers this question. I almost felt ashamed that I didn't think of it while I was writing my post the other night. Any how, the answer has been there all along, in the Bible!

Here it is.....

Romans 8:28

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

I also like the Message Bible version of this verse.

"That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bad or Good?

There is an ancient Chinese tale about a man who raised horses for a living. When one of his prized stallions ran off and could not be located, his friends gathered at his home to mourn his great loss. After they had expressed their concern, the man turned to them and asked; "How do I know whether what happened is bad or good?"

A few days went by and the runaway horse returned with several stray horses of considerable values following close behind him. The same acquaintances again came to his house, this time to celebrate his good fortune. "But how do I know whether it's good or bad?" the man asked them.

Later that day the horse kicked the owner's son and broke the young man's leg, severely injuring him. Once again the crowd gathered, this time to express their condolences for the accident. "But how do I know if this is bad or good?" the father asked once again.

A few days later, a terrible war broke out in their land. The man's son was exempted from military service because of his broken leg. Once again his friends gathered and...

Author Unknown


I read this Chinese tale the other day and reflected back through the years and the good and bad times that we as a family have gone through. There are so many instances when hardship was thrown our way and it seemed so bad. The kind of bad that you couldn't possibly imagine any good coming out of it.

Here is our story. I must adimit a bit long, but it is very good for me to put into writing.

Several years ago Michael was serving in our home town church. This was a prayer come true because just months before at a church in Tacoma, Michael, out of the blue got fired from our dream church job because they made a case against him saying he was a visionary leader instead of an administrative leader. The whole experience was surreal. Out of a job and no desire to stay in Tacoma, we headed home to our home town, Grants Pass to be closer to family. It wasn't long after this that he got the job at the church that Michael and I attended before we were married. We had a lot of wonderful history with the pastor of this church. Taking this job was "good" or was it "bad"? I really don't know. This is a question that I don't need to answer. However, sadly enough this church found reason to let Michael go.

We were feeling stress and disunity at this church and I saw where it was going so I encouraged Michael to start looking at other options around the country. One of my prayers was that God would keep us close to parents and in the North West. The hope was to find a job somewhere before we lost ours, so the mark of being fired wasn't on our resume. The Sunday after we were fired we drove to Eugene to check out a church that Michael had been looking at. We snuck in and tried to sneak out without drawing attention to ourselves. The greeter, however, was so friendly and very good at his job and was able to get a little info out of us. He got our names and where we were from. He called the pastor over and introduced us. This pastor connected the dots and asked if Michael was the one he had corresponded with. Of course, now we had a mark on ourselves of being fired. This pastor and his wife invited us out to dinner and then over to their house to get to know us and love on two wounded people who loved ministry but had been burned. We walked away encouraged but this church had already invited someone to fill their position. Hang in there.... this story only gets better, or maybe worse. You will have to read to find out.

We went back to GP. Michael started school to become a computer programmer and I to support him and mother 3 small children. We felt God telling us to pursue another line of work. Plugging along in this endeavour, we weren't expecting to here from this pastor ever again, but our memories of our time together lingered in our minds and hearts. Four months or so later, I received a call from this pastor asking what Michael was up to. I told him that we had switched directions and felt good about the road on which we were headed. He asked to talk to Michael. That night Michael called back, and I remember the one sided conversation so vividly to this day. Excitement built in me as I heard my husband talk passionately about what he loved most, worship. Four months later we were moving to Eugene to be apart of a wonderful church and community that is dear to our hearts.

Fast forward three years. Like most of our experience in churches, the first 2 years go very well. In Eugene we bought a house and even grew our family by adding Joshua. We had wonderful friends and for the first time experiencing stability. The downward spiral happened so fast. Again, we encountered problems. It is usually the same old thing- someone isn't happy with how the ministry is being lead and things go from good, to bad, to worse. One Saturday we get a call from the elders telling us that we our loved and safe and things will blow over and the next Saturday we are called into the church to discuss an exit strategy. Again, I remember so vividly the pain we felt and the shock of how fast things can turn around. Before we knew it we were out of a job again and putting up a for sale sign. This is bad right? or is this good?

So now we are moving to the Salem area to be closer to family and a community college where Michael could finish that computer programming job that my dad suggested he finish while being at the church. Just as we were moving, Michael suggested that we all get physicals because our insurance was going to run out soon. Now, you have to understand that I wasn't one to go to the doctor. I had perfect health. The joke was always, we may be broke and out of a job but at least we have our health! I didn't even go to my 6 week post pardom appointment. So reluctantly I went. It was at this particular appointment that my doctor discovered a small ridge on my left breast. This took me to my first mammogram at the age of 30 where they discovered that my left breast looked fine but my right had a small calcification. But not to worry because 97% of calcification's at my age were no problem at all. Of course, I fell into the 3%, and that small calcification turned out to be cancerous. This cancer had been growing at a slow rate since my early twenties. The small part was good, but the bad part was that it had already moved to my lymph nodes.

So recap- Was it bad that we lost the job or good?

I am pretty sure that if we weren't losing out insurance, I wouldn't have gone to the doctor like I did. Not to mention that the doctor misdiagnosed a small lump on the wrong breast. It is so amazing how God works.

Now we are living in Aumsville, Oregon, wondering how I am going to go through treatments when the insurance is running out. Michael doesn't have a job and the future looks so bleak. (Remember, now, that we are pretty through with occupational ministry. We were very happy to be done with church. No, I don't mean fellowshipping at one but to be involved in the politics or the inner workings of one.)Now it is one month from the time that our insurance was going stop. I had had all of my surgeries and the next step was chemo. I was suppose to start it but was holding off to see how God was going to work this one out. Michael got a message on his phone from this pastor in Central Oregon. He had gotten his name from someone who had been on his worship team way back in Grants Pass days. I remember vividly how Michael was not interested in calling him back. We were in the car commuting to Eugene for a post operation doctor visit, and I told him that he must return this guys call. After all it is very rude to ignore it. So call back he did. The rest is history.....

Well I should at least finish the good part. About 1 week after talking to this pastor we were in Redmond interviewing for the job. Michael went back over the mountain and I stayed at Eagle Crest because I had previously planned before all this happened to had a nice, restful weekend with some of my closest friends before I started all my treatments. I remember Michael calling me at Eagle Crest to inform me that he got the job and to start looking for a place to live. It is amazing how God works! My close friend from GP stayed with me and we drove around looking at rentals. Two weeks later we moved the family to Redmond on Labor Day. The kids started school at the beginning of the year and our insurance kicked in just as the other one was ending. I started chemo 2 weeks later.

God has been good and we have seen his hand of mercy. We have also seen incredible growth in our lives. Michael and I are not the same people today because of the refining that has taken place. Because of this, I wouldn't want one single thing to change. I know our story is not over. In fact, even though we are experiencing a healthy, safe, loving church and job wise all is good, I am going through about all I can handle health wise. It is by the grace of God that I haven't crumbled yet. I trust he is and will work this out for His glory. Then there is the future- what will it hold? Honestly, I have learned to not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough worries of its own. All I need to do today is rest in the arms of my Father and trust that He will provide for my every need like He promises.

I can't believe I wrote all of this down. I am even wondering if I should post this now. I think I wrote this more for my own benefit than ever benefiting those who may happen to read it. More than anything, this post helped me see that I have moved on from the past and have seen how God works through the good and the bad.

So is it "Bad or Good"? Really, all I want to ask is, is what I am going through (good or bad) going to make me more like Christ and bring glory to Him.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back To A Routine

The kids left bright and early this morning to go back to school. It was so hard to get everyone up and moving, especially myself. I have been sleeping in for two weeks and haven't used an alarm clock. Back to a routine it is! Lunches to make, homework to do, basketball practice, games, piano lessons and much more I can't remember at this time.

Whether your kids are going back to school away from home or at home I know that getting back to a routine will bring sanity and a little peace to the house. Kids and parents do thrive with some kind of structure. I for one, am not an organized person. Michael recognizes this in me and is trying to convince me or rather encourage me to organize my day so that I can fit into it all the important stuff. I already woke up this morning feeling quite depressed that I didn't get up before the kids to read my Bible or get some exercise in. Once I am downstairs and start the day, cleaning and all the other chores that go along with being a mom and wife consume my day and I don't usually get to those things that will keep my healthy spiritually or physically.

So , I am going to try and somewhat organize myself. For starters, there will be no computer until I have spent time with God. I did that this morning and blogging could only happen after talking to God and Him talking to me. Second, well I'm not sure yet, but I plan on trying to figure out when I am going to fit in exercise because I really want to go snorkeling when I go to Hawaii for my 15th anniversary. Even though the kids are at school I still have my days full with childcare. This means I need to be on top of things more than ever. This goes against my nature but it's essential for a happy home and mommy. So, I better stop writing about it and be proactive.

I pray that all of you will have an easy transition back to routine after this Christmas break. Maybe some of you never stopped your routine and to that I say "way to go"! You are probably like my daughter Emma who thrives on organization and routine. It is definitely a God given gift.
I wish I had that in me but I am who I am! I just have to work a little bit harder at it.

If you have any helpful hints on how to get organized I gladly welcome them. I need all the help I can get!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Slept 16 hours!!

Have you ever slept 16 hours before? Well today was a first for me. I woke up with a horrible headache around 7 am and decided to wade it out by staying in bed and neglecting my family. After taking the strongest of drugs that are allowed , I finally fell back asleep to sleep the day away, except for a few brief interruptions from my husband and kids to make sure that mommy was still alive. At one point,Josh and Mandi woke me up to give me a pretty rose and a cute teddy bear that they bought at the store. How sweet is that! I know how to get presents now...just stay in bed all day and sleep and you husband and kids bring the gifts. Maybe they were gifts to say," get up mommy we need you". I said thank you and turned over and went back to bed. It wasn't until 5pm that I got up.

I'm not sure what prompted this. I am feeling a bit achy tonight in my muscles and I have a little headache. I imagine that I must be fighting something to cause me to be dead to the world for almost 16 hours. My question is... will I sleep tonight? I hope that I will because if not, it means that I will be spending my awake hours blogging- a lot!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Almost Christmas Baby turns 5!!

Two days after Christmas, five years ago my precious, fourth child was born . Joshua Maxwell Kuhlman came into this world and blessed our lives. A few days ago he turned five. He is and will always be our little baby, but is now a big boy. I remember so vividly the early morning he was born and the pure joy he brought three cute siblings and his mom and dad.

Joshy still brings all of us so much joy everyday. He is ever so funny and flashes his contagious smile all day long. He is a happy, easy going boy and rarely gets into trouble. Maybe because he is our fourth! I am so, completely content and happy to have him still home with me when he isn't in preschool. He is my shadow and very best companion at home. Oh to think that I thought I was done having babies after three. Thanks be to God for bringing Joshua into our lives. Life wouldn't be the same without him. And I know I speak for everyone in this family.

I wasn't able to post this on his birthday, but any day is a great day to post about this precious life that God gave us.

Here are some favorite pics of this very special boy!

Just hours old

8 months old

One Year

2 years old

3 years old

4 years old

5 years old

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