Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I would like to take this opportunity to ask August, September, and the first half of October where they went?!?  WOW things have passed me by in a whirlwind of activity, growth, experiences, and well...LIFE!  I seriously had to go back to figure out what I had last written about and when it was.  July?!?  OOPS!  I hope that many of you have been keeping up on Facebook.  Having the app on my phone makes it easy to update that.  We haven't had internet since leaving Alliance, though...hence my absence here.  Ok, ok...I *had* internet on my phone, but COME ON!  Who can do more than a few sentences on those touch keyboards.  So frustrating!  And, I felt like I was using dial-up back in the stone age.  SO slow!

Anyway, I now have...wait for it...a KINDERGARTENER who is reading, tying her own shoes (when she isn't too stubborn), and has HER FIRST LOOSE TOOTH!  What?!?  When did I get *this* old?  I am so proud of my girl.  She is doing so well in school!  The other day as we were leaving, her teacher told her good job.  I said, "Did you do a good job today, Cass?"  Her teacher kind of scoffed and said, "Does she ever *not* do a good job?"  She smiled at me and it made my heart so proud and full.  She is a little one who knows who she is and WHOSE she is and will tell you without hesitation that she is a true princess because she is the daughter of God the King.

Oh, Conrey, Conrey, Conrey...where does one even begin to tell about you?  You are the laughter of my days.   Conrey is my affectionate one.  You won't see him sitting near me without him playing with my hair, holding my hand, or with his arm around my shoulders.  He is protective of his momma, his sister, and his baby brother...unless HE is the one tackling his siblings.  :)  He is wise beyond his years and says the most funny things.  He told me that I couldn't eat cookie dough because I would get worms in my biscuits (our euphemism for butt)...yes, on FB I edited a bit.  He has the most tender heart and I only have to look at him with disapproval before he melts into tears and immediately apologizes.

Now onto the little handful.  KJV (the baby...not the Bible translation) is the biggest handful I have ever known.  He is ON everything and INTO everything.  He is joy and life and fulfillment.  We didn't know that we wanted a baby when I got pregnant with him, but our life would be so incomplete without the little stinker!  He is now walking full-time and already has a mind of his own.  Don't try telling that boy no...you'll get wailing like you took away his paci or something.  He is his own little man and don't you forget it!

Our lives are full and complete and so very blessed.  We thank God every day for the miracles...the gifts that He's given us.  We are unworthy and we screw up, but our main goal in life is to instill a deep love for God in those tender little hearts.  The verdict is a long time coming, but at the moment, it seems as though we're on solid ground.

Well, thanks for stopping by.  Now that I'm up and running with internet via the hotspot on my brand new iphone, I will be updating more often.  Have a blessed day!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Anyone here?

Well, I have no internet.  I haven't had it for a long time.  I will hopefully have it before the month is out.  I feel so...uncivilized!

I don't know if anyone is still checking my blog, but I intend to get back to it soon.  My kids are big and grown up.  My baby is walking and has 8 teeth.  My biggest baby is a kindergartener who is learning to read and has her first loose tooth.  My middle man knows all of his letters and what sound they make.  I didn't know that he could write his own name until he did it...by himself...of his own accord.

Life is busy and hectic and glorious, because I'm alive to enjoy it!!!

Catch ya soon!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I have had much time to reflect lately.  I have sorted and sifted through bins.  I have looked back on memories and a lifetime of pictures.  I have found things and pondered why they were kept as a "memory" and why they weren't thrown out, not remembering their significance from a time forgotten.  I have thrown away.  I have given.  I have gotten rid of every single item of baby gear and clothing that I am no longer using for Keaton including all of my baby girl clothes.  Well, you know me...I kept a full tub of "memory" clothes.  One tub with memories from all 3 kids in it.  I think I did well.  Anyway...  It has been a process of emotions.  I have felt joy when I remember a special occasion involving this or that.  I have felt sorrow as I gazed into the faces of loved ones gone on or friendships of the past.  I have felt the sting that only a parent can feel realizing that my "babies" are quickly running out of that catergory.  I have felt a mini "church camp euphoria" as I found a token of a lesson from camp and remembered the power that it had.

Above all, though, I have felt guilt and shame over the massive amounts of STUFF that I have...still HAVE after all of that sorting, giving, and trashing. 

We are such a gluttonous people.  I fear what God thinks of the sheer amounts of junk that we have.  There are people in this world with 2 outfits to their name and I am giving bags and bags of clothes away...some just because I don't want them any more.  There are people who have a few outfits for their babies and they rotate them and wash them until they are threadbare.  I have kept an entire tub of clothes just because I want to cherish the memories.

What a humbling reminder of how incredibly blessed we are.  We are spoiled rotten.  We feel entitled.  We feel that we are lacking.

We are big babies.  Most of us wouldn't last 2 seconds living...truly living...in an under priviledged nation, much LESS a 3rd world country!

I would like to challenge each of us to really reevaluate what we have in our closets, storage rooms, and under our beds.  Take stock of what you have in your pantry, cabinets, and fridge.  God blessed each of us by putting us where we are.  He chose this life for us.  Praise God and thank Him for it!  Remember those who aren't in the same station in life as you are and pray for them, bless them, give to them.

Next time you think about something you "need," challenge yourself on your own thinking.  I'm pretty certain you'll determine that your needs are all met and your wants are not far behind on being all fulfilled. 

As I try to stuff everything that I have...and I do mean stuff into the biggest U-Haul available, I pray that God speaks to my heart the truth about what I can do to pare down my belongings further so that all that I have is used for His glory and that I am living within my means and only as He would have me live.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I call it home, though that feels weird.  I am back in Alliance in an alien environment.  I lived in this house from the beginning of March through April 24th when I had my surgery (on the 25th).  Between April 26th and this past Wednesday, I believe I was here 3 full days and 5 or 6 half days.  So weird.  I really feel as though I don't belong and I don't know this house.

It really felt great to get back here, though, and I must say that I am going to miss it greatly when we leave.  I love this little town and I will miss the people.  Nobody here reads my blog, so I'm not even saying it for their benefit!  :)  I really have enjoyed the people here and the Bible studies that I've been a part of.

I came home to a disaster of a house.  Oh my.  There is so much to do to catch up.  I haven't really known where to begin.  I have done a few things here and there, but have mainly been recouping from the travelling.

In case you haven't heard the news, we got a transfer!  We are moving back to where we lived when we were first married.  I am super excited.  It is where my hubby grew up and we'll be near his family.  What does that mean for the present though?  It means that I just had 9 weeks of being sick and recovering and now I have about 4 weeks to pack up an entire house!  EEK!  Kinda overwhelming!  It is definitely worth it, though.

Well, this was short, but that's all I've got for now.  Thanks to everyone for your prayers during my overdeal.  I cannot reiterate enough how much the prayers did for us.  Thank you, LORD for bringing me safely through.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Facing Death Head On

It is a weird thing to decide to write about the fact that you almost died.  It isn't a feeling that you can really put into words.  So, I am going to write about it in terms of the joy, the blessing, the praise that fills my heart because of the work of Almighty God in my life through this experience.

Let me start off by saying that an experience like I've gone through changes your life completely...for a little while, at least.  It can be a good change or a bad change.  It can be revolutionary or momentary.  I wish that I could say that it was a monumental change in this girl that changed the course of my life forever.  I wish that I could say that it made me a stronger, more passionate person about God and living for Him.  I wish I could say that it did away with some of my selfishness and sinfulness.

I felt the power of the "change" from this experience.  One night, I couldn't get to sleep because I couldn't stop praising God.  I couldn't stop singing His praises (don't worry...I was in my private room by now).  I couldn't stop talking to Him.  I couldn't focus on anything else.

Reality hit me somewhere between that night and the days ahead.  I went back to my old patterns.  I went back to putting me before Him.  I went back to being too "busy" to talk to Him incessantly.  I went back to life as I knew it before (only waaaay more tired and weak).

A near-death experience is a catalyst, sure.  It is a wake up call, as they say.  However, it is what you do with the days following that experience that really matter.  It is whether or not you hear, whether or not you listen, whether or not you act.  That is what matters.  That is where you learn what is truly in your heart.

I am choosing to shout from the mountains tops the glory of my GOD! I will do it in this moment and pray that I have enough of Him to be strong enough to do it in the next moment. 

I praise Him for choosing to keep me here a little longer and I pray that I may do the work that He has appointed for me to do.  I pray that I might love my husband a little better.  I pray that I might love my children a little better.  I pray that I may be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.  I choose to overcome my sinful nature to be what He wants me to be. 

Thank you, Lord, for the call...I heard, listened, and I choose to respond.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My First Skype

I don't really know how to begin to write about my first skype experience.  To say that it was touching is an understatement.  To say that it was a blessing and an encouragement falls short.

On May 18th, my home church held a prayer service on my behalf.  They've done this for many different occasions and people, but this one was for me...a very humbling thing. 

It was made even more special when I was asked to skype in to the prayer session.  After joking about my dreadful appearance (17 lbs lost, hair a mess, no make-up), I conceded that it would be worth it for the prayers.  BOY, was I right!  How amazing was it to not only hear what was being said, but to see the faces of those I love. I held on to the images of my brother, Derin, and my baby sister, Dani (Dustin lives out of state, so he wasn't there).  I just couldn't get enough of them!  My sis-in-law, nephews, and niece were precious sights to see, as well.  Also, my second family, the Dosseys (and Herrmans).  My sweet friends, which I will not name because I don't want to leave anyone out.  You know who you are and even if you weren't there in person, I know that you were all there in spirit.  I was just so blessed by the entire experience!

I just want to thank my sweet "sister," Carla, and my sweet friend, Kelly, for organizing the event.  You both know the power of prayer in different ways in your lives and I have been blessed to hold you both up in prayers.  I know you don't want thanks, but you have no idea what that 30 minutes did for me!  Well, maybe you DO understand.  ;)

Prayer works, my friends!  I am living proof.  I have faced death, or the possibility of it, head on (twice, actually).  If it weren't for the prayers that were flooding the gates of heaven, I believe that I would be there now.  While I have high aspirations of that being my eternal home, I was not ready to leave my husband, my babies, my family, and my friends behind.  I begged, I pleaded, and God heard my cries...OUR cries.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Upward Climb

Well, the rest is just a bunch of days with ups and downs...bright spots and gray spots.  Each day was a little better than the one before.  Each morning I woke up with a bit more energy.  I could now walk around the nurse's station a few times before huffing and puffing, though my pulse continued to skyrocket whenever I was standing, much less walking.

One day, I was feeling queasy.  Zofran wasn't helping...I just felt bleck.  I told my dad that I needed to puke.  My catalyst soon arrived in the form of my dinner tray.  As soon as I smelled it, I told Mark to get it out of the room.  As he was trying to decide what to do with it (stick it in the bathroom vs. take it out to the nurse's station), I made the mistake of crying out, "What IS that?!?"  As soon as the words were out of his mouth, I threw up...a TON.  Buffalo.  Meatloaf.  I wish that I was joking.  REALLY???  Since when is BUFFALO a mainstream protein?!?  Ick!  Of course, once I threw up and threw up and threw up some more, I felt a TON better and that was the last of queasy tummies for several days.

I want to put in a very weak, very sad shout-out to my precious daughter.  This has all been most difficult for her, I believe.  She has be so brave and so strong!  You see, not only did she keep having her mommy yanked from her, but the night before my first return to the hospital, she had a dream that I was going to be taken away from her along with daddy.  It was a horrible, vivid nightmare and I had a hard time calming her afterwards.  Little did I know how prophetic my little girl would be.  A bit creepy to me, still.  It was also extra difficult for her because she had to have her birthday party in my hospital room on a day that was definitely a "down" day for me.  I barely made it through present-opening before sending everyone to the waiting room for cake.  I was hardly present and felt so sad for her.  She was so good about it and had such a happy attitude just wanting me to feel better.

She has really been a great encouragement to me through all of this and I hope that I can someday convey to her how hard it was for me to see her go through all of this.  She had another nightmare this morning involving me going back to the hospital and having to leave her again.  *sigh*  I wish that I could promise her that it wouldn't happen.  Unfortunately, I cannot.  I can only hope, pray, and beg for you to join me in this prayer.  She is a strong little thing, but if one more person tells me how resilient children are, I might deck them.  I don't care how resilient they are, I don't want to see my baby girl suffer now whether it effects her future or not.  (Dustin, this would not be the time to be a smart aleck!)  ;)

Anyway, the day that I got to come home was kind of scary.  I held my breath praying that I didn't have to go back.  I was afraid to sneeze lest I mess something up.

PRAISE THE LORD, I had no more setbacks for over 2 weeks other than just fatigue and that sort of thing!  He has done marvelous things and will continue to do so.  I am full resting in His promises of comfort, peace, healing, and supplication.  Thank you, Lord, for your providence!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Oh. My. Lanta. (Part 8)

The next day, I felt awful.  Everything hit me like a mack truck.  It was the day after procedures, 2 blood transfusions, and just a day and a half past my fainting episodes.  My body was spent.  I had no appetite and felt like death.  I was assured over and over that it was just part of the process.  I hadn't really slept in days and when I had, it had been drug-induced...not exactly restful.  I was kind of a wreck. 

I really don't have much else to say about that day, so I will take time to talk about my roomates.  HIL-ARIOUS!

My first neighbor was Betty.  We got to our room just before midnight on Monday night.  Betty got up to use the bedside toilet 3 or 4 times in the night.  Mark and I were NOT a fan of the lights, the noises, the smells.  Ugh.  Betty was very hard of hearing and everyone had to yell to talk to her.  Middle of the night after the most traumatic experience of my life and there were people shouting at 93-year-old Betty.  I really don't remember much about Betty except for the repeat bedside bathroom episodes, but I do remember laughing (though it hurt like crazy) with Mark about things.

When I came back from my drain and blood procedures, she was gone and was replaced by Millie.  Oh, Millie!  She had no idea in her dementia state how much pain and agony she caused me as I laughed and laughed at things she did and said.  Any time one of our IV pumps would beep, she would start hollering for someone to answer the phone.  She thought that the nurse call button was the phone, so she repeatedly called the nurses in.  They would assure her that the phone had been answered and leave the room.  This probably happened 5 times within an hour.

That night, when they came in to take her vitals, she hit the nurse and said, "LEAVE ME ALONE!  YOU AREN'T DOING ANY MORE EXPERIMENTS ON ME!  YOU JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!"  I laughed and laughed and laughed.  She, too, was hard of hearing, and it was another sleepless night with yelling, colostomy bag emptying, *shudder* and her trying to get people to dress her because 'her nephew was waiting outside with the car to take her home.'  There were many more funny episodes with her, but I won't bore you with them.  Let's just say that, though I didn't sleep, I did laugh a lot and enjoyed the time with Millie, though we never spoke or met due to the curtain between us.

The next day, I woke feeling somewhat renewed.  My cultures had returned and the infection showed a huge colony of yeast.  I had been on huge, heavy-hitter antibiotics and to this was added a yeast medication (fluconozole for any of you people who know drugs...aka Diflucan).  I felt better and minimally stronger.  I was pushed to start walking little by little...just to the door of my room.  Then, just around the nurses station outside my door.  Then, little by little, we did more.  It was a start.  What would really turn my days brighter was a visit from my babies (though it was emotional and tough, too) and being moved into a private room!  What a change and what a blessing!  Oh, they also started me on some anti-anxiety medication and it helped me sleep, which was a huge blessing, as well!

Oh. My. Lanta. (Part 7)

It was really no surprise to me when the GI doctor and his PA arrived instead of the transport team.  He said, "Well, I've cancelled the repeat ERCP.  You have no active bleeding."  I calmly said, "I can tell you why."  His face showed his doubt.  I said, "In Alliance, for 5 whole days, I was given torodol every 6 hours."  His jaw dropped in a cartoon-esque way.  He turned and gapped at his PA, who's mouth hung slack and then back to me.  "You're kidding me?"  I shook my head.  I then told him that, not 30 minutes before, the nurse had given me a shot of Lovenox (sp?) against my wishes, but it was "doctor's orders" from a different doctor.  He turned to the PA and told her to go investigate it immediately.

You see, when I had the stent placed, I was told no NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs).  I was to have no ibuprofen, no alleve, no aspirin.  Torodol is basically a mega NSAID.  NSAIDs thin the blood, thus making bleeding a lot more likely and a lot quicker of a bleed out situation.  Lovenox is a blood thinner that they give patients on bedrest so that they do not get blood clots.  In Alliance, I questioned my nurse about the torodol.  My dad questioned the surgeon.  They continued administering it to me just the same.

I'm just going to say that the medical knowledge of my amazing daddy and my own training as a chiropractic assistant and moreso as a medical transcriptionist really saved my life MULTIPLE times.

If you don't read anything else from my blog, please read this: You have GOT to have someone with you as an advocate for your healthcare.  Doctors and nurses do the best they can most of the time.  Even great doctors make mistakes.  You have to have someone on your team that is knowledgable and will be involved in your care whether the attending doctors like it or not.  PLEASE hear this and remember it for the future.  No one can trust healthcare professionals 100% of the time.  They are human.  They get tired.  They make mistakes.  Be your own advocate.  If possible, educate yourself thoroughly about your condition/treatment of things and be proactive!  Truly, it is by the grace of God and the wisdom of medical professionals in my family that I am here to share this tale.

Oh. My. Lanta. (Part 6)

The next day I awoke (ha...I hardly slept) feeling groggy and sluggish.  They had given me 2 units of blood overnight, but I still felt like I was running on empty.  I was on strict FLAT bedrest due to my concious issues the night before.  They told me that I had 2 procedures ahead of me.  One, a blood study in which they would radiate my blood and then I would lay under a scanner.  This was to look for the source of my internal bleeding.  I think that I failed to mention this.  I was bleeding internally...a  LOT.  We thought that it was from the stent that had been placed in my stomach area, but needed to confirm this.  I would also have a different type of drain inserted into my stomach into my abdominal cavity. It would be screwed into the tissues where I had an absess and lots of infection.

With great anxiety, I am wheeled down in my bed to the radiology dept.  They were to take CTs, locate where the drain needed to be, mark it on my skin, give me sedation, and then place the drain.  After it was placed, they would do more CTs to make sure it was just right.  Little did I know that my anxiety would increase and I would have to dig deep...really, really deep.  My pulse was high.  My blood pressure low.  A dangerous combination when you're talking about adding in sedation.  The dr said to me, "I'm not comfortable giving you sedation with your vitals being so unstable.  We need to get this infection out.  Do you think you can handle it with just local anesthetic?"  In a nano second, my mind was flooded with thoughts of, "NO WAY! I HAVE to get home to my babies!  I just HAVE to do it.  It's not POSSIBLE!  I am too much of a whimp!  I can DO it!  I HAVE to do it!"  It was a cacauphony of doubts, fears, bravery, and courage...perhaps those are 2 in the same, but each wave of emotion hit sure in hard.  With tears in my eyes, I said, "I HAVE to do it.  I have babies to get home to and I have got to get well."  Over the next few moments as they prepared to switch up the plan, I kept saying, "I can do it." to the nurse.  I'm sure she thought that I was delirious, and I might have been what with all of the pain meds.  The lidocane burned like fire as they shot it in once, twice, three times, four times, but each time was a little less...each time the fire died out a little sooner.  There was lots of pressure pain, but come on, I've had 3 babies!  You can't take the pressure pain away and this was minimal to delivering a baby!  :)

They finally declared the process complete and took the remaining CTs.  They declared it to be perfectly placed and sent the cultures that were collected out to be done.

I was taken to a different room where they extracted 5 mL of my blood.  I then had to wait 30 min while it was radiated.  They put it back in and put me under this huge camera box thing.  It was basically a camera that only picks up radiation.  I watched as thousands of little white specks went from my arm where my picc line was located and scattered across the screen as the blood made its way throughout my system.  It was very cool to watch.  However, I never saw it pooling anywhere and this set the medical side of my brain to whirling.  I would soon make a connection that would be pivotal (sp?) to my road to healing.  After laying there for an hour, I was taken back up to my hospital room and waited for them to come and get me for my repeat ERCP.  When they confirmed that the bleed was in that area, they were going to remove the stent, cauterize the bleeding, and put in a different stent.  So, I waited.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh. My. Lanta (Part 5)

I just now got computer access again.  Donna, when I ended it that way, I didn't know that I would be too sick to continue.  :)

So, seriously, I almost died.  I was septic and was minutes or hours away from septic shock.  My pulse was in the 160s and my blood pressure was dropping.  I needed to go potty and the nurses ignorantly got me up to try to go rather than giving me a bedpan or something.  In hindsight, I'm sure they thought, "Duh!  What were we thinking?" 

Anyway, we get into the bathroom and I told them that I was losing consciousness.  I can't spell right now, so sorry about the errors.  Anyway, I don't remember a whole lot between then and when I woke up to 20 people standing over me, but I remember yelling out to Mark that I loved him and I remember telling the nurses that I had to get home to my babies, I couldn't die.

My eyes snap open to people yelling my name.  It was a strange experience that I cannot describe.  It was as if someone plugged me in or something, it was that sudden of an awakening.  They were asking me my name and all of that and I only interested in telling them that I loved that guy over there (trying to locate Mark) and that I needed to get home to my babies.  I was alert and oriented.  I knew who I was, where I was, and what had happened.  I also knew that I was in serious danger. 

From Mark's perspective, he thought that I died.  Apparently, they could not keep me awake.  I just kept passing out.  So, he watches them get me awake and me pass out...4 or 5 times.  They called in the Rapid Response team and my room literally had about 20 people in it.  I don't know what they were doing, what all happened.  I didn't want Mark to have to describe it to me because it was such a hard experience for him. 

I was put on telemetry, which means I had 5 heart monitors that connected to a little box and I was monitored 24/7 for the first 6 or so days that I was here.  My pulse, at this point, continues to be elevated, but not nearly as it was then.

I am just going to lay this out there to show the providence of God and the way that He works everything out.  All glory to Him.  If I had not been life-flighted that day, I would not be here to write this tale.  The hospital where I live would not have had the resources, the rapid response, etc. to save my life.  They just don't have the level of care that was necessary and that is the truth of the matter.  Jehovah Jireh is my favorite persona of God.  God. Will. Provide.  It is the name that Abraham used when God provided the ram so that he didn't have to sacrifice his son.  The Lord will always provide material things, wisdom, and guidance.

That night, I was afraid to close my eyes to go to sleep.  After what I had just experienced, I didn't want to risk it.  Neither of us (Mark, being the other) slept much at all that night.  We were emotionally shot and just kept reaffirming our love for each other and thanking God that we were able to.  He kept vigil over me as I did doze off and on.

I'm afraid that he'll have nightmares of what he watched.  I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone, but I do wish that I could trade places with him there and take those images out of his mind.  I just pray for peace for him and I pray that God uses the experience for His glory and also to cement our marriage even tighter than it was before.

The next day would be turning point number 1, a much-needed sigh of relief, and some things brought to light.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I am going to have to break off the story here and I am not sure when I will be able to continue.  Stay tuned.

In other news, Keaton has started crawling while I've been hospitalized.  I missed it.  *sob*

Oh. My. Lanta. (Part 4)

Friday the 6th brought a new day at home with optimism that the nightmare of pain was over.

BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!!!!!!

The nightmare was only beginning.

I represented to the hospital with severe pain on the other side of my abdomen.  Same type of pain...other side.  We never figured out what those pains truly were, but whatever the case, I believe that they saved my life because I was being monitored.

I was still under observation Sunday when Dad decided to go home.  He flew home with a heavy heart, but needing to get back to his clinic.  He called me when he got home to see how I was and I told him fine, but I had started spiking a fever.  That evening, things took a turn for the worse when my pulse began racing and didn't slow down.  It wasn't terribly high...110-125 give or take, but normal pulse should be 60-100 for me.  Well, it kept creeping up.

By morning, the nurses were concerned, the PA that was seeing me was concerned and the decision was made to lifeflight me back to the hospital 2 1/2 hrs away.  Lifeflight.  Not a word that brings warm fuzzies.  They took out my JP drain and away I flew.

The flight was uneventful.  The ER admission showed my pulse to be still high, staying in the 120s-130s.  About 3:00 in the afternoon, my dad and in-laws each started the 12-hour trek to get up here to be with me.

That night, I almost died.

Oh. My. Lanta. (Part 3)

I met with my surgeon who quickly accessed that it wasn't related to the fact that my gb had been removed.  He believed it to be intestinal in nature.  I screamed in his office.  I screamed in x-ray.  For 4 days, I screamed, cried, and begged for help.  They gave me Dilaudid, a drug stronger than morphine.  It dulled the pain slightly, but didn't take it away and I still cried.  They diagnosed me with constipation, much to my disagreement.  This part is a bit graphic, but necessary.  On Sunday, they did 3 enemas, 2 suppositories, and I drank 2 doses of MiraLax.  We worried that perhaps I was having a repeat of the condition that nearly took my life at 4 months of age (intucception). 

Standing up, rocking back and forth, helped marginally, but enough that I wanted to stay on my feet at all times.  I was already weak from surgery and lack of adequate food intake, but I needed to be up.  It was a catch 22, as they say.  I needed to stand, but I just couldn't for long periods of time.

FINALLY...much to my great relief...he decided to go back in on Tuesday to scope.  I was seriously screaming day and night from Friday afternoon until Tuesday when I went under anesthesia.  My poor hospital neighbors.

I again wake up to the normal hospital routines and am told that I have a JP drain coming out of my abdomen.  My intestines had adheased to the bottom of my liver and my abdomen was filled with bile.  Every time the intestines tried to function, it would tug the liver.  Remember the enemas, etc?  Yeah, they were forcing my bowels to TRY to function over and over and over, but they couldn't because they were stuck.  The injury to the liver was leaking bile into my abdominal cavity as was my cytic duct that once connected my gb to my stomach-ish area.

A lady came in and said, "I just got off of the phone with your insurance and got pre-approval for the ambulance."  I was still groggy and very confused as to why I would need an ambulance when I was clearly in a hospital.  Long part of the story short, I was transferred to a larger city 2 1/2 hours away (where I currently sit writing this) to have a stent put in that would allow the leaking duct to shut off.  It went off without a hitch.  I was told no NSAIDs (ibuprofen-type drugs) and was sent on my way back to my home hospital.

The next day I went home and thought all was well...except for those stinkin' gas pains!  I had now been inflated with CO2 3 times and let me TELL ya!  It was NOT fun!

Oh. My. Lanta. (Part 2)

Ok.  Now the real, less-dramatized story.  My parents dropped everything to come up for my surgery.  It was nice because we got to spend Easter with them.  Monday morning, I kissed my husband and babies good-bye and went under anesthesia.  I woke up to people telling me to take a deep breath, tell them my name, etc.  They said my surgery went well and that they repaired my umbilical hernia in the process. 

Tuesday, I went home.

It was all as routine as that.

I felt that I had just had surgery for the next few days.  It was pretty par for the course until the pains started.

I had been having the normal gas pains expected with a laproscopic surgery.  Since they don't open you fully up, they inflate you with CO2 gas so that they can see what they're working on.  It hurt, but with walking, deep breathing, and my incentive spirometer (a breathing apparatus), they would pass.

My parents had left Wednesday and Mark's parents arrived that night to take over with the kids.

I woke up Friday feeling a little blah.  We decided to walk around downtown and I just didn't feel quite right, though I couldn't put my finger on it.  Friday afternoon, I talked with my sister on the phone.  I was laying down because I had been having those stinkin' gas pains, but walking wasn't helping.  They were getting worse and worse and I finally said, "Dani, I need to let you go.  I am about to start moaning and screaming from these pains.  I won't really scream (I chuckled), but they really do hurt."

Thirty minutes later, Mark was taking me to the hospital because I was screaming with each pain.

Oh. My. Lanta. (Part 1)

I do not know how to begin this epistle.  I am going to write it in parts.  This is partially because of the enormity of it.  Partially so that my readers won't be so overwhelmed by it.  Partially because I shouldn't just sit here and type.  I need to type some and then get up and walk.  Type some and then get up and walk.

I am going to start at the beginning, as any story should.  It WILL be long.  That's the only way to fully tell the tale.  So, if you want to hear it, you can read it.  If you'd rather not, well, that's fine too.  It is a story of my nightmares in many ways and one that would cause nightmares now if it weren't for my great God above.

Let me be clear from this moment on that I will be shouting His praises and glorifying Him through every high and every low.  He.  Is.  GOOD.

The beginning is really back in Dec 2009 when I had my first gallbladder (gb, as I will refer to it from here on out) attack.  Then, I found out in February that I was pregnant with  my Keaton and the gb got ignored.  I would have attacks off and on over the next year or so, but they were completely random and not dependent upon what I ate.

At the start of this year, it seemed that the attacks were increasing in frequency and this annoyed me.  Number one, I didn't want to have surgery in the tiny town in which we live.  Number two, I have 3 little ones to care for and the logistics seemed impossible.  Number 3, who wants to have surgery?!? 

I had a particularly fierce attack on April 22 which sent me to the ER prompting a visit with a surgeon the next day.  I was shocked when he said, "Let's get you in Monday and get this thing out."

I had 3 days to prepare for surgery.  I had to coordinate childcare, Mark's schedule (since he works nights), and a host of other things.  This was only the beginning of the "adventure," however.  What was supposed to be a 1-night stay after a "simple" laproscopic cholecystectomy (gb removal through 4 small holes) has turned into the nightmare which I am writing about.

Ok.  I know that that was dramatic.  Give me a break!  I've been in a hospital bed for nearly 3 weeks!  :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cassie Girl

If you've followed my blog since its upstart (actually @ xanga), you know that I fondly called my baby girl Cassie Girl from the moment we found out that we were indeed having a girl.  She is most definitely still my sweet Cassie Girl and I just love her sweet little heart.  She is QUITE strong-willed and stubborn, but we're working on that.

Anyway, I had a few stories that I wanted to share about her.  She is too, too much for me and I kinda worry about the future!  :)  She has been blessed with an ability to learn things very quickly and vocabulary seems to be one of her strong points. 

At church Sunday, I gave her a $5 bill to put in the collection plate. I explained that Abraham Lincoln was a president a long time ago. I then got out a penny and showed her that it was the same. She looked at the penny and said, "OH! I always thought that was GOD! Hmmmm...." Too funny, but made this mommy proud that she knows where the money comes from and who it belongs to! :)
That same day, she said it was a beautiful day to play outside. I agreed. I then said to Mark, "I'm thinking about the P-A-R-K."

She said, "What did that spell?"

I said, "I wouldn't have spelled it if I had wanted you to know!"

Mark said, "I bet you can figure it out."

She was back there in her carseat going, "P-P-P--ah-ah-ah...Pah...rrr..rrr.rr..k.k.k.....Pa---rk. Pa---rk. Pa-rk. Pa-rk. PARK! I wanna go to the park!!!"

Later, when we were AT the park, she comes over to me and says, "It is a lovely day indeed."

Seriously.  Where does she get this stuff?!?  She is too much.
She is sounding things out everywhere.  She read an exit sign yesterday and then asked what "exit" meant.  We have been talking about logic, things "making sense," and doing things in the proper order.  As I am clipping her toenails tonight, she says, "Remember how we were talking about doing things so that they make sense?  Well, it wouldn't make sense for me to put socks on right before you're ready to clip my toenails."
Final story: We work on the concept of grace a lot.  I think that it is huge to grasp the concept so that as her faith develops, she understands what an amazing gift grace is.  Yesterday when I did her hair, I put some clips in and she didn't like them.  So, I changed them to what she thought that she wanted.  I went to dress Keaton and she decided that the ones I put in originally were better.  Well, I wasn't playing switch the clips and told her so.  Typically at this point, she would throw herself on the ground and start to throw a fit.  We've been struggling with this recently.  Anyway, I quickly reminded her that consequences are no fun.  She gave a disgruntled grunty noise and left the room.  I would later discover that she went and put the clips back where they belong.  So, I took them into the bathroom to brush teeth and as she is brushing her teeth, I told her that sometimes when you make a good choice, there are GOOD consequences (not always, but sometimes).  I switched her hair clips to the one she wanted and she had a huge grin on her face.  She said, "Momma?  Is that kinda like grace?"  My heart leapt for joy. 
It is not even remotely close to understanding the grace of God, but she understood the concept in a small, simple example.  To me, God's grace is one of the greatest examples that He loves me unconditionally.  While we were still sinners, Christ DIED for us...for me.  He is perfectly just and therefore, I deserve nothing but death.  However, because of His grace I have hope.  I know that I am going to screw up no matter how hard I try.  I know that I'm going to lose my temper and yell at my children.  I know that I'm going to let people down.  However, I know that God knows my heart and His grace is sufficient for even me.
My prayer for my sweet Cassie Girl is 2-fold.  First, I pray that she understands that nothing...NOTHING can separate her from the love of her mommy and daddy OR from the love of God.  Secondly, I pray that she understands the principle of extending grace to others.  I pray that she looks at situations objectively so that she can be graceful to others...especially this mommy who will fail her more than I can bear to think.  Those are the concepts that I am currently working on with her...trying to show her in everyday life and everyday situations. 
I pray that as Cassie understands grace a little more each time we talk about it, that her understanding of God deepens and roots a little deeper in her sweet little heart. 
That is what this motherhood thing is all about...making sure that those roots are nice and deep!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Wow!  I have a ton to say about this kid.  What a week this has been for his development!  Let's see...first of all, I think that I have mentioned that he sits alone.  So far, it is only for a minute or 2 before he gets distracted and falls over.  Anyway, he had never rolled over.  I found this highly amusing that he would sit before rolling.

Well, he has rolled AND rolled AND rolled some more.  He loves it.  This has made for some ANGRY awakenings in his crib, but overall, he loves rolling.  I went to change over laundry yesterday and found him 180 degrees turned and rolled over from how I had left him. 

He has started scooting.  He's scary good at it.  His older siblings didn't crawl (either of them) until the day after their 1st birthday.  They both waited to walk until just before 15 months.  I think that he might be wanting to get in on the action!

Now, for the thing that I wanted to get chronicled most of all.  He responds to questions.  I'm not even joking.  If you ask him if he wants something, he will do 1 of 2 things.  He will either reach for it OR....HE WILL SHAKE HIS HEAD NO!  I'm not even joking.  I got it on video on my phone.  He did it twice on my video.  Mark and the kids have all seen it.  I don't know what to make of it, but it is truly amazing.  In the middle of the night last night, I offered him his paci and he shook his head no and pursed his lips.  It isn't a fluke, it is a real response.  Pretty crazy.

Still no teeth.  I'm going nutso with this teething.  I'm not sure that they will never break through.  They've been SO close forever, it seems.  Oh, well, they'll come eventually!

Well, that is it. Just wanted to get some stuff written down.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Topsy Turvy Upside Down!

Wow.  Life has been blowing by at top speed and I'm never sure as to what day it is.  We're in our new house.  It's not yet a home, but it is looking more that way each day. 

Mark is on a new schedule at work, working midnights.  He just started last night.  He then texted me at 8:00 and said that they had forced him overtime of 4 hours.  Lovely.  He worked from 11:30 pm to 11:30 am.  He was less than thrilled.

Keaton is now sitting up for minutes at a time.  He prefers being upright, specifically standing, but he'll take sitting if that's all he can get.  He even prefers going to sleep sitting up.  Crazy kid.  He won't roll over...AT ALL.  He could care less about rolling, but he wants to be upright!

My friend, Holly, has started a foundation, The KAJ Foundation, along with her husband and another family.  It is to provide much-needed equipment for the NICU at the hospital where their babies stayed when more extremely prematurely.  They go without a lot due to budgets and such.  I wanted to do a shout-out in case anyone is interested in supporting this great foundation.  If anyone is interested, I can get you in touch with them.  100% of the money that comes in will go to help premies and babies with difficulty at birth have a fighting chance!  Holly is my friend that I asked for prayers 2 1/2 years ago when her daughter was born at 27 weeks, 5 days.  What an incredible 2 1/2 years they have had as they have watched their sweet girl blossom into a healthy, active, strong-willed little firecracker!  The "A" of KAJ is for her.  The K and J are for twins.  Sadly, the little girl was not on this earth very long before going to be with Jesus.  The little boy, however, is about 3 1/2 and is thriving.  Anyway, just a little background.  They are obviously passionate about this cause and are hoping to raise $50,000 @ a benefit concert in April.  I just thought that I would spread the word to my readers.  If you feel moved to help the littlest babies have a fighting chance at life, let me know and I'll hook you up with Holly.

I guess that's about it.  Life is crazy, but good.  We thank God for being Jehovah Jireh...the God that always provides.  I hope that you all feel His presence and His blessings every day!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


What in the world has happened in the past 2 weeks?  I posted 2 weeks ago today and our lives have flipped, flopped, and cartwheeled away!

First of all, I got really, really sick.  It is quite possibly the sickest I have ever been in my married life.  I had high fevers, debilitating body aches, the worst shakes that I have EVER had, and upper respiratory junk including a bad cough.  Conrey caught it, but not nearly as badly, thank the Lord.  He only got the fevers and aches.  My poor boy.  :(

So, we are living in a rental house, as you all know.  Said rental house has been trying to be sold for about 10 years off and on with no success.  We noticed a huge increase in showings over the past month, much to our annoyance.  Showings are no fun, but when you've got a less-than-enthusiastic attitude towards them, they are a drag.  Anyway, we were getting nervous about all of these showings.  One lady looked at the house for 52 minutes.  People, this house is tiny!  How can you look at it for 52 minutes?  Well, apparently, you can, because she did...TWICE!  Once someone spent that much time in this house, we knew what that probably meant and we started looking for living space B.

A house was advertised in the paper Wednesday.  I've told you how quickly houses go here, so we looked at it and applied for it, though it is certainly  not somewhere I ever imagined myself living.  *ahem*  But, as I said, you gotta take what you can get here, so we applied.  We were told that we were one of at least 3 that were applying.  So, we get a call on Thursday saying that our house we're living in got a contract and we had about 45 days to vacate.  Yipee.....  Friday morning, we get a call saying that we have been selected to rent the new house!  YIPEE!  I was so, so, so sick, but got myself dressed and headed to sign the contracts, as Mark had to get to work.

So, we now are the proud renters of a house built in 1977 w/ every 70's finish you can imagine including paneling, green and orange shag carpet, and some lovely wood shingling INSIDE the house in the kitchen.  Weird.  There is also a bidet.  No dirty behinds in our house!  :)

There are some definite positives, though I like to mention the "lovlies" first.  :)  We have a 2-car garage that is ATTACHED, for one thing.  Major plus in the tundra up here.  ;)  Secondly, there is a ton more space.  We are very thankful for that.  Also, a fully fenced yard and we're no longer on a busy road.  So, we're thankful for how QUICKLY God answered prayers!

Saturday, we loaded up and headed back to do the final removal of our stuff in our non-selling house back home.  We got a U-Haul and brought it all up with us.  Then, yesterday, Mark and two of his friends unloaded all of that @ the new house and then did some other loads while they still had the uhaul.  They made a great dent in our stuff to move,  so that was good. 

So, things are a bit crazy around here, but when are they not?  We're thankful, thankful, thankful for the God's provisions this past week (and always, but we're talking about this week).

NOW, our house is back on the market as of Tues and we've already had 1 showing and have 1 more scheduled.  It's all yours, God.  Get 'er GONE!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Keater's Stats

Well, folks, it is official.  I've got a giant baby.  :)  He checked out A-OK @ his well baby visit yesterday.  We will start his shots @ his 6-month visit.  I wanted to hold off a bit, so we're starting them late and we'll go @ a slow pace.  I just am not sure how I feel about shots and so we'll be very conservative about the rate @ which he gets them.

Anyway, without further ado: His weight clocked in @ 18 lbs, 10.5 oz.  Height: 26.5 inches.  Head: 48 cm.  ALL THREE are over the 97th percentile.  This is the new way of saying biggest kids there are.  They told me that Conrey was over the 100th percentile every time.  That makes no sense.  They now say <97th.  Dumb.  Anyway, if Conrey was over the 100th %tile when he was 4 months and 18 lbs even, then Keaton must be over the 120th %tile, being 10.5 oz more!!!

Needless to say, he's a big, tall boy with a giant head, though I do not believe that it is disproportionate to the rest of his body.

One thing that I wanted to be sure that I wrote down about this sweet boy is the sweet connection that occurs whenever he is eating.  He will not eat without holding my hand.  He won't breastfeed without holding my hand and he won't eat cereal/baby food without holding my hand.  It is so sweet that he searches for my hand when he's nursing no matter how hungry he is, before he'll eat.  I already believe that, like his brother, his love language is going to be physical touch.  That's just fine with this mommy, since that is mine too!  :)  Conrey has to have his hand in my hair at all times and loves to have his hair played with, back rubbed, etc.  Right now, he is laying against me, has his head on my shoulder, has his hand on my leg, and is playing with my hair off and on.  I'm just sayin...

Anyway, that's it.  I don't know if anyone out there is reading my exciting blog (sarcasm), give me some comment love.  I did have one comment recently on here and one via email, so thanks...just curious if I still have readers besides the 3 that I know of.  :)  Come one, feed my ego!!!  :)

OK...it is nearing bedtime.  We have to have an early bed time tonight, as we are going on a mini vacation this weekend.  I will write all about it when we get back!  Have a great weekend everyone and be thankful for the many blessing that we have!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

I don't really have much to say, but felt like blogging random things.

As I said yesterday, we are disappointed about Mark being denied transfer.

BUT, we are looking forward to one very big "plus" of being here a while longer.  Getting out of DEBT!  That is our goal.  We are making our plan to start snowballing that debt right out of the atmosphere!  Once our house is off our backs, we should be able to put an extra $400-500/month towards our debt!  WOO-HOO!  How do we have a bunch of debt?  My student loans (which were for nothing) and Mark's business loan (which was a grave mistake).  Then, we have a small amount of cc debt because of the times that we were trying to make ends meet throughout Mark's business time and then unemployment.  We're very excited to get out from under it.

I also wanted to blog a bit about my Mr. Keaton.  His 4-mo appt is tomorrow, so I'll have more to say about his stats then.  For now, I just wanted to say that he is LOVING puffies.  I break them up and he goes to town!  Also, he is learning to sit alone.  So far, it is only for 7-8 seconds before he slumps forward, but he's on his way.  He plays with toys a lot and loves music.  He laughs really easily and talks quite a bit.  He is still so, so sweet.  He really is the joy and sunlight to all 4 of us.  He still hasn't gotten any teeth in, but we're working on it.  Cassie had 2 teeth by now, but Con didn't get his in until 5 months, so we'll see.  We've eaten some food, too, but it seems like we have rough nights if he eats food.  He just wants to eat every 2 hours throughout the night if he has food that day.  SO, we're holding off on that for awhile.  We'll try again when he's older.  I was only doing it because he gets so, so angry when we're all eating.  That's why we started the puffies.

Well, Keaton is mad at me for leaving him on his own too long for his liking, so I will end this.  Look tomorrow for our vital stats with Keaton and we'll catch on the flip side.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The waiting has commenced

...and the answer was "not yet."  Mark's bosses have denied his request to transfer.  We're disappointed, but I was prepared for it.  Mark, not so much.  We're just going to get rid of our house ASAP and work towards becoming debt free.  Then, perhaps, we'll be ready to move along at that point.  So, if anyone wants a super cheap house that is only a few years old, 5-bedroom, 3 full ball, 3 car garage, let me know.  It's a great house and someone is going to get a steal, thanks to our situation.  I just pray that it will be a blessing to someone since it cannot be to us.  I sure loved that house.

Anyway, enough of that.  This town will be "home" for now.  God has work for us to do here and we're going to go about the business of finding out what that is!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Lesson in Parenting

I had one of those lightbulb moments.  An epiphany, if you will.  It actually happened a few weeks ago, but I kept forgetting to blog it.

Now, the story I have to tell is about a friend of mine.  I'm not writing this to pat her on the back or glorify her.  I don't want to make her head swell.  *grin*  She wouldn't want me to anyway.  Therefore, I'm not going to even put a name.  I will simply call her "friend."  She probably has no clue how she and her sweet daughter impacted me today, but I suppose she will now.

So, I was spending time with this friend when I was in ta-town.  She is a very close friend of mine and we were both desperate to get some time to catch up.  Our kids usually love being together, as well, so it was win-win.

You see, my friend had one of those "teachable moments" and she took advantage of it in a way that I had never thought of and it was powerful for me, as an observer and fellow parent, to witness an area that I had been struggling with be handled so gracefully, so quietly, so thoroughly.

Her daughter is one of the sweetest.  They had one of those moments when the child defiance comes out and rears its ugly head.  My friend asked her daughter to do something and she stubbornly stared her mommy down.  I thought to myself, "Uh-oh."

What my friend did next was what amazed me, but the reaction she got amazed me more.  "Little Girl (though she used her first and middle name), what does Ephesians 6:1 say?  The little girl looked at her with big eyes.  "What does it say?"

"Children obey your parents in the Lord."  She responded with eyes lowered.

"Okay, then" my friend said.

Here's the amazing part: That sweet girl began completing the required task.  I nearly dropped my baby from shock at how seemlessly that event occurred. 

Now, I know that my friend would assure you that things do not always go that way.  However, I noted several things in this exchange.

1.  That little girl KNOWS the love of God and of her parents.  There was no question in her little mind that if the Bible says it, then it is important.

2.  It is never too young to start instilling the Word in the hearts of our children.  I've worked on things here and there (mostly songs) with my children.  However, take it to heart, dear readers, that when it says that it is useful for training and rebuking...it is TRUE!  (2 Tim 3:16)

3.  By simply asking a calm, even-toned question, that mommy got the desired response and used it as an object lesson for Biblical principles.

4.  That sweet girl learned a bit about grace that day, as well.  Her mother could have spanked at the first sign of defiance.  I think that we've all had our days when we'd like to swat them if they sneeze at the wrong time.  However, instead of an instant swat, she had the opportunity to recite scripture and then make a better choice.

I had more items at the time, but as I said, it was a few weeks ago and I've lost them.

However, the point of this post is this: We have ~12 hours a day to be teaching our children.  What ARE we teaching them in that time?  Respect and obedience?  How to turn the channel on the TV?  Love and sharing?  How to turn on their own DVD?  If they can learn their numbers, colors, letters, and shapes, surely they can learn the most important words ever penned.

We have GOT to be teaching our children the IMPORTANT things.

So, my friend, I know that I was not going to 'pat you on the back,' but thank you for teaching ME while teaching your daughter.  It is a lesson that I hope to take with me throughout this journey we call motherhood.

I'm just an ordinary momma trying to be more like Christ...

Thursday, February 3, 2011


We are waiting.  Patiently at times.  Less-than-patiently at others.

We still know nothing concrete about our transfer request.  We know that things are in progress.  It seems as though things are headed towards Mark being approved for the transfer.  We have had good feedback from people involved in the situation. 

What we haven't had is confirmation. 

What we haven't had is a "yes" or a "no."

What we haven't had is any kind of information that tells us if we should unpack (the toys that the kids have been begging for) or start re-packing (everything).

What we HAVE had, however, is peace.  We know that whatever decision is made, we will adapt and make the best of it.

It is tough to be in a waiting game.  We feel like we've been in one after another after another after another over the past several years.  Obviously, during Cassie's pregnancy, I was waiting anxiously to meet my baby girl.  However, that was nothing compared to what was to come starting with waiting for Conrey's birth. His pregnancy was so hard and such a drain to me that it was just trying to get to that point.  Then, we waited for jobs in Wichita.  We waited for our house in KC to sell while living at my parents' house with a 2-y-o and baby, we waited to find a house.  We waited for 15 months while Mark was laid off...waited and waited for God to prepare the right job for him.  We waited in 2 separate states for Keaton to be born.  We waited for recovery from delivery and for Mark to find us a place before we moved here.  We've waited for 7.5 months for our house back home to sell (still waiting...).  Now, we're waiting to find out about this.

We've learned a LOT throughout our waiting games.  We've learned to be content with little (compared to what we had previously...we're still incomparibly rich to most of the world).  We've learned to be better stewards of our money (though we have a loooong way to go on that one).  We've learned to rely on each other.  We've learned that it is OK to let people help you out in your time of need.  We've learned that God will provide in ways that you never dreamed possible.  {I'm not sure if I ever mentioned this on here or not, but one day during our struggle, completely out of the blue, my aunt and uncle sent us some much needed money...at just the right time.  They knew that things were tough, but they had no idea what we were going through in that week.  God uses people for His work to His glory and they were open to His prompting.}  We've learned that we can help other people even in our times of need.  We've learned that when you give from your heart, what you sow far surpasses what you reaped.  We've learned to be thankful for what we have.  We've learned that we need far less entertainment than we thought.  We've learned that "stuff" is more of a hassle than not.  {Have you ever tried to fit 2400 sq ft of stuff into 1500 sq ft?  It really teaches you that you have TOO MUCH JUNK and that it is sinful in some ways!}

I could continue with my list, but I won't.  I am rather rambly (as usual), so I will just end with this thought:

Every day is an opportunity for learning how to be more like Christ.  Every situation that you go through is for teaching and/or showing you where you need to improve.  God doesn't let things happen "just because."  He has known every situation that you'll go through since time began.  He knows the choices you'll make and the paths you'll take.  Therefore, He has already planned out how HE will use that situation for growth.  He is 100 steps ahead of us and has prepared the way for the lessons we must learn from the events in our lives. 

So, my questions are these:  What situation(s) have you come through recently that you need to find the lesson that God needed you to learn?  What situation(s) have you come through that have taught you valuable lessons and what did you learn?

Those are more rhetorical, but if you'd like to share, feel free!  Learning from each other is a valuable way to grow, as well!  Let's be sure we're all growing together!

My dad has always said a little phrase that I believe applies:

We need to be here after what we are here after so that we're not here after He's gone!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This is my new favorite thing.  Seriously.

I.  LOVE.  IT.

What is it?  It's the Munchkin Easy Squeeze Spoon and I got it at Target.  Basically, you load it up with baby food or baby cereal, twist on the spoon, and go...ANYWHERE!  The spoon twists to an "open" or "closed" position, so it is self containing.  You squeeze the bottle part and it squirts the food onto the spoon.  You don't have to worry about the baby grabbing the bowl and throwing the food everywhere because it is all contained in the bottle!
The pictures show it coming with a cap for the spoon (I cropped it out).  Mine didn't come with one.  I think that it must be the new design.  However, I plan to buy several more, so hopefully I'll find the capped ones.

I usually keep a napkin next to me so that I can tap the end of the spoon down, as baby food is not very fluid and it needs to be tapped down.

Anyway, I just wanted to share.  I love it.  Did I mention that?

Saturday, January 29, 2011


If you have ever dreamed a dream, go to this site and help make a dream come true for a special teenager.  Not only is she a sweet, sweet girl, but she is TALENTED and wants to use her talents to glorify God!  Please listen to her video and vote to help her get a full ride scholarship to the school she wants to attend!  GO BROOKLYNN!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Don't faint

I know, I know...2 posts so close together...what in the world?!?  :)  I just felt like getting some stuff off my chest, so I thought, "Where better than my blog?"

Most of you have been in my shoes with one or more of these situations:
**Waiting to find out about a big life change
**Potty Training
**Sick while trying to keep a household running
**Wishing I was somewhere else
**Struggling to balance husband, children, baby, home
**Struggling to not worry about things
**Wondering if one of the 3 showings on the house here in Alliance are going to buy and if so, what that means for us

There are just times when it all seems to stack up and pull you down.  That is where I'm at tonight.  I am trying my absolute best to let it all go.  I just want to shed the worry, the anxiety, the expectations.  I want to throw it all heavenward and wash my hands of it.  I can do that a lot of the time.  I can do that when the day is busy and I'm on my feet running after 2 kids and nurturing 3.  I can do it when I'm focused on my sweet family.  When I have a quiet moment (which doesn't happen often), it all floods in and I must fight it back. 

I KNOW that my future is already planned out.  I KNOW that I needn't worry a single bit about things.  I KNOW that all things work together for the good of those who love my Lord.  I KNOW that worrying won't help anything even a tiny bit.

So, tonight, I am unclasping the chains that hold these things to me.  I am holding them in my hands and praying over them.  I am THROWING them heavenward.  I am not taking them back.  They are yours, Lord.  They are yours to watch over and keep.  I pray for peace and daily bread.  That is all I need.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's only been....

FOREVER since I last posted!  I  have some valid reasoning, though.  I was gone...out of town...for a long time.  A month exactly.  We left Dec 23rd and returned home Jan 23rd.  We got snowed into a hotel along the route towards Wichita and ended up getting there about 3:30 Christmas Eve night.  The day after Christmas, Mark headed back home for work while the kids and I stayed in ta-town.  Dustin came to town middle of the week and then we all trekked to Dopps Camp for New Year's weekend.  If you're not a regular to my blog, you're wondering what the heck Dopps Camp is.  Well, we typically have 80-110 at our family gatherings so we rent a camp for our holidays.  This year, we went to an awesome camp in Anadarko, OK called Oakridge Christian Camp.  If you need a retreat place, I would suggest it highly.  They have a TON of activities, good food, and an amazing staff that cared for us like family.  They have everything to paintball to laser tag to go karts to bungee trampolines to rock climbing to mini golf.  Oh, there is even a maze to walk through and a playground for the kids!  Seriously, if you ever need a camp or have a group leader that is looking for a camp, check them out!

Mark headed to KC the weekend of the 8th of Jan for Railroad School.  The kids and I headed up there to see him (after almost 2 weeks apart).  We got snowed into KC Sunday and Monday, but the kids didn't mind a little extra spoiling from Mark's parents.

Other than that, we just spent time loving on my family, seeing friends that we hadn't seen in awhile, and eating at some of our favorites tha we don't usually get.  Today, Cassie asked for Sonic.  Sorry, Cass.  There is no Sonic in Edge-of-the-Earth, Nebraska.

We really enjoyed our time and were sad to leave, though it is always great to get back home to routine.

I have a prayer request for you all.  We have not broadcasted this until now, but we are asking for your prayers on a great opportunity.  There is a possibility that Mark might get a transfer to a town near Wichita due to the fact that we cannot sell our house and are having to pay for it plus utilities AND rent plus utilities on our home here.  They might let him transfer due to employee hardship.  We would move back into our house that will not sell and he would commute.  Please, please, please pray that this transfer goes through.  It will be sad to leave the close friendships that we've already forged here, but it would be a big burden off of our backs in more than one way.

I can give more details on a person-to-person basis.  I fear I've already put too many details online as it is, but I just ask for your prayerful support during this time.  Also, for my sanity of moving 9 hours away twice within a few months of each other!  That will be quite the ordeal, but well worth it for the benefits involved.

Now, for the update that you all really came for:

Cassie is learning and learning!  She is sounding out words more and more every day and has enjoyed using her new tag reader to help her learn words.  Yesterday at playgroup (childcare during my women's Bible study), she said, "Conrey, we're going to go potty now" and took him to the bathroom and helped him potty.  Then, another time, the childcare lady heard her say, "Now, Con!  We talked about this!"  I'm not sure what it was in reference too, but she is the little momma that takes care of her brothers!

Conrey is in the midst of potty training.  He did SO well the 4 days before we came back home.  He is struggling somewhat now, though we're not completely back to square one.  It will just be an adjustment, I believe.  He is hilarious and cracks us all up hourly.  Not long ago, he spelled his name, "C-O-N-R-E!"  I said, "Y!"  He said, "BECAUSE!"  He is quite the literal little guy and we've had to practice how to make believe.  He is getting pretty good at it now and it is not surprising for him to announce that he is a super hero or dinosaur or some type of animal.  Too cute!

Keaton...oh, sweet Keaton!  He is truly one of the sweetest babies I've ever known!  He has the best disposition and smiles so easily!  He is teething, which has been a challenge.  There are times when he gets really upset and I know that it is a pain cry with his poor little gums.  If he's crying, but not in pain, if I strip him down to just his diaper, he usually calms right down.  He is just like his daddy and brother in build and temperature tolerance.  He does NOT like to be hot!  He has been sleeping through the night since about 2 1/2 months.  He was sleeping from like 10:30 or 11 to 5:30 or so and I considered that through the night.  Now, however, he likes to be to sleep between 7:30 and 8:30.  He wakes up to eat at about 6:30 or 7 and then typically sleeps until 8:30 or 9.  The boys likes to sleep, for sure and I don't mind!  He is getting SO big!  He is nearly 19 lbs and is just a little ball of lovely pudge!  Most people comment that he does not seem like a 3 1/2 month old baby.  From the hospital, he has held his head up and smiled a lot.  He has kept on overachieving since then.

Mark and I are doing well.  We don't like the time apart, but it sure does keep the spark lit, so to speak.  We are just happily in love and working every day towards building our relationship and our family.  We feel as though our trust in the Lord has strengthened us as individuals and with each other and we praise God for the trying past 2 years and the lessons and growth that they have provided.  They have been quite uncomfortable and sometimes painful as we went through the trials, but we came out better and stronger for having walked through them.

I guess that's about it.  It was about this time last year that we found out about little Keaton.  Can't believe the year we've had, but I'm extremely excited about the year ahead!  May God continually bless you in 2011 and may you embrace the challenges as they come so that you might emerge stronger on the other side!