Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Great promises for a New Year

So, I hope the one or two of you that read this had a great time celebrating our Savior's birth. 

I would post more often, but I can't post from my iPad, and I can only post on the work computer because Blogger doesn't seem to like to find pictures from the iPad, and what is a post really without pictures?  :)

I am working on a cross-stitched picture for my youngest niece, Miss Alyssa Jane.  For her sister, Kaelynn, I did the priestly blessing in Numbers 6.  For baby Alyssa, I chose one of my favorite verses, Zephaniah 3:17. 

Of all the times and in all the translations I have read this verse, it never really dawned on me that this verse is a promise.  I have finished the below and needed to move the hoop (that keeps the material taunt so the stitches are even and smooth).  I looked at what was there and thought, "wow, I'm so glad He is."

Then after I had been working a couple days more, I saw the actions - The Lord..He is...He will..He will...He will".  Our God is not passive-aggressive.  He is a God of action.  Sometimes it might seem like He's letting a situation fester, or the evil win out, but the Bible is clear in other places that He is righteous and holy and vengeance is His.

I think maybe that's the best promise we could have for 2015: The Lord is with us (Emanu-El).  Facing tough job decisions?  The Lord is with you.  Health concerns?  The Lord is with you.  Relationship issues?  The Lord is with you.

He is with you.
He is for you.
He will take your hand,
He will quiet your heart,
He will never leave.
He will. He will.  He will.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What it's all about

One of our traditions in the M family is that my Dad would read the Christmas story from Luke's gospel on Christmas morning before we would open our presents. I just came from the first Christmas Eve service I can remember where my Dad wasn't there, because he was in too much pain to sit that long. (He had spinal fusion surgery in April.)

It's been a hard year. But praise God, He cares about Dad, about you, about me. The first glimpses of that in human form came in the form of a helpless baby. Here it is, what this season is all about...

1 At that time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2 When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria. 3 Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own hometown.4 Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. 5 He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, 6 and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. 7 She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger—there was no room for them to stay in the inn.The Shepherds and the Angels8 There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. 9  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, 10 but the angel said to them, “Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. 11 This very day in David's town your Savior was born—Christ the Lord! 12 And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”15 When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. 17 When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. 18 All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. 19 Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them. 20 The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.--Luke 2:1-20 | GNT

Merry CHRISTmas!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday, K!

So this goofy Cinderella Ballerina, with this face, has gotten me through the past few hard weeks:

Whenever she is asked to hold her sister's hand, she actually holds her tiny arm, right above the hand, like this (notice the same face; no idea where this came from - haven't seen it before or since - but it's made my day many times!)

Then, this past weekend, she had her THIRD birthday party. Her day is actually the 28th, but that's a holiday weekend, so I think they went with something easier to get the friends and family out to.  Here is the guest of honor posing for Mommy:

Then here she is, walking down the sidewalk to her party.  I just love the look of wonder and joy on her face:

Happy 3rd birthday, sweet goofy K.  You have weathered this past year and all the big, big changes, very well and Aunt Sarah is so proud of you.  You are a very good big sister and are such a big girl - no more be-be (pacifier) and no more diapers! You are in a big girl bed and are in the big girl classroom at school. 
Time goes by so quickly.  It seems like just the other day you were as little as "baby 'Lyssa" (as you call her).  I hope you always approach life as you do now - 100% full speed ahead, ready for any and all adventures! I love you so much!  You were my very first favorite redhead! (shhh!  Don't tell Mommy!)  :)

Aunt Sarah :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Quick check in

So, contrary to how it may appear, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. But I cannot update the blog with pics from my phone or iPad, and my computer is so old I don't use it any more. I often update the blog at work but there's not been time to do that working 7 days a week for a long time.

There is quite a bit to share, but for now two prayer requests: 1) family of my friend who passed away suddenly as a result of surgery going wrong and 2) Dad is having a lot more pain and had a CT scan done today. We are hoping doctor has some ideas on Thursday.


Friday, September 19, 2014

My trip to see the redheads...part 3

At 2.5 yrs old, Kaelynn has several games that we "played", but never by THE rules, always by hers.  For example, here is a Hello Kitty game much like Candy Land.  Here are Aunt Sarah's cards...

And here are Kaelynn's cards!


We actually never got past that point in the game; I can't remember what interrupted us.  :)

Another thing she likes to do is stickers:

And while you can't tell from this page, most of the time, she likes to pile them all on top of each other instead of spread them out...I don't understand that.  She called her puffy ones "bouncy".  The mind of a two year old.

By far, my favorite game was the instructions for Hungry Hippo.  It was a loud game so we had to go upstairs so as not to disturb the baby.

I got this many marbles...


And this is what K had...

"Reading" the instructions...but she already knew them because before this picture, I said (so I would know her rules) "Kaelynn, how do you play this game?"
Her precious face got very serious and she said "No eat balls.  Get stuck in froat.  Make tummy sick.  Don't eat!"  I assured her I would not.  It was all I could do to keep a straight face, but I was glad she understood swallowing them was dangerous.
However, about an hour after this, she had a coin in her, Mommy had a "that's not ok" talk about those.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My trip to see the redheads...part 2

So, Miss Kaelynn, age 2.5, has already very established opinions about what she will wear: tutus or dresses with leggings.  And not all dresses mommy buys, you understand.  Only certain dresses!

One morning while she was at school, my SIL, baby Alyssa and I went shopping for some more 3M sleeveless outfits for the baby.

One we found was this.  Ironically (or maybe not) enough, this is what Big Sister wore to school that day:

When we picked up K from school, this is what I saw:

Literally 5 seconds before this, the little boy in the far left corner had the Storm Trooper mask on and K was fake screaming and beating him on the head with a spatula!  Then Miss Priss I-only-wear-tutus-and-dresses took the Storm Trooper mask and put it on.  This is a great summation of her personality right now.  I am a girly girl, but you better not mess with me, 'cause I can be tough!!!  :)  I just thought it was funny!

Well, we got home and Kaelynn looked at the baby's outfit (she is nothing if not fashion-conscious), and seeing the maybe 8 inches of tulle declared, "A tutu!  Soooo cute!"  :)

Baby Alyssa loves to be on the big soft rug and stretch out and I thought this pic of the sisters looking each other was precious.  2 seconds later, big sister was smothering baby sister in a hug & kiss (they're still working on gentle kisses)...  :)

K loves to dance.  She is in a dance class and had her first recital in June.  She loves to watch the video and dance to it as evidenced above and below.  Notice the silver tutu above - it was something we found that day shopping.  We found some cute and inexpensive things at Osh Gosh B'Gosh (owned by Carter's) - among other things,  "My sister is my BFF" shirts for both girls, and for winter a sweatsuit for K - hoodie and pants.  It had glitter on it but when Mommy showed it to her, K saw the pants and said "I no want that"!!  :)

Best of all, for me, is when she dances with Daddy.  There is nothing that makes my heart melt more than watching my brother be a Daddy to his baby girls.  :)



Friday, September 12, 2014

My trip to see the redheads...part 1

Originally, I was to go out to San Jose to see my youngest brother Stephen, his wife Marni, their newborn daughter Alyssa Jane and big sister Kaelynn when the baby was about a month old, August 9.  Well, things at work were crazy and I was going to have to work the whole time.  In addition, I was still have fairly frequent migraines and didn't want to spend my time with them feeling miserable.  So I did what I've never done before and paid the change fee to push the trip back.  It was so worth it.
It was a vacation in the truest sense of the word.  I didn't work and I didn't study.  I just enjoyed the family.  Kaelynn, 2.5 yrs old, is so funny.  She is adjusting to being a big sister very well and says the funniest things!!!
She likes to push Baby Alyssa in the swing (though she needs to be reminded not to swing her too hard...) 

She loves to get down on the floor with the baby and touch her - usually before anyone is looking.  She's getting better about not touching the baby in the face.  Usually she wants to tickle the baby!  :)

She looks concerned here, but she's just thinking about her lunch order...we were in Monterrey on the bay and it was a seafood place so it said "chicken and chips" on the kids' menu.  She loves potato chips, and that's what she thought she was getting.  We had to explain in this instance, chips meant french fries!!  She loves to wear jewelry, but she doesn't like to stop lond enough for Mommy to turn the necklace around so the heart will face out. :)

This was the beginning of the day, before hair was combed and socks were on.  She has had an iPad almost a year.  They try to encourage that more than the "big black box" as my brother calls it, since the iPad is much more interactive and they are all learning games she had on there.

And here is ever-alert (when she's awake) baby sister.  She loves to be out and about and most days the week I was there, took her morning nap in the carrier while we were out.  She likes the car, as long as it is moving!  No red lights for her!  She is very much like her sister in that.

Doing water colors with Daddy.  Notice the liberal use of blue (her current favorite color).

First batch of funny Kaelynn-isms:
1) When the baby would cry, she would say - "hold on, baby Alyssa, I'm coming!" (as if she could do something about it!)  :)
2) Baby Alyssa gets hiccups a lot and at one point I said "poor thing".  K can't say "th" yet, so her echo came out "poor ting"  :)
3) When she was finished with a page, painting, stickers, coloring, whatever we were doing, she would say "dare, perfect!" (first word rhymes with and is substitute for "there")  :)
4) We listened to the "Frozen" soundtrack back and forth to Monterrey (about an hour and a half).  K knows the movie so well that she knows the part in the music where Elsa hits her sister Anna with an ice ray and hurts her.  K stopped singing every time at that spot and got serious and said, "that not ok, right, Daddy?" (instead of "no", at school they say "that's not ok") - and Daddy would say (every time) - "that's right, big girl.  It's not OK to hurt your sister.  Elsa did a bad thing."  Then K would go back to singing.

Stay tuned for more bald and red-headed cuteness!  :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I couldn't let today go by without posting - I admit that before 9/11/01, I took our military for granted.  After that, and especially after I reconnected with my dear friends The Yellow Hats, I have tried to remember everyday how blessed I am to live in this country.  Were it not for our heros, our men and women in uniform - both in this century and those before - I would not enjoy the freedoms I have today. Thank you for your service!  May we never forget 9/11/01, and may we always remember your sacrifices the days before and after that that you lay down your lives each and every day for us!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Visit to see the Redheads!

So firstly, the reason why I don't post more often is that I can't post pics from my iPad and I don't have much to say if there isn't a picture to go with it. (my life isn't all that interesting!)

However, last week was.  It was a glorious 8 day vacation with 0 work and 0 studying in CA when I went to see the redheads and their guy, my youngest brother.

This 7 week old went to daycare this week for the first time and did wonderfully, which was a relief seeing as of Friday night (8/29) she still wouldn't take a bottle!

Yes, it's a stretch now to call Baby Alyssa a redhead.  She's lost most of her reddish fuzz and it's coming in blondish, but don't tell her parents. :)

And then there's this little nut.  She is hysterical.  Wait till I tell you some of the stuff she said last week.  She had me laughing.  She is sweet to the baby and is totally potty trained during the day so she got to go to the 3 yr old room at school a couple months early!  She will currently only wear tutus and certain dresses - has a fashion opinion at a very young age (2.5 yrs old). She is pretty well behaved and is learning how to be quiet when the baby is sleeping, but that is something that is hard to remember. :)


More to come this weekend!  :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

2 Weeks from now...

...I will be with "the redheads", as we're fond of calling them, with this tiny one being the newest:

She's two weeks old in that picture.  First smiles.  I love that and that her little cheeks are starting to get chubby.  Apparently her big sister is giving her Daddy a run for his money:

So, Aunt Sarah is on her way...just not today as I had originally planned.  My migraines have been out of control and I have missed a lot of work, so I have been behind.  So, after praying about it and flexibility on the part of the chief redhead (that would be Mommy) and the non-redhead (that would be Daddy), I'm going to go two weeks from now.  Lord-willing all the work will be done (or enough of it anyway!) and the migraines will be more under control.

Because the thought of NOT seeing my redheads is just not one I could swallow.  I need some special big sister time with K and I need to hold baby A before she's no longer a newborn!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Announcing the arrival of...

...Alyssa Jane Moseley
Born 7/13/14 at 9:52 a.m.
7 lbs., 15 oz., 20 in. long
little bit of red hair

We praise God for a healthy baby girl.  There were some scary moments as at one point, the cord was wrapped around Alyssa's neck.  My niece and I share the same middle name, which is very special.  Jane was my maternal great-great grandmother, so that is three greats for baby Alyssa.

Welcoming Alyssa home was big sister (2.5 yrs old) Kaelynn - who was upset that her baby was crying, and that Mommy couldn't hold HER.  She's got lots of big sister books, though, and will soon understand that Baby Alyssa's only way to tell us something right now is to cry. (Here is K trying to hold sister's hand, and Daddy trying to soothe A by having the baby suck on his finger!!) Granny is going out tomorrow to lend a hand and I know that K will enjoy a little extra attention.  It's one thing to say "there's a baby in Mommy's tummy" and a whole other thing when the baby comes out and she does nothing but cry!!! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two decades ago when a phone call changed everything...

The other day, I realized that it's now been two decades since a phone conversation radically changed the trajectory of my life. It was the first week of June, 1994, and I had just finished ny junior year at what was then Cedarville College.

I had been dating my boyfriend for three and a half years, and while I had no ring yet, we had verbally committed ourselves to each other for life. However, in the several weeks before this call, my immediate family was going through something incredibly stressful, and instead of being my support and helping me through this tough time, he was just making things worse. So, when he started (again) talking about himself and the boat he wanted to buy, that day I had had enough. I said something like, "stop. I need a break. I need you to help me, not to be always thinking only about yourself. Maybe we should take a week off of calling each other and see if that helps". (He was living about 100 miles away at the time and talking long distance was not free, so we didn't do it every day.)

It was then he began to tell me that when he met me (3.5 years ago), he decided not to be himself, but the person he thought I needed. As he continued to talk, I began getting this feeling in the pit of my stomach that this was not going to be a brief break. If he had deceived me and hadn't been himself around me for the entire time I had known him, what did that even mean?

Finally, at the end of the conversation, I remember asking him something like, "well, do you want me to call you after a month?"  He said "that will be up to you", as if it didn't matter one iota to him.  Twist that knife just a little bit more, please.

So, instead of returning to college my senior year with a ring, I returned single.  I remember thinking, "what on earth am I going to do?" with regards to supporting myself with a music degree.  It was never supposed to be a primary income, but secondary while he was a pilot and I was a stay at home Mom, giving music lessons out of the house.  I knew deep within me that I was not "cut out" to be a music teacher in a school setting nor was I really talented enough to make it as a professional musician.

But it was too late.

My parents, God bless them (seriously!) - had paid for three years of private college tuition, and I had completed three-fourths of a degree.  I really couldn't turn back.  And even two decades later, I really can't tell you what I would have picked as an alternative major if I had started over.  Music was my life, it defined me (I didn't know then how unhealthy that was at the time).

So, I finished my two degrees in music, the first was a Bachelors of Arts in Music Performance (oboe) in June of 1995, with the rest of my senior class.  The second was Bachelors of Music Education, instrumental emphasis in December of 1995, after my 5th fall quarter, following my marching band student teaching.

Since marching band started before the college quarter, I was done before the college quarter ended.  For some reason, I still remember the last day - November 17.

Of course no teaching job was available at that odd time.  There was some family stress going on in OH where I was from, and I received an invitation to stay with a friend and her family in MI.  I found a job in retail and worked hard.

I tried my hand at grad school the following school year as a Graduate Assistant in oboe performance at the University of Akron.  It was a very hard year.  My supervising professor was seriously like a Jekyl and Hyde.  I shared his office and didn't know which one I was going to walk into every day.  One version of him was kind and encouraging and the other was harsh, demanding and very hard to work with.

I had always been a big fish in a small pond, and the academic year of 1996-7, I finally learned (as I had desired to) where I really ranked in an average pond.  I saw the facts.  1)  If I was going to "make it", I would have to sacrifice every other part of my life to this career.  There would be no time for a social life or anything else, between personal practicing, group rehearsals and making my reeds (part of a double reed player's routine).  2) In conjunction with number 1, while the Lord had given me a love for music and certainly had given me such comfort and healing through music - and had given me some talent - I was not naturally gifted as many of my colleagues were and my very best efforts were just barely good enough for the lowest levels of professional musicianship.  3) There are only typically 2 permanent oboe positions in a professional orchestra.  That means an opening generally comes up when someone dies, retires, or (the unusual) resigns.  I would have to be willing to go anywhere and everywhere around the country where an opening would be, no matter where my family spread out to.

So, strike 1 of 2 majors.  I spent the next year working as a secretary for a great Lutheran church in MI.  I learned so much and met some really wonderful people.  I started directing the Children's Choir there.  The Pastor was a theologian and had written several Lutheran theology books.  We had many good theological discussions.  I grew up in a very legalistic Baptist bubble (I'm not blaming anyone, I'm just providing context).  It was great for me to be in this safe environment to learn that there will certainly be other denominations in Heaven besides Baptists!  I grew to love the symbolism in the liturgy - espcially during Holy Week such as Maundy Thursday - when, at the conclusion of the service, the altar is stripped of its vestments as our Savior was stripped in preparation for His execution.

The next academic year, 1998-9, I worked as the Music Director for a very small Christian school, grades 1-12.  I taught everything - general music for elementary (ended up being the most enjoyable because they were happy to be there), band for junior high (my  fatal blow), choir for HS (a joke because I couldn't play piano and didn't have an accompanist).

The junior high band students were absolutely horrible, and their parents were worse!  They didn't want to be there, and I had no clear plan for class discipline (I knew this before my senior year of college and this was one of the reasons why I knew I didn't want to be a classroom teacher).  I defaulted to yelling over them/at them, which was my "go-to" and helped no one.  They were (as they are at that age) extremely mean to me, and I did not have the self-confidence or thick enough skin to deal with it.  By November (i.e., two months into the year), I knew I was done. I went to the school Administrator then and told him I wanted to quit.  Somehow he talked me into staying.  Only by God's grace.

Strike 2.

I got a wonderful job about a month after school was out at a hospital as a secretary and worked there for about 2 years.  I met some great people and learned alot.  It was during this time I ventured into "home ownership", if you call purchasing a mobile home that was older than I was home ownership!  My friend's Dad did all the maintenance (it was a skinny, long money pit!) but it was good to be on my own.

The best thing about the time period from August 1998 through February 2001 is that I shared life with a precious Corgi mix named BJ.  He was 10 years old when I got him.  His owner had passed away and he needed a home.  The Lord knew that I needed to learn how to love, and what unconditional love looked like.  If you are not a dog lover, you won't understand that last sentence.  I promise I am not being sacrilegious when I say that.  Since my breakup with my boyfriend 4+ years prior to that, my heart had been broken wide open and I needed lessons in love.  When I cried, I kid you not, BJ would put his paw on my hand, or he would lick the tears off my cheeks.

In August of 2000, a series of radical events began to unfold that eventually became what I now know was the road that led me to Dallas and Dallas Theological Seminary.  I moved 1200 miles from all I knew and loved, sight un-seen (school and apartment both!).  Part of that painful, pealing away process to get me from MI to TX was BJ's passing in February of 2001 as he never would have survived the move.  My Grandpa unexpectedly went to Heaven in November of 2000 and my focus was shifted back to where it should have been all along.

For, you see, while my heart was broken, perhaps before, but definitely after that phone call now 20 years ago, I silently and very slowly allowed myself to be led away - and sometimes actively wandered away by myself - from my Shepherd.  By October of 2000, I was in a place that no Christian should ever be, and I praise the Lord for not giving up on me.  After I got to Dallas, the Pastor (at the time), Mac Brunson of my church, First Baptist Dallas, was preaching on John 10, the passage where Jesus talks about His sheep knowing His voice and that no one can snatch them out of His hand.  Dr. Brunson made a graphic gesture of reaching down and quickly and forcefully grabbing someone out of danger - rescuing them - as if the Father says to Satan - "NO!  You may not have this one - THIS IS MY CHILD!"

That is exactly what I think of when I think of the second chance the Lord so graciously gave me that began on October 2, 2000 and led to my arrival in Dallas, TX on the day after my 28th birthday, July 8, 2001.

The story hasn't ended, but to fill in some of the details: I never finished my degree at DTS (had to quit due to health issues and lack of funds); while I did the eHarmony thing and a couple arranged dates, I have never seriously dated anyone since I broke up with my boyfriend 20 years ago; due to some car accidents and injuries to my C1-C2 vertebrae in my neck, I can now no longer play my oboe on a regular basis, only for short periods of time; I have been working as an Investment Analyst at a consulting firm for the past 10 years and am working on passing my credentialing exams (boy, do I wish I could tell the 19 year-old version of me she might need more math some day!!)

Here is where my little blurb on the side bar of the blog comes in.  From 20 years ago (wife of a missionary pilot and mother to his children) to now (single, never married, no children, professional woman) - I am NOWHERE near where I thought I would be in life.  Sometimes, on the hard days, I'm not really where I'd LIKE to be.  But praise be to God for all His blessings, I know that I am smack dab in the middle of where I NEED to be, and there is much peace in that.  The kind of peace that makes up for all the "what if"'s.

Psalm 37:4 was my theme verse for last year when I turned 40 - "Trust in Lord with all your heart and He will give you the desires of your heart".  I do not believe God is a vending machine, so this verse means 2 things to me - 1) God will give me what I have always desired or 2) He will change my desires.

These past 20 years have not been easy, have certainly not been expected.  That phone call 2 decades ago changed my life forever.  From what I know now, I praise the Lord for rescuing me from a marriage that would have been unhappy at best and doomed at the worst.

Though I am human and struggle at times just like you might expect with loneliness, etc. I can say that God has been so very faithful. I have so many blessings and 90% of the time am very content being single with the independence that brings.

I can honestly say that He is more than enough. Praise be to Him.  I can't wait to see what He has in store for the next 20 years!  :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

OHSU-NFMCPA fibromyalgia survey

I don't talk about my Fibro too much, but it's altered my life significantly since the symptoms began in late 2003 and early 2004. One of the things I'm super thankful for is that I don't have severe pain and am not disabled like nearly a quarter of Fibro patients have and are. Most of my symptoms fall into the scope of this survey that was done, symptoms other than pain. If you are interested in finding out more about the study, here is the link:

In preparation for the Food and Drug Administration's Public Fibromyalgia Patient-Focused Meeting December 10, 2013 (rescheduled to March 26, 2014), the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association in partnership with Dr. Robert Bennett, Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, published a nationwide survey to capture important scientific information to report at the FDA meeting.  Robust community participation in the survey during a short time period indicated strong support for more research on fibromyalgia.  Dr. Bennett prepared a three-part series of the results for the NFMCPA for education to its constituents and the public.  These valuable insights will also be used in further research at OHSU as well as being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed professional journal. This is Part 1 of that 3-part series.

During a couple of weeks at the end of November 2013,  NFMPCA members looked at a questionnaire designed by Dr. Rob Bennett. The intent of this questionnaire was to provide information to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on common symptoms encountered by fibromyalgia patients, other than pain. This information was to be presented by Jan Chambers at an FDA meeting in December 2013, but due to bad weather the meeting was canceled and was rescheduled for March 26, 2014.  This survey provided us with a lot of new and important information regarding the suffering endured by fibromyalgia patients.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Give Me Jesus

This is a very, very old song, but I had never heard it until around 2000 when I heard it sung by Fernando Ortega. I since then have heard it sung by others and didn't think anyone could sing it better than Fernando. Well, I stand very much corrected. Sunday at church, we had a special musical guest sing this song. I wish had a recording. It was so beautiful, many were moved to tears. His tenor voice reverberated throughout our large worship center strong and clear with passion, as he sang:

"In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
Give me Jesus.

"Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You may have all this world
Give me Jesus.

"Dark midnight was my cry
Dark midnight was my cry
Dark midnight was my cry
Give me Jesus.

"Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You may have all this world
Give me Jesus.

"Oh when I comes to die
Oh when I comes to die
Oh when I comes to die
Give me Jesus.

"Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You may have all this world
Give me Jesus.

"Nobody but Jesus
Oh you may have all this world
Give me Jesus."

-Old African American Spiritual as sung by Dr. Leo Day,
Dean of the School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary, 6/1/14 at First Baptist Dallas

Friday, May 30, 2014

The God of Again

This is too good not to share. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom. It's worth two minutes of your time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

More Than Enough

Had to say goodbye to a wonderful co-worker today. Have really been struggling with this for the past two weeks as she is a believer and has become a great friend. However, someone suggested that I decide it will be ok, and that's what I did. Obviously I know God has a plan and works all things together for good, but it will miss her a lot! Then, when rummaging thru a "junk drawer" tonight, I found a portion of the following lyrics that our choir sang in April 2011. It's by Brooklyn Tab and so appropriate...hope it encourages you as it did me...

"Jehovah Jireh, my provider
You're more than enough for me.
Jehovah Rapha, You're my healer,
by Your stripes, I have been set free.
"Jehovah Shamma, You are with me
and You supply all of my needs;
You are more than enough,
You are much more than enough,
You are more than enough for me.
"Jehovah Shamma, You are with me,
You supply all my needs;
"You're more than enough,
more than enough,
more than enough for me."

Monday, May 26, 2014


Thank you to all our veterans, past and present, that have served to keep our country free...and to free those across the world that have no other hope but us. We owe you much more than one day of remembrance, but you are not forgotten.

And I can never mention our military without thinking of my favorite military family, The Yellow Hats. Thank you for service. I never knew how difficult military life was until we reconnected several years ago. I still don't know because I've never experienced it, but I have had a glimpse, and it's changed my perspective completely. We owe you a debt we can never repay.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Update on Dad

Dad had his 6 week post op appt. today, and it was mostly good news. He still has quite a bit of pain, which the doctor said is "typical", but the surgeon does want Dad's pain doctor to do cortisone injections in the Sacroiliac joints on either side of the fusion incision. These joints are often inflamed after fusion surgery. He is to wear his brace another 6 wks and have more PT, this time at a facility and not at the house. There have been lots of problems with the insurance paying for the medicine the doctors are prescribing. Dad is also experiencing significant pain in his foot due to the neuroma that was not surgically removed. We would appreciate your continued prayers for healing, patience, wisdom, and encouragement. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Madison is home!

Thank you for praying for Madison. Yesterday she went home. This was the first surgery I know of that she's had out of the many in her young life that didn't involve a traumatic setback in the recovery post-op period. We are so excited that she is home where she belongs and doing so well. Praise be to The Lord!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Update on Madison

Madison is doing well.  She may be released tomorrow.  They are waiting on her Coumadin levels to come back at the therapeutic levels in her blood.

I went yesterday to visit and it was great to see her and her Mom Jennifer.  It had been a couple years since I had seen them and Madison has grown quite a bit and is able to talk very clearly, both huge answers to prayer.

I helped Jennifer give Madison a shower and of course that helped Maddy feel a lot better.  Something she said after, though, just broke my heart.  She is trying to process all this, and the other hospital visits she's experienced in her young life.  She asked Mama, "Why God made me sick?"

Please continue to pray for Maddy and her family, as there will be other hospitalizations.  This is a way of life for her with the challenges she was born with.  Jennifer's prayer is that "she will accept her lot in life as given from a loving good God that sees and understands more than we. He has promised that all things work together for good for those that love The Lord. It is my prayer that she loves The Lord and is able to recognize the good he has for her even in the crummy circumstances of health. What an amazing life she will experience if she will cling to the God of that truth. It is truly her only hope, she will be miserable if she looks only to earthly comfort and chooses to become angry at what simply just is."

Thanks for praying for this sweet family!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cutest little Bluebird Ever!!!

So, yesterday was a rough day for a variety of reasons, and I was working at home in the evening, after a 10 hour day in the office, when I got this picture via text:

They are doing Snow White and K is a Bluebird!!!  Love...and it made my day so much better. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Madison does NOT have to have open heart surgery!

Praise The Lord! Madison was able to have her heart valve replaced via catherization today, a procedure called the melody valve because the doctor that invented it was a musician. This means she will not need to have open heart surgery. There was considerable doubt, due to the scar tissue she has from 4 prior open hearts as well as other issues, whether Madison would be a candidate for the procedure. 28 have been done of these, 19 at this hospital.

Madison feels horrible, but the recovery will be so much easier from this. There is still a considerable hurdle to get over with regards to the transition of the short-acting blood thinner she is on immediately after surgery, to the long-term one she lives on, Coumadin. In the past, Madison has had life-threatening bleeds during this transition.

Please continue to pray, but first pause to praise Him who has done a great and mighty thing this day! Thank you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Please pray for Madison

Friends, please be praying with us for a sweet 9 yr old named Madison, who is having another heart valve replacement tomorrow. They are hoping to do this one thru cath so she doesn't have to have her 5th open heart surgery. Please pray for her, her brothers and parents as well as the medical team. Please also pray there would be no complications in her recovery, no matter which procedure she has to have. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A little bit smarter?

I have been willing my lovely purple cell phone to remain alive, which I have had at least three years (because I had it on my trip to Kyiv in 2011 to see this sweet family). I knew I had to replace it because it wasn't holding a charge very long but was thinking about taking the plunge to smart phone land (yes, I'm one of the last two people one earth that didn't have one)...but I didn't want to deal with that while studying. So, Saturday, this is what happened...

While I honestly would have been perfectly fine with a free "smart" phone I could have received (after paying the upgrade fee), since I have a brother that works for Apple, purchasing any other brand would be considered treason. :)  And, it is really easy this way because every person in my family, including spouses has one of this "i" devices, so we can do Facetime (Apple's version of Skype) and my pictures and videos and songs are SUPPOSED to share themselves between the phone and iPad.

Insert skepticism. 

I have only just now gotten the ability to receive voicemails after having this "phone" in my possession for 3 days.  It seems the "smart" phone was not intelligent enough to record a voice message, which my old lovely purple non "smart" phone was perfectly capable of doing.  So after 2 trips to the AT&T store and 2 calls to them, I can finally receive and retrieve voicemail messages.

And, I don't know why I didn't get the white one.  Why did I think it would get dirty when it would always have a cover on it?  This bright lime green is horrid.  Too late.  (The black/silver ones were $100 more and I certainly wasn't going to do that.  Blue is what my Mom has.  Pink and yellow were too flashy as I might have this out in a meeting at work...) The picture above does not quite capture the brightness of the green...*sigh*...oh well!!! At least the girl found me a cover that basically makes the phone look purple...

I know I will come to love this handy gadget in my pocket, but right now it's caused me more time and angst than it's helped me.  I do not intend to use much data because I don't want to pay for it, so it will basically be when I'm traveling and don't have access to wifi that I use it like a smartphone.  You should have seen the look on the little boy's face at the store when I told him this.  Like I said the world was ending.  Really.  I can live hours - and days!  without reading Facebook or even the news.  As long as I can get in touch by text or email or phone with those I love...that's really all that matters.

Whether I'm smarter or not as a result of this new device remains to be seen...though my SS teacher did tell me about the "gas buddy" app that will pull up the prices of gas stations around you and show you the cheapest one.  That is something I can use.  And am willing to pay for. :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Update on Dad

Hi. Just wanted to give a quick update on Dad. He had his 25 metal staples removed from the 6 inch incision last week, which had to help that area be less uncomfortable, but overall, he is still in a lot of pain, especially in the afternoons. The physical therapist says he is doing well, and that this is just a long recovery. My Dad is not accustomed to resting, and neither parent is used to being house bound, so this is hard. Please pray for wisdom not to overdo, for better pain management, and encouragement. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Update on Dad

A week ago today was Dad's surgery. Today the physical "terrorist" (therapist) that comes to the house said he is doing very well. He walks several times a day around the house inside, and now he has some exercises to do.

Monday there was an unexpected trip to the doctor's office to check the 6" incision because he was concerned it was infected (it's OK). Unfortunately the car ride was very painful for him.

Today he was able to go outside and check on his roses and I know that made him happy. He is still in quite a bit of pain, but overall doing great for just being one week out.

The recovery for this surgery is long and slow, so please keep the prayers coming. Thanks!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dad is home!

I am so thankful to report we are home! It's a great 45th wedding anniversary for my parents today.

Yes, I drove down to be here to help any way I could, a decision I made yesterday morning before the possibility of Dad being discharged to home health care was even an option. I'm so thankful for my friend Mary who helped me follow my gut and decide this (not in Dallas studying) is where I need to be. I am called to honor my parents, and this is a time for that.

Dad is doing remarkably well getting around in the walker, considering he has a 6" incision in his low back, and it's not hardly four full days after surgery. There are a lot of throw rugs in this house that are making mom and I nervous, but he is insistent that they stay where they are.

The home health care agency is supposed to call Monday.

 I went to pick up his Rx at Walmart only to find it closed at 7:00pm. What in the world? They live in a nice area. This is not like the CVS near my house that has legit reasons for closing early. We are hoping Dad will be ok without this med tonight. He hasn't had it the past three nights, but we wanted him to have it as an option just in case.

Please continue to pray for pain management, for good rest, and for grace when crankiness sets in. :)

Thank you so much for your prayers! To God be the glory!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dad: post-op day 3

Dad had a good day. More visits from his friends the physical "terrorists", the drain from the incision removed and a shower. There is a slight possibility that he may be released to home health care tomorrow! Of course he might also fall into the weekend holding pattern. And he might end up at rehab, but we would love the home health option. We are so thankful that he continues to head in the right direction. Please continue to pray for pain management, good rest, and wisdom about next steps. Thanks for your prayers. To God be the glory!

Dad: post-op day 2

Dad did pretty well yesterday. He had two sessions with the people he now refers to as the physical "terrorists" (therapists). He is slowly (much slower than he would like) making progress. This was a major surgery and the recovery is far from easy for anyone, let alone a 74 yr old with other health issues. No timeline has been set for his release; the word "rehab" was used as in he may go there before going home. It all depends on how he progresses. Please pray for endurance and grace and wisdom for the medical staff, and that they would be willing to see outside their protocol that Dad does not fit into! He has been able to sleep fairly well so far, as has Mom. We have much to be thankful for. Thanks for praying with us!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dad update: post-op day 1

Thank you for your prayers. After an "ok" night, Dad was moved to a step-down unit today and the focus and challenge has been pain management. While Dad is still in pain, he has been comfortable enough to sleep most of the afternoon, for which we are thankful. 

The PT folks came and got Dad up and walking. The lactic acid in the muscles adds to the pain factor. He is back on a little oxygen after his little walk, but the medical staff says that he is doing well and everything like the incision and the drain there looks good. 

Mom has often said the second day (24-48 hours) after surgery is the hardest, and at least for us, that has usually been the case. Lord-willing, Dad will be able to sleep through more of this difficult period. We are very thankful that he is heading in the right direction, and appreciate everyone's prayers. Please continue to pray for good pain management, and rest for both Mom and Dad.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dad's Surgery

Dad is now getting settled in his ICU room. The surgeon said the surgery went well. Apparently there was a lot of instability in Dad's back before the fusion, and Dr. S was able to fix that with the rods. Currently, Dad is in considerable pain, but the medical staff is working on that. Please pray for a measure of pain relief for Dad and rest for both he and Mom tonight. We are thankful the surgery went well and that Dad came out of anesthesia OK. Thanks!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Please pray for Dad and his surgery

Hi. Sorry I've been absent so long from here. Studying/working 50-65 hours/week for three months straight has occupied all my time.

First, let me back up and share a huge answer to prayer. The low back surgery my Dad really needs to try to get some relief from the constant pain he lives with was denied coverage by insurance when they ran the pre-approval. Then it was also denied when the first round of appeal went through. We had lots of people praying that The Lord would lead and provide wisdom (even if that meant not having surgery and exploring other long term pain management options). This past Tuesday, only a couple weeks after the initial claim was filed, the insurance approved the surgery! We are so thankful and are taking this reversal and quick processing as an indication that The Lord would have Dad continue forward with surgery.

So this Tuesday, the 8th, he will have two discs fused, the two lowest ones in the back. After surgery he will not be able to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time, and other various restrictions, but that is the biggest one. Please pray that The Lord would guide the surgeon, Dr. S's hands, that Dad would come thru the surgery with no unintended side effects and, if the Lord wills, that this would provide Dad some pain relief. Low back surgeries are somewhat controversial in the medical field due to their mediocre success rate, but Dad's surgeon (who did Dads neck fusion last year) thinks he can give Dad relief.

Thanks for praying with us!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sisterly Love

My SIL posted this to Facebook and it is so precious that I just had to share.  She said "K thought her baby sister needed a sticker this morning.  I haven't had the heart yet to take it off".

Isn't that just the best?  I love that she is sharing, that she is thinking outside of 2 yr old self (if even for a moment).  Next up: being OK with Mommy holding another baby (currently really NOT OK with that!!)  :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I'm expecting another n_______


This little pistol is getting a baby sister!  :)

I love my brothers very much, but I always wanted a sister, so I am excited that K gets one.  Baby girl is healthy (which is the most important thing) and she is due to arrive July 6, one day before her Aunt Sarah's birthday. :)  Praise be to the Lord!

“You created every part of me; You put me together in my mother's womb.  I praise You because you are to be feared; all You do is strange and wonderful.  I know it with all my heart.  When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret,  You knew that I was there—You saw me before I was born.  The days allotted to me had all been recorded in Your book, before any of them ever began.”—Psalm 139:13-16 GNT

Friday, January 31, 2014

Comforting words

"I look to the mountains;where will my help come from? 2My help will come from the LORD,who made heaven and earth. 3He will not let you fall;your protector is always awake. 4The protector of Israelnever dozes or sleeps.5The LORD will guard you;he is by your side to protect you.6The sun will not hurt you during the day,nor the moon during the night. 7The LORD will protect you from all danger;he will keep you safe.8He will protect you as you come and gonow and forever."--Psalms 121:-8 (GNT)

This has always been a favorite Psalm. It's been a hard week. I had steroid injections in my hips for bursitis on Tuesday and haven't been in that much pain, or felt so physically alone, in my recent memory.

Today, my Dad undergoes a very painful test to determine which areas of his back need to be fused. They put him to sleep, put the needle in, wake him up, then keep poking to find the worst spots. Yeah, ouch.

Right now I'm up way too early to try to study this overwhelming material for a credentialing exam, feeling and being now even more behind after having had last week held hostage by the flu.

So, these words are so comforting. Nothing will happen today, the day whenever Dad finally has his surgery, April 12 (day of my exam), or any other day that will catch my Lord my surprise. He's got this, and he's got me. As they say down here in Dallas, I reckon that's all I need to know!