Showing posts from March, 2013

Good Friday

Rob Morgan, one of our favorite preachers, wrote a great article on Huffington Post titled What if Jesus Really Did Rise. It's fantastic, and we read it to our kids over lunch today. I love, love the way they understand and learn as they grow older. We also listened to this song, and Camden melts my heart as he sings along with all of his being.

Our church has big outreach events scheduled for the weekend, but it's looking as if rain is going to take over and cancel them. I don't know how you celebrate Easter, but I love that our kids have spent the week at school learning about Easter's true meaning. I'm not sure if there's anything more precious than knowing your kiddos get Easter, what Christ did for us, and the reason we celebrate. I'm not a big tradition kind of girl, but the phrase "He is Risen" and the response "He is Risen Indeed" gets me every time.
I saw a church sign yesterday that said, "He is Risen. Woot. Woot." Se…

Two Years Alive

Last year on my "cancerversary", we celebrated by having ice cream for breakfast. Because, as Rory puts it, "you were one year alive." Saturday, March 30, 2013 marks two years alive, and we're having ice cream again. I'd love it if you join us. You know you want to!
And this year, we have something to continue to celebrate. My CA125 was 17.3 for March. That's up a couple of points from 14 in February, but well within my stable range. I was completely worry free (and pretty darn proud of myself for that, by the way) over the last 8 days until I called the office this morning and had to wait an hour or so for answers. I came up with all sorts of reasons as to why Brandi (one of my favorites who managed to make the move to the new office) wouldn't call me back right away. Turns out she was just working hard to get answers to all of my questions before calling me back. I may have been worry free up until that point, but I had a major mini meltdown durin…

Busy, Busy

I've had several people emailing me worried that I've received bad news since I haven't blogged. Nothing so disastrous as that - just very, very busy. Between overnight guests, several events at the kid's school, multiple church events, and van shopping (which has turned into a full-time job this week), we've just been gone from home for the last 4-5 days.
I'm happy to say that our van shopping is finally over. We've been on the hunt since January, and I was pretty sure we were never going to find what we wanted: something older but not too old (as in 5-6 years older because of price) with low(ish) mileage, under a certain price point, and we knew 2 or 3 models that we liked and had good reputations. Thank goodness we kept looking because we finally found exactly what we wanted. It's not new, but it's new to us, in great condition and has more bells and whistles than we've ever had. (I don't even have power windows on my 2001 Grand Am if th…

Snow Day on March 25??

Our morning started out pretty much as usual. Brian was up way too early (despite this being his first day of spring break). I got up at 5:30, had a cup of coffee, then started the morning routine with the kids a little after 6:00. After a very bad morning with a child who shall remain nameless, my phone tweeted at me saying school was dismissed because of the snow. I didn't even realize we had snow at this point, and at 6:46 we were already completely ready to head out the door. I would have liked to avoid the crazy morning with the kids, and sleeping in would have been a great start to my week so notification earlier would have been nice! If it seems like I'm complaining, I am. ;)
Other than the bad start to our Monday, the weekend was great. We had a large group from a church in Florida in town this week to help out our church, and it was good to visit with fellow Christians as well as to work hard promoting our own church. Our Saturday and Sunday were very, very full, but…


Oh. My. Stars.
It has been one of those weeks. The kids have argued and argued all week long, and I have seriously struggled with how to handle it. I asked Brian what to do, and he responded with "if I had the answer to that problem, I could write a book and make alot of money." So true. 
This article popped up in my inbox, and while it didn't exactly solve my problems, it did make me feel as if I wasn't alone in this sibling argument issue. It also makes a very valid point (and one which I'm well aware of) that your kids are just reflecting the ton of your own voice as they speak to each other. This is something I am constantly working on. I also fully believe that this is not all my fault. Sometimes kids go through bad stages, and we're clearly in one.
In a moment of desperation, I told them they had to sit and hold hands for 15 minutes. Camden, of course, thought it was awful. Rory, on the other hand, thought it was the best thing to ever happen to her. Sh…

Four Weeks Already

It has already been four weeks since my last CA125 check, so I'm headed to Nashville for blood work this afternoon. I'm planning to spend the day running errands (since I have miraculously not been to the "big city" since my last round of blood work). We've decided not to tell the kids this month for two reasons. (1) I'm trusting that the results will be fine and there will be no need to unnecessarily worry them and (2) They had a very hard time last week while I was gone. Camden wandered around the house saying how lonely it was without me and Rory cried nearly every day and said "this reminds of what it might be like if I mommy dies." Bless their sweet, tender hearts.
A church group from Florida is coming to Tennessee to help out with an Easter outreach event, and we will have several people (that I've never met) staying with us over the next 4-5 days. I can't decide if that will be a distraction from waiting on test results or if it will…

Late Nights

Because I was away from home last week, Rory had to attend the late baseball practices with Brian and Camden. Saturday night's practice was 7-10. Crazy, right? Anyway, after church Sunday morning, Brian left her in the car for 2 minutes while he ran back inside to pick something up, and this is how he found her. Sister can't take these late nights!

In other news, dad has hoped to go home for the last 2 days, but both days the doctor has found some suspicious seepage at his incision site. He says it would be disastrous to have an infection at this point so they're being cautious and keeping him. I remember well what it's like to sit at the hospital day after day waiting to go home, and it is no fun!

Snapshot #5

Outside my window: gray skies
I am thinking: about Camden's tender heart. He may be making mistakes like any normal 9 year old boy, but he is showing real signs of change and remorse when he makes those mistakes, and it does my heart good.

I am thankful for: the great care my dad has received; the surgeon and nurses have been amazing.

I am wondering: how in the world my mom is going to keep my dad down for the next 6 weeks while he recovers.

Last 3 purchases: seriously cute gray Born shoes (see pic below), Merle Norman cleanser and toner, some cute spring/summer clothes for Camden and Rory (took advantage of a big Gymboree sale with stacking coupons)
Dinner plans: good question!

Future plans I'm looking forward to: spring break

Kid funny:"I woke up at 4:00 this morning and then just started browsing." Pretty sure Rory meant "dozing." :)
I am reading:Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home by Richard J. Foster (still) and Delirium by Lauren Oliver
In the kitche…


If you can believe it, I wrote this post last Wednesday approximately an hour before I got the news that my dad would be having open heart surgery. Oh, the irony. Every word is still true, though, and I decided to go ahead and post it.

Most people look forward to spring, and until this year, I would have counted myself as one of them. But this year I find myself a little apprehensive as temperatures warm up and baseball season begins. In spring 2011, we were preparing to move to Texas to help plant a church when I unexpectedly had major surgery, spent 9 days in the hospital and was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer. In spring 2012, we were once again forging ahead with plans to move to Texas to help plant a church when I had major surgery, spent 8 days in the hospital, and found out my cancer was still hanging around my abdominal wall and liver. Both spring 2011 and spring 2012 I missed a good portion of baseball season. 
You see why spring feels as if it brings bad, bad things f…

Update on Dad

Several weeks ago at his annual physical, my dad decided at the last minute to mention to his doctor that he was occasionally having a little heartburn at the end of his workouts. Yes, workouts because my dad is healthy. He eats healthy; he exercises; he plays endlessly with his 6 grandkids; he unloads hay bails and rides his 4 horses. He almost singlehandedly packed up our house last May, and then moved us into our new house in October, not to mention he runs his own very successful business.
So when he went in for the angiogram Wednesday, we were certainly not expecting anything other than good news. In fact, my parents did not even tell their church or family. So to say that it was a shock that he needed open heart surgery would be an understatement. Turns out he had major blockages, and his surgeon told us that if he had been a smoker or sedentary or an unhealthy eater that this would have happened 10 years ago.
I snapped this picture Thursday morning as we waited around in his h…

Open Heart Surgery

I just got word that my dad is having open heart surgery tomorrow. I literally don't know more than that; my two sisters and I are packing and leaving immediately to be with them.
Reminds me of all the times *they* rushed to be with me during the past 2 years.

Please pray that the doctors will be able to fix whatever is wrong. And also say an extra prayer for my kiddos. They do not have the normal childhood experience, and any kind of hospital stay/surgery is a very big deal for them. My tender Rory has sobbed nearly every day since we told her about this test, and because I'm headed out the door, I will not be home to tell her about the big surgery tomorrow.


Camden's first official baseball practice was last night (yes, the 2.5 hour one), and Brian texted me this video of him pitching for the first time. And I swear to you, I was so darn proud that it brought tears to my eyes. I know it's silly. It's a 6 second video of one solitary pitch. But he was SO nervous. Remember he was so nervous that he wouldn't even give it a shot at tryouts? Well, he conquered those nerves, and they let him pitch at practice. And Brian said he was good. Thank heavens for an iPhone so I could see him even though I wasn't present.

And I post alot of smiles on this blog, but this particular smile is genuine and full of pride in himself.  I wish you could have seen how excited he was when he got home (after nearly 3 hours at the ball park).

In more serious news, my dad is having an angiogram this afternoon, and I would appreciate your prayers. While I'm not anticipating anything other than good results, it's always a little bit nerve w…

Tuesday Tidbits

From Rory: "Daddy, I know how to write a 10 in sign language." 
Not only did I do 5 loads of laundry yesterday, but I made homemade granola, used that homemade granola to make sugar-free granola bars, made ice cream out of bananas, served homemade spaghetti sauce with spaghetti squash instead of pasta, took advantage of the major Gymboree sale, scrapped a page, finished my Week 10 Project Life pages, and walked 2.5 miles. It seems a couple of months without chemo (and a few nights of sleep) turns me into a very productive girl.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to take matters into my own hands and pencil in my non-existent eyebrows. I only did it once, but they apparently just needed a little prompting, because they have finally started to grow back in after disappearing last July when I started chemo.
While I may not be a huge fan of this season of American Idol, I have to say that Keith Urban is winning me over a little more every time he utters "baby" in tha…


Based on Facebook statuses over the weekend, it looks as if everyone fell into one of two categories: warm, spring-like weather . . . or snow. We fell directly into the warm weather category, and the kids took full advantage. They headed outside as soon as school was out Friday, and then literally spent the entire day outside Saturday.
Rory set up this stick in the yard, found a rope, and said she was a cowboy . . .

. . . while Camden blew bubbles. ;) I should mention that he was also chasing the bubbles down with his ninja sword, I just didn't happen to have my camera out at that moment.
And speaking of ninjas, we've had a revival of ninja warfare in our house. They seem to cycle around to this every couple of months.
In other news, baseball practice started up this weekend. Camden is on the Pirates (he was on the Pirates last year, but different city/county and completely unrelated). He had a great first practice and caught every single one of the 10-12 pop flies thrown to…


I've received several emails about my wall art, and it seriously could not be easier to make if you've got some digital scrapping supplies and Photoshop Elements. If I can do it, anyone can do it because you know I'm the least crafty person alive.
I simply pulled up a pretty paper (from a retired Emily Powers kit - the same as is on my blog, by the way) and then added the text on top of it. I used Persnickety Prints (I also use them for all my photo and scrapbook printing) because they have such a great variety of sizes. I really wanted a canvas, but they are more pricey so I printed it as a mounted black 3/16 foamcore board, and it cost about $15. Easy! The foam board doesn't come with a photo hanger, and I think that we honestly used a piece of double sided tape because I was in a hurry and couldn't wait until I had a chance to shop for an actual flat hanger. ;)
I think I've mentioned on the blog before about my love of a good hair salon. Since we've mov…

Gallery Wall

We finished up this gallery wall back in January, and I've taken multiple pictures of it, but because of limited light source and color casts, I just can't seem to take pictures of it with correct white balance. I issued a challenge to myself to keep trying until I got it just right, but after several tries decided not to be an over-achiever and just go with what I have. ;)
We used pictures from our Angela Crutcher Celebrating Adoption pictures from 2008 and the 2009 pictures with Kellie Penn from Across the Miles Photography. The only thing I added was the mirror I found on clearance, the yellow wall art I made myself, and the letters. While I really wanted to use all white and go with a cleaner look, I could not justify new frames for these pictures since we had them professionally framed several years ago.
View from the top of the stairs
View from the living room (notice the crazy red color cast on the walls - promise it doesn't look like that in real life!).

I saw thi…

Wordless Wednesday

She says she had a strawberry meltdown at lunch. Who knew 3 fresh strawberries in a lunchbox could cause such a mess?

Tuesday's Tidbits

While sitting on my lap the other day, Rory said, "these old days aren't going to last much longer because I'm getting too big." 
Rory had a regularly scheduled cleaning/dental visit first thing this morning (no cavities!), and the dental hygienist came out to let me know that Rory had asked Dr. Vu if he would pull her front two teeth while she was there. Did I mention her front two teeth are not even loose? She's desperate to get rid of them.
I loved this article on Why Your Children Should Do Chores.
And speaking of chores, I'm assuming other families have issues with their kids and laundry. My kids would much prefer to throw clothes in the laundry basket than actually put them away. For instance, I did all the laundry yesterday (with my new washer/dryer, which was fabulous) and Rory had 5 pairs of jeans in the dirty laundry. Did I mention she wears a uniform to school, which was 5 out of the last 7 days. Not even sure how it was possible that she even put…

Weeks 8 and 9

Still going strong. Week 8 might be my favorite so far, which is good because Week 9 is probably my least favorite in terms of colors and finished pages.

Dreaming of Korea

Do any of you watch Top Chef? If so, you'll know that Kristen won this season (finale was this past Wednesday). She was a Korean adoptee, and you know what she plans to do with her prize money? Take a trip to Korea. She said, through her tears, that she needs to see the people and country who made her. She is seemingly a well-adjusted adult. Her parents were present at the finale and they seemed to have a wonderful relationship. But it is still important to her to experience her roots. Her comments kept me up on more than one night because Camden recently told us that he is going to stop spending his birthday and Christmas money to buy Legos and Wii games because he wants to save it all up until he has enough to take the family to Korea. Hello, tears.
I'm not sure if we've mentioned it here, but we are in limited contact with Camden's birthparents. It happened as a result of visiting Eastern when we were in Korea 5 years ago to adopt Rory. And while Camden does not sp…