Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tibits & funny little conversations from our week!

No it's not Halloween yet but our girls and their friends from next door are ALWAYS dressing up and playing like it is. This Friday was Corey's birthday (the boys dad) and so while Dan & I were BBQ for him the kids got all dressed up and put on a play. Above we have Luke the dog, Ryanne the mouse, Caleb the professor and Morgan the and I quote "the rich snob princess" who finds things aren't important and Jesus is. Very cute! We set up a curtain and stage area and they had tons of fun.
Taking their final bow.

We woke up the other morning to the girls arguing about their "boyfriend" and fighting about who he loved and who he was going to dance with. With all the curiosity in the world I pulled myself out of bed to find they had dressed the broom, oopps sorry, the prince and they were fighting over who he loved. I couldn't help but wake Dan who looked up half awake and very calmly asked the girls,"Is this the standard I have set for you?" he,heee! I am not kidding you when I tell you that those girls danced with that "prince" for like two hours. It was the funniest thing. When Morgan went to the bathroom Ryanne ran and grabbed the prince running down the hall yelling,"he's my boyfriend now Morgan!" OH MY GOSH! So funny. I can only imagine and cringe as I project forward 10 or so years. Forget the standards honey and just be glad it's a broom for now and not some stinky boy. ;)
I took Ryanne on a "mommy date" last week and as we were sitting across the table from each other at lunch we had this discussion:

Me: "Ryanne are you so excited to start Pre-K next week?"

Ryanne: "yes mommy."

Me: "Are you nervous Ryanne?"

Ryanne: "yes actually I am. Could you tell me what you think we might be doing there all day?"

Isn't that so cute? I could tell she was nervous and a bit timid about going. I told her later that she was going to miss me when she was at school and she said,"ya' but then when I get home I wont miss you anymore."

Last little story for the week:

We were driving and this teenager was walking down the street with these REALLY bright multi-colored tennis shoes on. Morgan said,"hhmmm, those are bright. I think their OK if he likes them but for me I don't really need such bright shoes since I shine like that from Jesus." Again, my cup overflows.

Monday, August 25, 2008

San-Diego, Office make over and starting 2nd grade

We loaded up and went to San-Diego for the weekend. We spent the night at Doug & Suzanne's and got to hang out with the babes (Nate & Alexandra) They were so much fun. Dan was glad to see the look of exhaustion on my face at the end of the weekend; it just confirms he will not get any more pleas for any more children. :) Ya' I've decided being an Aunt is VERY good. On Sunday Dan & his sister decided they wanted to go for a run down by the water so I jumped on Suzanne's bike plugged in my IPOD and followed them for about 4 miles. Can I just say how amazing it was to be able to ride again AND be able to walk today! Loving life! After we all got cleaned up we headed over to David & Kim's house (Dan's brother) he was turning 40! Whew-hew! Happy Birthday David! So we ate and swam with the kids all day. This is Nate & I lookin' too cool for school! He,heee! :)
Doug & Suzanne with their hands full of babes! It was their first time in the water and they did great!
Ok, so we have spent the last two months trying to turn our office/guest room into an office/classroom instead. Yup' you heard me right we decided to home school this next year. Crazy for many reasons if you want to know the truth. The craziest is because I was the mom who always said,"oh, I could NEVER do that. Not in a million years could I be home all day AND teach my kids." But alas, here we are doing what we said we would never do. When I said I would NEVER marry I met Dan two months later and was married in two years. When I said we would NEVER adopt again we got Ryanne 4 months later. You think I would learn huh? ;) No really, we loved RCS and still do (Ryanne will do 3 day pre-K there) but the living in my car to commute, the gas & tuition prices not to mention we didn't get home till' 4pm everyday and then would have to shove homework in and then run to swim practice or guitar practice and then eat dinner in the car as we ran to Wildlife or whatever was just to much. When Dan was finally home he never saw us or we were all spread out. We have said since the day we had Morgan that all of our financial decisions would be based on me being able to stay home with the girls so our house would have some consistency with Dan being gone so much. When we both wanted to pray about this back in May we knew it was something we needed to look into. So here we are. We finished our first day today & it went fine. Other than the usual "summer is over blues" we did great. :) I will keep you posted as the year goes on. :) She was loving being done today early though and playing with her friend next door. (he goes to a charter and gets out at 1pm)
Here is Morgan last night with Dan as she opened her Schultute. It's a really great idea I found in a magazine. It is a paper cone you make and fill with goodies for their first day of school. Traditionally it's done in Germany for kids entering first grade but I thought it would be fun to make for the girls and their friends next door. So far all the yummy treats, pencils, erasers, & markers in the bottom have been a hit. :)
Here is Morgan all dressed and ready for school. She was really excited to get started and in two weeks we will join up with a home school group that meets here for park days, field trips and party's. So that's about all I can think of to catch you up on our weekend. Hope everyone is having a great Monday.
(note: did you notice the great old wood desk in the photo above? I have wanted one forever and have been looking everywhere we go. Last week my mom was in town & saw some guy was selling them not to far from our house. YIPPY! I loved having that kind of desk in school. The girls think it is so cool!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More specific.............

Ok, I realize that I should have been more specific when I asked you all to pray for me at the end of my last post. I went into the chemo room today and it was packed. With my book tucked under my arm (just in case no nobody wanted to talk) I found my recliner and took a seat. I was waiting for them to mix my meds when I felt someone starring at me. I glanced out of the corner of my eye and see this sweet old lady starring at me pretty hard. Once I checked to make sure my fly was up and nothing was hanging from my nose I thought,"hey, this could be the person I am going to talk to today. Maybe this is the person we have been praying for this week."
A few minutes later the nurse comes by, gets me all hooked up and still the lady stares. I smile and then as I am about to open my mouth the lady says something in Spanish to the nurse. Uuuummmm....................ok, I so did not pay that much attention in sophomore Spanish people. So when you are praying for me to minister to others in the hospital could you be more specific?Otherwise I will just continue to smile, check my fly and my nose & read my book. he,heee!
*Feeling good tonight with only mild nausea & fatigue to report.*

Monday, August 18, 2008

Busy weekend & update

Ryanne had her awards ceremony on Friday night at the pool. We had a BBQ and free time for the families to all swim. It was really fun and we are so proud of Ryanne for learning to swim this summer. She looked to cute getting her medal and hugs from her teachers. If you missed the post about her running (literally) from the pool back in June its a "must read" to really appreciate how far she has come. ;) Good job girly! VERY early Saturday morning we got up (4am) to follow Dan and cheer him on at his triathlon. Our friends James & Andrea got sucked into doing their first one. Here is a before picture as they are getting ready. Oh and by the way they did great and had fun. I think. :) At least they were still smiling at the end so I think they are hooked.
Here are the girls waiting for Dan to come out of the water. Love, love,love how Ryanne's sign is upside down. he,heee!
Here are some of the other friends of ours who we met up with. Joey, Dan, Pastor Chris and Little Joey. They all did so good. Dan shaved off 30 minutes from his time last year. Whooo-Hooo! Way to go!!
Dan's mom met up with us to cheer everyone on and then afterwards we all went out to breakfast. Fun day!!
Now for the update for those who have been asking how I am feeling. I am still doing really well. I go back into the hospital this Wed. for another infusion and am hoping I do as well as I did two weeks ago. The nausea went away and I am still pain and swelling free. I won't loose all my hair like a person going through regular chemo because its not as strong and I will never go as often as someone with cancer although today I did notice it thinning so I am super thankful for enough hair for three people. Vain? Possibly, but just being honest with the fact that it would bother me if I didn't have as much hair as I do.
Two ways you can pray for me this week;
one, for the medicine to work with little or no side affects would be awesome.
Two, as I sit in the same room week after week and then monthly I am certain I will start to see some of the same people on the same treatment schedule so please pray that God would use me to share my heart and just be myself to love on others in the room with me. Including the nurses and Dr.'s
I hope everyone has a great week and is blessed

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Soak City

After Morgan swam her 100 laps at her swim-a-thon last month she got to pick a prize. She got tickets to Soak City in Palm Springs. So yesterday was the day. My friend Ruth & Morgan's friend Caleb and myself loaded up at 9 am and headed out for a day of fun and sun. It was REALLY hot out there. About 110 degrees or so and the water as at around 74 degrees. It was really fun though and though we said we were gonna leave around 3pm we lost track of time & about shut the place down. Ruth and I had to carry the tubes up the flights of stairs because the kids were dying so needless to say I am feeling it in my butt today! ;) A great work out to say the least.
This pitch black water slide was the kids favorite. No thanks. Once was enough for me last year to realize its HOT and you cant breath when you are going down. (I know I'm getting old) But the kids must have gone up and down dragging ruth about 6 times. :)
We ate lunch, hung out and just surfed the waves all day.
Thanks for a REALLy fun day Morgan, Ruth and Caleb! Same time, same place next year?
Ruth made me promise if this ended up on my blog that I would pick only the good pictures. :) The funny thing is how do you have any good photos when everybody is burnt and water logged? ;) I think all in all they turned out ok. :) Ruth, I was nice and left the one of you coming out of the tube with your legs flying through the air! he,heee! ;)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The heart of Morgan

I had recorded the Olympic opening ceremonies so the I could watch it with the girls on Saturday morning. Morgan was in awe and after it was over she said,"oh mommy, I wish I lived in China." I said,"you know Morgan people are killed in China for proclaiming they love Jesus." She thought quietly for a minute and then said,"that's OK mom, I would be OK with that because if they did kill me at least I would be where I'm supposed to be anyway, with God." Then last night she told me she felt like God was telling her to share the good news about Christ with these two people who don't know him. I can't tell you the names or the history behind why this was so huge except to say there was no reason Morgan should have known that there was something going on with them and that they don't know Christ. I was moved to tears as she asked me to pray with her last night on their behalf. I decided this morning to start praying faithfully that Morgan would get a chance to travel the globe and share Christs love for us. If you are reading this won't you pray that for her with me as well. :)I took this sitting at our campsite one morning.

Friday, August 8, 2008


How do you spell relief? Apparently it's just that O-r-e-n-c-i-a. At least that's what the doctors are telling me. If you are new to reading my blog the reader's digest version is that I have had rheumatoid arthritis that is pretty advanced and aggressive for the past 6 years. These aren't just your everyday aches and pains either. I'm talking crippling, deformed joints. Limbs that don't work, not being able to hold your toothbrush. Unable to even zip my kids sweatshirt up and lots of swelling; recently to the point that my knee was the size of my thigh. I took a picture (I know weird) but I will spare you the gross photo. I sent it to my aunt and she wasn't real thrilled. he,heee. ;) OK, focus. So about two years ago to the week I went into the hospital for three rounds of chemo. I know sounds bizarre but when you have really bad arthritis & other drugs have not worked they take drastic measures. It was the same meds they give patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Ya' yuck! I was supposed to get it every six months and it took about 4 hours in the chemo ward. After feeling & looking like death and then discovering it only worked for about three weeks I had a melt down. Being in pain every single day all day long will do that to you eventually. I was determined never to go back to that chemo room. I started seeing a holistic Dr. and started eating all organic natural foods. No wheat, no dairy, no gluten. I felt so much better and did really well until about this past April. Then my body (and my rheumatologist) decided it was time to tap back into some drugs before I damaged my joints for good and needed tons of surgery or a walker. At 34 that seems absurd doesn't it? I started back on a weekly pill form of Chemo and that started helping but she suggested I give orencia a try. Great! Back to "the room!" She could see the hesitation on my face in that I had worked really hard to get healthy with food and changed my entire life around how I ate. I felt like a quitter and a failure. The Dr. said she would put in the paper work for the chemo and give me a few weeks to think about it and talk to my husband. We decided to pray and see if I had peace from God about going in for this new trial run. They can NEVER guarantee a drug will work and no two people ever have the same result so its impossible to know how sick you will get or if this one will be "the miracle drug for you." So we went on vacation and I kept just pleading with God that I would be brave. Be comforted and that I would not get deathly ill. This past wed. was "D day" so to speak and so I decided (because he makes me more nervous playing with all the Dr.'s tools in the room) to have Dan stay home with the girls and my aunt would drive me to the appointment. They told me to eat light which I of course completely ignored and went to my favorite hole in the wall place and had my first REAL turkey sandwich and garlic bread in 2 years. he,heeee. See, totally rebellious. :) I was in a good mood and really calm. I started to get sweaty palms when I arrived but I decided going in I would have only positive thoughts and comments to the nurses and the Dr. I got all hooked up and this time I did great! I didn't get sick. I felt good and had peace about the whole thing. I got run down that night and had nausea and dizziness all day yesterday but they said was to be expected so I wasn't worried and took it to be the best thing ever that it wasn't worse. I feel great today and don't go back for 2 weeks. I am pain free so far and would love it if you could pray for my body. My mind and heart are positive and encouraged but there is a chance I could get really, really sick in the next few days because I will have not have much of an immune system. With 2 small girls and a husband who runs on sick people all day it is a bit scary. I have to stay away form sick people and be very aware of my health. As a mom we neglect ourselves as it, is so please pray I would be wise. I am sorry this was so long but I woke up so excited today. I was able to lift my friends baby today(thanks for the visit Jess) and carry him around without pain or fear of dropping him. I opened up a bottle for my girls and for once I don't feel like I going to explode from lack of pain relief. I even can walk barefoot with cringing. Whew-hew!!! Isnt' it cool how God provides. He is the ultimate healer in all things. I know he has a plan in all of this & I am ready!! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back from vacation

Hey everybody! We are back from a week away and man am I ready to post some photos. I was dying to get home and blog is that wrong? ;) We headed up the coast to San Luis Obispo and then Big Sur. Here are a few random in no great order pictures and little stories. Ever since the girls were big enough to walk I started taking this picture below every time we go to the beach. Here is the one of Morgan and Dan. I don't know why but I have always loved the pictures I take of Dan and the girls standing at the edge of the water. I love seeing how tall they are getting next to their daddy and just the calmness that is always there. I will have to collect all the photos when they are grown and make them a book so they can see the changes.
Dan was trying to take a nice picture of Morgan & I but we kept messing him up. Girls just wanna have fun daddy-o! ;) I think he took this right before the hippies right down the beach from us stripped ALL of their clothes off and started running around. I will spare you the photos and nasty details of that experience. The funniest part? I yelled,"hey girls, look down THAT way and see if you see a better place to play!" They said,"ok, mom." and off they went away from their first crash course in sex ed and proper hygiene.
I like this picture of Ryanne climbing up for a hug on Dan. I just realized however that I think that is sand up her nose. Eeeewwwwwwww!
Most of the trails were still closed in Big Sur from all the fire damage. It was very sad to see all that was burned. We were still able to hike down the trail to the water fall which the girls LOVED!! Morgan took this picture for us. Your getting really good at this picture taking thing Morgan. Way to go!!
Seriously, does it get any better than this? I don't think so.

See my kids playing with these children? Know who they are? Nop, neither do we. We met all these families traveling up the coast who were from London, and Holland. Really funny because my kids just joined right in with them and played for two days in San Luis Obispo. At one point we were all in the pool and Morgan had met Molly a little girl from London who was 7 as well. They just fell in love with each other. After about 2 hours of swimming together I hear them talking in the shallow end and Morgan is sharing God with her. Telling her how amazing he is and how she just got baptised. Molly said,"I only listen to that kind of stuff in church when I have to go." Morgan just kept on telling her why it was not just about Sundays but everyday and she wished Molly could have him in her heart and get baptised as well. Wow! I was just in awe of her sweet, gentle approach to loving someone and planting seeds.
I can honestly say the universal language is Hot Wheels and swimming. That crosses all language barriers. ;)
One evening we went into town for market night. We ate dinner and picked up some local produce to grill for dinner the next night. The girls had tons of fun.
We stopped to watch this street performer and who does he pick out of ALL these people watching the show? The most shy man on the planet, my husband. He was a good sport though. I told him he always gets picked on because its hard not to stand out in a crowd when you are 6'5. The girls loved that their daddy had swords flying over his head.
Here was our view every evening from our camp site. It's funny because I would watch just as the sun would start to drop behind the ocean and people from all the different countries would flock out to the edge of their sites with cameras in hands. Everyone (inlcuding us) would stand in awe and silence as we watched this event that takes place every single night. I mean we can pretty much set our watches by this event & yet it never gets old. Tell me again how people can find a way to not believe in God?
Hi Mommy! I always tell Morgan that she has a crown when she is at the beach because all her curls try to escape and they wrap a curly crown around her face that I just LOVE!!