October 29, 2007

Early Trick Or Treat

Monday morning. Sitting at the hospital working like crazy on my computer. I feel like I haven't done a good job with posting lately. Some weeks it is hard to slow down enough to smell the roses and contemplate all the goodness that surrounds me to write about.
Tonight Rob is taking Jack and a couple of friends of his trick or treating then over to one of our friends house to eat pizza. My friend, Nora, is a big halloween fan. I was trying to describe her house this past week and the best I could come up with was it is like Dillard's at Christmas time, only it is Nora's home and it is halloween. Every room is decked out and it doesn't look creepy, it looks fun and intruiging. So the kids will eat pizza at Nora's look around a bit then call it a night.
Tomorrow afternoon Jack and I are heading out for Dallas. He is looking forward to his little trip. Just this weekend he said, "Well, I think I am ready for Dallas, and I love my MRI"s" So he will have his MRI at 8:45 Wednesday morning then we will do something fun in the afternoon, then a follow up appt. Thursday morning and home in time for APAC Thursday afternoon. There is nothing more fun for Jack than his Make A Play class at APAC. He and Sophie love it. Ms. Ann their teacher is wonderful.
For those of you that haven't looked at your calendar lately, Thanksgiving is officially right around the corner. I have officially closed my work calendar for the year, so I can have some quality time with the fam. I have weddings and sittings still on the books but all the rest of the days are booked for fun!
Rob and I went and saw Dan In Real Life on Friday night. It was truly delightful. The music was great - I just loved this movie.
Did you know that Universal Studios is creating a new theme park, within it's theme park. The world of Harry Potter. Opens in 2 years. It will have Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and I think even Privot Drive.
Well that is a bunch of totally off the wall thoughts in one post, but I just wanted to check in, say all is well and I hope your week is blessed.

October 26, 2007

Waiting

Friday morning. I am hanging out in waiting room, Jack should be done in a couple of minutes. As of this week I have started bringing my laptop with me because I was just not able to get all my work done after I get back home from dropping Jack off at school. So I just curl up in my little corner and work while I am here. Here comes Jack....

October 24, 2007

What is cuter than baby toes?

I added a new line of photography to my business. Newborn hospital photography, called My First Day. There is NOTHING more tender and precious than a newborn baby and their toes, what is cuter than baby toes? I had been considering, praying, considering and praying, then the Lord brought me this sweet family a couple of days before Terah was to be induced and I realized the time was right. Thank you God for this sweet family. Enjoy baby Jolea and her My First Day slideshow.
here.

October 21, 2007

Such Hope

Hi-ya!
Sunday night. We had a great weekend. Rob and I took the kids to see ACU's production of AIDA on Friday night. It was amazing! When we bought the tickets for an 8pm Friday show I thought that there would be a good chance we would have to leave before it was over. But the kids stayed awake and loved every minute of it. The acting, singing and dancing was flawless, what a show! Props to ACU for putting on a broadway production that was purely magnificent.
Then the kids spent the night last night at Mommer and Tom's so Rob and I went to the movies...big surprise huh? We went and saw Across the Universe. The reviews have been great. One of the reviews said that they couldn't quit thinking about the movie and they were totally right. I have been humming along to I Am The Walrus, All We Need Is Love and Helter Skelter all day. I hate to say it was a great movie, because it is a movie you will love or so not love and I don't want to build it up and then disappoint someone. It was a musical with all the music of the Beatles, set in the time of the Vietnam War. Psychadelic and Intruiging, and a good storyline. I really liked it. Rob really liked it.
Jack is counting down his last 10 treatments in Hyperbaric starting tomorrow. He told me Friday he was SO ready to get his schedule back. He really hasn't missed too much at school, but he does miss library time, his Language Arts class, music and p.e. He wasn't even in p.e. so that was not a big deal, and music is his least favorite class, but he loves library and language arts class.
I am so looking forward to his MRI and Neuro-Oncology visit on the 31st and 1st! I feel sure at that point they will taper down his steroid dosage and he can get back to feeling more like himself again. Then on the 20th of November he will have his eye surgery and if we are really lucky his mediport will come out.
It is the time of year for family portraits, Christmas cards and weddings galore so I will be busy and I hope time will fly by.
I am grateful to the Lord for blessing me with such hope.

October 18, 2007

MRI Date

I talked with Jack's neurosurgeon today and his next MRI is scheduled for October 31 and then follow up visit on November 1st. Can't say that Jack is too thrilled about the timing, but I will take him to the movies and the mall in Dallas while we are there to make up for the lack of Halloween fanfare. We weren't going to trick or treat anyway this year due to Halloween being on a church night, but we were going to participate in the trunk or treat that our church puts on in the parking lot on the 30th. People dress up and bring their vehicles and park them in a row. The kids from the church and community go from car to car rather than from house to house looking for a candy deposit in their bags. It is so much fun and the kids love being the ones to hand out the candy.

I might be calling on friends and family to trick or treat early with the kids before we go to Dallas so Jack gets a bit of candy to take with him. We'll see.

I was in Hebrews this morning and found this verse. Paul wrote these inspired words.

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

Thanks to the Lord for this wonderful reminder to hold on to our confidence and to keep on keepin' on.

October 16, 2007

Green Chile Chicken Stoup

Today started out being a perfect fall day. Cool and cloudy. The perfect day for soup or stew. This is what I made for dinner. First of all I must confess my love for green chille's. Ever since I married into a family that lived in Albuquerque, NM area green chille's have been a staple around our house. Every time we visit NM or Rob's sister visits us we stock up on our favorite green chille by El Pinto.

My sister in law Tamara and her family live close to the real El Pinto. Every time we visit that is on our top 2 list of where to eat, the other being a small Indian restaurant. A couple of years ago we discovered that El Pinto was bottling their salsa and green chille and the New Mexico stores started carrying it on their shelves. About a year ago our stores started carrying the El Pinto brand. Currently United supermarkets (in Abilene) have it on sale 3 jars for $5.

So today I decided that we would have green chille stew. I got on the El Pinto website to see if they had a recipe for it. That was what I made for dinner with a couple of changes to the original recipe which I will note.

Green Chille Stew (more of a stoup the way I made it)
1 lb. chicken, cut up in chunks
1 can corn
1 can black beans
3 cups red potatoes, washed and cubed.
1 jar El Pinto green chille sauce
1 quart chicken broth (I use the healthy choice 99% fat free)
Powdered Garlic
Fresh Garlic
2 Tsp. Olive Oil

Boil red potatoes for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large hot saucepan ( I used the same one I cooked the potatoes in) I dump in the chicken along with the olive oil. The pan is very hot when I put the meat in so it browns quickly. Cook all the way through, add a couple of shakes of the garlic powder during the cooking. Once cooked completely add the 2 quarts chicken broth, allow to come to boil. Add minced garlic, Green Chille sauce, corn and beans (both drained and rinsed), and the boiled potatoes. Simmer 5 minutes add salt and pepper to taste. I didn't add any salt, seemed salty enough maybe from the salt I added to the potatoes while boiling. Simmer 5 minutes.

I served it with warmed tortilla's as that is Rob's favorite.

To make this recipe a bit healthier I had substituted 2 tsp. of Olive Oil for the 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil, and I added the black beans. The original recipe also called for 1/4 cup of flour to coat the cooked chicken before you add the broth. I decided not to add that and see how it worked out.

It was super easy and quick to make and tasted wonderful. If you haven't bought El Pinto green chille's go and buy them. They come in mild, medium and hot, and there is a notable difference of heat in between each heat level.

I add the El Pinto to scrambled eggs to make yummy scrambled eggs or egg burrito's, I use it as a dip - just warm the jar up in the microwave, and you can even add velveeta to a jar of it and make a twist to the rotel dip that we normally have around here. While I was looking on the website today I saw many more recipes that I plan to try. elpinto.com

One of my favorite things.

Cool crisp air and warm coffee.

Tuesday lunchtime. I just returned home from dropping Jack off at school and will enjoy a nice cozy day in my house. I have work to do so I am going to fire up my main work computer brew some coffee and put on some slippers. It is a cool, cloudy day.
I love cool days, warm coffee and a warm house. What blessings abound me - thank you Jesus.
Jack is on the down hill slide of HBO therapy, we have 13 more sessions to go, 17 down. All is well in the Marcelain house.

October 12, 2007

What Color Orange Are You?

You Are Pumpkin

Realistic and practical, you see the world for how it is.
You know what it takes to succeed in life...
And you're happy to help others reach their goals.


Thanks to Amy over at Soul and Culture for this quiz.

October 10, 2007

Catchin' Up

Wednesday night. Home from church and the kids are in bed. Tomorrow is Thursday and it seems like another week has flown by. Saturday we are driving to Dallas to see the Lion King on stage. We are all excited about it, I am slightly dreading the traffic. The location of the play is in the vicinity of the State Fair which is currently underway, so traffic might be a bit of an issue. But we will leave plenty early and I am sure it will work out.

I saw the most beautiful sunrise this morning. We are at the time of year when the sun rises during the time I am in the car taking Jack to his HBO therapy. What is it about sunrises that can take your breath away? But by the next day I have forgotten what it looked like, and the new sunrise is so beautiful that it takes your breath away again. I thought about how gracious God is to all His children on earth by lavishing such beautiful gifts on us. No matter where you are if you just stop and look up at the sky, doesn't really matter what time of day or what weather is happening the sky is always dynamic. A beautiful sunset, sunrise, thunder clouds, blue sky with some clouds, or a clear blue sky - they are all beautiful. If our earth is but a shadow of Heaven I can only imagine the beauty in the sky. For those of us that get caught up in the tornado of life if we will only stop and look at the sky it helps put that moment of time in perspective. Our bodies are just here for a flicker of time. The struggles we face each day seem overwhelming but if we will just look up, cast our burdens on Him then we are set free, free indeed. And while we are looking up we will see a beautiful sky created to show God's glory and just revel in His Majesty. Glory to God in the Highest.

I am finishing up a book, Unveiling Mary Magdalene, by Liz Curtis Higgs. I have really enjoyed it. She wrote the Bad Girls of the Bible Series. And now has the Not So Bad Girls of the Bible out, it might have been out for a while but I just saw it, so that is next on my list to read. I love the devotion of Mary Magdalene to Jesus. He set her free from the 7 demons that possessed her and she devoted the rest of her life to Him out of gratitude, love and the desire to learn from the Master. She calls Him Rabonni when He speaks to her in the garden after he has risen from the dead. He was her teacher. She was the first person He showed Himself to after he rose from the dead. I believe that Mary was one of His most devoted followers, she stood by Him during His crucifixion, before the sun rose after the Sabbath Mary was heading for the tomb to see her Lord.

My friend Jana B. gave me a picture depicting Mary Magdelene on the ground with Jesus's hand reaching down to help her up. I love that picture. I see it every day it is a daily reminder that I need Jesus, and He is always there to help me up.

Several months ago I was asked to do a bit of a testimonial thing for a website called Hope For Life. I just looked at the website yesterday and it looks great. If you are from here you might recognize several of the faces and testimonials, if you are not I think you will enjoy them, I did. Hope For Life is a ministry of Herald of Truth. The testimonials are pretty short and definately left me wanting to know the rest of each persons story. You can click on Hope For Life above, or click on over to hopeforlife.org

We will talk again soon.

October 06, 2007

Friends and Proverbs 31

Saturday night. It has been a great day. Lots of fun stuff to do! I took some pics of my friend Denise and her family tonight. You can see the slideshow here if you would like. Denise is one of my soul sisters at church. We hang out together as often as we can and she is also part of the Coffee Group. She has a sweet family and I am so blessed with her friendship.

When I came home from the shoot I drove up to this


Sophie was practicing her bike riding skills. (sounds like that came from Napolean Dynomite) Up until Jack and Sophie went to Safety City a couple of weeks ago we haven't done any bike riding since Jack's first chemo treatment in August of 2005.

So Sophie mastered the art of bike riding without training wheels today. Very exciting.

Then I saw this in the window looking out at his sister.


They both are precious. It looks like Jack was sad, but you can see a bit of a grin on the side of his face that works, so I think he was enjoying the show. Jack will be a biking crazy man again I just know it. By the way my windows aren't really that dirty, but the screens are pretty old so that is what gave it the grainy look. Housekeeping skills...somedays are better than others.

I have been studying like crazy lately in Proverbs. The Coffee Group has a speaking engagement in Austin and we are speaking on the modern day Proverbs 31 woman. I would just like to say that the Proverbs 31 woman had servants and I bet they did all the scrubbing. But it has been an inspirational study and I am enjoying my research. I am speaking to verse 25. She clothes herself in strength and dignity, she laugh's at tomorrow. I am grateful to God for the strength and dignity clothes, without them I would be weak and humiliated. Glory to God! Have a most wonderful experiential day.

October 04, 2007

Angels among us.

Today I met a woman in the waiting room of the hospital. She had walked her daughter into the MRI area which has the same waiting room as the Hypobaric treatments. Once her daughter's MRI was underway I struck up a conversation and asked her if this was her daughter's first MRI. She had told me some of her daughter's medical background and then shared with me that she wasn't actually her biological daughter. She was actually her aunt and that she and her husband gained custody after the courts assumed custody of the little girl. She had multiple skull fractures, was bald on several area's of her head, showed positive for c*caine and had multiple abrasians, and both of her retina's were detached. She wasn't even one year old at the time. Apparently the girls mom was on c*caine as was her boyfriend and the story was never really for sure what happened. This aunt and uncle whose children were already raised welcomed this little girl into their home. As this mom sat in the waiting room today I thought about how lucky that little girl is to be alive, 5 years after she was taken away by CPS, she was in a home cherished and loved by a mom and dad who happily adjusted what their lives would look like after their other children had left home. I was so grateful to be able to meet this mom today.

Jack is doing great with HBO. Almost 2 weeks down, 4 weeks to go!

October 01, 2007

Balloon Fest and Celebration Sunday

We had a super fun weekend. Saturday we went to the Balloon Fest. Sophie and I volunteered taking tickets during a 2 hour shift, then we went home ate dinner grabbed the rest of the group and headed back for the Amy Stroup concert Saturday night. Here are some photo's of Sophie from the balloon fest. She had the best time. She is such a sweetheart.






Then Sunday morning we went to church, and as it was Celebration Sunday, Amy Stroup performed in lieu of Bible Class. Celebration Sunday is an invite your friends Sunday. We have a big cookout of burgers and dogs and all sorts of kid oriented rides and events. We normally have hundreds of visitors, it is a great time to meet new friends. Here are a couple of pics of Amy and the awesome musicians she had performing with her. They are all based out of Nashville. When I took these images they were performing a blue grass rendition of I'll Fly Away. It was awesome. I did tell Amy I thought that I might be her biggest fan, I felt like and idiot, but I just had to say it.



Rob was asked to be in the Dunk Tank. My kids were so excited to dunk their dad. People were giving them dollar bills to help them with their cause. When Rob got into the tank the kids lined up, all my kids friends thought it was so cool to dunk their friend's dad. It was hilarious. Rob got dunked many times during his 20 minute shift. Here are a couple of pics dunking dad. (All three kids dunked dad atleast once)


Below is Derek with a huge grin, trying to knock his dad in the water.



On Sophie's first throw she hit the target and down Rob went.


Jack's turn!





Here is our preacher, Phil. This was what he was planning to wear in the dunking booth, notice the sandals with the suit! Rob said that when it came time for Phil's shift the crowd had already cleared out and no one was left to dunk him. He lucked out!