February 28, 2008

Today I Know God Has Healed Jack

Jack and I are home. We had a long day waiting in the clinic offices. Jack's main oncologist was covering a couple of different areas so he was several hours late for Jack's appt. I was fine with that, although by the 100th sigh from Jack, I could tell he wasn't. At one point they let us go grab a snack as we hadn't eaten breakfast before the appt. Jack saw 3 doctors and 1 nurse today. Everyone was busting at the seams to tell us how good Jack's MRI looked. They were thrilled. One of the doctors, the neurosurgeon, said that the results were "exceptional," something that they could have only hoped for.
We got to see the scan from yesterday compared with one from 3 months ago and the results were exceptional. There is still a small amount of highlighted area, but compared to 3 months ago it has decreased by about 3 times. I am assuming that the radiologist would still consider what is left as necrosis (dead cells from the radiation). The hyperbaric treatments were a smashing success, as that is one reason that the healing was so substantial. Of course the real praise goes to God. I have learned in the last 3 years, "In all things praise God." I hope that my faith has grown to do just that in all circumstances...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your prayers. God has heard Jack's name hundreds of times this week, and thousands over the last 3 years. I looked at Dr. Bower's today and said that we were nearing the end of this journey and with humility and joy he looked right into my eyes and just shook his head up and down. I am sure it is against the doctor rule to be too hopeful, or lead someone down a path of victory, too early. But today I know that God has healed Jack and for that I am truly grateful.

February 26, 2008

MRI and Trip to Dallas

Jack and I are off to Dallas today. He has an MRI Wednesday morning, and then follow up with his oncologist on Thursday morning. Please keep our trip in your prayers. Pray for safety driving and for Jack's results to be wonderful. I will post Thursday to update everyone on Jack's results.
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edit to add:
we got a call today from Jack's radiologist. He had already seen Jack's MRI and said it looks great! We will meet with Jack's oncologist Thursday morning to get his report, he will examine Jack, then we will head home.

February 25, 2008

Denise and the Coffee Group go to Birmingham

The Coffee Group was blessed by the Lord immensely this weekend. It is so cool to share Jesus, and so much fun to share Jesus along with your friends. We had alot of fun together. Here are some pics of the trip. I promise that Judy, Donna and I were there too. Denise was like a kid in a candy store and I just can't help shooting that crazy fun emotion with my mac daddy camera. I shot most of these with my fisheye, which is why they look a bit fishy.

Here we are at the beginning of our trip in the Abilene Airport.



Here we are on the plane. Denise is the most expressive of our bunch and she was thrilled with a capital T to be travelling. She was a bundle of excitement and energy. I love Sarah's look here, as it is still in the sixes in the morning. Our favorite jewel of Judy this weekend, was that she hadn't had to wake up in the five's in years. Denise was crazy fun on the trip.



This picture is of our friend JV. She and her family were flying out at the same time we were. It just goes to show life in a small town when you know more than half the people in line at the airport at dark thirty in the morning.




This is my favorite album right now.


Here we are on the Skylink in the Dallas Airport. A first for Denise. I asked her to make her "this is my first time ever to ride the skylink face," I missed it the first time.





Here we are on the plane to Birmingham. Sarah held her bible in her lap the whole time, and her purse most of the time although it wasn't in this picture. Judy thought she looked a bit like a granny.


As Birmingham is where Denise is from, she drove us around. She did a fabulous job and showed us places that brought back many fun memories.



We went to lunch with Denise's mom then straight to the church so we could get a feel for where we would be sharing Jesus the following day. This is the exact spot Denise and Jim were betrothed.



The ladies from the Homewood Church of Christ decorated so fun for the Ladies Day. They kept the coffee theme and gave out coffee mugs and decorated with the beans too!




Here we are on the elevator heading up to our hotel rooms. The elevator talked to us, I would like to say that we didn't talk back, but that would be a lie. We got to know her quite well by the time the trip was over.


A secret picture of Sarah on her knee's calling on the name of Jesus before the retreat started. Throughout the course of the day we are all on our knee's or faces many times, calling on the Lord and His mighty Spirit to fill us with what it is He wants to be said. As always, God showed up Big!


And here is Denise speaking a word to her sweet sisters.



Each of us are just thrilled with the Lord. And being involved in Coffee Group is a huge blessing. Thanks to the Ladies in Birmingham for calling us 18 months ago to see if we could be a part of your special day. We were so blessed by ya'll!

February 20, 2008

Wednesday Night


Wednesday night. How is everything in your world tonight? Our world is good. The kids are having a great week, Sophie is loving her new cell phone. She called me after church tonight, upon Jack's request to find out why I was taking so long to get to their side of the building. Jack and Derek plan on spending some of their money to buy a phone soon. Jack is actually going back and forth about 10 times a day about spending his money, Derek is just waiting for us to take him to Walmart. The phones are the tracfone, they cost $12.88 and then they buy whatever minutes they want on their phone. I think that it is a pretty fun way for them to spend their birthday monies. Better than a toy that will get shoved to the side in their room and they mightn't ever see it again, until I make them clean up their space.

i went and looked at my new studio space today. The floors were drying, as they had just been painted. The rooms look wonderful. I took my camera to take some pics today to post but I couldn't get in as the floors were wet. So I will take pics another day. I am starting to go through pictures that I will hang on the wall. This is my favorite part. Making large gallery prints to show my work. Very exciting! I did take a picture of the Name Plate on the street with my super cool logo, done by the great Stephen J. His work is always spot on and rockin!

The Coffee Group flies out to Birmingham on Friday morning. We are excited to meet the women at the church and make new friends. The adventure of walking with God is never dull, and much of the time way far out of where I ever thought I would be. I remember one time that a woman from our church asked me to teach a class for some ladies. I was so scared but she really encouraged (pushed me) to do it. I was a mess the whole time, red splotchy faced, mouth dry, and mortified, I never thought I would ever do that again. That was probably 13 or so years ago. Now with God by my side, and in my heart, and through the filling of the Holy Spirit, I can get up and talk without turning 3 shades or red, and even enjoy it. I love God's sense of humor.

February 18, 2008

A Soccer Ball and a Millions Hugs



Thanks to Sarah who forwarded this link I have sat in front of my computer "you-tubing" for about 20 minutes now. I didn't realize that there were video's we could watch from the Compassion International Trip that our preacher man is on his way home from. This video is of when Shannon from Rocks in my Dryer meets her compassion child that her family sponsors.
You can follow the link at the end of the video, click on it, then it will take you to you tube to see all the other uploaded video's showing the Compassion Bloggers and what they have been up to. Each video is about 3-4 minutes long.

Time Warp


Saw this on a couple of other blogs recently. Uber cool.

February 17, 2008

Catching Up

Sunday afternoon. The sun came out today. Lovely. We had a great morning at church, we missed our normal preacher Phil as he is on his way home from Uganda today. I guess he will be home sometime tomorrow night in Abilene. We had a great fill in with Rick Atchley who used to be the pulpit minister at Southern Hills many, many years ago. He doesn't know me from Adam, but I have attended several lectures and been blessed to hear him in the pulpit numerous times. It was his lecture on Healing at the ACU lectures that came about a year before Jack's brain tumor was diagnosed. I love how God prepares us for the roads that we will travel with Him long before we think we will ever need it.

When I first moved to Abilene in my early mid twenties I was working at Southern Hills as the secretary. Being new to Texas it took me many months to understand the Texas drawl. Face to face I could normally figure out what people were saying but over the telephone it was like they were speaking another language. Rick had moved on to the North Richland Hills Church in the Ft. Worth area, he called to talk with one of the ministers a week or two into my move to Texas and my working at the church. Everyone knew who Rick was, except me, and not only did I not know who he was, I could not understand his name when he gave it to me. I still am mortified to remember the conversation, I think I asked him to repeat his name atleast 3 times, then I just gave up and beeped the call into Robert, and gave him some semblance of the name I could understand which ended up being completely wrong. Now that I have been here for 17 years, WOW, 17 years, I can say aiced tay (iced tea) with the best of them.

Nothing major happening here with the family. All is well. The kids had their valentine parties last week at school and they had fun. Sophie was in Sing Song in the Children's Act up at ACU for her 4th year this weekend. She always loves the experience. And she is as cute as a button up on the stage.

So excited, tonight is the first night of the Psalms of the Assent, Ladies Bible Study at church, can't wait!

This upcoming weekend The Coffee Group is traveling to Birmingham, Alabama to speak at their Ladies Day. We are SO excited, to see Birmingham. We are so blessed to be able to travel and share the grace of Jesus.

The following weekend is our Ladies Retreat at Southern Hills and I am speaking in one of the 4 slots. I am very excited about that, but I have to say a bit more intimidated to speak in front of people who I know so well, and who know me. God is in control and I will rest in that.

Sophie is now the proud owner of her first cell phone. Her grandpa gave her a gift certificate to Walmart for her birthday, so she bought a tracphone and minutes. She is so excited, and her brothers are trying not to covet, but mainly trying to figure out how they can earn $12.88 to buy their own.

Glad to have a moment to post. I hope that this finds each of you are blessed this week.

February 14, 2008

Meet Akitini our new friend.



Akitini Stella

Birthday: February 25, 2002
Age: 5
Gender: Female
Region: Africa
Country: Uganda
Program: Buteba 'A' Child Development Center

Personal and Family Information:
Akitini lives with her grandmother. Her grandmother is employed as a farmer. Akitini works at home carrying water, gathering firewood and making beds. There are 3 children in the family.

Akitini is not presently attending school. Telling stories, playing house and walking are her favorite activities. She also attends church activities regularly.

Please remember Akitini in your prayers. Your love and support will help her to receive the assistance she needs to grow and develop.
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I found our new friend that our family will sponsor. Her name is Akitini. All of her info is above. I am so excited to add her to our prayer list. I know that once my kids come home from school and I show them Akitini she will be in their prayers from this day on. Sophie is truly a prayer warrior with a heart for the lost, each night she prays for the children of Mexico to learn about Jesus and for Jack, along with her other concerns. She takes everything to the Lord in prayer. I am so blessed by her heart to speak to Jesus about what is on her heart. I look forward to our family writing Akitini in a land that is so distant in miles and in day to day life.


Read Phil's blog here.


Click here to go to Compassion International to look at the faces of children who need sponsors.

February 13, 2008

Doreen

My friend and preacher Phil is on a trip to Uganda right now. The trip was sponsored by Compassion International to bring awareness to the children of Uganda that are in need of sponsors. The group is made up of bloggers, bloggers, and more bloggers. What a great way to get the message to the masses in a more personal way than just a television commercial. Phil just wrote about meeting the child he and his wife Donna have sponsored since she was just a baby. She is beautiful. Her name is Doreen. You have to click over and meet Doreen.. The blog post about Doreen can actually be found on www.heartlight.org but all of the other daily posts can be found at the link above. You can also link to Doreen's article in the post called "A Hard Journey In." Something about linking to a page with the ending "html" never works very well for me, I do something wrong each time. Go find Doreen if you haven't already.

February 10, 2008

The Slideshow

Here is the link to the slideshow of my totally 80's Birthday Party. A fun time was had by all, especially the kids. I loved taking pictures at my own party. I bought a new camera this week the Canon 5D, and it is so totally sweet. I am shooting every day to get used to it. There isn't alot more to learn, but it can do so much more than any of my previous cameras, and I am still trying to shoot manual every day to have that become 2nd nature. Not easy, but worth all the effort.
I perused itunes for an hour to come up with the perfect slideshow song, trying to find a clean song is not especially easy, atleast when it comes to the songs I used to listen to in the 80's ;0 Low and behold it was Madonna that came through for me! Perfect song as I was asking every one to strike a pose for me during the night so I could take their pics. Another thing I learned, that I didn't know back in the 80's, one does not need to drink Absolut to have a fun time dancing!! it was great fun to dance without any libation at all. Family and friends made it a perfect night.
There were SO many people I wanted to invite to the party, but I had to keep the count down as the fire code restricted the place to 72 people. One person commented that my family alone takes up about 35 of that. I really wanted it to be family fun so I was only able to invite a handful of friends along with their kids and spouses. Maybe when I am 50 I will rent a larger space and we will do it all over again.
If you wish to see the fun costumes and sweet kids dancing their hearts out then click here.

The Most Fun Party EVER!!!

Much fun was to be had last night. Rob did a great job planning my party, he is such a wonderful husband. Rob stole the show last night, he dressed up as Boy George. His theatrical side is bold and crazy, love it!! I had the best time and my friends all did so good by dressing up and really getting into the 80's theme. We decorated like a tacky prom and the scene was complete. I will make a slideshow of all the fun for everyone to see the Karate Kids, Magnum P.I.'s, and Flashdance and Madonna's, who could forget the Cyndi Laupers? Then I came in a reminiscant rememberance of my big hair rocker days. Rob and I vied for the most fake hair contest! Thanks to each of my friends for making this a night I will never forget.












February 08, 2008

A New Studio

Happy Friday!!!
I woke up early today, the alarm clock that God sets. At about 5:30am I was laying in bed knowing that I was awake and was definately not going back to sleep. So I have been on the go for about 4 hours now. I love just waking up without the sound of an alarm clock. Got up checked email, took care of some business, then opened my bible. God is really calling me to stop turning on my computer before I have my time with Him, first fruits of my precious morning moments. I failed at that today. I will do better tomorrow. I am working on my "talk" as our speaking group calls it, for our trip to Alabama in a couple of weeks. So I have been in scripture alot, looking for a fresh word from God for this group of women. He is so very faithful and is leading me to that end, but first I can just hear Him calling me to rest in His word. So I am resting and meditating and seeking His wisdom and revelation.
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I said at the beginning of this week that I had some exciting news about my business. I thought I would have some pictures to upload but my week has not allowed that, so pictures will come soon. I signed a lease to move into my own studio space. I am so excited for so many reasons. First and foremost I will have regular working hours, and then come home. I know that many women who work from home struggle with the same issues I struggle with, there is always work to be done when you own your own business, and there is always laundry to be done and dishes to be put away when you are a mom. Having both of those worlds be around me at one time has always caused me to feel like I am not able to focus on either completely. So I will be able to have a cut off time for work, and then go home and be 100% mom and wife, and not feel like I have to rush back to the computer once dinner is fixed. So excited about that for my family and for me. Then the next best part is that I can meet with my clients in my own space and not in a coffee shop. My images will be on the walls, my books will be already set out on permanent display, no more have samples will travel.
The conference I went to a couple of weeks gave me the push I needed to move this into the next level for me. I learned from watching this young photographer, he is in his early 30's, who has developed an incredible business, by believing in himself and not selling himself short.
I am blessed to do what I love.
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And I would be remiss in this post if I didn't say....I am turning 40 on Sunday ; )
I told someone this week I have been counting it down for 2 years, the first year I was totally freaked out, but the 2nd I became comfortable in those shoes and even excited about it. It works to plan ahead.

February 06, 2008

Meet Oreo Cookies and Cream Marcelain



Oreo is his first name, Cookies and Cream the middle. All 3 kids pitched in together and bought this little rodent creature about a week and a half ago. He is a panda hamster. I can't say that I love this creature although it is pretty cute, the kids really wanted a hamster and they spent their birthday money and allowance to make their wish come true. They are in charge of taking care of him 100%, no ifs ands or buts about it.

The pet store warned us that hamsters were nocturnal and that we would probably get used to the scurrying around at night. The kids bought a cage that has this really cool wheel that sets on the top of the cage, the hamster climbs a cute slide and runs in the wheel ALL NIGHT LONG. The hamster really isn't as loud as the contraption that he is running in. So we have worked out a routine that the hamster moves to the kitchen table each night. Then in the morning back to the boys room he goes, then I sterilize everything around the cage.

Hamsters are very messy creatures.

I am happy for my kids, they love little Oreo.

Snickers our Dachshund has no opinion whatsoever about Oreo. Hasn't barked at him, or even given him a sneer. I guess Snickers knows she rules the roost. The kids keep assuring Snickers that they love her, even though there is another pet in the house now.

Birthday Pics





Here is Jack and Sophie on their birthday. They have really grown out of their baby face looks this year and into tweens.

February 04, 2008

Birthday's, Jack and Life

Monday morning. The kids are getting ready for school so I thought I would check in. All is going well here, Rob and Derek had a great time together last night watching the superbowl. They have a regular ritual that they go through to get ready for the game. Rob goes to Sam's and buys pizza rolls, chicken wings, several bags of chips and some dips. Then as game time approaches they move the dining room table over to the living room, so they can eat their snack's all the while still watching the t.v. The table is filled with all the goodies, and at intervals Rob puts the pizza rolls and the wings in the oven. They have a great time together. The other 3 of us normally curl up with a movie in my bedroom and hang out while the madness ensues in the living room.

Jack is doing exceptionally well these last couple of days. He had a couple of days last week that he was pretty sick when he woke up so the fact that he has been well for 3 days is reason to celebrate.
Rob told me Dr. Timmerman would start a new tapering process in the next week or so, slower and longer I assume than the last one which took 6 weeks.

Last week Jack was asked to visit the doctorate Physical Therapy class at Hardin Simmons along with several other oncology kids. The class was on their oncology unit. Jack dreaded the visit, but I knew from talking with the professor that he would love it once he got there, so I insisted that we share (I share, Jack hangs out) Jack's story. He left saying, that he had a great time, and that he really liked it there. The students were very sweet to him and really engaged him alot in kid talk, birthdays, playstation, school...
I feel strongly that God can bring good from EVERYTHING, we just have to participate to allow that to happen. Scripture says it and I believe it wholeheartedly. So Jack familiarized the students on what it's like to walk the journey.

Rob's sister and her family along with his aunt and uncle from Missouri are coming to town on Thursday. We are so excited! They are coming to visit and to help celebrate my 40th birthday. I am having a small party on Saturday night. Speaking of birthday's Jack and Sophie turned 9 on Saturday. I will post pictures of them with their cakes later today or tomorrow, I need to pull the images off my camera.

I thought I would have a new slideshow contest up today, but I decided to spend some time giving my website some much needed TLC. I updated pictures and tweaked some pages, added an album page under galleries so designs to flushmount albums can be seen, thanks to Nic and Vanessa and Laura and Justin for having such beautiful weddings that showcase so well, the beach and a museum, how much cooler can it get? I am not quite done, have one more wedding showcase to complete and then I will be finished.

More exciting news on the business front to come soon.

I will let you know when I am going to run the next slideshow contest on bridals.

February 02, 2008

WPPI, as the sand flows through the hourglass

The world of photogaphy is filled with fun characters to say the very least. This video was made to promote WPPI the Wedding Professional Photographers Industry Trade Show. I can't go this year, but I am going in 2009 and I can't wait. The story behind the video, 2 wedding photographers had hosted the show and done a great job, then a couple of other great photogs, one of which is the president of WPPI, decided to host the following year. This is the drama that ensued.