I know I shared last year how MUCH I love spring in Oklahoma but look at these trees!! How could you not LOVE it here??!!! Aren't they pretty? :-) Anyway, today is the first day of spring and it has been an AMAZING day! God is just so good and I am constantly amazed at how MUCH our lives have changed for the better. I was reading my pastors blog earlier and I read this post and he had this verse on it “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV
How perfect is that?? I think that sums it up for us:-)


Spring Break Ramblings

Before I start rambling I want to THANK YOU all for praying for my friends...you can continue to get updates on their blogs
Things continue to change and we are all having to hold onto the fact that God never changes and will continue to hold us through this...even when it hurts and even when we are angry

Ok here ya go with some bored ramblings lol

I have HORRIBLE timing and I am sick...not just a little sick but pneumonia, sinus infection and pleurisy....I hate asthma and what it does to you.

Steroids make me hungry and I will go to the store to buy things like guacamole when I see a commercial..I am an advertisers dream.

Birthday parties do not cease to happen because Mama is sick....especially when you are single! Amazing what guilt can do:-/

the sermon on Sunday was AMAZING and you must listen to it!!
Here is the link Lakeside Assembly of God - Oklahoma City Church.....oops I just checked and they haven't updated to this weeks sermon but when they do it was AWESOME! Oh and the best part FIVE people accepted Christ on Sunday:-)

I love Spring Break even when I am sick lol Sleeping in is the best!

I LOVE my kids so much and who they are growing up to be....oh here is a rabbit trail but on Feb 13th I stood in youth service and watched my oldest praising Jesus with everything in him...I looked at my friend next to me and said "that right there made EVERYTHING we have gone through worth it"...I know that I know that I know this is a direct result of being in God's will. God brought us here and He hasn't left us:-) He is so faithful.

I was so excited to break out the capris till I realized they don't fit me anymore...this would be great if I liked shopping but I don't...at least they will be a size or two smaller than last year;-) still only 20lbs lost but I WILL lose the last 10 if it kills me!

I am going to Florida this summer and I am actually excited to see some old friends and family. I know I will be happy to come back but visiting will be nice.

The ex and I have had some really pleasant conversations and that has been really NICE.

I have the most amazing amazing friends and I am so thankful to God for putting them in my life.

I am getting my haircut this week and *I didn't schedule the appt lol Thanks Kayla!! I am so spoiled.

I am also going to lunch with someone I really admire and love. She is a also a gift from God.

I am happy....I am truly happy. I love my life. Yes, there are bad things happening to people I love and that hurts beyond measure but I have Someone that I can run too.....and I have peace:-) The peace is new but I am sure it has always been there for the taking.



more pics

Sorry about the quality...I can't seem to get my digital camera to work so these are from my cell phone:-)

This one shows his personality lol My little goofball!!
This is the birthday boy blowing out the candle
These are all my babies and I don't care how tall they get they will ALWAYS be MY babies;-) I can't show the other kids because they aren't mine and well, that would be rude lol Trust me it is LOUD in here and there is cake everywhere;-) If you want some just stop by because we have plenty!!

My big boy!!

11 years ago I was at the Drs for a routine appt. I wasn't feeling anything but a lot of pressure which they assured me was normal for a 2nd pregnancy. My dh dropped me off and was going to run an errand and then pick me up. I wasn't in there long when the Dr said "ok you need to go straight to the hospital because you are 5cm"...I remember getting excited because I was half way done and hadn't felt a thing lol I paged my dh and off we went. I wasn't in labor so it was a LONG night of waiting. I walked up and down the stairs trying to jump start something lol I wanted to go home but we lived so far away that I couldn't. On the 18th I demanded to go home so they induced my labor...you don't argue with a really pregnant woman;-) One hour and 45 min later I saw the cutest little boy with a head full of RED hair! He is my joy. He is the one I call my blessing because we had been trying for a long time and had already lost a few including his twin:( He still is my blessing and makes me laugh DAILY. Sure he is louder than the other two but that is his personality and I wouldn't change a thing about him;-) I will try to remember that in 30 min when I have a house full of LOUD children eating cake and screaming about wrestling. I will try to take a pic because I think I bought the world's largest cake! What was I thinking???!! Happy Birthday Baby Boy!!

***update...here is the cake but I had to stand in a chair to get the whole thing lol If you look closely you will see wrestling guys mixed with the dinosaurs because somehow that makes sense to him :-D


Friday's update

This is from an email from Merci.....

Friday's update ...

The doctor told us to expect some setbacks and minor complications and we've seen some of those and are seeing more. I got a phone call just before 4 this morning and had to rush up to the hospital. Dad had been transferred from ICU into an Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU) - similar to ICU but there are 3 patients to one nurse instead of 2 patients to 1 nurse. It's a step down from ICU but still a step above the regular patient floor.

Apparently, he became very disoriented and confused in the night and pulled out his feeding tube three times. They finally had to restrain him, even more so than they did the night he came out of surgery. He detests restraints and will always fight against them. That's what was going on when they called mom and she called me. He told the nurse he needed her and they let him call her which scared mom to death because he wasn't making much sense. So we rushed to the hospital shortly after 4 am and got to his room about 420. He's in a chest restraint and wrist restraints with mittens so he can't use his fingers to unhook things or pull out tubes but can still freely move his fingers. He was resting some but still quite confused, but he did know who we were.

We talked at length with both the ICU nurse who'd had him in the night and the new nurse in the IMCU who both assured us that this come and go disorientation is normal and will improve with time, although we may expect it to continue to come and go, possibly for months. One nurse explained that the brain is a very "unforgiving organ" and if you hurt it, it will "hurt you back" as it tries to sort itself out and put all the memories and thoughts back into their right places and perspective. She also explained that it's pretty common for them to be fine through the day, like Daddy was yesterday, and get confused at night because their body rhythms still tell them it's day or night, but there is so much stimulation in ICU that their senses confuse them because it's "all day" there. She said that oftentimes, THAT is when they know it's time to move them out of ICU into the IMCU so they can actually get more rest, have less stimulation without sacrificing care or supervision and start to recognize day and night and help them start making more sense of their surroundings.

This unit has the same rules as ICU, no visitors from 630 to 800, am and pm, so we both came home for a quick shower and a cup of real coffee (hospital coffee is lethal) and I'm going back this morning and she'll take the afternoon watch, if everything is still ok by 8 am.

Current most/urgent prayer requests:

* That this confusion will lessen and they'll be able to remove the restraints he hates so much

* That they will be able to replace the feeding tube without difficulty

* That the swallow study they will do today will show some improvement so we can start moving toward getting off off the feeding tube and onto liquids without the risk of aspiration.

Yesterday, I asked for prayer for three things - and I want to share how God answered. It's amazing!

I asked for prayer for:

* Dad's pain to become tolerable.
By noon yesterday, he didn't even have a headache!

* That he would be able to get some sleep because he hadn't had more than 3 hours since surgery.
By 3 pm yesterday, he had slept in the recliner for HOURS.

* That he wouldn't get pneumonia.
By last night, he was coughing up yuck and clearing the phlegm out of his lungs.

God is so very very faithful. The scripture that I've most been holding onto during this time is Isaiah 41:10 which says, "Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." And God has done exactly what He promised he would.

Thank you for your prayers. Last night as I went to sleep, counting my blessings and remembering all the answered prayers throughout this week, I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that God IS love. God isn't miracles, God isn't the things He does, God IS love and because of his indescribable love for me, He has strengthened me and upheld me with His righteous right hand through this most difficult journey. I think the greatest miracle of all is that God loves us that much. It leaves me awestruck.


Update #3

This is the latest...thank you again for your prayers! I KNOW they are working!!
First, thanks again for all your prayers and encouragement! And thanks to all of you wonderful AWANA volunteers for holding down the fort for us last night so we could be where we needed to be. We are grateful!

The latest news is that Dad is still in ICU but may move to an intermediate care unit today after they remove the drain from his head. He won't move to a regular floor for a little while yet and not until they remove his lumbar drain. God answered prayer yesterday about his swallowing difficulties. We were told that he had been aspirating food into his lungs since before the surgery. Further tests revealed that was NOT the case. He also did not aspirate his pills in the hospital - they did make it to the stomach so he only aspirated a little water and ice chips. MUCH better than aspirating solids!! The water will eventually reabsorb into his lungs and they just have to keep him up and coughing and moving as much as possible to prevent aspiration pneumonia. The doctor told us that his swallowing issues may take a few weeks to resolve and to be patient. Until then, he'll be on a liquid diet through his feeding tube. He'll also have a physical therapy evaluation and session every day to evaluate his movement and begin relearning whatever is necessary re: walking and using his right hand. He is still in a lot of pain and not able to sleep much.

Current/most urgent prayer needs:

That the pain would become more tolerable
That he would be able to sleep (going on 24 hours now with about 3 hours total)
That he wouldn't develop pneumonia

Thank you again for your love, encouragement, support and most of all, your prayers.
Our God is faithful.


Surgery update #2

This was an email from Merci and I don't think she will mind me posting this here because we have seen the power of prayer...here are some things to pray about and again THANK YOU for praying!!
This is a really fast update - dad made it fine through the night though it was a ROUGH night and he pulled out his arterial line and his central line and that was a problem. It's fixed now and they've done an MRI on him today, don't know the results of that yet. Minor complications include: numbness in his right hand and it keeps going to sleep and he's having some speech issues - slurring some, and using the wrong word when he wants to say something.

Mom and I came home for a shower and a little sleep and I'm heading back to the hospital now.

I just got a call - we've had our first MAJOR complication. They have done a swallow study to see why he's having trouble swallowing and the results are not good. Whatever pills and water he has swallowed overnight have NOT gone into his stomach but into his lungs which is of course, very dangerous. They have just inserted a feeding tube into his nose so he can get nutrition and water and possibly some medicine but so far, even the feeding tube isn't getting liquids into his stomach. This is obviously a major setback and very scary, but God has been faithful this far. Please just continue to pray that this too will be resolved safely and my Dad will continue his recovery, however slowly. We are just grateful to have him still with us today and we know that we saw God work a miracle yesterday.

The surgery update from yesterday was that they removed 80-90 percent of the brain tumor and will get the rest with gamma knife radiation later. The miracle is that the tumor appears to be BENIGN. It is called a Schwanoma tumor and is a very rare - as in less than 5% of all brain tumors - typically benign tumor. We'll have final pathology results in approx. 5-7 days. Thank you all for praying! Please don't stop. Prayer truly does change things and I saw that again up close and personally yesterday. I am grateful for all the prayer, love, encouragement and support. You cannot imagine how it has encouraged my family. All our love to all of you!


Update on surgery

Sorry it took so long to update but it was a LONG surgery and an even LONGER day. I have to tell you that Merci's Dad is so loved and has touched so many peoples lives that the waiting room was packed!!! I think we took up almost all the chairs lol The waiting was hard and seeing people you love hurt is unbearable. Merci was amazing and held it together and took all the phone calls from the Dr and stayed strong for her Mom...only God could have done that so I KNOW where she gets her strength from. Anyway, we got the BEST news because the tumor is BENIGN!!! It is a rare tumor called a schwannoma. I am just amazed and soooooooooo thankful...God is so good and we are so blessed. Thank you all for praying. I am going to sleep sooooooooo good tonight!! Oh thank you Jesus for another miracle!! And thank you guys for praying for those that I love so much. Oh I am so happy and I just can't stop praising Jesus!! Yeah I am Assembly of God lol BUT just look what the Lord has done...He healed his body....ok I need to go thank my Father and go to bed! I am giddy and exahusted all at the same time lol Thanks again!!!


Know what is great for a headache???

Yes they ALL have guitars and they are playing screamo rock stuff but don't worry they are praising Jesus....I think they are just making sure He hears:-/



Here are some updates on my friends...

Jesica had the surgery and is home now. God is good and her rather large tumor was encapsulated so they were able to remove it withOUT affecting her other organs...that was totally God! She is home and someone is flying in to help with the kids so her dh can work....again totally God! She will start chemo in a couple of weeks so please continue to pray for this 31yo Mom of 3 for complete healing.

Merci's Dad is going in for an appt with a super specialist today. Things don't look good right now but God is still God and I am praying hard for a miracle. You can read the update here.....Spit Out The Cat: Well, Wow Please please please keep this family in your prayers...they mean SO MUCH to me. I can't imagine the pain they are going through either.

You can also add my oldest to the list because he is sick...again. It's his lungs. We did breathing treatments yesterday and he is on antibiotics. I know this is hard on him too.

Oh and selfishly *I* need prayers. I need to be strong for everyone and I am so not... God is my rock and the only reason I haven't laid down and given up. I HATE seeing people hurt and I take all of this to heart because that is my gift...it doesn't always feel like a gift:-/ I just love them all so much and I HATE THIS. When I got the news about Merci's Dad I literally felt sick. I needed to have an ugly cry but I didn't want to scare my kids so I went to the prayer room at church and sat with my Father and bawled for over an hour alone. I stayed till I felt peace but it doesn't last long before I have to go running back to His arms...how do people do this without God?? I am so glad I don't have to.

Thank you all for your prayers and the emails letting me know you are praying. I appreciate it more than you know.


Natalie grant held

I am so glad to know I have Someone to hold me because life can hurt:**(