Archive for the 'Faith' Category

What a Difference a Year Makes

As we are embarking on another trip to Houston, trip number 8 to be exact, I am flooded with memories of the past 18 months.  Where we started, where we’ve been, and most importantly how far we’ve come on this journey! 

In February of 2008…

Lily was 4 and Riley was 2. Lily was in Pre K and I was worried about her missing too much school when we were in Florida.  Riley still wore diapers and had a shousha(aka pacifier).   Ricky and I were celebrating our 29th…ahem…or maybe 33 birthdays.  We were heading down to Florida for Spring Training.  He was a professional baseball player pursuing his dream.  I was a stay at home mom and couldn’t be happier!  We spent February in the pool and at the beach.  Not to mention catching a few spring training baseball games. 

In February of 2009…

Lily was 5 and Riley was 3.  Lily was in Kindergarten and a love of gymnastics had blossomed in her life.  Riley was in preschool and  reminded me how being 3 was way worse than being 2!  We were headed to Houston for the third time to meet with Dr. Yung at MD Anderson. 

Ricky was on his second round of chemo.  He weighed 30 pounds less than he does now. He was sick and nauseas from the chemo. He had a funky hair loss from the radiation that was just starting to grow back in.  He was keeping his head shaved until the patches of hair grew back in.   He didn’t get out much except to go to the doctor and church.  He was still going to speech three days a week. He had a lot of speech and memory issues.   He got the keys to his Tahoe back on February 7.  He drove across the street and back, but was thrilled to have some independence back. 

I was still a stay at home mom and loved every minute of it.  I had more bad days than good.  The year had it’s toll on me.  I realized how much more I needed the Lord in my life than ever before.  I lost friends that couldn’t handle the situation…at least I guess that’s why.  My friends that stuck with me helped get me through some really rough times.  The Lord placed new people in our life that mean the world to us.

February of 2010…

Lily is 6 and Riley is 4.  Lily is in first grade and loves school.  She is an amazing student who loves reading!  Her passion is gymnastics. She is intense in school and intense in gymnatics.  She puts her everything into all that she does.  She loves the Lord and His light shines through her!  Her giggle and smile are contagious…she lights up the room.  She lights up my heart!  She is a Daddy’s girl through and through.

Riley is in preschool and loves the social aspect of school.  He will finally write his name but chooses when he wants to put the letters in the correct order.  He gives everything 110% and is all rough and tough boy.  He is loving basketball right now but can’t wait for t ball in the spring. He loves singing praise and worship songs in the car and I smile every time.  “Louder mommy”…he likes the music loud so he can sing louder!  Not a bit on key but precious as can be.   He also loves to make people laugh!  He will definitely be the class clown.  He has a ton of girls that chase him at school and he loves it…I’m not as in love with that as he is =)  He is definitely a mama’s boy!

Ricky and I are about to celebrate our 29th birthday…OKAY!!!…35th!!  Wow!  We are getting old.  Ricky stays at home and takes care of many of the household duties.  He is still very fatigued and naps every day.  He has put all the weight back on that he lost and looks so healthy.  He still has speech and  memory issues but has learned how to cope with them.  He is no longer embarrassed to speak to others, he is who he is!  He still keeps his head shaved but not because of the hair loss.  He likes his scar.  It is part of him.  It is part of his testimony.  He wants people to ask so he can share his love of Jesus.  Oh my, and how he loves Jesus!  He is consumed with the Word and all that it has to offer.  His life is Jesus and his family.  He has slowly began to share his testimony as the Lord has allowed. 

I am teaching a pre K class at The Potters House. I have thirteen amazing students who make me laugh…and sometimes cry…three days a week =)  They are really wonderful.  The staff I work with is amazing and I am so thankful that the Lord has placed me there.  There are supportive and so positive.  It is a wonderful Christian environment to be in!   I am going to school for my Masters in Educational Leadership. I cried through much of the first term but have found the first few weeks of this term much more bearable.  I am actually enjoying my classes now!   Staying busy is good for me…it keeps my mind focused on where I am and where I need to be.  Too much time to think gets me in trouble…  

We have amazing friends and family that help keep our family running smoothly during the craziness that is our life.  The trips to Houston every two months wouldn’t be possible without my mom, Meemaw, holding down the fort while we are gone.  Not to mention Becky taking Lily to gymnastics at 6 AM on Tuesday mornings and Amy bringing her home at night.  The kids stay on their regular routine and that is priceless.  The Potter’s House being understanding of my taking off so much for our trips and my professors allowing me to miss class is also a huge burden lifted.  Have a mentioned the most important thing…a God that gives me enough grace every day to get through!

As we head to this next appointment I would be lying to say that I don’t get nervous.  I try to keep it real here, and for real, I get nervous.  I trust God completely.  I gave up a long time ago trying to carry this on my own.  However, my flesh takes over and doubt and fear do creep in.  That is when I must remember that He has got it all under control.  Then I remember this verse…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

The peace of God takes over and there is a calmness.  One that I cannot describe.  You only know it when you’ve felt it. 

Please be in prayer for us as we head to Houston.  Some of Ricky’s blood counts were off a bit but nothing that seems too worrisome.  I have the MRI in my hand but we won’t have it reviewed until Tuesday.  I will try and update sometime on Tuesday with the wonderful news…you wouldn’t expect anything other than wonderful would you?!?

Love to you all!!


Article on our family

I wanted to share the following link with you.  Joe Lemire, a writer for, wrote an amazing story on our family!  Click the link below to check it out!

Long time, no blog

Hey everyone!  It has been quite awhile since I posted.  Life has been busy and unfortunately I haven’t had time to write.  However, seeing as I am on a small trip to New York City, I have the time right now!

Let’s see, what has been going on…I will give a brief update on each of us.

Lily has been busy with what else but gymnastics!!  She has had two competitions and done amazing!  Here are a couple of pictures from her first meet. 

She also decided at the spur of the moment to cut off 10 inches of her hair to donate to locks of love.  We have been following the story of a little girl named Kate McRae who has brain cancer and is currently undergoing treatments.  You can read her story here.   Her story has touched Lily and she decided to cut her hair so she could help others who have lost their hair to cancer treatments.

Riley has been busy with basketball!  He is loving it.  There is nothing cuter than watching him grab a rebound and tuck the basketball under his arm and run straight to the basket.  No dribbling for him…it slows him down =)

I am back in school again.  This semester I have Principalship and Change and Supervision of Teaching.  Classes started last week and I am slowly getting back into a groove.  Teaching continues to go very well and I am enjoying every second of it! 

Ricky is doing great and enjoying not having to put any poison, aka chemo, into his body.  He is still suffering from fatigue, but we are praying that it will diminish as his body is healing from the year of chemo.  His next appointment in Houston is February 9 and I can’t wait to share another amazing report with all of you!

Right now I am typing to you from the Marriot Marquis in New York.  We were asked by the BAT association to come and speak at their annual fundraising dinner.  You can read up on the organization here.  They have helped us tremendously over the past year and a half.  I just finished writing my speech and my palms are sweaty even thinking about getting up to deliver it tomorrow night.  I know the Lord will get me through just as He has done so many times!

Thanks so much for checking in and hopefully I will find the time to update a little more often!

The Nutcracker 2009

I have never been to The Nutcracker but have always wanted to go.  This year we finally got to go with a group of friends from gymnastics.  What a wonderful time the girls and the moms had.  We started out with lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.  The girls loved acting like ladies since they were dressed fancy! It was too cute.  Then it was on to the show.  They were mesmerized!  This will definitely be a tradition that we will enjoy every year.  Enjoy the pictures!

That’s my girl lovin her some whipped cream on that cheesecake!!  Just like her momma =)

1 Peter 5:10

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast

1 Peter 5:10

I was sitting here this afternoon with my Bible and just thinking about this past year.  Where we started, where we have gone, where we are now.  I prayed that the Lord would lead me to a verse that would speak to me.  This is the one He led me to.  Wow!  What a wonderful word He had for me today.

I was struck by “after you have suffered for a little while…”  I surely don’t feel some days like this journey has been just a little while.  Some days, quite honestly, have felt like a lifetime.  In Job 7:7, we are reminded that “Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath“.  Our lifetime here on earth is so brief compared to the life that is waiting for us in Heaven.    So honestly this suffering that we have endured this past year is truly just a little while.

The next part of the verse is the best.  This suffering for a little while, “will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast”.  Amen to that!  Out of the many  things that this year has taught me, one that stands out is  is that I am way stronger than I ever thought I could be.  It has made me strong, firm, and steadfast!  Would I rather He have taught me this a different way…absolutely!  However, if this is the way that He has chosen, then I am thankful. 

 I am thankful that He loves me enough to make this suffering last just a little while. I am thankful that He has called me to His eternal glory.   I am thankful that He loves me enough to restore me Himself.  I am ever so thankful for God’s grace, which I need every single day =)  I am so thankful for the strength that He has given me and shown me that I have.  I am thankful that I can be firm and steadfast in my faith.  Most of all…

I am thankful for Him!

What are you thankful for today?

Wow, That’s About All I Can Say

We were playing some praise and worship music the other night and the kids were getting on it.  I couldn’t help but turn on the video camera and tape them.  I can honestly say that they get their moves from Ricky =)  Enjoy!!  (Make sure the volume is turned on!)

Prayer is Powerful

Prayer is powerful and we are so thankful for all of your prayers.  When we come together to pray, wonderful things take place.

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 18:19-20

Ricky’s appointment yesterday was great!  The remaining 10% of the tumor seems almost nonexistent.  Dr. Yung was very confident that he will end his chemo with the 12th round in November!  That means only 3 rounds of chemo left!  We were both thrilled because we thought that they were going to encourage him to continue on past the 12 rounds.  However, after reviewing the MRI, Dr. Yung felt no need to continue after that!

Let me explain the tumor part a little more clearly.  After his craniotomy, we found out that there was 10% of the tumor remaining.  After a couple of MRI’s, Dr. Yung wasn’t sure if what he was seeing was remaining tumor or necrosis from radiation.  So, he just made sure that there was no regrowth.  However, the past two MRI’s have shown a steady decrease in size of the little spot that he had been observing.  This last MRI showed such a decrease, that it is pretty much gone!  GONE!!!  How stinking exciting is that?!? 

While we waited two and a half hours for our appointment, ahem, we were really blessed by the people we met in the waiting room.  First, we were listening to two couples discuss their own situations. 

One gentleman was a 7 and a half year survivor of a Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytoma.  That is the same grade tumor as Ricky’s but a different type.  The lady is a  5 year survivor of a Grade IV GBM, which is the worst malignant type of tumor.  Her smile was contagious and her spirit was amazing.  She was talking about the Almighty Healer and how He has been known to just make those tumors disappear. ( I smiled as I typed this knowing that He snatched the remaining portion right up out of Ricky’s head!)

 It was such a blessing to hear her give all the glory to God and just lift Him up in this room full of people who need to hear His name during their trials.  It is hard to sit in the waiting room and look around.  You see all types of people and situations.  Young.  Old.  Female.  Male.   Scars. Wheelchairs.   Worry.  Fear.  Sadness.  But you also see Hope. Faith. Understanding.  Kindness.  Joy.  Love.  However, the start of our wait was blessed by those two couples.

Then, as we were entering our second hour of waiting time, I looked over and saw a young woman sitting at a table working on a puzzle.  I nudged Ricky and told him she looked familiar.  He said she didn’t to him, but I struck up a conversation anyway.  She was  a fiery little thing and her mom was with her.  Then it hit me, I had been on her carepage.  Her mom updates it for her.  I asked and sure enough it was her. 

She is going blind due to a very unruly Grade I tumor.  The doctors are baffled and her mom came with her for a biopsy.  We had such a good time with them.  Another blessing for us that day.  We prayed and continue to pray for her complete healing.  I hope that they leave a message on here so you two can read her story from their standpoint.  They are Christians who believe in the power of prayer as well!

So, the Lord blessed us with a two and a half hour waiting time, ahem, filled with fellowship.  Then He topped it off with a great report of healing and an answer to prayer!  I would say that’s a pretty good day!

Round 9 is over and the countdown is on for the last 3!  Keep praying…


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