Monday, December 30, 2013

Glad tidings! appt tomorrow, Gabby's game trip

We had a very blessed Christmas for sure!  Not only did we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ as a family but we got to celebrate it with my parents & sisters & their families.  It was so nice to get to see the cousins play together.  I remember all the fun I used to have with my sisters & cousins.  We'd play outside at my grandparents house when they lived at the lake.  We shoveled a spot to ice skate & then we'd go inside to warm up & dry our clothes near the wood stove or fireplace that Gramps had going all hot & toasty.  We'd go back outside later & skate, sled, and as we got older we were allowed to use the four-wheeler with this dented metal saucer attached to the back with a rope.  We'd spin in circles on the ice and laugh until we couldn't laugh anymore.  We'd hook the big sled up to the snowmobile and pile in it and ride around on the ice.  Grandpa had some fun toys for us to be spoiled with and we usually played pretty nicely together.  Oh the memories we I really loved watching our kids play with their cousins in the snow, sledding, digging holes to sit in down near the old garden at my parent's place. Seeing the smiles, hearing the laughter, and watching as they lined their darkened glasses up on the table as they all came back in the was fun!

I am thankful that Adam was able to make the drive over to Felch on Wednesday. He almost didn't make it because his car wouldn't start.  We had tried jumping it and were just about to give up & he was going to stay home because he had to work on Thursday and Braly started crying & my eyes were welled up with tears when I told Braly that we needed to pray.  It was a simple prayer.  We said, Lord, please start Adam's car & not let it have any trouble, we simply need to be together this Christmas.  Adam didn't hear us praying & within seconds he tried the car just once more and it started right up.  We thanked God and drove to Felch for our family get together. :)

The kids and I stayed until Friday evening so that we could spend some extra time with family that was visiting.  It was nice but it is always nice to get home & sleep in our own beds.  My parents gave up their King size bed to us and I slept with all 4 kids on that bed.  Rather funny and kinda wish I had a picture of all of us smooshed in that bed.  Reminded me of how we used to sleep a few of us cousins in a bed together at Gram & Gramp's house when we were younger.  Quite interesting to say the least.

As far as presents go...we normally do 3 presents for our kids each plus some stocking stuffers. We picked 3 so its not overwhelming and the significance is that the Wise Men brought Jesus 3 gifts.  One of the gifts is usually a little more expensive than the others but doesn't break the budget we have set aside.  This year our traditions were not followed.  We had a few groups and a few individuals help us out and our kids (and us) were extremely blessed.  It was different for me because I usually do all the shopping & wrapping while Adam is working his tail off for the busy season of delivering everyone's packages but this year, half the gifts were wrapped so it was a surprise to even me and it was fun!  We were blessed with some things we were in need of as well as fun things.  So thank you to all who were so generous to us. We really appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity.  We pray that you will be blessed for all the blessings you shared with us.  Thank you so very much!!!

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 31st, I have an appointment to have my blood drawn to check the tumor marker, I think they will also be checking the estrogen levels to see if they are coming down to 0 as well as checking whatever they need to check before I get my shots.  I have to say, I'm a little nervous about it and have been reminded by some friends that I need to place it in God's hands and not worry about it.  I have had a headache the last few days & today it made my tummy feel sick. Well, at least that's what I think.  I'm not sure if the headache is from thinking about the appointment tomorrow or if it is from the meds (because just about all the meds I am on can cause headaches).  So I'm asking for prayer for peace about this appointment and that God will have those numbers have dropped drastically.  Oh & that my kids will all be healthy again. Sadie & Braly were treated for ear infection & bronchitis earlier this month just before we headed to Ann Arbor and now they and Adam seem to be coming down with another cold while Gabby & Morgan are finishing up the ear infections and bronchitis they were treated for last Monday.  Health and healing and a stronger trust in God and less strife are what we are praying for in our home.  As a dear friend shared with the kids yesterday in Kid's Church, Philippians 4:6.  I think this scripture was as much for me as it was for them so thank you for listening to what God wanted you to share!

Philippians 4:6

New Living Translation (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

I almost forgot that I didn't share how the football game went for Gabby.  Let's put it this way, she summed it up by coming in the door after 11pm Sunday night and the first phrase out of her mouth was, "MOM, I had SO much FUN!"  They left Escanaba a little before 1pm to head to Green Bay.  It had been snowing all day & kept snowing until late that night.  They drove about an hour, stopped to get something to eat & I think they took it with them.  They drove the rest of the way & got bundled up and went in for the game.  Gabby had warmers for her boots and hands and said she didn't need to use any, that she was warm enough. She had her sign to hold up. Though it wasn't very big, she held it a little and the other 2 girls that had also won tickets helped hold the sign when they were scanning the crowd on the Jumbo-tron.  Gabby said they didn't see themselves on it but they had fun trying.  And she enjoyed watching the snow throughout the whole game.  I'm not sure she really watched the game at all but they had a lot of fun anyway.  We sat at home looking for them in hopes we'd see them on tv but didn't.  The principal texted me a picture of Gabby & the other 2 girls but since I don't know their parents I won't share their pic on here.  So instead, I'll just share the pic I took of Gabby holding her sign just before she left the house. You may have seen it on facebook.  Thank you to all who shared her picture, video, and story.  We hope that you will continue to share the video with people.  In this day & age where videos are shared to show how to make things, do things, & teach us, it can be used as a tool that can share God's message that he loved us so much to send his son Jesus and it isn't judgmental, just an 11 year old sharing her heart because she wants for all to hear about Jesus.

I took a break from typing this but as I finish it up right now, I can hear joyful playing, laughter, love, and cooperation from all 4 of my kids in the other room and it lifts my heart and brightens my day to hear and see our children that God blessed Adam and me with getting along so nicely.  Thank you Lord for my husband and for our children!!!  I have learned so many lessons since becoming a parent. Lessons I may not have learned or understood quite the way I do since becoming a mom & so I am very thankful.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How Gabby won her Game Ticket!

Welcome. If you've gotten here from seeing Gabby on TV at the Packers vs Steelers Football game, welcome!  Happy you are here to check out her video.  Here's a little info about why Gabby did the video in the first place.

When I was first diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer (it has metastasized and is in my bones, is incurable by doctors but treatable) at the end of October/early November 2013 , Gabby asked me, "Mom, what happens if you have to go to Heaven soon?  I don't want you to leave us yet."  With tears in my eyes, I replied, "I don't want to leave yet either but if I do, then God will help Daddy take care of you guys and provide for all of you. God is always here to provide for your needs."  She paused sadly for a minute & then asked sweetly, "Is it okay if I pray for Jesus to come back & get us all for his Second Coming, the Rapture, so we can be together?"  I replied with, "Of course, but you do realize that God doesn't want to send Jesus back for those that have asked Jesus into their hearts (are saved) until EVERYONE has had a chance to hear about Jesus and decide for themselves?  So you need to do your part to share the gospel with as many people as possible" Our shy girl simply responded with, "oh, okay."

About 2 weeks later Gabby was given an assignment for her Language Arts Class.  All 6th graders were to share their favorite educational experience. The top 3 were to win a ticket to attend the Packer vs Steelers game on Dec 22nd with the Principal. I think there are nearly 200 6th graders at Gabby's school.  They were to do a creative response using any media source they could utilize. 

Suggested sources:
Music: write a song
Poster: design a poster
Dramatization: perform
Essay: write an essay
Video: create a video.

Gabby came home & told me she had decided what she wanted to do for her assignment.  She wanted to share when she asked Jesus into her heart and we decided to do a video that we could share with people all over the world in hopes that we would do our best to help spread the "Good News" that Jesus died and rose again so we can have a special friendship with God and go to heaven.  I've uploaded it to YouTube to share with all of you. Watch for yourself to see why Adam & I are so proud of her.  And please share the video with as many people as you can.  Even though Gabby is extremely shy, she wants to do her job to share the 'Story of Grace' with everyone. So share, share, share please.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ann Arbor said

Like I said, I'm sorry I haven't had the time to get an update to all of you that have been waiting & praying. We greatly appreciate your prayers & thoughts for our trip.  We did not find much in the way of new out.  They told us that had we gone to them first, they would have chosen to put me on the same treatment plan that my doctor started.  That was nice to hear in a way and gave us reassurance in my oncologist.  They asked questions about the pain I experience and checked it out. They said that they often have people get spot radiation treatment that can help decrease the pain down to 1 or even 0 so they are recommending a referral to a radiation oncologist for us to get more info.  I'm not sure about side effects or anything like that so we'll have to ask questions & get info before deciding.  They also asked if I understand my diagnosis...that I have stage IV breast cancer that has traveled to my bones & is incurable by doctors but is treatable.  They said that they hope that I get a long time out of the current hormone treatment I'm on (which sounds like 18 months to 2 years being the typical) and then we may have to try other medications or even chemotherapy.  They said when my current treatment stops working, that I should go see them, they may have a trial I can be a part of but I'd have to get in on it before starting another treatment plan.  Having that news said again like that, was kinda depressing but I know that God is bigger than any of that and I have faith that he will grant me a miracle of complete healing from this disease.  I know he can, I'm praying he will.  We had dropped the kids off in Grand Rapids with my sister Rachel so that they could be together. Sadie does so much better when she's not with a parent but is with her siblings.  Adam & I ended up staying at a Red Roof Inn at a medical discount rate since my appointment was so early in the morning and we had to be there even earlier so that we could get registered.  It worked out nicely since they had a Big Boy Restaurant attached to the hotel.

After the appointment, we were able to meet up with a friend from nearby while at the hospital and visited with her for a little bit. Then we met up with my aunt, cousin, & 2 of her 3 children for lunch. We enjoyed our visit. Then met up with Adam's cousin for her quick lunch. So sweet of her to drive to where we were to meet us.  Then we headed to Meijer to be able to look for  a few things that we don't normally get to look at.  We enjoyed walking around & looking. We purchased a few things from our list, including a neat plaque for our dining room that says Family Rules.  We headed back to Grand Rapids and we celebrated my niece's birthday with pizza and then Build a Bear.  Our kids thought that was one of the coolest parties to be invited to. They thoroughly enjoyed choosing a bear & some clothes and accessories all while staying within a budget they were given.  We got to see Adam's brother & his wife as well, since they recently moved to Grand Rapids.  It was nice to see so much family!  Wish we could have seen even more but time did not allow.  On Saturday, we had a yummy pan-e-cake breakfast and then met up with Adam's sister & her boyfriend for lunch. Then we made our way home.

We've finally finished putting all the trip stuff away & we've been working on decorating for Christmas. It is a slower process than usual but still enjoyable.  We ran into some light problems for the tree but after purchasing another strand of lights, I think I'll be able to get the garland on the tree so the kids can hang their ornaments. They've been waiting to do that for days.  It is one of their favorite parts of the Christmas season to reminisce about each ornament as they hang them.  I enjoy tons of ornaments on the tree so we'll end up with like 7-8 on each branch. lol  And the tree, even if it is tall and slim, will look beautiful.  Bethlehem Town is up and I've got a few other things out already.  We spent yesterday going to Morgan's Christmas program at school twice, celebrating her as star student in her class, and then getting a little grocery shopping done & back to watch & then bring Morgan home.  In the meantime, I've been working to figure out how to make a sign and share Gabby's video with even more people and figure out a sign for the football game she's headed to on Dec 22nd.  I think her picture is going to be in the Daily Press too but I may call them & tell them that they should run a story with it too.

Today Renee` helped me make some presents for the teachers to say thanks for taking such good care of our kids.  Just a small token of appreciation.  I had fun making the stuff.  It is so much more fun to do crafts with someone than by myself.  My sweet Sadie is a little crazy right now, getting into everything she can get her hands on. I think she's getting tired and may need a nap.  Tonight we got to Gabby's first band concert. She plays the Oboe and there is to be a feature of the Oboes since there are 4 of them that play this year. I'm excited about it but Gabby is quite nervous and wanted to miss school today so she wouldn't have to go to the concert. She's such a shy girl, that's why it's so amazing that she wanted to share the video she made for school with so many people.  She has moments when she feels shy that we are trying to get even more people to view it & share it with others.

Time to wrap this up but not without sharing some of God's word with you all.  This one comes from the Pre-School devotion that we do at night.  It's called God is Faithful. It talks about how people sometimes make promises but are unable to keep them at times. But God is faithful because he always CAN keep his promises, and he always WILL, no matter what. He will never change his mind.  You can depend on God and trust him, no matter what!  The verse says "Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The One who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 NIrV. And the prayer says Lord, you are faithful to do what you say, I know I can trust you every day.
What I try to remember and remind our children and others is that God is faithful. No matter what.  Through all of this so far, He is walking by our side or even carrying us through. He is faithful!  And I hold tight to this hope and having hope gets me through so much because it also gives me a trust in the One who created me and loves me.  I have put my hope, my trust, my faith, in the One True God who created me and well....Everything!  Do you have this hope?  If not and you'd like to, you can email me at or you can watch Gabby's youtube video (which can be found on a previous blog post ) to see how you too can obtain this hope!  Below is the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of hope.


 verb \ˈhōp\
: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true
transitive verb
:  to desire with expectation of obtainment
:  to expect with confidence :  trust

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Still finding things to be thankful for

All I can say is boy do I serve a mighty God.  I know I just shared yesterday but I am so thankful for the amount of prayers, encouraging words, & love shown to us today. Amazing!

Today's devotion has my name written all over it.  Just read & you'll see what I'm talking about. Perhaps you too have been battling attacks on your mind, if so, this is for you too. Or maybe you'll need to remember this for a later day.

"Do not be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind. When you struggle to find Me and to live in My Peace, don't let discouragement set in. you are engaged in massive warfare, spiritually speaking. The evil one abhors your closeness to Me, and his demonic underlings are determined to destroy our intimacy. When you find yourself in the thick of battle, call upon My Name: "Jesus, help me!" At that instant, the battle becomes Mine; your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you."

Yup, that's what I'm talking about.  And today the fiery darts kept flying.  As you may have read on Facebook, today was Morgan's birthday.  What we would have hoped to be a great day to celebrate her birth. God blessing our family with her...was not so wonderful for her.  She woke up happy, excited, to come downstairs and have a great day only to lay on the floor in the living room. She said she didn't feel good but I figured it was because she was just overly hungry.  Gabby helped make a waffle for her and I finished it up. I even brought it to her to try to help her eat it so she'd feel better.  She actually looked kinda pale so I didn't force anything and I made sure to grab the bucket that was nearby (I hate cleaning stuff off the floor so I try to keep buckets stashed.).  Good thing too because a little while later, she threw up and then declared that this was the worst birthday ever.  How sad I felt for her. She was upset she wouldn't be able to share her cupcakes for snack. I said, well it's a good thing we didn't finish frosting them because now they'll be super fresh when we do in on Wed.  She threw up like 5 times and then she fell asleep for somewhere between 1 -2 hours.  I don't really know because she was laying on the chair and I was trying to get Sadie to calm down & nap since she had gone to sleep somewhere between 9-10pm, was up several times & then stayed awake (which means I was too) from 5:30am on.  I was trying to rest as well but the phone rang a few times & one was Braly asking for cough & cold meds.  So I started getting things ready to head out the door. Since Sadie was not herself, a fever had resurfaced on Saturday after having a few good days & then she was not herself last night or today, I took her to the walk in clinic after bringing Braly some meds & getting his lunch card replacement squared away.  Sadie ended up with an ear infection & is now on antibiotics. She still wasn't herself completely the rest of the day but thankfully tylenol and motrin help some.  She's resting now so I'm going to make this as quick as I can.  Morgan got better after her nap & her day turned out to be better than she had originally thought. We ended up with nuggets from Wendy's and a chocolate frosty too.  Gabby was complaining of her chest feeling tight and just overly tired or weak.  Yes, the enemy is attacking my family hard core.  The kids fighting has been almost unbearable lately. It just hurts me to watch how mean & nasty they are being to each other. Lashing out with words, actions, the whole lot and I HATE it. And so I keep praying.

I was thinking the other day how I had gotten off track with doing devotions with my kids & how it has affected them so I started back up. We've been doing them before bed nearly every night for the last 2 weeks or more and even though they were used to doing them and LOVED them before, they have been less than happy about them this time around.  It isn't like they are long.  They may be too simplistic but at the same time, they are basic and really good!  So instead of getting down on myself or giving up because I am being met with rude comments, displeasure, inattentiveness, and more, I am determined to persevere and  get them used to them again. I know that they are getting something out of each devotion and I just wanted to encourage others that you may think about trying a devotion time with your kids. Do it!!!  Yup, I just used the Nike slogan! It doesn't have to be extravagant. You don't have to feel as though you are inadequate. There are so many good devotions out there.  You just need to look to find one to fit your children. Their ages, stages, etc should be considered but find something.  And you might be met with open arms for a devotion time or maybe crossed arms and disgust but don't lose hope...their hearts will change.  Don't get frustrated...God is working on them and in them and you shouldn't give up.  Even ones like I have that love God, need to get right with him again and things will fall back into place better.  Tonight when we read our devotion. And we've been taking turns passing the book around.  My oldest asked if we could take it with us when we head downstate.  ABSOLUTELY! was my answer.  And I was thrilled to hear that question.  SO don't lose hope.  Don't allow negativity to take over.  Keep on the best you can and know that good things are getting in, even if they don't act like it.  And this time of year, there are so many cool, fun, great devotions to do like Advent ones. Some are even free.  (Here's one from one of my favorite websites. Focus on the Family.)   So give it a go & start somewhere.  Like I've said before when it comes to making healthy choices and this applies to many areas of our lives...start where you're at & go from there.  Make it your goal to do better today, than you did yesterday. Don't compare yourself to others. Just keep your eyes on God. He'll help you!  And I'm cheering you on too!

Food for thought from God's word that goes along with the devotion.
Ephesians 6:12-13 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

 1 Samuel 17:47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's and he will give all of you into our hands.

Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ann Arbor Appointment, Thanksgiving, God's Perspective, Birthday Celebration & more

I have to type this as fast as I possibly can because it is late. I need to be in bed so I'm not so exhausted tomorrow and I'm sorry but it's going to be a really long one since I haven't updated in several days.

My Ann Arbor Appointment has been moved up to this Friday. We have to head down early, after I get the next shot of the estrogen decreasing stuff. My appointment is early Friday morning.  I am trying to bring everything I can think of, we made sort of a timeline of events to see if that helps out.  And we're unsure whether they will do any other tests.  So here's the prayer request we have.  We are seeking God's path for us in all of this. Our plans have changed. Even if we were on the path God had us on before, things have changed & we are trying to regroup & seek God's perspective on this. We need prayer, clarity to see God's path for us.  The neat thing is that my Nov 30th devotion had the statement "Talk with me about whatever  is on your mind, seeking My perspective on the situation."  How fitting right?  And then the sermon on Sunday was talking about how we make plans. And plans can be good. but sometimes those plans get changed by something unexpected and we have to regroup and ask God for his direction.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  So since God sees the big picture and he knows what's best for us, it's important for us to seek his will, his perspective, his direction, his way.  That's what we need prayer for. And this reminder is wonderful too. Jeremiah 29:10-11 This is what the Lord says, "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back tho this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you home and a future. And even though some days are easier and some are harder than others, I cling to these 2 verses. I think I learned them when I was really young because my parents had a record, yes I said a record, with a song that was written from these verses.  Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

I will be honest with you..yesterday and today were especially hard for me. Even to the point that I have had a hard time even eating. Probably lost a few pounds.  What is my problem?  Well...the "what ifs?"  I've been thinking about this Ann Arbor appointment and what happens if they tell me more bad news?  Or there is nothing different they can do to help me?  Or well....who knows. But for some reason it has me all worked up and I think it is satan trying to work his way into my head.  Today I spent most of my day battling mind games.  So you can add that to your list of prayers we could use.  That the mind games cease and are not allowed to even enter our minds.  It's a place I don't want to be again, that's for sure.  Thankfully I have an amazing, loving, faith filled mom that talked with me for 2 1/2 hours and pretty much told me that I can't allow for these thoughts to even enter my mind.  What difference does it make what the doctors say or don't say?  She reminded me that I've already put my trust and my hope in Christ and the healing I believe he's going to bless me with. There are so many of you praying for God's blessing on my body and I'm asking for God's will to be shown to us and for us to follow his path.  She reminded me of these things and said that I need to just focus on God.  Of course she's totally right.  So I prayed that God would help me refocus on Him and not the what ifs.

Our Thanksgiving was quite nice.  My sister Rachel came up from downstate and was a gem & stopped at Ikea to pick up the sideboard we were looking to get and put in our dining room like a buffet table. I've been searching for this piece for a long time and finally came across it on my favorite organizer's site. She has one and it was exactly what I was looking to do with it.  So Adam spent some time picking things up in the early morning before most of us were up & then he put the sideboard together because 'some assembly was required'.  More like all assembly.  He did a great job & it's so wonderful.  I have started filling it with the placemats & tablecloths but have not finished with everything I plan to put in it.  I've still got to collect all the stuff that is in a few different places.  And I'm really hoping that it takes Sadie a long time, like really long time, to figure out how to open the doors. They are quite easy to open & I really am not looking forward to her taking everything out to play with it.

My parents brought a turkey over & cooked it in the Nesco roaster. It turned out great. My sister Natalie came over & cooked up a storm. My Gram also joined us & made a delicious layered dessert.  I think this was by far Gabby's favorite.

We used to make our wish lists out from the Black Friday papers late at night on Thursday after we had eaten ourselves silly and spent time hanging out together. Not anymore with the way they have changed things & now the stores all rush to be the first to open & take your money.  I honestly didn't find a whole lot that we needed or even wanted.  I made a short list and sent it with my sisters who decided to brave the crazy people & head to a few stores. I was totally ok if we didn't get any of the things on the list.  Adam headed to bed kinda early since 5:30 am comes quickly and that's what time he had to work on Friday. :(  The kids & I decided to watch some Dragons: Defenders of Burke episodes since it is one of the shows we watch together.  We had just finished watching 2 episodes when Morgan ran to the basement to get the cup she left down there and she came back to tell me that the floor was wet. Oh crap I said. That means the sewer was backing up. I told the kids not to flush the toilet and headed down to see the damage. While down there I could hear the toilet flush despite my warnings. Ugh. I yelled up the stairs. Don't flush the toilet. It was Braly & of course it is just auto-pilot to flush after using the bathroom. I was frustrated but not mad. I heard Morgan telling him that mom said not to flush. What do you think happened next?  You probably guessed it. She went into the bathroom and she ended up flushing the toilet. By this time my mom had called to say they arrived home safely & I was raising my voice...yelling, at the kids not to use any water.  I was trying to explain to them that each time water went down the pipes, it had to come back up somewhere because there was a blockage.  My dad so wisely advised shutting the water off of the toilets and I hung up the phone & recruited 2 girls to help me in the basement. We had to move all the things in the way, just in case it got worse for some reason. And we had to clear out the area where the drain cleaners would work. Which happens to be our laundry room as well.  Clean clothes were hauled upstairs. Dirty ones moved to a different location & up off the floor.  I was annoyed & frustrated that this was happening again, even after we had dumped copper sulfate down the pipes to help kill the roots.  oh well. I had a choice. be annoyed & angry or do what all my devotions had been telling me to do for the last few thankful. So I literally started saying things I was thankful for out loud.
I was thankful for
~2 girls that were helping move things without complaining.
~a son who was upstairs taking care of a crying Sadie & keeping an eye on a foster cousin
~that the mess wasn't as bad as it was the first time this happened just 2 years after we bought the house (I think it should have been disclosed but it wasn't)
~that Adam had already gone to sleep before this happened because he would never have gotten a decent sleep because he would have been worried. As it was he woke up to use the bathroom & came back to bed and asked how bad it was.
~Gabby's willingness to make signs to post on the sinks, toilets, and shower.
~that I had pain meds that were working so I could move things
~I was EXTREMELY Thankful for a set of willing hands from a wonderful lady from church who came over on Friday after the drain cleaners came & she cleaned, bleached, & scrubbed everything.  I felt bad asking her to do this but ever so thankful for her!!!
~limited damage.
~wise advice to shut water off to toilets
~I'm sure my mom was praying (she always does).
~and that it wasn't too stinky. My girls laughed at this one.

They had actually asked me what I was doing when I started saying these things and I told them that I was trying to seek God's view & be close to him because I had a choice to make.  I think I chose wisely but had I not been seeking God over the past few weeks and practicing being thankful, I'm not sure I would have made the same choice that night.

It turned out that it was a bunch of roots again. Probably from the crazy tree in the neighbors yard that doesn't really give us any shade but finishes dropping its leaves after the sweeper's last round of the neighborhood to pick them up. It causes branches to fall all the time, & roots in our old drippy pipes.  So now we've got it scheduled in the budget to be done in the fall each year.  Less of a headache & better that way. I'd rather pay them to do their job than to have to scrub & sanitize that junk.

I'd love more prayer to relieve the pain I've been experiencing the last 2 days. I think that always contributes to the mind games and since I've made this link, I'm going to try to figure out what to do if it happens again so the mind games don't happen & drain me worse than the pain already has.  This evening I've got pain on my left side, under my arm and I've never had pain there before. I'm not sure whether I pulled a muscle or if it is something else so I just commit it into God's hands & leave it there.

Today we got to celebrate our sweet Morgan who turns 7 years old tomorrow.  (Adam will be working late so today was the best day to celebrate this girl who deserves to be celebrated!!!)  She is a delight to have in our family...most of the time. haha  She reminds me so much of my baby sister Natalie that I laugh. Sometimes my laugh is out of frustration but in all sister Natalie has an ENORMOUS heart, she's trustworthy, reliable, great to work with, persistent, loves God, and so much more.  If Morgan turns out like her, she will be an awesome adult.  In the meantime, Adam & I have our work cut out with this one.  She is easily distracted, yet when you tell her she's going to get a consequence, she happens to know exactly what you've been asking her to do the last several times.  Amazing how that works.  When given a few things for her to do, she starts out great & gets distracted sometimes between task 1 and 2 but more often it's after the 2nd or 3rd task, even if they are simple.  Her sweet mind is always a buzz with other things she'd like to do or check out or think about.  It's always a challenge to get her to accomplish tasks.  She's got the cutest smile, the best hugs & kisses. Her heart is in the right place for just about everything.  She's just a sweet girl and Adam & I are thrilled that God blessed us with her 7 years ago.  We walked a different path when she was born.  Our plans to bring her home after just a short, normal hospital stay were changed & we walked the NICU path in Green Bay for nearly a month.  We are so thankful for her, she's simply a blessing and a miracle that God saw we needed to be a part of our family.  Thankful that path was fairly short even though it was filled with many ups & downs. At one point I wasn't sure whether she'd make it since she turned blue & needed some breathing assistance.  She's feisty & strong.  I think God made her just that way so she would fight to survive.  She is exactly how she needed to be & by no coincidence.  God knew what he was doing.  Now we just have to help mold her to what God is calling for her to do with her talents, gifts, & what she has a passion for.  He designed her special & for what, I'm not sure yet but we enjoy her!!!!

I told you this one was going to be long.  So to wrap up the prayer requests...
1. Ann Arbor appointment will go as God plans
2. For God to reveal to us the path he has for us & help us walk it
3. That the pain subsides or is under control
4. No matter what goes on, that the mind games will stop & not be a constant battle
5. Our minds will be filled and focused on God and His will
6. Complete healing despite what the doctors say or can offer with treatment.
7. I have been praying that God will bind the cancer from spreading & cause it to die & be removed from my body
8. That God will also heal the damage already done to my bones
9. And if it's his will, to allow me to grow to be an old lady, unless he sends Jesus to come for all who have asked him into our hearts.
10. Pray for hearts to be prepared for God's work to be done from seeds that have been planted.

If there is something you have need of prayer for and you are okay sharing, please leave a comment & I will pray for you. We have an amazing God who is BIGGER than anything we are going through. My aunt stopped by at just the perfect time yesterday and reminded me of that. She went out of her driving way to make a rather large circle because she felt that God was directing her over to see me.  I must say that I never expected it but I truly needed her hugs and prayers & words of encouragement.  God knew and he provided before I even knew.  He really is BIGGER than everything!  I urge you to seek him. If you are near Escanaba and need a church, please join us at New Life Assembly of God.  Services at 9am and 10:30 am.  We'd love to see you there!  Oh...2 of my kids will be in the UnGrinched play on Dec 15th so come watch. It's gonna be really cool & has a great message! More info at .

I think I covered everything for now.  I appreciate you sticking with me until this very end.  Feel free to share our blog with others. To add us to prayer lists. To share Gabby's school video with as many as you can.  As shy as she is, and if you know her, you'll know she's SUPER DUPER shy, she wants for as many people to hear the message she shared in her video as possibly can.  I can't remember if I shared what she had told me before this assignment (and frankly I don't want to lose this message nor do I have the time to go read my previous posts so I'll just share again).  She had asked me that if I had to go to heaven what would happen?  I answered her question with honesty as well as faith.  And then she asked me a really good question that was sort of unexpected.  She said, is it okay for me to pray for Jesus' second coming when he calls all the believers to heaven?  I told her yes, or course it is. In fact, people pray for this to happen all the time.  But then I said, if you want that to happen, you should do your part to share the gospel, share Jesus and what he has done for you & what he can do for others. Because God wants for everyone to have a chance to choose whether they ask Christ into their heart or not.  2 weeks later, she had a Language Arts assignment for sharing however she wanted, her favorite educational experience.  She picked the day she asked Jesus into her heart. And we made a video.  She later won a ticket to a football game because her presentation was one of the best out of nearly 200 kids in 6th grade at her school.  I close with her video again.  Please share this. If you are shy or don't know what to say, send people this video. It tells how to ask Jesus into one's heart.  My shy girl knows that I am promoting this video. And though she kinda feels weird about it, because she doesn't like being the center of attention, she is convicted in her heart to share the love of Jesus to as many people as possible and so I am promoting it again.