Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

Hope y'all had a good Christmas, we sure did!

Jon and I hate to wrap presents, we used every bag we could LOL

We have a tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve

a heated blanket for Sarah

Then Christmas morning.....




 yes Sarah got lots of clothes. 


Then we had finger foods to snack on during the day.  Some of our family came over. 

Everything was pretty healthy except for the "little smokies" which are a Christmas Tradition according to Steve :)  and shrimp jambalaya  

Selah got a special bunny from her biological sister, along with a letter and a picture.  That was probably the sweetest part of our Christmas this year.  We look forward to them meeting again in the future.  Selah also got some clothes and a new bed set.  She was very sleepy when we were doing presents so I didn't bother her with pictures. 
My husband's best present was that one of my friends took one of the white kittens/cats and one of our nurses took the other one!  So we are down to just three cats!  He is very happy about that!  He is attached to a cat Vermont that one of our nurses "gave' us LOL.  It was a pity take, LOL.  The nurse was tired of it so we said it could be an outdoor cat, but over the last couple of years, Vermont has gotten Jon to love her and she sleeps with us nightly.  Last night I was trying to move her and get the blanket wrapped around my feet (the way I like to sleep) and Jon told me not to bother Vermont!!!!!  WHAT???? 
 I'm enjoying our break, Steve is home for two more weeks and Shad and the little ones are off from school too.  There's nothing I love more than being with my kids.  And I sure love them all being home under our roof at night!   There's nothing better!

Well hope you all had a good Christmas and are having a relaxing time with your family too. 


Monday, December 21, 2015

Sorry it's been so long......

Thanks for all the messages of concern I've gotten from you guys!  I should have updated but I'm really dealing with all of this...

So the surgery is set for January 12.  It will be a lumpectomy.  If there is cancer, we will go back and do a mastectomy.  The surgeon was pretty blunt but she gave me some hope as the borders of the tumor are good and even and that usually means no cancer.  She considers it large.  However, due to the placement, no one can feel it!  SO GET YOUR MAMMAGRAMS!!!!!!!    The reason we are doing a lumpectomy is because this kind of tumor can turn into cancer at some point in life.  Who wants to deal with that?

And I've totally made up my mind about the mastectomy-if it's cancer, I'm not taking any chances.  In my opinion, it's best to know how you are going to handle a situation before hand if you can. 

A college friend went with me to the appointment, she has had the very same thing as me and used the same surgeon.  We actually laughed quite a bit, especially when my blood pressure was taken and it was 178/110.....  Yep, me who usually has such extremely low blood pressure.  My friend chose the same path as me, a lumpectomy and she was cancer free so I'm hoping I'll have the same outcome.

I'm still in shock, I can't believe this is happening to be honest.  At the same time, I'm still dealing with stomach pain and other problems.  And joy of joy it is time to see the thyroid doctor I feel like I'm going from one doctor to another. 

Thanks for your prayers and concern, it really means a lot to me. 


On a much lighter note, today is Sarah's 9th birthday!  I love my baby girl so much!

This is what I found when I walked in her room this morning!  She was in the toy box.  I had to take a picture before I rescued her. 


her on the swing today

And I just love this picture of her and Jon.  It melts me!
Sarah is an extraordinary child.  When I think of all she went through, living in such a dark place, in physical darkness, it takes my breath away.  Yet she is full of light and joy.  Some think she is like she is because she doesn't have the understanding to even remember the past.  I don't think that is true, I hear too much from other parents who have adopted children like her.  Somehow she held on to hope.  I don't know how she did it.  But I love her more than life itself.   She is a true Joy, she loves deeply.  I thank God for her. 
Nine years ago her birthday was filled with rejection, today it was filled with playtime outside, cuddles and ice cream.  We sat outside for hours today (yeah Florida!)  I'm thankful for my girl. 

Here is our Sunday Christmas pictures, they didn't do too good.

Selah was annoyed at waiting.  She turned her head away, you can see she is sitting straight up and is holding her head up on her own.  She has her spunk!

Then Sam was ready to EAT!  He was not pleased either!


Here they are all together......we are planning family pictures in the next week or so -hopefully they will turn out better. 

Shad dog sat for my friend and used his money to buy a new BB rifle and a real target.  He's had a lot of fun with it and does great with hitting the target.   The boy is southern through and through.  (don't worry he doesn't aim at animals or people)

a picture of our first fake tree and first in our own house tree we've had since Sam started walking!  Everyone including the cats and have done good with it ( before we put up a tree in the church and used our own ornaments) 

You can see a couple of the cats under it

This picture was taken the Sunday after Thanksgiving, after a great week we had to take Steve back to college to face finals.  We weren't going to see him for two weeks so I was sad.  He did great on finals, he got all A's & B's in his classes.  Pretty good!

the little people were sleepy

Well I've caught y'all up on our life.  I appreciate your thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks.  I wish I could just run away and not deal with any of this but I have to face it and get it over with. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Jesus We're Depending on You

Today I'm just having a hard time wrapping my mind around what is ahead for me.  Believe me I realize more folks have much more harder things they are dealing with.  But I'm just crying out from my heart that I just do not want to go through anything else!  I feel like the past three years have been the absolute hardest of my life.  God's still been good, He's still been faithful but I'm only human and I feel like I'm just hanging on by my toe nails at this point.  I feel so alone and I feel like the future is so unknown. 

I have appointments set with two different surgeons set- one for next week and one for the following Monday.  At the least, I'm looking at a lumpectomy- which I want to be safe- but I realize it will affect me and make it hard for me to care for the kids for awhile.  If I have to have anything else done, it will obviously make more of a difference in how I will be able to care for the kids.  After I got the final report from the radiologist, surgical removal was recommended, which is what I want but seeing it in black and white is a little unnerving.  At least I will not have a fight with our insurance. 

Sam and Sarah are dependent on us for total care.  Sarah doesn't walk, except a little with us holding her hands and helping her, a lot!  Sam walks but still needs a lot of help, he can't get into our van without help for example.  Thankfully our nurses care for Selah, who also needs total care.  Everything we do, we have to think about how it will affect the three little ones. 

Yesterday I got all my paperwork done for the year for the church.  I also got all my personal paperwork done for various things.  I even got all of my husband's ironing done LOL- that's how to tell if I'm totally stressed- I'm a weirdo- I IRON!!!  I'm trying to get things done ahead of time in case I can't do things for awhile.

So the only thing that is helping me at this point is focusing on eternity (and ironing)  I absolutely love Van Buren Assembly of God- You tube channel VBFATV.  I just let song after song play.  It's funny, when Selah was in the hospital I was ministered to by their videos so many nights, sitting in her hospital room.  Once we got home, we had horrible internet so I didn't listen to them often.  But now with FIOS (which I'm so thankful for) I can listen to them all the time.  They focus on songs about eternity and heaven.  Now I'm not saying I'm dying- but focusing on eternity helps me to put into context my life and it's problems. 

It's funny but when you can focus on eternity, it doesn't matter so much about what you are going through.  You begin to realize that life is so short and eternity is so long..... "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" 

Whatever is our light's just for a moment- in the light of eternity. 

So while I'm worrying about the physical things that are ahead, the financial scare me too!  We have good insurance but we've been paying out a lot lately.  It used to be with our insurance, that once the family deductible was hit, the insurance paid at 100%.  Now we have an individual deductible...THEN the insurance still only pays 80%....  the little kids have a secondary state insurance and that usually pays the family insurance co-pays so that's why I hadn't noticed the change in policy.  Lovely.....and at the holidays. 

But God is always faithful.  He'd always taken care of us and helped us to meet bills, make payments or sometimes, it's just been wiped out.  So I have to stop trying to think my way through this.  Whenever I've have tried to figure out things financially, I've freaked out LOL.  But when I learn to just depend on God, it all works out.  BUT even after all the financial miracles we've seen, all the miracles of provision, I'm still a worry wart!  I totally get all the Old Testament stories about the children of Israel, they'd see God do a miracle and then they'd turn around and doubt Him at the next sign of trouble!  Yep- I totally understand them!  It's human nature.  But God is above all of that!

I love this song
Jesus we're depending on you!

When our faith tried by fire
we still know that It's true
The devil's a liar
there's not much he can do
And tho he tries hard to stop us
 we know You'll see us through
Jesus we're depending on you

Jesus, we're depending on you
Jesus, we're depending on you
Jesus, we're depending on you
Depending on you to see us through (repeat)

We came to the water
Didn't know what to do
There was no one to help us
Couldn't see our way through
Then the Lord moved the water
And we walked right on through
Oh Jesus we're depending on you

Love this song and the message of this song!  Listen to it. 

Whatever we are all going through, it's just a light affliction in the light of eternity.... this is what I have to remember also.  Thanks for all your emails and prayers!

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Sorry I've been so quiet.  I've had some big things going on and I wasn't quite ready to share about it. 

Early last week I had a mammogram.  It was just a regular exam, I had no real concern about it.  I was more concerned about the colonoscopy that I was having on Friday.   Well right before I went in for the colonoscopy I picked up the results from the mammogram..... they found three masses.  So I was doing my best to hold it together for the other procedure.  I got through that, everything was fine....for the most part.  Still some things that are inconclusive but nothing major. 

After reading and rereading the results and looking it up on line, I was pretty confident that it was nothing major.....probably just dense tissue since I'm 50 now.  So I had an ultrasound done the day before Thanksgiving....  I knew when the tech asked me to step to another room to talk to the doctor, that there was a problem. 

I was put in a room with two other ladies who had already spoke with the doctor and were in shock.  We just all were looking at each other like we could not believe we were there the day before Thanksgiving......

When they called me in, I have to admit my legs were shaking a little bit when I stood up!  The doctor told me that I have an Intraductal Papilloma tumor.  It is usually benign & she is 95% sure that this one is.  However it's in the same family as colon polyps & can become malignant in time. 

Monday I have an appointment with my doctor and my plan is to have it removed ASAP!  I don't care if it is benign, I want it OUT!  This is not something I want to have remaining in my body.  So I'm hoping he will send me to a very aggressive surgeon and we will get this done.  If it is malignant, which I doubt it is, I'm planning on having the whole breast removed.  The small tumor is far from the chest wall, so that makes me feel better.

So it's been an unreal week- I feel a bit detached but I'm ok.  It feels like I'm gearing up to deal with this.

I just want to encourage you do NOT put off procedures!  I did not realize it but it had been almost 2 years since my last mammogram!  This tumor is so little, that even knowing right where it is, I can not find it. I would have had no reason to go in, if I hadn't realized I was behind on the schedule.   Don't take any chances with your health.   Actually after I got that news, I had another appointment to have a pelvic ultrasound done.  Everything is fine.  My doctors are just trying to rule out everything because of the pain I've been having.  But Wednesday was not a fun day for me. 

Honestly I feel like everything will be fine.  The doctor was reassuring and everything I read was reassuring too.  Still thoughts go through my mind like what if the doctor is wrong and it is something more serious?  So please keep me in your prayers!!!!

We are never early for church anymore since we live a distance away but we somehow made it last week so we had times for some pictures. 
Sarah and Sam last Sunday.  Sarah doesn't like to sit by Sam, he likes to pinch her

Daddy and Selah

 yes he loves me

Princess Sarah

Where's Sam???

 Shad and his 'kittens"
 Pictures from my walk near our house.

Our only Thanksgiving picture!
Jon gutting the turkey!  LOL- that is something I can not do!

 a few weeks ago we had "dinner on the grounds" and we dressed causal.  Sarah and I did our Ukraine shirts.
Sarah can sit and swing herself on a regular swing now. 

 Sam can too, he's just chilling with his big cup of water:)

Well hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving we did with our family here.  Steve has been home all week from college and I love that!   Two more weeks and he's home for Christmas break for a month!!!!!  It's great to have all my babies under our roof!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Long Week

It's been a long week.  Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, cards, flowers and food.

We had Jon's dad's viewing Monday night.  So many people came by to support our family.  We saw some old friends we've not seen in years.  It was so good to see them again.  Of course it was good for our family to get together.  Times like that, draw people together. 

After the viewing, the family came over to our house for a supper that was provided by our church.  It was a good time to get together and enjoy each other's company.

Sam and Sarah handled the viewing without getting stressed.  I was really proud of them. 

Tuesday was the funeral.  Of course things had gone too smooth on Monday so Tuesday was more stressful.  I realized that Jon did not have a good white shirt since I'd gone through all his stuff when we moved.  Most of the ones  he has, are colored shirts.  Then Selah's black shoes didn't fit, so I had to run off to the store.  It was funny, because I just threw on a tshirt and shorts but my make up and hair was done, I'm sure I looked odd:)  Thanks to Beal's I found just what I needed AND for the FIRST time I got my Senior Citizen's discount! 

I rushed back and had to iron clothes....I had to use the "magic hem" stuff on Sam's pants.  I love it, just turn the pants inside out, and instead of hemming the pants, just put the strips on the inside of the pants and iron it. 

Luckily we still made it to the funeral home  and early even thought we had to drop off Selah and her nurse at the church.   Based on time frames, the burial was done first, privately for the family only.  At first I thought that was really odd, and it was different but it was more intimate.  While we were still at the funeral home, I had a private moment with Papa and I told him "thank you" one more time- he raised a good man, that I'm lucky enough to be married to. 

Then we went to the church for the service, Selah and her nurse were able to wait in the family parlor until we returned from the cemetery.  Of course nothing goes smoothly and Selah had to be suctioned as the rest of the family was filing into the church by a side door.  So we got in a little later, when we got to the side door it was locked, I was a bit worried but my husband heard us and we were able to get in. 

My husband shared a short sermon, he called it "My father's hands".  It was really beautiful.  He talked about holding his dad's hand as he stepped into eternity.  Then he shared how his father had guided, helped and even disciplined him and his brothers with his hands.  Some parts of it, were quite funny. 

Sam and Sarah did really good in the service.  I was nervous.  They are used to church, but our church is not very formal.  I did have to restrain Sarah, she is used to twirling on the floor during music.  She was not happy with me because I made her sit in my lap instead of twirling on the floor. 

Other than Jon's part of the service, it was not very emotional.  However as we sang the last song and the last prayer was prayed, it hit me anew that Papa was gone...   So I pick that moment to fall apart....   The family was led out, but of course again things had to get a little crazy....  Sam had a hard time walking between the pew to the end, then when he got to the end of the pew, he was afraid to step out in the aisle, I think he was afraid it was a step down that he couldn't see.  So he was holding back, at the same time, Selah's head fell forward in her chair and was resisting us trying to move it.  So me, Sam, our nurse and Selah were at the front of the church, having issues, everyone was looking forward and I was trying to control my tears.... Oh my.... only us.....  I was so embarrassed but there was nothing I could do about it! ( I wasn't embarrassed of my kids, just of being in front of everyone and of myself falling apart.)  Anyhow we survived. 

This past week was more stressful and emotional than I thought it would be.  Papa had Alzheimer's so it had been a long goodbye.  We'd known for over a month that the end was very near, but honestly I don't think you are ever ready to let someone go.

Looking through old pictures and sharing memories make me sad for days and people who are gone.  We did a lot of that.  And even though it was Jon's family, so many of the family that I got to know when Jon and I first married, have passed away. Looking at their younger pictures just makes me sad.  Time passes so quickly.  Everyone was so young just a few years ago and now they are gone..... makes you value the time you have on this earth with your family. 


Jon and his brothers and daddy

Jon and his brothers

the boys and their Mom

Jon and his little brother Jim.  Jon is on the left, doesn't he look like Sam?
this was taken at the funeral home, I love how Sarah was loving on her daddy.

Just wanted to share how much Selah is enjoying her TV


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Marty Lyons Foundation

Yesterday the  Marty Lyons Foundation blessed Selah with an incredible gift.  They gave her a tv, that can be right over her bed via an arm.  The tv is an amazing one, it took about as long to set up as having the arm put on the wall.  It's hooked to the internet so she can get all kinds of kids channels

We could tell Selah liked it immediately.  She turned to it and watched it for a long time.  We could watch her eyes and tell that she was actively engaged in watching and following the screen. 

Marty Lyons' brother Richard came and installed the tv.  It was nice to meet him too
They also gave her a bath sling for her Hoyer lift, that's a huge help for the nurses when they give her showers because it is mesh and can get wet and will dry quickly. 
we were asked by Jon's office what kind of donation they could make to a good cause in honor of his daddy and we thought of the Marty Lyons Foundation for all they do for children who are struggling with health problems.  Papa cared for children and had much compassion so we've asked them to send any donations to the Marty Lyons Foundation. 
this is their home page and it tells some more about them.
(also they had help from Tampa Family Handyman -Bob Stache   Nice guy if you need a handyman in our area 813 527 3656)
Years ago they enabled Sam to be able to have Dolphin therapy.  That was an amazing experience and we actually learned some therapy techniques that we still use with him that week in therapy. 
they let the other boys swim with the dolphins also.
Sam had 3 hours of therapy each morning



we also went to Key West while we were down in the Keys

we love to snorkle

this is one of my all time fav family pictures
Thought you'd like these old pictures, all the way from 2007 :) 
The Marty Lyons Foundation has been a big blessing to our family.  We sincerely thank them for this gift to Selah!!!!!