Friday, September 19, 2014

Meet the Teacher

Laura Cate was so nervous going to meet the teachers, but as soon as she stepped into the classroom her fears were relieved! I am so thankful the kindergartners were able to go a day early, drop off their supplies, find their desk, and get acquainted with everything before the big day!

Laura Cate outside her classroom door.

Mrs. Handy and Mrs. Riggs welcoming Laura Cate. They are the best! 

We are off to a GREAT year! 


Laura Cate has been waiting for a year to attend AWANAs with Cameron and her chance has finally come. I am hoping that it lives up to her expectations and I am praying even more that God would use this Bible club in her life in mighty ways  and that He would be hiding His Word in her heart. It doesn't take much for her to get excited about anything that 1) Cameron is doing 2) includes other kids. She was one excited kid when I reminded her after school that today was the first day. Precious.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Easter 2014

It was a beautiful spring day here in Orlando. We started celebrating Easter early by attending the annual Lake Hart Easter Egg Hunt at Cru Headquarters a few weeks before Easter.  It was really all you ask skies, green grass you can walk on...I'm still enjoying that blessing, and lots and lots of kids and baskets. I am thankful it was quite organized so the big kids weren't trampling the little ones.  They had a great time and we all enjoyed a picnic afterwards. What a joy to celebrate our risen Savior!

Laura Cate and Eva filling up their baskets

Cameron and Laura Cate helped make cupcakes

Here is Laura Cate's preschool class. The school had an Easter bonnet parade...they all decorated their own hats and the entire school had a was quite cute.

William of course joined in the fun to celebrate Easter!
I wish I had written more at the time, but I am thankful that I can daily, minute by minute, live in the grace of our Lord and not the guilt of what I haven't done.  "It is finished," are powerful and life-giving words.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

White Christmas

Merry Christmas from Anchorage, Alaska!!

We had an amazing Christmas with our family.  For the first time in 10, yes, 10 years, my family (my parents, and my brother and his family) spent Christmas together.  We could not have gone to a more extreme climate...leaving Orlando at 75 degrees on December 21 and arriving in Anchorage, Alaska at about 10 degrees. It was amazing!! We were so excited to celebrate Christmas together again.  We had a VERY white Christmas.  Lots and lots of snow and lots and lots of fun memory-making time together.

We arrived Saturday night and were up bright and early Sunday morning and then enjoyed the afternoon playing in the snow. It was beautiful! Steve and Karen worked hard before we arrived gathering plenty of winter clothes, mittens, bibs, and hats, and jackets.  We are so thankful for all of the layers because we loved playing outside!

Monday we went on a drive to Alyeska, which is a ski resort. We took a tram up to the top and played there. It was a spectacular drive and view.

For our Christmas gift Steve and Karen took us and the kids skiing. IT WAS AMAZING! I think the kids thought it was harder than they expected but we they had a great time falling and skiing!
Tuesday (Christmas Eve) we decorated Christmas cookies with Grandma! She was wise to make the dough ahead and then the kids could focus on decorating (and eating decorations!) It was fun seeing the big cousins help the little ones.

 We proceeded to get ready to go to their Christmas Eve church service and all piled into two cars, but one of the car batteries died, so we stayed home and had an impromptu Duffy Christmas service with my niece, Georgia, playing the piano, as we sang, then all the kids (we had plenty) acted out the Christmas Story.  Cameron played Joseph, Georgia was Mary, Anna was baby Jesus, Laura Cate was an angel, Gabriel was a sheep and a donkey.  It was delightful as the snow was falling and we were toasty warm inside. Then Karen read the book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and we opened presents from Grandma and Granddad. Sweet memories.


we just love our youngest niece, Anna!
Uncle Steve leading us in hymns!

Most of the cousins (except Timothy and Sean)
Gabriel, Georgia, Anna, Cameron, William, and Laura Cate
I don't think they were ever all in the same place!

On Christmas day the kids were awake by 6:30 and came down to open stockings and then we all rolled out and Grandma and Granddad arrived to open gifts.  We enjoyed Christmas dinner together and Laura Cate and Timothy had the best time playing hide-and-go-seek with flashlights.  Georgia willingly made forts and played with the little ones.  Cameron, Sean, and Gabriel played either LEGOs or board games non-stop.

                                                   Cameron (8), Sean (11), and Gabriel (6)
                                    a game of Chess with some competitive boys - watch out!
One of the only things my parents wanted to do (besides being with their kids and grandkids) was to go Mushing - which is sled dogging.  Alan went with them and they braved the weather (the coldest day so far for us at -4). But I think they had a great time. I enjoyed being home with the kids :).

Alan bundled up

Grandma and Granddad bundled up
Dogs ready to go!
The next day all of us went out (except poor Alan had a migraine) and we went ice fishing! Our kids had a blast watching the dads drill holes, set up tents, and fish. IT WAS COLD!!! But our fruit of the labor was yummy fish (and some hot dogs on the grill!).  My phone quickly died because it was soooo cold, so I didn't get any pictures in time. 
We are incredibly thankful for such a wonderful Christmas together.  Hopefully it will not be another 10 years!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Healing? And hopefully more to come

I often write about something that happened months ago and I'm ok with that, but yesterday and today seem too heavy to wait. Alan has not gotten any better with his migraines, except for last week he only had one (!), but we don't know if that was an anomaly or a new reality, because he had one yesterday. He's also had major nausea from his preventatives which we don't want to get off of, but he has felt pretty miserable recently...headaches nonstop without the ability to take anything and nausea all day everyday...I told him it was like morning sickness when you are pregnant :)

So, yesterday, a friend of ours,who suffers from chronic back pain, had a supporter recommend a pastor about an hour away who has the power of healing. We thought we didn't have anything to lose, so Alan went with his friend. After lots of prayer, lots of oil, and several hours later, he was home. He woke up today for the first time in a very long time without a headache.  Praise The Lord!

We needed that today especially because I ended up at the doctors because I had a little rash, which turned out to be SHINGLES!!! I could not believe it. My doctor ( whom I'd never met before) asked me if I'd been stressed recently??....I just cried. Oh my goodness.

I am so thankful for a compassionate doctor, for good medicine, that we caught it early, and for an amazing husband who understands pain and suffering and can enter in that with me. I am thankful for the small glimpses and experiences we have  to enter into suffering and pain like Christ, who willingly chose to suffer and die for you and for me.

I was reading Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted among the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress. "

I pray God will be exalted in our pain. We do need more healing, however The Lord wants to do it.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Update on Alan

This is about a week and a half delayed, but it here it is!

 After a very long day flying to and from Philadelphia and ending his doctors appointment and traveling home while enduring a migraine, Alan made it back home around midnight two Thursdays ago.  His doctor was not surprised  his preventatives had not worked much, so they doubled his dosage and might double it again if it still ceases to work.  He is a good candidate for Cephaly.. which is a new kind of headband to treat migraines, just FDA approved, and a good candidate for Enzyme Therapy, not FDA approved and would require driving several hours each way 1-2 times/month.

Alan was recently diagnosed with a possible gluten intolerance which may be his body's way of reacting to being out of balance and really just out of whack for so long...

Although at times it is tiring to continue add to a list of  ailments, we are also very grateful to have a doctor who can pinpoint some problems and help us rule things out or focus on healing in certain areas.

We are grateful God is with us every step of the way, as we trust in his mercy and care each day. Alan began his week today with a migraine, but tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Post Philly Update

Alan was in Philadelphia at a headache clinic almost a month ago. We are so thankful for so many prayers and support on this long journey to healing his chronic migraines. He continues to have migraine several times a week and regular headaches almost daily, along with nausea from his medicine He goes back to Philadelphia next Thursday for a check up. He has been allowed to up some of his preventatives. Meanwhile, he has also seen a homeopathic doctor who diagnosed him with several things: gene mutation that causes heavy metals poisoning, treated with supplements, and biotoxin issues caused by mold, yeast or Lymes. He thinks Alan can be healed by November, but most of the supplements recommended Alan can not take ( his body does not respond to them).  We know that the Lord can bring healing, but with all of the ups and downs of hope and disappointment in doctors and medicine, we are choosing to continue to trust in Him for strength and mercy to get through each day and take life one day at a time. "I lift my eyes up to the hill, from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2.