Thursday, July 31, 2008

Never Ever

Last week when we had Dan's eye doctor appt we only had to take Elijah. Madelyn stayed with a friend. We arrive settle into our seats. Elijah opens his little computer, gets comfortable kneeling on the floor and says, "I am never ever taking my shoes off again." He just kept playing. I was just thankful that he had sandals on so his toes would have room to grow :o)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Life Changing Books

I love books that stick with you, that make you want to better yourself. I just read 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. What a bittersweet story of suffering and grace. I always look forward to heaven, but now I do even more. How great to think of no suffering, no sorrow, or tears, just heavenly wonder and peace unimagineable to us while here on earth.

Another book that was life changing for me was Mimosa by Amy Carmichael. Mimosa lived an incredible life under extremely hard circumstances. I can't even put into words her story. It's just amazing, and leaves me with no excuse to not persevere through hard times.

I love God so much, and I am so grateful that He does not give up on me. I also love that He has provided so many people with such great testimonies of His grace at work in their lives. Mimosa lived so long ago and her story is still touching people's lives. She was just a woman living in India who I am sure had no idea how God planned to use her.

We don't always know why God allows certain things to happen to us, but He may be able to use us to minister to others for years to come just as He has used Mimosa and Don Piper.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I admire people's transparency. I should probably be a little more transparent with things. I had a professor tell me I should speak up more because I have a story I can share with people and experiences that many could learn from. I appreciated him telling me that, but I can't say it's made me speak up more in class.

I went through a lot this past year and have only told a handful of people the horrid details of it all. I did realize that there are many others who struggle with what I went through. It was quite eye-opening and completely humbling. Praise God though. He is good.


We had a fantabulous time this past weekend. Vern (Dan's brother) and Pam (Vern's wife) came to visit us. It was so great. They are so great, and the kids had a blast. Jennifer (Dan's cousin) came on Saturday too. She's so fun, and I look forward to seeing her more. She lives in Harrisburg now and she offered to come and babysit. Boy is she going to regret that ;)

This summer has been fun, even amidst all the trials with Dan's health. Susan and Josh came to visit, along with Vern and Lois. Shannon and her kids, along with my mom, were here for a bit. Nick spent about a week here too. Good times all around.

Along with those fun times came Dan getting really sick, pneumonia-like sickness, for about two weeks. We had a couple appts at Georgetown and after the last one he spent two days in the hospital getting IVIg treatments. So far so good on the vision front. No episodes as of late. Praise God! We go tomorrow for another appt and prayerfully there will no new activity in his eyes.

The kids continue to grow and it's so fun to see their little minds develope. It's interesting having Madelyn home all day again too. I love it, but she needs a bit more to do. So, it's been somewhat of a transition for us. She and Elijah just love each other so much though. It's so cute to see them hug in the morning when they wake up. They are both so sweet (and that's a completely unbiased opinion ;).

So, this is just a little post to sum up what our summer has been all about so far.

God Speaks To Me

It's true. I can't describe it, and I'm not saying that it's a simple thing. But, He does and I am grateful for His clear voice. I thought I was to do something today. I had it all planned out, was about to do it and God told me not to. I don't understand why, but I am supposed to wait. I'm not sure what will happen as a result. I may never know, but I am grateful for His voice. I just wish I listened more closely at times :P

He is a wonderful, merciful God. I give Him praise even from the depths of heartache. If not for His grace, I shudder at the thought of where I might be.

Praise Him with me this day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So Proud

I am so proud of my kiddos. They both did so great at swimming lessons tonight. This after many many tears today because Madelyn didn't want to go. She didn't know the kids, the teacher, etc. She is just not comfortable in new situations. But, as soon as Elijah said he was going to go swimming she said she would! That was at dinner. There was nothing but excitement as we were leaving. Madelyn was even going under water during the lesson! They were so cute kicking their way across the pool :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Playing Dan and Kate

The other day I heard Elijah say to Madelyn, "Let's play I'm Dan and you are Kate!" Then he giggled and said, "I said 'Let's play I'm Dan and you are Kate.'" :) Maybe they need more toys :P

Joy in the Midst of Trial

So, Dan went to his appt yesterday to see Dr. Brown. We got good news too. The pressure is down in his eyes and there is no new vision loss. Praise God!

We never know what each day will bring concerning his eyes so we especially are grateful for good days like these.

We waited about 3 hours for this good news, but it was worth the wait. Dr. Brown is a wonderful compassionate man and we thank God for him. He almost died not too long ago from a kidney disease, was paralyzed for a year, had a transplant and is now better. To see him you would NEVER know he has been through so much! And to think he has been able to keep living to continue helping so many people. I pray that God will keep him healthy because he is just so wonderful.

So, we are waiting in the waiting room, and naturally some conversation starts about how long the wait is, etc. Well, through that conversation it turns out there is a family there from none other than DuBois, PA. Their faces were hilarious when I told them I knew where that was because Dan was born there. It was classic! Of course, the conversation went from there and when Dan came back and joined in it was fun to hear the people they knew who he knew, etc. Their two oldest boys went to First Baptist Academy too. Kay Spencer is the husband's cousin. The husband's name is Byron Thomas. The son is Bob Thomas, and I hate to say it, but I can't remember the wife's name which is so sad because she was such a nice woman. I'll find out though. I have the son's e-mail address.

Meanwhile, this family has quite a story. The son, Bob is blind now. They have a rare genetic disease. The mom is blind in her right eye and has trouble walking. The disease causes tumors to grow in the brain and on the spine. By the time they found hers they could not operate. She has 4 out of 7 siblings who were diagnosed with it as well, and 3 of them have already died. It basically takes over your organs eventually. Ugh. It's just so heartbreaking. She already had her 3 kids before she found out she was a carrier of the gene. They believe Dr. Brown is the reason the son was able to keep his vision for the ten years after they diagnosed him. That's why they are willing to drive 5 hours every month or so to see him. When Bob lost the last bit of vision Dr. Brown cried with him. He had tried everything he could to save it.

That's why we love him too. He has been that way with Dan. We know he is doing all he can in his power to help save Dan's vision. When Dan was so sick recently he checked in just to see how Dan was doing and wanted to make sure our other doctors were taking care of him. Dr. Brown is on a lot of the same meds as Dan so he gets how sick you can get while on these meds.

So, for all you prayer warriors who check this site, lift some up for this family. To talk to them you would never know how deep their hurts are. They are so friendly and happy. Bob, the son, is actually a pastor. He is 23 and is the assistant pastor at a church near DuBois. He is also going to be helping another church in Curwensville. He is an evangelist and goes to many places sharing his story and preaching. What a testimony for this young man to have gone blind at 18, yet still continue his education and share the Word of God. That is the God we serve! The One in whom we can find joy through all of our trials.

I felt so blessed to have met this family. I have Bob's flyer with his info on it so we will probably be in touch with them.

So, hug your family today and thank God for the health He has blessed us with.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


When I get overwhelmed with life I get the urge to purge! What is that all about? I am getting ready to grab a trash bag, head down to the basement and throw a ton of things away! I just put the kids to bed so they won't know that I am getting rid of a TON of little toys that don't really get played with. They just get thrown on the floor.

The thing is that I have been waiting to do this all day. I couldn't wait to go down there and get rid of things.

I also have moving on my mind. I found a townhouse for sale in our neighborhood that I want. It is so cute and really well put together. It's an end unit so it has a little yard and patio. So, not only am I purging, but I also have moving in mind. So, it's going to be the type of purging where I think, "If I were to move into a smaller space, would I take this?" Oh, my poor children. They have no idea what their old toys are facing. Yikes. Many times when I get into purging modes I put the toys in our storage room and wait to completely get rid of them just in case I later change my mind. I should probably do that tonight.

Things are stressful right now. Dan keeps losing more bits of vision in his right eye. He just got out of the hospital after receiving IVIg treatment that is supposed to help with Susac's Syndrome that he was just diagnosed with. They also changed up his meds. So, he gets home and then feels as though he's losing vision. Oy. Just when you think you might catch a break.

God keeps teaching us and stretching us. I just keep looking upward, trying to keep up with each day ... one day at a time.

Now off to purge ...

Oh, I should probably say that we are not planning on moving. Moving into a townhouse from our single family home would be a huge move. I just wouldn't mind a lot less yard to take care of. The biggest adjustment to the townhouse would be much smaller bedrooms for the kids. We'll see. I'm kind of praying that it just sells so I can stop thinking about it :P But, (one last thing) I took the kids tonight to get happy meals at McDonalds and there is a sign on the road that says "Home for Sale 508 Pine Street." That's the house I've been looking at!! Why is there a random sign in a random yard like that? It was one of those signs that you would see outside a church with those crazy sayings on them that are supposed to get you to church.

Okay, now I'm really going down to purge.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Charlie ... and Elijah

Elijah does a perfect impression of this kid. It is so funny! If I ever get it on video I will try to post Elijah saying, "Charlie! ..." along with this video ...

I Hate Goodbyes

I always have and always will. It's only gotten harder since we have had kids too because they don't like saying goodbye either. We said goodbye to Dan's parents on Monday. I said goodbye to Dan at the hospital yesterday, which hospital goodbyes are by far the worst kind. Then this morning we said goodbye to Susan and Josh.

It was great having Susan and Josh here and not just because they took us out to dinner last night, watched our kids all day yesterday, and mowed our grass! They are just easy company. We all just settled in like they were going to be here forever so it was quite a bummer when they left this morning. Our kids just love them. It is so heartwarming to see your children so happy with their aunt and uncle.

So, now it's back to life. I'm sure I have bills to pay. I know I have laundry to do, and vacuuming, and grocery shopping. But, here I sit sipping my coffee, missing my hubby, and wondering when I will get sleep again.

Speaking of sleep, we don't get very much of it when Susan and Josh are here. I was coloring Susan's hair at 11 pm last night :P It does look great though and it was fun to play hairdresser for a night. I even took pictures :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Trouble Monkey

Elijah and Madelyn were playing yesterday morning. I mean running and wrestling and giggling like crazy kind of playing. It's so fun to hear even though I was just waiting for one of them to crack their head or something and start crying. It never happened though so that was good. Granddad was the one in charge too so I was good in just letting them do their thing and not interrupt.

Well, it's funny because later I heard that at one point Elijah ran down the hall to the office and Madelyn said to Granddad, "Now where did that little trouble maker go?" Elijah comes running out of the office saying, "I'm not a trouble monkey!"