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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Day of the Year!

It is hard to believe that TOMORROW begins a new year!  2015

It is hard to believe it has been 15 years since all the hype about the disasters Y2K would cause at the stroke of midnight, January 1, 2000! 

It is hard to believe we have been in NC more than 6 years already!

It is hard to believe we have NINE grandchildren, the oldest being a teenager already!

TIME just keeps on ticking by, doesn't it?  One of these days, time as we know it will end!  And ETERNITY will begin!  The older I get, the more I am looking forward to that time!

We make preparations for all sorts of things in our lives, the part that is controlled by TIME.
I pray each and everyone of you will/have prepared for ETERNITY!
If you have not, I pray that will be your first PRIORITY for 2015!
The bad news is that we are ALL sinners; we've ALL done bad things that have broken God's law. 
More bad news - because we have broken God's law, we are ALL gonna die and spend ETERNITY in hell.
The good news is that we don't have to!  That is why Jesus came from heaven to earth.  God became a man so He could be a part of mankind so He could die in our place.  He had no sins to pay for on the cross.  He was dying for you and me!  If you can put your faith and trust in this, He will make a place for you in HIS eternal home!  I pray 2015 is a NEW BEGINNING for you!
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish (in hell) but have everlasting life (in heaven with Him).  John 3:16


You saw this picture yesterday.  I took it to Walmart and had three 8x10's printed.  One for myself and one for Tim's parents that we will be visiting.  I must say it printed out BEAUTIFULLY!!!  Good job on the picture, Liz!

Journal Me This by Cindy Ritter Designs at Plain Digital Wrapper

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

How time flies!  It has been more than 6 months since I have posted anything here!  Shame, for shame!  :D  I will try to do better in 2015, but no promises!

I have gone from scrapbooking to beading to crocheting/knitting to sewing this year in my crafting.  And I'm finally back to the scrapbooking!  All of my grandbabies are growing up!  And, I'm thinking Araya Lynn Jones, born October 27th, will be the last grandbaby for us.  She is number 9 and that makes 5 girls and 4 boys.  We love them all dearly, too!

Since I've been out of scrapbooking for almost a year, I decided to start back up with my first layout being of Araya.

Peppermint Kisses kit by Cindy Ritter Designs at Plain Digital Wrapper

Jessica took her for her 2-month doctor visit.  She weighs 13 lb. 12 oz. and is 24.5" long!  She is going to be a TALL girl!  :D  She is so sweet!  She is sleeping most of the night (6-7 hours) and wakes in such a pleasant mood!  She does her best "talking and cooing" with you at this time!  :D

In other news, the family was in this past weekend to celebrate our Christmas together.  Unfortunately, Cheryl and Adalina got the flu, with Nat feeling like it was coming on, so they could not come.  I was so sad they had to miss out on our gathering!  Adalina was admitted to the hospital, but is home and doing much better now.

Here is a GREAT family picture that Liz captured on her camera.  We took the group outside this year.  The photo turned out FANTASTIC!!

What a good looking group!  :D  Well, I just MIGHT be a bit prejudiced!  :D  Doesn't Tim look great?!

Speaking of Tim, he will be getting more scans to see how the cancer is doing.  There are a couple of spots that just are not going away and there is another lump that the doctor wouldn't say was cancer until he sees the scans.  And, the uveitus in his eyes is much better!  He still has bouts of diarrhea from time to time.  He doesn't sleep well, but generally takes a nap in the afternoon to help with his tiredness.  He is able to keep up with his pastoral duties and studies, to which I am so thankful!  I would love to hear those words, "cancer free" in the year 2015!  Continue to pray with us towards that end!  But, if not, we will keep on keeping on!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Welcome to North Carolina, Elisabeth and family!

Yes, our daughter, Elisabeth and her husband, Brad along with their 3 children, Hannah, Ryan and Abby, not to mention their 4 fur babies (2 dogs, Sammy and Patch and 2 guinea pigs, Lightning and Butterscotch???) are moving to North Carolina!  Brad's job brought them here, to which I am so very thankful!  I'm sure some people think we had something to do with their move, but it absolutely was all the Lord!  But, we will graciously accept the move being to our favor!  :D  But, I also feel sad for the family that was left behind.  And I can honestly say that because I do know the feeling!

And I know Liz is sad about leaving the home she has known since 1997 in Buffalo.  But, I also know that the Lord only has great things in store for her and her precious family!  And, it doesn't include them attending our church after they finally get moved into their house.  And, as much as we would LOVE to have them be a part of our congregation, it wouldn't be for our best or theirs if the Lord was not in it!  We want them to follow the Lord wherever He may take them!  Now if we could just get Him to work on the rest of the family!  :D

Since they are waiting on finality for their house they are in contract for, Liz and the kids (those without fur and those with fur) are staying here with us in the parsonage.  So, it will be a busy summer with lots of adjustments for everyone.  But, we will do just fine!  So, with that introduction, let's take a look at what we have been up to...................

Last Thursday, June 12th, we went to Bedford, VA to tour the D Day Memorial.  On our way home, we went to 7 or 8 Goodwill stores that Tim had mapped out.  We left at 8 a.m. and got back home at 8 p.m.  Had a great day!







Working on VBS crafts.

Playing in the pool trying to keep cool!  The water was like hot bath water!  When we fill it up the next time, we need to find a more level spot so the water doesn't run more to one side than the other!  :D  Hannah is in the "deep" end!

 3 of the 4 fur babies.....and Liz.

Patch.....she certainly is more calm than Sammy............

Sammy trying to get the gnats to leave her alone!

Being silly!

Hannah working on my hair.

Mom's turn!

Not sure what to think about our new "do's!"  :D

Abby was excited to be playing in paint!

Ryan working on his masterpiece!
 Hannah's masterpiece!

 A new set of earrings.

Working on a matching necklace.

Working on a bracelet that matches her shirt.

A picture of the storm clouds moving into the area.  We heard the thunder and Hannah saw lightning, but I don't think we got any of the rain!
So, there is the start of a busy summer.  Tomorrow we are going to the $ theatre for the $1 summer special and see the Lego movie.  The kids will probably play in the pool again in the afternoon.  Have a great day!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Praise Him! Praise Him!

I have some fantastic news and photos for you!  And I want to show you how God is answering prayer on Tim's behalf in healing his cancer.

As I said in my last post, we started seeing results from the Treatment #3 that he is currently on in less than a week!  I believe I also mentioned that when we went back to the doctor 2 weeks after beginning this treatment, the doctor told Tim the lump (goose egg) on the top of his head would be the most stubborn to get rid of.  That was 2 weeks ago this Friday.  But, I'm going to show you the difference from 2 weeks ago to tonight.

This first photo was taken 2 weeks ago this coming Saturday.  You can see how high the hair is on the right side of his head (click on the picture to get a better look).


This past Sunday, I noticed that the lump was not as hard as it had been.  And it was noticeable that it had began to shrink.  Well, tonight during church Tim rubbed his hand over his hair and showed us how much it has gone down since Sunday!  His hair has a wave right to the left side of the lump and his hair always looks unkempt.  So, I didn't notice any difference in the lump this week until he flattened his hair down in church!  WOW!  How amazing is this?  There is barely anything still there!

So, I am praising the Lord tonight!  And I want to thank each and every one of you who have been praying so faithfully for Tim.  The Lord is hearing and answering our prayers!  Friday he begins the 2nd month on this treatment.  He has another refill after this one.  Then they will do scans.  Keep praying that by the time he gets those scans that he will be cancer free!  Our God is able!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hello, Stranger!

That would be me!  :D  I see that I have not made a post here for almost 4 months!  Where does the time go?  Out the window!  Poof!  Gone like the breezes that blow!

So, we went from winter to summer in a matter of just a few days!  What happened to spring?  We really did not have much of a spring.  We've already had some days 90 and above in temps!  YIKES!  I'm thinking its gonna be a hot summer!

For those of you who follow me on facebook (or you are family), a lot of this will be old news until the very end.  For those of you who don't follow me on facebook, this will be a quickie recap so this post doesn't just go on and on and on and......well, you get the picture!  :D  And, speaking of pictures, here's some of the jewelry I have been making in the last couple of months:


 




 




Let's talk about Tim's cancer.  Treatment #1 (IL-2 administered during 2 hospital stays) did not cause the tumors to shrink (subcutaneous melanoma).  Treatment #2 (Yervoy administered as outpatient four times) did not cause the tumors to shrink and he had a bad reaction during the 2nd administration and had to quit half way through).  Treatment #3 is a BRAF inhibitor and I can never remember the name of it is being taken in pill form.  The pills are as big as pre-natal vitamins and he takes 8 of them a day.....4 every 12 hours.  And to quote Tim's thoughts about Treatment #3......."If it were the best, wouldn't they have administered it first?"  Well, the answer to that is no.  The different treatments work or don't work on different people.  Blood work revealed that Tim had a certain cell mutation that the doctor felt positive about #3 working.  If I understand this correctly.......the BRAF inhibitor is something we all have that tells the cell when to stop dividing.  But, the cancer turned this off in Tim's case and so the tumor cells were dividing like crazy because the BRAF inhibitor was not doing it's job.  So, this Treatment #3 is to cause the cell division to stop.  And, praise the Lord, that is happening and the tumors are now shrinking!  So, Tim has since had to take back his words and disbelief that Treatment #3 would work! 

Tim had to have blood work done before beginning the treatment to make sure his liver was not toxic and that the Yervoy treatment was not going to be a problem.  The first week gave bad liver readings.....not as low as the doctor wanted, so we waited another week.  On Friday, May 16th the blood tests gave good readings so Tim started his first dose that night.  When the members started arriving the following Wednesday at church, they all started mentioning the visible lump underneath his left eye was smaller.  He and I hadn't noticed it and I took a double look and thought the same thing, that it was smaller.  Tim thought everyone was just trying to encourage him.  But, by the weekend he was noticing ALL the lumps on his body were significantly smaller!  By the next Friday (2 weeks since beginning Treatment #3) at the doctor's office for follow-up blood work, the doctor noticed right off that the tumor under his eye was smaller.  The only one that is not noticeably smaller is the big hen egg on top of his head.  The doctor said because it is on the skull, it would be the most stubborn one to get rid of.  But, I think, and so do the members at church, that even that lump is somewhat smaller.  He will go back for more blood work on the 27th of June.  They are keeping a close eye on his liver.  This medicine has made him very sensitive to the sun.  He has to wear a hat and very dark sunglasses.  He is wearing long sleeved shirts and when he drives he wears gloves because the sun coming in the window burns his skin right now!  He has had some joint pain, too, which is another side effect, but he hasn't mentioned that this week, so maybe that has run its course.  But, he is happy for the side effects....."means something is happening!"  We are rejoicing in the Lord for healing and are praying it continues and completely eradicates the cancer!




The last 2 photos were taken when we went to Tennessee the Thursday - Saturday before Memorial Day.  The falls in the background are Black River Falls on the Cherohala Skyway that runs from Tellico in Tennessee to the Nantahala Forest in North Carolina and ends in Robbinsville, NC.  Beautiful, relaxing drive.  On our way back on Saturday we hit the Goodwills along our route (I-40).  Tim's hands were hurting and burning from the sun shining through the window, so at the first Goodwill he bought these gloves.  He had 2nd degree burns in no time!  Lesson learned!  He does not leave home without his gloves now!

My desktop computer has been dying a slow death for several months now.  When I would turn it off, it would take several tries to boot up.  Finally got to the point of spending 1/2 an hour just trying to get it on.  So, when I finally got it on last Sunday, I did not turn it off.  In 2005 we bought 2 HP computers just alike, 6 months same as cash deals.  They have been the best computers and I hated that it was dying!  We had taken the power supply out of Tim's a couple of years ago and put it in mine, but other than that we have had no problems.....til now.  So, Tim said that he was interested in using a desktop again in the man room instead of the laptop he has, so he took the power supply back out of my computer along with the however many rams of memory and put it back in his computer.  It would not start, so both computers are now on the trash heap for the July Junk pick up.  So, I will be limping along on my laptop that I got back in 2007 and have had a few problems with it, too.  For instance, I cannot have the computer to restart.....I have to shut it down and then start it again.  And, the battery has been dead for a LONG time, but we don't want to spend that much money on another one, but the battery has to be in the computer, even though it is dead, or the computer will not turn on.  So, I have to leave it plugged into the outlet the whole time I use it.  I told Tim I would just have to start saving all the birthday monies and Christmas monies I get from the kids and start saving up for a new desktop.  Only thing I am dreading is not being able to get Windows XP again since Microsoft has stopped supporting it.  And when you get a new computer, you automatically get the newest version.

Tim was able to find a nice computer at Goodwill this week for $260 with Windows 7 installed.  He has a week to use it and make sure it works OK and then he will upgrade it to Windows 8.  I think it has 8G of ram??  He said he can really tell the difference in the start up of all his programs.

A couple of months ago, in protest of Time Warner's high internet prices, we left them and signed up for AT & T's UVerse DSL internet.  What a mistake that was!  We have had nothing but problems!  Every time I tried to skype with the grandkids, the connection would fail and our conversations were always cut short.  And every night at 7 we had connection problems, most of the time not even being able to get on the internet.  Well, we put up with it for about 3 months.  On Monday Tim called Time Warner back and signed up for the slowest speed for $14.99 a month (we were paying $75 for the fastest before).  I am happy to say that I was able to skype with Kara tonight with only one hiccup.

Yesterday and today Tim and I have been working on the computer situation and I have been cleaning and organizing my craft room.......again!  I wanted to put some brackets on the wall to put a counter top configuration on for my beading area.  We went to Lowes to do some pricing.  Well, one metal bracket that would come out from the wall and the counter top would sit on was going to cost $10.  So, buying 3 of those, not to mention the metal running up and down the wall to put those brackets in was going to cost more than I wanted to spend.  So we looked at the wood and thought we could do what I wanted done using 1 x 2's.  We did some rough guestimating and came away with 3 1x6's and 1 1x8.  Total cost was $11.12!  CHA-CHING!  Here's a picture of our project after completion.  I still have a bit of organizing and putting away, but I'm basically done in the room.  And, I love the beading area table now!  And the price was perfect!  The other thing I want to do in here is clean out the closet which is a total disaster!  I will have to get to it next week.  Right now my feet are killing me from being up on them for 2 days working in this room!  :D


One more thing before I go.  We are gearing up for VBS, which will be August 4-8.  So, I've been trying to get the crafts together for the week.  Here are the 2 I have decided upon so far.  The monkey is for the older kids (juniors and teens) and the monkey will be for the primary kids.  I was thinking of this being for the pre-primary kids, but they would not be able to do the work, so I will probably have them making one of the beaded witnessing bracelets.


OK, that's it for me tonight.  Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A New "Dieting" Adventure

Tim is switching his diet to more of an Adkins type of diet.  Since we know that sugar is the/a food that cancer feeds on, we want to "starve" the cancer, or at least put some stress on it!  So, beginning yesterday, WE have begun a low carb diet.  The object is to decrease the carbs that our bodies are currently using as energy and switch it to burning fat instead!

Tim has said to me over and over that he does not want me to have to do this diet with him, but I have several reasons for doing it with him. 

The first is found in a couple of Bible verses from our Good Morning Girls Bible study this week that I am using as my "motto" for this challenge:  Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 - "9.  Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.  10.  For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up."

2.   I am NOT ready to turn the love of my life over to God yet!  :D  If he is fighting, I'm right there beside him!  (Hence, the Bible verses.)

3.  I figure it can't hurt!  The only thing we are giving up is sugar and starch!  :D

4.  I need an incentive for losing weight, anyway!  And, since his goal is not to lose weight, but keep track of all the Fats, Proteins and Carbs he eats, I figure eating what he eats will help me to get down to the weight he is maintaining!  I'm not good when it comes to "tracking" stuff, and since I'm eating what he is eating, why "reinvent the wheel" so to speak!  :D

OK, so we started yesterday.  Yesterday we were up at 5 a.m. because we had to drive to WV for a funeral.  While I took my shower, Tim fixed breakfast.....ham and scrambled eggs.  So, we were eating that at 5:30 a.m., give or take a few minutes.

The visitation was from 11-1 and the funeral was from 1-2 and then we went to the graveside service.  We didn't get to spend any time with Liz afterwards (we did get to see her and Abby for a few minutes before the funeral), so we headed home, but stopped in Teays Valley at Bob Evans to eat.  We both had their Cobb Salad with Ranch Dressing.  I gave him my cherry tomatoes and neither of us ate the Blue cheese they gave on the side.  We both drank unsweetened tea with "splenda."

Believe it or not, that is ALL we ate all day long!  Not even any snacking before bed for me, which is a HUGE deal for me!  Snacking after Tim goes to bed, since I am a night owl, is a downfall area for me!  Except that I went to bed at the same time as him since we got up so early!  :D

Anyway, I wanted to share with you what I have eaten today.  I made some tuna salad for lunch.  The "bread" in this picture is a "minute muffin" made from 1/4 cup milled Flax seed, 2 tablespoons real butter, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 egg.  Tim melted the butter in a huge mug which I poured the batter into and microwaved it on high for 1 minute.  Flipped it out onto a wire rack to cool and then sliced it into 4 slices.  He used 2 of the slices with his breakfast this morning and I used the other 2 with 1/4 cup of the tuna salad on each.  I toasted the "bread" just a bit.  I have to say that it was pretty tasty!  The only thing I don't like about tuna is the after taste!  YUCK!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Final Day

Sunday Sunrise at approx 7:15.  Not sure if that is a cruise ship to the right or not.


I enjoyed watching this black bird picking jelly and butter from the containers on the table behind us.  He took one jelly, pecked a hole in it then left it.  Then he chose some butter and carried off.  In a few minutes he was back trying to scrap the butter off of his beak onto the table leg before hopping up and grabbing another butter and carrying it into the greenery next to the hut.

Tim enjoyed some yogurt, granola, toast and coffee today while I enjoyed (and shared)......

a bowl of fresh pineapple and cantaloupe and orange juice.  After eating cashews and croutons in the last couple of evening meals, my tooth is touchy today!  I am praying it won't cause too much trouble before I can get it taken care of on Wednesday when we get home.

It was very enjoyable listening to the gurgling of the water fall right next to the hut.

A quick "selfie" before leaving for church.  I gave up on trying to keep my hair from curling and frizzing by spending tons of time on straightening and shaping it.....this morning I dried it and let it go.  Tim does not like it like this.  I'll work on it after we get home! 

Notice how puffy Tim's right cheek is?  He work up on Friday with it looking like this and he says it is sore.  The lump that the doctor could not find on his own and Tim had to direct his hand to find is spreading down under his cheek.  Sure praying these next treatments are going to be what the Lord used to heal him of the cancer that is spreading rapidly!

A kind old gentleman offered to take this picture of us when he saw me holding the camera out at arm's length.  Beautiful day today!  It rained during church, but quit before church was over.

Enjoying the water on our feet.

Looking out over the ocean.

Sea weed washed up this morning.

His desire.....to walk the beach and hold hands and try to forget the cancer for awhile.

Not sure what the ship is.  I was trying to capture the sea gull zoomed in.  They are quick!

We noticed it looked like it was raining or brewing up a rain in the distance.

We decided to sit and relax in one of the pool chairs.....since we were paying $10 a day for them, even though this is the only day we or anyone else has been in them since we got here on Thursday.  When we came back to the room from breakfast someone new was "moving in."  I told Tim I wished we were just getting there.....again!  :D

Nice and relaxing with the sea breezes blowing!

Here's my treasures for the day.

When we left church we ate at Panera Bread.  Tim said he wanted to eat in the room tomorrow morning before leaving around 7:30, so we got a couple of HUGE cinnamon rolls.  The pecan roll and bear claw were for dessert today!  :D

So pretty!

We found a church who hasn't closed because of the Super Bowl.  Tim is napping while I type this up.  I need to get the sand washed off and dressed for church as we will leave in about an hour.  When we leave tomorrow, we will travel about half way to home, stopping over in Georgia for the night and then on into home on Tuesday.