Sunday, August 23, 2009

He's home!

Today was a great Sunday. I woke up ready to welcome the day. I was able to sleep in until 9. Drew slept in until a little later and woke up only to bring down the DS so he could play Batman Legos and sweet talk his dad into going to get him some donuts for breakfast. Generally, I'm all about eating a healthy breakfast but once a week, I let Drew have a little treat of enjoying donuts for breakfast. I figure, if you can't have a little fun while you're young, what's the point? So, that's their special little thing. I don't eat any. Typically I enjoy my cup of skim milk and my Oatmeal to Go bar by Quaker or one of the Smart Ones breakfast sandwiches or quesadilias. Those are quite yum-a-licious. And, I'm trying to stick with my Jenny Craig thing even though I'm no longer on the food/plan and won't be for about a year or more. :) I went from 162 down to 137 with 130 as my "goal". I'm happy with my progress thus far and I will still continue to follow the diet I learned from them. But, in these times, spending $500 a month on food JUST FOR ME was a tad ridiculous, to say the least.

As soon as I finished my milk and oatmeal, I went to shower. I was excited to go to church to hear my inspirational pastor, Andy McQuitty, speak. He was -- 39 days ago today, diagnosed with colon cancer. The amazing man still has the ability to touch and reach tens of thousands if not millions of people worldwide -- even when he is at probably his "weakest" point as a human. Here is his latest update from 8/19/09.

My Dear Friends,

So the IBC staff gets me this pager and puts the number out on the website and in weekend services for people to call when they pray for me. It vibrates violently each time someone dials in. I got home from a short vacation last Friday and found it waiting for me, sitting impatiently on the hope chest in our living room, buzzing like a banshee. It buzzed through supper, through the evening news, through an old rerun of Harry Potter, through The Tonight Show, and on into the night. At 2:30 A.M., it was still buzzing on the desk in my study next door keeping me awake. How insensitive of people to be praying for me at such an ungodly hour!

Of course, I jest (on that last point only—the rest is amazingly true). I’ve had that pager on my person now for five days. Around the clock, it never stops buzzing. I’ve found that I can get a passably good massage by holding it at various angles to my neck and shoulders. Sometimes multiple people call simultaneously, producing extra long buzzes. I like that. It’s better than the spa. Who needs a masseuse when instead you can have God’s people interceding for you?

My doctors wonder why I’m doing so well after major surgery just over three weeks ago. Guess I should tell them about the pager, eh?

All of that to say how grateful I am to you all for your heartfelt prayers, your encouragement through notes and letters and cards and small remembrances which have so powerfully encouraged me and my family in these days. The Lord knows I never actually volunteered to get cancer, but if this is what it took to afford me a personal glimpse into the incredible generous hearts of God’s praying people, then I’m grateful even for the disease. Through it, God is showing by you all the true depth of His loving and noble heart in ways I could have previously only imagined. (How else to explain the sudden appearance of a dozen new Titleist ProVI’s just when I needed them. . . ?)

I’d like to be so bold as to request your continued intercession for me, especially over the next two to three months. That’s a bold ask because consistent prayer over many weeks is way tougher to pull off than a crisis shout-out to God. (I know this from personal experience!). You may have to actually write stuff down to remind yourself, pray daily, and persevere through long seasons of no-news and sometimes bad news. But it’s all good, because whatever causes us to pray regularly also draws us nearer to the Father, and I’d like to bless you in that way!

Here’s why I’m counting on your prayers. I’ve got a pretty bad cancer and the next two to three months are crucial in determining how much longer I’m going to have to deal with traffic jams, high income taxes and smarmy politicians on this planet. Oncologists rank the seriousness of the disease in stages, one being least serious and four being barely hanging on. Stage three has three subdivisions: bad, worse, and almost stage four. Various scans and pathology reports coming out of the last surgery indicate that I now occupy that third subdivision of stage three. The good news is that those evil little cells have not congregated in any major organs. The bad news is they have spread to a lymph node near to my kidney where they’re sassing the doctors and sticking their insolent little tongues out at us every time we snap their picture.

Here’s how we’re going to attack the little devils. (Can I call cancer cells devils? I just did. Actually, I originally used a stronger word which Alice made me take out). I start six months of chemotherapy next Wednesday August 26. Two or three months in, we’ll take another picture to see if the cancer in that lymph node is dead. If not, another major surgery—we yank the sucker out of there and then continue chemo. If so—and this is the option we all pray for, OK?—we just finish the chemo, test to see that all the other cancer is dead, and I live on to teach my grandchildren how to hit high draws and low hooks off the fairway. So just to reiterate: we’re praying that the High Lord God of the Universe might deign to use the tool of chemo to zap those cancer bast. . . I mean devils. . . right out of this pastor’s whole body over the next six months starting next Wednesday. Got it? Good! (and thanks!)

I guess while I’m at it, I may as well ask you also to pray me through the chemo. As so many of you out there who have endured this drudgery can surely attest, it actually has the makings of a very interesting time for relationships in my life. The top three side effects they’ve warned me about are extreme fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. I am hoping to be able to work at IBC somewhat normally through these months, but I hope you’ll understand if, during that time when I’m in conversation with you, I suddenly fall asleep, blow groceries, or dash off to the Men’s room. It’s nothing personal. Really. Another weird side effect is neuropathy (numbness or pain in mouth, throat, fingers) if I drink or handle anything cold while on chemo. So I can only drink warm Guinness and have no ice in my tea and I have to wear gloves if I take anything out of the fridge. I am not making this up! But hey, they tell me I can keep my hair, so all is not lost (literally)!

You know what I’m most excited about right now? I get to be back on the platform this Sunday at IBC. I’ve so missed our amazing IBC community, and I’m so glad that I can see many of you who are IBC’ers in this little window between surgery and chemo. Let’s have a party!

Love to you all,

Pastor Andy (a.k.a., “Semi-C”)

P.S. Today is Alice and my 31st wedding anniversary. If you see her, you might offer congratulations for having put up with this old Irish curmudgeon for all that time. All I know is I’m the fortunate one for having this beautiful one with whom to make the journey. . .

Like I said, the man has a way with words. I'm so moved to just be a part of his congregation. This Sunday, also, was like none other than I'd ever experienced. It was focused on prayer. They had someone come out that works with the worldwide missions that our church embarks on... one that he is personally involved in is how our church body raises money for the people in Sudan to put in wells for fresh water. Another came forward to lead the congregation through a series of prayers for the children... not only in our own families but also the children that we have a chance to impact on a daily basis... and those that are within our church walls...and those within the impact of the church and it's ministries...and the teachers and leaders in the schools that have such a gift... to give them strength and guidance...

then Pastor McQuitty came on... and the first thing he did was welcome us all there and personally talk about the "elephant in the room" (his diagnosis). He talked about how when you're given a new clarity in life, that the things you seem to do everyday -- when you know your days are possibly numbered -- they seem so unimportant. So, if those are unimportant, just what DO you do "now"? So he gave a verse, and I can't find the piece of paper I wrote it down on... (the boys had it in the back seat drawing on it...) but it was, in essence, how you aren't supposed to worry about anything... but focusing on God's kingdom and righteousness. Everything else that is supposed to fall into play will... so just keep fighting the good fight for Him. And when you think of doing THAT... everything else DOES seem mundane, doesn't it? I dont think there was a dry eye in the place. To hear a man, possibly living on borrowed time, with such a gift to touch and impact. My heart cries for the what if's... because he is so very much a part of that church and why I love it so much... I just pray for a miracle. I hope you will continue to pray for him too. :)

If you would like to pray for my pastor, and let him know that you are praying for him... please call his pager number. 972-229-3878 He set the pager on his ... holy cow, the word totally escapes me... where he puts his bible and water bottle and such on the stage... and the thing went off the entire time. It was so moving to know he was being prayed for right then and there... and he did that to show us that we are blessed at that moment too by the power of the prayers of strangers.

I left a few minutes early and headed straight for the airport to pick up my handsome man. His flight was right on time and I scooped him up and we headed home. I scooped up the other two and we headed to my favorite place -- Souper Salad! I love salad bars! :) LOVE LOVE LOVE them! :)

We drove by and picked up one of Josh's best friends so that he could see him before school starts tomorrow and then we took him home. I swung by Sonic for a Route 44 unsweetened peach tea -- one of my favorite things! :) We came home and just hung out as a family. It was great.

However since this is our "week" before school, the early to bed routines start TONIGHT for us. :) The boys were in bed at 8:45 (15 minutes later than they're supposed to be) but tomorrow we'll be getting up early and going through our routines... and I start back to my exercise program tomorrow. 2.5 miles of walking -daily or at least every other day - couldn't jog if I wanted to because of my right foot -- it's bothering me again! Grrrr...getting old SUCKS!

So, my only task right now is to go through the sales at the grocery store and plan our weekly menu. I'll post my "menu plan monday" tomorrow and oh yeah, I start back to school TOMORROW TOO! YIKES! :) Wish me luck. lots of changes in store at our house... some bigger than others but I think the next two weeks hold enough to keep me occupied for a while!

Oh, and the countdown to Disney has officially begun -- we leave in 26 days!!! I'm very excited and it's going to be our best trip yet! :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Just a share

My good friend Laurie in Ohio sent me this. I've seen it circulate the web on multiple occasions but I just love what it says. :)

No matter what our kids and the new generation think about us, WE ARE AWESOME! OUR LIFE IS LIVING PROOF To Those of Us Born 1930 - 1970 and it's dedicated TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's! (I even think you could throw the early 80's in there too for a lot of these!)

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this...

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight.


Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem

We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes.
There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no DVR, no surround-sound, no CD's, no cell phones, no caller ID, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping pong paddles, or just a bare hand and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out any eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rain, finally!

We received some much needed rain this morning from about 5am until now (7:15). I heard Sadie jump down from the chair where she sleeps and pace around. I thought she was, perhaps, needing to go outside until I heard the faint, distant rumbling of thunder. I knew she wanted me to open the bathroom doors and the closet doors so that she could retreat to where she felt safest -- in a corner in the closet (poor dog). I knew Lola would be soon to follow her. She is a FREAK in the rainstorms. So I got up and put them both in the closet and TRIED to go back to sleep -- not successful.

I finally got up at 6:15 to make breakfast - a delicious cinnamon/pecan pull apart bread but by that time a red cell was over us and the power was flickering on and off so I realized that probably wasn't the smartest of ideas. So, here I sit... Drew in the living room constructing Lego figures and the dogs in the closet...thunder still rumbling (the red cell has since moved on and we're in the "green" now)... and no breakfast.

BUT, we needed the rain. :) I started a load of clothes in the dryer, fed the snails (we really need to downsize some of those little suckers -- they're eating too much too fast).

So, thank you, Lord, for the rain...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

Lookie what >>>I<<< got in the mail yesterday?

Yes... bag tags and information for our upcoming trip to DISNEY! :) It's almost here and I'm so freakin excited! :) I didn't think I would be but I so am! :) WEEEE!!!

Simple things.

I'm a lover of all things simple. Simple things make me happy. When I went out to eat at one restaurant in Southlake, only to discover that one of my favorite chains (Souper Salad) was now open across the street -- that was a simple thing that really made me HAPPY!

I loved walking in the Keller Lion's Parade with my Cub Scouts yesterday and handing out flyers to potential new recruits! Simple... but fun.

I love all the puzzles left complete all over my hardwood floors because they show that my son engages in active thinking to put them together...he's unplugged and still entertained. Simple fun. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Now that school's about to be back in swing around here it's time to get back to "normal" with routines, menu plans, scheduled events, yadda, yadda, yadda.

As such, today is officialy: Menu Plan Monday

My menu for the week is as follows:

B: pancakes, bacon, grape juice
L: Subway (eat fresh)
D: Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread and salad

B: eggs/ham/cheese biscuits
L: from the freezer (Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones) and a salad
D: Crock Pot BBQ chicken, steamed veggies and rice

B: cold cereal, fruit, milk, toast
L: quesadilias
D: chicken enchiladas, steamed spanish rice, Ranchero beans

B: Breakfast casserole (freeze leftovers)
L: from the freezer (Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones) and a salad
D: chili dogs, fresh veggies with dip (I use a FF turkey frank for mine, the boys eat regular all beef ones)

B: Cinnamon Pecan Pullaparts These things are highly addictive. I strongly suggest, too, that you DO pull them apart before eating them so that the calories can fall through the cracks. :)
L: Chicken or Tuna salad sandwich made with grapes, pecans and lots of green leaf lettuce
D: Pizza - we have a Scout function and that is what Drew will be eating... I may actually eat something from the freezer first before going.

B: Breakfast Pizza because it's fun!
L: sandwiches, chips, soup
D: Italian feast. We have a monthly dinner club where 2 other families and kids all get together once a month at each other's homes. One person cooks the main course and side. One brings a dessert and the other brings an appetizer. I'm doing a 3 course Italian feast of homemade Italian wedding soup, Bruschetta and a homemade lasagna. (Of course, the kids will have some chicken nuggets in case they're not into the whole Italian theme.) :)

B: Go out to a local restaurant called the Snooty Pig -- total dive but great home cookin'
L: leftovers
D: eat at church though we'll snack when we get home since we'll be eating about 5pm. :)

And there ya go! :) Feels good to plan again!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I KNEW IT!!! I knew she was going to win! They just hit the jackpot with her and there was no way that they COULDN'T pick her! She's personable and REAL!


I jumped up and was screaming and jumping!!! I was SO FREAKIN EXCITED! I couldn't be MORE THRILLED and it couldn't have happened to a nicer person! She is just an amazing human being and I'm so proud to consider her a friend!

This is one mama that will DEFINITELY be turned onto the Food Network from now on! I've never been a "real" fan because ... I'm a mom. True that I'm a foodie but I'm a BUSY MOM and just don't have the time or the gumption to have 500 kinds of fresh herbs and cheeses in my pantry to just "whip" up those creations they make... but... I'm hoping this is definitely going to be something that I can sink my teeth into (no pun intended) and be a loyal viewer of her show! I am SO THRILLED!!!!

God Bless you Melissa for keepin it real!

The New Do

And as promised... photos (taken by Josh today) of the new do!


New Do

and in all fairness... I then turned the camera on him and took these:



Saturday, August 1, 2009

Disgruntled shopper

That was me, today. I went to Macy's with the intention of buying a cute shirt and some new high heeled sandles for tonight's Rick Springfield concert! :) Well, wouldn't you know it... I got there and looked. I tried on 3 shirts... NO SHIRTS ARE MADE ANYMORE FOR WOMEN WITH BOOBS!


It's SO annoying being a WWB (Woman With Boobage). You can't wear ANY of the cute halter style shirts, most anything cute has to be purchased in a size too large so that it fits your chest but then leaves you frumpy looking. It's just a sad state of affairs I tell ya!

So then I wander over to the shoe section. I had full intentions of purchasing one or two pair of sandles. I left there empty handed. EVERYTHING is so ugly and ghetto and just weird looking. I wanted a heel ... like a cork heel... nothing. Just something casual would be even okay... nothing.

I guess you know you're getting old when you go to Macy's shoe department and leave there empty handed b/c it's all too trendy and ugly for you. The Coach tennis shoes.. OMG are so freakin' ugly it's unbelieveable! And, did you know Jessica Simpson designs shoes? She had the ONLY pair of sandles that I thought were even remotely cute but I still didn't want them.... because they weren't "purchase worthy."

I also went to the Verizon Wireless store today. You know my cute pink Blackberry Curve that I just got on Wednesday? The face is already cracked! :( Can you believe that crap? I have NO idea what happened. I put it in my purse, swung my purse over my shoulder, put it in the car and then went to get it from the car last night... crack? I have no clue what happened. I've NEVER ever ever damaged a phone... EVER! So for this to happen... bizarre! I had to pay a $90 deductible and will be getting a new phone on Tuesday. Lovely.

I also brought in my old phone (my LG enV -- love this phone, by the way) and asked if they could a) get my photos and videos off of it for safe keeping; b) get my ringtones tranferred to my new phone; c) update my software b/c it was so outdated that I wasn't able to send/receive photos, use the navigation system, get my e-mail.... nothing! He got the photos and videos removed from the phone and put on a 2gig memory card which I am about to transfer to my computer for safe keeping! :) He was going to TRY to make the ringtones into sound files and then save those to the memory stick and transfer those over to the new phone TOO BUT...when he was doing the update... the phone fried. SO, I'm ALSO getting a new OLD phone. So I think that will get passed on to someone else that hasn't received a new phone in a while. :)

Now the ultimate decision -- what to wear...what to wear to see MY MAN!?!?!