Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Toot Your Horn Tuesday - Getting use to change

It's Tuesday! Time to Toot Our Horns. Give ourselves a pat on the back.
Take some credit.
And we don't have to feel guilty about it!
Here I go...

This week, if you've read my previous posts, has been a hard one. My Step-Dad passed away last Tuesday. Saturday was his memorial service. As hard as it was to say goodbye, I'm thankful that we'll have some normalacy again. Normalacy, meaning that I won't be running back and forth to my parents' home every day, spending nights away from my family, and riding the roller coaster that cancer produces. On the other hand, our family now faces a big change. Life without him will be much different.

I'll keep this short, the main accomplishment that I'm grateful for this week is just the fact that I held it together!! I got through it and was able to help my family through it as well. We kept close to God and let Him guide us through each hard hour.
I have confidence that our family will be able to handle the changes before us. And we'll see to it that my Mom is cared for and loved while she makes this conversion to widowhood.

Now, if you written a post about your Toots, please share them by linking your post below. The Toot Your Horn Tuesday button is on the left sidebar. Just copy the code into your post. Or at least leave a comment and tell me something wonderful about yourself.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Heart Faces - Blue

This week's theme is blue. I think this picture qualifies!!

It's a new day and a new way of life since my Step-Dad's passing. The service for my Dad was Saturday and it was beautiful! I'm not going to linger in sadness, but I'm going to greet this change with a positive attitude. I know that God has a special plan for all of us!

Come back to my blog tomorrow and play along with Toot Your Horn Tuesday. Click here for instructions. I hope you'll join me!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fly to heaven

At 2:35am on Tuesday Sept. 22, the first day of Autumn, my step-father peacefully flew to heaven to spend his first day with our Lord Savior God. My mother and I were at this side and watched him draw his last breath in this world. He was an amazing man.

Last week, I spent lots of time talking with him and he even allowed me to video tape some stories. I plan to speak about those stories at his memorial service. I am a horrible public speaker, but I am prepared. It will be a wonderful release and also a feeling of honor. Here's an excerpt.

By this time, Tom’s voice was starting to get a little hoarse, but he insisted he tell me one more story…He sat up on the couch and moved a little closer to the camera and he told me how he fell in love with my Mom and how he had promised her that he would never ever make her regret marrying him. He used the word mystical when he described their relationship. They were loving towards each other all the time! No bickering, no harsh words were ever spoken between them. Their marriage is a testimony to me. It makes me want to love my husband better.

Tom’s had more than his share of heart break and trials. Even to the end of his life being stricken with this monstrous disease. It doesn’t seem fair. Any of us might wonder how did he endure all of that? We might ask Why Me? But he did not. Tom knew, without a doubt, that God was in control and had a special purpose beyond our comprehension. He told me he was not afraid to die. He told me that he knew he would soon touch the hem of Jesus our savior. So, it was not Tom that endured those hardships, but it was God through Tom. Tom never stopped giving God the glory. That is Tom’s greatest legacy to us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Heart Faces - Candid

I haven't played along with this is such a long time! This week's theme is
I flipped through my picture library and found this one taken at my parent's house while we celebrated Glynis' 2nd birthday in July. From a photography standpoint, there is nothing significent about this photo, but these are faces of people that I love. My Mom hugging my daughter and my dear Dad smiling at them. My Dad will be gone to heaven any day now.

You can imagine the significence of his smile.

Toot Your Horn Tuesday - God through me

(posting this a bit early, time is sparse this week)
As some of you know, my family has been on a journey with my stepfather. He was diagnosed with lung cancer this past July. And now we have come to the end of the battle. We've had a vigil by his bedside for the past 5 days. He is in between this world and the next. And although this seems like an odd time to toot my horn, I'd like to share what God's power has done through me. Our family has had a strength and calmness that can only be explained as a miracle.

My Dad was discharged from the hospital just over 2 weeks ago. And in this short time, he has experienced all the wrath of this monsterous disease. Symptoms include, pain, weakness, breathing problems, confusion and aggitation. My mother, my aunt and I have become his nurses and spiritual advisors. Cancer attacks not only your body, but also your soul. When he was still speaking clearly, he told us many many times that he is not afraid to die and that he knows he will be with Jesus. That is the most comforting part!!

Other relatives have gathered by his side these past days. We have been in constant prayer. We sing hymns, read verses and best of all, we love on each other! So, today I toot my horn for being God's vessel of love in my Dad's last days.

Now don't be afraid to share your "toot." We will all face these trials in our lifetimes. It's my time now, but life does go on. I love to hear about your blessings or accomplishments no matter how small they might seem. I lift you up in whatever you face today!

Sign the linky below if you've written a "Toot Your Horn Tuesday" post. Don't forget, you can leave comments below too. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Toot Your Horn Tuesday - Time

Here's a great opportunity to share a little bit about yourself.
Go ahead and brag a little! We all need a pat on the back now and then.

I'm proud of myself this week for starting a new project at my house. I am completely redoing a flower bed in the front yard. No, I haven't finished it yet, but it's coming along great. I had to tear out old bushes and pull about 5 milllion weeds. Now it's ready for some new landscaping timbers, top soil and new plants. I hope to have it completed within the next two weeks. The tough part is finding the time.

My time is totally consumed these days. I'm caring for a busy husband and 4 busy kids. No need to explain that to you. We're all in the same boat, aren't we? But throw a sick parent into the mix and time is precious! I've been spending hours over at my parents house, doing chores or just sitting with my Dad.

Because time is so short, I enrolled Glynis, the 2 year old, in preschool!! She starts this morning. I'm a stay at home mom, so I feel a little guilt for doing so, but when I came across this Mother's Day Out program at a local church, I figured it was a God send. She'll be going one morning a week. It's only 4 hours! 4 Amazing hours! 4 Glorious hours! I'll have 4 toddler-free hours a week to help my parents, schedule appointments or just take a nap.

I'm giddy! We went "school shopping" for her yesterday. She needed a lunch box, crayons and some glue. :)

Anyway, it's 6:30am. Time to get moving. Don't want to waste one second of my 4 Wonderful hours! I hope you'll use the comment section below to share something about yourself. And maybe next week you can write your own Toot Your Horn Tuesday post. I'll be sure to have a linky set up then.
Have a splendid Tuesday!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

There's no avoiding it

About 5 or 6 months ago I started spending a little too much time obsessing about turning 40. I’m ashamed to say that I was worrying about things like wrinkles, and grey hair. I was worrying about gaining weight and not feeling young any longer. With all my other birthdays I got a little older, but on my 40th I figured I would just be OLD!

Well, what a dummy I was! 40 is fine! I didn’t wake up on my birthday to find that my hair was all grey. My skin didn’t shrivel up and my butt actually shrank a little this year. 40 is not old! I am still in control of a few things…my weight, my hair color, and mostly my attitude.

Just another life lesson I’ve learned the hard way. Life is short, dwelling on the negative is not going to help one bit!!

And by the way, the best medicine for facing a dreaded birthday is this…
Doing something fun with people you love!

These are two of my longest and dearest friends. We all turned 40 this year so who better to celebrate with?!

And stay tuned to find out what other special thing I did for my birthday. Pictures to follow!!

P.S. I'll be resuming
Toot Your Horn Tuesday tomorrow!!
So please come back and play along!

Friday, September 11, 2009


I was in church that morning with a bunch of other moms, many of them military wives. When the news broke, we were all frantic. Some gathered in circles to pray. Others headed towards their cars to gather their families. What a total feeling of helplessness and fear. Not a thing that we could do. Only sit and watch the news clips over and over and over.

Our country mourns together today. Let us all be in continuous prayer in remembrance of those families who lost a loved one.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wondersand...Buy Some!!

This stuff has been around for years, but it's been years since I've experienced it. Let's give it a try again people!!

Don't worry about the special precautions, such as "ages 5 and up"

Your toddler can have a good solid hour of fun. She'll stay occupied and completely enthralled.

Just be aware that the clean up will require towels, a broom, the vacuum cleaner, your washing machine and a bathtub. Also be prepared to spend an hour using said equipment!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Number (nonsense)

These can't just be coincidences!
Today is 09/09/09. There are 9 letters in "Wednesday." There are 9 letters in "September." This is the 252nd day of the year...2+5+2=9.

Glynis said "Mommy" 9,999,999 times today between the hours of 9am and 9pm. Her middle name is Rae. There are 9 letters in Glynis Rae. My middle name is Renee. There are 9 letters in Leah Renee.

And I know what you're thinking right now..."I don't care!"

(Ah Ha, there are 9 letters in "I don't care!")

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day by Day

Well it's been ages since I've written and I'm not going to write much now either. I've been riding this dismal cancer carnival ride along with my step-dad and the rest of our exhausted family.
Here's the time line, thus far, of Tom's cancer story:

July 10 - Diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer, followed by ct of brain, and a bone scan, both came back clear

August 4 - 1st chemo treatment

August 9 - severe reaction to chemo and is taken by ambulance to hospital, spent 12 days there several of which he was in a coma-like state. kidneys failing, no food, infection etc.

August 20 - strong enough to go to rehab, still on oxygen, but eating normal and getting stronger

August 31 - looking forward to going home in 2 days, but severe breathing problems occur abruptly and he is taken again to the emergency room. ventilator is needed., new ct scan of chest reveals that cancer is worse and has now invaded his bones (note that there was no sign of bone cancer just a month earlier)

Today - Sept. 2 - ventilator is removed and he is breathing on his own with hopes of coming home in another day or two. hospice will be called to help

This is just a brief description of what we've endured in just a short time. I can't express right now, all the emotional turmoil that has gone along with each new crisis. It's a roller coaster that I hope I never ride again! Cancer is a vile thing!!

Yet, we continue to praise God and to rest assured that His plan has a purpose. Here's a picture from Sunday. Tom is joyful even through the storm. What a lesson he teaches us all!