There is no doubt that fall is here. We were blessed with a beautiful day, but the air definitely has a crisp to it and the winds roar to remind us winter is coming. I started my day off at my parent's new property. They bought some land close to my
brother and plan on building a small home to live in during the summer. In the winter they will reside in a small home in Texas. designed and built, but it's simply too large for them in this time of their lives. I pray the right people come along to buy it;
a large family that will appreciate the beauty and love that went into the house. I watched my 74 year old father work so hard emptying all the garbage that was left on the property. Mom had helped for a couple hours before I got there. They are such
hard working people. I wanted so badly to help, but my doctor would shudder if I came in contact with all that debris. What I should have done was come home and make them lunch!
After seeing their land, I went for a nice walk with Debbie. Ringo was
ecstatic to walk with us and her two dogs. I always feel lIke such a good dog mom when we take our walks. I mowed the lawn when we got home. My hips were hurting so badly I could barely finish. Ringo and I took a nice nap afterwards.
Last night I had
a great group of ladies over. It was an impromptu ladies night. Patrick is hunting and I didn't want to be alone. Each of the lovely ladies who came over have their own story. Each is a beautiful lady inside and out. I treasure the friendship of each of them.
My life is blessed for knowing each one. I understand the need for fellowship with other women. It's an innate desire to be with other women as we tend to naturally understand each other's feelings and thoughts. Women can build each other up and
encourage their "sisters" excel and strive for excellence. Life is too short not to enjoy the beauty of friendship.
Today my friend Rhonda had the service for her father to attend to. He passed away a few days ago from lung complications due
to smoking. Her father, Ron, was a man who loved God. I a, thankful he now rejoices with Jesus, but my heart hurts for Rhonda as her family as they grieve the absence of his presence here on earth. What a day of rejoicing it will be when we all see Jesus.
What a lovely fall day we had today. Debbie and I took the dogs for a walk and then I went over to Granny's to help her and Holly slice up apples from her big apple tree. That tree is LOADED with apples! My goodness there are a lot. I have
several bags of sliced apples in the freezer just dying to be made into pies. I'm going to make a rhubarb apple bread tomorrow if I can find a recipe. If not, I will make my own. Patrick is going to Seattle on business and I promised Gary I would send a loaf
down with him. I also invited Meghan and Kirk to dinner tomorrow ith the promise of some homemade zuchinni and cheese bread to go with spaghetti. I have three things tomorrow so I'm not sure how I will pull this off, but I will!
Patrick had an
"interesting" moose hunt this weekend. First of alll, he and Roy decided to go somewhere different this year as nothing is the same. Dad didn't want to go hunting, Casey obviously can't, and things just didn't feel right for him to go back to the same area
he has hunted for years. So they decided to try the Kenai Peninsula and it didn't turn out as planned... Roy got sick the first day out. High fever, body aches, chills, etc. So plan B happened. They went back to the cabin and Roy was taken care of by Patrick.
Patrick hunted around the cabin instead. He did not get a moose unfortunately. But he did get a lot of things done which is good. :) Hopefully next weekend he will get a moose. We sure could use some Alaskan grown meat!
I have a date with my husband
tonight when he gets home. I have a coupon for a free burger at Red Robbin, so it seems like a good excuse to go out! He's been gone all weekend and leaves again Wednesday, gets back Friday, and then will leave again for hunting. Time to spend some quality
I did my best to enjoy our evening. I gave the girls a bath and read them stories. I had Ollie do the physical therapy exercises for my hips with me. I tried to be normal. I wanted to be just a Grammie- not
the mother of a heroin addict. I wanted to be ME- whatever that is anymore. I fell into an exhausted slumber about 10:30 last night. I have been awake since 0300. The sleeplessness is back. My own anxiety is back. I feel like the thief has stolen my
joy again. I must take it back. I can't live like this; full of grief, anxiety, and pain. I was given a second chance at life and I need to live it fully. I must let him figure this out on his own. I can't fix him.
Lord, he is YOUR child too. He was
yours before he was mine. You knew him before he was knitted in my womb. You sacrificed your own life, Jesus for HIS! God, he is yours. You love him unconditionally and faithfully. You are ready to help him feel your spirit. You are waiting for him to cry
out to you and ask YOU for help, because only YOU can fix him. His mind is muddled from the drugs. He doesn't seem capable of making rational decisions. He is lost. I know he loves you, God. I know he wants a relationship with you, but he doesn't know how
to feel you. He doesn't feel anything right now. He is emotionally stunted. i beg you to penetrate his thought process. Speak to him, Jesus. Let him hear you, let him feel you, just let him know you are there. Comfort his mind and his soul. Let him not know
a single day without your loving presence. Please guide all involved in his case to make the best choices for his physical, enotional, and legal issues, while you take care of his spiritual issues. He had to do the work himself,but please send people to be
his guides. I trust in you, Jesus. Thank you and amen.
I have a bone marrow drive at the Native Hospital today. I have to leave my house at 0620 and won't return till about 6:30. It's going to be a long day after minimal sleep and maximum stress. I
pray things go well today and I am positively distracted. Please pray for us all.
The drive at ANMC went fabulously! We registered 55 people; 29 of them were Alaska Natives.I found most everyone we had contact with were genuinely
happy & compassionate people. The employees were so friendly and welcoming. I think this facility would be an awesome place to work! I got to have lunch with my sister-in-law, Sharmin, who is a dental hygenist at the dental clinic there.
She loves her job and I can sure see why. Her co-workers graciously let me crash a going away party they held this day and I got a yummy lunch out of the deal.
Last night I went to my first exercise class since I got diagnosed with leukemia. It
was held at the physical therapy office I go to. I found it to be challenging, yet invigorating. I was thrilled I could do the whole class and feel confident my strength is returning. I look forward to trying more classses there. I met two wonderful,
friendly ladies, and it turns out they also go to Church on the Rock AND of course they know my parents. What a small world we live in where so many are connected. One of the ladies is also a friend of my Granny's. My world just got a little
fuller because I have two new friends. :)
I watched the girls for a couple hours while Meghan had appointments to go to. I just love having these girls around. They are so stinking cute. It's going to be so hard on us when they return to California
for the winter. What a sad day it will be when we have to say a temporary goodbye. We plan to meet at Granny's today for another visit.
"Jesus Today" by Sarah Young; "Rejoice and exult in hope. Raise a shout of joy! You have
good reason to be joyful because you are on your way to Heaven. I have paid the penalty for your sins and clothed you in my own righteousness. This is the basis of hope-for you, for all who truly know me as savior. No matter what is going
on in your life at this time, your hope in me is secure. No one will be able to snatch you out of my hand. In me you will have absolute eternal security!
Be constant in prayer at all times, but especially when you are struggling. During
trials you will need close communicatin with me more than ever. However, your ability to concentrate may be hampered by stress and fatigue. So make full use of the amazing source of strength within you- my spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to
control your mind to think through you and pray throgh you. Your prayers need not be pretty or proper, just let them flow out of your current situation. As you stay in communication with me, I help you to be steadfast and patient in suffering.
I could pick them out of the crowd; some were bald, some had the "fat Prednisone face", some had no hair, some sported NG Tubes which gave them nutrition. What they all had in common was contagious excitement that stemmed from
being urvivors. They are indeed "heroes" and they deserved to be honored at the first annual "Heroes Walk" - a walk celebrating children who have survived. We were there hosting a bone marrow drive. We registered thirteen people yesterday. Thirteen
who might be the ones to save a life of a child, or a life of a parent, grandparent, brother, or a sister. All people with cancer deserve a chance to survive. I was honored to be there. I will fully admit it was difficult for me to see children with
cancer. That familiar stabbing pain in my heart was present yesterday, but I tried not to show my own personal anguish as I remembered my son, Logan. I know Logan would have been so proud of me for being there and I honored him yesterday by helping.
The latest hurricane just breaks my heart. Someone I know, who is not a Christian, made a comment on Facebook asking if this was some sort of prophesy. I had to chuckle as I responded that indeed the Bible prophesied earthquakes and all sorts of natural
disasters. We are seeing the end times at work here. Our nation has been divided politically, our world has suffered fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes that have wiped out thousands of people. People are turning on one another and taking advantage
of horrific tragedies. Oh yes, there is a prophesy. Now would be a good time for everyone to get their hearts right with Jesus. I for one to not intend to be left behind. I look forward to Heaven. I want my heart to be right with Jesus so I may join
him for eternity.
We suffered a great loss right here in our Valley last week. Five beautiful little girls between the ages of three and twelve were killed in a horrible mobile home fire. What terrible devastation to the family as well as the community.
We are all grieving with this family and our hearts break. I was not surprised to hear the nasty and judgmental comments from so many as they wondered where the parents were and why they didn't die with the children. Their father had just gone to work
and their mother just had to drive the grandma home because she was borrowing her car. She was gone just a few minutes. How horrible this terrible tragedy is and no one deserves to be criticized for their death. As a community we should be surrounding
the with love and compassion, not judgment. Thankfully, there are many here who are doing exactly that. They are offering money, prayers, and other donations to them. Oh Jesus, I ask you to comfort these parents. I absolutely cannot imagine
how they are feeling and I know they must want to die themselves. Oh Lord, bring them peace as only YOU can. Surround them with loved ones who will help them as they walk this terrible path of grief. Help us to be more compassionate people who offer
help before criticism. In your wonderful name, I pray. Amen.
A dear, dear friend let me know that she has lymphoma. Final diagnosis will come next week, but the doctors are sure that is what she has. My heart hurts for this beautiful,
Godly woman. She knows the love of Jesus and I believe she will be okay, but my heart hurts that she has to go through this.
My prayer for those with cancer:
Lord, I know too many people who are sick with cancer and other life threatening
illnesses. God I ask you to bless each one of them. I pray for relief from nausea, pain, exhaustion, and viruses that might compromise their immune systems. I pray for financial blessings for each person and I pray for hope. Help us to be good friends
to those in need. In your precious and Holy name, Amen..
My prayer today for the addicted:
Lord, I lift up every single person that has an addiction. God you know who they are. You know where they are. You hear the prayers
of their mothers and grandparents. You hear the cries of their children. Lord, we know that addiction is when the mind is controlled by the need for a drug or a drink. We know the brain chemistry has been changed. We know they don't
want to be addicted. We know they need you, Jesus. I pray for supernatural healing on each person who is affected by drugs and alcohol. I pray for all the chemical processes in their brain to be restored. I pray for complete healing upon
their minds, bodies, and spirits. Help them to feel your presence no matter where they are at. Send Christian people to them, Father God, to witness to them and to share your love and hope. In your name, Amen.
Be the Change my friends. Pick
a cause and make a difference.
Yesterday was a day America will never forget; our country was maimed, but not destroyed. We all remember where we were the day we were attacked. The disbelief, the horror, the shock......I think all of
us who remember that day will never forget those emotions. Yesterday we honored those who lost their lives that terrible day. Every day we should be honoring our military members and our first responders. Each of them makes a daily sacrifice
to protect our freedom and our country.
It's a beautiful and sunny day today! I went on a nice walk with Debbie and our dogs. The girls are coming over in a bit and I am going to take care of them while Meghan goes to a chiropractic appointment.
We are going to make homemade pizza and a pie! I can't wait to hug the little darlings.
Physical therapy is going well for me. My hips seem to be improving. The pain isn't constant anymore and I am moving easier. Perhaps it won't be
long before I am normal again! God has been good and faithful.
Forty-four million dollars was raised for the victims of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Celebrities got together and shared their talent and the money rolled
in. Forty-four MILLION dollars!!! It's amazing and I am so proud to be an American as so many stood together and helped people who need it. I feel bad for all the victims of the wildfires in the northwestern states though. I have seen posts on social
media that they feel forgotten. I know many in those states have also lost their homes, lives, and all their personal items. We must never forget anyone in the midst of a tragedy.
My friend Lynda called me yesterday to update me on her Lymphoma.
She is overwhelmed with all the terms and the upcoming process. Thankfully she has a large and fantastic supportive family and they are going to help her through it. I remember when Logan was diagnosed; everything seemed foreign and I had no idea what
to do. I was numb- in shock. When I was diagnosed, I wasn't so shocked about what was to come as I had been there, done that before with Logan. Unfortunately it had been familiar to me and I could jump right in and understand the blood cancer process.
Lynda was there for Logan and for me and I want to be there for her too. She is such a sweet, beautiful, intelligent, and kind woman who gives her time, talent, and energy to so many.
I got a message from John that he is home for a week or so
and the next time he goes to Arizona he will see the surgeon for an opinion on removing a liver lesion. John has had it rough that's for sure. Another friend whose husband with esophageal cancer said he's having trouble eating and has lost a lot of weight.
So many are hurting in this world and I want to help them all.
I had the girls for a couple hours again yesterday and we are keeping them all night tonight. Meghan is three days overdue and so very tired. I hope tonight she delivers that little
girl and can finally rest.
I have my appointment with Dr. Spencer today after my physical therapy. Hpefully my blood work looks good and no new concerns will pop up. I keep seeing things on my online bone marrow survivor support group where people are
relapsing after transplant. I don't feel like I will, but I get a twinge everytime I read about another one. One lady wrote that FOUR people matched her and all four backed out on the bone marrow donation. One guy had three back out on him and he is waiting
to see if another can be found. It's heartbreaking- so disappointing when people don't follow through with the donation to save a life.
I love this quote I saw on FB:
Stop being against yourself
Stop self destructive behavior
Bless your future with words of faith.
Declare God's promises over your life and over your loved ones.
You're not helpless.
The powerof death and life are in your words.
How many times have
we all put ourselves down and said negative things about ourself? Too often for all of us I am afraid. It's time to reframe those negative thoughts. Instead of telling yourself you "failed again", tell yourself that you made a bad choice, but you now know
how to make a better choice. Say, "I am a child of God and I have the strength, through Christ, to change." Once you start speaking positively to yourself, things will turn around for you and your mind will be clearer, more concise, and you will be happier.
We ALL need to do this. Have a blessed day everyone. :)
We kept the girls Thursday night, hoping Meghan would have the baby. No such luck! I was worn out by 7:00. I managed to last till 8:00, then Papa had to be the sole caregiver.
Thankfully, the girls slept all night. I did not though because Patrick's cat decided she needed to be fed in the middle of the night and stepped all over my head, meowing in my ear. This is a common occurence. She never wakes him up, just me. He doesn't ever
understand why I am irritated with his precious cat.... Now if my dog did that, I would never hear the end of HIS sleep being disrupted. I am really not angry, just a bit irriated. :)
I saw Dr. Spencer on Thursday and my blood tests look really good
which is awesome. No sign of a reoccurence which is definitely worth celebrating! One of the medical assistant's, Tim, came out to the lobby to shake my hand and to thank me for writing "Killing Leuk". He told me that he appreciated the book so much.
My heart soared as I feel as if God has allowed me to touch other people's lives. Right after he told me that, I checked FB and there was a message from one of Casey's friends, Ryan, who said he just finished the book. He said reading the book makes
him want to be a better husband, father, and son, and he also thanked me for writing it. I thank God that he allowed me to write it!
"Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances we know to be desperate." G.F.Chesterton.
"Hope in the
Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption." Psalm 130:7
It looks like it's going to be a pretty nice day. I really need to get off the couch. Yesterday I had an all day meeting for the credit union board
I am on. I was too tired and lazy to take Ringo for a walk last night and he deserves a long one today. I just need to get motivated. I woke up a bunch of times in the middle of the night and don't feel very rested. I told Meghan I would take care of the girls
today so she could rest. Six days overdue and she needs a break.
I received a card in the mail from Casey. He thanked me for being there for him. I also had a fantastic visit with him the other day and a good phone call last night. Moment like these
are encouraging and fill me with hope. I want my son free from addiction, I want the sons and daughters of others to be free from addiction, I wish I knew how to stop it from happening. What can we do differently as parents to keep our kids from trying drugs?
What can we do as a community to help those who are using, to recover and lead full lives? I really wish I knew the answer. I do know that since I set healthy boundaries, I am happier and feel less stressed. I cannot let Casey's addiction destroy me
anymore. I have to put my own health first. Isn't that the opposite of what we parents have always done? It seems so selfish to put my own needs before my child's needs. But he's no longer a "child", even though he will always be my child. I need to get well.
I can't get well unless I take care of ME. I finally understand that.
I am thankful I got to visit with my friend Lynda tonight. She looks so tiny- she's already lost weight. She is optimistic and courageous, but understandably nervous about tomorrow
as it's chemo day. I am completely honored she allowed me to come visit with her. I feel like I have a purpose again and I am more determined than ever to get my master's in social work. I truly want to be a blessing to many.
your way to the Lord: trust in him and he will do this. He will make your righeousness shine like the dawn. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways., when they carry out their wicked schemes."
"This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's." 2 Chronicles 20:15
"The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you
love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him." Deuteronomy 13:3-4
"You will not have to fight
this battle. Take up your positios; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." 2 Chronicles 20:17.
Isn't it great to know the battle belongs to the Lord? We are living in a
season of time when things are uncertain and frightening. Each day we are hearing more stories of more natural disaster. Stories of more lives lost due to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and violence. It's a scary time to be alive. Each generation
thinks theirs is the scariest one to live in and I have to agree because things are progressing and not in a positive way. We are not only hearing about countries & states being destroyed by natural disasters, but we are hearing more about violence- more
murders and more assaults. People are brazen and seem to do what they want. We have developed into people who simply don't care about following rules or morals. We hear people openly mocking as well as denying God. We hear cries about "equality, religious
& racial disrimination, we are seeing historical monuments being removed from public places because people are "offended" at our history. We are not a unified nation. I fear things are going to get worse. I for one am so happy I know Jesus
as my personal savior. It's a scary world out there for people who don't know him.
I don't want to be all gloomy and dark today. I'm racking my brain trying to come up with something happy to share. I have been talking with so many
people who are hurting; grieving the loss of children, suffering from cancer and other debilitating illnesses, and of course the addicts who are struggling. My mind gets numb sometimes. Today I am meeting with an old friend who moved out of state
several years ago. She and I will meet at the Garden of Reflection to share our pain of losing our children. Amy's daughter was killed in a car accident many years ago. It will be good to visit with her. I got a call from another friend whose
daughter died a year ago. She is really struggling right now and we are going to get together as soon as her schedule allows it. She needs to be surrounded by compassionate people. I want to be there for her.
I had a fantastic United Way meeting last
night. I'm sorry my second term is almost at an end and I will have to leave the Board. This organization does so much for our community. We have a great staff who pursues multiple grants each year so many non-profits can get funding for needed programs.
They are a dynamic team there and do so much good for our community. It truly warms my heart.
Physical therapy is going well for me. I still hurt, but definitely not as debilitating as it used to be. The therapist and staff at Northern Edge are
incredibly friendly and knowledeable. Some have even agreed to register on the bone marrow registry! I will be swabbing cheeks soon at their location. I'm excited to have them join the national registry. Always a cause to support! :)
"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." "For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountsain, Move from here to there and it will move and
nothing will be impossible for you."
I thought about these two verses this weekend as I reflected on something Olivienne said to me. We were in the car and some how my medical condition got brought up. She said, "Grammie, you know you are
not going to get sick again, right?" I hesitated for a moment, unsure to answer her. I don't want to lie to her, but I also don't want to worry her. Realisitcally, "it" could come back, but I don't think it will. My four year old granddaughter doesn't either.
She has a little child's loving heart and the faith of a mustard seed. She simply stated, "You know you aren't going to get sick again, right? You don't need to go to the doctor anymore, Grammie. You call him and tell him you are all better and
you don't need to see him anymore." Oh to have the faith of a child and a mustard seed! What a blessing to hear these prophetic words spoken over me by my four year old granddauther. Precious words of faith.
I took Ollie to church today. She was brave
enough to try the kid's church. Her first time and she seemed to enjoy it. She has been asking so many questions about Heaven and Jesus. We talk about Uncle Logan a lot. Last night she slept with Logan's precious "Squeaky" which is his stuffed
Lemur a friend gave him when he was diagnosed. I told her the story of how Logan left Squeaky in his hospital bed and housekeeping came in to change the sheets and accidentally took Squeaky to the hospital laundry room. We were all in a panic. Thankfully
they found him and returned him to Logan. Ollie fell asleep clutching Squeaky close to her chest. I told her I hope Uncle Logan comes to her in her dreams.
We are exactly one month away from the 19th year anniversary of Logan leaving us
and going to Heaven. 19 years.....He was only 11 when he died. Jesus has had him in Heaven far longer than we have had him on earth. I have to say my heart has not quit hurting. I miss him so much. I think tonight would be a good day for Meghan to have this
little girl. 24 is a special number and Logan would love to share the 24th with her.
I don't watch football, nor will I pretend to know anything about it. But what is going on in our country really isn't about football. It's more about
tearing others values and morals down. It's about becoming an "I" nation and not a "we" nation. It's about division and destroying all unity in this country. It supposedly began with one player who was "standing up for black rights and racial disrimination"
by kneeling in protest. It has now become a political statement. Many do not like Trump as president. That's pretty obvious. But instead of supporting our president to keep our nation unified, people are tearing each other down, hurting the feelings
of othersand causing fights amongst friends and family-attacking one another verbally. These are vicious attacks on both sides. Veterans must be wondering why they served their country to keep America free as no one seems to appreciate their tremendous sacrifice.
My personal opionion is going to be written here, but I am not going to attack you for having a different one. The American Flag represents freedom and unity. Our forefathers and our Veterans fought for our flag. I don't care what you
think about our president, the flag has always symbolized freedom and we have always been taught to stand up and place your right hand over your heart. It's called RESPECT!!!! You want equal rights? Then speak eloquently and maturely. Talk about
what needs to be changed and go about it like an adult, not like a child having a little temper tantrum. You want to make a difference in this country? Be the Change! Don't be the one who divides this nation. As you can see, it starts with one person.
There was one lone person who started this. His statement made others think about their own beliefs. That one person has caused thousands to disrect the flag and our country's leadership. One lone person can bring our country back together. One person
who can show positive leadership will teach others how to follow suit. Together we can be united again. We are the UNITED States of America. Let's show the world we CAN be united!
We have a new grandaughter! She doesn't
have a name yet, but she is beautiful. She weighed a whopping 9.8 pounds and was only 19,.5 inches long. She has lots of hair. I can't wait to hold her again today. I held her briefly last night. She was born at 9:26 p.m. on 9/26!!! 26 is going to be
her number for sure. Olivienne and Ailynn have not seen her yet. I wish I could be there to see their reaction. How precious it will be! We are so blessed and thankful to have this new little one to love.
I have been very busy with
my three granddaughtes so I haven't had time to write the past few days. Yes, I have THREE granddaughters. May I add they are all beautiful and special? This is the time of my life that I appreciate the most. I am more relaxed, I am alive, I am happy, I am
getting stronger each day, and I truly appreciate life. I love my family and friends and I'm just so happy!
Yesterday was a very busy day for me. I started my day off in Zumba. I am pleased with how I am progressing in strength. My hips still hurt,
but I'm getting better and stronger. My fatigue level is still very high, but I am confident I am going to continue to improve. After Zumba, I drove out to see Casey at Goose Creek. It's a very long way out there. I was pleased that we actually
had a visit and didn't get mad at each other. That's a big step. Casey and i butt heads a lot. I have trouble dealing with his distorted thinking and he doesn't like to be called out on it. We both have to learn how to relate to one another. This
is not a normal healthy relationship, no doubt about that. After that, I met with Phillip from Set Free. I sure do love that organization. The staff truly cares about people in recovery. Then I picked up Granny and took her to meet her third great-great
granddaughter. After that, I took Ringo to the low cost vaccination clinic and stood in line for an entire hour to get his annual shots. I was exhausted when I got home, but still someohow managed to stay up until midnight. Thankfully, I slept
until 0800 today so I am rested. I will have Ollie overnight tonight and she is definitely a bundle of energy. I may need a nap before she comes over!
My parents are in Texas for a few weeks and I'm sad that my mother is having more problems
with her feet and is in constant pain. She is an amazing woman who never complains. She's been through a lot and I wish things were easier for her. I wish things were easier for my dad too. He has worked so hard the past few months. Hard
phsyical work that I wish he didn't have to do at his age.
I have many friends who are really hurting right now and are struggling with major, major health concerns. I need to write all of them down and make sure I am sending cards and saying
prayers for all the needs. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 Let's all be there for the brokenhearted.
It's hard to believe there are only two months
left in the end of this year. Today is my mother-in-law's birthday and I wish we were there to celebrate with her. I love birthdays. I know many dread them, but after what I have gone through, I appreciate each and everyone so much more. I actually always
loved birthdays. I love the texts, the phone calls, the cards, and the FB messages. I could care less about presents- presents aren't important to me. What IS important to me is being knowldged. The moment when people say, "Hey, I'm glad you were born. I'm
glad I know you. I'm glad you are here with me." It makes me feel loved and valuable. Who doesn't like to feel loved and valuable? I think we all do. Ollie was asking me yesterday about homeless people. She asked, "Why do some people have to sleep
on the sidewalks or the dirt? Why can't they just go stay with a friend?" I had to tell her some people just don't have friends they can stay with. It's hard explaining to a four year old how desperate some situations are. Some people burn all the bridges
they had for support. Sometimes they have done so much damage, that no one is willing to help them again. It's heartbreaking for sure. For those people, we must show them the love of Christ through these snacks, a meal, clothing, shelter, and most of
all a kind word. Please don't ignore someone begging for food. Get to know them. Find out what happened to them that caused them to be in this situation. See what resources you can offer them..
This world is constantly being divided.
The NFL thing where players kneel instead of acknowledging the American Flag, the shooting today in Las Vegas (thankfully my friend successfully escaped), the division over our president and the criticisim of whether or not he handled things quickly enough
when the natural disasters occured- all items in the media and are presented in a way to divide our nation. We can't let this divide us. The social media wars need to stop too. I know what politiical party each of my FB friends post. The liberals post
hateful comments about Trump dividing our country. Those comments are what are dividing our country. I don't care if you are a Republican or Democrat, RESPECT YOUR PRESIDENT. I didn't like Obama, but I did not publicly criticize him. I always tried to find
something positive to say about him. If we all tried to use a little diplomacy, our country wouldn't be in this horrible state.
Life is way too short to hold grudges, show animosity, and be rude to people. How about offering someome a smile today?
When they make you mad or irritate you, just smile and pray for them. You never know what someone else is going through.
The speakers were dynamic and their enthusiasm was contagious. The room was filled with hope and determination
last night at the Opioid Task Force meeting. We started off with hearing about "Addiction in the Brain" from Dr. Jay Butler who is the Alaska Chief Medical Officer for Health and Social Services. Dr. Butler reminded us that a person who is addicted
to opioids must have the drug just to "feel normal". It goes from wanting to be high, to just needing to maintain a feeling of normalcy. The Dopamine levels in the brain have been drastically altered by drugs and continuing to use them is the only
way an addict can feel somewhat normal. He spoke of one patient who just quit all drugs, alcohol, and tobacco by locking himself in a hotel room for two weeks. Dr. Butler emphasized this is not the most desirable way to quit drugs as we know withdrawals
from alcohol can actually kill you. We recently learned detoxing from heroin without medical assistance can also cause death as Kellsie Green's family can attest. We don't want that to happen to anyone else, so medical precautions in a proper
detox facilty should take place. We didn't talk about the lack of detox beds in Alaska last night, but we all are aware how limited our state is in this capacity.
Next up on the agenda was Andy Jones, who works in a specially created position
in the Governor's office. Mr. Jones is in charge of Project Hope. Project Hope is funded by a multi-milion dollar federal grant that pays out for five years. This grant pays for Narcan training and kits, as well as the prescription drug disposable
bags. These bags can hold up to 40 opioid pills and they are basically disintegrated by the activated charcoal in the bag. Can you imagine the restricted access our youth would have to opioids if people who stop hoarding their pain pills? We could
possibly stop some of our children from ever trying the drug if we stop making it readily available. Mr. Jones' is a bundle of energy and it's clear that he desires to educate the entire state on the opioid epidemic and put a stop to drug abuse all together.
He was followed by a special education teacher, Kerri Pittman, who has tirelessly advocated for a YMCA in the Mat-Su Valley for the past twelve years! Ms. Pittman understands that if we offer children healthy and fun activities, they will be less
likely to seek other, less desirable ways, to have "fun". She is putting together a list of resources in the Valley of activities that children and families can participate it. Many activites are free and the hope is to have scholarships for those
who can't afford the activities that have a fee associated with them. We have spent so much time discussing how to help addicts who are in active addiction, but it's time to now talk more about prevention. Let's stop addiction before it begins.
Thrive and United Way has done a fantastic job of promoting healthy activities for our youth. We need the community to "catch on" and embrace this philosphy and work together to encourage our youth to be part of organized and fun activites that will
promote health, safety, and wellness.
Finally, representatives from the school district shared about the many programs they are instituting in the public school system. Programs about healthy lifestyles, dating violence, sexual abuse, and drug
abuse. Our children are being taught how to express themselves in a healthy manner, who to turn to when things are tough, and they are learning to be kind to themselves and each other. Suicide prevention is being taught and the kids are being trained
to train others on how to recognize suicidal ideation in their peers.
The Mat-Su Valley is defnitely stepping up to the plate and offering a smorgasboard of solutions to our community members. I believe that in five years we will have
turned our Valley around. We will no longer be known for having one of the highest rates of drug use, sexual assaults, domestic violence, crime rate, or STD's. We will be known as the being one of the most desirable communities in the nation.
We must work together to accomplish this. Be the Change!
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure & opportunity to register six people on the national bone marrow registry. These potential donors were employees at Northern Edge Physical
Therapy adn they are a group of dynamic individuals. I go there for my PT on my hips and I just love them all. They are so friendly and helpful. I love educating others about bone marrow transplants and I love sharing mine and Logan's story in
hopes of registering more people so more lives can be saved.
This morning I am thinking about how we limit ourselves. The self-talk can truly make or break us. If we wake up with a defeated attitude, then our whole day will be one
of defeat. Do we want to live in victory or defeat? How we think about our circumstances will define us. It will define our day, our week, our month, our year, and our life. If we focus on our aches and pains, our problems, our despair, what
has happened to us in our lives, who has made us mad or offended us, then we are going to be miserable each day of our lives. I don't want to live unhappy or defeated. Do you? It's time to retrain our minds. It is time to focus on the good things. I get sick
of the saying, "Just be positive". But really, there is some truth in that. Focus on the happiness, the positive things and not the miserable things. Do you hurt today? I'm sorry you do, but instead of sharing it with the world how miserable and uncomfortable
you are, thank God you are alive and here. Find something enjoyable about your day. Don't bring everyone down around you. I love what I read from Joyce Meyer today:
Devotion from Joyce Meyer:
“God’s word teaches us that he can
do much more than what we can dream, imagine, or think. (see Ephesians 3:20), so why not think big? Surely, we don’t believe that God wants us to live narrow lives with barely enough to get by in life. He is a big God and wants to provide
more than enough of all we need.
Always be content with what God is providing, but at the same time, think big about your future. God wants to use you in a big way, bless you in a big way, and help you in a big way!
Don’t let your own small thinking keep you trapped in a little life.
Prayer: Father, thank you for reminding me to think big. Let me think your thoughts and dream your dreams.
My heart aches for two famiies in our church.
One lost their son, the other's son is in serious condition. There was a horrific car accident and a young life was taken. I did not know the boy, Noah,but from what I heard, he was a dynamic young man. His childhood was difficult- his parents were addicted
to drugs. His dad was murdered. His grandparents adopted him and he was active in church. I know where Noah is right now. It sounds like he had a very happy and fulfilled life, but it didn't start out that way. He was a conqueror. He overcame many
obstacles and he served the Lord God. He is now celebrating with Jesus. The family he left behind is grieving terribly and my heart hurts so badly for them. I know how it feels to lose a son. Please pray for Noah's family and for the other boy
who was badly injured. He is also grieving the loss of his friend. Jesus, please comfort these two families right now and show them, through others, how much you love them. We don't understand why.....why the young.... why the good people.... but we trust
you, Jesus, and we have faith in you. We know we will see our loved ones again. Help us to portray your love to others.
My husband worked so hard today at the cabin. He is simply amazing and never complains. I feel so lazy when I compare
myself to him. I can't say I accomplished much today but I feel so exhausted. I just feel lazy. I don't do enough to help around t he house or the cabin, or other people. I need to help others more and help around here more. Maybe I should just force myself
to do more and the energy will come. I read people's comments on the support group page and everyone says the same thing, " I am always exhausted." I don't want to be exhausted. I want to be full of energy and be a better helper.
are at the cabin for the theee nights and I am so happy to be here in our special place. I met my friend Jackie today in Soldotna. We visited while we walked around the park. She is such a woman of faith. She has a kind heart and she speaks words
of kindness and compassion. I love her heart. I enjoy visiting with friends so much. God made woman desire relationships and it's important to choose relationships to that make you feel valued and treasured. I feel that with Jackie.
have so many ideas about improving ministries in the church, but I lack the energy to do much about it. I think the church focuses so much on world missions, but there is a lack of practical services provided right here at home. I think about Casey being incarcerated.
One person from our church has visited him twice. Twice in the total of two monrhs (combined) that he has been there. One person- two visits. I remember last year when I was in ICU fighting for my life. Not one person from church visited me. I
think about a lady from church who said only a couple people came to her daughter's funeral and no one followed up with her to see how she was doing. Something needs to be organized. Someone needs to step up and provide this ministry. Is that person me? Is
this what I am supposed to do? I wish I could hear God tell me what's the purpose for my life is..
We had a great weekend at the cabin. I relaxed a lot. I got home today and there were three adorable chldren in my house. Meghan and the
girls will be staying with us until they leave for California. Kirk left yestereday with their 5th wheel. The pitter patter of baby girl feet will be plentiful the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, the timing stinks for me this week. Tomorrow I fly
to San Diego for Board of Director training for MVFCU. The training will be fantastic, but the timing is poor with the girls staying here this week. I hate to miss out on a single moment with them.
Another friend is facing the potential end of
her marriage after twenty-five years. What the heck is going on? So many of our friends have divorced in the last year. It is simply heart breaking. Communication breakdown is usually the instigator. I love watching my daughter and son-in-law communicate.
They speak kindly to each other and talk to each other as a friend, not like the person is an "irritant." I actually have learned a lot from observing them communicate. They have figured it out early in life which is fantastic! I think every married
couple should take a communication class every couple of years. It sure wouldn't hurt.
October 11, 1919. My grandpa Marvin loved to tell everyone that was his birthday. We especially loved hearing him say 1919. My kids and I still
smile when we rememeber hI'm reciting this special date. But October 11, 2014, is also a day I will never forget. It was the day I heard, "You have leukemia ". It was another moment when my life was turned upside down. The first was when our oldest son,
Logan, was diagnosed with leukemia. The second moment was when he left this world at the age of11. Things happen in threes, right? The third time was when I heard those cruel words which crushed us all over again. Over the past three years I have achieved
remission twice and relapsed once. I survived an unrelated umbilical cord stem cell transplant after being devastated when I was told no adult donor matched me. I have been hospitalized numerous times and came close to leaving this world myself. I have
pushed myself to the limits in hopes of recovering quicker. I have had to leave a job I truly loved. I have grieved over the loss of a normal life. I have struggled with sadness and depression all while throwing myself into many community causes. I have asked
myself while I am still here and Logan is not. I have asked God what he wants for my life. I have begged for clarification of what my role as a wife, as a mother, as a grandmother, and as a community member should be. But most of all, I thank God for saving
me. I thank him that I am here and appreciate the many good days I have. I thank him that I can offer support to those who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as support for parents who are grieving the loss of a child. I celebrate October 11th, because
Leuk was defeated because GOD is bigger than IT and because I AM Wonder Woman. I have the clothing to prove it. Bring it on, October 11th. Bring on the memories because all they do is remind me of how strong I am and how much better I feel each day. I am not
afraid. Happy birthday, Grandpa Marvin. I love you. We will dance again in Heaven. Save a dance for me.
Today I got to visit with long time friends. Some I met when Logan was sick and they will always be near and dear to our hearts. I am blessed to
have wonderful supportive friends.
The conference is going well. I am learning a lot. I didn't realize how big of a commitment it would be to be on the credit union board. I feel a bit intimidated, but I am determined to follow through
with my commitment and put all my effort into this. The people at this conference are so friendly. I have to laugh because I am one of the youngest people in attendance. People don't realize my age, so I am referred to as "one of the young ones." I am just
playing along and not telling them how OLD I really am. I mentioned my grandchildren to a lady in a restaurant tonight and she was dumbfounded and said, "how could you be a grandmother when you look 20!" All I can think is how awful I looked two years ago-
skinny and bald and I am thankful I look"normal" now.
I bought some granola bars to hand out to homeless people down here. Tonight I met a mentally ill woman recently released from prison, in the restroom in Old Town, while she was washing her underwear
in the sink. I took the time to talk with her. I could have listened to her for hours, but she needed to go. I wanted to know what she was in prison for, who she had for support, and how she feels about herself and life in general. I hope she realized I truly
cared about her. I don't want a single person to feel like their life is not valuable.
Today I got to share Logan and my story with a few people and educated them about the need to get on the bone marrow registry, I hope the people I
shared this with tells other people and many new people get on the registry. I heard about one credit union in Texas whose Board of Directors authorize fundraisers that generates over a million dollars for children's cancer charities. I am amazed! If we all
put some effort in, we could change the world. Awesome stuff.
I am so happy to be home. I was super tired on the flights home. I slept most of the way from Seattle to Anchorage which was fantastic. On the flight from San Diego
to Seattle, I met two nice people in my row. The lady saw I was reading the book "Dreamland" and she told me she's going to be reading it for her next book club meeting. She was nervous about reading it. It's a pretty deep read and sure makes you
think. I love the book. We then started talking about cancer and survivors. She is a breast cancer survivor. You just don't know what a person has been through unless you make the effort to start talking to them. They blessed me by visiting with
I had a great time in San Diego and I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. I feel ready to be a more effective Board member for MVFCU as well as other boards or coalitions I may be involved in. If we all contribute the best we can then we can make
I got to see Ailynn and Boe this morning. Olivienne spent the night with her cousin Kaycie, so I haven't seen her yet. Patrick isn't home from his Naknek fishing trip yet so I will see him tonight. Tomorrow is Meghan's birthday so
we will have a nice family dinner tomorrow.
Today we celebrate the birth of our youngest child. Meghan was the girl I had waited for all my life. When I found out I was pregnant for a third time, I prayed it would be a girl. I
prayed for a third child in general! She was born with a touch of red hair that later turned blond as can be. Then in high school, it turned red again. She doesn't have the temper of a red head though. She is calm and collected and oh so very wise. She
is a great confindant and giver of wise counsel to even her mother! She is a wonderful mother to her children and an amazing friend to all. She does not judge others; she accepts all as they are. She is the joy and delight of our lives and we are blessed
to call her daughter. My parents and Granny came over to celebrate with us. Olivienne and Ailynn helped me make a cake. Myprayer for my daughter:
May you continue to be a woman with a beautiful and caring heart that is so full of compassion
for others. May you continue to value your husband and children above all except God. May you develop an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and know that he is the son of God and will forever guide you. May you ask God for direction in every part of your
life and not go a single day without knowing that God is the almighty. May you continue to be a delight to your parents and family. We pray blessings upon you for a healthy family, a healthy marriage, and a continued love for your husband. In the name
of Jesus I pray these blessings upon you, my daughter
The lack of sleep is catching up to me. Last night I was in bed by 9. Then the cat wanted in so I got up. Then the dog wanted out so I got up. Then the girls came up and made tons
of noise and although I asked them to go downstairs- they stayed. Then casey called. I went back to bed and he called again. Then the cat wanted out and the dog wanted in. Finally fell asleep and then the girls woke up and climbed in bed with us. .I
came out to the couch and Ollie followed. She is constantly moving and making noise. It's now 0530 and I need sleep...
The last couple of nights the girls slept through the night and I got much needed rest which was fantastic.
Yesterday Mom and I went into Anchorage to help with the bone marrow drive at the Alaska Native Convention.
Ollie has double pink eye and a cold. Baby Boe seems to be getting pink eye. I am nervous about getting sick. So far so good! Meghan has
a bad ear infection and a cold as well. It sure is going around.
Tuesday is the 19th anniversary of Logan's death. I dread this day. It's hard to believe he has been gone this long I miss him so much and it seems like yesterday when I said goodbye.
My precious child, how I love you. I have never "gotten over" his death and my heart still hurts.
0300 was the wakeup call today. Little girls don't like to sleep all night. At 0400, I went to the couch. I could hear them squirmimg around
and moaning in their sleep which has continued to keep me awake at 0530. Ailynn just came out and said "I want to eat and where is Papa?" I gave her a graham cracker and told her she had been in bed with Papa.... I put her back in there and saw that Ollie
has also joined him. I cannot sleep with squirming babies or husbands. I am hoping for a few hours of sleep.....
I am physically exhausted, but also emotionally and mentally exhausted. The next two weeks are overloaded. I am thankful the following two
weeks wont be so bad. Everyone needs a mental break.
How can it be that you have been gone for nineteen years?
How can it be that you have been gone longer than we had you?
How can it be that we must go on with our lives,
all the while feeling the pain of your absence?
Oh Logan, daily I ask myself why…. Why you? Why such a good, sweet boy with a wonderful personality had to leave us. Daily I think about you and treasure what we had. Daily I wish I had appreciated
you more, treasured you more, and held you more. I wish I had taken more time to just enjoy you and to sit back and soak up your sheer goodness.
If I could go back in time I would tell you that you were the best thing that ever happened to us. You were
our firstborn child and we were simply mesmerized by you. We loved everything about you including your sweet freckled face. We loved your generosity, your compassion, and your kindness. People used to tell us if they had a son, they would want him to
be just like you. Children flocked to you and adults loved to sit and talk with you.
My heart hurts, my firstborn child. My arms ache for you. I want to talk to you, I want to dream about you. I imagine what you would be like if you were here
today. I think about having conversations with you and holding your children in my arms. I wonder if you would have been the research scientist you wanted to be, so you could find a cure for leukemia.
I think about you holding your three nieces
in your arms and how excited they would be to see you each time. You would have been a great uncle. All children loved you. They flocked to you and you welcomed them in. You remind me of Jesus, he encouraged the little children to come to him just as you did.
I wonder what we would be like if you hadn’t had to leave us. Your death affected us so much and our personalities have been forever altered. No one can survive the loss of a child without feeling different inside.
I want you to know that we have not forgotten you. You were worried about that, but there is no way on earth we could ever forget the blessing of having you for eleven years. We wouldn’t trade those years for anything. You were so,
so brave. You used to be afraid of needles and it took about four of us to hold you down for stitches. Yet when you were nine, you learned to accept all the medical interventions and you became an expert of your own body and the disease that ultimately
took you away from us. Because of you, many people have registered on the Bone Marrow Registry. Because of YOU, lives have been saved. You did it, Logan. You found the cure for others because you made a difference in the lives of so many
Logan, I can’t wait to kiss your freckled sweet face in Heaven. I know that when it’s my turn to walk through the pearly gates that you will be there to greet me. I long for that day. Until then, my dear son, know
that I will continue to raise awareness about leukemia, bone marrow transplants, and will continue helping other parents who grieve. Because of you, Logan, I can find the strength to help others. You are my hero and champion. You are forever
loved and missed.
Meghan and the girls came over to spend the evening with us on the 24th. It was good to be together. I would have liked for us to talk about Logan more, but it's so incredibly
painful. Casey called and we all talked to him too. I went to see him after my three doctor appointments that day too. We both fought back the tears. I told him I hoped he dreamed about Logan that night. I reminded him of the time Logan came to me in
my dream and said, "Mom, always encourage Casey. Make sure he knows he is important to you. Encourage him, Mom." I sure could use Logan's wise wisdom right now because I sure don't feel wise.
My blood tests results were perfect. (except for my
high blood sugar) I am thrilled that I am still in remission. I am starting to feel more relaxed and comfortable with the thought this probably is NEVER going to come back. I read an article while I was in the doctor's office about the anxiety of each
doctor appointment and each blood test. No matter how confident we appear, there is always that little part of us that says, "What if it comes back? If I get too comfortable, I will be crushed if I hear the words it's back." No matter how strong
my faith is, there IS a little part of me that is still on guard. Never let your guard down is a saying we are all familiar with. That's how I feel. If I let my guard down it will crush me if it returns. If my guard stays up, I won't be surpried
and will be able to deal with it. Don't worry; be happy..... That song used to irritate me. Now I "get it."
2.5 nights left before we leave for California. I am escorting Meghan and the girls down because it's too much for one woman with
three children under the age of four to fly alone. I say 2.5 because we have to leave our house by 2:30 Sunday morning so that's really just a half night. We don't even want to think about a long winter without our precious four girls. I
truly wish they would just stay in Alaska and never leave us. We could have regular spend the nights (girls say this) and spoil them rotten every weekend. I'm going to spend five nights with them and then see family and friends for a couple days.
I may as well enjoy my time since I am going down there. It's going to be so lonely when I return.
Lately I have realized how important God's timing is. Casey has been incarcerated for far longer than most people since the implementation
of SB 91. There has been one thing after another keeping him in jail. I have gotten frustrated, my family has gotten frustrated, and Casey has been more than frustrated and irritated. But there is a reason he is still in jail. I realize that and
I hope he will start to understand that. God has this all under control. I told Casey yesterday that a wise person once told me if things fall into place, its supposed to be. If there are numerous hang-ups and problems, then it's better to let go and
not force it. Ther are many hang-ups with his release. Frequent road blocks are present. There is a reason. It's time to take a few deep breaths and just let God take the wheel. "Be still and know that he is God." It's hard to convince someone who is
incarcerated that though. I get it.
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." Psalm 28.7
This is basically
the last night Meg and the girls are here. We have to leave at 0230 Sunday to catch the plane. The layover in Seattle is less than an hour and I am concerned we won't make our next flight. Three kids, two car seats, and carry on baggage.... I don't move as
fast as Meghan and am definitely not as strong as her. I also can't imagine being stuck in airport for hours with three kids so we better make that flight!
Ailynn was looking at my pictures on the I-Pad tonight and there was a video of Pam, Holly,
and I doing the first video of "Overcomer" at Kootenai Hospital. It was hard for me to watch. It brought back a lot of feelings for me. Part of me just wants to forget that part of my life happened. I want to move on, forget it, and just be normal. The other
part of me knows I have to acknowledge it, remember so I can help others, and remember how blessed I am to be here.
Its so easy for all of us to take for granted what we have. It's so easy to forget to acknowledge the one who led us through the miry
clay and the firey pit. We should never forget because if we don't remember, we don't appreciate what we went through. This applies to everyone in all situations. Trust and be grateful. Things didn't "just happen". If you are reading this, you are alive. Make
the most of your life. You are here for a reason. Don't be a waste of space.
The last day of October is here. The holiday season is upon us again and it's a good time to remember to be thankful for all the blessings we have. We had quite
the trip to get to CA. Three children under the age of four, two car seats, two carry on's, and one purse. We had just enough time to walk a long, long way and get to the next gate in time to load up again. Ailynn threw a few fits on each plane- the kind which
involved ear piercing screams and the throwing body kind of fits. By the time we got to Sacramento, Meghan and I were exhausted. We hauled the kids down to baggage claim. We had a total of five suitcases, three kids, now three car seats, and Kirk parked at
the very end of the baggage claim pick -up. Meghan and I made three trips back and forth to get the luggage and seats to the truck. Kirk then informed us the air conditioner was broken and we had to keep the windows rolled down on the busy interstate. We then
drove three hours to Fresno. Let me tell you, it was a trip! Ollie slept with me in my hotel room. In the middle of the night she was crying that she didn't feel well. I checked her temperature and found it to be 102.5. She was so sick. I had to wake poor
Meghan so she could go get her medicine. Poor Ollie and Meghan!
Last night I couldn't get Ollie to go to sleep until about 0100 due to a late nap. I was so tired I didn't think I was going to make it. She kept rolling around, tossing and turning. I
begged her to go sleep in the fold out bed. She finally did and I got some much needed rest. We took the girls to the playground today. Ollie got hurt and also developed a terrible rash all over her body. In the last month she has had fevers, cough,
body aches, diarrhea, and a rash. I don't know what is going on but I wish she would feel better.
We are taking the girls trick or treating tonight. I bought them Wonder Woman costumes and I brought my WW pajamas to wear. I even brought extra for Meghan!