Saturday, February 27, 2010

After 29 Years, the Earth still MOVES!!!



Did you ever wonder if the earth will still "move" after 29 years of marriage?  Well, this morning at 5:30 AM we found out that it surely does!!  We were jolted out of our sleep on the 8th floor of the Renaissance Hotel in Onna by a 7.0 earthquake.  I jumped up, stood on the bed, and hollered at Randy that the room was swaying and we we were NOT on a cruise!!!  He grabbed me and flung me to the floor next to the bed and held me close while the building bounced around.  After a few minutes it stopped and we immediately tried to call Christa on our cells.  She was at home with the dogs.  Finally the call went through and she did a walk around the house while we stayed with her on the phone.  The only casualty of the shaking was my Royal Dalton "Balloon Lady".  She was the only figurine I owned that someone had not "accidentally" dropped through the years!  Oh well, we are all alive and no one was hurt!!!  Praise the Lord for His protection.  I decided that I never wanted to be on the 8th floor of any hotel again during an earthquake!

We did have a very relaxing two nights to celebrate our anniversary.  On Thursday evening the restaurant brought a cake with a sparkler burning on the top!  It was so wonderful.  They also brought two souvenir glasses made here in Okinawa.  After breakfast this morning, we came right home.  I didn't want to stay in our room in case of after shocks.  We had two of them - 5.1 at 10:30 am and a 4.9 at 10:45 am.  There were no tsunamis, although we did have a warning issued and so we decided to skip the early morning swim today! (Ha!Ha!)

You tube link for video of earthquake:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfbprlCgpGw

What a journey we have had so far this year!  Please be in prayer as I will have my 3rd round of Adriamycin/Cytoxan chemo on Wednesday.  I am NOT looking forward to it!  Two of the major side effects I have encountered are the smell of the chemo I have at all times that makes me terribly nauseated; and an acne rash on my head that starts on day 7 after chemo and stays until just before the next chemo.  Thank you to all of you for the notes, packages, letters, emails, calls, and prayers.   

Philippians 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,


          Breakfast                                  Our view at breakfast
                                                        

My handsome guy!                                       View from balcony
                     





5 weddings yesterday                               My handsome man! 
Don't you love the 90% chance of rain they predicted????

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sisters!

What a GREAT visit!

There is something wonderful about a sister who will spend 24 hours flying to see you and then spend most of the time at the hospital and keeping you company in your sick room!  It is hard to believe that Gwen is already back in Jacksonville and working!  She landed in Florida on Saturday night and was back to work early Monday morning.  The two weeks just flew by.  That was the longest we have spent together in probably 10 years.  There isn't much to report about her visit as we spent most of the time in bathrobes and on my wonderful king size bed just visiting.  I really needed her visit and I miss her immensely.  Someday maybe the Lord will allow us to have mansions next to each other!  Please pray for her as she tries to adjust working with jet lag!  I have just a few more pictures to share with you.  Enjoy!!
PS  I love you, Gwen!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

29 Wonderful Years Together!!

Today marks a very special day in my life.  29 years ago, on February 19, I said, "I do," to my very best friend.  Thank you readers, for your patience as I reminisce about the love that the Lord has nurtured and grown in my heart for my wonderful, handsome husband!  This is dedicated to him!  Thank you, Randy, for your unconditional love and support through easy times and hard times.  You are truly the love of my life!

Our Journey

This day brings back memories
of all our years together -
the joys and dreams,
the thing that we've been through...
The world is very different now,
but time has never changed
the reasons I first fell
in love with you...

Your gentle smile, your warm embrace,
the comfort of your voice,
the tender touch
that shows me you still care...
And time will never change the love and gratitude I feel
for all you are
and all that we still share.

The man I fell in love with!                             Our first picture! Sicily, July 1980












Februay 19, 1981                                                                                              Christmas 1991












Graduation - May 1996                                                          Deputation- Summer 1997
 

Azores - Summer 1998                                                              Azores - June 2004












Okinawa - February 2005                                                    Hawaii - 25 years together - May 2006










Alaska - May 2008
Fall - 2009                      







Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Journey This Week

Philippines, Visit from my sister, and 2nd chemo battle!

Randy is in the Philippines for a missions trip.  He is with two of our men from here.  Br. Banks has surrenedered to be a missionary and wanted to go with my husband to visit our missionary Sam Heidenreich in the Philippines.  Also, Brother Carmel Capucao is from the Philippines and wanted my husband to spend some time with his family and him in a town about 5 hours from Manila.  They have seen the hand of the Lord and had 1000's saved!!!! 

Randy Preaching


Congregation


Randy and The Sam Heidenreich Family


Our men weeping.

My husband's trip made possible by a visit from my sister, Gwen!!  It has been so wonderful to have her here.  She arrived on Sunday night, so we had a couple good days together before chemo.  Tuesday evening we met with the ladies of the church for a meal at Macaroni Grill on one of the bases.  (yes, we are suffering for Jesus!) 

Our ladies at Mac Grill

Gwen, me, Christa

Wednesday at 9 am started my 2nd chemo session. Blood counts were good so chemo started on time.  Missionary wife, Heidi Gardner, drove us to the hospital.  She and Gwen were quite entertaining.  They decided that my chemo buddy, Spot, should be photographed with all the people that helped us that day!

Spot and I                                                         Spot, Gwen, and Heidi

Spot and my chemo nurse                                              Spot and my chemo nurse from last week

     Spot and Check Out Ladies                                 Spot and pharmacy tech

               
                       Spot and the pharmicist
*******************************************************
I seem to be doing better this round.  The nausea is under control.  My hair is almost all gone, but the Lord has provided some wonderful hats through good friends and family.  Thank you to all who have helped out in so many ways, for:  driving, making meals, providing hats, sending goody boxes, writing notes, making phone calls, emailing my family and me, supplying wigs, ... 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hair and Duct Tape

This week on Monday, my hair started to fall out.  By Tuesday it was coming out in handfuls.  Tuesday morning I received my scarf from a place called http://www.franceluxe.com/.  They are a wonderful group of women that have a program called "Good Wishes".  They sent me a FREE beautiful silk scarf already made into a wrap for easy wear.  Not only did they send the scarf, but they hand signed a beautiful card!  Please take time to visit their website!

On to my hair story!  After getting home from school on Tuesday, Randy was nice enough to shave my head.  He was so sweet and did a wonderful job.  Reassuring me the whole time that I was still beautiful!  (Yeah, Right!).  When we finished the whole hair thing, we went in to get some office work done.  There on my desk was a beautifully wrapped package.  I noticed right away the little sticker that held the bow down.  It said "House of Rose".  I started to cry!  Two years ago we found a mall down by the capital city of Naha.  In it was a store that sold everything rose scented.  They happen to sell Crabtree & Evelyn products, something I LOVE!!  Crabtree & Evelyn make a rose perfume that I love!  When I put it on I always feel so feminine.  Like I am a size 6 with beautiful tiny features and lovely skin!  However, due to the cost I have never owned any.  As I opened the package Randy told me how he had gone to the mall the day before as he wanted me to have it on the day I was ready to cut my hair. What a great man the Lord has given me!  He has just been wonderful to me through this whole ordeal!

The next morning when at school the boys were very quiet as they entered the classroom and saw me in the hat.  After they settled down for opening assembly, I asked them, "So, do you like my hat."  Cameron said, "No.  I liked your hair."  I tried to lighten up the moment again and asked, "What color do you think it will grow back as?"  Sam said, "Gray."  I said, "NO!!  My hair has always been straight!  I want it to grow back blonde and curly!!!"  Kids are so honest!

I know you are wondering, "What about the duct tape?"  Well, if you are like me, you have a dad and a husband that think duct tape is the "fix all" for everything!  I mean if it can't be fixed with duct tape, then it just can't be fixed!!!  Imagine my families surprise when I told them about the latest use for duct tape I learned on Breastcancer.org!!!  That's right, a group of ladies have figured out that duct tape helps to pull those hairs out that are on the verge of making a mess of your pillow, house, and bathroom drain!  This morning as Christa stood in front of the bathroom mirror straightening her beautiful brown hair, I stood on the other side of the mirror applying duct tape to my head!  Then I would pull it off and voila, hair, lots of hair!!!  This duct tape routine allows you to get the hair off before it starts falling like snow!  Christa and I had a wonderful time laughing about describing my morning routine to others.

Before I go I thought I would post a picture of me in one of my new hats!  The Maxey family sent this to me.  Isn't it beautiful!  Praise the Lord for providing so many neat things to make this hair loss somewhat enjoyable.  I have always loved hats and now have a reason for wearing them!!! 


Thank you for joining me on my journey today.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The LORD hath done great things for us!!!

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.  Psalms 126:2-3

The Lord has done so many great things for me! The delay in posting something new was not due to feeling sick, but rather to feeling good and being able to be part of living this week!!!! This was the first week since October that I have NOT been to a doctor or a hospital! It has been so wonderful to have a break from the emotional roller coaster. One of the very difficult things about cancer is that for a while it seems like the news gets worse with every new test and doctor appointment. The great news this last week was that though the chemo took its expected toll on my body, I did NOT have to return to the hospital for severe side effects!!!

I tried to go to school several days last week and did manage a few hours. On Friday I managed to get up and go in with Christa at the usual time of 7:15 am. The boys had big smiles on their faces when they saw me sitting at my desk as they arrived in the classroom. I had the joy of teaching that day and also getting grades and report cards ready for the parent/teacher meetings we had on Sunday before church. Saturday I was able to get up, dress, and work on my computer. I managed to get a heap of church office work done and I went to sleep that night happy to have the end of year paperwork out of the way! Also, Randy and Christa went to the airport and picked up our dear, sweet Autumn!! She is a single airman who has been in Afghanistan since July. We have missed her terribly and are so grateful to have her “home” with us again!!

Autumn

Sunday was a wonderful day!!! Randy and Christa dressed and left for church, while I slept. I took my time getting ready for the day and put the finishing touches on the dinner that Christa started before she left for church. We had the singles over for the afternoon meal and had a wonderful time. A young man, Matthew, has been visiting the services whose mother I “met” through an online breast cancer support group. He came for dinner also. I am continually amazed at how the Lord is working through this battle with breast cancer!

Sunday evening I was able to stay for the whole service. As I have mentioned before, the Lord always speaks to me through my husband’s preaching. Last night was no different. “Where There is No Vision”. He challenged us from the word of the Lord to have a vision for those around who might not have a vision due to the blindness of their hearts. I prayed in the middle of the sermon and asked the Lord to give me a vision and to use me this week to help someone around me know Him better. At the close of the sermon, I went to the altar and prayed. I felt my husband tap my shoulder and he asked me to speak to a young woman about the Lord. Heather wanted to know about the Saviour and Heaven and so we went into a side room. After a short time, Heather accepted the free gift of eternal life and what rejoicing there was! I was so thankful that the Lord allowed me to help Heather see that the Lord wants a personal relationship with each of us. When we joined everyone, my husband told me that Matthew had also accepted the Lord’s gift! What an exciting night! The Holdings were back and Mrs. Holding and I were able to visit during our “Sayonara” to the Banks family.

Heather and I

Johnsons and Holdings

Last week I asked Randy to take me for a drive today. We have been travelling between the church, home, and the hospital, and quite frankly I needed a change of scenery. So this morning we took our students on a field trip for pizza and to a salt factory.  Cristie, one of our moms, was gracious to act as a driver and chaperone.  She has to keep an eye on me!  It was raining when we left the house, but by the time we reached our destination, the sun had come out and we had a beautiful day. I had so much fun with the boys, all of our students are boys, and they really seemed to enjoy themselves. We even tried to hool-a-hoop! Yes, even Mrs. Johnson!!! As the verse says, “our mouth filled with laughter”. What a glorious day we had.

Boys will be boys!

Hool-a-hoop anyone?

A wonderful Chaperone!

WANTED!!


Now, the sun is down and I am off to bed. My journey this week had mountain peaks and some valleys, but I tried not to miss the journey for the destination. How about you?