Sunday, September 30, 2007

Leaning on the Rock...

"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock
that is higher than I."
Psalm 61:1-2

Thank you for continuing to pray for my mom (and the rest of us). She came home from the hospital Friday evening and while not in much pain (due to medication), she still has a huge hematoma in her right groin area. The doctor told us on Friday that the procedure he did to stop the pseudoaneurysm was working and the hematoma would eventually go away. Mom has to stay off her feet as much as possible, which is fine because she is too weak to do anything else.

I'm not totally convinced the hematoma is the only thing going on, but I'm trying to trust the doctor and rest in the Lord. The lump from the hematoma is about the size of a very large egg and since being home, it's actually become a little bit bigger. I just don't know what to think. Even looking on the Internet hasn't provided much information. So we just keep praying.

I was supposed to fly home tomorrow, but cancelled my flight for the second time. Anyone who has cared for an aging parent knows there is a lot to it--especially when they live alone and far away. It's obvious my mom is at a crossroads and needs to make some decisions about her future. I've tried to talk to her in the past about these things, but she has a hard time hearing it from me--I suppose because I'm the daughter and she's the mother-- and it's difficult when roles are reversed.

Rande and Zach are flying out here on Tuesday. I wish I could do it all on my own, but I can't. I'm an only child, so I don't have the input or help of siblings. And while my mom is a Christian, she does not have a church family or even friends who themselves aren't dealing with health issues. My mom listens to Rande and we are praying she will hear what he has to say about her options and will be willing to follow through with some of these things. Our immediate concern is her care right now--and the fact that I need to go home. We were already planning on coming out for Thanksgiving, so if I am able to go home next week, it will only be a short time before we are back. We just need to convince her to allow someone to come help her now. My aunt (who lives two streets over) has offered for my mom to come stay with her, but she's not in the best health herself--so we just aren't sure what to do. Good thing the Lord knows, huh?! : )

So this is where we are at: on our knees. It's the best place to be! Thank you again for praying for us. It truly means so much and I have told my mom about each of you (even those who have stopped by for the first time). I feel bad I don't even know what is going on in your lives right now. I hope to stop by your blogs and find out, although I probably won't comment right now.

I want to leave you with a few quotes from the daily devotional I've been reading by Dr. Paul Chappell. I hope these encourage you, as they have me.

  • "We all have needs that come into our lives, and each time of need presents an opportunity for us to either trust God or worry."

  • "Peace is not found in the absence of trouble, but in the presence of God."

  • "It's one thing to hear the words of God, but it's another thing to grab hold of them and believe them to be true in your own life."

Blessings to you!! : )

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Please continue to pray....

Hi everyone... this is Ashleigh, updating for my Mama.

Thank you all so much for your prayers the past few days... it sure seems I've been writing this sort of update on Mom's blog a lot during the past six months...

Today we ask for even more prayer. Yesterday--Tuesday--my Gram went home from the hospital earlier in the day, and by the middle of the day they were back in the emergency room. Her surgery site was hugely swollen and the pain was intolerable. After a long day of waiting for her doctor who never came, the on-call doctor came that night and said that she had a hematoma... and then sent her home. He said it seemed the internal bleeding had stopped, the worst was over and that she'd be on the "upswing."

In the middle of the night, Mom had to call 911 and Gram was rushed back to the hospital by ambulance.

It turns out she does have a blood clot in (or on? not sure of all the details here or the correct medical wording--pardon my ignorance) one of the arteries in which they did her angioplasty on Monday. They are going through a series of procedures (some of which are quite painful--and Gram is apparently allergic to the majority of strong pain killers) to try to get rid of it... the last of which is another surgery.

Please just pray that the first procedure (firm pressure applied for twenty minutes--in that excruciatingly painful place) will work and they won't need to continue. Pray also for Mom... she is just about as wiped out as one can get. The care involved on Mom's part for my Grammie is quite a lot to do alone, and she hasn't been feeling up to par herself on top of all of it. Add that to literally being up all night...

Again, you are all so sweet to care about our little family and the things going on with us. We thank you for continuing to bless us by praying and just "being there."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Many blessings...

Thank you all so much for your prayers regarding my mom's angioplasty. Everything went well--the procedure was done in the groin area (the iliac artery) and both the left and right side needed stents. The doctor said mom did great and she should be able to come home tomorrow.

I had a lot of time to think (and pray) today--and at one point started to feel very overwhelmed. I was concerned about my mom and wondering what's ahead for her health wise. The logistics of me living in California and mom living in Alabama, obviously make it challenging to help care for her. How it's all going to work out as she gets older, weighs heavy on my heart at times. Of course she knows she can come back to California and live with us, but that would mean saying goodbye to her beloved Alabama--and her family here--and probably never seeing them again. Only the Lord knows what's ahead, and as I meditated on scripture, I was reminded that I need not be anxious, but instead I need to rest in Him.

I was also really missing my family back home today. I am truly blessed with a very understanding and patient husband. I know it's not easy for him to try to hold down the fort while I'm away and work--but he does a wonderful job--and he believes it's important for me to be here for my mom. I'm so thankful for Ashleigh (and John) because they are always willing to step in and pick up the slack when Rande's working, by helping to care for Zach and get him where he needs to be and do school with him. And it's not as easy to do now that they live 2 hours away--but yet, they just say, "Whatever you need us to do, we'll do it!". Zach too, has been great, as he's had to "go with the flow". And then there's our extended family--I know they've been praying for "Grammie Shirley" and their Aunt Mishel. That's what family is all about.

I'm also blessed with a church family that I know is back home praying for my mom (and me). They are wonderful and I miss them too!

And you all--my bloggy friends--I am blessed beyond words to have ladies like you, praying for us. You've done a lot that over the past many months and I just wish I could get you all in one room so I could give each of you a great big hug and say, "Thank you!".

I'm a blessed woman, indeed. And a tired one at that! : ) It's late here in Alabama, so I'm heading off to bed. I pray my sweet mama is resting peacefully tonight...

Thank you again for praying....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A quicky update and prayer request...

My mom's angioplasty is tomorrow (Monday) afternoon at 1:00pm. I know she'd appreciate your prayers, as she is feeling a little bit anxious tonight.

Thank you so much and I'll keep you posted. : )


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hi y'all!

I can officially say y'all because I'm in Alabama. : )

Just thought I'd give an update on my mom: She hasn't had her angioplasty yet. The doctor thinks it may be a certain medication she's been taking that would make her sodium levels low. Mom stopped taking it Tuesday and we go back tomorrow morning for more blood tests, then the doctor will let us know in the afternoon what the next step is. At this point, the soonest the angioplasty could be scheduled is Monday, which is what we are praying for.

But we have been having fun while we've been waiting!

We've been to Super Walmart umpteen times, Cracker Barrel for breakfast (woohoo!), took a drive around town while mom reminisced about her childhood, had some of mom's delicious Roquefort salad dressing (taste tested by me, with a Fritos corn chip--just like I always did growing up) and I've enjoyed numerous glasses of SunDrop soda (diet and caffeine free, of course!). For those of you who don't know, SunDrop tastes similar to Mountain Dew--only better! ::smile:: Oh...and we made a trip to "the recycle", as mom calls it. It's actually the recycling center where you take your newspapers, catalogs, ect.... Mom had stacks of newspapers piling up in her garage and since her son-in-law is a firefighter, I didn't think he'd be too pleased about the obvious fire hazard. And because my mom is so organized in everything she does--even her piles of newspapers were bagged and neatly stacked, which made it easy to just load them up and take them to "the recycle". : )

Mom is off to her weekly hair appointment (yes, she is from the generation that gets their hair "done" weekly--can you imagine?!!) and I am off to Hobby Lobby in Huntsville. We don't have Hobby Lobby in California and I've never been to one, so I'm real excited about this venture! ::smile:: I need to see if they have a certain ribbon for the favors for Ashleigh's baby shower. They didn't have what I was looking for while still at home, so I thought I'd try to find it once I got to Alabama. Of course, that was also when I thought I'd be home in time to attend the baby shower. If mom's surgery isn't on Monday, then I will probably miss the shower--but everyone agrees that mom's/Gram's health is the priority.

Oh--and before I forget--I want to wish my beloved a Happy Anniversary!! I love you and thank the Lord for you--today and always!

Happy Thursday y'all!! : )

Monday, September 17, 2007

Alabama here I come! 6:00am tomorrow morning I'll be on a plane bound for Alabama to go see my mama. I'm packed and almost ready to go!

My mom's angioplasty that was scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed. Her sodium level is very low and they need to get it back up before she can go under anesthesia. We are praying the surgery will only be postponed for a few days at most. It was a little stressful for a few hours as we tried to decide whether I should cancel my flight or go ahead and go. I talked to a few of my nurse friends and they both said it would probably only be a few days. I go! : )

I'll have my laptop with me,and I'll try to keep you updated on my mom's surgery. Thank you for your prayers! I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed week!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday Memories...

It's another beautiful evening in the desert. There is a brush fire burning in our local mountains, so besides the ominous plumes of smoke to the northwest of us, the sky is most lovely as the sun begins to set.

My guys are in another part of the house reading a book together on godly manhood. Rande's back is getting better each day, but it's slow going, as back injuries usually are. Our church is hosting their annual church picnic today, but because of Rande's back, we aren't going. We will miss being there though!

I just put our dinner in the oven--Taco Casserole. Zach can't have regular tacos because of his braces, so this is easier to eat, but with the same flavors. And it's super easy to put together. I've also made a big green salad go with it. We love salad and have one with almost every meal. It's the way my mama raised me! ::smile:: I just wish I could make my mom's Roquefort dressing--because it's the BEST! Others have tried to make it, but it never comes out like mom's. You can be sure I'll be having some next week when I'm in Alabama.

The other thing my mama (and my dad) raised me to enjoy is a good game of college football. As I made dinner and even now as I type this--I have one eye on the Alabama (Roll Tide Roll!) vs. Arkansas game. My dad was a huge UCLA fan and my mom has loved football since she was in high school. Both of them, whether attending a game or watching it on t.v. would scream their heads off! One of my most embarrassing memories of my dad was when I was 16 and I went to a UCLA game with him. It was bad enough to sit in the alumni section with all the old guys, let alone to hear him scream and yell until he nearly lost his voice. I mean, I was 16 and you know, having your dad scream his head off along with a bunch of other old guys was just not cool. : )

And my mom--well, she is this little tiny, petite thing, but even to this day she will yell and scream at the t.v. during the game. In fact, I know if I were to call her right now she's jumping out of her chair (I'm not kidding!) because BAMA is ahead (31-24) and the 4th quarter just started. I have memories of her too, when I was a teenager--I would have friends over and they would be like, "Why is your mom out there yelling at the t.v.?" I was mortified.

But today--I have a football game on the t.v. and to me, it just seems normal. And now those times I was so embarrassed by my parents' love of college football, brings back happy memories--especially because my dad has gone on to heaven.

So if you don't mind, I'm going to get back to the game. My casserole will be ready soon and besides--Arkansas just scored and now it's a tie. I need to call my mom because I know she's screaming now. This is way too intense! I am sure I won't be yelling at the t.v. or jumping off the couch. But I can't promise. : )

Have a great rest of your weekend and a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow!

ETA: Oh yeah! Alabama won! (41-38) It was *very* close! Ok...and I'll admit, there was *some* yelling on my part (with my mom on the other line), but Zach was yelling too so I don't have to worry about him being embarrassed. Now Rande on the other hand--I don't know about him. He may have been a tad bit embarrassed because the windows are all open. : )

Friday, September 14, 2007

What's been happening this week...

One of the things I love about where we live is it's so....quiet.

Tonight all I can hear is the song the crickets are singing and every once in a while...a lone dog barking. The windows are open and there is a slight breeze. It feels wonderful. The first sign that autumn is on its way in the desert is the fact that while it can be almost 100 degrees during the day, the nights start to cool way down. I know it may not seem like much to some of you, but for this beach-girl-turned-desert-dweller, it means a whole lot! One of the reasons I love fall so much is that we can say "good riddance" to the intense summer heat.

Rande is at a deacons meeting. Zach is sitting here beside me reading James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. He says it's a challenging book to read, but he loves the way Cooper writes so descriptively. Brodie, our beloved border collie, is sleeping soundly at my feet.

And me? What am I doing? Well, I am wishing I could go to bed. ::smile:: I'm tired. It's Friday. It's been a long day and a busy week. Zach had a fiddle lesson today (yes, I'm the crazy mom who drives her son 2 1/2 hours one way, twice a month to fiddle lessons) and we got home just in time for me to pop two frozen (but very yummy California Pizza Kitchen) pizzas in the oven, make a salad....and eat before driving my hubby to church for the deacons meeting.

Why did I have to drive Rande to the deacons meeting? Well...because he's on drugs. Vicodin to be exact. And an anti-inflammatory drug. It's for his back, which he injured earlier in the week. Poor guy. He took this week (and next) off to work on some things here at home and he has spent the past five days hardly able to move. He decided he'd try to make to the meeting tonight by wearing one of those air activated heating pads, but I know he's in pain. Every bump we went over on the way to the church caused him to cringe. I feel just terrible for him, because he had so many plans for things he wanted to do. But obviously the Lord had other plans. Funny how that happens sometimes, isn't it?

As I said, it's been a busy week, but very productive. I like productive! Our first two weeks of school have gone great--even with workers here at the house, orchestra, an orthodontist appointment and fiddle lesson thrown in! I've been keeping up with grading Zach's papers, which makes us both *very* happy. I hate to get behind in that area. I've also been busy with organizing things for our homeschool group--paperwork, requesting cumulative files from public schools (which is something I really don't like doing, but it's one of those things you have to do).

Something else I did was try out a new recipe: Ashleigh's Buttery Apple Chops. If you want a delicious meal and your house to smell absolutely heavenly--then this is the meal to make! Even Zach, who is not too keen on pork chops, loved it. I served the chops with brown rice and a yummy green salad and both my guys raved. One warning though: it's definitely not low fat! So out of guilt, ::smile:: the next night I made baked rigatoni with whole wheat pasta,part skim ricotta cheese and low fat mozzarella--and my guys loved it too! (I know some people don't like whole wheat pasta, but I've tried different brands until I found one we all liked.)

I also worked on some fun little things for Ashleigh's upcoming baby shower. (Of course I can't say exactly *what* I've been up to, but it's been fun.) My niece Tiffany is planning this family event -- and what a great job she is doing! She's amazing! Everyone tells her she should do this for a living, because she is so good at coordinating events. My other niece (Tiffany's sister) designed and hand-made the invitations. I'll have to post a picture because they are *too* cute.

Another thing I did this week was made plans to fly out to Alabama next Tuesday for my mom's angioplasty (with a stent). Her surgery will be on Tuesday and they are keeping her overnight in the hospital. I guess she'll be sore for a few days, so we thought it best for me to go out and be with her. Of course she says she'll be "just fine"--but I'm still going. : )

So yeah. That's been my week. It's been good. I hope yours was too!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm Here!

I've just been crazy busy this week. All good and needful things....but I just haven't had time to post or comment much. It is on my list of things to do though! : )

I just got back from taking a friend to pick up her car and now I'm off to take Zach to his orthodontist appointment--an hour away. Fun! ::smile:: While we are in the lower desert (where the temps are supposed to be 108 degrees--more fun!!) I have errands to run...Target, Michael's and if we have time, Trader Joes.

So I hope to catch up with you all this evening--but if not, I hope you are having a GREAT week!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Precious Amy...

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Psalm 116:15

Amy Wilhoite, who many of us have been praying for over the past year--went home to Jesus this evening.

Even though I didn't know Amy personally--her life, her testimony, her courage, her love for her family and most of all her faith in her Savior--touched my life in a very profound way.

Please, if you would, take a moment to pray for her husband Brandon, their little boy Gary and the rest of her family. You can read more about Amy here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Enter Into His Gates...

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know that the LORD he is God:
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

Psalm 100

May you have a blessed LORD's Day!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Praise the Lord!

My second mammogram results came back negative. Apparently the "dense mass" was just regular tissue, but due to the way I was positioned during the first mammogram, it looked like "something". When the digital x-ray was taken today, they magnified it and positioned me differently and it showed nothing but regular tissue.

Thank you all so very much for your prayers! (And Miss Robin--thank you for your phone call. I tried to call you back, but your line was busy.)

With much love and a thankful heart,
Mishel : )

Fear Not...

First I wanted to tell you all thank you so much for your prayers this past week. When I found out on Thursday that I would have to wait six days for my second mammogram--I honestly didn't know how I would get through those six days of waiting and wondering. But praise the Lord, He has made the time pass very quickly and filled my days so that my mind has been busy. I have found the Enemy loves to try to get in there and distract and fire those fiery darts of fear my way--but God's Word has been my True weapon against those attacks.

My appointment is today at 1:00pm (PST). If you think about it, please pray for me. I will find out the results of the mammogram before I leave the office. Good or bad, I am trusting the Lord. : )

"For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
Isaiah 41:13

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day of School Fun...Part 2

After we finished baking cookies, we headed to Big Bear. We love getting away to the mountains and the cooler weather. Our first stop was to a favorite store so my hubby could pick out the first of the fall Yankee Candles he loves so much...
...and Troy found a new friend.

Then it was off to our favorite Mexican restaurant, where we had great food and lots of laughter.

Our last stop was Big Bear Lake. The sun was setting and it was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Thank You Lord, for the blessing of family....

First Day of School Fun...Part 1

Yesterday was the start of our 15th year of homeschooling (has it really been that long?!) and we carried on our annual first-day-of-school tradition of baking chocolate chip cookies with Dad and then heading to Big Bear (our local mountains). We had a GREAT day and I'm so happy that Ashleigh, John and Troy were able to join us!

Doesn't Ashleigh (left) look like she's saying something sweet to her brother? Well, don't let that cute, pregnant little lady fool you--she's doing what any normal older sister would do: She's bossing sweetly telling her brother what to do! LOL (Right)--The official cookie baking crew!

(Left)--Zach mixin' away! (Right)--These three were being very sneaky! They were eating the cookie dough! As was the person who took the picture (which wasn't me). I would never allow my family to eat cookie dough because of the raw egg. Obviously, what I think doesn't matter! LOL : )

While the cookies were baking, Zach got all his books and notebooks organized. Ashleigh and Troy helped too!

The finished product!! Hmm, wonder why there is a cookie missing? Someone had to make sure they tasted ok!! : )

Monday, September 3, 2007

I know it's Labor Day...

But it's also our first day of school! I know it's a holiday, but you can read here and find out why our first day of school is like a holiday anyway! (And how the yummy picture relates to our first day of school.)

As I write this, our family is almost done with the first part of our yearly tradition and then we are heading out for the second part of the tradition--and what's REALLY fun is that Ashleigh's John gets to join us this time!! Woohoo! Yeah John!! : )

Hoping you all are having a GREAT day!

**Image by