Monday, May 30, 2016

NEWSY POST....A MIRACLE, A BIRTHDAY, AND MORE

Well it's been a full week since I've managed to post, but what a week it has been... I should probably tell it in order of what went on, but I have to tell this UNBELIEVABLE story first.
JESSICA AND WESTON


It started a few months ago when my niece Jessica, the one who is Melody's age [twenty nine] and is definitely one of her very best friends, the one who does my hair,  the one who spent soo much time at our house growing up that she definitely feels like one of our own kids and one who I love like one of my very own sure, the one who I did a tiny bit of sewing for her own clothing line for, the one who is soo gifted creatively that her parties are legendary in our family, and the one is the mother of Weston....you know, THAT one, has been having a few medical issues with her liver.  At first she had no symptoms from this, but it showed up in her routine blood tests that she was having done at the beginning of her fertility treatments.  They were really quite slight so at first they opted to just watch it and see what happened, while of course putting her fertility treatments on hold.  Eventually when nothing changed she began to have test after test ALL of which showed nothing,   Two specialists and a bajillion tests later they decided the only way to REALLY know what was going on was to biopsy the liver.  By now she was started to have pain too, and we all began to feel the dread.  But when the results came in we were all relieved to hear that the liver was showing no signs of any permanent damage or disease, but rather it was something in her system that was causing this, most likely a medication or a supplement.  HOWEVER, considering she doesn't take so much as a Tylenol or Advil, and NO vitamins or supplements, and eats SOO healthy it is somewhat ridiculous, it honestly made NO sense. She began to rack her brain and meanwhile the pain was definitely gathering speed. So they sent her for a CT scan of the whole area late last Thursday afternoon.  Now mind you she had already had a couple of ultra sounds of the liver which showed nothing.  Anyway about 5 o'clock on Thursday afternoon I got a call from my younger sister who was in complete tears.  I knew immediately of course something had been very wrong with Jessie's CT scan.  And sure enough they had found a LARGE mass in her abdomen tucked up under her liver and between her kidney's and pressing on her spine.
PHIL, JESSICA AND WESTON
 They suspected cancer of course and they were ordering a biopsy asap.  I called all the prayer warriors I could think of and we began the wait.  When they called her the next morning to schedule the biopsy and told her it would be almost 3 weeks before they could get her in, we all kind of flipped out.  Seriously?  3 weeks?  Surely NO ONE should have to wait 3 weeks with a LARGE suspicious looking mass inside of them wondering if it was cancer or not, and IN PAIN as well!  We began to pray more specifically and my sister went into action.  After sitting at Kaiser until she finally got the admin woman to talk to her she was told to take her to the emergency room right away and tell them she was in pain and they would do the biopsy on the spot.  Soo late Friday afternoon Jessie and her husband headed to the emergency room and my sister kept their baby until her hubby could get there, and then she joined them.  Sure enough they decided to do the biopsy immediately with the doctor there saying, "this mass is WAY too large to wait".  Here's where things begin to get exciting.  As she was in getting a needle biopsy they were using the scan to help them for placement and they were just having trouble.  They couldn't seem to get it in there right.  So they decided to get another scan and try again.  But when they had gotten the second scan and went to read it, they discovered that the mass was COMPLETELY gone!!  The doctor came in and told them he really had NO IDEA how this could have happened or could be.  There was NO MASS.  He said, the only explanation he could come up with was perhaps the dye they had used in the first test had not gone all the way through her system and some of it was still in her bowel and that was what they had seen.  But just because he knew what they had been through in the last 24 hours, and how bad it felt about it all, he would do yet another scan so they could all see again for themselves that there was nothing there.  So they did, and sure enough it was completely normal with NO SIGNS of a mass! Now personally I [and all of us!] are calling this a miracle!  His explanation for several reasons made NO sense.  He told them to go home and follow up with her specialist this week about the pain, but that there was NO abnormality in her test.  Can you believe this?  A large mass one day in a very specific location with measurements etc., and absolutely NOTHING the next?
DISNEYLAND A FEW WEEKS AGO
 I am not sure where this will end.  I am thinking they are suspicious now that the fertility hormones they gave her for her first pregnancy may have caused her liver issues, and that her gallbladder may be the source of her pain now, and the two are totally unrelated.  No matter what it is, NO MASS, and a clear liver biopsy, is about the best news we could have gotten.  Needless to say we all felt a HUGE burden being lifted and the power and mercy of a very mighty God being shown, and our gratitude honestly knows no bounds.  Thank you Jesus!



Soo you can see why that story had to be told first, and why it IS soo exciting etc.  So the rest of the stories I have I will try and tell just in pictures.  I could wait and tell them later, but I am afraid I will never catch up if I do.  Soo I will try and keep them nipped, lol.  Sooo Saturday was little Luke's 3rd birthday.  When Melody had asked him what kind of a cake  or party theme he wanted he was very clear that he wanted NO cake.  He just wanted "mice cream" and a pointy party hat, lol.  So that was easy.  Melody invited his little friends to run through sprinklers and have a slip and slide with, and set up a "mice cream" bar complete with several different toppings including whip cream to enjoy.  OH! And he wanted donuts for breakfast, and he wanted the big box to sit in front of him while they ate them, lol.  Hubby and I were sad to miss the "mice cream" party, but we got plenty of pictures and videos of the day.  He looks like he had a wonderful time.  How I love this sweet, lovable, darling little guy would be hard to describe...

BOX OF DONUTS, POINTY PARTY HAT, AND A GLEEFUL 3 YEAR OLD LUKE!

"MICE CREAM" BAR.  OH, HE WANTED ONLY VANILLA ICE CREAM TOO, LOL

BEFORE THE PARTY GOT STARTED.  LOOKING AT THIS PIC I SEE MANY YEARS OF LITTLE CLAIRE CAREFULLY POSING WITH HER BROTHERS WHO DON'T WANT THEIR PICTURE TAKEN, LOL

SLIP AND SLIDE FUN...I FIND IT FUNNY THAT CLAIRE THOUGHT SHE WAS ONE OF THE PACK AT ONLY A YEAR OLD....AND MELODY SAID SHE HUNG RIGHT IN THERE WITH THEM ALL, LOL.  WITH 2 BIG BROTHERS SHE WILL NO DOUBT PROBABLY BE PRETTY TOUGH, LOL

SQUIRT GUN FUN TOO.  SAM'S FACE LOOKS LIKE HE'D RATHER IT WAS HIS TURN THEN THE BIRTHDAY BOYS, LOL

"MICE CREAM" TIME.  MEL SAID LUKE HAD BOTH A CONE AND A CUP GOING, LOL, ONLY ON YOUR BDAY RIGHT?

SAM AND LITTLE CAROLINE...SHE TOLD ME WHEN I WAS THERE LAST TIME SHE WANTS TO MARRY SAM SOMEDAY, LOL.  BUT SAM WANTS TO MARRY HIS COUSIN TELLA...WE WON'T TELL CAROLINE THAT.  SOO SWEET, LOL
LUKE AT THE END OF HIS BIG DAY GOING POTTY BEFORE BED...LOOK AT THAT TIRED LITTLE FACE AND STILL WEARING HIS POINTY PARTY HAT.  LOVE HIM SOO MUCH!
And on Sat. hubby and I asked our oldest son Joe and Leah and Jeffie and Cody [the older two already had plans...sat night don't ya know, lol] to join us for dinner at Joe's Crab Shack.  We had such a good time.

IT'S REALLY QUITE AMAZING THAT I GOT 12 YEAR OLD JEFFIE TO POSE IN THIS BIB...ONLY FOR GRANDMA I HAVE  FEELING.  THEY BOTH LOVE CRAB AND SHRIMP, BUT IT WAS KIND OF MESSY, LOL

TAKEN FREE AT THE PLACE FOR US....COURSE THEY TRIED TO SELL US THESE PICS INDIVIDUALLY FOR  A MERE 17 DOLLARS A PIECE [REALLY? LOL] BUT WE REFRAINED..  THIS CAPTURED IT PERFECTLY
And then....yesterday after church, hubby and I decided to try something different he had read about online. He had read that IF you wait until the day of the performance, CLOSE to show time, and pay CASH at the box office [no online purchases], you can get tickets to see a play at the South Coast Repertory theater at a great discount, IF there are any tickets available that is.  We decided to take a chance. We had a nice lunch and drove over and sure enough got two wonderful seats for less then half price.  The eighty dollar seats were now only 30!  We almost felt like we were cheating, lol. Though notice I said "almost", lol.  We saw Amadeus.  It was beyond amazing.  Soo good.  Got a long standing ovation.  Hubby and I enjoyed every minute of this 3 and half hour production. Needless to say, we will be trying this again.  It was a risk of course, as I think we might have gotten two of the last seats in the place, lol

THE MIDDLE GUY HERE WAS PHENOMENAL!
And then even though it seemed to take me FOREVER I did manage to finish up Melody's quilt with the scrappy borders, and hope to get it to the quilters tomorrow.

THERE IT IS...I WANT TO REACH INTO THIS PICTURE AND STRAIGHTEN EVERYTHING MORE, BUT YOU GET THE IDEA.  IT FINISHED AT EIGHTY FOUR BY EIGHTY FOUR.  BIGGEST I HAVE MADE SO FAR

LITTLE CLOSER LOOK AT THE FABRICS.
And finally I want to wish you all a happy Memorial Day.  May we NEVER forget those who have served and are serving now, and have given their lives for our freedom.  Our gratitude can really never be adequately expressed or stated.  hope you all have a good week!

MEMORIAL DAY CUTIES

ONE YEAR TO THE NEXT....LOOK HOW THEY HAVE GROWN


Monday, May 23, 2016

WEEK-END RE-CAP

Well yet ANOTHER busy week-end has come and gone.  Goodness it just seems as if there is always something going on.  Just a busy time of year I guess.  Sat hubby and I did relax and have our tea and coffee before running out on several errands though, so that was nice. One of our stops was to go by the quilt shop to talk with the gal who quilts my quilts and get her input on my quilt for Melody.  I told her I really wanted the quilt to be bigger, so between the two of us we kicked around ideas on what to do to accomplish that. We both finally settled on what we felt would look best which is to make a scrappy type looking border using all of the fabrics in the quilt for another six inch border.
THE BEFORE...BORDERS TOO BIG

AFTER...BORDERS FITTING

The math on these type of things is what usually boggles me, but I think I have it figured in my head anyway.  I bought a few more quarters of yards of each of the fabrics to do this, and hope to get busy on my two and half inch squares today.  Honestly I am a little hesitant about this as it seems as if the smaller the piece of fabric or square I am using, the more likely it is that I either don't cut it just exactly right, or my stitching would be off by a teeny tiny bit somewhere which throws the whole thing off.  But I am going to be just as careful as I can be, and then not worry about it...will see how that goes, lol.  OH, I feel I must confess as well that on Friday I did take the last two borders off, trim them to the right measurements, and then put them on again.  I am soooo glad I did.  It looks much better.  Now they were on there without a single pucker, and they were laying basically flat, but they just "looked" too big.  It is very difficult for me to lay a big quilt out on the floor [only space I have big enough] and then bend over with my knees to properly measure my quilt when doing my borders. I had already measured it, but I didn't write it down anywhere, and it was at least 4 days later when I finally sat out to get it done, and honestly I didn't remember for sure what the measurement was.  But rather then do WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE and re-measured it, I  just guessed at a number that was basically 3 inches too long.  I cut both my pieces exactly the same as your supposed to, and put them on.  Now naturally I could tell they were too big, but I am pretty good at just making something work or fit when it comes to fabric, and I just worked it.  Like I said, there were no puckers, it did lay flat, and it could have probably worked, especially after quilting, but it just didn't look right.  So I took them off, MEASURED IT CAREFULLY, trimmed off 3 inches from each strip, and put them back on.  WAAAYYY better!  lol.  Then after I carefully starched and pressed the whole quilt it really looked pretty good, but like I said I wanted it bigger.  This is on my agenda for today, and I hope to have it all finished up and dropped off for quilting before the week is over.
THIS IS HIS PROFILE AT HIS NEW JOB!

After we finished up with our errands, we got ready and headed off to my nephews college graduation party at my nieces house. They bought a new house a while back and I had yet to see it so I was looking forward to that as well. It was all really nice.  We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  I intended to take some pictures, but honestly just kind of forgot all about it, and I never really did.   I am very happy for this guy though as he worked his way on his own through college, and did so without accumulating a large debt, and has already landed a really good job in financing.  And considering he is just twenty six, that's really pretty good.  My nieces house is sooo nice as well.  She is quite talented in the decorating department, and has done such a good job with it all.  Yesterday was church and then some grocery shopping, and we spent the rest of what was left of the day finally just relaxing.  All in all a good week-end.   I did want to let you know that all of my tests are in and everything looks good.  I guess they have determined that I do not have RA at this point, though I guess that means everything I am experiencing is do to just plain old arthritis.  Which I guess is good and not so good.  Good in that at least that doesn't effect your internal organs, but bad in that there is nothing much I can really do. Replacing my knees will help those of course, but unless I can go completely bionic by replacing my wrists, hands, neck, back, and feet I will just have to do the best I can...I am hoping to get my xrays done this week, so we will see what the new orthopedic doc has to say.  I will leave with some cute grandkid pics.  Hope you all have a good week!  Soooo many blessings to you all!  Debbie

SOPHIA ROSE SPORTING A ONESIE GREAT GRANDMA MADE, AND A BOW.  IS THE ADORABLE?

AND HER EYES ARE FINALLY OPEN, LOL.  WEARING ONE OF THE NIGHTIES I MADE TOO....THEY FIT HER WELL THANK GOODNESS

ANOTHER ONE OF THE NIGHTIES WITH A MATCHING BEANIE....LOOK AT THOSE EYELASHES....SOO SWEET

AND MISS CLAIRE WEARING THE SUNSHINE DRESS I MADE HER




Thursday, May 19, 2016

MY DOC VISIT AND SOME OTHER THOUGHTS


It's Thursday already and I honestly can't believe how fast this week is going...especially when it seems I really haven't done much at all.  I did get to my new doc appointment on Tues and I have decided to reserve judgement for now.  They gave me a complete physical, which wasn't why I was really there, but decided I might as well go for it.  HOWEVER, my appointment was at 10:40, check in time 10;25, and I did not leave until twenty minutes till 2!  And yes, you read that right.  I was starving, and sooo over it by the time I got out of there, lol.

 There was A LOT of waiting, AND the blood pressure cuff was not registering and she squeezed my arm 4 times right in a row, all to NO avail I might add.  And let me just tell you I am weird on blood pressure.  It's all I can say.  It makes me anxious which is the LAST thing you want to be getting that done of course, and it makes me upset with myself that I am.  I try to go to my happy place and just relax, but it seems the harder I try the worse it becomes.  It had gotten so at my last doc's office that they knew this about me of course, and she [the doc always did it...we gave up on having the nurse do it] had a way of whipping out the cuff when I least expected it and when I seemed relaxed, and it worked well for me and it was always good.  Sooo needless to say, a new place, a monitor that wasn't registering for some reason, and lots of time to sit and wait, did not exactly seem like a good way to begin.  However, once she got me into a room and took my blood pressure again with a manual monitor it started to get a little better, lol.  My blood pressure was normal thank goodness!  But!  I was running a fever of 101.4!  Very odd. Truthfully, I feel unwell a lot.  I don't dwell on it much as often times there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for it, and as long as I can move along I do.  I know that sounds really weird, but it's WAY too long of story to try and explain.  Anyway, the doctor seemed very nice, very thorough, declared that I "looked" great and sent me for a bajillion blood tests even though I had just had most of them done 3 months ago.  I understand them wanting/needing their own levels, so I just went along with it.  She is treating me for a UTI even though I am not certain that's what is even wrong.  I only had 1 slight symptom of this, and personally I doubt it was what was causing my fever, but she is the doc so again I decided to go with it.  The little test they do in the office was clear, but she is sending it for a culture so we will see.  Meanwhile, I am taking an antibiotic that is KILLING my stomach.  My poor stomach with my IBS is really touchy.  Trust me should the culture be clear I will discontinue immediately. OH, and I thought I'd mention that since I left the doc's office the temp seems to have disappeared....hmmm.  I still have x-rays to do [knees, back, and a bone density] but I had to get out of there, lol.  I WILL do these, but I am thinking maybe next week.  Meanwhile some of the blood results are back already [I do like this about Kaiser....blood test results are posted on your page immediately] and so far they are all not only OK, they are really good for me, lol  Cholesterol is good, AC1 levels great, and many others.  However, most of those that are checking me for RA are still out.  So we will see...I have NO IDEA why I just gave you a run down on my medical history.  I am sure it's way too much information for most of you, and I do apologize.


Moving on...lol....I am fixing the costume that Katie will wear for her recital, and it is darling.  And a very easy fix thank goodness.  Not much way I can do to ruin it so I felt good about it.  I am really looking forward to seeing her perform.   And then I am hoping to finish up the last two borders on Melody's quilt today, and get it out to the quilters tomorrow.  I have not had much time to get to it, and it has given me time to dwell on rather or not I want to add anything more to it to make it bigger.  I am leaning towards no.


THIS DOESN'T LOOK LIKE IT'S LAYING FLAT BUT IT IS...IT'S JUST VERY DIFFICULT FOR ME TO BEND MY KNEES ENOUGH TO FLATTEN THIS OUT ON THE FLOOR.  I DO LIKE IT, I JUST WISH IT WAS BIGGER...




Add caption
Yesterday was the 3 month anniversary of my sweet mom's death here on this earth, and the beginning of her eternity with the Lord.  How I miss her in a million little ways is hard to explain, and I know those of you who have lost your mom's understand.  It's just a hole that is impossible to fill in many ways. And yet, I feel the older I get and the more time that goes by the more I understand my mom and the more I become like her.  I want sooo much still to just talk to her for a while.  Laugh with her over soo many things I know she'd find amusing.  Cry with her over certain things that are going on that would make her heart as heavy as mine I know.  But I do find comfort in the KNOWING I will see her again and once again our conversations will flow, and our hearts will be connected.  Hope you all have a good week-end, and find His blessings wherever you are....Love, Debbie



Monday, May 16, 2016

BUSY BUSY BUSY WEEK-END, AND BIG NEWS!


Well we had one of the busiest week-ends we have had yet, lol, with just about every minute accounted for.  But it was SUCH a good week-end.  Let me tell you about it.  On sat hubby and I did not sit around long as we had several errands we needed to get taken care of in addition to grocery shopping and a hair cut for hubby.  But we got it all taken care of with not much time to spare before we left for my brother's wife's 50th birthday celebration. We got to their house right at 4 when it started and enjoyed a couple hours of food, fun, and conversation.  I don't know this particular sister in law well as they have only been together a couple of years, and married only a few months, but the more I get to know her the more I like her.  It was all very fun.

MY BROTHER DEAN AND HIS WIFE THE BIRTHDAY GIRL HEATHER....THEY SAT UP A FUN PHOTO AREA, WHICH I NEVER DID GET AROUND TO DOING, LOL

REALLY PRETTY CAKE

BIRTHDAY WISH TIME
But we had to leave early, by six, as we had yet another thing we had committed to on the same date....naturally, lol.  It seems like that is how it is frequently with us.  We can go weeks with not much it seems, and then suddenly a couple of things pile up.  But anyway, a few weeks ago my middle son and his wife had asked to go to a breast cancer charity event with them which was a fund raiser for research.
THEY BOTH LOOKED GOOD!
 It was an Elvis Presley impressionist night at the local community theater.  Hubby and I both have ALWAYS been big Elvis fans, as is this particular son and his wife, so we knew this would be fun.  And of course it was for a very good cause as well.  OH MY GOODNESS...was that ever a hoot.  The theater was sold out and we sang and danced along with the performers. Some of them were pretty bad, lol, but honestly most of them were REALLY good, with a couple of them downright phenomenal.  We didn't get home though until after 11, and it was well after midnight before my brain shut off and I actually fell asleep, lol.


On Sunday we decided to get up early and head down to San Diego to church as my son was to be the guest speaker at another really big church down there and we both wanted to go.  It was SOOOO good.  Both of us were really blessed.  Afterwards we went to lunch at a really good Mexican restaurant down there and sat and visited with them for quite a while.  It was good.  But it was close to 3 o'clock when we finally left and we were further down into the San Diego area then we usually are, and we had yet ANOTHER stop to make before we headed back home.  And here is the big news!  Sophia Rose made her appearance at nine am on Sat. morning May 14, weighing in at six pounds 13 ounces and nineteen inches long!  Oh happy day!  My grand daughter Annabel ended up having to have a c-section which was of course disappointing for her, but couldn't be helped of course.  She did really well though and so did the baby.  Both she and hubby had turned in their last finals though at school on Friday, so the timing was perfect, lol.  Annabel is going to take a break from school over the summer to spend time with the baby before starting back in the fall, but her husband only has a two week break and he will be right back in the summer session.  But it does allow him two weeks off from school at least to spend with the new baby. Again, good timing. They both work part time too, but Annabel is going to take a short break from that as well.   I honestly am still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I am a great grandmother already.  Is sixty one really old enough for that? lol.  Guess it is when you start your own family at 17.  Anyway, I am sooo happy for them.  The baby is adorable, and has the longest darkest eyelashes I may have ever seen on a newborn, lol.  Of course I have pictures...

BEAUTIFUL SOPHIA ROSE

BY FAR MY FAVORITE PICTURE!  MY SON, GRANDPA JOE AND SOPHIA...HIS FACE SAYS IT ALL!

AND SOPHIA AND GREAT GRANDMA

MY OLDEST SON JOE AND MYSELF AND HIS NEW GRANDBABY....HOW CAN THIS BE?

GREAT GRANDPA AND ME

ANOTHER PIC OF US

CODY'S TURN.  HE IS SOOO HAPPY TO BE AN UNCLE.  LOVED THIS PIC TOO
Soo that's about it for our busy week-end.  This afternoon I have Bible Study at my house, and then I am going to look at my niece Katie's costume for her solo she is to do in their upcoming recital in June.  She wants me to do a couple of things to it.  We will see as I will admit it makes me nervous to touch something that important.  And then tomorrow I have a doctors appointment with my NEW doctor.  This is a LONG story, but I am going to tell you only the shortened version.  Bottom line hubby had to change insurances when he changed jobs recently, and for the first time in YEARS we are not going to be able to use the doctor I have gone to for almost twenty eight years!  They are personal family friends of ours as well, and we know each other well.  It will be VERY HARD to go somewhere new, and truthfully I am kind of dreading it.  I like knowing the doctor knows me, my medical history, and all my little idiosyncrasies very well.  I've drug my feet pretty hard on this, lol. But it is the old it is what it is so I am trying to make the most of it.  The insurance is Kaiser and I have heard much good and bad about it.  I am hoping I fall into the category of loving it.

Hope you all have a good week, and see His blessings everywhere, Debbie

Friday, May 13, 2016

THE REST OF MY JIMMY MIKE

I want to finish up my post on my son James today.  These posts have ended up taking me longer then I ever thought, and yet I do want to press on and finish.  I can't let one of them look back at these posts someday and find their stories unfinished or missing, lol, now can I?  So let me see, where did I leave off?

I think he was in junior high.  High school for James was only OK.  He too took a  rebellious streak come his junior year, and yet I will tell you truthfully I didn't worry too much.  I think because I really believed his in born nature was such that I KNEW he would come out the other side and be OK. And sure enough he did.  At age nineteen James came to me one night and told me that he was basically really unhappy with his life and honestly just didn't know which direction he should be going.  It was VERY easy to me.  He needed to start by getting himself right with God, and the rest would follow.  Now he had pretty much heard this his whole life from both me and his father, and of course had attended Christian schools the whole way through which had pretty much hammered in the importance of this as well.  He was also AT church every Sunday with us too.  But none of that makes you a Christian of course, and after really talking to him I knew he was the classic example of a person that KNOWS the Bible well, DOES what is expected, but doesn't really know the Lord on a personal basis.  So after that conversation I told him that his father was going to a men's conference that night at church, and he should really go along and REALLY listen to what was being said.  He agreed to go.  I spent that night on my knees BEGGING God to touch his heart and open his ears. He came home that night a changed man! and I mean changed.  He had gone forward at the end of the message that night and given his heart to the Lord.  And from that moment on he has lived his life for Him.  He began being at church every time the door was open, and reading his bible all times of the day and night.  It wasn't long after that when he told us he felt God was telling him to sign up for Calvary Chapel's bible college in the fall.  Trust me we wasted NO time checking into that.  We were told that enrollment for the fall was over, and the school was full, but they encouraged us to come down and take a look at the campus and maybe get on the list for second semester.  So we did of course.  However, the Lord had other plans.  Because when we got there that day they had a cancellation and there was a spot available after all.  We knew he was to be there, and so did they. Two weeks later he had moved onto their beautiful campus down in Marietta and began his journey in bible college. And what an unbelievable journey that was.  By the time he had graduated he had not only studied the bible in great depth, and had made two, two month long missionary trips out of the country, but had also met a wonderful, wonderful girl [who was attending the college as well] and gotten engaged.  Just a few months later he got married and at first began working for free [in addition to his paying job of course!] at the large Calvary Chapel called Marantha down in San Diego.  It wasn't too much after that he was hired full time to work at the church as the junior high pastor.  Two years later he was promoted to their senior high pastor.  Now this was a HUGE church.  Close to nine thousand members.  So their high school ministry was a big one.  Several hundred kids attended on any given Sunday and during the week.  He was totally in charge of their high school youth group which was way more involved then I would have ever thought.  He was a VERY busy man.  In addition to that he and Larissa had begun their own family.  After about two years of teaching the high school kids, the pastor of their church began to talk to James about what he felt the Lord was telling him about James.  He felt he was to eventually be a senior pastor and have his own church.  He wanted to begin to prepare him for that so he gave James the responsibility of teaching the Sunday night service at their church.  He also did a very occasional Sunday morning, and a Wednesday night or two as well.  I will NEVER forget the first time he was to teach on a Sunday morning there, as of course hubby and I made the trip down.  As did my parents, and some of my sisters and their families etc.  Well let me tell you when we pulled into that PACKED parking lot with literally hundreds and hundreds of cars [they have 3 services and of course we had chosen the most popular time to attend...close to 4 thousand were there I am sure] my heart started beating sooo hard you would have thought that I was to give the message.  I was suddenly almost hysterical.  Was he ready for this?  Did he know what he had gotten himself into?  Would he speak clearly, be understood, have much to say, FORGET where he was, or on and on went my head.  I began to pray like I hadn't prayed in a while it seemed.  I honestly don't remember ever a time I felt quite so hysterical, lol.  And I was no stranger to hysteria as I had watched some of my kids pitch the winning game during baseball or softball season, quarter back in the CIF finals, have the lead at the local theater, step on stage and do a stand up comedy show, and compete for a national title belt, but this had topped them all.  By the time he was introduced and made his way to the podium I honestly felt I might need to lay down.  But from the minute he opened his mouth and began to speak I knew deep in my heart that God had indeed called him to this place, and to this time, and for this reason.  I knew that this was God's doing and no one else's.  Several went forward that morning to commit their hearts to God, and my poor mom just stood there and cried.  I was tempted to join her.  What a moment in time.  Since that time he has indeed become the senior pastor of his own church, had 4 BEAUTIFUL children, and become a man I am very proud to call my son.  His sense of humor is always evident and he keeps his church laughing all the time.  But his knowledge and ability to teach is truly a gift and calling from God and he uses it for His glory.  He is always someone I can count on, lean on, and go to with a heavy heart to and he can and does lift me up.  It is kind of funny to know him as both my son and my Pastor and yet I do.  It is my prayer of course that God will continue to use and bless his life.

I have decided it is very hard to write these posts about my kids and NOT feel as though I am bragging and going on and on.  But remember I did warn you that these posts were going to be telling you MAINLY of all the things they did well or right.  Trust me, I could write MANY posts about their short comings and mistakes and moments of my deep despair as well.  But I have chosen instead to focus on the good.  My Jimmy Mike has ALWAYS been a deep source of joy for me, and someone I treasure and admire and love with my whole heart, and how I thank the Lord that he was born and he blessed me with this amazing man.

HIS FOURTH BIRTHDAY...FOUND THIS THE OTHER DAY, LOL, HE WAS SOO CUTE


TOOK HIS WIFE TO ITALY ON THEIR TENTH ANNIVERSARY  

SAME TRIP
TAKEN RECENTLY.....LOVE THIS OF THEM

ANOTHER RECENT ONE

TAKEN LAST DECEMBER WHEN HE TOOK HIS 11 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER TO DISNEYLAND FOR THE DAY FOR HER BIRTHDAY, JUST HIM AND HER....LOVE THIS PHOTO

LAST SUMMER...HE AND CAPRI...HE ADORES HIS FIRST BORN

AND OUR LITTLE MINI JAMES, JD

HE AND JD AT AT ONE OF THEIR BELOVED CHARGES FOOTBALL GAME

JAMES AND FEISTY LITTLE DONATELLA

ADORABLE TELLA

SWEET TWO YEAR OLD VINCENT JAMES

A  RECENT PIC OF ALL 4 OF THEM...HIS FAMILY ARE AT THE BEACH PRETTY MUCH ALL THE TIME.....THEY ALL LOVE IT

YEP, PRETTY HANDSOME

Hope you all have a good week-end!