Wednesday, October 24, 2012


When Amaya was just a few days old, Steve and I bundled her up for her very first outing to Wal-Mart. I was going stir crazy in the house, and even though it was very cold, windy, and snowing, I needed to get out! We bought a few groceries and the check out lady reprimanded me for bringing a newborn baby out in the cold, yet still oohed and ahhed over our precious little girl. Once I told her I was going crazy inside, she completely understood. Ever since then, on our weekly grocery trips, we always check out with her - our Nancy.

It's amazing how God brings people into your life. You may not know the reason or the purpose. But I honestly believe that God brought Nancy into our lives for a reason. For nearly 5 years, she has watched Amaya grow, spoil her tremendously with Christmas and birthday gifts, supported us through many surgeries, hospitalizations, and now my pregnancy. Nancy is much more than just our check out lady, she's become a part of our family.

About a month ago on a regular grocery run, Nancy pulled me aside and told me that she was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. For the last several weeks, she's had multiple appointments at the clinic to evaluate the extent of the disease. Unfortunately, she has the most aggressive form of lung cancer and it's most common among smokers. There is a 3x3cm mass in her right lung and one smaller mass in her left and surgery is not an option, nor will it ever be. However, we can be thankful that the cancer hasn't spread. She met with her oncologist today and the prognosis isn't good - she has about 15-20 months and that includes treatment with chemotherapy and radiation. If she chose not to treat the cancer, her oncologist said that he would be surprised if she made it through Christmas. Our Nancy is very stubborn and very determined and today she told me, "I've got a little baby boy that I have to meet in January, so I'm going to fight with all I've got!" Her first chemotherapy treatment was today and she said it went okay, but within a few short weeks, she'll lose all her hair. She and her daughter, Angie, were going wig shopping this afternoon and it wouldn't surprise me if our blond Nancy decided to be a redhead! :-)

My heart aches for both Nancy and Angie and I ask for your prayers for the two of them. They know that we go to church regularly and they've asked me to pray for them, but I honestly can't say that I know where either of them stand with Jesus. Angie's son attended our church's summer camp and had a blast, so I know he's been exposed to Christianity... but as far as Nancy and Angie go... who knows? I have to believe that God placed them in our lives for some purpose... whether it's merely to support them and walk with them through cancer, or lead them to Christ... I just don't know. I'm scared for them... Angie is only 41 and I can't imagine what she must be thinking and feeling to have less than 2 years with her mom... I just can't imagine... and I can't imagine what Nancy must be going through knowing that her time here on earth is limited...

Here's how you can be praying boldly for Nancy and Angie:

1) Nancy - prayers for ultimate healing - I'm asking for a miracle here - that she would be able to tolerate the chemo and radiation without difficulty. Prayers that she would maintain her fighting spirit. Prayers for her finances - she's already been behind on mortgage payments - so the medical bills are going to be overwhelming for her. Allow others to take care of her. Come to know Christ as her Savior.

2) Angie - prayers for STRENGTH as she helps her mom (she's already very weary and needing rest) - to be able to get the time off from work (she also works at Wal-Mart) to take her mom to appointments. Allow others to take care of her. Come to know Christ as her Savior.

3) Steve, Jan, and Amaya - that we may support and encouragement their family in whatever way we can (physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually) and that we may walk boldly in our faith and share the hope and love with Christ with them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dave Ramsey Madness

We're kicking it into high gear in budgeting, paying down debt, and saving - especially since we're one of the small group leader's for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University held at our church. Leading has been a tremendous blessing to both Steve and myself. What I appreciate most about Steve is his willingness to serve, but also I get to see a lot of his counseling skills in action. He has a way of facilitating the discussion without taking over the entire class.

This year, we're trying things a little different and just within the last six weeks, we've noticed a tremendous difference. After creating our budget, we knock off 10% right away for our tithe. I'm not 100% convinced to sign up for automatic withdrawal from our checking account at this time, because I want to experience the "feelings" of writing out a check and putting it in the offering plate. Last year, when we did FPU, it was much too easy to give God the "leftovers" of our budget which wasn't very much. I hope that one day we'll be able to give above and beyond to our church, missions, and anyone who needs a little help. But for now... it's a start!

Most of our budget categories and bills are automatically withdrawn from our checking account, but for those things like our "blow money" (the money that Steve and I have to spend on whatever with no questions asked), family entertainment money, gifts, clothes, and groceries, I decided to go ALL CASH! It's very scary and I definitely "FEEL" the pain of watching our money dwindle down. However, I must say, it's been one of the best changes we've made. I'm more cautious about what I spend our money on and I budget a little better when we go to the grocery store. I've never been a fan of the envelope system, but now after nearly a month of using it, I'm sold! Once the money is gone - it's gone - and we haven't starved yet! :-)

When we found out we were expecting a little boy, Steve and my mom helped me do a big garage sale to get rid of a lot of Amaya's things that Weston wouldn't be able to use. We don't really have a lot of wiggle room in our budget to decorate his room, buy clothes, and buy diapers... so we've been using the money that we made from the garage sale to purchase some of these things. I brought a bunch of stuff to kid's thrift stores, and was able to get a little money, but then I discovered a couple of sites on Facebook to buy and sell things in Rochester. At first, I just bought a few things from people just to get a feel for how things work. Then I tried selling a few things with very little expectations. A month later... I've sold over 135 dollars worth of leftover garage sale things, clothes Amaya has very recently grown out of, and stuff around the house that we just don't need. The only downside of selling and meeting people on facebook is that I'm running all over and praying that someone doesn't "no show." Fortunately, I've had great success and everybody comes and most everyone is either early or on time. One of Dave Ramsey's mottos is, "Sell so much stuff that the kids think they are next!" I don't think we're at that point, but it's amazing how much a person accumulates. It's a little embarrassing to have so much stuff that we don't even use! It makes me want to sell everything and SIMPLIFY!! (I'll admit... there's a part of me that wants to go live with the Amish.) :-)

Monday, October 15, 2012

99 Days and Counting...

We're in the double digits - I hope! Every time I feel Weston kick, I get more and more excited to meet this little guy. I've never been a patient person, so why start now? I just want him in my arms now!

I had an appointment on Friday and Weston is right on track - weighing in at about 2 pounds, 9 inches long - about the size of an eggplant. My blood pressure is doing well this go around as well as my weight - down a pound from my pre-pregnancy weight and down 3 pounds since my appointment in August. I'm hungry all the time - craving lots of milk and apple crisp right now! And I was reassured, that as long as Weston is growing it's just fine for me to maintain my weight. 

My next appointment is in 2 weeks for the glucose tolerance test. I passed just fine with Amaya, so I'm not too concerned about it. Then I'll see my OB in another 2 weeks after that. Time seems to be going a little faster now as the appointments become closer and closer together.

My shingles have essentially resolved and the pain is nearly gone. Every so often I get a twinge of feeling uncomfortable, but nothing that requires medication. Thank you again to everyone for praying. 

Monday, October 1, 2012


It's been a very busy month... Amaya started school and AWANA... Steve started a new job at ABC as a supervisor and is co-leading Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University with me... and I started choir and had a garage sale... Steve's 98 year old Grandpa passed away... and I am recovering from shingles!

Many prayers have been lifted up for me this past week and a half, but I would certainly appreciate more - specifically for pain control. I missed two days of work due to the pain... and unfortunately the pain medication that was prescribed, didn't like my stomach so much. I'm feeling significantly better than last week, but I just wish I could get a little relief from the pain - all I'm asking is for a few hours without the nerve pain - is that too much to ask? And please, if you are over the age of 60 please get the shingles vaccine!! I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy!

Little Weston is just fine... the nurse practitioner who diagnosed me made sure that the medications were safe for him and the shingles itself, won't harm him either. He's kicking away happily - we are at the 6 month mark - with only 113 days left (that is if I make it to my due date - I'm thinking of bribing my OB with some caramel brownies to make sure I don't go past my due date!)