Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Today is your day Mom! written Sept 15,2015

 Yesterday, I looked at the calendar and felt a heavy weight on me all day. A tear would slip down my face unexpectedly. I had no desire to do anything...but think and wait. My day was filled with sadness and dread. You see, five years ago you were with us just a little while longer. One last night on this Earth that was your home for so long. It was so hard at the end. You were fighting for your life. You were fighting to breath because your lungs were so full. You were fighting for be strong because you thought we needed you to be. You were fighting to stay awake, so we could see those beautiful eyes look into ours one last time. It was a day full of sadness and hopelessness.
Today I woke up with a feeling of expectancy, even joy, even peace.... How could that be. How could I be happy one the day you left this Earth? As you caught my eye in the picture sitting next to me I was filled with an emotion I did not understand. It did not make sense...then God told me why. I looked at your picture and smiled. I looked in her eyes and said "This is your day mom" . and I knew it was. 
This is the day, five years ago, that you graduated to heaven. The day you looked in Jesus' face and fell before the father God you loved so much. He smiles and takes your hand and looks in your eyes and says, "Well done!". The day your husband walks up and shows you all of your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that have gone there before you. You gather them in your arms and laugh...just laugh. It is real...it is good. Today was the day that you got to see what you spent your whole life living for. What you made come alive in so many people's lives through your wonderful teaching. Five years ago today you got to look around and saw that Heaven is more wonderful then you could ever imagine. 
As today unfolds and we think of all that went on that day five years ago I am once again drawn to the legacy that you and dad left behind. You left seven children who five years ago were each struggling with so many things. You left behind many grandchildren...who knew your laughter and had been a part of your crazy love. You left behind a few great grandchildren who knew you and loved you and thought you were beautiful. You went out of your way to share your love and testimony to all of us. 
Today your children are carrying on where you left off. We are praying for your precious grandchildren and great grandchildren. Many times we wish you were here to "straighten them out", as only you could do... but we are doing the best we can to be the Godly example that you were in their lives. Some days we feel like we have failed so bad. Then I realize that you have felt that way to, with each of us. You just kept praying, just kept sharing God's love, and just kept making us feel special. 
As this day unfolds and each of us are filled with many emotions throughout the day, help us to remember to smile. Help us to remember to live each day as if it were the last. Today is not a day for crying, those days are past. It is a day for smiling and laughing. She did it. She accomplished all she wanted to in her life. She went all over the world sharing God's love. Everywhere her and dad went lives were changed. They showed their love for their family by taking the time to spend with each of us. We need to do the same. Our kids... their grand kids are their legacy. If we can make God real in each of their lives we have done what she tried her whole life to do. 
When we are on our death bed, we can only hope that our children will look at us and say the things we did about mom as she left this Earth five years ago today. That we loved God with our whole heart. That we spent our life serving the father God that was so real to both of our parents. That we left a legacy to be carried on to our children. They are not gone. You can see our parents in each of our children and grandchildren. Their love for life, their ability to make things right, their ability to laugh, their work ethic, their love for family...it is all there. We just need to let them see that these are gifts....from people that loved them so much. 

Today is not a day for crying. It is a day for joy. It is a day when we look at our life and see what we need to do to carry on the legacy that was passed on to us. It is a day that we can smile at the silly songs that used to be sung, the "Johny stories" that were told, the joy of finding a precious treasure while taking a walk and so many other things. It is a day to look up to the sky and thank God that it is real... It is a day to smile and say..."Today is your day mom!"

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A special pair of sneakers

Did you ever find a pair of shoes or sneakers that you just loved...Well I did.  While shopping with my daughter, Rachael, I found just the pair for me.  I have been working out at the gym wearing my old navy sneakers...and I just did not feel cool enough!  Then I saw my dream shoes.  They were Bright yellow and pink.  They had a cool bottom... They fit me perfectly. It was the type of shoe you put on and just take a deep breath in and sigh. You know they were meant for you.  I had gotten these bright pink and orange Nike work out shirts for Christmas...I had my black workout pants with my pink and yellow stripe...It was perfect.  I felt so cool as I worked out at the gym in them...that was until the car fire...
Sent this to my kids the day I got them!! My new sneakers!

In the beginning of November we were driving home after an awesome visit with the kids. We had helped move them into their new apartment.  We were towing our new trailer.  All of a sudden Dave pulled the SUV over to the side of the road, and screams, "Get out of the car!  We are on fire!"  I don't know how, but within seconds I was out of my seat belt, opening the door to get out. Once we stopped the flames had engulfed the car and they were over the top of the car.  My door literally pushed back the flames so I could get out.  It was one of the scariest moments I have ever faced in my life.  Dave and I ran to behind the trailer and just held each other.  We had no clue what to do...and quite frankly I think we were in shock.  We both realized if we had even driven another quarter of a mile in that car we would not be standing where we were.  We would have been gone...with our car...that was now completely covered in flames.
   Just a few minutes went by before two different cars stopped to see if we were ok.  I was so shaken that when one of the wonderful ladies asked me if I had called 911.  I held up my phone and handed it to her.  That was the only thing that I had from the car...no shoes, no jacket, no purse...just Dave's phone that I was playing a game on when he pulled over.  She knew I was in no way able to explain what happened so she quickly dialed 911.  Her and the other lady that stopped surrounded Dave and I and  tried to comfort us.  We were amazed with how quickly the fire trucks came.  Four different trucks tried to put out the fire, one would take over as the other one ran out of water and foam to spray on the car.  The flames reached high in the sky and I watched as all that we had with us went up in flames.  
    We were only about 30 minutes from where Becca and Brandon had just moved.  When Dave called them, they immediately grabbed me shoes and a coat and drove over. I fell into my kids arms. Becca had to help me put on socks and shoes that she brought for me to wear.  The tables were turned.  It was my child putting my shoes on and tying them for me.  They were taking care of me.     I was struggling from the smoke I inhaled and think I was still in shock.  I just kept thinking about how my purse had Dave's wallet in it, and all of our money and credit cards in it. I kept thinking of my new purse that Dave had just gotten me for my birthday.   I kept thinking about all of the fun things I had just gotten when Brandon and I went to the two story Walmart the day before.  I kept thinking about my special Reebok sneakers that I loved that were inside my suitcase in the back of the SUV.
   The fire was starting to die down after about two hours of burning.  We stood out in the cold watching it burn.  As the firemen came back I asked them,  "Could you look in the back seat for my purse...I really need it."  They looked at me and said, "Honey, there is nothing left!".  I kept asking each fireman as they came back to look for my purse and each time they shook their head, and told me that it was hopeless.  I knew I had to look before I could give up on it.  God would not have impressed on me to get my purse that strongly if it was not OK. The kids suggested we follow the SUV to the garage and take a look at what was left inside.  
   As we followed the SUV to the garage I was shaking.  I just kept thinking, "What are we going to do?  How can we get home with no money and no credit cards? What would we do now?  As we pulled up to the SUV it looked hopeless.  There literally was nothing left of the car.  My phone had melted into the center console.  there were no seats, no shoes, nothing left.  But still my mind kept saying, "Find your purse."  Becca had brought a towel with her and we used that to dig thru the rubble in the back seat.  They found a black lump that had to be my purse.  I got excited as we found it and urged the kids to keep looking.  They pulled apart the lump of melted leather and there inside was Dave's wallet. It was charred on the outside, the top of the money inside the wallet was burned, his credit cards were bent from the heat...but we were able to get everything, including his licence and social security card  out of his wallet.  I smiled for the first time since we pulled over. I urged them to keep looking.  They smiled as they pulled out my wallet...with everything in it....slightly singed, but usable.  It was a miracle that any of these things were saved.  Everything around it was totally burned up.  I knew God had saved it for me.  I began to feel hope for the first time since this started.  
   We opened up the back hatch of the car.  Everything was totally burned. I opened up the suitcase and even the clothes inside were still smoking and trying to catch on fire.  That is when I saw my sneakers.  There they were in the middle of all of this mess,  shining their bright color in the back of the car.  They were the only think that was not black in the car.  I grabbed them...wanting to bring them with me and Dave shook his head no.  They had such a strong odor of smoke there was no way I could bring them in the car with me. My lungs were already compromised.  I could not have them with us.   I cried as we left the car.  The sneakers, although burned in the back still looked like new.  I hated to leave them....
See how my sneakers were the only things that were not totally burned!
     Last week I received a letter from our insurance company.  Which I have to tell you is Allstate. If you are looking for a great company, I highly recommend them.  They have been amazing with all of this.  We had just switched over to them the week before the fire.  We had only made one payment to them. They have bought us a new SUV, covered all of the contents in the car, and also helped us deal with the trauma of this event.  They have constantly called to see how we are doing and what they can do for us.  I have never had anyone treat us as nicely as they have. Their staff is amazing. The letter stated that I forgot to send the title to my car in.  They have been storing our car since Nov. 9th and need to get it to auction.  As soon as I read this my mind began to think back to my pair of sneakers. You see, I had searched everywhere for a pair like those with no luck.  Dave had gotten me a new pair of cute ones with flowers on them for Christmas, but they just weren't the same.  I called the number on the letter and asked if they had received the title I had sent out a few days before and if the car was still there.  She took a few minutes to look it up and came back to the phone to tell me it was scheduled to be picked up the next morning...but it was still there.  I was afraid to ask, but I took a deep breath and said, "Can I ask you to do me a favor?" When she asked me what she could do for me I quickly explained about my sneakers.  I told her they were in the back of the SUV.  I asked her if their was any way she could mail them to me.  I knew by now the smell of the smoke would have gone away.  As soon as I told her my idea she said, "Have you seen that car?!"  I assured her I not only saw it, but was in that car while it was on fire.  She told me she did not think anything was salvageable but she would go look.  She never called me back so I just assumed that she did not find them, or they were worse then I remembered.  
   The next day Dave yells up to me.."Kathleen, there is a package for you!"  He had a huge smile on his face!  I looked at him strangely and looked into the box he held in his hand.  There inside the box, only 16 hours after I had spoke to the insurance lady, were my sneakers.  I could not believe it! They were dirty, covered in soot, burned on the heals, but they were in my hands!  Tears ran down my face as I realized how God had saved not only Dave and I, not only all of our important stuff in our wallets, not only our money...but my pair of sneakers!
This is actually after I washed them once, I wish I took a picture of when they came out of the box...they were really dirty!
I worked on those sneakers all evening. I washed them gently, sprayed them to get rid of the smoke, and cut off the burned material off the back. I placed them by the fire to dry.  The next day I could not wait to try them.  I put them all back together and put them on my feat!  I danced around the room!  I sent pictures to my kids asking them if they remember these sneakers.  They were shocked when I told them the story of the sneakers.  
My poor burned sneakers!

   As I put them on I took a deep breath, then a big sigh, and a smiled big.  They were a gift.  A way to show that I am loved and cared about so deeply.  That lady at the insurance did not have to handle those dirty, stinky old sneakers.  She did because she knew they meant something to me.  I am forever grateful that she did.  They are a little stained there the fire got them and they are missing the back material...but boy do they feel good.  Tonight as I went to the gym I had a huge smile on my face.  I danced around the gym.  I had my cool sneakers on again.  They are even more precious to me now.  They, like Dave and I survived a traumatic event.  We will once again rise up and pick up the pieces of our life...only this time, I will be wearing my special sneaker to cheer me on.
My sneakers now!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No Cancer!

I had to let all of you know what is going on with me since I wrote that post!They have done the biopsy and it is benign! (YEAH..NO CANCER!)  I feel like  a weight has been lifted off me. They did the biopsy Mon. Let me tell you "Don't listen to the doctor when they tell you the biopsy wont hurt..it is a lie!" Other then that it went well. They did the biopsy on Wed. We had to wait till Monday to find out results that was the longest four days of my life. Here is what I wrote to my family about it! Thank you for all your prayers, your love and your encouragement.. It has meant the world to me!

Hi it has been an exhausting day...Did two shows and then went to the doctor said it was not cancerous and it is not a cyst. It is a large mass about the size of a silver dollar. After explaining it all to me I asked him how it could have happened. I told him how about a month ago I had a huge bruise that I did not remember getting. I asked if it could have been from that. He said it would not be as large as this from that. He asked if I had been in an accident. I told him over a year ago. When I explained what had happened in the accident he seemed to think it was from that. He believes it was traumatized and has scar tissue he asked if I was the driver or the passenger and when I told him I was the passenger he said well that is right where the seat belt would fall. I said why after all this time would it just show up...He then asked me questions. I realized that it was a month ago that my head started to clear from the concussion. He said the concussion was blocking me from feeling the pain of it. (and all the pain meds I was on) It all makes sense I guess. When I asked him where we go from here this is our plan of action.
1. Try to cut down on estrovan as that can lead to breast cancer especially when I already have a lump
2. Take motrim and wean off from Naproxin as that is a blood thinner
3. Take Vitamin E and rosemary to promote healing
4. He wants to monitor the size of the lump every two months for the next two years.
5. If it continues to cause pain he recommends he take it out.
6. If I have any questions, concerns or anything changes I am to call him immediately.
He was very good with us. He spent over 45 min just talking to us...then did an ultra sound to check it. He broke up some of the mass when he did the biopsy...so it did look different then Wed.before biopsy. It has not decreased in size though
It was a very long day. I did not sleep last night at all finally fell asleep at 5 am. I got up at 8 left for show by 9:15. The shows were from 10-11 and 11-12 Doctors appointment was at 1 that lasted till almost 3...we grabbed some lunch and came home. We were home by 5.
Sorry you could not reach me on the cell phone...we owe $150 and it got shut off. Should hopefully have it on in a week or so.
The kids stayed around for about 5 min when I got home and then said they had to go...which is fine...because I am now ready to crash. Part of me wants to go out with Dave and the other part wants to just stay home and crash I think I would rather wait till I can enjoy it more. He wants to do anything to make me smile. He has been amazing through all this and we are both sooo glad it is over.
Well, we have some answers now...and we will see what happens next. Right now I just want to sit down and take it all in and relax...
Thank you all for your prayers, your love and your encouragement. I don't think I could have made it through without knowing all of you were there praying for me.
Love you,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Something I never thought would happen to me.. I found a lump.

I have my mammograms regularly.  Although I hate them, I know it is something that I should do, so I do it.  January came and I did my yearly mammogram. Everything came back perfect. I walked out with my carnation and a smile on my face.  I was done for another year.  No worries....I thought.
Last month I saw a bruise on my right breast. Although I did not remember hitting it, I thought I must have.  As I examined it I found a lump.  It was bigger then the size of a pea.  I called my OBGYN and scheduled an appointment.

As she checked me over her face became concerned.  She said I had a sizable lump that needed to be checked out immediately.  She called over to Southtowns Radiology and got me in within the nest two hours. As Dave and I grabbed lunch while we waited, neither of us could talk.  We  could not express the fear that was going through our mind.  All we could do is look at each other and hold hands. When something like this happens you immediately think the worse....cancer.  We had gone through cancer treatments with Dave's mom and seen what that could do.  It was a cruel thing. At times we thought that the treatment was worse then the disease. It was hard enough watching someone you love being affected by it. It was terrifying thinking you may have to go through it.   It seemed tragedy had come in our lives again.

Things went quite fast once I got into the radiology.  The mammogram came first, then the ultrasound.  We were told that the mammogram came out fine but the ultra sound had a sizable mass.  They told me I needed to follow up with the specialist asap.  It was then that I became scared.  I knew I should call the specialist. I just couldn't I did not want to find out anymore bad news. If nothing is confirmed then it really is not real.   Also, it seemed the lump was going away. I began to feel like I did not need to call the specialist. I was fine. But, it continued to hurt...and I knew I had to make the call.

As Dave and I sat down with the specialist we listened to her words closely.  She told us that because it was a sizable mass she had to assume the worst....cancer. She then explained that it was her job to prove it wrong. As she did her exam she got a strange look on her face.  I told her I could not even feel it anymore and that I thought it was going away.  She wanted me to do another ultrasound to see if it in fact did get smaller.  As I waited in the waiting room for them to call me back into the doctors, my mind was racing. What if it really is cancer?  What would happen next? Don't forget the biggest question of all.."Why me? Haven't I had enough tragedy in my life? Can't I just have a simple life with no problems? Why do I have to keep going through tragedy after tragedy in my life?"  Why? Why? Why?"

They called me into the room to wait for the specialist to come back.  I asked them, "Can't I have my husband wait with me?".  They went out into the waiting room and asked Dave to come back.  We still could not say to much. Dave tried to cheer me up. His words, "It is probably nothing", "They said they did not think it was cancer!", "They said even if it was cancer you are at stage one and it is treatable.", did not seem to reach me. I was in a daze. As the doctor came back in he told us that the lump has not gone down in size.  He explained that it was a sizable lump and even if it came back benign it would still have to come out. He also wanted a biopsy done asap.  Two days later they scheduled for a biopsy... TODAY! Today they will put a needle in my breast and take pieces out to check for cancer.  That scares me to death. I want to curl up somewhere and go somewhere to just think. 
Last night I went to the gym for the first time in a long time.  I wanted to make my body work as hard as it could.  I don't know if I was trying to finally feel something after a week of not allowing myself to think or to feel or if I just needed to be in a place that brought me comfort.  It was a place that had changed my life. I needed to be there. I did all of my regular routine.  When I got to my "prayer chair" (the exercise that works on your stomach) I really did not want to go there...but I knew I had to.  I knew I needed to get this right with God. As I sat in that chair, that I have prayed for so many of my family in, I tried to pray for my family. I tried to avoid the problem facing me tomorrow.  I tried to talk about everything else.  But, I could not do that.  God would not let me. As I poured my heart out to my father God a verse, my life verse,  kept coming to my head. Finally,  had to stop and quote it. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.". Although I was not feeling very loved at that time. I know that God has this all under control. 

As I sit in front of the doctors Monday morning waiting to hear the outcome of my biopsy, I know that whatever happens God will get me through it. He has provided me with a wonderful network of family and friends that are there for me...you.  You have been through so many of the hardest times in my life. You have loved me unconditionally, supported me when I  was down, and encouraged me when I needed it.  Thank you.  I could not have made it through these hard times if it was not for your love. Please pray today as they do my biopsy.  If there is something there, pray that they will find it and we can deal with it. If it is benign, pray that  they can take care of it quickly so I don't have to live in pain. Please pray for my family as they go through this. Sometimes it is just as hard to be a husband watching your wife go through this as it is to be going through it yourself.  It is a hard time at the Jeffers' house.  Thank you, my friends, for your love and support! It is easier when you know you have a group of people who are lifting you up in prayer. No  matter what the outcome, I know that God is in control and will give me the strength to get through this.
Love you guys, and will keep you posted.

It breaks my heart to start over.....

Since the accident we have been steadily gaining weight.  Last night I went to the gym. While I was doing my mat work I looked in the mirror.  I saw and old "friend" in the mirror.  One I never wanted to see again. It was the fat  me.  I have not gained all of the weight back, but I have gained more then I ever imagined I would.  I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. I am wearing 18-20 pants and have added XL back in my wardrobe. I think that is why I have been reluctant to post here. I did not want you, the readers, to see that I failed. 
I have been reading through my blog. I have been getting ready to publish it into a book.  As I read those pages and remembered our successes and our failures, something happened inside me. I started to panic. I started to see me as I really am.  I am fat again.  Where I never wanted to be.
We can blame it on life. We can blame it on the accident. We can blame it on our health. But ultimatly we need to look in the mirror and say, we have not kept up our part of the bargain. This morning I looked at our stats for people reading our blog.  Do you realize that almost 10,000 people have read our blog.  Just this last month almost 150  people have read it.  That broke my heart. For the first time in a long time I realize the obligation I have to you.  You have become my friends.  You have cheered me in through all of sad times, happy times, and times I felt I could not go on.  You have been there for me, in more ways than you have ever known.
Thank you for your support. I thought no one even cared, but you were always there.  I just had forgotten you my old friends.  I am sorry.  I feel so bad. I am finally ready to pick up the pieces and start again. We are back on our food plan and back at the gym. I will let you know our progress.  I would love to hear from you. If you could leave a comment that would be awesome!  Hopefully it will come off easier this time because our body sooo wants to be where it was before.  We are just going to start over as if it was the first time.
Dave's starting weight: 348
Kathleen's starting weight 248


Thursday, September 20, 2012

It has been so long...

Wow! This morning I woke up at 3am and could not get  back to sleep.  I tried...just seemed to have to much on my mind...as I was looking through face book my mind went back to our blog...I pulled it up and started reading.  It has so much of my life in it...but it is missing so much of this past year.  I just have not had the heart, or the energy to write.  Our life has changed a lot this past year.  All because of one day in Feb...
Feb 11, 2012 Dave and I were driving to a show.  It was one of the few days it was snowing out.  We were driving and all of a sudden Dave says..."Watch out!" and we were hit on my side by a big SUV that thought they could go faster then the 40mph everyone was going on the 219! We were pushed off the road on the left and went down a ravine into the middle of the 219....As I sat thier stunned I looked up and the car that hit us was coming right at us and about to hit me again.... I screamed and leaned towards Dave...he tried to pull me to him...and we waited to be  hit again.  The SUV stopped about a few foot or so away from our car!
Luckily there were people that were emergency fire fighters that came right down to make sure we were ok.  They also called the police for us.  As they asked me if I was ok I knew my life was changed forever.  I was still in shock so I said I was ok...and I would follow up with my doctor... by the next day I was sore...in pain...so I went to the emergency room....Dave started to hurt...so he went... thus starting what our life has been like for the last 7 months....doctors, emergency rooms, xrays, mris, physical therapy, sometimes 5-6n times a week...I had a severe concussion...and hurt my mid back (when I turned to Dave) and Dave had slammed into the drivers side and hurt his shoulders, and he now has three herniated discs...c 5-6 C6-7 and C7T1....we have been on pain meds 24-7 since Feb and also had to take meds for headaches...the migraines with Dave were the worst. He would wake up screaming in pain...the girls and I just came around him and prayed for his help...the neurologist had to give him a shot of pain meds right into his scull and then a four hour infusion (IV) of 5 different meds.  It was scary to say the least. The headaches finally stopped and we were sent home with even more meds...He had to give up his delivering Buffalo News....I could not teach...very frustrating and hard.  I am not sure how we even got all of the bills paid this last year...I am just thankful that God provided for us!
I think the worst part of everything is that we started to gain weight in all of this!  By March we had gained 10 pounds...buy June 20....and then by now we have gained 30 pounds back each...We would see our clothes getting to small on us and we were powerless to do anything.  We were depressed...heart broken....and sooo discouraged.  We started getting depressed...and literally felt like giving it all up...I can't express how sad this has made us...We are more frustrated then you could ever imagine...all of our hard work...gone...
God has been working in us these past few weeks...he has restored our will to try... We are doing our physical therapy regularly and were told we could and should be walking...and do bike riding...and a few things at the gym and our pt exercises as much as possible.  We have been going to the gym and using the treadmill almost every day for the past week...we also are doing all of our physical therapy exercises at the gym too...and starting to get back on track with our eating...(or is it because we have no money for junk food!)  We are eating regular meals and getting on schedule again.... we are feeling stronger then we have in a long time.  I do not know if we have lost anything...but we at least have the will to try...which is more then we have had in the past 5 months....
Please keep us in your prayers...every day is a struggle...but we are starting to fight our way out of it again....the meds we are taking are working....we are still on pain meds...but they don't take away my ability to think....I still get dizzy and fuzzy if I multi task...but I have learned to do one thing at a time and do it well...Dave is still in constant pain and will eventually have to see a specialist about his neck..but he now has the will to try to get better...I know that if we are working as a team we can accomplish anything...I ask for your prayers and support...I am listing our highest weight since the accident so we know where we have gone from there!
Stats (so we are held accountable for what we are doing)
Dave Starting weight-- 380
Dave's starting weight with fawn- 330
Dave's weight last week 252
Dave's weight today- 278
Weight loss for the week- 26 pound gain
Total weight loss with Fawn- was 78 pounds Now..52
Total weight loss- was 128 pounds!!! ALMOST 130 POUNDS!!!!! Now...102

Kathleen's Starting weight-- 270
Kathleen's starting weight with fawn-260
Kathleen's weight last week 198
Kathleen's weight today-228
Weight loss for the week- 30  pound gain
Total weight loss with Fawn- was 62 pounds now 32
Total weight loss-WAS 72 pounds!!! YEAH!!!! Now 42
instead of a 200 pound loss we now only have a 144 pound loss...very discouraging...this is why I have not wanted to write in this blog...but I must...because if I did it before I can do it again...with your help and prayers...
We love you guys...you are what made this all possible..
Dave and Kathleen Jeffers

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Rude awakening....

If you have been with me from the beginning then you have read my beginning story... How Dave decided he wanted to get into shape. How everyday when he started to exercise he would ask me if I wanted to join him..and every day I looked him in the eye and said, "Not today!"  My main reason for doing that was because I had been on diets before, and lost weight before, but every time I gained it back and more..I basically was afraid I would work hard succeed, and then fail.  I was soo proud when I lost the weight, slowly, and steadily. I was so proud when I kept if off for over a year. Well Feb 12 I was in a car accident. for the last month and a half I have had a concusion...which means no gym. It also is very hard to plan meals when it feels like your head has millions of tiny bouncy balls flying around in your head.  I knew I was gaining...and felt helpless to stop it.  Yesturday Dave and I went to a store and I tried on ten pairs of capries...size 16 and 18.  I could only fit into one size 16 stretch and non of the size 18...I walked out of there descouraged...there was no way I was going to buy a size 20 pair of pants...or size 20 anything.  Later that day I had a doctors appointment...when I stepped on the scale I almost fainted...I had to hold on to the wall, and felt like I was going to throw up...I was up from 198 to 220!!! As I walked into the waiting room my eyes filled with tears as I told him the news...He is so special, and loves me so much, he was quick to say,,,that is not much...you can get if off..but I knew the truth... I was fat again... I could feel it in the way my clothes fit me, I could feel it in the way my stomach, which was getting flat, now has a bulge that I hate.  I knew this was one of those turning points in my life... Was I going to wallow away in self pity, filling my days with sneaking pieces of candy and pizza, or was I going to decide enough is enough?  I really thought about it. I looked at my Becca and tears filled my eyes as I told her the devestating news.
"I was up to 220 agian...22 pounds I had gained"  She took my face in both of her hands and looked me right in the eye and said to me, "You lost it before, and you can loose it again...I will work with you and help you until it is gone and you are down to the size you want to be."  My precious girl helped me realize it is not a hopeless cause, I have not lost it all! I can suceed.  She has gotten me tto the gym for the last two days..Wed at eight at night I did my whole weight lifting  routine... I was able to picj up right were I left off. The next day, I was very sore...and could barely wake up...today I did not want to go...she did not push me she just said, "if you are sore, you need to get back there again to losen it up.."So back I went . I did 4 miles on the bike and 10 min of rowing...I have eaten perfectly these past days and my body already feels so much better. (although so much sorer too!) I can not let this accident get the better of me It is not going to steal all my confidence, and make me gain back what I lost.  I made a picutre of before and after photos..It reaally is amazing how far we have come.. I refuse to give up...someday soon I will be right back where I was, and heading to  where I want to be.  Please pray for my (and Dave's) neck and back.  We are both hurting, but trying our headest to overcome! We can not allow an accident to rob us of what we are trying ot accomplish!
Stats (so we are held accountable for what we are doing)
Dave Starting weight-- 380
Dave's starting weight with fawn- 330
Dave's weight last week 252
Dave's weight today- 268
Weight loss for the week- 16 pound gain
Total weight loss with Fawn- was 78 pounds  Now..62
Total weight loss- was 128 pounds!!! ALMOST 130 POUNDS!!!!!  Now...112

Kathleen's Starting weight-- 270
Kathleen's starting weight with fawn-260
Kathleen's weight last week 198
Kathleen's weight today-220
Weight loss for the week- 22 pound gain
Total weight loss with Fawn-  was 62 pounds now 40
Total weight loss-WAS 72 pounds!!! YEAH!!!!  Now 50
I must say that after a year and a  half we have still kept off 162 punds! BUT we need to get back on track and sto the weight gain now before it is to late..
Goals by summer:  Dave to be below 250
Kathleen to be below 190
Please pray that we can accomplish these goals!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A family that can laugh together is priceless!

After a year and a half we have kept off most of the weight..we have both gained about 15 from our lowest and are working on getting that back off!  We have still lost 176 pound between the two of us! I am still wearing size 14-16 (from sze 24-26)and Dave is still in size 38 yeans and large shirts (from size 46 - 3X)

Did you ever find a sale that you could not refuse! I did today when Dave and I were at the Niagra Falls outlet Mall. I saw these footie pajamas that were Sooo soft and comfy looking... for only $5 They were Neon yellow with spots, stripes and plaids...I was sure that they were floress under black lights! So I thought I would get three pairs and the girls and I could put them on with the black hoods, wigs and sun glasses that glow in the dark and orange neon gloves. We could come up with some cool motions and Dance to the music.. we would glow in the dark and it would be the coolest thing and everyone would love it...It would be a great addition to our black light puppet show..
As I was looking at them I thought..."The girls will love these...I will get them each a pair to wear around the house!"  Rachael I found a pink with black zebra stripes and Becca I found a terquoise plaid ones.    I was so excited about them that I took a picture of all the patterns in the bag and sent it to them and told them I got them a surprise and they had to guess what I got them...that they would love it! Never in their wildest dreams did they ever guess that I got them floresant green and pink and yellow footie PJs! When I got home I ran into the bathroom told Rachael to close her eyes and came out in my own wonderful Neon Yellow polka dot footie pajamas! She was not impressed! Then when I showed her hers...she was less impressed. I finally talked her into putting hers on and running down to Brandon's room where Becca and Brandon were watching a movie...they laughed at us! When I showed Becca her green plaid ones that I had picked out special for her.. she did not want to put them on...I was just so excited...that they both came upstairs...I told Brandon he could wear the yellow polkadot ones and Dad could wear the other ones and we could have a slumber party!! I was dancing around in my footie pjs acting like it was the best thing in the world....Brandon said "If you can get dad to put them on...that is the only way I am going to put them on...:".he knew that dad would never put on neon yellow plaid footie pajamas! BUT my luaghter and fun was contagious...so dad said..."I will do it if you will"...thinking Brandon would never put them on...Well I talked them all into putting them on...Dads was a litle small...and Branodn thought his was a little girly (he used much more expressive words that i cant put in my blog!!!) But my whole family...out of their love for me...and my excitement over these silly pjs...put them on...I danced with them around the living room jumping up and down like a little girl! We laughed like we have not laughed in years...and we forgot about what others would think of us...and just acted like chldren for those few short minutes (believe me they were short...as soon as they could they said..."can we take these off now!" ) It was a memory that they will always remember...maybe they will think..."Mom is crazy!" or maybe they will think..."Remember when we all put on those footie pajamas just for mom...that was fun! She sure new how to make us laugh and enjoy ourself!"
We need more days like that...where we act out ot the ordinary...and step out of our box...and be ourself for just a few minutes...they say laughter is one of the greatest healers...I believe it...I feel better then I have in a long time....all because for a few minutes we forgot who we were supposed to be and just had fun...
By the way I could have put pictures of all of us in them...but my lovely children deleated all but the one of me and of Dave and I...I wonder why?!!! .....
I am not sure how to turn this so you will just have to turn your neck to the side for a minute! BUT it is soo worth it! I have been wearing these all night...and I am sooo comfy!

All it took was a prayer....

For the past few years we have felt like something was holding us back...I may be a little predjudace, but I watch other performers and think..."Dave can do such a better job!"  BUT...we were struggling to make our bills and had to take a paper route just to make ends meet...One day I sat down with Dave and we talked about it. We both realized that we need to either make our business work, or give up and get a regular job...We had spent some of the money from mom's house sale on a conference which we were sure was going to help us make it big, and it just did not happen...We were getting depressed and starting to gain weight...
Dave and I started reading a book called "Power of a Praying parent" and praying together...for the first time in a long time...One particular day while Dave was praying he asked God to bless our business and help us succeed.  I remember it as if it was yesturday.  We decided right there we were going to spend the next 21 days working as hard as we could to make our business succeed.  We decided it would be the deciding factor of wether we should hang up the magic hat ;) or continue on.  We sent a mail out out and were planning on waiting 3 days to start calling the people we sent it out to.  The very next mornig our phone started ringing... and ringing and ringing...we were shocked and amazed at what was happening. We decided to raise our prices like they suggested at the conference....they did not question it....we decided to raise them again...so they were double what we were getting paid...no one questioned it....Every time we called they would book...not just one show...but many shows...one show that said a year ago that they could only pay $60 per show...booked $700 worth of shows...we booked in those 21 days what we made all of last year!  We are now working on doubling our income from last year...which was the challange that was put out at the conference...it is working....God is blessing...I remember I used to tell a story that I said.."when you put your trust  in God alone you will recieve blessings upon blessings till it is overflowing....I preached it, but never saw it in my life...sure God gave us many blessings in our life...but not to the point where we are overflowing...We want to be able to bless others...now we can...there was this little old lady  who was waiting on tables, it was hard work for her and she struggled to do her job at a resteraunt we went to...I went up to the manager and asked if the waitresses have to split the tips, or do they get to keep what we gave...once they said they get to keep it...we were thrilled to leaave her a $50 tip for our $12 meal!  We would have loved to stay around and see her face...but we knew we were passing on the blessings that God gave us...that is what we would love to be able to do more often...
   How did this happen?  It took the two of us praying together....with my husband as the head of the household praying for us...for it to happen...Yes, we had a great coach...and we worked hard...but we have had both of those things since last Sept...but it was the quiet prayer of aa Godly man who was pleading with his father God to bless his family that did it more than anything...next time you are at your wits end...your last rope...realize that God is there with blessings he is just waiting to give you...all you need to do is ask and you will recieve...if you seek Him with your whold heart you will find him!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

She borrowed my clothes and they fit!!!

She Borrowed My Clothes And They Fit!

As a teen with a sister the same size as you it was fun to swap clothes back and forth. When you grew up in a big family you just always shared clothes.  You did it with your family and did it with your friends. It was just fun to do.  Well, it has been a long time since I have been able to swap clothes with anyone.  My clothes were to big for anyone to want to wear.

A few mornings ago my daughter Becca came in my room and asked to borrow my sweater....MY SWEATER!  I said sure honey! She walked out of the room happy. As she came down for breakfast, I looked at my beautiful daughter in my sweater! I was filled with pride and joy. Yes, it looked much better on her then it does on me, and yes, it was baggier on her, but that was the look she wanted!  BUT, she could fit into my clothes!  I was so happy I wanted to cry! I wanted to jump up and down and hoop and holler and do a happy dance! I had made it! I succeeded where I thought I never could. I worked hard and accomplished what I set out to do. I was filled with joy and thankfulness. I had done it. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back on Track....

Christmas was such a crazy time..we just forgot all that we learned and went crazy. We went out to eat and ate whatever we wanted, we did not have time to go to the gym...and we went back to our old life style.  I could tell I was gaining weight when my favorite jeans just did not want to go on.  I noticed Dave suddenly could not find anything to wear...and I knew we had a problem... a BIG problem.  I talked to Fawn yesturday and told her that we were gaining weight...I asked my family to pray about it with me...and Dave and I decided we had to get going again.  Yesturday I got out my meal plans and sat down and looked at them. I remembered how much we loved them...We did great all day yesturday. This morning the girls and i got up at 5 and headed to the gym.  The first thing I did was head to the scale.  I was 214!!! I had gained 17 pounds since my lowest time.  I felt so sick to my stomach.  As I stepped off I realized I have to get back on track. Dave and I have come too far to gain it all back.  I never wanted to go above 200 and now I am above 210...I could not believe it.  As I did my exercise I was waiting for my last exercise...my prayer chair...I sat in that chair and pored my heart out to the Lord.  I prayed for each member of my family, and prayed that Dave and I could get back to the gym and eating right...Please join us in prayer that we can start again...get back to where we were and start loosing again. I know we can do it, and i know it is not too late, if we start now and continue...You have been there with me for this far...please be their in prayer support for the rest of the journey. I will now try to be more accountable, and let you know how we are doing.  Love you guys!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sometimes you just need to sit down and be reminded why we are doing what we are doing.....

It is time to look back on where we have come from....I look at this video and see that we have changed so much since this was done.  We have lost alot more weight. I am sharing it with you all becaus ei do not  think I ever have, and those of you that started ont his journey with me need to be reminded that we can do it.  It takes, "Drive, determination and the will power to never give up....We can reach our goals...We have done so much. today I got up at 8 (after being up from 12:30am-4:30am doing papers) and went to the gym.  I felt so much better once I worked out.  We are so much more effective in our life if we are doing what we are supposed to do.
I miss everyone in our group...I know they are struggling and I wish we could somehow get us all back on track and working together as a team again.  Dave and I are still going strong. We have lost over 200 pounds between us. We continue to go to the gym and Brandon is now working with a trainer at the gym.  The funniest part was when they gave him a diet and I looked at it and it was everything that Fawn said to eat.  I am proud of my son.  I  am so in love with my husband.... I looked at him today as he was performing a magic show for the Children at a Christmas party and he took my breath away. After being married for over 25 years, and dating him since I was 16, he is still the love of my life.  He is my hero...my best friend and I am blessed to have him in my life.  Right now we are going through one of the hardest times we have ever gone through....But God is good...all the time.  Please pray that God will continue to  bless Dave in I in all that we try to do, and that when we struggle He will lift us up and be our safe place. 
I thank all of you that have continud to follow us. You are awesome. We could not have done it without you all.  You are the reason we have been so successful. When we are ready to give up, I look at all the people (over 6000) that come and read my blog and are there faithfully from all over the world and I know that I can not let you all down.  I have to stay faithful.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  You are a blessing in my life!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

She called me "Her Coach!"

Now I know how Fawn felt when she took each of us on...excited, scared, and ready to do anything to help her "chicks" succeed!  This last week a friend of mine was finally ready to start working with me.  We had talked a year ago, and she wanted to, but we never got together...then two months ago when I saw her at a swim meet she told me whe was going to get her stomach stapled. I almost started crying and said..."NO DONT DO IT!"  I told her I would work with her.  This last week she told me she was joining a gym. I told her that is wonderful, and if she goes to mine for the week for free I would show her what to do.  Well...she has been with me the last two days.  She is working soooo hard! I am so proud of her.  We will have to work on her diet to, but right now we are trying to get to the gym as much as possible because we only have one free week!  It is helping me to.
I came accrossed an email I had sent to my sister Paulette in November of 2009. She has a clothes closet and can get us clothes when we need them. THis is what I wrote. Paulette, "If you can look in your clothes closet Dave and I could really use some clothes.  I am a 2-3X and Size 24-26 pants and dave is 3X and size 46 pants! We really could use some things for the winter!"  Wow! This is two years later and I am a size M_L and size 14 pants!  Dave is now M-L and size 38 pants! We have kept the weight off for over a year and we are still faithful to going to the gym at least 3-5 times a week and are continueing to loose weight!  We are doing it! I am so happy and so thankful for all of you who have supported me this last year. 
As I was at the gym working with Pam I looked up and saw our reflections in the mirror.  I looked at her and said, "Look in the mirror!  A year and a half ago I was your size....If I can do  it so can you!" That is what life is all about... continuing to help others the way others have helped you....pass it on!  If each one of us passes it on, we will have a better world to live in.

Monday, November 7, 2011

You can do anything you set your mind to...

You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To!

There are certain days in your life that you look back on and you say, "This was a life changer!"  The day I married my childhood sweet heart. The day we decided to have children. The day of my accident. The day we decided to loose weight. Well this last week was one of those Life changers. We spent the week at a conference of people all wanting the same thing...to take their business to the next level.  Now mind you, of everyone there Dave and I were defiantly on the lower rung of the ladder.  We were surrounded by people who have succeeded, and wanted to do better.  The whole concept was mind boggling to me.  Here we are struggling to keep our bills paid and these people have been living the dream that we have wanted and are making it.   Why weren't we?

The moment of change was Thursday night.  We sat in Brad Ross' (the Brad Ross that traveled with Disney doing magic shows) suite for our fireside chat. I had just done my 100 laps in the pool and sat in front of Dave on the floor. Now mind you , this is after we had a Fairy tale day of working with Joanie Spina (the person who has choreographed David Copperfield's shows) We had a makeup artist put our make  up on and had done a photo shoot.  It was an amazing day.  I thought about going to the room and just relaxing, as I did the first night...but I couldn't. Tommy Hilken, the motivational speaker for the night,.told us we needed to be there...we had to go. 

As I looked around the room at my new found friends, I felt accepted an full of peace in that room. Tommy was the most amazing speaker I have ever heard.  I am a note taker, and I can honestly say I filled 10 pages of notes in his hour speech.  It was all about becoming who you were meant to be.  He challenged us to see our selves making our goals, to forget about the past and make room in our subconscious to make our dreams come true.  He told us to use our intuition and trust it, not ignore it.  One of our biggest obstacles in life is our self image.  Although our self image has grown with the weight loss,we still have the nagging voices inside that say, "you will never be good enough!", "You cant do it!", "You don't deserve to do it!"  He challenged us to put a name on that voice and tell them to shut up!  We need to weed out old ideas and don't let our fear, doubt and uncertainty rule over us.  As he challenged us to see ourselves as being what we wish-hope- dream to be. I thought about my weight loss.  If you would have told me a year and a half ago that I would be wearing a 14 pair of pants, instead of the 26 I was wearing, and Dave would be wearing size 38 pants,instead of the 48 he was wearing, I would have laughed at you. I would never have seen it as possible.  It took a dream...a dress of my mothers, a wish of my husbands, and a book of someone that did it to make me believe that it was a possibility.

Once we found that dream we took steps to see it happen. I contacted Fawn, made a commitment to her, cleaned out my cupboards and filled them with good food, and started making the gym a part of our life.  Every day we had a plan, a purpose, and a reason for doing the things that we did!  See, we had the power to create that image that we wanted, and to become that image in a short period of time...WE DID IT!  He said, "If you want to stop smoking....you need to stop smoking. In the same way, if you want to loose weight, you need to loose weight.

Here are some steps that you can take to loose weight;
1. Make a decision- Decide who you want to be
2.  You have to work to get what you want- make  plan
3. From this day forward take steps towards that plan
          *Clean out your cupboards
          *Go shopping for good food
          *Plan your menus and stick to them
          *Start exercising every day (30-45 min)
          *Evaluate how you are doing (weigh in once a week)
          *Make plans to make it happen
           *Set your goal and stick to it.
           *See yourself  being the person you want to become

I loved when Tommy said "Your imagination is the workshop of your mind...you can build anything you want!  See it!  Believe it!  Start to Achieve it!  Become it!
Get rid of the old image, let go of those destructive habits...remember the old image is giving you the results you have now. You don't want those results.  you want to achieve things you never thought possible. Go ahead, dream them up, and you can achieve them.."

So my challenge to you is: Take immediate steps to accomplish your goals.  IF you have gotten sidetracked on your journey...get back up, wipe off the past, and start fresh today!  You can do it.  Don't be discouraged if you have gained your weight back.  It will come off easier now. Your body wants to be down to what it was before.  My friends...You can do it.  You just need to go back to the beginning when you started and start telling yourself exactly what you are doing for the day!  Get a winners image.. because you are a winner!  You can succeed.  I believe in you.  All it takes now is for  you to  start believing in yourself and make it happen!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Celebrate their lasts.....

Celebrate Their Lasts...

When our children are young we treasure every first...the first laugh, the first tooth, the first time our child rolls over, the first time they walk.  Especially with your first child, each one of those momentous occasions are treasured.  I remember with Brandon sitting in his room for hours with the video camera trying to capture the first time he rolled over on video.  I was laughing and clapping as he finally achieved it.  I remember his first laugh, first real laugh, when he was sitting with his daddy. Dave and I had tears in our eyes as we celebrated our child's first laugh.  I remember holding Becca in my arms for the first time and thinking I am so blessed. I was amazed at this beautiful treasure that God has given us.  I remember playing with Rachael's curlies thinking I was the luckiest mom in the world....to have such a wonderful girl to love. I treasured them but time moves quickly.

When they are young we are so busy celebrating the firsts, that we forget to celebrate the lasts.
Sure we celebrate things like the last diaper, the last day of school, but  the precious ones usually go unnoticed and slip by without us even noticing...

The last time you nurse your child...giving them nourishment from your body for the last time
The last time you slip money under your child's pillow and take out a tooth hoping your child still believes in fairy tales.
The last time your child jumps into your arms with no fear knowing that you will catch them, no matter how far they fall.
The last time your child places their hand in yours because they know you will protect them from anything the world has to offer.
The last family baseball game, where you can never strike out.
The last time they come down the stairs Christmas morning and are actually surprised to see presents under the tree...still believing in the magic of Christmas.
The last time they did skits as a family and were unafraid to tell others that Jesus loves them so very much.
The last time you helped them tie their shoe, because mom and dad know how to do everything.
The last time we turned off the lights and played hide'n'go seek through the whole house,knowing that nothing can hurt us in the dark, as long as we are together.
The last musical at school,where we sat in the seats bursting with pride as our children sang and acted for our friends and family
The last football game, cheerleading, or swim meet where our children competed with no fear of failure or defeat.
The last time they ask for keys for the car, still needing you because they did not have their own.
The last time I got invited into their room at night to pray with them over a problem they had...and hug them tight telling them how very proud I am of them and how special they are to me...
The last camping trip, where they actually want to spend time with us as a family, and are not to busy to fit us in their schedule.
The last movie night, where Rachael would set up a store and Brandon would make fake money,just for us, to make our night special.
The last time they looked up at us with their adoring faces thinking we were bigger then life......

Time passes so quickly! If you have small children, make each day a celebration of the time you have with them. If you have teenagers, take the time to get to know the awesome people they are becoming.  If you have adult children, find time to connect with them.  Life is just a flitter of a moment. It is over before you blink your eyes.  It is too short to let a moment go by without telling your children how very much you love them, and how very proud you are of them.  Take time to celebrate the lasts in your life.....

Today was a day of lasts for me....Today we closed on my moms house...it is no longer in the family.  It is a happy, but a sad time.  I was not planning on going out to house today....I had so much to do....but then in my heart I knew I had to .  For one last time.  I thought I had the keys with me, but the ones that I had did not fit in the door...so I could not go in.  At first I was sad, but then I sat on the porch and wrote a note to the people that are moving in.  I had gotten 2 large mums and a sweet roll to put at moms house for the new owners.  I wrote them a letter and arranged everything in the entry way  As I walked around the house one last time I realized how blessed I was to have such awesome parents...they filled our house with  love and laughter. 
As I left moms house for the last time I was headed toward another last... I was doing a show at OLV where my dad was when they told us he was dying.  It was the last place he was before they transferred him to a Pittsburgh hospital. Then I had an eye appointment at the last place mom had her cataract surgery. Then I ate at Red Lobster with Brandon and our last "BURKE" get together was there. Wow, .I did not plan for all of this to happen on this special day...but God did.  I think it was a day of closure for me! 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We could realy use your help right now!!!

For the first time in forever I have to say that Dave and I have both had a weight gain...(probably all those lara bars and cliff bars!!)  All kidding aside.... we need your help.  I vowed I never wanted to get above 200 pounds...this morning I was 200.8(a 4 pound gain)...Dave was 262 (a 12 pound gain) and the hardest thing about it is we just dont know how to get back on track.  I know I have been swiming, but that is it.  The gym seems so forign to me and Dave right now.  Our membership expired and we just dont have the money to renew it right now... Our eating has gotten all mixed up...and we just can not seem to get back on track.  We are asking for your prayer support....we have come to far to let this happen.  We do not want to gain any weight back,,,,we are not done loosing.  Please come beside us in prayer. Here are our prayer requests
1. that God would bless our magic business enough that Dave can quit delivering papers.
2. That God would provide the money we need for our membership dues at Springcreek athletic club
3. That if it is God's will He will provide a way for us to make it to magic conference in NYC and that  it would provide the jumpstart we need to launch our carreer into next stage.
4.  That our children would seek God's will for their life and not get mixed up in the world
5. That we can get motivated to get back on track in loosing weight
6. That God would heal Dave's shoulder and deliver him from the pain he is in
7. That God will keep our cars running and/or provide us with a car that is dependable
8. That Becca will have direction and money for college.(she wants to go to Liberty in VA)
9. That we would find a church that we can open up and minister in
10. That God would bless our marriage and bring back the closness we had when we started this journey a year ago
11. That God would become real in each of my families lives.
12. That the others on our "Life style change" journey will get back up and continue on
13. That God will bless Fawn (our lifestyle coach) in a special way this month
I know it seems like a lot we are asking...but we have served God faithfully our whole life.  We want to continue to do so...we can not do that when we are physically, emotionally and spiritually drained.
I am laying my heart out here because I know you care.  You have faithfully been there with us for the last year...I believe in the power of prayer...I know if we all come together,,,things will happen....right now we are to tired to keep going....please join  us in prayer for these  requests and we will let you know what happens...we will expect BIG things!
Love you all...thanks for all your love and support over this past year...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Even when you are going through tough times you can keep on track!

This has been one of the hardest, most emotional weeks that I have gone through since mom died.  There were times that I did not think I would make it.  I have cried more this week then  have in a long time, but I am still determined to stay strong.  I thank you all for all your support, your love and your encouragment.  Dave and I are doing well, just need some extra prayers this week.  I cant go into details but please pray that things get bettter.  We are still standing firm, and determined to loose weight, but we  just need to make some decisions, and trust God will honor those decisions.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Could we walk away from it all???

When Dave and I were children;s evangelists at Chambers camp many years ago we were talking about past evangelists they have had in the past.  They were telling us about this one family that was no longer doing the ministry, and was not doing anything for God...I Remembered thinking...."How could that ever happen."  God was soooo very real in our life I could not fatham anyone who was serving God so faithfully able to walk away from Him and His work.  I thought..."That would NEVER happen to us.  I could never imagine being a family that does not go to church....the week would not even be complete...
I am not saying it has...but I now can see how it could happen.  It starts with little things....This has been a tough year for my family...we have lost alot, and our faith has been strianed. 
There were many times I would look at my family and feel like we were so "Worldly".  The summer was so crazy we got out of the habbit of going to chuch...we only prayed at meal times...and Dave and the kids really seemed to be struggling with God being real in their lives.  Brandon was angry at God for Grandmas suffering, Dave was disappointed in the whole church situation, and the girls just seemed to care more about sports and friends then God.  He did not seem real to them.  It seemed like every time we were doing things with "Christian" organizations or people we got burned...  We had alot of that this summer...Plus Dave was in pain....his soulders were hurting like crazy, we spent all this time getting in shape and loosing weight, and now he cant even lift a glass of water without hurting.  The job of delivering  papers were throwing us so off schedule.   We really have not had time to go to the gym in a month...and no matter how many jobs we took on, we never seemed to be able to catch up on bills...ONe thing after another, and we seemed so far away from God, that I started to panic!  Each of my girls came up to me this week and told me that no matter how hard they pray, they can't feel God. ...I told them that it is normal process, and they have to "work out their salvation...meaning, Although they are saved, God has to become, not something mom and dad told us to do, but something they want to do... they did not see that happening.Brandon was just plain angry at God, and Dave just was apathetic.  Not that I was Ms. Spiritual during all this, but, I just kept praying....God, make yourself real to my family....and each day somthing else seemed to fall apart!  Both of our cars are in need of over $500 in repairs,plus inspection is up in 4 days on car and it wont pass inspection,  Brandon's car is undrivable and needs about $1000 in repairs...Rebecca tore her miniscus and could not swim, Dave was saying he was in pain all the time, and I got an infection in my eye and cold sores in my mouth...the microwave stopped working, the dishwasher broke, and every time we opened the mail it was another bill....and the house was filled with flies...no matter how much I cleaned.  I felt like we were living in plagues, or a demented country music song... everything happended but the dog dying (which at this point may have been a blessing, since he still is not house broken....)
 I just kept praying....God, somehow make yourself real to my kids....my husband, myself...
Rebecca was really upset that she could not swim.  This was her senior year...she was going for the school record and scholarships.  She had worked all summer long at gym so she would be in shape for swimming.  It killed me to tell her she could not swim.  The specialist could not see her until October 10th.  The season was over the 18th...we knew she was done for the seeason.  It was heartbreaking to see her hurt.  I was talking to a friend and they suggested I try another specialist.  I called and got an appointment for both Becca and Dave for Oct 1 (which was still 2 weeks awaay at the time)  it was better, but it still did not help her with her swimming. Rachael, Brandon and I have been going to University of Buffalo for swimming and her for Diving.  I have enjoyed swimming, and have been doing 100 laps in the pool about 2-5 times per week, depending on the week.  I was swimming and all of a sudden I knew I had to go talk to the swim coach about Becca.  It was as if God told me to do it.  At first I ignored it,  and after the 3rd time...I decided I better listen. Didn't I just pray that day for God to make himself real to Becca....I walked up to the coach, told them what had happened to Becca and asked him if he knew of anyone that could help...he said he really did not and walked away.  I stood there for a minute in shock...was I not just told to go talk to this man???? Then the still quiet voice told me to go ask him again...I wanted to go back into the water and forget the whole thing...but I knew I had to listen....I walked back up to the coach looked him right in the eye and said..."Isn't there anything you can do?  It is her senior year, she needs to swim....she needs this schoolarship" and I just stared at him...with, as my brother and sister would say, my puppy dog eyes.  He looked at me and then said, " Let me make a phone call..." and walked away. He was gone for like 10 min. I thought he had forgotten me, but when he came back he had a piece of paper in his hand....he explained that 5 years ago, when he was still in college,he had lived with a family of whose children swam in high school.  They were orthopedic doctors (both husband and wife)  He called them and told them the situation.  He handed me the paper and said to call them in the morning and they will see if they can fit her in this week.  That was Wednesday night.  Thursday morning I called at 7 before I left for work.  I thought they would be closed and I would just leave a message...but no they answered right away...once I explained it all to her, she looked at her book and said, "Well, we just had a cancelation, can you have her in here by 9!"  I told her we sure would!  Dave took her in, They were wonderful.  They said she she definatly hasd a torn miniscus that only surgery would fix and  needs to see a specilaist. They made a call and she had an appoinment for the next morning!  She went there, they said she needs surgery, and they would do it monday morning!!!THey also told her it would not hurt her too swim...she could swim that night...She ran home just in time to leave on the bus for the swim meet!  She made ECIC (that was her goal, so she could get a chance to go on to state competition)  in both of the races she swam in!   Now mind you this is all happening so fast we barely have time to get all of the approvals for insurance,,,but for once they came  through without a hitch.  They did the surgery Monday morning.  It was actually torn in two spots, and it definatly needed surgery.  They had her on the bike 15 min after surgery!  They wanted her to do physical theropy the next morning.  As we brought her home I was just amazed at how God worked out every  little detail....I hugged her in the kitchen and started to cry...I told her..." You said two days ago no matter how much you pary you cant feel God...I have been praying that God would make Himself real in your life...and He did...I just want you to see how much God loves you!"  I walked into the office and a book caught my eye..."The Power of a Praying Wife"  Right then I was convicted...I had been praying for my kids, but my husband is in so much pain,,,, I need to pray for his healing...I stopped righ there and had a talk with God..." Pleas heal my husband...so he can see how much you love him."  I then got the idea.....if they could help Becca this quickly, maybe, they could help Dave too...when I called for Becca's appointment I also asked for one for Dave....They were able to get him in at 8:45 and Becca in at 9:00  Now those of you that have made appoinments with specialists know that this just does not happen. These were not just any specialist, these were the doctors that work with the Buffalo Sabers....sports doctors..."They also just happened to have a cancelation!"  God also told me to tell Dave to ask for an injection.  Now I have had injections many times in my neck...but never on a first visit evaluation...but I was not running this show...God was...I was just doing what he told me to do...Dave did not look to thrilled with my suggestion  (I did not even tell him where I got the idea from)  When I came home from school later that day, I looked at Dave and immediatly knew something was different.  I could see it in the way he was standing, and the pain was gone on his face...when I asked him what happened, he told me the doctor gave him an injection (he did not suggest it)  He would not admit that he felt better...The doctor also said Becca was doing wonderful,and that the stitches would come out Friday, and she would be good to go...she could start swimming on Monday! ONe WEek after surgery!!!  I kept watching Dave all eveining...and finally he looked up at me and said.."The pain is completly gone!"  I looked at him with tears in my eyes and told him...."I prayed yesturday moring for your healing!  God did it!"
I know this was a long post...but you have to see that God does care about the little things...The hurt knees, the sholders that ache...the cars that are broken (tonight at my meeting someone gave me a name of a mechanic around the corner from my house that is wonderful and half the price of my mechanic)  Now I am not saying that everything is magically fixed...Only time will tell, but I know that my family now knows that God loves them and cares about them.  God answered so many prayers...when I opened up facebook this evening the first thing I read was my Beccas posting...it was this....
when all of the sudden, i am unaware of the afflictions eclipsed by glory. and i realize just how beautiful you are. and how great your effections for me.

Tears came to my eyes.... we serve an awesome God!
Keep praying for my family...he is doing something wonderful, I can feel it!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I am so glad I listened and went to my mom's house tonight!

I Am So Glad I Went To Mom's House Tonight!

Tonight I got the best gift I could have ever gotten.  If I did no listen to the voice inside that said GO, I would have missed out on a memory that will be with me the rest of my life.  I wanted to share it with you so you can see how much God cares about our feelings.  He knows that we needed to have peace about who we were selling the house to.!  It is a hard thing to give up the last piece of our parents we have…but today I can honestly say, I am excited for what God has in store for it….
I had a show in Hamburg.  I was performing as CoCo the Clown at a 3 year olds birthday party.  The show went better than expected. I just had so much fun clowning around.  The whole time I was there I was thinking about mom, and the house…knowing that the new owners were supposed to be there to start working on the house. I kept thinking, "should I go or not?" I texted the person  who was renting and asked him, “Are they there?”  He wrote back “They weren’t when I left but I will be home in 15 min. and I will let you know.”   I told him that I was doing a clown show that was ten min away.  He said, “oh, my kids would love that, can you come over?"  I really only wanted to go if the new owners were there, but I did not want to disappoint him.  I was having an internal conflict with myself…arguing out loud in the car…My heart wanted to go…but time wise, I wanted to just go home and rest, Finally the voice that said “Go!” won and I found myself on my way to moms house.  As I pulled onto mom’s road, I remembered the last time I  came as a clown.  Mom always loved it.  She would get such a great big smile on her face when I came in as CoCo the Clown!  As I remembered the last time that happened, I started to tear up. I had to tell myself to "Straighten up…clowns shouldn’t cry!"   As I pulled into the driveway Little Camden (Mike’s son) ran out of the house as soon as I got out of the car.  He was so excited! He was jumping up and down and saying, ”This is so cool! You are soooo cool! You are the coolest clown eve! I can’t believe you came to see me!”  I got my balloon pump out and told him I would make him balloon animals.  He was so excited.  They had me come in the living room.  As we walked in, Camden spread his arms out real big and motioned around the living room and said..."Don't you just love this place!"  That was it...CoCo the Clown had tears coming down her face... I looked at him and said, "Yes, honey I love this place very much..."  Then Mike explained that I lived here from the time I was  a little girl.  After that Mike, His wife Jen, daughter Maddie and Son Camden watched and laughed as I made balloons.  I made a sward and a belt for Camden…which of course made Mike say….”I need one too!”   I made a dog on a leash for Maddie and then once I made a flower I told Camden to take it over to his mom and tell her it was for her and that he loved her!  Once he did that, and the whole family went, ”Awe How cute!”  a sword fight broke out between the boys… which of course made me  produce 3 more swords and we all had a sword fight in the living room.  It was so great to hear so much laughter in the house.  It was a gift I will never forget. If I would have went home then I would have felt fulfilled…but it gets better. 

I walked into the kitchen and looked out the window and saw two guys working on the barn…I looked at Mike and said,  “Is one of them the one buying the house?”  He pointed to one and said he thought it was that one…I   asked him…”well, should I go as CoCo the clown or go change and look like a respectable person?”  He gets that special smile on his face that reminds me of dad puts his arm around me and gives me a squeeze and says, “I think you should go out just like you are!  I will go out with you!” 

As I am walking out toward the barn the guys look up and start laughing at me.  They look at Mike and me and say, “They sure do dress different out here in the country don’t they!”  Mike then introduces me as one of the owners of the house and the mans eyes light up…He grabs my hand shakes it and says, “Thank you so much for selling me your house!”  He goes on to tell me it is his dream house.  Then he says, “Wait, I have to show you something….”  He looks though his phone and opens up a picture of moms wooden message box in the front entryway.  He says, “  Look at this.  This is my moms. It is almost exactly the same. I grew up with this from the time I was little. As soon as I saw this I knew I had come home, and that this is the house for me.”  He shows me the picture and I am amazed. It is the same saying (If at home you do not find us, leave a note that will remind us) and it had pictures of Teddy bears on it.  He then shows me another picture…it is of mom’s kitchen…with her table in it…but with the walls all redone and painted.  He is planning on putting white wood going half way up the wall (vertical) with a wood trim, and painting the top a tan color….It looked so beautiful.  He had taken pictures of every room in the house he told me he wants to live in it just the way it is for a while…but he spends every spare moment with photo shop dreaming of what he can do with the house.  He told me he matched the brick outside and with photo shop came up with the colors he is painting the house…a tan and brown.  He also told me he drives by the house 3-5 times a week, at different times of the day, just to see what it looks like at different times of the day! He told me I could come by any time and see what he has done with the house.  He also told me he could tell the house was made with much love and could feel it in the house as he walked through.  He even asked me if mom sewed!  When I told her she had quilting classes one day a week in her kitchen, he got a big smile on his face, and said, “I knew it…mom was a sewer and so was yours…they would have loved each other…” He told me about his mom.  She is 93.  Where they live now he has to carry her up the stairs for her to use the bathroom.  He can’t wait for her to see the bathroom downstairs When I asked him which room she will get, he looks at me and says, “Oh that is up to her, she gets first choice!”  Then he asks me if he could take my picture as a clown to show his mom!  As we are talking his phone rings, he looks and says, “Oh, that is mom now!”  He tells her he has someone very special for her to talk to and hands me the phone.  Tears came to my eyes as I heard her voice, she called me honey and sounded just like grandma Serena.  She asked me what I was doing there and I said, “Oh, just clowning around!" (which made every one laugh) and then I told her, “Actually, I just came to say hi to your son and see if he was working hard enough….”  She replied…” He’s a hard worker that son of mine…I just love that boy so much!”  I told her I would stop by and see her sometime and we said goodbye he again invited me back to see the house any time….

I went into the house (actually Camden came out and said his balloon sword popped and asked me to make him a new one) I made two flowers out of balloons and took them out to him and told him that those were for “mom”.   He thanked me and told me he would take good care of the house and love it so very much….

What a precious time God gave to me today…I have such a peace about selling mom’s house now.  It may not yet be filled with kids…but today it was…It was filled with laughter, joy and fun…just like it always was.  God let me meet the wonderful family that is moving in.  They are people that will love the house and appreciate all the things in the house!  I am so glad I listened to the voice that said “Go!!” instead of listening to the voice of reason that said….”You don’t have time for this!”  I would have missed out on a precious last memory of moms house.  Listen to those still small voices….they usually are something great that God has planned for you!