Friday, March 31, 2017

First Responders Sunday 2017

This past Sunday, our wonderful faith community honored
local first responders including police, fire, and EMTs!!
What a blessing to have several police chiefs from local police departments,
as well as the mayor of Fort Worth, Betsy Price in our morning worship service!
Our church worked so hard to reach out to these departments to invite,
support, and honor them.
The children loved getting to see all the vehicles from various
jurisdictions on display.
A delicious barbecue lunch was served to all the first responders
after the service was over!
What a blessing to watch the Body of Christ reach out
to minister to those in difficult, often thankless careers
and to shower the Love of Jesus on them!!

One funny that a friend told me about:
Garrett is seen above in the gray shirt talking with an EMT.
She said this paramedic "had a cool machine that had a sensor that you put on your finger to get heart rate and oxygen saturation.  Garrett asked him if it was a 'lie detector.'

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Free ice cream?? Yes, please!!!

The first day back to school after spring break kicked our tails.
We were dragging and got out the door later than we wanted.
The day before we discovered our hot water heater had developed a problem
as well as our 20-year old washing machine finally biting the dust.
All of this after being out-of-town for 3 days 
with kids farmed out to friends and family.

So when we learned that Dairy Queen was giving away 
free ice cream cones that day,
we jumped on that offer, loaded up our entire homeschool co-op at break time,
and took advantage of that special treat!!

What a fun, unexpected gift that felt like an encouraging hug from the Lord
on a challenging day!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Another 13th Birthday

Last weekend we celebrated Abby's 13th birthday!
She wanted to have a fun party again this year,
but her birthday fell on the exact day my husband and I left
for our couples retreat.

We honored her on the morning of her actual birthday.......

.........but her party was the following weekend.

She helped set everything up the way she wanted it to look,
and planned the whole party down to the minute.

After playing outside together and checking out the sweet
gifts her friends brought for her.....

.....we headed over to CiCi's Pizza for dinner.

......followed by a super fun evening of shopping at our local "shopping village."

Big sisters were home later that night and gave these beauties some makeovers
while watching movies (Moana!)

Even more donuts (obviously her favorite!) to share in the morning before
her friends headed home!
What a great party!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Spring Retreat for Couples

This time of year simply swells with busyness.
New life bursting forth means cleaning out closets,
preparing for church drama productions, school field trips, 
spring cleaning, fresh energizing decorating,
spring break plans, and birthdays!!!

Several years ago, my husband and I incorporated a tradition 
of attending the annual couples retreat
at Southland Christian Camp in Ringgold, LA.
We have never regretted intentionally carving out the time
to invest in our marriage with this annual weekend get-away.

We always enjoy the delightful fellowship with other couples from our church,
and it is a wonderful way to get to know these other couples better.
We have several friendships from our church
 that have deepened because of the time spent with them on the Couples Retreat!

The general preaching sessions are always uplifting and challenging,
while the split session for men and women
is designed to speak to our hearts in our specific roles within marriage.

For dinner on the final evening, the camp staff work so hard to give
us a special candlelight "date night" complete with a delicious 3-course meal
followed by an amazing dessert, coffee, and time to spare!!
What a treat!!!

"Never marry the person you can live with.
Marry the one you can't live without."

Friday, March 10, 2017

A teenager visits the endocrinologist's office

Ashlyn had her quarterly endocrinologist visit this week.
These are never "fun" for us.
We haven't gotten an A+ on our report card in years, so it always feels
like we are sitting in the principal's office in some kind of trouble.
Not a great feeling.
Things have changed since her first visits as a newly diagnosed Type 1 Diabetic.
She was just a new 9 year old.
She's 17 now.
Puberty was rough on her body.
We struggled with the motivation to stay on top on all the numbers
and calculations and carb counting.
That inevitably results in high blood sugars.
Every time.
"And be sure your sin will find you out." 

There's not a lot of room for grace with this disease.

Thankfully, our diabetes management team is understanding.
Always trying to give new ideas and reviewing the same old things
we were trained to do to keep this thing in check.

We always come home with stacks of "handouts" full of numbers and readings
that we learned how to read in our crash course over 8 years ago.
I should have been a nurse.

Her A1C was better than our last visit in December, but it was in no way "good."
It's "good" that it was down, but her trends were not nearly tight enough.
We have to keep working.
More finger pricks.
More needles.
More carb counting.
More exercise.
There will never be an end to it.
Our insurance requires a $2000 deductible EVERY YEAR before it will cover
every single device that would make her management easier.
We will never be able to afford a pump or a continuous glucose monitor. 
We've tried calling dozens of people for help with that, 
and we fit in every loop hole.
A person can only take so many "no's" before you quit trying and accept reality.
We know God has a plan.....a purpose.
She never complains, but I know she hasn't a lot of motivation at this point 
to do everything perfect every day.
This will always be here.
She has done thousands of finger pricks and taken thousands of shots of insulin,
and she will have to it all over again tomorrow and forever.
And yet the numbers aren't where they need to be.
Ashlyn is a trooper though.
She is wanting to do better.
It's just an uphill battle.

Pray for us.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

First Cookout of the Year

This past Friday evening, we enjoyed just exquisite weather.
Gorgeous sunshine and mild temperatures all day.
As the sun was setting and it began to get chillier,
I thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate our early Spring
with a mini-cookout.
What could be more fun or more simple than weenies over an open fire
and roasting marshmallows for s'mores afterwards?
This is the stuff that great family times are made of!!