Thursday, June 30, 2005
Drove to Birmingham and saw Alex's Neurosurgeon! GREAT Doctor and Children's Hospital there is AMAZING! Love them! Anyway doctor said Alex's head grew a "normal" amount in 6 months. YEAH! Alex did awesome.. And didn't even cry when the doctor measured his head. He decided not to do a CAT scan and said we have to come back in 6 months. Alex has what they call benign hydrocephelus. Basically he has a high amount of fluid on his brain but it is not enough to require a shunt and at this time is not causing any problems. "Normally" he would discharge a patient with this type as it rarely turns more serious. However, due to the fact Alex was a preemie and had a grade 2.5 bleed on his brain at birth, along with other issues, he feels it's best to monitor him. I couldn't agree more! He talked to me about what to watch for in changes and things like that. He also just warned me to watch Alex hitting his head as basically the smallest thing could re start the bleed. BUT.. He was pretty relaxed about it and told me not to worry about it, it was all stuff I already knew!
Alex and I had a fun day driving and talking, we also went to the "big city" mall and ate lunch. I made Alex's day by taking him on the carousel. He also did AWESOME with going potty and had no accidents.
So yesterday although slightly stressful turned out to be great!!!
On to Today...................
Well our morning started off great! We went to the local "Spray Ground" (basically a cement slab that has water spraying out of it) and met several of our friends. Not 10 minutes after hitting the water, my friend Cammie's son Caleb and Alex ran straight into each other. BAM.. Alex bounced off him and went face first into the cement with Caleb crumbling on top of him. Cammie ran over and scooped Alex up.. He was like a limp rag.. No crying. I moved towards them and see a HUGE egg on his head. Alex is now sobbing. I walk over and sit him on the picnic table to take a look at it. I tilt his head back and I turned WHITE, my stomach flip flopped, and I quickly put his head back against my chest as my mind raced. He had 2 GIGANTIC eggs on each side of his forehead. I seriously cannot even begin to describe the horror. Alex continued to cry. I began to shake and told my friend Callie. I think we need to go to the ER, he looks like an alien. I take another look.. OMG.. It's WORSE.. Purple.. Blue.. Red.. And swelling up by the minute. I started breathing really fast and make the decision to move and now. I scoop Alex up and start to gather my stuff when I tell Callie... Just grab my stuff and bring it home. I'm leaving now for the ER. I start for the car and Cammie see's Alex and realizes how bad the situation is. She orders me to put him in her truck, she'll drive me. I start rambling off Rick's work number to Callie. As I climb into Cammie's truck. As we started heading towards the ER, Alex's eyes start to roll into the back of his head. At times he is totally unresponsive and I have to really push and rub his sternum to get a response. He says his neck and head hurt. My mind was racing to what the Neurosurgeon told me. I was trying to stay as calm as possible and not cry. We got there and they took us right back! We got Alex mostly stable as he SCREAMED while having his temp and blood pressure taken. Cammie was AWESOME, she got us all checked in and took such great care of me and Alex. THANK GOD for blessing me with friends like her. She even did crazy dances and singing trying to keep Alex from falling asleep. We also were blessed with a clam gentle nurse who worked hard to comfort Alex and help him relax. Rick arrived and took over, sending Cammie back to her own children. Callie drove my truck to the hospital while her sister followed in her car. THANK GOD, for blessing me with such amazing friends. They truly made the day so much easier. The only thing I had to focus on was Alex. Next they did a CAT Scan of his head. Alex screamed as we had to hold his head still but they didn't want to put him to sleep since he had a head trauma. Finally that done we waited. Alex pepped up a little bit, and started getting some of his life back. Doctor came in and said no skull fractions just a major concussion. PHEW! She said he would be sore and to watch him closely but that we could go home. Alex was ready. He is refusing to walk, I think because he is dizzy. We got him to eat a little bit of lunch and gave him some motrin. He has been sleeping since about 2:15 or so. He looks pretty beat up but I am just so thankful it was nothing more serious. God blessed us today in so many ways! It was a long tough morning but God was with us from the instant we woke up. He is on a tight watch by Mom and Dad for the next 24 to 36 hours. I am just so thankful for it being nothing more serious, for my incredible friends who quickly jumped into action to help, pray, and be there for me, and for Rick's work allowing him to leave on such a quick notice. God truly was holding our hands today.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
THE RED PLANET IS COMING, a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Mars Spectacular Coming in August to the Sky's Near You!
NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN
This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history.
The next time Mars may be this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.
The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide at a modest 75-power magnification.
Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.
Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10 p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.
By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.
Share this with your children and grandchildren.
We ended yesterday with only 1 accident all day!!! Even when we went to Bible Study! YEAH!!!
Today.. Only 1 accident again! It was totally my fault! From now on the VERY first thing we will do when we get home from anywhere is run inside and GO POTTY!! Mommy has REALLY learned this time.
He is even getting out of the pool when he needs to go and ummm... peeing on the grass!! He told me Miller (our dog) does it so, so can he! LOL.. How could I argue with that mentality?
Now.. Tomorrow will be interesting as we have a 2hr drive to Birmingham for his appointment with the nuerosurgeon! Not sure how the drive will go. I think I am going to buy a training potty and put it in the back of my SUV for when we are driving!
Three Cheers for Alex! He's doing GREAT!!!
Monday, June 27, 2005
Sunday, June 26, 2005
There is a game 6-year-old Benjamin Fleisher likes to play with his mother, Dena. When they see a baby, he asks, "Was I bigger than him?"
The answer almost always is "no."
One time, Benjamin picked a crumb off the table. "Was I bigger than this speck?" he asked. His mother assured him he was. Benjamin pumped his little fist in the air with excitement.
These days, Benjamin is bigger than a lot of specks -- and a lot of children in his kindergarten class in Herndon.
Mrs. Fleisher and her husband, Ric, can hardly believe he's the same son who was born 14 weeks early. Benjamin weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces when he arrived on April 6, 1999, more than three months premature after a troubled pregnancy. His twin sister, Anna, had died in utero the day before.
It was a rough start for Benjamin, as it is for many babies who are born too soon. Benjamin stayed in the hospital for 10 weeks, helped to breathe by a ventilator and helped to eat by a feeding tube. He had an eye condition common to preemies and endured several blood transfusions.
Six years later, there is little evidence of the fragile baby. Benjamin can carry a tune, read well above grade level and squabble with his 8-year-old brother, Jack.
"When Benjamin is running through the house singing, I think, 'How can I ever have worried about his lungs?'?" Mrs. Fleisher says. "I know no one is perfect, but Benjamin is about as perfect as a kid could be."
Prematurity is a more common condition now that medical advances have enabled doctors to save babies born earlier than ever. Of the more than 4 million births in 2002, nearly 480,000 occurred prior to 37 weeks gestation. A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks. According to the March of Dimes, about 100,000 of those premature children will have some type of lifelong disability.
"When I started practicing in 1980, the biggest concerns were the children born at 28 weeks," says Dr. Billie Short, a neonatologist at Children's National Medical Center in the District. "Those kids are now much less of a concern. We used to look at 28-weekers and say that half would have significant medical problems. Now we're down to 20 percent."
The chances of survival have grown for babies born at 23 or 24 weeks, Dr. Short says. However, nearly half of those children will have long-term problems, she adds.
Prematurity may affect a child in many ways. The earlier the baby arrives, the less developed the baby's body systems will be.
Preemies are at risk of having breathing problems because of underdeveloped lungs; bleeding in the brain, which can lead to motor-skills problems, learning difficulties and cerebral palsy; patent ductus arteriosis (PDA), a heart defect; necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), an intestinal problem that can lead to long-term damage and feeding trouble; and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye condition that can lead to impaired vision.
Many issues can be treated with surgery, drugs and the passage of time, Dr. Short says. Some children, such as Benjamin Fleisher, leave after an extended stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and have no lasting effects from their early start. Others have lifelong health problems or disabilities. That is why follow-up care is extremely important, Dr. Short says.
"You can only see so much in the NICU," she says. "You see much more about how these children are doing as they go through developmental stages. I am always amazed by babies who we were concerned about who come back to see me and look great. Follow-up can make the outcome different."
The colorful lettering on Jack Gillespie's baby scrapbook says, "Miraculous Jack." The pictures and mementos back up the title. Jack, now 4, was born 16 weeks early and weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces. His little footprints were smaller than a car key; his medical files were bigger than the phone book.
"Before I had Jack, we were so arrogant," says Jack's mother, Kelley Gillespie, an event planner who lives in Vienna. "My husband, [John], and I didn't know if we would subject a child to a life of special needs. But when we were in that situation, we were absolutely convinced we had to do everything in our power to save our child."
Jack had most of the problems of prematurity. Among them: severe ROP and operations on both eyes, and NEC, the intestinal problem common to preemies. Jack eventually had about half of his colon removed. He also had breathing troubles, sepsis and several infections, his mother says.
"After everything, he had no brain bleeding," Mrs. Gillespie says. "That is why he is doing so well today. He is doing great now."
After Jack's 100-day hospital stay, the Gillespies embarked on a huge follow-up program that included, among others, a cardiologist, a nutritionist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist and an ophthalmologist.
Jack's main problem today is his vision. He wears thick glasses and has to make adjustments to compensate, Mrs. Gillespie says.
"He can't see very well, so he can't run very well," she says. "The soccer field overwhelms him. We went to the Wiggles concert, and we had to sit up front."
Jack also has slight difficulties with fine and gross motor skills, sensory problems, and eating and socialization problems. He attends a typical preschool in the morning, then goes three afternoons a week to a Fairfax County Public Schools-sponsored special needs preschool where he can work on his residual medical problems. The Gillespies are hoping things will even out by the time Jack is in kindergarten.
"Some of these things you never know if they are preemie-related or are normal 'kid things' he will grow out of," Mrs. Gillespie says. "He is sort of on the brink of being normal. Every year something different comes up. Still, I feel totally lucky. Every time I look at him, I can't believe it."
The Gillespies went on to have another son, Finn, who was born full-term two years later. Mrs. Gillespie tries to help other parents in the same situation as she was four years ago. She works with the March of Dimes to help raise awareness of prematurity. She also volunteers at Inova Fairfax Hospital's NICU once a week. Her job is simply to hold and rock the tiny newborns.
"You never stop worrying," Mrs. Gillespie says. "I still have dreams at night about losing [Jack]. He was so fragile in the beginning."
An educated consumer
When Jeff Stimpson is trying to chase his son, Alex, through New York's Central Park, he says he is reassured that Alex has no major motor impairments.
Alex, who just turned 7, was born at 27 weeks gestation and weighed 1 pound, 5 ounces. He had severe breathing complications and stayed in the hospital for nearly a year. Mr. Stimpson recently published a memoir of life with his son, titled "Alex: The Fathering of a Preemie."
The lung issues largely have resolved themselves, but other problems remain. Alex has been diagnosed with a form of autism. He is small and has very limited speech. He is not toilet trained. He is being evaluated for the possibility of epilepsy.
"I don't know if there is a connection," Mr. Stimpson said from his office in New York City. "We don't know if Alex's conditions are a result of him being a preemie. We've never really received a reason. The doctors just don't know. It is very much a crap shoot. The idea of survival itself for preemies is so new."
Mr. Stimpson says he wrote his book partly as a coping mechanism for all the stress he and his wife, Jill, have endured. The couple also have another son, Ned, born full-term two years after Alex.
Mr. Stimpson says he has received quite an education in the medical system and wants to help other parents of preemies make the best decisions for their children.
"By no stretch should parents swallow the 'miracle baby' thing," he says. "You have to think much more like a consumer. The hospital we were in had some success with preemies, but you have to see which one has [success] in your particular situation. You have a responsibility to seek what is best for him."
Mrs. Fleisher and Mrs. Gillespie can't say enough good things about the NICU staffs that took care of their sons. The Gillespies invited Jack's neonatologist to the baby's christening. Mrs. Fleisher was sad the day Columbia Hospital for Women closed because she enjoyed returning often with Benjamin to show him off to the nurses who had cared for him.
"It was the biggest reward for me to take him to the NICU and have him say, 'Now I'm big and strong,'?" Mrs. Fleisher says. "I thought he got spectacular care. Everything the staff did meant life or death for my child."
Mr. Stimpson sees his family's ordeal from a different perspective.
"NICU staffs are getting better," he says, "but they still need acclimation of dealing with families. I'm not sure I want a touchy-feely doctor -- I want them to know the science. The nurses and social workers, though, need some sense of the emotional burden families are going through."
Getting good hospital care and good follow-up care is a two-way street, Mrs. Gillespie says. She says the best thing parents of new preemies can do is to read and learn as much as they can about their baby's condition, treatment and chances for recovery.
"The best thing you can do is be your own advocate," she says. "No one is going to take control of your child's care the way you are. We went to the NICU as often as we could. We convinced everyone he was going to survive.
"We're so thankful he is here," she says. "Every day is a blessing."
"The Premature Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Premature Baby From Birth to Age One," by William Sears and Martha Sears, Little, Brown, 2004. This book by popular author and pediatrician William Sears and his wife has advice for parents on the first year with a tiny preemie.
"Alex: The Fathering of a Preemie," by Jeff Stimpson, Academy Chicago Publishers, 2004. Journalist Jeff Stimpson recounts the roller-coaster ride that followed the premature birth of his son Alex.
"Your Premature Baby and Child: Helpful Answers and Advice for Parents," by Dianne I. Maroney and Judy Bernbaum, Berkley Publishing Group, 1999. This is a good general book with medical as well as parenting information.
"Living Miracles: Stories of Hope From Parents of Premature Babies," edited by Kimberly Powell and Kim Wilson, St. Martin's Press, 2001. This book is an inspiring collection of stories written by parents of preemies.
March of Dimes, National Capital Chapter, 2700 S. Quincy St., Suite 220, Arlington, VA 22206. Phone: 703/824-0111. Web site: www.marchofdimes.com. March of Dimes, the nonprofit organization aimed at improving infant survival and reducing birth defects, recently began a campaign to raise awareness of premature births. The group has local events, statistics, medical advice, support information and publications.
Premature Infant (www.premature-infant.com) is a site founded by Dianne Maroney, a Colorado nurse and the mother of a premature daughter. The site has articles and personal stories.
Preemies Today (www.preemiestoday.com), is a local support organization founded by parents of premature babies. The group has a newsletter, family activities and play groups, support groups, and other resources.
Preemie Parenting (www.preemieparenting.com) is another site founded by the mother of a preemie. It has advice from parents, articles and links to other sites of interest.
Preemie Magazine (www.preemiemagazine.com), is a new magazine and Web site recently founded by a Northern Virginia mother of a preemie. It has articles, resources, support group information and message boards.
When 34-year old Jiang Zongxiu went to her neighboring market last June in Guizhou Province, China. Along with her mother-in-law, Jiang went through the marketplace, taking opportunities to hand out Bibles and Christian literature and telling people about Jesus. Only this day they had an encounter with the Chinese police.
The two Christian women were handcuffed together and brought to the police station. They were interrogated throughout the evening of the 17th. The next morning they were sentenced by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) to 15 days incarceration for "suspected spreading of rumor and disturbing the social order."
Jiang and her mother-in-law knew the risk of spreading Christian literature in communist China. Both had been active in their church for more than 10 years and dared to go forth. Even when they were arrested, interrogated and sentenced to serve 15 days, they were willing to accept the consequences of their actions-all from a government that claims to have "freedom of religion."
But it was not enough for the PSB to arrest and beat these two Christian women for the crime of passing our Christian literature. In the afternoon of June 18th, Mrs. Jiang Zongziu was pronounced dead by the PSB office of Tongzi County. They claimed she died of "natural causes." The fact is she was beaten to death.
The Voice of the Martyrs has received video testimony from the surviving family, photos of Jiang body showing her bruised body, and a copy of the actual arrest document. All of this had to be smuggled out of China as the authorities continue to attempt to hide their systematic persecution of Christians. An international campaign is now under way on behalf of the surviving family.
Much of the world would like you to believe Christians are no longer persecuted. Sister Jiang's family would disagree. Now you can stay informed of what is really happening to your Christian brothers and sisters in countries like China and even discover practical ways to help, with a FREE subscription to The Voice of the Martyrs monthly newsletter. Don't turn your back on today's persecuted church. Subscribe today.
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Thursday, June 23, 2005
List your 6 favorite songs and tag 6 others to do the same:
Mercy Me: I Worship You
Michael W. Smith: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Kelly Clarkson: Breakaway
Will Smith: Switch
Aerosmith: I Don't Want To Miss a Thing
Gretchen Wilson: Redneck Woman
I Tag the Following 6 People:
Alyssa - Rantings of a Former Vinyl Queen
Michelle - Dreamers' Reality
Shannon - A Day in the Life of a Mommy to 3
Caleb - Machine Gun Medic
Helen - A Day in the Life
Ginger - Ginger
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell anyone who’s interested how you came to know Jesus. It’s all about a personal encounter. Once you know Christ you introduce Him to others through your own story. This notion that so many Christians and non-Christians have that our mission is to dazzle folks with how much better we are is not only ineffective, it is untrue.
This is precisely the kind of wrong thinking that keeps people from telling their story. “Who am I to tell someone about Jesus,” the rationale goes, “when my own life is in such a mess?”
The absurdity in this kind of thinking is the fact that no one, especially Christians, will ever have it all together in this life. The fact that we aren’t good enough should be the whole point of our message. We tell people about Jesus because we know, better than anyone, how much we need Him. When people throw our own inconsistencies up in front of our faces, that is just another opportunity to tell our own story of how Christ has forgiven us on the cross and how much we need His salvation every day. So instead of being a threat to our witness, our faults and shortcomings are the very things upon which our witness hangs. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Jesus.
When I think of the essence of our statement as Christians to those who haven’t come to know Christ yet, I always think of the blind man that Jesus healed by covering his eyes with mud and telling him to go wash in the pool of Siloam (John 9:1-34). When the religious leaders got wind of it, they started to question the man extensively—wanting to know who healed him, how it happened, where the man who healed him was now, and even asking his parents to verify whether their son was in fact born blind. When they came back to the man and pressed him with questions a second time, accusing Jesus of being a sinner for doing work on the Sabbath, the man replied, “I don’t know whether he is a sinner… But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see” (John 9:25 NLT)!
That’s the essence of the message: “I was blind, and now I can see; I was lost and now I am found; I was guilty and now I’m forgiven; I was alone and now I have a friend.” It doesn’t take a perfect life to spread that message—just someone who has had an eye-opening encounter with the living Christ. Regardless of intellect, position, status or wealth, the message for everyone will come down to this: “I was blind, and now I can see.”
John Fischer is the Senior Writer for Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotionals. He resides in Southern California with his wife, Marti and son, Chandler. They also have two adult children, Christopher and Anne. John is a published author and popular speaker.
Click HERE to sign up for The Better Life, an e-newsletter brought to you by PurposeDrivenLife.com, with articles by Rick Warren and other insightful writers.To see a sample of The Better Life, click HERE.
Christians share the Gospel so that non believers will know the saving grace of Christ. When they die, they will have the promise of heaven and not be lost to their Creator for all eternity. If you think waiting at the bank or in a check out line at the grocery store takes along time...imagine eternity in a line that goes no where.
My prayer for all who don't yet know Jesus, is that God will put someone in their lives who can tell them of the wonderful mercy and grace our Father has bestowed upon His creation, that they don't have to earn it, it is a gift, freely given by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ His son, a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. God is a loving God and Father. He loves His Creation so much that he sent His son to earth to live as a mortal being and have the same temptations as a human, to rise above these trials and have no sin, to be the perfect sacrifice, as we could never be perfect no matter what we do, to die for our sins and be raised again to the Glory of Our Father. So that when we give our lives and hearts to Christ, by faith, we die in Jesus to be raised again with Him and be in Heaven when we die. He has built us a home in heaven. It is just waiting for us, all we need to do is believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. In His most precious name I pray. Amen.
A close neighbor passed away rather suddenly not long ago. In the following days, it fell to his children to look through their dad's possessions. It was a difficult experience, because of the circumstances. As they searched through the tools, golf stuff, supplies, magazines, and various other things, they were surprised at some of what he had.
No matter how private a person you are, when you die, possessions are no longer under your control. The Bible warns us of getting too attached to this world's things. Jesus said, (Mark 8:36) "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
"Each of us should consider that question. We have to plan ahead, much like someone might make a will to take care of their affairs when they die. In a sense, we make a will when we tell God that we want Jesus Christ to be a part of our lives. In doing so, make the most important plans that can be made, those that affect our eternal destination.
Have you made plans for your eternal future? If not, why not do something about it right now? The Bible says "Now is the time for salvation!" I urge you to plan for your eternal future right now. You don't know if you will have time to plan later.
Contributed by Michael Ullrich.
Monday, June 20, 2005
What is a friend? I will tell you...it is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.
By: Chris Ulshoffer, MOPS International Accounting Manager
Friends...we all want them, we all need them...but do we know how to have friends or how to be a friend? There was a time when I thought I could function without the help of friends. I tried to be a self-sufficient mom. Then I learned that I was expecting twins. Our third and fourth children were on their way.
Prayer From a Mother's Heart: Dear God, thank you for friends.
Please join us for the 2005 MOPS International Convention, September 22 - 24, at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Dallas. The convention is open to all MOPS moms, current and potential MOPS leaders, and moms who are interested in learning more about MOPS. Registration is filling up fast, so register today at www.MOPS.org/convention!
Copyright © 2005 by MOPS International, Inc
Thursday, June 16, 2005
As sad as this site is... To date, $2,500.00 has been generated by the soulful secrets you see here and donated to 1(800)SUICIDE.
Do you have a secret you want to share with me???
What philosophy do you follow?
How I scored:
Your life is directed by Divine Command: Your god and religion give you meaning and direction.
“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” --King James Version of the Bible
“Even as a tree has a single trunk but many branches and leaves, there is one religion--human religion--but any number of faiths.” --Mahatma Gandhi
Divine Command 80%
Justice (Fairness) 30%
Strong Egoism 15%
What Celebrity could be your twin??
How I scored: Can I just say I am seriously cracking up!!
You are most like Lindsay Lohan... (some simliar feautures NOT IDENTICAL)
Lindsay Lohan 75%
Paris Hilton 63%
Pamela Anderson 44%
Michael Jackson 38%
Ashlee Simpson 19%
What US City should you live in? ( Miami, FL???? NO WAY!)
How I scored:
You are Miami, Florida.
Baltimore, MD 70%
Miami. FL 70%
Houston, TX 40%
Los Angeles, CA 40%
New York, NY 15%
What Ben & Jerry's Flavor are you?
How I scored:
Marsha Marsha Marshmallows~ Chocolate Ice Cream with Fudge Chunks & Toasted Marshmallow & Graham Cracker Swirls
Here's our fond toast to a notoriously silly refrain that people love repeating, even though some have no idea what it really means. And because even we couldn't help ourselves, we tweaked and re-tweaked this flavor's classic mix of ingredients to make it more irresistibly campy. That way, when you realize you can't get over how fabulous it tastes, you'll understand why you can't shut up about it either.
Marsha Marsha Marshmallows 88%
Chocolate Therapy 63%
Half Baked 50%
Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies 25%
Strawberry Cheesecake 13%
What kind of Dog are you most like?
How I scored:
You're a Bernese Mountain Dog!
A personal favorite of mine, this dog is loyal, protective, and funny. You love attention and romping about!
Bernese Mountain Dog 80%
Golden Retriever 65%
Australian Shepherd 55%
Staffordshire Bull Terrier 35%
One more for Giggles............................
What chick flick is just like your life?
How I scored:
You believe in love unconditionally. You can love someone know matter who they are You go girll!
A Cinderella Story 100%
The Notebook 67%
Charlies Angels 58%
Mean Girls 17%
Legally Blonde 8%
(June 16) -- A 26-year-old pregnant woman with cancer whose brain function ceased last month is being kept alive with a respirator in hopes she can have a very premature baby who has a chance to survive. Susan Torres, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), lost consciousness May 7 when an undiagnosed brain tumor caused a stroke while she dined at home. Her husband, Jason Torres, says doctors told him Susan's brain functions have stopped. Torres, also 26, says he decided to keep Susan on life support when doctors at Virginia Hospital Center here offered him the chance to disconnect the machines after they determined that she would not recover. He says he believes this is what his wife would have wanted. A hospital spokesperson did not return calls and e-mails to discuss the case. Against long odds, the baby Susan was carrying when she was stricken appears to be thriving after nearly 21 weeks of gestation, Torres says. If she can stay alive another month, and the cancer stays away from her uterus, the baby could be delivered and have a chance of surviving, he says. The couple has a 2-year-old son, Peter."I hate seeing her on those darned machines," Torres says, "and I hate using her as a husk, a carrying case, because she herself is worth so much more. But Susan really wanted this baby. And she's a very - how should I put this? - a willful lady. That's probably why she's made it this far."Since 1977, at least nine comatose women have given birth in the USA, according to research by the University of Connecticut's medical center. Women with aggressive melanoma, the skin cancer that spread to Susan's brain, have borne children in reported cases in the USA, the United Kingdom and Canada, though not all survived. Susan's doctors tell Torres they know of no cases in which a brain-dead mother with melanoma has delivered a child, he says. Torress has quit his job as a commercial printing salesman and has moved into Susan's hospital room. He speaks to his wife, making small talk about the family and letting her know what's on his schedule for the day. For Torres, the routine is something solid to grasp in a life he says "was blown to pieces" nearly six weeks ago and continues to be rocked by aftershocks. Susan, for instance, has had pneumonia recently and is fighting a persistent fever. Torres says the couple's son is staying with grandparents but continues to ask, "Where's Mommy?" Saying "in the hospital" is wearing out as an answer, Torres says. And Torres' relationship with God, whom he has loved since childhood, is showing signs of strain. "Some days," says Torres, an active Catholic, "I am pretty damned angry with him."A Bond Formed Quickly Torres and Susan, classmates at the University of Dallas, a Catholic liberal arts college, met during their sophomore year in Rome, while on the college's semester abroad program. Torres, large and blocky, says he was looking for a study partner who would help him finish his lessons quickly, so he could "hit the bars" with his rugby playing pals. Susan, a serious student with a competitive streak of her own, fit the bill. The couple fell for each other quickly, firming up the bond through board games such as Monopoly and Risk."She'd dance around the room when she beat me" - and glower if Torres won, he says. It reminded Torres, the third of seven children, of the dynamics of his large family in Manassas, Va. Susan's good looks - blonde and willowy at about 5-foot-10 and 125 pounds - didn't hurt either. Susan, from a vaguely Protestant background, became a Roman Catholic during their senior year. Hours after she was baptized, he asked her to marry him. "I figured my chances were better if I got her when she was in the mood for saying yes," he says. The couple married a year out of college, in May 2002, and welcomed son Peter 13 months later. Susan, a biology major, liked her job working on malaria vaccines at NIH, Torres says. But she liked being a mother even more and was thrilled to become pregnant again at the beginning of 2005. Susan had first developed melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, as a teenager in Houston, but had been cancer-free for nearly nine years. So when Susan began to have headaches and nausea early last month, Torres says, there was no reason to suspect it was anything more than the miseries of early pregnancy. On May 6, the couple made an emergency room visit, where Susan was rehydrated, fed some bland crackers and sent home to rest. The next night, while he was feeding Susan, "she just stopped," Torres says. Using techniques he had learned as a lifeguard, Torres restarted his wife's breathing. Emergency medical technicians arrived in minutes. Four hours later, a still-dazed Torres was standing outside an operating room and hearing from a neurosurgeon that cancer had invaded Susan's brain. A day after, when it was clear Susan had survived surgery, Torres faced an agonizing choice: keeping his wife on life support, with a slim chance of producing a live though perhaps disabled baby, or allowing her to die. Unspoken, but hovering like a cloud: Picking the first option would be hugely costly. He'd be ground down by unimaginable debt. The couple has health insurance but expects it will cover only a fraction of the cost, currently running at least $7,500 a day, he says. Torres wavered. On a high school religion test, he once tackled a similar ethical problem - can you harm an unborn child in order to save its mother? But that was hypothetical. The exercise didn't offer much help here. He and Susan had never talked about what to do in such circumstances. But Torres remembered that when Susan was pregnant with Peter, the couple had been offered tests to determine whether the child had Down syndrome or other genetic disorders. Susan, Torres recalls, was offended by the implication that if the child was compromised, she should end her pregnancy. She turned down the test. That memory, and a nurse's advice to "think of what Susan would want," clarified matters for Torres, he says.'Not a Glimmer of Doubt'"There's not a glimmer of doubt in my mind that this is what she would have wanted," he says. "Any chance at all to save the baby, and Susan would have said, 'Let's go for it.' "The road since then has been full of bumps. Susan contracted pneumonia, fought it off, then developed a fever that spiked at 104 degrees. When hospital attendants attempted to move her bed into a lab for tests, Susan's blood pressure fluctuated wildly. Her cancer, so far, seems to have stayed out of her uterus. But doctors give him no guarantees that will continue. It's been a tough month in other parts of Torres' world. Two of his four grandparents have fallen ill. An uncle, who has cerebral palsy, is in declining health. Peter, who turned 2 on June 3, is beginning to connect his mother's long absence with "the idea that something is wrong," Torres says. It's difficult to watch Peter gravitate toward other women Susan's age who cross his path, Torres says. It's at best a mixed blessing to consider that he probably won't remember any of this, including his mother's features and the sound of her voice and the birthday dinner she had to miss."How many rocks are they going to throw in your cart before you can't pull it anymore" he says he asks himself. "The answer, apparently, is a lot."Torres says he doesn't understand why his family has been singled out for suffering. His mother, Karen - "she's way, way Catholic" - has told him "when the innocent suffer, great good is let loose in the world, and souls who wouldn't otherwise have gotten in reach heaven." That's great, Torres says, but these days, his faith requires something more tangible. "I'm like, 'OK, but can I get a list of those souls, in writing?' "Right now, the target is mid-July, when Susan will be about 25 weeks pregnant - 15 weeks short of a full pregnancy. That's the gestation age, doctors tell Torres, where a baby can survive though with a heightened risk of brain damage and vision and developmental problems. Torres' goal is for Susan and the baby to reach the 30-week mark, when such risks are greatly diminished. Torres knows that the baby's delivery date, when and if it comes, will be bittersweet. After the baby is born, Susan's body will be anointed in the Catholic tradition, and she'll be allowed to die."That could be a little rough," he says."But I'm not focused there yet. The question I keep asking myself is: When this is over, do I get to take a baby home?"
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
"Heavenly Father, most gracious and loving God, I ask that You abundantly bless my family and I. I know that You recognize that a family is more than just a mother, father, sister, brother; husband and wife, but all who believe and trust in You. Father, I send up a prayer request for financial blessings for not only for Gina, but for me and all to who read this message. The power of joined prayer by those who believe and trust in You is more powerful than anything. I thank You in advance for your blessings. Father God, I ask that you deliver my family and the person reading this right now from debt and debt's burdens. Release your Godly wisdom that they may be good stewards over all that You have called them to be, in their financial handlings. Father, I know how wonderful and mighty You are, how if we just obey You and walk in Your word, You will pour out Your blessings. I thank you now Lord for all the blessings I have received and for the blessings yet to come because I know You are not done with me yet. In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen."
Sunday, June 12, 2005
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress; loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck. The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town,was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal. That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. So I started at the Big Wheel. When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money--fully half of what I averaged every night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana ? I wondered. I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires. I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair. On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up. When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn't wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.) It was still dark and I couldn't see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car-or was that just a trick of the night? Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what. When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, crumbled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat. Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box. It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll. As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning. Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....
I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer:
2. "Not yet."
3. "I have something better in mind."
God still sits on the throne, the devil is a liar. You maybe going through a tough time right now but God is getting ready to bless you in away that you cannot imagine. Let's continue to pray for one another.
Here is the prayer:....
Father, I ask You to bless my friends and relatives reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Amen.
The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance from your knee and the floor......The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.......
Rick and I are struggling financially. We have been in prayer in this over what is the "right" thing as a family to do. Sending me back to work although the obvious solution to many wasn't what we were hoping for. We just do NOT feel like Alex is ready to go back into day care full time. I am afraid for his health. Not to mention he has truly just flourished since being home with me. We had decided last night that I would apply for a night time job at Wal-Mart as a cashier, stocking or something working about 20hrs a week in the evening. We weren't thrilled with this idea as it meant a lot less family time for us but sadly bill collectors don't care about family time! This settled we went off to church this morning. As I was reading the back of our Church's welcome hand out - BOOM - it squareds me in the face. In bold black print - OFFICE ASSISTANT NEEDED! OMG.. My jaw dropped and I wanted to shout THANK YOU GOD! Our church is looking for an office assistant. Could this be anymore up my alley?? I leaned over and pointed it out to Rick, who quickly said see.. The Lord does hear us. Needless to say I could barely wait for Nace to stop speaking (sorry Nace), to go and speak to someone about the position. Tonight, I e-mailed my resume and references off. So.. If you can give me a few extra prayers about this job it would be greatly appreciated. With Alex heading to pre-school 2 days a week in the Fall this would be spectacular. Of course none of the "details" have been fine tuned nor all my questions answered. BUT, I have asked God to guide me and let me know if this is my next step as a Christian.
I also got asked today if I would help be a coordinator for the Woman's Bible Study for the summer. Basically, my roll will be finding things for us to do and places for us to meet. We are not going to be doing any one particular study this summer but rather meeting every other week to fellowship with one another. PERFECT I say! I was honored that my name came up and was happy to be able to help out!
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Here is the prayer:
"Father, I ask You to bless my friends and relatives reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this
very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings In Jesus' precious name. Amen."
Blessings of Peace and Joy!
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Victory Over Addictions
"Do you have any addictions?An addiction is anything that controls a person anything he feels he cannot do without to relieve pain. The pain may be physical, mental, or emotional. Often addictive behavior is an attempt to hide from reality to put off dealing with issues that hurt.Addictions are not limited to substance abuse. Except for cigarettes, most of my addictions did not fall under the heading of substance abuse. I was addicted to reasoning, worry, judgment, compliments, self-pity, pouting, control, and work.When I realized I was addicted to these things and determined I was going to break my addictions and discipline myself, everything was great until the pain started. If I had not had the inner strength of the Lord to withstand the pain, I would have once again given in to the addictions which would have relieved the pain but would have started the cycle all over again.God does not just want to give you strength He wants to be your strength. Let Him help you break your addictions."
Monday, June 06, 2005
And ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Did I mention the FOOD in Memphis???? Just on one street, make that 1 mile, they had more restaurants then we do in all of Columbus. WAY better choices too! Joe's Crab Shack, Olive Garden, Corky's BBQ, Red Lobster, T.G.I. Friday's, Logan's Roadhouse, Chili's, and so many more. We couldn't decide where to eat first!
IF you are ever in the Memphis area I HIGHLY suggest getting your butt into a Corky's for some INCREDIBLE Chicken BBQ Nacho's. I Know it sounds weird... Tortilla chips, Nacho cheese, pulled chicken, BBQ sauce, Jalepeno's, and some spice on top not sure what it was. They are seriously making my mouth water just thinking about them. Ahhh.. a little piece of food heaven! They are mouth watering, lip smacking, tummy pleasing, taste bud jumping, AWESOME! I would just like to THANK Corky's for that incredible food experience. I am missing you already.
Oh hey.. Corky's can be found in more places than just TN! They are also in Kentucky, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Arkansas!!
We Really had a great time! BUT.. I think the highlight of my weekend was the Zoo! There were 2 Elephants and they took 1 to the back to be artificially inseminated, when they did this the other one got really mad and destroyed her area. IT WAS INSANE! She was smashing barrels, rolling in her water pit, trumpeting, slamming her body into the back wall. Apparently she is 41 years old while the other elephant is only 21. "TY" feels like the baby elephant is just that her baby. She feels like her job is to protect her and care for her. It was incredibly interesting and exciting to see although the entire time my heart just broke for poor "TY". Sadly, our video camera battery had died just moments before this happened! Figures right? The 2nd female was back in less than 15 minutes where TY quickly greeted her and calmed right down. Lots of loving pats and treats were given. The Memphis Zoo is very clean, well maintained, and the animals all looked as if they were very well cared for. I enjoyed it almost as much as the San Diego Zoo! I give it 2 thumbs up!!!
The other place we hit was Beale Street which at 11am, was not really active. BUT, I bet without a 2 year old, and at 11:00 at night it would be ROCKIN!!! Sadly, we didn't get to find out! Maybe next time.
We also got to see the FAMOUS Peabody Ducks! A MUST see for anyone with a child! It is a 1 minute show with a 30 minute build up! But the kids truly love it! Alex got a front row seat and actually got to touch one of the ducks. A real highlight for a 2 year old!!
All in all it was an amazing trip. A great getaway from reality! A much needed break!!! Now.. I am off to do laundry! Back to reality!
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Forget Rednecks ... here's what Jeff Foxworthy has to say on New Englanders:
If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 36 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping it will swim by, you might live in New England.
If you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Mt. Washington is the coldest spot in the nation, and Boston gets more snow than any other major city in the US, you live in New England.
If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you live in New England.
If you instinctively walk like a penguin for six months out of the year, you live in New England.
If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, you live in New England.
If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in New England.
If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you live in New England.
YOU KNOW YOU ARE A NEW ENGLANDER WHEN:
"Vacation" means going anywhere south of New York City for the weekend.
You measure distance in hours.
You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.
You have switched from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day, and back again.
You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching.
You install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked.
You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend/wife knows how to use them.
You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit. - absolutely!!!
Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.
Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.
"Down South" to you means Philadelphia.
Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new shed.
Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.
You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
You find 10 degrees "a little chilly."
You actually understand these jokes!
Friday, June 03, 2005
I am: Proud of my family
I know: The Lord loves me
I have: A funny sense of Humor
I wish: That I lived at the beach
I hate: Procrastinators
I miss: Shopping in Malls and Real restaurants (I live in Columbus, MS)
I fear: The future for my son
I hear: To much hatred in the world and against each other
I search: For where God may send me my next message
I wonder: If my son will ever sleep through the night
I regret: The time I have wasted
I love: My son Alex and my Husband Rick
I am obsessed with: Hmm.. Nothing I can think of
I want: To be more free in my time of Worship
I ache: When my son is sick or hurting
I care: Deeply for others
I am always: A little high strung
I am not: Good at pretending to be someone I'm not.
I dance: To 80's music
I sing: In my car and Alex sings with me! YEAH Mercy Me and Michael W. Smith
I do not always: Listen
I should not: Get upset when things don't happen the way I planned in my head
I should be: Packing for our trip to Memphis
I write: In print not cursive
I win: When I remember to put God first
I lose: When I allow the devil to whisper in my ear
I confuse: At time my old life with my new
I listen: My son ask me a thousand questions a day
I go: to Walmart far too often (ahh such a Southern life) LOL
I am happy about: Life
Thursday, June 02, 2005
If you have family living near by who can help be sure to let them know how much you appreciate all the little things they do.
For me... I will continue to pray for Alex to learn how to sleep all night!