Monthly Archives: February 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Ben!

It is hard to believe that our sweet Baby Ben is a year old today!!  I guess he is now officially considered a toddler and no longer a baby (sniff sniff).  Exactly one year ago today at 10:55 am Benjamin Wayne came bouncing into our lives.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw him and held him in my arms…what a precious gift!!  We have been blessed beyond measure!!

I had so much fun putting together the slideshow above.  It is truly amazing to see how much Ben has changed over twelve incredible months!!  The past year has certianly been one of firsts and a whole lot of fun! 

We are so excited about Ben’s football themed birthday party this Saturday!!  The theme was inspired by the book “Hello Big Red!” that I’ve mentioned so many times in previous posts.  Jake’s mom flew in yesterday and my mom along with Candice and Baby Laci fly in tomorrow.  We are looking forward to celebrating Ben’s big day with family, friends and buddies from playgroup!!  Ben also received cards and presents in the mail this week…THANK YOU…we can’t wait to open them at the party on Saturday!  Oh!  He received another early birthday present…a brand new baby tooth came in this week!  That makes total tooth count…three!!  =)

Happy 1st Birthday, Ben!!  We love you lots and lots!!


Filed under Ben, Birthdays, Orlando

More Test Results

I’ve got some really exciting news!!  Based on the results from the endoscopic ultrasound performed yesterday, my mom’s physician feels confident that she does not have cancer.  Yes, you read that right…NOT cancer!!!!!!!  What he believes she is suffering from is a case of acute pancreatitis.  He reported to my stepdad that he believes she has been suffering from pancreatitis for some time now and that most likely what they saw on the CT Scan and MRI was edema from the acute pancreatitis, not a mass.  While we are ELATED by the most recent findings, we are cautiously optimistic as we wait for the results from the biopsy. 

When I spoke to my mom this afternoon she was waiting for my stepdad to take her to the hospital.  Her local doctor wanted her to come in for observation since she has not been able to eat, drink or take any pain medication today due to nausea.  At this point they believe the nausea is a result of the testing done yesterday, but want to observe her to ensure she does not become dehydrated and so that they can control her pain.

It is so amazing and encouraging to see how God has been faithful to answer our prayers!!  Please continue to pray that the biopsy results will confirm that my mom does not have cancer.  I am asking that you would also continue to pray for my mom’s recovery…not only from the pancreatitis, but also from the procedures yesterday.

Psalm 145:3 “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.”


Filed under Arkansas, Family, Health

Wee!! Walking is Fun!

A friend from the neighborhood dropped off a walk n’ ride toy for Ben yesterday.  Her daughter was kind enough to give it to Ben since she’s too big for it now.  We always welcome new toys…and for free…yippee!!   Ben LOVES it and is having a blast learning to walk!  It is great entertainment to watch him G-O-O-O-O-O!!


Filed under Ben, Orlando

Test Results

My mom called me a little after noon today.  I could hear a flicker of hope in her voice.  She said that she and my step-dad, Bill, spent almost two hours this morning with the doctor reviewing the CT Scan, MRI and lab work.  She was told that while the mass was present in her pancreas, the lab work came back as “normal” and that if the mass is indeed cancer (which has not yet been confirmed) that it appears to be in a very early stage.  She is being referred to a specialist at a different hospital where she will undergo additional testing either later this week or early next week.  She will have an endoscopic ultrasound to examine her stomach, pancreas and intestines along with a needle biopsy of the mass in her pancreas.  These additional tests will be used to confirm the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  We are encouraged by the lab work results and are still praying and holding out hope that the mass is not cancer and that it is treatable.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and support.  We are so blessed to have such amazing and wonderful friends and family.  I want to leave you with another verse.  As I prayed for my mom and family this morning, God laid this verse on my heart. 

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”


Updated Feb. 19th: 

My mom’s next appointment (for the ultrasound and biopsy) is scheduled for next week on Tuesday, Feb. 24th.  They will begin prepping her for the procedures at 1pm with the tests beginning at 3pm followed by a two hour recovery period.  Please remember to pray for her and the medical staff taking care of her!!  We should receive the results from the testing that same day.


Filed under Arkansas, Family, Health


While I’m Waiting
Psalm 5:3, 27:14, 33:20, 37:7, 38:15, 40:1, Isaiah  30:18, Lamentations 3:24
by John Waller

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord


I’ve been hesitant to write a post about what’s going on with our family right now.  Hesitant because I feel like if I write it down here that it might actually be real and not some really really bad dream that I keep hoping and praying I’ll wake up from.  So, while my fingers feel numb like the rest of my body, I’ll try to keep typing.

Jake was home eating lunch with Ben and me on Friday afternoon when my phone rang.  I saw that it was my sister, Jill, calling and for some reason I had that feeling deep in my stomach that something was wrong.  My sister and I talk on a frequent basis, but I know when Jill is going to call…at 6:30 pm…that’s typically when she is driving home from work.  When I answered she said that she was eating lunch in the VA cafeteria and was told by a co-worker that our mom was in the emergency room.  Jill called me as she was walking to the ER.

It turns out that my mom has been having abdominal pain for several weeks now and the pain just became too unbearable for her that morning.  She had a CT Scan and a MRI that afternoon.  We all thought that it might be something like her gallbladder but knew in the back of our minds that it could be related to the breast cancer she had about two years ago.  That evening our worst fears were confirmed.  A large mass was found in her pancreas and the doctors are fairly certain that all signs point toward pancreatic cancer, although, they believe at this time that it is unrelated to the breast cancer.  My mom should receive additional testing results on Tuesday (tomorrow) morning.  These results should tell us if she does in fact have cancer and if so, what stage it is in.  So I am asking for your prayers, specifically that the mass is not cancer and that the mass can be removed so that my mom will no longer be in pain.

So for now we wait.  As you can imagine we have been really struggling this weekend.  We are feeling shock, disbelief, sadness and many many more emotions…very much like a roller coaster.  Thank you so much to all of you that have called and sent e-mails.  We know you are praying for our family and we can feel your prayers at work.  I’ll write again when we have more information from the results tomorrow.


Here are some verses that I’ve received from friends over the past few days that have been encouraging to me.

John 14:27″Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Psalm 145:18″The Lord is near to all who call on him.”

Matthew 6:8 “God knows what we need before we ask him.”


This is a prayer that was e-mailed to my mom from Kevin and Krissy, my sister-in-law’s brother and his wife.  When it is hard to know what or how to pray right now, this is what I pray.  I’ve listed it here so that you can use it as a prayer guide too.

Dear Most Gracious Heavenly Father,
Thank you for being our Great Physician and our Amazing Healer. You are God and there is none like You. Thank you so much for Judy. Thank you for the blessing she has been to us and our family. We lay her before Your throne. Thank you that you have redeemed her and called her by name; she is yours. When she passes through the waters, be with her. When she passes through the rivers, do not let them sweep over her. When she walks through the fire, do not let her be burned (Isaiah 43.1-2) You have promised that You will never leave her nor forsake her. Thank You for keeping your promises even during this time. Let Judy take refuge in You and be glad; let her ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over her that she may rejoice in You (Psalm 5.11) Lord, You are faithful. Please strengthen and protect her from the evil one. (2 Thess. 3.3) Give Judy victory and be her shield. Guard her course and protect her way. (Prov 2:7-8] Thank you that Jesus bore our sins in his body on the tree, and that by his wounds we are healed (1 Peter 2. 24) Let Judy dwell in the shelter of You, Most High and rest in the shadow of You, the Almighty. Be her refuge, her fortress, her covering, her shield. Do not let her fear the terror of the night, nor any type of plague or sickness. Command your angels to guard her in all her ways. When she calls on you, answer her. Be with her in trouble; deliver her and honor her. (Psalm 91) Let Judy lie down and sleep in peace during these days (Psalm 4:8] May she trust you with all her heart and not lean on her own understandings but in all her ways may she acknowledge you and you will direct her path (Prov 3.5-6) May she cast all her cares upon you because you care so much for her. You have not given her the spirit of fear but of power, love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1.7) May Judy lift up her eyes to the mountains. Her help comes from you, Lord, You who made heaven and earth. You will not allow her foot to slip; you who keep her will not slumber. You are her keeper; you are her shade on her right hand. The sun will not smite her by day nor the moon by night. You will protect her from all evil. You, O Lord, will guard her going out and her coming in from this time forth and forever (Psalm 121) May she cling to Your Word and be able to claim your Truth as her own and say that, “[She] would have despaired unless [she] had believed that [she] would see the goodness of You, Lord, in the land of the living. May Judy believe that she will see your goodness! May she wait for you, Lord; help her to be strong and to let her heart take courage. May she wait for you (Ps 27.13-14) You are her help; you are the one who sustains her (Psalm 54.4) You are loving and You are strong (Psalm 62.11-12) You are compassionate and gracious abounding in love and faithfulness (Psalm 86.15) Lord, Your name is Yahweh Rophe, the Lord who heals. You are in control. You are Sovereign. You are still on the throne. Please wrap your loving arms around Judy. Drown her in your love. Bring glory to your name through her and through this trial. In all these things we ask in the blessed name of Jesus, Amen.

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Filed under Arkansas, Family, Health

Happy Valentine’s Day…Razorback Style

I guess you’re wondering what Valentine’s Day has to do with the Razorbacks.  Well, typically I would say that the two are completely unrelated.  However, as you can see from the picture, on this particular occasion they go hand in hand.  










For some time now we’ve been teaching Ben how to call the Hogs.  It all started when he received the book, “Hello Big Red!” from his Uncle Tim.  There is one particular page that says, “Finally, Big Red arrived at Razorback Stadium.  As he ran onto the football field, the crowd called, “Woo.  Pig.  Sooie!  Go Hogs!””  Now whenever we turn to this page Ben immediately throws both of his arms up in the air with his hands over his head while opening and closing his fists…just like he’s calling the Hogs.  He also has started doing this anytime we even mention the word “Razorbacks”, while he’s watching ANY sporting event on TV with his dada and at random times like at dinner and riding in the shopping cart at the grocery store.

So here’s how the picture came about in the first place.  We decided to make Valentine’s Day cards for Ben to hand out to his little buddies at the playgroup party this week.  So in my attempt to take an ever so cute Valentine’s Day picture (which proved to be incredibly difficult because he would begin crying anytime I handed him the paper heart to hold…typically he LOVES paper, but for some reason he wasn’t digging the heart) he decided to call the Hogs and there you have it…1 Valentine’s Day Heart + 2 Little Arms Calling the Hogs = A Whole Lot of Cuteness!  The cookie treat bags were a big hit at the party too!  I posted some pics of our little project below.

















Happy Valentine’s Day!  XOXO, Ben

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Filed under Ben, Food, Friends, Hobbies, Holiday, Orlando, Projects

Happy Birthday You Two!!

Over the past couple of weeks our family celebrated two very special birthdays.  My brother-in-law, David, celebrated a birthday on Feb. 4!  (We won’t disclose his age here!!)









My niece, Kayla, turned 12 on Feb. 11.  When I spoke to Kayla yesterday I asked her what she had planned for the BIG day and she told me that on Saturday she is having a party at a sushi restaurant.  I asked her what kind of sushi she liked and she replied, “California rolls.”  I love it!  She sounded so grown up!  The first time I tried sushi was during my sophomore year in college.  (That makes me feel a teensy bit old!!)  If I recall correctly, I almost yakked and ended up ordering some sort of chicken teriyaki dish.  I actually LOVE to eat sushi now…obviously for me it was an acquired taste!!

Happy Birthday you two…we love you!!



Filed under Arkansas, Birthdays, Family, Food

11 Months



I know, it’s crazy…11 months (and two weeks to be exact, but who’s counting)!  It seems like lately each time I look at Ben I say, “Wow, you look so BIG!!”  For example, it was a mere few weeks ago that Ben could stand up under the table without hitting his head, and now he’s too tall.  In honor of 11 months, I picked 11 things Ben LOVES to do right now.  Here’s what our little guy has been up to…he has been BUSY!!

Playing at the beach.  Click here to see him having fun in the sand.  On this particular day it was super cold and windy, but Ben didn’t seem to mind.  He cried when it was time to leave.








Playing with Dakota.  Ben enjoys using Dakota as an obstacle to crawl over as seen here.  He also can’t wait to get outside each day to play in the grass and throw the ball to Dakota.  Ben will often cry if Dakota gets to go outside and he doesn’t.  He is also learning the concept of fetch.  Often times we’ll throw the ball, but Dakota doesn’t fetch (after all he isn’t a Retriever) so Ben will go get it for him and hold it out for Dakota to grab.  Sometimes Dakota will take the ball from Ben and when he doesn’t give it back, Ben will burst into tears.  He just can’t understand why Dakota won’t share.










Playing with his bouncy ball each morning.  It is so fun to watch him learn what words and phrases mean.  We can tell him to “find the ball” and he’ll go searching around the room until he finds it.

Sounding out the noise that a horse makes.  Jake and my dad both LOVE to tell/show Ben the sound that a horse makes.  They both make a neighing sound followed by the razzing of their lips and shaking of their heads so that their checks ripple.  One day I asked Ben what a horse says and he did this:

Playing in his room.  One afternoon I heard the pitter patter of Ben crawling down the hallway from the living room/playroom to his bedroom.  I waited for a second and then followed behind to see what he was up to.  As shown in the clip below, he wedged himself between the crib and chair and then dug through his basket of books.  I’m glad he seems to like his room (and books) so much!

Eating spinach lasagna, chicken, cottage cheese, grilled cheese, bananas, peaches, yogurt, Cheerios and black beans (not all together).  He is also more than willing to offer us a drink from his sippy cup and tries to feed us his food.  He has started clapping after we say “Amen” when we pray before each meal too.  We are in the process of teaching him how to say “all done” in sign language when he’s finished eating meals.

Saying “dog” and “bath”.  Dog often sounds like “d” and bath like “b-th.”  We have a little chant we use when it’s bath time.  It goes a little sumin’ like this, “B-A-T-H…Bath, Bath, Bath”.  I stole that from the Jets.  Jake and I went to see the Jaguars play the Jets about a year ago in Jacksonville.  As luck would have it, we had the privledge of sitting behind what I believe was the most obnoxious Jets fan in the entire stadium.  I am pretty sure I heard the chant, J-E-T-S…Jets, Jets, Jets about a million and one times.  Since then, it has been a little number I can’t seem to forget.  When Ben hears the water begin to run he will often perk up and start crawling toward the bathroom.  

Pushing toys in circles…around the island, around the couch, and around the wall in the living room.  Plus, he loves to knock down really tall towers in one single blow!

Doing his version of a happy dance.  This involves turning his head really fast from side to side with a really big grin on his face!  This video was taken after his bath one night.  We’re not kidding when we say there is something about taking a bath that makes this kid hyper!

Laughing.  Laughing when he’s being tickled and often just laughing because we’re laughing.

Waving “goodbye” to dada from the front porch each morning as he leaves for work.  I saved this one for last because it is one of my favorite things we do right now.  When Jake tells us goodbye in the morning Ben will start waving immediately.  Jake goes through the garage and we head out the front door to watch from the porch.  We wave from the time Jake gets into the 4Runner until he drives out of sight.  It is very sweet!


Filed under Beach, Ben, Dakota, Orlando

“Son, You Got a Panty On Your Head!”

That is one of my favorite quotes from the hysterical movie Raising Arizona.  I haven’t thought about that movie in a really long time until yesterday.  Ben has become very interested and eager to “help” with the laundry lately.  So after we returned home from our playgroup Wednesday, I prepared Ben’s lunch while he helped sort out some of the laundry on the couch.  I try to leave a few smaller items, like socks, for him to play with while I fold everything else.  He usually pulls them all down to the ground, pushes them into a pile and then roles around on them.  Anyway, on this particular day it appears that he wanted to try something new.  When he came to see me in the kitchen I laughed out loud.  I tried to get a still shot with the camera but each time I got close to him he would crawl quickly away so I managed to capture him on video.  Here’s what I saw (and for those of you wondering, not to worry, that is clean laundry!!).


Filed under Ben, Orlando