Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This and That...

Trying to decide if there is really anything to blog about. 

I don't have any pictures to post.  Not as much fun without pictures.

Nobody is sick in the house this week.  Hurrah!!  I ended up with the flu last week.  Yeah, that pretty much sucked.  I stayed home from work for a couple of days just lying in bed and sleeping through it.  I had fun everytime Tom came in the room I would imitate Roman and cry "I'm dying...I think I'm gonna die."  It made him laugh every time.  Oh wait...I guess I didn't tell that story on one of my blogs.  Roman was sick the weekend before I got sick and at one point we heard him back in the bedroom crying and screaming at the top of his lungs, "I'm dying...I think I'm gonna die."  Ok, maybe it loses something in the translation but neither of us had ever heard a child say they were going to die when they had a cold or flu.  He is very dramatic about everything. 

I went to the oncologyst and we talked about the cancer meds that I quit taking a couple of months ago because of bone and joint pain.  (I know EXACTLY how it is going to feel when I get about 20 years older...)  He gave me a new script for Tomoxifin.  Side effects from that one sound really yummy.  More weight gain, embolisms, stroke, etc.  Nice.  Can't wait.  (Yeah, yeah...that is heavy sarcasm you hear.)  Of course, he swears there is no bone or joint pain with it.  We'll see.

He's doing a pet scan to make sure the cough I have isn't anything to worry about.  I'll be doing that on the 23rd and then going back on the 25th to see if there are any concerns from it.

Roman is making great grades on his school work.  He is working really hard.  His Mom had bought him a Spongebob umbrella and the kids made fun of him at school yesterday.  Is six REALLY too old to like Spongebob Squarepants?  It seems like the perfect age for it to me...kids are just mean.

Work is busy as usual.  I had a 'meet and greet' with one of the guys from home office in St. Louis yesterday.  He was diagnosed and treated for Stage 4 melanoma eight years ago.  He is a walking miracle.  I am daily thankful for the strides we have made in getting rid of cancer cells.  God is so good all the time.  8-)

Here is a a little Max for today...amen and amen...

"Not Just Mercy, But Grace

By Max Lucado

We are poor, spiritually for sure; monetarily, perhaps. We’ve buried our dreams, desires, and aspirations. Like the mother with Lupus or the businessman in the unemployment line, we’re out of options.

Yet Christ approached us “while we were yet sinners!” “Will you cover us?” we asked him, and Grace smiled.

Not just mercy, mind you, but grace. Grace goes beyond mercy. Mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance. Grace threw him a party. Mercy prompted the Samaritan to bandage the wounds of the victim. Grace prompted him to leave his credit card as payment for the victim’s care. Mercy forgave the thief on the cross. Grace escorted him into paradise.

Mercy pardons us. Grace woos and weds us. Grace does this. God does this. Grace is God walking into your world with a sparkle in his eye and an offer that’s hard to resist!

“Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5″"

By Grace Alone -


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Changing of the Season

I always feel a bit melancholy when summer turns to fall.  I looked out the kitchen window this morning and this is what I saw.

Now, I'll admit, the sun isn't up yet and, even when it comes up completely, it will be overcast but it really matched my mood this morning.  The leaves are beginning to fall off of the trees and I know that before long, the trees will be bare and that will be the view for several months while the world goes into the dormant winter state.  The air has turned crisp and cool and I have already turned the heat on to knock the chill out of the air. 

It's funny, even though the leaves are falling off the trees, the roses are still generating new leaves.  I haven't fertilized in probably six weeks so I must have fertilized to late in the summer.  They are still really pretty and I stand amazed that they survived me and the drought this year.  8-)

I have been able to avoid all doctors for the last six months and, I have to admit, it has been wonderful!  Next Wednesday I have to go see my oncologist for my six month check up. (Which will generate other appointments such as mammograms and probably a pet scan).  Hopefully, all the diagnostics that they insist on doing will come back clean and I can go on for another six months without any more doctors.  8-)

Sometimes, I get so caught up in life that I forget how precious this time with BJ, Madora, and Roman is.  Sometimes, I find myself screaming internally, give me just five minutes without the noise and bustle that their family brings into the house.  Max has some wonderful words of wisdom about how I should be dealing with this.  I mean, I never let them know that I feel that way but does being Christ-like mean that we don't have those feelings or that we don't show them?  8-}

"Piranha Hour

By Max Lucado

We used to call 5:00 p.m. the “piranha hour.” It was that time of day when our girls all wanted a piece of mom at the same time. And I, the ever-loving, ever-sensitive husband, wanted Denalyn to drop everything and talk to me about my day. When is your piranha hour? When do people in your world demand much and offer little?

Jesus teaches us how to live through them successfully. When hands extended and voices demanded, Jesus responded with love. He did so because the code within him disarmed the clock.

The code is worth noting: “People are precious.” He gave sight to eyes that would lust. He healed hands that would kill. Many of those he healed would never say “thank you” but he healed them anyway.

God’s goodness is spurred by His nature—not by our worthiness. He knows the value of people!

“…but the crowds learned about [what Jesus was doing] and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. Luke 9:11″"

By Grace Alone -


Thursday, September 27, 2012


Well, we had some really great news last night.  BJ and Madora have picked out the house they want to have built and they are pre-approved for the loan.  Hurrah!  We were all estatic about it.  I mean, really...the house we live in, while it is a 4 bedroom, all of us are used to having our own space so it will be nice (in about 4-6 months after the house gets built) to return to our usual spaces and get together once a week for family night as well as other occasions.  It will be nice to have family living in the area (but not in our house...lol).

At Roman's school this week, they've had dress-up days all week.  The first day, they wore their pajamas.  (Get out of here...PAJAMAs?) and the second day, they had to dress up like someone from another era so Roman picked dressing up like a Gangsta.  (Gangster in normal language) Here is a picture of him from that day.

I mean really...does it get any cuter than that?

I found a winter coat for him at the Boeing Store.  He is all about being in the military right now so I got him a fighter pilot jacket and surprised him with it on Monday after it arrived.  He was so excited when he was telling his Dad about it that he couldn't speak clearly.  It came out "Dad, loo loo, Can you believe, look what GiGi got me....loo loo...it's a 'for reals' fighter pilot coat."  You have to imagine all the gasping breath sounds in between all the words.  I can honestly say that I have never taken a kids breath away in excitement before.  It was amazingly adorable.  (Mark one up for GiGi...whoo whoo)

We are looking forward to our Friday off tomorrow...it will be our first day with no one in the house in two months.  We are almost as excited as Roman was about his coat...ROTFL.

Well, that's about all the news for now.  Here is some more from Max on Grace...(my favorite subject)

"Make it Personal

By Max Lucado

Christ took away your sins. He endured not just the nails of the Romans, the mockery of the crowd, and the spear of the soldier, but the anger of God!

God didn’t overlook your sins, lest he endorse them. He didn’t punish you lest he destroy you. He instead found a way to punish the sin and preserve the sinner. Jesus took your punishment, and God gave you the credit for Jesus’ perfection. As long as the cross is God’s gift to the world, it will touch you but not change you.

Precious as it is to proclaim, “Christ died for the world,” even sweeter it is to whisper, “Christ died for me!”

For my sins he died. He took my place on the cross. He felt my shame and spoke my name. Thank God for the day Jesus took your place, for the day Grace happened to you!"

By Grace Alone -


Monday, September 24, 2012


I thought it might be time for some reflection this morning.  Life has gotten very busy...sometimes fun, sometimes stressful, sometimes just plain old relaxing (not a whole lot of the relaxing thing happening though...). 

I am coming up on my 6 month Oncologist appointment and it always throws me into a bit of an internal frenzy.  For about 5 months I just pretend I didn't have cancer and enjoy life, then about a month before my appointment, I have to assess how I am doing 'cancer-wise' and be prepared to talk about it.  I have a bit of a cough that has us concerned but it could just be allergies.  Especially since I am allergic to dogs and we have added one to the house.  The only thing is that I had the cough a bit before the dog...it has just gotten worse since he got there.  (See....that totally points to allergies!)  I found a lump in my other breast a couple of weeks ago but I think it is just a milk duct.  They told me that if I ever find a lump in the other breast that it will not be from the original cancer but that it would be a brand new one.  Anyway, I'm pretty sure that is just a milk duct that I never felt before...I mean, good grief, who can remember all the lumps and bumps in breasts.

On to other reflections...

Roman is a special child who loves easily and is just one big burst of energy that is non-stop. 

Imagine, if you will, a fifth dimension...one where the atoms in a child are always in motion, never stopping, always eating to fuel it's constant state of flux.  A dimension where if the child stopped, he would literally explode into nothingness.  A dimension that is not just imagination but a reality called the Small Person Twilight Zone. 

Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration but believe me...he never seems to stop moving.  Even when he is eating, he is squirming in his chair, ready to take off as soon as allowed.  Not sure how many times my mouth has uttered, "Roman, please stop running in the house..."  Sometimes, watching him just wears me out.  LOL

Madora is a good daughter-in-law.  BJ is right...'She IS the one.'  She is his soul-mate and it is obvious that they adore each other.  She asks my opinion on things (which is unheard of in past daughter-in-laws) and we laugh together.  We also disagree at times and that is ok...it is good that she feels comfortable enough with me to disagree.  (It obviously doesn't mean she's right...but I'll let her disagree if she wants.  HA!)

They've been with us now for a couple of months and we've settled into an easy rhythm.  On the weekend, she helps me clean house and BJ helps Tom with the yard.  We cook and eat meals together Fri-Sun.  During the week, we fend for ourselves since we are on such different working schedules.  Tom and I get our laundry done on Thursday and Friday evenings and they get theirs done on the weekend.

Saturday mornings, I work with Roman to help him learn his spelling words and do the 4-6 worksheets he  has to get done for school.  He is doing really well in school now.  He is in the first grade and the first week, before we really understood what the teacher wanted, he didn't do so well on his spelling test or the worksheets but now that we understand (we meaning, his Mom, myself, and Roman.) and we are making sure he learns everything and understands all the math, spelling, and reading worksheets that he has to accomplish each week.  He doesn't like to slow down enough for good penmenship (reference twilight zone paragraph above) and we are having to work on that a lot. 

I am still sewing when I have a moment or two.  I got 38 squares sewn together this weekend for a quilt I am working on.  Next weekend will be doing the embroidery squares for inbetween the pieced squares.  Here are the first two rows of the quilt that I put together a few weeks ago.  It is made with basically 5 different fabrics.  I cut 1.5 inch strips of 4 of the fabrics and sew them together, then I cut out triagles that are 4 inches tall.  Then I sew 4 of one type of triangle together to make the squares.  I use the alternating triangles for every other row.  Then I use the basic cream color fabric to make the embroidered squares.  I didn't have a pattern for this quilt, it was just something that I thought up out of my widdle head.  Not sure what I will do the border in yet.  It is going to be 11 squares wide by 14 rows long when I am done.  Each square comes out to approximately 7 inches. 

Well, I guess that is enough prattling for today. 

Here is some Max for you:

"Grace Happened!

By Max Lucado

We are incarcerated by our past, our low-road choices, and our high-minded pride. We have been found guilty!

Our executioner’s footsteps echo against stone walls. We sit on the floor of the dusty cell, awaiting the final moment. We don’t look up as he opens the door. We know what he’s going to say. “Time to pay for your sins.” But we hear something else! “You’re free to go. They took Jesus instead of you!”

The door swings open, the guard barks, “Get out.” And we find ourselves shackles gone, crimes pardoned, wondering, what just happened?

Grace happened! Christ took away your sins.

Romans 3 says: “God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.”

What happened? Grace happened!"

By Grace Alone -


Friday, September 14, 2012

Jumping Beans...

We recently had a new addition to our back yard.  The three men of the house built it.  Here they are about half way done with it.  (I think they were mentally scratching their heads at this point)

Later, I could hear Roman stating "I can help, honest, I know things."  I was proud of him though, even though he kept saying that, (which was annoying to the men on many many levels) he kept his little arms folded waiting patiently to help.

He got to help when it came time to test it out.  He was totally fine with that!


Then BJ had to get in and make sure it could handle the extra weight of an adult.  (right)

Roman is getting the hang of it now.


 Then the next day, we had a 'bug' problem.  I wish I had gotten a picture of him laying down on the trampoline trying to identify every leaf and possible bug on it.  Roman does NOT like bugs.  So we moved it from under the trees to the back of the house.   This way he could climb up in it from the porch.  Another amusing thing was watching him try to get into it without help.  Oh...did we have a good laugh watching him. 

Finally, GiGi gave it a try.  It really was a lot of fun and some tremendous exercise.  So, every night we go out and jump around in it and when we get tired, we both lay down on the trampoline and toss a soft ball up in the air for him to catch.  His catching skills are getting really good.  8-)

 Tom has been tremendously patient through this transition of more family in the house.  He isn't getting much 'me' time but he also knows that this is just a small transition time until they get into their own house.  I feel blessed to have the time to get to know my grandson so well and to spend time with BJ and Madora. 

Tom and Madora got on the trampoline also but I didn't have the camera at the ready when they were on it.

Roman has taken over the watering of my roses and he's doing a really good job.  He likes to work and help around the house.  He is quickly becoming my little helper.  He also helped me scrub down the patio last weekend.  I used the hose while he scrubbed with a brush on a pole.  He is also doing well with his school work.  He seems to like to learn from me and I enjoy the teaching.  8-)  We are pretty much becoming best buddies.  I had forgotten how much fun little boys can be.  8-)

By Grace Alone -


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Super BroHam

With the new addition to our family came the dilemma of what to be called.  Roman already had a Grandma and Grandpa (Madora's parents) so he didn't want to call us by those names.  When we visited them in Las Vegas he came up with the name "Bro-ham" for Tom immediately.  Tom turned right around and called him Bro-Bacon.  They both laughed over that.  I embroidered a sign for his room that has Pluto (the Disney Dog) on it and says "Bro-Bacon's Room".  He liked it so much he asked if he could take it with him when they move into their new home. 

I was a little more difficult for him.  He and his Mom came up with the name "Gigi".  So we are now Bro-ham and Gigi.  To us, it doesn't matter what he calls us because we love him dearly.  He is completely endearing (well, 99% of the time...he can be challenging some of the time, especially when he is tired.) and we are thoroughly enjoying him.

On Saturday, he goes up to his Bro-ham and says "I love you...".  Bro-ham in turn says "Well, I love you too, Roman" and Roman proceeds to tell him that he needs to show him the inside of the observatory.  We all laughed because we knew something was coming as soon as he said "I love you".  So, Bro-ham and Roman walked out to the observatory and had a look around.   Tom pulled out his smaller telescope for Roman to take a look through.

"Are you sure we can't look through the BIG telescope?"

"WOW...Gigi is really big in here.  How did she get so big?"

Two men and a Cat...

I wish I had gotten a picture of him when they were going out to cut the grass.  It was too adorable...he had his work boots on with his hard hat and when his mother wanted him to try on some pants that I needed to hem for him, he explained to us that he had to go outside and do what MEN do, not change pants for hemming.  Never the less, I got the measurements I needed and he proceeded to go out and do all the manly things that men do outside.  

So, he is Super Bro-Ham to Roman.  They truly have a great bond going on and it is amazingly fun to watch. 

"Every Day - Closer to Home

By Max Lucado

Too seldom do I hear thunder and think “Is that God?”

I’ve been known to let a day pass, even two days, without a glance to the eastern sky. Let’s do better!
Colossians 3:2 reminds us to “Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.”

Blessings and burdens. Both can alarm-clock us out of slumber. Gifts stir homeward longings. So do struggles. Every homeless day carries us closer to the day our Father will come.

The Bible tells us God will wipe away all tears, there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain.

All of that gone forever. Write checks of hope on this promise! With Paul in Romans 8:23, we “wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children.”

Every day—closer to home!"

By Grace Alone -


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Enjoying the Son...

We have really been enjoying having BJ around the last few weeks.  He has gotten into our rhythm and even cooked a few meals for us, on top of helping with the yard and the house cleaning.  It really has been a blessing to have him around.  We all laugh at Triton (the dog) who has adopted me as his plaything.  (literally)  Triton loves the big yard to romp around in too as long as it is cool and shady from the trees in the evening.  I tried to get him out with us when Tom was cleaning out his shed but he just sat on the porch and watched us.  No hot sun for that pup...lol. 

Madora and Roman are still in Texas with her mother.  Her mother has had a couple of surgeries in the last week (One of them to put in a tracheotomy and the other one I am not sure of.)  I haven't wanted to bug her with a bunch of text messages because she is stressed enough without having to tell the same stories more than once so I ask BJ what is going on.  I'll get the full scoop when she gets back into town sometime this week.

I've been busy the last few weeks with sewing.  I made a quilt runner for my sewing maching table top so that if Roman gets inventive with running his cars across furniture, it will be protected.  I'd much rather protect stuff than fuss at him for doing every little thing.  I was just going to do a solid piece of fabric and quilt it but it just wasn't in me to go so simple.  HA!  That would have been too boring.  Here are some pictures of the runner. 

Here are some pictures of BJ and Triton trying to eat BJ's pizza.  For some reason, Triton thought it would be fun to crawl in BJ's pocket.

"Maybe if I crawl into his pants, he won't notice me and some food will drop down here?"

"Maybe if  go under the tunnel, I can get to the food?"

I have also finished the next (and hopefully last) request from Clifford.  He originally wanted another memory quilt with all the kid's names on it along with their spouses but honestly, I am quite sick of making that memory quilt (for now anyway) so I made him a shadow box that came out really well.  I found the pattern online at the Embroidery Library.  Mom and I found it while we were chatting yesterday. 

Here is a little Max for today:

Heaven is Your Home

By Max Lucado

The dread of death ends when you know heaven is your true home! In all my air travels I’ve never seen one passenger weep when the plan landed. Never.

No one clings to the armrests and begs, “Don’t’ make me leave! Let me stay and eat more peanuts!” We’re willing to exit because the plane has no permanent mailing address.

Nor does this world.

Paul said in Philippians 3:20: “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior.”

What about you? Is your fear of dying robbing your joy of living?

Romans 14:9 says, “Christ died and rose again for this very purpose, so that he might be Lord of those who are alive and of those who have died.”

In Christ, heaven is your home!

By Grace Alone -


Monday, July 30, 2012

Busy Life...

Oh my...things have been busy.

BJ and Madora got settled and we were having a wonderful time with them when Madora had to go pick up Roman.  Her mother has taken a turn for the worse and could not handle Roman any longer.  Madora has decided to stay and help with her mom until Roman has to start back to school.  This will be a hard separation for she and BJ...the two of them are so connected to each other...Tom and I both see that they have the bond like he and I do.  BJ has definitely found his "Soul Mate" this time.

I haven't been sewing or planting or really doing anything other than working, cooking, and cleaning.  Speaking of cleaning...they have the most adorable little dog.  It is a Chihuahua.  A really good dog.  Only 9 months old but hadn't had an accident yet.  (Whew...so glad about that even though we have hardwood floors...don't want any accidents in the house...lol)  He is playful and seems to just make friends with everyone.  Doesn't know a stranger.  Barks every time he thinks someone that doesn't belong is coming near the house but that is very seldom.

We got their Rental Truck unloaded a couple of Sundays ago and realized just how old and out of shape we are...HA!  Not up to that kind of work anymore but somehow we all made it through it.  YEAH TEAM!!

Madora had found a job just before she got called to go pick up Roman.  We are hoping the job is still available when she gets back but it is important that she spend this time with her family right now.  It will all work out to whatever God's plans are for her.  8-)

Anyway, life is full and we are pressing on with it.  We've got Roman's room set up really cute and ready for him to just come in and fall into bed when he arrives (yeah, I'm sure that will happen...lol).  

Here is some Max for today...

"Taking out the Trash 

By Max Lucado

Who wants to live with yesterday’s rubble?  Who wants to hoard the trash of the past?  You don’t, do you?  Or do you?

I’m not talking about the trash in your house, but in your heart.  Not the junk of papers and boxes but the remnants of anger and hurt.  Do you rat-pack your pain?  Amass offenses?  Record slights?

A tour of your heart might be telling.  A pile of rejections.  Accumulated insults.  No one can blame you.  They’re innocence takers, promise breakers, and wound makers.  They’re everywhere and you’ve had your share.

Jesus answered Peter’s question in Matthew 18:21 and 22 when he asked:  “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me?  Seven times?”  “No, not seven times,” Jesus said.  “Seventy times seven!” 

Do you want to give every day a chance?  Jesus says to get rid of the trash.  Give the grace you’ve been given!"

By Grace Alone -


Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Prodigal Son

OK, so maybe The Prodigal Son title is not exactly accurate, but the last few weeks have been a flurry of getting ready for BJ and Madora to arrive.  They both agree this is a much better place to raise a child and are headed this way even as I type.  Before July it had been 2.5 years since I had seen him and the reunion was wonderful.

Roman is currently with his other grandparents in Texas and he will be arriving in a few weeks just before school starts.  Madora's mother has stage 4 cancer and wanted to spend some time with Roman before...well, you know what I'm saying here.

We are very excited to have them coming, I have cleaned out their bedroom and walk in closet (yeah for an attic!!) and started cleaning out Roman's room.  (I got one of the two closets cleaned out.)  Mostly we just have to get the two treadmills out of there (darn...now we won't be able to exercise .... do we hear the sarcasm dripping out of my mouth??).

I did finish the wedding memory quilt that I was making for them and the Myranda memory quilt that I made for Tom.  Here are the pics of those.

For some reason, I had a hard time with the center embroidery for the wedding memory quilt.  First I spelled BJs name wrong and left the i out of it.  (His actual given name is Guillermo not BJ...BJ is a nickname for Bill Jr)  Then I decided on different colors for the flowers.  Then the stitching messed up on the wording and I found that I had used the last bit of cloth that was supposd to match the outside triangles and I had gotten the material in Las Vegas so OOPS...I had to go shopping for more material.  Well, the Hancocks here did not carry the same material (true, there are 4 Hancocks in the vacinity and I only checked one of them but I only have so much energy) so I got a coordinating solid color for the center.

Myranda's went without a hitch and we put Tigger on it because she always loved Tigger...even as a teenager, she picked T-shirts with Tigger on them.

Anyway, tonight, probably in the wee hours, Madora and BJ will be arriving and we are very very excited.  It will be nice to have so much life in the house.  Now all they need to do is find some good jobs here and then find a home to live in.  Keep praying for them!

Here is some Max for today...

"God is Enough

by Max Lucado

Let’s face it–anxiety or worry have no advantages! They ruin our health, rob us of joy, and change nothing! Our day stands no chance against the terrorists of the Land of Anxiety.

But Christ offers a worry-bazooka. Remember how He taught us to pray? “Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11” This simple sentence unveils God’s provision plan: live one day at a time.

Worry gives small problems big shadows. Corrie ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.” And Romans 8:28 affirms: “Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Most anxiety stems, not from what we need, but from what we want. Philippians 4:4 says, “delight yourselves in the Lord, yes, find your joy in Him at all times!”"

By Grace Alone -


Friday, July 6, 2012

Home Again....

That was a really awesome trip.

I don't even know where to start because there is so much to tell.

This is the point where I usually close the browser and get on with life but I really want to share what a joy BJ's family is.  They made me laugh like I haven't laughed in a really long time.

I clicked with Madora like I clicked with my high school friend Connie.  She and I went to Hancock Fabrics to find some fabric so that I can make a wedding memory quilt for she and BJ.  I was driving [I offered for her to drive...giving her an out to my lousy driving but we climbed into the rental car anyway...HA...wuwahwahwah (hands rubbing together with a gleeful smile on my face)] and you have to realize that Las Vegas has the craziest roads you can possibly imagine.  The lane you are in will suddenly disappear and become NOT A LANE to drive in but a median.  Honestly, you'd have to experience it to understand.

We had an incident where my lane ended and guess what...the people in Las Vegas are not nice.  They don't see that you are having issues and let you in, they make sure that you DON'T get into the only remaining lane. 

Then there was this time when we were sitting at a stop light and this huge SUV decided that he was going to get around me (slowly creeping around my left with only a hair's breadth between our vehicles) and I turn to him and say "And what is that getting you?" and then when the traffic took off, he was able to get in front of me and I found myself saying "I guess it got you that, huh?"  We had a really good laugh about both of those incidents.

Madora and I both decided that we could be best of friends.  I've never had that opportunity with any of BJ's wives before.  (Yes, there were two before this one...it's been hard for him to settle down for some reason but it is obvious that this one is his soul mate.)  In fact, she liked me so much that they are thinking of moving to Alabama to be near us.  She is going to start looking for a job here and BJ's job with Apple allows him to move anywhere because he works from home.  I sent them the information from my realtor who did a great job finding us our home.

On to Roman...he is like a little tornado...constantly in motion.  He is six years old and not a shy bone in his body.  He calls Tom "BroHam" (None of us are sure what that means except when he says it you can tell that it is an endearment because he and Tom were totally connected.)  He said he wants to call me "Granny" which is ok, not what I would have chosen but if that is his choice, I'll take it.  We both fell in love with him.  He is all imagination and quite a free spirit.

He didn't like having his picture taken so he would find ways to avoid the camera so in the videos you will see that he hides behind Tom or anything else he can get behind if he thinks that I am filming him.  Sometimes the camera will look like it isn't filming anything and that is because I was in stealth mode trying to hide the camera from him.  The little bugger is smart and I had to work hard to get any pictures of him.

Boy and Dog having a conversation.

"Don't take my picture..."

"See how strong I am?"  Dog looks confused...

Can't even comment on this one...sigh...lol...somehow, the dog loved it.

Now Triton is slobbering back on him.

"Man Snuggling" with Grandpa.

Telling Grandpa what life is really all about...

As you can see above, he latched onto his "BroHam" quite nicely.  8-)  As for me...the first time I walked in, I had a couple of bags of toys for him.  Then the second time I walked in, I had a toy and some candy (Toxic Waste) that we got at the Atomic Testing Museum.  We went out, on our last night there, to get some hamburger buns and came back and he looks at me and says "anything for me?"  HA...I had to tell him not this time...and he was totally ok with that but I thought it was so funny how quickly I became the one with the gifts...He and I played with the Model Magic the first day and I didn't get pictures but his Mom and I played with it on the second day and below is the picture of the three characters we made.

Now, without really knowing Roman, the vidoes below won't really be that special for anyone but two new grandparents, we thoroughly enjoy watching and rewatching the video below.  What I realized on the plane home was that I was so entrenched with capturing Roman on video that I forgot to take any pictures of BJ and Madora.  WOW...what a space case.  We have several other videos of Roman but since it took me all day to get this one uploaded...this is all folks.  8-)

By Grace Alone -


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blowing Things Up

Sorry about the format of the blog material lately...Ipads and blogging don't necessarily go so well together...It makes it all look like a run on paragraph... Today we are going to a Atomic Testing Museum. Yeah, I didn't get enough radiation while being treated for breast cancer...let's go see how they came up with the ideas for atomic bombs and radiation. I sent BJ a text message this morning and said we would be around a little later today because I was going to take Tom to some Atomic place and blow him up... LOL. We both slept really wonderfully last night. 10 hours of glorious sleep (we think it was 10 hours...every clock we own says a different time...) I had woken up at some point in the morning and looked at my Ipad and it said 8:45 and I was still so sleepy, so I crawled back in bed...not caring that I was wasting time in bed. The last two days had been so exhausting and Tom was still sleeping so... Well, the time was actually 5:45, so when we woke up a couple hours later and are looking at the time and Tom says it is only 7:45. I'm like...WHAT? It was 8:45 several hours ago. We finally figured out that the Ipad had not done an automatic update of the time since we were in Atlanta (I hadn't turned it on since then) and I HADN'T really gone back in time. (Darn the bad luck...of course, if I'm going to do time travel, I want to travel back a few years, not just a couple of hours...HA!) So, Las Vegas is all flashing lights and huge screens with advertisements everywhere you look. This morning, we were driving to Starbuck's (this is where we are right now) and Tom says, "WOW, that is Walgreen's" and we see a Walgreens store with what had to be a 100ft screen with a running sign that said WALGREENS and nothing else. Don't all these lights seem like a waste of electricity? We see an Outback restaurant shoved into all these buildings with a 100ft coke bottle to the right of the doorway. Now, we might have seen the coke bottle but would we have seen the Outback restaurant if I hadn't just been reading signs outloud? This is one CRAZY town. Well, I need to stop writing and get to living, sightseeing, and visiting more with my family. By Grace Alone - Teresa

Monday, July 2, 2012

Viva Las Vegas

Yeah, that's not a very original title, but here we are after a grueling 14 hours of travel yesterday to get here. And that was by airplane. Las Vegas...the lights are overwhelming and the differences between this world and our Bible-belt world is just crazy. This morning, I saw this girl checking into the hotel who wasn't wearing enough material in her dress to cover her posterior. There were two guys standing behind her in line openly surveying all they could see. So sad for her. That she would have such low self esteem that she should feel the need to dress like that. We went into Wal-Mart and believe it or not they sell hard liquor in the food section. Now, our Wal-Mart sells wine and beer but no hard liquor like Rum or Whiskey but there it was...Tom and I both dropped our jaws. We quickly picked them (our jaws)up and moved on with getting the few items that we needed to survive for a couple of days. High on the list was some cold medicine since I seem to be sporting a doosy of a cold right now. I feel better after shoving some dayquil down my throat and drinking a bunch of water. We got to BJ's around 8:30 this morning and he lives in North Las Vegas which is like going back into the normal world. We have been thoroughly enjoying our grandson "Roman" who just chatters away at us and entertains us. He has just pulled out the dominoes and asked us if we would like to play with him. I had some really cute pictures of him to upload here but I can't figure out how to load them via my Ipad...I'll try to get them uploaded when I get home. Well, OF COURSE we want to play with him so off we go. More to come... By Grace Alone - Teresa

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wedding Memory Quilt

It was a pretty uneventful weekend.  I started (and finished) the marriage memory wall hanging for Clifford.  I am definitely having some lessons learned moments.  If I leave the stabilizer on the squares until I get it totally put together then the squares line up beautifully.  This time, I actually got the whole thing to square up nicely.  I'm almost embarrassed that these two will be hanging in the same house because this one is definitely better than the other one.  I made a couple of mistakes with my binding.  I have started making my own binding and I thought two inches would be enough but then I sewed a half inch seam instead of a quarter inch seam and it wasn't wide enough but I had already sewn it so I cut the seam down to a quarter inch and then guess what...yup, the corners were not miterable (is that a word) anymore so I sewed a seam at the corner and cut that seam down and then, of course, that is one of the seven deadly sins of sewing...Thou shalt not put a seam in the corner of binding...

Well, I made it work anyway but that is my major flaw for this piece of work.  8-)  I am so thoroughly enjoying the creation...since we are made in God's image...I can see why he felt the need to create us and the world for us to live in.  I can also see why he took the time to stand back, look at it, and say "This is good..."  (I sometimes wonder if He looks down on us today and thinks that maybe it is not so good anymore...but that is another subject altogether.)  Of course, his work is perfect and mine is flawed but that's ok...it leaves me room to grow and get better.  8-)  Since none of us are really like God, I'll take the imperfections and continue to try to improve.

Anyway, here is the finished product.  I'm showing you the back too since we've been having fun putting on the tag in the back.  lol  Now, Clifford will have two originals in his house.  (wait...the only two...ROTFL)

Clifford is having surgery this week to remove some kidney stones so keep him in your prayers. 

Here is some Max for you:

"No One Compares to Him

by Max Lucado

Psalm 89:6 asks the question: “Who among the sons of the mighty is like the Lord?”

And the answer is, any pursuit of God’s counterpart is vain. No one and nothing compares to him. No one advises him. No one helps him. You and I may have power. But God IS power.

Unlike the potter who takes something and reshapes it, God took nothing and created something. God created everything that exists by divine fiat. John said in Revelation, “You, God created all things, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created. Revelation 4:11″

Even God asks, “To whom will you compare me?” As if his question needed an answer, he gives one: “I am God–I alone. I am God. There is no one else like me! Isaiah 46:4-9″

We’re blessed to be his children. We can only stand humbly before him and praise his glorious name!"

By Grace Alone -


Thursday, June 21, 2012


I am kind of slow to deal with certain types of things.

My Dad's death was one of those.

My Mom sent me some of his things to remember him by just after he died and when I opened the box, sorrow kind of welled up in me and took over so I put them in the closet to be looked at when I was more emotionally strong.  (I was going through chemo at the time and I just didn't have the 'balance' to handle looking at what she had sent.)

I took the box out on Father's Day and took the items out and looked at them.  (Okay, it only took me almost two years, but I figured I was balanced enough now.)  She had sent a couple of toy cars (My dad for some reason liked to collect small vehicles), a headband, a belt that said Tennessee on it, a pocket watch that we had given him the Christmas before he died, a Swiss army watch that BJ had given him when we were in Germany, a striped tie, a balancing desk toy, and a couple of knives.  All of these items were inside a 'treasure' box that he always called his 'bugger' box. 

I gave the knives, belt, and Swiss army watch to Tom.  I will give the pocket watch to BJ when we go to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks and I kept the bugger box.  The rest of the items, I put in a small box and tucked them away again in the closet.  Tom got a new wristband for the watch and it looks really great and believe it or not, it is still ticking and it had the right time on it as well.

The bugger box (and that is the last time I'm going to call it that because now it has a new purpose...it shall now and forever in the future be called a sewing box) found a home on my sewing cabinet.

Here is a closeup of the outside and inside.  It is a beautifully crafted box.  (I just love boxes!)

Not much else going on here in Alabama.  Clifford loved his quilt hanging and has now asked me to make him one for his wedding date.  He says "Say something on it that my wife will like...you know what women like...something mushy."  He cracks me up.  I'll figure something out.

Here is some Max for today.

"Live in Peace

By Max Lucado

We used to have a backyard trampoline. One afternoon all three of our girls were bouncing on it. Like most siblings, they don’t always get along. But for some reason, that afternoon they were one another’s biggest fans. When one jumped, the other two applauded. My chest swelled with pride. After a few moments, you know what I did? I joined them. I couldn’t resist. Their alliance pleased me.

Our alliance pleases Christ. Jesus promised, “When two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” (Matthew 18:20).

Do you desire power for your life? Paul said in Romans 12:18, it will come as you “do your part to live in peace with everyone as much as possible.”

Work through your conflicts. Forgive offenses. Resolve disputes. Scripture says, “Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit; bind yourselves together with peace. (Ephesians 4:3)."

By Grace Alone -


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Shadow Helped!!

Shadow, Tom, and I worked very hard to get Clifford's memory quilt completed.  Tom was bored some of the time so he took pictures of Shadow helping me on his phone.

 Wow, that is some MOUTH she has on her.  Here is Tom holding the final product. (He really isn't headless, he was trying not to be seen in the picture.)  We all finally got it finished.

Now don't look at it too closely because it has a few (ahem) 'character' imperfections but overall I think Shadow, Tom and I did a pretty good job for Clifford.  (Tom helped me pick out the design on top of her name and was my cheering section through the entire process) 

Well, like Jed Bartlett was known for saying in West Wing "What's Next?".  We were talking about maybe making one similar for Myranda (our daughter who died of Cystic Fibrosis in 2007). I know just the place I want to put that memory quilt too. 8-) 

Here is a little Max for today:

"Dread of Death

by Max Lucado

Dread of death ends when you know heaven is your true home!

In all my air travels I’ve never seen one passenger weep when the plane landed. Never! No one clings to the armrests and begs, “Don’t make me leave. Let me stay and eat more peanuts!” We’re willing to exit the plan because the plane has no permanent mailing address.

Nor does the world. Philippians 3:20 says, “We are citizens of heaven where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.”

Why don’t you do this? Give God your death. Imagine your last breath, envision your final moments. And offer them to him. Deliberately. Regularly.

My personal prayer has become, “Lord, I receive your work on the cross and in your resurrection. I entrust you with my departure from earth.”

With Christ as your friend and heaven as your home, the day of death becomes sweeter than the day of birth!"

By Grace Alone -


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Survived Another Year


I had ANOTHER birthday.  Whoo whoo!  I am now almost two years past the cancer diagnosis.  How amazing is that? 

I had a really nice birthday on Monday.  Tom  bought me a sewing cabinet for my embroidery/sewing machine and gave me a Vera Bradley pen and pencil set that has really pretty flowers all over it.  (I had asked for this months ago.)  The sewing cabinet was a new idea of his.  This keeps me from having to move the sewing machine around from stem to stern of the house.  8-)  I've never had a sewing cabinet before so it is really exciting.  The one he bought me is called "Bertha" made by the Arrow Sewing Cabinet Company.  It has an automatic lift for the sewing machine and will have an insert when they get it made to go around the machine arm and make the table flat without the gap that is there right now.

Here is a picture of it:

This is a picture from JoAnn's Fabric where he got it.  I forgot to take one this weekend.  The really nice thing about the cabinet is that it has a quilting table attached to the back of it that slides back and forth so you can place it wherever you need it. 
I got the two small projects done that I wanted to finish and I got the quilt hanging designed and the top made for Clifford.  Now all I have to do is quilt it and bind it and it will be complete.  It's always kind of sad and good at the same time when projects get finished.

I also got a sweet card from Mom and a 40 year old necklace with matching earrings.  From my sister and her husband, I got a Starbuck's gift certificate.  They know they can't lose with Starbuck's and me.  8-)  Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and gifts!!  (They both called me, too, which was super!)

Here is some Max for today:

"What is Heaven Telling You

by Max Lucado

When the doctor who had examined the tremor in my hand said, “You’re fine. You’re in good health”– I did what you might expect. I began to weep and asked, “How much time do I have left?”

The doctor cocked his head, puzzled. Wait a second, you’re thinking! Didn’t you hear what the doctor told you? And I’m wondering–didn’t you hear what heaven told you?

That response to my doctor? I made it up. Actually, I was elated. And when I see that thumb shake, I chalk it up to an aging body and place my trust in the doctor’s words.

You should do the same. For just as my thumb will occasionally tremble, you will occasionally sin. And when you do, remember sin may touch, but it cannot claim you. Christ is in you! Trust his work for you. Trust his work in you. Your heart is his home, and he is your master!

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23″"

By Grace Alone -


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mental Meanderings

I've been weighing the benefits and detriments of taking what I call my anti-cancer meds.  So many physical ailments come from taking them.  For the lack of quality life, I find myself wondering, "Is it better to have 5 years with a pain free active life or 10 years with constant pain and tribulation."  Big thing to ponder.  In my search for information, I ran across a couple of really good quotes.  Both of them are by Marisa Weiss M.D., Breastcancer.org president and founder, breast radiation oncologist, Philadelphia, PA.

“Running, walking, eventually inching down that path to old age is a welcome goal for any woman, especially one who has had breast cancer. ”

“Menopause is a wake-up call to a new phase of your life, and so is breast cancer. Two wake-up calls can be more than most people can handle, but what's the choice? You sure can't go back to sleep. So get up and decide what you're doing today—and on into the years ahead. ”

On a lighter note...in the evenings after work, I've been cutting fabric to get ready for several projects I'm starting.  Two small ones and one larger one.

The first one is a pincushion.  Believe it or not, I don't have a good pincushion and there is a really cute one in a Piece in the Hoop book that I bought a few weeks ago. 

The second one is a hot pad type thing that goes under the hoop if you want to iron something while it is in the hoop without removing it to do it on an ironing board. 

The last one is something for a guy at work.  He recently lost his mother to cancer and asked me if I could embroider a towel for him with his mother's name, birth date, and death date on it to remember her by.  I told him I would but gave it some additional thought and came with a design for a quilted wall hanging.  When he came to me asking what color towel he should get, I presented him with the wall hanging idea and he was very excited.  8-) 

I'll be working on these projects this weekend. 

Keep Clifford in your prayers...his sister (one of nine brothers and sisters) also has advanced stage lung cancer (which she has been battling for the last year).  She is on her second round of chemo.

Here is some Max for today:

"Hydrate your Soul

By Max Lucado

Don’t deny your anger. Don’t dismiss your loneliness. Your restless spirit. Your sense of dread. Don’t let your heart shrink into a raisin. Hydrate your soul. Heed your thirst!

Not everything you put to your lips will help your thirst. The arms of forbidden love may satisfy for a time, but only for a time. Eighty-hour workweeks grant a sense of fulfillment, but never remove the thirst.

Religion pacifies but never satisfies. Church activities may hide a thirst, but only Christ quenches it. Drink him. And drink of him often!

Don’t you need regular sips from God’s reservoir? I do. I step to the underground spring of God and receive anew his work for my sin and death, the energy of his Spirit, his lordship, and his love.

Receive Christ’s work on the cross, the energy of His Spirit. His unending, unfailing love.

Drink deeply–and drink often!

Jesus said, “…he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35"

By Grace Alone -


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Quilt Finished!

I finished the quilt today!  Whoo whoo.  It turned out really great.  This is only the second quilt I've ever made so perfection wasn't a goal.  8-)

I got to play with some of the quilting stitches on my new machine.  There is a stitch called crazy quilting which was a lot of fun.  I used it around the edge of each of the stars and around the edges of the white squares. 

Tom has been very patient letting me sew and have fun with it.  He seems to enjoy that I am enjoying doing some type of hobby.  That makes me a very lucky woman.  8-)

I've ordered a couple of patterns that should come in this week that will give me something to work on next weekend.  I also have a quilt pattern that is called a pineapple pattern that I may try to make also.  Lots of fun for future sewing.  It is very good to be engaged in living again. 

Here is some Max for today:

"Do I Applaud What Is Right?

The summer before my eighth-grade year I made friends with a guy named Larry. He was new to town, so I encouraged him to go out for our school football team. He could meet some guys, and being a stocky fellow, he might even make the squad. He agreed.

The result was a good news-bad news scenario. The good news? He made the cut. The bad news. He won my position. I was demoted to second string. I tried to be happy for him, but it was tough.

A few weeks into the season Larry fell off a motorcycle and broke a finger. I remember the day he stood at my front door holding up his bandaged hand. “Looks like you’re going to have to play.”

I tried to feel sorry for him, but it was hard. The passage was a lot easier for Paul to write than it was for me to practice. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15 NASB).

You want to plumb the depths of your love for someone? How do you feel when that person succeeds? Do you rejoice? Or are you jealous? And when he or she stumbles? Falls to misfortune? Are you really sorry? Or are you secretly pleased?

Love never celebrates misfortune. Never. I like the way Eugene Peterson translates the passage: “Love. . .doesn’t revel when others grovel, [but] takes pleasure in the flowering of truth” (MSG). J.B. Phillips is equally descriptive: “Love . . .does not gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it shares the joy of those who live by the truth.”
You know your love is real when you weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. You know your love is real when you feel for others what your heavenly Father feels for you. Remember, love “rejoices whenever the truth wins out” (1 Cor. 13:6 NLT).

Excerpted from A Love Worth Giving
W Publishing, 2002"

By Grace Alone -


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Strongest Tree in the Forest

The strongest tree in the forest withstands the strongest winds.

You might be going 'duh' after reading that but really, stop and think about it.  Think about the tough trials you've had and think about how God has given you the strength to withstand the strong winds in your life.

I heard that statement in one of the shows we were watching last night.  I liked it because it made me feel like a strong tree.

When I was young I always stood in others shadows because I was too shy to step out.  I come from a family of strong personalities. 

As an example, I recently watched an old home movie that contained my family (Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Cousins, etc) sitting around eating homemade ice cream.  It was obvious that we all knew the camera was going.  I was sitting there ducking my head and eating my ice cream sneaking peaks at the camera and grinning in an embarrassed way when I saw that it was capturing me.  My sister on the other hand, spent her time intentionally getting between me and the camera.  I'd like to say that she was just trying to save me from being embarrassed but it was pretty obvious that her intentions were to be the star of the show.  I mean, she was probably only 10 or 11 so that was pretty normal.  Besides, she was the stronger, more confident one of the two of us. 

I followed my Mom around wherever she went and she did all the talking so I never had to assert myself.  It was easy. 

I got out in the world and realized that if I stayed meek and mild that I'd never get anywhere.  It took me until my late thirties to realize that I had a voice and I could use it.  I even realized that I might be smart enough for my voice to matter.  I was still awfully naive...

Naivete is another story altogether.  When do we lose that fresh innocence?  I think it happens younger and younger in children today.  I can remember being in the Air Force and not cursing like everyone else seemed to feel the need to do and they always made fun of me because I didn't.  Whatever...while the Air Force was the beginning of my loss of innocence, I'm still glad I had the experience...it made me a stronger tree.  8-)

I don't have any picture for this blog today.  I've been working on a quilt that I'll have pictures of when I finish it.  It was a precut quilt that my Mom had in her closet for years and I told her that I would make it if she didn't want to.  It really is a  lot of fun.  It has appliqueing in it as well as quilting.  I had never done appliqueing before.  It was kind of cool.

Here is some Max for today...

"Mix and Match

By Max Lucado

If only we could order life the way we order gourmet coffee. Wouldn’t you love to mix and match the ingredients of your future? How about a grande happy-latte, with a dollop of love, sprinkled with Caribbean retirement? Take me to that coffee shop! Too bad it doesn’t exist.

The truth is, life often hands us a concoction entirely different from the one we requested. Life comes caffeinated with surprises. Transitions and alterations. Some changes are welcome, others are not.

Remember the summary of King Solomon? For everything there is a season.

A time to be born and a time to die

A time to plant and a time to harvest

A time to cry and a time to laugh

Make friends with whatever’s next! Embrace it. Don’t resist it. As Paul wrote, “These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.”"

"All our troubles seem like nothing"...I'm really looking forward to that!

By Grace Alone -