Saturday, November 30, 2013

USAF Heritage of America Band Holiday Concert

The Asbell Gang fills up a sky box!

Our family has been blessed to hear the USAF Heritage of America Band play many times. Last year, we went to every night of their lively holiday performance at the Ferguson Center on campus at Christopher Newport University including Bethany's special night. Clint and I also attended their performance at the Sandler Center. This is a wonderful opportunity for large families to hear a live band and will make an enjoyable evening out for the entire family. They have also played at Yorktown Beach (click here to see our picture of them playing in 2010) and at the Yorktown Library before, so keep an eye on their schedule.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday special! I appreciate everything! I am very excited about the new venture/expanded hobby! I am doing things I never thought I'd do. 

I was busy heating the food while Clint entertained yesterday morning. In the evening, he took over the reheating while I spent time entertaining. Today, we are going to spend some time together!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I enjoyed my birthday very much!

Thank you again so very much! I am feeling very blessed!

It's Another Pigtail Kind of Day

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If you remember, Hannah had her hair cut off by Emily. So, Hannah is really enjoying her hair growing longer. She sang, "Pigtails, pigtails, pigtails.." after I put them in for her. Clint and I love her sideways smile!

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Wait, she found a flowered and ribboned hairband! 
She wanted another picture to send to "Dad."

The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. Proverbs 14:11

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Forget Me, Notice Him

I turned 45 today. More than ever, I want people to see Christ reflected in me and how I treat others. I want them to see Him in how I live. I don't care if they know my name. If they sense something different about me and look a little deeper to discover Jesus, I have done well. If they get to know Christ better because of me, I have served my purpose. 

If you see any good in me at all, it is because of Christ's work in my life. If you see my many failings, and I am sure you do, it is because of my sinfulness. 

More Like the Master
Charles Hutchinson Gabriel

More like the Master I would ever be, 

More of His meekness, more humility; 
More zeal to labor, more courage to be true, 
More consecration for work He bids me do.

More like the Master is my daily prayer; 
More strength to carry crosses I must bear; 
More earnest effort to bring His kingdom in; 
More of His Spirit, the wanderer to win.
More like the Master I would live and grow; 
More of His love to others I would show; 
More self-denial, like His in Galilee, 
More like the Master I long to ever be.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John the Baptist

It is a sad state indeed when we are more grieved by the afternoon traffic than by our own sin against the God of the universe. Anonymous

Give me the love that leads the way, the faith that nothing can dismay. The hope no disappointments tire, the passion that will burn like fire. Let me not sink to be a clod: make me Thy fuel, Flame of God. Amy Carmichael  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Prayer Request: FGH Alumni's Mother

Forest Glen alumni Liane asked me to post a prayer request for her mother, Carol. Carol has been treated for recurrent UTIs for over a year now. On Monday, Carol was found very lethargic with memory loss. Upon admittance to Obici, she was found to also be dehydrated with a UTI that turned septic. Her blood analysis showed a very serious infection. Hospital doctors said the doctor she was seeing did not do the required blood testing for infection, was not giving her enough antibiotic to eradicate the infection, and should have admitted Carol to the hospital long before this point. She is slightly better than she was on Monday, but this is still a very serious situation. This family has been through a great deal over the last year with the loss of Liane's son Rickey and Mrs K's need for surgery. Liane covets and appreciates your prayers for her mother. I know sweet Ms. K appreciates them too.

Inner City Ministry Opportunity

These men have me excited for what God is doing in the inner cities!

"We need partners that love Jesus and his kingdom and want to be a part of what God is doing in the city."

The Jubilee Urban Leadership Initiative is an urban leadership development program/internship, which seeks to provide sound theological training, character development and assessment of calling and gifting for urban, multi-ethnic leaders in the context of the local church.
  • By the grace of God, our aim is to disciple men in following Christ and to raise up indigenous leaders from the city, particularly minority leaders (Matt. 28:19-20).
  • Interns will be personally mentored by the Elders and Director of Jubilee Community Church.
  • There will be a high emphasis on Biblical Manhood.
  • The Jubilee Urban Leadership Initiative is a 12-24 month internship.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Article: Married men: your porn habit is an adultery habit

I am really starting to like this guy Matt Walsh!

"Listen guys, I know this is an uncomfortable conversation. But it’s time we man up and get real about pornography. First things first: if you’re married and you look at porn, you are cheating. Period. From a Christian perspective, this can’t be debated. Christ laid it out very clearly: if you lust after another woman, you have committed adultery. When we look at porn we are choosing to succumb to that lust; we are indulging it, fertilizing it, giving it respite in our minds. We are diving into it headfirst and soaking in it like a sponge. We are lessening ourselves, betraying our wives and participating in the violent exploitation of women (and girls). Or minds and our bodies belong to the Lord and to our wives; pornography, therefore, intrudes on their domain. If we look at porn, we are adulterers. We are adulterers in all the worst ways. ... How would you feel if you looked through your wife’s phone and found racy, sexually graphic text messages she’d sent to a man at her office? Would you be alright with it as long as she could prove she never had any physical contact with him? Or is that totally different because she knows the guy, whereas porn is anonymous and impersonal? See, we find ourselves constructing many arbitrary lines of distinction when we are determined to rationalize behavior we instinctively know to be immoral and wrong." You can read the rest of the article here.

I have two friends going through divorce right now because of the devastating effects of porn. I highly recommend you do your own research on how porn alters the brain. Self control is such a wonderful godly trait in both men and women. I am thankful I have a man who lives a self controlled life and examples it for our children.

Porn will not make you a better man. It will make you smaller. It will make you a liar. It will kill that instinct inside you that calls you to protect and honor women. It will turn you into something you never wanted to be. It will turn you into a sneaky, shameful pervert. It will turn you into an adulterer. ~Matt Walsh

How Do You Like the Oars on the Back?

I'll be sharing some pictures of our vacation in late Sept/early Oct. We had five wonderful days before Caleb's appendix ruptured. The timing was a huge blessing because everyone was in one place, so we had child care coverage.

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The middles wanted to take their little boat, so Clint had to figure out how to get that loaded.

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Thank the Lord for tie wraps and the deckbox! Clint even got the crab pot loaded! We had things loaded in the back of the suburban and in both Brandon's and Amanda's cars too.

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The bike with the big basket is mine. I always carry water, first aid, and snacks for my active gang. There is a basket up front for Maggie, my 3 lb poodle, and her water, leash, and a snack.

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my happy five, but missing two 
(or ten depending on your view of eternity and God's promises!)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Trials Show Love Is Genuine

I shared the bulk of this with a friend who came to me needing prayer and a listening ear. I expanded upon it and shared it here. 

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold; though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  – 1 Peter 1:7

Trials also show LOVE is genuine: your love for the Lord, love for each spouse, love for your children, and love for others. When you keep going to the Lord even when you are hurt and confused and when you keep pulling together for the good of each other even when things are hard, it shows your love.

That's why we kept praying for healing and trying when there were openings for 20+ years our external family. It's why we still are praying and trying. It's not real love if we give up because the Bible says real love never stops. (I Cor 13)

People see the closeness of our immediate family and comment on it frequently. It is the result of God's work in our lives and our efforts to be humble before Him. We don't get it perfect, but our trying to obey Him is what He rewards. In this amazing spiritual journey we are on, Clint and I have been through a lot of trials in many different ways. God has used them to bring us closer to Him which trickled down to us being closer to each other as a couple and as a family. He's also used them to give us a broader ministry. At the same time, He has used them to instruct and refine us individually for His purpose. 

When I was very young, I sincerely cried out to the Lord, "Let me be as close to You as I can be on this earth. Let me know You as much as I can know You. Let me experience all I can experience of You while I am here." I've been told I prayed myself into a life of hardship. I believe I prayed myself to a close relationship with my Father.

Humbleness in the Family

We are very honest with our children, "I have failed you in this way. I will probably fail again. I have hurt you. I'm sorry for my actions, words, and attitude. I will try hard not to do it again, but I am human and weak. I am trying to rely on the Lord to help me be better each day." We also tell them: 

"Anytime you think you are better in any way than someone else... 
Anytime you believe you have a right to hold anger in your heart... 
Anytime you feel you are more entitled to something than others... it's pride. Because we aren't to look at other people and the standard they set. We are to look to the Lord and live as He has said. The proud think they are there. The humble are still working towards it." 

Real Power

God resists the proud, but favors the humble. There is so much power in admitting our weaknesses and helplessness before the Lord and crying out for His help. "Be weak and My power will help you." It contrary to how we think, but it's God's way. There are so many areas of life to which this applies. 

It is such a simple weak and rely on the Lord's might. Yet, we strive so hard against it because of our pride...we WANT to be bigger than we really are. Self-righteous pride puffs us up. "No man can put on the robes of Christ’s righteousness till he has taken off his own." Charles Spurgeon


We tell our children, "One of the hardest things to deal with in this life is that
you will be hurt by the people you love, and one of the saddest to accept is that you will hurt the people who love you too. It's a part of being a sinful human being in a sinful world. And we tell them:

How quickly you ask forgiveness,
how quickly you are willing to work things out, and 
how quickly you forgive 
is a measure of the love in your heart." 

Rewards or Battle Scars

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.” ― Elbert Hubbard*

Medals and degrees puff us up with pride if we think it makes us better or more knowledgeable than others. Scars are what Jesus left this earth with, and it is what we will leave with if we are truly following Him. What God calls us to is nitty gritty work, and we get pretty banged up doing it.

*I do not agree with Elbert's other writings where he compared modern day writers with prophets, but I do believe this statement is accurate.

God Will Rejoice...Over YOU!

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Zephaniah 3:17  “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”

What a beautiful verse showing God's love and delight!  The God of the Universe, the One who made everything, the all powerful, always present, all knowing God is going to rejoice and sing over you and me! If that doesn't make you see His love for you and His value of you, I don't know what will. Be encouraged! You are worthy because He finds you worthy. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Don't Worry About Them; Do Your Part

I originally set this to post last summer after sharing this with a friend who was going through some hard times. Someone just shared how this verse also applies to the battles going on between evil and good in our society today.

Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. Psalms 37:1-9

I love this verse. 

It basically states: Don't worry about the evil people or be envious of what they have because they won't last. 

Then God gives us a list of what we, His people, should do, and it's enough to keep us so busy we don't have time to worry or be envious!

Trust in the Lord

Do good
Dwell in the land
Feed on his faithfulness
Delight yourself in the Lord
Commit your way to the Lord
and again...Trust also in Him
Rest in the Lord
Wait patiently for Him
and for a 2nd time...Do not fret
Cease from anger
Forsake wrath
and a 3rd time...Do not fret

We need to do what we are suppose to do and trust God to take care of the rest in every situation in our lives.

More Than the Nasty Smell of a Skunk--That's A LOT!

I got a good chuckle out of one of Bethany's writings from early September:


I am glad you take care of our home. 
That's why I am writing this poem. 
You love me more than the amount of boats that have sunk. 
You love me more than the nasty smell of a skunk. 
I am glad you're my mom! You're the best! 
I love you more than any old test!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's a Good Ending

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End of the story for my truck.

 We donated the truck to the fire department so they could do extraction training exercises in it. A fireman told me he would do that for us to give us a free tow and a tax deduction. We only had liability on the truck, so this kept us from having another expense added.

They cut a huge hole in the side and cut the roof off of it. They put other training cars' doors in the back. We were on vacation when they scheduled the training, so we missed the actual event. I miss my truck, but I am thankful Amanda was kept safe.

They had the truck behind the fire station very visible from the road. The first few times driving by it, I'd cringe at how bad it looked and how quickly Amanda could have been taken from us. After that though, I used the truck as a reminder to praise the Lord. For over a year, I gave thanks and praised the Lord for Amanda's safety every time I went past it.  

You can read the story of Amanda's wreck here and the story of my truck here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Doctor Pushing You to Have Vaccines You Feel Are Unsafe? Here's a Form For Him to Fill Out

I had a friend whose doctor was bullying her to vaccinate her children. He'd bring it up every office visit. He called her at home. He even threatened to call CPS. She told him she would happily comply if he would guarantee vaccines were completely safe and no harm would come to her children. He said, "I guarantee nothing will happen to your children if you vaccinate them." She then pulled out a short form that basically said no harm would come to her children from the doctor's recommended use of vaccines, and if harm did come to them, he would pay her family $1 million dollars. He immediately declined without further discussion and never brought the discussion up again. If it is so "safe" he will take a parent to task repeatedly for it questioning the safety after they had already refused and was willing to threaten the family to comply through CPS, then he should have been able to give her the "no risk" guarantee she sought.

My own husband studied vaccinations in great detail when we had our children. As he learned more, he became more concerned. When asked if we would vaccinate our son with a certain vaccine, Clint said no. Then, he explained his concerns with the ingredients. The nurse replied, "I agree, those are dangerous, but those things aren't in vaccines any more." Clint challenged the nurse to produce the vaccine information sheet which he had already read online. Then, he located the ingredient and showed her what was in the vaccines she was injecting into children daily. It was the same ingredients she said weren't in them! If the health professionals are going to help your children stay healthy, shouldn't they know what they are injecting into their bodies? And, shouldn't you, the parent God entrusted those lives to, know too?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wise Advice for Young Mothers

I have been blessed to have had my life touched by Nancy Campbell's writings for many years now. I am thankful to her gentle contributions to making me the mother I am today. I read this in my Facebook newsfeed* in late October and wanted others to know about her ministry to mothers, so I shared it here:


Here's a lovely quote by Marianne Neifert, which an Above Rubies reader sent to me. She read it in the Reader's Digest. I'm sure you will identify with these same feelings...... 

"If I hadn't had children, I probably would have had more money and material things. I probably would have gone more places, gotten more sleep, pampered myself more. My life would have been much more boring and predictable. As a result of being a parent, I have laughed harder, cried more often. I have worried more and hurried more. I've had less sleep, but somehow I've had more fun. I've learned more, grown more. My heart has ached harder, and I've loved to a capacity beyond my imagination. I've given more of myself, but I've derived more meaning from life." 

Isn't it true? We experience the delirious joys of motherhood and also the aches and pains of motherhood, but our lives are richer for them all. Oh how much we would have missed out on, if we hadn't had each child that God has given us.

Dear young mothers, forget sighing and grumbling about all your frustrations. These precious days with your little ones will go too quickly. My oldest son will soon be 50 years, and it still seems like one blink of my eye since the day he was born. As I look back on raising our children, Do I regret that I didn't get involved in more activities outside the home or further my career? Oh no. I regret every moment I didn't spend with them. I never felt I had enough time to pour into them all I wanted to before they were gone and flown the nest.

Treasure every moment with the children God has given you, today.

Love from Nancy Campbel

Above Rubies

Above Rubies on Facebook

*send me a note telling me who you are if you add me

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Successful Launch

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Not as exciting or bright as the last Wallops launch, but we enjoyed it!
We met a few others watching it on the York River too!

Historic Christ Church

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Historic Christ Church welcomes visitors. There is a museum to visit as well.
Someone will walk you around the inside and point out architectural features and tell you the history.
Clint and I love visiting the old churches in our area. The people are so nice, the history interesting, the graveyards full of stories, and the architecture beautiful.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reforming Society

The Roman Empire was utterly corrupted in government and society, yet Christ never addressed that fact. His only mention of Caesar was in response to the question of paying taxes: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's" (Mat:22:21). Nor did Christ ever address the evil of the local ruler, Herod. He rebuked the religious leaders for corruption and heresies and gave the gospel to sinners, ­but never suggested reforming society. Nor did the apostles lead the early church in social action. They devoted themselves to the gospel. -Dave Hunt

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Update on J (continued)

For this one, I will put the most recent updates on top which will make it a little easier to find on the page. 

J is an ex police man who accidentally shot himself while holstering his gun. The bullet entered his stomach and traveled down his leg severing the femoral artery. He bled out immediately. They managed to bring him back. During surgery, he had to be brought back three times. Surgeons tried everything they could to save his leg, but had to remove it on the 6th. The beginning of this story is here.

Update 11/18/2013 2:00 a.m.: "Things are a little better tonight. He seemed more 'there' mentally than he has been. He's back on the ventilator, which isn't that bad a thing considering the struggle he went through. He's resting good. Answered questions correctly, and seemed to stay awake with me a lot longer than he has lately. ok, I'm going to bed, I'm going to hate myself in the morning when I've had less than 5 hours of sleep." Please pray for Mary's strength and alertness today.

Update 11/17/2013 5:59 p.m.: M indicated that J might be acting the way he is because he is septic and not because of ICU psychosis. With his fever, infection, and dialysis it is hard to tell. Please pray for him and his loved ones. Thank you to everyone who is praying and keeping other prayer warriors praying and updated updated.

Update 11/17/2013 1:29 p.m.: from M: "In the middle of the night, he ripped his trach and his pic line out. Thank God he didn't pull his dialysis catheter out or that could have been really bad as if everything else wasn't already. He's back on the ventilator and the feeding tube; sedated and restrained. They've ordered blood and urine cultures to try and figure out the fever and more surgery on his leg is coming. Even as I write this, that unexplainable peace is so tangible.....I don't know how to be, except to rest in who I know my Abba is."

Update 11/16/2013 9 p.m.: from M: "101.3 fever, agitated, & "ICU psychosis" which means between all the meds and the 19 days spent here, he's going thru a phase of really being out of it. He's woken up, told me that if I didn't drive, he was going to and that he wasn't staying here another night, another time he said he wanted to get up and walk on his own two feet. So while he already knows that we're down to one, he's not really here right now to know know that.He's so agitated and his breathing is all over the place, and I feel like it's because he's been off most of the pain meds since yesterday. Not much else to my update. Other than I absolutely hate seeing him go thru this and feeling so helpless."

Update 11/15/2013 8:57 p.m.: from M: Okay so yes dialysis is the problem (and the solution). The neurontin has built up in his system which explains why he hasn't been in as much pain (not to mention borderline comatose), but with his kidneys not functioning and dialysis now every other day, homie is knocked outtt because dialysis can't filter it out quick enough. So....doc says his O2 levels are great, no need to intubate him, blood gas levels came back perfect, they will cut his neurontin dose in half and tomorrow after dialysis he should be more alert. But for now, let him sleep, his body is healing itself. Thanking the Lord for all good news!"

Update 11/15/2013 7:28 p.m.: from M: "There's something wrong. They think there's something off with his blood gases. They can't get him to wake up, it's almost like he's in a coma. They're working on him now but won't let anyone back there. They said it might be because he was off the respirator too much today. He's on it every night, but during the day no. But without dialysis every day (now every other day) there's thoughts that could be a contributing factor. Please pray...."

Update 11/14/2013 6:14 p.m.: They did do the surgery day and only had to take a little off the side of the leg. The surgery was successful, and they received all good news.

Update 11/13/2013 8:15 p.m.: from M: "Another surgery scheduled for tomorrow. They took a good look at his leg today and they're worried there is some infected tissue. So tomorrow they're going in to evaluate further and see what needs to happen. 

I'm sitting bedside right now and he is sleeping hard. Of course that's always a very very good thing but especially considering how much he has been unable to rest due to the nerve pain. This is my first time seeing him today and while it's hard not to see those beautiful eyes looking back at me, it's good laying eyes on him while he's sleeping so soundly. 
Definitely pray for the surgery tomorrow, that we get ALL the good news." Thank you to all who are praying along. ~W
Update 11/13/2013 6:14 p.m.: from M: "Please pray for J's pain level, the phantom pain is excruciating right now and there's not really a whole lot they can do since it's a nerve pain. It means a lot to him to hear how how much love and prayers have been going out for him." 

Update 11/12/2013 11:31 p.m.: from M: "Updates? Go ahead and sit down...He's completely off all life support. No ventilator. I heard his voice for the first time today. Yeah I cried. No medicine to keep his blood pressure up. He is completely holding his own. They just got him comfortable and relieved from pain and are insistent that all stays silent and he sleeps. I'm sitting beside his bed right now...He asked the nurse to let me stay.  So I'm rejoicing quietly in my heart while the love of my life sleeps...and dancing all the snoopy dances on the inside." That's a nice update!

Update 11/11/2013 2:38 p.m.: from M: "Saw my sweetheart last night and again this morning before work. He's doing so good. We're communicating via reading lips and this morning he started writing letters on my palm with his fingers. Prayer requests: Please pray for his eyesight. He says it's really hard to focus and see. Please pray for his pain, he's experiencing a lot of phantom nerve pain in the leg that is gone. Please pray for his heart and spirit that God would give him strength and increase the fight in him." 

Update 11/10/2013 6:19 p.m.: from M: "Another super successful surgery!! Doc called this getting over hurdle 7 of 10!! Didn't see anything else to be concerned about infection wise. Things are healing, and he believes that this is a normal fever/infection that the body experiences about 7 days post surgery. He was very hopeful, very. :) T-minus 1.5 hours til I get there to see him today. I love you all so much......I hope it's not lost on anyone how grateful I am for all the prayers."

TIP: I was given this tip to pass along to M's family and felt it can help other patients and families, so I am sharing it here. My friend Eileen is a veteran nurse who said she has had patients repeat word for word to her conversations that were had around them while they were coding. For that reason, she recommends families request that no medical information, especially negative reports like the one J received, be shared in front of the patient even if they are in a coma or appear asleep. Poor J laid there for days afraid they would end his life and was unable to speak to get clarification or better information. Hopefully this advice will save some other patient in crisis from going through the same.

Update 11/10/2013 11:43 a.m.: from M: "He has a fever of 103. He's going in for another surgery at any moment to remove whatever infection they can find this time around. There is a question of him being allergic to "cillins" but we can't find it documented in any if his medical history and the hospital doesn't have a record of it, so his mom is going to check with him to see he can answer the question." and a little later: "He's not allergic he said, this will be good news for the doctor because they've really been wanting to put him on penicillin." Please keep praying. 

Update 11/10/2013 9:42 a.m.: I am sorry I've slow on the updates. We are doing a tremendous amount of work on many fronts (firewood, animal care, wiring and plumbing to new buildings, homeschool, farm sales, etc). I am trying to keep the updates current for the many who are joining in prayer for J. It is the least I can do to say thank you to those who are faithfully praying for my friend's boyfriend.

from M: "I wasn't able to update last night because emotionally I was in a state of needed time to process. But what I've been waiting for happened last night....our first conversation. He can nod and shake his head but he can also mouth words. I'm not going to go into everything but he heard every word the vascular surgeon said to his mom that night and he's terrified they're going to take him off the machines and let him die. That was why I couldn't type last night. I was caught between being elated and being THE most angry and shaken I have ever been. We soothed him and reassured him and he immediately fell back to sleep. He knows about his leg, it wasn't an issue. Staying alive was. That's all I can articulate right now." 

Update 11/9/2013: from M: "Since yesterday's surgery, for the first time since being in the hospital, J's white blood cell count came down!!!! This most likely means that the area of infection around the bullet hole is/was the problem and not the leg. They're still going to go back in tomorrow and do some more checking around but the doctor said he removed a LOT of infection yesterday. 

They're going to start bringing him off the sedatives more and more and they want to start giving him pain meds through his feeding tube and begin weaning him off the heavy stuff. This = more alert J!!!"

Update 11/8/2013 2:29 p.m.: from M: "Hope, hope and more hope in that meeting today. Yes there are some issues, but the head trauma surgeon had a lot of good things to say. J is going into surgery in about an hour for them to do a wound evaluation and look into the bullet wound area and figure out what is infected and dead tissue, clean up and remove what they can and do the same thing down lower on his leg. They really want to save the thigh to give him as much chance of being able to utilize a prosthesis as possible, so that's the goal right now. His vent tests are doing good, pneumonia is a small side issue no worries there. But his white blood cell count is high so there's infection somewhere. That what they've got to figure out. If everything goes as planned getting the infection under control, they're going to try to get him a trach collar on by Monday, and then he'd be able to be completely awake and lucid. Such a significant change from last night. words do justice to how grateful I am at this second."

Update 11/8/2013 9:38 a.m.: from M: "A different doctor on J's team just came in and talked to his mom. He was very upset by what the vascular surgeon had told his mom. He said this is by NO means over and J would have three good limbs. What he did with those limbs and what he made of his quality of life would be up to J, but that if/when it ever was hopeless enough to give up, HE would be the one to let his mom know. So they're using this meeting at 12 to improve communication and restore hope back to the family. The gloves are still on. Thank you Jesus!" We need to pray for the vascular surgeon. His grim spin on things and his manner of delivery can cause a lot of needless worry and anguish on patients and their families and affect the level of care patients receive. 

Update 11/7/2013 7:36 p.m.: Please pray! Please pass this need to other prayer warriors. A group of us are fasting and praying tomorrow. Please join us if you feel like it. from M: "I'm struggling so freaking bad right now to write this crap. Bear with me.

The vascular surgeon came into the room tonight to talk to [his mom]. I quietly excused myself because I knew she was gonna have words with him because he has yet to come speak with her since the surgery yesterday. She came back out into the waiting room in an absolute mess. 

He told her that the amputation was not a success, that the remainder of the leg is dead too. (Why the heck didn't they take it all THEN??) This is how he told her this crap. That he doesn't think J will survive another surgery but if he's to live they will have to remove the rest of the leg all the way up to the pelvis. He wants to call a family meeting tomorrow at noon to discuss decisions and end of life wishes and to decide just how much they want to put him through before calling it quits. He even went on to say that he doesn't think J would ever be healthy enough for a kidney transplant (way to jump the gun there). I'm so furious I had to leave. God did NOT spare his life for his life to be thrown away as less than a leg. Yes quality of life might suck but he has blown everyone away at every step of this journey, why write him off now?? Let him decide what he wants his quality of life to be!!

God I want off this freaking rollercoaster!!!!!!!!!"

Update 11/7/2013: from M: "Hauled tail to the hospital after getting the call that he was waking up. He opened his eyes a little for me but never really focused on my face. Then his lip started quivering and tears started running out of his eyes...

Prayer requests: 
He has pneumonia now. His vent tests for being weaning off the ventilator are going good but this is a huge prayer request that God would heal the pneumonia.

Rose & Womble is trying to keep him held to the lease that he signed 6 hours before the accident and keep his security deposit. Even though they never gave him keys and weren't supposed give them to him or collect the first months rent till the following Friday. We need a lawyer. Prayers and any help with this would be great.

I need strength, emotionally and physically. I'm fresh out. Seeing him struggle to open his eyes, and then cry, zapped what little I had left." Please do pray for M. She is his girlfriend and still has to work and take care of her two boys through all of this. She has been incredibly strong through her faith.

Brandon Found a Car!! Yeah!

God provided once again! Brandon found a nice car and purchased it tonight! He saved half of what he had planned to spend too! No more looking and I have my suburban back during the day!

Links for Making Your Own 18" Doll Clothes

My daughters love the American Girl and Madame Alexander 18" dolls. I put these links together for myself and my daughters to use to sew and make our own clothes for them. I was asked to share the links I was using, so here they are: doll hair care

 sleeveless jumper pattern summer cap sleeve dress  links to other patterns at bottom