Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Shopping Adventure

I love living in a place where every day is full of possible new adventures. I asked the kids who wanted to go to a local store with me to pick up a few essentials.....Jared has a bit more free time now that he's in between was fun to have him with me. 
I forget how much smaller these carts are until the guys are along
We decided since the commissary will be closed until Tuesday to pick up ingredients for Yakisoba and Gyudon.  This Aomori Beef looked great - but I didn't want to spend nearly $20 for 1/2 lb of beef. 

Ah this is cheaper....about $5.14 for a bit over 1/2 a lb....marked down even....can you read the little sticker on the left? It says "we care" and in the inner white circle "American Beef" with a map of USA.....  I couldn't figure out WHY it said, "we care," until Jared reminded me about the Fukushima beef...oh I bought American. 

Akikosan says it's "trendy" to eat grains steamed with your rice. She and I were talking about how I grind flour....evidently grains are a new trendy food craze this cracked us up....

Pocky-like treat rolled in whole wheat berries and rice....."cereals". Tasted quite nice, really. 

Do you think this may be Vodka? I'd like to make some home-made vanilla...but I don't want to make it with sake or something. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday Status'

  • Wrote a blog post for PWOCI
  • Lost my Reverend Card, but was able to renew credentials when I happened upon autofill! 
  • Nice skype with Mom and Dad. Never caught Mom Mary. 
  • SNOW - really? 
  • The willingness to be and to have just what God wants us to be and have, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else, would set our hearts at rest, and we would discover the simpler life, the greater peace." Elisabeth Elliot
  • Every trip to the store is an adventure - I love living in a foreign country
  • Arielle enjoyed a Book club and movie - nice outing for her
  • Michael is resting, talking a bit, resting more
  • Double batch of English Muffins baked; double batch rising to bake in the a.m. 
  • Dressing changed - looking good!
  • Debating chapel attendance tomorrow. It would be nasty if Michael caught a flu bug as we're supposed to be watching for nausea, dizziness etc. 
Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lecrae - Background

Some songs just "speak" and this one speaks to me. I think it's my leadership theme. 

I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead

[Verse 1:]
It's evident you run the show, so let me back down
You take the leading role, and I'll play the background
I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines
I'm sticking to your script, and I'm reading all your signs
I don't need my name in lights, I don't need a starring role
Why gain the whole wide world, If I'm just going lose my soul
And my ways ain't purified, don't live according to Your Word
I can't endure this life without Your wisdom being heard
So word to every dance, a foe, a pop star
'Cause we all play the background, but mine's a rockstar
Yeah, so if you need me I'll be stage right
Praying the whole world will start embracing stage fright
So let me fall back, stop giving my suggestions
'Cause when I follow my obsessions, I end up confessing
That I'm not that impressive, matter of fact
I'm who I are, a trail of stardust leading to the superstar

I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead

[Verse 2:]
I had a dream that I was captain of my soul
I was master of my fate, lost control. and then I sank
So I don't want to take the lead, 'cause I'm prone to make mistakes
All the folks who follow me, going end up in the wrong place
So let me just shadow you, let me trace your lines
Matter of fact, just take my pen, here, you create my rhymes
'Cause if I do this by myself, I'm scared that I'll succeed
And no longer trust in you, 'cause I only trust in me
And see, that's how you end up headed to destruction
Paving a road to nowhere, pour your life out for nothing
You pulled my card, I'm bluffing, You know what's in my hand
Me, I'm just going to trust you, You cause the dice to land
I'm in control of nothing, follow you at any cost
Some call it sovereign will, all I know is you the boss
Man, I'm so at ease, I'm so content
I'll play the background, like it's an instrument

I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead

I know I'm safest when I'm in Your will, and trust Your Word
I know I'm dangerous when I trust myself, my vision blurred
And I ain't got no time to play life's foolish games
Got plenty aims, but do they really Glorify Your name
And it's a shame, the way I want to do these things for You
Don't even cling to you, take time to sit and gleam from You
Seems You were patient in my ignorance
If ignorance is bliss, it's 'cause she never heard of this

I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead

I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Status Updates 29 Mar 2012

  • I go as a witness; not as a warrior. The Holy Spirit is stronger in me than Mama Bear. *
  • Prov 8 - Wisdom is God's daily delight. What do I seek diligently? What is my daily delight?
  • Happy the roads are clear. 
  • 07:00 and the roast is in the crock pot.....this could be a good day. LOL 
  • Watched Jared conduct himself in a meeting with two men and I was proud of him. 
  • Michael's appointment was about 90% good...liver numbers are normal, drain and staples are out, pancreas numbers continue to rise.*
  • I'm sooo tired. 
  • Stacia and Nolan went to the Sollar's Spring Musical with Annette. We're sure going to miss Ch. S and Annette. 
  • Dinner and older kids are settling in for a more grown up movie - you know something that isn't animated. ::snort:: 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

A Man's Gotta Do.....

There are times when a man has to speak up. Today was one of those days for Jared and I am incredibly proud of him. I attended a meeting he had with two men. I've lost much trust with the adults in this situation and simply wanted to be sure, 1. There was a witness to what was agreed upon and 2. Someone was there to make sure Jared didn't "say too much".  ::snort::  The one man said in 31 years a parent had never attended a meeting. I told him  I needed to be there to kick Jared if he said the wrong thing. ::snort:: I think they understood by the end of the meeting why Jared would want a witness at the meeting. Michael had planned on going but he's laid up - and really we think it turned out good I was there. I'm not as threatening. 

In any event - there are simply times one must speak up when they see things that need to be addressed. The men were very understanding.  It was a good round table discussion and I think new understanding was gained by all. They assured him they understood his motive and that they did not think he was vindictive. They offered him some solutions, but he opted to quit his job. They offered him the chance to leave his letter of resignation and uniform with them.  They also said that they were officially giving him "two weeks of leave without pay" which means on his record he gave 2 weeks notice and  yet doesn't  need to go back.   For a variety of reasons all feel good about this decision. 

Photo from Stars and Stripes
Jared has learned many lessons working at the Mokuteki....both life lessons and work lessons. That's all good. He HAS enjoyed many of the folks he met, he understands Japanese culture better, he learned how to work through a conflict with a fellow employee, he learned sometimes things simply require speaking up and walking away, and  he learned how to make  GREAT drinks. ::snort::

This afternoon....he got a phone call.... who knew? He's jumping ship from FSS to AAFES....and we're amazed how seamlessly it all worked out...almost like "the big Someone" was waiting for him to decide to speak up and quit.

He'll begin training at Pizza Hut in the near future! We can make that switch, though we used to think Mokuteki had the best pizza on base. ::snort::

And yes, the Holy Spirit was stronger than Mama Bear. I went as a witness and not as a warrior.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Michael's Appointment

Today was Michael's follow up.  

Lots to rejoice about: 

  • Staples removed
  • Liver numbers NORMAL
  • JP drain removed
  • Christian Doc who cares
  • She said to pray - we can do that! 
  • Dear friends who are nurses and assure this is "within normal" for post op. 
Prayer Request
  • Enzymes to do with pancreas are still increasing (lipase and amylase)
  • Michael's not showing many symptoms - we're monitoring
  • He's 2 weeks post op - this is still within believable for surgery trauma
  • We'll recheck labs in a week
My Thoughts
Obviously, I'd prayed all numbers would be normal. I'm praising God for the improvement and believing the pancreas numbers will improve shortly. I'm also well aware of the symptoms I'm to monitor. I will  be watching Michael's diet to limit insulin dumps and pancreas stress. Poor man - I knew one way or another he'd eventually go crunchy. LOL 

Michael's happy to lose his travel buddy ::snort:: 

Michael's Thoughts
Dr. appointment today. Pancreas numbers are still up, but liver is good. The Doc said she was yanking out the drain today. I am thinking this is figurative. Nope. Nothing figurative about it. The best way to describe is OWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!! I may be understating it, though. Another follow-up next week. Prayer is appreciated. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Status Updates 28 Mar 2012

  • Josiah (23) has been called back in for a THIRD interview to be a personal banker
  • Ps 32:6-10...good stuff! He is our hiding place, and creates a jewelers setting in which to place us, we can choose to be led through intimacy which flows from dwelling in the secret place with Him or we can be like a horse or mule, with no understanding led by a bit and bridle. Where are you hanging out?* 
  • I Sam 3:7 - Samuel was before the Lord, serving the Lord, knew the ways of the Lord but before this encounter did not exponentially and intimately know the Lord. I want to know Him intimately - yada. 
  • Drove Jared to work, drove home (45 min total). Discovered I forgot to mail the scholarship application, drove to base and back again (45 min total). 
  • The younger ones are studying Hittites, Philistines - interesting and fun to integrate their history text with Bible. 
  • Rain today - no snow. Maybe spring is here? 
  • Maybe it is time unleash the Mama Bear tomorrow. We shall see. 
  • Less drainage for Michael's gut drain today. The color has also changed from red to yellow - this is good! 
  • Need to write a blog post for PWOC I. 
  • Read 5 chapters from "Amon's Adventure," our first time through this one. 
* indicates a blog post at Choosing Joy on the bullet point. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Surrounded in the Secret Place

I have been enjoying the lessons Abba continues to speak to me about my "word of the year" - Secret place/Refuge/Sanctuary....... I haven't had time to write....but I'm drinking deep. 

PWOC Japan Region is reading the NT, Psalms and Proverbs together.  Today we read Ps 32 and there is MUCH in there....I'll just share a few things from the Psalm here.  I'm skipping right over the parts about sin and repentance - ok quick summary - don't hide it - confess it.

Psalm 32:6-10 NASB
6Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
         Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.7You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
         You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
         I will counsel you with My eye upon you.9Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
         Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,         Otherwise they will not come near to you.10Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
         But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.11Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
         And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.
He is my hiding place (#5643 refuge, place of safety and coverage). As I climb into the secret place, I am assured he will preserve (#5341 guard, hide, keep what's been entrusted) ME.

It gets better. He will surround me with songs of deliverance and His lovingkindess. Surround - #5437 - wraps around, transforms, is used of the setting prepared by a jeweler to receive a jewel! I'm His bling.

As I choose to run to the secret place of His presence (Ps 31:20), He sets me in a setting designed to show off His work, He wraps me up and transforms me and/or the situation with lovingkindness and songs of deliverance (VICTORY).

Need some victory? RUN to the secret place.

And in the secret place we become less and less like a mule or horse without understanding, led by bits and bridles. In the secret place intimacy is birthed. I scootch closer and gaze at His face, His mouth and He can guide me and lead me with simply a look. He will guide and instruct me from a place of intimacy.

Need direction? RUN to the secret place.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Knocked Flat by PWOC Continuity Notebooks?

On March 11, 2012 I decided it had been a year of bungee cords holding the books above my desk in place....and it was time to remove them. It was an act of faith and hope.


We got a good one. We live right under the "r" in Aomori.  This one was 6.4 - epicenter  where the bright green dot is.

This is the "desk" where I normally sit to work on the computer, skype etc....note the top shelf is EMPTY...yep.....they all fell off again..... This one was strong enough and long enough that Stacia.....

I'm not cruel - taking her photo distracts her ::grin:: 
Mike immediately came over and installed new bungee cords over my work area again. I HATE them - they  don't fit my decorating theme....I don't like the reminder...but after watching them all land where I typically sit, I see the wisdom of the cords. ::snort:: Who really wants their tombstone to read, "Was knocked flat by PWOC continuity notebooks!!"

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Status Updates March 27th

  • Had to have Jared at work by 0800 - so went ahead and took Arielle, Nolan and I to PWOC. It was a joy to be back with my tribe. 
  • What a blessing to watch my co-facilitator knock it out of the park this a.m. 
  • Michael is up a bit more and eating a bit more. All hopeful. 
  • Home for lunch and 2 hours of couch school,  then taking Nolan back to Drama. Jared has a job interview at 5:00. 
  • Shopping for clay and cotton string to make oil lamps.
  • Melt down in the chapel parking lot as I was alone...all's good....just a "Be Anxious for nothing" moment
  • Happy to discover Holy Spirit in me was a tad bit stronger than Mama Bear; room for improvement
  • Tina says Michael's color is much better
  • Michael is up more today
  • Internet is out - shake related? 
*FB friends * indicates a blog post at Choosing Joy. 

Choosing Joy! 
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Predators and Prey

I'm not sure HOW but we made great progress on school much that we took time to play a Predator/Prey game.  We were discussing what senses animals would use to either find or avoid each other if they couldn't see in the jungle.  What other senses could they use to find their prey or escape a predator. It was a fun learning activity...
Stacia is the predator

Guess she'd rather capture the elliptical than the prey

Near miss

Zander found his prey as she was saying, "I'm scared"

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Yuuki Goes Visiting

How many Gherkin's does it take to bathe Yuuki?
So many epic fails in this story...

I was distracted when Zander and Stacia asked if they could take Yuuki for a walk. I told them I didn't want to go right then...they took that to mean they could go alone. Fail on their part; fail on my part. 

As I said, I've been distracted, and didn't REALIZE they weren't at the table doing table school. Fail on my part.

They went way past our "block boundary" and went down by the ponies and ponds. Fail on their part. 

Stacia came running in screaming, crying, nose running...I finally deciphered  Yuuki was fighting with a Shiba, by the ponies, and Zander needed me to come quick. I did. It's cold when you run outside without proper winter apparel. 

Sure enough their leashes were tangled, they were barking and yipping and they were in the Japanese Veterinarian's yard.  He heard and came out (I'm not sure WHAT took him so long, it was at least 5 min for Stacia to run home, get me, and for me to get back).  I was saying over and over "Gomen nasai, gomen nasai" and trying to hold the dogs. He helped. He said "Dai jo bu" - it's o.k. I thanked him, apologized some more and left with our two young hooligans and sheepish dog. 

Zander was crying, I was lecturing...not yelling...and our friend popped around the door and said, "ee, ee, ee" and made crying motions. I suspect he was saying it's all good...but I haven't a real clue.  

I'm mortified the kids took Yuuki into his yard....then fought his dog. Mortified. They wanted the dogs to be friends and tried to introduce them. We had a long talk about dogs, about territorial instincts, about the fact that you don't walk into someone else's yard...and you don't leave the block without one of us with you.....Stacia suggested we bake cookies for them.  I'm at a loss. Hoping we didn't lose the ground and witness we've tried to build for over 2 years.....and wondering how to teach  common sense strategies which evidently are not common sense to our two youngest. 

We decided Yuuki needed a bath after this.....we were worried about fleas and other bugs Arielle thought she saw. 
Tell me again WHY we're doing this?
Yuukie shows us how to dry a dog

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Today's Dr. Appointment - Warning! Mild incision photo

Mike has had a big day. He's spent a lot of time downstairs, went to the doc and ate a real meal for dinner tonight....Chicken Pot pie, salad, broccoli....thanks Carmen and family. 

Things weren't as great as we'd hoped for at the appointment today. There is certainly progress. He's been UP more today. The drainage has slowed. I got some really good shots of the drain without the dressing...but again we'll save the really gruesome photos for Michael's upcoming story. LOL 
He ASKED if I had my camera, I would have forgotten 

His liver numbers are going down, though still not normal. This is good. 

His pancreas number is still rising.

Another number is rising but I can't remember it's name, it would indicate stones or a clogged bile duct.

He still has the drain in case they need to do another "procedure" - not happy words.

He's lost 10 more pounds and Zander told him he looks like a skeleton.
Look close - see the drain pinned to the shirt? 
We aren't sure what is up with the lab numbers. The dr. is being cautious. We'll have more labs on Thursday...maybe they'll be normal then. In any event that will be 2 weeks post op and about time to see if it could be something other than "slow recovery" if things haven't gotten noticeably better. I think. Maybe I'm still impatient?

Oh, and he has a marvelously hoarse voice - from being intubated. This should go away with time.

Your continued prayers are appreciated......and after such a big day....Zander, Stacia and I are watching "What's in the Bible - Vol 6," the older kids are at Youth Group, and Michael is wiped out.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Day 2 - Status Updates

  • Michael woke up once with break through pain but 800 mg of Ibuprofen took care of it; we're getting the pain managed
  • English muffins baking and dough started for cinnamon craisin English Muffins which I'll bake this afternoon.
  • Titus 2 is the chapter today for PWOC Japan TnT (Truth n Treasures) - why DO so many hate to talk about "doctrine"? It simply means teaching, one who teaches. How can be sound without knowing what we believe and paying attention to proper teaching?
  • For those who wonder about Mike's photos - it's Mustache March in Misawa...and it was Flat Top February....women are threatening Armpit April....stay tuned. 
  • Yuuki meets neighborhood Shiba....will this be good in the long run?* 
  • How do you teach a child "common sense"?*
  • 4.6 shaker while we do couch school
  • Labs and Doc today - still have a drain; liver numbers are down, something else and pancreas numbers continue to rise. *
  • School done*, doc done, whole wheat and Cinnamon Craisin English Muffins baked....I'm done. 

The * items are ones which I'm writing blog posts on for the day. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Breath Prayer

I'm sure there is a fancier theological name...but my friend, Renee, shared with me a church tradition with which she is familiar.  As you inhale you praise God or name an attribute; as you exhale you petition. The breathing sort of helps to calm a person too. 

I found myself doing a lot of deep sighing today as I watched Michael go up and down and I kept saying to myself over and over,  "I just want this over."  I've made a conscious effort to capture rebellious thoughts....and I believe it is God that reminded me of Renee.  I told God, that's it...I'm coming up with a prayer to mutter instead of THIS phrase.....and instantly....

"Emanuel, You are close,"  replaced "I Just want this over." Or "Emanuel, Draw me closer."

Who knew? Another tool to take every thought captive to the Lordship of Christ.

A huge encouragement today was an email sent by PWOC International Prayer Coordinator to the International Board and Regional Presidents. She asked all to intercede specifically for myself and Michael. What a joy to know the specific verses they are praying and that they are holding up my tired arms.  Tonight I only drained 20 ml from Michael's gut drain - that is more than 50% less of what it's EVER been since surgery. I think he may get his drain out tomorrow. I'm believing the labs are going to be positive and we'll have some positive steps forward towards full recovery.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Yuuki Photo of the Day

Yuuki thinks she's a cat. She's never far from one of the children. What a blessing she is. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Day in FB like Status Updates

  • Amazing group of leaders I call sisters...PWOC International Board and Regional Presidents holding us up in prayer, praying specific verses for Michael. I feel encouraged. 
  • 3 hours to add titles and edit Feb/Mar 2007 of Choosing Joy for printing....5 years ago....
    • I ran a produce co-op, a natural foods co-op and weighed 30 lbs less
    • I had had 7 kids at home
    • Spent a lot of time at parks with friends 
    • Had an unbelievably cute toddler and young kids
    • Was waiting for Michael to come home from Kuwait
  • Solitary Sunday....we're all pretty laid back today
  • Guess who came downstairs for breakfast? Though spent the rest of the morning/afternoon in bed?
  • Beth Bowers had a BRILLIANT idea! The next time I change Michael's dressing, I will draw a circle around the infection...then we'll know if it's spreading. 
  • Pinterest - I wonder? Just more mental clutter for my already cluttered mind? Or would it help organize perfect brilliance?
  • Really praying for PWOC Japan Region leadership - I can't maintain boundaries and start up a new region without a team.  God is calling women - just praying they'll hear and respond positively. 
  • I have food in my fridge that is scrumptious and I don't know who brought it...a guacamole/salsa thing....
  • "I just want this over" becomes "Emmanuel, You are close"
  • WONDERFUL meal from another amazing family for dinner
  • Mike looks really worn out it normal or a downturn
  • Woot - I stripped and drained and dressed the drain site like a PRO....and there was ONLY 20ml tonight....have been trying to get to 30ml and then it can come out....yesterday it was still at 45 ml
  • English Muffin dough souring on the counter
Yes, I AM thinking about FB  again. Re-evaluating tends to happen when one spends several hours revisiting past sections of family history.  Is this really how I want to relate with (or to, or at) friends? Just the bottom line? But it's SO convenient and so fun....and a robber of time...and while it clutters my mind with info, I'm not sure true intimacy is bred...a private message or email to a friend may take more time....but more of our hearts communicate....but it's fun and convenient and I need to be on FB anyway for various ministry pages. It's an effective tool for some things....but do I PERSONALLY want to interact via FB? Do I PERSONALLY want to rely on FB for intimacy with friends?

Michael reminds me  what I post on FB is NOT saved for our family journal (Choosing Joy)....I have taken to going over FB updates to remind myself of what to blog about....

 I'm conducting a test this a blog post in the a.m. and every time I have a moment of pure FB brilliance I'll jot a bullet statement. At the end of the day, I'll post some to FB (one one time to post should save me wasted time when I'm led astray to cool links),  delete some, and leave some to publish on the blog. That will be our "Day in the Life" list for the family journal. There will be a  few updates I want to expound on and they will become  blog posts. ::snort::  Meanwhile my FB brilliance will be saved for the family journal during the test week...satisfies all.  

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In Sickness and in Health

It is good to be home. I have an unbelievably wonderful wife. Every day and every night, she was by my side. For those who have been there, there is nothing better than to see the love of your life as you come through the bewildering, confusing moments when the anesthesia is wearing off. Sweetness to the eyes, and comfort for the soul. This whole thing has me thinking about the phrase "in sickness and in health..." As a pastor, you are expected to be the "expert" on these sort of things, but the truth is the experts are those couples who have been married 40, 50, 60+ years and still holding hands. The expert is the man who is sitting by the bed of his alzheimer-stricken wife unrecognized but still in love. The expert is the wife who lays awake at night listening for sound of her husband's breathing to change... Although this past week has brought me a bit closer to the answer to what this means, the more I think about it, the less I know.

By Grace
Posted By MEG©2012 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~
 Living all of life before the face of God...

Jen's Memaw's Oatmeal Pudding Cookies

This is another recipe from our "hospital adventure". I don't usually use pudding but these were GREAT. 

Mix following:

1 c. soft butter 
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. breakfast sugar
2 eggs
1 pkg instant pudding mix (coconut, vanilla, or butterscotch) Note:  instant works better than the pudding mix that must be cooked

Sift in:
1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda

Stir in:
3 1/2 c. instant oatmeal

Optional: 1 c. raisins, chocolate (or other) chips, or nuts

Store dough in covered bowl in fridge. 
Bake 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes

Note, I would sub rapadura for the sugars - 1:1.  Unless I find pudding without the artificial flavors and preservatives this will be a sometime treat or a take somewhere treat as Zander would be sure to over-consume. LOL  I'm going online now to search for pudding/jello options as Michael is eating copious amounts of both and they aren't something we usually stock. 

Note - Note: Jen just told me she made them with whole wheat and coconut flour and they were good too. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Granola (Lisa and Kimberly's)

Yes, another granola recipe. I've loved this both times I've had at PWOC. Now that I got the recipe the big differences between it and my "favorite" recipe which affect taste  seem to be both honey and maple syrup (I usually just use honey) and less cinnamon but added nutmeg. I DO use a bit of flour, flakes and water - but those would affect texture (we like clumps) more than taste.  In any event this is GOOD too. Kimberly suggests chocolate chips, but that may be sinful. 

4 C Oats
1/2 C slivered Almonds
1/2 C Pecans (walnuts)
1/2 C Flax Seed
1/2 C Wheat Germ
1/2 tsp each salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 C Oil
1/4 C Honey
1/4 C Maple Syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C Dried Fruit (raisins, craisins etc)

Mix dry ingredients. Warm oil, syrup and honey. Pour liquids over dry mixture. Mix and spread evenly over 15x10 baking sheet. Bake 325* for 20(ish) minutes, stirring every 6 -7 minutes. Stir in dried fruit. Stir every 5 min until completely cooled (wonder why?).

Choosing Joy!©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Productive Day

A bit of a rough night last night as the morphine simply wasn't lasting 12 hours. I knew to pull out a percocet. We're cutting back on these due to the rising liver enzyme but I had been told I could give 3 and I knew this would hold him the remaining 4 hours until he could have more morphine. 

Michael's been doing great today. He even sat at the table for dinner....ate different food than us...but was at the table. None of the dire symptoms I'm to watch. He reports the organ pain he was feeling is lessening and so I do think this was all drug induced.

I've got this stripping the drain technique down now....and when I changed the dressing the infection is no better, but they seem to content to leave things as they are.

Enough med we also cleaned the house. Baked some cookies. Uploaded 2006 of this blog to Blog2Print and ordered hard copies. Cancelled airline tickets. I edited Jan 2007 of the blog....and generally kept busy.

Stacia and Zander are taking advantage of having dad home - fairly immobile, without an agenda. Here he reads to them.

The kids had some friends over to play games....A fantastic dinner was delivered tonight...Misawa Rocks.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Michael's Hospital Adventure - From D's perspective

This little My 31 Square Utility Tote is a symbol of how quickly and drastically life has changed around here. I ordered this from one of my PWOC gals in Yokosuka. I thought it would be a great thing to have to tote around files, decorations and doo-dads at upcoming events. We saw them all over Yongsan during conference. I couldn't think of anything zippy to put on the side; you see what I did. 

I've developed something of a fetish for bags and totes since mine were stolen on the way to Japan.....they'll never get my last bag again! ::snort:: I know Michael rolled his eyes, harrumphed and thought I'd NEVER find a use for it....but there you have's perfect for 4x4's, scissors, narcotics, tegaderm, tape and various other post op supplies....all in a very catchy and snazzy container. ::snort:: 

Thus, life changed. I had tickets to fly to FT Bragg on the 29th of March. I would follow that trip up by speaking 3x, training, and chillin with the gals at Camp Zama. They say it takes about 40 hours to prepare for a 1 hour talk....just giving you an idea of the time I'd invested....and then...Michael was in the hospital. 

I suppose this generation always assumes at some point they'll hear "cancer," it seemed inevitable when they said the ultrasound looked like cancer in the gall bladder etc.  A cat scan left them assured (I thought)  we were dealing with a gangrenous gall bladder. Certainly not a wonderful thing...but better than cancer.  Then we heard Michael needed to be admitted immediately to start big time antibiotics through IV's and to stabilize him for surgery. The fear was that the gall bladder would burst or he would go septic....

God provided beautifully. I love Michael's surgeon. She's a Christian I met at a PWOC Bible study who prays for her surgeries. Many times I've prayed for her to have steady hands and a quick mind...the night before the surgery she stopped in and said, "I want you to know I'm going to go in lap. If I see cancer we're closing him up and getting you out of here."  She also shared how she may have to open Michael up if the gall bladder was too enlarged etc.  I've thought through cancer - seems to me the best thing to do is GET IT I responded, "If you see cancer why don't you just take it OUT?" She explained that Gall Bladder cancer is a seed cancer. It's aggressive. Any instrument or gauze etc.  which touched the cancer and then something else would infect other parts....

Meanwhile Michael's gall bladder was hard, 10 mm big, his fever was rising, his blood pressure tanking and they thought he'd developed a clogged bile duct as he was vomiting etc. There was talk the a.m. of surgery of sending him to Hachinohe. They did one more ultra sound and then came in and said, "We're going to surgery," and were gone.  At 2.5 hours Doc sent out word  she'd started lap but was opening him up and it would be a while. I knew there was no cancer. Surgery took 6 hours and something else was twisted, he's a bleeder, the gall bladder was dead, dying and gangrenous, he was "going septic"...when he gets sick, he gets SICK.  

Now some hospital shots...don't even TRY to lecture me....this man has it coming after 9 documented labor/delivery episodes...yes, he was discreet and so was I. I won't post the incision photo until Michael finishes crafting his wild tale. 

Yum - Blenderized roast and veggies
I learned a ENFJ/Futuristic/Global thinker needs to surrender every thought to Christ. It IS possible to live in the here and now and take thoughts captive to Christ. I don't need a plan for every scenario. I experienced God being Emmanuel in the midst of every twist and turn of this journey. I discovered I can still dance with God. I learned anew to simply surrender and climb up into the secret place of His presence...and He will cradle me. 

The Misawa community has truly been Jesus' hands and feet to our family through this time. Friends who came and sat during surgery, food brought to the kids, visits, rides, muffins, cookies, subs for Bible Studies, staff filling Michael's role....we are blessed.

Michael came home....I've learned  the best way to dose various drugs for pain control, I've learned how to strip a JP Drain,  how to change dressing without gagging (and you know someone is going to have to pull this tube out and suture his side up eventually - and it ain't gonna be me) and how to fix very BLAND food.....I've learned about pancreatic and liver enzymes and I continue to remember  He continues to be Emmanuel...He is here. He will always be. 

I'm thankful to have Michael here. I will enjoy the here and now. I will not fret about what could have been. 

Those trips of mine? Doc scheduled an appt for Wed, hoping for a clean bill of health so I could fly Thursday...but after the lab results...well...things continue to pop up quickly. 

The ladies from Camp Zama blessed me with the care they showed  my family. I was still wrestling with the trips scheduled to start this upcoming week. They called an emergency board meeting. They consistently offer prayers and support...and this was no different. Amanda, their president, wrote me a beautifully encouraging email and told me they were taking the Zama portion of speaking and traveling off my plate.

I wrestled a bit more - because "All I've ever wanted to do in PWOC is TRAIN" and last year I missed Traveling Training due to the tsunami...and we are all  hoping Michael will be fine by Thursday...but bottom priorities are here. My heart is here.  There is NO WAY I can fly to the states and leave Mike here to fend for himself when he tires easily, can't drive, and is still in pain. There is no way I can leave while enzymes still play hop scotch.  I won't put Michael or the kids in that position. 

I called Delta and PRAISE GOD - they agreed to give me a credit of $1400. I have to use the ticket within a year but they even will waive the penalty of $250 when I get them the hospital address and phone number.  This works out great. It won't cost PWOCI a dime to have me cancel. I have a ticket paid for and waiting for travel. I figure if Michael ends up flying out of here before this is done, I can fly one of the girls over to watch the kids...or myself over to be with him...and if he recovers quickly from here on out? I do believe I've been promised a second honeymoon in Hawaii - it's been 28 ticket is purchased. ::snort:: 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spicy Bean Saute’ with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

The food at Airlie Center is amazing. Much of it is grown organically right on the grounds. Jeffrey Witte, chef during our Vision Summit, shared several recipes with me. I have permission to share them.

1 ea. Sweet Potato, ¾” dice
2 oz. butter, melted
1 T. brown sugar
cloves, ground, pinch
nutmeg, ground, pinch
1 t. cinnamon, ground
¼ ea. bunch cilantro, chopped
¼ c. kidney beans, drained
¼ c. chickpeas, drained
¼ c. cannellini beans, drained
1 oz. butter
1 t. garlic, chopped
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
½ t. cayenne pepper
½ c. vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Steam or boil your sweet potatoes for 3 minutes until hot, yet still firm. While still hot, toss with butter, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Place on baking sheet and put into oven until lightly caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Melt butter in a saute’ pan and add garlic and spices.  Saute’ briefly and add beans. Saute’ for five minutes, ad stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in cilantro, mix with sweet potatoes and serve.
Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Vegetable Calzones (Airlie Center)

The food at Airlie Center is amazing. Much of it is grown organically right on the grounds. Jeffrey Witte, chef during our Vision Summit, shared several recipes with me. I have permission to share them. 

Note: This makes four LARGE calzones....this was the smallest one of the four. I subbed NOT Cheese sauce on one of them ...and added ground turkey to three of them for my family. Everyone loved them.

Pizza Dough for Calzones

Yields 4 large doughs

5 c. bread flour
2 c .semolina flour
1 T. kosher salt
1 T. dry yeast
2 ½ c. warm water (90-100F)
1 T. sugar
2 oz. olive oil, extra virgin

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Place pizza stone on center rack.
  2. Whisk together water, yeast, 1 t. sugar, and olive oil.  Set in a warm area for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine flours, salt and remaining sugar in stand mixer bowl and attach dough hook.  Add water mixture while on low speed until combined, then medium speed for 10 minutes.
  4. Place in lightly greased bowl, cover loosely with a damp cloth (or plastic wrap) and set in a warm area until doubled in size.
  5. Cut into desired number of pieces and roll to ¼“ thick.
  6. Add filling and bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on size) and rotate half-way through.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, cut and serve immediately.

1 ea. butternut squash, peeled, cored and large diced
2 ea. large turnips, peeled, medium diced
2 ea. parsnips, peeled, medium diced
2 ea. carrots, peeled, medium diced
1 ea. large rutabaga, small diced
2 ea. red onions, large diced
1 large head fennel, white only, medium dice
½ T. garlic, minced
2 T. fresh herbs, chopped
2 oz. olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 c. smoked mozzarella, shredded
Eggwash as needed
Sea salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper as needed

  1. Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl and roast at 350F for 45 minutes or until tender.  Allow to cool.
  2. Place vegetables on doughs in desired shape of calzone.  Top with a very generous amount of cheese and eggwash around the edge (about 1”).
  3. Fold dough over and crimp the edges to form a seal.  Egg wash the outside and top with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Follow baking instructions above.

Pure vegan yumminess!
*Note to make vegan use NOT cheese sauce....instead of mozzarella. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Root Vegetable Bruschetta (Airlie Center)

The food at Airlie Center is amazing. Much of it is ground organically right on the grounds. Jeffrey Witte, chef during Vision Summit shared several recipes with me. I have permission to share them. 

1 c. turnip, peeled and very fine diced
1 c. butternut squash, peeled and very fine diced
1 c. rutabaga, peeled and very fine diced
1 c. carrot, peeled and very fine diced
¼ c. red onion, very fine dice
½ tsp. fresh garlic, minced
¼ c. white balsamic vinegar
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1.        Combine all ingredients and mix together gently.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
2.      Refrigerate for one hour and serve with sliced baguette or crostini.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Ruth's Chicken Stew

Below is another wonderful meal that was brought to us this week. This is Fantabulous and fairly simple.

Boil boneless chicken in chicken broth and garlic pepper

Add cubed potatoes and a bag of mixed veggies

Add a can (or two) of diced tomatoes

When the veggies are tender, take the chicken out and shred it (or just chop it)

Add barbecue sauce (I use Bull's Eye corn syrup) and low sodium V-8 juice to your liking

Simmer as long as you like...the longer the better for blending the flavors

I don't have exact just depends on how much you are wanting to make.  For that batch, I used a whole bag of chicken breasts, 2 cans of tomatoes, about 6 potatoes, 2 large bags of mixed veggies, a bottle of barbecue sauce, and a large bottle of low sodium V-8 juice---it made enough for you all...Jessica and her husband, and my family.  

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Susie's Chicken Enchilada Soup - Crock Pot Style

One up of the week we're having is that wonderful women from base have taken over the cooking for the past week for our family. ::snort::  This soup is good! I think I'll substitute cream cheese or a cheese sauce for the velveeta - or maybe I won't. LOL

This is NOT a health food recipe, so stop here if you are looking for low calorie. Just saying!

2 cups cooked shredded chicken (I cheat and use the rotisserie chicken for a quick cook!)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (we like garlic)
32 ounces of chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained
1 small can of corn (drained) or 1 cup frozen corn
1 can 14.5 ounces enchilada sauce (or make it and it would be even more awesome! But I do have 4 kids, so I go for quick)
1 can 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes (I like the lime and cilantro one, but the regular works too)
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili powder (or more if you are not feeding little kids!)
1 TBSP lemon juice
8 ounces velveeta cheese, cut into slices for better melting....this goes AFTER everything else
.25 cup cilantro (more or less depending on what you like of course!)

**Tortilla chips of your choosing and avocados go GREAT as an extra for the done soup!

Use the Olive Oil cook your onion and garlic until the onion is clearish (I am not Emeril, no fancy terms here). Then you can transfer that into your crock pot and throw everything EXCEPT the cilantro (OR you can use the stovetop on low until everything cooks). I add the cilantro about an hour before serving (if using the crock pot) and the flavor is a lot stronger. 

I throw some crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl and serve a big spoon of soup on top of them. Garnish with avocados and CHOW DOWN! :-)

Calories: Let's not discuss that
Servings: Just enough for my family of 6, but no leftovers! So I doubled it last time. :-)

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Michael Recovery Update

Nothing about my man is average! We had hoped to have his drain removed today and to be well on the road to recovery by now. Michael is an excellent patient - but he's quite unpredictable. 

Today's appointment did not go as we'd prayed. 

He still has the drain. 

His pancreatic and liver enzymes have not decreased, they've increased. We aren't sure why. They decided not to admit him as they know I'll watch him and call if there is anything worrisome (they gave me a list of symptoms to watch for) and I have Docs cell and house phone.  Michael has been having pain which indicates pancreas and liver "issues".  

I had just turned on to our street when the phone rang. Doc. She wanted me to come in and pick up  new meds. Michael is being taken off all the pain meds he is on now to see if they are the cause of the rising liver enzymes. He is taking a pill form of morphine again. We will redo labs on Monday. 

Meanwhile, when I went to change his dressing tonight I discovered the incision site for the drain is infected...about 1/4 in angry red around it....I'm waiting for a call back. 

I've got a neighbor on standby in case we have to do a run to the hospital in a blizzard. 

We so appreciate your prayers....

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Michael's Hospital Adventure - FB style

Ok - Michael and I will gather our thoughts and write something "epic" for this family journal but for NOW - WHAT A WEEK! God is good - ALL THE TIME... I am just going to post the FB status reports from the week.  Later I'll share more personal thoughts and Michael may too.  I will not save all the many comments, verses shared with us (Ps 57),  love sent...but we read each one and it meant the world to us. 

March 14
Hey all - could use some prayers. Michael is in much pain. Due for more tests in the a.m. I think we've had 4 shakers now since dinner....and I'm starting to figure out how I'd drive us out of the messy roads to the ER if needed....and not wanting to leave the kids on a "busy shaking" night. If you know what I mean. LOL Pray for and HEALTH - no pain.

Arielle posted for me when I called her from the clinic on Thursday a.m. : 

mom wants me to let you know dad will be having surgery as soon as possible in Misawa prayer would be appreciated mom left her cell phone at home but can be reached on dad cell phone

First ultrasound looked like cancer. Did you know gall bladder cancer is a seed cancer and very aggressive? CAT Scan gave docs and radiologist confidence it was most likely a gangrenous gall bladder. 

March 15
Gangrenous gall bladder, will blog hospital, stabilizing so surgery is safer, hopefully tomorrow...prayers still needed...EKG going on now and massive antibiotics and morphine. Jared at work, Arielle watching kids, me driving back and forth ::grin:: think that worried Mike more than anything.

March 15
More morphine...should have a happy husband soon.

March 15
Morphine not working so trying a PCA, antibiotic started, fever rising, new labs, vitals stable...surgeon is PWOC gal. Talked more and she is praying about best course of action, I told her we trust her and are praying for her too. Bit of concern at what they will find so trying to let the gall bladder settle down.

March 15
Mike has fancy massaging socks now...shot in the word...glad to be in the recliner and not the bed

Mike has 2 Ivs now, I ran to Bx for toothbrush and iPad charger and am camping out here with my boyfriend....what some folks will do for couple time.

So many photo ops and I forgot my camera.

This evening the Dr talked to me and let me know she was going to start with a lap - though the gall bladder was 10 mm and hard....if she saw cancer she was closing him up. I asked why not take the thing OUT if it were cancer and she let me know it would be Stage 4 and seed cancer. Anything she touched after touching the gall bladder would become cancer.  She said OR it could be simple gall bladder removal. 

Jared brought the camera and I snapped one of he and Michael. This seemed just after all the labor/deliver photos. He said he was discreet and I was too. ::snort::

March 16
No surgery for Mike yet, maybe in 4-7 hours. Pain control at 6-7, WAY better than before. Mike just roused and said , "By this point I'm usually saying Puuush" to which I replied thus the camera arriving this a.m. Blood pressure dipping a bit. I asked Abba for a small window of solitude and I find myself sitting silently watching over my guy...about as solitary a feeling as one gets..though I'm not getting the speaking prep done which I envisioned in the solitude. I am resting in the secret place.

March 16 techs learning lab and IV procedures...and Michael? Always the long have you been here, where's home, what do you like best about your job, Misawa, how have you adjusted to Misawa, have you found a support this man

Emmanuel, you are here and I choose to dance with you this day.

Dr in. Liver enzymes up to over 600...blood pressure is low, low, low, fever....think a duct is clogged and they can't handle that. More tests and  possibly heading to Hach to a Japanese hospital, will known if we are staying or going after next test. Talk of doing surgery in Hach or maybe just procedure to clear duct then surgery here? Don't be alarmed if I don't update...they may not have wifi in Hach and things are moving fast. When we leave his room we don't have wifi here either. Hach has ICU. Pray for doc to have peace or know its time to go to a local hospital.

Were told in Japanese hospitals you have to buy your gowns etc from a vending machine. I'm not sure about this - will have to check it out. 

Heading to radiology

March 16
Dr and radiologist are good to do surgery here...prepping...pray for Flora to have steady hands and make clear decisions (her prayer), she says it may take longer than 2 hours...update when he is out..will be good to have this behind us. Duct is not clogged.

March 16
Mike has been in surgery for 2.5 hours, this is good news.

At the 2.5 hour mark Flora sent a message to me, "I tried lap but am going to open him up. " This was a GREAT message to get and I posted what I did so the kids who knew what might be found would know it was NOT cancerous. I knew she wouldn't have opened him if she'd seen cancer. 

March 16
6 hours, back in cancer, no other organs compromised....big scar, drains, ng tube, foley....getting him set. I am staying put until he is coherent ...said he was not quite septic. All good, he was talking about the UCI in recovery.

March 16
Ah, he woke up, looked around until he found my eyes and said, "Are you staying tonight?" then, "Good." Yep, right choice to stay until he isn't doped up. Peace of mind for both of us.

March 17
Jared Goecker if you see this will you call me b4 you come to base? It looks like I may stay the day here and I'm either going to HAVE to go buy more clothes at the BX or have you bring a few things in. New tote in living room....

March 17
Oxygen tube removed...woot progress.

March 17
Have been trying for quite some time to draw more blood and couldn't had to laugh as they finally got it and the nurse exclaimed, "Thank you, Lord". Lots of folks real comfortable with prayer in this room. Grin

March 17
Blessed beyond measure by this base and parish. Kids have meals, I have socks and warm fuzzy blanket and Mike smiled when the nurse brought in Gatorade which he will be able to have when they remove the NG tube.

This has been quite a week. I definitely appreciate everone's prayers. For those who haven't heard, I haven't been feeling good for the last couple of weeks. I thought it was acid reflux but it turns out I had a gangrenous, dead and dying gall bladder. 6 hours of surgery and I am on the road to recovery. Hiccups are really bad.
 ·  · March 17 at 12:33pm · 

March 17
11:30 pm here...I am staying another night with Mike in the hospital. All is all looking much better than yesterday....but tubes out, tubes back in....just praying his body wakes up tomorrow. He DID do a lot of walking today, determined to get well...waiting for the last shot of the night and then will try for a few hours of sleep. Content, praising God.

March 17
When God takes you through the refiner's fire, be encouraged because it is His overriding commitment to turn you from a rough, hard-edged stone to a precious metal. He will do this through certain events in your workplace, your relationships, and other circumstances in your life. Our job is to avoid trying to blow out the fire. Easier said then done? From a devo that came to my inbox today.

Today when they had trouble drawing labs, they went and got the UCC tech...when he saw Mike he said, "You look like an ICU patient with all these tubes"...Mike's at radiology now. Hoping to remove various tubes and drains today so Mike feels like he is on the mend. I had hoped to duck out for 0800 but hospital schedules are unpredictable. Snort

Sharing what I posted on PWOC JAPAN a good place..the secret hiding place where Abba dwells.

TnT ps 27:4-6....great hospital verses..the ONE THING I desire to dwell in the house of the Lord, concealed and hidden in the secret place where He dwells..and did you know "shouts of joy" were often war cries. Choosing joy today and believing Mike will begin to make great strides to recovery today.

The sign says NO FOOD...every time I think I may go home; something like this happens.... Snort. 86 hours without food (mike is keeping us all up to date) but hopeful NG will come out today and he can EAT. Promised him a t-bone when he gets home. Grin

88 hours without food...NG clamped and trying lime jello..if he tolerates it that will be one tube he can lose and I will bring the kids visit. jello hasn't been in our home for 6 years snort....Mike is tired of the babar poster. Snort

Feeling like we are getting things under control. The dressing on the stitches came off this am. That is a lot of staples! The NG tube is out. I feel human again - well mostly. There a a couple of tubes/things that need to come off or out to complete the picture. De'Etta and I went for a walk this evening. It was only up and down the hallway a couple of times, but it was good. Funny how things can drill down like that.

Not going home today either, possibly tomorrow, we are waiting for labs to settle and body to wake up. He is walking when told too, disliking heparin shots (good as first few days he did not care what was done to him), weaning off morphine pump to Percocet today in hopes of going home. By order of kids and wish of Michael I will stay at hosp until he is released...Arielle told me they are just fine and I should stay. She's a champ! We are starting to process all we've been through this week, amazing how quickly life draws down to the basics. AND they are keeping school going.....

Bad day...prayers appreciated. They took him off all opiates and we're trying to find new pain solutions....working to wake up his body, he's walked, thrown up, has shivers now..much more pain...the talk of sending him home with Chath, stomach drains and this much pain, makes me nervous. As Mike says, we're looking forward to seeing this in the rear view mirror.

Dr talked with me again while Michael was being settled. Talks of going home went away. The new thought was that he had a bowel obstruction and would need either an NG tube reinserted which may help or a second surgery. She considered Hachinohe again. Decided to wait a night.

pray for Mike's spirits and for him to rest...and for pain management. Doc came in and said he looks bad...heading to radiology again...shocked how quickly things keep changing with atypical symptoms...praying against bowel obstruction

proud of you kids at home. Jared, Arielle and also Nolan....good job! Then sounds like Andrew and Stacia are also doing a good job in their special ways. :) love/prayers 2G's T

More than enough grace for anything today will bring....taking every thought captive .. I am NOT naive, this is hard, but God is here. Wondering why my dance has been so chaotic...waiting for a waltz.

Praise God. Avoided a second surgery in Hach. Praying and resting today. He goes up and down so quickly that we are all holding our breath, so thankful he isn't in surgery again.

This has been a solid day of steps forward. Sometime this morning, TSgt w. came by. Although it hurt, it was good to start the day with a laugh. We managed to do all of the things we were not able to do the day before. Our surgeon was over joyed. Sometimes it really is the simple things in life that matter. We may be able to go home in the am (right after I get my first shower in almost a week, that is).
Thank you all for your prayers and support. I'm looking forward to the day when this is just one of my "old" stories, and I am able to regale you with a mostly fictional reconstruction of the past week. Until then, thank you again.

The good news is we're going home, the bad news is the stomach drain is coming with us. Guess its time to get over squeamishness. I can do this?

9 hours ago
Just came in to prep Mike for aero HE'S NOT THAT WORRIED ABOUT MY WINTER DRIVING...we convinced them that now, Mike is going home and not being aero vaced to Hawaii.

Home - got him settled. Found out the yogurt is past dated...baked potato didn't sound good when I got it up there...Percocet taken....They taught me the gut drain before we came home and I stripped and drained it...and they laughed at my faces....I've not had to change the dressing yet - maybe after this I'll decide I COULD do the midwife thing....the blood always stops me. LOL I begged for, and received, gloves....Michael was telling me it wouldn't hurt me and I said NURSES where gloves and I don't want to get some dire disease. LOL

3 hours ago
Fairly shaky after reading the discharge orders and seeing in black and white the initial diagnosis,  "suspect gall bladder cancer"...NOW would be a silly time to fall apart. ::snort:: God has been so good to give us, you know, TIME. So thankful I didn't google Stage 4 cancer.

De'Etta Townsend Goecker
3 hours ago
OH MY - worse than the drain - just found sourdough dough and starter that have set for a week - I may have to throw the bowls out too. Gag.....and Christina Stade can I nab another starter from you? I need to bake some english muffins quickly.

2 seconds ago
I DID IT! I stripped the tubing (had to work on my technique as Mike said he could feel the suction pulling it out), I emptied the guck, read and recorded the amounts, and CHANGED the dressing....and I'm 100% sure I really do not want to be a doctor. I also made balloons out of gloves and decided to make some ice hands for the snowman. Michael told the kids they CANNOT play with any gloves they find in the trash.

2 seconds ago
Evidently an essential in convalescent care is an UNIVERSAL REMOTE. I'll have to buy one next time I'm on base. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
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~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...