Thursday, July 31, 2008


Jon just returned from visiting Travis in Kansas City, and Trav is doing much, much better. He was released from the hospital last Friday, and has been resting at home. He still has difficulty seeing clearly and is moving around quite slowly. He will be undergoing surgery within the next month or so. Jon had a wonderful visit with him.
Even in the midst of his illness, Jon said he had nothing but encouraging words to say and was frequently laughing his famous laugh. The two of them had a great time together. As I was looking through some old pictures, I found some good shots of these two old friends. Excuse me as I reminisce :)

YWAM - 1997 in Kona, Hawaii

Trav holding Daniel Ski trip 2002
Haiti 2004 Celebrating our 30th birthdays - 2006
So happy together :) Kansas City 2008
I'm definitely thankful to have my husband back home. And I just want to sincerely thank all of you who shared my "heavy heart" with me last week. It was a difficult time, and I felt like I just needed to write what was going on inside. It was so kind of each of you to take the time to read and leave an encouraging comment. I was overwhelmed by your kind words...thank you. And both Jon and I are extremely thankful for everyone who prayed for Travis. He is truly our brother in Christ, and we are so thankful that God has more work for him to do!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sharing My Heavy Heart

Friday, July 18th, 10:00 pm - I received a phone call. It was the mother of Jon's closest friend Travis. He had collapsed earlier that day and was rushed to the hospital. The doctors found a blood clot at the base of his brain. He's in ICU, unable to move and barely has the strength to open his eyes. He's 31.

I talked with his mom for quite a while. She is a strong, faith-filled woman, but still wonders how one minute her son can be healthy, full of energy and life, and in an instant, without warning, come so close to death. When I hung up the phone, I immediately called Jon at work. My heart broke as I heard the emotion in his voice.

I have light heartedly made fun of Jon and Travis in the past. They're like two girls. BFF's. They call each other all the time and frequently send each other emails. They've gone on several trips together through the years. Travis and Jon are like brothers. And all joking aside, they've kept each other accountable through the 11 years they've been friends. They're honest and real with each other, sharing openly about their struggles. Travis is an amazing, gifted and caring man who is a blessing to everyone he comes in contact with. I could write on and on, but one person comes to mind when I think of Travis: The apostle Paul. Travis has traveled all over the world, giving up many comforts and the desire to be "successful" in the eyes of others, in order to pursue God's will for his life. He's a vivid example of a life wholly surrendered to Christ, following Him at any cost. In fact, Daniel's middle name is Travis. We knew that if there was any person we would want our son to look up to and model his life after, it would be Travis. My heart is heavy as I pray for him tonight. The thought of him laying in an intensive care unit, immobile, and in pain breaks my heart. Jon will be leaving later this week to spend 5 days with Travis and his family in Missouri. Sunday, July 2oth - My brother Jeremy's birthday, he would be 35. No one knew the significance of the day, not even Jon. I went about my day like it was any other day, but inside I swear I could physically feel the heaviness of my heart. I struggled with the decision whether to visit his grave or not. To me, it only echoes the empty feeling I feel inside. He's not there. I have to merely look at his name etched in stone. Later that day, I received a phone call from my Dad. With his voice shaking, he proceeded to tell me that a friend I went to school with collapsed suddenly on the basketball court and died. He was 31. The words hit me like a physical blow. My eyes are filled with tears even now as I type this. It brings up the questions I've suppressed for so long. Why? How can this be your plan God? He had his whole life ahead of him. I instantly think of his wife, parents and brothers. Knowing all too well the indescribable grief they are experiencing. They had no warning. In an instant their lives are changed forever. And I ask, "do you see their tears and do you feel their pain?" And I'm answered with Psalm 10:14, "But you, O God, do see trouble and grief."
On Thursday I will go to the church I grew up in. The same church where Dan and I went to youth group together. The same church where Jon and I were married. The same church where we remembered Jeremy during his memorial service. This same church will yet again be the place I go to remember someone who has gone too soon. Yes, my heart is heavy. This picture makes me smile. It was taken when I was in the 7th grade at our church's winter youth camp. That's my brother Jeremy in the center with the microphone. Darrin (Angela's husband :)) is on his right, Duane is on his left, and Dan is standing next to Duane. They made up new lyrics to the song "Bad to the Bone", and were singing "Bad for the Lord".

High School graduation. Dan is standing on the right.

Our pastor has been teaching a series on the Psalms. The week before last week he taught out of Psalm 42, where David is questioning God:

My tears have been my food day and night,

while men say to me all day long,

"Where is your God?"
I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning
oppressed by the enemy?"
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:3,9-11

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Big Introduction

Well, the day has come. My daughter Sarah started her very own blog!

Her blog is called

And it is complete with her favorite music (lots of Hannah Montanna & High School Musical) and a cool pyzam layout!

She has been wanting to have her own blog for quite a while. Of course I was a little apprehensive, but overall I feel it's safe. It will be a fun outlet for her to write about what's going on in her life, and post pictures of fun day to day happenings.

You're welcome to stop by anytime, but please don't mention her last name or where we live. :)
(I think I've watched one too many Dateline episodes)

Having said that, she would love to have some blogging buddies. If any of you ladies have daughters who have been wanting their own blog as well, maybe now's the time! Sarah would be a great blogging friend, and of course a faithful commenter!

Monday, July 7, 2008

How To Swim the Perfect Race

In the spirit of the Olympic Trials, Sarah will demonstrate for you how to swim
the perfect Medley Relay.

Step 1
Grab a team mate and visualize swimming your race perfectly.

Step 2
Proper stretching is an absolute must!

Step 3
Wait patiently with your team in the bullpen.

Step 4
Look cool, calm and chillaxed while you wait for the start of the race.

Step 5
Sarah exemplifies the perfect ready position as she waits for her team mate to touch the wall.

Step 6
Power off the wall with a strong shallow dive

Step 7
After your race, discuss technique and form with a knowledgeable expert.

There you have it! Now you're ready to be the next Darra Torres, the first American swimmer to compete in five Olympics: 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008. She's 41 years old!!! She's beating the speedos off of her little twenty-something competitors.

We middle age women rock! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Olivia Joy

Hope your 4th of July weekend was as fun as Olivia's!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Pepper Snatcher

I came home from the grocery store and put the ingredients for dinner on the kitchen counter. (fajitas... mmm yum!)

Of course I got distracted, and about a half hour later went into the kitchen to make dinner. The bell peppers were gone. Where did they go? They were just here. I looked everywhere. In the cupboards, the fridge, and I even checked in the car just in case I lost my mind and really didn’t unload the grocery bags. No bell peppers.

It had been a while since I heard from Olivia, so I went in her room to check on her, and this is what I found:

She told me her puppies were hungry and needed some food. So I snapped a picture before taking my peppers back.

Mystery solved.

And with a thief this cute, I had no choice but to let her off the hook. After all, she was just taking care of her hungry puppies.