Red hearts, red roses, chocolate in heart shaped boxes, tiny hard heart shaped candy with cute sayings: ‘BE MINE’, ‘LOVE YOU’,’ KISSES FOR YOU’, etc., romantic cards, candle light dinners, red drink glasses and plates, chocolate flowers, jewelry, and more chocolate. I remember grade school when my mom would get us a bag of those inexpensive valentines cards and I would spend the evening before writing my name on each one, picking out one or two special cards for the pretty girls in my class and not so nice looking ones for my buddies. The next day I would exchange all those valentine cards with my classmates and laugh about the funny ones I would have recovered from my buds. I would also find that one special cards from that girl two rows over that I never paid much attention to and wonder what I had done to be so deserving.
We ventured out as a group on Saturday evening to Char, a restaurant in Boone, and after a wonderful dinner the skies opened up and the blizzard began.
By Wednesday, most of the snow had melted when Linda and I ventured over to Bass Lake near Blowing Rock to enjoy a cool winter evening there:
It’s that time of year again…time for fresh strawberries! I love the fruit stands that are popping up all over town to sell fresh strawberries, but more than that, I love to go strawberry picking. I clearly remember the days when our three were young…seems like they always ate just about as many as made it to the scale, but that’s the joy of going with children. Tara and I went along for the fun as we watched the Nats and Sams pick strawberries for our delicious strawberry pies! In spite of the many berries that were ingested, we came home with quite a haul. This first picture was probably taken just before Samuel took his first bite, after all who could resist such a big, beautiful strawberry?
And now for the Best Strawberry Pie, here is the easy recipe:
1 pie crust (homemade or in my case, the Pillsbury one you simply roll out onto the pie plate)1 cup water 1 cup sugar3 T cornstarch4 cups sliced strawberries3 oz. package of strawberry jello
Preheat oven to 450. Roll pie crust onto a deep pie plate, prick with fork and bake for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
On January 29th, 2010, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. On January 29th, 2012, I stood before the congregation of my home church and testified to God’s faithfulness in my life. What a privilege it was to share, from my heart, what the past two years have meant to me.
My brothers and sisters at Stony Hill Baptist Church faithfully prayed for me when I was hospitalized for a month, endured chemo and radiation treatments, had my stem cell transplant, and recovered from my hip pinning surgery. I have been blessed beyond measure by their compassion, kindness, sacrificial acts of service, and prayers. I love the people of this church and was humbled and honored to stand before them on that beautiful Sunday morning.
Two years ago my world was turned upside down in a matter of days, and I went from being an executive in a small company with a stable income and a “normal” life, to someone who was unemployed and in for the fight of my life with a blood cancer. However, with the love and support of my family, my friends, my doctors, and my church, I have gotten through some really rough times and been blessed in more ways than I can count. My prayer is that God would use me to glorify Him and encourage others who are in need. I cannot imagine cancer without Christ.
For me these verses summarize what I have learned on my journey thus far:
I’m not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives my strength.
Linda and I just returned from the Cancer Center after again paying the doctor’s co-pay. We dropped off a prescription (again), then waited (again) for it to be filled and then (again) said “yes, please” as the pharmacist (again) asked us if we wanted to use express pay for the prescription co-pay. Medical insurance covers the bulk of treatments and prescription costs, but the continuous stream of co-pays really creates a strain on any budget.