Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's Crunch Time! Joseph!!!!

It has arrived!
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Elvis is in the house!!!

This is my "Pharoah's girl" costume with Pharoah's beauties!
Friday night-Curtain 7:30 pm
Saturday night-Curtain 7:30 pm
Sunday matinee- Curtain-2:00 pm.

Here I am-wife of Reuben, the oldest of Jacob's sons-and no, he is not standing on a box!

Kavian, Calvin and Braylyn - This is for you! I hope you have the best time ever!!! I know you have been practicing too!!! Do you know all the colors? Grandma loves you with all of her heart!

Psalm 146:2 - I will praise the Lord all of my life; I will sing praises to God as long as I have breath.

Well, no complaints about one thing....I have gotten to sing and sing and sing and sing and sing some more...not sure about always having the breath after all of that dancing!! Now....what will I do on Monday????!???

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Life Verses

Drawing by my student, Teresa

I was asked to send my favorite verse to Kim. I have always struggled with my favorite of anything as I have been known to be undecided, to change my mind as the spirit moves me, and to have a lot of favorite everythings! Well, today I found what speaks to me, what speaks of me and what speaks for me....I give you....why I Choose Joy!

Psalm 30:5 Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning

For good measure, from the same chapter- Psalm 30:11-12 You changed my sorrow into dancing. You took away my clothes of sadness and clothed me in happiness. I will sing to you and not be silent. Lord, my God, I will praise You forever.

Then, of course, there is Psalm 146:2 - I will praise the Lord all of my life; I will sing praises to God as long as I have breath.

"When you want to know the meaning of a word or phrase, the first stop in the Internet highway is usually Wikipedia. Yet when you start your Wiki search for the meaning of “life verse“, you will not find it there. In fact, they inquire “Did you mean life vest?” One of the most informative resource on the web has not yet defined life verse, so we can assume this phrase is a fairly new term in our culture. Merriam Webster agrees, and when you search “life verse” the response is “The word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary. ”

Where do you look now, when the meaning of life verse is not in Wikipedia or Merriam Webster? You look inside your own heart for the meaning! Deep down inside, you have a special life poem, life words, life prayer, or life saying. These important words have become your own life verse, the drive behind your decision making process, the motivation for your work, your life vest during an emergency. Life Verse. Important words to an individual." taken from:

As expected, I searched and there is a song all about it, just for me. The song says it is written by Mark Alrogge, but it is sung here by Sovereign Grace Music

As Long As I Have Breath
Mark Alrogge

How can I thank You oh Lord
For taking my place on the cross?
And how do I thank You oh Lord
For all of Your mercy and kindness
For drawing me to You
For letting me hear You
For opening my heart, to the gospel


As long as I have breath, I will praise You
As long as my heart beats I will sing
As long as life flows through my veins
I will bless Your name!

Drawing by my daughter, Marissa

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jonah's EB Auction

Raising Funds to Find a Cure

Many of you have heard of Jonah. I feel as though I know Jonah too. I have followed his story and prayed for him and his parents as they struggle with his disease called Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa. He faces a life of painful blisters, hair, nail, and major teeth issues, as well as the possibility of respiratory involvement. Jonah stays bandaged from the neck down. I am giving thanks today for Jonah and his awesome parents, Patrice and Matt. Jonah will celebrate his first birthday on February 27th. I painted this watercolor print and mailed it off this weekend! I am excited to hear when it arrives!

Jonah's story -

Maybe you have just recently discovered this awesome little boy or maybe you have followed his journey from the day he was born. If you have followed my blog, you may have read about Jonah and about baby Leah and Tripp. I have read some of the stories, but the stories always bring me back to Jonah, and I share his story, his struggles, and the struggles of his family. The auction carries Jonah's name, but it is for all of those that are fighting EB and in honor of those that have lost that fight.

Today, I'd like you to meet Caroline. The following was written by her parents, Adrienne & Pete Provost of Palatine, IL.

" Caroline was born on August 22, 2005, following sister, Elizabeth (then 4), and brother, Patrick (then 2). The neonatologist attending her c-section delivery immediately identified that Caroline was suffering from a skin disorder – her left leg was completely denuded from the knee down and she had other areas of missing skin, including where the umbilical cord had been wrapped around her neck several times. Within a few hours of her birth, Caroline was preliminarily diagnosed with EB by a pediatric dermatologist and transported to Children Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric ICU via ambulance.

She was to remain in the PICU for 133 days. During that time, biopsies led to a diagnosis of Junctional non-Herlitz EB – a sub-type with a relatively good long-term prognosis. She received Apligrafts (skin product grafts) on her legs, which were highly successful in serving as biologic dressings and promoting the growth of her own skin in the denuded areas. She was unable to eat orally and underwent g-tube surgery at 5 weeks. She suffered numerous infections. She endured 14 different PIC lines for IV nutrition and meds – each time the skin giving way where the line was inserted. When her increasing respiratory distress was eventually linked to GERD (reflux), her G-tube was converted to a G-J, moving food to the small intestines rather than the stomach. Fortunately, her esophagus was able to heal enough to avoid a tracheotomy. She could not tolerate wearing diapers or clothes, instead swaddled loosely in soft blankets.

I would visit 3 days during the week (my typical work schedule) when we had child care for Elizabeth and Patrick, navigating a 1 ½ hour commute each way. On weekends, Pete and I would visit together as much as possible; but each visit together required finding child care for our other two children, who were not allowed on the PICU and did not fully understand the situation. Caroline remained in the hospital from the dog days of summer, through fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. The holidays were especially painful as we made the difficult decision to spend them with our families rather than at the hospital – attempting to maintain some normalcy for Elizabeth and Patrick. Finally, on January 4, 2006, Caroline came home - along with liquid oxygen tanks, suction and nebulizer equipment, 24/7 feeding pump and 14 different medications! She had severe developmental delays due to limited movement from her hospital bed and began physical, occupational, developmental, and speech therapies.

It’s now 4 years later…

...and Caroline is a smart, tough, amazing little girl. With piercing blue eyes and a spirit pure and sweet, she has inspired the kindness of family, friends, and strangers, and touches all who meet her. She has accomplished many things we weren’t sure would ever be possible: she attends preschool, she rides a tricycle, she eats taco chips… She endures her physical challenges with courage and is quick to give hugs. Elizabeth and Patrick occasionally express frustration with EB, the care it requires, and the limitations it imposes on our family. They are gentle with and protective of Caroline, showing her love and companionship and teaching her in many ways.

We thank God for the blessing of each of our children. We pray for strength, patience, and a cure for EB."

Caroline, now 4 years old, makes Jonah's parents optimistic and excited for Jonah's future! Please, check out the auction and remember to thank God for your children!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This is JOY!

Did you know that my name, Carol, the name given to me by my parents, means: "Song of Joy"? How could they possibly know that I would become a singer and that I would write about finding JOY?

Did you know that the word "Joy" is found 244 times in the New International Version of the Bible? It appears in almost every book, and occurs the most (35 times each) in the books of Isaiah and Psalms.

It is amazing to see how God provides joy in every situation. In God’s presence there is joy; in anxiety there is the joy of the Lord that comforts our soul; God’s works fill our hearts with joy, His miracles make our hearts leap for joy! Check out some of these verses:

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you clothed me with joy" Psalm 30:11

"Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me. I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD." Psalm 27:6

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with Him." Psalm 126:6

"Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD." Psalm 95:1

"Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." Psalm 126:2

"Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs." Psalm 100:2

"Let the fields and all the trees of the forest sing for joy " Psalm 96:12

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song." Psalm 28:7

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11

"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music." Psalm 98:4

"My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you." Psalm 71:23

My command is this-Love each other as I have loved you. I have told you this so that my JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be complete. John 15:11-13

I say these things while I am still in this world so that they may have the full measure of JOY with them. John 17:13

May the God of hope fill you with all JOY and peace as you trust in Him. so that you may overflow with JOY granted by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

"The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

I have a new blog friend, her name is Carol Conway-Fleisher. She has created a new blog called "Surprised by Joy" She created this site to showcase her art. What I love is that her name is Carol, she too is an artist, AND that her title says, "The joy's in the process, not the product"!

Visit her new site and help encourage her! I can't wait to see more of her work!

"For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands." Psalm 92:4

I have been so blessed!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Prayers for Kristy

Kristy- They call her "Sunshine"!

Linda, Nick, Mike, Pat, Susie, Ginny, Carol, Tom, Kristy. Kristy is my baby sister. She was the baby in our family of 9. She has always been the baby and will always be the baby. I can not figure out how she managed this... she looks like a young girl, except, we all know she has 8 children and 12 grandchildren....and still looks amazing! Most of our pictures the past few years, we are missing either Tom or Susie. Susie was not with us for this picture. (Missing you, Susie!)

Kristy, Mike and their 8 children

She gave everyone a big scare this week. Did you know that February is National Heart Awareness month? Did you know that Cardiovascular Disease is the #1 killer of women? Did you know that women sometimes have different symptoms than men? Did you know that the heart attack is known as the "silent killer" in women?

February is the month of love. It is the month she and Mike were married. It is the month we lost our Mama. It is the month of hearts. Hers is a BIG one for sure. She is so loving and giving but her heart looked to be ready to burst....her blood pressure was alarmingly high. She lost her vision. She could not read the numbers she needed to at her workplace. Her pupils were so dilated, they were no longer green, just entirely black. She always puts others first. She doesn't want to spend the money on herself. She doesn't need doctors. She prays and she waits 3 days.

Now the world has lost its color. She stepped outside to a world of white and gold. Her red car was golden, her red house was golden. Her world was white and gold only. She was in such a state that she thought she may have left this world. Her husband got her to the hospital and she was transferred to Sioux Falls where she was immediately put into Intensive Care.

She was put through every test imaginable...and, talking to her tonight, she sounds absolutely giddy with joy. What they did find cancer, no cardiac problem, no kidney or thyroid problem, no liver problem. All systems are a go. In fact, she was told that she is the very blessed carrier of an extra special heart, one usually seen only in the healthiest specimens, such as a "marathon runner"....healthy, top of the line, with an extra special kick. They called it "rare" and "special" and I believe it to be one belonging to a "rare" and "special" sister, wife, mother and grandmother. She was also so happy and blessed by those who care for her and about her, her family, her friends and she talked and talked and talked about her grandbabies. They were so worried for their Grandma, saying "I love you Grandma" and "I prayed for you Grandma" and "I love you so much". I know the joy and love of grandchildren too! I know the blessing!

They believe, after all the tests, that she has high blood pressure. Doesn't sound so bad, but she was told the severity of it, and I believe she is listening this time. She was told that with all of her wonderfully healthy organs, she could live another 40-50 years....she just has to keep her veins and arteries from bursting, which will surely lead to stroke, organ damage or death.

The doctors noted that she has green tea and honey every day. When asked why she enjoyed honey so much, she quoted from Proverbs 16:24, "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." That would be Kristy!

This is the most recent picture I have of Kristy-Sisters Linda, me, Ginny and Kristy at our Christmas Party. Again, we are missing Susie, but the red boa is from her so she is wrapped around us!!!

I asked Kristy for a special verse I could post for her.....she quickly quoted :

Psalm 91:1 "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

Will you pray for Kristy today? She is feeling better each day, and her vision has improved, but it has not returned to 100%. Will you ask God to restore her sight so she can continue her work on this earth. The doctor said he did not see any bursting of blood vessels behind her eyes, which is wonderful, but those days of extremely elevated blood pressure could have damaged nerves in her eyes and/or caused some brain damage. Also, the one organ they have not investigated would be the brain itself. If her vision has not returned by Wednesday, further testing will begin to look into her eyes for damage, or they may consider testing her brain to see if there is any damage or bleeding there. She is praising the Lord for the signs that allowed her to be admitted and for wonderful doctors who were so encouraging to her. She is now praising God for her healing and so happy when I asked her if I could post her story, as I told her all of you who read my stories will surely offer prayers on her behalf.

Emily, our niece, who spent some time in the ICU not that long ago, wrote something special for Kristy, and she asked me to share it with you:

K- Krikky Kay, Kristy, the loving Aunt I have
R-Right-You always know the right thing for our big family
I- Inspiration that you give to me
S-free Sprit in you
T-Thanks-You thank the Lord for being here today
Y-You- Thank you for everything!
Hugs and Kisses, Emily

Monday, February 1, 2010

Three Precious Words

5 years ago we said goodbye to you, Mom.
Never forgotten-You are with us still-

These precious words to us are given;
These gems are Mother, Home, and Heaven.

Be wise and take them to your heart,
And never more let them depart

For Mother is the name for Love,
Sent from the Father God above.

And Home the place that Mother makes,

In love and joy for our dear sakes.

While Heaven itself is our true Home,
From whence God's children never roam.

Three precious words-O may they shine
Forever in your heart and mine.