Monday, February 28, 2011

Remember high school pep rallies?

2.28.11 UPDATE ON BILLIE (posted by Leslie on FB)

It just has to be stated right off the bat that God is good! Billie is doing remarkably better and tolerating being off the vent so well that the doctor is implementing steps that could see the trach removed by as early as Wednesday...

Let’s have a pep rally for Jesus!!!

Give me a “J!”

Give me a “E!”

Give me a “S!”

Give me a “U!”

Give me another “S!”

What does it spell?



Here’s a picture of Billie, on the right, with a friend pre-pneumonia.  We are expecting to see her like this again soon!!Billie and friend 2009

And with our mutual grandson, Camden.1-24-09 Camden n Gee 


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hear it on Sunday; Use it on Monday – I am

14I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

15So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you also that are in Rome.

16For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith. (Romans 1)

God is The I AM.

Paul also had a few I am’s to share with us.

In verse 14, Paul is a debtor/slave to the world because he is a bondservant of Jesus Christ.  He was bought with the blood of Jesus, just as we are, and committed to sharing that Good News with the world.

I am challenged to do the same

I am challenged to understand that Jesus Christ is my Master and He is bound to provide everything I need to serve Him.  That’s the Master/slave relationship.

I am challenged to love as He loves.

In verse 15, Paul is ready to preach the gospel.  Eager even. 

I am challenged to be ready and eager to share that same gospel.

In verse 16, Paul is not ashamed of The Gospel.  He has experienced it and he knows it’s power.

I am challenged to not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and His righteousness.

The more time I spend with Jesus in His Word, the more natural these I AM’s become.  The more I know Him, the easier it is to talk about Him and follow Him and want to be like Him.  The more time I spend with Him, the more time I want to spend with Him.  That’s the way it is with friends.

Paul knew Him, therefore Paul was a servant to Him and his neighbor; Paul was eager to tell the world about Him; Paul was not ashamed of Him.  It just occurred to me that Paul may have wanted to say, “I am proud to be a servant of Jesus Christ,” but he didn’t want anyone to think of him as being prideful, so he said, “I am not ashamed.”  God revealed to Paul, also, that people would be ashamed of Jesus Christ… because they don’t know Him.

I have accepted a challenge to read one chapter in the book of Mark for sixteen days in March.  Join me?

[Romans 1:14-16 was the text for Don’s message this morning.]

Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday: Judgment Day

by Michelle DeRusha

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Waco to Pharr

More cloud cover, patchy fog, a little drizzle here and there.  Our drive back to the Q started about 8:50 A.M.

I kept myself occupied taking pictures of the Texas countryside.100_1172 - Copy100_1173100_1175100_1176100_1177100_1178

It is NOT this warm… bet they have the heater cranked up.100_1182

How odd.  A statue of a gorilla on the ranch.100_1189-1100_1193

Pine trees. 100_1195 100_1196 100_1191

We arrived about 5:00 PM.  Thank God for safety and more praises for the good news regarding Billie.  Leslie called and said that Billie tolerated the cut back of sedatives and ventilation today.  Her vitals remained good.  She woke up, smiled and even laughed a little.  She can’t talk because of the feeding tube down her throat, but this is all wonderful news and evidence of the power of God and prayer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Family Friday

Eight:twenty A.M.?!! 8:20 AM, we met Leslie and Camden at the church where Camden goes to “school” three days a week.100_1142

Would you believe it was almost freezing this morning? Camden appears to be walking toward me, but tricky kid is actually walking  backwards.  He loves school.  Hope he maintains that attitude.100_1144

Poppa Doppey and Camden in his class room, ready for doughnuts and orange juice. 100_1146 100_1147

Meanwhile, in another part of the building, Leslie and I are taking part in the Zumba class.  Your heard me!  Well, Leslie Zumba-ed more than I did.  But I sweated more!  100_1152 100_1153

While Leslie and Khalil went back to the hospital to visit Billie, Don and I played with the kids in the waiting room.100_1158

After dinner, we took the kids over to the motel to swim. 100_1160 100_1163

Emma thoroughly enjoyed the hot tub and pool, but Camden was more interested in watching the big boys play in the pool.  He got so excited when they let him throw the ball they were playing with. 100_1170100_1169

Conditions were not what we wished for, but it was good to be with our kids and grandkids.  Camden brought Poppa Doppey a mouse pad with their picture in it… too cute.

We continue to pray for and believe a miracle for Billie.

We will leave in the morning.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pharr to Waco

When I answered the phone last night, Leslie was crying.  Things with her mother-in-law, Billie, did not look good at all, mainly her inability to breathe off the ventilator.  There were things she had been told that she just wasn’t ready to share with her husband, Billie’s son; things that Leslie is still believing will never be a reality.  We have prayed.

I asked her if she wanted us to come and she said, “That would be wonderful and would mean so much to Khalil.”

Don and I determined that we would leave this morning for Waco and return on Saturday, Good Lord willing.

We were both awake at 3:30 AM, so we got up and were packed, ready and on the road by 5:30.  We drove for an hour in the dark and finally it was light enough to take a picture.  It was cloudy all day long.100_1101

Of course, I had to take a few “going down the road” pictures.

Ranch house, early morning.100_1100

Even in the middle of the morning, San Antonia is busy.100_1108 100_1105

Just in case we forget there’s an Air Force base here.100_1107


And more traffic.  I must be getting old.  I do not like expressways.100_1112

Just past Georgetown, the rain started to really come down.100_1117

And then it became a power wash!  The windshield wipers couldn’t keep up and we could barely see for several miles.  Don’t you just love driving in this?100_1118

We arrived in Waco about 1:30 p.m., eight hours after we left the Tip.  We got checked in and headed to meet Leslie at the hospital.  There are only three 1 1/2 hour visiting periods for patients in ICU.  It was hard to see Billie just laying their with tubes running everywhere and a machine doing her breathing for her.  There was no change in her lung today.  Tomorrow, they plan to start weaning her from the sedatives and the ventilator.

We all went to Mazzio’s for dinner.  Here’s our little red head in his “man stance.”100_1122

Look out!  The Pookster is behind the wheel!!100_1124

A candid of Khalil and Leslie enjoying a lighter moment.100_1130

Emma and Nonna love time.100_1135

Camden loves Poppa Doppey.  Camden invited Poppa Doppey to Doughnuts with Dad at his school in the morning.  Dad has to work.100_1134

We watched American Idol.  Not completely thrilled with all the choices of the judges.  There seems to be a lot of talent this year.  We’ll see.  TV is mostly just a distraction for us all right now, but our minds are still at the hospital.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Prayer and praise

A praise: Re: my friend and school mate, Diane, who had a bilateral lung transplant... from her husband to a mutual friend: YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE HOW WELL SHE IS DOING , LOOKS A LOT YOUNGER , LAUGHING , THE CEO OF UTMB IS GOING TO DO A TV COMERICAL WITH HER IN A 60 SECOND SPOT , THE PERONALIZED CARE THAT SHE IS GETTING IS AWESOME . ...ITS 3 WEEKS POST OP.

Sent her a text message and received a reply from her.  She is praising God for her miracle and feels alive again!

Praise God!!!

Prayer request: Urgent prayers are needed for Leslie's mother-in-law, Billie. Waiting for word from the doctors, but lung is worse today. Also, they weren't able to remove the ventilator. She can't breathe without it.  Still in ICU.

Kris update from Carol

Dear friends and loved ones!

The last update, February 9th, probably sounded a bit apprehensive.  It seemed at that point that Kris had experienced a bit of a low point, and her new level of therapy was a complete change for her.  She began the new therapy program that week with all new therapy times, a whole different schedule, and almost all new therapists to work with her.  After speaking with the psychologist on her case that week, I can understand more readily now why she seemed so down and so overwhelmed.  Truth is... she was!

For someone with a TBI (traumatic brain injury), any change is very difficult.  For Kris, it turned into a week of some physical changes, a change in one of her medications (which had a bit of an adverse affect at first), and almost all new people to get used to.  Her first defense was to balk, which made her seem uncooperative, and to appear very tired and weary.  That being said, a new medication helped bring her low mood swing back around, and she seemed to kick into high gear again last week!  Way to go, Kris!

Another development over the past two weeks is that she was able to have a visit from her daughter, Andrea.  I wish with all my heart we could have been there for that happy moment.  But I was told by the charge nurse on duty last Sunday (February 13) that the meeting went relatively smoothly.  Andrea, of course, has not been able to see her mother since before the accident, which occurred April 21, 2010.  A therapist who works closely with Andrea, because she is Autistic, felt that Andrea should not see her mother until Kris was able to interact with her.  Judging from what the charge nurse said, Andrea and Kris spent about a half hour together, which included a hug from Andrea, a big smile from Kris, and working on a puzzle together.  During my daily phone call yesterday (Sunday), Andrea was again there for a visit and, again, the visit lasted about half an hour.  Being Autistic and a 7-year old, the child can be pretty active, so the brief visit is likely best for both Andrea and for Kris.  I do hope and pray so much that these visits will continue to go well and be a good experience for both of them.

On the home front here in Florida, George and I continue to fulfill our commitments and we are still hoping to head back to Texas by April 5th (we have one last show in Florida on April 4th!).  Having said that, I can’t wait!!  No.  I mean it!  I JUST CAN’T WAIT!  So... I found a really good air fare and will fly out next Tuesday to spend a week with Kris.  I’ve been counting the days and they are going very quickly, thank goodness!  So... the next update will be after I return to Florida from my week-long visit, and I’ll be able to send you first hand news again and even a photo or two. 

In the meantime, please keep us in your prayers.  Pray for safe traveling mercies for me, pray that George gets all the things done that he wants to do in preparation for leaving in April, and pray that Kris will have super progress next week!  My very fervent prayer, of course, is that she will talk again soon, and I believe with all my heart that will happen.  How wonderful it would be to hear her speak again!  Of course, God will give her the words in His own time but, oh, how I would love to hear her voice say, “Hey, Mom” next week when I arrive!

You have been so kind and patient as you watch and wait for updates about Kris.  The emails and cards have been such a source of comfort and we are so very grateful.  My next update will be a week or so away, and then we will push full speed ahead to go back to Texas to stay with Kris for the summer.  With the exception of a few appearance dates here and there during that time, we will be in Texas until late October.  God is so good.  Please pray gas prices won’t go out of sight!

Blessings to all,

Carol and George

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Busy Tuesday.

What a day!

I was due to meet Sherry at 9:30 AM at The Zone to fill in for Delores in the miniature golf event.  Don wasn’t feeling good and I really didn’t want to leave him, but I knew he wouldn’t hear of me not going since I had told Sherry I would be there.  It was 9:40 AM before I left the Q.

I missed my exit; got a phone call from Sherry and she had my ball and club and they were waiting for me at the Hole 11.

About now is when I realized the gas tank was sitting on “E!” so after making a U-ee, I stopped at Murphy to fill up.  Thank the Lord, the gas pump was really fast.  Usually, when in a hurry, I invariably get one of those slow pumps, but not this time.

Back in the truck, I make a U-ee on Ware and then realize I should have gone on to the next light at 23rd, so here I go again, making the same route I just completed.

Finally, I made it to The Zone and hurried to Hole 11 where Sherry, Dorothy and Carol were waiting for me.  They had only had to let two foursomes pass them.

Here we go!




Yours truly.LaVon

Called Don to check on him and tell him I got a hole in one…. TWICE!

Jan and Warren Martin

Jan and Warren.Jan and Warren Martin



Barbie, my nurse from yesterday.Barbie

Following three hours of mini golf, back at the Q, I had a salad and then walked a mile with Donna, park manager.  She calls it her mental health mile.

Next was two hours of chorus practice.  Our concert is fast approaching, March 1.

Tired.  That’s what I am.  But it’s a good tired.  Sort of like a dry heat.  It’s still hot.  I’m still tired.

Good night and God bless.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Patrick & Jessica and Leslie

As my niece, Tammy, so adequately stated on her blog, “ I was especially looking forward to last night's show with the soldier from Fort Hood because my cousin had been one of the photographers for the photos hanging in the home, but I knew with the opening sequence that it was a "full box of tissues" kind of show. There's something about our military personnel that just grabs my heart. They and their families sacrifice a lot to do what they do. If you missed it you can watch it online HERE. And the wedding photos are HERE. Grab some tissue!”

Tammy’s cousin is my daughter, Leslie.  Don and I watch EMHE and I also needed tissues handy.  We are so proud of Leslie and thrilled that she was given this opportunity to assist Zach Lambert taking pictures of Patrick and Jessica.

Of course, we recorded the show and I have watched and paused and backed-up and forwarded slowly, just to check out the pictures in the Ziegler’s new home.

This picture, taken by Leslie, was used at least twice in Patrick and Jessica’s new home:p j-4

Here’s the link to more of the pictures Leslie took for EMHE … Pook & Diesel Photography Love of a Lifetime Take 2 

Also of interest to blog readers is Jessica’s personal blog… a unique insight into the life of a military relationship.  She’s the real deal.


Monday started with “Walking Away the Pounds.”  Wasn’t too bad with my thick socks and walking shoes.  (Explanation later)  Walked two miles this morning!

Next, the usual MMM, followed by the church board meeting.  I didn’t attend.  Came back to the Q and decided to trim the dead seed pods and limbs from the trumpet bushes by our site.  The ice storm got them, but they are beginning to put out leaves.100_1088

Kind of sad looking right now, but they will be pretty again soon.  They look a lot better without the dead parts.100_1089

Don came home with Nurse Barbie with him.  You see, yesterday, as I was sweeping up some broken glass, I must have swept a sliver into my sandal, then promptly stepped on it and drove it into my foot.  I was helping Carilyn and JoAnn with the tea honoring all the widows in the park when this happened and hobbled around the rest of the afternoon.  Don was determined to find someone to help me get the glass out of my foot and we learned this morning that our neighbor across the street was a new member of the First Response Team… she’s a nurse!

Barbie to the rescue!  Yep, that’s a syringe needle she’s using.  Needles.  Shudder.100_1092

We think she got it all.  And she didn’t even hurt me at all!100_1091

A little antiseptic ointment and then the Band-Aid.100_1093

A good picture of nurse Barbie, who, by the way, is married to Ken. For real.  Thank you, Barbie.  You’re my heroine.100_1094

At the MMM this morning, Sarah, activity director, had told us about Gamba’s Grill just down the street, where you can get the Best hamburger.  She said they also have really good shrimp.  Gamba is Spanish for shrimp. Well, Don was now hungry for a hamburger, so away we went to find Gamba’s Grill.  The owner said they have been at this new location for about six months.100_5355

In the small glass is a first experience for us, a gamba cocktail which consists of shrimp broth, seasonings, peppers and a little tomato juice served hot.  Really tasty!Gamba cocktail is shrimp broth, spices & peppers and a little tomato juice... served hot.  Very yummy!

Don’s half pound hamburger was served on a fresh bakery bun which he said was, indeed, very good, as promised by Sarah.  Sorry, I got side-tracked and didn’t get a picture of the burger.  Don didn’t eat his fries and neither did I… applause, please… that’s a big deal.Don's hamburger was great... sorry no picture.  Fries were good too, but he was a good boy and didn't eat them.

I had the grilled fish filet and three gambas with rice and salad.  I added a little hot salsa and a little gamba cocktail to my rice and, MAN!, was it good.  The fish and shrimp was also delicious.  Again, no picture.  Hmmm.  I was hungry.  I also did not eat any chips with salsa…. more applause, please.

Our waiter was so nice and there was also Christian music being played over the speakers…. not too loud.  Just enough to be very pleasant.our waiter

The paint reminded us of sand and surf… the beach and the ocean, with various sea shore decorations on the wall. 100_5356 100_5357

Gamba’s Grill was a very enjoyable experience and we will be back.