If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ~Matthew 17:20

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day Five of Recovery & Crafting Out of Control

Look who's feeling better!!!

I am so happy to see his smiling face this morning as soon as he got out of bed.  Thank you Dr. Mindy for your advice of combining Advil with the Oxycodone.  That has made all the difference in the world.  Love it!!!

Brad, Cole and Cole's friend Damon went to a tailgate party yesterday at the Hogs game in Little Rock and were gone all afternoon.  Today's tailgate parties are not like the ones I grew up going to...these include a dining table and chairs, real plates and silverware and a big screen tv set up for anyone who didn't have a ticket to the game.  Nice.

While the boys have been busy recuperating and watching sports, I have gone crafting crazy.  I love working with burlap so I got an idea to make a table runner for my dining room table.  Since our table is "technically" a conference table and is over 8 feet long, I can never find a runner.

I bought the burlap at Hob Lob...

drew my designs with chalk to make sure I liked the placement...

 used acrylic paint...

and hot glued ribbon to the edges so it wouldn't fray.  Voila!

I love how it turned out.  I'll post pictures tomorrow of the funky stockings I made to hang outside.

A special order.  It's hard to tell from this picture but she wanted the background to be black.  I like how this one turned out.

So, today I think I have convinced Brad to help me put up some Christmas decorations.  We won't put up our huge tree because I won't have time to take it down before we head back to LA, and I KNOW that Brad will not take it down by himself. ;)  I think we'll hike the woods and see if we can find one to cut down.

Thank you so much for all your prayers this past week.  We couldn't do it without you.

"I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers."
~Philemon 1:4

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day Two of Recovery & More Paintings

Spencer is still not feeling well but I was happy to get a smile out of him today.  Of course, it could have been a result of all the pain medicine but I'll take it!

Cole has done a great job of taking care of school and his chores while Spencer has been out of commission.  He keeps me entertained while I'm getting ready in the morning.
Monkey boy climbs the door jamb and hangs out.

I have painted a couple of pictures for gifts to keep me busy and to keep me from hovering over Spencer...

I made a Christmas table runner today and I'll post pictures tomorrow.  I really like how it turned out.

I hope you all are ready for a great weekend!

"This will bring healing to your body, and refreshment to your inner self."
~Proverbs 3:8

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We're home & happy to be here

Amazingly, Spencer and I walked through our front door at 9:35 a.m. this morning.  What a wonderful surprise for us as we were prepared to be there all day waiting for discharge papers.  

We are anticipating nothing but wonderful results from this surgery.  Dr. Richter said it will take three to six months to see the effects it will have on his voice but we are so glad that Spencer is able to talk immediately after surgery and not have to be on "voice rest".  
As you can imagine, we have not done anything today except hold the couch down and watch a movie.  Poor Spencer didn't get any sleep last night so he rested his eyes this afternoon.
He's so sweet.  This boy NEVER complains which makes me "hover" even more because I am always trying to figure out if he is in any pain.  Today, I have been giving him pain meds every four hours regardless of whether he asks for it...there's no reason to suffer if you have something to keep it at bay.

Cole has been so sweet catering to his bro bro.  Brad and I wonder how we were blessed with such awesome young men.

Thank you so much for all your prayers during surgery yesterday, and for your continued prayers.  I can not imagine facing these challenges without my prayer warriors.

Love to you all.

"I am grateful to the One who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He considered me faithful in putting me into ministry."
~1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mahvelous Monday

I woke up with joy in my heart this morning and I'm not sure why!  Not that I am complaining....absolutely not!  Its just that I have been worried about Spencer's surgery tomorrow so I think the peace and joy I have felt today is God's way of saying, "Relax.  I am in control." So I have been singing and dancing today and driving the boys absolutely crazy.

Spencer was up early this morning and he and Max went exploring.  
He took this beautiful sunrise picture.

So, Spencer's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11:30.  We think surgery will last for three hours and he will be inpatient at ACH for 1 to 3 days.  I will update my blog and keep you posted.  Thank you so much for all your prayers.

"Is anyone among you suffering?  He should pray.  Is anyone in good spirits?  He should sing praises."
~James 5:13

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Football and Family Fun

What a great weekend it has been!  I can't think of anything better than spending our time with family and friends.

Friday night was Arkansas Baptist's varsity football playoff game (I know it was a playoff game but I'm not sure if that is for District, State, National or International!  I just go to visit with my friends).  Anyway, the Eagles won 62-22 and we had so much fun visiting and catching up.  I am blessed with the BEST friends!

On Saturday, I invited all of my family over so I could spend time with them and catch up on my hugs, kisses and laughter.  I made a HUGE pot of chili & cornbread and Mom brought homemade peach cobbler, Gigi brought a lemon cake with lemon icing and Dwayne and the kids brought an apple cake with cream cheese frosting.  Yum, yum, yum.  There was a lot of eating, laughing, more eating, football in the front yard and walks with the dogs.  It was my favorite day so far this year.
Rusty and Max had fun, too.

Since I had all the kids together on Saturday, I decided to do a craft that would make a difference.  So, we gathered items that were listed here and put together shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  The boxes included, among other things, toothbrushes, toothpaste, crayons, coloring books, wet wipes, flip flops, soap and brushes.  The kids also drew a picture and wrote a note to include in the box.  Tomorrow, we will drop the boxes off at Immanuel Baptist Church, which is the drop off point in Little Rock for this mission project.

We watched the Razorback game Saturday night and did a lot of screaming and yelling, although it wasn't as much fun as we had watching it at the Shea's house in LA.

We had a great service at church and then after I dropped the boys off at the house, I headed to Larry's Pizza to help Aunt Martha set up the party room for my cousin, Alexia's, 8th birthday party.  We got to eat and visit again with family so it was a wonderful afternoon.  I think Alexia had fun, too!
Little Miss is an artist so we got her an artist's "suitcase" full of paints and pencils along with the drawing pad.  Hope it keeps her busy.

Whew, so now I'm in my pj's and heading to bed, the boys are upstairs watching a football game and Brad is working on paperwork.  Life has returned to normal for the Ewing's.

Tomorrow at noon we will find out Spencer's surgery time for Tuesday.  I will keep you posted.

Did you have a great weekend?

"But if someone does not provide for his own, especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
~1 Timothy 5:8

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Crafting & Surgery Update

We have soooo enjoyed being home.  I think because we were gone for an extended period of time (not just a week or two for vacation), it has made returning home even that more special.  The trees are gorgeous, the weather has been perfect and it has been great seeing old friends in Kroger and Target!!!

Yesterday was laundry and crafting day (notice how I get crafting in every day!).  I never thought I would be excited to do laundry but it was so nice to wash, dry and fold seven loads of laundry in the comfort of my own home and not have to pay $1.50 to wash and $1.00 to dry!  It's the little things that make me happy.

Yesterday was my friend Carol's birthday so we all went out to celebrate last night.  We had so much fun and I love that I was home and in my pj's by 9:00.

I painted her my cross/tree with a Bible verse.

Getting into the Spirit of the holidays.

I had the windows open while I was painting and Kobe decided to keep me company.  He is so crazy.

In the midst of all this fun we are having, the realization that Spencer is having surgery next Tuesday (11/15) really struck me this morning.  For those of you who aren't aware, Spencer's voice has steadily gotten worse (quieter) over the past 10 years since the diagnosis of his brain stem tumor.  It is a culmination of things but mainly from his trach he had for seven years and, the location of the brain stem tumor (which was in the area of the brain stem that affects breathing, swallowing and voice box, among other things).  The surgery is expected to take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours with Spencer being in-patient at ACH for 2 to 4 days.  Dr. Richter's main objective is to increase the quality and tone of Spencer's voice.

While we are praying for God to bless Spencer with a strong voice, I am also praying for God to perform a miracle and grant Spencer's desire to eat by mouth.  I know that Dr. Richter has told us that this surgery will absolutely have no effect on Spencer's swallowing.  However, I feel that God has really been laying on my heart to expect, ask and believe in the unexpected.  I hope that you will join me in lifting up Spencer and asking God to perform this miracle.  We know that God has given Spencer a wonderful platform to show others the power of the Holy Spirit and I await with wondrous anticipation to see His plan for Spencer's life.

"Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.  Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives.  Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts."
~Colossians 3:16

Monday, November 7, 2011

Unpacking, Crafting & Busy Weekend

I think life has returned to "normal" rather quickly for the Ewing's.  Saturday found us unpacking, grocery shopping, running errands & settling in to a routine. 

Cole was able to get a ticket to the last "That 80's Show" that The Rep put on at Wildwood.  How strange it was for him to be in the audience instead of participating in the show.  He had a great time and then had three of his friends spend the night with him.  They got home from the after-party at midnight and were still going strong when I went to bed at 12:30.  Thank goodness for an upstairs playroom that is soundproof!

What a joy it was to be back at our church on Sunday!  The service was awesome and it was so great to see all of our friends.  After church, Spencer went to a soccer game with his friend Noah, Cole and his friends played, Brad did things around the house and I went back to church and gave a helping hand to the team getting ready for this year's Upward Bound Basketball season.  We all made it back home in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset and homemade spaghetti by Mr. Brad.
I have missed this view so much.

Our trees are really beautiful right now.
One of my favorite times of year.

I have been in crafting mode since the first second I stepped through my front door!  I don't know if it is the fall weather, the fact that I am back with all of my crafting supplies or knowing that the holidays are fast approaching but I have been a woman on a mission.

First, I made this cute "stuffed" Christmas tree for my front door...
I got the idea from Pinterest.  I painted burlap with some silver spray paint, cut it out in the shape of the tree, used puffy paint to decorate it, stapled the edges together and then stuffed it with plastic bags.  

I made mine double sided since I have a glass front door.  Now to get the rest of my decorations up!  Is it too soon?

I'm also working on some new paintings that I will post pictures of tomorrow.

The boys jumped back in to school today and Spencer and I picked back up with our exercise routine, although we used our bowflex instead of going to a gym.  Have I mentioned how nice it is to be home?

I have decided this year that instead of obsessing (yes I do) over the perfect presents, the perfectly clean house and the perfect family meals, we are going to focus on helping other people have the perfect Christmas.  It is what this season is all about, right?

What are your plans for the holidays?

..."Love your neighbor as yourself..."
~Mark 12:31

Friday, November 4, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Signs that we are home....

You can't tell it from this picture but our trees are beautiful fall colors.  It was so nice to sit on our deck.

Our babies were VERY happy to see us...


Sweet Rusty

The sweetest/most ornery cat in the world.


Our trip went great and we are so happy to be home.  Let the fun begin!!!

"I always pray with joy in every prayer for all of you."
~Philippians 1:4

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hello Oklahoma

When we left Albuquerque, New Mexico this morning, it was 33 degrees.  It was so gorgeous.  I never get tired of the beautiful mountains in that city.

Our drive from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City has been very mundane with a few exceptions...

I love these giant windmills, or solar powered weather vanes as Brad refers to them.  They are so prominent in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.   These were all we saw until we got to Amarillo, Texas where we stopped for lunch and saw the most a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e prairie dogs on the side of the road.  I tried, really tried, to get Brad to stop and let me jump out and grab one to take home.  Unfortunately, I will be coming home empty handed.

Thank goodness Brad and I agreed that driving straight through to Little Rock was crazy, so we are spending the night in Oklahoma City.  We will all be very glad to be home tomorrow.

Did you see any cute animals today?

"All flesh is not the same.  People have one flesh, animals have another, birds and fish another."
~1 Corinthians 15:39

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Grand Canyon Adventure

We rolled into our hotel at the Grand Canyon last night at 5:30 p.m.  The drive from LA to Arizona was pretty non-eventful (thank goodness).  One surprise we did have was that there was no phone or internet service at the Grand Canyon.  It was kind of nice to know that there's still a place on earth that can't disturb God's wonderful beauty.  The boys, however, were not happy.
There is no way a picture can portray the absolute awesomeness of this place.

The temperature this morning at the Grand Canyon was a balmy 22 degrees!  Holy Moly, I had shorts on!  We quickly shed the shorts for long pants and coats but I still wore my flip flops.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Thank goodness I had gloves, ear muffs and hats in my car from my winter running days in Little Rock.

Spencer's wingspan compared to the American Condor's wingspan. 

Spencer convinced his brother to drink from the spigot.  I guess I don't need to tell you he had water all over him.

Two cute boys in front of one awesome view.

We left the Grand Canyon at 1:00 p.m. and arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico at 7:30 p.m.  This was one of our stops on our way to Los Angeles so we knew where we wanted to stay.  I am praying for a nice, quiet evening, a good night's sleep and a safe day of driving tomorrow.  The boys want to drive straight through (15 hours) to Little Rock tomorrow.....we'll see.

Hope you all had a great day.

"And so, since we have been justified by His grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life."
~Titus 3:7

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and Heading Home

It has been a CRAZY week around here trying to get ready to head back to Little Rock.   Brad flew in Saturday night and since he landed, it's been non-stop fun.

Sunday afternoon, the Shea's and the Ewing's all went to our favorite miniature golf course and had a bucket full of fun.  God has blessed us sooooo much by placing the Shea's in our lives, just when we needed them.  So happy we found friends for life.

Monday, Spencer took his nine-weeks exams.  He wanted to take them before we left so he wouldn't think about them all the way home.  He made A's & B's on all his tests!  So proud of him.

While I was packing, Brad & Cole took Spencer to his last workout with Anthony and then, headed to the indoor go cart track to have some fun.  I was so glad I was not there to watch; 1) Spencer crash, 2) Cole hit Brad from behind & sent Brad's Iphone flying onto the track, 3) Cole running over said Iphone on his next lap!  Thankfully, the Iphone survived and so did the boys!

Kari has been promising me that Halloween in LA is an experience I will never forget and she was correct.  I don't even know how to describe it.  Imagine 10,000 of your closest friends (or not so friendly) people going door to door in the Heights neighborhood and EVERY house is playing music and has hired actors to dress up and hand out candy or scare anybody that walks by.  Add in several different languages, crying babies and dogs dressed up in costumes more elaborate than my kids and you have Halloween in LA!
Spencer and Olivia Shea.

Box Boy, Banana Boy, Scary Boy!
(Cole, Logan Shea, Spencer)

The boys with the Princess & Batman (Brooke & Brayden).

We had a blast and and it was very apropos for our last night here. Nothing like going out with a bang.

Today, we hit the road and head to the Grand Canyon.  We're hoping to be able to spend the night there tonight and enjoy the beauty.

Hope you all had a safe Halloween.  It's November!!!!

Love these boys.

"I will give them the desire to acknowledge that I am the LORD.  I will be their God and they will be my people.  For they will wholeheartedly return to me."
~Jeremiah 24:7