Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, How Does Your Hair Grow?

My hair as I used to wear it. May 22, 2011

Its former length, at the same time.

Friday, June 3, 2011 we cut off the braid for Locks of Love, before my first chemo treatment.

It was this length for two weeks around my first treatment.

After my hair started falling out, we shaved my head on June 18th. This picture was taken Sunday, the next day.

In July, my head had painful sores on it.

Completely bald, late July.

Sunburned forehead from the holes of the straw hat I was wearing. Little prickle hairs.

September 22nd--last chemo chocolate cake celebration!

September 26th, still a baldy! Eyebrows and eye lashes pretty much gone at the end of treatments.

My hair started coming in very fine and gray. October 10th

October 10th, with Beth's freshly washed hair in comparison!

Thanksgiving week hairdo...

Side-by-side hair-growth comparison: November 12th, December 10th, January 11th, and January 24th. Also shows my eyebrows and eye lashes coming back in.

I am hoping the brown will "overpower" the gray sometime, but I'll be happy with whatever I get back!

Jeffrey's health

I wanted to let people know who aren't on Facebook (Hi, Aunt Joyce!) what has been going on with Jeffrey the past few days. He's had a cold type thing that was hanging on, and then Friday and over the weekend, had not felt well at all: fever, chills, achy, nauseated, when he went up the four flights of stairs, his heart hurt; when he breathed deeply, his heart hurt. He went to the school nurse early Monday morning, and she was afraid maybe mono was returning, which he had in 2009 after his Haiti mission trip. She wanted him to see a doctor. When he called for appointment, the doctor was booked up until February, and the office personnel told him to go to the ER.

So one of the kind GBS people took him to the ER at Christ Hospital. He had a lot of blood work, UA, EKG, chest x-ray done and lots of waiting. He had an IV and was given medicine for nausea, which helped that, and allowed him to get some sleep. (He's been sleep deprived from too much studying.) They were particularly concerned about the heart pain, so did an echocardiogram and CT scan. Apparently they were considering a possibility of blood clot, but ruled that out and decided on pericarditis for the diagnosis. The pericardia is the sac around the heart; it was inflamed. He got IV steroid twice yesterday and was admitted late last night to the cardiac floor, with telemetry monitoring and IV fluids. He was feeling better already late last night.

Today he saw the cardiologist who confirmed the diagnosis. He was released from the hospital with prescriptions for non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. One he will be on for 90 days, and the other for two weeks.

Several things we are thankful for: that he was properly diagnosed, that the nurse was concerned enough to send him for further help, for the various GBS staff who stayed with Jeffrey--someone was always with him, even overnight!, for the two "big" cousins who live in Cincinnati who are close family for Jeffrey since we can't be there, for all the people who prayed for him, for the fact that he is allowed to be on our insurance, for this not being something worse, that he didn't have to stay longer, and that God was there with him, even though we could not be!

Uncle Jeff and Micah Albertson at Christmas time 2011. Happy 3rd birthday to Micah this week!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rowen's birthday January 21

We have the best husband, daddy, and grandpa in the world in Rowen. We are thankful for him and for another time to celebrate his life. Here are some recent pictures of him with his three grandchildren.
Rowen and Quil

Rowen and Micah

Rowen and Charissa

We went to Cracker Barrel to celebrate Rowen's birthday on January 18. A kind customer took this picture of us. The rest of us did get some food to eat a little later! :)

Hinkle Christmas Singing

This is old news, but it got neglected in the other holiday postings. On December 3, 2011, we participated in a fun, enjoyable Christmas gathering. Mathew and Nicole Hinkle, dear friends of ours, organized an evening of singing Christmas carols and playing string instruments at a church in Loveland. This is their family. Mathew plays the viola, Nicole the cello, and Phoebe the recorder. Ethan has not yet chosen his instrument! :)

Here is Emily playing her violin. Mathew was so kind to us to give us our caroling books early so Jason and Emily could practice their sight reading! The book Mathew compiled contains all the usual Christmas carols, but also many that are not as familiar.

This is Jason playing his cello.

We had finger foods to eat during a break in the music.

Emily and her violin. She is wearing a dress I made for myself when I was 23!

Part of the fun of the evening were the costumes some of the guests wore.

Picture of Emily all dressed up after the singing.

Jason and Emily

Jason--he cleans up well! :)

We enjoyed the fellowship with old and new friends, and the words and sounds of the songs of Christ's birth. We used the caroling books again on Christmas Day to sing and play together with all of our family.
Here is a video of one of the carols.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Awakening Book Review

Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom
By Stovall Weems

I selected this book to review because I am interested in personal revival. Weems is the pastor of a large and growing church which encourages a 21 day Awakening--prayer and fasting season every January. Many have benefited from the concentrated time of surrendering to God, rediscovering passion for God, experiencing God’s goodness, and making room in their lives for God to fill.
This book is all about having Christ first place in our lives, and doing that through commitment to reading and obeying the Bible, fervently praying, and fasting. Fasting is explained; there are many ways to fast. Activities can also be fasted, besides food.
Most people are familiar with a reboot or reset action for their electronics, but never think of the need for reboot or reset in spiritual terms. This book will enlighten people to that need.
I cannot say that I agreed with every idea or belief mentioned in this book, (I am not a Charismatic), but I believe there is much good that can be absorbed. We all need to focus on God and make space in our lives for Him to be our number one priority.
This book contains The Awakening 21-Day Plan and a Small Group Study Guide.
I definitely recommend personal revival and this book could be used to start a person on that journey.
Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, January 13, 2012

Busy, Fun Tuesday January 3, 2012

Sunrise on Tuesday, January 3 was spectacular! All of our windows and curtains were glowing with the light. This is how it looked from the window:

The next two pictures were taken from our deck, looking east, then south-west.

We had the special blessing of having Alia and Kara over for the morning to play and renew acquaintances. I babysat Alia from when she was about 15 months, and Kara from her infancy. Now they are 9.5 and almost 8. We haven't babysat them or hardly seen them for a couple of years, and wanted to have them over before they went back to school.

We had a tea party with them and their mom, Cindy, at lunch time. Beth got a tea set from Christmas we wanted to use, so we had a nice tea and visit.

Tuesday evening, Carmen, Mary, and Ephraim Cruz came over for supper and for games. We rarely have this opportunity with the girls being in Florida for school most of the time. So it was fun to get together before Mary went back to college. We played Things and Taboo.