#1000 Gifts - here come the paper hats and hospital gowns...

In my cup::
...Chai Tea. I woke up with a bit of a head cold. Not cool the day before Miss Courtney's surgery. A little chai goes a long way to making this Mama feel a little more on her game today. 

Sitting in::
...In the living room. The curtains are open and the sunlight is streaming through. The tea is hot and the cushions are comfy. 

beautiful art work for Courtney's birthday last week. 

Listening to the sounds of::
...Miss Courtney's little snores from her bedroom. She sounds just like her Papa. She is now on triple the dose of seizure meds and she has just been knocked on her butt by them. She is as floppy as a fish out of water, so today, we will take things very slowly. 

The sun is::
...shining and it's actually tolerable out there for August. The rest of the week looks like it will be smoldering. Today not so much. 

Miss Courtney and I last week in the GUH emergency room before admission...darn seizures!

Courtney is currently::
...sleeping. Surgery prep began yesterday with some adjustments to her G-tube formula. We are also bathing her with a special soap to help prevent infection after surgery. 

She has surgery tomorrow at 11:10 a.m. I think we are as ready as we can be. She has been anointed and we have been blessing her with special St. Padre Pio oil each time she has a seizure. I am calm for now. The hard part comes when they wheel her away from me. I never get used to that, no matter how much time passes. It's always the worst part. 

Our hospital bag is packed and everything is ready for her when she comes home. Sheets have all been washed and her mattress flipped and aired out this weekend. I have been doing her special PT exercises Miss Pam taught me to help keep her lungs clear and back stretched during her recovery. The surgery itself is actually rather simple, it's all the variables that are a problem. 

I pray ALL will be well.

Father Barkett anointing Miss Courtney's hands while Big Brother watches...

Something beautiful::
My sister-in-law Shelly took some pictures at Courtney's party and these especially touched my heart. To have our Pastor Fr. Barkett come and anoint her was just such a gift. 

Just look at her face afterwards. You don't think this kid understands the graces she is receiving or that God never leaves her side?? Oh she get's it...more than most of us do. So honored to be a part of her journey...just so humbled to be her Mom. 

Something Stylish:
You can check out yesterday's What I Wore post for the latest and greatest. This week will begin the parade of PJ's for Miss  Courtney so stay tuned for that fashion fabulosity!!

What's on my mind::
...So much it's hard to articulate into words sometimes. As of 11 a.m. this morning Jerry's last day on the job will be Friday. He has been working his network like a champ and sending out resumes by the dozens. I watch him and know that his burden right now is very heavy, but he just keeps at it, without rest. We both know that God will provide for us, we just don't know what that will look like or how long it will take. 

I am not anxious per say. I think just dealing with Miss Courtney's surgery is keeping me busy. The bills are now rolling in form her two ER admissions so that's fun. "Big Bertha" the wheelchair van is running like a champ and we have the co-pay for her new molded wheelchair seat set aside which is good. But now with Jerry's impending lay off, my mind goes to all the things we will have to absorb with Courtney as well as basic living issues. I know his severance is not going to go as far as we had hoped. 

Again, we are being called to trust in a greater plan that we cannot see. As Jerry says :God helps those who help themselves" and he is certainly doing his part. We both are. I am ironing and scrubbing and making a sewing list to make sure we have something under the tree for the holidays. I know it's still August but handmade things take time, so it's good to have a plan. I have made some changes to Court's G-tube diet to help save a little cash on the grocery bill and we are looking at cable and the phone bill as well. Don't know where else we can cut, but we will figure it out. 

I have had about 30 emails asking if we were accepting donations for Courtney's surgery co-pay as well as donations for living expenses while Jerry is searching for a new job. Yes, we are once more humbly on our knees in prayer for guidance and wisdom. The button is here if you feel called to help in that manner. We will use what is donated to cover Miss Courtney's needs first and then ours. Her health and well being is always at the lead in our minds and hearts. If you want to send something through the mail, just email me for our address. We thank you for even considering it. 

I pray that one day, Jerry, Jonathan and I are able to pay it forward in the most spectacular ways. We do try when we can, but golly when Miss Courtney finally goes to Jesus, I just know the plans He has for those of us who will remain behind are going to be awesome. More awesome than any of us can even imagine. 

So thank you for loving us through your prayer, through your service and through your practical help. May God bless you, each and every one of you who come here to check in on our girl. Her ministry continues to change the hearts and minds of so many. As long as she fights, so will her Mama. 

My seven siblings and I...our personalities are front and center in this photo.
Youngest (front) to oldest (back).

What I am praying for:
++ Amanda finished her chemo and is finally home. I pray her recovery form brain cancer continues and she will be back to her her old new self soon.

++ Elizabeth is on a new chemo plan. I pray for comfort, good pain management, and that she has time with her kids to make memories to sustain them.

++ for my husbands job and all government contractors. It's a tough world these days and it looks like it's going to get even more dicey. God is in control.

++ in thanksgiving for our daughter Courtney and our son Jonathan. Being their mother has changed me in a profound way. I pray that I will be able to love them as the Lord loves me, without conditions, just pure love.

++ Courtney's surgery tomorrow. That she have no complications, infections and we can home on Wednesday to recover in peace and quiet.

++ That I am able to get over this head cold quickly without infecting Miss Courtney. Please Lord have mercy on this Mama's health. 

++ for the coming year in Youth Ministry. That the Lord will use Jerry, Courtney and I to witness to these beautiful young souls about how faithful the Lord is no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. He speaks to each of us in the darkest places of our hearts, waiting to be allowed in to bring healing and grace. 

++ For all those facing joblessness and possibly losing their homes, may God bring them solace and peace in their circumstances. 

++ for peace in the Holy Land, Iraq, the Ukraine, St Louis and anywhere where there is injustice and unrest. May God always be the Way, the Hope and the Truth. May He bring healing and consolation to all in harms way. 

++ for the medical students, doctors and medical personal that we will encounter in the coming weeks. May the Holy Spirit descend upon me and Miss Courtney during our interactions so that God's truth always shines through. 

++ for ALL of you who come to this space to be inspired and uplifted in the midst of your own challenging journey. May God's LOVE always be the first and last thing you see/feel while here. May the glory go to HIM who makes all things possible. 

Best party decorations EVAH!!

Adventuring in the kitchen::
I have not done much in the kitchen with all the in/out of the hospital we have had with Courtney. I am mostly done by the time dinner time arrives. So we have been living off the frozen meals I put up earlier this summer and fresh salads that require little thought. Hopefully after Court's surgery things will calm down and we will get back to normal, whatever that is. 

Tonight we are being treated to homemade lasagna by our sweet friends Miss T and Mr J. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have a slice. So yummy. 

Sewing with my Bernina::
I am making a list for Christmas now. Simple things that are useful for each member of our family. I also need to make some new bibs for Miss Courtney. I have everything I need I just need to cut them out and sew them together. I know easier said than done. 

The Princess and her court at her gathering...

This week will bring::
...Miss Courtney's neurosurgery tomorrow at 11:10 a.m. Then we will be overnight in the hospital, hopefully home on Wednesday. Then four weeks of recovery with a few doctor's visits in the midst. 

As I said before, if nothing changes Jerry's last day will be Friday. I pray we get an answer on some positions sooner rather than later. In the mean time, we will keep moving forward as best we can. That's all I know how to do. 

I also have some house cleaning/re-org to do in the Master Bedroom. Hopefully I can get that done by this weekend. We shall see.  

:: giving thanks for
#2173 ~ #2197
* an amazing party for my daughter filled with lots of love and laughter. 
* ALL of the decorations, cards and art work sent for Courtney. Most of it has been placed carefully in a memory box for her and some of it will be framed. So overwhelmed with all the love and support sent from far and wide. 
* hot chai tea and the company of a good friend
* spending a Sunday morning with a fabulous almost 15 year old and her Mama. Crepes, coffee and ice cream. So very good. 
* a new piece of handcrafted jewelry given to me by a friend to remember to smile, even when things get dark.
* social media that allows me to share Courtney's and my story, bringing the love of Christ to many
* a new year in Youth Ministry...God be with us.
* a core team filled with amazing people whom God has inspired time and time again to follow him and spread His gospel. 
* friends who bring you dinner the day before surgery
* friends who send messages of love through the mail
* to witness the marriage vows of Perry and Melissa. God has great things in store for you both.
* dancing the night away with my beloved
* enjoying the company of our dear friends, laughing and celebrating
* the first day of school for so many we love
* Advil PM for those night I just can't sleep. That and hot milk with cinnamon. 
* the beginning of football season
* live long friends who accept and love no matter what the case may be. 
* a fly swatter
* a dead fly...finally!!
* DVD's for late nights with Courtney
* newly quilted pillows sent through the mail with love
* warm blankets on cool summer nights
* holding hands with my beloved knowing our love is made strong with each challenge. 
* YOU who hold us in prayer every single day
* God for all things are made through Him and for Him. 

So many expressions of love and hop for our girl...

Have an awesome day Y'all. If you are so inclined offer up a little prayer for us tomorrow around 11:10 a.m. God's got this, I know it. 


What’s in your cup? 
What’s sweetening your life?
Tell me all about it, I’d love to hear and join in the conversation.

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