Friday, December 31, 2010

Saying goodbye to 2010 and Hello to 2011!

I really can't believe that as I sit here and type this post that in less than 4 hours it will be the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011!  Where has the time gone?  This year has flown by with a few bumps in the road but mostly a bunch of blessings that I am so grateful for.
As I sit here and reflect on what God has done for not only me but my family over this past year I am truly humbled once again at His great love for us in not only the big picture items of our life but even the every day little details of my lives.
We had some really scary moments this past year, ones that would bring me to me knees more than once to cry out for grace and mercy from my Heavenly Father-things that would help me to grow stronger in my faith.  Things like not knowing if the tumors growing in my 6 year old baby boy, Brandon's hip were cancerous or not and knowing all he would have to endure with surgery and a long recovery time that we are still going through-yet God was faithful to answer that prayers of many who approached his throne on our behalf-praying that they would not be cancerous and they weren't-PTL!  Even his recovery (and the process he is still going through still) could have been so much worse and I am made aware of that every time we have to sit in the cancer unit to see his Dr. at Cook's and I am also very humbled with every visit that we did not have to travel that road and yet so many people do.  At times I even feel guilty that is wasn't us as so many parents sit around us wishing a praying that their children weren't enduring what they are.
Other things like my sister-still recovering from an abdominal aneurysm that really should have taken her life and then having to have surgery to remove a foot of her colon this last year due to damage from all the blood in her stomach that her body tried to absorb after it ruptured.  She is doing rather well these days and God has been so faithful to her through it all-His hand prints are all over her life and she is a walking testimony to His faithfulness, grace, love, and mercy.  I am excited to see what else He has planned for her life.
My grandma passing away is October at the age of 96 is still a bitter sweet thing-she had seen so many things change over the last 96 years-it was always amazing to me to here her talk about things from back in "her day" she was an amazing women and I miss her tender heart, her smile, her laugh, her love for me, yet I know she is whole and happy and in heaven with my grandpa after 23 years of being apart they were able to see each other again and my uncle Joe-her son-and my two babies there and my sweet hubby's mom and so many others awaiting her entrance into the arms on our Heavenly Father.  Some day I too will be there (and if they is a piano there-grandma will still be playing hymns by ear there too.)
How I miss her-but how glad I am that she is happy and whole again and I wouldn't change that.
This year has been a great year of other blessings too-like stepping down from my job at the church to homeschool Alyssa, our oldest daughter who was struggling in public school.  It hasn't always been easy this first year and I already see things I will change for next year but I am so thankful for this time.
For our new kitty (I know it seems silly) but he is such a fun cat and we love him and are thankful for him to be a new member of the Jones clan (the verdict is still out with our other kitty if that was a good idea or not. lol He is growing on her.)
My new business venture"SIMPLE DELIGHTS"  haven't broken any business records yet but it has been fun so far and I am enjoying what God is doing with it all and looking forward to 2011 to see where else it might lead.
Last but not least-my friends that I have gotten to know through this world of blogging.  Some of you I have followed since I first started blogging-so many of you I came to know, love and appreciate so much through your love and prayers for my Brandon and other issues.  God is so good to bring us people in our lives, to touch are hearts, even if it can only be through prayer in such a tremendous way!!  I am so thankful for you all-I look forward to hearing more about your lives in 2011 and hopefully even getting to meet some of you along the way-I feel like I already know so many of your already-I talk about your posts and your lives and your families to my hubby like you live next door. smile (he thinks I am crazy I think-he just asked me how everything was in cyber space?! lol)
Thank you for your prayers, your love, your support and your sweet words of encouragement!
I pray for each of you that 2011 is a year full of blessings, of encouragement and growing in your walk with Christ. I pray that your pathway like mine, no matter what we must walk through, that we grow closer to HIM-
Blessings for 2011!
Happy New Year!!!

All of us yesterday at Six Flags using our last day of our 2010 passes!  Fun had by all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Year Older

Today was a really busy day-Brandon's Christmas Party at school and I am his room mom, so for days I have been getting all the crafts ready for 5 different stations so that we could have a fun yet some what organized party.  We had a great time. Fun was had by all.

Brandon's teacher opening her gifts we got her.

Then I flew home to pick up the house a little before my father in love showed up to stay for a week with us for Christmas.
Then my sweet family gave me my birthday presents and we went to Logan's Steak House for my birthday dinner.  It was a great birthday-still not sure I like stating that I am in my 40's but there is no turning back now! lol
It was a great day-I am tired and still haven't picked up my Christmas cards to mail out-really late this year with that.   All of the kids having the flu last week really threw my schedule off.  So that is a task for the morning.  The kids have half a day of school so when I drop them off the girls and I will run out to do those last minute things, like picking up our photo cards at Sams and turkey and all the stuff for sides to make for Christmas dinner on Saturday.
My kids made me pop up birthday cards with Garfield and Odie in them (hand draw and really cute) my daughter, Alyssa made my a flower card and a picture frame with her and Analeigh in it (very sweet-it is magnetic so it goes on the fridge) and my sweet hubby got me some Mary Kay make up I use and a gift certificate to get my nails done at a place here in town-and my father in love got me a $50.00 gift card to CATO.  I was spoiled and it was fun! smile
Most of all I had a really great day with the people I love the most-it reminded me how blessed I am.  God is good and even though I thought 41 was a long way off just a few years ago-and I was sad last year about turning 40-I am so blessed for every day God has given me with the sweet blessings I call my hubby and kids and I pray that I live to be at least 82 or more so I can look back at this day and remember how young I was. lol!!
I did have a friend believe when I told her I turned 35 today so that might have been the best present-I thought well at least she didn't think I looked 41!  So that was good.
Thankful for a blessed day-for another year full of blessings-and for a family that loves me no matter what age I am.
On this Pathway-

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You're Invited:Karen's having a Simple Delights/Gold Canyon Party!

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Merry Christmas from SIMPLE DELIGHTS

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Please Continue to Pray for REX-an update from his caring page

This is another update on the little boy Rex that I asked you to pray for last week.
I copied this directly from the caring pages web site that Rex's mom and dad have started for Rex-please continue to pray for this precious family and for 8 year old Rex-their lives will forever be changed.

I had hoped to be able to write tonight that Rex's tumor (removed last Thursday here at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth) was benign. That was the original opinion of the doctors here, and that was what we held on to for these last 18 days. 

But this afternoon our world came absolutely crashing down around us when Jill and I were told that our son, Rex, has a Grade III malignant glioma that will have to be treated with both radiation therapy and chemotherapy. 

Brain cancer. 

We obviously haven't told him what's going on because Jill and I and our family are still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that our 8-year-old boy has brain cancer. I don't even believe I just wrote that last sentence. 
Here's how we went from benign tumor to malignant: 

Thursday afternoon, Jill and I drove home to Abilene to pick up Ashley from school, get Rex a few things he needed for physical therapy treatments and to see Ashley in the Abilene Christian Schools Christmas program. 

On our way home, we got a call from Dr. Jeffrey Murray, the head of neuro oncology at Cook Children's, calling to tell us that the tissue from Rex's tumor has been sent to Dr. Peter Berger at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for further study. 

The pathologists at Cook Children's were having a hard time pinpointing the type of tumor they're looking at, so they sent it off to Dr. Berger, who is apparently the country's final word on determining the grade and type of tumor. 

Turns out Dr. Berger's research was able to determine that Rex had a larger Grade I or II malignant tumor with a Grade III malignant tumor growing inside the other tumor. It's a very rare occurrence, which is why diagnosis was a problem. 

The Grade III portion of the tumor is only about 15 percent of the tumor, but it is aggressive. I don't want to get into numbers, but the five-year survival rate for a Grade III tumor of this type isn't too great. 

Fortunately, there are treatment options.  The first treatment would be to surgically remove as much of the tumor as possible, which has been done. Second is radiation therapy, followed by chemotherapy.

Rex's medical profile has already been sent to Texas Children's Medical Center in Houston where they will analyze it to see if Rex qualifies for a clinical trial. If he does, we will begin proton radiation therapy in Houston sometime shortly after the New Year. 

That six-week stay in Houston would be followed by oral chemotherapy (one pill, three times a day), as well as IV chemotherapy, which would be administered once a day every other week here in Fort Worth. 

However, all of this is still conjecture until we talk to more doctors on Monday. I'm sure by the time we reach Houston we'll all be sick of doctors and their over-my-head terminology. 

So here we are. 

We always knew the possibility existed that Rex's tumor could be malignant and that we would have to face this journey. But we just believed it would be benign. 

However, even as we prayed that God would make the tumor in Rex's brain benign, we prayed just as fervently that if it wasn't that we would be prepared for the battled that would lie in front of us.

Well, the battle has begun, and though we are tired, Jill and I are ready. 

We talked after dinner earlier this evening and agreed that now was the time for us to either live up to our faith and everything we have believed since we were little, or cut and run and try to do this on our own. 

We know that we can't do that. 

We know that we'll need God, our family and our friends and many others in the coming days, weeks, months and years if Rex is to beat this. 

My heart aches that an 8-year-old boy has to endure what's in front of him, but Rex is strong and I know that when we tell him what the plan is for treatment that he'll put his trust in God and be ready for the fight as well. 

God has given us great faith, family and friends. We'll need all of them in the days to come. 


As I was typing this the song "It Is Well, With My Soul" started going through my head.  Pray it is well with their souls.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Two down with the FLU! Change that 3 down now!

Well-I took Analeigh to the Dr.  on Monday and they couldn't find anything but high fever and cough-I wanted them to test her for the FLU-they said she wasn't sick enough.  So I brought her home and see got really bad during the night-croup cough and 103 fever and just miserable.  Scared me, she has never been quite this sick.  Brandon then woke up at 3am and had 101.8 fever and cough, so I had to break the bad news to him and tell him we would have to cancel his appointment to Cook's Children's Hospital today for the check on his hip especially since we still have to go to the cancer unit and sit there with all those children doing chemo.
He cried and cried-he wanted so bad to go today and get told, he hoped, that he would get told he could now have the freedom to run and jump and play and be a little boy again-it has been a long 8 months for him (for us too.)   But now we can't get in till Jan. 5th so please pray for him-he has a very sad heart and spirit today.  Thanks.
So, we went back to the Dr. today and I insisted that we get tested for the flu-it came back positive for Flu B on both kids-so  they are on Tamiflu.  Brandon seems pretty good-this is his first day and so we are catching it early and hopefully he will feel better by tomorrow.  Analeigh on the other hand is really sick, she has had it for 2 days already though and so her cough and fever are really bad. She is miserable and my heart breaks for her.  She is normally so happy and she is sad and crying over every little thing.  My poor baby.
Pray for us please-Alyssa is hiding out in her praying she will not get it-not likely but maybe.
We think Derek may already have had it he wasn't well over the weekend and has a really icky cough but he had to go the whole weekend and when I called on Monday they didn't think it was that so we didn't take him in-still has his cough but no fever so he has gone to school-if he has it or had it, it didn't hit him as bad.  If he hasn't had it yuck he may get it and be miserable because he is still coughing from this weekend.
I have our Adult Choir Christmas program this weekend too-hoping I don't get it too.
I dislike winter for this very reason.
Praying for sleep, haven't had but 5 hours the last 3 days. So I am not sure if I am just tired tonight or sick.  We will wait and see. Well since I posted this the first time about 5 hours ago-Alyssa has now starting running fever and is coughing-call into the Dr. -told me to give her a dose of Brandon's meds for tonight same dose-and call in the am to get her started on her own.  If you could see me-I am crying at this point. sigh
On this Pathway-

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A short quick update on REX

We are being get updated on the surgery of Rex as it happens.  I got two messages already-one stating that the surgery started on time-there is 10 surgeons doing the surgery-they were able to draw fluid off of the brain and they have sent that to pathology to be tested.
They just reached the tumor and PRAISE GOD-it does not look to be intertwined in the brain.  That is a huge answer to prayer.
As our pastor said this morning-"we are living in prayer today".
Thank you all so much for the kind, sweet, compassionate words you have left here already-you are right God is still the same God-He never changes and this too is no surprise to Him.
As I was praying this morning I thought why do I fear at times, why do I doubt, why don't I trust that things will turn out for the best sometimes? It was as if I heard Him audibly say "Jill, I created the universe-do you not think I am in control of this-do you not think I know what is happening, do you not think I have a plan and a purpose for this too?  That this somehow can't be used for my glory-that someone won't learn of me through this-that many lives won't be touched and changed as a result of this and that their faith won't be made even stronger through it all?  Of course it will-I AM! That was true-is true today and will always be true and that is all we need to know-two simple words-I AM!

Jerm. 29:11-13 -my life time verse-clinging to that today-as we pray for this wonderful family.

Please pray for the Flemmings!!! Today

I am asking that as you go before the throne of our Heavenly Father today you would remember a very special family from our Sunday School class, the Flemmings, especially their sweet 8 year old son REX today.  We have only been at our new church for about 5 months, and we do not even know the Flemmings that well yet, but from the time I have had to be around them they are such sweet people, with such a great love for the Lord, that I wanted to bring this to you to pray for them.

I ask you to pray for them today because for the past few months their 8 year old son had been experiencing headaches off and on.  They believed them to be migraines and were treating him for that.
Monday of last week, while at school, he started with a headache that was so severe he starting throwing up 4 times, they called his mom, who came to get him and took him to his Dr. (who is also our Dr. here and is a wonderful godly man that also goes to our church.)  He did not like what he saw and sent him on to Dr. Teaque, and eye Dr. (also from our church) who really didn't like what he was seeing and sent him straight to Hendricks (one of our local hospitals) to have and MRI done.

The results are not good-Rex and his family were told that day something that would forever change their lives, no matter what the outcome is.  Rex has a 2 inch by 1 inch tumor on his brain.  It was causing the pain and pressure and fluid to build up on his eye and his brain.   They were sent to Children's the very next day to meet with a board of Dr.'s to see where they would go from there.

Today, Rex is undergoing surgery, and as I write this I find myself to be overcome with emotion.  I am amazed that we can feel so strongly connected to people we barely know because we have the same FATHER, that bond you can have with people because we all have accepted Jesus as our Savior and He makes us one in Him.   It has also brought back a flood of emotions from 7 months ago when we were visiting with the Dr.'s at Children's about our own Brandon's hip and not knowing if the tumors in his hip were cancerous or not and then a week later facing major surgery that has forever changed our lives as well.  I will never take for granted that I have been so blessed with basically healthy children.
Had Brandon's turned out to be cancer we would be walking down a totally different road right now, that he will have issues with his hip his whole life, maybe ever more than one more surgery, but that he can live with that and that God is so good and so mighty.

When we go for appointments at Children's, since our Dr. deals with not only bones-but bone cancer and we had to see her first to rule out cancer, (even when it wasn't she did our surgery,) so we see her every time we return. We sit in the unit with many children who are now facing cancer, it makes me often feel a little guilty almost.  I find myself truly humbled, and grateful, and yet sitting there I often question, why not us, why them.  I cry every time I am up there, some from relief, some from being grateful, some from just plain sadness for what these little children are going through-and what their parents are going through too.

They will not know until they remove the tumor today what they are dealing with on Rex.  They will send it off to be tested and they will have to wait and see.  Even if it is not cancer-they are asking for prayers for, first that it isn't cancerous, but second that they could remove it all so that it doesn't cause further problems, and third that in doing so it doesn't cause more problems to his brain and body.

The surgery started at our time 7am (central) and will go till at least 4pm they thought.  PLEASE UPLIFT THE DR'S DOING THE SURGERY RIGHT NOW-REX-AND HIS FAMILY.
I know they told us Brandon's surgery would be about 3 hours-it turned into 5 and it was so hard to sit in the waiting room that long not knowing the outcome of my sweet boys life.
Today, no matter what the outcome is it will change all of their lives forever.  I am so glad He sees the bigger picture and holds our future in His hands.  Praying for God to get all the glory.

The parents wrote the most beautiful e-mail to our class thanking us for their prayers and stating that Rex had asked Jesus in his heart last year-no matter what today brings they do have a peace and a hope that passes all understanding because of that.
Thank you for praying for them.  God still does miracles and I know where two or more are gathered-HE IS THERE ALSO!
On this Pathway-

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Gold Canyon has some great deals and really neat things for Christmas this year for you or someone you need to get a gift for.  I love their candles-they is why I signed up to sell them two years ago.  I buy and burn nothing else in my house-great prices and really great candles that burn all the way to the bottom where you can see the wicks. Great cleaning products too-I clean a house every other Friday for a girl from our church and I use these because they not only smell wonderful, but they are 100% natural too!
Here is my web site if you are interested in checking my site out can shop online (don't have to leave your home) and they will ship directly to your door too.
Thanks for stopping by.