Featured Posts
Books
Media
Karen’s Story
Freebies
Oct 28

Blogging Break {Please Pray for Our Family}

Dear blog readers whom I love so very much,

Many of you have been following the journey of my sister-in-law Thais who is more than a sister-in-law to me. Since I have no sisters, she has become one to me and she is also one of my closest friends.

298204_10150275794195974_640520973_8108531_2020131_n

My three kiddos with their aunt in the summer of 2011

Thais first was diagnosed with breast cancer near Thanksgiving in 2002. After treatment it seemed to be gone. She enjoyed some good years of health and then, in late June of 2011, it returned as bone cancer. She was told she had 6 months to live.

But my strong sister-in-law was never really one to do as she’s told. (Our youngest son shares that same trait and they are very close. We joke that I gave birth to him, but he is really HER boy!)

Thais, my daughter and me at one of my speaking events in 2007

Thais, my daughter and me at one of my speaking events in 2007

She has lived now 3 years and 4 months since being told she had only a half year left. Instead of not seeing another Christmas, she has been blessed with three more.

On October 10th, this amazingly courageous woman, who loves both Jesus and her family very much, entered a hospice home. Again just “days or maybe a week at most” was what was told.

Three-and-a-half weeks later, she is still alive. However she is no longer eating or drinking much and her responsiveness is waning.

I was blessed to be able to stay extended overnights (up to 5 days in a row) with her at the hospice home while my husband and I took turns holding down the fort. (Hospice is a four-hour round trip from me. Todd was laid off the past three weeks so we were both more free to travel which was a blessing in disguise.)

We had a “slumber party” Ate snacks. Made Halloween come early and prank called her siblings and nieces and nephews on FaceTime with masks on.

Our FaceTime prank calls. Halloween came early for us at our slumber party two weeks ago. ;-)

Our FaceTime prank calls. Halloween came early for us at our slumber party two weeks ago. ;-)

I held her hand. Wheeled her out in the autumn sun to “pick leaves” off the colorful trees. {She did the pointing. I did the picking}

We drank “Chocolate coffee” (bottled iced mochas) and I ran a gazilion times to to KFC drive through to get her mashed potatoes and gravy which she was craving so much.

Thais and me with her baby brother, my husband Todd. I fell in love all over again with this man as I watched him feed his big sister many of her meals the last few weeks.

Thais and me with her baby brother, my husband Todd. I fell in love all over again with this man as I watched him feed his big sister many of her meals the last few weeks.

We read the Bible and talked. About the streets made of gold. The no more pain. Or tears. And about having a new body!!!! {She says she will be able to fit into her white bikini from high school. Well, “If that is ok with Jesus”}

Last weekend all her siblings but one were able to fly home so we could have Thanksgiving together in the hospice. My nephew, my mom and my stepmom pitched in to help me prepare a feast.

There was laughter. And tears. And “memory wars” of just how something went down in my husband’s childhood home. And crazy costumes.

Ehman

Only Aunt Thais could get my two boys to wear Pilgrim hats.

 

We prayed. And ate. And then the siblings went “outside to play” one last time together as the sun was beginning to set on a glorious and warm Michigan fall day.

My husband and two of his sisters Facetiming their one brother who couldn't be there.

My husband and two of his sisters Facetiming their one brother who couldn’t be there.

Until my sister-in-love passes from this life into God’s arms I taking a blogging break. {I will post updates and pics on Facebook and Twitter or Instagram if you’d like to keep up and know how to pray for our family.}

Will you do something for me? Call that person. You know who I mean. The one you have been meaning to call but have been too busy with other things to follow through with your intentions.

Or the one you need to tell you are sorry.

Or you miss them.

Or to ask for their forgiveness.

Or the family member you take for granted because they are always there. Too familiar. Too near. As a result it has been years since you just picked up the phone on a random day to call and say, “I forget to tell you this very often but I love you. I can’t imagine my life without you. Thanks for just being you.”

Life is short. God is gracious. Relationships matter.

Not everyone is granted the gift of a long goodbye.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Digg Stumbleupon Email
Oct 13

Announcing FREE 7 Days to a Hassle-Free Holiday

Hassle.free.BlogButton-03-3This year get Christmas all done without coming undone.

Announcing a 7-day free email resource just for you called 7 Days to a Hassle-Free Holiday

My coauthor Glynnis Whitwer and I want to equip you with practical tools and inspiration to help you have yourself a stress-free little Christmas this year. We pray that in having the details settled, you can relax and breathe in the beauty of the coming season.

To sign up, simply enter your email address and for the next 7 days you will receive ideas and encouragement for taking the hassle-out of the holidays in your cleaning, decorating, cooking and baking, gift-giving, and traditions. You’ll also be given some great out-reach ideas to help your family focus on giving and serving rather than getting and “stuff”. And finally, as an added bonus, we give you for free 25 easy and delicious recipes as a PDF in the following categories:

  • Holiday get-together (or take on the road) dishes

  • DIY food gifts

  • Quick and easy dinners for those crazy-busy holiday-prepping days

  • Fun foods to make with kids

  • Retro Christmas cookies

We hope you have a holy and hassle-free Christmas this year!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Digg Stumbleupon Email
Oct 12

Winners & What to Watch For….

Two quick announcements.... The winners of  In This House We Will Giggle by Courtney DeFeo are: Jo C and Amy Miller. Congrats! My assistant Amy will be emailing you at the address you left when you commented to ask for your home address so Courtney can get you your book. And........be sure to … [Continue reading...]

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Digg Stumbleupon Email
Oct 10

DIY Weekend Craft: Decoupage Pumpkins

QUICK NOTE: Thanks to the many of you who have reached out to say you are praying for my brave sister-in-love Thais who is in her final stretch of life on this earth and battling stage four bone cancer. I have been making the nearly four-hour round trip as often as I can to sit with her and relive … [Continue reading...]

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Digg Stumbleupon Email
Oct 8

In This House, We Will Giggle Giveaway with Courtney DeFeo

Ever meet someone and right off the bat feel like you have been friends for life? That would describe my friendship with the talented and Jesus-loving Courtney Defeo I am super excited to have her guest posting and giving away two copies of her new book that teaches parents to instill values and … [Continue reading...]

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Digg Stumbleupon Email