Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brenda Hamp 12/23/48 - 9/26/08

Tightrope walker,
Peace maker,
Morale booster,
Salon receptionist.
These are just a few titles you could label Brenda Hamp with. During her eulogy she was immoralized with a repetative description of someone who gave with all her heart. Now everyone who knew her will have a piece of her heart with them. Her physical heart could not withstand the rare disease that took it over but Satan cannot take away the memories we have of this wonderful woman, nor can Satan say that he won in any respect because she is dancing with her Savior. The physical pain she had no longer exists. She is free to dance and laugh. I imagine her beautiful blue eyes are sparkling and her face is beaming with her welcoming smile. She is home. We will miss you Brenda! See ya soon.

Flashlight tag to funeral

Another emotional roller coaster week. We spent the weekend camping in Port Huron with friends and celebrating (belated) Jo-Jo's birthday. They had a blast doing what kids do...flashlight tag, hitting the arcade, riding bikes...I made up a scavenger hunt for them, they performed a dance to a mamma mia song for us. We hit a cider mill down the road for donuts and cider on Sunday morning and the girls topped off the trip an adult-free visit to the pizza parlor on the campground. The weather was a little brisk but very pleasant. Naomi loved the donuts and fresh air as much as I did. We made it home in time to catch the evening service at church. Monday night was the Women's ministry service at church. Jo-Jo was gracious enough to go in the nursery with Naomi so I could attend. Naomi still isn't too keen on going to strangers and I'm not going to push her until she's ready. Who knows what must go on in that little mind when all the familiar faces disappear. It was an awesome service and God really did some work on me.
Brooke came home on Tuesday. Unfortunately it wasn't the happiest of occasions as we had to go to the funeral of a former co-worker. Which I will post a separate blog about. It was nice to see everyone from C.C. & Co. Salon again, the eulogy was beautiful and the dinner after the funeral was very nice. I'm feeling pretty somber at the moment and hoping a good nights sleep will pull me out of this funk.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

F * I * V * E !!!!

FIVE, yeah 5! I am now officially a 5 year breast cancer survivor according to my onocologist, Dr. Philip at Karmanos. I will now be able to have my appointments at the clinic instead of going to Dr. Philip. God, is truly amazing. Five years ago the the prognosis did not seem so bright. Stage 2-B, aggressive, hormone negative, malignant, over-sized walnut tumor. A 9 out of 9 Scarff-Richardson score. Basically a diagnosis of "looks like you're screwed because we don't have a clue how or why you got this tumor in a 8 month time frame". But God had a different idea. He said, "I'm not done with you yet", "I've got more for you". And prayers were answered. Every night I could feel the tingle of healing blessings falling down on me. Like when you hold a sparkler in your hand and the sparks land on your wrist. Some days it feels like a lifetime ago, Some days it feels like yesterday. I am so grateful for these years, for the grace God has given me, and for all the prayers that were said and answered in my name.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jo-Jo enters the world of politics and more

Another first for me! I actually ran the batteries down in my camera from taking so many pictures. I have an awesome picture of the birthday cake that Brooke made for Jo-Jo's 12th birthday on Thursday but I have to get some batteries so I can retrieve it off the camera. I don't want to spoil the surprise so I won't tell you about it. Jo made out pretty good too. Our friend, Miss Patt, shares the same birthday and has made it a new tradition the last 2 years to take her out to breakfast that day. What an awesome way to start the day. Dad took her shopping for her present when she got home from school. They got the last Rock Band for her Wii game system at Walmart. She's worked herself up to Medium level on the drums already. She capped the school week off by getting elected to the student council with her slogan, "Want a student council with some go-go?, then vote for Jo-Jo."
We went camping and did an outreach at the same time this weekend. It went really well and we are hoping to expand it next year. God had put this on my heart just a couple of weeks ago and of course because it was His big idea it came together well. Of course we had a few hang ups. Which I always take as a sign that we are doing something right. The last thing Satan would want us to accomplish would be to show the love of God to people who didn't know it! We had a great time.
This weekend we will officially celebrate Jo's birthday with an annual campout/sleepover. I think we are going to the KOA in Port Huron. Jo didn't want to share her birthday sleepover with the outreach. I love fall camping so I'm not complaining. If it were up to me I'd do it every weekend. Naomi did great and has actually been open to having a few of our friends hold her occasionally. Which is great progress for her. She has 3 new teeth breaking through to add to her other 8. 2 more on the bottom and one on the top.
I have my annual appointment with Dr. Philip (my oncologist) tomorrow, that is, if I can get Dr. G to spit out a referral in time. I requested it over a week ago and as of Friday it was still "pending". It seems so weird to only go once a year. Brooke has the day off so she will be here with Naomi, which will be so nice since I never know how long it will take.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bird Brain

This is actually from a couple of weeks ago but I forgot to post it. We were at the Renaissance Festival in Holly.

Just helping mom

Today while talking for a moment (o.k. a couple of moments) on the phone my darling daughter unloaded the baby wipe container that I had only moments prior to the phone call refilled. Do you see the "who me?" look on that face? I couldn't help but bust into a laugh. Needless to say the wipes did not all fit back into the container and are now being stored in a ziplock.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Step by Step

Naomi is still stumbling around furniture, standing up by herself and actually taking a step (without realizing it) but hasn't taken off full tilt yet. We recently learned that probably most of the formula she consumed while in China could have been tainted with a chemical called Melamine that can cause kidney, bladder and reproductive problems. Luckily she has not shown any of the symptoms but who knows what damage could have occurred that cannot be detected at this time. I trust that God will take care of this problem that man has created out of greed. The nitrogen in the Melamine was used to produce protein levels in testing of the milk that had been watered down at the dairy. The chemical was first detected in March but no recall was enacted until now. Who knows how long they were doing this prior to detecting it. It is such a sad affair.
On a better note, Jo-Jo is really blossoming in Middle School. She seems to like it real well. She is volunteering after school one day a week to help the art teacher. She doesn't even have art this year but stayed after school one day to organize her locker and in the process of waiting for me to pick her up met the teacher and you know the rest of the story.
This past week was a big rivalry game with Linden (that's us) and Fenton. Fenton got a little stinky and burned a big "F" in the middle of the football field the night before the game. This was fuel for the fire and Linden beat the pants off of Fenton. It was pretty shocking news to hear of Fenton doing something like that after they just got a brand new field with "golden" turf (or you'd think it was golden for the price they paid for it). A big "L" burned in their field would have been there for awhile!
Brooke came and played with Naomi for a couple of days this week and I was able to get so much stuff done around the house. It was a big AAAHHHHH!
Naomi got to go the the Smile FM Imlay City office with me while I worked the Fun Drive. She takes it all in stride. Jenn's twins still aren't sure what to make of her.
The girls and I pretty much holed up in the house most of the weekend because of all the rain (Hurricane Ike and more) except to venture over to our friends the Taylors for dessert on Saturday.
Mike helped with the Sports Ministry's Sportsman's Classic event on Saturday and got drenched. He discovered that his Cabela's "waterproof" jacket wasn't so waterproof when his pockets got filled up with water and made a casualty out of his phone.
Aside from the phone we only had one water issue. With all the rain we developed a leak in the kitchen window. We tried deflecting the water during the downpour but it was still getting in. We stacked up towels to catch it and will have to investigate on a drier day. We were concerned that the sump pump may burn up with as much as it was running. We noticed the neighbor across the street having a bucket brigade out of their front door onto the lawn and suspected that's what happened to them. So far we are doing o.k. and the rain has let up a bit so the pump can get a break.
I pray that all the families displaced from this hurricane will get relief soon. Sometimes it's not such a bad thing being stuck up here in Michigan. A few feet of snow doesn't seem so rotten when you look at the downside of living in the south.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Maria Sue Chapman

Labor of Love Day-Weekend

My how time flys when you have a house to keep clean, 3 cats, a dog, a high maintainence soon-to-be 12 year old, a hubby, two jobs and a baby that doesn't know how to ride on mommy's hip! We ran out of time to make all the stops we wanted to this past holiday weekend but we enjoyed what we did get in. We had the Freedom Center Family Re-Union (campout) on Friday starring an amazing humongous slip n slide, a bonfire to big to attempt to roast marshmallows on and a good 160 people attending. We had plans to hit two more parties on Saturday but that was nixed when we realized we had to wait until the other campers departed to get our casa out. We opted to continue our camping excursion at the "Scottabaumorson's" (our crazy melded family unit with the Scotts,Dickersons,Fellabaums & Taylors nickname) campground and ended the weekend with a bash for Pastor Ben's birthday there. Naomi took it all in stride and even let a few folks hold her briefly. I think we have corrupted her potty training with our hectic schedule as I seem to rarely get her to "do the deed" on the pot anymore. So much for saving the planet from diaper overload in the landfills. She is standing by herself like a pro these days but doesn't seem to notice our mouths hanging open when she does it nor does she seem to have any idea that if she picks up her feet she would actually move.
Jo seems to have taken nicely to the Middle School. Her only challenge so far has been to consume her lunch before the break is over, which is really a bummer when you just got a big ol' Arizona Ice Tea in the ala' carte line. Brooke gave her phone a "swirly" (old geezer lingo for flushing it down the toilet)when she was hanging with Naomi while I went to work last week so we had to get her hooked up again. I went to the Steven Curtis Chapman/Michael W. Smith concert at DTE and discovered that SCC's daughter, Maria, looks alot like Naomi in her baby pictures. They showed a video of her while he sang We are not home yet. It was a tear jerker. For those who aren't familiar with his story, he adopted three girls from China, his 5 yr. old daughter suffered a fatal injury this past May when one of SCC's older son's accidently ran over her in the driveway of their home. Please keep his family in your prayers. This upcoming weekend seems to hovering with a few plans but nothing solid yet. Hopefully I can find a way to relax a bit.