Monday, April 28, 2008

My friend

My friend went to heaven today, around 8:00 this morning. I am sure there is rejoicing for him. We will celebrate his life later this week and things will go back to normal for us, not so for his family. We will all miss him very much and I know he will be remembered for his impact in this community and the lives of hundreds of individuals. You know we all write our own eulogy, each day, with each word, with each act of kindness or unkindness. What is said about us at our funeral will be in direct relation to how we lived our lives. I have thought about this alot, as I have had several friends and family die in the past few years, what will my funeral be like, what will the preacher say, what will my family and friends say. I can remember a song from many years ago titled "Find us Faithful" and it was just about that. It talked about wanting to light the way for others to come to the Lord, to live a life pleasing to Him. Gives us all something to think about, doesn't it? I'll miss you Doc, thanks for being a faithful friend.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Update on my friend

Here is a picture of Dr Fox and his grandson Ian. They have determined there is no further treatment for Dr Fox, the stem cells did not take - his liver and kidneys are failing. Doc wanted to go home, so Friday night they transported him by ambulance from St. Louis to Passavant Hospital here in Jacksonville, it is about 2.5 hours. He made the trip well. I visited with him and his wife Teresa on Saturday morning, his family and friends are all surrounding him and are thankful for this special time together. Please pray for them all during this time - thank you.

Friday, April 25, 2008

My friend

Some would say my friend appears to be losing his battle with cancer today, but those of us who know him know better - if he goes, he will be the winner! And he loves to win! Psalms tells us "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" If he goes, there will be a celebration in heaven, and we will gather and celebrate his time on earth. If he goes we will be together again someday... Jesus told his disciples in John 14 "In my Fathers house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you and I will come aagain and receive you to Myself, that where I am there you may be also." We will see him again when we all gather together around the crystal sea to sing praises to our Lord. We love you Doc, we are praying for your family.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My friend

Let me tell you about my friend, he is fighting for his life as we speak. He fought oral cancer about 10 years ago and won! Now he is fighting Leukemia, he had a bone marrow transplant 18 days ago, his body is not responding and in fact is losing the battle right now. The last 2 days we have had a hint of good news, but it is still a very serious situation. He is in ICU at Barnes Hospital in St Louis and his dear wife has been at his side every minute. His battle began in October 2007 with 3 rounds of chemo and then many other varied treatments in preparation for the bone marrow transplant. Let me tell you about him, his name is Richard Fox. There are only a few times in anyones life, I think, that you can say were life changing moments. When this friend asked me to work for him it was one of those moments. He is a General/vascular surgeon - I was his best friends secretary. When his best friend decided to move out of state, I decided to make a job change. Dr Fox asked me to come work for him as a private surgical scrub - what was he thinking? I was a secretary, with not the best typing skills, (his best friend would attest to that!), but he said he wanted to teach me to scrub with him, so I would do it the way that would be the best help for him. That opened a whole new world for me. I went to work for him for several years and then began working for the hospital - I worked in surgical services for 20 years! That really does not tell you about my friend. He is one of the most compassionate Drs you will ever meet. I wish I could describe for you how he would go talk to the family after a difficult surgery, and sit on the floor cross legged, drawing pictures on a napkin or whatever scrap paper someone had to show them and explain in laymans terms so they could understand what he did. He never spoke over their head - his goal always was to help them understand. He never made a phone call to the waiting room, he always went and spoke to them face to face. I asked him why he had become a doctor, he said when he was little his mother had a brain anuerysm, she was in ICU and he and his brother were scared. The doctor took them to an x-ray view box, sat him up on the table and explained to them what had happened and what they were doing to help. That was it, that was what he wanted to be! A compassionate caregiver that would take time with the family to help them understand. There are 100's of people in this area that will attest to the fact that he has attained that goal, many whose lives he was instrumental in saving, many who passed on, but the families knew he did all he could. He loves surgery, I used to tell him he was not happy unless he was making someone bleed - it's true - he loves it. More importantly he loves God and he brought up his family in church. He and his wife have 5 children, he did not send them to church, but he brought them. He sang in the choir, he served as a deacon. I have many funny stories I could tell about my friend, but that is for another day, today I just want you to meet my friend and ask you to pray for him. Thanks.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Earthquakes, earthworms and visas

I was off Wednesday and it was a beautiful day!! I worked outside most of the day and as I was moving shrubs, dividing Japanese Iris, hostas and astilbe I came across many of these little earthworms, I also came across many vole tunnels. These little critters are driving me crazy, they are a small version of a mole and they eat the roots of plants and kill them. I have been battling them for several years, if any one has any ideas to get rid of them, please share!!!! This forsythia is on the Northeast corner of the house and was just beautiful on Wednesday I put this fish fountain flower bed in a number of years ago and the voles manage to kill almost everything I put in there. They have not messed with the irises and tickseed I have in there, but most everything else seems to disappear. I have put pots of annuals around the fountain in years past to make up for it. The rocks around the fountain came from the shores of Lake Superior and from Lake Michigamme at my sister Toni's house, my little bit of the U.P. in Illinois.
We woke up Friday morning to the house shaking. The windows were rattling and the bed was moving back and forth. As I woke up Wendell sat up in the bed, I said "what is that?!" and as calmly as anything he said "earthquake" How in the world he computed all that at 4:30 in the morning is amazing to me. Nick said he woke up and the handles on his dresser were rattling and his bed was moving back and forth as well as the windows rattling and he immmediately thought of a scene from the movie "the exorcist" - freaked him out. I was amazed to read in the paper this morning that the strongest earthquakes in the U.S. have been along the New Madrid fault along the Missouri, Tennessee border and in 1811-12 a series of quakes measured 7.8, 8.0 and 8.1, which is 10 times stronger than the earthquake in San Francisco in 1906!!! I had no idea! April called from Louisville, it woke her up and she got a call from her dad in Cinncinatti, it woke them up too. I was at work and about 10:15 our chairs started shaking and our computer monitors started moving - an aftershock. We are in the basement, not a good place to be in an earthquake! It is surprising to me, most everyone has not been frightened by this, it just seems to be a novelty. It is just so unusual to us.
We sent our visas off, we should have them back in a week or so. I will post our itinerary and some prayer requests as our departure date gets closer. Hope you have a great weekend, it is supposed to be 70 here tomorrow, it is raining today. The farmers are really getting frustrated, they are ready to get into the fields. For anyone who does not know, this area of the country is mainly farm ground - corn, soybeans and wheat. This time last year crops were already starting to come up, for the most part they have not even been able to get our and plow yet. It may be a late season for them. Hope you get out in the yard, or the park or somewhere to enjoy spring!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More on Africa

Here are some pictures of Carol and Marie in the boat on the way to the village and then as they were leaving with some of the tribe. Marie was held in very high honor because of her age, they do not generally live that long.

Monday, April 14, 2008


When my kids were growing up I prayed the Lord would work in their lives in a great way - but I have to admit I prayed He would not send them to Africa -I had seen missionary videos and slide shows and really thought that would not be the place I would want them to be. Well, my children all know the Lord and are serving Him and He has never called them to Africa. However - He has called me. Our church embarked on a relationship with a tribe of Africans, the I'mboteni people in a remote part of Northwestern Guinea, 2 of our ladies went there last winter and were welcomed warmly. The people were excited and warmly listened to them and the gospel they came to share. We believe some accepted the message, including the chief, who hugged one of our ladies (she is 78!, actually that is wrong, she is 85) when they were leaving and told her he would see her in heaven! These people are sooo poor and they have no fresh water, our church decided to raise the money to put in two wells, in two neighboring villages. That work is about to be completed, we are going to dedicate the wells and further evangelize and build relationships with these precious people. We will leave May 6th and return on May 15th. The trip takes about 24 hours. We will fly from St. Louis to Chicago. From Chicago we will fly to Brussels Belgium and then on to Africa. We will stop in Dakar, Senegal and then an hour flight on to Conakry, Guinea. Our missionaries will meet us there. We will drive about 5 hours to Kamsar, where we will get on a boat to go to a remote coastal area where the villages are. A missionary from Senegal as well as an African pastor and an interpreter will go with us. These remote tribes speak their own languages, so even our missionaries from Senegal and Guinea do not know their language. The people there are aware we are coming. Our church children have made gifts of beaded jewelry for us to give as gifts, I am so excited to share with the children their response.
The top map (if you click on maps they will come up larger) shows Guinea - where we will be going; flying into the capital, Conakry and then driving to Kamsar to get on the boat. The larger map shows all of Africa, as well as if you look just north of France you will see Belgium, our first stop where we will spend about 5hours before flying on to Africa.
Pray for us as we go - I am excited to see what the Lord will accomplish in Africa because a small church in Jacksonville, Illinois is burdened for the people there!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I love this!

Somewhere over the rainbow!

Simon said something about this video on Idol last week, I checked it out - I know I have heard it before, but I thought I would add it for anyone who has not heard it. (the most amazing thing is that I got this to come up on here!!)

Hope you are having a good day! Those of you up north are getting snowed on, we are getting a few snow flurries here too, but sunny days are coming!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sprouting seeds

2 of the 3 trays I planted last week Sprouts!
I am trying to be economical - I usually spend a lot on annuals to fill in my perrenial beds, this year I decided to try starting my own annuals, as well as some herbs and a couple veggies. I let you know how they do - I hope well.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Everything off the walls Curtains too - windows washed, ceilings dusted, floors waxed - Spring cleaning!
Glad that's done! Bleeding hearts Daffodils Forsythia! Everything is coming alive again. This is such a great time of year, I am finding new green things poking up out of the earth everyday. Nick pruned my shrub roses and cleaned up my mums from last year yesterday (for a price of course). I have not raked the leaves out of the beds yet, I may do that next weekend - our last frost date is the middle of May, I am anxious, but I still have some more things to do inside. I am going to repaint my laundry room tomorrow, the walls really taking a beating since that is the way into the garage. No color change, just a fresh coat of paint. I will be glad to have all the cleaning done. Still on my list is to clean out my closet - it is a mess! Hope you are having a great spring!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Jordan playing with the twins Three in a row Greasing up our hands to make pizza!
We really had a great time and I think everyone enjoyed the fun things we did - I know I did and I am already looking forward to our next time together!