Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Maybe I'm getting old...Maybe I'm maturing :)...cough.  But this New years Eve I wanted to just be at home, surrounded by my family, put the kiddos to bed at a decent hour & if the ball drops while I sleep, then so be it.
This past week has been the most "normal" week since finding out that Andy has cancer, about 4months ago. I'm praying we have many more weeks just like this in the next 4months...
There is something about a new year that brings HOPE, a FRESH START. I'm so ready to leave 2013 behind. I plan to start 2014 pretty slow...making & taking more time for me. Continue living a healthier lifestyle, seeking deeper relationships with my Heavenly Father, my husband & my children.
 
 
 
Yesterday I received these two lovelies in the mail...
Once the kiddos hit the hay, this is what I'll be doing :)
 
The magazines reminded me that I had taken some photos of our Main living room area this past Summer & never did get around to posting them. With the New Year ahead of us, I thought I'd share them now.
Painting almost our entire home white was probably the best design decision I've ever made. I love changing things up & keeping it fresh & new. A few yards of fabric, change out the pillow covers & we're good to go. And the all white palette allows me to do that frequently & have a new look without breaking the bank!
 
 
 
Since taking these photos, I've changed out the orange chevron for Jade & love it!
 
 
 
Plain white lamp shade, purchased on sale at Target...I got my mom to do the lettering in pencil & I traced it with a sharpie, one of my favorite old hymns. The love of God, How rich & pure. How measureless & strong...
 
 
 
An old velvet chair I found beside the road...
 
 
 
An old desk I scored off Bargain Hunter's Unite for 30.00 I believe...one of my favorite purchases of 2013!
 
 
 
Just posting these photos is inspiring me to bring up that box of fabrics & Rubbermaid labeled Decor' and do some more "renovating."
If you have a blank canvas to work with, it doesn't take much to change it up!
Maybe my magazines will inspire me further when I get a chance to pour over their pages later this evening...:)
 
Happy New Year!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, December 30, 2013

Gluten Free Chicken Fusilli

 
Gluten Free Chicken Fusilli (or spiral pasta)
 
1 lb. Organic, gluten free Fusilli pasta
1 lb. grass fed/hormone free, ground chicken
1 14.5oz can organic petite diced tomatoes
1 14.5ozorganic tomato sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 t. black pepper
1 t. Himalayan sea salt
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. parsley
1/4 t. onion powder
Fresh Parmesan cheese (for topping/garnish)
 
 
In a medium sauce pan, pour tomato sauce & petite diced tomatoes into the pan. Add olive oil & seasonings. Simmer while preparing the chicken & pasta. Brown the ground chicken(could also use chunked chicken breasts) & set aside. Cook pasta till slightly chewy still. Drain the pasta & rinse with cold water, then add the chicken & sauce to the pasta & cook till well heated. Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
 
Tips;
When using GF pasta, rinse the pasta after draining the cooking liquid off. This extra step prevents the pasta from getting too starchy & keeps the sauce from getting all "cakey"
 
Wal-Mart now carries a line of  canned, organic tomatoes that are almost exactly the same price as the non-organic.
 
I used "Trader Joes" brand GF Fusilli but the Tinkyada brand can be purchased locally at almost any local health food store & tastes exactly the same.
 
My family prefers the brown rice GF pastas over the white rice varieties. The brown rice pastas are very similar in taste to your main stream pastas.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pizza Hut breadsticks-The healthy version

 
This Sunday morning finds me home with a sick baby. The big kids wanted to stay with mom too & they are playing with sick little man so I have a few moments to catch up on my recipe series. I didn't post a recipe this past week-lots of Christmas festivities going on & I simply didn't have time.
With New Years Eve coming up this week & lots of parties happening, I thought I'd share My version of "Pizza Hut" bread sticks.
 
 
"Pizza Hut" Bread sticks
 
2 cup warm water
2 T. yeast
4 T. olive oil
4 T. raw local honey
1 T. Himalayan sea salt
2 cup organic sprouted spelt flour
2-2 1/2 cup organic sprouted prairie gold wheat
 
Topping:
1/2 cup organic butter, melted
3 T. olive oil
1 t. garlic salt
1 T. parsley flakes
2-3 T. Italian seasoning
approx. 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 
Dissolve yeast in 2 cups water. Add olive oil, honey & sea salt. Add 2 cup sprouted spelt & enough of the sprouted prairie gold that it doesn't stick to the side of the mixing bowl. Knead well, let rise for 20min. on a jelly roll cookie sheet. After 20min. roll dough out onto the cookie sheet & cut the dough into desired length/width.
 
 
Brush dough generously with butter mixture then top with Parmesan cheese & Let rise for 20min. more.
 
 
 
Bake at 350' for 18-22 minutes.
 
 
 
Serve fresh out of the oven with your favorite dipping sauce.
 
Enjoy!
Wishing you a Blessed Sunday!
 





Saturday, December 28, 2013

Andy's Cancer Journey December 28, 2013 update

Last week Andy had some repeat testing done with our
 ND & his numbers continue to improve. We are hopeful & continue to praise God for each & every improvement to Andy's health!
The numbers for his liver have improved by 3.5 points, kidney by 1point, glandular levels have improved by 9 points, overall health has improved by 8 points & the numbers for Hodgkin's lymphoma have improved by 4.5 points!! And for anyone who is fighting cancer it is very important to have high PH levels in order to kill off the cancer cells & Andy's is at a +10 which is as high as it can go on the testing that our ND does!! We are very excited about this! :)
His ND has started oxygen therapy this past week, which is something new & we've read some really good things about this type of therapy. This is in addition to the therapy that he has been doing the last 4months.
We are very encouraged by the changes that are taking place! Please continue to keep us in your prayers, this is not an easy journey that we are on but it is all worth it as we continue to see good changes in Andy's health!!
 
 
I leave you with a song...It's been in my heart & on my lips all morning! "Our God is healer, Awesome in power..."
Thank you for praying...please don't stop now...
Have a blessed Saturday!
 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

sometimes...

Sometimes it's easy to forget that the man I love is sick.I look at him & he's the picture of health. He works every day that there's work to be had. He is more physically fit than he has been in years. He has energy that surpasses mine x10 on a daily basis....
....But then sometimes reality hits so hard that it takes my breath away. It hits me like a ton of bricks at the oddest moments.
Tonight, again, there were friends outside our home, singing songs of Christ's birth, songs of joy...& all I wanted to do was bury my face in a pillow & cry till there was nothing left of my tears.
Again, when I wrapped gifts for the children that weren't provided by us.
Sometimes my Faith is weak.
Sometimes, my mind wanders & I wonder how I would make it through the day to day if I had to do it alone.
Sometimes the journey looks too hard & I hardly have the energy to get up & take care of daily tasks.
Sometimes I look into the faces of our dear children & wonder how they would ever survive without the daddy they love so dearly....
....In the hardest of those moments, I remember. I remember the ones who have taken my hands & looked straight into my eyes & said they believe, with me, that I will have the man I love by my side for a very long time. I remember promises that Jesus gave us, at very specific times of doubt, throughout this journey. I remember words, spoken by dear friends, words of truth & hope, words of life. I remember prayers, said on our behalf...
You may think a simple prayer isn't much-it's everything. You may look into our faces & not have the words-a hug is worth a thousand words.
We have been truly humbled by the out-pouring of love & generosity that has been shown to us from our families, friends, church families & community.
Praying someday we will be given the opportunity to pay it forward.
Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas,
Andy, Ruth & kiddos

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Layered Pumpkin Cake

Today marks the beginning of my recipe series. I'm hoping to have a new, wholesome, real, nutrient packed recipe for you every Tuesday. It will not always be gluten free & if it isn't, it will still be a low glycemic recipe where it won't spike insulin levels.
the first recipe I'm sharing got rave reviews over Thanksgiving, I made it for Andy's family & my own.
 
 
Pumpkin Layered Cake
 
4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup organic butter, melted
1 cup cooked pumpkin, pureed
2 cups raw cane sugar
1/2tsp. Himalayan sea salt
2tsp. cinnamon
1tsp. aluminum free baking powder
2 cups sprouted einkorn flour (or sprouted spelt)
1 cup chopped pecans
 
Beat 4 eggs & slowly add melted butter, add remaining wet ingredients & mix well. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients & sift. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
For a double layered cake, use the recipe as is & divide into to 8in. round pans. If you want a four layered cake & the 'wow factor,' double the recipe & divide into 4 -8in. round pans.
 
I doubled the recipe for the cake above, used 3 layers & let the kiddos dig into the fourth :)
 
 
Cream Cheese Icing
 
8oz. organic cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick organic butter, room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cup raw cane sugar, ground finely
just enough raw organic milk to make it spreadable
 
Blend cream cheese & butter well. Add the ground, raw cane sugar & vanilla. Add just enough raw organic milk till spreadable consistency. Spread Icing between each layer & cover the cake then sprinkle the chopped pecans on top & around the sides.
 
 
I refrigerated the cake due to the cream cheese. Just make sure to allow enough time for the cake to come to room temperature before serving. It is super moist & delicious!!! Enjoy!
 

 


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tonight as I looked through recipe books I realized that most of the cookbooks I own have mostly semi-homemade recipes in them, calling for cake mixes, mix packets & canned cream soups...all things that my family (& most families) if we're being honest, shouldn't be eating. It got me to thinking of the food journey, this road to getting healthy has taken us on.
Most diets are nothing but fads & most health issues stem from the simple fact that we are ingesting more chemicals than we are nutrients.
Gluten free is one of the diets I am beginning to question...hear me out :) If you are making your own GF foods, you're probably ok, but start looking at pre-packaged GF food labels. Most of them have corn starches in them. If they are not also organic, it is very likely that you're eating a GMO food in a fancy, expensive package. Same goes with low-fat/no-fat diets, your body NEEDS the good fats. If they are taking the fat out of the foods, you better believe they are filling it with other things that are much less good for you. I could go on & on...
After doing some research I also discovered that a lot of gluten intolerances come from the highly toxic chemicals farmers use to spray their wheat crops with  & not the grain itself. Now I'm sure that's not the case for everyone that is gluten intolerant, but I believe it is for the majority.
 I guess what I'm getting at is...I'm thinking of doing a mini series of posts...recipes, using real, organic ingredients & I'm wanting your feedback. I'm not an expert & don't claim to be. And a lot of what I've learned is largely due to a dear friend of mine that has literally, at times, taken my hand & helped me through all the food challenges we've had these past couple months that have felt like years. If I can somehow pay it forward & help make it a little easier for someone else, I'd love to do that...let me know what you think & I'll share some of our favorites that we've tried since starting this journey! 
 


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Bittersweet.

This weekend several friends gifted us with something that was essential to our sanity at such a time as this...A night away, just Husband & I, at a local Inn. Time for just us. Dinner & shopping for stockings & stocking stuffers for the kiddos. Sleeping late. Lazy breakfast & lots of window shopping & coffee :)...3 of our church youth girls came to stay with the children, Thank you girls!, the children are still talking about how much fun they had!
This was the first time Andy & I had left the children with sitters overnight, but I think it was good for all of us! everyone stayed safe & sound & we are all home together again tonight(life can go on without mamma).
While we were gone we got a text from one of the girls asking if our house is always this cold?
after checking everything that could be wrong, it was time to call in the experts. One of the main electrical panels were shot & needed to be replaced...this past week we needed to replace a refrigerator & the week prior, our juicer gave out that Andy uses to juice his veggies. At some point I just want to throw my hands in the air & say, what next Lord?
And in that same moment He quietly reminded me...For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you & not to harm you. Plans to give you HOPE & a future. Jeremiah 29:11
So I lifted my hands & gave it all to Him. Here Lord, you take it, I'm not going to stress about it, You've got this!
With that out of the way, it was time to plan a fun evening with the children...snowman making, popcorn eating, hot cocoa drinking, while movie watching :)...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
little man can hardly wait...
 
 
 
 
 
 
even the smallest of the littles got to have his cocoa...
 
 
 
 
when we give the stresses & the worries to God & let Him deal with them...everything else falls into place & turns out ok after all...He has taken care of us in so many ways & will continue to provide our every need.
 
Happy weekend Y'all...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

udates.

This one is for those of you who follow Andy's updates/progress in blog land...
A few weeks ago we met with the natural Dr. to do some retesting. She does her testing, only doing a saliva test & comes up with all her numbers, I'm still amazed every time.
Test results are rated from -1-10(severely under functioning)...1-10(normal)...& +1-10(over functioning).
Andy's very first test (overall health) showed severely under functioning at a negative 7-10. A couple weeks ago, after being under her care for 2months, Andy was showing normal numbers from 4-6!
She said, "this doesn't mean the cancer is gone, but it does mean that Andy's body is able to fight the cancer at 100%! This was very encouraging news!
Last week he was scheduled for a CT scan so we could actually see what was going on inside of his body. We felt very confident going in. 2days later our hearts plummeted once again, the Dr. claimed there was new growth in his belly & once again stressed the need for chemo. So many doubts crept in. Are we doing the right thing? God had showed us so clearly that chemo was not the answer.
We left the Dr.'s office & headed to chiro where we sat & waited for our turn to be adjusted. They have a TV screen where they post chiro news, encouragement etc. We had just sat down & I looked up to see a bible verse pop up on the screen. I don't remember the verse or what the whole verse even said, but the last word of that verse was PERSEVERE!
It jumped out at me like a bolt of lightning!
I opened my phone & got on FB to pass the time & the 3rd post down...I don't remember all of it & it doesn't matter but it went like this...times might be hard...PRESS ON!
Friends, that was no coincidence, that was GOD!
We left the Dr.'s office feeling defeated, but we left chiropractic with HOPE.
The following day after the children went to school, I called our natural Dr. to discuss the CT results.
She had just done more testing on Andy the night before when he went in for his therapy & she had the results. The numbers for overall health were now a 7-8 & his numbers for lymphoma had jumped 8points! She said the growth they were seeing was likely due to toxins "gunk" that had not flushed through his system yet. Your largest lymph nodes are in your belly & everything gets flushed through there when detoxifying. This was good news.
Soon after I was off the phone, there was a knock on the front door. There stood a man that we had blown off about a month ago, trying to sell Andy a product that's supposed to be good for cancer. My first instinct was to get angry & send him on his way yet again, but something kept me from doing it, I let him in & let him talk, although I was only listening half-heartedly. All at once it occurred to me that it was odd that he should show up at our house again...the morning after getting disturbing news from the medical Dr. This also was no coincidence. I started really listening & then asked him if he could come back later that eve when Andy was home, he said, "sure!"
He came back, we listened, & we started using his product that same evening! he said we should see changes in 1month.
Andy has had chronic low back pain for over a year, the medical Dr. believes it comes from the cancer in his belly area & from the cancer in his bones. Tonight, 6days of using this product & following the program religiously, Andy came home & said he didn't have any back pain at all today. And that was after laying heavy block all day!
We believe good things are happening! Praise God!
 
 
We also have good news from Dawson's testings! His sugar levels went from a +10 to a +6.5 so it is coming down, slowly but surely! The testing also showed under functioning with his eyes & ears so we will be getting that checked out & maybe we will start seeing improvement in his grades at school! Poor guy can't do well in school if his eyes & ears are failing him :(
 
We also found out last week that Asher will need surgery in the near future.
We have a lot going on but we are finally getting some answers. This also means decisions need to be made & we pray that God would show us clearly what He would have us to do when each situation arises.
we covet your continued prayers. One day at a time....Thank you!
Andy, Ruth & kiddos


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Andy's CT results.

   Tonight I have good news & bad news. The good news is, the tumor in Andy's neck area has shrunk significantly & is soft. He is not symptomatic in any area except on very rare occasions he will get night sweats. According to the Dr., at this stage, he should be extremely symptomatic. He should be having fevers, night sweats, decreased appetite, nausea etc...The bad news is, the lymphatic tumors in his belly & chest area how grown & appear more aggressive than the ones in his neck area. Is our faith being tested? We believe so. But we also know that God so clearly led us down the path of treating the cancer naturally & don't believe He did that, just to drastically change that course of direction in 2months time.  Again, the Dr. is puzzled that Andy isn't showing any symptoms at this point & we are praising God for this!
   The Dr. is wanting to push chemotherapy & repeatedly stressed the importance of going through with treatment. Andy is not on board. He was anointed in the name of Jesus & believes that God will bring healing to his body. The natural Dr. does testing each time he goes in for therapy & she is amazed weekly at the changes he is making & in the improvement of his numbers & believes his body is at a point where it can fight the cancer at 100% we are praying & believing that we will see positive changes in the coming weeks. The natural Dr. has also told us on numerous occasions that she has worked with chemo patients & has been very successful in treatment & if Andy would ever need to seek chemotherapy, that she would let us know & work alongside the medical Dr. to give Andy the best treatment possible.
    Andy is still searching for a job that would provide for our current needs but be able to work somewhere that he could avoid having to breathe in all the fine concrete dust that is slowing down the healing process for him.
   We ask that you please continue to keep us in your prayers as we make decisions for our future.

                                                            Thank you! Andy, Ruth & kiddos.

Friday, November 8, 2013

    Today, I come to you all, our prayer warriors & I'm asking you to please intercede on our behalf.
Many of you know that Dawson struggles with seizures & is taking meds for it. The meds have started causing major side affects for him so we started seeing the same natural Dr.  that Andy is seeing for his cancer. Turns out that a big part of why he continues to have mild seizures is due to extremely high sugar levels, I'm not sure how the medical Dr.s could have missed this. The whole family's diet has changed drastically since finding out Andy has cancer so we are not sure what we are dealing with at this point. I know that sugar levels take time to change & he is being put on an extremely strict food change & if you have been following our story you know that this is the 3rd time we are making major changes in the family's diet. Only this time it's different for Dawson than it is for Andy so I am put in a very difficult place when it comes to cooking.
    After speaking with the natural Dr. today I am feeling very discouraged & I realize that is exactly where satan wants me to be. I believe we are fighting more than health battles at this point. I believe this has become a spiritual battle. satan knows how many lives are being reached through Andy's story & he hates it. satan is doing everything he can to make us want to give up. Today that would be easy to do. I have reached a low today that I didn't think was possible for me. So I'm begging you please, pray that satan would be bound, pray that God would send His angels to surround our family so the evil one could not touch us, help us fight this fight that sometimes feels like a losing battle. Pray for clarity for me that I could make wise decisions when I make meals for my family. And pray that healing could come to the ones I love most dearly.
                                                     Thank You!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

    Where do I start?... My brain feels like it's in fast forward mode & I can't keep up. There are so many things I want to share here today but I'm having a hard time putting everything into coherent sentences.
    I wonder how often I've told my friends, who are currently or have in the past had to deal with major life struggles, that they need to tell us what their needs are so we can help. If we don't know, we can't help.
    When life threw us this curve ball called cancer, people told us the same thing, it's very humbling having to ask for help, but we are really struggling these last few weeks. Andy & I feel like strangers in the night. There is literally no time to connect. The little bit of time that we do have together after Dr. appointments, is spent with the children, trying to keep life as normal as possible for them. I guess what we are asking is, if you are a local youth girl, single lady, or even a couple with no children reading this & you enjoy being with children, we would love to have you in our home, to give the children dinner & tuck them into bed. I would love to be able to go with Andy to a therapy session then have time to sit at a coffee shop & be able to connect with my Husband without any interruptions, where it's just us & a few hours, to cry together, pray together, catch up with life as we know it now.
    Or if you are a mom, who knows how difficult it can be to get a meal on the table under 'normal' circumstances, & would like to help out with a meal...it would never be turned down here :)
    Today I put in a load of laundry, started lunch then went out to the garage to put trash in the recycling bins, only to find that the laundry room was filled with smoke, I immediately assumed it was the washing machine, when I opened the top, smoke came billowing out . Our washing machine of 11years has finally called it quits, had it not been for the wet laundry in the washer, it would have gone up in flames. I'm so grateful God had His angels watching out for us today. But we are now desperately in need of a dependable washing machine, with 7 people in the household, laundry piles up very quickly. Our dryer is also about to give out, the heating element is shot & it takes multiple cycles sometimes to get the clothes dry.  If anyone has a good/dependable washing machine/dryer that you don't need, please let us know. We aren't looking for a hand out, we just can't afford brand news one right now. we are more than willing to pay for good-dependable used ones.
 
    Tonight we meet with Andy's natural Dr. to finally get some updates & to see what type of progress he is making & if the regimen that he is on is helping him. Pleas keep us in your prayers this evening that God would prepare us for whatever news we may get & wisdom to make decisions if there is anything we may need to change.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The hard days.

I sit here, staring at my computer screen thinking, am I really going to put my thoughts here for all to see? The answer is yes, I don't believe in always posting the good days, the days where we have been blessed beyond words, where things go right and good! Because they aren't always, some days are dark, overwhelming & I get so frustrated & angry.
When we found out Andy had cancer, there was never any doubt that he would be healed, but this emotional roller coaster was never supposed to be part of the journey & sometimes it doesn't even directly involve the journey. There are days when I feel as if I'm constantly treading water, barely able to keep my head above the waves that come crashing in. On some of those same days I sometimes wonder, how would it feel to just stop treading, to sink into an oblivion of nothing.
This past week there were many days like this. Not only are we still adjusting to a new way of life that brings many changes, but dear little man is teething like nothing I've ever seen before. Four days of holding my baby, as I listened to him cry, feeling completely helpless as I try yet another thing to ease his pain. Nothing seems to work so I hold him a little tighter, crying-praying with him that I could somehow take the pain for him as he vomits due to the extreme pain he is in. Those 4oz. of warm milk that I tried so hard to get him to drink, all coming back up & I wonder how his little body, so much smaller than most his age can possibly afford to lose more weight.
In the darkest of those moments, God sends people to bring comfort.
I got a text message awhile back that I just skimmed over a little bit, but today I took the time to really read it Isaiah 40:28-31 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to the weak & strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak & tired & young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run & not grow weary. They will walk & not faint...He really does understand the way that I feel, it's ok to get frustrated with the journey, it's ok to get angry at the circumstances, it's ok to feel like you don't want to go on, as long as I take those feelings to God, give them to the One person who understands every trial I am going through. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I sometimes take those feelings out on the people around me, the ones I love the most, instead of giving it to God, & it's not pretty. I am ever so grateful that my family offers grace in those times. Thankful that I have a forgiving Father who reaches out & embraces the ugly & reminds me again that I'm not perfect,(and don't have to be)but I am forgiven.
And I am beyond grateful for those times that you all have listened to that still small voice & have given notes, cards text messages, meals & a helping hand  reminding me that we are not alone on this journey. Bless you for caring!
 


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

For my Friends.

Today, as the babies settled down for naps, I put on some worship music & picked up my devotional to spend some time with God. Halfway through the devotional, I felt the need to pray. Pray for my friends who are hurting, friends who have family that are hurting...
...as I got to the end of my list, a song started playing that has brought so much healing to my own heart in the last few months.
 There were days when I would listen to it over & over again as healing tears streamed down my face. Listening to God's promises...even when it hurts, even when it's hard, He is there, holding us, in the palm of His hands. He cares. Cares that we are hurting. Cares that we are going through hard times.
He is lover of your soul & Healer of your heart. Claim it & trust Him with your hurt. He is able to make something beautiful from it.
http://youtu.be/wXRNX5NrX5A
Our God is strong & mighty, Our God is faithful...He is able. Praying these songs touch your hearts as they have mine.
You are in our prayers. You know who you are, love you guys!
 


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Update-October 13

   Today I've gotten several phone calls asking how Andy is doing & I realized I haven't updated in awhile.
   The tumor on Andy's neck continues to shrink-good things are happening there! Praise God!
   There have been no repeat scans done as of yet but according to our Natural Dr., things are looking good. We are due for an update here soon so we should have more info for you all later.
I did receive a call from Andy's oncologist this week that once again confirmed God's hand in this whole journey! They had originally staged Andy at grade 3/stage 4, meaning it was an aggressive cancer, throughout most of his body.
  At this point, if we had gone through with chemo, Andy would have received 2 rounds of the most aggressive/highly toxic chemotherapy.
   We are so thankful today that God lead us down a different path!
   The oncologist had sent the biopsies to Cleveland for further-more in-depth testing & was calling us to tell us that Andy actually had grade 2/stage 4 cancer. Which would have been treated with a much less aggressive chemotherapy regimen.
   Again, so thankful we chose not to go that route! His body would literally have been pumped full of toxic drugs that it didn't really need.
  We have learned, so far, on this journey, that we may not always know why God does what He does, but He only wants what is best for us & He is taking care of us each step of this journey. All He is asking us to do is trust Him.
   This Saturday, Andy will be going in for a minor, outpatient procedure where they will be removing the port that was implanted to administer the chemo-it will not be needed!
   We were advised to do repeat CAT scans every 3months to track his progress & in the event the Dr.s would need to step in & do something, above & beyond what we are doing now(but we are praying & believing that that will not be necessary!)they would be on top of things & know what is going on.
 Thank you for all the prayers sent on our behalf-please continue to pray & we will update as we get more information on Andy's progress.
 
Andy, Ruth & kiddos

Monday, October 7, 2013

A new love & my "dirty" little secret

Disclaimer: This one may get lengthy :)...grab a snack & stay for awhile :)
 
 
Today I discovered there is hope; life, after gluten & sugar free.
My new love...Organic Sprouted Spelt flour!
It has the taste of whole wheat, bakes like white & makes a mean gravy!
 
Today was a typical Monday for me. My Mondays are spent entirely in the kitchen, prepping food for the week, baking etc.
Baking bread was 1st on my list of things to make. I haven't baked bread in over 2 months due to all the GF flours that are out there, & I simply have not been having any luck with them. All that will change starting today :)
A Facebook Friend & fellow cancer survivor shared this recipe with me & I intend to put it to many uses! This recipe can be used for pizza crust, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls & bread loaves. I halved the recipe she gave me so it can easily be doubled too.
2c. warm water
2T yeast
1T sea salt
2T plus 2t raw/local honey
1T raw apple cider vinegar
1/2c olive oil
7-8c organic spelt flour
-add flour till it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Shape into loaves & place in a greased loaf pan. Let rise till bread reaches 1inch above pans. Bake @ 350' for 30min.
So easy & so versatile-my kind of recipe!
 
Next on my list was "cookie bars" as my family likes to call them.
I made a basic coffee cake-bar & added nuts & cane sugar chips, replaced the sugar in the recipe for coconut sugar & the flour with organic spelt flour. they turned out delish, Husband & children approved!
The croutons were made from forgotten bagels that were no longer as fresh as they could have been.
I cubed them up, added olive oil, sea salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning. I let them cool then put them through the blender to make bread crumbs, they will make some delicious breading for fish or chicken tenders!
 
Yogurt was next on the list, this is the best yogurt recipe I've ever used! it is rich, creamy & thick. It's best if you make it from milk straight from the cow, cream & all! :) Here is the recipe... rollermillfarms.blogspot.com
 
Last but certainly not least, were the granola bars. You will not find any better granola bars bought or homemade than this recipe & it is very versatile!
 
In a saucepan, on low heat combine:           
1/2c raw organic Almond or Peanut butter
1/3c raw, local honey
1/4c coconut oil
Remove from heat & add:
21/2c Gluten free oatmeal (we like the quick cooking)
1/2c organic coconut flakes
1c dried fruit, nuts or cane sugar chips
 I always double this batch & divide between 2 brownie pans, cool completely then cut into strips & wrap individually. I store them in the fridge cause they can get pretty sticky/soft when left out.
*if you use almond butter, they are really good with dried fruit(the almond butter has a fresher flavor). If using peanut butter, then the cane sugar chips are really good.
Little man always wants to be front & center when I'm in the kitchen, so to keep him busy I sat him on the counter beside me & gave him a little scissor & a coloring book & he had the time of his life cutting tiny little bits of paper that fell like snowflakes to the kitchen floor :) He was with me, he was happy & the mess could easily be cleaned up later.
 
Now...my "dirty" little secret... :)
On any given Monday, you will find my house completely turned upside-down & inside out & it looks something like this...
Cupboards hanging open, pots & pans everywhere. Half the time I spent looking for things that mysteriously disappeared under this or behind that. But usually before the kiddos get home from school & the Man of the house gets home from work, the house once again looks like this...
For some of you who are OCD, my bar chairs will really bother you in this photo :)
 
Lucky for me, by the time I had the kitchen cleaned up, dinner was ready to be served! Crock pots are handy like that :) I seared off a roast this morning, added some celery, carrots, onions & broth to the pot & it had been simmering all day till the roast fell right off the bones. It went well with the fresh, homemade bread I made earlier today!
Now it's time to take that good-creamy yogurt out of the oven & into the fridge for breakfast in the morning.
Good night y'all & happy Monday, have a blessed week!
 
 
 
                                                           
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hope.

It's been a little while, & I thought I should update on Andy & let you all know how he's doing.
 
Andy feels great physically, he's working every day, playing softball & trying to keep up with appointments etc. Our schedule has us worn a little thin at times but Andy was encouraged to stay active with the sports he loves. he is seeing a chiropractor 3x a week & Holistic care 1x a week for therapy, so it can get crazy at times. Add your daily routines to that schedule & it gets FULL pretty quickly.
 
 
This past Sunday there was an anointing service, for complete healing for Andy's body.
I have never been a part of such an awe-inspiring service. Throughout the whole morning, God's presence was felt so deeply. From the time we got into the van to drive to church & God gave me 2 specific songs. To the worship service, where once again...I can't hardly even put it into words. God's presence was so REAL. I've never before felt so vulnerable but so much at peace, all at one time.
 
God has done amazing things in healing our family & now He is doing amazing things for Andy's body! The tumor on Andy's neck that had been about the size of a golf ball is now only 2 small knots on his neck the size of a fingertip & the 3rd knot is hardly visible.
Additional testing has not been done yet but we believe the healing has begun.
 
This song was led during worship on Sunday & it's been on my lips often this week already.
 
 
How Great is our God!
Wishing you a blessed weekend & we ask for your continued prayers as we continue this journey.
Andy, Ruth & kiddos

Monday, September 16, 2013

Faith.

My heart is full tonight, I'm not even sure where to begin. So much has changed in the last few days that I am once again in awe of the workings of our Heavenly Father. Things like what we've experienced in the last 3 days are not just coincidence. They are divine intervention. We have no idea what the next few weeks may hold for us, but we do know that God is going before us & preparing the way.
 
 
Last week Thursday a friend gave me a devotional. She said how much it has helped her through some very difficult times in her life & wanted me to have it.
On Saturday night I sat down to read some of it & was flipping through it randomly. I felt so strongly that God wanted me to go to the devotional for that day, that He had something very specific for me, for that day. I closed the book & prayed that God would prepare me for whatever he had for me.
I opened the devotional to September 14th & started to read...& wow!!...
...these are the authors words...
He wrote your name on His hand.
What incredible authority we have been given in prayer. When we place our faith in Jesus, He gave us His name, enabling us to say, I am one with Christ. Then amazingly Jesus took on our name. As our High Priest, He wrote it on the palm of His hand so that our name is registered in heaven, under His glorious name.
You can see why the phrase, "in Christ's name" is not just some impersonal formula. Rather it is a literal position we have with Jesus. Jesus tells us, "In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God"(James 16:26-27)...now here is where it gets so good!
Jesus is telling us, in other words: "whenever you ask in My name, your request has the same power and effect with the Father as if I were asking Him." Think of it: When we lay hands on the sick & pray, God sees us as if Jesus is laying hands on the sick to bring healing.
We are to come confidently to the throne of grace and pray boldly, "Father, I stand before you, chosen in Christ to go forth & bear fruit. Now I make my request largely, that my joy may be full."
I hear many Christians say, I asked in Jesus' name, but my prayers were not answered. One reason may be because we have allowed sin in our lives to become roadblocks to His blessing.
Perhaps the blockage is due to lukewarmness toward the things of God. Or perhaps we are filled with doubt, which cuts us off from the power of Christ. James makes it clear: "He who wavers will not receive anything of God."(James 1:6-7)
God knows our hearts, and He reserves the power that is in Christ for those who are wholly surrendered to Him. He has written our names on His hand!
 
Talk about GOD, speaking DIRECTLY to me, through that devotional. The devotional was just the beginning of these chain of events...
 
This morning right before Andy & I left to go see an NP,(my mom came to be with the children) my mom said, "I can't stand the thought of Andy taking chemo, as healthy & strong as his body is. It will just make him sick & run down & he is HEALTHY!"
She then proceeded to tell us of a place where they can treat the cancer naturally.
I was furious! I wanted to scream, why bring this up now, 2 days before he starts chemo, after all his biopsies & battery of testing. WHY?!
 We left for Andy's appointment, our hearts & minds in a complete turmoil! Little did we know that God had His hand in it all along.
I called my Brother who knows well what this Holistic Dr. is capable of doing. We talked for awhile, then we went in for the appointment that was to educate us about all the meds that Andy would receive during chemo. And we were in for a RIDE!!
After the nurse left, Andy & I looked at each other with looks of it ain't never gonna happen, no way no how!!! We asked the nurse to come back in & told her we need a few weeks to get a second opinion & to make an informed decision. She said that was fine, cancelled our appointments for this week & left again. (we had asked for a sign language interpreter to be there for the visit in order for Andy to better understand everything & allow me to just listen). The interpreter saw the look on our faces & proceeded with, "I'm not supposed to give out medical advice, but I know you want to look into Holistic care. And then she said the very same name(practice) that my mom had mentioned before we left. (That was GOD, affirming that we were making the right choice!) Then she proceeded to tell us that her Husband had sought treatment with this Holistic Dr. & was doing great under her care but got tired of the regimen & opted for chemo after awhile. Her husband died. not from the cancer. The medical Dr.s  put him into remission. But he died from the horrible side affects of the chemo & radiation.
On the way home, I thought of the devotional that God led me to on Saturday night.
I believe that God placed specific people in our lives today, to fulfill His purpose.
We had also felt that it just wasn't right to proceed with treatment if we were giving it to God through anointing, this Sunday morning.
So now, the future is more unknown than it's ever been, but we both have such complete peace, it can't be explained. All we know is, God is going before us & preparing the way for us. We pray that He gives us wisdom in making decisions, & praying, in the name of Jesus, for a miracle,  for life,  for good health,  for a cancer free body!!!! 
pray and Believe with us, thank you.
 
Andy, Ruth & kiddos

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Psalm 30:10-12

Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness;
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee forever...Psalm 30:10-12
 
 
On the way home from yet another Dr. appointment today(this time for Asher), I hear our little 2year old say, "mamma, why you cry? What make you sad, mamma?
 
 
 
2 days into this journey, God gave us a complete peace, that Andy would fully recover from all this & be completely cancer free. What I wasn't prepared for was the emotional highs & extreme lows that would be a part of this journey. Satan knows that we are at peace about Andy & is attacking us in so many other areas & I'm not gonna lie, It. Is. Hard. There are days when there's so little strength left to fight him, so I'm asking you all to help us fight, lifting us up in prayer, not only for complete healing for Andy, but also for our emotional well-being as we take this journey.
 
 
Andy will be having another surgery this week Thursday to implant a Port, just under his skin, on his chest so that they wont have to place an IV every time he has a chemo treatment. This allows them to administer the chemo without any discomfort to Andy.
Please continue to keep him in your prayers.
May we "dance" again...
 
Thank you,
Andy, Ruth & kiddos

Thursday, August 29, 2013

finding the GOOD in ALL things.


Since starting this journey, God has made Himself  REAL to us as a Family in SO MANY ways. It hasn't even been 3weeks that we know Andy has cancer, and as scared as we were in the beginning, so many unknowns, so many things to comprehend, we have found complete peace, through grace, by our Heavenly Father.
 
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2Timothy 1:7
 
We have been blessed in so many ways, that we can't help but see that God allowed this to happen, to bring a huge change in our lives & the relationships with people around us.
 Andy struggled, many years, with feelings of  anger & bitterness and because of that, he often lashed out in anger towards myself & the children. I'm not sharing this to put him down, but to show how God can transform a person's heart & life.
For many years the children & I have prayed that he could be set free from the anger that held him fast. Not long after we found out that Andy had cancer, a friend of ours shared a few verses with us & God spoke volumes through that verse, to change the heart of the man I love. He found freedom from all that anger & bitterness and I now have a new husband in Christ & I can't love him enough.
 
These were the verses that were shared with us.
 
Mark 11:22 Have faith in God, Jesus answered. 23.I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, go throw yourself into the sea, & does not doubt in his heart, but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24.Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours....but then Andy read further.
25.And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
 
That evening, he gathered us all around him & asked us all to forgive him for being an angry husband & father. Dawson burst into tears...followed by the rest of us.... Little did we know that that was just the beginning of a chain of events...Last night, the children were listening to one of their bible school CDs & the one song was how God hears our prayers & answers them if we believe...Dawson said, "momma, I started thinking God wasn't real. I prayed & prayed for daddy not to be angry all the time & I thought he wasn't listening to me or hearing my prayers. But when daddy said he was sorry & asked me to forgive him, I knew Jesus was real." Talk about being overwhelmed with emotion right then & there.
 
 
Another God-moment, was when we were driving up to see the Dr.s to get Andy's results. I could sense that he was nervous-anxious to know...I just reached over, closed my eyes & said a prayer of peace over him. I opened my eyes & within seconds of each other, we noticed that right in front of us, the sky opened up & brilliant beams of sunlight shined down in front of us, and everywhere else, the sky was overcast. we looked at each other with tears in our eyes, knowing that it would all be ok.
Dr. Lun gave us the results & said he has a 90% success with this type of cancer, & with God on our side, we believe Andy will recover fully from it.
Are we sad that we need to take this journey? absolutely!, it's not easy seeing someone you love go through a difficult time. But what Satan meant for evil, God is using for GOOD!
We would never trade our lives now for the life we knew a mere month ago, because through this process, God has blessed our family in so many ways that it's hard to fathom. Our marriage is stronger now than it's ever been, Jesus has been made real to our children. Gifts of encouragement, flowers, money, groceries, gift cards, gas money, & meals have been given at the exact moment we needed them, in some instances, without people even knowing that that was what we needed right at that moment.
God is providing for all the little things, right down to groceries given in the exact brands that I buy for us(without the giver knowing),He cares about the details of our lives & He is holding us in the palm of His hand. so I leave you with a song...keep praying and believing with us.
 
Thank you-Andy, Ruth & kiddos
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Andy's results...a new normal

I will be sharing this Journey called Stage 2,Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, here on my blog.
I had thought I'd set up an entirely different page to post all the updates & progress but it all seemed too time-consuming. So I'm hoping you will visit us here, share our journey, & Pray for us as we go along.
On Friday, August 9th, Andy went to see our Family practitioner for what we thought was an infection that was causing 3 lymph nodes to swell on the right side of his neck.
The Dr. checked it out, prescribed a strong antibiotic & scheduled a CAT scan the following Monday, August 12th.
Turns out that it wasn't an infection at all, but severely enlarged lymph nodes. Large enough that it alarmed the Dr.s & we were called in to see a surgeon that same afternoon.
The surgeon recommended Andy to do a biopsy in the office before we left cause he suspected Malignant Lymphoma. That will be a day I will never forget. Driving home in complete silence, both of us trying to comprehend what had just transpired. Three of the longest days of our lives, we waited for biopsy results, praying that somehow the test would prove the Dr.s wrong, only to have them call & tell us that the biopsy that they removed on the 12th, wasn't significant enough to do all the testing they needed & that Andy would need to be scheduled for a repeat biopsy Wednesday the 21st. This time they would need to surgically remove it. All went well with the surgery & then we had another looong few days ahead of us, waiting for that biopsy result. Finally, on Monday the 26th they called to tell us that what they had suspected was true, Andy has cancer, BUT that is all they would tell us. The nurses scheduled us to come in this morning to let us know what type of Lymphoma, what stage he's at & to discuss treatment options.
Andy does have Stage 2, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. They want to do a repeat CAT scan & a bone marrow biopsy before starting Chemo. The Dr.s will also be surgically placing a port just under his skin to more easily administrate the chemo. Most of these tests will take place next week. Then we meet with Dr. Lun to discuss Andy's chemo schedule....
 
....In the mean time, we are all adjusting to a complete diet change. It was recommended that he starts eating Gluten & Sugar free, raw nuts & organic as much as possible. 
I have started making my own organic butter...
 
organic yogurt...
 
....and juicing our fruits & veggies
 
You can find the recipe for the homemade-organic yogurt here, rollermillfarms.blogspot.com
 
 
Since eating this way & supplementing with natural vitamins, Andy has made the comment numerous times, that he feels better & has more energy now than when he was a teenager! Physically, he feels & looks amazing & that can only help him in this journey that we will be on the next few months.
So we ask that you continue to keep us all in your prayers as we help Andy to fight this thing called cancer. I will update as we go along.
 
-Andy, Ruth & kiddos
 
 
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Canning: Turkey

Canned turkey pieces is something I don't like to be out of. I use this in so many recipes. I also do chicken pieces, but we all prefer the turkey over the chicken.
-I wait to buy the turkeys till they go on sale(around Thanksgiving)I usually buy two, but Husband informed me that next time, 3 or 4 might be ok(he saw the amount of jars that I got from 2 turkeys & thought that will never last us for a year :).
-Bake the turkeys according to instructions on the pkg., let cool then drain all the broth into a water pitcher, refrigerate broth & turkeys overnight.All the fat will have risen to the top of the pitcher & hardened overnight & can be easily removed. Warm the broth in a sauce pan over low heat while you pick all the meat off the turkeys(remove all the skin 1st and discard).
-I like to use wide-mouthed pint jars to can the turkey. Fill jars with turkey, up to the neck of the jar. -Add 1/2tsp. salt to each jar & then take the broth that you reheated & pour into the jars,(up to the necks of the jar).
-Clean the rims of the jar well! (If any greasy residue is left on the rim, the jar will not seal properly).
-Place the lids & rings on the jars & place in your canner.
-Fill the canner with water, up to the neck of the jars & add 1/2c. vinegar(to keep your jars from getting covered in a chalky residue).
-Bring the water to a rolling boil & time it for 3hours.
-Remove from the canner & place jars onto tea towels for 24hrs.(to insure proper cooling & sealing of the jars).
-The next day, remove the rings & clean the jars with lukewarm soapy water, then they are ready to store.
 
The recipe I'm sharing with you is a family favorite! I haven't made it in awhile cause I've been out of the canned turkey. When I made it for my family tonight, it disappeared in under 10min.! no joke. There wasn't nearly enough so next time I'll be needing to make 2 pans!
It is definitely a recipe for the busy-get dinner on the table quickly-mom. It will likely take me longer to type up this recipe than it will take to make it!
 
Turkey Dumplings
 
 
2TBS. butter
2TBS.flour
1can cream of chicken soup
1can, canned turkey
salt & pepper to taste
Bisquick mix
fresh or dried parsley
 
Preheat oven to 375'
-melt butter in a large cast iron pan, add flour & stir till smooth. Add 1-11/2 cup milk till smooth & bubbly then add canned turkey.Add 1can cream of chicken soup & salt & pepper to taste.
Mix 2cups bisquick with 2/3cup milk & drop by spoonful onto the turkey mixture.
Sprinkle with parsley flakes. Place in the oven at 375' till the tops of the biscuits are golden brown. remove from the stove & ENJOY! (we sure did).
 
Happy canning!