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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beta Blockers

Quick update.
We talked to my Cardiologist today. He said that the problems with the muscles in my heart are caused by the tachycardia (fast heart beat). He is able to monitor my heart rate with the heart monitor that I'm wearing. My heart goes down to 70 beats per minute at night, but then during the day goes up to 140 even at resting. He is putting me on a beta blocker to see if that will help with the fast heart rate and muscles.
Please pray that I will be able to handle the beta blocker. Ever since I got sick I am so sensitive to everything. I can't even stay in our laundry room for more than 16 seconds because the smell of the soap makes me cough and I can't breathe. It's ridiculous.
He wants to keep monitoring my heart for a while to see if the beta blockers will help. So I get have to keep wearing the heart monitor...
Thanks for praying for this!

Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift

Birthdays are great! For most people it is just a time for celebration. Celebrating and hoping for another great year. But sometimes a birthday means something completely different. I have been sick for 3 years. Seriously ill for over a year. The past couple birthdays have been different than the years before. It marks how long I have been sick.
Last year was my sweet 16. It was on a Thursday. Three weeks before then, I had returned home from 2 weeks of treatments in Nevada. I had spent 3 weeks in Nevada in December so I had been there for a total of 5 weeks. When I came home from Nevada, I thought I was doing great!! The pain was better and I thought I could handle the fatigue and all the other symptoms. I thought I was in remission. But over the next 2 weeks I went downhill so fast. The Sunday before my birthday was the first time I was in the hospital. I went to church that day but I wasn't doing well at all. I was in so much pain and was so weak. I couldn't handle it anymore. Going to the hospital when you have Lyme Disease is very risky. There is no telling what could happen to you. But I had no other choice. That was the first time I had been in the hospital. Ever. (ok, I was born there but that doesn't count) My mom went shopping with my aunt after church so she didn't even know I was going to the hospital. For the time being it was just me and my dad.
First we went through the admitting process. We weren't sure what we should tell them or how much to tell them. I know that sounds bad, like why would we not just tell them everything? It's such a political disease and we had no idea how bad it could get if we told them everything. I went through triage and was put in my room. We got nervous as we waited for the doctor to come. Everytime I go to any doctor, I am the most popular and changeling person there. You think doctors would know this but just because the door to my room is closed, that doesn't mean I can't hear them. I have actually gotten very good at easdropping and understanding the technical terms doctor use when they talk about me. I'm not kidding, I am always the talk of the hospital. "did you hear about the girl that has Lyme disease? She's in room 3"
That is how it goes at every appointment.
So the doctor came in and we explained what was going on. Then the best thing happened. He admitted that he doesn't know much about Lyme and he asked us what I needed. He was the best doctor because he didn't try to act like he knew everything. He became our favorite ER doctor. In the months after that when I needed to go to the hospital we would call and asked if he was there.
So we said I probably needed IV fluids and pain medicine. Up to this point, I hadn't ever had strong pain medicine. So he said he would get some nausea medicine put in right before the morphine. By that time, my mom had gotten home and called us to see where we were. She freaked out and was like she's in the hospital?! Maybe we should have called her...So she and my aunt got to the hospital just as they were starting my IV. I had the nicest nurses that night. My main nurse was so good about getting everything I needed and she became our friend. Over the months following, she some how was always working when I was in the hospital. She would come and hang out in my room and just talk. She saw the fear we had and 100% supported us. I still love seeing her when I'm at the hospital!
Last year when I was really sick and was in the hospital every week, I would see her more than I saw my friends.
They finally got my IV started and got the medicines in me. They had to give me at least another dose of pain medicine because the pain was so bad. When I could finally go home, they told me to wait for them to bring the wheelchair. I remember thinking that I could just walk out. I tried to stand up and then fell. So I decided the wheel chair would probably be a good choice.
Later that week on my actual birthday, I got my licence! It was so exciting!! We went out to dinner for my birthday that night.
Two days later, on Saturday, I ended up back in the hospital because of extreme pain. Bummer. That started my weekly hospital trips. From then on, they knew me by name at the hospital. Everytime I walk drag myself in they would greet me by name! Actually they knew me as the Lyme Disease girl. That is the hospital I had surgery at too and it's where I'll have surgery when we take my port out. I had my PICC line put in there too! Oh and I was born there! It's pretty much my third home. My second home is at church. Do you know how much time my family and I spend there? It's a lot!
This is the first time I was in the hospital
So now, remembering the past 2 birthdays is weird. I was sick for my 15th birthday too. Not extremely sick, but still sick.
Last year I remember thinking that I can't wait for my 17th birthday because I would be better! But here I am. I'm not in school, I do IVs at home, I have 10 doctors, and I'm not better. Instead of thinking about how excited that I am that I'm 17, I am reminded about how long I have been fighting this disease.
That doesn't mean I'm not excited about my birthday! I am so excited!! So instead of dwelling on what has been taken away, I'll celebrate today. Today I am alive and I am SO blessed!!!!
Thank you so much for all the encouragment.

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
Matthew 6:30-34
I'm Still Yours by Kutless
"If You washed away my vanity
If You took away my words
If all my world was swept away
Would You be enough for me?
Would my beating heart still sing?

If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives and takes away

If You take it all
This life You've given
Still my heart will sing to You

When my life is not what I expected
The plans I made have failed
When there's nothing left to steal me away
Will You be enough for me?
Will my broken heart still sing?

If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives
And takes away

If You take it all
This life You've given
Still my heart
Will sing to You

Even if You take it all away
You’ll never let me go
Take it all away
But I still know

That I'm Yours
I'm still Yours

Oh, I'm Yours
I'm still Yours
I'm still Yours"

Tomorrow (the day before my birthday) my grandma is taking me out to lunch! She asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said a nice new Bible, so we're going to pick out a new Bible for me!! I'm excited!

Monday, February 22, 2010

No sleep, lots of sleep, numbness, alarms, lock-in, Lost, and so much random-ness!

This is going to be a really random post...so get ready!
This weekend was such a great and not great weekend at the same time! Thursday night my mom and neighbor made Landon's birthday cake! It turned out great! We had to update the Mission's prayer boards for the 24 hours of prayer on Friday. So I spend Thursday night making cake and working on the prayer boards. We finally got done with everything around 11pm.
On Friday around lunch time, my mom and I loaded up the cars and took our house(kidding, but we took half of our house) to church for Landon's 12th birthday party. We set up for that and by the time we were done, the party was starting. It started at 4 and there were like 14 boys there. They played on a blow up obstacle course and played dodge ball. The party lasted until 6 but I left at 5 to go home and rest. I was hurting a lot so I took a long bath and shower. I headed back to church at 7 for my prayer time. There were a lot of people in the prayer room when I got there!
After my prayer time, some friends and I went to On Cue and Starbucks. We drove around and got to church at 10 when the lock-in started! There was a devo at 11 then a couple hours of games. These games required a lot of energy. They made everyone play but thankfully a few of my friends volunteered to sit out and watch with me.
There was a special devo from 2-3am for anyone who really wanted to grow deeper in prayer. We walked into the room and the lights were out except for 3 tables with candles. They actually had to bring in more chairs because so many people came.
Kevin explained what we were going to be doing and we read a few scriptures about how God can work so much through silence. Just by sitting in silence before God, He will remind us that He is God no matter what we're going through. He is so gentle and will hold us. I know so many people felt that during the prayer time.
"The LORD said, Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by. Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave." 1 Kings 19:11-13
"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
The next thing we did was sing each verse of I Am Mine No More 5 times and to focus on a different word each time.
"I am mine no more, I am mine no more, I've been bought with blood, I am mine no more. (repeat 5 times)
Jesus is my Lord, Jesus is my Lord, and He rules my Life, Jesus is my Lord. (repeat 5 times)
I am mine no more, I am mine no more, I've been bought with blood, I am mine no more." (repeat 5 times)
After we sang the song, we had 15 minutes of silence.
Then we sang a few more songs and had another 15 minutes of silence. During this time of silence, we were supposed to go to to each table whenever we wanted. On one table we wrote a prayer request for us personally. On the next table we wrote prayer requests for someone else. The last table had a big candle lit and small candles not lit. We were supposed to get a small candle and pray for something around the world, then light our candle.
This time was one of the best things we have ever done. After being in there for an hour and after the last prayer we were dismissed. But no one left. There was so much emotion in there. I can't even explain it. No one talked during the 30 minutes of silence. And it wasn't awkward or anything. Time flew. No one had to say anything. We could just tell on the faces of one another what was going on.
After the prayer time there was more games. I definitely did not play those games! They allowed my friends and I to go into the college lounge and watch a movie and rest. It was great!
Around 5 or so I think we had a last devo and got to clean the building! haha everyone was SO cranky and in a bad mood. I was fine because that's how I always feel! Welcome to my life everyone! We had a great breakfast cooked by some parents then we went home at 7.
I slept for a few hours when I got home and was obviously feeling bad. I sucked it up though and cleaned my room all day.
Saturday night we were watching the Olympics and all of the sudden, my left arm started feeling really weird. It started tingling and as time went on it started going numb and so cold. I didn't say anything until it was really numb and hard to move. My parents tried to get my arm and hand warm and rubbed it to see if that would help. It didn't so I took a bath. That helped a little but it still felt weird. So I went to bed and tried to forget about it. Yesterday morning it felt better. It's just really weird...It was very scary we're praying that doesn't happen again.
Well my heart monitor is just so fun to have!! Not. During the special prayer time at the lock-in, the monitor alarms decided to go off! Great. So I had to leave the room which disrupted everyone and I went to fix it. Thankfully it didn't happen again. Then yesterday morning and last night during church it decided to go off again which I meant I got to leave church twice in one day! How annoying.
Remember that Lost party we had at our house? Here are some pictures! We had Aaron and Carrie Ackerman, Micah and Tara Hobbs , and Andy and Summer Lashley minus Summer. She doesn't like us. Just kidding, she is just a little behind on Lost. We forgave her already. It was so much fun! It happened to be on Landon's birthday so we had cake!
The cake was awesome!!
Here is Landon attacking his cake? haha

Our "Lost" table. Please notice the plane crash and palm trees and tropical looking stuff. There was even a guy getting sucked into the plane's propeller with blood coming out...you can thank Landon for that one.


Landon's 5th grade class got to go to the Capitol one day and dress up for Colonial day! Here is his awesome costume that Sada Knowles made!

This is the phone and monitor thing that hooks up to all the wires for my heart monitor. The wires are all over my stomach and chest and of course I'm allergic to them! I have a nasty rash all over. Woohoo!

Today I have slept a lot. I'm so exhausted. But my birthday is on Friday and I will be 17! I'm excited!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

24 Hours of Prayer and hard week

This has been a very hard week. I have been in so much pain. I got to go to church last night which was good.
My brother's birthday party is tomorrow at church in the gym. He's having a dodgeball party and I think there is an inflatable obstacle course too.
It is going to be a crazy day tomorrow! His party is from 4-6 tomorrow afternoon. I have a youth group lock-in at the same place as his party that I have to be at starting at 7:30!
Jesus talks so much about prayer. I believe that prayer is one of the most important things we do. It is so powerful and we know God is listening. It's so encouraging when you pray with your friends or other people. Every night I do a prayer call with 6 other people in my youth group and it is so cool to hear who God is in their life by the prayers they pray. God is different for every person because God uses us in different ways. On Wednesday, we all meet in person and talk about our week and what God is doing and what we're struggling with. It is such a great thing to be doing.
Prayer is also a very hard spiritual discipline. We don't just pray because God says so. It shouldn't be forced. Obviously we are never going to get that perfect. But prayer is so important in our Relationship with God.
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" Matthew 18:20
Tomorrow our church is doing 24 hours of prayer. This has become a tradition. From 7 pm Friday to 7pm Saturday, there will be someone in constant prayer. There is a prayer room at church that has boards of things to pray for. There are boards about missionaries, schools, ministries, our country, a globe to pray for the world, people who are sick, and a board with everyone's name that goes to church there. Once the prayer time is over, everyone in the church will have been prayed for at least once. The room is dimly lit and has some quiet music on. Everyone has signed up for at least a 30 minute praying time. Of course you can come up and pray whenever you want.
The youth group has our lock-in during this time. We are covering the 10 pm to 7 am time slots. It is such a neat thing to be able to go into the prayer room whenever and see so many people in prayer. Almost everyone loses track of time and stays in the prayer room for an hour or longer. Also, a lot of the youth group decides to go several times through the night to pray. It's awesome to hear and see so many people who leave the games and go to the prayer room because they just want to pray.
During the lock-in we have so much fun! We play games and everything and we worship throughout the night.
I'm on the prayer leadership team in the youth group and we are supposed to cover from 7pm to 10pm tomorrow before the lock-in actually starts. So I will be at church from like lunch time to set up the party until saturday morning! I'm really excited! I'm praying that I can stay the whole time and hoping I can handle the pain.
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" James 5:16
"The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth."Psalm 145:18
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express" Romans 8:26
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This isn't normal? You know you're at my house when...

...you walk into our house and notice the pleasant smell of the hospital. It makes you wonder why our house smells like that. You would probably want to leave but that would be rude.
...you walk down the hallway and see huge containers. You glance at them and notice IV bags. You stop and look closer and see dozens of needles, masks, alcohal pads, gloves, syringes, and surgical stuff.
You stop and look closer and see dozens of needles, masks, gloves, alcohol pads, syringes, and surgical looking stuff.
...you walk into the kitchen and notice tons of medicine on the counter.
...you look at the kitchen table and see masks on my mom and I, and figure out that she is accessing my port. All the medical supplies are spread out on the table to make it a sterile enviornment.
...you go to get a drink in the refrigarature and notice more medicine bottles.
...you walk into the living room and either see me hooked up to my IV pole or see the IV pole just in the room
(this is what I would look like hooked up to an IV. Minus the beach...)
...you go up to my room and see on the table by my bed a thermometer, medicine, more medicine, a breathing machine, and surgical tape.
All of this is now normal to us. I guess I forget that no one else has these things...

I'm so cool that my heart monitor has it's own cell phone.

I am one lucky girl! On Friday my heart monitor that I got on Wednesday broke! So we called the emergency number that they gave us and ordered another one. Well yesterday my cute necklace new heart monitor came. Guess what that means? My 30 days to wear it started over yesterday! Wow I'm so excited for these 30 days of endless fun! I get to wear the cute necklace aka heart monitor 24/7! I also absolutely love when alarms go off because the monitor can't get a good reading, which means I get to take the wires off and hook everything back up! It's so great! Oh and I forgot that now I have TWO phones to carry with me. My cell phone and the heart monitor cell phone. Are you jealous yet? Don't worry, you could probably get a heart monitor too. But don't get too excited or else you might pass out and then you might really get stuck blessed with a heart monitor!
I hope you are having a great week!



"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

Mighty to Save by Hillsong
"Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.

Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus (x2)

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

My Saviour, you can move the mountains,
You are mighty to save,
You are mighty to save.
Forever, Author of Salvation,
You rose and conquered the grave,
Yes you conquered the grave"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Well this is a bummer...I got new medical jewelry

There is a lot of information in this post. So towards the middle is the serious medical information. The first part is just pointless stuff!
Sunday night through Tuesday I had fever. I don't know why but I felt horrible. Thankfully I don't think I have fever anymore.
Yesterday we headed to the hospital for my Cardiologist appointment. We drove up saying this was the same building my Rhematologist was in. I went to him right before we found out I have Lyme. He diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and put me on Cymbalta, Ambien CR, Lunesta, and some other strong medicines. I was 15 at the time and none of that is approved for anyone under 18. I started taking them anyway and I blacked out a few times from them. We called the emergency doctor and he told me to stop taking everything. That is when we threw all the medicines in the trash and knew this was not the right path to be on. I never went back to him.
So yesterday we valet parked and got in the elevators and ended up in the SAME place that my rhematologist was in. Thankfully my rhemetologist isn't there anymore...
It was weird being there again, especially since we never came back.
They took me to triage and took my vitals. It took at least 2 cuffs and 3 tries to find my blood pressure. The nurse asked if I always have trouble getting my blood pressure to read and I said yes. I also told her that my blood pressure is always 90/60. She was still determined to find out for herself. When it finally read it was pretty close to 90/60. It's kind of funny that I have to tell my nurses where my good veins are and what my blood pressure and heart rate are. I'm unique because usually if you have a high heart rate your blood pressure will be high too. Nope, not with me. My heart rate is always too high and my blood pressure is always super low. Nurses can't even count my heart rate because it's too fast. Thank goodness for machines that read it for you. At triage my heart rate was 132 bpm.
After all that she took me to my room and told me to change into the gown. Well that was a bummer because it was a little chilly. After I got my gown on, another nurse came in to do an EKG. I guess it's just standard procedure to do an EKG on everyone who comes in because I have had like 4 EKGs recently. My EKGs are always fine.
After that, the doctor finally came in! We went over my life story 900 times and he listened to my heart and all that fun stuff. His first question was, and I quote "so where did you get the Lyme from? Did you live or travel to the north?" I thought oh no! here we go again. Please don't make us have to be escorted out of the building by security. Just don't even go there. (just kidding we aren't that rude but it's come close a few times) He finally moved on and was okay.
-Medical Information-
We started talking and he told us a few years ago that another girl my age came to him with Lyme disease. Her heart was completely blocked from the Lyme so they immediately admitted her to the hospital and started her on antibiotics and steroids. I'm glad she got to the cardiologist fast so he was able to save her life. They caught her Lyme in stage 1 so they reversed the heart problems and she's fine!
From glancing at my echocardiogram, he saw that there is something wrong with the muscles in my heart. He is going to call us in a few days and update us on what he sees when he has a chance to look in detail on my test results.
He said I definitely have tachycardia. That just means that my heart is faster than normal. I think above 100 is diagnosed as tachycardia. Fast heart rate is normal for a Lyme patient but that doesn't mean we can just forget about it. The Lyme is definitely attacking my heart which can obviously cause serious problems.
The doctor said that we need to find out what is causing the fast heart and how the Lyme is attacking my heart. In the next couple of weeks he might put me on beta blockers. We first need to see what's going on with my heart structurally. So for now we are waiting on him to call and tell us what the plan is.
On the way to the hospital I told my mom that I was hoping I wouldn't have to wear a heart monitor for a couple days. Well lucky me, I get to wear one for a whole 30 days!!!
When the nurse told us I about ran away. But I was very polite and tried to contain myself. It's a really complicated thing and she taught us in 10 minutes.
There are four circular pads that go on my chest and stomach that have color coded wires. The wires connect to a monitor that is recording everything. There is also a huge cell phone that I have to keep with me at all times because the monitor sends the information through the cell phone to a computer. Someone is ALWAYS watching my heart from the computer and can contact me through the phone if there is a problem. I have to wear all this around my neck...pretty much like an adorable necklace. Try not to be jealous.
I have to charge the phone every few hours which is a little annoying because then I can't go anywhere because the phone is plugged in to the wall. The only thing on the phone is a screen that shows a beating heart and where the wires go. Several times today I have set off alarms because the wires fall off or something like that. Also, if I feel dizzy, light headed, faint, chest pains, or anything like that, I push a button on the monitor and then on the phone i type in what symptom I am having. So at random unknown times the monitor and phone send off alarms. If I have to submit a symptom, then that sets off alarms too. I'm not sure how this will work in public...
I think that is all we know right now. We were hoping for easy answers but we didn't get any. The doctor was very nice and helpful.
I hope you have a great weekend! I will update as soon as I know something. Thanks so much for the prayers!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

To Save a Life

Sorry I haven't updated in a while! I've been busy/worn out. Last week was a good week. Thursday I slept for probably 16 hours. I was so exhausted. Friday I got to hang out with friends and went to see a movie! It was really great!! Saturday my youth group went to see the movie To Save a Life. It was such a great movie. After the movie we went to church and discussed it. We talked about ways to reach out to everyone because just by doing little things, we might be saving a life. Everyone should see the movie.
Yesterday was a busy day with church and the youth group super bowl party. Every year at 3 on super bowl Sunday the youth group plays a football game against the staff and parents. 5 minutes after I got there I decided to take people to Starbucks since it was like -100 degrees and kinda raining, By the time we got back there was only 5 minutes left in the game. MAN! It's so sad that we missed out on that fun!! I think I'll be okay though.
My friend and I left the youth group party and went with our families to our Bible study group for another party! We were definitely trying to be polite by not eating pizza with the youth group. That way there was more pizza for the youth group since we didn't eat and we had a homemade feast of yummy food at our Bible study group! I think it was worth the sacrifice.
I'm really worn out today. Really really tired and hurting. My cardiologist appointment is Wednesday so hopefully we will find something out.
"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies." Psalm 57:10

Monday, February 1, 2010

Youtube video and an update

I finally put my video on Youtube! It should be easier to look at now. I put it above the latest post.
YouTube - Victoria Wilguess' Story of Chronic Lyme Disease and hope of a cure
This weekend we did nothing because of the snow and ice storm. I thought the world was coming to an end. Before it came the stores were out of everything and everyone was preparing to be stuck in their houses for the rest of the winter. We survived thought! This weekend I read Same Kind Of Different As Me. It was a very good book! Sad, but good.
Yesterday we only had one church service at 3pm! It was great to be worshiping all together in one service.
Last night the youth group went to the Thunder game! We had a great time!!
I haven't had any doctor's appointments which is great! But this week starts again with at least 2 appointments a week.
I'm hurting a lot today because I haven't done an IV since Thursday. I really didn't want to do an IV Saturday so I didn't. I'm tired of being held hostage by an IV machine. I also hate having my port accessed. I mean, would you like to have a one inch needle stuck in your CHEST every other day? Yeah me neither. But I don't have a choice. So I'm doing an IV today and probably tomorrow. I could leave my port accessed all the time so I don't have to access it every time but it's really hard to get used to having a needle and a tube in your chest all the time... I'm scared of pulling it out in my sleep. And it can't get wet which means I couldn't shower. I will probably leave it accessed until tomorrow night though.
The funeral for Tacy's grandma is Wednesday morning. My parents and I are going to Tipton for the funeral. Please keep them in your prayers.

our backyard

Look how pretty those red birds are!

"We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." 2 Corinthians 1:8-11