Aug 31, 2008

New House?

Roger and I have been talking for years about moving up to a bigger home and when it came up again we decided to act instead of talk. We started praying for the Lord to guide us on the decision. We were thinking we would be ready to move in 4-6 months. And recently we started looking at homes just to see what's out there, the costs, the square footage, how much work they would need and the areas we are interested in. We looked this week at existing homes for sale and found a few we were interested in and had lots of potential. Most would need at least $20K to make them livable to our standards and all of them had something we didn't like or were major contentions against them.

We never completely ruled out new homes but this week we decided to check out some of the new subdivisions popping up around here in our price range. And yesterday we went and looked at two subdivisions, one practically in our existing neighborhood and another one almost four miles south of our current house. The first one gave us an idea of what we were in store for, but we weren't completely satisfied. Their standards were below our minimums and would cost us way more to get it at least to our current homes' standards. So we ventured over to the second subdivision and I'd have to say we were blown away. Their standards are our minimums. We wouldn't have to upgrade almost anything to get everything we wanted and more. We loved a particular floor plan and found a lot we liked. The prices, incentives and discounts were great. We ended up staying hours longer than we expected. We drove around the neighborhood several times and before we left and it seemed way more friendly than our current neighborhood. People were out everywhere walking around, socializing with other neighbors and lots of people waved at us when we passed by. We rolled our windows down because it was quite pleasant out and drove around slowly to hear how loud or busy it was on a Saturday night. It was so quiet! It's practically out in the country for Austin (for now, at least).

We talked a lot about it last night when we got home and over dinner. We weighed the pros and cons and there aren't many cons. We did a bunch of research and compared the house to the potential existing homes we found and we just can't beat what we'd get with this new house. This would be a home for us that we could live in for a long, long time. We prayed many more times about it and we're still praying for the Lord to close the door if it's not His will. So we're going today to put down the earnest money to lock in the lot, the prices, etc. And after a design consultation, meeting with a realtor about our house and lender, we won't have to worry about it for six more months which is exactly when we felt like we would be ready to move. We are excited about the process and watching it be built. We are excited about what this bigger home will mean for what God has in store for us next in terms of family, friends, neighbors and how He wants to use us. Please pray for the Lord's will to be done. We'll update you later on what we finally decide to do... Thank you.

Aug 29, 2008

Praise God Yoli's Surgery Went Well

From her husband Matt:


This is Matt writing from the dark hospital room where my bride currently sleeps. Yes, she had the surgery!!! All I can say is, God IS faithful! We arrived this morning at 1030a to check in. Yoli was a bit emotional as was I, but we prayed a lot, and I read to her Isaiah 54 which is the chapter in the Bible that has given her strength through this trial. Just before 1230p, we met with the surgeon, and then a few nurses, and before we knew it she was given a relaxed medication through her I V. They asked her to lay down, and said "here we go, are you ready?" It all happened so fast. Yoli got into the bed, and was rolling down the hall before we knew it. I walked her to the point where I could go no further, and was assured by the doctors that she would be taken care of. I gave her a kiss, told her that I loved her, and off she went through the double doors which led to her long awaited surgery.

I have to say, no one wants to see their spouse wheeled into surgery. But as the doors closed behind her, I prayed and knew that she was in God's hands, and not the hands of Kaiser. I have to say, I took about 10 minutes to cry and pray before I went to the waiting room where some close friends and family gathered. I communicated a lot through text, letting everyone know that she needs prayer, and paced around a bit. We were advised that the surgery would take 2.5 hours, and that the doctor would come and find me when he was finished. Well 230p came and went. 3pm came and went, and around 330p I went to check and see what was happening. I was advised that they were still in surgery. I walked away, and down a hall I've never been before. The surgeon was supposed to come out a door the opposite direction, but I felt led to walk down this hall, and began to pray. I stopped half way down and opened my Bible and again, began to read Isaiah. When I was finished I continued walking down the hall, away from the waiting room, and asking the Lord, please finish this surgery quickly so I can see her. Guess who I nearly ran into? Her surgeon! Walking out a door, opposite of the door he was supposed to walk out of, and in front of me he stood. He advised me that Yoli was still in the OR (If you watch Greys Anatomy you'd know that means operating room) and that she was stable through the entire surgery. They said it went well, and they took a sample of her tissue around the "infected" area and it was CANCER FREE!!! Praise God! They also took out her left limp nodes and will have results of those in about a week. But we already know and believe that those too will be cancer free. He said that she's be going to recovery and I should be able to see her in a few hours. As soon as he walked away, I lost it. I began to cry with relief that all had been done. The surgery we had waited for, prayed for, and prepared for was over and even more important than anything else, she was okay and we had great news. After this I lost it a few more times. and so did everyone else around me. You'd think we heard bad news, but in fact it was the opposite. Relief. Prayers answered. It was a feeling I think we had all waited for, for the past 9 months.

Well, a few hours went by and nothing. Again I began to wonder what was happening? So I followed my nose. I began to walk in another area. An area that the doctor would normally come to, and here he is again. Standing in front of me. He asked if I had seen my wife yet? No I responded. And he asked me to follow him. After a few turns, there she was. Sleeping as peaceful as could be. Color was good in her face and she looked content. Yoli didn't wake up right away, but did a little while later and there I was along side her mom and dad. At that point we waited for her open room. We had prayed that she would get a private room, but they couldn't assure us anything. However we knew that either way, it would be in God's plan and we'd be content. Low and behold, a private room was available.

After getting settled her family and I were in the room. She was hungry so she ate some killer hospital food. Hmmm....maybe killer and hospital shouldn't be in the same sentence huh? Anyways, I was being sarcastic. It was okay, but more than anything she liked the ice chips, jello, pudding, and a peach her sister had brought.

A few moments ago the nurse drained her tubes of the blood and water, and said she'd doing well. In a few hours they're going to wake her up and have her sit up on her own. 4 hours later they will have her walk to the restroom, and ensure she can do that every 4 hours. If all is good, she may be able to leave tomorrow night. But we're not ready to push anything.

So, today was a long but successful day for Yoli, and more importantly for our Lord and Savior. I have to say, it's not luck. It's not chance. And it's not good thoughts that brought her to this place today. It's by the continued grace and mercy of our father in heaven. And by the healing power for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that she is where she is tonight. We serve a mighty God. Bigger than any circumstance. Greater than any medicine. He is a Great God!

If you'd like to visit Yoli tomorrow you are more than welcome. Again, I don't know how long she will be here. But if they do release her it will be later in the evening I think. So please, feel free to stop by at anytime. Yoli would love to see you.

Thanks for your prayers everyone. Praying works! I will update this tomorrow on her progress of healing.

Many Blessings,


Aug 28, 2008

Prayer Request For Yoli

Please lift up our dear friend Yoli, her surgeon Dr. Ahn, all the surgical team and nurses and Yoli's family today in prayer. Yoli is having her double mastectomy today at Bellflower Kaiser in Bellflower, California. After a month of recovery, she will begin radiation. She went through chemotherapy this past spring and summer. Thank you.

Aug 26, 2008

I'm Officialy Jobless.

Well, last Friday was my last day with Archstone. The project I was hired for in August of 2005 is slowly coming to completion. So much so that last year I went to part time from home which enabled me to go back to school and graduate this past May from college. But the work load has gotten so low it wasn't able to keep me employed but only less than part time. And I was hoping to have a new full time position by now. So I am officially jobless. I have been searching, but I'm holding out for what I hope is the job the Lord wants me to have. I would love to find a position in my field of study, but where ever the Lord wants me, I'll go. In the meantime, I'll continue to be a stay at home wife. I've always wanted to be a stay at home wife, but it doesn't help us get ahead and save if I don't work full time. So I ask you to keep me and my job search in your prayers. I've been here before and the Lord sent me to the best place for me at the time because He knew what I was about to go through and what I would need. I have complete confidence and trust He will do it again.

Aug 25, 2008

Thank Goodness The Olympics Are Over

Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2008 Summer Olympics. This will be an Olympics that I don't think too many people will forget for a long, long time. The pageantry of the Olympics in China was unbelievable and at many times also sad. I, as many other people probably, have a new found respect for the resiliency and fortitude of the Chinese people. I liked what President Bush said during his interview by Bob Costas in Beijing that even if our governments, meaning the USA and China, have many differences and disagreements, he has enormous respect for the Chinese people. I loved being able to watch so many sports and events. Thank goodness for DVR/Tivo. It was all very exciting. Still I am so glad they are over because I am exhausted from staying up late every night watching it all. Finally we can get back to a normal schedule and get to bed early.

Aug 22, 2008

I Found My New Pool

Okay, the gym membership idea is out. I found my new pool. I'm not happy about having to drive there, but it's free, open year round and it's longer so I don't have to swim as many laps to go the same distance. I'm talking about Big Stacy Pool. I swam there once or twice about nine years ago when we lived in East Austin off Oltorf, but once we moved I stopped swimming all together. I swam this morning during the reserved adult lap swimming time, 6am-8am. It wasn't too busy at 7am. I was able to swim no problem, but not in a lane. Still workable. I met some really nice people. Interesting, but very nice. Too much talking though. I rested longer than I would have liked to during the break in my main set, but I didn't want to be rude. And I enjoyed talking with them. I even talked a lady into trying triathlon and doing the Ranger triathlon with me next year.

The pool is fed partially by an artesian well so it's 80 degrees year round. It comes out at 100 degrees but they mix it with city water to cool it down. Now in the dead of winter here, I'll let you know how warm it is. I do not like the cold. I remember when I swam there before that it was after the fall semester ended and my swimming PE class pool was closed so it was probably December when I swam and I remember steam coming off the water and it being cold when I got out of the pool.

And since the pool is 33 yards long instead of the usual 25 yards, I don't have to swim as many laps to go the same distance. Which means it's easier for me to keep up with counting my laps and I just feel like the time goes by faster. Plus this will be better for my training as I will be swimming more and pushing off the wall less. And my 750 meter time was faster than in my neighborhood pool. That's good. So today I swam 1980 yards (30-66 yard laps) which is 1810.5 meters or 1.125 of a mile. Not bad. I am really excited about swimming again. Yeah! What a great way to start the weekend. Thank you God for helping me get motivated again. And I'm home before 9:00 a.m. ready to finish the day. It sucked waking up at 6am (I know, wah!) but I feel great getting over a mile swim in early in the morning and moving on.

Aug 19, 2008


Out of six, only one U.S. athlete, Laura Bennett, came close to a medal in triathlon and she was a little over 30 seconds from bronze. The next closest American was Hunter Kemper who placed seventh in the men's triathlon. You can watch both the women's and men's online and rewind and fast forward through out the entire event. The starts, transitions and ends are more exciting than in between although the women had a crash during the cycling leg.

I didn't get to do my cardio workout yesterday because of all the rain we are getting. I'm not complaining about the rain. Believe me, we need it. We have been getting some good rain since Sunday. Our rain gauge in the back yard shows two inches and it's currently pouring down. But since I don't have a gym membership, I have no options for my cardio workouts and I hope this doesn't mess with my swims this week.

And speaking of my swims, my neighborhood pool shortened it's hours again this weekend and has no lap swimming times at all. So now I have to drive to another pool from 6am to 8am so I can swim until August 31st then I have to switch over to another pool from 5am to 8am until October 31st if I can handle the frigid waters of an all year round 68 degree spring fed pool. Then I'll have to join a gym in order to swim during the winter to be ready for the spring triathlons. I really need my own pool. It's the only thing I need from a gym. Although it is hard to run/ride in inclement weather so maybe a gym isn't such a bad idea. I just hate having to drive to workout. I guess I'll have to change my way of thinking on that one. Or buy a bigger house and have my own home gym. Hah! Yeah right. I've got a lot of research to do to find all the swimming options here in Austin.

The rain didn't spoil a free back to school concert we went to last night at The Grove at Southpark Meadows. I got to see one of my favorite Christian performers, Brandon Heath, and get his new album which is being released today. It was a little chilly because of the rain and I actually wore blue jeans. I even got a little chilly sitting outside for the concert so I was glad to have on jeans. We took a picnic dinner of homemade pesto-prosciutto-mozzarella sandwiches, chips and homemade chocolate cookies. It was delicious and the concert was nice. The rain might spoil a Round Rock Express game we're supposed to go to tonight. We'll see. We're taking our rain jackets and umbrella.

Boy, do I need the sun to come out and brighten my day. This rain is bringing me down.

Aug 18, 2008

Mexico Was Awesome!

We got back from Casa Hogar Friday afternoon exhausted, but elated. We had an amazing time on the mission trip. The work we were able to complete for the orphanage was a blessing to them and the time we spent there working and fellowshipping with the children and the couple that runs the orphanage was a blessing to us. We pray that we are truly transformed by God's love we experienced and felt there and continue to express and show it in our daily lives. We have begun to post some of the 522 pictures Roger took over the four days. We will continue to post more. I really hope we can go back to serve and support the wonderful things Isai and Maria are doing for these children.

Aug 12, 2008

Prayer Requests For Mexico

We're leaving this morning for our mission trip to the orphanage in Mexico. There are about 15 of us going from our church. I've briefly listed some prayer requests below. We'd really appreciate you praying for us. Thanks and see you in a few days.

Please pray for:
  • our safety driving there and back and across the border, in the heat, working on the repairs and with the food and water down there
  • us to be able to bless this orphanage as best we can, for us to have joy while we work and fellowship and to have peace with the repairs we can't get to this time
  • the children of the orphanage and the couple who run the orphanage to be blessed by us and for them to see God's love in us
  • us to be blessed by this service and for our fears and weaknesses to be drown out by the Lord's provision
  • (this is Roger chiming in) the Lord to take away my inhibitions when it comes to speaking Spanish so that I can be an effective communicator with the ninos
We might have a chance to blog while we're down there so check back. Adios!

Aug 8, 2008

I'm So Excited! (Again)

You know, it’s really hard to stay excited after you type a long blog post only to lose it all and have to retype it. This is why Roger always tells me to type it in Word first then paste it into Blogger. Ugh! Lesson learned babe. So here’s a recount of what I already typed. Sorry, it won’t be as exciting as the first time.

Okay, there are many things to be excited about today.

First, I did it! I swam 16.5 laps straight this morning. And in 20:08. Whew-hoo! I swam a total of 36 laps or 1820 yards which is 1.03 miles. I was so stoked, I celebrated by riding my bike 2.5 miles around the neighborhood. Guess I was still on an adrenaline high. I’m tired now, but happy. I wasn't able to do it Wednesday like I wanted because I tired myself out by racewalking six miles the day before instead of on Monday like usual. I really have to have a day in between to rest and stretch my muscles. But it's better late than never. I'll take it.

Second, many sports have already begun to compete, but today marks the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics. I can’t wait. We have our DVR set up to record the ceremonies (in HD!) and then we’ll set it up to record all the events we want to see. I know Roger wants to see the men’s road race tomorrow morning. It’s set for something like 1:30 or 3:30 a.m. online, so I know he won’t be up watching it then. I want to see as much of swimming as I can. I already have both the men’s and women’s triathlon events set up in my calendar with reminders. My favorite sports are swimming & triathlon, gymnastics and track and field. But I love all the stories from the Olympics. The hardships, the struggles, the successes. Like the story of the flagbearer the U.S. team selected for the opening ceremonies. That's what makes the Olympics, the Olympics. I just love the Summer Olympics!

Third, our dear friends Anthony, aka The Milkman, and his lovely wife Dawn are flying in this afternoon from Los Angeles. We get to spend this evening with them before they head out early tomorrow morning to Dallas for a wedding. I know Roger is excited about seeing Anthony. He was one of the groomsmen in our wedding. They’ve been friends seriously forever, like since kindergarten or something.

Last but not least, today I am finishing the last dress for the orphanage in Mexico for our church mission trip next week. Roger and I are both excited about it. We will be doing as many repairs to their buildings as possible. Roger has been tasked with getting as many of their computers working as possible. We will also be fellowshipping with the children as much as we can with cook-outs, crafts, singing and maybe swimming one day. I can’t wait. This is my first mission trip outside of the U.S. and my first orphanage. This is also my first opportunity to learn how to do that long term sewing project I mentioned a few days ago. I don’t want to go into too many details now (since I lost them all once already) but it’s part of a larger project I’m working on. I promise, I’ll give more details soon. I have made seven dresses total for some of the little girls in the orphanage. You can see pictures of them here or on the Flickr link to the right.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Aug 7, 2008

Complete Dud

Yep, I called it right. Edouard was a complete dud. We got a serious shower for less than five minutes and some sprinkles a few times, but that's it. What a rip off. I was really hoping we'd get more precipitation from him. We seriously need some rain here.

Another complete dud for me, sigh, Brett Favre got traded to the Jets. Can you believe it? It seems wrong, almost sacrilegious. It was one thing when we all cried with his retirement speech just five months ago then to get worked up again with him coming out of retirement, but to play for another team. There's all the talk about Packer's management thinking Brett wasn't winning material anymore to him selling out. Since I've always had complete respect for Brett Favre as an upstanding man and player, I'm leaning toward blaming the Packer's management. I think I'd rather him stay retired than play for someone else, but you can't stifle a person's craving to play the game whatever game it may be. And then there's a part of me that deep down hopes he plays so well with the Jets that Packers management sees they made a huge mistake. Don't get me wrong, I still love Brett and always will because of his history with the Packers, but I don't know how long it's going to take me to get over him playing for another team. The saga has definitely ended.

Aug 4, 2008

42 Days of Hell

Yes, we are now on the 42nd straight day of 100 degree or greater temperatures. It's freakin' hot here. I went for a bike ride Sunday morning and decided it was too hot to continue so I only rode 8 miles. But hopefully Tropical Storm Edouard will bring us some much needed cooler temperatures and rain starting tomorrow evening. But knowing Texas summers, it will probably end up being a dud just like Dolly. We need more rain! We were at our friend Cynthia's birthday party last night at Eddie V's and the conversation turned to the heat and we were all saying how last summer none of us had to water our yards at all. But this summer our yards just can't win against the heat and drought.

Roger had to work all day Saturday. But he came home to some really great mail which was his Meritorious Service Medal that he was told he was put in for many months ago. What they had to say about him and his service in the recommendation for the award was very nice. Everything I already knew about him. It's his last military award and now he can finally take a last official photograph in his uniform with all his awards, medals, etc. As soon as we get the picture taken, we'll post it on Flickr. Here are some pictures of his award.

Aug 1, 2008


Okay, it's driving Roger crazy, so I figured it might be driving others crazy as well. So I converted the Sprint triathlon distances to miles for anyone who wants to know but is too lazy to convert it themselves.

Sprint Distance: 750 meter Swim, 16.9K Bike and 5K Run
Sprint Distance: .46 mile Swim, 10.5 miles Bike and 3.1 miles Run

There you have it, all standardized for you.

I met a 70 year old woman yesterday who did her first triathlon last Sunday and at the same place as the triathlon I'm doing in September. She works a couple days a week at my local Jo-Ann's which is next door to my H-E-B therefore I stop in there a lot. I wanted to ask her more technical questions about the course especially if the bike course was flat or hilly, how many times we have to loop, what kind of bike she used, road or mountain, and what was the temperature of the water, but she was busy checking people out at the register and I didn't want to bother her. She looked great and didn't seem like most 70 year olds I know who have an excuse for not being active or every ailment in the book. I hope I'm still doing triathlons at 70 years old. I was really surprised she was 70 years old. I would have guessed 50, at the top 60. And she won her division and received a trophy! Mainly because she was the only person in her division. That's the way to go. Keep competing until there's no one left in your age group!

Roger's working today. I know, on a Saturday. And this is his 13th day in a row to work since last weekend they had the server meltdown. Today they tested their emergency back-up generator and some kind of cabling/wiring project. He had to be there at 4:15 a.m. So he's going to be tired again. Another weekend pretty much ruined. I'm still hoping we can get a ride in tomorrow morning. I'm spending the day working on some sewing projects. I'll have to fill you all in on a major sewing project I have going on right now. It's a sewing project that I hope will last for years and years. Details to come...

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

I can not believe what I did. Actually I'm really not surprised at all. After reviewing the U.S. Women's Series website for the umpteenth time, I realized the Sprint race is LONGER than the Super sprint race. I assumed (you know what happens when you ass-u-me) the Super sprint was longer than the Sprint. But no...the Sprint is twice as long as the Super sprint. I figured the Sprint was shorter and the Super sprint was longer since it was Super than the Sprint. Holy cow! And the registration is non-refundable. I can change to the shorter race, but I won't get the difference refunded. I guess I'll be doing the Sprint race after all. Dang it!!!

I had a great swim this morning albeit distractions from annoying guys chatting up all the ladies at the pool. What was worse was their language! I could not believe the words that came out of their mouths. They actually had the nerve to tell one young woman I see on a regular basis that she had just the right amount of "booty" for making waves and then proceeded to discuss "aged booty" and how they liked their women like they like their wine. She laughed nervously and left. And they expect to get some attention from women with those potty mouths? They talked more than they swam and slowly all the ladies left them all alone in the pool by themselves. Ha! That's what they get. As I was riding around the side of the pool to cut through the park to go home, I saw them already out of the pool to leave. Losers! I hope they never come back again. Guys like this give men a bad name. Okay, enough of my ranting.

My swim was great. I swam the same workout from Wednesday morning and I felt great afterward. I think I could have kept swimming, but an hour of swimming almost a mile is good enough. Next week will be the true test of my physical fitness. Now the bike ride home almost kicked my butt. We live at the top of a hill and from the neighborhood park you have to climb three times to get to my house. Thank goodness for those three level spots. My thighs were burning! All in the name of good health. I really hope with all this cardiovascular exercise I'm doing I lose a lot of body fat. If I don't, I'm going to be ticked!

Okay, I'm off to the shower. I'm going to pick Roger up and take him to lunch today. Then tonight we're off to another date night at the Texas History Museum to hear the Austin Knights Brass Band. I can't wait. It's going to be great.