Monday, December 7, 2009

More Chemo.

No, it's not for Steph. As you know she is taking a break, but her not. He was recently diagnosed with cancer. I wish I could tell you what kind but I can't, for the life of me, remember what I was told. But today was his first chemo treatment. So Steph decided that it was VERY important to be there with him today as he experienced for the first time what is all too familiar to her. She spent the day with him, her Granny and her dad. It was hard for her but as she was leaving he told her that he had, "had the best day." I hate it for him. I hate it for his family. BUT, I am so thankful that he is not one of the people sitting by himself as poison courses through his veins. Please add him to your prayer lists. Pray that he tolerates chemo and is cured. Pray for their family as they do this....again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Edna!

Since I didn't get a birthday wish posted yesterday...I wanted to make sure it was extra special! HAPPY BIRTHDAY Edna! Hope you had a wonderful day!!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Good News.

More later...but things are looking good!!!

**It's later! I have talked to my mom and we got good news today. When the doc looked at the scan...for the first time this afternoon as he was sitting in front of Steph, he read it out loud. "Stable. Hmm." For those not up on the cancer lingo...stable=NO GROWTH!!! This is amazing news! They are still looking into some clinical studies in Bethesda, MD that she is a candidate for at this time. HOWEVER, after looking at her scans today, Dr. Hoos decided that it would be okay for her to wait just a little longer on those since the CANCER IS NOT GROWING!!!!! She would have to be gone a lot for those and in case you hadn't heard...IT'S LADY CHIEF SEASON BABY!!!! He wants to continue to scan her because her cancer has been very aggressive in the past.

We feel very strongly that Steph's devotion to her diet and nutrition played a huge role in this positive development. She will continue doing what she is doing. But ALL the glory and ALL the praise goes to God. This is HIS plan and HIS will is being done here. I mentioned in my previous post that maybe we can't change God's mind by praying. I also meant to mention that he always answers our prayers. Sometimes he doesn't answer them in the way we WANT Him to.

But sometimes he does.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Results Tomorrow

Is there something you do in the evenings that is a complete time suck? For me, it's the computer. I sit, play games, shop and waste time on facebook. I enjoy it. It is my reward for working hard all day. When the kids are in bed and all is quiet, I like to sit and do mindless "junk" on the internet. Sometimes I blog and catch up on other blogs, but mostly...I waste time. Tonight I am going to give up my computer time because there is something so much more important to do. Pray. I have a list of things that need some serious attention. At the top of the list is Steph. So would you please join me tonight? Steph has an appointment tomorrow to discuss the results of her scan and a new plan of action. This is a big one.

But guess what??

God already knows the outcome. He knows her story. He knows exactly what is going to be said at that appointment tomorrow. Then why pray?? Well, I recently read a VERY lengthy blog post HERE about that very question. Long story short, she suggests we cannot CHANGE God's mind by praying...we can only draw nearer to Him so that we may be at peace with the results that HE has chosen. So I will pray. Please join me!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Scan Tomorrow!

If you are like me, tonight you will crawl into bed with a million things running through your head. What didn't I get done? What do I need to do tomorrow? Does my husband have clean underwear? Did I lock the doors? How long has it been since I washed my hair? And so on. But tonight, I am asking you to take a few minutes from your list and pray just a little extra for Steph. Tonight she has one thing and one thing only on her mind. She is thinking about her scan tomorrow. It's kind of a big one. We NEED this to be good. We NEED to hear that the cancer is shrinking...better yet we want to hear that it is GONE!! Steph told me today that she is fighting the devil daily as he tries to convince her that this cancer is never going away. Lets lift her up in prayer. Our prayers are so much more powerful than anything satan could come up with. Continue to pray tomorrow and the days that follow as we wait for the results. I will let you know as soon as I am able!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


On Monday October 26th, we will be having a fundraiser to benefit Ozark's Care to Learn program. I have mentioned before how important this cause is to me. Care To Learn provides immediate funding and action to meet any emergent health, hunger or hygiene issue a child might have; addressing a physical need, restoring respect, and getting that child back in the classroom. We also are participating in the backpack program which will send home backpacks stocked with snacks and easy to prepare meals for children who may not get meals outside of school.

So please join us at McAllisters in Nixa Monday October 26th from 5-9!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Prayer Request

WAAAAY back in the old days, I went to high school with Kasey White. Two years ago, through the wonders of myspace, I learned that he and his family had been dealt the devastating blow of a cancer diagnosis. Every parents nightmare...his beautiful daughter Megan had a six pound tumor that had basically swallowed her kidney. They headed straight to St. Jude where she fought the fight and came home cancer free. She is a beautiful and talented young lady that you may have seen or heard on TV or the radio.

They recently returned from St. Jude's after a routine scan (IF you can even call a scan to check your child's body for a life threatening illness routine) with "mixed reviews," as Kasey said. There is a spot on Megan's lung but her brain scans were clean. I am asking you ALL to add sweet Megan, her dad Kasey, her mom Kandice and her brother Danny to your prayer list. Lift them up and pray that God will heal her body. From what I understand, they are going to "wait and see" and then rescan her in six weeks. Please also pray that Megan's family can find peace and rest in our Father's arms.

We are such strong believers in the power of prayer. We see it work everyday and FEEL your prayers all the time. There is SO little I can do for this family so I wanted them to be covered in YOUR prayers. I know personally how comforting those prayers are. To follow Megan's journey click HERE for her caringbridge site. To fall in love with this sweet girl, go HERE to hear her story and watch the video below that aired at Thanksgiving time. (The same time she was on the Today show!!!) She has become quite the little star!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

WIN Banquet

Last night I was honored to spend the evening in the company of so many strong and amazing women at the WIN banquet. (Women's Intersports Network) As I looked at the list I realized that I have been blessed to play basketball for THREE of these very women!

Courage Award
I have mentioned Trish Marsh on my blog before. I played AAU basketball for her in 8th grade. She has battled and BEAT breast cancer. Her speech touched us all as she talked about "bouncing back" from the blow she was dealt. She cried as she looked at her wonderful husband (the swiffer master) and her two beautiful children. She talked about her "chemo buddy" and I cried. She is blessed to have an amazing support system and I am so thankful for that.
Senior Sportsman Award
Coach Sue Schuble was my basketball and volleyball coach in high school. She retired a few years ago and is spending her retirement years volunteering ALL over the place! She has a passion and love for animals and nature that so far I have only seen in my OWN child! She has backpacked and camped in ALL 50+ of our National Parks. I was glad to see her and we set up a time that I can bring Claire to the zoo and get a "backstage pass" thanks to Schub!
And of COURSE we can't forget the Most Challenged Coach award! I didn't get a picture because I was too busy taking video! So here they are! My mom presented Steph and then Steph gave a speech that was SO very important! The mic was a little "hot" but hang in there, it's worth it!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Check it out!

THIS was in the Springfield News-Leader today!

The following individuals will be honored at the fourth annual Women's Intersports Network (WIN) Awards Banquet on Wednesday, Oct. 7, for being strong role models in the area of girls' and women’s sports:

• Challenged Award — Stephanie Phillips, Kickapoo HIgh School basketball coach

• Courage Award — Trish Marsh, Missouri State associate basketball coach

• Mentor Award — Barb Cowherd, Drury University Associate Athletics Director

• Senior Sportswoman — Sue Schuble, retired Kickapoo coach

• Corporate Award — Donna Powers, McDonald's

• Bee Payne-Stewart Spirit Award — Linda Dollar, retired MSU volleyball coach, currently city's Director of Community Olympic Development Program

The event, which includes a silent auction in which all proceeds go to benefit WIN of Springfield, begins at 5:30 p..m. at the Doubletree Hotel.

Dr. Nancy O’Reilly, who recently wrote a book entitled, “Timeless Women Speak: Feeling Youthful at Any Age," will be the keynote speaker. Tickets are available at the door.

Ticket prices are as follows:

• Event sponsor — $250
• Team rate (15 or more people) — $65
• Table of 8 — $65
• General public — $15
• WIN members $10
• Students — $5

Very cool! Can't wait for this!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Larry Happ

We received news that Steph's step father passed away yesterday morning. The entire family is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Lawrence R. Happ

Larry Happ, 64, passed away in his home in Nixa, MO September 5, 2009. He was born in Mendota, IL in 1945 where he grew up with his beloved brothers and sisters. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in metallurgy. He was very proud of his work as an engineer. He was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Mary Happ, his brother Donald Happ and his daughter Debra Happ. He is survived by his wife Edna, the love of his life. They enjoyed dancing, traveling and spending time with their seven grandchildren. He is also survived by his three sons, Brian, Don and Greg all of Wisconsin and step children Stephanie Phillips and Jon Thurman of Springfield and Ryan Thurman of Fayetteville, AR. His surviving siblings include his brothers David, Norbert and Douglas Happ as well as his sisters Carleen Anderson, Marleen Davis, Angela Happ and Eunice Taylor. He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was a very active member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church in Nixa, MO.

Visitation will be at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Springfield, Mo on Tuesday, Sept 8 from 6:00-8:00 pm with a prayer at 7:00 pm. Funeral and mass will be held Wednesday, Sept 9 at 10:30 am at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton followed by the graveside service at Resurrection Cemetery.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

As many of you know, things around here seem to be slightly out of control. At least that is what I would have said a few years ago. With my Uncle Gary's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and his passing just 65 days later, we were devastated. But let me just tell you, the moments and days that came after his passing were not what I thought they would be. I am surrounded by people who know that our lives are NEVER out of control as long as we trust in the Lord with everything we have. HE is in control and it is obvious as I watch my family heal. One of the most amazing things has been watching so many people come to our aid, Steph being one of them. I can't say enough how truly blessed I feel to be part of this family. I should also make very clear that family doesn't just include those in my bloodline. We have a habit of "adopting" people and we have very special friends who we consider family....for example the Phillips family! (among others!)

Because of the funeral, Steph changed her chemo day to Wednesday so that she could help my mom. Without her and our dear friend Pam (a.k.a. Mimi) the day would have not ran as smoothly...AT ALL! Chemo seems to be really packing a punch on our girl right now. So please pray that it gets better. Steph is SO tough so it's hard to see her feel so bad. She is a fighter and she is fighting harder than ever before. Pray for strength and complete healing!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Uncle

Gary Joe Marshall

December 10, 1961-August 27, 2009
There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face But until that day, we'll hold on to you always I know the journey seems so long. You feel you're walking on your own But there has never been a step Where you've walked out all alone.
(Jeremy Camp-There Will Be A Day.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Scan results!

Steph got the results of her scan today. From what they can see, there hasn't been much change! This sounded like great news to me since she has only had 2 chemo treatments in the last 2 months! Her counts have been low due to the fact that she had not been taking her shots that boost her up. So basically, it's back to business as usual! Now we all have to get geared up to send Drew and Claire off to kindergarten!!! It's hard enough to think about them going off to school, but it's almost unbearable to think about them going to DIFFERENT schools!! I think it will be harder on me than the kids...sniff sniff. (wipe tear)

Did you notice our new button on the right side of our page? I started a team for the Cystic Fibrosis walk at Rutledge-Wilson Farm in October. We are walking in memory of our friend Jeff Wester who passed away in 2006 from complications of pneumonia. Please consider donating if you can or come walk with us!!! Click on the link and it will take you to our site!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Two years...and counting. A note from Steph

I'm not near as entertaining as Chrissy, but she's kinda busy right now. I've been reflecting a lot lately, so I thought I would share...

Two years ago today, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Looking back on the past two years I am feeling so blessed. I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratefulness. It would be really easy for me to think about all of the rough times that my cancer diagnosis has brought with it (and there have been plenty), but my focus tends to be on all the good stuff. Maybe not so much the good stuff, but the good people…wow!

I can’t even begin to guess how many people have told me that they are praying for me. Let me tell you, that never gets old. I am so thankful that people still remember that I am fighting the hardest battle of my life, and they are thinking of me and praying for me. It truly is comforting to hear that and to know that there is a network of people out there…some family, some very close friends, some old classmates, some former teammates, some coworkers, and some people that I don’t even know that are still praying. Knowing that I have all that support truly gives me so much courage and strength as I continue to fight.

The real beauty of all these people praying for me, is that I feel it working. I really do. I feel God leading me with every decision. After surgery, after chemo, after radiation, after another round of chemo, after each visit to Houston, and after my most recent decision to take charge of this thing myself…He has guided me so gently and so carefully in the right direction. He has placed people in my life to share stories or offer advice at just the right time. Most importantly, He has kept me here. Allowed me to live, to keep doing what I do as much as I can. He has allowed me to struggle, challenged me to fight, and carried me at times when I didn’t think I could do it anymore.

Boy, have I needed that a few times…someone to carry me, that is. And He has placed someone right by my side to do just that. I don’t know what I would do without Scot. Wow…talk about carrying me and doing everything else to make our lives as normal as possible. Our boys LOVE superheroes, but what they don’t realize is that we have one living with us. He does it all around our house. No, seriously, I mean ALL. He picks up toys, does laundry, makes meals, cleans up after meals, scrubs the boys at bath time, picks out their clothes for the next day, makes Drew’s lunch for school, sweeps the floor, plays rodeo, wrestles, plays superheroes, jumps on the trampoline, rides bikes, reads books, colors pictures, mows the yard, plants flowers, spreads mulch, teaches, coaches AND NEVER complains. He really is a hero.

My family has been great. They have all helped me in countless ways. My mom and dad and Scot’s mom and dad are incredible. They have been there to do whatever we have needed, whenever we have needed it. They provide us with love and support and we know that they are there for us whenever we need it. They are not intrusive in any way. They let us live our lives and make our own decisions, but when we need them, we don’t have to ask twice. It’s true what “they” say about family, they are always there for us.

And then there’s my angel…my forever friend Cheryl. She has been there with me through it all and her family has jumped on board as well. Cheryl has been to every chemo treatment with me and almost every doctor’s appointment. Her family has been so supportive and very unselfish about sharing her with me. Chrissy especially has made my life so much easier by keeping the blog going for me. I truly can’t say enough about these people and how special they are to me. Without question, I know that they would do anything for me at any time. Priceless.

I would not have survived the past two years without my family, my dear friends, my coworkers and my precious team. There’s no way I could recognize each of them individually. I fear that I would unintentionally leave someone out and hurt someone’s feelings. What I do know is that God has placed so many people in my life over the years for a reason. Many of them are helping me fight this battle in one way or another. I couldn’t do it alone and I feel so sorry for the people that are not as blessed as me. I feel so small and I am so incredibly grateful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If you are reading this, there is no doubt you have helped me in some way. Know that I appreciate you all.

Please continue to pray as I go in for another scan today. I have not been able to have chemo very consistently this summer because my blood counts have been too low. At this time I’m very frustrated with that because it feels like the tumor is growing and it’s starting to cause more discomfort. I meet with my oncologist Monday morning and I am praying for a clear plan.

Two years…and counting…thank the Lord!

Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do you know what this is??

This is our Auntie Karen ringing the SURVIVOR BELL at her last chemo treatment today! PRAISE THE LORD!! Do you see the beautiful lady in the background? That is Donna. She is Karen's "Cheryl" who has been there for her and her family through this whole thing. We are so thankful to be here at the end of this journey with Karen. My God has filled my heart with hope today. He has my family in the palm of His hand. I know this because He gives me images like this.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The world keeps turning.

Since my last post...

My kids kissed on the beach.

My baby girl turned 5.
My uncle did his first and second rounds of chemo with his amazing wife by his side. At the same time, just across town...Steph was doing chemo too!

I have a new blog reader. (He at least stares at it from his momma's lap!)
Auntie Karen took pictures for the Phillips family.

We march on!

Monday, July 13, 2009

We're baaaack.

It has been a while since my last post. It's not because we just sold our house. It's not because we just bought a new one. It's not because I've been busy packing and getting ready for a family vacation. It's because of 2 things. First of all, I haven't had much to report. Second, if you read my personal blog, you know that our family has been dealt another blow. My Uncle Gary has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is my mom's "baby" brother and this has been pretty tough. Click here for the full post. Please pray for our family as we help him fight this.

Now for a Stephanie update. Obviously we were not encouraged by the news we received in Houston and it left a bad taste in our mouths. (Especially Steph's...sort of a barium flavored taste!) Steph did a lot of thinking and talking about her situation. If you know her, you's NOT good enough to do chemo....forever! So after doing A LOT of research, she has decided on her own plan of action. She will be backpacking around the world in search of a cure for cancer. No. I'm totally kidding. She IS going to take a more proactive approach to her fight with cancer. She will continue with the treatment that the doctors are prescribing but will be focusing 100% on the things she puts into her body. She will be cutting out a lot of foods that we should ALL cut out anyway and focus on vitamins and supplements that her body needs to fight cancer. As you can imagine, this is a full time job in itself! I suggested that she check into hiring someone part-time to prepare meals for her! She said she actually considered it but can't find anyone! (Sooooo, anyone interested?!) We are confident that this will make a difference! That and ALL your prayers!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This sweet family...

is mine by marriage. This is Jesse, Uncle Keith, Aunt Karen and Megan. Yet another family who has been touched by cancer. Karen found a lump during a monthly self-exam. A mammogram did not detect the lump, but she persisted and they found it with an ultra-sound. By the grace of God, she found it very early but is still having to endure chemotherapy. Today I had the privilege of taking her to chemo. Her attitude is amazing. One of my favorite parts of the day was one that she may not even realize happened. We were briskly walking through the waiting room. She was breezing through with her head (adorned with the cutest wig I have EVER seen) held high. She passed a lady that was waiting as well and just said, "Hello! You look very pretty! That blouse looks so pretty on you!" Because I was walking behind her, I got to see the look on this lady's face. I vowed right then and there that I will give out more random but sincere compliments. I was so proud to be there with her. Especially when she busted out the fake snoring!

When I looked around at this room full of people I was sad. Sure I was sad that they were all there fighting for their lives. But I was also sad when I looked at the number of people that were there by themselves. I saw a woman coming back from the restroom. I jumped up to help her plug herself back into the wall. I was happy to do it and she was very thankful...but it made me sad! Why wasn't someone there for her? There was a lady that felt sick and all she wanted was a baked potato, but no one was there to go get her one. A very sweet nurse ran over to the hospital cafeteria and got her one. (That would be considered above and beyond the call of duty!) It made my heart ache. It also made me so thankful to be a part of a family that is so dedicated to one another. I left there with so much love in my heart for my mom. The fact that Steph NEVER has to be alone during chemo...there just aren't words. So here is my plea.

If you know someone with cancer (a family member, friend, neighbor, church member, mail person, bank get my point.) please, no matter how they may resist....DON'T LET THEM GO TO CHEMO ALONE!!!! If you have to, call me and I will go with them!!! I honestly sat there today and thought, "I wonder if I could volunteer up here and just take care of the people who don't have anyone?" Someone to get a blanket. Someone to fetch a drink. Someone to alert the nurse when nausea is taking hold. Everyone should have a someone. By the way, Aunt Karen has LOTS of someones...I am blessed to be one of them!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Chemo Day

Steph started chemo yesterday. Bummer. We were really hoping for a summer full of fun WITHOUT chemo. As my kids would say, "BOO chemo, YEAH pool days!" But if you know us, you know that we will make the best of it. So I enjoyed a day with these 4 cutie pies.
From A Little Bit of Life

Here are a few more pictures from our fun day!

From A Little Bit of Life

From A Little Bit of Life

From A Little Bit of Life

From A Little Bit of Life

From A Little Bit of Life

From A Little Bit of Life

From A Little Bit of Life

From A Little Bit of Life

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I Do, but I don't.

Levi has a new thing these days that we think is just hilarious. We will ask him a question such as, "Levi, do you want to eat lunch?" His reply is always, "I do, but I don't!" It is so cute!

So today as we waited to hear from Houston Steph sent us a text on her feelings on getting the news.

"I do, but I don't want to know."

My heart is heavy as I type this and I'm just going to shoot straight here. There is a nodule near her ovary. The lymph node next to it is inflamed. There is another inflamed lymph node below her abdomen. This leads them to believe that the area between these two spots contains a network of cancer cells that are too small to see. In case you don't feel as if you have been punched in the gut, let me continue.

They have recommended chemo full force again (instead of the leisurely "maintenance" chemo) starting next week. She then asked if this is how it's going to be..."chemo until I can't take it anymore, take a break for rest and start over?" His answer....yes.

I can't even begin to tell you how mad I am. I am even going to venture out (at the risk of offending someone) and say I am DOWN. RIGHT. PISSED. I'm sorry, but I am.

Make NO mistake...we are not waving a white flag. We will not surrender. We will not back down. We will exhaust EVERY option. In the meantime will also continue to live each day to its fullest. We will meet up, as we did today, at our favorite hangout (Nanny and Papa's pool) and continue life as usual. We listen to our kids yell, "WATCH ME WATCH ME!!" We will hoot and holler as if they just did something different from the last 50 times they jumped into the pool. Scot will sweep the porch and pick up after everyone. We will put "spidey suits" on and take them off over and over. (on the kids that is!) I will tell my stupid stories about how I choked on my Pina Colada in St. Thomas and threw my back out to make everyone laugh. We will charge on. We will get through this. We will continue to call ourselves blessed because we have each other. That's all we need.

We know, medically speaking, that Steph is very very sick. We also know that our God is in control.

Am I scared?

I am, but I'm not.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

15 years from now.....

I'm pretty sure this is exactly what will be happening in Steph's living room the week before mother's day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I lied.

I said I would update in a more timely manner, but it was a weird visit to Houston. We really aren't sure what to make of it, but we will remain faithful. After she finally had the ultrasound done, the doc said that she does NOT have anything on her ovary. He said basically someone read the original scans wrong. There are however, two more places that are near the ovary but they are not 100% sure what they are. All he could say was that he was really confused. He decided to bring it before the "board" which meets on Mondays. This coming Monday is a holiday so they won't meet until June 8th. They will call on June 9th with their plan of action. That's all we know for now and we shall continue to pray.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Today Steph had an appointment with the gynecological oncologist. After that she was scheduled for an ultrasound. However, when she met with the doctor he was very frustrated that they scheduled her appointments the way they did. The reason she was meeting with him was to discuss the results of the ultrasound...which was difficult because it had not taken place yet. He apologized and sent her to the office with a note stating that she MUST have this ultrasound TODAY. Off they went. They told the gentleman the situation and he told them to have a seat. They waited for an hour and noticed that everyone was packing up and turning lights off as they sat in the EMPTY waiting room. Steph went to the desk and asked what the hold up was. Long story short...they were overlooked. SO now, she has to be there at 7:30 in the morning to receive an ultrasound that was supposed to have taken place TODAY and been discussed TODAY. Basically a whole day was wasted in waiting rooms. Just what every cancer patient loves to do. As if she doesn't spend enough in waiting rooms. You would think a hospital dedicated to cancer patients would have these things ironed out. Needless to say, my mom and Steph were very frustrated. I will know more tomorrow and promise to update in a more timely manner. Until then...keep praying!

Just to pass the time....

From The View I Love the Most

From The View I Love the Most

From The View I Love the Most

Grandma Connie and the gang!
From The View I Love the Most

Cohen, Drew and Cross
From The View I Love the Most

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Steph and my mom left this morning at 6:45 for Houston. She will be scanned today, meet with the gynecological oncologist Wednesday (regarding the spot on her ovary) and then have her last appointments on Thursday before she heads home. We are really not sure what to expect so I will keep you posted as I get the information. Actually...I KNOW what I am expecting. A MIRACLE!!! Pray with us every chance you get!!

Monday, May 11, 2009


If you know me, you know that I am a VERY cautious person...almost to a fault. Lately, my sense of caution is slowly becoming full blown fear. The first night of our FIRST ANNUAL girls vacation, we ventured into a rather seedy restaurant/bar (it was the only place open within walking distance and we were STARVING!) and I became gripped with fear. You wouldn't believe the thoughts racing through my mind. I'm embarrassed to even think about it. We returned to our hotel safe and sound with greasy burgers in tow. I managed to loosen up but made my mom and Steph PROMISE not to make me go back there.
At lunch the next day, we discussed my issues. My health is something that is causing me more stress than anything. Since Steph was diagnosed, it has been awful! I get a headache...brain tumor. A cancer. My stomach hurts...colon cancer. Strange leg pain...a blood clot that is going to break free in the night and cause instant death. Sounds crazy right? Trust me, I know! I am usually able to talk myself out so I don't become a complete nut job.
Fast forward to Monday. I left mom and Steph on the beach and headed out into the ocean. I harnessed my fear of the stingrays mentioned on the sign that said "Do the stingray shuffle, or you will be doing the first aid hop!" I floated and bobbed along in the beautiful blue waters. I looked back toward the shore and saw two of the most important women in my life. I looked around at the expansive body of water that had rendered me weightless. I closed my eyes and felt a stir in my heart. I have recently learned that when I feel that, God is speaking to me. I have been working on the listening part lately. Then it hit me.
Look at this Chrissy. This is what God made. Only an all powerful God could create this amazing backdrop. Only a loving and generous Father would create this beautiful place and give it to us to enjoy. Look at your friend Chrissy. She is fearfully and wonderfully made. A God that is so powerful, so generous and so loving is perfectly capable of healing her ailing body. And guess what Chrissy? That God is all knowing. He knows our plan. He will reward us for trusting in Him. That is what I will do. I will trust Him with the life of my dear friend. I will trust Him with MY health.
I'm not going to sugar coat is sometimes VERY hard to do that. I have moments that fear grips me. Those are the moments I feel a battle in my heart. I know Satan wants me to be scared. God always calms those fears. I know Satan wants my life to be dark again. God sheds light on my world in a way I never thought possible. Satan wants me to feel alone. I know my God will never forsake me. So I prescribed the following treatment plan.
Less worrying...More praying.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fundraiser for the Lady Chiefs

I downloaded a new toolbar for my computer. Each time I click on a sponsored link (anything listed in the shaded area with bullet points or anything listed on the right side of the page) 10 cents goes directly to the Lady Chiefs! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY! So I just got this e-mail from Steph and thought it would be a good way to get the word out!

Click HERE to start earning money for our girls!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Day 3

We spent the day on the beach in cabanas. We had our coffee there and enjoyed the cool breeze. By the time afternoon rolled around we were glad to put up our shades to avoid becoming COMPLETELY lobster-esque! We read, talked and people watched. Steph and I floated in the ocean for a while. That's what I call a good day.

Everyday we have eaten lunch at the little bar by the pool. So far we have had delicious food and fantastic service. Our bartender/waiter took our picture today.
We are going to dinner tonight and plan to relax on the beach again tomorrow before we head home. We are having a great time, but we are missing our boys...and Claire!

Day 2

There was no picture and no post for day two. Why? I was injured. I am not sure, but I think I had a rib out of place. Our day consisted of eating, drinking, laying by the pool and taking a leisurely walk on the beach. (Well, Steph stayed behind due to her monster blisters!) This makes an injury very hard to explain. So I won't even try!

But I will tell you...Steph danced a little hoedown fashion. Heel, toe COTTON EYED JOE!!! She's gonna kill me.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Day 1

After a bumpy flight and a very FAST cab ride, we made it to our hotel last night a little after 11:00. We were starved and went in search of food. We ended up in a very interesting place that we will not be revisiting any time soon! Today we slept in until 9:30 (8:30 our time) and were very lazy. We headed to the pool around 11 and ate lunch before taking to the beach for a VERY long walk! Poor Steph has some MAJOR blisters to prove it! We picked up some great seashells for Claire's collection and headed back to the pool for more....well...nothing!

This picture is us at dinner tonight. A couple at the pool today told us about a great restaurant called Snappers, and they weren't kidding! It was WONDERFUL! We are stuffed and already in should know it's 10:16 and we have been camped out here for about at hour! We have really enjoyed the life of leisure today and can't wait for more tomorrow!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Guest Post by Chrissy's Mom

29 years ago today.......

My children will immediately recognize the above sentence. The number changes every year but it is usually heard a multitude of times during the day of their birthday. So as I'm starting this post I'll have you know that I was 3 hours into my labor of my first born, Chrissy. You know.....that really funny, witty, god loving girl of mine that writes not 1 but 2 blogs ( &

This will not be posted until later so I'll be showing you our new pics we took tonight! We are so excited to be sharing our evening together along with some very special people. We are meeting for dinner at 6:30 and then on to see Jesus Christ Superstar!

I would love to give Chrissy the most amazing post ever because she is so deserving. But, as a Mom, I know that I'm very biased. To me she is everything I ever dreamed about my little girl being and becoming! How is it that my daughter is so bright, articulate, caring, giving, and absolutely gorgeous? I say over and over how blessed I am.....she is one example. Don't worry Jarad, you are another way that I have been blessed! The people that God has put in my life are truly my biggest blessings and I love to daily tell HIM thank you.

I have been able to spend today with her and have loved every minute. We started with spending the entire morning looking at houses with my wonderful son-in-law, Big Daddy! Are you supposed to like your in-laws so much? We love OURS! Big Daddy is on a mission to find a bigger love nest for his family. We ended up having lunch with Mr. Nanny,Cohen, Steph, & Big Daddy's Momma, Connie. Connie was house hunting with us or maybe I should say I was house hunting with THEM!

After lunch, we picked up Claire & Drew and headed to Coldstone Creamery for a little birthday celebration with the kids! Ice cream for ALL! Steph was even able to join us.

Which leads me to tonight.....
Chrissy & I had the most wonderful time meeting up with our friends Susan, Delphia, & Allie! Dinner was good, conversation was better! We then headed to see Jesus Christ Superstar...WOW!! The music was amazing! I especially loved when Susan leaned over and said, "Hey, after the show I have a question about Desperate Housewives". That is why I LOVE Susan, I laugh. Chrissy and I enjoyed our evening together, we enjoyed our time with the girls, and we are especially thankful to Big Daddy who held down the fort while she was away! Now I'm ready for our girls weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Always a day late and a dollar short.

I am, just ask the director of the preschool the kids go to. So on this 22nd day of April, I want to wish Scot Phillips a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Even if it was yesterday! First I will tell you a little story, then I will reveal his birthday gift.

Scot is wonderful. Let me give you an example. Last week Big Daddy (my husband) was working late so I found myself at Handy Nanny's house. Scot grilled out hamburgers and hot dogs for all of us. He fixed Drew and Levi's plate and got them situated before he ate his food. Simple gesture, but never unnoticed. He then cleaned up the entire mess while we all chatted in the living room. Upon completion of that task, he came in and grabbed Levi up and headed for the bathtub. Cohen wanted to go as well and he welcomed him with open arms! With the two little ones bathed and smelling delicious he got them dressed and started gathering up Drew and Levi's stuff. He wrangled them out the door and to the car.

And guess what....
this is totally normal!!

He does so much do make things easy for his dear wife.

His boys adore him.

He's a house cleaning, dinner cooking, bath giving, superhero playing, football coaching, NASCAR watching real life hero in my book.

For his birthday, I am giving him an official blogger nickname.
Happy Birthday

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can you use air conditioners in hell?

Let me explain. Last week someone stole the air conditioner at a certain little church around here that just happens to be very near to my heart. Note, I said little obviously it's not the church I attend, but it is very dear to me. Okay, I don't believe that stealing earns you a one way ticket on the highway to hell...but stealing from church makes me wonder about people. Really, you might as well just walk in and swish your hand around in the offering bucket!

I'm going to try to take the highroad here and say that I will pray for the individuals who stole the industrial sized air conditioning unit. I can't imagine being so desperate that I would think that stealing from a church sounded like a good idea. The sad thing is...I'm sure if they walked through those doors and expressed a need, the people in that church would do whatever it took to help them. However, I get the feeling that these people really know what they are doing and it's probably got more to do with greed rather than need. Jesus be with them.
I remembered that not EVERYONE looks at my blog. I'm actually very surprised at how many people DO! I wanted to post the slideshow I made of our Easter weekend. We had a fantastic weekend filled with family, friends and an amazing Easter service! God is so good!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Easter09
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

In a few weeks...

Steph, my mom and I are going to be here....

watching this...
for four nights.
Can you imagine how much fun we are going to have? I think it's just what the doctor ordered.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just Wait...

Dr. Helen we adore thee.

Last week Steph and my mom went to meet with Dr. Helen to catch up. Not to be treated...just because Dr. Helen cares about Steph and wants to know how she is. As they were discussing the results they told her that the lymph nodes around her spine were still enlarged a bit. She nodded furiously and said, "YES, they will be! They will also continue to shrink along with the scar tissue. Radiation works for a very long time!" Did you catch that??? She said SCAR TISSUE WILL AND DOES SHRINK!!! This is great news! Steph and mom left feeling very encouraged and we are all looking forward to the next appointment in Houston. I BELIEVE that they are going to be scratching their heads and telling us that there is no medical explanation for this! Stay tuned...I have a little something special in the works. Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Weak in the Knees.

I got the call from mom and listened to some of the news. I had to wait for the rest because Steph was calling her back. While waiting...I broke down and wept. I mean truly wept. Why?? Because our GOD is so amazing. He is working a miracle.

Let me give you a run down. They were checking the scans to see if the lesion on her ovary and the lymphnodes near her spine are responding to chemo. The doctor seems to think they are which is good news and bad news. The good news, you want cancer to respond to chemo. The bad news, medically means that those two spots are most likely cancer. What is strange, is the fact that the doctor is not completely convinced that they ARE in fact cancer. Here's the plan.

Medically, she will continue with chemo but from what I understand we will be doing a maintenance program which means taking out the drug (not sure of the name at the moment) that has been making her so sick lately. This was music to our ears!!! They will rescan her in two more months to see if the areas are still shrinking. We are also TAKING CONTROL of our diets and eliminating sugar. It is what she needs to do and we are fully aware of the fact that it is very difficult to do in this day and age. We know that in order to be successful in this, we must stick together and make it TOP priority this summer.

Spiritually, Steph finally received a direction for prayer today. For so long we haven't had enough information to pray specifically and we really just prayed for her body to be healed. Today as the doctor talked about the "spots" on the scan he said that there is a chance that they are all just scar tissue. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS???? There is a chance that as she sits on that plane today...she could be cancer free!!!!! Here I go again...weeping. I stand so amazed in the Lord's work. I LOVED hearing that the doctors are a little baffled. For once I truly believe that it's NOT because they don't know what they are talking about. It's just...sometimes even doctors can't explain everything. The Bible can. Because of Jesus the blind have seen, the lame have walked and the hungry were fed. I believe that because of Jesus...Stephanie will be healed and restored to complete health. Our prayer for the next two months?


I will most likely have more news later, but for now I must go. I have a girls trip to the beach to plan! Which reminds me...I also have to do my Dancing with the Stars workout today too!!!

Thank you all for your prayers and support!! I can't say it enough...Thank you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baby Stellan

Remember in THIS post when I talked about the miracle baby Stellan? He is very sick. I have added a button to the side of our page that will take you directly to MckMomma's page. He needs our prayers. I am depending on God fully to heal my friend AND this baby. I know it may seem weird to some that I am so concerned for a child I don't even know...but his story has helped me through some really rough patches. His mother remains so faithful to the Lord even as she currently watches her child cling to life after being perfectly healthy just days before. He is a miracle and a constant reminder that God can and does perform miracles.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Here we go!

Today Steph will be scanned. We will know the results on Thursday. Please continue to pray and THANK YOU for leaving your wonderful comments. KEEP 'EM COMING!!!! They are so encouraging to all of us as we wait this week.

Steph texted me on Sunday as they were getting ready to take off. The boys were VERY excited about the flight. Levi couldn't believe he was in a real rocketship! Dan and Shelly, thanks for letting Levi ride in your rocketship. It was a real treat. They made it to Kathy and Tim's safe and sound. I received an e-mail from Kathy later that night and have a feeling the boys are being SPOILED to no end! I can't think of two boys more deserving of a good old fashioned spoiling!

Keep praying and, if you haven't already, leave a comment on my last post. I know it is so uplifting for Steph. Thank you so much for all your support. You are all so special to us!!!

For your entertainment, here is what we did Thursday while Steph was finishing up with chemo. Drew found the can of whipped cream and wanted to spray it in his mouth.

Drew: "BUT Nanny lets me do it!"
Me: "Well, sorry Drew, I just can't let you do that."
Me: "Because I have a better idea!"

From The View I Love the Most

From The View I Love the Most

From The View I Love the Most

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm going to beg here....

Scot, Steph, Drew and Levi will be leaving tomorrow for Houston. If you have ever had to make a trip like this or waited at home while your loved one went, then you will understand the emotions that come with it. If you don't understand...I pray to God that you never will.

First, words cannot express the love and appreciation we feel for the people who are making this so easy for the Phillips family. Dan and Shelly...there aren't words. These two angels have made arrangements to fly Scot, Steph and the boys to and from Houston in their plane. This means no lines, no plane full of germs and no worries about getting to and fro. Kathy and Tim...again, no words. These two angels provide a beautiful and comfortable HOME for the Phillips family to stay. Not only that, but they also watch the boys during the appointments. This allows Steph to bring her boys (which is so important to her) and Scot can still go to her appointments with her. I am overwhelmed by your generosity and love. Thank you from ALL of us. Please join me while you pray and PRAISE God for these wonderful people He has put in our lives.

Above all, we are still praying that GOD WILL HEAL STEPHANIE'S BODY!!!

Please also pray for all of us as we wait. This is hard.

I also want to ask a favor. For some of you "blog challenged" folks out may have to step out of your comfort zone. I am begging EVERY SINGLE PERSON who is reading this...leave a comment. Tell Steph how she inspires you, tell her you are praying or simply just say hello. I know so many people read this and I know she would REALLY love to hear from you. She hasn't come right out and said it, but I think she could use some encouragement. So I will give you the steps PLEASE just leave a comment.

Step 1: Click on the title of this entry (I'm going to beg here...)

Step 2: Type your message.

Step 3: If you don't have a google account, I have allowed anonymous comments so just select the "Anonymous" button.

Step 4: When you are happy with your work, click on "Publish Your Comment"

Step 5: Pat yourself on the back because you just brightened Steph's day!

Thank you in advance! I will not know anything until Thursday but will post as soon as I know something. Thank you all for your prayers...we feel them...everyday. We cherish them...always.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Coach of the Year!

That's right! Our very own Coach Phillips was named the Class 5A district 11....


Congratulations Steph! We are so proud of you!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Miracles happen.

We have had a very busy week! Mom and I painted Scot and Steph's basement on Tuesday and Wednesday. Can I just say that painting with 3 kids ages five and under is NOT the easiest task! However, it was worth it because the basement looks great and the Phillips family loves it!
The kids had a great time playing and we felt SO productive.

On Wednesday, Steph brought us China Wok for lunch and then hung around for a bit before she had to run some errands. We chatted about little things, shared funny stories about the kids and discussed the new decor. For a moment...just a moment...I almost forgot that she is sick. Then I went to throw something away and hanging above the trash can is the Colon Cancer Alliance calendar. Normally I would be able to find the humor in the fact that they call it a "Colondar" but for once, dry humor was lost on me.

I went home and was very quiet. The kids were in bed early so I had a lot of quiet time that evening. I recently read an article about the decline in the number of people who believe in God. It was surprising to me, given our current economic situation, that the number is on the DECLINE. How people deal with the heavy stuff on their own without faith, is beyond me. It outlined different religions and denominations so I went to mine to see what the author had to say. One of the things he pointed out was that we believe in modern day miracles. Hmmm. No one sat me down at church and said, "To be a member here, you must believe in miracles." I just do. I started reading THIS blog when she was pregnant.

(I copied this off of her blog regarding baby Stellan) "In the womb, he was diagnosed with heart failure: premature atrial contractions at 20 weeks; supraventricular tachycardia, hydrops, and intermittent advanced secondary heart block at 23 weeks; and enlargement of the heart at 32 weeks. When the doctors told us at 24 weeks that our very ill baby would surely die, we chose to give our son completely to God, for He alone knows best. We have not stopped praising our Lord since then, for MckMuffin was healed and was born a well and whole full-term baby...with dimples!! "

I am quite positive that these doctors weren't just making all that up. He was a sick baby and GOD performed a miracle in his tiny body. I am POSITIVE that God is working a miracle in Steph's body as well. I KNOW that she will be healed. I just know it. I have never felt something so strong before. I know that so many people are watching. Keep watching. I have faith that you are witnessing a miracle.

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

I will meditate on all your works

and consider all your mighty deeds.

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who performs miracles;

you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77: 11-14

Next week chemo will be on Thursday. They wanted her to go a day early so she will have a little more time before she takes off for Houston the week of spring break. Keep praying people.
Meditate on His works and trust with all your heart that He will heal Stephanie.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ode to Stephanie

From Steph's Gonna Win
Today is Steph's 35th birthday! To honor her, I decided to put together a list of randomness about my dear friend for your entertainment. A little "roast" if you will.

1. When I met Steph she had bad hair...of course, I was rockin' some sweet bangs so I really have no room to talk.

2. She is the reason I won the 800 meter at All City in 7th grade. Not because she inspired me with wise words...but because she KICKED MY BOOTY at basketball practice AFTER track practice a few times a week!!!

3. She hates clam chowder.

4. She is the MOST loyal person I know. I mean it.

5. She dislikes the color pink, but will wear it proudly to honor those who have fought or are fighting breast cancer.

6. I still have her autographed basketball card from her days at SMSU. She got me a set of autographed cards of the Lady Bears as well as an autographed ball. I was BIG TIME baby!

7. At SMSU individual camp one year as she was addressing the whole camp over the mic. She saw Ned Reynolds (a local sports personality on KY3) jogging around the track above the court in the old Hammons building. She made us all yell, "KY3! BE THERE!!" Which would have been really great if the station's catch phrase hadn't been, "KY3, is the place to be!" I still chuckle at that one.

8. She vomited the majority of the 18 months she was pregnant with her boys.

9. She is a very private person so she is probably going to kick me in the pants for this. I am actually REALLY holding back here Steph, I promise.

10. They go to River Bluff Fellowship and Drew was the first "River Bluff baby" born within the congregation. They started a MASSIVE trend!

11. She and my mom have very poor navigational skills.

12. She has two of the CUTEST boys you've ever seen.

13. She knows basketball...I mean REALLY knows basketball. She also taught me everything I know about the game.

14. She has an amazing husband.

15. She is my hero.

Steph, I hope you enjoyed your day. I am so thankful that we got to spend a little time together today while our kids ran around like crazy people! When you are feeling up to it...Brian wants to take you out for Sushi ;-) Happy Birthday my friend. Love you girl!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Today was our last regular season game for Upward basketball. The kids have a makeup game next week and then we are done! I am so thankful that Miss Jane asked us to participate. I can't believe how much the kids have progressed! Their coaches were wonderful!!! It has been so fun to watch each child gain skills and confidence in a Christian environment. We LOVED it!!!!
This is Drew running out of the tunnel. Obviously, they RUN out to music, a strobe light and fog!

Claire and Drew after the game.
The kids and Papa.
Thanks SO much to Miss Jane, Coach Julie and Coach Angie for everything you did for our kids!!!


Yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and a breeze was blowing. A perfect day to take the kids to the Nature Center while Steph sat and enjoyed some peace, quiet and fresh air. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Why? Because chemo went all wrong. They are changing EVERYTHING up there right now. Thanks to the new "system" Steph didn't actually get hooked up until noon. The most disappointing part about it was the response they received when they expressed concern about having to wait for FOUR hours to be hooked up.

"Well, you're just gonna have to get used to it."

Really? Does anyone stop to think about the things that she is already having to "get used to?" Steph has gotten used to the ache in her bones after she gets her shots to prep her tired body for chemo. She has gotten used to being terrified of every ache and pain in her body. She has gotten used to wearing a fanny pack every other weekend that continues to send poison coursing through her veins. She has gotten used to feeling terrible every other week. She has gotten used to these things...or at least learned to deal with them. I really wish that being treated like cattle was not something that she and SO MANY other chemo patients had to get used to. These are people who are fighting for their lives! Why wouldn't you treat them like the heroes that they are? Why wouldn't you want to lift them up and encourage them every step of the way? I think I have an idea of why everyone is so disgruntled right now, but you don't really want to get me started on that topic! Anyway, it was very disappointing because things WERE going so smoothly on chemo days which made it just a little easier on our girl.

I did have a wonderful afternoon with the kids. We met Ashley (my sister-in-law) and my niece at the park and worked up a good sweat. Then we headed to the store to get popsicles and stuff to throw on the grill for dinner. Here is Cohen and Drew at the park!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chemo Day.

Tomorrow is chemo day. If you happened to read my mom's blog you know that her attitude tends to be a little better than mine about chemo day. I am looking forward to tomorrow because we have plans to go on a nature walk with the kids afterward. Steph plans to sit and take in some fresh air, rest and I would imagine she will have some time with God. Please pray for Steph tomorrow. She is dreading chemo. Big time. Lift her up and ask God to give her strength to get through another treatment.

Oh and if you missed the Lady Chiefs game the other was SO EXCITING! Our girls played so hard and that game could NOT have been any closer. They only fell to Nixa by one point. Congratulations girls on a wonderful season!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Just wanted to say congrats to our Lady Chiefs! They had a big win last night against Ozark and will play Nixa in the championship on Saturday. It must have been the pregame talk they got from a very special guest speaker.....MY MOM! Steph and I, along with so many others, can tell you that her pep talks are the best. We can't wait for the game on Saturday night. NO ONE is as excited as Cohen though. All he has talked about since the game last night is his "girlfriend" who plays for the Lady Chiefs. Oh yes, Madi Miller has been the hot topic today! We were counting like the Count from Sesame Street today and I said, "One batty batty, ha ha ha!" He looked at me and said, "NO momma, one Madi Madi, ha ha ha!" Yup, my boy has his first official crush!

Good luck to the boys tonight as they take on Branson. Roy, if you need a good pep talk, I'm sure my mom is available!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mrs. Brightside

**UPDATE** Just in the last 24 hours, I learned that two more people who are very dear to me have received news that they have cancer. One is breast cancer and another is melanoma. Seriously?

Is it just me, or is cancer EVERYWHERE?! Claire and Drew have a sweet little friend at school who was fighting for his life at the tender age of 2. (He is currently CANCER FREE!! Praise the Lord!) Their teacher Miss Holly lost her husband Jeff to a VERY brave yet very short battle with Melanoma. Another mother at their preschool had breast cancer. A player on an opposing team a few weeks ago had recently discovered that her mother would soon be undergoing treatment for melanoma. Trish Marsh is a friend of ours and coach of one of my AAU teams in Jr. High. She fought stage 3 breast cancer and beat it. Go HERE for a great story about her victory. A former player's mother was diagnosed shortly after Steph with breast cancer. My 8th grade basketball coach Kent Watts is supporting his wife as she battles breast cancer. Too much cancer if you want this girl's humble opinion.

The bright side...the people who I am surrounded by who are battling this disease have done it with such courage. They have faced uncertainty with such grace. They have inspired me and the people around them in ways I never could have imagined. Especially my dear friend Steph. I sometimes break down and ask God, "WHY?" I know that I may never truly understand why, but it is becoming more clear to me as I watch the world around me change. He is using Steph. He knew all along that she would be facing giants someday. He knew. She has been chosen to fight this battle and He knew that she would be strong. He knows that people around her need to see a miracle. She is encouraging people all around her. She encourages me more than she will ever know. Don't just take my word for it. Go HERE and read Michael Stacy's wonderful article in the Springfield News-Leader. Be careful though, it left me in tears. Okay, I left me "ugly crying." You know what I'm talking about...tears, snot, swollen eyes. The works. I am so proud to call her my friend. Steph, because of you I am a better wife, mother, daughter, friend and sister. Because of you, I CHERISH every single day. You, my friend, are a true hero in every sense of the word.

Please pray for Steph this week. If you are familiar with chemo you know that it makes you feel pretty rotten for days afterward. You also know that it continues to work in your body so skipping ONE treatment won't really do any harm. She made the decision to skip chemo last week. This week is districts. It was very important for her to be at her best for her girls. Unfortunately, she has apparently picked up some sort of bug and is feeling lousy anyway. So pray that she is feeling better by tomorrow night.

Good luck to our Lady Chiefs tomorrow night at districts!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Funny Valentine.

Today as Levi arrived at the babysitter's house she was preparing Valentine crafts for the kids. The kids each had a plate with a small amount of red paint and a small amount of white paint. Levi looked at the plate and said, "Oh look! She has ketchup and ranch!" In case you didn't know, the world pretty much revolves around food with us! Here is a little slideshow of my kids. (You didn't think I would let a holiday go by without forcing you to look at pics of my babies now did you?) The song is dedicated to Claire and Drew. It's their fav and they LOVE to dance to it. The "cutie pie" picture is dedicated to Levi from Claire. She INSISTED on having her picture taken with the "cutie pie" heart so she could give it to Levi because that is what she calls him! It's pretty darn cute if you ask me!

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Hope everyone has a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Dear Mr. F1 tornado,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for deciding to touch down where you did on Tuesday night. You see, had you swirled just one mile north, you would have hit my dear friend's house. You may not know her but she's got plenty going on right now. Not only is she a wife, mommy, daughter, sister, friend, teacher and coach...but she is kinda sick right now. The last thing she needs is to have her home destroyed by the likes of you. Thank you for being so cooperative.

Sincerely and Fearfully yours,

Friday, February 6, 2009

Smells Like Chemo.

Today was chemo day. I hate chemo day. It means that my friend is hooked up to bags of poison. It means that my mom has a headache. (She has sympathy symptoms for Steph.) Which means that Steph has a headache. It means that once's real. OOooohhhh how I hate cancer. I wish so badly it would go away and Steph could still take Friday's off to have girl time with me and mom. But, you know me....forever the optimist, so I will list a few things that I DO like about chemo day.

It means I get to pick up Drew from school and see the excitement as he and Claire jump up and down with delight and demand that we listen to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make me Feel."

It means that I get to hug Steph as I return Drew to his rightful owner.

It usually means we get to eat together.

It means I get to hug her again as we leave.

We honestly don't get to spend enough time together so the days when we do get to hang out are precious to me. But it is so hard. Hard to imagine that she is so sick. It is so strange. Strange to think that this is really our way of life now. I look at her and she doesn't look sick. She is so brave and I am not sure if she understands how thankful I am for that. If it weren't for her strength, I would be a mess. I'm working on a post about that, but haven't found all the words I need yet. Please continue to pray for her, especially on chemo days. They.....stink. Which leads me to a story that is a little funny, and a little sad but 100% real.

Drew hugged his mom this afternoon and said, "Mom, you smell like chemo." He then followed up with, "you know like a hospital."


Friday, January 23, 2009

Another thank you note.

Thank you to Claire for screaming, "COHEN IS PEEING BY THE TREE," when we were trying to be discreet about our potty trainer who HAD to go at the park. Thank you to the 25 people at the park who let our kids maul their dogs yesterday on such a beautiful afternoon. (Especially the Millers! I WANT one of those dogs!) Thank you God for that beautiful day. Thank you to the people who throw their cigarette butts on the ground, it is because of you that we have daily discussions about how bad smoking is for your body. Thank you to my skin who seems to think that it is 1993 again and also to my hair who seems to makes me feel young again. (Note the sarcasm here.) Thank you to the nice lady at Lowes today who thought it was HILARIOUS when Drew bounced off of her booty in aisle 7 even though I warned him and Claire numerous times about the dangers of not looking where you are going. Thank you even more to that lady's husband who laughed even harder than she did and assured us that it didn't phase them....they have 9 kids and 10 grandkids! I am still giggling about it! With so much to be thankful for, I don't have time to do much else. That is my excuse for not cleaning my room right now....I'm too busy being thankful.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Touched by a Tiger.

Tonight we attended our first Lady Chiefs game of the season. It was a GREAT one. The girls played great and were so much fun to watch. I don't remember the score other than the fact that it was in our favor. What I will never forget was walking in and seeing a box on the table next to the nice lady taking money. They were collecting donations for the Stephanie Phillips Foundation. As I approached my dad who was at the concession stand I noticed there was another box sitting there. If that wasn't enough, the nice announcer man came on at half-time and said that the Freshman Lady Tigers would be passing the boxes around and urged everyone to put their spare change and dollars into the box. I sat and watched the girls go around and beg for money and I couldn't help but tear up. How sweet it was to see these girls put competition aside for the sake of a fellow member of this tight knit community. Brian and I had to chuckle when they played the song, "Man, I Feel Like A Woman" by Shania Twain while they were collecting the cash. If you know Steph, you know why it's funny. After the game they presented Steph with almost $700. I was doing just fine until Steph turned around with tears in her eyes. It gets me every time. As we were driving home I told Brian, "If you would have told me 10 years ago that Steph would stand in front of a crowd after a game and cry...I would have told you that you were out of your mind." But I guess that's what happens when you are touched by a tiger.

Thank you Lady Tigers...from the bottom of our little Chief hearts.

**On a lighter note**
We were walking into the Ozark gym and I said, "Claire, you will probably go to school here someday." She perked up and said, "And be a Lady Chief?!" Oh dear.