Friday, April 27, 2012


I've put off posting on here for several days because I just haven't had the words to say.   Pappy and Gammy (David and Karen) pulled out after their appreciation service on Sunday. It tore my heart in two.

I think in one of my posts when Kari was first diagnosed with ALL, I talked about submitting to God's will and how hard it was when we couldn't see the way He was leading us. It's hard to understand the ways of God and I have never pretended that I could trace Him through this past year. And now, in yet another chapter in our lives, I can't even begin to trace Him. I was reflecting on this time last year and have had to come face to face with my trust issues. Yes, trust issues. I have had trust issues throughout my life due to certain things that have happened to me. Those trust issues have always been with people. These new trust issues have been with God.

Some things I can look back and say....yeah, I can see some good already that has come out of that. But for the most part, I look back and say...what in the world???!

This time last year, Kari had suffered a few bouts with strep throat and one bout of the flu. I had suffered 4 rounds of strep and then ended up with mono. The doctor assumed that Kari had it too, last May. We literally spent 6 months in the doctor's office and finally, in July, came to the realization of Leukemia. If that wasn't bad enough, our family went through a huge change in September and I, once again, became a single parent. (I don't think I've talked about this at all on here since it happened but I'm feeling the need to have a little confession/testimony time so bear with me)

To say it's been tough is definitely an understatement. I've had times of anger (many of those), times of bitterness, times of anger, times of deep sadness, times of anger, times of frustration, times of's been an emotional roller coaster. We've had MANY happy times in the midst of all that anger and hurt and sadness. My kids are so much a joy in my life and I thank God daily for allowing me to be their mother. The responsibility runs very deep in my heart to raise my kids right and that responsibility almost weighs me down at times. My heart's desire is to see my children grow up and love the Lord and to do that in this crazy world we live in will take lots of prayer and dedication. The majority of the time, I fall so short.

  I've heard so many people tell me that God must trust me an awful lot to put so many things on me at once. Okay, right. So, in talking to my wise mother a while back, she made the comment that all I could do was trust God. Trust God? When he's allowing all these things to happen to me and my family? When everything around me crumbled in a period of 3 months? I didn't question it much as it was happening. Perhaps I was trying so hard to get through it that I didn't take the time to think? She said this to me and it hurt my heart because I knew it was true: "It sounds like you don't trust God. You need to get down and pray and decide if you're going to trust Him no matter what or only if He's doing what you want Him to."

How many times have I said, even on this blog, that I would trust Him and cling to Him even when I couldn't figure out where in the world He was going with this mess? But deep down, was I really trusting Him? Saying it and really feeling it are obviously two different things.

So, I've come face to face with these trust issues the past few months and definitely in the past few weeks. God has such a bigger plan and can see the big picture in this journey called LIFE. I've come to the realization that the majority of the time we are in a sense, blindly following Him, never knowing where He's going to lead next and never knowing exactly what He's doing. Yet, we press on even when we're confused, hurt, angry and even bitter because we know God truly holds the answer and has us in the palm of His big hand. And eventually, we give Him all of those hurt, angry, bitter feelings and He heals those hurts and heals our broken hearts.

I'm figuring out that trust isn't an instantaneous thing that comes immediately when we pray for it. For some of us, it's a journey that we embark upon with the Lord and He teaches us how to trust Him and lean upon Him. One thing I know for sure is that God has always been faithful to me and I don't believe He will fail me now.   That, I think, is trusting that God is in control. I believe I'm making progress with this issue with the Lord's help (and my mom's wisdom to guide me). I desire your prayers...again.

I appreciate your friendship and support, your sweet encouraging comments, and most of all, your prayers!
(I have some cute new pics of the kids but I haven't downloaded them yet. Birthday pics are hopefully coming in the next few days.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

All You Need When You Need It

I'm sure by now most of you have heard the news about my mother and father in law (aka Gammy and Pappy, aka our pastor and pastor's wife. They are moving. Not as far away as California but far enough. They are moving to Alabama to pastor a church there. It's a decision that they've wrestled with and prayed about for several months and I know it is with hearts that are torn in two different directions (half in Kentucky, half in Alabama)that they are packing their home up.

To say that I'm devastated about this is definitely an understatement. It's one of those times when I look to God and say, "Seriously?"

I've expressed many times on this blog that I don't know what I would do without having them here. So, yeah. I'm going to be figuring that out rather quickly.

Many of you have asked if the kids and I are moving with them? As much as I would love to, no. For a dozen different reasons, the main reason being that I don't feel like it's God's will right now, we are staying.

Please pray for Bro. David and Sis. Karen as they make this change. It's extremely difficult for them, I know. Pray also for Bro. Chris and Sis. Lacey aka Guncle Chris and Aunt Lacey as they step into the role of pastor and pastor's wife.

Have I mentioned that I'm devastated? And that my van will hate me real soon from all the miles I'll put on it going to Alabama???! And that these puzzle pieces the Lord has given to me this past year aren't fitting together yet? I know we can't see the bigger picture and I get that. Sometimes, I'd just like to see a small section of the bigger picture.

I heard a new song and I have cried every time I've listened to it. Truly, God gives us sufficient grace to get through whatever we're facing. It's always just enough to get us through. How can we seem strong in the midst of all these hard times? Because God's grace is just enough for when we need it. Here's the words to the chorus of the song:

You'll have all you need when you need it
Though for now you just can't see it
When you're ready to receive it, grace will overflow
Put your fear on the altar and leave it
Walk on by faith and believe it
You'll have all you need when you need it, I know

So, another chapter in our life begins. Kari prays for Gammy and Pappy more now than she ever has. Even during her prayer when she was blessing our food tonight she said, "And Lord, we ask that you be with Gammy and Pappy as they travel and move to Alabama." It's on her mind often. Malachi is also trying to figure out just exactly what's going on. He said, "When I get big and mommy and sissy get little, I'll get in our van and leave mommy and sissy here and go see Pappy and Gammy." When we asked him where he would go see them at, he got a puzzled look on his face and said, "Far, far away."

All of the pictures on this post were taken by Ivy on Easter Sunday. She did an awesome job even if Kari didn't want to have her picture taken because she was freezing. Thanks, Ivy!

Malachi's birthday party was this past Saturday. It was a blast and I hope to have pictures up soon!

Thanks for your support and prayers! We love you much! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Trip to the Dentist

The kids had a dentist appointment on Tuesday. Kari and Malachi love going to the dentist. Mostly because it's got to be the coolest dentist office EVER (a computer room, ocean scenes on the walls, and several other trendy technology thingies) and the girls there absolutely spoil the kids rotten. We kinda spoil them too when we have early morning appointments. We bring them donuts frequently. :)

These girls visited Kari when she was first diagnosed and brought her an iPod and an iTunes gift card. They're awesome!

If you girls from the dentist are reading this, we LOVE each and every one of you! Thanks for being so awesome!

So...Kari has been saying weird things lately. I'm thinking it's due to the fact that so many people we know have died recently and the majority of them died from cancer. She's been talking about death and going to heaven a lot. Just now she came in here holding her Baby Alive doll and said, "When I die, I want to die holding this baby and it's blanket."
I asked her why in the world she would say that. She said, "If I get real sick and have to die is what I mean, Mommy."

Seriously??? Oh. My. Word. What do you say to that? I know that Kari is in God's hands but, as a mommy, sometimes that's the hardest place to leave them. Just because God is good doesn't always mean that it's easy to trust Him and trace what He's doing. In fact, I don't think it's ever easy to trace Him. This past year is a complete mystery to me. Sometimes I try to figure it out but it's more than my small brain can handle. :)

So, on a different note...Macey, Kyndall, and Chrissy came over for supper tonight! As always, we had a great time! Last week we met them for lunch at Reno's. We love these 3 girls!

If you want to see some totally awesome pictures of my babies, go to, click on Noe. Let me know what you think!
As always, thank you for your prayers and support! We love you!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Build A Bear!

Well, I'm back to the blogging world! My computer has decided (thanks to Jess) that it wants to work again. I'm not sure how long it will last, honestly. A new computer is in our future but I'm not particularly fond of spending $500 at once for a piece of technology. Since making the decision to homeschool Kari this fall I've been shopping around for a good deal. But until I find it...old Mable will have to do. (Mable is what I named our computer. And, yes, it's weird that I named our computer but the name fits)

Thank you Bro. Davy and Gammy for guest blogging for me! I had more comments on your posts then I've had on mine in a long time! Bro. Davy, when I read your post to Kari she said this, "Awww, he's so sweet. Ain't he, mommy?" LOL!!

So, we had clinic yesterday.

Kari's doing great right now. Her counts are good, her color is good, her overall status is good. I'm so thankful to be able to say that because a month ago, I was pretty worried about her. Interim Maintenance II (which we went through during January and February) wasn't very good to her it didn't seem. But thank God, she is doing great now!

Our life has picked up speed just a tad over the past few weeks. I'm doing some side jobs to supplement my income. The Lord provided a way for me to make some extra money while taking my kids with me. It's an answer to prayer! HOWEVER...Kari and Malachi are struggling to adjust to their "work schedule". But they understand that in order for mommy to be home with them, it has to be this way! Every time I feel a complaint rising to my lips (working with two children is interesting), I quickly rebuke it. It is TRULY an answer to prayer that I can work some and still have my kids with me! And that's the reason I decided to give my kids an allowance. I feel that they have to endure the days with me and they truly deserve an incentive for being so good!

They have been saving their allowance to visit Build A Bear. To say they love that place is like saying I LIKE shopping. Kari is obssessed with going there. So, they had saved $60 and had a $10 gift card. Clinic went very fast as both kids were anxious to head to the mall.

Apparently this week is spring break for the majority of Kentucky schools judging from how crowded the mall was. Oh. My. Word. Build A Bear was quite chaotic but Kari and Malachi didn't dare let that stop them. They waded into the madness and made some new friends while they were at it. Kari seems to be magnetic when it comes to other kids. She literally makes friends EVERYWHERE. It thrills this mommy's heart! Malachi, of course, follows Kari's lead so he makes friends right along with her.

A few weeks ago, after Aunt Ellie's funeral, we stopped by Children's Place in Dayton to look around. While Kari was trying on clothes there, a lady walked up and asked if we were Ashley and Kari. I was like....uh, yeah?! She proceeded to tell me that she followed my blog and was praying for us! WOW!!! I can't remember your name, but thank you for that! It was an encouragement to hear!

I want to say thank you for your support and prayers. God has truly been good to us and I know your prayers have kept us going the past 9 months. Just 3 months from now will mark the one year anniversary that Kari was diagnosed. What a journey we've been on!!! Not only with Kari's leukemia, but many other things as well. It's an encouragement to look back and see how faithful God has been to us and to know that He will continue to be!

Not to sound totally weird here, but please take the time to cherish your children and the time you have with them. None of us are exempt from the hard things in life...don't take it for granted that you have them by your side. Our world totally stood still on July 8th, 2011. I remember staring out the hospital window watching cars go by, people laughing and talking outside, while our lives were halted inside those hospital walls. A career, a nice house, big vacations, everything that represents a "normal" life...those things meant nothing to me after that day. Having Jesus in the center of my life and my children around me means everything. I may never have anything in the eyes of the world, but I want to raise my children in the fear and the admonition of the Lord. I want to raise them to love God and the things of God. I want to focus on working for the Lord and serving Him in every way. Not saying you can't have a career, a nice house and big vacations and serve the Lord...just saying that for me, this is the path God has chosen for me and my children. And I'll gladly walk on this path as long as He's leading the way!

We love you!!!