Saturday, August 30, 2008

Please Vote

I just got home from an evening at the river with Joel and his friends. It was so much fun - we had a fondue dinner which was excellent! Anyway on the way home we stopped at Walmart and we saw Jenna (Joel's niece) and I can't remember how it came up in conversation but he mentioned that he did not see Jenna at the hospital or any other of his nieces or nephews...oh my goodness - I couldn't believe it, I thought everyone at least went to see their nephews and nieces especially if they are within driving distance - so the whole way home we talked about this topic and we are on way opposite sides of the spectrum, so we need your help - please take a moment and vote in our poll. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Progress of a Steroidal Couch Potatoe

Sick definately describes how I feel still...yuck...maybe stoned, or dizzy or some other drug adjective would also be appropriate...if only I could sleep through the worst of it, but alas no sleep is in the cards for me at least so far despite not being able to sit up or walk around without falling over I was able to accomplish a huge amount of stuff...I was super steroid worker today from the couch....listen to what I did.

  • Sent over 100 emails
  • Cleared and organized both my email accounts (that was huge over 500 emails)
  • Put together two slide shows
  • Blogged several times
  • Solved crisises in the lives of people around me
  • Got all my mile logs done for the last four months
  • Updated my sports calendar
  • Talked to several nurses on the phone
  • Caught up with some friends that I haven't talked to in years (by email of course)
  • Planned a party
  • And lots of other things that I can't seem to remember right now
  • But I did more I promise!!!
Okay - I just needed to try to find a bright lining in the crusty cloud of steroid treatments thanks for listening to my venting! Now I just have to get a couple more things done while my fingers are typing in super steroid mode!!!! If I could just sit up while doing all this I could almost feel worthwhile again!!!

Twitch Family Reunion

Nothing makes me happier than meeting up with old friends and sharing some great memories. A couple weeks ago - I got to see a couple of my boys that I haven't seen in a long time. They were students of mine at times, part of our community youth ministry, and part of the band TWITCH. Now they are all grown up and doing great things to make the world a better place. I am so proud of these guys and it was so fun catching up with them. Paul and his wife Katrina are going to be parents soon - and just got back from Tanzania and they are now heading to Penn State to work with their international studies. Sean is in Buffalo working and leading worship to which he has a great gift that God is using in amazing ways! I love you boys and I am so proud of you!!!

And the other part of the story that is funny is that while we were sitting having lunch at Perkins in Williamsport we looked over at another table and there was another girl that went to Clearfield and I had as a student and was in the same church as the two guys I was sitting with - she is also married and has a child and she introduced me to her husband as Miss Grant - wow that has been a long time since I have been called that.

Tucker and Mini Me (Angel)

At the beginning of the month I had an opportunity to spend some time with the Ptacek family dogs. Of course Tucker went along because he loves to make new friends....but look at this picture - doesn't it look like they should be related? They even have the same white patch on their stomachs. Angel is a mix between a lab and springer spaniel and Tucker is a pointer lab mix. Funny isn't it! They are so cute together...when they aren't trying to jump all over me.

The Adventure Lunch to Cruisers

For my last lunch adventure of the summer I thought it would be fun to take a litte road trip and head to the other side of the mountain over to snyder should have heard the kids trying to guess where we were going - they were a bit disappointed when we went through the Middleburg Fair and didn't stop but once we got to our final destination they were very excited to find ourselves dining at Mt Pleasant Mills finest establishments - Cruisers Cafe. It does help that I have a little in with the owner, but it is a fun place none the less! We enjoyed waving at the people passing by, listening to fun stories, and eating great food, and let's not forget about the ice cream! If you have never been to Cruisers you should check them out at Check out some cool pics of my kids!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Report just in: Steroids increase blogging

It seems that as I lay here and I can't seem to get up because I feel so crappy after my 5000mg of steroids in five short day, I am a bit antsy, my energy is scattered - I am exhausted, I want to throw up, so I am trying to lay still, but I can't sit still so I am blogging, sorry if none of this makes sense, but I did catch up on many of my blogs that I was behind on....don't worry there are many more to come so if I can't sleep tonight you will get to read all the rest of the ones that I haven't gotten to yet. Okay I am done with my bantering - I actually have to go take my shot...actually that is probably another great reason to keep blogging - procrastinating adding more drugs to my already overdosed much more can I take without wanting to keel over and die....I can do this - I know that I can, I just wish I could knock myself out for the next couple days so I don't have to feel the awful steroid withdrawl - it is not pretty - let's just say Dr. Jerkyl/Mr. Hyde....I am not kidding. Okay did I say that I was done about five sentences ago - well I am actually done now. Thanks for listening to my ranting and raving!

Milk it does your body good!

Should I be mad or should I think this is this stealing or is it my boys just making sure they have enough calcium to make them stronger...ummm the jury is still out on this was the last night of camp and I am pretty sure that they didn't need the milk anymore and it wasn't like they wasted it - they actually drank all 104 containers of milk...they are strong boys - what can I say!

Great times as a Red Shirt!

It is a ton of fun to be a red shirt at workcamps....challenging at times when you are trying to deal with your group as well as take care of programming things - however with my health it does seem to be a win win situation. This year once again I was a song leader at two camps and an MC in training at one. I think with my hands being silly this may be my last year to do music since they don't seem to like the heat or the up and down motion that seems to be required for playing a I think it will be on to MC! Which I am very excited about. With that I thought that I would show a few pictures of my red shirt times!!

Archie's BBQ

For our fun night we decided to go out for our traditional BBQ - I guess when you do something two years in a row it is then considered a tradition. Anyway - last year we did Dirty Ernie's in West Virginia and this year we did Archie's. What a treat - when we arrived our name was flashing on the outside sign - we basically had the whole restaurant to ourselves, and they even helped us out with a birthday surprise for Mindy. The food was great and the service was stellar! We loved our time there and I highly suggest if you are in the Deep Creek Area you need to check out Archies! Here is there site! Thanks for a great time!

Fun Times at the Fun Land

Pictures speak a thousand words so I am just going to highlight a few of my favorites.... don't even ask just enjoy them for what you see, but feel free to comment - that would be entertaining.

Notice those great shirts

I just want to give a little advertizement to About three weeks before camp I was realizing that we didn't even have our shirts ordered yet much less designed. Well in chatting with my new friend Sarah at one of my workcamps, I found out her dad Eli Bernard has a t-shirt company and does the design for free in less than 24 hours.....score!!! I sent him the info and in less than a couple hours I had a design - we tweeked it a little and I was thrilled....he was so great to work with and he is an amazing Christian guy that I would highly recommend that you would consider for your next t-shirt order. Anyway check it out!

I tried to get pictures that show the front and the back - not great back pictures but you get the idea. Anyway you should check it out - we were "pleased"!!!

Our first day at camp!

I think the front row of boys describes our group to a T! We had our biggest group ever, filled with some wild and crazy kids - but a very fun group for the most part - they actually only got in trouble four or five times (at least that I know of anyway!) They were really hard workers and people complimented their work ethic, now if we could just work on our thinking and acting skills at the same time, we would be golden. You may notice two non-yellow shirted people. Well the guy in the blue is our new friend Luke from Colorado - his dad was the MC so he needed a group to stay with so they picked up - I hope we didn't scare him too much!

And the person in the red shirt - well that is me and that is what I wore all week long! I did alternate between the red shirts but they were all red since I was on staff. You know me always sticking out like a sore thumb!

SMT 08 - The fun begins!

This year for our summer mission trip we went to McHenry MD - on our way down we went White Water Rafting - that was pretty crazy! I am pretty sure it was my last adventure like that - My body can't take that beating anymore. It was so hard that I had to suck up my pride and get into a different boat because I was too tired to paddle anymore...I can't believe I am actually admitting to that, but it is true so I might as well just deal...anyway - the trip down there was gorgeous! The rolling mountains and back roads were amazing - it made me wonder how people can't believe in a God that created it - it is too amazing to just happen - there has to be a design.

Well the first night we had the priviledge to stay at the Springs Mennonite Church. They treated us so well. They brought us snacks and opened their church to a bunch of strangers. They even made us a huge breakfast the next morning. What a God thing the whole situation was, especially since two weeks prior we didn't even have a place to stay. Here are a few snaps of our time there.

The last day of YL Camp

I am finally trying to catch up on my blogs - since I am stuck on the couch for a day or so more and I am getting really antsy I figured now would be a good time to catch up on some of my blogs. So we are going back to mid July for our last day at camp. Here are a few pictures from our final celebration.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Highs and Lows of Steroids

Catchy title isn't it...just a bit of a disclaimer before I go any further...I can just imagine what is going through some people's heads right now. Steroids - how could Jana talk about the benefits of steroids as a former coach and health educator, and especially with the olympics going on and all the testing that occurs there....well - I am talking about Solumedral which is an IV steroid used to treat MS symptoms, so don't worry it is legit!

Now that we are all on the same page let's talk about the highs and lows.

  • 1. I get stronger without having to do a single push-up, sit-up, or walk about the block
  • 2. I will hopefully feel good for almost a month afterwards if all goes as planned!
  • 3. I get to spend time with the nurses in the infusion section of the hospital and they are pretty fun, and they think I am important because I am on the radio!
  • 4. Contact work from the couch - I have seen more kids in one day here on the couch than I have seen all week. It is a great ministry tool and there are some great stories to tell.
  • 5. I am not sure I can think of a fifth one but it seems to be a good number to end on, so yeah if you have an idea for number five you can post it as a comment. Interactive blogging - I love it - and all because of steroids.
  • 1. Getting the IV - is let's just say awful - it took 1.5 hours to get an IV to work for me today - I am not exaggerating. After 4 IV tries and 4 IV nummer shots let's just say I was about to throw up or pass out, it was so bad that my friend Miss Karen had to leave the room. Then to top it off they were moving the needle around while it was still in my arm - let's just say that I did not like that at all.
  • 2. Five days of treatment that make me very sick at times. YUCK!!!!
  • 3. Not wanting to eat for days and then when I am hungry and try to eat something I get really sick to my stomach
  • 4. Having to back out of previous commitments - ughh I just hate to do that - I had so many things planned - one of which was a weekend sleepover for my niece Kamryn - she was so excited to come and stay over, then a picnic for my friend, and a birthday party for my nephew Hayes - he's going to be two!
  • 5. Roid Rage - and yes that does really exist and it is not fun - just stay away from me on day five and six. Unless of course you want to be entertained by my emotional roller coaster and rage exibits.
  • 6. Not sleeping - so yeah - hence why I am exhausted and up typing a blog when I should be sleeping - this is so frustrating to me. Especially since my hands feel like crap!
  • 7. Loneliness - realizing how lonely it can be during the times when people have left and you are just overwhelmed with this feeling of being alone. Silly especially since I have been so blessed to have so many people stop by and offer to help.

So I am going to try one more time to go to bed, but before I do I want to share a picture, Exibit A - and give a shout out to Richard - the IV specialist at Evan hospital - thanks for getting the IV in and doing it in one try! You are my hero for the day! Check out his handy work!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Christopher Williams

All I have to say is that it is a small world. About 8 years ago while living in Clearfield I had a group of friends that loved to go to coffeehouse concerts around the area. We all just loved acoustic music. So one night we headed to State College to hear this guy in concert. It was an awesome night as we got to hear him and Jason Harrod. I grew to just love his music, and to this day still listen to it on a weekly basis.
Which now brings me to this summer. We walked into club the first night at Young Life camp and I looked up front and thought to myself this guy looks so familiar, then after a few songs the speaker for the night announced that Christopher Williams would be singing a song for us, and wouldn't you know that the first song he sang was off the album that I owned from 8 years earlier! It was crazy! But awesome none the less, his music has been such a blessing to me over the years and it was such an encouragement to hear him play again.
One night while there he did a concert, after the concert I decided to stop and chat with him for a moment to tell him the funny story that I just shared, well as I shared it - it got even crazier....he asked where I was from and I said Lewisburg - well he went on to let me know that he went to Bucknell - how crazy is that!
Even crazier - he supports an organization called Blood Water Mission - and one of my friends David VanBuskirk was just interning for them and they are friends too! David is a friend that I used to work at Krislund with...what a small world.
Anyway - you need to check out Christopher Williams and his music - it is a must have for your collection, check out his website We also hope to be featuring him on one of our Get Real shows in the next couple months.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Catching Up - Back to YL Camp

So I am going to try to catch up on my blogging now that I am done house sitting for a couple weeks and for some reason, though my head is throbbing I can't seem to fall asleep, so I guess I will blog instead. To catch up I must go all the way back to July...not bad only a month behind. Anyway - this was one of my favorite nights at camp - it is 50s night! I love this night because it is a whole evening of pure fun! The kids laugh, they dress up, they dance, they celebrate is just a blast! As you can see my girls loved dressing up, putting scarves in their hair, adding the bright red lipstick, and giving themselves moles (I didn't have to have a fake one since I have a real one in the perfect "50s spot". Anyway - I loved watching my girls let down there guard and just have tons of fun dancing, singing, and playing. I wish teens would play more, just let go of their fear of what others will think, let go of their desire to grow up and just play - not compete, just play!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another good excuse

Well it has been two weeks since I have written and I got back from camp Aug. 2nd....I do have a good excuse I promise. I do have about 12 blogs in my head that I would like to write about. Since I have been back I have been trying to rest, which is a good thing since I need a lot of that, but don't get nearly enough. These two weeks are a bit slower at work so that is good, however my office is a mess so I really need to clean that. But the real reason is that my body is not happy right now. On Saturday night I started to feel really bad again...I struggled to talk and make sense... I tried to go to church on Sunday but I had to leave early because I felt so badly. I had to have people come and help me take care of the dogs that I was dog sitting. On the couch was where I have spent much of my week. I went to the doctor on Tuesday just to be told to see my neurologist. Then yesterday I went to a nutritionist and my neurologist. Lucky me I get to have another MRI on Monday. The worst part of the whole thing is that the doctor is concerned that my dizzyness is not related to my MS - and my thoughts are please Lord - I can't have anything else wrong with me - I don't have enough energy to deal with something else. So now I am sitting, resting and waiting for the test and the results.

So that is my new excuse for not blogging...but if I get some energy later today after I nap I will try to start doing some of my blogging!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Too Close to home

There are so many other topics that I wish I could write about....but it seems that this is the one that is keeping me up as we speak so I will do a late night vent... today I got a call from a good friend of mine letting me know that he was in the hospital, I was surprised but I didn't think too much of it until I talked to his wife and she told me why he was the time of my call he was getting prepped for a spinal tap - YUCK! But the reason for getting one was all too close to home. He had lost all the feeling in his arms and his hands....and when they did his MRI they found a lesion on his spine....the possibilities are a tumor, which they think they may have ruled out...or MS but they won't know anything until tomorrow.

I was able to go and spend the afternoon with them...I answered a lot of questions, hopefully accurately, but also very factually....I didn't want to tell him the hard truth of the disease before he even knew what it was, but I just gave some general stuff to help educate them.

However, as I lay here in bed tonight and I can't sleep because my shot is kicking my butt and my body feels like it has been through the mill, I just want to cry and beg God to spare my friend....I don't want him to have to go through this...he has a wife and four kids, and that would just suck.... my heart breaks for him. I just wish I could take it all away for him.

I have so many thoughts going through my head right now, thoughts of what to say - thinking back to what I wanted people to say to me, thoughts of how to pray....when I just want God to heal his body so he doesn't have to deal with this, thoughts of frustration, thoughts of sadness, and thoughts of fear because I find myself incapable of looking at situation and not thinking about mine, which leads me to thoughts of selfishness...why does it have to come back to me...this is not about me...its about my friend...and this disease that has no rhyme or reason...please pray for my friend Todd...pray for quick accurate results, pray for comfort for his wife and kids, pray for God to heal his body and return the feeling to his hands.

One thing that I do know as does my friend Todd, that God will get us through even the hardest of times, and he will use hardships to make us stronger and to bring people closer to Himself.