12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life

DIY porch decorating hanging balls make any porch stand out especially when you add lights! OH… they are fun to do as well!

Every fall Dan and I get busy thinking and creating new ideas for our Trading Post at the ranch and for our annual Harvest Hoedown. We love to go to markets and find what is really selling well and of course we focus on the country/western feel. When I saw these…WELLLLL I about flipped! It was an AWE moment as I know porch decor is hot and what I love best…you can do them yourself and change them for the season. Truly worth it!

18″ Wrought Iron Antique Rust

$65.00

12″ Wrought Iron Ball Antique Rust

$45.00

What’s great is they fold flat

If at any time you don’t want to have them, you can easily store them away as they just fold right down. I love that! One thing about decor is it’s hard to have a place for big items such as these.

8″ Wrought Iron, Forest Green

$25.00 This one is great for indoors a little cutie!

18″ Galvanized Medal

$70.00

they really are fun and will LIGHTEN up your porch for sure! We hope they sell! ALL PROCEEDS go to our ministry, True North Ranch!

Enjoy the joy crafting gives!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Training a teenage Haflinger who has been given the privilege of living life as she pleases has now brought on new adventures for her NEW life here at True North Ranch.

MAY 1, 2021

Our daughter Mac and I headed east to pick up a rescue named Rainie and another named Kaley who were renamed, Tilly. It was a fun get-a-way as mother and daughter shared many memories of our horse training, learning do’s and don’ts as we were so green back in the day, and recounting the rewards from many hours of groundwork.

HOME SWEET HOME?

When we got to Tilly’s place we witnessed instantly she had a spark of energy in her and was not at all comfortable with us. She was separated from her brother and dad and would not settle down. I knew then we had some serious work ahead of us! We left early in the morning which surprisingly she loaded well. Rainy is such a laid-back go-with-the-flow kind of girl we didn’t worry about her at all but it sure was a good thing we had her as Tilly needed a mate for the 10-hour journey home. We made one overnight stop at a similar ministry to our Hope Rides, which was awesome as the girls could stretch their legs and rest, and Mac and I could get a good night’s sleep! Morning came quickly and again no trouble loading the girls! Praise the LORD!

We arrived at the ranch right on time with many greetings from friends. Ministry sessions were also happening during this time of transition which became an amazing observation for them. We put our boys, Bo and Nugget in the round pen and as we unloaded the girls we let them loose into thier new home. full of trees and breathing Min

Our First Time in the Round pen

MAY 7, 2021

After an hour playing the catching game…in a sweat…Mackinzey and I got Ms. Tilly to the round pen. Of course, very nervous so we decided to bring Rainie in as well for support. It’s so important to have a “pit crew” in times of distress. Not only for humans but horse’s too.

A good first day!

True Colors

This next training session was much different. Two things different. One, she was on her own. Two, I took the halter off. Three…bad idea…with both those elements we had a fussy session that was suppose to only be an hour or two turned into…5 and 1/2 hour session! She was in a sweat and so was I! Never would I recommend this combo…but you don’t know until your in it and you can’t quit unless it’s on a happy note…it took her THAT long to get herself unwound!

Here’s a glimpse…

https://youtu.be/PaKpj1F7BHY

Ground work, ground work, ground work!

Amazing how we will see a change in her. She was ridable on the last one with one leading on the ground…and rider confident. Tilly did great! But when Abbie came again a month later, she could only ride her with her head pulled in. As Abbie said, if she gave her her head she would bolt and become unconfident. One of Tilly’s biggest hang up as she wants to see you. SO this helped…

Tilly Camp! October 16, 2021

Thinking Tilly needed an extended time with Abbie we decided to have Tilly spend some time at Abbie’s farm. This way she can take her out more frequently and understand some real issues away from our ranch. WOW! Listen to this first adventure…

And there we gooooo…

Camp Day 2

I decided to pay a visit and see first hand how Ms. Tilly was doing. She is definitely missing the ranch and familiar world at our ranch. I spent an hour there and took a short video. Again…it’s about her not having a visual on the handler which is a MUST for a horse to trust because no horse will see their rider on their back. She has to get to the trust without the sight.

Ground Driving

This technique is huge in understanding and working with getting a horse under saddle. Yes ground work, round-penning and playing on all yields is all a part of the training which Tilly has had all summer, but THIS is one that proves her lack of trust and need for this kind of ground work will need to be in her training plan. Abbie tried for several more days and it was decided she needs to be at the ranch to do this. SO…going into colder temps here in Minnesota, I begin where Abbie left off. I will have Abbie come show me as I haven’t done ground driving in years and will use Bokoda who knows this well from driving days and learn from him. Then we will go to Tilly and help her along. Tilly is back with her herd and content!

Keep Posted…

The sogga of training continues…keep posted as one day she will be used for riding God willing. The biggest thing I think about is every horse has a purpose. Riding, driving, racing, bronc riding, cattle work…What IS TILLY’S…it may not be riding…we’ll see!

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Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life, The Boys

Honoring our blue is indeed something they surely need. Dan and I prayerfully added a once-a-month day for the Blue and their families to enjoy the ranch and most important…each other!

Tilly enjoys her first paint time.
How we decided

Most of the time when we work together one of us comes up with an idea drawn from what is happening in our community and the surrounding world. It was without question when all the trauma the law enforcement officers were facing and continued to face we knew not only they personally were suffering but their families as well. Adding a once a month event just for them was an honor and our first one touched us all!

What we served

Keeping the meal simply because when there are kids involved, food really isn’t all that big a deal. We served sloppy joe’s, bacon beans, chips in a bag, BLUEberry lemonade, and for a treat, root beer floats. We fit in as much blue as we could in the deco and serving dishes as we could making it extra special by giving each child, spouse, and officer a goodie bag. The bag included special goodies they would enjoy like chocolate for the wives, candy for the kids, and the officers received a chuck full of needs for a busy day on the streets. From granola bars, gum, and bandages to a lollipop and Kleenex. One goodie bag was a poem just for them!

chuckwagon serving table

FUN begins…

The games we provided are ones we also use for our Harvest Hoedown, but we added the Ax throwing because we just know our officers…they love completion and the thrill of hitting a target! We also included horseshoe of course and our TICK tac Mosquito game along with calf roping and time with the bunnies. Painting on the horses was a highlight and even branding on leather. The fire risk was in the RED so we couldn’t do our usual branding in the fire pit so we improvised. They loved it!

RIDING is always included and the one thing all kids love to do. We show them the games to build the relationship with the horse they choose and when they are ready they saddle up and ride.

It’s always a joy to see the smiles and hear the laughter, especially for our BLUE 6 families. We love our BLUE!

Honor your blue and don’t forget to say THANK YOU. They serve us well!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life

Playing with the New Mug Press and the Dos and Don’ts has been SO much fun! Experimenting with all the Design Space ideas and of course implementing our own has given us amazing results.

Getting Right Materials Ready

Infusible ink is what makes this mug or cup turn out so beautiful. For now, Cricut has the products and even has special infusible ink sized to the mugs they sell. (which you can also get here for less) I did get the joy infusible ink which is I believe the same size as the one they have for the mugs. Nevertheless, it worked. I also bought a few other prints which you can see below. The mug press can fit 11oz and 15 oz mugs, mason jars, and camp mugs.

All must be sublimation products to hold the inks and if you do the mason jars, get heat resistant gloves!

Working with the infusible markers is a first for me. We wish there was a cheaper way of doing this but for now, I haven’t found any other product because once again the infusible ink is what makes this all work so well. I started with a small set of markers for the first tries. (wish I just went for it and got the bigger set) As you can see it came out light. (above) WHY? Because we didn’t put 3 layers of butcher paper or the paper Cricut has packaged with the infusible inks behind the image. We only put one. For the “Live like” mugs, we used a black marker to color in. The one above was just an outline using the black pen ink, you can hardly see the words. Isn’t the agate look cool? For our ranch, this will be popular I think! But, they are clearance right now. Yikes! Oh well, there are MANY other fun designs they provide!

Markers Using Outline PLUS Bonus

By far this will be our biggest HIT! Cricut design space has many online images we can use plus add our own touches like bible verses or cowboy sayings. Make sure to add 3 layers of butcher paper to the back before pressing. You don’t have to do it with the infusible transfer sheets, but for the markers, you HAVE to do it or it will turn out lighter and the ink could get onto your mug press.

ANOTHER BONUS…you can do the outline on your LASER PAPER, NOT COPY paper, ahead and color in later. We tried this as we want to prepare the projects ahead for the kids arriving at sessions and just have them do the coloring and pressing during their session. This was HUGE for us the black ink pen held for a few days!

Laser vs copy

CAN YOU TELL?

DOS AND DON’TS

If you are going to do a lot of coloring, I would recommend investing in the set of markers. The black pen and marker are both a must. The pen does the outlining and the marker does bold printing or coloring. Make sure you cut extra mug designs with butcher paper or laser copy paper to prevent bleeding and get bolder colors. Use laser copy paper, not copy paper to also get the best effects.

Have A Blast!

Enjoy creating and experimenting…crafting is really awesome for our mental health that’s for sure!

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Bible Journaling, Crafts, Hope, Ministry, Ranch Life

Pray Your Heart Out was my Devo today…and it’s never been so true!

As many of my readers know we have battled many trials in the past few years. From mental illness with my hubby’s breakdown, our daughter leaving one job far from home to transitioning back to her home state, and lately our son who just got his second liver transplant. Battles that were not easy but sure grew each of us!

His Word Burns in my Heart like a Fire.

Jeremiah 20:9

Prayer has been the sustainer! My HOPE in these times and yes, many days and nights have been praying my heart out. I often will write my heart to the Lord in my journal as I can look back and see what the Lord has done in my weakest of moments. Makes me cry… really! Our Lord is so gracious!

Praying…What it Looks Like

This is the best part of prayer…there is no WAY it has to look! When you have a relationship with the Savior He just wants to hear from you. He does indeed want a heart that is humble, attentive, and gracious. Even His own disciples wanted to know HOW to pray. Jesus was quick to let them know not to pray so everyone can hear you like the Gentiles, but to go in a quiet place and pray…saying these words…and not exactly but in your own words.

“When you pray don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask. Pray like this:” (The Lord’s Prayer)

Matthew 6: 7-9

Bottom line…Give Jesus Your Heart

Since the Lord already knows your heart and what’s on your mind, why not be real, honest, and pour it all out. I find when I speak my prayer out loud I receive instant peace. Jesus IS my therapist and in the mental health world speaking out loud IS awesome therapy and who better than THE COUNSELOR, Jesus Christ to share your heart?

I talk to the Lord many times throughout my day. I could be crafting, doing chores on the ranch, or simply drinking my morning coffee. Prayer is simply talking with your best friend and being real. SO…PRAY your HEART out, every moment of the day to be refreshed and renewed!

Enjoy your day with JOY!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life

A Box of Love; DIY Kit anyone can make!

Recently when our son was going through his liver transplant, I wanted to be able to give goodies to folks who were prayer warriors, nursing staff, doctors, and even our hotel check-in staff. I just wanted to show them how much we appreciated all they did during our time with Mitch being sick.

We are often in the cities for Mitch with procedures and appointments and right now I am sitting in the hotel room putting the final touches on the things I have made. All weekend knowing we would be traveling down I got busy making up Heart Hot Chocolate Bombs and cute boxes to put them in. Along with some teas in a tube. There is nothing more fun than giving a gift of love wrapped up in love!

Here’s the first one I made:

2 hearts were so cute

In the next box, I added more with the Cricut Maker. I tell you this machine has added to my crafting tenfold of fun! Not only can I get the cut out in the middle, use the extra hearts for other cards and projects, but also do words, borders, and even make tags. Having the Cricut access is really an inexpensive way to get SO much for your money and the ideas….whoa… The fonts alone are worth it!

So fun and cute!

How to make a box

For the base of the box: to fit 2 heart hot chocolate bombs or 4 1/4 x 5 1/5 cards

Card-stock cut 10″ x 8 1/2″ then score 2″ on all 4 sides. I use my cutter to cut than a scoring tool all in one sweet device! Next cut on score lines on each intersecting score-line. Fold in and using double-stick tape to secure corners well. Regular glue and mono adhesives are not strong enough.

For the lid:

I used a different color for my lids and as you can see also using background paper can add a fun eye-catching box.

6 5/8″ x 8 1/8″ score at 1″ on all four sides. Cut on the score lines up to intersecting lines on each corner. Fold in, tape and seal. I used acetate for the window.

Now the fun part…decorating! If you’re using a Cricut Maker I went into the Design Space and chose my images. Measure the size area of your box top and create your image in the design space to fit the size in the middle of your box. When you go to MAKE IT, fit your image on your standard grip mat to the area where your box will be. I measured using a ruler the size of the image and measured my cardstock box. I used patterned vinyl. To make my tags I used these fun adapters using my gel pens for words. I LOVE this idea so I can use markers, ballpoint pens, and sharpies to create any saying!

Here’s another idea:

Couldn’t help it…made another:

So you can see these can be a ton of fun! Filling them with cards for the person to use or with treats…all in love!

Have fun creating your own ideas! Share them too!

COMMENTS: Love to hear share away…

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Ministry, Ranch Life, The Boys

How to Help A Horse With An Abscess and Being Prepared Ahead of Time Will Put Your Mind at Ease

This last year one of our horse’s Bokoda had come up limping and it looked like he got kicked or pulled his shoulder. Each time he was dropping his shoulder. I never thought it was an abscess even though I checked his hooves each time. It’s always where I begin when they get injured and don’t know the cause.

Our farrier came out and told me it was an abscess already starting to heal. I could NOT see it at all. I really need to learn more on what they look like. The one he had before I could see clearly like a bubble but this time I missed it.

I would encourage you to look it up too. So you can compare. Also call your farrier. Mine doesn’t have an updated cell phone to get pictures but most do so you can take a picture and confirm with them. Once you know, now for the care and healing process. Here is the way we did it again, youtube is great for this.

Things you will need:

Bentonite Clay

5 drops Arnica essential oil (wonderful oil to have in your farm kit)

5 drops Rosemary Essential oil

5 drops Lavender Essential oil

8 drops Copaiba Essential oil (another awesome oil for healing)

baby diaper or bed pads

duc tape

vet wrap

The video is not the greatest but we had to get to work on this and believe it or not just 3 days later our son was called to receive a liver which we have been waiting for over a year! The adventure is here…incredible timing the Lord helped our horse before we would be gone for 2 months! Only our Lord knew all the details! God is good!

So thankful I will recognize his limp as this happened this year THREE times! WOW! Anyway…hope this helps you all in the horse world!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Empower, Healing, Health, Living Naturally, Ministry, Ranch Life

Select and Dilute

Using essential oils around our ranch is almost an everyday thing. At least once a week the horses will need something weather fly spray, tick spray, hair grooming and of course in the ministry oils are often incorporated somehow. But one thing remains…I will always add the carrier oil. Many will say it isn’t needed for horses and or they will lose the benefits from not getting the full non-diluted blend, but not being a professional I don’t want to take any risks.

Why Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the natural way to help with human and animal health. Just look at scripture and see essential oils were what our first ancestors used for healing. I also am intrigued by the Native American culture and how they use herbs and extract the plants into oils. It is just fascinating and more importantly in my life, it often works! Essential oils repair, oxygenate and act as defenders of pests, germs, and infections. Essential oils are wonderful for not only our physical health but our mental and emotional health. How awesome is that?

My Favorite DIY Blends

1. Fly Spray

  • 2 oz. olive oil, or neem oil
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Epsom salt water mixture, 1 cup of Epsom salt to one gallon of water, mix
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder (my horses love this stuff on their nummies)

Combine the above and place into a one to four oz spray bottle.

Add 6 drops each of Citronella, Lemongrass, and Black Pepper essential oils.

Infused garlic water can be used instead of the powder by simply placing one head of garlic cloves into a one-liter glass bottle filled with distilled water and let sit for several days. Take the olive oil out of the recipe.

2. Tick Spray

Combine all ingredients into a spray bottle, label, and spray on legs and underbelly, and ears. Every 4 hours if you are out all day.

TIP FOR DOGS: I put oils on my dog’s inside collar every day. Check to see if your dog likes the oil first.

3. Wound Salve

Combine and place on the wound for the healing process. You can vet wrap too if you like.

4. Colic Rub

First call you vet to make sure he/she is in the loop your horse is colic. This is for while you wait…

Rub on the horse’s belly area and inhale as well by holding your hands full of the oils, at the horse’s nostrils. I mix this in a 15ml bottle and label. PRAY! Always helps!

5. Calming Blend (place blend in its own 15 ml bottle, label 6 drops of each oil)

Mix all essential oils top off the bottle with a carrier oil. Shake before using and place on the neck and back of the horse. Instead of carrier oil, you can put essential oils into a spray bottle substituting for water.

6. Proud Flesh Prevention

In spray bottle, combine above and spray on horses legs at least 2x’s a day

7. After-Bit Spray

Place in spray bottle and shake well. Spray on bites as often as needed. I have sprayed on vet wrap for larger bites if able.

8. Grooming and Detangles Spray

Add all above to spray bottle and spritz onto mane, tail, and body before grooming.

Such therapy for both human and horse

9. Hoof Conditioner (for abscess, check here)

Mix well and rub onto hoof

10. Muscle Rub

Mix into a 15 ml bottle using essential oils first then top off with Grapeseed and almond carrier oils. Shake well and massage onto the horse.

Why Rocky Mountain?

I love this company because for one they are reasonable in price not being an MLM they can work directly to us the consumer. Their shipping is SOOO cheap, just a $25 order will get you FREE shipping! They have a key code for every oil so you can assure the quality for the one you have as each bottle is specifically coded. You can go directly to their site and read the SAAFE Promise! Their shipping is quick, their packaging is awesome, and protecting every oil that comes knocking at your door! You will love them for sure.

Enjoy using essential oils saving you a TON of money in all the junk on the market and giving your 4 legged friends the natural way of healing!

God’s blessings to you,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Food, Healthy Eating, Herb Basket, Living Naturally, Treats

A Creative Herbal Tea Gift In A Tube Makes for A Great Gift Giving Idea With A Healthy Boost Too!

It’s been a crazy fall and I wanted to make some fun thank you gifts just knowing our life could get upside down soon with our son waiting for a liver transplant. One thing I love to do is give a gift to staff or really anyone who has given us extra love.

Getting Creative

Cleaning my whimsy room, I noticed these tubes. I was emptying a to-go-craft bag and wanting to fill it with things to do while at the hospital. HUM…what could I make? I thought to fill them with candy and bow them with a tag. The old hot chocolate idea with cocoa and marshmallows and peppermint candies is always a great go-to. But I wanted to do something different and even more on the healthier side since we are talking about health care workers during such a difficult time. So…I came up with an herbal tea blend. I thought they turned out kinda cool! Plus, giving them out would be easy! The only thing is that when it actually came time for me to give them out the hospitals shut down visitors. I did go to security and asked them to deliver them, just not ideal, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I just love how they turned out!

How I put them together

I made up three different blends. Fall, Christmas, and simple citrus. The one I loved the most was the lavender one.

Just put the herbs of your choosing in front of you and arrange how you want them to look. The lavender looked great on the bottom with the rose petals on top, then spearmint, lemon peel, and a tinge of orange peel. Just layer as you would like. Christmas tea has my favorite blends of cinnamon chips, ginger, orange, Euchenicia, and very little Hibiscus Flower (great for color too or you could use elderberry or both).

Fall is the easiest, Red rooibos tea, ginger roots, elderberry, clove bits, and cinnamon bits. (Cinnamon sticks work great too but I cut them up into bits for the blends)

All the herbs are organic and wonderful quality! Sometimes they are out of stock but just have them notify you when they arrive.

A new friend moved into our area, so packaged him up some pumpkin bread and tea for a housewarming gift.

Enjoy gifting this year using your favorite things. Blended teas always make a wonderful gift for folks who enjoy the herbal teas. One must have a taste for it though, so choose carefully! You may just have to go back to the hot cocoa idea.

These hot chocolate bombs are a big hit too! I love how creative you can get with these just by switching out the color of chocolate.

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and give generously!

Lee

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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

A Branson 2020 Trip Came At A Perfect Time and Really Needed As A Couple. I Would Highly Recommend This Adenveturous Place For Anyone!

Anniversary trips passed…

Dan and I usually get away for a day or two for our anniversary every year to a place within a few hours from our homestead. Most of the time, it’s with the horses. We have enjoyed many a trip to North Dakota at a horse camp, Cheyenne Oaks. A beautiful place to ride with miles of trails and scenery plus it has a little cabin with a hot tub which was perfect for us. We also have gone a little further to a spot in Wisconsin, Palmquist Farm. Adorable family farm with real homemade farm meals in a family-style setting. LOVED this place as well and again, the cabin set the stage for our special celebration. The horse facility for both was also exceptional and made me feel comforted knowing the boys were safe as well!

Hosts, Helen and Jim…Her cookbook is amazing!
Beautiful North Dakota trip

A New Adventure…without the boys

So this year we decided to not only travel further but also go without anyone or anything else but us…WOW! What a trip!

First, it has been years since we took a trip with just the two of us and this one was extra special because Dan is retired from his business. SO, not only did we have some special memories but we didn’t have ONE interruption from a work-related situation. THAT was amazing in as of itself!

The trip is about 12 hours with stops and we did take our time stopping at shops along the way. The colors made the trip even more enjoyable and with the ’70s and 80’s tunes jammin’ we made our way to this beautiful part of the country!

We Arrive

Both of us expected this to be more of a Las Vegas kind of scene but we were pleasantly surprised it was far from it! The attractions are fun and so are the shows you won’t be disappointed! Yet our favorite thing to do was enjoy the mountains and waterfalls. Our hotel, Falls Creek was wonderful. It was off from the hustle and bustle of the main area and if the creek was flowing that too would have been beautiful. But as you can see, we enjoyed the place to relax and wind down in between activities. Dan often commented on how it felt like we were on a cruise with so much to do! HA!

Outside our door at Falls Creek Resort

Highlights

Our favorite show of course was the Stampede. We loved the food, eating with our hands as is most of our life on the ranch, the horses, music, and we just loved the patriotism of the whole show! During this time of covid, masks were worn by the employees but as long as we were in our seats we didn’t have to wear them, which was nice. The waiter was awesome and very hospitable! He kept Dan’s sweet tea mason jar full the whole time! Truly worth the time and would do it again in a heartbeat!

The Outdoor Attractions

This is what we loved most…being in the areas that had hikes, biking, and just plain old enjoying the great outdoors! The waterfalls there are amazing and many places we didn’t get to. The Silver Dollar City created in the old west times of course once again fits our lifestyle and what we love. Creative crafts and cooking over an open fire made our day! I tell ya, you can’t go wrong finding something to fit your loves…we sure didn’t spend long enough there that is for sure!

32 Years…A Memory We will Cherish

We love riding in the fall and enjoy being with the horses, but we are thankful we made the choice to leave them behind and concentrate on US! Marriage is important to God and when He joins two together He does provide the beauty for us to enjoy spending days of rest and celebration it’s just that we don’t often take the invitation. We know the importance but do we often embrace it as something we felt we need to take more seriously. We will cherish the memory of Branson and the time we shared together without the worry of our home. Our kids took on the chores and ministry needs to help relieve that worry.

I encourage all married couples to embrace rest and time away! It is indeed good for the heart and soul and renewal!

God’s blessings to you all!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and Dan

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Ministry, Ranch Life, The Boys

Because One Special Horse Taught Me Relationships Are The Most Important Thing On This Side of Heaven

Asking vs. Telling

Who hates being told what to do? I sure do! From the time I can remember when someone told me to do something I resisted with all my soul. But when asked with a “suggestion” or “request” I was more apt to WANT to oblige.  Being asked to do something is always much better received than telling in any relationship, horse to human, and especially human to human.

Asking brings a much sweeter response to any relationship!

Patience is a Virtue

It’s funny how much I dislike math, more specifically, algebra! The old saying, “what you do to one side you have to do to the other.” Well, fancy that…the same is true in teaching a horse! Horses have an immature corpus callosum, which is the link between the two sides of the brain. So when I work with my horse and I teach on one side I must do the same to the other.  For example, when I ASK my horse to move his hind end on his right side, I must do the same on the other. Asking, get a response, receive a reward for even a try, back off, try again, and if he moves it over reward and love him up! Then do the same thing on the other side.  The same holds true for human relationships. This reminds me of the verse in John 16:12 when Jesus says to his disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you can not bear them now.”  I think about one example of when I am sharing the gospel or truth from His word with someone they may only be able to handle a little bit at a time and to hear the same thing again until received well.

Training is a special time

Being a Partner vs a Boss

Horses are herd animals meaning they always need another herd bound animal. They are not loners. We have two horses and when we are on a trail ride if one of us travels further away from the other they will begin to neigh at each other and even get a little pushy to want to go closer to their buddy. It is what is called “buddy sour”.  As much as we work on this we still struggle with gaining the partnership relationship vs getting bossier. If my horse knows I will keep him safe and am his partner in this relationship, he will respond in a way to show he doesn’t have to have his herd mate with him all the time. I don’t have to have a bossy way about my communication with him to keep him focused on the ride and not worry as he can trust me. Partnership in a relationship vs being overpowering in a conversation or “winning” will lead to one wanting to run away for safety.  We work better together in human relationships when we work as partners seeking trust and respect for one another. 

Seek the Fruit of Kindness

Over the years I have seen many ways people handle their horses both in training and in riding on trails. There are ones who have the “breaking” mentality where kindness is not present in the human. Training is a special unique relationship between horse and human. It’s asking, being patient, and being a partner. I have a special horse with a very unique relationship because it is based on being kind to one another. Human relationships respond in the same way. Kindness is one of the Fruits of the Spirit and there is a reason for that. It’s always well received and builds lasting relationships.

My first day with my new buddy…Bokoda Joe

Communication is Key to Relationships

Boy, when I don’t let my horse know where I am and sneak up on him disaster is at hand! A horse is a prey animal and is always nervous about a predator attacking them so when one sneaks up on a horse you will get what you deserve…a kick…a rear…or a blowout run! The same holds with my relationships with others. Being open with my thoughts and feelings especially in conflict is huge to understanding one another. It helps build the relationship to be stronger and overall healthier. Trust is key in any successful relationship…how do I know…I learned from my special horse!

Since I got Bokoda I have learned so much about relationships! Bokoda has indeed taught me many things. One thing for sure I am thankful for is his patience as it surely isn’t natural for a horse to trust a human. But his love for me is evident by the sweet response of faithfulness in every day! Especially in ministry! Thanks Bokoda we sure do have a special bond!

Faithful friend!

Peace in Christ and in all your relationships!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and Bokoda

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Health, Ministry, Peace, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

New Additions To The Ranch And Exciting To See What The Lord Is Doing

Support…Truly A Gift

Dan and I have longed to have our big equipment be covered as the expense of these machines aren’t cheap so taking care of them is much needed. Over the past year, we have been praying about how this could happen and where. It dawned on me one day our hay shelter has room either side to add a lean-to. So I asked Dan about it. He looked at it and just like that…we had an idea to use this space to “hide” and protect much of this loose equipment. Next hurdle…money. We continued to pray…

And as Dan was sharing how he would build this he asked a friend who is experienced in building some suggestions. This man jumped at not only building it but paying for it ALLLLLL as well! Only JESUS provides like this! Truly…a gift!

Men at work for the Lord

I made a fun lunch for them using my homemade hummus. A little worried they wouldn’t like the healthy eating…but gave it a shot. They loved it! Plus a full mason jar full of Truvy Heart and Hydration drink which is full of electrolytes, like drinking Gatorade but MUCH better for you. You can try the variety pack here.

Here is the recipe for the wrap and hummus.

If you are an energy drinker, ask me how to improve your health by getting the boost, but not bad caffeine. Truvy has a wonderful NEW product that TRULY is wonderful especially for those early mornings or jobs which you need a boost. Here is the product if you want to check it out. Comes in 3 flavors. I highlighted the Cucumber/Mint, but feel free to add what you like. SOOOO delicious! And hydrates as well! What energy drink does that? NONE!

Another 4 legged friend

Our little Tigger has not been back from her adventures in the wild for over 2 weeks so we decided to add another little one to help keep Mousy company. Meet Moon…a female rescue…

Sorry for the poor image…she’s a skittish one.

More to come

They guys are still at work finishing this project as rain and sessions delayed them. One thing which is hard doing big projects in the summer is our heavy schedule of kids and IS our priority no matter what else is important to get done. Working around the sessions is a must. I will post the finished look soon, I hope!

God’s blessings upon you…

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Our Board Of Directors Come For Our Annual Dinner Party At The Ranch

We have an awesome board who loves to pray and serve our ranch ministry! Dan and I wanted to have them for dinner and give them all a relaxing and fun evening and the Lord sure provided a beautiful evening.

Missing the guys in this shot!

We began our evening at the ranch to have appetizers and pray. I greeted everyone at the gate serving these watermelon slushies. As each of them came in I shared about the new things happening around the ranch. We ended by enjoyed sitting around the fire and catching up before we headed to our home down the road.

We greeted our board with a watermelon slushy….non alcoholic of course!

So easy to make…

8 cups of watermelon, 1/2 cup simple syrup, 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice, extra lime for garnish, Himalayan salt for glass garnish.

Blend all together and pour over ice cubes. Serve with your garnish. Store extra in the refrigerator if you have any…HA!

Tip: simple syrup is 1 cup sugar and 1 cup of water bring to a boil and stir for one minute. Let cool completely before putting into your mixture.

We also served a simple bruschetta and fruit salsa. Keeping with the theme of summer freshness as you will see throughout our menu.

Brushetta with fresh little tomatoes.
Peach salsa and we added regular hot salsa and guacamole

Let’s start with dessert! This took me a lot of time to make mostly because it was really hot outside and the steps were tedious…but so worth it for this crew of friends. Here’s my special post and recipe.

So beautiful and I brought them out on the pontoon for our lake cruise.

Along with the ribs we served some amazing sides:

Crispy Potatoes with a Hasselback and Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs gold potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 c packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayo
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped (we made 2 one without the hot and one with)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground fresh pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cut each potato in 1/8 inch slices, taking care not to slice the potato through al the way. Leave a 1/2″ base on the bottom to hold the potato together.
  4. Set each potato on the baking sheet and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Roll potatoes around to coat in oil, then turn them cut side up. Squeeze the sides of each potato to open the cuts in the potties so the oil works its way through into each slice.
  5. Sprinkle tops generously with sea and pepper. Bake for 45-60 minutes until slices are crispy and slightly speared, and the base of each Otto is soft.
  6. While you wait for the cooked potatoes make your sauce. Put all sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour into dishes making sure to separate your jalapeño one if you decide to do that.
  7. Serve each potato with the drizzled sauce over the top. It is indeed an over-the-top side!

TIP: The sauce went amazing on with everything we served! Mixed with the ribs people were dipping and adding to their plates! OOOO so good!

NEXT…Salad!

This dish for the flavor to pop takes a smoker for the best results. If you don’t have a way to smoke, you can put on a grill on your stovetop to get the blackened look. You can also brush the corn with a mix of butter and smoked paprika. We use our smoker the rancher way…fresh wood not chips! It’s not only cheaper…but OOOOOH what a difference in flavor!

Last but not least…what every cowboy family loves…CORNBREAD served in a skillet of course! Served with honey butter and added touch but really makes it!

The only way to serve cornbread…in a skillet!

Ranchstyle Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp. cream of tarter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 tbsp. shortening

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 450 degrees
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking soda, herbs,, and tarter. Stir together.
  3. Measure the buttermilk and milk in a measuring cup and add the egg. Stir with a fork well. Add the 1/2 tsp baking soda and stir again. Pour milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, melt 1/4 shortening. Slowly add melted shorting to the batter, stirring until just combined. In an iron skillet, melt the other remaining 2 tbsp of shortening over the medium heat. Pour the batter into the HOT skillet. Spread to even out the surface. (Bater should give you a nice sizzle.)
  5. Cook on stovetop for 1 minute, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and edges are crispy.

What a night! Having the meeting on the pontoon was such a delightful way to enjoy the dessert and enjoy the summer night which was perfect! Setting up the table with the little name tags in chalk to label the food and give each of them the gift of making their own herbal summer tea. It really was special meeting night. I think we will try and do this every year!

God’s blessings,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Health, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Fight Germs DIY Hand Sanitizer Making Your Own You Know You Are giving The Best For Overall Health!

You’ve heard! DON’T make your own! They are not the real thing! Buy only certain brands! The list goes on. And…some of it is true. But there is a recipe that does work, is very strong in protecting germs AND is better for you as natural always is.

I love this recipe because it not only uses natural ingredients but also the essential oils are pretty complementary to what most people will enjoy putting on their hands. I think you will find it wonderful too.

Make Many Bottles

I would suggest making up at least 3 bottles of this as you make it. We have them all around our ranch for kiddos to use as well as keeping us from germs and washing those dirty hands from ranch fun. I also made up some for each of our vehicles to have handy when shopping in town and in the woodshop too. I am sure you have special areas you want to have a bottle handy, so think about that before you begin. Of course, triple or double your measuring amounts.

If you have darker mason jars, it is best for keeping light out when using oils.

Here ya go:

What you will need, easily dispensable bottles, dark is best…LOVE this product from Masonjars.com

Essential oils: Blend in a separate bottle and label as you like. I put a GERM BOMB!

Clove, Rosemary, Lavender, Spearmint, Thyme, Basil, Sage.

  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1 tbsp. grain alcohol (find local liquor store or natural food products)
  • 1 tsp. vegetable glycerine (best to use non-GMO from coconuts )
  • 1-2 TBSP. Colloidal Silver (depends on desired consistency)
  • 10-20 drops of above oils

Mix first 2 well then add next 2. Mix again and add oils. Blend well before pouring into dispensers.

Enjoy keeping your family and guests sanitized especially during these trying times! These make great gifts too!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life, Smokin'

Key Lime Cakes In A Mason Jar Brings A Dessert To A Whole New CUTE, Tasty, And Simple!

OH! What a delightful dessert this little treat is! We had a dinner party/Board meeting at our home this last weekend and this dessert sure hit the spot! Enjoying the summer temps, laughter, and friendships and of course food always makes for a great time!

I found this recipe and of course had to tweak it a bit for natural ingredients instead of canned or boxed shortcuts. I love serving the best I can even if it takes an extra step or two.

Here ya go…ENJOY EVERY SPOONFUL!

Ingredients:

Cupcake part

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. butter at room temperature, salted
  • 1 cup of organic sugar
  • 2 large eggs (one more if you have chickens who have a tendency to be smaller)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of fresh vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. half and half

Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

tsp. grated lime zest, plus 1/4 cup lime juice

Lime Filling

1 1/2 cup heavy cream

6 tbsp. sugar

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature

2 tsp. grated lime zest, plus 1/2 cup lime juice, plus 12 thin lime slices, for garnish

1 10 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup slivered almonds or macadamia nuts

Directions:

  1. For the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray silicone cupcake pan. Sift the flour, baking soda, and cream of Tarar and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on high speed until nice and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk; mix for a few seconds on medium speed after each addition. Scrap the sides of the bowl, then mix a final time.
  3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan on a rack, then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely.
  4. For the syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the lime zest and juice and let cool completely.
  5. For the lime filling: Beat the heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Set the whipped cream aside. Put the cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and the lime zest in a separate bowl and beat with the mixer on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Add the condensed milk and lime juice and beat on low speed just until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped cream.
  6. To assemble: Slice the cupcakes in half horizontally and place a bottom piece in each of the twelve 8 oz mason jars. Spoon half the lime syrup over the cakes. Spoon the lime filling into the jars and top with the remaining cupcake pieces. Spoon the remaining syrup over the cakes. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Put the mason jar lids on each and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with the nuts of your choice and lime slices before serving.

TIP:

If you decide to refrigerate overnight, place your nuts and lime slices ON TOP of your jars so you don’t forget to add them… I did this…bummer for the guests, but it is a nice touch!

Yummy in the tummy!!

Enjoy!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Rocky Mountain Oils Has New Little Additions That Are Perfect For Travel Or Your Go Anywhere Needs

I have always wanted to have a diffuser when I travel and NOW Rocky Mountain Oils provides such a thing! This little guy is so cute and easy to travel with you can take it anywhere.

Perfect for on the go or in the office!

Another great idea from Rocky Mountain Oils! I think you will find this to be an awesome addition as well as a great gift idea! I love how you can get a special as you group the perfect oils to use with this diffuser. Like the Peppermint, or Immune Strength. Both are wonderful for sinus and immune-boosting. The orange is one that is rated in the essential oils as the TOP 5 everyone should have…so there ya go! You get 3 of the top 5 with an amazing mist diffuser!

So small and beautiful too!

Love the bundle idea! Take a look!

Perfect combo to fit all the important needs to good heath!

Try it I think you won’t be disappointed!

Here is a little clip of how it works.

Enjoy the aroma and health benefits of essential oils!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life

Supporting Blue Is Without Question Around Our Home!

Having a daughter as an officer without hesitation we support our folks in blue.

Dan and I served in the mounted patrol a few years ago and enjoyed serving the county in any way we could. So it’s no surprise I wanted to make something festive for these summer celebrations, especially since our girl is home for good!

Oh, these were the days!

I started making shirts for our ministry team and for helpers which helped me practice. I tell ya the company Expressions Vinyl is awesome! I love their videos and special help they give when something doesn’t work. I appreciate that not only for myself but for ones like you who try them I know I am sending you to a great company!

To make this shirt however was a bit more tricky because it was a layered process and adding the BLUE strip made it even more tricky. But, it worked! Using the Cricut Maker and having the Cricut Design space to put the design together to form this wonderful expression, were the necessary tools to pull this off. I also have a heat press which I have found to be much better than the iron due to the heat intensity. If you are going to get into crafting such products, you must have the right tools!

I did the white layer first, stars second, and the red pulling the one red one-off, ironed on than did the blue by itself. MOM was last.

Material used:

  • Use the Easyweed brand NOT stretch if you have the Cricut press or iron

Red, white , and royal blue, and Black or dark navy blue for words.

Enjoy! It’s fun and make wonderful gifts too!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and support the ones who protect and serve,

Lee

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Herb Basket, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Ginger Bug Is Not A Dance. It’s Not A Bug. So What Is It?

What in the World!

Yep…just what I thought…what is a ginger bug? I love ginger. I love what it does for all the medicinal needs of our bodies. So when I saw you make a fermented bug to add to syrups or other recipes like making your own ginger beer, I was all in!

What is Ginger Beer?

This cool and delicious soft drink which is filled with health benefits. Many think because it has “beer” attached to the name it contains a lot of alcohol. Of course, like any fermented homemade drink the longer it sits, the more the alcohol content. But for most who make it including my recipe, it is less than .02%. It is not so much fermentation in the actual drink as it carbonated as it sits. A lot like a Kombucha is really good for you and can be a beverage for any age.

What are the health benefits?

  • relaxes you and your mood
  • smell enhances your mood as you sip away
  • relieve pain and mental fatigue
  • helps with depression
  • has anti0inflammatory properties to help with internal inflammation
  • anti-bacterial properties help with mucus and upper respiratory and coughing
  • anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties help to boost the immune system
  • MY FAVORITE…natural probiotic as in the formation it improves digestion, maintain the microbial flora of the gut and fights and fights gut bacterial.

Are you SOLD YET?

I was! I love this concept and easy to do. Yes, it takes time, but what an awesome drink to have in your refrigerator for any event or daily beverage. YES, it contains sugar. But much of it is fermented out during the process. It is AWESOME!!!

Next step…make your ginger bug than you will be ready for the ginger beer recipe!

Your base

How to make your bug!

Ingredients:

2-3 Tablespoons of grated ginger root

1/2 cup of organic sugar

2 cups filtered water

Instructions:

  1. Grated or cut up a ginger root. I like to have it grated to better get the flavor out.
  2. Fill a quart size mason jar with 2 cups of water
  3. Add sugar and ginger to water and shake it up.
  4. For the next 3-5 days keep adding 1 tbsp. of ginger and 1 tbsp. of sugar…shake up.
  5. I do keep a lid on the jar but you can just put a coffee filter on it and use mason jar canning ring to hold into place.
  6. Make sure to add each day and still with a metal spoon or shake.
  7. When you see it FIZZ at the top you know it is working!

Comment:

Please let me know if you tried this and the ginger beer…I think you will like it.

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Sewing

DIY Gnomes That Stand Up Are So Life-like You Won’t Stop At One

Learning on my own

Did you ever see something and you just wanted to know right away the directions on how to make it? Well, that was me when I saw the stand-up gnome idea. I love them! I think it’s because they look more alive! HA! So I explored all the ins and outs and came up with this simple way to make them. I hope it helps you if you want to try your hand at making one.

I also found A Cherry On Top company to get many of the crafting needs. There wonderful for SO many ideas in your crafting world. Check them out!

Steps one by one

STEP ONE: Getting your material

Styrofoam cones ( I tried many different ones and came back to this simple one)

Material (base your theme) Cut 9″x 9″

Bamboo sticks legs

pipe cleaners for arms

Accessories for your character (like the bucket, or flower)

Beard

pom poms (top of hat and nose)

Shoes ( baby socks already made or plastic eggs and cardboard to make your own)

Pool Noodle cut 2″ thick

Glue gun

Shoes were very detailed using ribbon for the laces and outer trim

STEP TWO: Assemble

Have your cone flat on a surface. Place your nose in the center and shape your beard around your nose. I use sewing pins to hold it all in place before I glue it to make sure it looks right.

This cone is a harder styrofoam I would not recommend use the one I have listed soooo much easier!

Next, add your legs. If your using pins, you can shift the beard and nose if need be at any point.

STEP THREE:

Making your hat. I used a simple gnome template and traced it onto my material. I made 2 so I could have two-sided look. Placing them right sides together sew along edges of course leaving the bottom open to place over the cone. I also use the material for the edge of the hat just for fun. I sewed that first before sewing altogether.

STEP 4: Making the legs

You can use toilet paper tubes or a pool noodle. I found the pool noodles easier to work with. Cut the noodle to the size you want.

Simply take the extra material and wrap it around the noodle. Again I pinned first.

STEP 5:

Add your shoes or socks over the pool noodles. The sticks I poke through the plastic shoe. Noodle goes around the inside of the shoe.

If you buy the socks individually they come with these plastic shoes.
plastic shoes really make it easy and fast…but skinny looking

STEP SIX: Arms are next. use one of the baby socks and cut it in half. Sew up the sides. This will make a natural elbow and little mitten hand. Put over a pipe cleaner that you cut in half. Stick into the cone under the beard.

Cut pipe cleaner in half and one baby sock

STEP SEVEN: Assemble your gnome! Once you like how everything looks, start hot gluing each part to secure.

Different Shoe Looks

Each way to do the shoes comes out a little different
Here is the video on how to do this one. Fatter look to the feet.
Gnome Feet Video

Oh, I hope these turn out for you! I love them and love to use different themes. I will be making more on rainy days so I will share them here!

HAVE FUN!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Hope, Ministry, Ranch Life

A brand new beginning in a journey forever changing all of us…October 31, 2021

A brand new beginning in a journey forever changing all of our lives this day will be like a birthday yearly celebrated! (full story scroll down to see day to day journaling of his journey)

October 31, 2020, Mitch got a call from the main transplant center out east that a donor with his match was available. A donor who was incarcerated and young in Mitch’s age bracket. Imagine…hearing you will be going into the most risky of surgeries in a few hours receiving a gift from one who died in prison. Some call it a gift of life, yes…but I think of it as freedom. Freedom from a jail cell to giving an opportunity for another to be free from pain, rejection, and dying. Freedom…what a word of HOPE!

And you will know the Truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

January 24, 2020, celebrating 23 years with his first liver at camp Shaminaeu

I don’t think any one of us will forget this evening! The cold, snow, WIND at 40-60 mph, staying up late, laughing, and then the sudden movement from the call to pack quickly. Everyone stepped up to the plan set in place. Who would be responsible for ranch, dogs, home, ours and Mitch’s, and rushed to their duties getting keys and instruction notes. In the rushing as we all packed up. I recall Dan being 2 hours behind us as he loaded up other things in preparing to be gone for at least a month, and not knowing his hug with Mitch would be the last for 26 days. WOW! Because only one visitor was allowed and in 2 weeks NO ONE was allowed, Dan didn’t get those special times with his son. He would only be able to see him via facetime. Breaks my heart all over again…but the Lord knew…even in the trauma of November 1, at 8:30am…

8 of these of lost blood

Wrap your head around this…8 of those orange jugs, 5 gallons each, of lost blood in Mitch in just 2 hours time! Mitch lost 40 gallons of blood! 40! And they were trying to stop it. The minutes and hours in that day were like eternity…waiting…will they be able to stop it and continue with the transplant or will they need to stop?

I have never felt prayer so intense as this day…as indeed Dan and I could no longer pray…we wept and slept…exhausted.

THANKFUL!

If you suffer from anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and fear, JESUS is the answer! Dan and I and a HOST of family and friends felt the same way as we waited out to see how the Lord would work. EVERYDAY you will face a situation which will cause a reaction of one of the above and it may lead into days, months, and years…but it doesn’t have to. CRY OUT to Jesus as I promise you IT WORKS! When you are in a moment of any of the above words, think 5. Name out what you see and be thankful. Name what you hear, be thankful, touch be thankful, smell and taste, be thankful. Immediately THINK AND THANK 5…by doing so you will feel those feelings turn to peace. We did…that day and the next 365 days and you know what? It works so well, we will continue everyday…we even made a chalk board!

Our journey isn’t over. Never will be until either Jesus returns or takes us home. Until then we will choose to live life with a thankful, joyful heart. Just a note…if the Lord would of chosen to take Mitch home, grieving is much needed and the Lord allowed us to grieve. He grieved so it is important to take the time to grieve. Being thankful for a loss is also healing…again…I’ve been there too.

God’s blessings upon you! Happy 2nd Liver Birthday Mitch!!!! 2nd Liver…2nd chances! Love you rock star!!!!

August 25

Saturday we got word Mitch was in significant rejection. He went into St. Joes for a 2 hour infusion of steroids followed by 2 more for the next 2 days. We traveled once again to visit his surgeon which has been on the calendar for months. Praise the Lord she said all is working and his numbers are getting to where they need be!

What a nerve racking few days! Plus something got my hand on Monday causing major pain and swelling! The whole trip yesterday and last night have been intense pain! Never have I had something this painful! SO typing this and getting word out to all you prayer warriors has been a challenge, but updating is important to us.

The other concern for Mitch was a possible hernia but she didn’t seem to think his pain or lump on the scar area was a hernia yet they will keep an eye out for it. Overall a great answer to prayer and good visit.

THANK YOU ALL, for lifting Mitch up! What a journey! Now…packing my hand in ice praying this heals soon!

August 21, 2021

Thursday we headed down for Mitch’s biopsy. We like to make it fun but it was hard as traffic was a big issue and the heat exhausted us both. We did make a stop for of course some junk food. (I hope his doc’s don’t read this blog)

Fries and a malt…yum!

The next morning Mitch walked to his first 2 appt. at a clinic close by. We are fortunate when we get this hotel as it is close to clinic and hospital plus a lot of places to eat. Covid test which is needed for every procedure and Ultrasound. He came to get me and we headed to the hospital for the biopsy. By the time he was headed in the covid test came back negative so they could proceed. Good thing! Mitch hates these white boards as his mom just can’t seem to leave them blank. Because his covid was not back yet we had to be in a private room…with an empty white board…so a message was left…You are loved…Jesus.

HEEEE!!!!

This afternoon Mitch called with the doc’s nurse on the line stating Mitch is in significant rejection. He needs to have 3 infusions of steroids and prednisone for the next 3 days. Kinzey was working at in town so she stayed with him the first round which was sweet bringing him some dinner and I am sure they are having some laughs. The St. Joe’s emergency room holds haunting memories for all of us, but important to release the bad and bring on the joy!

Mitch sure needs your prayers for this to work and the liver to function normally again! We head to an appt. on Tuesday with his surgeon and hope more info at well. Our Jesus is riding this storm with us once again never leaving us or forsaking us JUST AS HE PROMISED! HIS word is active and working for us all!

August 17, 2021. Summer almost through…Mitch doing so well…but hit a bump!

Hum…devotion with Dan about worry last weekend and on Sunday we get a sermon on the passage from the Sermon on the Mount…Matthew 6:25-34 and one of my favorite verses as the congregation was asked to write out on paper your worries, crumple it up and then approach the alter where there was a net and CAST those worries into it.

“Cast your anxiety on HIM because He cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7

YES, YES, AND YES!!! When we worry to be disciplined enough in the VERY moment of anxiety to crumble up that worry and CAST into the very palm of our Lord’s hands WINS every time! WHY?

Because when we worry we carry a weight we can not change or fix, so I MUST obey His word for the very sake of my mind and soul to give me peace. So today…I cast once again the junk thrown at Mitch with battling his health and indeed peace is surrounding me!

Praise God Dan and Mitch got away for a few days and enjoyed the north shore!

We got word today Mitch’s CMV virus is back. If you recall it is a virus the donor carried and it is an ugly virus which takes meds and months to get rid of. Because of Mitch’s many surgeries and other procedures during the winter he had to remain on the med which also causes his white blood cell count to drop. In late July, they were able to finally take him off the med as it was showing very little signs of being in his body. BUT, in the last week it is creeping it’s ugly head back into his body. Plus his liver #’s have risen enough they want to do a biopsy.

On Friday Mitch is scheduled to go in to have the biopsy if he passes the covid test. (Hate that word) We have to head back down there on Tuesday to see his favorite doctor, surgeon who did the transplant so it will be a busy week.

Mitch is doing well otherwise. Still working a couple of days at Camp Shamineau and enjoying his companion Sky.

He wants normal but hangs onto the days he is doing well.

My arms are getting tired of CASTING…but I have peace my Jesus isn’t tired of catching!

Thank you all for praying and trusting…and casting!

Lee

WOW…June 30, 2021…Mitch is doing great! Not perfect, but on his way! Praise the Lord!

Mitch and Sky

I am so sorry we have not kept up with you all on this young man, but our spring is alway busy getting the ranch ready and open and if you have stayed close to us you know we added 2 more horses to the herd. A big move and of course a ton of work.

In the mean time, Mitch has battled only one staple and that is his nausea. He is now experiencing virago as well which hopefully with time and chiropractic treatments he will feel better. He continues to improve with his lab work and the docs really don’t have too much to say other than, KEEP IT UP! We do of course continue to pray for him to keep healthy in his eating habits and med taking. It is a lot to adjust especially for such a young guy. We are SO thankful he has Sky to keep him busy and entertained. It’s lonely when you can’t work full time or have the energy to do the things you love in the summer. Keep praying for him as the Lord leads. WOW, what faithfulness our Jesus is!

March 12, 2021

It’s been too long since I wrote last so I thought I would catch all our prayer warriors and faithful friends up on what’s up with Mitch.

The last week has been the first good week Mitch has had in many months! PRAISE THE LORD!

On Saturday, Mitch went back to his old job which he lost a year ago to volunteer in the kitchen. It was mens’ retreat weekend which was awesome as he saw some old friends and caught up with many staff.

Scott McCall and Mitch

How amazing he could get through and enjoy socializing once again! WOW! Just makes us feel encouraged to see some improvement! Then on Monday, I invited him to help me at the Freedom Ranch a home being built for trafficked girls. They needed volunteers so together we headed there for the morning. Again, he was able to get through with energy and strength! Haven’t seen this smile and happiness in a loooonnng time!

Our next adventure was just yesterday as we celebrate life together in creating a new memory from this date that has been a rocky road for the past 2 years. It is the anniversary of Dan’s breakdown, thank God only a few months to Kinzey’s experiencing some of the same issues due to her job. I flew out there to bring her home which she was on her way in a month or so, but needed to speed up the process and move back to Minnesota after 8 years! She is a whole new gal now! So we decided this year we would go out for dinner as usual, and go Axe Throwing! YEP, it was quite the experience and we had a blast! Last year was laser tag but they were closed so we HAD to find something compatible…I think we AXED it!

To say the least, Mitch is looking and feeling a bit better. Does he have some concerning issues? Yes, but the surgeons are staying on top of things and at least his vomiting has slowed down and bellyaches. His white blood cell count is dangerously low as they say, but he does go in for shots to give it a boost. He is still battling this CMV thing messing with meds and blood work and hoping this will pass soon! Mitch does have to go down to the U again next week for a few tests. The concern for rejection is still a possibility.

Praising the Lord today for ALL He has done!! Thank you all for continued prayers on this journey!

February 8, 2021

This is how it feels to be free…

Becoming a favorite prayer spot, the bay window in the rooms

It is so cold outside! -22 this morning and walking from the hotel to the hospital was brutal! I would so rather be doing chores. What is that? I can be working at the ranch in the same temperatures and love it and walking to the hospital same amount of time and hate every minute of it. I think it’s the surroundings. I am not a city girl any more and the COLDNESS of the buildings, puffy smoke coming out of them, and people not really friendly or a fake friendly must be the cause. At least I get happy nays, purring kittens,  running happy dogs, and the calmness of the northern breeze that greet me on the ranch. 

Today I came into Mitch’s room and pain in his belly is still prominent from this C Diff thing. It stems from the antibiotics and ironically it’s antibiotics that get rid of it. Really doesn’t make sense. Guess what they asked him if he was on? YEP, probiotic!!! Which is what I HIGHLY recommended but they didn’t want him on it with the transplant now it’s ok…geez… A good reminder, we all carry this in our bodies so if you don’t’ want incredible belly pain in your colon, take care of it and get on a supplement of a good probiotic…Mitch is so uncomfortable…but the good news, it isn’t a reason to keep him so they are sending him home today! YEAH!!! A whole week really has taken a toll on the boy. The doc suggested he go back to work. I looked at him and said a job won’t hold him if they can’t count on him as he has had so many ins and outs of hospital stays. He understood I think. But we talked about him volunteering and at least getting out, trying to be normal, and doing something. So as soon as this c diff pain subsides which will take the week most likely, he will aim for getting out and into life again! We all can pray for this transition! The doc also stated how concerned he is about the liver as it has rejected more than they like to see. His words, “ I want this liver to work!” Mitch is being kept a close eye on all that is going on and is in good hands. He does have to see his surgeon next week, and I offered if she could come to us so we don’t have to travel again. He laughed and said, “that’s up to her! She does like to ice fish!” so we’ll see. We may be entertaining a surgeon and her family, 4-year twins and a 6 yr old. Yesterday was a good day with Mitch. We enjoyed walks and sat by the river. A favorite spot 24 years ago and still is today. We played many rounds of Kings in the Corner, he won all of them but one. And some laughs from me putting messages on his whiteboard.  Which are below! I love to make him smile and laugh even though it hurts…love his smile! So we are now at home, dropped him off the puppy and all and he will try normal for a bit! Praying always for peace and continued improvement of a much-complicated transplant.

Look at the FYI

February 6, 2021

Well, well, well, I think Mitch is feeling if he is at the bottom of a hole and getting out seems like never! Wells are deep. They are scary, dark, damp, and cold. But one thing about them…when you LOOK UP…there is LIGHT!

Mitch’s pup Sky, Nugget, and Cruz

Look up…there is always Light

All week Mitch has been in the hospital getting an answer on one issue and then a blood test number will go wacky and they keep him and find something else. He was just about ready to head home yesterday, Friday when his hemoglobin rose and he needed a transfusion. Now this morning I was prepping the house for my man to come home and pack up food for Mitch (and getting excited about being free from puppy duty) when the docs got on the video chat stating he may have C diff plus his bilirubin went up to 1.7 and they want to do another biopsy.

Yep, indeed all of us were feeling disappointed of course Mitch is miserable with belly pain and still fighting bloating and a mess of issues. For Dan and I we decided he needed a break and decided I would drive down and take over mother day and he head back to the homestead. So like 2 ships in the day, we met in the middle, quick kiss and was SO wanting time with each other, but it was SOO cold out we threw our stuff in the cars and switched. Said our good-bys and one went south and one went north.

I arrived to a peppy boy but it went down hill and by the time visiting hours were over Mitch was not feeling well. Oh man, a mama’s heart hurts for him tonight!

We are studying Genesis this year and in 16 verse 13-14 a woman so desperate for renewal and hope was brought to a well by the Lord and He met her there The Lord sees us in our trouble and meets us. This well is called, ‘The One who sees me.” This well we are in seems deep, but we all will continue to look UP and KNOW He sees us! Thank you for praying! Especially that this isn’t another rejection!

February 4, 2021

Back to pink so guess who is writing?

So Dan and Mitch have been bonding…and Mitch’s hemoglobin came down and his esophagus has a tare from all his vomiting so he is spending another night at Hotel U with a beautiful bag of blood for a transfusion and eating lightly. We are praying Mitch can come home before the weekend. Weekends are always difficult in the hospital plus he’s ready.

Continued prayers thank you…we love you and your faithfulness!

PS… Dan and I have been working diligently on getting this new fundraiser going in May. Kinda hard when so much is going on with Mitch, but we got ur done! I attached it in another email Feel free to pass it to friends and family you know that golf or would love to join us! Maybe Mitch can start the match! How fun that will be!

February 3, 2021

Switching to Blue for Dad.

The procedure was completed and they did not find an obstruction! They did remove a small piece that was explained as a clot part about the size of a dime. Changing meds and getting some sleep as we are together in the hospital room. Waiting on the next step to see if we can go home today or not. Guess not! Another night in the Cities-

They put him on a clear full diet to see how he does through the night. When rounds come tomorrow we will see if he can go on a “normal” diet and see how that goes. Pray he does not get sick or develop any other issues. More updates tomorrow. Thank you prayer warriors:)

On the way up to 7A, the transplant floor, 6 or 7 of the nurses shouted his name and welcomed him and at the same time were sad to see him. Felt like we walked into “Cheers”. Scary when everyone knows your name at the hospital!

2-2 Tuesday

Mitch had a tough night in the ER. There is a loudspeaker in every room so they get every call for all rooms! Not a place to sleep!! He has not had anything to eat for 18 hours. They don’t want him to eat (NPO) till they figure if they are going to do a procedure or not. 3:45pm still no plan and Mitch has not had anything to eat. We told them we need an answer by 4:30pm. 4:32pm the GI doctor comes in and has the plan to scope his stomach and see what is going on. This will be Wednesday am. Still nothing to eat until after that procedure. At this point you think of how Jesus did it. 40 days without food!

Matthew 4:1-2

4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 

It puts a new perspective on being hungry! How hungry are we for the word of God? He can satisfy our needs by feeding us His words if we open up (The bible), eat (Read HIS words) and digest (Put into practice) what HE has to say.

February 2, 2021

I changed the color to pink. I love this time of year looking forward to spring but loving the warmer temps. (at least for today as below zero approaches in a few days) But I also love this time of year as I love the holiday, Valentine’s Day. I always have! My dad made it very special for me growing up surprising me with a snoopy gift of some kind and always a small box of snoopy chocolates which Fleet Farm still sells today. It’s just a wonderful month to celebrate love, encouragement, and HOPE. A perfect time to share the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice for us truly the greatest gift of LOVE!

Job one of the godly men who suffered so much, a man of complete integrity, said this, “ I know my Redeemer lives, and HE will stand upon the earth at last.” Job 19:25 To have such faith IN so much suffering! God’s word strengthens my soul and assures me giving me firm confidence I can say the same thing. Jesus does LIVE inside anyone who chooses to accept HIS greatest sacrifice and gift of LOVE! His AMAZING Love! (one of my favorite songs below)

Mitch had been vomiting all weekend again and transplant decided they wanted him back. Dan’s turn! As I passed the baton to Dan, he and Mitch are having “guy time”. Mitch was in ER all night as no beds were available. He is now 2 weeks negative on the covid test so he can now go to his floor, transplant floor when a bed becomes open. I was told that should be soon, sometime this morning. He is getting IV fluids and anti-nausea drips which will help a ton! He was extremely dehydrated when Dan dropped him off and the ER would not give him any water until he was seen by a doctor, which was TWO hours later! To say the least, we will be having conversations with some folks today once again. But we are thankful he is in a good place and on the floor that knows him best! Until later today after a series of tests I will update again or Dan will. THANK YOU for praying everyone! God is GOOD! Sing HIS praises with us and worship our KING!

January 26, 2021

Mitch went in at noon. Trying to post a video.

Well, that didn’t work, the internet at this hotel is awful! Anyway what a day! We walked over to the hospital which was a bit brisk but felt good to move. At least I thought so, Mitch was hoping to be dropped off, have me come back and drop the car off and walk over but NO I said let’s walk.

As we waited for ins and outs of pre op, Mitch got a bit cranky. Mostly because of no eating for such along time but all this is catching up to him. The constant med changes and carrying around a bag full of meds and organizing them, to being in the hospital so much. The pricks for IV’s, constant questions, and a bit of worry of it all has brought him to a place of much sadness. As much as I try to be encouraging and getting his thoughts on Above he spirals into negative ones. SO pray for him and to bring some joy back in!

I sat in the hotel working on cards and the 3 hours was up for the procedure. Another 2 hours and I decided to work on my BSF. Guess what? It was on patience, then promises, and faithful prayer. HUM. Good thing being in God’s word brings the mind to HIS thoughts and trusting and because faith is all I get in the wait. At 5:45 the Dr. called stating all went really well! PRAISE THE LORD I spoke out loud! She agreed. So well they didn’t have to put the stent or stint in place. It held it’s own. She said Mitch should be feeling much better with the flow running smoothly. Again, hum, I wonder if this is all a part of the above? Time will tell. It got to be too late for me to go visit him as visiting hours is over at 6:30 so I hope I get a ring a ding before I go to sleep . If not, I will see him in the morning. He will be overnight for sure and possibly another night. They will let me know in the morning. For now, he rests knowing one more procedure is checked off and pray for full recovery!

Mask bandits below…I changed mine for the attitude thing…

“Isaac pleaded with the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The LORD answered Isaac’s prayer and Rebekah became pregnant with twins.” Genesis 25: 21

Prayer works that’s all I know for sure! And MORE than what we ask!

January 20

He’s on his way HOME!!!!! Not without more to come or some new daily medications and injections, but at least he will be home!

He spent the morning learning how to do the injections and a short time after the training he was told he doesn’t need to do the insulin as his blood levels looked good. Praise the Lord! But he still has to do the injection for the blood thinner until his procedure next Tuesday.

Easting last night and hoping for release in the morning.

The procedure on Tuesday is to expand a vein that has been causing poor blood flow. The doctor stated this has been going on for years and is causing several issues plus could be the result of him going into liver failure this round. Long story short without all the medical jumbo a stint will be put in to help the blood flow from the liver to his heart. They will be going in through the spleen which can be risky but the doctor seemed rather confident in her experiences. He most likely will be there overnight to keep an eye on him for maybe two nights. The good news, they are allowing one constant visitor!

Another awesome news is his weight restrictions are normal which means for us…FREEDOM FROM THIS THING! (at least until Tues.)

We are all anxious for some normalcy!

Lord Jesus, thank you for protecting our boy, keeping him safe in travel, and giving wisdom to doctors to continue to bring Mitch to FULL healing! THANK YOU JESUS for our faithful prayer warriors! We love you!

Just may need to have a special

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January 19

Tough day today. First Mitch thought he would be heading home but the doctor came in saying his blood sugar has been too wacky for them to feel confident to release him. SO, he is there another day. Plus, he will have to go home with insulin shots, and another shot to take daily because they have to take him off of Warfarin and aspirin until another procedure next Tuesday. YEP, he is in for a Port vein procedure (we’ll know more tomorrow about this) but it is considered high risk for Mitch. He will most likely have to stay again as they will need to incubate him for this. Not gonna lie, at first, this was a “simple procedure” outpatient and now it’s high risk with an overnight stay or longer. Thank the Lord Jesus He never gets tired of me asking for rest, patience, and peace! As we were talking to his transplant coordinator who is so kind and patient with us, Mitch got sick. He didn’t want to tell the nurse afraid they would keep him forever. Poor guy…this is so hard for mama and papa to watch him suffer! But we did get a smile!

Reading Genesis 24 this week and being with ladies in BSF (a bible study) I was reminded of how Issac had to wait patiently for a wife. How Abraham prayed and gave details to his servant to find the wife which the Lord had already provided. The Servant prayed “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham.” vs 12. Every detail the Lord said would happen happened and Issac met his new bride after he too had been praying in Beer-lahai-roi which means, God who sees me.

How appropriate for this time. Prayer warriors the Lord is listening and responding and our GOD sees all of what we face and need! Praise be to HIM the ONE who comforts us all!

January 17

So Mitch is doing well considering he is in at least through Monday. He is on heavy steroids as they get the liver functioning normally. This is something we knew would happen and in the months ahead may happen again. It is part of the deal and we PRAY a lot! Because of the side effects one being low blood sugar he is being monitored every hour with a prick even through the night. Of course he is loosing sleep and feeling rather confined as he is in isolation due to the covid thing. We are still waiting on more results from lab work to see if the liver is doing it’s job or if they have to take another trail. Disease control came in and shared they want him to stay in the room even though he is not contagious. He admitted they are just unsure with transplant patience when tests are irregular so to be safe for all he is in quarantine. Poor guy!

Continue to pray for total liver function, stable numbers, and clear plan in confidence for him to return home. We are SO thankful he is in good hands and Jesus is hangin’ out with him!

“Peace be within your walls Mitch and security within your towers.”

Psalm 122:7

January 16

One bored young man as he sits in a small room waiting for results. I feel so bad for him! Not having visitors and not even able to go for a walk around the floor to pass time. Oh these times are hard, BUT it could be so much worse!

The nurse practitioner called and said the biopsy showed an acute rejection which is what they think caused the blood labs to elevate. They are still waiting on some other antibodies to grow. (try explaining that to Mitch was funny) These tests will also help to know for sure about the Covid and if he can walk around and also go back up to the transplant floor as he will be there a few days. He will get steroids which will cause him not to be able to sleep and get irritable. (Whew, thankful we aren’t there!)

Isn’t he adorable?

Keeping our eyes focused on Jesus. Pray for the liver to function strong and for Mitch to have peace as he is restless and if you have his email, send him a little note He’ll love that!

God’s blessings and will continue to update you all! Thanks for praying!!

January 15

Mitch got moved from 7A to 6…why? Well…he tested positive for can you guess? Yep, Covid! They think it’s odd as he tested negative last week. He has no symptoms and is fine. But they have to protect themselves and of course the many immune-suppressed patients. Bummer, as he can’t go for walks and his room, is really small. Hopefully, they will test for antibodies as that is more actuate along with the many other tests he is getting today to figure out what is going on. He will have an MRI, blood workup, and biopsy done today as well as start treating the CMV. He feels fine he said and gave me a smile. We continue to thank the Lord for HIS hands in all the details and for having him in such good care.

“Christ Himself has brought peace to us.” Ephesians 2:14

We will walk by faith this morning praying for CLEAR results! Thank you for lifting Mitch up!

January 14, 2021

We rejoice in the Lord for HE is good! Even in trying times!

Mitch is as I type and as snow is falling like buckets, driving to the U to be admitted. We never know what the day will bring but trust in the Lord is all we can hang on to.

Last weekend Mitch started vomiting quite a bit. He called transplant and by Sunday he went to the ER in Crosby. He felt better after IV’s and some food They ran a Scat scan and we waited for the U to call back to tell us what they say. But he was doing a liver transplant and of course never heard from him as it was already late. On Monday he went in for labs again as usual and all looked good. But the scan they couldn’t read so ordered another one. I forgot the name of it but he couldn’t get that done until Friday, tomorrow. Again he went in for his Thurs. labs and this is where they saw a spike in his #’s. His donor had CMV which they were treating him for with meds but had to take him off due to his white blood cell count being low. The surgeon decided he needed to be admitted. Problem…no beds available and a snowstorm! We prayerfully decided because no visitors can be present Mitch would travel down there and if a bed wasn’t available we would get a hotel close by. (our second home)

I pray:

” We adore YOU as the ONE who is over all things.” 1 Chronicles 29:11

Taken last weekend

PRAY For HIS TRAVEL! PRAY for an EASY FIX TO WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HIS BODY!

December 22,

Just look at this white face and those sparkling white eyes!

I just finishing journaling for the last entry for 2020 and I am reflecting on something I am sure all of you have heard many times…GOODBYE 2020 I hope to never relive it again…or how horrible it was…or so much hate, unsettling, the world falling apart… with all those things I am not thinking ANYTHING like that.  Even though it has indeed been challenging let me remind each of you of God’s promise, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Genesis 50:19. Isn’t that awesome and worth thanking our Lord for? I have seen nothing but good out of 2020 and even though we end it with quite a battle…the Lord saw us through!

One word poured into my spirit today…SUSTAIN.

Have you ever looked this word up? Let me give you words that amazed me! Hold steady, strengthen, support physically and mentally, comfort, assist, encourage, help, carry, cheer up, nourish, to buoy up sustained by HOPE! YES, YES, AND MORE YES! Each word is exactly the names I can give my Savior Jesus. He did it all from January 1, 2020, to the present. He sustained me through watching our daughter go through a very hard time being an officer and standing beside her taking a much-needed break. He sustained me through a time with my husband I won’t ever forget battling mental illness and saying goodbye to a job that he loved and yet see how the Lord “cheered him up” to now being in full-time ministry. And of course our trial with Mitch. Watching each day our son fighting for life as we all waited for a new liver. Even now as we know more is to come in 2021 with him we are assured the Lord will sustain us once again for the next trial and turn it too into good! Jesus has done GREAT things in 2020 for us and for the world. You may not see it…but I do. I see families coming together.  Time for rest in the midst of waiting for new jobs or reopening of social outings.  Learning to respect one another even though we don’t agree biblically or politically.  Having patience with ourselves as we discern our lives moving forward. Life is hard, but I am thankful for the promise our Lord gave me. He has shown over and over HIS divine sustaining in the hard times and showing me HOW GOOD it ALL is!  I love 2020…it will hold a memory of showing me HOPE as I will need to look back on this year when life throws a curve again. 

God bless you all in the remainder of 2020…and celebrate it! God allowed it all and know HE is in CHARGE no matter what HE will sustain you!

A very Merry and BLESSED Christmas to each of you as you celebrate our Lord’s special day!

December 9, 2020

Lookin’ Out the Window

I sat in this window in Mitch’s room on 7a reflecting how I was doing the same thing just 24 years ago just 2 floors below me. A little boy unaware of the condition he was in…liver failure and dying. Listening to helicopters once again and the fear that overwhelmed me then is totally opposite this time around. Mitch is sleeping sound on his way to healing. Looking out the window in fear years ago but today peace. What a different place for sure!

7a first day Mitch got to be out of ICU, sitting in window of his room

Today I’m looking out another window. Still not home. Looking out the apartment window reflecting on this thing called “virus”. It killed Mitch’s liver in a matter of a coupled of weeks in 1997. It did nothing in our 3 bodies. Incredible… and one wonders why and how is that possible? As a family we have worked very hard to keep ourselves clean, covered, protected, and anything else you want to call it to not get this covid thing. Truly it was easy being at our home as we don’t go out much and when we did we took precautions. When Mitch had to go in for this new liver transplant and now live in the center of the city plus in and out every day, all day, plus eating out 3 x’s a day, plus well…it goes on…just really not the safest and we became vulnerable and got it. Being worn down and stressed also didn’t help in the fight against it. 

Ahhh the city life!

The doc was not happy when she had the video check up on Tuesday. In fact, we got a little scolded. I felt awful, but we really did all we could do. Maybe we should of wore full lined scrubs, face shields along with masks, not been in any contact with Mitch just slid his food under the door, and stayed quarantined in this little apartment. The virus got us. No matter what we would have done, it got us, and guess what? God knew! He is in charge of it all! He knew this trial would be at our doorstep and He knows how it all will unfold. So what do we do, trust…trust in HIS sovereignty and rest in HIS presence. The virus is a bugger! But it could be SOOO much worse! To that, we are praising the Lord for protecting us all especially Mitch!

Looking out the window of traffic, people, business, and feeling of yuckiness I can’t wait to look out the window of our home. The lake, trees, and 4-legged furry friends. I hope that day will come soon as Mitch and I are pretty anxious to start life again. 

Sun so bright! Our SON!

Since we are past the 9-day mark and still keeping to the guidelines we decided to enjoy a walk at Lake Harriet, my old stomping grounds. Going to the Malt Shoppe (take out) were many trips with my dad took place after long bike rides and when we got back, Mitch was exhausted and took a nap. I‘m by the window again, looking out seeing the sun setting on the brick building and grateful for windows and time with our son. The Lord gave us more time together with the odds against us… virus and all… He gives us windows to escape, ponder, and pray to reflect on HIS GOODNESS every day!

Such a beautiful day to get out for a walk! Keeping our distance still even though we are safe now.

December 6, 2020

Sugarplums are NOT dancing and traditions are Not happenin’…Oh humbug! Good thing we believe in our Savior, Jesus who redeems all things!

I tell ya, can any more happen in our family? Maybe I shouldn’t even be saying that out loud, because YEP more can come…just PRAYING NOT! We have enough Lord! This verse has resonated with me today!

“But You Lord, be not far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.” Psalm 22:19

This day usually is a fun day and would have been if we were all together. Celebrating St. Nick’s day has been a long-time tradition. Since our kids were little, Dan and I had the kids put one shoe out on the deck for St. Nick to fill for this special day. We also had a special meal all red and usually enjoyed the snow, hot cocoa by the fire pit, and the story of St. Nick before bed. Not today. And worse yet, we face the omen of the virus it has hit the family!

Dan and I kept apart as I was exposed, tested negative, but still kept apart for the 14-day quarantine. Within this time Mitch got released the day after Thanksgiving and I along with gramma Barb, Kinzey, and Sky headed down to reunite with Mitch and Dan. I stayed for what was to be my week with Mitch as Dan and I planned to switch every other week. Dan went home for his week of refresh recharge and in a few days got the chills, got tested, and yep has the virus. So I tested again, now I have it. We are still waiting to see what will happen with Mitch. It’s Sunday so not much can happen with doctors or getting him tested. There are testing spots open in the city but it would expose Mitch a great deal and I really wanted to wait for the transplant to tell us what to do. Either way, Mitch has been exposed as the apartment we are in isn’t huge so we continue to trust Jesus will give us strength through this time. Oh Lord, come help us quickly!

Pray for Mitch to be protected. Pray for the doctors to release him home we truly believe we are safer there than here. And pray for healing upon us all!

GOD IS FAITHFUL! He will protect us all! Praise the Lord for Truth during this season and not magical, fantasy, or worldly junk. So thankful Christmas is about Jesus who came to rescue us all! Love you all…KEEP PRAYIN’!

November 29, 2020

Talk about not getting what you want…but getting more than you deserve!

A year ago Mitch and I were taking many trips to the cities for procedures he needed as the beginning of his journey was in full motion. We began our “Coffee Explorers” idea that on every trip we would try a new coffee place. Mainly because it gave us an excuse to enjoy our love of coffee drinks but also to get our minds on something fun vs what was really going on. I think even back then I didn’t want to believe we were going to go through this all over again and NEVER did I think we would go through harder.  I asked the Lord back then, “Help him fight this battle and win. Heal him without having to go through this all over again!”

Christmas gift 2019 matching shirts.

As the months went on and we continued to enjoy many trips south, explore fun coffee shops, and enjoy a concert or two it was evident he was getting sicker as his body thinned, less energy, and of course the yellow skin appeared. During the months of February and March, Dan and I were busy helping Kinzy deal with her transition to MN. and facing her own issues. Plus I was gone for almost a month in VA helping her move. It was such a trying time for Dan and I helping our kids go through really hard situations. It took its toll for sure.  We asked the Lord again, “take these trials Lord away from them, give us all some peace and rest.”

Have you ever thought about or heard “I deserve to have…”? I hear it most often when one has gone through a difficult situation. “I deserve to get this because I have been through that.”  Or has someone said to you, “you deserve better”? As a believer who has embraced the incredible love of Jesus, realizing I am a sinner, accepted Jesus died a horrible death in place for my sins, and the best part…  rose to life and is now sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, (Romans 8:34b) I understand one truth. I deserve nothing but have been given EVERYTHING! The verse below hit me once again just before the previous verse. 

“Since He did not spare even his own Son but gave Him up for us all won’t He also give us everything else? “ Romans 8:32

God didn’t spare Jesus who was, is, and always will be perfect and sinless. Jesus didn’t deserve to die. I do. I don’t deserve anything because of my sinful heart. But He made a way for me to cross from death forever to live eternal even though I don’t deserve it, Jesus made it possible. Under one condition. I must repent, admit, and believe.  Incredible!  I asked for complete healing in Mitch and not to have to go through all he endured. I asked for no more pain or suffering. And the Lord could have provided another way to my prayer and answered it. He could have chosen to take Mitch home where all those prayers would have still been answered. Just not exactly the way I would have thought or wanted. Instead, we got more days and who knows how many more and are thankful for the ones we have gotten thus far.  We didn’t deserve this time. Mitch didn’t deserve another chance. It is all by HIS mercy and grace we are even allowed to have our son to enjoy for however long the Lord gives.  Deserve? Hum…it is a worldly word. Non-believers think, act, and live a life of entitlement on the premise they deserve…

I would much rather live my life knowing I don’t deserve anything but HAVE everything! It’s a much more peaceful way of living and truly gives me a restful mind and spirit to live life for Jesus and not me.

LOOK at those EYES!!!

Today we rejoice in Mitch’s recovery. We enjoyed an adventure out for a pair of shoes at Target using the donated gift certificate from the place Dan shared on Thanksgiving. It was great seeing Mitch buzz around in the chair knocking into things (by accident) with a smile on his face. He kept saying how wonderful it was to be out! His eyes are bright white. His skin is starting to turn white as well and hoping his weight beefs up as well. We continue to trust in our Lord as we look forward to HOME as we know it with woods, pets, and ranch life. Seeing all the Christmas décor gets me excited to celebrate a special Christmas as a family together, which seems like a battle we fought for all year. I feel like we have been in a movie constantly running into one obstacle after another to get to our treasure and possibly opening the last door to see it sparkle and be real. It will happen if not here… then heaven!

 Our daily posts will be moving back to when things come up or need of prayer but know this journey for Mitch will be at least a year of recovery. He has a few big hurdles to jump like rejection, blood clots, and just overall health needs. He is moved to tears often when we talk about all of you and stops us as it hurts not only physically but mentally too. He understands how close a call it was and is thankful Jesus understood and listened. He is ready to move forward and Upward in whatever the Lord has for him next. 

November 28, 2020

Waiting all month for just this day…a reunion with our family together even though it was only for a few hours being together felt wonderful!

Kinzey and my mother-in-law Barb traveled together along with Sky, Mitch’s puppy behind me as I traveled with a full carload ready to be away for at least a week. The excitement of Mitch being with Sky again and giving him a big old hug without any tubes was giving me energy through my feet. Kinzey can attest she had a hard time keeping up with me and she felt like she was on a pursuit.

Someone was just told she will see her master soon!

Yesterday we were afraid this reunion wouldn’t happen as Sky was playing as a puppy does running and jumping in our thyme out pasture at the ranch. In a split second, she was yelping and holding a drooped paw and we instantly thought she broke her leg. We quickly got her in the car. Kinzey splinted the paw with 2 sticks and vet wrap, and off to the vet, we went. All the way I thought about our plan for Mitch to see her and now he will not see her until he comes home. But as our Lord provided, she was fine, just sprained it and was licking and jumping around at the vet totally ok! Oh my, what a scare and So thankful she could lick her master and enjoy some time with him.

So sweet!

We arrived in the cities and saw Mitch and Dan walking across the park. Sky knew right away hearing Mitch’s voice and trying to hold her back from jumping on him would be a challenge… but worth it! This special reunion brought tears to us all…especially Mitch!

November 27, 2020

Home away from home is where Mitch got to go today! YES, released to society. Another day of Thanksgiving!

You can just see his excitement knowing he is going to leave after 27 days in the hospital and 6 surgeries!

Mitch taking the traditional wheelchair exit plan… Now look very closely, I did not see this until the post but is that a red Target bag? FYI Mitch himself needed some shoes and guess what… When I had gone to pick up the shoes for Jon Doe yesterday, The Good in the Hood had given him 2 gift cards to TARGET! Just enough to buy new shoes. Starting to lose track of how many people were blessed in less than 24 hours.

Official seat belt escort

Snugged in his room!

Tomorrow will be a relaxing day, time for him to eat and get some much needed rest away from the beeps, bumps and interruptions. First thing he said when he got into the apartment was how quiet it was. Almost like the woods but not quite… Blessings and prayers for continued strength and blood work numbers with no complications. God is good, all the time, God is good. Praise Jesus!

JESUS is not closed on Thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

The prayer yesterday was to reach out to someone. Here is what happened!

I went to get a Western Bagel at the bagel shop and a free coffee. They changed the sign that said you needed to order online to get the free coffee so I quickly downloaded the app and it made me choose a store. Not knowing exactly the address I looked on the outside of the door. Address said 70 and I was looking for 702. While outside a gentleman walked by dressed with only what he owned. There was my nudge. I walked over to him as he was going through the trash and asked him, “can I buy you breakfast?” He said “YES”. I went back in and ordered 2 Westerns and 2 large coffees. While waiting I could see him going through the trash and pulling out hypos. Got the order and went right outside, gave it to him and this poor guy really had a mental illness and I could relate. He just held the bag & coffee and used the trash can as a table staring out into space as though he was talking to someone. I looked closer and thought that could have been me a year ago… Just then coming across the street this guy was saying “hey you got some cash for food or shoes?” (He was only wearing socks)  I gave him my Western and coffee. He said, “really? You are really nice.” He devoured it in 30 seconds.

Just then behind us rode up a girl on a bike with a suitcase of all of her belongings. She bellowed out to him, “Where are your shoes?” He just said, “someone took them while I was riding the train.” He was riding the train to stay warm but they kick everyone off at around 2am. She dropped her bike, opened the suitcase, and pulled out a pair of slippers. I just looked in awe as I watched how the homeless take care of each other. He was grateful to have that extra layer of warmth. I told him, “I wanted to buy you some shoes. What size did you wear?” Again he said “really!, size 14” “I should be able to zip down to Target and get you some. Meet you back here at 11:30.” He really did not believe I would do that and was hesitant at first. I said again.” I WILL BE HERE at 11:30, mark my word!” He told me his name, but to protect him for now we will call him Jon Doe. We parted ways and I went back to the apartment. Not really realizing it was Thanksgiving day and just taking it for granted everyone is open as the tradition of stores being closed had gone away so many years ago… I searched and searched on the internet for someone with men’s size 14 shoes. Everyone was closed! Panicking, I kept searching, found one was opened and they only had size 12. 90 minutes left before I have to keep my promise of 11:30. Did another search, not even sure what I put in, and up popped “Good in the Hood”. The words “Free shoes” are what stood out to me. I made the call and left a detailed message looking for a pair of size 14 shoes, not thinking anyone would call back on a Holiday… I got the call from Jamie. She said she was touched by my message and said she would drive over to the warehouse and call me back. 10:30 got the call and she said she would leave the bag outside the warehouse door for me to pick up. She asked if she could pray for Mitch and our family. You can just see the love of Jesus here. That was what I needed right then. It was just over 10 miles away from city driving.

It’s going to be close. 

Got the bag and inside were wool socks, a nice pullover wool shirt and much needed gloves. Guess what kind of a bag it was in…

A Target bag… That was were I was originally going to go. Hummm… So I got a bag of clothes and shoes in a Target bag with Target being closed. God at work here!

Off to the races to meet my deadline… 11:25 got back to the apartment to get rid of the car and ran over to the meeting place. 11:35, 11:40 no Jon Doe. 11:45, 11:50, and there he was. I could tell his feet hurt. Got him sat down on a bench and he was sooo relieved to put those socks and shoes on. What a blessing! He said he was an alcoholic and his hands were shaking, he had not seen his son since June of 2019, his wife had left him and his dad had committed suicide. Admitted he was having a hard time with things. He thanked me and we thanked Jesus together. What a blessing!!

Thank you God, Jamie and Good in the Hood!

JESUS IS NOT CLOSED ON THANKSGIVING!

Mitch was not able to go home on Thanksgiving as was my hope. I spent the better part of my afternoon in the pharmacy getting his 19 medications and then headed up to his room to go get him as the plan was for him to come to the apartments. But as we were waiting for the discharge papers, Mitch got sick and threw up his feeding tube. I can think of much better ways to take it out, but yep it’s out. We thought great…one less thing to worry about. But the doctor said without that tube and his need for food he would need to stay the night. YEP, much disappointment for us all! So today…another try. Mitch had a great night, no tube made it so he slept and ate well. He looks great! He is walking a lot now which also helps in the healing process. SO…I will try again picking him up and spending some much needed father son time! God is good! Not the Thanksgiving we all planned but wouldn’t have it any other way! Just imagine if WE were in charge…yikes!

What a wonderful day of thanks…yes it may be challenging, but challenge puts our eyes on Jesus!

A Blessed THANKSGIVING!

A Perfect Thanksgiving In A NON Perfect World

“Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 100:4

All praise and glory to you Lord! Today and Always!

Thinking back on all the celebrations of Thanksgiving I truly can say this one is the most memorable and beats them all! For most folks, NOT being with family, or having a big ol’ traditional meal, enjoying fellowship, and our personal favorite, decorating the Christmas tree would certainly mark as the worst Thanksgiving ever. But hears the thing…isn’t Thanksgiving all about being thankful for what we have and for what we lost? We are to give the Lord praise even if things around us are not perfect or happening as we would like. I believe we are to give thanks in ALL things as the Lord says in His word which is giving HIM glory as well.

Dan is alone waiting for Mitch to be discharged. Mitch is alone in the hospital (kinda… he still has many cute nurses around him),  Kinzey and I are together but without the boys, and Dan’s folks living next door will come over for a lefsa baking. They too are away from their children and grandchildren. (They just get us)

 Even though we are all apart we have a tremendous amount of praise and thanksgiving to do today and EVERY DAY going forward! Mitch is recovering from a very traumatizing month. Dan is able to be with him when the day comes and he is doing so well from 2 years ago! Kinzey is home for good! No more east coast trauma and moving on with a life back with family and her love of the great outdoors! And me…I have family…even though physically apart we are together in love and spirit. We all have been through many trials in the last 2 years and this last month has taken a toll on each of us. But…with praise and thanksgiving, the Lord fills our holes with Himself. He brings peace and joy in those empty places and for that, we are so thankful!

In our devo time together this morning it talked about focusing on taking eyes off of ourselves and onto others. Doing Kingdom work in thoughts and deeds. Dan has a special story to share as we prayed for an opportunity to share Christ on this special day especially him being alone…God answered his prayer…another thing to be thankful for so tune in…it’s a good one!

November 25, 2020

7:42p
Well, I just got back and really had some quality time with our son. He had requested multiple back rubs as he said I could hit that “Just right spot on his sore back”. I said he needed a wife… Pray for that! (He is single and available, comes with a 3 life warranty… Maybe to much sales pitch here). I told him after about six 2 minute back rubs that he needed to do a “walk” to earn for each one. Walking is going to be his friend. Helps get the blood flowing (CORRECTLY) and get his organs working faster. Best way to get out of the hospital and into a much needed resting and recovering place. I ran defense for Mitch today while I could. Keeping the lights off and door semi closed so he could try and sleep. It was sooooo good to see him fall asleep and see his body go into recovery mode. If you have never been there the hospital is full of beeps, bumps, freshly replaced nurses and constant noises- like “Code BLUE 5th floor anesthesia STAT Room xyz:. This is repeated 3 times and again 3 minutes later 3 times again, I think to make sure all the patients are woken up, shortly after the patients had just went to sleep… And then the (FRESH) nurses come in and see how you have been sleeping. Not a 5 star hotel for sure. Job security? “Like you can check out but never leave…

Mitch wants to put out the:

Such a pleasure and honor to be able to be with him today and share just good words to help keep him going. This is what I got blessed with today. From Mitch: “It is nice to have you as parents. Thank you for visiting today!!”

Since I can’t see Mitch or my family tomorrow, the Lord put on my heart to follow his word and try and reach out to someone, somewhere. Believe me, the streets here are full and the harvest is ripe:

Matthew 25:34-39

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

They are out there. They are everywhere. Just need to open our eyes and SEE! Pray I will find at least 1.

Reunion time!!

SORRY had to take this special video down too big for ya all to load. Maybe get it on Utube one day.

Today was a great and mighty blessing. They got me in to see Mitch as I was to be trained on all the drain tubes and feeding tubes in the event he was able to come to the apartment. It was so great to see him after 3 plus weeks!! Sorry to say he will not be able to leave today as his labs just are not quite where they need to be. Disappointing but I feel it is a good decision in case there is something else going on. Kinda like our prayers… we pray for something and it just does not quite turn out how we prayed. We do know though that Jesus answers our prayers, maybe just not the way we wanted it. HE (Father) Knows best. The older people will get that line. So we can just continue to pray he can get out. Typically the Shelstad family tries for after midnight, Sunday’s or Holidays… Just how it seems to work out.

Psalm 4[a]:1

Answer me when I call to you,

    my righteous God.

Give me relief from my distress;

    have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

I am waiting for the recording to come on that says “It’s 6pm and all visitors need to leave.” It comes on every day at 6pm, even though visitors are not allowed. I am hoping I can forget some of the training so I have to go in again tomorrow. (Thanksgiving Day). You know how when you get a bit older you don’t retain as much… That is going to be my story- we’ll see if it works. My other angle will be to bring him his back massager. He is getting stronger and seems to be getting a bit more of an appetite. He has lost over 20 pounds. We will keep you posted as to when he can get out. God Bless you all!

November 23, 2020

I have only been muskie fishing once, at least on purpose. Don’t get me wrong, I love to fish, just like some action. Compared to Canada where you catch a fish almost every cast… You will for sure need patience if muskie fishing is a sport you wish to take up. I have heard it can be exciting. Was not for me. 6 hours in a boat swirling your rod around in the water every now and then. Nothing, no excitement, not even a weed. Definitely challenges your patience. Ahh that word again patience.

James 1:2-8

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. …

I think of the word “Perseverance”. It is to keep on going even when it sometimes does not make sense, like trying to catch a muskie all day long. Allowing perseverance to finish its work is the part where we must be patient, just like today. Patients is sometimes taking in a deep breath and looking at the beauty all around you.

Looks like we are in a waiting game. Patience. The days all seem to be blended together. Losing track of time and missing my wife! Like Lee said last Friday we passed like 2 ships in the night… Today we hear that numbers are stable so no blood transfusion! PRAISE. Still need to get the muscle mass up and hit that 1700 calorie number so he can get the tube out. We may see him moved to the rehab facility yet this week. Could even be Thanksgiving day. We will keep you posted. Mitch has been trying to connect on facebook and catching up on emails. This is a good sign as he is trying to reach out and get a sense of normalcy.

This is fishin’

November 22, 2020

A special week it is…a week to celebrate Thanksgiving…THANKFULNESS and GIVING…I believe a time we should all be celebrating every day!

Today, even as I type… marks 3 weeks with Mitch’s journey of life. I hope one day I won’t come upon a Sunday and keep doing this where I count the weeks but instead switch to not looking back but forward.

Dan and I had our morning devotional (on the phone) and one thing that hit us is how the Lord is always on our side. “He guides our way, and He gets the say. When we fail, He loves us still. When we’re unfaithful, He remains faithful.” Suzie Larson devotional. (link)

The doctors came in saying, ” some days will be two steps forward and one step back.” We have seen that played out daily for sure and seeming more steps back in the earlier weeks.

The steps reminded me of the poem many know of the Lord Footprints. Walking in the snow this morning down at the ranch and looking at Nuggets hoof print and mine facing one direction and then of course when I turned around he followed me going the other way, I was reminded the Lord is with us each step of the way. Taking the steps forward and even backward He is with us. His prints are in mine walking in together. Not over mine not even next to me, but right within me, totally with me.

Together with Christ we get through the backward days.

Dan and I are so thrilled to see such a difference in Mitch! The doctor’s only concern is his loss of muscle and how thin he is. They are trying to get him to eat today every 2 hours and to walk even more. He asks questions to the doctors now vs. just lying there nodding. Mitch is defiantly having a forward foot day!

So with the good news, we also know there will be backward foot days but we will STILL GIVE OUR LORD PRAISE! I love this hymn from the Gaither family and hope it blesses all of you as you celebrate EVERY DAY in gratitude! Life…second chances…some third chances…for all of us to know we have a God who loves us and is with us if we choose HIS path to follow in HIS footsteps. Praise Jesus!

November 21, 2020

3:30pm..from Lee as Dan is gallivanting in the cities I guess Christmas shopping for me! Update on Mitch’s tests both x ray show the feeding tube is in the right place and the ultrasound this morning showed the blood flow is good too and no sign of clotting. Mitch has been experiencing constant need to get sick so they wanted to make sure no underlining issues existed. He walked a lot today and the pain is more under control. He even got his hair washed and looks dashing! Another brighter day…off to do chores and come back to talk to him before he rests for the night. SOOO amazing he is doing well now! Pray for continued healing!

Got on this morning and Mitch is doing much better. We sure are blessed to be able to have this technological connection. I can kinda tell he is on the mend as he ordered PIZZA! Mind you now this is not his favorite “Rafferty’s Finest W/Bacon”. Wouldn’t that be neat to have a Rafferty’s in the hospital! Will have to talk to Mark about that one. Mitch has had a unit of blood every day as his body tries to catch up. The feeding tube is still in place to help with his malnourishment issues. He is scheduled for another ultrasound to make sure he does not have another hematoma. We sure don’t want another emergency surgery. Please pray for clear results. Should find out a bit later today and will update.

Mitch’s new puppy is getting older! Kinzey gave her Mitch’s jacket and she just cuddled right up and laid on it. If she can’t have her master in person, she got the next best thing…his smell!

Another video of sky had to be taken down too big file…

We got moved into the apartment and it sure is nice. 2 separate bedrooms, nice living room, big kitchen and a much needed freezer for any meals we might get. When Mitch gets out of rehab we can have a separate room for him away from the noise. I never thought I would be getting an apartment in the cities! Those that no me know just how much I like the city life… Anyway we are blessed and the timing is of course God’s perfect timing.

God’s never early, never late, but always on time. … God’s perfect timing does two things: It grows our faith as we are forced to wait and trust in God and it makes certain that HE, and HE alone, gets the glory and praise for pulling us through. “My times are in Your hands …” Psalm 31:15

November 20, 2020

For all law enforcement skip the next few sentences…

I was so joyful to see Mitch waking up energized, talkative, and heading to the restroom a little easier after all this time! Today began a brighter day for all of us!  What a change even in 2 days! I now felt secure in knowing he is on his way to healing that I could feel good about heading home.  Defiantly a better timing!  Heading down 94, KTIS blaring with the song RISE UP, tears flowing, and glancing at the speedometer reading 80…I was praising the Lord for all He has done! Your timing is always perfect Lord! ( I did slow down by the way back to the speed limit just so you know)Dan and I literally were 2 ships passing in the wind as he was arriving in the cities to meet with the gal for the housing and I were headed out. So sad we won’t see each other for another week but for the sake of the Covid, we want to make sure we are both healthy and clear when the little dude gets the  OK to come home.  So taking all precautions we sacrifice being with each other for a bit longer. 

I arrived at a clean home with Kinzey taking a big part in making sure the sheets were washed and the house filled with essential oil smell and a dog kind of excited to see me. Cruz is a bit confused and unsure of what is going on. Most border collies do not like change so he is adjusting to the routine and me once again.  Of course, it was also time to be heading to the ranch to get my sniff and fuzz fix. Cruz loved that and it made both of our days! Oh, the clean fresh air of the woods and animals over the city is SO refreshing! It lifted my spirits for sure. I just feel a little sad Mitch is facing at least another 2 weeks. But timing is key. HIS timing, not ours. 

Think about all the right timing since this whole journey began. The timing of the transplant. The liver available just for Mitch. The many needed surgeries. Many, many, friends and family praying us through. How I almost left when yet another surgery was needed and of course the housing coming at just the perfect time…ONLY GOD can do all that! ONLY HIM!  

A sunset paddle boarding adventure with Mitch and Kinzey…a special time together.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

It is hard to wait. I wanted so desperately for us all to be together by now, but looking back at all that has taken place I know the Lord has the perfect time for his arrival back home. For now, Dan and I enjoy the breaks and rest we need to prepare for the next steps and even though we are all apart we hang onto the love poured out from others and our daily time with Jesus.  Time with Jesus…it is…what gives us peace and JOY in the worst of times and the best of times! 

I am looking at a beautiful sunset with no buildings or distractions and in awe of it all. There is no perfect time like the present to embrace such a gift as accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. Take it from this girl who has gone down this road without Him…I lost out on a lot of precious time of peace and joy. One never knows when your time is up. So don’t wait…your time may be now. 

November 19, 2020

The stress we feel on a daily basis has been more than I think I have ever gone through. I think it’s due to not having ANY control over this situation, how Mitch is feeling, and the ins and outs of balancing his pain and medications. Oh, and we can’t be with him during the most stressful time of our son’s life. STRESSSSSSS!

Every day the nurses are awesome listing the multiple meds before giving them and even reminding him what their purpose is. Mitch is still dealing with pain and now nausea. His feeding tube is causing issues on many levels but the doctors are stating the importance of keeping it in place because he needs to gain some weight. The stress of the forever balancing act of meds and issues is exhausting. As I type this he is on a PT walk trying to build up his muscle mass which is close to dangerous. He came back with some excitement in his voice, “I did some stairs!” The stress level immediately went down for me as I watched him walk in. Just hearing his voice be perkier and of course, doing more than he’s done in almost 3 weeks. WHEW…a sigh of relief…are we getting to the other side of all this? I sure am praying and knowing again, the Lord has this!

“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.” Psalm 119:143

Dan and I have been apart for a week now which adds to my stress. Not having him around especially two days ago when Mitch had the emergency surgery. Stress can defiantly overtake my mind so I often will turn on worship music to help me change my focus. It works…every time!

Praise the Lord for all He has done!

We just got a call the apartments set up for long care families has an opening. We were 6th on the list on Monday and now #1. Things happen so unexpectedly we can really never plan ahead. I guess a reminder, “not to worry about tomorrow today has enough of its own.” holds true as only our Lord knows. Dan will come down to help with the move and I will, GOD WILLING head home for some much-needed rest in my own bed and get my animal fix including Kinzey. (which could fit into the animal category) Just the thought of digging my nose in the horse’s necks relieves my stressful thoughts! Someone should come up with a horse smelling essential oil. I know many horse friends who would wear them, especially under stress.

A roller coaster of emotions and stress will be never-ending with this journey or any journey the Lord allows. It’s all in how we handle it when it hits. Do we make it worse by worrying or do we stop and pray? Will we choose to recognize our thoughts and turn to thoughts of praise and thanksgiving or cave and go into a downward spiral of despair? Dan knows full well from the latter! Stress is one of the key reasons for many illnesses’ in our world and truly I believe as Dan and I face this one daily, sometimes by moment, we MUST turn our minds towards Christ. He is always with us and promises to take it away. What a difference it has made for both of us when we do.

Thank you all for praying us through…Mitch is doing so great today! I finally feel a little stressed FREE!

PRAISE AND GLORY AND THANKSGIVING to our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ!!!!!

November 18, 2020

Getting out and shopped for Mitch’s transition to rehab, getting a different view outside of the campus and hospital area as well as this hotel room just felt so refreshing and hopeful. Mitch had such a great morning of progress until it all hit …his incision area was expanding causing unbearable pain. As Dan and I watched on the video our son in pain, not being able to hold his hand only with our voices be able to tell him, “we are here and are praying you through.”

“I will comfort you as a mother comforts her child.” Isaiah 66:13

The Lord comforts us in many ways. He hears us, He demonstrates His presence through others, He shows us in His word or song, He breaths hope when we are still and praise Him. 

Our new way of connection…so awesome!

This passage spoke to me as we can not comfort Mitch the way we want. Even watching the staff make his bed this morning as they took him to ultrasound because his liver #’s are up, I wanted so badly to replace her and do that for him. But it’s not now. Both Dan and I have another job given to us. Pray, seek, and continue to trust in HIS plan. What some may think, even me, that not being with him physically really stinks it is what the Lord allowed for a purpose we don’t understand. Yet comforted knowing Jesus is with Mitch and He is protecting Him. Truly this does comfort me. The staff is amazing. Dan got up in the middle of the night listening to the nurse being so sweet to Mitch he started to cry knowing Mitch is being comforted by others. We can’t be with him always, but Jesus is!. Talk about letting go…this is it!

November 17, 2020

6:30pm Mitch is out…Praise the Lord they caught the bleed. It was over the mesh and because he is on blood thinners and still holding a lot of inflammation due to still healing they do see this. This surgeon has had 2. Mitch still could face this until he heals completely we will pray for NOT! Dan was on his way…made in only 5 miles when I got the call. So he is back home. I was planning on heading home tomorrow but now decided to stay until Mitch is on his way to rehab or a day from it. He was doing SO well this morning. Just waiting to see him on the new video Dan set up. Hoping he will be back on the floor and not in ICU. It’s a mess down there now with covid…THANK YOU ALL for praying and holding him up and us.

EMERGENCY SURGERY

05:05pm As I write this I see Mitch lying in bed in 9+ pain. They can’t get it under control and he has a bulge in his scare area with leaking fluids. They are concerned he has a bleed and or colon disconnect. PLEASE PRAY. There is an army of doctors and nurses getting him ready. Unfortunately they will have to open him back up. Thank you warriors.

Isaiah 40:29
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Dan-Expected arrival 16:55

So I was on the way back home to the cities having to leave Lee to tend to Mitch. Everyone knows just how much I like the cities… Turning my trusty GPS on to navigate through the landmine of traffic, lake size potholes, thousands of orange cones, sign that keeps saying “End Road Work” and ohhhhh happy drivers. Of course the drivers pay entire attention to the road in front of them as they somewhat blindly rocket through traffic. (pretty sure I saw someone putting on makeup). Thinking we need to work on vehicle control vs 2nd amendment control. Some people don’t realize they are driving a weapon of potential mass destruction out of control. Just think how many of those vehicles are unregistered, just sayin’

Anyways, back to driving. So I get past the Rogers area and the GPS which is tracking me from a geosynchronous orbit 22000 miles or so above the earth wants to reroute me. In an effort to really want to get home I felt frustrated as I have made this trip many times and wanted to go the fastest way I knew. I wanted to trust in myself, not wanting to trust the GPS. Then I saw a bright sign, crash ahead… expect delays… With a flash I had a nudge (HOLY SPIRIT) to exit NOW and follow the GPS. Expected arrival 16:53.

Arrived safely. 16:47 (For those not math orientated looks like I saved 8 minutes)

Then I heard the news. The following is a snippet from the Star Tribune:

Semitrailer truck that stopped on freeway may have spawned last week’s 29-vehicle pileup on Interstate 94 in Monticello

“The State Patrol continues to look for the truck and its driver, and is asking for help from anyone who was on the scene. “

Trusting the GPS saved me about 4 hours not 8 minutes. So I got to thinking… What else could GPS stand for? God Promises Salvation for those who trust in him. 

Proverbs 3: 5-6

Wisdom Bestows Well-Being

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

See, following the lead of the HOLY SPIRIT kept my path straight. (Even though I felt I was getting the runaround with the GPS)

I think of Mitch right now as we are faced with the decision of the hospital to not accept visitors. Our plea was to let Lee in with an “exception”. Today realizing we are not “entitled”, our thinking got clearer. Thinking our plea should have been, Lord let Your Will be done and have it be the best decision for all. While Mitch was in ICU I had asked if they had an iPad so we could communicate with him and they said no, we don’t provide that type of thing.. We received multiple offers from my sister, an old customer and also a good friend Matt who just happened to be on his way to the area of the U with an iPad. Mitch got moved to the 7th floor and after speaking to the nurse manager pleading to have Lee get this exception she said she did not feel very confident the director would approve an exception. Just then she said we do have dedicated iPads for you to log into. WOW. I jumped on that project. We had a few technical issues but got things going as of this morning! Lee & I can both be on at the same time. What a relief. 

We have a great sense of peace that God has protected and placed up a mighty shield not only for Mitch and Lee but all the other patients in the hospital and we rest in this:

Psalm 18:2

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

We are resting assured… HE IS IN CONTROL.

November 16, 2020

It all finally caught up to me! Yesterday at 3pm I just couldn’t stay for my shift…I was exhausted and feeling I just wanted to go to bed. The good old word of REST which has been a word I have pondered, prayed for, and encouraged others to embrace for over 2 years has kicked hard. Because I didn’t rest enough and not embracing it myself, I had a restless night.

When I needed to leave, PT came in at the same time which was perfect in giving him another focus. He is still struggling with pain and discerning all that is being said to him with the many who engage in his day. Between therapy, nurses, doctors, social workers, it really is too much at times. The good news is he improves every day even though he doesn’t think so. He walks more and is being pushed to walk even more. His muscle mass is down so the doctor got on him today via video chat as yes, I am sitting in the hotel room taking a day off. He is on his own for the first time since we’ve been here and I know he will do well as he has quite the cheerleaders on 7A.

It’s amazing how many liver transplants they have done since we arrived. Just 5 alone last week. Many over 60 yrs old plus. Each one of them walks speedily by his door and I tell him, “that will be you soon.” He asked me the question, “when did they get their’s?” I told him, “a week ago but remember you had complications and 5 other surgeries so you have an excuse not to be where they are.” Every time people walk the staff cheers them on. Saying their name and rooting for them. It’s so cool. I will miss that today and guess what…it looks like I won’t be able to go back!

The hospital announced today is the last day for visitors. He wants me to come at least for the day, but here’s the thing…rest…I need to rest. If I don’t, I could jeopardize the weeks ahead. I told him to call me as much as he wants and to focus on the goal of walking. The days will go quickly. Dan is working on getting me to be with him during rehab or in on some of the aftercare info so we are hopeful I will see him soon.

“On the seventh day God rested from all the work He had been doing.” Genesis 2:2

The sacrifice is great choosing rest over being with our son during such a difficult time, but I believe the consequences of not resting is even greater. The Lord gave us a command to take a day of rest (just so happened it was Sunday too) because the Lord knows our bodies and minds need rest. I need to trust the staff is taking care of Mitch and he will be ok without me there. God is faithful and gracious in all the details so I will rest IN HIS presence and knowing Mitch is getting rest from his mom, which is also a good thing.

Taking some time today to journal in my bible

Pray for Mitch to have peace without me there and for him to use this as an “carrot” to get out of jail! Motivated to be onto the next step…rehab. And pray somehow I can be with him in the next step allowing time for me to continue to get my energy back and time of rest. Thank you!!!!!

November 15, 2020

08:30am-Dan

Anxiousness, we all have it. Where does it come from? The real root of anxiousness I think is a form of worry. Lee and I, two weeks ago to the hour, for a period of time, were extremely anxious, worried and scared. We just were not ready for the news we just got. Then we prayed. Our sense of peace to let Mitch potentially go to be with the Lord in those next 2 hours came from knowing we knew, without a shadow of a doubt that he knew HIS Lord and Savior. Then we rejoiced even though it was painful! 

Our Lord tells us what to do with anxiousness. 

Philippians 4:4-7

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

How do you rejoice in a serious situation? When everything seems to be coming down on you or going the wrong way? How do you stop worrying? The key is in the last part of 8 below and then re-reading 8. The verse tells us what to “think” about.

Philippians 4:8-9

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

11:12am Surgeons just came in and Mitch is doing better. PRAISE. Trying to walk to the bathroom by himself. PRAISE. Taking the catheter out. PRAISE. May need another unit of blood. PRAY. Very short of breath. PRAY. Wanting to get up and walk which will get him on the road to faster recovery. PRAISE.

So it’s what we choose to “think” about. Not saying that grieving is a bad thing, but how much time we spend there vs all the great and wondrous things around us to be so grateful for. I even look outside now as the snow is swirling around with the wind, it is like the breath of God. That same breath put life into us. What a thing to be grateful for! Thanks for praying. Thank you JESUS!

November 14, 2020

7:38

Guiding us along an unfamiliar path…unfamiliar…when you think of walking in an unfamiliar path what crosses your mind? I use similar ideas when doing sessions at the ranch asking kids to be blindfolded as they ride and ask questions like how they feel, are they worried and what is that worry. Or give them a trial and they have to try and lead the horse either riding or on the ground not knowing what’s around the corner that may spook them or the horse. Unfamiliar just by speaking or thinking the word can give one anxious thought and fear can creep in. But being in an unfamiliar situation is what the Lord allows in our lives to draw us back to HIM. Asking Jesus to lead us, help us stop fears and anxiousness and lead us to wisdom, clarity, and peace in this unfamiliar trail. We don’t know what lies ahead but we can trust in the One who does! His ways are clear and perfect and when a person chooses to be lead by Him instead of taking the rein yourself, the unfamiliar becomes calming. This unfamiliar trail ride isn’t what I would choose for anyone, but if the Lord allows it, it’s because HE has something amazing in-store and so I am willing to continue in the unfamiliar because He promises us…I will BRIGHTEN the darkness…SMOOTH out the road AHEAD…and with that promise, we all can hang on for the ride! I think we will name one of our trails at the ranch…UNFAMILIAR…what do you think?

“I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along the unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them.” Isaiah 42:16

THE BUTTON!

Mitch has loved this button for the past week! It is his pain control button. He loves it so much his hand has shaped into the form of this button. He presses it often. Even before the light turns green he pushes it. I asked the doctors if they know when he pushes it before the green button lights up. They nodded yes. So I encouraged Mitch to wait for the green light to go on first then press it. The next day I encouraged him to look at the green light and decide if he really needed to push it or if he could wait even 5 more minutes or longer. And he did pretty well with each transition. Good thing because guess what today was? THEY TOOK IT AWAY!  I wish I could have taken his picture!  They were gracious to allow a slow and easy transition with other meds but going down this unfamiliar, no controlled way caused much anxiety on Mitch. Even long before they took it. We talked through it convincing him the importance of getting rid of each line to better transition out of the hospital and with the unfamiliar there WILL BE a promise of brighter days! He wasn’t convinced and when I left him…in pain…I kissed his forehead saying I love you and it will get better the Lord promises so. You will have many more unfamiliar roads but the Lord is with you and so am I.

  He walked some…pain being such an issue again he didn’t have the strength to do much. His #’s in both liver and kidney are doing better, PRAISE THE LORD…still praying for him to do some “other things” on his own and he did have another unit of blood today which he has had almost daily. Overall…a good day…tomorrow will be more unfamiliar territory but the Lord is with us and so are you all praying us through!

 

November 13, 2020

6:45pm…Nothing like kissing our son on the forehead and he says, “don’t leave mom I want you to stay.” I can never leave him without a tear or two and wanting such a different life for him. I walked back of course alone in the dark, cold and with all these students walking in black hoodies, my guard is up as city walking is much different than when I lived here over 30 years ago. I walked to the front desk checking in my key as we had to add more days knowing Mitch will be here awhile when the young man looked up with a smile saying, “welcome home.” I smiled back and responded thank you but turned around choking up all over again. This day was better, probably the best day since we started this journey 2 weeks ago and my tears are because the Lord answered me. He answered our prayers spoken out loud. He answered them through all of you and He answered the unspoken ones.

We received cards for Dan and me as well as Mitch and of course tears of answered prayer through encouraging words of love. The Lord supplied all of our needs and continues to hear our cries. He indeed HEARS me!

Mitch is on a new floor! He is smiling a bit more, hard due to his feeding tube. He is up and walking more and is inspired to walk vs. wanting to just lay down due to so much fatigue. He shakes a lot due to high # in liver but the doctor reassured me this will get better as well as his intense itching so bad he cause scars. Mitch lost one of those bubbles which was awesome and the catheter which was even more awesome. Feeling a bit more normal helps him get more spunky. He also was able to call the kitchen to order what he needed. His list was long…ice tea, apple juice, and chocolate milk. His face was so funny when the person said, “the juice and tea will be right up but you can’t have milk.” He held the phone to me with a frustrated look saying “they won’t give me milk.” I told him the orders from the doctor go alllll the way down to the kitchen. SO, you can’t order what you want without permission. Oh, I had to leave the room I was laughing so hard! The surgeon who did the surgery I just love. The other one who assisted her has a personality of authority and firmness. He isn’t very fun like she is so I receiver her info much better. PLUS she is MUCH more positive which is huge! He came in with you need to walk 12 times today (never will happen with short staff so sets anxiousness for both of us), drink lots of liquid, and be nice to the staff. (he looked at me, I talked to him after about that one) The other surgeon comes into the room with a smile and looks at Mitch and said, “man dude you look amazing and you will be running the halls tomorrow you’re doing so well!” She kids around, going him a hard time as well as encourages him so well. Just love her! She also isn’t worried that his kidney #’s are up. She just is positive all will turn around! SO…hopeful we both felt! Mitch is doing wonderful…PRAISE JESUS as HE hears and HE answered! Tears of joy and hope as we head into the weekend!

“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and He answered me.

I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord, you heard me.”

Jonah 2:1b-2

We may not be a man who is sitting in a belly of a whale crying out to the Lord, but during this journey, I know trials can seem like one is in a dark, cold, and stinky place. But when we pray, He responds. Not always the way we want, but He responds what is best. I am thankful today…just plain ol’ thankful!

November 12,2020

6:30…my man went back home…came back to the dorm room with emptiness and a hard day…tears filled this tiny room but THANKFUL!

Patience is one Fruit of the Spirit I am totally bad at! Especially when it comes to my family’s needs and in crisis! Just letting you all know this momma isn’t putting up with rudeness, handling rough, shortness, or snotty attitudes from either staff or our son (even though he is dealing with so much and grace is given).  The last two days have been a challenge in the area of staff and frustrating for me as I am tired of course but trying to discern every detail, and take care of Mitch’s every need has set my patience on high.  Staff can be rude, arrogant, and snappy which I find not ok in a nursing situation. I do expect kindness and gentleness when handling him. I expect them to treat him with respect and telling him what’s going on. One can’t hide their attitudes under masks. I can read eyes and expressions well when the mouth is hidden. When Mitch is in need NOW and told he will have to wait and no one can help him I got ticked! 

 Yep, one young man no longer can have the privilege of serving our son. He got the boot!

 Yes, there is a lot going on with him still. The kidney’s numbers are increasing causing a chance that he may need dialysis. This scared me half to death (on the inside as I hold it all together around staff and Mitch). The liver is still being treated for rejection for another 3 days and with those meds, it causes kidney’s to struggle. Like the moment he got on the table on Nov. 1 it has been a balancing act with the medications. The liver is their priority to get going, healthy, and stable. They can’t replace a liver and everything else they say, “they will handle one day at a time.” Patience is just that phrase that makes me nuts because it’s true but hard not to think about future outcomes.  Seriously…who comes up with these phrases we are to be convicted about? Deep sigh…yep one day at a time and better yet, bring it all to prayer every detail. I am not to worry; the Lord Jesus has it all! Funny how God’s words are much more comforting and easier for me to incorporate than human cliché’s! 

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Colossians 1:11

Mitch is in an isolated situation since he came off the table because he has MRCA. No big deal most of us have it they say, but the staff has to be in gowns every time they enter the room so not to spread it to their other patients. ICU is private rooms and it’s been kinda nice not having another patient in the room. It can be rather annoying. So I was curious about what will happen when he moves to a floor. (7A) Hoping he would get a private room. The hospital is full because of the Covid thing I heard anyway so I kinda gave up hoping for the private room. BUT…remembered he was in isolation so asked the charge nurse…she confirmed his room will be private. I walked away from the desk with hip hip hoorah and smile, which no one could see because of my mask.

It’s almost 5:00pm, my work for the day is almost done and he may not be moved before I leave. I will wait patiently as this day has been long!  Mitch is up, walking some, things are moving in that tummy, and he is getting out of ICU before his 2-week mark.., progress takes patience…that’s what we are hanging onto! Thank you all for praying…Jesus is rockin’ this! 

November 11, 2020

11/11-06:05am-Dan FREEDOM

The ICU nurse said he had a rough night last night. Still need to get the bowels moving so they can see that the colon is functioning. If not, a need for another surgery would be called and he would have to have the bag outside his body. Also not flowing liquids so had to have the catheter put in every 8 hours overnight to relieve the pressure. Liver biopsy results came in and his numbers are trending down, PRAISE. Mitch would really like to get “free” from the tubes and all the mechanical things that are hooked up to his body. To get “free” you have to work at it, so he needs to get up and move to help things get going. It is tough to do and you have to work through the pain. 10:50am-Just in-Radiology is coming in to do a study on the colon. He is starting to have kidney issues and the doctors are going to start to deal with that today. Pray for him today to continue to have strength to work through that pain, the colon and kidneys. Definitely feel like we are on the front line again today…

Today we lift up all the men, women and their families who are fighting now and who fought for our country to give us freedom. But, freedom comes with a cost… Freedom is not FREE. Many lives have been lost over the years to help preserve the freedom we have in our country. Thank you Veterans!

We as believers in Christ  have a different kind of “freedom”. The freedom to know and follow Jesus Christ and believe in HIM as our Lord and Savior. Knowing that the battles on this earth are continuous, but we rest in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ who wins the WAR. HIS was the ultimate sacrifice and he has set us FREE.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

November 10, 2020

Wanting a perfect surgery, doctor, nurse, room, or outcome is something we just can not have on this side of heaven.

Deuteronomy 32
New International Version
32 Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.

3 I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.

We want it so badly right now as Mitch is facing such a hard journey.  As I listened in on the floor team doing their rounds (they invite me daily to join them, not always I do) going on and on about what he is taking, what his numbers are showing, and what he needs to improve. I had Dan on video too so he could hear. One doctor stated his rejection is moderate to severe. Man…as much as I want to bypass the imperfection of this transplant the reality of it, it’s not. Mitch’s body came onto the table imperfect and the donor’s liver wasn’t perfect either so the outcome will have its bumps. Rejection is part of it. They will be doing a 6-day drug treatment and will do a test on Thursday to see how it’s doing as well as do another biopsy after the 6 days.  They are also keeping a close eye on this colon as his tummy feels pretty tight and need that to not get stressed. Praying for both these issues to simply improve or at least be on the way would sure rest our minds. 

Mitch is up, sitting in a chair, and even began walking today…twice even! Such praise!!! He wants to too and even said, “that felt amazing!” So great for his morals and keeping him motivated to see the first hand he is getting better and to keep trying every day.  It helps that the PT and OT are young-looking gals and very sweet to him. That is motivation just in of itself! 

We want perfection! We desire a perfect world with no pain, no tears, no trials. But the Lord says there will be all of that due to the fall of man. We can’t gain perfection until heaven where there will be no pain, tears, or trouble.  I believe this is why believers long for heaven so much to have this perfection and be with the Author of Perfection, Jesus. I can’t wait! So until then, we wait and pray, and live a life pleasing to God and give grace to all the imperfections in this world. 

Story of the nurse: Such a bummer today, this young man was not working so I could not chat with him more. But as he worked with Mitch yesterday being very compassionate, detailed in letting Mitch know all he was doing and what was happening I noticed several cutting scars on both wrists, up to his arm as well. I asked him as soft as I could, “it looks like you have had some pain as Mitch has”. He responded looking down, yes, and got quiet. I watched him move around so insecure about himself even though he was great at his job. He wasn’t the best at cleaning up after the artery IV was taken out, or organizing his IV pole which drove anyone working with Mitch nuts. Another nurse came in and took care of all those details as well as I did some because all the blood on the chair and floor were really disturbing. Later when he had to hold that vein for 10 minutes or longer it seemed, I said, “Mitch and I love to pray for people especially if they are dealing with something hard. How can we pray for you?” He responded, “I am not a religious person but appreciate people who care and do “that”. He went on,  “you can pray for my drive home.” I asked, “are you worried about something?” He said, “there is a lot of traffic and accidents and I want to be safe.” There it was. Safe…He feels unsafe I could read it in his face. Mitch and I prayed for him, what he asked for, and for the deeper pain, he is experiencing. We don’t know the details, but Jesus does. We don’t have to know but have the privilege of bringing this man before the throne.  When I got back to the hotel and told Dan about it I felt really uneasy with his character of not being clean, talked unnecessary at times, and really his insecurity made me feel like he didn’t know what he was doing. I wanted a “better” nurse but instantly felt convicted that Jesus has a different plan, we need to trust in the situation and give grace to this young man. He needs healing. He needs HOPE, He needs Jesus…and if the Lord provides…I will make sure he looks into my eyes and hears…HE IS LOVED!

Sorry no picture yet…working on him allowing this vulnerable time.

November 9, 2020

7:04pm
I just got off work and am sitting in our second home which we call a dorm room. Makes us feel young! Dan walks me to work and picks me up and even carries my backpack…ohhh the old times of high school years. Dan has been amazing making sure I am taken care of bringing my lunch and having dinner prepared with soda and peanuts and last night…he toasted the bread and put cheese on the mini pieces making a beautiful appetizer display! This toaster oven ROCKS! Thanks, McCall’s End of another day with a bit of relief.


The day was long due to getting a handle on Mitch’s pain. He was up most of the night and the nurse said they never did get ahead of it. So going in this morning he was one hurting unit. Besides all the doctor, surgeon, and nurses talk, the constant residents and rounds and really orders sounding like there are many bosses, I was ready to blow up. But Mitch did instead if you could imagine! He said to the nurse, “you all need to get on the same page and not have all these chiefs,” Yeah Mitch! One doctor would say one thing and another says something totally different. The bottom line, pain is an issue but he needs to move to get the bowels working which is a big need. All-day…nothing in that department. The pain was better but he will have some as that’s part of the process. So he got a backrub, with wonderful lotion given to us, ice sponge, and working on that tube thing to get you breathing deeper. It has #’s on it and for his breaths to reach a certain point.  Because he was on psalm 34 for a week his lungs are weak.  I love caring for him and pray for him out loud as well as to myself. Chris Tomlin singing away and trying to fill his room with Jesus as much as we can!  Another thing…his new liver is in rejection. I took a deep breath and was instantly told it is to be expected and they are giving him what he needs to get all things rolling normally. He also needed more blood. He has had a blood transfusion almost every day he’s been in ICU. Hemoglobin is down. Don’t ask me any #’s I don’t care…I just pray instead and leave the details to the Lord and the doctors. Honestly, they talk to you like you understand! But I do the nod and act like I understand so I guess I am just as bad. 
I was going to put a picture of Mitch in the chair but didn’t ask him if it was ok as his pain thing was too much. So I will wait and see what he says. We are really careful to respect him on this journey and try and meet that need too. 

Until tomorrow, pray for rejection to heal. Pray for bowel movements. (I know funny thing to pray for but important) and pray for continued pain management as the goal is for him to walk. 
Lastly, I was told…he might be in the hospital here for 2 weeks and another 2 in rehab. Here just over the river and through 35W. Another doc didn’t think it would be that long…she is day to day kind of gal and doesn’t like time given. Like that better! 
I will have another story about the nurse to share tomorrow. Special really…a guy who says he isn’t religious but had wounds I know so well on his wrist told me he needed prayer. God is good…and has a WHOLE lot more for us than Mitch!  Plus relief for a young man in need of healing himself!
Love you all!!!! 





JESUS, JESUS, how I trust thee…

Video taken down due to big file hope to youtube all these.

Ezra 9:8
“But now for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant in giving us a firm place in HIS sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage”

What WE feel like a relief. Mitch not so much. After Mitch got into his ICU room he was fast asleep. Peaceful. As the doctors and nurses did their jobs hooking up tubes, talking about taking out the respirator, going over stats, and what he will need in the next 24 hours, I sat in awe. (stomach a bit turning from blood and bubbles on his tummy) Relieved he was out, closed, fixed again with the whole artery thing, and colon lookin’ awesome. Just relieved and looking forward to the next step of recovery. One week ago it all started and relief for a new liver but anxious about the quality of life was at stake.

Not what I would call bubbles of joy

Yet Mitch woke up, hurting big time. The pain was so great he was pounding the covers. Gasping, tears, so much for a momma to watch. I told him to hang onto my hand and squeeze it as hard as he likes. As long as it hurts to just keep squeezing. I’m not gonna lie. I was thinking about labor. How Dan must have felt. How you just want to take the pain away from the one you love. But the pain didn’t subside. After they took “34” off of him, they gave him a bit more but said “he will experience pain. They can’t take it totally away.” Relief is all he wanted even just a little bit. I kept asking him, “do you have a little relief?” NO, and a squeeze… a few minutes later asked again…NO, more squeezing. It wasn’t until just before I had to leave did he have SOME relief.

Dan called this morning; our routine at 6am…he was up all night with still a ton of pain. They are trying hard to get ahead of it. He faced timed us right after we talked to the nurse and he is still experiencing some but just tired. Of course, he was up all night the nurse said. She also stated he tried FaceTiming us at 11pm but we didn’t answer. Well…I will chat with him about that. Give a child a means to communicate whenever and he took advantage of that! HA! We do need to rest. I am sure he wanted to tell us he was hurting. But what was cool was he SPOKE…HI! We haven’t heard his voice for a week. We missed it! Much deeper and raspy…but he spoke…and relief of thankfulness poured over all of us!

Today’s prayer…more relief of pain or pain management , some movement in that bowel so he can get some nourishment, overall feeling for himself to experience relief his healing is on the way. To stay strong.

November 8, 2020

01:48pm-Dan

We received a call from the doctor and PRAISE! The surgery went well. They were able to close him, but had to use a mesh as to not put compression on the liver. It’s ok, just not ideal. He now has a feeding tube and they did repair the colon with no bag but if he shows signs of a problem they will have to go back in. We need to pray for total healing! Lee is waiting for him to show up to his room from OR.

Address below to send encouragement to Mitch

08:30am-Dan-When things on earth just don’t make sense…

It was a week ago today, almost to the hour we had to make a tough decision about Mitch, no warning really just these are your choices and you need to make it now to either stop and have us sew him back up with 30 days or less to live or continue with a very high probability he will die on the table. I was already highly emotional and not thinking quite right. I thought the new liver was the one with issues. In a matter of seconds we both looked at each other and said CONTINUE. The Lord provided a healthy liver and we both felt we could not stand in the way of HIS purpose. I know we did not “sacrifice” him, but we, in faith knew God had a plan and these verses shows us what faith looks like:

Genesis 22 1-18

New International Version
Abraham Tested

22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”

I now know what Abraham felt like as we were at peace and ready to say goodby, at least for now.

Just as I was writing this we read a post from Shelley, a blessed friend.

“I would have pulled Joseph out. Out of that pit. Out of that prison. Out of that pain. And I would have cheated nations out of the one God would use to deliver them from famine.

I would have pulled David out. Out of Saul’s spear-throwing presence. Out of the caves he hid away in. Out of the pain of rejection. And I would have cheated Israel out of a God-hearted king.

I would have pulled Esther out. Out of being snatched from her only family. Out of being placed in a position she never asked for. Out of the path of a vicious, power-hungry foe. And I would have cheated a people out of the woman God would use to save their very lives.

And I would have pulled Jesus off. Off of the cross. Off of the road that led to suffering and pain. Off of the path that would mean nakedness and beatings, nails and thorns. And I would have cheated the entire world out of a Savior. Out of salvation. Out of an eternity filled with no more suffering and no more pain.

And oh friend. I want to pull you out. I want to change your path. I want to stop your pain. But right now I know I would be wrong. I would be out of line. I would be cheating you and cheating the world out of so much good. Because God knows. He knows the good this pain will produce. He knows the beauty this hard will grow. He’s watching over you and keeping you even in the midst of this. And He’s promising you that you can trust Him. Even when it all feels like more than you can bear.

So instead of trying to pull you out, I’m lifting you up. I’m kneeling before the Father and I’m asking Him to give you strength. To give you hope. I’m asking Him to protect you and to move you when the time is right. I’m asking Him to help you stay prayerful and discerning. I’m asking Him how I can best love you and be a help to you. And I’m believing He’s going to use your life in powerful and beautiful ways. Ways that will leave your heart grateful and humbly thankful for this road you’ve been on.”

– Unknown

Pray and let our Jesus do HIS thing! Thank you prayer warriors for being in this battle with us.

06:45-Lee

Surgery at 8am this morning…my sister lights a candle for every surgery…pretty soon she may have to take a loan out to buy more…praying NOT!

Psalm 18 :39

“You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me

Yesterday was a sweet day with friends, Denise, and Scott coming to visit, encourage, and pray and yes give HUGE hugs that we so needed! They filled us with some things we needed and even some we didn’t request but brought smiles and joy to our little home away from home. Nothing like family and friends rallying in times of need! Dan had put out there a need for Mitch to communicate through an Ipad and within a matter of moments we had many offers! One was our friends Lori and Matt. Matt was close by the hospital and was actually on his way to meet Dan to pray and had an Ipad. When Dan connected with him and I brought it up to Mitch he just beamed! Really…just lit up! Mitch was so thrilled he started typing right away asking how we got it. Just warm a mom and dad’s heart when a hurting child is smiling! He right away wanted Matt’s #…it’s the little things of love! 

Standing in the gap in this battle is what all of you reading this are doing! You are praying and seeking the Lord for this young man to healed! 

We know this battle has been won with our Lord Jesus who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

Another friend, Teri sent this song via email and it spoke to my troubled heart today. Listen to the words of hope and truths that pour from it.  So powerful! Sing it for Mitch today as he faces another surgery God willing, his last one.

PRAY the surgery is a success and they can close him without the mesh. With a fever the mesh isn’t the best option and could cause further complications so pray for easy close.

PRAY for strength for Mitch…he is looking rather thin and in much pain from laying so long on his back

PRAY the tube can be removed today and he be on his way to recovery.

PRAY for continued peace to fill his mind and soul! The new iPad allows for music which he plays while he sleeps and plays on it…so cool and of course a great witness!

YOU WIN EVERY BATTLE NOTHING CAN STAND IN HIS WAY! HE GOES BEFORE US!!! You got this Jesus…you got this!!!! Fight on your knees friends and family! We love you!

November 7, 2020

11:02am-Dan

The surgeon is putting off the surgery till tomorrow morning @ 07:30am because they want 24 hours of normal temperature before going in again. PRAISE as he has a normal temperature! Mitch is getting anxious so pray for peace as the days and nights are long.

06:15am-Dan

We called ICU this morning and PRAISE JESUS, his fever is GONE! His nurse had not heard yet if his surgery was on for 7am or not. Lee is getting ready for work, packing all her hats and will still go in at 8am as usual.

2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

Just after the call we got a facetime from Mitch. You can tell in his face he has lost some fluids and he seemed very peppy! We will update as we hear more. Thank you prayer warriors.

ADDRESS TO SEND MITCH ENCOURAGEMENT!

University Hospital Fairview

 Att. Mitch Shelstad

500  west Harvard Street Minneapolis, MN 55455

November 6, 2020

6:51pm-Lee

Hats…I have become a cop, security guard, house cleaner, nurse, answering service, and best of all…mom!

It has been a day again filled with wishy-washy, up and down, and not sure moments. Mitch is still battling a fever. All night he had 103 temps and when I left it did come down to 100.1. PRAISE OUR LORD! Besides his physical needs, I have had to tell someone she needs to improve her bedside manner and she will not have the privilege of working with my son again unless she changes her attitude. She did say she was sorry and I told her that is all he needed to hear! I also am short with the security guard who is a wannabe cop at the front entrance. This whole covid thing is going to make me nuts! I love cleaning up after Mitch and being his moment to moment caregiver. He gets annoyed at my hands on his forehead pulling his oily hair away but I sneak one in now and then.

Every time I try to pray with him, or play music I tear up and can’t finish. Even reading him some of the messages from all of you, I just can’t get through them. I tell him, “you’re just going to have to read all this when your better and you WILL get better.” He looks at me and signs, I love you! Warms my heart! Signing is out thing and love being able to know what he is saying…most of the time.

The surgeon came in to chat about what is next. She thinks they may try and go in tomorrow and for sure do another wash out to get rid of the infection that seems to be hovering in there and if he continues to get the fluid out enough so they can close him. They are giving him a drug to pee to get the fluid rolling. He has so much of it retaining in his legs and feet. His whole body was but slowly is subsiding. If all looks good, again they may close him but not if his body is showing any signs of infection. She did state the longer it takes to close him it gives time for the colon to repair as well so he won’t have to have a bag on the outside of his body.

So tomorrow early morning by 7am but it could change. We will update!

Thanks so much, everyone for your gift of love and encouragement!!! WE LOVE YOU!!! We gotta have a party when this is over!!!! Until tomorrow, sleep tight!

WHAT IS MITCHY SAYING?

04:26pm-Dan

FRIENDS continued… So we were told Mitch was not able to really communicate and just look how our Jesus works. Mitch can not only communicate but is responsive and very aware of his surroundings. Yesterday we gave him his phone and he has used the notepad app to type his feelings and requests so the nurses can respond accurately. The doctors and nurses are bewildered. New ones and old ones stop in just to see a glimpse of him. He is the rumor on the floor from the liver from before. He was wondering and praying for a purpose before the liver transplant, just less than a week ago and you can see his prayers are being answered. Our boy is a living miracle thanks to our great and mighty Jesus and prayer warriors. He was having issues with trying to really see the keys on his phone as his temp is 103F+ with eyes so swollen he can hardly see, so we decided to try again to get the social worker to provide an iPad or tablet with bigger text. No luck, not something they do. That was the answer. We were hoping that with someone with a seeing impaired issue would have access to something like this. We reached out for a tablet of some sorts and received multiple offers from friends & family to provide a temporary iPad or tablet for Mitch. The iPad along with a special gift for Lee and my favorite “Popeyes” arrived. Another friend and another blessing. I dropped off the iPad for Mitch and after a day of being rather lethargic and sad his eyes popped open wide as he could now SEE the keys and continue to communicate. Prayers and technology really at work. Just see how Jesus is at work…

Thank you Jesus. Thank you prayer warriors. Please pray for us for tomorrow that the next washout will be a success and they can close Mitches belly so he can start to heal. Pray also for the family of the donor as I am sure they are wondering about the outcome.

Isaiah 58:10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

FRIENDS. Last night a real good friend of mine came to pray and give support along with providing some meals and a place to put them (Refrigerator). What a blessing it is to have a REAL friend! If you have one, take care of them as they can be a relishment and refreshment in times of need and provide the additional strength on this side of heaven as we continue HIS work with this battle on earth.

06:14 We continue to pray for strength as yesterday was a rough and exhausting day for Lee. So much so that Lee is trusting in me to write the post this morning. We so wish we could switch off in ICU. We can’t! Pray for strength!

Ever wonder why a passage shows up more than once in scripture? I think it is because of our humanness as we sometimes have a hard time listening, hearing, and understanding as to what Jesus has to say…

2 Samuel 22:33
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

AGAIN

Psalm 18:32
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

We called ICU this morning and they said Mitch did ok through the night, but still has a high fever 103. He is packed in ice and cooling blankets to help keep this under control. They are unsure as to why the high fever and the cultures they tested are coming back as not growing which is a good sign.

The team is coming in this morning to give us a plan. Thank you for your words of encouragement and prayers!

November 5, 2020

Oh, your prayers are continuing to minister to our souls! This battle is difficult but we continue to wait for every detail to unfold.

Mitch is out of surgery. They got him cleaned out and his blood pressure immediately stabilized showing the need to get any bacteria out. They were not able to close him so back he goes once again sometime this weekend. They will wait until more fluid is out of the body which they are giving him meds to help.

I am heading back to go see him. (pray for me he will not be happy about another 2 days maybe 3 for that tube). His fever is still there but they feel that will subside now as well.

OUR JESUS IS RULER OVER ALL THIS!!!

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 40:29



It is 11:40 and Mitch is going in at 1 for sure. It was iffy for a bit as they wanted to wait for the swelling to go down so they could close him as well as do the “wash out”. BUT his labs are showing signs of bacteria in the belly and they need to proceed even if they can’t close him. His fever is still high 102 bounces to 101 but is… bottom line… not good. The doctor is not an optimist about the closing. This frustrated Mitch and he did get agitated as can be expected. This is a long time to be awake and incubated. The nurse said it is unusual for a patient to be this alert but he is being good and not pulling at it. Praise the Lord! Thank you again for praying. We are praying he loses so much fluid between now and the surgery that they can confidently close him so he doesn’t have another day with this uncomfortableness. He is down today not responding to me much. His unhappiness breaks my heart. I just want him all better!

1:00 to day Mitch will go in for round 3! Man what a fighter he is!

He still is holding a temperature of 101 but did do better last night with pain and sleeping. He had a rough night the night before mostly due to “feeling unsafe” as he shared via text with me. Having his phone to communicate has been a blessing for sure. I thought he would be more under sedated as they say, but as long as he is ok and not needing it they would prefer him to be alert if he can stand it. If the pain gets worse, they increase his med for pain which does knock him out. There were moments yesterday I was hoping for that choice.

The surgery will be important today. PRAY, THEY CAN CLOSE that his belly shrinks enough for them to do so. That his colon issue is restored and his liver remains strong and working! PRAY he can get off this machine and out of ICU! Seeing other patience going for walks in the great weather and loved ones together breaking my heart Dan can’t be a part of this. If he was stable we could do the same. Love you all…your encouragement is SO AWESOME!!!

4:10pm..

Finally, Mitch is more stable! It took all morning and into the afternoon to get him calm, fever down…get this…101!!!! And the meds are holding whatever infection is going on is showing signs of working.

Mitch will have to go in tomorrow again…for wash out of the whole liver area making sure there is no infections, and hopefully close. The surgeon was not optimistic about closing him which would mean a possible waiting until MONDAY…this stinks! He is so frustrated at this machine and being incubated. He is sore, uncomfortable and really frustrated he can’t talk. He now texts me what he wants and his needs which has helped. (game of what is Mitchy saying may be a wash now) Nothing worse than when you can’t express how you are feeling!

PRAY his new liver shrinks and #’s stabilize. His fever continues to go down. He has a funky cold blanket on him ( I told him I want it afterwards he shook his head no and texted NO WAY) to help with the fever. The colon issue really is able to be fixed. She again was not real optimistic about that either but she said it’s an easy surgery months down the road when he is past all this other hump. So if it isn’t it’s the least of her concerns.

We continue to praise the Lord for how well he is doing in all this even the downward spiral we were on today. He’s here! He is in this with us! He is in control of every detail, each tube, connection, breathing, blood flow…liver…HE IS ALL POWERFUL and is the Great Physician. Jesus gets all the credit!!! ALL OF IT! SO thankful for such a different place of faith this round compared to 24 years ago. Praise the Lord for salvation in HIM! It’s what gets us through!

Tomorrow will be another day of life and trials. Dan and I pour our tears out as we read your encouraging words, songs, and scripture. They just pour over us. I try and have Mitch listen too but it is hard for him to hear and he gives me eyes of frustration so I keep trying. I know the music helps and the Bible passages help him. Keep ’em coming! If you have ever been too tired to pray, you know how great this is to have others help this along! Until tomorrow…Mitch is saying “goodnight sun”.

10:40am…Nov. 4

It’s been a difficult morning. Mitch is having a hard time breathing fighting the venerator. His fever is causing other issues and waiting on results for infection. His liver is struggling today maybe because of the surgery yesterday connecting the bile duct but they are working hard on every detail. There have been non-stopping people in here doing many different things from labs, pain management, ultrasound, the noise of beeping is not music for sure…but the sounds are showing life!

HANG ON MITCH!!!! You have come this far by the grace of a BIG GOD who sits on the THONE…there is NOTHING too hard for HIM!!! HANG ON SON!!!

November 4, 2020

“I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm 34:4

“The angels of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and HE DELIVERS THEM.” 34:7

Dan and I are pressing into this chapter this morning! All of Psalm 34 is amazing and fits perfectly with what is happening and yes what lies ahead. Funny…his breathing machine has a # on it…34. I will do something special with that today.

Calling ICU this morning the nurse stated he did well after the surgery but he is running a 103 temperature and has all night. His body is fighting!

They were able to hook up the bile duct but could still not close him. As well as not work on the colon issue. So…back he will go later this week. I am exhausted just typing those few words. Every day is such a journey. As we pray we seek something so much bigger than ourselves. Many things happen in our lives every day how often each day is spent on someone else? I am sure you hear this many times from others that when the Lord puts on your heart to call, send a card, text…anything to that person…DO IT…because guess what? You may not get another chance.

Hearing the music in worship this morning…Precious Lord Lead Me Home.

Friend’s time is so precious. We don’t know we are loved unless someone tells us, reaches out, expresses love in some way. Doing nothing isn’t love. Thinking about someone is not love or may I say a prayer. “Our thoughts are not HIS thoughts”.

We feel it so powerfully through the long wall in the personal messages on FB, texts, email messages…we need that right now. Even if we don’t respond…know you are heard and it’s embraced with HOPE for Mitch!

Fun Game…What is Mitch Saying?

Comment below if you like…

Hard times still call for laughter among it all. We try and communicate and this is what has worked best when the signing is a wash. Today he wants me to bring his phone to text. I pray he is well enough so that can happen! We have family sending us videos of his puppy Sky and anything that will boost his moral. PRAYER is still the most powerful way we can encourage him and us as well. Thank you! Pray for a reduced fever! His swollen belly to decrease so they can close him and for this colon issue to be fixed. We need a turn around Lord…we need you desperately!!!!

November 3, 2020

Do you ever snuggle under your covers so that no light, no sound can interrupt you? Fully covered and deep in sleep when I awoke to remove the comfy bedding I heard in my ears like polka dance music ringing rather loudly. I opened my eyes trying to figure out where I was realizing in this very dark, unfamiliar room I was not at a polka dance nor was I home. The reality hit…we are heading into day 3.

I am thankful the days of this journey fall on the dates exactly as I need all the help I can get in keeping things in order.

Yesterday was a much better day! PRAISE JESUS! I was told Mitch would be under totally until after the next surgery and remain on the ventilator until his body was more rested. I surely did not expect to see and experience what was such a joy as yesterday. He was opening his eyes, giving thumbs-up, and even trying to communicate. This was rather funny yet hard to see him frustrated too. He tried signing to me what his needs were but his hands were so puffy plus weakness I couldn’t make out much. I can’t was all I got until the nurse came up with him writing what he wanted. WELL… again I was blown away he could even do this! Remember, I was told he would be totally under for at least 3 days! So she gave him a whiteboard and she figured out it read he couldn’t breathe. Trying to tell him the tube is hard to breathe through and this was a sign they needed to up his med to be quieter and to move him a bit. They were able to make him more comfortable. His eye expressions and movements I could really tell he was frustrated and tears came as well. Which of course made me cry.

As I talked with, kissing his puffy fingers and hands, and stroking his head I praised the Lord for another day with him. We got Dan on video chat and tears flowed again for all of us. SO hard Dan can’t be in the room and hold him! We all need him for sure! I put the phone up to his ear for music that different friends sent telling him who sent them and he has a LOAD of folks praying for him.

The day brought joy as he continued to show improvement. His blood pressure med was reduced to almost nothing and signs of the liver working were stronger as the day went on. Every hour there was someone in his room, from doctors to radiology, to surgeons. Everyone was pleased with how well he is doing especially with how close this came to a different outcome. The ones in the operating room just overjoyed themselves he pulled through! So cool to see how much they care!

Dan was having trouble trying to get into Mitch’s phone needing his password. He asked if Mitch could help give the #’s. Mitch’s eyes got quite large like he didn’t want us to go into it. I don’t know maybe thinking he was in normal wellness and didn’t need us to intervene in his personal life. BUT, he does have things that needed attention right away. SO back to the whiteboard. I told him, “this is kinda fun, like a little game!” He rolled his eyes. HA…some sense of humor going on. So we tried, but no way was it working. If you can make it out, let me know. Maybe we can get you a prize!

I took a small break with Dan and we went to get groceries. It was nice to get out as 40 degrees feels this time of year. So weird everyone wearing masks as they are walking around campus. The feel here compared to the north is definitely different. When I returned, the surgeon came in to talk about the next surgery. They do hope to get him in today. Tuesday. Most likely will be afternoon as the main surgeon has another transplant in the morning. I know this is funny to think but how can she do more than one a day and be alert? Not for me to judge, but it flashed through me a bit.

The surgery will work on connecting the bile duct to the new liver, colon issue, and closing him. His belly is really big and they couldn’t close him so they hope the swelling will go down so they can do so. If not, it will require a mesh and another surgery. The less is best so pray for this all to go well and smoothly today.

Dan and I are still at the Graduate hotel. Nice, but pricy. So we hope to find housing today. The social worker is so helpful and working on details.

We read every text, email, post on FB, listen to every song sent, read every scripture stated, and are SO thankful the Lord sent each of you to us for strength. The days are long but go by so sweet with your love and prayers.

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord.[a]

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

We ended the night by Dan surprising me with a dinner out at Red Lobster for my birthday. He was so cute as he went all the way there to get a lobster soup and biscuit just in case I was too tired to go out. But I wanted to make sure we celebrate the good times as much as we can! One thing we didn’t do the last time around! It was a special night indeed with Kinzey and Dan singing happy birthday and a special gift of crafting tool I hope to use as soon as we return home! GOD IS GOOD!

Will continue to update later today to share how the surgery went. JESUS IS INDEED ON THE THRONE holding our boy! Love you all!

November 2, 2020

A new day…yesterday will forever be etched into our minds. I believe with my whole being the Lord allows times like this to use it to glorify HIM…make HIM known…show to believers and unbelievers HE IS REAL! HE IS HERE! HE IS WITH US!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding and in all ways acknowledge HIM.: Proverbs 3

After we got the news there was a high chance Mitch would die on the table Dan and I broke down. We cried uncontrollably holding onto each other and crying out to Jesus for comfort. Dan went into the restroom and I walked to the big window we have in our room. The SON was shinning in and stood with my face towards the beam of warmth and closed my eyes. I spoke to the Lord” Jesus you are with Mitch right now. Are you speaking to him? Are you asking him if he is ready to be with you? Are you holding him?” Within the time I was speaking I saw an amazing bright orange and red light. I am telling you it was so intense. Flashes of thought it was Mitch bleeding out of control. But it was a warm feeling, peaceful. My tears stopped. My nose dried up. I suddenly was quiet and still before a HOLY God who is comforting all of us. Within a second the color changed to white and it was cool. I opened my eyes and simply knew no matter what we all were going to be ok. I didn’t know what that looked like or would be like but really it didn’t matter. PEACE JESUS peace was all over the room and deep in my heart.

I shared this with Dan last night when I returned from seeing Mitch briefly when they brought him into ICU. Of course, Dan wept all over again and said you need to write that down!

Back to ICU visit, Mitch looked horrible. (I may have to take this out when he wakes up so he can’t read this) but really…he didn’t look like Mitch. I had to stop and double-check and even looked at the staff and asked it this was Mitch Shelstad. She nodded with tears in her eyes. The staff even got close to Mitch during this time. She said she was with him the whole time and it was really scary there for a while. She told me how sweet he is and thankful he is alive! I cried all over again.

I whispered into him I loved him. To hang on. I couldn’t speak anymore. The room was full of staff all talking and the room was super bright. I felt I was in the way and it was way past visiting hours. I usually don’t care about rules but didn’t feel it was good for me even though all the staff stood back and waited for me to be with him. Which made me REALLY uncomfortable! So…I left.

Now today…Dan wanted to call ICU as soon as we woke up. The nurse on the other end shared, “Mitch did great all night! I was able to reduce his blood pressure meds significantly and he even opened his eyes. I asked him how he was doing and he put a thumbs up. (tears flowing) She asked him to wiggle his toes…HE DID.” I told her I would be over as soon as visiting hours open. Which is a half hour…so off I go…KEEP PRAYING! They hope to do the second surgery tomorrow.

New Liver Day…Trusting Jesus Even When It’s Hard

2:24…nurse called said THE BLOOD IS FLOWING IN THE NEW LIVER! The remaining to go is to hook up the bile duct. Tears FLOWING along with this joy. From the early call when the doctors videoed us they gave us the horrible news…1 Mitch’s scaring was extremely poor and the liver was very sick plus his thin blood was causing excessive bleeding. They asked us what we wanted to do. Either stop and he would surely die within 2 months or continue with a very high chance he would bleed out and die on the table. Dan was not getting the whole thing as he was crying uncontrollably. Incredible how the Lord stopped me and got my head together to listen and help sort out what we were being told. I shared with Dan they need to keep going and do the best they can. Now both of us crying hard we told the doctors to continue and may the LORD BE WITH YOU>>>we hung up and sank to the floor in prayer and worship. It’s been a very hard day…we wait patiently for him to be done and to see him even if it’s only for a few minutes. We’ll see. With stricken rules only one of us and with ICU more stringent. But…trusting and waiting is what we seem to be doing most these days. KEEP PRAYING…Mitch has a long road ahead!

11:35… surgical nurse called…they were able to get the bleeding subsided and proceeded with transplant…WE PRAISED THE LORD ALMIGHTY for HIS GRACE and HANDS on Mitch! Keep praying…we have a long road ahead!

9:45am…doctors video called us Mitch is NOT doing well…lots of bleeding please pray he pulls through and God’s will be done!

November 1, 2020

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head overall. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule overall, and in Your hand is power and might, and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. 1 Chronicle 29:11-12

WE GIVE GLORY TO A GOD WHO REIGNS OVER ALL!!!!

Mitchy loves bobcat time!

Another day getting caught up for winterizing as we are so thankful for a warm day to do so. Dan spent the day Friday helping Mitch get ready to shut his house down for the “just in case” day.

Well, all snug in a bug in our bed with hugs to Mitch saying good night and it wasn’t even a half-hour into our rem sleep Mitch came into our room. “A liver is ready and I am to leave NOW.” Hearts pounding, and having the coordinates on the phone telling us what is going to happen with our minds trying to wrap around “is this the real deal?’ As we were listening I texted Kinzey to get to the house to coordinate dog care while we packed the car. The coordinator had a southern accent stating the liver is from a young adult who was in prison. The liver would need to be transported by plane and would arrive around the time Mitch would be ready to be on the table. She was gracious in letting us know what I am sure every receiver wants to know. Is it healthy? She gave details the donor was indeed healthy and they test extensively for HIV, alcoholism, drugs, and a host of other tests to make sure it is transplantable.

I started to get a bit anxious as dogs were barking with the movement, wind howling about a million miles an hour, and yes a full moon. It seemed really like a dream. After she wished us “good luck” as I can’t stand that statement but responded, “thank you Jesus and He’s got us.” We sure don’t believe in luck or this is all CHANCE as many would say…we know…without a shadow of a doubt…this is Jesus and all a part of His perfect plan for Mitch!

On our way to the cities, it was so windy and it seemed like tumbleweeds blowing by but they were cornstalks. Scary as it was like wood coming at you! It just fit with the night and what was happening. Mitch being pretty talkative and sharing his worries did feel peace and responded, “I just want this to be over.” If you don’t know Mitch, he is a quiet guy. Simple life, humble in most ways, and has a heart of gold. One thing he doesn’t like is attention on himself. So I try and remember to ask him what he wants me to share and pictures…for sure he doesn’t like it. SO, I won’t be putting up any of him in the hospital. Sorry. Out of respect that is his wish.

We arrived at midnight of course… the stroke of midnight I guess I needed to hear a wolf howl, but we are now in Minneapolis U and all we heard were sirens. Kinda the same. Both make my heart jump.

Dan was about an hour behind us but he wasn’t allowed in. We had worked out that I would be the primary which is going to be extremely difficult not having my man by my side in all this. But at least he can be close by. It didn’t take long for them to get blood work, Covid test (which caused a major nose bleed for him), and ultrasound done as well as the Fellow (doctor under the surgeon) to come and give the details of the procedure.

Mitch is now in surgery for 6- 12 hours. He also is at high risk for bleeding with his INR so high so he did state Mitch may get out of the initial surgery and within 24-48 hours be back on the table to finish to help his body recover a bit and not lose so much blood.

With all that said, Dan and I sit, SON shining at 8am, now in the waiting game. We have a beautiful room for now hoping to find housing for the next 2-3 weeks. Our journey and home away from home. The social worker helping us is the same one we had 24 years ago the first time around. The nurse said it’s by chance…NOT…God’s in charge! SO COOL! Mitch is strong. He loves Jesus. He knows the chances and risks and is at peace with it all. We wait upon the Lord as OUR GREAT PHYSICIAN is at work! Praying for the donor family today and a new life given…GOD IS GOOD!!! AND FAITHFUL!

October 26, 2020

What a weekend! On Saturday I spent time with a friend painting her new room and delighted in getting out with a friend for the day. The last few days Kinzey and I have been busy crafting making some fun shirts for our family journey. I had no idea the shirts would be in “active duty” so quickly. As I just had come in the door Mitch gets a call a liver is available! A deep breath in all of us!

Made with the Cricut Explorer and infused ink

The gal on the phone spoke of the donor who is brain dead and is waiting to give the organs to recipients. Mitch is second in line so they needed to confirm he wanted the liver in case the one who is first declines it. Also, they had to make sure that all things were ready and prepped so it would be 10pm before we knew any more details or if we would be on our way to the U. After Mitch hung up the phone, we prayed. Tears flowing from each of us as we put all this in HIS holy hands. Trusting in what’s ahead. Here we go!

Kinzey came over for dinner and time to regroup, plan, making sure all was in place if indeed we would go. It really was a fun night! Yes, anticipation was at a peak but we enjoyed sharing stories and laughing a ton! We even put our new shirts on and rejoiced in all HE HAS DONE for us!

Goofy Shelstad’s…FAITH OVER FEAR!

10:30…we called her…we couldn’t wait…still didn’t have info to confirm so we wait and laugh some more…12:30am…I am dying of tiredness and finally, she called. They still did not know but said no matter what it wouldn’t happen until morning…so to bed we all piled in and at 8:30am she calls to share the liver is not healthy enough for transplant. I felt a bit of relief and disappointment all at the same time. It came so fast I was not prepared. I was uncomfortable about the age of the liver (60+ yr. old) yet they assured livers don’t age. Mitch is really doing well not super sick so it would be perfect timing so we don’t see him suffer more. Just so much emotion! Here’s the thing…Jesus knows what is going to happen. He has the perfect liver, plan, and timing. I will trust in that! And most important, I am SO glad I have Jesus in my heart to help me every step of the way!

Here’s the other thing…Jesus is coming back. SOON! Are you ready to meet HIM face to face? Are you prepared with knowing Jesus as your Savior or are you living still thinking you are your own savior? Do you live a life honoring Jesus? He paid a BIG price for you and me dying on a cross, rising again, and HE will return in judgment for all! Believers will be judged for how they lived for Him. Non-believers will face eternal darkness. Are you ready? Are you fully packed knowing without a doubt you will spend eternity with HIM? Are you wondering about being part of what the world teaches and what the Bible says? If you do have Jesus in your heart, have you shared your faith with others so they too can have the gift of eternal life? It’s real! JESUS is real! The Bible is true! I know the importance of this truth as we face every day being ready to embrace whatever the Lord chooses for Mitch. No matter what…Mitch wins! And so do we because we know without a shadow of a doubt we will be together again! THAT is what keeps us rejoicing and living in peace!

October 22, 2020

As Kinzey and I are preparing for a weekend of baking and crafting, I get a call from Mitch that the transplant coordinator contacted him. He received news that is challenging for us all, but we continue to embrace our Jesus as we knew with time things will worsen.

Mitch’s INR reached 32 and as doctors are great at giving timelines which for the record I hate, they are saying he has 3 months to receive a new liver. SO…what does that mean…PRAY a new liver is available, it’s a perfect match, and he will NOT reject it. Lots to bring before the Throne and trusting our Lord hears our prayers. We love you, and THANK YOU for lifting him up! God is faithful and we give Him all the glory as we walk together in HIS goodness!

October 16, 2020

Because of our trip to Branson, we will not be able to see Mitch for 2 weeks. He and Mackinzey took care of the homestead while we were away so it was great for him to be at our house to watch over it. BUT, because we were out of state and in so many places we decided as a family it was best for us to be apart for a time of quarantine to be safe. As a result, Mitch did get a flu bug and Kinzey a cold so it was a good choice overall. Dan and I, so far nothing…must be the daily intake of elderberry! HA! Anyway, he is doing better as of today from the bug, and continue to pray for a liver to be available soon or better yet…total healing! AMEN Right?

Pup cup coffee date…lots of attention today! Pups are a chick magnet!

September 20, 2020

Mitch”s INR is on the rise. It continues to show the transplant team his liver is worsening. He did get results back from and MRI which showed nothing new. His moral is amazing! He is getting out dirt biking with his sister and dad too…occasionally, but mostly spending his days keeping his house and enjoying Sky. He also starts puppy class which again will keep him busy training. Sky will be the best dog ever with all the time her master has for her!

The kids enjoyed making Dan and I a beautiful meal one Saturday night. Mitch did an amazing job on the steak and Kinzey is enjoying her skills at pie baking. MAN, we were all stuffed and enjoyed some great family time together! We also spent a day in Park Rapids for Dan’s birthday. Memory lane for Dan and I as we use to live there and owned a restaurant. Horrible time other than we had Kinzey there.

Wonderful meal by the kids! Every bite was full of flavor!

We are loving our extra time with the kids. It has been too many years apart for sure! I guess we are making up for it!

Dan’s special day!

September 13, 2020

Mitch continues to hang in there. Amazing really. Waiting for the day to receive a call for a new liver makes us all on edge, but especially Mitch. Every time the phone rings, planning on a get away, or simply filling up a day when you can no longer work. It is a difficult time for sure and we are thankful the Lord provides financial needs and of course this new little girl, Sky. She is defiantly filling his day as only a puppy can!

September 5, 2020

Mitch’s new girl…Sky

This last week has been a whirl wind as Mitch needed to go in for an MRI due to his blood work showing some signs of something going on. On Thursday he did so along with a new set of blood samples and he received a call from his transplant coordinator that his INR has risen to 28. She stated his INR is rising more rapidly now and to make sure his phone is on and be ready for a call at anytime if a new liver is available.

What to think? Really? We all sat down as a family excited yet anxious as news like this means so much. We pray daily for healing, comfort, and strength and truly we feel it. The Lord is working in all these areas of our hearts, minds, and soul. We will continue to update as we know things, keep you posted, and of course…PLEASE pray. We believe in only the submission of leaning on our Jesus through prayer. HE IS IN CHARGE! Thank you!

August 10, 2020

We have been celebrating each day we can have with this guy! I tell ya…enjoying family get away’s one day with seeing Llamas (we are thinking about getting some for the ranch one day), going out to eat, and a special evening going to Adult and Teen Challenge fundraiser for dinner. Why was it so special? Well, as always being with these guys brings us joy seeing them and hearing their testimonies, but also Sam came over and prayed over Mitch’s liver. Holding his hand over his liver and his other over his shoulder claiming healing and renewal brought Dan and I to tears. NEVER is prayer more powerful when it is spoken out loud RIGHT when you need it!!!! SO awesome! We are so thankful everyday!!

Mitch’s #’s are rising, 24 was his last test and the yellowing is stronger. But, I think he has a gorgeous tan! He’s hanging in there…thank you for praying and encouraging him. He needs it!

Day fishing with some friends

July 6, 2020

Our Lord is faithful and true and gives us hope everyday!

As we continue to wait for the liver to be available, Mitch continues to do well. He is staying active even got out wave running on the lake over the 4th! SO awesome! He also is able to take a hydration drink which is an herbal product I now sell because of what it does! Incredible really! Instead of the Gatorade and other products out there that do NOTHING for your health AND what it did for Mitch, I was sold! It hydrates your body NOW as soon as you drink it, tastes fabulous with all the herbs I love (Elderberry no less), and because of the electrolytes in the product it stops Mitch’s headaches. AMAZING! If you have a hard time drinking your daily dose of water…this will help! Just email me, I would be happy to share more! (homesteadranchgirl@gmail.com)

When Mitch has his headaches he gets really sick. So much so he vomits and is down for the day or more. So I am so happy we found a product that works!

If you want to connect with Mitch and give him an encouraging word, please email him. He would love it! You can email me on the above address and I will forward you his addy. Truly, will help him through this time of waiting! THANK YOU!!!!

June 12, 2020

A Happy Birthday for our little beaner, Mackinzey celebrating 27 years and not celebrating her birthday for 7 years…WOW! So fun to have her home!

With that, Mitch got busy in the kitchen making a wonderful meal for her and helping with appetizers and her cake! It was such a fun evening. Also…fun to have him happy and enjoying what he loves so much.

He is now LISTED with the liver transplant nationwide! His test made it so he could officially be listed. Loving life he is for sure and living everyday he is feeling well as best as he can. KEEP praying!!! He needs them!

We also paid a visit to a local assisted living facility and Mitch did all the pictures. We even got in the paper! Here are some of his shots! Great job Mitchy MO!

May 25, 2020

Today Mitch is doing great! Isn’t it wonderful we can be in the midst of a trial but have total peace in what is to come or even happening right now but totally ok with it? I love that about our faith! Just trust and obey and see what He gives us!

Mitch has a team of many people who call him weekly to check-in, make sure he is up to date on paperwork, labs, and so on as well as check on his mental health. He really feels special we can tell! He smiles a lot and has more energy since his symptoms and reactions from meds is under control.

He stays with us a few days at the beginning of the week so we can do home church together and have a family meal or two or three or…the kids hang out for more often. He then will head back to his home to take care of things there. We know there will be a day he will have to totally live here for a period of time so we encouraged him to take what he can get now and live his life as best as he can. He loves that!

He does miss his work at camp but he is hoping when they open he can lend a hand in volunteering on his good days. What a gift he can give during his time of waiting.

Mitch surprised me on Mother’s Day! He made a great meal too!

May 28, 2020

Mitch and I are headed to the cities for some tests he needs. This will give an accurate reading for the team and transplant coordinators to have him listed. He is at 18 INR now and when it reaches 30+ is when things will get more serious. OR if he has more trouble like he did last fall with his bile duct or anything else that will cause him to be listed higher. Until the tests come back I will update this again and of course, we trust in our Jesus for it all. PLEASE pray for Mitch and his strength, his faith, and most of all his morale. With Jesus there is NOTHING to fear!

God’s blessings upon you ALL!

Lee and Dan

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