Saturday, March 27, 2010

Update on Rich

The final (HOPEFULLY!) part of Rich's thyroid cancer treatment has been scheduled.

He is scheduled to receive an injection on April 5 and another on April 6 that will prepare him for the radioactive iodine treatment that is scheduled here in Newton on April 7. This treatment is to kill off any remaining thyroid cancer cells. He will be in the hospital 24-48 hours, until a Geiger counter reading indicates he is safe to be released. So no visitors are requested. He will be a little "glowy" after he returns home so there are precautions he will have to take like taking 3-4 showers a day, eating from disposable dishes and utensils, and sleeping separately. This should last just through the weekend. Then on April 16 he will have a body scan (here in Newton) to verify the results.

We go up to KU for ENT and kidney follow-up appointments on April 1 and 2, so the next couple of weeks will be busy.

We're looking forward to some FUN - to going to California the end of April for vacation and then meeting friends for a weekend in Kansas City the end of May, and on to Branson for another week!

April 28 will mark the 1st anniversary of when our "cancer journey" began with Rich's trip to the ER. What a year it has been! We continue to be warmed by the cards and notes and prayers of dear ones. God has certainly shown His love and grace upon us. We are humbled!

"Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness."
Psalm 115:1
Amen and Amen!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Katelyn!

Today is our granddaughter, Katelyn Joy's 10th birthday!

She has certainly lived up to her middle name! She's ALWAYS smiling! She's a very bouncy, happy girl.

Kate - 1 year.

Katelyn is the fourth of Jeff and Caroline's five children. She shares a bedroom with her little sister, Allison. They sleep like puppies!

Kate is a great little soccer player. This year her team, coached by her Daddy, was called the Peppermint Chicks. Isn't that a great name for a team of 9-10 year old girls???! I asked her to model the cute little hair "thingies" that her mom, Caroline, makes for all the girls on the team.

She's also a Moorpark all-star player. Looks like she was "holding her own", against someone who was considerably larger than she! This little gal is very athletic. She also runs track and is currently taking swimming and gymnastics lessons. She's been doing cartwheels as long as I can remember!

She loves horses!

This little cutie-pie has been growing her gorgeous, VERY thick, brown hair for "Locks of Love." She did that in 2006, along with her sisters, before we moved to Kansas. What a great way for a young girl to give something of herself to someone in need! It makes me proud!

Kate, I especially love it when I can visit with you and share a room with you and Allie!

Papa and I love you very much. Stay close to Jesus!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Brett's Pastoral Installation and Licensing Service

Today Brett was installed as pastor of Hope Mennonite Church in Wichita. The pastoral installation and licensing was part of their worship service and what a wonderful service it was! This is a musically gifted church and the choir today really touched our hearts. Including the director, they were 20-people strong. Their rich, full acapella voices filled the sanctuary as they sang two special numbers. Representatives from the church, conference and Brett, as well as the congregation, participated in The Litany of Installation of Pastor.

He also received a Certificate of License Towards Ordination as a pastor in the Western District Conference of the Mennonite Church USA. He is licensed to perform all pastoral duties, except ordain another pastor, for two years and will then be eligible for ordination.

This precious family was warmly welcomed!

Rich and me with the Conference Pastor. We are definitely very proud, as we recognize the call God put on Brett's heart. Since Brett was young, we felt he would be in church ministry and so it has been a real joy to see how God has been working in his life these last four years and shaping him for this ministry. This last year it has been an especially amazing process. We have observed how God moved Brett from his position at Bethel College and placed him in a position of total dependence on God. Brett has demonstrated complete peace and reliance on our God. The Conference Pastor said today that there were many people interested in this pastorate and the search committee read through many files, but it was Brett that God called to minister. How awesome is that! May God be praised!

There were people from Bethel College and from their church here in Newton that attended today in support of Brett, Esther, and their girls. Norm and Vickie, from their church here in town, have been very dear to them. Brett and Esther were very touched they were there!

They were given several gifts; books for the girls, a gift basket, and wall plaques. This basket is symbolic of the church. It contained a church cookbook, Taste of Home IV, in recognition of Hope's 25th anniversary this year, a lovely "Hope" plaque for home or office, peppernuts in recognition of the church's annual craft fair (for non-local readers, peppernuts are a holiday anise-flavored crunchy cookie steeped in Mennonite tradition), coffee from 10 Thousand Villages here in Newton and a coffee mug in recognition of Brett's love of coffee.

Brett and Esther in his new office. This week he's been getting settled. They look forward to meeting "their flock" and getting immersed in their new church life.

Hope has a lovely facility, just didn't get any photos.

It was a great day. We came back to our house for an old-fashioned Sunday pot roast dinner. There was much to celebrate! Brett's Big Day, Esther's birthday and our anniversary.

Brett, I give you these verses...

"Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness...But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

Joshua 24:14-15

Saturday, March 6, 2010

45 Years - WOW!

Today is our 45th wedding anniversary! I love you, Honey, even more now than then!

We were a couple of 22 year olds who thought they had the world by the tail. Rich had graduated in May '64 from Westmont College in Santa Barbara with his B.A. in Music and was attending what was then called Valley State College, now it is California State University, Northridge (CSUN). At the time, he was studying for his secondary elementary teaching credential and preparing to teach high school music but he changed direction and received his elementary credential. He was also teaching piano lessons to about 35 kids, every day after school, driving to each of their homes. A lesson at that time was $6.50/half-hour! I was working as a clerk at North American Rockwell for the lofty wage of $2.27/hour! We rented our first apartment, which was totally furnished for $120/month. We thought we were really living. Oh, yes, Rich also worked as minister of music in a couple of churches (at separate times) for extra $$.

He began his career with Los Angeles Unified School District as a fourth grade teacher in September of 1967. Our first son, Jeff, was born that December. I continued to work until 1968. By that time we had our first home. Two more sons were born; Jeremy in 1970 and Brett in 1973.

A highlight in the life of our young family was the year we traveled the U.S., 1975-76. It was the Bi-centennial year and Rich was on sabbatical from LAUSD. We visited every state except West Virginia (still haven't been there!), Idaho, and of course Alaska and Hawaii. We traveled in a 26' trailer for 11 months! It was really a wonderful time together. We saw so many interesting places, visited family and friends and made new friends along the way. We learned much later that it was this year that gave Jeff his love for history and set him on his career path as a high school history teacher.

Rich taught for LA for 28 years and then went into administration, training and working with new teachers. I returned to Rockwell in 1977 and concluded my career there in 1999, as administrative assistant supporting the vice president and chief scientist, when I retired and started a micro home business, supporting small business owners with a variety of administrative tasks. Rich retired in 2004 and then went back to work as contract labor until we moved to Kansas in 2006. He also taught elementary ed courses at CSUN for many years and led the student teaching office there for a time.

Our sons are married to three wonderful women. We have been blessed by their Godly marriages and the blessings of one grandson and eight granddaughters. They are all a source of great joy!

We are enjoying our life of retirement and have been blessed by being able to travel to places such as Thailand, Italy, China, Canada, England, and various places, mostly in western U.S.

This past year has been quite a journey as we have been faced with Rich's three cancer surgeries and all that they represent. We are incredibly blessed with many loving, praying family members and friends who have been by our side during these last many months. We know one thing, that God is in control and just when we think we know what our days will be like, He reveals something different. We place our complete trust in Him for our future.

In many ways March 6, 1965, seems just like yesterday. The memories are still very fresh! And yet, there's been a lot living between then and now. Marriage is a time of stretching, growing, giving and taking. There are always peaks and valleys but with God's grace and our commitment to each other and our love for each other, we have reached this milestone.

The Bible says it best in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13...

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record or wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails....And now the three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

I love you, Rich Dewey!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Esther!

Today is a birthday celebration for our daughter-in-love, Esther!

She is married to Brett and is the mother of four girls, Moira,
(9), Audrey (7), Isabel (5), and Maeve (2). She also teaches second grade at Cloud Elementary in Wichita. They are our next-door neighbors! A "new hat" that she has just been given is Pastor's wife. Brett has just taken the position of pastor of Hope Mennonite Church in Wichita and so this will be a new ministry journey for their family.

Brett met this brown-eyed beauty while they were "just kids" working for Jenny Craig and attending Moorpark Community College in Moorpark, CA. Actually their Jenny Craig Boss was Caroline, Jeff's wife.

Moira and Isabel celebrating Esther's birthday last year. German chocolate cake is her favorite - with HOMEMADE filling and topping!

Esther has started a lovely tradition of taking the girls to the "Nutcracker" at Christmas. This photo is of Audrey and Moira with Esther in 2008 as in 2009 she was in California with her critically-ill father.

Esther and Maeve celebrating Maeve's first birthday.

Esther is such a hard worker. In addition to her family and teaching responsibilities, she is also taking classes for her master's degree in education. She doesn't have much "free" time, but when she did she loved to scrapbook. She has been an unwavering support for Brett and is raising well mannered, fun-loving and bright children. We are very proud to call her our daughter - and another Proverbs 31 Woman!

Happy birthday Esther! We love you!

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. ... She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

Proverbs 31: 10-12, 17.