Follow by Email

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I know it's been awhile but you know major surgery brings you down for awhile. I am very pleased to report the surgery was a success. My doctor informed me that the endometriosis had grown around my bowels and was pulling them up to my uterus. No wonder it was so painful this time. The removal of that and all of my reproductive system went very smoothly.

I have to say thank you to two of my dear friends. Devin and Stacy were at the hospital with us at 6am. They walked around with me, Rick and Mom and I am so thankful for them. They helped us all keep smiling and laughing and prayed with us. My life is truly blessed.

I was out of the recovery room and into my own room by noon that day. Where I then began a miserable night. It took about 3 hours for the nurse to figure out that when I was asking for more pain medication, I was in PAIN! Then they were giving me Daladid by IV when I should have received it by mouth. This induced lots and lots of vomiting. Just for your reference when you have 5, yes 5, incisions in your belly vomiting SUCKS! At some point when I was asking for something for the nausea, while vomiting, the nurse asked if I was nauseous. Needless to say, I was not impressed.

At 6am the next morning the nurse finally told me when I refused the drugs by IV and demanded something else, I could have the pill. BINGO, that worked. They took out my catheter so I could get up and move around and start getting ready to go home. It still took about 3 hours to be able to go pee, very important this lets you go home. Sadly still took until around noon to release me, I was so frustrated. All I wanted to do was get home and be in my own bed. I was home in bed by 1pm and taking a nap. It was the first real sleep I had had all day. 

Thankfully I was truly blessed with some wonderful friends. So many people came with meals for our family, it was so wonderful. Rick truly appreciated it so much. The food was all amazing and made the time at home so much easier. It also allowed Rick to take care of me and not worry about getting dinners done that first week. Especially since I was not moving well at all.

Thank you!!!
Kathy and Larry
Lauren and Renae
Jennifer and Dan
Robin and Rhonda
Devin and Stacy
Russell and Shirley

I did not get to return to work as I had hoped last Monday. I had had an emotional weekend (will blog about later) and moved around too much. It appeared that a suture or a couple of sutures pulled open a little. These are actually internal, my incisions are held together with super glue. This caused some pain and other side effects. I have spent all week except for Thursday in bed this week.

Thursday, another day full emotions....
Charles Thomas Blackwelder Sr. 80, of Lake Butler passed away peacefully at his home after an extended illness. Charlie was born Gainesville, where he lived most of his life there and in Lake Butler. He was the son of the late James M. Blackwelder and Laura Rogers Blackwelder. He was in the Auto- Radiator Business in Gainesville for many years and he dealt in real estatein Gainesville also. He is a member of the Danville Church of Christ in Lake Butler. ; He was preceded in death by his loving children Gayle and Chuck Blackwelder, 4 Brothers: James M. Jr.; J. L. ; Alvin ; and Gene Blackwelder.

He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years; Frances S. Blackwelder . 2 Sisters: Naomi Smith of Greensboro, N. C and Ruth Taliaferro of Hampton. Several Nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be held Thursday morning at 11:00 A.M. in the Chapel of Archer Funeral Home of Lake Butler. With Bro. John Davis; Bro. Kenneth Parrish and Bro. Derek Long officiating. Burial will follow in Elzey Chapel Cemetery under the care of Archer Funeral Home of Lake Butler. Family will receive friends Wednesday night from 5 to 7 at the funeral home.

Charlie Blackwelder, there are no words to truly describe what a wonderful man he was. He was a true warrior for Christ. Unlike any other I have met in my short lifetime. I was blessed to have known him for the past 11 years. Rick has been blessed to know him his entire life, and my mother in law the same. Whatever your issue spiritual, marital, financial, etc, Charlie would have the answer. His answers always came from the Bible and the Lord. I am grateful to have known him. Those of you reading this who do not, please keep his beloved wife Frances in your prayers. She needs all of us to lift her in our prayers. Knowing Charlie he never wanted to go before Frances. I can say that has been the saddest part of this week. Yes, Charlie is gone and we will no longer be able to chat with him, talk football or fishing. Yes, Charlie let God be his guide in life, he was a Christian. Because of this I can rejoice in his death, what a joy to know he has a better home a mansion!

Thank you all for your prayers for me! Please keep them coming, I still need them too. I am still not 100% and still have some other issues to work through all the way. I appreciate all of you so much!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Yep it's been awhile...

Well we have had a crazy few weeks. I'm hanging in there as best as I can, unfortunately the pain is becoming almost overwhelming. I am so ready for next week... One more week to go... The count down has really begun!

School starts tomorrow, I can hardly believe Ricky is going into Middle School. Where did the time go??? Shouldn't he still be a little man running up and holding on to my legs. Instead he is now as tall as me, getting acne and starting those lovely teen years. YIKES!!!!

Rick and I have moved the young boy, that I had written about, in with our family. Hunter is now living with us and potentially this will be anywhere from 3 months to 6 months. We have spent a lot of time praying and feel we need to do what is best for Hunter. At this time we both feel that is living with us. Hunter's father is going back to jail, he will need to stay in jail until a hearing is set and then will get a sentence that could be as long as 6 months. Please pray with us, pray we are doing right by Hunter. We want so much to help this young man and give him love and encouragement.

We set Hunter up in his own room today. Hunter's Grandma has been great, she isn't living in Gainesville any longer but stopped by to take him school clothes shopping. She has been to our house 3 times today and cried each time she's been here. I really hope this means we are doing right by him. She hugged me so tight today, I know she appreciates what we are doing for him. My heart breaks for her, you can see the stress and strain her son has caused with his life, to her. Hopefully this will help put her mind at ease too.

Crazy week coming our way. School starts, I have pre-op appointments and I am working the Shands Radiothon this week from 6am to 9am. So all of you in the area be listening to 98.5 KTK on Thursday and Friday to support the CMN Radiothon!!!

Have a blessed week...

Monday, June 27, 2011

14 years ago we said "I do"

We met in May of 1995 at K-Mart in Anchorage, Alaska. Rick called in sick to work one day to take me out on a date. That first date was all it took. I keep the card he sent me a couple of days later above my bed.

To the most beautiful lady in the world. I'm thinking this could be Love. What do you think? Rick

The most romantic card ever...

Our lives through the years

One of our engagement pictures...

Night out with friends before we were married...

Our wedding day June 28th, 1997

Glacier cruise on our 1st Anniversary...

Our first Family Photo
March 2000

Work Christmas party... He is so goofy...

Family photo days...

Christmas 2005

Family Christmas Card photo 

Another Christmas Dinner with my CAMPUS family...

Us at Brooke's wedding.. 

It has been years of ups, downs, ins, outs and upside downs. I am thankfully for all of these years. I am blessed to have had this life with him. We were blessed 3 years into our marriage with our beautiful, amazing son Ricky. We have been truly blessed by God in our marriage. Thank you Lord!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The date is set....

Rick and I met with Dr. Ross on Thursday. We talked for a little while and all of us agreed it was definitely time to move forward with a hysterectomy. We are moving forward and it will be a total hysterectomy; I'm gonna have a big empty hole. Oh well, totally worth it!!

August 29th!!! I am actually really looking forward to this surgery. I can not wait to be pain free for the first time in years. After discussing options with my doctor we have decided that I will have the procedure done by davinci robot assistance. This machine is AWESOME!!! My doctor will make 5 very small incisions and insert thin robot type hands. She will then control the "arms" and do the surgery. It makes it less invasive and easier for her to move around. I would not be a candidate for any other type. I would require a 6 to 8 inch cut if this machine didn't exist. I am so excited!

I will stay overnight in the hospital, then go home on Tuesday and will not be able to drive for a week. Then I can not do any lifting for 2 weeks or more. Dr. Ross thinks I will be back at work the following week without a problem. Especially since I work an office job, she doesn't expect my recovery to take very long at all. There are not words to tell describe how glad I am.

This has been a many year battle and I am so ready to be done with. Rick and I are both looking forward to me enjoying a pain free life...

I will start hormone replacement about 6 weeks after the surgery. This comes with some ups and downs. You have to try different types, doses, etc... Find what works for you, no one is the same. That will be an interesting process, thankfully Dr. Ross will guide us through the whole process. She values Rick's input too when it comes to my hormones.

Biggest drawback!! Well I'll be menopausal, YUK!!! At this time I already struggle with a vitamin D deficiency. Obviously this will need to be watched very carefully and I will start having bone density screenings in about a year. Even so I am still really glad this is being done.

Want to see a little more on davinci surgery...

Sunday, June 19, 2011


We took our jerky to the Monticello Watermelon Festival! We got rained out the first night around 8:30 Friday night and started again Saturday morning. On Saturday we set up at 8:30am and went till 4:30pm. They had the parade at 10am, that brought in a sea of humanity...

People loved the jerky, we didn't sell as much as we would have like too but we learned a lot. This was a great learning experience for both of us. So all in all not a bad experience. Only thing we didn't like was the intense heat on Saturday. It had to be well into the 100's especially under the tent on the pavement... Way too HOT!!!!
                                                                          Our tent...
Rick looking proud!

It's a family affair!

Aunt Brooke and Ricky

Our table with samples

Rai-Rai and Leeland enjoying a Pink Lemonade Shaved Ice

Leeland feeding Uncle Rick cheeze its..

Standing guard from the wind...

I'm cute, I was helping out!

Hiding from the rain!

Yep we got rained out!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day... Again...

Yes, Father's Day is a great holiday. I am all for celebrating Dad's. I love the fact that I get to celebrate my husband being the father of my son. It's a great day, but it's also very sad...

I was so very fortunate in life to have had my daddy, John. He was the best dad! He loved me, took care of me, cared for me. Sadly on January 1st 2009, my daddy left this world. He left the pain and suffering he was feeling, but it left me with pain and suffering...

I wrote this letter to help with my closure. I read at my daddy's memorial service, one of the hardest things I have ever done. It's helps every once in awhile to read to help me cope with his loss.

To my Daddy, 

I want to thank you for raising me, caring for me, comforting me and loving me. Thank you for being kind and strong, thank you for being strong for me when I needed you. There were so many times in my life that I needed you and there you were with love, encouragement, kind words and advice. 

Though you are gone physically you will never leave my heart and you will forever be a part of my life. Through me you will forever be a part of my child’s as well. I am proud and grateful to have had you in our lives. I thank God everyday you were with me when Ricky came into our lives. I am so thankful you were able to spend time with him. 

I work everyday to not let myself be angry and frustrated over your loss. Instead, I try to remember the days when I was young and you were my hero. I see you in my dreams there we dance, hunt Easter eggs and I sit on your lap and laugh. In my dreams you are always healthy and strong, this is how I choose to remember you. In time, I hope to embrace your freedom from the pain and freedom from the weight of your illness. My sorrow is inevitable, but I will face it because that is what you would expect from me. 

I love you Daddy and miss you. 

Always your daughter, Rachael Kaye

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It appears the time has come...

This week has been another crazy week. Go figure, such is my life! Wednesday morning, I woke up not feeling to great, but didn't really worry about it. I was feeling a lot of discomfort in my lower stomach and wasn't sure what was going on.

Just a quick back ground I suffer from endometriosis and poly-cystic ovaries. I spend a great deal of my time in pain for one reason or another. I have been dealing as well as you can over the last few years. I had surgery in March of 2009, again! Then last year in January, I went through Lupron injections, which put me in menopause for about 7 months. Yep that's right menopause, and I had every part of it you would normally get. The purpose of this was to hold of having a total hysterectomy as long as possible. There are some dangerous side effects the younger you are to have a total hysterectomy.

Anyways, back to Wednesday. I worked all day, feeling very uncomfortable, taking Tylenol like it was candy. Still wondering what the heck was going on. I take a hormone birth control to make sure that it minimizes the effects of both conditions and I don't have to have a period. Yeah me!! Not the way you want to go about it!! I came home from work and went straight to bed and laid down for about an hour. I got up and Rick and I went to church.

Sitting in church for class was very difficult, I was in a lot of pain. I could feel it building and getting worse. We left church and stopped at LaFiesta for dinner, that wasn't so smart. I just kept getting worse and worse. We got home and I immediately went to bed and tried to relax. Not in the cards! It just got worse and worse! Thankfully I had a couple of Lortab left over from having my tooth pulled a few weeks ago. Downed one of those, it felt like it took FOREVER to kick in. I was crying, yelling and really just writhing in pain.

At about midnight the pain was under control enough to allow me to fall asleep. Yep only got about an hour of sleep, before I was up crying again. At about 1:45am I woke Rick up and he ran me a hot bath. I spent about a half our hour in there. When I got out I began to realize we were not getting control of my pain and something was very wrong.

2:30am, Rick loaded me into the van and off to the ER at North Florida we went. They promptly got me in and started getting my history and going over some information with me. Thankfully they realized the pain had to be controlled. I had and IV and got some medicine, first they only gave me some kind of anti-inflammatory drug. HA!! Like that was going to help! Then my nurse came in to tell me that they would need to do a vaginal ultrasound and exam. I don't think so! On came the Percocet, that was the only way I was going to be able to handle anything.

Finally feeling better they began running test, after test, after test. They couldn't see anything on my ovaries then ran a CT to make sure I didn't have any blockage in my intestines or other areas. Nothing could be found, sadly I knew what that meant. Endometriosis, it's back! It's like a bad horror film!

I was released around 7:45am and went home to call my GYN. Rick and I were beyond exhausted, thankfully we were able to sleep for about 4 hours. I met with my GYN's, nurse practitioner, Wendy at 2pm. We went over everything that had gone on at the ER and she did an exam and confirmed my fear. I asked if we could just do another Laparoscopy and remove whatever had grown. Problem with this, more scar tissue. The more scar tissue the more the adhesions.

I could try some physical therapy but that was up to me. Given all that I have been through over the last 15 to 16 years, physical therapy I think not. If surgeries and Lupron didn't help how would PT! Rick and I decided that really wasn't an option. Wendy spoke with my Dr. Ross, who told her it was probably time. They both felt it best for us to go home and really decide if we want to proceed with surgery.

We have been praying since Thursday afternoon, trying to prepare our minds for the best option. We have spoken with a couple of family members and friends who have seen me through these years. Decision, move forward with a hysterectomy. We will meet with Dr. Ross in the next couple of weeks, obviously we have a lot of questions. Hopefully the surgery can be completed with minimal incisions and a quick recovery time.

Please pray for a minimally invasive surgery, easy recovery and for the this to be the right decision. I knew this day would come now that it's here, I'm pretty nervous. This is a serous surgery and comes with a lot of potential complications. Long term ones and short term ones.

Rick and I both really appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Thankfully this week Ricky has been with Grammy and Papa. I know he was upset he wasn't here to help take care of me. I have such a great kid!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On to middle school.....

So long Norton Elementary... Ricky is headed to Westwood Middle School. They had their graduation from elementary school today. It was a great celebration!

Ricky has finished the year with straight A's. Rick and I are so blessed to have our son. He is very well behaved, a great student and a very compassionate heart.

Ricky is now off to enjoy his summer vacation. Grammy and Big Papa picked him up on their way back from the beach. He couldn't wait to get some time with them. I know he is going to love his time with them.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What a week!

It has been a crazy, emotional, wonderful couple of weeks. Last week was so amazing with the joy of our son being baptized. I still can't put into words how amazing that was for us. Ricky took his first communion yesterday. He was so serious and did a really great job focusing on the Lord and keeping his mind where it needed to be. We are so very proud!

Last Tuesday night while eating, of all things a Taco Bell mexican pizza my tooth broke in half. UGH, yes half!! I promptly went to my dentist Dr. Von Gunten who I love, thank goodness. He informed me that because this tooth had been filled with a porcelain inlay it had settled and expanded. Of course there was some more decay; this caused the tooth to split. Okay no problem right, just need a crown. I am very familiar with this process it will be fine.

The kick in the teeth.... Because it was a porcelain inlay the insurance company considers that a serious repair and like having a crown. They will not pay to fix the tooth. Well great, who has a $1000 just laying around to crown your tooth. It had to be done, it was sensitive and was only going to get worse. Thankfully my dentist being the awesome guy he is cut me a deal and then got me financing for 0% for 12 months. Thankfully I only ended up spending $842, that seems like a stupid sentence! Nearly 3 hours later I walked out with my new temporary crown and scheduled to go back in 3 weeks to get my permanent crown. It was just not how I wanted the week to go.

We have had good reports on Dan, the father of the child who want's to live with us. He has had his tumor removed, there was a serious fear it would become malignant. I ask that you pray for him, because of his history he can not take pain medication. He is just taking Tylenol, they cut into his back and he can only have Tylenol. I felt so bad for him when I talked to him the other night. He is doing better. Rick and I do not think that his son will need to live with us, however we are going to continue to be here to give guideance and be of help to them.

Ricky is graduating from the 5th grade tomorrow. Wow I can hardly beleive that as of tomorrow I will be the mother of a middle school student. These 6 years of elementary have passed so quickly. There is a big celebration tomorrow at school. Ricky will then go spend some time for the day with a few friends and then off to Grammy and Pappa's.

All of our friend's laugh but when the summer comes, Ricky goes. He get's to spend time with family and friends. He will also have North Florida Bible Camp in July. He has a busy summer ahead of him, again this year.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Lord is answering prayers...

Good morning! I know that I have written about the young boy that wants to live with us. He was at the house last night when his Dad called from the hospital. He was being taken to surgery to remove a mass at the bottom of his spine, near his tailbone. Thankfully the mass is benign! A prayer answered. He was to be in the hospital until at least today, so we offered to let his son sleep over and get him off to school this morning.

This is such a great thing! Our prayer is that he will heal quickly and be able to continue to put his life right. Please join me and pray for him, his name is Dan. He needs prayers for guidance, faith, wisdom and direction. Rick and I both feel he is desparate to do right for his son. We are hopeful this puts them both on a better path. Maybe we were just meant to help them through this process, who knows but God. He will bring them through.

"And Jesus said unto them ... , "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to younder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you." Romans 1:17

Okay now on to a funny note... Rick finally read my blog posts last night. I really think he thought I was writing something crazy. He was even impressed, what is the world coming too. He cracks me up. But seriously we both really appreciate all the words of encouragement for Ricky and his decision to become a Christian. It is really moving and so wonderful to have you in our lives.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ephesians 4:5... one Lord, one faith, one baptism

WOW what a weekend! Our son Ricky followed the Lord and was baptized Sunday night. It was an amazing moment!
We spent the weekend with Rick's mom and family. Brooke, Michael, Leeland, Garrett, Erin and Tim; with mom and dad. Rick and I also brought two extra kids with us... It was a full house for sure. We had a wonderful day on Saturday. The guys went and played disc golf and the girls hung out, girls time! We spent the day swimming, laughing and playing. It was wonderful!
Sunday morning we were awakened with blueberry pancakes, thanks Dad for making me plain ones. We all went to church where we all enjoyed seeing Rick's dad, Terry do a Lord's Supper talk for the first time. He did great, he will tell you it wasn't that great. DON'T believe him, he did fantastic. It's so wonderful to see him working in the Lord's church.
Sunday afternoon was filled with lunch, naps and swimming. It was very peaceful. We went back to church on Sunday night for services. Monticello does a song service the last Sunday night of the month. It was a great service of songs on the Lord. Then Adam Willingham the preacher at this church got up to give a talk or as you can say invitation. He told the children to remember 1 thing, that 1 thing "To get to Heaven!" It was a great talk. I was sitting next to Ricky for this talk.
While Adam was talking I could see his brain going. I asked him if he was thinking about it, "Yes mom I think I'm ready". I told him he needed to stop and pray. He didn't really hear the last few minutes of Adam's talk as he was praying. We stood and sang the invitation song, I waited for Ricky to go forward. He didn't after the end of the service he didn't move. He sat in the pew, with his head down praying. Rick and I looked at each other and knew this was probably the moment.
My sister Erin was sitting behind me and I had to tell her to wait for a minute. I let Rick talk with Ricky and he was ready. In the time they were talking Erin told Rick's mom what was happening, I'm pretty sure she was going to burst. I was holding back the tears. Rick got done talking to Ricky and said he would do it on Monday when we got back to Gainesville. I sat down with Ricky and he told me he didn't want someone he didn't know as well do it and he wanted Devin, our preacher and dear friend. I told him that was his call and to remember if he was ready he needed to follow his heart.
Ricky asked who else could do it and could his Dad. So it was on and Ricky was going to be baptized at Rick's parent's house in the pool by his Dad. I pretty much cried all the way home. Brooke and Michael had stayed home trying to get Leeland to sleep. I walked in looked at Brooke and said we are having a baptism. It was going to be Ricky!!!
Rick started making a couple of calls. He needed to make sure he was going to follow the Bible and do this right. He was so honored that Ricky asked him to do the baptism. Ricky and Rick changed and they went to the bedroom together for a few moments. Then we met outside at the pool, we sang Nothing But the Blood. It was probably one of the best ways I had ever heard that song, just the 13 of us singing. Then Rick and Ricky went into the pool. Erin and I leaned on each other crying, Brooke was crying. It was a JOYOUS moment in our lives.... Our son had chosen to follow the Lord! As soon as they were walking out we sang God is So Good, YES, YES, YES God is SO very GOOD!
What a blessing and joy! It was so great and to have our family with us and two of Ricky's closest friends. I can not find the words to truly express how amazing this was to see and be a part of. To see my husband who I love, treasure, and value as my Christian role model baptize our son was overwhelming. I was lost in the clouds, if the Lord had come at that moment it would have been just right for our family!
God Bless You! Food for thought Adam taught a second thing to remember "Take as many with you as you can". Ricky is very focused on these two things in his life, I hope as you read this that you will find this focus too...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A beginning...

Rick and I were married June 28, 1997. We welcomed our amazing son Ricky February 24th, 2000. Our lives have been full of many ups and downs. Including my infertility, loss of jobs, death of family and friends, and one of the most difficult times the death of my Daddy. I have decided to start this blog to detail them so we could remember as they happen and see how God has pulled us through. Also to write about the monumental decision we are now facing.

A little more about us... Rick was 22 and I was 18 when we were married, of course most people felt we were crazy and had no business getting married. Both of us come from divorced parents, for many reasons these existed. Rick and I chose to be the exception, after almost 14 years we are still married! I can tell you this is attributed soley to God! Rick and I made the decision there was no way out, in our minds the only reason for our marriage to end would be one of our deaths. Having made that decision with each other and placing it in the Lord's hands we have made it this far and will continue.

Our son is the pride and joy of our lives, he is our only child. He is just like his dad, tall, skinny, intelligent, loving and compassionate. We have been so fulfilled with him and we are proud of the young Christian man he is turning into, we are truly blessed. Bragging moment... He is also a straight A student, and will begin middle school next fall. He has been accepted to the Cambridge program at the middle school, for those of you unaware this is a great thing!

Our monumental decision.... I won't go into a lot of details at this time. I will tell you that we have had a child approach us and ask that Rick and I become his parents and Ricky be his brother. He is a child that has not been part of a family, had structure or a stable home in anyway. He is of course one of Ricky's friends and has gotten to know us and our family because of this. Rick and I have spent some time talking with him and he is a very smart, sweet child. He knows that the way his life has been is not how a child should have to live. We have had him over more often then not, and we are working very hard to keep him in church with our family.

We are just at the beginning of this journey, we are asking for prayers. Please prayer for the Lord's will, if this child is meant to be in our family, we are willing. In everyway we are praying and asking for the Lord's will be done.

Psalm 25:9
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.