Archive for the ‘hopes’ Category

First, thank you ALL for your prayers and kind comments over the last two days.  You have helped us immensely, and your thoughts and prayers have been a greater blessing than we could ever hope to thank you for.  But I must say the words that can’t possibly repay you, THANK YOU.  If only I could give each and everyone of you a big hug.

Since Kane’s care doesn’t come cheap, and some have already asked if they could help out with a small donation, I decided to post a link here for those who want to provide some financial assistance for Kane’s care.  If you want to help us pay for Kane’s treatment (MRI, surgery, etc.) please click on the link below which will take you to PayPal.

Help us Pay for Kane’s Treatment

FYI: Current estimates for Kane’s care are $2,000 to $2,500 for his diagnostic treatments (x-rays, blood tests, MRI, exams, etc.) and, these numbers aren’t solid since the diagnostics won’t be completed until tomorrow, about $2,000 to $3,500 for surgery- depending on what he needs.  We will know much more by tomorrow when he has his MRI, but the doctors think it is best to take him straight from his MRI to surgery- if it is required- since it is best to only put him under anesthesia once.

If you want to cut out the PayPal middle man (or you simply don’t have a PayPal account) just email totaltransformation@yahoo.com and I will gladly give you an address where you can send a check or money order.  I appreciate all your help- and our whole family thanks you for your prayers and donations.  Keep in mind that since I am NOT a 501(c)3 organization your donations are NOT tax deductible- even if they are enormously appreciated.

A page from out adoption photo album. It features Kane and Lucius.

UPDATE: Kane is going for his MRI at 2:40 p.m. and will have his surgery immediately afterward if it is required.  The spot on his lung turned out to be nothing and his blood work looked great.  Praise God!

Although most of the big ticket items of the adoption process are being paid for by L.F.S. and grants from the state, we are still facing a significant amount of costs for various and sundry things ranging from a fire inspection to medical exams. After you read through this list, I ask that you please add the prayer requests (listed at the conclusion of this post) to your prayers for the next several days. (more…)

Here are some sentences I humbly offer to help you on your way [If you use any of these sentences in your next great novel please give me credit.]:

“IF it weren’t for those damn squirrels! Now I was left to ponder, how would I get my toast out of the tree.”

Okay, that was two sentences, but just let it slide. Squirrels who steal toast aren’t for you?  How about this gripping beginning:

“AS my car spun off the road, and all I could think was, “How did that Elk know my name?”

Okay, the idea of a talking elk doesn’t get you thinking (in which case I must ask, what is wrong with you?).  But I’ll try something else.  If you want a deeply emotional beginning that tugs at the heart string, how about this:

“I had to admit, I did love her. But could I live with her odd obsession to shoelaces?”

So you didn’t like the squirrels, the talking elk, or the shoelace obsessed girlfriend. Well, you sure are tough to please. But maybe these next few might help:

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Well I wanted to clear the air and post on the adoption plans my wife and I have formed over the last week.

First of all, we are at the very initial stages of this process. We are only one week removed from the realization that we are interested in pursuing adoption (and especially information about adoption). We haven’t contacted a homestudy, nor are we even within a year of adopting a child. We have a lot of stuff in our personal finances to straighten out first.

Furthermore, contrary to what seems to be the presumption, we are not planning to adopt a baby. Nor are we planning to adopt from outside the United States. From the first time we spoke of the opportunity to adopt, we never mentioned adopting a baby. We both felt led that we should adopt a child from North Carolina’s foster care system.

We looked through local and national websites that provided information on foster children currently waiting for adoption. I can understand some of the resentment that folks have against the adoption of babies, but those same problems don’t seem to apply to children in the foster care system.

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Ever have one of those days where you feel like scrapping everything you’ve worked for because things are just that hard? Today, I came too close for comfort.

The problem. Well it is complex. Apparently my previous university gave me about $1,000 too much in subsidized Stafford loans. I didn’t find out about this until I got accepted to UNC-Greensboro for my doctorate. At which point I was told I couldn’t receive ANY unsubsidized Stafford loans because of the over payment.

The last three months have been a quest to find out who is responsible: Wells Fargo (my lender), North Carolina State (my previous institution), or Direct Loans (the federal program). I have been told of two possible solutions.

  1. I figure out a way to pay my lender (representing the feds) $1,000+ dollars. Such is impossible since we don’t even know how we will pay our living expenses this July (no paychecks for either of us). So how in the heck am I going to find $1,000 bucks?
  2. NC State sends Wells-Fargo the money back and in return Wells-Fargo cuts a new unsubsidized loan for the same amount. That sounds simple doesn’t it? Well it is. In order to do that I would have to apply for a whole new loan and the process would take 4 – 6 months. I start classes at UNC-Greensboro in August- two months from now.

I could just scream I am so angry. No one at NC State is offering me any help. No one at my lender is offering any help. And no one at the U.S. Department of Ed. is lifting a finger. Each one says it is the other two’s problem.

Meanwhile I have no clue how I am going to afford the gas to drive back and forth to UNCG- a two hour drive each way. Much less pay for books, fees, etc.

Please keep me in your prayers. This is taking a serious toll on my sanity and my stress level is way up.

I just try to have faith that God will provide and remember Christ’s words

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34.

God values me and he will never forget me. Although it is a struggle, I will keep my faith that the Lord will provide. Whether it means finding a job for the month, a check in the mail, or a kind stranger. I have faith God will come through. And I must admit I can’t wait to see how he does it.

 Here are my updated before and after pictures.  The pictures on the left (your left) are from February 8, 2007.  The pictures on the right (your right) are from June 6th, 2007.  Almost exactly four months to the day from when I began this weight loss journey.

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The guy above (the old me) had a 42 inch waist.  Now, as of today, my waist is 34 1/2 inches.

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See all those rolls of fat on the left hand picture?  That guy weighed 206 lbs .  Think of how big my fat cell’s must have been.  Now, I weigh 169.2 lbs- less than 10 lbs from my goal weight. What a difference losing 36+ lbs of fat can make from all perspectives.

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The old me had a gut that hung over my belt.  That 42 inch waist was a miserable traveling companion.  It popped numerous button from the front of some great khaki pants.  Now, when I put on my fat clothes they hang on me like  a trash bag, and my old, old, old clothes fit perfectly.

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The guy above is a much healthier, happier, energetic man.  Praise the Lord for positive change and for the strength to endure.

Here I am stuck at 174.2 lbs. I’ve been as low as 173.4 and as high as 174.8 in the last week and a half. Plateaus are frustrating- especially if you lot weight quickly in the past. But it happens to us all, we eventually hit a plateau that means weight loss will be slow (at least for a while). How do we break out?

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