Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!











It's hard to imagine that yet another year has passed by and we are just a few short hours from welcoming in 2012. My Daddy always said "time flies when you're having fun" and most people say "time flies the older you get"... well I can attest that both are true. 2011 has been a whirl-wind of changes and adventures for both Ryan & me. We started a side business (Cross Your Heart Products), got pregnant, remodeled a kitchen and bathroom, and oh yea, I started a new job.... talk about changes!! But one thing is for certain, the best change of all was re-dedicating our lives to Jesus Christ. Second, of course, was going through the IVF process. It seems that as I reflect not only on the last year, but over the last three years, it's hard to imagine just what all has actually changed in our lives... and ALL for the better. After 18 years of marriage I think we've finally grown up (lol) and I have to say it's been a wild yet joyous ride. We're so looking forward to 2012 and all that these girls will bring to our lives.... Guess I can change my "about me" on here too... it states: "hopefully one day I'll be a Mother".... well looks like 2012 is finally our year.... we're going to be parents! How exciting!!


Thanks to everyone that has supported our business, our love for Jesus, and mostly the upcoming birth of our girls, Alexis & Bridgette.... we look forward to spending another year with those that are closest to us and we're hoping to make many new memories. From our family to yours... Happy New Year!!



Blessings,

Ryan, Candye, Alexis & Bridgette

Friday, December 30, 2011

25 Weeks... and counting!

December 30, 2011


I made a promise to take weekly pictures for my baby sister from here on out, so I thought I would just share them occasionally with you as well. Also, I thought it would be a good way to document for our girls what their Mommy looked like in these last few weeks until we deliver. I'm sure (at first) they'll think this is "lame", but I'm confident as they grow into young ladies they will come to appreciate the journal I've been keeping for them all along. I have all of their sonogram pictures and stats too. Maybe it's over-kill but one thing I know for sure, when I'm gone they'll have lots of memories to look back on and know just how much they were/are loved, even when they were in the womb.

Since conception of this journey almost 15 years ago I never imagined we would actually be on the verge of bringing home not one but two little angels. I have to admit, most days I stand in the mirror and admire my belly (something you would have never caught me doing before) but now there's such a different spin on things... life's so precious and I want to cherish every moment of this journey.... even my large belly!! Funny how the small things in life become the big things you end up cherishing!

One thing I have learned through this whole process, most people consider patience to be a passive waiting or gentle tolerance - I personally have found that it's not developed overnight but it is gained through God's power, mercy and goodness. These are the things that have helped me to-date and I plan to teach our girls the power of God's Amazing Grace and will and that it is something we cannot tamper with or judge - but that we have to trust Him in all we do! Good or bad! If we stay in the will of God then it will all work out in the long run just as it is supposed to.

"And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise" (Hebrews 6:15)

"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him" (Lamentations 3:25)

I have never been one to wish away time and I'm trying really hard now not to wish away the next 12 weeks, but I have to admit - I'm anxiously awaiting the day when we get to meet our girls! Thanks so much to everyone for their prayers and support - this journey has become so much more since we have you to share it with!

God Bless,
Candye & Ryan & Girls (Alexis & Bridgette)

Rayven's Miracle



Although this story needs no introduction I have to share with you that I personally know this to be true and was so glad to see Amanda (the mother) is sharing it with others. I have heard of many miracles in my life time but there is just something special about it when it happens to your family. Today I received a letter from my cousin who was led by God to tell their story of Rayven's Miracle. I just have to share it with you!

(Pictured on the right is Rayven - isn't she beautiful!!)






Rayven's Miracle






To all who read this, whether you're a believer in Jesus Christ or not, a skeptic, a Christian, or an atheist even; it has been laid on my heart to share the true story of our daughters miracle and I do hope it truly touches each heart that takes the time to read it. I'm no great scholar or writer or any thing of the sort so please forgive me if something I say is graphic or plain spoken because that is just who I am. Bear with me.






I will start at the beginning which was mid-summer in 2008. She was 8 years old at the time. Our daughter, whose name is Rayven, spent the night with her papa one weekend and when we went to pick her up the next day he mentioned to us that as she slept on the couch he could hear her breathing from the kitchen but it was not normal breathing. She had a very labored sound at the top of every breath. He thought that it might be an onset of asthma or something. When we got home that night and got the kids in bed I waited a while and then went back to her room and still about ten feet from her door I could already hear her breathing.



So the following day I set an appointment and a few days later we went in to the doctors office. We explained what had been going on to the doctors office, at the time not knowing that her own faith would be the key to our daughters survival. She had started us on a journey that involved many specialists from ENT's to pulmonary doctors, gastroenterologists to thyroid doctors and so on. Each would examine her and prescribe medication. Our daughter, being the champ that she is, never complained about all the different meds or treatments or the barium swallow that they ordered in our local hospital. Each of them, after realizing that their diagnosis was incorrect, which ranged from asthma to acid reflux, indigestion to thyroid problems, stress to possible heart defects, would refer us to another specialist. Each would report back to the primary doctor who was still continuing to research the problem Rayven was having. At this time, what started in mid June, it was now the beginning of September, just a few days before her 9th birthday was on September 10th.



By this time we were very worried as her condition had begun to change. She was losing her appetite, her breathing was still labored and we got a call from her school nurse that Rayven had come in complaining of double vision, which would later result in her left eye being crossed. All of which was reported to her doctor along the way. Still with no correct diagnosis, we would ask for prayer in church and family called often to check on her and the progress of the ongoing situation.



The primary doctor had been given both my husbands and my own cell numbers to contact for new information. Well one morning as we were backing out of the driveway to go to work my husbands phone rang. It was the doctor herself (not her nurse or her secretary). She began to tell my husband that after spending endless hours at her computer researching Rayvens symptoms with no clear answers, she bowed her head and prayed right there and asked God to lead her in the right direction as she had exhausted all other possibilities and outcomes. She then said she raised her head and just sat there for a moment staring at her computer screen. She said as she sat there things just started coming together like puzzle pieces. She explained that she was 99% sure that our daughter had something called Myasthenia Gravis. Naturally my husband and I both began to cry as she explained what this was but said that it was treatable. She also informed us that this disorder usually takes a very long time to diagnose because it is so much like other diseases and sometimes the child dies before a final diagnosis is found because it wasn't treated in a timely manner. I applauded her on the effort she put forth and she quickly informed me that it was not her but her Lord that helped her. She plugged all the symptoms in one by one and for once in about three months it ended in a correct diagnosis.



She referred us to a specialist in Austin which is about two hours from our home. They had a special test they could run to get a positive diagnosis. They did warn that in about 20T of these cases it is undetermined and they have to run another test and sometimes even still in about 10T of those cases a third test is required and normally leads to a positive diagnosis. Well as you probably already guessed, all three tests had to be done but the diagnosis was correct.




Let me fill you in real quick before I continue. We are contractors and do not have any form of health insurance but that particular year early in the summer the Lord really blessed us with an abundance of great paying work. He knew what was to come in the near future. All of the specialists were paid for in cash and there were many. Sometimes $700.00 - $800.00 a week not including the meds and the eye glasses they put her in for the double vision.



When the ball got rolling with the specialist in Austin they suggested we apply for chips under the circumstances because the future treatments would be very expensive. When the chips insurance was approved they began the process of eliminating medications that would possibly help and all the time she is getting worse. She got up every morning and took between 4 & 6 pills and vitamins and calcium supplements depending on the meds they were trying at the time. By this time she had lost a lot of weight because she was having a hard time chewing her food so she just didn't hardly eat. Her muscles were getting weak in her arms and legs and neck so she didn't play much and would have to hold her head up with her hand just to relieve her neck pain. Between the side effects of the medications and the muscle weakness and pain, we had to pick her up several times from school. As if all this was not enough for her to deal with, she would come home crying because kids at school made fun of her eye being crossed. Needless to say, we were all weary and worried.



By this time I'm guessing it was probably around December or January. They had decided to do a procedure called IVIG. It was a two day drip administered in Dell Childrens Hospital in Austin. So we all (my husband, myself and our three children) loaded up and went to Austin for two days. We went through this same procedure twice. Rayven had already seen the specialists in Austin several times and each time they did the strength testing and altered her meds but still never seen any improvements even with all the meds and IVIG's and steroids and so on, only her declining health and weight. She was literally not far from being a walking skeleton. She was so thin you could count each one of her ribs, her face was so sunk in, her teeth looked too big for her mouth and her spine protruded from her back. Her speech was very unclear as her tongue seemed to get in the way when she talked. This is a nightmare for any parent.



My grandmother who lived six hours away from us was very concerned about Rayven and enjoyed our visits even though they were infrequent. We would go to church with her on Sundays and sit in the back row as she had to leave early most of the time.



On March 1, 2009, there was a visiting preacher there at my grandmothers church. The regular pastor was sitting in the congregation about mid way up on the left hand side of the sanctuary and we sat on the back seat on the right hand side. About mid way thru the service my grandmother had to leave but being the devout Christian woman she was, always rode with my aunt so we could stay for the whole service. As we sat there listening to the preacher I felt such a sweet spirit come over me and I began to cry as I looked down at my sick little daughter who had her head laid in my lap. I know Rayven was healed at that very moment and the Lord was right there beside her with all his grace and glory and majesty letting us both feel him. Something told me to tell her to say "its over". I touched her face and as she looked up at me I whispered to her "sweetheart say its over" and without hesitation or questions she did so and just that fast her whole face instantly became dripping wet and at that very moment the regular pastor who had been seated on the other side of the sanctuary, put his hands on my shoulders and repeated those same words to me "it's over". As my daughter and I sat there crying the pastor returned to his seat and Rayven looked up at me again and said 'mama I felt someone squeezing me, I know it was Jesus hugging me'. I knew at that moment she was healed. Naturally after the service was over I had to share our experience with everyone.



Shortly after that Sunday we had another follow up appointment in Austin and the doctors were amazed that her strength had improved. That was the first ever good report we received since she had been in their care. Now believing that the meds were the reason for the progress they continued to change the dosage and alter treatments to try and optimize the results in spite of me telling them about her miracle in my grandmothers small country church; much like our own church here in Snook, Texas. The chips insurance covered her for one year then she was dropped only to lead us to another blessing. The Neurologists office in Austin, which is Specially for Children, worked closely with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and they transferred her case to them who picked up her tab on treatments.



Now at 12 years old, she is a beautiful little girl who is full of life. She has regained all of her weight to where she is supposed to be for her age, she was on a soccer team and is completely back to normal with only one issue left. That being her left eye is still crossed. We are still counting on that miracle as well as My God never does anything half way and never fails to provide for our family.



There have been so many people blessed by Rayvens ordeal and so many people left in awe over the transformations they've seen in her with no apparent reason other than a spiritual one.



I feel in my heart that she was chosen by God for a reason, because she would bless so many with her strength and courage to handle all of this with a smile. Through all of the needles and tests and handfuls of medications she never complained.



Please if anyone that is reading this has a need in their life and you don't know where to turn, you can always look up and have a constant source of encouragement, strength and peace if you just ask God for it. He loves each and every person unconditionally and will supply your needs just as he has so many needs of ours and those of our family and friends as well. Nothing is impossible for him. Even if it seems impossible to you.



This is a very real, true story that I needed to share and I pray that some how some way each person walks away with a blessing of their own. May God bless your life and your home and I thank you for taking the time to read her story.



This was not intended to be a Christmas miracle story but as it was laid upon my heart to share it with others so close to Christmas, I'll close in saying, from our family to yours, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Blessed New Year and every year to come.



If you would like more info on Rayvens Miracle or just need someone to pray for your needs you can email me at carack@ymail.com.



Sincerely,

Carlos & Amanda Kelley



P.S. Please pass this on to someone else.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

FW: Groom, TX


 

 

 
In case you have not seen or heard of this beore. Amazing and beautiful

 
 
A TOWN CALLED GROOM, TEXAS
(There is always someone stopped here to visit, pray, or meditate. Trucks, buses, or single vehicles. Groom is a tiny town on I-40, but gets lots of visitors because of this.)


What an incredible display.This could be one of the last surviving
Christian symbols in the country
!
This is about 70 miles from Amarillo outside of town
called
Groom, TX
Read message at the end of pictures!  These are the pictures of the crucifixion of Christ, Sculptured from metal by a man near Amarillo , TX .  The crosses are made of metal also. The man did this out of the kindness of his heart. Someone donated the land on which to erect them.

IN CHEMISTRY, HE TURNED WATER TO WINE.

IN BIOLOGY, HE WAS BORN WITHOUT THE NORMAL CONCEPTION;

IN PHYSICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF GRAVITY WHEN HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN;

IN ECONOMICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURN BY FEEDING 5000 MEN WITH TWO FISHES & 5 LOAVES OF BREAD;

IN MEDICINE, HE CURED THE SICK AND THE BLIND WITHOUT ADMINISTERING A SINGLE DOSE OF DRUGS,

IN HISTORY, HE IS THE BEGINNING AND THE END;

IN GOVERNMENT, HE SAID THAT HE SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, PRINCE OF PEACE

IN RELIGION, HE SAID NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM;

SO, WHO IS HE? HE IS JESUS!


JOIN ME AND LET'S CELEBRATE HIM; HE IS WORTHY.

THE EYES BEHOLDING THIS MESSAGE SHALL NOT BEHOLD EVIL,

THE HAND THAT WILL SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYBODY SHALL NOT LABOR IN VAIN,

AND THE MOUTH SAYING AMEN TO THIS PRAYER SHALL SMILE FOREVER.

REMAIN IN GOD AND SEEK HIS FACE ALWAYS. AMEN.

IN GOD I'VE FOUND EVERYTHING!

The Greatest Man in History Jesus had no
servants, yet they called Him Master.


Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.

Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer

He had no army, yet kings feared Him..

He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He
committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. I feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us!  If you believe in God and in Jesus Christ His Son, you may wish to send it on ....

If not, just ignore it.
If you ignore it, just remember that Jesus said.  'If you deny me before man, I will deny you before my Father in Heaven.