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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Pat!

Happy Birthday Dad!
December 31st....the end of 2011, the last day of my Jesus Calling devotional, the last day of my devotional, Streams in the Desert, and the last day of the scripture in my 365 day Bible.  Just this week I wrote in the last page of my journal that I began in August of this year.

As I finished reading the last chapter of my Bible, Revelations this morning, I came upon my summary of the year which I wrote on the blank page beside the scripture. This is what I read:


2008:  What a year 2008 was.  Lord, it was hard, but you changed us.  Pat's cancer was a gift although a difficult journey! May we grow closer to you even more in 2009.  Your presence has been felt and your blessings abundant. Thank you for enriching my faith and blessing me by knowing you better.  Teach me more, Lord. Teach me to trust you more!  I love you.  John 13:7


2009:  Pat resigned from Kinro on a leap of faith just after you placed me at FBC after 16 years of being a SAHM (stay at home mom).  You taught us how to trust and extend our faith.  We opened Clear Choice, a huge puzzle piece coming together.


2010:  A year of surprise and change. Clear Choice one year old. Pat diagnosed with pancreatic cancer stage IV.  A life that now causes to see what we can't so we see you Father.  Living on faith.


So, this is what I added for 2011:  A year that unfolded with God's grace, faithfulness, goodness and provisions. A year I saw my husband fight with everything he had until November 26th and you took him home and said "Well done my good and faithful servant".  I trust you even more now as face a year of unknown.  But, I love you, trust you and surrender it all to you.


On August 25th I opened my bright yellow journal covered in purple, green and pink flowers and made my first entry..."Fresh book, fresh page, fresh new day. I have so much to praise you for. You are everything to me and I am devoted and desire to surrender all of me. I just think of what these pages will hold in the next months. We will see a lot of you, Lord!


On December 20th, I opened my journal and had only one page left to write in. It had been four months of prayer and life written on those yellow pages.  I started to cry as I knew that when I wrote in that last page and closed the journal, my new journal will not have my Pat within it's pages.  As I looked at that blank page, I was thinking what would the Lord have me to write.  I started reading my Bible and devotionals to find out.  He led me to Haggai 1:1 - 2:23.  This is what I read and wrote in my journal on the 20th: "I am with you says the Lord. vs 2:4  Be strong all you people still left in the land. Now get to work for I am with you says the Lord of Heaven's armies. My spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid. The future glory of this Temple will be greater than it's past glory. And in this place I will bring peace.  I the Lord of Heaven's Armies, has spoken.  Haggai 2:19, "I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you." The last sentence was written up the side of my page.  Through my tears I sat in awe of these intimate words. 


I was instantly reminded of Exodus 14:13 (Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.) that he gave me on October 5, 2010 and the verse Habakkuk 3:17 that the Lord had given me months ago that covered me with His peace.  Fast forward to my daily reading on December 25th.  Zechariah 8:11, "For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew." 


This was a lot to absorb in one week.  I felt His Words were for me.  I always question myself? Who am I that the Lord would speak to me?


On December 29th I read the following from my Streams in the Desert:  "We need to have appropriating faith when it comes to God's promises and should make His Word our own personal possession. A child was once asked what appropriating faith was, and he answered, "It is taking a pencil and underlining every 'me', 'my' and 'mine' in the Bible."  Pick any word you want that He has spoken and say, 'That word is my word.' Put your finger on a promise and say, 'It is mine.'  The last sentence was, "When faith goes to the market, it always takes a basket."


Happy Birthday my sweet Pat!  I am hoping you are enjoying some fabulous chocolate pie....your favorite!  I know that all things in Heaven are beyond anything I could ever imagine....save me a place right beside you."


Happy New Year!

xoxo

PS  I will be moving my journal to my personal blog
www.paigespetals.blogspot.com in the days to come.  I will put a link on CB for awhile in case you want to catch up with us.  I have been blessed by you more than you will ever know.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

From Matt

I can't thank my friends and family enough! It has been one month today that my dad went to be with the Lord at 6:39pm. To be honest this month in my head has been a living nightmare without my old man around. But when all of these thoughts of my dad randomly pop in my head, I can't help but think of what comfort God has given me. He hasn't just dumped all of the grief on me at once, but instead he's given me no more then I can bare. People have asked how I've been since all of this and I haven't really shared my true answer because it's very hard to not get emotional....

When God told me to get up on stage at dad's funeral, I didn't think I could do it. I prayed and prayed for comfort through this entire journey. And when I got up there I received it. It was as if when I was up there I had someone pointing out who to look at. The only people I could see we're people who have mentored me in my walk with Christ. That is when I knew I wasn't alone! People say Dad is watching over me, but honestly I believe he can see me but I also believe he is having to much fun in heaven to care as much as he did while he was here on earth. I struggle the most when I think I can call dad just to ask for some advice or share something really cool. God can I just at least send a text message to him? Lol.

To everyone who has walked this journey with my family and I, THANK YOU! Please continue to be by our sides! But to those watching this journey and seen the man my dad was, I ask that you just please give Jesus Christ a chance to be your Savior as my dad did. An intimate relationship with him will amaze you!! As the Bible says in Revelations 3:20 "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." Jesus is at the door of your heart and is waiting on you to open the door and experience a relationship with him!

I pray God has blessed y'all with a good Christmas and Happy New Year!

Matt

You Are Not Reading This By Accident

You're Not Reading This by Accident
by Rick Warren

“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus.” (Romans 5:1 MSG)

You’re not reading this by accident.

No, God knew before you were born that you would be here in this moment. He planned to get your attention for just a few seconds so he could say this to you: “I’ve seen every hurt in your life, and I’ve never stopped loving you. You matter to me. I love you more than you will ever know. I made you to love you, and I’ve been waiting for you to love me back.”

God is saying, “I want the rest of your life to be the best of your life. I’m with you, and I’m for you. I want to save you from your past. I want to save you for the purpose for which I made you. And I want to save you by my grace. If you’ll let me do that, I will give you peace with me, peace of me, and peace with other people. But you have to open the door and receive the Christmas gift.”

If you gave me a Christmas gift and I never opened it, you would be disappointed. And it would be a worthless gift, because I don’t receive the benefit of a gift I never opened.

Jesus Christ is God’s Christmas gift to you. Yet some of us have gone Christmas after Christmas and never opened the best gift of all: God’s gift of salvation. Why even celebrate Christmas if you’re not going to open the biggest gift? It doesn’t make sense to leave unwrapped the gift of your past forgiven, a purpose for living, and a home in Heaven.

Jesus Christ says to you, “I can replace the frustration in your heart with peace. I can replace the guilt, resentment, shame, and grudges with forgiveness. I can replace the worry and anxiety with confidence and faith. I can replace depression or despair with hope. I can replace emptiness with meaning and purpose. I can replace confusion with clarity. But I’m not going to break down the door of your heart. You have to invite me in.

“It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from. If you want me and you are ready to do as I say, the door is open.”

It doesn’t matter what your religious background is – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Buddhist, Baptist, Hindu, or no religion. This is not about religion. God didn’t send Jesus to give you religion. He sent him so you could have a personal relationship with God. It’s all about relationship.

Below is a prayer I prayed years ago when I stepped across the line and became a friend of God’s. It’s a pretty simple prayer. If these words express the desire in your heart, read them as if you are talking to God.

Prayer:

Dear God, I’m scared, but I want to get to know you. I don’t understand it all, but I thank you that you love me. I thank you that you were with me even when I didn’t recognize it. I thank you that you are for me, that you didn’t send Jesus to condemn me but to save me.

I admit I never even realized I needed a Savior, but today I want to receive the Christmas gift of your Son. I ask you to save me from my past, my regrets, my mistakes, my sins, my habits, my hurts, and my hang-ups. Save me from myself.

I ask you to save me for your purpose. I want to know why you put me on this planet. And I want to fulfill what you made me to do. I want to learn to love you and trust you and have a relationship with you.

I need peace with you, God, and I need you to put your peace in my heart. I need you to take away the stress and fill me with your love. Help me be a peacemaker and help others find peace with you and each other. In your name I pray, amen.

(from Purpose Driven Life Devotional)

Merry Christmas!

Love and miss you, Dad
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Gift!

Christmas Eve Gift! My grandmother McNatt made sure she said it first each Christmas Eve. Now my cousins and I try to say it first. I beat them all this year...Tanya and David, haven't heard from you!

We had a good time at Kelly and Brian's. We had great laughs playing Catch Phrase late last night.

Hank is adjusting pretty well. Garrett says he is exhausted!! Kelly has two boxers, so that was fun to watch them interact.

We are headed to the Easterling Christmas now and will be there by dinner.

We are missing dad. I keep thinking he is in the other room. We love you and miss you. Photobucket

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Headed to Oklahoma

We four are on the road headed to Oklahoma to spend a couple of days with my sis and family. The car is packed to the roof. Thank you to my house sitter and Cash sitter.

We have a new addition to the family and that is Hank. Hank is Garrett's new boxer that his sweet, maybe crazy, mom gave him for Christmas. He is going to be spoiled rotten. Cash is still checking him out and Loco loves his new pal.

I love, love, love my Christmas cards and get so excited when I get them. Your sympathy cards have touched me and have been such an encouragement. Thank you.

What a birthday party they must have on the 25th in celebrating Jesus' birth. I wonder if Pat gets a party favor for his first party? Wow!

Missing you my big guy!
Hugs!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pat's CaringBridge Post on February 17, 2011

I wanted to hear from Pat this morning and I did in his CB post dated February 17, 2011. I thought you would too. Oh, the first part is mushy, but I need that right now. What a reminder of what we had together and what his family and friends meant to him.


My prayer for you is that you be reminded today how precious life is, but most of all how life is so much sweeter when you know Jesus Christ as your Savior! Do you?


Pat February 17, 2011


Howdy! Ya, it's me...... She has finally got me to write. I gotta tell ya though, it's hard to do. I have to be focused in the evening, when in the evening my mind is mush! I don't know how she does it every night. Oh, wait a minute! Yes I do! I am married to the most remarkable woman in the world! She can do anything! I got to be honest though. When I married her in 1984, I had no ideal what I was in for. I not only have 3 of the greatest kids but more importantly she introduced me to my Lord and Savior. I owe her everything. She has loved me through some of the best days and some of the worst days. I did not deserve her then and I do not deserve her now. She is my best friend and I love her with all my heart. In 2008, when I was battling my first bout with cancer, I had to spend 2 weeks in the hospital. When I closed my eyes to go to sleep, she was the last thing I saw and when I woke up, she was the first thing I saw. It was for the entire two weeks, she never left my side. This thing we are going through now, there have been days when I am miserable and very agitated. She's always there for me. I have expressed that due to financial reasons, she may not be able to go to Tulsa with me when I go for treatment every time. Well, you can imagine the response. I can tell you, other than Christ, I never knew you could love someone more than the day before but you can. Paige, I love you and cannot imagine my life without you. Thank you for tolerating me........ I'm sorry for the length of this but I've had nothing to say until now.........As for my L D Bell classmates, it so good to hear from you. You all mean so much and I do hope we can have another get together soon. Phil, thank you for the 8th grade basketball DVD. Great memories! I do hope there are more. I did hear from my favorite basketball coach a couple of weeks ago. Rolf Kuhlow, who lives in Louisiana. I always thought he was related to all time great coach John Wooden from UCLA. Great hearing from him and I hope to see him soon.......It's always good to hear from my friends from Kinro, where I worked for so long. We were all a part of building a very good company for so long. It's sad to see what we worked so hard to build, to see it all go away. I miss you guys very much......I also want to take this opportunity to tell everyone how thankful we are for your love and prayers. It's very humbling to me, to know so many care for us.......Thanks to my extended family in Hico for all that you do for us. A big thanks to Brian and Lecia. They would give you the shirt off their back. We love you guys! ............EY and LaNette, your cards and phone calls mean so much! We love you........To our life group, you were the first at the hospital, almost the minute I was diagnosed. We love you guys! My favorite two pictures are one, with us in a circle praying in my hospital room, and the other is all of us in my front yard. You guys are the best and I'm enjoying doing life with you...... Again, I'm sorry for the length..........(just about done) Let me also take this opportunity to remind my kids how proud we are of them. You continue to be very tolerant of me. You continue to do outstanding in school! My favorite daughter graduated from UNT! Kids even when the cards were dealt, your faith never wavered. WE ARE SO PROUD! Every day I wake up, I'm so thankful that I have a Father that loves me, no matter what! Kids, my love for you compares to the love Christ has for all of us. His love does not discriminate and is constant..........In closing to all this rambling, I would like to say thanks to all of you and God bless to all of you. I am so thankful for you in our lives and I do pray your lives are as fulfilling as mine. I thank God every day. As for me my days are sometimes good and sometimes bad, but mostly good. I have felt really good since Sunday and then all of a sudden today my back started hurting so I came home and soaked in the tub filled with epson salt. So each day is a different day. One thing I think about often is that there are so many people that are inflicted with this disease and that is pretty overwhelming when you think about how many. Cancer does not discriminate. I appreciate the prayers, but there are so many other folks who are suffering and need your prayers also. We need a cure. I know that Paige gave you an update on a bill that we are encouraging our congressmen to support, Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act, which was introduced Wednesday in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Thank you to those who have taken the time to write. This disease needs a higher priority.


Until next time,
Pat
Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wisdom, please

I was just taking my make-up off and listening to KLTY radio.  Andrea, the night-time DJ asked, "If you could have anything for Christmas that didn't cost a thing, what would it be?"  I thought for a moment and my first thought isn't possible and that is an easy one to guess.  So, my answer would be that I would like the gift of wisdom right now.  I have God's peace and joy, but I need wisdom.   James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." I am wearing Him out.

"When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me. Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart.  Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results.  When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way. If you keep on stating your concerns to Me, you will live in a state of tension. When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive. " ~Jesus Calling  

The past few days have been very busy for all four of us as we are trying to wrap up Christmas shopping, Christmas plans, basketball games (tonight and tomorrow), and work.  Matt and I are really busy at ABC (America's Best Choice Windows) trying to familiarize ourselves with operations and create a business plan for 2012.  I have been submerged in a new world and trying to get a game plan together before I return to work at the church on January 3rd.  I guess it is official now since I have my business card that says Paige Easterling, Owner.  Yikes! This is why I am praying for wisdom. 

Many of you have asked me if I am going to continue to update CaringBridge.  I plan to transition to my personal blog after the first of the year as I feel that our CB Journal was to be written around Pat and his daily battle against pancreatic cancer. Our personal life, trials, victories and happenings naturally were woven together these past 14 months, but I feel I need to phase out CB because this site was created for the purpose of those who are facing a significant health challenge.  I created www.paigespetals.blogspot.com in 2007 and have been updating it simultaneously with CaringBridge.  In 2008 when Pat was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, my blog was used then as CB is being used now.

We are missing Pat so much and some days are easier than others.  Thank you for continuing to walk alongside us as we greet the Christmas season and Pat's birthday, New Year's Eve. 

Blessings,
Paige
xoxo

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rainy Day

Rainy day.  We need the rain, but I am missing the sunshine. 

Today my sweet friend, Brenda Ashlock, had neck surgery, so I stopped by the hospital this morning and stayed with her a couple of hours tonight.  She is in the Plaza Medical hospital but I don't think she is going to stay there long enough to earn the Plaza points as Pat did.  I went to the 6th floor to say hello to our sweet nurses, but only one I knew was working.  Walking into the hospital was hard and I was flooded with memories, but I want to remember the great nurses and staff.

I went to the mall to Christmas shop, but I wasn't very successful.  I did buy one gift.  Christmas shopping is one my favorite things to do to get in the Christmas spirit, but I don't think that will work this year.  I am not trying to be ba-hum-bug, but I wish we could skip the holidays this year.  We will get through it thanks to family and friends.

Garrett's arm is healing nicely, so I am relieved.  He has a game this weekend in Frisco.  Watching basketball makes me happy!

Thank you for sending us your sweet cards, messages and texts.  We read every single one of them and they give us great comfort.

Hugs!
Paige
xoxo




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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

His Encouragement

God has been so faithful to encourage me every morning.  This is what I read yesterday: "I am taking care of you. Feel the warmth and security of being enveloped in My loving Presence. Every detail of your life is under My control.  Submerged beneath the surface of the invisible world are mysteries too vast for you to comprehend. If you could only see how close I am to you and how constantly I work on your behalf, you would never again doubt that I am wonderfully caring for you.  This is why you must live by faith, not by sight; trusting in My mysterious, majestic Presence."  ~Jesus Calling

This morning I read, "Sometimes the darkness in our lives is worse, because we cannot even see the web we are weaving or understand what we are doing.  Therefore, we are unable to see any beauty and or possible good arising from our experience.  Yet if we are faithful to forge ahead and 'if we do not give up' (Gal 6:9), someday we will know that the most exquisite work of our lives was done during those days when it was the darkest. He is watching and will bring goodness and beauty from all of your pain and tears."  ~Streams in the Desert

These are promises in which I cling to so that I can trust Him to get me through each day.  I am asking God each morning to wrap His loving arms around my kids as they continue to go about their daily routines. Elizabeth and Matt have to concentrate on work and Garrett has school.  The past few days have been rough on them emotionally as well as physically.  We covet your prayers.

We are In His Grip,
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sundays

This weekend was a nice weekend full of basketball. Garrett's team finished third in the tournament this weekend.  They played really good against some tough teams and Garrett was presented an All Tournament trophy.  Yesterday Brian, Kelly and the kids came yesterday and spent the night with us.  We always have a great time together. 

For the past six months, Pat and I were making plans to downsize and sell our house.  We had already started driving the neighborhoods to see what our next move might be.  I will continue that plan by putting my house up for sale very soon, so I asked Brian and Kelly to help me begin that process by looking at all of my options.  So, I now want you, my friends and family, to know that my house is for sale and you can help me by putting the word out.   It is not listed right now as it would be much better for me if I could sell it without listing it as showing the house just stresses me out.  What I do know is that God has a plan for the kids and I, so I am waiting for direction.   

Today the kids and I went to the McNatt Christmas in Denton.  It is always fun being around the kinfolk, but it didn't quite feel the same with Uncle Mark or Pat not there.  Earlier tonight Garrett had to return to the ER due to a skin infection which is now a staph along with pain. Matt took him last night about 11.  As soon as we walked into the door from Denton, Matt had a migraine that continued to get worse.

If you have read many of my posts, you know that Sundays are my favorite days.  I was just thinking about that today after a friend wished me "sweet peace on your favorite day". My Sundays were my favorite day because it always began with waking up about 8 AM and walking into the living room and seeing Pat in his recliner, drinking coffee, reading the paper and watching the CBS Early Morning show. Just before the show ended, we left for church.  The afternoons were spent hanging out with the kids or just he and I.  Life Group began at 5:30 with hugs, wonderful food and great fellowship.  Many times during our drive home we would share deep thoughts that were initiated by our study or discussions. I don't know if Sundays will be my favorite day anymore....at least for a while.

Have a blessed week!

Hugs!
xoxo
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Purple Tree of Course!

I had to do it! I turned our Christmas tree to purple of course. The decor in my house is black, brown, red and golds so we are just a bit flashy!

I am sitting at the Centennial Basketball Tournament collecting money at the door for my appointed hour. The tournament will end on Saturday. The Spartans won tonight so they will play tomorrow night.

It has been a very busy week trying to get paper work done and do all the running around required since Pat was promoted. I am a bit overwhelmed with all there is to do and the fact I now have a window company to run. They say when you eat an elephant you take just one bite a time...I am chewing slowly.

Cash is missing Pat and knows that things are not normal around our house, so he has been misbehaving. He is lost too.

Please keep praying for us as we tackle each day. It still does not seem real. We miss you, Dad.

Hugs!
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Missing Him

I have missed checking in here on CB, but my internet has been down.  Thank you for every message, sweet card, words of encouragement and hugs you have sent our way. We need them.

I can't wrap my brain around the fact that Pat is gone.  I have tremendous peace, but I am missing him so much, particularly today.  I had a crying spell a bit ago and what scares me about that is I am afraid if I start,  I will not stop.  But, I did and I feel better now.  Garrett just got home from practice and it was good to see his handsome face and talk about his day.  I don't think his day was much better and he has ton of homework to make up.  Please pray for him as he goes back to school, settles into a routine and deal with his emotions too. Last night at bedtime, I got two texts from Elizabeth and Matt five minutes a part.  They both wrote:  Missing Dad so much. 

Books are a comfort to me and I found one that is helping me, "Getting to the Other Side of Grief".  Today the author explained it so well.  I lost my kindship last Saturday.  My kindred spirit...the person who cared about the little things in my life. He is the one I finished his sentences and many times we both had the same idea at the same time. I am lost.

In glancing in my Jesus Calling Devotional I ran across the following that I underlined on April 18th:  Peace is my continual gift to you.  It flows abundantly from My throne of grace.  Just as the Israelites could not store up manna for the future but had to gather it daily, so it is with My Peace.  The day-by-day collecting of manna kept My people aware of their dependence on Me.  Similarly, I give you sufficient Peace for the present, when you come to me by prayer and petition with thanksgiving.  If I gave you permanent Peace, independent of My Presence, you might fall in toe the trap of self-sufficiency. I have designed you to need Me moment by moment. As your awareness of your neediness increases, so does your realization of My abundant sufficiency.   Approach My throne of grace with bold confidence receiving My Peace with a thankful heart.

God has been so sweet and gentle with me by giving me His word each day. I find my favorite part of the day is when I sit in my chair every morning and seek His face.  He meets me every time.

A perfect prayer: "Lord Jesus, I am alone. Yet I am not alone, for you are with me and are my Friend. Now, Lord, please comfort me, strengthen me and give to Your poor servant everything that You see I need. ~Streams in the Desert

Hugs!
xoxo
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Patrick Earl Easterling 12-31-57 -11-26-11

Pat Easterling, 53, passed away surrounded by friends and family on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, after a courageous fight with pancreatic cancer. Celebration of life: A celebration of Pat's life will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church of Burleson, 317 W. Ellison, Burleson. The family will receive friends 6 to 8 PM Tuesday at Mountain Valley Funeral Home, Joshua. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at pancan.org, or First Baptist Church Burleson Building Campaign. Pat was born Dec. 31, 1957, in Fort Worth. He was the son of Lewis Easterling and Christine Carnes. He graduated from L.D. Bell High School. In 1981 he met his soulmate, Paige McNatt, and they were married Sept. 8, 1984, and lived out their love story. He was an executive with Kinro Inc. for 30 years as vice president and just recently opened his window replacement business, America's Best Choice DFW. The pride and joy of his life was his wife and three children, Elizabeth, Matthew and Garrett. They loved spending their time at their Double E Ranch in Hico, where they raised cattle and enjoyed his love of the land by hunting and fishing in Lake Pat. He was preceded in death by his father, Lewis Easterling. Survivors: Those left with loving memories are his wife, Paige; daughter, Elizabeth; sons, Matthew and Garrett; mother, Christine Carnes; brothers, Bobby and wife, Rose, Richard and wife, Rebecca, and Ryan; sisters, Dianne Page and Ashley Karpenko and husband, Joey; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Celebration of Life

Thank you for all of your sweet and loving messages. Each word, every prayer and hug mean so much to us.

Celebration of Life: A celebration of Pat’s life will be held at 4 PM Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at First Baptist Church of Burleson, 317 West Ellison, Burleson. The family will receive friends 6 to 8 PM Tuesday at Mountain Valley Funeral Home, Joshua.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org) or First Baptist Church Burleson Building Campaign.

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Well Done Good and Faithful Servant

Dear Family & Friends,

When I offered to update CB for my precious friend, Paige and she accepted, I was instantly filled with fear. What was I thinking!?  Lord, I can't do this! I know like me many of you look forward to hearing an encouraging word from her daily through CB. I am not as eloquent of a writer as Paige but will do my best! 

Our beloved & brave fighter & hero, Pat Easterling, courageously finished his race last night around 6:39 pm. He was surrounded by his loving and faithful wife, children, extended family and many friends. I was reminded of the scripture in 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
While we are all filled with sadness and grief, we are also filled with thanksgiving knowing that Pat is healed. He is cancer free in heaven today! 

As this week began with Pat being admitted on Tuesday & as his health began to decline throughout the week, I questioned the Lord. I was like, "Really Lord, during Thanksgiving week!?" And all week long my devotions have be centered around being Thankful. Again, I was like, "Really, Lord!?" But this morning, I realized in spite of the despair and deep sadness that we are all experiencing today at the passing of our precious Pat that there is much to be thankful for too. Yesterday my devotion stated "How precious are My children who remember to thank me at all times. They can walk through the darkest days with Joy in their hearts because they know that the Light of My Presence is still shining on them. For I am their steadfast Companion."

I thought I would take a few lines to share what I am thankful for as we have journeyed with the Easterling family during these dark days and  together chartered unwanted and unfamiliar territory with them.

First, I am thankful for the man of God Pat was. I have had the privilege of being a part of an incredible group of men & women who pray & study God's word together and challenge each other to live in a way that honors and glorifies the Lord. Pat was a devoted Christ follower. 

He was a faithful husband, best friend and lover to Paige for over 27 years. He was a devoted Dad who was so proud of his 3 greatest accomplishments this side of heaven, Elizabeth, Matt & Garrett. He did not need to have those "last words" with his family because Pat lived in such a way with character, honesty and integrity that his life said enough!

I am thankful for my sweet & precious friend, Paige! There are no words that are sufficient or adequate enough to express first my love for this amazing woman but also to describe the selfless way she has served Pat and her family. I know she would be the first to tell you that only by the grace and mercy & the unfailing love of Jesus Christ was she able to do all that she has done this past year. Paige, you have carried us all with your incredible faith. WE LOVE YOU! And your precious 3! Those Easterling kids come from good stock! Elizabeth, who so selflessly moved back home this past year. I know it was not your plan after graduating from college but your obedience to do the right thing was so "grown up". Matt, knowing how hard you worked with your dad this summer to learn the business was so touching. Your unwavering faith yesterday at hospital forever changed us all. And G, your dad was so proud of you! And for you to have played the final game your dad got to watch last Monday, scoring over 30 points!!! Wow, God is good! Y'all are his legacy.

Friends, I know we didn't get the full healing this side of  heaven for Pat. But don't miss that God sustained Pat for over a year with good enough health to travel & make memories with his family and with each of us. And for that I am truly Thankful. What are you thankful for?

And finally, my devotion this morning turned to rest. Which is what I pray most for the Easterling's right now. "Rest in deep assurance of My unfailing Love. Let your body, mind, and spirit relax in My Presence. Release into My care anything that is troubling you. Be awed by the vast dimension of My Love for you: wider, longer, higher, deeper than anything you know. Rejoice that this marvelous Love is yours forever! 

Thank you Lord, for the gift of Pat, Paige, Elizabeth, Matt & Garrett.I know as Pat entered the gates of heaven last night he heard,"Well, done good and faithful servant."

xoxo!
Brenda Ashlock

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Hard Day

I haven't posted in a day or so, but it has been rough.  We checked into the hospital on Tuesday.  Tuesday was the day we were to check in to have chemo, but that morning I knew that Pat seemed weaker and was using a lot of oxygen.  Monday morning we did blood work, so I wanted to chat with Dr. Fredric's nurse Tuesday morning to get a "go".  When I called the nurse to tell them what I sensed, they said to go ahead and take Pat to the ER.  That really bothered me as I knew Pat would wonder why in the heck are we in the ER.  Thankfully, on the way to the hospital, the doctor's office called and asked if we were headed to the hospital and if we were to go to patient registration.  What a relief.  I had called Angie and Jordan to come that morning so I could have another set of eyes and ears to help me evaluate Pat and make the right decision.  Jordan drove us to the hospital and we got him checked in. 

Pat was a bit confused and was wondering why Angie and Jordan were with me and why Matt met us at the hospital entrance.  I reminded him that he was to have chemo today and they were just hanging with us.  I was so uneasy about taking him to the hospital and even felt like I was betraying somehow because he hates hospitals such much, but I knew in my heart he was getting worse.  I was exhausted with no sleep and was worried about the care or lack of care I could give him at home.  After an ultrasound they found a couple of blood clots in his left leg. 

I really was uneasy when I got here and it stayed with me throughout the next day as I just didn't have a peace.  His body was too weak to for chemo, and I was afraid I was going to have to make a major decision.    I kept praying that the Lord would go before me and make those decisions for me.   The decision was made this morning that Pat will not have any chemo and we will be calling in hospice tomorrow.  Dr. Keller, our internist, was the one who confirmed that the decision for no chemo and I believe the Lord used him to give me this sweet peace I have tonight.

Our goal is to go home tomorrow and tonight will be the test to see if the meds have been tweaked enough for him to be completely comfortable and sleep through the night. 

There is more I want to write, but it is getting late and I going to stop here.

Thank you loving on our family,
Paige
xoxo

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Sale

The Tree of Life in Burleson
NOTE:  Blogger friends, I try to post the same blog here that I post on Caringbridge each night, but fail to remember to stop by here too.  Our Caringbridge website is www.caringbridge.org/visit/pateasterling.  You truly are such precious people in my life and some of my dearest friendships, who I have never met, started here in 2007! 


Hello!  It is about 8:17 PM and I just woke up from a little nap.  Today feels like yesterday really as last night was a repeat of the night before.  The pain medication is working well during the day, but during the night it is not and Pat's anxiety is high.  Since we changed his medication I follow the doctor's prescribed amounts and time closely and keep a journal.  This pain medication accumulates, so as time passes he will get better relief.  We adjusted his anxiety medication, so I hope that will make for a good night's sleep.  I haven't slept through the night now since Saturday and I am thoroughly exhausted. 

Tomorrow is a very bittersweet day and a celebration of answered prayer as we will be closing on the ranch.  Due to Pat's health, the title company in Stephenville has offered to bring the papers to us here in Burleson.  This weekend we will be moving equipment and our personal belongings from Hico.  I am so thankful for Matt who has taken on this responsibility and he has assured me that I have nothing to worry about. Many, many offers have been made from you, our family and friends, to help make this transition smooth.  Our real estate agent, Andrew Buffington, has been so easy to work with and has gone out of his way to make sure the sale of the land and equipment gets finalized without a hitch. 

The 13 years we have spent at the ranch have been such great times. The kids were 4, 8 and 11 when we started this new adventure.  Pat spent a  along with a lot of sweat and tears improving the land by building fence, enlarging our herd, and many hours spent on a tractor.  We have developed such sweet relationships in Hico and our neighbors have become family.  My Aunt Lola and Uncle Bill joined us by relocating to Hico after a few years and have been with us since and adopted us as their children as well.

We were living out a dream we always had of having a place where we could be outdoors, raise cattle, hunt and fish.  These were my dreams too and actually an extension from my childhood as all that hard work and chores I had growing up on our farm taught me how to contribute to our ranch as well as appreciate having such a gift as the Double E. 

I call this move bittersweet because it is an answer to prayer.  Selling all of the ranch was not our plan as we had planned on retiring in Hico.  Pat and I over the years had at least four future building sites for our retirement home at the Double E!  In 2008, after Pat survived stage one esophageal cancer, the boys and their friends surprised Pat at his homecoming from a ten day hospital stay with two "Trees of Life" where one would be planted in the yard of our current home and the future building site in Hico.  That little tree of Life now still stands alone in Hico strong and tall at the place we were going to settle.  That little tree was nurtured and hand-watered so that it would survive in the hot, dry summers of Hico.  Now as we look back to the past we see that the Lord allowed us to have this dream in order to be a provision for us in the future and that future being now.  So, my heart is heavy with sadness but full of gratefulness as He has gone before us. God is so good.

I ask that you continue to pray as we take this journey one day at a time.  I said this last night, but it is truly the only way.  God is all we have to depend on as He gives us His w/d/g (wisdom, discernment, guidance).

Gratefully,
xoxo 
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tired

Pat has had a lot of pain since this weekend and Monday was no exception, so we met with Dr. Fredric Tuesday morning.  Our desire for the appointment was to try to get the pain under control and talk about chemo.  He suggested we make a complete change to his pain medication.  Methadone is a great pain medication for someone in Pat's condition, so we started that. Last night was a very long night as we were up most of the night trying to get his pain under control and having to call the doctor in order to know what to do next.  The doctor wanted to hospitalize Pat yesterday to administer this new pain medication, but we talked him out of it. So, when we called him early this morning he said to meet him at his office and bring a bag because he wanted to admit him.  By the time Pat got into the office, he was feeling much better, so I believe the medicine was finally starting to work.  We will know come morning how it is doing. We are both tired physically and emotionally, so my prayer is that we both get good sleep tonight.  In regard to chemo, we have it scheduled for Tuesday, but Dr. Fredric wants to admit Pat at Plaza to administer the chemo.  Needless to say, Pat is not happy about this, but I am just encouraging him to take one day at a time.

Last night was such a very special night.  At the basketball game it was Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month and many people had on their purple shirts.  There were purple ribbon everywhere, coaches with purple shirts and ties and purple wrist bands for the players.  It was so humbling to see so many people  supporting this needed awareness. 


The game last night was a wild one as it was a close game and Garrett got banged up a bit.  He had someone hit his eye and then he took a tumble and hit his head. But, he recovered and ended up playing a good game.  They beat Joshua.


Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement.  We continue to take one day at a time and are praying for God's wisdom, guidance and healing.


Hugs!

xoxo
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Monday, November 14, 2011

One Day At A TIme

Perfect encouragement. God knows that you can withstand your trial, or else He would not have given it to you. His trust in you explains the trials of your life, no matter how severe they may be. God knows your strength, and He measures it to the last inch. Remember, no trial has ever been given to anyone that was greater than that person's strength, through God, to endure it~Streams in the Desert

Although the days are hard, all I feel he is asking of me is to trust Him. My hope is in Him and Him alone. I am clinging to His encouragement and guidance as I seek to hear from Him each day.

Pat has an appointment with the oncologist In the morning. We have decided to go for one more chemo treatment and we will discuss that with him. We know there are risks with the chemo and we know there is without it. We are at a crossroad and we feel God is leading us in this direction. So, we will go by His leading. We are also seeking a pain management doctor to work with us here in Fort Worth.

One day at a time.

Tomorrow is the first day of basketball season here against Joshua. It is going to be a great game and I can't wait. Go Spartans!

We love you all dearly!
Xoxo Photobucket

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Yay TEAM STP

My Love, My Hero!

Ready for my first 5K

My family!


Garrett & Taelor

Alex, Jessica, Dennis & Wendy

Kelly & Brian

Matt & Missy

Training Buddies


My Purple Loot from being Individual #2 Fundraiser - $10K

LG Girls
Yes!  TEAM STP Did it!  There were approximately 62 people there representing STP and our team raised $10K. Our team placed fifth in fund raising and  I won second place individual fund raiser earning great purple lute!!  A big thank you to Wendy, Alison and Dennis for arriving early, early this morning to set up our tent and the food.  The blue tent had black and white racing flags along with two STP banners.  After the event, all the team members signed the banner for Pat.  Congratulations to my cousin, Riley, who ran the race in 22 minutes and won second and to Campbell Masteller for winning second in his age group! A total of $332,039 was raised today for PurpleStride Dallas 2011!

It was such a grand day.  The weather was beautiful but a  little hot for running.  It was a wonderful feeling to see all of the STP shirts at the event.  This was my first experience with a running event and I am proud to say that I am now able to mark a 5K off my bucket list. I ran it the whole way!  I have to give special thanks to my niece, Brianna and Wendy for running alongside of me.  There was one heck of a hill!  That finished line was a beautiful sight! 


I have tons of pictures and wish I could share them here with you on CaringBridge, but it will only allow one photo per entry.  If you have FaceBook, you can see them on my page.  The picture I have attached is of our group  which makes me so proud.


Pat has had a rough three days with his pain and extreme fatigue.  I just want him to feel good.  He was such a trooper and it took great courage and fight to attend today and Garrett's game yesterday morning.  He is my hero. 


I told my friend, Angie, today that after this wonderful day and a day dedicated to pancreatic cancer, it feels as if things should be all better now and Pat back to normal.  The reminder of this difficult journey is seen every time I look my sweet husband. 


2 Timothy 4:7 says it beautifully: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Lord, we ask that you go before us as we continue this race and we ask that you increase our faith each day. 


Hugs!

  xoxo
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Busy Weekend

Pat and I went to Hico this morning to begin the process of moving.  We have a farm house and a barn with lots of stuff that has accumulated.  Hico has been a major part of our life for the past 13 years and it is a difficult parting for all of us.  Awe the memories we have.  One of my favorite memories is all five of us taking our dusk ride around the pastures on one four-wheeler.  The kids were little and we all just piled on and around Pat as he drove us around real slow. 

Matt met us at the ranch this morning as he went last night to do some deer hunting.  He was showing me his new "buck call" and was telling me about his luck with his new toy.  He said he is waiting on the big one before he pulls the trigger and then he can add his trophy to all of the other deer heads we have. 

Pat did not have a good day as he is in extreme pain and he can't get comfortable.  We have all kinds of pain medications, but he wants to function so we are trying to find a balance. Helpless is how I feel.  Please pray that his pain will subside. 

Our busy weekend starts tomorrow.  Garrett has a scrimmage tomorrow morning at 10 at the high school and then time to prepare for PurpleStride, which will be Sunday morning.  I am excited about the event and so thankful for all of you that have donated to TEAM STP.  We only need $325.00 to reach our goal of $10K. 

We covet your prayers and we need them now more than ever. 

Go TEAM STP!
 
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Results

I realized I didn't update you on the CT results from yesterday. The good news is the cancer in the liver is stable. That really surprised us due to the fact he hasn't had chemo in such a long time. Now we are dealing with cancer in the lungs and liver. The doctor said it looks like we can do chemo next week if nothing changes.

Today Pat and I are going to Hico to start packing as we have a contract on our ranch. Closing is planned on the 22nd of this month. This will be difficult and my mind can't go there right now.

Thank you friends for buying and now wearing STP shirts. I love the pics you have sent me! Groups of people are wearing purple that we haven't even met. Wow! They are now being worn from as far as New York to California!

Please keep the Aylett family in your thoughts and prayers as his funeral was yesterday. Tom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just a short time ago. Lisa and I met a few years ago and Garett goes to school with their kids. My heart hurts for them.

Please realize how devastating this disease is and there is no cure, no early detection, and not enough money for research.

The Lord keeps telling me to trust Him and I am.

Hugs!
Paige
xoxo Photobucket

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Woo Hoo!

As of one hour ago, $9,250.00 has been donated to TEAM STP!  WOW and big thank you!  We are five days away from PurpleStride and we have over 25 team members walk/running. 

Tomorrow morning we meet with the oncologist and get the results of the CT.  We are definitely anxious and pray that there has not been much change since September. He has really struggled since Sunday.  They gave him a huge dose of anxiety medication before they pulled the out the chest tube and evidently the medication stayed in his system longer than expected.  I am told this is probably due to the fact that his liver is not functioning properly because of the cancer in the liver. So, it has taken him the past two days to clear his mind. He doesn't feel good and has extreme fatigue.  He and I got out once yesterday and once today.


What to pray?  We need what I call w/d/g (wisdom, discernment, guidance).  Is his body ready for more chemo? Either way, it could be difficult.  A lot of time has passed since his last treatment. 


I opened my Bible yesterday morning and the Lord met me there with his timely Word. Words that He had just for me that were encouraging and comforting.  His presence is here and God has clearly shown me that he is near my kids. 


In His Grip,

xoxo

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

New TEAM STP Shirts!

We are still at the Plaza. Pat had a good day. Pain is managed and his color looks good. The draining process is going well and the Dr plans on removing the tube in the morning. A CT is scheduled tomorrow for Pat's abdomen to compare to scans that were done in September to see where we are now. 

This morning Garrett had scrimmages against three other teams. They were about eight minute halves. The first game the score was 16 to 16 and G scored the 16. That was fun! I was able to video the plays so Pat could watch. Today when I left the hospital my heart was so sad because Pat wanted to go. All I could say to myself is "this is not fair". Nobody loves basketball more than Pat.

I got to see the TEAM STP t-shirts today. A big thank you to Alison for taking care of the orders. I have attached a picture of Matt sporting his. I love them! If you have not paid for yours, please send your payment now to Alison. Also, I have heard from a few that still want shirts. If you do, we can place another order. You are going to want one when you see it! One more week until PurpleStride!! 

Enjoy your evening and don't forget to set your clocks back tonight.

Hugs!
XoxoPhotobucket

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Nights With You!

Pat and I are hanging out on the couch and watching some TV at the Plaza this Friday night.  It is the last night for season football so I know that many of you are enjoying the games, BHS and CHS.  I also know of a few senior mom and dads who will be sad after tonight. 

Pat has had a good day.  It definitely got better after they put him on a pain pump so that he could stay on top of his pain.  The tube that was inserted into his chest is the culprit.  He has eaten really good today and has been in good spirits.  He just said that he doesn't like being here this weekend as he has a lot of things on his to-do list.

I am thankful this morning that Matt felt better.  He called me at 10:00 last night and had a headache and the stomach virus.  He will be home tomorrow.  I do not like it when my kids are sick and I can't help. 

Tomorrow morning Garrett has a scrimmage, so I hope to go over to Poly High to watch him.  I will be sure and video what I can so that Pat can see the highlights. 

Enjoy your evening!  Love on your family!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Leaning

I finally got Pat to sleep.  It has been a rough day and he is exhausted, irritable, and uncomfortable and his chest is hurting from the tube.  He wanted to get up and come sit on the couch with me, but the doctor put him on bed rest tonight.

Pat had a
Pleurodesis, which is often performed to control malignant pleural effusion and is occasionally used to control nonmalignant pleural effusion. Pleurodesis employs a sclerosing agent (talc) that causes inflammation and scarring on the pleural surfaces so the parietal and visceral pleura adhere. This closes the space, so fluid cannot accumulate.went well and it took about an hour.  They drained over 2.3 liters out of the right lung.  They will keep his temporary tube in for a couple of days to continue to the drain and then it will be removed.

Pat was cracking up the nurses in recovery.  We met a sweet nurse Deanna, and she said that Pat whispered to her that he had a date at 12:15 with a Tootsie Roll!  We laughed and laughed.  After he was brought back to the room, she surprised him with several. I guess those where left from Halloween.  Pat wins the hearts of all of his nurses as he is sweet, funny and kind.  The nurses here on the 6th floor were popping in the room and give him a warm welcome back.


This morning I opened up my Bible and devotionals and this is what the Lord gave me:  Our capacity for knowing God is enlarged when we are brought by Him into circumstances that cause us to exercise our faith. So when difficulties block our path, may we thank God that He is taking time to deal with us, and then may we lean heavily on Him.

 
I am leaning heavily right now on God and in fact, He is just carrying me.

Sweet dreams,
 
xoxo Photobucket

Plaza Points


We must have racked up the Plaza points as we earned the suite this stay!  The regular hospital room with a room attached with two couches and two big screens! Wow!  Pat and I have been able to sit in here on the couch and watch our favorite show, Modern Family.  It was funny tonight....love Cam!

We met with Dr. Yurvati tonight.  He will be doing the surgery tomorrow on Pat's lungs.  He will insert a video camera within the right lung and take a good look around as well as put in a temporary drain tube that will be there for a couple of days for drainage.  He said they will probably not start until after lunch and it will last about hour and a half. 
Pat is not happy about being in here again, but he is certainly ready for some relief from the pain that the fluid is causing. 

A couple of friends told me Garrett's picture was in the paper today, so I was able to find it online and I have attached it here.  The team is getting ready to start the season and their first scrimmage is this Saturday.

I will keep you updated tomorrow.  Thank you for all of your sweet messages and prayers.

Hugs!
xoxo Photobucket

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Did you see one of my trick or treaters that was at our door tonight?  Matt surprised us by ringing the doorbell and Missy and Loco were with him.  I love surprises!  I wasn't expecting him home tonight.

Today we met with the oncologist first thing this morning.  Pat had a rash show up on his stomach on Saturday and the doctor said it is shingles.  We caught it early and started medication right away.  He also said that he didn't hear much liquid on his lung, so they will check it again on Wednesday as well as get an x-ray of his chest.  Pat is frustrated and disappointed because his chemo treatment will be delayed. 

What I have prayed for the most these past days is peace and joy.  I have been given the gift of peace because of God's love and all of the prayers that have been lifted on our behalf.   I was reading about joy in my book, "Don't Waste The Pain."

What does it mean to "consider it all joy" (James 1:2) I'm sure it's not pretending there is no agony or weariness.  I'm sure it's not putting on a smiley face. It seems to be thoughtfully, by faith, entering into the way God see things--the way they really are--rather than limiting ourselves to what we can see. It seems to be found in deliberately allowing God to wean me away from letting my feelings be controlled by circumstances. It seems to be found i consciously embracing the mysterious joy in God's heart (the joy of the Holy Spirit) even when I don't understand. Joy can peek through the curtain of sorrow".

I experience this joy and usually in the smallest of things.  While I am filled with this peace and joy, I feel God is asking me to wait, trust and be still each day.  My mind is a whirlwind of emotions and many days are so surreal. I now have to take each day one at a time. 

Your prayers are felt and we ask you to not stop.  We have to remind ourselves that God Is Big Enough! 

Tomorrow, November 1st, is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month! Wear your purple!  Donate now to TEAM STP so that we can raise money for research.                                                                                                               
Hugs!
xoxo
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Bring It Home Rangers!

Watching those Rangers again and this is it guys!  Bring home the Championship!

I am excited as my sister, Kelly and my niece, Brianna, are on their way here and we get to hang out this weekend.  Since Pat and I have not been taking the train to Oklahoma City lately, I have not seen her as much.  There is nothing like sister time!

Pat went to work for just an hour or so this morning and had to come home as he was just not feeling good.  I am afraid that the fluid is building again in his lung.  We will address this Monday morning with the oncologist.

Basketball season started Wednesday for Garrett and after school practices have begun.  He has his first scrimmage Nov. 5th and the first game on Nov. 15th.  I am ready!  There will be some travel this year as the district 3A will include Mineral Wells, Decatur, Lake Worth, Bridgeport, and Castleberry. 

Hope you have a great night. Pat, Elizabeth and I enjoyed some Fuzzy Taco enchiladas tonight and were quite tasty.  The boys are with friends watching the game. So, come on Rangers!

Hugs!
xoxo
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