Welcome

Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

Thanksgiving 2009

Glory! We are in the car and headed home.
Oh this is a Thanksgiving to remember.
I'll try to post more later... There is so much
to be thankful for. May you too have the most
blessed Thanksgiving ever!

Praising the Faithful One

This is the day the Lord has made and
we will rejoice and be glad in it! Rachel
had a great night. She has pain today
but we were expecting that. She has orders
to begin walking....walking!!!! And moving
her head more...,so that we might get
to go home tomorrow. I am just beside
myself with all the Lord has done. We know
He has certainly performed many miracles-
ones we have seen with our eyes and others
we will find out when we get to Heaven.

God is so good! He is mighty to save and
oh how good He is to His children.

This will be an amazing Thanksgiving to remember.

Rejoicing and a prayer request

Oh thanks be to God for all that He has done!!!
Thank you for your
continued prayers for Rachel.
She was able to skip Icu completely and
is resting in her room. Praise the Lord!

The neurosurgeon
told us to expect a rough day tomorrow as she
will be in a lot of pain. Please join us as
we ask the Lord to minimize her pain.

We are continually
rejoicing in the Work that God has already
done and is continuing to do. Thank you
for joining us on this journey of faith.

Surgery Prayers for Rachel

****Update. After 4 1/2 hours the doctor
believes the job has been completed
and it is not necessary to open
the dura. And we are praising God!
He believes her brain decompression
surgery was successful. It will take
another 45 minutes to close and another
hour after that before we can see her.
I am so ready to see her! Thank you for
your continued prayers.



While Rachel is getting ready to take her shower, I thought I would quickly post some specific prayer requests. Please, join us at the Throne as we ask the Great Physician to:

*guide Dr. Roberts with His mighty hand
*guide Dr. Beal, the anesthesiologist with just the right anesthesia and for no ill side effects or complications
* that there would be absolutely no complications or problems during or after the surgery
* no spinal fluid leaks
*no infections
*peace for all of us
* for a full and speedy recovery time
*that Rachel will continue to have full confidence and assurance in the One who knows her by name and takes great delight in her precious life
*that the Lord's name would be known in this process
*that her choking would be completely alleviated
*that Rachel would be completely healed of her headaches~in Jesus name! (even though the doctor told us not to expect Rachel to be headache free after the surgery-we are believing God for this).
*that no one that God has not ordained to care for Rachel would even be allowed to touch even one hair on her head
*for Hannah (it's tough for us...I can't begin to imagine how hard this is for her too)
*for the nurses Tracey and Terri as they care for Rachel before and during surgery
*That God's presence would be felt in every room that Rachel is in, that His presence would be known, and that she would know that He is holding her in the very palm of His hand.

I know that I am leaving something out...there is so much I am praying for and believing God for over our precious daughter. But, I will stop for now.

I know that this is Thanksgiving week and there are so many things that you probably have going on around your household so please hear from my heart, my thanks to you for taking time to pray with us. You will never know how much that blesses us!

{sigh} I can't believe her surgery is tomorrow. I keep thinking today would be the perfect day for Jesus to return. Don't misunderstand me, I know that all of this is for His good purpose and for His great glory....oh but this is tough. I would trade places with Rachel in a heartbeat! My heart cries, "Come, Lord, Jesus, come!"

Rachel displayed Grace beyond her years today. The pre-op appointment went so smoothly. She is a little afraid but fully confident that God is going to do something amazing in her life tomorrow. She is anxiously waiting for her Great Physician to come and heal her. I am so proud of her...and God must be too.

I heard the sweetest thing this evening. There are students gathering at school early in the morning to pray for Rachel. They will be praying at 7:30 am just as she is going back to surgery. That is simply....incredible!

I guess that I should get ready to take my shower too. "Lord, Jesus, if You tarry, I choose to trust You! You are the Faithful One. You are mighty to save. Nothing is too difficult for You! Please, come and heal this precious child. We wait on You! Please, come and do what only You can do....and we will be so careful to give you all the praise and all the glory!"

Less than 24 Hours Until Surgery

I can't believe it is less than 24 hours before Rachel's surgery...and I am not freaking out!

No, instead I am choosing to believe that "nothing is too difficult" for the Lord (Jeremiah 32:27)
He asks, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" (Matthew 9:28). And our answer is, emphatically "Yes! Do it Lord! Do it Lord!"

So, on this day, less than 24 hours before surgery, there is joy and laughter and complete faith in the Faithful One who "is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20).

Last night we were blessed to see Skillet, Decypher Down, and Hawk Nelson...from the 2nd row!
Here are a few (really they are a few out of over 300 that I took) pictures from our incredible night:



This is Jonathan Chu on the right. He is the incredible violinist from Skillet and one of Rachel's absolute favorites. We didn't get to meet them before the concert, it was only a Q & A session from 200 fans that were blessed with VIP tickets. Jonathan wasn't even at the session, but after the concert, just as we were leaving he came to center stage. Rachel said, "Jonathan, I love you! I am one of your friends on Facebook." He replied by asking her name and then came over and talked to her for a second. You can see her sweet face on the left (I didn't have my wide angle lens on at the time). It was a moment to remember....a moment of favor from the Lord.


There he is talking to her!

Jen was awesome on the drums and what a testimony she has!



She is looking right at us!



Jonathan!




John Cooper
(This morning we were talking about the concert and how we were so close that it looked like they were looking right at us at times. Mr. Incredible commented that "John really liked singing to him." And we all burst out laughing!


Kory is quite an entertainer!



Ben!





Hannah got to meet the lead singer from Decypher down!




The guys from Hawk Nelson were awesome too!

He smiled and pointed at Hannah when he saw her in her Hawk Nelson t-shirt and sunglasses.

The drummer from Decypher down threw his guitar pick to Rachel!



Mr. Incredible would like to have this guy's hair!




A picture from the Q & A Session.
The concert was amazing. We have never been more thankful to have ear plugs though...yes, I know that makes me sound old...but they really saved Rachel's headache.

The girls grinned from ear to ear all night. It was a night to remember...a night filled with God's grace (I Peter 5:10) who is the giver of all good gifts....who loves us enough to fill our hearts with sheer delight...just in His perfect timing.

We meet with the Anesthesiologist this afternoon, get our final surgery instructions, and then we are headed to Rachel's favorite restaurant with family.


Thank you for your continued prayers for us. While you are praying, please remember:
- a girl named Autumn who is just a few years younger than Rachel and was recently diagnosed with Lupus and has an enlarged heart valve.
-Debra who will be admitted to the Mayo Clinic tomorrow.
I'll try to post specific requests for Rachel tonight or early in the morning. For now, we are off to grab something to eat and "stay busy" as Rachel says.





Overwhelmed with Gratitude


I really should be packing....but I just can't bring myself to do that just yet. My heart is simply overwhelmed with gratitude and I just had to share it with all of you.


In my mind, I knew that this week before surgery would be a tough week. I was prayed up and ready, or so I thought...and then the Lord blessed and blessed. I was afraid my week would be flooded with anxiety instead if was filled to overflowing with blessing.


It was a week to remember the goodness of the Lord and the absolute blessing of friends and family. I've already posted about my birthday blessings. Mr. Incredible and I are 3 days apart. I am the older woman! Ha. (But I think he looks older....there I feel better! Of course just a little older!)


Hannah had her One Act play competition, and basketball games, and normal everyday activities where the Lord just simply kept me busy. It felt good to get lost in the normalcy of everyday moments.


On Friday, my Principal called for a mandatory staff meeting right before lunch. I made my way to the meeting only to see my daughter joining us. Much to my surprise my precious co-workers had put together an enormous basket filled to the brim with wonderful things that we might need for our hospital stay. It was overflowing....both in things....and in love....and I cried.


They gathered around in a circle as my Principal led all of us in a prayer of blessing for Rachel, the surgeon, and our family. I was overwhelmed. What a blessing they are to my life.

When all of Rachel's symptoms began and then worsened I just didn't realize why now, after my graduation and my first official year here, but the Lord has revealed to me over and over again just how blessed I am to work where I work. I'm trying to keep myself together and my emotions in check before we go to church this morning, so I better stop here or I am afraid that I will be a puddle on the floor.

What a blessing to be able to work with such amazing, amazing people!



Another sweet basket from Mr. Incredible's bosses with fluffy robes inside:


A gift from Rachel's Spanish class....complete with a Spanish dictionary :-)




A few bracelets that Rachel was blessed with.
The pink bracelet says, "I'm Praying for Rachel." The Lord reminded me of the blue cord bracelet that I wore when I did Beth Moore's Believing God study. The bracelets were a wonderful reminder to pray. With the Lord's leading, I found a place in Houston, TX, that made the bracelets for us. We were in awe that 300 bracelets were given out.
The stories of the bracelets have been incredible. From precious, little toddlers, asking God to "make Rachel all better," to precious ones who have taken their bracelets off to give to others and then asking for another one. We are overwhelmed!

A sweet word of encouragement:


A fluffy, teddy bear:


Sweet Bath and Body Works lotions in her favorite scent:


Another little cuddler:


Enormous cupcakes~look at the frosting!

And a custom made pillow case covered in Bible verses and precious promises from God's Word.
Incredible!


I have much more to say, but I better close for now. I can't wear my fluffy, pink robe to church. Ha!
One last blessing, Rachel will have the wonderful blessing of meeting her absolute favorite band tonight. She adores Skillet. So tonight, 2 days before her surgery, the Lord orchestrated perfectly the opportunity for Rachel and her family to meet Skillet and then they get to rock our faces off. We can hardly wait!
I'll try to post more tomorrow. I have a few specific prayer requests. Thank you for choosing to go on this journey of faith with us. We are so blessed by you!

My Basketball Playing Girl



Hannah is playing junior high basketball this year and it is such a blast to watch her play! She has looked forward to this day since her big sister started playing basektball. She wears her new jersey proudly.



Her first game was complete with a fan club of 11 family members and wow the team did not disappoint. They won big time and Hannah scored 13 points. We were so excited!



Monday night they played again...and they won...and she scored 10 points. She is loving every minute of it. She is fiercely competitive....I wonder where she gets that. Ha! Bless her heart, she has competitive genes from both sides of the family.



I worried that this might be a little hard on Rachel since she is not able to play basketball this year. It has been hard to watch her fellow high school friends playing basketball without her but in all of her courage and grace she has managed to attend a few games to watch her friends play and cheer them on.

Rachel is just as excited about Hannah's game as Hannah is. Before Hannah's first game, I made a photo button of Hannah for me to wear to school and Rachel quickly asked me to make one for her too. She has worn Hannah's button to the high school before every game. I love the sweet sisterhood God has blessed my girls with.

{I have tears streaming down my cheeks because this is the relationship I prayed that they would have and it is even sweeter than I imagined.}




On another note, thank you for your continued prayers for Rachel. This has been a tough week for her physically. She always has a headache but this week's headaches seem to be enormous and she is struggling with muscle twitching, numbness in her extremities, and muscle weakness. In spite of all of this, she has been able to go to school and we are so thankful for that.




My Big 4-0 Blessing!

"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy." Job 8:21

Yesterday was my BIG birthday....the big 40...I can't believe it. My family and my colleagues surprised me big time!! The day was filled with absolute joy and laughter....which was just what I needed considering what would be taking place in exactly one week. God's timing is always amazing to me. He has it all absolutely timed perfectly.

Would you like to see what my parents and my co-workers did? Mom and Dad decorated both of my classroom doors:





Rachel helped my mom Photoshop some bows to add to my pictures. I have always loved bows. I played basketball and volleyball at Martin High School and I always had a bow. I was a Baylor bow-head too:



Here are more glimpses from my fabulously decorated classroom:






















My sports car from high school~it was a Pontiac Fiero and I thought I was the bomb in that car. It was the coolest car...thanks Mom and Dad!
I laughed a little when one of my students asked me about the car. I think she quipped that she had never seen one of those and do they still make them-oiy!


My principal picked out this beautiful cake complete with Baylor green frosting:




This is what I saw on the front doors of the high school when I came to school yesterday morning:

Oh my goodness!

My pictures were everywhere...on bathroom doors, the refrigerator, every hall way. I didn't realize how many hairstyles and colors I have had until I saw them all on the walls. One of my students asked me what my real hair color was and I just had to laugh.
My basketball picture was plastered on the gym window....complete with my short-shorts that we had to wear (way back in the 80's). One of the teachers put a post-it-note on the picture saying that my shorts were a dress code violation. Ha!


And my birthday tiara, I felt so special:


It was a fun, joy-filled day to remember! I believe that I am blessed with the most wonderful family and co-workers ever. Thank you for making my 40th birthday so special....it was just what my heart needed one week before Rachel's surgery.

Sleeping Beneath the Cross


Good Morning Sweet Friends,

I don't know where to begin. It has been nearly two weeks since my last post-sigh. So much has happened in two weeks. I have been quite busy. This Momma's heart of mine has been in full nesting mode. I have had a to-do list a mile long. I have taken down every bit of greenery in my house and cleaned it all....nearly every nook and cranny (who made those words up?) is clean and organized (I am afraid to look in Hannah's closet!). I want to make sure that our home is extra clean and neat for when Rachel gets home from the hospital.

Mr. Incredible couldn't believe all that I was doing and he encouraged me that our home is always clean and neat but I just felt the need to get it all ready for when we come home. I want to be able to just take care of our daughter without having to worry about getting our home ready for Christmas. Yes, my decorations are up which is a little earlier than normal. I always look forward to decorating our home for Christmas and I try to always do the decorating on my birthday (which is tomorrow....the big 40, I can't believe it!) I just have the main Christmas tree to decorate (with my family, of course-one of my favorite Christmas traditions) and the outside lights to finish...and I am thankful. Christmas is my favorite time of year and having the house decorated and ready feels good and fills my heart with joy. I relished in having my quiet time with the Lord near our beautiful Christmas decorations early this morning.

I had to share the stained glass picture with you. Right before my last post, I had the blessing of leading music at our Ladies Retreat. Mom had asked me months ago to lead the music for the weekend and I was excited....nervous....but excited. We did the Beth Moore, Retreat in a Box, and the theme was "Loving Well." The day of the retreat is when the neurosurgeon's nurse called to tell me that after hearing about Rachel's increased symptoms, the doctor wanted to move the surgery to his earliest opening, November 24th...and I cried.

Thoughts and emotions flooded my mind. I wasn't ready for the December 15th surgery date...how could I be ready earlier? Instantly, my mind began to form my massive to-do list of all that I wanted to accomplish before the date and so many other thoughts. How could I possibly lead the worship time for retreat? I was a mess!

I felt the Lord gently encouraging that in our weakness He is strong and that I had made a commitment and that together we could do it and after all He would receive far greater glory if I kept my commitment to Him even after hearing the news of the new surgery date. I knew that He had planned it all perfectly...the timing of it all....and I trusted Him.

The retreat was so special Friday night, and the ladies worshipped in spite of me. I try to be the one who is put together but that night I fumbled through a song and while I feel quite confident that my eye started twitching out of sheer stress I knew that God was somehow being glorified in my obedience to Him. If ever there was a time that I needed to praise Him....it was that night. I needed to let the day roll off and get my praising on! And the ladies were so precious.

Since it was a ladies retreat, most of us stayed at the church that night. A few brought air mattresses but most of us did not. Mom had the brilliant idea of all of us sleeping in the pews in the sanctuary. I had no idea the blessing that would be until we turned off the lights....and saw the lighted cross (my picture above).

I crawled into my blanket and felt a glow of light across my face. I opened my eyes to see the beautiful stained glass window in full glow. I can't tell you the comfort that it brought to me that night. I told the Lord that I was ready to fall apart from all of the news but instead I was surrounded by perfect peace~His peace and the reflective light of the cross.

Oh, His timing is perfect and His love is fierce and mighty! I'll never forget that night...a night planned just for me. If you talk to the other ladies they feel the same way....it was a night planned just for them. I am so thankful that I had my phone so that I could snap a photo. It is a memory I will hold on to for the rest of my life. There is so much symbolism....so much peace....so much comfort. Our lives are in His hands and He leads us every step of the way. While I cannot possibly believe that one week from today we will be in post-op...I stand firm in His faithfulness. The retreat weekend was planned perfectly by Him....and Rachel's surgery has been too.

New Surgery Date

Dear Blogging Buddies and Fierce Prayer Warriors,

Due to increased symptoms, the neurosurgeon recommended that we move Rachel's surgery date from December 15th to his earliest opening which is Tuesday, November 24th, at 7:30 a.m.. To say that my mind is reeling would be an understatement, but even in this there is great peace.

Rachel and I were talking about how strange it is to not be scared to death right now. We both agreed that the peace we feel is because God is in control and His peace truly does surpass all understanding, we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witness, there are countless prayer warriors meeting with us at the feet of the Great Physician, and that this date was his plan from the beginning.

I have a massive to-do list before the 24th, but that is okay too. Please, join with us in prayer on her new surgery date: November 24th.