Girls Write Out
Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's hard to believe the Olympics are over, isn't it? I'm not sure what we'll do with our evenings now; we've forgotten what the regular TV schedule is.

I really enjoyed the games, and I also learned a few things. Like, I will never be a cross-country skier, that there's a sport that combines skiing and rifle-shooting, and that freestyle alpine skiiers can bounce off the slope and finish the hill without a concussion. I learned anything can happen--and usually does--in speed skating , that the relays are just confusing, and that curling is, well, a sport?

The oops moments are painful. Like in the opening ceremonies when the olympic torch didn't quite operate. Or when the Dutch speed skater came in first, but lost the gold because he failed to switch lanes. Or when the skier flipped over the starting gate before his run, ruining his chance for a medal right out of the gate. Literally.

But you know what I like best about the games? Stories about the olympic athletes. Go figure. I like hearing what it cost them to be there, what they've overcome. Personal stories make me cheer harder, no matter their nationality.

Figure skating is my favorite event, so it's no surprise that Canada's Joannie Rochette's performances were my favorite Olympic memory of 2010. How can you not cheer for a woman who skates to bronze only 4 days after her mom's sudden death? Other favorites? Ohno's 6th medal, USA men's hockey tying up with 24 seconds on the clock, Kim Yu-Na's beautiful long program, and Shaun White's second halfpipe, which ended with a stunning, and completely unnecessary, Double McTwist.

What were your favorite Olympic moments?

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Denise Hunter  
posted at 10:03 PM  
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Saturday, February 27, 2010
What has happened in our society to the apology. The definition of which is:
a·pol·o·gy (-pl-j)

n. pl. a·pol·o·gies

1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.

2.a. A formal justification or defense.

b. An explanation or excuse: "The consequence of those measures will be the best apology for my conduct" (Daniel Defoe).

Our society has come to believe that an apology is a simple acknowledgment that you did it. Yeah, we KNOW you did it. How does your holding a press conference confirming what press pictures have SHOWN us in a million different ways constitute an apology?

An apology takes responsibility for the pain you've caused and forces accountability to avoid future bad behavior. Let's face it, if you're not going to QUIT cheating, there's no sense in "apologizing" for it. Hear that John Edwards?

So let's look at a few of our current apologies in the media:

"I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was unacceptable. And I am the only person to blame." Tiger Woods

Tiger may be the only one to blame, but he hurt a lot of people with his actions. Women who thought they might build a future with him (yeah, I know, but I don't want to get into the delusions), his wife, his mother, his fans. People who BELIEVED that Tiger was an upstanding man of integrity. Their core beliefs of the man they loved were challenged by his behavior. Think how shocking that must have been for them. Tiger included, because his false image was shattered, and he was left to deal with those core issues that were never dealt with. He will have to work hard to regain their trusts.

Going to rehab, working on rebuilding his relationship with his family. That is true apology. The above statement are merely words. Truth is action. I hope the best for Tiger and Elin, I really do.

In contrast, Mark Sanford apologized specifically to everyone and their dog about hiking the Appalachian trail:

And I let them down and in every instance I would ask there forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an immediate process, it is in fact a process that takes time and I’ll be in that process for quite some weeks and months and I suspect years ahead.
But I’m here because if you were to look at God’s laws, in every instance it is designed to protect people from themselves. I think that that is the bottom line of God’s law. It is not a moral, rigid list of do’s and don’ts just for the heck of do’s and don’ts, it is indeed to protect us from ourselves. And the biggest self of self is indeed self. If sin is in fact grounded in this notion of what is it that I want, as opposed to somebody else.

What? Rambling man. Don't bring God into this. Not yet. Not before you launch into the teary ode to your soul-mate in Argentina. Mr. Sanford really doesn't see that he can't have it both ways. Note to Sanford: usually when apologizing for an affair, it's best to leave out how much you're in love for the other woman. At least in your first public venue where your wife and kids are watching. I read Jenny's book, which I loved, but wow, this is a man who is profoundly out of touch with reality and other people's feelings. And he always was. From their first date when she flew from NY to South Carolina and Mr. Chivalrous left his beater car with keys in the airport for her.

She saw it as a test that she'd passed. I guess that was a good thing because there would be many more tests to pass. Dangerous is the man who can use words like butter -- and worse, believes them to be true. I'm not hopeful Sanford will ever come out of his delusions.

Then, we move onto the worst of the apologies of all. I'll admit, my dislike of John Edwards runs deep. Ever since I saw that hair video where he took a half an hour to do his hair, I thought, what kind of MAN is that? But it went much deeper, bordering on revulsion when he ran for president, despite his wife having cancer. I see the pundits are currently trying to put the same sort of banner over Romney because his wife has MS. As an MS sufferer for 24 years, I can tell you they are categorically different. Cancer is an immediate battle for survival, at least hers was. It involved a fight and she shouldn't have had to battle it alone. Edwards' entitlement that he deserved to be president knew no limits. Here's one of his MANY pale apologies/LIES!

John Edwards admitted in a statement that he had an affair and that he "made a serious error in judgment" but denied he fathered a child or that he'd paid her off. In fact, Edwards went further, saying, "I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby.

But it is his baby, of course. So this puts Edwards in the same camp as your average Maury Povich guest. To DENY your own child for political gain? Oh dude, I so don't want to be you. Did you think they could switch the DNA like on "All My Children"?

Mistakes in life, sin, they are inevitable. We are not perfect. We have core needs and sometimes, we're very selfish about getting them met. But let's compare King David's apology to some of the above. King David not only had an affair with another man's wife, but he sent the husband off to get killed in the war, so that he could have her to himself. Not exactly the stuff of fairy tales. But David mans up. He owns what he did and the devastation he caused -- and that is what makes him a man. He must endure the death of his child, and his wife's sorrow.

"I have sinned against the Lord." Simple. Seems to leave out a few people, but I think there's so much in this statement. Because David was a man of God, and here he finds out that his actions did not match his core beliefs. After this, David and Bathsheba's baby dies. David fasts and hopes for God's favor on the baby, but it's not to be. The Bible says he goes and comforts his wife, and they have Solomon -- God's restoration for true repentance.

I used to be unable to understand how God could refer to David as having a whole heart for Him. But now I get that David was a passionate man in all areas of life. Of course, his sin would be in the passionate area. I see now that his apology was truly heartfelt and that God wanted his submission and his heart.
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One of my goodie baskets from a friend included teal nail polish (teal is the color representing ovarian cancer). So when my granddaughter spent the night tonight, we decided to paint our nails. I'm not normally a teal nail polish kind of gal, but things, they are a changing. :-)

So I had on my navy blue turban, which was so comfy and my sparkly glasses so I could see to paint our nails. After we were finished I walked by the mirror and caught a glimpse of myself. Blue turban. Teal nail polish. Sparkly glasses. All that was missing was a crystal ball and a wagon for the side show. It made me laugh.

I can't say that I want to walk this road. Believe me, if my GPS could take me another way, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But what I can say is there is STILL joy in the journey.

Every day is a gift. Every. Day.

In a few short weeks I've learned the power of friendship such as I have never known. The GWO team, and so many of you, have strengthened me through your prayers and support. Ruthie sent a gorgeous prayer shawl, Lenora sent a beautiful quilt, another sent a lapghan, we've had enough food brought in to feed an army. The list goes on.

In short, we are blessed. Please know that I do not take your prayers for granted. I know they have carried me this far and will continue to help me.

Please know, too, that once I get through this, I'll be stronger, more informed, and more ready to help get the word out on ovarian cancer than ever before.

Lastly, don't be surprised if you see me at conference sportin' teal nail polish. :-)

Love you all!

P. S. By the way, did I tell you the verse the Lord gave me at the beginning of this journey? Proverbs 31:25, "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Appropriate, don't you think? :-)

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Diann Hunt  
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In case you aren't from the South, I need to tell you that the ugly gray thing beside my hiking boot is an armadillo. A living armadillo, though you can pretty much guess why so many of us from Missouri and southwards see a lot of these poor little things dead alongside the road. Their vision isn't good, and they root for their food, so they make so much noise they can't hear danger stalking them. They become so focused on what's right in front of them, desperate for that next bite of food (I won't share what I saw this little one eating) that nothing else occurs to them. I've sneaked up on more than one of these on my hikes. They're fun to watch.

But it's certainly a lesson for me every time I do this. There's nothing wrong with tight focus, but I cannot be so tightly focused on one thing that I'm not alert to possible danger in my life. I can't be so focused on working to make a living that I neglect my walk with God. I shouldn't be so focused on daily chores that I forget to take time to look up and be thankful, and ask God for guidance and protection from all the predators who might be lurking.

What do you find takes your focus from your relationship with the One protector of your life?

This little guy forgot to look up, and didn't see me coming until he was on my foot. Then with a squeak he jumped and ran away, safe from me that day. How can we make sure we're safe in God's arms?

Hannah Alexander  
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I used to be a camper. Sort of. I well remember the first time I went tent camping with a friend in my teens. Her father told us not to touch the inside of the tent or it would allow the rain in. We, being teens, of course had to test this theory and spent a miserable night with a leaky roof. Maybe that soured me on camping for life.

When I was working with teens, we sometimes went camping. And canoeing. Canoeing I love. Camping, not so much. The last time we went, we took an air mattress to put in our tent. The worst of camping is going out to find the bathroom. So I feel like we're camping this week. Dave and our son tiled the upstairs bathroom this weekend. Um, that meant removing the toilet. So there is only a bathroom downstairs now. And, um, getting older. Which means more frequent visits at night. So we have to slog our way downstairs to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I am so not cut out for camping anymore! And this feels like camping.

Dave and I got the floor grouted last night. It looks great. The toilet will be in tonight and life will be back to normal. It can't come soon enough for me! What about you? Have you changed as you've gotten older? Grown to realize something you used to do just doesn't work anymore?


Colleen Coble  
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

My oldest son bought his first car over the weekend (That's him with the cheesy smile). This week he'll take his written exam for his license, and I have a feeling we're in for a lot of change. Really, the parent/child relationship is the only one whose healthy progression depends on gradually letting go.

We let go when we sent them off to kindergarten.
We let go when they attend their first sleepover.
We let go when they go away to camp.
We let them go when we leave them home alone.
We let them go when they meet their friends at the mall unsupervised.

Letting go is hard, and boy, is it getting scary. (Whoever decided, hey, our kid is now defiant and thinks he knows everything, let's hand him a set of keys and the right to drive? But I digress.) What can we do other than lay down the rules and pray for the best? And for those of you beyond this stage, yeah I know this is only preparation for the next big Letting Go: going off to college.

In the photo: Justin, his new car, and his cousin Mindy, who gave him a great deal. :-)

Keep Praying for Diann! Pray that the nausea would go away and that she would regain her appetite. Pray for God's peace, strength, and healing!

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Denise Hunter  
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Friday, February 19, 2010


Okay, so maybe you won't hear about it in 300 years and my Ashley Stockingdale is no Scarlett O'Hara, but for me, the great writing moments are measured in wonderful times spent outside this box of an office with great friends. We discuss writing. We travel to great places (here we are in Carmel, CA) and we live large at restaurants.

Above on the left is Diann Hunt with the long hair. And that's no wig, doesn't she look cute? I totally think you should go for the Jennifer Aniston look now Di. I mean it's a perfect excuse to be a redhead or relive our Farrah Fawcett/Christie Brinkley days, when we were totally the WRONG coloring, you know what I'm saying.

Then, there's Carol Cox, Kristin Billerbeck and Judith Miller.

I remember these great moments like they were yesterday. Right after this, we went to pick up our future editor, Ami McConnell at the San Jose Airport. I have some prettier ones of me pregnant, poorly dressed and carrying a passport holder rather than a Handbag. WHAT?? And Denise is carrying a briefcase. ROFLOL Colleen looks the same. Got any great moments you'd like to forget in pictures? LOL And don't you love how Facebook lets people post them publicly?

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

We made it home!!! Whoohooo!! I got to sleep in our own bed last night!! God is so good!!

My first chemo went well--slept right through it! I started to get a little nauseas last night before bed, but I wasn't sure if that was the chemo or the long trip home. I took a pill and I'm feeling fine this morning, so I'm hoping it was the trip and all that.

Okay, so you all know I'm not exactly the picture of elegance. I've always wanted to be a woman of grace and elegance. You know the type, creamy complexion, perfect hair, long thin neck, the kind of woman who makes a plain black dress with pearls look like a designer creation--think Audrey Hepburn. So that's always been my goal that has been miles out of reach.

Case in point.

I get my new wig--which you've already seen on this blog, so I'll spare you. But it's a fine wig and I put it on my first day feeling quite proud because it has so much more hair in it than I really have. I must have been feeling a smidgen of pride, because it all went downhill after the initial slipping on.

My friend, Cheryl and her husband Mark, came to the hospital to see me, Colleen and Dave and my husband were there. We got to laughing about something. The laughter purt near killed me (those of you who have had hysterectomies know what I'm talking about here), and I was trying to hold my stomach, keep everything in tact and stop laughing, but for the life of me, I couldn't. I had my face under the sheet a moment because I lost a pill that hubby gave me, oh, it was just crazy. One thing led to another and the next thing I know my hair is hiding my eyes and feeling a bit whopperjawed on my head. I can only imagine how it looked to the audience of five sitting in front of me. Of course once they saw me we all started laughing some more.

My mother always says you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and I'm thinking there's some truth to that! LOL!

So I've decided the wig comes off at bedtime. instead I wear my nice warm turban and it looks just fine.

We are what we are, 'eh?
Diann Hunt  
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I like old people like myself. I mean, not necessarily gloating on myself, here, and not divulging that I'm elderly yet, but there is so much richness and depth to those who have lived a little. In caring for my 84-year-old mother as she struggles with declining physical health, I can't help appreciating her sense of humor, which pops up at odd times when she's really struggling.

Take her smiles at all the ER personnel the other night when we had her in for BP and sugar problems, her "Thank you" for each new tech or nurse, her obvious flirting with the cute doctor (Mel wasn't on duty that night, but a buddy of his was). She thanked each one who came in, each time they came in. Actually, so did I. By the time we left, the whole staff crowded around us and made us feel as if we'd been part of the team. They don't get that kind of treatment a lot, just so you know. They appreciate it when they can get it, instead of anger and yelling and blame thrown at them for things that are not their fault.

My mother, who deals with depression over her situation, is seldom too depressed to lift others up and encourage. She is a member of the Greatest Generation, who worked at Hughes Aircraft during the war, and when she found out she was pregnant with me--who, sadly, turned out to be her only child--she decided she was going to leave a better legacy for her baby. She found Christ, joined a church, and raised me there, though she, herself, had not been raised in church.

Wow. How blessed I have been all these years by people of the Greatest Generation who gave their lives for our country--my uncles who fought in the war, who suffered from injuries both emotional and physical for the rest of their lives, who continues to live the end of their lives with grace, dignity, and compassion. How I pray to have some of that greatness rub off on me.

I have a friend who reflects this very same kind of grace to others. Her name, as you may have guessed by now, is Diann Hunt. She smiles in the midst of tears and trials, and lifts the rest of us poor saps up--those of us who haven't traveled her path...yet. Her grace also reflects that of my other friends: Colleen, Denise and Kris.

If for no other reason, I'm glad to be living in these years of "middle age." Maybe someday people will look at us and, though they may not say we were part of the Greatest Generation, they may very well bless us for grace shown to others. May that be said of me some day.

Pray for our beloved Diann as she, hopefully, goes home today. Pray for her hourly as she deals with the effects of chemo. And thank God for her, because she touches hearts and lifts spirits wherever she goes.

Hannah Alexander  
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For we women, our hair is part of our identity. Curly, straight, thick or thin, it's our covering in some special way. This week I got to see real courage in action. Yesterday I got to the hospital. Di looked good. Makeup already on, her cute navy turban in place. I eyed her bright eyes then asked, "The wig appointment is at 9. Do you want me to see if they can do your hair instead?" I was expecting her to waffle and decide not to do this but no. With her head up and her eyes shining, she said very emphatically, "I'm going to do it."

The nurse came in about then and she made the call for me. At ten to nine, the nurse and I helped her into the wheelchair. By now her eyes were gleaming with tears, but we prayed together and I helped wheel her down to the salon on the 1st floor. She didn't want anyone back there as they shaved her head, so I sat on a chair outside the door in case she needed me and prayed. A few minutes later I heard laughter and knew it was going to be okay. Wherever Di is, laughter is sure to be floating in the air! When I next saw her, she looked just the same. Navy turban in place, beautiful eyes shining. But there was a new sense of accomplishment in her face. She'd taken this big step with courage. I was so proud of her!

It would have been more than I could have handled to wait until my hair was falling out in clumps. This way SHE was in control, not the cancer or the chemo. I've just been so encouraged and blessed by her attitude this past week and a half. She has a lot to teach younger women. :-)

I'm home now. I wanted to cry when I left her, but I had to finally get home. Dave had to be back to work, and I have a dr appt tomorrow I've been waiting on. But she's in great hands. I can't recommend the Cancer Treatment Center of America enough! It didn't feel like a hospital but like a really nice Victorian mansion (bigger than that though) and the nurses and doctors were incredible. They prayed with us at the drop of a hat. They have cutting edge technology plus all the support like homeopathy and nutrition guidelines. Dr. Williams and her nurse Carm are wonderful. Supportive and encouraging. It wasn't at all like I expected. Though everyone had cancer, you saw hope everywhere you looked. The food was incredible too! I didn't want to have to come home and cook. LOL

Continue to pray for Di, my dear friends. She has a long road of chemo ahead of her. But a woman who takes charge the way she has will have the fortitude to go all the way! this pic is her with her new wig. Doesn't she look adorable?

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Colleen Coble  
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Those who read my books might notice I usually set my stories in mountainous regions. I've set them in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and currently in western Montana. Shoot, even Nantucket has a hill or two.

What most don't know is this obsession with hilly terrain comes from the fact that I live in a land flatter than than my pre-children stomach. Northeast Indiana is a great place to live and a great place to raise a family, but if you visit, be warned that some pre-historic glacier fought the hills, and the glacier won.

I didn't realize just how flat it was until one day when my children were young. We were cresting a speed bump when I heard a sound from the back seat. "Wheeeeee!" They have their hands in the air, and I'm thinking I just might take them over a second time. A lot cheaper than a ticket to Six Flags.

Winter brings it's own challenges around here. What's a kid to do with a 6 inches of snow and a day off school? Why we head to the hill of course. The one just off the interstate at the top of the exit ramp. Oh, yeah, winter fun at its best.

We do have phantom mountains here, though. You know, those distant clouds on the horizon that look like mountains, so you tell yourself they really are. They're gone in the morning, but it makes you feel good for a little while.

Oh, well. There are always the mountains in my books, in my imagination, and I can go there anytime I want through the power of story.

*Don't forget to pray for Diann*

Denise Hunter  
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Oh my gosh, we just got the BEST news from Dr. Williams! Di's pathology report just came back. The cancer hadn't invaded any organs, it's not in her lymph nodes, and she said again she got it all. So now it's cleaning up any stray cells with chemo. Praise God, praise God! I teared up when I heard the news and so did the other girls when I called them. God is so good! Di looks great today. I washed her hair this morning and didn't do any damage. They've decreased her morphine--probably so I don't accidentally overdose her. She just got out her gastric nose tube, the one that made her look like Snuffalufagus, and she went for a walk. She got some blood today, and her cheeks looks as pink as if she was wearing blush. :-)

Oh yeah, I caught a glimpse of her tummy when the dr was removing the dressing. she's flat as a board with an adorable wasp waist!

Our girl is on the mend!!!
Colleen Coble  
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sorry we've been so quiet this week. Di had her surgery yesterday and we were all on pins and needles as we waited. I've never had a group of friends that I felt so in tune with -- and I know that Di's surgery really put us all "down" as we went through it with her emotionally. I know we all wished we could take on the pain too. Emotionally, we did just that and it's taken a toll on creativity. (Small price to pay!)

We are all feeling relieved that the surgery is over, that her doctor thinks she got everything, and that chemo will take care of anything that THINKS it's going to grow again. Me, being the vain one, I'm hoping that she got a taut tummy out of all this, Connection/Fellowship/walking with one another through valleys and on mountaintops, it's why God puts us here, I suppose. I mean, yes, we've seen the bestseller lists together, and that's a good thing. But it's knowing your friends are there if you get fired, if you get cancer, if you have pain of any sort, that makes the difference in life.

Real friendships come from NOT hitting the bestsellers' list. From getting one more rejection more than you can handle. From one more Google alert that says, "You SUCK as a writer!" So if you think our friendship is based on success, I'm here to tell you, it's based on years and years and years of testing and failure.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Memories are so precious. I promise that someday I'll remember how to post a photo with my blog, but life has been so hectic lately that I forgot to blog at all last week because Mel and I were traveling up to Indiana to see our GWO girls. Tomorrow is Diann's surgery, and I'll be too busy praying to do any blogging then. Please pray with me!

As I was at my mother's washing dishes today, I found a tiny teaspoon that I remember from early childhood--my baby spoon. It brought back so many memories. The fact that my mother still uses that spoon means she probably has a lot of memories, too, of feeding me my first bites of baby food, of pouring milk and sugar in my tea and stirring it with my favorite spoon.

Scents bring back memories for me, too. Tonight, as I walked through our master bedroom, I could still catch the scent of one of those cool bath bombs Colleen gave us when we stayed with her and Dave last week. What wonderful memories that scent elicited of Kristin, fresh from her soak in the clawfoot tub, snuggled in her fluffy bathrobe, and the warmth and comfort we felt in that beautiful home.

Old, familiar music can shoot me back in time to a trip across the country from Missouri to California--Beach Boys, baby, second time around!

Do you ever catch a certain scent or hear a certain tune that brings back fond memories? Care to share?

Hannah Alexander  
posted at 10:41 PM  
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You all know we're here at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I'm rooming with Di. Jim is sick so I'm sharing a bed with Di and Jim is in the twin bed. I've always wondered about those sleep apnea machines. I will say that the sound of it is conducive to sleep. :-)

Anyway, I knew Di had a sweet tooth. But she's always told me she loves vegetables. What she failed to tell me is that love of vegetables is very selective. All these years I was imagining her partaking of lots of broccoli, asparagus, all kinds of tasty veggies. We're in the cafeteria and I offer to pick out her food and asked her what kind of available vegetables she wanted. My jaw dropped when she said anything except something weird like asparagus. Hello? Since when is asparagus a weird vegetable? And how could my veggie loving friend turn her nose up at it? Her nutrition education needs a college degree! I'm going to have to take her in hand and get her healthy. Iceberg lettuce, her favorite thing since she loves salads, is not nutritious!

One great thing about this hospital is the food is FABULOUS! It's all organic and totally tasty. Not a good thing for my diet, I might add. But this is a good place for her to learn about how eat healthy stuff. And I'm just the mom to make her do it.

Keep praying! Another dr appt shortly, then surgery tomorrow. We so love you guys who are holding us up to the Lord!


Colleen Coble  
posted at 11:35 AM  
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Monday, February 08, 2010

Well we're here in Zion. Our room is wonderful! I brought my Cuisinart coffee maker because we can face anything this week if we have good coffee. It was a good call because there was NO coffee maker in the room. Yikes! Now granted, I could go across the hall and down the steps to the rec room and get some but I like MY coffee. Jim did too but it was a little strong for Di even though I'd weakened it a bit. But she added water and is now fortified for our tour and the doctor visit.

Di's sweet daughter Amber created a Caring Bridge page for Di. You can go here and sign in: Amber will be updating it periodically. Thanks so much for your prayers! It's touched me and all the girls to see the community we have here with all of you. Your sweet notes and assurances of prayers have lifted all of us. Our buddy Ruthie even sent Di a prayer shawl that's just gorgeous. We could feel the prayers in it. Christy is knitting her socks too. We love all of you!

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Colleen Coble  
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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Prayers Coveted...

Diann is all checked into her appointment in the morning. She's staying at a beautiful cancer center that makes treatment as nice as possible. Colleen is there with her and her husband. And we are there with her in spirit. Tomorrow is her appointment to discuss the treatment plan with her new doctor. Please pray first, for a complete miracle and there's nothing, but secondly that if there is anything, it's easy to clean up and get on with her life.

We'll keep you posted, but know that Diann is grateful for all the concern, but she won't be getting to email this week. More than anything, I (Kristin) want her spirit back. I want cancer to know it's nothing against God and Diann's spirit. We lift her up and ask for His healing hand to get her out of this valley. And back on the mountaintop where she belongs.
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Friday, February 05, 2010


Hospitality is probably the spiritual gift I covet the most. I'm happy to open my home, happy to cook for you, but it's those little touches that make the difference. I get so excited about the conversation, I may serve you fried chicken, but I'll forget to put napkins on the table. um, oops. Nice thought, but...

As much as I look forward to coming to Indiana and seeing my girls, Colleen's cast iron claw foot tub is a highlight. That tub is like the right handbag, it was just made for me. I love the simplistic beauty of it. I love that it has this incredible Victorian history with it that adds to the aura of taking a bath. Suddenly, I'm in "Somewhere in Time" and all these ideas spring to life. Just ask the girls, I was ON at the brainstorming session we had. (It's the bathtub!)

When I arrived Thursday, not only did Colleen draw me a bath, but she had bought Lush bath bombs and soaps. I don't know if you've ever HAD the luxury of a Lush Bath Bomb, but they turn your water into this gorgeous silky color and leave little surprises like pink and red hearts, dried flowers or a cinnamon stick floating on the surface. Colleen even had a fuzzy, warm bathrobe for me. It is better here than any spa and that's because my Indiana sisters are so incredible at hospitality.

From the bathtub, to the morning coffee to the temperature of the rooms, I feel absolutely coddled. So hon, if you're listening, I think I may be snowed in for awhile. Got any great hospitality tips you like to do for your guests?

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Girls Write Out Girls are together! Kristin and Cheryl came to Indiana and we're enjoying the luxury of Denise's warm and cozy home. We've been brainstorming all morning, gabbing and just rejoicing in being together.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

When I saw Alexa this morning, I couldn't stop laughing at her wild hair. It's getting curlier and it's hard to tame. But it's so darn cute, who cares? I got to thinking about how much loving her has taught me about God. Have you ever thought about that? How those we love here teach us about the unfathomable love He has for us? Here is what our Punky has taught me:

1. I would never ever abandon her. Not if she turned away from me. Not if she hurt me terribly. The love I have for her is overwhelming. It's not conditional on what she does or doesn't do. It's just THERE. And I realized that what I feel for her is just a drop in the ocean to how God loves me.

2. We all respond to unconditional love. Our darling can't help but love us back because we pour such love on her head. She didn't love us the minute she was born, but she has responded to the love we have heaped on her. It's the same way with God. We can't help but respond to His love when we really start to grasp all He's done for us.

3. Discipline isn't a bad word. We sometimes have to tell Punky no even though it hurts like crazy when she puckers up. What must God feel when He has to tell us no for our own good? We know we can't let her climb up on her little stool because she might fall. But it still hurts to know she's hurting.

4. See all those toys in her toy room? Um, we may all have gone a little overboard, but we delight in giving her good things, things that bring her joy. It's no wonder our heavenly Father withholds nothing good from us because He delights in us even more.

5. I love to hear her try to say my name. Instead of Grammy, she calls me Mammy. LOL Too cute! She calls her Poppy Pop-Pop. Our feeble attempts to call God by name must delight Him too. We all like to hear our name on the lips of the one we love.

Showing love has always been important to me, but I've learned so much since Punky has been born. I bet she'll teach me even more in the coming years. So how about you? How has loving someone changed you and deepened your appreciation for your heavenly Father?

An update on Diann: Her colonoscopy was ALL CLEAR today! Whoohoo!


Colleen Coble  
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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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