I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...


Thursday, April 23, 2009

This morning's (31) meditations

With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders.
Deuteronomy 29:3

"See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal...
Deuteronomy 32:39a

"Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD.
2 Kings 20:5

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.
Job 5:9 and Job 9:10

O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.
Psalm 30:2

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77:14

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
Psalm 103:3

He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Psalm 107:20

a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
Ecclesiastes 3:3

The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.
Isaiah 19:22

You restored me to health and let me live.
Isaiah 38:16b

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Isaiah 58:8

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
Jeremiah 17:14

It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.
Daniel 4:2

Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
Matthew 8:7

She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed."
Matthew 9:21

Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.
Matthew 9:22

He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
Matthew 12:10

Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.
Matthew 15:30

He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
Mark 5:34

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.
Luke 8:47

Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."
Luke 8:48

and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Luke 9:2

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
Luke 17:15

By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
Acts 3:16

But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
Acts 4:14

Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
Acts 4:30

God did extraordinary miracles...
Acts 19:11a

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
I Peter 2:24

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rest Secure

I have set the LORD always before me.
because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 16:8-11

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Restoration !!!

For those of you who don't receive my email updates, or haven't clicked on the link on this page to my other blog, or haven't read on Facebook, or haven't heard through the grapevine .....

I'm being readmitted to the ICU in Pittsburgh one week from today - next Tuesday. I will be switched from the continual iv medication that hangs in the black bag that's always around my waist to a different continual iv medication that will possibly hang in the same black bag. The new drug I will be switching to is MUCH easier to use, so from that standpoint, this change is a good thing. However, I've been really, really nervous about going back and facing that same ICU room where life felt so out-of-control 14 months ago.

For the past month or two I have been getting progressively more and more tired, and my heart has begun to periodically hurt (literally) again. Fourteen months ago I was told that I was in right-side heart failure, and this past December I was told that was NO LONGER TRUE! Praise God! God healed my heart enough that though it was still enlarged and the pressures were still too high in it, it wasn't failing anymore! So, for me to begin to have chest pain again was NOT a good sign! Last week we (and my doctor) decided that it's time to make the medicine transition in hopes that my body would respond "better" to the new drug. So, we began to prepare for the upcoming ICU visit.

Yesterday the doctor's office phoned and we decided that I'd be admitted next Tuesday. This left this current week for us to finish up projects and tie up loose ends beforehand. No one (but God) knows if when I'm discharged (hopefully by the end of next week), if I will be feeling great and rearing to go, or mostly house-bound for a month or two. So, this has put a lot of pressure on us to get things ready "just in case." A bunch of friends willingly and happily have stepped up to the plate and are helping with lots of those projects - and we are incredibly grateful!

This morning I went to the Ladies Bible Study at our church, and was huffing/puffing my way through the halls, praying that I wouldn't pass out and kicking myself for not bringing the oxygen in with me (it was in the car). After the worship time, one of my friends asked if I minded if the leadership team prayed specifically for me. I was more than willing - especially because of my fear of going back to the ICU and facing it again. So a bunch of ladies (maybe 10?) surrounded me, anointed me with oil, and started to pray all at the same time.

During the prayer I told God that I've gotten the message - it's time to change to the other medicine, and nothing's going to make me change my mind on that. He's given me peace in that decision! But, is it really necessary that I stay this tired? I prayed that He'd restore my energy levels (and breathing) to where I was a month or two ago - when I could get on the treadmill and live my life without sheer exhaustion. As the ladies prayed, I felt all the fear leave, and my breathing became easier too!

After Bible Study was done (and a friend took my kids home with her to give me a break), I had errands I needed to run - things I wanted done before being admitted. One of them required a trip to the mall. Of course I ended up parking on the wrong side (though I did pass Starbucks and decided to get me a little something-something!) - and had to walk the length of the mall to and from the store. I walked it without stopping - without huffing and puffing - without turning beat red - without thinking I was going to pass out because my oxygen levels were dropping too low!!!! I then ran two more errands also without incident! I still feel strong enough and energetic enough to conquer the world!

I came home and was SO EXCITED that I've been restored to where I was several months ago, that I HAD to tell someone - anyone - everyone! I am still going to be admitted next Tuesday and switch medicines. But I'm NOW doing it because we feel it's God's will, and because it will be easier to use on a day-to-day basis - NOT because I'm so sick that I need to! PRAISE GOD!

Thank you ladies for praying! Thank you, Gina for suggesting the prayer session! Yesterday you had asked me what you could do to help - YOU HAVE HELPED - MORE THAN YOU'LL EVER KNOW! And thank you to the other(s) who felt the same burning need for me to be prayed for in a special way this morning. God's laid me on so many people's hearts lately - and I am incredibly humbled by this - and incredibly thankful for the results!

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Beginnings

Spring is a time of new beginnings ...
... our front yard isn't exempt.
What "new beginning" are you longing for in your life?
There's no better time than today!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Daffodils and Gazebos

Just taken... (and thanks to FIOS, it only took 3 seconds to upload each pic - literally!)

It makes all the difference!

So, it really DOES make a GIANT difference who you marry (or who's the other parent of your kids)! You know how the saying goes, "like father, like son." Harrison's now 13 months, and sure enough his favorite activity has become talking on the cell phone just like Daddy! For those of you who don't understand where that fascination comes from, Aaron works for Verizon Wireless, and due to the nature of his job, he has 12 phone lines and during working hours almost ALWAYS has a phone (or earpiece) stuck to his head! In fact, he's so used to it being there, that when his work day's done I often have to remind him to take out the earpiece, but his Blackberry is always on his hip!

I'm SO GRATEFUL that I didn't marry a guy who's angry, or an abuser, or curses, or says derogatory comments about other people. I'm grateful I didn't marry a guy who avoids his family, or is "self-centered," or.....

Emulating Daddy to these boys means (1) working hard, but then when work's done, playing and having lots of fun laughing, (2) wearing button-down shirts and tucking them in - I know it's odd, but when we periodically dress up Alex for church he always says "I look just like Daddy!" and (3) using a cell phone!

Harrison - taken yesterday.
I love his creativity to find a stylus to use - even though the Storm doesn't use one, some PDAs do!Alex at 11 months - before we let him touch any of our "real" cell phones.After we finally realized that he wasn't going to stop finding and "using" our "real" cell phones!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some Comic Relief

It's been a rough day emotionally - I'll post more about that another time. But because it seems like there's a break in the water-line of my eyes today, and they just don't want to stop "leaking," I decided to look through my pics for some comic relief. Here are some oldies, but goodies:

Well, at least they made ME smile!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do with this what you will...

First of all, please note that I am not an alarmist. Y2K came and went without any hullabaloo in my personal life - other than a couple interesting conversations. I was recently given a photocopy of a message put out on March 23, 2009 by David Wilkerson, the Founding Pastor of the Times Square Church in NYC. He also founded the first Teen Challenge (a Christian-based rehab program) in 1958 - my parents started one of these in Wheeling, WV in the 1980s. He's been a preacher and has had prophetic words for more than 55 years now. You can get further information on him at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Wilkerson

If you're interested in some helpful tidbits, check out this site: http://nutrition.about.com/od/foodfun/a/emergency_stock.htm We haven't decided what (if any) our family's response will be. This, like everything else in life, is a matter for personal prayer and asking God for wisdom and discernment. But, that said, I feel strongly that I should pass this on, and so I am doing so. Feel free to do with it what you will. I won't judge either way. For more info on this, or to read follow-up encouragement that Wilkerson's written since the message I've copied below, check out this site: http://www.worldchallenge.org/coverletter/an_urgent_message


I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message to all on our mailing list, and to friends and to bishops we have met all over the world.


For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires - such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.

There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting - including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God's wrath. In Psalm 11 it is written,

"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (v. 3).

God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations. He is destroying the secular foundations.

The prophet Jeremiah pleaded with wicked Israel, "God is fashioning a calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh, turn back each of you from your evil way, and reform your ways and deeds. But they will say, It's hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart" (Jeremiah 18:11-12).

In Psalm 11:6, David warns, "Upon the wicked he will rain snares (coals of fire)...fire...burning wind...will be the portion of their cup." Why? David answered, "Because the Lord is righteous" (v. 7). This is a righteous judgement - just as in the judgements of Sodom and in Noah's generation.


First, I give you a practical word I received for my own direction. If possible lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials. In major cities, grocery stores are emptied in an hour at the sign of an impending disaster.

As for our spiritual reaction, we have but two options. This is outlined in Psalm 11. We "flee like a bird to a mountain." Or, as David says, "He fixed his eyes on the Lord in his throne in heaven - his eyes beholding, his eyelids testing the sons of men" (v. 4). "In the Lord I take refuge" (v. 1).

I will say to my soul: No need to run...no need to hide. This is God's righteous work. I will behold our Lord on his throne, with his eye of tender, loving kindness watching over every step I take - trustingthat he will deliver his people even though floods, fires, calamities, tests, trials of all kinds.

Note: I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it is not far off. I have unburdened my soul to you. Do with the message as you choose.

God bless and keep you.

In Christ,
David Wilkerson

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Case of the Missing Eggs

Santa's not the only one to check and then double check before the big day! The Easter Bunny's helpers do too - and it's a good thing they do! This year's egg hunt took place at the farm. The night before the chocolate-filled eggs were counted, and then double counted - each time they totaled 51 (which is definitely an adequate number to keep a 4 year old busy for quite awhile!)

After church we hung around talking to people while Grandpa and Granny Easter Bunny hopped home and hid the eggs. When we finally drove up the lane Granny Easter Bunny quickly ran inside before any little boys could get suspicious as to why she was poking around a particular bush!

Finally time came for the big hunt.
So - Alex braved the fierce, bitterly-cold wind and hunted....
... and hunted, and hunted, and hunted...... and finally his basket began to fill up!
While he was busy, the grown-ups had appetizers - yummy chips and guacamole! (Excuse the wind-blown hair ... some of the gusts felt like we were about to be picked up by a twister and leave Kansas!)
After much convincing, Alex finally let Harrison hold one egg. At 13 months, that was enough - he was thrilled!
Finally the basket got too full, and we began to fill coat pockets with even more eggs! After everyone was certain all the eggs were found, we headed inside to investigate the loot that was hiding inside!
And that's when we realized that something was amiss.... 51 eggs were filled with sugary-goodness - 51 eggs were hidden - but only 45 eggs were found! After two more search and rescue party trips, only two more eggs were ever found.

There, to this day, remain FOUR MISSING EASTER EGGS! No one could determine if the dogs found them and hid (or ate!) them, or if the wind blew them away to Neverland, or if the (obviously backslidden-kleptomaniac) real Easter Bunny swiped them.

... And that, my friends is why, from that day forward, whenever the wind blows just right, if you visit the Feitner Family Farm, you will see Easter egg mirages!

Anything Goes

We've been painting part of our house - long story. Friday and Saturday a girlfriend helped me/us paint, and by Saturday afternoon the fumes were getting to me (the rain and obviously high humidity really didn't help!). So, we drove up to Aaron's parents' farm on Saturday evening and spent Easter with them.

Aaron comes from musical blood - his father is a musician - mostly guitar, but has recently picked up the mandolin as well. His Gramma (who's in her 80s) is still a piano teacher! And his brother plays the drums quite well. So many times when we get together there's music of some sort involved. Alex absolutely loves this, and is finally getting up the courage to want to join in now and then. Saturday evening's activities ended up including a short jam session.

Harrison was amazed to see his Daddy making such beautiful sounds come from (aka messing around with) the guitar!
For those "city folk" like myself, Field is actually playing a TURKEY CALL! It started with him showing Alex how to use it, and somehow it ended up becoming a musical instrument! I guess when you're that musical, anything goes!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Yesterday's outing with the ladies.....
The morning started with bird watching, and laughing at the crazy squirrels who were climbing up the poles to steal the birdseed from the dozen or so bird feeders.
Next Alex hesitantly explored the activity center. He refused to put his hand in the "touch and feel" boxes until he peeked inside to know what he was getting himself into.
There was a tunnel maze for the kids to explore, and a friend went in with Harrison. Once he saw me waiting on the other side, though, he turned-tail and headed down a side-tunnel! "No way, Ma! I'm not done yet!"
There was another activity center where kids could hold (gently) and discover up-close-and-personal some cool things like a bird's nest, a small log, and Alex's favorite - a skull of some sort (I don't know my animals, and didn't read the sign, so I have no idea what it is.....).
I didn't have the energy to go for a hike, so one of the ladies offered to take my kids along while I rested inside. Another friend (who's kids were in daycare at the time) offered to stay behind to keep me company. (I have such AMAZING friends!) At one point on the path, they could see the window we were sitting by (off in the distance), so they pointed me out to Alex so he could wave.
Crazy faces from squinting in the bright sunlight!
And last but not least ... a picture of .... yes, that IS a toilet! (What blog post is complete without a picture of a potty!) There were adorable animal footprint paths leading the way! Too cute!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Taste & See

Taste and see

that the Lord is good...
Psalm 34:8a

This requires a physical action on my part. Just looking at a bowl of fruit or nuts may make me salivate, and want some. But I don't experience the sweet (or savory) flavor, richness, and fullness that it can bring by just looking and admiring it. I need to reach out, take hold of it, bring it close, and then - actually dig in!

There have been times in my life when I've been "hungry." At the moment I'm full (I was part of an amazing Bible study this morning). But just like eating, this satisfaction and contentment won't last forever. Don't misunderstand: God's satisfaction DOES, what I mean is that we can't effectively just fill up on Him once a week - or even worse, once a lifetime. We eat at least three times a day. How frequently do you (and I) feed on what God has to offer?

p.s. The bottom photo's of the fake fruit I bought on Valentine's Day - realistic looking, isn't it!?!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A deliberate change of heart

It's only April 6th, and I'm already getting tired of "April showers."

I'm tired of not having my windows open and enjoying the glorious breeze ('cause the rain would pour in!). I'm tired of having to plan errands (with two kids in tow) around how menacing the clouds look. I'm tired of mud being tracked into the house - which just means more cleaning I'm obviously behind on. I'm tired of babies being woken from much needed naps because of noisy claps of thunder.

This morning when I woke yet again to the (usually soothing) sound of rain, I decided it was time for a deliberate change of heart. So ......

I'm thankful for the finally green (rather than brown) grass! I'm thankful that we don't need to be paying extra on our water bill to run the sprinkler. I'm thankful that God's washing my car so I don't have to. I'm thankful that this form of precipitation doesn't require shoveling or scraping car windows. I'm thankful that the rain is keeping flying bugs from flying around and pestering me. I'm thankful for the blossoming shrub outside our living room window that I can enjoy while I sit at the laptop.
Here we go again!

"... I'm thankful ... I'm thankful ... I'm ..." Oh, I give up.

Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I have BOYS

I grew up in a house of girls.
My father died when I was ten.
This left my mother, my sister, and me.

I grew up and married a boy.
I have boys - two boys.
No girls, only boys.
Even our fish is a boy.
I am surrounded by testosterone.

Yet, I am continually surprised that my boys play like boys.

a bad mom

Sometimes I feel like a bad mom. Of course there are times when I lose my temper with the boys, or say "no" to one more story at bedtime. But what mom doesn't periodically do those things? They make me a human, not a bad mom. ... I feel badly that there are things Alex hasn't experienced yet because of my lack of energy over the past couple years. To my knowledge he's never made a snowman, or been to a zoo. And until yesterday, he had never been to story time at a library or book store.

A girlfriend suggested that we meet at Barnes and Noble for Alex and her boys to play at their train table, and of course for us to hang out. Unfortunately I was having a low energy morning, and even the coffee energy (Starbucks - yumm!) didn't last long in my system. So, not too long after she showed up I hit tired. But, Alex had a blast even though I wasn't highly talkative!
But what was even more exciting (for me, anyway), was that they had story time while we were there. Alex loved hearing the two stories - both about bunnies. It is almost Easter, after all!
So, thank you Beth, for helping to make me a better mom. I can now cross something off the long list of things Alex should have experienced by now, but hasn't. Guess sometimes it does take a village (or at least some good friends) to raise a child!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I shall not live in vain

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

(Emily Dickinson)