27 February 2009

We're Outa Here!

Marg & Ricker are off to Mexico for another mission trip.

Ray Ray,


& Evangeline have all kinds of fun planned at home.

And, Michael and I are stealing away for several days of unabashed romance.

Hasta el Lunes!

Happy Birthday, Poppy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our dear Poppy! We are so grateful for you. Thank you for loving us and our whole family with all your heart. Thank you for being a wonderful friend. And, thank you for being willing to sacrifice your nice, clean clothes when the kids come running at you for bear hugs with food all over their faces and hands! OOFIE birthday hugs, Poppy!

24 February 2009

Happy Birthday, Ricker!


How is it possible that my baby boy is 13?!? A teenager! That's just crazy talk!

Ricker is now tall (5'8"), wears size 13 (!!!) shoes, sports a real-live, shaveable mustache and a peach-fuzzy beard, and talks in a low voice that sometimes still cracks (which is NOT cute in any way, shape, or form, so giggling is prohibited). I'm both thrilled to know and enjoy the man that he is becoming and grieving that his boyhood went by way, way too fast!

Just so you know, I could tell you some really awesome, completely inappropriate puberty stories here, but I'm saving them for his wedding rehearsal dinner.

Ricker is a total dreamboat. He's funny and friendly, sweet and generous, relaxed and easy to be with, gregarious and upbeat, and such a delight to have around the house. He adores his papa and still kisses on the lips in public. He very inclusive of others and yet competitive, too. He's a music maniac and I'm SO glad that he's not afraid to sing LOUDLY and even dance in public. The guy has so little of the typical teenage self-consciousness. He's just a super kid... I mean young man. My young man. And pretty soon I'm going to have to cross off "young", too.

Rickerman, you make my heart happy. You are a prince among men. You make me so proud. You are such a wonderful person, a total wild animal with too much testosterone (I love that about you!), and I love how much you love Jesus, son. I love you, meatball!

21 February 2009

And, We Are Wheels Up

Mother had her first chemo session for her breast cancer on Thursday. Mrs. Positive Attitude reclined into the chair saying to the nurse, "OK, I'm settling into my imaginary first class seat on a flight to London and am now enjoying a constant flow of champagne (pointing to her chemo IV)."

The nurse absolutely loved her attitude, "Alrighty then! If you need anything, just let any of the flight attendants know. We at British Airways are pleased to be at your service."

Five hours later he playfully announced "You have now reached your destination and may disembark! The pilots and flight crew thank you for travelling with us."

How cool is that?! Our Maternal Person did feel some immediate side-effects like a funny taste in her mouth, food tasting different, some bone pain, nausea, etc., but otherwise she's doing great.

THANK YOU so much for your prayers, notes, messages, phone calls, emails, and wonderful support for Mother. She has said over and over that she truly feels the prayers and grace of God. We're so grateful!

18 February 2009


I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago, but better late than never, right? By the way, we're basically healthy here now, so don't rush right over with chicken soup... unless you really want to. Because we love soup. And, I'd throw a little dance party for you for a night off from cooking. The hustle, rumba, West Coast swing, locking and popping, cha cha... You pick. I'm just sayin'.

The sign on our door reads...

6 sick people

Throats are on...

Noses are...

Ears are...

We have high...

Heads feel like...

Generally feel like we've been...

Not quite...

but way more than just...

and a certain well-meaning husband sometimes needs to just...
about all the things that are not getting done when we're dealing with

everything being basically...

and then on top of it all, we heard about...

which is pretty much when I decided to quit whining and...

about it and instead say
Jesus for all Your many, many blessings!


Perspective adjusted. Thank You, Lord!

16 February 2009

What's Not to Love About Valentine's Weekend?

Great friends, tasty food and wine, lots of laughter and fun, all down on the beach... Our weekend was just what the doctor ordered!

Michael, me, Pam, Steve, Emily, Moody, Carey & Drew

Playing pool at the "Love Nest"

I love these ladies -- Pam, Em & Carey!

Drew, Moody, Michael & Steve -- our four handsome dates

Moody & Emily, our Texas brother & sister

Zoe & Kingston hitting the road
(More than a little match-making was brokered this weekend!)

Ray Ray & Caden making tracks

Ray Ray, Evangeline & Zozo

Zoe's a baby sister now!!!
Drew & Carey head to Addis Ababa to meet big sister, Tigist, in just a few days!

HUGE thanks to Steve & Pam for planning, hosting, and truly blessing us! Steve, thank you for cooking all the delicious food! It was a weekend to remember!

(Pam, if you're serious about hijacking me to see Sid for a tattoo, you'd better be prepared to pony up your own skin for some new art, too!)

15 February 2009

Update for The Margie McClure Pink Ribbon Prayer Team

On Friday Poppy and Mother had a lengthy meeting with her oncologist at Hoag Cancer Center in Newport Beach, Dr. Louis VanderMolen, discussing his recommended treatment plan. Because the type of cancer she has can quickly spread to her blood and then to the rest of her body, he wants to start off with 18 weeks of chemotherapy. After that she'll have surgery (hopefully just lumpectomy, but maybe mastectomy). Then after a recovery period she will undergo 6 weeks of radiation.

This coming week she'll have several scans (full body, PET, CAT, etc.) and then have her first 5-hour chemo treatment next Thursday, 2/19. Dr. VanderMolen acknowledges that this regimen is going to be a doozie, but he's optimistic that if her treatment is aggressive she'll be cancer-free at the end of it.

This is obviously not what any of us was praying to hear. We were shooting for a simple lumpectomy, radiation, and bada-bing all done. Realizing that this is much more serious that we had originally thought has been a challenge, but we also know that God is in control no matter what! Mother is doing very well mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. For her, just knowing what we're dealing with and what the treatment will be was actually relieving. Once she had a plan of action, she was ready to just get it done. She's remaining full of faith, not dwelling on what might happen, not worrying about anything... positive, upbeat, and with her sense of humor squarely intact. She is definitely disappointed that she'll lose her hair, but is having a remarkably great attitude about it. We're just going to get her a gorgeous wig or two and some fabulous scarves!

The woman is an inspiration.

THANK YOU for your prayers, support, and outpouring of love! It means the world to our whole family. Please do continue to pray for our sweet Maternal Person for her complete healing and that the Gospel might be widely spread through her illness. Six months from now we'll prayerfully be celebrating her remission!

All Margie McClure Pink Ribbon Prayer Team Members are invited!

McClures in Maui 2008 for Poppy & Mother's 40th Anniversary
Back row: Margot, Laurie, Ray Ray, Charlotte, Poppy, Mother, Evangeline, Lisa, Mark, Becky, Lincoln, and Bud
Front row: Jackie, Michael, Ricker, Matthew, Zuzu, Morgan, Wesley, William, and Johnny

12 February 2009

Happy Biiiiirthday, dear Nana & President Lincoooooln!

Since Walt Whitman's "Captain! My Captain!" is too darn depressing... here's a little bit of fun!

Happy birthday to our precious Mother/Nana! You are such a tremendous blessing in all our lives. Thank you for loving us so well, supporting us, teaching us, caring for us, spending time with us, being a role model, laughing, talking, sharing, advising, and just being so darn wonderful! We are blessed to call you dear friend, Maternal Person! Happy birthday!

(Don't worry, mum's the word that you're 61!)

Nana & Ray Ray
(Ray Ray's shirt says, "got my mind on my mommy and my mommy on my mind" which is perfectly appropriate for today! )

10 February 2009

The C Word

So what's the sassy little stilletto for?

The answer in part is that Mother, the one we affectionately refer to as our "Maternal Person", has breast cancer.

Breast cancer.

The C word.

Boy, that word just knocks the wind right out of you. What on earth are you supposed to do with a cancer diagnosis?! It's terrifying! What if this? And what if that?

FEAR! Fear is overwhelming and immobilizing! The Bible commands us over and over "Fear not!"

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not upon your own understanding" Prov 3:5

I suppose that's why it's called a "leap of faith". You have to look across a yawning abyss of the unknown and what if's and jump over that menacing blackness to a place of trust and peace... That means it's not easy. It takes guts, and strength, and chutzpah to have faith. Didn't God tell us to believe in and pray for miracles? How can we learn to operate that way automatically unless we are tested with real live, scary, challenging, painful struggles that require us to have cajones enough to trust God to intervene? The C Word (cancer, not cajones) requires a leap of faith, faith in action, not being immobilized by fear, leaning into God's immeasurable strength and power, and relying upon His ever-sufficient grace.

Of course, that doesn't mean that you don't deal with fear at all. It means that when something rattles you all the way down to your core, you CHOOSE to trust in Jesus, place that issue into God's hands fully willing to submit to His Will no matter what it may be, and you choose to push fear away and say "NO!" to it.

It's one of the essencial challenges in the Christian walk... learning to "Fear Not!" and trust God through the really scary stuff.

Like cancer.

Now, Maternal Person, she's a rock. She's a Jesus-following-veteran who's learned to rest in God's Will. Scripture says, "Fear not" and so she does not! Really. She has not worrying about the "what if's" down cold. She's a brick. She's more worried about how everyone else is doing, Poppy and us kids and grands. See what a mean? A brick!

She's choosing faith, and rejoicing in what great things the Lord will do through this experience, and deciding to live through it with JOY! Shoot, I wish that was an ability that could be passed down genetically. Like a love of really rockin' shoes.

A few details: Her prognosis looks good since her lymph nodes appear to be clear. We'll know more after the MRI results come in. We're confident that she is going to be OK, but treatment will include lumpectomy and radiation, possibly mastectomy and chemo. No fun.

An added bonus is that she's spent the last 2 1/2 months in a wheelchair and then finally a walker because a couple of days before Thanksgiving she tripped and fell and broke her leg! For real... no sassy shoes for her in months and months... just a big cumbersome brace.

We were joking that she's going to have to walk into the hospital for boobie surgery leaning on a cane because of her broken leg! That's a real knee slapper, don't you think?! Oops, not a knee slapper for her, though... Ouch! It's a wonderful thing that our mama has a wicked sense of humor. She never lets the tough stuff get her down.

So, I know you're waiting for the second part of the answer to the question above. Well, you'd just have to know our mama to get how much she would loooove these kickin' pumps.

So, if the breast cancer pink ribbon shoe fits...

and for now you have to wear it...

it might as well be smokin' hot!

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
we will not fear,
though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."
Ps 46:1-3
(italics mine)

05 February 2009

Hi/Lo Thursday

Highs of the week:

Field trip to the California Science Center in L.A., Jackie's favorite thing this last week.

Biblical characters dress-up day

Celebrating Ray Ray's 2nd birthday at Adventure City and Build-a-Bear! She loves her new bear, Beatrice! Evangeline brought home her new bunny, Francesca, as well.

Abby Cadabby birthday party for Nana & Ray Ray and swimming with the cousins on a glorious, sunny SoCal day.

Laurie had dinner with an old friend and laughed until they both cried.

Marg got a... wait for it... 102% on her Bible Semester Exam! Woo hoo! Extra credit ROCKS!

Ricker slam dunking his Health final exam!

Marg got to ride Sam, her favorite horse who is also blind, bareback again this week. He's really learning to trust her and run faster. Plus, she went to Equine Affaire which was a blast!

Michael's high was getting to successfully play litigator in small claims court.

Lows of the week:

Our other field trip got postponed because of naughtiness.

A couple of very tough meetings about some challenging issues.

Really missing Elizabeth, "Miss Lizzie", this week while she's in Mexico.

Michael's low was being cranky with his family this morning. (You're darn tootin'!)

Everybody got sick with colds, then sinus infections, and now possibly strep throat. No fun! Poor Marg had the barfies, too. Super no fun!

(This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts.)

04 February 2009

"Pray for Me... Pray for Others"

Pray for Me
You know, I just love the Riggs family. They are an absolutely beautiful family founded on faith in Jesus Christ. Even during this unbelievably painful season of Abby's leukemia treatment, their focus is on praying for others in trial and suffering, being a witness to those who have yet to meet Christ, and being an encouragement and example to Christians of the gift of God's grace which is always, always sufficient! They just bless my heart!

Please, remember to keep precious Abby lifted up in prayer. And, join in on Brent & Michelle's new invitation: "Pray for Me... Pray for Others".

We participate in "Pray for Me... Pray for Others" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to add your prayer request.