Thursday, June 17, 2010

Praying for the Chamorro Family

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

Today, I will share a burden and a prayer request to my many praying and  blogging friends.
Our family has been blessed to know another family, Ruben and Melody Chamorro and their son Durrell.  We met them  many years ago when Corey and Durrell were very young, first at our same church of fellowship and later our lives would be connected through sports and the community.  Ruben was both a junior high and high school teacher for much of his career as well as serving in the church and being a lay pastor.  Before we met the Chamorros, they had experienced the worst experience parents can have, that of losing their oldest son, Eric. 

Eric was tragically killed while driving on his way to college, San Jose State I believe.  He had fallen asleep at the wheel.  Eric was a promising young baseball player, having received a scholarship.  I am not exactly sure but I think this happened around the time Durrell and Corey were about six years old,  so maybe 1986. 

Ruben was a very popular teacher.  He taught many years here in our school district, receiving the  "Teacher of the Year" award.  He also taught at Boys Republic, a well known reform school here in Chino, where Corey attended during one troubling time in his life as a day student.  I was thankful Ruben was there to teach Corey and keep an eye on him for me. 

Ted and Ruben share a great passion for sports.  Coaching AYSO as well as supporting Chino football brought our lives together many times.   Durrell started on the Chino High Football team as a freshman field goal kicker and as a result of a lot of hard work, saw Chino High to many division Championships.  Ruben was Booster Club President at that time when Corey and Durrell played and that was an exciting and fun time in our lives. 

When Timmy passed away, the Chamorros were there for us.  Melody was at the hospital, I don't know how many hours, but I know she was there when Tim passed.  They were in our living room, sitting, praying, doing what needs to be done, getting food delivered, collecting donations...but most of all, Ruben was ministering to Ted.  That first morning, I remember so clearly, they left together and were gone for awhile.  I do not know what words were shared between these two  fathers who both now shared one more thing in common,  but I know it gave Ted great strength and even more love and respect for this wonderful man.  I asked Ruben to help memoralize our son, and gracefully he accepted although I know it was quite difficult for him to do, bringing back so much pain and memories of his own son.  I am forever grateful for his courage.   He spoke of Tim, Chino High Football Team's #1 fan, and also of Timmy's passion for sports.  Ruben honored us by presenting a plaque naming Tim in memorium as "Chino High Football's #1 Booster" and we were blessed. 

Ruben retired from Boys Republic, but went on to teach "at risk"  kids at Chino High for a few years.  The economy put an end to that program.  Not soon after that news, Ruben became very sick.  Here is his description from his "Caring Bridge" sight. 


I was experiencing severe back pain, nausea, excessive bruising, lethargy, black stool, and skin rashes for over a month so I asked my primary care physician to run some tests on my blood. I gave blood in the morning and that evening my physician called and urged me to rush to the emergency room. As soon as I arrived at the ER I was given a bed and informed that my red and white blood cell count was dangerously low and my blood platelets were lower than the ER staff had ever seen in a living person. I was told that if I fell down or bumped into something too hard I risked bleeding to death. After receiving several blood transfusions and running several tests at Kaiser for a week I was diagnosed with a rare disease known as aplastic anemia. Current medicine still has a lot to learn about A- plastic anemia, and we don't know how I acquired it. I'm very fortunate to be in the care of Cedars-Sinai right now, because Cedars is one of the few hospitals in the world capable of aggressively treating my condition.

This was last December, in fact the night Melody took him to the hospital was Dec. 10th, the same day they were planning on attending Corey's graduation.  It has been a very tough road for Ruben.  He has suffered many setbacks and side effects including a small  heart attack. 
As many of you are busy with summer activities and vacations, we may tend to forget things like donating blood.  If you can, please donate blood this summer.  We are praying for a bone-marrow match. 

Last Sunday, Corey and I had the privledge of watching Durrell graduate Magna  Cum Laude from Cal Poly Pomona, his degree in Philosophy.   Ruben was unable to attend, missing this graduation as well, still hospitilized.  Ruben is an awesome man of God, who has chosen to bless the Lord and many others through his service despite his own heartache and loss.  Now he needs and covets our prayers.  To link to his updated  "Caring Bridge" sight, use this link.   Thank you for reading and praying.

Now to share some nice shots on Cal Poly's campus and also of Durrell, the graduate! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Making a Joyful Noise?

It's Monday and I didn't have to get up at 5:45 this morning.  Yeah!  Praise God, I did receive a summer school job starting June 28th, but for now, I have two weeks off  and I think I will get caught upon some writing and reading. 

First of all,  I have been hearing this low humm in my ears, in my head,  my dreams.   It sounds like there is more than one thing making this noice.  It's like something out of a Steven King novel... Hummmmmmm
then again, overlapping the first hummmmmm.... I think I have been hearng it since early Saturday morning.


The vuvuzela (English pronunciation: /vuːvuːˈzeɪlə/) , sometimes called a "lepatata" (its Tswana name) or a stadium horn, is a blowing horn approximately 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in length. It is commonly blown by fans at football matches in South Africa. The instrument requires some lip and lung strength to blow and emits a loud monotone.  A similar instrument (known as corneta in Brazil and other Latin American countries) is used by football fans in South America.Vuvuzelas have been controversial. They have been associated with permanent noise-induced hearing loss,cited as a possible safety risk when spectators cannot hear evacuation announcements, and potentially spread colds and flu viruses on a greater scale than coughing or shouting.Vuvuzelas have also been blamed for drowning the sound and atmosphere of football games. Commentators have described the sound as "annoying" and "satanic"  and compared it with "a stampede of noisy elephants, a deafening swarm of locusts,a goat on the way to slaughter and a giant hive full of very angry bees.".

Don't you love these analogies?  Especially "a goat on it's way to slaughter..."  Not a sound I hear often. (well I guess I don't hear elephants too often either).

The sound level of the instrument has been measured at 127 decibels contributing to football matches with dangerously high sound pressure levels for unprotected ears.A new model, however, announced on 14 June 2010, has a modified mouthpiece which is claimed to reduce the volume by 20 db.  
(the above c/o Wikipedia)
The World Cup is on in my house, will be on for the next month. It is just the way it is, married to  a former soccer star himself  (way back before AYSO was invented).  I asked Ted who would have pictures from his soccer days, so I might be on a hunt for some archived shots.  In the mean time...

What team do you think he is rooting for? 

I am reminded of a story from the Old Testament.  It is found in Joshua Chapter 6.  There were seven priests and seven ram's horns and a city that needed conquering for the people of Israel.  Joshua was their leader and Jericho was the city. 

vs. 4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.

vs. 5 It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

vs. 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
So, maybe this "blowing horns" thing is Biblical, a way of defeating the enemy, winning a game, crumbling walls...If we could just reduce it down to seven specially chosen fans purposed to  "toot their own horn", maybe some of us could concentrate more on the actual game.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Glitches, Great Kids and Grammy Awards in the making...

Hello out there.....My blog has been silent because something evil was keeping me away...some computer gliches, viruses, something ugly for sure.   Well, these gliches are not fixed but I found a way  around the problem today.  I am using a different I thought was messed up  too, but it seems to be allowing me access today.  Computers never get easier!  Yes, I see a lesson in all that.  Ignoring a "problem" and going around it... I have done that a lot in my life unfortunately.  I have found though as my faith and trust have been put to the test that  God  ultimately always shines  through. I am facing issues better than I used to, giving things over to prayer first instead of last.  If I could, I would have some "Geeks" out here vaccinating and surgically removing that which "bugs" my computer, but it is not in the budget right now.  I am sure glad my spiritual "bugs" can be dealt with in meditation.  What it costs comes in the form of time, and pride.  I think I can afford both, when Peace is the result. 

I just completed my "Third" Freshman year in High school.  (and I thought it took Corey a while to get finished...)  Just kidding.  Well, of course my original was back in well, 68-69. What a volatile year! My 2nd was my 2nd year with the school district when I was assigned to my special student Michael, both of us starting out as "Freshman" at Don Lugo High School. 

Here is Michael with another special lady, Art Teacher, Anita Hunt.  Anita helped to ressurect the dormant artist within me and showcased Michael's fantastic artwork as well. 

After completing four years with Michael, I am reassigned to another high school with another special kid, and together, we made it through our freshman year again.  It was hard for both of us for different reasons.  For my student, he had never been in a school setting or classroom where everyone could "hear."  Being 80% deaf and reading lips, his adjustment was more to the outside,  everyday noices of  special kids with hyper tendancies and  the busyness of high school life.  He has an amplifier which helps him to hear.  He is a very conscientious hard working student who also finds time to play baseball, both at school and a club team.  I am blessed to be able to work with this great kid.  Next year we are both taking a sign language class together.  I look forward to that.

For me, it was a hard adjustment to a new school, one very different from the one I came from.  It is a much larger campus, both is population and size, and the kids come from a different socio-economic background.   I wasn't well accepted by the kids and some classrooms and situations were a challenge. 
God allowed for friendships to form though,  and by the end of the school year, I felt more comfortable and knew I had once again formed special friendships.  Thank you Lord for my "lunch bunch."  You always know what You  are doing. 

On my campus as well is another freshman student named Haleigh Bowers.  Finally, our paths crossed.  Haleigh's mother is my husband Ted's, 2nd cousin.  Haleigh is very special and more than talented; she is a gifted  singer and song writer who I know God is going to use in mighty ways.  Please log on to her Demo CD sight and check out her music. 

As I was leaving my lunch hideaway,  I walked by this girl sitting with a friend strumming a guitar and singing with a voice like an angel.   I had walked right past her, then I stopped, turned around and walked back to her thinking...This has got to be Ted's cousin...

"Hi, I just heard you singing...What is your name?"  I boldly asked and with grace she said, "Haleigh" with  her beautiful smile. Ungracefully I said..."we are related...I am Coleene...I mean... your mom and my husband are cousins...well,  your grandma..."  by then we were laughing for she had heard that I existed on campus somewhere from  her mom who I chat with on Facebook. 

Please listen to her Demo CD
and YouTube performances
type in Haleigh Bowers in the search box and please listen.

check her out as well on YouTube:  Haleigh Bowers:  "Have it Your Way."