Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Every Family Has a Beginning

Just like every story has a start, every family has a beginning.  When we were young parents, we enrolled in a 16 week parenting class mostly because our little people didn't come with a user manual!

The great thing is that we learned many principles that laid the foundation in which we grew as a family.  One principle that really helped us was knowing that the newly married couple is the new family and children are an extension of that family.  I think this principle is key because it helps couples and parents remember to prioritize the marriage.  Since every family starts with the couple, I thought it would be fun to share the story of how we met.

For us, it all started in a little ice-cream shop in a little town way back in the summer of 1987.  I was employed by the Ice Cream Station and Ken's family was there for a night on the town.  Although we were from the same area and had graduated from the same school, I had not seen Ken since I had graduated a year earlier.  We met after I got off work that night, walked the streets of our little town and caught up on where we were going in life.  I was attending Eureka College, a small private school about fifteen miles from where I had grown up.  Ken was just days from leaving town for basic training and tech school for the Air National Guard.  We attended church together a couple of days later, had breakfast and parted ways.  No fireworks . . . not even an agreement to date when Ken returned from the guard.  It was just a re-acquainting of two school mates but because of this meeting, we did correspond some over the next few months and let's just say I was the second girl he called when he got back to the area! (More to that story coming at a later date . . . )

So how did you meet your spouse?  We would love to hear the story of your beginning!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Everyone Has A Story to Tell

We all have a story to tell.  For some the story is just beginning.  For others it is already over.  As for us - we are somewhere in the middle of our story opening up another chapter.  This chapter may sound a lot like a previous chapter, but in our story it is the next chapter.

Here's how this chapter begins . . . just before Christmas, Ken was hospitalized locally for six days with a high fever, chills and abdominal pain.  He was released just before Christmas.  Even though he did not feel well he still managed to preach several sermons and enjoy some family time.

In January, Ken returned to the local hospital with similar symptoms for a seven day stay.  After being home a couple of weeks, similar symptoms reappeared in addition to jaundice (a yellowing of the skin pigment from increased levels of bilirubin in the blood) so we were advised to go to UW Hospital in Madison, WI.  This is where Ken received a liver transplant in 2006 and where he usually receives medical care.  The condensed version of this chapter is that Ken was in and out of the hospital five more times between the end of January and the middle of April.  We made it home for a few days here and there.  A couple of times we never made it home before having to return.  So far in 2014, Ken has been hospitalized for 70 days!  After much testing and many treatments it was determined that his liver is failing due to the return of a liver disease known as PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis).  At the end of March he was re-listed for a second liver transplant.  We have been able to be home the past couple of weeks and hope to manage as much as we can from home.  It may take a year or more before receiving a second transplant.

At this time, the rest of the story is yet to be told.  Since we have been down this path before we already know the challenges of keeping friends and family informed.  We also know the power of prayer and staying connected with those who care.  Through this blog we will communicate how things are progressing.  On these days please use the "comment section" to post encouraging messages for Ken.  I know he will appreciate it much!  In addition to the medical updates, I believe there is much more to our story and I hope you enjoy some of the life lessons, the funny stories, the faith messages and the occasional family picture.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Meet the Mangold's

So here we are . . . a family with three teens and still smiling!   We (Ken and I) started our journey as college students over 25 years ago.  We have lived in 15 different homes in four different states and two countries. We have experienced working in missions, ministry and healthcare.  We have experienced being stay-at-home parents, homeschooling, coaching, owning a business, surviving cancer, receiving a transplant, and living life for a purpose.

Each word in the blog title "ALL THINGS IN LIFE" has significant meaning to me and to our family.  I look forward to sharing some of that meaning in the near future, but for now ALL THINGS will represent the topics to be written about.  That almost sounds like a lack of focus or purpose but that can't be further from the truth!

And we know that for those who love God ALL THINGS work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose!  Romans 8:28


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's Like Giving Birth!

When I first heard of blogging, I initially thought "Why would anyone do that?"  It reminds me of  when I was younger and first exposed to the process involved in having children.  I remember saying, "Why would anyone do that!"
I have lived long enough to get answers in both cases and for the purpose of keeping this a family friendly blog, I will refrain from any further comments.  However, giving birth to a blog makes me feel like I did when I was handed my first born and sent home to figure it all out.

I know I will grow as a writer just as I did as a mom.  I know this blog will grow and mature just like my children did.  I'm sure there will be some trial and error but hopefully no one gets hurt!  Just like all things in my life, I am counting on leaning on those who have gone before me to learn the ropes and make this a valuable experience for all involved.  I pray the stories and topics shared are a blessing and add value to your life in some way.   So far the best things about giving birth to a blog is that I got to pick the birth date and it wasn't as painful!!