Memorial Day


It does not seem enough for all of the men and women who have served our country.
Who have gone overseas.
Who have endured so much training.
Who have witnessed horrors unspeakable.
Who have left brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, wives, children at home.

Who have risked their lives.

So that we can live in a country that lets my husband freely go to work.
Work in a Bible-believing church.

So that we can live in a country where we can pray openly.
without fear of governmental intervention.

Where we can simply live our lives - our very blessed lives.
With our own brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and children.

But, on this beautiful, hot Memorial Day.
I DO say thank-you. 
To all of our past and present military.

And on a very personal level,
thank-you to my own dad.

Thank-you for serving in a war that wasn't applauded in  the homeland.
thank-you for your bravery, courage, and service.

I have always, always been proud that you are a veteran.
And always, always will be.

My dad and myself. Easter 2011


At a baby shower recently, for a mom due in 3 weeks with her second child,
we were asked to pass around a special journal.
 In it we were to write our advice to the mother on life with a newborn and a toddler.
I truly laughed!

Seriously? Advice?
I mean, yeah, I have things that worked for us:

{swaddling and swinging and white noise
and nursing and more nursing and then nursing some more}

but, how to manage life with a newborn and a toddler?

This is what I wrote.

Eat a lot of chocolate.  Pray a whole lot.  Make time, even if just a few minutes, to read your Bible every day.  Take deep breaths.  Cherish every moment, as it will pass way too fast.  
And, if all else fails...

Call your mom!

gracie.  2 weeks, 2 days old, in our home for the very first day, after 2 weeks in the NICU.


Did you hear that?

That was the sound of my heart. 
Breathing deep, deep breaths.

Today was exactly the day I needed.
A long day, full of lots of good friends, good laughs, and lots of kids.

{and some garage-sales!}

It can't get much better than that, can it?

It was {finally} beautiful outside.  
We played outside and then played outside some more.
No schedule. No agenda. No pressure.

Seriously, it did my heart good.

And towards the end of the day, we broke the paint out.
And Gracie? well, she kind of became the canvas.

grace. covered in sparkly paint. and completely exhausted.
yes, I did get the poor girl straight to bath and bed!


We start early around here.

And, for those who prayed and have asked, today was a much, much, much better day for Grant.
And, interestingly enough, it wasn't raining today.

Missed doses of medicine + rain = not such a good combo for a JRA kiddo.

{Here's to a dry, dry summer, huh?}


Rough Day

 It was a rough day around here for our favorite four year old. 

For the first time in weeks, he complained of his legs hurting.

All day long, he barely walked.  
He laid on the couch, holding and rubbing his knees and ankles.

 {My legs very don't feel well, mommy}.

My heart broke for him.

Praying that tomorrow is a better, more pain-free day for our sweet Grant.


 Morning peace.

Before this beautiful, spunky, just-turned-2-year-old girl...

Starts her rampage of the house

It makes my heart so, so happy, though, to have my little girl laughing and playing {and terrorizing!}

and that these can be cut off. 


Back Home Again

Once again, three words:

We are home.

{Although this time, I'm kinda wondering for how long}.

Grace did end up having a short nasal surgery today.

 She's home now, in bed, asleep, after eating two full pieces of pizza and a clementine after not being allowed to eat all day!

The shocker of the surgery?

There was still some stray cow fuzz, or moo fur, as our house calls it, up her nose.

{I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!}

gracie.  doesn't she look like she's contemplating all that's been happening?

We were shocked because when we were in the hospital a week ago she had a scope up her nose, which declared her all clear.

However, a scope with an awake (and screaming and kicking and wiggling) two-year-old is not as good apparently as a scope when she's sedated.

So, thank goodness for a skittle up the nose!
The stray moo fur could have harbored more toxic shock infection...and landed us back in the hospital.

We are amazed at the Lord's working.  


kinda tired.

I'm going to eat some icecream.  Watch a movie.  and then sleep.


This girl...

...has a skittle stuck up her nose right now.

No, I'm not joking.

And yes, I promise we watch our children!

Calling the E.N.T in the morning.
I'm thinking she'll probably need sedated to get it out.

{didn't I just blog about wanting to write about lighter stuff?}

I'm thinking nothing smaller than 4 inches will ever be allowed in our house again.

Will keep you updated!

After the Appointment Update

We're all pretty excited about the doctor's appointment Grant had today.
Just absolutely fantastic news!

no more swelling in his wrists, knees, or ankles.
Full mobility is back in his ankles!

His labwork is great.

{except for one something-or-other level that the rheumatologist didn't seem too concerned about.  We might repeat that level in 2 months, but for now, I'm choosing to not google it.}
We're staying pretty status quo for now:
same non-steroid anti-inflammatory.
four milligrams, three times a day.
return in two months.

My main concern for today's appointment was how fatigued he still is.  
There could be several reasons, but we're hoping that his stamina is just pretty low from how sick he was for so many months.

So, basically, we get him outside a lot to play this summer.  

{I think we can handle that.}

After seemingly endless doctor's appointments that included spinal tap, leukemia, meningitis, sepsis, and toxic shock in the discussions, it.was.fabulous. to walk out of the doctor's office with a 

you're doing great!

from the doctor. 

So, now, hopefully, I can blog about lighter things. 

Like how we're out of Diet Coke and I'm dying for one.

Thanks for praying with me, friends. 

The JRA continues

These two little kids have been keeping us busy recently!
{busier than usual!}

Here's what's going on with the oldest G:

Three weeks ago we visited the pediatric rheumatologist at Riley Children's Hospital.
The absolutely fantastic news from that appointment is that his blood work came back beautifully.
His white blood cell count was {finally}completely normal.

{A normal WBC count almost entirely rules out the possibility of leukemia}.

 We have been giving him a new medicine for the past 2 weeks.
Basically the strongest non-steroid anti-inflammatory he can have.!

The pain, the complete fatigue and exhaustion - it's all better!
We are so happy to get our cheerful little boy back.  
He's happy, cooperative, and sleeping only slightly more than normal.

We are hopeful that this medicine will keep the JRA symptoms under control, so we don't have to move on to a stronger treatment!

We return to the ped. rheumatologist tomorrow afternoon.  

We are anticipating getting the official 
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis 

 I am also anticipating and hoping to get a few more details about this disease and the future treatment plan.

For now, we are blessed that we have an excellent doctor only 40  minutes from us, that Grant will *take* this new medicine fairly easily, and that it's seeming to truly help.

{To be honest for a moment?}
I could pretty easily get pretty freaked out about what the future may hold for our sweet boy.  My heart aches for him...I would love for him to avoid more pain, more stiffness, more exhaustion, more medicines that may have serious side effects.  I would love for him to not have to take medicine 3x a day at just 4 years old.

But, I'm trusting.  Trusting that His plan is perfect, that HE will keep us and love us and guide us.
And keep Grant and love Grant and guide Grant.
Even in the middle of a degenerative disease.
Even in the middle of whatever the future may hold.

And that even through it all, good stuff will happen.
For His glory.

Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.
I Sam. 12:16


Part 2, In Three Words

We. are. HOME.

Our sweet Grace, part 1

Many of you have been praying for our sweet and spunky just-turned-2-year-old, Grace.

Thursday afternoon we were sent straight from the doctor's office to the emergency room at the local Children's hospital.

Grace had a high fever, bright red feet, and an unusual rash.
All signs of toxic shock syndrome.

The ER got us in immediately, and within a few minutes of seeing her the ER doctor told me to prepare myself to stay for awhile-at the the very least a couple of days.

So, a ton of blood work, a CT scan, x-ray, and a whole bunch of antibiotic later, we're pretty certain it's definitely toxic shock and not the scarier stuff this rash can mean like meningitis or sepsis.

{we've been talking way too much recently about a scary stuff and our kids, haven't we?)