Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

Friday, December 23, 2011

Acceptance-with-joy


Ellery woke up this morning and declared, "I'm so glad I have two brothers. And that one of them is extra special. Brothers are the best. I could have had sisters but I get to have brothers!" She then proceeded to jump all over the couch and slide down the makeshift slide she had created as both of her little brothers watched in awe and then eagerly followed in her footsteps. It was one of those moments where I really took in all that she had so joyfully uttered and thought to myself that I'm so very blessed. I also thought to myself that this is the thankfulness and joy the Lord desires from my own heart. Thankful for every blessing, every struggle, every pain, every joy because they all ultimately bring me closer to Him.

Christmas time has been hard for us the past couple of years. The first year, we were awaiting some pretty intense genetic testing results for Price, and then this last year we had been hit with the devastating news that the neurologist wanted to test him for degenerative conditions after a not-so-stellar MRI. We spent most of the holidays waiting for a phone call.

This year we are in a much different position, but waiting nonetheless. We are preparing our family for a trip to China. Our family will be apart for over a month. I have no idea of what to expect or the emotions I will feel knowing that for some of that time my boy will be having medical procedures done without me by his side. Or how much I will miss my "bookends" while I am on the other side of the earth.

I do know that this Christmas season, I am truly at a place of acceptance-with-joy. I accept with joy the life the Lord has planned for Price, whatever it may look like. I accept-with-joy the possibility that stem cells won't do a single thing. I accept-with-joy that this trip could be for some completely other reason than for Price. We do know that the Lord has illuminated this next step in our journey and so, like my daughter, I want to have a heart that overflows with thankfulness and joy at what the Lord desires to do in China.

{Nevertheless, OBVIOUSLY we are praying for the Lord to use this trip to bring healing to our boy. I think I will post the list of specific prayer requests we are giving to our friends and family. We would be grateful for your prayers for our family.}

Monday, December 19, 2011

This boy





is 14 months old already
has started climbing and jumping
shakes his head for no and for yes...it's a pretty funny sight
does the happy feet dance when he's frustrated
loves itsy bitsy spider and doing the hand motions
calls lulu "wuwu"
airplanes, birds, trucks, vacuum cleaners, dogs, squirrels...a few of his favorite things
loves to put his hands over his eyes and then shout, "Boo"
says the sweetest "bye bye"
gets into everything and then some
likes to back into things and go in reverse
is so goofy and makes everyone laugh
takes a bite of his snack then offers some to his "bro bro"
is always wanting to eat
loves to throw away trash and "clean"
woke up with a black eye this morning...a fight with his bed maybe?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pictures with Pipes (and Lulu and Poppy)














Goodlight Photography

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our favorite chicken

I usually make this once a week. It is a hit with everyone!

3 pounds of chicken (either breast or thigh)
1/2 cup flour, gluten free
1 tsp natural salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup of unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flour, salt, paprika, sage, and pepper together and put in a plastic bag. Add the meat to the bag and shake until well coated. Melt butter in a 9x13 baking dish in the preheated oven. Place coated meat in baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes on each side.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

China

3 months ago, the whole family is in the car taking Ellery to school, when Nathan blurts out, "I think I want to take Price to China."

Come to find out, he'd been praying and researching about a type of stem cell treatment that has had some success in helping patients with ataxia.

Umbilical cord stem cells. Ataxia: uncoordinated movement (in Price's case most likely due to cerebellum issues).

Yes, we have banked both boys cord blood but are unable to use it due to P's lack of diagnosis and inability to qualify for an FDA trial. Believe me, we have exhausted this avenue. Maybe at some point in the future.

Nathan and I prayed, skypped and talked with families all over the world. We waited for a red flag, a concern. We debated, what would P want?

This is not without risks. It's scary. But we believe it might be worth it.

Our tax return came back the highest ever this year. We rejoiced that it would help pay for treatment.

We prayed and prayed some more. We cried. We talked. We planned.

We are going. 30 days in China. 30 days of medical treatment, physical therapy, and so much more. 30 days of befriending people from all over the world who are in need of hope.

Yes, we hope that this treatment will offer P a better future. Not because we don't think he's perfect just as he is, because we do. But, because we want the world for him. We'd do anything. Go anywhere. To the ends of the earth. But, OUR hope is in the Lord. For, there can be no healing apart from Him.

Thanks for journeying with us. Definitely to be continued.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trip NYC

Nathan and I just returned home from a fantastic trip to New York City with some good friends. We hadn't been away, just the two of us, in, well..I can't really remember. One of the couples that went with us lived in NYC for awhile and so they planned our jam-packed itinerary. We lived it up like true New Yorkers, riding the subway everywhere, eating street meat (well, some of us did...I opted for the pretzel), and staying in a room that was the size of my mom's closet. It was awesome.

The Brooklyn tabernacle worship on Sunday. It's truly like a little glimpse of what I imagine heaven to be like. There was not one empty seat (this picture was taken early), and I think the floor was literally moving with all the praising, dancing, and clapping going on. I loved being in the minority and was only a little disappointed that we didn't get to hear Jim Cymbala.
We visited the 9/11 memorials. What a humbling sight. The pregnant women who died that day had their name on the memorial along with "and her unborn child". That really stuck with me. Every life lost that day was so precious, including those unborn children.
Another view of the memorial
Our night out on Broadway
Random picture but the only one I have of the two of us.
Random bathroom picture
Brooklyn Bridge...we walked the bridge. Glad I did it, but didn't love it. They were spray painting, so the fumes plus the height didn't go so well for me.
Riding the subway with Melissa
Macy's store front

Every meal we ate was outstanding and the fact that it included no screaming children made it even that much more enjoyable. What a blessing to get away, have our kids well taken care of by so many at home, and recharge. I was so ready to return home Sunday night...there's really no place like home.

On our return flight I couldn't help but think about the hugeness (is that a word?) of the next trip we will be taking. This time it is literally on the other end of the earth. Destination China. And no, it's not to pick up a child (although Lord willing, that might happen one day).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

"Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction. You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience - at times, blind obedience. To people who don't know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain.

Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity." Sarah Young in Jesus Calling

Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Love this voice

I have not been blogging. Truth is we have been really wrestling with some big decisions around here. We have been praying through some things, seeking the Lord's direction, and waiting. And every time I go to blog, I can't think of much else to blog about. I come up empty. Hopefully I can share some of what is on our heart real soon.

In the meantime, how sweet is this?



She is a music lover! Many nights of the week she has a jam session with her daddy before bed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A beautiful song

Within the womb I formed you
I fashioned and made each part
I thought of your fingers, your hands and your feet
Your mouth, your lungs, your heart
Though you might think that you’re different
I made you the way that you are
So you could discover the God who made you
And find out all I am

And though you might think you have limitations
There are no limits with me
When you turn your eyes to my salvation
Finally you will see

In Me, you have all that you need
In Me, you have all that you need
In Me, you have all that you’ll ever need.

And I’ve heard each prayer that you’ve called out
“Why did you make me this way?”
You may not completely understand now
But there will be a day
When I make everything known to you
And what you don’t now understand
You will see that I”m wise and I’m mighty and good
Just like all my plans
And if you trust in the work of my Son
One day you will see
That I’ve made you the way you are
To draw your heart to me
To draw your heart to me.

- Bob Kauflin

You can listen to it here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A walker

We are borrowing a walker for the weekend until Price's comes in a few weeks. Here is my boy walking out of therapy on Thursday.


(Excuse my manly voice. I have been battling a little cold this week.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Reading

I had no time for blogging this week because in my free time (ha..ha), I was devouring this book...
You should definitely get it and check out her ministry, Amazima, as well!

Oh, but I will add this piece of exciting news. We just ordered Price's walker! We found one that looks like it will be a good fit and it's on the way. I'm giddy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and Hookie

Ellery wanted everyone to be a character from The Wizard of Oz, but the boys (especially one in particular) were not having it. So we improvised and Street was a football player. A football player with one little eye thingy because he tore them off about as soon as I got them on.
Dorothy and Toto. Ellery sang at our church's fall festival and then we came home to trick or treat a little and hang out in our neighborhood. We learned that we don't need to be out after 8pm on Halloween night. Some junior high kid with a "scream" mask, came up and yelled in Ellery's face. I am pretty sure she is scarred.
Hut, hut!
Price refused to change his clothes and then whined when we wouldn't let him go trick or treating. He's also been in time-out two mornings in a row. Yes, I think the "terrific-two's" are hitting us a bit late.
Today, we played hookie from school and I took Ellery and Street to Dewberry Farms. We enjoyed time with friends we haven't seen in awhile and the beautiful weather. Street is in awe of the milking cow in the picture above. He kept saying, "Dog, dog!" He finally got the "moo" down when we were leaving.
Besties forever these two. I pray they always remain close. There is something so special about being friends since birth.
"More, more!"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Standing tall


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week Recap

This past weekend we participated in Price's school's fun walk and carnival. Price loved seeing his teachers somewhere other than the classroom and our friends, the Meltons, were super sweet and supportive to come walk with us. We have been blessed with such incredible friends that have truly carried our burdens and made this journey a little lighter. Not to mention, our new friends that ARE walking a similar journey. We are thankful our paths have crossed.

I feel like I have been awaiting test results for approximately 2 1/2 years. I really don't like it. I pretty much have Texas Children's phone number memorized along with some Duke ones. About a month ago, a nurse from Duke called and my heart about skipped a beat. I knew we had no pending test results, just habit I guess. We've waited and waited some more. Wednesday we received a call from Ellery's oral surgeon and it was good news. Thank Jesus. She had what is called a giant cell fibroma. So rare for a 5 year old but completely benign.

On Tuesday, I picked Price up from school and his teacher mentioned he was a little sleepy. No sooner than I had buckled him in his car seat did he start throwing up everywhere. Over and over. He doesn't really have the reflex to bend over or stick his head out the door, so Price, his car seat, and my car was a total disaster. I guess one of his teachers saw this go down and she came to get Price and take him back into the classroom to clean him up. She's truly a saint (and now the owner of a gift card for a new shirt). She washed my boy down from head to toe while I tried to somewhat clean up the inside of my car so that we could actually drive home. Thank the Lord it was a windy day (as opposed to the previous days of hot, sticky humidity) and some rolled down windows helped me to survive. I looked back at my pale, sickly little boy on the way home and he managed a smile, almost as if to say, "Thanks, mom."

Later that night, Street came down with a cold almost out of nowhere, so we spent Wednesday and most of Thursday indoors. Except, Price had his appointment for orthotics Thursday afternoon. All went well and he's got these brand new blue race car AFO's. Our appointment took forever and I soaked up the minutes just holding my boy and watching episodes of Blue's Clues on my phone. He really is such joy and I love spending time one on one with him, although the lifting and carrying does take a toll. (I must get to the gym if I am going to be this boy's feet for too much longer.) He's been very generous with smiles and kisses and is loving me well lately. I will take it! As we were leaving the orthotic place, I got just a little teary. I am so thankful for his AFO's and that it means he is actually bearing weight and working on new skills, but at the same time there's just that part of me that wishes I didn't have to know about AFO's. I took Price to buy some new shoes after his appointment and we had to go up about 4 sizes to get them to fit his orthotics. I am going to have to get use to these huge, big boy feet. Price picked out a fish stuffed animal at the store and then we made ourselves sick eating gummy bears on the way home.

I have been reading a book by Larry Crabb called "Shattered Dreams". My mother-in-law let me borrow it last time we were visiting. It has truly blessed me as it discusses the story of Naomi and how God stripped her of happiness in order to prepare her for joy. He says, "God is always working to make His children aware of a dream that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream, a new dream that when realized will release a new song, sung with tears, till God wipes them away and we sing with nothing buy joy in our hearts." I am only about half way through it, but I am enjoying the author's honesty.

Praising Him for good news, Lysol, and shattered dreams this week, and still believing He will do a mighty work in my boy's life and in our family. Have a blessed weekend, friends!

Cruising


Monday, October 17, 2011

And the icing on the cake...


After almost everyone had left Street's party, Price busted out with this! This is his FIRST time to ever CRAWL on all fours. That's his Aunt Meredith cheering him on. He adores her, especially when she's laughing.

Street's partay

I have so many thoughts running through my head that will hopefully come together for a post or two, but I didn't want to forget the fun celebration that took place for a pretty awesome little one year old.

My sister had the idea of throwing Street a touchdown party. I think I mentioned it on here before, but one of the first funny things he learned to do was throw his hands up in the air when someone shouted, "Touchdown, Street!"











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