Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Amazing Giveaway

MckMama is giving away an HP TouchSmart!!! Go to for details!

Very cool.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What did I do to deserve this?

So I had a not-so-great Monday. And Tuesday started out with the question, "What did I do to deserve this?"

That's right....I was reading Job.

Ok, I know that I'm no Job, he of the renowned patience (though he did rail at God quite a bit, frustrated for what he saw as punishment that he didn't deserve)--I've lost patience with my children, reveling in the "do justly" part without balancing it out with the "love mercy." I have, on more occasions than I'd like to admit, allowed myself to sleep in instead of getting up to start the day right with quiet time. And I could go on, but you get the picture.

Except for Grace. Because of His sacrifice for me, I have been cleansed. Because of His power I live each day trying to be like Him.

Just suppose.

Suppose that God had a conversation with Satan a few years ago, and that I was the topic, rather than Job. Satan tells God that the only reason that sing His praises, crave His presence, teach my children to love Him, is because He has built a hedge around me. He'd blessed me with a loving Christian family, a Godly husband, two beautiful and healthy children.

Thankfully Satan didn't orchestra every piece of property and both children taken, turn my husband against me and send "friends" to stare at me for 7 days before telling me that the only reason all this had happened because of sin. Instead, he tried steal my faith by introducing my family to the realities of life with a little girl with DiGeorge Syndrome, spina bifida and wide circle of other problems. To round out the year, he took my much-loved father, much too young.

Maybe it wasn't Satan's doing. Maybe it's "just life" in a fallen world, but Satan's scheme is to use it to put a wedge between me and my Creator.

At any rate, I have to admit that I'm still working through why God would allow Daddy to die at age 55. But if Satan wanted to use that to shatter my faith, sorry (or not), not happening. If anything, it makes me more determined.

But I am echoing Job's sentiment when it comes to Madeline Kate. "What did I do to deserve this??"

What did I do to deserve waking up every morning to her sweet smiles; to her grin when she raises her arms to say, "SO big!"; to feel her little hand patting my face; to see her eyes light up when I ask her if she wants to sing "One little fishy"? What did I do to deserve seeing her delight when her sisters love on her or her Daddy coos at her? What did I do to deserve watching how God is already using her little life to bless and inspire so many? What did I do to deserve that she signs mama and says daddy? What did I do to deserve Madeline Kate?

So to the enemy of this child of God, I say, "Your mission failed." And to God, my Rock and Shelter, "How can I keep from singing Your praise? How can I ever say enough? How amazing is Your love! How can I keep from shouting Your name? I know I am loved by the King, and it makes my heart want to sing!"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last night, around 11:15....

....I finished the last requirement to get my Bachelor's of Science in Accounting.

Can you hear me doing the happy dance?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Daddy was reading Finding Favor with the King by Tommy Tenney (author of One Night With the King) when he went to be with the King. Mom gave Jordan and I the accompanying devotional books for Christmas last year. Yesterday, I read this:

Have you prayed about the difficult or challenging situations in your life? Make sure you've taken care of any wrong motives, unforgiveness, or unconfessed sin in your life. Then prepare a banquet for the Lord through a genuine outpouring of your love in the form of thanksgiving, praise, worship, adoration, and a lifestyle that says yes to Him in word and deed.

This is how you make sure you pray His will instead of merely your wants while also seeking His face as your First Love rather than merely your First Source.

That thought has been challenging to me ever since I read it. The difference between First Love and First Source is all the difference in the world, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baby hat giveaway!

For a chance to win a baby hat (!!!!), head on over to visit Jen at her blog, Our Journey with Micro-Preemie Twins! The beanie is from Baby Blvd, and that site is also running an offer of free shipping on any orders that mention Jen's blog. Have fun...Christmas is right around the corner!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quick Medical Update

Well, after 9 appointments in under two weeks time, besides her four therapies per week, we were certainly kept busy, busy, busy! But we had some great news, too, so--worth it? Yep!

Of course, Maddy got her casts off, and her braces made and fitted (and re-fitted, which unfortunately caused her first pressure sore. Yes, that made be sick in my stomach. Unfortunately, I hear it's not uncommon when braces are first adjusted, and since Maddy can't feel anything from at least her waist down, there's no way for her to tell me. Needless to say, we're watching the sore like a hawk, and it is healing, although it does take a while. And this is turning into the longest parenthetical statement in my blogging history.).

We also visited the ENT doctor. Now that the (turquoise) tubes are in the adorable little ears, he wants to go ahead with an ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) test to make sure that she has no hearing loss. With the tubes, we're definitely not seeing any signs of it, but since she isn't babbling much at all yet, they'd like to make sure that we're not missing anything.

The neurologist simply bumped her Keppra (seizure medication) to match her weight. They will do another EEG when she's been on the medicine for two years.

The pulmonologist has scheduled another polysomnogram (sleep study). I don't have a lot of hope for weaning her off oxygen since her SATs continue to drop when she's off O2, but at least we'll be able to make sure that things haven't gotten worse.

Now for some really good news!

First--On ultrasound, Maddy's kidneys (I should say kidney since her kidneys are fused into one horseshoe kidney!) are 75% better since her got her vesicostomy! The vesicostomy was needed because the reflux to her kidneys was severe enough that it was causing hydronephrosis. The vesicostomy is an attempt to take some of the pressure off the kidneys. We assume that she still has the reflux, but now there isn't as much to reflux into the kidneys, since her bladder is constantly draining into her diaper (THAT'S RIGHT! NO MORE CATHING!!!) Dr. Cain was hoping for 50% better one month out from the surgery, so 75% is awesome! He expects that by her next visit her kidneys will not be swollen at all.

Second--Madeline's cell function tests came back from Mayo Clinic. Due to her DiGeorge Syndrome, her T-cells have been just a bit low, not enough to cause major concern. Dr. Belcher tested the cell function, to see how they fight off infection, and they are functioning at 100%. This means that Madeline most likely doesn't have the terribly suppressed immune system common in most DiGeorge Syndrome kids. And since she doesn't have the heart problems associated with DiGeorge, her issue is "only" the spina bifida. We're still trying to keep Maddy away from anything nasty, but this was very good news to say the least.

I must get back to my schoolwork....Only 9 more days to go and I'm done, Done, DONE!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maddy's Dedication

In case you missed it on Facebook, I'm posting the link to view Maddy's dedication on Sunday. Thank you, Jed, for capturing the moments for us. If you don't want to see the entirety of the video, move ahead until you see Pastor take Madeline. It's priceless. :)

We were very thankful to have Glen's parents and sisters with us for the dedication. I wished that my Mom could have been there, and I especially missed Daddy since he had dedicated his other four grandchildren.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to pause the music that is already playing on my blog. And then....Enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A day at the park

Carli and Olivia spent part of yesterday afternoon at the park with our sweet friends, Jed and Alyssa. Jed took along his DVD camera and captured some memories, as well as interviewed the girls on theology. Jed and Glen are constantly discussing/debating/bouncing ideas off of each other, and it's so frequent that Alyssa and I occasionally join in (either that or roll our eyes!). This is definitely a case of "iron sharpens iron." No fighting, no raised voices. Just thoughtful discussion. Isn't that the way it should be?

Anyway. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and pause the playlist and then watch this charming little clip! And thanks, Jed, for sharing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

From clubbed to corrected, casts to braces

On Tuesday, September 15, we kissed these beautiful little feet good-bye for the last time. Technically, I suppose, Madeline Kate still has the same feet, but oh, what a difference surgery and six weeks in casts can make!

Waiting in the lobby for someone, anyone, to call her name! She was entertaining everybody.

Nurse Mike very carefully begins to cut through the bright pink casts.

Not so happy about having to be on her belly!

Peeling away the layers

Both feet unwrapped!

Compare the first picture to this one!!! See how straight?

The butterfly bandages are still on, complete with a lot of dried gunk.

See the pins? 6 total: 3 in each foot.

Wrapped after the pins are pulled out. That was a little weird. I can't imagine how stomach-turning it would have been to see them twist them in during surgery.
All ready to go see Ahmed! She's playing "So Big!"
Ahmed makes moldings of each leg so that he can make braces withing two days. This was a slight change in plans. Dr. Didelot had originally said that she would have a second set of casts for two to three weeks. If Ahmed wouldn't have been willing to speed up the process of making the braces, that definitely would have been the case.

Finished molds

On our way to pick up the braces!

Waiting with Carli (Olivia used to wear the outfit that Maddy is wearing. Carli's tights still fit, so I found another outfit that would go with them.)

Finished product. I was disappointed not to have any solid colors to pick from. Everything was print, and not a lot of choices at that. I tried to pick something with small print that wouldn't be too obnoxiously clashing with everything. This was the best I could do. They are very cute, but won't go with a whole lot. I think I'll have to practice ignoring that issue! I wish I would have thought of that BEFORE I wore brown and purple striped tights on her though, since I took lots of pictures! :) I was very pleased, though, to discover that they didn't go clear to her knees like I thought they would. Aren't they adorable?

Since she doesn't need to wear shoes yet, Ahmed made them with extra padding and a little bigger than necessary so that she'll have some growing room.

Happy Birthday, Stellan! We're praying

Stellan McKinney turns 1 today. After a nice long stint with no SVT, he is in the hospital and not doing well at all. Please join me in praying for little Stellan and for his family. You can read his whole story at

Stay tuned for pictures of Maddy's casts coming off, her newly straightened feet, and braces!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Awesome giveaway by MckMama!

MckMama is doing an awesome giveaway on her giveaway site, Up for grabs is a $200 Best Buy gift certificate! Enjoy....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not me! Monday

Thanks to MckMama for once again having a Not Me! Monday blog carnival.
I am not sitting here thinking of something to type since the drawing this week is for a $100 gift certificate from PURSEnally Yours.
I wouldn't dream of laughing out loud at MckMama's oven mishap that she so sweetly did not confess to today.
I most certainly did not ignore my daughter's fake sounding cry and just assumed that she was not hurt or she would have actually really cried.
I do not have suitcases in my bedroom that desperately need unpacked from our vacation that ended a week and a day ago.
I do not still have boxes and bags of clothes pulled out of the shed and received from various and sundry people, still sitting on the top bunk in the girls room because I can't figure out when to do the nasty job of switching out the clothes.
And who would ever accuse me of being frustrated at my dear hubby for forgetting to bring home the remaining dip that I'd sent to a get-together? I'm definitely not that focused on food.
If you have non-confessions about ready to spill forth, head on over to MckMama's blog to find out how to join in the fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Momentarily disturbing.

I was a little disturbed to find that Carli spelled "stepmom" on the tub wall, with foam least until I found out they were playing Cinderella. Whew, it's a relief to know that she wasn't rooting for one! :)

Thanks to Linda Kokinda for two more cool sites for teachers/parents/kids: abcteach and SoftSchools. I like mixing it up for Carli instead of the same things day in and day out, and these can help with the endless reviews.

Off to get the kids out of the tub, quick clean up of the girls' room and schoolroom, fold laundry, start Maddy's feed and breathing treatments .......................................... Why are there still lists of things to do at almost 9??? I think instead of To Do lists, we should make things of all the many things we accomplish through the day...then we would see our fantastic amounts of hard work and pat ourselves on the back instead of thinking "but I didn't get it all done....." Sound like a plan?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back home again in Indiana

Well, we had a whopper of a trip, visiting friends in WV, taking a three-day field trip to Washington, DC, and spending some time with Mom in PA. I'll write more about the trip later, but tonight, I wanted to pass along some Madeline news and a great site for all elementary students.

LISA S.* gave me some flashcards for Madeline--touch and feel animals that Maddy likes a lot. Today, I kept showing her the dog flashcard and saying and signing dog over and over. Then I introduced bear with the sign. Then I started asking, "Where's the dog?" and over and over, Maddy would pick the right one, even after I'd mix them up. Ok, I know most of you are thinking that I'm being overly excited about something so small, but for us this is huge! I'm so excited to see Maddy catching up slowly but surely. It's like watching a flower blossom, and I love it.

In other news, LISA B.** gave me a great website for spelling fun. It's, and you can type in the spelling list and they can play games or take practice tests with them. Carli loved it. Her first time on tonight, she just played "Which one?", choosing the right word to complete the sentences. Now that she's reading quickly and without a lot of help, I don't have to stand over her shoulder to help her, and even though it's basically the same thing she does on her worksheets, she likes the diversity of using the computer.

*Lisa Myers Sommers, in WV, friend dating back to teenage years.

**Lisa Bryant, in IN, who is a new friend who never lets me live it down that I once put Lisa Sommers' name in CAPS on FB. Hence, so as not to hurt any feelings, every Lisa gets equal-opportunity CAPS. :)

***I should clarify that Lisa B is not really that sensitive, but a great tease for someone so old. HeeHeeHeeHee.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What works for Carli

I love finding tips for any and everything on the blogs I follow, specifically ones that make homeschooling to run as smoothly as possible. I've discovered something that helps Carli concentrate and actually enjoy flashcards for blends, arithmetic and lots of other facts that need memorized. It started one day when Carli's eyes were glazing over--I wanted to get done, but I didn't want her to hate it either. I got her personal-sized white board out, and told her to take score: One point for Carli when she got a flash card right and one point for Mommy when she got it wrong. She was like a different person, and she quickly caught on that she couldn't just look at part of the fact and guess--she had to know the answer to get a point.

Since then, we've used the basic idea in many different ways: hangman, building towers with blocks, and bar graphs, for instance. It makes it a lot more fun, and quicker, too, since I'm not trying constantly to bring her back to the matter at hand.

I'm very excited that school is going as well as it is: You know how it can be for a first time home educator. Carli is learning quickly, and now can read bigger words with special sounds using one- and two-vowel rules very well. She told me today that she was going to read her primer all day on Saturday so she can learn lots.

In other news: Olivia told me the other day that she needed to talk to my ear. Trying to stifle my giggles, I asked what she needed and she said, "I need to go to the store and buy some eggs." What could a 3-year-old need with eggs?? :)

Maddy started speech therapy last week, and I'm super excited about it. Since it involves all play, signing, singing and reading, I think she likes it, too.

Even in the valley

Our choir will be singing "Even in the valley." It's one of the songs that brings back memories of the emotions I was experiencing when we found out what was going on with Madeline, before she was even born. I couldn't find it as an option to add to my playlist, so I searched on youtube for it. I found the Whisnants singing it, and added the link below. It's more Southern Gospel-style than our choir-fied (yes, I know that's not a word!) version, but I think you'll appreciate the words if you are going through a difficult time.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Pics posted below of Maddy in her new chair! The chair is adjusted as small as it goes, but the rep is going to cut out a piece so that her kyphosis will fit it, and then her whole back will be flat on the chair. She's slumping a bit now because of the curve, but then she does that no matter what she's in.

FYI: This is like Christmas for Mommy, and when they were making all the adjustments, it was like when you take hours to put stuff together on Christmas! :) She's sleeping and eating in it now, as we speak. It tilts AND reclines, so she's nice and comfy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Home again!

Just in case you're not on facebook and hadn't heard, we are home from the hospital as of last night. We took a short detour to have a quick supper with Glen's brother (who got to hold Maddy for the first time ever, and yes, Maddy flirted up a storm with him), and then home to figure out this new situation of ours.

Maddy is still happy and doing well. Mommy, on the other hand, is trying to figure out how to keep the vesicostomy from leaking all over the casts while I change/cath her. Oh, and last night the g-tube wouldn't flow, and didn't until after I called the nurses' line and was waiting for a call back. I still don't know why. It wasn't clamped, and it wasn't backing up like she wasn't tolerating the feed. It just wouldn't flow. Even though I was sitting right beside her, I didn't notice until the formula filled up the syringe and overflowed. Grrr.

I spent the day getting ready for company--Glen's cousin and her husband, from Colorado, are coming any minute. I'm glad I had some extra time to clean, though Glen had kept up the house the best he could while I was gone, thankfully. Anyone want to come tackle my fridge, though??? How does it get so messy? I wipe it out more frequently than ever now, but stuff spills from who-knows-where, and you know what, I'm too pooped to care at the moment. Maybe next week.

Oh, and speaking of next week: Monday is an exciting day for us. Besides getting to visit with Uncle Keith for a few more hours, we also are getting Maddy's first wheelchair! It's not one that she will wheel herself, but it's going to help her so much in sitting up straight, freeing her to play and enjoy life from a whole different vantage point.

Monday is also exciting because I will find out who my mentor is going to be. I know that there are many prayer warriors who have been praying for months over who should be matched with whom, and I'm excited to see what God has in store for me--I know that I have much growing to do, and that I have a lot to learn about continually deepening my walk with Christ.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pictures of the lovely pink casts (and Maddy, too, of course)

I was able to get Maddy up and dressed today, and she's happy as a clam (how happy, exactly, are clams, by the way??), talking and grinning and signing "Mama." I snapped some pictures with my camera phone--they're a bit blurry, but you can get the general idea! She's down to one IV. Her Mic-Key (feeding tube button) is "up to burp" right now. You can see tubing attached to an open syringe in the picture. The reason for this is that it's alleviating any pressure on her stomach, which is newly wrapped around her esophagus. Once she begins to tolerate her more normal feeds, we'll only hook her up to an open syringe 15 minutes before and for 30 minutes after her feeds. It literally burps her! :)

Oh, and we got switched to PediaSure today, so that she will be getting all the micronutrients that a 14-month-old girl should be getting.

Thanks for your prayers and many emails, FB messages and phone calls! We will tell her often how much support and love we have received through each of her battles and in between as well.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Madeline is resting in her room now. This is the most relaxed I've seen her after a surgery, but she's doing really well, without a lot of pain meds. We're currently trying to save an IV that keeps occluding. Jenny, our nurse, has been taping and retaping trying to save it.

Maddy came through her surgery with flying colors. I can't see the ear tubes, obviously, but she's currently sporting two IVs with arm boards, a brand new g-tube, several laparoscopic incisions, a funny-looking vesicostomy complete with a Foley catheter until tomorrow, and two bright-pink casts from hip to toes. They match her toenails, by the way.

We were blessed to have my Aunt Pam and Uncle RB as well as Marcia Carnes and Pastor Kraig to keep us company while we waited. Auntie came bearing many fun surprises, including an adorable nightie that she made for Maddy. I only had one nightie, bought last night, and I knew we'd need one since jammies won't fit over the casts. Auntie took an adorable brown and pink onsie and added addorable polka-dot material and a big bow to make it an adorable nightie. The one from Target is awesome, but not nearly as cute as the one from Auntie!!! :) I've heard rumors that she has material for one more, now that she knows it was the right size.

I'll keep you updated when possible. I won't have a computer beginning tomorrow, as Glen will have this one with him, and mine is in the shop. Thank you all for your prayers! They mean the world to me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Of surgery and kidneys

This Saturday finds us trying to get everything in line for next week. Besides just trying to get things together for a few days in the hospital, I'm trying to do a few of the extra things that don't get done on a daily (weekly!) basis since Glen's cousin Fern and her husband Allen will be here next Saturday night through Monday morning, and Glen's brother will be in town for training as well. We are very excited about seeing them all, but as you can imagine, I am wondering what my house will look like by the time I'm in the hospital with Maddy for a few days. We talking about switching out one night, if she's still in the hospital on Friday.

In the mean time, while I hate it that Maddy has to have to be in the hospital at all, I am definitely looking forward to some quiet time in the hospital! It's crazy busy in the hospital, especially in PICU, but there's no cleaning to be done, AND, I'm done with my schoolwork for another month. So I can play with Maddy, visit with all the hospital personnel, and READ. (Oh, and catch The Office on Thursday night!)

You may have seen on FB that Madeline has had a new procedure added to the list. So now it's a five-in-one: ear tubes, feeding tube, Nissen (wrapping the stomach around the stomach), vesicostomy, and bilateral club foot correction.

If you're not into urology, you may want to skip this paragraph. What? No one left??? Ok, I'll just pretend this is Madeline's medical journal. Madeline's nuclear kidney scan on Thursday produced some interesting results. The test was supposed to show kidney function. They gave her nuclear medicine through an iv, and then watched the blood flow through the kidneys. Very good news on that front. Her kidney function is just fine! So why the continued hydronephrosis (swollen kidneys) that we keep seeing on ultrasound? Why this little wonder has a horseshoe kidney. Normal kidneys are positioned like this, like tipped teacups. A horseshoe kidney, a congenital anomaly, occurs when the kidneys are rotated and fused to look like a horseshoe. This causes them to fill quite a bit more before spilling, thus causing them to appear swollen. Nothing really needs to be done for this, but it's interesting to know. This morning, I had a sudden flash of brilliance. Dr. Cain said that it wasn't related to spina bifida. BUT, I wondered, is it related to DiGeorge syndrome (a.k.a. 22q11.2 deletion syndrome)? DiGeorge is the chromosomal syndrome that Madeline has that they think caused the spina bifida (a very rare presentation). It's main presentation is usually major heart issues, and thankfully, that is not the case with Maddy. She has the characteristic facial features (low-set ears), immune system deficiencies, hypocalcemia (resolved now), possible hearing loss, severe dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) and suspected submucosal cleft palate. And look at this link for DiGeorge, and what do you see??? Horseshoe kidney!!! :) I should be in the medical field.

Ok, if you're still with me, we're doing one last paragraph about Maddy's lovely little plumbing system. She has grade IV-V reflux from the bladder to the kidneys (vesicoureteral reflux). The pressure is significant and could cause damage in the long run. Vesicostomies were standard course 10 or 15 years ago. Now urologists recommend aggressive catheterizing to try to combat the reflux. Madeline is one of the few for whom Dr. Cain believes this surgery is necessary. The vesicostomy brings a little of the bladder through the abdomen to empty directly into the diaper. This will stop the reflux to the kidneys, and we won't have to cath her anymore. Obviously Maddy won't want to be in diapers for life, so in a few years, when she's ready to learn to cath herself, Dr. Cain will most likely perform surgery to give her two stomas, one to flush the bowel and one to cath the bladder, right in her side so that she'll be able to be independent (and in a much better social situation). I am in love with Dr. Cain. He treats me like I'm smart enough to understand what he's saying, appreciates my questions and takes his time with us. On top of that, Dr. Cain has literally written the book on stomas in spina bifida kids. He teaches the procedure around the world and is currently filming about it. We feel very blessed to have him on our team.

Ok, Glen is wanting the computer back (mine is in the shop). Please continue to pray for Maddy during this next week--that she will tolerate the anesthesia well, that she will heal quickly, and that we will not pick up any infection, flu, etc, while we're in the hospital. The reason why we're piling on so much at once is that we definitely don't want repeated hospital stays during flu/RSV season, and of course, every surgery with anesthesia presents risks. We are having Madeline anointed on Sunday morning regarding these concerns, and we are grateful that we can put her in our Father's hands.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Madeline Kate--14-Month Pics

So I'm the horrible mom who didn't get my third child's pictures taken until she was 13 1/2 months. I have lots of excuses, of course, but in the end they fall a little flat, and I'm very mad at myself for not doing it sooner.

It was a little bit more complicated with Maddy. The night before I pulled her feeding tube and all the tape (except for the oxygen), so that her cheek wouldn't be red in the morning. In the morning, I put the tube back in, with just an eensy-weensy bit of tape. End result? Her cheek was still red. Oh, well. I knew that might happen, but if I would have waited til after her surgery, when she wouldn't have a feeding tube/tape to deal with, she would have scars on her belly from the Nissen procedure and g-tube placement, not to mention casts to her hips to correct her (adorable) feet. It's all about trade-offs, I guess. I took the oxygen off for her pics, and she stayed a nice healthy pink. I'm sure her SATs were dropping a bit, but she wasn't laboring to breathe, so I just left it off.

Anyway, we got some awesome pics! These are just the orginals, but Sears zoomed or cropped where necessary to make them even cuter!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A comfort

I've added a new song to my playlist, so turn up the volume and enjoy. It's one of my favorites and we sang it today as our prayer chorus, and on a day when I was especially missing Daddy, it is comfort to me know that even though he is no longer with me, I do have a Father who "sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call."

Lyrics to "He knows my name"
I have a Maker
He formed my heart.
Before even time began
My life was in his hands.
I have a Father.
He calls me His own.
He'll never leave me.
No matter where I go.
He knows my name.
He knows my every thought.
He sees each tear that falls,
And He hears me when I call.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where does she come up with this stuff???

I just walked into the school room. Carli was looking at the ceiling and (as usual) talking. When I asked her what she was doing, she said, "I was just having a knock-knock joke with God."

It was all I could do not to laugh.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Barbie gets polite

I was up at 4 this morning to work on auditing (yay rah!), and by early afternoon I was sporting quite a headache and not a lot of patience with arguing--no matter who's doing the arguing! I was working on tomorrow's lessons for school, when Carli's Ken dolls began arguing over who was going to marry. "I'm going to marry her." "No, I am going to marry her." "No, I am going to marry her!"

You get the drift, and even though she was a room and a half away, I just couldn't take it any more. So in a classic move that MckMama would call "armchair parenting," I called out to Carli, "PLEASE, stop arguing!" The response? "I'm not arguing--The boy Barbies are arguing." Me--"Please have the Barbies stop arguing and talk politely."

Ever obedient (*smirk*), this is what I heard next: "Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Please stop arguing over who is going to marry me!"

I about fell off my chair laughing, and I'm laughing now!

Monday, August 24, 2009

First day of homeschool!

Carli's first day of first grade, at home.

I moved the black cabinet/desk into the school room so for supplies and curriculum. It's nice for me to have a place to work at in preparing the lessons, etc. Sorry for the poor quality of pictures--that's cell phone pics for you! We need a new camera.

I love the alphabet flashcards! I was going to buy them at the aBeka materials display, but my friend Rhoda gave them to me. They are the same ones that were on our classroom wall in Kindergarten.

Our first day of homeschooling went a bit smoother than expected. Carli bounced out of bed when I woke her up, and turned down the offer of eggs and toast (normally a favorite) or oatmeal (a new favorite) because "cereal's faster!" She was eager to get on with it.

Our first Bible series is on salvation, and the first lesson was about Heaven. Among other things, we talked about Revelation's description of Heaven, and we looked at pictures of the 12 precious stones that the foundations are made of. At the end, Carli gave me a huge hug and said, "Thank you, Mommy, for showing me what's going to be in Heaven!"

I can tell that writing is not her favorite subject, but she was pleased with herself when she got it right. I'm sticking with manuscript this year. The First Presbyterian preschool that she went to followed Kokomo schools in printing style, but in between preschool and Kindergarten, Kokomo switched styles. So she's already learned two styles, and I didn't think she was strong enough in printing to move on to cursive. Three styles in three years just seemed a little too much.

Carli begged for math all morning. Wondering if she's going to love it as much as I did.

I was rather concerned with what to do with Olivia, but when she did wander in, we just had her work with us. She and I worked on a number floor puzzle while Carli was doing her math page, and she helped with the review of counting, using the abacus. She's been able to count to 10 for a long time and is almost up to 20 now, and she's constantly counting objects.

I got Maddy up an hour early to feed/cath/medicate her before I got Carli up, and that really help to cut out some of the distraction as well! All in all--a pretty good day!

From a while back: Olivia with her little friend Emma (Erynn's daughter). Erynn kept Madeline and Olivia in May when Carli had a field trip. So cute!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You weren't kidding!

I've had several people tell me that while a Beka is a very challenging curriculum, it starts off nice and slow at the beginning of the school year, for review. You weren't kidding. I'm going through the first few lessons, making sure I understand what's going on when, and arithmetic is ridiculous! The first lesson of first grade is counting to five. Seriously??? Don't kiddos learn that at, say, 2?? Oh, well...I see by the end of the year we'll be adding three-digit numbers to three-digit numbers, learning Roman numerals and fractions, so I suppose it all evens out! :)


We're in Merrillville, IN, near Chicago. Glen is doing a candidate evaluation meeting, while the girls and I hang in the (very nice) motel. They are going a little stir crazy, though, waiting anxiously for Daddy to come back and take them swimming! I'm enjoying looking at all the curriculum. The other workbooks were delivered today at home, and Lisa B. picked them up for me so they wouldn't get too soaking wet! Can't wait to lay my hands on those!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This and that with pictures!

Maddy had her upper GI yesterday, and she did so well! She had to have been hungry, poor thing--because her mother is not so hot on a short night of sleep. She was supposed to have no food after 7 a.m., so I got up at 6:15 to feed her. I had the new bag of food mixed up the night before so that I could just plug her in quickly. So I gave her the four meds, hooked her up and set my alarm for 35 more minutes of blissful sleep. When I went in to disconnect her and cath her, I noticed that she was hooked up to the old bag. Yet the new bag was hooked to the pump. And the medicine was still in her tube. And I could not find where the formula had gone! No wet spots anywhere. I am still really confused about that! To make matters worse for the poor little girl, I couldn't just run it again, and she had to go without food until 11.

Correction: She had to go without anything in her tummy until 11. Because at 11, they fed her barium water through her NG tube, so that they could check her anatomy and reflux. Still a funny little curve in the duodenum, which is important for Dr. Kokoska to know before he starts the surgery.


Glen is back safe and sound from Pittsburgh and the Right Online conference. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and gathered lots of information and buddies.

Thanks to Jed and Alyssa for offering to take the girls Saturday while I worked frantically to get the house whipped into shape after the tornado called a paint job swept through. As mentioned in a previous post, while I was busy painting, and then the next morning while I took Maddy to the doctor (urologist--joy, oh, joy!), the kids pretty much destroyed any semblance of neatness--discovering long-forgotten toys, and not having a lot of room to play in it. And it was so hot outside, that we didn't force them out in it. So it was a big blessing that J & A took the little ones for a while. They played in the park, swam in the kids pool, had supper and baths, and when they came back, they handed over miniature key lime pies. That's what I call a friend!

Friday and Saturday, I moved furniture back into the school/nursery/play room, rearranged furniture in the girls room, and put a LOT of junk away. Still have a bit to do, and I'm saving the best til last: hanging all the school things up and organizing it all.


I'm like a kid at Christmas, waiting on my first of two boxes from aBeka! The first box should arrive today and contains the parent kit. The one to be delivered tomorrow has all the workbooks that I hadn't yet found unused on ebay.


Sunday was a crazy busy day for me. First, Glen was still in Pittsburgh, so I got us all ready and to church on time, though not soon enough for me to sing with the choir. Then I skeedaddled after first church, to run home and change Maddy and me into less dressy clothes before heading down to Zionsville for the Annual NICU reunion picnic. I took Susan and Annie Claire along. Annie is a little friend of Maddy's. She also has spina bifida, but she also had open-heart surgery. She's so adorable.

It was a lot of fun to see several people that worked with Maddy in those 17 days in NICU, and lots of other miracle babies too. AND it was stinkin' hot. Just so you know.

Sunday night, we had church in the park. It was a huge victory for us to be able to do it, because when Pastor Leeder first contacted the city for permission to use the stage for our church service, he was told, yes, but no Scripture reading or preaching was allowed. As a church, we banded together to pray that God would work it out, and the city relented and gave us free reign! The choir sang several numbers as a prelude, and then we had our normal Sunday night service. Pastor was hoping for 500, and I was hearing rumors that there were about 600, though I haven't heard the official count. We're hoping that seeds were planted in the hearts of those that came by.


Ok, now for pics! These are still from April and May.

It takes a long time to get Olivia to look at the camera!

Kirsten Metz loves my couch! She was over here a lot at the end of her school year. She finally came back for Sunday and Monday nights. She's a huge help with the kids!

Dex Byani is Madeline's physical therapist. She's in love with him. Here he is helping her to sit.