Friday, December 7, 2012

Heart for Haiti

Kait was so excited to receive her welcome letter in the mail today, that she was awake and on the couch in record time!

A week or so ago my oldest daughter, Kaitlynne sponsored a child from Haiti. She had been talking about it for a long time. She figured out how much she needed to earn each month, crunched some numbers and talked it over with all of us. She invited the younger kids to sponsor a child with her, they weren't really excited to tie down their chore money like that, which is okay. I believe sponsoring a child is a matter of the heart, and if God hasn't placed that on your heart, you shouldn't feel obligated to do so. She searched for weeks to find just the right child. She narrowed it down to a boy, because they don't get sponsored as often. After weeks of deliberating she finally decided on a five year old boy named Ruth, or Rit in Creole, his native language. I only know that is his name in Creole because Kait started learning a little bit of it in hopes to write to him in Creole and bigger hopes of going on a mission trip to Haiti the summer after next.

I must say her heart to show the love of Jesus to a little boy she has never met, yet loves so strongly has really made me reevaluate my own heart. When is the last time I truly sacrificed to show someone else God's goodness? Ashamedly, I can't remember. I went on a mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico when I was about her age. I worked at an orphanage. I came home early, it was gross and the food was gross and I flew home early. Not exactly what I'd call sacrificing. Let's see, I went on Saturday's to feed the homeless in Detroit when I was a little girl. Not thinking that counts either. I have come to realize in the last couple of weeks that I am doing my children a major disservice by not encouraging them to serve the Lord in a way that would require their time, talents or money. Again, I don't feel it should ever be forced, but if their world hasn't been opened up to serving how will they ever know if it's where God is leading them? Serving alongside them is going to be one of my goals for 2013.

She is willing to give up her entire allowance, do extra chores and babysit her siblings so she can change the life of one little boy. She shared with me tonight that anything she is able to earn beyond her sponsorship she is going to give to Ruth's family. You are able to donate to the family or directly to the child. She wants his family to be able to have clean drinking water, medical care and other needs, that we see as rights, met. It has left me in awe, how can one child change a families life? Only through the love of Christ. She doesn't realize of course but she has inspired a heart refocus in me.

The night she sponsored Ruth!

She received a booklet with all Ruth's information in it!

That's Ruth, on the cover of the booklet. Isn't he precious?


Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Thanksgiving in Pictures!

Snack Bar

Watching the parade

Tristin and Bell "sleeping" during the Thanksgiving play they put on

Indian girl (Hudsyn) on a walk to find food.

Sweet turkey babies!

Indian princess girls enjoying their spoils.

Indian girl happy dance!

Dinner time!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Pictures...

It's no secret that I love pictures. Mostly because it allows me to relive beloved moments that passed all too quickly. Lately, I've caught my mind wandering back in time to cherished days turned into fleeting years. I am distinctly aware that time is slipping through my hands and all I can do is enjoy the moments that we are given. Today I am posting pictures from my phone. I almost always have my camera with me, but these photos for one reason or another were captured when one of my kids were playing photographer or my camera was left behind. The quality isn't very good, but nonetheless sweet to me.

Kaitlynne taking phone pics at the Botanical Garden

Chad and the kids exploring

Hudsyn and Maezy enjoying the sights and smells

Hudsyn, Maezy and Greysen walking one of the paths

Greysen walking the "train tracks" at the Botanical Garden

Maezy telling me all of the letters and their sounds at the Botanical Garden

The kids running in a field after a picnic lunch at one of the Metro Parks

The kids enjoying a good climb after a picnic lunch at their favorite park. They call it spinny park because it has a merry-go-round. :)

Tristin and Hudsyn helping me pick out fruit and veggies at the fruit market. Entire school lessons could be taught there. 

The kids enjoying an ice cream overlooking the pond at the dairy farm.

Tristin, Bella and Hudsyn feeding the geese at the dairy farm.

Maezy riding the "animals" at the dairy farm

Sunday afternoon picnic at a different Metro Park

Tristin taking pictures at Greenfield Village in the garden

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Processing Numbness

They say after someone passes it takes a year for it to really set in. In my case,  it has taken several years. Life was busy and changing at a rapid pace. When my Mom died I had four little ones, an eight year old, a four year old, a twenty month old baby and a five month old baby. Life was busy and I didn't have much time to stop and process. Three months after my Mom passed I got pregnant, my due date was February 20th, one year to the day of my Mom's death. I delivered a precious baby boy. Two months later I was pregnant once more, this time delivering a sweet baby girl. My Mom had been gone seven months when my Dad remarried. I was (and remain to be) happy for him. However, that is another area that I didn't have a chance to stop and process. So I numbed myself. Which means I have, to one degree or another, been emotionally numb to those areas of my life for the past four and a half years. It is only now that my kids play independently long enough for me to temporarily feel the sting of the pain.

Slowly I am beginning to process the past five years of my life. Today we drove past the cemetery. Chad asked if I wanted to stop. I have only been once since my Mom passed. I have never seen her grave marker, and was a little nervous since I knew it was a picture of her. I felt as though having to see her face on a slab of granite might make the experience too real. Like one I couldn't numb myself through. Because the kids were with us I said yes. I can handle anything in the presence of their sweet little faces. So Chad and I pulled up and walked around until we found her site. Her grave marker was truly much more beautiful than I had imagined. Chad walked back to the van and got the kids. I stayed and thought about her passing from this life to the one she now lives. I thought of how thankful I am for the upbringing I had and the leagacy she left. The kids all came over, quite excited, because kids are always excited. At first they stood around taking in all the sights and sounds. Then they sat around her grave marker. We talked about her being in heaven and how we miss her. Maezy traced all the letters of my Mom's name with her fingers and told me all of the letter names and sounds. Greysen wanted to go home to get a shovel to dig Granny up (no, I'm not kidding) and Bella and Hudsyn were concerned because we were sitting on Granny's body! The humor definetley helped ease the pain. Tristin was very sweet but quiet, he remembers my Mom quite well, the girls only remember her from pictures of my Mom and them. 

I have maintained that I didn't go because I know she isn't there. Which is ture, but I think that fact was mixed with not wanting to deal with emotions that are bigger than I am. I'm not sure how long it would have taken me to decide I wanted to go on my own. I am so glad my husband gently prodded me out of my comfort zone today.

Here are a few pictures he captured on my phone while we were at the cemetery today...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Egg Dying!!!

I'm pretty sure we had enough dye!

Hudsyn dipping the first egg.
 I think Tristin was having a hard time waiting, poor guy.

Tristin, concentrating really hard!

Sweet baby Bailey kept a close eye on the action! 

Living in the Moment

Tristin, living in the moment! He paused to watch his sister roll down the hill,
 just before he rode his bike down it!

Yesterday morning I woke up late and in a slight panic. I was ready to get the day moving, after quickly realizing all the work that lay ahead of me. As I laid there I checked the weather and Facebook on my phone, as I do most mornings. I started to hop out of bed and then my sweet Bella came and asked me if I would lay with her for a few minutes so, I put my phone down and snuggled with her. A few minutes later Maezy came in and then Hudsyn. They all snuggled up with me and whispered their sweet dreams to me. I enjoyed the time but couldn't help thinking of all I should be doing. I shut my eyes and took in their sweet voices and was reminded of Ann Voskamps words, and why shouldn't I be? They are plastered on the doors of my homeschool cabinet. I read them every time I open those doors.

"Life is not an emergency. Life's a gift. Just slow."

"Now is not a forever grace but amazing grace. Do whatever it takes to wake to wonder right here."

"Motherhood is a hallowed place because children aren’t commonplace. Co-laboring over the sculpting of souls is a sacred vocation, a humbling privilege. Never forget."
"Slow. Children at play. Hurry hurts kids. Time's this priceless currency and only the slow spend it wise enough to be rich. If we actually bought our time, would we spend it more wisely - spend it more slowly? God's Word never says Hurry Up. God's words only whisper: Wake Up."

Then I remembered Philippians 4:6-7  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God (which our kids used to think said And the pizza guy!) which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I realized I was being anxious about the day ahead of me and I wasn't even out of bed yet. I almost missed out on a sacred moment with my three little girls for chores and phone calls that were still there waiting for me when I got up. I am going to try really hard to focus on what's important in this crazy season of our lives. Because while, it is crazy I will never get these days back. They are fleeting and precious and I want to enjoy each one to the fullest.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why I Haven't Posted in a While

Daddy playing with his girls!!!

Seven months ago my hubby came home from work with some serious pain in his foot. He went to the ER after an x-ray they said that he had a bone spur. They suggested he see a foot specialist. He found a doctor and it was confirmed that he had a large bone spur that was hooking into his achilles tendon and shredding micro-tears out of it. His doctor tried several conservative methods on his foot with no success. He referred him to another doctor in his office that does a minimally invasive surgery called PRP. They basically use your own blood to heal your tendon. That doctor explained to us that there is really no risk associated with PRP because they are just injecting your own blood. The only risk is infection, since they are putting a foreign object into your body. After researching it we decided to go with the PRP. Results from using it have been good and there is little to no risk.

He had two injections, both showing decent improvement. Not as much as we had hoped but there was definitely improvement. On the 14th of February my husband had an appointment with his foot doctor that left us in a bit of a haze, the doctor sat us down and asked us if there were any other jobs at the railroad Chad could do. The underlying issue always has been Chad getting back into his work boots. He explained that even though proceeding with the third minimally invasive surgery would improve his condition, he didn't think it would restore his foot to pre-bone spur/achilles tendinitis function. We decided to go ahead with the third surgery. We knew the only other thing  that could be done was a surgery that was very invasive and from what Chad's foot doctor told us, had a very poor success rate. We prayerfully decided that it would be better for Chad to try the third round of PRP's rather than have the major surgery and for it to go badly and him to loose normal foot function.

Within a couple days of him having the third PRP we had a strong feeling  something was wrong. Chad couldn't flex his foot and he was in very intense pain. He had to stay heavily medicated around the clock. If the kids bumped his foot it would literally leave him in tears.We stayed in contact with the doctor's office and they told us everything was fine. The doctor told us there was just a different response because it was "at the epicenter" of the tendinitis/bone spur spot. He said it would take longer to heal and the large bump on the back of Chad's heel was just blood underneath the injection site and swelling from the injection. Chad hadn't experienced any of those issues before so we were very concerned because of the extreme pain he was in at the point of "the bump". We both asked at different points if it was possible that his tendon had ruptured as a result of the injection. The question was dismissed but we were still not so sure. I was concerned because he could let his foot dangle but not flex it up toward his shin. It seemed to me like something had happened to his achilles tendon that was causing to be unable to flex.

Thursday the 15th, four weeks after the third injection, with Chad still unable to walk, his doctor called us back into his office. The doctor said he was so sorry, he felt like he let our family down and that we didn't have the results he was hoping for. He said apparently the tendon was more torn than he originally thought. He explained that he spent several hours on the phone talking to various surgeons around the world. He said he researched everything non-surgical first but because of the haglunds on the back of the heel our only two options were to have cryosurgery to freeze the area and hopefully it would heal itself or have "the surgery". The same surgery which he had been telling us since the very first time we saw him "was not an option". One of the doctors told him that there is new technology. So he called the manufacturer of the company that makes the machine used during the surgery and had a meeting with them. They gave him some brochures he showed us and explained  how the new technology will make the whole process easier on Chad. He also told us that there is a collagen wrap that is now used to speed up the healing of the tendon.  He again apologized and said he was having sympathy pains for Chad. He said he hadn't charged the insurance and wouldn't charge us for the portion for the surgery that we had to pay for, which was $350. He also said he was going to do physical therapy in the office for no charge. His wife suggested that he make chad a "Chineese-y potion of alcohol and herbs to rub on the area. He made it and applied it to Chad's heel to show me how to do it. We left the appointment feeling a little baffled,  the only viable option he had for us was to chose a surgeon that was good at the surgery Chad now needs. The same surgery that he had told us just a week or two before "was not an option".

Since we knew from our own research that having the surgery was most likely the only option. This past Tuesday we met with an orthopedic surgeon. He explained that Chad's tendon needs to be lengthened. He will have to go in lengthen it, peel the tendon back from the bone spur near the back of the heel, grind the bone down, reattach the tendon and wrap a metal wire around his tendon to hook it into the bone.  He said he wouldn't be sure exactly how involved the surgery would  be until he sees Chad's MRI. He was seeing a cloudy area where the tendon is on the x-ray.

This is basically what the surgeon outlined for us to expect as of now. After the surgery Chad will stay in the hospital for a 23 hour observation. That way they can manage the pain. He will come home with a pain pump in the nerve in his thigh, that will stay in for a week (if I remember correctly). He will be non-weight bearing for 6-8 weeks if everything is perfect on the MRI, if not 8-10. If the tendon is ruptured, it could be longer than that. After that he will transition to a walking boot for several weeks, after that he will have several weeks of physical therapy, move to a tennis shoe and then hopefully his work boot. We wont know what his MRI says until Monday and at that point we will schedule his surgery. The surgeon says he is booked 2-3 weeks out, if he's more than 4 weeks out he will try to move his schedule around and fit him in sooner.

Please keep Chad in your prayers as this is a CRAZY time for him!!!! Also keep me in your prayers. Chad pulls a lot of the weight around here, the last few weeks have really been a struggle for me. I feel like I am spinning in constant circles doing everything I can just to stay afloat. Which clearly, if you have been to my house you can see that hasn't been working out so well!!!! Lol!!! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Capture The Flag Nerf War!!!

The gym where our kids take their homeschool gymnastics class had a capture the flag nerf war tonight. Tristin has been waiting the last couple of weeks for this day to come! He woke up early this morning because he was so excited.

My cousin watched all four of my little kids. When the older kids found out we were dropping the little kids off at her house, they said that Grace had mentioned she wanted to come. So, she came along for some nerf fun too!

They had a great time! I think my poor son might have sprained his ankle but he played through it, with little complaint. They were hot, sweaty and tired when they were done, but they had a great time! I am sure they will want to participate every time they offer a "Nerf Night"!

They played probably close to 10 rounds of capture the flag.
 I think their team won every time but one! :)
This is their coach, showing the other team that they captured their flag!

Friday, March 2, 2012


Sometimes to get kids moving you have to give them a little motivation. I have a certain eight year old boy whose room I could no longer walk through. He was completely overwhelmed by cleaning a mess that felt to him beyond his ability. My boys share a room so, it's mostly not his fault. At least that's what he tells me. I had to admit that it would probably be kind of hard sharing a room with a one man wrecking crew. I told him the best way to get an overwhelming job done was to enlist the help of a friend or two, or in his case a sibling or two. He told me that there is no way anyone would want to help with that mess, no matter how much they love him! It was cute, and probably true. So I told him he just had to make it fun. He said there is no way to make cleaning that mess fun. I suggested he throw a cleaning party!

So we decided to buy some candy and.... 

Some little cans of root beer!

I told him if he turned on some music it would feel like a party. He thought that was a great plan. He proposed the plan and the girls were happy to help!

After just a little while the boys room went from being a hazard to this: