Monday, January 31, 2011

For those who appreciate specific requests

Hi Friends,

Thank you for your prayers for our sweet little girl.  I take her to the hospital tomorrow morning early. I'm probably going to try to wake her up early so she can have something to drink. She has to stop all fluids by 6:45 am. The procedure is 4 hours later. I'm hoping I can keep her distracted for that long!

She will be having an endoscopy to test for celiac's disease. She will be under general anethesia. Since she has done fine with this in the past, I'm really hoping it will be no problem for her tomorrow!

Here are a few requests.

1. That they would be able to get an IV in without problem. She is a "hard stick". They had horrible troubles with this when she had her first surgery and had to do cut-downs on her wrists. I really don't want that to happen to her again.

2. That being under anesthesia would go well for her. That she would go under easily and suffer no adverse effects from it.

3. Clear results. We will probably not learn anything tomorrow. The surgeon seemed to think it could go either way. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but still would love for her not to have this!

4. Fast recovery with little or no pain!
5.  That I would be aware of God's plans for *me* tomorrow.  That my heart would be open to reaching out to others.  There are a lot of people who are scared and hurting in hospitals.  I remember it well.  Just being in the pre-op area on Friday brought back so many memories.  I'm sure that tomorrow will too.  I don't want to be so focused on what is going on in my life that I miss out on something He has planned for me.

That's all I can think of. I'm expecting this to be relatively minor (compared to the other things she has been through). I'm feeling at peace about all of this, but still wish she didn't have to go through it, kwim?

Thank you for once again holding up our sweet girl!

With love

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Small update

Thank you to all who were praying for Eliana yesterday. The appointment went really well. She had brought along a little bunny that really helped! Bunny had his temp taken, then Eliana agreed to have hers taken. Bunny had his oxygen checked and then it was Eliana's turn. (Hers were 98! Love seeing those high numbers!).

No blood draw needed. That was a huge answer to prayer!

We met with a nurse to go over all the details and to sign release forms. Eliana played happily with bunny and the iPad. This is a great device for taking to dr spots!!!

Next we met with the Child Life specialist. I remembered her from Eliana's last surgery and surprisingly she remembered us. I loved how she interacted with Eliana! She talked to her and worked to try to help her understand what was going to happen. She had a little gas mask for bunny and then Eliana agreed to have it on her face. She showed her an IV lead and bag. She also sent us home with some things to "practice and pretend with" before we come back on Monday.

Last we toured the surgical area. She saw the little gowns and socks, the pre-op rooms and the procedure room. Eliana did great wi th all of this. Thank you for praying. It could not have gone better.

Requests for Monday are that Eliana can stay well. One brother seems to be on the front end of a cold. If she gets sick, we may have to postpone. I'm really ready to have this done. Also, we need to work to get her very hydrated on Sunday. She can have nothing to eat after midnight and thn cleat liquids until 6:45am. She needs the fluids to help with her veins for the IV. (I think I have mentioned that she is a hard stick.).

Sorry there are no pictures. Thanks for praying for our sweet little girl!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Princess Eliana goes to ...

I want to say "court".  Something fun and exciting.  Something to look forward to and dream about.  Someplace where you will be happy and pampered and loved.  Well, she will be loved wherever she goes, but this just isn't going to be fun.

We go to Duke tomorrow for her pre-op appointment.  I'm told we will be there about an hour and a half.  I know that consent forms will need to be signed.  I'm not sure if they will be doing any lab work.  I'm really hoping we can skip a blood draw, kwim?  She is a "hard stick" and given her recent opinion of doctors, this just won't endear them to her either.

In spite of signs that I'm seeing this week that she is having intestinal problems, I'm still feeling calm.  I'm honestly trying not to think too much about it or to worry.  Worry won't change anything.  She either has celiacs disease or she doesn't.  I'm just trying to enjoy feeding her anything she wants while I can.  Our diet has the possibility of changing drastically.  So this week, she eats mac & cheese, goldfish, crackers and cereal.  (She also has other non-gluten foods too!)

There is no way that I know of to explain to Eliana what is going to happen to her.  Even if I could, I think it might just worry her.  So for now, I'll carry it for her.  I think that perhaps even if she could understand that she would still let me carry the burden.  I'm not sure she is going to be a worrier. 

We would love your prayers for a smooth process today.  I'll post an update when I'm able to.  We will be going back on Monday for the endoscopy.  We will then have the results in a week (or less?). 

I would also love prayers for her health.  She needs to be in good health in order to have the testing done.  There seems to be a LOT of stuff going around now and I really don't want any of it.  As I mentioned earlier, she is having GI problems.  She isn't sick and I am just left to wonder if this is the celiacs that I am seeing.  I'll know soon enough.

Thank you for praying for our princess.

With love,

Gingerbread and Supermom?

Sometimes I have people ask, "how do you do it all?".  The answer is easy - I don't!!!  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  Its a juggle each day trying to figure out how to best spend my time.  I've done a lot of juggling in this new year.  Still need to do some more as well.  (I'll post more on that soon.)  There just aren't enough hours in the day to get it "all" done. 

I'll give you a glimpse at what running behind looked like one day at our house. 

Each Christmas we try to do some of the same activities - things that are favorites with my children.  I think I've mentioned that I have a number of them that really love tradition.  One of their favorites is making a gingerbread house. 

Well, this year, I just didn't get to it.  I did however find one on sale - for about $2.50 - at Sam's after Christmas.  This was too good to pass up!  So we made a house in mid-January this year. 

I really didn't mind that we did it so late.  They were eager to eat it soon after making it.  I had no problem with that either.  Meant it sat on my counter for a shorter amount of time.  LOL

Everyone is happy.  It's never too late to have some fun.

Hope you are having a fun week at your house!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Field trip to the Art Museum

Our first field trip of the new year was to the NC Art Musuem.  It brought back memories for me.  It's been just over 4 years since I had last been here.  It was the last place that I went before Eliana was born.  When times were hard at first, I thought of this as my "last day of normal" - before my world was turned upside down.

I wish I had known then what I know now and perhaps it wouldn't have been so hard.  Of course, the reason it wouldn't be so hard now is that I've walked that path.  I've found God faithful.  I've been tested and know where my strength comes from.  God is good.  I don't always understand, but I know He is good.  (This is not to say that I won't still struggle and go through hard times!)

Back to the museum.  We were split into several groups.  My oldest 3 toured the Normal Rockwell exhibit!  I heard it was great and would have loved to go in myself.  Maybe another year.

The younger half of the group were split into 2 different groups.  I took my two youngest in one of the groups.  The museum has been renovated and has a new addition since we were last there.  It's really big and nice and easy to get around in.

We were told not to bring strollers, but shortly after going in one of the security guards asked if I needed one.  I declined thinking we weren't supposed to have them.  When the second guard asked a little bit later, I gratefully said yes.  I think it was a much easier trip with a stroller!

We all had a guided tour and our docent was very good about asking questions and involving the children.  We toured exhibits from Africa.

This is a picture of heads of people in Africa.  They added two heads when they visited Raleigh to donate this piece.  Can you find them?

This pictures is made from many spools of thread!  It's one of my favorites.  Can you tell what it is?

Are you wondering why it is upside down?  Well, I'm not sure why it was done that way, but there is a neat little device that you can look through that shows it right-side up!

 We crossed paths once with one of our groups.  It is hard sometimes to be split up as I always want to know what everyone is doing and learning.  It some settings though it really does work best to tailor what we are doing based on ages.  I'm thankful to have options!

 We saw exhibits from Egypt.
I don't remember where this piece was from, but do remember that it was considered special because it was one large piece of pottery.  Not sure how they fired something this large (as it was made a long time ago - sorry don't remember that detail either.). 

We examined pictures from various time periods.  This was a portrait done of a wealthy man and his family.  Sadly, it wasn't a truly accurate painting.  He was a loyalist and lost much of his wealth after the war.  His wife died.  This was a painting of how things might have been. 

We took Flat Stanley with us.  (I know we need to send him back!!!)

This is a neat sculpture of hands.  The children tried to put their hands in the same pose and found that they couldn't do it.  Can you?  Of course, you can't either because it is of two right hands.  They then tried it with a partner and were able to do it.
We had some free time while we were waiting for some of the groups to finish.  I love watching my oldest and youngest together.  Sometimes they just tickle me. 

We visited a travelling Eric Carle museum exhibit too while we were there.  It was just a few works by Carle and some by other children's picture book artists. 

This was a delightful way to start our school year with our FIAR group.  I will confess that I'm not one that greatly enjoys art, but did enjoy learning in this way.  I'm glad my children have the opportunity to learn too as it's not something that I cover a lot in our schooling.

We treated ourselves to lunch out afterwards with lots of our friends.  I am thankful for a fun group with this to learn and have fun.  Hope you are having a fun week!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Harold and the Purple Crayon

I find that January is often a month in which I don't take a lot of pictures.  (Makes it an easy month to scrapbook!)  I did take a few of some of our fun with Harold and the Purple Crayon.  Rowing these books with Daniel is just as much fun as it was ... 13 or so years ago with Christopher. 

This was a fun title to use to start back to school.  I bought a long roll of paper and Daniel loved drawing an on-going picture like the one in the story.

I love how he examined the story and then set off to make his own.  I love seeing his drawings and the details that make it "his".  We are going to display this in our homeschool groups upcoming art show.  It's fun to share our work with our friends.

If it has been awhile since you read the book and you are noticing the "scribble" on the left side of the paper - that is where he is "thinking" before beginning the story.  I love the Daniel added this detail.
In the story, Harold had a picnic - with pies!  I thought this would be fun.  Daniel was suprised when I mentioned having a picnic, afterall it is very cold outside!  I assured him we would have a nice picnic - inside. 

He helped make an apple pie to get ready for our dinner.

The picnic was a huge success!  So much so that Daniel keeps asking if we can have another one.  I think tomorrow might just be the right day for another picnic!

My older two will be off skiing tomorrow and I'm looking for some fun things to do with just my younger kids.  I think a picnic will be a fun surprise for them.

Hope your week is filled with fun too!


Friday, January 21, 2011

New Year's Eve!

Late in posting, but wanted to share some of our fun.  I use my blog posts from year to year to help me in planning.  This year, I decided to ask my children which parts of the evening that they wanted to be sure we kept.  They all had answers ... making pizza, decorating gingerbread people, watching a movie, playing games, answering the questions, well, pretty much all of it!  We are a family that enjoys trying new things and also enjoys traditions!  One sweet tradition of this evening is having some of our favorite friends join us!

We had to have the bags!  The bags have a clock on the front with a time.  When that time is here (more or less) we open the bag.  Inside is a clue and one or more items that go with the clue.  These used to be somewhat of a surprise.  Not so much any more, but they still love it!

1st clue: 
People are silly and funny too!
Do you think they are sometimes blue?
Maybe they’re happy or perhaps mad
A game of expressions will make you glad!

In the bag was the game Silly Expressions. 

2nd clue:
Let’s get ready for some noise.
This is for the girls and the boys.
We’ll also need signs to mark the date
And photos of families to start the slate.

In the bag were supplies for making signs and noisemakers.

3rd clue:
We’ve been busy, is your tummy starting to rumble?
You’ll like the next step, so don’t start to grumble.
We’re making some disks – unique each one.
Everyone will be glad when they are done.

In the bag - pizza making supplies!

4th clue:
What makes you special and unique?      
Getting to know this is a treat.
We’ll look to the future and ponder the past,
Seeking to follow God each day of our path.

In the bag were sheets of paper with questions on them and pens/pencils.  Here are the questions for this year.

*Favorite book you’ve read this year
*Favorite trip/outing you’ve taken this year
*Name something you are most thankful for
*Something you have learned
*Favorite accomplishment this year
*Something you hope to do next year

This is personally one of my favorite activities.  I love this glimpse into everyone's lifes.  What they found important.  More about a hope or a dream.  I save the slips each year and have plans to make a memory box to keep them in. 

5th clue:
God made you and you can’t beat that!
Glasses, freckles or a funny hat.
Our faces help others know who we are,
But our insides are what make us a star.

Inside the bag - sprinkles and other decorating items to go on homemade gingerbread cookies!  My sweet friend Rebecca made these and they were sooooo good!
We took some family photos early in the evening.  I would love to have a new family photo each New Year's Eve as a way to start my New Year in scrapbooks.  Roger was in NE visiting his family. 

6th clue:
It’s time for adventure and maybe a giggle
Find a spot to sit and don’t wiggle
Does anyone need something to eat
You can have some popcorn while in your seat

In the bag - the movie, Despicable Me and popcorn.  (Not sure why the photo didn't turn?)

7th clue:
The movie is over and the days near the end
Still a little more time with our friends
Let’s play a game – or maybe more
We’ll split into teams and then start to score

In the bag - pieces from some games.

8th clue:
Let’s turn our hearts to God and lift up our prayer
He is here with us and out everywhere.
There are others who need Him and we play a part
We’ll pray for others and seek His heart.

In the bag - slips of paper with Bible verses and other slips of paper that were blank.  I asked each person to write something that they wanted prayer for on the slip of paper.  We then drew one of the slips and went around the table praying for each other's requests.  This was new for this year and I really liked it!  Our requests ranged from those serving our country in the military to the poor to orphans and more.

9th clue:
It’s time to say good-bye to ‘10
Watching the ball drop is a fun time again
A hug, a prayer, a sweet drink for the toast
Happy New Year, it’s 2011

In The Bag - cups for a toast

What a fun way to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another!  I love this tradition and am thankful to my FIAR friends who introduced it to me several years ago! 
Even though it is a little late - Happy New Year to you all!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christmas Photos

I know.  It's long past, but I'm playing catch-up here.  I've actually been trying to establish some new routines at home and am getting more done there (including more sleep!)  This is a good thing, but as always something has to give. 

We had a wonderful Christmas!  My parents came to visit and we loved having them here again this year!!!  This post will be short on words and filled with pictures - enjoy!

Traditional photo on the steps. 

Our morning started with reading the Christmas story from the Bible (before we came downstairs) and then opening our stockings. 
This t -shirt helped fund missions work in Haiti.  I love gifts like this that bless in several ways. 
This gift was a HUGE hit.  Love it when I find something that really pleases someone!
I love seeing my children give gifts to each other.  They spent time (and their money) choosing something that they thought the others would enjoy. 

Nana and Daniel reading a book - along with the dog Jingle who barks and sings.
Wii games were a popular gift at our house this year!  And a blast for all of us!  I love that we have games that 4 at a time can play now!
Trying out Nana's new Ipad.  And lots of excitement here when we received one from Nana and Papa for our family!
Thanks Mom and Dad for coming and spending Christmas with us.  We loved having you here!!!

Our Christmas was a sweet time.  A time to reflect and thank God for His perfect gift.  We give gifts as a reflection of our Father's heart to give.  A time to be with family.  I'm thankful for this precious gift!!!  A time to play, laugh and make memories. 

Mostly, I'm thankful for Jesus.  He is the reason we celebrate.  What an amazing God we serve that would give such an extravagent gift.  Thank you Lord!

Praying that as we start a new year, that our hearts would remain grateful for all that He has done and that our lives would reflect His love in many ways.