Tuesday, March 08, 2011


It's hard to believe that I have a 4-year-old now! If I could describe Kathryn in a nutshell, the words dramatic, loving, and free-spirited come to mind. She continues to keep us laughing (and praying) with her flare for the dramatic. She is also my snugglebug, preferring to sit on my lap and snuggle over any other activity. And she is also often-times in her own little world, which is usually pretty entertaining to watch. In many ways, I feel like she has turned a corner since turning 4. Lots of things that would have caused an afternoon of tears 6 months ago, now she'll proudly proclaim, "I'm four now, so it's not a big deal." I think my favorite times in the last few months have been reading through some of the Little House books together and snuggling in bed at nighttime.

Thankfully the last few weeks have been better on the sleep front. Although she did come into our room four times last night, for the most part she's been staying in her room through the night a lot more, which has been a huge blessing. I forgot how good it felt to be well rested myself! There's nothing quite like being woken from a dead sleep by a scream of rats in the room or even just someone tapping on your face, whispering, "mommy? mommy? mommy?...." And although I'm still in mourning for afternoon naptime, which has been substituted by a flimsy "rest time," we have been enjoying smoother bedtimes at night as a result. Also a huge plus!

Happy girl one minute...

The ever turning tide of countenance

We bought these shoes for her birthday...the dazzling sparkles, or "jewels," seem fitting for the wearer.

I'm Back! (Maybe)

Well, I've taken a little break from blogging, mainly due to my inability to focus on more than the basics the last few months. But I do enjoy looking back at the blog for milestones and activities we've done, so I'd like to get back into posting. Not sure how many people are even reading this anymore, but I will try to update things a little more often.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Daniel's MRI

Thank you all for your prayers and concern for Daniel's MRI. I thought I'd write an update about how it went and the results, which we got back yesterday.

Daniel did great through the whole process. We had to be there at 8:00 in the morning, which was nice to be early since he couldn't have any food or drink beforehand. We were very impressed withe the facility...a children's hospital really feels different than a regular one. There were bright colors on every wall, it seemed, and lots of toys and play areas. Even in the non-descript office/lab we went into to fill out paperwork, there was a little riding toy in the corner. After we got all the necessary stuff filled out, we got Daniel dressed in the smallest hospital gown I have ever seen. It was really, really cute. One of the doctors came to tell us what to expect when Daniel would get the laughing gas. I got to back with him when he got the laughing gas, and he was happy until I had to lay him down on the table and they put the mask over his nose and mouth. Then he started crying, but it actually helped put him to sleep faster since he was taking deep breaths. This was the hardest part for me. Even though I knew the procedure was pretty simple in the eyes of the doctors, it was hard for me to leave our little boy with people I didn't know and didn't know him. I actually came back to the waiting room with tears in my eyes. Of course, it didn't help that the whole time I kept thinking about a recent Reader's Digest report of medical malpractice. It's amazing what one's mind can go to in such moments!

I was escorted back to the waiting room, where we waited for about an hour. After that, they called us back to a little hospital room where he was asleep in a rolling crib. He woke up pretty soon after that, and we actually were laughing since he was pretty loopy. He looked like one would imagine a drunk one-year-old to look. Kind of dizzy with a silly grin on his face. It took him a little while to get his bearings, which they said was normal. But thankfully he gulped down a whole sippy cup full of juice (undiluted, which he never gets at home!). Then we got to dress him and take him home.

I was struck, while waiting in the waiting room, at how so many people come to hospitals for much, much more serious tings than this. And as scary as it was for me to leave our little boy in the hands of those I didn't know and walk away, this was a very normal procedure that they do every day. We were not there for a major surgery, or a terminal illness, or getting news of either of these. Thinking about this made me grateful for the health of our two kids (and ourselves). The Lord has been so good to us, for more than we deserve.

We actually got the results back from the MRI last night! The good news is that he doesn't have Tuberous Sclerosis, which his doctor thought he might have. What i show up, though, is a very small cyst on the left side of his brain. Because the cyst is so tiny, there are no pressure changes on the brain right now. Daniel's doctor things the cyst probably won't grow, but we'll need to monitor it in about 6 months to make sure. If the cyst should grow or start putting pressure on the brain, we would look into other options. The good thing is that the developmental delays he's having now are probably all he'll have to deal with. I was quite relieved to hear these results back. In some ways, it's helpful knowing that there's a reason for the physical delays and stiffness. I'm also relieved that it is not something bigger like Tuberous Sclerosis, which would have possibly more serious implications later on. So all in all, thanks for your prayers. My current prayer is that God would miraculously dissolve the cyst, so that when we go in for a CT scan, we can testify to His healing power as a witness to the doctors involved. I also pray that if God chooses not to take the cyst away, that it will not grow and cause any more symptoms than Daniel already has. In either case, we trust God with the health of both of our children. Thanks for all your prayers and emails.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

August pictures


Spent many hours at the pool this summer. Some with friends, some with just the kids and me, some with Nick. Okay, very few with Nick, but we DID manage to get him out in the heat a few times. :)

By the end of the summer, Daniel finally didn't scream when I put on any kind of floatie on him. Made my time much easier!

Floating into the deep end

And this crazy girl is quite the water bug. LOVES the pool, loves going under water, and always wants to practice swimming without floaties.

Is there something about the baby of the family that always melts one's heart?


Time for Fall already?? Where did the summer go? I anticipate many, many hours spent here this Fall. Oh the joys of being a mom of littles. I love that I can take off for the park for a few hours and have it count under my job description.

Bathtime. This profile reminds me of Kathryn at this age.


Apparently he thought it was funny when I made a face at how yucky the bath water is to drink (especially out of year-old empty bottles that probably have all sorts of slime growing in them. I guess that's what happens with deprived children...they have to settle for slimy bottles instead of flashy bath toys. Not that they would pass up a slimy bottle for new bath toys anyway. But I digress.) I love his sweet smile.
And this is why I have to remind myself to close all doors behind me. Silence is not golden here. It usually means trouble.

Only kathryn would look at a heap of toilet paper on the floor and exclaim in a dramatic voice, "Oh! What a beautiful Dress! Oh My!" Gotta give her credit for a good imagination.

She was quite upset when I insisted on throwing away her new dress up.
And so summer seems to be at an end (although we'll try to squeeze in a few more pool days before it closes), and Fall begins. I must say, I'm really ready for the cooler weather, which makes going outside with the kids soooo much easier.

The end.

OBX 2010

Somehow August and half of September have flown by without a post. Hmmm. Life has been picking up since church life started back up in August, and now I'm catching my breath long enough to sort through summer pictures. Just looking at these pictures again makes me think of long days relaxing in the sun with nothing to disturb me from my solitude of reading a good book. Ummmm....yeah. In my next life maybe. But we DID have a wonderful time. A few of my favorites from the week:

Kathryn loved being one of the "big girls" this year, although she couldn't quite make it in the bunk room. She was so excited at the prospect of being able to lay in bed and "talk like sisters." It didn't occur to her that all the other girls are sisters. Night one ended with a pallet on our floor for a bed, where she was quite happy to stay the rest of the week. Maybe next year.

With Hayden and Bradford- the 2007 babies.

Love these candids
Nana and Papa and the clan
Gram with the great-grands
I love how Daniel and Bradford are in their own worlds
It's calling for me...
The Crew
(minus Josh, Margaret, and JJ, who couldn't make it).
Afternoon storm coming on

And just for fun.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A day in the life of my kids

I was quite surprised to find this little guy in the closet...he was quite excited that he had discovered a whole box of books, which seems to be his favorite activity now.

The current favorite mode of dressing up- glad I held on to all those blankets!

Watching the rainstorm

K: "Feel my dress, mom. It's totally soaked." Can't imagine why.

Oh to be three.

do you not remember?

"Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?"

The disciples were anxious about not having bread. And yet Jesus had just fed a huge crowd with very little food, not once but twice. And He asks them, "do you not remember?"

How many times does my anxious heart pound, only to have God ask, "Do you not remember? Do you not remember my faithfulness, goodness, provision, protection? Time and time again."

And I am brought to my knees as I remember the countless mercies of my heavenly Father, who has never once forsaken me. He is so good.

"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is thy faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
Lamentations 3:21-24

Friday, July 16, 2010


Came across a great quote from Paul Tripp in his book A Shelter in the Time of Storm on waiting. So many times in my life I've wondered at God's timing, and yet his purpose is always loving as he shapes us through periods of waiting.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"
Ps. 27:14

"Waiting for the Lord isn't about God forgetting you, forsaking you, or being unfaithful to his promises. It's actually God giving you time to consider his glory and to grow stronger in faith. Remember, waiting isn't just about what you are hoping for at the end of the wait, but also about what you will become as you wait.

The reality of waiting is that it's an expression of God's goodness. He is wise and loving. His timing is always right, and his focus isn't so much on what you will experience and enjoy, but on what you will become. He is committed to using every tool at his disposal to rescue you from yourself and to shape you into the likeness of his Son. The fact is that waiting is one of his primary shaping tools."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Favorite Pre-School Reads

Here are some of my favorite fiction books for Kathryn. I particularly love reading books that I remember reading as a child, like The Giving Tree and Make Way for Ducklings.

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak
I actually don't quite understand all the hype about this book, but it is fun to read aloud, and Kathryn loves it. And it is a timeless classic. So it makes my list.

The Story About Ping
by Marjorie Flack

The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstien

Blueberries for Sal
by Robert McCloskey
Love this one. Such a classic.

The BOB books
by Bobby Maslen
Recommended by a friend, these are great beginner reading books. While not thrilling stories (Sam Sat. Cat Sat. Cat sat on Sam, etc.), I think they'll be really helpful once Kathryn starts putting phonics together.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
by Mo Willems
Came across this one on our last library trip. Set in what looks like our old stomping grounds in New York City, Trixie and her Daddy take a trip to the laundromat and accidentally leave Trixie's bunny at the laundromat. Kathryn loves this one, and I'll hear her saying to herself, "Trixie and her Daddy went past the school, through the park, and into the laundromat..." A great find.

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie
by Laura Numeroff

Little Bunny's Bathtime
by Jane Johnson

Make Way for Ducklings
by Robert McCloskey
Who couldn't love the tale of Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Oack, Pack, and Quack?

Curious George Rides a Bike
by H. A. Rey
I've read several Curious George books, and this one has been my favorite.

Next up- Favorite Pre-School spiritual/character development books.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Favorite Reads- Baby Books

With Kathryn's new found interest in reading books, this summer has found us many times at the library. The only problem with going to the library is that I never know which books to pick, which ones will be age appropriate, and which ones will be good as far as character building. Add to that that usually one (or two) child is fussy, one child may be screaming by the end of the outing, and one child (guess who) tends to load up the stroller with numerous books, which I am completely unaware of until I go to check out and realize I have 40 books instead of 10.

And then there's the whole dilemma of finding children's books that I actually enjoy reading aloud (I'm currently thinking of a particular Dora book that I do not enjoy reading and happens to be K's favorite pick as of now...every day, multiple times a day this is requested.) So I thought I'd post a list of my favorite read-alouds. Some of these books are classics and some are more obscure, but they are all ones that I happily pick up to read to the kids and haven't gotten sick of them yet. So first off, my favorite baby books.

by Sandra Boynton
Simple board book with one word per page

Goodnight Moon
by Margaret Wise Brown
I don't think this one needs explaining. An old classic.

Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney
I almost tear up when I read this

Snuggle Up, Sleepy Ones
by Claire Freedman
A sweet board book about all the African animal babies settling down for the night

The Very Busy Spider
by Eric Carle
Good for learning animals and their sounds

by Jez Alborough
A sweet picture book about Bobo the monkey being lost, then finding his Mommy with the help of the other animals

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Another good one for learning animals. Daniel really likes this one.

That's Not My Teddy, It's Paws Are Too Woolly
Usborne touchy-feely books (there are lots of them and they're all good)

Coming Next: Favorite Preschool reads