Saturday, June 30, 2012

Follow Me...Now

(Luke 9:59-60) He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

This response is much different from that of Peter and Andrew who were casting their nets and “at once” left them to follow Jesus; and the response of James and John who
were in a boat with their father and “immediately” left the boat to follow Jesus.

The man, whose name we do not know, did not say no to Jesus,
but basically said, “Later, I will follow you.”

How that resonates with me. I want to be faithful. I want to jump out of the boat.

I want to drop my nets.But it’s so easy to say, “First let me do this, then later I will follow you.”

I wonder how Jesus feels about my excuses. Of all the things I would jump out of the
boat for, is a call to step out of my comfort zone one of them?

“Later, when my children are grown…”
“Later, when I retire…”
“Later, when my parents are gone…”

What if later never comes?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

For Her Birthday

When my girls turn 5, they get to choose whether to have their ears pierced.
It's Kinley Grace's turn.
She was all smiles...

...then a tad apprehensive...
and, well, it went downhill from there.
Until she saw the purple bling in her ears:)

It was a family affair, complete with our own photographer. We were all visibly thrilled at the photo opp.
After the excitement of dining out and strolling the mall, we opted out of our W*l-Mart trip. otherwise known as our 'perspective ministry.' Why we call it this?
*glad you asked*
I figure when other shoppers see us walk in with 9 kids and grab 3 baskets, they realize their life is pretty good :)
Seriously though, I wouldn't trade it. Well, maybe for a day. No, who am I kidding? Well...
How did I get from ear piercing to W*l-Mart shopping?
Clearly, it's bedtime.

Happy 5th Birthday, Kinley Grace!

Where has the time gone?
Is this the timid little girlie who wouldn't leave my hip just 2.5 years ago?

What a treasure you are!
It's always a party around here...or something like that.
Happy birthday, Princess!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's Almost Time!

You can tell by the tassels... can tell by the farmer fine tuning the machinery...
... you can tell by the behind-the-scenes work...

...that in a few short days we will start the six-week corn harvest!
Which is pretty amazing, considering the hail stones that should've destroyed the crop...
But GOD!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Princess is Back!

This is a welcome sight! We had another rough night. Kasidi wanted all of Daddy's 6'2" body in the crib ... and so that's what happened. Around 1 a.m. neuro came in and decided she needed to recoup at home, so they ordered her catheter out at 6 am and after she passes 3 void tests, she gets discharged.
As of this post we are 2 down...

24 hours ago she decided Daddy is a rock star and Mama's presence wasn't necessary.
Fortunately, she's leveling out today :)
I'm hopeful the next post will be from home...

Friday, June 22, 2012


I'm so happy to report that Kasidi slept the night away under sedation.
The neuro team says she will indeed need to remain sedated through Saturday.
Her incision looks great!
Please continue to pray, as this spunky little girl is fighting sedation this morning. We can still raise the dosage if needed, but we have to monitor her heart rate and breathing closely.
She is such a trooper and such a fighter!

I knew I couldn't handle this alone anymore so Clayton joined me yesterday afternoon. He will go back home today but it should be a quiet day for Baby Joy. Tomorrow he will bring the Krew to visit. We praise the Lord for everyone lifting our Joy up and the words of support and encouragement.

It's the big little things :)
but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:19-20

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Back in PICU

Prayer and praise!
We are back in PICU, which is a good thing because Kasidi is under sedation till Saturday.
Of the 32 hours since surgery she's only been calm and flat less than 12.
She pulled her leads out today and bruised her pretty head flailing around.
Her incision started bleeding so finally action was taken!
We know her legs are working :).
Continue to pray for healing - bless you all!
As I was posting this, she woke up from sedation. You know, the sedation that's supposed to last till Saturday. That's been the problem, she hasn't rested more than an hour under any medication. That's why she's being sedated. And so after another hour long thrashing battle, she is resting again with increased meds.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Surgery Done!

We praise the Lord that surgery went perfectly with no surprises! Dr. M clipped the ligament that bound Kasidi's spinal cord.
We are having some issues following surgery that we would appreciate prayers for. We need to stay on top of her pain, and we've had to try several meds, some of which she's thrown up. She also needs supplemental oxygen, which is not a big deal, except her sats really drop when it's removed.
We're trying to keep her asleep because she's so agitated when she wakes.
Daddy will leave the hospital soon, and it's going to be a long night for Kasidi and Mommy. She is a little calmer when I'm in the crib with her so in the crib I shall stay.
Thank you for praying for our baby Joy! Please lift up the Krew at home - they miss Mommy.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday, Kaeleb Jon!

My littlest man turned 6!

So much 'help'!
The green stuff!
100% boy!
Happy birthday, Kaeleb Jon! Oh how we love you!

Construction Complete Ongoing!

Kooper completed his project in 3 days, and it looks great!

The construction of this walkway brought a lot of things: guidance from Dad; struggles for control; the opportunity for physical activity; struggles for control; much-needed praise; and did I mention struggles for control?
But one thing it represents now is that Kooper can succeed when he puts his mind to it. And he needs that reminder often. His broken past has plagued him with negative feelings about himself. He has no idea how significant the completion of this construction project is. It will be used as a tangible reminder that he is capable and worthy!

He couldn't wait for me to take these pictures and post them. That's a change! In the past he avoided the camera or made goofy expressions...or deleted pictures of himself, despite my instruction not to do so. Mostly because he didn't want to see pictures of himself or was afraid I'd post them.

His heart is still under construction, and we are all learning together, seeking guidance from the Father.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Kasidi's neurosurgeon called yesterday and said he would put her on his surgical schedule next week! Wednesday, the 20th, to be exact.

So we had to decide if we could make that work...or wait till the end of August.

Even though we are less than 2 weeks from starting the 6-week corn harvest and 1.5 weeks from Falls Creek, we decided it would be best for Kasidi if we go ahead.

After all, if the tether is causing the spasticity in her legs and keeping her from walking, we don't want to put it off.

So the general plan is to do lab work and eval on Tuesday and report for surgery on Wednesday. Dr. M will untether her lumbar spine. She will spend 4-6 days in the hospital, depending on a lot of things.

My prayer is the next time we take a candid shot like this, Kasidi will be standing...

I will need some reading material, so please give me your book recommendations!

Thank You, Lord, for your amazing plans for Kasidi Joy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Follow Me

In Matthew 4:19-20 Jesus says to Peter and Andrew, “‘Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”

Matthew 9:9 says, “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man
named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’
he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.”

Sometimes I wish Jesus would walk up to me and say those words: “Follow me,” because much of the time I forget the reason I’m here. Instead of doing as Peter , Andrew and
Matthew, dropping my nets or leaving my lucrative business, I want to rationalize why I shouldn’t follow Him with abandon.

Or maybe I could conditionally follow Him, bringing along my
wealth, security, comfort. Or what about my schedule, can I bring that? Maybe I can follow Him and still cling to my habits?
What about my time, can’t I reserve some for myself?

How difficult it is to remember that I am here, not to serve
myself, but to proclaim the good news, to love unconditionally through actions, and to follow with reckless abandon… because He does say, “Follow me,” In the poor, the needy, the orphan, the widow, and the neighbor.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer School

My summer school grade is posted ~
I loved my Practice with Individuals class!
I was challenged like never before.
I learned interview skills...and then put them into practice.
And then I took the final and got a 100 and wrote my second APA formatted paper, and got a 97 on it.
Yes, I loved it!
And this makes the next logical decision more difficult...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Under Construction

We have this little area in our back yard.
It used to be lush with shade grass.
Then the goats got out.
Then I didn't have time to tend to it.
(I love doing yard work! Put me on a mower for a few hours and I can solve the problems of the world!)
Then in the wind storm last summer we lost the protective shade...
so we lost the grass.
And the dog thinks the sparse area is his little slice of digging heaven.
Apparently Kooper has heard me complain a little about the ugly patch, so he's devised a plan.
He wants to construct a brick walkway.
He's got it all planned out.
And with the guidance of Dad, I think it's gonna work!

As I was taking these pictures, the Lord reminded me of the parallel between this little project and my son's life.
He has spent most of his life in barren soil. Behaviors, habits and characteristics have formed and taken root. But what's growing there hasn't allowed better things to grow. There's been no room there for empathy, compassion, affection or trust. He's endured two-and-a-half years of battling post-orphanage behaviors. Just like this project, there's debris that must be removed.
But there is change! God has seized Kooper's heart and given him a new outlook!
He is crazy about the Lord and crazy about his family.
He no longer sits alone staring blankly.
He no longer lurks through the house.
He no longer thinks that "lying is better than truth because truth can get you in trouble."
He no longer sits in silence at the supper table.
His standard answer is no longer, "I don't know."
He is now telling Bible stories to the younger siblings he once avoided.
He now seeks out Mom and Dad first thing to say good morning.
He now sips a cup of coffee, chatting with the breakfast crowd.
He now asks of every person we see, "Do you think they know Jesus?"
When asked to draw a picture of himself, he now makes a happy face with wide open eyes and a grinning mouth (complete with braces).
If you have no idea how significant these changes are...good for you!
If you have a child who has been or still is in barren soil, you get it. And I'm sorry.
But I'm telling you there is hope!
Please don't hear me say that things are perfect, totally blissful or carefree. Not at all! Each day is a battle. The enemy wants our son to stay in the darkness, bound by imaginary limitations. But the enemy has been overcome, and our son is recognizing that. He is finally living in freedom!
His heart is under the construction of the Master Builder!
The changes we see are incredible, and there are even better things to come...
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11

Monday, June 4, 2012

Have You Ever...

...been so excited about a recipe you had to try it NOW?

I mean as in maybe I can pass this off as supper I-should-be-making-supper-but-I-must-try-this-now NOW?

I mean as in this is so good I have to share it with my friends NOW?

I was minding my own business, planning a weekly menu, when I ran across this beauty called
One Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie!

I'm thinking this is a no-brainer.

It's one pan; it's chocolate and cookie.

And it's as easy as it sounds. I whipped this puppy up, with no regard for great pix, in no time! It's ready for the oven...

...and 15 minutes later, oooooey goooey, yummilicious!
And it's so good I could pass it off for supper if I hadn't eaten half of it I'd made two of them! You want it, dontcha?

I can't take credit for it, but I will share the recipe:

One Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips)
Preheat the oven to 350. Add the stick of butter to an 8 or 10 inch cast iron skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Once melted, stir in the sugars and vanilla. Remove from heat.Whisk in the egg and milk, then stir in the flour, soda and salt.Fold in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips.Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or longer if needed to cook through.Serve warm from the skillet
(Remember to use caution with the skillet after removing it from the oven. Leave an oven mitt around the handle so you don’t forget you just took it out of the oven and that it’s piping hot!)

You're welcome :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Week in Words and Pix (and neuro info)

Okay, some of these are not from this week because I just got access to more grad pix! And from these pix I know I want me this camera *hint hint Daddy-O*
Little Miss Silly
A dose of reality. I might be in denial!
Kambry, the Overthinker!

Handsome guy!
Deep conversation :)
Love this!
Puleeeeeze, can I have food!
Cup o' java for the teen.
And now back to our regular programming (translated: pix from my dumpy camera)
At the grad ceremony. Pretty sure Daddy-O is asleep :)
Kambry's kreations!
Wednesday night, this is where the Littles huddled up......while hail was pounding our place.
But Thursday was a new day with an appointment with Kasidi's neurosurgeon.
We learned a lot!
First, we will schedule surgery soon.
Miss Joy has a tethered cord in the lumbar (lower) region which needs to be untethered soon. This tether could be part of the reason for the spasticity in her legs, hindering her from walking. Also, if left unrepaired it will eventually affect her bladder function and could keep her from walking, permanently. So we are going to take the first surgery date offered us.
There may also be a tether in the original meningocyle site (thoracic, upper region) of her back, but the lower is the priority.
There is a cyst on her thoracic spine which we will monitor.
She does have fluid in the ventricles, which is an indicator of hydrocephalus, but she has no other signs or symptoms of it, so we will see an opthomologist to check for pressure.
Over all, it is very good news!!!
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13
We see His goodness every single day!!!

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