Thursday, November 26, 2009

My heart is filled with thankfulness...

~I am thankful for Keith- my husband, protector, best friend, handy man, provider, and wonderful father to our 4 kids.

~I am thankful for sweet friends who, although we may be seperated by miles, are never more than a memory away and I know I can call on day or night. They are truly my sister and I am blessed.

~I am thankful for 4 wonderful, healthy, funny, sweet, mostly-obedient, children. They have made our quiver full and my heart overflow.

~I am thankful for wonderful parents who have been married over 42 years and are an example to me of sacrificial love, commitment, and a servant's heart.

~I am thankful for a great church who intentionally is striving for Godliness. Each time I'm around this group of godly people, I am sharpened.

~I am thankful for extended family- brothers, in-laws, cousins, aunts, uncles...they are a pleasure to be with and an encouragement.

~Most of all, I am thankful for God's redemptive grace in my life. That He should love me and call me His own, redeeming me with His own life. Hallelujuah, What a Savior!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Calling all prayer warriors!

This adorable little boy is named Andrew. He is the third son of my best friend Crystal and tonight he needs your prayers.

Today he sang in his preschool Thanksgiving program and was having a blast. At noon, Crystal put him down for a nap, at which point he said he couldn't get his pants off. When she tried to help him, he began projectile vomiting and had a grand mal seizure. Crystal, being a former PICU nurse, called 911. He was taken to their local hospital, where they realized he was more serious than they were prepared to treat. He was transported to Huntsville, Alabama, about 30 minutes from their home, to the bigger hospital. Although he has been conscious, he has not been responsive. He will cry and his eyes are open, but he doesn't react when you put your hand in front of his face.

I talked to Crystal's mom about 7:00 and the last she heard he was still having seizure after seizure, even though they had started a dilantin drip. They talked to Crystal about putting him on a ventilator, even though he was still breathing and she asked that they go ahead in case things got worse.

As of 8:00 tonight, the news is better, but still not good. He is stable and has stopped seizing, but is very drugged. His CT scan, toxicology screen, and blood work are all clear...which is great news, but still leaves the question "Then what is it?" He is starting to fight the vent, which is a good sign, so they are hoping to start weaning him tonight and disconnect it as soon as possible. The neurologist will begin his full work up in the morning.

Please pray for God to make Andrew's brain rest. Pray that there will be no lasting effects from all the seizures. (One of his seizures lasted 30 minutes!) Pray they will find the cause quickly and that it will be very treatable. We are thankful that we serve a mighty God! We are reminded that everything comes from the Hand of the Father...good and bad...Nothing happens except that God's hand has done it. No tragedy, no inconvenience, no blessing, but all are from God.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Hive" got 'em!

Yesterday afternoon I experienced something new. Keith and I went on a date to look at some carpet samples. (That's not new, but more on that later.) When we got home, I noticed that I had 3-5 red dots on my thigh and on my arm. I assumed they were scratches or bites or some other small irritant that my fair skin seems prone to show. I headed out to get Charlie at school. By the time I had picked him up, the 3-5 spots on my upper arm had grown together and were now a blistering welt the size of a quarter. I thougt, "Oh no, did I get into poison ivy somewhere?" I still had to pick Will up, but now I was starting to itch. I knew better than to scratch, but it was hard. By the time I got home, my upper arm welts were now softball size with another one beside it tennis ball size. I took a shower to wash off anything that might be on my skin. That's when I noticed the welts on my stomach. I decided I should go to the urgent care center since my doctor's office was already closed.

I sat there for an hour and a half and by the time I saw the doctor, my torso was about 90% covered, my back was about 60%, my upper legs were about 50% front and back and the inside of both arms were almost solid. (only 3.5 hours after I first noticed the spots.)

Turns out...the official diagnosis is... "You are allergic to ....


Wow, that took years of medical school. The doctor said we may never know what caused it. I got a steroid shot in the office as well as some oral meds. He also wants my to start carrying an epi pen, just in case whatever "it" is closes my airway next time. We'll see...

This morning I woke up and it was completely gone! I've had nothing all day...until I got ready to take my shower tonight. That's when I noticed these little red dots again. It's NOTHING like yesterday, but I guess I'll be starting the oral steroids. I called back to Care Now and they said this can last up to 4-6 weeks! Are you kidding me? I started to remind her they only gave me 21 days of steroids. So if I'm a little emotional, angry, start growing facial hair, crave food at all hours of the night,'s not's the steroids talkin'.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A big day for Charlie...

Today, Charlie reached a new milestone and with that, began a new journey. This new journey takes Charlie another step away from me and into a whole new world for all of us. It also is testing my faith. Today was Charlie's first day of "real" kindergarten at a local public school.

This decision was so difficult to make and we wavered MANY times! Homeschooling was going well, but I could tell that there was so much more he needed. Keith and I talked and prayed and got counsel and talked (and of course, I've cried.) I don't feel like a failure with homeschooling, but for Charlie, I think he simply needs more than I can offer. I found out that the school we are slated to go to is full for kindergarten, so we have to go to the overflow school, which happens to be the best one in the district and the one I had really wanted to go to. We wondered if God was beginning to open the door. I met with the lower school principal at Covenant on October 29. She was so helpful and gave great suggestions. When I told her some of my concerns and hopes for Charlie, and that we were considering starting him in public school, she whole-heartedly agreed. It was another step of confirmation for us. Then, last Monday, Keith and I took Charlie back to Scottish Rite for the results of his testing he had done in August. We were there over 2 hours. The results of his test again showed that he needs more than I can do. He shows signs of dyslexia, but is too young to be able to tell for sure. They agree that there are some definite delays and inabilities to do age-appropriate behavior. For instance, he has no phonemic awareness, meaning he can repeat words, but it's all one sound to him, not a first, middle and ending sound. This has to be in place before a child can learn to read. This is one of the markers for dyslexia. They suggested that we check into Child Study Center and get their recommendations. We mentioned that we were considering public school for him. The lady from Scottish Rite was so sweet. She said, "We see hundreds of homeschoolers each year and for many of the kids, it's the perfect situation because the parents can tailor the education to their child's needs and implement our programs more easily. I have no problem with homeschooling and would never suggest that you change. However, if you are already considering moving him, in this situation I would highly recommend it." Keith and I had the confirmation we needed. So on Tuesday, I went to Blue Haze Elementary School and picked up the enrollment packet. On Wednesday, Charlie and I went back to turn in the paperwork and met with the principal to give her a heads up. We both agreed it would be best for him to start on Monday.

So today was the big day. He was excited and kept telling Will, "I'm going to my new school." He has to be there at 7:30am and we were able to walk him in today and meet the teacher, Ms. Mayer. She was very welcoming and assured us that she was there to help and not to hesitate if we had any questions or concerns.

The Lord has paved the way for us. Had we not chosen to homeschool, he would not have been able to go to Blue Haze. I found out that the principal goes to Normandale Baptist Church and his teacher goes to Grace Baptist Church. I gave the teacher a note this morning letting her know that we believe God has picked her for Charlie and that we will be praying for her and for the class this year.

I can hardly wait to hear how it went!!

Stonecipher family outing

This past weekend was the second annual Stonecipher Family getaway. We made our second trip to McKinney to overnight together and have some family bonding. The place we stayed has a half-court gym, a giant game room with ping pong, pool table, etc.. and best of all, an indoor heated pool. (You can guess where the kids spent most of their time. Although we didn't get much sleep with all of us on the gym floor, we had a wonderful time. I love that my kids are growing up getting to spend time with their cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Cherith 2009
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Monday, November 2, 2009

More partying!

On Friday, we had Will's friend party at Pump it Up. Our kids don't have school in the morning, so we opted for an early party, 9:15-11:15am. I was called the day before to confirm all the details.

At 9:00, we arrived at Pump it Up, as scheduled to get everything ready before the guests arrived. To our surprise, the door was locked. We stood outside, in the cold, for almost 10 minutes waiting as our guests begin to arrive. Thankfully Keith was with me because we had our 4 kids plus 2 more kids to wrangle on the sidewalk. I called the reservation number and talked to a lady who confirmed our party and said she would call me right back. When she called, she let me know that she had had to call someone else in to open the building and that it would be another 10 minutes. By this time, all my guests have arrived, many with their other children, so we are all standing out in the cold. Finally at 9:30, a girl arrived to open the door and start the party. I felt sorry for her, you could tell she wasn't supposed to be at work and had just gotten out of bed. I apologized for getting her day off to a running start, but she was really sweet about it. The girl who was supposed to be there finally showed up at almost 10:00. Apparently she had slept through her alarm. They did compensate me some for my trouble, which was much appreciated. The kids did really well and had a blast playing on the sidewalk and in the building. (Only later did I realize I never got any pics of us outside. ARGH!)

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Will's 8th Birthday
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Celebrating Will!

We celebrated Will's birthday for 3 days straight. He didn't seem to mind.

Keith had to work the evening of Will's birthday, so we opened gifts before he went to school. He got a snorkel set and a fishing pole. He can't wait to use them both.

With no time for donuts, we enjoyed some fresh apple bread a friend had made for us the day before. YUM!

I took cookies up to share with his class at lunch. They had classroom lunch, so it made it really fun to just be with his group. Many of these kids have been with him for kindergarten, first and now second grade so they are sweet friends to us. His teacher had a ribbon for him to wear that said "It's my Birthday." I thought that was really sweet. I'm so glad that he's still at an age where he likes to have me in the classroom and lights up when I come in.