Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ava Jane's Heart Update

Well, last week Adam and I took Ava Jane to Children's Hospital for her Cardiology Checkup. We had been praying for months leading up to it, that she'd be able to come off her blood pressure meds and that her bp would be in the normal range.

We absolutely love her Cardiologist, Dr. Bornemeier, she is excellent! She couldn't believe how big Ava Jane had gotten or how much hair she had, which almost everyone comments about. After looking at her and seeing her four extremity bp's she said "I am very pleased", which was quite encouraging to Adam and I.

We took her down the hall to have her Echocardiogram and let me just say, SHE.DID.NOT.LIKE.IT! She was like a crazy lady, we gave her i-phones, cars, pulled the TV screen down close to her face but SHE.WAS.NOT.INTERESTED in Curious George, she was completely over it!!

It's a good thing she finally found that thumb, she was making quite a scene!

They were able to get most of what they needed and from what they saw she looked "good". The gradient of her blood pressure which was a 10 (on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the worst) back in November when all of this story began, but as of last week she'd moved to a 5 which is a HUGE praise! Dr. Bornemeier said she wanted to try taking her off her bp meds and that she wanted me to take Ava Jane to All For Kids in a week (which was Wed.) and have her bp read.

Her bp was 88/54 which is really good! We feel such answers to prayers so "thank you" to all of you who have faithfully prayed for her and our family over the past nine months! God has certainly heard us and has granted our requests!

I waited to write this post until today because I wanted to see how the blood pressure reading would go and see if I heard back on her DNA testing. I knew I was going to be calling the Cardiology Clinic to tell the nurse what the reading was and I was hoping to find out if the lab work was back from the DNA test. I was hoping today would give us the long awaited answer we've been wanting and that it'd be the closing of this part of her story. Unfortunately the waiting continues.

I feel like the DNA findings will either be closure on this chapter of Ava Jane's story or it will be the start of another. When Coarctation (which is the Congenital Heart Defect that she had) occurs in females, then 50% of the time there can be another issue called Turners Syndrome, which is a chromosomal defect. Not all Coarcs have Turners Syndrome but all Turners Syndrome kids have Coarcs, and Turners Syndrome only effects females. We had to wait this long for the DNA testing because she had to have a blood transfusion after surgery and they couldn't test that blood or else the test would be inaccurate since it's someone else's blood, so we had to wait for it to completely circulate out of her body. I called today hoping that I'd hear an answer only to find out that the DNA testing takes the better part of a month to get back. STINK! So I will be "that" Mom who calls every 2 weeks until we get the results, simply because I'm ready to know and Dr. Bornemeier assured us that, "knowledge is power" and in this scenario, knowledge is certainly powerful and I'm ready to know! There's nothing about her physical traits that resemble "Turners" but Adam and I would still like to know either way so we know how to proceed.

So we continue to wait, knowing God already knows either way, and we're confident knowing that Ava Jane rests solely, smack dab, in the center of His hand, and there's no better place for her to be! He has been her Jehovah Jireh, her Provider, and He'll continue to show Himself faithful as the rest of her story unfolds.

Thanks again for praying for our sweet girl! She is a doll baby and we are thrilled with how well she has done over the past months. It's hard to believe she is almost a year old, we're in the throws of planning a very girly soiree, I can hardly wait!

I can not believe 11 months have come and gone!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend In Review: High/Low

I like doing High/Low's cause its an easy way to catch up on things that have been happening. So here goes...

Friday's High-Peyton rode the bus home for the first time ever and he said he had a lot of fun!! The bus stop is literally at our streets stop sign and there are several neighbor kids that go to his school and also to our church so it made this Momma quite happy to hear that he LOVED it, especially since I was a bit nervous about him riding it!
Idle school bus yard in Rugby 6

And if I could have a double high for Friday, it would be that I LOVED not having to wake up all my little peeps at 2:00 to go sit in the carpool line!! But the absolute best part was that Emerson and Ava Jane slept tip 3:30, that was A.MAZ.ING!!

Waiting on the bus with this cutie patootie. It was really fun to walk down the street with this little guy hand in hand and eating a snack together as we waited for Peyton.

Friday's Low- I can't really think of a low for Friday, I think the low for the week was that Adam had something with work 4 nights in a row, which made for a bit of a crazy week...but we did make up for it though!

Saturday's High- Finally getting to see Adam and getting to do fun things as a family. We took the kids to Larry's Pizza where we enjoyed a little pizza and a lot of arcade time. After they spent their quarters, we were going to try and go putt-putt, but when we got there it was completely shut down, guess it has been 12 or 15 years since I went there last! We didn't let that dampen our spirits though, we decided to let the kids go wild on the go-carts and I must say the boys were over the moon with excitement!

Here's proof that Ava Jane and I were there too. (Poor baby girl keeps banging her nose as she's cruising around.)


Ava Jane just sat pretty while the boys enjoyed racing around the track!

Saturday's Low-Adam didn't get home until 4:45 that afternoon.

Sunday's High- Watching the kids have a blast at Wild River Country. Our church's kids program rented Wild River Country to celebrate the end of summer as well as the beginning of the new year! The boys LOVED going down the slides in their tubes and I must say Ava Jane enjoyed going around in the lazy river. It was fun worshipping together in the wave pool, Joseph and his team did an excellent job!

That's the brief recap, hope y'all had a good weekend and great start to your week!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What do you want?

This summer I co-led a women's Bible study with a good friend of mine and enjoyed, very much, the time of study and reflection with that group of ladies. It was Beth Moore's "Beloved Disciple", a 10 week study on the life of John and there was a verse in John 1:38 that has resonated with me over the past months. John 1:38 says "Turning around, Jesus saw them following him and asked, "what do you want?" The question struck me then and still strikes me even now as I type this. I have a list of things I'd like to ask Jesus and different hero's of the faith when I get to heaven, one question I'd like to ask John and the followers with him that day, is what was Jesus' tone when he turned around to ask that question? I really wish that I could hear the tone in Jesus' red letter words. I'm certain it was a genuine and sincere, "what do you want" not a sarcastic, impatient "WHAT.DO.YOU.WANT", like I so often struggle against feeling like.

The question has danced around in brain all summer long and often pops into my mind on any given day. It's a deep question when you really think about, its a simple four word sentence that packs quite a punch, if answered honestly and thoughtfully.

So, what do you want? Think about it. Let it sink in. (Jesus really wants to know---isn't that amazing? I think that's amazing that the God of the universe, who, mind you, already knows our deepest desires, but wants us to go as far as to tell him, to verbalize it and acknowledge to Him what our wants truly are, is A-MAZ-ING to me!)

Jesus, "turned around and asked", meaning, He engaged his followers, He desired to have them share their thoughts with him, to share their desires and hopes, their greatest longings.

So, what do I want?

After sitting through the first sermon in a new series that our church is doing called, "Under Pressure", which I highly recommend any and everyone take an hour or so and listen cause you will be encouraged. While sitting and listening, I was reminded of this small but deep question, "what do you want?"

So here goes: I want to be daily refreshed and encouraged as I was during that sermon as Brandon read through scriptures that I know but forget too often; I want to daily pray for my kids using scripture as I did on Monday at the Mom's prayer group; I want to have verses pop into my head when I need calm in the midst of chaos at my house or when my little boy cries at nap time cause I am leaving him upstairs alone in the dark. I want to be a woman of the Word. I desire for that to be my priority, my real initiative. I long to be filled with God's wisdom, with His words, actions and reactions.

In January I joined Beth Moore's Siesta Sister's Memory Team and to be quite honest, the past two months of memorizing verses have been extremely difficult for me, but I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge of memorizing 2 verses a month, 1 every 2 weeks. But staying on top of it has just been plain hard! Of course it is, because nothing makes Satan more mad, then to have people wielding their swords of the Spirit in his face! I should have expected the difficulty, I really should have.

But as I sat Sunday and had the Word of God poured out over me, I was filled with such peace, such calm and I WANT that, I NEED that today, and EVERYDAY! Brandon encouraged us to look at verses throughout scripture that have promises, and it is simply overwhelming, in a good way, to look at and read ALL the MANY promises God has made to us. I've highlighted a few of the promises that stuck out to me:

Philippians 4:6-7 "...present your requests to God and the peace of God...will guard your hearts and your mind..."
Joshua 1:9 "Do not be discouraged...for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go!
Genesis 28:15 "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go!"
Phil 1:6 "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion...
Matt. 7:7 "Ask...Seek...Knock...and the door will be open to you."
Psalm 3:3 "You are a shield around me...lift up my head..."
Hebrews 4:12-13 "The word of God is living and active..."
Romans 5:8 "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!"
I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

I could go on and on with God's promises to us. But I'll end with one of my most recent memory verses, it's from I Chronicles 29:11 "O Lord, you are sovereign, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious and sovereign over all the sky and Earth. You have dominion and exalt yourself as the ruler of all!"

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord O my soul! I am loving how rich scripture is, and I'm thrilled with the fact that God's word is LIVING and ACTIVE! Thank you Lord for your Word, I want to lean into You more, I desire to have your scripture in my mind and on my tongue. Thank you for being sovereign and trust worthy!

Open Bible with pen

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day of 1st Grade

I truly feel like this school year has just snuck up on us, it seems like there should be several more weeks of summer to enjoy! Unfortunately, its pretty much over!

Peyton was such a big boy this morning, he didn't have any complaints or qualms as he woke early and headed out the door by 7:10am. I must admit that I was choked up and teary as I watched he and Adam pull out of the driveway.

At least I know why I got so emotional, I was just filled with such pride for him, he is such a responsible and genuinely helpful little boy and I have missed him dearly today as I have been reminded, ALL.DAY.LONG, of how MUCH he helps me with the littles. I was back to having to strap Emerson into his seat and having to help Lawson out of his 5 point harness, which were jobs Peyton had taken upon himself to do this Summer. I don't feel quite as confident to let Lawson and Emerson play on the driveway without me watching like I do sometimes when I know Peyton is out there and watching out for his little brothers. It's definitely going to take some adjusting again for me.

It felt surreal this morning waking up at 5:30am, so that I could have time with the Lord and then get myself dressed so that I could attend the 8:00 PTA meeting and then head over to the 9:30 prayer group. I'm still trying to figure out our new routine and wrapping my brain around all the different things that I'm helping out with this year. It's shaping up to be quite busy, and it's all good things, it's things I wanted to be apart of, but I know its going to take much diligence in order to stay on top of everything. I have honestly been feeling a bit overwhelmed the last week or so with all I will have on my plate, but I know its because things are just getting started and I'll just have to work out the kinks as I get into a new groove.

What a breath of refreshment to spend time simply praying scripture, God's holy word, over my kids and the staff of Roberts. The word of God is chalked full encouragements and promises...what a blessing that sweet time was.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Time with Friends

Today we went to the zoo with several friends and I must say we were quite the entourage as we made a stroller train through the zoo. There were 7 Momma's and 17 kiddos (6 years old and under)! If it sounds crazy, I'll just go ahead and tell you, it was pretty much mass mayhem! Just look at some of the Mama's faces...really, its quite priceless all the funny expressions!

I felt like a crazy person running behind the stroller with Ava Jane to try and keep up with the boys who were literally running from one exhibit to another. I was that Mama who kept yelling, "Peyton Thomas", "Lawson", "Emerson" "stop right there!" Here's a picture of some of the crazy that kind of sums up what we experienced this morning! Why is it that kids always want to climb up the railings?


It was a beautiful, cool August morning so I shouldn't have been hot but literally, running (after mostly Emerson) kept me in a sweat and I have an oh so lovely blister on the bottom of my foot now from running in my flip flops!!

We did have fun though, the kids had a great time seeing all the animals and I must say, there are lots of improvements going on at the Little Rock Zoo, so that was fun to see.

The cheetah exhibit was a big hit! The kids loved watching the slideshow, they were quite mesmerized!

It was a lot of fun doing one last outing with friends before Peyton starts back to school next week. I can hardly believe summer is over and that he is about to start 1st grade. How did that happen? I will certainly miss him!

Sweet Baby Theodore

I recently got to take some pictures of my newest nephew, Theodore Samuel Head. He was quite the little baby model if I do say so myself. He's a precious little addition to our family and I thoroughly enjoyed trying to capture his budding personality.

He was actually born on Easter Sunday, so we had to get a picture of him with bunny ears and a cotton tail!

Look how kissable those lips are?!

He fits right in to our preppy pack of peeps!

And here's a little behind the scenes. He did really good, but definitely needed a milky break! It's such a tough life being a baby model!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend In Review

Here's the High's and Low's from this past weekend:

High: I got to go to my workout class on Friday and was able to do almost all of our boot camp circuit routine. I say "almost" because we were supposed to run from each station to the next, and I DID do that the first few rounds, but toward the end I would call it more of a "slow gate" from one station to the next! Though a friend of mine, who was doing the circuits with me, who mind you, had just gotten over strep throat, kicked my bootie most of the time! (Though the numbers look small, try doing this routine 4 times each, running in between the sets, while doing many, many arm reps with weights--hammer, bicep curls, lawn mowers, tricep kick backs, etc), OH and then repeat it all!

Low: I almost didn't get to go to class because Adam's car had to go into the shop. We have this running joke between he and I, because he is good at a lot of things, but not real adept at doing his own car maintenance, and our joke/funny moments include Adam trying to sound like he knows something about car maintenance (if you know him at all you know he's quick on his feet and can always say something that honestly sounds good, but is COMPLETELY wrong!) So he's made up several terminologies like the following that keep us laughing, he regularly says: "it could be your connorton valve", "the phrompain" or "your thermo-modulator going out", he is quite creative and it usually makes me laugh to hear him say these things in his loudest, most red-neck accent. Unfortunately the low for us on Friday was finding out that there was something wrong with his transmission and his shocks that needed to be fixed, that'll put a pretty dent in our savings account!

High: Friday night we got Adam from work, picked up a pizza and spent a couple hours at the pool. The boys had a blast swimming with Adam and being thrown by him. Emerson got to experience the slide for the first time, he LOVED sitting in Adam's lap and sliding into the water. This was the best group shot we could get, unfortunately it even included the backside of some child we do not know!

Low: Having to keep the boys out of the water during "adult swim" for a full 10 minutes each hour. I usually bring snacks but didn't that evening, and it was like pulling out my eyeballs to keep them out of the water. Adam was a little frustrated because HE, as an adult, got into the water and was sitting in the 1 foot deep water near the mushroom waterfall, playing with Emerson, and the lifeguard came and told him that the kids needed to be completely out of the water. WHAT? This is adult swim...what adult is going to "swim" in the 1 foot of water? Really? What is the hurt in letting them splash in the baby pool, while an adult is right there?

High: Going on a date with my honey! I enjoyed my frozen fruity peach schnapps drink as well as my ENTIRE meal...I am a sucker for some crab legs! We then ran some errands, and enjoyed a movie on the couch! Thanks Audrey for being a FABULOUS sitter, what a treat when a Mama comes home and the toys are all picked up and dishes are washed! AHHHHH!

Low:Realizing that I'd forgotten to take Ava Jane's 10 month picture on time. I guess I'm doing ok if its not yet time for her 11 month picture though! I hate that this first one is blurry cause she is so cute in it!

High: Having the priviledge to watch and listen to all of my kiddos having a blast while playing together!

Low: Having to help clean up the toilet paper mess!

All in all it was a great weekend, we wrapped it up with training to teach Emerson's 2 year old class at church, while the 3 boys went to see Despicable Me 2 with Poppy and Grammy! Thanks Bill and Donna for taking them, I know they had fun!

We have had quite the mild summer but August is shaping up to be really sticky! Try to stay cool in this humid August weather. Hope y'all had a good's to a new week!
204 - Humid

Lake Day With Friends

Back in March, Adam and I began setting aside weekends on our calendar to go to the lake this summer with friends and family.  It felt a lit...