Monday, June 13, 2011


Today marks the 2nd week my son has felt good! Bren has been running around like a mad man, hopping, skipping, jumping, swimming. Almost no complaints. None. What a blessing to see God give us this after much prayer and a rough patch. Who knows how long it will last- but its here and its now and we will rejoice in it! After a complete bone scan we had some follow up x rays and are waiting the results. After talking with the doctor there is no need to start new medicine, because we wont know if its a good spell, or the meds working. So the plan is to wait for a crummy spot and proceed from there. His next appt is for PT- to go from stretching to building muscle in weak areas where he has compensated by using the wrong muscles.
All in all not much to share. Other than God is showing us His faithfulness in answers to prayer. And this time it's been a yes.
We had some great family time this weekend. It was nice to just cookout, hangout, and have no big plans. To snuggle and giggle, and talk.
Shaun and I have started getting up at 5AM together and having breakfast/coffee/quiet time on the front porch.
Yes. I know it's summer. No- I don't care. No. Im not completely crazed.
But truly- it has been a blessing. I am ready for my day when munchkins wake up hungry, we get uninterrupted time together, God comes first, and my day starts out right. After reading 'Shopping for Time' by Mahaney and her daughters I am more convinced this is best for us. How often do we see in scripture an example of one 'rising early in the morning' to obey God? Now don't get me wrong- somedays I grumble as I make my way to the coffee pot. Thank God for coffee! But most days I am findng myself getting up easier and easier. And with my kiddos school start time being pushed back over an hour for this coming year, and mornings being Brennans worst time I think this will really pay off come August.
MOPS is coming along nicely for this coming year. I am co- coordinating our group and am truly excited about how God will use this in my life and the lives of the women involved.
Im sure Ill have more to share in the future but I certainly wanted to give an update on our son!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Today was a long day. This week has been a long week. Bren didnt move off the couch but to pee until it was time for his MRI. The hospital called yesterday and asked what day/time was good for us. I told the nurse ASAP, we would drop it all and make it happen. So today it was. He was able to stay still for a whole hour and 15 minutes. He was fabulous and God SO answered prayers! He took his favorite stuffed turtle with him. Its a sweet soft turtle that his little brother bought him with his own money, which is why Brennan loves is so very much. AndTHAT warms my heart.
We don't have results yet nor will we until monday or tuesday. I am jsut prayign for clear images, and a plan to get my sweet son out of pain! He has not gone to school all week except for Wednesday, and the school called me within the hour to come and get him. Although he was miserable today, and rated his pain at a 7 he insisted on walking through the halls of the childrens hospital. I offerred a wagon, and a wheel chair and he refused. By the time we were leaving he was tripping because his left leg was going out from under him. I am amazed at how he keeps on going, at how he wants to try, to be like all the other kids in the neighborhood, and his brothers. We have googled athletes with arthritis and found 2 olympians. His face lit up. I saw a spark of hope that one day he too could be running, and swimming, and competing, and that this isnt the end. And I wonder- how will God use this? How will he take my sweet son, and mold his heart, and use this disease for his glory? I pray his heart stays soft, and doesnt becoem embittered, or beaten down.
In the midst of all of this I realize this has changed, is changing our family. My oldest is jealous at all the school Bren is missing, and the new bike that he got. My youngest wants my time and energy that has been shifted to another. My husband is trying to stay strong while I am weak in this. I wonder what effect this will have on outings, vacations, etc. We will need to make sure if Brennan is not in remission that our family time doesn't make him feel left out. Or that it doesn't make the other kids feel as if their desires are not as important. Hiking is something we love to do...... will Brennan be able to hike this year at all? What about a day walking the amusement park?
And in all this I am reminded that Gods mercies are in fact new every morning. And this disease seems to be a moment by moment, day by day and we will in fact need new mercies every morning. So lets see what tomorrow holds, because we have soccer games, and my son couldn't walk worth 2 cents today.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

F is for frustrating...

Frustrating. This disease is frustrating. Come to think of it What disease isn't? Brennans eye appointment went great. By Gods grace his eyes are clear. CLEAR. NO inflammation. We see the opthamologist in 8 weeks and then every 3 months after that for well... Im thinking eternity. Thankfully they are nice, the office is a pleasant environment, and they have Veggie tales on T.V. I think we can handle that every 3 months, right?
On another note, as we have hope naproxen would work for Brennan I can say he has only gotten worse since we started it. The day we saw the eye doc Brennan woke up and couldnt walk by himself. He was clutching furniture, falling down, and shaking. I immediately got him flat on the couch with a  heating pad, could tell he had a low grade fever, and after a warm blanke and some love he fell back to sleep. By the time we left for teh appt. he was walking but badly. We shuffled throught he halls, and my heart ached as he tried to walk, and aske me if his Dr. K's office was in this building, too. He wanted to talk to Dr. K abotu his legs, and make sure that he knew his ankles were now hurting. I choked back tears and promised him I would call the nurse so Dr. K new he was feelign worse. We went to the store afterwards and he asked for a cart to sit in the back, with his legs straight, instead of a bench cart, becuase that hurts 'worser'. He actually stumbled and fell int eh parking lot. He said his legs just felt weak. His sweet little voice piped up and said, 'I jsut want to be normal again.'
'Normal?' I asked.
'Yeah, normal, like before i hurt. No one else has his. No on else in the family, or the neighborhood.' 
I told him he wasn't the only one, I told him he was normal, but I knew he was frustrated. I toild him I loved him, and that we would try our best to get his legs to feel better. And all the while inside I was crying. I was inadequate. I was wondering HOW. How to fix this. How to make it better. HOW. And I knew I didn't have the answers. I still don't. I have love, I have hope, I have prayer. I don't have answers.
jeanette the nurse called back and said Dr. K had squeezed him in at 10 am the next day. His stiffness and instability lasted until about 3 in the afternoon. And then he was runnign in the yard. Wobbly, but running, He slept all night. He woke up stiff, but was bounding down the steps. I saw him stretch his legs out ont he coffee table and as I was fixing breakfast he was counting. I looked over to see him bending his knees to chest each leg, 10 times each, and switching sides adn repeating. And I was amazed.
Amazed that a 6 year old can perservere through pain that would knock many adults flat. Amazed at a sweet child who when asked 'what are you doing?' Responded with an 'Exercising!" as in, 'well mom, whats it look like, im makign these legs do what they need to do!'
 And he we are, 13 hours later, and no closer to fixing my sons legs.
Dr. K ordered MRI's. He said the ankle swelling was 'minimal', and not in the major joint, therefore an injection was not possible. Minimal swelling certianly does not mean minimal pain. He said his legs muscles are very tight, and sent in PT.
We are now waiting for an MRI appointment. At that point we can look over the results and discuss steroid injections. And oral medications if the ankle is still swollen. I left with no more answers, the same medication regimen, that is obviously not working, and a child dissapointed that Dr. K did not fix it. He did order repeat labs, and some Muscle enzymes. He stated there are other diseases that also cause muscle inflammation that need to be ruled out. Brennan  has now missed 33 days of school this year. and as I was angry and frustrated and listening to Dr. K talk, and tell me this is a long journey, and a puzzle that takes time, and that we still don't have a sub type, and that we needed to rule out other diseases, i was trying to remind myself of a verse my dear friend had sent me.
Lamentations 3;33
for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men'.
As I pondered this, and thought of my son, and how my God loves him more than I do, i began to read more, and came across this

 Lamentations 3:21-25
But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, hismercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is yoru faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him. The Lord is good to those who wait in him.
and Numbers 23:19
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he chould change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken and will he not fulfill it?

And I know I can trust my Gods character. He has spoken.  He has spoken that his mercies are new every mornign, and my sweet son, bounding down the steps lived that today. He gave Brennan the strength today to walk, to finish his PT exercises with daddy, and to even, though wobbly and sore after, to play a soccer game tonight. He felt normal today. when asked his pain level he said he felt 'good' and 'fine' today, but when shown the face chart, he pointed to a 5 on a scale of 1-10.
Gods mercy was new today.
And therefore I will hope in HIm.

Friday, May 6, 2011

E is for eye dcotor

Im not quite sure where these alphabet titles are coming from, lol They just are. At the moment we are praising God because mysweet son can get into the eye doctor on MONDAY instead of June 10th. Hes complaining of burnign eyes when outside, and due to his positive ANA bloodwork is at higher risk for his arthritis affecting his eyes, so they squeezed him in quicker. The doctor is supposed to call me today so we can chat. I am realizing this disease is odd. No clear cut answers, lots of waiting, waiting and seeing. And Im not the best at being patient. Do you think God knew I needed a lesson in patience?
I am currently reading  a great book titled 'Raisng Kids with arthritis'. It has me thinking about more and more as we go forward. I was hit last night with the phrase that this a chronic disease that can only be managed with medication, exercise, consistency. Im beginning to accept these things, but want my son to not be defined by this. I want him to push forward, to run still, though it hurts, to keep on being HIM, not going on to become IT.
Its been a rough week for him. A week of sore legs, and now ankles. Stiff nights and mornings, and a sweet little boy that I can tell is worried about this. wondering. Questioning. I pray his heart does not turn bitter and angry over this. I pray for healing, I pray for relief. I praise the one who has already answered so many prayers, in so many ways. And we wait. What drug will work? What does his body look like on the inside? What does his future look like? I dont know, but I know My God holds it in his hands.

Monday, May 2, 2011

D is for...

Diagnosis day. April 28th, 2011. My son, 6, charming, wonderful, sweet, and practically perfect has juvenile arthritis. Thi blog has been home repairs, things Ive made, etc, etc. And all of those things seem well, trivial to me tonight as I sit and ponder life. It started in january. the 11th to be exact. He woke up like this. Well, it was worse- this is better than how he woke up.

He couldnt walk at first. He was like a sobbing wet noodle tryign to stand. I thought of tumors, and strokes as I dialed the phone and panicked. I obviously wasnt talkign clearly because the nurse, and my husband thought he had growing pains! After bloodwork and exams we were told he had viral arthritis. My husband, whose neck could be 2/3rds severed before he ever saw a doctor took one look at my video footage that night and was silent. For five full minutes. Then quietly he asked when he saw the specialist.
After a short lived break, like 7 days,  from the symptoms they came roaring back, and we began to realize that viral arthritis never lasts more than 8 weeks. My sons ANA antibodies were positive, and it was time to see a rheumatologist.
It took 3 months to see our doctor. 3 months of me hoping it was something else. 3 months of me prayign it was someting else. 3 months of me watching him run around 1 day, then sob and shuffle and limp another.
I have prayed God would show my son perserverance. And as these 3 months have gone by, and Ive prayed for healing God has whispered to my heart- :why so quick to pray for perserverance, and then for the trial to be removed? My purpose will be perfected in yoru son. " I was reading abotu the man born blind from birth, who did not sin, but was blind that Gods glory might be revealed. matthew

The author asked- what was harder to accept? the condition, or that it was caused by one who could heal it?
As i read that I was shaken to my core. As Jerry Bridges says in Trusing God- it is far easier to obey God than it is to trust Him. The question I kept being asked was 'Do you trust me with your son?" Do YOU trust me, with your son?" Do you TRUST me with your son? Do you trust me with your SON?
And I have sat before God this week almost silent. I have sewed, and neglected housework to escape, I have driven to the mall, and neglected housework to escape. I have played board games with and snuggled a child who hurts, and is stiff, and is asking- Momma, will my legs ALWAYS hurt? Momma- is it wrong for me to think God is kind of mean to not fix my legs?
And I have tried to push away my thoughts crowding my mind with menial things. And I cannot. God loves me too much to allow it. Tonight as I sat to read with my sons our daily devotion I almost wept when I saw the title. Gods timing is perfect. The passage?
1 Peter 1:3-9

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy,he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, toan inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
and Phillipians 4:13
I can do all thrings through Christ who gives me strength.
And as I asked teh questions that corresponded with the story my son talked about his arthritis. His disease.
And we talked about how our life on earth is but a vapor compared to eternity in heaven. How God can heal Him, but God has a plan regardless. We talked abotu trust, and Gods glory beign revealed in our lives. And I just wanted to hold him, and take that weight from my 6 year old son. My son asking if this will affect his eyes as the doctor mentioned. My son who is too precious to me to see this. My son. MY SON.
How God must have ached as he watched Christ hang on that cross!
I know my God has plans. I look back and see the pain Christ went through was for GOOD. I want to see the future of my sons trial, and all I can do is trust. Do I trust Him with my son?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm BAAACK! Sort of.

Hello all of you out there! I think it's been about 2 1/2 months since my last post. Hmm... Time flies is all I
can say! I just don't have time for regular posts right now. I barely have time to do projects. Why so busy? Well- lets see. Between being a care group leader in MOPS, head room mom for one kid, doing Bible Study Fellowship, boy scouts, hubby having 2 meetings a week, couponing, and helping others coupon, teaching Sunday School, various committees at church... I am really just BUSY. It's okay- I like it. I really do. But I cannot blog, and refinish furniture and doors right now, too.
I think the craziest thing in all of this is half day Kindergarten. I. don't. like. it. Can I get an amen?!?!?! I mean- I am in the car CONSTANTLY!!! I think my next kid will go all day, and then I'll sub part time to pay for it, lol but seriously- that is really keeping me busy with all the broken up days and runnign back and forth. oh- and I hopefuly wil begin subbing on Fridays soon. WHEW! In the midst of all of this I have managed a few things. I have stained the top of our stairs, and am currently painting the 'kickers', I have made knock off Pottery barn sweater pillows for $0.50 each, and ive made some more anthro knock offs. I have stained about 400 feet of trim, but haven't put it up yet, haha. And I managed to fly to Maryland
 BY MYSELF for 4 days to see my ailing grandma, and visit the Holocaust Museum in D.C. with Poppa. Ill add some eye candy in, maybe link up to a party or two... We shall see.
Mine. $7.00
Theirs.  Necklace $38.00 Shirt $ 58.00
total $96.00
Mines not perfect, but I have had several people ask where I bought it when I am wearing it.It looks adorbale with a long sleeved cream shirt underneath, and long slouchy boots! :-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

my newest project

Has it really been a month! Geeze. Sorry. I have been spending about all day every day in the pool. If it's not in the pool it's in the herb garden, at bible study, couponing, learning to coupon better, and creating new menus for the fam. I feel as if Ive been way too busy to blog much of anything and my house projects are at a stand still. Why? I. am. sick. to. death. of. them.
Seriously- I needed a break. I ahve hundreds of feet of oak trim needing stained. I have the stain. I don't wanna do it. Not yet. How abot this fall when its cool, but nice, and dry, not sticky, and my 2 oldest are back in school? Yep- sounds like a plan to me!
So- have I done ANYTHING???  I mean besides lay in the pool? Yep, I have. I have been readin gsome fashion blogs. Eek! Fashion, not houses? Yeppers. I have been loving Anthropologies website, and ahve decide dthat I can and will make myself some less expensive knock offs.
The first is for my brothers wedding in 3 weeks. I fell in love with this skirt

at Anthropologie

But the price... Eh, not so much love
4 hours and $5.17 later I had this

Not too shabby, eh?

 Like my Steve Madden pumps I paid $0.50 for? Me, too, ladies, me, too!
Please ignore my messy dresser. ;-)

My next adventure was  this dress-.

at Anthropologie as well. Price tag $148.
My version cost $4.00 and some change...

I think thats a smug look... Sorry. I wasn't thinking smugly. Well, maybe a little seeing as I saved a whopping $234.00 Next up is their attic treasures tank
 We shall see. We shall see.
What have you been doing this summer? Lazing by the water like me?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I have been MIA lately. I have some good old pictures of previous projects I COULD whip up a post on. But I don't wanna.
Hear the whine in my voice? lol
We have jumped into summer full steam ahead. My kids have swam the past 4 days for a MINIMUM of 8 hours a day. My youngest has had quite the asthma flare, and has kept me up at nights and on my toes during the day to make sure he doesn't turn purple. He did that 3 nights ago. The turning purple thing. By Gods grace we didn't ahve to go to the hospital, but it was a rather close scare. He is a cute kid, but not when he looks like that little girl from Willy Wonka.
I, although not burnt, have somehow got sun poisoning... Go figure.
I have started a new summer schedule for my boys. Call me crazy but I do believe kids THRIVE on structure. They have workbook pages M, W, and F. Quiet reading time mid afternoon, instead of a nap. It gets them out of the sun, and if they fall asleep, fabulous. If not at least they are resting and feeding their minds. And of course there is the chores.
Cause this house doesn't clean itself!
J, 7, and B, 5 are responsible for a bathroom each. Q, 3 has to sort the dirties and they all have to sort/fold/put away their laundry and daddys whites.(I love to hear the cries of "EW! DAds UNDERWEAR!!!!! They're HUGE! Of course hubby is tall and lean and nothing on his frame is huge, but they think so, lol) 1 kid has dishes each meal, the others have kitchen floor cleanup, etc. And of course there is the weeding, stick picking up (our willow sheds like a dog!), etc etc etc. We all pitch in and try to teach these boys the value of hard work so one day I can say "I raised you to know how to do that!" and really mean it, lol.
In the midst of our new schedules I have added in working out 6 times a week
and changed our eating habits.

NOW you get why I haven't posted projects, eh?

Seriously- working out that much and coming up with new menu plans and changing our cooking style has kept me BUSY BUSY BUSY! I am feeling much better, as is hubby. My tummy is getting tight, and my thighs are getting firm. My boys are actually enjoying the new menu stuff. Especially mommas homeade- whole wheat -flax waffles. And they adore the yogurt, fruit smoothie popsicles. It's amazing how making all these changes can put a ripple in the rest of our lives. I haven't go it down to a fine science yet. My friend laughed and said that I probably won't until August when they all go back to school. Okay with me! This Wednesday starts a new womens bible study at church, as well. I am looking forward to it!
So- that is what we have been doing.
 I shall go now to work ont hat menu and grocery list, and leave you with my waffle recipe!

2 Cups whole wheat flour
1/8 cup ground flax seed
1 3/4 c buttermilk ( I cheat and use 2 T ob lemon in 1% milk)
1/2 C canola oil
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
mix, pop in your waffle iron and enjoy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Grocery Blessings

I have said it before, and I shall say it again. God is faithful to grow us. He always is. Especially when we realize we need to grow in an area and ask for it!
I was blog hopping yesterday and came across a fabulous post. Unfortunately I. cannot. find. it.
It's not in my history, Ive spent hours looking. I cannot even remember the name of the blogger or how I got to her site. So- I shall summarize for you. This woman does not like to grocery shop. I understand. I spend, on average, 2 hours making my lists, gathering/clipping/organizing my coupons and deals and calculating my costs before I leave for the store. (budget is King!) I then drive to the store, load things in the cart, then on the conveyor belt, then back in the car, then in the house, then in the pantry/fridge.
However, this woman had a lightbulb moment.
Let me highlight some words above for you.
Are you getting my point? The point this woman made, who has a great blog that  I. cannot.find.
Am I really complaining about going to the store to purchase food for my family? I have a store to go to. My children do not look like this.

And I am complaining!?!
Shame on me.
Shame on you.
According to the CDC  in 2008 19.6% of 6-11 year olds were obese.
18.1% of 12-19 year olds were.
Lets not even discuss adults.
Now- I  am not picking on people who are overweight due to health reasons, or really picking on overweight people at all. But lets ask ourselves- WHY the large numbers?
Because we can afford to feed our children.
We are cramming them full of sweets and junk and there are THOUSANDS of children dying the world over DAILY from hunger related causes.
Because we are SO well fed we take it for granted and think it's our right to even complain about going to the store. I spent 3 summer soverseas- 1 of them in Asia. Ive seen people lying in the streets hungry and children as little as 1 trying to sell things on the streets for food.
And yet I complain about going to the well stocked, clean grocery.
I vowed yesterday morning to not have a bad attitude while shopping.
Ever. Again.
And then I took 3 boys to the store, to 3 stores actually.
And the gal at Meijer rung my order wrong and owed me $15.00 for not scanning my coupons correctly, which I didn't notice until I was BACK in the car with all 3 kids and had to go BACK in the store to wait in line to get my money back.
And I thought to myself- I could complain. This is frustrating. I am hungry and it is dinner time. My kids are rowdy and hungry, too.
But I just spent more in this store than some people will have in a lifetime. I am going home to put my food away, and I can eat a disease free, bug free meal tonight. I will be getting more back in change than many people live on in a years time. Hungry to me means nothin really. I don't KNOW hunger like many people around the world do.
And I praised God for the oppurtunity I had. For the country I live in. For giving me the tender heart to see how truly blessed I am. For the oppurtunity to grow my attitude and perspective. For my children being well fed and cared for. I thought of the little guy we sponsor. And the girl we sponsored for 10 years until she went to college. And I praised God. And I praised God. And I praised God.
How is your attitude?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Morning Bessings

My mornings are hectic. What else could you expect with 3 boys, 7 and under, and a puppy? I wake up, crawl immediately walk to my coffee pot and get it started. My sons are NOT morning people. Well- I take that back, the 2 that are in school are not morning people. I am usually greeted by whines, and 'more sleep!' or a made up ailment such as 'my tummy hurts, 'my head hurts', etc. I think that they think I was never a child myself and maybe I will one day buy into it and let them stay home. NOT HAPPENING boys.
Usually after the whining comes the craziness. A hyper puppy thrilled that his best playmates are up is racing to and fro. And I mean RACING. As in Indy 500 time trials racing. And the oldest is racing right along with puppy, the youngest has spilled his milk, AND oatmeal, and the middlest is making some sort of odd noise- this morning it was an indian war cry. Why you ask?
I have no earthly clue.
I laughed and shook my head and bit my tongue wanting to be short and say 'Will you be quiet??!! Calm down, stop being so...
Happy? Full of life? boyish? a child for now?
I have not had a peaceful quiet morning in 7 years, 2 months and 15 days. I probably won't have one for another 14 years, and 6 months. And then- will it really be peaceful? Will I enjoy it?
Or will I be crying my eyes out as my baby flies the nest?
A tempted as I am some mornings to squash the child in my children I realize that they will be children for only so long. Instead of the shushing, I giggle at the indian war cry, instead of grumbling and being angry I remind myself these are memories, moments I can not get back. I want my sons to remember mornings full of laughter, and a puppy and his boy gallopping along happy to see each other. NOT some monster mom in all her grogginess snapping their heads off and getting their day off to a rotten start. Who wants to be snapped at first thing in the morning?
 I doubt you'd see any hands raised if this question was asked in a room full of people!
My children are a blessing. A gift from the Lord. Even if that blessing is using his Indan war cry at 7 am.
I am thankful my God loves me enough to touch my heart and remind me that 'mans anger does not bring about the righteous life that God  desires.' (James 1:9) And I so desire a righteous life in my children. How can they love God more when momma doesn't model that love?
 Even at 7 am.
 Even with a war cry.
 Even with a puppy knocking into my legs.
 Even when I was tossing and turning all night due to a migraine.
Even with a whiny 'I don't want to get up!'
Even with spilled milk.
Have you remembered your blessings in the morning? Or is today a day to be reminded of that?