Friday, May 29, 2009

Walking With Grace

"...this grace in which we now stand." Romans 5:2

Paul states, as believers in Jesus, we now stand in a place of highest privilege. Thank you Lord for your Grace.

I also thank the Lord for my friend, Grace. Grace is my neighbor and she is such a bright light of love and Christ to the whole neighborhood. I met Grace when we first moved here. I was on a prayer walk asking the Lord to bring me a Christian friend. At the end of my walk, Grace was near my house talking to the boys. We found out quickly that we both love the Lord and when she told me her name, Grace, I just had to smile. God is so good. Grace has the most precious Golden Retriever, Charlie. My boys absolutely love Charlie and announce every time they have seen him, played with him or if he is coming down the street with Grace. Charlie loves to play with all the kids. I'm going to miss you Grace!!!

Today, Grace invited us on a nature walk on one of the beautiful paths near our home. We spent two hours enjoying the beautiful morning, playing with Charlie, visiting, watching for wildlife and learning about the plants and trees.

Grace, Andrew, Christian and Charlie.

We have had so much rain. Last week, we got 8 inches in one day. There has been dangerous flooding. Today, we saw some of the corrosion but also this beautiful brook.

Our first stop, The Catalpa tree.

Christian's turn to read.

I'm praying he is not standing among poison ivy....that was big topic of conversation today. Click HERE if you want to learn more about poison ivy. (Grace, we did our homework....we sure saw a lot of plants that resemble P.I. It's a good thing we were cautious.)

Andrew's turn to read.

Taking a tour of Glen Carbon Village Farm. It was a farm in the 1800's. The city now owns the property and they maintain this lovely home and stables.

Lucey is loose....she had fun running around.

The horse stables.

Thank you, Grace, for such a fun and educational morning!

As we prepare to leave--it's also been a time of squeezing in last minute good-byes with friends. Good-bye is so hard to say. We are just down the road so we will be back. So let's not say good-bye.
Ron had lunch a few days ago with an old childhood friend that he has reconnected with. They go back about 40 years. They lived a few houses apart. They went to Gardenville grade school together. They used to play ball in the alley together behind their houses. Their reconnection has meant the world to Ron and to me; I love Ron's excitement for people and for his past that he rarely visits. Ron is so proud of his friend, Craig and hearing all about his beautiful family. He said that has been the most rewarding part of their reunion, sharing their families with one another.

Craig, thanks for supporting the blog...I love your icon! I hope we can get our families together in the near future.
I also want to thank you and your family for the precious bows, bow holder and the cutest little flipflops for Lucey Lu. I LOVE them!!! Lucey does too! Brenda, you are talented. I adore the monogrammed plaque.

One clip you can't see, is the ladybug bow. It's so cute! The ladybug is also the symbol used for adopted kiddos from China.
Thank you for the beautiful gifts. Thank you for your friendship.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lucey Lu's Baptism and Armed Forces Day

Today was a very special day. We celebrated Lucey's Holy Baptism. We celebrated Lucey as a member of The Son, Lord Jesus Christ, and an heir of the Heavenly Kingdom. We prayed that she would faithfully grow to lead a godly life to praise and honor His Holy Name as it is written in Scripture and stated by Pastor Marty and witnessed by family, friends, the congregation and her Godparents, Renee and Adam.

It was also Armed Forces Day-- A day we celebrate all the branches of service and the sacrifices that they make for our freedom. We salute and thank each one of you (those we know and those of you whom we have never met) who serve in the armed forces and to your families who stand tall next to your loved one. To you--our dear military friends-- We are proud of you and are blessed to know you.

Many thanks to our friends and family who came to help us celebrate Lucey.

My Mom and Dad, Jennifer and Rob (who had just returned from Russia after meeting their sweet little boy whom they will be adopting soon.), to Aunt Marianne (my Godmother) and Uncle Paul from Kansas City, to Renee and Heinz and their sweet family--Lauren, Emma and Ian.

It was a very special day for all of us.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Lucey's Baptism
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Friday, May 22, 2009

It's a Hair-y week--

It's all about the hair this week. Appointments-appointments before we move. Andrew and Christian got their hair cuts first. I had an appointment earlier this week...cut and color. Max is at the groomer right now as I type. Adam has his appointment this evening with his girl, Danielle. Ron...he is always getting a cut...I won't count him. But, Lucey......

This morning was her turn. Her first hair cut and it had to be with my girl, Amy. Oh how I love Amy! Not only does she always do a fantastic job with my hair and I'm always happy; she is a beautiful person inside and out. She is young, she loves the Lord, she is a home owner, she works full time and volunteers at a clothing shelter part time. She amazes me. She was so sweet with Lucey and Lucey did great. Lucey needs those wispy ends trimmed up.

"I love this fancy, girlie cape you are putting on me, Amy." I'm sure this is a first for Lucey.

"I can see myself in the mirror, this is fun."

"I'm ready when you are."

"I'm proud of you sat so well."

"How do I look? All freshened up for my Baptism on Sunday."

I caught Andrew giving Lucey a ride "up front" on Lucey's Big Bobby Car. Uncle Kevin and Aunt Bunny need to send Andrew and Christian Big Bobby's because they have just as much fun as Lucey.

Adam's last full day of school is today. Adam and his friends decided to have a big spread at lunch and they planned out who was bringing what....of course it involved me. Adam's plan was to bring two fruit pies. It was my pleasure to send up two pies. It did involve having Ron to come home and take them because the developmental therapist was here during the time they needed to be at school and of course I'm always the last minute person and they were in the oven baking. (How about that for a run-on sentence) Anyway, I know Adam is going to miss his friends and this school. This year has been the best school year- ever- for Adam. Adam has done well and the staff and kids have been a blessing to us all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Andrew Looks A Bit Different

Hmmmmm....something is missing...ah, yes....Andrew's glasses. Andrew is trying contacts. He had an hour long class this morning to learn how to put them in and take them out. Becky, from the eye clinic, said he did great and he is ready. He had a little trouble getting them back in while at home. He didn't have any problem getting them out. Andrew has a severe astigmatism so he needs a toric lens. It's going to take some time to get used to them. He is a trooper and is focused on getting the lenses in his eyes.

Miss Bev, Lucey's developmental therapist, comes to our home two days a week to work with Lucey. We both LOVE Miss Bev. I want to pack her up and take her to Kansas with us. She has a masters in deaf education and signs to Lucey while she works on her language and development. Bev has taught me so much and I use what I learn from her all the time. I see a lot of progress with Lucey in her speech and motor skills. Lucey does well with sign language too.

Lucey is stringing "beads."

Lucey is sticking out her tongue just like the kitty in the book.

Pointing out pictures in the book and responding to Miss Bev.
The hour goes by fast. What a fantastic experience.
Daddy and Lucey Lu....Hanging out while Daddy works from home. Max is snoozing in the background.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Little Bits Of This And That

Adam's spring concert was last night. I'm so impressed with the talent of these young people. They have improved a lot since they last performed at Christmas time. They played such beautiful music and ended with each of the armed forces songs. I felt right at home.

Adam is right in the center of this picture.

Adam's music director announced each of the three students who are leaving at the end of the school year. Adam is standing up to be acknowledged.

Just a random photo.
Earlier in the day, Lucey and I had a great time on a girls outing.

We met my friend Jeanne and her daughter, Megan, for lunch and shopping. I really enjoyed myself.

Isn't Megan just beautiful.

Lucey was busy coloring her menu. She was so good at lunch.

Taking a stroll around the Galleria.

I think the girls were singing together and sharing hair clips at this point. They were great little shoppers. Thank you Jeanne and Megan for such a fun afternoon!

Lucey Lu's silly personality. I got a call on Friday afternoon from the Geneticist telling me that Lucey has a slight curvature of the spine. It's something that we need to keep an eye on. So that's all we need to do. We are praising God that she doesn't have something more serious like missing vertebrae or a fused vertebrae which can happen with her syndrome. After talking to the geneticist, it does appear that Lucey has something a little more complicated than Hemifacial Microsomia. At a later time I will try and explain what the doctor explained to me. We are not going to do anything different because of it. We are going to proceed as planned. It's the way God made Lucey and we are just going to move forward and love Lucey through her journey. Thank you again for the many prayers. Lucey's test results are very good!

Lucey is learning math along with the boys....ha! Okay, she just wanted to be a part of our school day. Christian was so kind to hold her on his lap as I explained the new lesson.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nearing The End....

....Of The Medical Testing.

We were back at Children's Hospital yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m. We met with the geneticist who went over Hemifacial Microsomia with me. We discussed what other medical conditions this could be an indicator of. We went over the renal ultra sound results and Echo. I want to thank each one of you for your prayers.....Lucey is a very healthy little girl. Her kidneys look great! She does have a very small hole in her heart but I was assured that it was not serious and it should close up on it's own. Lucey had an x-ray of her spine yesterday and more lab work. She's not tolerating tests as well. She is just plain tired of all of this. I was dreading taking her to the x-ray and to get another blood draw so I phoned two people (like the game show "I needed help so I phoned a friend (and a family member)"). One gave me a pep talk and one prayed with me. I felt equipped to move forward and Lucey did great!!! She did fantastic with her spinal x-ray and I met a very special man in the lab. He told me I was a very good Mom and he felt compelled to pray for us. I could tell he had been through a lot in his life and he had turned himself around. He loved the Lord and it showed-- how great is that.

The morning lasted longer than I anticipated--I was tired so I knew Lucey was tired. I put Lucey down for a nap after her lunch and she was not wanting to rest. She wanted to play--that silly girl. I sat in her room for awhile encouraging her to lay down.....

"Can I have one last kiss?"

"Peek-A-Boo....I see you."

"Here's my cute leg....isn't this funny?"

"Are you watching? Oh, she's not looking....she's ignoring me. I guess I'll go to sleep now."
Lucey slept for 2 1/2 hours after all. I was ready to take a nap too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lucey's Tired--So Is Mama

Lucey started her morning with her usual big appetite. An egg, yogurt, banana and her little bowl of "snacks."

Andrew decided to stay home and hold down the fort with Max while Lucey, Christian and I headed back to Children's Hospital. Lucey was having a cranky morning so I kind of knew that the tests today were going to be hard for her.

Lucey loves yogurt!

She's wanting to hand me her plate for me to serve her more yogurt but I told her that she needed to eat her bananas first. She is a great eater but she is also becoming more comfortable with us. She understands there is an endless supply of food here so she is becoming a little more selective. But for an almost two year old....I'm impressed. This is all good.

Her renal ultra sound was at 10:30. We got right in. She cried before the tech even touched her. She seemed to become a little distracted by the stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling. It was a fairly quick test.

Her Echo was another story. It took a while. She did not want me to take off her shirt. She cried right away. I didn't realize that I had to lay on the table and that she was going to lay on me the entire time. I would have used the restroom...dang that cup of coffee! She was wiggling all over me and I was trying hard to comfort her. Thank goodness for the tech who had bubbles. Thank goodness for Christian who was there to blow them. Thank you Christian. That was the only thing that distracted her for a few seconds at a time. The tech was so patient and kind.
We go back to see genetics on Thursday. We should have the results of today's tests then. Please continue to pray for the results of the test. That Lucey is a very healthy little girl. We have so much to praise the Lord for and so much to be thankful for. I know the Lord has this.
We should be done with appointments after least for a while. We are all ready to move on and to enjoy life with Lucey. We know these tests are necessary and we feel blessed to have the medical coverage that we do....but it's time to get ready for the next big chapter in our lives. Our move.

Click the arrow to watch the video. Lucey loves to sing...."Mama." Music to my ears. We ate pizza in the cafeteria after the testing. She was a much happier little girl.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Service Project

Adam needed to put some service time in for his school, specifically his Biology class. It had to be tied in with the environment so Adam chose to clean up the park. This park is beautiful and we are blessed to live within a bikes ride. It's also next to our quaint little library so it's a great place to visit. Andrew headed straight to the library--of course. Adam, Christian, Lucey and I headed for the park. Adam got right to work and Christian gave a hand.

The dugout was pretty messy.

The boys worked together while Lucey and I watched.

Swinging is good for Lucey's core muscle strength so we did a little "swing therapy."

"This slide looks pretty fast."

"Thanks Christian, I needed a hand. Such a big step."

"Glad you could join us, Andrew. I'm sure you enjoyed your quiet time in the library."
Tomorrow morning we head back to Children's Hospital. Lucey is going to have a renal ultra sound and an Echo on her heart. It's just a precaution....the heart and kidney's form at the same time as the ears. Please pray that her tests go well (she's had so many lately and I'm sure she is getting tired of being poked and prodded) and that she is perfectly healthy. Thank you, your prayers mean so much to us.