Tuesday, June 27, 2006

To Dallas and Back Home Again

Our trip to Dallas has come and gone. We left under a cloud of stress, but returned home refreshed and very excited to see our boys again. The boys got sick with a cold the day before we flew out to Dallas, and I was very nervous about leaving them. But, my husband, a bit more objective about the situation, persisted that I go with him. And, our parents were wonderfully courageous and gracious, as they were left with instructions for the nebulizer machine and a spreadsheet to keep track of all the boys' medicines. They took excellent care of our boys, and told us they had a good time doing it, too. Thanks Abuelos. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!!

Lawrence returned to an avalanche of work. It seems since Judah's surgery back at the end of May that he hasn't quite been able to catch up. Please pray for him as he seeks to be diligent to complete his work. And, you can pray for us at home, too. It's not easy to release Lawrence to work overtime when I so long for his company and help at home. We trust that God is for us, though, and that His grace will see us through this season.

I just spent the afternoon on the phone with our doctors. Things are gearing up again, and July looks like it will be a month full of appointments. Most of them are follow-ups for Judah, but I have a couple myself. I'll keep you updated as to the specific nature of Judah's appointments, but for now, I'd like to post a few pictures of my cuties. As soon as I get the pictures developed from Sam and Kate's wedding, I'll try to post some of them, too.


Friday, June 16, 2006

We're Back

Actually, we've been back since Sunday evening, but have been too busy or too tired to write an update. The weekend was a success in many ways; albeit one of the most stressful, exhausting weekends of my life. There were no accidents, and we all remained fairly healthy. Our luggage was not lost, stolen or damaged. We were not lost, stolen or damaged (except for a little mental damage perhaps!) :) And, even though it was with lollipop in hand, the boys did walk down the aisle for Sam and Kate's wedding. I think we might have gotten a few pictures with the boys, and I'll try to post them once I have them developed.

Judah has been doing well with his recovery. His incisions are healing, though they don't look too pretty. The one on his belly is doing very well, so thank you for your prayers.

This week has been one of recovery mostly. Lawrence has been very busy with work, as there was much he had to catch up on from the time out with Judah's surgery and then again for the wedding. I've just been trying to get us back into a bit of a normal routine (whatever that looks like for us over here), and catching up on loads of laundry.

Next week, Lawrence and I are going away to Dallas, God willing. He has a class for 3 days, and I am just joining him. While we'll only have our evenings together, that's more than we typically have at home. And, I will enjoy a much needed respite from the demands of caring for two toddler boys, though I'm sure I will miss them sorely. They will have the opportunity to "play" with both sets of grandparents as both my mom and dad and Lawrence's mom and dad will be helping to care for them while we're gone. Thanks!!!

A couple other thanks:
  • Jeff and Sarah Cole (with two "twin" baby girls of their own at home): Jeff, thanks for coming to mow our lawn on Sunday and for further helping Lawrence get our mower fixed. What a blessing you are to our family. And, thanks Sarah, for releasing him. I know it is no small thing to release your hubby to help someone else.
  • "the girls": Heather, Beth Y., Emily C., and Jennifer L, for asking me to hang with ya'll one evening this week. It fell at the end of one of the tougher days for me emotionally, and your company was good medicine. Thanks for making me laugh so hard! And, thanks, Beth, for thinking up and making these nights happen for the rest of us!

I know many of you pray for us in an ongoing fashion and not just when things get "intense" around here (which feels more often than not). We really appreciate your thoughts and prayers for us. We know that you and your prayers are a major means of God's grace to us. Thank you!

We are trying to take June off from dr's appts. I say "trying" b/c there are a couple of appts. for me, but these are appts. that have been rescheduled numerous times or pushed off for much too long. So, we're taking June off for Judah's appts. to catch up with mine, I guess. Come July, there will be a few appointments for Judah, and I'll be sure to let you know so that you can pray. Until then, maybe I'll take some time to post pictures of my cuties. They're getting so big, so fast.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Many Thanks

I just wanted to give a quick update on Judah accompanied by a long list of thanks.
Judah's stitches were removed last Wednesday. The incisions on his head looked pretty good, but the one on his belly opened up a bit when the Dr. removed the stitches. She placed butterflies on it, and I have kept a dressing on it since. So, my little man has still not had a bath, but we're doing our best to close up those wounds.

He's been a pleasant little guy and only occasionally shows signs of pain or discomfort from the incision on his belly. Lawrence and I have been amazed by how much he's back to normal. We've gone to a Litte league baseball game, been on walks, to the playground and storytime at the library, visited with friends and family and even went to church on Sunday. It was initially difficult for me to take Judah out in public as I was a bit overly sensitive to the bandages on his head, but after a couple of times, I don't feel as paranoid about it. I was even able to graciously respond to a little girl's inquiries about Judah at the playground yesterday.

While Judah has recovered better than we expected, I did not do so well. As I wrote in my last post, for the last week, I have been tempted and given into many of those temptations toward self-centeredness, self-pity, anger, despair. There may be a variety of reasons why I have felt especially vulnerable and weak spiritually, but I have not even had the energy to process through them. I just know that I have not been any sort of pillar of faith or walked in a steadfast manner, pleasing to the Lord.

Yesterday at church, this scripture from Isaiah was read, and I am grateful for its truth.
Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool."

I am holding tightly to the truth that though my performance this past week has been less than exemplary and even worthy of God's judgement and wrath, He sees me covered in Christ's blood and therefore, perfectly righteous, spotless and without blemish or flaw. Thank you, Lord!

There have been many tangible evidences of God's mercy and kindness to me, even when I was being a wretch. The first is my husband.
Thank you, Lawrence, for faithfully sticking with me, for affirming your love for me over and over again, for being willing to endure my offenses and return evil with good.

Thank you:
  • Beth Young for making such a scrumptious meal and bringing just the right portion. Thanks for the balloons for the boys. They love 'em! AND, thank you for the incredibly thoughtful, creative and generous way to bless me with free pampered chef product. What a sweet treat for me and definitely an expression of God's awareness of me.
  • Emily Clancy for making a yummy meal, too. Thanks for hanging around for a couple of minutes to fill me in on your life and how I can be thinking and praying for someone outside myself!
  • Jo Powell for inviting me and the boys over for dinner on a night when Lawrence was coming home late. Thank you for taking on stress in your life in order to try to relieve stress in my life. You are a true friend, and an amazing cook. We LOVED the chicken parm.
  • De Neumann for just being you. God has gifted you, my friend, to serve and bless others. I won't even bother listing all the ways you have jumped into our lives and especially our crises with a willing heart and ready hands to bless us. We love you!!
  • Gretchen for your divinely timed phone call. Things have just been better since you called. I know a part of it was just your call, your encouragement and the hug I got through the phone, but I know more of it is your faithful prayers on my behalf. Love you so much and miss you greatly. I am storming Heaven's gates for you today, my friend, after hearing about Aaron.
  • Jim and Irene for the beautifully scripted card.
  • Laurie and Jason for being willing to be in the "pit" with us as much as you are able.
  • So many at church who asked how Judah is doing and told us that you've been praying for us. We are so blessed by your love and care for us.

I'm certain I've left someone out. Please forgive me. Execution is very less than perfect these days. This week, we are gearing up to head out of town for Lawrence's brother's wedding.
He is marrying a gal from Illinois, and so we will be flying with the boys out to Chicago and then driving about 3 hrs. from there to arrive in Lincoln, IL, Friday for the rehearsal. We would sincerely covet your prayers. I was apprehensive about flying with the boys before Judah's surgery. I'm tempted to be even moreso since Judah's surgery. Please pray most of all that I will graciously serve my family and that the boys will do amazingly well, better than we could imagine, with the traveling and all the events of the weekend. They will be ring bearers in the wedding. Pray they cooperate and are a blessing to our family. Thanks.