Monday, June 30, 2008

A Delightful Weekend

After a long week, God blessed us with a delightful weekend.

It began with the great news that my ever hard working husband received a promotion at work!! Just to brag on him a bit, he worked very hard this past year to meet some goals he and his boss set last year at this time. He met all his goals but one, and is very excited to move into a position that will allow him some more independence and also leadership as he will be asked to oversee engagements and staff more frequently. I am very proud of my man!! He has achieved this in the midst of a very demanding life here at home that seems to grow only more demanding for him as my health/pain issues have increased over the last year and he's had to pick up the slack that I have left behind.

We enjoyed the company of some old college buds of mine on Friday whom we hadn't seen in 2 years. Tommy and Beth Chase along with their girls, Emma and Norah, decided to stop by for a visit on their way back to West Virginia from their vacation to Ocean City, NJ. We were so glad they did. It was wonderful to see my girlfriend and catch up a bit. We always love our time spent with the Chases.

Saturday was a busy, busy day filled with lots of errands, but topped off with a nice dip in the Neumann's pool. The Neumann's are an incredibly generous couple in our church (De often accompanies me to some of Judah's dr's appointments). They so eagerly open their home and pool to many folks, and we were able to take advantage of their generosity this weekend. We met another family out there for dinner, the Jones', a couple in our caregroup who we're enjoying getting to know better.

Finally, on Sunday we publicly dedicated our little girl to the Lord. We were so glad to have our parents join us as well as Lawrence's brother and sister in law. We adore our girl, and could not imagine our lives without this precious gift God's given us. We are so grateful to have Christian parents and siblings as well as a gospel-centered church in which to raise our children. We are so blessed by these means of grace in our lives.

In the midst of all that is difficult and a challenge in our lives right now, God has so graciously been giving me eyes to see how much blessing He is lavishing on us at the same time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Through the lens of grace

Yesterday was not easy, but as I replayed the events of the day in my mind this morning, I realized that I had choices to make about how to view it. I could view it through my flesh and see all that was difficult, draining, fearful and/or didn't go my way or I could view it through the lens of God's grace. There was evidence of God's grace all throughout the day:

1. My friend, Cathy, was able to come with us which was a HUGE help in so many ways.

2. Judah is amazing at these visits in the mature and winsome way he interacts with the staff. Yesterday, he was incredibly patient as I spoke with the doctor for close to an hour.

3. God gave me strength to ask the questions I needed to ask despite less than sensitive or gracious responses from the doctor at times.

4. I was reminded afresh just how merciful God has been to Judah and us by sparing us of neurological complications that so many Sturge-Weber kids endure. As we left, we saw Dr. Germain-Lee's next patient who was a SWS patient with apparent neurological involvement and in a wheel chair.

5. Another friend, Danielle, brought flowers and a card later in the day that served as a reminder to consider the One who "clothes the grass of the field" and remember that He will care for Judah and our family even moreso.

Yes, yesterday was not easy. It still remains unclear as to whether or not we should begin treatment for Judah. I believe the doctor is rather convinced that we should, but we haven't reached this conclusion quite yet. So, we continue to cry out to God for wisdom and clarity on this issue.

We will need to have more bloodwork done on Judah to verify some of the levels Dr. Germain-Lee was suspicious about on his pituatary stim. test. She felt they may have been contaminated and therefore wants us to get some additional bloodwork. This will help her determine whether she would recommend starting treatments sooner rather than later.

Pray that as we wait and pursue this bloodwork to help clarify things, that God will be making it clear to us what we should do.

Thanks again for your prayers.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

HGH Therapies

This will be the topic of discussion tomorrow among Dr. Germain-Lee (Judah's endocrinologist), myself and a good friend, Cathy Plack, who has so generously agreed to go with me in order to help me catch and synthesize all the pertinent information that will be "downloaded" to me tomorrow regarding human growth hormone (HGH) therapies.

From Judah's tests, it has been shown that he has what Dr. Germain-Lee calls a partial growth hormone deficiency which I know to mean at this point that his body does make some growth hormone, just not enough. I presume I'll understand more after tomorrow's conversation.

My husband asked me how I was doing in regards to tomorrow's appointment earlier on this evening, and my reply was that I'm just not wanting to think about it, own up to its reality, but would rather pretend that it's not something we have to deal with.

However, that's not an option. I can't pretend my son is going to grow just fine because he's not pending a supernatural miracle from God which we certainly believe could happen. Consequently, we are called as Judah's parents to make this decision that feels all too daunting, but we are trusting that God will provide light for our path, that He will go before us and come behind us in this decision of whether or not to begin HGH therapy on Judah and when. We trust that no matter what the outcome, God will have been and continue to be good to Judah and good to us.

It is not easy to be a parent sometimes (Boy, is that an understatement?). I know any parent out there is going to agree 100% with that statement. This is one of those times for us. I don't want to make this decision, but I am going forward knowing I have been given all that I need in Christ for life and godliness, and this includes making this decision for our son.

Please pray for me tomorrow, that I, along with Cathy, will be able to comprehend all the information there is to comprehend and that God will enlighten my mind to ask good questions that would help us make an informed decision.

Pray that I will be able to succintly and accurately relay all the information I receive to Lawrence.

Pray that I would carry the "aroma of Christ" with me as I interact with Dr. Germain-Lee and her staff, that God's peace would be evident as I speak with the doctor and that I would ultimately find my confidence in God and direct my son to place his hope in God alone, too.

Thanks so much for your prayers for our family and for our little man!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tooth Extraction Forthcoming

Got to cut to the chase for the moment and just let ya'll know that Judah fell off a porch swing last night and broke one of his teeth, chipped another among other scrapes. We saw the dentist today, had an x-ray, and it was determined that Judah needs to have this tooth extracted. YIKES! So, I've been on the phone all afternoon trying to find an oral surgeon who participates with our insurance so we don't lose the house on this one...(really, it's not just this one, but the dental work I've had to have recently along with the entourage of specialists my son and I see ongoing, but I'm likely sinfully fretting at this point about our finances).

Please pray that we can find a surgeon who is both reputable and affordable (whatever that means in healthcare these days).

Please pray my little guy will allow me to swab his mouth with prescription mouthwash that's to help prevent infection and promote healing.

Please pray for me who is (as usual) so over her head with the responsibilities of my everyday life.

A silver lining: Because Judah sucks his thumb and therefore has a significant overbite, he's not being terribly bothered by the broken tooth when he eats (it's his front one) because it doesn't come together with his bottom teeth. So, we're choosing to give thanks for that and trust God's wisdom in these circumstances He's allowed by His loving, good Hand. We trust you, Lord.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Muffins and The Market Tuesday's

My boys know that vegetables are really good for you, but refuse to eat most toddlers, I am guessing. So, I thought I'd try taking them to a local Farmer's Market every Tuesday and let them pick out a vegetable they'd like to try. My plan is to let them help me in preparing it as well with the hopes that the "control" I allow them in picking and preparing the vegetables may peak their interest in actually eating them. It's a last ditch effort (for now) in getting them to try vegetables.

So, today was the first day we made it to the Market. I thought it would be fun to include muffins as our Tuesday breakfast as well, making it "Muffins and The Market Tuesday's". I'm an alliterate theme girl. :)

We had a simple apple streusel muffin this morning, a recipe I found in my Betty Crocker cookbook and whipped up rather quickly, joined some friends (the Jones'), and made our way to the Market. Well, there were only 2 venders there today, but the produce and flowers looked gorgeous. I explained to the boys that they got to pick out the vegetable we'd eat for dinner, and instead of the beautiful zuchinni or leafy Romaine, they picked TURNIPS!!! Mind you, there was only ONE box of box, and they had to pick it. ;)

I've never eaten nor prepared turnips, but I figured if I'm asking my boys to try new things, I've got to be willing to do the same.

SO, the turnips are boiling as I type this and will be ready for some salt, butter and milk (prepared like mashed potatoes is what the girl suggested). Fingers crossed and prayers prayed, I'll be serving these in just a little bit.
***Later this evening:
MY BOYS ATE TURNIPS!!!! I did, too...didn't prefer them. Judah gagged on the first bite but was willing to take a 2nd bite with a little encouragement! None of us preferred them, but I was so grateful that my boys even took 2 bites that I'm not going to feel badly about dumping $2 worth of turnips down the drain (unless, of course, some local really has a hankering for mashed turnips).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Necessity and Want

I'm growing more experientially familiar with these words, not like some in our world, but moreso than I have maybe known or felt in the past. I was reminded this morning of the verses in Philippians 4:

12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

By God's grace, I am trying to cooperate with the Lord's ways with me and my family in this season of our lives. It feels like a season of constant and oftimes conflicting necessities and wants. Yet, I daily sense the power of the Holy Spirit in my heart and mind, reminding me of His truth and giving me grace to agree with it rather than question and doubt Him as I have so often in the past.

This morning, I read this quote from "Of First Importance", a blog I try to read daily as it points me to the good news of the Gospel through a daily quote:

Poor folks must either borrow or beg the rich, and the only thing that commendeth sinners to Christ is extreme necessity and want. Christ’s love is ready to make and provide a ransom and money for a poor body who hath lost his purse. ‘Ho, ye that have no money, come and buy’ (Isa 55:1). That is the poor man’s market.
- Samuel Rutherford,
The Loveliness of Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007) 13.

I love that what commends me, a sinner, to Christ, is not a clean house, stellar parenting, loyal friendship to others or even my submission as a wife. What commends me to Christ is my extreme necessity and want. I'm "getting in touch with" my extreme necessity and want on so many levels and must say that joy fills my heart knowing that Christ's invites me to the poor man's market, the one place I feel quite at home these days. Indeed I am a poor (wo)man, and grateful Christ invites me to "come, buy and eat".

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Summery Chocolate Recipes For You to Enjoy!

My sister in law introduced me to this recipe just a little bit ago. I decided it would be the thing I take to any picnics, family gatherings or parties we're invited to this summer. It may sound a little funny, but it's a great, easy 'salad'.


3-4 lg. apples (I think Granny Smith is the best for taste and color)
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip
3 regular size SNICKERS® bars

Dice apples and cut up SNICKERS® bars into small pieces. Fold in Cool Whip.

Also, my friend, Jessica, over at Life as Mom is having a little contest this weekend which involves winning chocolate. All you have to do is post a recipe for one of your favorite chocolate treats and link it to her blog. I am beginning to love blog contests and certainly any one that is giving away free chocolate. I have so many recipes I could post, but I'm going to post these two which are great summer treats as they don't require oven use.

NO Bake Cookies

This is the recipe I know by heart and go to when 1. I'm having a serious chocolate craving and 2. have limited ingredients on hand. I typically always have the ingredients found in this recipe on hand.

Mocha Cooler

This recipe is a great way to enjoy a mocha frappucino-like drink during the hot summer days when the temptation to do a Starbucks (or in my case, Dunkin Donuts) run is present daily, sometimes more than once a day. So, having this mix on hand to pop in the blender will save you $ on gas and on the drink!!