Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kindergarten Cuties

Mrs.Weber, the boys' kindergarten teacher, has a mailbox in her room where people can leave mail for the students to receive each day. I left a note for each of my sons last night from being at the school for Back to School Night.
When I picked my boys up today from school and asked if they got mail, Tucker replied that he did. I said, "Who was it from?"
Tucker's response: "Someone's mommy".


September is "Teddy Bear" month for Mrs. Weber's Kindergarten class. For Kindergarten cafe which they do once a month, they will be making root "bear" floats. Judah was very excited about this as he told me about it today. He said, "Mom, we're going to mix icecream and beer; it's going to be so good!" :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Night Before the First Day of Kindergarten

Pants are hemmed, ironed and laid out along with their white polos and brand new sneakers.
Backpacks are packed with their first pencil boxes filled with scissors, glue, crayons and of course, a brand new pencil.
Snacks are prepared for their mid-morning snack. Judah will have an apple; Tucker, a banana.
Boys are in bed.
Mom is trying to capture every last moment of her babies being pre-schoolers.
Tomorrow, at 8:30 am, one season ends and a new season begins.

I had big plans to make this transition from one season to the next very momentous. We were going to do an "end of summer" trip to Broom's Bloom, our favorite local dairy where they serve the best hand dipped icecream in the county. I thought of a special breakfast such as chocolate chip pancakes or Dunkin Donuts (to have on a Monday would be very special at our house). These were two ideas among others. Somehow, special events always seem to be accompanied by food, and for the Almengor's, it's usually something sweet.

But, we've been hit with a small trial here that required me to re-think my plans. As I mentioned in the post previous to this one, Tucker has been having some issues with his throat, what was being treated as reflux. We have seen a GI specialist, and are waiting to hear back from a scheduler at the hospital for Tucker to have some further testing done. In the meantime, my son is in so much discomfort, and to hear him describe his affliction to me, to see him not be able to eat, disinterested in play, lethargic and constantly distracted by the pain in his throat without being able to do anything to help him has been such a test for me....a test in trusting God, trusting that He hears our prayers for mercy and healing, a test to trust that God is always working ALL things together for my good and the good of all who love Him.

But, I've been given this test before, in fact many times throughout my life. And, to my shame, I have failed this test many, many times. After the first real test of losing my father to brain cancer when I was 12 yrs. old, I spent years wrestling with this issue of God's unfailing goodness to me.

So, now, as a mother of children who seem to have a number of health issues, a context that can often tempt a person to doubt God's kindness, mercy and love for them, I am keenly aware of the opportunity I have been given to help my children grow up with an unshakable confidence in God and in what He says about Himself in His Word. I recognize that when my children get sick, it is not only a trial for me, but for them. Furthermore, it is not only an opportunity for God to work in my life but also to be at work in the hearts of my children as well.

My prayer throughout the last several weeks as I've prayed for my son has been two-fold. One, that God would heal my son's physical ailment. Two, I've been praying that God would give me eyes to see not only what He is wanting to do in my heart but also what He is wanting to establish in my son's heart.

I wish I could take my son's suffering. If I could snap my fingers and make it go away, I would. But, my wisdom is faulty and short sighted. God's wisdom is perfect. And, somehow, in God's perfect wisdom, He has chosen for Tucker to continue to suffer. I want to impart to my son a full confidence not in his or his mommy's wisdom but in God's perfect wisdom. I want to impart to my son a confidence that accompanying God's perfect wisdom is His perfect love and mercy. I pray Tucker will feel better soon. I pray that God will heal him fully or provide means of grace through medication and/or medical intervention of some sort that will bring health to his body once again. But, I also pray that God would sure up in my son's heart at this young age an absolute confidence that God is for him, that God loves him enough not only to heal Tucker's physical body but moreso to send HIS Son to suffer and die on a cross so that Tucker's soul would be made pure and right with God.

Would you pray this way for us as well?

As we embark on a new season here at the Almengor's, we will trust that God has gone before us, will come behind us and has His hand upon us. We will trust that the same measure of love and mercy that God has shown us up until today will follow after us all the days of our lives.

And, I will try very hard not to cry tomorrow as I leave my sons in the very capable care and instruction of their first school teacher, Mrs. Kathleen Weber.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Day at the doctors

Originally when LA took the day off today, it was to have some much needed down time for himself and family time with us. God had other things in mind, and that's fine...He is omniscient after all (or how I often put it, "God knows").

Judah began taking a new medication about a month ago, and the time was approaching for him to have some bloodwork done to see how his body was responding to the new medication. I thought it would be nice (for me anyway) for my hubby to take Judah to the lab. Tucker went with Judah, and was a great source of encouragement and distraction. On the way out the door this morning, I heard Tucker say to Judah, "Judah, you've got to be brave." I'm so grateful God has given them to each other as a constant companion.

Later in the day, we had to take Tucker for a consult with a G.I. doctor for some issues he's been dealing with all summer that we have, up until today, thought was reflux. Working with our pediatrician throughout the summer, we've adjusted Tucker's diet and tried a variety of medications/doses to little or no avail. So, today we took him to see a specialist.

After a long dialogue about Tucker's symptoms and a brief exam, it was decided that further testing is required to determine exactly what is ailing him. The GI dr. doesn't believe it's the "run of the mill" reflux but may be something called, "Eosinophilic Esophagitis" instead. I don't understand all the implications of this, but do know that it results from the body responding to some food as an allergen. Tucker will have to go under anesthesia to have several biopsies taken from his esophagus, stomach, lower GI tract and rectum...yeah, not pleasant. I'm glad he'll be under for this.

Though it would probably be a miracle, I'm praying we might be able to get this procedure scheduled for next week, before Judah and Tucker start school on the 14th.

It has been difficult to watch Tucker suffer all summer with what we thought was reflux. He will often say, "it feels like I'm going to throw up and sneeze at the same time." He's gone through periods where he hasn't been able to eat well if at all. The symptoms have gotten better at times but always come back. Most recently, he's been sleeping propped up on his pillow because it hurts too much to lay down. He'll wake up crying, and knows where all our "stashes" of Tums are located throughout the house. Poor guy.

It's not easy watching my 5 yr. old, Judah, brace himself for another blood draw. Nevertheless, I trust that God is using it for the good of all of us. While these are unpreferable circumstances, they are ripe with opportunity to impress upon my children the nearness of God, how He hears our prayers and furthermore, that we were not made for this world, but to live with God in eternity with perfect bodies. It presents a natural context to talk with them about sin and how it has reaked havoc on this world and our bodies, minds and everything else about us. It allows us to freely speak of Heaven and encourage our children to put their hope in Christ's return when He will make everything right again and take us to the perfect place that He is now creating for us.

For all this and more, I end this day giving thanks and affirming my trust in the One who created Judah and Tucker, who knit them together in my womb, who has numbered their days and knows the number of hairs on their heads, who loves them way more than I ever could...enough to send a His Son to die for their sins.