Sunday, May 31, 2009

Justus' Birthday Party in Pictures

Pictures courtesy of Allison and Janelle. They both took pics and sent them to me and I edited them up...Thanks girls!!! I will hopefully have more up on My Shutterfly Page in the next day or two.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our Brave Little Man

Titus' eye surgery went great today. We arrived at 6 am went straight to registration and then to Radiology. We filled out paperwork, met the nurses and anesthesiologist, and talked through what all would take place. Here Titus is in the Radiology Waiting area. Titus was sooo good the entire time. He sat patiently on Vernon's lap as they checked his vitals and got to know him a bit. Normally if Titus is nervous he talks your ear off. He chatters about everything trying to derail you from what is actually suppose to be taking place. But he was calm and collected. He sometimes wouldn't speak when they asked questions but mostly he did great. Once Dr. Packwood came in Titus smiled and began to be way more at ease...finally a face he recognized. Vernon decided (to my amazement) that he wanted to be the one who stayed with Titus while they gave him the sleeping gas. So I kissed Titus and left and went to the waiting area where my sweet friends Janelle and Melissa waited. They were so sweet to come! It really helped me that they were there. The time passed so much faster.
Once Titus was asleep, they made Vernon leave and they took Titus for his MRI. Once the MRI was done they moved him up to Surgery. We decided to get Starbucks and go wait in the Surgery waiting room because they would come talk to us there right after they work on him. Janelle, Melissa, Vernon and I got our coffee and headed up to the waiting room. While we were there Allison came to stay with us and our pastor, John, came too. This was such a blessing.
After about 2 hours of waiting Dr. Packwood came out and told us Titus did great and everything was going well. Then about 20 mins later they called us back to see him. This is what he looked like...

What a brave little guy! They had splints on his arms so he wouldn't rub his eyes and as soon as they brought him to consciousness he asked when he could take them off. So they took that opportunity to tell him how important it was to NOT TOUCH his matter what. Whatever they told him has worked because he keeps reminding me that he is not allowed to touch his eyes. They gave him a Popsicle and he didn't really want it. Titus LOVES Popsicles so I knew he was feeling bad at this point. He kept telling us his eye hurt and burned. He said that it was blurry and that there were two of everything. So we asked the nurse if that was normal and she assured us that he was doing great. She did, however, give him more pain medicine and that seemed to really help him. He then took a big glass of Gatorade and was ready to go home. They took his IV out and told us all the thing we would need to do at home and set up our follow up appointment. Then the brought in the wagon that all the kids get to ride in as they are discharged. It was so fun for Titus! He couldn't really express it so the pictures don't do justice to his delight but he was so glad to be going home and to be pulled in the wagon.
As we waited at the door for Vernon to get the car, the clowns came and made Titus laugh. They gave him a stuffed animal and a hot wheels car...he was more than thrilled! He was so tired but mustered up the strength to tell Vernon about the clowns during our drive home. Here is a picture of us getting him in the car. He was so out of it.

Once we arrived home we took him upstairs where my mom had set up the bean bag and the little TV/DVD player. It was his own little space. Mom got him "The Tale of Despereau" DVD and some activity/sticker books. She had them waiting for him to open on the bean bag. We kept it dark up there because he kept saying everything was too bright. Robin brought Titus a huge Optimus Prime balloon and he had it right next to him all afternoon.
The nurses warned us when we left that as all the meds wore off he would probably be cranky and moody. Boy was that true. I have to rub medicine on his eyelid four times a day and the two times I did it this evening he had a full on meltdown. It was just awful. He is so scared of the medicine, it burns and it blurs his vision for a bit. I have had to fully restrain him to apply it both times. If you are one who is praying for us, please add this to your prayer list...that he would allow me to apply the medicine and not have to be restrained. It is so sad. He is just so scared. We have had a lot of talks about how some times obedience hurts but in the end its the best thing for you. So hopefully obedience in being still for the medicine application will come sooner than later!
Tonight I laid in bed with him and we talked for a while. He told me what he was scared of and why he doesn't like the medicine and how he thought today was cool because his eye would work better. It was a sweet end to a long day.

We also got the call that his MRI was normal! AMEN! Thanks to all who have come on this journey with us. He has about 10 more days of recovery but the hard part is behind us. It will be a good 3 weeks before they will be able to tell if the eyelid lift worked or not...but most likely it did.

Thanks again. To God be the Glory for He has done great things for us and we are filled with Joy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Titus' Eye Surgery

Tomorrow morning at 6am we will arrive at Cooks Children's Hospital in Fort Worth for Titus to have an MRI and Surgery on his Left eye. Since birth Titus' left eye lid has been significantly lower than his right. When he was born he couldn't even open it. They told us it was because of the way he laid in my womb and that he may or may not grow out of it. Last year we decided to take him to the opthamologist because my pediatrician expressed concern about his vision being effected. We put it off at first because he was showing no signs of choosing one eye over the other. As he got older I began to notice that people would mention it in front of him, other children would ask him what was wrong with his eye etc. He had NO clue it was any different than anyone else. One of Vernon's Step-Mom's friend had a son who had a brain tumor that started with a droopy eye and headaches and quickly progressed to full cancer and then ended in death. He was the same age as Titus. When this came about, I made the appointment. He has had NO signs of headaches, so I've had no concern that this is the case for Titus, but people bringing it up to him combined with the knowledge that a drooping eyelid is a sign of brain tumors in children prompted me to finally make the call. We went to the doctor, he examined Titus and found NO suspicion of anything beyond what they originally told me. When he was in my womb his eyelid was closed longer than the other resulting in a elongated muscle. He DOES NOT have a lazy eye or any tracking issues. Also he told us that he has great vision and no signs of choosing his right over his left.
With all this info we were left to make a decision. The Doc said that over time it will only get worse because of gravity. He also told us that it could begin to affect him a lot more when he starts reading. Dr. Packwood also told us that after the age of 7 this particular type of surgery becomes much more intricate and would be an overnighter in the hospital. With all this info we decided to go ahead and get it done now so that no eye muscles are damaged or get into any habits that we would then have to do therapy to break.

We had it scheduled for the end of last year, but could not afford it. Through Christmas we received some money from some sweet friends and family members that put us on the path of being able to aford it. We then made a new appointment, got better insurance and are set for Tuesday May 26th...tomorrow.

We just told Titus last night. He took the news pretty well. He was mostly worried about getting any shots. He quickly told me that as long as he didn't have to get any "vaccines" than he was okay. I told him about the IV and he said that would be better than shots...we will let him think that for now;)

We will arrive tomorrow at 6am he will have an MRI to insure nothing is causing the eye to droop than he will have the surgery at 8am. It is a 1-2hour surgery with a 3-4hr recovery. Then we will get to take him home for the rest of his recovery. They said it will be pretty painless once he is sent home. He will only be on Tylenol.

We greatly appreciate your prayers tomorrow as he is going into surgery! Thank you in advance! We will keep our FB statuses updated and our twitter...if we can and if you are interested.

Friday, May 22, 2009


It's official, our little man is one year old. I took him to the doc today for his one year well check. He is 24 lbs. 9 oz. and 32 inch long. He is a tall little man; smiley as always. He didn't gain much weight over the last two months but he sure grew in height. He is walking 5 steps but still would rather crawl because he is much faster that way. We had a great day with him today and PARTY tomorrow! For now here are some pics:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I am the Second Man Now

I am sitting here listening to my beloved Switchfoot playlist. Its full of my fav Switchfoot songs...its amazing. Totally my love language. I am excited about its growth come fall with their new album. But all that is beside the point. Except that the song that is playing now is 24. The lyrics took me back to this last weekend and all the Lord did in my heart.

"I am not who I thought I was 24 hours ago...You are raising the dead in me, I am the second man now."

I went to Houston this past weekend to lead worship for an event for single women. It was so precious and dear to my heart because I spent so much time as a single women in that very church and in particular the very room we used was the room in which I spent many a day hearing the Word of God taught. I can't imagine my life now if it wasn't for those days, for those times of nearness with the Lord. Feeling very nostalgic as I always do when I go to Houston, I woke up early Saturday morning and took a drive. I went to Uptown Park Starbucks where I use to work and was a 'getaway' place for me. The Lord did so much in my heart there. Just pulling up I was moved by His nearness to me. Then I drove down Silber and pulled into the Mission parking lot. Did a u-turn and headed to HFBC where I sat in the parking lot and bawled like a baby. During the drive I turned on KSBJ (God Listens :)). The songs that came on were as if God planned the playlist for me. I was moved by His faithfulness. His faithfulness to change me. I kept noticing along the drive how many things had change. In my heart I knew that was a word for me. I began to think back at who I was then and by the grace of God, I hardly know that person. He has refined me, changed me, moved me and humbled me over and over. He has so faithfully taught me time and time again. I love that the Lord changes us. Yes and Amen.

The majoirty of my time in H-town was spent with two of my all time BFF's Amy and Allison. I can not tell you how much this was water to my weary soul. Just sitting with them encourages me. They have seen me change from that young single girl to this old mother of two and have loved me at every stage. Friends like these are priceless. I don't tell you two enough how thankful I am for you. I love you both dearly.

Leading up to the weekend I prayed that this person:

would come out. I really didn't know if that was possible. It's been years since I had the chance to lead in this capacity. I was thankful that the Lord does not need talent or precision to be worshiped and praised. He is so Faithful. Amen.

One of my favorite parts of life right now is watching my sweet friends become moms. I am not sure why, but it brings me overwhelming JOY to watch as the Lord blesses them and teaches them how to mother their sweet children. With this said a blessing that I received while in Houston was seeing Becky and Laurel. I love that little Laurel. She is so precious...seriously love her! And seeing Becky is always a joy. Then I got the privilege of going to the parent commitment (baby dedication) of little Judah Altic, Annabeth Jones and The Smith Kids. I was nearly crying the majority of the ceremony. I kept remembering back to 2000 and random memories of SBU. It was surreal really. I was taken by the graciousness of our God to be so giving to my sweet friends. They have wonderful marriages, ministries and families. Kay, Amanda and Star, you guys are amazing mommies. Your children are blessed to have you as their mother. Thank you Lord for your kindness to my sweet friends.

Last but not least, I LOVED spending time with Janelle on the ride down and back. Janelle, your friendship is so dear to me. Thanks for pulling us in and making us feel a part of things here. Thanks for always being honest, sharing your heart and always being up for fun! You are a blessing to me.

Change. Old being made new. Faithfulness. Thankfulness. Beautiful.

This is the song I've been singing Him since my return:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What A Week!

A couple posts back I listed through our schedule. We planned 3 to 5 days between trips over the summer to have some normalcy and time to unwind, do laundry and repack. Well this week we thought we had Saturday through Wednesday to do said things...instead here his what went down.

Saturday: Allison's Graduation and Graduation party- lots of fun!
Sunday: Leave for church around 6:50am, get home from church around 1:30, naps and laundry.
Monday: Vernon goes to our Acupresure/puncture Doc in Dallas. He was having terrible leg pains. We decide from there to take him to the ER to rule out blood clots (he has a factor V mutation in his DNA that predisposes him to blood clots and with all of our travel, we had to find out) After the entire day at the blood clots...AMEN! except he is still in a lot of leg pain. Later that evening we got the call that Vernon's Grandma had passed away. It was very sad news.
Tuesday: Vernon got up and went to work. The boys, Allison and I went to Dr. Park (our acupressure/puncture doc) in Dallas. He is helping me so that I can potentially get off my thyroid medicine or atleast have a lower dose! This was my first experience with full on acupressure and acupuncture. I have done lots of reflexology and such...but needless to say this was WAY better. I was so out of it the rest of the day. I was so relaxed and felt amazing.
Wednesday: Titus went to school for a bit then we left for the airport. Titus and Vernon headed to St. Louis. They will be going to Chet's graduation in Louisville then to his Grandmother's funeral. This is the longest I have been away from Titus since I went to Sudan w/o him when he was 10 months! After the airport I came home and got SO MUCH done around the house...its amazing what you can get done with only one
Today: The morning was full of shopping for Justus' birthday party next week. Then back to Dr. Parks. Then a trip to Whole Foods for lunch and dessert!

That brings us to now. I am about to finish up the laundry and prepare for my trip to Houston! Janelle, Ella and I will be heading out tomorrow afternoon! I will drop Janelle and Ella off at Amanda's then drive on to Amy's! I am so excited about this weekend and the Oxygen Event at HFBC. It is going to be awesome.

Hope you had a great week!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some Thoughts on Mother's Day

I have had a lovely Mother's Day. Church, Red Robin, a long nap (both boys slept at the same time!) and then ended the day with a little Marble Slab. I have received a plethora of cards and homemade things from Titus this year. I even wore a bracelet he made me out of sparkly pipe-cleaners this morning to lead worship at church...he was so proud.

I spoke briefly to my mom today and was once again reminded of how amazing she is. My mother is wonderful. She is a hero to me. Widowed with 3 children under the age of 9, my mom has taught me the meaning of perserverence. She loves deeply, encourages strongly and serves tremendously. She is steadfast. She taught me how to be creative. She taught me how to be frugal. She taught me how to cook, clean, sew and crochet. (although I will never be as good as her!) The list could go on and on. I am blessed to call her mom.

While I am so blessed, the entire day my heart has been heavy for those who are hurting on Mother's Day. I have many friends who have lost children even this year. I have friends battling infertility. I also have friends who experienced their first Mother's Day with out their mother. Loss is a deep wound. Grief is a cycle. Its hard to understand why and how God gives and takes away.

Today in Church, Jason, our college pastor preached. Our church is going through the book of James verse by verse and this was the first Sunday. He was in charge of James 1:2-4.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

I found it ironic that on Mother's Day, Jason would be preaching over these verses. You see, less than a year ago, Jason lost his mother in a very traumatic accident. The family was horseback riding through a mountain pass. His mother fell off her horse into a strong and freezing cold current of water. Both Jason and Jason's father tried to pull her from the water but the current was to strong, her body was too wet and they watched as she struggled to her death.
Now THIS is an example of "Testing of your faith." In that moment Jason had to decide if he was going to believe that God had All things in control. He had to hold to the knowledge that God had numbered his mother's days. He had to believe in the face of this tragedy that God was good and in some way He would work this out for the good. At this moment his faith was tested. He had to choose to believe that God's Word was Truth.

Jason did NOT share the story of his mother's death this morning, but those of us who know what he has gone through this last year know that Jason not only preaches James 1:1-4 but believes James 1:1-4. His faith was tested by a trial and has produced in him steadfastness.

To all the mothers and daughters that are reading today that have had a hard day, you are loved. You have been thought of and prayed for. I am sure there were times today that the wounds of loss were so deep and piercing that it was hard to see the light of Truth and steadfastness seamed a distant dream. I pray that the God of ALL comfort bless you and give you peace. amen.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


I saw this on the girltalk blog and couldn't stand how cute it was! enjoy!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Let "The Crazies" Begin

This week starts what I like to call "the crazies." It is the time of year where we are in a constant state of travel. It is always so fun but this will be our first "full force crazies" with TWO boys. We have had some hectic traveling since Justus has entered our family but NOTHING like the next couple of months!

Here is the run down:

Tomorrow we head to Midland for HV accounting and graduations. We come home Friday.
Saturday is Caroline's graduation from DTS in the morning and Allison's graduation from TCU in the afternoon.
The following Wednesday Vernon and Titus fly out to StL. Then drive to Louisville for Chet's graduation. Justus and I will stay home until Friday.
On Friday Sarah is going to keep Justus for me and Janelle and I will travel Houston where I will be leading worship at HFBC for an event called "Oxygen" if you are a lady in Houston and want to join in that would be awesome! We will head home Sunday afternoon. I will pick up Vernon and Titus on Monday.
The following Friday JUSTUS TURNS ONE!! Saturday my mom flies in to celebrate and to be here for Titus' eye surgery (more details later) on Tuesday the 26th. Mom leaves the 27th.
The 30th I will shoot a friends wedding here in Fort Worth and on the 2nd Vernon leaves for Sudan. The 5th is Titus' last day of school and prob his pre-school graduation. We will leave that evening for Missouri. I will take the boys to my mom's where they will stay for the next week as I fly down to Austin to speak at a High School Camp. (SO EXCITED) I will be talking to the girls every morning...its going to be so fun! I will fly back to MO, stay a few days and come back.
On the 18th we will pick up Vernon from the airport, come home for a few days and head to Alabama where Vernon will be speaking at a camp with some of our dear friends. There we will celebrate Titus turning FIVE! (we are not talking about it ...i am in denial) We will return from Alabama and rest for a week and head to St. Louis for the St.Louis Mission Project. (all the while making sure to be home on Saturday night so I can sing on Sunday least most of them!)

And that takes us to about mid July.

Its a fun life.