Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Happy 20th Birthday William!!!!

A very heartfelt and happy birthday, to you our son, William!

You were a surprise in our life.  A honeymoon pregnancy!
You were quiet and calm from the beginning.
One of the easiest babies we have ever had.  Everyone loved you.
Always so content and brought joy to those around you!
Even though you had many autism related issues...you were always so happy.
A wonderful brother to all the children that have ever been in our home!
Always willing and helpful.
We could not have asked for a better son.
You please me every day.
Your one of the most genuine and sweet people I know.
 You have grown into such a wonderful young man.
You have the same kind heart as your dad!  Carbon copies of each other!
Even though you don't feel well a lot of the time, you have always helped me in whatever I have asked of you.
You melt my heart when I see your tenderness with the youngest children.
I just can't believe you are 20 this year!  You planned your whole day and dinner meal yourself.  Aunt "S" made the cake you designed!  She did a wonderful job!
You liked it so well, you carefully cut each piece around Capt. Am. first!
William,

I see your heart to serve God daily in all you do.  I am so pleased and blessed to call you our son.   I say this from the bottom of my heart.  You have faithfully lived 20 years, honoring your mother and father...you are a true gift from God.

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.



Love, Dad, mom, Stephen, Antonio, Carolyn, Zeke, Elizabeth, Billy, Timothy, Kinsley and Baby "A"  

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Catching Up - June 2016 Part 2

My last "Catching Up" post got to long, so I am going to continue it today.  :)

First, I will answer questions about Elizabeth and how she is doing.  Elizabeth's surgery was June 22nd.  Tim and Elizabeth came home late Friday night.  (The 24th)  She did very well on the long ride home from Atlanta.  She was on prescription pain meds so that helped a lot.  She is spending her time recovering on the recliner, as a bed is to uncomfortable on the incisions on her back.  The incision site for her spine rodding surgery is over a foot long, from mid back all the way up to the base of her neck.  She has needed total care and help for the first week home.  She is weak and unsteady but gaining strength daily.  This surgery has set her back in body strength.  She has low tone Cerebral Palsy and has lost strength.  She was so unsteady she needed a lot of support to walk and move.  Tim and I got her a walker and now she is feeling more confident to try to get up and walk around.  This has helped her get more independent in some tasks.  Praise God!  She has had a few very ruff nights but seems to be be past that and more comfortable every day.  She is finally eating better now too.  I am grateful for her pain meds as they helped her so much to manage the pain and to get the rest she is needing right now.  Please keep her in your prayers.  She has a four to six week recovery ahead of her.  Prayerfully she will feel better and better every day that goes by.  She is going to need therapy but really wants to start back to ballet this fall. 
I have a picture of Elizabeth the day of surgery and it was just to sad to post.  Here she is the day she came home.

We try to make a Lake Winnie trip once a year.  We take the children that can and want to go.  Usually, Tim stays home with Antonio, Zeke and the youngest children.  I then take all the rest.  This year Tim has taken so much time off from work, for all of Elizabeth's test, appointments and the surgery, he could not take another day off.  I really wanted to squeeze the trip in before Elizabeth's surgery so she could enjoy her self and go as well.  I finally found someone I trusted to come and sit with Antonio, Zeke and the baby.  Because I was taking Billy, Timothy and Kinsley this time, I knew I needed to call in some reinforcements, so we could enjoy a safe and fun day.  We invited Tim's parents, my sister in law and niece, to come along.  It was a very hot day but we had a wonderful time.  I didn't know how Timothy and Kinsley would do, they had never been before but they really enjoyed themselves and had a very good time.  All of the children behaved wonderfully and we had a very smooth and happy time.

Cousin "A", Elizabeth and William.
This park is run by Christians and has a good mix of rides for littles and bigger kids.
It was so hot but I don't think the littles noticed.  They had so much fun!
Some rides, the young children can only ride with an adult.  Aunt "A" took Billy on several rides he wanted to ride on.  Thank you Aunt "A"!
Grandma rode this water ride with the girls!  It was refreshing in that heat.
William took Kinsley on the merry-go-round and Carolyn took Timmy.
Aunt "A" took Billy!  He had to ride this one as he thought this cart was an Elephant!  Silly boy!
Our young lady cousins but also best friends!
Amazing shot caught by Aunt "A" of the girls!
After riding all the rides, the children wanted to ride on, we took a break for lunch and then went to the water park side.
Grandma catching all the littles as they came down the water slide.
Sheer joy!
The girls hit the lazy river to cool down.
We had such a wonderful day away.  God blessed us, we had good weather and just enjoyed ourselves, not thinking about the different appointments and surgery this month.

Now a Tim update for all those asking how he is doing...Tim is doing well with his kidneys by the grace of God.  We have to watch his diet very closely to limit protein, potassium and phosphates.  He started on a special vitamin for kidney patients and is feeling more energy.  God is so good.  Tim and I went to a class lead by a kidney nutritionist.  We got wonderful information and asked a lot of questions.  We found out about some more high calorie foods that are safe for kidney patients and are adding them into his diet in hopes he puts some much needed weight back on.

We are so very blessed in our life and our schedule is pretty clear till August.  I have been very busy with the gardens, helping Elizabeth and potty training Kinsley and Timmy.  Kinsley was mostly trained as she started training herself many months ago.  She is now trained.  It took just explaining it all to her and buying her some cute underwear.  She had three accidents the first day and none since.  Thank you God!  Timmy has Autism and we have been training him faithfully for two years.  With him it is not head knowledge as he is special needs.  It is habit.  So we broke down and just put him in underwear and are working diligently with him with rewards.  (Candy!  Which  my children hardly ever get.  )

We are enjoying the down time of being home more, even though we are still a bit busy with normal family life.   :)

I pray everyone is having a happy and blessed summer!

Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

 

Blessings,

susan   

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Elizabeth's Spinal Surgery

Thank you so much to all who have prayed and asked about Elizabeth.

Tim took her down to Atlanta very early this morning to be prepped for her surgery.  They left at three in the morning.  Her surgery was to take between two and three hours and was done in an hour and a half!  Praise God.  All went better than great and the surgeon was very pleased with the results. Thank you faithful God for all you do for us, always.

Elizabeth has slept for most of the day and they are managing her pain well for her.  Tim is staying with her till her release.  Stephen took me down to Atlanta so I could be there while she was in recovery and to get her settled into her room.  I will be home with the other children, until Elizabeth is released to come home, in a few days. 

She is doing well. She is still on oxygen but they will start weaning that very soon.  She has lung disease so it takes a little time for her to get back to base line in that area.

She was ready to get this done and over with.  Now she is on the other side of it and we pray she heals quickly with as little pain as possible.  She wants to be fully recovered by the time ballet starts back.  It is an estimated four to six week recovery time.  I have cleared our schedule as much as possible of appointments so we can all just take it easy and let Elizabeth rest for the next few weeks.

Thank you again for all your prayers. Prayer is very powerful and makes a huge difference.  God hears our cries and is always so faithful.  May God bless you back 100 fold.

Psalm 36:5  Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.



blessings,

susan  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Catching Up - June 2016 Part 1

We have been beyond busy with appointments lately.  The garden is also keeping me very busy.  I have been trying to use up all the produce and not let anything spoil.  We are so grateful for a good garden this year.  Below are two or our raised bed gardens. God is so good. 

I am so behind in blogging and sharing things the children have done, so today I am going to get caught up a bit.
Billy did this very hard puzzle all by himself and wanted me to take a picture of it.  :)

Things will slow down after Elizabeth's back rodding surgery, which is on this Wednesday.  As I have cleared our schedule for a few weeks, until she recovers a bit.  In those weeks, I am going to stay home as much as possible, rest, watch the children swim, enjoy summer and try to finish potty training Kinsley and Timothy. 

At the end of the school year, in our town, there is a dance held for all people with special needs and their families.  I have never went or taken any of the children.  This year another family really wanted us to come and bring Antonio to socialize with their son.  There are very few things Antonio can participate in and he really wanted to go, so I took him, Elizabeth, Carolyn and Zeke as well.   They all had a wonderful time.  It was very low key and family oriented.  There was karaoke and food.  (Zeke wanted to go for the food and to watch everyone  :)  )  I have not been to a dance before, I don't dance.  I can not tell you how much joy it brought me to see so many people, with special needs, all in one building, socializing, eating and dancing with such joy.  I could not take the smile off my face, as Antonio got invited out to dance and was wheeled squealing all over the dance floor, arms swaying to the music.  Or my girls out on the floor, dancing together, not caring who was around them or watching.  It was such a precious time for everyone there.  Even though we don't usually participate in anything like that, I am so glad I took them.    They all made some wonderful memories.
My handsome happy son.
Zeke and my ladies.
These two had so much fun getting ready for this occasion.

We had triplet baby goats born about that time.  One went to my neighbor very quickly so I did not get a good picture of them all together.  These are the other two that went to one of my children's therapist.

We also had two major dance recitals.  Carolyn had hers at RC Ballet first. 
I always walk away so blessed after each recital put on by that school.  Such God centered, modest, focused, wonderful, music selections and beautiful dances. 
Carolyn has matured and progressed so much at this school.  Her teachers work very hard with her and Carolyn gives 100 percent!  All the effort really has shown though the last few recitals.  She did so well.  She had the best year.   Thank you so much Miss "M",  Miss "S"  and Miss "K"!  May God pour out his abundant blessings upon you all, for your godly direction, work and care, taken with my sweet girl!

Both girls also take dance at a place locally here in our town.  They also had their recital.  Elizabeth and Carolyn did beautifully. 
Seeing them up dancing together with the other girls in this recital made me realize how grown up my two young ladies are getting.  They looked more like young adults than children up there this year.  Where has the time gone?  I do not own a stick of makeup and they had to wear make up for this recital.  A nice teacher did their make up for me, so I didn't have to go out and buy any.  My girls looked twenty!
They had never wore makeup before, so thought it was special but not long after getting it put on, both of them started itching from not being used to wearing it.  They could not wait to get it off once home.  :)

We have a wonderful dance tutor come out to the house once a week to work with the girls and they had learned four routines with her though the school year.  They put on a very nice recital here at home for us with all they learned.  Thank you "A" for all you have taught the girls in detail and technique!

While I was taking pictures of Carolyn, our littlest dancer wanted to come get her picture taken too.  Actually, she had a small melt down about it.  :)  So here she is.  My sister got her two tutu's for her birthday and she regularly wants to wear them for the day.
Well, this post has gotten pretty long and I have still not gotten in everything!  I guess there will be a part two!

I pray everyone is having a wonderful summer.  We really are and have plans to soon gets some much needed down time!

Philippians 4:6-7  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.



Blessings,

susan


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Williams Bug-A-Paluza Post

I am sooo behind on post and sharing what has been going on in our life.  We have had one and two appointments a day lately, preparing for Elizabeth's back surgery.  Also, ballet recitals, others doctors appointments and things we have been doing, squeezed in here and there.

Today, I am going to finally get Williams Bug-A-Paluza post in for him. 

Tim and William go away for the weekend once a year, every year.  They both look forward to it and deserve it.  They save, plan and always have such a wonderful time.

Every year when they leave, I am humbled and reminded how much they do around here. It is often a very long three days for me, as I am here alone caring for all the children and farm.  God is so good and carries me though and the guys get a much deserved break and vacation, making happy memories.

They always go bowling on the first night they are there.

 They always eat out at Waffle House a few times!  We don't eat out much so it is a treat!

They always have fun looking at all the VW Bugs, Vanagons and Things.  (The last one is a car's name by the way!)

William always take LOTS of pictures.  He said he thinks he took about 1000 this trip.  I told him he had to narrow it down to his favorites for this post.  :)





 A shortened Vanagon.



They had the best of times and came back refreshed and sun burnt as always!

Thank you God for these wonderful hard working men in my life.  For their godly example and daily support.  Bless them and be with them all the days of their life.

1 Corinthians 16:13  Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.